Read Boots and Wishes: Ugly Stick Saloon, Book 8 Online

Authors: Myla Jackson

Tags: #Cowboys;Western;Ugly Stick Saloon;Texas;pregnant;baby;abuse;Christmas

Boots and Wishes: Ugly Stick Saloon, Book 8

BOOK: Boots and Wishes: Ugly Stick Saloon, Book 8
10.98Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

The best gift has nothing to do with the size of the package.

Ugly Stick Saloon, Book 8

Married to the love of her life, Audrey Anderson is ready to get this baby show on the road. Except six months of timing sex around her ovaries’ cycle has not only dampened their spontaneity, it hasn’t worked. She’s still not pregnant.

Jackson would love to give Audrey half a dozen children, but he can’t stand the heartache in her eyes as each month goes by with no “plus” sign on the test strip. Hell, he’s ready to call it and concentrate on just being a happy couple.

When a runaway mother arrives at the Ugly Stick with a newborn in tow and needing a job, Audrey, ever the tender heart, takes them in—at the saloon and her home—despite the baby’s presence being a constant reminder of her own empty arms.

Baby Mia turns out to be a blessing in disguise, but just as life settles into a rhythm as pleasant as a cow pony’s lope, the runaway mama’s painful past comes roaring after her with the force of a prairie tornado, threatening to destroy anything in its path, including Audrey and the Ugly Stick Saloon.

Warning: It’s the holiday season at the Ugly Stick and time to wrap the saloon in mistletoe. No need for hot cocoa, there’s enough pull-out-all-the-stops heat between this sexy bar owner and her handsome cowboy to keep every reader warm.

Boots and Wishes

Myla Jackson

Dedication

This book is dedicated to couples who have struggled to get pregnant, the heartache that comes when it doesn’t happen right away, and the ultimate joy of discovering you can and will have a baby.

Chapter One

“Hey, cowboy, what say you strap on the chaps and we go for a ride?” Audrey stood in the doorway of the storeroom, wearing chaps over her blue jean cutoffs and carrying a leather whip coiled in one hand. In her other hand was a pair of man-sized leather chaps. They were the ones out of his closet from home. She liked him best in the real deal.

Jackson’s eyes widened and he teetered, almost losing his balance on the ladder he had climbed up to change the bulb in the fluorescent light fixture hugging the ceiling. He held the long white tube he’d been about to install in the slot he’d just pulled the burned-out bulb from. “Now? Are you ovulating?”

“Do I have to be ovulating for you to want to make love to me?” Audrey’s gut instantly knotted and her eyes stung. “Six months ago, you’d have dropped the bulb and leaped off the ladder at an offer like this.” Her shoulders sagged and she sighed. “I was afraid of this.”

Jackson set the new bulb in the slots and climbed down from the ladder. “Afraid of what?” He pulled her into his arms and kissed her forehead.

“Afraid making love would become a chore.”

Jackson snorted. “Never.”

“Admit it.” She poked a finger at his chest. “Ever since we decided to try to get pregnant, we’ve lost some of the magic and spontaneity we used to enjoy.”

When Jackson started to shake his head, Audrey raised her eyebrows and gave him a pointed look. “Be honest.”

Jackson’s head stopped in midshake and he grimaced. “Okay, so it’s not quite as spontaneous as it used to be. But I love you and never get tired of making love with you.”

“And I never tire of making love with you. But all the effort of timing our lovemaking is taking the joy out of our sex life.” She stepped back and turned away from him, her heart sore. “Maybe we should give up trying. If it happens, it happens.” She bit her bottom lip before continuing softly, “And if it doesn’t, it wasn’t meant to be. We weren’t meant to be parents. I mean, my life has been anything but role-model material.”

Warm, work-roughened hands curled around her arms and she was pulled back against Jackson’s solid chest. “Sweetheart, it will happen. Most likely when we least expect it. And even if it doesn’t—which I’m not giving up—you would be enough to keep me happy for the rest of my life. And you’re the best role model a kid could have. You’re real, tender-hearted, and you care about everyone you come in contact with.”

Audrey’s heart filled to overflowing. Jackson was the man who made her life complete. Her one true love. He loved her even with her background as a stripper. She couldn’t imagine loving anyone else or living without him. She covered his hands on her arms and leaned back against him. “I love you, Jackson Gray Wolf. That will never change.” Turning in his embrace, she cupped his cheek. His face was so dear to her and made her grateful every day of her life she’d found him. “I want to have your children. I want to see little Gray Wolf boys running around the ranch, learning to ride horses, swimming in the creek and raising hell like I’m certain you and your brothers did when you were growing up.”

“And I want half a dozen little girls with strawberry-blond hair and eyes so blue they make the Texas skies pale in comparison.”

“Nice.” She slid her hands up his chest to lock behind his neck. “When did you become a romantic?”

“When I met you.” He kissed her, his tongue sliding along the seam of her lips.

She parted her lips and teeth to him and his tongue, enjoying the way he stroked her, like having sex with their mouths. The man was everything a woman could want and more.

