The Irish Devil

Chapter One

William jolted awake as an orgasm roared through him. He rode it out, grinding his hips into the mattress as the pillow muffled his groans.

When the storm finally passed, he cautiously turned his head to one side and tried to catch his breath, still lying on his stomach. What in the name of Joseph, Mary, and all the saints had caused a wet dream like that?

The bedding was fine and the mattress soft so he was in a house, not sleeping under one of his wagons. Two women snored nearby, raising the question of how long they’d slept.

William warily opened his eyes. A hand-stitched motto greeted him, proclaiming the virtues of hard work. The flocked burgundy velvet wallpaper behind it told him he was in Rio Piedras’s only parlor house, the most luxurious place a man could find willing women to slake his lust in this remote Arizona mining town.

William stretched, remembering more now. He’d come to Carrie Smith’s establishment after ten days on the trail, eaten well, and accepted Pearl once again as his companion. Bloody hell, he’d even taken Fannie upstairs, too, just so he’d be sexually exhausted before he walked Rio Piedras’s streets in daylight.

What the devil had he dreamed about?

Shrugging off the question, William slipped out of bed stealthily and turned to check Pearl. She slept on undisturbed, her breath fluttering the embroidered pillowcase’s hem. He cleaned up quickly and pulled on his clothes, mildly regretful that neither woman woke. He loved the smug sway of a woman’s hips as she walked beside him, every step shouting, “I’m a beautiful woman who just had the best time of my life.”

He slipped his family dirk up his sleeve, then quickly buckled on the weapons belt with his trusty bullwhip and Colt, a necessity in this rough mining town.

Still older habits made him check the walls one last time for peepholes. Carrie Smith was too good a businesswoman to anger a steady customer by exhibiting him to all comers. Even so, wariness learned first in a poorhouse and reinforced in Cobh’s back alleys dictated caution.

He replaced the tin of condoms in his jacket pocket, always used whenever he rode a woman’s pussy. Last night they’d protected him from the French disease and accusations of fatherhood. Paternity was an unlikely reproach, given he hadn’t climaxed inside a woman’s core since he’d first seen Viola Ross.

William cursed silently as he waited for his cock’s usual reaction to any thought of her. Only a sluggish twitch in response, rather than the usual rapid lunge. He relaxed slightly; perhaps two women had been a good idea after all.

He tipped Pearl in the usual fashion after a dalliance with her and another girl: two gold coins beside her head and the same sum under the pillow. The other girl would know only of the money in plain sight, the same way she’d be paid.

Pearl’s brown lashes flickered and rose slowly. He straightened up and waited politely.

“Is it morning already?” She yawned and smiled at him.

“An hour past dawn,” he answered as her fingers closed over the gold shining against the bed linen.

“You’re a late riser today. Care to try another round? Cheaper when you stay two nights in a row,” she invited, stretching languidly so her breasts came free of the sheet in a movement designed to distract him. She walked her fingers up his arm as her other hand delved under the pillow.

He shrugged, well aware of exactly what she was hunting for. “You must be tired after last night. Better if you rest before you leave town.”

“I got plenty of time,” she murmured, letting her palm glide down his torso. “And you were so fine, buckin’ and poundin’ like that. A girl could enjoy more rides on equipment like yours.”

He caught her wrist well before she reached his fly. “Thank you but no.”

She sighed. “Unusual to see you lose control in a bedroom. You’re usually more commandin’ than that, tellin’ a girl what to do or drivin’ her crazy with your mouth and hands ’til she’ll do things she never thought possible.”

“Pearl,” he began.

“Oh, I like both sides of you, Donovan! Just would have enjoyed a longer acquaintance with the ragin’ stud.”

He stopped her chatter with a quick light kiss and a coin in her palm, only to have her start again when he moved away.

“You interested in Fannie, Donovan? Maybe another round of the three of us?”

“No.”

Pearl raised an eyebrow at his tone and shrugged. “Not surprisin’. You like your