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Wild for you, p.20
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       Wild For You, p.20

           J. C. Reed
 
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  “You sure?”

  “I promised I wouldn’t.”

  My doubts slowly begin to melt away. I want to throw myself into his arms, thankful that he didn’t risk his life. But I hold back because he still hasn’t answered all my questions.

  “Why?” I ask warily.

  “Why what?”

  “Why would you buy him?”

  Cash sighs, and for a moment it feels as though even he doesn’t know the answer to my question. “Dillinger’s cost me a lot of money. It might not sound like a good investment, but I think I know the right people to tame him. And even if he won’t be tamed, he sort of saved my life, not literally speaking. I owe him that, in a twisted kind of way.”

  “But…” I shake my head. “He almost killed you.”

  “Yes, but he was an unwilling participant in the matter. No one gave him a choice. Besides, the way I see it, without Dillinger I might never have met you.” He pulls me onto the bed. I settle beside him, my hands instinctively touching the gruff on his cheeks. “You know what? I actually asked him if he wanted to spend the rest of his life in Madison Creek, even though it can be quite boring? I mean, nothing ever happens.”

  “And what did he say?”

  “He said you better make my stay worth it.” He pulls himself on top of me, his weight pinning me down. I wrap my legs around him, my core tingling with anticipation. “I wouldn’t think of disappointing you, Erin. I made a promise to you, and I’m going to honor it. Unless…” He places a soft kiss on my lips. “Unless you break up with me.”

  “Break up with you?” He can’t be serious. I laugh at his ridiculous statement. “Even if I wanted you, you wouldn’t let me leave. Remember?”

  “I’m glad we’ve established that.” His lips brush my cheeks, trailing down my neck, my collarbone. I grind my hips against his and find him rock hard. “Do you want to leave?”

  Do I want to leave?

  Hell, no. I want to stay for as long as I can.

  For as long as this lasts. But what is this?

  “I don’t understand,” I whisper. “When you say ‘break up with you,’ are you talking about a therapist patient kind of relationship or—”

  “Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, Erin. My family knows. My friends do. Maybe even the whole town.”

  “Know what?”

  “That I’m fucking you. I told my Dad at some point. Strangely, he had changed his mind and thought it was a good thing. By now, everyone knows we’re an item.”

  “You told your dad?” I’m so mortified I could crawl under a rock. “But nobody’s mentioned anything.”

  “Because I asked them not to. What?” He laughs at my horrified expression. “There’s no such thing as a secret in my family. You might as well just spill it out because once they’re done with you, they’ll know all the skeletons you’re hiding in the closet and then some.”

  I short laugh escapes my throat. “Nice way of talking about your family.” I’m mortified, but at the same time, I feel giddy beyond control. The whole world knows about us. It’s official. There’s no going back. “Aren’t you supposed to ask me first whether I was okay with it?”

  His eyes glint with mischief. “I asked you…in your sleep. You said yes.”

  “You can’t be serious.”

  “I am.” He sounds so grave, my smile slowly vanishes.

  Something’s wrong.

  In a good way, but still wrong.

  “Why are you smiling?” I ask warily.

  He squeezes his hand inside his pocket to retrieve his phone. “I thought you might not believe me, so I recorded you.”

  He scrolls through his apps and then hands me his cell, pressing play.

  Chapter Twenty-Seven

  Erin

  This must be the biggest, most ridiculous and embarrassing moment of my life. The one that is surely going to haunt me for as long as I exist.

  I stare at the screen and inwardly cringe, the words barely squeezing past my lips. “When did you record this?”

  “Three weeks ago,” Cash says with an annoying grin. “It gets really good. Just wait for it.”

  Did he just say ‘weeks?’

  I fight the urge to cover my eyes as I take in the way I cling to his chest, my eyes glazed over like I’m drunk.

  But I’m not drunk.

  I’m still asleep with my eyes open. He’s standing next to me, his arm raised to record us on his phone. Judging from the way his cell phone shakes a few times, he’s having the laugh of his life.

