Authors: Aden Lowe
Tags: #horses, #christmas, #sexy, #western, #cowboy, #sensual
A Hunted Christmas
A Companion story to Big Game:
Hunted Love #1
©2015 by Aden Lowe. All rights
reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved
above, no part of this publication or series may be reproduced or
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written
permission of Aden Lowe or his legal representative.
This book is a work of fiction. The
names, characters, brands, and incidents are either the product of
the authors' imaginations or used fictitiously. The author
acknowledges the trademarked status and owners of various products
and locations referenced in this work of fiction, which have been
used without permission. The publication or use of these trademarks
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Thank you for purchasing an
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Author's Note: This book contains
adult situations and language, and sexual activity. Mature readers
This one is for all the readers who asked for
more of Kate and Jakob from Big Game. Without your support and
encouragement, I might have given up, so this short story is my way
of saying Thank You.
Ashley, my Assistant/Co-Author/BabySister/Cover
Designer and any of a dozen other titles you wear… thank
Cover design by: Ashley
Jakob came in the door on a rush of frigid
air, and paused to dust snow off his hat. "It's getting bad out
there. I had the boys go ahead and put hay out." He hung his hat
and coat by the door and came over to give Kate a kiss.
She turned into his arms and slid her hands up
to the back of his neck, glad to have him back in the house. "I
guess we'll have to find a way to stay occupied inside."
A low groan rumbled from his throat. "I can
think of plenty of things to keep you busy."
She smiled. "Good." One more quick kiss and
she turned back to the stove. "Now, get washed up. Dinner will be
ready in a few minutes."
When he left, she looked out the window over
the sink. The wind whipped snow along the ground and the sky looked
ready to open up in the third winter storm to hit the valley for
the season and it hadn't even really started yet. They'd had a good
year and were prepared, but many ranchers in the area were already
in trouble. Her heart ached for the animals who would suffer the
brunt of their owners' bad luck or laziness. That part of ranch
life never changed, though.
The oven timer dinged and Kate put the worry
out of mind and turned back to making dinner for her man. Before
Jakob, she barely learned to cook at all, but when he came into her
life, it suddenly became important to prepare food for him. The
almost obsessive need to cook, and do it well, surprised her at
first, but she figured maybe it was some instinct or genetic
memory. Didn't matter, the result was the same.
Part of her still refused to believe Jakob
really wanted her, but those doubts disappeared every night when
his touch carried her into orbit. Her life had taken a one-eighty
in just a few short months, and if she were strictly honest, she
still worried it was all just a dream. Girls like her, broken ones,
didn't win men like him. She'd accepted her life, alone, and
resigned herself to a future of horses and dogs.
After a couple of weeks of exploring what they
might have together, Jakob processed out of the Army when his leave
ended, and so far, seemed satisfied with life on the ranch with
her. He'd made several trips back to his uncle's farm to settle
things up, and moved all the livestock to her ranch. Her hands
immediately accepted him, including Ray, the overprotective
foreman. Recently, Jakob had even accepted several hunting jobs and
seemed to consider taking up his uncle's work.
Despite all that, the lack of permanency
concerned her. Early on, he mentioned the future in sort of vague
terms, but lately hadn't even hinted at long-term plans. Oh, he was
very clearly possessive of her, but she had no way of knowing how
long that might last before he packed up his horses and dogs and
hit the road. Kate shook her head and refused to worry about it at
the moment while she put the finishing touches on the
"What smells so good?" Jakob came back into
the kitchen wearing his ratty old sweats and no shirt. He stopped
close behind her and put his hands on her hips, drawing her back
against him to drop a kiss to the side of her neck.
Kate turned her head for a quick kiss. She'd
long since given up trying to get him to replace the sweats and
settled for clean. "You'll freeze without a shirt."
His heart-stopping grin pushed her objections
away. "You'll keep me warm. I have faith."
A laugh bubbled up. "You're too much
sometimes. Sit down and behave." She finished bringing everything
to the table and took her seat.
The meal passed like so many others, with talk
about the day just behind them, and the one ahead, and plenty of
lighthearted teasing. And still nothing about a long-term future.
They cleaned up together, as usual. Then Jakob went to make a
couple of phone calls while Kate bundled up for her nightly trip to
It was a little earlier than usual, but not
even a blizzard could stop her from tucking the horses in for the
night. She couldn't sleep until she assured herself they were all
safe and as comfortable as possible. The habit, in part, held over
from the days when her father ran the ranch. He took the nightly
stable visits as an opportunity to teach her about operating the
ranch. Since his death, she felt closer to him on the walk to and
from the barn, and as she talked to the horses, she spoke to him,
too. It helped the pain a little.
In the big paddock by the barn, Dreamer paced
and whistled as she drew near. The storm had yet to grow severe
enough to drive him into the shelter of the cozy shed the men
installed in there for his comfort. The stallion was still wild as
hell, but he improved every day. She and Jakob had spent a week
chasing the horse down and catching him after the successful hunt
for the mountain lion.
