Continuing not even a quarter mile down the dirt road to his place, he slowed when he saw Gabby approaching from the opposite direction. She must have been out for a walk. The direction from which she came was nothing but grassy fields and a stream that cut through the property. A few trees bordered the area, but the larger grouping of them sat behind Gabby’s cabin. He faced mountains when he looked out his back window. She saw trees.
Her attention seemed fixed on his cabin. Had she been going to meet him?
And then she saw him in the truck and hurried toward him. At the same time, his cell phone rang.
“Yeah?” he answered it and slowed the truck to a crawl.
Dean spoke in a rush, breathing hard. “Oh man. Look bro, you’ll thank me for this later. Just play along with whatever Gabby says, okay?”
“Gotta go.” Dean hung up.
Grady disconnected and put the phone on the seat next to him. When he reached his cabin, he parked the truck. He took a step outside and had just slammed the door closed when Gabby plastered herself against his chest.
Her strong arms wrapped around his waist, and he felt every inch of her curves, from her full breasts to her long, toned legs. Good Christ, was he dreaming?
His erection rose and refused to quit.
She drew in a soft breath when she felt it but didn’t move. What to make of that?
“Not that this isn’t great, but Gabby? You okay, honey?”
She squeezed him hard once, then let him go. “Could you walk me home? There’s something I need to say to you, and it would be best away from here.”
Confused but knowing his idiot brother had something to do with this, he let Gabby lead him away from his cabin. She held his hand, her smaller, softer fingers entwined with his. Dope that he was, he felt waves of affection roll through his body. Her scent whispered to him of belonging, sex and hunger. He wanted to purr and had to forcibly concentrate to stop himself.
“What’s going on?” he asked when he could catch his breath. A loud moan and a male bellow of satisfaction broke the quiet around them.
He stopped in his tracks. The sound had come from his cabin.
“No, no. Come on.” Gabby increased her pace, all but dragging him with her as the moans continued—noises magnified by Ac-taw hearing. By the sound of her, the female making those sexy noises was having a damn fine time.
They reached Gabby’s cabin but didn’t stop there. She pulled him inside and closed the door behind them.
Curious as to the changes she’d made in the short time she’d been living there, he glanced around and smiled. “This place looks like you.” The comfortable, three-bedroom cabin had a generous bathroom, a small kitchen and a living room with a fireplace. Simple yet functional. But under Gabby’s hands, the place shone like a designer showplace. Light fabrics framed the two large windows in the front of the cabin. The kitchen had been done in white and apple green, which made the whole space look bigger. His own kitchen had dark, wooden cabinets and looked tiny.
Her living room had a few throw rugs, a comfy-looking couch and a small television. Neat and organized, the whole cabin even smelled fresh. Did the woman not know how to make a mess?
He turned to tell her how much he liked it when he noted her sober expression.
“What’s wrong? It’s okay, you can tell me.” He needed to ease her worry, to make everything better. She felt like his to protect, as if he’d already claimed her. Knowing something bothered her made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.
“Grady, I think we should sit.” She sat on the couch and patted the space next to her.
Not one to let an opportunity go by, he hurried to join her.
“There’s something you should know.” She paused and bit her lower lip. So f**king sexy, those lips. He’d seen them wrapped around his c**k in dreams for months. “It’s about someone you care about.”
He wondered if she’d been with a lot of guys. To his shock, he didn’t care. So long as she was only with him now. No one else but him from here on out. His gaze fell to her breasts. Would she be rosy or pale pink? Would she be sensitive there when he sucked her?
“It’s Joy. She’s found someone else.”
“Joy, right.” God, he could almost taste her. He imagined kissing those breasts, then licking the smooth skin down her belly to her p**sy. Man, he’d—
“Grady, listen to me,” she snapped. “This isn’t easy, and I shouldn’t have to be the one to tell you this. But Joy isn’t yours anymore.”
“Not mine. What?” He stared at her, not sure what the hell she meant. “What are you saying?”
She blew out a breath. “I know you and Joy have real feelings for each other. That you were going to ask her to consider staying instead of moving on to Oregon.” She swallowed hard. “Dean told me all about it. But Grady, I think she’s found someone else.”
He wondered what the hell kind of story Dean had fabricated. And why.
Gabby patted his knees. Commiserating with him about Joy?
“So you’re saying Joy isn’t mine anymore. If she ever was,” he said slowly. She nodded. He started to piece the puzzle together. “That moaning I heard earlier, from my cabin.”
Gabby blinked and he saw the sheen of tears. “That was her. She was probably waiting to tell you herself, but then he came.”
She took his hand in hers and squeezed. “Just remember, family is what matters in the end.”
He suddenly understood. “Oh hell. Dean and Joy?” He could just imagine how Burke and Miles would feel knowing Dean was screwing Joy. The feisty little cat had made a few overtures toward him the last time she’d been in town, but as a joke. He’d never thought of her as anything other than a little sister, and she’d never treated him as anything more than a platonic friend. Trust Dean to hook up with her. And only a few days after the tourist in waders. His brother was turning into a whore.
“Are you okay?”
“I don’t know.” How the hell was Dean hooking up with Joy supposed to help him? Then again, Gabby was finally paying him real attention. Touching him, holding his hand. Okay, right. The sympathy card. It had worked for Dean before.
Maybe Dean wasn’t the dumbest one in the family after all.