Contest entry for the Dirty Talkin' Edward Contest

Title: Ruined

Pairing: Edward/Bella

Rating: NC-17/M

Summary: Country singer Bella Swan is in for the time of her life when she meets a certain dirty talkin' cowboy after a concert. One night in his arms was supposed to be enough, but when Edward Cullen keeps popping up, what is she supposed to do? He's as delicious as can be, and she should know...she's tasted every inch of him. It seems their fates may be intertwined deeper than she first realized.

Disclaimer: The author does not own any publicly recognizable entities herein. No copyright infringement is intended.




Cheyenne Frontier Days, Wyoming

"Cowboys, cowgirls, ladies, and gentlemen," the radio host from the local country station calls out to the audience. "Are y'all ready to hear Laramie's very own favorite country band?" The applause is uproarious—deafening. "Louder!" he yells and is matched by the even more thunderous sound from the crowd. Boots are stomping on the dirt and "yeehaw"s are being shouted out.

I've grown up here, basking in the prairie grass under the majestic Wyoming sun as my skin freckled and my auburn hair lightened to a strawberry brown. After Mama died of that damned colon cancer when I was five, I spent most of my summers here, working on Aunt LaRae and Uncle Bobby-Joe's ranch. LaRae was my mama, Renee's, little sister. The sprawling two hundred acres that she and my uncle have was a wonderful place to spend those sad years after Mama's death. Convenient since it was only a two and a half hour drive from our city life in Denver, it allowed my daddy to send me away when things got too tough for him to handle.

My cousins, Rose-Mae and Jasper, and I became the closest of friends over those summers. Rose-Mae was only a few months older than me, so it was easy for us to bond. They helped me through Mama's death, and they even saved up their allowances to buy instruments when I asked them to form a band with me at the ripe old age of eight. Together, we took music lessons from Sister Sue Clearwater down at the church every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday evening during the summers for ten years.

I've always loved writing poetry, and when we began translating those poems into song lyrics, I knew I'd found my calling. The words flowed through my body like the rushing Colorado River up in the Rocky Mountains—they streamed and spilled through my pencil as I put graphite to paper. Jasper was the musical genius, able to create an entire composition in his mind, and Rose-Mae had a beautiful voice to harmonize with my more melodious one. We found our worth in each song.

Now, five years after our first show in a little dive bar down in Fort Collins, we've gained some renown as a great, new country band and some distinction for our unique sound—bluegrass-country with a rock influence. Even though we are opening for the much wider known Mississippi Queen's Mistake, last month we won New Artist of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Our first album hit the country charts with a bang and our single, "Don't Know 'Bout Love," is sitting at number eleven. For a new band, it's pretty damn kick-ass.

Glancing over at Rose-Mae in all her wavy, shoulder-length, platinum-haired glory, I see that she's busy checking the strings on her guitar despite the fact that our sound check ended just a few hours ago. She's always been very particular about her favorite black Gibson, and often feels the need to fine tune the gorgeous instrument before she takes wthe stage. My Martin is sitting on its rack and waiting patiently for the show to begin. I honestly do love my guitar just as much as Rose-Mae loves hers, but I prefer to use my pre-show minutes to guzzle water and dance back and forth on my tiptoes, loosening up for the performance.

"You ready, Bell?" Jasper asks me with a wide grin. He's always so excited before a show and he can usually help me relax despite my nerves. This is different though. We've never played such a huge event so close to home. There are bound to be people we grew up with in the audience.

Jasper is wearing the silly newsies hat that he bought when we were on tour in Louisiana. He's a rancher's son and knows that it's not at all country, but I don't think he gives a shit. He does look kind of adorable as he plays his fiddle with that hat on though, so I have to give him that. The Southern girls it attracted when we were down there sure seemed to like it, though. I don't know that the cowgirls in Wyoming will feel the same way, but I guess we'll find out soon enough.

The announcer's voice rings through the Stampede Grounds. "For the very first time at the Frontier Days, please welcome Hankerin' to the stage!"

With a wink, Jasper takes the stage with our banjo player, Emmett McCarty, who happens to be having a spicy relationship with Rose-Mae. They're adorable together. A pure-blooded Irish boy, Emmett comes from deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee—straight from the life of making moonshine and raccoon hunting—and he's the best banjo player I've ever seen. We're lucky that he's so infatuated with Rose-Mae that he'll never leave us for a more famous band. One day, they're going to get hitched and have a bunch of blue-eyed, blond-haired babies.

I refuse to admit the jealousy that seeps into my soul as I watch them. My boyfriend...former boyfriend, Jake, left Denver for Los Angeles because he is convinced that he's meant to be an actor. We'd been together since our senior year of high school, yet he had no qualms about leaving. The last I heard, he's a waiter at a Jewish deli in the San Fernando Valley. I really don't want Jake back; it wasn't meant to be for us. But, I would love to have that look on my face that Rose-Mae has on hers when she gazes at Emmett.

The crowd—especially the women—is flaring with enthusiasm at Jasper's quick fiddling and Emmett's fiery banjo picking, but the noise grows in strength when the men join in as Rose-Mae and I walk onstage. She stands beside Emmett on the right side of the stage, Jasper is on the left, and I, the lead singer, dance to the middle. I'm right in front of the VIPs and really hope that they can't see up my short skirt, but that doesn't stop me as I raise my hand up high. All the music cuts off sharply.

Let the show begin.

I raise the microphone to my lips, gently lower my arm, and sing as loudly as I can. The audience is momentarily stunned to silence before it erupts with fervor around me.

"No way!

I didn't mean it,

You should have let it go

Why couldn't you move on?

Instead you just sit around and wait,

Always hesitatin'.

Now look what we've done..."

When I throw my hand back into the air, the band rejoins me. And it's on. This is what I live for: dancing around the stage, fist pumping to the beat, and singing my heart out.

We perform two songs before I begin working the crowd.

"How y'all doin' tonight, Cheyenne?" I yell through my microphone. Hollers and cheers and screams emit from the crowd. "How about up there in the bleachers?" I ask, waving at the majority of the audience who aren't right in front of the stage. The grand stands break out in applause and ear-piercing whistles. "Do any of y'all know anything 'bout love?" I question, cueing us into our next song. More cheering fills our ears, and I smile into the bright spotlight.

I love my job. Closing my eyes, I lift my hand into my hair and pour all my emotion to the slower tempo.

"What I didn't know before,

I sure as hell do now.

Thanks for showing me the basic idea

Before you broke my heart into a million little shards.

The glass ceiling is crumbling

And my feet are bleeding

But you forgot to keep your promise to save me

Would it really have been that damn hard?

I don't 'bout love,

No matter how hard I wanna try..."

