Read The Curvy Astronomer and the Cowboy (He Wanted Me Pregnant!) Online

Authors: Victoria Wessex

Tags: #comedy, #romance, #western, #alpha male, #cowboy, #bbw

The Curvy Astronomer and the Cowboy (He Wanted Me Pregnant!)

BOOK: The Curvy Astronomer and the Cowboy (He Wanted Me Pregnant!)
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He Wanted Me Pregnant!

The Curvy Astronomer and the Cowboy

by Victoria Wessex

 

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© Copyright Victoria Wessex 2014

The right of Victoria Wessex to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988

 

This book is entirely a work of fiction. All characters, companies, organizations, products and events in this book, other than those clearly in the public domain, are fictitious or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to any real persons, living or dead, events, companies, organizations or products is purely coincidental.

 

Cover characters are models. Images licensed from (and copyright remains with) the photographers/owners as follows: couple - Period Images. Cover design by Yocla Designs.

 

This book contains explicit material and is for adults only. All characters portrayed are intended to be over 18 years of age, even where not explicitly stated.

Also by Victoria Wessex on Kindle

 

Shipwrecked with the Billionaire Rock Star

 

He Wanted Me Pregnant…

The Lady and the Viking (newsletter exclusive -
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The Jewel Thief and the Billionaire

The Curvy Voice Coach and the Billionaire Actor

The Reporter and the Billionaire Scottish Wolf Lord

The Curvy Waitress and the Billionaire French Count

The Nurse and the Soldier

The Lady and the Pirate I and II

The Cocktail Waitress and the Card Shark

The Maid and the Billionaire Prince

The Intern and the Senator

The Stewardess and the Billionaire CEO

The Lawyer and the Outlaw Biker

The British Nanny and her Billionaire Employer

 

Blurbs and free extract at the end of this book!

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Chapter 1

 

Everything was just the way I wanted it. The station wagon’s stereo was pumping out rock classics (although I had to keep whacking one speaker with my knee when it cut out). The heater was blowing warm air and a slight tang of heated plastic against my denim-covered legs. The takeout coffee in my battered travel mug was still just the right side of hot and I had my phone’s GPS set to the deep, sexy male voice.

Outside, the temperature was close to freezing; inside, I’d created my own snug, mobile nest.

This is great,
I reassured myself.
I’m twenty-three, I’m independent and free-spirited and self-employed and I go where I damn well please.
I could be in a commercial for deodorant or tampons or something.
I would have wound down the window and hollered along to the music if it hadn’t been so cold. And if the windows hadn’t stopped working months ago.

“In one hundred yards,”
husked the GPS voice sexily, “turn right onto unmarked road.”

“What?” I asked aloud, panicked. “Which road.
That
road?” There was a tiny turn-off approaching, but surely the town couldn’t be down
there.

I glanced between the phone’s screen and the road. Screen-road-screen-road—

Yup. It
was
that one.

I hauled on the station wagon’s wheel and stamped on the brake. About a millisecond later, as the car started to skid, I remembered that that’s exactly what you’re not supposed to do on an icy road.

The wheel went loose in my hands. My stomach dropped right down inside me until it felt as if it was huddled against the torn leather seat.

For an instant, the wheels found grip and it looked as if I might actually make the turn. Then the trailer sailed serenely past the car and snapped me around, and then we were spinning, trailer and car pirouetting down the center of the road like two ice skaters holding hands.

Ah yes, the trailer. I’d gotten so used to hauling it that I’d almost forgotten it was there. My first thought, as we spun towards the edge of the road and some very solid-looking trees, was:
the telescope is going to break.
Which sounds strange until you realize that the telescope is worth more than the car, the trailer, and everything else in my life put together.

Then we were plunging off the road and into a ditch. The stereo gave an ear-splitting squawk of complaint and then died completely. The G-force of the spin pressed my leg hard against the heater vent and I smelled fabric singeing. My travel mug flew up into the air as the car crashed down into the ditch and, as it ricocheted off the ceiling, it emptied its hot contents into my lap. The sexy male voice on my phone told me calmly to
make a legal U-turn
and then the phone shook loose from its holder and whacked me on the head.

We came to a halt, the station wagon’s suspension bouncing and creaking like old bed springs. We were off the road, facing in exactly the opposite direction to where I’d been heading. My inner thighs were throbbing with pain and there was smoke rising from one jeans leg.

I threw open the door and dived into the nearest snow bank, shoving myself thigh-deep in the drift and then hopping from foot to foot so that the snow cooled my thighs and put out the smoldering cuff.

Thirty seconds later, I was pain-free and unhurt, bar a small bruise where the phone had bounced off my temple. But I was terrified and cold and soaking wet and fearful of checking the telescope for damage and—

And there was no one to share it with, because I was all alone. There was no one to tell me it was okay, or that I’d had a lucky escape, or to put a blanket around me and take me somewhere for a hot drink. Suddenly, I didn’t feel free-spirited. I just felt…adrift.

I slumped down on the edge of the ditch. Cars whizzed by and I was torn between wanting one of them to stop and not wanting the humiliation of talking to anyone in my current state. I looked down at myself. Drips of coffee were rolling down my chestnut hair and dripping into the snow. The two outsize plaid shirts I wore to keep myself warm were stretched tight over my full breasts and then draped to my hips. My soaked jeans clung to my plus-sized ass. If there
were
any knights of the road who’d stop to help a lady in trouble, they weren’t going to stop for
me.

