Seth circled her then, seemingly entranced. “It was a long time ago, but I’ve never forgotten my childhood or how my father lived his life. Every morning I watched him leave with his head held high and a smile on his face. Every evening he came home with his head bowed in shame. On occasion, he’d have tears in his eyes.
“One day I asked him about his attitude and his work. I wanted to know what happened during his day. What was so terrible at his employer’s home that he would come home at night stripped of his confidence, harboring despair? I asked because it was a need to know situation. If you’d been in my shoes, you would’ve wanted to know. Right, Ellie?”
When Ellie didn’t answer, Heather quickly said, “She would.”
“I didn’t ask you, Heather,” he snapped. “I asked Ellie.”
After a few silent moments, she slowly nodded.
“I didn’t hear you, Ellie.”
“Yes. You’re right. I’d want to know.”
“Of course you would. It’s an interesting story. My father looked me in the eye on that particular day and said, ‘Son, nobody hands you the keys to the kingdom. If you want them, you sneak up on that castle like a thief in the night and you take them. Once you have them, cling to them, hold them close and never forget what you had to sacrifice in order to get them. How you get them doesn’t matter. How well you guard them after you receive them is worth its weight in stone.
“I’ve often thought about that. Where I came from, the old folks would say things like ‘worth its weight in gold’ but on this particular day in this particular conversation, my father had said, ‘worth its weight in stone’ and I always found that fascinating.” He took a deep breath and studied Ellie intently. “Do you wonder what he might have meant there?”
“No.” She didn’t care about his stupid story or his childhood.
“I’ll tell you what I think he meant. Family and loved ones are valued more than gold. Some friendships, the same. But when one steals away with something they aren’t meant to have or something that doesn’t belong to them, if they take it by any means possible, then they have dead weight and some random ‘thing’ of no value.”
“And you think your father wanted you to have something of little value?”
“I think he wanted me to embrace the world by any means possible. At the same time, he knew because I was his son, that once I received these things, they would hold no substantial meaning in the end.”
“Then perhaps you should learn from that,” Ellie suggested.
“I have, Ellie.” He circled her once more and then returned to the desk, relaxing there as he’d done before. “Which is why I’ve decided to let you and your friends live.”
Heather whimpered. Ellie released a ragged breath and said a quick prayer of thanks.
“All you have to do is marry me. If you’ll do me the great honor of becoming my wife, I’ll even let Allister live. The others will survive, too.”
Heather turned to her then, perhaps awaiting her response. Ellie didn’t know how to respond but she could only imagine what Allister, Bradley, Ryan, and Derek might say if they were there to witness this outrageous request.
“You’re using me.”
“Am I?” he asked.
“Yes. You want to use me like a chess piece, strategize in a game you’re not even certain you should be playing, but you’re aware of one factor. You can’t win in the end. That’s what bothers you.” She swallowed. “You’re not fooling anyone. I know what you’re doing.”
“All right.” She held her head high as she thought of her men, the men she adored, the men she loved more than she loved herself. “There are many ways to kill a man and you think it would kill Allister to see me with you.” Not that she would consider it in the first place. “You’re certain it would hurt Bradley, Derek, and Ryan, too.”
He clucked. “You’re a smart girl.”
“I’m no girl,” Ellie stated flatly. “I’ve been the stupid girl, the girl who has been pushed around and abused. Now, I’m the woman who knows who she is and what she wants. More importantly, I have something to lose, which means I also have something worth fighting for.”
“Is this one of those talks similar to the one we had on the plane?”
Ellie quickly recalled the conversation he was referencing. “It is.”
“Then I can’t wait to hear your views.” He crossed his arms. “Go on.”
Ellie opened her mouth to speak but then thought better of it. Changing directions, she said, “All my life I was taught to fear those who said they had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I once bought into that nonsense until I had everything to lose and nothing at all I wanted to gain. See, I have everything I want in life. I’ve had a storybook romance and enjoyable life since moving to Trouble. If you think I’ll let you or anyone else ruin that then you need to look a little harder at the precautions we’ve taken to protect what we love and cherish most in this world.
“The outside world only sees what they want to see when they want to inflict pain on someone they do not know. What they don’t see are the measures taken to protect one’s own. At Trouble, we’ve always known what was at stake, what we were fighting for, and who we wanted to protect. We’ve taken extraordinary measures and gone to exceptional lengths to make sure people like you—those who want to inflict pain and misery because they’re so miserable themselves—never touch us where it matters most.”
