Can You Trust A Cowboy
by K.R. Bailey
eBook ISBN: None Given
When Tricia Beaumont gets involved with Thomas “Cowboy” Westman, what she thought was a blossoming relationship turns into a nightmare filled with deception and half-truths. Can she find a way to trust the Cowboy and uncover the truth behind the violence that threatens to destroy her world?
“Where the hell is Ross?” Tricia Beaumont stomped into the office, pushing the sleek blond hair out of her blazing green eyes.
“He didn’t call in.” Cathy shrugged.
“God!” Tricia turned with her hands on her hips. “Guess I’ll take the load.” Reaching for the slip of paper with the delivery address, she frowned and walked to the door. Stopping before leaving the office, she turned and looked over her shoulder. “I’ll take truck ninety-two.
Can you get the invoice ready?”
Patricia Beaumont owned Beaumont Trucking. She loved the business. She loved being a truck driver. But since her father’s passing, managing the company had taken up too much time, and he’d relinquished most of the driving to several new drivers. Ross was one of them, and he wasn’t proving too reliable.
“Damn,” she muttered as she opened the truck door and stepped up then slipped, cracking a long fingernail. Getting her nails done was the one thing she continued to do for herself even though the other drivers chided her about it. After all, she reminded the men, she was still a woman.
She climbed into the cab, took the keys from the pocket of her tight jeans, and waved as Jared honked the horn on his truck.
“Oh no!” he hollered. “I better hurry out of the yard. Don’t want to be around a woman trucker.” He laughed as she gave him the bird.
“You better watch out.” She called out as he threw her mock kisses before revving up the diesel engine and driving through the gates. Taking a minute to watch him, Tricia realized once again how much she missed the camaraderie she used to share with the other drivers. Being the Boss Lady, as the drivers called her, wasn’t nearly as relaxing and fun, and she knew some of the newer drivers resented working for a woman.
She turned the key and listened to the engine start. This had been her favorite truck, a bobtail with a five-yard bed. It was easy to drive, easy to backup, and ran like a charm. Smiling, she listened to the engine even out then nodded. It felt good to be back behind the wheel again.
In less than five minutes, Tricia had picked up the invoice, done the pre-check, and was driving to the pit to pick up a load of one-inch rock. With the windows down, her hair blew in the wind, and it felt heavenly. She didn’t have to answer any telephones, talk to customers, fend off complaints, or worry about her upcoming meeting with Westman Enterprises. She smiled. Today would be a good day.
Once her load was picked up, she signed for it and was on her way. The job was at a new development. She didn’t recognize the name of the contractor, JTW and Son, but it didn’t matter. Every load was paid for upon delivery, unless they had a regular account set up.
JTW and Son didn’t.
She slowed as the address came into view. Looking the jobsite over, she relaxed and parked the truck. This would be easy. No tight corners to back around. No overhead electrical or telephone lines to worry about. Just dump the load, collect her money, and she’d be heading back to her busy office.
As she climbed out of the truck, she nodded to a couple of workers and jumped to the ground. “Anyone know Wes?”
“You mean Cowboy?” One of the cement workers paused and pointed toward the back of the building just going up.
Picking her way over wood and metal debris, she called out once again, “Anyone out here named Wes?” As she rounded the corner, she ran smack into the hard chest of one of the tallest men she’d ever seen, and the black cowboy hat just added to his height.
“You found him.” All six-foot, five-inches of hard male gazed down at her. The irritation in his brown eyes turned to warm chocolate when he looked at her and gave her a sardonic smile. “Well, howdy, beautiful. I’m Cowboy. What can I do for you?”
Tricia raised her eyebrows. “Cowboy?” She chuckled. “What kind of name is that?”
“The kind that’s mine.” His voice was low and gravelly, and he cocked his head as if daring her to say something more.
“Whatever.” She grinned, looking up at the square jaw and handsome face. “I’ve got what you wanted. Where would you like it?”
Chuckling, he answered wickedly, “I can think of a lot of places, but I’m not sure here and now is the right time or place.”
Taking the dare, Tricia flicked her hair from her face and put her hand on her hips. “It’s your call.” She loved playing games, trading innuendoes with cocky men, and this one definitely piqued her interest.
They stood staring at each other. His brown eyes smoldered.
Finally, he shrugged. “Okay, you win. Dump the gravel over there.”
“Your wish is my command.” Tricia turned and purposely strutted, letting her hips move seductively back and forth. She could play this game, too. She climbed into her truck, backed it into the designated spot, and looked at Cowboy. When he nodded, she tripped the tailgate, gave the motor some gas to keep the RPMs up, and moved the lever to let the load dump. She stepped out and locked down the tailgate, then she hopped to the ground, only to find herself standing face to chest with the sexiest man she’d ever seen.
“You handle the truck well.”
She smiled. “It’s not all I do well.”
He once again raised an eyebrow. “I’ll bet you’re right. We could always find out.” He said the words in a low voice, waiting for her response.
Tricia’s heart flip-flopped, and she immediately chastised herself for letting anyone get to her that way. She’d been there, done that.
Men. She’d given in and married a man she thought was good and kind, the type of man her father wanted for a son-in-law. Some man he’d turned out to be. Abusive and a womanizer. She wasn’t going to make that mistake again. Sex she liked. Men she could play with, but she’d made up her mind. No one would ever get into her heart and mind again.
“Perhaps when we meet again.” She took the check for payment of the delivery, purposely eyeing him from head to toe, not missing the wide chest and the long, brown ponytail. His hips were lean and jeans tight over the bulge straining to be free.
When he laughed at her brazenness, she turned away and checked to make sure there was no debris on the truck bumper. She stepped into her truck and drove away, but not before she glanced back at Cowboy and saw him watching her every move.
That was fun. Chalk up a point for me.
* * * *
Wes stood staring as the small dump truck drove away. She was all woman. Not especially beautiful, but attractive in her own way.
He’d love to get his hands in that blond hair and push it from her face, or run his hands over those long, sexy legs. Hell yeah, he’d love to touch that woman.
“Hey, Cowboy, quit daydreaming. We need your opinion over here.”
Wes turned and waved at Bates, acknowledging that he’d heard and would be there shortly. Glancing one more time at the truck nearly out of sight, he turned back to the job. It was important they finish the building quickly. It would be the home of the company he’d built from the ground up, and he couldn’t wait to have his new, plush office with his own personal secretary. No time to think about a feisty truck driver.
Pushing his Stetson up off his forehead, he sauntered over to where Bates and the crew were working. The hat was his trademark.
Even the logo for his company bore a black Stetson. He laughed.
He’d worn a cowboy hat most of his life, but the black Stetson meant he’d succeeded. He was proud of his business and the reputation he’d built.
Chuckling softly, thinking of the spunky truck driver, he wondered if she’d like a different job. He’d love to have that one as his private secretary.
He liked women, but he’d vowed years ago never to get involved.
After his mother died, he’d watched his father go through three wives who’d each taken their chunk of his wealth, and Wes had promised himself years ago he wouldn’t follow in his father’s footsteps. He didn’t mind giving his body, but he wasn’t going to give his heart.