When I open my eyes to sing the chorus, I stop dead in my tracks with my mouth still pressing against the microphone. My gasp is audible through the entire arena. Standing in front of me is the most beautiful man I've ever seen in my life. His hair is an unusual mix of brown and red, at least from what I can see poking out from underneath his tan cowboy hat. My eyes travel over his face, studying him and trying desperately to commit every handsome feature to memory.

His eyes are the color of a cornfield in Iowa, that deep green of the husks, and his jaw is perfectly squared and stubbled with reddish whiskers. The man is dressed in a blue plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up over his sculpted and tanned forearms. He's definitely a rancher. Those muscles can only come from throwing a lasso for hours a day.

As I drink him in like a cold glass of sweet tea in the sweltering heat of a mid-July day in Alabama, I finally notice a smirk gracing his lips. He knows exactly the effect he's having on me.

Oh, hell no, cocky cowboy.

I tear my eyes from him and turn to offer an apologetic look to Rose-Mae, who has picked up my slack and sang through the chorus for me. She shoots me a knowing wink and I feel my cheeks flame. My voice is surprisingly steady when I begin to sing again.

The rest of the set goes off without a hitch, though only because I've done a spectacular job of avoiding looking at Mr. Tall, Dark, and Sexy-as-Hell. The audience loves us and roars even louder when we tell them how happy we are to be home after so many months on the road. Because, finally, that's where we are. I'll leave for Denver tomorrow evening, after I present the award for the bareback riding champion at the rodeo in the afternoon.

As soon as we leave the stage, water bottles are thrust in our faces and my guitar, which I used in the last few songs, is taken by one of our roadies to be put away. The stage is getting set up for Mississippi Queen's Mistake. When they go onstage, we'll be hanging out with all the fans who've won backstage passes. For now though, we cool off while we chat with some members of MQM and munch on the barbecued buffalo and veggies that have been generously provided for us. It's delicious. So is the whiskey. Whiskey is always good. The three shots I've thrown back definitely agree.

After a good half-hour, their stage manager finally comes backstage to let them know that they're up and we wish them luck. Not that they need it. Even though they're my daddy's age, they're still legendary in the country world. Being on tour with them has been monumental for our careers, and Frontier Days is a wonderful place to wrap it up.

"All right, Bella! Jasper! Rose-Mae!" our manager calls us over. Since they're all hired guys, the rest of the band is helping the roadies get the sound truck packed up. "Here come the contest winners and some of the VIP's." The security staff opens a cattle gate behind us, and we hear the shuffling of boots through the dirt. I love meeting our fans, they're always so grateful to get to know us and are sweet enough to ask for autographs and pictures without just shoving pens in our faces.

Usually anyway.

We spend the next twenty minutes taking pictures with them, and I smirk at Jasper as a crowd of teenage girls and their moms gather around him. That might not have been exactly what he was hoping for when he wore that silly hat tonight, but I think that Alice Brandon, a girl he met down in New Orleans, will be pleased. She'd traveled from Biloxi just to see us play that show, but having Jasper in her hotel room that night had been an added bonus. Since they still keep in touch, I assume it's a serious thing for my cousin.

After I've signed at least fifty autographs on anything from our CD cover to a napkin, and it seems like the focus is flowing to Rose-Mae and Jasper, I feel a tap on my shoulder and spin around.

Oh, God.

He's even more gorgeous than my initial impression. The strapping cowboy is grinning wildly at me as if he can hear my thoughts. Even though I try to stop myself, I can't keep my eyes from traversing his striking features once again. His skin has the perfect tanned-tinge to it, obviously from days spent out on the range chasing down stray cattle. My mind flashes to an image of him tackling me—not a cow, me!—to the ground and tying me up so he can do wicked, dirty, delicious things to me.

Lord, yes. Please tie me up.

"That might be fun," he says with a chuckle and a raised eyebrow. "I bet you'd be really feisty if I hogtied you."

My mouth drops open both at the shock that I just said that aloud and of what he suggested in return. Of course, the lust shooting through my limbs is mind numbing, which might explain why my verbal filter slipped. Well, that and the Jack Daniels currently coursing through my system. I don't even try to stop myself from singing, "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" under my breath and biting my lower lip in my lustful daze.

I know I shouldn't let him—this fan—effect me like this, but I just can't help it. He's so...yummy.

"I'm sure you're pretty damn yummy yourself, darlin'." My eyes snap back up to his face where the annoyingly knowing smirk is ever present as his gaze drifts over my bare legs, revealed by my short dress. "And I don't think I'd ever be able to let you even saddle up a horse in my presence. Ever. I have something much better for you to mount anyway, sugar."

My stare drops to his Wranglers where I can easily see the outline of the huge thing he's suggesting I ride. I swallow thickly and raise my eyebrow threateningly when I meet his eyes once again, but I think he knows that I'm completely and utterly turned on right now.

"That's not really an appropriate thing to say, is it?" I ask, desperately trying to steady my voice.

With a nonchalant shrug of his massive, muscled shoulders, he sticks his hand out to me. What possesses me to take it I have no idea, and the jolt of electricity that jumps between us is surprising.

"Dammit!" I exclaim, pulling my hand out of his and shaking the shocking tingles from my skin. "Did you run across carpet in just your socks or something, cowboy?"

"Edward Cullen, ma'am," he corrects with a tilt of his hat and a lopsided grin that just makes him look more edible. "It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Miss Swan," he says, appropriate for the first time in all our interactions thus far. "And, no, I didn't walk around in just my socks, but if that would make you take me back to your tour bus and show me just how good of a rider you really are, I'd be happy to oblige."

I take that back. Definitely still inappropriate. But I'm really starting to like it.

Smiling in spite of myself, I strike up a conversation. "So, did you come for an autograph?" I ask as casually as possible.

Evidently, I've said the wrong thing as a sultry look flickers over his face. "Pardon, ma'am, but I'll only come for you after you've had your fill of me."

Fuck. A fire is lit in my lower belly and I can feel my panties dampening as arousal zings through my blood. Thanks for ruining my favorite panties, buddy. As soon as the thought crosses my mind, I glance at Edward to see if I let that one slip too. Sure enough, his devilish grin is growing.

"I can buy you new ones, darlin'," he says as he takes a step toward me. "I was planning on using them for the hogtying part anyway. That way, when I'm buried inside your soft little body, I'll be able to smell how wet I made you when your panties are in my face."

My breath catches in my throat at the same time I attempt to swallow, and I begin to choke, sputtering and coughing—desperate for air. Quickly, I move to the refreshments table and pop the top off a beer before I chug at it to help my coughing ease up.

"Wow," Cowboy Edward says, his Adam's apple bobbing in his throat as he stares at me as he walks up beside me.

