Emmett Benson makes no apologies for his bachelor status. He revels in a woman’s surrender but does not want the responsibility of claiming a submissive for his own, because no one is worth the price of his freedom. He appreciates his friends, loves his horse, and fancies wrangling cattle every day over interacting with people. When it comes to his life, he figures he has it made, and that there is no reason to alter things—now, or in the future.
But all it takes is one lousy spill off a new, temperamental thoroughbred to cause a load of trouble. One look at the prim and proper new town doctor, and Emmett wants nothing more than to ruffle her cool demeanor. The woman is likely too tightly wound to even consider submission. He cannot desire her. It is out of the question. He must be delirious from the pain of his injuries to even be contemplating the possibility of claiming her, even though she makes him want to mark his territory and challenge any man who comes near her. Still, he convinces himself it is not an issue after he leaves her office.
But then the doctor makes an unexpected house call and, with her sweet, feminine scent clouding his senses, Emmett makes her a bargain. He will behave like the perfect patient, for the cost of a single kiss, freely given. He never expected her to accept his offer.
He thought he was in trouble before, but after just one kiss, every dominant part of Emmett’s being thunders: MINE.
Emmett jerked awake, and swore when the movement sent razor sharp, debilitating pain through his body.
What the fuck?
The furious pounding on the front door was what had woken him. If that was Colt, he was a dead man. Why the hell wasn’t he using his key? Not to mention, Emmett had explicitly told the man in no uncertain terms not to return that night, that he would get along fine without anyone.
“Just a damn minute,” he snarled. It took him a moment, breathing through the pain, to get off the stupid couch. Once he was vertical on his feet, he trod the short distance to the front door. Emmett felt older than dirt as he shuffled along in his bruised state.
With a curse, he yanked the door open with a scowl, ready to give Colt a piece of his mind. “What the fuck, dude? Did you forget your—”
His words died on his tongue.
On his wooden front porch, fresh as a mountain spring, stood Doctor O’Neal, clutching a black medical bag in one hand. Honey blonde hair styled in a thick braid spilled over one delicate shoulder. She had high, delicate cheekbones in an angular, pixie face that was unpainted, and doe eyes the color of warm cinnamon which assessed him from head to toe. Her full, generous lips were pursed, and she had consternation stamped over her pretty features.
Gone was the lab coat and demure slacks hiding her body from sight. On display were slender curves, and a generous swell of cleavage, part of the smooth globes peeping over the top of her form-fitting pink tank top. She had a slim waist that he could easily fit his hands around, and long, trim legs in jeans that displayed every womanly curve. The doctor was a fucking knockout. His cock twitched at the picture she made on his doorstep, and the distinct image he imagined in a blink—of her on her knees before him—that flash fried his brain. Emmett fought the rising onslaught of need for the little doc. She was a tiny thing, likely a foot shorter than his six foot one frame.
She didn’t look like a doctor, or at least his image of what a doctor was supposed to look like. Doctors were old, more bookish, pale like they hadn’t seen the sun in forever, whereas the sultry, golden-skinned vixen with big doe eyes he could drown in, looked too delicate and breakable.
The audacious woman cocked a delicate golden brow, and said, “That’s last year’s fashion line, but it works. Are you going to invite me in so I can check on your injuries, or are we going to do the exam out here?”
He grunted. It was the only sound he could make because his tongue was tied. He retreated enough to allow her inside.
At the invite, she sailed in past him, smelling like fresh wildflowers. “If you want to have a seat at the kitchen table, I think one of those chairs will work for the examination.”
“I’ll just go put some pants on first.” Closing the front door, he headed for his bedroom. Emmett was by no means a prude, but he also didn’t fancy being at a disadvantage with the doctor. Being in his boxers would leave him exposed and vulnerable, when he was used to projecting strength.
“I don’t mind, Emmett. Your manner of clothing—or lack thereof—won’t bother me. Trust me when I say that I’ve seen it all.”
Oh, she was a cool one, all right. A man answered the door in his underwear and the woman didn’t even bat an eye.
“Just stay there,” he grumbled. Her controlled demeanor made him want to see what it would take to get a rise out of her, and ruffle her cool composure.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.
Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.
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