“I have to drop this off at the post office, and then I’m heading to the library.” Grace raised her own padded envelope. “Come by when you can.”
She offered him a big smile, hoping to help compensate for Mr. Herbert’s snide comment. If the grin he offered back was any indication, it had.
Maybe it was her imagination, but his gratitude sounded like it was for more than just her flexible schedule. But that was probably in her head. Exactly where thoughts of Cassidy and Nash should stay. Or maybe on the pages of one of her books. But definitely not anywhere else.
Guys like Nash and Cassidy didn’t lust after plump, bookish girls like her. They dated adventurous exciting girls. Ones that wore bikinis to the beach and short skirts out to the bar. And if town rumors were true—which was usually the case—they found plenty of girls that fit that requirement. They didn’t need to go skimming the bottom of the barrel for a girl like her.
“I’ll see you then.” She waved, both to Cassidy and Mr. Herbert, extracting herself from the conversation before she got any more ridiculous ideas. Which, knowing her, wouldn’t take long.
She may not have gotten much in the long legs or small butt area, but in overactive imagination she had more than her fair share. Or at least that’s what her pappy had always said. Just like him. Around Cassidy and Nash, that overactive imagination tended to go into overdrive. It was best if she just stayed away.
She stepped back from the two men toward the small post office, but the second her boot touched the ground she’d knew the mistake she made. Her foot slipped out from underneath her, tossing her forward. Damn black ice. A patch was hidden under the snow, throwing her completely off-kilter.
She stumbled, flinging her hands out in front of her. She reached for anything to stop herself from face-planting into the sidewalk and knocking out several teeth. Desperate to maintain a fraction of composure in front of Cassidy.
If she wasn’t already firmly planted in the friend zone, watching her eat asphalt would definitely put her there for good.
The world swirled around her, and she braced herself to smack right into the cold concrete. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first time. Probably not even in this spot. But moments before she made contact, two arms wrapped around her, twisting her away from the cold concrete and into a warm chest. The surface was still a little hard, but she could deal with that. It was much better than cement. There was no chance she’d break a tooth on his pecs.
A groan rumbled beneath her cheek as they slammed into the ground, and a pang of regret echoed inside her. She hated hurting him, even though the other option was scraping her face against the sidewalk. But he didn’t complain. Instead he held her close, keeping her protected.
Stunned, Grace lay there for a minute, aware she rested on Cassidy’s hard body. A part of her mind—or was it her body—screamed to do something. Snuggle deeper into him. Kiss him. Offer to make mad passionate love to him in thank-you for protecting her.
But she remained frozen. Unmoving and unable to follow through on any of those fantastic ideas.
“Are you okay?”
She glanced up into Cassidy’s compassionate eyes even as she regretted lifting her head from his chest. The beat of his heart beneath her ear was comforting. She loathed to part with it. But they couldn’t lay in the street all day.
She nodded. Her tongue refused to work enough to respond with words.
Cassidy outlined the edge of her face with his fingertip, tracing down her temple and across her cheeks. She fought back the urge to moan and lean into his touch. He was just checking for injuries. Her mind knew that. But from the heat coiling through her, starting where his fingers touched and curling outward, her body wasn’t as smart.
“Thank you,” she mumbled through a throat that felt clogged with marbles.
The smile he offered her was dazzling. It was the kind of grin that gave a woman ideas. Ideas that were definitely not true when it came to her.
Bracing his hands on the cement behind him, he shifted away, and the moment was broken. If there had been a moment at all.
Gangly and uncoordinated, Grace scrambled away from Cassidy as fast as she could. No reason to draw out the moment any longer. No doubt the rest of the town would be talking about their little interlude very soon. There wasn’t much else to talk about in a small town, so anything that happened was big news.
Beside her, Cassidy rose, with the powerful movement of a man in charge. Standing at his full height, their eyes meet, his deep blue gaze setting her off balance. If she didn’t know better, she’d say fire lit those eyes. And hunger.
But that couldn’t be right. Cassidy couldn’t be interested in her. Their bodies smashed together must have triggered him to think of another girl laying on top of him. Someone fifty pounds lighter without a big ass and bulky stomach. It was the only thing that made sense.
As quickly as the blaze flared in his eyes, it vanished, disappearing like her breath in the cool air. Maybe it hadn’t been there it at all. It was probably just a trick of her mind. She must have been up too late writing, setting her brain on seduction, when the reality was anything but.
