Authors: Jodi Linton
Then I stomped after my company.
When I stepped back inside my kitchen, my mother was at the sink, clutching
bowl of potato salad. She turned on the garage disposal, letting the Marlboro droop from her bottom lip, and began to scoop it out. “We aren’t gonna need all this potato salad for just the four of us, Laney.” She slung spoonful after spoonful of the potato salad into the disposal. “What we don’t eat of mine tonight, you can take to work tomorrow for Elroy. He just loves my potato salad.”
My fingernails dug into the Pyrex bowl. I was fixing to ride the woman’s spiteful ass when a heavy hand fell low on the small of my back.
“I wouldn’t take it as a compliment that Elroy likes your cooking, Ruth,” Gunner told her, moving his hand up and down my backside until his fingers latched onto my ass. I jumped. He grinned and added, “I once saw him eat a moldy burrito that I’d left in my Yukon, just because it was something he hadn’t had in a while.”
My mother was so mad that I could almost see the smoke curling out of her ears.
Gunner pinched my butt cheek and placed his mouth inches from my ear. “I’m so glad you invited your parents over for dinner. It really is important to have family.”
I nudged him in the side. “Tell me. What’s got you so happy?”
The grin widened. “You give good bitchy sex.”
“Don’t push your luck,” I told him.
Gunner just kept on smiling as he took the open seat next to my dad. He slouched in the chair, slung both bulging biceps across its back, and then had the gall to toss me one of his sexier-than-hell winks.
My breath strangled in my throat. God knew he could turn me on with a glance. Immediately, I looked at my mother before the lady-killer had me so hot I’d be squirming in my seat the entire meal.
My mother whirled around from the sink, her hands on her hips. She pulled a long, steady drag before she said, “Well, it looks like y’all are ready to eat.” She made herself at home, grabbing plates, forks and knives, and paper towels and plopping everything on the table. “Now eat up,” she ordered with a slap to Gunner’s back. Then she parked herself in a chair at the table.
“When were you going to tell me you took a permanent job at the Odessa Ranger office?” my mother asked Gunner in the middle of sipping her iced tea. And aside to me, “Laney, this tea is weaker’n shit. How many tea bags did you use?”
Gunner put down the fork he was using to shovel potato salad into his mouth and licked a speck of potato off his bottom lip before replying, “I suppose I hadn’t planned on it, Ruth.” He looked at me. “Laney’s a big girl, and if she wants to share her bed with me, then who am I to turn down such a sweet offer.”
The tea glass slipped from my mother’s grip. “Heaven have mercy,” she sputtered. “Did you just hear what Gunner said, Floyd? He’s screwing your daughter again.”
A beer cracked open. We turned, waiting for my father to take sides. More than likely he’d side with Gunner. Gunner had always been the cool guy my father wished he could’ve hung out with when he was young.
“Shit, Ruth,” he said, swirling the beer around in the bottle. “Did you think he was sleeping on the couch?” He gave Gunner a look of approval. “For Christ’s sake, the boy popped her cherry back in high school. I don’t see why you’re so surprised to find out he’s screwing her now in her own house when he was slipping it in while she lived with us.”
Heat scorched my cheeks. “Who told you that?” I asked, keeping one eye on Gunner.
“Well, Gunner told me, pumpkin. We were shooting the bull one night over at Rusty’s when you and Elroy were pulling an all-nighter to wrap up the paperwork on the school vandalism, and I started talking about how much I’d missed him when he was in Houston, and how I was so glad he found a way to saddle break my little wild child. Then we started talking about how y’all first got together. After a few beers and me talking about how happy I was to see the two of you together again, Gunner got to going on about how he’d fallen for you after he sealed the deal in the back of his pickup behind the Piggly Mart after the homecoming dance your senior year.” He reached across the table to pat Gunner on the shoulder.
Gunner crossed his arms, gloating. I was mortified. He was such a bastard when he wanted to be. Who did he think he was, talking about our sex life with my father?
I stretched my leg under the table and kicked him in the shin. The smile on his face vanished, and he jolted up from the table.
“Shit, Laney,” he snapped. “It’s not like he didn’t already know.” He tried one of those panty-wetter smiles on me.
Not this time, cowboy
, I thought.
“You need to learn to keep your trap shut when you’re drinking with my father,” I told him. “And Dad, what the hell’s wrong with you? Why do you want to hear this kind of stuff about me?”
