Turn and Burn(3)

By: Lorelei James


“What’re we toasting to?”

“Ex-cons and little white lies.” She smirked. “And a guy with a big . . . bullshit meter.”

“I’ll drink to that.” He grinned.

Sweet Lord. There was damn dangerous wattage in those pearly whites of his.

He rested his massive shoulders against the back of the booth. “So, what’s your name besides Hot Trouble?”

Tanna shook her head. “How about if we keep it simple and don’t exchange names?”

He didn’t even blink. “Because you’d probably give me a fake one anyway.”

“Yep. I see this ain’t your first go-round in this type of rodeo either, cowboy.”

“I’m good with no names—I like ‘sugar twang’ better anyway—but there are a couple of basic questions I’ve gotta ask first.”

“Shoot.”

The twinkle vanished from his eyes. “You’re not married and out on the town looking for one night with a stranger to cure your marital boredom?”

“No, sir. I don’t cheat. So no boyfriend either.” She pointed with her beer bottle. “Back atcha.”

“No significant other in my life. Or in my bed on a regular basis.”

“That clears that up. Next question.”

His eyes flicked to the bandage on her forehead. “What happened there?”

“Nothin’. It’s a prop to garner sympathy, start conversations and con men into buying me drinks.”

That seemed to amuse him rather than annoy him. “What brings you to Rawlins, Wyoming?”

“Just passing through on my way to start a new job.” Not exactly a lie. “What about you?”

“I’m on the road a lot too.” He let his bottle dangle a couple of inches above the table and swung it like a pendulum. “You’re not really on the run from an ex?”

Tanna snickered. “Nope. I’m just killing time in a honky-tonk before I move on.”

“So you’re not looking for Mr. Right?”

“More like looking for Mr. Right Now.”

His handsome face remained skeptical.

“Let’s cut to the chase. I like sex. There isn’t a substitute for the way naked flesh feels sliding together in the heat of passion. There isn’t a substitute for a long, wet kiss. There isn’t a substitute for a heart-pounding, blood-pulsing orgasm. There isn’t a substitute for sex. Period. I’m not supposed to admit I get antsy and snappish if I go too long without it. I’m not supposed to admit that satisfying the craving for intimate physical contact is all I want. I don’t want messy emotional entanglements. Just. Hot. Sex.”

He leaned forward and took her hand, staring deeply into her eyes. “I think I love you.”

She laughed.

“In all seriousness, it’s refreshing that you’re so up front about what you want.”

“Or what I don’t want.” Tanna swallowed a mouthful of beer. “So, you interested in taking me for a tumble?”

“Oh yeah.” His smile turned decidedly predatory. “But I’m not gonna shake your hand like this is a business arrangement.” He lifted their joined hands and kissed the inside of her forearm, from her wrist to the crook of her elbow. “I’m gonna seduce you.”

“Right here, right now?”

“Just giving you a sneak peek at my playbook.” His thumb lazily swept an arc from her knuckles to her wrist. “But I won’t attempt an all-out blitz. I’d rather make the plays drive by drive. Trust me. I’ll still get us to the goal line.”

Tanna squirmed in her seat. “I’ve never been turned on by a football analogy before.”

He chuckled. “I’m happy you caught the right sport reference.”

“Bite your tongue. I’m a Texan. Football is not a sport; it’s a religion.”

“My mistake. That said, I’m gonna jump ahead in the offensive playbook and score us a room at the motel across the street. Be right back.”

He slid from the booth leaving her staring after him feeling . . . what? Guilty? Like she should offer to pay for half? Or tell him she’d already booked a room? Or was she feeling like a skanky ho for picking up yet another guy in a bar?

Nah. It’d been a while since she’d hooked up. And what was wrong with acting on her baser impulses anyway? Nothing. Men did it all the freakin’ time. Her body, her choice. All pleasure, no emotional pain. Just what she needed.

Tanna ordered another round of Coronas and let her head fall back. Her mind filled with thoughts of roving hands and hot mouths. Of cool cotton sheets beneath her. She imagined the taste of his mouth. His skin. She thought about his hair teasing her as he kissed down the center of her body. By the time she’d finished fleshing out all the sexual scenarios she’d like to put into play, the bench seat creaked. She angled her head and opened her eyes to see her hot stranger sliding next to her.

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