tagRomanceRocky Mountain High Ch. 02

Rocky Mountain High Ch. 02

byThucydides©

Sorry, guys, it's another "cowboy meets city girl" story. When I set out to put these two together I realized I had boxed myself into a corner. Please enjoy it anyway.

*****

TO: Mike Olson

FROM: Katie Olson

Hey, my friend Laura is flying in Wednesday for the wedding. Can you drive to DIA and pick her up?

FROM: Mike Olson

TO: Katie Olson

I'll have one of the hands do it.

TO: Mike Olson

FROM: Katie Olson

Like hell. I'm not making her spend three hours in a hay truck with some tongue tied cowboy who smells like cattle. Take the day off, take a shower, and take the Mercedes.

FROM: Mike Olson

TO: Katie Olson

You're killing me here, but OK.

FROM: Mike Olson

TO: Katie Olson

Hey, I made it to DIA. What's Laura look like, anyway?

TO: Mike Olson

FROM: Katie Olson

Here you go. (Laura.jpg)

FROM: Mike Olson

TO: Katie Olson

You realize I'm in an airport lounge, right? You want me to get arrested for looking at that sort of thing in public?

TO: Mike Olson

FROM: Katie Olson

It's perfectly PG-13. Out of a catalog, even. It's the only one I had on my phone.

FROM: Mike Olson

TO: Katie Olson

Do I want to hear this story?

TO: Mike Olson

FROM: Katie Olson

We were at the mall one day junior year, they were having auditions at the store, and I dared her to try it. She said she would if I would. One thing led to another.

FROM: Mike Olson

TO: Katie Olson

WHAT? Are you in that catalog too?

TO: Mike Olson

FROM: Katie Olson

A couple shots. We made a few hundred bucks for half a day's work and got to keep the stuff we tried on.

FROM: Mike Olson

TO: Katie Olson

I can't believe this.

TO: Mike Olson

FROM: Katie Olson

Hey, bras aren't cheap, especially for a girl built like me, and we were on student budgets.

FROM: Mike Olson

TO: Katie Olson

I'm starting to get a headache here. Does Paul know about this?

TO: Mike Olson

FROM: Katie Olson

Of course. I made sure he had the full set of my pictures before he got deployed last time. Gotta keep my man's morale up, right?

FROM: Mike Olson

TO: Katie Olson

That's not all they kept up...Wait. I am NOT having this conversation with my sister. On Saturday I'm giving you away to Paul and HE can worry about the crazy stuff you do. I can't wait.

TO: Mike Olson

FROM: Katie Olson

Have I told you lately that you're the world's best big brother?

FROM: Mike Olson

TO: Katie Olson

Every time I catch you up to some wild stunt. Gotta go, the exit ramp door's opening.

FROM: Laura Daniels

TO: Katie Olson

KATHERINE! How could you send your brother a picture of me naked? Are you crazy?

TO: Laura Daniels

FROM: Katie Olson

Not naked, modeling lingerie. He wasn't supposed to show you that. I was in a hurry and it was the only one I had on my phone. I thought you looked hot looking over your shoulder in that thong.

FROM: Laura Daniels

TO: Katie Olson

Yeah, and nothing BUT a jade green lace thong! Calisse! I was wondering why the poor guy looked so stunned when I came up the jetway. He tried not to let me see but I grabbed his I-Phone while he was working his way off the airport. Were you expecting him to recognize me by my ass?

TO: Laura Daniels

FROM: Katie Olson

He wouldn't be the first. IIRC you were kind of famous at uni for having a cute butt. Anyway, it's a good picture of your face, and the thong matched your eyes.

FROM: Laura Daniels

TO: Katie Olson

Tell your soon to be hubby to extend the honeymoon a while. I may not want to kill you by the time you get back. What a way to meet a polite, good looking guy. Which your brother is, BTW.

TO: Laura Daniels

FROM: Katie Olson

I know. You've got his undivided attention now, I promise.

FROM: Laura Daniels

TO: Katie Olson

Damn it, Katie, one more stunt and I'll show him YOUR pictures from that day!

TO: Laura Daniels

FROM: Katie Olson

He's the one guy in the world who sees me undressed regularly and doesn't care. Not much of a threat.

FROM: Laura Daniels

TO: Katie Olson

What about Paul?

TO: Laura Daniels

FROM: Katie Olson

Well, yeah, but Paul likes it. A LOT.

FROM: Laura Daniels

TO: Katie Olson

Spare me. See you in a couple hours.