My father swallowed another slow draw of his beer. I took into account all the empty Shiner bottles. Five total already, and they’d barely been at the house an hour. That’s why he’d made sure to snag the seat by the fridge. “It’s hard to not be happy. We live in Pistol Rock, and around here, Gunner is like a first-round draft pick in the NFL. And you snagged him,” he burped out.
“Well, that’s about the nicest thing anybody’s ever said to me, Floyd,” Gunner said, beaming.
“Besides,” my father continued, “I’d like to see a grandchild sometime soon.”
Gunner leaned forward. “Amen to that.” He laughed. Then he placed a hand on my father’s arm. “We’ll get to work on that later tonight, right, sweetheart?” He winked at me.
Before I could swallow the frog in my throat to reply, a set of acrylic nails dug into the tabletop.
“Enough,” my mother said shrilly. “That’s enough. I don’t wanna hear another word about who’s screwing my daughter and planting babies in her.”
We all dropped our mouths at the same time.
“Mother,” I gasped, appalled.
She shrugged me off and took a bite. “I think I outdid myself with this potato salad.”
We skipped dessert, and shortly after, my father collected our last unopened Shiner and my mother hauled his ass out the door and into the dark. She gave me a brisk wave after strapping him into the passenger seat, then squeezed herself behind the wheel. I didn’t relax until I heard the last squeal of the fan belt from the Oldsmobile leaving my driveway.
At half past midnight, Gunner was neck deep inside the fridge, rooting through the contents.
“When was the last time you hit up the store?” he asked, pulling out the only remaining Miller Lite. He cracked the cap open and took a swig. “I really hate to sound like an ass, but you’re slacking on your womanly duties.” Being an ass was his specialty.
I pushed off the doorway. “There are two of us living here, you know. And I don’t recall you being laid up and incapable of going to the store for things.”
He took another drink and raised his eyebrows an inch, truly enjoying pissing me off a little too much. “Are you forgetting that I picked up the lube last week on my way home from work?”
Aw, hell. He had to throw the lube back in my face just because I was interested in trying something with him that I’d only ever read about.
I told myself I wasn’t going to let him get to me. “Well, I’ve been busy working, too,” I spat and walked out of the kitchen.
So much for not letting him get to me.
I stopped in the doorway, turned around, and slid my gaze down the length of his toned, hard body. “Besides, what with being shot at by a biker while on an investigation with Colt Larsen, the last thing I could care about is whether or not we have milk in the fridge.”
Beer spewed all over the countertop. That bombshell had been totally worth it.
“Excuse me?” He wiped beer froth from his lips and slammed the bottle down hard on the counter. “Did you just say you were out with that pretty-boy cowboy and he almost got you killed?” he asked, but it sounded more like a threat to me. “I’m going to rearrange that son of a bitch’s nose.” He banged his fist into the countertop, rattling the dishes drying next to the sink.
I bent over and pulled off a boot, then got to work on the other while keeping my eyes fixed on my brooding dark horse.
I tossed a boot behind the couch. “If it was a contest, I’d say you’re probably a better shot than he is.”
His chin shot up, his brown eyes narrowed all hot and sensual when I sent a significant look from his gun to his zipper, and then he was on the prowl. “What you’re forgetting is that there isn’t any contest.” His voice ran smooth and rough. He stopped directly in front of me, crouched low enough to wrap both hands around the nape of my neck, and tipped my chin upward with a thumb. “There’s a reason you keep coming back for more.” He tugged on my neck, closing the gap between our mouths. “Maybe it’s time for a reminder.”
His mouth grazed mine, and my lips automatically parted, begging for his kiss. My neck fell to the side, itching for attention, while my legs eagerly spread wider, inviting those Wranglers home.
“I’m in no mood to play…” I gasped, as he torturously brushed his lips across my neck while I cupped his tight, sweet ass. He brought his mouth back to mine, close enough so I could feel his breath on my lips, pulling away every time I went after a kiss. “Come on, Gunner. Stop teasing me.”
He nuzzled my tank top away from my chest, inhaling, gently kissing my skin. “When have I ever been easy on you, Laney?” he mumbled, working his lips and teeth underneath the fabric and up to my shoulder. “You want to see how fast I can make you come?” He nipped at my chin.
A moan escaped my lips.
Dear Lord, was this cowboy a killer
. Eyelashes frantically fluttering and hands reaching desperately for relief trying to get those ass-hugging Wranglers open, I gave him a devilish grin, begging him to show me what he could do.
