Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy Contest

"Break out the denim, boots and cowboy hats, turn up the country music cause we're goin' country y'all!"

Pairing: Edward & Bella

POV: Bella

Rating – not needed, if your not of age to buy porn, then you shouldn't be reading it no less writing it.

This one-shot is being posted in participation with the above mentioned contest hosted by bemylullaby,ImWithTheVampires08 , mischief-maker1 , miztrezboo, Nostalgicmiss, TwilightMom and our admin assistant Mimi here at the FournikationFoundation. Please see any of the aforementioned author's profiles for complete contest information, or see the C2 community 'Fournication Station Contests'.

---- http://www (dot) fanfiction (dot) net/u/1930799/FournikationFoundation -----

If you like my little ditty... please take a trip over to the Fournikation Foundation's profile and click on the poll at the top to vote! You can vote for two of your favorites from the entries and there are some really awesome cowboy stories to choose from. Thank You!

I do not own the characters in this story... however, I do own a cardboard cut-out of Edward that's just begging for a cowboy hat. ~grins~

"Tell me you're not going on that tour again, Bella. Seriously? Don't you have enough unkempt animals around you, you want to drive almost 200 miles away and pay to see more?" Alice's voice came shrilling through the phone at me. I had tried to avoid sharing my weekend plans. For someone who knew me so well, sometimes she just didn't get me.

"Alice, I know you don't understand, but I've got to try. Yeah, it's amazing here, it's open, and NOT smoggy, and I am surrounded by incredible animals that DON'T get dressed up in Gucci and paraded in front of the paparazzi by their 'doggy mamas'. But there's just something I feel like I'm missing. I'll be in Cody all day today, but I'll be home tomorrow to nail down some more renovation details. How long do you think it'll take to get the supplies here if we work out all the kinks this weekend?" I knew changing the topic of conversation to my "new/old house" project would get her off my case for a while.

Twenty minutes and a successful diversion later, I said goodbye to my best friend and hung up the phone. I missed her horribly. If I was honest, a part of me missed some of the perks of living in L.A., but neither truth was enough to make me regret my decision to leave.

I had always loved animals, and had a degree in photography with a grand plan of becoming a wildlife photographer. Back in L.A., all I did was take pictures of celebs and their high profile playpets. It paid the bills, but it didn't make me happy. Without any romantic relationships or other real obligations to tie me down, I decided it was time to make some changes. My friends would miss me, and I them, but that's what frequent flier miles were for, right?

The change I decided on landed me in Thermopolis, Wyoming. Not exactly the hot spot of the photographic world, but it was becoming home. There was an abundance of wildlife nearby; mostly deer, fox, coyote and buffalo, beautiful scenery, and some of the most genuinely friendly people I'd ever met. I'd begun selling some of my photos to distributors and was in the process of collaborating with the town's only other photographer to open a gallery of local art.

One thing alluded me, though, a carrot that just kept dangling out of my reach; I hadn't managed to catch sight of the wild mustangs that roamed just to the north, near Cody. That's what I was missing, the rawness that I just knew those animals must carry. Generations of powerful creatures with no master but the land, and freedom to roam where they chose. I would never want to disrupt them, but I so wanted to capture that power in my lens.

There was a tour company that took small groups out in vans to the areas where the horses lived, but they didn't guarantee you'd actually see them. The animals were wild, after all, and the McCullough Peaks Reserve was huge. Between the other abundant wildlife and the breathtaking landscapes, it was never a completely wasted trip. There were places to stop along our route where we could all get out and walk for a short distance with the guide to take pictures. Today would make my fifth attempt in the three months since I moved here.

The drive up to Cody was relaxing, but I couldn't help the excitement that started to build. Would today be the day? Would I finally get to see them? Before I knew it, I was all checked-in at the same little motel I stayed overnight in for each of my trips. The clerk recognized me and smiled, welcoming me back and wishing me luck on my tour today. I had just under two hours to get a leisurely lunch and drive over to the ranch that was the departure point for the tour.

Sitting at the deli, eating my sandwich and soup, I had a feeling I was being watched. I looked around and out the window onto the narrow street, but didn't see anyone obviously looking in my direction. I finished my lunch but still couldn't shake the sensation of someone's eyes on me. It stayed with me all the way out of the building and into my car.

