Authors: Kimberly Raye
Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #General
Billy felt a split second of panic as her lips parted. Her tongue touched, swirled and teased. She didn’t hold anything back.
Which meant he should have reined in his response right then and there. This wasn’t about sex. It was about like. About spending time together and figuring out if she felt even half of what he did.
At the same time, there was something desperate about her touch. As if this kiss was different from all the others they’d shared over the past few days.
The thought intoxicated him even more than the sweet taste of her lips. He planted one hand on the back of her head, tilted her face to the side and kissed her with everything he had.
He nibbled her bottom lip and plunged his tongue deep, exploring, searching. When he couldn’t breathe, he slid his lips across her cheek and along her jaw. His mouth slipped to her neck and he pushed her hair to the side, inhaling her sweet scent. She smelled of peaches and warm, feminine skin. He breathed her in for a long, heart-pounding moment and closed his eyes. He thought of all the things he wanted to do with her.
He ached to see her soapy and wet in his shower. Naked and panting against his sheets. Smiling and laughing across the breakfast table—
He killed the last thought and concentrated on the lust that rolled through him like a ball of fire that dive-bombed south. He edged her sideways until they were clear of the stove, then bent her back over the countertop and captured her lips again.
He fed off her mouth for several long moments, tasting and savoring, before nibbling his way down the sexy column of her throat.
His penis throbbed, and it was all he could do to keep from shoving his zipper down, parting her legs and plunging fast and sure and deep inside her hot, tight body.
Now. Right. Friggin’.
He didn’t want just sex anymore. He wanted to know that she felt something more.
Hell, he was the last person to even know what love was. He’d never been in love. He’d spent his younger years barely surviving, and his teenage years trying to do more than just survive. He’d never had time for more than sex.
He didn’t have time for it now.
But he wanted it.
Not that he wanted her to fall madly in love with him or anything crazy like that. He just wanted to know that she at least felt
And that meant slowing down enough to give her time to feel. To think. To want.
He slammed on the brakes and concentrated on the small cry that bubbled from her lips when he licked her pulse beat. He liked pleasing her, so he held tight to his control and paced himself. With each touch of his lips, she sighed or gasped. The sounds fed the desire swirling inside him.
When he reached the neckline of her dress, he traced the edge where her skin met the material with his tongue and relished the breathy moan that slipped past her full lips. His hands came up and he touched her, a feather-light caress of his fingertips over the soft fabric of her dress. He traced the contours of her waist, her rib cage, the undersides of her luscious breasts.
He slid his hands up and over until he felt the bare skin plumping over her neckline. Heat zapped him like a live wire and his pulse jumped. He tugged at the bodice. Buttons popped and her luscious breasts spilled over the top.
Grabbing her sweet round ass, he lifted her, hoisting her onto the countertop. He stepped between her legs and caught one ripe nipple between his lips. He suckled her and she arched against him.
He pushed her back down, still sucking as he caught the hem of her dress. He shoved the material up until he felt the quivering flesh of her bare thighs.
He didn’t mean to touch the softest part of her, but suddenly he couldn’t help himself. He slid a finger deep inside her slick folds and her body bucked. He drew away from her swollen nipple and caught her delicious moan with his mouth. He plunged another finger inside, wiggling and teasing.
He wanted to feel every steamy secret. Even more, he wanted to taste her.
Tearing his mouth from hers, he worked his way down, kissing and teasing and tasting until he reached the dress bunched around her waist. He glanced up and his gaze caught hers for a brief moment before he dipped his head.
He licked the very tip of her clit with his tongue and she shuddered. She opened wider, an invitation that he couldn’t resist. He trailed his tongue over her clit and down the slit before dipping it inside.
She was warm and sweet and addictive, and suddenly he couldn’t help himself. Hunger gripped him hard and fast. He sucked on the swollen nub and plunged his tongue inside until her entire body went stiff.
“Come on, baby,” he murmured. He gripped her thighs and held her tight. “Let go.”
A few more licks and she did. A cry rumbled from her throat and tremors racked her body. He drank her in, savoring her essence until her body stilled.
Then he pulled away and stared down at her.
“Please. Just do it. Do it now,” she murmured, her eyes closed, her face flushed. Her chest rose and fell to a frantic rhythm that made his groin throb and his entire body ache. She was so beautiful. So damn sweet. He wanted her more than he’d ever wanted any woman.
But even more, he wanted her to want him more than she’d ever wanted any other man.
“I think the chili’s burning.”
Her eyelids fluttered open. “What?”
He took a huge drink of oxygen and forced his hands away from her. “I need to turn the heat down.”
Boy, did he ever.
“Chili? You’re worried about the chili?” Her gaze swiveled toward the stove and the stream of smoke that funneled from the gigantic pot. “Oh, no.” Her cheeks fired a brighter red as she shoved at the hem of her skirt and tugged up her bodice.
City gal Sabrina Collins blushing, of all things. It was definitely a first. He liked it. He liked it a hell of a lot.
What he didn’t like was that she’d scrambled away from him faster than he could blink. As if she’d just realized she’d made a big, big mistake. One that had nothing to do with the smoke that slowly filled the room.
“I’ve got an early meeting tomorrow,” she said as he turned his attention to the stove. “I really should go.”
“I know I’m supposed to help so we can get busy later, but—what did you just say?”
He winked. “If you have to leave, you have to leave.”
“That’s okay with you?”
“I’d rather you stay and help me finish this batch, but I know you’ve got a lot on your plate.”
“But our arrangement—”
“—will wait.” He arched an eyebrow. “You can wait, can’t you?”
“Um, yeah. Sure. I just thought you needed some sleep.”
“I’m sure I’ll be pretty tuckered out after all this chili. I’ll take a rain check tonight.”
