The Winner’s Circle

Book Three of The Racing Romance series

Rae Monet

 

Prologue

“This is the one I want.” Margaret Kingsdale carelessly tossed a yellow multi-part folder in front of her son, Albert.

Albert had a sense of deja vu. He had been through this little exercise before, less than twelve months earlier.

He reached forward and picked up the folder. Her actions might not have been as dramatic as last time, but her words were certainly just as strong. If he didn’t make this work, he was screwed. This time the woman was a brunette, not a blonde, and she was just as beautiful as Cass, their last driver. Striking was the word he would use. He would never have thought that the petite luscious woman, this tiny Angelina Jolie look-alike in the photograph, was a racecar driver. She should be gracing the cover of Vogue instead, and that’s exactly what his mother wanted.

Albert sighed at his mother’s choice. Of the four women the scout had given them, this one’s profile made him wince; she wasn’t ready for what they had in store for her.

“Shawn Lewin is not the greatest of drivers, Mother. The scout said that she’s probably not ready for the top circuit yet, she needs a few more years of experience. However, you gave him specific criteria to find beauty, not skill, and that’s what he’s given us.”

Margaret extracted a cigarette from her jewel-studded, twenty-four carat gold case. She lit the cigarette, drawing on it like she was sucking all the life out of it.

“I don’t give a damn what the scout says about her driving,” she drawled. “Yes, I wanted a beautiful woman. For Christ's sake, we have a business to run here, Albert, and we’ve sunk a massive amount of money into this racing campaign. I’m not losing it. Do you understand me, AL-bert?” She articulated the letters of his name, raising her voice on each syllable.

Albert cringed. Lovely Cosmetics was the largest grossing, leading producer in the cosmetics industry. Over the last year they had been losing market share to their arch competitor, Narella Cosmetics, with their innovative advertising campaign, Women at Work.

Women all over the world were connecting with the idea they could do anything and still remain feminine. It had earned Narella five percent of the cosmetics market share in fourteen months and it was still climbing. Five percent was a devastating blow to Lovely Cosmetics.

Albert saw the simmering anger in his mother, Margaret Kingsdale, who he considered one of the most shrewd, influential female business figures of the century. The business meant more to her than he or his father ever did. He wouldn’t put it past her to commit murder to get their company back into the number one spot.

Twelve months ago his mother had the brilliant idea to sponsor a team for the first female stock car driver to break into the male-dominated stock car racing series. The campaign was targeted at the over forty percent female fans of the racing circuit. His mother calculated they would gain back their lost market share and more.

It might have worked, except the driver they had chosen, Cass Jamison, had run off and gotten pregnant from her crew chief, Justin Steed. Now they were desperate to fill her spot. Lovely had already sunk millions into the campaign.

“Okay, Mother, I’ll get right on it,” Albert said.

“Good.” Finishing her first cigarette, his mother crushed it out and reached for another.

“Where’s she from?” she asked between sucks.

As the smoke wafted toward Albert, he tried not to gag on the overwhelming smell.

“She’s what people in the South would call a Yankee, a Massachusetts gal,” he squeaked out as he tried to hold his breath.

“Excellent. Make it happen.” She stopped talking while she took another life-sucking breath from her second cigarette. “And, Albert, you realize what will happen to you if this plan yet again fails?” Her eyes narrowed, her lips puckering to blow out a cloud of white billowing smoke, waiting he was sure, to kill him if he answered incorrectly.

“Yes, Mother.”

She leaned back with her usual wicked smile plastered on her face. “Oh, and Albert?”

Rising to leave, he stopped. Wary of her tone, he didn’t move. He sensed she could smell his fear and she always silently celebrated producing it in him.

“Yes, Mother?”

“I do love you, you know this, don’t you?” She casually puffed on her cigarette.

“Yes, Mother… I mean, no, Mother, I yes, yes of course I do, Mother.” Albert quickly exited her office while he exhaled another breath he had been holding. He wanted to get out of there before she ate him.

* * * *

No question about it, the goddess of luck wasn’t looking down at Jimmy Normin tonight. The fickle lady.

