Authors: Maggie McCullough
As he drove, Evan’s hand rested on the stick shift jutting up from the floor board.
How would that hand feel cupped over my breast?
Would he be too rough or just rough enough?
Her breathing quickened. Anne squirmed against the leather seats, trying to ignore the achy spark beginning to smolder deep inside.
Her little Bug appeared in the illumination from the headlights of his truck. It had been her pride and joy, lime green with those cute little daisy wheels. Now it looked as if it were pouting, with the broken bumper and cracked windshield. Evan sputtered, his shoulders shaking.
“Are you laughing at my car?” She stiffened, indignant at the thought.
“You call that a car?” Evan hooted with laughter. “It looks like an escapee from a Disney movie. All it needs is a peace sign. Hell, that deer probably thought it was edible.” He laughed harder. “I bet it will fit in the bed of my truck.”
Anne revised her opinion of him. A man who had a sense of humor after getting hauled out of bed in the middle of the night and being yelled at by a strange woman deserved the benefit of the doubt. Anne laughed with him.
Anne hadn’t joked with an attractive man in a long time…way too long. Her levity stilled as his faded. Evan gazed at her, his expression difficult to read in the dark. Anne stared right back.
Is he as physically attracted to me as I am to him?
Her heartbeat quickened.
Time stood still as the rain poured down around them. Five seconds or five minutes, Anne couldn’t tell. A loud crack of thunder broke the spell.
“Shall we get this deer out of the road?”
Evan drug the carcass through the ditch until it was no longer a hazard for other drivers. An hour later, they had the Bug hooked up to the truck and towed back to Evan’s place.
“Come on in and get out of the rain.” Evan stood on the porch, shaking the moisture off his slicker. “I’ll make some coffee and then drive you to Laramie if you want. It’s closer than Fort Collins.”
Anne hesitated only a moment. Evan’s offer was as attractive as he was. She would like nothing better.
She had one question on her mind. “Is there a wife or girlfriend here who would be upset? I don’t want to end up looking like my VW,” she teased.
Talk about being obvious.
“Nope, I’m out here all by my lonesome. Not much of a socializer.”
Anne held up her ringless left hand. “Single, too.” She smiled. “I’d love some coffee.”
Evan held the door for Anne as she entered his home. He stepped close.
God, please don’t let me have just made the worst decision of my short life.
“Here, let me help you out of that slicker.”
His warm breath teased the back of her neck and sent shivers down her spine…shivers that had nothing to do with being cold. Evan’s hand paused on her shoulder as he pulled off the slicker and hung it up alongside his rain gear behind the door. Their hats followed. Fingers shaking, she tried to coax the sodden locks of her hair into some semblance of order.
“Come on in; make yourself at home.” Evan strode through the living area into the kitchen. “I’ll get that coffee on. I might even have some decaffeinated stuff.”
Am I the fly being invited into the spider’s parlor?
Anne shook off her misgivings. Evan had been a perfect gentleman all night. Was it his fault her libido was in overdrive? Perhaps her senses were on high alert from the accident.
Adrenalin. That’s what it is.
Shivers racked her body once more. Her teeth chattered. Evan stepped into a room off the kitchen and came out with a huge fluffy towel.
“How bad of me not to notice you are cold and wet.”
He started toweling off Anne’s hair while she stood. Shaking. Teeth clicking. Neither prevented her physical awareness of Evan. With every trembling breath, Anne inhaled his masculine scent. Heat emanated from his body in perceptible waves, luring her closer, his warmth hard to resist.
“You need to get out of those wet and muddy clothes.” Evan led her upstairs to a bedroom.
He withdrew a man’s robe from a closet and laid it on the bed.
It was huge, monstrous—a king-sized four-poster bed of solid knotted pine. The room, although spacious, seemed inadequate to contain it.
The western décor was heavy on the masculine side, with furniture as oversized as Evan. A gas fireplace warmed one side of the room, and a door led to what she presumed was a master bath. Broad pine beams crossed the ceiling in a parallel pattern.
This had to be
. The bedding was mussed. Her cheeks grew warm as she envisioned him lying there…
Anne tore her gaze from the bed.
