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Hot buttered rum standal.., p.34
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       Hot Buttered Rum: Standalone Romance (Silk Stocking Inn Book 4), p.34

           Tess Oliver

  He dropped his boots next to him and stood up. He grinned down at me as he reached down to the hem of his shirt. “Little late to worry about me seeing you naked, don’t ya think?”

  His shirt came off, revealing the incredible physique beneath. The vision of Jackson standing shirtless in front of me, prompted me to pull off my boots. “You’re sure we’re alone, right?”

  “Not gonna guarantee that. Right now, I only know about Archie and Rebel, and they’re far more interested in that grass than a couple of naked humans.” Jackson took hold of the button on his jeans. “Come on in. Could be fun.” The way he said the last three words got me to my feet.

  “Maybe I should leave on my bra and panties.” I unbuttoned the blouse.

  “Then you’ll have to ride back with wet underwear. Besides, chances are I’m going to be taking them both off—one way or another.” He pushed down his jeans and boxer briefs for proof that I’d more than likely be relieved of my underwear, and soon. His erection seemed to glisten in the thin ribbons of sunlight streaming through the patchy foliage. In fact, it was more of a sparkle than a glisten.

  I’d stripped down to my underwear and placed my hands on my bare hips to survey the incredible guy in front of me. “I’m not sure how it’s possible, but you look even more appealing out in the middle of nature.”

  “Funny, I was thinking the same damn thing.” He stepped toward me, wrapped an arm around me and hauled me against his rock solid, naked body. The slick, fleshy tip of his cock pushed seductively at my panties.

  “Lose those lacy little drawers, woman. I need to feel all of you.”

  I reached back to the clasp on my bra as he impatiently pushed my panties down to my ankles. “First I’m naked in a carriage, and now I’m standing naked in the middle of”—I glanced around—“wherever the heck this place is. Two things I’ve never done before, and I’ve done them both in the span of a day.”

  “Ever been fucked beneath a waterfall?” Jackson asked as he reached up to tug at my erect nipple.

  “No, I have not.”

  He took hold of my hand. “Then, baby, you’re about to add number three to your list.”

  Chapter 16

  The bank around the pond was soft and muddy. I trudged willingly behind Jackson, from the need to get out from the wide open and be at least clothed by the water and from the need to, as he’d suggested, be ‘fucked beneath a waterfall’.

  “Jeezus,” I shrieked as my feet first hit the water. I pulled free from his hand.

  He continued to wade into the pool several feet before turning around and sitting back easily into the icy water. He coasted toward the center. “It’s better if you go in fast, like yanking a bandage off.”

  “I disagree.” I stood calf deep and scooped up handfuls of the frigid water to pour over my dry skin. “This is what I do to get in a swimming pool, even a heated one. It takes patience to do it without giving yourself a heart attack. That’s my advice, and I’m sticking to it.”

  “That’s fine. I’m having a helluva a good time just watching you pour handfuls of water on that curvy, delicious body of yours. In fact, if I have to watch it for too long, I might have to swim over to that waterfall and finish all by myself. Unless you get brave enough to jump in . . . Spunky.”

  “Fine. I feel like the forest creatures are all staring at me anyhow. Squirrels are probably having a good laugh.”

  “They’ll definitely have a good story to tell their relatives.”

  “One, two, three.” I sucked in a breath, as if somehow that would make the water less glacial, and I pushed forward. “Holy shit, that is so cold I can no longer feel my limbs.” It was hard swimming while still trying to catch my breath. I pulled my arms through the water and pushed like a frog with my legs but wasn’t making much progress.

  “What do they call that style of swim stroke?” he asked with that ridiculously white smile.

  “Don’t know but my mom’s Aunt Nancy used to swim like this when she didn’t want to get her hair wet. I want to avoid brain freeze and keep my head above the surface. Which brings me to the previously mentioned waterfall event. I’m too numb. Hot, naked cowboy or not, I’m just not feeling it.”

  He stretched his arms out and headed toward the falls. “Follow me. I promise you won’t be disappointed.”

