Authors: Helen Grey
Tags: #steamy sex, #bad boy, #hot guys, #secret past, #journalist, #billionaire romance, #sexy secrets
“Misty? Are you sure you’re okay?”
Inhaling deeply, I nodded, glanced down at my clothes and began to slap at the dirt. The jeans over my left knee were torn, but I didn’t see any blood. I was sore, but the soreness was already fading. No, I wouldn’t quit. I would show Blake Masters that I was not someone to be underestimated or coddled. This was my job, and I was going to do it. Straightening my shoulders, I looked up at him and nodded.
“I’m okay. And no, I don’t want to go back to the cabin.”
He stood very close to me, so close that my cheek almost touched his chest. Almost. Another wave of heat surged through me. He was staring down at me, as if assessing, so I lifted my chin and straightened my shoulders. “One quick question, if you don’t mind?”
“What is it?” he asked, again with an expression of concern.
“Why are you such an adrenaline junkie?”
To my surprise, he grinned down at me.
“You think riding an ATV makes me an adrenaline junkie?”
“Given what just happened, wouldn’t you say so?”
He shook his head. “No, I’ve never fallen off a four-wheeler before.”
I wasn’t sure how to take that. Was he being critical or was it just an innocent comment? I frowned while he stared down at me, as if not sure what
was thinking. Well, that was fine with me, because I had no idea what he was thinking either. As he turned to climb back onto the ATV however, I happened to glance down the length of his legs. As he threw one leg over the seat, I saw the outline of his cock along the inside of his left thigh.
And my mind went blank.
I wondered what it would be like to unzip those jeans that cradled his ass so nicely, to reach down and wrap my palm around that cock, to stroke it to its full capacity, throbbing and engorged with desire. I imagined him stepping out of those jeans and yanking his shirt over his head, standing in front of me butt naked, glorious, so masculine, and all man. I grew hot as I thought about swirling my tongue around his hard little nipples, stroking down the length of his muscled chest, and then going to my knees to take the length of him into my mouth.
I wondered what he would do the moment he felt my lips suckle his head while my other hand cradled his balls, fondling them in my gentle grasp, my other hand cradling his buttocks, hard, firm, and so nicely muscled. I wondered what it would be like to see him with his head thrown back with pleasure, listening to the sounds of the same issuing from his throat at my ministrations—
“Misty, did you change your mind?”
I jolted back to awareness. The heat of a warm flush flooded my face and I quickly glanced down at the ground, swiping at my face as if to wipe off dirt although I was trying to hide my embarrassment, and yes, mortification. What the
had gotten into me, thinking such thoughts?
Blake Masters was not sexually interested in me, regardless of that brief, tentative kiss. It just happened. As far as I was concerned, there was nothing about me that would attract the likes of the billionaire. No way was I his type. Well, duh, he’d already said so.
What exactly was his type? I wondered. Probably some skinny, athletic thing. Or maybe a ski bunny or someone who liked scuba diving or even skydiving. Certainly not a woman like me, one who’d avoided outdoor activities like the plague since I was a young teenager.
I pushed the thoughts from my head, then shook it. “No, I didn’t change my mind. Sorry, just daydreaming.”
No, Blake Masters couldn’t possibly be interested in me, even though the idea was intriguing.
climbed back onto the four-wheeler, my back to Misty as she climbed on behind me. I frowned, somewhat muddled. I’d been startled by my physical reaction to her. How could that be? We’d just met and besides that, she wasn’t my type. It wasn’t like I was shallow — at least I didn’t like to consider myself to be that way — but the facts were the facts, weren’t they? I knew next to nothing about her and didn’t care to.
I heard her stifled groan as she settled herself back on the seat and felt a surprising surge of guilt. I shouldn’t be forcing her to accompany me on my tour of the grounds, but I couldn’t afford to waste hours of my day, and my valuable time, sitting at the cabin answering questions. We could do that later on this evening.
Nevertheless, as I continued along the trail, a bit slower this time, I couldn’t help but wonder why she hadn’t yet asked me a serious question. I knew they were coming. They always were. Why beat around the bush? Why not just get it over with?
