Authors: Liliana Hart
“Don’t think you’re going to break me down by
being nice all of a sudden,” she said. “I’m on to you, mister.” She
propped her bare feet on the coffee table and ignored the heat that
seemed to leap between them every time they touched. “And next time
I get to pick the movie.”
“I’m going to kill him,” Bayleigh said as she
rolled out of bed a week later, the morning light of dawn barely
peeking through her windows.
Cade had generally made himself a pest for
the past week. He’d shown up at her house late every night, looking
ragged and tired, and she could see a glimpse of something dark and
sad in his eyes—something that seemed to be growing in
intensity—but he never brought it up, and she wasn’t going to ask.
He worked erratic hours and something was eating at him.
Their “friendship” was tenuous at best.
They’d watched a couple of movies, but they’d spent most of the
time debating and arguing anything and everything they could think
of. And boy did they argue. It was the best damned foreplay she’d
ever had, and she’d shoved him out the door angry more nights than
she’d let him stay just to preserve her sanity.
As much as she hated to admit it, she was
surprised to find he stimulated her mind almost as much as he
stimulated her body. And he’d taken plenty of opportunities to
remind her that the chemistry between them was still there and
Her brother’s words had haunted her for the
past two weeks. She wanted to know about the lover Cade had lost.
What he was really doing in Texas. And she wanted to know why he
wasn’t pushing the physical aspect of their relationship anymore.
He still kissed her every chance he got, but he’d stopped filling
her head with the descriptions of what he wanted to do to her. Of
how it would be between them.
Doubts that she’d done something wrong had
begun to creep in on her the last couple of days, and as much as
she tried to tell herself that it didn’t matter, she found that it
did matter. She wanted that connection between them. To know that
she was special and could incite that kind of reaction in a man.
And she wanted a non-self-induced orgasm, dammit. She had a feeling
that if any man could give her one, it would be Cade MacKenzie.
She’d found out over the last several days
that all the neighbors had begun to pay visits to Cade. Mrs.
Spillers from across the street had taken him a casserole, and
Bayleigh had been fascinated to know that he’d invited her in and
they’d talked over coffee for a few minutes.
She’d gone across the street the next evening
while Cade was out on a call to fish for the details, since she
couldn’t imagine Cade having the manners to entertain an eighty-two
year old woman for more than five minutes. But Mrs. Spillers had
been sighing like a teenager the whole time she talked about
“Have you ever seen a man with eyes that
dark?” she said, cutting a slice of the coffee cake Bayleigh had
brought over and setting it on the kitchen table where she was
sitting. “It was like he could see right into my soul. If I was
fifty years younger, I’d take him for a wild ride.”
Bayleigh choked on her coffee cake and took a
long drink of tea to clear her throat. The thought of Mrs.
Spillers—her hair curled in steel grey sausage rolls and her skin
slack over her bones—taking anyone for a wild ride was just a
“He can probably see to your soul because he
doesn’t have one himself. He’s probably looking for a good one to
“Bayleigh Scott, that’s a terrible thing to
say about such a nice young man. You could do a lot worse than
someone like Cade MacKenzie. He even offered to patch the spot on
the roof by the chimney so the rain doesn’t keep leaking in. I hope
he takes his shirt off when he fixes it,” she said, fanning her
face with her hand. “It’s been a long time since Mr. Spillers
looked like that.”
Bayleigh was willing to bet Mr. Spillers had
never looked like that. Mr. Spillers was barely five foot eight in
his dress shoes and he couldn’t weigh more than a hundred pounds
soaking wet. Though she couldn’t blame Mrs. Spillers for wanting to
see Cade’s muscles. Bayleigh wouldn’t mind seeing them again
She listened to Mrs. Spillers wax poetic
about Cade’s good manners and the muscles in his arms for another
forty minutes before she excused herself and went back home,
hornier than hell and jealous that Cade had managed to have a long
conversation with another woman without insulting her. Apparently,
it was only Bayleigh that brought out the worst in him.
