Natalie Acres

Sex party


Natalie Acres

Prologue

<p>Natalie Acres</p> <br /> <p>Prologue</p>

Peyton tried to steady her hands. They shook as she reached for the paperwork the attorney offered her. She read the legal gibberish and attempted to translate.

Her mother wanted her to live with three cowboys. Three men she barely knew. If her mom walked right in there today, Peyton just might run away. She’d do it for spite and teach her a lesson once and for all. Then, she’d tell her precisely what she could do with her cowboys.

Swallowing back silent anger and maybe even a twinge of fear, she regrouped. “And if I don’t sign this?”

The attorney, a Cartwell pawn no doubt, narrowed his gaze, placed his palms on the small writing desk and rose to his large feet, something few women missed if they possessed a dirty mind. Peyton had one, a real naughty one most of the time, and large feet gained her undivided attention.

The attorney’s were hard to miss. Size thirteen, if she cared to guess. She’d always heard the size of a man’s penis often found judgment from those who stared at feet. So she looked, out of habit. She found it entertaining sometimes.

“If you don’t sign, Miss Storm, you’re only going to suffer for it. Since you’re days away from your eighteenth birthday, you’ll become a ward of the state.”

She gritted her teeth and barely spoke between them. “A what?”

Braden Cartwell, the oldest of the three brothers, leaned over. “You’ll finish your teenage years in foster care.”

“Thank you for taking the time to explain it,” she snapped.

“No problem.”

She crooked her head and stared at the floor. “Nice shoes.”

Evan, the youngest of the Cartwells, laughed. “Yeah, a perfect fit for his size is hard to find.”

Kane nudged his brother. “Shut up, dork.” Evidently the Cartwells understood the underlying reason so many women rubbernecked it to check out a man’s Reeboks.

At least they had some sense of humor. Right now, she really didn’t care one way or the other. Today, it felt like the bottom of her pit fell out. The black hole her mother left her in when she died now closed in at the sides too. She felt suffocated and desperate. Worse still, she felt like a puppet on a string pulled snug by the Cartwells, men who owned everything and everyone, according to her best friend, Vicky.

Peyton tried to hold the pen in place, and her hand trembled. She slapped the paper down on the desk and signed. “Well then, I guess you win.”

Glaring at Braden, she hit him with a direct question. “Now I’ve signed your paper. If you can, answer something for me. What the hell do any of you know about raising a teenager or even living under the same roof with a woman?”

Braden managed a half-hearted smile. He didn’t have an answer. Go figure.

Kane did, and he gave it to her right after he took his time giving her a really good lust-filled stare. The kind he might get locked up for if he didn’t keep in mind she had three months separating her from her eighteenth birthday.

“Not a damn thing.”

Kane shook hands with their attorney and walked out of the office ahead of them.

“That went well,” she said.

“I agree,” Braden grumbled. “Too well, I’m afraid.”

Yeah, she summed him up about right. Kane sorta liked her. He wasn’t the only one. Evan looked at her like he had first dibs on the dumb blond.

Peyton realized the Cartwells wore their bad boy reputations around like a proud southern brand. Soon, she’d have one of those too, or she’d find herself out on her ass just as fast as she signed her paperwork.

Braden, the smart one of the bunch, probably didn’t like his brothers ogling over her. Oh well, he might as well get used to it. All men gawked at her. It was her blessing and her curse.

The attorney handed Peyton his card. “If you need anything at all, Miss Storm, give us a call.”

“I won’t,” she said. “I imagine these boys have everything under control.”

Evan laughed as he passed her in the tiny hallway leading to the parking lot. “In case you haven’t noticed, Kane is Mr. Controlled.”

“I gathered as much.” She stared across the open space of the dimly lit area. Kane turned and glared at her like he truly despised looking at her or it pained him to do it.

She looked down at his shoes. Holy shit, she thought. He must’ve played basketball. “Did you play basketball?” She shifted her weight and stared at the ground. “I mean you have big…I mean you’re tall and built like a basket…ball player. Oh, um…anyway…that’s why I asked.”

Evan slapped Kane on the back. “Yeah, that’s why she asked about your big feet. Basketball is on her mind, only basketball, big brother.”

“I’ve got your basketball,” Kane said as he grabbed the front bulge in his pants. The two started horse-playing and wrestling around like brothers evidently liked to do. She backed away and watched.

“Get in the Jeep now,” Braden ordered. “Peyton, follow us. I’ll have these two straightened out before we get home.”

She smirked to herself as she walked toward her car. “Sure, you will, Braden Cartwell. Sure you will.”

Peyton didn’t have the legal number of one-eight yet but once she turned eighteen, she might use Kane to find out if rumors held true. Damn, if he didn’t fill some awful big shoes.

Her mother must’ve been stark crazy to leave her in the custody of the Cartwells. No one on God’s green earth looked at a woman like Kane Cartwell looked at her. To make matters only better, Peyton had never seen anyone more handsome than the three Cartwell men. Lord have mercy, she was in for one hell of a sultry ride.


Chapter 1

<p>Chapter 1</p>

Two Weeks Later

Peyton’s friends either disappeared on vacation or worked their way through the days of summer. Braden generously offered to send her to an athletic camp program but she declined the offer. She needed time to adjust to life without her mother. She also wanted to get settled at the Cartwell ranch before school started again.

Evan and Braden went out of their way to welcome her into their home. Kane acted like he didn’t want her there.

Kane Cartwell made her feel like an uninvited guest one minute and sex wrapped up in tight-fitting jeans the next. He didn’t say a whole lot, and when he acknowledged her, either a grunt or groan followed. On occasion, he’d swipe his lower lip and then make an ordeal out of wiping it clean with the pad of his thumb.

He watched her with those deep chocolate eyes, like he didn’t see her on the outside but couldn’t wait to feel her on the inside. The look he achieved? Dangerous and completely sexy.

Every morning she left the house before sunrise and most of the time, she missed any kind of conversation exchange. On occasion, she might glance up at the second story windows and watch as the curtains moved, shifting more than a morning breeze allowed. Sometimes she waved. Every now and again, she saw him stick his hand up and return the gesture.

Peyton had a lot of loose ends to tie, so with her friends busy for the summer, she handled most of them by herself. She started to ask Braden for help but Kane always lurked nearby so she decided to skip asking for favors.

Kane often served as a constant reminder, she already owed them. She moved into their lavishly appointed home and immediately found a lot of luxuries from a large flat screen television and state of the art computer system to the more extravagant amenities. They granted her full access to the stables and invited her to ride any of the horses the family owned, with the exception of Braden’s prized stallion. They welcomed her into their household and helped out on a large scale. She hated to ask for more.

Once the bank placed a for-sale sign in the front yard of the home she once shared with her mother, Peyton tried to get everything out as soon as possible. For the most part, she did it alone. It gave her time to deal with her mother’s death, in a round about way.

“Hey, Peyton! Anybody here?”

She heard a familiar voice as she tossed a few plastic bowls into a large box. “Yeah! I’m in the kitchen.”

“Hey, gorgeous. How’s my favorite upcoming senior?”

She turned around and found a very handsome Loy Martin. “Well, I’ll be damned. Look who came home after all.” She didn’t waste time running into Loy’s arms and she locked her legs around his waist almost immediately.

“Boy, howdy, now if this isn’t the homecoming I expected.” Loy lifted her body away from his but then took the time to let her crotch scrape over the ridge of his cock. With Loy, foreplay always started at once, regardless of where he found her.

They never shared anything more than a preamble to the dirty deed, but the chemistry between Loy and Peyton bordered on the absurd. Loy was too smart to get caught with his pants down. He feared they’d stay at his ankles and he’d eventually find himself married to a small-town girl. Sometimes, he ran from Peyton and she understood why.

Peyton giggled before she stared at his tented pants, biting her lip as she studied it intensely. She batted her eyelashes and acted like he brought her the perfect package. “What’s wrong, Loy, still don’t like a woman who teases you?”

“I like a teasing woman, baby, but I’ve been ordered by three very gruff, not to mention large, cowboys to stay the hell away from you until you get your feet on the ground again. Since we now have the issue of age between us, I’ll probably comply. They said if I lay one hand on you, they’ll make sure they glue it to the spot I touch. Then, they’ll haul my ass in front of a judge to prove malicious intent.”

“Lord a mercy, Loy. How long did it take for you to come up with such a tale?”

“It’s the truth, and I’m not the only one. Evan put the word out. Babe, I hate to tell you, but you’re in for a dull summer. Unless of course, you got some kind of thing for one of ‘em, and then I guess you’ll at least enjoy one or two hot June nights.”

Peyton narrowed her eyes. “Nay, I’ll find someone to entertain me but I doubt I’ll find it in a Cartwell. Besides, you’re looking for an excuse to avoid me. You can’t fool around now, since you’ve hooked up with one of those debutantes from South Carolina. News travels fast in these parts.” She turned her back to the boy she’d dated on and off for several years. She cleared a few countertops and continued working.

“Yeah, well, she’s not anyone I want to discuss with you. You understand. At least, I hope you do.”

“Sure I do. You always told me, there are girls you marry and girls you’d like to marry but unfortunately have to settle for a fuck from them instead. I understand, Loy. Really, I do.”

She also owed him big time for telling her such crap early on. He saved her from the embarrassment of fucking him. At one time, if he’d kept his mouth shut, Loy Martin would’ve been in Peyton’s pants. Thank goodness he had a big mouth to match what he kept in those snug khakis.

“Now, Peyton, don’t act all mad like you do. I always told ya the truth, but I gotta tell you, it’s all I can do to keep my hands off of you now.” He made a few steps toward her. His palms slowly caressed over the shape of her hips and then he froze right then and there when he heard a deep voice behind them.

“Damn, if you’re not good, Loy Martin,” Evan said. He slammed the door and walked into Peyton’s childhood home with his arms loaded down with boxes.

Since Peyton kept the screen open to catch a morning breeze, he undoubtedly heard enough of small talk. “Did you miss the memo I sent out to you specifically about ‘hands-off’? You’d better tell me something convincing because, right now, after hearing your line of bull-shit, I’d love to find a reason to smack some sense into you.”

Peyton rolled her eyes.

Kane slowly entered Peyton’s kitchen behind his brother. He stood off to the side with his arms folded over his chest.

“I’ve heard a lot of lines in my time but I gotta hand it to you. Martin, the one about fucking those gals you don’t marry just made me stiff thinking about it. Excuse me for saying so, Peyton.” Kane glared at Loy and then added, “Does that kind of cockamamie bullshit actually work for you?”

Loy laughed. “Real funny boy, aren’t you, Cartwell? You make excuses for saying a four-letter word in front of Peyton?” He touched her cheek and then picked up a few strands of her hair and let them fall softly against her shoulder. “You think Peyton’s never heard those words? Oh hello, boys, you’re in for a real treat once you get to know the Peyton everybody else knows.”

Peyton climbed back on the kitchen chair and rummaged through the cabinets. She wanted her back to them. The last thing she needed was her face turned toward theirs when Loy ran his mouth. Knowing Loy, he might.

The only man, or boy for that matter, who knew what it felt like to have a good romp with Peyton now stood inches from her guardians. He wanted to spill his knowledge all over the place.

Many boys tried to date Peyton. Many failed. Loy succeeded and what a fine choice she made there. Undoubtedly her brain malfunctioned whenever Loy Martin showed up and looking at him now standing next to Evan and Kane, she wondered why.

She turned back around and stared at the floor and barely glanced at Loy’s feet. Damn him. It proved the only solid reason she’d ever made out with him in the first place. Big feet, and those feet did not lie. Loy had a gigantic cock to match his ego.

“Loy…” She really didn’t want the Cartwells to hear about her more intimate moments with an old high school flame. He always made her feel like a tramp. He was the only man who almost claimed a homerun, as in personal base runs or hits, at her expense. He’d done her every which way but home and everyone once said he carried a grudge over it. He remained a little bitter according to some of his closest friends.

