Authors: Mia Hopkins
Tags: #small town;erotica;erotic;virgin;new adult;Latina;Hispanic;western;holiday
He sank into her so deep his vision blurred at the edges. Fighting for air, Caleb realized that there was suddenly nothing in the whole universe but this woman and what she did to him, the sweetness of her secrets, the way she gave herself completely to him. He rode her until his lungs burned, knocking her head against the mattress as he struggled for words and air.
“That’s it,” he whispered.
She grabbed fistfuls of the bedsheets to brace herself.
He exploded, hot come shooting from deep inside his body deep into hers. Sex had never felt so good—every cell in his body vibrated with ecstasy. Riding out the last waves of his climax, he leaned back for a moment and wiped the sweat from his forehead with the back of his arm.
“You okay?” he asked softly.
She smiled and nodded, looking up at his face, his chest, his arms.
He withdrew very gently, then slid the head of his still-rigid cock against her clit. Her mouth opened as she let out a gasp of pleasure. Still disoriented from his orgasm, he slid two fingers inside her and began to massage her clit with his other hand, using his own hot come as the lube to glide against her.
When she fell apart again, Caleb stared in wonder. The smooth walls of her pussy bore down on his fingers, crushing them as she came.
As they lay back on the bed, exhausted, she eyed him with a satisfied smile on her face.
“That’s four,” he said, wrapping his arms around her.
“Night’s still young, cowboy,” she replied, laughing softly.
They ordered room service—steak and eggs for him, a big Cobb salad for her. After the food arrived and Caleb tipped the server, Cora made him take off the fluffy white bathrobe and they ate their dinner stark naked, giggling and horsing around on the bed.
Still too giddy to sleep, they watched the second half of an old Van Damme movie and chatted—Cora about school and her classmates, Caleb about his nieces and nephews. Cora felt an ache in her chest when Caleb bragged about being their favorite uncle, because what else could he be? He was fun and sweet beneath the cowboy-tough exterior, the kind of uncle that kids would love to be around.
Caleb turned off the TV, drew the blankets around them and embraced her. He kissed her forehead gently.
“I wish we didn’t live so far apart,” she said.
“Me too, sweetheart.”
She ran her hand up and down his washboard abs and rock-hard chest. Her fingers skimmed the cap of muscle on his shoulder, his solid biceps and his thick forearm marked with a tattoo that said
Cora smiled. He could model underwear on one of those billboards outside in Times Square. “I’ve met a ton of people at Brown, but none that I feel I can really be myself around,” she admitted.
“Why not? I love who you are.”
She blinked at his words, wishing for the simpler version of that phrase. “You’re the only one who knows me. The real me.”
He smiled. “Lucky me.”
They were quiet for a moment, listening to each other’s breathing in the dark. Cora licked her lips and wondered if now would be a good time to bring up the tough stuff. She took a breath and did it.
“My grandma told me about your dad’s funeral. How are you doing?”
Caleb reached down and took her hand, threading his big fingers through her little ones. After a long time, he said, “Better. My mom’s got it rough. But we’re pulling through.”
“I thought about you a lot. But I didn’t want to bring it up when you called or texted. Not unless you did first.”
He kissed her hand. “I know. That’s what I needed at the time. You were my escape.”
I want to be more than your escape.
She closed her eyes and pushed the thought away.
Caleb stayed quiet, and she decided that he didn’t want to say anything else on the subject. Instead of feeling shut out, she empathized with him—he wanted to grieve in his own way, on his own time.
“How about another type of escape, then?” she whispered, sliding her hand down between his legs.
“Do you have your ticket?” she asked.
“Yup. What time does your train leave?”
“A couple hours after your plane.”
The glass doors of the terminal seemed to inhale and exhale a steady stream of travelers. Caleb put down his duffel bag and pulled her away from the entrance, close enough that she could hear his next words loud and clear.
“Listen. I didn’t come out here because I wanted to take you to the rodeo,” he said. “I came to ask you something important.”
She frowned. “Three days together and you ask me now? Here?”
He blew out a frustrated breath. “Sweetheart, don’t bust my balls just now, okay?” His words had no sharp edges, and when he put his hands on her shoulders and pulled her closer, she let him.
“What is it?” she asked. His wind-whipped cheeks had gone pale and his eyes, usually bright with challenge and mischief, were wide with what looked suspiciously like nervousness. She braced herself.
He licked his lips. “I want to be your boyfriend.”
