“Is this what you wanted?” I asked her as she rode me harder.

“Yes!” she screamed.

“Say it. Tell me what you want.” I needed to hear that sweet mouth talk dirty.

She opened her eyes and looked right at me, then licked her lips. “I want you to f**k me hard,” she said slowly, and I let out a growl I didn’t recognize and began pumping into her as hard as I could. Her br**sts bounced in front of me, making the scene even more erotic.

I had never imagined Harlow like this. But damned if I didn’t like it. She’d just taken amazing sex and made it mind-blowing.

“I’m gonna come,” she said, grabbing my hair and burying my face in her chest. I liked it there just fine. I took a bite of her swollen br**sts and she cried out my name and began trembling over me. She clawed at my back again and said my name over and over.

I grabbed both her tits and squeezed as my release hit me and I pumped into her, wishing there was no barrier. I wanted to mark her as mine. I wasn’t sharing this. Ever.


Iwas a slut. Or trauma made me a slut. I wasn’t sure. I hadn’t been able to look at Grant since I’d basically raped him, then moved over to my seat and pulled my pants back on. He had kept his hand on my leg or his fingers laced in mine, but he didn’t force me to talk.

I figured either he didn’t realize I was a slut or he was feeling sorry for me today. My face heated at the memory of him coming on my hands and me tasting it. I knew about blowjobs. I knew women must like it to do it. So I was curious. But now that I had made him come in my hands and tasted him, I was embarrassed. I didn’t do things like that. It wasn’t me. I had just needed to be reminded I was alive. Grant made me feel alive and as if nothing could touch me.

I had today, though, and it had been good. He’d made me feel good. My left breast still stung from the bite he took out of me. I tried not to smile thinking about his mouth leaving a mark on my boob. I liked that too much.


Maybe I liked being a slut. I was embarrassed, sure, but I felt really good. My body was still humming from the orgasm he’d given me.

“You going to sit over there, silent, and smile like that the rest of the way home? ’Cause if you are I’m gonna have to pull over again.”

I laughed and turned to look at him. His sexy grin was on his face as he watched me.

“I wasn’t smiling,” I told him.

He glanced back at the road. “Yes, sweet girl, you were smiling like a very happy girl.”

He was right. I was happy. How was I happy after everything I’d learned today? I never thought I’d be happy again when I walked out of that place, but then Grant had been there and he’d let me cry all over him. He’d made me happy.

“Thank you,” I finally said.

Grant glanced back at me and frowned. “Please tell me that you didn’t just thank me for sex.”

I shook my head. “No. I mean, it was incredible, but no. I was thanking you for coming to get me. For being there.”

His hand slid up my thigh and took my hand again. “You’re welcome.”

I couldn’t figure Grant Carter out. Two weeks ago I thought he was a guy who wanted nothing but sex from me, and once he’d got it he’d left. Then I thought he was hung up on Nan. But now . . . now I wasn’t sure what he was doing. He had come with me in the middle of the night to Vegas to find my dad. Then he had come after me so I wouldn’t be alone when no one else had thought to do that. Then we’d had the most amazing sex in the world. I didn’t have anything to compare it to but I was pretty positive that it didn’t get better than Grant.

“Why are you here?” I asked. I needed to know. If this was all about the sex I couldn’t say that I wasn’t going to still have sex with him, because I liked it. No. I loved it. He was addictive. But I needed to prepare my heart and emotions.

“Because you are,” he replied.

That didn’t make sense.

“I don’t understand that,” I told him.

Grant squeezed my hand. “I screwed up with you. I got scared and I screwed up. So I ran because I’m good at running. I always f**king run from things. But when I saw you standing in that kitchen at Nan’s I realized this time I didn’t want to run. I wanted to stay. I just needed the guts to do it. You’re worth fighting demons for.”