  “Now, Erin, please repeat what you just asked me.” Cash briefly zooms in on himself, and I catch his big ass grin for a second before I’m back in the video.

  “Cash,” I say. “You’re easily the hottest guy I’ve ever met in my life.”

  Oh, hell no! I didn’t admit that he’s the hottest guy I’ve ever met within days of sleeping with him.

  I’m surprised he hasn’t run for the hills yet.

  “And?” Cash prompts in the video, drawing out the word.

  “It’s seriously hard to stay away from you, which is why I’m proposing.”

  Looking at the camera again, he grins. I almost expect him to make the thumbs-up sign, but he doesn’t. “You’re proposing? To me?”

  Video me starts to nod eagerly. “Oh yeah. Big time.”

  What the heck?

  I stop the video. My whole body’s burning from sheer mortification. Closing my eyes, I force slow breaths into my lungs, but no oxygen reaches my brain.

  “Please don’t tell me I proposed to you,” I whisper.

  “You did,” Cash says. “That took guts.”

  I shake my head. “I must have been drunk. Or something hit me over the head. Because there’s absolutely no other reasonable explanation for it.”

  “Actually, you weren’t any of those things. I believe the correct term is sleep walking. Now, watch this. This is my favorite part.” He resumes playing the video, and like someone strapped to a chair, with their eyes forced wide open, I’m forced to watch myself rambling on with excitement.

  “They call it lovestruck. I was struck by a tractor, but I never got the love. Why waste time waiting, Cash? I want to marry you and have your babies. And have sex every day.”

  “My babies?” Cash is laughing in the video. “Not bad. How many exactly are we talking about? Just asking to make sure we have enough room in the house.”

  My cheeks begin to burn as I catch the happy glow on my face. “Four? Five? I would want to name them Josh, Jenny, Maggie, Becks.”

  I sound as though I’ve given this plenty of thought.

  “You would be happy living here with me?” Cash asks in the video.

  “Yeah. As long as we get to have sex every day. Love struck, remember?” I nod like a complete idiot. “I can’t imagine being anywhere else but here, with you.”

  “And do you know who I am?” Cash asks, zooming closer.

  “Of course, I know who you are, Cash. When are we getting married?”

  The footage ends.

  I don’t even dare to look at him. After watching this, I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to face him again, talk to him, even manage to be in his presence without the picture of me revealing my plans to have his children entering my mind.

  Embarrassment can’t even begin to describe what I’m feeling.

  As a child and teen, I used to sleepwalk, but I thought I had grown out of it like a kid grows out of a pair of shoes. I thought I had left it all behind, but apparently not.

  “You should have shown me the video straight away.”

  “I wanted to save it for a special occasion,” Cash says.

  “I don’t know what to say,” I mutter. “Of course I didn’t mean any of it.”

  “So you say, but your unconscious knows better.”

  I lift my gaze to regard him. “Yes, but that doesn’t mean I really want us to get married. This…” I point to the phone. “I wasn’t supposed to say it like t
hat.”

  Cash smiles, and a strange glint appears in his eyes.

  “What?” I prompt.

  “Aren’t you going to ask me what I replied to your question?”

  Do I even want to know?

  I notice the way he blinks.

  I notice the way his lips quirk.

  All in slow motion.

  “What did you say?” I whisper.

  “I said proposing is a guy’s job.” He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a box. My eyes meet his, and for a moment I forget to breathe.

  Surely…it can’t be what I think—no, make that hope—it is…

  Cash opens the box, revealing a ring.

  “I want to marry you, Erin,” he says softly. “But for different reasons than you want to marry me. Even though I love your body and can’t wait to have sex every single day, I also love you. I told you this before, and I intend to tell you every single day for the rest of our lives.” He pauses to take my hand in his. “I love you for all the right reasons. While I don’t expect you to marry me now, I want you to be mine someday. So will you, Erin Stone, do me the honor and marry me when the time is right? When you don’t think we’re being too rash, going too fast, and the idea seems less crazy?”

