Scharlie Thorn is very aware the townsfolk of Rock Ridge, Missouri regard her with pity. When she was fourteen, her stepfather attacked her, scarring her face. Her brother, Harlow, killed him in her defense, forcing him to run from the law.
Ten years later, Cassidy Brooks and Garrett Webb come to tell her that Harlow has been murdered by a man who may have settled his sight on her. As the two men try to keep Scharlie safe, she learns that they are outlaws. And worse, Harlow was an outlaw, too.
Scharlie has decisions to make. Does she trust Cassidy and Garrett when they tell her they want her? Or will she hand them over to the law? More than her life is at stake. Her heart is on the line, too.
Be Warned: menage sex (MFM), anal sex
She turned away and headed back inside, leaving the door open. As she set the table, the men ambled in and Scharlie noted with a great degree of relief that they had put their shirts back on.
“You didn’t have to cook for us,” Garrett said. “But we appreciate it.”
Scharlie shrugged. “The least I could do. You tracked me down to tell me about Harlow when you could have easily sent a telegram or letter. Or worse, not told me at all.”
“He was a good friend,” Cassidy replied softly. “Like a brother. He would have wanted us to take care of you.”
Tears sprung unexpectedly to her eyes, so Scharlie hurried and sat to hide from having to look at the two men. As Cassidy and Garrett seated themselves, she cleared her throat. “He talked about me?”
“Yes,” Cassidy said.
“All the time,” Garrett added.
“Did he…did he ever talk harshly about me?”
“What do you mean?” Cassidy asked.
Scharlie looked at him. Deliberately, she ran a finger down the scar on her face. “I was the one that forced him to leave Missouri. Because of me, he had to leave his home and I’ve wondered for so long if he hated me for what happened.”
Garrett immediately shook his head. “Absolutely not!”
Cassidy gently took hold of her hand, moving it away from her face. His thumb rubbed soothingly over her skin. “Garrett’s right, Scharlie. Harlow only talked lovingly about you.”
The sincerity shining in their eyes was honest, and the tension riding through her shoulders relaxed. The weight she hadn’t thought she carried eased from her chest, and for the first time in years, her scarred face didn’t hurt so much.
When Cassidy didn’t let go of her hand right away, she looked questioningly at him. His gaze met hers and the moment abruptly changed from loving and warm to magnetic and electric. Tingles shot up her arm that caused her heart to thump heavily as an odd awareness came over her, like how the atmosphere felt after a tornado had touched down, surreal and charged at the same time. Both men watched her closely, and though she wasn’t quite sure how to interpret the looks they were giving her, she was wise enough to know these men were out of her league.
Scharlie cleared her throat and pulled her hand from Cassidy’s. Immediately she felt bereft without the warmth of his touch and strived to find her footing again.