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Can Cheyenne deal with his high-handed ways and higher expectations in exchange for being his woman?
Cheyenne Sterling was partners with her father in their accounting firm when he passed away suddenly. Now, one year later, Cheyenne has a healthy business and unhealthy lifestyle that is totally out of control. One afternoon, control walks in her door in the form of Quinlan O’Connor, rough, handsome, and all alpha male. She can't deny that he is very easy to look at, but also can't deny that it's proving harder than she expected to fall in line the way he demands. Then again, Cheyenne truly loves a challenge.
Considered the toughest O’Connor sibling, Quinn is a Sheridan, Wyoming, sheriff’s deputy with peculiar tastes. His brothers have a hint of how domineering Quinn is in his relationships but none knows the depths of his lifestyle preferences. Finding a woman who is strong enough to stand up to him when it is the right thing to do, and woman enough to submit when she should, has proven to be an elusive thing for Quinn. It makes his search for a wife a monumental quest.
When doing an errand for his father, he meets spunky Cheyenne Sterling, a young woman who needs a keeper with a firm hand and loving arms. She reveals her wilder side and risky behaviors over a pseudo-business dinner at his parents' home. The next thing he knows, he finds her in a private club he warned her to not attend. In Quinn’s world, there are consequences when a young woman disobeys him.
Will Cheyenne stay around after she experiences his consequences, or will she run like the rest?
DISCLAIMER: This book contains the spanking of adult women, and elements of erotic play including anal and BDSM. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.
Quinlan O’Connor checked his paperwork log and saw that he had a few minutes to stretch his legs. Taking note of the time before he left, he reached to grab his brown Stetson and a folder of papers, extending his arms and shoulders to get the kinks out as he did. Deciding to walk into the accounting office of C. J. Sterling with his father’s paperwork before starting the next project, he told the front desk where he was going and briskly walked out. Sean O’Connor had chosen to stay with his old accounting firm when James Sterling had died suddenly of an aneurysm almost a year ago. Sean was glad he had stayed for he said the service never wavered, and not having to break in a new accountant was a big deal to the well-established rancher.
Quinn offered to drop off the paperwork today because his dad, Da as his children called him, was going to be “fairly busy” the rest of the week and it was at quarter’s end. As a deputy for the Sheriff’s department serving Sheridan, Wyoming, and surrounding counties, it was not difficult to sneak a few minutes away.
Quinn was a well-built man standing two inches over six feet, but his steady workouts, active law enforcement, and ranching lifestyle gave him a bulk that left those around him feeling he was much taller. His hazel eyes looked brighter against his tan. His sisters, while also having eyes in shades of hazel, bemoaned that theirs were not so rich a color as Quinn’s eyes. Strong emotion in any direction would start a turbulence in those eyes that raged either bright or dark according to the reason they were storming.
Quinlan O’Connor did not have an easy way about him as his brothers did. He was often identified as the more legalistic of the O’Connor sons. That character trait was something his two sisters groaned over even as adults and a mannerism his brothers often tried to mellow out of him with little success. Shane was currently his only brother who was married. His brother in law, Andrew, had married his sister Caoimhe soon afterward. Both men had often told him that when he found the right woman he would find his hard line on things would change. His family hoped so.
Quinn, himself, thought that it might be true, but so far girlfriends did not last long, for the excitement of being with an alpha male soon waned in the day-to-day realities of that existence. Liam, his eldest brother, had just announced that he was marrying the woman he had been in love with for almost ten years. He knew if Liam could find his mate being as demanding and busy as he was, then Quinn would find his when the time was right.
Quinn pushed through the accounting firm’s outer door taking a moment to remove his sunglasses and adjust to the lighting. He strode over to the person sitting at the front desk digging in a file drawer as he automatically removed his hat.
“Ma’am, I have papers for Mr. Sterling from Emerald Isle Ranch, could you give them to him?”
The woman looked up into bright hazel eyes surrounded by darkly tanned laugh lines as she eased her chair back a bit so that she could take him in more fully. Cheyenne Jamis Sterling, C. J. professionally, stretched out her long legs in a more relaxed manner than she actually felt. She was not a short woman herself but, from her vantage point, she could appreciate the height and breadth of the deputy. The creation before her was one of God’s beautiful creatures who raised her appreciation in the natural beauty and work of art that could be mankind and raised that admiration quite sharply.
