Cold Hearted Bastard

2

Gwen

There is no slow exploration. No gentle first kiss. It’s a ravishing. Almost punishing.

We go at it like a couple of wild animals.

Never in my life have I had a man kiss me like this. Nor have I ever kissed a man like this.

It’s not even a kiss. It’s violent. Consuming. Like a hate fuck disguised as a kiss.

Our lips meet in a clash of hunger.

Our tongues instantly thrust together, and we’re fighting to get closer.

Everything about this is hot and desperate and needy.

In two seconds I’m slammed against the car, hard enough the air leaves my lungs.

I grasp at his shoulders, pulling him closer.

Arching, pulsing, clawing to get closer.

It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced in my life.

No desire I’ve ever had.

It’s unnatural.

It’s like we’re long-lost lovers that have been reunited after centuries searching for each other. It makes no sense.

I don’t even want it. But I can’t stop it.

And by the savage way he’s kissing me, I know he feels the same.

Our breathing turns to angry pants. He grips my hips, kicks my legs apart, bends at the knees and slides between my legs.

I gasp and rock up to meet him.

He growls low in his throat.

Thrusts hard against me.

I rise to my tiptoes. Straining to get deeper.

He grips my thigh and his palm sears along my skin as he hooks my leg on his hip.

Some part of my brain wants to slow down, to get some control over this, but the thoughts scatter as he hits a spot so good I jerk and stutter.

More. More. More. I need more. It’s like he’s meant for me.

His fingers dig into my skin.

I clasp him around the waist.

The sounds coming from our throats are almost inhuman as we fight to get closer.

Closer. Closer. Closer.

But it’s not close enough.

I need…something.

I want to stop. Want more.

His movements match the rhythm of his tongue, and I lose track of my thoughts as I surge to meet him.

It consumes me. Wraps me up in its force and drowns me.

Our mouths go deeper.

If I wasn’t against the car, we’d be on the ground.

Yes, like that.

I want him pounding into me.

“Jackson!” A loud voice rips through the night air and we spring away from each other like guilty kids.

Disoriented, I’m panting for air, and he’s not in any better shape.

I don’t look at him and I don’t think he looks at me.

I can’t even contemplate what happened. That was insane and I’m not going to lie, I’m shaken. Like really shaken.

He whips around.

I straighten, moving away from him.

The ruggedly handsome older man who’d served me a drink in the bar and introduced himself as Beau is standing there.

Jackson drags a hand through his hair in time with his ragged breathing. “What?”

The older man raises a brow and jerks his thumb over his shoulder. “You’ve got a call.”

Jackson grits his teeth, a muscle in his jaw working, but he doesn’t glance in my direction. He narrows his gaze on Beau and something passes between them before Jackson nods. “All right.”

I cross my arms protectively over my chest. Preparing myself for Jackson to say something but it doesn’t come.

He just walks away without a word. He doesn’t even look back.

Beau smiles at me, all apologetic, before he shrugs. “Sorry, red.”

I shake my head and shrug back. Unwilling to speak and reveal I’m still gasping for air.

In truth, I’m stunned, thrown. My body is on fire. I can’t think of anything to do, or to say, so I get in my car and peel out of the parking lot as fast as I can.

Before Jackson can pull me back.

Jackson

I hang up the phone in the back office and push my thumbs into my eye sockets to relieve the ache.

“Everything okay?” Beau’s voice has me raising my head.

I look out the window. Late-night phone calls are never good and this is no exception. “I’ve got to take off.”

“Understood.” Beau knows I’m not much of a talker and doesn’t force me to discuss the subject I live and breathe every waking second. He doesn’t need to; he knows what’s up, and how it eats at me.

Beau McKay isn’t just my boss, and my uncle, but also my surrogate father since his brother bailed on us. He practically raised my brother, sister and me. Before he opened this place he’d been the county sheriff and the only reason I stayed out of prison. It wasn’t for lack of trying, but somehow he managed to keep me from being a criminal. He was the one that talked me into culinary school.

He’d never married, and didn’t have kids of his own, so we were it. We’ve never spoken about it, but I’m well aware he was in love with my mother before she died, which was unfortunate for him. Pining after your brother’s wife while she pines away for him is a twisted country song if I ever heard one.

Growing up, he kept me from being a delinquent, and these days he keeps me sane. Which is both a blessing and a curse, depending on the day and my mood. Right now I am not sure if I want to kill him or thank him for breaking up what went on with Gwen in that parking lot.

He leans against the doorframe and crosses his arms. “About the redhead.”

“I don’t want to talk about it.” The words are a vicious whip through the air. I don’t even want to think about it.

“Fair ’nough.” Beau nods, gives me a salute with his fingers. “Let me say one thing.”

It’s always one thing with him.

I shake my head. “No.”

“I think you should stay away from her.”

He’s absolutely right, but it still raises my hackles. My first thought is, Fuck you. She’s mine.

These are thoughts I do not have about women. Ever.

My second thought is I want to question him, to ask him why, but that reveals something I don’t want to admit to when I should be brushing off what he witnessed. I shrug. “I kissed her, not a big deal.”

Beau shakes his head. “That wasn’t a kiss. You were trying to devour her whole.”

I had been. I can’t explain it. I hadn’t even meant to kiss her. I’d only chased after her to show her who was in charge of the situation. Only, I’d made the mistake of touching her, and the second I did my brain short-circuited.

And once my lips met hers, all thought fled, replaced by hunger. It was like no matter how hard I took her mouth it hadn’t been hard enough. No matter how deep I’d kissed her, I’d needed more.

It was fucked.

I run a hand through my hair. “Doesn’t matter, she’s gone and I’m not going to get her.”

I can’t imagine Gwen Johnson showing back up.

It might not have been what I intended, but I had to have scared her off. She’s well known for being smart and shrewd, she has to know that kind of chemistry leads to nothing but disaster.

Beau laughs and straightens. “You keep telling yourself that.” He tilts his head toward the front of the bar. “I’ve got to get back.”

“See you tomorrow. I’ll come in early so you don’t have to.” I stand and fish my keys from my pockets and walk out the back door. I take a deep breath and look up into the sky and attempt to gather what’s left of my sanity.

It doesn’t work.

Christ, what the fuck was that?

I don’t even know. Don’t even want to think about it but can’t help myself. The need to consume her had been out of control. It had been visceral, demanding and primal. Like I’d been preprogrammed to relentlessly want to claim her. I’d known since we’d locked eyes we had chemistry, but I’d severely underestimated her.

My shoulders tense at the memory of me grinding against her like a sixteen-year-old. The worst part was I hadn’t been able to stop. My cock had demanded inside her, but I couldn’t pull away from her long enough to make it happen.

That I’m relieved Beau broke up whatever had been going on with Gwen out in the parking lot tells me everything I need to know. My instincts were right.

Gwen Johnson is trouble.

And no pussy—no matter how magical—is worth it.

I have other things to worry about.

I start walking toward the car, resenting that my gaze slides to the spot where I’d pinned her against the car. I’m both relieved and furious she’s gone.

But I’m falling more on the relieved side.

She doesn’t fall into my defined categories of acceptable women to take to bed.

I fuck a woman for sport, for distraction, for a temporary respite from my responsibilities. I don’t fuck them like my goddamn life depends on it.

Every instinct I have warns me away from her. No matter how beautiful. No matter how much my cock wants her. From this second forward Gwen Johnson is off limits.

The sooner she gets out of town, the better.