Skyheart Ranch

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The Morning After


Cash woke up at 4:30 as usual, but instead of getting up, grabbing a shower, and checking to see if there was anything in the office he needed to sign off on, he just lay in bed. Katie was still curled up in his arms and he absolutely refused to move until the last possible second. He squeezed her tighter to him and rested his face on the top of her hair, smelling the lavender shampoo she used. That smell never used to mean a thing to him but now he could only ever think of Katie when he smelled it.

‘This still doesn’t seem real. She said she loved me. We might...’ Cash swallowed hard, barely containing a grin. ‘We could become parents! It’s probably too soon, but I’d be fucking thrilled. How could an angel fall in love with me? It just can’t be real.’ Cash smiled, absentmindedly rubbing his thumb up and down a number of indentations in Katie’s upper left arm. He was watching as the room got gradually lighter when he heard her quiet comment.

“Beer bottle.” Cash frowned, looking down at Katie, wondering if she was still asleep. Katie didn’t lift her head, but she sighed, the air causing goosebumps to form on his bare chest.

“The scars. They’re from a broken beer bottle.” Cash abruptly stopped moving his hand. He hadn’t even realized he was running his finger over scars. He’d just wanted to feel her. Katie sighed again when Cash stopped moving and tried to pull away from him, but he only let her get far enough so they could look in the other’s eyes. She gave him a sad half-smile.

“A broken beer bottle?” Cash asked, horrified that someone would do something so violent to his sweet angel.

“To be fair, he threw it at my head. I just managed to turn so it broke over my arm.”

“Angel...”. Katie gave Cash another sad smile, then reached up and rubbed his forehead where deep wrinkles had formed from his frown.

“When I was little, I always liked scars. I thought each one was an interesting story. Now...”, Katie trailed off wistfully. She gave a bitter laugh and again tried to pull away from Cash. He still wouldn’t let her, shaking his head and leaning down to gently press his lips against hers.

“Morning, angel.”

“Morning, cowboy.” That made Cash smile as he remembered the previous night.

“Sticking with ‘cowboy’, huh?” Cash asked, smiling.

“What?” Katie said, shrugging innocently. “It fits and is a hell of a lot more accurate than ‘angel’.” Cash growled and moved on top of Katie, boxing her in with his hands and legs.

“‘Angel’ is fucking perfect. Just like you. And before you start arguing, I thought we had settled that fight last night. I don’t care about your scars, angel. Not the ones outside or the ones inside. I don’t care about any of it. I just care about you. I love you.” Cash could almost see the fight leaving her as she smiled up at him.

“I love you too,” Katie replied. Cash leaned down again, kissing Katie deeper and longer. When he pulled back, he gently tucked a piece of her hair behind her ear.

“Whenever you’re ready, I wanna hear all your stories,” Cash told her. “I know they’re not gonna be pretty or fun, but your past is a part of you. I wanna know about it.” Katie looked away, that deep sadness that always seemed to be lurking in her eyes filling them fully.

“It’ll change things,” Katie whispered. “You knowing.” Cash put his finger on her chin and moved her head back so she was facing him.

“Nothing you say is gonna change how I feel about you,” Cash said fiercely.

“You don’t know that,” Katie whispered.

“Yeah, angel, I do. If you think I haven’t thought through a million and one scenarios about what happened to you before you set foot on this ranch, you’re wrong. And none of that caused me to think about you differently. I fell in love with you because you’re you. Secrets and all. Learning them will just help fill in some of the blanks.” Katie blinked rapidly, her eyes filling with tears.

“You’re too perfect, you know that?” she asked hoarsely. “No one’s as perfect as you. It’s just not possible.” Cash laughed.

“I’m not perfect, angel. Far from it. I think you just see me better than I am because the last man you let close to you was a fucking monster.” Katie gave an abrupt laugh, shaking her head.

“I feel like that’s putting it mildly,” she said.

Cash leaned down, rubbing his nose against hers before whispering, “Come shower with me.” Cash felt Katie shiver under him and grinned. She slowly bit her lower lip, raising her eyes to meet his. Then she shook her head no. “Why not?” Cash asked rather indignantly.