  It took some effort with my body functions slowing to a crawl to keep from freezing to death, but I managed to swim behind him. The waterfall itself was small in the general scheme of waterfalls, but it kicked up a respectable amount of spray and bubbles. The roar of the water made it hard to hear anything.

  Jackson reached the rock ledge before me and hoisted himself out of the water. Sleek and wet, sitting in front of a majestic outcropping of black rocks, he looked like an erotic daydream. Only he wasn’t a daydream. He was real. My already labored breathing took another hit, and I gulped in some of the moisture-laden air floating over the surface of the pond.

  I tread water beneath where he sat and stared up at him. I had a stunning view of everything. “I don’t think I can pull myself out, especially because I can’t feel my hands or feet or anything in between.”

  Jackson reached forward, took hold of my arms and plucked me from the icy water.

  I sat down next to him on the rocks to catch my breath. “You know the water’s cold when the outside air feels like a cozy blanket.”

  He stood up and offered me his hand. “Do you have your land legs back yet? I want to show you something.”

  I put my hand in his and he helped me to my feet. The surface of the rock was slick and smooth from the constant flow of water, but there was enough flat area to walk along the ridge. My skin was covered with gooseflesh, and my teeth chattered as my core body temperature tried to catch up to the rest of me.

  Jackson glanced back over his shoulder at me and stopped. “You’re freezing. This was a bad idea.” He pulled me against his body and began rubbing my back and shoulders with his hands. “Can’t believe I’m suggesting this, but let’s swim back to the horses so you can get dressed.”

  My face was cradled against his incredible pecs, and I didn’t feel like leaving the warmth of his body. My voice was muffled by his chest and the thunder of the waterfall. “We’re this far. I don’t want to turn back yet.”

  He rubbed me a few minutes longer. I actually grew drowsy pressed into his comforting heat, especially with the feel of his hands moving over me to generate hot friction.

  When he stopped, I groaned quietly in disappointment.

  He lifted my chin to look at him. Wet and dreamy, they were the first words to float into my sleepy head. They were followed by, pinch me, someone.

  “Are you ready? Or should we turn back?”

  “Hey,” I said weakly, “you’re talking to Spunky, remember? Besides, if you promise to hold me and rub me like that again, once we reach the bank, then I’ll follow you right onto a damn glacier.”

  “I promise.” He took my hand again. We traveled closer to the waterfall. The cold misty spray grew stronger and louder as we neared it.

  Jackson turned into a recess in the rock. It was deep and tall enough to walk into. One half of the opening was curtained by the cascading water as it shot out over the rocks and down to the pool below.

  I looked around. We were surrounded by smooth, slate-colored rock. The view out toward the water was incredible. “We’re standing in a cave . . . behind a waterfall.” I gazed out in awe. “It’s amazing.”

  He pulled me into his arms again. “Worth freezing your cute butt off?”

  “Absolutely. Thank you, Jackson.” I peered up at him. “I won’t ask how you know about this extremely secret and super sexy hiding spot in the rocks.”

  “You can ask. I just happened to take a swim in the pond one day, and I decided to explore. I found this
spot and thought, hell, if I ever find a hot woman with a lot of spunk then I’m going to bring her here and kiss her.” He lowered his mouth to mine.

  His kiss was all the warmth I needed to stop shivering. I curled my arms around his neck and clung to him, our naked bodies providing plenty of heat.

  His hands swept over me as his cock pushed urgently against my belly. I’d been nearly blue with cold just moments earlier, but the flush of arousal warmed me as if we were standing inside a warm room, rather than a rocky hollow behind a waterfall.

  I reached between our bodies and wrapped my hand around his erection. He groaned against my mouth and rocked his hips to move his cock in my hand. His kiss deepened as I stroked him from base to tip, urging hot sticky liquid from his erection.

  “Hell, Becca, I can’t get enough of you. Wish there was a damn bed in this crevice.”

  A short laugh pushed my lips from his, but I instantly pressed them back where they belonged, tight against his mouth. His hands continued to rub heat into my body as I brought him near to climax with my hand, each stroke moving faster and harder.

