Taking that first step is always the hardest…
Nate Kendrick has had a thing for his new housekeeper ever since he met her. Aboveboard on it all, he never pursues it until the night they are without his brothers’ as chaperones. No longer can he ignore his desire for her.
Leandra Brice is working on her dream and being employed by the Rocking K Ranch is only a step along the way. So what if the eldest is the star of her every fantasy? Giving in may not be smart, but it sure does feel good.
Their affair is hot and whirlwind until the season catches up and chills it to frost. When Leandra leaves, Nate is going to need more than luck to get her to believe his heart belongs to her.
Nate groaned as he stared over the massive mound of paperwork before him. This was the last thing he wanted to be doing. The ranch was at a standstill for the day. The snow that had been dumped on them had brought them to a halt. The animals had been fed, and he was back inside where it was warm and dry.
He cut his gaze to the window and stared out at the blinding fury hitting them. A snowstorm had been expected. This was a blizzard and not at all what had been thought would be hitting them.
Zane was in town with his fiancée and their new baby. His nephew, Randall Duncan Kendrick. A wedding was happening but the bride to be wasn’t having it while she was waddling and couldn’t see her feet. Everyone was surprised that the tomboy mechanic, Zane, had thrown a fit about it, while everyone else wisely capitulated to her demands.
Cade was most likely holed up somewhere with Cora, his fiancée. He didn’t begrudge either of them their happiness, quite the opposite. Happiness was what he felt for them. He recalled the love their parents had and how the Duncans—whom he considered his second set of parents—were together.
Right now, they were in the process of having two more homes built out here, so they could still work the ranch but not all be under the same roof. Another thing he understood was their need to have privacy.
However, with them stuck in town because of the weather, that left him here alone with Leandra. Just thinking about her woke his cock up, and it stirred in his pants, swelling, thickening, as was the case when she swept through his mind.
Not like she was ever far from his mind.
Since the first day she’d walked up the porch and entered his house, he’d been drawn to her. His fingers burned to touch her sienna skin, unpin her curls from those totally sexy clips she had them in, and press his lips to hers, just to see if they were as pillow soft as he believed they were.
That wasn’t how this was going to be. She worked for the family, and he wasn’t going to take advantage of that.
I’m not, right? I mean, I can keep it in my pants. I’m a grown-ass man.
For the past few months she’d been their housekeeper and cook, he was cautious to always have one of the other Kendrick boys around, just to make sure he kept his shit together. No one knew of his lust for this woman. How she invaded his dreams, how desperately he wanted to experience her on the most intimate of levels.
“All I want to do is lead her to the fire in the living room and lay her on that rug before there, strip her bare and fuck her until we both fade from exhaustion.”
His guttural admission snapped him back from the road his thoughts were frolicking along. That’s not what he needed to be doing. Paperwork was.
Determined to remain focused on his job, he doggedly stayed there for another hour before he caved, tossing the pen across the wide heavy oak desk. “Fuck,” he snapped.
Nate shoved away from the desk and stomped to the door, pissed at himself and this illogical reaction he was having toward Leandra. He paused in the doorway and listened for her. She tended to hum as she worked, usually to the music she had in her ears, and based on her humming, she had a good eclectic selection.
He leaned on the wood at his shoulder as he waited. Honeyed beeswax and lemony mint reached him, and he knew Leandra had been by not too long ago. If he bothered to look down, the dark wood floors would be shining such that he’d be able to see his reflection.
He pushed away and walked from his office to the kitchen, bypassing the front door, which still rattled and shook from the force of the winter winds howling around outside. Peering in, he frowned when he didn’t see her.
Checking his watch, Nate furrowed his brow. Too early for her to be working on supper. Where was she?
Not that it’s scary or anything that I know her schedule.
He raked a hand through his black hair and headed toward the back of the house. She had a small suite back there, so she didn’t have to drive to and from Springwood, as they lived out on the outskirts of the ranching community.
Heading in that direction, he paused as he went by the door for the laundry room. There! He heard her humming. Heat licked his veins, and he couldn’t stop heading in that direction any more than he could control the power the moon had over the tides.
He slowed outside the door, which was mostly closed, and peered in the open crack. His mouth dried out in a second. Her black slacks formed to her ass like he wanted his hands to do, following the curve and highlighting its perfection. Her khaki top didn’t hide what the good Lord had blessed her with, and she had it tucked in, an act that emphasized the smallness of her waist. She always wore a uniform of sorts, and he honestly didn’t give a damn what she wore. Hell, he’d prefer she wear nothing. So long as it was for him only.
