Cinder had followed him into the groom's room as he prepared for his next attempt to ride Kickback. The sorrel stallion had just tossed him in the dirt within eight seconds of him getting on his bareback. That might have been enough to satisfy the judges at a rodeo but it wasn't long enough for him to win the bet.

Five people had bet against Jared Montana that he couldn't stay on Kickback for 10 seconds. He'd tried twice already and hadn't even been close. But each time he climbed back on his feet, wiped the dirt of the corral off of his chaps and limped away to get himself a cold beer. He'd be back on the horse the way his daddy had always taught him.

Just not right away.

During the week, Jared dressed up in a suit and worked as one of the top prosecutors in the D.A.'s office focusing on high profile homicide cases. That's where Cinder had reconnected with him after years of not seeing him. They had grown up together in ranching country in New Mexico as kids but then Cinder's parents had died and she'd left to live with her aunt and uncle in San Antonio, on a cattle ranch.

A decade had passed until they had reunited while starting their new jobs along with several dozen other new hires, many of which would fall by the wayside within one year's time. But not Jared and Cinder who over five years had worked themselves to handling top felony cases. She specialized in sexual assault and child abuse and loved her job, but sometimes some of the cases hit too close to home.

Not that she wanted to think about now, any more than Jared wanted to think about his own childhood when his older brother had been killed by a reaction to antivenin he'd received to treat a bite from a diamondback rattler.

"You ready to go?"

He had adjusted his chaps which only accentuated his killer body even further and then he pulled his leather riding gloves over his hands. Most of the other prosecutors honed their bodies through evenings spent playing racquet ball or jogging but Jared still ran his own ranch, albeit one on a smaller scale mostly horses and this herd of goats. It kept him sane especially when his trial schedule grew insane and it kept him from taking his work home with him.

She could relate. She'd drop by the ranch where she kept her own horse and go riding for hours anytime she could spare. A few hours out riding in beautiful surroundings with a strong but responsive horse between her thighs could do wonders for her spirit.


He nodded, looking at her while standing dressed in one of his softly laundered button down shirts and underneath his chaps, his favorite pair of worn jeans. Boots on his feet, broken down from spending a lot of time there…even to work.

"What darling?"

She smiled, knowing it was his favorite endearment. His curly dark hair and his shadowy jaw line complimented a pair of sparkling brown eyes with just a hint of gold. She'd patched up enough cuts and scrapes on the body underneath his shirt to know it was all muscle between his capable shoulders and his abs…strong from horseback riding.

"You ready to win this time? Because I actually didn't bet against you."

His brows arched up.

"Really…but you did the other two times when I got thrown quicker each time…"

She smiled, flipping back her mahogany curls off of her face.

"Come on, you stayed on for eight seconds last time," she said, "You're getting closer."

He grimaced.

"Close only matters in horse shoes," he said, "I've got to add at least two seconds to my ride."

She put one hand on her hip.

"You mean on a horse right," he said, "Don't think I didn't see Becky slip you her panties last time."

He shook his head.

"I gave them back…discreetly," he said, "That ship has sailed already."

She smiled back at him, the reality of that pleasing her. She hadn't liked Becky much because she just looked so high maintenance. Jared had tried to make her happy but she didn't seem happy. Certainly not at the ranch kicking back with a bunch of cowboys sipping on cold beer while watching Jared get tossed on his ass by a washed up bronco.

"They wagered a lot against you," she said, "About $5,000."

His brows arched again.

"Really…and you didn't add to the pot."

She folded her arms.

"I told you where I'm putting my money."

He nodded sitting down on a hay bale to adjust his boots. She watched him loving it.

"Yes I guess you did," he said, "but seriously I don't know how I'm going to stay on that horse."

She smiled at him, moving closer so that she stood between his thighs. He looked at her bemused.


She looked at him innocently.


"What are you thinking about right now?"

She licked her lips.

"About ways to make sure I don't lose my money betting on you."

He just looked up at her.

"Any ideas on how to do that…?"

She tilted her face.