"What?" I finally ask when I can speak again.

His eyes are hooded and dark when he answers my query. "You're just sipping at that beer, and your lips are wrapped around the bottle..." He trails off so I wave my hand, silently asking him to get on with it. "I think I'm jealous of your beer, darlin'."

I pull the glass bottle from my lips with a resounding pop! and glare at the gorgeous cowboy. "Are you seriously trying to use a Brad Paisley line on me, here?" I ask. "I know him and Kimberly personally, so that's not super impressive."

Edward lifts his hands in mock surrender. "Ma'am, I'm just tryin' to get in your pants is all."

Shit. Inhaling sharply, I glance around quickly to make sure that no one has heard our exchange. I think we're in the clear until I catch Rose-Mae's smug gaze. Double shit. Instead of saying anything to me, though, she just turns around and points to the tour bus from behind her back.

Oh, sweet Jesus. Ever since Jake headed for Hollywood-land, Rose-Mae has been trying to set me up with one guy after another. Usually, she sends rednecks my way—which doesn't ever work out since mossy oak and neon orange don't look good on me—so I guess she figures it wouldn't hurt to try a cowboy.

"What has possessed you to act so cocky to someone you've just met, anyway?" I ask when I look at him again.

"Respectfully, ma'am, I've seen you in concert in Wyoming several times over the last few years. And, while I haven't had the pleasure of meetin' you in person 'til now, you're the most beautiful lady I've ever seen." His face is full of honesty and I find myself smiling at his admission. "As far as being 'cocky,'" he then says, and I bite my lip as the word slides out of his mouth, imagining what I saw in his pants a few minutes ago sliding in and out of my mouth. "I'll give you as much of it as you want. You can tell me to go away right now, or you can take me somewhere private so I can show you what I'd like to do to your sexy body with my cock."

I can feel my face flame, but I trample down my nerves.

"I promise you'll like it," he says "Besides, I'd love to hear your beautiful voice singing praises of my cock when it's deep inside of you."

My nostrils flare as I take a deep breath. He wants a quick fuck? Fine. A night with a famous singer? All right. I'll give him what he wants, because he has me wanting him more than I've ever wanted anyone or anything in my life.

I begin walking toward the limousine, which is parked behind the Stampede Grounds, but when I realize that Edward isn't following me, I turn back around. He's just standing where I left him with a dejected look on his face.

"Well?" I question. "Are you coming?"

And just like that, the evil, naughty smile is back. "We'll both be comin' soon, darlin'. Don't rush it." My mouth drops open. This man is a brazen, cocky ass. And, Goddammit, I want him. Badly.

When he reaches me and sweeps me up into a panty-melting kiss, I feel my insides liquefying. He's too hot for anyone's good—especially mine—but I'm sure as hell not stopping him now. Not a chance in hell. My body is ringing for him like a bell, and I won't be satisfied until he's buried deep inside of me and I'm having an orgasm around his cock. Or five.

"We don't have to go anywhere fancy, sugar," Edward says when he pulls back. "I have my camper set up just out there." He points to the area behind the arena where there are tons of tents and RVs.

With a huff, I push away from his arms and walk past the limo. "Fine." Then I realize I'm not sure where to go. "Um, lead the way, mister."

"Baby," he says before shooting a wink at me. "I'll lead you every step of the way, with my hands on your hips as I pull your sweet, tight body over—"

"Hey, cowpoke," I say, cutting him off. "Cool it on the dirty talk. Take me to your place before I throw you onto the ground right here." At the rate we're going, foreplay is going to be absolutely unnecessary, and, frankly, I want him to have to work for it. At least a little bit.



I couldn't take my eyes off of her as she danced around that stage. God, she's even more beautiful than the vision in my memory. But, of course, she doesn't remember me. Why would she? Even though she came to the church with her cousins for music lessons, they didn't attend services. She would've had no idea that I was the pastor's son. I could tell when I told her my name that she didn't know that I was Katie's brother, either.

I remember the first time I saw her. I was almost twenty and she was fifteen. There to get my pickup since we'd driven Pa's on the way home that afternoon, I opened the back door of the church only to be met with the most angelic voice I'd ever heard. It sounded like a choir of seraphim wrapped in the pipes of one young girl. And, God, when I looked at her face, I knew I'd be lost to other women forever. She was the most beautiful creature I'd ever seen.

For two more hours, I'd waited in Pa's office at the church, listening to her beautiful voice until they'd finally left. Sister Clearwater had been startled to see me there, but when I asked after the girl with the voice from heaven, she had smiled knowingly at me and given me the information I sought.

Bella Swan. Straight from Denver, her Ma had died years ago, and it sounded like Brother and Sister Hale, Rose-Mae and Jasper's parents, had been basically raising her over the summers.

Our parents were out of town one weekend in August when I was twenty-one, and Katie decided to throw a party at the farm. The Uley kids who lived a mile away helped Katie make the watermelon wine that she served that night. I left her to her own devices, though I was secretly monitoring the party the entire time. When Bella Swan tired to climb on Old Blue, Pa's plowing horse, he bucked her off. I rushed outside, terrified that she was dead. Of course, she wasn't, but she did dislocate her shoulder. I popped it back into place when she begged me not to take her to the hospital, and she slept the rest of the night on the sofa in the family room.

At twenty-three I'd already owned my own ranch for two years, and when she turned eighteen—and was finally old enough for me to date her—she showed up with a boyfriend. Instead of asking her out when she was up in Laramie that summer, I stayed back, attending their concerts and watching her (in a non-creepy way) galavant around with the giant douchebag from Denver.

But, when I'd heard that their country-wide tour was wrapping up here in Cheyenne, I jumped at the chance to see her again. Of course, like any proper Wyoming cowboy, I listen exclusively to country music, and every time I hear her voice fill my car stereo I immediately think about what I want to say the next time I see her. And, look, here she is, right in beside me now.

So, the things I've been saying to her tonight aren't necessarily something I should be proud of. My Ma would be mad as a hornet if she knew what I'd been dishing out. But, hell, Bella is following me so I'd say it's a win.

We walk toward our destination in relative silence. This is especially noticeable when compared to all the indecent things I've allowed out of my mouth in the last hour. And I don't want to let her get away just yet, so I turn to her as soon as we reach the beast of a camper and pull her in for another deep kiss. Her mouth tastes like apple pie, whiskey, and beer. I wonder if her other lips taste as delectable. Thankfully, I'm about to find out.

Because that's the very first thing I'm doing—tasting the pussy that I've been dreaming of for five years. When I was standing under her while she was up on the stage, I could see a hint of maroon lace panties every time she moved. God, she is so enticing.