“You can’t fold,” Rick Monroe complained to him.

Stuffed into RV loungers, Rick and Ryan Collins crowded around the small table in Jim’s trailer. Jim Normin’s mouth quirked in humor as he wondered what the racing public would think if they heard two of its best drivers whining at him over a card game.

“I damn well can! I certainly know when I’m beat and I can read Ryan’s face like a book.” Jim threw his cards on the table and challenged Rick with his glare.

“Christ, Normin.” Rick tossed down his cards and cursed him.

“Oh, yeah, come to mamma,” Ryan said.

Jim internally simmered as Ryan grunted his satisfaction. Puffing on the cigar clenched between his white teeth, Ryan gave him a shit-eating grin and scooped the chips into the huge stack already next to him.

“Bastard,” Jim complained. Although he was joking, he hated to lose. Even at cards.

“I was bluffing,” Ryan flipped over his cards.

Rick groaned with him. Worse than losing was being wrong.

“You only had one ace?” Jim picked up the cards and shuffled for the next hand. He dealt them fast, the way he liked to do everything. Unless he was with a woman.

“Yeah,” Rick admitted as he picked up each single card as it was dealt and hugged the hand close to his chest.

Jim swallowed a laugh. Rick was like a kid hoarding candy, as if he wanted to see what was in Rick’s hand. He rolled his eyes.

In comparison, Ryan was as relaxed as a lazy tiger. He leaned back as far as the chaise would let him, eased his cigar into his mouth, giving it a leisurely puff, and spread his hand out. His cards rested comfortably in his fingers, as if he’d played the game all his life.

Jim shook his head. Rick and Ryan were sometimes his enemies, always his best friends, and so different in personalities that it amused him.

They were in between races. After finishing the Saturday race, the three of them were waiting for the Sunday stock car race. Looking at his friends, Jim knew their goal was to ease the stress that came the night before a particularly competitive race. Bristol was a tough track, a bump and grind half mile of anguish, commonly called “The world’s fastest half mile”.

Tomorrow, they would turn in their friendship for the possibility of winning, a fact Jim accepted. The other two were his fiercest competitors, each needing to win to maintain their sponsorship and keep the money coming in so they had the privilege and thrill of racing for a living. He was happy to have this down time with them; a time set aside so they could just be friends.

“I hear Lovely Cosmetics is bringing in a new driver to qualify next week before Darlington. Another woman,” Rick said casually, but the corners of his lips lifted in a sly smile. Jim realized Rick thought he was making a joke.

Inside Jim tensed. Those few words, “Woman on the Track”…The guys didn’t know how badly the phrase affected him and why. Externally, he groaned and tried to play it casual. Internally, he was replaying that earlier day on the track, the death of his teenage girlfriend, remembering the terror. He tried to shake it off, used the years that had passed to calm himself. He didn’t like it, and he didn’t like Lovely Cosmetics or the way they did business. They played dirty pool.

“Darn woman drivers. If I never see another Magenta car with lips on it, it’s too soon for me. You betting or what?” he grumbled at Rick.

“I’ll bet.” Rick slid two chips into the middle of the table.

“Hey, I think our sport should be an equal opportunity employer,” Ryan puffed on his cigar.

“You just want an easy lay,” Jim said, trying to act casual as he waited for Ryan to make a bet. He knew that comment would get Ryan, and their normal banter would return. The guys wouldn’t even notice what emotions Rick’s single comment had raised in him.

Ryan plucked his cigar out of his mouth and pursed his lips. “Got a problem with that?” He popped it back in and tossed two chips into the pot. “I’m in.”

Jim shook his head. “More power to ya. I don’t want any of that action. Just like having a woman on the track is definitely a no-no in my book. Where’s she from?”

“Yeah, no doubt.” Rick squeezed his cards together a little tighter. “She’s from Massachusetts.”