It was past midnight by the time we pulled into the ranch. Laura's initial embarrassment over that outrageous photo had faded into swapping stories about the nutty adventures Katie tended to get her friends into. My sister is a brilliant and beautiful young woman, and I love her more than life itself, but she has a definite tendency to act before she thinks. Laura's slight, sexy French-Canadian accent made the miles roll by so fast that I didn't realize how late it was when we got in. Katie had waited up, and if you had seen the hugs and squeals as the two girls collided you never would have guessed that Laura had been making death threats two hours before. I stood there holding two big suitcases and a carryon bag waiting for them to finish, and finally broke in.

"Listen, I'm going to put Laura's stuff in the north front bedroom and go on to bed. I have to get up early tomorrow."

Katie's dark head didn't turn.

"OK, see you in the morning."

Laura either had better manners or less casual familiarity. She looked up, shoved her honey blonde hair back, and smiled at me.

"Thank you for picking me up, Mike. I had fun. See you in the morning."

"My pleasure. Feel free to sleep in if you want."

FROM: Laura Daniels

TO: Katie Olson

So Katie!

TO: Laura Daniels

FROM: Katie Olson

What?

FROM: Laura Daniels

TO: Katie Olson

Your brother's hot! He single?

TO: Laura Daniels

FROM: Katie Olson

Down, girl. Yeah, he's single. Spends all his time running the ranch. He's NOT your plaything, though. I know you and I know him. If you have a casual fling he's going to take it seriously and break his heart when you leave. Hurt my brother and I'll make sure the rest of your life will be miserable and short.

FROM: Laura Daniels

TO: Katie Olson

Hey, I've settled down a lot since undergrad. It's not like men grow on trees even in Montreal. I could see myself having something not so casual with a genuinely good man.

TO: Laura Daniels

FROM: Katie Olson

Can you see yourself living here? This ranch has been in our family since 1883 and Mike's not going to let it go.

FROM: Laura Daniels

TO: Katie Olson

I haven't seen it yet. Know any good looking men who might show me around?

TO: Laura Daniels

FROM: Katie Olson

You're incorrigible. I'll try, but remember what I said. No fooling around unless you mean it.

Breakfast on the ranch gets loud. All the live-in hands are expected to be there, since it's where we go over whatever happened the day before and divide out the work to be done that day. Having taken the day before off to go collect Laura, I had that much more to catch up on and assign out that morning. Katie appeared as the hands were stacking their plates and heading out.

"Hey, Mike, I was hoping you could take Laura for a horseback ride today. She's heard me talk about this place for years and this is her first chance to see it."

"The cows in the north valley are starting to calve. We need to round them up and haul them in to the barns."

"Can't you take one week off from the ranch?"

"Lemme just send out a memo to the cows: 'Ladies, my sister's getting married. Please postpone any calving for about ten days.' Or to those damn coyotes: 'my sister's getting married. Please don't eat the new calves until further notice."

"Very funny, Mike. Can't the hands do it?"

"The foreman and a third of them are setting up for the wedding. I'm short handed as is. How about if I just take her out with us, at least for the morning?"

"Oh, all right."

The hands had cleaned out our biggest barn to make a weatherproof dance floor for the reception. They aren't bad at cleaning stuff, but the ribbons and flowers mystified them. Luckily four college friends of Katie's showed up to serve as bridesmaids. They were accustomed to managing men far more sophisticated than my cowhands, and with a few smiles and 'pleases' they had them hard at work. It didn't take Joe long to come looking for his crew.

"Jim! What the hell are you doing?"

At that moment, Jim was totally focused on steadying a ladder for a pixie cut brunette in yoga pants who was hanging up ribbons.

"Damn, Joe, don't yell at me like that. I got my hands full here."

"Well, once your eyes are full, how about some help with these cows? You a cowhand or an interior decorator?"

"I dunno this week. Ask Miss Katie."

Laura met us at the barn as we were trailering up the horses we needed to herd the cows out of the canyons toward the low end of our ranch. She was wearing a plain pair of jeans and a chamois cloth shirt, but somehow managed to make it look incredibly sexy. She gave me a friendly, familiar smile.

"Bon jour, Mike!"

"Morning, Laura. Ready to go for a ride?"

"I look forward to it. Where do you want me?"

I pointed to the old pickup we used to pull trailers around the ranch.

"Go jump in the passenger side."

When I got to the driver's side she was still standing in the open door, looking upset.

"Something wrong?"

She pointed a trembling finger at the rear window.

"What the heck is THAT?"