Cheyenne’s cerulean blue eyes were always her proudest feature, but as she gazed into brilliant and unusually vivid hazel eyes, she wondered what children with this man would be like. She could also see that he appreciated her as much as she appreciated him. He was not gorgeous in a movie star, woman swooning way, but captivating in a virile, blood heating way. She was quite sure that he and men like him created and perpetuated the stereotypical persona of rugged men taming the Wild West.
Cheyenne swung her long blonde hair over her shoulder while she chose her words.
“Mr. Sterling has passed away, but I can take the papers.”
Quinn gave a shocked look and said, “They both died?”
“Excuse me? Who, both?”
“Sterling, senior and junior?”
“There is no junior, Mister…”
“No, you aren’t Mr. O’Connor, I know him.”
Cheyenne was beginning to be suspicious of this man, but her doubts battled with her initial thoughts of attraction and his uniform.
“Of course I am. I am just not my father, Sean. I am Quinlan. So if there is no junior, then give this to your boss when he returns.”
Cheyenne wasn’t sure whether she should laugh or be angry.
“I don’t have a boss, Mr. O’Connor, but I can take the papers for your father.”
“No, I am supposed to leave them for C. J. Sterling, and if he isn’t in this office, I’ll just take them back to my father.”
Cheyenne was experiencing that quickly ignited anger she usually tried to control and felt her muscles tighten with the effort in the face of the arrogance of this man.
“Don’t be such a pompous ass. I am C. J. Sterling, Cheyenne Sterling, James’ daughter. I am his accountant. I use C. J. professionally, and my friends call me Cheyenne.”
She watched him stand to stare for a moment as he tried to place all things in proper order. He had the grace to smile rather sheepishly as he ran his fingers through his hair as she had seen his father do when frustrated. She figured it must be a characteristic of the O’Connor men when they were perturbed. She saw Sean and his son Shane do that several times when they were working through some accounting problem with her. Quinn tipped his head in acknowledgment and, if Cheyenne were reading it right, an apology. Quinn’s next statement confirmed her thoughts.
“While I could possibly justify my error by stating that most women do not use their initials but use their first name as their identifier, I apologize for my insensitivity to the situation. My assumptions were apparently in error.”
Cheyenne eyed Quinlan merrily for a moment and then she burst out laughing.
“That was quite nicely executed, Mr. O’Connor, quite nice indeed. Apology accepted.”
Quinn grinned. “Well, I need to get going, but it has been very enlightening to meet you, Ms. Sterling.”
“And you, Mr. O’Connor.”
“It’s Quinlan or Quinn to my friends.”
Cheyenne’s response was to nod her head in acknowledgment of the information only. Quinn turned to leave.
“Mr. O’Connor?” Quinn turned to face her again. “The papers?”
As he looked down to study his hand, he held out the papers for her as he said, “Quinn.”
His gaze held hers and Cheyenne could feel her face turn warm, and she was sure Quinn was observing a dusky pink blush shade her cheeks, much to her embarrassment. That bit of color gratified Quinn as he turned back to the door.
Reaching out to open the door, he said, “Be seeing you, Cheyenne.” With a wink, he reseated his hat firmly on his head.
“I am not sure we are friends, yet,” she stated hesitantly in reference to his use of her given name so quickly.
“I am, Cheyenne, I am,” he responded as he strode confidently out the door, leaving her with the fervent hope that they were friends just on the strength of his belief. Bye, Quinn, she answered silently as thoughts of what it would be like to be held in those strong arms filled her imagination.
Later that afternoon, Cheyenne called and spoke to Sean who quizzed her on her meeting with Quinn. She was very noncommittal about it but sensed her pulse race at the mention of his name and, in self- preservation, quickly identified the reason she called to talk to Sean.
“What are you doing tonight? I am in the middle of a rather big project here during the day, and I have all my information right here in the office. Why don’t you come over for dinner?” asked Sean smoothly, reminiscent of his son.