“You can sleep there tonight if you want.”
“Wh-What?” Her face heated. Had Evan just invited her to his bed? His dark, smoldering gaze indicated he knew exactly where her thoughts were headed. A familiar warmth pooled deep inside her.
“I’ll take the couch so you can sleep here. I don’t have a guest bedroom, so this will have to do.”
He stepped closer, invading her personal space, and gently moved a strand of hair from her eyes. Anne resisted the temptation to step back.
“What did you think I meant?”
Tiny tremors migrated through her at the huskiness in his voice.
“N-Never m-mind.” God, he had her stammering like a schoolgirl.
Evan walked to the door. “There’s a bathroom through the other door. You can shower if you like. It’ll help warm you. The coffee will be done by the time you finish.” He closed the door and left the room.
Two minutes later, she stepped in his spacious shower. As the massaging spray pummeled warmth into her chilled flesh, Anne marveled at the devastating physical response she experienced in his presence. Sexual attraction to a man was nothing new but had never been as overwhelming as with this cowboy, never immediately upon setting eyes on the man.
Even now, her loins tightened as she thought about the hunger in his eyes as they stood in the rain. Had he seen that same craving, desire, yearning lurking in her eyes?
What are you going to do about it, girl? Are you going to run scared and turn your back on the prospect of fulfilling a fantasy? Or are you going to embrace the possibility if an opportunity presents itself?
The water cooled before she stepped from the shower. Using the fluffy towels set out, she dried off. Anne couldn’t find a blow dryer.
I hope my hair doesn’t frizz as it dries.
The robe he’d laid out wouldn’t do at all. The differences in their height caused it to trail behind her like a bridal train. She eyed the bureau underneath a large mirror. Hoping he wouldn’t be upset, she rummaged in it until she found a drawer of boxers and T-shirts.
Most of the boxers were silk. Anne picked one up. She held it to her cheek. So soft, so smooth. She selected a pair of black silk boxers and a soft white tee.
As she fluffed her hair one last time, a dark scarf looped and tied around one bed post caught her attention. A similar scarf dangled from the other post. Two others hung from the headboard.
With a furtive glance at the closed door, Anne picked up the scarf closest to her. It cascaded through her hands in a silken waterfall, caressed her fingers with a tantalizing whisper. The scarf hinted at past naughty play times and seduced her with images of those to come. Anne imagined the black silk covering her eyes and binding her pale wrists. Would she allow it if asked?
The enticing aroma of coffee drew her attention away from the scarves. Time to face that gorgeous hunk of cowboy. And for once in her life, she wasn’t going to worry about consequences.
* * * *
Evan busied himself with the mundane task of making coffee, all the while listening for any sound his unexpected guest might be making upstairs. His stomach rumbled, reminding him a few hours had passed since he last ate.
I bet she is hungry too
. Minutes later, canned biscuits were baking in the oven.
The shower upstairs started up. Evan grew hard thinking about Anne naked, rivulets of water trickling down her sleek body. He mustered enough of his will and self-control to stay downstairs and not join her.
Anne had upset his equilibrium from the very second she had knocked on his door. She had stood on his porch, cold, wet, and muddy, with those big brown eyes giving him the once over. Those eyes had devoured him like he was the epitome of all her secret middle-of-the-night fantasies.
Interwoven with the lust had been the unspoken question:
do I…trust you?
Every protective, and yes, every possessive instinct in him had risen to the forefront.
Anne had needed rescue, and he was more than willing to lend his help. He hoped she preferred worn jeans and cowboy boots to shining armor.
Evan hadn’t meant to growl at her through the screen door. The woman had surprised him with her candid visual assessment of his, uh, attributes and her immediate appeal to his dominant nature. He had always been a sucker for a damsel in distress.
Her semi-transparent blouse had clung to her breasts like a second skin. Her nipples—those little heat-seeking missiles—had been all puckered up from the cold. Evan salivated at how they would feel in his mouth, at how magnificent they would look as he liberated them from that lacy bra.
Her skirt had embraced her hips and thighs like a lover’s caress. The juncture between her legs had beckoned him. And that red-soled shoe she held in her hand had screamed to him of buried passions.
