Shoulda Been a Cowboy (Rough Riders 7) - Page 20

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Domini’s hair obscured her face while she righted her dress. She didn’t acknowledge him at all.

Screw that. They’d had too many misunderstandings already; he’d be damned if this would be another one.

Cam crowded her against the refrigerator until she looked at him. “I’m sorry, that was a pretty abrupt dismount, huh?”

She allowed a smile. “But the ride was good while it lasted, cowboy.”

“I’m not a cowboy, I’m a cop. In fact, that’s what the call was about. Another deputy is sick, they’re shorthanded so I’ve been drafted to duty.” He smoothed her hair back from her face. “Which is too bad because I was kinda hoping we could hang out the rest of the night.”

“You liked beating me at cards that much?”

I liked being with you that much. Too much. He let his lips toy with hers. “I knew the sex would be smokin’ hot between us.”

Domini peered up at him. “You sure it wasn’t…ho-hum for you?”

“Ho-hum? Jesus. My c**k gets as hard as a f**king bullet if you so much as look at me, Domini. I’ve f**ked you twice in an hour. If I wasn’t goin’ to work, I’d probably f**k you at least twice more. So ho-hum is the last goddamn way it is between us.”

A flirty, smug smile tilted her lips. “Good to know. You can make it up to me later. Now put your shirt on, Deputy.”

Cam grabbed his uniform. He’d change at the station. Once again Domini sat right next to him in the truck, constantly touching him, but not saying much.

***

It never failed. This shit always happened on his shift. Even when it was a fill-in shift.

Since they were short-staffed, both he and Sheriff Shortbull responded to the 10-54.

The red and blue lights threw shadows on the pavement. His patrol car sat sideways in the road, Sheriff Shortbull’s patrol car sat sideways three hundred yards down from his. Between the two vehicles? A herd of cattle. Cattle, which weren’t moving at all, hence the dispatch call.

Cam wiped his brow and punched the talk button on the radio. “Dispatch, how we coming on that cattle prod?”

“With all due respect, Deputy McKay, no one is bringing you a cattle prod.”

“How about a bull whip?”

“That’s a negative, sir.”

“So I’m just supposed to sit here and shoo them outta the road with my bare hands?”

“Deputy, sit tight. The owner is en route.”

“You’ve been saying that for thirty minutes.”

“If you have an issue with the time frame, Deputy McKay, I suggest you bring it up with your cousin, Luke McKay, once he arrives.”

“Ten-four.”

Cam tossed the handset on the seat. Headlights bobbing up the road caught his eye. Too close together to be a truck. He waited and a big Yamaha four-wheeler parked. The driver ripped off the helmet and long brown hair spilled out.

“Jessie? What’re you doin’ here? I thought Luke was coming?” Cam said.

“So did I, but apparently he’s screwing around again, who knows when he’ll make an appearance. You guys have better things to do than to look after our cattle. Especially since Luke was supposed to fix this section of fence last week so this wouldn’t happen.”

“I know you guys are busy, we just don’t want anyone getting hurt.” Two years previous, loose cattle wandering into the road had caused the deaths of a young married couple and their baby. Escaped cattle were a fact of life in Wyoming, but a fact that shouldn’t be ignored.

Jessie reached into the back of the ATV and extracted an enormous pair of bolt cutters. “I’ll cut that bad section of fence away so I can herd the cattle back through it.”

She didn’t wait to hear his opinion on her solution; she just took off on foot. Five minutes later she returned and tossed the cutters in the back end.

“If you guys turn on your sirens, the noise will make them uneasy and I can probably get them rounded up easier.”

“Sure thing.” Cam whistled at the sheriff and relayed the message. Once the sirens were on full blast, the cattle began to get restless. They started to move when Jessie honked and circled them with the ATV. She chased one cow through the broken fence line as a signal for the rest of the cattle to follow.

Within twenty minutes, steaming piles of cow shit were all that was left. Sheriff Shortbull drove off. Just as Cam rounded the front end of the patrol car, another set of headlights approached. The truck parked and the owner jumped from the cab, leaving the vehicle running.

Cam wasn’t particularly surprised to see his cousin, Luke McKay. Although Cam had always gotten along fine with Luke, the man’s late appearance rankled.

“Hey, Cam. Did you round up my cattle?”

“No, we waited on you, but Jessie handled it.”

“Jessie?” Luke’s laugh sounded bitter. “Gotta hand it to her, sometimes that girl shows all sorts of gumption.”

Cam waited for Luke to clarify the condescending comment, and when he didn’t, Cam said, “Gumption or not, Jessie had it under control in no time flat.” No thanks to you. “You should be proud of her for handling it when you weren’t around.

“I can hardly freakin’ wait for the silent treatment the next week because she had to handle it.” Luke rubbed the section of skin between his eyebrows. “Be the smart one in the family, Cam, since you’re the last of your brothers who ain’t wrapped that ball and chain around your ankle. Don’t get married. Ever.”

That shocked the crap out of Cam. He had no clue what he was supposed to say. Luke and Jessie had only been married a couple of years and they were already having problems?

You’d know what was going on if you kept up with family business.

Luke squinted at the gaping hole in the fence line. “I suppose she’ll give me hell about that too.”

Cam thought Luke deserved all kinds of hell, but he didn’t see sweet, soft-spoken Jessie standing up to him. “How long has the fence been down?”

“Why?” Luke’s gaze snapped back to his. “Did Jessie say something to you about it?”

“I’ve got eyes, cuz. I’ll remind you the rest of your damn fences can be falling down all over the place, but it’s your responsibility as a landowner on this section of highway to keep these fences maintained. It’s dangerous to let ’em go.”

“Yeah? Maybe you oughta mention that responsibility to your brother, Cord, as there are plenty of rickety-ass sections of fence line runnin’ along his portion of the highway.”


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