Cowboy take me away, p.26
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       Cowboy Take Me Away, p.26

         Part #16 of Rough Riders series by Lorelei James
 

  family,” Carolyn said defensively.

  “When you’re an adult. I saw the responsibilities your family piled on you at age twelve because your mother was too frail to continue to run her household.” She squeezed Carolyn’s hip. “Your father and your brothers would’ve let you slave away for them and not thought twice about it. Without you here they had to step up. With your mother’s failing health…your father had two built-in housekeepers and caretakers. Even your mother didn’t want that for you. She’s the one who asked for you to be educated not only in the Catholic school, but for me to teach you a useful skill.”

  Carolyn twisted her ring around her finger.

  “You’ve been a blessing to me, child. I always hoped with as talented as you are that you’d take over my business one day.” She paused. “So if this marriage doesn’t…work out, remember you can always come live with me.”

  “You sound like you don’t expect it to last.”

  “Physical attributes change. I hear he’s a handsome man. You sure you’re not in love with the way he looks? He won’t look like that in ten, twenty, thirty years.”

  “I’m not in love with his looks. Though it certainly helps that he’s nice to look at.”

  “It’s more than lust and passion between you two?” her aunt pressed.

  Carolyn blushed. But she wouldn’t back down. “What do you know of lust and passion?”

  Her aunt laughed. “I got a priest to leave the church and marry me, so I know plenty—plenty—about lust and passion. We only had ten years as husband and wife before he passed on, and God didn’t see fit to bless us with children, but they were ten good years. I want you to be certain you’re choosing the man you see yourself spending the rest of your life with and not him just because he’s close by.”

  She locked her gaze on her aunt’s. “Do you know what my father said to me? I’m an idiot to fall for the first man who pays attention to me. Now you’re saying the same thing.”

  “No.” She reached for Carolyn’s hands and repeated, “No. I’d be remiss in my duties as your godmother if I didn’t question you from every angle about this major step in your life.”

  “Did I pass the test?”

  She managed a small smile. “Yes. You’ve got a bumpy road ahead. Let’s pray your love will hold you together. Now let’s get this dress gussied up for your big day, hmm?”

  The next two days were a blur.

  The wedding had been small. Just her family and his. Not all of her family. Her father hadn’t shown up. She’d hoped he’d have a last minute change of heart—but he’d stayed away. As had her brother Harland. It surprised her to see Harland’s wife, Sonia, in the church, sitting next to Darren’s wife, Tracy. Darren, Marshall and Stuart filled up the front pew with their mother, who sat next to Aunt Hulda.

  Maxine, Beverly and Mike rounded out Carolyn’s side of the church.

  Carson’s side was even sparser than hers. His dad hadn’t come either, just his brothers. Agnes and her husband Ed were in attendance as well as an older couple who lived across the road from Carson’s trailer. Plus a few of Carson’s drinking buddies had shown up, acting as if they were attending a funeral, not a wedding.

  Because Thomas walked her down the aisle, Father Dorian skipped the “who gives this woman to this man” spiel.

  Her gaze briefly registered on her sister Kimi, serving as maid of honor, and then she looked across the altar to see Carson’s twin Cal flanking him. Then her eyes locked onto Carson’s and that’s all she’d seen. Him. Standing there in his western cut suit, hat and boots, looking so proud and yet anxious as he waited for her, ready to pledge his forever love for her in front of God and everyone.

  After they’d repeated their vows and were introduced as husband and wife, they’d had a small cake and coffee reception in the church basement.

  And now here they were. Home. Their home.

  “Caro? You all right?”

  She turned and smiled at her husband. She couldn’t believe this black-haired, blue-eyed handsome devil was completely hers. “I’m perfect.”

  “Yes, you are.” Carson picked up her hand and kissed it. “As beautiful as you look in that dress, I need to strip it off you.”

  “Now?”

  “The second we get in the house.”

  Her belly fluttered as it always did when that wicked gleam entered his eyes.

  “Stay right there.” In a flash he was out of the truck and on her side, opening the door. He slid one arm under her knees and the other around her waist, lifting her out with ease.

  Carolyn wrapped her arms around his neck and held on. Pressing a kiss to that strong jaw, she murmured, “Carrying me across the threshold is romantic.”

  “Mmm-hmm. And it’s also tradition that brings good luck.” He managed to hold the screen door open while opening the inner door. He kicked the door shut behind him and kissed the top of her head. “Welcome home, Mrs. McKay.” Keeping her in his arms, he headed down the hallway to the back bedroom. He hesitated inside the doorjamb. “What’s all this?”

  “I added a few things.”

  Since Carson had stayed at Cal’s last night, Carolyn and Kimi had shown up early to redecorate the bedroom. Carson had already cleaned out half the closet and given her half the drawer space in the built in cabinets.