The shower shut off.
Fuck, what I wouldn’t give to be up there drying her off.
Her skin would be all pink and rosy from the hot water. Would Anne watch him with those beguiling eyes while he toweled her hair? He imagined her nipples pebbling as he patted her firm breasts dry. He would not be able to resist tugging at them before moving down her abdomen.
Would she moan and arch into his hands?
Evan would urge her legs apart as he knelt at her feet to dry her ankles and calves. Anne might demur as he reached the apex of her thighs. Or would her knees weaken and wobble at his advance? Would he explore her hidden treasures or leave them to be examined more leisurely?
Licking his lips, he wondered how her dew-kissed pink parts would taste. Would she be sweet and tangy, or… Evan stifled that line of thought and adjusted the uncomfortable bulge it had created.
Would Anne scream when she came? Or just whimper?
Evan intended to find out before the night was over.
The bedroom upstairs was quiet. He grinned.
I bet she spotted the black scarves tied to the bed posts
Not that he planned to use them tonight. The scarves were tied to his bedposts for women to see and wonder about their possible usage. Would his strategy succeed with Anne and fuel her fantasies for the nights to come?
Sooner or later, he would put those scarves to use.
He was a patient man; he could wait…for a little while.
Evan looked up as Anne padded barefoot into the kitchen. She caught him removing something from the oven. He stared.
“Fuck!” He raised his burned thumb to his mouth.
His hot gaze warmed her like a physical caress. He began at eye level and moved down her body in increments, all the while sucking on his thumb. She envied that thumb with a passion that shocked her.
“Biscuits? Do I smell biscuits?” Anne dispersed the sensual fog with her words.
“They’re just the canned type. My stomach was growling, and I bet you’re hungry too.”
Evan placed the biscuits on a plate, tore each one in half, and slathered them with butter and honey. He poured two large cups of coffee and handed her one. She took one sip and set it aside to cool.
Anne sighed in contentment as she took her first bite of the biscuit.
“Mmmm, these taste so good.” She smiled at him.
Damn. Sexy and he cooks?
“It’s nice to see a man who knows his way around a kitchen.”
Even if it is just to bake some canned biscuits
“It was either that or starve. I’ve lived alone out here most of my adult life.”
“If I’m not being too nosey, what does one do for a living out here in the middle of nowhere?” Anne couldn’t comprehend not living in a large metropolitan area.
“I breed and sell horses. Arabians.” He held out another biscuit to Anne. “What about you? What do you do besides killing innocent deer trying to cross the road late at night?”
“I’m a third grade teacher.” Anne shook her finger at Evan. “Don’t you dare laugh.”
Too late. A big grin lit his face and his eyes sparkled.
“My grade school teachers never looked like you. Guess I should have tried harder to be the teacher’s pet.” His voice deepened. “Especially if they were wearing what you have on right now.”
Anne lowered her eyes. “I hope you don’t mind. The robe was too big for me. I looked through your dresser and found these.”
“Lady, you can poke around in my drawers any time you want.”
A shudder coursed through her body at the sexy rasp of his voice. Her nipples tightened. Any hope that he hadn’t noticed was quashed as his gaze moved downward.
Evan reached across the counter to brush biscuit crumbs from her lips, and she was lost, mired in a swamp of sexual awareness.
Her breasts were swollen and achy.
Her nipples chafed against the cotton tee.
Evan traced the curve of her lips with his finger. She melted inside like chocolate left in the sun. A tiny whimper escaped her open mouth as he stepped back.
But only for a moment. He veered around the counter and pulled her to her feet. His eyes were deep, dark pools of passion as his hand brushed the damp curls from her brow.
He caressed one cheek, and then the other, held her head between his two hands. The intensity of his expression made her go weak in the knees.
She held her breath as he lowered his lips to hers.
His kiss was neither tentative nor sweet. It was hungry and possessive; it claimed ownership, commanded submission.
Not that she minded.
She didn’t resist.
She was wet.
She wanted him as much as he wanted her.
Anne stood on her tiptoes, arching into his body. She couldn’t get close enough to Evan. Her heated skin sought contact with his masculine strength. His tongue demanded entrance; it became a mating invitation she was all too willing to accept.
