As promised, I’m giving you a teaser. Bareback Christmas releases December 18th!
Hiding out in the one-bedroom, mountain cottage she had rented to avoid Christmas, Scarlett bawled like a baby with her face buried in the queen-sized bed’s pillow. She was mourning the loss of her thee-year relationship with Robert, the man she had believed was the love of her life until she caught him screwing a trashy bimbo a few weeks ago. Rolling over to stare at the ceiling she wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. She hated that skinny bitch. She hated Robert too but most of all she hated herself for not seeing him for who he really was sooner.
After sliding to the edge of the bed and jumping to her feet, she scurried into the den, snatching up the shoebox full of photos and mementos she’d brought for the sole purpose of destroying them. The fire she had lit when she first arrived late last night was still going strong and was ready to release her from Robert’s hold.
“Damn you, Robert!”
Scarlett grabbed the first picture, taking a quick peek at the snapshot she had asked a stranger take of her and Robert as they’d stood in front of the polar bear exhibit at the zoo—one of their earliest dates. She started to throw the picture into the flames but then snatched back her hand and looked at the image again. Damn, I look good in this one. My hair is perfect. After ripping Robert’s image out of the photo, she tossed him right into the fire and then grabbed a movie ticket stub from their very first date. Bye! She flung it into the fire without a second thought, grabbed another picture—Robert and his fishing buddies showing off their catches. See ya! Toss, toss, toss, tear in half and toss, she desperately purged all the humiliation plaguing her ego but had little relief for the hurt in her heart.
Shaking, she threw the whole box into the fireplace without looking at anything else. Good riddance, you lying, cheating douchebag. No… Asshole was more appropriate after what he had done. Her cheeks burned with rage and embarrassment. She couldn’t even spend the Christmas holidays with her family because everyone knew she was supposed to get an engagement ring this year. Every cousin, every aunt, every uncle and well, pretty much everyone she was friends with on Facebook were expecting to see a happy couple and a ring, either in the flesh or in posted pictures. Worst of all, she had brought this embarrassment on herself. When Robert told her he would get her an engagement ring if she lost twenty pounds by Thanksgiving she should have punched him in his own imperfect gut. Unfortunately, she had been so caught up in his blue eyes and dimples she’d actually believed him when he swore he only cared about her health.
Dressed only in a t-shirt and her underpants, she plopped down on the couch, pulling a blanket over her bare legs as she sat, tearfully staring into the flames while the bittersweet memories of three wasted years turned to ash. I let him treat me that way—as if he was too good for me. Sniffling, she reached over to grab some tissues from the box on the end table and wiped her nose. Why? Why did I drop from a size 16 to a 14 and broadcast every step of the way just for the dubious honor of marrying an admittedly good-looking, complete asshole? I was just fine how I was but I was so focused on grabbing the brass ring, I hadn’t even noticed. Damn him!
Standing up, she let the blanket fall to the floor and headed toward the bathroom. After turning on the shower, she stripped and pulled her long, blonde hair into a ponytail. Time to clean up my act. As the warm water sprayed across her chest and torso, she cupped her hands and splashed her face before letting out a wistful sigh. Making use of some soap and a bath brush, she washed up in a jiff and was soon pulling on her most comfy jeans, a hot-pink t-shirt and a light-pink hoodie. She headed out the front door. It was cold and crisp outside but not freezing. Maybe a little porch time in the brisk air would clear her head.
Bristling as the chill hit, she zipped up her jacket and walked over to the side with the best view. Snow on the mountains—how long had it been since she had played in the snow? The sugary white powder was plenty high enough for a little silly fun. She was probably dressed too lightly for this time of year but it wasn’t as if she was going to be outside very long. She hopped down the short row of porch steps, her boots hitting the ground, crunching the snow beneath her soles. When she’d first arrived it had been too dark outside for her to take notice of the picturesque holiday atmosphere surrounding the small cabin. She took a few more steps forward, enjoying the satisfying sound each time her foot set down on a fresh patch of the previously unmarred whiteness blanketing the yard. Vaguely, she heard the sound of an axe hitting wood but otherwise there was a serene stillness all around her.
Turning to face the cabin, for the first time she looked at it with eyes unencumbered by tears. Small but quaint, the little love nest appeared more suited to honeymooners than a Debbie Downer like her, and at Christmas no less… Someone, probably the owner, had wrapped the porch railing in festive, winter-green garland and vibrant red ribbon. A matching wreath decorated the door. She had never met the sweet woman who’d rented her the cabin for a steal at the last minute—at least not in person. She and Cheyanne had become Facebook friends after joining a couple of the same special interest groups. She must have hung the decorations to try to cheer me up a little—what a nice lady! Scarlett shivered. She needed to go back inside soon but not before she got her fingers in some snow. Bending over, she used both hands to gather snow into a ball.
