Josie Donnelles walked around the farm house where she’d taken up residence since Lacey had married. She liked the quiet and to sit on the back porch swing, watching the sunrise. She’d put on her jacket, as usual, since the fresh morning air was very cool.
When Smitty parked to go in the barn and take care of the milk cow and the two horses, she waved to him. “Come join me and have a cup of coffee. If you have time.”
Smitty ambled across the yard toward her. “I’d like a cup. It’s cold out today. My old bones don’t tolerate the colder temperatures like they did when I was a young man.”
“Have a seat. I’ll get you a cup and one of the muffins I baked last night.” She hurried into the kitchen and refilled her cup, filled his, and got them both a muffin. She placed it and the cream and sugar on a tray.
Smitty saw her coming and opened the door for her. She set the tray on the table. “I wasn’t sure how you took your coffee.”
“Black and sweet,” Smitty said, and proceeded to dump four spoonfuls of sugar in his cup.
“You like a little coffee with your sugar,” Josie teased.
The old man grinned. He wore his usual overalls and suspenders.
“What time do you have to go to work?” Smitty asked. “It’s only 6:15.”
“I’m expected at nine, but I like to go in a little early. I’m still learning the job.”
“I have a feeling something bothered you in Washington, DC. Whatever it was sent you hiding. You don’t wrinkle your forehead as much since you’ve settled in.”
“Smitty, you are an observant man.”
He looked at the ground and then back at her. “I talked to your dad. He’d like to plan a time for you and Lacey to meet his family. They’re all coming for Pleasure Valley’s big Labor Day festival. I guess you heard it goes on for days.”
“I’m looking forward to it. But I don’t know if we’re ready to meet the family.”
“Will you ever be?”
“I will, but I don’t know about Lacey. Let me talk to her and get back with you.”
“Sure. You have some time to think about your decision.” Smitty took a last sip of his coffee and finished his muffin. “You’re a good cook and a nice lady.” He waved and sauntered back to the barn.
Josie went inside and changed from her old jeans to a new pair and a starched white blouse. They’d convinced her on a ranch it was best to wear jeans and boots and whatever type top she wanted.
The boots were new and took some getting used to, but she looked forward to occasionally going on a horseback ride as Cort had promised. When she drove up to the parking area around the home place, she saw Devin’s black SUV. This was the end of her first week, and he’d been coming for breakfast three out of five days.
She wanted to ask Mrs. Garrison if he usually ate there that many mornings, but she didn’t want to bring attention to the fact she’d noticed. Devin seemed to take pleasure in annoying her. When she saw his mischievous grin, she knew this morning wouldn’t be any different.
Devin glanced at his watch. “It’s eight o’clock. Are you trying to get paid overtime by coming in an hour early?”
“No overtime. I’m choosing to have time to acquaint myself with the office and procedures before one of your brothers needs me for something.” She put her nose in the air and started to walk by him. He took hold of her wrist as she strolled by.
“You might as well join us. Mom has made a terrific coffeecake. Sit, and have some with us.”
Although he held her wrist loosely, it felt tight and demanding. She jerked her arm free and stomped out of the kitchen. His mom looked on but didn’t comment, at least not while Josie was within hearing distance.
Josie closed the door and leaned against it. Perspiration wet her forehead and her throat had tightened in fear. Darn, he’s not Dolan. Cool it, or they’ll be wondering about you.
She sank into the chair behind her desk and stared out the window at the prairie and cows in the distance.
* * * *
Devin noticed her pale face and rigid posture as she left the room. He turned in his seat and looked at his half-eaten food.
“I’ll warm your dish for you in the microwave,” his mom said.
“I’ve lost my appetite.”
Mrs. Garrison sat in front of Devin. He looked away. “Look at me. What is going on between you and Josie?”
“Nothing at all. What makes you think there is?”
“I don’t like my sons to lie to me.”
“I’m”—Devin blushed and shrugged—“I don’t know. She irritates me.”
“When she first arrived, you appeared interested in her. I know your brothers teased you, but that is no reason to change and treat her differently.”
Devin straightened his shoulders. “I’m not interested in her as a girlfriend.”
“So treat her as a member of the family. She’s Lacey’s sister, and Lacey is married to Hunter.”
“I know. I just like to tease her.”
“It’s not teasing when it hurts her. She was close to tears today. Go apologize.”
“Do I have to?” Devin scowled.
“Don’t give me that look, or you’ll be cleaning out the barn.”
“All right.” He pulled his six-foot-two-inch body upright from the small kitchen chair. His mother watched as he strolled out of the kitchen and turned down the hall to the right.
He thought about slipping out a side door, but when he glanced back his mom still stood at the end of the hall watching him. She grinned, and he gave up and walked quickly toward Josie’s office.
She stretched and he groaned out loud. “Honey, if you don’t want me to make love to you, you’d better go put on some clothes.”
Josie walked closer to him. “Did I dream it or were you sleeping beside me?”