“Oh great, a Yankee. I didn’t even know they had racecar drivers there.” Jim spread out his cards and smiled. “The only place I think a woman should be on the track is on her back, late in the evening, maybe showing her the asphalt at sunset, when no one’s around.” Both Jim’s companions laughed and nodded. He was hoping he just sounded sexist, but if they knew his problem, they would have never brought up the subject.

Jim was happy when they settled back and started to play in earnest. He tried to forget about the new driver and just play cards. With the window open, he could hear the soft sound of the crickets serenading them. It was another hot, sultry southern night and he simply enjoyed the evening air. No matter what southern state they were in, the same sounds assaulted the late night. The smell washed over him. It was pure earth; dirt and oil mixed together, an odor unique only to the racetrack.

“All right, boys, show ’em.” Jim spread his hand on the table and used his poker cliché. “Read ‘em and weep.”

“Man.” Ryan tossed his cards face up. “Beats me.”

“Me, too.” Rick laid his hand down and finally spread out his cards.

Jim laughed and pulled the pot toward him. Winning was always sweet, no matter what kind.

“I think I’ll call it a night, y’all. Got a race tomorrow, need my beaut-a-sleep.” Ryan’s accent seeped out as he slid out of the chair. He really was the good old Southern boy his sponsors were selling to the public. Born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, Ryan even opened doors for strangers.

Jim was a South Carolina boy himself. Seemed like southern roots were part of racing DNA.

“Yeah, I’m out.” Rick followed Ryan out of the RV.

“Night, y’all,” Jim called to their backs. “See ya on the track.” He stored the cards, yawned and made his way to the back. Stretching out on the bed, he tried to shut down his brain. He needed to be fresh tomorrow. One last thought floated through his mind: another woman on the track and with the added variable of a sponsor and owner like Lovely Cosmetics…

He was in trouble.

Chapter One

“Dang, I was hoping I’d never have to see that car again.” Jimmy Normin shifted his helmet from his right hand to his left as he approached his car. He glanced down the start-up line at the Magenta Dodge Charger marked Lovely Cosmetics.

Surrounding him was a circle of grandstands and a heck of a lot of people, near ninety thousand. Too Tough to Tame was what everyone called Darlington Raceway, but The Lady in Black was how he always thought of her because the drivers painted the white walls around the track black with skid marks before the end of every race. Darlington, the first Super speedway, was a tough track to beat.

Jimmy snapped out of his musing to pay attention to his fellow driver, Ryan Collins.

“No crap, but that Yankee qualified,” Ryan said, walking next to him.

“Yeah, so I heard.”

“Have you seen her yet, our little Miss She-awn Lewwwwin?”

Jim chose to ignore the expression on Ryan’s face. Soon they’d receive the “Start your engines!” command, and he needed to concentrate on the race ahead.

Darlington’s quarter mile oval with the easy sloping curves was one of his favorites. Taking the straightaways at nearly one hundred twenty-six miles per hour made him feel like he and the car were flying without wings.

“Nah, I was approved to miss the drivers’ meeting, haven’t had the pleasure. She even has a guy’s name, can’t imagine her face.”

Ryan whistled under his breath.

“Hm, that good or that bad?”

“I’m not telling. I’ll leave it as a surprise. Keep off my ass out there. I don’t want an accident today; I have a hot date tonight.”

“I promise to drive like my grandmother.” Jim’s grandmother had more speeding tickets than the team owner had stock cars.

“Okay, see ya out there.” Ryan grinned before adding, “In my rearview.”

“Sure, kid,” Jim laughed.

The heat and humidity of the day pressed down on him as he slid into the car and fitted his helmet and HANS device. The seat hugged him like a glove. As he hooked into his five-point safety harness, he imagined it was similar to being in the cockpit of an F-16 fighter jet, only tighter. The car surrounded him and he enjoyed the feel of it. There was nothing like sitting behind the power of a Dodge hemi engine to give you comfort. Well, maybe one thing, but Jim hadn’t had much time for sex lately. He had a mind to head into town tonight.

