"One night a young cowboy came in
wild as the West Texas wind
dashing and daring
a drink he was sharing
with wicked Faleena
the girl that I loved"
Somehow, the lyrics seemed to fit this quiet stranger. He was just finishing his coffee and apple pie. I had been watching him as I worked: refilling the sugar, salt and pepper containers. The glasses were spotless as I dried them over and over just to be able to peer in his direction. He was the type that drew you to him--like a magnet.
The diner had been slow tonight so when he came in he had his choice of seats. After a brief glance around, he had taken the booth in the corner. Dressed all in black, his duster was shiny from the light rain that still fell. The drops of water on the brim of his cowboy hat sparkled under the lights.
As the stranger came to the counter he pulled out an old-fashioned money pouch from his pocket. Its' intricate design caught my attention, reminding me of some of the old Western artifacts in the local museum. With nothing more than a nod, his bill paid, he left and blended in with the night. For the rest of my shift, as I went about setting up for the next day, my thoughts went back to him repeatedly.
I wondered about the Carson property outside of town. It had been vacant for a long time and could use fresh blood. Years ago it had been one of the most productive cattle ranches this side of El Paso. Now the barn was in disrepair, the fields were growing wild and most of the windows in the house were broken. Had the place been sold, and if so, could he be the new owner? By the time I closed up, I knew I wanted to learn more about this intriguing stranger.
When I locked up the rain had stopped. Most nights there was someone around to be sure I got home safely, even though it was only a block away. The last time our sheriff had any real trouble, it was just the Mason twins getting liquored up and racing each other down the old highway. The only casualty had been their trucks, which both ended up with blown motors. No, I wasn't worried around here.
It was a struggle to keep my eyes open long enough to wash off the grime of the diner and slip into bed. Pulling the sheet over me, I snuggled down and went to sleep.
He called out my name. Holding his hand out, he reached for me. My fingers burned when I touched him. The smile on his face matched mine, of that I was sure. It had been five days since we had been together; it felt like forever. I was so heartsick whenever he went away.
Pressing me close to him, his lips met mine in a soft and gentle kiss. I knew the passion he held back; I had felt it many times. Right now, I craved it. Molding myself to his hard chest, my tongue darted across his lips. When he gasped, I slipped it inside his mouth. In seconds, he ground his lips to mine as our tongues danced and mated.
Demanding now to be closer, heat flared as my hands roamed his back. Our hearts pounding, buttons were ripped open and clothing torn off. My nipples were tight and puckered, begging for his mouth to nibble and bite them. I could feel him swell even more as my fingers cupped his cock through his jeans.
The rest of our clothing was torn off in a frenzy. Never stopping our kissing or touching, he moved between my thighs as we fell to the bed. Taking no more time for teasing, his throbbing cock ran over my hard clit. My pussy lips were wet, swollen, and on fire.
Locking my ankles behind his back, I urged him closer. The tip of his cock touching my opened pussy was more than I could take. Tortured moans tore through my throat. My walls tightened around his cock as my orgasm ripped through my body.
Sweat pouring from him, slamming into my body, his cock exploded, pumping streams of his hot thick cum into me until he collapsed. Lying partially on my chest, we struggled to breathe. Finding the strength to move, he pulled me into his arms. Smiling, he held me while we slept, satiated for the moment.
My body ached and the sheets were damp and tangled when I woke up. Looking towards the window, I could see a hint of daylight through the curtain. Having no plans for the morning, I stretched and sank back into my pillows, trying to bring up some of the dream that nagged at my mind. I sensed it had something to do with the mysterious customer from the diner last night.
Giving up, I dragged myself out of bed and took a shower, then went to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. After a light breakfast, I went about my morning chores around the house, getting things done before my afternoon shift at the diner started. Normally work was just something I had to do, but today I was excitedI hoped he might be back. At least there would be some talk about him from the locals.
