Ignited by Passion, page 13
She licked her lips when she gazed down at him—especially a certain part of him. “And you’re sure no one will surprise us and come along?” There was a husky tone to her voice that even she didn’t recognize.
“Yeah, I’m sure. I’d never risk exposing you like that. I intend to be the only man ever to see you naked.”
She opened her mouth to tell him that sounded pretty much like a declaration that he intended to be with her for a while, but before she could get the words out he had captured her mouth in his and pulled her across the seat to him.
His kiss reflected all the want and desire he’d claimed he had for her; all that he’d been holding back for the past weeks. Now he was letting go and the moan that erupted deep in her throat was letting him know that she appreciated it.
She had missed this, a chance to moan and groan to her heart’s delight without having to worry about anyone hearing her. But she knew that Stone had something else in store for her, too. Today he intended to make her scream.
In a smooth and swift move, he had her on her back and the leather felt warm against her naked back and his body felt hot to her naked front. And then there was that hard part of him that was insistently probing trying to get inside of her. She decided the least she could do—since she was more than eager for this pleasure—was to help him along. She reached out and held him in her hand. He felt hot, hard and thick.
“Take it home, baby.”
Stone’s words, whispered in a deep, husky tone, sent sensuous chills all through her body and she adjusted her body when he lifted her hips to place her legs on his shoulders. She guided him home and when he entered her and went deep, his growl of pleasure mingled with her sigh of contentment.
He gazed down at her and the look of desire in his eyes touched her in a way she had never been touched. He smiled and so did she. “I know this vehicle is roomy, now let’s see how sturdy it is.”
Before she could figure out what he meant he began thrusting inside of her at a rhythm that had her groaning and moaning. The seat rocked and she thought she felt the entire truck shake as his body melded into hers over and over again.
“I can’t get enough of you, Madison,” he groaned throatily as he continued to mate with her, stunned by the degree of wanting and desire he had for her. His jaw clenched and he hissed through his teeth when he felt her muscles tighten around him mercilessly. He reacted by thrusting into her even more. He felt her body shudder and when she let out a scream that was loud enough to send the wildlife scattering for miles, he threw his head back as his own body exploded. At that very moment he thought that he had to be stone crazy, especially when he felt another orgasm rip through her.
“Damn!” Never had he felt such a mind-blowing experience. It was a wonder the truck hadn’t flipped over. The windows had definitely gotten steamy.
Moments later they collapsed in each other’s arms. Stone raised his head to gaze down at the woman still beneath him; the woman he was still intimately connected to; the woman he wanted again already. And he knew without a doubt that he wasn’t stone crazy, but he was stone in love.
“So how was the picnic?” Corey asked as he sat down to the kitchen table for dinner.
“It was nice,” Madison quickly said, glancing across the table to Stone. She was glad he didn’t lift his head to look at her because if he’d done so, it would definitely have given something away. After making love in the truck a second time, they had continued on to Cedar Canyon. They spread a blanket next to the lake and ate the delicious snack her mother had packed for them. Then they had undressed and made love again on the blanket before going swimming. Then they had made love several more times before coming back to the ranch. To say the picnic had been nice was putting it mildly.
After dinner the four of them were sitting on the porch listening to Corey talk about the progress he and Stone were making on the barn, when one of the dogs barked. Corey glanced in the distance and saw riders approaching.
“Looks like we have visitors,” he said, standing. He used his hand as a shield as he squinted the brilliance of the evening sun from his eyes. A smile touched his lips when he said, “It looks like Quade and Durango, and they have two other men with them.”
Everyone watched the riders approach. Madison blinked when she saw the men, surprised that Corey didn’t recognize the other two since it was crystal clear all of them were Westmorelands. The four could pass for brothers. She glanced over at Stone, but he was looking at the other two men intently, as well. The four riders dismounted and walked toward the porch.
“Durango, Quade, good seeing you,” Corey said, grabbing his nephews in bear hugs. He then turned to the other two men. “I’m Corey Westmoreland and welcome to Corey’s Mountain.” He then frowned, as if seeing them had him confused. He stared at them for a second. “Do I know you two? Damn, I hate staring, but the two of you look a hell of a lot like my nephews here.”
Quade Westmoreland cleared his throat. “There’s a reason for that Uncle Corey.”
Corey glanced over at Quade and lifted a brow. “There is?”
“Yes,” Durango said quietly. “I’m sure Stone told you that someone was looking for you.”
Corey nodded. “Yeah, that’s what I heard. So what has that to do with these two?”
When everyone went silent, Corey crossed his arms over his chest. “Okay, what the hell is going on?”
One of the men, the taller of the two, spoke up. “Do you remember a Carolyn Roberts?”
Corey’s arms dropped to his sides. “Yes, I remember Carolyn. Why? What is she to you?”
The other man, who was just as tall as Corey, then spoke. “She was our mother.”
“Was?” Corey asked softly.
“Yes, she died six months ago.”
Corey shook his head sadly as he remembered the woman he’d dated a full year before they’d gone their separate ways, never to see each other again. “I’m sorry to hear that and you have my condolences. Your mother was a good woman.”
