When AJ leaned over to kiss him, her clit rubbed the top of his groin. She blinked with surprise. “Oh. That feels good.”
“Then keep doin’ it.”
“But I wanna touch you. I’ve been dying to get my hands all over you for so long.
AJ ground her pelvis into his, keeping his c**k deep inside as she rocked over her clit. Her hot tongue made circles around his ni**les. She licked and sucked his neck and collarbone until he wanted to explode. His thighs went rigid when she bounced faster.
He clenched his ass cheeks to keep from thrusting into her, letting AJ learn how to get what her body needed.
She threw her head back, closed her eyes and gasped with surprise as she came without warning.
Cord gritted his teeth as he felt the spasms tightening around his cock. Hold off hold off. The second her eyes blinked open after the last orgasmic ripple, he flipped her on her back.
“Now I’m gonna ride you.” He pinned her arms above by the headboard and drove into her.
Stroke after stroke they were spiraling higher, both covered in sweat. Both breathing hard. Both lost in the moment.
He put his lips below her ear. “So f**kin’ wet. So f**kin’ tight. Feel how hot and hard you make me burn.”
“Come with me this time.” He changed the angle of his hips and hammered into her.
She shrieked and he shot his load. His vision blurred, his throat closed. Her greedy sex milked every drop from his c**k until he was completely inert.
Still, he sought AJ’s mouth. She pressed her chest to his, breaking free of his handhold to run her hands all over his body.
Cord rested his sweaty forehead to hers. “Whoa.”
“Yeah. I think you blew out all the pleasure receptors in my brain.” He shifted his weight to pull out of her and she hissed.
“I got a little carried away. You’re probably sore.”
“I like that you got carried away.”
“I’m glad you don’t mind. I can be rough.”
“I’m not nearly as delicate as you think I am.” AJ looked at the alarm clock on the nightstand. “Is that really the time?”
“Because I’ve gotta go.”
“Caring for my mom, remember?” She bounced off the bed and snatched her clothes.
Cord returned from the bathroom with a washcloth. “Let me clean you up first.” He wiped between her thighs and tried not to wince at how swollen she was. “That’s weird, you didn’t bleed.”
“You questioning whether I was a virgin?”
“Not at all.”
“Good. Because I’ve been on horseback my whole life, which has been known to break a hymen. Plus, I’ve been using tampons for years—”
“No need to get defensive.”
Cord tugged his wrinkled Wranglers over his naked flanks. Part of him wished she could stay in his bed all night. Another part was glad to see her leave. A lot of shit had happened in a short amount of time and he needed some quiet time to process it all.
He followed her downstairs, flipped on the yard light and gave her a long kiss.
“Drive safe. I’ll see you tomorrow night.”
“No buts. You will be here. Period.”
“What would you say if I told you I was thinking about selling the ranch?”
The knife in AJ’s hand froze above the cutting board.
You knew this was coming.
She sliced the ham sandwich, arranged it on a plate alongside a home-canned dill pickle, tossed on a handful of potato chips and slid it in front of her mother.
“I’d say the future of the ranch is your decision.”
“Telling me what I want to hear and honestly answering the question are two different things, Amy Jo.”
“I know. But Daddy left the ranch to you. Do I hope you sell it? No. But do I understand why you’d want to? Yes.”
AJ made her sandwich and sat down, wondering if she could swallow bread through a tight throat.
Lunch was a somber affair.
Table cleared, coffee poured, the last of the sugar cookies between them, her mother addressed the issue again, just as AJ expected she would.
“Neither Jenn nor Alan showed interest in ranching. If you were married—not that I’m wishing you were—and this place was supporting you and a husband, I wouldn’t even bring it up. But with you off at school, Jenn looking at starting over someplace else, and me half-crippled, it’s past time to talk about it.”
“Which means you’ve made your decision.”
“I have. After your daddy died, I promised Carson that the McKays would have first crack at buying it. No doubt they’ll give us a fair price, plus they have the same philosophy about ranching, so I don’t worry the land will be well cared for.”
AJ stared out the window at the place she called home. The elm and cottonwood trees beyond the driveway wavered in the blustery summer wind. The midday sun bleached all color from the blue sky, but the dazzling brightness would return before sunset.
How many times had she done dishes at this old enamel sink? She’d never once wondered if it’d be the last time she’d listen for the melodic coos of the mourning doves, or see the golden finches pecking at the bird feeders blowing in the sage-scented breeze.
“Where would you go?”
“Probably tag along with Jenn to wherever she’s going. Not to live with her, but I can’t imagine not seeing Krista, Mason and Ariel regularly. Does that bother you?”
“Why in the world would it bother me? I know that if I had three kids and an iffy future you’d be right there with me, instead of with her.”
“Instead, I have school to finish.” AJ faced her mother and smiled. “I won’t pretend this is gonna be easy on me, Mama, because unlike you and Jenn, this is the only home I’ve ever had.”
“Have you called Carson yet?”
“No. I wanted to talk to you first, since it affects you the most.”
“I appreciate it. Call him after you rest.”
Florence squinted at the clock. “He’s probably having lunch, so I believe I’ll call him now.” She grabbed the cordless phone and dialed.
AJ half-listened to the conversation, wondering if Cord was chowing down at his folks’ house, but she suspected the man forgot to eat if he wasn’t cooking for Ky.