Date Published: Apr 2012
Billy just stood there in the shadows looking tall, dark, and hot. It took a real effort for Shirlene not to reach out and smooth down the collar of his shirt.
“So we haven’t seen much of you lately,” she said, her voice slightly shaky.
“I’ve been busy.”
She tipped her head and tried to make out his eyes in the shadow of the hat. “And just what kind of business would have Billy Wilkes all spit and polished?”
“Does it make a difference? I thought you didn’t want any part of me, Ms. Dalton.”
The brutal honesty of his remark had her taking a step back. Her heel landed on a rock, and she stumbled before Billy’s warm fingers closed around her arm and steadied her. The action brought him closer. Close enough to be engulfed in his heat.
“And what happened to the hardheaded man who doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer?” she asked rather breathlessly.
“Well, maybe I finally figured it out.” He gave her the once over. “So you mind telling me what you’re doing running around half naked?”
She took a steadying breath that didn’t do much to steady her pounding heart. “Only if you answer my question about where you’ve been the last three days. Of course, it’s probably not that hard to figure out seeing as how Billy Wilkes is only interested in three things—hunting, fishing, and women. And since it doesn’t look like you’re dressed for the first two, I’ll have to go with the last.”
His hand tightened on her arm. “If I said I was with a woman, would you turn back around and go home?”
“Fine. I was with a woman.”
She might’ve believed him if he’d released her arm. But instead he pulled her closer. With her heart banging out a polka, she reached up and smoothed down the collar of his shirt, her fingers brushing the soft curls at the back of his neck. “Liar.”
His breath caught. “I’m all wrong for you.”
“I couldn’t agree more, honey.” She leaned in and rubbed her cheek against the scratchy stubble on his chin as she whispered in his ear. “All wrong.”
He released her arm, and his hands slipped around her waist. “It will cause nothing but trouble.”
“No doubt.” She licked his earlobe before sucking it into her mouth. He rolled his head closer, the brim of his hat grazing the top of her head.
“So what do you want, Ms. Dalton? Spell it out so there won’t be any excuses later.” His breath fell hot against her neck.
“I want you to stop calling me Ms. Dalton for one thing.” She tipped back her head as he kissed his way up her neck. “And I want you to stop talking to me like I’m a stranger and go back to being the obnoxious hillbilly who loves to tease the hell out of me.” His lips hesitated before they resumed the soft little nibbles that were making it hard to think. She became even more mindless when he tugged up her shirt and his warm, bare hands skated down her hips to cup each cheek of her bottom through her panties.
Moaning, she stepped up on the tops of his boots so she could brush her hips against the hardness beneath the fly of his zipper. “And I want a tour of Wilkesville.”
She thought he would laugh, but instead a deep growl came from his throat as he effortlessly lifted her into his arms. She hooked her arms around his neck and watched as a big smile settled over his face. Her Bubba was back.
“I’ve got to warn you, Shirley Girl,” he said as he maneuvered her up the front steps. “I might not last past the first attraction.”
Once he kicked the door closed behind them, she pressed her lips to the bare skin in the opening of his shirt. “Then I guess I’ll have to get an all-night pass, now, won’t I?”