4 TWINKLING STARS: "I am back to one of my favorite stomping grounds, Lusty, Texas. And with Love Under Two Responders by Cara Covington, you see why I love coming back. Once again the geeks rule! Or are they really geeks? I so enjoyed trying to figure out just how “socially awkward” Ed and Warren really were. Had they been playing their family or just falling into the role expected of them? Not that it really mattered because they were definitely not geeky when it came to Carol. The dominant tendencies I don’t think even they knew about came out with their “one.” I thoroughly enjoyed seeing both men come out of their shells in something other than a work environment. Their willingness to fight for their woman was great to see and a bit humorous. Watching Ms. Covington maneuver the shy trio was worthy of a return to Lusty, Texas. And while Carol was every bit as shy as the men, she understood them. She was determined to move outside her comfort zone and grab with both hands the men she is sure are hers. She allowed her men not only into her body but also her heart which took courage. I loved that she was able to look past their family identity to see and accept them as they truly were and love them all the more for it. A relatively new habit of mine has been to read the Acknowledgments, I don’t do it every time but often enough and Ms. Covington’s let me know going into this book to expect something special. And I must say, I think she delivered. She gave us a story that laid bare her pain while at the same time giving us hope. She allowed us to empathize and realize that compassion sometimes works better than vengeance. I enjoyed the lesson as well as my return to Lusty, Texas." -- Luna, Redz World
“You’re looking pretty fierce there, Carol. Is anything wrong?”
Carol didn’t jump, but it was close. Chloe’s words of concern accompanied by a light touch—in this case a hand on her shoulder—yanked her right out of her own sour, self-pitying thoughts. She’d been pretty deep into them, too, because she hadn’t even heard her boss, who was also her friend, approach.
“No, nothing’s wrong. I just had a few moments of letting my mind wander where it shouldn’t go. It really is too small to be let out all on its own without a leash.”
Carol smiled, but Chloe just shook her head. “You ought not to trash talk yourself there, woman, even in fun. There’s nothing at all wrong with your mind that I’ve ever seen.”
“Thank you. That’s a very nice compliment.” In fact, Chloe couldn’t possibly understand how nice Carol thought that compliment was.
“Your gumption, on the other hand, could use a good swift kick in the pants.”
Carol had no clue what Chloe was talking about. She raised both eyebrows, letting the woman know she was confused.
Chloe sighed. “I’m not surprised those two EMTs have been slow to make a move on you, hon. But it’s not you, it’s them. They’re the shiest, most socially clueless men I’ve ever met.”
“Actually, they’re not EMTs, they’re paramedics. They both hold Associate of Applied Science degrees in Emergency Medical Services from Austin Community College.” Carol’s qualification of the two men in question came swiftly and almost without her conscious thought.
Chloe grinned. “I thought so. You’re as sweet on them as they are on you. Good.” Chloe rubbed her hands together. “I think the three of you make a very attractive triad. There’s nothing I like better than a good love story.”
Carol hadn’t confided in Chloe before now, but suddenly, she was really glad to have the topic out there. “They’re not sweet on me. They’re just coming to see me every two weeks for their manicures.” Carol was under no illusions. She looked in the mirror every day. She wasn’t ugly, but she certainly wasn’t beautiful, either. She was…ordinary. Kind of like the girl-next-door type of ordinary, someone totally unremarkable in every way. Anyone meeting her for the first time would be forgiven for thinking her name was Jane, as in Plain Jane, because she sure was that.
And isn’t that just damned unfair to all the women in the world named Jane?
Those two Jessops, on the other hand, oozed masculine beauty. Sometimes just looking at them made her mouth water. They weren’t conceited, either, not like so many of the good-looking men she’d seen in Abilene. No, they were sweet and caring and kind and…
Carol slowly became aware that Chloe had been looking at her silently. Carol had gotten pretty good at reading her friend’s mood. Right now, however, she couldn’t say for certain if the owner of the Lusty Glow Day Spa was fighting her laughter, or wanted to sigh in frustration.
Laughter finally won. “Really? Not sweet on you? And what line did they feed you about their reason for coming to you for manicures in the first place? For which, by the way, when they called to make the first appointment they specifically and adamantly asked for you.”
Carol looked down at her toes for a long moment. Why had she thought she could hide the truth from this woman—from any of the women she worked with? And why did she want to?
The last time the two paramedics had arrived for their appointment with her, she’d seen a knowing snicker on Ari’s face and received a saucy wink from Tasha.
“All right. I admit that their whole, ‘we need our hands to be smooth so as not to tear the latex gloves and endanger our patients or ourselves’ line sounded a bit suspicious at the time.” Then, because it was such a relief to not have to guard her words, she smiled. “I thought their line was original, mind you, but definitely suspicious.”
“Oh, they’re good!” Chloe’s voice held a note of admiration. She slipped her arm around Carol’s shoulders. “Honey, like I said, I’m not surprised they haven’t made a move, yet. They give an entirely new dimension to the word ‘shy.’” She lowered her voice and leaned closer. “Sometimes, a woman just has to take matters into her own hands, you know? I think this is one of those times, and you should do just that.”
That was what Carol had been afraid of. Her instincts were telling her that Chloe Rhodes—soon to be Jessop—was a woman who could be trusted, and one who knew what she was talking about. So she mentally crossed her fingers for luck, lowered her voice to match her boss’s, and said, “Then I have a real problem because I really don’t know how to do that. I have absolutely no experience in these matters.”
