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       Roped In, p.8

         Part #6.5 of Blacktop Cowboys series by Lorelei James
 
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  when you left yesterday morning, you acted pissed off. So what was I supposed to think?”

  “That I’m a man of my word,” he repeated. He curled his hand around her jaw, denying her the chance to look away. “Ask me why I left my own damn house.”

  “Why’d you leave?”

  “Because my willpower to finish the ‘friends’ conversation vanished the instant you showed up in my room wearing them baby doll pajamas that oughta be illegal, looking so fucking cute and sexy I had to sneak into my bathroom and whack off before I taught you how to use the coffee maker.”

  Her mouth dropped open.

  “Surprised?”

  “Very. You’ve seemed so...unaffected.”

  A growling noise rumbled from him before his mouth descended and he kissed the life out of her. She was so damn dizzy when he finally relinquished her lips, she had to fist her hands in his shirt just to keep from toppling over.

  Then his breath was hot in her ear, sending shivers down the left side of her body. “Does that seem unaffected to you, sweetheart?”

  “Ah. No.”

  “Good. Maybe you oughta offer me a little reassurance this ain’t one sided.”

  London wreathed her arms around his neck and played with the hair that fell to his nape. “I’ve left my door cracked open every night, hoping you’d see an open door as an open invitation. I imagined the look on this gorgeous face if you caught me diddling myself.”

  His eyes darkened. “What did you imagine me doin’ if I caught you?”

  “Barging in, tying my hands to the brass headboard and driving me crazy with my vibrator before you pounded me into the mattress like you’d promised.”

  Another low-pitched growl reverberated against her skin. “You and me are gonna get a few things straight tonight. But probably not until after I fuck you hard at least once and swat your ass for you ever doubting me.”

  Sutton swallowed her gasp with another bone-melting kiss.

  When he finally released her lips, she murmured, “You know, I’m not busy right now.”

  He laughed and pulled back slightly. “How about you introduce me to your friends first? Then I’ll feed you.”

  “You don’t have to do that.”

  “What? Meet your friends?”

  “I want you to meet my friends, but you don’t have to feed me since you cooked for me all week.”

  Sutton traced the bottom edge of her lower lip with his thumb. “I’ve liked having you around this week, London. More than I thought I would.” After another kiss, he stepped back only far enough to drape his left arm over her shoulder.

  They started toward Mel and Lelo. Mel wore a look of shock only less obvious than Lelo’s.

  “Did you tell your friends about me?” he asked softly.

  “Just that I’d met a hot man. I didn’t give them your name in case you didn’t show up and I’d have to find me a new guy on the fly.”

  His arm fell away briefly so he could slap her ass. He grinned when she yelped. Then he whispered, “Oh ye of little faith. ’Fraid I’ll have to punish you for that lapse.”

  “A hot lashing with your tongue or a spanking? Luckily, I’m good with either.”

  He nipped her earlobe. “Good to know. But it’s not like I’m gonna let you choose which one I prefer.”

  “Funny.”

  “I wasn’t joking. Now that you’ve shared your rope fantasy, I’ll add it to mine that involves…you’ll just have to wait and see, won’t you?”

  Holy. Hell. Heat licked the inside of her thighs.

  Mel and Lelo stood side by side in front of Plato. Before London could offer introductions, Lelo blurted out, “Man-oh-man, you’re Sutton Grant.”

  Sutton extended his hand. “Yes, I am. Who’re you?”

  “Lee Lorvin, but everyone calls me Lelo. It’s so great to meet you. I’m a huge fan.”

  “Thanks.”

  Lelo stared and just kept pumping Sutton’s hand until Mel shouldered him aside.

  “Hiya handsome,” she cooed. “I’m Mel Lockhart, London’s fellow road dog. I too am a huge fan. I watched you win the CRA championship in Vegas the year Tanna Barker also won for barrel racing.”

  “Nice to meet you, Mel. Glad you were entertained that year.”

  “Uh, yeah, hard not to be jumping up and down outta my seat when you set the record for the fastest time.”

  London glanced at him, and the man seemed embarrassed by the focus on him. And she wanted to rub Mel’s face in the dirt to see if that’d erase her expression of lust.

  “So you’re a barrel racer?” he asked Mel.

  “No. I’m in the cutting horse division. Not as glamorous as the rodeo events people pay to see, but I do well.”

  “Bein’ able to cut cattle out of a large herd is far more challenging and entertaining than any scheduled rodeo event,” Sutton said. “It’s a real skill that’s needed in ranching.”

