Which means that I have a lot of awesome bonus scenes from the book!
This one was affectionately called The Barn Scene by my critique partners who read the book when it was shiny new.
The stable was quiet when they rode their horses inside. Cole dismounted first and grabbed Rylan’s reins while she jumped down.
“Go on ahead. I’ve got this,” He hoped she’d do just that, go about her day. The ride back should have been a little uncomfortable, but it wasn’t. Not in the least. It had been comfortable and…fun. Too much time passed since he'd last ridden for the hell of it. His time on horseback was necessitated by work and Cole couldn’t remember the last time he’d drank up his surroundings like he had today.
He did because Rylan had. It was like seeing Paint River through her eyes. The property hadn’t lost its beauty; he’d simply forgotten to look. Rylan’s eyes were wide enough for both of them and he enjoyed seeing the pleasure on her face. She leaned against Sisko, her ass perfectly in line with Cole’s view. He sniffed. If she didn’t hightail it out of here, he’d be tempted to find a reason to put more pleasure on her face right damn now.
“Nah, I’ll help you.” She flipped the left stirrup over the saddle and bent down to loosen the girth from the horse’s belly. Cole’s cock jumped. He turned his back, grappling to get his testosterone under control. This is stupid, Haywood, he chastised silently. It wasn’t like he was lacking in the woman department, far from it. It was his reaction to this woman that drove him nuts.
Rylan dropped the saddle and blanket, undid the bridle and laid everything in a neat pile. Cole did the same, resigned to ignore her before he jumped her in the fucking hay. They turned the horses out, bumping shoulders as they walked back to the tack.
“Sorry,” she said, brushing her arm where he’d touched her. Her gray eyes raked his face, the tip of her tongue wetting her lower lip before she tugged it a little with her teeth. She reached for the saddle, her breasts bouncing under her white t-shirt.
That was it.
Cole cleared the space between them and grasped her upper arms in his hands. She gasped, eyes growing huge. He took in the stunning dark outline of her lashes against pewter irises and the rosy flush spreading across her cheeks. Her chest stalled while his sped up. Cole pulled her close, her breasts a whisper from his chest. If he pulled her in all the way, he’d lose it hard.
He ran one hand up her arm to her shoulder until the back of her neck was cupped in his palm. Rylan’s lips parted, her eyes locked with his. He wanted the taste of her mouth, the sensation of her skin on his. Barely aware of what he was doing, Cole walked her back against the stall door. Breath left her in a soft rush as she pressed against the wood. He waited for some sign of resistance, but found nothing but a wicked wanting in her eyes.
“Tell me not to kiss you,” he whispered huskily, dipping his head until his lips hovered over the curve in her neck. Her hands grabbed his waist and for a second, Cole thought she was going to push him off. But she pulled him closer until his hips met hers, and her fingers wound around his belt to hold him there. She smelled like vanilla and sunshine, and he couldn’t wait another second to see if her taste matched. He touched his mouth to her skin and kissed her bounding pulse, Rylan’s gravelly moan flaming him on. Cole traced her pulse with his tongue, the sweetness of her heady and perfect. The shiver that quaked through her was an added bonus and he knew right then that he was in so much trouble.
“Tell me to stop,” his lips cruised along her jaw. Please, tell me to stop before I lose myself in you.
Rylan’s hand cupped his chin. Her fingers clenched harder around his belt as she leaned up, her breath washing over his lips. And then his hat went flying and her hands were in his hair, her fingers twining in it hard and urging him closer.
“Don’t stop,” her breathy whisper barely popped out before he crushed her lips to his. Her lips were hot and willing, parting and meeting his every movement, little moans blowing into his mouth as he devoured her. He ran his hands down her sides, over the smooth architecture of her ribs to the curve of her waist and soft, delicious flare of her hips. Grasping her waist, he pulled her forward until his erection dug into her belly. She gasped, reflexively grabbing his back and digging her nails into his shirt.
Flecks of surprise nagged his brain. This felt right. She felt right. How the hell did her husband ever think she was plain? Rylan was a goddamn firecracker.
“Ah, Cole?” A throat cleared. A low chuckle. Cole whipped around. Jaxon Moore stood in the aisle a few feet back with a huge shit-eating grin.
“Christ!” Cole smoothed Rylan’s arms with his hands, a little dazed at losing the connection with her. Her heavy breaths and kiss-swollen mouth pulled him back like a magnet.
“We got a mare delivering breech. You best come along.”
Rylan’s eyes shifted to Moore and back again. Her chest heaved, goose bumps dotting her arms. “Go. I’ll get the tack.”
He hated to leave her there, looking all trussed and bewildered with all that smoke brewing in her eyes. Hell, what had he just done? She was the housekeeper, a woman with an indifference to children and some heavy secrets in her back pocket. No good was going to come of this, but hell if he didn’t want her anyway.
Cole swiped his hand across his mouth as he turned away. The sooner he got the taste of her out of his mind, the better or he was in deep shit.