“Are you ready for this?” Cooper asked Dalton when he came around to the back of the stage.
Tessa had spent the week getting the stage at the Rusty Nail decorated for Christmas, and after a little interfering from Cooper – after all, they seriously needed a place to stand or they wouldn’t be able to perform – everything was in place, the only thing left was the entertainment.
“Man, I was born ready,” Dalton answered in that laid-back drawl of his.
“I feel you,” Cooper added, grinning. It’d been a couple of months since he and Dalton had done anything together, including rocking the stage. After all of the hoopla with the wedding, getting the equestrian center running smoothly had been their only objective. Now that things had settled, Cooper was actually quite anxious to get back to the music. Tonight would even be recorded, and the camera crew was all in place.
“Did all of the tickets sell?” Dalton asked, studying the stage the same way Cooper had been for the last half hour.
“Every last one of them.” Being that they’d sold exactly enough to fill the space without violating the fire code, there hadn’t been that many to be had, but they went fast. Considering every last dime was going to charity, everyone had been thrilled with the turn out.
Cooper glanced up to see Tessa moving toward him, and he grinned. The tight jeans and boots that she sported most days gave him a hard on, but when she opted for those little frilly dresses and her cowgirl boots, he found himself hard enough to pound nails. And tonight was no exception. The off the shoulder black number accented with a thick brown belt around her slender waist made his mouth water. But her legs were what stole his breath.
When she moved close, he pulled her up against his side and leaned down to kiss her on her soft, pink lips. “You look good enough to eat,” he mumbled softly so only she would hear.
She gifted him with a beaming smile and Cooper had the sudden desire to sweep her up to the office on the second floor and have his wicked way with her.
“Keep your hat on, Cowboy. You’ve got a show to put on first,” Tessa teased with a raspy chuckle that only stirred him up that much more.
“They can wait,” he told her with a grin.
As though on cue, a group of rowdy cowboys came in through the door, all talking at the same time. Cooper looked up in time to see seven big males, and several females, coming their way. “Your cousins?” he asked Tessa, tightening his grip around her waist.
“Yep,” she confirmed at the same time Dalton moved toward them. Apparently, Dalton had hit it off with the brothers at the wedding reception.
“Hey,” Tessa whispered close to his ear, drawing his attention back down to her. “Is Cheyenne here yet?”
Cooper smiled. Cheyenne Montgomery was a surprise for the night. Her name had actually been mentioned by Travis Walker, who was apparently a close friend of the country music sweetheart. “She should be here any minute.”
Tessa clapped like a kid, her excitement palpable. Apparently, the woman who claimed she wasn’t all that into country music was a big fan of Cheyenne’s.
Planting another kiss on Tessa’s lips, Cooper held her close as they moved over to greet the Walkers. It was time to get this show no the road.
Two hours later, Tessa was floating on a cloud. The band had rocked the roof off of the place. And Cheyenne Montgomery had blown her away. Not to mention when Cheyenne, Dalton and Cooper all took the stage at the same time. She wasn’t sure whether the walls were strong enough to support the noise level that erupted when they started singing together. Needless to say, it had been an amazing night.
Retrieving three bottles of water, Tessa made her way through the crowd to where Cooper and Dalton were currently talking to some of the fans. She watched Cooper especially. The man made her heart pound painfully hard in her chest. She wasn’t sure she’d ever get enough of looking at him. And yes, a small part of her had to admit how incredibly sexy he was when he was on stage. He’d become her new favorite although Dalton and Cheyenne took a close second.
“Hey, baby,” Cooper drawled when she came up to him, handing him one of the bottles of water.
“Hold that thought,” she told him, having to speak loud over the noise level.
Pushing her way through another mass of bodies, Tessa handed a bottle of water to Dalton, noticing that he had Katie close by, but she seemed to be a little stand-offish with the other women who were trying to crowd Dalton. Tessa understood just how the woman felt. There were times she wanted to beat Cooper’s admirers off with a stick, remind them that he had a woman. But, the second best thing to smacking them all upside the head was the fact that Cooper ensured she knew each and every day that she was the only woman in his life.
When she couldn’t find Cheyenne, she eased back over to Cooper’s side. As usual he turned away from his adoring fans and graced her with that look he reserved only for her. Unable to resist, Tessa threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tight.
