He scowled. “No. Who the hell ever said that about you?”

“Your brother Colby called me that one time.”

“Consider the source. Colby’s a bonehead. That ain’t what I see at all when I look at you.”

“So, what do you see when you look at me?”

“Not Amy Jo, my son’s babysitter. When I noticed you dancin’ at the Golden Boot in that shamelessly brazen miniskirt and them naughty red panties, I started thinkin’ of you in terms of us naked together. A lot.”

Better than she’d hoped.

“What do you see when you look at me?” he asked.

“A hot rancher with a killer body, a wicked smile and even more wicked hands. A good man I trust.” A man I’ve been in love with my whole damn life.

“You know I’m too old for you, right?”

“I’d say experienced, not old.”

“Right. But I’m such a selfish prick I ain’t lettin’ no other man touch you until I’ve had my fill of you.”

May that day never come, Cord McKay.

Cord framed her face in his hands. “I haven’t had my fill of you tonight, that’s for damn sure. But your thirty minutes are up, so it’ll have to wait until tomorrow night.”

“What if I can’t make it?”

“You will be here. We have a deal. Your nights are mine, AJ. If you miss a night, you will owe me a day. And don’t kid yourself for a single second that I won’t chase you down to collect.”

“I might enjoy you chasing after me for a change.”


“Never mind.” She kissed the lines between his eyes. “Don’t scowl. It’ll give you wrinkles.”

“They’d go with the gray hair Ky’s givin’ me.”

She put her fingers over his lips. “Not another word about being old.”

Chapter Eight

Kade volunteered for all the shit jobs around the McKay ranch. He’d avoided his brother and Colt when they weren’t working, even crashing at his folks’ house because sleeping at the Boars Nest made him uneasy.

Part of him wondered if what he’d seen really happened or if it was just another weird-assed dream fueled by alcohol.

Resting his forearm on the pitchfork, he took a breather and allowed his mind to drift. The night after the threesome with Jazz, he’d gone out with his cousin Dag and they’d returned to a house filled with drunken strangers. Dead tired, he’d dropped into bed. Dag had decided to stick around.

A few hours later Kade had stumbled to the kitchen for a bottle of water when he saw two naked bodies fucking on the living room floor.

Guys. Going at it like animals.

A skinny man was on his knees with his bony white ass hiked high in the air, his arms stretched above his head on the floor, wrists tied with a bandana and a gag shoved in his mouth. It was so dark Kade couldn’t see his face.

A bruiser with a crew cut was jacking off the skinny guy as he fucked his captive in the ass so savagely they both skidded across the carpet with dual groans of satisfaction.

By that time Kade decided he wasn’t so thirsty after all. He returned to bed. No sign of the horny guys in the morning, so he wondered if it hadn’t been some kind of homosexual dream. He sure wasn’t gonna ask Kane or Dag or Colt if they’d seen it and have them tease him for fucking ever about it.

Not that he could give a shit what went on behind people’s bedroom doors in their own houses. But if what he’d seen had been real? And going down front and center in his house? Different story.

His family would be appalled if they knew about the circus-like sexual situations happening at the Boars Nest on a regular basis. His cheeks burned with shame. What had he been thinking, fucking a total stranger? Then a threesome? Followed by another threesome with his twin? He didn’t want to live his life being just another “wild McKay boy” and the butt of jokes in four counties. Kade worried no decent woman would want him if she ever got wind of his previous sexual antics.

If he was completely honest, the debauchery had stopped being fun a while ago. And it seemed the chances of him ever finding a decent woman in this small community, who not only didn’t know about his every past sexual conquest, or who wouldn’t automatically mix him up with his twin brother, were slim to none. He’d learned enough from Cord’s failed marriage that a city girl wouldn’t fit here either. Basically, he was screwed on the relationship front. Not that any woman would probably believe him if he admitted he was more than ready to settle down.

With a sigh, he got back to work. There was always plenty of work on the McKay ranch.

An hour later his brother Kane called in his favor, sending him on an errand to the next town thirty-five miles from home for some special kind of lotion their mother used.

Kade parallel parked in front of DeWitt’s Pharmacy. He wandered around until he found the display—Sky Blue—all natural ingredients—locally made.

