Gentling the Cowboy (Page 47)

Gentling the Cowboy (Texan Nights Series #1)(47)
Author: Ruth Cardello

She turned to flee, half in jest and half in response to what she was pretty sure he intended to do. He grabbed her around the waist, swung her up and sat on the edge of the bed, settling her face down across his lap. The sting of the first spank was softened by the material of her dress, but then he slid it up, exposing her bare ass to his reprimand. “Do you like soft?” He tapped one ass cheek lightly. “Or hard?” The crack of his hand echoed in the quiet of the room and Sarah gasped at the sudden pain, then marveled how it intensified her desire.

“Both,” she panted and squirmed in his hold.

He repeated the same pattern on her other cheek. Another gasp and more pleasure. A few more spanks and Sarah was writhing and moaning. Just when she thought she couldn’t take any more, he bent and kissed the flesh he’d reddened. He ran his hand down the back of one of her thighs and pushed her legs apart wider.

With one hand, he held her head arched back by pulling on a fistful of hair while he slid one finger of his other hand inside her soaked pu**y. His thumb sought and circled her excited nub. His erection jutted against her stomach. “You’re not in control here, Sarah. I am.” He thrust another finger inside her, pumping in and out, faster and faster. “You only come when I tell you to.”

He kissed her waist, bit her lightly on the curve of her ass and kept a steady rhythm within her. He’d stop, twirl a finger, rub her clit with increased speed, then stop again. She felt orgasms build, then retreat, only to come back stronger and fiercer in their promise.

“Oh, God,” she gripped his leg. “Don’t stop again. Please.”

“I like it when you beg.”

“Don’t make me kick your ass,” she threatened in a haze of frustrated desire.

He chuckled, but his hand started moving again, faster than before, while his thumb lavishly rewarded her most sensitive spot. “Now, Sarah. Come for me.”

“Yes,” she wept, moving her hips against the fingers he’d paused within her.

He released her hair, removed his hand and rolled her over in his arms, kissing her lightly as the last waves of orgasm shook through her. She laid her head on his shoulder, closed her eyes, and said, “Apology accepted.”

He chuckled again, then stood, still holding her in his arms as he carried her back to his bed. Later, spent and wrapped in each other’s arms, Tony was just about to fall asleep when Sarah asked, “Would you be upset if I quickly wrote a few things in my notebook before I forget them?”

He opened one eye and said, “I don’t know which I should worry about more—that you have enough energy to write, or that you’re afraid you’ll forget what we did.”

Sarah laughed and stood naked beside the bed. “Would it help if I told you that I want to capture the wonder of it all?”

He smiled and closed his eyes with a groan. “Go get your notebook. You can read it to me tomorrow, and if you forgot any details we can repeat tonight again and again. Purely to help you with your research.”

Sarah lifted his shirt off the floor and threw it at him. He caught it a few inches above his head, smiled, and dropped it to the floor.

Pulling her notebook and pen out of her bag, Sarah headed back to the bed and thought, I hope he doesn’t really believe I’m doing this for my book. What we have is about so much more than sex.

Isn’t it?

Chapter Nineteen

Three weeks later, Sarah was sitting on the porch in a cotton summer dress and the cowboy boots Tony had surprised her with, hugging her notebook to her chest. Time had flown by in a happy haze of notebook-worthy lovemaking. Being with a lover who was both demanding and respectful of her preferences gave Sarah a confidence she had never imagined possible. It wasn’t about what she would or wouldn’t do, it was about what they enjoyed doing together and how the trust between them was growing.

She woke in his arms each morning, loving the warm kiss he gave her and how reluctant he always was to leave her. He’d returned to his training schedule and Sarah had found a comfortable rhythm to the ranch days. She helped Melanie with the morning cleanup, read books with her son, and dragged them both to town to shop for Tony’s house. At first their conversations were strained, but as trust began to build, a friendship was born.

Sarah took photos of the people who worked on the ranch and framed them, placing them on the walls and around the house on tables. With Tony’s permission, she replaced his old furniture with simple but comfortable pieces that made a person want to stay for a while. The quiet of the house was replaced with soft music on most days and Sarah had even convinced Tony that he needed not only a television but also a computer and Internet access. Slowly, Tony’s house was becoming a home.

A home she felt comfortable enough to spend her afternoons writing in. Her once-empty notebook was overflowing with answered questions, chapters, and revisions. Sarah had never felt more alive or at peace.

This is where I belong.

Thursdays had become days she looked forward to. She’d been apprehensive when Tony had suggested she invite everyone to dinner again, but he’d reassured her things would be different, and he’d been right. Everyone, including Dean, had been on their best behavior, and real conversations had replaced the previous ribbing.

Tony would never be a man of many words, but when he’d patiently answered questions from the young men around the table regarding his training philosophy and even praised one of them regarding a horse, Sarah’s heart had soared. Like rain coming to the desert, the change in Tony brought his ranch alive. After dinner, she and Tony often walked, hand in hand, through the barn and paddocks. Tony greeted the men he came across, and she even caught him smiling more than once.

Everything was perfect.

So perfect that Sarah accepted that Tony didn’t talk about his feelings or the future. She told herself that she didn’t need the words because his actions showed the world he cared about her.

Maybe even loves.

Sarah hugged her notebook tighter.

Definitely loves.

In the main barn, Tony absently brushed down the horse he’d just exercised and fought to empty his mind of the images from his latest nightmare. Sarah didn’t know he was still having them, and he wasn’t about to tell her they were getting worse rather than better.

Images of the girl who had died tormented him long after he awoke. The happier he was during the day, the more pleasure he found with Sarah in his bed, the uglier and more graphic his nightmares became until the message in them began to overshadow what should have been a good time in his life.