Saddled and spurred, p.23
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       Saddled and Spurred, p.23

         Part #2 of Blacktop Cowboys series by Lorelei James

  the auction today.”

  “I’m sorry.”

  “I know. But it doesn’t change anything.”

  “It changes everything, Harper, don’t you see? I don’t ever want to do that to you again.” He stepped forward and gently gripped her upper arms. “Tell me what will fix this. What can I do to make it better? I’ll do anything, sweetheart. Anything.”

  As she studied him, she knew Bran wasn’t just saying that; he really meant it. Still. What she had in mind ... might actually shock him.

  “I know that look. You know what you want. Tell me.”

  She raised her chin a notch and gave him a haughty look. “I want to be in control.”

  “Okay. In control of what?”


  He balked a little. “What?”

  “I want you to know what it feels like to have someone else calling the shots, because I’ll bet you’ve never tried it, have you, Mr. Large-and-I’m-Always-in-Charge?”

  Bran shook his head.

  “Do you trust me?”

  His eyes searched hers. After a beat or two he nodded. Not exactly confidently. For some reason that boosted Harper’s confidence and her determination.

  “Good. Then I know what I want that’ll fix this.” She shrugged out of his hold and looked at his crotch, then back in his eyes. “I want to spank you while you’re jacking off.”

  His face paled. “What?”

  “You heard me.” Harper walked straight to her room. Would he follow her? Probably. Would he try to change her mind? Probably. Would he be successful?

  No way. She had to stand her ground or the man would run her into the ground every chance he got.

  Plus, it sounded like fun.

  She stopped at the window and double-checked that the blinds were closed. She heard his boots scuffing on the carpet. His footsteps stopped.

  The door clicked shut. The lock engaged.

  Harper slowly turned to see Bran resting his shoulders against the door, staring at her.

  He said, “You look surprised.”

  “I am.”

  “I told you I’d do anything to fix this. So here I am.” He spread his arms wide. “Ready to take my punishment like a man.”

  Since Harper had zero experience with this sort of thing, she dug deep inside herself, grasping the tiny dominant nature she usually let lie dormant, and let it fill her. She gave him a cool once-over. “Strip. Completely.”

  While he got naked, so did she.

  “Now, face the wall and brace your left arm at eye level. Keep the other arm by your side.”

  As soon as he complied, she moved in behind him. The man smelled good, like Zest soap, hard work, and Bran. What a sense of power to feel his big body jump when she smoothed her hands down his tight, muscular buns. He stayed tense as she touched and rubbed and petted him. Gently. Tenderly. Softly.

  So her first hard smack across those perfectly round white cheeks surprised him. He hissed in a sharp breath. Then she went back to stroking him. Not just his butt. From his lower back up to his broad shoulders. And back down, her thumb tracing the long indent of his spine from his nape to his tailbone.

  Harper let her nipples graze his bare skin and he shuddered. She realized she wasn’t making this about punishment for him, but about trust. He’d abused her trust today and she needed to show him, to remind him, what true trust entailed, especially why it was so important in a sexual relationship when one partner held the reins.

  She reached between his legs and fondled his balls, pleased to find them already hard and tight. Then she stroked his shaft. She tortured him slowly, with feather-light butterfly touches, more fleeting than solid, never staying in the one place he most wanted her caresses.

  Bran’s whole body rippled and he groaned.

  She stopped touching him.

  He groaned louder.

  Grabbing his hand, she curled it around his cock. “You do this. But don’t make yourself come. In fact, you don’t get to come at all until I say so. Understood?”

  “Ah. Yeah. Sure.”

  Harper let her hand stay on top of Bran’s while he pleasured himself. Such power and surety in his strokes. He tugged much harder on the rigid shaft than she would’ve attempted. Using her thumb, she swiped away the bead of moisture gathered on the cock head.

  He made a growling noise and his fingers tightened.

  She slid her hand up his flat belly, stopping to tweak his nipple, smiling when he sucked in a quick breath. She sank her teeth below the skin of his left shoulder blade while her hand connected with his right butt cheek.

  He jerked upright and went still. But he didn’t protest or falter in the pace or movement of his hand on his cock.

  She peppered him with swats until his firm butt cheeks turned a soft shade of red and were hot to the touch. Harper let her tongue follow the curve of his spine. When her mouth connected with his heated buns, he groaned. She rubbed her cheek against the warmth on either side, placing gentle kisses on the redness.

  An unintelligible word rumbled from his chest.

  He kept stroking.

  She kept torturing him.

  And she knew he was into it. His heavy breathing made his whole body heave. Sweat trickled down his back. She could smell his arousal, a special scent his body released that was pure musky male essence.

  This power of pleasure was heady stuff. No wonder Bran liked it so much.

  Harper alternated between kissing his back and leaving bite marks. She rubbed her nipples on his arm as she spanked him and he spanked himself.

