A/N: Yeah, I said I would post this later, but I'm impatient. I am LOVING the response this story has gotten. Amazing. Who thought my little need for a cowboy Eric would have come up with this story? Unfortunately, this is the end. MissyDee is fricking awesome. If you aren't reading her stories, you should be. Enjoy.

7 years later...

SPOV

"Come on, Michalea, Just nudge her side a little. It won't hurt her. That's how she knows you're ready to go," I coach the four-year old on the tiny white pony. I have them in the beginners ring. The farm has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. We have three riding rings in addition to two separate stables. Eric handles the advanced riding classes and we split the intermediate.

I've added ponies to the farm, just like Gran had so many years ago. Candy gave birth to a colt that was the same beautiful gold as his mother and after we bred him the first time, we were indeed able to make back the expense of the mating fees with stud fees of our own.

I say we, because this farm is as much Eric's as it is mine at this point. He has invested as much of himself in seeing the ranch become a success as I have. We still have the same routine now as we did at the start. I wake up first and make breakfast at the start of the day; he wakes up later and eats it with me before heading out to work together. Only now, we wake up in the same bed.

He was understandably nervous when we started this part of our relationship. Neither of us knew how it was going to end or even if it would end. We had a long talk about our pasts, because I wasn't willing to saddle someone else with my relationship baggage if they didn't want it. I was stunned when he told me he had had two girlfriends in high school and that was the extent of his experience before meeting me. The boy must just be naturally gifted. He has accepted that I'm not ready to get married again, and may not ever be. We have each other and are committed to each other. That's all either of us need.

I finish Michalea's lesson and have her lead Misty to the stable and review the proper grooming before we finish for the day. That's part of every lesson. If the students want to ride, they have to learn to care for the horse properly. Eric flashes me a smile while he trains Gypsy on taking jumps in the advanced ring. The filly is not quite a year old yet, but she needs to get used to making the hurdles before she can take a rider.

We have made quite a name for ourselves in this little town in the middle of nowhere, Virginia. We have boarders from all over the state and even other states. I have had to hire a few more hands to handle day-to-day maintenance on the farm since Eric and I focus on the teaching, training, and breeding aspects of the farm. The other hands get paid well for their services, but they don't live on the property. However, I will feed them from time to time. It always seems like I cook too much for just two people.

I see a blue minivan pull up and Michalea runs out to greet her mom. It tickles me to no end that the shallow, rude girl that Eric took on his first date after moving in with me is the mother of this adorable little girl. Pam sweeps her daughter up in a hug and hands me the check for the week's lesson. I write out a receipt for her before she pulls away.

The new farm hands, Clancy and Claude, head for their trucks, waving goodbye to both Eric and myself as they leave for the day. I get Misty into her stall and stroll out to the advanced ring to watch Eric cool Gypsy down after her workout. I love watching him with the horses. His senses with them borders on spooky. Whatever farm in Kentucky let him go lost out on a lot.

I follow him into the stable and help him groom her so we can head in for dinner. After she's brushed and glossy, he gets her into her stall and wraps his arm around my shoulders as we walk into the house.

EPOV

God, I love her. Every single day since we've been together has been an adventure. It took us maybe another six months to get the ranch to where we wanted it to start. Despite his shitty attitude and being rejected, that JB tool did deliver on a great stable. So much so that he was hired again when we needed the second one built. But he never did ask her out again.

I've asked her to marry me at least five times since then, and she always turns me down, but in the best possible way. We can talk to each other about anything, and I can understand her being gun shy. And I'm not bothered by it, really. She's committed to me and we're both committed to this ranch. I have no questions where she is concerned.

We've bred out Full Moon several times since the Palomino coloring is so rare in this part of the country; I swear he gets laid almost as often as I do. We have entered him in shows to get him seen and we've bred him ourselves with a few unrelated mares that we've added to the farm since he was born. Anything to keep his gorgeous genetics in circulation.

Even I am surprised by how well I communicate with the horses. I hadn't had a whole lot of up close experience with them before. I just knew I liked riding. When we started teaching, I found that I have an ability to calm skittish foals, overprotective mares and uncooperative stallions. For that reason, I started taking the advanced classes. It takes patience to get the horses to do what you want.

Sookie makes a simple dinner of spaghetti and a salad while I wash up. We talk about the classes for the week coming up. She tells me she's had some interest in Full Moon from a couple of breeding farms in Kentucky and I smile. Despite his muddy bloodlines, he is pure champion and any foals he sires will have the benefit also.

Everything was slow going at first. It took a hefty investment to get the ponies and the other mares, but completely worth it in the end. We started taking students about three years ago and have had to create levels as the students got older and learned more. Word spread and we were surprised to learn how thin the teaching options were for someone who wanted to learn.

We finished dinner and cleaned the kitchen. It was still early and the sun was just hitting the horizon. "Come with me," Sookie says, standing by the door. "I feel like taking a sunset ride.

We head out to the stable where I grab Blaze and she gets one of the first mares we bought, Phoenix, ready for a ride. We both have a special affection for her. Sookie named her because that's how she felt about her life. She felt everything had burned around her and she was sitting in the ashes waiting to be reborn. Then she met me. She kissed me when she said that. Show me any guy that doesn't feel good after a compliment like that.

We take the horses out bareback. Sometimes it just feels better without a saddle, and no, that isn't a euphemism. We head through the fields down to a little pond that had been unused for so long, Sookie had actually forgotten about it's existence. We cleared one of the far fields and found it behind the weeds. After a particularly rainy summer, we stocked it with some trout and catfish. I've thought about adding a little dock for fishing, but it's really too small to need one. I'm fine sitting on the bank.