“And she told us just moments before she died that you were a good man,” the taller of the two said.
Corey sighed deeply. “I appreciate her thinking that way.”
“That’s not all Mrs. Roberts told them, Uncle Corey. I think you need to hear the rest of it,” Quade Westmoreland said.
After glancing over at his nephew, Corey turned to the men. “All right. What else did she tell you?”
The two men looked from one to the other before the taller answered. “She also told us that we were your sons.”
It was evident that the two men’s statement had shaken Corey, Madison thought. But then all you had to do was to look at the other three Westmoreland nephews to know their claim was true. Quade was a good-looking man and reminded her a lot of Stone. He was quiet and didn’t say much, but when he spoke people listened. And there was a dangerous look about him like he enjoyed living on the edge and wouldn’t hesitate to take anything into his own hands if the need arose. Then there were the other two men, who until a few minutes ago were virtual strangers. The only names they’d given were their first ones, Clint and Cole. They said they would explain everything once they were seated at the table where they could talk.
Now it seemed everyone was ready. Her mother, being the ever-gracious and proper hostess, had made coffee and served Danishes when the men declined dinner. Abby was now seated beside Corey and, understanding her mother’s presence but thinking this was a family matter and her presence wasn’t warranted, Madison was about to leave to go to her room when Stone grabbed her arm and almost tugged her down in his lap. “Stay,” he said so close to her lips she thought he was going to kiss her.
She glanced over at his cousin Quade who smiled mysteriously. She looked at Stone and nodded, “All right,” and sat down in the chair beside him.
“Now, will the two of you start from the beginning?” Corey Westmoreland asked Clint and Cole.
Clint, the taller of the two men, began speaking. “
“Triplets!” Corey exclaimed, nearly coming out of his seat.
Clint nodded. “Yes.”
Corey shook his head. “Multiple births run in this family, but…hell, I didn’t even know she was pregnant.”
“Yes, she said she left without telling you after the two of you broke up. She moved to Beaumont, Texas, where an aunt and uncle lived. She showed up on their doorstep and fabricated the story that she had married a man who’d been a rodeo bronco and that he’d gotten killed while competing. She claimed that man’s name was Corey Westmoreland and she was the widowed Carolyn Westmoreland. She’d even obtained false papers to prove it. We can only assume she did that because she was twenty-four and her aunt and uncle, her only relatives, were deeply religious. They wouldn’t look down on her if she told them she was married instead of a girl having a child out of wedlock.”
A few moments later Clint continued. “Anyway, she found out she was having triplets and, since she was using the Westmoreland name, the three of us were born as Westmorelands and no questions were asked. We were raised believing our father had died before we were born and never thought any differently until Mom called us in just seconds before she passed away and told us the truth.”
Cole took up the story. “She said our father was Corey Westmoreland but he wasn’t dead like she’d told us over the years. She said she didn’t know where you were and would leave it up to us to find you. She told us to tell you, when we did find you, that she was sorry for not letting you know about us. If she had told you about her pregnancy she thought you would have done the honorable thing and married her, although she knew you didn’t love her and that your heart still belonged to another. We promised her just seconds before her eyes closed that we would do what we could to find you and deliver that message. I believe that she was able to die in peace after that.”
For a long moment no one at the table said anything and Madison felt the exact moment Stone took her hand in his and held it like the story had touched him deeply. She understood. It had touched her, as well.
Corey Westmoreland cleared his throat but everyone could see the tears that misted his eyes. “I thank her for wanting me to know the truth after all these years.” He then cleared his throat again. “You said there were triplets. Does that mean there’s a third one of you?”
A smile touched Clint’s lips. “Yes, I’m technically the oldest, Cole’s in the middle and Casey is the last.”
Corey Westmoreland swallowed deeply. “I have three sons?”
Clint chuckled as he shook his head. “No, you have two sons. Casey is a girl and, just so you know, the reason she’s not here is because she’s having a hard time dealing with all of this. She and Mom were close and for years she thought you were dead and now to discover you’re alive and that Mom kept it from us has her going through some changes right now.”
Once again there was silence at the table and then Stone spoke. “Damn, another Westmoreland girl, and we thought Delaney was the only one.” He turned and smiled at the two men, his newfound cousins. “Delaney is my sister and we thought she was the only female in the Westmoreland family in this generation. Did the two of you catch hell being big brothers to Casey as much as my four brothers and six cousins caught hell looking out for Delaney?”
Clint and Cole exchanged huge grins. “Hell wasn’t all we caught being brothers to Casey. Wait until you meet her, then you’ll understand why.”
Madison cuddled closer into Stone’s embrace as they lay in bed together. “In a way, today’s event had a happy ending to a rather sad beginning. At least Clint and Cole got to meet Corey and Corey found out he had two sons and a daughter.”