Forty-five minutes later, Jim was happy to flip the switch on his ignition and fire it up. The second that the familiar muted roar of his car penetrated his consciousness he relaxed, and prepared to enjoy the day. Getting himself all worked up right before the race got him nowhere. After racing professionally for eight years, he’d learned to master his stress, so he got ready to sit back and run a good, clean race. He felt good, relaxed. He couldn’t imagine anything upsetting the internal balance he prided himself on.

* * * *

Jim clutched the steering wheel as he took yet another hit to the rear. He fought with the track to make sure he didn’t spin off his line. Shifting his eyes to the rearview mirror and then back, he swore when he saw a Magenta flash.

“Dang it.”

Damn if the new Lovely driver hadn’t been bumping and grinding him for two hours. When this race was over, they were going to have a reckoning the likes of which she had never seen. Rage seeped into his usual calm.

As he rounded the corner, she bumped him again and he felt his car break loose, his back wheels slipping. He struggled to pull it together. The g-forces coming off the curve made him grit his teeth. He wasn’t moving over for her, screw that. He shifted, took his foot off the gas, and dropped down toward the infield leaving her blocked so she couldn’t move past him.

He grinned as she went high, but didn’t have enough room to get past with the number ten car on his right. She dropped back behind him. Yeah, he thought. You can stay there all day as far as I’m concerned, and let me know when you’re ready to play with the big boys.

Hopefully, he would be making her question whether she really wanted to be on the track with the guys.

* * * *

Shawn growled when the car in front of her blocked her yet again. She was having a hard time sticking to his tail.

Man, oh man.

She thought she was ready for this, tangoing with the boys, but now she wasn’t sure. She was so thrilled when Lovely Cosmetics approached her to drive the stock car circuit for them, that she didn’t even think twice about accepting … until now.

Her heart was beating ninety miles an hour, sweat trickling down her forehead one drop at a time, making her nose itch. It’s so frigging hot, she thought, as her body took on the g-forces coming off the corner and she absorbed the extreme vibration of the of the steering wheel. Everything in her hurt, her head pounded in pain like a never-ending migraine headache. She was losing her concentration, trying to glue herself to another driver, hoping by drafting she could gain some ground and help her maintain her line. She was aware she was probably breaking some unwritten rule; she just wasn’t sure how everything was supposed to play out when the go flag waved.

She had attended practice, known as happy hour, but it wasn’t the same as the actual race. Everyone was nice there, but here … here they wanted to eat her for breakfast. Her first stock car race and Shawn was determined to make it work. She jerked the wheel when she bumped the driver in front of her again.

Crap.

She hadn’t wanted to touch him; only follow close enough to take advantage of the draft. Her car wasn’t the top of the line on the track, she realized. If she could just get a little edge… She eased closer, determined to make this work.

Suddenly, she made contact, her wheel jolted and she watched in horror when the driver in front of her began to swerve all over the track and he spun, smoke billowing from his screaming back wheels. Oh God, she had spun him out.

She yanked her wheel and went high to avoid a collision, her car screeching in protest. Panting, she tried to control her breathing and fear.

“Shawn, what are you doing out there?” her crew chief’s voice growled over the radio.

“Making a huge mess, I guess.”

“Girl, you need to calm down.” He was telling her something she already knew … the difficultly was following his order.

“I know, I know.” She decreased her speed and eased her way around the second corner.

“Pit,” he said. “You created a caution. You just spun out Jimmy Normin.”

“Super,” she cringed. Greatttt. Jimmy Normin was one of the circuit’s premier drivers. She was in for a severe ass chewing.

* * * *

Jim couldn’t remember ever being so angry. Shawn Lewin had been pushing his buttons for three hours, and he was spoiling for a fight. He ripped off his gloves and threw his helmet back into his car. Letting one of his pit crew help unsnap the steering wheel, he used both arms to pull himself out. Confronting her seemed like a damn good idea. The spinout she caused twenty laps short of the checkered flag had set him back into tenth place and cost him a lot of points.

He charged down the pits until he reached her car. He crossed his arms and waited, grimacing at the paint job of the rig in front of him. Hot magenta with bright red lips plastered all over, and her sponsor’s name, Lovely Cosmetics written in white cursive on the lips. God, it was an atrocity.