He stood up and she moved backward just enough to let him.

"What do you mean by that Cinder?"

She smiled and then reached out with her hands to put around his neck to bring him closer to her. When she pulled him close enough, her mouth brushed up against his lips, gently and then pulling backwards before returning. Each time, she would kiss him just a little harder, tasting him. She felt his heart beating faster against her chest which told her he liked it.

Not that she needed much feedback besides the hardness that pressed against her belly soon enough. He returned her kissing, tasting her too and the scent of his aftershave and the alfalfa and old leather wafting around him made her heady.

Made her want him…only…she pushed him away gently…

"Jared, you got a bronco to bust," she said, "And I need to hold onto my money."

He seemed speechless from the kiss they just shared as she placed her hands on his chest.


"No butts…except to get yours back in here when you get the job done."

He looked at her puzzled.

"What do you mean?"

She smiled at him, her eyes dancing.

"Here's how it's going to play," she said, "You stay on that bronco 10 seconds and I'll be here waiting when you're done and you can do whatever you want…"

His confusion remained on his face. God, the guy could be a crackerjack trial attorney in court but clueless about some more basic things.

"You mean…"

Ah…maybe he might be getting it. She caressed his stubbly jaw line with a couple of fingers.

"Yeah…you ride that bronco out there long enough; you can come back and ride me here for much longer."

For a moment, she thought he might pass out and then she'd really have problems. Because then he might not be in condition to ride at all if he was passed out on the tack room floor, because her proposition had shocked him senseless.

"What the hell are you saying?"

She stepped a bit closer and looked into his eyes dead serious.

"What I just said, that if you stay on that bronco and win me my money," she said, "You can come back here, ride me real hard and pull me up wet or however it goes."

He remained silent for a while. A long while…too long…damn had she really managed to shut him up? She bit her lip. Okay maybe she had gone a bit too far but the way he looked at her now…damn it just confused the hell out of her. She supposed she could give him her panties as an invitation but they were beneath her jeans and it didn't seem right to do it before he got on the bronco.

Not when he could slide them off of her body afterward.

Her breath caught as she imagined him doing that…while looking at her in a way that wasn't much different than the way he looked now…now that it looked like the shock was ebbing away. She could tell a part of him wanted what she offered but otherwise…maybe she should just tell him it was a joke. Just laugh it off, slap him on the ass as a friend and send him out to get that same ass busted by Kickback again.

But his face changed and then she knew she was in trouble. Because he didn't look like he thought it was a joke.


She moved to kiss his delicious mouth again only this time she did something else. She casually slid one of her hands down over his crotch, sliding her fingers beneath his chaps and palmed his package…and oh damn he had grown hard. He groaned when she did that too, while his body tensed. She stopped kissing and gave him a saucy look.

"You like that cowboy…I like it too."

Damn, he felt long and thick even under the denim…and she felt that familiar ache in her belly that she knew she'd be feeling even lower…and her panties started feeling damp. But in for a penny, in for a pound…

"I'll like it even more when you slide it inside of me…all of it…we can do it on the cot….on the desk or against the wall…you like that…"

Her hand still fondling him there and him still moaning.

"Cinder…god we can't…"

Oh no, he wasn't going to start going on about how he didn't do or even think about doing naughty things with his female friends. The ones that he saw past their faces and bodies, she loved him for how he treated her like a close friend.

Just not right now.

"Like I said, I'm protecting my investment…and I want to know what it's like to not be your friend."

He sighed.

"You are my friend," he said, "I can't turn that off."

She knew he meant it. He'd do anything for her just like she would do for him. But why couldn't that include sex? She knew he wanted it, she could feel it with the hand that fondled him even now. But a flash of pity filled her when she wondered how it must feel to ride a bronco with a raging hard on. She had to fix that in a hurry.

"I want you too Jared…just for a while," she said, "and it's not just about the money…I want to be ridden by you…I've wanted it for a long time."

He looked a bit surprised by that.


"Yeah really…look where my hand is now."

He looked down at where she had slid her hand into his chaps.

