Authors: Mary Wine
Tags: #Erotica, #Fiction, #Romance, #Western, #Historical
“Go on, honey, touch me.”
His voice was husky. Daring her to follow where her hunger dictated. She was drunk on confidence. Unwilling to continue on as head of the household while clinging to girlish ignorance. If she shouldered the load, she wanted to sample the darker pleasures that went along with being an adult.
“Unbutton my shirt.” Her fingers stilled on his nipples as her eyes flickered between his button and his face. Sloan gently squeezed her bottom as he watched her decide what to do with his demand. She was a live coal in his grip, but he was enjoying the heat too much to care about the burns it would leave behind. All his well-thought-out reasons didn’t make much of a barrier against the pure enjoyment of having her against his body. His cock was hard with need as he caught the delicate scent of her arousal. It rose from her thighs as she unwittingly pressed her hips towards him.
The tip of her tongue slid over on her lower lip before she moved her hands to the center button on his shirt. She pushed it through its hole and found the next one. Anticipation tightened his gut as she opened all the buttons above his waist before stroking his chest through his open shirt. Her touch sent bolts of pure fire across every muscle his body contained. It raced down to his cock where it transformed into blinding need.
But he couldn’t rush towards that final moment of penetration because he was a slave to the slow exploration of her fingers as she pushed his shirt open to expose his nipples. Her eyes fastened on them as she teased each tip, sending pleasure rippling through him. It was a torture he’d only dreamed of enduring. Even if it killed him, he was going to die a happy man waiting on her whim.
Her mouth went dry as she stroked his chest. His crisp male body hair felt so good between her fingers. She slid her hand all the way up to his nipples and back down to his waistband as she absorbed the pure delight of how different they were. Male and female were opposites, but somehow their bodies combined into a stunning concoction of delight and sensation. She brushed his waistband as indecision filled her. Raising her head, she found his obsidian eyes watching her.
“I think it’s your turn.”
A small smile lifted his mouth, taking the hard edge off his expression. The fingers clasping her bottom smoothed over her buttock cheek in a soft circle before the hand in her hair released the brown strands.
“You sure about that?”
He didn’t sound like he enjoyed asking the question. The resolution in his voice refilled her confidence with the fact that he found her as irresistible as she did him. Stroking his firm abdomen once more, she continued up, stopping when her fingers reached his nipples and she shivered as she contemplated letting him return the touch. Beneath her corset her nipples tingled before tightening into hard points that poked the sturdy poplin of her undergarment. She had never detested the thing so much.
“As sure as I know how to get.”
A warm male chuckle was his response. He brushed the side of her neck, sending ripples of enjoyment down her spine.
“That’s honest enough, honey.” His voice was laced with approval. A far different sort of praise than she had ever received. Hidden in his husky tone was a promise that heightened the excitement racing through her blood. Her heart thumped beneath her breasts in a frantic rhythm that should have alarmed her, but instead she opened her eyes wide so that she wouldn’t miss a single detail.
“I like the idea, a whole lot.” Rich with promise, his voice sent a shaft of delight through her.
He moved and she gasped when he grasped her waist. He lifted her right off her feet and placed her on the small kitchen table. His bare chest filled her sight as he shrugged off his open shirt and tossed it over a chair. One large hand curled around her face, lifting her chin until their eyes met.
“I shouldn’t like the idea.” His hand cupped her chin as a frown covered his lips. “But it’s the truth that I do.”
Indecision flickered in his gaze. Reaching up, she laid her fingers on his firm jaw. His skin was rougher than hers, but it seemed so perfect because they complemented each other. “I like it, too, in spite of trying to talk myself out of it.” It might have been one of the most honest statements she’d ever spoken out loud. A person’s thoughts were always purely honest, but you learned from your parents to whitewash your words. It just wasn’t working with Sloan. Maybe she needed him to understand her. To test out whether or not he wanted her and not some model of a ladies’ finishing school.
