Read The Last American Cowboy Online

Authors: Vanessa Devereaux

The Last American Cowboy

BOOK: The Last American Cowboy
13.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Last American Cowboy

 

By

 

Vanessa Devereaux

 

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

The Last American Cowboy

Copyright© 2012
Vanessa Devereaux

ISBN:
978-1-60088-755-0

 

Cover Artist:
Sable Grey

Editor:
Megan Fisher

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.

 

Cobblestone Press, LLC

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dedication

For My Writing Buddies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

“Could you do me a huge favor?”

Those were the seven words that changed my life. Had Bob not asked me to fill in for him, I wouldn’t have met Blake Whelan…and had the sexual experience of my life.

I tapped a pen on my desk, intrigued by what this favor would actually entail. Bob stood in the doorway of my office, leaning against the jamb with his bifocal glasses pushed back high on his head.

“My son wants me to check out prospective colleges with him, and I’ve got this story to write and file by next week. Well, I can’t do both. You know how it is. Kids come first, so now I’m in a bind.”

I knew Bob often focused on sports-related articles and profiles, and I didn’t relish working on that type of story, but he was a sweet family guy, so I didn’t really want to turn him down.

“What’s the article about?” I said.

He must have anticipated that I’d at least consider taking the assignment, because he’d brought all the details with him. The next thing I knew he’d stepped inside my office, sat down, and was placing an open folder in front of me. I sorted through it to see Bob’s handwritten scribbles on several slips of paper.

“The last American cowboy,” I said, reading the heading.

“They’re a dying profession,” said Bob.

“Really? I never knew that. So you want me to call this…” I tried to decipher Bob’s penmanship but couldn’t.

“Blake Whelan. I’ve already arranged to talk to him in person, so all you need to do is go and interview him.”

“Just where does he live?”

“Montana, just north of Missoula.”

Oh, boy. I’d really set myself up for this one.

“So you’ll do it?” he asked.

The word
no
wouldn’t come out of my mouth. “I guess, if you’ve got no one else.”

“I don’t, and I’ll return the favor anytime you like. The flight and hotel are booked. You leave tomorrow morning and come back on Friday. That gives you three full days to visit his ranch, talk with him, see him in action, and snap some shots to accompany the story. Hope you don’t mind taking photos, because these days the magazine can’t afford to pay a photographer to tag along on an out-of-town assignment.”

Yeah, our ads sales had been down, and a few writers had even been given pink slips or offered early retirement.

I paged through all the notes Bob had made and his suggested angle for the story plus the questions he thought needed to be asked.

“Anything else I should be aware of before I head to the wilderness?”

“Not that I can think of. I know you’ll do a great job with this one. I had a feeling it was right up your alley.”

* * * * *

 

I had no idea what to pack for this trip. I’d never been to Montana and didn’t even know what a working ranch looked like. I imagined it was dusty and dirty, so I’d thrown some old jeans and sweaters into my luggage. I didn’t have any cowboy boots but decided I’d buy myself a pair during my trip. The hotel was better than I’d expected. It was equipped with a kitchen and Internet and had a swimming pool, a hot tub, and an exercise room. Once I was unpacked and had settled in, I decided to call the number Bob had given me for this last American cowboy.

“Hello. Blake Whelan speaking.”

Shit, he had a sexy voice for such an old guy.

“Hi, my name’s Fiona Spencer. I’m working on the article about you for
American Lifestyle
magazine in Boston.”

“I thought that was a guy named Bob.”

“He had another commitment, so I’m filling in. Hope you don’t mind dealing with a female writer.”

“Nope. In fact, I prefer it.”

At least cowboys weren’t sexist or, at least, this one wasn’t. I doodled on my notepad because, all of a sudden, hearing his deep voice had made me nervous, which wasn’t an adjective I ever used to describe myself, especially while I was on the job.

“I’d like to stop by your ranch tomorrow, so I can start interviewing you and snap some shots. What’s a good time?”

“I’m up at 4:30 a.m., or is that too early for you?”

This being our first conversation, I couldn’t tell if he was being serious or just sarcastic.

“Tad too early, so how about 9 a.m.?”

“I’ll be here. You need directions to the ranch?”

“Sure do, and I should warn you I’ve never been to Big Sky Country before, so I don’t know any of the highways or towns. Plus, I’m a city girl and get lost very easily once I’m out of the suburbs.”