I took extra care getting ready to make sure I looked as good as possible in my uniform. One last check of my hair and I was all set to leave. The warm afternoon sun brought a touch of color to my face on the short walk to work. The bell above the diner's old door jingled as I entered. Several of the regulars turned and greeted me as I walked behind the counter.
My eyes quickly scanned the room, looking for him, though somehow I felt he wouldn't be around during the daytime. The best thing about him coming in so near closing time, was that by then the diner was almost deserted. That would make it much easier for me to steal glances in his direction.
With that thought in mind, I found my apron and went to work pouring coffee and serving up the day's special. The locals came in and out all day, but no one mentioned the Carson place, and no one commented about seeing a stranger in town. It was as if I had imagined him.
After the last of the supper hour customers left, I was able to take a break. Grabbing some change, I went to the old jukebox and punched in the buttons for my favorite songs. I sat down with a cup of coffee and relaxed with the music.
"Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
I fell in love with a Mexican girl.
Nighttime would find me in Rosa's cantina;
music would play and Faleena would whirl."
While daydreaming and listening to Marty Robbins tell his tale of "El Paso," I didn't hear the door open or shut, but a sixth sense told me I was no longer alone. Embarrassed to be caught sitting down at work by a customer, I stood and turned towards the door, ready to apologize.
He was just slipping into the same back booth as the night before, with a hint of dust lingering in the air around him. The words died in my throat as in that second I had a flashback of the dream from last night. I saw parts of it, bits and pieces that heated my body. My face burned, as if he could imagine it and see the words in my mind.
His eyes staring at my hands
Teasing his body
Fingers walking down his chest
Stopping at his now tight jeans.
My soft wet tongue on his nipple
Flicking one then the other
Finding strong warm hands on my back
Longing for them in other places as well.
Trying not to make a fool out of myself, I walked behind the counter for a menu and the coffee pot. Taking a deep breath, I pasted on a smile as I made my way over to take his order. I hadn't even heard his voice yet, but I knew it would be rich and deep, the kind that would send shivers down my spine.
"Welcome back, cowboy. Coffee's fresh, can I pour you a cup?"
He slid his coffee mug to the edge of the faded tabletop, nodding his reply, as he pushed back the menu I laid next to him.
"See anything you'd like tonight?" My soft-spoken words had a touch of flirting that added to the double meaning.
Eyes the color of steel held mine for what seemed like minutes but was only probably a few seconds. They seemed to read my every thought, bringing a hint of pink to my cheeks.
"I sure do darlin'. But for now just bring me the special."
I turned back to the kitchen, replacing the pot of coffee before giving the cook his order. Still a bit flustered from the short verbal interaction with this handsome stranger, I found myself filling the sugar containers on the counter. My eyes constantly returned to where he was calmly drinking his coffee, the fine grains scattering as I missed the openings.
The sharp ringing of a bell startled me. A steaming plate loaded with meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans stood ready. Plain fare, but hearty and filling for a working man, and it was tonight's special. Slipping it onto my arm, I reached for the coffee pot on the way to his table.
"Here you go, cowboy. Best meatloaf this side of Santa Fe. Need a refill on the coffee?" I slid the plate in front of him.
His empty mug appeared almost before I finished asking the question. My eyes went to the strong hand that brought it closer. His long fingers had a few dark hairs along the knuckles.
"Darlin? You gonna stand there with that coffee, or pour me some of it?"
Caught staring, I blushed as I poured the strong, black brew and fled to the safety of the counter once again. Washing up a few dishes, I found my eyes drawn back to him, not able to stop watching. His body was relaxed looking, yet there was an aura around him that said he would protect what was his.
The sound of his plate sliding across the tabletop broke the silence in the room.
"Any more of that apple pie left, darlin'?"
"Sure thing, cowboy. More coffee to go with it?" I remembered how he had seemed to enjoy it with his pie last night, and I wanted him to see I had noticed.
"You know it."