”Come on, Evan, tell the truth. You’re already tappin’ it or you wouldn’t care enough to put out the word. Admit it. Peyton is hands-off to the guys visiting from college because she’s keeping you and maybe even Kane here, busy.”

“All right, that’s it. You’re outta here.” Evan held open the backdoor and waited for Loy to leave.

“Guys, Loy and I go way back. I’d like to catch up with him. He’s gonna help me pack up the place.”

“The hell he is,” Kane snarled.

“Right,” Evan deadpanned. “Uh, we uh, planned on stayin’ and helping you out today. It’s the reason we’re here. Right, Kane?”

“Damn right. We don’t have anything else better to do. Lord knows the hay can bale itself, the cattle don’t need feed and the horses coming in later this afternoon are gonna know which stall belongs to them and just trot off the trailer and straight into the barn. No, we don’t have one damn thing to do today.” He scowled at his brother.

“Well, you sure don’t need to baby-sit me,” Peyton bit out.

“Yeah, well, Braden thinks we need to help ya and so we’re here to offer it.” Kane turned back to Loy, “You can stay and help out or leave, like Evan suggested.

“This is still my house,” she reminded him.

Kane walked over to the refrigerator and opened it. “Didn’t your momma keep a cold beer in the house?”

“If beer made its way in here, her momma didn’t buy it.” Loy’s voice and expression softened, “Peyton, I’m real sorry about your mom. I know you two lived separate lives but she sure loved ya. I know you’re gonna make her real proud.”

Taking off his hat, his hand trembled some before he nervously leaned over, kissed her cheek, nodded at the Cartwells and stepped outside. “I best get going, I guess.”

Evan deliberately gave the squeaky screen door a shove. The thin panel hit Loy on the ass. “Loy, you’ve paid your respects, and Peyton here appreciates it. Next time you see her, try to keep your hands off of her or else I’m gonna make sure to have some glue nearby to make good on a few promises. I don’t want you feelin’ her up or down. Got it?”

Loy tossed his hand up as he walked to his truck. He never glanced back again but by the time Evan and Kane did, she was ready for them.


****

“Hang on there a minute!” Kane shouted as he caught a plastic lid and Evan dodged a few cups.

“No!” She threw another one and then another. Lids, bowls, straws, everything she took out of the cabinet, she nailed them with it. “You don’t get to come in here and run off my friends.”

Evan moved around a flying wooden container and grabbed her wrists. “Stop this. Stop it now.” He started to shake her.

Kane liked the idea of maybe spanking some sense into her.

Tears drenched her cheeks in a cowboy country second. “Get out. This is my house, and you two can get the hell out. You can’t run my friends off just because you think I’m Cartwell property now.”

Evan took his hands off of her immediately. “We never once called you our property.”

Kane stooped over and started to pick up the items she slung his way with the strength of a mad wet hen. “Look, Peyton, with friends like him, you’ll end up barefoot and pregnant. Then you can kiss all those scholarships goodbye and trade in your college fund for diapers and bottles. Maybe you think it’s a good swap but from what I’ve seen, you’re not the stroller kind of woman.”

“She’s not a woman yet,” Evan reminded him.

“I’m more of a woman than either of you boys will ever be able to handle. Now leave!”

Kane walked out of the kitchen after her statement but he returned just as fast. Hell yeah, she sure looked and acted more like a woman than any he’d ever known. With natural boobs, fiery eyes, a sassy little mouth and a few other attributes, if he wasn’t one of her guardians, he’d count down the days to her eighteenth birthday. He’d also shoot a man for thinking the things he thought.

Kane spotted Peyton Storm long before his brother made the mistake of taking her on to raise. Now, Braden told them daily Peyton stayed off-limits. He’d like to have Braden committed for such a stunt. He had no idea what kind of trouble waited for them when he brought that girl into their home. No idea at all.

Peyton bent over and started to pick up a few items scattered across the floor. Her denim shorts showcased more than any woman wanted revealed, unless their intended goal was to tempt a man. Evan and Kane exchanged knowing glances.

Yeah, Braden deserved to hang for this caper.

Kane walked outside and stood on the front porch. He closed his eyes and listened. Evan was a senior in high school when Peyton had been a freshman and rumors ran rampant. She’d pursued Evan hard back in the day. Too bad for Evan, he wasted his high school years with Doris something another and missed his chance with Peyton Storm.

Dumb fuck.

Evan could’ve dated the cream of the crop. Instead he settled for the crop. The woman he chose later ended up with a pathetic reputation. She ran men through her bed like an auctioneer at a cattle sale.

“Get out, Evan.” Peyton made her demands loud enough for Kane to hear them too.

“Peyton, listen. Braden wants us to help you out. Get you packed up and moved in before school begins. I’d like to help. Kane’s ready to lend a hand too.”

Kane glared across her tiny porch and stared into the kitchen window. Her blond hair hung over her shoulders and the light breeze flowing through the windows allowed the scent of her shampoo to fill his nostrils. Damn if she didn’t smell sweet.

“This is my home! I can pack up everything in my own time and get out before the bank sells it.”

Evan cleared his throat. “I know, Peyton but you see, if you’re running in and out of here all the time, we can’t keep an eye on you and with boys like Loy Martin…”

“Boys like Loy Martin?” she cut him off. “Boys like Loy Martin who are only two years younger than you!”

“Right, well in any case…”

“Shut up, Evan, you’re dancing around the subject.” Kane said when he stepped back inside and turned on Peyton as quickly as she’d turned on them, “Here’s the thing. Until you’re eighteen, you won’t have the opportunity to get yourself knocked up. Until you graduate from high school, you’re going to follow Braden’s law.”

“Braden’s law?” She laughed. “Braden’s or Kane’s?”

Darn, he had a feeling she saw right through him. Right then and there, she even recognized his motives. For a second, he lost his train of thought. His eyes drifted over her body, and she rattled him long enough to let him know he lost his better judgment for a second longer than he needed to lose it.

Peyton stomped across the kitchen and stood in his face. With her index finger, she pointed at Evan and then back at Kane. “Admit it. The reason you two don’t want me fraternizing with the locals is because down deep, you’re both waiting for my eighteenth birthday like half the men in this county.”

“Peyton, that’s not true, doll.” Evan moved by her and grinned. “If you’ll remember, I turned down your sweet little tail a long time ago. I assure you, I can still walk away from it now.”

“Hush up, Evan,” Kane warned but it arrived a second too late.

The fit throwing and pan slinging started all over again.


Chapter 2

<p>Chapter 2</p>

Three Months Later

Peyton rode up on a horse no one on the ranch ever dared to touch except Braden Cartwell. Her legs hugged the English saddle and her hair tumbled over her shoulders and back.

“Whoa! Damn you!” She cursed the animal and tugged on the leather reins. The stallion reared high and then discarded her at Kane’s feet.

“I’m not hurt,” she immediately barked out.

“I never said anything to the contrary.” A very amused Kane stared down at her with one arm extended as a gentleman’s gesture. “He’s gonna kill ya.”

“What the hell do you know?” she snapped.

Peyton reluctantly reached for Kane’s hand and stood up. She turned to see Braden pulling up the driveway in his new silver Ford truck. “Oh shit.”

“Yeah. It might be a good time to take your pretty little ass up to the house and make out with some school books, get some sort of education on personality disorders or something.”

“Bite me.” She started for the opposite end of the barn and fortunately ran into Evan and Braden’s horse. Evan shook his head. “Don’t thank me yet.” He nodded toward Braden as he pulled up in front of the barn.

“Cover me, and I’ll blow you both when I turn eighteen.” She didn’t smile directly at them but pasted one on quick enough for Braden.

“Hey there,” she said with a forced grin. “We weren’t expected you so soon.”

She stuffed her hands in her back pockets and twisted her waist from side to side. She wanted to look cute enough for him to forget all about the ornery animal behind her.

Braden’s eyes narrowed, and he picked up his pace as he headed straight for his stallion. A proud and beautiful creature, the black beast stamped his hoof into the sawdust, agitated, and downright angry. Over and over again, he pounded at the ground. The damn horse wanted her to get in trouble. She felt it in the air.

Braden looked at his brothers and their expressions. He summed up everything and didn’t need their help doing it.

“Peyton.” He remained too calm for her liking, far too removed from the situation. ”Peyton, answer a question for me.”

She popped a hip and rested her hand on it. “Shoot.”

“Forget it. I have a good mind to just turn you over my knee.”

“Can’t do it, can you?” She smirked. “I’m not eighteen and spankings are considered sexual in nature.”

“Three days,” he held up his fingers. “Three more days, and I’ll whip your bottom if you ever ride my horse again. I swear it.”

Oh this was bad, worse than anticipated. Braden rarely raised his voice, seldom issued a threat and barely spoke to her without kindness. She swallowed back fear as she studied him. He left only one impression. He meant what he said, and he wouldn’t think twice.

She pursed her lips and tried to read through his sexy green eyes. His dark bangs hung over his brows, and she really couldn’t gauge the totality of his anger.

“But…” She tried to think, clear the cobwebs from her brain. Nothing came to mind immediately which only gave him the upper hand.

“Don’t but me. Go on up to the house and see if you can’t do something useful like start dinner.”

She hated it when he treated her like a child but when he treated her like a woman, it really pissed her off. She stared at Kane and Evan. “You two aren’t any help.”

They didn’t say anything. Evan did hold up three fingers.

Screw him for siding with Braden.

She decided if they didn’t have anything to say at all, they wouldn’t tattle to Braden so she took her chances. “For the record, I wasn’t on the blasted horse.”

“Peyton,” Kane warned.

He said one word, her name and nothing else. Damn, she underestimated her impact on the younger Cartwells.

“Kane…”she emphasized his name with stark sarcasm. She even made an ugly face to showcase her immaturity.

“My ass did not sit on that stupid horse.” She twisted her blonde mane into a ponytail holder and started toward the house.

“The hell it didn’t.” Braden grabbed her by the arm and started for the truck. “My brothers ride Western. You’re the only one around here who rides in an English saddle. Period.”

“Ow! Let me go.”

She forgot about the saddle thing. If she planned to wiggle her way out of trouble here and there, she needed to practice up and become educated on their school of thought. Who would’ve thought to check out a damn saddle anyway?

Evan immediately jogged over to the side of the truck. “What do you think you’re doing?”

She squirmed. “Let…me go! You’re hurting me.” Not really, he barely had a hold of her but the squealing provided great sound effects.

“Move, Evan.” Braden stood firm.

“Hell, no. Let her go. She’s right anyway. You can’t spank her. You’ll never spank her. She’s too old for any man to spank her.”

“That’s debatable,” Kane muttered.

Braden and Evan stood nose to nose. Toe to toe.

Kane peered at Peyton and she continued to watch Braden and Evan. Let him look, she thought. He didn’t have to tattle. All he had to do was agree with her, tell a small white lie, and she might have been on her way to the kitchen to stir up some dinner.

“Fine, take her to the house.” Braden handed the keys to Evan and turned as Peyton skipped to the passenger’s side. She quickly reclaimed her earlier good mood-the one that encouraged her to devil Braden’s horse in the first place.

“Peyton?”

“Yep?” She turned around and he motioned for her. Rolling her eyes she walked back toward him and stopped right in front of him.

“So you didn’t ride him?”

“Nope.”

“Not even from one end of the barn to the next?”

“Nope.”

“Okay.”

She turned around and started for the truck. At the same time, Braden took off his cowboy hat and swatted her ass a few times.

Wheeling around on her boots, she glared at him. “Don’t you dare touch my ass!”

Kane and Evan laughed.

“I have a feeling it’s only the first of many,” Kane said.

“I only swatted it a few times for lying to me. Besides, I don’t want barn shavings in my truck, you little runt.” His mouth finally twitched, and she turned around before he saw her smile too. Evan slid behind the wheel and turned the key.

Immediately, she hit the button on the side of the door, and the window fell automatically. Leaning out of the truck window, she screamed behind them as they pulled away from the barn. “Touch my ass again and I’m going to squeal like a pig and call you Big Papa!”