There had been plenty of opportunities to
admire his physique over the two weeks since he’d moved in.
Sometimes at night, after he’d left her house, he stood out on his
back deck, a beer in hand and his gaze lost in the trees behind
their houses, his shirt off and his jeans unbuttoned just enough to
drive her crazy. She always made sure her light was out, and she
knew he couldn’t see her watching him, but she couldn’t help but
skim her fingers across her nipples, tweaking them to hard points
and wishing it was his hand, his mouth. He was a fever that wasn’t
going away, and his nightly visits were just making it worse.
Shame washed over her as he became the object
of her fantasies. While he was lost in thought next door, minding
his own business, her body was heating and her pussy flooding with
a need she’d never experienced before. Her vibrator had gotten more
use in the past two weeks than it had in the last six months.
She tried to resist the temptation, but she’d
ultimately end up spreading her thighs, moaning as the thick
vibrator filled her—wishing for Cade. But even after orgasms strong
enough to make her scream, satisfaction still didn’t find her. Not
completely. She’d never been able to come with a man inside her,
and she longed for Cade to be the one who finally proved to her
that she wasn’t frigid after all. She needed him to show her that
it wasn’t she who was deficient. That it wasn’t she who was
Bayleigh shook off the memories as an unholy
sound assaulted her ears.
“Damn,” she swore as the cold wood floors bit
into her feet.
No matter how attracted she was to the man,
there was no way she was going to let him interrupt the one day she
had off. Waking up at dawn hadn’t been on the agenda for her
Sunday. A late breakfast, a little shopping, a chat with her
parents on the phone. Those had been her plans for the day. Not
being shaken out of bed by Led Zeppelin blaring into her room and
rattling her windows.
She didn’t bother to put on a robe or comb
her hair as she marched across her front yard to the house next
door. Her pajama pants were wrinkled and her t-shirt was
threadbare. Her mother would be mortified if she could see her
daughter now. A southern woman didn’t leave her house without the
proper clothes and her face made up. It was one of those rules that
ranked right up with never leave the house without clean underwear
on just in case you’re in a wreck.
Cade’s Harley was parked in the driveway and
his garage door was open. He stood with his back to her—
couldn’t the man ever wear a shirt?
And he was bent over the
hood of his truck, using some kind of tool as if he actually knew
what he was doing. She had a grade-A view of his terrific ass, and
the sight threw her off her stride for just a minute. But a guitar
riff that caused the hairs on the back of her neck to stand up let
loose and she remembered her purpose.
He didn’t notice her standing behind him with
her hands over her ears, so she went to the stereo in the corner
and turned the volume all the way down. Her ears rang in the
immediate silence and she found satisfaction as his head came up
and bumped the open hood of the truck. Served him right.
By the narrowing of his eyes, he must have
read her mind. Or maybe she’d actually said that out loud.
“You know, I’m getting damned tired of you
turning my shit off. You’re the nosiest neighbor I’ve ever
“I’m sorry, I can’t hear you. I’m as deaf as
Mr. Lowenstein on the other side of you.”
He straightened and wiped his hands on the
rag he had tucked in his back pocket, shooting her a black look she
would have paid more attention to if she hadn’t been so angry.
“And do you know what I’m getting damned
tired of?” she asked, her heart thumping wildly in her chest as he
tossed the rag to the ground and came toward her. She couldn’t
decide if the look in his eyes meant he wanted to kiss her or
strangle her. “I’m getting tired of being woken up at the crack of
dawn just because you have a wild hair up your ass to do whatever
the hell it is you do at that ungodly hour. I’ve put up with you
mowing your lawn, using a nail gun, and revving your motorcycle all
before the sun is barely in the sky. Some of us work for a living,
“Would it kill you to use my name once in a
while? I thought we were past this. I bet I know how you could get
rid of some of that tension you’re carrying around,” he said with a
“Are you planning on moving?”
