Steel was working on one of his own wrought iron designs when an unfamiliar car parked outside his shop.
The driver’s door opened and a blonde-haired woman got out. When she walked around the car, he noted the tired lines on her face.
He stepped outside. “May I help you?” Up close her jade-colored eyes and her bow-shaped mouth had his nerve endings tinkling. He got a sudden craving to touch her creamy skin.
“Are you Mr. Randolph?”
Her soft voice held just a hint of a southern drawl. He put out his hand. “Yes, but most people call me Steel.”
She glanced at his open-air shop where his assistants were working on ironwork. “You’re kidding.”
She gave him a tired smile.
“No, that’s the truth. It’s a long story I’ll tell you some time when you’re rested. I’m assuming you’re the doctor renting my apartment. You look ready to drop.
“Wait here. I’ll get the keys and you can follow me over there. It’s just behind the shop, but I’ll show you the way.”
“I need to be led. I’m so tired, I’m numb.”
Steel retrieved the keys. He got in his truck and turned left, then left again into the parking lot for the upstairs apartments. Dana followed and parked beside his truck.
“We’ll see if you like it. If so, I’ll bring whatever suitcases you have up the stairs for you.”
Dana popped the trunk open. “Take them now. I’m sure I’ll be fine with whatever.”
“A renter who’s easy to please. I like you.” He smiled, and then took the first two suitcases with him. “You must have loaded these cases with rocks. They’re heavy.”
“I had to struggle to get them to the elevator in my condominium. I pushed them across the floor, onto the elevator and off. Sheer determination kept me going.”
Steel opened the door and let her go in first. She immediately walked to the windows showing a view of the town and mountains surrounding it.
“What a beautiful scene. I’d take the apartment just for this.”
“Check the rest. It’s pretty small.”
Dana glanced at the living room. “Some new furniture and it looks like a comfortable spot to rest at the end of a busy day.” She glanced at the tiny kitchen. “I won’t be doing much cooking in there. Do you all have a restaurant nearby?”
“Within walking distance.”
She took a quick glance in the bath and bedroom. “This is perfect.” When she got to the door, she studied the lock. “Can you put on another heavier lock and keep this one, too?”
“I’ll have it on by this evening. Would you like to have dinner with my best friend, Chayton, and me at the Sunshine diner? We’ll come here for you and walk you to the restaurant.”
“I appreciate the offer, but I don’t want to bother you.”
“No bother. I’ll put on the lock, and we’ll go eat. It’s hard to go out alone the first time in a new place.”
“Thanks. By the way, my name’s Dana Wynters. Sorry I didn’t introduce myself at first. I’m in a daze, and right now I’m going to crash. I didn’t sleep well on my way here.”
“We’ll see you at six-thirty. I’ll call before we come to make sure you’re awake. The phone in the apartment is on.” He waved and went out the door. He heard the lock snap into place as he walked down the stairs.
When he got back to work, he called Chayton’s cell.
“Hi, what’s up?” Chayton asked.
“My renter got into town, and she’s a beautiful blonde, but also very scared and exhausted. I’ve invited her to have dinner with us at the Sunshine diner.”
“Did she accept?”
“Yes, but I promised to put an extra lock on her door before we eat.” Steel hesitated a moment. “Chayton, I think she’s the one we’ve been waiting for all this time.”
“You’re kind of jumping to an important decision without knowing much about her.”
“I know. You’re the cautious one. But you’ll see when you meet her.”
“I can hardly wait to meet the woman who’s got you so excited. What time shall I join you?”
“I’m coming home to change clothes. We can ride into town together. I told her we’d be at her place at six-thirty.”
“I’ll be ready.” Chayton clicked off.
Steel put his phone in his office and got back to his work. He and Chayton had been friends since they were five, and they both tended to be cautious about making important decisions. Chayton was right. He knew nothing about Dana except when standing near her all his senses went on alert.
Slow down, cowboy. She’ll be here three months. I’ll have plenty of time to see if this is a temporary attraction or a more lasting one.
Steel carried the plates and forks to the coffee table. He sat them down and stepped around it to pull Dana in his arms.
“I don’t care a damn about pie. I want to make love to you. Will you let me show you how good it can be between us?”
Her emotions melted her resolve to keep her distance between him and Chayton. Steel’s features were unreadable, while he waited for her answer.
“I’ll warm the coffee later.”
