Book 3: Wyoming Rebels
He was tired.
He was cranky.
He was wet.
Zane Stockton idled his motorcycle outside his brother’s ranch house, narrowing his eyes at the darkened windows. Gone was the time when he’d let himself in and crash. There was a woman in there now, and that changed all the rules, especially when it was two in the morning.
He probably shouldn’t have come tonight, but he was here, and he was done being on the road for now. Rain had been thundering down on him for hours, and he was drenched all the way to his bones. He just wanted to sleep and forget about all the crap that had gone down today.
Trying not to rev the engine too much, he eased his bike down the driveway past the barn and turned right into the lean-to beside the bunkhouse. He settled his bike and whipped out a couple towels to clean it off, making sure it was mud-free before calling it a night.
He grabbed his bag from the back of the bike, scowling when he realized it had gotten wet, then sloshed across the puddles toward the front door of the bunkhouse. He retrieved the key from the doorframe, and pried the thing open.
It was pitch dark inside, but he knew his way around and didn’t bother with a light. He dropped the bag, kicked off his boots and his drenched clothes, then headed for the only bed that was still set up in the place, ever since Steen and Erin had rearranged it for their own use during their temporary stay there. At least they’d upgraded their lodging so the bunkhouse was now available again for use by the family vagrant.
Zane jerked back the covers and collapsed onto the bed. The minute he landed, he felt the soft, very real feel of a body beneath him, including the swell of a woman’s breast beneath his forearm. Shit! “What the hell?” He leapt to his feet just as a woman shrieked and slammed a pillow into the side of his head.
“Hey, I’m not going to hurt you! I’m Chase’s brother!” He grabbed the pillow as it clocked him in the side of the head again. “Stop!”
There was a moment of silence, and all he could hear was heavy breathing. Then she spoke. “You’re Chase’s brother?” Her voice was breathless, and throaty, as if he’d awakened her out of a deep sleep, which he probably had. It sounded sexy as hell, and he was shocked to feel a rush of desire catapult through him.
Shit. He hadn’t responded physically to a woman in a long time, and now he’d run into a woman who could turn him on simply by speaking to him? Who the hell was she? “Yeah,” he said, sounding crankier than he intended. “Who are you?”
“You’re Steen?” He heard her fumbling for something, and he wondered if she was searching for a baseball bat, pepper spray, or something that indicated she hadn’t been nearly as turned on by his voice as he’d been by hers.
“No, a different brother,” he replied, his head spinning as he tried to figure what was going on, and why he was reacting to her so intensely. “I’m Zane. Harmless. Good guy. No need to decapitate me.”
There was a pause in her movements. “I wasn’t going to decapitate you. I was looking for my shirt.”
“Your shirt?” he echoed blankly. “You’re not wearing a shirt?” He hadn’t noticed much bare skin for that brief moment he’d been on top of her. How had he missed it?
“I’m wearing a camisole, but it’s not exactly decent. Give me a sec.” A small laugh drifted through the darkness. “You’re such a guy. Of course you’d fixate on the possibility of me being naked. Do all men think only of sex?”
He grinned, relaxing. He’d startled her, but she’d regrouped quickly, and he liked that. She wasn’t a wimp who was running to the door screaming. “What’s your name?” he asked.
“Taylor Shaw. I’m Mira’s best friend from home. I surprised her for a visit, but it turns out, there’s no space in the house.”
“Nope. Not anymore. I’m displaced too.” He suddenly wanted to see her. “You decent yet?”
“Yes, but barely—”
He reached over and flicked on the small light by the bed. The soft yellow glow was less harsh than the overhead light, but it still took his eyes a moment to adjust to the brightness. When they did, he saw Taylor sitting on the bed, curly blond hair tumbling around her shoulders in a disheveled mess that made her look completely adorable. Her eyes were green, fixed on him as she squinted against the sudden light. He could see the curve of her shoulders beneath the light pink, long-sleeved shirt she was wearing. The faint outline of a white camisole was evident beneath her shirt, not quite obscuring the fact that she wasn’t wearing a bra. Her gray yoga pants were frayed at the knee and cuff, but they fit her hips with perfection. She looked like she’d just tumbled right out of a bed, and she was sexy as hell.
But it was her face that caught his attention. Her gaze was wary, but there was a vulnerability in it that made him want to protect her. He had zero protective instincts when it came to women…until now, until he’d met this woman who’d tried to defend herself with a pillow.
Then her gaze slid down his body, and his entire body went into heated overdrive. It wasn’t until her eyes widened in horror when her gaze was at hip level that he remembered something very important.
He was naked.