Colters woman, p.5
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       Colters Woman, p.5

         Part #1 of Colters Legacy series by Maya Banks
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Page 5


  “Please,” she gasped out.

  “Please what? Tell me what you want, Holly. ”

  “Your mouth. Please. I want your mouth there. ”

  “Here?” he asked, kissing the soft underswell of her breast. “Or here?” He kissed the area above her nipple.

  Losing patience with his teasing, she shoved her hand into his hair and pulled his head to her nipple.

  He chuckled. “Oh, you mean here. ” He sucked her nipple into his mouth and her body exploded in pleasure.

  “Oh my God!”

  She held him tightly against her, demanding his mouth not leave her breast. Currents of fire streaked down her belly and into her pelvis. Wetness gushed from her pussy. How could she be so close to coming when he’d only sucked her nipples?

  “I hate to interrupt, but breakfast is getting cold,” Adam said lazily from the door.

  Heat rushed to Holly’s cheeks, and she yanked away from Ryan. She pulled at her sweater, trying to restore a semblance of modesty to her appearance.

  But Ryan wouldn’t let her get away that easily. He pulled her to his large frame and kissed her, hard. “Pay him no attention. He’s pissed because he wants very much to be on the other side of you. ”

  “True,” Adam said with a shrug. “Soon enough. She’ll be ours. ”

  “Want breakfast?” Ryan asked as he motioned to the door.

  “You go first,” she said nervously. The idea of passing by Adam was enough to make her knees turn to jelly. She much preferred the protection Ryan’s body offered as a buffer between her and Adam.

  Ryan’s eyes glittered with unspent need as he tucked her hand into his. He pulled her along with him as he walked by Adam. She was almost out of the bedroom when Adam snaked an arm out and caught her.

  To her dismay, Ryan let her hand fall from his and ambled on toward the kitchen. She found herself hauled up against Adam’s rock hard chest and staring into his green eyes.

  “You have no reason to be afraid of me,” he said seriously. “There’s no reason to hide behind Ethan and Ryan every time I say something to you. I’m very glad you feel safe with my brothers, but they have no need to protect you from me. ”

  She bit her lip nervously. “It’s just that you’re so…”

  “So…what?” he prompted.

  “So big,” she blurted out.

  He arched an eyebrow. “And Ethan and Ryan aren’t?”

  She flushed. “No, yes, I mean yes, they’re big but I don’t think they’d hurt me. ”

  His lips tightened. “And you think I would?”

  “Not intentionally,” she said lamely. “M-Mason is nothing compared to you and yet…” She broke off, not wanting to blurt out what all Mason had done. “If he could do so much, what then could you do?”

  “Is that the bastard’s name?” Adam demanded.

  She pressed her lips together, refusing to say any more.

  Adam sighed and dragged a hand through his hair. “Come here, baby. ” He pulled her over to the bed and sat down, settling her on his lap. “I don’t know what all this Mason bastard has done to you, though I fully intend to find out, but it’s obvious he’s destroyed any trust you might’ve had within you. I can accept that. What I can’t accept is the fear in your eyes every time I look at you. ”

  Her heart thudded painfully. Adam looked earnest. Hard, but earnest. She felt silly over the fear that nagged her when he was focused on her, but she knew without a doubt, she would never be the same after meeting this man. And maybe that was what she was most afraid of.

  “I have been very honest with you,” he continued on. “I want you. More than any other woman. Ever. I won’t be satisfied until you’re in my bed. In our bed. Bound to us. Pregnant with our children. Belonging to us heart and soul forever. I can’t put it any straighter than that. I won’t let you go without a fight, that’s for damn sure, but I sure as hell won’t ever hurt you, and I’ll move heaven and earth to make sure no one else does either. ”

  She felt his speech to the very depths of her soul. How could she not? No one had ever spoken so honestly with her or with such conviction.

  “Give us a chance, Holly. It’s all I ask. ”

  Not examining the voice inside her that warned her to run far, far away, she slowly nodded.

  A slow, triumphant smile spread across his face. “Now, let’s go eat that breakfast. ”

  Chapter Five

  Holly sat at the bar between Adam and Ryan as Ethan served up plates of ham and eggs. She glanced between them often, gauging their mood, their reaction to her, but they seemed unruffled.

  It was as if they made such proclamations every day. She shook her head and speared another piece of egg with her fork. How could such a relationship work? Jealousy would be inevitable. And things would be much more difficult for her than for any of them. They only had one “spouse” to contend with, she had three.

  Three men to please, put up with, all different. The mere idea of the complexities involved in the situation made her head ache even harder.

  Ethan was obviously the easiest going of the three brothers. She relaxed around him. It was a natural reaction. Even if she didn’t know Adam was the oldest, it was as clear as if it was written across his forehead. And even though he had gone to great lengths to make her feel at ease, she knew he could be dangerous when crossed. He exuded power and authority, wore it like a mantle draped around him.

  Her gaze flitted sideways to Ryan. He was an enigma. The only one she didn’t have an idea formed about already. He was quiet and serious, but more than that, she saw pain in his eyes. Like her, he’d seen the darker side of life. She’d bet her last dollar on it.

  “Are you all right?” Ethan asked.

  She looked up to see him frowning at her.

  “Just a headache,” she replied.

  He walked to one of the cabinets and retrieved a bottle of ibuprofen, shook out several pills and handed them to her. Just one more example of them taking care of her. It warmed her to her toes and scared the hell out of her all at the same time.

  “What’s on your mind, baby?” Adam asked.

  Was she that easy to read? Could they already see inside her mind and soul? Her fingers tensed on her fork for a moment as she contemplated denying that anything was on her mind, but Adam’s honesty compelled her to be equally honest.

