“Where does she live?”


“No clue. Last I heard it was…Australia? Or New Zealand.”

Kimi’s eyes widened. “She doesn’t have any contact with Hayden?”

“She’s never seen him, besides in pictures. It’s a pretty screwed up situation.”

“Sounds like it. But then I’ve learned that there’s no such thing as the perfect family.”

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Her cell phone buzzed. She opened the picture message from Kane, showing Hayden receiving his third place ribbon. How much did it suck she couldn’t be there?

“Honey? What’s wrong?”

She passed the phone to Kimi. “Mother’s guilt. Kane sent me a picture of Hayden and his award.”

“How thoughtful.”

“I know. He’s always doing stuff like that. But it makes me feel so guilty.”

“Part of bein’ a mom.”

“Do you ever still feel guilty?”

Kimi pinned her with an arch look. “Yes. Especially when it’s pointed out to me that I don’t know my own son as well as I thought I did.”

Ginger blushed. “I didn’t mean—”

“I know you didn’t. I’m glad you talked to me. I really liked seein’ Kane through your eyes, Ginger.

And I hope…” She waved dismissively. “Forget it.”

“No, Kimi, tell me. You hope what?”

“I hope Kane knows how proud I am of him, not only for helpin’ you out, but for the time he spends with Hayden. I’ve never thought of him as overly responsible besides when it comes to his duties at the ranch.”

“Maybe you should tell him. It’d be good for him to hear it from you.”

“Maybe I will.”

Ginger’s head pounded, a byproduct of thinking about her mother.

Kimi stood. “Come on. Let’s get you a pain pill and tuck you in. I fear my son’d have my hide for talkin’ your ear off when you’re supposed to be restin’.”

“I can’t believe how tired I am.”

“Which is a sign you need to get some shut-eye.”

Kimi stayed by Ginger’s side until she drifted off, offering comfort and silent support. Her last coherent thought was Like mother, like son.

“Hey, Red.” A soft kiss teased her forehead.

“Am I still dreaming?”

“Are we nekkid in this dream?”

“Yes. Completely. Rolling around on satin sheets and you’re kissing me in that panty-drenching way of yours.”

Kane chuckled. “Maybe we’ll have to act out the good parts of the dream later. But it’s time for you to get up.”

Ginger opened her eyes, sighing dreamily that Kane’s handsome face was so close to hers.

“What was that sigh for?”

“Because you’re just so damn pretty, Kane McKay.”

His neck flushed. “How many of them damn drugs did you take?”

“Funny.” She ran the tips of her fingers down the section of skin where the blush met his goatee.

“You could have any woman in town. You have had most of them, to hear your mother talk. So what are you doing with me?”

Hurt flashed in his eyes. She could’ve bitten her tongue for her careless comment.

“My ma was here tellin’ stories about me, was she? Fillin’ you in on all the women I bedded and discarded? Did she tell you that the reason Kade and Sky ended up together was because he pretended to be me after I was an asshole to her on our first and only date?”

“No. She didn’t mention that one.”

Kane stood abruptly. Angrily. “Don’t matter. We’ve been back awhile. Are you hungry?”

Ginger reached for his hand. “Don’t run off in a fit of pique.”

“Say what?”

“Don’t leave because you’re mad. Kimi didn’t name off your conquests, Kane. She just said you used to be quite the wild one and you’ve mellowed. Now instead of worrying about you being too rowdy, she worries about you being alone too much.”

He frowned. “Ma said that?”


“I’m alone by choice.”

There was more to his statement, but she didn’t push. Instead, she brought his hand to her mouth and placed a soft kiss in the palm. “So does that ‘alone by choice’ comment include tonight?”

“Is that an invite, counselor?”

“Yes. But I feel the need to point out it is an open-ended invitation.”

Kane’s eyes turned dark with liquid heat. He cupped her chin in his hand, sweeping his thumb across the inside of her lower lip. “Know one thing about me that ain’t mellowed? That I’m in charge even when you’re touchin’ me.”

His bold statement caused her belly to jump. She stared at him, wondering how far he’d take things.

“You look nervous, Red.”

“I’ve never met a man like you.”

“Simple? Or highly experienced?”


He huffed, “Then what?” a little impatiently.

“You distract me to the point that’s all I can think about…being with you.”

