Colby wished she were anywhere other than standing at the entryway to the living room greeting mourners. She nodded and shook hands with people she didn’t remember ever having met as they said all the right things. At least her father had the foresight to arrange the details for his funeral. Local women had taken charge of the reception, leaving her with nothing to do. Having a task to perform might’ve taken her mind off the dismal state of affairs of the ranch. After only breaking the surface delving into her father’s financial accounts, she knew enough to make her uneasy. The ranch was close to going under. The bank had already sent notices to her father, warning him that, unless he paid past due bills, they’d take ownership. The only reason he’d managed to stay afloat so far was money trickling in from an old oil lease. But the lease’s term was ending soon.
She shook an elderly gentleman’s hand and thanked him for coming. Melly stood nearby, ready to help her and enduring a lot of stares. With her hair and tats, she stood out from the others.
The ranch wasn’t like she remembered it. Not having visited since she was a teen, she hadn’t been ready to see the rundown barn or the peeling paint on the old two-story framed house. Everywhere she looked, she saw the need for more and more repairs. Repairs she had no clue how she’d be able to afford.
The two hired hands her father had employed had stayed on, generously working for nothing more than sleeping in the bunkhouse and eating with her father. But even they had finally started looking for other jobs and had quickly found them. She and Melly were alone on the sprawling ranch. If a neighbor hadn’t lent a hand taking care of the livestock, she didn’t think she could’ve made it through the first night.
She’d been foolish to think she could run a ranch. What did she know about horses and cattle? Rob had been right, which made accepting her limitations even harder. Closing her eyes, she hoped she could make it through the rest of the day. She’d think about everything else tomorrow.
Way to channel your inner Scarlett O’Hara.
“I’m sorry for your loss, Miss Trayner.”
The deep voice reverberated through her like sound waves through air. She opened her eyes and sucked in a breath, unexpected heat swamping her.
“Oh hell yeah.”
She started to tell Melly to be quieter, but what was the use? Melly said and did as she liked. However, her friend had spoken the truth. The man still holding her hand was drop-dead gorgeous. Hotter than hot. Testosterone oozed off him and flowed over her body, sending I’ve-got-to-have-you signals to both her mind and her libido.
His green eyes could hold her attention for a lifetime. The color of dark moss on the north side of a tree, they were spellbinding. Not only the color but also the intelligence and the knowing she saw there. His face was a chiseled mask as though it had been carved out of stone and softened just enough to make him appear human. His thick brown hair was tousled and a little shaggy, but it made him even more handsome. Like a gentleman, he held his cowboy hat in his other hand.
She lowered her gaze to their hands. As she would’ve expected from a rancher, his hand was rough against her palm, textured with calluses earned through hard work. Her gaze lifted, unable to stay away from his face for long. Along the way, she took in his hard chest and broad shoulders confined in a too-tight suit jacket.
She took another dive south to confirm her suspicions.
Clean boots, silver buckle, and new jeans. Yep. He’d dressed up cowboy style.
He dipped his head slightly as the edges of his strong mouth tipped upward. A strong mouth that was perfect for the cleft in his chin. “Are you all right?”
She felt the warmth rise to her cheeks. “Oh. Yes. I’m fine.”
“He’s more than fine.”
She blinked as his gaze darted to Melly and back. “Hi. I’m Colby Trayner.”
He still hadn’t turned her hand loose, and that was just fine and dandy with her.
“I’m Jax Lambert. I’m sorry about your dad. Lawrence was a good man.”
“But not a nice one.” She sucked in a hard breath. His surprise matched her own. “I don’t know why I said that.”
“Don’t worry about it. To tell you the truth, most of us felt the same way. I don’t mean to talk about bad about him, but he would’ve been the first to admit he could be cantankerous at times.”
Another man bumped into Jax’s shoulder, making him finally release her hand. Her attention shifted.
Two handsome men. What are the odds?
She’d always had a thing for cowboys, but these two put every other cowboy she’d ever seen to shame.
“Miss Trayner—” Strange silver eyes sparkled at her.
“Please, call me Colby.”
“If you call me Ed. Ed Rogers. Call me Ed.”
She would’ve giggled at how many times he’d said his name if she could’ve thought past how amazing he looked. Dressed the same way as Jax, he had a calmer air about him, one that wouldn’t be misconstrued as ambivalence. His energy didn’t ride on the surface of him the way Jax’s did, but it was just as captivating as the other man’s.
She jumped her focus from Ed to Jax.
Slow and steady was Ed.
Fast and hard was Jax.
Both ways could be wonderful, depending on a woman’s mood.
“I’m sorry we had to meet on a sad day like this. How are you doing?”
She liked Ed’s demeanor. He was soft-spoken, but there was no doubt he was strong. A truly strong man could afford to be soft. “Thank you. I’m okay. Or I will be. I haven’t seen my father in a few years, so…” She stalled, unsure why she’d wanted to confide in him.
A third man came between Jax and Ed, wrapping his arms over their shoulders. “Colby, I’m Darton Traverton. You remember me, right?”