  London inwardly sighed at Sutton’s sweetness in making sure Mel knew her competitive event was appreciated. What kind of man did that?

  “Are you about healed up and ready to get back to competing?” Lelo blurted out, interrupting the conversation.

  She felt Sutton stiffen beside her, but outwardly he stayed cool. “I’m in the ‘wait and see’ stage right now.” He turned and kissed London’s temple. “Luckily, I sweet talked London into working with my horse again while I’m at loose ends.”

  “That’s right,” Mel said. “I remember Berlin told me that London initially trained your horse at Grade A Farms.”

  “I knew she was the only woman for the job. I just had to convince her to take me on.”

  “You do have some interesting methods of persuasion, bulldogger.”

  He laughed. “You’re gonna give your friends the wrong impression of me, darlin’.”

  “Not me,” Mel quipped, “because I’m sure hoping you’ve got a dirty-minded, sweet-talking single brother.”

  “I’ve got two.”

  Mel’s lashes fluttered. “They as big and good-looking and charming as you?”

  “Mel!” London said with fake admonishment.

  “What? It can’t hurt to ask.” She scooted closer to London to whisper, “You decide to get laid and the next thing I know you’ve hooked up with the smokin’ hottie known as ‘The Saint?’ Girlfriend, I’m so proud of you I might just bust a button.”

  Lelo made a noise and they realized he was still staring slack-jawed at Sutton.

  “Lelo, you’re gonna catch flies if you don’t shut your big trap,” Mel drawled.

  “Sorry. It’s just...Sutton Grant. Your runs are damn near perfect. That’s why folks call you ‘The Saint’ because you never screw up.”

  “Oh, I wouldn’t say never. And that’s not the only reason I’ve been called that.” He sent London a conspiratorial wink. “But it doesn’t apply this week, does it darlin’?”

  “Stitch is gonna flip his shit when he meets you.”

  Ooh, mean-girl London clawed her way to the surface. “Pity then that I’m not invited to Stitch and Paige’s party, isn’t it?”

  Lelo’s mouth opened. Closed. Opened again. Then he cleared his throat. “Uh, well, maybe I spoke outta turn. I’m sure Stitch don’t have no hard feelin’s if you don’t, London.”

  Sutton sent her an amused look. “Up to you darlin’, what we do tonight. You know if I had my way we’d head to the camper right now and wouldn’t leave until...” His heated head to toe perusal was as powerful as an actual caress. “Until tomorrow. Late tomorrow.”

  “Looks like you’re shit outta luck, Lelo,” London said breezily, laughing as Sutton started pulling her away.

  Behind Lelo’s back, Mel mouthed, “Call me you lucky bitch.”

  “You know where we’ll all be if you change your mind,” Lelo shouted after them.

  * * * *

  “That was fun.”

  Sutton draped his arm over her shoulder. “How far’s your camper?”

  She h
ip-checked him. “Friends first, then food, remember?”

  “Right. And I’ll bet we aren’t skipping Stitch’s party?”

  “You bet your sexy ass we’re not. It’s not like we have to stay long, but you do need to put in an appearance for your adoring fans.”

  “And rub it in Stitch’s face that you’re no longer pining after him and you’ve moved on with me?”

  London stopped, forcing Sutton to stop.

  He faced her. “What?”

  “I don’t want you to get the wrong impression, Sutton.”

  “I’m not.”

  “Are you sure?”

  “I don’t know darlin’, maybe you’d better spell it out for me.”

  London inhaled a fortifying breath and let it out. “About this deal. After seeing Lelo’s reaction to you—to us—I’m glad that other people who’ve been looking at me with pity will be looking at me in a completely different light when they see us together.”

  “But?”

  She inched closer and twisted her hand in the front of his shirt. “But my reason for wanting you to fuck me until I can’t walk isn’t for anyone’s benefit but mine.”

  “And mine,” he said softly. His eyes searched hers. “So I didn’t misread the situation?”

  “That what’s been happening between us in private the past six days is only to make us look like a real couple in public?”

  “Yeah.”

  “Until I saw you today, I wasn’t sure. No, that’s not true. I wasn’t sure until after you kissed me and told me you’d had to go away because you couldn’t stay away from me. That’s when I knew there’s nothing fake about the heat between us.”

  Sutton curled his hand around the side of her face and gave her a considering look.

  “What?”

  “You have good insurance on that camper? Because we’re gonna set the inside on fire tonight.”

  The inferno in his eyes nearly torched her clothes. Right there in front of the white tent proclaiming “Jesus Saves.” Tempting to shout, “Can I get an amen?!” and then crack jokes about her burning bush.

