He kissed her then. With such sweet surrender she felt tears prickling the back of her eyelids. She felt him get hard again. He rocked into her as he kissed her. Their mouths weren’t apart for any longer than a second or two, as they remained locked together, lost in each other. The waves of pleasure didn’t crash over them, but built slowly, sweetly, until they were swept away.


After lolling in the moment, Kane withdrew and rolled to his back. He kept holding her hand and kissed her knuckles. “So you warmed up?”

“Uh-huh. And sleepy.”

“We’ve got nowhere to be. Go ahead and take a little nap if you want.”

Ginger snuggled into him, resting her head on his chest. “Will you stay with me?”

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“Red. Wake up. Hayden’s on the phone.”

She jackknifed, completely disoriented. “What?”

“Your cell rang and I answered it. Hope you don’t mind but I didn’t want you to miss the call.” He handed her phone over.


“Mom? Guess what? We’re snowed in and the hotel has a pool and an elevator and me’n Anton and Ky are in the same room! And tomorrow morning there’s breakfast and this is such a blast!”

She smiled and slid up the headboard. “You’re okay? You’re not scared of the storm or anything?”

“Mom. I’m not a baby.”

“I know. But I was scared when I heard your class was stuck in Casper.”

“But it’s totally cool. Mrs. Dunnigan let me use her cell phone to call you and I gotta go so Anton can call his mom and dad next.” His voice dropped. “Love you, Mommy.”

“Love you too,” she said to the dial tone.

“So Hayden’s all right?”

“He’s having the time of his life.”

Kane sat on the bed. “Are you all right?”

She liked that he sensed her melancholy. “I guess. I’m not away from him very often. Kind of makes me…” She didn’t know what it made her. Not the type of parent who lived vicariously through her kid.

“Makes you an awesome mother. Are you hungry? I heated up some chili.”

“Sounds good. But I need clothes.”

Kane handed her a pair of black sweat pants, a plaid flannel shirt and a pair of white athletic socks.

“Here you go, but there is one condition.”

“Which is?”

His fingertip trailed across the tops of her breasts. “No bra while you’re wearin’ my shirt.”

“Why not?”

“I like the idea of bein’ able to pop these buttons anytime I want and putting my hands on them. Or my mouth on them.”

“That is a good idea.” Ginger dressed and found Kane in the kitchen, talking to his dog. She leaned against the doorway to the living room. A pang of loneliness spiked in her gut. She had two people to come home to every night. Kane had his dog. Was he lonely?

Aren’t you sometimes? Even when you’re rarely alone?

He turned toward her with a sheepish grin. “And yes, before you ask, Shep does answer me back.” He looked at the dog. “Shep. Speak your mind.”

Shep barked.


Ginger laughed.

After they ate and finished the dishes, Kane gave her a considering look.


“Anything in particular you wanna do tonight? We are sort of limited for entertainment options. I doubt the satellite is workin’ in this weather, so TV is out.”

“Could we just hang out and watch a movie? Make some popcorn?”

Kane frowned. “You sure?”

“Actually, it sounds heavenly. I never get to watch the types of movies I want because Hayden is too young for them and Dad doesn’t like anything with explosions, car chases or romance.”

“Do I have a selection for you. Action movies are about all I own.”

Cuddled up to a sexy, sweet man, sharing a bowl of buttery popcorn, a few intensive make out sessions snuck in between the movie action scenes and Ginger was in heaven.

No, silly, you’re in love.

Ginger in his bed was too big a temptation to resist.

Kane woke up in the middle of the night wanting her. As he touched her, she murmured sleepily, clinging to him, letting him know with her body that his attentions were welcome. And in the aftermath of sating his need for her, she curled back into him and fell asleep.

Kane wanted this. Ginger in his arms every night, seeing her beautiful face first thing every morning.

Because he was an early bird, he got up and checked the weather. He’d intended to let her sleep in, but the aroma of coffee brought her into the kitchen.

“Mornin’. How’d you sleep?”

“Like a rock. A warm rock cuddled up to another warm rock. And I had this amazingly vivid dream.”

“Was I in it?”

“You were the star, Mr. McKay.”

“What a coincidence. I had the same kind of dream. Only in mine, you were the star, counselor.”

She smiled coyly as he handed her a cup of coffee.