“Okay, city girl, where are you staying?”

“The Redstone Inn on the outskirts of Missoula.”

“I know where that is. Be sure to sample one of their steaks. Best T-bones in these parts.”

My stomach rumbled just hearing him say that. I hadn’t eaten anything substantial since I’d left Boston and was feeling hungry.

“I’ll definitely give them a try,” I said.

“Getting to my ranch is pretty straightforward. When you head out of the parking lot of the hotel, turn left and get onto Highway 283, heading north. It’s about a thirty-minute drive before you see Highway 77. Turn left then drive another two miles until you see a dirt road on the right, which is actually the entrance to the ranch. You have a cell phone?”

“Yes, it’s with me all the time.”

“If you get lost, call the ranch, and either me or one of my ranch hands will come and get you.”

“Sounds good to me and, providing I don’t lose my way, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Looking forward to it.”

I put the phone down and looked over the directions while they were still fresh in my mind. Seemed simple enough, and he sounded like a nice old guy, so maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad assignment after all. I leaned back in my chair. Now that was taken care of, I was going for a swim, and then I’d follow Blake Whelan’s advice and sample one of those T-bone steaks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

Dirt road
had been an understatement. I was glad it was a rental car and not my own because, right now, half an inch of what looked like red-colored sand sat all over the bodywork. As I pushed down on the accelerator, more swirled around in the air and prevented me from seeing farther than a few feet ahead. Even though I had all the windows tightly closed, some dust must have entered through the air-conditioning vents, and I coughed to clear my lungs.

The car hit a bump, and the dust cleared long enough for me to spot a sign that said, “Welcome to the Whelan Ranch.” I somehow expected to see the words
Home of the Last American Cowboy
written underneath.

I drove through two open, oversized iron gates, with a large
W
welded into both their centers, and headed up another dirt road, which eventually turned into what looked like one big parking lot. A barn sat to the left, a series of sheds to the right, and ahead was one great-looking house, which I assumed meant this cowboy, although being a part of a dying breed, obviously wasn’t poor.

I turned off the ignition, grabbed my purse and notebook, and got out of the car. A dog barked, and I was ready to run but then relaxed when I noticed the German Shepherd was tied to a stake. Hopefully, I’d quickly spot someone to ask where I could find Mr. Whelan. I looked around and heard two guys’ voices coming from one of the nearby sheds, so I decided to head that way. I walked along a path covered in what looked like the tan mulch I used to keep the weeds at bay in my garden back in Boston.

I peeked around the corner of the shed where two men in their early 60s, wearing cowboy hats and boots, stood talking. I guessed one of them might be Blake Whelan.

They both turned to look at me as I entered the building.

“Hi, I’m Fiona Spencer. Are either of you Blake Whelan, by any chance?”

“That’s me,” said the taller, more tanned of the two men. “Can I help you with something?”

Obviously, he hadn’t remembered my name from our telephone conversation just the day before. And his voice had definitely sounded sexier and deeper on the phone.

“I’m writing the story about you for
American Lifestyle
magazine.”

“Yes, I heard about that, and it’s actually Blake junior you’ll be writing about. I’m his father, Blake Whelan senior. Pleased to meet you, Ms. Spencer.”

He walked toward me and took off his hat before shaking hands with me. I guessed he was around seventy and had probably been a very handsome man in his younger days. Not that he wasn’t a handsome man, but time spent out in the sun, rounding up cattle, had made the skin around his eyes and mouth wrinkled and weathered-looking.

The other man with him touched his hat and nodded to me.

“My son’s in the stables. How about I walk you over there?” asked Blake senior. He put his hand on the small of my back and encouraged me to head outside.

The wind had picked up slightly, and it had suddenly turned overcast.

“Looks like we’ll get a storm before the day’s out,” he said as we headed across a path toward what I guessed were the stables. Hay was scattered outside, and the smell of horse manure suddenly invaded the air. I didn’t want him to think I was bothered by it, so I just gave a subtle cough to clear my nose.

Blake senior slid back an oversized wooden door, and there stood the most gorgeous man I’d ever set my eyes upon. He leaned against a post with a cowboy hat pushed back on his head. Yes, he looked like a real cowboy in his tight jeans and white shirt with buttons opened halfway down his chest. He stood watching another young guy brush one of the horses. It looked like the younger of the Blakes was in his early forties, maybe even late thirties. My immediate thought was there had to be a Mrs. Whelan around here someplace, because I couldn’t imagine some lady hadn’t already wrangled this cowboy.