I unlock the door to the camper and open it so that she can go in before me. But this gorgeous, famous woman suddenly seems shy. I'll have to remedy that quickly.

We're standing in the dark of my makeshift traveling home, and the only bit of light is a muted yellow from the campfires surrounding us and coming in through the open blinds. I watch her tuck a piece of her hair behind her ear and pull the mass of it over her left shoulder, exposing her shoulder and neck to me. A beautiful tattoo of a sunflower sits right on her shoulder blade, begging me to kiss it.

And I do. As soon as my lips touch her heated skin, our bodies are alive and free, like the mustangs running through the tall prairie grasses. My hands wrap around her waist, feeling the soft cotton of her dress as I skim up over her breasts and then drop down to cup the hot space where her thighs meet.

Her gasp resonates in the small space, and I continue my ministrations on her neck as I slowly lift up the hem of her dress. Bunching it up in my left hand allows me to put my other to good use, feeling the smooth skin of her thighs and the lace of her moist panties. When I push them to the side and sink two of my fingers in her wet heat, she cries out and trembles around me.

"I've got you, darlin'," I whisper against her skin, feathering kisses up to her ear. Bella turns, spinning on my fingers that are buried deep inside of her. That alone was one of the hottest things I've ever felt. Well, that is until she hitches her leg up over my hip and grabs hold of my American flag belt buckle as she begins to grind on my palm and my Wranglers.

My thumb circles her swollen clit until her hips are bucking against me with abandon. I plunge another finger into her dripping opening at the same moment I press down on her bundle of nerves. Her head falls back and her mouth opens as the orgasm tears through her body, squeezing the hell out of my fingers in the most fantastic way.

I swallow her gasps and cries of bliss with my lips as I slip my fingers out. Pulling away, I close my eyes and lift my hand to my mouth, sucking her essence off of each digit. I was right; she's so damn delicious.

"Uh!" I hear her pout and my eyes fly open to see what's wrong. "I was going to do that for you," she says with a sinful smile on her lips. It takes a moment for her words to register in my lust-drunk brain. But, when she snatches my hand back and brings it between her legs before lifting two fingers into her own mouth, I almost come in my pants like a teenager.

Fuck me. Now.

"I think that's the idea, cowboy," Bella says with a wink. Apparently, I've now lost my own brain-to-mouth filter.

When I finally get her onto her back on my bed, and I've tossed her boots somewhere behind me, I push her dress up under her tits. At the first rip of her panties, Bella's head snaps up and she glares at me with a feisty, brown-eyed stare. The threat in her eyes doesn't have its desired effect though, because a jolt of lust shoots straight to my dick.

"I told you I was going to tie you up with these, baby," I remind her with a wink. And I do. Before she can protest, I lift her legs to my shoulder and have her ankles knotted together with the moist fabric. I watch her hooded eyes as she stares at my hand sliding the zipper down on my jeans.

"Condom," Bella says through an unsteady breath when I kick them off. She licks her lips like she desperately wants a taste. Later, baby.

"Way ahead of you, darlin'." Smiling, I pull a strip of foil packets from the table beside the bed and tear one open before rolling it on. Opening her knees enough to place one on each of my shoulders, I brush the head of my cock against her entrance, coating myself in her wetness.

"Enough teasing me, Edward," the beauty beneath me pants. She's right. No more teasing for either of us.

The moment I sink into her is rapturous. I've seen shooting stars in the dark out on the range when I'm driving the cattle, but that...that has nothing on this. Bella's body was made for mine, and the light I see dancing behind my closed eyelids proves that to me.

"Oh!" Her cry draws my eyes open. I'm the luckiest son of a bitch on earth as I watch her rubbing furiously at her clit before she comes undone around me. The way she squeezed around my fingers before is now even tighter as she milks my cock for all its worth.

"Yes!" I shout as the first spurt of semen shoots from the tip of my cock. "Bella!"



The sunrise bleeds through the open blinds, warming my skin from the chill of the early Wyoming morning. Birds are beginning to wake up and sing praises to the dawn. I blink against the invading brightness through heavy eyelids. Morning came far too quickly.

When Edward finally let me fall asleep after the final round of our sexcapade when he straddled my thighs and drove himself deep inside of me while I laid on my stomach, he slung his arm tightly around my lower back and held me snuggly to him all night. I gently lift my head to look over at him as he snores softly, and I feel my breath catch in my throat once again. I'm so tempted to reach out and allow my fingers to travel the plains of his sculpted chest and solid, rippling abdomen, but I still my hand before it comes into contact with his skin.

Five months ago, we were playing a concert for the soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The show had gone great—you know how enthusiastic soldiers are when a pretty girl comes around—and we spent the night partying with them. One of the guys, James Brensen, got really handsy with me and ended up slipping something into my drink. I didn't realize, though, until I began to feel really weird. Emmett ended up stopping James from putting me into a cab, and they got into a huge brawl out in the parking lot. The Military Police were called and James was arrested, court-martialed, and subsequently dishonorably discharged.

Even though no damage had been done, I've become very leery of being alone with people I don't know. Except last night. I hadn't been thinking straight. Drunk off too much whiskey and too many dirty words, I spent the night with a man I didn't even know.

Stress boiled up in my blood. I shouldn't ever have stayed here all night. Surely, Rose-Mae and Jasper are worrying their heads off. As carefully as possible, I slip from under the weight of his arm. I find my dress easily enough, but my boots are another story entirely. One is on the fold out dining table while the other was haphazardly tossed down the stairs by the door. When I catch site of my reflection in the small mirror beside the closet, I see how very well fucked I look. My hair is a mess from where he buried his fingers into it when I had my mouth full of his cock, and my mascara is smeared from our sweaty exploits. Licking my fingers, I try to wipe off as much of if as I can, then I prepare myself for the Walk of Shame through the campground.

Really, I'm not running away. If he had woken up when I was getting ready to leave, I would have talked to him, kissed him, and thanked him before getting the hell out. But he didn't, and I have things to do and people to see. A quick glance at my phone tells me that the rodeo is in eight hours. No time to spare...right? The guilty truth that there is more than enough time to spare flares through my mind, but I trample it down. I can't stay. Edward had wanted a night with me, and he got what he asked for.

Today is a new day, and I need to focus on the job I have to do.


"Up next, ladies and gentleman, is the bareback competition!" I know that's my cue as I listen to the announcer, and I make my way toward the judge's platform.

I'm glad that it's warm enough to wear my shorts today, but still cool enough to don my Roar floral yoke shirt with the sleeves rolled up. I almost wore one of my cotton dresses, but decided against it when I felt how the wind that was whipping up. My tall, brown cowgirl boots are definitely appropriate for today's events.