His hands landed lightly on top of her chest. Her breath caught in her throat as he teased the swells of flesh pushed up by her corset stays. The worn calico of her dress felt too tight as he stroked her. The need to touch him in return filled her. It felt so natural to lift her hands and lay them on his bare sides. His fingers popped the first button on her top open. He moved through the rest of her buttons far faster than she had done with his shirt. There was no hesitation on his part as he pushed her bodice open and right down her arms. Her corset was hooked down the front with laces at the back for practicality. The undergarment pressed her breasts up into a tempting display now that her bodice lay on the table behind her.
“You still sure?” His fingers traced the front closure of her corset. A shiver raced down her back, but she was even more intoxicated than before.
“I’m not sure I’d find the strength to leave even if you told me to.” His hard voice sent a ripple of excitement through her. She should have been frightened, but her body leapt at the idea of knowing he wanted her too much to leave. The first hook on her stays opened and he worked the rest with quick fingers. “The sight of you has haunted me.”
As an endearment it was perfect. Brianna moaned as he closed a hand around each of her breasts, cupping the tender flesh and rubbing each nipple with his thumbs. His gaze was on her bare torso as he brushed her nipples once more. He kneeled down to lick one hard tip. A cry escaped her lips as heat seared across her nipple. It poured down her body to that spot at the top of her sex. She wiggled on the tabletop as sensation made it impossible to remain still. A soft chuckle came from her partner as he slid a hard arm around her body, pressing her back over his arm. The position thrust her nude breasts upwards into a display that made her blush.
“Perfect. So sweet and perfect.” He growled the words before sucking one nipple. His arm held her tight as she gasped. She was suddenly unbearably hot. The layers of her dress a prison she was desperate to break out of. The hard sucking on her nipple sent more heat into her lower body as she clawed at his biceps. Her nipple, all shiny and wet from his ministrations, popped out of his mouth when he pulled his mouth away from her breast. The cloudy afternoon chill brushed across the wet skin making her gasp at the contrast.
He picked her up and set her feet back on the floor. There was a pull and a tiny tear as he yanked her skirt and petticoat open. He pushed all the fabric down over her hips. It puddled around her ankles and knees as he captured the back of her head and raised her face up to his. His eyes glittered with determination. Hard and frightening in a way, but also promising. She hummed with delight as she stroked his chest and leaned forward to lick one of his nipples.
He cussed and the hand in her hair tightened, sending tiny nips of pain down her neck. But the reaction only fueled her determination to return the pleasure he’d just given her. Angling her head she licked the small flat nipple before closing her lips around it and sucking. His chest shook as his breath rasped between clenched teeth. He released her hair and she moaned as he pushed her knickers over the curves of her hips. Once over her thighs, her last garment slithered down to join the puddle around her knees.
Sloan picked her up, leaving her clothing in a small heap. A moment later he laid her in her bed, scraping the disorderly bedding aside. His boots hit the floor as he jerked them off with quick motions of his hands. She heard his belt buckle unlatch as he pushed his pants off. She caught a glimpse of his bare backside before he rolled her into the bedding without letting her look at his cock.
But she was still in heaven as his chest covered her breasts. His mouth found hers and his tongue thrust forward to stroke her own. One large hand smoothed a path from her breast to her belly and then lower, to the top of her sex. He pushed right into the delicate folds protecting her clit. Searching for that spot he’d rubbed last night. Her body quivered almost violently when his fingertip touched it. A thin cry broke through their kiss as her head thrashed with the abundance of the sensation. Pleasure tightened under his finger as he rubbed her clit, increasing the speed a little at a time.
“Spread for me, honey.”
Her eyes widened at the pure wickedness of his words. It was the honest truth that she had never considered that anyone actually spoke out loud about the things that went on between a man and women in bed. But it excited her, hearing the words in his husky tone. Her thighs obeyed before she felt the blush heating her face. The fingertip in her slit rubbed the little bud at the top of her sex as the folds of flesh covering it moved apart when she spread her legs.