He swept her into his arms and stalked to the bedroom. Steel sat her feet on the rug and yanked back the covers. Then he took hold of the bottom of her sweater and watching her expression, he took it off.
Her lacy violet bra had him smiling. “I didn’t picture you as a fancy lingerie type of woman. I’m encouraged to discover this side of you.”
“It’s the one little extravagance I have.”
“Let’s see the rest of your pretty underwear.” He unfastened her belt and the snap of her jeans and quickly removed them. She’d thrown her shoes off in the living room. Her only clothes left were the violet bra and panties.
Steel stepped back and gazed at her from her face to her feet. “I haven’t seen a lady blush in a long time. You told the truth when you said you’d put aside your life for your career.” He moved closer and she breathed in his woodsy scent of cedar and musk.
Dana licked her lips and saw a flash of fire in his lightening-blue eyes. If I had more experience I’d touch him. But she hesitated. The last man she had an intimate relationship with had said her lovemaking was awkward and uninspiring.
Steel showed no such hesitation. His hand cupped the side of her face. “You’re beautiful.” He removed the scarf holding her hair back. Her blonde hair tumbled to her shoulders. His fingers rubbed the strands. “Silky and you have a fresh scent of the sea and something else.” He sniffed once more. “I smell a hint of citrus.”
“You know your fragrances. It’s orange.”
“My mother loves perfumes. She must have twenty bottles. Dad told if she didn’t stop buying so many they’d have to open a shop to get rid of them.” Steel put his hand behind her neck and brought her body against his. He bent his head and kissed her lips.
Without thinking, her arms wrapped around him. His teeth nibbled at her lower lip. Then his tongue slid inside her mouth. He stroked and caressed the interior. A sense of excitement built as Dana let herself relax and open to him.
Her body rested on his wide, muscular chest. Reaching behind her, Steel unfastened her bra and threw it aside. He cupped his hands around her full breasts. Then he licked across the peaks and sucked on each one. Exquisite pleasure spread to every cell in her body.
Dana managed to pull the snaps in his cowboy shirt apart. She rubbed her nose across his soft chest hair breathing in his masculine scent. She licked his nipples, and he drew her closer till his cock throbbed against her abdomen.
She undid his belt and jeans and managed to push them and his undershorts down. Steel kicked them aside. Dana pushed him to sit on the edge of the bed. She knelt between his legs and took his cock deep in her mouth. This time he groaned and spread his fingers through the strands of her hair.
“Damn, baby. That shot a joyous thrill straight to my brain.”
Dana continued to move up and down the length of his dick. Her tongue licked his silky hardness.
Steel gripped her upper arms. “Wait, darlin’. I want to be snug in your pussy when I let go and come. I’m tethering on the edge now.”
He helped her up and lifted her to the middle of the bed. Reaching for his jeans he pulled out a condom package and sheathed his cock.
Then he joined her on the bed, wrapped his legs and arms around her, and held her in a tight embrace. He kissed her face all over before starting on her neck. She scrunched her neck trying to get it out of his reach.
“Ah, you’re ticklish.” He had a mischievous grin on his face. He burrowed his face between her shoulder and neck. Then he tickled and kissed her until she pleaded for relief. She shook with laughter.
“I’ll get you back. Wait and see. It’ll be when you least expect it,” Dana warned.
Steel licked across the spot where her heart beat strong against the translucent skin. He took his time tasting her shoulders and down to her breasts.
“These are gorgeous jewels.” He bit lightly on her rosy nipple. “And you taste good, too.”
His sultry voice was like a shot of cognac. It warmed her and awakened a salacious, ardent appetite to touch and taste him. She ran her fingers through his brown hair. When he glanced at her face, his blue eyes were dark as night.
Then he moved further down her body. His lips blew kisses across her abdomen. At her mound he breathed in deeply and continued to kiss around the area and between her thighs. His touch seductively raised her passion higher than it had ever been.
Dana gasped for breath. His lips brushed along the inner part of her thigh, and he kissed the sensitive spot behind her knee.
A feverish hunger had her calling out his name. “Steel, take me now.”
“In time. I don’t want to disappoint you.” His sexy mouth curved slightly.
“I’m going to shatter into a million pieces if you don’t hurry.” She groaned out the words.
“Then I’ll put you back together again.” He separated her folds and licked hard against her clit.