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Rescued by the Ranger (Camp Hardwood 2) Alexa Riley 2022/8/5 16:51:23

“I’ll tell you anything you want to know, sweetheart. We’ve got all the time in the world.”

I bite my bottom lip and he pulls his eyes from the road for a moment. I know he already said he’s keeping me, but I like hearing him say it. He can play it on repeat for me and I’ll never grow tired of it. I can only think of three words that might be sweeter.

I’m not used to being wanted. With him it feels as though he needs me to breathe. At least that’s how I feel. There’s no way he can’t feel it too. Why else would he be saying he’s keeping me so fast? Is it fate or love at first sight? Whatever you want to call it, I knew from the first time I spotted him he was different and I couldn’t keep my eyes off him.

“It’s a vow, Zara.” This time he uses my name so I know how serious he is.

“Like a wedding vow.” I nod in agreement. A vow sounds better to me than a promise because it’s unbreakable.

“If you want a wedding vow, too, I’ll give you one,” he says easily, like getting married isn’t a big deal and he’d do it in a second if it’s what I want.

“If we were married then no one could take me from you. It would be like I belonged to you,” I say as I look out the window, knowing we’re getting closer to camp. The Jeep comes to a rolling stop and I turn to see if something is blocking the path again but there’s nothing but open road.

“I don’t know much about you either, do I?” He stops the Jeep to look at me and our gazes lock.

Did I go too far with saying I want to belong to him? I don’t know. It might be the world I grew up in, but there’s always paperwork that needs to be passed from one home to the next. I was shuffled around in the system for so long, going from one place to another. I never got adoption papers, not that marriage is adoption, but I have this need inside of me to belong to him, that on every level I will always be his.

“How did I not see you at Camp Hardwood? Have you been hiding from me?”

My eyes widen a fraction and that’s not at all where I thought this conversation was going.

“Yes,” I admit when his hand squeezes my thigh. This one is harder than the last and I know he wants an answer. I wiggle in my seat and the small ache between my thighs reminds me that he always gets what he wants.

“Why?” He searches my face and I shrug.

“I watched you, but I didn’t want you to catch me.” His grip tightens and I gasp. It doesn’t hurt but it’s his way of reminding us both who I belong to.

“Catch me staring,” I correct. My face heats and I have no idea why. Out of all the things we’ve done in the last twenty-four hours, me admitting I watched him is nothing in comparison.

“How long have you been at Camp Hardwood?” he asks, and I can’t read his mood.

“Seven days now.” I was supposed to be going home, and I guess I kind of am. I was dreading it but now it’s something completely different since my home is going to be with Moose.

“Seven days.” He growls his response. Yep. He’s mad. My nipples tighten and my sex is slick with desire. My body has this reaction to everything he does.

“I could have had you seven days ago?” he grumbles, and I don’t remind him that I wasn’t legal the whole time because I don’t think he would have cared.

“I’ll make it up to you,” I rush to say, not wanting him to be upset. I’ll spend forever doing anything he wants.

“I know you will.” He leans over. “Give me that tongue.”

He grabs me by the back of the neck and kisses me fiercely. But it’s over too quickly as he pulls his mouth from mine and the Jeep is moving once again.

“We’re too close to camp to have you here.” I don’t know if he’s telling me or reminding himself. Either way I know why he pulled so quickly from the kiss because it wouldn’t have stopped there.

When we pull up to the main camp cabin, Moose hops out of the Jeep. I can’t bring myself to do the same as I wring my hands together in my lap. He opens the door for me and his eyes are full of concern.

“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” he asks softly. Now he’s the one looking a tad unsure and wondering if I’ve changed my mind.

“I don’t want Honey to be mad.” I shake my head. “Mrs. Cyprus,” I correct quickly, knowing her husband doesn’t like people calling her Honey, even if it is her name. She’s only his Honey. It’s ridiculously sweet and funny and their love is the kind people dream of having. They’re living their happily ever after.