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Wanted: Cowboy's After Dark, Volume Five

By: Maggie Carpenter
Published By: Dark Secrets Press
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29 Chapters / 58,042 Words
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4.5 Out Of 5 (4.5 on 8)   |  Write a review
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$4.99

Her chest was rising and falling with her heavy breaths, her heart was hammering, and she was fighting a torrent of tears.

"Like I said," she snapped, "what is there to explain?"

"You need a spankin'." he said solemnly, "a real good spankin'."

"What?" she exclaimed. "What kind of a thing is that to say to me right now?"

LUKE LARSON is desperate, a wanted man on the run.

HAVING escaped from the penitentiary after being convicted of a crime he didn't commit, he risks returning home to clear his name and win back the trust and love of Tess Turner, the woman he left behind, the woman who consumed his thoughts every day of his imprisonment.

TESS TURNER is an independent spirit, a feisty woman with a mind of her own and a penchant for taking risks. Believing the handsome cowboy is behind bars and far away, she is shocked when late one blustery night he sweeps into her cafe.

HIS deeply troubled eyes capture hers with their steady, impenetrable gaze, and she finds herself breathless, unable to speak or move, and she is faced with a dreadful decision; help him, or call her brother, the Deputy Sheriff, and turn him in.

WANTED will keep you wanting more, and hold you in its grip as surely as Luke's large hand grips Tess. Well-deserved spankings and wicked tumbling between the sheets fills the pages of this deliciously hot jaunt, and introduces a new hero into the Western Erotic Romance Genre; sexy spanking cowboy, Luke Larson.

This book is for adults only, and contains scenes of spanking, graphic sex, bondage, sensory deprivation, and are fantasies only, intended for adults. This book is not for children, nor does it condone corporal punishment of children. This book contains scenes of nonconsensual activities, BDSM and other nonconsensual activities. This book does not support nonconsensual spanking or any other nonconsensual activities, sexual or otherwise.

Chapter One

Tess glanced at the clock; fifteen minutes and she could lock the door and head home.� The wind had whipped up, the rain was starting, and she couldn’t imagine anyone stopping into the small cafe at such a late hour, but as she began wiping down the counters she heard the jingle of the bell over the door, and a rush of icy air made her shiver.

����� “I’ll be with you in a minute,” she called.

����� The scraping of the stool behind her told her the visitor had chosen to sit at the counter, and automatically grabbing the coffee pot and a mug she turned around.� The man’s head was down, his face hidden by a black cowboy hat, his shoulders were hunched over, and his arms were crossed, his elbows leisurely resting on the counter.

����� It was his hands that made her catch her breath and send a bevy of butterflies to life.

����� They reminded her of the hands that had once held hers, hands that had gently stroked her back, hands about which she had fantasized, imagining how they might feel if they ever explored her body, hands, that, however lightly they touched her, had never failed to make her gasp.

����� It can’t be.� How could it possibly be him, and even if...no, he wouldn’t come here, he couldn’t...he’d be crazy to come here.

����� Barely able to control her trembling she placed the mug in front of him and poured in the coffee.� Without lifting his head he reached for the cream, dropped in a splash, added three packets of sugar, and picking up the spoon began to slowly stir.�

����� She watched, mesmerized, as he lifted the mug it to his lips, and like a deer in headlights she stood, frozen, holding her breath.

����� “You’ve got a choice,” he said huskily.

����� The rich baritone voice confirmed her fears and her hesitant hopes, and heart pounding she darted her eyes to the door terrified that someone would enter. She ached to ask a thousand questions, but her throat was completely frozen, and she could only hear a few words as they railed at him in her head.

����� Oh, my, God, why?� Why did you come here? Why, and how?

����� “You can pick up the phone and call your brother,” he continued, “or you can let me sit here a spell, and listen to what I have to say.”

