The Cowboy

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Chapter 6

The days had fallen into a routine schedule. Tripp worked often, but when I did see him, we usually met in the barn, where we would nurse the young filly, or go out riding...or make love, which was our favorite way to spend the time. Each night he would take me, slowly, quickly, passionately, tenderly, ruthlessly. We did it multiple times, in multiple places, and in multiple ways...and every time we would worship each other's bodies as if we were the last two people on the face of the earth. The day after that horrid storm we ended up falling asleep together on the fresh straw in one of the storage barns, exhausted from the previous night when our passion had been as restless as the raging rain.

My family wasn't stupid. After that rainy night when I hadn't come back to our cabin, they figured out what was going on, especially after they confronted Lucy who had received a text message from me telling her that I was all right, and that they shouldn't worry about me. I had never really been in this situation before, and surprisingly, my parents didn't try to stop me from seeing him...though I had listened to my mother and father heatedly talking one evening in their room.

"Well what are we supposed to do?" My mom had said, talking quietly to my father with clear frustration in her voice. "She's nineteen, she can do what she wants."

"I don't care, this is a family vacation, and I'm the one paying for it, which means I make the rules about running off in the middle of the night with strange men!" My dad rarely got angry, but he was mad about my behavior.

"He's not strange, he's like a son to the Waterman's. I met him our first night here, he seemed very nice."

"He's too old for her, and didn't you see him in the Lodge the other day? Nearly smashed that man's face in two!"

"Well what do we do? We can't lock her in the cabin, and you think if we tell her she can't see him that she'll listen?"

"We could go home early."

"We are paid for two weeks, we are not going home early," my mother whispered tightly. "Besides, it wouldn't be fair to Lucy or Luke. I think Kira's an adult now, and she's got to make her own decisions and learn from her own mistakes."

"What if she gets pregnant? Is that a mistake you want her learning from?"

I hadn't wanted to listen to anymore after that bit, so I crept back to my room, my stomach churning. But I was surprised when the next time I was with my parents, they hadn't mentioned anything about what was going on. I would be lying though if I said my family, including Lucy, who at this point realized just how deep my relationship with Tripp was, acted completely normal around me. The disapproving looks were never-ending, and I felt as if I was constantly being watched. In truth, they were scared for the same reasons I was, and they pondered the same question that I worked to force from my thoughts – what was going to happen when we left?

Now though, we all sat at the breakfast table where we were joined by the Marshalls, another routine that had been going on the last few days. I blinked sleepily with a glass of orange juice at my lips, trying to drown out the sound of Willy next to me, bragging to us about his relationship with some senator. Instead, I tried to remember all the wonderful reasons why I was so sleepy that morning. Neither Tripp nor I had really slept much last night. Every time we tried, we somehow wound up making love again. If I was tired now, I felt awful for Tripp who was working out on the range.

"Kira, you really do need to take me up on my riding offer. What are you doing today?" Willy had been asking me to go riding with him for days now. So far, I had been able to effectively deflect his persistent proposals to, as he had put it, show me his fine horsemanship skills. I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing out loud at that one.

"Willy, I've already said, I'm really not much of a horseback rider." I tried to sound polite in order to appease my parents.

"That's alright, I'll help you. I'm quite good, I even won an equestrian contest at my parent's country club a few years ago." At that point I choked on my sip of orange juice, trying to hold back the giggles. All I could picture was Willy trying to show me how to ride after all the times I'd gone out with Tripp behind me in the saddle.

"Erm, sorry, just swallowed"

"Kira, I think you'd have fun going out riding with Willy." My father knew that I wanted nothing to do with Willy, but anything that took my focus away from Tripp was good in his eyes. "Besides, we're here on vacation at a dude ranch and you've hardly ridden any horses yet."

That wasn't true. I'd gone out with Tripp several times now. He loved to show off how capable he was at riding by demonstrating the various things he could do to my body while still keeping control of the horse. I shuddered at the memories, heat washing over me.

Willy was smiling as I glanced over at him, racking my brains for some excuse to get me out of this. The whole table was looking at me and I could tell I was defeated.

"Well, I guess I could go today..." It was true, I could go, as I wasn't planning on meeting Tripp until tonight, since he had to spend most of the day out with the cattle. The idea was completely unappealing to me though.

"Fantastic," Willy said with one of his fake smiles that suggested motives ulterior to those he presented. "We can go take the South Trail down toward the main road."

"Lucy," I turned to my sister, begging her with my eyes. "Would you like to come with us?" If I had to endure this, I sure as hell didn't want to do it alone.

Before Willy could protest, my brother piped in. "Actually, Lucy was going to come with me this afternoon up to see some of the caves on the mountain. We've been meaning to go up there all week." I groaned inwardly. Luke of course was siding with my father on this whole thing. Lucy gave me an apologetic look before I turned back to give Willy a forced smile that came out to be more of a grimace.

"I...I guess it's just us then," the hesitation in my voice couldn't be missed, but Willy took nothing of it. The man was too arrogant to even consider that I wasn't interested in him.

