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       Corralled, p.4

         Part #1 of Blacktop Cowboys series by Lorelei James

  of his goatee on her skin. He didn’t tease. Hank, on the other hand, took foreplay seriously and worshiped her breast with single- minded concentration.

  With both men seeing to her pleasure? No wonder her pulse was racing.

  As she fought for breath, Hank’s lips landed gently on hers, drawing out the intimacy with lazy kisses he knew she craved.

  She felt Kyle retreat, leaving her in Hank’s capable hands.

  Hank straightened her clothes, smoothed her hair. He rested his forehead against hers. “Think about this today before you make any rash decisions, okay?”

  Lainie inhaled slowly. Exhaled. Worked to get her crazed hormones under control. “Okay.”

  “Good enough.” He stepped back.

  But he didn’t depart fast enough; she noticed the bulge in his jeans. Whoa. Hank was turned on by what’d just happened.

  Kyle sidled in front of her with that engaging devil- may- care grin and a serious hard- on. “You are one smokin’- hot woman.

  Thanks for not bootin’ our sorry asses out.” Kyle’s kiss was flirty, fun, and Lainie was grateful.

  “We’ll see you tonight. Hopefully not in an official capacity.”

  He winked and followed Hank out of the room.

  An hour later, when three solid raps sounded on her door, Lainie remembered to check the peephole first.

  Tanna. Fully dressed in her barrel- racing cowgirl regalia.

  Lainie unlatched the chains and Tanna burst in.

  “You have to tell me what happened with Hank and Kyle right freakin’ now. It’s been driving me crazy.” Tanna whirled to balance on the tips of her ropers so she could loom over Lainie. “No holding anything back.”

  “You mean . . . last night?”

  “Yes, I mean last night. You freaked out when you realized they were there together. And damn, girl, what was up with the cowardly way you snuck out the back door?”

  “I warned you I’d run.”

  Tanna’s left eyebrow winged up. “So Kyle followed you first, then Hank. Then what?”

  “How many people saw them chasing me down last night?”

  “Two, three maybe. But mostly the guys were mesmerized by my unique brand of entertainment. Jiggling my boobs as a distraction entitles me to all sorts of juicy details.”

  Lainie hip- checked her. “I owe you, but you loved having them drool over what they’d never have.”

  “That is true. But it don’t matter. Spill the deets.”

  “Kyle and Hank grew up together.”

  Tanna frowned. “You didn’t pick up on the fact that they’re both from the same hometown? Don’t, like, four people live in Wyoming?”

  “Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence, Tan.”

  “Sorry. Go on.”

  “Kyle’s bio said he’s from Rawlins. Hank’s says he’s from Muddy Gap. Without having a map in front of me, and knowing nothing about Wyoming, I had no clue the towns are thirty miles apart.

  They went to the same school, where Hank called Kyle ‘Gilly’— an abbreviated form of Gilchrist. So yes, I’d heard Hank mention Gilly offhandedly, but the truth is, whenever he and I were alone together, because we saw each other only twice a month, we didn’t do a whole lot of talking.”

  “And can I just point out how jealous I am of that fact?”

  “Anyway, I made it halfway to my truck when Kyle stopped me. Then Hank showed up and saw Kyle holding my upper arms and warned Kyle to get his hands off. Kyle let me go and shoved Hank. Hank shoved Kyle back. . . .”

  Lainie sat on the edge of the bed and shot Tanna a dark look.

  “This is not where you insert, ‘That is so romantic.’ It was horrible.

  These guys are really good friends. There’s no way I can choose one over the other. So I broke up with both of them and left.”

  “That’s it?”

  “I thought so until this morning. They showed up here. Together. To talk about me leaving last night. And Kyle told me he was kicked off the EBS tour and he’s competing in the CRA.”

  “Oh, no.”

  “Oh, yes. So I’ll be seeing both of them all the time. But that’s not all they wanted to discuss with me.” Lainie gnawed on her cheek. She trusted Tanna, but Kyle and Hank’s suggestion of sharing her sounded . . . outlandish.

  “Come on. You cannot be seriously thinking about not telling me, Lainie.”

  “Fine, but you have to promise on your championship AFR belt buckle and your grandma’s secret noodle recipe that you will not tell another person. Ever.”

  Tanna held up her hand in a scout’s- honor pose. “I swear by all that I hold holy, Granny’s noodles and my beloved gold buckle, that I will take this secret to my grave.”

  Lainie blurted, “Hank and Kyle wanna share me. Like, at- the-same- time type of sharing me.”

  “Holy freakin’ shit.” Tanna’s big gray eyes went comically wide.

  “They’re offering you a threesome? With them?”

  “Yes! Can you believe it?”

