You look like you need an excerpt break. Us too! Then let’s heat up a cup of tea and sit down for a glimpse of Kristen Proby’s Falling for Jillian. The latest in her Love Under the Big Sky series, fans have been anxiously awaiting Jillian’s story, which our reviewer Jaime called, “highly emotional and quite steamy” — two of our favorite things! Read on for more …
The girls have just left and I pop the last bite of brownie in my mouth just as my phone rings. I grin when I see Zack’s name.
“Fuck, it’s good to hear your voice,” he replies. His voice is rough and low, and my thighs immediately clench.
“How are you?” I ask and bite my lip as I lower myself onto my couch.
“It’s been a shitty few days. I’m sorry I didn’t respond to your texts, sugar.”
“Is everything okay now?” I ask, trying to keep my voice level.
“We had a very sick horse on our hands, but it looks like she’s out of the woods now.” He sighs deeply and I can hear the fatigue in his voice. “I just woke up from a few hours’ sleep, and I’d like to come to town and take you out to dinner.”
“I can hear how exhausted you are, Zack,” I say softly. “You should rest.”
“The only thing I need right now is food and you.”
“What about Seth?” I ask tentatively. “I don’t want to take you away from time with him.”
“He’s been staying with Mom and Dad for the past few days because I’ve been in and out so sporadically. He’s happy as can be, getting spoiled by my mom and decorating his bedroom over there.”
“They gave him his own room?”
“He’s the only grandchild. Of course they did.” He chuckles softly. “So, Seth is fine, and I want to spend some time with you.”
“I’d like that,” I admit quietly. “I just have to change my clothes and I’ll be ready to go.”
“I’m on my way.” Just as I think he’s going to hang up, he says, “And Jilly? Don’t bother with panties. You won’t need them.”
The line goes dead and I stare at my phone for several seconds before laughing and rushing to the bathroom to take a very quick shower. I touch up my makeup and brush out my hair, then dress in a tight pair of jeans and a black low-cut blouse with a push-up bra that shows the girls off to their fullest potential.
I slip on a pair of boots with four-inch heels and take a twirl in front of the mirror.
Not bad, if I do say so myself.
I walk into the living room just as the doorbell rings.
“Hey, handsome.” I grin and step back as Zack’s jaw drops and his eyes roam from the top of my head down to the heels on my feet.
“Fuck me, you’re beautiful, Jilly.” He pulls me into his arms and kisses me, urgently. “I missed you this week.”
“I missed you too. I thought maybe you weren’t going to call.”
“Fuck,” he whispers and leans his forehead on mine. “I’m sorry. The days just got away from me, and I was in the barn more than I was at the house.”
“It’s okay.” I shake my head and push my fingers through his soft, dark hair. “I hope the horse is better now?”
“So far, yeah.” He nods and then grins down at me before gently brushing his lips over mine one more time. “Are you really going to try to walk through the snow in these fuck-me boots?”
“I’ll be fine,” I insist. “I was going for sexy.”
“You’ve achieved it. I can’t get much harder.” I cock a brow and boldly glide my hand down his chest to cup his hard-on in my hand. “I stand corrected. That did it.”
“Very nice, Sergeant King.”
“Dinner first,” he growls and cups my face in his hands, kissing me yet again.
He helps me out to his truck, patiently guiding me through the snow in my heels.
“I can’t believe you’re wearing those in this weather.”
“I won’t fall,” I assure him and then damned if I don’t slip. I catch myself, but Zack turns and lifts me into his arms, carrying me the rest of the way to his truck. “This is excellent service.”
“Yes, ma’am,” he says with a grin. “I can’t have you falling. You’ll break your neck in those things.”
“You don’t like them?” I pout.
“I fucking love them, sugar. Wear them anytime you want. I’ll carry you.” He winks and kisses my cheek before setting me gently in the cab of his truck.
“What are you in the mood for?” Zack asks as he pulls out of my driveway.
“I already ate a third of a pan of brownies today, so we might as well indulge in some greasy bar food.”
“Bar food it is.” He takes my hand and kisses my knuckles as he easily maneuvers through the streets to downtown Cunningham Falls.
“My house is so close, we almost could have walked here.”