* * * * *

A couple hours later, Willy and I walked into the barn. Correction - Willy walked in, I was more dragging my feet behind him in reluctance. We had talked to one of the ranch hands outside about taking two of the horses out. After Willy reassured him that we knew how to ride, he had told us they had someone in the stables who would help prep the horses. It was a pity that the ranch didn't require a guide to go along with guests who wanted to ride down some of the shorter trails. I wished Willy had wanted to go riding through the mountains, where we would have needed someone to accompany us. However, I think the aspect of being alone together was the whole point of this outing for the stubborn man. I firmly reminded myself that since we weren't going to be around anyone else, like our families, I didn't need to take any bullshit today.

I cringed as soon as we walked through the door, and my heart leapt up into my throat. I wasn't expecting Tripp to be the one in the barn, tending the horses, but there he was, rubbing down a chocolate-colored mare, looking as beautiful and dashing as ever in a worn pair of jeans and a dirty white t-shirt. He had told me he was going to be out on the trail for most of the day, and this was the last thing I needed right now. It was bad enough having to go out riding with Willy at all, let alone having to hear a bunch of guff about it from Tripp.

He looked formidable, especially wearing the dark Stetson that covered much of his face, but he turned to us as we walked into the stables and his eyes bore into mine before glancing over to Willy. I had frozen momentarily before deciding that in order to avoid an awkward situation, it was best to try and act normal, as if I didn't know Tripp intimately. The difficulty of keeping myself from running into his arms however was proving to be a nuisance.

An eyebrow rose on Tripp's face as Willy went ahead of me. I widened my eyes and rolled them, glancing at Willy in front of me, trying to signal to Tripp my intense discomfort with what was about to happen. Tripp didn't say anything, but the hard, confused look on his face didn't go away.

"We'd like two horses to take out on the South Trail." Willy said it to Tripp in a cocky manner that reeked of superiority. I instantly became annoyed, or at least, more annoyed than I already was, at the way Willy acted as if he were better than Tripp, who he obviously saw as no more than a simple stable hand.

Tripp seemed amused though as he raised both eyebrows now and spoke to Willy in an accommodating tone. "There's a fine selection of thoroughbreds down at that end of the stables for someone like yourself." He said it in a way that recognized Willy's self-importance as he pointed toward the other end of the stalls and started walking toward me. "You ma'am might be more interested in some of the ones down here." His back was turned away from Willy so the man couldn't see him take my arm as he dragged me down a ways, out of earshot from where Willy began examining the horses.

"I tried, Tripp. He wouldn't take no for an answer," I whispered, frustrated.

"Well perhaps he needs some persuasion..." Tripp turned around to look back toward Willy, a fist forming in his hand.

"No." I put my hand on his arm to stop him. "His grandparents are friends with my mom and dad, and they've been joining us for meals recently. I've been deflecting his advances for days now, but I couldn't today, practically my whole family was against me. They were pressuring me to go."

His eyes rose at that. "Doesn't your family have an idea that you're involved with someone else at the moment?"

Involved. That's what he called us. It wouldn't have been my word of choice, but it was a start at least, some sort of recognition of us as a couple. Of course I didn't know what he meant by 'involved'. That could just mean sex, but I refused to believe that. There was something between us that went much deeper than a purely physical need, even after just the few short days we'd known each other.

"How could they not when I'm sneaking off to your bed every night? I think that's why they wanted me to go with him. I'll just ride for a little while and then I'll feign a headache or something. It won't be that bad. Besides, don't you need to get back out to the herd?"

"I suppose..." he looked at me hesitantly. "I don't know, California. I don't like the idea of you going riding alone with some pup who looks like he couldn't manage a pony from a petting zoo."

I smiled at him. "Well you're just going to have to trust that you've done a good job teaching me this last week."

He grinned. "For some reason the last few times we've been riding, I don't think you've been concentrating very hard on my instruction." He began curling a piece of my hair in his fingers. I gave him a look of mock surprise.

"Why Tripp, of course I have!" I lowered my voice to a sultry whisper. "You think I wasn't listening to you when you were telling me to lift my skirt, or ride your fingers...or grab your..."

"Kira!" he growled as desire flooded his gaze. "I have half a mind a drag you back to my cabin right now and spank you."

"Now, now," I teased. "That sounds delicious, but it wouldn't be very sporting of you. Poor Willy, I think he deserves a chance to show me how impressive his riding skills are." Tripp could tell I was choking trying to hold back my laughter. "By the way," my face grew concerned and serious. "How is the foal doing today?"

"No better or worse since you saw her yesterday." Tripp seemed somber as well. I suppose one couldn't expect a horse to get better in only a little over a week, but it was disheartening not to see any improvement.

"Kira!" Willy yelled across the stables. "Have you found a horse yet? I've chosen mine."

