Her lips quirked. “Uh . . . thanks.”
She bandaged his leg after she finished sewing, then filled a syringe. “Roll on your side.”
He did. She drew his boxers down over his hip to give him a shot.
“You just want to look at my ass.”
“I’m giving you a shot of antibiotic to ward off infection.”
She wasn’t going to give. Even a little.
“Want a Band- Aid?”
“I’m not twelve, Valerie.” He rolled back over, then started to sit up.
“Oh no. You stay right there.” She planted her palm on his chest and applied pressure. As if she could keep him down if he really wanted up. To placate her, he stayed there.
“I’m stitched, right?”
“You’re a good doctor, Valerie. Thanks. But I’m going to be fine.”
There was something about her expression that was . . . off. He didn’t know what it was.
“Just . . . hang there for a minute, okay?”
She didn’t wait for his answer, just pivoted and went into the bathroom. Mason heard the water running, so he slid off the bed and walked in there.
She was leaning over the sink, the water running. She gripped the sides of the sink so hard her knuckles were white. So was her face. Their gazes met in the mirror.
There were tears in her eyes. He stepped into the bathroom, stopped just behind her.
She didn’t turn around. “I told you to stay on the bed.”
He wound his arms around her. “I’m fine. What’s wrong?”
He’d seen the tears in her eyes, felt the tension in her body. “Valerie. What’s wrong?”
She shuddered, sighed, then leaned against him. “This is what’s wrong, Mason. What’s always been wrong.”
“You caring about me. Worrying about me.”
She was shaking.
“Honey, it was just a little cut.”
She shook her head. “All that blood. It wasn’t just a little cut.” He smiled over her shoulder. “If Jolene hadn’t made such a big deal out of it, I’d have stopped the bleeding, slapped a bandage on it and gone back to work.”
She shuddered. “It was a deep gash. It needed stitches.” “Maybe it did. It’s not the first time I’ve gotten cut up doing chores around here. That’s ranch life. We get hurt out here all the time.”
She lifted her gaze to the mirror, met his. “And sometimes you die.”
“Your parents didn’t die on the ranch.”
“I know. But people do die out here.”
“People die in the city, too. Every damn day. Odds are higher there than here.”
“I don’t . . .”
She shook her head. “Nothing.” She tried to pry his fingers loose. This time he wasn’t going to let go. He turned her around, cupped her face in his hands.
“You can’t run from how you feel, Val. Sometime you’re going to have to face it.”
Her pain hurt him. He wished he could take it out of her and make it go away. But he couldn’t. Instead, he drew her lips to his, brushed his mouth across hers. Her breath whispered across his with a quivering sigh.
“Quit fighting what we both want.” What they both needed. He walked backward, leading her into the bedroom.
“Your leg . . .”
“Is fine. Not bleeding. You stitched it up good.” He held on to her, leading her to the bed, sitting down with her, then lying down with her. On their bed, where they belonged together.
“You shooting for a pity fuck?” she asked as he rolled her to face him.
He laughed. “Is it working?”
Her lips lifted, color coming back to her face now. “Maybe. I’m worried about your leg.”
“Then I guess you can keep close watch over it, Doc.” He grabbed her butt and rocked her against the long, hard part of him that ached to be inside her.
She gasped, pressed her hands against his chest. “You rip those stitches out with . . . strenuous activity, I’m not sewing you back up.”
“Duly noted.” He slid his hand against her neck and laid his mouth on hers, let her know how much he wanted her, wanted this. Her pulse kicked up and he supposed that was his answer—she did want to be here with him, no matter how much she protested the opposite. The warmth of her breath released against him in a sigh and her body relaxed. Whatever war she fought internally, he supposed she’d finally given up the fight.
