Their virgin princess, p.14
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       Their Virgin Princess, p.14
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         Part #4 of Masters of Ménage series by Shayla Black
Page 14

  “That’s not all he’s smelling, Princess,” Dane replied. “I know because I smell it, too. If you’re going to tell me your pussy is angry like your nipples, I’m going to call bullshit. You’re aroused. Do you want me to take care of that for you? Cooper didn’t quite make it. I promise you we won’t have that problem this time. I’ll touch that pussy until you find heaven. We’ll go so slow, and you’ll be in charge—for now. We’ll only do this your way and for your pleasure until you can handle more. ”

  “Come on, Lea,” Lan groaned in her ear. He wasn’t pressing his erection into her, but it was big enough that she couldn’t miss it. “Let us taste your pussy. I’ll be so gentle. I’ll just lick and love it until you come all over my mouth. I want that so bad. I want to touch you, but I won’t until you’re comfortable with it. Just my mouth and your sweet pussy. Don’t you want to come? Don’t you want to feel good?”

  Landon’s words were drugging her, pulling her into a place where all she wanted to say to him was yes.

  “Such a pretty flush on your cheeks,” Cooper murmured. “We’d persuade you to pull up your skirt. We’d take off your panties and have you sit back in one of those big chairs. We would spread your legs wide and take turns eating at your pussy. I’m dying to get my mouth on you again. ”

  Now that she’d opened herself up to the possibility of pleasure, Alea could see that vision so clearly in her head. And heat pulsed between her legs. Landon and Cooper would jostle for position between her legs. Their tongues would run all over her, and she would find that magical moment other women talked about. And Dane. She would do what he demanded. She would lift her shirt and unhook her bra and let his lips and teeth touch her not-so-angry nipples.

  That all sounded…fantastic. Sexy. Maybe she could do it. Maybe she could have them.

  The plane jolted forward as it started to move again, slinging Alea back against Landon. His big arms came around her, keeping her upright. That was all it took to incite panic. She screamed and tried to shove away from him, thrashing and kicking.

  “Alea, no. You will calm down now. ” Dane’s deep voice cut through the sheer terror.

  His command drummed in her head. She was on the plane, and Lan was just trying to steady her. Finally, she dragged in deep breaths and stilled, even managing to brace herself against Landon’s hard chest. He froze as she regained her balance.

  “I want to hug you, Lea,” he whispered, lightly brushing her arms. “But I won’t. I just want you to know that if I could do anything in the world right now, I would hug you and try to make you feel safe. ”

  Tears sprang to her eyes. His words were a far cry from anything any man in Colombia had said to her. God, how could she turn that away? Lan sounded so vulnerable. He was making himself that way. It couldn’t be easy on him, but he was doing it for her.

  Very slowly, she turned and put her arms around Landon, her body shaking as she did.

  He didn’t wrap her up, didn’t jump on her. He just stroked her hair gently, his voice achingly tender. “Thank you, Lea. ”

  She nodded and let herself sink into him a bit more. It wasn’t bad. Actually, it was sort of nice. But it proved she was still fucked up because it had taken all her courage and mental focus just to allow herself to hug the man trying to protect her.

  Alea shuddered and pulled away. God, she was so damaged and she wasn’t sure if or how she could be fixed.

  Dane sighed. “We’re about to take off, baby. Sit down. I think we’ve reached the depression phase of this mourning. ”

  Sure enough, they were gaining speed. Soon, they’d be in the air to Australia. With these three along, no telling what that would bring. But she didn’t see a peaceful holiday in her future.

  Alea eased back into her seat and buckled her belt. Her voice was still shaky. “What exactly do you think I’m mourning?”

  “The days of wallowing, Princess. They’re over. ”

  “Jerk. ” She turned her chair away from him, but that sent her looking straight at Cooper, who smiled at her and didn’t try to hide his erection.

  She turned toward the window as the plane touched off the runway, and she stared out into the big, dark sky just beginning to lighten with the coming day. It was vast, expansive, right in front of her. But all that open freedom may as well have been a million miles away.

  Why couldn’t they understand that this was never going to work? She was never going to be able to handle a man on top of her much less three.

  “I believe our princess has gone into the inner-journey phase,” Dane whispered as though she couldn’t hear him. “By the time we get to Australia, she’ll be in acceptance. ”

  “If you think I’m accepting that you took it upon yourself to crash my vacation without asking what I wanted, you’re wrong. ”

  “You can thank us for our stellar company later,” Coop teased.

  “God, I wish I had something to throw at you. ” But her lips were turning up.

  And what the hell had happened to Dane? When had he gone from super polite to this ridiculously charming asshole? And why did she like him so much more this way?

  Because he was finally being himself. They all were. Instead of being what they thought she wanted or wearing their professional masks, they had dropped all pretenses to just be themselves. They had been so gentle because they were worried she would break at any moment, but the whole “poking fun at her” thing meant that she really couldn’t stay angry. And she couldn’t take herself too seriously. It was so much more dangerous because it made her feel almost normal again.

  And she had to remember that she wasn’t. They might be comfortable showing their real selves, but she didn’t have that luxury. The minute they knew the Alea who lived deep inside her, they would run as fast as they could.

  She looked through the tiny window and watched as the world she knew fell away.

  * * * *

  About six hours later, Cooper watched as Alea started to drift off. She’d probably been up half the night packing and plotting her escape, only to discover they had her cornered. Now she was exhausted. There was nothing more he wanted to do than to cuddle close to her and let her sleep on his chest.