“Peyton! Get back in here now.” Evan grabbed her left arm and tugged her across the bench seat.

“Watch it. You boys are getting touchy-touchy the closer I get to eighteen. If you’re not careful, I might just ask to ride more than Braden’s stallion in three days. I might want three rough and ready cowboys.”

“And, darlin’, you can bet on one thing. You’d have more man than you’ll ever handle. Any one of us would make Braden’s horse look like a gentle lamb.”


****

Evan didn’t sleep a wink. All he thought about, all he dreamed about when he closed his eyes was one tough-talking teenager. He should’ve been shot in his own bed for thinking about her in the first place. At best, someone should’ve tied him there and left him until the hot little blond a few doors down turned eighteen.

He rolled on his side and looked out the window into the darkness. A full moon lit up the southern skies. All he saw, all he thought about led him back to Peyton. So help him God, thoughts of what might happen in three more days, kept him tossing and turning. He tried to shake it off, think of someone else, like the cute little redhead he’d been screwing for the last several months.

He stared harder into the darkness. Come to think of it, he hadn’t visited Norma Jean in a month of Sundays so it might be high time. Yeah, maybe he’d give her a call in a couple of days. He reached for his cock and made a decision. No, the redheaded hairdresser would get a call first thing in the morning, and he might call early.

He blinked as he stared outside. Now, as luck would have it, he was seeing things too. He rolled over and glared at the blank wall. Immediately, he turned back. “Shit!”

He jumped up and tugged on his jeans and practically fell into the hallway. He pushed the door open to Kane’s room and shook him. “Get up. It’s Peyton.”

“Huh?” He rubbed his eyes and moaned. “What do you mean it’s Peyton?”

“I saw her creeping out to the barn.”

Kane swallowed tightly, released a frustrated sigh, and glared at the alarm clock before throwing back the blankets covering him. “I’ve had about all I want of one stacked little blond. I swear I have.”

“Liar. You can’t get enough of her, and she knows it.” He tossed a shirt at his brother. “She’s going for Braden’s horse again, and she’ll end up dead if she takes off in the middle of the night.”

A few minutes later, Kane and Evan rounded the corner of the corral. They stopped only long enough to squint, stare off in the distance, and take off in an all-out sprint.

In the back of a pick-up truck, somebody’s truck, Peyton reached behind her torso. She just about let all of them see the innocence of youth, what little she apparently had left.

“Peyton Storm! Put your shirt back on, damn you!” Braden stepped out from behind a big oak and headed toward the truck before they reached her.

Mortified, the boy below her scrambled to his feet and covered her. At least he had the good sense to do right by her. Maybe Evan wouldn’t kill him. Kane might still try, if Braden didn’t beat them to it. He looked like he’d considered it.

By the time they reached the pick-up truck, Braden held Frank Sanders by the collar.

“Boy, does your daddy know you’re out here at our place tonight?”

Kane’s neck pulsed with anger, his bright red face showed the color of fury even in the dark night. “Of course he doesn’t. You think old man Sanders would want him out here fucking around with a minor?”

“Two days,” she reminded him as she wiggled her head back into a T-shirt. “Two days, and if I’d only had a lick of sense, I would’ve been free as a bird in two freakin’ days.”

“Well, too bad, Peyton. You signed up for a year of Cartwell supervision and you’re going to get your money’s worth. Now hop out of the truck now,” Braden demanded.

Braden’s patience wore thin tonight and Evan tried to imagine the why behind it. What he’d seen and what he’d heard coming from the truck might provide plenty of cause and reason for it. When it came to Peyton, he usually found a way to remain calm at all costs. Evan and Kane liked to rib him about it too.

Peyton kissed Frank on the cheek. “Tell your daddy I’m sorry.” She winked at him before she added, “And tell him when I’m eighteen, I might even make it up to him if he won’t throw the book at ‘cha.”

“Damn it, girl.” Kane yanked her from the pick-up. No one typically interrupted Kane’s beauty sleep for this very reason. He liked a little shut-eye and he proved a man knew how to bitch when he didn’t get it.

Two more days and all bets are off. It’s legal to flirt then, Evan reminded himself as he watched Kane drag Peyton back up to the house. Two more days with a stunt like this and he’d spank her bare bottom.

Braden looked at Frank Sanders like he wanted to kill him. Evan realized Braden would stick him with taking the boy home. He really didn’t want to face old man Sanders at two or three in the morning.

“I got a right mind to kick your ass,” Braden said in a stern voice.

“Mr. Cartwell, you don’t understand,” the teenager began.

“You a minor too?”

“Yes…uh, no, uh…no sir. I’m nineteen.”

“What are you doing in high school then?”

“Parents held me back for sports,” he told them.

“Think they want you out here knocking up some gal and ruining their plans for you?” Braden glared at him.

“Uh, no, sir, not at all.” He groveled for words as he grabbed his shirt from an old tire propped against the tailgate.

“You know she’s under eighteen then?”

“Yes, sir. I knew it when I came out here.”

“Realize I could go see the right people in town and get your dreams shot to hell then?”

“I reckon so,” he choked out.

Evan and Braden exchanged a glance, and Evan leaned over the truck to peer inside.

Braden let the kid off the hook. “From what I hear, boy, you’re kind of like Peyton, got a real bright future ahead of you, scholarships waiting on you when you graduate.”

“Yes, sir, I hope so.”

“So does Peyton, you know,” Braden told the young man with a gleam of pride Evan didn’t miss. “She’s got the world by its throat.”

“Mr. Cartwell, Peyton is the best athlete to come out of these parts. I’m not going to mess things up for her,” he told him.

“Good, good. I’m glad to hear it.”

Again, he looked at his younger brother and shook his head. “Well, kid. I guess you can go on home then. I’m only in my twenties myself and I can understand where you and Peyton might think this is something you want to do.”

“Yes, sir.”

Both men stared at him harder then.

“I mean, no, sir, no, sirs.” Frank didn’t know if he jumped three steps forward or twenty steps back apparently but Evan didn’t mind to show him the way and help him find the right path-away from Peyton.

“Suspect we won’t see you around here for a bit then?”

His mouth twitched. “Would you consider letting me date her?”

“Hell, no,” Evan answered for all of them and Braden’s gaze narrowed on his youngest brother.

“Well, it all depends,” Braden said thoughtfully. “See, I promised her mother a long time ago I’d look after her. I can’t do it if I’m letting some boy grope her in the middle of the night.”

Frank climbed out of the truck and stood between the men. “I understand. Would you let me take her on a proper date then?”

Braden crossed his arms and rubbed his chin. “Then what would I have to worry about? Finding you at the new drive-in with her shirt shoved above her head?” He smiled easy and Evan saw where this was headed. Poor Frank didn’t have a chance.

“Mr. Cartwell…”

“Call me Braden. This here is Evan.”

“Okay, sure. Braden, can I shoot straight with you?”

“Sure, boy. We’d like that a lot. Wouldn’t we, Evan?”

“Absolutely.”

“I’d like to date Peyton.”

“Yup, I got that part,” Braden said.

“Like to fuck her too, wouldn’t you?” Evan questioned.

“You screwing her, boy?” Braden inquired.

“No.”

“Came out here for it though, didn’t you?” Evan asked as he inched closer.

Frank turned his back to Evan-not a smart move-and asked Braden again. “Would it be all right if I took her to the homecoming dance coming up?”

Braden smirked. “On one condition.”

“Okay.”

“Empty your pockets.”

“Do what?” His mouth twisted and turned then. “I don’t keep a lot of money in my pockets.”

“We don’t want your money. We only want to see what you’ve got in them. Hell, look around, we’re not hurting for cash, kid.”

He blinked a few times and slowly turned his front pockets inside out. There in his hand, two foil packets fell into plain sight.

Evan felt like the kid hauled off and hit him in the gut. “You are fucking her, you little prick!”

“No, no…” His hands went up in front of his chest. “Honest to God, I haven’t. I…wanted to sure, but I…”

Evan threw a punch and caught the kid in his right jaw. Braden stopped him from throwing another. Frank stared off in true bewilderment.

“Well, Frank, it’s like this,” Braden explained as he placed a hand on his brother’s shoulder and gave the kid an evil eye. “If you wanted to screw Peyton tonight, you’re going to want the same thing at Homecoming. The answer is no, you may not date Peyton. Come back here again, and I’ll let Kane deal with you. He throws a harder hit than Evan.”


****

Peyton wiggled and squirmed all the way to the house. If she was a few days older, Kane might have considered the unthinkable. The way she blushed when he touched her made her all too kissable. Then he saw the skin pellets. Tiny little chill bumps ran up and down her arms whenever he gripped her tighter. It told him a lot about her. She wasn’t all too opposed to feeling his hands on her.

“Go ahead, drag me off, throw me in my room! See if I care!”

“I have better ideas for you,” he snapped. And he had them. He conjured up more notions right now than a man in his marriage bed on a honeymoon night.

“I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do. You three can’t stop me!”

“Nope, Peyton, we can’t,” he agreed the second she said it.

They reached the barn then, and he pinned her against the wood pile and stared into her eyes. Don’t do it, he told himself as her lips parted and his dried. A couple of days, and I can sip on those sweet lips. Today, it’s against the law.

He returned his focus to the conversation at hand. “But we can make it damn hard on you when you try to do something like this.”

She sat down on the ground. “I’m not going anywhere until you kiss me.”

“Until I…huh?”

“Kane, I did not stutter. I missed out on a lot tonight so I’m willing to compromise. I want a kiss, and I want it from you. I want to know what those girls down at the tanning salon mean when they say you can kiss a woman into a screaming orgasm. Make me holler, Kane. I know you can. Show me.”

He bent down and yanked her up. She flew against his chest. “Oh, now, I see how it is. You like it rough.” She puckered her lips. “Kiss me?”

“Peyton, if I kiss you, there’s one thing you can guarandamtee. You’ll get your orgasm because I won’t stop with my lips on yours. I’ll move south, baby, and I’ll stay there until I taste every sip your little body will willingly give. For the record, ‘cause I know you’re young and all, I’m not talking about your lips.” He dropped his arms and grabbed her wrist. “Now, come on, get your ass up to the house.”

He stunned her quiet. She didn’t say a word from the time he made his promise. It wasn’t just a threat, and the girl apparently realized it because he made sure he said it as an oath, one he’d take before anyone.

He planned to take Peyton Storm to his bed. He’d see her there stark naked and reaching for him. He might tie her up, maybe not. It didn’t really matter. The end result guaranteed the same-pleasurable.

He’d like nothing more than to sling her pretty little behind over his shoulder right there and stroke those perfectly shaped globes as he carried her. Instead, he’d pulled her kicking and screaming all the way to the upper barn only to shut her up with a few selective words. Now, as he tugged her up the front stairs of the main hall, she looked quite different. She appeared ready for bed-his bed.

A minute later, he tossed her on her mattress and stared into knowing eyes. After the hike uphill, he doubled over and panted trying to get his breath.

He pursed his lips and dared to look up. Damn it. She stared at his cock. Right now, it demanded notice. Damn it. He wanted to spank her ass for the wrong reasons, and he wanted to do it when she turned eighteen.

If she pressed him much more, if she challenged him further, he might. But he would wait forty-eight hours to do it. God help him, if he could get away from her right then, he’d stay away until she turned legal.

“What’s wrong, Kane? Can’t keep up with a little thing like me?” She crossed one leg over the other and smiled sweetly.

“Damn if I’m not right about you.” He took a deep breath, slowly let it out and rolled his shoulders back as he tried to stand again. His erection still throbbed against his dirty jeans, the pants he left at his bed when he climbed between the sheets only hours before the latest Peyton-episode.

She acted uninterested as she studied her fingernails. “You know, I’m not as innocent as you boys want to believe.”

“Peyton, go to bed.” He walked out and shut the door behind him letting out a sigh of relief when he made it out of her room without touching her. He chewed the inside of his jaw and leaned his head against the door.

“I’m turning eighteen in two days!” she screamed.

