Authors: Randi Alexander
Tags: #cowboy romance, #cowboy erotic romance, #sexy cowboy, #sex in a changing room, #cowboy duds, #denver ranch, #horse wrangler
A Gentleman and a Cowboy
By Randi Alexander
Edited by E.L. Felder
Copyright 2013 Randi Alexander
Finn Halliday walked past the glass
storefront of the Denver Duds Western Clothing store for the third
time in fifteen minutes. He glanced in and spotted the gorgeous
redhead behind the counter. Again. Walking to the end of the block,
he mentally kicked himself for losing his nerve. Again. “Okay, this
is it,” he vowed as he straightened his red power tie and buttoned
the suit coat he’d borrowed from the ranch foreman. It fit too
tight across the shoulders, and too loose around the hips, but he
hoped it would be enough to catch Laci’s attention.
Taking long steps in the tight, borrowed
shoes, he marched himself to the shop’s door and pulled it open.
Overhead, the little cowbell jangled as crazily as his nerves.
Laci looked up, seemingly startled by the
noise. “Hello.” She pasted on a smile that didn’t reach her eyes
and came out from behind the length of old saloon bar that served
as the checkout counter. “Welcome.”
Finn cleared his throat and headed right for
her. Beautiful, with her straight red hair and freckles. Her gauzy
white blouse skimmed over her nice breasts, and the long denim
skirt just brushed the tops of her fancy black cowgirl boots.
She tipped her head. “Can I help you find
His gaze shot from her feet to her dark brown
eyes. Damn, he’d been staring, picturing her wearing only those
boots as he made love to her. He searched his brain for the opening
line he’d practiced as he’d worn out the sidewalk in front of her
store. “Actually, I’m looking for work.”
Her eyes turned sorrowful. “I wish I could
help, but I’m a one-woman operation. I can barely afford a paycheck
for myself.” She cocked her head the other way. “Do I know
He shook his head. Truth was, he’d been in
here twice before in the last eight weeks when he’d gotten his long
weekend off from the ranch. The first time he’d driven the four
hours to Denver, he’d walked into the store to see what was on the
racks. The next time, he’d come in just to see Laci. But when he’d
tried to talk to her, wanting to ask her out, she’d been cold and
professional. With her looks and curvy little body, men were
probably always flirting with her, so he understood why she hadn’t
fallen into his arms in gratitude for his attention.
Frustrated by his lack of success, he’d come
up with a plan. “Ma’am, what if I told you I could help you sell
clothes and it wouldn’t cost you anything but a few hours of your
Her eyes narrowed and her lips pursed. “Uh
huh. Right.” She crossed her arms. “And just what do I have to do
during those few hours?” Her spunky reply gave his gut a sexy
twist. Nothing he loved more than a redheaded spitfire.
He grinned. “Have dinner with me.”
Her whole body stiffened. “I’m sorry, that’s
out of the—”
Finn held up a hand. “Let me explain,
The soft background music played a song about
a white liar. He should take that as a warning, but he wasn’t quite
that smart. And Laci had been on his mind day and night for two
months, now. Squaring his shoulders, he grabbed the reins,
figuratively, and went for it. “I’m trying to break into
It wasn’t entirely untrue, because since high
school, women had told him he should be a model. “I’m willing to
let you photograph me in some of your duds so I can add the work to
my modeling…uh…résumé.” He’d nearly forgotten the word. “No charge
except sharing one nice meal with me.”
Laci Monson couldn’t figure out why this
rugged man with the suntanned face and work-scarred hands would be
standing in front of her in a poorly-fitted suit and a mis-tied
tie. She’d seen his face before, she remembered those sea green
eyes, but somehow, the black, slicked-down hair didn’t fit her
memory of him.
“So, let me get this straight.” She uncrossed
her arms and slid her hands into the side pockets of her skirt.
“You’ll model for free, and take me out to dinner?” The pitch of
her voice rose along with her eyebrows.
He nodded. “Yep. And I’m in town for three
days. You’ve got time to make arrangements for a photographer, and
check your calendar to see which night works for our date.”
“Date?” She snapped the word without meaning
to. She did not date any of the dudes who came in to buy the urban
cowboy clothes she sold. Now if she ever happened to bump into a
real cowboy, one who actually knew how to mount a horse, it’d be a
different story. But she had no hopes of meeting one here in this
upscale shopping district in downtown Denver.
She’d grown up in a small town in Montana,
and hadn’t really appreciated the working cowboy’s gentleman
mentality until she’d had to deal with the citified variety. Her
first real boyfriend had been the son of a rancher, and she’d never
been treated more like a lady than she had by him. Some day she’d
find another genuine cowboy to fall in love with.
He held up that hand again. “I’m usin’ that
term very loosely here, Miss Laci.”
How the hell did he know her name? Her brows
scrunched together for a second before she remembered her sheriff’s
star-shaped nametag. “And your name is?”
“Finn.” He held out a hand. “Finn
As she took his big hand in hers, sparks
tingled along her arm. When she released him, his calluses brushed
her skin. Those were definitely not the result of using a keyboard
all day the way most of her customers did. “Where are you from,
“Northwest a ways.” He hitched a thumb in
that direction. “But I get in to Denver about once a month or
Northwest? That plus those calluses made her
curious, but he didn’t look like he was going to say more. She
looked him up and down. He was close to six feet tall, and his
shoulders seemed plenty wide, but she couldn’t get a measure of
what the rest of him looked like in that suit. “Before we talk
terms, let’s do this. How about we find a few outfits for you to
change into, then we’ll make a decision. Okay?”
He grinned wide, showing straight teeth. He’d
make a very cute cowboy. She envisioned posters of him in the
windows and maybe a cardboard cutout or two standing around the
store. Especially in the women’s section. It’d bring in more women,
and maybe a few who were looking to buy duds for their city
He wagged one brow at her. “Just to let you
know, I’m an…extra large.”