Dishing up a large slice of the pie and grabbing a fresh pot of coffee on the way past, I headed to his booth once again. I exchanged his empty plate for the one with the pie and I started to turn back so he could enjoy his dessert in peace.
"This pie is even better than my grandma used to make. My compliments to the cook back there."
He looked at the sweet concoction on the fork that was half way to his mouth.
"Well now, since the cook isn't the one that made that pie, I think I'll hold off on that, cowboy."
With his head down, I could see the silkiness of his jet-black hair. A bit unruly and needing a trim, I imagined how it might feel to run my fingers through it. He looked at me out of the corner of those gorgeous grey eyes as he tilted his head to the side. I just stood there, grinning, as it occurred to him what my words implied.
"Darlin', if this pie is any indication of how you cook I just might have to marry you."
If I wasn't halfway smitten before, the combination of his teasing words and the wink he added would have done it. Giving him a smug grin in return, I walked back to the counter, unaware he was watching me the entire way. A few things still needed to be readied for the morning shift, so I continued with those chores, as my mind went over everything that had happened tonight.
Sounds from the corner alerted me he was finished and getting ready to leave. Hat in hand, he walked towards the old cash register at the end of the counter. I tossed the towel over my shoulder then leaned against the sink where I could admire his casual stride.
Meeting his eyes, I tried to read something in their unusual coloring. A glint of humor reflected back at me, showing his awareness of my perusal. My glance stopped at the money pouch in his hands. I could see five mounted cowboys coming over a hill etched into the worn leather.
"That's a pretty unique design there. Makes me wonder what the other side has."
I gasped at the scene shown as he turned it with great care. A dozen or more riders chased a lone cowboy headed towards a cantina, where a girl stood waiting in the doorway. You could almost feel the urgency of the cowboy to reach her before being gunned down.
"It belonged to my granddaddy. When I was a little boy he would tell me the story of this girl standing here. He said her name was Faleena."
"Out in New Mexico, many long years ago
there in a shack in the desert, one night in a storm
amid streaks of lightin' and loud desert thunder
to a young Mexican couple, a baby was born
just as the baby cried, thunder and lightin died
moon gave its light to the world and the stars did the same
mother and father, both proud of the daughter
that heaven had sent them, Faleena was this baby's name."
My head jerked up. I sensed in his words the closeness he had shared with his Grandfather. It was an insight to the type of man this stranger was; a characteristic I respected. Though I didn't have children of my own family was important to me. My husband and I hadn't been fortunate enough to have any before he was killed in a freak accident on the ranch.
The stranger's eyes were still looking at the design, but he seemed to be lost in thought, probably sitting at his grandfather's side, listening to more stories. After a couple minutes, he blinked and looked at me, as if he only then remembered where he was.
With a sexy grin and a slight shrug of his shoulders, he pulled out enough money to cover his bill, added a generous tip, and slipped the pouch back into his pocket.
"You take care now, darlin'. Be sure to save a piece of that pie for me tomorrow night."
He was almost at the door before the words were out of his mouth.
"You like peach pie, cowboy?"
My question stopped him in his tracks. One hand was on the doorknob while the other was holding his hat. He looked rugged; all male; his image was stamped in my brain, taking it places I hadn't let it go for a long time now.
"If that's what you're making tomorrow, then I've changed my mind. Save two pieces for me. The two biggest pieces of the pie."
"Anything you want, cowboy."
I winked and grinned to let him know the dual meaning was intended.
"Darlin', I knew what I wanted last night already. You don't think I came back just for the meatloaf do you?"
With that, he was out the door, vanishing into the darkness, leaving me stunned. I didn't even think he had noticed me when he was in here before, yet if I understood him right, I was the reason he came back. Those thoughts sent chills throughout my body. His words repeated themselves in my head as I just stood there.
Somehow, I finished up for the night and made it home. For once, I was glad there had been no one stopping in the diner for a late night cup of coffee. I only wanted to think of my cowboy. Yes, after he left, I had started to call him mine in my head. Yet, I knew nothing about him, not even his name.
