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SEAL Cowboy by Ivy Jordan (1)

Chapter One

James

 

My hand shook as I held the summons in my hand. This couldn’t be real, could it? I opened the letter again, reading carefully in case I missed something. Nope, it was real. Those fucking kids were trying to take my farm.

I walked into my office, searching frantically for the will left by old man Jasper, the only man I ever considered a father. It was clear. He left the farm to me, and all that it included: equipment, livestock, the house, all the outbuildings—it was mine. So, why were the kids contesting it now? It’s not like they ever stepped foot on this farm, ever cared to see if their father needed anything. Hell, they barely called the old man to check on him.

Blood boiled in my veins as I tried to wrap my head around the situation I was in. I had the will, so how could this even happen?

I’d called Luke, but he was settled, finally happy, and I hated to dump my bad news on him. I had to call someone, someone who could help, but who? I didn’t know how to fight this on my own. I didn’t even know someone could contest a will after it was read and carried out.

I fell into my office chair, stared out the window at the Double J ranch that was supposed to be my future, and felt uneasy. Noting was guaranteed. I learned that in the SEALS. Nothing. Not life, not happiness. Only death, but even that could sneak up at any time and without reason.

Fuck!

My eyes closed as the gears in my brain started to turn. Who did I know that could help?

Like a fire starting in a dry forest, my brain lit up, and warmth filled my body. Axel. He wasn’t a lawyer, but he came from a family filled with em’.

I opened up my laptop and searched through my e-mails for the last correspondence from Axel. I chuckled as I opened the e-mail with the subject line reading ‘found your woman.’ The image of the large woman sitting on what I believe is a bicycle underneath her round bikini-clad bottom was still there, taunting me.

I quickly sent my reply instead of starting a new string of e-mails.

Axel,

Lovely woman. Is she by chance a lawyer?

I just received a summons from old man Jasper’s children stating they plan to contest the will and have the farm taken from me. I know you have a family filled with lawyers; any chance one of them handles probate issues?

I hope you are doing well. Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner, but I was busy fantasizing about being a bicycle seat.

James

I sent off the e-mail and started searching the Internet for lawyers, just in case. I didn’t have much money to spare. Most of it had gone into repairs on the farm, ironically.

I found a few local listings and was busy jotting down their numbers when my computer beeped. I clicked back to my e-mail tab and noticed the quick response back from Axel.

James,

I am sorry to say the woman is not a lawyer, but a mere supermodel for the BMX circuit. I sent her your picture, and she wasn’t interested, something about you being too scrawny for her taste.

I do have good news, however. My cousin Evelyn Pierce is working not far from you, and she has a background in estate and probate law. I’m forwarding her your information now. I know she’d be happy to help out one of my SEAL brothers.

Please, be nice to the poor girl. She is a city girl, and only recently moved to the country.

Axel

My heart pounded hard against my chest as I read the words sent from my friend. Hot damn, it was good to have connections, or at least know people with connections.

Axel,

You’re amazing, thank you so much! No worries about your cousin. I know how to be nice to a lady.

James

I sent my reply and leaned back in the office chair. It was an old leather captain chair; the pump no longer worked to lower it or raise it, and one of the arms was broken off. It was the standard for what I found when I returned to the farm. Old man Jasper had been pretty sick, and his so-called kids were not interested in helping around the place. I wished he would’ve let on sooner that he was so sick. By the time I got to him, to the farm, they were both pretty run down.

Another ding alerted me to Axel’s reply. I opened it up and smiled. Yes, he knew me well.

James,

Don’t be THAT nice!

She just responded saying she would stop by tomorrow afternoon around noon…is that okay?

Axel

Shit. That was quick. I was grateful, but I wasn’t sure I was ready. Hell, I didn’t even know what I needed. I had the will. I had the court summons. I guessed that would do it.

Axel,

Yes!! Noon is great. I really appreciate this. You’re a lifesaver! I owe you one…

P.S. If she’s cute, I can’t make any promises. You know I love smart women!

James

I closed the laptop and spun around in the chair to stare out the window to the farm. It was a beautiful day, and now that I had help with the legal battle, I could go out and enjoy the rest of what was left of it.

“Hey, Queen, are you ready to ride?” I grabbed the saddle tossed over the hitching post and slid it onto her back.

She greeted me with a low-pitched nicker, turning her head to watch me strap her into the saddle. My hand slid along her snout after fastening the last belt, and then I gripped the horn and pulled myself onto her back.

