THE PLAN by Katie Ashley
For Jenny O’Malley, the plan was supposed to be easy. Become the surrogate for her friends, Connor and Jeff, deliver their healthy baby, and earn some money towards her student loans. But as the saying goes, the best-laid plans often go awry. Especially when you’re looking at the prospect of not getting laid for a long, long time.
With T-Minus two weeks to insemination, Jenny decides to take her friend, Casey’s, suggestion to have one wild fling before she’s saddled with heartburn and stretchmarks. When a tall, dark and handsome man swaggers into the bar where she works in skin-tight jeans, cowboy boots, and a Stetson, Jenny knows he is the one. After a scorching night of banging boots until dawn, Jenny is a little sad to see her Cowboy in Shining Armor leave.
When he reenters her life a few weeks later, she never could have imagined a positive sign could be such a negative.
As she was cleaning up in the wake of a rowdy group of frat boys from Georgia Tech, Jenny caught sight of a cowboy hat out of the corner of her eye. Immediately, she drew in a sharp breath and swept a hand to her chest to try to still the erratic beating of her heart. Turning around, she peered in the direction of the white Stetson.
Sweet Jesus, he was back—the hot-as-hell cowboy from out of town. It had been two or three weeks since he’d first strutted into the bar an hour before closing time. In his tight jeans, he’d left little to the imagination about what kind of weaponry he was packing.
At first, she’d thought he was lost. After all, he had looked so completely out of place—a ride ’em cowboy right out of the Wild West, smack in the urban jungle of Atlanta. Ignoring the stares from some of the other patrons—and from Jenny—he had slid across one of the bar stools. Sweeping his hat from his head, he’d then held up his hand, signaling her to come over.
“A shot of Jack,” he’d requested. Holy hell, his voice. It had sent a shot of white-hot lust straight to her core. There was something particular about a man’s voice that got her libido up and running, and the deeper the better. It was why she had a hard time watching Harry Potter without having impure thoughts about Alan Rickman, AKA Snape.
While she fixed the drink, Jenny could feel the cowboy’s eyes on her. The heat of his gaze bore through her white blouse and warmed the skin above her breasts. It wasn’t like she wasn’t used to male customers staring at her boobs. She had learned from her older sister, Laura, to use her C cups to her advantage with tight shirts and low-buttoned blouses. Most of the time, the leers of horny men grated on her nerves, but not that night. She’d wanted the cowboy’s eyes on her. If she’d been honest, she wanted his hands and his tongue on her too.
When she’d placed the drink in front of him, she smiled. “There you go. My name is Jenny if you need anything else.”
“Can I ask you a question?”
“I guess,” Jenny had replied hesitantly.
“How in the hell do you live down here with all the crazy drivers?”
She hadn’t been able to help laughing because the question wasn’t what she’d been expecting. “I guess since I’ve lived here all my life, I’m used to it.”
The cowboy had grimaced. “You have my sympathies.”
“Hey now, I happen to like this city,” she’d protested.
“You can have it.”
And just like that, they’d struck up a conversation. Since it had been almost closing, they’d had time to get to know each other. His name was Brett, and he was a professional roper passing through Atlanta on his way back home from a roping championship in South Georgia. Jenny really had no idea what professional roping entailed, but her dirty mind had decided to draw the obscene conclusion that he was really good with his hands. He could tie her up—you know, if she ever decided to swing that way.
When he’d found out she loved horses but rarely got to see any in the city, he’d taken her by the hand and led her outside. Although a voice inside her head screamed that he could be about to abduct her, she’d kept letting him lead her across the parking lot. She’d liked the way his calloused hands felt against her skin, and a relieved sigh had escaped her lips when they stopped in front of a horse trailer. Opening the back, he had introduced her to his two horses, Waylon and Willie. She had tried not to swoon at the gesture.
After they’d gotten back inside, Brett had insisted on buying her a drink, even when she told him she could have one on the house. One drink had turned into two, and when she’d gotten a little tipsy, she’d been really thankful her dad was in the back to run the evening’s receipts. Even after she’d turned off the open sign and locked the front door, Brett’s perfectly sculpted ass had remained on the bar stool. She hadn’t felt a connection with anyone in such a long time, and it wasn’t just about the physical.
Damn, she had wanted him to kiss her that night, and for a moment, she’d thought he would. Instead, he’d slipped his cowboy hat back on. “You take care,” he had said.
“You too,” she had replied as she watched him walk out of the bar and out of her life. She had experienced a sinking feeling that something potentially amazing had just slipped through her fingers. She’d never in a million years dreamed he’d walk back through the doors, but there he was in all his beautiful flesh.
Katie Ashley is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author of both Indie and Traditionally published books. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her daughter, Olivia, and her spoiled mutt, Duke. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Shakespeare, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Scooby-Doo.
With a BA in English, a BS in Secondary English Education, and a Masters in Adolescent English Education, she spent eleven years teaching both middle and high school English, as well as a few adjunct college English classes. As of January 2013, she hung up her red pen and expo markers to become a full-time writer. Each and every day she counts her blessings to be able to do her dream job.
Although her roots are firmly planted in the red Georgia clay, she loves traveling the country and world to meet readers and hang out with fellow authors. When she’s not writing or chasing down her toddler, you might find her watching reruns of The Golden Girls, reading historical biographies, along with romance novels, or spending way too much time on Facebook.
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