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Fireworks by Cheryl 

Hi everyone,
I know some of y’all don’t cotton to Johnny being “tied down” and that’s the way this story is headed, although it doesn’t actually happen. But I figure there’s a few of y’all out there that will just PRETEND your name is “LIBBY” . R-rated

Word count: 4,679

Johnny felt the flimsy material of her red dress give beneath his fingers. He cursed himself for his clumsiness, his eagerness. Like a stallion with his first filly, only she wasn’t his first. Not by a long shot. But he couldn’t remember wanting any other woman this badly.

He forced himself to lift his mouth from hers and look into her green eyes. “Libby? Are you? I mean…” He shook his head and glanced away, holding her apart from him a little.

Libby smiled at his unfinished question. “What’s wrong, Johnny?”

He sighed, looking at her once more, straight on. She was so damn beautiful, and he wanted her so damn bad. He knew he wasn’t good at softening what he wanted to say, in that way, he was a lot like his father; blunt and open with his words. “I want you, Libby. I want to make love to you.”

Her gaze didn’t waver from his in the darkness. Incredibly, she smiled at him. “What are you waiting for, then?”she asked softly. “I thought that’s why we got away from everyone, back closer to the trees.”

“I didn’t ask you out here to see the fireworks so I could take advantage of you, Lib.” He stepped closer to her again, and somehow, she was in his arms, fitting his muscular body as if she were made for him. He inhaled the clean fragrance of her skin, and she put her hands on his cheeks, framing his face as she looked into his eyes.

“I know that.”

He wanted to hear her say it. He wanted her to tell him that she needed him just as fiercely as he needed her, just one time.

But she didn’t need words for that. She boldly let her hand drift down between them, her fingers stroking him gently in the dark.

His breath hissed inward, and he closed his eyes briefly. God. He fought for control, his own hand closing over hers and holding it in place.

“I want you, too, Johnny.”

Just then, the first flare went off, rising into the midnight blue sky with a pop and a hiss, exploding with white showers of sparks in the night. Libby pulled him down to the ground with her. They knelt under the sheltering branches of the oak tree where they’d been standing.

“I can’t promise you anything.” Johnny searched her face.

“I just want you. I need you, Johnny.”

At the look of love in her eyes, Johnny was suddenly uncertain. He hadn’t lied when he’d said he couldn’t promise her anything…not even his name. And who would want that? Who would want him… gunfighter, a half-breed.”

“You’ll miss the fireworks,” he said quietly, the words almost sticking in his throat. He lay on his back, looking up at the stars in the sky, and then in Libby’s eyes as she bent over him. His heaven was in her look of pure acceptance and love. She laughed and kissed him. The material of his red shirt gave a little beneath her eager touch as she began to unbutton it. “We’ll make our own.”



Her mouth came down over Johnny’s, hot and moist, an invitation he could not turn down. His fingers speared through the heavy mass of her dark hair, pulling her so close she could only flatten her palms against his hard chest, letting the shirt buttons go for the time being, only halfway done with opening them.

Johnny’s hands moved down her back, expertly undoing the row of tiny buttons down the back of her dress. She lifted her head for a moment, concern in her green eyes.

“Johnny, wait…how’ll we ever get those buttoned up again?”

“Later.” He licked her full lower lip, catching it between his teeth gently for a second.

She moaned, pressing her body against his. “Okay, Johnny. Later.” She grinned as her lips met his once more, his hand moving around to her breasts. He made an impatient sound in his throat at the hindrance of the material, wanting to feel her silky flesh against his.

But did they dare risk it here, in the shelter of the woods? It was more illusion than reality, this ‘shelter’ and having lived by his gut and his instincts all his years, he knew this was not a wise decision. God, he wanted her so badly and the thought of taking her in the darkness with the rockets flaring above them was heady and tempting him beyond measure.

He felt her opening the buttons of his shirt once again, his warm flesh meeting with the soft crinkle of the damnable fabric of her dress.

“Want me to take it off?” she whispered against his mouth.

Yes. God yes. Was there any other answer but yes?

He sighed, as reality set in. Thoughts of Libby’s sullied reputation, followed by a shotgun wedding, made him suck in his breath and shake his head in the darkness. “No, we can’t, Libby.” He laid a calloused finger across her lips as she started to protest. “I want you, querida, but getting that dress off and on, you’re right. If someone showed up at the wrong time.”

“Like who?”

Johnny smiled at the pouty tone, kissing her on the nose, his hand still on her breast. “Your old man, for starters …or mine.”

