I try to forget her.
Growing up together, Conor and I shared all our firsts.
First love, first kiss, first"
Not all our firsts.
We were sixteen the night she was violently assaulted while I helplessly watched.
I"ll never forget the sounds of her suffering.
Or my inconsolable agony when she left Oklahoma.
Years later, she returns to honor our teenage pact.
Except the boy she loved is gone, replaced by a ruthless cattle rancher knotted with secrets.
She doesn"t know my dark cravings or the trails of sin that lead to her.
I don"t deserve her, but one truth remains.
She"s mine.Books in Series:Trails of Sin Series by Pam GodwinBooks by Author:Pam Godwin Books
The terrain of childhood shapes the soul, and the soul never forgets.
It doesn"t forget the fields of Julep Ranch under the watercolor sky.
The earthy scent of grass beneath Barnabe"s heavy hooves.
The chirp of insects in the parched summer breeze.
Or Conor Cassidy, the sexiest girl in Oklahoma, soft and snug against my back.
I clutch the edges of my landscape and wrap it around me, taking nourishing breaths.
Barnabe, my chestnut stallion, twitches powerful muscles between my legs as he lopes along the dusty trail.
Behind me, Conor presses her tight little body against mine and slips a warm hand beneath the front of my shirt.
Now I"m twitching, too, restless and hungry. That"s what she does to me. One touch and I feel like an ungelded horse, a beast with fire in his veins, bucking and panting at the whiff of a mare in heat.
I don"t have to glance back to see her expression. With her chin tilted skyward, red hair ablaze, and guitar strapped to her back, I know she"s curving those plump lips into a serene smile as she soaks up the fading warmth of twilight.
She loves this land as much as I do.
She loves me.
And this is our night.
I"ve memorized the contours of her body as thoroughly as the terrain of our ten-thousand-acre ranch. In a few hours, I"ll know her even better. Deeper.
I"ll know her in the most intimate way possible.
Awareness crackles beneath my skin like it always does when she"s near. But tonight, the static feels sharper, more frenzied, and lower. Christ, the knot of electricity between my legs makes my jeans achingly tight. My cock is raging, swollen, throbbing like an angry heartbeat.
To think, I jerked off twice before I headed out. Lot of good that did me. If I bust a nut before I get inside her, I"ll never forgive myself.
The cantering stampede of two horses approaches from behind. Jarret trots past, veering his black gelding along the trail while blowing a kiss at Conor.
My twin brother might look like me, but we"re not identical. His hair"s darker, his eyes a paler shade of brown. Some say his smile is bigger and more charming, and maybe that"s true. The local girls trip right out of their panties whenever he winks at them.
"I thought Emma would be with you tonight," I say at his back.
He kicks up a shoulder, a noncommittal shrug, as Conor"s brother, Lorne, brings up the rear.
"Jarret"s thinking about liking Emma." Lorne slows his horse beside mine, grinning.
"I already liked her. A lot." Jarret holds up a hand in a peace sign. "With these two fingers."
"What a heartbreaker." Conor smothers her chuckle against the back of my shirt.
"You look beautiful, sis." Lorne tips the Stetson on his head, his expression doting.
"Thank you, darlin"," she drawls. "You"re stag tonight, too, huh""
"Yep." Lorne gives me a knowing look, adjusts the guitar case on his back, and rides ahead to join Jarret.
Lorne just graduated high school, and for the first time in our lives, he seems"older. I mean, he is older. A year older than Jarret and me. Two years older than Conor. But it feels like he matured overnight, maybe gained a few IQ points, grew some chest hair or something.
Nothing"s changed between us, though. He might be protective as hell of his sister, but he"s also my best friend and number one supporter of my relationship with her.
Our clan of four shares an extraordinary closeness, an inseparable bond that stems from childhood. We grew up on the ranch together. Our fathers own the cattle operation together. Our mothers died fourteen years ago"together. We"ve spent our entire lives playing, working, fighting, and laughing together.
Someday, the four of us will own Julep Ranch just like our parents before us.
Up ahead, Jarret"s voice drifts downwind as he tells Lorne about the girl he banged last night. His graphic descriptions make me hyper-aware that Conor and I are the only virgins.
I"m not jealous. It"s just" I used to think she and I would be the first to go all the way. We were the first to kiss, the first to make out without clothes on. But I hit the brakes on sex. She was always too young.
Insects whir through the grass, humming eager sounds as the sinking sun paints the sky with dark, hungry promises.
It"s Conor"s sixteenth birthday.
The day I"ve waited for my whole life.
Lorne and Jarret know my plans tonight, and they"re here to run interference. All it takes is one ranch hand to stumble upon us and report to Dalton Cassidy that I"m in the south pasture, deflowering his only daughter.
But Conor"s dad isn"t the biggest threat. It"s mine. John Holsten loves her like a daughter, but he"s never condoned our relationship. In fact, he forbids it.
Jarret"s allowed to spend time with whomever he wants, so I don"t understand Dad"s restriction on Conor and me. She"s my past, my present, and my future. I"m everything when I"m with her and nothing without her.