This excerpt is from Mercer, book 5 of the Montana Rancher’s series. Mercer and Drake, the hero and professional bull rider, are together after a trail ride.
God, she was beautiful. His insides galloped like a racing thoroughbred. She was close enough he could kiss her.
Drake reached up and removed her cowboy hat, then pushed back a strand of her blond hair from her eyes. She pulled his hat off, tossing it into the bed of pine straw, and inched nearer.
“You have a scar near your eye,” she said, touching his temple with feather like fingers.
“Battle scar.” He inhaled deeply. She took his breath away. “Just another day at the office.”
Cocking her head, Mercer shook it. “It’s a wonder you and Brody have never been killed.”
“It’s the chance we take.”
“I don’t care for the odds.” There was anger in her eyes. And something more. Something deeper, provoking, and filled with longing.
He offered a bemused smile and lay back on the blanket. “What are the odds you’re going to kiss me right now?”
Mercer wet her lips and gazed down at him for a heartbeat. Then she leaned over him. “Pretty high,” she said softly.
Their mouths touched briefly, powerfully, stripping more breath from his lungs. Mercer broke off suddenly and kissed his beard-rough cheeks. His chin. The lobes of his ears. He let her lead, explore, discover, all the while longing to do the same to her. Drake lifted his hand and entangled it in her hair at the nape of her neck. She smelled like sunshine and fresh air. Of the foothills and autumn in the mountains. He was lost, and he knew it.
“Make love to me, Drake. Please,” she whispered, her mouth near his ear.
“What?” He’d never expected that invitation.
“You heard me. I want us to make love.”
Grasping at a straw of sanity, Drake opened his eyes. Her face was inches away from his. Her long, blond hair tickled his cheek. “I can’t, Mercer. I don’t have any protection. It’s not as if I go trail riding with a pack of condoms in my pocket.”
Her gaze strongly connected with his, and her eyebrows furrowed. There was determination in the way she set her jaw. “You don’t need to worry,” she told him. “I’m on the pill. Liz didn’t want me coming home with any secret babies.” She licked her lips in the age-old, come-on way. Drake couldn’t take his eyes off her tongue. “You don’t have any secret babies, do you? Not like Brody?”
Her bluntness startled Drake, but then again, Mercer always had a way of speaking what was on her mind. “No, I don’t have any babies like Brody, secret or otherwise.” Technically, he’d told her the truth.
He didn’t want to do any more talking. Instead, he curled his fingers in her hair and urged her head down so that their mouths touched. This time she demanded more of him. Her kiss grew in passion and intensity until a groan escaped between his lips.
“Oh, God, Mercer,” he moaned. “Are you sure about this?”
“Very sure. I asked you, remember?”