I rolled my eyes and looked at Tripp. "Saddle up Winter for me." He nodded, giving me a light smile. Winter was a white mare we'd been out with a few times. She seemed to like me, and even when I'd been on her alone without Tripp, I'd been pretty good at handling her. I was surprised at how much my horsemanship skills had improved in just a few short days. Then again, when you had a master like Tripp giving you one-on-one lessons, anyone could become adept at riding one of these things.

We walked over to Willy who was looking at us curiously. My eyes sank with the prospect of having to waste my time with this man, who had a cold gleam in his eye.

"Kira, are you all right? You seem a bit weary." Willy looked at me skeptically.

"I suppose I'm just tired," which was true. "I didn't get a lot of sleep last night."

Tripp choked on a laugh and turned to give me a hidden smile before he began preparing for us to head out. We both knew neither of us had enough sleep, and with the memories of last night, I couldn't help but wish it were Tripp that I was going riding with, although I tried not to think about it. Dwelling on the matter would simply make it worse. It was just with Tripp there in the barn, it made it so much more apparent how unappealing Willy was.

Tripp saw my forlorn look, and whispered to me before I mounted the horse. "You can still say no..."

"No. It would be so rude to back out now... I'm going."

* * * * *

Willy and I headed down the South Trail which would take us through a couple of hills before leading back to the ranch. I tried to focus on something besides his annoying chatter during our ride, such as the beauty of the pastures before us. My mind floated back to one of the first conversations I had with Tripp, where he gushed about his love for this place. I hadn't seen it at the time, the appeal of it all, but as we rode up the small green hilltop that overlooked the fields, I realized how much I had grown to enjoy being here, a place so different from the smoggy, bustling city I was used to.

My newfound appreciation for the ranch of course had to do with my intense feelings for Tripp. In my mind, Tripp and this land were one and the same. How could I not appreciate something that was so much a part of him? It was dusty and there wasn't much to look at, yet in just over a week, I had found myself beginning to feel at home at the Waterman Ranch.

"Kira?" Willy snapped me out of my train of thought and I turned to look at him. "You've been awfully quiet. I'm not boring you, am I?" His voice didn't sound hurt in any way, but it gave off a hint of anger, something I hadn't heard before in his typically pompous, oblivious character.

I raised my eyebrows and decided that the best course of action for this ride would be to put up a courteous front. "I'm sorry, I'm not bored, I just don't have much to say," I said politely, trying hard not to let my annoyance show.

"Yes I have noticed that you're more of a quiet girl." His voice relaxed some. "I like that. I can't stand women who like to talk too much." He said it as if there was nothing wrong with it, as if he were talking about the weather. The smile on his face was completely fake and insincere, almost as fake as mine had been a moment ago.

I gritted my teeth together as I gave Winter a small kick, picking up the pace. "Well I'm glad I could be so accommodating for you," I said in a tone only lightly drenched in sarcasm. Willy chose not to notice.

"You know we have a lot in common, you and me," he said smugly.

"Do we?" I failed to see it.

"You strike me as the type of girl who knows what she desires in life, the type who's willing to go after what she wants."

I didn't think that sounded like me at all. I thought I knew what I wanted before I came here, to this ranch. Now, everything was so confusing. What I desired in life suddenly wasn't so clear anymore. The idea of returning to my old life in California right now made my stomach hurt.

"And I suppose you're the same way?" I asked airily as I thought on my own situation. "Always going after what you want?" Of course he was, I told myself. Mr. Ivy League, Rich Daddy, Senator Schmoozer always got what he wanted.

His conceited laugh was unnatural and out of place as we rode down the pastures of the ranch. In a place so care-free and lovely, Willy seemed like a weed in a rose garden. "I do have a tendency of setting a goal and making it happen," he said arrogantly. "That's how I finally got you to go riding with me, wasn't it? Not taking 'no' for an answer? Being persistent? It's a good quality to have."

This man was going to be seriously put out when he found that I had no interest whatsoever in any sort of relationship with him. The only reason why I didn't argue with him, or tell him that he had a better chance of establishing a romance with one of the cows than he did with me, was because I didn't want to start anything. It would be too much effort, better to simply decline his advances later if he decided to become more explicit.

If only the ranch wasn't so deserted out on some of the shorter trails, such as this one. Aside from the scenery and my own inner musings, there was very little to distract me from my riding partner. We rode down a couple more miles before he started in on a new subject. "So you're going to the big dance in a couple nights aren't you? All the guests are going to be there, and I'm sure your family has expressed interest." The way he said it, it was as if he'd already decided that I was going.

But indeed my family had expressed interest, and last night I had heard Lucy tell me all about it. Apparently every summer, on the first Saturday of August, the Waterman's had a big formal social at the Lodge which they put a lot of work into. My family had been excited that we were going to be here when it was to take place this year. I had been mildly intrigued, wondering instantly if Tripp had any interest in going, since we usually spent our nights together. But then again, as one of the main hands on the ranch, why wouldn't he, especially if it was supposed to be a dance for the guests and the staff. As Willy just confirmed, it was the type of thing that everyone usually went to.

