“What was that?” Ben asked. A loud bang had broken the quiet of the night.
“I don’t know,” Shane said, heading for the front door. “Maybe a vehicle hit something on the highway. We’d best see what happened. Hope it’s not serious.” He opened the front door and headed outside.
Ben hurried to join him with a flashlight. He flashed the powerful beam of light along the road until it reflected off the windows of a car in the ditch next to the highway. The full moon revealed the car tilted on an angle. It looked like someone moved around inside the vehicle.
“Do you smell that?” Shane asked Ben.
“Yeah, smells like gasoline. There could be a leak. We’d best hurry.”
They raced to the car, and Shane took hold of the front door handle. It wouldn’t budge.
“I’ll try the other side,” Ben said as he ran to that side of the car.
The smell of gas grew stronger. They quickly tried the other doors. Finally the back door opened to Shane. He pulled it open as far as it would go before it hit against the side of the ditch.
“Oh, thank God,” came the breathless voice of a young woman. “I couldn’t open the doors.”
“Are you hurt?” Shane asked.
“I think I’m okay. I hit my head,” the woman said as she climbed from the car with Shane’s help.
“Can you walk?” Ben asked the beautiful young woman revealed to him by his flashlight.
“Yes, I’m fine.” She took a step and started to go down, her purse swinging wildly in her hand. Quick as lightning, Ben and Shane moved to catch her. Shane caught her around her waist and scooped her up in his arms.
“I’ve got you. Anyone with you?” Shane asked.
“No, I’m alone,” she said.
“We can smell gasoline,” Shane said. “Let’s get away from the car quickly.”
She put an arm around Shane’s shoulders.
Ben kept a close watch on Shane. He seemed to carry her easily as they hurried from the car and out of the ditch.
“I’ll give you a hand,” Ben offered. He worried the deep cut below Shane’s waist would open again and bleed even more.
“I can walk, I’m sure,” she said. “You don’t need to carry me.”
“No problem,” Shane said. “I’ll carry you.”
“We’re more familiar with this uneven ground,” Ben gave as an excuse as he strode beside them and kept the flashlight on the ground ahead. Shane took swift, long strides back toward the steak house. Ben was surprised that Shane didn’t drop from previous loss of blood.
They crossed the parking area and quickly took the few steps up to the door. Ben held it open. Shane carried the young woman down the hall to a chair in the nearest dining area and eased her down onto the seat. “You might have a concussion. We can take you to the emergency room to get you checked out.”
Ben shot Shane a look. His friend would take the lady to the hospital, but Shane refused to go when he needed to.
The lady shook her head. “No, I’m sure it’s just a little bump.” She felt the side of her head, her hand obviously trembling. “I’ll be fine. I didn’t hit hard. Didn’t even break the window.” She smiled at them.
Ben smiled back at her. She was lovely, with dark, almost black hair that caressed her shoulders and framed her face. Her pale complexion made her dark lilac eyes as vivid as Texas Bluebonnets. He lifted a lock of her shoulder-length, silky hair away from her fingers to check for any blood. “You’re not bleeding, and that’s a good sign.” The bump on her head wasn’t large, so he didn’t think she had a concussion.
Ben hunkered down at her side. “Any aches or pains anywhere? How about your back and shoulders.”
“No. Really, I feel all right.”
Ben watched her face as she smiled again. Her lips were full and perfectly shaped. He’d never seen another woman as beautiful, and he’d seen lots of pretty women come into the steak house. Her scent filled his head. She even smelled perfect. “Would you like a drink or a glass of water?”
“A little water would be great, thanks,” she said.
Shane rose. “Be back in a sec.”
When Ben saw that Shane walked without weaving, he pulled a chair closer to her and sat down. He wanted to know more about her. “Where were you headed when your car went off the road? Can we help you reach your destination? Your car is going to need some work done.”
“I was headed for the Big Bend area, and I planned to find a place to stay here in Heat Springs overnight.”
Shane returned with the glass of water and handed it to her. She took a drink and held the glass in her still shaking hands.
“I called a couple friends of ours to arrange to haul your car out of the ditch and over to their garage,” Shane said. “If you want, they can take a look at it and see what needs to be fixed. They can fix anything that needs it if you’d like them to.”
“Thank you. I completely spaced on the need to call someone to come get my car.”
“They have a local car dealership here, and we’ve known them since we were kids. We’d trust them to do anything on our own vehicles.” Ben smiled at her hoping to reassure her.
“That sounds good to me,” she said.
“What name should I give them for when you’re ready to pick up your car?”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I completely forgot to give you my name. I’m Lori Hart.”
