Sarah woke slowly, wondering where she was. A strange lethargy made her feel as if she floated, and she thought back to the time she’d spent with Hawke, Blade and Phoenix in the spring.
Hearing the unmistakable sounds of low voices, she tried to turn toward them, but her body wouldn’t obey her.
She felt dizzy. Weak.
The only thing she seemed able to move was her right hand, and when she did, she encountered what felt like cool grass instead of warm water.
Pain in her side, shoulder and thigh slowly let itself be known, and grew stronger with every passing second.
God, it hurt, throbbing with every beat of her heart.
She never knew something could hurt this much.
She kept moving her hand, loving the feel of coolness against her heated skin.
She tried to open her eyes—the feeling that something was very wrong taking hold of her and not letting go.
A wave of terror washed over her at the mental image of Hawke and Blade running toward her.
An ear piercing scream of rage.
Shouts and gunshots.
Oh, God. Were they dead?
A sob escaped, and then another, the pain in her side and shoulder nothing compared to the agony in her heart.
“We’re here, love. We’re here.” Blade’s voice came to her as if from a great distance, low and gentle, but with a desperation she’d never heard in it before. “Don’t thrash around. Easy, love. You’ll open up those wounds again.”
Had she been shot?
A hand pressed against her forehead, so cool and wonderful against her heated skin. “She’s even warmer than before.”
Struggling to fight her way through the fog surrounding her, she hung onto Blade’s voice like a lifeline. “Blade?”
“Yes, love. It’s me. Hawke and Phoenix are here with you, too.”
The sound of water, followed by a cooler cloth being placed on her forehead drew another moan from her. “Are we dead?” She saw no other way of explaining the strange feeling that made her hurt while floating.
“No, little one. We’re not dead. Open your eyes for me, Sarah.”
The command in Hawke’s voice had her fighting to open them, the need to see him again giving her the strength she hadn’t known she possessed. “Can’t.”
“Yes, you can. Open your eyes right now, Sarah.” The underlying fear in his harsh tone made her stomach clench, and using every ounce of willpower she possessed, she forced her eyes open to find herself staring into Hawke’s dark ones.
Only inches from hers, his eyes, narrowed, swirling with an emotion her brain struggled to identify.
He smiled tenderly, but his body remained tight with tension. “That’s my girl. See? I knew you could do it.”
Sarah tried to reach for him, but she couldn’t quite drum up the energy. “You’re not dead.” The memory of the looks on their faces when they’d ridden out and the anger in their eyes came back in a rush.
He took the cloth from her forehead and she heard the sound of splashing water again. “No, little one. We’re all alright.”
Another hand touched her leg. “You’re the only one of us that got hurt. I’m sorry I didn’t shoot a second earlier. Willy and his men shot at you the same time we shot at them. I’m so sorry, honey.” The self-disgust in Phoenix’s voice had her turning her head to look at him, the effort taking the last of her strength.
Phoenix’s jaw clenched. “He and his men are all dead. Pity. I had some serious plans for them.” His expression softened. “Honey, your momma’s here.”
Suddenly, she remembered seeing her mother and the evidence of her mistreatment. Another moan escaped, the pain in her side intensifying. “Why?”
Hawke rinsed the cloth again and ran it down her neck to her chest. “That sick bastard thought he could have both of you, and use each of you to intimidate the other. She’s safe now. She wouldn’t go to sleep until she saw that you were all right.”
“You’re gonna be fine.” Blade slid a hand under her neck, lifting her head, and cursing when she moaned at the sharp pain in her shoulder. “I’m sorry, love. I want you to drink some more water. You in a lot of pain?”
Hawke rinsed the cloth out again. “That’s the laudanum. It’s wearing off. We’re gonna need to give you a little more. We need for you to sleep and stop moving around. Will and Doc Stanton sewed you up real good and we don’t want you ripping out their work.”
She didn’t care for the idea of being sewn up, but was thankful that she hadn’t known about it at the time. “Wanna leave.”
Phoenix touched his lips to a spot close to where pain radiated from her thigh. “Just sleep, honey. Eb’s coming out with the buckboard in the morning. We’ll go back to the cabin nice and slow so we don’t rip anything open. We’ll take care of everything.”
The darkness couldn’t be held at bay much longer, and she had to make sure they understood her before it took over again.
