Folks in town call him a monster—say he’s dangerous. But I know him simply as Elijah Hays, the quiet, gentle giant who works with the horses on my ranch. I can feel him watching me, that steady intense gaze making me crave things I don’t quite understand, burn in a way that frightens me. He’s always kept his distance…until that night.I remember him coming to my rescue, me following him into the barn, giving him his first taste of a woman, and his inexperienced yet barely reined touch turning me to ash.Now all I can think about is exposing the dark desire I see deep inside him—having him turn those dark desires on me. That low, gritty voice rasping orders in my ear. Those huge, rough hands holding me down when a storm blows in.I want his surrender. His control. I want to break him…and have him break me…
He smelled of clean sweat, the outdoors, the soap he used. The combination was incredibly sexy. I uncurled his fingers and rested his hand just above my heart. My top was low cut, so we were skin to skin, and my body went up in flames from that simple touch. I watched him, gauging his reaction. His eyes were locked on his fingers. His hands were scarred with cracks and gouges, dark and stained, as clean as they ever got. The contrast against my lighter, smooth, unblemished skin was startling—exciting.
“Is this what you want?” I asked softly.
He dipped his head again, fingers flexing slightly, stare intent, scorching. “More?”
“Yes…please.” Oh God, the way he said it, deep, rough… I jammed my legs together, the throb between my thighs making me reckless, making me do things, say things, I might not usually.
But here in the barn, so quiet and still, it was just us and this moment. I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to. Wrapping my fingers around his thick wrist, the coarse hairs tickling my skin, I lowered his hand slowly, until his palm grazed the swell of my breast. “You ever touched a woman here, Eli?”
He shifted his weight from one foot to the other, jaw tightening, then shook his head.
I could barely believe it. No, he didn’t talk much, kept to himself, but he was smart, gorgeous, and a harder worker I’d never met. “Why not?”
He didn’t answer, just kept his eyes locked with mine. An answer wasn’t necessary. I knew why—the same reason everyone in this town kept their distance. Fear. I moved his hand lower, struggling to breathe when the rough skin of his palm dragged over my hard, aching nipple. He swallowed audibly and made another one of those hungry, low sounds.
“Your skin’s so hot,” I whispered, curling my fingers around his, encouraging him to squeeze me. He flexed them, but he didn’t let up this time, no, he pressed in, tightening around me in a way that had me soaking my panties. “Feels good?”
“Yes, ma’am.” When he said those words, there was a spark of something thrilling in his eyes. His nostrils flared. “Better than good.”
Dear God, it was. What the hell was I doing?
Sherilee Gray writes sexy, edgy contemporary and paranormal romance. Stories full of heat and high emotion, following stubborn characters as they fight against the odds… and their happily ever after. She’s a kiwi girl and lives in beautiful NZ with her husband and their two children. When not writing or fueling her voracious book addiction, she can be found dreaming of far off places with a mug of tea in one hand and a bar of Cadburys Rocky Road chocolate in the other.
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