He plundered her mouth, a purposeful foreshadowing of his ultimate objective.
Evan held her close, lifted her feet off the floor, and pressed her against the wall. Anne moaned and melted into him, molding her form against his.
What is it about this man?
She was a mess, a complete and utter wreck, after just one kiss, eager to submit to his every desire.
He captured both of her hands in one of his, pulled them above her head and held them there. He slid his other hand down her bare leg—thank God she had waxed yesterday—and, with a little hitch, pulled her upwards, snug against his groin.
She wrapped her legs around his waist; the soft silk of the borrowed boxers seemed non-existent as the firm length of him nestled hard and heavy against her heated core. She whimpered and trembled as he ground his hips on her sex.
Evan groaned deep in his throat and thrust her against the wall.
“God, woman, you drive me mad.”
His husky growl ignited her body.
One free hand made its way under her tee and cupped an unfettered breast swollen and aching for his touch. Anne moaned sweet encouragement, whimpering as he rolled the hardened tip between his work-roughened finger and thumb.
With an impatient tug, he pulled her tee over her face, leaving her bosom bare. His mouth suckled one peak while he continued to manipulate the other with his hand.
The sensation was raw. Her body went up in flames. She arched into his groin, seeking the more intimate contact her swollen flesh demanded.
Another up thrust of his hips spread her legs enough to allow the rigid seam of his fly to press on her desperate nub.
A guttural moan ripped from deep inside. Anne trembled and shook with need. With her hands still pinned high above her head, she became a mass of quivering flesh, no longer in command of her body.
Her mind fought for control, wavered, and then abandoned the effort.
Evan twisted one pebble-hard nipple; an electric current of lust—part pain, part pleasure—spilled from her breast to her groin. Her inner core rippled in hedonistic joy, pleading for more.
Evan obliged. He sucked an aching nipple into his mouth and gave its twin another twist. He ground his hips harder, pushing the rough fabric of his jeans against the sodden silken barrier separating them.
She bucked upward, blind with desire, wanting one last touch. Her breath came in quick throaty pants.
“Oh, no, you don’t.” Evan stepped away from the wall, tugged her sleek legs from his waist, and pulled off her tee shirt. “I don’t want you to come yet.”
He urged her back until her feet touched the stairs. Anne navigated one or two but stumbled and fell backwards at the third.
“Are you always this bossy?” She smiled impishly at Evan and then dropped her eyes at the intensity of his expression.
“Sweetie, you have no idea.” His heated gaze stoked the embers of her arousal. “As sexy as you are in my boxers, you’d look better without them.” His voice lowered. “Take them off.”
She jerked her eyes open. “Here? On the stairs? Now?”
Anne was not quite so sure of herself now. Evan was an imposing sight as he loomed above her, still dressed in jeans and denim shirt, his brown eyes darkening as he trailed a finger over her naked breast.
He rolled her nipple between his fingers and tugged. She uttered a soft mew of pleasure and offered herself to him with both hands. Evan sucked one, and then the other, and stood up.
“Off with the boxers,” he ordered. “I don’t want to ask you again.”
Anne lifted her hips and shrugged out of the silken covering, until the boxers remained on one toe.
She raised her leg and offered the boxers to Evan.
Evan inhaled her scent before hanging the boxers on the stair railing.
He bent down to kiss her captured foot. His thumb massaged its sole as he laved each toe with his tongue. Her ankle was next, and then her slender calf. By the time Evan nibbled the inside of her knee, she was a gooey melting pot of carnal expectation.
He urged both knees up and out, drawing her ankles upward as he licked and nipped his way up each inner thigh. He paused.
“I need to taste you, Anne.”
A tremor raced through her body. His hunger was palpable. She squirmed under his scrutiny. That Brazilian wax was worth every penny right now.
“Mmmm, baby…so perfect…so swollen…so wet.”
He stroked her once.
Anne cried out and bucked upward.
“That’s it, come to me. Higher, baby, lift that ass up.”
Whimpers escaped her throat; mewing, she trembled with insatiable need, hungered for that first caress of his tongue.
