Taken, Not Spurred (Page 41)

Taken, Not Spurred (Lone Star Burn #1)(41)
Author: Ruth Cardello

Stone-faced, Tony addressed the men. “Y’all be at the house tonight at seven.”

“Yes, sir,” they said, practically in unison, then continued to stare at him wordlessly.

“Now get back to work,” Tony ordered and almost smiled as the men scrambled to do just that. One paused in front of Sarah as if he were about to ask her for the pitchfork, then changed his mind and hurried off.

When they were alone, Tony pulled her into his arms, his hands instantly claiming the curve of her ass just above the high hem of her shorts. Her soft flesh felt just as good as it had looked, and he claimed her mouth hungrily, impatiently wishing they were somewhere more private. She wrapped her arms around his neck, pressed herself wantonly against him, and moaned in pleasure. He kissed the side of her neck and threatened, “You put me in a difficult position there. You’ll pay for that tonight.”

She rubbed herself against him, sending a throb of need through him in a punch of lust. “I’m counting on it,” she murmured, throwing her head back and moaning softly.

He bit the lobe of her ear in gentle chastisement and said, “You need to learn who is in charge here. I don’t mind putting time into training you.” She froze in his arms, then relaxed, and he chuckled. “Good girl. You’re starting to understand, Sarah. Don’t challenge me again. You won’t win.” He kissed her deeply, not stopping until she was sagging with need against him. Then he said, “I’m going to enjoy making you beg for your orgasm tonight. Beg until I forget how deliberate this setup was.”

Sarah pulled back a bit and flipped her lush mane over one shoulder. “Sounds like it’s going to be a long night, especially since I invited your brother.”

“You did what?” Tony boomed, grabbing her arm.

She smiled impishly up at him and said, “I know how to use redial, also. His number wasn’t that difficult to uncover.”

This time she’s gone too far.

“Not going to happen. Call him back and tell him dinner is off.”

Sarah ran a hand playfully down his cheek. “Yeah, about that. I’m going to need considerable training before I jump when you use that tone with me.” She pulled her other arm out of his grasp and said, “If you don’t want your brother to come, call him and tell him he’s not welcome. I have a dinner to organize.”

Taking advantage of his moment of shock, Sarah flounced out of the barn. Tony rubbed a hand roughly across his face while he attempted to recollect the thoughts she’d just scattered from his brain.

David entered soon after her departure. “So, we’re all eating at your place tonight?” he asked, his tone heavy with amusement.

Tony glared at him but kept his profanity to himself. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to stop swearing if he started.

Chapter Sixteen

Why did I think I could do this?

What if tonight is a disaster?

Standing on Tony’s front porch, Sarah saw David walking by and waved him over to talk. He looked back at Tony, who was glaring at both of them from the doorway of the barn, then headed in her direction, stopping just a foot before the steps leading up to the porch.

Sarah bit her bottom lip and looked across the driveway at Tony. Their eyes met and held for a hot moment. David, the ranch, everything else disappeared, and she could feel his need for her pulsing through the air. She wanted to run to him. He looked like he was considering the possibility of closing the distance between them, swinging her over his shoulder, and taking her straight to his bedroom without a care for who was watching—until he turned abruptly away and strode back into the barn.

Sarah let out an audible sigh of longing and sagged against the top of the railing. In the quiet that followed, she whispered, “Will you help me?”

David took off his hat and brushed it against his jean-clad thigh. Quite blandly, he said, “Depends on what you’re asking.”

Sarah gave him a funny look, then continued, “I can’t cook. I invited more people than will fit in his dining room. And I don’t even know where the damn town is to go buy what we need. Why did I think it was a good idea to invite everyone to dinner tonight? Why didn’t I think this through? Is there any way this is not going to be a complete disaster?”

“Sounds like a conversation to have with Melanie.”

With a shrug Sarah said, “In case you haven’t noticed, she hates me.”

David shook his head. “Melanie has too much on her plate already to care about much else, so I doubt that.”

Remembering what Melanie had said earlier, Sarah asked, “What’s going on with her son?”

David said, “Not my place to talk about it.”

Sarah walked down the steps to stand in front of David, not wanting her questions to be overheard. “Does Tony know?”

Looking uncomfortable with her line of questioning, David hedged. “We’ve never discussed it.”

She attempted to explain her motivations, as much to herself as to David. “David, I don’t know if Tony and I are going to work out, but I do understand why he bought this place. He told me about the girl who died.” David’s eyebrows shot up, the only sign that her words surprised him. “I know what guilt can do to a person. You can’t run from it. You can’t hide from it. If you try, you lose a piece of yourself to it every day. I was lost before I came here. Now I see that I am strong enough to face what I did. I don’t want to hide anymore. I don’t think Tony does, either.”

David looked past the barn to where Tony was still watching them and said, “He’d tell you that some creatures are damaged beyond help.”

Sarah followed his line of vision and said, “You don’t believe that, do you?”

David said, “I wouldn’t be here if I did.”

Setting her shoulders determinedly, Sarah said, “Where is this town that everyone talks about? Looks like I have some shopping to do.”

David coughed into his hand and asked, “You going dressed like that?”

Sarah’s smile widened as she met Tony’s eyes across the distance. “Oh yes.” After David gave her the directions, she said, “Could you have some of the men put two tables together under the tree on the side of the house? Make sure there are enough chairs for everyone here and Tony’s brother.”

David asked, “You invited Dean?”

“I did.”

“And Tony knows?”

Chin held high, Sarah said, “He does.”