Too weak to resist young Kelly Benton’s attempts at seduction, Rowdy Mackay left home eight years ago. Duty as a U.S. Marine put a safe distance between temptation and the nubile Kentucky vixen. Now he’s back home and ready to engage in the kind of erotic games that have earned him and his two cousins a Nauti-boy reputation in three counties.
Once it was Kelly’s dream too-to feel the heat of the boy she desired. But an attack from a stalker still on the prowl has left Kelly terrified of a man’s touch. Now as fear and desire converge, Rowdy fights to save her from the deadly threats of a stranger, to rid her of her demons, and to satisfy a hunger more powerful than either can imagine.
How had he known she would be waiting on him, here of all places. Rowdy Mackay steered the Harley into its parking spot before lifting his glasses from his face and facing the demon sprite as she moved from the wood bench to stand on the sidewalk in front of him.
She was wearing one of those short, snug little t-shirts she liked so much. At least it wasn’t one of his bigger shirts. He had lost two more on this trip home and he knew who to blame. She had been stealing his shirts since she was sixteen and her mother married his father, bringing his favorite bit of trouble right into his home.
And he had been running from her ever since. Seven years of running. He had one year left to decide what the hell he was going to do.
He turned and tucked the sunglasses into the side of his Marine issue duffel bag strapped on the back of the Harley before he bent his leg on the gas tank and watched her silently. Dawg and Natches were supposed to be here soon. Dawg was driving Natches over so he could take the Harley back, but they weren’t here yet. There was no one to distract him from the hunger driving him crazy.
She was twenty-three and her kisses were soft summer rain. They slid over a man’s senses and drew in him, inviting him to get all wet and wild with her, inviting him to give her his worst. And in Rowdy’s case, his worst might be a hell of a lot more than she could handle.
She stepped from the sidewalk. The low-rise of her jeans didn’t even come close to the tempting shadow of her navel. She made him sweat in the middle of damned winter. But it wasn’t winter now, it was summer. A hot, Kentucky summer evening and he was leaving again.
And this time, he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he wouldn’t be able to walk away again. This was his last year away from home, he figured. Each year, without even touching her, without taking her or tasting her kiss, she made him feel things he didn’t expect.
His chest tightened at that knowledge. At the effort it was going to take to walk away from her again.
“You left without saying goodbye.” She stopped beside the Harley, her dove gray eyes staring back at him with a shadow of hurt. “I didn’t even get to see you this time.”
No, she hadn’t. He had stayed as far away from his dad’s home as possible, spending the six weeks he was back on the boat he kept at the marina.
A playful breeze caught at the long curls of her golden-brown hair and tugged at the lush waves of silk he dreamed of wrapping around his body. He had dreamed of her while he spent those lonely nights on the boat. Dreamed of touching her, kissing her, dragging her beneath his body and taking her until neither of them could breathe for the exhaustion filling them.
Other women hadn’t even figured into his lust. His stubborn body rejected them. He wanted Kelly.
His mouth was watering. He could feel the need to pull her to him, to wrap himself around her nearly getting the best of him.
“Rowdy?” Her voice was filled with a young woman’s hope, her dreams, and all the passion he knew burned inside her.
“You shouldn’t have come here, Kelly.” He sighed as he gave in to the impulse to reach out, to use the excuse of pushing her hair back to touch the soft warmth of it.
He really wanted to crush it his hands, pull her head back and devour her. Damn, he could do it too. She would let him. He could see it in her eyes.
“You didn’t even say goodbye.” It wasn’t just hurt in her voice then, there was anger.
“If I had said goodbye, I might not have left,” he finally sighed. He was a man, he knew better than this. Kelly might be twenty-three but she had no damned clue what she was getting into with him.
He’d kissed her three years before. Pinned her against the trunk of a tree and took her lips like the sweet drug they were. He had marked her because he couldn’t help himself. He had made certain no one was dumb enough to think they could have Kelly. And his cousins would make sure it stuck while he was gone. While the Marines took their final year of this tour and he decided what the hell he was going to do about Kelly.
“You could have said goodbye,” she whispered again.
“I could have been shot by my own father for the things I’d have done to you if I had just a measure of a chance.” He tried to smile, but he was too busy trying to keep his hands off the soft curves of her ass instead.
She was making him crazy. But hell, this was Kelly; she had been making him crazy for most of her life in one way or the other.
“I would have come to the boat…”
He laid his finger over her lips when he wanted to lay his own lips over them. Take them, lick at them, feel her open to him as she had that night at the lake.
“No.” He shook his head. “You’re here now.” He had known she would be. Had prayed she would be. And he was leaving.
He lifted his finger from her lips as he lowered his head. He didn’t kiss her lips, he couldn’t trust himself to rein in his hunger, his lust. It was impossible. He had a plane waiting on him, a job to finish, and he--
Sweet merciful God have pity on him. Her head turned, her lips touched his and he was a goner. His hands slid over the ripe curves of her ass and he clenched, lifting her into the cradle of his thighs as his hunger overruled all common sense.
His head tilted, his lips slanting over hers, and he swore he saw stars as the sweet taste of her exploded against his senses. Blood began to pound in his veins as his thighs tightened, his dick thickened and everything but the taste of Kelly receded beneath the force of his lust.
Pure, raw pleasure. That was what she was. She made him hard, made him primal, made him want to show her all the reasons why he should have never touched her the first time.
But she was his. His woman. His sweet, hot taste of paradise, and he could do nothing but beg for more. She was his drug, and God help them both, he was afraid the addiction might well kill one of them. He knew for a certainty it was going to drive him crazy.
Male catcalls and raucous voices had him finally dragging his lips from hers as he glanced up to see several servicemen watching him enviously. Son of a bitch. Here he was in the damned parking lot of the airport ready to tear her clothes from her body.
Glancing down, he watched her eyes drift open, saw the passion that clouded her gaze as she stared up at him.
“Don’t forget me, Rowdy,” she whispered as he set her back from him.
But he couldn’t let go of her. His hands clasped her hips as his forehead settled against hers.
“Forget you?” he asked softly. “Baby, you’re in every dream that drifts through my head. How the hell am I supposed to ever forget you?”
And that sucked. He couldn't forget her anymore than he could have her. Sweet, little, virgin baby, she had no idea what she was getting into.