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An Excerpt From: SLIDE DOWN ON ME
Copyright © LISSA MATTHEWS, 2014
All Rights Reserved
“People will talk if they see us together.” Regardless of sexual overtones or blatant conversations, his offer to take her home was kind. Heck, it would be the highlight of her week, but… “I mean, as we’ve just discussed, gossip is rampant around here. I don’t want to cause any harm to your business. Guilt by association isn’t fun.” Of course, she had firsthand knowledge of that and she wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
However, that was only one of her objections to accepting a ride from him. Her other was the sheer fact that it was Travis . She wanted his hands out of the pockets and on her. She wanted his cock out from behind his zipper and inside her. She wanted to toss away the respectability she’d been attempting to cloak herself in and get nasty with him the way she’d always fantasized.
If she rode in his truck, mere inches from him, she wasn’t sure she could trust herself not to reach out.
“Don’t you worry about that. I can handle myself and any of my customers who may have issues. C’mon now. In the truck with ya. It’s screamin’ hot out here.”
Bella couldn’t find any other way to argue with him. She stepped off the curb and climbed inside the truck. Once she was seated and strapped in, Travis closed the door firmly and joined her from the driver’s side. She stared straight ahead until they turned the corner between the seed store and vegetable stand on the edge of downtown.
“Why are you being nice to me?” she asked when the silence became too much for the small cab of the old truck. Her entire body and all her senses were aware of him. Dirt, sweat and grease smells assailed her, but underneath it all was the scent that was purely Travis. He’d always had dirt under his nails and oil smudges on his clothes and arms, but he smelled like the country. Fresh-cut grass, hay bales, freedom. All of it went against the look of him—hard, inked, pierced. He’d had the tattoos and the ear piercings for as long as she could remember. Every time she saw him, it seemed there was some new piece of art on his body, but he still had that smell of springtime and summer all rolled into one.
“Why shouldn’t I be nice to you? You didn’t do anything to me.”
He spoke so casually, so easily. He was relaxed, his hands lightly gripping the steering wheel, his eyes focused on the road ahead.
His comfort in her company somehow gave her permission to loosen up. “No, I didn’t, but that doesn’t change the fact that my name is Drake.”
“You’re not your brother or his actions.”
Bella met Travis’ gaze then. His eyes were as unreadable as before, even though there was a slight tilt to his lips. She nodded, once again grateful for his straightforwardness.
They were headed north on the two-lane road that lead out to her house. Wildflowers in red and yellow and purple lined the ditches on either side, but open fields soon gave way to trees and shrubs and the lake beyond.
She lived on the quiet, often deserted end of the lake. “You know, I never thought I’d like solitude.”
“Yeah? Why’s that?”
“I’m used to, or was used to noise and city life. Nashville was awake and there was always something to do. I didn’t sleep late or go to bed early.”
“I can see where there’d be an adjustment.”
“There has been, but it’s growing on me again. When I lived here before, I thought it was too quiet, then when I first went off to college, I thought it was too noisy.”
“Change can be good.”
“It can,” she agreed. Out the passenger window, the lake glistened under the late-afternoon sun. She’d gone swimming in it when she was younger, along with the rest of the county.
Several floating docks dotted the large body of water and all the girls would swim out to sunbathe on them, while most of the boys, including Travis and his brother Miles, would water-ski or fish or swing out and jump into the lake from long ropes that dangled from tree limbs.
Her guilty pleasure had been to watch Travis. She’d done it as discreetly as possible so no one would notice. She’d been in awe of him, fascinated by him, and crushing on him so hard. She had thought growing up, moving away, living among her own privileged kind in Nashville society would have cured her of fairy tales filled with hot, sex-in-a-pair-of-jeans Prince Charmings. She’d obviously been mistaken.
Several minutes later, the curve of her crescent-shaped drive came into view. Travis veered to the right and Bella tried to quell the pang of disappointment that the ride was over so soon.
He was magnetic, completely at home and yet out of place in this little country setting. Global warming had nothing on the heat of Travis’ thick Southern drawl and the crazy things it still did to her insides.
He pulled to a stop and before she could say anything, even a thank-you for the ride, Travis had the truck in park and the keys out of the ignition. She gaped at him, but he didn’t look at her, only got out and came around to open her door.
“Thanks,” she said, hopping down from the cab.
Travis inclined his head and gave a small smile. “My pleasure.”
She was surprised when he closed the door to the truck but didn’t leave. She was on the second step to the screened-in porch when Travis cleared his throat. Bella turned to find him leaning against the same front quarter panel as he had earlier. He’d crossed his arms over his chest and his feet at the ankles. Arrogance and heat lit his eyes. She couldn’t mistake the latter because it matched her own. Finally something discernible in the deep-blue irises.
The arrogance, however, made her shiver with uncertainty. “Travis?”
“Sleep with me.”
Bella wasn’t sure she’d heard him right. She wanted to think she had, but… “I’m sorry?”
“Sleep with me. You owe me over two thousand dollars. You can’t pay it, not by Friday at least. You said you don’t have ready access to that kind of money anymore, so…” He left the words dangling, hanging in the air between them.
“So…? What exactly are you proposing?” she managed to ask while blood rushed in her ears. “Sex in exchange for having my car fixed?”
Travis shrugged at her questions, unrattled.
In truth, she wasn’t as bothered by the suggestion as she supposed she should’ve been. “That’s extortion.”
“Seems kind of ugly to look at it like that, don’t you think?”
Bella’s gaze raked his body, from the top of his head to the toes of his work boots. There was a light sheen of sweat on his inked arms and a bulge in his jeans. He might want her to think he was nonchalant, as though they were discussing the weather, but she’d bet every last dime she had that he wanted her to say yes as badly as she wanted to say it. “Then how should I look at it?”
“Proposition. Pleasure.” He swung his arms wide and grinned. Shivers of a different sort coasted through her. “Fantasy come true.”
Bella laughed and the sound wasn’t as strained as she thought it might be. “Whose fantasy? Whose pleasure?”
“Mine. Yours. Ours. Does it really matter? You want me.” His voice was full of cocky confidence and as much as she wanted to deny it, he was right. He took several steps forward until he was standing eye level with her, his breath fanning her face. “And I sure as hell want you.”
Small town mechanic and tattooed, bad boy Travis keeps his profile low, his needs satisfied, and his business running smoothly. He doesn’t cause trouble and he certainly doesn’t want any, only, as luck would have it, fallen from grace heiress Arabella Drake owes him money.
Bella and Travis’ situation requires a creative solution, one Travis is bold enough to propose. It won’t satisfy her debt to him, but it will satisfy his long-held wish to have Bella naked, writhing, and sliding down on every inch of him.
Author’s Note: Slide was originally published as Slide Down on Me with Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc. It has been lightly revised.
Genre: Contemporary /Erotic Romance
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