“I used to use a flatiron every day, but then I discovered the Brazilian Blowout.”
“Sounds kinky.” He wriggles his eyebrows at me playfully.
I laugh and smack him on the shoulder. “Pervert.”
“You bring it out in me, babe.”
“The BB is a hair treatment to make my hair straight and frizz-free. I’m religious about it.”
“I liked your curls,” he whispers, and kisses my forehead.
“So you’ve said,” I sigh. “I didn’t. I like it better straight.”
He continues to caress my back, his lips resting against my forehead, and before long my eyes are heavy and I fall into a deep, hard sleep.
* * *
“Wake up, sweetheart.”
Warm lips are moving across my face, over my forehead, kissing me tenderly. I reach out for him and frown when my hands grip cotton.
“Why are you dressed?” I ask, still not opening my eyes.
“I’ve been up for a little while. Wake up.”
I hear the smile in his voice, but I turn onto my stomach and bury my face into the pillow. “No.”
“Come on, I need you to get up.” He’s chuckling now.
Why did I have to go and be attracted to a morning person? “Time is it?” I ask against the pillow.
“Are you here for sex?”
“If you leave now, I’ll let you live.” I turn over onto my other side, facing away from him, and pull the covers over my head.
He laughs loudly and pulls the covers off my face. “You’re adorable in the morning.”
“I’ll show you just how adorable I can be at this hour with no coffee.”
“Open your gorgeous eyes, baby.”
He leans over me and kisses my cheek and I sigh. “Why am I awake?”
“I need to show you something.”
“I’ve seen it. You said you weren’t here for sex.” I open one eye and scowl at him. “Don’t play with my emotions.”
“Get dressed, there’s something you need to see.”
I sigh and scrub my hands roughly over my face and sit up, letting the covers fall into my lap, exposing my breasts.
Josh sucks in a breath and swears under his breath. “Get dressed fast before I join you and meet me in the kitchen.”
With that he stalks out of the room and I grin, remembering last night.
I climb from the bed, stretching and flinching as muscles I haven’t used in too long moan in protest. I’d love a hot shower, but I don’t think Josh is patient enough to wait that long, so I pull on a new blue T-shirt and jeans, slide my feet into my new sneakers, and meet him in the kitchen.
“Come on, we have to hurry. I don’t want you to miss it.” He grips my hand and pulls me out of the house to a waiting ATV parked at the bottom of the porch. “Hop on.”
As soon as I climb on behind him, he takes off at full speed, and I have to loop my arms around his middle to keep from falling off the back. We race down the driveway toward the big house, then veer over to the barn. He parks, cuts the engine, and helps me off the four-wheeler.
“That was fun,” I mutter dryly.
“Come on, smart-ass.” He takes my hand and pulls me into the barn, down a row of stalls. I see Seth sitting up on one of the stall walls, grinning down inside and talking to Louie, the longtime ranch hand of the Lazy K.
“She’s so small! And she has knobby knees,” Seth giggles.
“She’ll get bigger fast enough,” I hear Louie respond, and my gaze immediately finds Josh’s.
“A baby?” I ask quietly.
“Yeah, Starfire had her foal just a little while ago. I don’t think she’s stood up and walked yet, and I want you to see that part. It’s pretty amazing.” Josh is grinning down at me, his eyes shining and happy.
He loves this ranch.
He opens the door to the stall, an extra-large one at the end of the row that I assume is used for expectant mothers. The smell of hay is strong, but the barn is clean and tidy. The animals are well cared for here.
He motions for me to follow him inside and shuts the door behind us. Starfire is munching happily on breakfast while her baby lies comfortably on a pile of straw, sleeping soundly.
“Oh, how sweet.”
“Starfire had her baby!” Seth informs me, a wide grin on his face.
“I see that.” I smile back at him, then watch as Starfire turns to her baby and licks and nuzzles her gently.
“She needs to eat,” Josh tells me, and wraps his arms around me, pulling me back against his chest. “So, Starfire will help her get on her feet so she can nurse.”
Sure enough, over the next ten minutes, Starfire coaxes her baby onto her feet, and the foal wobbles, unsure of her footing. Finally, she takes a few steps and roots around under her mother’s belly until she finds a teat and begins to nurse.
“Gross.” Seth scrunches up his nose.
“How else will the baby eat?” I ask him, and smile.
He shrugs, watching the mama and the baby closely, and the teacher in me can’t help but appreciate what a learning tool this is for the boy.
We spend a few hours there, watching the new foal get used to life on the “outside,” as Seth puts it with fits of giggles.
“I think it’s time for us to get to work, Seth.” I laugh when he scowls at me.
“But I should get today off, to help with the baby.”
“She’ll be here when you’re done,” I reply sternly, and run my hand down Josh’s arm before walking out of the stall. “I’ll give you a break in a couple hours so you can come check on her.”
“Okay.” Seth looks longingly at the foal and then jumps down off the stall wall and walks out of the barn ahead of me.
“Come check on me while you’re at it,” Josh murmurs as he moves up behind me and kisses my neck, just below my ear. I pull out of his grasp, pointing at Seth walking ahead.
“Will you need checking?” I ask with a grin.
“I’ve got something you can check, sweetheart.” He swats my ass as I walk away, laughing and shaking my head.
I’m so coming out to the barn in a few hours.
“We could have gone somewhere more casual,” I murmur, and take a sip of wine, enjoying the sight of Josh sitting across from me at the table in his white button-down shirt, with the sleeves rolled up on his forearms, and black slacks. His dark brown hair has been tamed, and I can’t wait to run my fingers through it and mess it up.