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       Corralled, p.3

         Part #1 of Blacktop Cowboys series by Lorelei James

  They’d ended up fucking in a restaurant bathroom ten minutes into their first date. Sexually, they meshed. Kyle proved her fears of locker room stories were unfounded, as evidenced by the fact that no one on the EBS tour caught wind of their raunchy rendezvous.

  Now that he’d found a woman worth fighting for, Kyle wasn’t giving her up without a fight.

  Even to the point that you’ll lose a good friend?


  “Think it’ll be hard with us both bein’ on this circuit?” Hank asked.

  “Probably. It ain’t like I’m planning to get the shit kicked out of me just so she’ll put her hands on me.”

  “Oh, I don’t know. I’ve had her hands on me. It might actually be worth getting stomped.”

  Kyle punched Hank in the arm. “It’s a damn cryin’ shame we

  can’t just share her until she makes up her mind which one of us she likes better.”

  Hank’s beer bottle stopped halfway to his mouth. “You know, that ain’t a half- bad idea.”

  “I was kiddin’.”

  “I’m not.”

  “Seriously? Like I’d get her Friday night and you’d get her Saturday night? Hank. Buddy. You know that’d never work. Especially when we’d be in the same town, knowing exactly what’s goin’on behind closed motel room doors. Maybe in the motel room right next door.”

  “True. But what if . . . ?”

  Now he’d piqued Kyle’s curiosity. “What if . . . ?”

  “What if we were both with her? At the same time. Think she’d go for that?” Hank asked.

  Kyle froze. Maybe it was irony or fate or some such shit, but he and Lainie had once discussed that very thing. “One time we were watching porn in a hotel room and she admitted girl- on- girl action didn’t appeal to her. But two guys taking care of her sexual needs?

  She said to sign her up.”

  Hank faced him and grinned. “Well, there you go. I knew this was a good idea. Problem solved. We’ll pitch it to her first thing tomorrow.”

  “Now, hold on.” Kyle took a drink of beer. “I ain’t sure she wasn’t just all talk.”

  “You trying to convince me? Or yourself?”

  “Both, maybe. Hell, I don’t know. This just seems really fucking weird.”

  “Was Lainie drunk during this conversation about being with two men?”


  “That tells me she’d be open to it.”

  “That don’t mean that I’m on board.”

  “For a threesome? Why the hell not? I’m totally on board.”

  Hank snickered. “You ain’t afraid Lainie will be comparing our dick sizes or something?”

  “Fuck off, Lawson. That ain’t what concerns me. What if part of her deal is she wants us to be together, kissing and touching and shit like them women in porn threesomes are?”

  That visual immediately caught Hank’s attention. His body went rigid before he shuddered. “No fuckin’ way am I sucking your dick, Gilly.”

  They both went quiet.

  Hank drained his beer and handed them each a fresh one. “But I’m gonna point out that Lainie knows us both well enough that she wouldn’t expect us to be doin’ each other when we’re doin’ her.

  And because she’s had sex with both of us, if anyone can talk her into a three- way relationship, it’d be us.”

  “That’s true.”

  “Best- case scenario: She agrees to be with both of us when she’s working the CRA tour.”

  “What about when we are together? Will it always be the three of us? Or will I get to spend time alone with her?”

  “I don’t know the damn logistics,” Hank grumbled. “We can sit here and plan the whole goddamn thing out how we want it, but we both know she’ll have ideas of her own. Knowing Lainie, she’ll probably bring up things we ain’t even considered.”

  “You ain’t whistlin’ ‘Dixie’ there.” Kyle listened to footsteps fading on the blacktop. An engine started. A Buick slowed as it drove past them. The occupant probably wondered why two cowboys were tailgating at the Broken Spur Motel at midnight.

  “So we need to talk to her,” Hank said. “But we have to present a united front. She either takes both of us or neither of us.” Hank turned and Kyle felt his quizzical gaze. “Right?”

  Rather than respond, Fuck no. You’re on your own, pal, Kyle muttered, “Right.”

  “Good. You ’n’ me will talk specifics on our way to her motel tomorrow morning.”

  “Where’s she staying?”

  “Cow Palace Inn.” Hank jumped off the tailgate and gathered the empty beer bottles, dropping them into the crumpled paper sack with a muffled chink. “Well, roomie, I’m whipped and goin’ to bed. You comin’?”

  “Nah. I’ll be along in a while. Think I’ll sit out here and strategize covering my bulls tomorrow night.”

  “I looked at the roster from the stock contractor. He’s brought some seriously rank bulls.”

  “All the better.”

  “Thought you might say that. Got your room key?”