“Let’s walk the fence line, pretty lady,” I stroked her mane as I gave her a quick squeeze with my legs.

The reins in hand, I guided Queen towards the back edge of the property. The front fence was already repaired, but still in need of a fresh coat of paint. I decided to work my way from the back, just in case there were any damages that might allow the cattle to wander from the property.

Queen took control with a slow, graceful canter. She never was much of a trotter, and as she aged, I hated to run her too hard, even if she could handle it, so the canter was perfect. I leaned into her, letting my hands reach to her neck. I stroked her gently as she carried me towards the back fence.

Old man Jasper gave me Queen when I was just a kid, not even old enough to drink. Her gray coat, thoroughbred temperament, and speed made me fall for her the instant we locked eyes. She was my first woman, and now, my only one.

“You’ve got to break her,” old man Jasper scowled as if the thought of me taming a horse amused him somehow.

He proved himself right in amusement as I tried to saddle her the first time. She kicked, bucked, and snorted each time I got close. I slept in the barn with her for the first few weeks, promising that I would make her love me as much as I knew I already loved her.

I patted her as she slowed, taking a quick glance at a broken piece of fence. It wasn’t enough to allow anything through, but the splintered wood left me with enough concern to hop down and tie a red flag around it.

I didn’t even have to tell Queen to follow me as I walked the fence line. When I’d stop, she’d nudge me, snort playfully, and nearly knock me into the fence. A high-pitched squeal would escape her throat, almost like the sound of laughter.

I stared up at the sky as the sun disappeared behind a dark cloud. A clack sounded from the distance to warn me of the imminent rain.

“You ready to run, Queen?” I smiled, knowing she wanted nothing else.

I hopped back into the saddle, gripped the reins, and let out a yelp as I squeezed against the powerful muscles with my calves.

Queen stopped at the stables, snorted, and then took a step back. I slid out of the saddle, reached for the gun on my side, and carefully took a peek at what spooked her.

“Take it easy,” I whispered to her as I pulled out my pistol and aimed it towards a curled, angry rattlesnake.

He was at least ten feet away from where she stopped and was blocking the entrance to the stables.

“Good eye, girl,” I whispered as I pulled the trigger, putting a bullet right through the snakes head.

Queen fussed a bit, letting out a squeal as she reared upward.

“You’re fine,” I chuckled as I slapped her on the ass.

I got her settled, unsaddled, and brushed before putting her in her stall. Goofy occupied the stall next to her: a brown and white spotted thoroughbred. He didn’t have the agility or the etiquette of Queen, but he made up for what he lacked with a silly personality and sweet demeanor.

“Hi’ya, Goofy,” I smiled.

Goofy slid his tongue from his mouth, letting it hang to the side as I stroked his neck. I laughed as he spat in my direction, coating me with a nice amount of slobber.

I left the stables and headed to the house, stopping to pick up the rattler on my way. I shoved its body through a nail already buried into the wood railing of the front porch and went inside.

My boots were left by the door, covered in mud and splattered with a few drops of rattlesnake blood. The place was cozy, nothing fancy, but with a little hard work, it would be more than enough for just me. I hated the thought of losing it, of it being sold to someone who didn’t care what hard work had gone into the place.

I stripped out of my clothes, tossing them on one of the chairs by the table, and headed for a hot shower.

My muscles ached, not from work, but stress. I hated the tense feeling that lingered in my shoulders and pinched at my neck. The hot water helped, but not enough. This mess couldn’t be over soon enough.

As my eyes closed against the hot streams of water, my mind drifted to Evelyn Pierce. I didn’t know how good she was, but I knew I needed her to be great.

I chuckled as I tried to imagine what she looked like; tall, slender, maybe blonde hair that rolled into a tight bun atop her head. I started to grow hard thinking about the image of a woman. It had been awhile. It had been a long while. Fuck.

Axel was right to worry. I was all alone out here, and with the work on the ranch, there was no time for women. It was clear she was attractive, that much I knew, or Axel wouldn’t have worried. Man, I hope she’s an ugly duckling, a real stinker. I can’t afford to get distracted now.

My hand dropped to my manhood anyhow, even with the thoughts of her being a real rough, down-to-business, no-nonsense type. Fuck. The more I thought about her all tightened up in a business suit, the more I thought about unwrapping her like a Christmas present from Santa.

Water slapped against my pelvis as my hand pushed and pulled at my meat with a tight fist clenching, loosening, and then clenching again with each stroke. Best to get the toxins cleared from my body now, just in case she is as sexy as I imagine.