I arrived at the ranch, signed in, and was greeted with a warm smile and a hug from Carlisle, the owner of the company and our guide for the afternoon. On every tour he introduced the group to his wife and partner Esme, who worked as the receptionist/booking agent, and their sons who also worked at the ranch. The oldest, Emmett, was a guide, and took people out on the day's morning tours. Jasper, the youngest, was a vet who tended to wounded animals found near the ranch, and pets from town whose owners didn't have money for expensive emergency procedures.

Their middle son, Edward, was more of a groundskeeper or park ranger. He maintained the ranch itself, and made regular trips far out into the reserve to check border fences and make sure no one wandered into the protected area. People who snuck into the reserve could get lost in the wilderness for days. It was dangerous for the person, and disrupted the natural habitat. We were told the importance of staying with the group on every tour.

"It's nice to see you again, Bella, I'd be willing to bet you could lead one of these tours all by yourself by now." Carlisle teased as he started to gather the other guests to the van and get our trip underway.

"I couldn't do it nearly as well as you do, Carlisle, I just want to finally lay my eyes, and my camera, on those pretty horses you're hiding up here." I replied as I climbed in. Most people want to sit up front in the van, but I've discovered you get the best view in three of the four directions from the, usually empty, back seat. This time, however, it was not empty. I paused in mid step when I saw Edward sitting in the far corner. In the past, he had ridden horseback along the path, almost following the van, but he had never ridden with us.

He looked at me, almost shyly, and motioned for me to come back and sit down. He seamed to fill up so much space in the seat, which was silly because he wasn't a large man. He was tall, and appeared to be built pretty solid, but nothing was overpowering about him at all. Maybe it was the hat, he seemed to use it almost as a shield once I sat down. I couldn't be 100% sure, but it looked like his tanned face took on a little bit of a blush when I smiled and said hello. He nodded politely, replied, then turned to look out the window.

"Bella, you just might get lucky today, Emmett's group had a great view of the herd this morning. Hopefully they'll be out here for you this afternoon." Carlisle grinned back at me over the heads of the others in the van, then began to educate the rest of group on the history of the area, and what kinds of animals we might be seeing during the trip. I'd heard the same lesson each time, so I zoned out a little and shifted my attention to Edward.

"Hi, I'm Bella." I leaned in, trying to keep my voice down and not disturb the others. "I've heard this routine enough to know it by heart. I can't imagine you're learning anything new, so what brings you along for the ride today?"

"It's a beautiful day and I don't have to make my rounds until later. Besides, I kinda wanted to be there when you finally got to see the mustangs. Like dad said, you might get your best shot so far this afternoon. After all the times you've been back looking for them, I don't want to miss this." He grinned, and blushed, this time I was sure of it.

This time I blushed, too.

I wasn't sure why he was so interested in whether or not I got to see the herd, but I was glad he and Carlisle seemed to be rooting for me. Throughout the trip, Edward and I talked about the ranch and the tours, and how his family was dedicated to the animals and the reserve. I could hear protectiveness and pride in his voice.

When we stopped for our walking breaks, Edward took me off in a different direction than the rest of the group to show me some of the places I hadn't seen before. We didn't have a lot of time during breaks, but I did get some great photos of different views of the landscape, and even a fox family that the rest of the group missed. I loved having my own personal guide, and Edward seemed to be having a good time as well. He appeared to get just as excited as I did when something new and beautiful made it into my camera's memory.

In addition to the new views and the fox family, images of Edward found their way into my camera. I just couldn't help it. He seemed to belong there; leaning on a column of boulders, or walking under a gnarly tree. He was so in tune with the land around him that he became part of the scene. And he seemed genuinely happy to share all of that with me. His eyes had a sparkle to them when he smiled. His strong features softened just a little as he watched me enjoy the new "secret places" along the route.

Finally we made it to the end of the outbound half of the tour. We parked the van and gathered our things for the half mile hike we'd be making to the cliff overlooking the valley where the wild mustangs were typically seen. It was a fairly regular occurrence, or so I'd been told, I just manged to have had bad timing in the past. Hopefully today would be different.

Edward walked in the back of the group with me, helping carry my camera bag even though I told him it wasn't necessary. I had to admit, the gentleman in him had the lady in me all aflutter. Here was this strong, handsome cowboy, carrying my bag and smiling at me. I felt like a schoolgirl.

When we reached the end of the hike, there was a sturdy wooden railing as a barrier so no one climbed, or fell, down the face of the cliff. The group spread out along the railing. After a few minutes more of Carlisle's history of the wild herd, and what seemed like a forever of silently gazing into a beautiful, but empty valley, Edward stepped up right behind me and whispered into my ear.