  It was unbelievably hot. Her pussy was drenched. Her skin felt too tight. Her heart raced. Her hands smarted from connecting with Bran’s flesh. She felt his movements slowing as he tried to keep himself from coming.

  She stood on tiptoe and whispered in his ear. “Turn around. I wanna watch you come. I wanna see you spray all over your belly. Like you did when you marked me with your seed. Mark yourself for me, Bran, since I can’t mark you.”

  Bran flipped around, resting his upper back against the wall. His hand jerked his shaft hard and fast, a constant slapping of skin meeting skin. He let his head fall back and a low curse rasped from his lips. His jaw went tight, then slack. He groaned as he pulled his cock closer to his abdomen. Jets of come splashed at the top of his ridged abs. He kept pumping his hips and his dick until he’d milked himself dry.

  Harper watched as the thick liquid ran down his belly, mixing with the sheen of sweat covering his quivering skin.

  Finally he looked at her, male satisfaction riding high on his handsome face. His fist stayed around his cock and he awaited her further instruction.

  “My turn,” she said in a husky bedroom voice. She backed up until she sat on the edge of the bed. Splaying her knees open, she slid her hands down her stomach. When she reached her swollen pussy lips, she spread them apart, revealing every inch of her hidden folds, the mouth of her sex, and her engorged clit. “See how wet I am?”

  Bran growled.

  “Put your mouth on me. Now. Make me come.”

  He hit the carpet between her legs so fast he probably got rug burns on his knees. He layered his hands over hers, keeping her cunt wide-open so his tongue could plunge into her. He licked the cream coating her sex, flicking the very tip of his tongue over her clit. He sucked, making possessive male sounds that vibrated against her intimate flesh.

  “Yes. Like that.”

  Two fingers pushed inside her channel. He rubbed the tips against the sensitive spot on her inner wall as he suctioned his mouth to her clitoris, catching the rhythm of her blood pulsing through her veins, sucking in tandem.

  Each rhythmic pull of her clit into the heat of his mouth sent her closer to the edge. She bumped her hips up, grinding her sex into his face, desperate for release.

  Then Bran backed off. He blew a stream of air over her engorged flesh. Her skin tightened from her pussy to her nipples to her scalp. He rapidly flicked his tongue across her clit, bare
ly there wet lashes that intensified with each stuttered heartbeat.

  Harper’s legs shook. She teetered on the brink, needing . . . wanting . . . “Please. I—”

  He reached up and pinched her right nipple hard at the same time his teeth nipped her clit.

  That did it. She sailed headlong into dark pleasure as Bran fastened his oh-so-clever mouth to her throbbing clit and sucked.

  And sucked. And dear God, he sucked some more, doing some exquisite maneuver with his tongue until she felt she’d had three orgasms instead of one. Until her insides trembled as strongly as her thighs, arms, and belly. Until a haze of bliss settled over her. A gratifying hum that streamed across the surface of her skin as she was totally submerged in unadulterated pleasure.

  But Bran didn’t give her long to bask in the afterglow of a triple-play orgasm. He pushed her back flat against the mattress, hiked her hips up, and plunged inside her pussy to the hilt. The ferocity of the thrust caught her off guard, but not the fact Bran had retaken control.

  Harper let his body propel hers into the middle of the bed so she could wrap her legs around his waist. She put her arms above her head, because she knew how much that sign of surrender affected him. She loved this position. The feel of his strong body pressing into hers, chest to chest, belly to belly.

  Then his hungry mouth sought hers, nearly burning her lips with a blistering kiss. She tasted herself on his tongue. Bran rocked into her hard enough that she worried their teeth might clack together. He must’ve sensed it at the same time she did, because he slid his lips to her ear.

  “You make me crazy. Only you, Harper. What you do to me.” He left a string of sucking kisses down one side of her neck and then back up the other side to her ear. “I wanna fuck you until we both pass out.”

  “Anything you want, Bran. You know I won’t say no. I never have.” God help me, but I fear I’ll never deny you anything.

  His very approving, very male groan exploded in her ear. “Smack my ass again while I’m fucking you.”

  When his cock was buried in her body completely, she brought her hands down, simultaneously slapping both his butt cheeks.

  He shuddered.

  She did it again.

  And again, until Bran circled her wrists and pinned them above her head, grinding his mouth onto hers in a frantic kiss. His hips pistoned faster. Then he stilled completely. He ripped his mouth free and roared like a beast as he came.

  Harper felt every pulse as his cock gave up its seed, bathing her inner walls with slick heat as she contracted the muscles around it, trying to prolong his orgasm.

  He gasped, “Enough. Stop. You’re killin’ me.”

  She traced his skin with her hands, loving the rippling movements in the muscles of his damp back.

  As he started to move off her, she whispered, “Stay with me tonight,” hoping he wouldn’t deny her the chance to have him in her bed until dawn.