"Yes my family mentioned something about it to me last night. I suppose I'll be going, especially if everyone else is. I wouldn't want to miss out on all the fun..." That last part was said rather dryly, as I thought about bright lights, loud music and large crowds. It would probably be even worse than the typical nights that took place at the Lodge. Suddenly I wasn't so excited anymore.

"Excellent. Well I suppose I'll see you there then..."

I could tell this was leading up to something. "Yes...I suppose you will," I said hesitantly.

"You know, if you'd like, we could go together."

I had experienced quite a number of awkward silences in my life, but this had to be one of the worst, and it only grew more uncomfortable the longer I left it. Finally I said something.

"Willy, why did you ask me to go on this ride with you?"

He gave a small laugh, like it was obvious, almost insulting me for asking such a stupid question. "Well I thought I've made it clear that I like you, Kira. And you know I think we would complement each other well..." his tone was courteous, but completely forged.

"Willy..." I figured using logic was the best way to address this. "You know, my family only has a few more days here at the ranch, and after that we're heading back to California. I'm not really what good it would do to start something between us..."

"Well it's not as if I'm asking you to marry me, Kira. I just believe that I would be good for you. And you know I travel to L.A. frequently..."

He would be good for me? My god, his arrogance was astounding. With men, I usually liked to at least try and let them down gently before I laid the cards on the table. I could see though I needed to be more frank."Listen, I'm just not really interested in being involved with someone right now." I said it in a curt manner to get the point across. At least I had said "with someone" instead of "with you," as I had wanted to.

"I see." The way he said it made me think that he was angry. However, he quickly reverted back to his typical phony politeness. "Well then perhaps we could just be friends," he turned and gave me the most forced smile I had ever seen. Friends my ass, I wasn't buying it. I gave him a small smile and a nod anyway.

We rode for another fifteen minutes, and as we chatted, I felt as if he were still trying to lure me into something. I tried to keep the pace brisk so we could get back quicker, and I was relieved when the main ranch came into view. One thing that did surprise me was how well I was handling the horse. I was skeptical at first about my abilities, since I was use to riding with Tripp behind me, and I knew no horse would dare get skittish while Tripp was on the saddle. However, I quickly realized I had learned a lot about riding during my time with my handsome cowboy.

I had hoped that Tripp would be in the barn when we got back, but there was another stable hand there to help tend to our horses as we rode into the corral. Tripp was obviously still out with the cattle. As soon as we dismounted, I rejoiced, ecstatic to end what I knew was the worst hour I had spent on this vacation.

I tried to wrap things up as we walked out of the stables. "Well, thanks for the ride, Willy, I should be getting back to the cabin now to see what my family's up to..."

"At least let me walk you back," he stared at me intently, watching as I tried to leave his company, as if he knew I wanted to get away. I groaned inwardly, forcing myself to give him a slight nod before turning and heading toward the cabins, expecting him to follow me and further torture me with his overconfidence.

However, I wasn't expecting him to grab my hand as we approached the cabin and lean in toward my mouth, which was parted in surprise. I panicked when I turned and saw his face inches from mine, eyes closed, lips primed and ready. Weren't there people around? No, I realized that we were hidden in between a couple of the cabins. Luckily I snuck my other hand in between us just in time to catch his mouth with it. I looked at him in surprise for a moment before taking a step back.

"Willy, what are you doing? I was serious earlier when I said I wasn't interested," I looked at him, annoyance written all over my face and threaded through my voice.

He seemed angry as his grey eyes flared. "Kira, I think you'll find me quite appealing if you just let it happen." He reached for my other hand, trying to pull me to him.

"Stop it," I said harshly as I yanked my hands away from him. I was the angry one now, in fact I was furious. Suddenly, everything came to the surface, and I lowered my voice as I watched his shocked face. "Let me make this clear. I don't like you. The only reason I went riding with you today was to appease my parents. The thought of you kissing me makes me sick, and I can honestly say I would rather put my lips on that cactus," I pointed to the prickly plant that stood a few feet away. "You can forget it, Willy," my voice was cold, and I knew I was showing a completely different side of myself.

He stood there dumbfounded, and I didn't want to wait for an answer. I turned and ran up to the cabin, slamming the door as I went inside.

* * * * *

"Tripp where are we going? It's the middle of the night!" I laughed as he led me by the hand down toward the area where the barn stood. But it wasn't the barn we were heading to, it was the Lodge, which although was normally bustling with people, looked to be pretty empty now, and none of the lights were on. "It's only midnight, where is everyone?" I asked as we walked onto the porch.

"Jack and June like to close up around eleven since all the staff here get up pretty early. It makes clean-up easier. Besides, most of the guests aren't really the type to party until all hours of the morning." We walked in and I blinked a couple times, trying to make out something. It was pitch black except for a tiny bit of moonlight coming in through the windows. "Wait here," Tripp said as he walked off into the darkness. He obviously knew his way around the room well. I stood in the doorway, trying to see his figure as it walked toward the bar area.

