“What the hell, Steve? What’s gotten into you?”
He slapped his menu onto the table. “All I’ve heard from you the past few weeks is Ev this and Ev that. You just divorced the guy. I get it. You probably didn’t want him to fight the divorce, so I assumed you were being nice to them so he’d go through with it. But how much longer do I need to put up with you hanging around with…them?”
She was trying to decide whether or not to shove the engagement ring up his nose or up his ass when a boy’s voice caught their attention.
“Ev! Wy!” A smiling teenaged boy ran over and leaned in to hug the two men from behind. Right behind him followed…
“What are you guys doing here?” the kid asked.
“Having dinner, buddy,” Ev said.
“Duh. Dad had a parent teacher conference and picked me up. Why are you in suits?”
“We just got done with the final divorce hearing. You and your dad want to join us? We haven’t ordered yet.”
“Can we, Dad?”
The mystery hunk shrugged, glancing at her, then Steve. “Sure, if it’s okay with everyone.” He nodded at Lara and removed his ball cap. “Ma’am.”
Something in her stomach flipped in a good way.
In a way Steve had never made her stomach flip.
In a way it used to flip over Everett.
Oooookaaaaay, then. Question answered.
She still wasn’t sure what orifice she’d shove Steve’s engagement ring up, but it wouldn’t be on her finger by the end of the night.
“Absolutely,” Wylie said, immediately jumping up to help pull the neighboring table against theirs.
Ev handled the introductions. “Brad and his son, Mark, live across the road from us. He grazes cattle in our pasture, and Mark’s been helping Wylie before and after school, and on the weekends. Mark worked with the previous owner, too.”
Steve’s chin tipped up just a hair as he studied father and son. “So you’re a farmer or a cowboy?”
Lara shot him a dirty look, but now she realized who the two newcomers were. She hadn’t yet met either one before today, even though she’d heard about them from Ev and Wy.
“Do a little of a lot of things,” Brad drawled, smiling. He’d ended up seated on Everett’s right, Mark seated across from his father, on Lara’s left. “Was my family’s place and I took it over. My dad had a stroke and couldn’t run it anymore, so he and Mom moved into an assisted living community where she’d have help with him. I grew up there, at the ranch. We moved back when Mark was two, and Mark’s lived there ever since.”
“So you’ve been running your parents’ place since then?” Everett asked.
“No, sir. Not full-time. Not at first, anyway. Sold off a lot of property they used to own so they could buy their condo and give them plenty to live off of. Kept five hundred acres and the main house. I still freelance from time to time for extra money, when it suits me and fits into my schedule around Mark’s school activities and stuff.”
Brad took a sip of water from the glass the waitress had set in front of him.
“Freelance doing what?” Steve asked.
Lara winced at his tone. Why didn’t I notice how insufferable he was before now? She hoped Brad and Mark didn’t hold Steve’s attitude against her.
“Chemist. I’m a consultant.”
Steve let out a harsh-sounding snort. “Chemist? Is that a euphemism for cooking meth or something?”
“Steve!” She backhanded his shoulder. Hard.
“I was just kidding, sheesh. Lighten up.”
A slow smile creased Brad’s handsome features, and Lara didn’t know why, but it made her panties wet. “No, sir. I have a PhD in environmental chemistry from USF. I do a lot of work in the citrus and agricultural industries.”
Ah, that’s why he smiled like that. He went in for the kill. How many times had Lara watched Everett toy with assholes in much the same way over the years?
And it had gotten him laid plenty of times, too, when she’d jump him as soon as they were home. She loved the predatory way he’d play with them.
Seems Brad had a streak of that in him, too.
Brad took another sip of water. “I also hold several lucrative patents, including one for an organic fungicide I developed as part of my doctoral thesis. I’m currently working with a state Department of Ag grant study on fertilizers that will help reduce the toxic algae problem rainwater run-off is creating in Lake O and on both coasts.”
She immediately turned her back on Steve and started chatting with Brad and Mark.
It was that, or she was going to tell Steve to go fuck himself right there. His utter rudeness to everyone was the final straw in what she could clearly see—now—was a doomed relationship.
Brad wore a clean button-up short-sleeved work shirt, faded jeans, and work boots. His worn baseball cap currently resided in the chair next to him.
He didn’t look like a rich, semi-retired chemist. He looked like a good ole Florida Cracker cowboy.
A very handsome Florida Cracker cowboy.
