A warm hand touched her other
shoulder, jerking her from her thoughts. “Do you mind if I sit with
you?” The gravelly voice rolled down her back. Heat enveloped her
and not from the August night. The twinge of fear subsided, replaced
by the strength of his presence.
Sully shuffled his feet and
crinkled his brows. His cocoa-colored eyes glittered in the
firelight. He’d shaved the midday scruff from his cheeks but left a
sprinkling of hair on his chin and upper lip. Instead of wearing the
standard bandana, his hair stood in messy spikes, giving him a
tousled, straight-out-of-bed look. His cologne wrapped around her
like a woodsy blanket. Her mouth watered. How could one man look so
darned sexy without effort?
“Chores are done, you’re free, I’m
free. I wanted a dance for old times’ sake.” The silver ring on the
middle finger of Sully’s right hand caught the light as he gestured
to her. “Will you dance with me, Marley? I don’t have cooties, man
germs, or any other gross diseases.”
Man germs...good grief. She needed
an answer to put him back in his place.
“Dancing isn’t my thing.” Why did
Sully make her so nervous? Because Sully made her inner thighs heat
and her heart thunder. Every time she heard him sing she swooned.
Hell, when they worked side by side on the wagons, she resisted the
urge to smother him with kisses. She pressed her lips together. The
idea of his sexy naked body melding with hers had haunted her dreams
since she hit puberty. Of all the men she knew, Sully remained
elusive and out of reach. And yet, he’d come back when she needed
him the most...like a white knight. God, she had to get the
childish, fanciful thoughts from her head and regain her footing in
the real world.
Sighing, he eased down next to her.
“I don’t buy that for a moment, but I’m not gonna push.” He bumped
her shoulder with his, sending a frisson of lust snaking through her
body. “I missed our late-night conversations.” A chuckle erupted
from his throat. “You know, I never found someone to understand me
like you do.”
She balled her fists to keep from
touching him and stared at the crisp yellow flames. Sully smelled
like sin and pine. “Conversationalist is my middle name.”
Sully cupped her chin, redirecting
her gaze. “And all this time I thought it was Elaine.”
Despite wanting to stay, Marley
stood. “I never could fool you.”
She shook her head. “I have a
“You left after we had sex. Like
right after. Was it that bad or was it just a notch for your belt?”
His smile faded. “Marley, that’s
“Thanks for your answer.” She
brushed imaginary debris from her lap. “You and I work together.
There will be no dancing, no kissing, and no love. Got me?”
“Who said kissing?” He stood and
grabbed her hand. Sully tugged her away from the fire and the rumble
of conversation to the privacy of the back porch. “There’s a lot of
stuff you don’t know about, and I don’t know how to tell you, but I
absolutely want to kiss you.”