It’s coming September 11th and the blurb and story are still being finessed, but I thought you might like to take a peek inside my next Western. This will be the first of a trio of stories about the Triplehorn brothers. This one starts with a bank robbery and the excitement doesn’t stop until the end. Hope you enjoy this little snippet. ~DD
A bank teller implicated in bank robbery seeks sanctuary from small-town sweetheart she left behind—who happens to be the new sheriff in town.
A lifetime ago, Zuri Prescott kicked the dirt off her boots and fled her small-time, small town, but lived to regret choosing a glam city life over her high school sweetheart. When she’s framed for a bank job by a police detective, she flees to her home town, seeking refuge with her old flame while she figures out her next steps—only to discover he’s the last man she can confide in.
Sheriff Colt Triplehorn knows trouble when he sees it, especially when it’s one familiar naked trespasser, caught between a bull and her underwear. Sure she’s up to her usual no good, he grants her sanctuary at his ranch where he can keep an eye on her while he purges her from his system once and for all. When he realizes she’s involved with a bank robbery, he makes a career-compromising choice between following the letter of the law and his heart…
Zuri bit her lip. Colt didn’t look happy to see her. But why should he? It wasn’t like she’d been any more than a convenience for him in high school. The girl from the wrong side of the tracks with the scandalous family—she’d never really stood a chance at being anything other than his little bit on the side.
She could still remember standing in the gym, her heart pounding as she stared up at him, telling him she had her bags packed and she was heading east to start her life. Her stepfather had shown her the door that morning, his duty done. She didn’t have any place to go but away—unless Colt offered her another option.
But his face had hardened, his jaw sawing closed, a muscle rippling along the strong, square edge.
“What were you gonna tell me?” she’d asked past the lump lodged at the back of her throat.
“Never mind,” he’d said, pulling on a tight smile and walking her to her car.
With that, she’d had the answer to the question that had lingered between them their entire senior year. He didn’t love her enough to ask her to stay. And besides, she’d had big plans. Plans that didn’t include staying in this one-horse town, no matter how handsome her boyfriend was. Or how sweet his lovemaking.
Staring back at him now, she didn’t know why she hadn’t fought harder to hold onto him. The promise his lean, rangy body had held had been fulfilled. His broad shoulders and thickly muscled arms stretched the pale blue cotton of his work shirt. His waist tapered to well-hewn hips and thighs. His face, however, had undergone the most changes, losing its youthful softness. It was now honed to sharp, masculine edges. Lord, he made her mouth water.
She wondered if he’d been disappointed in the lack of change in her own body. She was still long and skinny, her breasts unimpressive swells that hardly needed the bra that had floated down the center of the river when she’d confronted the angry bull.
Colt knelt beside her clothing, tucked a finger under her skirt and raised it. “This all you have to wear?”
Light shone through a large jagged tear where the bull’s sharp hooves had ground the navy, summer-weight wool skirt. Zuri’s shoulders slumped.
“Do you have something else to put on?”
She shook her head, and Colt stared for a long moment. Then he dropped the ruined skirt to the ground and picked up the blouse. It was grayed from her time in the floodwaters and smudged by the bull’s abuse. Colt shook his head. He dropped the blouse too, heaved a sigh, then stood and began to unbutton his shirt.
“Where are your shoes, Zuri?” he asked, his voice rough as gravel.
“Guess I lost them,” she said, feeling like her mouth was stuffed with cotton.
“You gonna tell me what’s goin’ on?”
She sucked her bottom lip between her teeth because it had started to tremble, but managed a nod, even though she knew she’d wait and see whether she could trust him with all her woes.
“Here,” he said, holding his shirt out for her take.
Only problem was, she’d have to stand and walk out of the water to get it.
Shouldn’t matter that much, anyway, she told herself. Nothing he hadn’t already seen…or tasted and caressed. “Um…I don’t suppose you’d turn around?”
His steely gaze narrowed. “Not a chance.”
“When did you get so mean?”
One dark brow rose, and Zuri felt a flush of heat paint her cheeks and chest.
“You do know you’re bathin’ downstream from a herd of cattle…” he drawled.
Zuri popped out of the water, her hands curling at her sides. “Ugh! And you just stood there?”
His soft chuckle held a note of bitterness and not a hint of amusement. Zuri began to think she’d run into the wrong man.
Slowly, she stood, barely resisting the urge to cover her “important parts” with her hands. With her head held high, she walked out of the water and snatched at the shirt, but he drew back his arm at the last second and held it just out of reach.
“Colt, this isn’t funny,” she said tightly.
“No, it’s not. Guess I’m just seein’ how much you want it.”
Zuri dropped her hands at her sides and slowly curled her hands into fists. “What’s it gonna take?”
“I don’t know,” he said, his gaze dropping down her body, lingering over her nipples, which tautened with embarrassing speed, then sweeping downward to the ruff of dark hair cloaking her sex. “How ’bout a kiss? For old time’s sake.”
Zuri sucked in a breath, startled at how quickly the tension coiled around them. “Just a kiss?”
“Yes, ma’am,” he said, his gaze at last meeting hers again, and narrowing.
She stepped closer, knowing she was flirting with fire. They’d never stopped at just one kiss. Not once they’d gotten past the hurdle of her virginity.
Swallowing hard, she pressed a hand against his naked chest to steady her weakening knees and lifted up on her toes. Her mouth grazed briefly over his, and she dropped down and took a step back. “The shirt?”
“Call that a kiss?”
“Colt…don’t…” she said, all bravado seeping away as she noted that anger rather than attraction glinted in his storm-cloud eyes.
“Forget how I like it?” he said softly.
Hell, no. She still had lush, wet dreams about his wicked kisses.
The temptation to give him what he wanted was too much to resist. Pretending she didn’t feel a thing, not the liquefying heat that curled deep in her core or the hummingbird-fast flutter of her heartbeats, she gave him a blistering glare and rose again, gliding the tips of her nipples across his bare chest.
He sucked in a deep breath. She reached up and thrust her fingertips into his short, black-brown hair and tugged to bring his mouth down.
When their lips met this time, they both gasped at the intensity of the heat twining around them. His arms closed around her. She clung to his neck, her knees weakening, her whole body trembling against him.
Skin-to-skin, she was reminded why any other man had fallen short in comparison. His muscled frame held hers easily, tensing everywhere their bodies met. He dug his fingers into her bottom and pulled her hips flush with his. His cock jerked beneath the zipper of his jeans, filling swiftly and rutting into her belly.
Their mouths didn’t move at first. Both breathed deeply, sharing their breaths as their hips ground together. And then he groaned and locked his lips over hers and softly sucked, moving her lips beneath his in drugging circles.
When their tongues made tentative forays, touching tips, then stroking deeply alongside each other, Zuri grew lightheaded, overcome with the sheer sensuality of their embrace. His silky-slick tongue rimmed the edges of her teeth, then slowly stroked over the roof of her mouth. His lips suctioned softly, reminding her how tenderly he’d once suckled her breasts.
She pulled her mouth away, struggling to breathe. Reluctantly, she met his gaze, knowing she’d given him more than he’d asked for because she hadn’t been able to stop.
His hands dropped from her skin. His expression hardened. “Guess you didn’t forget after all.”