"Oh, that feels so good," I murmured aloud as I stretched out on the picnic blanket and let the sun seep into my body. It was almost sensual the way the warmth swept over and nearly overdosed my skin's ability to take it all in.
I laid my hand to the ground next to me and smiled as it seemed to thrum beneath my touch. This must be what it's like when they say you're "one with nature." The thrumming continued. Actually, the thrumming got louder. Until it became more of a rumbling... and then a thundering, and it just kept getting louder and more insistent. I scrambled to my feet and looked below me to the meadow.
This was not good. A herd of cattle, spooked by who-knows-what, was hurtling itself up the hill right toward me! Hurriedly, I tried to throw all of my lunch back into the picnic basket when a voice in my head yelled, "No, stupid! They are going to run you down, who cares about your lunch? RUN!"
Turning on my heel, I fled in the opposite direction of the herd. This was futile. I don't even like to run to the mailbox, and I thought I was going to outrun a herd of raging cattle? Stupid girl. I could feel them getting closer and closer, and I started to scream. This is what happens when you want to be alone and you pick outside to be alone in. You get run over by cows. My headstone is going to read "DIED FROM BOVINE ATTACK." How embarrassing.
It was like I could almost feel them breathing down my neck now. Just as I was about to give up and accept that Bessie the Cow would be my murderer, I felt two hands grab me by the waist and hoist me in front of the body they belonged to on a horse. And we galloped off. Saved by...?
I struggled a bit to turn around and get a look at who had rescued me from my almost-demise, but the arms that wrapped around me to hold onto the reins held me tightly in place.
"Would you sit still? You're going to knock us both off this horse," the voice said in my ear. It was low and husky, and the mouth it belonged to was a breath away. I tried to sit still and behave myself, despite my curiosity I just couldn't figure out where to put my hands. He had the reins. I tried to put them at my sides, but his thighs were there, wrapped tightly in dark blue jeans. Finally, I settled on the horn of the saddle until he stopped galloping and jumped off the horse.
"Come on, then," he instructed, helping me off in turn, and I finally got a good look at him. He stood about six feet tall, jeans that clung to his hips, a short sleeved plaid shirt buttoned halfway, muscular and tan. Oy vey. His cowboy hat shaded everything else.
"Thank you," I offered weakly. "I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't..."
The mystery cowboy smiled. "It's alright, Miss." He moved a step closer, pushed his hat back to reveal the most beautiful blue eyes I've ever seen, and nearly stopped my heart. "I do believe, though, that the savior is entitled to a Thank you kiss." Somehow his hand was at my back and his lips were....
I suddenly broke out laughing.
Mr Cowboy frowned. "Did I do something funny?"
"I'm sorry," I apologized. "It's not you. It's just-- This feels like a bad romance novel, doesn't it?"
"I don't understand, Miss. This is a bad romance novel." He turned and gestured up at the sky.
There it was... written in big bold scripty letters in the clouds:
"The shrew?? I'm the SHREW??"
"Lady, I don't write it. I just do what I'm told. Now, this kiss..." He leaned in toward me again.
I pushed him away and headed toward the man's horse. "Well, I am not going to just 'do what I'm told,'" I mimicked. "Come on... We're going to go find this author and give her a piece of our minds!"
Mr Cowboy groaned and shook his fist at the sky. "A million books and I get the only heroine who won't play along. I bet James Bond doesn't run into this problem!!!"