I glanced at the window rack.

"AR-15 coyote gun. When the cows start dropping calves it draws them like flies. I don't go out of my way to kill coyotes but we can't let them eat the baby calves."

"Is that safe?"

"A gun's as safe as the person handling it. I don't tolerate careless gun handling on this ranch. It's not loaded until we need it. Right now it's as dangerous as the jack under the seat."

She climbed in.

"In Canada people do not casually carry machine guns in their trucks."

"It's not a machine gun. Semi auto only. It's light, accurate, reliable, and if one shot misses another's right there. The round it fires will knock a coyote down with one shot but not go flying miles away to endanger anyone else. A lot of the guys learned to use one in the Army. Perfect for what we're doing today."

"Well, OK."

I picked up a whistle attached to the keychain and blew it. It didn't make a sound, but we heard a barking from the barns and a cloud of dust appeared. As they got closer it resolved into about a dozen low slung, pointy eared dogs with half a dozen big white dogs loping along behind them. I got out, dropped the tailgate, and pulled a milk crate from the back, setting it on the ground upside down. The dogs jumped on the crate and on into the bed of the truck, all yipping with excitement. Then I tossed it back into the truck, closed the tailgate, and got behind the wheel.

"What are those?"

"The little ones are Corgis. Born cattle herding dogs. If a stubborn cow gets into a thick patch of brush or a draw, they go nip at its heels until it moves and joins the rest of the herd. Sure beats constantly jumping off a horse to do it ourselves."

"The cows don't mind?"

"They kick, but that's why those guys are so short. The kicks always miss."

"And the big white ones?"

"Great Pyrenees, mostly. They protect the herd from predators. A full grown cow is too much for most predators, but it's bad for the cows to be worrying about having to defend themselves. In calving season they help protect the calves and the Corgis."

"The Corgis?"

"A pack of coyotes will happily eat a small dog. If these little guys see a predator they have a scared bark that will bring the big guys running. No pack of coyotes, or even wolves, will take on three or four Great Pyrs."

"They kill them?"

"They will if they get hold of them, but the coyotes have learned what happens if they tangle with the guard dogs. Generally they run off when they see them coming."

"What's that thing that looks like a giant mop?"

"Arpad? He's a Komondor. Hungarian guard breed. He's kind of an experiment. I get most of these dogs from rescue organizations, and they asked me to try him out. So far he's pretty impressive."

"Why rescue?"

"People see these cute little white puppies or cool, exotic looking dogs and don't realize how much work it is to care for them properly. They end up giving them to breed groups, and some of my contacts there will call me if they have one they think will fit in. A job on a Colorado cattle ranch isn't a bad life for these guys."

"You got Arpad that way?"

"Yep. He looks like a joke but there's a big, tough dog under all that hair. There's no weather bad enough to bother him, and any varmint that tries to bite him just gets a mouthful of hair before he spins around and bites through their neck. If I can get more I'm going to."

"You don't breed them?"

"I get plenty of calls from rescue outfits that need homes for these dogs, and they always fix them before they send them out. We have a litter of Corgis back at the barns but we don't breed the big ones."

Her eyes lit up.

"You have a litter of puppies? I want to see!"

"When we get back, sure."

"You don't let them in the house?"

"They're working dogs and keeping them that way is better for everyone. They have a couple of warm stalls in the barns that are set up with dog doors so they can come and go without the cows bothering them. They like to patrol the place at night, so having them in the house is a pain. Anyway, you can imagine what Tia Carmen would say if I let a pack of dogs track dirt in the house."

'So it's not safe to be out at night?"

"If they know you, there's no problem. Last year some drunk idiot wandered onto the place. We found him the next morning, backed into a corner by two Great Pyrs and a Komondor who wouldn't let him move. He was pretty sober after spending all night in that corner."

Once we got the pregnant cows safely coralled near the barns, I took Laura to see the baby Corgis. Apparently she had texted her girlfriends, since they all showed up at the barns. The sight of cute girls cooing and playing with even cuter puppies drew all my hands to the stall rails to watch the fun.

"What is up with this one?"

"He's a runt and has a missing leg. I'm not sure whether he's going to be any use here."

"Mike!"

""What?"

"You do not dare hurt this little one! I take him home if I have to!"

"You live in an apartment, don't you? Can you really manage a Corgi there?"

"I do not care! Promise that he can stay here!"

How could I deny her anything?

"OK, I'll give him a home. Not like I don't have a lot of useless animals on this place already. I can't promise that he'll get enough to eat, though."

