Welcome to Wip It Up Wednesday. I'm sharing from the final draft of my WIP today A Sure Thing - the second in my western romance series set in beautiful Hope Junction in the Rockie Mountains. The first in the series was my #1 Best Seller Tessa and Chance's story, just re-released as A Done Deal. Lots of readers are asking about Wes and Janey's story so here's a peek. Today's extract is from when Janey finally decides to stake her claim! She's been in love with Wes Williiams since she was eleven but always thought he'd never notice her. Now, he is Deputy Sheriff of Hope Junction and she has just returned from Cheyenne after two years away training and gaining experience as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). She is joining the Hope Junction emergency team as their first female member and she is nervous, especially considering the love of her life will be her team leader. We join the story when Janey is discussing this with her childhood friend, Cally. Cally has just insisted that this time Wes will notice her and she will become his woman. It starts out from Janey's POV and then shifts to Wes.
***Janey bit her lip, her eyes turning dreamy. The image of her as Wes’s woman blotted out anything else Cally had said. She took a deep breath and gazed at her own reflection longingly.
“His woman. Oh Cally, do you really think that’ll ever happen? I’ve dreamed of it for so long, but he’s never saw me that way. Didn’t even show the least bit of jealousy when I flaunted all my bad boy dates in front of him. Not that any of them measured up to him. I…I’d given up hope. Told myself to let it go once I moved to Cheyenne. But now I’m home…”
“Now you’re home, you’ll get him for sure! Soon as he sees you as a woman all that fondness will morph into love. I just know it. Just stop dreaming and start seeing. Actually see the two of you together. In your mind. Visualization it’s called.”
Janey grinned. “That right? You look that up on the internet too?”
Cally stuck out her tongue and pushed Janey, playfully. “Sure did!”
Despite her teasing, a little less than an hour later, Janey’s mind was full of Cally’s words and the images they provoked as she stood in front of the firehouse door working up the courage to go through it and meet the team. Her feelings were all a jumble. Torn. In one way she wanted to look sexy and hot in her uniform. To raise a tent in the uniform pants of the men and one man in particular. But the other part of her scoffed at that. She wanted them to see her professionally - as a respected member of the team.
Gathering her courage, she pushed through the door. At that precise moment, only one feeling and one image remained. Janey froze, her heart skipped and her breath held. Her senses filled with the tall, rangy figure of Hope Junction’s deputy sheriff. Dear God, she’d forgotten how much she longed for him. What the sight of him did to her. It was then that she decided. Then that she took Cally’s advice to heart. She looked across the room at the love of her life and saw, truly saw them together. Visualized herself as Wes Williams’ woman.
Deputy Sheriff Williams looked up at the sound of the door, a smile of welcome on his handsome face. He was looking forward to having Janey on the team. He knew the rest of the men didn’t share his enthusiasm. Never mind the fact that she was the first woman to join them, but her reputation as the town hellion – a well-earned reputation at that – made them doubly uneasy. Wes had no such qualms. He’d worked with a few women in other departments in the territory and was impressed with their abilities. He also knew that, despite her rebellious nature, Janey Wilson was solid. He’d no doubt she’d pull out her best self while on the job.
When they were kids he’d laughed and indulged her. He admired her tomboy ways, even if he did shake his head at the leniency of parents who never tanned her cute bottom when she needed it. New Age travelers who settled in Hope Junction, her parents believed she should be allowed to express her free spirit. Never mind she might kill herself or others in the process. He never thought of treating her behavior that way himself when they were kids, but come a few years later in high school, when she started arousing a tent in his jeans, his hand started itching to exercise his right arm around her. He even figured she’d benefit from his belt a few times.
But he’d no right to discipline her. She wasn’t his and she wasn’t likely to be. It was pretty clear that she’d no interest in him - at least not like that. He knew his responsible, measured ways could never cut any slack with her when she was more interested in bad boys. So he’d convinced himself that his desire for her was just male, teen libido for anything female and focused on his fondness for her instead. It wasn’t long before he’d convinced himself that the reason he was so attached to her was because she was like a kid sister he looked out for.
She’d surprised most of the town when she’d chosen to train as an EMT in Cheyenne, but not him. He knew she had gumption and was proud that she was turning responsible. Glad that she was showing the town that there was more to her than wild ways and sassy talk. He’d swollen with pride when he read her transfer file. She’d aced training and after a year and a half working in Cheyenne, she’d earned plenty of praise from her superiors. It wasn’t all plain sailing, mind. There was mention of some insubordination and taking a few too many risks at crime scenes. He’d shrugged when he read those entries. It was hardly surprising given her nature. Still, he’d have to keep an eye out for that, he’d decided, his protective streak rising to the fore.
Only that wasn’t what was rising now. He’d looked up expecting to see her usual deceptively childlike figure across the room. She’d visited a few times from Cheyenne in the past two years and those times she still looked like a fresh faced, baby blonde teenager even though she was approaching her mid-twenties.
Except the vision across from him now didn’t remotely resemble a fresh faced teenager. The uniform gave her a professional appearance that reminded him of the skills she’d gained in her medical technician’s role, but it did nothing to hide her womanly curves. He was glad his own uniform pants were lose enough that his sudden, swollen hard-on wasn’t too obvious. But it was more than how she looked. There was an air about her that shifted their connection in a profound way. She had a stance and a stare that called to him. Almost claimed him. Janey Wilson may have ignored him for bad boys in high school, but she sure as hell seemed to be giving him the eye now.
He felt his pulse increase rapidly. It pounded in his head as she crossed the space between them. It was crazy. The room felt wired like one of those surreal movies scenes where everything slows down and sound and sight blurs. What the hell was the matter with him? She was just the little hellcat he’d known since he was fourteen. How come her swinging her hips as she walked across the firehouse was making him feel like his whole world had tilted? It wasn’t until she was standing close beside him that he remembered just how tiny she was. His endearment over her size slipped from his lips with a husky, sensual sound.
“Hey, little bit.”
Wes drew in his breath when Janey looked up at him with rounded, azure sky eyes and tremulous lips. Fuck! He wasn’t imagining it. The chemistry between them was invading the space around them. And she was feeling it as much as he was. Her breath was ragged and her breasts moved in a slow, sexy rhythm under the khaki shirt. She bit her lip turning them red before speaking in a tone as husky and sensual as his.