Authors: Nicole Edwards
#4, SpecialHoliday Edition
Copyright© 2013 by Nicole Edwards
Publisher:SL Independent Publishing, LLC
Allrights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S.Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced,distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in adatabase or retrieval system, without prior permission of the publisher.
Holidayswith the Walker Brothers–AnAlluring Indulgence Novelis a work of fiction. Names,characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products ofthe author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance toactual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
CoverImage by: © blinkblink1 123rf.com
CoverDesign by: Nicole Edwards LimitedDedication
This one is foryou, the reader.
If it weren’tfor you, I wouldn’t be blessed with the ability to do what I love. I can nevertruly express how much your love and unwavering support means to me.
Holidays withthe Walker Brothers started out as a novella and quickly morphed into a full lengthnovel. It always seems like the Walker family has more to say and they didn’thold back.
I hope you enjoythis special holiday edition.
“Areyou serious right now?” Zane exclaimed as his eardrums were assaulted withtunes that didn’t quite fit the celebration.
“What?”Brendon asked defensively, a devilish grin on his face.
“Christmasmusic?” he prompted, although the question wasn’t necessary now that the roomhad erupted in a chorus about white Christmas.
“Yup,time to get in the spirit,” Braydon chimed in as he jogged down the stairscarrying a large cardboard box, that same exasperating smirk on his face as histwin.
“Spiritofwhat? We just finishedThanksgivingdinner. Can’t we make itthrough one holiday before you move on to the next?”
Zanewaited for one of them to respond, but the twins were obviously enjoying hisreaction. Note to self:keep your mouth shut.
Hisattention turned to Ethan as he sauntered into the room from the kitchen, ahandful of cookies in one hand. With his ball cap turned backward on his headand a glum expression on his face, Ethan looked pretty much the same as he didevery day. With the exception that he obviously decided to dress up for theoccasion. Well, dressed up as far as Ethan’s standards went. A navy t-shirt anda pair of faded Levi’s seemed to be his version of holiday casual versus theusual grunge they were used to him being decked out in.
Butthat was about as good as it got for Ethan. The guy seriously needed to shave.Zane knew the whole scruffy thing was a fashion statement, but someone neededto tell Ethan that the mountain man look wasn’t all that popular. “Mom wants usto put up the tree.”
Tossinghis hands in the air, Zane feigned aggravation. He knew this was the next partof the traditional Thanksgiving get-together, but what fun would it be if hecouldn’t harass his brothers even just a little bit.
“Whatare you waiting for then?” he asked Ethan, watching his brother closely. IfZane wasn’t mistaken, Ethan didn’t sound at all enthused about the idea either.Then again, Ethan didn’t spend much time smiling these days, Zane noticed.
Witha mouth full of cookie, Ethan glared at him. “When you start working, I will.”
Ethanalways was the one who wouldn’t up with his antics. Didn’t stop Zane frommaking the effort to get his brothers riled up.
Glaringat three of his six brothers, Zane shook his head in mock exasperation beforesneaking a peek through the wide opening that led to the kitchen. There shewas, the most beautiful woman in the world, and she was looking right at him.Ever since they finished cleaning up the Thanksgiving meal about half an hourago, V had been sitting with the other women, chatting it up over coffee. AndZane had been making faces at her from the living room, trying to make herlaugh.
Itseemed to be working.
Zaneinconspicuously glanced down at his watch, checking to see if he had any chanceof sneaking out early. Six-thirty. Ok, so maybe he was jumping the gun alittle. They’d only been at his parents’ house for an hour and a half, andappropriate social etiquette had them visiting at least two hours, especiallyafter the spectacular spread his mother had just spent the day preparing.
Andit seemed as though V was having a fantastic time, so it wasn’t like he couldjust swoop in and pull her out of the conversation to take her home and ravishher. Although, he had to give himself credit because that was the best ideahe’d come up with all day. Then again, if she happened to take a bathroom breakany time in the near future, he might just corner her then. Yep, unquestionablya better idea.
Maybehe should get her some more coffee.
Rememberingwhere he was, Zane tore his gaze off of V and looked around the room. He wasstuck for the time being, so he had better make the best of it. Putting thetree up on Thanksgiving was a family tradition, but Zane just wanted to gohome, get V naked and observe all that he was thankful for in an entirelydifferent way.
Obviously,that wasn’t going to happen.
Travis,Gage, and Beau chose that moment to come banging down the stairs, bootsthudding on hardwood, boxes scraping down the wall as all three of them carriedtheir weight in boxes labeled “Christmas”.
Nogetting out of it now. They were apparently going to be putting up the tree.
“Wannagive us a hand?” Travis barked from halfway down the stairs.
“No,not really,” Zane joked, purposely keeping his expression stern. “From thelooks of it, you could use a little exercise. You gettin’ a little soft aroundthe middle there?”
Hiscomment earned him a glare from his oldest brother and a chuckle from Gage whowas just two steps behind Travis.
“Where’sSawyer?” Zane asked when he realized his brother was missing. Actually, nowthat he thought about it, two of them were MIA. “And where’s Kaleb? Why don’tthey have to help?”
“Oh,trust me, they’re already working,” Ethan said with a huge grin. “Sawyergrabbed Dad and Kaleb to help with decorations outside. Said he wanted to getthis over with.”
Well,that made sense. Not that Zane actually cared where they were, but he was goingto ensure they had to work if he did. After all, that’s what brothers were for.
Oncethe boxes were settled in the middle of the living room floor, Zane knew therewas no getting out of this. If he didn’t contribute, his brothers would ensurehe felt their pain, one way or another, so as he grabbed one of the boxes outof Travis’ hand, he smiled. The sooner he got to work, the sooner he could gethis lovely fiancé home and naked.
Thenagain… If he had to guess, V was going to want to put up their Christmas treewhen they got back home. Only they didn’t have one yet. Which meant she wasgoing to want to go get one. And that would lead to more and more time spentdoing something other than ravishing her sinfully delicious body.
Whocame up with these holidays anyway?
Therehad to be an easier way to do this. Why hadn’t someone come up with Christmasin a box already? Complete with a pop-up tree and a turkey dinner. Seemedsimple enough.
Asfor Zane’s parents, they might not subscribe to the quick and easy version Zanewas hoping for, but they had thankfully opted for an artificial tree years ago,and last year they had picked up a new one on clearance after the holidays. Orat least that’s what he assumed they had done considering the box the tree camein was brand new and had a clearance sticker plastered on the front. Didn’ttake a rocket scientist…
“Youfeeling all right?” Beau asked Zane from across the room.
“Thenget your ass over here and help out,” Brendon instructed, never looking up fromthe box he was opening.
Withan over-exaggerated huff, Zane resigned himself to helping out. Didn’t mean hehad to stop pretending that he wasn’t actually enjoying himself.
Vsat at the kitchen table with Zoey, Jessie, Kylie and Lorrie, chatting aboutplans for Christmas shopping, gifts, who was going where for Christmas dinner,and a multitude of other holiday topics. So, naturally, V should be a littlesurprised that, although they had just finished an incredible Thanksgiving feastthat Lorrie had put her heart and soul into, they had since moved on toplanning Christmas.
Glancinginto the living room, trying to avoid eye contact with her naughty fiancé whowas trying to get his brothers riled up, she noticed that the guys had moved onto the next holiday as well.
SomehowV had commandeered the most coveted seat in the kitchen. From her perch at thetable, she had an unobstructed view of the guys moving around the living room.Along with the constant movement that was distracting in its own right, V hadtried her best not to ogle all of that glorious cowboy muscle. Didn’t seem tomatter that she was head over heels in love with Zane, she still wasn’t dead.But what woman wouldn’t feel like she had died and gone to heaven as she watchedthem work?
Notonly that, but she had been listening to them teasing each other, grumbling andlaughing as they sorted through box after box of holiday stuff. Despite theirfeigned disinterest in the task of putting up the Christmas decorations, they wereall smiling. Well, all of the brothers except Sawyer and Kaleb, because theyhad dragged their father outside a short while ago. For what, V had no idea.
“Whatdo you think, V? Would your mother come?” Lorrie’s soft voice pulled V back towhere she was supposed to be, and she glanced up at her future mother-in-law.
“I’msorry, what?”Way to go, Vanessa.Ignoring the future mother-in-lawbecause you’re eyeing her boys probably wouldn’t earn you kudos.
Lorrielaughed sweetly, and V smiled in return, thankful that Lorrie was such a warm,forgiving person.
“Doyou think Regina would join us for Christmas dinner?”
“Oh,I’m sure she’d be honored,” V answered, glancing around the table at herfriends. For months, her mother had been walking the straight and narrow. Andhonestly, V was proud to say that the relationship she had been denied with hermother during her childhood was finally strengthening to a point where V didn’tfeel like she was an afterthought. And though Regina had declined the Walker’sinvitation for Thanksgiving, V didn’t see her mother doing it again atChristmas. She hoped.
Forthe first time, V noticed that Lorrie was actually making a list, but shecouldn’t see exactly what she was putting on the page. Guests for Christmas,maybe?
“Wonderful.And what about your parents, Kylie? Do you think Joe and Melissa would joinus?”
Vwatched Kylie as she nodded her head in agreement, also sneaking a glimpse intothe living room over V’s shoulder. The woman had barely let Travis and Gage outof her sight, and that dreamy expression on her face was one V recognized alltoo well. She’d seen it in the mirror a lot in the past year.
“I’msure they’d be thrilled. We don’t have much of a Christmas tradition, so Idoubt it would take much to convince them to come down.”
“AndZoey, you can let your dad know he doesn’t have a choice,” Lorrie said with achuckle.
“Willdo,” Zoey responded quickly, her eyes alight with the same glow that was on herface. “I’m sure he’ll grumble, but I’ll make sure he’s here.”
Sittinghere with the ladies she’d come to think of as family, V felt a strangesensation that buzzed in her veins. Something akin to the intoxicating effectof alcohol, although she certainly wasn’t drunk.
Itwas crazy what a year could bring. At this time last year, V was suffering frompanic attacks and worrying whether Zane was actually going to live or die afterhe’d been nearly beaten to death right in her front yard. And now, she wasfilled to overflowing with the love of family. So not only was she enjoying thespirit of the holidays and eternally grateful for all of the blessings in herlife, but for V, this was also going to be the first year that Christmaswouldn’t equate to a turkey and mashed potatoes TV dinner.
Itwasn’t that she disliked the holidays, but her mother never had been big on thetradition which meant V would normally fend for herself. Since she moved out onher own many years ago, she never bothered her mother during the holidays,preferring not to get involved in whatever short term relationship Regina hadgoing at the time. Without any other family, that usually meant a quiet nightat home with her microwave and her television as her only company.
Thenagain, that was her way of wallowing in her own self-pity because Zoey was usuallyinsisting that she join her.
Butthis year… this year was different. Her life had changed in significant waysand spending the holidays with her family and friends was actually on the topof her priority list.
Peekinginto the living room, she noticed Zane piecing together the artificial tree,mouthing off at his brothers as was usual these days. He was bending over atthe waist, and V took a second to admire his sexy ass encased in thosewell-worn jeans he favored. She made a mental note to have him lose the shirtwhen he put up their tree. Mmmm…
Afew feet away from Zane, Travis and Gage were pulling out strands and strandsof Christmas lights while they appeared to be having a serious conversation.Their brief glances into the kitchen told V they were probably talking aboutKylie.
Onthe far side of the room, closest to the fireplace, Beau and Ethan were takingornaments housed in large plastic bins out of another box, and the twins weresorting other boxes, presumably those that contained outdoor decorations,maybe?
Theback door creaked open, causing the women to go silent as they turned towardthe noise.
“Where’reyou boys at? Get it in gear. Your brothers are out here bitchin’,” Curtiscalled when he stuck his head in the back door. “Sorry, ladies,” he added witha cheeky grin.
Vlaughed with the others at the table and watched as Brendon and Braydongathered up as many boxes as they could fit in their arms before heading towardthe kitchen.
“Ithink Zane was onto something. Why do we do this on Thanksgiving?” Brendonmuttered to his twin as they passed through the kitchen, a smirk on his face.
Vimmediately glanced over at Lorrie to see their mother grinning. “They moan andgroan about it every year, but in case you didn’t notice, their father and Inever even mentioned putting up the tree or the lights.”
Anotherround of laughter erupted at the table.
Vhadn’t even realized it, but Lorrie was right. No one had instructed the men tomove on to the Christmas decorating, although Zane had already informed herbefore they came over that it was a tradition for them to put up the tree onThanksgiving evening.
Shehad to admit, she was rather fond of this tradition, and it would seem that theWalker brothers were too, even if they liked to make everyone think otherwise.
Hermind was filled with thoughts of her first Christmas with Zane. They had to geta tree, ornaments, lights; the whole nine yards. And going out to find theperfect gift for him was something she was anxiously waiting for.
That,and maybe a little extra attention for Zane since, based on the heated look hewas sending her, he was looking forward to a different form of celebrationentirely.
Hewas pretty sure he had mentioned before just how much he hated ladders. Morethan once at that. So why was it that he was hanging on to the gutter whileattaching tiny plastic clips that were too small for his fingers to control?
“Damn,dude, you gonna take all day?” Kaleb muttered from the safety and security ofthe ground below.
Sawyerdidn’t turn to look at him because heights just weren’t his thing and hehappened to like the way his head looked right there on his shoulders. No pointin trying to rearrange his anatomy by falling to the ground at this point.
Pushingthe next clip in place, Sawyer tugged the strand of lights that were halfhanging off of the roof, half strung around the ladder and clipped them inplace. Hell, he hoped these damn things actually lit up because, if he had toguess, Kaleb hadn’t bothered to check that out before tossing an end up to him.
“Nice.Now, if you get a move on, we might have them up by this Christmas, not thenext one.”
“Shutthe hell up,” he grumbled to his brother. “I’d like to see you go any faster.”
“Getyour ass down then and I’ll show you how it’s done,” Kaleb taunted.
Didn’tneed to tell him twice. Without further ado, Sawyer scrambled down the ladderand Vanna White’d his hands toward the ladder as a gesture for his brother totake over.
Insteadof standing around to supervise, Sawyer ventured to the stack of boxes thatBrendon and Braydon had just brought out. Originally, when he’d snagged Kaleband their father to join him outside, he had thought they were just going tohave to plug up the eight foot tall inflatable Santa Claus that his motheradored. Instead, he’d somehow been talked into the rest of the lights whichmeant the rest of his evening was shot.
Notthat he had any plans anyway. Unless he considered heading out to Moonshinersfor the night. Or maybe the bar in the neighboring town. Either way, the onlypositive on his horizon at the moment was the potential for sex. Considering itwas going to be the normal routine of picking up a woman, taking her back tohis place or going to hers – which he preferred because he could get awayeasier – and then either waking up alone, or waking up to find he needed tobreak some woman’s heart and send her on her way.
Thatseemed to be the story of his life these days.
Nope,there was no reason to go there. If Kennedy Endsley would give him half achance, he’d be more than willing to substantiate those rumors she’d heardabout him. Because yes, he was known as the fun-loving playboy, and he’drightfully earned that title, thank you very much. Then again, that seemed tobe her hang up with him. Or so she said.
Notthat he was proud – ok, maybe he was a little proud. Even if that did make hima horn dog. That was life. He had no complaints at the moment. His family wasall in good health, the resort was about a month and a half from beingcomplete, Walker Demolition, despite the neglect they’d been giving thatcompany, was still thriving, and he wouldn’t have to spend a night alone if hedidn’t want to.
Itwasn’t like he needed any more than that. And, as was his motto, he wascertainly going to continue to look on the bright side.
WatchingSawyer teeter back and forth on the ladder was amusing, but boring as hell.Knowing that he would gladly hand over the task of stringing up the lights,Kaleb continued to rib him until he gave up. And what do you know, twentyminutes later, Kaleb was finished, three strands of lights hanging effortlesslyacross the front of the house.
“Who’sgonna turn these on?” he hollered toward the twins who were propped on thefront porch railing, dangling their feet down one side while they chatted it uplike a couple of cackling hens.
“Lasttime I checked, your legs weren’t broken,” Brendon snapped, laughing. Ofcourse, his comeback was followed by him jumping off of the rail to shove theplug into the wall socket on the porch.
Afit of laughter erupted behind him, and Kaleb turned to see Sawyer nearlyrolling on the ground, Zane moving in behind him with a satisfied grin on hisface.
Ok,so maybe he should’ve plugged the damn things up to see if they worked first.
“Howmany strands are out this time?” Ethan called as he made his way around fromthe side of the house.
“Lookslike half of them. That’s better than last year, right?” Braydon answered,moving out from under the porch to stand beside Sawyer.
Kalebstared up at the roofline, smiling. This he could fix, just like he did everyyear. Then again, he didn’t mind entertaining his brothers, and they’d come toexpect him to put the lights up half lit anyway.
“I’mready for any one of you assholes to volunteer to do this anytime you’d like,”Kaleb retorted, trying to conceal his own amusement.
Aboutthat time, Beau, Travis and Gage made their appearance from around the back ofthe house with Curtis not far behind. Another round of laughter along with somesnide comments about consistency.Yadda, yadda, yadda.
“Getme a strand that works, would ya?” Kaleb called out to anyone who was willingto listen. The twins were the first to move, but that didn’t surprise him,those boys had more energy than the crowded toy aisle at Walmart beforeChristmas.
Afterfifteen minutes and a round ofthis is how it should be done’slater,Kaleb was once again climbing down the ladder.
“Youdid good, boy,” Curtis said approvingly, slapping Kaleb on the back.
“Thanks,”he told his father. “Next year, get one of them to do the hard stuff, wouldya?”