“I slept on top of the covers beside you.” His heart thumped heavily in his chest.
Various emotions played across her face as she stared at him. Then she stared into his eyes. He saw her hesitation, but also something else. Hope grew inside him.
“I’ve seldom dated since that night. And I haven’t allowed anyone to touch me intimately. I’ve kept all the men who might have been interested at arm’s length because I didn’t trust them enough.” She moved closer. He sniffed her sweet neck. “You smell like lavender and roses.”
“Will you have sex with me?”
“No,” he said, and saw hope fade from her eyes. “But I will make love to you. I care about you, and I want our coming together to have more meaning than casual sex.”
A bright smile covered her face. Taking a deep breath, she reached for his hand. “Then let’s make love.” Josie led the way back to her bedroom.
Once inside, she stopped beside the bed and looked uneasy. Devin slowly put his arms around her and held her loosely in his grip.
“Relax, honey. Anytime you want me to stop, say so. If we don’t go all the way today, there’ll be another time. We’ll take it slow and easy.”
She shivered in his arms. “Thanks. Do I have to take off my gown right now?”
“No. Let me lie on the bed and hold you in my arms.”
Josie nodded and got on the bed, scooting over to make room for him. He took off his shirt while watching her expression carefully. “Do you mind if I remove these jeans? I have on undershorts.”
A slight grin crossed her face and she asked, “Don’t you always?”
“Most times.” He unbuckled his belt and pushed his jeans down, kicking them to the side. He climbed on the bed and pulled her into his arms. He held her close against him. He was certain she had to be aware of his pulsating cock. She trembled and he kissed her mouth softly.
“Relax, sweetheart. Remember all you have to do is say stop. I won’t push for more.”
She burrowed her head into his shoulder. Devin ran his hand over her soft curls and down her upper back.
“Your skin feels like velvet,” he whispered in her ear. She raised her head, and he took the chance to kiss her again. “I love your sweet mouth. Open for me, darlin’.”
Josie hesitated and then did as he asked. His tongue slid inside and sensuously stroked the sweet warmth. Her tongue moved against his and his heart jumped. She started to respond more and their tongues dueled with each other.
He held their hips close. When she moved closer, hope swelled in his chest. Maybe she’d be ready soon to let him love her. He kissed the side of her face, and his teeth grazed across her earlobe. Then he kissed her neck. She immediately brought her shoulder up and scrunched her neck. Then she pulled away.
Josie grinned. “My neck is ticklish.” She laughed when he teased with her and tried to kiss her there again. Her soft hands kept him away.
“I’ll have to settle for your lovely shoulders.” He kissed her shoulder, and then quickly darted up and kissed where her pulse pounded against her soft, sweet skin.
She giggled. He leaned back and looked down at her face. “I’ve never heard you giggle. I’ll have to tickle you more often. But not this time. I want to taste your luscious breasts.”
Devin moved down and kissed her full globes. Her creamy skin and the rosy peaks of her nipples tantalized him. He licked around each nipple before sucking on one. She moaned and raised her hips.
“It’s time to get rid of this gown. I want to kiss you all over.” He reached for the hem and pulled it up and off. His lips brushed across her midriff and kissed her abdomen.
He moved to her mound and breathed in her lusty scent. Her sweet, intoxicating musk made his cock harden more, and it took all his strength of mind to move on downward to her legs.
Devin kissed the insides of her legs and caressed her tender skin. Then he sat back and massaged her feet.
* * * *
His steady gaze was as soft as a caress. Devin stoked a gently growing fire in her core. Her body wanted to let go and welcome him, but would falling in love with him help or complicate her problems? Somehow, deep inside, she knew if he made love to her, all her resistance to loving him would be gone.
But when he started back up her leg, kissing and touching her, his passionate challenge started a tingling in her stomach and burned right through her resistance. At her lower lips, he raised his head and waited for her nod. A huge wave of desire swelled over her as she said yes.
Devin’s tongue rubbed across her clit, and she shuddered with delight. Her senses came fully to life as he licked her juices to the opening of her pussy.
“You taste as sweet as ambrosia, and I love your lusty scent,” Devin said. He looked up at her. “Are you all right, sweetheart?”
“My heart’s pounding out of my chest, but not from fear.”
“Good.” Devin tweaked her nipples.
A zing went straight to her core, sending heat and desire rushing through her veins. When he slipped two fingers into her pussy and touched her G-spot, she moaned as the spark of excitement that had been gone so long shot up her spine.
Josie was entranced by him, and when he placed his hard cock at her opening, she was wet and ready. He plunged in deep and hard. Her pussy walls clenched tight against him. His sexy eyes locked with hers, and he began a slow in-and-out movement.
She raised her hips in rhythm with his. A balloon of ecstasy got bigger and bigger inside her. Devin pulled her hips upward and thrust in deeper.
“Damn, you’re so wet, and hot, and sweet,” he whispered. Her pussy walls clamped tight around his big cock as ripples of pleasure rolled over her, shooting her up into a starry sky.