A Helluva Man: Hell Yeah!
by Sable Hunter
How do you determine the measure of a man? By his power, his money, his physical appearance? All his life, Jaxson McCoy measured his worth in the strength of his body and the sweat of his brow. He falls for a woman who is his equal, an Olympic athlete whose mind is as agile as her body.
Their perfect world is torn apart when a tragic accident leaves Jaxson less than whole. He pushes everyone away, including the woman who worships the ground he walks on. Tamara knows he stands tall, whether he is on one leg or two, but she gets no chance to prove her devotion before he builds a wall between them too high for her to climb.
Time has a way of healing wounds and Jaxson’s are no exception, but when he attempts to build a bridge to Tamara, he discovers she has suffered her own loss, her life shattered by a blow she sees no hope of overcoming.
For these two people to heal one another, they will have to redefine their definition of perfect, because Tamara is quite a lady and Jaxson is a helluva man.
“Next up is Jaxson McCoy,” the announcer’s voice came booming over the loud speaker. The raucous rodeo crowd immediately grew silent. “I know for many of you, Jaxson is as much of a draw as Garth. This cowboy is a favorite on the circuit. He’s a big man to be a bull rider. At six-foot-four inches and two-hundred-fifty pounds, McCoy makes the bulls work for their living.”
The women in the audience were on their feet, all of them wanted to catch a glimpse of the handsome cowboy. The unseen man in the booth continued his introduction of Jaxson's ride. “We’ve got a record crowd tonight, folks. Everyone is eager to see if this bull rider will be the one to master the brutal Bocephus, son of the legendary Bodacious. He’s as dangerous as his father. No cowboy has managed to successfully stay on this monster bull for the full eight seconds. He's put five men in the hospital, the rest of them on their keister. Bocephus hasn't been conquered in four years.”
Jaxson sat on the hulking, red Beefmaster halfway listening to the broadcaster build up interest in his ride. He hadn’t told Tamara what bull he drew, he hadn’t wanted her to worry more than necessary. This competition wasn’t only about big money, it was about bragging rights. There were many who wanted him to win and more than a few who’d love to see him fall flat of his ass. He, for one, voted for surviving. Squeezing his legs around the heaving sides of the bull, he well knew the moment the gate flew open, the vicious animal would become a hurricane of deadly hooves and horns.
A breathless silence fell on the stadium as Jaxson performed his normal ritual, whispering a familiar bit of the Good Book from memory. He wasn’t exactly the religious type, but there were things his mother had taught him that stuck – and this was one of those things. “Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” As the last word faded on his lips, the chute sprang open and Jaxson’s whole world exploded into overdrive. Bocephus was a solid ton of pure energy. With violent, vicious twists the huge bull launched himself into the air and slung his entire body weight first to the left and then to the right. Jaxson moved instinctively with the bull, knowing the only way he would ride out this perfect storm would be by defying a formidable force of nature.
Allowing his mind to become perfectly still, Jaxson visualized himself as an extension of the animal’s body. He didn't fight the pitch and roll of the deadly bull but anticipated the direction Bocephus would lunge and went with it. No matter how you count it, this was eight seconds of teeth-jarring, muscle-wrenching, mind-blowing adrenaline rush.
When the air horn blasted, Jaxson could hear the jubilation of his fans. Not one who chose to wear a helmet, he waved his trade-mark trade-mark white Stetson in the air. Mixed in with the noise of the crowd, he could hear the female version of catcalls from the buckle bunnies. Too bad. Tonight, he wasn’t interested in hooking up with any of them. There was someone waiting for him in the stands. As he bailed off Bocephus, side-stepping the razor-sharp set of horns swiping out at him, he thanked heaven for the bull fighters who risked their lives distracting the enraged beast.
As Bocephus danced off to one side, Jaxson looked up in the stands to Tamara and held up his hat, giving her a wink and a promise. “For you, beautiful!” he called out.
Tamara waved back, thrilled at the sight. From where she sat, she could see the whole stadium – and what she saw made her blood run cold. The big bull had run off to one side, avoiding the clowns who were striving to drive him back into the pen. Instead, he headed straight for Jaxon. “Jaxson!” she screamed. Others saw what she saw, and they too began to scream. “Jaxson! Look behind you!”
He didn’t get the chance to turn around. Before he could react, the big bull hit him in the back hard enough to knock him down. He was still breathing, nothing was broken – but when he looked up, it was to see that Bocephus had vaulted into the air and was about to come down – right on top of him.
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About the Author:
Sable Hunter is a New York Times, USA Today bestselling author of nearly 60 books in 9 series. She writes sexy contemporary stories full of emotion and suspense. Her focus is mainly cowboy and novels set in Louisiana with a hint of the supernatural. Sable writes what she likes to read and enjoys putting her fantasies on paper. Her books are emotional tales where the heroine is faced with challenges. Her aim is to write a story that will make you laugh, cry and swoon. If she can wring those emotions from a reader, she has done her job. Sable resides in Austin, Texas with her two dogs. Passionate about all animals, she has been known to charm creatures from a one ton bull to a family of raccoons. For fun, Sable haunts cemeteries and battlefields armed with night-vision cameras and digital recorders hunting proof that love survives beyond the grave. Welcome to her world of magic, alpha heroes, sexy cowboys and hot, steamy to-die-for sex. Step into the shoes of her heroines and escape to places where right prevails, love conquers all and holding out for a hero is not an impossible dream