  Instead she slipped her arm around Sutton’s waist and pecked those delectable dimples. “Feed me first, bulldogger, then we’ll get naked and test the combustible point of the mattress.”

  Chapter Eight

  Sutton couldn’t take his eyes off London. He’d catch himself staring at her mouth or those long, reddish-brown curls, or the flex of the muscles in her arm even when she just lifted her fork to eat.

  She’d catch him gawking and as a reward, or hell, maybe it was punishment, she’d eye fuck him and run her tongue around her straw until his cock swelled against his zipper.

  He leaned forward and grabbed her hand, bringing her knuckles to his mouth for a soft kiss. “You really think we’ll make it through the party and the dance?”

  “Who said I wanted to go to the dance?”

  “You did. Last weekend. You said you always go.”

  “To the Saturday night dances. It’s Friday night.”

  He raised his hand to the waitress. “Check, please.”

  London laughed. “Down boy.”

  “Been a while for me, darlin’, and I’ll need a round or five to build up my stamina.”

  “Don’t scare me. I do have to climb on a horse the next two afternoons.”

  “Too bad for you. I plan on making you plenty saddle sore.” He smirked. “I’m looking forward to kissing it and making it all better.”

  She turned her hand, threading their fingers together. “We need to get our minds off sex at least for a little while. Tell me something about you that’s surprising.”

  Besides that I’ve been cleared to ride and I’ve been lying to everyone the past four months?

  “No pressure. I’ll rephrase. I’ll go first. I’ve never been pierced. Your turn.”

  “Okay. I don’t have any ink tattoos.”

  “But you’ve had a few rodeo tattoos.”

  “Yep. Your turn.”

  “I don’t like anything butterscotch flavored.”

  “I do. Bring on the flavored body paint, baby. I’ll lick you clean.”

  She groaned. “You are killing me. This was supposed to take our minds off sex.”

  “Darlin’, I can’t look at you and not think about all the ways I want to make you come. And if you’d prefer that I smear the body paint on your nipples or between your thighs?”

  “Both.” Her eyes heated. “I’m guessing the application would be as pulse-poundingly erotic as the removal.”

  “No reason to rush a good thing.” He nibbled on the inside of her wrist. “It’s your turn.”

  “My brain is stuck on whether I’d finally start liking the taste of butterscotch if I sucked it off your tongue after you licked it off me.”

  “Let’s test that theory.”

  “Now?”

  “I saw a bottle of butterscotch syrup at the ice cream place. I’ll distract them. You swipe it and shove it in your purse.”

  “‘The Saint’ contemplating a heist for a dirty sexual scenario? I’m shocked. And more than a little turned on.”

  “Excuse me. Are you Sutton Grant?”

  His gaze reluctantly moved from London’s molten bedroom eyes to the guy standing at the end of the table. “That’s me.”

  “I thought so, but I knew you were on the injured list for this season, so I was surprised to see you. Especially here at such a small-potatoes rodeo.” He paused. “Are you competing?”

  “Nope. I’m here with my girlfriend.” He angled his head at London. “She runs a horse clinic.”

  The guy glanced over at London, and she gave him a finger wave.

  “Oh. Wow. Sorry. Didn’t mean to interrupt,” he said with zero sincerity. “But as long as I’m here, can I get you to sign this?” He shoved a piece of paper at Sutton.

  “Sure. What’s your name?” Sutton made small talk as he scrawled his name and the date across the program. As soon as he finished, he saw there were several more people who’d lined up. He smiled and kept signing. This was part of the gig for a man in his position, with four championship buckles—the very buckle most of these guys would give their left nut to have a shot at.

  After they were alone, he stood and threw some bills on the table. Then he offered London his hand. “Come on.”

  It’d gotten completely dark. The musical and mechanical sounds from the midway echoed with distortion and the bright lights sent the entire area aglow. “You wanna hit some of the rides before we crash the party?” He swung their joined hands. “Might be romantic to grope each other at the top of the Ferris wheel.”

  “Not romantic at all because I am a puker. No spinning rides for me.”

  “Poor deprived girl,” he whispered. Then he tugged her into a darkened corner between two storage sheds, pushing her up against a modular home. “How about if I try and get that pretty head of yours spinning another way.” Sutton kissed her, starting the kiss out at full throttle. Not easing up until she bumped her hips into his, seeking more contact.

  God, she made him hard. He’d never wanted a woman this much, this soon. What sparked between them might be fueled by lust but it also went beyond it—which is what’d sent him running.

  For now, he’d focus on that lust.

  His hands squeezed her hips and then moved north to her breasts. He
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