Suddenly I gasped as all of the paper lanterns that hung from the ceilings lit up, giving the room a warm, romantic glow. The lighting was different from how it usually was, since the main ceiling lamps weren't on, brightening the place up. I looked around the room, not used to seeing it completely empty and all cleaned up. The floors were swept and the chairs were up on the tables. Instantly, I decided I liked this atmosphere much more than the typically crowded, noisy hall.

"What do you think, California?" Tripp was behind the bar, resting his forearms on it, looking at me with a smile on his face. I turned to him and started walking over.

"It's great, much better than it usually is," I smiled coyly. "Are we supposed to be in here though?" I was only slightly worried that someone would walk in on us.

"Hell no," he gave me a wide grin. "But Jack and June won't mind if I use it tonight for a little romancing. After all, I'm their favorite hand around here." He gave me a wink and I laughed.

"Romancing you say?" I sauntered over to the bar and sat down on one of the stools in front of him.

"Yes, ma'am, I plan on getting lucky tonight." That devilish grin was plastered all over his face, and I raised my eyebrows at him teasingly.

"Oh really? And just how do you plan on doing that, Mr. Carson?"

"There's a girl with me who I'm crazy about, and when I'm near her, I'm always lucky," he said sweetly before covering one of my hands with his.

I blinked a couple times at him. "Tripp, how am I supposed to resist you when you start talking like that?" I was trying to be light with him, but it was hard, his words had such a profound effect on me.

He laughed though. "You're not, honey, that's the point," he grinned at me. "By the way, you haven't said anything about your ride with Mr. Jackass," he said it with a slight bitterness as the smile left his face.

I wasn't looking forward to discussing it with Tripp. When I had approached his cabin that night, I had jumped on him in a fit of passion, not wanting to talk, and before things got too heavy he had led me out the door. Right now, the last thing I wanted to be reminded about was my awful day. There were much more pleasurable things to concentrate on.

"It was awful, but I survived it," I said dryly. I didn't see the need to worry him or make him upset by telling him about how Willy had almost kissed me, especially since I doubted that I'd have any more interactions with the man.

"You're not going to see him anymore are you?" his voice was hesitant, and I couldn't miss the jealousy there.

"God, no. Once was enough, and now that I've gone, I won't need to take anymore shit from my parents about it."

"Language, California," he teased me, obviously ready to move on to a different subject. "Now, what's your poison?"

Even though I had just finished my freshman year of college, I had never been much of a drinker, mostly because I hadn't felt very secure getting smashed at a lot of the parties I'd been to. But here, with Tripp, I felt a little more daring. "Well..." I started, "I've always wanted to try whiskey..."

"Whiskey?" he asked in mock surprise, pretending to be taken aback.

I laughed. "Well isn't that what I'm supposed to drink here, at a dude ranch?"

He reached down and brought two shot glasses up to the bar. "Whiskey is what cowboys drink, not ladies."

"Well couldn't we make an exception this time?" I asked with a smirk as he poured each glass.

"I suppose...but I don't think you're gonna like it," he smiled knowingly and held up his glass, encouraging me to do the same. "What should we toast to?"

"...To cowboys," I said after pausing a moment, brazenly staring at him so as to give him no doubt that I was referring to one specific cowboy.

He smiled before looking at me in much the same manner and saying softly, "and to ladies." With that, we clinked our glasses together before the whiskey touched my lips. I got about halfway through my shot before I started choking. The stuff felt like Drano going down my esophagus.

Tripp tried hard not to laugh as he poured me a small glass of water, which I accepted gratefully, before he finished off the rest of what was in my shot glass. The man was a true cowboy, and could drink whiskey like it was iced tea. He sighed loudly at me, pretending to be annoyed. "I can see I still have a lot to teach you, California," he joked.

"Because being able to shoot hard alcohol is such a redeeming quality," I said as I sipped my water, watching him laugh.

"Perhaps not, but being able to dance certainly is," he grinned at me as my eyes got wide, seeing where this was going.

"Dance? I should warn you, I think I'm even worse at dancing than I am at drinking."

Tripp was under the bar again, and suddenly the hall came to life with the soft sound of a slow country song. "Don't worry, it's easy when you have someone leading you. Besides, you need to learn for the social tomorrow." He walked out from behind the bar and extended his hand like a true gentleman. "Won't you please dance with me, Miss Kira?" He was smiling from ear to ear. How could I resist, especially when he spoke to me in that deep southern drawl?

I took his hand, and he led me onto the floor, under the soft lighting, with the music enveloping us. His other hand wrapped my arm around his neck before coming to rest on my waist. I looked up at him hesitantly, but he was still smiling at me with a gentle look in his eye, the one that was often there when his arms were around me, and I relaxed, feeling at home as he held me close. And then, before I knew what was happening...we were dancing.

It was perfect this way. There was only us – no large crowds of ranch guests, no hot, bright lights. I didn't realize we were doing it at first, that's how natural it felt. As I pressed my cheek to his chest, getting as close to him as possible, he took us around the floor. I wasn't tripping over my feet, or stepping on his toes. It felt wonderful actually, moving with him to the rhythm of the music.

