Posted by Lexxie Couper on Tuesday, February 21st, 2012
I’m working on an erotic rom-com with Mari Carr at the moment. It’s lots of fun and very naughty, but the one thing it is highlighting…there’s a world of difference in our language. For example, in Australia we don’t actually use the word “cowboy”. We have “stockmen” and “jackaroos” (if they are young and in training). So, what does a stockman look like?
And now, for an unedited snippet from Misplaced Cowboy. Enjoy…
“Monnie,” a deep male voice smoothed over Dylan’s chuckles, and he turned, watching a man roughly his height dressed in an immaculate steel-grey suit swan toward Monet and place a kiss on her still smiling lips. “I’ve been looking for you.”
Something dark and cold and tight knotted low in Dylan’s gut. Something that had no right being there. Jealousy. He straighten his spine, taking in the way the man’s manicured fingers wrapped loosely around Monet’s upper arms, noticing the large diamond embedded in the gold band circling his right pinkie. Watching the way he leant closer to Monet, how his lips lingered on hers. How clean-shaven his jaw was, how there wasn’t a hair out of place on his head, how the smell of cologne wafted from him. Cologne. Not horse sweat or plain soap, but cologne. No doubt as expensive as his well-tailored suit.
“Phillip.” Monet disengaged herself from the kiss, her cheeks high with color. She flicked Dylan a quick look, an expression he could only describe as uncomfortable pulling at her eyes. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”
Phillip, whoever the hell Phillip was, obviously didn’t stand for Monet slipping from his grasp. He ran his hands down her arms, catching her fingers with his and tugging her back toward him. “Why ever not? A Monet Carmichael exhibition opening is the perfect place for an art collector to be. Even more so when said art collector is the inspiration for her latest work.”
Monet flicked Dylan another look, her eyes unreadable, her shoulders stiff, before she once again slipped away from Phillip’s grip. “I think you might be placing a might too much significance on our—”
Phillip stepped toward her, apparently deciding Dylan didn’t exist.
Dylan decided it was time to fix that problem. Not because he was jealous, but because Monet appeared…ill at ease.
“G’day mate,” he said, shoving his extended hand at the man’s chest before Phillip could draw closer to her. “Dylan Sullivan. How’ya going?”
Phillip’s eyebrows shot up his incredibly smooth forehead, his stare swinging to Dylan. A plethora of emotions flashed over his suavely handsome face, most making Dylan want to laugh—irritation, shock, curiosity, indignation—the last making him want to ball his fist: contempt.
“I’m sorry.” Phillip’s top lip curled. “But if you’re speaking to me, I’m not going anywhere.”
Dylan gave the bloke his widest, goofiest grin. For good measure, he even tipped his hat back on his head. “Ah, you’re a funny bugger, are you?” He kept his hand out, letting it speak volumes. He may not be from this neck of the woods, but he knew a handshake left hanging was a sign of utter disdain. As far as Dylan was concerned, he was happy to push Phillip to complete the social tradition whether the man wanted to or not.
Phillip’s top lip continued to curl, the kind of expression Dylan expected on a city slicker who’d stepped in a pile of sheep shit.
“Phillip.” Monet moved to Dylan’s side and it was all he could do to keep his doofus grin in place as she ran her hand up his arm. His heart however, well it leapt straight into his bloody throat. “This is Dylan Sullivan. From Farpoint Creek in Australia.”
Phillip ran a slow inspection over Dylan, from the tip of his kangaroo leather boots, to the battered peak of his black wide-brimmed hat. “A cowboy from Australia?” He flashed Dylan a toothy smirk, taking Dylan’s hand and giving it a crushing shake. Or trying to. Dylan spent his days dealing with unruly Angus cattle, unruly hired jackeroos and—when Hunter was in a competitive mood—an even more unruly twin brother hell-bent on beating him at arm wrestling. “Here to throw a shrimp on the bar-bee, ‘eh?”
The man’s voice dripped with mocking derision and the urge to ball his fist rolled through Dylan again. He let his I’m-a-clueless-country-hick grin turn into the very smile he gave drunken hired hands who thought they’d take him on. The kind of smile that said, go on, give it your best shot, mate. “I’m a stockman, not a cowboy. Haven’t been a boy since my balls dropped and I started shaving. And I’m just here to seduce the beautiful women on your side of the pond. Show them what a real man is like.”
The shocked blanch that twisted Phillip’s filled Dylan with perverse satisfaction, just as Monet’s choking laugh sent tight ripples of happiness through him.
“I think you had that one coming, Phillip,” she said, her hand still resting on Dylan’s bicep. He liked the feel of it there. A lot. Too much, given why he was here in New York to begin with. It wasn’t to fall head over heels for a woman he’d only just met, that was for bloody sure. “And as for the seducing…” she turned and gave him a wide smile, that twinkling mirth he liked so much in her eyes, “the accent alone is enough to make a New York girl go all wobbly inside.”
The statement was said in jest. Dylan didn’t doubt that at all, but it had a bloody inconvenient effect on him. His balls throbbed, his cock twitched and his throat grew tight.
“Is that all it takes nowadays?” The charming smile was back on Phillip’s lips, but Dylan couldn’t help notice his spine was straighter, his shoulders squarer. “An accent and a hat? I should have gone to Urban Outfitters months ago.” He turned back to Dylan. “Maybe you can teach me a few choice Aussie phrases? The kind to woe Monet into going all wobbly inside, ‘eh?”
Wanker. The thought shot through Dylan’s head, dark and more than a tad aggressive. How’s that for a choice Aussie phrase?
He drew a deep breath, fighting to control the unexpected reaction to Phillip’s obvious pissing-contest behavior. “Alright,” he said, “how’s this sound?” Turning to Monet, he gave her a lop-sided smile. “G’day, love. Fancy getting dolled up and joining me on a shindig to the local pub?”
The exaggerated Australianisms—so far removed from how Dylan normally spoke—made Monet laugh, and as it had before, his body reacted to the husky, warm sound. Big time. “Oh Dylan,” she said, leaning towards him and grinning widely. “You had me at g’day.”