“Fuck them.”

Johnny laughed outright at that. The thought of that profane word coming out of Libby’s lovely mouth got him wondering what else she might say…or do…if the situation was right. He reached to place her hand on his cock, gasping as she caressed him through the denim, then began to unbutton the placket. He watched her through half-lidded eyes, wondering if she’d lose her nerve and stop. She didn’t.

Her hand wrapped around him gently, and she drew in a deep breath as if to steady her own nerves.

“You sure you want this? Me, I mean.” His voice was quiet in the stillness of the dark night. Another rocket flew skyward, whistling before it exploded to the applause of the crowd sitting far away. Johnny glanced down to where the town throngs had gathered. Was it worth the chance? He looked back up into Libby’s eyes.

She nodded. “You’re what I want, Johnny.” She moistened her lips nervously. “And you’re my first.”

And only. Johnny heard those unspoken words loud and clear. She was ready to stake everything on him, and whatever he decided to do. The preacher’s daughter. Why did he have to feel himself falling for this one particular girl? There were plenty of others; others who weren’t virgins…who wouldn’t expect marriage.

He gave a heavy sigh, reaching to button his pants up, then motioning for her to turn around so he could re-button her dress.

The silence was heavy between them for a moment, then Johnny swept back Libby’s hair, kissing her neck. “You really want an ex-gunhawk for a husband, Libby? Think about it.”

“I want Johnny Lancer…past, present and future.” A playful smile curved her lips. “I can wait. Even though I know my father won’t approve.”

That didn’t surprise him. Johnny pulled her close, the noise of the rockets and crowds silent in their world. “Yeah?”

Libby nodded, turning her face up to him. It was still there, he thought…the love and acceptance that had undone him before, filling her eyes once again. It was all he needed.

His mouth slanted hotly across hers as the fireworks came to a crashing finale. For that kind of love from this woman, he had to do right by her. He figured he could wait, too.


There is explicit sex in these scenes, so this is a warning. It AIN’T “PG”
If you don’t like to read about sex, Don’t READ THIS  – R rated


He should have done it.

The line shack was stifling, and even though Johnny was bone weary, he knew sleep would be a long time coming in this still July heat. He put in a full day, sunup to sundown, hoping that when he fell into bed that night he’d be able to sleep. He turned over restlessly for the millionth time in the last half hour.

He should have done it.

He lay staring up at the ceiling of the shack, the moonbeams spilling through the window beside the bed. Maybe it was just too damn bright to sleep. Maybe it reminded him of how the sky had been lit up at the fireworks display two nights ago . . . Libby . . . and what had almost happened between them–what he’d wanted, and what she’d been more than willing to give him.

He should have done it.

He felt the familiar ache that started every time he thought of Libby. Her hands on him, all over…but especially on his cock; her breasts in his palms, a perfect handful each; her mouth yielding under his, sweet and delicious. . . He groaned in frustration, and stood up quickly, yanking on his faded jeans. He’d washed off in the creek earlier. Maybe he needed to spend more time in the water . . . let it cool his body down and slake his need for her . . . for Libby. He grabbed his gunbelt and slung it over his shoulder. No need to buckle it on. It would be coming off in a matter of minutes. The creek was just what he needed.

The place where he liked to swim was nearby; close enough to be able to see the shack from the water. There was a black oak tree that provided shade in the daylight, and by night, allowed the moonbeams to filter through its branches like falling snow. He jumped down off the small porch, rather than use the three wooden steps, and headed for the water. The warm breeze did nothing to cool him, and his strides became more purposeful as he walked the short distance to the welcome relief that waited for him.

He laid the gunbelt down under the tree and began to unbutton the placket of his jeans, when something drew him up short. A sound, in the distance, like maybe . . . a rider. As late as it was, and as far off the beaten path as the line shack was, that could only mean trouble. He re-did the top two buttons and slipped the gun out of the holster. Stepping close behind the black oak tree into the shadows, he waited.

The hoofbeats grew louder, yet remained steady, as if the rider was in no hurry to get to wherever he was going. As the horse rounded the bend in the road, Johnny’s eyes narrowed. The rider seemed to have a purpose. He was headed for the shack. He slowed the horse, then stopped, seeming to hesitate a moment before dismounting. Johnny watched as the stranger walked up the steps to the shack and carefully pushed the door open. He waited as, predictably, the lone man emerged after a few seconds. Every muscle in his body tensed in readiness as the visitor started down from the porch. Something nagged at him. The man walked like a girl. Come to think of it, he filled his jeans out like a woman. By the time Libby swept the hat from her head and began to unpin her hair, Johnny had stepped from behind the tree, letting his breath go on a deep sigh.

