Her eyes filled with tears. “Thank you.”
“For understanding. For not thinking I’m some kind of freaky girl for crying over my dead brother.”
Tell hauled her into his lap. “I’d never think that.”
Georgia curled into him. “I’m sorry this has turned out to be a shitty date.”
“Sweetness, it’s always a good date when I’ve got you in my arms.” He kissed her forehead.
“Sorry to rip you away from the end of the movie.”
“I know how it ends. John Wayne wins.”
“Wouldn’t be much of a John Wayne movie if he didn’t.”
He stroked her hair. “Can I ask you something? I’m not clear on why you chose to return to Sundance. You had to know there’d be memories of RJ all over the place.”
Georgia absentmindedly stroked the tops of his fingers. “Maybe I came back here to face my demons. Be warned: I’ve got quite a lot of them.”
“Don’t we all.” Tell eased her back so he could take his time kissing her. Enjoying the feel of her soft body against his. Enjoying a lazy exploration of her mouth.
She slipped her lips down his chin, breaking the kiss. “We’d be more comfortable in my bed.”
“Of that there’s no doubt.”
“Is that a no?”
Georgia disentangled herself from his embrace and sat up. “Thanks for supper.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow night sometime.”
Tell had sensed the change in the air when Georgia walked into the back room at Ziggy’s. His eyeballs had popped out like a cartoon character’s when he got a load of her outfit—a cleavage-baring black lace lingerie thingy topped with a sheer black blouse. Painted-on jeans that highlighted every juicy curve. Her inky-black hair was a hot mess, as if she’d just rolled out of bed. Her lips were glossy. And those eyes. God. Damn. Those eyes.
Georgia Hotchkiss was a fucking goddess.
Georgia Hotchkiss was here for him.
And Tell immediately staked his claim. Wrapping one arm around her lower back, curling his other hand on the side of her head, bringing her mouth to his for a possessive kiss. A public kiss that no one would mistake as friendly.
His dick performed a happy, hopeful salute whenever Georgia was around, so he hoped his friends wouldn’t razz him about the tent in his jeans.
Throughout the game, his gaze kept zipping to her. She distracted him to the point he’d almost sent his last dart into the wall instead of the dartboard.
“Focus,” Tim hissed.
Right. It was freakin’ darts. But he also had the need to impress Georgia—and he hadn’t done squat this round.
When his turn rolled around again, he threw perfectly and broke the tie to win the third game.
His buddies clapped him on the back and offered to buy him a couple of beers, but he only had eyes for her.
“Hey, hot lips,” he said, pulling her to her feet.
“Hey yourself. Pretty impressive shooting at the end.”
Tell put his mouth on her ear. “Between you and me? These guys take darts way too seriously.”
“But you didn’t want to let them down.”
He inhaled and the scent of her hair filled his lungs. Lord, she smelled good. Like vanilla cupcakes. “No sense in doin’ something half-assed.”
Her sexy rasp of a laugh rolled over him.
“Come on. Hang out for a bit.”
His friends had left one chair at the crowded table. Which meant Georgia had to sit on his lap.
Tell made introductions. During a lull in the conversation, to which she’d contributed little, she whispered, “Why am I the only woman here?”
He shrugged. “It happens sometimes. Most the wives and girlfriends work. Why?”
“Because I don’t know anyone here and I shouldn’t have—”
“Georgia? Is that you?”
Someone knew her.
They turned and saw Eugene “Smitty” Smith. A fellow classmate who’d hung out with Deck and RJ’s crowd.
“It is you!” Smitty crowed.
“What you waiting for, girl? Gimme a hug.”
She hopped off Tell’s lap and let Smitty scoop her up and spin her around.
Tell drained his beer.
“I haven’t seen you in forever. You’re still looking like a million bucks.”
“What’re you doin’ here? Not in this bar,” he clarified, “but in Wyoming?”
“I’m working in Sundance.”
“No shit? Huh. Don’t get over there much. Have you seen Deck?”
She dodged the question. “How’s Janice?”
“Fat and mean-mouthed. In other words, the same.”
“Didn’t you always say it takes one to know one?”
