Tied Up, Tied Down (Rough Riders 4) - Page 17

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“Take a woman like Skylar, who’s used to callin’ all the shots in her life,” Kane continued, oblivious to Kade’s shock. “She’s ambitious. She’s convinced herself she always has to be in charge—of her business, of her family, and probably of her sexuality.”

A strange sense of déjà vu surfaced. That described Skylar to a T.

“Maybe she’s secretly lookin’ for man to render decisions in the bedroom. So, by you doin’ nothin’, she don’t see you as a real man. She sees you as another person in her life she has to be responsible for.”

Lord. He had a point. Sky’d been teaching him how to care for Eliza, much like how she’d taught her employees to do their jobs. Did she see him as just another project to finish? Get him up to speed in the parenting department and then merrily skip on to the next task?

Like hell.

“I think the only way you can combat Skylar’s way of thinkin’ is to prove to her otherwise.”

“Who are you?”

Kane actually blushed. “What? Everybody in this family wants me to change and then when I do, I’m told I ain’t allowed to? Or they don’t believe I can?”

“Shit. Sorry. I just can’t believe that Skylar would…” Want the man Kade used to be. That idea was just beyond bizarre.

But worth a shot since nothing else seemed to be working.

“Where did you pick all this up, Kane?”

“I’ve had a lot of time to reflect in the last year about what a first-class prick I’ve been to women.” He bristled as if the admission stung. “Besides. It ain’t all my fault.

Blame my roommate.”

“What’s Colt got to do with it?”

“Since our cousin quit drinkin’, he’s been doin’ some soul searchin’. Always bringin’ home them self-help books. I ain’t got nothin’ better to do, so I’ve been readin’ up. Hopin’ if I meet a woman I really like, I won’t be an idiot and blow it like you did.”

“Gee. Thanks.”

“Anytime.” Kane punched him in the arm. Hard. “I missed you, you dumb f**ker.”

“Same goes.” He followed Kane’s lead and punched him in the arm. Hard. “So what do I owe ya for the advice? A buck?”

“Buck.” Kane rubbed the back of his glove under his chin. “You know, that’s a downright good name. Real cowboy. Real different from yours. That’s whatcha can call me from now on.”


“Yep. Now let’s get this fence fixed so you can go home early and fix your love life so I don’t gotta hear about it any more.”

Every woman in the factory stopped when Kade McKay sauntered into Sky Blue.

Didn’t matter his boots were muddy, his Wranglers were dusty, his chambray shirt had dirt smears across the chest, or his hat looked as if he’d sat on it before he’d placed it on his head. The man took total command of the place.

Dee and Bonita checked their reflections in the metal vats, but Kade only had eyes for her.

Skylar forced herself to stay put as he meandered over. When he hit her with that sexy smile, her stomach cartwheeled.

“Hey, boss lady. How’s it goin’?”

“Good. You’re off the ranch early.”

He shrugged. “A rare slow day. What about you? What time you callin’ it quits?”

“Another hour.”

“You need any help?”

“With what?”

“Anything.” He moved closer. “Anything at all I can do for you?”

For me? Or to me? Oh yeah, cowboy. Go to the house. Strip out of those dirty clothes and wait for me in bed. Naked. With a piece of straw between your teeth and that wicked I-wanna-bend-you-over-the-closest-haybale grin.

“Skylar?” he murmured.

She stared up at him. Lord. He was so tall. So big and broad. So intent. So thoughtful. So freakin’ hot. So…here.

“You okay, sweetheart?”

“I-I don’t really know.”

Kade ran the knuckle of his index finger down her jawline. “You feel fine to me—

very, very fine, but maybe you oughta be in bed.”

Her mouth went dry as powdered milk.

“Let me take you to bed and take care of you.”

Yes! “Ah. Okay.”

“What say we get out of here?” His voice dropped to a sexy growl. “Now?”

Before Skylar could drag him home, forcing him to fulfill the promises darkening his eyes, Annie shouted from the office. “Sky. Yellow Wheel Promotions. Line two.”

She backed up so fast Kade’s hand shot out to steady her. “Easy. Didn’t mean to spook you.”

“You didn’t.” Liar, liar. “I-I have to take that call.”

“I’ll just wait and have a look around. Do you mind?”

“Not at all.”

Then Dee was right there. Grinning and batting her fake eyelashes. “I’d be happy to take you on a tour.”

“That’s not—”

“It’d be my pleasure, yes-sirree, a real pleasure. You look awful familiar to me, honey,” Dee cooed. “Have we met?”

“No, ma’am.”

“He looks familiar, Dee, because his daughter looks just like him.”

Kade shot her a startled glance.

Skylar couldn’t withhold a smirk. “This is Eliza’s father, Kade McKay. Kade, Dee Bancroft.”

“Nice to meetcha, Miz Bancroft.”

When Annie yelled, “Sky. Did you hear me? Line two,” Skylar had no choice but to dump him with Dee.

Ten minutes later, she found Kade and Dee chatting in the herb drying room. He turned around at her approach. His heated I-wanna-eat-you-up look made her ni**les hard and her belly clench. Then his handsome face lit up when he noticed Eliza was in her arms.

“There’s my sweet girl.”

At the sound of his voice, Eliza’s tiny feet kicked.

His grin widened. “Didja miss me, baby? You been behavin’ for your mama today?”

“Your sweet girl hasn’t slept for more than fifteen minutes at a time all day.”

“Maybe that means she’ll sleep all night for a change.” He nuzzled Eliza’s pudgy neck. “Which ain’t fair because it’s your night to be up with her.”

“My night? I thought we were taking turns?”

“Me too, sweetheart. But I took all the turns last night. You didn’t move when I got out of bed. At midnight. At two. And at four.”

Tags: Lorelei James Rough Riders Billionaire Romance
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