Curtislaughed, knowing that ever since Kaleb had been old enough to climb a ladder,he’d been the one to vie for the opportunity to hang the Christmas lights. Thisyear was no different.
Thatthought had his mind wandering to his own house. How in the world was he goingto hang lights on it? Perusing the faces of his brothers and their friends,Kaleb grinned. He’d have to come up with a plan because if he knew his wife,and he certainly did, she was going to want to outdo the rest of theneighborhood when it came to her decorations.
Speakingof his wife…
Zoeycame strolling across the front yard, a beaming smile on her face. She didn’tstop until she was pressed up against his side, her arm around his lower backas she stared up at the lights. Since the days were shorter, it was dark enoughthat the reds and greens and yellows lit up the roofline and twinkled nicely inthe darkness.
“Verynice,” she said with the same approval in her tone as his father had.
“Yeah?”Leaning down he pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “Think you might want toreward me later?” he asked, making sure to keep his voice low enough that theothers couldn’t hear.
“Hmmm,that depends,” she answered quickly.
“Howgood you can be later?”
Kalebchuckled, pulling Zoey closer against his side. The woman sure knew how to keephim in line.
Standingin the front yard of her in-laws house, the festive holiday decorations theonly light to see by, Zoey felt a sense of enlightenment. Things were good inher world. This was her family, and even listening to seven grown men fuss forhours about doing work that they hadn’t even had to be asked to do, this wasone of those days she was thankful for. Thanksgiving was certainly a fittingname for the holiday.
Althoughher father had refused to come to dinner, using the excuse that he wasn’t up tobeing around people, Zoey knew she would get to spend some time with him soonwhen she took the leftovers that Lorrie had packaged up over to his littleguest house.
Andthen, after they spent some time together, she’d have Kaleb all to herself forthe night.
“Areyou cold?” Kaleb asked, chafing her arm with his hand as he cuddled her closerto his side.
Thenight was brisk, but not unbearable and being seven months pregnant, sheactually welcomed the change in weather. Seemed hot flashes – or the pregnancyequivalent – were something to be dealt with so she’d take the relief any wayshe could get it. “Nope, I’m good,” she reassured him.
“What’sleft to do?” Kaleb called out to the men standing around.
“Gohome,” Zane answered.
Basedon the way V was watching him, Zoey knew her best friend was eager to take himhome. Not that she could blame them. She was actually quite interested ingetting back to her house as well. Some quiet time with her husband soundedlike heaven at the moment.
“Grabthe empty boxes and let’s get them back up to the attic,” Travis instructed,ever the drill sergeant.
“Yes,sir,” Brendon said with a salute.
Travisbrushed him off and moved to grab one of the boxes as Gage, Beau, Sawyer andCurtis all fell into step alongside him.
“So,when are y’all coming to my house to do the same thing?” Kaleb asked, slidinghis hand into Zoey’s.
Lookingup at her husband, she smiled. As they fell into step with the other, she said,“I’ll make chili and cornbread if y’all will say yes.”
Toher surprise, despite the enormous dinner they’d finished a short while ago,all of the men within earshot agreed. Of course they did. They were men. Thebest way to get them to do what you wanted was to bribe them with a home cookedmeal.
“Deal.When?” Sawyer asked, stopping to allow Zoey and Kaleb to catch up.
“Thisweekend?” Kaleb asked.
“Soundslike a plan. I’ll bring the beer if your woman’s got the chili.”
Whenthey made their way back inside the house, they were greeted by a rumble ofconversation as everyone said their goodbyes.
“Thankyou so much for dinner,” Zoey told Lorrie as the older woman pulled her in fora squeeze.
“Mypleasure, honey,” Lorrie replied. “And don’t forget to tell your father hedoesn’t have a choice for Christmas. I’ll come over and pull him out of hishouse myself if I have to.”
“She’lldo it, too,” Curtis groaned as he patted Zoey’s shoulder. He was careful withher, and he claimed it was because she was fragile in her pregnant state, butshe knew Curtis didn’t know what to do with girls, considering he’d raisedseven strapping boys.
“Oh,I know she will,” Zoey told him. “But don’t you worry, I’ll bring him this,”she said as she held up a large Tupperware container, “and I’ll tell him at thesame time. He won’t be able to refuse.”
“We’relooking forward to it,” Lorrie said with a smile. “If you need anything at all,just give me a call.”
“Absolutely.And the same goes with y’all,” she reminded them. “Oh, and one more thing,”Zoey added. “Do you mind if I help with Christmas dinner? I’m not the best cookin the world, but I’d love to come over and help.”
Theway Lorrie’s crystal blue eyes brightened had tears forming in Zoey’s eyes.Damned pregnancy hormones.
“Honey,I’d love that.” Before Zoey knew what was happening, Lorrie threw her armsaround her, pulling her close once more.
Refusingto cry, because, well, because she would look like an overemotional wreck, Zoeytook a step back and grabbed Kaleb’s hand. “All right, well, I’ve got to gethim home so he can figure out how to put my Christmas decorations up.”
Andjust like she expected, Kaleb groaned.
Littledid he know, but she had a few tricks up her sleeve. There was something to besaid about bribing a man to do the hard work. And with him, she knew foodwasn’t the easiest way to get him to comply.
“What’dyou think?” Zane asked after he and V had jumped in his Jeep for the short rideback to their house situated on his parents’ land.
“Thetree. Good grief, woman. What’ve you been doing all day?” He laughed.
Pullingup close to the house, Zane parked and then hopped out. He was in a hurry toget inside, but it didn’t have anything to do with the temperature. The weatherwas surprisingly mild for November, but then again, this was Texas, so coldweather didn’t normally infiltrate their neck of the woods until a little laterin the year.
“Awww,did you need a pat on the back, Zane Walker? Or maybe a cookie for being such agood boy?” V teased as they made their way up the steps.
Pushingopen the door, he rushed her inside as she stared back at him like he wascrazy.
Crazymad with lust.
Watchingher all day, unable to run his hands all over her sweet body but wanting tosneak her off and make her scream his name had been pure and utter hell.
Lookingat V, he kept his expression serious as he said, “I’ll take the cookie.”
Shuttingthe door behind him, Zane stalked her farther into the house, his body hummingwith the need to get inside of her. He would’ve thought that the more time thatpassed, his craving for her would subside. Quite the opposite actually. Zanefound that every single day he wanted her with a renewed hunger.
“Whatare you doing?” she asked, her eyes wide, a knowing smile on her lips.
“I’mpretty sure you just promised me a cookie,” he said, pursuing her across themain living area. “And I automatically assumed that cookie was a code wordfor…” He let the sentence hang, she could fill in the blanks.
Vcontinued walking backward until her butt ran smack into the pool table in thefar corner of the wide open space.
“Mmmm,”she moaned when he trapped her between his body and the unmoving pool table. Hepressed up against her, their bodies touching knee to chest, his cock heavy andaching as he ground himself intimately between her thighs. “Why does it alwayslead right back to this pool table?”
“Becauseyou’re so fucking hot laid out on it,” he explained, his wandering hands takingon a life of their own, deftly slipping her sweater up and over her head.“Damn, I like this one,” he said, referring to the red and black bra that shewore on rare occasions, usually when she wanted to get him all worked up.
Atthis point, she could’ve been wearing plain cotton underwear, and he wouldn’tgive a damn. The goods were what was underneath all that satin and lace.
“Iknew you did,” she whispered, slipping her hands into his hair and pulling hisface closer to hers. When her lips were hovering mere inches from his, shewhispered, “You should see the other piece that matches it.”
Zanepressed his nose to hers and smiled. “I fully intend to.”
Liftingher easily, he helped her to sit on the edge of the pool table and proceeded topull off her boots. When she was left with only the bra, her skirt, and thesecret she hid beneath, he took a minute to stare at her.
“What’reyou waiting for?” she questioned, her eyes bright with a familiar glimmeringpassion.
“Can’ta man just enjoy the view every once in a while?”
Vpretended to consider him, grinning. And then the little minx spread her legsfarther apart and leaned back, using her hands to prop herself up. The positiongave him a little peek beneath her skirt. He stepped between her thighs,forcing them open even more as he pushed the skirt up high on her trim thighs,revealing the little red panties with the tiny black bows on the side. Hewanted to pull them off with his teeth, but then again, this was one of herfavorite sets – not to mention one of his too – so he knew he had to be gentleuntil he got her fully naked.
“Layback and lift your hips,” he demanded, his eyes never straying from between herthighs, the damp fabric of her panties making him even crazier. He had half amind to just end his suffering and drive his iron hard cock right into her, butfrom what he’d learned, this was less about speed and more about making hersquirm. He wanted to savor her, to feast on her for a while and listen as shescreamed her pleasure.
“Pushycowboy,” V teased.
“Damnstraight.” Leaning over her as he stood between her legs, Zane kissed her lipslightly, and helped her to ease down onto her back. “Now that’s what I’mtalkin’ about.”
Sweepingthe skirt down her legs, he had her nearly naked in seconds. Locking his gazeto hers, Zane flattened his palms on her thighs and ran them up her legs beforesliding his index fingers beneath her panties – one on each side of her smooth,bare pussy lips.
“Damn,baby,” he growled. “You’re wet.”
“Whatdid you expect?” she asked, her lids lowered, her sharp inhale a telling signthat he was doing something right.
Whenshe tried to move closer to his fingers, he pressed his palms against herthighs to hold her in place.
“Oh,no you don’t. In case you don’t remember, I didn’t have dessert yet, and youpromised me a cookie.”
“That’syour fault. If I recall correctly, dessert was served a little while ago.” V’seyes opened wide, her mouth continuing to move, but Zane was focused on slidinghis fingers through her slick heat, teasing her clit delicately.
Hekept up the gentle torture until she bowed her back, her breasts thrusting uptoward the ceiling as she moaned loud enough to wake the neighbors.
God,he fucking loved when she did that.
Luckily,they didn’t have neighbors.
“Doyou like that?”
“God,yes,” she groaned, her hips undulating beneath his hands.
“Howabout this?” he asked as he slipped one finger inside her tight pussy, teasinglightly with a back and forth motion.
“Zane!”His name spilled from her lips in at least four syllables, and he couldn’t hidethe smile.
“Thatwasn’t enough?” Pushing the index finger of his other hand inside her pussy, alongsidethe first, he watched as V writhed and moaned, her hands reaching out to tryand grab something, but there was nothing within reach.
Slippinghis fingers out, he quickly pulled her panties down her legs, letting themflutter to the floor beneath him before he leaned in and placed a tender kissto her clit.
“Oh…”V whispered, her body stilling instantly, giving Zane the perfect opportunityto drag his tongue back and forth over the hardened nub.
“Spreadyour legs more for me, baby. I need to use my hands, so you’ll have to keepthem open for me,” Zane insisted, keeping his palms flat against her thighsuntil she did exactly as instructed. “That’s my girl.”
Withfull use of his hands once again, Zane separated her slick folds, letting hisbreath feather against the sensitive tissue until she was once again trying toget closer to his mouth.
Heloved that about V. She wasn’t scared to ask for what she wanted.
“Mypussy. Damn it, Zane. Lick my pussy!”
“Yes,ma’am. No need to be so bossy,” he said with a laugh before diving in, histongue sliding through her soft, warm folds, testing the sensitivity before heplunged in deep, using his thumb to torment her clit as he fucked her with histongue.
Heloved when she screamed like that. He wanted her to get loud enough to raisethe roof, to inform the world exactly who owned her pleasure.
Switching,he lapped at her clit with relentless flicks of his tongue while plunging twofingers inside her, letting her muscles tighten as her orgasm erupted, herthighs clamping down around his head and holding him in place.
Asshe began to relax, he eased up, savoring the taste of her, but trying not totorment her – or himself – any longer.
“Nowit’s my turn,” he said, pushing to his full height as he gripped his t-shirtbehind his head and pulled it up and off before quickly shedding his jeans.
Vlooked almost peaceful as she stared up at him, a satisfied smile on herbeautiful lips. Yep, he loved this damned pool table. Considering he couldn’tbeat her at pool, he damn sure had to find his satisfaction somehow, and thiscertainly was one of the best ways to do that.
Lininghis cock up against her entrance, Zane gripped his shaft and eased into herslowly, watching as her eyes closed, her mouth fell open. If the sensation waseven remotely as intense for her as it was for him, he couldn’t blame her fortrying to block everything else out. It was all he could do to maintain hisgrip on his sanity when he plunged deep inside her body, becoming one with thisincredible woman. The woman he loved. The one who owned him – heart and soul.
“Tight,”he groaned through gritted teeth. “And wet.”
Vopened her eyes and smiled, gifting him with the most magnificent gift a mancould ever ask for. “I love you,” she whispered.
Pullingher hips closer to the edge of the table, he cushioned her butt on his hands tokeep the edge from digging into her skin as he slowly penetrated her, thenpulled out.
“Ilove you more,” he whispered, his eyes threatening to close as her fiery heatengulfed him, milking him while her muscles held him firmly in place. “God,baby, you feel so good.”
“Iwas thinking the same thing,” she giggled.
Hermuscles tensed with her laughter, making him snap his teeth together as hefought the impending climax that had been patiently sitting dormant all damnday.
“I’vegot to fuck you now,” he warned her as he slid out, ensuring the engorged headremained nestled within her warm depths before he slammed into her again.
Luckilyhis hands were big because he had to latch his thumbs over her hips to hold herin place and still cushion her ass as he lifted her slightly. The angle wasmore than perfect, her tight sheath stroking him as he hurried his pace, thrustingforward hard and then slowly retreating. He didn’t know which was more erotic,watching his cock slide deep inside of her body, or watching her gorgeous titsas they swayed, that red and black bra barely containing them and doing littleto keep them from sensually shifting back and forth with each thrust.
“You’reso fucking beautiful, V,” he said, his release building, his balls tighteningand that telltale tingle starting at the base of his spine. “Fuck,” he groanedas he slammed into her hard, holding her in place.
Assweat broke out on his forehead, Zane concentrated all of his efforts onsending her into hyperspace, worried that he was going to freefall before heever sent her over. “Come for me, V. Come all over my fucking cock.”
V’spussy gripped him, threatening his resolve, but Zane refused to…
Nowthat was more like it.
Withoutconscious thought, Zane came with a vicious rush, holding V’s hips still, hisbody jerking, spasming as he spent himself inside of her.
Ashe came down from that intensely satisfying sexual high, he grinned down at hiswoman and smiled. “Have I mentioned how much I love you?”
Vflashed him another sexy grin. “You have. But you’re more than welcome to tellme as often as you like.”
Gagewas beyond exhausted, and the holiday season had just begun. He actually wantedto be enjoying his Saturday at home, except, somehow Kylie had managed toconvince him and Travis to go hunting for a Christmas tree on the same dayeveryone else was out looking for one. Did she come along to supervise? Ofcourse not. Something about needing to get some work done. What he figured shewas really trying to say was that she wanted to get the two of them out of thehouse for a little while.
Sothat meant they were snapping pictures and sending them to her, in hopes thatshe would approve of at least one of the trees that they managed to find at alittle roadside stand just outside of Coyote Ridge.
Sinceshe hadn’t been thrilled with any of them so far, Travis had informed him thatthey had one more place to try. And if she didn’t like one of those, he wasgoing to Walmart and grabbing a fake one that she’d just have to deal with.Travis’ exact words.
So,as Gage moved through the rows of trees at what he hoped was their last stop ofthe afternoon, he was only half seeing what they had in stock. Mostly he waswatching as Travis moved easily through the forest of green that wouldeventually grace someone’s living room as they awaited Christmas Day.
Gagejust wanted to go home.
“Fuckinghell,” Gage groaned. “Why won’t this one do?”
Travisturned around to face him, causing Gage to stop suddenly or slam into him asthey passed yet another perfectly acceptable Christmas tree. Before he knewwhat was happening, Travis’ hand snaked out, sliding behind his neck as hepulled him close.
Withoutwarning – ok, maybe there was a little warning based on how close Travis got –his lover slammed his mouth down on his and eagerly stole a kiss. GrabbingTravis’ shirt, Gage twisted his hands in the soft cotton, pulling him closer ashe sought the one thing that would at least take the edge off of hisfrustration temporarily.
“God,you taste good,” he moaned softly into Travis’ mouth.
“Ifthere weren’t little kids around, I’d shove you to your knees and bury my cockin your mouth,” Travis breathed roughly against his ear when he pulled back.
“Well,that’s more incentive to find the damned tree and go home.”
Linkinghis fingers with Gage’s, Travis pulled him along as they continued through thetrees at the far end of the lot.
“Thisone’ll do,” Travis said when they came upon another bristly green tree thatlooked just like every other one they had looked at.
“Wantme to take a pic?” Gage offered as he reached for his cell phone.
“Nope.”Travis stared at the tree, then turned to face Gage. “Don’t move.”
Withinminutes, Travis was back with one of the attendants and they were putting themoves on the tree to get it prepared to take a trip down the highway.
Oncethey’d paid up and were back in the truck, Gage put it in gear and pulled outof the relatively empty parking lot. “She’s gonna kick your ass, you know that,right?”
“I’msure she will, but we’ll deal with that when we get home.”
Gageshot a quick glance at Travis and grinned. Yeah, he was pretty sure heunderstood exactly how Travis intended to “deal” with Kylie.
Andhe couldn’t fucking wait.
Kyliedropped her phone back onto the table and smiled. She wasn’t sure exactly how muchlonger she’d be able to stall them, but considering the sales she’d seen, sheknew she had to get them out of her hair long enough to make an effort to findsomething for them for Christmas.
