Turn and Burn(2)

By: Lorelei James


She couldn’t help but snicker before she upended her beer.

“Word of advice, sugar twang? Bein’s the town of Rawlins hosts the Wyoming state penitentiary, there’s a higher than average population of ex-cons around. And they’re not all so easily conned as him.”

Tanna glanced up at the man.

Oh, hello, sweet darlin’.

How hadn’t she noticed this giant? At least six feet five, he easily cast her five feet three inches in shadow. And holy frijoles was this guy hot. Like, really hot. After being approached by wannabe cowboys all night, there was no doubt this guy was the real deal. So she shamelessly took in his banging body, from his summer-weight cowboy hat to the tips of his dusty boots—and every inch in between.

His age looked to be mid-thirties. In this part of the country his reddish gold complexion had to be from Native American ancestry. Her avid gaze took in his angular features. A high forehead not marred by a single wrinkle. A slash of dark eyebrows arched over eyes the color of warm topaz. His cheekbones were prominent in a wide-set face. A thin blade of nose. The corners of his lips turned up in an indulgent smile. And check out that ridiculously strong-looking, chiseled jawline. His thick neck tapered into shoulders so wide it appeared he wore football pads, until she realized this hunky man couldn’t hide bulky equipment under his skintight T-shirt.

“You done looking your fill? Or did you want me to turn around so you can ogle my ass too?”

“Better to know up front that I’m staring at your package, and not considering the size of your wallet, don’tcha think?” Tanna retorted with saccharine sweetness.

He laughed. A deep, sexy rumble that caused a little flip in her belly. “So will you let me buy you a beer if I pull out my wallet?”

“If you’re sure you wanna spend money on an ex-con.”

“You’re not an ex-con by any stretch of your imagination.” He waved down the bartender. “But I am interested to hear which lie I’ll rate.” He shot her a grin. “I’m hoping you’ll claim to be a secret agent.”

Tanna leaned across the bar. “Got a Bond girl fantasy you wanna tell me about, ace?”

“I’m more a fan of Lara Croft or Sydney Bristow. Chicks who kick ass turn my crank.”

“Hot women who know how to kill and how to dress to kill are the ultimate asset.”

“Oh, those women ain’t got nothin’ on you in the asset department.” His gaze dipped to the deep V of her cleavage.

It didn’t bother her that he was blatantly checking out her rack. When he finally dragged his gaze to hers again, the unbridled lust in his eyes sent a wave of liquid heat through her.

“You are trouble,” she murmured, unable to look away from him. Something about this man pulled her in and revved her up.

“No more trouble than you are, spy girl.” He held out a twenty for the bartender without breaking eye contact. “You wanna grab us a booth and we’ll talk about what kinda trouble we can get into together?”

She nodded. Just as she stepped back, a man jockeying for her spot at the bar jostled her, sending her off balance. Her tall, dark and handsome stranger kept her from falling by using a firm arm to pull her forward. Her breasts met the hard wall of his chest and all the air left her lungs in a rush. Good God was he solid.

He sucked in a sharp breath at the sudden intimate contact.

The side of her face smashed against his pectorals. She remained like that, inhaling his scent until he tugged on her hair to get her attention. She glanced up into his eyes, feeling a blast of pure sexual heat.

“Might be dangerous to keep looking at me like that,” he said softly.

“Because you’re afraid I wanna do more than look at you?”

“No.” His rough-edged fingertip traced a line down her neck, from the dent in her chin to the start of her cleavage. “But maybe I want more than you’re willing to give.”

Tanna stared at him. Normally such blatant sexual talk so soon after meeting had her stepping back. But something about this man kept her right where she was—completely entranced by him.

“Say the word, sugar twang, and I’ll walk away.”

“And if I don’t want you to walk away?” she countered boldly.

“Then our night just got a whole lot more interesting.”

“Sounds good to me.” Opening her mouth over the hard curve of his pectorals, she blew a stream of hot air through the shirt, then lightly bit down. “I’m game for whatever you’ve got in mind.”

“Grab your beer.” He led them to the only unoccupied booth, by the front door.

She slid into the bench seat opposite him and raised her bottle for a toast.

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