If you have ever had the opportunity to see a polo match (or one of pato which I was able to see in Argentina) you know how exciting it is to see an excellent rider atop a horse. The power, skill and strength that’s necessary to do this is well . . .
Totally sexy. It’s why I had no doubt that South Beach Mama Virginia’s love would be an Argentine polo player! 🙂
Today’s Wicked Wednesday, therefore, is about Virginia and Pablo, but this is an extra special treat as it is a scene that ended up on the cutting room floor. Yep, it’s not in the book due to pacing, length and a number of other reasons along with a number of early flashback scenes between Virginia and Pablo.
It’s not unusual that scenes get cut. I have a number of Deleted Scenes at THE CALLING site for those of you who have been following my vampire series. Again, lots of reasons why that happens and I trust my editors because they know best about what makes a book rock.
So, without further ado . . . Virginia and Pablo, the early years (to continue their story, check out SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN):
Virginia liked the morning hours best. Those couple of hours as the sun slowly rose, painting the morning sky with the pale pinks and yellows of dawn. It was quiet then, the only sounds those of the horses snuffling softly as she moved from stall to stall, cleaning out old feed and replacing it with fresh alfalfa hay and crimped oats. She rounded the corner of the barn to reach the last few stalls and realized she was not alone as she heard the soft murmur of a voice, followed by a horse’s low snort.
The buckets of hay and oats pulled at her arms as she gazed down the barn to the last stall where he stood, gently speaking to the horse. In his hand he held a mallet and while he whispered to the horse, he ran the mallet along the horse’s neck and withers. Moved the mallet within the horse’s line of sight and even let the horse nuzzle it with its lips while he continued chatting with her and rubbing the blaze at the front of the mare’s head.
“That’s it, little one,” he said in Spanish, or at least that’s what she thought he’d said based on her limited high school-level vocabulary. “It won’t hurt you.”
She must have made some sound or motion that caught his attention for he looked her way.
She’d heard the talk around the farm about him. The eight goal Argentine polo player that the Smiths had invited to spend the summer. Rumor had it that the deal was that the Smiths would put him and his ponies up if he would train their son and a few of his horses.
She’d also heard the other talk — that he was young and attractive, but aloof.
As she met his gaze, she could definitely confirm the young and attractive part. She might be only sixteen going on seventeen, but she knew a handsome man when she saw one. And when he smiled as he was doing now —
Whoa, girl, Virginia thought as she contained her own smile and gave him what she thought was a noncommittal nod.
“You look like you could use some help.” He quickly came to her side and took the heavier bucket of oats from her hand.
“Thanks,” she said and walked to the first stall. As she cleaned out the old feed and placed the new hay there, she said, “You’re up early.”
“So are you,” he replied as he handed her the bucket of oats and took the one with the hay so she could complete her chore.
“It’s my job.” After she had finished putting out the fresh feed, she stopped to rub the mare’s neck. The horse snickered and bumped her shirt front with its head. “You little pig,” she teased the animal, reached into her front shirt pocket, and took out a bit of carrot. Placing it in the palm of her hand, she let the horse grab it, and then rubbed the mare’s head again.
“She’s my favorite pony and an excellent judge of character,” he said and stroked his hand along the horse’s withers, his actions gentle.
When she turned to face him, he was barely a foot away. This close it was impossible to miss the green of his eyes, the same verdant hue of the farm’s meadows in the thick of summer. He smiled again, as if sensing her interest, but she quickly shied away from him, grabbing one of the buckets and moving to the next stall.
Once more, he helped her change the feed. As they labored together, he asked her in his softly accented voice, “So you work for the Smiths?”
Slaved for them might be a better term, she thought, but was grateful for the employment as tough as it was. A good part of her earnings went to her family and what was left was slowly building her college fund. Not that her daddy believed in schooling for women, but she had no desire to keep on toiling away on the farms and in the few shops in town that would hire white trash like the Cookes.
“I work for them,” she finally replied and was surprised when he said, “So do I.”
She couldn’t contain the harsh chuckle that escaped her lips. “Puleez. Save it for someone who’ll actually fall for that line.”
Snatching the bucket, she was about to walk away when he grabbed her arm, not roughly, but with enough strength that she couldn’t pull away. “Why do you think — ”
“Because we all know your daddy’s as rich as Midas.”
His face hardened. She hadn’t thought it possible, but the warmth fled from his green eyes. “Sí, my papi has money. That doesn’t mean I do.”
“Run away from home, have you?” she challenged since she just couldn’t buy his whole “Poor me” routine.
He dropped the bucket he was carrying at her feet and walked out of the barn.
She watched him go, her feelings mixed. Her good side felt bad that she’d angered him. Her bad side, the one that emerged more often than either she or her daddy liked, was proud that she’d seen through his phoniness and put him in his place.
But that bad side couldn’t help but notice that the man had a hell of a nice ass.