Kane’s lethally sexy grin appeared. “I can live with being a distraction, sugar. In fact, I intend to bump up my attentions and see if I can’t become your obsession.”

Hours later, Ginger reflected on Kane’s words when he waltzed into her bedroom and she realized he could become an obsession.

Hayden had hit the sack earlier than usual. Her father had retreated to his room directly after Hayden.

And now Kane had come to her.

A thrill of anticipation electrified her, starting at her toes, ending at her scalp.

She’d purposely dimmed the lights to enhance the mood. Hoping the ambient glow would mask her physical flaws and her nervousness.

Instantly he flipped on all the switches, growling a warning, “No hidin’ from me. Ever. I like to watch.”

“Watch what?”

“You.” Kane gestured to the edge of the bed. “Sit there.”

“Am I supposed to get undressed?”

“Did I tell you to get undressed?”


“There’s your answer. This time you’re undressing me.” Kane stood in front of her, legs braced apart, arms crossed. A master directing his slave. “Pants first.”

His high-handed behavior wasn’t what she’d expected. No kissing, no seduction. Using her good hand, she tugged one side of the elastic band, then the other, until the flannel pooled at his bare feet. He kicked his pajama pants aside.

Ginger’s gaze didn’t waver from her first up-close look at his cock. Oh wow. Circumcised? Check.

Long? Check. Thick? Check. She wanted to rub the smooth and shiny purple head across her lips.

He grabbed the edges of his tank top and yanked it off.

Confused, Ginger met his eyes. “I thought I was supposed to undress you?”

“You were. Until I saw the way you were lickin’ your lips. I’m dyin’ to feel your mouth on my cock.”

Kane wrapped one hand around her jaw. The other hand circled his dick and he brought it in line with her lips. “Use your mouth only, and only on the tip.”

He painted her lips with the polished skin of the head. Once the slit was close enough to taste, her tongue darted out to catch the drop of fluid beading in the center. She moaned at her first taste of him.

“You keep makin’ sounds like that and this’ll be over too damn quick.”

“You want me to make those sounds when this bad boy is completely buried my mouth?”

“Eventually. For now, focus on the head.”

She circled her lips around the crown and sucked, alternating with flicks of her tongue. Working the sweet spot beneath the thick rim brought forth Kane’s masculine groans of approval, but it wasn’t enough.

She wanted to feel the rigid length gliding over her tongue. She wanted to feel his girth stretching her mouth wide. She wanted to feel his pubic hair ticking her nose as she took him deep. She wanted total submersion in this intimacy.

So yeah, maybe she resented his dictate of control.

Without warning, Kane tilted her head and pushed past her lips, over her teeth, across her tongue, bumping her soft palate, until his cock was fully seated in her mouth and halfway down her throat.

Ginger fought the gag reflex, focusing on her breathing. Trying not to feel smug she’d gotten exactly what she’d wanted.

Brusquely, Kane said, “Look at me.”

The only things she could move were her eyes. She gazed up at him. God. He was something. So overpoweringly male.

“You were testy about me parceling out a taste of my cock an inch at a time, weren’t you, sugar?”

Her affirmative growl traveled up his shaft.

He trembled.

Ginger smiled, hard as it was with her lips stretched around the base of his cock.

“You are stubborn about getting your way,” he murmured. His thumb traced the hollowed section of her cheek. “Truth is, that makes me fuckin’ hot.” He let his fingers drift up her face to circle the shell of her ear before coming back to rest on her jaw. “But I’m gonna enjoy teachin’ you obedience.”

His big, rough-skinned hands landed on her head. “Hold on.”

Her left hand gripped his muscular quad.

Kane pulled his cock out, letting the rim of the cockhead rest on her lower lip. Then he thrust back in fully. He did that three more times a slow withdrawal, a fast plunge to the root.

Saliva built in her mouth, coating his shaft, making the glide easier. Ginger kept her eyes closed, reveling in the silken push and pull of his hard flesh across her soft tissues.

“That’s it,” he rasped. “Get me wet.”

She let her teeth graze the underside of his cock as he eased out. Then she playfully flicked her tongue into the slit.

“No teasing.” He shoved deep. “Now suck harder. That’s it. Lemme feel those throat muscles workin’.”

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