Several cowboys take their turns, and only one of them touches the horse with the hand that disqualifies him. These guys train for months, even years, in order to prepare themselves for these competitions. And they're amazing.

"Guys and gals, let's welcome this next bareback rider. He's straight from Laramie." The spectators cheer as their home state is mentioned. "Wyoming's very own Ed Cullen!" My head whips toward the chute on the other side of the small arena. Sure enough, there he is, in all his tan hat and red plaid glory. I can't look away even if I want to.

Even from across the space between us, I can see the fire in his eyes as he stares me down. Fuck. I had no idea that he was a competitor here, though it does make sense; I can't imagine a rancher taking these two weeks off just to come down for the party. No. He's in this for the purse, which is several thousands of dollars, and for the glory. My insides quake as I think about the truth in that.

I am part of that. Edward had me and now he can add that to his bragging rights—to his prestige. I can just imagine him talking to the other cowboys: "You know that gal from Hankerin', Bella Swan? Well, I saw, I wanted, I conquered, and I was victorious."

Victorious. Which is exactly what he is when the chute opens and he rides out on the very angry, bucking bronco, White Steel. Edward's ride is perfect, just like the rest of him. Utterly and completely flawless. When his score is announced, the applause is reverberating.

And when it's time to present the winnings and the trophy, I slowly make my way through the dirt to the center of the ring. My legs and arms feel numb, but my core is alive and on fire.

I know that the announcer is saying something as Edward makes his way to where I'm standing in the center of the arena. Our eyes are locked together, and I can hardly breathe. He's so...all consuming and his gaze is hypnotic. I'm entranced. That is until I feel the first, cold raindrop hit my skin.

I tear my eyes from him and look up at the angry, rolling clouds that dance over our heads in a threatening swirl of gray and black. Any moment now, it will be a downpour and I'm going to get stuck out here with my fancy boots in the muddy mess.

When Edward sidles up to me, I notice the tan chaps that match his hat. If I thought he couldn't get any hotter, I was sorely mistaken. He's breathtaking, and I can't help but imagine unzipping his jeans and pulling his cock out from between those chaps. Mmm.

The sky unleashes. The rain begins to splatter against me, sending little torrents of water streaming down my face, drenching my locks against my skin and my back. When a bolt of lightning flashes from the clouds above, I thrust the trophy in his face and leap off the podium. The people up in the stands scramble for the exits—anywhere to get away from the metal benches.

"Bella! Wait!" he calls to me, though I can barely hear him as the thunder rolls around us. I try to make my way through the mud, but I feel my legs sinking deeper and deeper with each step. Daddy always referred to the rumbling thunder as the tater wagon, and the lightning as God's fireworks. That was his way of keeping me from being afraid as a little girl. Now, I feel so exposed out here, knowing that a bolt could strike me at any moment.

Suddenly, though, I'm swept up into strong arms. Edward runs with me over the muddy ground and out the cattle gate until we're safely hidden under some stands. No one is on this side of them, since only the west ones were open for admission, and we're left alone to wait out the storm.

Edward places me on my feet before removing his hat and shaking the raindrops off of it. We're both soaked through and I'm shivering.

"Look, I know it's wet," he says as he shrugs out of his shirt and offers it to me. Of course, this leaves him completely bare from the waist up, and I'm given a delectable view of the V that sinks down below his belt and into his Wranglers. "But this might keep you a little warmer." I take it gratefully, whispering my thanks. His eyes drink me in. "You look good in my shirt."

I glance up at him in confusion. That sounded...intimate...and very unlike the dirty words that came out of his mouth last night. "Why are you doin' this?" I ask.

"Why not?" he counters with a shrug and a cocked eyebrow.

"Well... I left you this morning, so I don't know why you're helping me now." The guilt of walking away from him is only burdened further by the fact that he's so damn kind to me.

The roguish smirk is back, and my stomach begins to coil tightly with need. "I'm a bronc rider and you didn't think that I'd know that the prettiest female country singer in the world would be presentin' the award?" he questions. I guess I hadn't thought of that.

He stalks toward me like an angry bull until my back hits the brick wall. Edward's hands are on either side of my face. When he brings his mouth close to my own, his words whisper against my skin. "But, since you reminded me of how mean it was to make me wake up on my own, I guess I'll have to tell you what I had planned for you this morning."

My eyes snap to his deep green ones. "L-like what?" I can't stop myself from asking. Because, I know that deep down, I'm desperate for the dirty words that will turn me into a wet mess.

His left hand slips into my damp, tangled hair and his lower body presses into mine, pinning me to the wall with his growing erection. "Well," he begins softly, but his voice grows huskier and deeper with each word. "I was hoping to wake you up with my tongue buried in your pretty pink pussy and my whiskers scratching the hell outta your soft thighs." I swallow thickly and try to clench my legs together for some friction before I realize that his knee is firmly planted between them. Instead, I resume something from last night's excursions and begin to rub against his denim-covered leg once again. Something about his jeans sends the perfect friction straight to my clit.

Edward's eyes snap down to watch my movements. "See how wet you are already?" he asks. "You're dryin' out my jeans with your heat, baby." A blush colors my cheeks, but he continues anyway. "After I quenched my thirst on your pussy, I was going to pull you on top of me and teach you all about riding a bronc. Ah, darlin', it would have been the ride of your life. You would have dug your red fingernails into my chest while I bucked up into your sexy little body."

I rub harder against the rough, damp fabric.

"I want to brand your pussy so that the world knows that you're mine, baby. Because that's exactly what you are," he tells me. "You're mine."

The champion cowboy sinks to his knees before me, snapping the button of my jean shorts and lowering them and my purple panties down my legs and over my muddy boots. Edward lifts my left foot onto his shoulder before attaching his lips to my dripping core.

Holy God almighty. He's the dirtiest, most wonderful man I've ever had. His lips and tongue work magically against my flesh and I'm so, so close. Edward has me right on the edge when he pulls back to look at me.

"I want you to ride my face like you would ride my cock if it was deep inside of you at this moment. Use my chin, my tongue, my lips, my nose—whatever you want—until you come apart on me, beautiful."

So, I do. And when I come all over his face, I see angels dancing in heaven, and stars and planets zipping around the sun. My response to his body and his touch is immaculate. In the past twenty-four hours, I've had nearly a dozen orgasms, and I know that he is the only reason. I wouldn't—couldn't—be like this with anyone else.

I want, so desperately, to drop to my knees and take him in my mouth like I did last night, but he's a mess from carrying me through the med. I glance over his shoulder as he stands up and see that the rain is letting up. Welcome to Wyoming. It will downpour for fifteen minutes and be sunshine and blue skies right after. It seems we've found the sun again.