“Umm,” Stone said, placing a kiss on Madison’s lips. “Uncle Corey is going to make history in the Westmoreland family. He’ll become a father and a groom within months of each other. He was so excited that he picked up the phone to call everyone but then remembered the phone was dead. I can’t wait until the family gets the news.” He chuckled. “And when Clint and Cole told Uncle Corey what they did for a living, he was as proud as could be.” Both Clint and Cole were Texas Rangers. According to the brothers, Casey owned a clothing store in Beaumont.
Less than an hour later, when Madison had fallen asleep, Stone slipped out of her bedroom and ran smack into Durango. Durango placed his arms across his chest and had a smirk on his face. “Making late-night visits, I see.”
Stone frowned. “You see too much, Durango. Why aren’t you in bed like everyone else?”
“Because, Cuz, I was looking for you. When you weren’t in your room I assumed you had gone outside to take a dip in the hot spring. Evidently I was wrong.”
Stone glared at him. “Evidently. Now why were you looking for me?”
Durango reached into his pocket and pulled out an envelope. “To give you this. I almost forgot because of the excitement. This telegram came for you a few days ago. I assume it might be important.”
Stone took the envelope from Durango, tore it open and scanned the contents. “Damn!”
Durango lifted a brow. “Bad news?”
Stone shook his head. “It’s from my agent. I sold an other book and the offer is eight figures and a Hollywood studio has bought an option on it. He wants me in New York in two days to announce everything at the Harlem Book Fair.”
Durango smiled. “Hey, Stone, that’s wonderful news and I’d think announcing the deal at that book fair would be good publicity.”
“Yeah, but I don’t want to go anywhere right now.”
Durango lifted a dark brow in confusion. “Why not?” When Stone didn’t respond he said. “Oh, I see.”
Stone frowned. “And just what do you see, Durango?”
“I see that a city girl has wrapped herself around your heart like one wrapped herself around mine a few years ago. Take my advice and be careful about falling in love. Heartache is one hell of a pain to bear.”
Stone sighed deeply as he met his cousin’s gaze. “Your advice comes too late, Durango. I think I’m already there.” Without saying anything else, he walked off.
Stone glanced at his watch as he waited for Madison to come to breakfast the next morning. He would be leaving with Durango and Quade when they left in less than an hour. Clint and Cole would be staying awhile to spend time with Corey and Abby.
“Stone? Mom said you wanted to see me.”
Stone glanced up and smiled when he saw Madison enter the room. She was dressed in a pair of jeans and a Western shirt and looked feminine as hell. He took her hand in his. “Durango gave me a telegram last night. My agent wants me in New York for an important media announcement regarding a recent book deal. I need to leave for New York as soon as possible.”
Madison’s features filled with disappointment. “Oh.” Then, after taking a deep breath, she met his gaze and said, “I’m going to miss you.”
He pulled her into his arms. “I’m going to miss you, too. I’ll be back as soon as it’s over. Will you be here when I return?”
She met his gaze. “I’m not sure, Stone, I—”
“Please stay until I get back, Madison. You haven’t been to Yellowstone and I’d like to take you there.”
She smiled. “I think I’d like that.”
Not caring who might walk up on them at any moment, he pulled her into his arms and kissed her deeply, needing to take the taste of her with him and wanting to leave the taste of him with her. He planned for them to have a long talk about their future when he returned.
“I’ll be back as soon as I can,” he whispered against her moist lips.
She nodded. “I’ll be counting the days.”
He pulled her closer into his arms. “So will I.”
At any other time Stone would have enjoyed attending a gala thrown in his honor, but at this moment he didn’t appreciate that his agent, Weldon Harris, had planned the surprise event. Even the media had been invite
He was even more mad that what was supposed to have been a weekend affair in New York had stretched into a full week including unscheduled interviews and parties that his agent had arranged for him to attend. He hated that his uncle’s phone still wasn’t working. He had no way to let Madison know why he hadn’t returned to the mountains.
He saw Noreen Baker glance his way and knew an en counter with her was the last thing he wanted. He turned to make his escape, but when she called out to him, he decided it would be rude not to acknowledge her. He sighed deeply when she approached.
“Congratulations on your achievements. You must be proud of yourself.”
“I am,” he said curtly, deciding not to engage in small talk.
She glanced around. “And I must say that this is a real nice party for the prolific Rock Mason.”
“I’m glad you like it, Noreen. Now if you will ex—”
“Are you still trying to be a recluse?”
He had turned around to leave but her question ticked him off. “I’ve never tried to be a recluse. If you would catch me when I’m doing my Teach the People to Read functions you would know that. Instead you prefer attending those affairs that promote dirt instead of positive functions.”
Noreen looked at him and smiled. “How about telling me something that’s positive?”
“Try doing an article on the Teach the People to Read program.”
“No, I want to do an article about you. After the announcement a few days ago, you are definitely big news and being young, single and rich, you will be in demand with the ladies. Any love interests? What about marriage plans?”
Stone immediately thought about Madison. He would gladly announce to the world that she was the woman he loved and the one woman he wanted to marry, but information like that in this particular barracuda’s hands might be hurtful to Madison. Noreen would never give her a moment’s rest in the process of fishing for a story. She would camp outside Madison’s home if it meant getting a scoop.
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