The Cowboy's Virgin Baby Momma - Page 44

Austin had gone from kissing her lips off and setting her on fire to dousing her in a bucket of ice water all in less than fifteen minutes. Paige bit back a growl and rubbed the back of her neck to make sure she wasn’t getting whiplash from his mixed signals.

Hackles raised, she sent him a tight smile. “I’ll do everything in my power to tear down Grandpa’s walls if only to save you from having to work with me,” she bit out tersely.

“Dammit, Paige. That’s not what I meant,” Austin snarled, launching off the stool and eating up the distance between them in two long strides.

Gripping her shoulders, he plucked her off the cot.

“You think I enjoy putting space between us? Fuck, little girl, don’t you get it? I can barely keep my hands off you.”

Paige was too stunned to speak. Thankfully, she didn’t have to. Austin’s lips crashed over hers in a torrent of hunger, anger, and demand. Before she could open and invite him in, he plunged past her lips and swept his tongue deeper and more possessively than ever before.

Then, just as fast as he’d claimed her mouth, he tore from her and backed away. His chest heaved like a bellows as his face wrinkled in pain.

“Go home, Paige. Now,” he growled.

His animalistic demeanor should have probably scared her, but it didn’t. Paige found it strangely exciting and wholly arousing.

“No,” she challenged with a lift of her chin.

Austin cocked his head and arched a brow. “You don’t want to provoke me, little girl, you’ll end up with an ass so red you won’t sit right for days.”

Paige knew his threat was meant to appall and scare her. It didn’t. It simply aroused her more.

Austin blinked. His warning expression melted away as a look of disbelief took its place. He closed his eyes, heaved out a heavy sigh, and dropped his chin.

Long, silent seconds later, he lifted his head and held her with a calm, controlled stare. “Go home and convince Raymond to talk to me. Do your best to shield him from Hale. I’ll text you Monday, after my meeting with Dad’s lawyer.”

“I will,” she assured. “But how do I make it easier for you to work with me?”

“Push me away if I try to kiss you again.”

She scoffed and shook her head. “Clearly, you have no idea how amazing and persuasive your kisses are. That’s never gonna happen.”

A corner of his mouth kicked up. “Fine. Tell me you’re a lesbian then.”

A laugh tore from her throat. “Sorry. I’m definitely not attracted to women.”

“It’s probably just as well.” He smirked. “I’m such a sick, twisted bastard, I’d simply ask to watch.”

“Oh, my god.” Her cheeks caught fire. “Just for the record, you’re not the only one having a hard time keeping distance between us.”

“Don’t tell me things like that, little girl.”

“I’m just being honest.”

He tensed and studied her with a piercing gaze. “Are you always honest?”

The hint of skepticism in his tone sent alarm bells clanging in her head.

“Yes, unless it involves you.”

“What do you mean?” He scowled.

“Well, I can’t very well be honest when it comes to us…meeting like this.”

“Right.” He nodded, then scowled. “There’s something I need to tell you.”


“No one is going to say anything about you being here tonight, but there’s already gossip about us dancing together last night.”

Last night before she’d even placed her fingers in his palm, Paige knew they’d ignite the rumor mill, but when that powerful surge of electricity had sailed through her body, she hadn’t cared. She still didn’t, with the exception of dealing with her grandpa. Still, it was a small price to pay for those life-altering moments with Austin on and off the dance floor.

“I know news travels fast here, but… how did you find out?”

“My dad…quizzed me when I got back from the hardware store.”


“Something like that.”

Paige wanted to press him for more details but figured it was best to—like her grandpa always said—let sleeping dogs lie.

“He didn’t ground you, did he?” she teased, hoping to take the edge off the situation.

“In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not a kid anymore.”

“Oh, trust me, cowboy, I’ve more than noticed.”

Desire flared in his eyes before Austin banked it and sighed. “Come on. I’ll drive you home.”

“Thanks, but I’d rather walk.”

“You sure? It’s late.”

“I’m sure. Fresh air helps me think. Hopefully, by the time I get home, I’ll come up with a plan to keep Grandpa from grabbing his gun and get him to sit down and talk with you.”

“I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Text me when you get home.”

“I’m just going down the—”

“It wasn’t a request.”

No, it was a demand.

And damn if it didn’t send a naughty thrill skipping through her complete with goosebumps and tingles. “I will.”

“Thank you.”

Austin shoved his hands in his pockets and followed her to the door. She turned, hoping he might kiss her once last time. But the seconds simply ticked by as they stood looking at one another. An awkward pall quickly followed and she knew her hopes were…hopeless.

“Well, then. I-I guess I’ll get going.”

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