She was taking her sweet little time. He couldn’t quite see her, a sports reporter was shoving a microphone in her face, and she hadn’t left the car. She had finished third, a much more respectable position than his tenth place.

He let the reporter finish and was relieved when the man wandered off. He wasn’t fighting with another driver in front of the press. Especially with a woman driver.

Uncrossing his arms, he walked around the car in time to catch her pushing herself out. She slid one leg, then the next, making a graceful hop onto the ground. First thing that struck him was how little she was, next … how incredibly beautiful. God, she looked like a pixie fairy with a rack worth a double take. Jet-black hair formed a halo around her face. Iridescent green eyes gazed into his. She had luscious lips, with the top as plump as the bottom, the sort that always formed a pout. Her magenta fire suit was unzipped at the top, and he glimpsed her cleavage size. Very impressive. He’d never seen such a curvy display in a jumpsuit before.

He couldn’t catch his breath. He felt like she had just slammed his chest with a sledgehammer. He half expected her to sprout wings and fly like an angel. His own body part began to rise, one that didn’t have much room for movement.

Nice.

“Miss Lewin, Miss Lewin. May we have a moment of your time?” Another team of sports reporters ran up, shoving a microphone in her face.

She smiled. Good God, with a smile like that she could sell flight lessons to Superman. He was close enough to smell her. Peach blossoms in bloom came to mind, reminding him of home.

Everything about her seemed sensual to Jim. His breath whooshed out and he took a step back.

“Sure, no problem,” she said.

Oh yeah, she even had a sexy voice, sort of soft and low, the kind he might hear on a late night radio show dedicated to love. Made him think of sipping an expensive red wine, a fireplace, her buck-naked on the fur, and lots of hot sex. Oh man.

Acting casual, he reached down and adjusted himself to hide the obvious. As she talked, she leaned into her car, pulled out one of her sponsor’s baseball caps and plopped it on her head.

Jim hung back, hoping not to be noticed. He should have realized the action was futile. He was one of the circuit’s top drivers.

“Mr. Normin, how do you feel about racing with a woman?”

Shit.

“Ahhh…” For the first time in his life with a reporter, he was speechless. He tried to recover, but that damn woman was standing there, her hands resting on her hips, eyeing him. It was disconcerting.

Before he could comment, Ryan strolled by, winked at Shawn, and kept going. On the chase, the reporters abandoned Jim and the Lovely driver. Jim saw an array of colors; green, red, the whole spectrum. What the heck is going on with this? If he didn’t know any better, he’d say he had just experienced a twinge of old-fashioned southern jealousy, the kind that puts you close to shooting your best friend.

Jim puffed out a strained breath and focused his attention on Miss Shawn Lewin who was laughing at Ryan.

She leaned against her car, turning her attention back to him.

“Yes, how do you feel, Mr. Jimmy Normin, about driving with a woman? I’d love to know the answer to that one.” She crossed her arms and grinned, her eyes twinkling.

He straightened his spine. Darn if he was going to let her get the best of him.

“Miss Lewin, mind if we have a little chat away from prying ears?”

She inclined her head, lifted her hip off her car, and began walking toward the trailers. He followed behind, liking very much what he saw. Her hips swayed, an arc of movement with each step. Holy hell, it was sexy. He imagined running his hands over those hips, but there would be no racing suit covering her when he did. And taking her from behind would be a thrill with an ass like that.

They were smack dab in the middle of the series, but he didn’t for a moment think it was the South Carolina sun making him sweat. He wiped the wetness from his forehead and tried to stop imagining her naked, but it was like telling his heart not to beat.

He didn’t talk, just followed like a drone, his feet marching to the rhythmic chittering of the cicadas until she turned toward her rig and opened the door, inviting him inside. She waved her hand, indicating he should sit. He eased down into the small RV easy chair, dwarfing it. He had his chairs made extra large in his trailer; this tiny woman didn’t need the same consideration. She perched on the edge of the couch across from him.