That was all the encouragement he needed. He let his hand slide from her neck to her collarbone to her breast. She didn’t have a bra on, and her nipple peaked under her flimsy cotton shirt. Damn, it felt good to touch her, to feel the softness of her body against him again. He smoothed his palm over the hard bud to torture it a little more, and she arched into his hand, filling it with the softness of her breast. He jerked the material to the side and planted his mouth over her nipple, encouraged by the sounds she made as he sucked and licked. He’d missed those sounds of pleasure, had always loved listening to her in the dark when she writhed against him. The one thing Valerie could never deny was the sexual chemistry between them. There might be a million things wrong with their marriage, but sex hadn’t been one of them. Here they could connect, and all problems were tossed. It was just the two of them, naked, him inside her, rocking her until she screamed.
He wanted that now, wanted to give her a release he knew she needed. He let go of her nipple, lifted her shirt off, and she rolled onto her back, gifting him with that serene, knowing smile that said she knew there was no going back now. She raised her arms over her head and let him remove the rest of her clothes.
Naked, she still took his breath away. He slipped off his briefs and shirt, then rolled back onto the bed, climbing between her legs to press a kiss to her inner thigh. He slipped his hands under her butt to lift her, then laid his mouth against her sex, taking in the sound of her delighted sigh.
God she was hot, her taste tart and sexy, and it made his cock so hard he could go off right there, spilling all over the sheets like a first-timer. Valerie did that to him, always did, made him hot and hard and ready in seconds. He never could resist the taste and sweet smell of her. She’d been a fire in his blood since he first became a man. She’d always been the only woman he craved like a drug he couldn’t do without.
She lifted against him, her eager movements urging him to lick around her clit, flick the hard nub until she let out a soft moan, her juices melting all over his tongue and chin.
He licked her pussy, slid his tongue inside and ate all she gave him. He could never get enough of Valerie, had always loved spending nights pleasuring her, listening to her moan, making her come. Her body responded to his touch, to his mouth, with wild abandon. Once she had given up thinking about all the reasons she shouldn’t . . . or wouldn’t . . . then yeah, she gave it all to him.
He slid a finger inside her, and her walls grabbed onto him while he thrust. He licked her, sucked her clit, felt her tighten inside and out.
Yeah, baby, give it to me.
She arched, her body tensed, and she shuddered, cried out with her orgasm. He held on to her, licking her, taking her down easy. He waited for her body to stop shuddering, then reached onto the floor and into his jeans pocket for the condom he’d stuck in there—just in case. Now he was damn glad he’d thought about being prepared, even if he had presumed. The last thing he wanted was to be without, especially right now. His balls throbbed and he wanted inside Valerie so badly he was about to burst.
She rolled onto her back and watched as he tore open the packet and applied the condom. “So you either carry those things on you all the time or you thought I was a sure thing.”
He spread her knees apart and climbed between them. “I don’t carry them with me all the time. Just . . . recently.”
She cocked her head to the side. “Because . . .”
“Because all I’ve done is think about fucking you since you showed up here.”
valerie sucked in a breath. mason’s naked honesty
had always gotten to her. His sexual frankness was brutal, intense, and had always excited her, especially now. Knowing he still wanted her despite everything that had happened between them stunned her.
He slid his hand over her breasts, cupped one and lazily circled her throbbing nipple with his thumb. “How about we stop talking?”
Distracted by the sensations, she realized he was right—she should just shut up and enjoy being with him. She always overanalyzed the hell out of everything. Now wasn’t the time. Not when his cock nudged her pussy, and she ached to feel him inside her.
She cupped the back of his head and drew him on top of her, absorbing the feel of his body against her. Sometimes she wondered what the hell she’d been thinking walking away from something that felt this good, especially when Mason slid his cock inside her with a powerful thrust. She gasped, and he claimed her mouth with a demanding kiss.
And she felt a hundred times stupid for ever leaving this man. No wonder women from all over wanted him. She’d oh so conveniently allowed herself to forget what it was like to be made love to by Mason. He pushed inside her, then withdrew, swept his hands underneath her butt to lift her pelvis against his, grinding against her clit and causing explosions of sensation that made her cry out and forget that they weren’t in the house alone.