  “Wow.” My cheeks are hurting from so much smiling, and I can barely pry my gaze off the beautiful halo diamond ring. “Wow.”

  I finally look up into Cash’s green eyes, and that’s when my tears start to fall like tiny rivulets of happiness.

  This moment is so unlike any other I’ve ever experienced. It’s so crazy and unreal that it really suits Cash. I wouldn’t have expected anything else from him.

  Laughing through my tears, I nod.

  “Yes,” I whisper. “Yes. I’d love to.”

  Epilogue

  10 MONTHS LATER

  * * *

  They call it lovestruck. I was struck by a tractor, but I never got the love.

  * * *

  The footage seems to be running on a loop. At least it feels that way. It’s probably been seen by every single one of our hundreds of guests. Everyone’s here—Cash’s dad, his brothers, his relatives, all his friends, every face I’ve seen in town. Everyone’s laughing and having a great time while I keep cringing and blushing. But even I have to admit that my sleepwalking is hilarious.

  I look like I’m completely out of my mind proposing to Cash weeks after meeting him.

  Even my mom can’t help herself divulging a few embarrassing stories about my past, recalling all the stupid things I used to do while sleepwalking, which, by the way, is said to be stress related and no doctor can cure.

  I cringe some more and then give up kicking her leg under the table. I mean, what’s the point? She doesn’t seem to want to stop embarrassing me anytime soon, so I might as well give up.

  Having a whole town knowing your private business and then some doesn’t come naturally to me, but like Cash once said, “You might as well just spill it out.” And then he said something about everyone being so far up your ass you can’t ever get rid of them, and went on to compare them with IBS. The analogy was so inappropriate I almost fainted from laughter.

  I can only hope my embarrassing proposal to Cash won’t be uploaded on Youtube. If that happens, I’ll have to wear a paper bag over my head for the rest of my life.

  As it turns out, I’ve sleepwalked a few more times since my unexpected proposal. Cash has made it a habit of conversing with me whenever it happens, if only to listen to the nonsensical things I say. According to him, he’s only making sure I don’t do something stupid and hurt myself, but I know better.

  Secretly, he’s getting a good laugh out of it.

  I’m such an open book, even in my sleep. I practically pour my whole self out to him, reveal my secret wishes, plans, and dreams while not remembering a thing.

  Reminder for the future: Never deliberately ignore your thoughts and feelings because they’ll come back to bite you sooner or later.

  They have a way to turn up when you least expect them. In my case, denying my feelings for Cash only made me want him more and fall for him harder.

  My little sleepwalking secret isn’t a secret anymore, but Cash seems to love this side of me. Holding the mic, that’s what he tells our guests. That I’m perfect for him. That I helped him find his way out of a dark place.

  That I was the one who changed him.

  During his speech, Cash is standing without the need for crutches. He tossed those out ages ago. Even though he’s regained full mobility, he’s kept true to his word and riding is now a thing of the past, for which everyone’s grateful.

  His green eyes remain fixed on me, as though the world as we know it has ceased to exist and we’re the only people left in the world.

  With tears in my eyes, I stare at the man I’ve married, marveling at his beauty, his perfection, the amazing feelings he evokes in me.

  “I love you,” I whisper so low he can’t possibly have heard me through the crowd, but it doesn’t matter. I let him know every day in as many ways as I can. Because once you find ‘the one’ don’t ever let him forget just how much he means to you.

  “May I have this dance, Mrs. Boyd?” Cash asks, reaching for me.

  “I’d love that, Mr. Boyd.” I wrap my arms around his neck, clasping my fingers at the nape of it. “Any chance you’re ever going to delete the video?” I whisper in his ear as we slowly begin to sway with the music, our bodies in perfect tune.

  “That’s not ever going to happen. I’ve already uploaded it on the cloud. And what’s on the cloud, is forever.”

  I sigh in mock exasperation. “You can’t blame a girl for trying.”