����� The desperate need to scream at him for unexpectedly sweeping back into her life was battling with the thudding need to leap across the counter and throw her arms around him; the fight left her speechless so she just stared, waiting for him to show his face.

����� “Not callin’ then, that’s good, so is this coffee, Tess, just like I remember, real good.”

����� She watched him straighten up, then slowly raise his chin, and as his hazel eyes caught hers she fought back the tears.

����� “Hey, girl,” he smiled, “been thinkin’ about this moment every day since I was sent up.� Every minute of every day.� Damn, I swear you’re even more beautiful than you were.”

����� Whiskers lined his jaw, dirt was buried in creases that crossed his face she didn’t remember him having, and he had a scar across his right eyebrow.� His jacket didn’t fit, his broad shoulders struggling to break through the seams, and it was too thin for protection from the elements.�

����� “You have no right to say that,” she stammered, “and why, why did you come here?”

����� “Gotta clear my name,” he replied, then tilting his head and narrowing his eyes he added, “and get you back, get our life back, or at least the promise of our life.� We’d barely gotten off the ground, and I ain’t lettin’ that go.”

����� “What life?� Three-four dates? That’s not a life, and besides, that’s impossible,” she mumbled, trying to ignore the fire burning in her belly.

����� “Nothin’s impossible,” he said soberly, “and we were startin’ somethin’, somethin’ special, and, Tess, in your heart you know I didn’t do what they said.”

����� “I don’t know any such thing,” she spat, “and you have to leave.”

����� “Can’t do that,” he said shaking his head.

����� The beam of headlights suddenly shone through the windows, and as she squinted to see if she could recognize the car her heart skipped; the telltale row of lights on its roof told her exactly who it was.

����� “Oh, no!” she exclaimed. “It’s Jeb.”

����� “That pesky brother of yours always did have bad timin’,” he growled.

����� “Quick, in the back,” she said urgently.

����� “You’re gonna help me?” he asked, a surprised half-smile crossing his lips.

����� “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” she snapped, “but I don’t need to deal with you and Jeb, and the drama, and seeing you arrested again...oh, for Chrissakes, will you just get in the back?”

����� “I guess I’d better,” he drawled, and sliding off the stool he grabbed his mug and moved quickly through the swinging doors into the kitchen.

����� Leaning against the wall he pulled off his hat and sighed deeply; for three days he’d been on the run.� He was exhausted, starving, and cold.� He’d stolen the clothes from a dry cleaning van, and while they’d served their purpose they were thin and tight, and he was aching for a hot shower.� The clanging of the bell over the door told him Jeb Turner had walked in, and leaning his head as close as he dared to the swinging doors he craned his neck to listen.

����� “Hey, Jeb, you want some coffee?” Tess asked, “And why are you here so late?”

����� “Thought I’d better warn you,” her brother replied, “and you might wanna prepare yourself. The news just came into the station; Luke Larson escaped three days back and there’s a good chance he might be headed this way.”

����� “Really?” she replied feigning surprise. “How did that happen?”

����� “How? He’s just a real smart character, always was,” Jeb muttered. “Got himself a job in some kind of vegetable garden near the outer fence and gave the guards the slip.”

����� “Don’t you think that sounds a bit fishy?” she frowned.

����� “Yep, sure does, but like I said, Luke always was a crafty fella,” Jeb remarked.

����� “Why did it take three days for you to hear about it?” she frowned.

����� “That there’s the real question, and we still haven’t been able to get an answer, but it doesn’t matter, he’s out,” he grimaced. “Now, Tess, you listen, and you listen good. If he shows up or contacts you, you’ve gotta call me, you understand?”

����� “Jeb, you may be the Deputy Sheriff and my big brother, but I don’t appreciate you taking that tone with me.”

����� “He had some kinda spell on you, and if he comes back and you help him and get yourself caught, I won’t be able to get you outta trouble. I’m just lookin’ out for you, that’s all.”

����� “I’m a big girl,” she said firmly.

