“You’ve got to be shitting me,” Cody said to himself when he saw flashing lights in his rearview mirror. And of course, it couldn’t be one of the deputies. No, from the large figure he saw behind the wheel, it had to be Sheriff Boone Bennett.
The man had harassed Cody as a teenager—though Cody was responsible for most of the run-ins he had with the sheriff—and it seemed old habits died hard. Cody pulled his truck over to the side of the road, putting it in park as he watched Bennett pull over his black sheriff’s car with yellow decals as well.
He hadn’t been speeding. He knew that for a fact. Why couldn’t the guy retire? Bennett had to be what, thirty-five? Cody would have thought the man would be tired of messing with him by now, but apparently the jerk had a hard-on for him.
If he wasn’t such a prick, a hard-on could lead to so many pleasurable things.
But the man was a thorn in his side. When Bennett approached his window, Cody rolled it down, letting the hot June air rush in and steal the coolness of the interior. “What can I do for you, Bennett?”
The man’s sheriff hat was pulled down low over his dark brows, a scowl etched on his face. His hazel eyes flickered over the inside of Cody’s truck before settling on him. “Your taillight is out.”
Cody glanced out the window and then rolled his eyes. Like he could see the dang thing from where he was sitting. He just had to take the man’s word for it. “I’ll get that fixed right away.”
“Would you mind stepping out of your vehicle?” Bennett stepped back, his expression inscrutable as he waited for Cody to comply. Anger and uncertainty filled Cody. Who stepped out of their car for a broken taillight? Something wasn’t right. The sheriff wasn’t acting his usual cocky self. His control was a little too tight, his eyes concentrating a little too heavily on Cody’s face. Cody casually reached for the handle, keeping his eyes on the sheriff the entire time. Try as he might, he couldn’t get a read on the man. What was he up to?
“I haven’t done anything wrong, Sheriff Bennett.”
Sliding from the driver’s seat, Cody moved until he was standing next to the door. He kept his hands where Bennett could see them as he waited for the man to tell him why exactly he had to get out of his truck.
“I heard you were gambling last night.”
Cody clenched his jaw. “Troy’s just mad because I took his money. It was fair and square. I haven’t done anything wrong.”
“How long have we known each other?” Bennett asked as he rested his hands on hips in a loose manner. The question caught Cody off guard. That wasn’t what he had expected the man to say. He had to actually think back to the first time he’d met the guy.
“Since you busted me drinking moonshine on Joey Parker’s property five years ago.” Cody had been sixteen at the time and full of piss and vinegar. He remembered arguing with the sheriff that he hadn’t touched a drop of the gut-rot stuff. Of course, he had slurred every damn denied word. His Uncle Andy had punished Cody harder than the law could have. He had worked Cody hard for two weeks straight, never letting up. It hadn’t taught Cody not to drink the stuff. It had just taught him to be more cautious.
“Five years,” Bennett repeated as he shook his head. “How many times have I arrested you?”
The man was definitely making Cody reach back into his memory this evening. He wasn’t sure where this line of questioning was going, but he wanted to answer the man and get the hell out of there. “More than I care remember to remember.”
Sheriff Bennett nodded in agreement, taking a step closer. Cody wasn’t sure what the older man was up to, but he knew fighting a cop wasn’t a smart move. “What are you doing?”
“Don’t you think it’s time we stopped pussyfooting around?” One hand landed on the right side of Cody, the sheriff leaning in, his lips close enough to kiss. Now this was something wholly unexpected. Cody seemed to lose the ability to breathe as Bennett’s scent invaded the air around him. “Tell me you aren’t attracted to me, Cody Wylde.”
“I’m not attracted to you, Cody Wylde,” he repeated, unable to think clearly as he looked at the man in a whole new light. What was he up to? Was the sheriff serious? Why hadn’t he noticed before that the guy had the hots for him?
“Brat,” Bennett murmured before leaning even closer, the graze of his beard burning across Cody’s chin as he pressed their lips together. For a maddening second, Cody leaned into the sultry kiss, forgetting…just forgetting, until Bennett tried to insert a leg between Cody’s.
Coming to his senses, Cody pushed the man away, his breathing ragged as he gazed up into hazel eyes that were filled with liquid heat. The man was dead serious. He wasn’t playing at any game. Bennett wanted Cody and that scared him. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
A slow, slick smile spread across Bennett’s lips. “Courting you, so get ready.”
Was the guy loopy? “You arrest me, Bennett. You don’t court me.” He tried to move from between the sheriff and his truck, but the man had him pinned in. Cody wasn’t sure what was going on, but he needed breathing space, and fast. “Back off.”
The lickable twist to the sheriff’s lips deepened into a wicked grin. His hazel eyes seemed to smolder even hotter at Cody’s rejection. Oh yeah, the man was nutty. He wore an expression that said he wasn’t giving up so easily.
There were circles under the man’s eyes, something Boone had never noticed before. He didn’t know Cody too well and wasn’t sure if the man was working too hard, but there was an exhaustion that covered the man in a heavy blanket. He felt like an ass for letting Cody come over after everything that happened today.