What in the hell’re you doin’ here?”

Libby squeaked and jumped as Johnny emerged from the darkness of the shadowed creekbank. She gave him a guilty look as he came toward her, her uncertainty melting as he reached for her and pulled her to him.

“I came to be with you.”

“Libby.” He hugged her to him, reminded again of what had nearly happened two nights ago as his bare chest made contact with the material of her blouse. There was always something between them, he thought. Clothing or conscience, or both.

He held her from him after a moment, looking into her face, searching for the deeper answer to the question He’d asked earlier.

“You shouldn’t have come,” he said.

“You want me to go back?” Libby stepped out of his reach.

“No!” He raked his fingers through his dark hair, and looked away from her. “Yeah. You should go back but…” He broke off, looking at her again, and in that instant he knew how this night would end. She looked hurt. He shouldn’t have said that, not that way. Not when she’d ridden all the way out here…taken such a damn chance.”

“Did anyone see you?”

She gave him a scornful glance. “I’m not an idiot, Johnny.”

A smile touched his lips and he reached for her again, pulling him to her, stiff and unyielding in her anger. “Yes, you are.”

She looked up at him, her full lips parting to give him a piece of her mind, but he bent his head and put his mouth to hers before she could unload on him. The kiss was everything he remembered, and more. Insistently, he slid his tongue inside her mouth, forcing her to respond to him although he knew she wanted to hang on to her mad just a bit longer. He felt it, the moment she lost that battle with herself, her hands going around his neck to toy with his hair in the next instant. She pressed her body next to his and boldly traced his lips with her tongue as he reluctantly broke the kiss.

“No, I’m not,” she whispered against his mouth, catching his bottom lip gently between her teeth.

He ran the calloused pads of his thumbs across her cheekbones, his eyes glinting with the suppressed laughter. “You’re here, aren’t you? I think that proves my point, doesn’t it, querida?”

“I’m here, and you’re not doing anything about it . . . so, who’s the idiot, Johnny Lancer?”

The laughter dimmed, to be replaced by a serious resolve. “I guess I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t, Lib.” He released her slowly and looked at the ground. “See, you’re all I’ve been thinkin’ about for the past two days and nights. I swore the next time we–well, the next time we were together, I was gonna.”

“Something wrong with the bed inside?”

He didn’t answer for a minute. Then, “Yeah. It’s too lumpy and it’s fuckin’ hot as hell in there.”

Libby smiled and took his hand between hers. The warm breeze fanned them, and she raised his fingers to her lips, kissing a rough knuckle.

He looked up at her, as if He’d come to a decision. “What about here?” he asked softly. “You and me, out under the stars, like it was…only no fireworks; no people.”

“We’ll be alone, Johnny, no one but us; but I promise you, there’ll be plenty of fireworks.” She stepped closer and put her arms around his hard-muscled waist.

Her hands glided over his warm skin, and he gave her a faint smile. “Let me get a blanket.”

Her fingertips moved across his back, until they laced behind his neck and she pulled him to her again. “We don’t need it,” she whispered. “All I need is you…and this is such a beautiful night…I’ll remember it forever.”

“C’mere, then,” he murmured, putting his arm around her. They walked to the towering black oak tree and Johnny turned her to face him in the dappled pattern of the moonlight. Slowly, he reached for the buttons at the closure of his jeans. Going for his ‘gun’, all right, but this time, slower and with more forethought than he’d ever drawn his pistol.  “You sure, Libby?”

Libby moistened her lips and stepped toward him, brushing his hands away. “Let me do it,” she whispered, her own fingers taking over the task. Johnny turned to lean against the rough bark of the old tree, letting Libby work the buttons free. Her fingertips brushed the tip of him, and he sucked in his breath, barely managing to hold himself in check. This was what he’d dreamed of off and on for weeks, but since the fireworks display they’d attended it was all he’d thought of–constantly. She gave him an impish grin. “Did I hurt you?”

“Not like you think,” he gritted, wishing she’d make short work of these damnable buttons so he could return the favor.

Impatiently, he reached over her arms to start on the row of buttons down the front of her shirt. “These are easier,” he said quietly, remembering the endless row of tiny buttons down the back of the red dress she’d been wearing two nights ago. As she finished the last of his buttons, she touched him again, and he groaned, closing his eyes. How in the hell he was going to be able to last more than two minutes with her?  He couldn’t remember ever wanting anyone as badly as he wanted Libby.