I sat there, unable to think of a response to that. Grant Carter was known for his looks, his sexy body, tattoos, and smooth talking. That was no secret. I’d heard the rumors and experienced the smooth talking more than once.

As much as I wanted to believe what he was saying, I was a smart girl. I had been burned already. Grandmama always used to say, Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. I tried to live by that motto. But Grant made it hard.

“I don’t trust you. I may never be able to trust you again. But I do like you. You make me smile when I need it. I don’t want to keep you at arm’s length, because I want more of . . . well, you know. I just can’t promise you that I’ll ever get over the past.”

Grant didn’t reply right away, and I wondered if he was going to tell me to take a hike, that I wasn’t worth this. I wouldn’t blame him if he did. I was more high-maintenance than he first assumed.

“You’ll trust me again” was all he said. His hand never left mine and I didn’t argue with him. There was no point.

Mase called me when we were right outside Vegas. His mom had called and his stepfather had broken his leg falling off the tractor. He had just left Texas on a commercial plane back to Rosemary to get his truck and go home. He had wanted to wait for me, but he said his mother sounded tired and worried. He needed to get her some help, then he’d be back for me. He sounded upset and questioned me about how I was after seeing Emily. I assured him that I was okay and Grant was with me. That hadn’t eased his mind. “You need to be careful with that one. Let me bring you to Texas with me. I can help Mom and take care of you.”

He had meant well, but I wasn’t moving to Texas. Not now. I was ready to see where this thing with Grant was going first. I explained that I wanted to stay in Rosemary and if I needed him I would call. But I wanted him to stay with his mom and stepfather for right now. He seemed mollified by that and said he’d be back to Rosemary as soon as he could to check on me.

Grant had seemed silently pleased with Mase’s departure. I didn’t comment on that, though. Dean had apologized to me for telling me everything the way he had. I had hugged him and assured him it was okay. I needed to know, and I was glad I had witnessed Dad with Mom. I would never have believed it if I hadn’t. However, Grant didn’t speak to Dean, and I found that odd.

Once we were on the jet headed back to Rosemary, it dawned on me that I hadn’t slept in more than twenty hours. Grant seemed to read my mind. He took my arm and led me back to the bedroom and began taking off my shoes.

“Lie down,” he said in a husky whisper, and I did. I wasn’t about to argue.

He slipped off his boots and crawled up behind me and pulled me against his chest. We didn’t talk, but we didn’t need to. This just felt right. My eyes closed and I let the exhaustion of the day take over.


We slept the entire flight home. On the drive back to Nan’s house, I stopped and got us coffee and sausage biscuits at an all-night drive-through. Harlow looked adorable and rumpled, and I was having a hard time looking at the road and not her.

Pulling into the driveway, I was instantly annoyed to see Nan’s car. Sure, it was the middle of the night and this was her house, but I’d been hoping she wasn’t there so I could crawl into Harlow’s bed with her and go back to sleep without its being an issue.

I parked the truck and turned it off then looked over at Harlow.

“I’m gonna shoot it to you straight. I want to go inside and get back in bed with you and finish sleeping. I don’t give a f**k that Nan lives here.”

Harlow glanced at the house then down at her hands and sighed. “I don’t know if that’s such a good idea. She won’t handle it well if she sees you’re here with me.”

I reached over and grabbed her chin so she would have to look me in the eyes. “I don’t care what she does or says. I won’t let her hurt you. And I’m not going to let her control this.”

“But you were just in her bed a week ago,” she said. The pain in her eyes as she reminded not only me but herself made me hate myself.

“I was drunk and stupid. It didn’t mean anything. With you, it always means something.”

Harlow gave me a small smile and opened the door to my truck. “I guess this is going to get back to her eventually. We might as well not hide anything,” she said and stepped down.

I didn’t wait for her to change her mind. I grabbed my bag and hers and got out of the truck.

She glanced back at me as she climbed the steps and I enjoyed the view of her ass in those tight jeans.

“Are you gonna sleep in your boxers?” she asked.