“No. Leave. Goin’ to Cal-calforna. Made a mess of everythin’. Don’t blame you for hatin’ me.”
The sudden silence that fell heavily around her spoke volumes.
The pain in her heart grew, a pain no amount of laudanum could take away.
A tear leaked from the corner of each eye, but she knew she didn’t have the energy to brush them away.
She didn’t even have the chance as darkness closed in on her once again.
Fisting her hands on either side of her head, she braced herself, her toes curling when he pressed a hand to the center of her back. “I don’t want you to be careful. I want you to take me.” Her pussy and ass kept clenching, while her clit tingled hotly for attention.
“Put your shoulders down, Sarah. Jesus, this ass is a thing of beauty.” Phoenix’s voice, barely a rasp, sent shivers up and down her spine.
Sarah cried out again at the burning sensation of having two fingers pushed into her, but found herself pushing back against him. “Phoenix! Oh, God. It burns.”
“Do you want me to stop?” His voice, deep and rough with tension, came from just behind her ear.
Arching her back to give him better access, she lifted into his touch again. “No! I can’t believe we’re doing this.” Her thighs shook as the pleasure grew, her voice becoming shaky and breathless. “I can’t believe you’re touching me there. Phoenix, are you sure this’ll work?”
Sliding his hand from her breast, he pressed it against her back again, his firm fingers moving in and out of her with a slow deliberation that only made her want more. “It’s not only going to work, honey, it’s going to feel so good.”
The need in his voice fueled her own, allowing a wildness she hadn’t know existed inside her to break free.
Bucking restlessly, she threw her head back, her breath coming out in ragged moans. “Please. I ache so bad.”
Straightening again, he ran his hand up and down her spine. “Hell, woman, you’re gonna be the death of me.”
Moaning in frustration when he pulled his fingers free, she clenched helplessly, crying out when the head of his cock pressed firmly against her puckered opening.
Her bottom burned as he worked the head of his cock into her, the shock of it rendering her immobile. “Oh, God. It’s going in.”
Phoenix growled, a low, gravelly, primitive sound that excited her even more. “Yes. Hell, you’re tight.” He pushed against her slick puckered opening, not stopping until the head of his cock forced the tight ring of muscle to give way. “Say my name.”
Crying out at the full, stretched sensation, Sarah fisted her hands as a shudder raced through her. “Phoenix!”
Her clit tingled unbearably, the need for his touch so strong, she whimpered. “Please, Phoenix.”
She felt wild, and Phoenix’s low groans and curses made her feel even wilder.
Slowly rocking his hips, Phoenix pushed his cock deeper. “Hell, woman, you’re killing me. Say my name again.”
She cried out again at the burning, stretched feeling as he pushed his cock deeper into her ass, stunned at the overwhelming feeling of being taken there.
“Phoenix. Oh, God.” Alarmed at how solid his cock felt inside her, she stilled. “Phoenix? Please. Oh, God. It’s so deep.”
“Easy, honey.” Bracing a hand on the ground, he pressed his lips against her neck. “You’re mine now. I’m taking my wife. How can you think I don’t want you?” His cock jumped inside her, the feel of it startling her. “You belong to me now, and I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of you.”
Sobbing with hunger, she lifted her head and turned it toward him. “Phoenix. It feels too good. How can something so naughty this feel so good?”
“Because we want each other.” He buried his face against her neck, his hand sliding down her body. “It’s gonna get better.”
Her stomach muscles quivered under his hand, her body tightening when his fingers slid over her mound. “Yes. Please. Oh, God. It’s so hard. I feel so full. Oh!” She couldn’t hold back her moans when he withdrew almost all the way before thrusting deep again. Jolting when his fingers slid over her clit, she started shaking harder, the pleasure too much to endure.
He groaned, his deep voice rumbling next to her ear. “Yes. So good. So tight. So sweet. Yes, honey. My cock’s so damned hard. I can’t hold out much longer. Hmm. You’re soaking wet, love. Yes. Oh, yes. You like that.”
The pleasure sharpened in her clit, and with a sob, she tried to close her legs, but couldn’t. Shaking, she tried to grab his hand, the waves of pleasure growing and threatening to overtake her. “Phoenix!”
“I’ve got you, honey.”