“And where is that, Ellie?”
“Perhaps one day you’ll figure it all out.” She grinned smugly. “That is, if Allister lets you live that long.”
After checking in at their hotel, they’d enjoyed a poolside toast and raised their glasses to love and life, a life they planned to live out a little more cautiously. Now alone with her men, Ellie gravitated to the bed, intent on loving each of them all night long. The fucking was inevitable, but more importantly, the reunion stood as extraordinary and special.
She would never take her men for granted or the extraordinary love they shared.
Her mouth traveled. Her hands wandered. Her body just downright hummed. She climbed atop Allister and immediately curved her legs around his waist, pressing her nipples to his lips and savagely fucking him.
Each stroke was forceful and deep as his cock reached for that special spot, a sensitive little area guaranteed to set her off. “There you go, Ellie. Ride it out, baby.”
She fell back in his arms and Ryan was there to support her. His lips caught an extended nipple and he devoured her chest with plenty of attention while Allister drove inside her hard and fast, without one bit of mercy.
“Oh fuck!” She cried out as he gripped her hips and thrust inside her in rapid succession.
He worked his cock like he never planned to leave, burying it inside her. As soon as she came down from one orgasm, she was quickly greeted by another, only vaguely aware of her body being passed off and handled with extreme care by yet another lover.
“Scoot down here, babe,” Bradley rasped, bringing her hips forward and screwing her next. There wasn’t a lot of foreplay with Bradley and she hadn’t expected it. He’d looked so tortured when they’d first found them, so completely out of his element.
Ryan went to her lips, easing into her mouth with a gentleman’s kiss. He stroked her tongue, caressed her mouth, and then returned to her breasts again, taunting her.
Bradley took over then, dragging her to face him. And as she seated herself on his cock, she wrapped her arms around his neck and buried her face, whimpering with every stroke, relishing in their connection.
“Just fuck me, Bradley,” she whispered, afraid if he told her too much, if he revealed how scared he’d been, she’d fall apart right there in his arms.
He slipped his hands down her torso and held her firmly in place wedging his dick high inside her channel as he screwed her without mercy, without shame. He was relentless in his effort, throwing down a smooth rocking rhythm as she reached another climatic point and bounced gently over him, swaying with his movements, locking her ankles behind his back.
“Ah Ellie,” he whispered, his body jerking with hers.
He kissed her with fervor then, pushing her back against the bed and topping her. A wild and restless fuck began as he thrust in and out so quickly that she tired before he did. Still, he screwed her, taking her passionately and never pausing, never breaking his rhythm.
A few minutes passed and his body went into a tremendous jolt. He stiffened then and sank to the bed, pulling her over him and whispering loving sentiments at her ear.
He would never let her go. They would never risk losing her again.
Derek was behind her at that moment, rimming her with his probing moist fingers. He pressed his palm to her hip and leaned over her back. “He’s not giving up his spot. Is he?”
Ryan shot her a wink. “Bradley will have a fight on his hands if he doesn’t pass around our sweetheart.”
Her pussy clenched at the sound of Ryan’s hypnotic voice. She must’ve imagined him whispering in her ear a dozen times when she’d feared death was at her door.
“Come with me, dear,” Ryan teased, pulling her to him.
Ryan ran his tongue over one nipple and then the other. Derek nipped at her shoulder. Bradley seemingly hesitated before he let her go and Allister was joining them again, already showered, already prepared for her once more.
As if they feared they’d lose their place or perhaps be nudged aside, Derek spread her cheeks and entered her. Ryan thrust inside her from the front. With incredible sharing techniques, they rocked her to and fro, back and forth, with an easy loving rhythm.
Allister cocked his head and dropped his towel, stroking his thick heavy shaft as he eyed their connection with heated interest. Turning her head to the side, she bowed her back and let Ryan pamper her while pushing against Derek as he entered her.
Then, she cupped Allister’s balls and moistened her lips, summoning him to bed in her own special way.
In a matter of moments, his cock parted her lips and she sipped at him, savoring the sweet taste of his excitement dousing her tongue. She took a quick breath and then sucked him with reverent delivery, making up her mind then.
She would destroy his defenses.
Those who held her and shared her must’ve arrived at similar conclusions. As she sucked Allister off and swallowed his release, Derek slammed inside her and Ryan fucked her like a renegade, full of pride and precise in his aim.
She gripped Allister’s dick as she licked him clean and as he backed away from the bed, she bowed her head and just let Ryan and Derek have her. As it turned out, they were just getting started.