Nauti Boypart #1 of Nauti Series by Lora Leigh / Romance & Love
How had he known she would be waiting on him, here of all places. Rowdy Mackay steered the Harley into its parking spot before lifting his glasses from his face and facing the demon sprite as she moved from the wood bench to stand on the sidewalk in front of him.
She was wearing one of those short, snug little T-shirts she liked so much. At least it wasn’t one of his bigger shirts. He had lost two more on this trip home and he knew who to blame. She had been stealing his shirts since she was sixteen—when her mother married his father, bringing his favorite bit of trouble right into his home.
And he had been running from her ever since. Seven years of running.
He turned and tucked the sunglasses into the side of his Marine-issue duffel bag strapped on the back of the Harley before he bent his leg on the gas tank and watched her silently. Dawg and Natches were supposed to be here soon. Dawg was driving Natches over so he could take the Harley back, but they weren’t here yet. There was no one to distract him from the hunger driving him crazy.
She was twenty-three and her kisses were soft summer rain. They slid over a man’s senses and drew him in, inviting him to get all wet and wild with her, inviting him to give her his worst. And in Rowdy’s case, his worst might be a hell of a lot more than she could handle.
She stepped from the sidewalk. The low rise of her jeans didn’t even come close to the tempting shadow of her navel. She made him sweat in the middle of damned winter. But it wasn’t winter now, it was summer. A hot, Kentucky summer evening, and he was leaving again.
And this time, he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he wouldn’t be able to walk away again. This was his last year away from home, he figured. Each year without even touching her, without taking her or tasting her kiss, she made him feel things he didn’t expect.
His chest tightened at that knowledge. At the effort it was going to take to walk away from her again.
“You left without saying good-bye. ” She stopped beside the Harley, her dove gray eyes staring back at him with a shadow of hurt. “I didn’t even get to see you this time. ”
No, she hadn’t. He had stayed as far away from his dad’s home as possible, spending the six weeks he was back on the boat he kept at the marina.
A playful breeze caught at the long curls of her golden brown hair and tugged at the lush waves of silk he dreamed of wrapping around his body. He had dreamed of her while he spent those lonely nights on the boat. Dreamed of touching her, kissing her, dragging her beneath his body, and taking her until neither of them could breathe for the exhaustion filling them.
Other women hadn’t even figured into his lust. His stubborn body rejected them. He wanted Kelly.
His mouth was watering. He could feel the need to pull her to him, to wrap himself around her, nearly getting the best of him.
“Rowdy?” Her voice was filled with a young woman’s hope, her dreams, and all the passion he knew burned inside her.
“You shouldn’t have come here, Kelly. ” He sighed as he gave in to the impulse to reach out, to use the excuse of pushing her hair back to touch the soft warmth of it.
He really wanted to crush it in his hands, pull her head back, and devour her. Damn, he could do it too. She would let him. He could see it in her eyes.
“You didn’t even say good-bye. ” It wasn’t just hurt in her voice then, there was anger.
“If I had to say good-bye, I might not have left,” he finally sighed. He was a man; he knew better than this. Kelly might be twenty-three, but she had no damned clue what she was getting into with him.
He’d kissed her three years before. Pinned her against the trunk of a tree and took her lips like the sweet drug they were. He had marked her because he couldn’t help himself. He had made certain no one was dumb enough to think they could have Kelly. And his cousins would make sure it stuck while he was gone. While the Marines took their final year of this tour and he decided what the hell he was going to do about Kelly.
“You could have said good-bye,” she whispered again.
“I could have been shot by my own father for the things I’d have done to you if I had just a measure of a chance. ” He tried to smile, but he was too busy trying to keep his hands off the soft curves of her ass instead.
She was making him crazy. But hell, this was Kelly; she had been making him crazy for most of her life in one way or the other.
“I would have come to the boat—”
He laid his finger over her lips when he wanted to lay his own lips over them. Take them, lick at them, feel her open to him as she had that night at the lake.
“No. ” He shook his head. “You’re here now. ” He had known she would be. Prayed for it.
He lifted his finger from her lips as he lowered his head. He didn’t kiss her lips, he couldn’t trust himself to rein in his hunger, his lust. It was impossible. He had a plane waiting on him, a job to finish, and he—
Sweet merciful God have pity on him. Her head turned, her lips touched his, and he was a goner. His hands slid over the ripe curves of her ass and he clenched, lifting her into the cradle of his thighs as his hunger overruled all common sense.
His head tilted, his lips slanting over hers, and he swore he saw stars as the sweet taste of her exploded against his senses. Blood began to pound in his veins as his thighs tightened, his dick thickened, and everything but the taste of Kelly receded beneath the force of his lust.
Pure, raw pleasure. That was what she was. She made him hard, made him primal, made him want to show her all the reasons why he should have never touched her the first time.
But she was his. His woman. His sweet, hot taste of paradise, and he could do nothing but beg for more. She was his drug, and God help them both, he was afraid the addiction might well kill one of them. He knew for a certainty it was going to drive him crazy.
Male catcalls and raucous voices had him finally dragging his lips from hers as he glanced up to see several servicemen watching him enviously. Son of a bitch. Here he was in the damned parking lot of the airport ready to tear her clothes from her body.