"Do you feel that? Do you feel the energy in the air. They're coming. Only a few, but they're coming." One of his hands gently rested on my waist and turned me slightly, while the other arm reached around me and pointed off to the west of the valley. Horses or no horses, I felt something. Energy, electricity, heat, sizzle, whatever you call it, it happened as soon as Edward put his hand on me. I immediately got goose bumps and felt a shiver run through me.

"Do you see them?" Edward asked.

"Not yet." I managed to answer, trying to regain my composure. Completely surprised by my body's response to his touch.

He must have felt me shiver because he asked, "You're not cold are you? You're shivering."

I looked up to answer him and knew I had to be blushing again as I answered him. "No, I'm just excited."

Just your average, everyday "excited" didn't cause a person to blush, though, and we both knew it. He rubbed his thumb in a small circle on my waist where his hand still rested, and I shivered again. This time when he smiled at me, and the sparkle returned to his eyes, he wasn't blushing. He looked at me with a confidence I hadn't seen in him before now, and a smirk I had the urge to kiss right off his face.

I turned back to the valley to avoid further embarrassment and got my camera ready. Within a minute a small cloud of dust started circulating on the far side of the valley. There appeared to be about ten or so of the herd coming into view. Fortunately, I could see them more clearly through my camera. Some of the rest of the group had binoculars. The horses slowed down and stopped close to the middle of the valley at a small pond.

They were beautiful. Even from as far away as we were, I could tell they were special. I snapped photo after photo, not stopping to check the quality of each one. I'd check them all later tonight at the motel. The horses were tall, and lean, and held their heads up majestically as they pranced around. Most were a bone or ivory color with deep reddish-brown patches. They drank for a few minutes, then galloped off without giving any of us on the cliff a single thought. We were out of their sight, out of their world.

After all the "oohs" and "ahhs" were over, the group started the hike back to the parked van.

"Well, Bella, you've finally seen them, what do you think of our 'pretty horses'?" Carlisle asked. As he was speaking I noticed him glance down to Edward's hand, which happened to have slid from my waist to the small of my back as we started walking.

"They were beautiful, just like I knew they would be. But I just... I know this is going to sound whiny, but I just thought I would feel more. I thought I would get wrapped up in them or something. I guess maybe I was expecting too much."

I couldn't help but notice the disappointment in Carlisle's eyes, although to his credit, it didn't stay there long. "Well, I'm sorry you didn't find exactly what you were looking for. But I'm glad you did get to see them. I'm going to miss seeing you on my tour van every few weeks." He smiled and walked up to the front of the group.

Edward's hand wasn't on my back anymore. He was walking next to me with a conflicted look on his face. I was worried that I had offended him because I didn't "feel the energy" of the horses. After the wonderful day I'd had with him, I didn't want it to end on this note. The romantic in me could feel something between us, although the realist in me knew that there was slim chance of it becoming anything more than fond memories. It made me sad that he might remember this day in an unhappy way.

"Don't get me wrong, I loved seeing them. They were amazing, and you were a spectacular guide. I really had a wonderful time. Please don't look like that. I hate that you're not smiling and that the sparkle's gone from your eyes." Wow, in an effort to smooth things over I'd spouted out a little too much of my internal dialogue. It sounded even cheesier out loud.

"You're looking for sparkles in my eyes?" He asked, suddenly looking up at me with a whole new look on his face. Was he making fun of me? "I'll have you know that I am a man, a tough, strong, cowboy, and we do not have sparkly eyes." He tried to say forcefully, but a grin was creeping onto his face in a big way, and despite his objection, the sparkle was back. Along with the blush I'm sure was covering my face.

He carried my camera bag all the way back to the van for me. Telling me about various encounters he'd had over the years with the herd. They would never allow him to approach them, but there were times that he would sit still and quiet, by the pond in the valley, or on one of the boulder formations elsewhere in the reserve, and they would walk right past him, close enough to touch. He cold always tell when they were coming, sometimes even before they could be seen. He said he could feel the tingle in the air, the horses' energy. He talked about them almost like they were mythical creatures. It was fascinating to see him get so wrapped up in his storytelling. It also made me sad that I didn't have that kind of connection with them.