“You know what I love most about women’s clothing.” Nash’s breath was warm and seductive against her skin as she tried to gather enough mental capacity together to understand what he was saying. How could he think while the three of them stood so close together, all their clothes partially removed? She certainly couldn’t.
“They are so easy to take off.” Placing his fingers beneath the satin, Nash pushed her dress over her hips. The cool breeze brushed her legs, as the fabric puddled around her ankles.
Cassidy finished the job, bending over and picking up the bundle. They were a good team. He gave the satin a quick shake before he placed her dress over her desk chair to keep it from wrinkling too much. The consideration tugged at her chest.
“They must have been designed by men.” Her words were broken by panting gasps, but from the two masculine chuckles surrounding her, they understood well enough.
“I think you’re right, sweetheart.” His words were a deep rumple in her ear as his hand held her hips. His fingers toyed with the edge of her underwear, and her entire body buzzed. She grabbed Cassidy’s shoulders, holding tight as her knees threatened to buckle.
When his fingers delved beneath the lacy fabric of her panties, she fought to continue breathing. Every inch of her focused on the place where he touched her. The direct contact set a fire raging through her. She couldn’t remember another man affecting her this way.
Not that she had a lot of opportunities. Somewhere deep inside she knew volume wasn’t the issue. Cassidy and Nash were different than anyone she’d ever met before. They suffered through tough childhoods and enough bumps and bruises as adults to break her heart. Yet they never stopped pushing. Their resilience was admirable.
But maybe it was simpler than that. Maybe it was because they were unbelievably attractive. Rugged and dangerously appealing, unlike any other man she’d been with. All her other nerdy boyfriends had nothing on these two.
Or maybe it was the two of them together. Holding her, kissing her, touching her together. The combined sensations frying her brain to ash.
Not that the reason really mattered. What mattered was how they made her feel. And right now, with the two of them staring at her mostly naked body like a feast they were about ready to devour, she felt attractive in a way she never had before.
Nash grabbed the edge of her underwear and tugged them down to her ankles. Goose bumps exploded across her skin, pebbling the surface of her thighs and stomach. Nash nuzzled into the space between her neck and shoulder, placing a kiss on the junction there. His hands brushed down her sides. His rough calloused fingers sent quivers through her whole body. “Maybe I should go into the fashion business. I could design a dress that could be ripped off in less than one second.”
A shiver ran through her. She didn’t know which she responded to, the way he talked about wanting her naked in a second or less, the image of him ripping her clothes off, or the delicate way his tongue flicked across her neck. It was all hot. So fucking hot.
“I think that’s a good idea.” Cassidy traced undistinguishable patterns across her skin. “What do you think, sweetheart?”
Her brain foggy, she had trouble keeping up with the conversation, let alone being able to think of any response. She was pretty sure they’d been talking about her dress, but somewhere around the time Nash had pulled off her underwear, she’d lost the thread of their conversation. Completely understandable in her opinion .
“I don’t think she agrees, bro,” Cassidy filled in, after she’d taken too long to respond. He placed a kiss against the corner of her mouth before stroking across her cheek to the edge of her jaw. “But I like the idea. I like any idea that has our Grace naked and fast.”
Oh god, she liked that idea too. But even more, she liked that they wanted her naked. The way they said it shot lust through her veins so hot and thick she could barely breathe. Her knees threatened to give out beneath the weight of her need. If they didn’t stop toying with her and start getting her off pretty soon, she might combust. It couldn’t be healthy to have so much pent-up lust running through your body.
“Yes, please,” she all but moaned.
“See, she thinks it’s a good idea,” Nash whispered against her throat as he pressed kisses there. He wrapped his hands around her breasts. The brush against her nipples had her whole body shaking. Her pussy dampened, her thighs quivering. It was too much. Her body sagged toward the floor. Luckily Nash anticipated her weak muscles. Twisting his arm around her middle, he held her close and she leaned most of her weight on him.
“No, she doesn’t.” Cassidy curled his hands around her cheek and forced her gaze up to hers. His eyes flashed with so much hungry fire she almost couldn’t breathe. “She’s so blissed out right now she’d agree to anything.” His thumb rubbed across the bone in such an affectionate gesture her heart skipped a beat.
“We’ll have to agree to disagree.” Nash chuckled seconds before his lips coasted across her throat. He nipped at her neck, slipping a hand down her side to her hips.
His touch felt so good she almost forgot to be worried about the extra pounds hugging her midsection. Or the dimples and stretch marks across her hips. But when his hand shifted between her thighs, all thoughts vanished from her mind. She could only think about his touch along her sensitive flesh.