  His low, sensual groan echoed off the rock wall. “I’ve got to have you, baby.” He reached down and took hold of my wrist in a silent request to release him.

  I uncurled my fingers, and he took a deep, steadying breath. Even in the shadow of the rocks, his eyes glowed with raw, erotic hunger. It sent a shiver through my body that had nothing to do with the temperature.

  He made what seemed to be a quick assessment of our surroundings, slick and sometimes craggy rock surfaces that were neither cozy nor inviting. Yet, I was completely aroused. I wanted it just as badly as Jackson.

  He took hold of both my wrists, gently kissed my knuckles on each hand and then turned me around to face the rock wall. The shower of water flowed past me. I could feel the energy, the power in the moving water just as I could feel the energy and power of the man standing behind me.

  Jackson lifted my arms and pressed my hands against the wall. Then he took hold of my hips and moved them so that my ass jutted out. His bare foot moved between my feet, and he spread my legs wider.

  He leaned over me and kissed my back as his hand moved around my hip and down between my legs. His fingers were cold at first but they warmed quickly in the moist heat of my pussy. He tickled my clit.

  “Are you all right?” he asked, and I knew what he meant. I straightened my arms to brace for him.

  “Yes.” My answer flowed away with the torrent of water rushing past. It was an unreal setting. I was standing against a rock wall, with a waterfall as my curtain and about to be taken by a man who had made every inch of me feel alive with a passion I never knew I had. My senses were overwhelmed with it all.

  I was expecting it, yet my knees crumpled as Jackson pushed his cock inside of me. He gripped me until I could steady myself. Then his fingers worked magic on my clit, teasing it to oblivion while he thrust into me with a force that seemed to match the intensity of the waterfall.

  In seconds, I found myself squeezing his hand between my legs for more as I pushed hard against his movements. His heavy sac slapped my pussy as he jammed himself deeper, reaching my hot center. I felt the first sensations and made a useless attempt to curl my fingers around the rock like I would around a bed sheet. But there was nothing to hold onto as I rolled over the cliff into ecstasy.

  “Oh Jackson! Yes!” My cries echoed off the rock walls.

  Jackson’s fingers dug into my flesh as he came seconds later.

  It took several moments for us both to catch our breath. The waterfall churned on. The water misted our naked bodies as we stood beneath the spray. Jackson spun me around and pulled me into his arms.

  “Sure as hell didn’t see this coming,” he muttered as if only speaking to himself.

  I looked questioningly up at him, expecting him to elaborate. Which he did. With a kiss.

  Chapter 17

  I leaned back and released a long, satisfied sigh. Peony scented bubbles sparkled around me as I stretched my legs out in the magnificent bathtub. Somehow, my hostess, a woman who I was now convinced could read my thoughts, had managed to have a hot bubble bath waiting for me the moment I arrived back at the inn.

  Jackson and I had had tons to talk about on the way back to the barn. I found he was a great storyteller and an even better listener. We’d only known each other for a day, yet I already felt a true connection with him. And it wasn’t just because of the numerous intimate moments we’d shared during that short amount of time. Jackson was someone I felt comfortable talking to, and we shared common interests. Best of all, he laughed at my dry wit, something Nate had never really liked. Along with a lot of other things, apparently. But that didn’t matter to me at all anymore. My ex-fiancé was slowly becoming a faint and distant memory, thanks to my weekend with someone who was showing me just what I’d been missing all that time.

  Stepping out of my luxurious bath was like dragging myself out of a cozy, quilted bed on a snowy Monday morning. But my fingers were starting to look like raisins, a sure sign that I’d overstayed my welcome.

  I wrapped myself in the plush towel Coco had left for me and walked out to the bedroom. My legs were certainly feeling the weekend’s activities. Both, on the horse and with the cowboy. It was a rich, achy fatigue that I could definitely get used to.

  I walked into the bedroom. While I was in soaking, Coco had left a flirty, short denim dress on a hook on the door. There was even a fresh pair of panties and a pair of ankle boots with it. A note was pinned to the collar.