On the trip back, Edward and I leaned in together over the viewer on my camera to look through all the pictures I'd taken. Needless to say I had forgotten about the ones I snuck of him. As more of them came along in the rotation, the confident smirk grew bigger across his face. By the time we got to the ranch, we had managed to scroll through all the pictures a few times. We both picked out our favorites, judging them only by the four inch version my camera's viewer gave. I promised to make copies of the best ones and send them to him once they were all uploaded and could be printed.

We arrived back at the ranch just as the sun was starting to set. It was an incredible sight. The low hills close to the ranch, and the far away peaks of higher mountains cut into the red-orange sky and looked like a piece of art. I walked away from the group as they said their "thank yous" and "goodbyes", trying to find the perfect spot to get some pictures of the sunset. I knew I shouldn't stay much longer, but I couldn't seem to tear myself away from the beauty of it all.

I felt him before I heard him. I was already tingling when he stepped up next to me, reached around behind me and gently rested his hand on my waist. Again, I shivered at his touch, and again, he smirked.

"You know, it's not polite to get all cocky just because a lady reacts to your attentions. I thought you were a gentleman, cowboy." There was no point in denying that I was attracted to him.

"I don't consider it cocky, Bella, I'm just enjoying the fact that my touch can make you shiver like that. It makes me wonder what else my touch can make you do." His voice dropped lower and I swear my knees nearly gave out from under me. That makes two of us, cowboy, that makes two of us.

"How would you like to take a ride with me. I have someplace I'd like to show you. It'll take a while though, a couple of hours, so I understand if you have to get back."

"I have nowhere else I'd rather be. Lead the way." I didn't know what I was in for, but I hoped it meant spending a lot more time with him.

All the other guests were gone when we walked through the front doors of the ranch house. He guided me past the front desk to a beautiful living room behind the office. This must be where their family actually lives, with the business in the front, I thought.

Suddenly I started feeling awkward, like I really was a schoolgirl meeting the boyfriend's parents before a first date. I started to tense and Edward immediately began rubbing soft circles at the base of my spine, calming me.

"Are you sure you're ok with this? If you're uncomfortable, I don't want to pressure you." Edward said softly as we entered the room. A little doubt slowly showing on his confident face.

"No, I'm fine, thank you. Do I need to get anything, or bring anything? I don't even know where we're going." I wanted that confident face back in the worst way. Edward asked me to sit while he got a few things from... somewhere. That's what I was doing when Carlisle and Esme came into the room.

"Bella, it's so nice to see you still here. Edward says he's going to take you back out try to get another look at the herd. That's pretty incredible considering how protective he is of his time with them. But I tell you what, if anyone can get you to them, it's Edward. It's like they're hard-wired into each other. It's just uncanny how he can always seem to find them, and the other way around." Esme had barely finished speaking when Edward walked into the room and gave the two of them an exasperated look.

"I hadn't told her what we were doing yet, it was supposed to be a surprise." He said, sounding like a little boy who didn't get his way. It was absolutely adorable and I couldn't help but start to giggle. "Great, now she's laughing at me. Thanks, guys."

A completely different, but not at all unfriendly look then started to form on the faces of Edward's parents. They realized that I was there to spend time with Edward not even knowing what we were going to be doing. They went from business owners, proud of their employee for going above and beyond, to parents of a son who's "lady friend" was sitting in their living room. Thankfully, they just hugged Edward and I, said goodnight and told us to have fun on their way out of the room.

"So, now that the surprise is ruined, how do you feel about giving our horses another chance to impress you?" He asked. Like I was actually going to turn down not only a chance to see the horses again, but a chance to spend more time with him.

"I can't wait. Let's go. But won't it be dark by the time we get back out to the cliff? Even with the moonlight I don't think I'll be able to get any shots at that distance."

"First of all, we're not going to the cliff, and second, the moon is going to be really bright tonight, so you should be able to get a few decent shots in." Edward seemed pretty sure of himself, and he was the expert out here, so took his word for it.

"Not the cliff, huh? Another secret spot? You're spoiling me, cowboy." I'm not sure when exactly I decided to nickname him the most obvious name available, but he didn't seem to mind. In fact he seemed to stand up a little straighter every time I used it.

"Let's just go and see if we can find some horses, then we'll talk about spoiling people. After you." He motioned for me to go out first. As I walked in front of him out of the house and off the front porch, I felt the sensation, again, that I'd felt in the diner. Like eyes were boring down into me. I turned around to see Edward standing in the doorway just watching me walk to his truck, now parked in the driveway.