“Uh huh.” She barely refrained from rolling
her eyes. If he wasn’t so damn charming, she’d boot him out.
Twenty minutes later, Finn stood in a big
changing room surrounded by some of the fanciest, priciest duds
he’d ever laid eyes on.
Laci walked in and set down a pair of cowboy
boots in his size. “Extra large.” She smirked as she walked out of
the room, shutting the door behind her. “Take your time. Saturdays
are always slow here.” She left her scent behind, floral, like the
first day of spring.
“Take my time? Hell, no,” he grumbled as he
shed the tight shoes and uncomfortable tie in seconds. Stripping
down to his navy boxer briefs and black socks, he looked at himself
from every angle in the half-dozen mirrors mounted on the walls. He
stepped closer to one mirror and evaluated the neatly groomed patch
of dark hair on his chest. He’d followed the recommendations of an
online modeling site and had done a passable job. Flexing his arms
and chest, muscled from his work with horses, he murmured, “Not too
“What?” she called.
“Nothing, Miss Lacy.” He tightened his abs.
Would a peek at his pecs make her a little more willing to invest a
few hours in him? Finn tugged on a stiff pair of jeans, slipped his
feet into the butter-soft boots, and walked out of the room,
buttoning the fly as he went.
She turned and her gaze dropped right to his
package. Her mouth formed a tiny little ‘o’.
“Laci?” The droop of her eyelids ricocheted
lust from his balls through his cock, causing an instantly hard
member that pulsed and jerked.
She blinked and her glance slowly crept up
his abs then ran back and forth across his chest and shoulders.
Feeling like a piece of meat, and kind of
lovin’ it, he fisted his hands on his hips and tightened his
biceps. “What do you think?”
She swallowed, licked her lips, and sucked in
a breath. “What?” Her cheeks flared a pretty peach color.
“The jeans.” He turned his back to her,
flexing for her. “Are they the right size?” He could almost feel
her eyes burning into his flesh. His balls tightened and a flow of
lava-hot desire inched up his spine.
“Jeans?” She nearly whispered it.
He caught her reflection in a mirror. Her
gaze locked on his ass as she bit her lower lip. A shiver raced
through her and beaded her nipples to hard, sexy points through her
He wanted her now, fast and reckless, not
caring who looked in the window and saw them.
Her eyes lifted and met his in the mirror.
He gestured to the front door. “Lock it,
Laci. Turn the sign to ‘closed’.”
She shook her head. “I’m sorry.” She backed
away until she bumped into the checkout counter. “I don’t do this.”
Her breath came faster, and she looked around as if she couldn’t
believe her own response. “This is crazy.” She waved her hands in
front of her. “I would still like to have you model the clothes,
but I’ll pay you.” She sat in the big wooden chair on wheels by the
cash register. “Not much, I’m afraid, but I can’t go out with you.”
Placing her palms on her cheeks, she worked to steady her
He huffed out a breath. Damn it, this had
gone all wrong. “I have a confession to make.” Strolling to the
front of the counter, he leaned on it and tried to catch her eye.
“Laci, I’m not who I said I was.”
Her gaze shot to his, confusion wrinkling her
“It’s true, I do want to be a model, but…”
He’d lay it all out and hope for the best. “But just for you.”
Flattening his palms on the counter’s smooth wood, he searched for
the right words. “I’m a ranch hand. A wrangler, at the Rodeo Basin
Ranch out in Moffat County.”
It took her a moment of staring before her
mouth opened. “Then why all this?” She gestured toward the changing
“I’ve been in here a couple times and
couldn’t get your attention.” He ruffled his wetted-down hair and
it released into waves, a lock of it tumbling onto his
Recognition lit her eyes. “You were dressed
different, though. Like an urban cowboy, not a working
He shrugged. “My Sunday best. To impress
you.” Here was the hard part; opening his heart to her. “Since the
first time I saw you, I haven’t been able to get you off my
She shook her head. “Why should I believe
you?” She turned away. “You seem to like to lie—”
“No more lies. I promise.” How could he make
this right? He pointed to her computer. “You can load up the
ranch’s website. My picture’s on the Staff page.”
She gave him a doubtful look, but typed
anyway. In seconds she was comparing the picture on the site to his
face. Her cheeks drained of color and she turned away. “Damn it.”
She said it so softly, he knew she was going to shut him down.
“I’m sorry.” He walked back to the changing
room and looked at his multiple reflections. “Stupid plan,
Halliday.” He turned to close the door, but stopped. What was Laci
As Laci walked toward the changing room, the
pre-recorded music played a ballad about someone’s heroes always
being cowboys. She stopped just outside the door, shaking her head
at the tenacity of this man. He’d gone through a truckload of
trouble to get her attention. Her. Plain old Laci Monson.
And Sweet Fancy Moses, he was a cowboy! A
real one! Sexy as hell and cute and shy and sexy some more. When
she’d watched him buff himself up for her, her body had slammed
into high gear, her nipples tingling, her pussy creaming, and her
belly tightening with pleasure so intense, her knees had nearly
She smiled at Finn’s confused look. “You know
He shook his head, frozen to the spot.
“Those jeans need to come off.”
He looked down at them, then back at her as a
huge grin lit his face. “Yeah?”
Oh, God, what a gorgeous hunk of man. “Yeah.”
That wavy hair, paired with the most beautiful eyes she’d ever
stared into, did something funny to her heart. Her thighs shook as
her core shimmied with need. “Don’t move.” She practically ran to
the front door, locked it, and flipped the sign to ‘Closed.’ Then
she actually did run, back to the changing room, closing the door
behind her and sealing them in together.