“How do you deal with…seeing death?” Cody took a swig of beer, his eyes cutting over to Boone.
Settling back, Boone rested his head on the back of the couch. “One day at a time.”
The couch dipped as Cody repositioned himself, his body facing Boone. “I’ve never seen a dead body. I think I would freak out if I did.”
Cody would have had nightmares for a very long time if he’d seen Roger. Like you won’t. Even after all this time, Boone still hadn’t found a way to shove his work aside when he got home. It stayed with him, creeping into his dreams. “They say cops and medical personnel develop a thick layer of skin over the years. But I haven’t. I feel the loss greatly. I can still see every kid that’s been abused, every disturbing scene I’ve been to. Death has a nasty odor and it clings to you long after the body has been buried.”
This wasn’t a subject Boone was fond of. He wanted to change the subject. “How is the ranch doing?”
Resting an arm on the back of the couch, Cody lifted and lowered his shoulders. “New hands were hired a few weeks back and we hired some new hands.”
Boone remembered seeing the new hands at Lucy’s. “How’s that working out?”
Cody leaned in, as if sharing a secret. “I think Courtney, the blond, is hot for Elliot.”
One of Boone’s brows inched up. “Elliot’s a hard nut to crack.”
“I also think Ben, the big fella, is on Jess’s radar, although they avoid each other like the plague. But I see the way they look at each other.” Cody leaned back and swallowed the rest of his beer, setting the empty bottle on the coffee table.
Cody seemed relaxed when talking about his family. It was a safe topic. He wanted to ask who Cody had on his radar, but instead, he reached for the remote a second after the cowboy had. His hand blanketed Cody’s, seeming two times the size of the other man’s.
He curled his fingers around the smaller, work-worn hand, pulling Cody closer. Don’t do this. He came over to relax, not be accosted. But when Cody didn’t pull away, Boone tugged the man closer until the guy tumbled forward, landing in Boone’s lap.
Why can’t I resist him? Boone ran his fingers over Cody’s chin, amazed at how soft the thin beard felt. Using his other hand, Boone lifted Cody a little higher before he lowered his head, brushing his lips over velvety smoothness. A spike of excitement shot through Boone’s brain and buried itself in his chest.
A hand slid under Cody’s shirt, smoothing across his rippled belly. A muscle jerked under his hand as Cody sucked on Boone’s tongue. His exploration was tentative, giving the cowboy time to pull back.
Cody scooched up further in Boone’s lap, his ass centered on Boone’s crotch, making his dick thicken. The guy had to feel what he was doing to Boone. There was no way he couldn’t notice a seven incher pressing into his ass.
Pulling his head back, Cody’s lips separated as Boone's breath came out in small bursts. He reached for the hand Boone had on the man’s stomach and pressed it closer to the fly of his jeans. Together, they worked his jeans open before Boone slipped his hand into Cody’s underwear, finding a hard cock lying against the man’s lower stomach.
Was the guy asking him to…? He had to be. Cody was the one who’d guided Boone’s hand, helping him free the beast Boone currently had his fingers wrapped around. But how far did Cody want to go? A hand job or full out nakedness?
He slicked his thumb over the pre-cum leaking out and then shoved the finger into his mouth. Cody’s eyes widened as Boone licked his finger clean. The taste made him groan, wanting more from the source.
What if you two get hot and heavy, and then Cody gives you the cold shoulder? It was a risk Boone was willing to take in order to taste the man.
Boone felt a spike of trepidation as he moved Cody until the man was lying on the couch, gazing up at Boone. Grabbing Cody’s foot, Boone slipped the man’s boot off and then did the same for the other.
When he reached for Cody’s jeans, the man grabbed Boone by the wrists, his eyes locked onto Boone like a missile ready to launch. Boone pulled his hands free and then grabbed the waist of Cody’s pants, lowering them until he wrestled the things from around Cody’s ankles.
Cody's breathing was slow and deep as Boone lowered himself between the man’s legs, watching, gauging Cody’s reaction before taking the man into his mouth. Cody’s body was sleek and proportioned, his cock thick as Boone sucked the head past his lips.
Cody’s legs spread as he hissed, his hands landing on Boone’s head, his grip strangling his hair. He looked up, stunned at the desire and vulnerability in Cody’s light-brown eyes. The man tasted like a dream and Boone couldn’t believe he finally had Cody under him.
Pulling Cody’s cock from his mouth, Boone rubbed his stubble along the man’s inner thigh, his tongue snaking out to taste the sac an inch from his lips. Cody’s thighs shook, his grip growing tighter in Boone’s hair. Pulling.
He wanted to show Cody so many different ways of being pleasured, to give until they were both spent and sweaty. Boone reached into his shorts and began to stroke himself as he lapped at Cody’s salty, musky skin, devouring the man and showing him how good this could be between them if only Cody gave them a chance.
Licking his way back to the tip of Cody’s cock, Boone swallowed him, his hand pumping his thick piece of flesh harder, taking Cody all the way to the back of his throat.