Read Wild Dakota Heart Online

Authors: Lisa Mondello

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #War, #Romance, #Military, #Western, #cowboy romance, #military romance, #navy seal, #western romance, #deals in books, #Contemporary Romance, #Westerns

Wild Dakota Heart (9 page)

BOOK: Wild Dakota Heart
3.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

* * *

Maddie’s heart pounded in her chest as Ethan followed her upstairs to her bedroom. She’d dreamed of making love to Ethan a thousand times in her youth. That dream had faded , never to be replaced with anyone else who came close to how she felt about Ethan.

She stopped by the bed and turned to him. If she lived to be a hundred she’d never forget seeing that smoldering flame burning in his eyes. The fire he felt for her.

She slowly lifted her arms and waited. Not missing a beat, Ethan grasped her shirt from the bottom and pulled it over her head, leaving her wearing her bra. She reached back and unclasped it, watching his face as her breasts spilled out of the fabric and her bra fell to the floor. She heard his sharp intake of breath and along with the pounding of her pulse in her ear. Still, she held his gaze and went the final step, unzipping her cutoff jeans and dropping them to the floor, showing him she wasn’t wearing any underwear.

He smiled with the discovery.

“I’m afraid you’re overdressed for the occasion.”

“Something I’m going to rectify right now.”

Ethan quickly rid himself of his clothes and joined her on the bed. Their hot bodies melted together and moved in rhythm, stroking, tasting, caressing, loving each other like there’d be no tomorrow.

And when he finally entered her, Maddie cried out with a pleasure she’d never known. In all her dreams, she never imagined how amazing and loved she’d feel being in Ethan’s arms. And when she couldn’t take it anymore, he slowed his rhythm, waiting for her to catch her breath again.

He rolled her over so that she was laying on top of him. She moved her hips and began her own rhythmic dance of pleasure, watching his face with every move. His hands were all over her body, caressing her breasts, playing with her nipples, sending wave after wave of pleasure through her body until she could take no more.

Arching her back, he used his fingers to send her over the edge, bringing on an orgasm so strong that she thought she’d split in two. She was only vaguely aware of what was happening when moments later she felt the tension in Ethan’s body grow stronger and he, too, joined her.

They silently laid in each other arms for a long time. Maddie wasn’t sure exactly how long. But the room gradually began to grow darker and the shadows from the summer moon created lines on the walls around them. Then they made love again, giving in to a wild hunger they’d denied for so long.

* * *

“You don’t really have to go so soon, do you?” Maddie said, resting her chin on Ethan’s chest. He didn’t want to leave her arms. His choice would be to stay in bed all day and make love until hunger for the dinner Maddie had left on the stove pulled them downstairs.

“I have to work and then finish putting the motorcycle together.”

“Want me to help?”

He smiled down at her. “You’ll be too much of a distraction.”

She chuckled sleepily. “I see. My competition was never my brother. It was this motorcycle.”

“Not even in the same ballpark. I’d much rather stay here with you. But…” He climbed out of bed and searched the floor for his clothes.

“I know. I’ll leave you alone. You’re not hiding anything else from me, are you?”

“Now that you’ve seen me naked, it’s hard to hide anything.”

She laughed.

“I want to finish he motorcycle and bring it by your parents’ house.”

“The Sturgis rally is starting in a few days.”

He sighed. “I’m not going.”

She sat up in bed, unabashedly exposing her naked breasts to him. “Why?”

“I’ve changed my mind. It just doesn’t feel right going alone.” He pulled on his jeans and zipped them quickly. “But the motorcycle will be finished and your parents can do whatever it is that they want to do with it. Hopefully it will be enough to help give them closure about Denny’s death.”

Maddie pulled the sheet up to cover herself. “Are you ever going to tell them what you told me?”

“I don’t know. Maybe someday. I just don’t see how it will help. Like you, I think they already knew Denny was on the edge. They don’t need me to tell them the details.”

He got dressed quickly and gave Maddie a kiss before leaving. As he drove back to the house, his head felt heavy with thoughts and turmoil. Denny was gone. He couldn’t think about what his friend would feel about Ethan and Maddie. Life had to go on.