"Yeah and I'm too damn hard to ride now…that damn horse anyway."

She licked her lips.

"Jared if you trust me, I can help you with that," she said, "Consider it a preview of the coming attractions…and I like the pun."

His face flushed a bit at that and she wondered why. Because he was known at the office for loving the ladies one at a time…not being into serious relationships of course.

"What are you going to do about it?"

She looked directly at him.


She undid his chaps enough so that she could unzip his jeans next and she slid them down as far as necessary with his briefs until…she saw his thick cock standing at attention…damn he had a nice one. Long and thick, dusky in color except the mushroom shaped head. Veins running down the shaft right to his public hair….she couldn't see his balls but she'd check them out later…after he won the bet for her.

She wrapped her hands around him…what woman wouldn't? It's not like she could help herself. She started stroking his shaft because she knew they didn't have much time before it was time for him to get on that bronco. Its entire length as it continued to grow in her hands, one hand riding high enough so she could rub a thumb against his sensitive head.

He groaned when she did that and his body stiffened even more in anticipation no doubt. She moved closer to him, while she continued to stroke him.

"You like that…?"


"Pussy got your tongue," she said, "Not yet….but I bet this feels nice."

He sighed as she continued making him feel good.

"This doesn't seem…"

"What Jared…you don't like it when a woman gives you a hand job?"


She smiled at him, upping the ante with the pressure of her strokes.

"Yes Jared? Come on…this is your promissory note to go out and bust that bronco and then come back here and fuck me…as hard as you want and as long…"

He groaned and she felt his erection tense in her hands, knowing he was getting close to the edge. She stopped a moment.

"It won't…be…gentle…"

"I don't want gentle," she said, "I want you to give it to me so I can't walk. I want you to walk in here afterward and I'll be your trophy…no one has to know about it just us."

He grimaced…god he was getting close…she could feel how close…

"They'll want to have the usual barbecue…"

"Then send them to the house…once they see the food, they'll forget about everything else."

He considered that as much as a man could so close to blowing his wad.

"What are you wearing underneath…so I can think about it when I'm on Kickback?"

She paused as he waited in anticipation, smoothing out her strokes to lure him as close to the edge as she could, to draw it out…

"Bright red lacy bra and matching panties…"

He sucked in his breath and then he came…without much warning…his seed spraying one of her hands. Damn, it gave her such a rush as she still held onto him until he was spent, leaning against her. She drew her hand with his essence on it and licked it off her fingers, sliding each one in her mouth to get all of it. His pupils dilated. They just stared at each other while their breathing returned to normal.

"Damn….god damn…."

She grinned at him.

"You'd better fix your clothes…here's a towel."

She tossed him one to clean up which he did while she watched bemused. He looked like he had one hell of an orgasm and she nearly came herself just by the feel of the warm steel in her hands and his face…and how it showed his pleasure.

"What about you?"

"I'm planning on collecting later," she said, "I know you're going to stay on that horse."

He arched a brow after hitching back his clothes.

"I plan to do more than that."

She started to back away because he had to walk on out of there not acting like he'd just had gotten his rocks off with her help. But then he grabbed hold of her and slammed her against the nearest wall. His mouth pressed against hers hard and fast and sent jolts of something much stronger than anticipation through her. His tongue tasted her lips, just before thrusting in between them into her mouth.

She almost gasped as the way he moved his tongue inside of her, he was fucking her mouth with it. She wiggled beneath his hold and ran her hand through his hair. He broke for air.

"If I could, I'd mess with your clothes just enough to get my cock inside of you and fuck you right here and now," he said, "but it's going to have to wait."

She nodded breathlessly as he went to pick up his faded hat and put it on his head.

"We'd better get going or people are going to start talking."

She straightened out her own clothing and together they walked outside where a bronco waited to be ridden and a crowd of their friends waited for a good show. She knew in her gut that he'd ride that bronco for his ten seconds and then he'd ride her.

And something deep inside of her wondered if she'd just gotten herself more than she bargained for in him.