  Since this was now her home too, she wanted the bedroom to reflect them, not just him. She’d bought new sheets, cream-colored linen with pale lilac and mint green flowers, and added a chenille bedspread in the same soft green. Then she’d rummaged through the closet that held her mother’s abandoned sewing projects and found four fabric panels that she added to the front side of an old, tattered quilt. She made matching pillowcases and a new curtain out of the leftover scraps. This morning she’d finally assembled all the new pieces: the layers of bedding, window coverings that actually covered the windows. The space did look very Better Homes and Gardens, if she did say so herself.

  “Do you like it?”

  He nuzzled her cheek. “This looks so damn nice I’m afraid I’ll dirty it up.”

  “Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do in our own bed? Get as dirty as we want?”

  Immediately after she said that she felt Carson’s hardness pressing into her hip.

  “I like this raunchy-talkin’ side of you.” His lips grazed her ear. “How about we test that out right now?” He lowered her feet to the floor.

  Before she could twine her arms around his neck and kiss him, Carson faced her forward, toward the bed. “What—”

  “As your husband it’s my right to peel this wedding dress off you, and I’m takin’ my time.” He placed a soft kiss on the nape of her neck. “You looked beautiful today, Carolyn.”

  Her entire body trembled.

  “So perfect with the fancy hairdo and the lacy gown. But what’s beneath all this finery is what I want.” He stilled behind her, his fingers gripping her hips, his breath flowing over her damp skin.

  The zipper made no sound as he slid it down to the rise of her buttocks. Then the rough tips of his fingers followed her spine, over the clasp of her bra to the band of her crinoline slip. As he pressed soft kisses across the sweep of her neck, setting every nerving ending alive, he slowly dragged her dress down. Tugging the lace at her wrists to release her arms, then pausing at her hips to caress that sensitive section of flesh with the back of his knuckles.

  “Everything about you is so soft,” he said, kissing the ball of her shoulder.

  Carolyn turned her head and brushed her mouth over his temple. “And everything about you is so hard.

  “Some things harder than others.”

  She smiled.

  “Lose the slip, sugar.”

  One quick tug and the slip covered her dress on the floor.

  “Hang on to my arm. Step out, I’ve gotcha. One more. Now stay just like that.” Carson picked up her wedding dress and moved it. “Let me see you.”

  Her nerves didn’t make sense. She’d been na
ked with this man before.

  But never as his wife.

  A kiss landed on the small of her back.

  When Carolyn turned, Carson was on his knees before her. A shiver started at the top of her spine and worked its way down, setting off goose bumps as his hot gaze catalogued every inch of her.

  She’d worn a plain white satin bra, a small pair of white satin underwear, a lacy white garter belt with white satin garters and the sheerest white stockings she could find.

  “Is this new?” He traced the garter belt with the tip of his finger, stopping at the tiny pink rose at the top of the garter.

  “Yes.”

  “You look like an angel in this and I’m havin’ a devil of a time not tearin’ it off you with my teeth.”

  The sensations he aroused in her just with words, or the hungry way he looked at her were still new enough to take her by surprise. The quiver in her belly spread between her legs, making her sex hot and slick. Her nipples tightened and her breasts felt heavier. Even her lips felt fuller, moister. And her pulse pounded everywhere.

  Carson’s hands curled around her hips and he urged her backward. “Sit.”

  Her rear met the edge of the bed.

  He stood and took off his hat. Shrugged out of his suit coat. Unbuttoned his vest and tossed it aside. Untied his western tie, letting the ends hang loose. Popped the snaps on the top two buttons of his white dress shirt and untucked it from his pants.

  A tiny thrill of possession rolled through her when she had peeks of his shiny new wedding band as he unsnapped his cuffs.

  Carson removed his boots with practiced ease. Not once during his strip down had his eyes left her body.

  Carolyn reached to slip off her right shoe, but his hand stayed the movement. “Leave ’em on. And open your knees wide so I can see what belongs to me.”

  Heart racing, she adjusted her heels and parted her thighs.

  “Let that sexy ass hang off the bed a little and brace your arms behind you.”

  “You always gonna be this bossy?”

  “Yep.” He lowered to his knees. “Just tellin’ you what I want.”

  “What do you want, Carson?”

  “My mouth on my wife’s pussy.”

  Her cheeks heated. She fought the urge to hide her face. Would she ever not blush when hearing him say such blatantly sexual things?

  You like it. That’s why you’re blushing.

  Then he opened his mouth over the satin covering her mound, delicately tracing the edge of her panties and her inner thigh with his tongue.

  She sucked in a breath.

  He continued to lap at her, getting her panties wetter and wetter—inside and out. He’d nip with his teeth, blow a stream of hot air, and suck; all the while his hands were caressing the skin between her stocking and garter belt. Finally he tugged at her panties but they didn’t budge.

  After making a displeased growl, Carson rested on his haunches and dug in his front pocket. He lifted his pocketknife into view and she gasped.