Braden and Evan topped the stairs then. Braden narrowed his eyes on his brother. “Tell me, please God in heaven tell me, you didn’t lay a hand on her.”

He clenched his fist and stomped down the hall. “Hell, no. In case you haven’t heard, she’s going to be eighteen in two days. I’ve waited for three months. Two more days won’t kill me.”


****

Peyton smiled to herself as she overheard the most beautiful words she’d ever heard leave a man’s lips. She flattened her palm against the door and stared at it. She knew it. She pegged Evan for an easy mark but Kane haunted her. The way he watched her made her uneasy, and the way he told on her for things, made her think he did it for her own good, because he cared.

Maybe he cared too much.

Peyton fell on the bed and snapped her fingers. Yes, two more days and she’d give new meaning to sexual harassment. She’d chase these boys from one side of the ranch to the other.

Less than forty-eight hours, and she didn’t give a damn if they played their games or not. They weren’t going to call age-restrictions as their reasoning. Fuck them. Oh yes, her day was coming and soon. With any luck, she’d see one or two cowboys coming too.


Chapter 3

<p>Chapter 3</p>

“You’ve gotta be kiddin’ here.” Kane blinked as he stood in the breezeway of the barn.

“It’s a Corvette,” Braden stated, his green eyes sparkling almost emerald.

“Really? Fooled me.” Kane’s sarcasm drifted into the loft where Evan peered down with a grin as he tossed a few hay bales over the rail.

“Ask him why he’s giving her a seventy-thousand dollar car. You’re gonna love this.” Evan stepped on a few boards, and then jumped out of the loft.

“I know why he’s doing it,” he said as he watched Braden survey his purchase.

“Braden, you’re acting like our dads used to act, or so the story goes. All of ‘em wanted to control Mom. Now you’re no different. You think by buying expensive gifts for Peyton, you’re buying a little insurance. You’re hoping she’ll do things our way until she graduates.”

“It’s worth a try.”

“It’s worth nearly seventy grand to keep her in line?” Kane rubbed his chin. “I don’t think so. Something else going on here?”

“Hell, no.”

“You responded too quick to the question.” Kane peered inside the car. “This is sweet.” He dared to even look. Then he dared to sit, turn the key and crank it.

He bent his ear and listened to the hum of six hundred and twenty horsepower. He didn’t know much about engines but he realized this little baby had plenty of get-up and go. He shook his head and stepped out of the sports car. “Hell, why not buy everybody one?”

“It’s not your birthday,” Evan pointed out.

Kane grunted.

Braden readjusted the ridiculous rope holding the bright red ribbon in place. The top of the car looked like it held the world’s largest squishy tomato on top rather than a beautiful bow with satin and silk ribbons.

“He likes her a little bit,” Evan reported.

“You don’t say.”

“It’s from all of us, you two helped pay for it too.”

Kane shook his head. “The dropped bomb.”

“Yeah, I took it out of the farm account.”

“Perfect. Where Peyton is concerned, you just don’t care, do you? Hell, why not sign over the ranch? For that matter, give her your damned horse. It cost about as much as this car.”

Braden shrugged and then poked him in the ribs and pointed toward the main gate leading into the property. Peyton’s car sped toward them. “Come on. Let’s hide over here.”

Before anyone protested, they crunched down in a nearby stall. They heard the four-door sedan move closer and closer. The engine died, sputtered to a stop like it typically did, and a loud shriek rang out as her tiny little feet carried her straight into the barn.

“Oh…my…God…” It wasn’t Peyton’s voice. Wrong footsteps.

Kane rolled his eyes. Braden obviously didn’t bank on Vicky. Just what they all needed today of all days.

Peyton’s best friend provided cleavage whenever she showed up at the place, and she was cute in an annoying sort of way. He’d noticed she continued to show up more and more frequently. She must’ve planned to move in too.

Vicky turned eighteen many moons ago so he’d already noticed her. He flirted too. It drove Peyton mad so he did it more than he might have if she didn’t give a bone. Boner. He could think it now.

Eighteen. The sweetest number in the world. He wanted to share all sorts of sentiments with her now, as a birthday present, if for no other reason.

Peyton, for once, must’ve been speechless. They all peered over the ledge and watched in amazement.

“Peyton, is this yours?” Vicky emphasized nearly every word she spoke.

“I…I…I…”

“Well, is it? Did anyone else have a birthday?” Vicky probed. Kane let out a huge sigh and blew their cover. Evan poked him in the ribs, and the men stood at one time.

“Surprise,” Braden smiled and waved his arms as if to say ta-da.

“It’s hers?” Vicky squealed.

“Yes, Vicky, it’s hers. Don’t you ever shut up?” Kane snapped.

He didn’t know why but having her there ruined the surprise for him, and he quickly decided she didn’t have good looking boobs either. They were supported by a push-up bra. He might tell her he finally noticed. Yes indeed. He was pissed she decided to spoil their surprise.

Peyton blinked. “I…I…I…”

“Can you speak, girl?” Braden asked.

“I…can’t…accept this,” she said finally.

“You can’t?” Kane wondered why. Did she plan on leaving?

“No. I can’t let you spend this kind of money on me.”

“You do know we’re the kind of folks with money, right?” Braden asked.

“He means they’re rich,” Vicky translated.

Her eyes darted from Evan to Braden to Kane and back to Kane before she moved onto Braden again. “You really want me to drive this machine?” She waited for an answer. She stared at the brother who liked to live like on the edge. Kane grinned. His thoughts exactly. She’ll need a chauffer.

Kane would’ve liked nothing better than to provide a provocative answer. No, I want you to drive me, I’ll handle the machine. He resisted the urge. Hell, maybe he didn’t even think it. He understood she needed his approval, more or less, so he tried to nod with it.

“Sit down in it. You’ll change your mind.” He had a hard time taking his eyes off the sleek metallic tint coat. The jet stream blue would look mighty fine pulling in their driveway with the top down. The image in his mind’s eye tempted far too much, and he almost saw her pulling through their gates now, her blonde hair free falling into a wild wind.

Braden walked over and handed her the keys. “There’s a house key on it too. Boathouse key is the white one, looks like plastic. I figure if you’ve got a convertible, might as well have somewhere to drive it on a pretty day.”

“But of course, why not? The boathouse is the logical place for teens to hang, huh?” Kane gritted his teeth, and Evan laughed as he slapped him on the back.

Now, Kane wanted to kill him. Braden tried hard to screw things up where Peyton was concerned. For a man who didn’t want their houseguest fucked, he sure allowed her access to the wrong toys.

Kane wanted to scream. The boathouse? His private haven? The place where he romped the occasional gal pal after one too many drinks, and his one true escape from work and life and everyone in it?

“Do you think you might want to spoil her just a little bit more?” he finally snapped.

Braden started for the lower field. “Happy Birthday, Peyton.” He ignored Kane. Smart move, actually, because Kane felt confrontational now.

Since Braden expected a better reaction from Peyton, he never looked back. Braden pouted like a woman sometimes, and right now, his feelings were hurt. Let him go talk it over with his damn horse, Kane thought. Quizzard had more sense than his owner.

Evan shook his head. “Don’t worry about it. They won’t use the boathouse.”

“Oh yeah? Check out the jumping up and down over there. Sure they won’t.”

They looked excited enough to pop a few buttons on their blouses. They giggled, danced, and held hands as they continued their little dance moves. Yeah, that boathouse had their names scribbled across it now. Before long they’d paint it pink and hang bikinis from the deck.

“I take it the lake is more interesting than the car?” Kane studied their faces and noticed how they forced solemn expressions as soon as he asked.

“No, oh no. Are you kidding? Look at this car!” Peyton squealed.

Oh hell. A squealer. What he’d do to make her yelp for him. He looked at his brother, and Evan chuckled before he ran his hand over the front of his pants. Evan liked a gal with lungs too.

Kane grunted. The girls locked hands again and jumped up and down.

“They act like a couple of school girls,” Kane said as he walked out of the barn with Evan right on his heels.

Evan didn’t have a hard time reminding him. “They are a couple of school girls.”

Kane narrowed his eyes on his older brother as he tried to get Quizzard’s attention. The stallion ran loops around him. “She hurt his feelings or his pride?”

“Both.”

“Then I’ll talk to her.”

“I’ll do it,’ Evan offered. “All you’re going to do is piss her off when you start harping about the twenty-five thousand dollars we each pitched in for the cause.”

“I’d like to have a say-so ever now and again. He spent our money without thinkin’, and it just doesn’t seem right, you know, spoiling her like she’s ours to spoil.”

“She is ours to spoil,” Evan reminded him as he turned around and stared back toward the noise. “At least for now.”

“Great, he bought the added features.” Kane grumbled. “The car is loaded.” His dick twitched reminding him the car wasn’t the only thing loaded. He rubbed his hand across his denim jeans. What he had was just more lethal, or it would be soon enough.

The girls turned up the stereo volume. It blared so loud, the horses began prancing in their stalls. The men watching the display of true sex appeal stood in the breezeway and stared at swaying hips, bouncing boobs, and an erotic dance designed to tear at a man’s balls.

“Good Lord.” Kane rubbed his hand over his cock again.

Evan slapped his back. “Hell, give her a few weeks before you start that shit.”

“I’m thinking a few minutes. She’s of age now.”

“Don’t matter. Braden will kill ya.”

Kane shook off his dirty thoughts and changed the subject. “I guess every teenager wants a jamming car stereo.” And every man wants a woman who can move like her, he thought. “She’s going to thump all the way to school.”

“Admit it, you don’t mind if she’s thumping to the music just as long as it doesn’t draw unnecessary attention to the car or a few guys who might want to do some thumping of a different kind.”

Kane looked at his brother cross-eyed and walked back to the barn. Peyton reached a decision while they left her to check out her new gift. She loved the car. He didn’t even have to ask. She had on her shades, her hair pulled tight against a hair clip and her head bobbed to the music.

“Man! I love this car, Kane. It’s rockin’, huh?”

Why ruin her day by grumbling about price? “Yeah, it’s pretty cool, Peyton.”

Vicky elbowed her in the ribcage and then hurried off to grab something out of Peyton’s old clunker. Kane saw the set-up and almost laughed.

“So, uh, have you driven her yet?” She patted the steering wheel.

“Nope.”

“Bet you’re dying to though, aren’t you?” she stepped out of the car and propped her hip against the door when she shut it.

“Nay, I kind of think someone else should get the honor.” He nodded his head toward the pasture.

Peyton covered her mouth with her hand and then let out a sigh of frustration. “You all are so good to me and look at me. I didn’t even say thank you.”

“No thanks needed here, but…” He rubbernecked in Braden’s direction. “If I had to guess, he’s been out here all morning trying to imagine how you’d react when you saw it.”

“I guess I failed the test.”

“You didn’t flunk any kind of test with him. Braden wants you to like his gifts, enjoy them, behave, and graduate. It’s pretty simple with him, Peyton.”

“And with you? Is it pretty simple with you?”

He grinned, “What the hell do you think? You’ve lived with us for three months. If you don’t know by now, kid, you’ll never know.” Kane started toward the tack room. “Go tell him thanks, brag on him a little bit and stroke his ego.” Then come on back here. I’ve got something in between my legs that might need a little stroking too.

Peyton ran over and threw her arms around his neck. It was the first time she’d ever hugged him. For the most part, Kane stayed out of her way and while her breasts mashed up against his chest, he understood why he’d tried to steer clear.

His cock came alive and damn near danced right out of his pants. She’s eighteen, he reminded himself. Yesterday, it was wrong. Today, the law and society says it’s okay.

He turned away from her before she looked down. God help him, if she looked at his bulge and caught him with a boner today, he didn’t know what he’d do. Nope, the little vixen was checking out his feet. Evan once told him why the girls all checked out a man’s shoes. Kane decided it was something they must teach the gals in sex-ed.

She leaned over and kissed his cheek. “Thank you, Kane. I love it.”

“Then love it enough to take care of it,” he growled and immediately patted himself on the back for sounding out like a big brother, or a guardian. Then his mind went crazy and thank goodness his mouth refused to follow suit.