Maybe she wasn’t sure how to broach the topic with me. From what I gathered, she was a rookie at the magazine, but that didn’t mean she was a rookie journalist somewhere else. The fact that she had been ill-informed about interviewing me made me think she was being tested by her editor-in-chief. Or was she just a careful planner, hoping to catch me off guard, toss the pertinent questions out of left field when I least expected them?
I didn’t like games, let alone mind games. While I felt a slight modicum of sympathy for her position, this was her chosen profession. I didn’t intend to be mean, but she would have to work for her information. I wasn’t going to spill my guts just because I almost killed her. Or because she was attractive—
Which brought me right back to the feel of her plump breast underneath my hand, the incredible softness of her lips, that dazed look in her eyes when she kissed me. No, I kissed her. Well, I guessed it didn’t matter who kissed who, did it? It wasn’t going to happen again. I had a job to do and so did she. It wasn’t like I was hard up for sex either. I had my choice of women and I often indulged, but until and after Celine, I had always been careful to keep emotion out of the equation. Which led me to reflect on the dissatisfaction of my numerous liaisons over the years.
Inevitably, I was disappointed when true motives emerged. It usually took about three dates before women started asking me questions, the main one being, “Where is our relationship going?” As if three dates could cement a relationship. I wasn’t going there again, wasn’t interested in long-term relationships. I usually issued that disclaimer by the second or third date, depending on the attitude and perceived expectations of my female companions. I sighed, the sound of the four-wheeler engine swallowing it before Misty could hear. It seemed women only wanted one of three things from me, and sometimes all three; my secrets, my money, or my body.
While I did have the reputation of being a player, I really wasn’t. Unfortunately, as I very well knew, gossip traveled far and fast, often collaborated upon with every telling. I shook my head and tried to focus on the trail. If I didn’t, my mood would sour faster than Misty had been thrown from the back of the ATV.
She hung on tightly, her thighs pressed against the outside of mine, her torso pressed close to my back, her arms now tightly wrapped around my waist. She wasn’t taking any more chances. The risk of being thrown again outweighed her hesitance to being close to me. I couldn’t help but grin. Plus, I was impressed. She hadn’t caused a scene back there, hadn’t made demands to go back to the cabin, hadn’t scolded me for going too fast, and hadn’t blamed me for being thrown. She hadn’t slapped me when I kissed her.
She’s got game.
I knew she would be sore in the morning, if she wasn’t already, but I also hoped that she hadn’t been bruised too badly. The pressure of her breasts against my shoulder blades was distracting. Every bounce over the road brought her nipples in contact with me. Every turn prompted her to clench her thighs a little bit tighter against my own. Every small bounce into the air when the tires left the dirt, which I did try to reduce, caused her to clutch her arms more tightly around my waist. I didn’t know why, but I was definitely aroused. My cock remained in a semi-hard state that had me feeling a combination of chagrin and amusement.
I was actually surprised that she had either initiated or endured the kiss, whichever it was, and I was even more surprised by my own reaction. Her sudden intake of breath, the glimpse of the pulse pounding in her throat, the expression of surprise in her eyes, had me wondering. She was different, that was for sure.
By the time we reached the top of the ridge line, I was impatient to get off the ATV and walk around a little. To walk off my arousal, my confusion, and focus on the task at hand. I turned off the engine and climbed off. Took several steps away from the ATV to gaze down at the panoramic view spreading into the distance.
“What an awesome view!”
I turned to see Misty standing behind me. I smiled as her gaze took in the valley below. I never grew tired of seeing the pleasure on someone’s face when they took in the beauty of their environment. I nodded in agreement.
“Definitely,” I said, gesturing. “Hunting, a small lake over there offering a variety of fishing styles to anglers, over one hundred miles of hiking trails, fifty miles of bike trails, and about thirty miles of trail for four-wheelers.”
“And people who come here, do they mainly stay at the cabin or are they pitching tents out here?”