She lifted against him, wanting more of him inside her, more of him moving intimately against her, more of his mouth, his tongue licking against hers. His possession of her was relentless, demanding, sweeping her away until she had no thought left. She could only feel his cock sliding in and out, thrusting hard, moving her back against the mattress as if he wanted to crawl inside her. That’s what she wanted, his ultimate possession of her, what she’d missed so damn much but refused to face. She raked her nails down his arms and he growled against her mouth, deepened his kiss at the same time he plunged deeper inside her.
Tears threatened, and she knew being close to him like this would open her emotions like never before. Being with Mason had always been more than sex.
It had been love and sex—a dangerous combination. With Mason, her heart wasn’t safe.
But oh the things he could do to her body. He moved his mouth from her lips to her neck, licking his way down her throat. She shivered and he groaned, lifted up and drove deep, and that was all it took for her to crumble. She let out a soft cry and shattered around his cock, rocking against him with wild abandon. He moved back to her mouth and kissed her, tightening against her as he came in several hard thrusts.
They stayed glued together like that for a long while. Valerie smoothed her hands over Mason’s sweat-soaked back, her legs locked around him like she never wanted to let him go.
But she would let him go. This had been a onetime thing, never to be repeated.
“I’m hungry,” he said against her neck.
She laughed. “What time is it anyway?”
“No clue. But I’ll bet we missed supper. Let’s go check the kitchen for leftovers.” He swung his legs over the bed and went into the bathroom for a minute, then came out and grabbed his jeans. She took a look at his leg as he got dressed. The wound wasn’t bleeding, so their sex session hadn’t affected his injury.
He zipped his jeans and grabbed his shirt. Valerie made no move to climb out of bed or get dressed.
She drew her knees up to her chest. “I don’t think us being seen together is a good idea.”
“I don’t want people to know.”
He sat on the bed, slid his hand up her thigh. “Val. We’ve spent the past few hours up here in your room. I think folks will make the connection.”
She laid her head on her knees. “Damn.”
“Hey, maybe I’m not a movie star, but I’m hardly ugly enough to have to put a bag over my head when you fuck me.”
She laughed and raised her head to look at him. “That’s not at all what I meant. It’s just that people will assume we’re back together.”
“And we’re not.”
She knew it would come to this—she was going to hurt him again. “No, Mason, we’re not.”
“So you just want to meet me in dark corners and fuck me?”
She snorted. “Uh . . .”
His hand drifted up her thigh, and her body flushed with heat and desire.
“I think you worry way too much about what people think. But if you want to use me like a sex toy, then that’s just between us and nobody else’s business.”
That wasn’t at all the Mason she used to know. “So that’s what we’re down to? Just sex?”
He shrugged. “You’re the one setting the ground rules, darlin’. I like a good fuck just as well as anyone else. And we’re damn good in bed together.”
She blew out a breath. He was right about that. “And you’d be all right with that? With it just being about the sex?”
“If you are.”
Could she be? If Mason was, she supposed she could be, too. God knows there wasn’t enough sex in her life, and when she got back to Dallas there’d be no time for it. Why not enjoy it with a man she had such incredible chemistry with, while she had the chance? “You’re on.”
“Okay, then.” He stood, pulled off his shirt and unzipped his jeans, letting them fall to the floor.
“What are you doing?” she asked as he climbed onto the bed and pulled her on top of him.
“I thought you were hungry.”
He drew her body up so her nipple teased his bottom lip. He grinned up at her. “I am. We have two years of lost sex to catch up on. We can have food later.”
according to jolene, mason’s injury was the big
news around the neighboring ranches for the next several days. Though Valerie had no idea why it was such a big deal. Mason seemed to heal fast; in fact, the next day he had been back to work riding his horse and herding cattle, as if nothing had happened to him.