  Kyle nodded and aimed his face at the stars, hoping Hank would get the hint that they were finished talking.

  Hank lumbered off without a word.

  Somehow Kyle managed to put the bizarre conversation and situation out of his mind and focus on the reason he was here: to ride bulls.

  Chapter III

  When the knock came on Lainie’s door at eight a.m., she’d expected to tell housekeeping to go away, not Hank. And Kyle.

  Dammit. She should’ve left the safety chain on. “Hey! What do you think you’re doing?”

  “Coming in, because Lainie, darlin’, we need to talk.” This from Hank as he brushed past her.

  “There’s nothing left to say.”

  “Wrong,” Kyle said as he walked past her too and stood next to Hank.

  She crossed her arms over her chest. The shrunken camisole and ratty boy shorts she wore as pajamas left little to the imagination.

  Kinda late for modesty now, since they’ve both sampled the goods you’re trying to hide.

  “Can we please talk about this? What happened last night and what’s been going on the last few months?” Kyle asked.

  “Why? So I can hear you call me nasty names because I’ve been sleeping with both of you? No, thanks.”

  Kyle and Hank traded a look. Then they faced her again. Hank looked at her hard enough that she shivered. “That’s the kind of guys you think we are, Lainie? Really?”

  No. But with both of you here together like this? Being flip is my best defense against all this testosterone.

  “What Hank is trying to say, sugar, is that we’d never do that to you.”

  “You two exchanged pretty harsh words last night.” Lainie’s eyes narrowed on the shadow below Kyle’s jawbone. “Did you smack each other around after I left?”

  “If you remember, I ride bulls for a living. I tend to get beat up by them on occasion,” Kyle said wryly.

  Lainie stomped over and peered at the dark mark. “Has anyone looked at this?” She reached up. Before her fingers connected with his stubbled jaw, Kyle snatched her hand and kissed her fingertips.

  She didn’t dare look at Hank. Would anger burn in his eyes with Kyle touching her so blatantly? Right in front of him?

  “Just listen to us,” Hank half pleaded. “If after we’ve had our say you don’t like what you’ve heard, then you can kick us to the curb.”

  To be honest, she was interested in why they’d provided a unified front. “Fine. I’m listening.”

  After Hank noticed Kyle hadn’t released her hand, he grabbed her other hand, throwing Kyle a pointed you’re-touching- her look— which Kyle completely ignored.

  Kyle’s eyes searched her face. “We never talked about an exclusive relationship, Mel— er, I mean, Lainie. Damn, I gotta get used to calling you that.” He sent her a soft smile. “You’re an attractive woman. I didn’t imagine you were sitting at home or in a hotel on the roa
d, pining for me when we weren’t together.”

  She opened her mouth to speak but Kyle shook his head.

  “But I woulda been hard- pressed to guess you were whilin’

  away the hours with my buddy Hank,” Kyle added.

  or two.”

  “You did. But I didn’t relate ‘Gilly’ with Kyle. No one else on the EBS circuit calls him that.”

  “Point taken.” Hank kissed her knuckles.

  Her belly fluttered at the sensation of his warm lips lingering on her skin.

  “Why do you go by Mel on the EBS circuit anyway?” he asked.

  “It was Dusty’s idea of a joke. Bryson Westfield prefers male med techs, but Dusty was shorthanded when he assigned me to the EBS. So he listed me as Mel instead of Lainie so Bryson wouldn’t bitch.”

  “Anyone who mistakes you for a man is obviously blind.”

  “Amen,” Kyle said.

  Flustered, she let silence fill the uncomfortable void.

  “Look, Lainie, we don’t want to say anything that’ll make you run out again, but the bottom line is, we both still wanna be with you.”

  Her entire body froze. “You do?”

  “Uh- huh. We understand part of the reason you were upset, besides the surprise factor of Hank and me bein’ good buddies, is that you didn’t want to choose between us.”

  “I don’t. I won’t. So it’ll be easier if I—”

  Kyle put his finger over her lips. “Do you want to walk away from this? From both of us?”

  She didn’t need time to consider her answer. She shook her head.

  The guys breathed a collective sigh of relief.

  “Good. Very good.” Hank smiled. “ ’Cause neither of us wants that either.”

  “So what do you propose we do?”

  “Share you,” Kyle said.

  “Share me?” Her gazed flicked between them. “I am not a hammer to be passed back and forth when you want to nail me!”

  “That’s not what we meant.”

  “Then what do you mean? How can you share me? You can’t saw me in half. And I know it’d drive a wedge in your friendship if I was switching off weeks between you guys, even with Kyle in the EBS and you in the CRA. Both of you are too . . . alpha and headstrong to take a backseat to the other for very long.”

