UPDATE: The winner is…Latifa Morrisette!
Thoroughbreds and Thermodynamics by Sukie Chapin
A nerdy vet weathers a snowstorm to help a hot-as-hell rancher deliver a breach foal; save a horse, ride a cowboy, indeed!
Snippet from “Thoroughbreds and Thermodynamics”…
Boone walks me to the barn door, but when he swings it open, we both freeze.
While we’ve been cocooned in the barn, the winter storm has turned into a blizzard. In Texas…
“Well, fuck me,” Boone says, and I resist the urge to that’s what she said. “I hope you didn’t have any holiday plans.”
I don’t tell him that my Christmas plans are opening a can of Chef Boyardee and a bottle of “fancy” wine from the Piggly Wiggly and binge-watching The Office because that’s not something you admit to a sex god.
I look at my Prius, half-buried in a snowdrift. A freaking snowdrift.
“I can make it home,” I say, but it falls flat. “Where’s your shovel?”
Boone laughs. “You gonna ride it home like a broom, because you’re sure as hell not thinking of digging your car out and driving in this. Crash at my place,” he says, waving his big hand at the little white farmhouse up the hill. “You can check on these two tomorrow. Just in case.”
Oh, he’s good. I can’t fight that reasoning.
And that settles it, because the next thing I know, we’re picking our way through snow and ice. Boone helps me navigate the slick front steps to the covered porch. He holds the front door open for me, and we stumble across the threshold. It’s after four, and he looks how I feel—like sleeping standing up is a valid option at this point.
He walks me to his bedroom and nods at the bathroom door.
“Shower’s in there.” He hands me a pair of boxer briefs and an A&M T-shirt. “I’ll hit the other bath.”
After our showers, Boone grabs a pillow to take to the couch. He’s so damn tired, and way too big to sleep well on the sofa. It takes less than a second to make up my mind. “Hey, cowboy, we’re both dead on our feet. Just climb in here. I promise I won’t be a cover hog.”
He swallows hard and raises a brow. “I snore.”
“You could sing Queen all night, and I doubt I’d hear you,” I say, crawling under the covers.
He laughs and slides in beside me. “Pretty sure I don’t channel Freddy Mercury in my sleep.”
“I don’t know whether to be grateful or disappointed.”
He laughs quietly and tucks the covers around me before settling back. My heart does that thing again, the one where it feels too big.
“You good?” he asks.
I sigh. “Better than I’ve been in a long damn time.”
I say it without thinking, the truth of my own words hitting me like a punch to the chest. Boone makes a soft noise in the back of his throat.
Something deep inside whispers that I should want to snatch the words back, but for some inexplicable reason, I don’t want to. Laying here, Boone’s heat soaking into my skin, his smell all around me, his soft breaths a gentle reminder of life, I feel…like me. Present. Like I can breathe.
“Merry Christmas, Adelaide,” he says, my name like whiskey on his tongue, the words searing their way through my veins, burning the sounds into my synapses, making me drunk on Boone. Better than I imagined.
“Merry Christmas, Boone,” I whisper back because it’s all I can manage.
And as much as I don’t want this moment to end, sleep is pulling me under before I hear Boone’s first soft snore.
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Could you ever see yourself with a rancher or being a rancher? Have you had that fantasy?
About the Author
Sukie Chapin has been a military wife, world traveler, almost-groupie, and preschool teacher. Naturally, the next logical step was writing erotic romance. She lives in Texas where she can be found reading, writing, mommying, and making a homemade chocolate pudding that will make you want to slap your mama.