“You were amazing,” she whispered loudly in his ear.
Cooper pulled back and stared down at her before placing his lips on hers. The adrenaline was still coursing through his entire body, and she felt it like an electrical charge.
“I can’t wait to get you home,” he informed her.
She couldn’t wait to get home either. It was time to celebrate. Just the two of them. They’d worked most of December getting ready for this concert which meant they’d neglected most of their own preparations for their first Christmas together. And tomorrow was Christmas Eve. There were a few traditions she was interested in starting with this amazing man and she fully intended to start tomorrow and let them bleed into the next.
Brendon wasn’t sure what spurred him to approach Cheyenne, but he couldn’t seem to stop himself. He felt like a stalker, remaining in the shadows, keeping his eyes on her. He felt like a fucking dog chasing a stick. When she moved, he moved. When she stopped, he stopped. All the while, Braydon and Jessie were somewhere on the other side of the room. He had noticed Braydon watching him earlier, but his twin hadn’t said anything. Didn’t need to.
Acting like a dumbass was what he was doing.
“We need to talk,” he told her. He knew he sounded frustrated. Which he was.
“I don’t have time for this, Brendon,” Cheyenne informed him when he crowded closer, separating her from the swarm of fans that were vying for her attention.
“It won’t take long,” he told her, his voice rough with the damned need that had infiltrated his bloodstream from the moment he recognized her.
There had been rumors that she would be playing this show, but he had never heard a definite. That didn’t mean he hadn’t been hoping like hell that she’d be there. But now that he had isolated her, he wasn’t quite sure what the hell he was supposed to do or say.
“Won’t your girlfriend miss you if you’re gone too long?” she asked, and if he wasn’t mistaken, she didn’t sound happy.
“Jealous?” he retorted, not sure what he was doing. He hadn’t meant to antagonize her, but Brendon was so fucking tired of spending night and day thinking about this woman.
She answered him with a sexy grin that had his body humming to life. He hated his reaction to her. Hated that she’d come along and flipped his world onto its back, leaving him vulnerable and defenseless. As he stood there staring at her, Brendon couldn’t even come up with the words he wanted to say to her. After all this time, all the emotions he’d been fighting lately… all thanks to her. Yet he could barely breathe, much less speak.
When Cheyenne moved closer, surprising him when she brushed fully against him, Brendon’s body hardened. Looking down at her, he waited for what she was gearing up to tell him.
One of her slender fingers poked into his chest as she stared up at him. Dark hair, sparkling amber eyes. The same ones he’d dreamed about over and over for months now.
“I’ve got one thing to say to you.” Her finger pressed more firmly against his chest. “If you’re looking to share, I’m not your girl.” And almost as though she hadn’t meant for the words to come out, Cheyenne turned abruptly and tried to walk away but Brendon caught her arm, pulled her back until she was flush against him, her back to his front.
“Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it,” he growled close to her ear. “Think about what it would be like to be sandwiched between two of us.”
Cheyenne spun around to face him, one eyebrow cocked as though she were waiting for him to say something more. When he didn’t, she said, “Like I said, I’m not your girl.”
She took another step closer, and Brendon leaned down, his eyes raking over her face and landing on her lips. “But if and when you decide whether you can handle me all by yourself, give me a call.”
With that, Cheyenne turned and walked away. Brendon’s mind was reeling too fast for him to react. Rather than reach out to pull her back again, he let her walk away. Looking up, he noticed Braydon watching him from not far away. Right then and there, Brendon knew he had a decision to make.
He just prayed like hell it was the right one.
“Mmmm,” Cooper said when he found Tessa in the kitchen the following evening. “Whatcha makin’?” Whatever it was, it smelled delicious, and he was starving. After the concert last night, sleeping in late, and then spending the afternoon with the horses, he was starving.
“Dinner,” she told him, rewarding him with a brief kiss when he came up to stand behind her.
“I can think of something else I’d rather eat,” he mumbled against her ear.
“You need your strength, Cowboy,” she said, her hand coming to rest flat over his arm as he wrapped her up against him while she continued to stir something in the pan on the stove.
“Won’t argue with you there,” he mumbled against her ear, his lips grazing the soft, smooth skin of her neck. “But after dinner, I hope you don’t have any plans.”