“Well, all right then.” She turned and snatched up her purse. “I’ll just head out.”
“Sweet dreams,” he called after her.
“Yeah, right,” she muttered, and a rush of satisfaction went through Billy. He’d won tonight’s battle.
Now if he could only win the war.
* * *
It had been two days since the chili incident and other than a few hot kisses and some heavy petting, she wasn’t any closer to working Billy Chisholm out of her system. She needed the real deal for that.
At least that’s what she was telling herself.
She needed him inside her and her wrapped around him and she needed an orgasm. A major, mind-blowing orgasm during the actual deed. The preliminary stuff...It just wasn’t the same thing.
At least that’s what she was telling herself.
Because no way was she so wound up because she was nervous. Afraid. She had only two days left in Lost Gun before the rodeo finals and no doubt that she would add the last twenty cowboys to her list and meet her goal. Twenty-one counting Billy, who’d promised she could sign him up when all was said and done.
She certainly wasn’t so antsy because she didn’t want to sign him up. Because she wanted him for herself. For the next two days and beyond.
That was all she needed to relieve the tension in her shoulders and ease the anxiety knotting her stomach. She held tight to the truth as he ended the heavy-duty petting session that had started the minute she’d arrived on his doorstep late Friday night, after a long day at the festival and enough profiles to push her that much closer to her goal.
All the more reason she should have headed to the saloon to celebrate with Livi. They were going to make it, to secure their funding.
But Sabrina wanted more. She hadn’t given up on her story, even if all of the research she’d done on Silas Chisholm made her want to wrap Billy in her arms and hug him for all the grief he’d suffered thanks to his father. A story was a story. If she ever wanted to make it as a real journalist—and she did, even if it wasn’t half as much fun as she’d anticipated—she had to learn to separate her emotions from the situation. She would. She would never have another opportunity like this one. Billy had seen the fire. He’d been an actual eyewitness to the events that had unfolded that night. He was her inside track on the story of a lifetime. One she desperately needed if she ever wanted to move beyond running a web hook-up service. She needed this story. Even more, she needed sex. And so she’d headed up to Billy’s cabin instead.
And straight into his bed.
For about fifteen minutes, she felt convinced her dry spell was about to end. But then he pulled away, kissed her one last time with enough passion to make her hormones cry, and then he rolled over to go to sleep.
She tossed and turned and did everything she could to keep him up, but then he slid an arm around her and pulled her back flush against his body. Her hopes soared one last time, but then she heard the deep snore directly in her ear.
“Really?” she muttered, barely resisting the urge to pinch the hell out of his arm.
But the solid muscle wrapped around her did feel good and she found herself relaxing a little. Enough to stop contemplating revenge plots and actually close her eyes for a few moments. It
been a long day and this was sort of nice, too.
Not that she was falling asleep.
* * *
The truth sank in several hours later when her eyes finally popped open and she realized that it was almost five o’clock in the morning.
She’d fallen hard and fast, but he hadn’t.
Her gaze went to the empty stretch of sheets beside her. Obviously he’d been the one to beat a hasty retreat this time and now she was all by her lonesome.
All the better.
That meant she didn’t have to worry about picking herself up and getting the hell out of Dodge before he opened his eyes. He’d beaten her to the punch and now she could close her eyes and go back to sleep for a little while. And she certainly wasn’t going to wonder where in the world he’d run off to at five o’clock in the morning. Probably some early-morning training session. Or some interview with PBR executives. Or maybe he was helping out at the Gunner Ranch until Pete and his new wife returned.
Not that she cared.
She rolled onto her right side and punched the pillow a few more times before snuggling back down. There. She was going to close her eyes and she wasn’t going to remember the tenderness in his eyes when he’d fed her a taste of chili the night before. Tenderness? Yeah, right. That had all been part of the foreplay, which had been part of the sex.
That’s all last night had been.
Even if it had felt like an actual date.
She nixed the thought. A date implied like, and no way did he like her. And she certainly didn’t like him.
Her chest tightened and her eyes popped open. She rolled onto her left side, scrunched the pillow under her head and snuggled down. There. Now she was going to close her eyes, and she wasn’t going to remember the way he’d pulled her close the minute they’d hit the sheets and held her as if she was the most important thing in his life—
Her eyes popped open again and she rolled onto her back.
She sat up and climbed out of the bed. A few steps and she found herself in the hallway. The hardwood floor was cool beneath her bare feet, but it did nothing to ease the fire burning inside her as she walked toward the kitchen. A glass of ice water would do the trick. Or maybe she could stick her head in the fridge until she started to calm down and think rational thoughts.
Like how excited she was that she was
close to meeting her quota and getting the hell out of Lost Gun for good.
At the same time, she still hadn’t managed to put together a decent story about the death of Silas Chisholm. Even more, she hadn’t managed to find a date for Melba Rose and she was no closer to hooking up Sarah Jean from the bakery and—
She wasn’t a matchmaker. She was a journalist biding her time until she got her big break. Melba and Sarah would just have to find their own men because she had ten more cowboys to sign up and a story to write before she left town.
“Can’t sleep?” The deep, husky timbre of his voice met her the minute she reached the doorway to the kitchen.
She found Billy standing at the kitchen counter. The sight of him wearing nothing but a pair of snug, faded jeans stalled her heart for a long moment. Soft denim molded to his lean hips and strong thighs, and cupped his crotch. A frayed rip in the denim on his right thigh gave her a glimpse of silky blond hair and tanned skin and hard muscle and...
She’d seen him without a shirt before, but she hadn’t really
him. She’d always been too anxious to get to the main event to really take a long, leisurely look, and too determined the morning after to ignore him.