  “Well? What did you say?”

  How could she confess to losing the power of coherent thought once they’d started kissing her in tandem?

  She couldn’t. Not yet anyway. But clearly they expected a lot from her. A lot of naughty sexual things she’d imagined, but never mustered the guts to try— or, more accurately, had never been offered the chance to try.

  “Please tell me you said yes, Lainie.”

  Her gaze flew to Tanna’s. “You’re not appalled?”

  “Hell, no. I’m jealous.”

  “So you’re telling me you’d do it?”

  “If they’d asked me? Girl, I’da jumped ’em both so fast I might’ve knocked teeth out.” Tanna grinned cheekily. “Look, obviously they both think you’re hot in the sack. Since you’ve been nekkid with them, multiple times, they each know exactly how to push your buttons. Having two gorgeous guys willing to satisfy your every sexual craving? Sign. Me. Up. And since we’re being completely honest, for the record, it wouldn’t be the first time for me.”

  Lainie stared at Tanna, half- amazed, half . . . not surprised at all. “You’ve been in a threesome?”

  “Yep. Appalled?” she teased.

  “No. Just . . . intrigued as to how it came about, I guess.”

  “Happened on the spur of the moment. Got a little crazy one night with my boyfriend and his best buddy. We ended up spending the entire weekend in bed. It was awesome.” She gave Lainie a pointed look. “No, it’s not my current boy toy or anyone that you know. We broke up a couple of months afterward, but I don’t regret a damn thing.”

  Regret wasn’t Lainie’s main concern.

  “Did you give them an answer?” Tanna asked.

  “No. But they didn’t demand one either. They told me to think about it and we’d talk after the rodeo tonight.”

  “See? That right there is exactly why you should do this. Hank and Kyle will try their damnedest to outdo each other in making you scream. They’ll see what turns you flaming hot— by watching the other guy. The bonus? They already know what you like in bed, so they’ll try to kick up the kink a notch or ten. So the person who benefits the most in this situation is . . . you.”

  Leave it to Tanna to cut to the chase. Lainie was curious about the logistics of two men and one woman in the throes of passion.

  How it’d feel to have two hard cocks demanding entrance into her body. Two sets of hands squeezing and stroking. Two mouths. Two tongues. Two cocks. Yeah. She was kind of stuck on that mental image.

  “Here’s my advice. Try it. If you don’t like it you can still walk away, break up with them or whatever. But you’ll be kicking yourself years down the road when you’re a blue- haired little old lady if you don’t seize the chance now.”

  Lainie flopped back on the bed and sighed. “You’re right. For once in my life, I’m cutting loose. What happens, happens. No fear, no regrets, no holding back. I’m a woman in her sexual prime; hear me roar. Balls to
the wall, right?”

  “Right.” Tanna flopped on her back right next to Lainie on the bed. They stared up at the stained ceiling tiles. “On a purely selfish note, I hate knowin’ that you’re getting laid all the damn time and I’m not.”

  “Tanna, you could get laid every night of the week by a different cowboy if you wanted. I’ve watched them ask you. Watched you turn every one of them down in the last two months.” Lainie paused, knowing this was a touchy subject. “Are you really that crazy about Steve?”

  “Yes. No. Hell, who knows? I was. It sucks because I can feel him pulling away and I can’t do a damn thing about it. Sounds stupid, but the more he pulls away the harder I want to hold on to him.”

  “That’s never good, T, and it’s not like you at all.”

  “Ugh. I know.” Tanna sighed. “Listen to me, whining about my pathetic love life. We oughta be celebrating yours, loading you up on lube at the local A & P.”

  “Think that’d raise eyebrows in Lamar?” Lainie mused.

  “If they look at you funny, just tell them it’s for rodeo medical services.”

  “Got all my bases covered, huh?”

  “I’m a practical girl.” Tanna rolled off the bed and onto her feet. “Look, I’ll see you later. I’ve gotta put Jezebel through her paces before showtime.”

  Lainie kept her eyes closed. She hadn’t slept worth beans last night and a catnap might be in order.

  Hair tickled her nose. She looked up into Tanna’s face, which hung directly above hers. “What?”

  “I’d better not see you at the bar tonight. You’d better not chicken out, Lainie Jay. Although I will expect a fully detailed report tomorrow.”


  Tanna smooched her forehead. “Get some rest, chickie, ’cause with those two guys? You’re definitely gonna need it.”

  Chapter IV

  For the bigger rodeos, the Lariat Sports Medicine team showcased the giant semi with the gigantic logo emblazoned across the side. Most people expected the enormous cargo area was filled with medical supplies and equipment. While that belief was partially true, the real purpose of the tricked- out truck was advertising.

