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Reining Her In

By:Dani Wyatt

Reining Her In
Author: Dani Wyatt





C H A P T E R O N E

Reed

Pain comes in a feast of flavors, and there are few I haven't tasted.

But this moment, looking at her, this is a beautiful, brilliant new sort of pain. It's like a heartbreak for something yet to happen. A lurching, crackling monster in my chest, from the first time I spotted the turn of her head across the practice ring.

She's mounted on an enormous chestnut gelding whose rusty brown coat matches the neat bun at the nape of her neck. The contrast between the glowing color of her hair and the translucent cast of her angel skin makes my mouth water. Her back is straight accentuating her front. I immediately harden at the sight of her.

I straighten my own back, unconsciously stiffen my walk, wanting to stand upright when I look at her. She guides her horse over to a waiting groom who gathers the reins in his hand as she gracefully dismounts.

My thoughts turn to catching her before she hits the ground. The way her soft curves would feel against the stiff erection filling the front of my pants. She smiles, and my knees nearly buckle. There is a lightness in her walk, an air about her that is unlike anything I've felt before. It's radiating toward me, a gravitational pull latching onto my core, and I don't even know her name.

Yet.

I shake my head. Yet? Where did that come from? I have to adjust myself as much as possible without drawing attention. The growing length under my black dress pants will not yield to my thoughts of control, and I bring my cane around, centering it in front of my rising dick. I cup both hands on the top of the cane in hopes it will shield any passersby from the clear outline of my stiff cock.

My professional demeanor is the standard upon which my training program and reputation are built, and I've never reacted to someone like this before. I'm known for my reserved manner, my exacting standards, and my results in bringing former equestrian champions back to the ring after serious trauma. Be that physical, mental or more often a combination of both.

I don't think the sight of my pants tented is quite the image people have of me.

For a moment, I lose myself looking at her again. The nagging thought that I'm needed elsewhere taps inside my brain. But tearing myself away from her feels wrong.

But, my own student is counting on me. I grind my teeth together until it hurts, fighting to pull my eyes away from the young woman across the riding ring – a young woman who seems to have some wire attached to my heart. Because every time I try to look away, there is a sharp pain in my chest.

I'm not sure how much longer I stand there watching the young woman walking through her routine again. She's the perfect blend of curved softness and impeccable sophistication. I watch as her lips move, she's talking to herself and more than anything I want to listen to every word. Know all her secrets.

I nearly jump out of my skin when Nancy appears on my right.

"Mr. Sawyer?" My student is nearly thirty years old, and an experienced, professional rider. Her brunette hair is neatly twisted at the base of her helmet. This is appropriate and expected at this level. She's dressed in her tailored jacket and high neck white shirt, leading her mount next to my place at the gate of the indoor practice ring.

"Yes, Nancy." I shift again, giving her a reserved smile and holding my cane close in front of my out of control erection. I make sure her eyes are with me before I continue. "You can do this. I believe in you. Training meets preparation meets success."

"Thank you." Her eyelids flutter. "I'm nervous." She leans a shoulder into Grand Teton her enormous bay gelding's neck who answers her by curving his head around her.

"Close your eyes and remember who you are. You are the leader; your horse wants to trust you, but first you have to trust yourself." I swallow, fighting the urge to look back into the ring.

Nancy does as I say, shuts her eyes and her horse lets out a low snort, dropping his head a few inches as he stands calmly by her side.

"You cannot simply say the words. You need to believe it. In the deepest part of you, you have to believe that you are the leader. Grand Teton will feel that and follow you anywhere. You've done the work. I'm proud of you." I'm uncomfortably warm even though the day is cool. A temperate breeze breaks through the open doors of the massive riding arena bringing with it the sounds and smells of the beautiful day outside.

Nancy sighs as her chest fills, and her shoulders move back. My body ignites in another flash of heat when I see movement out of the corner of my eye in the ring. My skin ripples and tingles and I am baffled by my visceral reaction to this unknown young woman. I've barely set my eyes on her for more than a few seconds, but she's known to me in other ways. Ways I didn't understand until right now.

"Thanks." Nancy speaks and I flinch, so lost in my lustful thoughts. "I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for you."

I shake my head and give her a controlled smile. I should lay a hand on her shoulder, give her some physical touch to sooth her, but I never touch students unless it is to adjust a leg or correct a movement. It's nothing personal, keeping things strictly professional serves both student and teacher.

When I see her take a deep breath, I continue. "You wouldn't be here if it weren't for you." I nod at her. "When you came to me six months ago, do you remember?"

She bites her lip and nods. She leans her face into Grand Teton's shiny, perfectly groomed neck and inhales. "I was a mess. I remember shaking so bad you just sat with me for over an hour on the bench in the ring. Just talking about this and that. Then just when I thought you were going to make me get on a horse, we went for a walk. It was a great day."

"Yes. Well, you could call it that. It was a new beginning. Now look at you? Ready to rise up and show everyone what it means to fight your way back to the top. Who said a shattered pelvis, five broken ribs, and a collapsed lung would keep you from competing again?" I fight the grin that is threatening to take over my face. I've been known to curve my lips upward, but a full smile for me is rare, especially with my students.

She wraps one hand around Teton's snout, moving in to give the enormous bay a kiss on the side of his cheek. Then she chuckles in agreement. "It wasn't the broken bones, you know." She speaks softly into the horse's face. We both know.

This is a precarious sport, full of powerful beauty and unexpected outcomes. Persuading a thousand-pound animal to do as you wish is a thrilling honor but they are still unpredictable, and Nancy didn't just take a horrific fall during her warm up at the Dublin International Eventing competition. She also landed in the path of an oncoming horse who couldn't avoid her and who's front two feet landed on her when he came down off a jump. She's lucky to be alive.

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"I know." I nod. "Now go get your head right, get in there and bring that first place ribbon back with you. You deserve it. You are the best. Keep your eyes up, your heart and your hands soft. Imagine the perfect ride in your mind's eye and then follow through. Go!"

I toss my head in the direction of the open door of the practice arena urging her to move away, and she pats Grand Teton on the neck before turning him firmly. She walks him to a mounting block where one of our grooms is waiting. I watch her mount up then walk outside where she will move into the que to ride her course.

Finally I'm able spin around, anxious to make sure the beauty in the ring is still there. A flash of anger courses through me for letting her out of my sight at all.

My heart sinks when I find the practice ring empty. I swivel my head around, but t

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