“I like your green eyes,” he commented, and I hoped to God my invisible lady boner wasn’t poking into Dottie.

I gave him a tight, awkward smile, because I didn’t know what else to say to his comment. I didn’t know how to take compliments, especially compliments from Ian. If someone had told me the man I’d met weeks back who’d been getting a blow job from some random woman would tell me he liked my eyes, I would’ve laughed in their face.

Now, I was stuck blushing like a fool but hoping that the sunbeams were enough excuse for the redness of my cheeks. Unluckily for me, that wasn’t the case.

“Do you always blush when someone gives you a compliment?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t received many throughout my life.”

He eyed me up and down as he scrunched up his nose. “It makes you uncomfortable, doesn’t it?”

“Times a million.” I laughed. “I don’t know how to react when nice things are said to me. Not enough practice.”

“Well, shit. That makes me want to say more nice things to you to make you uncomfortable, because you’re cute as shit when you don’t know how to take a compliment. The color in your cheeks heightens, and it’s adorable.”

My cheek color probably heightened some more. “Shut up, best friend,” I murmured, knowing I was redder than a Red Delicious apple.

“You have a beautiful face, Hazel Stone,” he mocked. “Your eyes remind me of the stars. You have a perfect-shaped nose, and I’ve never seen a pair of ears that were sexier.”

I laughed as I flipped him off. The moment I let go of the strap with my left hand, Dottie must’ve been freaked by something, because she took off at a crazy speed, sending me into a full-blown panic.

“Oh shit,” I heard Ian mutter as he started off in our direction.

I grabbed the strap that I’d dropped to give Ian the finger and held on for dear life. “Stop, Dottie!” I hollered, hoping my soon-to-be-ex–horse friend would slow down her movements.

I flew up and down against the saddle as Dottie proceeded to lose her freaking mind, and that, my friends, was how Hazel Stone broke her vagina. Once I’d managed to get Dottie to halt, Ian rushed over and helped me slide off the saddle. Every inch of me was battered and bruised from Dottie’s random burst of energy, but nothing, and I mean nothing, ached more than my vagina.

“Holy shit, are you okay?” Ian asked, his voice strained with worry. “I’ve never seen Dottie ever do something like that before. It’s like she lost her mind for a second or something. Fuck. Are you okay, Hazel?”

I couldn’t reply right away, because I was too busy bending over and holding my hoo-ha in my hands. You know what I always wanted in my life? A bruised vagina from horseback riding.

“Dang, did Dottie smack you down south?” he asked.

“Way below the border.” I nodded. “One nice bump sent this vanilla bean straight to hell.”

Ian raised an eyebrow, and a wicked grin fell to his lips. “You know what we have to do, right?”

“No, I don’t,” I groaned, still bent at the waist in pain.

“We have to ice it.”

“Ice what?”

“Your vagina.”

“My vagina what?”

“We have to ice your vagina.”

The redness from my furious pain shot straight to a new form of redness from embarrassment as I stood up. “You’re not icing my vagina, Ian Parker!”

“I’m just saying it’s the best way to get the pain down, and you don’t want swollen, um, you know . . . lips . . .” Now it was his turn to blush a little. Who knew that the playboy of the century could get shy from talking about my inflamed vagina?

“Well, if anyone’s icing me down below, it’s going to be me.”

“No, I can definitely do it. That’s what roommates are for, anyway,” he joked.

I laughed in agony. “Roommates are for icing each other’s private parts?”

“I mean, only the best roommates. Think of it as a roommates-with-benefits situation.”

“And the benefit is holding an ice pack to my lower region?”

“Yep. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.”

I shook my head. “And that someone will be me. Now, if you’d excuse me, I’m going to hobble over to the ranch house and swim in a pool of my own tears.”

“Don’t be silly. I’ll carry you.”

“You will do no such—Ian!” I remarked as he scooped me up into his arms. “Put me down!”

“I will, once we reach the ranch house.” He waved over to another ranch hand and instructed him to put the horses back in the stables for us.

“No, do it now!” I argued, but secretly in my head, my thoughts were more like, Oh yes, Ian. Carry me back to our dungeon and ice my hoo-ha and tell me I’m pretty and sing into my ear as you feed me dark chocolate.

Had I mentioned Ian’s pecs?

Hey, Rock? Meet Hard.

I grumbled as if I were irritated the whole walk back to the ranch, but truly I was wondering if that roommates-with-benefits situation was a real thing. Because once my vagina wasn’t in a flurry of pain, it was going to take Ian up on that offer.

When we entered the house, Ian laid me down on the sofa. “I’ll get you something for your situation. Stay here,” he said.