Crawling into bed, I found an extra pillow and hugged it. Closing my eyes, I held it tight, imagining how it could be.
The sun was setting and he still wasn't home. He would be here, after five days out on the range. I always hated this time of year, when he left with the ranch-hands. The men respected him for working right alongside them, and not just giving them orders.
His favorite dinner was ready to heat up for him and two fresh peach pies were on the counter. I knew he would be exhausted when he got back, so I did what I could to make life better for him. Standing on the porch, checking the horizon once again, my heart began to pound at the cloud of dust I now saw. He was almost home!
It seemed to take forever before I saw the first horses. One lone rider broke from the group and headed this way. I ran down the path to meet him when he was almost to the house. Jumping off his horse, he scooped me up, drawing me into his arms.
Our lips met for a hard, deep kiss that told how much we missed each other. My hands ran down his muscular back as I pulled him closer to my aching body. I felt his fingers sliding down, caressing and kneading the flesh as he lifted me into his bulging groin. I moaned into his neck as we separated long enough to take a breath.
Waking up to a gentle rain, the night's dream kept floating around in my head, teasing me with bits and pieces of it. Burrowing into the warmth of my blankets, I tried to fit them together, but all too soon they faded away completely. A look at the clock showed me it was time to go about my day.
With the smell of peach pie drifting throughout the house, I thought of the cowboy again. Would he really be back tonight, or was he just passing through? Out here strangers were noticed right away, yet no one had said anything. Where did he stay at night? All these questions, and more, waited for answers.
Boxing up the desserts, I put them in a sturdy basket. When they were safely packed up, I went outside, thankful the rain had stopped earlier. Stopping to breathe in the fresh, crisp air, I wasn't aware of anything unusual.
"That basket looks mighty heavy, darlin'. Let me get it for you."
Although I should have been surprised to find this man waiting at my door, I wasn't. It even felt right to have him lift the weight of the basket off my arms with a single hand.
"Good morning." He smiled at her. "Just on my way in to town, but something's on my mind that needs attention first."
"That something brought you here, cowboy?"
"Now see, darlin', that' it. You can't call me cowboy forever can you?"
I began to get an idea of why he was here though I waited for him to continue. My smile had a look of confusion in it, laced with what I hoped was enough hesitancy to appear real. He looked confident and sure of himself as he looked into my eyes.
"The name's Logan, darlin'. Logan McClure. I bought the ranch down the road and just moved in last week."
"It's very nice to meet you, Mr. McClure. I'd wondered if you were connected to the Carson place somehow. You sure have your work cut out for you there. It always looked so beautiful. I've never seen it from any closer than the road though."
"Well, darlin', I can get you an invite to see the place seeing as how I know the owner. But there's one thing he'll require first."
In my mind, I went over our brief conversation and the easy manner we'd fallen into. Not quite sure yet what I was missing, I decided to ask.
"Mr. McClure-" My next words were cut off when he spoke up.
"It's Logan. You can't be calling your date 'mister' the whole time now can you? Just like I can't go forever calling you 'darlin'."
My face turned red as I realized my error.
"I'm sorry, Logan. My name's Emma Prescott."
"Emma. I like it. Nice to meet you Emma. Now that it's official, we can finalize that invite to the ranch. When's your next day off work?"
His question caught me a bit off guard; I had thought he was joking before. I found myself telling him my schedule anyway.
"The next few days are open for me. I have a lot of free time since I only work three to four shifts a week."
"Then it's a date. Ten o'clock tomorrow morning. I'll pick you up and then you can spend the day checking out the repairs and improvements I've made at the ranch so far."
Speechless, I just nodded my acceptance.
"Great. Then I'll see you in the morning. Now, you head back inside and relax, while I deliver these pies for you."
Without a word, I turned toward my door.
"Emma? You forgot something."
Confused, I looked back at him. Logan stood there with a peach pie in his hand, holding it towards me.
