Cowboy take me away, p.11
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       Cowboy Take Me Away, p.11

         Part #16 of Rough Riders series by Lorelei James

  “Won’t that be a lot of work?”

  She shrugged. “I’m used to it. I think my fingers are finally healed from last summer.”

  He frowned. “What’d you do last summer?”

  “Same thing I’ve done every summer since I was twelve. Lived with my aunt and assisted her in the custom tailoring business she owns. It’s a family thing on mother’s side. My mom used to be an amazing seamstress and she started teaching me to sew when I was five. Then because of the arthritis…” She cleared her throat. “Aunt Hulda took over since she’s a seamstress too. She paid for our private schooling and in exchange I worked in her shop on weekends and half the summer.”

  It’d be hypocritical if Carson said expecting a twelve-year-old girl to help out was child slavery; he’d been doing chores and learning the ways of the ranch since he was a boy. “Those sewing skills are obvious because you’re always wearin’ such nice clothes. Did you make ’em?”

  Carolyn smoothed her hand down her skirt. “Yes. Do you like them?”

  “Yes, I surely do like that you look like you stepped out of a magazine.” But I’d really like to see those pretty clothes in a pile on my bedroom floor. Or the floor of this truck.

  Pervert. Slowing things down, remember?

  They parked in front of the movie theater. Arabesque didn’t look all that interesting to him—he preferred a western—but with one theater in town there wasn’t much choice. Unless… “Want to go to the drive-in? There’s gotta be something better playing.”

  “I’ve never been to a drive-in. Sounds like fun.”

  They joined the line of cars waiting to get in to see El Dorado—a John Wayne picture he’d looked forward to seeing.

  Once inside the lot, Carson chose a spot away from the high school partiers. “You want popcorn or a pop?”

  “I’d take a Coke.”

  “Stay here. I’ll get it.”

  She looked at him funny.


  “Embarrassed to be seen with me, McKay?”

  “You caught me. It’s such a chore to have a beautiful, classy blonde on my arm. Come on, then.” He helped her out, keeping his hand on her lower back as they crossed the gravel parking lot to the concession stand.

  Just after they’d cleared the line he ran into Jim Hagar, a guy he’d graduated from high school with. “Carson McKay at a drive-in? What, are all the local bars closed for some reason?”

  Given his reputation, he probably deserved that. But also given his reputation, Jim oughta know Carson had no problem popping a loudmouth for a smart comment.

  A boy of about two and girl of about four, both wearing pajamas, were running around, weaving between Jim’s legs, yelling and hitting each other. He snapped, “Knock it off.” Then he looked at Carson. “Bringing the kids to the drive-in gets me’n Barb outta the house without having to pay a sitter.”

  “I wouldn’t know.”

  Jim’s gaze landed on Carolyn. “This your wife?”


  “I’m not surprised a wild man like you ain’t married yet. What was it you used to say? You’d strap on that old ball and chain only when you were too old to keep running from the women trying to shackle you.”

  “Yeah, well, we all say shit at sixteen that makes us cringe now. If I recall you said you wanted Barb for one thing—her oral skills, and not the ones she used to become a Declam contest champion.”

  Jim blushed. Then he said, “Come on kids,” and hustled away.

  “Good friend of yours?” Carolyn asked dryly.

  “How’d you guess? Livin’ in the same area I’m forever branded by stuff I’ve done in the past.”

  She stopped and faced him. “Are you bothered by what he said?”

  “No. That kinda shit always dribbles out of his mouth.” He touched her cheek. “But that doesn’t mean I wanted you to hear it.”

  “While he was saying that stuff about you, I watched his ankle biters throwing rocks at each other. I was hoping they’d miss and hit him.”

  Carson laughed.

  Once they reached his pickup, he opened the passenger side and slid in next to her, then draped her across his lap. “What? You think I’d rather have a steering wheel in my lap than you?”

  “No complaining if your legs fall asleep. Or if I fall asleep.”

  He swept her hair from her face. “Been thinkin’ about how much I’d like to have you fallin’ asleep in my arms.”

  She touched the brim of his hat. “Take this off. It bumps my face when you kiss me and it keeps me from running my fingers through your hair.” As soon as he set it on the seat beside her, her hands were on his head, nails gliding over his scalp. “Your hair is like black silk. Not too long. Not too short. Why hide it under a hat?”

  “I don’t know how to answer that… Ah, damn. That feels good.”

  Carolyn tugged him closer by his hair and kissed him with sweet seductiveness.

  His brain focused on the image of her using her mouth on his cock the same way. The thought of teaching her exactly how he liked it, of knowing she’d never done it to any other guy…

  The speaker crackled and she jumped, breaking the kiss.