"Edward, I don't suppose you had lunch in town today, at the diner in Irma's Motel?" The tingle was coming back, and getting more and more intense as he walked off the porch and got closer to me.

"Yeah, I might have picked up a bite or two at Irma's earlier. She makes a delicious ham & turkey club, and the vegetable soup is to die for. Not to mention, a table at Irma's has some of the most beautiful views of the townsfolk I've ever seen." Edward stopped just in front of me and repeated back what I ate for lunch and, if I wasn't mistaken, called me beautiful. I was a little worried about Creepy-Stalker-Edward, but Romantic-Words-Edward smoothed things over.

"I tried not to be too obvious, but when I saw you were on the tour list today, I couldn't help myself. I just needed to see you. I really don't know what I was thinking. All I knew was that you come here, over and over, looking for the herd every time. That just intrigued me. Someone with that kind of determination, and I hoped with that kind of genuine interest in the beauty of the animals I care so much about, interested me. And you're just so beautiful, Bella. Every time you've shown up here I wanted to talk to you, wanted to try to get to know you. I imagine it sounds a little strange, and I'm sorry if this is too forward, but I just wanted to finally be able to tell you. I think you're incredible. And now, after spending the day with you, I think you're even more amazing."

Cowboy sure did know what to say to a girl to make her swoon. I couldn't look away from him. While he talked about me, his eyes sparkled like they did when he was talking about the horses, or the ranch, or his family. Not exactly flowery accolades, but considering how passionate he was about those things, I was sincerely flattered. And completely turned on.

"Edward, get in the truck and let's get going before your pretty words and sparkling eyes distract me completely from the task at hand." I was proud of myself for not squeaking through my statement. Although I almost lost it when he opened the passenger side door and helped lift me by the waist as I climbed into the truck cab.

He hopped right up into the driver seat and smiled when he saw I had belted myself into the "girlfriend" spot in the middle of the three person seat, rather than the "passenger" spot on the far side by the door. Taking it as the sign I suppose I intended, he leaned over slightly and whispered, "I'm not sure which I like better, 'Edward' or 'cowboy', but they both sound perfect when you say them." Then he lightly touched his lips to mine. It was a soft, quick kiss before he turned away to start the engine and pull out of the driveway.

Now it was my turn to wear the smirk.

We talked more about what I did with my photography, and why I moved to Wyoming. He couldn't believe I'd ever lived in L.A., said he couldn't imagine ever being couped up in that kind of lifestyle. I had to agree. It was hard to picture myself ever going back to big city life. The time since my move, and especially my time today, with Edward, felt freer and more comfortable than it ever did in L.A.

It only took us an hour to reach the spot Edward wanted to get to. I didn't recognize the place at all from the tour, which was understandable as Edward informed me that the narrow pass we parked near could bring the herd too close for a tour group. Too many people might scare them and could cause the horses to change their travel pattern. The idea of the tour was to show glimpses of their world with minimum impact.

I was thrilled at the idea that I could get closer to the mustangs. Edward was right, of course, about the moon being so bright I could get beautiful pictures. Now, if the horses would just cooperate and show up.

In the mean time, and now I considered it to be more importantly, Edward was there to spend the time with. We left the truck by a small group of trees and grabbed a few blankets in case the temperature dropped too much. Then we walked out a to a fairly large boulder formation right in the middle of the pass. The rocks seemed to form a shallow little U shaped cave on one side, and had taller, slightly inclined boulders on the other side. It was the perfect spot to sit and talk while we waited.

It wasn't long before the sitting made us numb so we stood up and leaned against the larger side of the formation. We'd only been standing a few minutes when Edward stopped in mid sentence and started looking around. At the same time I felt a surge of something in the air that made all the hairs on my arms stand on end and gave me goosebumps all over. Edward looked at me with excitement in his eyes.

"You felt it this time, didn't you." He asked as he leaned in closer to me. I nodded.

Putting one hand on either side of my waist he pressed me into the rock with his body. Not that I minded it a bit, but it did surprise me. "What exactly are you doing, cowboy?" I asked in as playful a tone as I could muster considering I was tingling all over and finding it suddenly hard to breathe.

"I just don't want them to get spooked seeing someone else here. They're used to me, if we're close, they might not notice you on their way past. Don't worry, I'm not getting frisky." Then he paused, with the biggest smirk of the night on his face, and leaned down to whisper into my ear, "yet." The tremble that ran through me then was delightful. My entire body was screaming for 'frisky'. I knew he felt it, too, because he started to chuckle.