“Oh, I have plans, Cowboy. But I promise, you’ll like what I have in store for you.”
Cooper wasn’t sure how he made it through dinner, but he did. Even managed to down an additional glass of tea when Tessa insisted on sitting outside on the porch while Harmony and Havoc ran through the yard. With the propane heaters going, they could actually sit there all night and never have to ward off the light chill in the air. The sun had gone down minutes ago, casting the back porch in shadow and Cooper got up to turn on the lights. He flipped the switch by the door, but the overhead light didn’t come on like usual.
“Probably needs a new bulb,” Tessa informed him as she got up. “That’s ok though. I kinda like it like this.”
Unable to resist her, Cooper pulled her in close. She smelled so damn good, his mouth actually watered. Tilting her head up with his finger beneath her chin, he leaned down, meeting her mouth with his. With little finesse, Cooper drove his tongue into her mouth, searching, seeking, devouring. This woman made his blood burn hotter. He knew no matter how hard he tried, he would never get enough of her. Never. But he certainly wasn’t against trying.
When he pulled back, it took his eyes a second to adjust, but he realized there were lights on the porch. Christmas lights. Blue ones that cast a glow over the porch, but didn’t light it up enough to spotlight anything.
“Did you do this?” he asked, wrapping his arms around her back and clasping his fingers together as he looked down at her.
“Nice touch,” he told her.
“It’s your Christmas present,” she told him. “One of them anyway.”
“If you’re included, it’s the only gift I need,” he answered, holding her tighter.
“I’m included. I figured we could re-enact our first time together.”
Cooper’s jeans were suddenly too damn tight as his dick pulsed anxiously. He remembered that night like it was just yesterday.
“What about a sleeping bag?” he asked, pretending to give a shit about something else. He could care less what they had as long as he could get his hands on this woman.
“Got it,” she answered easily.
“Hmmm, what else?” he asked, sliding his hands down her back until he was cupping her ass. He lifted her, forcing her legs to wrap around his waist as he moved toward the wood railing. Propping her on it, he planted his mouth on hers, getting lost in the exquisite taste of her.
Unable to resist, Cooper slid his hand down until he found the edge of her dress and then made a return trip up, this time beneath the soft cotton that separated her naked body from his eager eyes.
“Fuck me,” he moaned. She wasn’t wearing panties.
“That’s what I intend to do,” she whispered against his lips. “Right here.”
Tessa reached for the button on his jeans, and made quick work of freeing his cock while Cooper slid his fingers through her slick folds, teasing her lightly. Yeah, this was going to get out of control quickly, he could feel it.
When Tessa wrapped her fingers around his shaft, he sucked in a breath, breaking the kiss as he looked down between them. “I love watching you do that,” he told her.
Not intending to have all of the fun, Cooper speared her with one finger, making Tessa’s breath hitch, her hand stilling on his cock, squeezing lightly. “Like that?”
“Yes,” she said on a breathy moan. “God, yes.”
That’s what he wanted to hear. Cooper continued to finger her while he rubbed his thumb across her clit, keeping her hovering right on the brink. He could feel the determination in her. She was trying to send him over the edge with her magnificent hand job, but he had no intention of letting go. Not just yet.
She said they were reliving that first night. He fully intended to do this right. And maybe if he was lucky, they’d make this a yearly tradition.
“Come for me, Tessa,” he urged, driving two fingers into her deeper, retreating slowly, ensuring he strummed her clit with his thumb repeatedly.
Tessa’s legs tightened around him, her thighs clenching, her pussy squeezing his fingers as she came so beautifully right there in his arms.
“That’s one,” he told her.
“You’re counting?” she asked, laughing.
“And how many times are you aiming for?” she asked, grinning up at him, her eyes still glassy from her climax.
“Oh, I don’t know. Twelve.”
“Twelve? Why twelve?”
“The twelve days of Christmas,” he informed her.
“I think it’s safe to say we missed several of those days already.”
“Yeah, but now I’m gonna make it up to you.”
“Cowboy, I’d love to see you try.”
“Is that a dare, Mrs. Krenshaw?”
Tessa laughed, the raspy sound making his cock jerk in Tessa’s hand. “Take it however you want to take it.”
Cooper grinned, his thumb brushing over her clit again, more firmly this time. “Darlin’, I fully intend to.”