Wanted by Wyatt [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Kerri Nelson
eBook Category: Romance/Suspense/Thriller
eBook Description: Sheriff Wyatt Winston plans on buying the Double R ranch from the elderly owners but when their wayward niece comes to town looking for a fresh start, Wyatt sees an obstacle in the way of his plans. It just so happens to be in the form of a sexy, red headed city girl. Baylor Stivers doesn't know why the tough cowboy is always angry at her but she can't keep her eyes off his irresistible hard body but when a dead body suddenly turns up, the Sheriff is exactly who she wants by her side and in her bed.
eBook Publisher: Cobblestone Press
Fictionwise Release Date: August 2011
* * * *
"Kindly remove your hands from my ass."
Wyatt Winston looked up as the sound of tires crunching on the gravel driveway reached his ears. He'd been enjoying an afternoon game of cat and mouse with one of the buckle bunnies who was always hanging around the ranch.
Lola was famous for pretending she was shocked and dismayed at his physical attentions and they were just getting started when the sound of the approaching vehicle redirected his attention.
He peered around the base of the tree he'd been pressing Lola against as he fondled her ass through the tight jeans she'd painted on.
A dusty, silver compact car rounded the bend and sputtered up the driveway toward the Markum's Double R ranch. Wyatt watched the car's struggle to maneuver the bumpy terrain and shook his head.
That must be the city girl.
Wyatt glanced back down at Lola, who was still pinned to the tree beneath him. He backed away from her and removed his hat. Running his hand through his hair, he let out a frustrated sigh.
"That would be the Markums' niece from Atlanta."
"Hmm...what's she doing here?"
Wyatt didn't miss the immediate sound of venom stirred by female rivalry. Lola moved to stand beside him now, snaking one arm around his waist and running her long, red-tipped fingernails down his forearm with her other hand.
"I'm not exactly sure, but I have a feeling it won't be good."
"Well, I don't care for city girls. You don't either, do you, Wyatt?"
Her possessiveness was almost drowning him but he didn't want to pick a fight with her right now. He had bigger battles to face.
"No, I don't care for them either." He gently broke free of her stronghold and began the jaunt back toward the field house.
"But what about our game?" Lola whined behind him as she stumbled through the thicket in an effort to keep up.
"Another time, Lola."
He needed to get back to the house and check out the new girl. Somehow he had a suspicion she was going to get in the way of his plans, and no one was going to interfere with his plans.
"Oh, Baylor!" Melba Markum squealed with delight as she hugged Baylor Stivers tightly. "You just look amazing, darlin'!"
"Aunt Mel..." Baylor couldn't help but grin at the stout little bundle of woman who was her mother's sister.
"How long has it been since we've seen you? Seven or eight years?" Melba shook her head in disbelief.
"Something like that. It must have been eight years ago at my high school graduation."
"Duane! Duane!" Melba called back over her shoulder as she continued to hold both of Baylor's hands in her own.
Baylor looked down the short hallway leading into the family room and could see the glow from a computer screen.
"Coming, hon!" Duane bellowed.
"He can't seem to pry his eyes off that darned computer since we got the Internet in here this year. He's into this Twitter thing. Do you know what that is? I don't understand it. Why would you want to tell people what you're doing all day when all you're doing is typing on that silly thing?"
Baylor chuckled softly and grinned when she saw her uncle Duane waddle into the foyer in his boxer shorts and a T-shirt.
"Well for heaven's sake, Duane. Put some clothes on, would ya? We have a young lady in the house." Melba made a tsk-tsk sound with her tongue.
Duane shrugged and drew Baylor in for a big hug.
"How are ya, peanut?" His face lit up from ear to ear as he smiled affectionately at her.
"I'm fine, Uncle Duane...tired of driving but other than that, I'm fine."
"Good, that's real good, sweetheart. I hope you brought your appetite too, cause Mel's been in that kitchen cookin' up a storm all day."
"Well I could certainly eat, but I want to wash up first." Baylor wasn't really hungry since she'd had a fast-food break on the way into town, but she'd never tell Aunt Melba.
"Duane, please put some clothes on," Melba reminded him as she good-naturedly popped him with the rolled-up dish towel she was wringing in her hands.
"Okay...all right...I'm going," Duane muttered as he sauntered off in the direction of the family room.
"Baylor, you just run on upstairs and get freshened up then, sugar. We'll help you get settled after supper."