����� “Damn, you’re as obstinate as you were when you were just a little kid in socks,” he scolded. “I mean it, Tess, don’t you be messin’ with him, you hear?”

����� “I’m closing up,” she quipped, ignoring his strident warning, “so buzz off and let me finish my chores.”

����� “I’m on duty,” he barked, “and the sheriff said I’ve gotta look around this place, so...”

����� “Fine,” she sighed, trying to make her voice sound calm, “do what you have to, but make it quick, I want to go home.” Dammit Luke, I pray you found a place stay out of sight.

����� Luke had been able to hear every word, and studying the kitchen he saw nowhere to hide.� Moving silently to the rear door he opened it slowly, afraid it might creak, and when it didn’t he said a quick prayer of thanks and darted inside.

����� He’d only been in the storeroom once before and it was pitch black, but groping against the wall he found the light switch. Staring across the large space his heart sank. It was barren but for some empty boxes and an old freezer; he shook his head when he saw it. Tess had told him she’d bought it for a song and was going to get it fixed, but he’d known she’d been taken.

����� “Damn, I can’t believe you’ve still got this thing,” he muttered as he hurried across to it.

����� Lifting the lid he found it empty and an ugly smell wafted around him, but a second scan of the room told him it was his only choice. Racing back to the light switch he turned it off, then finding his way through the dark he climbed into the foul smelling, empty freezer, took off his hat and lowered the lid.

����� Jeb had made his way into the kitchen, and spying the half empty mug of coffee sitting near the sink he picked it up and eyed her suspiciously.

����� “What’s this,” he frowned, “why is it still hot?”

����� “Jeez, Jeb, this is a cafe.� I had a customer who left in a hurry and I brought it back in here to wash.”

����� “A customer in a hurry?� Luke Larson perhaps?”

����� “No, stop it, you’re being ridiculous,” she barked.�����

����� “Sorry, sis,” he said shaking his head, “I’ve just got a gut feelin’ he’ll try to see you.� It’d be just like him to wander in here late at night.”

����� “You’re right about one thing,” she said impatiently, “it’s late at night.”

����� “Okay, okay,” he said testily. “I’ll take a quick look in the storeroom and be on my way.”

����� “Please hurry, I’m tired. I’ve been on my feet all night and I want go home,” she complained.

����� Moving across to the door he opened it up, flipped up the light switch, and looked across the empty space.�

����� Cowering behind him Tess was petrified.� When they’d entered the kitchen and Luke was gone she knew the only place he could be was the storeroom, but as her worried eyes scrutinized the area it appeared to be empty.

����� Okay, this is totally bizarre.� Where the hell are you?

����� There was no way out except through the back door which led to the alley, but that was locked, and as she looked around she couldn’t understand how he had vanished into thin air.

����� “When are you gonna lose that freezer?” Jeb asked.

����� “I don’t know.� Max said he’d have it running soon,” she replied, still completely mystified by Luke’s magical disappearing act.� “Please can we leave, my feet are killing me.”

����� “Max,” he growled, turning off the light and heading back into the kitchen.� “That guy couldn’t make a horse run ten feet.”

����� “That doesn’t even make any sense,” she exclaimed, rolling her eyes as she followed him back into the dining area.

����� “Remember what I said,” he warned, abruptly stopping and shaking his finger at her.

����� “Enough!” she exclaimed.

����� Sighing heavily and shaking his head he stepped out into the weather.

����� “Make sure you-”

����� “I said stop!” she yelled.

����� “Hey, easy, I was just going to say make sure you lock up behind me.”

����� “Oh, sorry,” she apologized, “like I said, I’m really tired.”

����� “Then get outta here and get some rest,” he said kindly. “You know I love you.”

����� “I know, I know, I love you too, but jeez you’re a pain in the ass sometimes,” she declared, managing a smile.