He deepened the kiss, snaking an arm around my waist, then yanked me off the floor, fastening me against his chest. “Or would you rather see how slowly I can draw an orgasm out of you?” He bit and suckled the jackhammering pulse in my neck.
I squirmed in his arms. “I don’t care how you get me there, so long as I get there.” I lowered a hand, touching my hardening nipple. “Does that answer your question?”
Staring down at me, face taut and eyes hot with desire, he said, “Perfectly,” then moved in for the kill.
Our tongues clashed, my hands sunk beneath the waistline of his jeans, and I dug my fingernails into a firm set of butt cheeks. “I love it when you listen to me,” I said, finally coming up for air.
Gunner laughed and lowered his mouth to one of my begging nipples. He tongued the sheer tank-top fabric covering my breast, bringing it to a pinpoint beneath the garment. Then he grabbed my wrists, securing my arms to the wall above my head. “I want the long tour tonight,” he told me, pressed his chest to mine, and ran his mouth down my jaw.
Shit. I wouldn’t make it past first base if he kept this up any longer. It was insane how quick he lit my panties on fire. I sprawled my legs wide open, trying to hike one of them around his waist so I could climb and ride him, just begging him to pop that cherry all over again.
He nipped at my bottom lip. “Not here,” he said, getting all down and dirty with my mouth again. “I want you”—he groaned, running a hand up my leg—“damn, do I want you, Laney Briggs.” He cupped the crotch of my jeans, and I melted. His knee slipped between my thighs, and when he nudged that denim-covered dick into my stomach, it was so hard you could use it to knock out a car window.
“Holy shit, cowboy!” Again I arched my hips and tried to climb him, itching for a taste of that massive cock.
He winked. “And to think I’m just getting started.” His hand slipped behind my neck, and his thighs spread to either side of my waist, thwarting my efforts to wrap my legs around him. “You’ll never be the same once I’m done with you, Laney Briggs. Never…”
I gasped when he took a tour of my neck, kissing and suckling the sweaty skin, detouring his forefinger and thumb south to tease and pinch my breasts through my thin cotton tank top. He twisted and pulled the achingly tender nipple, sending a yummy sting rippling through my entire body that shot all the way down to the tips of my curled toes.
I rolled up on the balls of my feet, back arched, panting like a dog in heat.
“I can’t take it anymore.” I barely recognized my own voice amongst the sporadic soft-core porn moans and gasps.
He gathered me in his arms, whispering, “You look like you could use a soft place to lay that tired head.”
My eyes widened as I hooked an arm around his broad shoulders. “Don’t you dare leave me hanging.” I rubbed my lips across the stubble lining his square jaw, indulging in the warm scent of leather and Old Spice rolling off his slick, sweaty skin. “Or I just might shoot you.”
He laughed tightly. “I wouldn’t put it past you,” he said, picking me up and carrying me up the stairs and into the bedroom.
He parked me on the edge of bed and stepped back, eyes on fire and his cock so hard he was standing up as straight as a flagpole beneath that shiny zipper fly. I, on the other hand, had managed to come undone at the first lip-lock. I fidgeted and crossed one leg over the other in an attempt to play coy.
A lopsided smile curved his lips as those sensual eyes of his slowly surveyed me. “Undress for me,” he said, his voice washing over me like warm water. “I want to see you squirm, darling.”
My mouth went slack, and my pulse ratcheted up another notch. I was sweating bullets. I stood, unsnapping and unzipping my jeans to skim them down past my hips. The wadded-up denim puddled around my ankles. I stepped out of them and kicked them aside, and damn, those mind-numbing brown eyes had already locked in on my smiley-face Hanes bikini undies. This was so mortifying. Why of all days did I have to be wearing my Walmart bargain bin panties? A throaty groan tore from his chest as he drank me in. He tightened his grip on the dresser, steadying himself as his other hand latched onto his huge belt buckle.
I took his steamy gaze as my cue and touched my stomach, skimming my nails and sweat all the way down below my navel.
“You look beautiful.” Gunner’s deep voice vibrated in the dead quiet. His fly was unzipped, his hands were tugging on his boxers, and his cock was clearly aching for air. “I want you stripped naked and legs dangling off the bed.” He groaned in mid-boxer drop, and the raw passion in his voice had me dripping hot moisture until my panties were saturated. I yanked them down my sweaty thighs. By the end of the night my tombstone would read
Death by cock