  “What are you—?”

  “Can’t tear these off with my teeth so I need to cut ’em off.” One quick slice by her hip, a firm tug and her underwear were dangling from his hand.

  “Carson!”

  “I’ll buy you a new pair,” he said offhandedly and whipped them behind him.

  His devastating mouth paused over her mound. She watched as he breathed her in. Then petal soft kisses landed on the petals of her sex. Whisper light and tinged with devotion.

  Oh, it was such a glorious sight, Carson’s dark head between her legs and the sounds his mouth made as he ate at her. Feasted on her really. His tongue licked and teased, swirling and flicking. His soft growling noises vibrated against her sensitive flesh, pushing her arousal to a new level.

  Carson sensed the change and focused entirely on her hot button.

  It didn’t take long before her pelvis tingled in warning. Pleasure slammed into her in waves so strong her entire body bowed. She gasped when he wouldn’t relent; he just flicked that skilled tongue faster and faster until it set her off again. Once the second wave slowed to a dull throb, she thrust her hand into his silky hair, lightly tugging to get him to back off.

  He lifted his head and their eyes met. He offered her a grin and feathered kisses over the inside of her knee. “You like me doin’ that.”

  “You know I do.”

  “One of these days—soon—I’ll stay right here for an hour to see how many times I can get you to come. But for right now…” He pushed to his knees. Then his hands glided up the tops of her thighs, over her hips and the garter belt, stopping on her rib cage.

  Carolyn watched as his fingers traced the bottom band of her bra and disappeared behind her back. Those deft fingers of his unhooked the clasp.

  “Ditch the bra.”

  She slid the straps down and peeled the cups away from her breasts. The instant the air hit the tips, they shriveled into hard points and she was tempted to cover them up again.

  “Damn. You are perfect everywhere.” He angled forward and enclosed her right nipple between his lips. Then his wet mouth and silky tongue worked her over. Soft sucking where it felt as if he tried to stuff her entire breast into his mouth. He released her flesh slowly. “You like that too.”

  “I like everything you do to me.” She ran her hands through his hair. “I like everything you let me do to you.”

  Carson tilted his head back.

  The fire blazing in his eyes made her mouth go dry.

  “I want you from behind. I know it’s our wedding night and you were probably expecting sweet love makin’, but I need more than that.” He rose up, looming over her, and snared her mouth in a soul-searing kiss.

  She could scarcely catch her breath when he released her lips to attack her throat.

  His lips grazed her ear. “I want you to feel my possession, Carolyn. So when you look back, you’ll remember this as the night you became mine in name and body.”

  She whispered, “Show me.”

  Carson stripped and she sighed at seeing his muscular body, his sex jutting out, fully aroused and ready for her. Then he rolled her onto her belly. His hands, his mouth, his body brought every nerve ending alive from the nape of her neck to her backs of her heels. She was a mass of need by the time he raised her hips into the air. He spread her pussy open with his fingers and impaled her in one stroke.

  Then he caged her body beneath his and remained like that for several long moments. His hipbones pressed against her butt cheeks, his belly and the hard wall of his chest plastered to her back, covering her completely. His strong arms alongside hers. His mouth on her ear.

  This position was overwhelming—the possession and the intensity when he began to slam in and out of her. Hard and deep. Their skin grew slick. The sounds in the room were the squeak of the bed, their harsh breathing and the slap of flesh against flesh.

  Her body seemed electrified, tingles zipping across every inch of her skin. The swollen pulse of her pussy around his cock dangled her on that edge between pleasure and pain—a dizzying sensation she liked far more than she would’ve believed.

  Carson shocked her by placing whisper soft kisses on the sweep of her shoulder even as he hammered into her. “I love you, Carolyn. You’re mine forever.” Then he fastened his mouth to the side of her throat and sucked, his hips bucking against hers wildly.

  Between the love bite, his rapid-fire thrusts and the fiercely sexy way he came, her name a deep growl that vibrated to her core, she went sailing off into ecstasy again.

  She collapsed on the bed and he followed her down, his hips still slowly pumping. She winced when he pulled out, but she knew he was right about one thing; she’d never forget how he proved he owned her—heart, soul and body—straight down to the marrow of her bones.

  Then they were face to face. His eyes were filled with so much love she couldn’t breathe.

  “Thanks for marryin’ me. I promise I’ll spend the rest of my life makin’ you
happy. I’ll always put your needs and your happiness above everything else.”

  “Even the cattle?” she teased.

  “Even them.”

  And she believed him.

  Chapter Eighteen

  Present Day… Hospital, Day 2

  After being in the hospital thirty-two hours, Carson had had enough of his own company.

  He’d made a list of people who he’d welcome in the ICU waiting area: anyone with the last name McKay or Donohue. He’d half-expected/half-hoped that Keely would show up to rip into him.

  But no one had stopped by. His phone hadn’t rung even one time.

 
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