Home > Ride Me Sweetheart (Sweetheart, Colorado)

Ride Me Sweetheart (Sweetheart, Colorado)
Author: Jordan Marie

 

1

 

 

Finley

 

 

It’s Colorado.

We’re supposed to be cold this time of year, but someone forgot to tell Mother Nature about that. Clearly, she’s hot flashing—which explains why I’m sweating like a hooker in church at altar call. Still, I can’t complain. I get to wash up all my babies and make them presentable—in hopes of getting them adopted to their forever homes this week.

Valentine’s Day is a mere six days from today and though the traditional gift is usually diamonds, chocolate and flowers, I’m hoping the flyers I’ve given out along with the ad I’m running on the local radio station will encourage people to give the gift of adopted fur babies instead.

“Come on, Stinker! It’s just a bath!” I grumble to the giant—mostly Saint Bernard—doggy, which has been in the shelter for three weeks now. He’s adorable, but he’s also older. He’s at least five or six, and his hopes of being adopted are slim at best. “You’ve got to help me help you!” I encourage him. Stinker—yes, that’s the name I gave him, but purely out of affection—just whines. His paws and head are lying flat on the cement, refusing to budge.

I’ve bathed every single dog here, but I saved Stinker for last because I know he hates baths. I also knew he would fight me. What I didn’t know was that he would lay down on the cement and somehow flatten his body out so that his normally overweight body at two-hundred-fifty-eight pounds is now dead weight, feeling more like a thousand. I have a guy that helps me with this kind of thing, but he’s off sick today. I thought I could handle it all on my own.

Clearly, I was an idiot.

I could just wait until tomorrow, but I really want this done. If there’s any hope at all for Stinker to get his forever home, I want to do everything I can. I’d really like to keep him with me, but I don’t think I’m going to stick around. I took the job with the Sweetheart Animal Shelter, because I wanted to help the abandoned pets find forever homes. It was an added bonus that the shelter gave me a place to stay while I figured things out.

Sweetheart is a great town, I guess. I just don’t feel like I belong here. I keep trying, but I don’t think this cheerful town that seems to have overdosed on Cupid is for me.

It’s not that I’m depressed or even sad. I just don’t believe in happily ever after and Sweetheart, Colorado definitely does.

I work for thirty minutes trying to get Stinker to the tub. Pushing him in that direction only succeeds in frustrating me and making Stinker whine while letting out a big wave of gas.

Yep, that’s how he got the name.

I swear when this dog lets gas out, it smells bad enough to raise the dead. I try holding my breath, but some smells can’t be blocked. I decide to move to the front of the dog. Stinker’s breath isn’t great, but anything is better than what I’m currently getting. I bend over and secure my arms around Stinker, doing my best to pull him toward the water. It takes me a bit and a lot of effort, but I finally get a little movement.

“Jesus, Stinker, we need to put you on a high protein diet or something,” I huff, still tugging away. Stinker, for his part, just breathes out and manages to sound annoyed with me. I tug and tug, but Stinker resists. My legs hit the back of the tub, which startles me. I really didn’t think I’d made that much progress. It must surprise Stinker, too, because he jerks backwards. The movement of his head somehow dislodges my hold. I’m already off balance because I hit the tub of water and it splashed out on my pants. When Stinker moves like that, I fall backwards so abruptly that I can do nothing but cry out, landing into the tub of soapy water. I blow soapy bubbles out of my face, scrunching my nose up and wiping the rest with the back of my hand.

Suddenly, I hear laughter and look up to see a really tall guy standing over me. He’s wearing a leather vest with a plain white undershirt. His arms are bare except for the worn sleeves. He’s got sunglasses on. His hair looks like it was more on the dark blonde side of life at one time, but now has grown more brown with a hint of gray here and there. He’s tall, but not overly so, maybe somewhere around five-eleven to six foot. Of course, I’m five-nine, so that could just be my opinion. He has obvious muscles, but he’s not a gym rat, which I can definitely appreciate. I’d probably enjoy the show he’s offering if I wasn’t soaking wet and cold—not to mention the fact that Stinker is walking away and going to the old willow tree where he likes to lay when I let him run free in the fenced-in yard of the shelter.

“Great, now he’s gone. I’ll never get him back here for a bath,” I mutter to myself.

“No offense, but you seem to be the only one here taking a bath,” the man says, laughing.

I climb out of the tub—and I’m not graceful about it. The truth is, I’m not really graceful in general. I stand up, wiping down the big, fluffy, white bubbles that are clinging to my pants. And shirt.

“Can I help you with something?” I mumble, not bothering to hide my annoyance.

“Just stand right there and let me enjoy the show,” he literally purrs.

I look up at him, my brow furrowed with confusion until I see him leering at me—and really, that’s the only word for it. He’s leering. I look down and see my shirt has been soaked. You can see my blue bra beneath, the color visible now against the wet shirt. That would be embarrassing enough, but clearly it’s cold and my nipples don’t like it.

I refuse to cover up. Somehow, I think that would just make the man happier. So instead, I choose to ignore it—probably not my smartest move, but it is what it is.

“Yo, Einstein, eyes up here,” I snap.

“As gorgeous as your eyes are, I have to say, the view is better a little lower,” he says with a smirk, taking his sunglasses off and hooking them on his pocket.

“You seriously did not just say that to me.”

“I guess I did. What’s your name?” My body snaps tense, eyes narrowing.

“It doesn’t matter because you won’t be using it,” I huff.

“Up to you, sweetheart. I’ll just make up my own name for you.”

“I wouldn’t waste my time. Is there a reason you’re here?”

“My bike broke down on the main road and for some reason, ever since I hit this damn town, my cell signal has been as non-existent as a motherfucker.”

“Lucky me it was my place it happened at,” I grumble with a sigh.

“More like lucky me from where I’m standing, baby.”

“I’m not your baby,” I reply, not able to even believe how ridiculous he’s being.

“You could be,” he says with a smirk.

“You should shut up now before I decide not to let you use my phone,” I warn him. “Come around front and I’ll get my phone so you can call George.”

“George?”

“He owns Sweetheart Garage and Towing,” I respond, already walking toward the front of the building. I can hear the weirdo—good looking, but still weird—following behind me.

“Oh, I just need to call the Saints in Stillwater,” he says, and I frown looking over my shoulder.

“Saints? Are you with a church?” I ask, not bothering to hide the mocking tone in my voice.

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