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“You did great. How do you feel?”

“Lucky.”

“How’s that?”

“Because you’re a pushy bastard. You made me do it because you knew I wouldn’t on my own. Maybe ever. If not for you . . . anyway. Thank you.” Tanna dropped her head back and peered at his handsome face. Something deeper than lust pinched her heart.

And in that moment, she knew she loved him.

“Tanna? Sweetheart, you’re looking at me really funny.”

She couldn’t tell him. He’d attribute her reaction to the situation of his helping her face her fears. So she redirected. “How is it I forgot how unbelievably hot you look in a cowboy hat?”

He grinned. “No clue. Probably I haven’t been wearing it much since I’ve been on sabbatical.”

“Pity, that.”

Gus tried to poke his head between them.

Fletch studied her very carefully for signs of panic as Gus sniffed her arm, the side of her head and her ear. When she stepped behind Fletch, Gus followed and kept pestering her. But Fletch pushed him back. “Quit sniffing my woman, old man.”

Gus gave an indignant snort and meandered a few feet away.

“Are you ready to head back?”

“How far are we from the ranch?”

“Probably a mile.”

“Seems like it should be a lot farther.”

He cupped the side of her face. “I want you to ride in front of me on the way back.”

Her pulse leapt. “Why?”

“This is a pretty piece of dirt and I bet your eyes were closed during the whole ride here.”

“Fletch—”

“I’ll hold the reins. You don’t have to do anything but lean against me and soak in the view.” His thumb feathered across her cheek. “You’re ready.”

Tanna couldn’t help the grudging, “Okay.”

“I can tell by the stubborn set to your mouth you might just keep your eyes closed to spite me.”

She smiled. “Maybe. Just because I rode on the back of a horse for a mile doesn’t mean I’m ready to find my seat again.”

“We’ll go as slow as you want. I’ll have my seat on the horse first.” He kissed her again, his lips so warm and sure.

Watching him mount without stirrups was a testament to his strength and agility. After his Indian comment she imagined him mounting up bare chested. In a loincloth.

“Tanna?”

Crap. Fletch had his hand out to help her up.

When Gus turned his head to see what was going on, Tanna shied away.

“Don’t let him spook you. Show him who’s boss.”

She felt so damn ridiculous. Retreating from a twenty-year-old gelding. Keeping one eye on the horse, she reached for Fletch’s hand and he hauled her straight up as easily as if she’d been on a pulley. Then his left arm snaked around her waist, pulling her back so her butt was snug against his groin and her spine was pressed against his chest. She was at a loss without the reins. “What am I supposed to do with my hands?”

“Hold on to the outside of my legs.”

Tanna placed her palms on the midpoint between his knees and his hips.

His deep voice settled in her ear. “You ready?”

“I guess.”

Fletch kicked his heels in and loosened the reins and Gus started to move.

Her body seemed to be as stiff as cement.

“Are your eyes open?” he murmured in her ear.

“Yes.”

“Close them and lean into me.”

It was a relief to slump back.

“Now drop your head to the left. Keep holding on.”

When his open mouth landed on the exposed section of her neck she knew why he’d told her to hold on—that one hot kiss was as potent as an electrical charge.

“I’ve missed you in my bed.” Fletch nuzzled the tender area below her ear. “I woke up hard.”

“Have to take care of it yourself?”

“Mmm-hmm. In the shower.” Whisper-soft kisses drifted up and down the side of her neck. “I used my left hand and pretended it was you jacking me off.”

“Did it take long or did I drag it out?”

“Oh, you were a greedy little thing. You wanted to get me there as fast as possible. You worked me hard in your slippery fist.”

Tanna was right there. Watching as Fletch jerked himself off. She could hear the slap, slap, slap of skin. She felt that breathless moment of anticipation when he stopped breathing and threw his head back. When long ribbons of come jetted from his cock, splatting onto the floor and swirling down the drain.

“I recognize that sexy noise.”

“I’m not surprised. I make it a lot around you.”

Fletch rocked his pelvis forward and Gus picked up the pace.

Tanna’s eyes flew open. Gus’s muscles rippled against her inner thighs. She bounced out of synch with the horse’s gait. She felt herself starting to slide to the right just like her accident and jerked herself to the left.

Fletch’s arm squeezed her lower torso. “Tanna. I’ve got you. You won’t fall. I promise.”

“But what if—”

“You won’t. Get them thoughts right outta your head.” He kissed her temple. “Now where were we? Wrap your arm around the back of my neck. You can even dig your nails in because you know how f**king much I like that.”

She maneuvered her right arm back and held on; the pose felt decidedly wanton. Not at all like her usual seat atop a horse.

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