My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, Part 6 of 6

Read part 1, part 2, and  part 3, part 4, and part 5 of this story.

Never varying my pace, I enjoyed every rigid inch of him sliding in and out of me. I trembled with another orgasm, but managed to keep my rhythm. When Cowboy felt me tighten around him, he bucked under me as if to try and hurry me along. Stopping altogether, I lightly slapped at him. “I told you to be still, now didn’t I?

That grin of his was gone. “You’re killing me, he moaned out, “but don’t stop. Please.

I began to move again, still in that same slow way that allowed each of us to be aware of every inch of penetration and withdrawal. Finally, I could hold back no longer. I thrust myself down on him very hard once, then again. We both cried out with the power of our release, bodies trembling as I milked him for all he could give me. I collapsed onto him and he held me close. After we caught our breath“ a few seconds or an hour, I’m not sure which “ he shifted us onto our sides. With him still deep inside me, just before I drifted off to sleep I heard him murmur, “We both won that round, City Girl.

He was already dressed when he woke me at dawn with a gentle kiss. He was holding a man’s robe. “I don’t think my friend will mind if you borrow his robe, he said as he helped me into the over-sized garment. He turned me around, tied the belt and tucked the collar up around me neck. “You certainly look better in it than he does.

I put my arms around his waist and smiled up at him. “Why thank you, Cowboy. You certainly know how to treat a city girl.

He pulled me to him and laid his cheek against my hair. He held me a moment, then said, “He doesn’t deserve you, you know.

“Who? I asked, resting my head against his warm chest.

“Whoever put that hurt look in your eyes. No man deserves a woman if he makes her look like that, and you deserve better.

I had not told him anything about my life or the man in it, but he’d seen anyway. I said nothing, just held onto him.

He shook off the moment and gave me a little squeeze. “Hey, City Girl, breakfast is getting cold.

I was amazed. “You cooked breakfast?

Cowboy looked puzzled, “It’s nothing fancy “ just scrambled eggs and toast. Coffee, too. He gave me a wry smile. “My momma would skin me alive if I didn’t make breakfast for a guest.

No man had ever cooked for me before, at least not without wanting something or trying to make up for some transgression. With Cowboy it was just good manners. I realized that the previous night was the first one I’d spent with a man. Cowboy made the others I’d been with look like what they were “ spoiled, selfish boys.

After we ate, he shooed me out of the kitchen. “You get dressed while I wash up. Our eyes met and held for a moment. Quietly he said, “It’s time to go.

I looked for all I was worth. I wanted to burn that moment into my mind so that the memory of him standing there would always be clear “ saved like a cherished photo that I could enjoy again and again. I smiled at him before I turned toward the bedroom. “I know.

We sat side-by-side on the bench seat of his pickup truck during the ride back to my car, his arm around me while I worked the stick shift. Maybe it was silly, but we both wanted to savor our last few minutes together. Because that is what they were “ our last few minutes together. We both knew it and did not waste time with meaningless chatter about when we’d see each other again. There had been nothing but truth between us since the first moment we saw each other; a lie would spoil everything.

He pulled up at my car, coming around the passenger side of the truck to open the door and help me down. We kissed goodbye “ not with desperation but with sweet finality. He held me against his body for a moment, buried his face my hair and then released me. I left him standing there, got in my car and watched him in my rear-view mirror until he drove out of sight. As I pulled away, I realized that we’d never even told each other our real names. I guess we knew each other well enough without them.

The song says, “Just take what you need from the ladies and leave them, but Cowboy didn’t just take from me, he gave something, too. Or maybe I took it. Either way, he was right “ I did deserve better and I knew it. That song also says, “Don’t you hold on to nothing too long. Well, I’d held on to my old life too long. It was time for me to grow up.

I drove home that morning with a renewed belief in myself and my ability to survive “ and thrive. I was determined to get that lying, cheating sack-of-shit out of my apartment and out of my life. When the jerk returned from his “business trip he found his bags packed and lying on the sidewalk underneath the balcony from which I’d thrown them. He also discovered that his key no longer opened my door. He was busted and he knew it – he slunk off into the night like the low-down dog he was.

The scar from that relationship healed over, leaving me smarter and more careful, just like my Cowboy’s scars had left him. A little over a year, a new job and a move later, I was smart enough to recognize the second real man when he came into my life “ the man I was driving through the Houston night to get home to. We’ve had 25 years of more good times than bad, more laughter than tears, and have raised a couple of great kids. Through it all, we have been lovers, friends and partners “ as it should be.

I never saw Cowboy again. Despite repeated questions from my girlfriends, I never shared the story of that night with anyone. Not because I was ashamed, but because that pivotal experience was precious to me. My cowboy had helped me regain my confidence in myself, which gave me enough courage to get on with my life. For that he would always be my hero.

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