  Instead, he cursed under his breath. Besides the fact that she wasn’t ready for any man to hold her close, he sounded like some sort of rom-com loving freak. If he didn’t watch himself, he was going to burst into song, and that would be bad for everyone because he was tone deaf.

  “Do you think she’s okay?” Lan asked quietly.

  “She handled being accidently touched today a hell of a lot better than she did last night,” Dane whispered.

  Well, she hadn’t tried to deball any of them, so Cooper was calling it a win. She’d held it together and honed in on Dane’s voice when panic had threatened, so that was progress. And she’d actually managed to put her arms around Landon.

  Funny, that. Coop knew damn well he’d had more of an intimate connection with Alea than the others, but he’d felt a twinge of jealousy when she’d haltingly placed her arms around Lan’s chest and stood there in his arms. The moment had felt deeply tender, and she’d pushed herself to extend the gesture rather than just stand there and accept it because she’d known that Landon needed the contact. Lan’s yearning had compelled her to give him the comforting balm of her hug in return. That compassionate, loving woman—that’s who Alea was deep down, when she let herself be.

  Building a relationship with her that included compromise and trust would not be easy. But with time and open communication, Cooper had hope that they would work it all out. If nothing else, she hadn’t found a way to throw them off the plane, and that had to count for something. She’d responded to Dane’s dominance way better than Coop had expected. When she’d started to lose control, Dane’s commands had snapped her attention right back. And he hadn’t missed the way she’d smiled and turned yielding in the face of Dane’s sexually-laced arrogance.

  Lan was the gentle o
ne. He was the one she’d bend for because she hated to hurt or upset him. Dane was the Dom who could give her the firm foundation she needed.

  Where the hell did he fit in?

  Dane stood up and gestured toward the seats grouped together in the back. He and Lan followed. The cabin of the plane was small but luxurious. Alea was sitting close to the front, so they migrated away to let her sleep.

  They’d all eaten breakfast together. The lovely but bland flight attendant had served croissants and Danishes, along with smooth, rich coffee, but it was the conversation that had really surprised him. He and Dane had started talking about activities they could potentially do in Sydney. Alea had joined in, discussing her favorite places in Australia. Lan had listened with an excited smile. Within minutes, they had all been laughing and teasing, especially after Lan had threatened to find a crocodile to wrestle because he was certain that no Aussie could be tougher than a Texan.

  It felt natural and right to be with these people. In those moments of flowing laughter, they had felt like a family.

  Then Alea suddenly seemed to realize she was this close to being happy. She’d excused herself, turned away, and fallen asleep.

  “I wanted to talk to you guys about the investigators’ report. ” Dane had a familiar folder in his hand. “I set up a conference call with the guys at Anthony Anders for the day after tomorrow. I refuse to be out of the loop just because we’re on a different continent. And we need to discuss her security protocols. ”

  “She should never, ever be left alone,” Landon said, frowning.

  Coop didn’t even want to think about it, but he had to. “If her abduction wasn’t a random act and this is someone who knows Alea, then the question becomes who and why would anyone want to do this to her?”

  This. God, he couldn’t verbalize the idea of someone torturing Alea or selling her into sexual slavery, sending her into a hell most people couldn’t imagine. It made him somewhere between panicked and violent.

  But she hadn’t actually been raped, not in the most technical sense of the word. She’d been horrifically abused, and he didn’t know the full extent of what she’d been forced to witness or endure. It made no sense that her virginity had been left intact. That had been a deliberate choice on someone’s part. But why?

  “I can’t imagine forcing this on anyone,” Lan said, looking through the file. “Much less someone like Alea. She was just going to school. ”

  “And she was working with a charity organization that helped battered women,” Dane murmured. “Why didn’t I know that?”

  Cooper wasn’t sure either. From the beginning of the investigation, she’d very likely kept lots of information to herself. “She sure hadn’t let her cousins in on it. ”

  “Why would she keep something as kind as charity work a secret?” Lan asked.

  “If I hadn’t, my cousins would have come in and made a big production of it,” Alea said, startling them all. “I just wanted to do something good. I had some free time, and I like charity work. I’ve done it all my life. If word had reached the palace that I was working at a women’s shelter, someone would have decided to use it as good press. ” She was still sitting in her chair, but she’d turned it. She clutched the blanket he’d settled over her close. “I want to talk to you guys about whatever danger is still lurking out there. Don’t leave me out of the conversation when it’s my life. I get that you thought you were protecting me, but I have to know. ”

  Dane nodded slowly. “All right. From now on, I’ll include you. We have a conference call in a few days, baby. I’ll try to be better. ”

  “Good. Will you stop calling me baby?” she asked hopefully.

  “Not on your life, baby,” Dane shot back without a hint of guilt. “Now according to the Anders brothers, you started working at the shelter the same week you moved to Manhattan. Why did you pick a shelter in the Bronx?”

  Alea huffed a little. “Because that’s where the most help was needed. My roommate’s mom was a social worker there. I got very close to her. ”

  “To your roommate?” Dane asked.

  Alea laughed, a bitter little sound. “No. Heather was a righteous bitch. She couldn’t be bothered to help anyone. She was far too busy trying to set herself up as the queen of NYU. She was furious when I wouldn’t put on a tiara and go to parties with her. So self-centered… But her mother was quite lovely. She invited me to come down and visit the shelter when she found out I was interested in social work. I met some of the women, heard their stories. My heart broke for them. I knew I had to go back. ”

  That was his Alea. She couldn’t turn away a person in need. Now she could completely reject her own needs, but when she was faced with someone else’s, her natural compassion shined through.

 
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