"You little liar," he said softly, smiling down at me and giving my waist a squeeze. "I can see what you mean when you said you couldn't dance," he joked. I laughed and looked up into his eyes. Perhaps it was the music, perhaps it was just the fact that I was in his arms, but as we moved, I began to grow weak, like I was being swept away into a different world.

Our positions began to change from the traditional arrangement. He lifted both my arms to wrap around his neck while he swooped down to hold my waist, spreading his hands wide to capture as much of me as he could. My face was cradled now beneath the crook of his neck, and I deeply inhaled his rich, masculine scent. His hands moved against the fabric of my shirt, gently grabbing handfuls of it every now and then as we moved.

I was getting warm as he caressed me through my clothing, moving his hands up my back, pulling me to him even closer than we already were, something I didn't think was possible. One hand then lightly twisted a handful of my hair and moved my head back, away from his chest. He looked down at me, and I realized the intensity he was feeling matched my own. We knew then that we were going to have each other, right there in that dimly lit room. The thought thrilled me to my very core.

As he held me tightly, his hands reached down to grab my hips and slightly lift me onto his thigh, which was obscenely rubbing against the front of my skirt. The friction was delightful as he rocked me against him to the music, guiding me along his leg. I clung to him, losing myself, and then I felt hands guide over my buttocks, grabbing material and lifting my skirt to feel the flesh underneath. The red lace thong I was wearing did nothing to shield me from the fingers that caressed the soft globes of my ass.

I was going wild at this point, gyrating on his thigh as he firmly clutched my backside, my skirt hiked up around my waist. I felt sexy...and dirty, knowing that the lights were dimmed and anyone could walk in at that moment. Occasionally I would glance up into Tripp's eyes, which were staring at me intently, finding pleasure in watching me grind myself against him. I knew my face was contorted in an expression of ecstasy.

In my foggy haze of delight, without even realizing what I was doing, my hand, which had been caressing his chest through his shirt, reached down and clutched the large bulge in the front of his pants. His sharp intake of breath brought me out of my stupor, and I smiled as I began stroking him through the outside of his jeans. I was getting even wetter just from touching him, feeling the raw heat and power that radiated through his jeans.

"Tease..." he murmured dizzily as I continued to ride his leg, feeling quite dizzy myself. I whimpered when he finally set me back on the floor and spun me around, pressing his hard erection into my back. He whispered softly in my ear, his words having a direct effect on my intense arousal. "Perhaps, Miss, you'd like to get better acquainted with that..."

"Perhaps I would, Cowboy..." I whispered back as I reached my hand around behind me to grab him, showing him just how much I would like that. I wanted to see him, touch that part of him, taste him.

That last touch was all it took. He grabbed my arm roughly, and led me over to the bar, pressing me up against it before he kissed me, hard. My hands moved over his chest, and I began to unbutton his shirt as my fingers roamed over his hard torso. I was in the mood to explore, and I was done being coy, at least for that moment. One hand moved over the front of his jeans as I slowly unzipped them, and I was rewarded with an appreciative groan.

Knowing what I wanted, he took me by the shoulders and placed me in front of him, turning so that his back was now pressed against the bar, leaning against it. I was starving as I dropped to my knees, brings his pants down with me. He loved it when my mouth was on him, and I enjoyed nothing more than bringing him pleasure. Carefully, I hooked my fingers inside the rim of his boxers and slowly brought them down, hungry for what lay beneath, but wanting to savor the moment.

Hardness encased in smooth, silky skin, straining and pulsing before me - this was one of my favorite parts of him. He looked unbelievably sexy with his shirt open, revealing his firm chest and cut abs. I grew weak looking at his proud member, just inches away from my awaiting lips. The first time I had done this, in front of the fire as rain poured over the cabin, I had been nervous, afraid my inexperience would be evident. But he had loved every second of it as he taught me how to drive him mad with my mouth and tongue. In a few short days, I had all but mastered it, knowing just what he liked.

I tentatively touched my lips to the tip of his cock, and his hips flexed and jerked in response. Looking up as my mouth closed over him, taking him in inch by sweet inch, I saw his eyes were half closed, but the flecks of green that I could see were dancing wildly. Loving that I had this effect on him, I reached around the back of his calves to give myself leverage as my tongue swept over him while he further pushed himself between my lips. It was only when my mouth was completely filled that I began a slow rhythm back and forth upon his member, trying to fit as much of him as I could into me - a task that was quite difficult due to his size.

He cupped my chin and looked down at me wondrously. "Kira, undo your shirt," his voice was thin and raspy.

Without taking my mouth off of him, I moved my hands to my blouse and started undoing the buttons one at a time, slowly, seductively. My head didn't move, but I simply held him between my lips while looking up at him as I undressed myself. I felt his cock jerk as he watched me, and if my oral cavity had not already been preoccupied, I would have been smiling.

"Shit, just the sight of you is enough to make me come..." he rasped.