Right. Another freakazoid, Birkenstock-wearing, organic type who invaded Wyoming to bilk gullible ladies like his mama into buying beauty junk they didn’t need.

He picked up a bottle of lotion. Nineteen bucks? Holy crap. He was definitely in the wrong business.

He noticed a bar of soap with the same scent as the lotion. After a quick look around to make sure no one was spying on him, he picked it up and sniffed. Not bad. Kind of tangy. Lemony. He added a can of motor oil and a package of mousetraps to the cart just so he didn’t look like a total fucking pussy to the cashier.

Kade stood on the sidewalk debating on whether to have lunch first before heading home. Click click sounded and he turned to the woman in heels storming toward him.

Mercy. She was all curves: hips, ass, thighs, and breasts. He loved women who looked like women and not a skeleton with skin. Her straight brown hair had a hint of red in the bright sunlight. Kade stepped out of her way, figuring she’d pass right on by.


Miss Sexy Curves bumped her pointy-toed purple shoes against his shit-covered boots and glared. “You were a total jerk to me the other night, Kane McKay. I don’t appreciate you ditching me at the restaurant. What kind of shithead—”

“Whoa. Wait a second. I’m not—”

“—the least bit sorry, yeah, I can tell. Why are you here? Trolling for some woman who’ll give you a piece of ass on the first date since I wouldn’t?”

That fucker Kane was such an asshole. Times like this it plain sucked they were identical twins and few people could tell them apart. This woman must be Kane’s date from the other night.

His brother was an idiot too. How had he walked away from such a smoking hot firecracker?

“Got nothing to say, McKay?”

And he had a really good idea on what he wanted to say, and how to make this right.

No. It was a bad idea. A terrible idea.

The devil on his shoulder said: Do it. You and Kane used to switch places all the time. You’re not misleading her; you’re protecting the McKay name from another bit of damaging gossip.

“Actually, I do have somethin’ to say to you.” What the hell was her name again?

Something hippyishly weird. Aha. “Skylar.”

“I’m listening.”

“I’m sorry. I lost your number or I woulda called to apologize for bein’ a first class jerk. But I’d taken some allergy medicine and lordy, did it do a number on me. Normally I don’t act like that. Not that I remember a whole helluva lot besides goin’ home and crashin’.”

Skylar looked at him skeptically.

“Can I make it up to you? Buy you lunch? I swear I won’t run out again.”


“How about now?”

“Sure. You don’t mind vegetarian?”

Fuck. Kade slapped on a fake smile. “Not at all.”

She laughed; it made him think of bells. “You are such a liar. Your family raises cattle. You probably shoot vegetarians.”

“Only if they’re part of PETA protestin’ inhuman treatment of our stock. That pisses us off.”

“I can imagine.”

“Besides, I eat salad. Not crazy about tofu. Or beans ground up and passed off as burgers. A burger is supposed to be meat. Beans are only good in tacos and chili.” Kade looked up. Damn. He’d been babbling.

Her lips curled in a cat-like smile. “Too bad you weren’t this honest the other night. I know just the place. Let’s go.”

Later that same afternoon Cord pushed back his hat and wiped the sweat from his brow. He looked over at his brother, who was doing more leaning in the back of the truck than working.

“Pull the lead out, Colt. I ain’t got all goddamn day.”

“Cut me some slack. I’m whupped.”

“Only reason you’re whupped is because you were up late last night fuckin’ around.”


Not since he’d been doing some fucking around himself, but no way would he share that with his smartass brother. “No. I’m pissed. You’ve been draggin’ ass more than usual lately. I’m sick of carryin’ your share of the load.”

“Some of us have a life.”

“Maybe I could have a life if I wasn’t so busy workin’ my ass off so you don’t have to.”

Colt straightened up and rested on the pitchfork. “Got somethin’ to say to me?”

“I’m sayin’ it. Show up for work on time, Colt. Not hungover, not fuckin’ whinin’ like a toddler. And while you’re at it, maybe you oughta think about the fact this is a small county. Some of the sex shit you and Kane and Kade are doin’ with every woman in the tri-county area is gettin’ around and before long it’ll get back to Ma.”

“Right. Like you have a right to talk. Why do you think everyone says ‘them wild McKay boys’—you and Colby and Quinn wrote the damn book on bad behavior. I’m just sowin’ my oats, same as you guys done.”