  Bran sweetly nuzzled her jawline. “I need to clean up first—”

  “No. I like you sticky.”

  He lifted his head and looked at her strangely. “Why?”

  “Because we always clean up and then I go home. Just for once I’d like to stay like this, a sweaty, sticky, tangled mess. All night.”

  His eyes took on a softer sheen and he said, “Anything you want.”

  Chapter Seventeen

  Branding day started as early as everything else in the cattle business. Helpers on horses, on ATVs, and in pickups headed for the pastures to round up the cattle. Anxious mama cows weren’t happy to be separated from their babies, and by the corrals the din of moos was deafening.

  Harper was relieved to stay at the house and coordinate the food. She’d seen enough of the cows and calves up close and personal, and it appeared Bran had plenty of help. Given the rainy weather the last few days, she’d been happy to see sunshine for the branding and for the feast afterward.

  Bran’s neighbors had shown up, as well as his friends and even their family members. He’d explained that other nearby ranches staggered branding days, spreading them out over a few weeks so they could help one another. The long-held tradition in the community was one they all took seriously.

  He’d also assured her that other women would come bearing food. So after Harper set up the tables under the big white canopies and organized everything she could possibly organize, she found herself at loose ends.

  She had just decided to take a quick drive up to the corrals to see where they were in the branding/vaccination process when Lainie Lawson’s Dodge Durango pulled up to the trailer. She ambled over and saw Lainie unloading a huge box. “Hey, Lainie. Let me help you with that.”

  “I’ve got this one, thanks, but there’s another one in the back.”

  Harper caught a whiff of something sweet and tangy. “Is this all food? My God. You baked, like . . . half a dozen pies. From scratch.”

  “They’re just rhubarb pies. No big deal.”

  They carried the two flat boxes over to the tables. Harper’s mouth watered at seeing the perfectly browned crusts and the pink liquid that had bubbled up through the precisely made slits in the center of the top crusts. “Lainie. These look wonderful. I’m afraid if we don’t leave right now I might just sit down and have myself a pie-eatin’ contest.”

  Lainie laughed. “I’ll admit I’ve been bribed to share my grandma Elsa’s famous recipe because it’s so darn good.”

  “Can I get you something to drink? There’s lemonade and iced tea. And beer. Lots of beer.”

  “Cowboys and beer? Say it ain’t so.”

  Harper smiled. “Since I’m not much of a beer drinker, Bran bought me ‘bitch beer,’ also known as Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Jack Daniel’s berry-flavored mixers.”

  “I’ve never been fond of that term,” Lainie said. “So I’ll take a real man’s beer—Bud Light.”

  “Coming right up.”

  After they’d cracked the tops and wandered under the tent, Harper caught Lainie giving her a subtle inspection. Paranoid that she’d broken an obscure rancher’s rule, she said, “Is there something wrong with what I’m wearing?”

  “God, no. You look fantastic, as usual. It pisses me off a little, to be real honest. Anyone else would look like a total wannabe cowgirl, wearing that super-girly floral dress and boots to a branding. But it’s a natural look on you.” Lainie swigged her beer. “I’m jealous. Wish I could pull it off.”

  She waved off Lainie’s compliment. “Sure you can.”

  “I don’t have any fashion sense whatsoever, since I spend most my time in scrubs at the hospital.” She grinned. “Or naked, if Hank has his way.”

  Harper almost said, “Bran is of the same mind-set,” but she bit back the comment and changed the subject. “How goes the housebuilding project?”

  “Slow. I can’t freakin’ wait to have our own home. Sounds like we’ll be able to move in two weeks.”

  “How are things between Abe and Hank?”

  “Better. Us having our own space will help. Sometimes I think Hank has mixed feelings about moving out of the house he grew up in. It’s the only place he’s ever lived.”

  “I’ve never had that kind of permanence in my life.” Harper pointed to Bran’s abandoned ancestral home. “So I don’t understand why Bran doesn’t live there. I know he still considers that his grandparents’ house, but it’s a shame to let it fall to ruin.”

  “I agree. When I asked Hank why Bran lives in a trailer, he looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. But it does remind me of my grandma’s house. I loved that place and was really sad I couldn’t afford to keep it after she passed on.” Lainie took another sip of beer. “Have you ever been inside?”

  “Nope. You?”

  “Nope.” Lainie looked at Harper with challenge in her eyes. “What do you say we take ourselves a little sneak peek?”

  Harper started to refuse, wondering if Bran would consider that a breach of privacy, but he’d never exactly come right out and said she couldn
t explore it. Curiosity won out over propriety. “Let’s do it.”

  She wasn’t surprised the front door opened without a key, since Bran never remembered to lock his own door. Dust motes danced in shafts of watery sunlight streaming through the dirty windows.

  They stepped into a large entryway with a wide staircase stretching along the back wall.

  “Left or right?” Lainie asked.

  “Umm, left?”

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