Authors: Helen Grey
Tags: #steamy sex, #bad boy, #hot guys, #secret past, #journalist, #billionaire romance, #sexy secrets
“Good for you.”
He said it gently, so once again I had to wonder. Was I going to second-guess everything he said? Did everything he say have an underlying meaning? Why bother even thinking this way? Why couldn’t I just take what he said at face value? And then I realized the truth of the matter. I
want him to think well of me. I
want him to judge me based on appearances alone.
“All right, when I ask you a question, you can ask one of me, but certain topics are off-limits, you got that?”
He laughed. “You drive a hard bargain,” he said, rising from the sofa. He gestured grandly toward the front door and offered a half bow. “Shall we?”
I tried to put my brave face on, but I had to admit to myself that Blake was constantly surprising me. First the crazy Jeep ride through San Francisco, then the chopper, now a four-wheeler? What next? Kayaking down rapids? Rock climbing? Heaven forbid. That’s where I drew the line.
As I walked out of the house, I grew increasing annoyed with my boss, wondering why, or what, I had done wrong to get punished in such a manner. I had maintained a low profile at the magazine to date, hadn’t crossed swords with the editor, wasn’t a troublemaker, and was a hard worker to boot. Was this merely a test of my tenacity, or something more?
I walked behind Blake as he headed toward the barn a short distance from the cabin. Everything was well groomed and landscaped, but still rustic. I wondered how much it would cost to stay at a place like this, then rolled my eyes and shook my head. Even one night was probably way past my pay grade. I watched as Blake stepped toward the barn doors, barred with a thick two-by-four, one end of the plank end padlocked to the receiving hatch on the side of the opening.
“When do you expect to open this property for customers?” I asked.
He glanced over his shoulder as he placed the two-by-four on the ground at the base of the barn. “In the next couple of weeks. Hunting season is on the way, but the place will also appeal to non-hunters.”
“Aren’t you worried about hunters roaming too close to hikers, horseback riders, or your other trails?”
He shook his head and pointed up toward the mountains. “The hunters will be up there. We’ll offer pack trains to go up for a week or more, which a lot of hunters prefer. Or they can go alone. We make sure that their hunting permits are in order and monitor their kills. They’re also required, at least on my properties, to stay within a defined perimeter during hunting season.”
At least he had safety on his mind, I thought. I followed him into the dark recesses of the barn. It smelled of hay, horses, oil, and gasoline. As we got closer to a row of ATVs, I smelled new tires. My eyes widened in surprise when I counted eight of them lined up along the wall in one corner.
“As soon as we open, the ATVs will be stored under a shelter behind the main cabin, not here in the stables, which will be used for only the horses.”
“How many what?” he asked, again glancing over his shoulder as he jiggled the keychain in his hand.
I wasn’t sure if he was doing that on purpose, but I decided then and there that any question I asked from this moment forward would have to be framed carefully and succinctly. “How many horses?”
“You going to put that in your article?”
“I have no idea,” I replied, frustrated. He was toying with me. I was sure of it. “I’ll decide what to put in and what to leave out later. For now, I’m just curious.”
“About a dozen,” he said, stepping toward the four-wheeler closest to us. He straddled it, inserted the key into the ignition, then gestured. “You coming?”
I should have said no, but I didn’t want him to think I was a ninny. Still, the thought of wrapping my arms around his waist elicited many feelings, the first of which being a tingling sensation that zinged from my belly button down to my nether regions. Unconsciously, and totally out of my control, my pussy clenched. Crap! There was no doubt that I, or at least my body, was sexually attracted to Blake Masters. Nevertheless, on a mental level, I wanted to keep him at arm’s length.
And here I was, two seconds away from pressing my crotch against his ass.
Slowly, I climbed onto the four-wheeler behind him, situated my butt on the padded seat, followed his guidance on where to put my feet, and then wrapped my fingers around the belt loops of his jeans.
I nodded. “Ready.”
He started the engine and then we were off. He left the barn slowly. The minute we emerged from the darkness inside to the bright light outside, I squinted. He slowly meandered his way around several outbuildings before finding the marked trailhead that led up to the hills. Then he went a little faster. The trail was rugged, bouncing me from side to side on the back of the four-wheeler. More than once, I tightened my thighs around his to maintain my seat.