"Come to the carnival with me?" I didn't even realize that I'd asked until a smile lit his face. Actually, I am supposed to be going home to Denver tonight, but since I'm not really on any kind of serious schedule, I don't think that it will hurt to leave tomorrow instead.

"Why don't I head back to the camper and get changed," he says, motioning to his muddy jeans. Then he points to my shorts, which I've since pulled back into place, and grins. I look down, noticing the dirt caked to them from where I was rubbing up on his thigh. "You'd better get changed too."

Blushing furiously, I start to turn in the opposite direction than he'll be going, but stop. He's still just standing there, watching me go. With determination, I spin back to him and run into his waiting arms. Our lips connect in the best of kisses. And, suddenly, I urgently hope that tonight isn't the end for us.

I want to see him every time I'm up here in Wyoming, want him to come down to Denver to see me. I want him to want me—not just for a night or a summer romance—for always.

By the time I make it back to the bus, our heated kiss still lingers on my lips. We've agreed to meet on the Carnival Midway in an hour. I feel as giddy as a teenager. There is something about that dirty, sexy cowboy that has me all twisted up on the inside. I pull out my key to let myself onto the bus, but I don't need it when the door swings open. Rose-Mae stares knowingly at me as I climb the steps with a small wave of my hand.

"I heard about your bareback rider at the rodeo," she says. I blush but don't answer her unspoken query. "Are you ready to head back to Denver today?"

Fumbling around with my suitcase full of clothes and looking for something beautiful to wear tonight, I shrug. "I think I'll stay 'til tonight at least. I'm going to head over to the Midway for a while."

Rose-Mae's eyebrow arches in humor. "And would Mr. Cullen be meeting you there, by any chance?"

"Perhaps," I say nonchalantly. Then it dawns on me, though, that I never told her his name. When I stopped by earlier today, she and Emmett weren't around so I didn't get to tell her about my cowboy. "Wait, how did you know he was in the rodeo? And how do you know who he is?"

The humor stops as confusion registers on her face. "Why wouldn't I know him? You know him, too. His daddy is the preacher over at Rolling Hills Church." That's the church that we used to take music lessons at, but I don't remember ever meeting him before. I shake my head, but Rose-Mae continues. "He's owned the ranch that borders ours for seven years. We used to see him all the time, working with his cattle, when we went riding."

My mind flashes back to the long gone days of summer vacations. Back then, my mind had been filled only with music. I know that I'd recall him if we'd ever met before, but his face doesn't ring a bell. "He told me that he's been to some of our shows, but he didn't mention anything about knowing me in the past."

"Bell, do you remember the first time we went out to Katie's family farm and got drunk on watermelon wine?" Rose-Mae asks.

"Of course I remember. We were seventeen and I hadn't had alcohol before. I tried to climb up on that huge stallion they had and ended up getting bucked off. I dislocated my shoulder when I tried to stop the fall. I couldn't play the guitar for over 3 months!" The memory still makes me angry at myself for being so stupid.

Rose-Mae smirked at the recollection. "Do you remember when Katie's big brother ended up setting your shoulder back into place when you cried and begged not to go to the hospital, because you knew that Uncle Charlie would end up finding out that you'd been drinking?"

I nodded. Daddy was a policeman in Parker and there was no way in hell that I was going to let him find out about me drinking that alcohol. The memory was vague and fuzzy thanks to the sweet pink wine and the pain from my shoulder. "I remember the accident, but not much afterward."

"Well, Katie is Katie Cullen, honey. Edward is her big brother. Their Mama and Daddy, Carl and Essie, own that farm."

"Oh..." I say as my voice trails off as the pieces fit together in my mind. "Why don't I remember him?"

Rose-Mae shrugs, but a smile graces her lips. "You and Jake—the horse's ass—got together before the next summer, and Edward was older anyway. I think he was like twenty-one or something when you fell off the horse, so it wasn't like you were going to date him. I remember when he came over to talk to my daddy and asked if you would want to go to the ice cream social one time. Daddy scared him off for ya." Rose-Mae tosses me a wink, but I can't believe what I'm hearing.

"So this cowboy has been following me around for years, just waiting to swoop in?" I ask in disbelief. The part of me that is so into him that I ache wants to kiss him for coming after me, but the other part of me—the side that's a famous singer and is all too aware of weirdos in the world—is freaking out.

When Rose-Mae hears my words, she obviously doesn't hear the panic in my voice. "I wouldn't say that, Bell. We know their family. He's obviously just had a crush on you for a while. I think it's cute."

"Cute? It's weird, Rose-Mae!" I feel the trepidation rising in my throat. Ever since that crazy stalker, James, slipped Rohypnol to me down in North Carolina, I've been pretty cautious about who I let myself get close to. Edward is the first guy that I've let my guard down with since Jake and I broke up, and yet he's proving to scare me more than James ever did. I know its because I really like Edward and I'm so disappointed that he hasn't been honest with me.

Before she can say anything else to me, I walk past Rose-Mae and into our little bathroom to change. I'm going to go talk to him and see what he has to say for himself. I slip into my tight Cruel Girl jeans and tuck the legs into my turquoise Justin boots. Quickly, I braid my long hair and freshen up my makeup, adding some ruby-red lipstick.

"Bell," Rose-Mae says with a hint of warning in her voice as I storm off the bus. "Don't do something you'll regret. Hear the boy out. He isn't that asshole soldier from Fort Bragg, honey."

I don't respond as I march away from the bus and through the back entrance of the carnival. It's still too early to meet him on the midway, but I need some liquid courage. There's a VIP bar around the corner, so I stop there and order a shot of whiskey. The blazing liquid is surprisingly soothing as it goes down and flows through my blood.

"I have to tell ya, the way you toss back whiskey makes me want to soak my cock in it just so you can pull it down your throat, too." My hands grip the edge of the bar as his voice registers in my ears, and his words burn me up hotter than the Jack Daniels. He keeps ending up in the same place as me. Rose-Mae doesn't think that he's a stalker, and maybe he isn't, but he definitely seems obsessed. And now I feel claustrophobia sinking in around me.

"What's wrong, darlin'?" Edward asks as he steps beside me. "Not my best line?" His dangerous smile is in full bloom once again.

"How'd you know I'd be here, Edward?" I question without addressing the sexy words he spoke to me.

His eyebrows furrow and he leans on the bar. God, he looks good. He must have a plethora of Wranglers. These are a dark wash. But his black, alligator skin boots are fucking majestic. Those babies definitely cost him a pretty penny. I remember when I worked at Sheplers Western Wear during high school and all the wealthier cowboys would come in and special order boots like that.

