Taken, Not Spurred (Page 14)

Taken, Not Spurred (Lone Star Burn #1)(14)
Author: Ruth Cardello

Tony stood next to the small nightstand where Sarah had left her spiral notebook. Would she have left it out if she had something to hide? Typically, he would never consider reading the private writings of anyone—mostly because doing so required a certain amount of interest on his part, which he hadn’t felt about anything in a long time.

But he believed that notebook held the answers he needed.

Is Sarah taking notes on how I run the ranch? Is she working for a news rag? Why is she here?

He flipped the purple cover open and his jaw went slack with surprise as he read the first page.

Day One

This is what life is about: seeing new places, meeting new people, grabbing life by the . . . and squeezing until it coughs up a story worth telling.

Writers do not fear words.




Big balls.

Hairy balls.

Bald balls?

A question was written in the side margin: Do some men shave their balls?

Tony stopped, shook his head, and reread the first entry. A grin spread across his face as he did. He picked up the notebook and flipped to the second page.


Shouldn’t use Tony’s in the book. Porch is nice, but inside is too barren. Too cold. No one would believe that someone doesn’t at least have a television. Don’t want people to think hero is boring or out of touch. Visit neighboring homes for inspiration.

Tony stopped. He’d been right that she was taking notes on his place, but not in the way that he’d thought. He wasn’t sure he liked what she thought his home said about him. Boring? Out of touch?

He read the next entry.


Need a better name than Tony Carlton. Something more Texan. Something bold. Holt Johnson? Might want him to be a cattle rancher instead of a horse trainer. Something about rustling cattle is sexier. Maybe it’s the rope.

Tony’s mouth went dry at the images that last sentence sent racing through his mind. He shook his head and tried to focus on the words on the page instead of how Sarah would look, naked and tied to the headboard of his bed.

Physical description. Hazel/green eyes like Tony’s. Eyes that change color in different lighting and with his mood. Tall, built like Tony, with broad shoulders and that perfect butt that looks great in jeans.

Pleasure whipped through Tony, his grin widening as he read that last part for a second time. She likes my ass. But what does she mean my name is not Texan enough? She’d rather call her hero Holt Penis? That’s Texan?

He continued reading.

Tony is attractive, but . . .

Tony stopped at that word. But what?

He scanned the next few lines with less pleasure.

He’d be sexier if he smiled more. No woman wants to sleep with a man who always looks like he smells a rotten egg.

Miffed, Tony thought, Is that right? Hasn’t stopped you from following me around and giving me those take-me-now looks.

He flipped the page of the notebook and kept reading.

Ridden Hard


Breshall Haas

Tony thought: Who the hell is Breshall Haas? Her pen name? If that title is anything to go by, she’ll need one.

Still, he had to admit that he liked the idea of innocent Sarah having a naughty side. She was writing a dirty book—his little blonde angel. He shifted as his jeans suddenly became uncomfortably tight in the crotch. Short of Sarah coming in and ripping the notebook from his hands, nothing would have stopped him from reading further.

First draft

It’s not stalking if you know he wants you.

I park at the end of Holt’s driveway and curse the heavy rain that makes it impossible for me to see if his car is there. I consider coming back later, but wild acts of abandon cannot be postponed because of poor weather.

Still, it’s a shame that the time I put into styling my long red locks was wasted along with the money I’d spent on the Jimmy Choo crystal-beaded pumps that likely wouldn’t survive a muddy sprint to his porch. I regret not boldly driving to his doorway, but my plan depends on him not being home.

I have wanted Holt since the first time I met him.

And now, finally, I’m going to have him.

An arrow pointed to the margin where Sarah had written: Outside of romances, is that kind of desire for a man plausible? Tony’s breath caught in his throat as a revelation rocked him to the core. She doesn’t know. She is as innocent as she looks.

He kept reading, even as his cock countered with a pulsing argument for putting the notebook down, carrying Sarah back to his bed, and showing her what she’s been missing.

His car isn’t in the driveway.

No one answers my first knock or my second.

I shiver with anticipation as I open the door and let myself in.

The clock on the wall ticks away in an otherwise silent hall. Five o’clock. If Holt follows his normal schedule, he’ll be here very soon.

I strip off my wet coat, careful to hang it in the closet, where it won’t be seen. I wipe the evidence of my arrival off the hall floor and walk to where I know he’ll head as soon as he gets home.

I fold my dress and tuck my underwear safely inside of it on the counter in the bathroom. I place my muddied shoes neatly beneath the counter and turn on the shower. My wet hair is cold on my bare back, and I welcome the warm steam that begins to fill the room.

As I step beneath the hot spray, I lose myself for a moment in the sheer pleasure of it.

I jump at the sound of the bathroom door being swung open, quickly followed by the swish of the shower curtain being pulled back.

“What the hell are you doing in my shower?” Holt demands angrily.

“Waiting for you,” I say huskily. “I’m a dirty girl.”

Tony burst out laughing at the line as he pictured Sarah saying it. A memory of finding her in the shower replaced his humor with gut-tightening lust as he remembered what she’d looked like in just a towel. His mind flooded with images of what he would have done if she’d greeted him that way yesterday.

He wasn’t sure he wanted to read the scene she’d written with the improved version of him. He was already painfully aroused.

Holt’s eyes burn with passion for me. He says, “Then let me clean you off.”

Joining me in the shower, he soaps me down, careful to remove my nervous smell. He rinses the soap away before slowly drying me with a fluffy white towel.

His penis is erect.

I brace myself against the wall of the shower and prepare myself for when he enters me. I know how good it will feel in a few minutes.

Another arrow pointed to a comment in the margins: Condom?

Sarah had skipped a couple of lines on the page and then had added to the last paragraph.