In his heart he believed that. It was what had driven him for so many years while he served in the military. But something had changed and he couldn’t quite figure out what was holding him back. He thought that telling Maddie the truth about what happened the day Denny died would be liberating for both of them. And for Maddie, it seemed it had.

They’d shared the most amazing night together. He wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. He just couldn’t shake the aching feeling of dread that settled deep in his gut as he drove back home that when this motorcycle was finally finished, it would all end. Maddie wouldn’t see him as a hero like Denny had. She’d see that he was just a flawed man who loved her. And he was terrified that it wasn’t enough.

# # #


Chapter Ten


“It looks good,” Kate McKinnon said, standing just inside the garage.

“I didn’t hear you come in.”

“I didn’t think you did. You were so engrossed on your task.”

Ethan looked up as his mother came closer. She was dressed for work. In her hand was a folder, the same one he’d seen her take to work every morning since he was a kid, and most likely contained orders for the next week's inventory, details she’d poured over before going to sleep every night.

“You did a beautiful job putting that motorcycle together.”

He smiled at the compliment.

"So when are you leaving for Sturgis?"

“I’m not going.”

She looked at him surprised. “What? I thought that’s what you were working so hard for.”

“It doesn’t seem right. I’m going to bring the bike over to the Newton’s later. Maddie is going to meet me there so she can see it. But I’m just going to take it for a spin first.”

“You didn’t come home last night.”

Ethan lifted his eyes to his mother. “Let’s not go there.”

Kate smiled and then shrugged. “A mother notices.”

He leaned back on the bench next to where he was working. "You ever wonder why you married Dad?"

She gave him a strange look. "That’s an odd question for a man who just said he didn’t want to go there."

"No, really, tell me."

She placed her free hand on her hips. "You already know why."

“His money, right?”

She made a disgusted face. "Please. That’s why I opened a diner in town. No, I loved his confidence and determination. It made me want more and push for more. You have a lot of that in you, you know," she said, stopping for a moment to sigh. "There was something about your father that I couldn't forget."

"Like what?"

She gave him an odd look. "I don’t know exactly. Some things you just can’t define. They just are. There starts to be a point when you can't imagine yourself with anyone else."


She sighed. "So I married him. All things considered I think it worked out pretty well, don’t you?”

His mother bent over and took a closer look at the motorcycle. “Maddie’s artwork is exquisite."

He remember thinking that was exactly what Maddie had grown up to become. An exquisite woman. She had a love so strong it was hard to ignore.

Kate placed a hand onto his shoulder. "You grew up with a strong woman as you mother. I’ll never understand how my boys became so stupid when it comes to women.”

He chuckled. “Thanks a lot.”

“You’re welcome. You know what you have to do. So go do it. I don’t want to have to give you the boot.”

Ethan looked at his mother. "I may have ruined a good friendship."

“Or…laid the foundation for a good marriage. It’s all in the way you look at it, dear.” She smiled, then added, “I have to get to the diner. I think I’ve left Skylar on her own long enough.”

“What would you do without Skylar,” he teased, mimicking the words Kate McKinnon said on a daily basis regarding the woman who helped her at the diner.

“Don’t be fresh. Skylar is like the daughter I never had. She’s a breath of fresh air after dealing with all you McKinnon men.”

As she walked away, his mother added, “Remember what I said. Life is just too short not to grasp every bit of happiness you can get.”

* * *

It was a good thing Maddie had stopped by the diner on the way to her parents’ house. Kate McKinnon was always pleasant to Maddie, but today Ethan’s mom took it upon herself to pull her aside when she’d ordered a cup of coffee to go. After their brief conversation, Maddie knew exactly where to find Ethan.

The drive out to the Nolan farm wasn’t all that far. Maddie knew that Logan’s place was a few miles down from the Nolan farm, but his property didn’t sustain nearly as much damage as the Nolan property did in the ice storms over the winter. As she drove, the road showed signs of new repair. The flooding was heavier at this end of town, but the views of the river were spectacular, especially at sunset. Maddie was sure this was the reason why Ethan had wanted to buy the Nolan property so badly.