  I took off the note and read it. “The dress is for tonight. The grilled cheese sandwich and dill pickle on the kitchen counter are for now. I’m out, by the way, and I won’t be back until late tonight. Have fun.”

  I stared in confusion at the note. She wrote the letter as if she had my evening planned already. I hadn’t thought too much about the night, only that I hoped to see Jackson at some point.

  After the ride, I’d hobbled back to the inn and he’d started his barn chores. I’d insisted I could stay and help, but he shooed me off, saying I’d only slow him down. Which hurt my feelings at first, until he added that he wouldn’t be able to keep his hands off me long enough to ‘get a damn thing done’.

  I pulled on the dress. It was snug all the way down, but technically a perfect fit. I would have expected no less. I left the ankle boots off. It was a barefoot kind of afternoon. During summer days on my grandpa’s ranch when the August sun was billowing through all the farmhouse windows and his hound dogs were snoring on the front porch, I’d kick off my work boots, grab a sandwich and lemonade and head out onto the front porch to bask in the fruit scented warmth of the day. Grandpa would catch me sitting out there and look pointedly at my feet and say ‘guess it’s a barefoot kind of afternoon, eh Becca’? Sometimes, he’d even join me. Although kicking off his boots always took a more determined approach, which included me sitting on the floor tugging them until I rolled back onto my bottom with an empty boot in my hands.

  I headed downstairs and to the kitchen. The bakery was quiet. I wondered just when the customers had come in to clear out most of the trays. Of course, I’d been so wrapped up in my own stay at the inn, it was possible I just hadn’t noticed anyone else. Just as with the perfectly hot bath, the thick grilled cheese that seemed to be oozing with at least three different cheeses, was still hot. I picked up the icy, cold pickle and took a bite. It snapped off salty and tangy in my mouth. As if my thoughts about my days on Grandpa’s porch had conjured it, a tall glass of lemonade sat next to the plate. Coco was positively clairvoyant.

  I picked up the plate and glass. There was a linen napkin tucked underneath it. Silk Stocking Inn had been neatly embroidered across the top of the napkin. I could feel stitching on the back as well. I turned it over, expecting to see the same words. There was a sentence stitche
d in pink thread on the back. It read ‘sometimes you’ve got to look to your past to find your future’. I stared at the sentiment for a moment, thinking how often my stay here at the inn had transported me back to my wonderful life on Grandpa’s ranch.

  My stomach growled, reminding me that the sandwich waited. I tucked the napkin under the plate and carried it out to the front porch to sit. It wasn’t going to be the same without Samson and Goliath, Grandpa’s dogs, but I felt confident that Coco’s grilled cheese would make up for the lack of dog snores.

  I sat on the top step. That’s when I noticed something strange. The dead, spindly rose vines had come back to life with pink, perfume-rich blossoms. I was no expert on gardening or roses, and while I was sure it was possible to save a dying rose vine, I could find no explanation for how clusters of roses could have grown overnight. It was almost as if the Silk Stocking Inn was out of a regular time zone. With Coco’s incalculable age, bathtubs and food always being just the right temperature and now with roses springing up overnight, it was the best explanation I could come up with, even as impossible as it seemed.

  My theorizing about time and roses and Coco stopped the second a tall, broad shouldered cowboy came around the corner.

  His white smile made me nearly melt right along with the cheese on my sandwich. “Thought I’d find you sitting out here, Spunky.” He walked over and sat on the porch step below me. He leaned his forearm on the step and gazed up at me.

  “How’d you know? Did you smell the grilled cheese?” I handed him half of my sandwich. He gladly accepted.

  “Nope. I’ve just developed a sixth sense when it comes to you, Becca.” He took a big bite.

  “Is that right? A sixth sense?”

  He swallowed and took a sip of my lemonade. “Yep. I was walking this direction and, as usual, I was thinking about you.” He reached up and smoothed his hand down the back of my calf. “And these legs. And your smile. And our day at the pond.” He winked unnecessarily.

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