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The Fantasy Factor
By Kimberly Raye
Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSHE NEEDED A REALLY GOOD orgasm in a really bad way.
That was the only reason Sarah Buchanan kept stealing glances at the hot, handsome, sexy-as-sin cowboy standing at the bar of Cadillac's most notorious honky-tonk. Otherwise, she would have kept her gaze to herself and her attention fixed on the five women seated at the table with her.
She smiled and busied herself taking a drink of the Diet Coke she'd ordered. The cool liquid slid down her throat, but it did nothing to ease her pounding heart or the craving in the pit of her stomach. Her gaze slid sideways again, seeking out the western shirt and Wranglers. There.
Her gaze lifted, drinking in the sight of him, from the straw Resistol perched on top of his short-cropped blond head, down over the western shirt that outlined his broad, powerful shoulders, the large rodeo belt buckle that glittered at his trim waist, the tight jeans that cupped his crotch and hugged his powerful thighs, to the tips of his worn brown cowboy boots.
Houston Jericho was hot and hunky and he practically guaranteed a top-notch, first-class, screaming-good orgasm.
She knew that firsthand because she'd been on the receiving end, not once but three times. Three hot, wild, wicked times.
Of course, that had been a long time ago, and Sarah had since traded hot, wild and wicked for lukewarm, tame and boring. She'd given up her bad-girl tendencies - along with her sexy clothes and her favorite red leather cowboy boots - and completely changed her image.
Houston, however, looked as hot and wild and wicked as ever, his sensual lips crooked in a grin, his stance easy and relaxed and so damned sexy.
She got the distinct impression that he'd only gotten better with age.
"... your turn." The female voice drew her attention and she forced her gaze to the blonde who sat across the table from her. Janice Alcott was a corporate oil executive from Houston, and had, at one time, been the vice president of the Chem Gems, the only academic club at Cadillac High, a school where football and cheerleading had been considered hot and everything else - particularly anything that involved a textbook - not. "Looks like Maddie -" she pointed to the blonde sitting next to her, their once-upon-a-time president who'd traded her frumpy high school image and shy demeanor for a svelte new figure and a tight leather halter top "- isn't going to nail this one. That means you only need five points to beat her."
They were on the last round of Who's the Baddest Babe? - the sexy board game that had been the center of tonight's bachelorette party honoring Cheryl Louise, the youngest Chem Gem, who was tying the knot first thing tomorrow.
Cheryl had been a member of the club via her older sister, Sharon, who'd been the smartest girl in school and the founder of their group. She'd also been one of Sarah's closest friends.
Until Sharon had wrapped her car around a telephone pole a few days before graduation. Maddie had been in the driver's seat, and she'd walked away with only a few scratches, thanks to the steering wheel. She'd been lucky.
As lucky as Sarah herself, who would most certainly have been crammed into the passenger seat with Sharon when the dashboard had caved in - had her grandmother not grounded her yet again, and sentenced her to her room for the weekend.
"Child, why can't you be more like your mother? She was always such a sweet girl. Always thinking of others and making straight A's and doing me proud. Why, you wouldn't catch her swiping the school mascot the night before a football game. She always used her head."
Because Lorraine Foster Buchanan had not only been the smartest girl in her class, she'd also been perfect. She'd always said the right things and worn the right clothes and married the right man and made all the right decisions....
Unlike her only offspring, who'd never managed to measure up. At least in Willemina Foster's eyes, and so Sarah had stopped trying early on. In fact, she'd gone the opposite direction, determined to set herself apart from her mother. To be different. To be her own person rather than a replacement for the daughter her grandmother had lost.
Instead of being sweet and wholesome, she'd been a daring, do anything rebel in red-hot cowboy boots who'd loved to shake things up and shock the fine, upstanding citizens of her small hometown. She'd been the first out of her clothes to go skinny-dipping down at Cadillac Creek, the first out of the car to toilet-paper the captain of the football team's house the night before homecoming, the first to ask a guy out for their junior prom, and the first to proposition Houston Jericho, the town's resident badass and the hottest, hunkiest guy ever to walk the hallowed halls of Cadillac High School.
Her gaze started to slide his way, but a passing waitress killed her line of vision. Thankfully.
She was here with her friends, for her friends. This was the first time they'd all been together in twelve years. And possibly the last they would be, since they led separate lives, two of them far, far away from Cadillac. She shouldn't waste her time scoping out men.
She gave herself a mental shake and forced her attention back to the game.
Maddie, despite her leather halter top and go-get-'em attitude, had just failed the latest assignment that would have made her an extra fifty points and secured the title. All of the other women were too far behind to win, but Sarah was right on her heels, and if she aced the next question, she would walk away the winner.
Excerpted from The Fantasy Factor by Kimberly Raye Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd. . Excerpted by permission.
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