One of my absolute favorite series as a child was “Choose Your Own Adventures”, the series where you got to create your own story and dictate the choices of your characters. These action/adventure series always held my attention as I’d scroll back and forth, trying to see where the various decisions would lead. Would I die, was I going to save the world, was the alien ship going to explode, etc.
I’d never, however, seen it involved in a romance before. So Daire St. Denis’ western story immediately piqued my interest with its twists and turns, dictated by the reader. The “Unraveled” anthology has some very interesting authors and stories, and I’m SO pleased to be a part of it!!
And now for Snippet #5, Daire St. Denis’ “How To Choose A Cowboy.”
Despite the fact I’m down to bra and panties, the room is warm, thanks to the fire in the fireplace and the alcohol in my veins.
“Twenty-one,” Connor says, pretending to be apologetic as he flips over his ace. “Sorry, sweets.”
“Are you hiding cards? You’ve got to be. No one is that lucky,” I complain.
“And where do you think I’m hiding these mystery cards?” Standing up, Connor spreads his arms wide, showing off—quite splendidly—that he’s bare-chested. His torso is broad and hairless and solid muscle. His build reminds me of the bull; meaty, strong and powerful, not because he spends hours in some gym but simply because he works hard for a living.
I point at his crotch. “Knowing you, you’ve got them hidden in your shorts.”
His eyebrows go up. “Is that your way of asking me to take off my jeans?”
He plays with the button on his fly. “You’re dying to see what I’ve got, admit it.”
“Nope. Not curious at all.” I’m lying and he knows it.
Tilting his head to one side, Connor concedes, as if he’s a gentleman, which he totally is not. “Okay. Fine. I’ll keep myself tucked away. For now.” He pours a shot and leaves it on the table. Sauntering over to me, he pulls me out of my chair. “Let’s see,” he says, deliberating dragging out the words. “I’ve licked your neck, your chest, your belly, your lips, your sweet, tasty tits…” he caresses my nipple through the lace of my bra. “Hmm, what else, what else…” As if seriously pondering the situation, he taps his lips with one hand while exploring me with his other. “Oh, I know.” His eyes go wide as if he really just came up with the answer. “Up on the table, please.”
“I’m about to, yes.”
I stand my ground in mock defiance. Crossing my arms over my chest.
“Do you need help?” He places his hands on my hips and easily lifts me so I’m perched on the edge of the solid table.
I’m trying to contain my grin. Seriously. I’m trying really, really hard. But it’s hopeless.
“You really need to work on your poker face, sweet thing.”
With a hand to my shoulder, he gently pushes me back. “Lie down,” he says. “There you go. Now, one knee up.” He takes my left leg and props it up on the table and then presses down on the knee, forcing my legs apart. Trailing his fingers from bellybutton to the sensitive skin beside the leg of my panties, he pulls up on the elastic and lets it snap down. “This should do,” he whispers.
Holding the lemon aloft, he squeezes, dribbling juice along the seam between my thigh and the leg of my panties. The hard line of his jaw tenses, like rubbing lemon and sprinkling salt on me is serious business. When I feel his hot breath on my thigh as he leans close, my right leg twitches beneath his hand. He tightens his hold, spreading my legs wider so that he’s got room to move. Then he licks. Slowly. Drawing circles with his tongue at the top of my thigh, darting beneath the band of my electric blue panties, teasing me. His hand slides along the skin of my other leg, his fingers searching beneath the other side of my panties, mimicking the movement of his tongue.
My body responds instinctively, arching upwards to meet him.
But he lets go of me—the bastard—and steps back. Never taking his eyes off where I’m lying prostrate on the table, he takes the shot.
I nudge him with my toe.
“Goddamn, Tess.” He shuts his eyes and focuses on breathing in and out through flared nostrils. Finally he sits. “Your deal.”
“You play dirty, you know that?”
“I never claimed otherwise. Now hurry up. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.”