"I didn't know you'd be here at all. I just came to get a drink before we were supposed to meet. I guess we had the same idea, darlin'," he tells me. "But lucky me. Maybe we can fuck behind the bar before we go ride the ferris wheel. Or maybe I'll just fuck you on the ferris wheel."

My breath catches in my throat. Quickly, I glance around to make sure that no one heard what he said. No such luck. The lady to Edward's left is shooting jealous, angry looks my way.

I force my eyes back to his. "I don't think that's a good idea, right now," I say, though my body and mind are warring with each other.

"Is something wrong, beautiful?" My nonexistent poker face gives me away. No wonder Jasper and Emmett love it when I agree to play Texas Hold'em with them. Dammit.

So, I lie. "It's been a overwhelming couple of days," I say. Maybe that will satisfy him for a little while.

And I'm right. He grins and sweeps down to place a whiskey flavored kiss on my lips. "I know, darlin'. Let's get out of here. I know you're tired, but I don't want the night to end too early. Come dancin' with me."

His voice is my undoing. I find myself nodding in agreement, and before I even fully register what we're doing, Edward is pulling me behind him out of the tent of the makeshift bar. We don't slow down until we get to a gated off area with a dance floor in the middle. A band is playing classic country music and people are dancing and laughing and singing.

"How much?" Edward asks the man at the gate.

"Ten each," comes the reply. Edward fishes a twenty out of his wallet and hands it over as the man opens the gate.

Ushering us in, Edward immediately pulls us into the middle of the floor and begins to spin me around. The banjo music fills the air, and my braid whips around as he whirls me about.

"You're a great dancer, baby," Edward compliments with his signature grin. I want to lie and tell him its because I've had so much practice, but the truth is that he is the great one. It's all about the guy leading the dancing, and Edward is an expert. He reaches around my back and squeezes my ass. "Lord, your Honky Tonk badonkadonk is so yummy in these jeans, Bella. It makes me want to do all kinds of things to it with my fingers next time I'm behind you. Most of them involve filling you up in every possible way. I promise you'll like my thumb back there."

I shudder at the lustful and playful tone of his voice. But I can't muster up the enthusiasm I had yesterday or this afternoon. "Thanks," comes my lame reply.

"Hey," Edward says as he stops moving and pulls me against him. Holding my chin, he tilts my face up so he can see my eyes. The fact that he's a good head taller than me has my head pointed straight to the sky. "I know there's something wrong, darlin'. Just tell me."

If he really wants me to say it, then I will. Taking a deep, steadying breath, I let it spill out. "Why didn't you tell me that you're Katie's big brother?" I can feel Edward's muscles freeze and tense underneath me, but I go on. "Why didn't you mention that you own the land next to my Aunt LaRae and Uncle Bobby-Joe's ranch?"

"I-I didn't mean to not tell you, Bella," he says taking a stuttering breath.

"And you helped me out that night when I got hurt. Have you been stalking me, Edward?" I can't help myself as the question slips out of my mouth. I have to know.

Edward glances around nervously, obviously realizing that the middle of the dance floor isn't the appropriate place for this conversation. Grabbing my hand, he pulls me to the side of the floor. "It isn't like that, Bella," he tells me. There's a pleading in his voice that feels like it's strangling my heart. "I was too old for you back then, and when it finally was acceptable, you had that boyfriend with the long black hair and—"

"So you were following me?" I shriek. Oh my God. This is just getting worse.

"No!" he exclaims as worry fills his voice. "I just... Look, Laramie isn't a big place. I would see you two around town. And I wanted to ask you out but you were with him, and I reckon the timin' was never right. Then you went on tour and I thought we'd never have a shot. Your aunt told me that you and that guy broke up a while ago."

"Wait, my Aunt LaRae was in on this, too?" I ask, horror filling me. It's bad enough that he's been following me around for years, but now I discover that my family has been meddling with my love life as well.

Edward shrugs and sighs in frustration. "She didn't mean anything bad by it, Bella. Sister Hale is a smart lady and she could see that I'd taken a likin' to you, so she casually mentioned it in passing. She even told me that y'all were playin' up here yesterday. I knew this was my shot."

"Your shot?" I nearly scream. "You couldn't have just waited 'til I was back in Laramie and asked me out? You couldn't have just told me the fucking truth this whole time, or who the hell you were? What were you trying to prove, that I was easy and would open my legs for any damn cowboy who could talk dirty to me?" The dam has broken and the words tumble out of my mouth.

He's shaking his head in alarm, but I won't buy what he's selling. "Bella, not at all. I just wanted to show you what we could be together. You can't tell me that it wasn't glorious."

"Yes, it was great—the best night of my life," I admit through an angry growl. "But this is just too much. I think I need some space."

"No, come on, Bella," Edward begs. His green eyes are wide in shock. "Give us a shot. Please? This was never supposed to be only one night."

My jaw clenches and I square my shoulders. "Maybe not for you, Edward, but that's all I thought it was," I lie. I wanted more. Now, though, all I want is room to breathe. "I have to go. Don't come after me if you know what's good for you."

Walking away from him at this moment is the hardest thing I've ever done. It feels like a lasso is wrapped around my heart, pulling and dragging me back to him. But I can't turn around. I have to clear my head.

Maybe one day I'll be ready to find him again.



The National Western Stock Show, Denver

After leaving Cheyenne six months ago, I haven't been back to Wyoming. I used to spend months at a time up there, and I think I'm beginning to have wide-open-space withdrawals. Rose-Mae and Emmett have been staying with me at my new Highlands Ranch home for the winter so that we can all spend time together. With Em's big Ford pickup, they helped me move my stuff from my downtown Denver apartment into the house, and it's been nice having my cousin around.

Rose-Mae and Emmett ran off and eloped in Vegas three months back and she's already knocked up. I can't deny the glow on her face though. She's more beautiful than I've ever seen her—and the guest bathroom is spotless from Emmett cleaning up after every time she pukes.

I sang the National Anthem before the rodeo started and I've been busy trying to not watch. He's here today. As soon as I agreed to sing the anthem, our manager emailed me a list of the competitors so I could check for his name. Even though it was on there, I steeled myself and decided I wouldn't back out.

We haven't spoken since the day I left Cheyenne, but my aunt tells me that he's asked after me several times. She uses the excuses I've given her to tell him every time, but the son of a bitch is pretty damn persistent. Aunt LaRae does my bidding, but that doesn't stop her from lecturing me about the way I'm treating him. According to her, Edward is a wonderful young man with a great head on his shoulders.

Over the past months, I've spent some time thinking about Edward. I take that back. I've spent almost all of my time thinking about Edward. He fills my thoughts, my dreams, and my fantasies. I know it's unhealthy, but I can't help myself.

