Gentling the Cowboy (Page 32)

Gentling the Cowboy (Texan Nights Series #1)(32)
Author: Ruth Cardello

They’d collapsed into each other’s arms.

Normally, Sarah would have spoken about something to fill the silence, but she honored their agreement and kept her thoughts to herself. Instead of being awkward, the quiet seemed to extend their intimacy.

Which doesn’t mean I agree with his rule, but I’ll give him his day of silence. It’s better than the alternative: going home.

Besides, he doesn’t fool me.

He doesn’t like to talk because he thinks that he can’t get hurt if he doesn’t let anyone close.

He’s trying to control whatever is between us.

But he can’t any more than I can.

The only disappointment so far was he never got the rope.

She gurgled to hold in a laugh, and he looked down at her in question. She smirked up at him. I’d tell you, but you won’t let me speak.

“There’s food in the kitchen. Go make us breakfast, but stay naked.”

Sarah cocked her head to one side at him. Really? You’re enjoying this a bit too much, buddy.

He slapped her bare rump with a force that made her jump. She met his eyes again and opened her mouth to say something.

His eyes dared her to.

She snapped her mouth shut. I’ll make your damn breakfast, but I’ll also remember this. You’ll be at my mercy one day, and I’ll enjoy every moment of making you pay.

She stood near the bed, stretched her arms out, and arched her back in a yawn and loved how quickly burning desire replaced all smugness in his face. Oh, yeah, you can pretend to be in control all you want, but I know the truth.

She took her time crossing the room to the door, stopping to look over her shoulder at him. He didn’t attempt to hide how aroused he was. She smiled back at him.

Times like this make me wish I knew how to cook.

The kitchen was surprisingly well stocked considering he said he never came here. No, wait. He said he never brought anyone else here. He could come here all the time for all I know. Does he have help cleaning? Buying groceries?

More questions for after the silence game.

Sarah took two pieces of toast and put them in a toaster oven. Who doesn’t have a regular toaster? The dials offered too many choices. Temp. Timer. All levels of toast darkness. I just want to press a lever down and see bread it’s done. She turned the dial for toast halfway and walked to the refrigerator.

In the movies, everyone knew how to whip up sophisticated post-sex omelets. Tony would have to deal with a simpler thanks-for-the-orgasms scrambled eggs. She preheated the pan, searched for a spray can, then settled on a pat of butter to stop the eggs from sticking.

As her confidence grew, Sarah began to hum a pop tune and dance, loving how free and uninhibited she felt. I could get used to cooking naked. This is fun.

She navigated his coffee machine with relative ease, danced her way over to save the slightly burned toast, and hummed her way to the quickly cooking eggs. Crap, my mom always added milk. Is it too late? She poured a bit in the pan and wrinkled her nose as the two didn’t mix.

Oh, well. I’ll drain it.

A hunt through the cabinets below the sink produced a serving tray. Sarah placed two plates of food, some silverware, and two cups of coffee on it. She added a small bit of milk and sugar to hers and hesitated before adding any to his, then smiled mischievously.

I’d ask him how he likes his coffee, but oh, damn, that silence thing again.

She gleefully added three more teaspoons of sugar to his cup. It was difficult not to laugh at his expression when she placed the tray on his lap in the bed. He studied the burnt toast and the watery eggs and demanded, “Did you do this on purpose?”

Sarah pointed to her closed mouth and gave him a sarcastic wish-I-could-tell-you shrug.

He took a sip of the coffee and spit it out, glowering at her.

Oh, poor baby. I guess you don’t like it sweet.

When he put the tray to one side, she stepped away from the bed instinctively and sprinted toward the door. He moved with the swiftness of a hunter and blocked her retreat. He reached out to grab her, but Sarah beat him to the punch and threw herself in his arms, leaving him no choice but to catch her. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled his mouth down to hers. The heat that sprung between them rocked all thought out of her.

He lifted her by the waist and crushed her hungrily against the wall. Without clothing to remove, there was just the instant feel of their mutual excitement. “God,” he said against her neck, “what are you doing to me?”

Sarah silenced his question with another deep kiss and let her actions be her answer. She wrapped her legs around his waist and arched to give him access to all of her, which he quickly and extensively took advantage of.

When he finally rammed inside her it was without comment, control, or a condom. Just when Sarah thought it couldn’t get better, she felt the unobstructed intimacy of him bared, and the heat of his release within her.

He kept pumping after his release so she could have hers and then carried her back to the bed. He sat her on the uncluttered side of the bed and covered his face with his hands. “Tell me you’re on birth control.”

Sarah stood and placed a hand on his tense arm. “I am,” she said softly.

His muscles quivered beneath her touch and he shook his head, fighting some inner demon. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine. I’m an adult, Tony. This is just as much my responsibility as it is yours.”

“It can’t happen again. I don’t want children—ever.”

Ouch. After the initial desire to slap him in the head passed, Sarah tossed back a barb of her own. “Because you’d have to talk to them, right?”

When he didn’t say anything, she dropped her hand and shook her head.

He walked to his pile of clothes and started getting dressed wordlessly. “Bringing you here was a mistake.”

Arms akimbo, Sarah waited for him to turn around. When he did, she stood there, still proudly nude before him. He might be afraid, but I’m not. “I’m not running away from this. I’m choosing life—all of it, the good, the bad, the scary parts. I’m done hiding.”

His face tightened with anger. He growled, “What do you want from me?”

In that desperate question, she heard what kept her heart open to him. She understood his pain and his journey in a way she doubted many others could. Giving up on him was like giving up on herself in a tangled, impossible-to-explain-even-to-herself way. “I want you to tell me whatever it was that made you like this. I want to know you.”