Wanted! by Vicki Lewis Thompson
By SMW Staff
She was on the tall side, at least five-eight. She’d dressed in fancy brown boots, a long tan skirt and a pale yellow, sleeveless blouse. Both the blouse and the skirt buttoned up the front. Apparently he was more sexually deprived than he’d realized because his first thought was easy access.
Technically her short, curly hair was brown, but that didn’t really describe it. In the sun it seemed to be made up of a dozen shades ranging from milk chocolate to bronze. She was too far away for him to see the color of her eyes, but close enough for him to tell she was pretty, with high cheekbones, an aristocratic nose and full lips. Large gold hoops dangled from her earlobes.
She’d slung a brown leather backpack over one shoulder, and he expected her to put the camera and telephoto in it now that she’d been caught photographing the locals as if they were some form of exotic wildlife. But she surprised him. Curving her lips, she raised the camera again.
He couldn’t resist. With a grin, he tightened his abs and flexed his biceps.
All her life Dominique Jeffries had been criticized for being too impulsive. But after a two-year stint as Herman’s girlfriend, she’d learned to rein herself in. Now that she was no longer Herman’s girlfriend, having been traded in for his boss’s daughter, she wondered if she’d forgotten how to be impulsive.
At least she’d come this far. After being humiliated by her ex, she’d desperately needed to get away. She’d chosen the place she’d dreamed about all her life—the Wild West.
And yes, she’d considered the fact that she might find a wild cowboy here, too, someone who would soothe her damaged ego. Her trip to Wyoming was a test to see if the old Dominique was still in there, and whether she dared let her out to play.
This authentic cowboy would be a perfect way to discover if she still had what it took to be spontaneous. But not too spontaneous. She wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize the portrait photography business she’d built in Indianapolis. Much as she hated to admit it, Herman had helped her become financially stable for the first time in her life, and having money in the bank felt good.
But she had another sort of good feeling in mind today, one that came from flirting with a hunky guy. Her newfound cowboy was already making her laugh with his muscle flexing routine. “Nice pose,” she called out. “Care to show me the flip side?”
He turned, displaying buns to die for and back muscles like she hadn’t seen in…well, in two years. Herman wasn’t much for working out. She took a couple of shots, but she was here for more than the photography. A camera functioned as an excellent icebreaker.
Talk about overkill. Her shirtless cowboy was taking care of melting any ice that might be in the vicinity.
When she looked at him, she was surprised there was still snow on the mountains.
She couldn’t believe she’d happened upon such a great specimen of rugged Western male on her first day. This guy was the anti-Herman. And that was really what she’d come here to find. After being a good girl for two years, which had gotten her…well…dumped, she longed to be a little bit wicked.
“Got what you needed?” he asked over his shoulder.
Not quite, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. “Sure. Thanks.”
He turned around. “I should be thanking you. You gave me a break from digging postholes.”
“Glad to be of service.” She unscrewed her lens from the camera and stowed everything carefully in her backpack before walking forward. “I’m here on vacation.”
She laughed. “I know. Hard to believe. I’m sure I look very Jackson Hole to you.”
“Depends.” His gaze lingered as he surveyed her outfit. “We get Hollywood types up here.”
Being mistaken for a Hollywood type gave her a needed boost. Being ogled did, too. When she’d thought herself in love with Herman, she’d considered him frugal. Now she saw him as stingy, both with his money and his compliments.
This cowboy didn’t seem like the stingy type. She loved the way he talked, slowly and deliberately, which she guessed came from living in the wide-open spaces.
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