Several times, I bounced forward, my breasts slamming into his back. Could he feel my hard nipples? I certainly hoped not. Every time I bumped into him, I got a whiff of the scent of his body; he smelled manly. Not body odor, just a unique scent, maybe a combination of his own skin, cologne, deodorant, or something, I wasn’t sure. Regardless, he smelled absolutely delicious. As my nose was thrown against his back again, my pussy clenched. I gritted my teeth and tried to focus on my environment, and not the feel of Blake’s body trapped inside my thighs.
I had to admit that I was having fun — so far. I’d never done this before, but if I could just get over the feeling of Blake’s hard muscles pressing so close to me, I might enjoy it more. I’d never been in such close proximity to someone like him. This was not to say that I hadn’t dated or even had sex before, but those encounters had been less than stellar. I wasn’t sure if that was my own fault due to lack of experience, or my partner’s.
My experience with men wasn’t vast. After all, I’d spent the past few years focusing on finishing college and starting my career, not scoping out potential sexual partners. But how could I not think about sex with someone as alluring as Blake Masters?
Reality forced me back to the present. I didn’t know this man in any way that mattered. I had to remember that he was a person of interest in his father’s murder. Was he guilty? Had he had something to do with his father’s death? Was I drooling over a murderer?
Idiot, I scolded myself. I couldn’t let my emotions or the urges of my body influence me when it came to this man. No way in hell did I want to get involved with someone who might have been involved in any kind of criminal activity, let alone murder. Especially not murder for profit. While I could very well be jumping to conclusions regarding his guilt, that was hardly surprising. That’s what most people thought, wasn’t it? That’s why I was assigned to this case in the first place. To get to the truth.
My thoughts were once again distracted as the trail grew more vertical and the four-wheeler bounced and jostled over every rut in the road; every divot and every bump. Blake urged the four-wheeler upward at a faster speed as he navigated the ever-steepening hills. The trail was rough, serpentine, and steeper than I would have imagined. It was all I could do now to hang on. I felt like I might end up ripping the belt loops of his jeans, so let go, thinking to just suck it up and wrap my arms around his waist for extra stability.
At that moment, we hit a large bump. I lost my balance and instinctively tightened my thighs on either side of Blake’s hips, grabbing the belt loops again. He laughed.
“Better grab tight!” he shouted over his shoulder. “It gets rougher from here!”
The belt loops definitely wouldn’t do the trick anymore. The last thing I needed to deal with was the embarrassment of ripping his jeans. The heat of the ATV beneath me, the vibration of the engine, the sound of it revving, and of course, the feeling of Blake nestled between my legs left me feeling not only a surge of fearful adrenaline but desire. Another bump lifted both of our butts off the four-wheeler by several inches. He seemed to be having a grand time and began to laugh.
I envied his
joie de vivre,
but it was all I could do to maintain my position on the back of the ATV. He was crouching now, balancing most of his weight in his muscular thighs. I could no longer rely on my grip on his legs to hold me in place. I was about to tell him to slow down while at the same time relinquishing my death grip on his belt loops, intending to wrap my arms around his waist, when we hit another large bump.
Then we were flying through the air. All I saw was the blur of trees, shrubs, and a brief glimpse of the serpentine trail winding its way down the opposite side of the hill before we landed hard. I squealed as my butt landed back on the seat with so much force that it bounced me up again.
Trying to wrap my arms around Blake’s waist, I didn’t have a chance to clasp my hands together before we hit another bump.
Before I knew what was happeneing, I was in the air. Flying. Reaching for anything to break my fall. There was nothing, of course, and I closed my eyes as I hit the ground. The air was thrust from my lungs as I landed hard on my back, then the world went crazy as I began to roll downhill, ass over tea kettle.
Blake shouted and then everything went silent. As I finally came to a halt, dust rising up around me, I found myself laying on my back, my feet uphill, my head downhill, watching as Blake hurried down the slope toward me, a look of alarm on his face. He had turned off the four-wheeler and was scrambling down the hill, leaving another trail of dust rising slowly behind him.
