Branding the Virgin(8)By: Alexa Riley
“You ever ridden before?” I can’t help how deep my own voice is, thinking about what that question might mean. Fuck, Ty, get it together.
“No.” She looks away, and I see the hint of a smile she’s trying to hide.
“Good. I’ll be the one to show you how.”
Without thinking, I hold my hand out to her, and I stand there as she looks down at it. For half a second I think she won’t take it, but she reaches out and places her small hand in mine.
“Maybe you should finish getting dressed.” Her voice is breathy, and I watch as she licks her lips.
I look down and see my shirt is still open and my chest is exposed. I forgot to button it in my hurry to get to her, and for some reason I don’t feel like closing it. I like her eyes on me. I like the way her body is leaning a little towards mine and the way her pulse is vibrating between our hands right now.
“It’s hot out. I think I need to cool off.”
As I put on my hat and pull her outside, I could almost swear I hear her say, “Me too.”
I show Mary-Jane, or MJ, as she introduces herself to the guys on the ranch, how the place runs and what I hired her for. The guys seem to know right away to keep their distance, and I don’t know if it’s because I step in front of her every time one of them tries to shake her hand, or the fact that I pull her away every time one of them tries to ask her a question.
I’ve kept her hand in mine all day, and I can’t bring myself to let it go. Not even when she tugged at it so she could open the door to one of the buildings. If she needs a door open, I’ll do it for her. No need to let go of my hand.
I’ve also kept my shirt open because I like the way she looks at me. Plain and simple. I like her eyes on me and only on me, and if I have to walk around half naked to get them on me, then so be it.
“This is the new mare I got. I haven’t broken her yet. She’s been a real handful.”
We walk up to the fence, and Mary-Jane looks in awe at the snow-white horse. “What’s her name?” she asks, looking over at me with bright eyes.
“She hasn’t got one. Think you could do the honors?”
“Seriously?” The pure excitement in her voice has me wanting to let her rename the whole goddamn place. Anything to put a smile on her face like the one she’s wearing now.
“Yes.” My voice is husky, and I watch as she bounces a little, shaking her cleavage and making my cock ache.
“She’s so pretty. She looks like Rarity.”
“You know, from My Little Pony. I think that should be her name.” She beams at me, and in this moment, I would never deny her anything.
“Rarity. Guess that’s her name now.”
We spend most of the day walking around the ranch and talking about the place, and she asks questions about me. I want to know about her, but every time I’ve tried to steer the conversation that way, she changes the subject. I want to push for more, but I have a feeling there’s something she’s not telling me.
“Can I cook supper tonight?” she asks, another hopeful note in her voice.
“Yes.” Why would I ever tell this woman no?
We walk hand in hand back to the house as the sun starts to set. It feels like I’ve known her so much longer than a day. There’s still a lot I don’t know, but something is happening here. It’s not just her magic touch and all that I feel when I’m beside her. There’s something deeper and sweeter, and it’s shaking me to the core.
I’m not a man that changes very often. I like things the way I like them, and then I keep them that way. But it feels as if Mary-Jane is about to turn my world upside down.
I move about the kitchen, feeling Ty’s eyes on me the whole time. I’m not sure what to think about today. It was fun and easy but a big contrast to the man I met yesterday. Sometimes he’s still short and abrupt with things, but not so cold. Something has changed, and I can’t put my finger on it.
He hasn’t let me out of his sight since he took my hand this morning. He even started to follow me to the bathroom at one point. I bite my lip and look over my shoulder at him. His eyes are on my ass. I feel myself blush and turn back to the pork chops I’m frying. One thing is for sure: Ty likes me, sexually at least, and I don’t know what to do with that.
Sure I’ve had men hit on me, but it’s never been anything like Ty. Ty didn’t really hit on me. He just did what he wanted. If he wanted to touch me, he did. If he wanted me standing right next to him, he just moved me there. If he wanted to look at my ass, he looked and made no apologies about it. The way he easily touches or moves to get closer to me. It’s no soft flirt. It’s possessive, and it’s doing something to me. Maybe that’s why I’d never shown much interest in men before, because none of them acted like this man. Because whatever it is Ty is doing, it’s working, and that’s scaring the shit out of me.