Page 6 of Lone Star Reunion

“I’ll meet you at the tree house,” Daniel said, his voice clipped. He lifted his wrist to look at his expensive watch. “In half an hour?” He rubbed his hand over his jaw and shook his head. “I can’t believe that I am risking getting splinters in my butt to have you again. Nobody but you, Alex Slade, would tempt me to do this...”

His words shouldn’t make her smile but they did. She opened her mouth to explain that the tree house wasn’t as bad as it had been... No, she’d let it be a surprise.

“Are you going to walk there?” Daniel asked.

In moonlight or bright sunshine, she always walked to the tree house. “Yes.”

“I’m going to go home, pick up my dirt bike and I’ll be there as soon as I can,” Daniel told her, his eyes steady on her face.

Good, that gave her some time to think about what she was doing, to talk herself out of this madness.

Daniel narrowed his gaze. “Do not stand me up, Alexis.”

Although it unnerved her how he’d been able to read her thoughts, she couldn’t suppress the shiver of excitement that tap-danced up and down her spine. He was gorgeous and determined and he wanted her.

No, she wouldn’t stand him up. She couldn’t; she wanted this, wanted him. “I’ll be there.”

Daniel nodded, swiped his mouth across hers in a brief but molten-lava-hot kiss. “See that you are.”

One

Mid-November

Daniel Clayton released a low curse and buried his head in the soft pillow, cursing his early-morning alarm. Unfortunately, neither cattle nor his ranch hands cared that he’d spent most of the night making love, that he’d had minimal sleep. The Silver C Ranch and his grandmother demanded a daily pound of flesh and since he didn’t tolerate excuses or less than 100 percent effort, he knew he should haul his ass out of bed and get to it. He rolled over and pressed his chest to Lexi’s back, filling his hand with her perfect, perfect breast. Daniel skimmed his thumb across her nipple and buried his nose in her fragrant hair. Best way to wake up, bar none. His rock-hard erection pushed into her bottom and he skated his hand down her torso, across her stomach, and his fingers flirted with the V shape below. There was nothing like sleepy, lazy sex... His cell phone alarm screeched again.

“Dammit, Clayton,” Lex muttered, reaching across him to grab his phone. Mercifully, the strident alarm ceased, and despite wanting Lexi again, Daniel found himself drifting back to sleep. Then Alex’s sharp elbow dug into his ribs and he rolled over, frowning.

“What was that for?”

“Sun’s up in forty-five minutes, and we both have to leave,” Alex told him, whipping off the covers and exposing his naked body to the chilly morning air.

The tree house was heated by a woodstove, which they didn’t bother to light because a stream of smoke from the chimney would raise questions—questions neither of them wanted to answer. As it was, he’d already endured a few lectures from Rose, demanding to know the status of his love life. He’d blown her off, as usual, but then she’d upped the ante by expressing her fervent hope that he’d meet a lovely girl through the upcoming bachelor auction—as if!—and that she would be bitterly disappointed if she found out that he was carrying on with “that Slade girl.”

Since that Slade girl was currently standing naked by the window, long blond hair tumbling down her oh-so-sexy back, he didn’t give a rat’s ass what his grandmother or anyone else thought. They’d been hooking up for six weeks—maybe a week or so more—and he’d enjoyed every second he’d spent with Alex. But what they shared was sex and desire and heat and want and nothing his grandmother needed to worry about.

He loved his grandmother—he did—but he just wished she’d stay out of his damn business. Alex, what they had together, was separate from The Silver C—one didn’t impact the other. For a decade his entire focus had been on the family spread, trying to restore the somewhat tarnished reputation of the Clayton clan. While Rose held the respect of the residents of the town of Royal and the counties of Maverick and Colonial, his late grandfather, Ed, and his mother, Stephanie, did not. One was a bastard and the other was irresponsible, wild and borderline psycho. Despite his dubious parentage, he’d worked hard to command a little of the respect his grandmother did.

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