Aunt Melba disappeared into the kitchen and Baylor headed for the staircase. She smiled to herself as she took the stairs two at a time, just as she had done as a kid. She'd spent a couple of summers out here with her cousin Chris. They'd had so much fun back then. But Baylor hadn't spoken to him in years. She felt a little guilty she'd come here for help but had totally lost track of their son.
After washing up and taking a much-needed stretch from her long drive, Baylor found herself at the den's big bay window overlooking the ranch. She caught the sun setting and couldn't help but appreciate the sight. The red, purple, pink, yellow, and orange was just amazing as it blended into the blue sky. This was a beautiful place and she was glad to be here. She took a deep breath and let out a long sigh.
"I just hope I can be happy again," Baylor said out loud to herself, and then turned to head toward the dining room to see if she could help Aunt Mel with supper.
That was when she ran into the hard, muscled chest of a tall cowboy who was propped against the door frame to the den.
"Oh, I'm sorry." Baylor put her hand over her chest in surprise, trying to calm her rapidly beating heart. "You scared the daylights out of me." She attempted a warm smile at the stranger despite her embarrassment.
He nodded at her but remained silent as he studied her intently with his deep hazel eyes. Baylor found herself gazing into the depths of them and was suddenly at a loss for words.
A jolt of heat and sexual awareness surged through her, making her feel both giddy and stupid at the same time.
Clearing her throat in an attempt to snap herself out of the trance, Baylor extended her hand. "I'm Baylor Stivers."
He studied her a moment longer and then looked down at her profferedhand. Baylor thought he was going to refuse but he finally reached out and took her hand firmly in his own.
It seemed weird, but Baylor could have sworn she felt a tingle go up her arm and down her back. She shook her head at the feeling and tried another smile at this man. He didn't really shake her hand, but only held it in a rigid grasp.
It was warm and she could feel the rough evidence of hard work against her smooth palm. A flicker of an image of that hand rolling her taut nipple into a frenzy made her blush and pull her hand away.
What has gotten into me?
Before she could humiliate herself further, Aunt Melba came to the rescue in a flurry of activity and chattering about dinner being ready.
"Oh good, Baylor, I see you've met Wyatt."
Baylor stuck her hand into the pocket of her jeans and tried to refocus her thoughts out of the adult-rated images she'd just had about this complete stranger.
"Well, sort of..." she managed to say and then looked back up at Wyatt, who was still gazing at her with the same straight-faced intensity. She'd noticed how his eyes had never wavered or left her face even when Aunt Melba had entered the room.
Baylor knew she was being studied, observed, and sized up. Almost as if he saw her as competition.
She shrugged off the thought. He was probably just trying to figure out how long it would take before he could get into her pants.
And if my own fantasies are any indication, it won't be long.
Blushing again at her explicit mental confession, Baylor turned and followed her aunt into the dining room. She had to put some distance between herself and this man.
But as she left, she allowed one more quick peek backward. He still surveyed her calmly and the look on his face wasn't one of kindness.
* * * *
She took a bread basket out of her aunt's hand as Melba was bringing the last of the dishes out of the kitchen to the table.
"Mel, let me help you with those." Baylor set the bread on the table and then turned toward the kitchen to see what else needed to be served.
"Oh it's all here, dear. You just sit down and relax."
Baylor took her seat at the table and found herself right across from the man her aunt had introduced as Wyatt. He was still eyeballing her and she didn't know if she'd be able to withstand his penetrating stare for much longer.
Uncle Duane started serving up his plate with heaps of corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, and roast beef. He had his napkin tucked under his chin and his eyes were gleaming with merriment.
Baylor couldn't help but grin at him as he handed her the bowl of corn. Anything was a welcome distraction from the uncomfortable scrutiny of the man across the table.
"We are so happy to have you here, peanut. You don't worry about a thing. You'll be right at home in no time."
"Oh, thanks so much for letting me stay here, Uncle Duane. It really means a lot to me," Baylor murmured as she unexpectedly choked up with emotion.
"Oh, you're most welcome, and Wyatt here will introduce you to the guys tomorrow and show you around. Isn't that right, Wyatt?"
Baylor looked up at Wyatt and he gave her a small smile as he spoke his first words of the evening to her. "Don't you worry, Duane. I'll take extra special care of peanut."
Baylor's face flushed as his sexy voice rattled off her childhood nickname.
Despite her best intentions, her treacherous eyes betrayed her by seeking out the source of her embarrassment once again. That was when he winked at her.
Good Lord, I'll never make it through this dinner with that man across from me.