  “Sounds like the movie is about to start.”

  She shifted sideways and he draped his arm behind her. “Now I wish I would’ve gotten popcorn. But it’s annoying when one person is eating it and the other isn’t.”

  “Mmm-hmm.” He played with her hair and watched the previews.

  “I can’t remember the last movie I went to. Wait. Last year. My aunt wanted to see The Sound of Music which was pretty good. Did you see it?”

  He lifted a brow.

  “Right. Big, tough, hard-livin’ cowboys ain’t got time for that kinda musical nonsense.”

  Carson put his fingers over her lips. “You plan to talk through the whole movie?”

  She opened her mouth to nip his fingers. “The movie hasn’t started. And besides, I was hoping we wouldn’t see any of the movie because we’d be doing other stuff.”


  “If you don’t want to mess around with me, then why am I sitting on your lap?”

  He shut her up with a kiss. “Behave. You might not want to watch the movie but I do.”

  She sighed dramatically but settled into him.

  But forty-five minutes into the movie, she became restless. She started tracing the fingers on his right hand. From the tips to the knuckles. Then she turned his hand over and swept her thumb over the calluses at the base of each finger. After that she placed a kiss in the center of his palm and the inside of his wrist.

  “Sugar. What’re you doin’?”

  “Exploring your hands. I love that they tell the story of what you do.”

  “That I toil outside in hot and cold weather and half the time I forget to wear my damn gloves?”

  She ran his hand up and down her bare arm. “See? The way your rough skin feels on mine gives me goose bumps.”

  He placed her hand back in her lap. “Watch. The. Movie.”

  Five minutes later she said, “So what are we doing after this?”

  Carson winced when two horses went down onscreen. Make believe or not he always reacted that way when animals got hurt.

  “It’s muggy enough that we could cool off at the lake.” She fiddled with the buttons on his shirt, unsnapping the top two. “I’d even get in the water this time.”

  “Not a lake night. It’s gonna rain.”

  “How do you know?”

  “The way the sky looked earlier. How the air feels and smells now. Aw, hell. How come they never see an ambush comin’? It always happens.”

  “Because it’s an ambush.” Carolyn threw her leg over his thigh so she faced him, straddling him. “I’m thinking I need to ambush you.”

  Like he didn’t see this coming.

  But how was he supposed to resist taking it to the next level when she smelled so good. Or when he could feel the soft crush of her belly and her bre
asts against the hard wall of his chest. When he knew the sweet taste of her mouth and the no-holds-barred way she kissed. And the woman seemed especially determined tonight.


  Why are you resisting her? You know where this is gonna end up anyway.

  Not here, not like this. No way, no how.

  “I love your chest. So strong and hard. So many muscles. Is it weird I like that you have a lot of chest hair? It’s so manly. And you smell like you there. It’s like the hair traps the scents of musk and salt and that outdoorsy scent, then it becomes you.”

  “I think we’re missin’ the gun fight.”

  She kissed the hollow of his throat. Then followed the tendons in his neck with her hot little tongue. “You still interested in watching the movie?”

  He groaned. “You’re makin’ it damn hard.”

  “Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do?”

  Lord, she was insistent tonight. Maybe a little ornery.

  You got ornery covered.

  “My friend Laura lost her virginity at a drive-in.”

  “Not happening for you.”

  The light in her eyes disappeared. “Why don’t I get a say? It’s my virginity.”

  “We talked about this. There’s a time and a place. This ain’t it. Look, sugar. Can’t we just have a normal date?”

  “Is that why you’re with me? Because I’m normal date material?”

  “Yes. Now can we be done with this conversation and just watch the movie?”

  But she wouldn’t let it go. “It’s starting to rain and you won’t be able to see it anyway. And don’t sidestep the question. What would you be doing if you were out on a date with someone else?”

  This was a no-win situation and he oughta keep his damn mouth shut…but of course he just had to open up his trap. “I haven’t been on a date since I was nineteen. I pick women up in bars, get what I want from them and walk away. I don’t want that from you.”

  She looked affronted. “You don’t want me?”

  “I want you like fuckin’ crazy.” Carson snagged her wrist and pressed her palm against the fly of his jeans. “But that doesn’t mean I’m gonna maul you at the drive-in.”

  “Even if I ask nicely?”


  “You only have yourself to blame for how I’m acting. Since the night we met you’ve been showing me what desire is. What passion feels like. Is it any wonder I want more whenever I’m with you?” She traced his lower lip with her thumb, then she angled her head to make the same sweeping pass with her tongue. “Carson. Say something.”