  Yes, the sports medicine team fixed broken cowboys, but inexplicably, tying the Lariat brand name of clothing with the sponsorship of pro rodeo was the sole reason for the Lariat Sports Medicine team’s existence.

  As much as Lainie liked her job with Lariat, she was strictly part- time, which meant she freelanced as an EMT in Colorado Springs on her flex days. With her fluctuating schedule, the last half of the week she was on the road headed to the next Lariat event. So, basically, she’d had no life for the last two years beyond the folks she’d met in the world of rodeo.

  Hooking up with Hank had eased her loneliness. Sometimes she wondered why she’d tried so damn hard to keep her relationship with him hidden.

  The door to the designated medical room opened and her boss, Dr. Dusty Bowman, sauntered in.

  Right. Now she remembered why things with her and Hank were kept hush- hush. Doc Bowman didn’t like bullfighters. Normally it wouldn’t matter what her boss thought about her love life, but Doc was more than just her boss. He’d stood behind the chutes watching in horror as his best friend, bull rider Jason Capshaw, was gored by a bull and the bullfighters did nothing to stop it.

  At the time, Dusty had been a bull rider as well as Jason’s traveling partner. After her father’s very tragic and very public death, Dusty dropped out of pro rodeo and returned to college, earning a medical degree specializing in sports medicine.

  Doc Dusty blamed Jason Capshaw’s death on improperly trained bullfighters and lack of safety gear for the riders. He took it upon himself to design a vest that offered protection from a bull’s deadly horns. He’d sold his patented design to a small company, which also made protective clothing for policemen and loggers.

  Eventually Lariat Clothiers bought out the company. Then they approached Doc Dusty about spearheading a sports medicine program geared toward rodeo. With his background as a bull rider and rodeo safety promoter, Dr. Bowman became the “face” of Lariat Sports Medicine.

  Dusty hired her, albeit part- time, with her lowly LPN and EMT degrees, when he could’ve hired any one of the hundreds of applicants— all with master’s degrees. She wondered if he’d ever feel he’d repaid the debt he owed her because he was supposed to have been on the bull that killed Jason Capshaw.

  But none of the grief or guilt was evident in Doc’s eyes when he saw her. He grinned from beneath the brim of his ever- present cowboy hat. “Lainie! Good to see you.”

  “What brings the face of Lariat Sports Medicine to the trenches?”

  “A business deal— what else? Plus, I’ve never worked this rodeo, and you know me— always lookin’ for something new.”

  How true that was. The man was constantly on the go.

  “Also, I wanted to talk to you.”

  Lainie’s focus zoomed to him.

  He shut the door and leaned against it, offering her a rueful smile. “That oughta buy us a little time.”

  “Doc, you’re scaring me.”

  “You jump to the worst conclusion first. Just like your daddy.”

  “Am I in trouble?”

  “No. Far from it. You have a great rapport with the contestants in both the EBS and the CRA.”

  “But?” she prompted.

  “But I know you hire out as an EMT the days you aren’t working for me. You look exhausted. I’m worried the travel schedule is wearing you down.”

  “Funny, I don’t feel exhausted. And this must’ve come on real sudden, because I looked just fine to you the day before yesterday at the Lariat offices.”

  He glanced away. Guiltily. Which meant one thing.

  Lainie pushed away from the wall. “Did my mother put you up to this, Dusty?”

  He still wouldn’t make eye contact with her.

  “That meddling bitch.”

  “Now, that ain’t no way to talk about your mama. You can’t blame her for being concerned about you.”

  “So she goes to you, my boss, behind my back? Instead of talking to me first?”

  “This is why she brought it to my attention, because we both knew you’d react like this.”

  “Act like what? Resentful that I’m a twenty- six- year- old professional woman and my mommy is still checking up on me?”


  “Are you my boss right now or my family friend?”

  Doc hesitated. “I hate that you draw these invisible lines in the sand and I’m forced to stand on one side or the other.”


  “Fine, I’m your friend.”

  “Then, friend, here’s the side I’m standing on. I hate that you’re still letting my mother lead you around by the nose. I hate that the last time I talked to her I told her to butt out of my life. She couldn’t accept that and she took it upon herself to call you to rectify it.”

  “What was I supposed to do? She was crying. Crying. About you. It broke my damn heart.”

  God, Lainie was mad enough to spit nails. Doc Dusty was one of the most focused, headstrong men she’d ever known. She’d watched Doc stare down the head of a major television network when they demanded to televise his examination of life- threatening rodeo injuries. So his being reduced to an errand boy for Sharlene Capshaw Green burned Lainie’s ass.

  “And worst of all she was blaming me for you not staying in touch with her,” Doc added.

  “How is that your fault?” Lainie demanded.

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