Somewhere up the road ahead of them and over the next hill, something exploded, the bass rumble and boom startling the horses into a ragged gallop.
Charlie grabbed the rail as the wagon rattled and rolled, bracing herself with her boots against the foot rest to stop herself from falling on Monroe. Which would be bad. Very, very bad. Her whole body tingled at the thought of it. Shit. She so needed some alone time, alone time away from him so she could take the edge off. It’d been a long, long time since Jeff the barman and a girl had needs. Lots of needs.
She braced harder, just managing to keep to her side of the bench. It didn’t help that Monroe looked good and smelled good even rough and ragged and it also really didn’t help that she’d just happened to catch sight of him swimming in the river that morning. Naked. She gritted her teeth and held on tighter as he worked on getting the horses under control with that easy strength of his.
Shit and damn, she was in trouble. He was Sebastian fucking Monroe and a whole degree of difficulty away from Jeff and something had just exploded, she should be wondering about that, not thinking about broad shoulders, long, strong arms, muscled thighs and a really, really great ass. All of it wet, slippery and, oh… She sucked in a breath.
Then something else caught her attention, a bittersweet tang in the air that smelled familiar although there was a taint of burning to it too and then from behind the trees on the next rise a column of steel grey smoke twisted and tumbled up and into the blue sky. She slanted a glance at him, ‘is that…’
He nodded, hauling the horses back to a lurching trot. ‘Whiskey. Someone’s got a still going, or had one going anyway.’ He sniffed the wind and glanced at the smoke. ‘Looks like it blew up.’
‘You think?’ She gave him a look from under her lashes, blowing a long strand of hair away from her face because her hands were still busy holding on.
He choked out a laugh, his eyes dropping to her full, lush mouth and lower to the swell of her breasts and the sweat outlined hollow between them. ‘Don’t know about you, but I could do with a drink if there’s any left.’ He glanced back up at her face, his eyes searing blue and full of the tension that had been building up between them through the long days and nights on the road until each and any accidental touch between them sizzled with static charge. He finally got the horses back to a walk, his shirt damp with sweat, the thin fabric clinging to hard muscle. ‘Want to check it out?’
Tongue flicking out over her lips, Charlie tried really hard not to look at the outline of his chest and six pack under the shirt and totally failed. A drink, she needed a drink. ‘Oh yeah…’