Tempted by a Cowboy - Vicki Lewis Thompson
VickiLewis Thompson - Perfect Man #2 - Tempted by a Cowboy
“I can’t lose her.” Fletcher Grayson crouched beside the bay mare and stroked her sweat-dampened neck as she lay on her side in the foaling stall, her breath labored.
“We’re not going to lose her.” Astrid Lindberg was determined that both mare and foal would survive this night. Fletch had called her emergency line at ten P.M. It was a testimony to her lack of a social life that she’d been home on a Saturday night.
She’d rushed out to the Rocking G, driving through a summer downpour. It was what locals called a trash-mover of a rain, falling in endless sheets of water. Four hours later, the rain continued to pound the roof of the barn, and Janis still hadn’t foaled.
Astrid had monitored the pregnant mare for weeks, ever since the first signs of edema. Because of the swelling, Janis’s abdomen was far more distended than it would be in a normal pregnancy. The condition was worrisome, and recently Fletch had kept her confined to the barn and a small paddock to restrict her movements.
Some vets might have performed a C-section by now. Astrid preferred to see if Janis could deliver naturally, which would mean a better start for both mother and baby. Luckily Fletch agreed with her.
Fletch tended to agree with her on most things, which made her job as his vet much easier. It also made her life as a woman frustrating as hell. From her first glimpse of the broad-shouldered rancher, she’d been in trouble. Fletch Grayson was hot. And single. Fletch appealed to her way more than the commodities trader she’d been dating. But Fletch was a client, which meant he was definitely off-limits.
“I think she wants to get up.” Fletch stood and backed away. Concern shone in his brown eyes. “I wish she’d just have that foal and be done with it.”
“Me, too.” Astrid rose and edged back as Janis lumbered to her feet. “Let’s move out of the stall and give her room to pace if she needs to.”
“Sure.” He followed her out, and they leaned side by side against the front of the stall so they could observe the mare as she walked the perimeter of her enclosure.
Standing close together in this cozy barn watching Janis as the rain came down outside was the most natural thing in the world for them to be doing. Yet stormy nights always made Astrid long to be held, and it drove her crazy to be within touching distance of the yummy Mr. Grayson. She imagined the feel of all those muscles under his blue denim shirt and barely controlled a shiver.
He’d named his ranch the Rocking G because he had a fondness for classic rock ’n’ roll. This horse honored Janis Joplin, and the stable was filled with namesakes of other famous rockers. In Astrid’s opinion, Fletch was the one who rocked.
He’d hung his Stetson on a peg outside the stall. When he was nervous, he had a habit of running his fingers through his chocolate-brown hair, which only made that wavy hair sexier. No one should look this good at two in the morning. Or smell this good. Fletch’s woodsy aftershave was one of the many things about him that made her pulse race.
He possessed a killer combo of square-jawed masculinity and a heart of gold. The same passionate love of animals that had propelled her into the field of veterinary medicine had caused him to sink all his savings into a horse-breeding operation. Although he was finally turning a profit, he did so only by carefully managing his budget.
They’d become so comfortable with each other during the six months she’d tended his horses that he’d shared major decisions with her, such as when he’d postponed the purchase of a new truck so he could install more efficient heating in the horse barn. She treasured those long conversations, even though they stirred up inappropriate thoughts. Would he be even better at pillow talk?
But she also treasured her professional standing in the Dallas area, so she wouldn’t be sharing a pillow with gorgeous Fletch Grayson. It was hard enough for a girl to be taken seriously as a vet in Texas. And it was even harder for someone like Astrid, the daughter of a rich family—at least it would be if anyone knew how wealthy she was. Besides, she didn’t know if he would welcome that idea. Sometimes she thought he was looking at her with interest, but