Before Cheyenne could find a good reason not to, he had her set for dinner at 6:00 p.m. The tone of Sean’s voice told her she was not expected to give an argument or excuse so she accepted. She had no doubt as to the person who taught Quinlan O’Connor his confidence. As she contemplated the dinner invitation, she found herself wondering how she would get through the evening if Quinn were going to be there as well. She could only hope he wouldn’t be there. Still, at the visualization of Quinn standing in front of her earlier in the day, a sizzle of a sensually powered electrical current shot straight to her core. She tightened her lower muscles in response.
I have had some gorgeous dates and some admirable boyfriends that came with intelligence and charm, Cheyenne moaned as she admitted to herself, but that Quinlan O’Connor makes me sweat. And get damp in other places. She chided herself that the jury was still out on whether he was worth knowing after his social blunder earlier. His apology, however, beat any man’s I have ever heard. It further complicated who he was. She decided that she wouldn’t seek him out. However, if he were brought into her path, she would enjoy the scenery.
* * *
Sean smiled when he hung up the phone. Quinn was still a young man of twenty-five, but he was a man who had never taken the easy road unless presented as the best route and that was really beginning to show in the women he attracted. None of them were very sweet natured, some having rather alarmingly rough edges and Sean knew that was not what Quinn needed. His son needed a good-natured woman. A woman who could stand up to him, respectfully, of course, he smiled, but could also nurture his harder side. He needed a woman who could bring him to a more mellow self by loving him unconditionally.
Sean acknowledged that being in law enforcement made a person harder in some ways, and that was an enhancement to their job, but it also put them at risk for being too jaded early in life. He had often wondered what his son did for entertainment because he was known to be darned controlling sometimes. When dating a young woman he was interested in, his son's dominant side would soon make an appearance. That had always marked the time that the young ladies decided he was too much man for them or at least that was his explanation for the short-lived relationships.
He knew Quinn was losing some of his exuberance for the hunt as each new relationship failed and time went on. A little fatherly kick in the pants might help Quinn find his mate. The sooner the better before he became a bitter man, too set in his ways to change.
Sean turned his thoughts to Cheyenne Sterling. She was definitely her father’s daughter in that she worked hard and played hard. He worried about that young lady. To Sean, it was becoming quite evident that without her father around to continue to curb Cheyenne’s wilder side, her “mustang” (Sean’s word for uncontrolled recklessness) was coming out. Sean knew that she needed a strong man to guide her into safer past times and hold her accountable for the dangerous choices she made. Someone needed to make it too uncomfortable to continue in those wrong decisions.
Sean smiled again to himself. Quinn needed a cause that would bring out his nurturing male side and not just the controlling, possessive side. Cheyenne needed a mate who was going to protect her and hold her accountable. It would be good matching if it worked and Sean was determined to see that it did.
* * *
Quinn was thinking as he was driving home that evening about the blonde, blue-eyed cutie he had talked with this morning. His mother had called him just before going off shift to pick up something from the store and alerted him to Cheyenne coming to dinner. His father had business to conduct with her. Something wasn’t quite right. It seemed odd that Da had wanted Quinn to drop the paperwork off today because Sean used business as his excuse to get the local gossip. He learned the goings on from his pals in town, so sending Quinn was strangely out of character.
Dad, I wonder if you are trying to match make, you old codger. Quinn laughed at his thinking and said aloud to an empty truck interior, all right old man. If you think that I should be checking out this young lady, she must be something worth checking out. Let’s have a gander tonight to see what you have brought for consideration.
Quinn knew he did not have the best track record with women, and he knew exactly why, but it was something he was not willing to change. His lifestyle was not as mainstream as his other siblings, but he was certain that at least Ciarán had some of the same proclivities as he enjoyed. Plenty of women enjoyed those same pleasures but finding a real woman who was not too jaded or immature, who liked law enforcement and got along with his big Irish family had proven more difficult than he had thought.
Throw into the mix that he loved to spank for fun and occasionally for discipline, wax play, violet wands, and clamps for both nipples and clits, and he had most women running the other way. Then when the leather came out, ropes and rounds in the medical room entered the play, there was never anyone left standing in the room but him. Oh, he could get play partners, but that is all they were, for playing and that was fine, but if he could find someone who would stay past the fun part, he would snatch her up in a heartbeat.