Getting Dirty

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“Whatever.” She was leaving. What the hell she was doing in the midst of chickens and cows, she didn’t know, but this was Sapphire Falls and it was the annual town festival—most of both of those things didn’t make sense to her.

She turned her back on the calf… and ran directly into a hard chest.

And something cold and wet.

“Ah!” She jumped back, shaking her hands free of the icy liquid that cascaded down the front of her soaking into her shirt and freezing her skin.

It was a warm June evening so she was quickly more concerned about the fact that the liquid was purple. On her white shirt. Because of course it was.

She looked up into the grinning face of the man whose grape slush had just soaked her.

Travis Bennett. Because of course it was. She sighed. Mud, cornstalks, manure… she’d had all of that on her at various times in Sapphire Falls and Travis Bennett was always the cause.

Why am I always getting dirty when you’re around?” she demanded, grasping the front of her blouse and pulling the wet stickiness away from her stomach.

“Oh, darlin’ that ain’t dirty.”

No apology, no reaching for a napkin, no sheepish look. All she got was “darlin’” and the word “ain’t”. In a drawl that was like fingernails on a chalkboard. Oh, and a big, fat, cocky grin.

“I’m soaking wet!”

His grin pulled up more on one side. “Now that I have some theories about.”

Lauren narrowed her eyes and planted a hand on one hip. “Theories about what exactly?” She knew where he was going with this, but she wanted him to say it so she could shoot him down. Like every other time he’d made any kind of sexual innuendo.

“You being soaking wet when I’m around.”

She gestured to her clothes. “Clearly, you need carnival food to get me wet, Farmer Boy.”

“No kiddin’. I woulda pegged you for a fancy schmancy wine and caviar girl.”

Liquor actually. She loved a good martini.

“But hey, a girl who likes meat on a stick and funnel cakes is my kinda lady.”

Meat on a stick. Yeah, right. Though funnel cakes weren’t horrible. They involved powdered sugar after all.

She blew out an exasperated breath. Travis talked like a hick. Why did she want to put her hand down the front of the blue jeans that had been covered in who-knew-what in the course of the years he’d owned them?

Travis was a farmer. A small town farmer. A small town farmer who had never traveled outside of the county in which he’d been born—and his father had been born and his grandfather had been born. She knew the type. Too well. She’d been surrounded by the type, involved with the type, in love with the type, until she escaped to the city. Where she’d found real life. Real culture. Real coffee.

And it didn’t matter what city. She loved them all. Traffic, people, action… life. And not a cornfield or haystack for miles.

She was a city snob, a small-town-phobic. She knew it. She owned it.

And no good-looking, suntanned, slow talking, cheap beer guzzling small town farmer was going to change her opinion.

“Clearly the slushie needs to be applied externally for it to get me wet,” she told the cheap beer guzzling small town farmer she wanted to lick from head to toe. In a cornfield.

She hated him.

“You city chicks are into some weird stuff,” Travis said. “But darlin’, I’ll apply anything you want anywhere you want.”

Stupid tingles all over her body.

She put on an unaffected expression. “And I suppose it would be some sexy set-up like the bed of your truck with mosquitos buzzing around and maybe some straw poking me in the ass while we’re at it?”

He gave her a slow grin. “You, me, the bed of my truck… I’ll put twenty bucks on soaking wet in five minutes.”

The bed of his truck. Of course.

But it wouldn’t take five minutes and he knew it. Somehow.

Damn him.