"You really should bring this to the host tomorrow. I heard it's his favorite." His expression was one of total innocence.
With a laugh, I took the pie from him. He walked down the path without another word. When he was a few feet away, I heard him whistling. I stopped just inside my door when he added a few words as well.
"Came a young cowboy so tall and so handsomely dressed
this one was new in town, hadn't been seen around
he was so different, he wasn't like all of the rest."
Back inside, I stored the pie for the next day. I felt I could trust Logan even if I didn't know anything about him. Some of my friends had told me before that I was too trusting. Every bit of intuition I had told me he was an honest, hard-working man, and I was going with my instincts. This felt right.
Soon it was time to get ready for my shift at the diner. I wasn't sure if Logan would be there tonight, after his short visit at my place. I wanted to look good just in case he did stop in.
The diner was busy when I walked in. People were chatting across the room to neighbors and friends making it extra noisy. There was a hint of excitement in the air. Behind the counter, I grabbed my apron to start my shift, only to catch the words "Carson ranch" from one of the men sitting at the counter.
So word was out about Logan now. Every table I served, each of the ranchers that stopped by for coffee and pie, had something to say about the changes at the ranch. I listened to it all, not letting on that I had already met the mysterious new owner. There were stories about the ranch itself and the kind of man that would take on such a place.
Not once did I hear a negative word about Logan himself. He had left a good impression of himself with both the feed store and the hardware store owners. The more I heard from the locals about the improvements they saw from the road, the more excited I was for tomorrow and our date.
Towards closing time everyone had cleared out. Since I'd missed my last break I was getting tired. Putting on some music, I closed my eyes and moved to the slow beat as I lost myself in the story.
"From thirty thousand feet above the desert floor I see it there below
a city with a legend, the West Texas city of El Paso
where long ago I heard a song about a Texas cowboy and a girl and a little place called Rosa's where he used to go and watch this beauty whirl."
"You look beautiful like that Emma."
"Logan." His name came out in a soft, breathless rush as I opened my eyes to see him standing right in front of me.
We stood so close I could see the specks of black in his steel grey eyes. I could feel the heat from his body even though we weren't touching.
"I wanted to see if you were as beautiful as my memory of you this morning."
He moved one hand forward and cupped my cheek in his palm. I absorbed the feel of him for the first time where my face rested against his hand. My skin burned from his touch as chills ran down my spine.
"Emma, I want to kiss you, but not here. Now I'm going to leave, and count the hours until I see you in the morning. Sweet dreams, Emma."
With a light squeeze to my cheek, he turned and walked to the door. Logan stopped to look back at me after opening it. Giving me a smile and a wink, he continued out the door, letting it close behind him.
I just stood there, staring at the now empty spot where Logan had been standing only seconds ago. If not for the warmth still on my cheek, I would think I had imagined the entire thing. My heart was still beating out of control as my mind raced, thinking of the coming date with him.
Sounds from the kitchen interrupted my thoughts and reminded me that the cook or anyone walking in could have observed my brief encounter with Logan. Blushing, I went back to cleaning up the diner.
The last minutes before closing dragged by, as I struggled to keep my mind on work. Everything brought my thoughts back to Logan, from looking at the back booth to taking care of the leftover pie. I was relieved when it came time to close up for the night.
Once home, as I got ready for bed, I counted the hours until Logan would be picking me up. It had been a long time since I was this excited about anything so I struggled to settle down for the night. Images of steel grey eyes and a sexy grin floated through my head until I fell asleep.
I was glad to see the sun shining when I woke up; it was a perfect match for my mood. Lying back against the pillows, I closed my eyes and went back over the night before with Logan and those few minutes together when he said he wanted to kiss me.
Unsure and a bit nervous, I wondered if it would be awkward between us after last nights short conversation. I became more worried as the time got closer for him to get me. My bed was full of chosen and discarded outfits. A dress in pale yellow won over them all.