  “The dynamics of the whole relationship you all propose… It’s rather mind-boggling,” she admitted.

  She didn’t miss the triumphant smiles passed between the brothers. Surely to them, this was a sign they were making headway. And maybe they were, as insane as she was to even contemplate it.

  “Anything in particular you want to talk about?” Adam prompted.

  She sighed and set down her fork. “This has all pretty much blown me away. I don’t even know where to begin. I keep expecting to be told this is one huge joke at my expense. ”

  Ryan put a hand on her knee. “This is no joke. Now tell us what’s on your mind. ”

  She took in a deep breath, told herself she was completely nuts and then proceeded to tell them precisely what concerns she had.

  “The thing is, you guys only have one person to concern yourselves with, relationship wise. I have three. Three overbearing, overprotective, rather large men. I don’t see how it’s remotely possible that I could please all of you all of the time. ”

  Cocky, self-assured grins adorned the three men’s faces.

  “I don’t think any of us expect perfection,” Ethan said. “Though,” he added with an up and down sweep of her, “I’m not arguing with what we’ve been given. ”

  “We’ve discussed this many times,” Adam said in a serious tone. “We know it won’t always be easy. It wasn’t always easy for our mother and fathers, but if we all work at it, there’s no reason we can’t live in harmony. ”

  “I guess I just don’t understand the concept,” Holly said. “I can’t wrap my brain
around it. ”

  Ryan reclaimed her attention by turning her back around to face him. “Then think of it this way. Three men completely devoted to your happiness. Three men worshipping your body with theirs. Three men who would love you with complete abandon. Three men who would protect you and cherish you always. ”

  She stared at him open-mouthed. “Well, when you put it that way,” she muttered.

  “Damn, Ryan, why didn’t you speak up earlier?” Ethan said in amusement.

  “The first order of business is to go into town and buy you some clothes and whatever else you need,” Adam said, changing the subject.

  “But I don’t need anything,” she protested. Well, that wasn’t entirely true, but she didn’t want them buying her a bunch of stuff.

  “Ryan, you care to repeat that part about three men devoted to her happiness, worshipping her, etc. ?” Ethan spoke up. “Because I’m pretty sure making sure our woman is clothed and provided for falls under that heading. ”

  Holly blushed.

  “Ethan, you and Ryan want to drive her into town? I need to check out the horses and get the hay out. It’s supposed to snow again tonight. ” He turned to Holly. “There’s a western store in town. It isn’t much but you’ll be able to get boots, jeans and some shirts. And a coat. You need a decent coat. Next week, we’ll drive into the city to do the heavy shopping for you. ”

  “Thank you,” she said softly. She couldn’t manage much more around the huge knot in her throat. She felt dangerously close to tears and fought to contain them.

  Adam leaned forward and brushed his mouth across hers. He was surprisingly gentle. For the first time, she reached a hand out to touch him, running her fingertips across his cheek, feeling the slight stubble along his jaw.

  When he drew away, his eyes were burning with passion, and she felt heady with the knowledge she had affected him so.

  “Well if we’re going into town, we need to go now. We don’t want to be late getting back if it’s going to snow,” Ryan announced, standing up from his seat at the bar.

  “Is it…is it safe for me to go into town?” she asked. The idea that someone might see her and report back to Mason struck fear into her heart, no matter the brothers’ vow to protect her.

  “We’ll make sure you’re not seen,” Ethan said. “Riley’s Western Store is on the edge of town. We’ll park you in a corner of the store and do your shopping for you, let you try on stuff if you need to, and we’ll keep a sharp eye for anything unusual going on. ”

  “Okay,” she said, expelling a long breath. “Let’s do it then. ”

  * * *

  The drive into town was long and quiet as they traveled down the mountain. Holly sat up front while Ethan drove and Ryan sat in the back of the Land Rover. During the course of the trip, Ethan reached over and twined his fingers with hers.

  She drew comfort from the small gesture and readily laced her fingers in his.

  Mid-morning, they drove into the small town of Clyde. Adam had been right. There wasn’t much beyond a small grocery store, a feed mill, a few cafes and the western store, but there was a quaint main street and the businesses were clean and well-kept.

  Ethan pulled up at the western store, and he and Ryan surveyed the area before opening their doors. Ryan opened her door and gestured for her to get out. Once she was out, Ethan and Ryan flanked her and they headed into the store.

  They led her to the area beside the one small dressing room and had her sit.

  “Now tell us what sizes you need, and we’ll bring you some stuff to look at,” Ryan directed.

  She laughed. “There’s no one else in here. I think I can look myself if that’s okay. ”

  Ethan glanced around once more. “Okay, I’ll go stand by the door. Ryan, you keep an eye on Holly while she shops. ”

  Holly walked over to the racks in the center of the store and began thumbing through the shirts. She found a few long sleeve flannel shirts in her size and removed them from the rack. She wasn’t sure how much she should spend so she only took a few and moved onto the jeans.

  As she was searching for her size in the pants, Ryan walked up behind her with several more shirts over his arm. At her self-conscious glance, he shoved the shirts toward her, his expression brooking no argument.

  “Take them up to the counter for me, will you?” she asked. “I’m fairly certain they’ll fit. ”

  “Want me to pick you out a pair of boots while I’m up there?” he asked.

  She smiled. “I’d like that. Thanks. ”

  She walked closer to the window overlooking the street and picked out a few pairs of jeans in dark blue and one each in black and khaki. As she turned to follow Ryan to the checkout, her eyes stopped on a familiar black vehicle pulling down the street.

  Frozen to the spot, she watched in horror as Mason Bardwell climbed out of the flashy BMW, his gaze flitting up and down the street.

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