The Cowboy’s Wedding Planner- PROLOGUE
(Wild Heart, Texas)
“I got one condom left, darlin’.” Declan sat up in bed, his voice reaching that dark tenor from lust.
The sight of this beautiful man mesmerized me. “I can’t stop touching you. Everywhere. God, you’re not real.” I ran my hands across his sun-kissed skin, sculpted abs, and taut stomach.
We’d been in this room, in this bed, all weekend. Only stopping for food and wine, followed by walks through my vineyard. Like most Sunday nights, Declan devoured me for hours. From all that lovemaking, his body glistened with sweat, his firm pecs glowing. His chest, shoulder, and even a few neck tattoos sharpened the edges of what most people saw as a mild-mannered Houston businessman.
He tore the condom wrapper open with his teeth and took it in his thick fingers. With such large, rough hands, I never would have guessed he sat at a desk and managed investments for his father’s financial empire in Houston. A job he hated.
“Saddle up, darlin’. I’m going for extra points.” He meant it too.
We’d made love three times tonight already and he didn’t show any signs of slowing down, like a stallion fresh from the wild. He pulled me under him and with our chests pressed together he kissed me.
Slow. Deep. Passionate.
Like he loved me.
Even if he hadn’t told me, I knew I was more than a passing fancy for him. I felt his love deep in my bones, the way he looked at me, the shape his face took when he led me up the stairs in my B&B, how starved he’d been for me. Past the lust in his eyes, I’d seen pure adoration.
Those were only moments in time. We’d connected on other levels. Living in two different cities meant a lot of phone calls. Lots of talking, sharing, opening up about tragedies in our lives, me losing my sister, his bitter relationship with his father.
I ran my fingers through his dark hair. Shorn on the sides and long on top, sweeping down to deep blue eyes that melted me all over. The man turned heads in Houston with those wide shoulders and confident stride.
Here in my hometown, the place we’d been spending hot weekends the past six months, much of it tangled up in this bed, he shined like all the other handsome cowboys around here.
“Darlin’, you taste so damn good.” He sipped at my lips. “I never would have guessed arousal smelled like mint and lavender.”
“Those are all the flowering bushes in the fields leading to the ranch.” 1 pushed my hands down his muscular shoulders, their rippling intensity a shocking thrill.
“This is where I’m leading down to.” He dipped a finger into my sex. “How do you feel? You okay? I went at you pretty hard in that last round.”
“It’s never too much.” I had to give him all he needed when he was here. Days, sometimes weeks went by and I didn’t see him.
But he called me every day. Several times, proving I was never far from his mind.
His mouth captured me again in another searing kiss, claiming me. “You’re mine. You hear me?”
Is that a commitment I hear?
“Yes, Declan. I’m yours, I promise. I don’t want anyone else.” All it took was one kiss from this man six months ago and I’d been a goner.
He grabbed my hand and put it against his chest, his heart beating wildly. “Feel that? That’s what you do to me.” He moved my hand lower, over ridged abs to his beautiful cock. “All of this is yours, darlin’. Every inch of me.”
“I can’t get enough of you.”
“Touch me,” he said, darkly.
I stroked him while he dangled the condom. His lips quirked like a debate raged in his head if he should suggest going bare. I’d say yes if he asked. Anything for Declan Wyatt. His eyes watched me touch him, his hips rocking. All kinds of dirty thoughts filtered through my mind. Did we need protection? I’d just started taking the pill. I wasn’t sure how effective it’d be.
No, better to not take chances.
I wanted this man fair and square.
Declan curved his back, my hand still around his length. He kissed my neck, growling at my touch. He reared up on an elbow and cupped my breast.
“This is so fucking hot.” He teased my nipple, tugging on the tiny gold ring. “Pretending to be a good daddy’s girl under those high fashioned suits and dresses I see you wear all the time. No one knows what you have hiding under all that southern miss manners façade of yours. No one but me.”
“Just you, cowboy.” I kept stroking while his teeth pulled on the nipple ring I got for my twenty-first birthday. Hurt like a mother, but oh the look on Declan’s face when he first saw it. I’d take that pain over and over. I’d endure any kind of pain for this man.
