Husbands on Horseback (Long Tall Texans #15)(3)

By: Diana Palmer & Margaret Way


“You’re taller than I am, and you have black hair. Mine’s blond,” she said pointedly.

He grinned, as she knew he would. He didn’t smile much, especially around other people. She loved the way his eyes twinkled when he smiled.

“I wasn’t talking about physical differences,” he explained unnecessarily. He cut the denim loose from the wire. It was a good thing he was wearing gloves, because the barbed-wire was sharp and treacherous. “Why don’t you use electrified fence like modern ranchers?”

“Because I can’t afford it, Hank,” she said simply.

He grimaced. He freed the last strand and pulled her into a sitting position, which was unexpectedly intimate. Her blouse fell open when she leaned forward and, like any male, he filled his eyes with the sight of her firm, creamy breasts, their tips hard and mauve against the soft pink mounds. He caught his breath audibly.

Embarrassed, she grasped the edges of her shirt and pulled them together, flushing. She couldn’t meet his eyes. But she was aware of his intent stare, of the smell of leather and faint cologne that clung to his skin, of the clean smell of his long-sleeve chambray shirt. Her eyes fell to the opening at his throat, where thick black hair was visible. She’d never seen Hank without his shirt. She’d always wanted to.

His lean hand smoothed against her cheek and his thumb pressed her rounded chin up. His eyes searched her shy ones. “And that’s what I like best about you,” he said huskily. “You don’t play. Every move you make is honest.” He held her gaze. “I wouldn’t be much of a man if I’d turned my eyes away. Your breasts are beautiful, like pink marble with hard little tips that make me feel very masculine. You shouldn’t be ashamed of a natural reaction like that.”

She wasn’t quite sure what he meant. “Natural…reaction?” she faltered, wide-eyed.

He frowned. “Don’t you understand?”

She didn’t. Her life had been a remarkably sheltered one. She’d first discovered her feelings for Hank when she was just seventeen, and she’d never looked at anyone else. She’d only dated two boys. Both of them had been shy and a little nervous with her, and when one of them had kissed her, she’d found it distasteful.

She did watch movies, some of which were very explicit. But they didn’t explain what happened to people physically, they just showed it.

“No,” she said finally, grimacing. “Well, I’m hopeless, I guess. I don’t date, I haven’t got time to read racy novels…!”

He was watching her very closely. “Some lessons carry a high price. But it’s safe enough with me. Here.”

He took her own hand and, shockingly, eased the fabric away from her breast and put her fingers on the hard tip. He watched her body as he did it, which made the experience even more sensual.

“Desire causes it,” he explained quietly. “A man’s body swells where he’s most a man. A woman’s breasts swell and the tips go hard. It’s a reaction that comes from excitement, and nothing at all to be ashamed of.”

She was barely breathing. She knew her face was flushed, and her heart was beating her to death. She was sitting in the middle of an open field, letting Hank look at her breasts and explain desire to her. The whole thing had a fantasy quality that made her wide-eyed.

He knew it. He smiled. “You’re pretty,” he said gently, removing her hand and tugging the edges of the blouse back together. “Don’t make heavy weather of it. It’s natural, isn’t it, with us? It always has been. That’s why I can talk to you so easily about the most intimate things.” He frowned slightly. “I wanted my wife all the time, did I ever tell you? She taunted me and made me crazy to have her, so that I’d do anything for it. But I wasn’t rich enough to suit her. My best friend hit it big in real estate and she was all over him like a duck on a bug. I don’t think she ever looked back when she left me, but I didn’t sleep for weeks, wanting her. I still want her, from time to time.” He sighed roughly. “And now she’s coming back, she and Bob. They’re going to be in town for a few weeks while he gets rid of all his investments. He’s retiring, and he wants to sell me his racehorse. Hell of a gall, isn’t it?” he muttered coldly.

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