"Someone go get me some milk!"

One of the hands ran up to the kitchen and came back with a bowl of milk, which the little guy sucked up without moving from Laura's lap. Lucky little bugger.

"I will feed him until he is big enough to eat solid food!"

"Ok, we'll keep him here. I promised."

"Thank you, Mike."

Good Lord, was there anything I wouldn't do to see that look in her green eyes? Really, even though I try to be realistic about useless mouths, I have too many. A dog or a horse that spends its working life here deserves a soft bed or a warm barn when it gets old, not a bullet. Even if all they do is teach the young dogs manners or let little kids ride them around the corral, they're still some use to me. What's one more?

That night, after dinner, I took Laura for a walk. We ended up at the gazebo I had built at the edge of the cliff behind the ranch. Secluded with a great view of the valleys down below the cliffs, especially in the sunset. Laura was thrilled.

"Oh, this is so beautiful!"

"Especially with you here."

She turned and looked up at me.

"Flattery will get you everywhere."

I put my hands on her waist.

"You sure you don't mean nowhere?"

She smiled, and her hands slid up to my shoulders.

"Try me."

I pulled her in, and her arms wrapped around my neck. Her lips opened as they met mine, and our tongues explored each other carefully. I was lost. I had heard of, and even participated in, what I thought was a French kiss, but the way this French girl kissed was a completely new experience. Eventually she dropped back to her natural height. Her head settled on my chest.

"Mon dieu, Mike, you kiss me like I'm the last girl on Earth."

"If there is another girl on Earth I don't want to kiss her."

She leaned up and kissed me again.

"Mike?"

"Hmm?"

"I want to do something just for you. You've knocked yourself out caring for your sister and ranch for years, and it's time someone took care of you. No strings attached, you don't need to do anything, just relax and enjoy."

Eh? She pushed me back onto the old chaise lounge I kept out there. Then she unhooked my belt buckle, unbuttoned my Levis, and reached into my boxers. Oh. Out it came.

"Oh, nice..." she said to herself. I couldn't believe this was happening. Then she leaned over and kissed the head.

"Uh, Laura, you don't have to do this."

"I WANT to do this. Bad. Unless you're telling me you don't like it. I don't think I believe you, though."

She kissed/nibbled her way down the shaft.

"It seems to like me."

"Yeah, it sure does. Oh, maaan, keep doing that..."

Giving her instructions on fellatio was like telling Picasso how to draw. Up and down, first just her tongue and then her whole mouth engulfing me, her hands following along or caressing my balls. As I got close to the point of no return I started running my fingers through her silky hair. She pulled back and blew a cool stream of air over my overexcited cock.

"I said this is just for you. Relax, enjoy, and don't you dare push my head down."

"Uh, ok."

She got back to work and soon had me close again. She somehow had the whole shaft in her mouth and started rubbing her tongue up and down the sensitive underside. That did it. I gave her the courtesy tap.

"Laura, I'm gonna..."

She kept right on doing what she had been doing until I was drained. Then she pulled back, gave the tip one final kiss, and rested her head on my thigh. She smiled up at me.

"I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did."

"I'm sure I enjoyed it more."

She pulled herself up and rested her head on my shoulder, and I wrapped my arms around her and kissed her.

"Don't be so sure, I really liked that."

We were quiet for a few minutes, just cuddling.

"Mike?"

"Hmmm?"

"My flight back to Montreal leaves in six days. You and I could have a pretty great time for those six days, but your sister says that if we do you'll get all depressed when I leave and she doesn't want that."

"Damn, you and my sister are planning my sex life?"

"Katie really loves you. After living together for three and a half years we don't have a lot of secrets from each other."

"So I get a week of wild sex with a beautiful, sensual girl as long as I promise not to develop feelings for her? I'm not sure I can do that, to be honest. I already think you're pretty great."

"The feeling's mutual. I'm not trying to blackmail you, just to be honest. I know this ranch is your life and I don't see how this could turn into anything more than a long distance, see each other every couple months kind of thing."

"Well, hell, this is too much to work out tonight. Let's call it a night and look at it again in the morning."

We walked back to the house quietly, hand in hand. At the bottom of the stairs I turned to her.

"Want to come up to my room?"

"Not tonight, Mike. Let's think about it a little."

She reached her arms around my neck and kissed me thoroughly before she headed off to her own room. Watching her go was a study in mixed emotions: aesthetically it was a real experience, but emotionally I hated that she was headed away from me. God, life was getting complicated.

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