He shook his head in pity. “You’d miss me if
I left. Admit it. You’ve gotten used to having me around. Who else
would you get to watch all those terrible girly movies with
“Can we get back to the subject please? I’m
trying to sleep. Not all of us work the insane hours you do. I like
“Bullshit. You like to think you like
routine, but you thrive in chaos, sweetheart. Besides, Tara works
for you on Sundays, though she didn’t last week because she was
“How do you know that?”
“I’ve heard it from every damned person on
the block whenever they’ve dropped off brownies, sponge cake and
casseroles. The consensus is that you work too much and don’t have
near enough fun. Your sex life is non-existent, your brothers are
overprotective, and Mrs. Greene thinks you need glasses because
you’ve been squinting a lot lately. They also think I need to
corrupt you. To show you how to have a little fun. They like
watching me walk across to your house every night, but they’re
always disappointed you make me leave so early.”
Bayleigh scowled and put her hands on her
hips, irritated that the entire neighborhood had been talking about
her to Cade. She knew how to have fun. And she had to work a lot if
she wanted her store to be a success. There was nothing wrong with
that. Unless, of course, you were every person over the age of
sixty-five who lived on her street. Apparently they had lots of
problems with the way she lived.
“I’m not going to sleep with you just to
satisfy all of my geriatric neighbors. That’s the lamest thing I’ve
“So what’s going on here between us,
Bayleigh? We’ve had fun the last week. We’ve enjoyed each other’s
company. And I still want to fuck you so bad I ache with it every
second of the day. Are you saying you’re not interested?” The half
smile on his face was knowing, confident. “Your nipples are hard
enough to cut glass.”
Bayleigh gasped, offended and turned on at
the same time. “Maybe your seduction technique needs a little work.
Haven’t you ever heard of romance? You think you can just tell me
you want to fuck and that’ll do it for me? Give me a break.”
“Yeah, I think it does do it for you. I bet
you’re so wet I could slide right into that tight pussy without any
foreplay. Some women need romance. You’re not one of them, so don’t
pretend you do. You know your mind and what you like, and you’re
the least simpering woman I’ve ever met. When we finally get
horizontal we’ll meet each other as equals.”
“And my seduction technique doesn’t need
work,” he said, stalking her until her back hit the garage wall. “I
got you over here, didn’t I? Just where I wanted you. And you’re
not wearing underwear.”
“You—you—son of a—”
His fingers covered her lips and his eyes
sparkled with laughter. “Don’t say anything you’ll regret.” He
braced his hands by both sides of her head, trapping her in his
embrace. “Tell me the truth, Bayleigh. Do you want me? I’m too old
to play games. We’re both adults. There’s no reason we can’t both
get satisfaction and take advantage of where fate has put us. I’m
attracted to you, and I want nothing more than to slide between
those silky thighs and fuck you until you can’t see straight.”
“And that’s it?” she asked. “A few quick
fucks and then we both move on with our lives? Wave friendly
hello’s as we go into our separate houses and fondly remember a few
“More than a few,” he said, nuzzling against
the sensitive skin on her neck, nipping his way up to her ear where
his tongue lightly traced the shell. “My dick’s been hard since I
laid eyes on you, and I’m tired of jerking off when you’re just a
few steps away.”
Bayleigh gasped as his erotic words slid
across her skin like silk. Her nipples brushed against his chest,
sending sensations straight to her pussy, and she wanted nothing
more than to press into him—to feel the evidence of his
His lips sipped and teased and he moved his
hands from the wall so they skimmed down her body until his fingers
bit into the flesh at her hips. He slid them around until they
cupped her ass and he pulled her toward him slowly, torturously,
until she was begging for contact.
She felt as if all her bones had dissolved
into a puddle at his feet. This man had control of her body like no
one else ever had. No wonder Paul had called her frigid. She’d been
a block of ice compared to what Cade was making her feel now.
“I like hearing my name on your lips.” Desire
burned in his black eyes, his lids lowered with promise and his
nostrils flared at the scent of her arousal. “I know you want me,
and I know you think of me. Don’t you, Bayleigh?”