“Sorry,” she murmured quietly, not sounding contrite in the least.


She shook her head teasingly as he looked at her again. “No witch, Johnny.” Her expression became thoughtful as he started unbuttoning her blouse once more, her fingers caressing his muscled forearms. “Have I bewitched you?”

“Thoroughly.” He pushed the soft material open and saw she wore no underclothes. His breath caught and held as he thumbed the silky, rounded flesh. “Completely.” He bent his head to her nipple, his tongue playing across it.



Her blouse fell to the ground as she shrugged out of it, her fingers locking in his dark hair just seconds later. “Johnny.” Her voice was ragged and broken, and the way she said his name was like a whispered ‘I love you.’ He realized he liked the sound of that…a lot. Too much to stop now.

With a muffled curse he lifted his head; his eyes hot, burning for her, as he met her green gaze. “Last chance, Libby. Last chance to turn around and ride out of here.”

“What do you want, Johnny?”

He began to unbutton the placket of the jeans she wore, knowing already they had reached the point of no return. The scent of her perfume was faint on the breeze, intoxicating him more than any liquor ever could. “Me? Well, Libby, I want to be doin’ the ridin’. Ridin’ you. And if you don’t say otherwise in the next two seconds.” He began to push the denim material away, sliding it down the curves of her hips.

She reached to hold onto his arms, kicking out of her boots, then the jeans, until she stood completely bare before him.

He swallowed hard, touching a strand of her dark hair. The moonbeams filtered through the ancient branches of the tree, bathing her with soft light. She was the loveliest, finest thing he’d ever seen. For the space of a heartbeat, he didn’t breathe; couldn’t, as she stepped toward him in the shimmering silver.

“Now you,” she whispered, her hands resting against his sides at the top of his jeans.

“Yeah. Now me.”

She pushed the material down and he stepped out of the pants, kicking them aside in the same moment he pulled her to him. Their bodies came together in an exquisite rush of heat that all but consumed them, arcing and melding them together as Johnny’s lips crushed hers. Slowly, they knelt together beneath the tree on the lush grass, so thick it was like a green carpet, watered by the constant source of the nearby creek.

He gently pushed Libby beneath him, covering her body with his own. She reached up to him hungrily, her mouth opening for him, and he smiled as his tongue went into her, touching hers. There was nothing between them now, he thought. The clothes were a memory, as was the small remnant of his conscience. This moment was all that mattered, now. He was hard for her, his cock throbbing, aching. He felt her fingers encircle him curiously, and his breath hitched. He wanted to take it slow–knew he needed to, for her sake; but she was putting an end to his last shred of patience, and sanity. It was her first time. It had to be perfect–as wonderful as she was . . . 

“Don’twanna hurt you,” he muttered against her mouth, in a half-hearted attempt to slow their progress.

“You won’t. You could never do that.”

His heart lurched at her sweet innocence. “The first time, Lib. It’s gonna hurt some when I make you bleed.”

Her palms framed his face. “I trust you. Just tell me what to do.”

“Open,” His hand found the dark curls between her legs, his fingers caressing her slowly at first, then faster. He felt her legs move beneath him, wider, and he leaned down to kiss her, letting his finger slide into her sheath.

“Johnny,” she whispered, stiffening for an instant, then relaxing as his hand began its masterful stroking.

His mouth claimed hers again, hot and insistent. “Don’t ever stop saying my name like that, Libby.”

“I love you.”

He smiled against her lips. “I know. When you say ‘Johnny’ the way you do, soft and sweet.” He looked into her eyes; saw what he needed there. “It’s like you’re tellin’ me every time you say it.”

She nibbled at his lip. “I do, you know.”

“I know. I love you, too.”

“Show me, Johnny.”

“Oh, I intend to,” he whispered, “in every way. Put me inside you, sweetheart.”

Her fingers wrapped gently around him uncertainly, guiding him. “Like this?”

“Just like that.” He released his breath on a long sigh as he slowly went into her, feeling, at the last, the proof of her virginity. “Easy, now, baby.”

Libby moaned softly beneath him, yielding to him. Her fingers glided over his copper burnished skin, hesitating at the small scars that marred his flesh, the marks of old wounds from his former life. “I need you, Johnny. . . every inch.”

“Easy, Libby,” he said, low, brushing her hair back from her face. “We’ll get there. Just take it slow. . . easy.”

“I need,” She strained upward to take more of him.

“Shh . . . I know what you need. Trust me, can you?”

