Simmer: Erotic Romance (Fireside Series)








Fireside Series 3

By Morgan Black


Published By Metamorphosis Books

Copyright © 2014 Morgan Black

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places or events are entirely the work of the author. Any resemblance to actual persons, events, or places is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. Please purchase only authorized editions and do not participate in piracy of copyrighted materials.


Cover art by Cover
Up Designs

I looked out the window
surveying the snowy grounds in front of my home. The sun was barely rising over the mountains but I could already see the clouds rolling in, and that meant another storm was brewing. There was storm brewing inside the four walls that protected me from the elements as well. How would I dodge that one? I watched and waited for Luke to come dutifully walking across the snow from his loft in the guest quarters. But he hadn’t arrived yet. I was beginning to worry he wouldn’t show up at all. I mean was I really worth all of this nonsense? Was I worth him possibly losing his job? I could only hope he thought I was.

scanned my phone but still no messages from Collin. I had hoped he would at least reach out just to apologize for last night, give me the chance to do the same as well. But he hadn’t. Perhaps I was expecting too much of him, especially after everything that happened. We were both with other people now, not that I thought that he loved that girl but I was certain that he didn’t love me. Luke on the other hand, with his stoic exterior, was warm and the mysterious on the inside. Over the last few days I had completely uprooted my life in order to make him happy and make whatever it was that we had work. Now it was time for the two of us to stand together and tell my father our plans. Not that we really had any stable plans to tell him, we hadn’t really figured any of that out yet. After we left the barn last night Luke walked me to my door and then went to his space inside the guest quarters. It was far too cold to stand outside and discuss our future together. Last night I had watched from a window as he made his way back to his room. Most of the staff stay on the grounds, nine or so of the people who work at the farm.

Watching him in the dark, I had contemplated our future.
I didn’t know what to expect of our relationship, would we get married one day? I could only hope. But there was still so much more that I had to learn about Luke before I made any of those drastic decisions.

I watched as he walked across the snowy yard looking back at the guest house, perhaps contemplating if it would be the last time he would see it. What if
my father fired him? Where would we go? Why the hell hadn’t I thought about any of this? Jesus, some adult I was.

I raced to the back of the house and flung the door open
. As soon as he saw me, a smile that lit up his face told me that I wouldn’t have to worry. We would figure this all out somehow.

He called to me,
“There’s a storm coming Cheyenne. Are you ready for it?”

I laughed,
“I’m just happy not to be up in some cabin in the woods this time.” As soon as he got close to the patio I stepped outside and flung my arms around him. He lifted me so that my feet dangled above the doormat on the patio. He whispered hotly in my ear, “Are you sure that’s not where you wish we were?”

As I pulled away slowly he looked at me knowingly, referencing our moment of passion in the cabin. A moment I wouldn’t soon forget. A moment I wanted to repeat as soon as possible.

“I guess you’re right, the cabin wasn’t such a bad idea after all.”

He smiled at me
, his eyes glowing as he did. “I thought it was a good weekend.”

Well,” I said slowly, “this Monday morning is about to slap you in the face.”

He shrugged,
“Yeah so much for an interesting start the work week. I told Fred and Linda what we’re going to do. You can imagine how Linda felt about it.”

had become like my mother over the years, and she wasn’t very excited about my choice in lover. But somewhere deep down I knew that she understood, you don’t choose the person you love, sometimes love just comes and finds you.

I chewed on my lower lip,
“I’m sure she’ll understand. It might not be today, but someday.”

I just hope your father’s reasonable.”

If there’s anything my father is, it’s reasonable. A logical businessman who spent most of his life putting
time and effort into his career and taking care of the family he had left. We’ve always been well off, but not really in the love department. Maybe that’s why my attraction to Luke was so strong. I never felt this way about anyone else, such a connection. And then there was the fact that he was damn sexy, that certainly didn’t hurt.

We walked hand-in-hand and my father’s office
. When we arrived his back was turned and he was wearing his usual, a cowboy hat, dark jeans, and a white button up shirt. As always he had on his best accessory, a pair of cowboy boots. He was on a cell phone talking about a sale for a horse as we walked in. He didn’t even notice our presence until he turned around and the look on his face told me exactly how this conversation was going to go.

I’ll have to call you back David, my daughter’s here.” He quickly put away his phone and placed his hands on his hips. He was a statuesque man standing at about six foot four with the build of a football player. He was still strong in his later years. He had always helped out around the ranch even though he paid people to do simple things.

Cheyenne… What are you doing here?”

Luke squeezed my hand tighter,
“Sir,” but my father interrupted.

Son I’m sure what you have prepared to say is very well rehearsed however right now I’m looking at my daughter. Now Cheyenne what is this all about?”

I let go of Luke’s hand and approached my father’s desk,
taking a deep breath I said, “Dad I want to talk to you about something. I mean really I want to talk to about someone. Me.”

He put his fingertips on his desk and slowly lowered himself down into his office chair.
“Go on.”

I turned back to look at Luke
, his steely gray eyes reeling me in, forcing the truth out of me. “Luke and I, kind of found ourselves this weekend Daddy. And the truth of it is we want to be together.” I waited for his reaction but he simply pulled his hands up below his mouth and tapped his fingers against one another surveying our situation. “I know what you’re going to say, I know you’re going to tell me that this isn’t how we do things and I’m already with Collin. But none of that’s really true, Collin’s been with another girl for months! At least this thing between Luke and I has only been going on a short time.” That was me still trying to convince myself that what I had done hadn’t been so awful. I still wasn’t doing a very good job.

stopped talking to allow it to sink in with him. I chewed on my lower lip with my teeth hoping that I wouldn’t say anything further since he still hadn’t spoken but when I was about to start again Luke once again came to my rescue. “Sir I love your daughter. I love her because she’s stubborn, unbelievably intricate, and beautiful. I promise you that I will treat her the way she deserves to be treated.”