Tall, dark and handsome, with the high cheekbones and inky black eyes of his Kiowa ancestry. Dressed in jeans and a blue chambray shirt, he was a sexy mix of cowboy and Indian all wrapped up in a muscular package Audrey couldn’t get enough of.

Her core tightened, her body warmed and she backed away until her hand connected with the storeroom door. With a quick twist, she locked the door.

Jackson’s eyes flared and a smile tilted the corners of his lips. He reached for his belt buckle and flicked it open.

“Now you’re getting the right idea,” Audrey purred. She handed him the leather chaps and paused to cup the bulge growing behind his fly.

While Jackson tied the chaps around his hips, Audrey yanked her tank top up over her breasts and tossed it onto a case of whiskey. “I thought I’d have to dance a striptease for you to get you excited.”

“Sweetheart, all you have to do is stand there and I’m as hard as a steel rod.” He stalked her, his fingers making quick work of the buttons on his jeans, popping them free one at a time.

Audrey jerked her zipper open and slipped her shorts down her legs. Wearing nothing but her bra, red cowboy boots and chaps, her pussy creamed and she couldn’t wait to mount her cowboy and ride him until they both came.

Her sexy husband scooped her up by the backs of her thighs.

She wrapped her legs around his waist and eased down over his rock-hard cock. “Mmmm. Now that’s what I’m talking about.”

Jackson backed her against the door and pinned her hands above her head in one of his big ones. “Soft and sweet, or make it rough?” he asked.

“Ride me, baby,” she breathed, her pulse pounding, a wash of juices easing his thickness inside her. “Make it hard and fast. I’m already teetering on the edge.”

“I aim to please.” He braced her against the wood door and drove into her deep, long and hard, pulled out and thrust into her again. In and out, he moved, his hips pumping, his cock thickening with every stroke.

He filled her so tightly she couldn’t think of anything else but him and the way he made her feel.

The tension built, her body tightened around him, and her breasts beaded, her blood flowing hot through her veins as she climbed that exquisite path to release.

The tingling began at her core and spread outward as she climaxed. Then Audrey was riding the waves of her orgasm, her body shuddering deliciously.

Jackson thrust one last time, burying himself deep inside her. He released his hold on her wrists, gripped her hips in his big hands and held her, his body rigid, his member full and throbbing against the walls of her channel.

When he finally relaxed and bent to capture her lips with his, he whispered, “I’ll never get tired of this.”

“Me either.”

A loud banging on the door made Audrey jump.

“Hey, we’re about out of longnecks up front. Could you guys stop boinking long enough for us to serve the customers?” Charli Sutton, Audrey’s assistant manager, knocked again. “I know you’re in there.”

“I’ll be out in a minute,” Audrey called out. “With the longnecks.” Audrey sighed and gathered her clothing. “Sometimes I wish I’d never bought the Ugly Stick.”

Before she could slip her shirt over her shoulders, Jackson pulled her against him and tweaked a beaded nipple. “Then we might never have met. This place brought us together. In fact, if not for this place, you wouldn’t have hired Libby. Who knows what manner of woman Mark and Luke would have ended up with?”

Audrey smiled. “They do love each other, don’t they? I’ve never seen Libby happier. And her father is finally beginning to accept that Mark and Luke both are part of her life.”

“You’ve done so much for everyone who has ever come through those doors, including me.” Jackson smoothed the hair off her brow. “You know the most beautiful thing about you?”

“No, but I have a feeling you’re going to tell me.” Audrey’s heart swelled at the love in Jackson’s eyes.

“Sure, your breasts are luscious and ripe for the tasting. The swell of your hips makes me hard all over again. And your eyes are so blue…well, I could get lost in them.”

“Go on,” she encouraged, her cup overflowing with his love.

Jackson gathered her close and tipped her chin up, lowering his mouth to hover over hers. “It’s your heart that makes you so beautiful. You have so much love, empathy and compassion for others that everyone you meet falls in love with you.”

“But I only love you,” she said, her breath mingling with his. “The woman-loves-a-man kind of lov—”

Jackson stole her words away with a kiss, and Audrey forgot what she was saying and gave in to the temptation that was Jackson.

When he allowed her up for air, she leaned her forehead against his chest. “Even if we never have a baby, I’ll be content as long as I have you.”

“Content?” Jackson chuckled. “That doesn’t sound inspiring.” He helped her slip her tank top over her head, pinching the tip of one nipple through the lace of her bra. “I hope you’ll be more than content. Hmmm.” He bent to hold her shorts for her, helping her slide them up her legs and button them, his rough fingers skimming the sensitive skin over her tummy. “I’ll have to work on that. Next thing you know, you’ll be sliding into comfortable and we’ll be sitting in rocking chairs, trying to remember where we left our teeth.”

Audrey laughed and buttoned his jeans for him. “I’d be perfectly happy to grow old with you, Jackson Gray Wolf. Rocking chairs on the porch of the ranch house sounds like heaven. We could watch our grandchildren running around in the yard, playing tag.”

