Veterinarian Brant Wylder is up to his old tricks again. He’s treating April MacFarlane like she’s a rescue and all she wants is for him to rescue her heart.
This time he’s bought her a new washing machine. (You’ll find out how this mirrored my own life in the author’s note in the book!)
“Do you have a load of laundry to try?” he asked, testing the machine’s buttons.
Without a word, April disappeared with a grin. She returned with a basket heaped with colors.
As she dumped clothing into the machine, she looked as giddy as she had when Carmichael had presented her with her first rodeo horse, Cookies. She’d been thirteen, and over the moon, she and the horse becoming fast friends.
Brant still remembered the way she’d looked that day. Maybe because that was when he’d started to see her as more than just a pesky girl stuck on their ranch who was too eager to please his annoying, overconfident older brother.
A few colorful garments landed near his feet, and Brant bent to pick them up, hesitating when he realized the scrap on his left boot was red satin underwear. He scooped it up along with a peach-tinted bra, clearing his throat as he tossed them into the machine. Apparently April didn’t hand-wash her delicates like the label suggested you should, but rather subjected them to the abuse of regular washing. She never had struck him as the type to fuss over “shoulds.” ’He’d also never imagined her undergarments, but if he had, they likely would’ve been practical and white. Not these playful, bright, sexy and revealing items that would be fun to remove from her…
It was time to think about something else.
April started the cycle and did a little dance when the sound of pouring water began.
“I am so happy I could kiss you.” She turned to him in the alcove, her hands flat against his chest.
That was all the invitation he needed.
* * *
April’s eyes automatically drifted shut as Brant’s lips lowered to hers. She’d been waiting for this moment since their last kiss on Christmas Day.
“And here we are again,” she whispered as she closed the fraction of an inch between them, placing her mouth on his. Her earlier fears about getting involved were forgotten as his stubble gently brushed her cheek and lips.
Her hands were on his chest, and she allowed them to glide up to his neck, cradling his ears as though needing to prevent him from escaping. Her fingers splayed in his soft hair, the warmth of his body pressing into hers. Everything about him felt right. His kiss was like a shelter. Safe to get lost in. She didn’t have to worry about it changing to something dangerous or demanding. She could let go, vanquish her fears and be in this moment. Here, she was cared for and protected.
It was something she could get used to.
Brant broke the kiss.
“Why did you do that?” she murmured.
“Because here we are again,” he said gently, placing another light peck against her lips. He was addicting, offering something she hadn’t realized she’d been craving. She tightened her hold.
“Why don’t we want to be here again?” She pulled his willing lips to hers again, opening her mouth to deepen the kiss. He groaned, giving her a sense of power. He had backed her against the washing machine as they kissed, but she didn’t feel trapped. She felt wanted and needed.
This, right here in Brant’s arms, was where she belonged.
But somewhere in the back of her mind there was an argument she wanted to ignore. Something about good things turning to bad. About their lives not being perfectly timed.
Yet Donna had said the right person made everything work out, and that’s how April felt with Brant. Like everything was going to be okay.
He was the right man, and that meant this could work.
His hands ran down her sides, then cupped her bottom as he brought her closer. She sighed into his mouth, wishing every kiss on earth could be like this one. She’d never need anything ever again. No oxygen, no food, nothing but Brant and a feeling of being safe and sound.
“I always want to be here,” Brant said.
“Hmm?” she murmured, turning her mouth away to speak, while his lips trailed down her neck, causing her to shiver in anticipation.
“But you said you’re not ready. Did you change your mind?”
April opened her eyes. She inhaled sharply, her hands against Brant’s powerful chest. He was already stepping away to give her space before she could flex her wrists or ask for what she needed.
He said nothing, didn’t apologize, didn’t ask if she was okay.
He was Brant. He just knew.
And because he knew, he probably recognized just how dangerous she was feeling. How she was willing to renege on those important promises she’d made to herself only that morning. How she wanted to keep diving in, even though a part of her was scared that doing so would ruin everything.
* * *
The Cowboy’s Sweet Elopement is available now!
Amazon US: www.jeanoram.com/KINDLEUSbrant
Amazon UK: www.jeanoram.com/KINDLEUKbrant
Amazon CA: www.jeanoram.com/KINDLECAbrant
Amazon AU: www.jeanoram.com/KINDLEAUbrant