And don’t let any boys in it. And don’t drive too fast. The car can get away from you. And don’t let any boys in it. Don’t fuck in it or take your shirt off or go down on a guy while he’s driving it.

“Shit.” He picked up his gloves, shoved them in his pocket and then kicked the barn door with everything he had in him, which didn’t make any sense at all. He took a big drink of air, gulped it right in and held his breath until his cheeks filled with hot air. She frustrated the hell out of him. He kicked the door once more and turned around. There, he found Vicky’s curious eyes.

“Ah hell,” he grumbled before he picked up his gait and headed outside.

Now he’d done it. He’d pitched an immature fit in front of Peyton’s BFF or whatever she called her and if he knew Vicky, her mind churned. She’d interpret what she saw precisely the way it was. Ninety days of desire-driven, hard core sexual frustration kicked into the side of the barn by the guy with a hard-on stout enough to split wood.

Maybe she didn’t notice.

Yeah, right.


****

Peyton gave Evan a tight squeeze and headed down to the fields where she found Braden. She called for him like he’d disappeared out onto the open range somewhere and wouldn’t be able to hear her. Cupping her hands over her mouth, she hollered again and again.

Finally, he scrambled up the hillside with his thousand dollar horse behind him. Okay, so Peyton realized they paid more than a few thousand for a horse. They insured the damn thing for crying out loud.

“Braden, there you are.”

“Something wrong, Peyton?”

“No, nothing except I’m impolite. I’m as rude as some cowboy spittin’ tobacco on a lady’s new shoes.”

His mouth twitched. “Rude, you say?”

“Yep, I believe so.” She leaped forward and gave him a quick hug before she kissed his cheek. “I love the car.”

“I’m glad, Peyton.”

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. Have you driven it yet?”

“You mean I’m supposed to drive it? I thought some considered it a collector’s item, and you wanted me to keep it in the barn. Kind of like you do that ass you’re dragging behind you.’

She meant the horse.

He took her as literal and immediately, his face turned blood red.

“I meant Quizzard, not your ass,” she clarified.

“I understood what you meant.” He didn’t.

“Vicky and I are going to study for a bit,” she reported.

“Okay.”

“Braden, thanks again. The car is bad.”

“It is?”

Evan walked up as she said the word. “Bad is good.”

Braden narrowed his eyes. “I’m in my twenties, not over-the-hill.”

“Just keeping you straight.”

“Take her for spin, Peyton, but get Evan or Kane to ride with you until you get used to the feel of the road. It’s a car with a lot of power, and it’ll get away from you if you’re not careful.”

She pulled Evan’s arm. “Come on, take me for a drive.”

“I wish I could Peyton, but the guys are going to be here any second to pick me up.”

“Oh, I see.” She stuck her lower lip out and started to pout.

“Yep, I figured I’d go drink one for you since you’re still three years shy of your twenty-first birthday.”

She just bet. If she knew Evan it was something more than drinking with the guys. She’d bet on some gal getting fucked in her honor to keep him out of her bedroom later.

Lately, Evan stared her up and down. A few times, she’d caught him with his hand on his cock. Usually, it happened after he spotted her eating breakfast in her panties and bra.

“Listen, Kane wants to drive it. So ask him to take you for a spin.” He leaned over and kissed her cheek.

She laughed out loud. He didn’t even realize what he suggested. Kane most definitely wanted to take her and the car for a spin.

Peyton headed straight for Kane. She saw him at the barn entrance. He held onto a hitching post and tugged at his boots.

“Kane, will you take me for a drive?”

He winked. “Damn girl, if you only realized what you’re asking.”

Oh but she had a pretty good idea. She was blonde but far from dumb.


Chapter 4

<p>Chapter 4</p>

Kane pulled above the slight embankment leading down to the boathouse. They stopped parallel to the lake. “Drives like a dream.”

“I can’t wait to try and handle it,” she said with thick implications.

“Well, then come on over here, and we’ll head back.”

He must have decided to bypass the opportunity for some one on one time.

Too damn bad, she thought.

They were going inside the boathouse. He might look for a way out, but he would not find one. He tried to avoid taking her there in the first place, and she realized why. They were alone and Kane didn’t do all-alone well, at least not with her.

“I will but first… you promised to show me around.”

“I don’t make promises. Braden hasn’t brought you out here?”

“Nope,” she said as she tumbled out of the car with too much spring in her step and bounce in her boobs. It was deliberate. She was blessed, and she liked to flaunt it. Plus, she was eighteen. She needed to shake and bounce around Kane all the more. Maybe then he’d notice what he’d missed.

Kane pursed his lips but he followed her. He took the steps down to the water two at a time. With a key in his hand, he unlocked and pushed the front door open all at once.

“Do you come out here a lot?” she asked.

“Some,” he replied.

“With girls?”

“Women.” He made his point.

She smirked. “Well, I guess I’m in the right place then. I’m eighteen today, and I’ve felt like a woman for years. I have the body to help me look the part, you know.”

“I don’t want to know,” he said, rolling his beautiful dark eyes and grinning enough to sport the cute dimple in his cheek. At six foot three, he looked like a giant next to her.

He walked through the close quarters and pointed out anything worth a mention. “There’s the kitchen. If you’re out here and there’s beer in the fridge, don’t drink it. I count them.”

“I bet.” She whirled around, reached up, and pinched his cheek. “Do you count how many your girlfriends drink so you can charge them by the can?”

“No, I don’t.” he grunted. “Over there’s the bedroom. Two sets of bunks and we’d better not catch you out here using them for anything more than a sleep over.”

“There’s an idea.”

He ignored her and moved into the living room to open the patio door. She rushed by him before she stepped onto the tiny dock where two jet skis were pulled up to the enclosed deck. “Wow! Talk about a bachelor’s pad. Why don’t you live out here?”

“I meant to move out here this summer. It didn’t work out.”

“Why?”

He shrugged and looked at his boots. “Just didn’t.”

“Braden refused to allow it because of me, right?”

Kane chuckled. “Do you think everything is about you, little girl?”

She gritted her teeth. “I’m not a little girl but in case you failed to noticed, it seems most everything with you guys somehow ends up about me.” She walked through the terrace door and headed for the bunkroom. “Where’s the bathroom?”

“Over here,” he said. Walking into the confined quarters, he pulled back the shower curtain and showed her how to operate a faulty faucet.

“Pay attention. You might want water sometime. What you do is hold up the knob here and then jerk it really tight before you turn on the hot or cold. Otherwise, the water pressure is limited.”

She tried to act interested but it proved tough. Looking at his ass, she made a quick decision. She’d figure out the function of water works when she needed a shower. Right now, other things occupied her mind.

“Peyton, are you listening to me?” he asked over his shoulder.

“I’m listening.” She patted his lower back and his body went rigid. She noticed how he quickly straightened his back and reached for the sink.

“Under here, we keep a first-aid kit, extra towels, washcloths, and plain ‘ole bathroom stuff. You know, shampoo and that sort of thing.” His eyes widened when he spotted something sticking out from under a stack of towels.

She noticed the alarming look and peered under the sink quickly. There, she saw a white little tote. “What’s in the bag?”

“Personal stuff.”

“Oh,” she said. “Afraid you might bring a chick here and she has a need for personal stuff?” She wrinkled her nose.

“No, I’m not.” He moved her to the side but she didn’t budge on her own. She stooped lower and reached for the bag.

He caught her wrist. “It’s private.”

“So, I’ll come back out here tomorrow and look. It’s a long way out here to satisfy curiosity but I will come back. I earned a key to the place, you know.”

She watched for a flash of recognition. One telling sign to let her know he took her at her word. Oh yeah, she’d drive back out because she realized what she would find.

“Leave it alone, Peyton,” he deadpanned. This time, he placed his hand on her waist to move her out of his way. She still didn’t make it easy on him. Her knees refused to bend. She stayed put.

“Show me.”

“No. Let’s go. Somebody has a birthday dinner to eat and a friend waiting. Evan and Braden will wonder where we are.”

She stretched her arms over her head and let them fall. Her palms settled on her thighs. “I’m legal now, you know.”


****

He refused to stare at her breasts when she tried to get his attention. Instead, he concentrated harder on her face. Damn if she wasn’t a pretty thing.

Ah shoot, why not notice the boobs? He allowed himself the indulgence. With her scoop neck white T-shirt, and perky little nipples pressing through the thin material, when she stretched, he looked. He stared hard. It was long overdue.

“I didn’t get a birthday kiss,” she pointed out.

“Yes, you did,” he reminded her. “Three hugs and three kisses.”

“On the cheek, only on the cheek.” She pointed where.

“I’m not kissing you, Peyton,” he told her.

When Peyton first moved in, she gave them attitude. Every day started with a new game. One day, she’d leave the bathroom door open while showering. The next she ate breakfast in her thong and bra. It was never-ending. He moaned. Until she realized they didn’t look because of her illegal age status. Oh boy, a long winter straight ahead rang out with trouble.

“Have it your way.” She stooped again and pulled the white leather bag from under the sink.

Before she opened it, he caught her hand and tugged her against his body. “Listen to me, little girl, we’re not opening this for your virgin eyes.” He tore it from her grip, and she shrugged then walked out.

He tossed it on the counter so he wouldn’t forget to take it with him. If he forgot it, she’d come back to snoop. What he had tucked away inside might scare her to death.

On second thought, knowing Peyton, she’d probably strip.

“I bet it’s your loss,” she teased.

He followed her into the bunkroom. She climbed to the top bunk, and let her legs dangle over the wide iron frame. She twirled a few strands of hair. “It is, isn’t it?”

“What? Not living out here?”

“No, I mean, I bet whatever you’re toting in your sling pack, you can use on your women. Since I’m very much a woman now, it’s your loss.” She rolled over on her stomach and stared at him. “Are you sure you don’t want to go get your little goodies? We’ll pretend we don’t know one another and play house.”

“Come on, Peyton, let’s pretend we do know one another and play house. I’m taking you home.”

She crossed her ankles, twirled her hair again, and looked down at her nails. “I’m not ready to go.”

He scratched his head, studied her for a long time, felt his dick twitch, and waited. The gnawing sensation he usually had around her didn’t kick in, the one reminding him of why giving in to her advancements might work into a real dumb idea. At least when he felt the hairs stand up on the back of his neck, he stopped long enough to consider what he wanted to do most and why he shouldn’t give in to temptation.

His conscience must have been out to lunch or on an extended break. Either that or her birthday really changed everything.

His dick throbbed as he stared at her chest. Yep, in a matter of twenty-four hours, things definitely changed. He was hungry, and he stared at the source of where he’d find his fill.

With a grunt, Kane walked back in the living area and picked up the remote control. He clicked the television on before he flipped through the local stations. He plopped down on the sofa and rubbed his hand through his hair. He looked like a man ready to stay awhile. The package in his pants provided even better ideas. He glanced down at the bulge and cursed under his breath.

“Peyton, I’m ready when you are. Remember, Vicky is waiting. We need to start home.” He closed his eyes and leaned his head back. Damn her for making his dick hard and double damn her for trying before she even blew out the candles on her birthday cake.

At least then he’d have some sort of proof, something solid to etch in his memory to remind him of her new ‘legal’ status. He refused to feel guilty now and since he decided he didn’t, boy oh howdy, he really needed to get her out of there.

A few minutes later, she tip-toed across the room and he expected her. She started by his chair in pursuit of his big boy toys. He reached behind his head, snapped her wrist and tugged her onto his lap. He meant to stop her, and he managed to do it.

He didn’t mean to catch her weightless body and keep it sprawled across his lap. He didn’t want to make it easy for her to wrap her slender arm around his neck and he damn sure didn’t mean to kiss her.

His lips took control and changed all plans once she melted down his defenses. She locked her eyes on his mouth, her mouth watered, lips parted and well, it was her birthday. He might as well act like Braden and give her everything she wanted. Well, almost everything.