She pulled into what was once the driveway. Then she saw it. Ethan had parked the motorcycle right next to what was left of the concrete foundation. Debris was still scattered all over the yard from the river depositing everything it took with it wherever it landed. There was a large boulder right on the river’s edge and that’s where she spotted Ethan.

She parked the car and a few minutes later she was dodging rocks and pieces of plywood and insulation that had been pulled from the house when the river claimed it. Ethan sat on the rock, looking out at the water and banks on the other side, unaware of her approach.

“I didn’t realize the house was completely washed away,” she said, startling Ethan. He quickly turned to the sound of Maddie’s voice.

She smiled at him, cocking her head to one side as she walked down the slight embankment towards him. “Something told me I’d find you here.”

“Yeah, there’s something about this place that always felt like…”

“Gives you peace?”

He shrugged. “Helps me think. The world doesn’t seem so crazy here.”

“Is this the closest to heaven that you feel?”

He looked at her for a lingering moment.

“When I’m with you I feel that way.”

She couldn’t help but smile. When Ethan had left her condo the other morning, she’d actually thought he was having reservations about making love with her. How he could think that what they’d shared was anything but right was beyond her thinking.

“The For Sale sign is still out front.”

“The house is gone, but it’s still a great place to make a home.”

“Then you should do it.”

Ethan shook his head. “Maybe I’ll work on a house someday. But right now…”


“This could be a great home for someone,” he said, looking around the property. He jumped off the boulder and walked over to her. “I had big plans to fix what had been broken. But this is unfixable.”

“Some things are. You can’t go back and make everything right. But you can start over, make it brand-new.”

“It’s not the same.”

“It’s never going to be the same.”

“Are we talking about the house?”

She shrugged, then took his hand. “Ethan, you didn’t kill Denny. His illness did. I shouldn’t have blamed you for it all those years. But you shouldn’t blame yourself or think that you need to live up to his expectations of you. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be happy living
life. Whatever it is
choose. I made that mistake myself. No more.”

He took in a deep breath and looked around. “A house isn’t a home unless you have someone to share it with, Maddie.”

“Is that a proposal?”

He chuckled. “You don’t exactly move slow, do you?”

“I’ve waited to live my dream for a long time. I can wait longer if I have to. I just know I want to be with you.”

“I don’t want to cause you any more pain, Maddie. I don’t want every time you look at me to be a reminder of what happened to Denny.”

“When I look at you, Ethan, I see you. I always have. You said yourself that you can’t change the past. As much as I want Denny back in our lives, it wouldn’t change what I felt for you then…or what I feel for you now. So let’s start brand new. Let’s build this home from scratch and make new memories for us.”

Ethan’s heart hammered in his chest. He was almost afraid of hoping for something that she didn’t mean. It amazed him how much clarity he’d had in the last few weeks. And the one thing he knew for sure is that he couldn’t live without Maddie Newton.

She came impossibly close to him. He could smell the fresh scent of the soap she’d used from her morning shower. Her hair shined in the afternoon sun and her eyes sparkled with amusement as she looked up at him.

She reached up and brushed her fingers against his cheek. He leaned into her touch wanting so much more than the simple connection. He wanted to kiss her and hold her in his arms. He wanted that every day of his life and couldn’t believe it had taken them this long to see it.

“You know I love you,” she whispered. “I’ve always loved you, Ethan.”

He scooped her up in his arms and held her tight against his body. Bending his head, he claimed her mouth with his, kissing her fiercely with every bit of emotion he had in his soul.

He recalled the words his mother used when talking about his father.
There starts to be a point when you can't imagine yourself with anyone else.

“I love you,” he whispered against her ear. “I don’t know how I’ll live another moment if you’re not with me, Maddie.”

“You know, I’ve always heard that the right woman could tame a wild man’s heart.”

He laughed and spun her around. “Well, you certainly did that to me. Marry me, Maddie. I never want to know what it’s like to not have you with me.”

BOOK: Wild Dakota Heart
3.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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