Steve kept his mouth mostly shut, except to sullenly place his order when the waitress came around to take their orders.
Once that was done, Lara smiled at Everett. “So when are you and Wylie going to get married?”
“And which one of you two is the girl?” Steve added.
Lara turned on him again. “What the actual fricking hell, Steve?”
Brad spoke up, his voice sounding low and cold. “Buddy, don’t you have eyes?” Nothing remained of Brad’s previously friendly tone, much less his Old Florida drawl. “Or are you just that damn stupid? They’re both men. Neither of them is a woman.” His words sounded as sharp and piercing as any piece of steel Everett had forged.
And Lara’s panty status went from probably wet to definitely soaked.
Smiling down at her, he loved how desperate she looked, the way she’d sounded coming all over his mouth, the taste of her.
“What would Ma’am like me to do now?”
“It’d better involve fucking and orgasms,” she said.
He leaned in to kiss her, eventually working his way down her neck to the hollow at the base of her throat. “Does Ma’am want me to use a condom?”
“No, we got tested.”
“Just wanted to make sure.”
Her hands settled on his head, trying to urge him south, but he slowed even more. Sure, he wanted her in control, but he also wanted to take his time. Especially this time, their very first time.
And hearing her come was quickly becoming his favorite sound in the world.
He pulled the low bodice of her dress down, exposing her right breast. Freeing it from her bra cup, he sucked her nipple into his mouth. His cock painfully throbbed at the sound of her moans, the feel of her fingers raking across his scalp and digging in. He lowered his weight onto her, pinning her there as he teased her nipple and her desperation increased.
After slowly kissing his way across the valley between her breasts, he repeated the treatment with her left breast, until finally she started begging again.
Sitting up, he helped her pull her dress off, and she quickly discarded her bra over the edge of the bed before throwing her arms around his neck and kissing him again.
Easing her back onto the bed, he almost couldn’t hold back his pleased giggles from the way she started humping herself against his thigh.
Grazing his teeth across one nipple, then the other, they were tightly peaked by the time he started kissing his way south once more, down her tummy, toward her shaved mound.
Once again he settled between her legs, resting them over his shoulders as he lapped at her pussy. He didn’t want to end this just yet. Obviously he’d shut down her brain, and he knew how hard she worked. This was one time he wanted to make sure she only focused on the pleasure he was giving her, and making sure he’d thoroughly satisfied her before he got off.
He was likely good for only one, so he was fine with waiting. It would make it that much better once he finally did.
Her fingers never left his head, handfuls of his hair tightly gripped in her hands as he loved her.
Yeah, maybe it was just a little bit of the fact that he wanted to savor how much his ego needed this moment, to remind himself he was capable of taking care of a woman.
That didn’t hurt at all. Especially given how many years it’d been for him.
After bringing her right up to the edge yet again, he sat up and shrugged off his jacket, dropping it onto the floor. He kicked off his shoes and loosened his tie so he could pull that off.
She grabbed it and pulled him in, kissing him. “If someone doesn’t get their cock inside me and make me come right now, they’re not going to be allowed to come for a week.”
He nearly came right there. “Yes, Ma’am,” he gasped, struggling not to explode in his briefs.
She released his tie and he quickly shed the rest of his clothes. Lara was reaching for him even as he knelt between her thighs again, and it was her hand that closed around his cock to guide him inside her ready pussy.
“Fuck me hard,” she ordered. One hand closed around the back of his neck and pulled him in for a long, deep kiss, her tongue fucking his mouth.
He had to take his time sliding inside her slick channel. It was that, or risk an early lift-off.
And if she ordered him not to come for a week…well, he was a good boy.
Now that they’d taken this step, he damn sure didn’t want to go back any.
Once his cock bottomed out inside her pussy, he paused, resting his forehead against hers. “Give me a moment, Ma’am, please? I don’t want to come just yet and I’m really close.”
Her legs wrapped around him and her heels dug into his ass. She ground her hips against him, squirming, even as she lifted her head to kiss him again.
“You’ve got a fucking hot mouth on you,” she gasped. “Where the hell did you learn that?”
“I told you, Ma’am. I’m a good boy. I like taking care of my woman. In every way.”
“That’s not taking care of me. That’s like genius level sex right there.”
She kissed him again, but the slight distraction had the effect he belatedly realized she’d been after. Just enough thinking to allow him to regain control over his body and allow him to start moving again.