"Bella, I swear, your body makes it very difficult for me to be a gentleman when it goes and shivers like that. In fact, I stopped having gentlemanly thoughts along about sundown." This time, there was no smirk. There was only his handsome, rugged face, with beautiful green eyes looking straight into mine as he held me.

Before I could respond, hell, before I could breath again properly, I heard the sound of hoof prints coming. That brought both our attentions back to the reason for our trip. Edward whispered that we should stay still until we could see how many there were, and how fast they were moving. Then, if it was safe, I could get my camera and try to take some pictures.

There were twelve total. All moving slowly through the pass, meandering past the formation housing Edward and I without a single notice. Edward motioned to the camera and backed away from me so I could try for some photos. I knew better than to use the flash, so I desperately hoped I could get at least a couple clear pictures without it. I just needed the horses to stand still for a few seconds.

They seemed to be in a cooperative mood. As I adjusted the shutter speed to compensate for not having a flash, the horses appeared to need a rest. They just stopped, all around us. It was the most incredible thing. Edward and I were standing in the middle of a federal reserve, in a boulder formation, surrounded my who knows how many generations of wild mustangs. I knew as I snapped shot after shot that no image I could print from my camera could ever convey the raw emotion of the moment. It even surprised me how much I was affected by the situation.

After about 5 minutes, and countless attempts at the perfect shot, the horses decided their break was over. They continued on through the pass and around a set of hills not too far in the distance. I could hear them start a faster gallop as they moved out of sight. It was almost as though they made a special trip through just for us.

I put my camera down one of the blankets and looked at Edward. I couldn't stop the single tear that started rolling down my cheek. "Thank you, so much, Edward, for bringing me out here. That was so much more than I ever imagined. They were beautiful and peaceful, and just... I just don't have the words for it. Thank you for sharing that with me."

"You've very welcome, I'm just glad they came. And I'm glad I could share that with you. I knew you would appreciate how special they are. And you, right now you are exquisite." He wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me close to him. "I think maybe it's time for 'frisky' now, what do you think?"

I didn't even think, I just did what I had wanted to do since the first time that silly smirk appeared on his face this afternoon. I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him. This was no slow and easy, "getting to know you" kiss. It was exciting and raw and felt better than any other kiss I could remember.

Edward stepped forward, leaning me back against the large inclined rock again. This time I didn't question what he was doing, his body pressing into mine told me all I needed to know. I should have stopped him, asked him if this was the beginning, or the end of something. But in that moment, it didn't matter to me. I was where I wanted to be and I would have no regrets.

He was the one to break the kiss. I might have gone on until I passed out. Pulling me away from the rocks, he grabbed the second blanket, unfolded it and laid it over the boulder behind me. Then with the only questioning look of the night, he silently asked me if I was sure I wanted to do this. I answered in silence as well, removing his hat and tossing it down next to my camera. He lifted up his arms as I slid my hands under his shirt, moving them up his chest and sliding the shirt off his body. And what a nice body it was. I was right when I guessed earlier that he was built solid. He was tanned, and hard and absolutely mouthwatering to look at. I kissed the center of his chest and heard him take in a quick breath.

"My turn." Edward finally spoke in a voice not much louder than a whisper.

Reaching under my shirt, just as I'd done to him, Edward spread his large hands wide around my sides and slowly started lifting my shirt up. He didn't even hesitate as his thumbs rubbed lightly over my breasts. Once the shirt was gone, he reached around to unhook my bra and let it fall as well.

As he leaned in to kiss the middle of my chest, in a mirror of my actions, then murmured "stunning".

He pushed me back, slowly, onto the blanket covered boulder, both of us still standing, but at a comfortable angle. When he leaned in again, this time to lightly lick and suck on my hardened left nipple, he gently palmed my right breast and pulled up my left leg to give his body more access to mine. The sensation of his soft tongue on my nipple, his rough palm on my breast, and the pressure of his hardness grinding into my center was just too much for me to stay quiet.

I moaned, loudly, and I could feel him smile into my breast. "You like that, huh Bella. I do, too." Yeah, smirky cowboy was back.

He took the opportunity to switch sides on my chest, taking my right nipple in his mouth with a little more fervor and rubbing just a little harder on my left.