“Hot day-um!” A voice a ways behind her followed up the words with a whistle.
A shiver went up Scarlett’s spine as she was overcome by the mental image of eyes crawling over her ass. Bolting to stand straight, she instinctively whipped around to see who was staring at her. She froze in place, her heavy chest rising and her nostrils flaring as she sucked in a long, single breath. Right in front of her eyes, just a few feet away, the most gorgeous man she had seen in nearly an eternity was chopping firewood. Getting an eye full, she repressed a gasp and pursed her lips to keep from drooling. Who the hell walked outside in 45-degree weather without a shirt? Oh, who the hell cares…massive biceps, rock-hard pectorals, rippling abs and that sexy V leading down below his low-hanging jeans—yummy!
“Well, hey there, neighbor,” he said, taking a break from swinging the axe to give her a sexy smile. His brown hair brushed his shoulders as he tilted his head slightly to the right, his deep-set, sea-green eyes gobbling her up.
“H-hi,” she said, nearly breathless.
As he lifted the axe, his arm muscles bulged. He brought the axe down hard, leaving it lodged in one of the logs. Wiping his hands on his jeans, he headed her way. In a nearly dumbstruck haze, she took a few steps forward, meeting him halfway.
He extended his hand. “I’m Davis.”
Lifting her arm, she placed her much smaller hand in his, expecting a shake. He brought her hand up, lowered his head and brushed his lips just above her knuckles.
She steadied her buckling knees as the stubbly shadow of a couple days of beard stubble rubbed against her cold skin. “Scarlett.”
“Pleased to meet you, Scarlett. Oh!” he said, reaching up to grab the cowboy hat off his head and giving her a slight nod.
Her cheeks flushed with heat and she shyly averted her eyes while nodding.
“Likewise,” she said, reaching up and nervously fingering her ponytail.
“So…you just move in, Scarlett?”
“Sort of… I’m renting for Christmas.”
“Cool…” He nodded, shifting his weight to one side. “You have family meeting you in the middle from somewhere.”
A lump formed in her throat and she swallowed it back, looking down at his rugged, leather work boots as she said, “No.” It was all she could do to hold back tears. She’d come here to avoid her family’s questions about her failed relationship and didn’t want to discuss why she was here with a complete stranger.
“Glad to hear it.”
Huh? Her head shot up and she looked at his face. Wow! A tinge of crimson highlighted his manly bone structure. He had a very rugged, outdoorsy look but he was a shy one.
“Um…I mean to say…um…maybe you’ll have some time to hang…”
“Whoa, dat ass!”
Scarlett turned in the direction of the female voice, laying eyes on a short, bubbly, young woman—a brunette with an hourglass shape but definitely no larger than a size eight. Mortified, Scarlett’s jaw dropped and she took a step back. Glancing over at Davis, she was relieved to find him glaring at the young woman while wearing an expression that showed he was gob-smacked and just as chagrinned as Scarlett was.
“Melly, watch your mouth!” His voice was stern.
Scarlett’s heart sank as she realized this woman was probably his girlfriend.
Putting a hand on her hip like a bratty sixth-grader, the brunette shot him an audacious look while balking. “I was just sayin’ she’s got a lot of ass…I didn’t mean…”
“Get in the house,” he said, pointing back toward their two-story abode.
Melly stuck out her tongue at him and rolled her eyes.
“I’m warning you, Melly. You’re gonna get it.”
Uncomfortable, Scarlett took a couple of steps back. She hadn’t slurped up thirty-two ounces of ginger ale to settle her tummy while driving round-and-round up a mountain in the middle of the night just to get mixed up in another couple’s drama.
“You’re not the boss of me!” the girl said.
Could she be any more childish? Scarlett glanced back at Davis. His brow furrowed and he frowned as he and Melly engaged in a heated staring contest. Taking the opening to slip away, Scarlett turned in the other direction, booking it toward the porch. She had just made it to the door when she heard Davis’s voice.
Hurrying inside, she shut the door behind her but peeked through the door’s small, beveled-glass window just in time to see Davis throw his hat down on the ground while pulling his belt from the loops around his waist in one fluid motion.
As he folded the leather over, the girl squealed.
“Eek!” Melly cried out, turning and running back toward the door of the other house.
Scarlett’s eyes widened. What the hell? Calmly, Davis followed Melly inside, belt still in hand. Scarlett gasped. No way—surely he wouldn’t really hit her? Unless…maybe they were in one of those type relationships. She shook her head. This was none of her business. She was here to forget her problems, not to deal with other people’s bullshit. Turning away, she headed toward the den.