“You ready for me?” He brushed my clit with his thumb. “You’re so warm and wet.”
“For you? Always.” I bit my lip, watching him slide the condom over his impressive length.
“Always,” he whispered and then drove into me with one hard thrust.
Stars popped out behind my closed eyes. The wave of pleasure with a hint of pain from being so used and ridden hard overwhelmed me.
Our bodies moved together, both slick with sweat. God, how he filled me. Relief surged through my body, tangled up with white-hot jabs of ecstasy. Everywhere. From my toes to my eyes. Declan teased me by pulling out slowly, the tip of his cock kissing my clit. The primal ache to come sent electricity through me, fire burning in my veins.
“Please,” I whined, squirming as my entire body throbbed.
“I love when you beg.” He slammed back into me, burying himself so deep. Like he couldn’t get close enough to me.
I cupped his ass, the smooth round globes felt like satin under my fingers. It made me wonder how silky his bare cock would feel in me.
Were we serious enough for that? We were exclusive. I knew that. Knew I’d tamed the Houston heartbreaker.
Knowing I was this gorgeous sexy man’s one and only, I wrapped my legs around his waist. He claimed me so damn relentlessly. He powered through more thrusts then sat up. His hips moved slowly, torturing me as my orgasm fluttered its way into every cell of my body.
The planes of Declan’s abs came to life, rippling with sheens of sweat that made him look even more cut and dangerous. He made love to me for what felt like forever. Thrusting, pulling out, kissing me then pushing back inside. Making me mindless and crazy.
I wanted this to last forever.
I’d found the one, but I couldn’t tell him how I’d fallen so damn hard for him. Didn’t want to put pressure on him. His father was holding his trust fund hostage for some reason. I figured it had to do with him wanting to leave his father’s company. Declan hated working there.
Here in Wild Heart with me, he was free.
“Yes, right there…” My orgasm crashed into me, shattering me again. Wearing me out, but sparking me to life. I’d felt dead for years, a part of me died when my twin sister got thrown from a horse.
“Christ, yes.” Declan held me so damn close as his cock pulsed and throbbed inside me.
Nothing had ever felt so good.
Nothing had ever felt so right.
Finally, it was my damn turn to fall in love with a cowboy and have it all.
“What?” I stared at my father, absorbing the horrific news he just dumped on my head like a pallet of concrete blocks.
My body seized as every muscle tightened and I felt vomit crawling up my throat. The mouthwatering steak I’d devoured last night and the amazing omelet Sierra cooked me herself in her B&B this morning threatened to land right on Daddy’s office carpet.
My father managed to ruin another weekend of heavenly bliss the moment I came back to Houston by thrusting my balls into that vise of his.
My balls in Sierra’s mouth felt one-hundred-times better. What woman did that?
The kind you marry, asshole.
Except, it looked like that would never happen.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” I couldn’t believe the new terms of my trust fund.
The walls of Daddy’s business office closed in around me, the sprawling penthouse suite where he loved to give bad news to people. Me especially, it seemed.
My Aunt Luna snapped at her brother, “Fletcher, pull the cattle prod out of your ass and start listening to what your boy needs.” She sat in one of Daddy’s leather chairs puffing on a cigar.
“The boy doesn’t know what he needs or what’s good for him. And you can’t smoke cigars in my office.” My father grabbed the Cuban from her and dunked it in her whiskey.
No one smoked in the office anymore, but Daddy always had whiskey on hand.
Smirking, Aunt Luna pulled out a pencil-thin brown cigarette.
If only I could defy my father like that. Without losing everything. How Aunt Luna got away with it, I had no clue. As his older sister, she didn’t take any of Daddy’s crap. A widow since the age of forty-five, flush with an ungodly amount of cash from her late husband, she lived her life dead set against answering to another man.
“You only get to live once, Fletcher,” she said after intentionally blowing a smoke ring in his direction. “You lived your life. Now let my nephew live his. And if you’re gonna be a prick about it…” She let the ciggy sit on her lips until she looked at me. “Declan, don’t let your father control your life. Money isn’t everything,” said the woman worth ten billion dollars.