“Wider.” He didn’t wait for her to comply but rolled slightly to one side of her body, pushing her legs right up so her bent knee was above her waist. A startled sound emerged from her lips but she was unsure just what it was. Alarm, excitement—Brianna couldn’t decipher it. All she knew was the finger between her thighs was driving her insane. Her hips lifted off the bed towards his hand as need swept aside everything but the desire to have him unleash that sweet pleasure once again with his touch.
“I’m not going to leave you a virgin this time.”
One thick finger touched the entrance to her body along with his words. Her hips twitched towards the touch and the motion sent the tip into her passage. Hard desire filled her sheath as she realized how good it felt to have something inside her. She suddenly understood what she craved from him. It was dark and unspoken, but she was no stranger to what happened when a female was mounted.
The surprise was how much her body enjoyed being penetrated. The need pulsing around that finger filled her with boldness. Extending her leg, she drew her calf and ankle over his leg. His eyes closed to slits as his breath rasped between clenched teeth in a low sound of male enjoyment. Cupping his chin, she sent her leg back for another stroke across his cock. His obsidian eyes flashed open as her fingers closed around his jaw.
“I sure hope you’re planning to finish this.” Her voice was too husky for any more patience.
“I didn’t say we’d finish anything today, honey. But you won’t be a virgin any longer.”
He raised his head to lock stares with her once more. His hand left her passage and she ached to be filled. Hunger drew his face taut. “It will take a lot more than one ride to finish this. I promise you that.”
The thick head of his cock nudged her. His hips spread her thighs wide as he caught a handful of her hair to hold her steady and at his command. “But it’s a damn good place to start.”
He drove his length into her with a slow thrust. Her hips lifted for the penetration as her body stretched. Pain ran through her as the breath rushed out of her lungs too fast. A hand curled around the side of her hip to hold her in place. He held most of his body weight on one elbow and her chest rose as she gasped. He moved in the same moment, pulling out of her body and thrusting back up into her. He pressed deeper the second time. Pain nipped all along her passage as it was stretched. Two tears spilled down the sides of her face as the pain suddenly diminished. A soft kiss captured one tear and then the other as her body relaxed and sweet delight began to pulse through her.
Reaching for her lover, she lifted her hips towards him. A hard growl hit her ear as he rose up, allowing more of his weight to rest on her. It completed the contact she craved as he began to move slowly between her thighs. Each stroke drew the length of his cock along that little button at the top of her slit.
Pleasure shot up into her belly as she worked her hips up harder and faster to meet his thrusts. Everything twisted and tightened around his cock until it burst in a shower of lightning so hot and intense she listened to her cry as though someone else were screaming. The bed ropes creaked and groaned as her partner bucked between her thighs. He thrust hard and with faster motions until his harsh groan covered up her whimpers. Sloan pressed his length deep and she felt the eruption of his seed filling her. The bed rocked gently as he collapsed onto his elbows, both their chests heaving, lungs striving to keep up with their hearts.
A soft hand brushed her hair out of her face before a kiss was laid against her lips. “No, honey, one ride is not going to finish this.” Brianna opened her eyes to see a hard man looking at her. She shivered at the sight, because she faced the man who could hold his own against any odds. But his fingers were so gentle as they smoothed her hair back from the trails her tears had left on her cheeks. “Not by a long shot.”
Sloan rolled and pulled her against his side. One hand secured her hips flush with his body as his fingers cupped the side of her bottom. She should have been outraged to have a hand on her fanny but it felt so intimate that a small sigh left her lips as her eyelashes fluttered shut.
She could just worry about everything later. Her ruined winter stores, the destroyed house and her reckless embrace of a man she should have steered clear of. None of it seemed more important than the contentment seeping through her as he held her. The sound of his heart filled her ear, calming her like some sort of music.
Sloan slipped into slumber right along with her. His mind at peace for the first time in a long spell. She nuzzled against his chest and he tightened his grip. It was a moment of perfection that he’d never suspected the world could contain. No, it wasn’t finished, but it was a fine place to start.
The afternoon sun wasn’t going to let her linger in slumber. Brianna smoothed a last stroke along her partner’s chest before raising her head. She caught the faint scent of preserves on the breeze and resigned herself to getting on with cleaning up the mess in her pantry. Like any dream, you had to wake up to the harsher side of life at some point.