She’dalready received Gage’s opinion on the matter loud and clear. He wasn’t at allthrilled about being sent out on a Saturday in search of a Christmas tree, butit had been the only idea she could come up with at the time. Honestly, atleast half of the pictures they’d sent her already were trees she would’ve beenfine with. Only then, she wouldn’t have time to continue her internet search.
Atthe moment, she was chatting with one of the sales people at the big boxelectronics store, hoping to get just the thing for Gage. It wasn’t that sheknew exactly what it was she was searching for, but she had a decent idea.
Anothertext came in, and she grabbed her phone to read the screen.
Foundit. On the way home.
Howdid they find one? She hadn’t given them go ahead to come home.
Glancingdown at the sales ads lining the kitchen table, she knew she had to hurry.
Runningto the coffee machine, she started a fresh pot, intending to appear relaxedwhen they got home. After all, she didn’t want them to know what she’d been upto.
Aftersliding all of the ads into a pile and shoving them into the bottom cabinetwhere they kept the blender and the hand mixers that no one ever used, sherushed back to get her coffee.
Bythe time she was camped out on the couch, the television on and a cup of coffeeby her side, she was sweating. Next time she’d have to be a little moreprepared. It didn’t surprise her that her men had finally given up on her andpicked out a tree on their own. She could practically feel Gage’s tension inhis texts.
Takinga sip of her coffee and getting comfortable on the couch, she smiled toherself. She’d just have to make it up to him.
But,as another idea came to her, maybe she could make him work a little more forit.
“Moveitwhere?” Gage asked several hours later, clearly exasperated byKylie’s constant need to move the Christmas tree – now strung with lights, butlacking ornaments – from one corner to another.
Asif the afternoon hadn’t been taxing enough.
“Overthere,” Kylie instructed and Travis opted to step back – several paces at that– to get out of the path of destruction that might just take place if shedidn’t settle on one place and stick with it. It’d been a long time sinceTravis had seen Gage strung this tight.
Itmight be entertaining to watch Gage lose his patience, but Travis knew therewas only so far the cop could be pushed before he snapped like a twig. But hewas sexy as fucking hell doing it, so Travis didn’t mind watching from time totime.
“Again?We just moved it from over there,” Gage huffed.
“Yes,but I want to try it again,” she informed him, her hands on her hips and herpert little nose sticking up as though she were the alpha and they were justher servants.
Thethought made Travis grin.
Ashe watched the chaos ensue, he figured he needed to get more comfortable. Andwhat better way than to plop his ass down on the couch with a cold one. Itdidn’t take him long to slip into the kitchen, grab a beer from the fridge andsneak back. Neither of them ever even noticed he had left.
Kyliemoved back a few feet, studying the corner where the tree now stood – somewhatlopsided thanks to Gage’s impatience with the whole thing.
“Whatif we mo–”
BeforeKylie could get the question out, Travis set his beer on the side table andgrabbed her around the waist, pulling her down onto his lap. Taken entirely bysurprise, Kylie squealed and then started laughing.
“Whatif we do something different besides rearrange the living room a hundredtimes?” he asked, his arms wrapped firmly around her waist, her arms trapped ather sides.
“Likewhat?” she asked sweetly. “Y’all want to clean? The kitchen could use a goodscrubbing. Or maybe the bathrooms.”
Digginghis fingers into her side, Travis tickled her, making her giggle as she triedto get away. When Kylie started to squirm, Travis tilted his hips upward,effectively letting her grind that gorgeous ass right over his excited cock.
“Damn,baby,” he groaned. “Keep doing that, and I won’t care if you ever even get yourclothes off.”
Kyliestopped moving instantly. At first, Travis thought it was due to his comment,but then he looked around her to see Gage standing just a few inches away, hisjeans pushed to his thighs and his cock jutting out from his body.
Damn,the man was so fucking hot. His cock was long and thick as he stroked himselfslowly, his gaze intent on Kylie as he moved closer to them.
“Suckme,” Gage ordered, his tone dripping with authority. “Don’t let her go,Travis.”
Yes,sir,Travis thought to himself as he pushed up to a sitting position, his chestpressed against Kylie’s back.
Traviswouldn’t have been able to look away if he was forced to. He wanted to reachout and touch Gage, wrap his fist around the swollen shaft and stroke him hardand fast. Licking his lips involuntarily, Travis leaned forward, his lips closeto Kylie’s ear.
“Suckhim, baby. I want to watch while he fucks your mouth,” Travis encouraged,keeping his arms banded around her, although she had ceased moving. This righthere... It made all the hassle of looking for the perfect tree worth it.
“Makeme.” Kylie dared him. Had she not chuckled, her laughter vibrating against hisgroin, Travis might’ve thought she was serious.
“Mypleasure,” Gage growled, sliding his hand into her hair and pulling her forwardas he brushed the engorged head of his cock against her lips.
Traviswatched. As a matter of fact, he sat motionless as Gage slid his thick shaftdeep into Kylie’s mouth, his hand gripping her hair gently, holding herperfectly still. Kylie let Gage control her movements, her tongue sliding overthe head, lapping at the pre-cum that had already formed there before suckinghim fully into her mouth.
“Ahhh,damn, baby.” Gage moaned his pleasure, his attention focused solely on whereKylie’s lips were wrapped around his dick. “I love your mouth on me. That’s it,suck me. Fuck.”
Travis’cock stirred, his stomach muscles tightening with excitement. When he daredmeet Gage’s eyes, he saw the unbridled lust darkening his sexy brown eyes.
That’swhen Gage looked at him and stopped moving.
“Nowyour turn,” Gage said gruffly, pulling his cock free of Kylie’s mouth.
Travissmirked, keeping his arms wrapped tightly around Kylie. “Make me.”
“Awww,fuck,” Gage roared, letting go of Kylie and damn near plowing her over in hishaste to get to Travis.
Kylielaughed and fell off of Travis’ lap, watching them as Gage all but climbed overhim.
Pinnedto the couch with two hundred plus pounds of determined sexy male on top ofhim, Travis let Gage have his way. Letting his head fall back onto the couchcushion, he waited until Gage got situated, practically standing on the couch,one leg on each side of Travis’ body as he forced his cock past his lips.
Travisdidn’t waste any time before he sucked him in deep, hollowing out his cheeks topull him as far as he could, watching Gage’s fierce expression as he did. Whenhe started to reach up and cup Gage’s balls, Kylie’s soft, yet firm, gripstopped him.
“Nuh-uh.No hands,” she said roughly, her own excitement evident by her rapid breathing.
Clearlyshe was enjoying this just as much as they were. So rather than touch Gage, helinked his fingers with Kylie’s, pulling her close, loving the fact that shewas there. He wanted her to ride his cock while he sucked Gage off, and hecouldn’t think of much anything else.
Gagebegan thrusting deep while retreating slowly, forcing Travis to focus and notgag. Just when he thought Gage was going to ride the wave of his climax, he wasstunned when the other man stopped.
“Iwant to be in your ass when I come,” Gage growled.
Didn’thave to tell him twice.
WhenGage climbed down from the couch, Travis made quick work of his clothes whileGage disappeared. Once he was naked, he turned his attention to Kylie who wassitting on the couch with a huge grin on her face.
“Yourturn,” he said on a groan, pulling her up from her seat abruptly, causing herto stumble as she fell into him. Without further hesitation, he fused his mouthwith hers while all but ripping her clothes from her body. Luckily she wasn’twearing much more than a tank top and shorts which made his job easy.
“Mmm,soft,” he mumbled against her lips as he ran his hands over her skin, startingat her shoulder blades and working his way down to the perfectly round globesof her ass. “So fucking sexy.”
“Iwas thinking the same thing.”
Travisgrowled deep in his chest, his hands sliding into her hair and pulling her headback so he could look in her eyes. “I want to taste you.”
Hersmile lit him up from the inside out.
Withoutwaiting for her permission, Travis dropped to his knees and zeroed in on thesweet spot between her trim thighs, his mouth watering with the urge to lickher. As soon as Kylie was situated on the arm of the couch, Travis forced herlegs wider, dipping his tongue into her moist heat, teasing her with the tip ofhis tongue. When she braced herself with a firm grip on his hair, he delveddeeper, his tongue sliding through her soft, slick folds, gently flicking herclit with every upstroke.
“Mmmm,”he moaned. God, the woman tasted good.
Itdidn’t take him long to push her closer to the edge of ecstasy. But he didn’twant her to come just yet.
“Travis,”Kylie moaned. “Oh, God.”
That’swhat he loved to hear. Kylie’s soft moans, the way she cried out his name.Easing his tongue back, Travis slipped two fingers inside of her as he staredup at her. “I need to be inside you. Right here,” he said as he fingered herslowly.
“Whatare you waiting for?” Her eyes glittered with lust, her hand tightening in hishair as she held on to him, trying to pull him to his feet.
Travisdidn’t intend to waste another second. Once he was back on his feet, he smileddown at her as he pulled his fingers from her hot sheath. Kylie gripped hiswrist, forcing his hand up until she wrapped her lips around his fingers andsucked.
“Fuckwoman.” He wasn’t going to last much longer. She drove him absolutely crazywhen she did things like that. Her devilish grin said she knew it too. “Bendover the couch,” he instructed, leading her to the end of the couch and theneasing her forward until her stomach was resting on the cushioned arm of thecouch and she was using her own hands to support her upper body. She grinned athim over her shoulder and Travis nearly lost it.
“Ina hurry?” she asked sweetly.
“You’veno idea,” he grumbled before sliding into her in one easy thrust. Once he wasseated fully inside of her, Travis stilled.
Adjustingthe angle, he leaned over her, holding himself up with his hand planted firmlyon the couch cushion in front of them and doing his damnedest not to crushKylie between his weight and the arm of the couch. At this angle, he didn’teven have to pull back, he could just flex his hips and sink deeper, his cockpenetrating her fully.
Withhis mouth against her ear, he sucked in a sharp breath. As he fought the urgeto plow into her, he gently nipped her earlobe. “I’m not sure I can be gentle.”Ok, that was a lie. He could if he had to, but Travis didn’t want to.
Justwhen he would’ve asked if she was comfortable, he felt something cool and slickslide down the crack of his ass. “Oh, fuck.”
“That’sexactly what I plan to do,” Gage said roughly from behind him.
Itwas clear by his tone that Gage was hanging on by a thread, and Travis knewexactly how the man felt. Being sheathed inside of Kylie’s tight, wet pussy,his blood pressure was already racing to unprecedented levels, and if theydidn’t get on with it, his head was likely going to explode.
Kyliechose that moment to rear back against him, forcing him even deeper; the tight,warm grip of her pussy making his eyes cross. And as if the two of them had itplanned, Gage then thrust deep into Travis’ ass.
“Sonof a –” The swear was cut off by the intense pleasure that consumed him, makingit difficult to breathe, much less curse.
WhenKylie and Gage started moving in tandem, essentially fucking Travis from bothsides, he nearly lost it. They’d done this before, and no matter how many timeshe thought he was the one who would control their sexual encounters, theysurprised him damn near every time.
“Travis,”Kylie groaned from beneath him, and he focused on not crushing her whileenduring the glorious friction of Gage’s cock tunneling in and out of his ass,deep and slow at first, then shallow and fast. All the while Travis managed tofind a rhythm that worked for Kylie and he fucked her sweet pussy, using themomentum of Gage from behind him.
“I’m…”Kylie’s words were left hanging as she moaned her pleasure, the tight sheath ofher cunt squeezing him painfully tight just as Gage’s fingertips dug into hiships, holding him still.
“Fuckme,” Travis groaned. “Harder.”
Gage’spower intensified as he rammed his cock deep inside his ass, forcing Travis’hypersensitive cock into Kylie with shallow strokes, over and over until hecouldn’t hold back any longer.
“Fuckingcome for me, Gage,” Travis roared as his cock exploded inside of Kylie, jerkingsharply as he spilled himself inside of her sweet, lithe body.
Alow growl echoed from behind him as Gage stilled, his fingers now burrowedpainfully into his skin as he erupted inside of his ass, making Travis’ bodyhum one last time.
Thethree of them stood motionless for a minute or two while they tried to catchtheir breath. When Gage pulled out, Travis was quick to follow.
Itwas high time they had a shower.
HelpingKylie to stand, Travis pulled her against him and pressed a kiss to her lipsbefore saying, “You mind asking him to move that tree one more time? I kindalike this aggressive side of his.”
Twoweeks after Thanksgiving
Ethanrolled out from underneath the truck that he was working on, but he didn’tbother to get up. Staring up at the twenty-foot high metal ceiling of the placehe considered his office, he listened to the music blaring through thespeakers, shaking his head. He was going to have to plug up his iPod if theradio station insisted on tossing in Christmas music.
Hedeserved credit for dealing with all of the holly jolly going on around him,especially from his brothers who’d recently jumped into relationships, but hecertainly wasn’t all that interested in the ho-ho-ho like they were. There wasno Christmas tree at his house, no poinsettias sitting on his front porch or onhis kitchen counter, no blinking lights to greet him when he got home.
Thenagain, he found himself spending more and more time at his parents’ house thesedays than anywhere else and honestly, he knew it was because he was a coward –avoiding the lonely house, not running the risk of company he didn’t want. Andsince his mother enjoyed making dinner for him, who was he to argue.
“Youawake over there?” Blake called from the other side of the shop, the clankingsound of a wrench hitting concrete echoing along with his voice.
Closinghis eyes, Ethan sighed.
Thatwas the main reason he wasn’t spending much time at home.
Orrather the intense feelings Ethan had surprisingly established in recentmonths. For someone who wasnotBlake. And if that wasn’t a punch in thenuts, he didn’t know what was.
Findingit difficult to be alone with Blake these days, he generally tried to avoidsituations that would result in opportunities like this one. Unfortunately,when they were working, they were the only two there, and there wasn’t a damnthing he could do to avoid that unless he fired Blake. The thought had occurredto him, but he wasn’t interested in doing double the work, so he opted for thelesser of two evils.
Itwasn’t like the sex between him and Blake wasn’t good. Quite the opposite,honestly. Yet he found himself battling Blake’s need to be exclusive, and byexclusive, Blake wanted to announce to the world that they were a couple asthough staking a claim on Ethan was going to make this any more of arelationship.
Theywere most certainlynota couple. Not now, and probably not ever,intense orgasms be damned. On top of that, Ethan wasn’t interested inannouncing anything about his relationships – sexual or otherwise.
Andhe had several reasons for that, one of them being that no matter how hard hetried to avoid the truth, there was someone else. Someone who had caught hiseye and made him want things he never even realized were a possibility.
Toobad he had no idea what, if anything, to do about that.
Pushingto his feet, Ethan wiped his grimy hands on one of the shop towels that werehaphazardly scattered around the floor at his feet. When he stood to his fullheight, he came face to face with Blake.
Knowinghe would look like an asshole if he backed up and put space between them, hestood his ground and stared back at the handsome man.
Blakedidn’t answer, but the passion in his eyes was unmistakable.
“Ican think of one thing,” Blake said gruffly, moving in close.
Thistime Ethan did back up, but he was limited in his retreat when he was forced upagainst the truck he’d just been working on. Stuck between a truck and a hardplace, Ethan had no idea how to avoid the inevitable. Nor was he sure he evenwanted to.
Itwas clear that Blake wasn’t taking any hints, what with Ethan trying to limitthe time they spent together. Then again, he had to admit that he was sportinga serious hard on brought on by too many thoughts of someone else.
Someonehe couldn’t have.
Whichmade Blake convenient. And Ethan a total prick.
Buteven given that self-revelation, Ethan found he couldn’t resist the urge.
“Whatare you waiting for?” Ethan goaded him, reaching for his own jeans and easingthe intense discomfort by pulling his cock out.
Blake’seyes widened, his mouth hanging open slightly, but he didn’t move. Keeping histone firm, Ethan told him exactly what he wanted from him. “I want to watch yousuck my dick. Right here.”
Ethanwas used to being the one in control. It was natural for him. He didn’t takemuch shit from anyone, inside or outside of the bedroom. Or right here in theopen as it would be. And Blake seemed more than content to accommodate hisaggressive instruction.
OnceBlake was on his knees in front of him, Ethan leaned back against the truck,his full attention on the man in front of him. Sliding his hands into Blake’ssilky hair, he pulled him closer, not roughly, but enough to let Blake knowwhat he wanted.
Ashis cock disappeared into the blazing hot depths of Blake’s talented mouth,Ethan groaned. His eyes closed on their own, and he was immediately assaultedby the image of a different man on his knees in front of him. Forcing the ideaout of his head, he concentrated on picturing Blake’s handsome face, hiscallused hands as they gripped his shaft, his tongue as it teased the rigidvein on the underside of his cock.
“Awww,fuck,” Ethan groaned.
Itfelt so damn good.
Butno matter how hard he tried, he still pictured Blake as someone else. And thatother man was a threat to his control.
SomethingEthan wasn’t willing to part with.
Beauhad absolutely no idea what he was doing, but against his better judgment, hehad left work and driven straight to Walker Demolition. Bypassing the mainoffice, he continued on to the mechanic shop where Ethan was known to spendmore than enough time on a daily basis. Didn’t seem to matter if it was sevenin the morning or seven in the evening, Ethan was generally working.
Parkinghis truck, Beau noticed by the additional truck in the parking lot that Blakewas also there and that ever present niggle of anger was tingling at the baseof Beau’s skull. He did not like Blake, but not for obvious reasons.
Itwas true, Beau had developed some sort of strange attraction to Ethan Walkerand the how and why was yet to be determined. But that wasn’t the reason hedisliked Blake.
