His laughter echoing across the lake, Jake parked his quad where they’d have the best view of the house. He turned in his seat to find Paige parking his mother’s quad right beside him. Damn, she’d kept up with him, no matter what crazy stunts he’d pulled. He figured she’d slow down, or at least divert when he went over that last gully but she’d followed him. And even faster than he’d taken it.
“You are insane. You could have tipped over down that last drop off.”
“And you followed me right down, I notice.” He swung his leg over his quad and grinned till he met her gaze, then his smile faltered and his body stirred in desire.
“Look at you, your cheeks all wind burned and hair all mussed up.”
Damn that would be a good lyric. Strains and chords played in his head, competing, weaving their way around his words.
He leaned over and caught her wrist when she reached up to smooth it out. “Don’t. I like it like that.”
Her pulse raced beneath his fingers, and a slight tremor ran through her arm. Excitement? Or exhaustion?
“You really are crazy, you know that?”
Either way, he loved her reactions, because they weren’t faked, and they matched the need ramping up in him. What was it about this woman that attracted him? That made him want to get her flat on the ground beneath him, watch her eyes unfocus, hear her beg him to do her harder. “And you kept up with me on every hill and every corner.”
“Yeah, I did, didn’t I?” She shook out her hands, a smile splitting her face from cheek-to-cheek. “That got me higher than if I’d been driving down the interstate going ninety miles an hour the wrong way.”
“I should have known you were a speed demon.”
She climbed off the quad and stretched before picking her way over the rough ground from the old shoreline to where the water now lapped a good eighteen feet away.
“The drought’s hit us hard.” Down boy, he told his erection. There was no way he was going to get her into bed this early, and not a chance in hell he was going to take her right here. Though maybe one day he’d bring her back and seduce her. Or maybe she’d seduce him. Yeah, like the thought of her riding him was going to help his hard-on deflate. “It’s going to take more than a good rain to get this back up to where it was.”
“How much of it goes to irrigate your crops?”
Oh shit. Don’t tell him she’d been listening to the locals who begrudged them the lake. “We use some of it. But we have to get a permit from the State for any irrigation. Even though the lake’s completely on our property, they still strictly regulate us.”
She continued walking along the edge, so he trailed her. A herd of white tails, including a ten point buck, ranged along the hillside below. The stag had raised his head and watched them carefully.
He hunkered down and picked up a handful of soil, sifted it through his fingers. “It takes work to keep it healthy, not just irrigation but fertilizing, rotating crops. Even rotating the cattle through the pastures so they don’t overgraze.”
“You really love this place, don’t you? Your whole face lights up when you talk about it.”
Not many people got him like Paige did. And she’d picked up on it so quickly. He nodded. “It’s like I’m connected to it. It’s in my veins.”
Copyright © 2014 Leah Braemel
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