I hadn’t thought of that. I shrugged. “Yeah, probably.”

She smiled. “Good. I like the way you look in boxers,” she said, then finished walking up the stairs.

Yeah, I was smiling, but I was also thinking about what she was going to sleep in. Suddenly, sleep was the last thing on my mind.

Harlow opened the door and we walked inside. I could tell she was trying to be quiet, but honestly, I didn’t give a shit. Unless Nan came out screaming and ruined my chance to see Harlow in those cute little pajamas I’d seen her in the first day.

When we got to Harlow’s room she closed and locked the door, then glanced over at me. “I need to take a shower and get the travel off. I feel yucky.”

“I need one, too,” I replied, and opened the door leading into the bathroom for her. She paused and looked at the door, then me.

“Are we . . . are you going to . . .” she stopped and I fought to keep from laughing.

“Sweet girl, if your sexy ass is getting in a shower in the very next room, I’m getting in it, too. That’s a sight I don’t intend to miss.”

Harlow looked unsure, and I wondered what was wrong now.

“I . . . that seems so revealing and personal. I don’t know if I can do it.”

Would she always make me want to laugh? God, I hoped so. Even if she wasn’t so perfectly packaged, her being so damn adorable would be enough. “Baby, I’ve had you na**d and spread out open for me on a bathroom counter with my head between your legs. It doesn’t get any more personal than that.”

She ducked her head and I heard a soft laugh. “Yeah, I guess you have a point.”

“Hell yeah, I have a point. Now get in there and get na**d so I can help wash you,” I told her.

She stepped into the bathroom and I followed her. I didn’t even try to hide the fact I was watching her take off every damn stitch of her clothes. It was something that would never get old.

“Are you going to wash my back for me?” she asked with a teasing tone in her voice as she stepped out of her jeans.

I grinned and pulled my shirt off. “Sure, I’ll wash your back. But I’m also washing those nice big tits and that pu**y I’m such a fan of.”

She closed her eyes tightly. “I hate it when you call it that.”

Laughing, I let my jeans drop and went to turn the shower on. The prim and proper thing was part of her sexiness. Knowing I could get Miss Prim and Proper to do things like lick my come off her fingers was hot.

I turned back around to see her standing behind me, looking at my bare ass. She had her arms wrapped around her chest—as if that covered anything.

“It’s warm, come on.” I held out my hand and she stepped forward and slipped hers in mine, letting her br**sts free. They bounced and my c**k was at full attention.

“Harlow,” I said.


“I’m gonna f**k you in this shower. If I don’t, we won’t get any sleep in that bed.”

Her breathing picked up and that was all I needed. “I don’t know how to do that.”

“Oh, trust me, baby. I know exactly how to do it.”

She tensed and turned toward the water so her back was toward me. What the hell had I done now?

I placed my hands on her arms to keep from putting them in other places. “What is it?”

She shrugged and stepped farther into the water and tilted her head up to let the warm stream pour over her face and hair. I forgot what I was doing for a moment. I just watched in fascination. I was pretty damn sure I could spend the rest of my life standing right here and watching this.

When she stepped back and ran her hands down her hair, I grabbed her and pulled her back against me. “I don’t speak silent, Harlow. I need you to tell me what’s wrong. Your back is rigid and your body is telling me something’s wrong.”

I was expecting more silent Harlow.

“Maybe I don’t like to be reminded about the fact you’ve had sex with a lot of other girls before you had sex with me.”

Well, hell.

I’d never thought of that.

No girl had ever cared before.

I was an ass.

I turned her around to face me. Her wet eyelashes stuck together and water dripped from her smooth skin. I’d made her insecure. I never wanted to do that. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. I didn’t think anything of it, but I understand why you’re upset. I can’t change my past,” I told her, reaching up to touch her face because I couldn’t stop myself any longer. “But you’re different. This thing we’re doing is different.”

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