An Excerpt From Darkest Angel by Tabitha Shay

Ages 18+ ONLY

Rio kicked off his boots, eased down on the swing beside Grace and sighed. The day had been endless with hours dragging from morning until now, but at last, Wolf was sleeping peacefully. Kate as well. Friends and neighbors had stopped by throughout the day checking on the little man, but now they were all gone too.

Rio’s shoulders slumped with tiredness. If he felt this exhausted handling so many people, he could only imagine how bone weary tired Grace must feel. A long day, when all he wanted was for night to come, bedtime to arrive so he could hold Grace in his arms.

He stretched and yawned.

She looked at him and grinned. “Was that a hint?”

“Damn sure was. Don’t ya think you’ve kept me at arm’s length long enough?”

“Why, I never.” She gasped, then giggled like a school girl. “I’ve never refused you. I never will.”

“Grace,” he said softly.

“What, Rio?” She blinked innocently.

“Nothing. Just ‘Grace’.” He sat there for a moment, pondering. “No. There is something. I want to thank you for being a good mother to my son, for loving him, and not painting me in a bad light.”

“How could I speak words to make him hate you when I love you so much?”

Rio stood up, pulled her to her feet and lifted her into his arms.

“What are you doing?” She nuzzled his ear.

His body hardened instantly. He turned to the front door, changed his mind and took the steps leading off the front porch. “I’m going to make love to my woman.” He headed to the barn.

She blinked. “The barn?”

“It feels right.” He kicked open the barn door and walked inside. Looking around, he searched for a place where they could have some privacy.

“Last stall on the end,” Grace said. “It’s empty and Rachel added fresh hay this morning. And there are clean blankets across the boards over there.”

He lifted a brow. “You’ve done this before?”

“No, silly. The blankets are for wiping down the horses.”

Rio stood her on her feet and cupped the back of her hips. “There’s been no one else,” he said huskily. “After touching you, loving you, I couldn’t imagine lying with another woman. I love you, Grace. I always have.”

“There’s been no one else for me, either,” she replied. “My marriage was in name only. Pete never tried…to…you know.” She fiddled with the long row of blue buttons down the front of her dress.

Rio stilled her hand by placing his over hers. “I want to do it. It’s been so long since I undressed you. I’ve dreamed of this moment.” He slowly pulled the pins from her hair and unwound it until it lay long and soft to her waist. Rio held up several strands and breathed in the scent of the soap she used. “Smells like lilac. It was one of my favorite memories of you, the way your hair always smelled like lilac.”

“I remember everything about you. Your scent, the way you snore softly while you sleep, the way your body fit inside mine.”

Rio couldn’t wait any longer. Instead of fumbling with the row of buttons, he ripped the front of her gown down the middle and freed her full breasts. Like a starving man, he closed his mouth over one breast and suckled until her nipple tightened. Releasing her, he pushed her slowly backward until she was inside the stall. There, he shucked off his socks, pants, and shirt and dropped them in a pile to one side. He quickly spread a blanket on the hay while she stepped out of her skirt and petticoats.

He didn’t give her time to eye his erection. Instead, he yanked off her drawers and lowered her onto the blanket. “I want this moment to last forever,” he whispered, and parted her nether lips. Rio spread kisses down her belly until he reached her honeyed well and there, he sipped long and deep until she squirmed.

Grace clawed his shoulders, her nails raking his skin. He didn’t care. She tasted so good, like honey and sunshine and warmth. When she screamed her release, he thrust inside her, burying his cock in her welcoming heat.

She lifted her hips, taking him deeper and deeper until he thought he’d die with the need to spill inside her. He thrust, long, slow, and hard, in and out. He couldn’t bear it. It had been so long. So very long. “Grace…I…”

Shhhh,” she whispered, seeking his lips. “Love me the way you need to.”

He clenched his teeth. “I can’t stop.”

“I don’t want you to hold back.”

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