"You always smell so dang good."
"You wouldn't have said that earlier when I was covered in dust and sweat."
"Wrong. You'd still smell good. Like earth and man."
He groaned when her sassy tongue flicked his earlobe.
"I like that I can get you to make that noise," she said softly.
"You make some pretty sexy noises yourself when my mouth is on you."
She stilled. "Last night wasn't a dream, was it?"
"No." He grabbed her chin, forcing her to look at him. "You still all right with it? No regrets?"
"Just that you stopped."
Jesus. "I didn't wanna stop. You know that."
"I know you're worried we're going too fast. But I'll bet if I was any other woman, besides a virgin, you wouldn't have reined it in."
"You don't compare to other women and not just because you're a virgin."
"Then why?" she demanded.
Because you look at me like no other woman ever has. Like you see beneath the surface of a hell-raising cowboy to the man inside. The man I want to be.
"Because you're you. From the moment I met you I've thought of nothin' but you. I can't explain it any better than that."
"I'll let it go…for now. But please don't treat me like I don't know my own mind, okay?"
"Okay." He fused his mouth to hers and the kiss soothed the restless parts of him. Parts he hadn't realized needed soothing. "Come on. Let's hit the road."
"Where are we going?"
"You'll see." He boosted her into his truck on the driver's side and slid next to her. She rested her head on his shoulder and her hand on his thigh.
"What did you do today, rancher McKay?"
"Besides check cattle? Fixed fence."
"Didn't you do that yesterday?"
"Do you do that every day?"
"We could. We should. But we don't. Just happened we did it two days in a row."
"What does fixing fence entail?"
"A fifth of Jack Daniels." He grinned at her. "Kiddin'. It's a tedious job that's never ending."
"Because the McKays have so much land?"
"Not that as much as there's a lot of fence. No matter how well the fence is installed, the elements and the cattle make a mess of it. Summer is slow until haying starts, so that's when we do the majority of the repairs."
"No wonder you wanted to cool off in the lake last night. But it didn't help much since you got us both all hot and bothered." She sighed. "That's all I thought about today. How it felt to be skin to skin with you. And how much I liked having your mouth all over me."
He hadn't even put his mouth where he most wanted it.
"I liked it when you bit on my neck almost as much as when you sucked on my-"
"Jesus, Carolyn. Stop."
"Language," she chided.
"Then you watch what you're sayin'."
"What?" she said innocently.
He snorted. "You know what."
Her pause chilled the air in the cab despite the eighty-degree heat.
Aw hell, she hadn't been playing coy. She doesn't have enough experience to do that, remember?
"Oh. So that's how it is."
"How what is?"
"The virgin/whore thing. I'm a virgin so I couldn't possibly be thinking dirty thoughts about you and me naked, nor am I supposed to voice those thoughts."
"But you've said I'm different than other women, so do you separate them into the other category? What happens after my virginity isn't an issue? Then I'm a whore?"
Dangerous to have this conversation at sixty miles an hour. He kept his hands on the steering wheel and his eyes on the road. The woman would push and push and push… Yet he admired her for that trait. Just because she was innocent didn't mean she was a pushover. "How about we cross that bridge when we come to it."
"We crossed that bridge last night, Carson, when I was in my underwear spread out on a picnic table."
The image-the beautiful image of her writhing under him hit him hard. "What is it you want me to say?"
Don't do it.
But his mouth opened of its own accord. "Last night I wanted to f**k you. I will f**k you but it won't be on a whim on a hard goddamned picnic table. It'll be in a proper bed where I can take my time so your first time is special because God knows mine wasn't. It won't make you a whore. It'll just make you mine."
"And sugar, if you wanna talk dirty to me, I'm good with that. But I'd rather you didn't do it when I'm behind the wheel 'cause I'm liable to wreck my damn truck."
After a minute or so of dead air, he chanced a quick look at her.
The woman wore that I've-got-a-secret smile that spelled trouble.
Shit. "Say something."
"Now that that's sorted out, where are we going?"
"I thought we could see a movie in Spearfish."