* * * * *
Snuggling in her blanket by the fire, Scarlett used the remote control to flip between channels on the television. With no cable or satellite, there wasn’t much of a selection. She couldn’t deal with any damn romantic comedies right now and she especially wasn’t in the Christmas spirit, so It’s a Wonderful Life was out of the question. Just when she was about to settle on some embarrassingly lowbrow reality TV, the doorbell rang. She walked over and peaked out the window. It was Davis, the belt wielder. What did he want? Unlocking the door, she held it open, standing in the doorway.
“Hi,” she said.
Fully dressed with a plaid shirt covering his scrumptious torso, he tipped his hat slightly. “Hey again,” he said, his eyes sparkling.
Awkwardly, they stood staring at one another for a few seconds.
Scarlett wasn’t sure what to do. She didn’t know him and he might be dangerous. Plus, he already had a woman. Any way you looked at it, inviting him in would be bad form. “So…nice to see you again…”
“Yeah…oh, um…these,” he said, lifting up a small container. “I made them for you to apologize about before. Melly…my kid sister, can be such a sassy little filly.”
Sister? Scarlett’s ears perked up and she reached for the container. “Thanks.”
“Cookies…I hope you like chocolate chip.”
Scarlett held the container, taking off the lid for a peek. They looked tasty but a little too perfect. She raised an eyebrow. “You made these?”
He grinned. “Well, to be completely honest, I just took them out of the package and baked them up according to the directions on the back.”
Laughing, Scarlett nodded. “That’s how I make cookies too.” Another few seconds of awkward silence and she stepped back. “Come in and I’ll get some plates and make some coffee.”
Davis wiped his feet on the mat in front of the door before entering and closing the door behind him. Turning her back to him, she made a hopeful face, her eyebrows lifting and her heart turning back flips.
“So…how long you stayin’ if you don’t mind my asking?” His Appalachian accent twanged from behind her as she led the way to the kitchen.
“Just until the day after Christmas—I have to go back to work after that.” She grabbed the coffee and supplies and started to brew a fresh pot before getting a couple of desert plates out of the cabinet.
“What kind of work are you in?” he asked, taking a seat on a barstool at the kitchen counter and placing his hat on the stool next to his.
“I’m a pharmaceuticals rep—presenting to doctors and hospitals. There’s a lot of travel but the pay and benefits are good. How about you?”
“My family owns a horse farm nearby. We train horses, give horseback riding lessons and breed champions. I’m the manager. Melly, who is actually eighteen though she acts like she’s twelve, is a trainer. I have a couple of younger cousins who work for us too, feeding and looking after the horses. Since Mama passed away a few years ago and Dad put himself out to pasture last year, I guess I’m in charge.”
“Your dad did what?” Scarlett placed a cookie on her plate and held the container out to Davis.
Grabbing two and putting them on his plate, he said, “I say put himself out to pasture but it’s more like putting himself out to stud. He abandoned me with all these dang kids to move into a retirement village with a bunch of widows. He’s just chasing tail.”
Scarlett laughed nervously, nibbling on her cookie as her pulse raced. She couldn’t believe such a gorgeous specimen of a man was joining her for dessert. His hand on his chiseled jaw, he fingered his short, sparse facial hair—just enough to give him another kick of cowboy flair.
“Do you always nibble like a rabbit?” he asked skeptically.
Self-consciously, she set the cookie on her plate, turning her back to get two coffee cups and filling them with the freshly brewed coffee. “Sugar or cream?”
“Black is fine,” he answered.
Setting his cup in front of him and hers down beside her plate, she finally answered his question. “I really shouldn’t be eating sweets at all…you know…cause of my great big butt.”
Davis nearly spewed his coffee, his eyes wide with surprise. “Sorry, sorry,” he said, covering his mouth with his hand. “No!”
“No?” She tilted her head, observing him. For someone so damn hot, he really wasn’t all that smooth but his verbal clumsiness was sort of endearing.
He stood, shaking his head adamantly. “That’s not…I mean, your butt is big but…”
She gasped, astonished by how easily she’d allowed herself to walk right into that one.
“No, no, no… Melly wasn’t insulting you. She was messing with me…Your ass is gr…uh…damn, I’m bad with words!”
Unable to argue with his assessment, Scarlett stood slack-jawed and speechless.
Looking off to the side, a resolved expression on his face, he shook his head. “Melly was teasing me because of…well, my type.” He crinkled his thin-bridged nose, giving her a sheepish look as he moved in closer, rounding the counter until he was standing beside her.
“Your type?” She turned her head to face him.
Once his sea-green irises scooted up from their perch on her behind, their eyes locked.
He licked his bottom lip, running a hand through his hair. “Your ass is fantastic.”
