The Wanted Virgin (Cowboys & Virgins Book 3)(3)

By: Alexa Riley

How did I get here? I remember the car getting stuck. My head throbbed as I stumbled out of the car when I realized it wasn’t budging. I was so scared that they’d catch up to me. I couldn't let them find me. I wasn’t going to do what they wanted me to. I’d lived under my father’s control all my life. I thought yesterday was going to be perfect. I was eighteen. I was free to do what I wanted, only to find out my father had other plans. Plans to put me under the control of another man.

Looking at this guy, though, all my fears drain away. It’s clear from how I’m lying on him, my legs tangled with his, that I’m not trying to get away. I’ve got one hand locked around his arm, and it looks like I tried to dig my way inside him.

I lay my head back down, enjoying the moment, feeling the comfort of another person with no fear attached to it. Maybe it’s crazy, or maybe my father was right. I don’t know how to take care of myself. My sense of self-preservation is clearly lacking as I let myself lie on a man, a stranger, but I don’t care. Can’t find the will to. I just want to lie here forever and forget about everything else.

I feel the man shift, and I grab on to him tighter. He stops moving instantly and slides a hand across my jaw and into my hair, slowly stroking back and forth in a comforting motion. I wonder if he thinks I’m asleep. I let my breathing even out, closing my eyes and soaking in his affection.

“What am I going to do with you?” I hear him say under his breath.

I stop breathing at his words. It’s something my father always said when I did something he didn’t like, even something as small as making an unsatisfactory dinner for him. I’m already messing up, not doing things like I’m supposed to.

The man rolls a little, and I slip off of him. I try to grab a hold to burrow myself back into his body, and our eyes lock. Deep blue eyes, the color of storm clouds as they meet the setting sun, come to mine.

“Green.” He whispers so softly I almost don’t hear it. I know he’s talking about my eyes. It's the first thing everyone notices about me. They aren’t a normal dark green. They’re bright, piercing. They stand out against the paleness of my skin and darkness of my hair. There’s no missing them.

“Keep me,” I say, finally finding my words and answering his question. His eyebrows furrow in confusion.

“Keep you?” His eyes go to my lips before coming back to mine.

“That’s what you’ll do with me. Keep me,” I say as I sit up, the blanket dropping away. He stumbles back, falling off the bed like he’s trying to get away from me. I reach out to grab him, but he hits the floor.

He stands up, turning around and giving me his broad back, which is ripped with muscles and hard lines. I’ve never seen a man built like him before.

“I’ll get you a shirt,” he says, his voice gruff and raw as he makes his way over to a dresser.

I look down to see I’m in nothing but my panties. He pulls out a shirt and turns back around, stopping in his tracks as his eyes roam over my body.

“The blanket.” He nods to it, but I make no move to grab it.

I’ve never been naked, or even partially naked, in front of a man before. I’m not dumb. Maybe naïve in some ways, but I know what happens between a man and a woman. It was the reason I ran from my father when he tried to push me onto another man. The thought of it then had made me ill, but right now I’m feeling something completely different.

I shake my head and reach out for the shirt in his hand, wanting him to come back to me. He licks his full lips before he takes the steps to close the distance between us. I take the shirt from him, and his eyes never leave me as I slide it over my head.

“Do you already keep someone here?” I ask him, breaking the silence.

“No one else lives here,” he confirms, and relief floods my body.

“So I can stay?” I move towards him, crawling to the side of the bed, wanting to be close to him again, to feel the comfort of having him next to me. Something about him makes me feel safe, and I don’t want to lose that security.

“Yes.” The single word comes out in a growl and makes goose bumps break out on my skin, sending a delicious thrill up my spine. Then his face goes serious. “Is someone after you?”

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