I just want to say thank you to whoever invented Wrangler Jeans. And to God for making the Cowboy a true vision.
“Excuse me?” I jumped up and down trying to get the attention of the guy riding on the horse. He was beautiful, with hair that touched just below his chin and jeans that left little to the imagination. Cowboy butts in jeans should be an art form. I would visit art museums more often if there was a section dedicated to their physique.
“Ma’am.” He tipped his hat and smiled. His eyes were a deep brown, the sun reflecting the freckles that were peppered over his cheeks. I reached out and pet the horse, who was dancing around in place.
“Please, call me Mac.” I quickly returned my attention to the horse. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to look at Mr. Cowboy in front of me. It was that I was pretty sure I had drool dribbling down my chin.
“Mac. Interesting.” His country accent rolled off his tongue.
Why I ever left the country was beyond me. The sun. Open land and Cowboys with freckles and tight jeans. Every girl’s dream.
“It’s short for Mackenzie – Mackenzie Lock. Anyways, I was looking for a place to board my horse, Sunflower. You came highly recommended by a few people in town.”
“Is that so?” He patted the horse’s bottom and off it went. “I’m Chris.” He held out his hand for me to shake. When I placed my hand in his, the calloused rough nature sent a jolt of electricity through my body.
“Can I have my hand back?” Chris said with a laugh.
“Oh, sorry.” I pulled my hand away.
Way to seem like a crazy person, Mac.
“So, about your horse. I have plenty of room. I live right on the property so she’ll be well taken care of.” I followed behind him as we walked into the barn.
“Sounds great. I wanted to offer my services as well.” I fumbled in my pocket and pulled out my card. “I just graduated veterinary school and opened a practice in town.” By town I meant the small town that had maybe 1,000 people, tops. But I craved the small country life. New York was nice but too busy for my taste and I knew I’d just get lost in the sea of people. Here, in North Carolina, I could open my own business and make a name for myself.
“So, you’re the fancy New York vet that was coming to take over our little town.” Chris leaned against a stall door and my eyes couldn’t help but travel his body.
“That’s me. If you need anything let me know.”
“That sounds good Mackenzie Lock. I’ll let you know if I need anything.” He tipped his hat me before walking away. I didn’t budge because, well, Chris was worth watching walk away, even if it did make me late for an appointment.
“Fudge nugget!” I tripped on some hay and fell right into Sunflower’s stall.
“Easy there, pretty lady.” Chris held out his hand and helped me up.
“Thanks.” I mumbled as I brushed off hay that had gotten stuck to my pants. I was sweaty and irritated. My stomach growled in agreement.
“Hungry?” he asked.
“Famished. I haven’t eaten all day. Time just got away from me I guess.” I shrugged and followed him out of Sunflower’s stall.
“Come have lunch with me. I’m not a good cook. We’ll likely eat hot dogs and beans but it will stop your stomach from yelling at you.” He shoved his hands in his jeans, bringing them even tighter against his body.
“That sounds nice. Like a date?” I teased.
“No.” He furrowed his brow and my heart sank.
Chris and I had flirted these past weeks but maybe I had read him wrong. I hadn’t dated since I started vet school. There just wasn’t enough time. It was possible that I was building up this idea that he and I had chemistry. Truth was, I wanted there to be.
Chris leaned in and gently tugged at the end of my ponytail. “Our first date won’t be hot dogs and beans, pretty lady. You deserve better than that. A big steak. Some potatoes even.” He joked.
“No words, Mackenzie Lock?”
Before I lost my nerve, I leaned in and brushed a kiss to his cheek.
“You’re cute but I’m a simple girl. Hot dogs and beans will do for a first date.”
He smiled and held out his hand. “Well then, are you ready for our date?”
Placing my hand in his, I nodded.
“Oh, one more thing.” Chris added. “You missed.” He said before placing his lips on mine. It wasn’t one of those sloppy kisses with tongue and teeth clashing together. It was delicate, simple.
“There. Now that our first kiss is out of the way, we can focus on what’s important.”
“What’s that?” I looked up at Chris waiting for his reply.
“Finding out how to win that heart of yours.”
I grinned. What Chris didn’t know was the moment I saw him on that horse, part of my heart was already his. Cowboys had a way of stealing your heart and never giving it back.