Stripped Raw

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Authors: Prescott Lane
or. . . .” My mouth full, I shake my head a little then see his lips turn to a frown. He’s disappointed at the thought of not seeing me! It shouldn’t, but it makes me so damn happy—happier than even a pair of new shoes. “Unless you have plans?”
    Eager to explain, I quickly chew and swallow. “I’m supposed to go horseback riding after work, and I rarely get to ride anymore. So I. . . .”
    “Would it be alright if I meet you out there?” Kane offers. “We can do something after.”
    My heart skips a beat, and a smile covers my face. He’s interested in all of me—not just his own wants and needs. He didn’t even ask where the stable is, and I get the feeling he doesn’t care how far away it is. I think he just wants to be wherever I am. I tell him where to find the stables and that he can just show up whenever he’s finished working, which, from the stacks of files and papers on his desk, probably won’t be any time soon.
    “Mr. Hunter,” Mona says over the speaker, “your one o’clock call is on the line.”
    Kane looks down at his watch and lets out a sigh. He pats my hips, and we both get to our feet. Walking to his desk, he hits a button on his phone. “Mona, she’s twenty minutes early. Please tell her I’ll call back at. . . .”
    I shake my head and mouth, “No, I’ll see you later.”
    “Are you sure?” he mouths back, and I nod. “Mona, scratch that. I’ll take the call now. Is the car out front for Kenzie?”
    “Yes, sir.”
    Kane reaches for me. “I’ll walk you down.”
    “It’s fine,” I say. “I’m glad I got to see you for a little while. Take your call. I have work to do, too.”
    Kane walks me to the door and gives me a playful spank on my booty. “Tonight.”

    I’m late getting out of the office, about an hour later than planned. It seems my days are getting longer and longer. It’s the exact opposite of what I’ve been wanting to happen, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why I’m doing it anymore. For so long, I did it to provide my ex-wife a certain lifestyle, and then to avoid the sadness and loss of my marriage.
    But at this point, there is no good reason why I work so much. Sure, business is good, but it wouldn’t kill me to work one or two fewer billable hours a day. My clients would still be well represented, and I’m sure I’d manage to survive just fine on my five hundred dollar per hour rate. Yes, I know the rate is obscene, but it’s what all the firms like mine charge in the Dallas market. And I’m lucky that I’ve got a long list of clients ready, willing, and able to pay it.
    I pull up to the stables. If I missed Kenzie, I’m going to be so pissed at myself. It was bad enough my ex-wife interrupted lunch with her today. It made me sick that Lily, my old life, was crashing into my new one, the one I’m just starting. I walk quickly to the riding ring and see in the distance a group of women riding in the usual equestrian attire, their horses tacked up in traditional English riding style.
    Each woman looks ready for tea with the Queen, but there’s one who stands out. Her riding pants are so tight they appear painted on. Her loose hair under her helmet flies around as she barrels around the ring, flying over each obstacle, appearing momentarily suspended in air. Kenzie is the bad ass of horseback riding. She looks fearless and free, raw and uninhibited, like a total wild child. Those other women have got nothing on Kenzie.
    After a few final jumps, Kenzie brings her horse to a slow trot, then she leans forward and pats the horse a few times before wrapping her arms around its neck in a little thank you. When she lifts her head, her eyes find me against the fence. She takes off her helmet, flashes me a smile, and gallops towards me. Ever look at a woman and know just how lucky you are?
    I step up on the fence to plant a little kiss on her lips. “Put your helmet back on,” I say.
    “Relax,” she

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