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"What's with you Aussie men?" she howled.
"I can't speak for anyone but myself," he answered, "and now my hand is going to do the talking for me. I'll stop spanking when you say one of two things. Either you want me to take you back to Sydney, or you agree that I'm in charge."
A successful photojournalist, Emma Harrison has landed in Sydney on a mission; to capture thrilling sights for an upmarket coffee table book. She is known as a daredevil photographer, a woman who isn't afraid to risk life and limb for the picture, and when an opportunity presents itself, nothing - and no one - is allowed to stand in her way.
Derrick Palmer, the man her publishing company has hired to take her to the outback, isn't just any tour guide. He is an Aussie cowboy who knows the dangers that lurk in the desert, and he is willing to do whatever is necessary to keep the spunky Miss Harrison out of harm's way.
Neither could possibly know that the perils they'll face will ignite erotic sparks, hurtling them into the flames of a hot, passionate romance, but with Emma living the USA, and Derrick based in a small country town outside Sydney, how can they possibly share a future?
The Cowboy From Down Under is another sexy, steamy, Maggie Carpenter romp, starring a fabulous, feisty female and a romantic, no- nonsense Dominant cowboy. Spanking, bondage and salacious sex are par for the course as Derrick uncovers Emma's submissive nature, and knocking gently on his heart, she enters, closes the door, and throws away the key.
As the B747-400 jumbo-jet made its final approach, Emma Harrison stared down at the massive steel girders of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and the famous white roofs of the Sydney Opera House. The postcard scene lived up to the hype; it was stunning.
Dropping her eyes to the indigo ocean, she watched the majestic yachts skim across the sparkling water, their multicolored sails billowing as the ocean wind drove them forward.
Sighing deeply, happy the flight was almost over, she reached for her carry on bag, searched out her makeup, checked her appearance and brushed her hair.� Two nights in the city to sleep and catch her breath, then she’d be off to a cattle ranch, and exploring the arid outback of New South Wales.
Emma’s passion was photography, and after a decade of traveling to distant shores and exotic locales, creating glossy, expensive coffee table books, her work had become so well-known her publishers were now paying for her travels. Her rise to the top had been a long, arduous journey in itself, but she was gifted, and her perseverance was legendary.
If she had to sit for hours at one unique spot in frigid temperatures to catch a thirty-second glint of the sun on a snowcapped peak, she would do it; if she had to hike ten miles to capture the wedding ceremony of a little known tribe in the hills of Peru, she would do it; if she had to stand in the middle of a rope bridge over a sheer drop of five-hundred feet in order to capture the terrifying experience, she would do it.� Emma had the nerves of a top gun pilot, the determination of a mountain climber, and the stamina of triathlete; once she had her sights set on a photographic target she didn’t allow anything or anyone to stand in her way.
But photography wasn’t Emma’s only passion; Emma had a passion for passion itself, and that heady need had presented a far greater challenge than any of her artistic feats.�
Emma was smart, driven, strong and independent.� Though men found her intriguing they often found her intimidating, and on the few occasions she had met someone with whom she clicked, her constant traveling had seen a quick end to the burgeoning relationship.
Emma being Emma, she had found the answer; his name was Marcus. �She’d met him at a gala charity event, and they had discovered that while they shared a mutual attraction, they both led extremely hectic lives.� Each possessing an inherent understanding of career demands, they would meet up when their respective schedules coincided. There were no dramas, no strings, no long, tearful goodbyes, just delicious, decadent sex.
Not ordinary sex.� Emma didn’t do anything that could be considered ordinary.� When Marcus walked across her threshold Emma joyfully relinquished herself to his handcuffs and rope, his flogger and crop, his lips and his strong, stiff, powerful cock.�
Marcus had been satisfying her special sensuous needs for almost three years, and it was an arrangement with which she was immensely happy...for the most part.� The emotional connection was missing, but being the pragmatist that she was, she chose to ignore the void and focus on all the lusciously lascivious skills Marcus had to offer.
The flight had been smooth and comfortable, albeit it long, but had begun in a less than auspicious manner.� The travel arrangements had been handled by the publishing company, and Emma had made it clear she wanted to be in the first row, but when she boarded she had found a man in the very seat to which she had been assigned; 1A. Though all the seats in first class were ‘First Suites,’ private compartments that offered a seat that reclined into a narrow bed, she had learned over the years that the first two rows were the choicest, offering the quietest ride and the greatest degree of privacy.