“And our children would be sipping tea on the porch with us. All grown up and beautiful like their mother.”

“You mean handsome like their father,” Audrey corrected.

Jackson paused, his brow puckering. “Hey, hasn’t it been two weeks since you last ovulated?”

“Two weeks and three days.”

He glanced down at her belly. “And?”

Audrey chewed on her bottom lip. “I’m three days late for my period.”

A smile spread across Jackson’s face. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

She shrugged. “I didn’t want to get our hopes up.”

“Is it too soon to take a pregnancy test?” he asked, buckling his belt. “Want me to go get one from the drug store?”

“The drug store is closed, sweetie. It closed four hours ago.” Audrey touched his arm. “But I have one in my purse.”

“Take it,” he demanded. “Go, pee on it or do whatever it takes. I can’t believe you haven’t done it already.”

Again, Audrey chewed on her bottom lip, her heart beating irregularly, alternating between the happy staccato of excitement and the dull thud of anticipated disappointment. “What if it comes out negative?”

“You don’t know until you try.”

“I wanted so much to be pregnant by Christmas.”

“We’ve only just started trying. You have to be patient.”

“Just started? It’s been six months!”

“Half a year. It’s nothing.”

“It’s five pregnancy tests and five negative results.” A lump formed in Audrey’s throat and she swallowed hard before continuing, “I don’t know if I can stand another disappointment with Christmas so close.”

Jackson pulled her into his arms again. “Christmas will be great, with or without a baby in your belly.”

“But I wanted so much to be carrying your child by then.” Her eyes welled and she fought to hold back the tears. No matter how hard she tried, one slipped out and trailed down her cheek.

“Oh, baby.” Jackson brushed away the tear. “Trust me. Everything will work out. I promise.”

“How can you promise something you might not be able to deliver?”

“You are worrying far too much. It’s probably messing up your reproductive system. Relax.” He shook her shoulders like a coach at a ball game. “It’ll happen.”

“Okay.” She laughed. “I’ll relax. And I’ll try to make our ‘sessions’ more spontaneous.”

“Right now, we’d better get those longnecks out front before the natives get restless and break down the door.” Jackson hefted a case of beer and headed for the door.

Audrey unlocked it, leaned up to kiss Jackson’s cheek and then opened the door. “I love you, babe.”

He winked. “I love you more.”

Audrey grabbed a couple of bottles of whiskey and followed Jackson through to the bar, enjoying the way his jeans rode his narrow hips. Oh yeah, making love to this hunk of a human was easy. What was harder was getting pregnant. She prayed she hadn’t waited too long to start trying. Was thirty-two too old to get pregnant? She knew women who kept having babies well into their forties.

After Jackson settled the case of beer on the floor behind the bar, he kissed Audrey again and rounded the bar to join his brothers and friends at a table.

“I’ll be glad when you two finally get pregnant.” Charli bent over the case of longnecks and pulled several bottles out, loading them into the trough filled with ice to chill.

“You and me both.” Audrey bent to grab three more, handing them to Charli. “I don’t know what we’re doing wrong. I should be five months along by now.”

“You can’t expect to get pregnant on your first attempt, hon. It’s not that exact a science.”

“Okay, I didn’t expect it on our first attempt, but we’re five months into this and…” She waved a hand. “Nothing.”

Charli straightened. “Oh, sweetie, this is really eating at you, isn’t it?”

Audrey nodded, once again fighting the ready tears. “I never thought I’d ever want children. Until I met Jackson. Now I can’t imagine not having children. Can’t you just see them? All dark-haired, dark-eyed little boys running barefoot and wild?”

Shaking her head, Charli hugged her. “I
can
imagine. And you’ll make a great mother, Audrey. You’re like a mother to all of us misfits. It’s about time you had a dozen children of your own, instead of playing momma to all of us.”

Audrey smiled at Charli. The pretty blonde had been with her almost as long as Audrey had owned the bar. She wasn’t just an employee. She was Audrey’s best friend and confidant. “I know I’ve been very self-absorbed lately. How’s it going for you? Have you set a date yet? When are you two going to tie the knot, settle down and have children?”

“Hey, this conversation isn’t about me and Connor. It’s about you, your man and the family you’re trying to have.”

“You haven’t set a date, have you?” Audrey crossed her arms. “Do I need to have a talk with Connor? Is he the hold-out?”

Charli’s face flushed red. “Don’t talk to Connor. He’s more than ready to get married. I’m the hold-out.”

Audrey’s arms fell to her sides. “What’s wrong? Have you two had an argument?”

BOOK: Boots and Wishes: Ugly Stick Saloon, Book 8
10.98Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Young Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Benworden by Neal Davies
Merry and Bright by Jill Shalvis
War by Peter Lerangis
I'll Be Watching You by M. William Phelps
Eleven Little Piggies by Elizabeth Gunn
Devoted to Him by Cheryl Dragon