No,he wasn’t all that fond of Ethan’s on-and-off boyfriend because the man was alying bastard. Then again, it had been a complete coincidence that Beau hadstumbled upon the guy at a restaurant over in a neighboring town after thatdisaster of a date Beau had gone on. Granted, that had been damn near sixmonths ago, but Beau couldn’t seem to shake off the memory.
Asfar as he knew, Ethan and Blake were dating. Maybe Ethan didn’t share thattidbit of news with anyone, but as far as Beau knew, Ethan wasn’t seeing anyoneelse. And to Beau, that meant they were exclusive.
Althoughif he had his way, they would’ve moved on from one another a long time ago.Beau didn’t need to have a genius IQ to see that Ethan was attracted to him.And if he had to guess, it was significantly more than mere physicalattraction… although there was that.
Climbingout of his truck, Beau shut his door with a click, not wanting to alert Ethanthat he was there. For some reason, he just needed to see him, to talk, maybeget a beer at Moonshiners, something they’d done a few times in recent months.
Nothingserious, nothing sexual and damn sure nothing of the relationship variety. Beauwouldn’t do that. Not to Ethan, not to himself, and not even to Blake. Untilthe pair of them figured it out – which he hoped they would do soon – Beau wassettling with being friends. It seemed they had a significant amount of thingsin common, which resulted in hours of comfortable conversation.
Asdid Ethan, even if the other man wasn’t willing to admit it.
Beaumade his way to the large bay door, but before he stepped inside, his attentionwas drawn to movement over in the shadows. It didn’t take long for his brain toregister what he was seeing.
There,leaning against one of the plain white Walker Demo trucks, was Ethan. His headwas tossed back, and even as Beau’s eyes tried to adapt to the dim light, hecould see the pure ecstasy written on the man’s face. Following the long, leanline of Ethan’s body, he stopped when he saw Blake in front of him. On hisfucking knees.
Hisbreath lodged in his chest, a burning sensation radiating outward from his gut.What could possibly be worse than seeing Blake on his knees sucking Ethan’scock? Well, that would be the intense satisfaction on Ethan’s much too handsomeface.
Sonof a fucking bitch.
Withoutmaking a sound, Beau took a step backward. Then another. When his feet shuffledon the concrete floor, he saw Ethan’s head come down, his eyes open. And rightthen and there, they made eye contact.
Beauwas rooted in place, unable to force his legs to move. As Ethan watched him, hecould see fury replace the sheer pleasure that had been there moments before.
Didhe say something? What the hell could he say? Before Beau could decide what hisnext move would be, Ethan made the decision for him.
Beauwatched with voyeuristic fascination as Ethan gripped Blake’s hair tightly, hiships moving forward. “That’s it, Blake. Suck me. All the way. Fuck yes.”
WhenEthan’s head fell back again, an animalistic growl escaping from his lips, Beaugot his bearings. Without worrying if he was heard, Beau turned back to histruck. He clearly was interrupting, and there was no point in pursuing someonewho was already taken. Once inside the truck, he didn’t bother with hisseatbelt before he tore out of the parking lot, gravel flying behind his truckas he made a hasty retreat.
Surprisinglyenough, Beau didn’t blame Ethan. How could he? The man was clearly fuckingBlake, their relationship not much of a secret, even if Ethan didn’t cop to itpublicly. But, he hated that Blake was using him. Hated that the man waswhoring around on Ethan. And he hated that he didn’t have to balls to tellEthan.
Butwhat he hated even more than that… that Ethan knew what he was doing, and hewas intentionally keeping his distance from Beau.
Afterall, if Ethan accepted that there might be something between them, it wouldseal Ethan’s fate, and Beau sensed that he wasn’t ready to plunge headlong intosomething that might just be what he needed. Something Beau had beensubconsciously looking for all his life.
Whowas to say he couldn’t be a kind hearted, generous guy?
Noone, that’s who.
AsSawyer pulled out of his driveway, he whistled an upbeat tune. For the firsttime in a while, he had to pat himself on the back for coming up with abrilliant plan. Ok, so it wasn’t a secret that his well-developed plans wereusually thwarted someway, somehow, but he couldn’t see how this could possiblygo wrong. Two days had passed since he came up with this clever scheme andtruthfully, he was looking forward to seeing how it played out.
Thedrive to the animal shelter in Coyote Ridge was a short one, and by the timeSawyer pulled into the small parking lot, he was practically floating on acloud. This was going to be a damn good day, he could feel it. Without wastinganother second, he climbed out of his car and hurried to the front door.
“Hey,Adrianne,” Sawyer greeted the young woman who was rummaging through a stack ofpapers on her desk. “Where do you want me?” Knowing the question was a doubleentendre, even if he meant it in the most innocent of ways, Sawyer shot her theflirty smile most women seemed to respond to.
“Workingand not flirting would be nice,” Adrianne said, glancing over her shoulder.
“Sinceit’s my first day on the job, you’ll have to show me what that actually means,”he informed her, moving closer to the desk that stood in the center of thesmall ten-by-ten room that the shelter claimed as an office.
Hewasn’t sure where to stand, hell, he didn’t even know where to put his hands,so he shoved them in his pockets and stared at the grungy walls decorated withpictures of dogs and cats in mismatched frames. Some of the pictures werecrooked, probably not by design, while others were leaning as though the nailhad finally given up its effort to stick around.
Adriannecontinued to flip through the stack of papers hurriedly, not paying him anyattention.
Aaaaannnnndddddnow Sawyer was self-conscious.
Ok,so maybe Sawyer wasn’t known much for his volunteering nature, so he couldn’tnecessarily blame Adrianne for being surprised that he’d called, much lessshown up, but he was here so shouldn’t she be paying him at least a little bitof attention?
Sawyerknew he needed to get a grip.
Yes,maybe he had ulterior motives, which had led him to call Adrianne Reade to seewhat he could do to help out at the animal shelter. But it wasn’t like Adrianneknew what he’d been thinking when he called her.
Hecouldn’t blame his quest to do a good deed on the Christmas spirit, or even hisselfless need to give back, although Sawyer considered himself a pretty allright guy.
No,this was actually entirely selfish on his part. He knew that any minute now,Kennedy Endsley was going to walk through the front door for her bi-weekly datewith the animal shelter. Nowheractions were selfless, but Sawyer’swere geared more toward trying to get close to the woman.
Itwas either that or get a dog. Not that the latter was a terrible idea, but forthe time being, Sawyer was holding off. After all, he wanted to start outsmall. Getting a dog was going to require a commitment, even if he would do itjust to get closer to the one woman who had erected an invisible barrier thatkept her as far away from him as possible. It was common knowledge that Sawyerdidn’t do well with commitments. At least not of the relationship variety.
“Comeon,” Adrianne called as she turned and headed for the lone door that he assumedled to the main part of the kennels.
Fallinginto step with her, Sawyer glanced in the cages, checking out the animals, thesad puppy dog eyes, the eager kittens with their little toys who stopped tostare at him as he passed by. Hell, he could do this. How hard could it be tospend the day hanging out with a bunch of animals? He liked animals. If nothingelse, he’d get the chance to make them happy for a few hours and he’d get to seeKennedy. It was a win-win situation for him.
Adrianneled the way through another door, but this one led into a sterile white roomthat wasn’t much bigger than the main front office. The only difference wasthat instead of battered pictures on the wall, this one had a drain in themiddle of the floor and a sturdy table in the center. There was a wash basin onone side with grungy faucets above them.
“Youwanted to work, right?” she asked.
Hecouldn’t very well say no, so Sawyer nodded his head.
“Well,then this is your job. I’ve got four dogs out there who need a bath.” Adriannepointed around the room as she continued to speak. “Over there is the shampoo.On this side, you’ve got the sprayer. There’re some towels beneath the counter.Just holler if you need anything else,” she said, but then disappeared beforehe could say anything more.
Sawyerstood in the tiny room, staring at the white walls and the stainless steelcabinets, wondering just how he was going to achieve his goal of seeing Kennedyif he was stuck in here all day.
Thedoor opened, and he turned back around just as Adrianne was walking in with ahuge, shaggy dog whose multi-colored hair was in need of a trim, or perhaps abuzz cut might help more because the poor animal probably couldn’t see all thatwell through the frizzy hair that covered both eyes. Sawyer wasn’t quite surethat a bath was going to help the dingy mutt, but what did he know.
“What’sthat?” he asked.
“Thisis Hercules,” she told him, reaching down to pat the dog’s enormous, flat head.“He’s new here, but from what I can tell, he’s fairly sociable.”
Fairly?Sawyer wasn’tsure he liked the sound of that.
Atthat moment, there was a knock on the door and to his surprise, Kennedy pushedopen the door and stuck her head just inside. She studied him for a moment,then glanced back at Adrianne before meeting his eyes once more. Sawyer smiled,hoping like hell she was there to save the day. Maybe she wanted to help himbathe the dog. That would certainly get him closer to her.
Whenshe smiled back, his hopes soared, and that’s when he noticed the mischievoustwinkle in her lovely gray eyes.
“Mr.Walker,” she greeted way too formally for his taste.
“Kennedy,”he acknowledged her, keeping his tone light. After all, he damn sure wouldn’tlet her see his fear.
Notthat he was scared.
Glancingback down at the dog who seemed to be fixated on him, Sawyer took an awkwardstep backward. Funny how those big round eyes seemed to follow him, evenbeneath all that fur.
“Sonice of you to help out today,” Kennedy said sweetly. “The shelter can alwaysuse more volunteers. I think you’ll like this particular job. It’s certainly agood one for a newbie.”
Sawyerwasn’t sure what to say to that, so he just stood there, staring down at Herculeswho was aptly named based on his size.
Adriannestood to her full height once more, handed Sawyer the leash and then turned toleave again.
“Hey,wait,” he found himself saying, but quickly clamped his mouth shut.
“Sorry,I’ve got to help Doc Endsley,” Adrianne explained. “She’s just got a couple ofvaccinations to take care of before she heads out.”
Headsout? She just got there.
“Seeyou in a bit,” Adrianne chirped as she snuck out the door.
Sawyerwas pretty damned sure she was laughing at him as she went.
“Thanksfor warning me that he’d be here,” Kennedy told Adrianne as they walked downthe narrow hallway back to the front of the building.
“Noproblem. Don’t get me wrong, I think Sawyer’s a decent guy and all, but haveyou ever seen him volunteer before?”
Kennedychuckled. “Not when it comes to animals, no.”
Sheknew that when he was younger, because his parents always pitched in at thechurch, the Walker brothers were known to do their part, – even occasionallynow – but, unless it meant doing the heavy lifting, or something that wouldshow off how masculine they were, they didn’t tend to offer their assistance.
Especiallynot bathing stray dogs.
So,needless to say, when Adrianne had called to let her know that Sawyer waslooking for something to do at the shelter, she had offered suggestions. Thetwo women had laughed over their options, but in the end, they decided a fewhours with some ornery, wet dogs would probably do the guy some good.
“Well,I’ve got to run an errand, but I’ll be back shortly,” Adrianne called out asshe headed for the front door.
“Noproblem, I’ll be here for about an hour, and your volunteer will likely be herefor about three. Maybe more.”
Adriannelaughed. “When he’s done with Hercules, just give him whoever looks like they’denjoy some bonding time with him.”
“Youdon’t have any others who need to be bathed?”
“Nope,not today. But he doesn’t need to know that.”
Kennedybroke out laughing, staring after Adrianne as she disappeared out the door.
Ifshe hadn’t spent the better part of the last few years trying to stay as faraway from Sawyer Walker as possible, she might just get a kick out of this.
Oh,who was she kidding? Shewouldget a kick out of this.
“What’sfor dinner?” Braydon asked when he walked into the kitchen, not paying theslightest bit of attention to where he was going as he ran a towel over his wethair.
“Whateveryou find to eat,” Brendon said snidely. He damn sure wasn’t the chef in thehouse.
Whatthe hell was this? Twenty questions?
Brendontook a deep breath, realizing he had to calm down. There was no need to takeout his frustrations on his brother.
“Noidea,” he answered honestly, taking a deep breath and trying to settle hisfrazzled nerves. He’d already called her several times, but she wasn’tanswering her phone.
“Italked to her earlier,” Braydon stated smoothly, causing Brendon to stopmid-step and stare at his brother.
“Rightbefore I got home. She said she had to run an errand, but then she’d stop by. Ihope she’s got something for dinner.”
Brendonstared at his twin. Had Braydon been abducted by aliens while he was in theshower? Since when did Braydon talk to Jessie without Brendon around? Shakingoff the thought, he turned and exited the kitchen. He needed to keep himselfbusy, or he’d be overthinking this whole mess he seemed to have found himselfin.
“I’mgonna take a shower,” Brendon called out as an afterthought before retreatingto his own room and slamming the door behind him.
Whatthe hell was wrong with him?
Herehe was, completely frustrated with the situation he found himself in, yet hewas getting jealous that his twin brother had talked to Jessie? That wassupposed to be a good thing, right?
Heneeded for Jessie and Braydon to get along. There wasn’t much of a choice.Brendon knew for damned sure that the two of them were able to get along whilethey were naked. He’d been witness to that on more than a million occasions.
Sowhy was it Brendon felt that his life was shifting in a different direction?Actually, he’d been feeling this way since last May when one extremely popular,very talented, not to mention seriously fucking sexy, country music star made asurprise appearance on Mother’s Day.
Strippingoff his clothes in a rush, Brendon didn’t even wait for the shower water towarm before he pulled open the glass door and stepped in. And wouldn’t you knowit, thoughts of Cheyenne had him so worked up that not even the chilly bitefrom the water could make his balls shrivel up.
Turninghis back to the water, he thrust his fingers through his hair and closed hiseyes. Once he was good and soaked, he grabbed the shampoo and made quick workof sudsing up and rinsing off. Moving on to washing his body, he kept his eyesclosed and remembered the last time he’d seen Cheyenne.
Mother’sDay night, after all the festivities were said and done, Brendon had venturedout to Moonshiners with his brother and lo and behold, there she was. The famouscountry musician had apparently been invited by Travis, and that’s how it allgot started.
Butno matter what happened before, Brendon could not for the life of him get thatwoman – or the explosive kiss they’d shared – out of his head. She’d consumedhim mentally. For weeks, he’d thought about her, wondering when she would comeback or whether he’d get the chance to explore what had happened between them.He relived that kiss in his dreams, only when he was asleep, they didn’t stopat just a kiss.
Thewoman had done a number on him with minimal effort, and he wanted to see heragain.
Onlyhe wasn’t supposed to want her. Not anymore.
Hehad Jessie. Another woman who had stormed into his life and stolen his breath.But the feelings he had for Jessie were vastly different from those he’ddeveloped for Cheyenne over the course of just a couple of hours. Jessie washis friend. She was one of the sweetest, most giving women he’d ever met, andit didn’t hurt that she hadn’t balked at Brendon’s insistence that his brotherjoin them in their sexual escapades.
ButCheyenne was a different story. He knew there wasn’t a chance in hell that shewould give him the time of day if he insisted that she give herself over to histwin. Not a fucking chance. She’d basically told him as much when Brendon hadinsisted his brother stay close that night.
So,he knew he was better off with Jessie. She was more his type. Beautiful, smart,and open to new things – and yes, he was referring to new things in the sexualsense. The woman blew his mind when she lost her inhibitions. Especiallyconsidering she was so open to the threesome aspect of the relationship theyshared, even if she didn’t seem to understand it fully.
Turningso that the water poured down over his face, Brendon held his breath, wishinglike hell he could just get his mind focused on the one place it needed to be.
Hehad to stop worrying about Braydon and Jessie and what might be developingbetween them. His twin brother was his other half, and the two of them hadn’tbeen separated in any capacity since the day they were born. Braydon was hisbest friend, his confidante, and he was also the third in Brendon’srelationships and vice versa.
Andthat was something he’d never questioned before…
Theknock on the door was barely detectable over the buzz of the television and thesound of the water pipes rumbling in the wall of Brendon’s bathroom. Braydonhad no idea how long Jessie had been standing there, but as soon as he openedthe door, and just like every other time he laid eyes on this woman, his worldtipped on its axis.
Toobad she belonged to his brother.
“Hey,”he greeted, taking a step back to allow her to come inside.
“Heyback,” she said with a shy smile. “I brought tacos.”
Atthe mention of food, Braydon’s stomach growled, making Jessie laugh. “I guessit’s a good thing, too.”
God,she was the most radiant woman he’d ever had the pleasure of laying his eyeson. Especially in those tight denim shorts and the oversized hoodie thatdisguised the rest of her luscious curves, he found her so damn hot, he worriedhe wouldn’t be able to keep his hands off of her.
Toobad she belonged to his brother.
Thatwas a mantra he had better get used to. Because the direction that his thoughtshad been going recently, was probably going to get him in some serious trouble.
Itdidn’t seem to matter that Braydon and Brendon shared women, and it didn’t seemto matter that Braydon knew he’d be buried to the hilt within this woman beforethe night was out. The simple fact that she didn’t belong to him was making himcrazy.
Andit was a first.
Neverbefore in his life had he wanted to stake a claim on a woman. Not until Jessie.And wouldn’t you fucking know it, Brendon had put the moves on her first whichmade Braydon officially the third in this little tryst of theirs. Somethinghe’d never had a problem with until lately.
Butthere was something different about this woman. Something that he found himselfdrawn to on a level that was so much deeper than mere sexual chemistry. And themore time they spent together, the stronger his feelings for her seemed to get.
LeadingJessie into the kitchen, he grabbed three plates from the cabinet and threebeers from the refrigerator before returning to join her at the center islandthat doubled as a bar. Jessie had already gotten comfortable, perched on thebar stool opposite him.