Emma had immediately requested the man show her his boarding pass, and to her dismay it confirmed he had been accorded seat 1A; the airline had made a mistake.
“How can this happen?” she demanded of the flight attendant.
“I’m terribly sorry, Madame,” the flustered girl apologized.� “We do have plenty of other seats available.”
“Why should I have to the one to surrender?” she complained.
“Because I got here first,” the man interjected, his Australian accent thick and purposeful. “No need to take the airline’s mistake out on this poor girl.� It isn’t her fault.”
Unable to conjure up a response, Emma had hurried away, having to settle for the third row.� As she’d begun to ready herself for the flight her frustration had grown, and deciding to have further words with the disrespectful man, she strode back to him.
“Excuse me, but isn’t it customary for a man to relinquish his seat for a lady?”
“Yep, I reckon that could happen,” he replied without lifting his eyes from his Sydney Morning Herald.
“So, why won’t you?” she frowned.
“I don’t see a lady,” he’d brusquely quipped.
She’d felt the blood rush across her face, and was about to retort when the flight attendant had nervously approached, interrupting them.
“We’ve closed the doors and we’re about to taxi.� Would you please be so kind as to take your seat.”
Knowing she was beaten, Emma had sighed heavily and walked away.
If this is what Australian men are like, I’m sure as hell glad I don’t live there, she’d thought, but as the plane had taken off she’d told herself to calm down, that it was just one flight, and there were more important things to ponder than some asshole Aussie.
The rest of the journey had been uneventful.� She’d enjoyed an excellent meal accompanied by some fine Australian wine, watched a movie and fallen asleep. On the few occasions she’d stepped forward to use the bathroom she’d not glanced down at him, and as far as she knew the man had ignored her.
Now her arrival was imminent. The plane was banking, it would only be a few minutes before she’d disembark and the flight would be over, but as much as Emma was looking forward to her visit, there was one thing Australia offered that had her unnerved.�
Emma was terrified of spiders, and the continent was famous for its large population of the tiny, and not so tiny creatures, some of which were venomous.� She knew why she was so afraid of them, but that hadn’t helped her overcome the paralyzing terror should one cross her path.
She’d been only six years old when she’d felt a tickle, and staring down had seen a black spider leisurely marching along her arm.� Emma had been a brave, curious child, and had watched, fascinated, until its fangs sank into her skin.
It was the unexpected attack more than the initial pain that had shocked her, and she’d screamed in alarm.� Her mother had raced her traumatized, howling daughter to the emergency room.� The traumatic incident had lived with her ever since, as had her dread of the loathsome arachnid.
With morbid fascination she’d done a search on Australia’s spiders the week before her departure.� The Huntsman was supposedly harmless, but his pictures did nothing to reassure her, and by the time she’d read about the dreaded Funnel Web, the Redback, the White Tail and the Mouse, she’d seen enough.
As the plane began its final approach she took a deep breath and waited for the landing gear to hit the ground, pushing her concerns to the back of her mind, pondering the exciting adventure that lay ahead.� She’d be visiting the outback to photograph the unique landscape, the aborigines, and whatever else might catch her eye.� Derrick Palmer, a wealthy landowner whose family had been in the area for generations, was to be her host.� He had, however, insisted she make the journey to the outback in the company of a guide, and though she had agreed, she thought the area couldn’t possibly be as dangerous as he claimed.
The wheels hit and the plane rolled down the runway to a crawl, then to the gate. Unbuckling and standing up she saw the man in seat 1A glance across at her; she locked his eyes, staring right back.� It occurred to her that he was quite handsome, in a roughhewn sort of way, and when she realized the location of the door meant she’d be disembarking before him, she felt a quiet sense of satisfaction. With a small smile on her face, she picked up her camera bag, laptop and carry on, and headed out the door and down the gangway.
Immigration and customs weren’t too terrible, and as she exited into the terminal it took her a moment to spot the driver holding up a card with her name.� As she was following him out, a beautiful woman in a long, flowing, yellow dress hurried past her.� She was beaming with happiness, her arms wide open, eager to hug whoever it was she was welcoming.
