Ride Wild(7)

By: Laura Kaye

He didn’t answer, but what he did say still hit her square in the chest. “You’re the best thing that’s happened to my boys in years. I don’t want to mess that up for them. I’m sorry if I have.”

“You haven’t,” she said, shaking her head, rain catching on her eyelashes as she peered up at him. “But don’t do it again.”

Slider gave a single nod, then leaned forward, his face coming close and then pausing a hairsbreadth away. For a moment, Cora was sure he was going to kiss her, but then he grasped the handle and yanked open the squeaking door. “Now get in.”

Shaking a little—from the chilly rain, she told herself—she climbed onto the old bench seat. The rain had plastered Slider’s T-shirt to his chest, giving her a pretty clear view of the lean, muscular frame beneath. And she found herself wondering what kissing him might be like. How hard his body would be against hers. How far she’d have to tilt back her head to meet his mouth. How ticklish his whiskers would be against her lips.

The wondering made her shiver.

He slammed his door and frowned at her. “You okay?”

“I’m wet, cold, and irritated, but sure. I’m great,” she said defensively. Because she was still a little miffed at him for making her freak out—and for making her feel curious about kissing him.

Just a little curious. Hardly at all, really.


The corner of his mouth lifted. Not much, but the movement was there. And it made Cora stare. Because the change in his face, small and fleeting though it had been, made the corner of his eye crinkle a little, too. “Well, I think I can help with two of those,” he said, putting the truck in gear and swinging a hard U-turn.

“Wait, where are we going? The clubhouse is the other way.”

“Uh-huh,” he said, slanting her another glance. All the amusement was gone this time, though, and in its place was something intense she couldn’t name. “I’m taking you home.”

Slider wasn’t sure what the hell he was doing taking Cora back to his house. But after his words had chased her away, potentially endangered her, and caused her to get drenched, he couldn’t not bring her home.

She’d just looked so lost, so young, so . . . fucking pretty pressed up against his truck. Green eyes like jewels, bright blond hair turned dark from the rain, wet lips like candy he’d wanted to taste. For a split second, the urge had been so damn strong he wasn’t sure how he’d resisted.

Which was probably a reason to take her back to the Ravens’ clubhouse. To put some distance between them.

Instead, his gut demanded he take care. Of her.

Just a little quid pro quo for how good she’d been taking care of his kids these past three months. That’s all it was. Nothing more.

It took only a few minutes before he parked the truck and both of them were getting out in the rain and dashing into the house. Then they stood dripping on his living room floor, staring at each other, chests rising and falling from the sprint across the yard.

A sudden urge sucker punched Slider. To take Cora in his arms, press her against the door, and claim her with his mouth while his hands stripped her bare of the sodden clothes. And then he’d carry her to the shower and warm both of them up with the hot water before making them even hotter when he took her to his bed . . .

The idea—the sheer clarity of it in his head—nearly took him to his knees. Because if it’d been a damn long time since Slider had felt anything besides anger and emptiness, it’d been even longer since he’d felt the soul-deep lust suddenly scorching through his blood.

“So,” he said, because the unusual emotions were short-circuiting his brain.

“So . . . are you going to sleep?” she asked.

“Oh. Yeah. I should . . . do that.” He thumbed toward the staircase and tried not to imagine what it would feel like if she came with him. Christ, this was why he’d been trying to keep her at arm’s length all these months. “And then if you’re still open to it, we’ll do a grocery run.”

“Yeah, of course,” she said. “Do you mind if I throw my clothes in the dryer?”

He shook his head and took a step backward toward the staircase. Because now her words were very unhelpfully adding her nudity into his runaway thoughts. “All you’ve done for my boys,” he said, emphasizing that for his own good. She’s here for my boys. She’s here for my boys. “Consider yourself welcome to use anything in the house, Cora. Always.”

With a nod, he turned and climbed the steps, not looking back and not pausing until he was in his blinds-darkened bedroom with the door closed between his newly awakened libido and the beautiful blonde standing in his living room. And then he stripped down until he wore nothing but his ink, leaving his wet clothes in a pile on the old hardwoods, and sprawled facedown in bed.