She stirred. Flexed her fingers. Wiggled her ass. “Renner?”

“Were you expectin’ someone else?”

“Well, Tobin—”

“Is a dead man if he’s ever been in your bedroom,” he growled and sank his teeth into the section of skin on her nape that almost brought her to orgasm.

Tierney reared up and her body shuddered beneath his.

Renner canted his hips, sliding his erection up and down the crack of her ass as he used his mouth on her neck. He inhaled the musky sweet fragrance of her hair as he continued to rock into her. He scattered kisses behind her ear. Following the curve with the barest tip of his tongue. Each pass made her writhe and shudder.

In a graceful, catlike move, Tierney slid back, keeping her arms and chest on the bed as she pushed to her knees and allowed enough space for him to slide in behind her.

She’d come to know him so well and loved to anticipate his needs, even as she verbalized hers. Had he ever had this kind of connection with a woman? Not only in bed, but also out of it?

His c**k was in his hand, nudging her pu**y and he impaled her.

She expelled a moan and arched.

Gripping her butt cheeks, he watched his c**k tunnel in and out of her juicy sex. Mesmerizing as it was, seeing those pink tissues part to take him, he wanted a skin-to-skin connection with her. His hands smoothed over her lower back, her middle back, up her shoulders to circle her wrists.

He flexed his pelvis. Pulled out and slammed back in.

Ten days away from daily sex and his stamina suffered—he was getting close, but evidently so was she. He drove her higher with hot, openmouthed kisses and the slight scrape of his teeth to the side of her neck. Whispering in her ear to give it up, to let go, taking her to that point where her body finally answered the mating call of his. Satisfied their mutual need.

Her hands clenched into fists on the mattress and she released a keening wail. Her pu**y squeezed his c**k with enough force to stop his thrusting as her orgasm overtook her.

Somehow he kept it together until the last pulse. He pulled out, rolled her onto her back and plowed into her. He craved this closeness, her legs around his waist, her fingers digging into his ass, her scent on his skin and filling his lungs. In that perfect moment, Renner buried his face against her neck, and let go.

Before his dick stopped twitching, his mouth sought hers. He kissed her with the tenderness his body hadn’t been able to offer, aware, maybe for the first time, that Tierney gave him something he hadn’t known he’d lacked.

Neither seemed eager to break the kiss or the connection of their bodies. But Renner suspected he was crushing her. He lifted his head. Smiled at her. Swept a hank of hair behind her ear. “Hey.”

“You sneak in here in the middle of the night, f**k me like a man possessed and all you can say to me is . . . hey?”

“Hey . . . I missed you?”

She smiled sassily. “That’s better.”

He kissed the corners of her eyes, the bridge of her nose, her cheeks, her chin. “You’re beautiful.”

“Renner. You don’t have to—”

“I want to. Because when I see you every day I take that beauty for granted. When ten days go by without seein’ you? I realize I oughta tell you that more often.” He kissed the soft set of her mouth. “So I am telling you, Tierney. You’re beautiful.”

She didn’t play coy. She rested her forehead to his and said, “Thank you.”

“Now go back to sleep.”

“So this was a dream?”

“Dream my ass.” He rolled her over and smacked her left butt cheek as he put his mouth on her right cheek and gave her a big hickey.

“Renner! I can’t believe you did that.”

As his gaze traveled up her curves covered in all that beautifully smooth skin, he had another primal urge to mark her all over. Prove she was his.

So he did just that.

As he stumbled back to his trailer two hours later, he wondered why Tierney never asked him to stay.

Chapter Twenty-four

Abe had been helping out at the Split Rock, keeping an eye on Tobin, the new hired hand, while Renner was out of town. Although he strolled into the barn early—he didn’t beat the kid there. Kid knew how to work, he’d give him that much.

Kid. Right. He wasn’t a kid. Which reminded Abe that at Tobin’s age, he had already been running a successful ranch operation for a couple of years. He’d already been married. And divorced.

“Hey, Abe. I thought you were Renner.”

Abe faced him. “Nope. Although I see his rig is parked in front of his trailer this mornin’.”

“He got back late. But I wasn’t sure if he’d want me to go ahead and feed the stock like I’ve been doing, or if there are things he’d rather do himself. I also kept track of everything I did last week, so you can double-check it and see if Renner would rather have me working in another area—”

“Tobin. Slow down. It’s early yet and I’ve barely sucked down my first cup of coffee.”

“Sorry. I’m just... nervous.” Tobin took off his brown and gold University of Wyoming ball cap, ran his hand over his dark head and put the cap back on. “I’ve been around ranches and cattle my whole life but I feel like a freakin’ idiot compared to you and Renner.”

That shocked the crap out of Abe. “Yeah? How’s that? Because I wonder why you’re toiling in a barn with a master’s degree in reproductive biology.”

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