The words stood there blinking for a moment, as though he’d just yanked them from their hiding place in the deepest, darkest room of her heart. But she didn’t let herself feel any reflexive joy—she swallowed it down and dragged out all of the old arguments she always used on herself.
“I’m nineteen. Now’s not the time for a serious boyfriend,” she said automatically.
“Bullshit. I’ve never met a more mature woman in my entire life. And I’ve never met anyone who knew who she was better than you know yourself.” He shook his head and smiled. “I know you. Whenever you want something—whenever you
want something—no one can tell you it’s the right time or the wrong time to want it. You just do it.”
She couldn’t disagree with him. “But you’re all the way on the other side of the country.”
“Don’t worry about that just now. What do you say? Do you want to be my girlfriend?”
“What do you mean, ‘don’t worry’? Women love you,” she said feebly. “They fall all over themselves to flirt with you. What chance do I have as your girlfriend?”
He snorted. “I don’t encourage them. But you know how many women I’ve messed with since you? None. I’m not interested. I only want one. You, you frowning, angry little antiflirt.” He kissed her nose.
She felt the warmth radiating from his body and her arms ached to embrace him. But even in the face of his confidence, she knew she had no right to say yes to what he wanted. Their plans were so contrary that to agree to be his girlfriend would be irresponsible. And as much of a rogue as Caleb was, she felt protective of his heart, even when it meant she’d have to protect it from herself. So she stepped back and took a deep breath in an attempt to clear her head.
“What kind of future can we have together?” she said. “You’re leaving the Hughes place to work on your family’s ranch. I’m trying to get as far away from Oleander as I can. There has to be some kind of trade-off for this relationship. I don’t want either of us to give up something important in order to be together. That’s not a good foundation for anything.”
He smiled, and that distracting dimple appeared again in his cheek.
Why couldn’t he take this seriously? As she bit back her annoyance, he said something that changed everything as surely as if he’d pulled the magic carpet out from under her feet to show her she could fly.
“Dean’s coming back to the ranch after this bull-riding season’s over. With him there, Clark and Daniel don’t need me around. I was always shit at it anyway. Much better at fixing the equipment and the cars. Which is why I’m going back to school. In September.”
She blinked. “What?”
“Yup. You’re looking at a college boy. Got my letter last month. Mechanical engineering at the University of Rhode Island. A thirty-minute drive from Brown. An hour and a half by train. I checked.” He smiled. “Now it ain’t Ivy League, but it’s a good program. And when I’m finished, I can look for a job wherever I want.” He paused. “Which is to say, wherever you are.”
She stared at him, dumbstruck.
“I haven’t told the admissions committee yes or no because I wanted to see how you felt first.” He took her hands. “When my dad died, I realized something. My parents lived their lives side by side from the time they were eighteen years old, and they were crazy about each other that whole time. Time passes fast. I don’t want to waste another moment pretending you ain’t the one for me. If you don’t feel the same way, sweetheart, I’ll back off for good. Let you live your life in peace.” His hands were cold and his voice seemed to crack like a teenager’s. “But if there’s a chance that you feel the same way—and, goddamn it, I’m not gonna pretend it ain’t scary putting myself out there like this—let’s get something started. You and me. What do you think?”
Since leaving her hometown, Cora had swum in an ocean of words—books, lectures, notes, essays, arguments, presentations. But here, under the hot green-eyed gaze of Caleb MacKinnon, no words seemed necessary.
She reached for him and he reached for her and they kissed until New York City disappeared beneath their feet, melting into the shimmering night sky over Oleander, and Cora felt upside down and right-side up at the same time.
How can a goodbye feel like a hello?
Cora stood at the foot of the escalator leading up to Caleb’s gate. As she looked up at him rising away, her heart raced. She’d be with him in California come summertime. In the fall, they’d come back East together. The idea made her so happy she felt like dancing and crying and laughing all at once.
Caleb looked over his shoulder one more time. His eyes latched like hooks on to hers as though he were alone with her in bed instead of in a busy terminal at JFK. When he reached the top, he tipped his cowboy hat and mouthed the words,
I love you
“I love you too,” she said aloud. It felt as natural as breathing.
With a parting smile, he disappeared into the crowd.
About the Author
Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. She’s a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends.
When she’s not lost in a story, Mia spends her time cooking, gardening, traveling, volunteering and looking for her keys. In a past life, she was a classroom teacher and still has a pretty good “teacher voice” and “teacher stare.”
She lives in the heart of Los Angeles with her roguish husband and two waggish dogs.
For more books, freebies and fun stuff, please visit her website at
or connect with her on Twitter
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