The Expert's Guide to Driving a Man Wild (Bluebonnet #3)(9) read online by Jessica Clare
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The Expert's Guide to Driving a Man Wild (Bluebonnet #3)(9)
Author: Jessica Clare

She gave him a half smile. “I’m not wasting away from loneliness, if that’s what you’re trying to imply. I keep busy with my photography.”

“How’s that going?”

“Great,” she said, and her cheeks flushed with enthusiasm. “I have a friend who’s on the editorial board of a women’s magazine, though, and I wanted to talk to you about doing a pictorial on the men who work for you. It’d be good publicity.”

“Through a women’s magazine?”

“Women can go on survival trips, too, can’t they?” She arched a brow at him. “And women have husbands and boyfriends. It’s just to get your name out there—”

“Oh my God,” Brenna interrupted, leaning in toward Elise. “Did he say yes yet? Because he totally wants to say yes. Is this a pictorial where we get to rub the men with leaves and mud and watch them flex their six-packs? Dane has the most amazing six-pack.”

Grant frowned at Brenna.

“Oh, don’t look at me like that,” she said in a light voice, and reached over to pat his hand. “You look very nice without your shirt, too. But I don’t know how you’ll feel about getting all muddy for this.”

“She didn’t say anything about mud, Bren.”

“Actually, it’d be fun if we could do something along those lines,” Elise said with a smile. “We could do some test shots and I could send them off to my friend and see if it’s something the magazine would be interested in.”

He shook his head. “Dane might be up for it, but Colt would kill me if I even suggested it.”

“It’s a good thing that Beth Ann can be on hand to do hair and makeup,” Brenna said. “If Colt wants to supervise her getting these men all dirtied up, he’ll have to participate.”

“These men? It’s me, Colt, Dane, and Pop.”

“And whoever the new guy is,” Brenna said. “I’ll pick someone pretty, don’t you worry.” She winked at him flirtatiously.

“We need someone who can actually conduct survival classes.”

“Fine. We can pick someone pretty and just fire them after the photo shoot,” Brenna said easily. “I’ll just tell them that pretty people can’t be qualified for the job we need them for, and they can take it up with you if they have a problem.”

“Brenna,” he said in a warning tone.

Elise looked back and forth at them and edged her chair out a bit, seeming amused. “Should I move? Do you two want to sit closer together?”

“We’re just arguing,” he told his sister.

“Sure you are,” Elise said smoothly. “Seems more like foreplay to me.”

“Elise!” Justine gave a scandalized gasp. “I can’t believe you just said that.”

Elise rolled her eyes. “I’m twenty-five, Mother.”

“We’re not arguing,” Brenna added. “And if anything has to be settled, we’ll settle it at home.” And she gave Grant a rather meaningful look.

And damn it all if he didn’t get hard all over again. What was with him tonight?

• • •

By the time the dinner had ended, Grant was convinced that his parents believed he and Brenna were an item. He’d seen his mother eyeing Brenna’s purple hair and tattoos a few times, but they’d seemed to like her well enough. And as the evening had worn on, Brenna’s flirting had become more and more audacious. He’d flirted back, though he was reserved where she was bold and brassy.

When they got back to the Peppermint House, Elise came running back out to the car before they could pull away. “There’s a leak in one of the upstairs bathrooms and my room is flooded. Can I stay with you guys tonight?”

Grant exchanged a glance with Brenna. “There’s not an extra cabin.”

“She could sleep on the couch in the main lodge,” Brenna said in a reasonable tone. “No one will bother her there.”

He looked over at his sister and nodded. “Get your things. We’ll wait here.” As soon as she disappeared, he glanced over at Brenna. “We should just drive her to another hotel. You realize we’re both going to have to go into the same cabin now? To keep up the pretense?”

She shrugged at him, yawning with a little pat of her hand over her mouth. “She’s family. She can stay with us. I can just head to your cabin with you, hang around for a few minutes and then sneak out the back to my cabin.”

Elise returned a few minutes later, smiling, her tote over her shoulder. “Thank you.”

“Hey, no problem,” Grant said, but he was feeling more tense by the minute. What was Elise going to expect from them when they got to the ranch? Were he and Brenna supposed to be affectionate and all over each other in front of her again? Elise was reserved, but if she thought something was going on, she’d mention it to the other Markhams.

They pulled into the parking lot of the Daughtry Ranch, and Elise exclaimed in surprise as she exited the car. “Oh wow. Is this the ranch? The cabins are so pretty. I love this. It’s so picturesque.” She glanced around at the scatter of cabins. “There’s five cabins? I thought you said there wasn’t an extra cabin?”

“My old one doesn’t have a bed in it,” Brenna said quickly. “It’s empty. We’re waiting for the new guy.”

“Oh.” Elise seemed to accept that and shouldered her bag as they went inside.

Brenna took the lead with Elise, showing her around the main lodge and into the kitchen, where they kept extra food and drink, since most of the cabins had only portable refrigerators. Grant went to his desk and immediately began to go through his email while the women talked, trying not to think about their upcoming exit. Would he have to kiss Brenna again in front of them? Why was that making him aroused just to think about? Damn it, he really needed to get his c**k under control.

While Elise explored the lodge, Brenna disappeared and returned a minute later with a blanket and pillow. She plumped them on the couch and then gestured at the makeshift bed. “Home sweet home.”

“Thank you.” Elise glanced around at the room, then at the two of them. “Are you sure it’s not an inconvenience?”

“Not at all,” Brenna said lightly, moving to his desk and leaning over his shoulder to turn off the power to his monitor. “Grant was just going to bed anyhow, weren’t you, boo?”

Boo? The f**k? But as she’d leaned over, her breast had brushed his shoulder, and he’d forgotten everything but his ever-stiffening hard-on. “Yeah,” he said after a moment. “We’re off to bed.”

His sister sat down on the edge of the couch. “What time should I be up in the morning?”

“I’ll come wake you up,” Brenna volunteered.

Elise glanced at the front door. “Do we need to lock it?”

“Nah,” Brenna said, running a hand along Grant’s shoulders that was making him crazy with lust. It was an easy, casual motion of possession, but it was also driving him mad. He hadn’t had sex in five years and he hadn’t noticed the lack until now. Before today, any sexual thoughts had been mixed up with memories of Heather—and most of those memories weren’t pleasant. But today? He could think of nothing but Brenna and her lithe body and enticing smile. “No one will be by first thing in the morning except one of us or Pop. It’s no big deal.”

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