Lynnette Bernard

~Author ~ The Heart Knows What it Needs

Cowboy Mates, Psychic Connections - Book 2



Book 2

Cover Art

by

Christine Kirchoff


Touching Deuce

Gracie Emery believes her “gift” of being able to calm children and animals with her touch is a curse. Her touch also caused pain to any man who tried to get close to her. As a result she withdrew, determined not to touch any man, and condemning herself to a life of isolation.

James "Deuce" McKade had loved Gracie from the time they had been children. The thought of any man touching her made jealousy rear its ugly head. She was meant to be his mate, fill his heart with love and his home with children. He knew she would accept every part of his nature and willingly give him the gift of her submission.

He would prove to her that they were fated mates even if he had to tie her to his bed to make her listen! She was meant to be his. He just had to convince Gracie.

Note: It is suggested that the previous title in this series be read first for continuity.


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Excerpt

She followed him quickly, walking into his room and watching as he set down her suitcase on the floor in front of his bed. She nearly stumbled as she saw the size of his bed. She had never been in his bedroom before, and the sheer size of the bed took her breath away.

She shouldn’t have been so surprised, really. Deuce was a big man, six-feet-five-inches tall, and broad with muscles from years of hard work on the McKade Ranch. It only made sense that he would have to have a custom-made bed to accommodate his size. Her heart fluttered a bit as the thought of sharing that bed with him raced through her head.

Deuce turned to look at her, crossing his arms across his massive chest, his stance firm and strong. “Your old room is going to be Robbie’s room,” he told her calmly. “The room next to mine will be the nursery.”

“Okay,” Gracie answered softly, accepting his designation of rooms. “I can take the room that used to be Spence’s room. It’ll be right next to Robbie’s.”

“No.”

“No?”

“No.”

Gracie rubbed her forehead tiredly. “I don’t understand, Deuce,” she said quietly.

Deuce dropped his arms, stepping toward her to stand mere inches from her as she looked up at him in confusion. He reached up and touched her cheek with his index finger and followed her jawline tenderly.

“You’ll be staying in my room. With me.”

“What?” She stepped away from him, stunned. This was moving way too fast.

“We should conserve the rooms,” he told her, smiling.

“But there are plenty of rooms in your ranch house, Deuce. We don’t have to share a room.”

Deuce smiled, touched by her total lack of guile. She had no idea how much he cared about her and wanted her. Well, he was going to make sure she knew.

“Gracie,” he said softly, determined to use the right words. “I want you with me.”

“You do?” Her voice held only confusion.

This was not going how he wanted it to. He took a breath to focus, calling on the control he used every day of his life.

“Yes.”

He took a step back and looked down at her, not touching her. If he touched her, he wouldn’t be able to think clearly. “We make a good team, Gracie. We always have. You’re the kindest and most caring woman I have ever met. When you touch me, I feel calm, I feel peace, and I feel right. I want you to be with me and always make me feel that way. How about it?”

“How about what?”

“How about giving a relationship with me a chance?”

To say that Gracie was stunned was a massive understatement. Never in her wildest dreams would she have ever have thought Deuce McKade would ever see her as anything more than a friend. To have him ask her to choose to be with him shocked her beyond belief. The intimate act that they had shared earlier that afternoon should have prepared her for this, but it hadn’t.

Her entire body began to shake, and her knees buckled beneath her, sending her in a smooth glide to the floor. She was grateful when strong arms reached for her and lifted her to settle her gently in the middle of the big bed.

Deuce looked down at the woman who lay in the middle of his bed. He wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her closer to him as he settled beside her. He was at a loss for words for the first time in his life. When she looked up at him, her eyes were wide and filled with fear. He had made her feel afraid. That was not acceptable.

“Gracie, I will not force you to be with me,” he told her quietly, releasing his hold on her waist and pulling away from her so that his body was not touching hers in any way. “This is your choice.”

Gracie reached up to touch his face gently, pulling away immediately when she realized what she had almost done. “Sorry,” she whispered.

Anger flashed in Deuce’s eyes immediately. He reached out and took her hand gently in his and returned it to his face, nuzzling into it and kissing her palm lightly.

“Your touch does not hurt me, Gracie,” he reminded her. “It makes me calm. I’ve already told you that.”

“Deuce, I don’t ever want to hurt you.”

“What will hurt me is not having you touch me,” he told her firmly. “If you choose to have a relationship with me, there will be definite rules you’ll have to follow.”

“What kind of rules?” she asked warily.

He smiled, happy that she didn’t reject the relationship part of his statement. “The number one rule you’ll have to follow is that you are to touch me. Skin on skin, Gracie. You will not get away with just touching my shirt or my clothes. I want your hands on my body. I need to feel your warmth. I need to feel the peace your touch gives me. But I won’t force you to touch me. I hope that you will choose to touch me.”

Gracie laughed out loud, her eyes sparkling with humor as she looked at him. The fact that he wanted her to touch him made her deliriously happy.

“Why are you laughing?” he asked, his heart light with hope at her joy.

“What woman wouldn’t want to touch you?” she asked him softly, winking at him boldly.

“I was hoping you would be the woman who would want to touch me,” he answered, smiling down at her. “It will always be your choice, baby. But it’s something I think we both need.”


Copyright © 2012 Lynnette Bernard

All Rights Reserved.