Author: Lorelei James

He flexed his pectorals and the star moved. “Not quite a year. It’s great isn’t it? She’s very talented.”

She peeked up at him. “She?”

“Remember I told you about my cousin needing a kick in the pants? His wife India owns a tattoo studio in Sundance.”

Willow outlined the design with her tongue. Thoroughly.

Blake groaned.

While she ran her hands up and down his biceps, she sucked his nipples. Blake arched into her for more contact.

“Please, Will. Sink down on me. I wanna be inside you.” He wrapped a flyaway tendril of her hair around his finger. “Next time you can play as long as you want.”

She pushed back on her knees and reached for his erection. Once they were aligned, she lowered slowly.

“That’s sexy as sin, watching you take me deep.”

“You sure do fill a girl up. Oh yes—” she threw her head back, “—right there. I like this angle.”

“Me too.” Blake lifted his shoulders off the bed and his mouth latched onto her left nipple.

That extra sensation encouraged her to move faster. She couldn’t get enough height to let his c**k slide out of her completely.

His h*ps bumped up as hers slammed down. He switched back and forth between her breasts, alternating little nips of his teeth with suckling kisses. They built a rhythm that left them both gasping. Blake rolled down on his back.

“You all right?”

“I’m great. Almost there.” He closed his eyes. “Sorry this isn’t lasting long. But you got me all kinds of worked up.”

“I like you all kinds of worked up.”

“Work me. Squeeze me with your pussy. Like that. Oh, man.”

She rested her palms on Blake’s pecs, changing the angle so he could pump his h*ps harder.

“Damn. Here it…” The rest of his sentence was lost on a long, deep moan.

Willow’s release was a pulsing counterpoint to Blake’s. Sweet. Hot. Perfect. Feeling light-headed, she slumped forward on his chest.

His big, rough hands roamed up and down her back. He seemed content just to touch her and hold her. And she was content to let him.

After a while, Blake murmured, “You asleep?”

“No. But you are a comfy mattress.”

“You can sleep on me like this anytime, sunshine.”

“I might take you up on that. But for now,” she levered herself upright, “I need to brush my teeth.”

“I brought an extra toothbrush. You’re welcome to use it.”

She smiled. “You really are a Boy Scout, aren’t you, Blake West?”

“No. But if it turns you on, I’ll take it.” He watched as she scooted back and his c**k slid out.

“I need to go home and get a change of clothes. Grab my tools so I can fix the dents in the wall. That’s part of my rehabilitation, right?”



Ask him to come with you.

No, that’ll seem needy.

But shouting his name as you came for the third time…isn’t?

“What’s goin’ on in that clever head of yours?”

Willow sighed. “Look, I don’t know if you have anything else planned, or if you want to come with me to my place or not.” Part of her didn’t want to look just in case Blake wore a polite expression of refusal.


She lifted her head.

And there was that glorious smile. “I’d love to get your tools with you, Willow. But sweet darlin’, first you gotta get off mine.”

Chapter Five

Blake wasn’t surprised Willow drove an enormous Ford Dually F-350 diesel pickup. Although he suspected she’d bought the biggest one as compensation.

The interior left no doubt this was a working truck. Mud covered floormats. Dust coated the dashboard. Papers, food wrappers and empty Styrofoam coffee cups were overflowing between the bucket seats. An extra coat, a pair of coveralls, scuffed boots and a CD case were stuffed behind her seat.

“You don’t keep your tools in your toolbox?” Blake asked pointing to the oversized fancy silver toolbox in the truckbed.

“Some of them. But the trowel and Sheetrock mud are in the garage unless I’m helping with drywall.”

“Does Gregory Construction do much drywall? Or do you focus in other areas?”

“My end is mostly residential. Dad deals with the commercial side. We stick pretty much to the tri-county area. It’s kept us busy in the past, but with the economy in the toilet, it’s been slow.”

Willow waved at a young woman crossing the street as they stopped at a stoplight.

“What area of carpentry is your specialty?”

“Anything my dad didn’t want to do he passed off on me.”

He laughed.

“Which means I get the brunt of the remodel work.”

“You don’t like remodeling?”