Smitty’s pseudo-friendly demeanor changed. “You seen Deck?” he repeated.
Georgia’s fake smile faltered. “No. Why would I have?”
“So you don’t know that him and Tara-Lee are havin’ a kid? They’ve been tryin’ for years.”
“You’d think it would’ve happened sooner beings they’d been practicing since I was married to Deck.”
Tell draped his arm over Georgia’s shoulder. “Smitty.”
Smitty’s gaze winged back and forth between them. “You gotta be kidding me. You two are together?”
“Yep.” He didn’t elaborate. Neither did Georgia.
And Smitty fidgeted in the silence.
“I gotta get. See ya around.” He scowled at Tell and lumbered off.
“Gee, if that’s a preview of how the reunion is gonna go, I’m thinking I’ll skip it.”
Tell pressed his lips to her temple. “Now why would you wanna do that? This is just startin’ to get interesting. You want another drink?”
“No. I should go.”
He tipped her head back. “Why? You bored?”
“I feel like I’m intruding on guy time.” Georgia gave him that sexy, crooked smile. “Besides, I want to spend time with you. Alone with you. Don’t you want that?”
Well, hell, what was he supposed to say to that?
Say yes, you dumb fucker.
Georgia placed her hands on his chest. “Your lack of enthusiasm for that idea is giving me the impression this attraction is one-sided.”
“Bull. You just wanna set the pace of how things are gonna go between us.”
“That’s because things aren’t going anywhere.”
“Where do you suggest we take things on our third date, Georgia? Skip the getting to know each other part and head straight for the nearest bed?”
She backed up. “You know what? You’re right. I’m being pushy. I’ll go. Thanks for the drink.” She spun away from him.
Tell wouldn’t have believed Georgia could run in such ankle-breaking heels, but she was hightailing it out the door.
Tim clapped him on the back. “So, McKay, when the fuck did you hit your head?”
Tell glared at him. “What the hell are you talking about?”
He pointed toward the exit. “Dude, you’ve got a screw loose if you’d rather be with us than her.”
The guy had a point.
“Thanks for the kick in the ass, buddy, I owe you.” Tell took off, catching her halfway across the gravel parking lot. He picked her up, covering her shriek of surprise with his mouth.
She fought him for about two seconds, then her arms wound around his neck and she kissed him back.
He didn’t stop moving until he reached the back end of his pickup, setting her down long enough to drop the tailgate. He hoisted her onto his lap, facing him, crossing her ankles behind his butt.
The light in the parking lot allowed him to see her face, but the angle he’d parked his truck meant no one could see them.
“You flounced off in a snit before I got to say my piece.”
“Because I’ve heard that particular piece before.”
“Yeah. We’re taking it slow. You’re gonna spend two solid days in my bed once we finally get there…blah blah blah.”
That seemed a little sarcastic. “But you don’t believe it?”
“I’ll believe it when I see it.” Georgia let her fingers trace his jawline, the hollows of his cheeks, the corners of his eyes and the arch of his eyebrows. Then she murmured, “Look at you. So different now. You’re all man. Hardly any trace remains of that cute high school boy I knew.” Her mouth curled into a mysterious smile.
“That’s an interesting smirk, hot lips.”
“Just wondering if that high school boy still inside you is afraid I’ll reject you if you try and touch me.”
His jaw tightened beneath her stroking fingers. “Not true.”
“So true.” Georgia flicked her tongue across the seam of his lips. But rather than diving in for a kiss, she retreated. “Come on, McKay. Don’t you want to get to second base with me tonight?”
Automatically his gaze dropped to her chest. Damn. She’d always had such a great rack. Now that he was inches away from those perfect breasts…the go slow portion of his adult brain was suddenly silenced by the show me your boobies! section of his teenage brain.
No surprise which side won.
“I’ll admit that contraption you’re wearing—while sexy as all get-out—is a little intimidating for a simple country boy like me.”
“It’s just a bustier.”
“Mmm. The boost-e-ay needs gone.” Tell’s hot gaze hooked hers. “Untie the bow.”
She curled the satin ribbon around her finger and gently tugged until the bow disappeared, leaving two short ribbons dangling along each side.
“Show me more.”