“Because if I do, neither one of us are leaving this room today. And you have work to do. I have work to do too.”

“Maybe I don’t wanna leave?” Cash trailed his hand up Katie’s bare side, making her shiver but still shake her head.

“Oh, please. Cash, you’re a workaholic who only takes breaks to eat and sleep. And even not working during those times seems to annoy you!”

“You could convince me to stay,” Cash said, his fingers around her waist. Katie grinned and slowly stretched out under Cash, pushing her naked body up to meet his. Cash groaned and put his hands on her hips to stop them from moving.

“Maybe I could. But you’d spend the entire time thinking about all the work that needs to get done.” Katie slipped out from underneath Cash, gorgeous and naked in the early morning light. Cash couldn’t tear his eyes from her as she walked to the door. “Let’s revisit that shower tonight, cowboy. Right now, go get ready. And you better let me leave, or everyone on the ranch is going to see me sneaking back to my room, naked.” Cash immediately scowled, causing a delightful peal of laughter to escape Katie. “I’ll see you later.” Katie slipped out of his room, quietly closing the door behind her. Cash groaned and flopped back on his bed, before getting up and going into his bathroom.

‘She’s so irritating when she’s right. And like hell is anyone else seeing her naked. She’s mine, only mine, and I’m the only one who sees her like that.” Cash groaned, starting the water and staring down at his hard cock. “Great. Back to beating off in the shower. But tonight, though...tonight she’s all mine, again.”

An hour later, Cash walked into the kitchen just a Ruby was setting out two huge bowls of scrambled eggs.

“Morning, Boss,” Ruby said cheerfully. “Is Katie already up?”

“I dunno,” Cash stammered. “I, uh, I thought I heard her shower as I was coming out.”

‘Yep, definitely heard her shower,’ Cash thought grumpily. ‘And now all I can think about is her all naked and wet and slick with soap. And lavender. The smell of lavender. Jesus, can someone die of blue balls? I just had her and I feel like I’m losing my mind.’ Cash noticed Ruby frowning as he set out two platters, one of sausage patties and one of fried ham. Cash tried to grab a piece of ham and was promptly smacked on the hand by Ruby.

“Hey!” Cash cried.

“Hey yourself,” Ruby replied. “You know the rules. No picking at the food, you eat at the table like a civilized person. I swear, you boys make me wonder if I’ve accidentally stumbled into the Stone Age every day.”

“You do realize trying to teach us manners is a lost cause, don’t ya, Ruby?” Rocky asked. He ambled into the kitchen, his signature grin on his face.

“Lost cause or not, I will go to my grave trying to teach you degenerates how to be gentlemen,” Ruby retorted. “Your future wives will thank me.” Rocky laughed, but Cash just blushed, something both Ruby and Rocky noticed. They exchanged a quick look, then Rocky grabbed the bowls of eggs.

“I’ll just go ahead and take these on out to the degenerates.”

“You’re a beautiful man, Sir Rocky. If only all men were as helpful.” Ruby gave Cash a pointed look, glancing down at the platters, but it was obvious he wasn’t paying attention. One of the hands took the platters to the dining room, while another grabbed the pitchers of orange juice and water. Ruby looked over at Cash.

“You all right, Boss?”

“Hmm...” Cash just hummed before jumping slightly, startled. “What? Sorry, Ruby, I’m just a little...” Cash trailed off, staring down the hallway where his and Katie’s bedrooms were located. Ruby had to turn his head away to hide the grin on his face.

“So, uh, Boss, I’m going into town later. Anything extra you need me to pick up? Something you might need now? Something, you know, we don’t have at the big house?” Cash flushed a dark red, but shook his head.

“Nope, I’m, uh, I’m good. But maybe, maybe ask Katie, though. She might need something, if she wants it.” Cash cleared his throat, uncomfortable. “I’m, uh, gonna breakfast. No, wait, I’m, um, I’m gonna grab some foodfast.” Cash stopped talking, closing his eyes and shaking his head. “I’m just gonna go away now.”

Ruby watched Cash head to the dining room, a big grin spreading across his face. He turned back to the kitchen, humming Queen’s Somebody to Love.
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