She's out of luck.
The Wild West never died
In the next-door dimension.
Out of work, Sylva decides to celebrate New Year's Eve in style. Suddenly, mysteriously in a mud puddle, she sees a cowboy, his lasso swinging.
On the hunt for a bride, Zeke takes one look at the beautiful woman destiny delivers to him. He throws his rope fast and true.
Sylva and Zeke
Sylva stroked on the red lipstick carefully. The shade was deep scarlet and it looked like a swathe of gleaming velvet on her lips. "Who needs collagen injections?" she murmured, then surveyed her festively made-up face. Dusky twilight purple shadowed her eyes, highlighting the blue-green color. A shimmer of pale gold brought out her high cheekbones – a magical contrast to the glistening pink-gold powder covering her face, her neck, and artfully ending at her propped-up cleavage – displayed by a heart-shaped tight bodice of midnight satin. "Mirror, mirror, on my bathroom wall, who's the New Years Party fairest of them all?"
Zeke flashed a cocky half-grin at his appearance in the mirror his mother had given him decades ago. The white-gold scroll work framing the tall oval mirror contrasted sharply with his tan leather vest and matching pants – both designed for riding his horse into town, and as evening wear for the new year's celebration. His cream-colored silk shirt clung to the muscles of his chest, won by hard work on his family's ranch empire. And won by the fistfights he was famous for ending, but never beginning. Tonight, by long-standing tradition, he could claim any available woman as his bride.
Sylva flipped a smile at her reflection. Stepping back to see herself more fully, she thrust her hip, accentuating the sassiness of her short satin and tule-layered skirt. "Adorably sexy," she complimented herself. Okay, her thighs were full unlike the stick figure models that had successfully invaded the fashion world. Her calves were shapely, what used to be considered starlet-sexy ... especially since she wore spectacular, ankle-strap black heels, along with a pair of old-fashioned seamed hose. Tonight, she would strut her stuff with the best of them. Tomorrow, no more job. She was one more victim of the current economy.
Zeke strapped on his pearl-handled revolver. He'd cleaned and oiled it earlier, then made certain it fired properly, shooting several pennies out of the air. Since they'd become non-legal tender eleven years past, he figured that was a damn good use. Leaning down, he slid a dead-aim derringer, one of his grandfather's designs, inside his fancified riding boot. Decorated with swirls of gold thread and engraved with the ranch's crest, his new boots were a show of his hard-won status as the Overseer of their horse operations – from breeding to sales. Yep, it was time to settle on one woman.
Sylva beat back the worry that threatened to overwhelm her. Pasting a smile on her face, she tossed her strawberry blonde hair a bit. The long length waved over her bare back while her dangly ruby-imitation earrings swung enchantingly ... to her eye. She felt sexy and sultry. Swivelling her head, she looked at her profile from the corner of her eye. She'd pulled the sides of her hair up, banded it, then attached a tiny glittering rose. As if possessed by a spirit, she faced the mirror, whispering, "I wish I may, I wish might, find my true love tonight."
Zeke plucked his mahogany leather cowboy hat from the bronze curlicue hook, plopping it on his head. From years of practice, since he'd been knee-high to his father, the broad-brimmed hat settled at the perfect rakish angle, and covered most of his bay-colored hair. The curling waves at the nape of his neck and above his ears were touched by a golden sheen from all the time he spent outdoors. He'd had more than one woman, scarce as they were in these parts, run her fingers through the fringes of his hair – as if she sought real gold. He grinned.
Sylva grimaced and shook her head at herself, before whirling away from the mirror, and out the bathroom door. Yeah, that would be the day. True love, ha! She'd tried it several times now, with results more dismal than the prospect of not being able to find a job. Refusing to think about what possessions she could sell to get by, Sylva lovingly picked up her velvet cape. Reversible, the hooded cape was a glorious red velvet on one side and a deep midnight black on the other. Who cared if people thought she looked like a witch in it.