Sloan’s large hand rested on her bare shoulder. He moved it slowly down her arm before sitting up and taking her with him. He held onto her wrist and turned her palm up so that he could look at it. A frown marred his face as he glared at the angry red wounds decorating her skin.
“It’s nothing.” Giving a pull, she tried to take her palm out of his view. He held tight as he shifted his gaze to her face.
“It sure as hell is something. Make sure you douse those with alcohol.” His face remained taut. “Do you have any whiskey in the house?”
“No. My father wouldn’t spend money on anything that wasn’t a necessity until the bank note was paid in full.”
A grunt of approval came from Sloan. “I’m growing fond of your sire.” He slipped his legs over the side of the bed and stood. He looked back at her with longing in his dark gaze. “I need to take a shift on the rail dock.”
Brianna caught the quilt out of habit before it slithered down to leave her breasts exposed. Sloan’s eyes filled with amusement. He angled his head and placed a solid kiss against her lips. A hard promise flickered in his eyes when he lifted his mouth away. “I will be back tonight. I’ll bring something for your hands.”
Listening to his words released the little knot of tension hiding between her shoulders. She hadn’t even realized she was worried until he spoke. A naughty little grin lifted her lips as she watched him reach for his boots.
“Does that mean I can offer you dinner without raising your hackles?”
A male snort was her reply. He stepped into his boots and pulled them up to his calves while frowning at her. “You don’t take warnings very well, honey.”
Brianna rose to her knees. She let the quilt go and it fell to the surface of the bed. His eyes focused on her nipples and he lost his reprimanding expression. She enjoyed the moment, savoring her ability to change his mood just by being herself. “And you don’t take teasing very well, Sloan McAlister. Everyone needs a little humor in their day.”
The look that passed over his face shocked her. Sloan had always struck her as so strong that the flicker of vulnerability stood out. A hint of need in his eyes made her heart twist, because she had never considered that a man like him might get lonely. Or that she wielded the power to entrance him. It was a sure bet that he’d shared bed sport with far more practiced women.
“Maybe you’re right about that. It has been a long time since someone teased me just for the sake of placing a smile on my face.” A grin graced his lips for a moment as he worked the buttons on his shirt. He tucked the tail into his trousers and turned around.
“Oh… So, you do know how to smile. Thank you for the revelation.”
One of his dark eyebrows rose as his gaze lingered on her nude breasts. She resisted the urge to cover them with her hands, keeping her hands on the quilt instead. He made her feel so pretty, two tears stung her eyes.
“We’ll see about revelations when that sun sets tonight. I need to put in some work, woman, so stop tempting me to go lazy and crawl back into bed.”
He pulled her father’s rifle off its resting pegs and lifted it up to look down the sights of the barrel. He moved it in a steady, practiced motion around the room before lowering it to peer into the trigger housing.
“Needs cleaning. Badly.” There was the ring of chastisement in his voice for allowing the weapon to get rusty. Like a mother sounded when she caught her sons with dirty hands at the supper table.
He set it next to the pantry. “Keep it at hand, and I do mean at hand.” A hard look hit her square in the face. “Your father’s late arrival is the talk of the town. You need to keep that weapon with you at all times.”
“I suppose you’re correct.” Stepping out of her bed, Brianna winced at the tenderness between her thighs. Sloan’s eyes caught the little telltale expression, but she shrugged and stepped around him to where her clothes still lay in a puddle on the floor.
“I mean it, honey. Don’t take chances while I’m working.”
A little ripple of something went through her, a crazy mixture of excitement and disbelief. Sloan didn’t miss the indecision as she tried to decide what she thought about his intention to return. A solid arm clamped around her waist as he stepped towards her. She ended up in his embrace again as he held her chin in the palm of one hand.
“I will be back, honey.” The expression on his face was as firm as the first time she’d met him. Determination stared back at her until he pressed a kiss onto her mouth before releasing her.