  The romantic music changes into some fast tune, and Cash starts to spin me around, just like we’ve practiced. He’s in such a great shape now, I can barely keep up with him.

  The guy isn’t just a sex god, he can also move like one.

  “Did you already know you wanted to marry me when you gave me that necklace?” I force him to slow down so I can catch my breath.

  “The thought occurred to me the first moment you knocked the air out of me, which was the day we met.”

  I laugh until I catch his serious expression. “You’re lying. There’s absolutely no way you thought about marrying me within a few minutes of meeting me.”

  “I did.” He nods. “I thought, ‘damn, if she were my wife, I’d spank her ass and spank it good.’” It was only a thought, obviously, but it paved the way. After that, I tried to get rid of you because I thought you couldn’t possibly be into a guy who couldn’t even walk. That’s why I wanted to fire you.”

  I roll my eyes playfully. “Let’s be honest. You bribed and fired everyone.”

  “Yes, but you were persistent, stubborn, and bossy, which ticked me off so bad it was either spank you or marry you.”

  “My hard work’s paid off.” I let him spin me around one last time. “I can only hope you’ll keep your promise about bull riding because I don’t ever want to have to worry about your life. I couldn’t bear losing you.”

  “I will. But what about skydiving?”

  I shake my head. “No.”

  “Boxing?”

  “Absolutely not, Cash.”

  “And what if I need to test drive Dillinger’s future offspring?”

  “Seriously?” I glare at him even though I know he’s only joking. “Forget it.”

  “What about trying out some weird sex positions?”

  “Now we’re talking.” I lock my arms behind his head and pull him closer. “And what about taking me on a ride on your new motorcycle?”

  “It’s not a motorcycle,” I repeat my father’s words. “It’s a Harley Davidson.”

  “Of course. Let’s go then.”

  “Now?”

  “Now. Let’s keep it brief. Maybe an hour. No one will notice our absence.” My core begins to tingle at the prospect of Cash taking me to a secluded spot, and fucking me with my bridal gown gathered around my hips
. The gown is huge with a corset that’s squeezing my lungs, but we’ll make it work.

  His brows shoot up. “An hour? I only need thirty minutes.”

  “Why thirty?”

  “To make you come at least twice.” He winks, and a naughty glint appears in his eyes. “Let’s go. There’s still plenty of work lined ahead of us. I have to put my babies in you. Remember?”

  “You didn’t just say that out loud for the whole world to hear,” I say, mortified. I’m pretty sure everyone around us has heard him. “Besides, I’m not squeezing four kids out of me. I’m not ready yet.”

  “Yet, sweetheart. The keyword is yet. But someday…probably very soon.” He kisses me softly on the lips. “I’m wild for you, Erin Stone. As long as I breathe, I’ll make you happy, as long as you promise you’ll always be mine.”

  I look into his beautiful green eyes.

  His eyes shimmer, piercing into my heart, seeking my soul.

  He’s beautiful.

  Breathtaking.

  Unforgettable.

  And so deliciously close he’s stealing my breath away.

  “I promise,” I whisper with two tears of happiness trickling down my cheeks. “I promise I’ll always be yours.”

  “Always?”

  “Always.” Closing my eyes, I press my mouth against his, bathing in the sea of emotions, forgetting the world around us, thanking my lucky stars, and all the people in his life who’ve brought us together.

  Even Dillinger, in a twisted kind of way.

  “I’ll never let you go,” Cash whispers in my ear.

  “Is that a promise or a threat?”

  “Both.” Cash smiles before he leans in to kiss me again, his breath making me weak.

  In that instant, I know he’ll never let me down.

  Cash is like my very own ocean—pretty on the surface, but once I dived deeper I started to see the beautiful parts of him no one had ever seen before. Those are the parts I fell in love with.

  Love doesn’t change you. It brings out the best in you. It makes you want to be the person you’re inside. It’s brought out the real Cash who’s so much more amazing than the jerk who couldn’t wait to get me in his bed.

 
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