“How’sit going?” she asked.
Braydonpaused in his pursuit to sate his hunger, holding the unwrapped taco in midairas he looked up at her, but he was surprised to see she wasn’t looking at him.In fact, it appeared she was avoiding eye contact at all costs.
Damn,they sounded like two nervous teenagers at a high school dance.
“Good,”she mumbled, reaching over to grab one of the tacos out of the plastic bag.When her hand brushed against his, Braydon held his breath, refusing toacknowledge what her simple touch did to him.
Thiswas fucking crazy.
Wantingto drive his cock into her pussy while his brother took her ass was one thing,but the visions of the things he wanted to do to her – alone – were unsettling,to say the least.
He’dnever been with a woman solo. During all of their relationships, Braydon andBrendon had shared their women. Since the very first time when they lost theirvirginity at fourteen. Which meant, by their combined participation, theymanaged to remain detached from the female in question. After all, having hisbrother present allowed him to remain emotionally detached, something he’dgrown used to over the years. For him, it was all about pleasuring the woman.That was his only concern. Sure, the logic might not add up, but it wassomething neither of them had ever questioned.
Withher… things were different.
Atleast for Braydon they were.
“Hey,”Brendon greeted Jessie when he came stomping into the room a few seconds later,running a towel through his damp hair. When he leaned over to kiss Jessiefirmly on the mouth, Braydon found his hand had involuntarily clenched at hisside.
Thiswas such bullshit.
Hewas an idiot to think that a relationship with Jessie was even possible, but heknew he wasn’t just imagining the way she seemed to be distancing herself fromBrendonandhim. Or how Brendon had suddenly become standoffish when itcame to her.
Somethingwas changing between them. The dynamic was shifting, and unlike other timesthat they’d decided to move on from a regular fuck buddy, this felt different.
Jessiecould feel the tension in the air. It was thick enough to strangle her.Grabbing her beer, she took a long pull and managed to avoid looking Braydon inthe eyes.
Thelast time she’d been here, which had been about a week ago, she had noticed howdistracted she’d been. How she never noticed it before, she had no idea. Ratherthan enjoying herself, hanging out with both of them, Jessie found her mindwandering more and more to Braydon.
Andnormally, that wouldn’t be a bad thing, except she was supposedly Brendon’sgirlfriend. Although, girlfriend wasn’t quite the word she would use. Fuckbuddy, maybe? Ok, that was a little harsh because truthfully, Brendon treatedher better than just a fuck buddy. She talked to him every day, most of thetime he was the one calling her even, and they saw each other several times aweek.
Well,until recently. She had successfully managed to put a little distance betweenherself and Brendon and she was trying to do the same with Braydon. Only hewasn’t letting her.
Forthe last few weeks, they’d had side conversations, mostly by text, and Jessiefound herself longing to talk to him more. There were times when she wished shecould see him, only him. Only that wasn’t possible because the dynamic of theirrelationship didn’t work that way. And she knew Braydon wouldn’t do that toBrendon. Nor would she.
Allof a sudden, there seemed to be a tremendous amount of turmoil churning betweenthem. She was more and more uncomfortable being around them, and she sensedthat there was some tension between the two of them as well.
Why?Well, the answer to that question hadn’t been quite so forthcoming initially.However, after a lot of thought, not to mention the encounter the last time shewas here with them, Jessie realized exactly what her problem was.
Shewas falling for Braydon.
Andobviously Brendon was picking up on it.
Placingher taco on her plate and retrieving her beer again, she forced her eyes towander around the room and not to either of the twins. She knew what she’d seeif she looked at them. They were both devastatingly attractive with their darkhair and mesmerizing blue-gray eyes. Their chiseled features offered a ruggedappeal, but those intense eyes made them boyishly handsome at the same time.And what made it worse… they were absolutely identical. To this point, shehadn’t found a single distinguishing mark on either of them. Their hair was cutthe same, their style of dress was relatively similar, the deep timbre of theirvoice was identical, and they even walked the same.
Theonly difference she’d noted was that Braydon was much calmer, more laid backand infinitely more concerned about her in an emotional sense. Oh, and he madeher feel beautiful every single time he looked at her.
Onthe other hand, Brendon was more assertive, edgy, always moving. And he madeher feel like she was the sexiest woman on the planet when those heated eyesraked over her skin.
“Youall right?” Brendon asked, his warm hand cupping the back of her neck as hestood beside her.
“Sure,”she lied after putting her beer back on the counter. “Fine. Why?”
“Idon’t know. You just seem…” Brendon didn’t finish his sentence and Jessiedidn’t try to fill in the blanks.
Sheknew how she seemed.
Withoutthinking, she glanced up, her eyes meeting Braydon’s and she suppressed ashudder. He was studying her and the way his eyes roamed across her face,seemingly reading every one of her thoughts made her uncomfortable.
“Hey,y’all wanna watch a movie?” she asked, jerking her gaze away from Braydon’s.She wasn’t all that interested in watching anything, but maybe if they tried,some of the tension would disappear.
That,or maybe she could pretend to be asleep. She had a feeling it was the only wayshe’d be able to distance herself from these new emotions she’d somehowdeveloped. The ones that made this very unconventional threesome incrediblyawkward.
Kalebstared at the blinking cursor on his computer screen, his attention pulled fromthe email he’d been drafting to the sound of tires crunching on gravel outsidethe office door. He had no idea who would be showing up at this time of day,and being that it was Friday morning, he wasn’t going to try and guess.
WhenSawyer walked in the door, he had to admit he was a little disappointed. Notbecause his brother was there but because the new arrival wasn’t his wife. He’dtalked to Zoey a little while ago, and she mentioned if she finished with hermorning errand that she’d stop by to see him.
Beingthat he’d opted to hang out at the Walker Demotion office and not his new swankdigs at Alluring Indulgence, which still had several weeks of work before theywere ready to open the doors to the public, he was hoping no one wouldinterrupt.
ClearlySawyer must’ve had the same idea he did.
“Damn,man, what the hell is that smell?” Kaleb asked, staring up at Sawyer as hemoved closer.
“Shutthe fuck up,” Sawyer bit out.
Therewasn’t even a hint of his laid back personality in the statement either. Hisolder brother was clearly pissed.
“Whatthe hell did you do? Take a shower with an animal?”
“Asa matter of fact, I fucking did,” Sawyer ground out as he dropped into hischair at his own desk. “Yesterday, damn it. And the fucking smell still won’tgo away.”
Kalebhad to hold on to his desk to keep from falling out of his chair as hislaughter shook him. He remembered something about Sawyer’s grand gesture to gohelp out at the animal shelter and this must’ve been his reward.
“Didyou see Kennedy?” he asked, trying to provoke Sawyer even more.
“Ifyou know what’s good for you…” Sawyer let the threat drop as he booted up hiscomputer, seemingly interested in the blank screen.
Kalebobviously didn’t know what was good for him because he continued, “So, you tooka bath with dogs?”
Staringat Sawyer, Kaleb tried to regain some of his composure. Failed. “Let me justsay, I don’t think that new cologne is gonna work well with the ladies.”
Sawyerglared over at him briefly, but it wasn’t long before a smile broke out on hisface. Kaleb knew that Sawyer wouldn’t be able to hang onto his mad for long. Hewas the light hearted one. The fun loving guy that everyone wanted to bearound.
“Shetricked me,” Sawyer explained, moving his mouse around on his desk. “Here I wastrying to do a good deed and the evil woman tricked me.”
“Who?Adrianne?” Kaleb asked, referring to the woman who ran the shelter.
“Herand Kennedy.” Sawyer grimaced, but then smiled again. “They tossed me in a roomand had me washing dogs. It wasn’t until I noticed the dogs seemed to begetting bigger and hairier that I realized what was going on.”
“Didyou get back at them?”
Sawyer’sgrin widened, and his eyes sparkled.
“Adriannemust’ve been delayed running an errand, so Kennedy was the only one there. Ihad to get her to come help me when something happened to the sprayer,” headmitted.
Kalebwaited, his imagination already running wild.
“Turnsout there wasn’t anything wrong with the sprayer. And, unfortunately forKennedy, she had to get wet to find that out.”
Sawyer’slaugh boomed through the room, and his words painted a picture in Kaleb’s mind.Yes, he could totally see prim and proper Kennedy getting soaked when she triedto fix whatever Sawyer had broken. Or not broken, as was the case.
“She’llnever talk to you again,” Kaleb told his brother, turning his attention back tothe computer screen.
“No,probably not, but damn that woman is even hotter when she’s wet,” Sawyermurmured.
Speakingof hot, wet women,Kaleb thought to himself when the door opened, and Zoey stepped inside.
“Hey,baby,” he greeted her as he sat back in his chair, motioning for her to cometoward him.
Withoutwasting a second, Zoey approached with a huge smile on her face. Easing herselfonto his lap, Kaleb circled his arms around her, resting his palms flat againsther protruding belly.
“Howare y’all today?” he asked his wife.
Zoeyplanted her hand on top of his, both of them cradling their unborn child whowas steadily growing inside of Zoey.
“Good,and you?” she asked, leaning sideways to kiss him. Her nose twitched and shelooked up, her eyes darting across the room at Sawyer.
“Whatis that smell?” she asked, confused.
“Oh,that’s Sawyer’s new cologne,” Kaleb said, keeping his tone serious.
Zoeylooked at Sawyer, studying him for a moment before she said, “Do you smell likedog?”
Sawyer’shead jerked, his gaze penetrating Zoey as he frowned. “Damn it all to hell.”
Withthat, Sawyer pushed up from his chair and headed straight for the door.
“Whatthe hell happened to him?” she asked, watching the spot where Sawyer had justdisappeared.
“Apparently,Kennedy got him good,” Kaleb explained.
“Whatdo you mean? What did she do?”
“Let’sjust say, Sawyer probably won’t be volunteering at the animal shelter anymore.Now, go lock the door.”
Knowingthat the only other person who would possibly show up at the Walker Demo officewould be Travis, and his visits were few and far between, Kaleb decided to takea chance. With the door locked, and Zoey’s truck outside along with his, heknew none of his brothers would try to come inside.
“Whywould I want to do that?” she asked playfully.
“Hmmm,”he moaned, nestling his nose into the crook of her neck. “Because I want you toplay with me.”
“Play?Like play house?” she teased, standing from her perch on his lap.
“Somethinglike that,” he answered, watching as she moved easily across the room to thedoor.
Lord,the woman stole his breath. Always having been the most beautiful woman in theworld, at least from Kaleb’s point of view, his wife was even more stunning nowthat she was seven months pregnant. Absolutely, heart-stopping gorgeous.
“Nowcome here,” he beckoned, crooking his finger and signaling for her to comecloser once again.
“What’sin it for me?”
“Oh,I don’t know,” he said, pretending to ponder what might happen. “Maybe I canlay you out right here on this desk and have my wicked way with you?”
“Or…”Zoey added, coming to a stop directly in front of him.
Glancingup at her, Kaleb leaned back in his chair and studied her pretty face. “Orwhat?”
Whenshe lowered herself to her knees right there in front of him, Kaleb damn nearswallowed his tongue. “What are you doing?”
“Well,if you don’t know by now, I think I’m going to have to give you anotherlesson,” she offered with a huge smile.
Hersmall hands went to tug at the buckle on his belt and Kaleb helped, unable tosit still. Being careful not to bump her in his haste to get his jeans down hiships, he kept a close eye on her.
“Wheredo you want me?” he asked when he had managed to free his now granite-hardcock.
“Rightwhere you are,” she told him. “Lean back and put your hands on the armrest.”Zoey peered up at him, her expression serious. “And don’t move them, no matterwhat happens.”
Noddinghis understanding, Kaleb gripped the leather covered armrests hard enough forhis fingernails to scar them.
Zoey’shands slid up the inside of his thighs, his cock bobbing between his legs,ready and anxious for the touch of her skin, or the heat of her mouth. Itdidn’t matter to his dick which part of her touched him, he knew within minuteshe was going to go off like a fucking rocket.
Andhe couldn’t wait.
“Mmmm,”Zoey moaned as her soft, cool fingers slid around his shaft, gently caressinghim as he watched. “Like velvet covered steel,” she said, her features focusedintently on what she was doing to him.
“Iwonder how you taste,” she said sweetly after she’d managed to work him into afrenzy with just her hands.
“God,I hope you’re gonna tell me,” he groaned.
Shewas leaning in close, her little pink tongue darting out to lick her lower lip,but she wasn’t close enough for his cock to slide into the warm recesses of hermouth.
Hishands tightened on the chair, the metal creaking beneath his weight as he triedto control himself. This was the most exquisite form of torture. Watching whilehis wife teased him with barely a touch, her warm breath tickling thesensitive, swollen head.
“Zoey,”he pleaded, not sure how much more he would be able to take.
“Handson the armrest,” she insisted.
Kalebgripped the chair again, not even aware that he’d moved his hands. As hisfingers connected with the leather, Zoey’s mouth made contact with his cock,and he nearly bolted right out of the chair. Holding still, his musclesconstricting and effectively making him immobile, the sensations ripped throughhim, adrenaline flooding his bloodstream, lust rushing through his veins, allof it together making him light headed as he watched his sexy wife suck hiscock right into her mouth.
“Fuck,Zoey,” he moaned.
Hismuscles were locked into place, his breaths soughing in and out of his lungslike he’d just finished a marathon, and sweat had beaded on his forehead. Shewas going to be the death of him, and Kaleb couldn’t think of a better way togo.
Ok,well,thatmight be a better way…
“Awww,hell,” he moaned when Zoey gripped his shaft with one hand, her other handkneading his balls while she continued to bob up and down on his cock, workingher hands in tandem.
“Baby.”Shit, he wasn’t… he couldn’t…“Zoey, baby, I’m gonna come!” His releaseexploded from him, filling her mouth as she continued to suck him, their eyesmeeting as she finished him off.
Ittook him a minute to come back to Earth, and when he did, he found Zoeystanding in front of him, a satisfied smirk on her face. Quickly redressinghimself, Kaleb flopped back down in his chair, his legs unable to support him.He pulled her down with him and wrapped his arms around her. “Whatever am Igoing to do with you?” he whispered into her hair.
“Mmmm,you’re gonna get me a really great Christmas present, Mr. Walker.”
Oh,damn. Damn, damn, damn.
“Isthere something particular that you want?” he asked, hoping she would give himsome sort of hint. This was an ongoing thing with her, and to date, she hadn’tgiven him a single clue as to what she might want.
“Surpriseme,” she whispered. “As long as it comes from your heart, I’ll be the happiestwoman in the world.”
Howdid you buy a girl a presentwith your heart?
“Andhow exactly do you intend to get all of that done in one week?”
Technically,Travis still had ten days, but that was a moot point because he had no idea howhe was going to do it. But, in his defense, Gage said it was possible.
Travisstared across his kitchen table at Sawyer, wondering whether this meetingcould’ve been put off just a little longer. Especially since forty-five minutesand two cups of coffee had disappeared while they waited for their otherbrothers to arrive.
Ofcourse they were going to be late. It always seemed to work that way. WhenTravis had things to do, places to be, his younger brothers always managed tomake sure he spent unnecessary time with his thumb up his ass.
“Didyou at least set everything else up for delivery online?” Sawyer questioned,leaning back in his chair as though he didn’t have a care in the world.
No.“Yes,” he lied.
“Youare so full of shit,” Sawyer said with a grin. “Kylie’s gonna kick your sorryass if she doesn’t have a present under the tree.”
Technically,Kylie’s gift wouldn’t fit under the tree, nor was he able to move it, but hefully understood Sawyer’s point. And shit, Travis would kick hisownassif Kylie didn’t have her present. And then he’d kick Gage’s for telling himthat he could make it happen.
Withso much going on lately, time had somehow slipped through his fingers, and hehad managed to do the unthinkable. How in the hell would he explain to his wifethat he only half ass got her something for Christmas? An IOU certainlywouldn’t work.
Grabbinghis phone, Travis flipped through the screens until he found the ongoing textconversation he had with Gage.
Didyou place that order we talked about?
There,at least the ball was back in Gage’s court now. Not that it would matter, thisgift was something they’d been working on for a while, but since it was atwo-parter, it required a little creativity, so they hadn’t jumped right in toget the last of it taken care of.
Thesound of boots on hardwood made Travis turn to look toward the swinging doorthat led from the dining room to the kitchen. Waiting patiently to see who hadfinally decided to grace them with their presence, he simply stared.
Whenthe door was pulled open, he knew immediately that it wasn’t one of the twins.They pushed the door in, rather than pulled.
Huh,such a strange thing to have noticed, he thought to himself.
“Sonof a bitch,” Zane muttered after the door came in and slammed into his ass.
Travishid his grin.
“’Bouttime,” Sawyer said by way of greeting their youngest brother.
“Shutit,” Zane retorted. “In case you haven’t noticed, the rest of us have jobs.”
Travisroared with laughter as he leaned back in his chair, pushing it back on twolegs. “Nice try, kiddo.”
“Fuckoff. I didn’t see your ass there this morning.”
“Where?”he asked. “The resort? Well, your ass might want to get up with the chickens ifyou want to see me in the morning. I was there. I was also gone before yourlazy ass probably even rolled out of bed.”
“Yeah,well…” Zane let the sentence hang as he moved to the refrigerator and grabbed abottle of water before returning to the table and grabbing one of the otherchairs. After turning it around backward, he flopped down on it and downed halfthe water in one gulp. “Where’s the rest of ‘em?”
Milliondollar question that one was.
Asif on cue, Sawyer’s phone vibrated on the table. He snatched it up and grinnedas he read whatever the message was that he received. Travis wanted to throwhis coffee at him.