“I hated it at first, especially after coming home from a long day and having to live in my own remodel chaos. Now that my house is done, it doesn’t bug me so much.” Willow shot him a sideways glance. “What about you? What kind of place do you have in Sundance?”

“I’m renting a house. For now.”

She chewed on that for a second. “You looking at moving?”

“I don’t know. Keeping my options open.”

“Your family is there?”

“Lots of extended family around Sundance and Moorcroft. But sometimes it’s too much. Everyone and their dog knows everything about you and your entire family, going back generations. It’s been a relief to be here where no one knows me.”

That sounded ominous, like he was a damn fugitive or something. He backtracked. “As for immediate family, my older brother, Nick, is a police detective in Denver. He and his wife, Holly, are about to make me an uncle.” Blake paused. “What about you?”

“Just one younger brother. Jackie. He goes to college in Lincoln. That’s where my folks are this weekend.”

Easy silence settled between them.

Blake gazed out the window, amazed by the lush, green landscape of western Nebraska, a world of difference from the dry dust and sage of eastern Wyoming. It was flat here, not hilly, with treeless plateaus where you could see for a hundred miles. The humid air was filled with the earthy scent of vegetation.

Willow turned off the highway onto a gravel road. Behind a copse of Cottonwood trees stood an old two-story farmhouse, recently renovated with new Color-loc siding, a new roof, new gutters and high-end Pella windows. The detached three-car garage was new too.

Blake didn’t see a barn or another outbuilding. “This place all yours?”

“Yep. I bought it after I graduated from Vo-tech. I couldn’t live with my folks, or in town, but I didn’t need a place with a large acreage either.”

“Not a horse or cattle girl?”

“God no. I cannot fathom spending my life a slave to animals. Only to ship them off for slaughter. Seems barbaric.”

Yeah, he was really glad he hadn’t told her about his “barbaric” life as a sheep rancher. He’d heard that leading “lambs to slaughter” line enough times and it was another good reason he kept his mouth shut. He glanced across the empty pasture hoping the breeze would cool his flaming cheeks. “What is the acreage?”

“Small. Around ten acres.”

“That is pretty tiny.”

“Hey, it’s not the smallest one around.”

“I didn’t mean it as an insult. I guess I’m just used to Wyoming ‘small’ acreages.”

“What’s considered small there?”

“Anything under a thousand acres.”

“Holy moly.” She parked on the concrete slab in front of the garage.

Blake hopped out of the truck. She led him through the small covered breezeway between the house and the garage.

A large deck stretched along the backside of the house. Willow slid a key in the top lock of a set of French doors. She stepped inside and motioned him in. “You want a tour?”


She walked him through the main floor, room by room, detailing the changes and improvements. Blake was impressed with the quality of the work, but also that she’d kept the simple country charm of the farmhouse. Some of the places he’d remodeled with his cousins were just damn gaudy.

“Is the crown molding original?”

“In the living room and dining room.” She pointed to the thin, square-cut strip of wood along the ceiling in the kitchen. “Probably overkill to put it in here, but I thought it’d unify all three spaces.”

“It looks like it belongs, which is why I asked.” Blake smiled at her. “If you tell me you did every bit of this remodel yourself I’ll feel like a total slacker.”

His comment jarred her for a second, but she recovered quickly. “I did a lot of it myself. Luckily I didn’t have many structural changes.” She smacked the solid wall with the flat of her hand. “Lots of nights and weekends. Whenever we hit a slow spell and Dad was reluctant to let any of the guys go, knowing business would pick up, we worked over here.”

“You and your dad work together on jobsites?”

Willow’s eyebrows drew together. “You’re the first guy who’s asked that. Most guys say, ‘Oh, you work for your dad in the office?’ because I couldn’t possibly know anything about what goes on at a construction site, let alone how to use a hammer.

“In some ways it’s been twice as hard being Big Kenny’s daughter. New guys think being named his foreman was a gimme. It took six years after I graduated to get the job. If I would’ve worked for someone else, I’d’ve had the title sooner.”

“But you didn’t want to work for anyone else?”

“Nope. My granddad started this company and passed it to my dad. Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed one day it’d be mine. But I also knew Dad wouldn’t just hand it over. And proving to the guys who’ve worked for him for years that I could do it was another challenge.”