Caught off guard, she panted, still staring at those thin lips. Just then he moved in, lowering his head as he slipped an arm around her waist and laid a kiss on her mouth. As their skin made contact, a buzzing current roared between her legs and only intensified as she placed her hands over his muscular chest—he was incredibly solid. Raising her chin, she kissed him back, crushing her lips to his. His hands roamed, feeling her rear and squeezing it in his mighty grip. As the kiss broke, she let out a moan just before his lips pressed back onto hers. His tongue darted out and she opened her mouth to welcome it with hers.
Her head swam as the oral titillation continued. Is this really happening? The best-looking man I have ever seen is kissing me and caressing my ass! It’s a Christmas miracle! He pulled her close, pressing her breasts against his upper torso. Her core temperature skyrocketed as she absorbed the heat between her body and his. Grabbing her ponytail, he gently removed the tie and fluffed out her wavy locks.
“Sexy,” he said in a husky whisper.
Scarlett quivered, her body tingling everywhere he touched. Squirming until he loosened his grip, she took a step back, glancing up at his face as she unbuttoned his top button. Breathing heavily, her addled brain told her to put on the brakes but her broken heart and bruised ego were feeling desirable for the first time in a month. She needed this! Trailing down, she unfastened the next button and then the next until she was staring at the navel smack between two perfectly toned stomach muscles. Exhaling a ragged breath, she got her hands on those sensational abs, gently dragging her nails over the ridges.
“Mmmm…feels good.” He cupped her face, kissing her along her jawline as he pushed one large hand into one of her back pockets.
“You’re going to tear my pants,” she murmured.
Without comment, he trailed his lips down her neck, peppering her skin with light kisses and small nibbles. Scarlett growled, her arousal growing by the second. Wriggling in her tight jeans as her aching pussy swelled against the fabric, she slipped her arms around him, caressing his strong shoulders before scooting her hands down to the small of his back, just over that belt he had stripped off in front of her earlier in the day. Had he really punished his sister? Nah, probably not—Davis seemed too gentle for that.
Pressing her lips against his chest, she tasted the hint of salt on his warm and yummy flesh. Her eager tongue lapped across his pecs, settling on his nipple and giving it a circular lick. The loud groan from Davis’s lips thrilled her—she wielded that power over him!
His hand roamed over one of her double Ds, giving it a squeeze. Reeling from the scrumptious sensation, she sighed and her knees weakened. She leaned on him to compensate, lowered her hands, pawing his firm ass over his jeans. As he yanked his other hand from her pocket, he tugged up her t-shirt, his palms warming her back as he struggled with her bra.
Squirming, she moved her hands back to his chest and pushed away. “Stop.”
Breathing heavily, he slid his hands out from under her shirt and took a step back, his face awash with disappointment. “So…sorry.”
Grabbing the sides of her shirt, she turned her back to him as she lifted it over her head and dropped it on the floor. Closing her eyes, she lost her breath as his arms encircled her, pulling her bare back to his chest. His hands roamed her upper body, rubbing and squeezing her jiggly mounds over her lacy black bra. Her mouth opened, involuntarily releasing all manner of primal noises as her nipples stiffened beneath his touch. Wet lips pressed down on her shoulder just beside her bra strap before teeth grabbed the thin line of fabric, scooting it down and allowing him to get a handful of freshly exposed breast. She quivered in his arms, moaning and cooing with pleasure and melting into his chest. Her head rested against him and she lifted her chin, turning her face slightly. He dipped his head back down, kissing her swollen lips. As their smooth, velvety flesh connected, a tiny electrical shock urged her mouth open for their tongues to entwine. Her body sweltering, she reached up, wrapping an arm around his neck and fingering his soft, light-brown mane. Her belly turned a somersault as a large bulge pushed against her rear.
She gasped as both bra straps were snatched down so quickly, the cups flipped upside down over her tummy, releasing her breasts in a flurry of jostling. Repositioning, she slipped her arms completely free of the garment before returning one arm to wrap around the back of Davis’s neck. His tongue twirled against hers, working her senses into a frenzy. A breast in each hand, he lovingly stroked the pink protrusions with his fingertips. Pulling out of the kiss, she panted wildly, desperately attempting to catch her breath. The tingling and throbbing between her thighs was nearly unbearable. Turning to face Davis, she buried her face in his chest and he stroked her hair.
“You’re such a pretty filly.”
As nicknames and terms of endearment went, it wasn’t exactly her favorite but she was too worked up to balk. Rubbing his rear end, she brought her palms up to his belt, scooting her fingertips around until they lingered just over the buckle. As she started to unfasten it, Davis placed a hand over hers. She looked up, catching his gaze.
“You’re asking for it, pretty lady,” he said.
Huffing and puffing, she finally caught her breath. “That’s because I want it.”