“Money may not be everything to you, dear sister, but Declan’s in need of some cash.” He turned to me with a scowl I knew all too well. “Aren’t you, son? Think I don’t know you already signed those contracts? That security firm you want to run off to and leave my company for has already started purchasing technology, surveillance equipment, everything that firm needs. Not to mention a five-year lease for an office in a pricy building. What are you going to do, Declan? Let down your shooting range buddy? Tell Grant you don’t have your share of the money after all?”
Next, Daddy threatened my Wyatt Bank and Trust company stock, my foundation seats, everything that made me powerful. What many people didn’t know? He paid me a salary of one dollar a year. Dear ol’ Dad didn’t want to justify six figures to his board. All of my expenses got paid, that was it.
I was trapped. And fucked.
“Oh, Fletcher. Give it up,” Aunt Luna said. “Can’t you see he wants to do something decent with his life? Give the boy his money.”
“He doesn’t know what’s good for him. Danica Oaks will put an end to his playboy ways.” He thought my good friend, my very platonic good friend, would clean up my act.
“I’m not a playboy.” Anymore. Sierra cured me of the wicked side of me. Except I couldn’t tell Daddy that. Didn’t want him knowing about her, give him the chance to contaminate Wild Heart or anything around her. She was mine to protect, even from my own father who was used to getting his own way. At any cost. “I’ve really had enough of you and Mama insisting I marry Danica. If you’re afraid I’ll marry a woman without social standing, I found a good woman who comes from a noble family and is wealthy in her own right.” I could talk in generalities. As if that was enough to convince him to stop this insane plan of his.
“How noble if you won’t even tell us her name?”
“Because I don’t trust you not to destroy her to get to me!” I shouted, letting all the frustration out instead of staying calm. I had a mean streak I wasn’t proud of. Another bad trait softened by Sierra’s sweet voice, tender body, and kind eyes.
Her and my gun range membership.
“Is that what you think I’d do to you?” Daddy looked surprised for a change.
“If now you’re forcing me to marry Danica…” Just saying the words made my back teeth clench. “…I’m beyond wondering what the hell you’d do to hurt me.”
“She’ll be good for you.” My father paced, waving me off like a fly. “You and she have been best friends forever.”
“Exactly, friends. Friends without—”
“End of discussion. You will marry her and the second you say ‘I do,’ I’ll transfer half your trust fund to you, but not a second before. You’ll get more after the first child is born and then the rest on your fifth wedding anniversary.”
Half. Child. Fifth anniversary. Five fucking years. Where the hell had he come up with these terms?
“You’re holding me hostage.”
“That’s what life is, being a hostage to get what we want,” my father said, looking quite smug.
I wanted to rip that expression off his face. “This is unreal. This isn’t legal.” Was it? It was a trust fund, he had the right to exact any terms he wanted. I’d found that out when he first pulled it from me at age eighteen. I’d been on a roller coaster for nearly half my life waiting for this money.
I’d never been closer to breaking free and living my own life. That must have terrified Daddy if he resorted to a marriage stipulation.
I’m so fucked…
“You can go out in the world and make your own fortune, Declan. Oh, but that’s right. We’re back to the money you promised to your friend.” I regretted telling him about my plans with Grant. Now Daddy just dug his spurs deeper into my sides. “I guess you can leave him whistling in the wind. And let’s talk about this other wealthy woman you claim to be so fond of. You gonna ride her coattails? This is Texas, boy. We support our women, not the other way around. And if that woman comes from money like you say, she’s used to a certain level of luxury that you won’t be able to afford flipping burgers.”
I hated that I agreed with him, except that last part. Sierra didn’t care about money, but I couldn’t offer myself to her emptyhanded. I couldn’t show my face in Wild Heart anymore if I were flat broke with a ruined reputation nipping at my heels here in Houston.
Sierra deserved better than a man without any money or a future, a man everyone would assume married her for her money.
“You got anything left to say?” Daddy crowed at me. “Or you, Miss No Help. I can’t believe I thought you’d back me on this. You’ve listened to his mama all these years go on and on how he and Danica should get married.”
Aunt Luna took a long drag on her cigarette just to annoy my father. “It’s a terrible idea to make the boy marry a woman he doesn’t love. Even if she’s his best friend.”