����� “Back at ya,” he chuckled. “Damn, it’s cold tonight.� I’ll see you later.”

����� Closing the door she watched him through the window as he climbed into his squad car and headed into the street.� The wet stuff had disappeared but light snow flurries were starting to fall, and locking the door she pulled down the blind, then rubbed her arms as she hurried back to the storeroom.

����� Opening the door she flipped on the light switch and moved quickly around the room.

����� “Luke, where the hell are you?”

����� She could hear a faint pounding, and frowning she turned around trying to find the source.� It took a minute before she realized it was coming from the freezer.

����� “What the hell?” she exclaimed hurrying to open it.

����� “Wow, real glad you heard me,” he groaned as he uncurled his body. “That was a tight fit. I couldn’t get the damn lid up.”

����� In the bright fluorescent light Tess could see the strain in his face and the dark circles around his eyes. Her stomach churned and she couldn’t deny her feelings; she was just as crazy about him as she had been before he’d been sent away, but that was a lifetime ago...and he’d betrayed her...and the tender moment quickly passed as the hurt resurfaced.

����� “I don’t know what to do with you,” she muttered.

����� “Tess, I’ll tell you what I need,” he began, his voice low and deadly serious.� “First, a long hot shower, second, food, and after that I need to sleep until I wake up.”

����� “I don’t know how-”

����� “Then,” he interrupted, “I need you to sit still and let me explain a few things.� After I’m done you can do whatever you want. Turn me in, let me loose, or help me. If you don’t wanna call Jeb, but you don’t wanna help me either, I’ll leave. I just need a couple of nights sleep.� I’m a wanted man, Tess, and I won’t put you at risk any longer than that.”

����� “Luke,” she stammered, her head in a whirl of confusion, “even if I wanted to take you home how could I?� I’m sure Jeb will be-”

����� “Hey, your brother was right about one thing,” he grinned.

����� “What’s that?” she frowned.

����� “I’m a crafty fella!”

����� “Yes, you are,” she nodded, the first hint of a smile on her lips. “You got me to go out with you even though everyone was against it.”

����� � His hazel eyes locked hers as the shared memory sparkled between them, and she felt the warm rush through her heart.

����� How does he do that? Even after all this time, after everything that happened, he can just make me feel...

����� “I know a way you can get me into your house,” he said softly, “but only if you want.”

����� “If I want,” she murmured, and suddenly flashed back to the time he’d said those words before...I’ll spank you properly, but only if you want.

The days and weeks following his arrest and conviction her yearning for him had been like a dull ache in her soul, gnawing and needy, but when the pain broke through she’d feel normal again...almost.

����� Standing before him in the cold storeroom it was as if no time had passed, the hot dampness was stirring between her legs, and he was making her heart throb.

����� Luke Larson was a drug, and she was addicted. ���� Precisely when it happened she wasn’t sure, but it had. She wanted to throw him out into the blustery night, she wanted to grab her phone and call her brother, but she couldn’t.

����� “Tell me what I have to do,” she whispered.

����� “Thank you, Tess,” he purred, sending goosebumps springing to life. “First thing, we gotta take care of Dudley Do Right. I expect he’s sittin’ in his car at the end of the alley.� He’s gonna watch and see if you come out alone and then follow you home.”

����� “Don’t start callin’ my brother names,” she quipped.

����� “Hey, if the shoe fits,” he grinned.� “Now listen carefully and do exactly what I tell you.”

