A sly smile lit up her face. “My stock sure as shootin’ tossed old Cash on his bony ass last night, didn’t it?”

Colby laughed.

The driver’s side door on Trevor’s truck opened and Trevor hopped out. “Hey, my beautiful Gem-stone. How’s tricks?”

She snorted. “You’re as smooth as a baby’s ass, ain’t ya, Trev?”

“I try.”

“Wasted breath on me. I ain’t nearly as tricky as I used to be in my younger years. But I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I had my fair share of lovesick cowboys trailing behind me.”

Gemma focused on Colby. “What’d you think of that four-year-old bull, Big Time, last night? You looked damn good on him. Too good.

Makes me wonder if I oughta pull him out of rough stock rotation for a while.”

“He’s gotta good spin. He got all four legs off the ground right out of the chute so you’re wrong if you think he’s a gimme. He weren’t easy at all. Shoot, it’s not like I scored a ninety on him, Gem. A couple of the guys said they’d like a chance to test him out. Where’s the next place you’re bringin’ him?”

“Valentine, probably.” Gemma’s shrewd gaze finally landed on Channing. “Since these boys forgot their manners, I’ll just go ahead and introduce myself. Gemma Jansen.”

Channing thrust her hand through the open window and clasped Gemma’s. “Channing Kinkaid.”

“Who’re you here with?”

Colby said, “She’s with me now.”

“Before I was traveling with Jared. It ended when I found out about Jared’s marital status last night.”

A single blonde eyebrow lifted. “You didn’t know?”

“No, ma’am.” She dropped her head, clearly embarrassed.

In a show of support, Colby squeezed the hand he’d placed on Channing’s hip.

Gemma gave her an approving look. “Good to hear. Lots of the girls hitching a ride on the wild side don’t give a rip about the sanctity of marriage. So if you need a break from the rodeo-injury war stories and the testosterone, come find me. We’ll drink whiskey and tell these boys we’re doin’ each other’s hair.”

Channing grinned. “Will do. Thanks.”

Gemma inclined her head and her straw cowboy hat shaded her face.

“Nice day to travel. Behave, boys. Good luck in Limon. See you in Nebraska in a few.”

“Drive safe, senhora.” Edgard thumped the side door and Gemma took off.

Trevor and Edgard conversed in low tones, then Edgard popped the hood of the truck and they fiddled with the engine. Colby opened the rear cab door and gestured for Channing to hop in.

She lifted her satchel over her head, propping it in her lap as she scooted across the leather bench seat. “So what’s the plan?”

“Trev’s gonna drive until he gets tired and then Edgard will take over.”

“What about us?”

Colby kicked aside an empty carton of chocolate milk. “We’ll be on tap for next time when we hit the road for Valentine. Today’s one of our rare off days so enjoy it while it lasts. Usually, we’re rippin’ out of the arena the second we get the payouts and headin’ to the next event.”

Channing scowled at the trash scattered across the floor. “This place is a pigsty.”


“Doesn’t it bother you?”

“Not particularly.”

“Well, it does me. While we’re waiting on those two, we’re going to pick this crap up and throw it out.”

Colby’s eyes narrowed. “You ain’t our maid, Chan.”

“You need one. Besides, I said we, not me.” Her crafty smile turned into a frown as she picked up a crusty, half-eaten cinnamon roll wedged under the muddy floor mat. “Ugh. Find me something to use as a garbage bag.”

He rummaged under the seat until he found one. Shoving cellophane Twinkie wrappers, empty cans of Copenhagen and Skoal, half-full bottles of Gatorade in the clear plastic shopping bag, Colby couldn’t recall the last time he’d cared enough to clean up for a woman. Never maybe.

“Do you guys really eat this kind of junk food all the time?”

“No. Sometimes we roll through the McDonald’s drive-thru.”

Channing chucked a gray athletic sock in the bag. “Here’s a warning, this stuff isn’t real food. It’ll kill you.”

“I know.” Colby found the matching dirty sock and balled it up and threw it in the trash. “We do have a kitchen in the trailer.”

“Do you use it?”

“Not really.”

“Well, it’s stupid not to. When we get to Limon, we’ll go to a real grocery store—not a convenience store—and stock up on real food.

Because I can’t eat like this.”

“Why not? Ain’t that part of the appeal of rodeo? Fried Twinkies, nachos, and cold beer?”