****

Peyton giggled when she landed across his lap, and she fully expected him to kiss her. Of course he would, she initiated it. She’d tried for over three months to get his lips on hers and failed each and every time. Now, he was there, nipping at her lower lip and tracing her jaw with a hungry mouth. Oh God, she’d never had a kiss like this. His tongue traced over her mouth and those dark brown eyes looked at her with a whole lot of lust. She lost her mind watching him.

His tongue swept along her tongue. Her heart turned cartwheels as he kissed her without enough deliberation to stop the act they were certain to find. What a man, she thought, as she curled her fingers into his blond hair.

She ached for this kiss to continue forever, and she wanted it to last long enough for him to realize he liked her, wanted her enough to take her in the bedroom and strip her down to bare bones. She wanted him to show her what he kept in his satchel. She’d heard stories. She’d eavesdropped in the local shops enough to know Kane liked it rough and wild. She wanted the animal in him to come alive in her.

She clutched him closer, tugged at his shirt, ready to rip it, and right then and there, it ended. He grabbed her wrist and glared into her eyes.

He swallowed tightly. She did the same.

“We gotta get outta here.”

She brushed his hair away from his forehead. “Kiss me again, Kane. Please kiss me again.”

His mouth curved into a wary smile. “Happy birthday, Peyton.” He licked his lips and she thought he might give her one more for the road. Wishful thinking. Instead, he stood and then dumped her where he’d been seated. Then, he strode across the hardwood floors, locked the door leading to the docks and grabbed her hand on the way out. “Let’s go.”


****

He shouldn’t have kissed her.

The lone thought reeled through his head as he drove them back to the ranch. She said she couldn’t drive because her knees turned to squish and jelly. He made her knees turn to mush.

No, he shouldn’t have kissed her.

Braden and Evan wanted him to keep her away from the house long enough to set up for a surprise birthday party. He imagined Vicky made herself available for the surprise.

His brothers were probably having a field day checking out her ass and boobs. Everyone liked to look at Vicky.

A common tease, Vicky possessed a saucy reputation. If he had to do a teeny bopper, he might consider Vicky. She didn’t live with them. She was safe…and legal. Plus, rumor had it, the girl could blow a man like nobody’s business. Yeah, he’d think about Vicky.

He took a deep breath, let his cheeks fill with hot air and slowly let it out. Peyton laughed.

“What’s so funny?”

“You are. Vicky told me about the little charade in the barn after I kissed you on the cheek. She claimed you kicked the barn door, ran your hand through your hair, bit your lip and cursed like hell.

“Did she now?” he felt his lips twitch as he fought a smile. “Your friend is trouble.”

“She said the same thing about you.” Peyton leaned over the console and propped her chin on her hand. “Kane?”

“Hmm?”

“Are you trouble?” With her index finger she ran the tip around the scoop of her neckline and then with the same finger, seconds later, she had it trailing up his thigh. His inner thigh. By the time he pulled off the road and safely made it into the emergency lane, her hand lingered mere inches from his balls.

He held her wrist against his leg as he reached over the steering wheel with his left hand and threw the gearshift into park. “Peyton.” He refused to hurt her feelings but he couldn’t play games here either. If they messed around like this, things might get complicated because he did like it rough, and the games he played were too dangerous for a woman like Peyton.

“Kane?”

“This can’t happen.”

“What can’t happen?” She batted her eyes and smiled.

“We can’t do this again.”

“We can’t go for a drive again?”

“No.”

“Why not? Do I tempt you so much you can’t stand to be in the same car with me?”

“Yes, you do.”

Hell! Why did he have to say it? He bit his lip and fell back against the headrest with his eyes closed. Damn it! He just said the wrong thing to the right girl, and he’d bet money on it. She’d run with it and consider him an open challenge.

Her hand stroked his leg then. “You might like me better than some of those ditzy broads you date.”

“I don’t date.” And he knew damn well he’d like her more. It provided enough reason to stay away from her as much as possible.

“Are you going to tell them you kissed me?”

“No, and you aren’t either.”

“Wanna bet?” She twisted her painted lips into a challenging smile.

“All right, that’s it.” He shifted and immediately saw the only disadvantage in Corvettes. For someone over six foot three, and two hundred pounds, the seats confined him. Good, he thought, she won’t get laid in this car. Braden probably thought the same thing when he bought it.

Peyton continued to bat her eyes and bent down for her purse, pretended uninterested in the pending conversation and pulled out some Dentyne. “Wanna a piece of gum?”

“No.”

“I’ve got some candy too. Wanna peppermint?”

“No.”

“Wanna pop my cherry?” She smiled deviously.

“No.” Yes! Hell yes! He blinked to be sure he heard her correctly. The first bead of sweat burned his brow. “What did you say?”

She laughed. “It’s a game.” She pulled out a hand-held device. It looked like a palm pilot.

“It’s called Cherry Popper.”

He let out a sigh of relief and shook his head. “Don’t tell me, the winner is the one who pops the most cherries.”

“You got it.”

“Great.”

“I bet you’re a big winner, aren’t you, Kane?”

He pulled back on the road and concentrated on the pavement in front of them. If she didn’t shut up about popping cherries, he was going to pop his zipper, and then Lord only knew what else he might snap. Oh yeah, he’d go for that cherry, if she still had it. If not, he’d look for a fuckin’ strawberry.

A few minutes later and they pulled through the gates of the ranch. Balloons decorated the gates and a sign with streamers directed the traffic expected. Her eyes immediately danced with excitement.

“A party?”

“Looks like it.”

“Are you serious? A real birthday party?”

“Good God Peyton, it’s a party. It’s not a car.” With a seventy-five thousand dollar price tag.

“You don’t understand,” she shouted excitedly as she jumped out catching the keys as he threw them to her, “I’ve never had a party before in my life!”

He stopped where he stood as she ran off toward the pool area. Her sweet little apple-bottom ass shifted back and forth as she hurried toward the noise.

He looked back at the car again. “Damn, that’s sweet.”

“Yeah, but it’s not as sweet as she is, now, is it?” Evan’s knowing eyes met his brothers as he walked out of the barn.

Instinctively, Kane ran his thumb over his lower lip, and for a second, he remembered how wholesome her lips tasted. He resisted the urge to tell Evan all about her hot little mouth. He didn’t want anyone to hear them and from the looks of things, they’d invited everyone in the county to the biggest celebration of the year.

Peyton Storm’s eighteenth birthday party.


****

“They look good enough to fry up for breakfast.” Vicky giggled as she sipped on her Shirley Temple drink. She dipped the two cherries in and out of the liquid.

Peyton eyed the long stems for a second and then glanced over at Kane. He watched those cherries too and once Peyton caught his eyes, he laughed and turned away.

“He likes you,” Vicky pointed out.

“Yeah, I know he does.”

Vicky pressed her friend for details immediately. “Did you do what I think you did while you two rode around town?”

“Hell no. I wish.”

“Still nothing?” Vicky probed.

“Nothing.”

Peyton smiled. For now, it was her secret. One shared private moment with Kane Cartwell.

“I don’t believe you.” Vicky laughed but her laughter soon dropped to a low grumble. “Oh…my…God.”

“What?”

Peyton turned around and caught a glimpse of Frank Sanders making his way around the patio area, working through the crowd with a bouquet of flowers. He definitely stood out with his gift in hand and his bright multi-colored shirt.

She glanced back to the Cartwell brothers. “They invited him?”

“Why wouldn’t they invite him?” Peyton snapped.

Vicky’s lips twitched. “For starters, you almost fucked him, and Evan almost broke his jaw for trying it.”

“I didn’t almost fuck him,” Peyton corrected. “We made out and they blew it out of portion.” She tilted her chin upward, in the direction of her guardians, as if Vicky had no idea who she meant.

“He asked Braden to take you to homecoming.” Vicky’s lips formed a tight line. “Braden and Evan said no, in case you’re interested.”

Peyton glanced at the Cartwells and then back at Frank. “I kind of thought so.”

“You knew?” Vicky asked.

“I guessed it when he asked Marcy Johnson to go, she must’ve been second runner-up.”

“Did you ask him about it?”

“Nope, not really. I don’t particularly care.”

“Guess you have your sights on someone else?” Vicky smiled and waved at the Cartwells.

Braden, goofy as ever, lifted his hand as if he started to wave back in much the same fashion.

Thank God he didn’t. Peyton would’ve died right there. He was too sexy for his own good but didn’t act it. Of course, Braden really wanted to do right by her. He promised her mother and since he spent the better part of ten years eating breakfast at the diner where she worked, they were tight friends. When Braden made promises to his friends, he kept them. Everyone in town admired him.

Frank walked over to her and handed her the flowers. “Happy birthday, Peyton.” He leaned in and started to kiss her.

Peyton’s hands flew to his chest. “My watch dogs are nearby.”

“Yeah, I see them. I can’t steal a birthday kiss?”

Peyton bit her lip and then thought what the hell. As an adult now, she could make her own choices. Surely they wouldn’t care. If they did, let them look the other way.

“Thanks for the flowers,” she said as she took them and slapped them against Vicky’s chest.

She didn’t bother to notice the grumble in her best friend’s voice. Instead, she grabbed Frank’s hand and led him to the other side of the pool where many of her friends danced in front of the band.

Frank’s arms draped around her waist, and they began swaying nice and slow. The first slow song of the night allowed Peyton to fall right into Frank’s body as his hands rubbed over her lower back.

She’d lost the casual wear as soon as she realized she had party guests waiting and now she wore a fitted short skirt and sleeveless turtleneck, the fall air still humid enough to allow for it. The cotton material cropped at her waistline and she felt Frank’s hands on her bare skin within seconds.

“You’re daring, tonight.”

She smiled before she snuggled into his arms.

“You’re not their kid sister and they did invite me,” he whispered into her ear before nipping at her earlobe.

“Oh God, you can’t do that here.” She shuddered and closed her eyes. Right then and there, she imagined Kane touching her, swaying across the patio with her in his arms.

“Then, I’ll do this.” He lifted her chin and kissed her.

And she kissed him back. Poor Frank would never know how much she used him, but in the moment, she had opportunity. Since her classmate gave her the chance, she wanted to take it. Leap at it. Seize it.

Her hands cupped his face, and she kissed him like a woman kisses a man. She wanted to be sure the Cartwells watched and understood one thing if nothing else. She didn’t smooch a boy like a teenage girl. She kissed like a woman.

It wasn’t a sweet innocent kiss, the kind of dead-end kiss leading nowhere. Instead, she clutched him closer and pretended her lips meshed against Kane’s daring mouth. Once the act started, the hunger pulsed through her veins, and it proved easy enough to make believers out of the onlookers.

A few of the kids behind her clapped and several of the boys congratulated Frank for landing a babe like her. Another one or two whistled.

“Wow! Get a hot kiss, Frankie boy!” One of the other jocks drew more attention with crude remarks and comments about his hands. She imagined her private Peyton-posse hurried around the pool with well meaning intentions.

Frank’s wrists crossed behind her, and his hands cupped her bottom. Even if it promised a quick ending, and she knew time ticked away now, she decided to ride this thing out.

She pressed closer until she felt the ridge of Frank’s cock pressing against her skirt. She kissed him deeper. She closed her eyes and counted the seconds, felt their eyes on her body, her mouth, her ass. Oh yeah, they were cringing, debating on when and how to stop it.

“All right love birds, enough.” Braden broke them up with a firm hand on Frank’s shoulders. “I thought Evan here taught you a lesson last time you stopped in. We don’t want you pawing all over Peyton. You might give her a bad reputation, and we wouldn’t want something to happen between the two of you, if you know what I mean.”

Evan glanced down at Frank’s pockets, and Peyton laughed. Frank had told her about the rubber incident after the fact. They found condoms on him, and Evan wanted to kick his ass. Now, it looked like Kane and Braden wanted to clobber him too.

“We’re just dancing,” she purred as she watched Evan motion for the lead singer of the band. “What’s he doing?

Kane smirked. “He’s telling him he’s fired if he plays another slow song tonight.”

Peyton’s lips formed a tight line. She refused to pout but by golly she could set her jaw and cross her arms. “Frank, can you give us a second?”

