Dominique Jeffries had an impulsive nature. Or rather, she used to have an impulsive nature before her three-year stint as Herman’s girlfriend. Now that she was no longer Herman’s girlfriend, having been dumped for his boss’s daughter, she wondered if she’d forgotten how to be impulsive. This trip to Wyoming was a test to see if the old Dominique was still in there, and whether she dared let her out to play.
This authentic cowboy she’d found would be a perfect foil to discover if she still had what it took to be wild and free. But not too wild and free. She wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize the wedding and portrait photography business she’d built in Indianapolis. Much as she hated to admit it, Herman had helped her become financially stable for the first time in her life, and having money in the bank felt good.
But she had another sort of good feeling in mind today. Her newfound cowboy was already making her laugh with his muscle flexing routine. “Nice pose,” she called out. “Care to show me the flip side?”
He turned, displaying buns to die for and back muscles like she hadn’t seen in . . . well, in three years. Herman wasn’t much for working out. She took a couple of shots, but she wasn’t here for the photography. The camera was supposed to function as an ice breaker.
Talk about overkill. Her shirtless cowboy was taking care of melting any ice that might be in the vicinity. When she looked at him, she was surprised there was still snow on the mountains. She couldn’t believe she’d happened upon such a great specimen of rugged western male on her first try. This guy was the anti-Herman, which was exactly what she’d come to Wyoming to find.
“Got what you needed?” he asked over his shoulder.
Not yet, but she’d work on that. “Sure. Thanks.”
He turned around. “I should be thanking you. You gave me a break from digging post holes.”
“Glad to be of service.” She slipped her camera into her satchel and walked forward. “I’m here on vacation.”
She laughed. “I know. Hard to believe. I’m sure I look very Jackson Hole to you.”
“Depends.” His gaze lingered as he surveyed her outfit. “We get Hollywood types up here.”
Being mistaken for a Hollywood type was good for the ego. Being ogled was, too. She loved the way he talked, slowly and deliberately, which she guessed came from living in the wide open spaces. His eyes, she discovered on closer inspection, were green.
“I’m not from Hollywood,” she said. “I’m from . . . actually, never mind where I’m from. It doesn’t matter. I’m on vacation from that place. No need to reference it.”
“Where’re you staying?”
She considered that a promising question, as if he might like to know how accessible she’d be while she was in the area. “Here.”
“Ah. Overflow from the Bunk and Grub, I’ll bet.”
“That’s right. Somebody ended up staying an extra week so Pam sent me down here.” It was okay for him to ogle her, but she felt uncool ogling him. Yet she couldn’t help it. His chest was magnificent – dusted with reddish-brown hair, muscled, and gleaming with sweat.
He nudged his hat back with his thumb. “Bet they put you in Roni’s room.”
“I’m not sure. Is she a NASCAR fan? There’s lots of NASCAR stuff in there.”
“She’s a mechanic for one of the teams, only comes home for holidays.”
She hoped Roni wasn’t his girlfriend. She hoped nobody was his girlfriend. “I’m glad her room is available.” Are you? She peeked at his left hand, but lack of a ring meant little these days.
“First time in Wyoming?”
“Yes. I wanted to see something different.”
“You mean like mountains and moose?” His green eyes sparkled with laughter.
“I suppose you think it’s funny that I wanted to take your picture.” She was close enough to catch his musky, sweaty scent. She used to love sweaty sex. Herman had been an efficient lover, a competent lover, but he preferred air conditioned bedrooms so there hadn’t been much sweat involved.
“Actually I’m flattered. It’s not often some good-looking woman points a camera at me for no good reason.”
“I had a reason.” She hadn’t meant that to sound quite so husky and seductive. She cleared her throat. “What I meant was –”
“No, no, don’t backtrack on me. I liked the implication of the first answer.”
“That you think I’m hot.”
“Maybe.” She enjoyed his swagger. A cowboy with attitude. Excellent.
His smile revealed even white teeth. “For the record, I think you’re hot, too.”
With such white teeth, he must not chew tobacco. She’d thought about that as she’d fantasized a close encounter with a cowboy. A chaw of tobacco didn’t figure into her fantasy. Eeuuww.
He stepped toward her, the first move he’d made in her direction. “So what are we going to do about our mutual hotness?”
Her breath caught. She’d started this interchange, but he’d just taken charge and issued a challenge. He probably expected her to turn tail and run.
She hadn’t come all the way to Wyoming to run away when her fantasy cowboy showed up. Her heart pounding, she stood her ground. “I’m not sure. Any suggestions?”