How great that must be, to be so excited to see someone, Emma thought, and paused to watch the reunion, but to her shock it was the man from seat 1A who strode forward.� Dropping his bags, he picked up the girl and spun her around, then placing her gently on her feet, oblivious to the people milling around, clutched her hair and fervently kissed her.
Emma’s heart began to pound, and though she wasn’t quite sure why, a deep frown crossed her brow, and she felt a rare lump in her throat.� Swallowing it back and pulling away her gaze, she hurried after the unaware driver who had almost reached the exit doors.
While the chauffeur was loading her bags into the trunk, she settled into the back of the car and stared ahead, the realization dawning that she was jealous.� She wanted a man to pick her up, swing her around, and kiss her with loving passion.� As if to underscore her epiphany, Mr. 1A and the lovely young woman climbed into a stretch limousine parked directly in front of the town car in which she sat.�
Sighing, Emma allowed herself a moment of pensive sadness, then shook herself.
It will happen one of these days.� You need to stop traveling as much, you’ve got money, you’re almost famous.� Take a break when you get home.� It’s time.
The journey into the city was longer than she’d expected, but she did enjoy the drive, and the chauffeur constantly pointed out the places of interest.
“You’re staying in an excellent area,” he offered.� “Double Bay has some of the best stores in Sydney.”
“Not sure I’ll be doing much shopping,” she replied, “but it’s good to know.”
After checking into the small, exclusive, five-story boutique hotel in the high-end suburb, and having the bellhop check every nook and cranny of her suite for spiders, she sank into a long hot bath.� As she toweled off, she felt a bit weary, but decided to take a wander around the hotel.
On the ground floor she was delighted to come across a cozy bar that lead to an intimate restaurant, and to her surprise, on the top floor she discovered an indoor swimming pool, but to enter she had to show her room key to a young receptionist.
“I’ve never been in a hotel where you needed to check in with a receptionist to get to the pool,” she remarked.
“The owners are very particular about security,” the young woman answered, pulling a key hanging from a thick pink string from a drawer at her desk.� “We have many celebrities stay here, and the paparazzi try all kinds of tricks to get pictures.”
“I see,” Emma replied, watching the girl unlock the frosted glass door.�
“There you are, and you can exit through the women’s locker room.� It will let you out into the corridor.”
“Thank you,” Emma smiled, and moving through the doors, she found herself staring at a swimming pool under a ceiling of skylights.�
Padded deck chairs with folded towels were grouped in sets of four, and placed neatly around the pool.� A young man in a crisp white uniform stood behind a marble-topped counter, and as she neared she saw it was a small bar.
“You don’t have much to keep you busy,” she smiled.
“Not at the moment,” he smiled back.� “This is the slack hour.� I’m busy first thing in the morning, and late afternoon.”
“That makes sense,” she nodded.� “A swim before sight-seeing, or perhaps after returning.”
“Exactly. �Can I get you anything?”
“No, thank you, I’m just wandering.”
“The women’s locker room is through there,” he said, pointing to a door sporting the silhouette of a woman.
“Thanks.� Maybe I’ll see you later.”
“Yes, Madame,” he replied, dropping his head in a slight bow.
Moving across to the door she pushed it open, and found herself in a luxurious suite with a dozen lockers, two vanity areas with all the amenities a woman could want, and in a separate area, showers and a steaming Jacuzzi.
I’ll definitely be coming back here, she promised herself, staring down at the inviting, bubbling water.
Feeling a pang of hunger she realized it was almost lunchtime, and finding her way to the exit, she pushed down the heavy bar, opening the door into the hallway. �
That was interesting. I’d love to know who the celebs are that stay here that need so much security.
It was a warm, calm day, perfect for ambling, and after roaming for a short time she stopped at quaint cafe for something to eat.� It was a delicious salad with three giant prawn, the flavors springing to life against her tongue, and the cream smothered across the fresh fruit tart was thick and heavy, reminding her of the extraordinary cream she’d devoured with relish while in Ireland.�
People in the States don’t know what real cream tastes like, she thought, happily piling more on top of the delicious dessert.
By the time she returned to her room she was feeling strangely fatigued.� Her editor, an enthusiastic young man named Martin Cavendish, had warned her that traveling ‘down under’ she should expect to feel weary, more so than she might expect, and after closing the drapes she dropped her head on the pillow, realizing Martin had been right.
Wow, this is crazy.� I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck...and before she could finish the thought she’d fallen asleep.