THEY WORKED THROUGH the hot, dry afternoon and long after sunset. Luke was glad that the others had turned out to help. He'd known they would. He'd rarely been let down by his friends in Trusty. Gossip ran swiftly, but so did loyalties, as he'd seen firsthand with the way the others had treated him around Darren. They'd treated Luke as if he were just another guy-not the guy who stepped between Darren and his wife. Darren wasn't warm with Luke, but he hadn't been confrontational, either, and that was enough for him. It was a start.
He, Kevin, and Daisy stood in the barn. They'd just finished putting the equipment away, and everyone else had left. Daisy's eyelids were heavy. She stood with one hand on her hip, her back against the barn wall, looking adorably sexy and exhausted in a pair of cutoffs and a dirt-streaked tan tank top that clung to her breasts.
"Were you surprised they showed up? Your dad's a great guy. No one's going to leave him hanging." Luke whipped his shirt off and used it to wipe sweat from his face; then he shoved it in his back pocket.
"You know, I never thought of him as a great guy. A hard worker, a strict father, a loving parent, even if not outwardly so." She licked her lips. "But the words great guy never really came to mind. They...um..." She cleared her throat, and the way her eyes lingered on his chest told him that it wasn't a tickle of hay that caused her need to pause.
Luke repressed a smile. He loved knowing his body had an effect on her, especially since he felt a jolt of desire every time he caught a glimpse of her sexy curves. There was something incredibly sexy about a petite, beautiful woman driving massive farm equipment.
"I'm glad they came to help, but I didn't expect it."
"Well, this has been fun, but I've got to rock and roll. I'm working my way through Game of Thrones, season two." Kevin shook Luke's hand. "Great to see you, man." Kevin smiled at Daisy. "Do you want me to come by tomorrow to help clean up anything left on the field?"
"You're never going to find a woman if you spend your weekend nights with a DVD." She teased him. "Don't worry about tomorrow. You're the greatest for offering to help, but I can take care of it. I really appreciate your help today, though. Hey, Kev, I've been thinking about what Kari said about all those kids needing physicals. If I do it, are you still game to help? I mean if I can work something out or get Ashley to change her mind."
"You know I will. But don't count on Ashley. She's not likely to budge."
Daisy pulled Kevin into a hug despite the sweat and grime covering his entire chest. It was clear to Luke how much they cared for each other. They were as comfortable as he and his siblings were, and he was damn glad that there was a striking difference between that comfort and the passion he saw in Daisy's eyes when she looked at him.
Daisy fiddled with the ends of her hair. Her body glistened from the heat, and when she met Luke's gaze, he was drawn to the tired, seductive, shy look in her eyes.
"I love that you're still thinking about helping those kids."
"Thanks. I'm still undecided. Just mulling it over."
"You know I'm coming to help tomorrow, right?" He closed the gap between them and slid his hands beneath the edge of her shirt, settling them on the heated flesh of her waist.
"You don't have to."
He'd waited all afternoon to kiss her-really kiss her, not a quick and appropriate peck, but a hot, wet, passionate kiss. He lowered his mouth to hers and-oh yeah-she wanted it, too. She wrapped her hands around his neck and deepened the kiss, sending them both stumbling until her back met the hard barn wall.
"Jesus." He kissed her again, tasting the need on her tongue as she eagerly swept and stroked his mouth. "I swear you're an aphrodisiac. How can it be that after spending all these hours together, I still miss you?"
He kissed her cheek, then settled his mouth on her neck and sucked the salty, sweet taste of her
. She pressed her hips to his, breathing hard as he kissed his way across her shoulder, then back up, taking her in another greedy kiss.
"Luke." His name came out like a warm brush of wind as his hands slid beneath her shirt and cupped her breasts.
She felt so good-too good to pull away. He lifted her shirt and pulled the cup of her bra down, then lowered his mouth to her breast, unable to suppress a moan of pleasure as she buried her hands in his hair and held him to her.
He reluctantly pulled back and met her lust-filled gaze.
"Daisy." He swallowed hard.
She took his lower lip into her mouth and sucked, stealing his ability to think.
"Yeah?" she whispered as she dropped her hand to his crotch and stroked him through his jeans.
Fuuuuck. He grabbed her wrist. "I can't. Not in your parents' barn."
She stuck her lower lip out, and he had to take her in another deep kiss.
"You're killing me."
"Follow me home."
Ten minutes later, they were kissing their way into her apartment. Luke kicked the door closed behind them as she lifted off her shirt and tossed it, and her bra, to the floor.
"Holy Christ, Daisy. You're like a wicked fantasy standing there in Daisy Dukes and cowgirl boots." He drew her close, and a guttural moan stole from his lungs at the skin-to-skin contact.
She lowered her lips to his chest, pressing wet kisses along his pecs. She hooked her fingers in the waist of his jeans and flicked her tongue over his nipple, pulling another hungry groan from deep within him. He wrapped one strong arm around her, and in two steps she was against the wall. He tore open her shorts and yanked them down to her boots. Damn boots. Her lips parted. Her tongue took a slow ride across her lower lip as she reached for the button of his jeans. He snagged his wallet and she grabbed his hand.
"Do you always use a condom?" she asked.
"Without fail. I've never trusted anyone enough not to."
"Do you trust me?"
"More than anyone in the world." Luke could hardly breathe. He'd always been careful when it came to sex, and with Daisy, he ached to feel her, really feel her. All of her.
"I'm on the pill, and I'm clean."
"Jesus, Daisy. I'm so damn clean you could eat dinner off of me."
She bit her lower lip, then, breathing hard, asked, "I...believe you that you always used a condom, but...how clean?"
"Tested and confirmed at my last checkup."
The darkening of her eyes sent a shot of lust through him. He shoved his jeans down to his knees, then pressed his body against hers and kissed her again. His hard, naked length pressed against her quivering body. She pushed him away with a narrow, hot stare. In the next breath, she took him in her mouth and cupped his balls as she stroked, fondled, and sucked him into a frenzy of delirious need.
"Holy...Daisy." He closed his eyes, clenched his teeth.
She ran her hands up his thighs, pressing hard as she licked his hard length, lingering on the tip, teasing him until every nerve sizzled and burned. Her mouth was hot and wet. Knowing he'd never last, he pulled her to her feet, then pressed her to the wall with one hand, using the other to tug off her boots. He lifted her easily as she wrapped her legs around his waist and lowered her sweet center onto his hard shaft until he was buried deep, and they both stilled at the closeness.
"Daisy," he whispered. Holy hell, he'd never felt anything so tantalizing in his life.
She covered his mouth with hers, and he pressed her back to the wall again, using it to support each powerful thrust. She gripped his biceps, emitting a streak of erotic, sexy, needful noises between heavy breaths.
"Oh...Luke..." she whispered. "Ah...uh..."
He couldn't speak. Heat burned deep in his belly and exploded like ice through his limbs. Daisy arched into him as she cried out his name, and he buried his face in her neck and grunted through his own powerful release.