Sports photographer Kim is down on cowboys. Since her divorce, she is determined to go it on her own, and most of the rodeo crowd knows she won’t date a performer.
When she literally trips over hunky Wolf Voegler, she has to rethink her rule. Swept away by his gorgeous looks and his European charm, she rationalizes: surely one dinner date won’t hurt ... or even one unforgettable night of passion.
Before it is over, though, she finds herself wanting more than just a portrait of this cowboy as a keepsake.
Suddenly he was there, her blond giant. He reached to check her when she started to heft the big camera bag.
“Oh no, I am here to carry that,” he said. “But first I have a little something for you.”
He extended one ham-sized hand, offering a bouquet of summer flowers -- daisies and sunflowers, coreopsis and dahlias, baby’s breath around the edges and other blooms Kim did not even recognize. The delicate flowers in the hand of a huge cowboy should have been ludicrous but they weren’t. The gesture touched her so that Kim felt the sting of tears in her eyes. It had been a long time since anyone had given her flowers. Never as simply a spontaneous gift like these were. Wolf was clearly one uncommon cowboy -- in many ways.
“Oh my.” Kim shrugged helplessly. “I -- I don’t know what to say ...”
“Nothing is necessary, no words. Just take the flowers with my compliments.”
Their fingers brushed as she took the bouquet, a tingle of response dancing up her arm before it settled low in her abdomen with a shiver of quickening. Before she could protest, he gathered the tripod and the accessory bag too, leaving her only the camcorder -- and the flowers.
“Now you must show me where to find your vehicle,” he said. “Then, after everything is loaded, I would like to take you to dinner.”
She was still thinking what to say to Wolf when they reached her truck. The completely restored 1960 Ford Ranchero pickup was her pride and joy. “Why?” she asked bluntly. “I’m no buckle bunny. You’re new, so maybe you didn’t know, but I don’t date cowboys.”
“You are a strong woman,” he said finally. “I admire strength and courage. You stand on your own two feets, do not ask anyone for help, no clinging vineness, no coy hints or hiding behind the image of the hothouse flower. And yes, you are very beautiful as well. It is a pride to me to be seen with someone such as you. I admire fine things as well as beauty.”
Perhaps it was rebellion, or maybe simply a weariness of being perpetually alone, keeping the world at arm’s length, but suddenly Kim made up her mind. I’ll go. What harm could there possibly be in it? It’s only dinner, for Pete’s sake.
“Okay,” she said. “I’ll go to dinner with you on one condition. We won’t go to any of the regular hangouts of the rodeo set and I’ll go home and clean up first.”
He smiled, that smile that made her stomach flip and a tingle start between her thighs. “That’s two.”
She shrugged. “So it is. Take it or leave it. But what’s with the flowers?”
He shrugged in turn. “It is what you might call a European thing. At home we give flowers to a woman without -- how do you say -- ulterior motives? Not to get her in bed or to make up after a fight but just because they are lovely and so is she. When I first saw you I thought of a summer meadow. So I give you this. It is meant only as a compliment, not a bribe.” He smiled again, making her heart skip a couple of beats. He had such a sweetly endearing little boy sort of smile.