“May I start what I expect to be a wonderful lecture with an introduction? Shawn Lewin. How do you do?” She held out her hand.

He was amazed such a petite thing could control a stock car. He reached forward and enclosed the elfin fingers in his. So tiny, that protective flame he had toward women, the one he always strained to control, blazed in him. How could she drive cars for a living? She was going to break apart in her first crash. The way she drove, that sure as hell wouldn’t be long.

His mouth grim, he drew his thoughts back to his purpose.

“Jimmy Normin.” Without any further prelims he started in, irritated at himself for reacting so strongly to her and letting her stir the protective control he tried so hard to keep under wraps. He was a grown man who thought with his brain, not a teenage boy who led with his cock. “You better stay off my ass out there, or we’re going to have it out and it won’t be pretty.”

Her forehead furrowed, he could see anger brewing in her gaze. If she had been a cartoon character, he was sure steam would roll from her ears about now.

She stood, moving around the trailer as if she was dismissing him, throwing her hat into the chair.

“If you want me off your ass, Mr. Normin, then you better get out of my way.”

She unzipped her uniform as if he wasn’t there, slipped it down her arms and tugged off her fire undershirt. He watched, stunned as little bits of flesh were revealed the higher she drew the shirt up and off. He saw she wore what looked like a thin bathing suit top underneath and he swallowed his disappointment, then he thanked God there wasn’t much to that little piece of cloth.

He was also thankful she didn’t seem to have a bit of modesty.

“Is this conversation over? Because I’m in need of a shower and a good nap.” She sat on the couch and continued to take off her racing suit, her fire drawers, pulling them down her legs.

Oh, and what gorgeous legs they were, Jim thought, muscular yet soft looking. He loved to run his hands over women’s legs, so different than his, all smooth and silky. That’s what hers looked like, silk. He could see her breasts through the thin white bra contraption, her peaked nipples surrounded by huge, brown areolas.

She was either cold, which he doubted considering it was nearly a hundred degrees outside, or she was as aroused as he was. He licked his lips. When he had her spread out beneath him, tasting those nipples would be the first appetizer on the menu.

Whoa, where did that come from? When did I decide she would be under me?

“Mr. Normin, I asked if this conversation was over.”

“Jim.”

“What?” Her confused expression made him smile.

“You can call me Jim, Jimmy, whatever takes your fancy.”

“What takes my fancy, Jim, is if you would hit the road.” She threw her racing uniform into the chair next to him, leaving her clad in her small sports bra and a pair of skimpy, hip-hugging shorts. Didn’t leave much to the imagination, lots of nice velvety skin.

He could feel the sweat dripping down his neck as he tried to control the heat taking over his body. Without asking, he unzipped his own uniform and peeled down the top, leaving it dangling at his waist. The heat of the garment getting to be too much, he eased off his fire shirt and hung it around his neck.

“Don’t stop undressing on my account, Shawn.” He leaned as far back as the chair would let him, steepled his fingers under his chin and ogled her.

She rolled her eyes, stood and grabbed his arm, as if her puny efforts were going to dislodge him from her lounger. He smiled, not moving an inch. Neither was she; he liked that about her.

“I think we were discussing how you needed to stay off my bumper. Next time I spin out because of you, I’m going to have a piece of your ass in return,” he said.

“You want a piece of my ass, Jim, you go right ahead and try. Make my day.” Her nostrils flared, her face flushed, her mouth tightened in rage.

God, he had never seen such a beautiful sight.

“Didn’t your mother ever tell you, when you play with fire, you get burned.”

She leaned in closer, her hands falling to the armrests of the chair as she crowded in on him, in what he guessed was her feeble attempt at intimidation. She placed his hand on her ass.

He smelled her, peach again, and a mixture of sweat and sensuality that spread a fire over his entire body. Her sweet smell reminded him of the comfort of home, his fifty-acre plantation near Atlanta, with a coonhound named Blue and a housemaid who made the best cornbread, southern-fried chicken, and warm cobbler with plump, juicy, tastiest Georgia peaches he had ever had. The smell darn near drove him to take her lips, right then, a little taste. He could do it, who would know?

