Tell McKay had a boner.
In history class.
At least it hadn’t happened in math, where he’d have to stand at the board to solve a problem and then everyone could see…his problem.
His cheeks burned imagining how much that would suck.
He shifted in his seat and blamed his situation on the distraction seated in front of him.
The oh-so-hot, oh-so-out-of-his-league, sweet, sexy and amazingly perfect class beauty, Georgia Hotchkiss.
Yeah, Georgia was always on his mind.
She was something else. A petite powerhouse. The ultimate diversion. Those damn short, damn tight cheerleading skirts that showcased her athletic body. If he angled his head to the side, he caught a glimpse of her muscular thigh instead of the back of her head. Not that the view was bad. Her hair was as black and shiny as a crow’s wing in the sun. Add in her china-white skin, full ruby lips and Georgia could be a modern-day Snow White.
You’re a real poet, McKay. More like a fuckin’ pervert. Think about something else.
Startled by the husky rasp of his name, he glanced up from his notebook, right into pale, icy-blue eyes that made him stammer like a fool. “W-what?”
“Did you do the homework assignment?”
Be cool. Do not imagine Hot Lips Hotchkiss whispering that in your ear. “Yep.”
Her mouth curved into a smile. He wondered if the gloss glistening on her lips was flavored. Would it taste like bubble gum? Peaches? Ripe black cherries?
“Thank God. Can I copy it?”
Tell managed to rip his focus from her plump lips. Before he could speak, she cranked the charm on high.
“Please? You let me do it before. And I didn’t have time because I was…”
Sucking face with your asshole boyfriend?
Not that he’d ever say that, but man, he hated Declan “Deck” Veldekamp; not just because the super jock—aka big man on campus—was dating the hottest girl in their class. The guy was a prick and a bully. And those were his best traits.
“You was what?” Tell whispered back.
“Bottle-feeding the replacement calves my dad got yesterday.”
“You don’t believe me? I’m serious. I had chores to finish last night.”
“So did I. And I was up until three a.m. helping my brothers pull a couple of calves since my dad—” was passed out in the barn, “—needed some shut-eye and I still got my homework done.”
Her tempting lips formed a pretty pout. “I don’t see the big deal in you letting me copy it real quick.”
Like you didn’t see a problem asking me to help with prom decorations, and I ended up doing everything.
Like you didn’t see a problem asking me to help with Fellowship of Christian Athletes concessions, and I ended up doing everything.
“Please, Tell? I’m desperate.”
“Miss Hotchkiss,” Mrs. Walls said sharply. “Stop flirting with Mr. McKay and get ready to turn in your assignment.”
Swish. Her silky hair tickled Tell’s knuckles as she whipped her head. The scent of cherries traveled from his nose straight to his crotch.
“I’m afraid that’s the problem, Mrs. Walls,” Georgia intoned sweetly. “I seem to have…lost my assignment and I was just asking if he saw the paper fall out of my binder.”
“Is that true, Tell?”
Now Miss Sweet and Sexy was asking him to lie for her? Bull crap.
“No, ma’am, that is not true.”
“Well, then, what were you two whispering about that was so all-fired important that you disrupted my class?” Mrs. Walls demanded.
Tell knew the hard-nosed teacher wouldn’t let it go. “Georgia and I were talkin’ about the upcoming class project, bein’s we’re partners. She forgot the folder with our notes and discovered she’d slipped her assignment in it too.”
When Georgia gaped at him, Tell allowed a smug grin, but stopped short of giving her a conspiratorial wink.
“I’ll let it slide this time, only because I’m impressed you two have already started on the project,” Mrs. Walls said.
Score! Now with Hot Lips as his partner for a major graded assignment, she couldn’t back out. It finally gave him the chance to show her the real Tell McKay. Not the tongue-tied loser who sat behind her in history class and sniffed her hair.
“What’s the subject matter?” Mrs. Walls asked him.
Crap. “Ah. Advances and setbacks in Wyoming livestock practices over the course of Wyoming statehood.” Hey, that sounded pretty good, especially on the fly.
“Excellent. The rest of you might as well choose partners today—after you turn in your assignments. The bell rings in two minutes, so get cracking.”