Sookie spreads out an old quilt that we keep in the barn just for this reason. I hop off Blaze and let him go graze in the enclosed field and she does the same with Phoenix. I join her on the ground and watch the sky change colors with the sunset. When the light show is done, I look at her.

She's thirty-four now and she doesn't look a single day of it. Sometimes, she manages to look younger than me. Her hair is still the color of ripe wheat, although is no longer to her mid-back. She cut it to her shoulders when it got too long to manage easily, especially when the horses liked to chew on it. I cut my own hair when I experienced that particular sensation. Not pleasant.

I lean in and kiss her hard. I haven't gotten over the things she makes me feel in all these years. We start and intense make-out session there in the field on the quilt and I can tell pretty quickly that it isn't going to end there. She sits up, strips off her t-shirt and shimmies out of her jeans until she's laying underneath me in a bright red bra and boyshorts. Ugh. And she knows red is my favorite color.

It's hard for me to stop touching her long enough to get my own clothes off. I still want her in ways that I have never experienced before. Once I get my jeans and shirt off, she smiles and I let her push me onto my back. She straddles my waist and leans down to start kissing me; my mouth, my neck, my chest, none of it gets ignored, but I'm an impatient man.

I reach behind her and unclasp her bra, letting me see those amazing breasts. They fill my hands perfectly and I brush her nipples with my thumbs, making her shiver and moan as they harden under my ministrations. I scoot her down to my lap so I can sit up and lick and suck those perfect pinks buds.

She grinds her lace covered center over me and I feel amazing heat rolling off her. She shifts up to her knees and works to get her underwear off without making me stop what I'm doing. She tosses them in the direction the rest of our clothes have gone and pushes me back down. I love it when she gets all bossy with me. I also love it when she lets me take control. Hell, as long as I have her, I'm happy either way.

I slip a finger through her folds and can't help but growl at how fucking wet she is. A finger into her entrance and I know she's ready for me. I position her right over my cock, which is standing at full attention, and let her go at her pace. She slides herself down on my slowly and we both moan once I'm as deep into her as I can get.

She starts rocking back and forth, rolling her hips on each rotation. I still can't get over how she stillfeels so tight around me. I can't decide whether I want to watch the way her tits bounce as she rides me or the way my dick looks sliding in and out of her, stretching her. She leans forward and holds my hands down with hers, and kisses me hard again. The way she's positioned, every time she rocks back, my cock grazes her clit and she's all but continuously moaning and whimpering into my mouth.

I know she's close; I feel her walls around me start to flutter and it feels fucking awesome. I let go of her hands and grab her hips, thrusting into her from below. Her whimpers grow to screams and she comes all over me. Nothing is hotter than seeing my woman on top of me, stiff and spasming, crying out my name.

I pull out for just a second and have her get on her hands and knees. As soon as she's in position, I shove back into her hard. My hands go right back to her hips and the only sound besides her moaning and my grunting is the slap of skin on skin. She feels like she's about to come again and I increase my tempo. Right when she starts screaming again, I pulse inside her and come so hard I see spots for a minute.

I fall to the side and stay on my back after pulling her down to rest her head on my chest. I run my fingers through her hair and just listen to the night sounds grow around us. I think about the time of year and realize her birthday is right around the corner.

"Baby, what do you want for your birthday this year?" I ask. I never know what to get her and have found it's just easier to ask directly instead of playing guessing games.

She kisses my nipple, giving me goosebumps. "You know you don't have to get me anything. Just make me a promise."

That's weird, but okay. "Anything. What do you want me to promise?"

She sits up and looks into my eyes, trying to look for something. I don't know what it is. "Promise me that when I'm all fat and hormonal and grumpy, you'll still love me and at least tell me I'm beautiful, even if I'm not."

I cock my head, confused. Not sure whyshe wants me to promise her that, but if that's what she wants, she's got it and I tell her so. Not that I could ever think she's not beautiful. I've seen her with the flu and covered in things better left unmentioned and she could still turn me on.

She smirks and I can see her thinking. Finally, I can see her come to a decision and nod to herself. I'll be the first to admit that subtle doesn't work on me. She grasps my chin and looks right into my eyes. "You're going to be a daddy, Eric. I'm pregnant."

Speechless. Stunned. We had talked about kids, but I always figured it would be after marriage. Since it was pretty unlikely that we would ever take that step, I'm glad now that we aren't waiting. I shift onto my side and kiss her again. A baby. Me, a dad? Just like with everything else, I'm ready and willing to jump in feet first and learn as I go.

I can't help but feel a little overwhelmed at all that Sookie has given me. A job. A home. A love. A passion. And now a family. I lean in and kiss her again. As unexpected as it is, she's become my whole world and I can't think of anything else I could want.

A/N: Hope that satisfied all you HEA nuts out there. As with everything else, just because there's the "c" next to this doesn't mean I don't love reviews. Please leave any thoughts, criticisms, hopes, dreams... yada yada yada.

Also Makesmyheadspin made me an AWESOME banner. Since FF has disabled links, I'm gonna try here.

Http: / a1 . sphotos . ak . Fbcdn . net / hphotos-ak-snc7 / 407642_144358955680796_100003200783454_181961_2046870775_n . Jpg

just remove the spaces before and after the backslashes and dots. Hope that works.