“I’m Ben Jones. Glad to meet you.”
“I’m Shane Adams. This is our restaurant. We call it the Heat Springs Steak House,” he said quietly. “Do you have a place to stay tonight?”
“No, I’d planned to stop at a local hotel tonight. If you know of a good one, I could call them and ask if they have a room. Could you give me a lift if they do?”
“Sure we could, or you could stay with us,” Shane suggested. “We have a sprawling home nearby with plenty of extra bedrooms, and you could take your pick.”
Ben grinned at her. “Shane’s a great cook. You’d love the meals he cooks up.”
Shane couldn’t help admiring Lori’s hard work, not to mention her shapely curves and the delicate slenderness of her lithe body. She moved gracefully and made him want her right now. Not only that, she appealed to him in other ways. She was capable, and her take charge ability showed thoughtfulness and consideration for others. Her confidence bolstered his own capabilities. Since he and Ben had first met her, he’d felt comfortable with her, as if they belonged together. He saw in her responses to him and Ben that she felt comfortable with them. He wanted to know everything about her, and he wanted to explore her body and make love to her. He was determined to protect her from any danger.
Lori put down her wine cooler and looked at him and Ben.
“What are you thinking about?” Shane asked her.
“Do you guys have any idea how much I admire you for your hard work at your restaurant, as well as your courage in the face of threatening and brutal gang members?”
Shane sat quietly gazing at her, and rather than say anything, he waited for her to continue, wanting to know what she thought.
She looked at Shane, meeting his gaze. “I admire your courage, Shane, and the way you keep going in spite of your injury and being attacked. Ben, I admire you so much for taking care of your friend. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your efforts to help me except to express my heartfelt thanks to you both.”
Shane’s body responded to her with a raging hard on as she told them how she felt about them. “You’ve been a huge help to me and Ben,” he said. “I think so much of your generosity, and your abilities. I hope you’ll stay with us as long as you want. You eased my problem with the wound in my side and again with the attack of the gang members by staying by me here at home and at the hospital. The fact that you were right there for me, offering your support, means the world to me. I consider your help above and beyond what most people would offer.”
Lori looked at him with an earnest expression in her dark blue eyes. “You and Ben did just as much for me when my car ended up in the ditch and I needed help. I care about you and Ben because you’ve been there for me and you’ve continued to help me with what I need. I want to do the same for you. I like to be there for you when you need me.”
Shane reached out to her with a hand on her shoulder and urged her close enough to brush her lips with his in a tender kiss. His body clenched, his cock rising as she slid her hand down his chest and touched the head of his engorged shaft, hidden by his jeans.
“There’s a way I can help you with this,” she said as she smoothed her fingers over his bulging cock without touching the bandaged area near his hip. She started unfastening his jeans, spread apart the edges of his jeans, caressed him, and kissed him back. She didn’t stop when Ben moved close to her back and cupped her hips as he kissed her neck below her ear. She moaned softly and broke their kisses.
Shane watched her, his body ready to explode as she took the head of his cock between those warm, soft lips and swirled her hot, wet tongue around the head, lapping at the bead of cum and tantalizing that slit. As she grasped his shaft at the base and squeezed, he groaned deep in his chest. She stroked his balls, making him growl with his building need. She removed her hand after cupping him briefly and braced herself with her hand on the cushion next to his hip. He wanted to buck his hips but didn’t for fear of breaking open the gash in his upper groin again. When she licked beneath the rim of the head of his cock he knew he was close to exploding. “Lori, let go. I’m going to come.” His voice rasped with his aroused need.
She took him deeper into her hot, wet mouth, moved up and down his shaft and swirled her tongue around him.
“Hell, yeah,” he growled as he exploded inside her sweet mouth. She continued to move up and down him and swallowed his cum, her throat working as she caressed the base of his shaft with her hand. “Sweet fucking amazing,” he said, his voice gritty sounding from the physical release she’d given him.
“Your turn,” Ben said behind her. He slipped his arm around her waist to support her as she braced herself with her hands and knees on the cushion of her lounge chair. “Are you okay with me taking you from behind?”
“Yes, that sounds good,” she said, sounding a little out of breath.
Shane’s own body responded to Lori’s breathless words as Ben moved closer to Lori until his thighs bumped the backs of her thighs. He slid her clothing down until her beautiful bottom was bared. Shane had a view of her shaved, rosy mound and labia from his position on his back in his chair. He swore silently. He couldn’t take an active part yet, but it wouldn’t be long until he was healed completely. Then he intended to join in making the moves on Lori.