In the Old West, cowboys worked from dawn to dusk and sometimes beyond. Modern-day cowboys aren’t any different. Except our perceptions are skewed by Hollywood.
In the movies we don’t see triple-digit temperatures in the afternoons–we just see them riding with a single drop of perspiration zigzagging down their manly necks to some amazing theme music. On screen we don’t see the cowboy riding through subzero temps to reach the herd of cattle that will surely freeze if he doesn’t drive them to safer ground.
Cowboys will find better food for their herd while ignoring their own hunger pains. After all, they’re feeding America too. When the cattle industry amounts to 71-billion dollars in revenue, someone has to step up to the plate.
So despite cracked ribs from taking a fall from a spooked horse, the cowboy is out searching for that lost calf. (Can I get an AWWWW?)
Modern technology has given us an easier way to transport cattle. Yeah, we have better medications to treat a sick animal. But the essence of a cowboy’s job is the same. And he’s still driven by the same passion from days of old.
Now … the modern cowboy!
In my books, I try to show how hardworking these cowboys are. I give them injuries and hardships. They cry over their dead horses and sick calves. Of course there is plenty of man-chest and you might even see that Hollywood-like sweat zigzagging down a manly neck. Because I’m a modern girl, folks. And you like it, right?
Excerpt from SOMETHIN’ DIRTY now available from Samhain
The instant he stepped into the barn, he smelled trouble. Fear and pain had their own odor. And the sickness mingled with it was a dead giveaway.
He yanked the chain overhead and lit the bare bulb in the center of the barn. It cast a thin glow over the stall where the heifer was on its side, eyes rolling wildly.
“Damn.” Griffin dropped to his knees in the hay and ran his hands over the cow. Her stomach rippled with the baby that was obviously trapped.
Launching back to his feet, his mind raced ahead. Get the chain and the homemade rig used to exert pressure. Phone’s in my back pocket in the event I need to call the vet.
No, he needed to call Ma to come sit with Lyric while he worked with the cow.
As this thought passed through his mind, his stomach clenched. His mother wasn’t in any shape to make a midnight drive to Needle’s Pass.
He slung the chain over his shoulder and lifted the metal rig he’d hand-crank to pull the calf. Then he fished in his pocket for his phone.
A few days ago he’d put Nola on speed-dial—in the event he needed her for an emergency, he’d told himself even as his groin ached with desire.
She answered on the fourth ring. Her throaty voice speared him with lust. Too easily he pictured her tousled hair and tank top slipping down one golden shoulder.
“Nola, it’s Griffin. Can you come up?”
He smiled at the confusion in her tone. Protectiveness surged in his chest. “Yeah…Griffin. I need to pull a calf. Can you sit with Lyric?”
She made a humming noise that caused his cock to jerk. “I guess I could.”
“I’ll give you double pay for the extra hours. And you can sleep as long as she’s sleeping.”
“All right. Just give me…” She paused, and he heard items being tossed around. “Give me half an hour.”
The cow’s body shuddered, and Griffin stretched his lips over his teeth in his own grimace. “Thanks, Nola.”
He hung up and kneeled before the cow again. He set up the rig, feeding the chain to the gear. When he cranked the handle, the chain would tighten. Now he just needed to reach inside the cow and find the calf’s leg.
First he ran his hands over the calf’s outline to detect the way it was laying. He’d done this often enough to know its front legs were bunched up and hindering its birth.
“Damn.” He yanked off his flannel shirt and moved to the back end of the cow. “You’re not gonna like me for this, but in the end, it’s what you need.”
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Em Petrova’s Cowboys:
~hardworking heroes — in bed and out~