“Blake, Fiona Spencer’s here to see you,” his father called over to him.

I was suddenly tongue-tied as he headed my way. Good old Bob for handing this assignment to me. I’d buy him a drink as soon as I got back to Boston. The cowboy got better looking the closer he got to me. Dirty-blond hair curled from underneath the brim of his hat. Green eyes, a sexy mouth and jaw, and broad shoulders. Shit, if he was the last one of his kind, they should have him cloned. Even his chest was tanned, with just the right amount of hair…in my opinion. The bulge in his crotch was very nice, too.

Definitely a candidate for cloning.

“Fiona, pleased to meet you.”

He reached for my hand and, like a schoolgirl who was finally meeting the movie star whose photo she’d taped to her wall, my knees wobbled, and my heart fluttered when I slipped my hand into his.

Nice, firm handshake, slightly calloused hands—working man. Probably would feel a little rough but nice touching my nipples, my belly—oh yeah, my clit, too.

I realized he’d asked me something, and I felt like a fool when both he and his dad stood there looking at me, waiting for an answer.

“Sorry, I didn’t catch that. I have a case of jetlag.”
Shit. Jetlag, and I’d only traveled from Boston.

“I like this girl’s sense of humor,” said Blake senior. “Well, I have to be going. Fiona, nice to meet you. Make sure my son shows you some Big Sky Country hospitality while you’re here. You two have fun now and, son, I’ll see you next week at Jenine’s birthday barbecue.”

He shook my hand. Blake tipped his hat to his father and, after he’d left, the two of us just looked at one another.

“So where do we start?” he asked

The stable had a couple of flies circling around, and I was sure one was about to dive into my mouth because, right now, it was continually open in awe of this man. Bob should have warned me the cowboy was such a hunk or at least shown me a photo, so I could have prepared myself for our first meeting.

“How about I get a few photos of you in here? I mean, if that’s okay with you?”

“Whatever you need. It’s your story, and you’re the director.”

I rushed back to the car, almost slipping in what was obviously horse shit. I guessed I’d have to watch where I stepped on this assignment. I pulled out my camera and headed back to the stable, where Blake was now rubbing one of the horse’s noses.

“Can you keep doing that while I take some shots?”

I pointed the camera at him and snapped away, all the time fantasizing that he was using his hands on my body, caressing my breasts and belly with the same feathery strokes he was using on the horse.

That’s one lucky animal.

He turned and smiled, and that’s when I lost it. My pussy pulled and pulsated, and all I could think about was the two of us together…naked.

When was the last time I’d had sex?

I realized I couldn’t pinpoint the month, let alone the day, which meant I was way overdue. I looked through the camera lens and, without him noticing, or should I say hopefully without him knowing about it, I focused on the bulge at the top of his legs. For a second, I imagined walking over to him, unzipping that fly, and pushing my hand inside to check out his cock and balls.

Yeah, make that part of the story, Fiona.
I was hot, my panties were damp, and I had to stop this trash thinking before I actually followed through on my fantasy and got fired from the magazine.

“I think that’s enough photos for now,” I said. Was there a hose here someplace so I could douse myself with cold water?

“How about I walk you around part of the ranch, and you can ask me questions?”

“Sounds perfect.”

He, like his father had, put his hand on the small of my back as he showed me outside. A black cloud was forming overhead and, in the distance, it looked like his dad had been right. A storm was rolling in from over the top of a nearby mountain range. From anywhere else, it would have looked ominous and scary but, sitting over the tall peaks, it almost seemed breathtaking and beautiful. This part of the country was so different from the East Coast.

“So what would you like to ask me first?”

“Are you married?”

BOOK: The Last American Cowboy
13.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Betrayal by Gregg Olsen
Demonkeepers by Jessica Andersen
Familiar Stranger by Sharon Sala
A Baby Under the Tree by Duarte, Judy
The End of the Pier by Martha Grimes
Christmas Fairy Magic by Margaret McNamara
Bossypants by Tina Fey
The Rose Rent by Ellis Peters
Battleground by Keith Douglass
Andreo's Race by Pam Withers