“Right.” I agreed with her, except Sierra was my best friend, the person I spoke to every day. The person whose face flashed in my mind the moment I woke up and the last voice I wanted to hear before I fell asleep.
I looked at Danica like a sister. And to get the other half of my money, I had to have a baby with her? I shuddered at how awkward that would be.
“Fletcher, back down. He’s not some prized bull you can order around. He’s your son.” Aunt Luna rose from her chair, her dusty shitkicker boots dirtying up Daddy’s carpet as she stomped toward her younger brother.
Seriously, I wish she’d just deck him. A female rodeo rider in her early years, Aunt Luna never played by the rules. She dressed like a cowboy, smoked, drank, and cussed like one. But at least she was on my side. Not that she had any real power when it came to what my daddy did with his share of the Wyatt family wealth.
“N. O.” Daddy laid a shit-eating grin on me. “Cry your river someplace else.”
Aunt Luna tapped her cheek with a thinking face. Scowling at my father again, she said, “I would call you a fool, dear brother, but it appears I’m the only fool here for thinking I could talk some sense into you. Just send me an invite to this sham of a wedding so I can send you a gift, Declan. I have one all picked out.”
My father rolled his eyes basically ignoring her.
“I… We don’t need your gift, Aunt Luna,” I said as my father looked ready to explode. His patience only went so far and Aunt Luna crossed that line two cigarettes ago. “No one’s bringing a gift because there won’t be a damn wedding.” My phone rang, and the name across the screen choked me up.
I sent it to voicemail and then saw an email message had come through from Grant. Paperwork for the business I invested in. Took out a letter of credit with a hefty interest rate to get the ball rolling. The note was coming due soon. I stupidly trusted my father wouldn’t deny me my money again. At thirty-five.
All my options swirled in my head. If I pulled out of the deal with Grant, my reputation would end up in tatters. Who would trust me then? Who would give me a job? Who would want me…I swallowed…or love me?
My breath went ragged and my lungs burned. Once again, dear old Dad had trapped me. After finding a woman I loved. After finally, finally finding a passionate project where my talents would make a difference to real people. All of that would vanish if I followed my heart.
A worthless heart if I were penniless. And ruined.
“I have to return this call.” I escaped Daddy’s office ahead of Aunt Luna.
Just in time too as the shouting began.
I swiped my finger over Sierra’s beautiful face, returning the call. “Hi there, darlin’. Everything okay?” She didn’t usually call me in the middle of the workday. I called her.
“Everything’s fabulous, except you’re gone again.” Her words crushed me. “But my website is finally ready to launch. In just a few days, I’ll officially be a wedding planner.”
“Congratulations. I’m so proud of you.” Just hearing the excitement in Sierra’s voice did things to me. That woman could make me fall to my knees and worship her from one hundred miles away. I couldn’t lose her. But I couldn’t lose my trust fund. I had to find a way out of this mess.
“All those videos you shared with me on how to set it up myself gave me so much confidence. Thank you for believing in me. Daddy’s been so busy with his racehorses and dairy farm venture. You’re just what I need in my life. Are you coming back to Wild Heart this weekend? I have a special thank you to deliver in person. And it may or may not involve leather restraints and the tack room.”
My cock stirred before the images even sank in. “For you or me?” I asked, happy to forget about my trust fund woes for a few minutes.
“Me, cowboy,” she said with a drawl that made me picture that lush tongue sliding across her lips. And my shaft.
“You’re killing me here, darlin’.” I fought the urge to touch myself in the elevator. I’d rather be far from Houston right now touching Sierra.
“And I’m thinking you need less restraints. Since last night I’ve had these wicked thoughts about riding a certain cowboy. Bare. Everywhere.”
Fuck. No condoms. I never went bare with a woman. Never trusted anyone enough. Until Sierra. It struck me just how much I’d let my heart fall. And my father threatened to take away a love I’ve waited my whole life to find.
Okay, I can figure this out.
I just needed to buy some time. Time I would spend allowing this good woman to love me. Love conquered all, right?
“I’ll see you this weekend, darlin’.” Hopefully…
Grab Declan and Sierra’s fight for their happy ever after in…
(Click to Learn More) The Cowboys’ Wedding Planner.