Glancing down, he watched her eyes drift open, saw the passion that clouded her gaze as she stared up at him.
“Don’t forget me, Rowdy,” she whispered as he set her back from him.
But he couldn’t let go of her. His hands clasped her hips as his forehead settled against hers.
“Forget you?” he asked softly. “Baby, you’re in every dream that drifts through my head. How the hell am I supposed to ever forget you?”
And that sucked. He couldn’t forget her anymore than he could have her. Sweet, little, virgin baby, she had no idea what she was getting into.
One Year Later
So that was what had happened to that third shirt. Rowdy Mackay leaned against the kitchen doorway, tilted his head, and watched in amusement as Kelly shuffled over to the refrigerator and opened the door to peer into the interior.
The long, gray Marines T-shirt swallowed her slender frame and hung well past her thighs. A pair of his matching gray socks covered her small feet, and gray sweatpants hung from her hips. Not his, he thought in amusement—obviously hers but loose enough to make a man wonder why the hell she was suddenly hiding that curvy little body he knew she possessed. Especially when she had never bothered to do so in the past.
This outfit was a far cry from the snug shorts and T-shirts she used to don for summer sleepwear. Long, honey brown curls fell from the crown of her head to the middle of her back, the loose ringlets tousled and still a bit tangled from sleep, and damn if she didn’t look like she had just dragged herself from a lover’s bed.
He knew better, of course. His father’s rules were strict. Rowdy might live under his roof during the brief times he was home, but he didn’t bring his women here for the night, and he knew damned good and well Kelly wouldn’t bring a man here.
The treasured princess of the house might be spoiled beyond bearing, but she respected her mother and stepfather. So dragging herself out of a lover’s arms before making her way to the kitchen for a snack wasn’t a scenario that was likely to happen here.
It was one of the reasons he had stayed away as much as possible since she had come of age. One of the reasons he had taken that last tour with the Marines. Some things a man just knew he was too weak to resist, and he had accepted long ago that he was too weak to resist Kelly.
That realization had come along about the time she grew breasts and he began noticing those breasts. Somewhere around the time that she started teasing him with innocent smiles and brushing against him, and he began enjoying it.
It was then he joined the service just to get the hell out of the house, to get away from her. College wasn’t providing him the escape he needed. She was still there, and so was he, too often. And he was weak. Weak men were dangerous creatures. A twenty-two-year-old man had no damned business touching a sixteen-year-old, and he had known it. The only other option had been leaving. So Rowdy had left.
His time in the Marines had taught him self-control, finished his education, and brought him into manhood. But his greatest weakness was still his greatest weakness. Kelly.
“I don’t wanna cook. ”
His lips quirked at the early morning grumpiness in her voice. She was talking to herself. Some things never changed. The sun would rise in the east and set in the west, and Kelly would always mutter to herself when she was irritated.
And the sound of her sweet, husky voice would always make his dick threaten to burst the zipper in his jeans.
“There’s cereal in the cabinet. ” Rowdy expected her to turn with a smile bright enough to rival the sun. His arms were ready to open for the handful of woman barreling toward him. He wasn’t expecting what he got, though.
Kelly screamed. The refrigerator door slammed closed hard enough to rattle the contents as she turned to dart through the opposite doorway.
Her face had gone paste white; her wide gray eyes were filled with fear.
Who had she been expecting?
She was poised to run but fighting to stand still. Conflicting emotions ran across her expressive face as her eyes met his, and the room filled with a tension that had never been there before.
Fear filled her eyes.
Rowdy narrowed his eyes on her, his body stiffening. No, it wasn’t fear. For a moment, there had been pure, shocking terror. A woman aware that she was alone with a man, that she was weak, that her security wasn’t assured. He’d seen it overseas in the eyes of a thousand women, and he saw it now.
“Rowdy?” Her voice was high, thin, her hands bunching in the front of her shirt, fisting the material as she shuddered. “What are you doing here?”
The husky, fear-laden voice twisted at his guts and had pure, unbridled fury simmering in his mind. What had happened to Kelly?
“It’s home, isn’t it?”
He had been ready to catch her as she ran at him. She always ran to him, throwing her arms around his neck, pressing her tight little breasts against his chest, and slapping a kiss to his cheek. For eight years, he could count on Kelly’s greeting. Until today. He wondered in which direction the sun would rise now. Some things should just never change.
“Oh. Yeah. ” She nodded, her eyes darting around the room before a nervous smile tilted her soft pink lips, trembled there for a moment, then disappeared. “We weren’t expecting you. Did you tell Mom and Ray you were coming?”
“No. I never do. ” His battle instincts were humming now. This wasn’t normal. It was so far from normal that he knew with a clench of his gut that he wasn’t going to like whatever the hell had been going on here.
Suddenly, nearly a year of his father’s discomfort when they talked on the phone rose within his mind. Every time he had asked about Kelly, Ray Mackay’s voice had tightened. When Rowdy asked to talk to her, he was given excuses.
The letters he had received from Kelly had changed, too. She no longer sent pictures, no longer filled the exchanges with innuendo or teasing comments. She had still written, but it was different, a difference he couldn’t put his finger on, couldn’t explain. He had felt it, though.