Denise on 10/01/2014 02:11pm
Of the 5, this is my least favorite. Mostly due to it being a little unbelievable to me. The punishments, were off. You're in the woods, trying to get away from the law, but you take the time to use a switch on her. Don't by it. That he turned wanting a dom/sub relationship, when it wasn't made known until the book was almost over also didn't fly. That he made her feel she had to abide by this or the relationship is over is also a real turn off. I did like Alex and Daniel the best and would like to read more about their lifestyles. Dwayne was cute too.
Denise on 10/01/2014 02:11pm
Of the 5, this is my least favorite. Mostly due to it being a little unbelievable to me. The punishments, were off. You're in the woods, trying to get away from the law, but you take the time to use a switch on her. Don't by it. That he turned wanting a dom/sub relationship, when it wasn't made known until the book was almost over also didn't fly. That he made her feel she had to abide by this or the relationship is over is also a real turn off. I did like Alex and Daniel the best and would like to read more about their lifestyles. Dwayne was cute too.
Sally on 09/29/2014 08:38am
This book is simply great. Loved the plot – innocent man framed and sent to prison – and the captivating characters. Who wouldn’t fall in love with Luke? He’s got it all – brains, good looks, and a disciplinary hand. Sigh! I think he is the most irresistible character from Maggie Carpenter yet. I even identified with the feisty Tess, because I’m not easily controlled either. (But I love it when I am.) I loved, loved, loved this book.
Sally on 09/29/2014 08:38am
This book is simply great. Loved the plot innocent man framed and sent to prison and the captivating characters. Who wouldn۪t fall in love with Luke? He۪s got it all brains, good looks, and a disciplinary hand. Sigh! I think he is the most irresistible character from Maggie Carpenter yet. I even identified with the feisty Tess, because I۪m not easily controlled either. (But I love it when I am.) I loved, loved, loved this book.
Laurel Lasky on 09/26/2014 09:46am
Maggie does it yet again. Luke is an innocent man on the run. Tess is an independent woman who believes in Luke and she hides him until they can prove his innocents. Because she doesn't think things through she gets in trouble and Luke doesn't hesitate to spank her. He just wants her to be safe. There are many twists and turns which makes for a delightful read. There is mystery, suspense, romance, hot sex and of course spankings. I would love another book about Luke's and Tesses ongoing story as well as some of the characters in the boom.
Laurel Lasky on 09/26/2014 09:46am
Maggie does it yet again. Luke is an innocent man on the run. Tess is an independent woman who believes in Luke and she hides him until they can prove his innocents. Because she doesn't think things through she gets in trouble and Luke doesn't hesitate to spank her. He just wants her to be safe. There are many twists and turns which makes for a delightful read. There is mystery, suspense, romance, hot sex and of course spankings. I would love another book about Luke's and Tesses ongoing story as well as some of the characters in the boom.
Sandy on 09/24/2014 08:28am
Yes, yes, yes. The fifth book in this series is a winner. I have really enjoyed this group of cowboys, and though they have similar traits, each of the stories was unique. Reminds me of my favorite restaurant, I know whatever I get is going to be good. My favorite is still The Cowboy's Rules, but this may take its place. Would love to see a Wanted:2. Basically a cowboy is set up and sent to prison, and he escapes to go home and clear his name. Not sure why he chooses a woman he'd dated only briefly (that's the cute part - and it happens so early in the book this is not a spoiler) but Ms. Carpenter makes it work. She's a tough nut, this female lead, and she thinks on her feet. There are other interesting characters, but the focus is on these two for the love/sex/spankings. Great fun, sexy and perfect for a late night read.
Sandy on 09/24/2014 08:28am
Yes, yes, yes. The fifth book in this series is a winner. I have really enjoyed this group of cowboys, and though they have similar traits, each of the stories was unique. Reminds me of my favorite restaurant, I know whatever I get is going to be good. My favorite is still The Cowboy's Rules, but this may take its place. Would love to see a Wanted:2. Basically a cowboy is set up and sent to prison, and he escapes to go home and clear his name. Not sure why he chooses a woman he'd dated only briefly (that's the cute part - and it happens so early in the book this is not a spoiler) but Ms. Carpenter makes it work. She's a tough nut, this female lead, and she thinks on her feet. There are other interesting characters, but the focus is on these two for the love/sex/spankings. Great fun, sexy and perfect for a late night read.

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