Publisher: Tule Publishing
Ella Etxeberri has always played it safe, so when her life still takes a bad turn despite her caution, she wonders if if isn’t time to see what she’s been missing. While researching risk behaviors in rodeo riders, she meets Shane Marvell, a cowboy who merits additional study of the personal variety.
Just as Ella is hitting the point to embrace risk, Shane is pulling back. He knows Ella’s all-in approach is born of curiosity and whim. He’s not what she wants forever, and perhaps Ella is one risk he can’t allow himself to take.
He saw Ella’s throat move as she swallowed. “Yes. I would.”
He stepped back to allow her to enter first, then followed her in, grimacing as his knee did its best not to cooperate. He set his rigging and his chaps on top of his gear bag next to the small kitchenette unit, then reached behind him for the door handle.
“I…um…” Ella smiled nervously. “What’s the deal with your shoulder?”
Not what Shane had been expecting. “Partial tear of the labrum.”
“Do you tape yourself?”
“When I have to. It’s awkward, but the sports guys aren’t at some of the smaller rodeo.” Shane’s heart beat a little faster as he said, “Want to see?”
Ella sat down on the bench she’d slept on less than a week ago. “Yes.”
Shane shrugged out of his protective vest, tossed it on top of the rest of his gear and unsnapped his shirt. Ella swallowed again, making him wonder if she’d spent much time with guys in intimate situations.
Or if it was a matter of her being nervous around him.
He shrugged out of his shirt and stepped closer so she could see the wrap job he’d done. She got to her feet and inspected the front, then put a light hand on his shoulder to turn him, so she could see the back, too. “How many rolls of tape on your elbow?”
“More than one. I don’t want to hyperextend.”
She ran an exploratory hand over the thick layers of white athletic tape covering the area from his bicep to the middle of his forearm. Then she made the mistake of glancing up. Their gazes locked and it was suddenly very clear to him what needed to be done. Ella was of the same mind. They leaned closer at the same moment, their lips meeting. Her hand tightened on his taped forearm as she welcomed his tongue into her mouth, teased it with her own.
Ella dropped her hand away from his arm and smoothed the hair from her forehead as she pulled back. “Just so you know, I didn’t ask to see the tape job as an excuse to have my way with you.”
“You can’t imagine how disappointed I am.”
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