Zeke swung the fringed buckskin jacket off the garment post, and slid into it. It fit his frame perfectly. He'd made certain of that by having it tailored in town, despite his family's protest and ribbing over his extravagance – as they called it. But hell to the four winds, Brennon outfitted the other young bucks and the ranch gentlemen. All of whom partook of sophisticated entertainments in town, other than Sophie's Sin Saloon. What did he care if others thought he was too dandified? His quick aim with a fist or gun meant most would keep their comments to themselves.
Sylva tucked her evening bag beneath her arm, then carefully locked the door to her apartment. Barely adequate, it was all she could afford. Maybe, it was time to leave the windy city, Chicago. Corruption grew like a weed everyday. And, if she had to be tormented one more time by the garlic-on-steroids cooking smells that seeped into every crack of the building, and saturated her clothing – along with the constant fog of cigarette smoke – she was going to scream bloody murder. Her only humorous consolation ... garlic kept the vampires away. But, not the real bloodsuckers lurking around every corner.
Zeke enthusiastically trotted down the private stairway that led to his section of the rambling ranch house, one hand perched on the butt of his pistol. The construction of a grand new wing was almost constant. Currently his sister and her new husband had decided to make the ranch their permanent home, and were overseeing the latest plans. His boots hit the expensive sierra-colored granite floor of the entryway, clicking loudly. His mother had finagled it out of his father, using her seductive wiles toward the end of their shouting-rambunctious negotiations. Glimpsing his father in the side hall, Zeke halted.
Sylva jerked her hand back as if she'd touched a hot stove. Only it was the scorch of their passion. Amazed, she watched him skillfully unstrap her high heels, his fingertips brushing a brand through her hose as he slipped them off each foot. "How hot are you, cowboy?" she crooned, utterly unlike herself. *Husband* – it rang through her mind until he looked up, his silvery eyes beaming intensely. "Zeke," he hoarsely prompted. "Hot enough to singe your eyebrows with one kiss." His small grin lit up his eyes, his hand slowly stroking up her leg. "Is that so, Zeke?"
Zeke circled caresses on her upper thigh, long and beautifully full beneath his palm. Her eyes glittered a dare. He also witnessed her filly-skittishness. Gradually leaning forward, he placed a kiss above her knee. One kiss at a time he moved upwards, fondling the generous curve of her thigh, then her luscious hip. Her soft yielding moan encouraged him, and he slid his palm up her other thigh, pressing kisses until he met the stiff fabric of her skirt. He embraced her haunches, stroked, then grazed his fingertips over the waistband of her strange hose. "Take them off," she murmured.
Sylva sparkled as if New Year's day fireworks soared inside her. Deciding she would live for today, she lifted her hips a bit as his work-rough hands smoothed down her pantyhose, gliding down her skin in a way that had her ready to swoon. "You didn't answer, Zeke," she provoked, astounded by how sultry her voice sounded. Deliberately he stroked down her shin, his pleasure obvious. "I don't want your eyebrows singed yet, darlin'. That's for later. I want you smoky and silky beneath me." With seductive care, he slipped her feet free of the pantyhose, his hands relishing her arches.
Zeke caressed her little soft toes, letting his fingertips linger before stroking them away. "Oooh, a man with answers," she crooned, her shoulder rolling forward, teasing his eye. Standing, he unbuckled his gun belt and hung it within easy reach. Not wanting to make her shy away from him, he unbuttoned and slid off his vest, then sat beside her on the lounge. His cock ached a protest, fighting against his pants. Gently capturing the side of her face, he brushed his thumb over her flushed cheek. "What an impudent nose you have, my beautiful Sylva. Should I kiss it?"
Sylva leaned forward, her breasts throbbing, desperate for his attention. "Please." Breathless and sizzly inside with anticipation, she waited. Bending down to her nose, he kissed the tip tenderly. In what seemed like slow motion, he angled his head, touching her lips with his persuasively. Hope flickered, teasing her. Would being with him cause her agony? Or, maybe ... maybe ... had good fortune finally found her in the romance department? In another world? Answering his kiss, she felt like a seductress as she played her lips over his, tasting the firm shape. God, she loved kissing, even if her nipples begged.