“Misty! Misty, are you okay?”
Was I okay? Had I broken anything? The wind had been knocked out of me and I felt bruised from top to bottom, but I tentatively moved my arms and legs and realized that, to my amazement, I didn’t seem to have broken anything. In the next instant. he was crouched over me, one knee in the dirt, his other leg straddling my thighs. His hands rested on either side of my shoulders as he stared down into my face.
Even as the shock of the fall still raged through me, I was touched by his expression of concern. Then, the absurdity of the situation, and of course, the adrenaline and his close proximity made me burst out laughing. I’d never experienced anything quite like that. It was quite thrilling, actually.
Nevertheless, the sound of my laughter was manic, and from the look on Blake’s face, he realized it. One hand gently swept the hair from my face as his gaze roamed over my head, down my neck, to my breasts, now heaving with the breath I was desperately dragging into my lungs. His eyes riveted to the rise and fall of my chest and I felt a sudden tingling in my nipples. Oh, Lord. Would he notice my desire, my hard nipples underneath the confines of the t-shirt and the sweatshirt? I couldn’t be sure.
Before I could think further, his hands were everywhere, feeling along the length of each arm and then my legs. He shifted his position several times, checking me for broken extremities.
“I’m sorry, Misty, I didn’t see that ditch. I don’t think anything is broken, but do you hurt anywhere?”
I continued to stare up at him as he assessed my body. After several seconds of contemplation, I shook my head. “Nothing serious,” I said, moving to sit up. In doing so, my groin pressed against his knee, situated between my thighs as he crouched over me. I sucked in a mouthful of air as sensations raced through my body. In his scramble to reposition himself, one of Blake’s hands brushed against my breast. I startled, knocking him off balance. He fell on top of me with an
that nearly undid me.
“Sorry, Misty, sorry…” he muttered.
At that moment, my chest lurched upward, almost with a mind of its own, seeking more of Blake’s heat. I moved my leg and this time, it was my thigh that brushed up against his groin. I felt his dick beneath the fabric and hissed in another sharp breath. In response, his cock lengthened.
And then we were looking at one another, his gaze searching mine. I noticed his dilated pupils, his frozen facial expression, and the fact that he hadn’t moved. I made a soft sound in my throat, and in the next instant, his lips were on mine. I was so surprised, I didn’t react at first. I should have pulled away, slapped him, told him he was a jerk, but his lips were so soft, so warm. The pressure of those lips against mine was tentative at first, until my lips responded.
For about two seconds, and then my brain caught up with my libido. I made a noise in my throat and pressed my lips together just as his tongue began to caress them, urging them wider. I gasped, which seemed to jolt Blake into awareness at the same time. He lifted his head, stared down at me while I stared back, and then his expression went totally blank.
“Sorry,” he muttered.
His breath was soft against my lips. “I-I’m okay,” I said, not sure whether I was assuring him or assuring myself. He quickly scrambled off me, then helped me sit up.
I nodded. I felt slightly dizzy but was convinced it was more because of the kiss than from my tumble down the slope. Carefully, I got to my feet, with Blake’s help.
Neither of us mentioned that kiss. I certainly wasn’t going to bring it up, that was for sure. I wasn’t even sure how I felt about it. Should I be offended? Insulted? Pleased? I had no idea and that very confusion startled me. I had no interest in Blake Masters. No matter how attractive he was, I didn’t just go around kissing and fondling men. I didn’t like to be judged based on my looks, and I doubted if Blake did either. For that matter, shame on me for only thinking about his looks. And his past… dammit. Once again, concerns about what he may or may not have done took precedence, even over his handsome profile.
Nevertheless, when he reached for my hand to help me back up the slope, I took it. His grasp was strong, firm, and warm. He was being very solicitous, and I was grateful that he was behaving like a gentleman, but at the same time I wondered how that kiss, brief as it was, had affected my ability to focus—
“You want me to take you back to the cabin?”
I was breathing hard by the time we topped the slope. He, on the other hand, wasn’t. Of course, he was used to physical exertion, being outdoors, climbing hills, maybe even trees, flying around on ATVs…