After losing her father and husband in a terrible mine disaster, Priscilla Heartsel faces poverty and possible eviction from her home by a heartless mine owner. On top of her other troubles, she arrives home to find an unconscious man on her bed with a bullet in his back. Will the arrival of Braxton Gamble in WIldcat Ridge be a curse or a blessing?
She loosened her grip on the cookie and it landed in her lap. “You’re planning to get married? Yet you were kissing me in front of everyone only moments ago?”
“Only because you’re who I plan to marry.” He grinned.
She retrieved her cookie, left it on the table and returned the plate to the pantry.
“Hey,” he said, “I wasn’t through with those.”
“Too bad.” Hands firmly planted on her hips, she glared at him. “I have no intention of remarrying, and if I did, what makes you think it would be to you?”
Braxton got to his feet. “I’m crazy about you, Pris, and I think you care for me too.”
“Well, you’re wrong. Get out.”
Moving around the table toward her, he said, “Okay, Pris. Don’t get your dander up.”
Relieved that he was going to leave quietly, she relaxed, but as soon as she did, he reached out and hauled her into his arms. Before she could voice a complaint, he kissed her. Again. She tensed and tried to break free.
Oh, but it felt so good. While cursing herself for not fighting harder, she kissed him back. A tingling began below her abdomen and she felt flushed and hungry for something she couldn’t name, except that she wanted more of what Braxton offered. Her hands slipped behind his head and she pressed closer, noticing he was ready for her.
“Lord, but I could go on kissing you forever,” he murmured.
“Shut up and just do it,” she whispered back.
She felt him smile against her lips, but not for long. He slid his tongue along the seam of her lips until she opened to him, then slipped it inside. He tasted like oatmeal and coffee. Sweet, heady, and strong.
He pressed his aroused body closer to her, and she couldn’t help wriggling. Her heart pounded, her blood on fire.
The next thing she knew, he’d picked her up and was heading for the stairs. Priscilla knew what he planned and opened her mouth to object.
A knock came on the door. “Braxton, are you in there?” Etta hollered. “Irish and Logan have been sighted riding toward the Lucky Lady. You coming with me?”
“Aw, hell,” he muttered, letting Priscilla’s feet touch the floor. “I gotta go. I’m sorry, Pris, darlin’.”
“It doesn’t matter. What we were doing was insane anyway.”
He glowered at her. “You still going to claim you don’t want me?”
“I don’t want to marry.”
“That’s fine with me. We’ll just live together.”
“Ha! Get out of here.”
“I’m going.” He stalked to the door and slammed it behind him.
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