Zeke patiently devoured her lips with kisses he invented just for her. Her mouth inspired them, playing his like a risque tune on a saloon piano. Claiming the back of her sweet neck, he stroked his thumb over the silken flesh of her throat. Knowing their marriage began this night, and would always be influenced by their first time together, he kept his 'cocked' shotgun holstered, for now. Just for her. She was so beautiful, his Sylva, he wondered how he could ever say no to her. Zeke caressed along her shoulder, his thumb grazing the swell of her breast.
Sylva nipped his lower lip with her lips. Her breath a storm raging inside her, she whispered, "Zeke, please, handle my breasts." Immediately his rough, oh-so masculine hands caressed over her back. His kisses trailed along her jaw as he smoothly unzipped her bodice, freeing her. Daring herself, Sylva reached out sliding her hand along his thighs. She molded magnificent sinew and muscle. "Yes," she murmured. His wonderful kisses followed the length of her neck and he eased the bodice farther away from her swollen needy breasts. The chill of the air rushed over her nipples. "Oh, please," she pleaded.
Zeke lurched inside like a wild stallion, toward her. Mentally, he lassoed himself, tugging the rope taut. So far, she wanted him. Angels above stop him, he wasn't doing anything to change that. Dang, she tasted sweeter than roses and honey, with her own female spice that tempted him to launch himself on top of her – ravish her until she couldn't move. He already knew she'd be a perfect fit in his bed, beneath him – held in his arms as they slept and dreamed together. Her little hand on his thigh sent another bolt of need straight to his cock.
Sylva yearned as she never had. His kisses hungrily feasted on the upper curves of her breasts. Reluctant to let go of his thigh, still, she leaned back, arching her nipples toward his mouth. Masterfully shoving her party dress down to her hips, Zeke slid his hand beneath her breasts, their heaviness cradled in his palms. God, she loved the way her softness felt against his roughened hands. She loved the way he kissed her, wooing her body, just as he wooed her emotions, her desire for him. "Zeke, please kiss my nipples." Feeling naughty, Sylva thrust to his mouth.
Zeke lifted the creamy confection of her breasts beneath his lips. He pressed a full kiss to the tip of her strawberry nipple, lingering before he kissed her other blatant nipple, pleading and growing with ripeness beneath his lips. Already he missed her touch on his thigh, even though he held her passionate femininity in his hands. He'd bet his year's earnings, she was the type of woman who could be sweet, willing as pie – but, if handled with a wrong rein, she'd lash out at him, fierce and untamed. He surely liked that possibility. For now, he'd gentle her.
Sylva trembled uncontrollably as he strongly pulled her nipple inside the warmth of his mouth. Still fondling the underswell of her breasts, he suckled in a manner that had her sex dripping, and her belly warming, then simmering. "Harder," she encouraged, when he nuzzled her other nipple. Latching on, he tugged with more force while scraping this thumbnail back and forth over her huge wet nipple. Sylva moaned loudly, her loins flooding with molten desperate need. "Yes." Squeezing her shoulder blades together, and dropping her head back, she offered her breasts completely. She heard his primal groan. She felt it.
Zeke wallowed in the taste and rigid texture of her bud-plump teats. She was perfect for suckling, a pleasure he intended pursuing often in their privacy together. As he handled her, the pillow softness and shape of her breasts drove him crazy – like a bull in a field of loco weed. She was his bride. Even if she didn't have a damn sweet clue what that meant in his world. She'd learn. No matter how many times he had to rope her, or tan her voluptuous ass before he rode between her creamy thighs. Now, heaven was her thrust nipple.
On the hunt for a bride, Zeke figures destiny is favoring him something fierce when he gets a good look at the half-bare woman. The beauty has fallen in a mud puddle right in his path. Given there's a shortage of marriageable women, Zeke throws his rope fast and true.
WORD COUNT: 160,875