"Language, Cowboy," I gently teased him, mocking his words from earlier. He groaned when I removed my mouth in order to say it.

"Minx," he smiled. "C'mon, take it off and give it to me." He was referring to my shirt which was still draped over my shoulders.

I slid my arms through the sleeves of the blouse before my mouth engulfed him once more. Once the shirt was off, I handed it to him and he set it on the bar next to where he stood, completely out of my reach, furthering the idea that he didn't want me to wear it. He wanted to see me, and the concept thrilled me to my very core.

"The bra too, Kira," he said softly with that wicked smile of his as he reached out his hand in front of me and motioned with his fingers. This was so bad, I thought, as I took in my situation. The lewdness of it shocked me and excited me at the same time. I knelt on the hardwood floor with my skirt hiked up around my waist, undressing myself and exposing my body to the cool room, handing him each garment as it came off, all with his throbbing cock held between my lips. I absolutely loved it, all because of the man I was doing it with.

My nipples stiffened instantly as they met the cool air and I gave a soft moan. This seemed to be too much for Tripp, and he suddenly grasped my arm once my bra was off and dragged me to my feet, pulling me in to ravage me with his lips. He was wild as his hands slid over my naked back, then down to grasp my buttocks, pushing me into his erection which was still wet from my mouth.

"Feel that, Sweetheart?" he growled against my neck as he nipped and suckled at it. I moaned and grabbed for his shirt, pulling it off of his shoulders and letting it hang on his elbows since his hands weren't going to leave me. That was all right, as long as I could grasp his bare arms and feel his biceps rippling under my fingers. I kneaded his flesh and egged him on. With the way he attacked my neck, I knew I would have a mark the next day that was going to be difficult to hide.

Then he flipped us again, pressing me against the edge of the bar before turning me around, my back toward him. My skirt was whisked down instantly, effortlessly, and I stepped out of it, kicking it toward the side and out of our way. His hands slid along the side of my torso, leaving goose bumps behind the areas they touched, and ran down my arms before grasping my own hands. He was stretched out behind me, pressing into me, his member pulsing against my ass. I tried to wiggle against him to create some friction where I desperately wanted it, but he held me still, and placed my hands on the bar before gently bending me over slightly, arching my back.

"You know, I have half a mind to blister your backside," he whispered as he slid down onto his knees behind me, his hands trailing down my back.

"For...for what?" I quivered when his fingers roamed over my buttocks, clad only in the skimpy thong, and cupped each cheek.

"For being too beautiful..." I couldn't see him, but I knew from the way he caressed me that he was absorbed in my flesh. "But I don't think I could do that, see it would be a crime to redden something so lovely." I felt his lips graze over one cheek, and then the other as fingers took the waistband of my panties and slowly worked the garment down my body. He let them sit on my upper thighs while his hands and mouth explored my naked backsideJust when I thought my legs were going to collapse, I felt a finger enter my pussy, thrusting all the way inside, filling me. I held on the edge of the bar to support myself and drew a sharp intake of breath. One of his hands was still kneading my ass as his mouth gently placed kisses along my skin, all this while his other hand carefully made love to me. After a moment, he removed his finger and reached up to begin circling my clit, spreading my juices and driving me positively mad.

"Tripp...please..." I moaned as his motions increased in tempo.

"Oh god, Kira, I have to taste you," he groaned with his mouth against my ass, giving it one last nip before standing and turning me around. I whimpered with the loss of his hand in between my legs. His lips crushed mine in a dizzying kiss, and I then I was lifted in his arms. I clung to his neck, returning his zeal with equal fervor as our tongues met and began to dance to the music of our furious passion. He placed me on top of the bar directly in front of him, and I gave a small gasp at the coolness of the countertop against my bare skin.

"Lean back, baby," he whispered against my mouth. I didn't want to, I wanted to go on kissing him forever. The bar top was wide enough for me to lie back on, but I would have to let go of him, surrender his delicious embrace to do so. I continued to work my mouth against his, but he persisted, murmuring against me. "Honey, Lord knows I could kiss these lips of yours all night, but right now there's another certain place I want to kiss you, and if I don't get my mouth there soon I'm going to starve to death. You wouldn't do that to me would you?"

Just the thought of his tongue touching me there was enough to throw me back on my elbows, stretching my torso out before him. He grinned before whisking my panties completely off and pulling up a barstool. He then took each of my legs in his grasp and placed my feet on top of the counter, one on either side of my butt, which he dragged to the edge of the bar. I was incredibly exposed in this position, and as he took me in with his eyes, a new excitement burned through me. His hands slowly ran up and down the insides of my thighs, which were almost shaking uncontrollably. The cool air of the empty, dimmed Lodge caressed the warm flesh that begged for Tripp's mouth.

The way Tripp sat on that barstool, with my dripping pussy just inches from his face, he looked like he was about to dig in to the most delicious meal of his life. His eyes were hungry and he practically drooled over me as his fingers slowly parted my lips to more fully reveal my glistening inner tissues.

His voice was hoarse. "You're wet, Honey...I can't tell you what it does to me to see you like this."