At first, she couldn’t find her voice. Of all the men she’d thought she’d never see again, he was at the top of the list. “Darton? From Vegas?” Why bother pretending she didn’t remember him? She’d seen his face in her dreams more times than she could count.
“What are you doing?” The question came and went with Darton’s nibbles along her shoulder.
“You’ll find out soon enough.” Ed stood and shrugged off his shirt. Instead of letting it fall to the floor, however, he twirled it around, twisting it into a rope. Then, taking her wrist, he wrapped it around and tugged it tight. He yanked on the shirt, changing it from a shirt into a rope. His face darkened with need as he wrapped the other end around his own wrist. They were joined together as securely as though they’d shared a pair of handcuffs.
“Good idea.” Jax tugged off his shirt and repeated what Ed had done. He pressed a light kiss to her pulse before wrapping his shirt around her wrist. Yanking, he pulled the makeshift rope taut.
“Hold her tight, boys.”
She wobbled a little but felt safer as Jax and Ed pulled on the ropes. “I’m going to fall off.”
“The most important part of this whole thing is trust. We won’t let you fall.” Darton shoved the zipper of his jeans down, toeing off his boots, and then shimmied his jeans over his lean hips and onto the floor. Her attention went to his fully erect and ready cock as it sprang free from its confines.
Jax and Ed worked on their jeans with one hand as they, too, heeled off their boots. Their eyes glittered with primal need as Darton pushed the coffee table away then went to his knees on the cushion in front of her.
With a wicked gleam in his black eyes, he caressed one leg then the other. Her panties were gone with one quick tug. “Spread ’em, honey. I’m going to taste your sweet cream.”
Heat wrapped around her as though a warm, wet blanket had been placed over her. Her breath came in pants. Her body leapt into high gear, heart beating far too fast, almost as fast as the throbbing between her legs.
Bright spots of red burst into Darton’s eyes as he put his head between her legs and pressed his face to her pussy. She let out a scream, remembered that Melly was still in the house, and gritted her teeth to keep from crying out again.
The sensation of his mouth surrounding her pussy and his tongue lapping across her clit made her shudder. She didn’t worry about falling off any longer. Not when the shirt-ropes that held her to the other men were pulled taut.
She was caught like a prisoner between two of her captors. The third vanquished her pussy, using his tongue then his teeth then adding his fingers. He plunged his fingers into her, driving in again and again as he caught her clit between his teeth and tortured her nub with the rapid movement of his tongue. She moaned, unable to not make any sound at all and no longer caring if Melly woke up, came downstairs, and saw what they were doing.
The stubble along Darton’s chin tickled the creases of her legs. His strong shoulders pushed against the back of her thighs. One hand worked her pussy, fingers sliding in and out, as the other found its way underneath her rump. A finger pushed into her anus, at first stunning her, then thrilling her as her tight muscles gave way to his attack.
When Darton sat back, she wanted to scream at him to come back, to not leave her hanging on the edge of the climatic cliff. His rapt look silenced her. Tilting his head to the side, he took hold of her bra and tore it away. She almost cried when he turned his attention away from her to look at first Jax then Ed.
Was it a challenge or a declaration?
Had Ed just snarled? Yet the sound was more like the growl of a beast than a humanlike snarl.
Darton chuckled then moved off the couch. “Front or back, honey? Got a preference?”
Did he really expect her to answer? She wanted him any way he cared to have her.
“No answer? Then I’ll choose.”
He was behind her again, his body oh-so warm, warmer than she would’ve imagined anyone’s body could ever get and still be alive. He yanked her back until her bottom hung precariously over the back of the couch then pushed against her spine, forcing her to lean forward. Jax and Ed moved closer, their unbound hands finding her tits. She moaned as they massaged her nipples, impossibly making them even harder than they already were.
She felt the wet tip of Darton’s cock a moment before it pierced her pussy. Her head swam, and her heart skipped a beat. His thick, long cock pushed at her pussy walls, demanding leeway and found it. “Oh God.”
“Easy, honey.” Darton gripped her hip with one hand, keeping her with him.
She jolted as the sting from his slap splintered along the flesh of her butt cheek. Pain splintered into her, startling her at first. But soon the surprise changed to excitement.
The second spank was harder than the first. She moaned, loving the rippling effect of the sting as it flowed through her flesh.
“Do you like that, honey?” He clutched her hair and yanked it back, hard enough to get her attention along with a little pain but not hard enough to really hurt. “Tell me you like it.”
“I do.” But she didn’t like it. She loved it.
“Good.” Another spanking came, sizzling through her skin. It was followed by a third and fourth.
She whimpered as he drove his cock deeper. She gripped the shirt-ropes, squeezing until her hands hurt. Her hair hung in her face, but she could see Jax and Ed as they watched, their eyes brightened with spots of red. Her body trembled under Darton’s rampage, and she thrilled with each new slap. A tendril of smoke, barely noticeable, snaked out of Jax’s mouth and drifted toward the ceiling.
Red spots in their eyes and now smoke? I’m seeing things.