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“Gotta do that faster.”


“No. Like this.”


Rory’s nails bit into the back of his neck. “Faster. Please.”


“Let it pull you in.” His mouth drifted from one spot on her body to the next. “Don’t force it.”


“I want to force it.”


“Focus on how good it feels. How wet you are.”


“You make me wet. Never feels this good when I touch myself.”


Dalton started pinching the fleshy folds of skin surrounding her clit. Then he’d rub. Grind his finger down and return to that subtle rubbing. The next pinch was a little more forceful. Lasted a little longer.


Rory moaned louder, bumping her pelvis into his hand. She turned her head until their lips met in an openmouthed kiss.


He rubbed the slippery skin together. Then in the moment when her body went rigid, he pinched her clit hard.


She started coming immediately. He had to break the kiss and watch her because she was so fucking hot when she came.


Stroking that pouting piece of flesh in time to the pulses caused her to shudder. He continued to slide his thumb back and forth to keep her primed.


Then Dalton impaled her with one deep stroke.


Rory’s cunt clamped down on his shaft, threatening to pull him under and turn him into a two-pump chump. But he held on, held off, not pushing in fully on every snap of his hips.


“Dalton,” she panted against his neck. “Don’t hold back with me. I came first.” She rubbed her lips in the morning stubble on his cheeks. “Let go.”


He lifted her leg higher and pounded into her wet heat. Over and over until that moment when he needed more. That extra something…


Rory’s fingers dug into his neck as she pulled his head down. She whispered, “Now come for me,” in his ear and tightened her pussy around his shaft.


That was it. Dalton came so fucking hard he saw stars. He came so fucking hard he might’ve shouted. He came so fucking hard he might’ve sworn his love for her. But then again…he might’ve come in silence; he couldn’t hear shit over the roaring in his ears and the blood pounding in his head.


Soft fingers sifted through his hair. He opened his eyes.


His beautiful Aurora was smiling at him. A little shyly, yet with that smug female tilt to her lips.


He pecked her on the mouth. “Damn good way to start the morning.”


“I agree.”


Dalton kissed her again, this time on her knee before he lowered it to the bed. “Be right back.” He headed to the bathroom and ditched the condom. When he returned to the bedroom Rory was getting dressed. “Are we doin’ something today? Or are you goin’ home?”


“I have to go check on my dog. What are you doing?”


“Probably oughta start painting the yellow submarine room.”


She fastened her bra. “Do you want help?”


“Really? You’d help me? On your day off?”


“Sounds like more fun than sitting on the couch studying government regulations for hours on end, wondering what the cool kids are doing.”


“You should know since you were one of the cool kids.”


“In what universe? I was considered the prickly kid because of my shyness.”


“You were never shy with me.”


“That’s because you always got me, McKay. I never had to pretend with you.” A strange look entered her eyes, as if she was embarrassed she’d admitted that.


“You always got me too, Aurora.” He tucked a hank of hair behind her ear. “So yes, I’d love to spend the day with you. Even watching paint dry would be fun with you.”


She smooched his mouth. “I swear, you say the most romantic things even when you’re not trying to be romantic.”


“But I do have one favor to ask.”


“One night in the sack and he’s already asking me for favors.”


“My family is havin’ a thing tonight and I’d like you to go with me.”


“Like all the McKays? Or just your branch?”


“Just my branch.”


“I’ll think about it.”


“Are you sure this is a good idea? Me crashing a family dinner?”


He kissed the back of her hand. “It’s the best idea ever. I know what you’re thinkin’. But I’m not bringing you along because I didn’t want to go by myself. We are a couple. And next weekend, if you want, we can do the family thing with your mom and Gavin.”


After all the remarks she’d made to her mom about the McKays—okay, one McKay in particular—how many times would her mother do the I-told-you-so dance if she said…guess who’s coming to dinner?


About ten thousand.


“Besides, you’ve known my family forever,” Dalton pointed out.


“I’ve known you forever. I’ve met your brothers. You talked about them. But that doesn’t mean I know them. Or their wives.”


“Jessie and Georgia are sweet. You’ll get along with them just fine.”


Why did men always say that? Since it was rarely the case?


Dalton turned on a rutted gravel road. Several ranch buildings came into view including an old wooden barn and a newer pole barn. The house looked different than she remembered.