  “It’d probably be best if you got off my lap.”

  “I thought you wanted me to sit on your lap.”

  “Not like this.”

  He felt her smile against his cheek. “You like this. I can tell.”

  The woman rocked her hips until her pubic bone bumped his erection.

  He tried to stop her, but his hands gripping her ass had the exact opposite effect. The greedy male part of him wanted her to grind on him and show him how well she moved. Then he’d slip his fingers beneath her panties and see if it made her wet. Then he’d start sucking on her nipples…

  “Carson. Touch me.”


  “Why not?” She dug her fingers into the back of his neck forcing his attention. “I see you looking at my chest all the time.”

  Do not look.

  Dammit, why wouldn’t his eyes listen?

  “Don’t you want your hands and mouth on me?”

  “Of course I do. But that don’t mean I’m gonna tear off your shirt, and take off your bra in a public place where anyone can walk past and see your bare chest.”

  Her eyes widened as if that hadn’t occurred to her.

  So he took it a step farther to drive home his point. “If we get busy in my truck, everyone will know what we’re doin’ when it starts bouncing up and down. That’ll draw an audience. That’s what you want for your first time?”

  “No. But—”

  “Trust me. I’ll know when you’re ready. There’s nothin’ wrong with waitin’ for it. Planning it.”

  “You’ll know when I’m ready,” she repeated.

  “I ain’t sayin’ this to piss you off, but I do have more experience in these things than you do.”

  Carolyn pushed away from him and put distance between them.

  The rain was really coming down and the movie was a total blur. But the voices coming from the speaker were rife with anger.

  That’s when he understood the anger in the air wasn’t only from the movie effects or the humidity. She was mad.

  Which meant she was really mad because he’d learned one thing about her in the times they’d spent together; she didn’t have time for games. She wasn’t playing at being mad.

  “You gonna tell me what’s got you huffing like an angry bull?”

  Comparing her to livestock? Didn’t think you were that dumb.

  “Your expectations of how sex with me is going to play out—candlelight, flowers, chocolates and the release of beribboned doves at the moment of breaching my maidenhead—are not mine.”

  Christ. He hadn’t thought she could be sarcastic either. Once she sank her teeth into something she wouldn’t let it go.

  “I thought you were different.”


  “You look at me but you don’t see me. You see what you want to see. You are like everyone else in my life who thinks it’s their job to make decisions for me and what I want.”

  “Because I wouldn’t fuck you, I’m an asshole?”

  “No. I didn’t ask you to have sex with me. But even if I had? You are dismissing what I want and how I feel.”

  Sadness filled her face and it hit him as hard as a punch in the nuts.

  “Take me back to my car.”

  “We can talk—”

  “No. It’s not like we can watch the movie.”

  Fuck. Rather than try to climb over her into the driver’s side, he jumped into the downpour and skirted the front end. Then getting in he almost sat on his hat. In trying to avoid that, he slammed his groin into the steering wheel.

  “Motherfucking-cocksucking-son-of-a-fucking-bitch.” He breathed through the excruciating pain—he’d never racked himself with a hard on before—and hoped he didn’t pass out. He chanced a look at her.

  She didn’t even have that pursed set to her mouth when he cussed. She didn’t snap, “Language,” at him.

  The windshield wipers slapped angrily as he pulled out of the parking lot onto the road. “This is not how I wanted the night to end.”

  “Just drive.”

  The air in the cab on the drive back to her car was hot and sticky—but that wasn’t what made it uncomfortable.

  Carolyn hadn’t looked at him even one time. She’d just retreated. Hands folded in her lap, her gaze aimed out the window. Not that she could see anything through the fog on the inside and the driving rain surrounding them, but she pretended she could.

  He hated dropping her off in the middle of nowhere, wishing instead he could pull up to her house, walk her to the door and give her a goodnight kiss. Yeah, like a normal date. Didn’t most women want that?

  So why the hell was this beautiful, sweet, pure woman so eager to give her virginity to a man like him?

  Maybe for that reason.

  Carson remembered from talking to the women who’d shared his bed that their initiation into sex left a lot to be desired. His first time at age fifteen hadn’t lasted long at all. His partner, a twenty-year-old teacher’s assistant, had lectured him on making sure the women he bedded had as much fun as he did. She’d taught him a lot.

  And it wasn’t as if he wasn’t fucking dying to get his hands on her, his mouth on her and his dick in her. He just didn’t want it to happen in a car or a truck. Carolyn deserved all that romancing stuff women loved.

  He’d make it up to her. He’d take her out for supper tomorrow night.
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