“Not in those boots.” He laughs and parks, helps me out of the truck, and leads me into the dimly lit bar. There is a small kitchen immediately to the left, where we place our order, then go to find a table in the heart of the bar.
Because it’s a weeknight, it’s relatively quiet. We choose a table near the back, by the pool tables.
“Shall we play?” Zack asks, pointing to the table.
“I don’t really know how.” I shrug and bat my eyes innocently. “But I guess we can play. Will you show me?”
“Sure.” He grins widely and hangs our coats on the backs of our chairs before choosing two pool cues. He’s delicious in another pair of faded blue jeans and a fitted blue T-shirt. He’s wearing Chucks, which surprises me but completes his outfit perfectly.
He’s just yummy.
“I’ll break,” he offers and sets up the balls while I order us both a beer from the waitress.
He takes his shot and scatters the balls, and when a solid goes in the corner pocket, he says, “Looks like I’m solids.”
“You are solid, yes,” I agree and run my hand down his arm, feeling his muscles. “I like it.”
“Are you going to be trouble all night?” he growls in my ear.
“I don’t know what you mean.” I smile serenely and point to the table. “Your shot.”
He chalks his cue and watches me with narrowed eyes, and a half smile on his lips, then takes a shot, missing the pocket.
“My turn.” I circle the table, looking for my shot. Of course, I lied through my teeth to Zack. I played pool all the time in college, and I’m damn good at it.
Not that he needs to know that.
I make sure I find a shot that puts my ass in his line of vision as I bend over the table and take a shot, sinking the ball.
“Oh, yay! That must have been a lucky shot.” I wink at him and then bite my lip at the look of lust in his eyes. He’s leaning against his stool, his arms crossed over his chest, showing off the bulge in his arms.
Christ on a crutch, I want to attack him.
I circle the table and find my next shot, on the opposite side of the table, bend deep so he can see my cleavage, and shoot the ball, missing the pocket.
“Don’t think I’m not onto your game, sugar.”
“I’m playing pool.” I shrug and smile at the waitress who delivers our food. Zack takes a huge bite of his burger and then walks around the table and takes several shots, sinking all of the balls.
I nibble on my buffalo chicken fingers with sour cream and chive fries—really, I’ll be eating yogurt for a month to make up for this meal—and watch the sexiness that is Zack move around the table.
“Nice shot,” I say when he sinks his fourth ball in a row.
“Thanks.” He shoves some fries in his mouth and wanders back to the table. And for the next while, we eat and play in companionable silence, high-fiving when we sink the ball, and rooting for each other.
When we’ve finished eating, and begun our third game, someone puts some money in the old-fashioned jukebox and a classic Aerosmith song comes on. I shake my hips to the rhythm and dance around the table, looking for a shot. I lean over the table, still swaying my hips and shoot, missing the hole.
“Stay where you are,” Zack commands in a low voice.
I look up at him, startled, to find his brown eyes feral and trained on my ass. He walks around the table, glides one hand down my hip and butt cheek, then pulls my back against his chest and presses his mouth to my ear.
“Do you enjoy torturing me like that, Jilly?”
“Like what?” I ask breathlessly.
“Swaying your hips, walking around in these boots, bending over the table to show me your chest. I’m permanently hard here, sweetheart.”
I sigh against him and smile when he wraps both arms around me, hugging me tightly. “Let me stay with you tonight.”
“I’m telling you now, I’ll have to leave very early to get back to the ranch. Josh is covering for me tonight, but I’ll need to be back early to help and to drive Seth down to the bus stop because it’s too far to walk in the snow—”
“Zack, I don’t mean to sound like an insensitive ass right now, but it’s been three days since we had sex, and I’m having a hard time focusing here. I won’t be mad that you’re leaving early in the morning.”
He groans and presses a kiss to my cheek, then retrieves our coats, throws some bills on the table for our waitress, and leads me out to the truck.
“By the way,” I mention casually as he drives as quickly as he can while still staying safe, which is faster than I would have thought, back to my place. “I’m not wearing any panties.”
He throws me a glance and then presses down on the accelerator even more, cussing under his breath.
So good, right? Falling for Jillian hit stores — both digital and brick and mortar — tomorrow! So be sure to pick up a copy. And for more modern love stories, visit our Everything Romance page.