"Cowboy, if we don't get rid of these jeans soon, we're gonna rub holes right through them." I managed to say. Not even trying to hide the need in my voice. "And yes, I do like that." I added with a smirk of my own.

Edward pulled off his boots first, and quickly. Then just as quickly removed my boots. I already had my buttons undone when he stood up and grinned. "Anxious? Me, too." He smiled, and as gently as he could while still trying to hurry, he slid my jeans and underwear down in one motion. "Absolutely stunning" he whispered as he looked up at me.

He lifted my left leg up and rested it on one of the smaller boulders to the side of us, opening me up to him at just the right level for some very intimate introductions. 'Lady parts, meet Edward... Edward, meet.. OH. MY. GOD'.

He may have blushed when he said hello to me today, but that cowboy knew how to use his tongue. In one swift motion he slid his tongue through the middle of my, now practically dripping, wetness and rendered all thought utterly impossible.

"I could spend hours on my knees tasting you, Bella, but right now I can't think of anything except how much I want to be inside of this delicious part of you. I promise, next time I'll do this part right." Then he kissed me softly, almost reverently right at the center of where I wanted him most. Then I realized he said "next time." He wanted there to be a next time. My heart nearly exploded with relief and hope.

He stood and stripped off his jeans faster than I would have guessed possible. Apparently it's faster if you don't have any underwear to worry about in the process. I know for damn sure it was hot to see him bare, and hard, and practically ready to pop when the denim slid down his body.

"Stunning." I used his word. The moon was shining down on him and it was the only word I could think of. I looked at Edward and couldn't believe this amazing, gorgeous man wanted me this badly, as badly as I wanted him.

My leg was still propped on the boulder and Edward stepped back into the space he'd created for himself. He positioned my right leg up on another boulder on our other side, and leaned onto me. I closed my eyes and relished the feeling of his weight on my body.

"Bella, baby open your eyes, I need you to look at me."

He reached down between us and used the moisture from my body to coat his. I was so ready for him. As he pushed himself into me my eyes snapped open and locked with his. A low growl started low in his chest and erupted from him at the same time he managed to slide in so far that our bodies were flush. I couldn't move, couldn't breathe; every feeling I had was directly linked to the perfection of his body inside of mine. He pulled back so slowly, almost completely, then pushed in with a quick thrust. Again and again he slid slowly out to his tip, then drilled into me with measured force.

"Oh, my... unnnggg... Edward, you feel so good in me. Please, I need you to move faster... please." I moved my feet from the boulders to wrap around his waist and he quickened his pace.

"I wanted to do this slowly, to make sure you enjoyed every second before I lost myself in you. I can't wait anymore, though, you feel too good. Your body feels so perfect wrapped around mine."

His rhythm in and out of me was driving me crazy and I knew I wouldn't last any longer than he did. We both wanted this, needed this too much to take it slow this time.

Then, like a light switch had been turned on, the goosebumps started on both of our bodies and there was a sound approaching that had nothing to do with us. We had been so wrapped up in each other that we didn't hear them until they were right in front of us.

"Oh my God, Bella, the herd!"

Before we could move, the rush of what had to be a hundred or more of the most incredible, wild, fearless creatures on the planet thundered all around us. Edward tried to pull me down, with the blanket around us, but I resisted. We were shielded in the rocks and I felt safe in my cowboy's arms. The ground was trembling and the wind was whipping around all the movement. The power that filled the air was intoxicating as the horses continued to stampede past us.

I started to move around Edward again, urging him to turn all the magic of the moment back to us and the new beginning we were making for ourselves. He covered my lips with his and joined the pace my body was setting. He was filling my needs in every way. I was ready to explode and my heart was full of the wonderful things he promised as he kissed me over and over. With several quick, deep thrusts he pushed us both to the breaking point. I cried out his name just before he whispered mine into my mouth in one last, long kiss. Then we sank, still wrapped in the blanket he had pulled around us, down to the ground.

It was quiet now. Except for the irregular beating of our hearts trying to get back to their normal patterns. Edward moved himself out of and away from me, but pulled me up onto his lap, with my back resting on his chest.

"I've decided I like "cowboy" just fine in conversation, but I loved hearing you cry out Edward." I could hear the smirk in his voice as he kissed me behind my ear and chuckled.


Thank you to Vonnie and Rachel for doing emergency beta work for me on this. Also thank you to my "salvation" for keeping me from freaking out at the last minute while I tried to get this thing finished and loaded.

I hope you all like my cowboy and horses story. :-)