Chloe’s gaze looked startled. Then her eyes widened as understanding dawned. “Oh! Oh my…goodness. Well. Ahem. Hmmm. All right, then.”
Carol giggled. For a woman she considered to be sophisticated and wise beyond her years, her friend seemed to be completely taken aback by her revelation, cloaked in innuendo though it had been.
Chloe exhaled deeply, ruffling the hair that framed her face. “In that case, what’s called for here is a little…misdirection.”
Warren stretched out beside her and cupped her jaw with one hand. “I want you so damn badly right now, Carol. I’m terrified I won’t be able to control myself. I don’t want to hurt you.”
“You have no idea how triggered we are,” Edward said. He laughed, but she knew it was more a sound of frustration than one of humor. “I’ve half a mind to go jerk off in the bathroom just so I can be sure not to be too rough with you.”
“Please don’t.” Carol looked from one to the other. “Please. I’m sorry if I’m doing this wrong. It’s just that I feel—”
Her words were cut off by Warren’s finger pressing against her lips. “You are doing nothing wrong, and everything right. It slays me that you want us so much, and are so comfortable with us already that you feel the freedom to express yourself.”
“Don’t ever change that, Carol. We like it, a lot.”
Warren must have been able to see how finely balanced she was between joy and terror. He wrapped his arms around her, and turned her onto her side so that she faced him. And then he moved closer so their flesh met, chest to thigh.
“Kiss me, baby. I need to taste you again.”
He felt so good, so hot and hard and…comforting. What an odd thing to feel at such a time. Yet, it was true. Being held close like this, for the first time in her life being held in a lover’s naked embrace, she felt comforted and safe and free.
She gave him her kiss, her tongue now brazen in the way it sought out his flavor, dipping into every part of his mouth as if by this one act she could lap him up completely. His swept hers, too, and this most erotic of dances thrilled her and filled her with such hunger. She’d never known there could be this hunger. This was what all the love songs, all the poems she’d read in school had been about. This emotion, this need, this blessing.
Behind her, Edward’s body blanketed her back, and the heat of him, the firmness of him felt beyond wonderful.
He kissed her shoulder, and nibbled the back of her neck.
“You taste so good.” Warren’s kiss became little sips and licks of her face and neck.
She felt two pairs of hands on her, easing her onto her back. And then they set out to drive her slowly out of her mind.
Using light touches interspersed with tiny little pinches, they explored her breasts and her stomach. Edward turned her face toward him and covered her lips. His tongue entered her mouth again and again in a fast, nearly frantic rhythm, and Carol’s hips gave an involuntary roll. He lifted his lips from hers.
“You are so damn beautiful, Carol Ashwood. Your breasts are pretty, your nipples so hard and tempting, looking like wild berries waiting to be plucked.” He mimicked the action his word implied. “And tasted.”
“Let’s see if those pretty little nipples are as tasty as they look.”
Before she could draw another breath, each of her lovers lowered his lips to her chest and suckled her.
“Oh! Oh!” The thrill, the almost electric sizzle of arousal that shot from her nipples to her clit shocked her. She’d no idea that could happen. She couldn’t prevent the sounds that emerged from her throat—sounds she’d never heard before but which these men instinctively seemed to understand, and like.
They weren’t silent lovers. Their moans and groans and grunts told her more eloquently than the most honeyed words that they enjoyed what they were doing to her.
She stiffened only slightly when she felt their fingers on her cunt, teasing, and probing.
“Relax, woman. Let us have you.”
Warren’s command, his words wet and powerful against her nipple made her shiver. But more, they seemed to have some magical power over her as she completely surrendered to their touch and their demands.
When they each took hold of one of her thighs, opening her legs wide, she didn’t fight them. No man save her doctor had ever looked at her naked pussy, yet these two men looked their fill. They stroked and teased and delved.
Warren let go of her nipple and she instinctively looked down and met his gaze. She felt the probing touch, and knew it was him, inserting a finger inside her, testing her body’s reaction to the invasion.
“You’re small and tight, and you have a hymen.”
“I don’t care. I want to feel your cock inside me. I need to feel you—both of you—inside me.”
“Don’t worry, sweetheart. You will. But we’re going to make you fly, first.”
There was no time to ask him what he meant by that. Edward nipped at her sensitive peak and when she cried out, he moved up and laid his lips on hers.
At the same time his tongue danced with hers, his finger strummed a sweet tune back and forth across her slit.
She felt Warren move, leave the bed, and heard the sound of a drawer sliding open, but she couldn’t summon the will to think about what those sounds could mean.
Edward’s mouth and fingers worked together with such profound synchronicity that Carol felt her arousal begin a slow, steady climb. Want and desire turned to need, and threatened to turn to frenzy. She lifted her hips and fisted his hair and moaned, a wordless demand for more.
When he lifted his hand and his lips from her body, she whimpered. And when he looked down her body, she followed the direction of his gaze.
There, waiting between her open thighs, Warren’s gaze met hers and his lips spread into a slow, sexy grin. “Sweet berries for nipples, and a pussy filled with nectar. Who could ask for more?” Then he lowered his head and put his mouth on her cunt.