“Sure.”

He walked away without a second glance. Who could blame him?

“Why are you doing this?” She glared at all three of them. “You throw a party for me and then you don’t want anyone to dance with me. You’re making me look like a nun.”

“Darlin’, I hardly think the skirt you have on tonight is something anyone would expect to find in a convent.”

“Shut up, Evan,” she said before she returned her focus to Braden. “Please let me have fun at my own party.” Her plea was deliberately intended for Braden, and no one else.

“We want you to have a good time,” he told her.

“But not with him,” Kane interjected as he pointed at Frank.

“Why not?”

Evan snickered, “For starters he wants to fuck you.”

“Language,” Braden reminded. “We just want to keep you safe, and Peyton, boys like him aren’t going to care if they leave a gal knocked up and pregnant before they go away to college.”

Her mouth dropped, and then she closed it. She lowered her voice. “Must we discuss the pretty little birds and dripping horny bees right now?”

Kane laughed. “I like the sound of dripping horny bees,” he almost growled. “And I bet that honey is oh so sweet.”

Braden glared at him. “Drink much?”

Peyton studied Kane. Sure enough, his eyes looked glassy.

“Come on, let’s get a beer and sit out on the upper deck. We’ll see everything better from up there anyway.” Braden encouraged the other two to leave her alone. If she understood Braden, and she did, he wanted to move Kane and Evan as far away from temptation as possible. He wouldn’t allow them to use alcohol for an excuse if their hands found some form of entertainment.

With a lopsided smile, Evan warned, “Tell Frank if he puts his paws on your ass again, I’ll kick his.”

“I’ll make sure I tell him.”

She moved between them then and deliberately pressed her chest against Kane as she made her way back through the crowd. She couldn’t wait to use Frank more. By the end of the night, three tough talking cowboys would know what it felt like to want a woman.


Chapter 5

<p>Chapter 5</p>

Braden held her hair away from her neck as she hugged the porcelain princess. He shot Vicky a condescending stare. “You knew how sick she is, and you waited until four in the morning to wake me up?”

“She didn’t want you to get mad at her.”

“How much did you two drink?”

“I don’t know. She drank more than I did.”

“What did she drink?”

Peyton was sick again, and Braden turned his head away from her and bunched her hair tighter, making sure it didn’t fall into her face. Vicky stared in disbelief before she handed him another washcloth.

Evan came into the bathroom and shook his head. “They’ve cleaned us out.”

“Damn it! What did she drink?” Kane walked in behind Evan. The veins in his neck strained against the skin.

Vicky pointed at Kane. “I didn’t wake you for this very reason. Peyton told me you treasure your sleep and I knew if I woke up one of you, this whole house would come alive with fury.”

It did.

“What did they drink?” Braden demanded answers again.

“Pretty much everything from vodka to scotch from the looks of our bar,” Evan said.

Peyton moaned and then fell over to the side, curling into a ball at the base of the throne. Evan knelt beside of her. “Vicky, hand me some more washcloths.”

Kane stared from one brother to the next trying to shake off sleep. “Is she going to be all right?” Concern laced his voice. “I want to take her to the hospital.”

“No, we’re going to keep her awake and feed her. Go fix her something to eat.”

“Food?” She sat up and looked at them blankly before dipping her head once more. She flushed and then fell over again, this time in Evan’s lap.

“Yuk,” he commented.

“At least she’s talking.” Vicky slurred her words. “She couldn’t say very much earlier.”

Braden didn’t want to hear one more word from Vicky now, and he made it crystal clear. He raised his voice. “You mean to tell me she was sick and unable to speak and you refused to wake us up?”

Braden never raised his voice, especially to Peyton but he liked Vicky too and rarely shot her a cross word. Often, Peyton and Vicky deserved a few of them. Right now qualified.

“Peyton begged, and she hates to upset you.”

“They didn’t want us mad because they drank everything from Jack and Coke to straight-up vodka if the shot glasses and limes tell the tale.” Evan tried to encourage Peyton to sit up by shifting his weight and holding her small body forward.

“That’s it. Evan, load Vicky up and take her home,” Braden snarled.

“Are you kidding me? I can’t go home at four in the morning!”

Braden ignored her. “I mean it. Load her up and take her home.”

“Please don’t do this. My dad will kill me.” The whole community knew Vicky’s father. An ex-convict, the man often took his bitterness out on his family, and this sort of thing would set him off.

“Please,” she added with a whisper.

Evan shook his head. “You’re pissed right now, Braden. I am too but I’m not taking her home. She can sleep it off here.” He turned around and studied her. “Are you gonna be sick too?”

She quickly shook her head. “I don’t…I don’t…” She choked back tears now, “I don’t drink very much because I do awful things when I get drunk.”

Braden’s eyes met Evan’s for a second. “Then if you do ‘awful’ things when you drink, maybe you should think about giving up the bottle.”

Kane grunted and then pushed by her. “Get her to bed, Evan. Put her in the guest room next to you. I’d hate to pay her a visit in the middle of the night. Lord only knows what kind of awful things she might try to do to me.”

Vicky let a huff and followed a chuckling Evan out of the bathroom. “You wish, Kane.”

Kane rubbed Peyton’s head. “Well, little birthday girl, let’s get you downstairs.”

“No,” she whined as she curled her arms tighter around her stomach.

“Good Lord, she stinks. You’re going to have to get her in the shower. How long has she been sick?”

“A few hours,” Braden said. “According to Vicky.”

“Want me to go get that BFF person and see if she can bathe her?”

Braden shook his head. “I’ll do it.”

“You’re going to do it?”

“Hell, you want to do it? I’ll gladly let you.”

“I’d almost volunteer,” Evan somewhat offered when he reappeared in the doorway.

Peyton clutched her sides again and moaned. “I’m sick again.”

“On second thought, you can do it. I’ll help Kane in the kitchen.”

Evan and Kane made off like bandits and left Braden to the task of bathing one beautiful woman. Somehow, as her pale skin threatened to break his heart, he wasn’t sure he would enjoy touching her like he once thought he might. At least, not this time.


****

“Evan…” she slurred. “Braden saw me naked.”

Evan laughed. “Hell, you’re lucky we all didn’t see you naked.”

“What…did…he say…?” Her speech pattern continued to suggest the obvious. She didn’t know she lived in this world right now.

“He said you’re fat,” Evan teased.

“And ugly,” Kane said as he sat down on the edge of the bed.

“Is that all?” she drawled.

“That’s pretty much it,” Evan replied.

Kane watched her sleep one minute and jerk the next. “Braden said one of us needed to sleep in here. You earn my vote.” He stood up and peered down at the lovely child-like woman curled on the bed.

“No way in hell,” Evan said. “Want me to wake up tomorrow and do something you’ll regret?”

Kane swallowed stiffly, “I can’t sleep in here. I like my own bed too much.”

“You like her too much,” Evan stated the obvious.

Peyton smiled, and Kane saw trouble coming before she muttered the first word. “He gave me a gooooooood birthday kiss.”

“Drink another one, Peyton,” Kane snapped. His stomach lurched with the reminder and he shook his head. “Wishful thinkin’ for a teenage girl.”

Peyton blinked and stared at them. “He did. I swear it.”

“Peyton, you want another shot or a keg with your name on it?”

She doubled over. “Oh God, if I ever see alcohol again, I’ll puke.”

“Then go to sleep,” Kane snarled.

“Sleep with me,” she slurred.

Evan sighed. “She hath no idea what thou asketh, does she? Fine, I’ll stay with her. Besides, I have a feeling she’s going to tell me a few things I can’t wait to hear.” Evan suddenly itched to pull bed duty. “I love juicy gossip. If she’s drunk enough to talk, I’ll stay alert enough to listen.”

Kane didn’t want him pumping her with a bunch of personal questions. “Forget it. I’m up now anyway.” Straight up. He ran his hand across the front of his pants and thought twice about both of them staying, for her protection if nothing else.

Hours later, Kane wondered what the hell he’d been thinking. He watched her sleep as the morning sun danced across her comforter. He’d pulled back her drapes at sunrise for pure devilment. She never moved.

He owed her big time for this one. He only stayed with her because Evan promised to ask plenty of personal questions while she stayed delusional enough to think she should answer them. Kane loved a good night sleep but he liked his hide better. Braden and Evan would take a chunk out of it if they even suspected he’d laid a hand on her.

She curled up against him, and her arm draped over his thighs. He tried to move her, and she propped her head against his knee. Moaning into his jeans, she said something about their kiss again. Damn it. That kiss led to this, and this might lead to another kiss if he didn’t stop staring at her.

“Ah hell,” he groaned, moved away from her and sat up on the edge of the bed with his head between his hands. She was out of danger and the sun was up.

He needed to work off his anxiety. He had plenty of it to expend and lots of work waited in the barn, far away from the sleeping beauty sprawled across the queen-size bed.

Grabbing his boots from the corner, he stuck one foot in and fiddled with his pant leg before sticking his foot in the other. He felt her behind him as she stirred. Her breathing sounded different.

“The dead rises,” he commented before he looked over his shoulder.

“I’m sorry I ruined last night.”

“Hello, sunshine.” He ignored her apology. “How’s your head this morning? Thick as ever I hope.”

She shrugged. “Doesn’t hurt.”

“Maybe it won’t. I gave you two aspirins last night. Some folks believe it cures the potential for a hangover.”

“I remember.”

“Good, then I imagine you’ll remember a lot of things.” He stood up and peered down on the most beautiful woman in the world, the legal kind of woman, the off-limits kind of woman but the of-age woman all the same.

“Kane… I’m sorry I…”

“Forget about it. Peyton, it’s not going to happen again. That kiss didn’t mean anything, and you know it. I made a mistake and I-”

“You are a walking boner whenever I’m in a room. Don’t tell me my kiss didn’t mean anything.” She groaned and rolled over to face the window. “Now, I want to sleep.”

He walked over to the side of the bed and knelt down in front of her. He stroked her hair away from her face and held his palm against her cheek. “Peyton, we want you to have a good life, a real chance to do what you want after you graduate. We didn’t get the kind of chances we’re giving you. We had everything handed to us but we received it as a gift with a lot of conditions and a lot of dreams shattered along the way.”

Peyton’s eyes flickered with a little acceptance until she quickly changed directions. “You still want me, and Kane Cartwell, one day soon, you’ll get me.”


****

“I’m going to fuck her silly if I don’t get away from her.” He confessed. Damn it all, he just laid it all out on the table for them.

From the first day they’d brought her there, they all knew he was their weakest link. For the first couple of weeks, Evan and Braden watched every move he made when he went around her, and they should have. On day one, he wanted to bend her over and spank her little butt just for being so darn cute.

Eventually, the age thing sunk in. It took a few days though. She had the body of a sexy woman but the mind of a kid, the temperament of a teenager and she was in fact, a minor when she moved in with them. Today, things were different.

Braden tossed his napkin on the table. “Evan said you kissed her.”

“Yep, I did.”

“Thought it might have been the booze talkin’ when he first told me what Peyton said.”

“Wishful thinking, Braden. Guess you prayed a little too, huh?” Kane walked over to the counter and poured himself a cup of coffee. “Yep, I kissed her, and wanted to fuck her.”

“You know we’ve got to get her raised before we can go sniffing around her like men in heat.”

Evan chuckled. “Well, I hate to break it to you, boys, but if he had his kiss, and I ever get my chance, I’m takin’ it.”

Braden’s wary expression didn’t go unnoticed. “What if I feel the same way? Once she’s living away from here, and her life is started in the direction she wants it to go, I don’t have a problem with it. Right now, I do. I’m not going to tell you this again. She’s our responsibility, and we’re going to do right by her. Putting her in between us and telling her to choose isn’t good for her. Besides, let her enjoy some fun. Think about what all we missed because we couldn’t act like kids ourselves. Let’s give her the chances we never had. Let her run around like a teenager for awhile.”

“She is a teenager,” Evan pointed out, “or did you forget the fact she puked up your hundred year old vintage last night.”

