Branded as Trouble (Rough Riders 6) - Page 28

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“Why’d you barge in here in the first place?”

“I tracked you down to ask if you wanted to come over and watch ESPN tonight. The Broncos are playing. Kansas City.”

Colt seemed torn.

India kissed his cheek. “You sure you’re okay?”

He pulled the paper towel away. “See? It already stopped bleeding.”

“Good. Thanks for your help tonight. Now go cheer on the Broncos.”

Chapter Eleven

Dating Week Two

“Hey, India, can I talk to you for a second?”

She turned from her conversation with Bert Spotted Tail and smiled. “Sure. Almost done here.”

“No hurry.” What a lie. It took every ounce of control not to drag her away from the old coot who’d been monopolizing her time for the last twenty minutes.

If it wasn’t for that coot, you wouldn’t even know her.

Bert called out, “Heya, Colt, one of these days we’re gonna get you to participate in the circle of trust.”

“Don’t count on it.”

The circle of trust was an exercise where one person stood in the middle of a circle of people and fell back trusting someone in the circle would catch them. Colt didn’t trust anyone so blindly. So while they’d been doing this exercise for the last few months, Colt stood on the sidelines. He took some crap about it, but he didn’t care. No way was he taking some psychiatrist’s version of the Nestea plunge.

“You playin’ in the basketball game for at-risk youth tomorrow night?” Bert asked.

With this dating business, he’d forgotten. “Yeah. Thanks for the reminder.”

“No sweat. You oughta bring India. In fact, if you promise to come, I’ll save you a courtside seat, eh?”

“Sounds like you’re asking me on a date, Bert.”

A date? Like hell. Colt growled. India and Bert both gave him a strange look.

“Shee. I’m too old to be tryin’ to win the tattooed hand of a wild thing like you. But back in my heyday…I was as rough and rowdy as a mustang. Sorta like McKay.” Bert’s contemplative gaze pinged back and forth between Colt and India. “Maybe you oughta be datin’ him.”

India lifted her pierced brows at Colt.

Rather than snap, she is dating me, Colt said, “I’m tame as a trail pony these days.”

“Some of them docile lookin’ ones still gotta lot of buck left in

’em, boy. You just hafta pick the right kinda rider to let the beast loose.”

Colt couldn’t help but laugh.

“I’ll see you tomorrow night. And put on a good show, will ya?

I bet twenty bucks on your team.”

“So tell me about this charity basketball game,” India said to Bert as Colt headed to the kitchen.

He rechecked the coffee pot he’d unplugged ten minutes ago.

Although it’d been a short meeting, it seemed he waited for hours for the attendees to leave. From the moment they’d arrived.

Might’ve made him selfish, but for the first time in years, Colt hadn’t paid attention to what his fellow A.A. members discussed.

His focus was on one thing.


The outer door slammed, signaling Bert had left. He heard India moving closer, each combat booted footstep across the tile floor pulsed in his groin.

“What did you need?”

The second he got a whiff of her wildflower scent, he spun around and erased the distance between them in two steps. Curling his hands around her face, he pushed her against the pantry door, crushing her mouth beneath his.

The instant her lips parted, he canted his head and thrust his tongue deep, kissing her with all the pent-up passion, need and longing he’d held in for the last day.

As he filled his mouth with her taste, he rested his thumb in the arc of her throat where her heart raced. Stroking that sweet, sensitive section of skin in tiny circles, as if he had his hand on the sweet spot between her legs.

She twisted her mouth free. “Wow.”

“I saw more of you when we weren’t dating.”

“Does that mean you want to stop dating me?”

“Screw that.” Colt clamped his lips to hers again. He’d intended to seduce her with a sweeter kiss, but the heat between them expanded, burning hotter than his first attempt.


“Why? Damn, I love the way you taste right here.” He placed his mouth beneath her ear and sucked.

“Colt McKay. Stop right now or I’m going to punch you.”

That grabbed his attention. “What?”

“You’re giving me a hickey in a church.”


“So you’re the one who wanted to take this slow. Yet, you’re mauling me at the first opportunity.”

“There haven’t been many opportunities. That’s why I’m takin’ advantage of it when I can.”

“Prove it.”

“Are you issuing a challenge?”

“Yep.” India gave him a look that’d melt ice. She undid the first two buttons on her blouse.

Whoa. Was she wearing a bra?

By the fourth button, his answer to the bra question was a definite no. Damn.

He managed to ask, “What are you doin’?”

“Giving you an opportunity.”

“For my balls to explode?”

She laughed. “Want me to keep going?”

Yes. “How far would you go?”

“I would say all the way, but that’s not an option, is it?”

Hell yeah. No. Dammit. Say no. Colt rubbed the underside of his jaw. “Nope.”

Up went the buttons. “You’re a c**k tease, McKay.”

“Me?” he aped.

“Yes, you. Attacking me with all those hot kisses. Talking to me about your balls. I’m going home to take a cold shower.”

“I’m coming with you.”

“We’ll both be coming if you and I are alone in a room with a bed after avoiding temptation for more than a week.”

“India. For shame. Dirty talkin’ me in a church. Maybe we’d better lock up before we get struck by lightning.”

“At least I’d feel that sizzle of electricity before I died.”

Outside, Colt led her to his truck. “I’ll give you a ride.”

“No, you won’t. Not even if I beg you to ride me all night long.”

“Lord, did you always have sex on the brain and I just never noticed?”

“Nope. You just bring out the beast in me.”

“That’s a plain mean thing to taunt a guy with who hasn’t had sex in the last three years.” He opened the truck door. “Get in.”

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