I will not cry,
I thought determinedly, because I could feel the hot prickles at the back of my eyes. I took a deep breath, stood up and went to check the telescope.

 

***

 

A half hour later, I crawled into Mustang Falls. I kept it slow as I drove up Main Street, partially because I was still jumpy after the skid and partially to avoid spooking the horses.

There were horses everywhere: trotting down the edge of the road or tied up in front of a store. I did a double-take at that. People actually went to the store
on a horse?!
And I didn’t recognize a single storefront—no Starbucks, no McDonalds…I hadn’t even passed a Wal-Mart on the way from the highway. I’d been through plenty of small towns before on my travels, but never anywhere as quaint as this.

I pulled up in front of the diner. I only had a name and an email address for the guy I was looking for and he’d stopped answering his emails. In a town this small, hopefully someone would have heard of him.

I steeled myself and walked inside. Heads turned, most of them sporting a cowboy hat. I really
was
in the sticks.

I took a seat at the counter and asked for a coffee. When it came, the smell alone was enough to banish any memories of the skid and put me one hundred percent in the moment. I tried a sip.
Wowza!
I could feel my body waking up, all the way down to the tips of my toes. It was the perfect antidote to the freezing mountain air. Around me, I could smell the heady scent of frying bacon and maple syrup.
I might have to see if I can scrape together enough money for brunch,
I thought. Bacon is my go-to comfort food. I actually keep a pack and a tiny camping stove in the trailer, so that at the end of a long night looking at the sky I can treat myself to a bacon sandwich.

“I’m looking for someone,” I told the guy behind the counter as I paid. “Dr. James Barker.”

The guy scrunched up his big, friendly face—it was so pink and shiny, it looked as if he’d spent his life staring down into a bubbling pan. “Like a medical doctor?”

“No. An astronomer. Retired.”

Realization spread across his face and he grinned…for a split second. Then his face fell. “Russ!” he yelled, causing more heads to turn.

A cowboy walked over. A big guy with tousled black hair spilling out from under the rim of his hat and kind, chocolate-brown eyes. He lifted his hand and—yes—he actually tipped the brim of his hat to me as he smiled.
I am through the looking glass here,
I thought.
In a minute, someone’s going to call me “ma’am.”

“This lady’s looking for ‘ol Jim,” said the guy behind the counter. “Telescope Jim.”

Russ winced.

“What?” I looked between their faces. “Did he move?”

“He passed,” said Russ gently. “Last week. He was eighty-four. I’m sorry.”

I didn’t react. Couldn’t react. It was as if the news had blown a fuse, deep in my brain:
pzzt!

A beautiful, curvy redhead hurried up to Russ. Well, she hurried as best she could—she was heavily pregnant and looked just about ready to pop. “Honey?” she asked, worried, slipping an arm around her man. “Is everything okay?”

I shook my head quickly. No point in ruining their day. “Fine,” I said. I glugged down my too-hot coffee, turned to the door and ran.

I made it out of the diner and into my car before the tears started. Tears for Dr. Barker. Tears for myself. Tears for the utter void I saw before me, like the deep, deep black between the stars where there’s nothing at all.
What the hell am I going to do?!

Hot tears trickled down my cheeks. I leaned forward until my head rested on the steering wheel and just let myself blub.

There was a knock on my window.

I looked up into the clearest blue eyes I’d ever seen. Shockingly clear, like some alpine stream with ice floating in it. Cheekbones. Oh, God, the cheekbones. And a square, solid jaw dusted with dark stubble.

I was so shocked I actually stopped crying.

He indicated that I should wind the window down, but it didn’t work so I cracked the door open instead.

“I just wanted to give you this, ma’am,” he said. “Looks like you need it.” And he held out a clean white handkerchief. He couldn’t have been much more than thirty.
Ma’am?! And who still uses handkerchiefs?!
Then again, he was probably one of the ones who rode his horse to the store.

I took the handkerchief gratefully and wiped at my face. I didn’t even want to think about what I looked like. I sneaked a look at him over the top of the wadded cloth. He’d taken off his cowboy hat and his soft, dark hair was all messed up from being under it, despite a half-hearted swipe of his hand. I had a sudden urge to fix it for him, just so I had an excuse to run my hands through it.

He squatted down next to the station wagon so that he was at the same height as me. It was a little like watching a bear hunker there—his shoulders were wide and the muscles of his arms stretched out the soft brown leather of his jacket. Blue denim hugged strong, hard thighs and he had on an actual pair of cowboy boots. Not some fancy thing that wannabes in the city wore. Actual beat-up, working-man’s cowboy boots.

What hit me the most, though, was his expression. He looked concerned, even though he didn’t know me. And beneath the worry, buried but still palpable, like a smoldering volcano beneath the rock, was something else. Something that had me squirming on the seat just a little. I mean, it was crazy, of course, because he was utterly hot and I’m…well, I’m
me.
But if I hadn’t known better, I would have thought he was staring right through my clothes to my naked body beneath…and then right on through to my very soul.

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