Constantly, I replay what happened between us, and each time it becomes less and less scary. Of course, in that moment, the James-scare had still been fresh in my mind, and I wasn't taking any chances. Instead of hearing negativity from the Hale clan, all I seem to get is an earful singing Edward Cullen's praises.

I guess I'll find out for myself since I plan on talking to him today. Soon, in fact, since the rodeo just ended. Glad that I didn't watch any of it, I wait by the horse stalls as the cowboys begin to make their way in.

The blue dress and red Lucchese boots give me a boost of confidence that I so desperately need. I lean casually against the wood of the stable and take a deep breath. The smell of the manure doesn't usually bother me after years on the ranch, but right now the heavy scent only adds to my nerves. And when I see him the air around me only thickens as his presence fills it.

"That wasn't your best ride, Cullen!" one of the cowboys teases from behind him, and runs smack into his back when Edward stops dead in his tracks. He's spotted me.

The shock registers on his face as he takes me in. I lift my hand to offer a small wave. Cowboys are strolling past me, gaping with their mouths hanging open. They all know who I am. I can tell they want to stop to ask for my autograph, but one look at Edward's face sends them on their way.

Slowly—devastatingly slowly—he sidles up to me. "Bella."

The way he says my name sounds more like a question than a greeting, but I smile softly anyway. "Howdy, Edward."

His face is a mask of neutrality as silence breaks out between us. Neither of us is exactly sure what to say, and even though I've practiced my speech sixteen times (believe me, I counted), the words escape me.

Finally, Edward is the first to break the silence. "What are you doing down here? It isn't safe."

I smirk at the thought. "You do remember that I practically grew up on a ranch, right? I can handle some horse shit, cowboy."

"Oh, that's so sexy," he says...teasingly? I hope this is a good sign. "I distinctly recall you fallin' off a horse and onto your ass, so I wouldn't be so cocky if I were you, Bella." His words stir my heart and fuel the hope that I've planted deep inside of my soul.

"And I distinctly remember you offering to teach me how to properly ride a bucking bronco, Edward," I say with an arched eyebrow. I wait for that devilish smirk to appear on his face. When it does, it's more tremendous than I remembered. And just like that, the awkwardness between us falls away like the dust off our boots.

"So that's why you're here, huh?" he asks. "Just yearnin' to go for another ride on this cowboy?"

Swallowing thickly, I shake my head. "No. I mean...yeah, but it's something else."

"Like what?" he questions curiously.

I lift my hands up his muscled forearms, over his massive biceps that have come from years of farming and ranching, and up over his jaw. With my right hand, I push his buffalo felt Stetson off and hold on tight to it. My other hand tangles into his sweaty hair. "I want to try something," I whisper as I pull his lips down to meet mine.



Outside Laramie on the Red Creek Ranch

Clutching my bouquet of harebell and primrose wildflowers, I smile up at my daddy and take the first the first step with him down the makeshift aisle. We decided to get married here on the ranch where we will be making our home and I couldn't have asked for something more beautiful.

The wooden benches which Edward made from some of the dead trees that he had chopped down on the property, sit perfectly in the grass. Our family and friends smile and rise to stand as I walk by. They stare at me and my white satin and lace dress as I take in my groom. His loving gaze sets me ablaze. Edward isn't wearing his hat right now, and his hair looks fiery as the sun illuminates it.

Rose-Mae and Katie Cullen are my bridesmaids, and they're wearing the turquoise that I love so much. They're holding the same type of flowers that I am since we gathered them this morning. Edward's daddy, who's asked me to call him "Pa," is officiating the wedding for us. My daddy sat beside Edward's weepy-eyed ma after he walked me down the aisle.

After the ceremony where we've promised ourselves to each other forever, we dance the night away to the banjo music from Mississippi Queen's Mistake. We were so pleased that they'd be attending the wedding in the first place, but when they offered to have their backup band play for the reception, I was floored.

Daddy and Sister Clearwater seem to be hitting it off as he swings her around the dance floor. He's been alone for too long, so if he wants to take up with Sue, he'll definitely have my blessing.

Smiling widely, I turn back to my new husband. Edward's eyes are full of mischief and my favorite smirk graces his lips.

"Come with me, wife," he demands, whispering against my neck. I nod, unable to find words as lust floods my body.

He pulls me along with him until we are behind an old cabin. It's the original house from when this land was first homesteaded in 1883. Edward refuses to tear down the old building. Instead, he promises to fix it up and make it a playhouse for our kids...whenever they come along anyway. He's made me guarantee him two strapping boys who'll be able to help their daddy out on the ranch, and at least one girl for myself. He says that he wants her to have her mama's voice. We'll see about that.

When Edward pushes me up against the log wall and lifts up the hem of my wedding dress, I swat at his arm.

"Edward!" I protest. "You're getting my dress dirty, and they're going to come looking for us. Can't you wait for a little while?"

With an evil twinkle in his grass green eyes, he shakes his head slowly and sinks two fingers up inside of me. "I can't wait another moment, Bella. Now that you're mine, I'll have you whenever, wherever, I please. I told you I was going to brand this pussy, didn't I?" he asks, curling his fingers so they hit that magical spot that makes my legs shake.

I nod, dropping my head back against the cabin wall. "Yes, Edward. Mmmm..."

"You're mine, now and forever, darlin'."





Two years later

"Did you watch Pa out there, baby girl?" Edward asks our daughter as he takes her from my arms. Our little, one-year-old, red-headed beauty coos up at her daddy. He stole her heart much quicker than he stole mine.

"Edward!" I scold playfully. "You're going to get Paisley's dress dirty." He'd fallen off the bronc and got his clothes all filthy, but at least he had made it for the whole eight seconds.

I took the year off of touring after I had our girl, but Hankerin's first concert is about to kick off at Frontier Days next month. I can't wait to get back up there and sing. Rose-Mae, Jasper, and I have written a bunch of new songs since we've been off the road. Half of them are about our kids, but Jasper's also written a few love songs to his Alice.

"Oh, come on, darlin'," Edward says. "She doesn't care, as long as she's got her pa, that's all she cares about."

"I feel the same way," I tell him with a wink. "As long as I've got her pa, that's all I care about, too."

"I guess we'd better get started on makin' Paisley a brother or two, huh, Bell?" he asks in a husky, panty-melting voice.

Swallowing thickly, I nod. "I guess we'd better."

Devilish grin firmly in place, Edward places Paisley on his hip and tucks me under his other arm for an earth-shattering, ground-quaking kiss.

I'm so in love with my dirty talking cowboy. He just better learn to control his mouth before the kids are old enough to understand the naughty things he says to their mama.

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Public voting: August 13 2013 to 27 August 2013.