“Do you know I was never in your house when we were kids?”


He turned off the ignition. “I never brought any of my friends home. Not that I was embarrassed by the house, but the thought of how Casper might act to my friends in the house.”


“It looks nice.”


“It’s a helluva lot nicer now that Brandt and Jessie live here. Casper wouldn’t spend the money to fix the place up.”


Rory squinted at the license plate of the car in front of them. “Is your mother here too?”


“Yep. She probably brought Landon. I haven’t seen him since he was the ring bearer.”


As they walked up to the front door, Rory shivered.


Of course, Dalton caught it. He moved in front of her. His warm, callused hands cupped her face. “Hey. If you’re not all right with this we just stop in for fifteen minutes and say we have other plans. That ain’t a lie. I do have big plans for you tonight, Aurora.”


He snared her mouth in a kiss. A perfect kiss.


A squeaking hinge sounded behind them.


“Seriously? Making out on the steps? Get in here.”


Dalton’s lips curved, ending the kiss. He faced Brandt. “You remember Rory.”


Brandt rolled his eyes. “Of course I remember her. Glad you could join us. Come on in.”


“Thanks.” She tried to tug free of Dalton’s hand but he held on firmly as he led her inside.


They were immediately surrounded by kids and adults.


Rory considered crawling into the coat closet until a small boy jumped out of it with a loud, “Rowr!” She screamed. Which caused the boys to laugh as they raced away.


“Sorry about that,” Jessie said. “Scaring the bejeezus out of everyone is Tucker’s latest thing. We hope he outgrows it. Soon.”


“By then Wyatt will’ve learned to do it,” Dalton said.


“Dalton McKay, bite your tongue,” Jessie warned.


He merely grinned.


Tell exited the kitchen, in conversation with his mother. His gaze moved between Dalton and Rory. “Nice to see you, Rory. Glad you could make it.”


“Where’s Georgia?” Dalton asked.


“She’s feelin’ queasy so she laid down. I need to check on her.”


Joan McKay threw her arms around Dalton. “Hello, son.”


Dalton stepped back and grabbed Rory’s hand. “You remember Rory?”


“Of course.” Then Joan hugged her. “How are you?”


“Good.”


“Dalton told me all about you. He was—is—thrilled you’re living around here again.”


Rather than demand to know what else Mr. Thrilled had said, Rory nodded.


They stared at each other. Awkward.


Then Joan smiled. “Landon, come and say hi to your Uncle Dalton and his girlfriend.”


A lanky, dark-haired boy of about eight stood beside Joan.


“Wow, kid. You’re like twice the size you were last time I saw you,” Dalton said.


He smiled shyly.


“Do you remember me?”


“Uh-huh. I used to go to your house when I was little. We’d build stuff with Legos. We’d dig outside in the dirt and you let me play in the mud. You had a cool dog.”


“Milo. He liked you too, except for the time you smacked him with a Tonka truck. Took quite a few dog treats for him to trust you again.”


“I have a dog now. His name is Dixon.”


“I’m currently without a dog, but Rory, here, has an awesome dog named Jingle.”


Landon stared at her. Then his eyes—the same beautiful McKay blue as Dalton’s—lit up. “Hey! I remember you.”


“You do?”


“You were at Uncle Dalton’s wedding.”


“Good memory, kid.”


“I was scared to walk down the aisle. You told me to pretend people were staring because they were trying to figure out my secret super power and to be very serious so as to not give it away.”


Rory grinned. “It worked. You made it down the aisle without a hitch.”


“Which is exactly what happened to Dalton. Ironic, huh?” Tell said.


“Hilarious.” Dalton put his hand on Tell’s chest and shoved him.


Tell shoved him back.


“Boys,” Joan said. “No fighting in the house.”


For the next hour as they chatted in the living room, Rory tried to discreetly watch the interactions between Dalton and his brothers. It looked seamless. Like he’d just slipped back into the family dynamic, but the set of Dalton’s shoulders gave away his tension. Besides that, there seemed to be affection between them, although as grown men they showed it by ragging on each other endlessly.


The kids ran in and out, which drove Rory crazy, but everyone took it in stride. She realized her life growing up an only child and her life now as a single woman with unmarried, childless friends didn’t allow for much experience with kids, let alone rambunctious boys.

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