“Ethan’son his way,” Sawyer said.
Great.That would make four. Three to go.
Thefront door slammed shut and once again, Travis was admiring the kitchen door ashe waited for the next one to show up.
“What’sup, Bubba?” Braydon announced loudly when he pushed into the room, a shiteating grin on his face.
Goodto see him smiling these days. It seemed ever since those two started hookingup with Kylie’s sister that things weren’t all roses and butterflies in theland of the Doublemint twins.
“Where’s…?”Zane’s question died off as Braydon’s other half made his way into the kitchen,his cell phone plastered against his ear.
“Yep,that’s the one. Uh-huh… No… Got it.” Brendon stabbed the end button on hisphone and turned to face Travis and the others, a giant grin plastered on hisface.
“Didyou get it?” Braydon asked his twin, obviously the two of them the only ones inon the secret.
Forhalf a second, Travis thought about questioning them, but then thought betterof it. The less he knew about those two, the better.
"So…,"Zane said, filling the silence. “You get that present, yet?”
Ittook Travis a second to realize his younger brother was talking to him, andafter a double-take, he glanced around the room to see that the rest of hisbrothers were looking at him too. “What?”
Thatseemed to be the theme from the peanut gallery, and Travis was hard pressed notto answer, especially when Kaleb came through the door, quickly followed byEthan on his heels.
“No,I haven’t. Fuck.”
“Haven’twhat?” Kaleb asked as he eased through the group now crowding the kitchen onhis way to the coffee pot.
“Hehasn’t finished getting Kylie’s present.”
“Shit,man. You’re gonna be lucky to have everything set up by Christmas at thispoint.”
Noshit, Sherlock.Travis clamped his jaw shut and tried his best to ignore his brothers.
“Layoff him,” Braydon said in a mock sympathetic tone. “He doesn’t need us to tellhim he’s gonna look like a jackass when he doesn’t have a present for hiswife.”
Theroom erupted in laughter and Travis stared down at his phone, noticing he had atext message, but the phone must’ve been turned to silent.
Nope.You know how to use the internet, ya know.
“Whatabout you?” Travis asked Kaleb directly. “You find that heartfelt gift for yourwife yet?”
Thescowl on Kaleb’s face told him that he wasn’t having any more luck with findingthe perfect present than anyone else in the room.
“So,what’s the plan for Mom and Dad?” Ethan asked, always the one to get right tothe point.
Consideringthat was the whole reason they’d all gathered around Travis’ kitchen tablefirst thing on a Monday morning when they all should be at work, they trulyneeded to get this worked out.
Fromthe looks of it, Travis was going to run out of time completely, and sittingaround wasn’t helping.
“Istill don’t know where you put all that,” V said to Zoey as the foursomefinished their breakfast.
Kyliegrinned, loving the banter between the women. These shopping trips had become aregular thing with the four of them, and the more they got together, the closerthey became. Granted, Monday mornings generally weren’t reserved for shoppingexcursions, but there were a few last minute things they were all looking toget, which meant they had to make time where they could.
“I’meating for two, don’t you know?” Zoey laughed, grabbing her orange juice andfinishing it off.
“Exactly.Two. Not ten,” V said good-naturedly.
“SometimesI feel like there are ten of them in there,” Zoey added, grabbing the lastpiece of bacon from her plate.
“Howare you feeling? Last time I talked to you, you said you were tired all thetime,” Jessie asked, pushing her plate away as she stared over at Zoey.
“Well,nothing’s changed on that front.” Zoey’s grin was mischievous, and Kylie laughed.If she had to guess, Zoey’s exhaustion wasn’t just related to pregnancy.
“Wedo not want to hear about your sex life,” V said with a grin, reading Kylie’smind.
“Surewe do,” Jessie teased. “I’m all for hearing about someone else’s sex life.”
“Right.Like you don’t have enough action to write a romantic suspense novel.” V winkedat Jessie as she pushed her half empty bowl of oatmeal away.
“Notthe point.” Jessie laughed. “And besides, my sister here is the one with theaction. I’m still not sure how she manages to crawl out of bed each day. Notwith two cowboys like that flanking her through the night.”
Kylieturned to face her younger sister, trying to come up with a witty comeback, butnothing came. It was the truth, Travis and Gage ensured each and every nightthat she was well sated. And sometimes, when she wasn’t in the mood, they wouldturn to one another, which was just as erotic to watch as it was to join in.
Thewaitress arrived, clearing the empty plates and setting the check down on theedge of the table and letting them know there was no rush.
Surethere was. They were now counting down to Christmas and if they didn’t get amove on, Kylie feared she’d never find that perfect gift for Travis and Gage.Unfortunately, no matter how hard she had tried, she still had not found themanything. Well, nothing other than a few novelty items that she knew they’dlove.
“Youfinished over there? Or are you ready to order lunch?” V teased Zoey and thetable erupted in laughter, including Zoey.
Zoeywas usually the first one to joke about how much she ate these days. By thelooks of her, Zoey had gained the weight of the baby, and that was about it.
“Keepit up and I’ll do just that,” Zoey said, trying to sound serious but failing.
“I’vegot this,” Kylie said, grabbing the check before V could snatch it up off ofthe table.
“Noway. You bought last time,” V argued. “It’s my turn.”
“Thehell it is,” Zoey said firmly. “It’s my turn.”
“Nuh-uh.This time it’s my turn,” Jessie added.
Whilethe three of them argued, Kylie slipped her credit card into the little leatherbound booklet and handed it off to the waitress when she walked by.
“Ha!”Kylie told them all, finishing off what was left of her coffee.
“Whereto after this?” Jessie asked, pushing her own credit card back into her wallet.Apparently, Kylie’s little sister was trying to be sneaky, but she didn’t winthis round.
“Themall, where else?” V announced, grabbing her purse and placing it on the tablein front of her.
“Whatare we going to find at the mall?” Kylie asked, mentally skimming the list ofstores and hoping one of them would have something she could get Travis andGage.
“Candy,”Zoey said sweetly, her hands gently cradling her swollen belly.
“Howin the world can you think of candy? You just ate pancakes with syrup.”
“No,the question is, how can younotthink about candy? Ever.” Zoey laughed.
Thewaitress brought the credit card and receipt back for Kylie to sign, which shedid quickly. Once that was taken care of, the four of them escaped from thebooth and disappeared out into the bright, morning sunlight.
“Iheard it might actually snow on Christmas this year,” Kylie said as they walkedtoward her truck. Or rather Gage’s truck. Out of all of their vehicles, his wasthe only one large enough to carry the four of them and any packages they mightpick up. Well, unless they considered Jessie’s little Honda, but that thing wason its last leg and Kylie certainly hadn’t been in the mood to walk from themall if the thing gave out on them.
“That’swhat I heard. When’s the last time it snowed on Christmas?” V asked. “Oranytime for that matter.”
Zoey’shearty chuckle followed them into the truck as they all four climbed in beforeKylie cranked the engine and then backed out of the parking spot.
“It’sbeen a while,” Jessie added from the backseat with V.
“Wouldn’tthat be awesome? For it to snow on Christmas?” Zoey asked, staring out thewindow as they accelerated onto the interstate and into Austin.
“I’mall for the snow, but I could do without the cold,” Jessie explained.
“Notsure you can have one without the other,” V added with a chuckle.
“Sureyou can,” Zoey told them, turning to peer over the seat at the two women in theback.
Kylieglanced over quickly but then focused on the road. “How’s that possible?”
“Rememberthat one year when the twins rented that snow machine?”
Vbarked out a laugh, which in turn, made Kylie laugh.
“Oh,Lord. Let’s hear it,” Jessie instructed the two women.
Storiesabout the twins and their mischief never ceased to amaze Kylie. And every timeshe turned around, it seemed as though there was another one ready to be told.And now that Jessie was dating Brendon – although she claimed it wasn’tanything as serious as dating – there were tons more to be heard.
“I’mpretty sure their parents had no idea they’d rented it,” V began.
“Notthat it would’ve mattered one way or another,” Zoey added.
“So,they took the ice machine up to the high school. Keep in mind, they hadgraduated years before.”
Zoeylaughed. “But Zane was a senior that year.”
Kyliecould actually imagine how this would’ve played out.
“I’mnot sure how they managed to get into the school, but they did. And they set upthis snow machine in the cafeteria of all places,” V explained.
“Itwas the day before winter break,” Zoey continued. “I’m sure they had someone onthe inside helping them, although that person never did come forward.”
“Needlessto say, it took a while to get all of that cleaned up. And yes, it must’ve hadthe twins’ signature all over it because Zane was called out on it.”
“Didthey suspend him?” Jessie asked, sounding eager to hear more.
“Oh,no. Zane, despite the fact that he was a wild one, was a straight A student. Henever did get in trouble for it.”
“Didtheir parents find out?” Jessie questioned.
“Ofcourse,” Zoey said with a giggle. “Curtis gave them props for being creative.”
Thefour of them were still laughing when Kylie pulled the truck into the parkinglot of the mall.
Basedon how their morning had gone so far, she had high hopes for what the rest ofthe day would bring. But she wasn’t all that convinced she’d find a gift thatwould stun Travis or Gage.Chapter Ten
Howin the world did he not know that Kylie was planning to come to the mall?
Gagedisappeared into one of the stores and watched as Kylie walked past with Zoey,Jessie and V all in tow. Keeping his eyes on the women, Gage snagged his phoneout of his pocket and shot a short text to Travis:Did you know K wascoming to the mall today?
Figuringhe wouldn’t hear back from Travis right away because he was meeting with hisbrothers, Gage slipped his phone into his pocket and then headed back out intothe crowded mall, smiling at the confused saleswoman in the store he justvacated.
Hisphone buzzed in his pocket, and he grabbed it, making sure to stay camouflagedin the horde of shoppers who were moving from one window to the next, probablyin search of that perfect gift for their loved one.
Hisfingers flying over the letters, Gage responded:Remember that fantasy of hers?
Gageslipped behind an older man and his wife when Kylie and her crew stopped topeer into one of the stores just a few yards in front of him.
Fuck.I’ll be there in ten.
Gagegrinned to himself. Apparently Travis’ priorities were slightly different fromhis brothers. He could imagine the scene now, Travis rushing out the door andleaving all of his brothers behind in their kitchen. And if Gage knew Travis,he didn’t take the time for pleasantries.
Tenminutes would be record time, and Gage knew it would take Travis at leasttwenty, but he appreciated the urgency. In fact, his cock appreciated it evenmore.
Amonth or so ago, when Travis had prompted them with the question about theirdeepest, darkest fantasy, Gage had nearly fallen right out of his seat whentheir sweet wife informed them that she’d always wanted to have sex in adressing room at the mall.
Well,now was her chance.
Keepinga close eye on the girls, but managing to stay far enough away that theywouldn’t spot him, he followed discreetly, slipping into one store or anotherwhen they would stop. Gage had to wonder whether they were actually going toseparate at any point. He didn’t figure they were, so he was going to have toget creative. As he waited for Travis to arrive, he tried to come up with asmany possibilities that would help him to lure Kylie away from the others.
Hecould probably seek Zoey’s help, but then he would give himself away. So thatoption was off the table.
Asudden tap on his shoulder had him twisting around in a hurry. “Shit, youscared the hell out of me.”
“Itold you I’d be here,” Travis said, peering around him as he looked in thedirection Gage had been facing.
Glancingdown at his watch, Gage looked back up at Travis. “Fuck, did you break everytraffic law there was?”
“Whatdid you expect?” Travis asked, a sinful smile on his face as he leaned in andkissed him quickly.
Gagegrinned. Ok, so no he couldn’t blame the man.
“Sowhat’s the plan?”
“Hellif I know. I’m just interested in finding an empty dressing room,” Gage toldhim, turning back to see where the women were.
“I’vegot an idea,” Travis said as he started to walk off.
Travisturned back and smiled. “You follow them. I have a feeling which store they areheading into next. You know women and candles. I’ve got this covered.”
Shit,now Gage was thoroughly confused, but it wasn’t like he had much of a choicebecause Travis was walking away at a brisk pace. Unable to keep Kylie andTravis in his line of sight at the same time, Gage let Travis go while he fellinto step with a group of shoppers as they moved forward.
Theoverhead speakers were playing instrumental Christmas music, the food court wasbusy as shoppers took a mid-morning break and people were moving quickly in andout of the stores. Gage considered himself lucky that he didn’t get trampled inthe chaos.
Fifteenminutes later, Gage was ready to give up. He’d gotten no further in trying tofind a gift for Kylie or Travis, and he was getting damn tired of trying tohide from the four women who had now managed to purchase something from damnnear every store they’d been in.
Gage’sphone buzzed, and he retrieved it from his pocket. Stepping out of the path ofthe relentless holiday shoppers, he managed to keep from being clipped by oneof the determined mall walkers.
Thetext made Gage smile and he hurried back into the throng and, after reversinghis direction, he made his way to the large department store that was near theentrance he’d come in almost an hour ago. How the hell did Travis get to theopposite end of the mall, and did he honestly expect Kylie to make it that farin the next, oh, say, four hours?
Hefound his husband moving through the ladies clothing at the far end of thestore, which was surprisingly empty with all of the madness he’d left behind inthe main mall area.
“I’mnot sure yellow is your color,” Gage said by way of greeting when he snaked hisway through the racks and racks of holiday sales.
“Fuckoff. I look good in any color,” Travis retorted with a shit eating grin.
Travistipped his chin up, and Gage turned to see what he was directing him to lookat. “Well, I’ll be damned.”
“Notenough credit, I tell you,” Travis muttered before taking Gage’s hand andpulling him toward the farthest wall.
Theymade their way over to Kylie, who seemed to be running solo at the moment, herpartners in crime probably left behind somewhere to spend even more money.
“Hi,”she greeted with a huge grin. “What are you boys doing here? And,” she pausedto look between them, “why do I now get the feeling that I didn’t accidentallyleave my credit card back at that store?”
Gageglanced over at Travis, then back at Kylie. How in the hell did he manage toconvince a salesperson to… “Did you check to see if you had your credit card?”
Kylieput her hands on her hips. “What do you take me for? Of course I checked.”
Gagewatched as she glanced down at her purse.
“Ijust couldn’t remember which one I used.”
Travispulled Kylie up against him, lowering his head down until their mouths werefused together and effectively changed the subject. The man was good at that.Gage’s dick stirred at the obvious public display. He would never tire ofseeing that. Granted, he’d prefer to be involved in their little love fest, butthere was certainly something to be said about being a voyeur.
“EarlyChristmas present,” Travis told her when he pulled back. “Now come on.”
“Whereare we going?” Kylie asked, grabbing Gage’s hand as they walked past.
“It’sa surprise.” That was all Travis said before he pulled them farther into thestore.
Withoutfanfare, Travis led them straight into a dressing room at the back of thewomen’s clothing department. Apparently, Travis did his homework because thisone at least had doors that went to the floor and actual walls around eachindividual dressing area.
WhenTravis pressed Kylie up against the wall, Gage knew this was one Christmasshopping excursion he’d never, ever forget.
“Remember,no talking,” Travis warned Kylie as he pressed his much bigger body againsthers. When her hands came up and slipped into his hair, he simply stared downat her.
God,she was incredible. Sinfully delicious and so fucking beautiful. He wasabsolutely certain he would never, ever get enough of her. Or Gage for thatmatter.
Reachingaround behind him, Travis pulled Gage closer, causing the man to stumble untilGage was flush against his back. He fumbled behind him until he linked hisfingers with Gage’s and then pulled his hand around between him and Kylie.
“Touchme,” he whispered, hoping like hell Gage heard him because any louder than thatand they’d probably alert one of the sales clerks working just outside thedoor. Then again, he was pretty sure the store had video cameras throughout theplace and probably saw the three of them sneaking in, so they seriously neededto hurry.
Leaningin close to Kylie’s ear, Travis whispered, “Have I told you lately how much Ilove when you wear skirts?”
Thisparticular skirt was floor length, but it was a skirt nonetheless which allowedmuch easier access than if she’d left the house that morning in jeans. Thenagain, Travis had become quite adept at getting both of them out of theirclothes fairly quickly, no matter what they had on.
“Fuck,”Travis growled low when Gage cupped him through his jeans.
WhenKylie pulled his head down to hers, pressing her lips to his, Travis knew thiswasn’t going to last long. Grabbing a handful of fabric, Travis managed to lifther skirt until he could slip his hand beneath.
Awww,hell. She wasn’t wearing panties. Taking complete advantage of the situation,Travis slid his index finger through her slick folds and then inside of her.
Capturingher cry with his mouth, Travis kissed her for all he was worth, while Gageworked to free Travis’ cock from his jeans. Lord, these two were going to killhim. His mind was warring with how to make this happen in such a small spaceand make absolutely no noise whatsoever. And exactly how had Kylie’s fantasyturned into his all of a sudden?
BeforeGage could get a firm grip on his now freed cock, Travis twisted, pressing hisback against the wall and bringing Kylie between him and Gage.
“That’sbetter,” Travis whispered, looking up to meet Gage’s mesmerizing brown eyes.
Therewasn’t much space in the small dressing area for them to move around, andTravis was certain they wouldn’t be able to do exactly what he wanted –sandwiching Kylie between the two of them – but he had an idea.
TippingKylie’s chin up with one finger, Travis pressed his lips against her ear,breathing the words as quietly as he could. “I want your mouth on my cock.”
Whenhe pulled back, Kylie was grinning, and her blue eyes glimmered with heat.
Slidinghis fingers into her hair, he pulled her head down toward his cock, notallowing her to go to her knees. He met Gage’s eyes and made sure the other manknew exactly how this would play out.
