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Synopsis

She turned her back on the love of her life. And now she's back.

Katherine left town without a word three years ago, and when she comes back to sell her father's ranch her cowgirl ex-lover Dolly has some harsh words for her -- and a harsh rope. Now that Katherine is married, is there any hope for the love they once knew, or is Dolly just another part of the past best forgotten?

This 3000 word old west period erotic romance contains scenes of suspension bondage, hot lesbian sex, impact play, and fisting.

“I’m married now,” Katherine said, a little too quickly.

“I know.” Dolly’s voice came quietly.

Katherine stepped quickly away from a hand that sought hers. Her gaze crossed the matted hay, the walls, the pulleys fastened laden with promise in the corners and ceilings. She imagined, just for a moment, that she could hear the creak of rope and the squeak of well-oiled pulleys, imagined that she could catch a whiff of oiled leather in the air. “Can’t believe this place is still standing.”

Dolly hooked her thumbs over her low-sling belt. “Ain’t nobody moved in since you left. Land’s still yours, leastways ‘less you’re here to sell it.”

“Robert doesn’t want to pay the taxes on a ranch he isn’t going to use, and Robert is the man that I’ve married.”

“The man you’ve married.” Contempt dripped from Dolly’s voice.

“The man I’ve sworn to honor and obey!”

Dolly sneered. “We both know you never been no good at obeyin’, girl.”

Memory flooded Katherine’s mind as a flush filled her face and a gasp escaped her lips. She hadn’t had anyone call her girl — not in that way, not in that tone — in years, but it still brought the blood to her lips and an instant moistness between her legs. “I’m a married woman now, Dolly.”

“I don’t blame ya, none.” Dolly ran a hand along one of the empty stall’s doors. “Folks passed on. I’d-a taken care of ya if I could, you know? I’d have taken care of you.”

“I know,” Katherine replied quietly.

“You didn’t have to go.”

“I did. Uncle Charles was the only family I had left. When my father died, he sent for me. I had no choice.”

“You just left!” Dolly rounded angrily, a fierce set to her jaw, eyes narrowed. “Didn’t say a damn thing to me or anybody else. Came over in the morning, you was already gone on the carriage to Omaha.”

“I’m sorry. I… I couldn’t bare to tell you. I know how you’d react, and I just wanted to spend a last few moments—”

Dolly cut Katherine off. “I followed you, you know.”

“What?”

“Followed your carriage. All the way to Omaha. Watched you from the crowd. Watched you cry while waiting for the train that was going to take you out of my life, take you away from me.”

Dolly felt faint. “And you didn’t say anything? You didn’t come to say goodbye?”

“Woman, if you wanted a goodbye you woulda told me you was leaving!” Dolly snapped. “Instead of sneakin’ away like a thief in the night. Like you was ashamed of me, of what we had.”

“What we had?” Katherine laughed, a ragged mirthless sound. “What did we have? Nothing! I loved you, Dolly. I gave you everything I had. Every part of myself, but what did it matter? My father died and I had to move to Boston, and I met a man and got married because that’s what life is. That’s all there had. What we had was a nice dream, but it was just a dream. Eventually you have to wake up and grow up.”

Katherine turned, hiking up her skirts and stormed away, hot tears streaming down her face. A rough loop of rope sailed over her head, passed over her chest, cinched around her waist. Her hat fell from her head, and she was almost pulled off her feet when Dolly hauled her back, but the woman’s strong arms caught and supported her.

Strong fingers tangled in her hair and yanked her head back as hot lips whispered harsh words into her ear. “This is what we had, and don’t you goddamn forget it. What we have might be gone, but don’t you pretend it wasn’t real. Maybe you forgot, girl, but I’ve still got your name branded on my soul.”

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