Roping The Virgin (Cowboys & Virgins #2)(8)

By: Alexa Riley

“Welcome to the Braided Rope.” he says, pushing off the porch and walking towards me.

His easy smile is there, even through the rough shadow of his short beard. The stubble does little to hide the deep dimples on either cheek, and the lines around his mouth show that he smiles often. He’s wearing a white T-shirt snug tight to his muscles, worn jeans, and tan boots that look perfectly broken in. But the worst part is his cowboy hat. It’s black and pulled down low, and it makes him look like every cowboy wet dream come to life. If he were wearing a pair of chaps I might not be strong enough to keep from climbing on him. As it is, I’m having to hold myself back. It’s like I’ve driven up to my own little fairy tale and I want to throw myself right into his arms and into that life. If only things in life were that easy. I know I have to work hard for everything I want in life…and there is no way this could be that easy.

“Don’t tell me this is your ranch,” I say, looking around like someone else is going to pop up and tell me this is all a joke.

“It’s yours now, too,” he says, and for a second I think he means something much more than my home while I get my farm hours. The thought makes my heart miss a beat. Warmth floods my system. “I’m Blake Jennings, and I’m really happy you’re here, Luciana.”

He holds his hand out to me, and I look down at it. His deep voice rolls over my skin like a massage, and I lean towards him involuntarily. I reach out, placing my hand in his, and look up through my lashes to see his smile is gone and he’s looking at me from under the brim of his hat with hard eyes. His jaw is clenched, and his grip on me tightens. For half a second I’m scared, but then that melts away into something so much more. The nervous feeling I had dissolves and a warm heat forms in my belly. I reach up to tuck a stray hair back behind my ear, and have to take discreet deep breaths to keep from passing out. The intensity of his presence is so intimidating yet comforting. He’s like a stallion with all that muscle and restrained strength. He’s holding back, I can feel it. But I don’t know for how long. And that’s what scares me, and attracts me to him.

The sound of a rooster crowing breaks the spell, and I look over to the barn.

“That would be Spartacus,” Blake says, still not letting go of my hand.

“You named your rooster Spartacus?” I can’t help the laugh in my voice.

“Sure. It fits him. He’s always going around telling everybody what to do.” He shrugs, and his soft smile is back. “Let me show you the house and we can talk about what you’ll be doing here.” A teasing glint hits his eyes.

“I didn’t say I was staying.” I pull my hand from his grip and take a step back. I need to get my head in control, and I can’t when he’s so close to me and giving me those panty-combusting smiles.

Ignoring me, Blake goes over to my car and opens the passenger door and takes out my bag. Yep, Blake does what he wants. I open my mouth to tell him to stop, but he turns around, puts my bag on his shoulder, and cuts me off.

“The way I see it, Lucy, you’ve got two choices. Stay here on the farm to do the work you need. Or stay here on the farm and do the work you need. Seems like an easy choice to me.”

I roll my eyes and watch him walk past me. “That’s not a choice. And my name isn’t Lucy,” I say, and then let loose some Spanish. I tell him just because he has a great ass doesn't mean I’m going to do what he says. He stops on the porch and looks back at me, and for a second I worry he understood what I said because I see the heat in his eyes. But he simply winks at me and walks in the door, somehow knowing I'm following him. He does have my bag, after all.

I let out a frustrated grunt and follow him. It’s hot as hell outside, and I’ve got on jeans, boots, and a white tank top. I’m used to the Texas heat, but this much is only going to make me a sweaty mess in ten seconds flat. My long, dark, loose braid is flipped over one shoulder, and I brush my bangs out of my eyes as I step into the shade of the porch.

Walking in, I see Blake standing in the living room. The house looks new, and I can’t help but appreciate how nice it is. After living in a house built by my father, I appreciate the craftsmanship of building a home and notice all the details of the wood here. Someone took their time building this and their dedication shows.

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