“Not for me.” Channing dangled a crumpled package of cheddar flavored Bugles in front of his face. “I’d be easier to jump over than walk around if I shoved this crap in my mouth every damn day.”

When she finished tidying up he softly said, “Channing.”

Those gold-flecked eyes met his. “What?”

“Get over here and kiss me.”


“No buts. Now.” Colby’s strong fingers circled her upper arms and he hauled her across his lap. Before she opened her mouth to protest again, he swooped in for a hungry kiss.

Channing’s objection lasted less than three seconds before her hands were gripping his neck and her lithe body was plastered against his. Her mouth was welcoming, hot as sin and sweet as candy.

Colby lifted her until she straddled his lap. His hands inched up the inside of her shirt, softly stroking the trembling muscles of her belly. He loved how quickly she reacted to his every touch. He pulled his lips away a fraction and nibbled her jaw. “I wish you had on that flirty, little, yellow skirt you wore the first time I saw you.”


“Then I could bunch it around your hips and pull aside your panties and stroke your sweet pussy without any barriers. I could get you off in less than two minutes. You’d like that, wouldn’t you, shug?”

“Mmm. So confident. Why don’t you see if you can’t get me off in two minutes through my clothes?”

“You challengin’ me?”

“You bet your tight cowboy ass I’m challenging you. Stop talking, kiss me, and put your money where your mouth is.” Channing circled her arms around his neck, balancing on her knees, giving him better access to the warm spot between her thighs. She bumped her hips against his stomach, while her eager kisses shattered his control.

This woman drove him insane with her sweetness and fire. Colby scraped his fingernail along the inside seam of her jeans, a lazy assault that made her squirm. He flicked his tongue over hers in the same languid manner, until she whimpered. When he kept his caresses simple and easy, she ripped her mouth away from his on a gasp.

“What are you doing? I think your two minutes are up.”

Colby left damp, open-mouthed kisses down the bared column of her throat. God. She smelled like wildflowers. “I’ve decided since I’m always tryin’ to beat the clock on the dirt, I ain’t gotta time myself now, or to give into your demands, greedy girl. See, now I’m thinkin’ I don’t want to rush this. I want you to feel the anticipation, so when I finally slide my cock inside you later tonight, you’ll remember how much you wanted it there.

How much you craved it.”

She whispered, “Don’t you want it?”

He tugged her face closer by a chunk of her hair until his hat brim shadowed her eyes. “I can hardly see straight, from wantin’ you, Channing. But I’ll be goddamned if you’ll take this from me because I can’t keep my hands off your tempting body. This is my show. You wanted me to be in charge, so I’m remindin’ you we’re doing this my way, understand?”

The hood thunked back into place, shaking the truck frame, breaking the intense moment. The front cab doors slammed shut as Trevor and Edgard climbed in.

Edgard groaned. “Are you guys going to be fucking around back there all day? Because if you are, ride in the horse trailer. It’ll be damn distracting to hear your moans and smell sex as we’re trying to keep us on the road and in one piece.”

“Yeah,” Trevor chimed in. “I thought we were waitin’ until tonight for any more action?”

“Feeling left out?” Edgard asked.

“Don’t pout. It ain’t my fault you didn’t join in earlier,” Trevor shot back.

Great. Colby was acting like a pussy-whipped greenhorn who couldn’t think beyond getting in Channing’s pants. No way in hell would he admit that weakness to his traveling partners. Instead, he returned Channing to her side of the truck.

“Sorry. Yeah, we got carried away. You sure you don’t want me to drive? Because I’m thinkin’ me and Channing back here together, even with all our clothes on, is a bad idea.”

She snickered.

Trevor gunned the engine. “Hang on, it’s gonna be a tight turn to get out of here.”

Automatically, Colby and Edgard reached up for the handles hanging from the ceiling as Trevor whipped the big rig around.

Channing smoothed her hands down the outside of her thighs, then busied herself with compacting the trash. She leaned over the front seat.

“You guys have any junk up there that needs to be tossed out? It’s all picked up back here.”

Edgard glared at Colby. “You were making her clean up?”

“Hell, no! I didn’t make her do nothin’. Must be a woman thing, it was something she did on her own.”

“Well, someone has to do it,” she retorted.

“Gracias,” Edgard said. “I promise we’ll try a little harder to keep it tidy now that you’re bunking with us, right, amigos?”