As she suspected, he proved to be a son of
Chaser, one of the horses killed by the mountain lion. Chasing The
Dream, or Dreamer, had been worth every minute. He might never be
the star in the arena his sire had been, but his sons and daughters
would be. Dreamer formed a link to the past she thought she'd lost.
Besides being the foundation of a very successful breeding program,
Chaser had the only surviving foal of her mother's favorite mare.
Kate needed that anchor to her heritage, and Dreamer gave it back
She stopped by the fence and offered the
treat. "I've got big plans for you, bubba. You're the start of a
new era for Holt Cutting Horses." As wild and powerful as Dreamer
was, she took her life in her hands every time she came within
reach of his teeth. He could easily grab her by the arm and jerk
her into the pen. A wild stallion was like a rattlesnake ready to
strike, and far deadlier. The future rested on his rock hard
hooves, though, so she took the risk. She hoped Jakob would be
there to share that future with her.
Dreamer tossed his head and snorted, but
stretched his neck out and took the apple slice, still staying as
far away as possible. As soon as the weather broke, she would get
serious about working with him. They needed him manageable, not the
man-killing rogue his father turned into. She continued to talk to
him for a moment, using her voice to hold his attention and calm
him. Finally, the cold drove her to tell him goodnight and move on
to the next horses waiting to be tucked in for the
The horses inside the barn munched their hay
quietly until they heard Kate speak. One by one, heads popped over
stall doors and eager whickers begged for treats. Smiling, she
spent a moment with each horse, talking to them, patting necks and
In the last stall, Jakob's horse, Ajax,
waited, dark and silent. The big Tennessee Walker intimidated her,
but so far he'd been nothing but gentle with her. He accepted the
apple as his due and allowed her to stroke the regal crest of his
neck. Since he helped her safe Jakob's life when her neighbor tried
to have him killed, she owed him a truck-load of apples.
Satisfied that all the horses were safe and
well, she turned the lights off and slid the door closed. The icy
wind hit her like a wall and drove the snow in a thick veil that
turned the familiar landscape into a foreign planet. Only the
barely visible glow of the lights gave away the house's
Kate pushed her way to the fence that ran
alongside the lane and used it to keep her bearings while the wind
and snow howled around her. She had no desire to test the storm's
fury by trying to navigate without an aid. Too many people had died
of exposure in similar circumstances for her to attempt
After what seemed like an endless marathon,
she reached the back porch, frozen to the core. And very aware of
the need to get out of her snow-crusted clothing before it melted
through and soaked her in ice water. The momma dog shoved her warm
muzzle into her hand as soon as she managed to get the door
The wind resisted her efforts to get the door
closed, but she finally managed it. The temperature difference
inside the screened in porch comforted her. At least the wind
didn't reach there. She paused long enough to pet the dog and make
sure the old girl had plenty of straw inside her box to keep warm.
Sheltered from the wind and snow, with her box against the house to
absorb heat, the dog would be comfortable. A thorough wagging
later, momma dog crawled back into her bed and Kate went
Jakob waited to help her out of her layers.
"It's getting worse out, isn't it? I was getting ready to come
looking for you." The wet jeans stuck to her skin and sent a chill
right to the bone, so she gladly let them join the rest her stuff
in coming off. Soon she stood there in just her oversized sweater
and panties. Jakob scooped her into his arms and carried her
through to the living room.
Kate laughed and wrapped her arms around his
neck. "I was beginning to wonder myself. I had to use the fence to
find my way back."
He sat in the big recliner with her on his lap
and pulled the afghan around them. "Well, I'm glad I didn't have to
go looking for you." He tugged her hand down between them. "I don't
think I'd have survived the cold." His erection arched into her
She caught her breath a little and slipped her
hand into the waistband of his sweats to slide her hand down his
shaft. "Hmm, I think you'd have melted the snow."
Jakob sucked in a deep breath when her cold
fingers found his hard-on. "Easy now, I want inside you before I
lose it." He buried his face in the curve of her neck, breathing
her in deeply. "Fuck, Kate, I love you."
A breathy little moan slipped from her as she
turned to straddle his hips. "I love you, Jakob." She could spend
the rest of her life trying, but she could never repay her good
fortune in finding him.
No hesitation. Jakob pulled her panties to the
side and pushed into her with a groan. She leaned back and pulled
her sweater off, granting him access to her breasts. Nothing else
in the world mattered. The storm raging outside faded from her
mind. She stared as she rode him, lost in loving him.
Her inner muscles clamped down and rippled
over him as she came, and he buried himself deep for his own
orgasm. Triumph surged through her as he groaned. She treasured the
ability to make him lose himself in her.
She collapsed onto his chest, breathing hard
and smiling. "If it means sex like that, I'll go wander around in
the blizzard again."
"Oh, no you don't." He sounded panicky.
"You're staying right here with me, so I can enjoy that delicious
body again." Gathering her, he stood, keeping her pressed