Groaningwasn’t even an option when several chatty women came into the dressing area,although they made enough noise to almost mask any sounds they would’ve made.Travis still didn’t want to give their location, or their very dirty deed,away, so he bit his lower lip as the fiery warmth of Kylie’s lush mouth slidover his cock, sucking him deep.
Theonly thing he could do was grip her hair firmly to try and keep her fromlassoing him right into an orgasm. He was not going to come until he was readyand if he gave her free rein, he would be coming like a damned teenager, withinseconds. In order to quell the urge, Travis kept a firm grip on the base of hiscock with his free hand and watched as Gage pushed his own jeans down just overhis hips, aligning himself behind Kylie.
Therewas no warning as Gage slammed into her once, but the subtle vibrations fromKylie’s moans against his cock told Travis she was enjoying what Gage wasdoing.
Travisalternated between watching Gage slide deep inside of her before retreatingslowly. Over and over, he impaled her in one brutal thrust before sliding out,his cock glistening as he did. The sight was so fucking hot, Travis wasn’t surehow much longer he’d be able to hold on. Between Kylie sucking him, her fingerskneading his balls and watching Gage fuck her, he was in a particularly fragilestate at the moment.
Kylieforced Travis’ hand off of his cock where he’d been squeezing himself to keepfrom coming and she began furiously stroking him with both her mouth and hercool fingers while Gage picked up the pace.
Droppinghis head back against the wall, Travis willed his damn legs to hold him up asKylie pushed him closer and closer to the edge. Only when Kylie’s mouthreleased his cock did he look down to see her stroking him faster while Gagefucked her with hard, punishing thrusts that had Kylie listing forward witheach urgent stroke.
Grittinghis teeth, Travis knew he couldn’t breathe a sound, so he swallowed his groanas Kylie’s body stilled, her lips wrapping around the head just as his cockjerked, his release spilling into her mouth as she proceeded to suck him dry.
Oncehe was sure he wouldn’t slide to the floor in a heap, Travis forced his headup, watching as Gage thrust into Kylie, once, twice, again until his husbandlooked up at him, their eyes locked on one another as Gage’s body stilled, hisface contorted in obvious rapture as he came inside of her.
Whilethe other ladies in the dressing room continued to hem and haw, completelyoblivious to what was going on just next door, the three of them merely smiledat one another, righting their clothes and speaking volumes with just theireyes.
Thatwas truly one fantasy Travis was more than willing to fill anytime Kylie was inthe mood. Hell, he’d increase his credit lines and follow her around the mallif she promised to make that happen again.
“Ilove you,” Kylie mouthed, her eyes darting back and forth between both of themas she stood just a few feet away. “Thank you.”
Andwith that, Kylie slipped out of the dressing room, leaving them both standing there,the chatting and giggling a sure sign that they wouldn’t be escaping anytimesoon.
Glancingover at Gage, Travis couldn’t help but wonder whether he had a dressing roomfantasy as well.
“What’sthat?” Lorrie asked as he made his way into the room.
“What’swhat?” He grinned sheepishly, but wasn’t about to give himself away. Not yetanyway.
“Whatdo you have behind your back?” Lorrie asked again.
Shewas sitting on the couch, her e-reader in her hand, a candle burning on the endtable beside her and Curtis was looking forward to dropping right down besideher for a little while. After the morning he’d had, he deserved a few minutesto relax. In his opinion.
“Nothing,”he lied, making his way around the couch so he could join her. Easing downbeside her, he kept his hand hidden behind his back while he watched her.
“Iknow you are up to something, Curtis Walker.”
Hewas always up to something, but he didn’t need to tell her that. She knew him.She knew him better than anyone else.
“Whatdo you think it is?” he asked, angling his body so he could get a littlecloser.
“Hmm?What does that mean?”
“Itmeans I’m thinking about it.”
“Well,why don’t I just put you out of your misery,” he whispered.
Heloved the way her blue eyes widened, her pink lips parting as she stared up athim. Even with fifty years of marriage behind them, he still loved that hecould turn her on like that. The way her eyes twinkled, her breathing increasedever so subtly.
Andshe was just as pretty now as she was when he married her. It wasn’t surprisingthat he could still remember that day. Remembered how nervous he was. Howstunning she was. Even how excited her mother had been that she was marryingGlenn Walker’s oldest son. Lorrie had been too young to marry him at the time,but Curtis had wanted her with a passion he’d never known before. He had beenso deep in love back then. Even more so now.
Hesmiled over at her.
“Well?”she said with a smile. “I’m waiting.”
Movingeven closer, Curtis crowded her against the end of the sofa, forcing her tolean back just a little. She set her e-reader down beside her as she did,freeing her hands up to touch him.
Oncehe had her right where he wanted her, Curtis pulled the surprise from behindhis back and held it up above their heads. Lorrie’s gaze travelled up to theitem in his hand and then back to his.
“Mistletoe?”She giggled sweetly.
“Damnstraight,” he growled, moving in close. “You know what it means, right?”
Theinnocent expression on her face might’ve worked on him at one point, but not ina really, really long time.
“Whatdoes it mean?” she whispered softly.
Leaningin closer, Curtis used his free hand to cup her face, his thumb scraping gentlyover her bottom lip as he stared at her mouth.
“Itmeans you’re mine for the night.”
Anothergiggle had his heart rate spiking.
“Itdoes not,” she said thoughtfully. “One kiss is all you get.”
“Oh,hell no,” he argued. “I’ll go buy a damn bushel of this stuff if you think Ionly get one kiss.”
Lorriegrinned up at him, her hands sliding up his chest and around his neck as shepulled him closer.
God,he loved this woman.
“Hey,baby,” Kaleb greeted Zoey when he found her sitting at her desk in their homeoffice, typing away on her keyboard. “How’d it go at the mall today?”
Zoeygrinned up at him over her shoulder. “Wonderful. V bought me chocolate.”
Kaleblaughed, then leaned down and kissed her gently on the mouth. Of all the thingsZoey had craved throughout the pregnancy so far, chocolate was by far the mostfrequent thing she wanted. It was also the most normal thing she wanted.
“I’mglad. Find any of the gifts left on your list?”
“Iactually did. Oh, wait!” she exclaimed before jumping out of her chair andheading out of the room in a flash.
Notsure where she was going, or what she was doing, he followed her down the halland into the kitchen where she was rummaging through one of a dozen bagssitting in the exact spot their dinner would be sitting in the next half hour.Then again, the only way dinner would be there was if Kaleb cooked because hewas pretty sure it was his night to do so.
Whileshe dug through her purchases, he rummaged through the refrigerator, lookingfor something to make.
“Look!”she squealed from behind him.
Closingthe refrigerator door slowly, he turned around and saw the light blue outfitshe was holding up in front of her with the words “Daddy’s Lil’ Pardner”written across the front. He grinned like a fool as he moved closer, fingeringthe soft fabric. It was so tiny.
Alittle over seven months into her pregnancy and Zoey was beside herself withexcitement and it showed in every single thing she did. Granted, Kaleb wasknown to beam with pride anytime he had the opportunity to talk about theirunborn child. Just a few more weeks and they’d be parents. Even though everyonecontinued to tell them they needed to sleep while they still had the chance,Kaleb couldn’t wait.
“Cute,”he said with a grin.
“Cute?”Zoey asked, her hands dropping to her hips, the outfit dangling from hisfingertips. “That’s all you got, Kaleb Walker?”
No,it wasn’t all…
“Whatelse did you want me to say?” he asked, lowering his voice as he set theclothes on top of the bag she’d retrieved it from before moving closer to her.
Zoey’seyes widened, probably in response to the predatory gleam in his eyes. Whateverit took, he thought to himself.
Hewatched as she felt around behind her as she moved, holding on to the edge ofthe table, then the chair before continuing to retreat slowly in her attempt tosneak out of the kitchen and into the living room.
Workedfor him. He didn’t have any issues with taking her in any room in the house.Hell, the laundry room had been christened on more than one occasion.
“Whatare you doing?” she asked, a deceptive hint of innocence in her tone.
“You,in about three seconds.” As though to show her he meant business, Kalebreleased the buckle on his belt, pulled his shirt out from the waistband of hisjeans before lifting it over his head and dropping it on the floor as hestalked her through the living room.
“Ithought you were going to make dinner?” Zoey asked. It was evident based on hergrin that she had no intention of stopping for food, but he was more thanwilling to play this game if she wanted to.
“Ithink I changed my mind on what I want to eat.”
Herface heated, her cheeks turning a pretty pink as she was stopped mid-step whenthe couch hit the back of her calves.
“Andthat would be?”
“You.Always you, baby,” he crooned.
Reachingout, he wasted no time getting her good and naked and then instructed her tosit on the couch. Her blush had infused her whole body, just as it always did,and he loved that about her. Zoey was undoubtedly interested in kinky sex,she’d proven that a long time ago when they had originally invited Gage intotheir relationship, but since Gage had gone and fallen in love with Kylie andTravis, Kaleb figured now was an opportune time to keep this woman all tohimself.
Andit wasn’t like they didn’t come up with some rather creative ideas all on theirown.
Rippingoff the rest of his clothes in a hurry, Kaleb dropped to his knees in front ofZoey.
“Spreadyour legs for me, baby,” he instructed as he shouldered his way between herthighs.
“Likethis?” Again with the playful questions.
“Anyway you like, just as long as I can see your sweet pussy.”
Staringat his wife, Kaleb let his eyes sweep over her beautiful body. That saying thata woman glows when she’s pregnant wasn’t just rumor as he’d originally thought.There was no doubt that Zoey was the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyeson, but now, pregnant, she was even more radiant.
Herbelly was rounded with their child, her breasts more full than before she gotpregnant, and her skin was smooth and creamy. And staring at her naked body hadbecome one of his favorite pastimes.
“HaveI told you how beautiful you are, lately?”
“Nottoday, no.” Zoey beamed at him.
Grinning,Kaleb leaned forward and pressed a kiss to her belly before gently pulling herhips forward, bringing her closer to the edge of the couch and giving him amuch better view of her pussy.
Meetingher eyes once again, Kaleb took his time before moving in closer, his tonguetrailing lightly through the slick folds, making sure to stay away from herclit at first. He didn’t want her to go off just yet. At least not before hegot his fill of her.
Granted,he wasn’t sure that he’d ever get enough.
Zoeywatched Kaleb’s dark hair as his head eased down between her thighs, his tonguemaking her squirm. Fighting the urge to grab hold of his head and force himcloser, she continued to watch.
Thelights from the Christmas tree sitting in front of the window cast red, blue,yellow and green shadows through the darkened room and over Kaleb’s tannedskin.
Sheloved the faint glow from the tree, a reminder of what time of year it was.This was their first Christmas as husband and wife, their first Christmas intheir new house and the beginning of the rest of their life together. In just afew short weeks, they were going to be parents. She was going to be a mommy,and he was going to be a daddy.
Zoeyknew she should be counting down the minutes before the baby was born, butquite frankly, she loved being pregnant. Every subtle shift, every elbow andknee that moved across her belly had Zoey grinning from ear to ear. Not tomention, her hormones were on the fritz and she found herself craving thisbeautiful man almost every minute of every day.
“Kaleb,”Zoey whispered, pressing her hips upward, trying to increase the friction ofhis mouth against her.
“Sitback and enjoy.”
Mucheasier said than done.
Whenhis tongue stroked her tender flesh roughly, sliding across the sensitivetissue around her anus and then up to her clit, Zoey jerked, unable to keep herbody from moving. “Kaleb, please,” she begged.
“Whenyou ask so nicely, how can I refuse you anything?” he answered, his mouthlatching onto her clit, his tongue lapping furiously over the hypersensitivenub. She was primed and ready, so much so that he didn’t even penetrate herwith his finger before her orgasm ripped through her.
Lettingher body relax into the butter soft leather of their sofa, Zoey closed hereyes, riding out her orgasm and enjoying the sexual satisfaction that overtookher.
Forcingher eyelids open, she crooked her finger at her husband, beckoning him to joinher on the couch. When he did, she shifted, propping herself up on thecushioned arm of the sofa and spreading her legs wide to receive him into herbody.
“Zoey,”Kaleb grumbled as he slid inside her, his thick shaft finding the perfect spotas he moved gently.
“Loveme, Kaleb,” she whispered.
Kalebbegan to move, his pace slow and steady, but the intensity of their joiningcaused electric sparks to ignite over her skin. She loved when he made love toher. And here, in the dim light of their living room, the only light that fromthe Christmas tree glowing softly only added another romantic element to themix.
WhenKaleb began to increase his pace, his chest muscles tightening beneath herpalms, the cords in his neck standing out from the effort it required to holdhimself above her, Zoey knew he was close.
“Comefor me, Kaleb,” she encouraged, shifting her hips slightly to change the angleand causing him to groan deep in his chest. The animalistic growl made herpussy throb, and she tightened her internal muscles around him. Within seconds,she was no longer in control of her body’s reaction. He was pushing her faster,closer…
“Kaleb.Oh, God, I’m coming!”
“That’sit baby, come for me,” he growled, pushing deeper than she even thoughtpossible, his body stilling above her as his muscles flexed, the twitch of hiscock inside of her signaling his release.
Whenthey’d both caught their breath, Kaleb rolled to her side, then shifted so thathe was behind her, her back to his chest. He pulled her against him as hepressed his lips to her hair. The position was so comfortable, so familiar,just like every night when they fell into bed. The nights came quickly, both ofthem usually exhausted from trying to get the resort up and running, orensuring that everything would be ready for the baby when he arrived. Zoeyloved cuddling up against Kaleb, his warmth infusing her with a sense of safetyand security that made everything right in her world.
“Ilove you, Zoey.”
“AndI love you,” she whispered, fighting the urge to give in to sleep as shelistened to Kaleb’s breathing slow.
Elbowinghim gently, she tried to rouse him.
Kalebchuckled from behind her. “Of course you are.”
“Anyoneseen Jessie?” Brendon’s question was apparently directed at everyone in thebar, and surely, if Jessie was in the room, she would’ve heard him. Zane hadn’tseen her, but didn’t feel the need to mention that. Brendon would figure it outsoon enough.
Everyonehad gathered at Moonshiners for a pre-Christmas get-together, including Zane’sfather, Curtis. For the last half hour, his brothers had been playing pool andkeeping the conversation to a dull roar, the Walker family and friends takingup most of the available space in the back of the small bar.
“Haven’tseen her,” Travis called out, his hand on the pool stick. He was eyeing theball, but Zane knew no matter how hard his brother concentrated, he wasn’tgoing to beat V at this game. She’d proven time and again that she could kickall their asses and quite frankly, she made him proud.
Thenagain, everything she did made him proud.
Watchingher, Zane listened to Beau and Sawyer chat about nothing in particular whileGage and Kaleb argued over whether or not the Dallas Cowboys were going to do adamn thing anytime soon. Yes, they were devoted Cowboys fans around theseparts, but honestly…
Zanedidn’t care much for football talk. At least not tonight.
Instead,his mind was overwhelmed with his own issues. He was beginning to get nervousthat he hadn’t found the perfect gift for V, even though he’d spent a fulleight hours online browsing through every damn place he could think of andstill he’d come up empty.
Howthe hell was he going to be a decent husband if he couldn’t even pick out agift that his fiancé would love?
“Problems?”his father asked, slapping Zane on the back as he joined him at one of thecorner tables.
Glancingup at Curtis, Zane considered asking his advice. After all, the guy had spenthalf a century with the same woman and managed to keep her around after sevenboys. He had to be doing something right.
“Whatam I supposed to get V for Christmas?” he blurted, clearly having made adecision to approach his father for help.
“Whatdo you want to get her?”
“Anythingshe wants,” Zane replied simply, tipping his beer to his lips and taking a longpull, his eyes glued to his father’s face. Any minute now he expected to hearprofound wisdom, something that would help him find that memorable gift thatwould make V love him all the more.
“Whatdoes she want?”
“Shewon’t tell me,” Zane admitted.
Curtis’booming laugh echoed through the bar and half the folks crowded in the smallplace turned to look in his direction. “You expect her to tell you?”
“Whythe hell not?” he asked, his displeasure evident in the tone of his voice.Obviously approaching his father for help wasn’t going to get him anywhere.Unless being laughed at counted.
“Son,”Curtis said, his voice low, his expression serious, “I won’t admit to knowingeverything about women, but I can tell you one thing. If you go with your gut,search with your heart, she won’t be disappointed in you.”
Well,hell. That didn’t tell him dick.
“I’vebeen married to your mother for over fifty years, and although you might notbelieve it, there was a point in our lives when money was scarce. We were twostupid kids in love without a pot to piss in. I could barely afford to pay theelectric bill, much less buy her something fancy for Christmas. But, let metell you something, kid,” Curtis’ voice descended another octave as hecontinued, “it’s not about the price, it’s about the love behind it.”
Zanestared at his father, took in his weathered face, and studied his expression.About the love, huh?
Noddinghis head in understanding, because truthfully, for the first time in weeks,Zane felt as though he might just pass this first hurdle. If it was about thelove, well, he had love in spades. Especially when it came to V.
“Now,don’t go killin’ yourself trying to figure it out. And that lil’ lady overthere,” Curtis said, tilting his head in V’s direction, “she loves yousomethin’ fierce. Which is all that matters.”
Vpretended not to notice Curtis and Zane sitting off in the corner bythemselves. It was clear by their body language, their conversation was apersonal one and considering the solemn way Zane had been acting lately, shecouldn’t say she was surprised.
She’dinadvertently overheard a phone conversation between Zane and Beau just lastweek, and from what she gathered, he was worried about what to get her forChristmas.