“Damn, woman, you look much better in that flannel shirt than I do.”

“Can I keep it?” she cooed.

“Hell no. Every time I wear it from here on out, I’m gonna think of how perfectly the material hugged those tempting tits of yours.”


Kane grinned.

“Thanks for leaving out the extra toothbrush.”

“You’re welcome. I need to head out and check cattle.”

“When will you be back?”

“Dunno. Depends on if I run into any problems.”

“Do you always check cattle by yourself?”

“I do when both my Dad and Kade are snowed in.”

Ginger set down her cup. “I’m not comfortable with you going out there alone, Kane. I’ll come with you.”

He opened his mouth to protest, but really, he’d appreciate her company. Even if she didn’t say a single word. “Okay. Let’s find you all the gear you’ll need to bundle up.” He dug through the closet, coming up with an extra pair of coveralls, an extra coat and a pair of hiking boots.

She dressed without complaint until she was covered from head to toe. “I look like Ralphie from A Christmas Story.”

“Since we’ll be on the ATV you’ll be grateful for the layers, trust me.” Kane crouched down and spoke to Shep. “You wanna come along?”

Shep just gave him a baleful stare.

“Guess not.”

It’d quit snowing, but the wind still blew like a bitch. He’d opened the gate before they’d gone in the barn to fetch the ATV.

The path he usually followed to the cattle shelter and stock tank was impossible to see, so he drove along the fence line, keeping an eye on the odometer to gauge how far he’d gone. He knew this ranch like the back of his hand, but blizzards fucked up everything and he could get turned around ass-backward in a helluva hurry if he didn’t pay attention.

Kane cranked the wheel to avoid getting stuck in huge drift that resembled a foamy, curling ocean wave. Ginger’s arms tightened around his midsection when they caught air.

Then he saw the wooden shelter, which really wasn’t any more complex than a snow fence. Except they kept bales of hay stacked on one side just for situations like this. The cattle were milling around, waiting for the food fairy to appear. He shouted over the howling wind. “I’ve gotta spread out some hay.

Sit tight.”

“Can’t I help?” she shouted back.

“Sure. Come on.”

They trudged through the snowdrifts until they were at the backside of the shelter. The structure offered some respite from the wind, but not much. Kane scrambled on top of the haystack and kicked away as much snow as he could. Then he hefted two bales to the ground. He hopped back down and took out a pocketknife. He sliced the twine on the bales and yelled, “Spread it out. Along the length of the shelter.”

Without a word, Ginger spread out the hay and didn’t panic with the cows started to surround her, looking for food.

Kane knocked down eleven bales. By the time he finished, there were only three bales left to break apart. Since Ginger was doing such a fantastic job, he headed to the stock tank.

Frozen. Dammit. The solar panel was supposed to store enough energy that this didn’t happen, and it was the fourth time it’d happened this winter. He dug through the snow until he unearthed the crowbar he’d left for just this purpose. He broke the top layer of ice and yanked the biggest pieces out. Thirsty cows came to drink. While Kane tried to catch his breath, he counted cattle. Seventy-five. Two were missing.

He squinted across the horizon and saw nothing but acres of white. He hoped the cows were hunkered down someplace safe and he wouldn’t find their bloated corpses come spring thaw.

Kane turned around and saw Ginger cornered by one of the more curious cows. He jogged back and came up behind it, slapping it hard on the right flank. The old girl’s head swung round and she bellered at him. “Don’t you be getting sassy with my girl, or I’ll turn you into hamburger, you old sow.” Then he reached for Ginger’s hand and led her out of the tight mass of hungry cattle. “Let’s go. We’re done.”

“Good. I’m freezing.”

By the time they returned to the barn, over three hours had passed. And Ginger seemed grumpy.

Maybe because the sky looked to be clearing up and their alone time was coming to an abrupt halt?

He’d just have to make the next couple of hours memorable.

First thing Ginger did after peeling off the layers of clothes was check her phone.

“Any news?” Kane asked.

“One message from Hayden’s teacher. They’re opening I-25 at two this afternoon, so that’ll put them back at the school around five.”

Kane glanced at the clock. Almost eleven. “That gives us a little time.”

“All I want is time to warm up. I don’t know if I’ve ever been this cold.”

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