Her eyes were the most incredible light green. He watched her pupils dilate until only a thin strip of green showed. She was spinning him up. Want was taking over his brain.

He fantasized about what it would be like to remove all her clothes, pin her up against that couch, and take her heat into his mouth, drinking as much as he wanted from her, at leisure, lapping his tongue over her, taking in her taste. He wanted to hear her moan in pleasure, curious to know what would get her off. He felt like a high school kid on his first date, ready to cream in his jeans from thinking about having sex.

“Do you want to play, Shawn Lewin?” he asked gutturally. “Just say the words.”

She sucked in a quick breath. His heart pounded so hard at her nearness he wondered if she could hear it. He felt the corresponding throbbing of his pulse all the way to his temples. He was so close. He could kiss her right now with minimum effort and no regret.

“There’s my ass, Jimmy, feel free to take a chunk out of it,” she said between gritted teeth.

Oh she’s challenging me. Ah, he loved a good challenge. Wouldn’t take her long to figure that out about him.

“Don’t offer yourself up unless you’re prepared to back it up with more.”

“Oh, I’m prepared.”

He wasn’t sure when her anger turned, but when he squeezed her ass, taking her up on her offer, he saw a flare in her gaze, a spark he hadn’t expected. He recognized when fury changed to desire and he was seeing the signs, loud and clear. He raised a single brow in doubt at her words, which seemed to enrage her more.

“Now you’ve got me, are you satisfied?”

“Oh, I’m far from satisfied.” Done playing with words, he buried his fingers into her thick dark head of hair and tugged her in for a real kiss.

She fell forward with a little squeal. Her mouth dropped open, and he took advantage. Angling her head just right, he delved in and gave her a full-on, open-mouth kiss, his tongue invading her mouth, his other hand clasping her ass to hold her place.

She struggled, making little “mummmm” noises. He knew just when he had her. Her hands came up, at first to push, then they clutched to his shoulders, her movements went from forced to relaxed, her lips softened under his, and she shimmied into his lap. Her hand traveled up and massaged his neck, her tongue dancing with his.

Holy shit, she was so hot. He hunted her tongue, and then groaned when it ran from him. He went on the chase, loving the feeling of winning when he caught it and she moaned. He clutched her tighter, never wanting to let go.

They had a sensual battle going, his heart racing. She tasted as sweet as she smelled. He could feel himself sink deep, his body responding with a need so hard it matched his rising cock. Only because he had to breathe did he release her lips, nibbling to keep the connection. She was panting and his breath was sucking as deep as hers.

“That’s better,” he said against her lips, “but I’m not completely satisfied. Need to move into the bedroom for that.”

He pulled away an inch and tilted his head in contemplation. Her face was flushed, her lips wet and reddened from his kisses, her hair still clutched in his fingers. “Or here is fine.”

Her huff of outrage made it clear what she thought of his suggestion. In an instant, she turned from hot to cold, crawling off his lap and pointing toward the door. She acted as if she hadn’t just stuck her tongue in his mouth. He was seeing her regret, like buyer’s remorse after purchasing an expensive car. Shoot. He was at the start of something very, very magnificent there.

“Get out, Normin.”

He unfolded himself from the chair and stood. As much as he wanted to go into the back with her, a southern gentleman knew what the word no meant even if not explicitly said.

She gave him one final, annoyed glare then turned her back on him. She peeled her sports bra off and threw it, then strolled to the back of the trailer. He caught the scrap of material as he watched her sashay away.

“Get out,” she said over her shoulder.

He dropped the bra and stepped toward the door, still glancing at her. She had the most beautiful slope to her back, the elegant lines tapering to her waist and… He paused, noticing a tattoo on her left shoulder. He couldn’t make out what it was since she was walking away, but after sampling her, there was one thing he was sure of; he would see it, up close. And soon.

“Stay out of my way.” He stepped out of her trailer, shaking his head at her parting remark.

He couldn’t help but grin. He liked her sass.

 

 

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