Withoutgiving away the fact that she knew, she’d been trying to reassure him. Littledid the stubborn cowboy know, but she had all she could ever want forChristmas. She had him. The love she felt for him was so overwhelming, sometimesshe felt as though her heart just might explode.
Andto have been welcomed with open arms into his family, there wasn’t a singlematerial thing that could ever top that sort of feeling. No jewelry, noclothes, not even a fancy car. Nothing compared to having someone love you asmuch as you love them. It took V a long time to accept that, but now that shehad, well, she knew she would never let it go.
“Damn,woman,” Travis growled. “Can’t you take pity on a guy? I’m tryin’ to impresssome people here.”
Travismoved around the table and pulled her up against his side, giving her a brief,brotherly hug.
“Well,if you want some advice, you might wanna try something else. You suck at pool.”
Travislaughed, pretending to push her away. “Why don’t you tell me how you reallyfeel?”
Brendonchose that moment to show up at the table, his arm around Jessie, whoapparently had shown up as requested.
“Youhere to impress someone too?” she joked.
Turningto look at Jessie then back to V, Brendon smiled. “I think I can take youtonight.”
Apparentlythe room had been waiting for this moment. She and Brendon were known to playseveral games and according to the Walker boys, it was like a death match,everyone hanging on the edge of their seats watching to see who would go downfirst.
Justas she was going to answer, Zane walked up beside her, pulling her against hisside and kissing her forehead. “Don’t mess with my girl,” he said to hisbrother. “She’ll kick your ass every time.”
Vwould never tire of Zane calling her that.
“Mmmm,”she hummed as she tilted her head back to look at him. “I’m pretty sure I cantake him, but I’ll take a kiss for good luck.”
Vshould’ve known that Zane Walker wasn’t capable of a sweet, innocent peck onthe lips. He turned her to face him, his arms still banded around her body ashe dropped his mouth down to hers. When she would’ve pulled away – publicdisplays not necessarily her thing – he gripped the back of her head andplundered her mouth with his tongue.
Andthat’s all it took.
Afew long seconds later, weak kneed and anxious, V had to wonder just how in thehell she was going to be able to focus after that.
Shecould only hope something would distract Brendon, or she was definitelyscrewed.
Brendongrabbed his own pool stick that he’d brought with him, ignoring the communityone that Travis had just discarded. Moving around the table, his eyes trackedJessie who had instantly headed across the room to where Braydon was standingalone near the wall.
Hisbrother was acting awfully strange these days, he noticed. In fact, he’d beenacting strange for weeks now, and for the life of him, Brendon had no idea whatcould be wrong. The only sound conclusion he’d come up with was Braydon wasreacting to Brendon’s ridiculous jealousy. Something he’d been paying attentionto since the last time Jessie came to the house.
Talkingto Braydon lately hadn’t produced much information either, which wasn’t typicalfor his twin. Of the two of them, Braydon was certainly much more open thanBrendon was when it came to talking about himself. But, no matter how he playedthings out in his head, he couldn’t understand what might be bothering Braydon.Unless it had something to do with their relationship with Jessie.
Itwasn’t like the guy wasn’t getting laid on a regular basis, or so it seemed. Upuntil the last few weeks when Jessie began trying to distance herself fromthem, Brendon was lucky he had his brother because shit, he had a damned hardtime keeping up with her.
Shewas something else. Smart, beautiful, so damn sweet, and sexy as hell… butdespite all of those wonderful qualities, there seemed to be something missing.What, he had no idea. They spent time together, though that was less and lessfrequently these days. And most of the time, she was the one coming up withexcuses. Not that he could blame her entirely for the rift that was developingbetween them because he certainly wasn’t pushing her.
Atthe beginning of their relationship, he’d been gung ho, wanting to spend asmuch time with her as possible and the feeling seemed to be mutual. Forwhatever reason, they hit it off and the chemistry between them was off thecharts explosive. And the firestorm that erupted between them was still hotenough to burn them both to a crisp, but the initial lust had fizzled to moreof a friendship. Or so that’s what it felt like for Brendon.
Therefor a while, he’d felt a little smothered. And he’d had to take a step back torealize that Jessie wasn’t at fault. In fact, since day one, she’d insisted ontaking things slow. Slower than he had expected. But as time had passed, theyseemed to be moving backward instead of forward.
Studyingthe balls on the table, Brendon mapped out his game, watching V as shecontinued to sink ball after ball into the pocket she called. He could onlyhope she’d mess up because that was when he could take over, potentiallysweeping the table. With her, he needed to be one up at all times. And with hisattention continuing to move back and forth between Jessie and the table,Brendon didn’t think he was going to be much of a match for V this time around.
“Yourturn,” she called as the handful of people standing around groaned that she’dmissed.
Blockingout everything in the room, Brendon focused on the table. Lining up a shot, hesank his ball and moved around, grabbing the chalk as he did. He had to takehis time, this wasn’t like playing these amateurs that would line up for anopportunity to make a fool out of him night after night. Didn’t seem to matterthat the only person – save for some freak miracle – who could beat himregularly, was V.
Bendingat the waist, Brendon set his pool stick against his fingers, his sightsrunning down the length as he gauged distance and angle. Just when he rearedback to sink the shot, a woman spoke, and he floundered, missing the cue ballentirely and damn near face planting into the table.
Lookingup, he expected to see the woman who’d been plaguing his dreams as of latebecause the voice sounded so familiar. Tipping the side of the cue ball withhis pool stick, Brendon realized his mistake.
Thevoice wasn’t that of Cheyenne Montgomery, but then again, why the hell wouldshe be in Coyote Ridge? It wasn’t like she’d ever even been back since herimpromptu Mother’s Day visit as a favor to Travis. And if anyone would know, itwould be Brendon. He thought he saw her or heard her everywhere. Sometimes inthe strangest of places.
Thecountry music star wasn’t known to frequent this part of the world often. Buthe couldn’t seem to convince his brain of that.
“Hey,”V whispered as she passed by him, “you all right?”
No,he wasn’t all right. He wasn’t sure he’d ever be all right again. At least notuntil he managed to get Cheyenne out of his system one way or another. Forgood.
Hebit his tongue, not saying a word. He couldn’t. There was nothing he could say.It wasn’t like he could explain his predicament to V. She was friends withJessie and no matter what was going on between him and Jessie, he certainlywasn’t going to let another woman interfere. Not even the memory of a woman whohad come into his life like a whirlwind and then disappeared just as quickly asshe’d arrived. And for the first time in Brendon’s life, he’d been the onewatching her walk away.
Standingtall, he backed away and let V take over the table.
Clampinghis mouth shut because the last thing he wanted to do was to make a fool out ofhimself right here in front of all these people, Brendon glanced over to whereJessie stood, leaning close to Braydon. Much closer than he would’ve expectedthem to be in a public place. It wasn’t a secret that Brendon and Braydonshared their lovers; however, when they were out, they didn’t usually make apublic spectacle of their lifestyle.
Staringat Braydon, he waited patiently until his brother met his gaze, which didn’ttake long. That was part of their twin connection. Surprisingly, the look inBraydon’s eyes had worry shuddering down Brendon’s spine.
Itlooked like Brendon wasn’t the only one with a secret.Chapter Thirteen
“Areyou ok?” Jessie asked.
Shewas close enough that Braydon could smell the sweet and spicy, floral scent ofher perfume – a scent he’d found himself craving for months now. And the morehe got, the more he wanted. Like a drug, addicting. But, no matter how much hewished otherwise, Jessie was seemingly doing her best not to get too closewhich meant moments like these were few and far between these days.
Braydonwanted to draw Jessie up against him. He wanted to wrap his arms around her andhold her as close as he could. He wanted to press his nose against the soft,silky strands of her hair and then rest his lips against the enticing hollow atthe base of her throat.
Onlyshe wasn’t his. Which meant he didn’t have the luxury of touching her the wayhe wanted to. A quick peek across the room, Braydon noticed his twin wasn’tpaying any attention to him or Jessie, but he knew that could change at anymoment.
Damn,this was getting harder and harder with every single second that passed, and toknow that Christmas was literally just days away was killing him. Braydonwanted to spend Christmas with Jessie, he wanted to invite her to his parents’house as his girl, have her sit next to him at dinner, and put his arm aroundher shoulder while they watchedIt’s a Wonderful Life.
Braydonwanted it all, but for now he would have to settle for being the third wheel.It wasn’t that he didn’t enjoy the time he got to spend with Jessie, but untilher, Braydon had never imagined himself separating from his twin this way.
Theyshared women, it’s just what they did. Neither of them ran solo when it came tosex with women – never had. And until recently, he had never questioned thereason. And hell, they shared Jessie, and he knew for a fact that Brendon hadnever fucked her without Braydon present.
Becausethat was the way things worked.
Brendonneeded him to be there. Needed him around. In fact, Braydon got the impressionBrendon expected him to sustain this type of relationship for the rest of theirlives. And because his twin was the most important person in his world, Braydonwasn’t sure he’d ever be able to tell him that his idea of a relationship wasmorphing into something a little less… threesome based.
Buteven he knew that most of their relationships were based on sex and pleasure. But with Jessie, what had taken up residence in the center of Braydon’s chesthad so much more to do with deeper emotions and less about physicalgratification.
Itdidn’t make it right though.
Braydonglanced back at Jessie as she spoke softly.
“Whatdo you want to do when we leave here?”
God,why did it sound like she was actually talking directly to him? Almost asthough the “we” in her statement was just the two of them. But that wasn’t thecase. The “we” she referred to included Brendon.
“Doesn’tmatter,” he said gruffly, suddenly irritated with himself. He needed to backthe fuck off and get his shit together before he did something incrediblystupid.
AndLord knew he’d done enough stupid things during the course of his life. Noreason to rack up more points.
Beauhad spent the better part of the night bullshitting with Kaleb and Gage aboutthe Dallas Cowboys, talking to Sawyer about his latest adventure at the animalshelter, and ultimately wasting time until he could get a minute alone withEthan.
SinceBlake wasn’t around – yes, miracles did happen – he was hoping for just achance to talk to Ethan. Not that he expected anything to happen, but quitefrankly, Beau missed their weekly chats over a beer right here in this verysame bar. Whether he was the one who had fallen into sync with Ethan’sschedule, or vice versa, they always seemed to meet up. Not that either of themwould take responsibility for it being more than just a coincidence.
However,they hadn’t said two words to one another since the afternoon he stumbled uponEthan receiving a blow job from Blake. And tonight wasn’t looking good for himeither.
Ethanwas putting a noticeable amount of space between them, and Beau was honestlytired of this cat and mouse bullshit. He should’ve taken the hint. Should’velet Ethan’s blatant reaction to his being a witness to his sexual satisfactionsend him in the opposite direction. It wasn’t like he hadn’t been pissed. Orinsanely jealous.
Butfor some reason, after seeing Ethan and Blake together at the mechanic shop,he’d had more than his fair share of fantasies which absolutely did not includeBlake Henley. Nope, you could cut Blake right out of those images and pasteBeau right over that empty space, and you’d get a front row seat through theportal into Beau’s deepest, darkest fantasies.
Beauknew that before long, he was going to have to do something about his completeand total obsession with Ethan Walker. Either he was going to have to approachhim, or he was going to have to walk away. It was obvious that Ethan wasn’tgoing to be making the first move.
Ironically,Beau had just come to terms with the fact that he was gay, but it seemed a manwho had never been with a woman in his life still had trouble admitting theobvious.
Ifonly Beau could figure out a way to help Ethan over that hurdle and prove tohim that the world would continue to turn, even if he did finally come out.
Ethancould feel Beau’s eyes as they tracked him through the bar. He’d felt themsince the moment he walked in the door. And, like a true asshole, he’d foughtevery urge to turn around and make eye contact with the man.
Afterwatching Beau fly out of the parking lot of Walker Demo’s mechanic shop, Ethanknew he’d succeeded in driving him away. Making eye contact with Beau whileBlake had been sucking him off probably hadn’t been the best idea, but he didwhat he had to do. And the memory still assaulted him.
Asdid what happened after that.
Thatafternoon, he had physically been with Blake, his cock lodged deep in his ass,the friction blowing his mind. But mentally, he’d been with Beau. It had beenBeau whom he’d told to grab hold of the rolling toolbox. It had been Beau whomhe’d all but ripped his clothes off of. It had been Beau he’d knelt down behindand reamed his ass with his tongue until he was begging, pleading for him tofuck him. And it had been Beau he’d rammed his cock inside and thrust inearnest until they were both covered in sweat.
But,at the same time, ithadn’tbeen Beau.
Andthat’s what sucked.
Afterthat encounter with Blake, they’d gone back to work, pretended that all wasnormal in their world while Ethan had spent the afternoon imagining what itwould be like to fuck Beau senseless.
Nowhe couldn’t look him in the eyes. And it had nothing to do with the wanderingthoughts, and everything to do with giving himself away. No matter how much hewanted Beau, he couldn’t have him.
Beaudeserved a nice guy. One who would put him first, help him to explore his mostrecently discovered desires. He damn sure didn’t need a man who wasn’t kiddinganyone but himself when it came to his lifestyle. Everyone knew. He knew theydid. But still, Ethan wasn’t yet ready to admit to the world that he was gay.He wasn’t willing to do that to his family. He didn’t doubt that they’d beaccepting of him, hell, they accepted Travis with no problem, but that didn’tmean others wouldn’t look down on his family.
Thatwasn’t something he was willing to risk.
Anduntil he was – if that day ever came – then Beau did not deserve the hell Ethanwould surely put him through.
Sawyerknew she’d show up. She always did, and tonight wasn’t an exception. Didn’tmean he had been sitting around waiting for her.
Oh,hell, who the fuck was he kidding? He’d been downing beers like he wasdehydrated while watching the front door. He’d even counted the number ofpeople who had come in before her.
Noneof that mattered now that Kennedy was there though. Nothing had changed exceptfor the fact that he had something appealing to watch as he drank his beer,listened to his brothers rattle on about this and that while the women wholoved these guys filled the rest of any potential silence with theirdiscussions about their last couple of excursions out and about.
Sawyerwas tempted to fucking drink himself stupid.
Onlythat wouldn’t do a damn bit of good, and he’d still wake up in the morning,alone in his bed with his dick in his hand. But he’d also have a headache to goalong with an insatiable hard on and frankly, that didn’t sound like fun.
Hewatched as Kennedy moved across the room after retrieving her drink from thebar. She purposely avoided looking his way, but if he had to guess, she knew hewas looking at her. How could she not. Hell, he was almost finished undressingand redressing her with his eyes… for the third time.
WhenKennedy went to a table with a group of women, he had to send up a silentprayer that the only seat available was one that would give her an unobstructedview of where he stood across the room. Not that she would look at him. Atleast not on purpose.
Onlyshe would look at him. She always did.
God,thinking about the way her eyes heated even though she tried to pretendindifference where he was concerned made his cock lengthen. Damn good thing hehad gone casual with his jeans and his untucked shirt.
Notthat he gave a shit if she saw what she did to him. If he had his way, she’d benaked, and he didn’t even give a fuck where they were. He’d be happy to sneakoff to the bathroom or even out to his truck. Didn’t matter. Just as long as hecould slide his dick inside of her, he’d be a happy man. And at that point,maybe, just maybe, he’d be able to fuck her out of his system.
Lordknew he’d waited long enough.
Sawyergrinned the instant Kennedy’s eyes landed on his. This was just what he’d beenwaiting for…
Sawyer’sthoughts were interrupted by the sweet voice beside him. Glancing over, hegrinned out of habit. “Hey.”
Therewere two smiles beaming back at him, and the fact that neither of them werehard on the eyes had Sawyer turning his full attention to both of them.
“I’mTara. This is my friend Liz.”
“AndI’m speechless,” he teased, giving both of them his signature grin.
Theygiggled. Just what he’d expected. They always giggled.
“Canwe get you a beer?”
No.No, he wasn’t thinking beer right then. “How ‘bout I get you two beautifulladies a beer.”
Anotherround of giggles and Sawyer found himself glancing across the room, pretendingto be checking out the bar when he was actually trying to see if Kennedy waspaying any attention to him.
Shewas glaring his way, but when their eyes met, she turned away quickly.
Hmm…Maybe his night was looking better already.
Whenthe blonde’s arm slid into the crook of his, Sawyer glanced down at her, tryingto remember her name. He couldn’t, but that didn’t stop him from pulling her upclose and letting her lead the way across the room. And when her friend’s handgently gripped his bicep on his other side, he smiled down at her too.
Yep,a beer would work for him. Then maybe a quick trip to the bathroom down thehall with the giggle twins to relieve the ache in his balls. He played up hisattraction to the women, laughing when one giggled at the other, his stomachchurning painfully at the disappointment he suddenly felt.
Formost of his life, Sawyer hadn’t been particular about the women he was with.Didn’t give a shit if he saw them again and these two would be added to thatlong list of conquests. But, as he gazed across the room, wishing like hellthat Kennedy would give him even a remote indication of interest, he knew thiswas getting old fast.
Hewasn’t supposed to want anything more than a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am. Hedidn’t have time for anything more than that, and he knew from experience he’dbe satisfied for a little while once he got off.
Thatwas the story of his life.
Afterordering three Corona’s from Mack, Sawyer turned to see Greyson strolling hisway, a satisfied smirk on his face. Instead of watching his friend swoop in andinvite himself to their little trio, he found himself watching Kennedy again.
Shefrowned at him, and there was a sudden sharp ache in his chest that he’d neverfelt before. Guilt? Nah. Sawyer didn’t feel guilty. If Kennedy didn’t want adamn thing to do with him, he was going to take what he could get. And hedidn’t give a fuck if she signed up to watch.