A few minutes before ten, I heard footsteps on the front walk. My heart pounded uncontrollably as I made my way to the front door at the first knock. When I saw Logan standing there, with that sexy grin on his face, all my worries disappeared. I opened the door wide, inviting him into my home.
"Logan, good morning."
"Good morning, Emma. You look even more beautiful today than last night."
His words stopped me as I turned for the pie.
"Thank you, Logan. You look very handsome yourself."
It wasn't difficult to return the compliment now. His easygoing manner and cheerful grin had relaxed me.
"I bet you say that to all your dates that offer you a tour of their ranch." His teasing remark was said with such a straight face I had to laugh.
"Of course I do. Why, just last week, I saw four new places. Yours is only the third this week, though."
"A bit sassy today, are we?"
That set the tone for the morning as we set out for the ranch. Logan was comfortable to talk to and soon we were rounding the last curve in the driveway before the ranch came into view. I fell in love with the cozy setting right away.
"Oh Logan, this is gorgeous! I can picture it with the flowers in bloom, some roses over there by the shrubs, maybe a vegetable garden next to the shed..."
My words stopped mid-sentence as I realized Logan was staring at me with an odd look. We were still in the long drive, not quite to the front of his new home.
"Yes, Emma, I can picture it too. I see all of those things and more. Sweet Emma, I picture so much more."
His eyes never left mine as they sent a message far deeper than his tender words. Logan brought my hand to his lips and placed a soft kiss in my palm.
The short distance to the stone path leading to his door was finished in silence with each of us lost in our own thoughts. Logan took my hand, led me up the steps and into his home.
"What do you see in here, Emma? Is it the same things I do, I wonder?"
His voice was quiet, full of yearning and desire. I was afraid to know what he saw, yet ached for it to be the same as I did. My mouth moved, but no words came out.
"There are children, Emma, happy, sweet and looking like their mother. The room's warm from the fireplace. There's a lot of laughter but there's love, Emma. So very much love."
I searched his eyes for any hint of teasing, but found none.
"Emma, I know this is fast; we don't know each other very well, but I felt it the first time I saw you. My hand burned when I touched your cheek. Then today, when you pictured the garden outside, I knew without a doubt. I love you, Emma Prescott."
"Oh, Logan, you're right about it being soon, but I know how fast a life can be taken from us. I knew I wanted to learn everything about you the first time you walked into the diner. When you joked about marrying me for my pie, I dreamt about it. I lost my heart to you when your fingers touched my cheek."
His arms wrapped around me almost before I stopped talking and he pulled me close to his hard body. Soft lips met mine for a deep, burning kiss, where our tongues darted and danced together. My nipples hardened as we moved against one another.
The next minutes pulsed with an unspoken need and heated desire. Logan's touch skimmed my body as the passion flared. I could feel the bulge beneath his clothing as his hips thrust forward, telling me of his excitement. I ached to feel his fingers on my naked flesh.
Logan pulled back, taking in great gulps of air as he rested his forehead on mine. Seconds passed as our hearts raced and our breathing stayed erratic.
"Darlin'." He paused to take a breath. "Emma, we need to stop. This isn't what I had in mind today."
I couldn't think when my body screamed at me for fulfillment. Looking into Logan's eyes, those gorgeous steel grey eyes, I was confused. His body said he wanted me as much as I wanted him and the desire was there in his eyes.
"I'm sorry, Logan. I didn't mean to push you..."
"Emma, look at me." The soothing words broke into my own; yet somehow I sensed what he was going to say was important.
"You didn't push me into anything. I want you, Emma, God knows I want you, but not like this. When I make you mine for the first time, it will be as my wife. I know this is fast, but we know what we want. I love you. Marry me, Emma Prescott."
I saw the truth in his face. He was right, it was fast. We weren't young anymore, and life had taught us many lessons. I knew without a doubt Logan was the man for me. Leaning back, I gave him my reply.
"Oh Logan! You just want a lifetime of pies!"