She strained upward, cried out as he flicked her swollen clit for the first time, gasped at the blessed intrusion of his finger in her pussy.
He probed inside, found that oh-so-sensitive spot, and stroked.
Her legs quivered and shook; ripples of pleasure surged from her core. Her breath was coming so hard and tight, she felt dizzy.
Then, without warning, his tongue was on her clit. Her entire body jerked.
His tongue swirled, teased, enticed…until Anne could stand the searing heat no more.
Her mouth went slack.
A low moan vibrated through her entire body.
Her toes clenched and curled.
She lurched upward…almost there.
A keening wail tore from her throat as she exploded. Exquisite tremors radiated outward as Evan lapped her nectar.
Anne did not object when Evan flipped her on her stomach. She was beyond protest, still riding a glorious post-climatic glow. He unzipped his jeans, and then the hard length of him impaled her from behind.
He collared her throat with one hand and pulled her head back toward him. Her taut nipples chafed against the rough carpet, sending electric zings down to her clit.
This must be how it feels to be taken…to be ravished…to be shaken to the core.
He lunged into her wet clutch with slow, methodical strokes. Anne met him thrust for thrust, whimpering and flooding his length.
He reached between her legs to fondle her clit, complementing the rhythm of his cock. She strained backward, ravenous for each forceful plunge, as he set her ablaze once more.
“Now, baby. Come for me.”
His hoarse growl sent her over the edge. She came violently, screaming his name as she pulsed and shuddered around his thick marauding cock.
He came right afterward, groaning as he claimed her.
Somehow, they climbed the stairs to the bedroom. Anne collapsed, exhausted, on that big four-poster bed. In the predawn light, Evan roused and possessed her again. They slept.
Anne awoke to the smell of coffee and bacon. Coffee…she needed coffee. Her now dry clothes were set out on the bed. Her mood sobered; the time to leave was fast approaching.
A quick shower later, and she dressed in the ruined clothes from last night. The house was quiet. Anne sought out the enticing breakfast aromas emanating from the kitchen. No Evan. A note lay on the counter.
Good morning, sleepyhead. There’s bacon and scrambled eggs in the microwave. Come out to the barn when you’ve eaten.
The food was delicious.
Gotta love a man who can cook
Anne poured another cup of coffee and headed for the porch to bask in the early morning sunlight. A meadowlark, his yellow breast puffed, sat on a fence post singing. Chickens were already about, scratching up bugs and clucking to each other. A lone rooster crowed.
Evan stood inside the center of a circular corral located near a huge weather-beaten barn. He held a whip. A spirited gray horse, its tail held high in the air, trotted around the pen. Evan took a step to his left and snapped the whip. The horse spun on its hind feet and changed direction.
Anne set down her coffee, donned her muddy mismatched shoes, and limped to the corral for a closer look.
“Good morning,” she called out.
“Hey, gorgeous. I’ll be right with you.” Evan sidestepped to his right and cracked the whip again. The gray horse spun in the opposite direction, moving away from Evan.
“Don’t hurry on my account. I love watching you work.”
The whip never touched the horse; the colt reacted to the sound of the snap and Evan’s body movements. The young colt soon worked up a sweat from his exertions.
“Whoa, boy. That’s enough for one day.” Evan’s voice was calm and controlled “Easy, boy.”
Evan pulled a brush from his back pocket and held it up. After a snort or two, the colt relaxed and allowed Evan to brush him. Evan kept up a constant stream of low-pitched murmurs as he worked his way from the head to its tail. Damn if he wasn’t using the same approach on that horse as he’d used on her last night.
Stroke…murmur…rub…whisper. The colt’s ear flicked back every now and then at Evan as he worked.
Anne’s heart beat faster as he groomed the colt. She drew a deep breath and exhaled slowly. She slipped her tongue between her teeth to lick her tender bottom lip; her skin tingled with the need to have his hands on her yet again.
Oh my God, is he turning me into a nymphomaniac?
She had better leave before she embarrassed herself.
Anne nearly fell as she turned to head back to the house.
Kicking off the shoe with the remaining heel, she held it out to him. “Evan, can you knock this off before I break an ankle?”