My father sat back in his chair and I heard the creaking of the old wood.
“That may be true, but that’s not for either of you to decide. I don’t know why Cheyenne felt the need to pull you into this ludicrous fantasy that the two of you have built, but she is marrying Collin. This isn’t just about how you feel, this is about business and decisions that we have made. Promises that have to be kept. The way I see that you care for her, that doesn’t matter.” He then turned to look at me, “Your mother and I were never love. It was a business arrangement and I still miss her every day.”

My words seem
ed to be caught in my throat like poison. They were killing me slowly. I knew when I spat them at him it would go through him like knives. Just like his words felt to me. So professional without any emotion. I had enough feelings for all three of us. “Do you? Do you miss her at all? Because you’ve never acted like it! I get that it was a business arrangement between you and Mama but that’s not how my life is going to be. I make my own choices, I’m an adult! And I will do as I damn well please. If you don’t want to be a part of that now would be a good time to say it.”

He stood breathing heavily his chest rising and falling with his anger,
“Cheyenne I forbid this. I won’t hear another word of you and this ranch hand.” He turned on Luke stepping towards him mere inches from his face, “As for you, you’re fired. If I ever see you on this property again I will call the police.”

Daddy! That’s not fair. You can’t do this to us!”

He turned his back on me, just as he had all these years, and said,
“I just did.”

Luke stormed out of the room before
could stop him. I was tempted to chase after him but I had to say something first. “Why did you have to do that? Why do you always have to do things like this?”

My father took off his ha
t and held it over his heart, “It’s the best thing Cheyenne. For both of you. That boy has no idea how to live like us and we can’t place those expectations on him just because you want to be with him. That’s not how things work in our world.”

I shook my head violently,
“Don’t you understand that our world will never grow if we don’t let people like him in? He’s perfect for me Daddy. He’s everything I’m not and I want to be, he’s hard-working and strong and beautiful in a defiant way.”

My father turned an
d looked at me a single tear dripping from his wrinkled eyes. “I want what’s best for you Cheyenne. He just isn’t it.”

The tears started streaming down my face and I couldn’t control my anger any longer.
“I know what’s best for me. Being here isn’t it anymore. Once Luke gets his things he and I will be gone. I think you finally got what you wanted all along. Me out of this house!”

I rushed out of the room without another word
, running down the hallway I entered my bedroom and grabbed a suitcase as fast as I could. I stuffed as many belongings that could fit in the suitcase in the short amount of time I had, tossing in clothes and keepsakes from my mother. My father was yelling for me but I ignored his calls. I wouldn’t let him control me like this, I couldn’t. It was time to take charge of my own life.

He wa
s in the hallway blocking my path. As I tried to push past him he put his hand on my shoulder and said, “If you leave Cheyenne you can’t ever come back.”

I wipe
d the tears away with the back of my hand and said coldly, “I don’t intend to.”

That was the final blow and he stepped aside and let me run past him searching frantically for Luke
. I looked for any signs that he was still on the ranch. I grabbed my car keys and tossed a suitcase in the back of my SUV before tearing off without a coat across the snowy banks to the guest house.

Luke!” I screamed in desperation. How much time had passed? Where were his bags? I looked in his room and saw it was clean and empty. I leaned against the door frame to his quiet bedroom and became lost. Luke and all his belongings were gone. He had left me. He believed my father was right and that he wasn’t good enough for me, which was so far from the truth I didn’t know how to handle it. I fell into a crumpled heap of my emotions on the floor allowing the waves of sadness to come over me. I had done this. I had done this to us and to myself, and now I had to live with the consequences.

I clutch
ed my fingers on the doorframe trying to hold myself together, like the building would keep me from completely falling apart. But the structure failed. I wept for the loss of a love I would never have and I couldn’t control my breathing. I could barely see some of the staff standing around whispering and pointing like I was an injured kitten. They didn’t know whether to come over and comfort me or to evade me because I was a danger to them. I don’t know how long I was on the floor when Linda came over and put a blanket around my shoulders watching as the sobs shook out of me like leaves falling from a tree.

kneelt down next to me and took her hands wrapping them around my head holding my face against her warm body. “It’s going to be all right darling. You’re going to be fine, you’re going to make it through this.”

I pulled away from her,
“He wasn’t supposed to leave like this! We were going to make it Linda, whatever it took.”

I was echoing Luke’s words from this morning.
He had whispered them to me right before we entered my father’s office. “I’m with you Cheyenne whatever it takes, I’m with you.” So why now had he decided to cut and run? Was my father really that formidable? Or had he just realized that this wasn’t for him?

He promised me.” I whispered.

She looked at me with compassion
in her eyes, the wrinkles telling me her true feelings. “I’m so sorry sweetie. But I just don’t think that this is the right place for either of you. And what you said to your father… I just don’t know that the two of you will ever get past that.”

I shook my head bewildered,
“This has nothing to do with him! He doesn’t own me.”

I couldn’t comprehend what she was talking about. The love of my life
had just snuck out the back door and she was worried about the argument that Daddy and I had.

None of that matters Linda! Why can’t anyone see that?”

I stood up and walked away stomping like a child. She came up behind me quietly and put
her hand on my lower back, rubbing it in slow circles. I knew she was just trying to comfort me but at this point I was just angry. I was angry at my father for sending Luke away, angry that Luke had left me, and now angry at the one woman I thought would understand my true feelings for this man. I shook her off and stormed away, “I don’t know what you think you’re saying, but I love him!” I tossed a look over my shoulder at her that was hateful. I turned around to see her reaction but what I saw was not at all what I expected.

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