She was tall, only a few inches shorter than he was at six foot two inches. He liked not having to bend down to kiss her. At least it rocked in his dreams. If he would ever know for real wasn’t what he could dwell on right now.
A few of those natural curls had popped free of their confinement and fell along the sides of her cheeks. He so wanted to walk in there and touch them, tuck them behind her ears.
It was hell, but he forced himself away from the door and back up toward the kitchen. He had almost made it when the doorbell rang. That drew him up short.
Who the hell is out on a day like this?
“Coming!” she called out.
“I’ve got it, Leandra,” he shouted back. “I’m right here.”
In his mind, only certain people were out in weather like this, murders or psycho. Either way, he would protect her.
He drew open the door and swallowed the curse on his lips. Angela Cricton stood there. Psycho.
Stepping back, he waved her in because for all his dislike of her showing up right now, he wasn’t going to leave her out in the shitty weather. Her pale skin and lips didn’t do anything for him. Hadn’t since Leandra walked into his life. However, right now a blue tint was on her skin. She was freezing.
“What are you doing here, Angela? Why would you be out in this?”
He captured her coat and dragged her to stand by the fire. Without another word, he positioned her hands closer to the heat.
“I was already on my way when that storm hit. I’ve been out there for about 3 hours trying to get here. This was closer than me heading home and hoping I made it back into town.” Her teeth were chattering.
“Who was at the… Oh, Ms. Angela. I’ll start on something hot for her to drink.” Leandra walked off after that statement.
Nate wanted to follow her, but he couldn’t. Just like while he wanted to berate Angela for coming, he couldn’t do that either. He had been raised to take care of women, and that was burned in his blood. After taking Angela’s coat, he gave her a thick quilt to wrap up in and got her in one of the chairs near the fire. Then he hung up her coat and went to the kitchen.
Leandra was fixing a drink.
She stopped stirring the spoon and pivoted toward him slowly, the shock and confusion on her face easy to read.
Her gaze narrowed. “You don’t apologize. What’s going on?” She flicked her tongue over her lips, and he felt the answering kick in his cock. “If you’re firing me, fine, but I’m not leaving until the roads are safe.”
Taken aback, he actually retreated a step, shaking his head. “Wait, what? No. I’m not firing you. I’m apologizing.”
“We’ve established that, just like you don’t. So, what is going on?” She picked up the mug and stirred it a bit more before walking toward him as he stood there transfixed by her easy movement. “I don’t have time to wait for you to find your words, Mr. Kendrick. I have to get this tea out to her and go fix up a guest room.” She turned and began moving by him only to stop.
Fuck, she’s so damn close. All I’d have to do is lower my lips to hers. I can practically feel her breath on me. If she were an inch closer, she’d feel my cock.
Therein lay the issue. He wanted her that inch closer. Wanted her to not only feel his cock but take it. Slow and deep. Hard and fast. He needed her riding him, beneath him as he took her from behind, all of it. And more.
“Unless you are having her stay in your room and I don’t need to fix that guest room up?”
Why isn’t there emotion in her eyes when she asks that?
“Guest room is fine. Angela and I aren’t together anymore.”
She blinked, altogether uninterested, before slipping away. He rearranged himself and followed once his unruly dick was back under control. In the living room, Leandra was making sure that Angela drank it all before she took the mug from her.
This time when she passed him, she held his gaze and said, “Give me a few moments to get the room ready and you can carry her there. She’s exhausted and probably fighting off becoming sick.”
Within fifteen minutes he and Leandra were back in the kitchen. He’d gone outside to see if he could find Angela’s car and shook his head when he realized how far she’d had to walk in this weather. Now he stood with the woman of every fantasy he had, fingers around a fresh cup of coffee.
“She okay?” He scratched his chest as he desperately tried to keep his thoughts on the straight and narrow.
“Sleeping. I checked on her right before you came back in. I didn’t see anything that looked like there would be frostbite but I’m not a doctor.” She smoothed her hands down her pants. “I should get back to work, excuse me.”
He moved with her, effectively blocking her way out. She canted her head to the side, eyebrows up. The urge he had earlier returned, and he caved. Reaching out, he twisted one corkscrew curl around his fingers and reveled in the softness of it as he allowed it to drag along his skin.
The gold in her eyes went molten, but she didn’t move.
“Me too,” he muttered before releasing her and stepping away.