“We have two campgrounds for those coming by RV and who prefer to be close to the main cabin and the ranger station, which is just outside of the south end of our property line. The campers who prefer the wilderness can come out here and pitch a tent just about anywhere they please, although fire laws are strictly enforced.”
“Fire Rangers and my own employees, who should be arriving within the next week to get things set up.” I glanced at her before turning back to admire the scenery. “Anyone not abiding by the rules of the facility is evicted. No ifs, ands, or buts. No excuses. That means anyone caught using non-approved weapons for hunting, found going over the fish size or limit or burning campfires outside of restricted areas or in any other way being careless in such matters. You break the rules, you get booted off the property.”
“Kind of an extreme approach, isn’t it?”
I turned toward her. “Have you ever seen how fast a forest fire can travel in the middle of summer? A pond or lake overfished to the point that it damages the ecosystem around it? A deer felled by fire from an AK-47?”
She frowned. “Why would anyone hunt deer with an AK-47?”
“You’d be amazed at what some people do,” I scoffed. “I have no problem with anglers or hunters as long as they abide by traditional sportsmanship. I have no patience with novices who fail to follow a wounded animal to put it down or those who hunt just for the sake of killing.” I glanced at her. “And you can put that in your magazine article.”
She gazed up at me. “So basically, you’re telling me that you run your properties with an iron fist?”
I shook my head, annoyed by the question. “Not an iron fist, no. Just certain expectations of basic human decency. If you kill it, you eat it or offer the meat to be sold. Like I said, I have no patience for those who kill just for the sake of killing.”
She continued to stare off into the distance. I didn’t know what she was thinking but I waited for more questions. Actually, I was curious how long it would take her to ask
“So tell me, Mr… Blake,” she amended. “Exactly how many properties do you own and operate now?”
Actually, I was hoping that she
ask a lot of questions right now. It’d been a long few weeks in San Francisco and I had been so looking forward to just being outdoors by myself, enjoying the sense of peace that always flowed through me when I was in the wilderness. It wasn’t that I was antisocial exactly, but I also was realistic enough to acknowledge that I was not a socializer. I was not a people-person. Which was the main reason I’d hired good people for my board. It was no secret that I had little patience with the social functions, fundraising, or actual promotion of my properties, although I knew that each was required as owner and developer.
I glanced down at Misty, who was looking up at me expectantly. Once again my eyes swept over her features. She was attractive, no doubt about it. Her curiosity seemed genuine as well. “At the moment, eight, at least here in the states. I’m also considering the acquisition of a few international properties.”
“Well, I can’t go into great detail, but one is in Mexico, down near the Yucatán Peninsula, and then there’s one in Scotland and another in Spain.”
“You like doing this, don’t you?”
I shrugged. “Of course, I do, or I wouldn’t be doing it.”
“Oh, I don’t know about that,” she said, looking back to the view. “I’ve seen a lot of people doing things they didn’t really have a passion for just for the sake of money.”
I pondered that. “Okay, was that last question official? About how many properties I have?”
“Sure,” she nodded. “It might be common knowledge, but I’ll ask more about them later, as well as what you expect to offer and gain from international acquisitions. Not just financially.”
“Okay,” I grinned. “Now it’s my turn to ask you a question.” She turned from admiring the view of the stream meandering its way along the valley floor to glance up at me. Her expression shifted from admiration to wary. Nevertheless, she nodded. “Where did you come from, Misty Rankin?”
“North Dallas,” she replied, turning her gaze back to the wilderness. “What about you?”
I laughed. “Nice way to slide that one in. But as you should know from my biography, I was born in Kansas. Shawnee County to be precise. But you probably already know that, don’t you?”
She answered my question with another and it wasn’t the one I expected. “So you’ve always been an outdoorsman,” she said. She didn’t ask it as a question as much as a statement. I nodded.
“I’m curious, Blake,” she continued, turning toward me. “I’ve been told that you like to bust broncs, skydive, scuba dive, bungee jump, and do that thing with the wings suits. I’ve also seen firsthand that you like to go four-wheeling. Is there anything that you
I grinned. “Sure, there’s one thing I don’t do, something that even gives me the shivers.”