She sank her teeth into her lower lip, nodding.

“Okay. Just let your body relax . . . get used to me inside you.”

“It doesn’t hurt.”

Johnny grinned. “I’m not full into you yet.” He let himself slide a little further into her tight warmth, feeling the barrier begin to give, taking complete control. Quickly, he put his mouth to hers again and thrust hard, breeching her maidenhead completely. He held her firmly as she stiffened beneath him for an instant. They lay completely still for a breathless moment, the magic of the night holding them safe and content, wrapped in the warm depths of the summer heat and the complete perfection of their love for one another.

Johnny slowly broke the kiss and lifted his head. He kept himself from asking the question aloud, but couldn’t keep it from his eyes. Was she okay? He knew he’d hurt her, maybe been too rough. Libby reached to touch his hair, the breeze sweeping across them, her own eyes bright with moisture.

“Hey, I’m sorry,” Johnny whispered, his voice husky with emotion. “I should’ve been more careful.”

“It had to be that way. You said it would hurt…this first time.”

He held her close to him, rocking into her gently, feeling her immediate response. He buried his face in the thick silk of her hair. “Let me make it better now.” He withdrew slowly, and sank into her again, going into her deeper each time as she relaxed, and he became certain that he wasn’t hurting her.

He felt the pressure building inside him, but held it back, slowing the pace, feeling Libby’s nails rake his sides gently. He was as deep as he could go now, and she smiled up at him in the darkness.

“Okay, Lib?”

“Very ‘okay’.” She pulled him down to her again, loving him with every part of her body.

The depth of her emotion rocked him. He’d never expected to find a love like this. Libby was a ‘good girl’ not for the likes of Johnny Lancer. Because he knew better than anybody that changing his name and occupation didn’t change people’s minds about him. No matter how he proved otherwise, there would always be someone there to remind him of who he’d been before. But Libby didn’t care. She accepted him and everything about him…even the Madrid side he’d tried so hard to leave behind. That sweet acceptance meant more to him than he could ever tell her.


By the breathless wonder in her voice, he knew she was on the verge. He started to ease up on his own concentration, slowing the strokes, and Libby’s eyes opened.

“Don’t stop,” she whispered.

“No chance.”

She put her head back, closing her eyes, and Johnny smiled. Life with Libby would never be dull, if that was how this all played out in the end. He felt her hands clutching at his ass and let his own climax build. His fingers went to her delicate jaw, skimming across the skin in a rough caress before he cupped her cheek and lowered his mouth to hers. She cried out his name, and he caught it in a turbulent kiss that burned them both as hot and wild as fire. He knew he should pull out, tried to, at the last instant; but as Libby wrapped her legs around him, he found he couldn’t bear not to come inside her sweet warmth rather than spending himself in his own hand.

They lay still for a moment, Johnny’s body tingling in pleasure where his flesh met hers. He lifted his head slowly to look at her, seeing the wonder in her eyes for what they’d shared. Her love was easy to read in the bold gaze she gave him. She reached to push the dark fringe of hair back from his eyes, and his smile became a chuckle of pleasure.

“Did I do it right?” she asked softly.

His heart clenched at the uncertainty in her voice. Barely trusting himself to speak, he nodded. “You couldn’t ever do it wrong, Lib. It’ll never be wrong for us, querida.” He leaned down to kiss her again, then gently separated himself from her and lay on his back beside her. The breeze blew across them, cooling them, and Libby traced slow patterns on his belly as they lay in contented silence.

“What makes you so reckless, Libby?” Johnny asked softly.

She propped up on her elbow to look at him. “You’re one to talk. You’re the most reckless person I know. Always takin’ chances.”

“We both took a big one tonight.”

She nodded, looking down at the patch of grass between them for a moment. “Scott told me where you were. I swear, he’s the only one who knows.”

After a moment, Johnny returned to his earlier thoughts. “You think that’s why we’re so in love? That ‘reckless’ side we see in each other? Bein’ so much alike?”

“We go together.”

He’d never thought of it like that, but what she said was true.

“That’s what I wanted to tell you at the Independence Day celebration, Johnny,” she continued, turning to lie on the grass beside him. She snuggled into his body, and he pulled her close. “You and me, we understand.”

“We go together, huh? You mean like you’re the sun in my summer?”

She laughed softly, her eyes sparkling at his teasing. “More like you’re the rocket, and I’m the match.”

A slow smile curved his lips as he moved across her again. “Then light the fuse, Libby. These fireworks have just started.”





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