She got to see Blaine’s skill as a ranch hand again the next day when Clint asked him to help break in Ginger, a new horse they’d recently picked up. Ginger was already comfortable being around her husband, and she was glad to see the mare took to Blaine just as quickly. If Ginger hadn’t, the ranch hand would never have been able to break her in.
Just because Ginger was okay with Blaine, that didn’t mean getting the bridle on her the first time was any easier. But Blaine was patient with the mare, gently coaxing the bit between her teeth, then slipping the bridle over her head. He and Clint let Ginger get used to wearing it before introducing her to a saddle. Clint held the reins while Blaine put on the saddle. Or tried to, anyway. Ginger clearly wasn’t too sure about having something on her back, no matter how comfortable she was with the men. Once again, Blaine didn’t rush her. Instead he sweet-talked her into letting him put it on her using soft words and a gentle hand.
As Heather perched on the fence watching, she couldn’t help but be impressed. Not to mention ridiculously turned on by what probably shouldn’t have been arousing at all. But Clint and Blaine had taken off their shirts. Seeing two buff bare-chested cowboys, their muscles glistening with sweat, did that to a girl. Luckily for her, they still had a lot of work to do.
After giving Ginger a chance to get used to the saddle, Clint held the mare steady while Blaine attempted to mount her. She got a little skittish at first, but after thirty minutes or so, the ranch hand was finally able to sit astride her. Blaine reached down and patted the mare’s neck reassuringly. When it came to breaking in a horse, though, getting her used to a rider sitting on her back was just half of it, and Blaine had to mount and dismount several times until Ginger was completely accepting of him. Then the real work began—riding her.
Heather held her breath as Blaine urged the mare to walk forward. A lot of horses instinctively bucked, and Ginger was no different. She took a few steps, then kicked her back legs up.
Heather gasped, her nails digging into the wood fence as Blaine gained control of the horse. She had to admit she didn’t mind watching his gorgeous muscles flex while he did it, but she was terrified he was going to fall off. Somehow, though, he managed to rein Ginger in and calm her down before she could toss him, and soon the mare was walking around the corral again.
Blaine grinned at Heather as Ginger trotted by. Heather smiled back, amazed at how relaxed the mare seemed now. Their new ranch hand definitely had a way with the female persuasion, that was for sure.
Blaine rode Ginger around the corral half a dozen or so more times before he and Clint agreed that was enough for the mare’s first day. Heather jumped down from the fence and hurried over to them.
“Ginger looked great out there.” She resisted the urge to run her hand down Blaine’s sweat-soaked chest and settled for glancing at him as she patted the mare’s neck. “You’re very good with horses.”
His mouth quirked. “I’m good with anything I can ride.”
Heather heard Clint chuckle. She gave Blaine a smile as they walked toward the barn. “How about a further demonstration then? Tonight at the house, around say—” She looked questioningly at Clint. “Eight?”
“Fine by me,” her husband agreed.
She lifted a brow in Blaine’s direction.
He grinned. “I’ll be there.”
“I look forward to it,” she said. “And while I’d much rather stay and watch you two studs flex your muscles for the rest of the afternoon, I need to start dinner.”
She gave Clint a quick kiss, then flashed both men a smile and a wink before reluctantly turning and heading for the house.
Heather was just putting the casserole in the oven when Blaine came out of the barn. His bare chest still had a light sheen of sweat, thanks to the hour he’d spent cooling Ginger down before putting the mare in her stall, no doubt.
Eager for a better view of their new employee, Heather shut the oven door and moved to stand in front of the window above the sink. Outside, Blaine walked over to the spigot and turned it on. She watched as he washed his hands and forearms, enjoying the show he was unwittingly putting on for her when he doused his head and let the water run down his chest. The image made her think of the sex they’d had in the shower the other night, and her promise to him afterward that next time they did it, things would be even hotter.
Her lips curved at all the ways she could accomplish that, but she kept coming back to one in particular. It was hot, it was kinky and it was guaranteed to knock off his cowboy boots.