Roughstock: Picking Roses
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by B. A. Tortuga
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: Rosie doesn't date cowboys. She knows what kind of heartbreak can come when they get seriously injured. Roughstock rider Les is determined to change Rosie's mind from the moment he gives her his seat on the bus. He knows she's the one for him; he just has to convince Rosie. Adding to the difficulty Is the fact that Les lives in Colorado and Rosie is from Texas. During rodeo season the distance doesn't seem so huge, but when winter threatens to lock down Les' Colorado ranch, how is he going to convince Rosie that he's worth the chances she has to take.
eBook Publisher: Torquere Press/BBA, Top Shelf, 2011 www.torquerepress.com
eBookwise Release Date: November 2011
6 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [166 KB]
Reading time: 105-148 min.
"Rose, we need you there."
Rose Cutrer nibbled on her cuticle, shook her head. No. No, she couldn't. She didn't want to go.
She hadn't traveled much with Timmy when he'd ridden. Hell, they'd dated for so long before they got married and then, when it had finally happened...
"I can't. I'm sorry, Ace. I just can't."
Presley jumped in her lap, her beautiful baby fuzzball yipping like he did whenever she got stressed out.
Ace Porter made a non-committal noise. "Amy is really tore up, Rose. You could really help her. And there will be a real nice memorial for Timmy."
She sighed again, shook her head. "Ace, I don't have the money. Traveling's expensive, and I'd have to board Presley. I'm only working part-time at the library; I don't get vacation time." Or sick time. Or anything.
"Well, now, don't get upset at me for suggesting it, Rose, but I'll pay for your trip. Flight and hotel and a spending allowance. I know it's a lot to ask, but I feel like I really need you there."
Gracious, but Ace must be taking team-building lessons. Pep Talk 101.
"Y'all don't have something awful planned, do you? 'Cause I can't bear that." No fix ups. No blow up life sized Timmys. Nothing weird.
"No, ma'am. I wouldn't do that to you." No. No, Ace had been good to her.
"I don't know. What would I say to her? I mean, I... It's just hard. That's it. It's just hard when they're gone."
Her bright-eyed, goofy Timmy had been there one minute and, literally, the next, he was gone.
One bull, one hoof, one broken neck.
"Can I be blunt, Rose?" Ace waited for her murmured "mmmhmm" before going on. "You know how it is to be the one no one knows how to talk to. The wives can be a damned superstitious lot. They're afraid to talk to the one who's lost her man. She's so damned young, honey."
"Yeah." Rose wasn't, not anymore. Christ, she was gonna be twenty-six in a few weeks. Twenty-seven.
"Okay. Okay, Ace. If you'll foot the bill, I'll go. There's nothing I can say to her, though, that will make it better." Nothing. It hurt for a long time, every second, every breath, like hell. Then it got to be every few breaths. Then it was this sneaky thing, like a sucker punch to the gut.
"I know that. It just means she won't feel so isolated." Ace heaved a sigh. "Did I ever tell you how sorry I am, Rose?"
"Yes, Ace. You did, and I appreciate it. He... he would have done it anyway, even if he'd known. He loved riding bulls more than life."
More than her.
"The game gets in the blood, honey." Ace was grinning. She could just picture that lopsided dimple he had from a twice-broken jaw.
"That's what I hear. What are the dates you need me there again?"
They settled the rest of the business, Ace giving her the name and number of his assistant, who was going to call her about flights.
She said her goodbyes, then hung up. Presley was right there, yipping and panting and worrying over her, just like he always did.
"I can't believe I have to do this, Pres. I mean, Timmy's gone. None of them want me around, not really..."
They all felt sorry for her. They all took care of her any way they could. But no one wanted the bull rider's widow around. No one.
Not even her.