  “True. Which is why this sharing situation would work,”

  Hank said.

  “I don’t see how.”

  Hank looked at Kyle with a hint of exasperation. “You have a better way to explain this?”

  “Maybe I oughta point out that I fell in the standings from number fifty- eight to number seventy- nine and the EBS kicked my ass off the tour four weeks ago. Yeah, I know it’s standard procedure, and there are lots of younger bull riders eager to take those top sixty spots. I’ve been off my game and I need to get it back.

  Nothin’ changed when I hit the secondary circuits, so tonight I’m starting in the CRA,” Kyle said. “That’ll give me a chance to compete a whole bunch during Cowboy Christmas.”

  Lainie knew the annual ritual known as Cowboy Christmas was a three- week period when professional cowboys drove thousands of miles all across the country in sleep- deprived pursuit of prize money awarded in a string of rodeos leading up to— and directly following— the Fourth of July. “Why?”

  “There’s potential for me to earn cash and rack up points. I won’t make it to American Finals Rodeo, but it’ll allow me to ride lots of bulls, figure out why my buck- off rate is so high, and position me for the new season next year.”

  “Then we’ll all be on the same circuit,” she said inanely.

  “Ain’t that great? See why this’ll work?”

  “No!” Lainie stepped back. Way back. “How can you think that’ll be better? That’s worse. What do you think people will say if they see me with both of you? We’ll be at sponsors’ events together.

  I can’t be with one of you one week and then the other the next week.”

  The guys swapped an indecipherable look.

  Kyle crowded her first. “We ain’t talking about you switching off. We’re talking about you bein’ with both of us at the same time.”

  Lainie let that sink in.

  “The night in Chula Vista? You admitted interest in a threesome with two guys. You swore if given the chance, you’d grab it with both hands.” Kyle grinned. “Well, darlin’, Hank and I are here and ready to be grabbed.”

  She gaped at him. She remembered that night clearly, stretched out on the bed at the cheap motel, trash- talking while watching porn. Kyle confessed being at the mercy of two women did it for him; Lainie retorted that it’d be hot with two men catering to her.

  She never imagined that comment would come back to bite her in the ass.

  But doesn’t having these two sexy, virile men offering a dream sexual experience sound thrilling?

  Yes. But Lainie wasn’t the type of woman to just go with the flow.

  Yet, somehow you found the guts to screw two different men at every opportunity and keep it a secret.

  What would it be like to be with both men at the same time?

  Delicious. Wanton. A chance few women were afforded.

  Did she have the cojones to grab the opportunity with both greedy hands?

  “Tell you what. We sprang this idea on you first thing this morning and we wanna give you time to think on it. But we also want to give you a little taste of what we have in store for you.”

  Kyle curled his palm around the back of her neck, bringing her mouth to his. He let the kiss remain unhurried, a soft brush of lips on lips. Then he released her. She had about a split second before Hank invaded her space.

  Hank’s lips were firmer, his kiss more intrusive as he swept his tongue into her mouth.

  She loved the full- out way Hank kissed. No holding back.

  Eating at her mouth like a starving man. His hand rested on her throat, allowing the jagged edge of his thumb to rub her jawline.

  After a minute or five of scrambling her brain, Hank eased back to peer into her eyes.

  The lust she saw wasn’t a surprise. But his next action was—

  passing her back to Kyle.

  Kyle threaded his fingers into her hair, angling her head to take her mouth in a no- holds- barred kiss. A tongue- thrusting swamp ing of her senses that made her weak- kneed and weak- willed.

  For a second, she forgot the divine decadence of Kyle’s kiss, unnerved by the knowledge that if Kyle’s hands were in her hair, whose hands were on her chest?

  Hank murmured, “Relax, Lainie. Let us touch you.” He peeled the tiny elastic straps of her camisole down her biceps and past the tops of her breasts.

  With the straps nestled in the bend of her elbows, her arms were immobilized. Not that she intended to push Kyle away when his lips followed the arc of her neck. Lainie’s eyes closed, her head fell back, and she momentarily lost her balance.

  A big, warm hand steadied her. “Easy.”

  The wet flick of a tongue on the very tip of her right nipple made her breath catch. She moaned when a hot mouth enclosed the peak and suckled.

  Another mouth toyed with the left nipple, using teeth and firm- lipped bites. Then hot, wet suction. How incredibly bizarre, feeling two different mouths on her breasts at the same time. How incredibly arousing.

  She knew Kyle had commandeered the left side, even without the rasp
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