It was one of those rare days off where JD Dunne had
nothing planned. He was going to take advantage of it especially since the
weatherman was forecasting a beautiful day for the Las Vegas area. Getting
his best friend's (Buck Wilmington) ok to use his horse, Little Darlin',
the young computer specialist headed out to Nettie's ranch for a day of riding
An hour later, he was pulling up into Nettie's ranch in his maroon colored
Dodge Neon. The first thing he spotted was Casey Wells, Nettie's niece who
helped run the horse ranch and was also taking classes at the local college.
Their first meeting hadn't gone well at all and JD had avoided her when he
visited . . . until recently. Buck had slapped him upside the head and explained
the finer points of how a woman's mind might work, but JD was still a little
wary, unsure as to how a girl could be so 'in your face' if she actually
Casey placed a hand over her eyes to shield the sun when she heard the sound
of an approaching car. She smiled when she recognized JD's vehicle and stopped
her chores, walking towards the young man.
"Hey JD," said the young girl. "Didn't realize you were coming out today."
JD got out of his car and closed the door. "Had the day off and decided at
the last minute to take advantage of this great weather," he replied as he
put his car keys in his front pocket. "Buck said I could ride his horse."
Casey nodded in understanding and replied, "Little Darlin's in the stables
right now. I'm sure she would love to be taken out for a ride."
JD nodded and followed the young girl into the stables. As they saddled up
his horse, JD asked, "So, do you wantta go ridin' with me?" suddenly blushing
at the way he had blurted it out. Ah well . . . it was out there, now.
Casey looked up surprised and JD continued, "Well, that is if you can take
a break and all . . . don't want you to get in trouble with Miss Nettie."
"I can take a break," replied Casey as she smiled. "I'd love to go riding
After they had the second horse saddled, the two headed off for their ride,
enjoying the sunshine and each other's company.
"Pretty nice day out, isn't it?" asked JD as he tried to make small talk
while he guided his horse along the path.
Casey grinned at his attempts at conversation, deciding to have a little
"Mmm hmm." She agreed.
The easterner bit his lip. Think, JD. "Err . . . do you get to do
this much?" Aww, shit . . . nice one JD, he mentally cursed himself.
"It's a riding school, JD," Casey replied, biting back a grin.
The youth sighed, and then yelped as he received a punch to his arm, rubbing
at the spot as he frowned at his companion.
"You're 'so' easy," she chuckled and spurred her horse into a canter.
He stared after her, and then grinned broadly as he gave chase. Oh, two
can play at that game, girl.
After about twenty minutes, Casey guided them through some trees to a small
meadow. JD gasped, it was so pretty, and seemingly very secluded.
"I love to come here," Casey admitted, "It's so peaceful, and private . .
. you would never get disturbed here . . ." she caught a blush, ". . . if
you wanted somewhere to . . . think . . ." she added, quickly.
JD watched her dismount as her words penetrated his thoughts, 'some alone
time with Casey . . . he could go for some of that . . .' then jerked back
to real time. Where the hell had that come from? He jumped down from
his horse and, taking the reins, walked after her until she ground tied her
mount and sat down in the long grass. He followed suit and plopped down beside
Casey inhaled softly. She could smell his aftershave . . . it suited him.
As JD sighed and laid back, his hands clasped behind his head for support,
she plucked a reed and once he had closed his eyes, tickled his nose, smiling
as he wrinkled it and opened one eye.
"You have to be careful in long grass," she teased, "It can harbor ticks."
"Ticks?" repeated JD who wasn't sure if the young girl was joking or serious.
"Really?" He caught her hand that was holding the reed, ceasing her tickling
efforts as he gently tugged it to him.
"Yep," said Casey who was suddenly feeling breathless and giddy. "We're always
checking the horses to make sure they didn't pick up one." Feeling a surge
of bravery she leaned down towards him, her gaze getting lost in his hazel
Their lips touched tentatively, gently in a tender kiss. When Casey pulled
away, ending the romantic interlude, JD eyelashes flickered open and he looked
up at her, worried that he did something wrong. Maybe he was a horrible kisser?
"You know," whispered Casey leaning closer as she brushed his dark hair from
his forehead. "To be on the safe side I should probably check you for ticks.
"Yeah?" said JD as a slow grinned appeared on his face.
"Just to be sure," continued Casey as she brushed her nose against his. "You
never know where one might be."
"Very true," whispered JD as he lightly ran his hands down her back and settled
them on her bottom. "Be sure to check all those hard to reach places. . ."
Casey smiled as she replied, "Oh, I will." She then leaned down and captured
his mouth in a slow, intoxicating kiss. . .
The Las Vegas Chronicles