But he did a good job of trying to show me as his tongue pressed against the very bottom part of my slit before slowly, agonizingly making its journey to my clit, dipping into me on its way up. Once his tongue met my pulsing bud and his mouth latched over it, I felt two fingers push into me and start caressing my inner walls. My god, the man was trying to kill me.

Every time I felt his mouth against my most sensitive areas, it felt like the first time. It was shocking, and more intimate than anything I'd ever experienced, not because of the act itself, but because of the way he did it. Tripp was completely in tune with my desires. He knew I wanted to be exposed, naked, explored...for him...all for him. I wanted him to know me better than I knew myself. It was like he was trying to uncover something deep within me. He was thorough, and took his time to caress every inch of my pussy, inside and out, with his tongue. When he did it, I felt myself losing all control I had over myself, and there was nothing that didn't show, didn't come to the surface. In those moments, it was just me, and he saw it all.

His tongue was like a wave that washed pleasure over the beaches between my legs. I was drowning, and just when I thought I would become lost under the tide forever, he would stop, giving me time to catch myself before bearing down on me again. I couldn't think, I couldn't breathe, I couldn't do much of anything except writhe on top of that bar.

"Tripp, I'm dying!" I managed to get out as his tongue brushed a particularly sensitive spot on the underside of my clit.

"You're not dying, Sweetheart," he whispered against my flesh. "You're coming alive for me."

Oh and I was! I was being born again. I cried out in ecstasy as his fingers massaged that special place inside of me while his mouth ravaged my clit. It was coming - the earth was about to shatter. My hands firmly gripped the edge of the counter and my toes curled. I panted and shook and tried to hold onto my sanity.

And then he stopped.

"Tripp!" I think I screamed it, but I wasn't sure. All I knew was that his mouth and fingers had left me.

"You're gonna come with me inside you," he groaned as he stood up and grabbed my waist, bringing me off the counter.

My feet didn't touch the floor though. He wrapped my legs around him and held me there against the bar top, which I still leaned back on with my elbows. Penetration was immediate. I sank onto him, fully taking him inside me, every delicious inch. Hands moved over my breasts as he thrust, once, twice, and then a third time before he ever so gently touched my clit. That was all it took.

I came, and came...and came. The feeling of him driving in and out of me prolonged it, and soon my orgasm melted with the force of his movement, creating one ultimate sensation that seemed to go on and on. He took me possessively, moving his fingers over my skin, grasping whatever he could get his hands on. His eyes didn't move away from my face though. He watched me as pleasure conquered my body and I floated in and out of a conscious state.

It was to the point where I would have been in pain if I hadn't been experiencing one of the most gratifying sensations of my life. The way he filled me, I was surprised I wasn't ripping apart. He was a madman, pounding against me as if his life depended upon it. The savagery of it was all-consuming, and soon we were both covered in a fine sheen of sweat. My breasts heaved under his hands as he strived to go deeper. I swear I could feel him all the way up to my gut. I didn't know what was happening to my body, I wasn't even sure anymore if it was pleasure that I was feeling. All I knew at that moment was the overbearing sensation that threatened to destroy me. There were no words for it.

And then, I couldn't believe it, it was happening again. My body still hadn't come down from the last earth-shattering climax, and now I was climbing to meet another. My eyes tore open and stared at Tripp in disbelief as my mouth hung ajar. I tried to breathe, but I couldn't even tell if I was doing that.

Tripp could see what was happening to me, and as I saw his face above me - the only thing I could really see at that point - I knew he was there as well. The intensity that had been building for the past few minutes suddenly detonated, and sensation consumed us as he spasmed inside me. It was like nothing I had ever felt before, like I was no longer in my body, but drowning somewhere in a pool of ultimate awareness. I couldn't feel each individual part anymore. I didn't have hands, or feet, or arms, or legs, or even skin...but I was there, with him, and I was sensitive to a steady rhythm that was driving us. Whether it was the pounding of my head, our heartbeats, or his hard member taking me, I didn't know.

He had stopped moving once it was over, and slowly, my body came back to me, reverberating. I couldn't move though, and I was only vaguely aware of Tripp's movement to pull me to him and turn so he could lean back against the bar with me in his arms. It was as if I were brought back to a reality I hadn't seen in eons. And then, I began to sob.

He pulled my face into his bare chest and stroked my hair as he held me, whispering in my ear things I didn't have the capacity to register at that moment. My body shook as I sat there against him on his lap, still joined with him. He simply held me, brushing my skin softly with his fingertips, trying to calm me down.

"I'm sorry," I said after awhile, still sniffling a bit. "I don't know what just happened, it scared me...I don't understand it..."

A hand caressed my cheek, and I finally found the strength to lift my head and look up at him. He gazed at me in wonder, as if he didn't understand it either.

"Don't try to," he finally said in a soft voice, gently pushing my head back against his chest.

That was the night I learned to dance. And even if I refused to admit it to myself, it was also the night I learned I was in love with Tripp Carson.

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