Saturday, August 24, 2013

Snippet Saturday - Stop Dragging My Heart Around

by Elle James aka Myla Jackson


Skeptical billionaire takes a risk on a friend's online dating service and finds the cowgirl of his dreams, now he only has to convince her that he's her perfect match

Billionaire Online Dating Service. It's new, it's exclusive. Let's test it!

How did Billionaire Cooper Johnson allow himself to get roped into testing a brand new online dating system? After making a fortune day-trading stocks, he's on track to accomplish all his life goals, except marriage and a family. As a billionaire, meeting the right woman is a minefield of gold-diggers, false eyelashes and surgically enhanced women. The Billionaire Online Dating Service matches hand-picked, screened clientele with the mates of their dreams. Or so the package was sold. As a favor for a friend, Cooper finds himself on the Rockin' J Ranch confronting his "date's" four tough looking cowboy brothers. When their girl-next-door, long, tall, gorgeous sister steps out on the porch, Cooper doesn't know whether to run to her or away. One date, that's all he's signed up for and he can be out of there. Or will one date be enough?

She had everything—a fiancĂ©, a great future, love...until she lost it all

Still mourning the loss of her fiancé who died two years ago, Emma Jacobs can't imagine loving anyone else. But her four brothers won't quit pushing men her way. In a desperate attempt to throw her brothers off her back, she engages her friend's dating service to find a pasty-faced businessman sure to fail her brothers' husband criteria. Maybe then her brothers will finally back off and leave her alone.

Best laid plans tend to blow up in Emma's face. When her date turns out to be everything her brothers are looking for in a husband for Emma, she's got a bigger problem than she started out with. She lets Cooper in on her plan to have him date and dump her. Surprisingly he goes along with it. But Cooper has plans of his own. And they don't involve dumping the determined, sexy, independent cowgirl.

Note: Make a stop at Myla Jackson's Ugly Stick Saloon in this story and say hi to old friends.  


The moon shone full and bright, stars twinkled from the heavens and a soft late summer breeze lifted the hair off the back of Emma's neck.

For a moment, she could pretend they were alone in the world, only the two of them. No brothers interfering, no past, no future, no expectations, just the present and a single dance. Emma relaxed and let the music and Cooper's lead carry her.

As the song ended, another started—this one slow, sensuous, a song meant for belt-buckle-polishing closeness. Without missing a step, Cooper pulled Emma closer.

She melted against him, her cheek resting against his chest. The scent of soap, aftershave and male wafted through her senses as the hard ridge beneath his fly pressed into her belly.

Molten heat roiled through her body, and as if of their own volition, her hands rose to circle behind Cooper's neck. 

Both of his claimed her lower back, nudging her even tighter against him as the muffled music droned on. They swayed slower and slower until they came to a standstill.

The music flowed on around them, but Emma couldn't move. Her gaze rose to the sparkling blue of Cooper's, reflecting the starlight.

His mouth came down over hers, gentle at first, then with increasing pressure, his tongue pushing past her lips and teeth to stroke the length of hers.

Emma's fingers laced through Cooper's dark hair, knocking the hat from his head.

Something about exposing the cowboy's head to the moonlight made Emma's nipples tightened and rub deliciously against the lace of her bra, a leg circling behind Cooper's.

"Hey, get a room," a man called out.

Emma pushed away from Cooper, her eyes wide, her heart hammering against her ribs. "That shouldn't have happened."

Cooper reached out with both arms. "But it did."

Her head shaking back and forth, Emma pressed a fist to her lips. "No. It can't. I love Marcus."

Cooper's jaw tightened and his arms fell to his sides. "Emma, Marcus is gone."

With pain radiating through her chest, Emma pressed a hand against her breast to ease it. "I have to go." She spun and ran for Ace's pickup. Once inside, she blindly jabbed the key into the ignition. She took three tries to get it in. Then she yanked the gear into reverse and spun out of the parking lot.

Despite her determination not to, Emma glanced in her rearview mirror.

Cooper scooped his hat off the ground and stood in the glow of the overhead light, watching her. Then he ran his hand through his hair.

Emma's fingers tingled with the remembered texture of that hair. She forced her focus on the road, her hands tightening around the steering wheel, the night blurring past as she sped home.

Once inside the ranch house, she raced for her room and dragged a box from beneath the bed. One by one, she pulled out pictures, keepsakes and articles of clothing. All belonging to Marcus and their life together. Nelson trotted into the room and lay down beside her, his golden chin resting on her thigh. 

"Why is this happening?" Emma stroked the dog's head. "I loved Marcus. There's no other man I want in my life."

Nelson whined and nudged her hand when it stopped the stroking motion.

Emma lifted Marcus's dog tags from the bottom of the box and held the chain in her fingers. Tears slipped from the corners of her eyes.

"Why did you leave me?" More tears followed the first. Emma stared at the picture on her nightstand of Marcus and her. When she closed her eyes, the image faded, replaced by Cooper standing in the moonlight after a kiss that should never have happened.

Emma clutched Marcus's dog tags to her chest and curled up beside the golden retriever on the braided rug. "Why did you leave me?" she whispered.

As exhaustion claimed Emma, Marcus's voice seemed to whisper through the open window, "I never did and never will."

Authors Participating in Snippet Saturday:

Lauren Dane
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Lissa Matthews
McKenna Jeffries
Shiloh Walker
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Myla Jackson
Felicity Heaton
TJ Michaels

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