Home > Her First Rodeo (Big Sky Cowboys #5)

Her First Rodeo (Big Sky Cowboys #5)
Author: Lola West

 

1

 

 

Wyatt

 

 

I felt the chill on my balls as I stood buck naked in Doc Eggleston’s exam room, waiting for my yearly checkup. Eggleston ran a small-town medical practice. He was the kind of doctor who knew everyone in Conway by their first names, dropped by their houses if someone got sick on a Sunday, and wiped everyone's runny noses. It wasn’t the first time I lay in wait to throw him for a loop. We were cut from the same cloth, the doc and I—charming pranksters. We’d been upping the ante on this particular joke for years. I’d shown him my moon, worn a bright-red banana hammock, and today I was going full monty.

The doc usually came in prepared in his own right, wearing oversized sunglasses and a tutu or a werewolf mask covered in fake blood. It was a hearty yuk for us both. I was good at being a clown and my physical attributes weren’t lacking, so freeballin’ it in the exam room would have been fine, if it wasn’t so damn cold.

The doorknob turned and the door started to inch open. Hearing the doc pull my chart from the file holder on the wall, I threw my hands into the air, closed my eyes, and shook my Willy Wonka. Normally, the doc would laugh, but instead, I heard the door close and a shocked female voice exclaimed, “Holy crap, is that thing swollen or does it always look like that?”

My eyes snapped open and landed on Caroline Winchester, who was pretty much the only girl I ever met who was totally out of my league. Every time I saw her, Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” played in my head. Obviously, she wasn’t my teacher, but she looked like a hot teacher or a librarian, long stick-straight chestnut hair, rosy plush lips that I wanted to devour, and pale-blue eyes that used to hide behind big tortoise glasses before she got contact lenses. As a teenager, she starred in a fantasy of mine where she was my algebra tutor wearing a pencil skirt and dropping the chalk. You can imagine the rest. She was also the only girl I ever really wanted. But she was so smart, too smart for the likes of me. We were the same age and went all through school together, but she was light-years ahead. She went to college at sixteen, and except for one night a few years back, that was the last time any of us lowly Conwayans saw her.

I threw my hands down to cup and cover my junk and spun around so she got an eyeful of my ass before I said, “Jesus, Caroline! What are you doing here?”

Confused, she asked, “Conducting your checkup? Did they not give you a robe?”

I grabbed the robe from the end of the exam table and quickly put it on. Turning back to look at her, I said, “It’s a running joke between the doc and I.” I pushed my hands through my hair. “Listen, I’m sorry. I never would have done that if I knew it was gonna be you.”

“Well then, that's a happy accident,” she stated matter-of-factly, smiling. She wasn’t being brazen. She was being honest. I was pretty sure my cheeks were bright red, but I laughed at her compliment, feeling downright flustered by her quirky, awkward, totally endearing way of telling it just as she saw it. God, she always flustered me, even when we were twelve.

Like I was a lab rat, she said, “It’s really above average, Wyatt. In my work, I’ve seen quite a few and that has to be the biggest.”

“Um, thanks?”

She turned to the sink on the wall and washed her hands and snapped on some gloves. “Should we start there, getting the awkward part out of the way?”

This entire situation was getting out of hand. I’d imagined Caroline Winchester, daughter of the local sheriff, with her hands on my jewels more times than I’d care to admit. So, even though I was one hundred percent aware that this was a clinical examination, I was terrified that I might rise for the occasion.

“Caroline, I don’t think …” As I spoke, she crouched down in front of me and reached out, taking my plums into her gloved hand. I completely lost my train of thought, and I think I made an utterly inappropriate noise.

“Cough,” she said, her tone a little off, enough so that I wondered if she was horrified or excited by me. But when I looked down to see if I could decipher her feelings, seeing her on her knees, her mouth so close, it was too much. I snapped my eyes back up, coughed, and thought of things like maggots on sick dead flesh and all the blood when you're delivering calves. Honestly, despite my gory thoughts, when she let go, I was relieved to find I’d only grown to half-mast rather than full-on poked her in the eye.

“Looks good,” she breathed, standing to her full height and doing me the courtesy of ignoring what I had going on. She turned back to the sink and paused for a minute, just holding the edge of the counter, before changing her gloves and turning back to me. “Why don’t you hop on the table?”

Right. I stepped back and used my hands and arm strength to pop my ass up on the table. Caroline approached, standing almost between my knees as she went about her routine tasks, checking my lymph nodes, my ears, and my eyes.

“Say ah,” she said, holding up a tongue depressor. I gaped at her shamelessly. It was normal to stare at the doctor when they were right in front of you, right?

When she had finished her tasks, I asked, “Where’s the doc?”

“Other than me, you mean?” she teased.

I smiled. “Yes, Doc Eggleston. I guess what I’m really asking is what are you doing in a place like this, Caroline?” Oops, that was flirty. I’d always tried not to flirt with her. It was inappropriate.

“Eggy is thinking of retiring.”

“Really?” I asked, feeling kinda shocked and sad at the same time.

“I mean, not tomorrow.” As she spoke she was reviewing my chart and making notes. “He’s taking a couple months off this year, spending time with his daughter and grandkids in Florida.”

“You thinking of taking his place?” I asked, initially elated thinking she’d be moving back to Conway and then chagrined as I considered a lifetime of Caroline cradling my balls once a year.

She shrugged. “I don’t know. Not really. My dad wants me to take a job at this orthopedic hospital in Seattle, but I miss Conway.”

“It’s the pie, right? Hazel ships now, ya know.”

She laughed, and it was like a song, flooding my chest with joy.

Closing my chart, she asked, “That collarbone ever bother you?” She was referencing an injury I sustained in the junior rodeo. I broke my collarbone pretty badly and had to have surgery.

“Aches when a storm’s coming. I’m like an old lady with arthritis. But if I’m listening, it’s a great heads-up on the ranch.”

She dropped my chart and her hands to her lap. “You always make something good out of something bad, Wyatt Morgan.”

“The best kinds of men are good and bad, Caroline.” I said the words real rumbly and low, making it clear that what I was really saying was naughty could be nice.

Dammit, I was flirtin’ again.

 

 

2

 

 

Caroline

 

 

“I cannot believe you saw Wyatt Morgan’s paynus!” Beverly said, way too loud. Everything about Bev was loud, always had been. She was an acting teacher, and she didn’t know how to not project her voice. She was sitting across from me wearing an orange and blue blouse that complimented her dark skin, and her chocolate eyes were glittering with delight. “His paynus, hot damn!” I met her for lunch every Tuesday at Hazel’s Conway Cafe, and as usual she’d compelled me using powers akin to the Vulcan mind meld to get me to tell her all about Wyatt’s exam.

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