Tell’s mind drifted into a soft-focus image of Georgia and him, alone, studying in the back of the library with their heads bent close. When they looked up simultaneously, Georgia would whisper his name and lick her lips, letting him know she wanted him. Then would he gently touch her face and slide his hand into that thick waterfall of shiny black hair? Or would he keep eye contact with her as he gradually moved in for a long, slow kiss?
No. He’d grab her, kiss her with all the bottled-up passion he hadn’t had the chance to show any woman, let alone her. Passion that was just waiting to burst free. While they were kissing like crazy, her soft hands would be all over him.
No. His hands would be all over her. Slipping under her shirt to touch her boobs. Inching beneath the spandex panties she wore under her cheerleading skirt.
She’d be moaning, rubbing her hand against his fly. Then he’d pick her up—just like in the movies. He’d sweep all the books and papers off the desk—just like in the movies. Then he’d gently lay her across the surface, bringing his body on top of hers. For some of that sliding, pounding, pumping action—
His guilty gaze winged to Georgia. “Ah, what?”
“Are you even listening to me?”
He stammered, “N-no. Why?”
“The bell rang.”
“Why are you still sitting there?”
Because I have another freakin’ boner. “Because I’m tired. I must’ve fallen asleep.”
She blinked at him. “With your eyes open?”
Way to be an idiot. He shrugged and fought another lame blush. Please, don’t let his face reveal that he’d been in a porn scene, dry-humping her to orgasm as she screamed his name. Be cool. “What’s up?”
“I wanted to say thanks for covering for me, but I can’t be your partner.”
Every fantasy—and his dick—deflated. “Why not?”
Georgia gnawed on her lip. “Deck will get mad.”
“So? It’s for school. Say the teacher put us together.”
“But Smitty was here. He’ll tattle that we weren’t assigned and us partnering up was your idea. Then Deck will want to, well…deck you.”
“I’d like to see him try.” Ooh, such a tough guy, McKay. Deck would wipe the floor with your scrawny ass.
“I can’t do that to you, Tell.”
Was her concern for him from fear? Or from something else? She had been talking to him a lot during class the last couple of months. Did she kind of…like him?
Wait. If he let Deck beat the ever-lovin’ crap out of him, would Georgia feel so guilty she’d offer to kiss his injuries and make them better? For the first time ever, he really hoped a guy punched him in the crotch.
Nice fucking fantasy, perv, but it ain’t ever gonna happen.
“You understand, don’t you?”
His focus snapped back to her. “What’s your grade in this class?”
She dropped her gaze. “I have a C. Minus.”
“I have an A. This project could raise your grade to a B if you partner with me.”
“Well, okay then. But we can’t meet to work on the project during school hours where anyone could see us.”
If he’d had an ego, it would’ve taken a massive hit. “Where we gonna work on it?”
“How about the public library? In, ah, Moorcroft.” Her fingers nervously twisted the purity ring on a chain around her neck. “I’ll meet you there tomorrow night.”
That’s when he knew he’d be doing the history project alone.
That’s when he understood that sucker defined a guy like him, easily manipulated by a pretty girl.
That’s when he swore it’d never happen again.
Ten years later…
“Tell McKay, you’re a sight for sore eyes.”
“BeeBee, darlin’, I swear you get younger-lookin’ every time I see you. Pretty soon I’m gonna be carding you to make sure you’re old enough to be serving in a bar.”
“Even an old broad like me ain’t immune to that bullshit flattery.” She opened the cooler. “You drinkin’ Bud Light?”
“Yep.” Tell caught the bottle when the bartender slid it across the bar top. “Thanks, Beebs.”
“No problem. So where’s the blonde from last week?”
He grinned. “It’s a new week.”
BeeBee flapped the bar towel at him. “You’re such a McKay.”
“I’ll take the compliment. But you gotta admit I ain’t as wild as some of my cousins in their heyday.”
“I think you’re worse, sugar, because you hide it better. Lord, them dimples of yours are deep enough to get lost in. And the ladies eat up that fun-lovin’ gentleman cowboy bit you do so well.” She shook her finger at him. “Don’t deny it.”
“I don’t. But I’ll point out I am a fun-lovin’ gentleman cowboy, so it ain’t like I’m pretending to be something that I’m not.”
BeeBee’s gaze flicked to whoever stood behind him.