Sloan stepped out the doorframe into the fresh snow. He looked back at Brianna. She formed her lips into a faint pout before closing the door. He waited for the bar to be pushed into place before forcing his boots forward. It was the first time he’d dragged his feet away from a woman.
The way he enjoyed the feeling surprised him. Something like he’d had an empty spot in his chest that he was noticing because it was full today. Yeah, he’d be back and Brianna would get used to that. It was going to be his pleasure to help her every step of the way.
The snow didn’t melt on his shoulders today. Brianna shut the door as she watched his black duster spot with white flakes. Patches of snow lay on the ground. By tomorrow there would be nothing but a sea of mud between her home and town. A really bleak thought when she turned and added the sight of her ransacked home to it. An entire year of work gone in a single night. It was almost too much to grasp.
Maybe insanity was creeping into her brain. A fair number of settlers succumbed to craziness. The harsh land coupled with the long periods of keeping company with only yourself had broken more than one mind.
The dark stain marring her bed sheet made her smile. No, she’d been in command of her wits the entire time, even if she did admit to being overwhelmed. That wasn’t insanity—the only sin there was lack of self-control. On her way across the room, she stopped and pulled the soiled sheet off the mattress. She waited for shame to tug on her conscience, but it couldn’t get a grip. No, she had enjoyed it too much. Never once in her adult life had she ever believed that any act might be so satisfying. If that made a fallen woman, she would wear the label proudly. The spot between her thighs ached as she got on with cleaning. While the snow fell and drifted higher, working the pump drove away the chill. But her hands complained bitterly as each little wound shot pain up her arms. There wasn’t a worse day to tend to the laundry, but she only had one sheet for the larger bed, and fallen woman or not, she still had her pride. Sloan McAlister wasn’t going to return to a dirty bed—not in her home the man wasn’t. She grinned at her own “house pride”. Placing a kettle on the stove, she stirred up the coal to heat water for her laundry so the fabric would release the stain.
A little frown broke through her humor. She really had no reason to count on him. Sloan wasn’t the settling-down sort of man. Her heart clenched with pain and it made her gasp. Caring so much was unwise. Her heart was too tender and it wouldn’t take much to smash it. But events had conspired against her, thrusting her into contact with him in spite of knowing she was better off steering clear of him.
But she wasn’t alone in the muddle. Sloan had a mighty hard time ignoring her, too. That might not ease a heartache when he left Silver Peak, but for the moment it kept her humming instead of crying.
Putting her house to rights kept her busy. She almost ignored the need to check her mill house. Too many things on her mind. Adding a list of repairs on the mill house that needed doing before spring didn’t appeal at all. Shaking her head at her own thoughts, Brianna pulled the bar up and went to check on her grinding mill. The sheet rippled in the wind and she fingered the fabric to test for dampness. Her clothesline was strung between two ancient oak trees. Their bark was thick and their branches twisted, but it kept her laundry out of the snow. The wind might be icy cold, but it did the job of drying decently enough.
She pushed the door to the mill house open slowly. Dust from the ground grain sparkled, even in the meager sunlight. The lamp she’d worked by still sat exactly where she’d left it, all of the oil burned. But the bags of barley flour were missing. Stepping into the mill, she frowned as she reached for the little tin sitting above the lamp. It was heavy in her hand and opening the lid revealed a small stack of silver dollars. Surprise whipped through her as she counted the coin. Jimmy Green had left her payment. That meant the two sacks of flour had been waiting for him when he came by.
That added a new twist to her nighttime visitors. They’d left only the vegetables and now the newly ground flour. All of the items she might have expected thieves to take were still in her home. Things like scissors and cooking knives or her new fabric. The iron cooking pots and the spices above the pot-bellied stove, even the soap that had been spilled on the back bedroom floor were all things she expected to lose because it couldn’t be traced to her. Things you could find in any kitchen or miner’s camp. But they represented money, almost more than the silver coin in her hand. In a small town like Silver Peak, you needed money and luck to get what you wanted. The local mercantile didn’t always have supplies on the shelf. It would take months for cast-iron pots to make it across the wagon trails and no one undertook the trip in winter. Robberies were more prevalent this time of year as push came to shove and men were reduced to stealing in order to survive.
Her heart twisted as her father’s face sprang to mind. Her father wouldn’t be returning anytime soon. If he was alive out there, he’d hole up for the winter now that the snow had arrived. Loneliness swept through her in a dense wave that might have dragged her down into despair if Sloan’s voice didn’t echo in her memory. She frowned. Maybe she was drawn to him because of loneliness. A harsh fact, but also a possible truth. In four short days, she’d offered him her body when the idea had never entered her thoughts before.
It was a tangle, to be sure. How did any woman know the difference between affection and lust? She’d mistakenly believed that only men suffered from that affliction, but her own body seemed just as caught in the storm created by passion.
“The river’s frozen today.” A sickening snicker followed that comment as Brianna jerked her head around. Joseph Corners grinned at her like a hyena. His tongue appeared and swiped over his lower lip. Dread washed down her spine as she instantly heard Sloan’s parting words.
Keep the rifle at hand…
“You won’t be swimming away this time.”
Her father’s gun was still leaning against the doorframe in the main cabin.
Joseph’s amusement cut through her self-directed anger.
“Joseph Corners, you have some nerve!”
Joseph didn’t take her chastisement very well. A look of panic invaded his
eyes, but a snort of amusement from the man behind him turned his face beet red. His hand sailed out and struck her across the face. Her entire head snapped to the side with the force of the blow. Her vision became a shower of bright sparks as her ears rang. She caught her body against one round wall as she tried to make her eyes work.
“Now you listen up, Brianna. I ain’t the sort of husband that’ll be taking sass from your mouth. No woman’s that pretty. You’ll be respecting me sure enough. Else you’ll feel the back of my hand until you mind your mouth with me.”
Her eyes rounded with horror at the word
Joseph’s intention to wed her was even more repulsive than it had been back on the dock. She shuddered with distaste as her mind considered having this man in bed with her, touching her, pressing his foul-smelling hands against her bare skin. It horrified her especially now that she had her encounters with Sloan to compare it to.
“Over my dead body,” she snarled at him, willing the vermin out of her sight. “Get off my father’s land.”
“This here is going to be my mill.” Greed glittered in Joseph’s eyes and it truly frightened her. Men could kill over greed. More than one miner had lost his life when he struck gold and someone else wanted it bad enough to commit murder.
Joseph clamped a dirty hand around her arm as he shouldered his way past her blows. His body might have been plump, but it was strong and her fist hurt as she swung at his head while yanking on her arm. None of her struggles did any good. A rough blanket wrapped around her as a scream of pure outrage left her lips. Struggling against the dense fabric, she gasped as a rope began to wind around her trapped arms.
It was just too damn easy for them to capture her. Helplessness flooded her as she kicked and turned, trying to thrash against her bindings, but Joseph and his friends only tightened the ropes. Her lungs didn’t have enough space to keep up with her racing heart. Blackness clouded her vision and she stilled out of desperation to remain awake.
“Now that’s better.” Her feet left the floor as Joseph clicked his tongue in approval. “You’ll settle down just fine, once you understand who’s wearing the britches between us.”
His bride-to-be screamed something but it got muffled in the horse blanket. Joseph felt his cock thicken with anticipation. She sent her foot towards him, but missed and he licked his lip as his lust heated up. Nothing better than a woman that wiggled while you fucked her. Dead weight beneath a man could turn his cock soft. He was a lucky man for noticing how good a bride Brianna Spencer would make. All the other bastards in town were going to envy him when he paraded down the street with her on his arm, obedient and devoted to him.
Sammy held the wagon cover open and he and Will pushed Brianna’s squirming body into the center of the bed. He stopped long enough to tie another length of rope around her legs to keep her from kicking the side of the buckboard. They didn’t need nobody hearing any racket. With another shove he pushed her body into the center and moved a few crates in front of her. A smile split his face as he heard her muffled voice, but no one would hear anything once the wagon was in motion.