Kane started out the back door and slapped Braden on the back. “Forget, hell. The money he spent on that wine was the best cash he’s ever pulled out of his wallet. I’d bet on it. He’s the one who got to bathe her, remember?”


Chapter 6

<p>Chapter 6</p>

Peyton walked in the house all smiles and tits. The boobs looked too good to ignore since she had on a sports bra. The skintight running shorts made a grown man itch to take what didn’t belong to him.

Kane passed her with a shit-eating grin on his face. He’d kept his hands to himself for two weeks but now two seconds after seeing her like this and he might take her upstairs and make up for wasted time.

“He’s in a mood, and he’s gonna beat your ass for this one.”

Kane shook hands with the tall guy standing behind her but refused to make eye contact with him when Peyton introduced them. He didn’t have time to make small talk when other things, like those hard little nipples pressing through Peyton’s bra, held his attention.

Peyton bit her lower lip. “Well, I don’t know why. We’re only going to study.”

Evan walked toward them and stopped in the middle of the hallway. “Holy hell.” He almost swallowed his tongue. The comment, no doubt, an accident.

“Come on, little brother, pick your chin up off the floor and let Braden deal with her.”

Kane pushed the front door back and stepped out on the covered porch. Through the open screen, he heard Evan close in the space behind him.

“Jason, how ya doing?” Heavy footsteps headed closer. Condemnation, no doubt, in every step.

Kane didn’t move. He heard the dislike, the contempt laced in his brother’s voice. He turned around and sure enough, Evan’s scowl proved easily interpreted. His eyes burned a hole through the tall fellow standing next to Peyton.

“Not too bad, Evan. Not too bad.” He extended his hand to shake another Cartwell hand but Evan only inspected it.

Kane watched from the doorway and it was easy to sense the looming trouble. “Ready, Evan?”

“Hell no.” He looked at Peyton. “Can I talk to you for a second before we leave?”

“We’re headed to the kitchen and-”

“Now, Peyton. It wasn’t a yes or no question. I tried polite pleasantries but I really need to talk to you before we leave.”

He didn’t look at Kane or the Jason-dude. His gaze burned straight through Peyton.

She placed her fingertips on Jason’s shoulders and directed him to the kitchen. “Go on in there and make yourself at home.”

“Braden!” Evan shouted out loud but his eyes never left Peyton. Braden appeared at the other end of the hall.

“Yep?”

“This here is Jason.”

Jason stopped his pursuit toward the country kitchen.

Braden extended his arm and shook Jason’s hand. “Braden Cartwell.”

“Nice to meet you,” Jason said.

Peyton pointed. “Go straight through those doors. Snacks are on the counter and soda is in the fridge.”

“Okay, but hurry.” He kissed her cheek, mistake number one, and walked toward the kitchen as Peyton instructed.

Evan grabbed her arm and pulled her out to the porch. Braden followed and Kane moved out of the way. This was too good to miss. Evan reached around him and slammed the front door.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Evan’s eyes seared with anger. Like Braden, when it came to Peyton, he seldom let go of a tantrum. Laid-back and carefree, he could turn into a real hot-head with a few beers in him or the right brawl waiting for him.

The brawl waited in their kitchen if the looks exchanged between two men served as a reminder. Kane scratched the back of his head and studied Peyton.

“That’s some way to treat a guest, Evan.” Peyton leaned up against the house, her hands tucked behind her back, probably her bottom.

“Guest?” Evan took a deep breath and then turned to Braden. “I want him out of here.”

“What?” Her mouth flew open and she glared at Evan. “Why?”

“Because I said I want him out of here, and it’s plenty enough reason. I live here too.”

Braden shook his head. “Nope, it’s not. She’s eighteen and she can choose her own friends unless there’s a significant reason to worry.”

Evan’s face flooded with hot heat, and blood red fury. “Damn it, Peyton. You know who he is.”

She batted her eyes and smiled sweetly. “Yes I do. He’s Jason Neely, and he’s a nice boy.”

“Right, at twenty-one years old, he’s not a boy, Peyton. He’s a man. He’s a damn Dom, too, is what he is.”

She acted surprised and like she had no idea what Evan was talking about. “He’s a what?”

“A Dom. He takes women, submissive women to his bed.”

“I didn’t know.”

She batted those long lashes again. Then, she released an exasperated sigh and waited.

“The hell you say.”

Braden glanced at Kane and then tried to react as the voice of reason. “Where’d you meet up with him, Peyton?”

“He’s a tutor. He’s going to tutor me.”

“Like hell he is.” Evan’s fists hung clenched at his sides. “And look at the way you’re dressed. You’re beggin’ for a man like Neely to sex-you-up and sex-you-down.”

“That’s enough, Evan.” Kane had to agree but the icy tone in Evan’s voice was hardly necessary. They’d ask Neely to leave.

Braden cleared his voice. “Peyton, what is Mr. Jason Neely going to tutor you in exactly? And do all tutors these days kiss their students on the cheek?”

“Anatomy,” she responded sweetly, “There’s a science proj-”

“Anatomy! See! What did I tell ya?” Evan grinded his molars and turned to Kane. “Go get that sorry SOB and tell him I’m waiting for him.”

“Have you been drinking?” Peyton asked.

“Hell, no, but I’m going to drink. I’m going to tie one on, right after I kick Neely’s sorry ass.”

Braden rubbed his chin, and Kane realized they were thinking the same thing. Before Peyton arrived, they all frequented the clubs. Sometimes, Evan drank too much and did a few stupid things. Once, he ended up in bed with three guys and a girl. One of the guys-if he cared to guess, Neely-did some pretty wicked things to the gal. Surprisingly, he left her begging for more. He fit Neely’s description. With his dark complexion, long hair, and thick accent, he stood ten feet tall with attitude.

“I don’t need this shit.” She shook her head and rolled her eyes. “I’m a big girl now, in case you’ve failed to notice the boobs. I can take care of myself.”

“We’ve noticed the tits,” Kane pointed out.

“Can you? Can you really take care of yourself?” Evan ignored everyone but her.

Kane watched as Evan stalked her, marched in front of her and slapped his hand against the siding of the house. “Well, Miss Big Girl, let me tell you about your friend in there.”

Kane sat down on the stoop. “This should be interesting.”

“I’ll tell him to leave,” Braden said as he put his hand on the doorframe.

“No, I’ll tell him.” Peyton started to move.

“You’re not going back in there.” Evan grabbed her waist and held her in place. His eyes were heavy with lust. That much Kane saw and he also saw something else but he tried to avoid gawking. He’d let Evan explain himself later and he would. Braden glanced down and saw it too so explaining would be par for the course, and expected.

“Let me go,” she said in a shaky voice.

“Let you go? Huh? How about I tie you up and make you beg for cock?”

“Evan!” Kane stood. “You’ve gone too far.”

Braden held his arm out and watched as the flicker of knowledge danced over Peyton’s pretty face. Oh yeah, this kept getting more and more interesting. Braden seemed curious enough to see where this led.

Peyton’s hands flew to Evan’s chest, and she stared down at his erection. “I bet you’d like that, wouldn’t you? You’d like to see my back arching up, begging you to take me, wouldn’t you?”

Tears spilled.

Damn.

“You can almost see it now, can’t you? All of you can!” She spat her words and then turned back to Evan choking back a few sobs. “He’s…not…leaving. He’s going to tutor me or else I’ll fail my test tomorrow. Now he can tutor me here or he can tutor me at his place. He offered you know. Either way, he’s not leaving or I will.”

“Shit!” Kane blew out hot air and walked off the porch studying the man’s car. He wanted to remember the license plates, the make and model, every scratch.

If the tutor laid one hand on Peyton, trouble would pay him a visit. Since Kane liked the clubs well enough and knew practically everyone, he wouldn’t have a problem finding him. One wrong move and Mr. Dom would know what it was like to beg like a submissive, only pleasure and pain wouldn’t mix. He’d break a few bones for Mr. Cool, and he might consider tutoring something other than anatomy.

Peyton fidgeted. “What is wrong with you guys?”

“Peyton, we’re trying to look out for you,” Braden held a voice of authority.

“No! No, you aren’t. You want to own me. You want to-”

“Own you?” Evan’s sarcasm reached new heights. “Honey, if you think we want to own you, then just you wait. The man in there, in our kitchen, will dominate you in ways you can’t even imagine. Worse still, he’s a novice at it. He thinks it’s owed to him. He doesn’t earn respect. He takes women and makes them think he deserves it. It’s a power play and he does it well, so well in fact, you’ll strip down to your thong and crawl on your knees-”

“That’s it.” Braden walked back inside and slammed the door. Evan jerked her around as soon as Braden’s eyes weren’t around to see it.

“Let me go.”

“Let her go, Evan,” Kane said.

Gaining some measure of composure, he complied. Reluctantly, he moved away from her and jumped over the banister cursing as he made his way to the barn.

“That went well.” Kane watched Evan until he disappeared.

“You have no right to do this,” she whispered.

“You’re right. We don’t.”

He stepped off the porch, tugged the keys from his pocket and walked over to the truck without looking back. He had to get out of there, because if he laid eyes on Neely now, he’d probably kill him. They’d made Peyton cry because of Neely’s sorry ass and such an act was unpardonable.


****

He heard her car and immediately dialed Braden. “She’s here, just pulled in.”

Braden told him he sent Neely home without any issues but she tore out of the driveway right behind him. Evan tried to follow her and thought she might go to Neely’s place so he’d parked nearby to see if she showed up at his apartment. She didn’t, of course.

“Call Evan and let him know she’s out here safe and sound. Then, tell him to leave the man alone. Just because he knows what the guy does in his bed doesn’t mean Peyton is interested in fucking him.”

“Oh yeah, I’ll make sure to pass your thoughts along, Kane. I think it will go over well.”

Kane laughed. “Yeah, kind of ruins his macho image when you put it to him like that, huh?”

Braden’s chuckling stopped abruptly. “Kane, don’t do anything to hurt her, okay?”

His warning came just like Kane suspected. It pissed him off to hear it one more time. He wondered if Braden ever got tired of telling them to stay away from her.

“Look, if you want to come out here and stay with her, you’re welcome to come right on. Otherwise, I’m going to tuck her in bed, turn on a ballgame if I find one worth watching, and get some shuteye myself. I’m not driving. I’ve had too much to drink.”

Her key jiggled against the lock, and she walked right on in with too many mixed emotions for a cowboy to decipher.

“I gotta go.” He snapped the phone shut and tossed it to the couch.

“Great. Where’s your truck?”

“Outside. You must’ve missed it.” Maybe because he parked it half-a-mile down the road.

She slammed her keys on the counter and then tossed her duffel bag in the bunk area. Tears streamed down her face and from the looks of the black mascara under her eyes, she’d cried plenty.

“Shit.” He held out his arms, and she flew right into them, bawling as she sniffed and cried into his shirt.

He held her to his chest and stroked her head as she sobbed. He wanted her to let it all out. All of it. The tears they said she never cried when her mother died. The tears she cried because of uncertainty. The ones she cried because of fear, loneliness, and maybe even a little heartache. The latter he knew something about. He understood it because he believed he might be reason for it, or at least one-third of the problem.

He backed up against the recliner and held her closer as he rocked her back and forth. She shook and sniffed as she clung to him like a last hope. He had a world of trouble curled up in his lap.

If he didn’t do something to stop where they headed before they started there, they’d both end up sorry in the morning or maybe one of them would. He felt pretty certain he’d feel a lot of things, guilt refusing to weigh in as one of them.

About ten minutes later, she stopped crying, and he held her there until she quit trembling too. “How about I fix us something to eat?” he offered.

She somehow managed to choke out two words. “Not hungry.”

“You probably haven’t had anything to eat,” he said.

She wiped her face with the palms of her hands and stood up. She walked into the bathroom and turned the faucet on, leaving the door wide open while she dabbed at her face.

Standing in the doorway, she made a statement. “I’m not going home. Not tonight.”

“Suits me.” He turned up his beer, hit the button on the side of the recliner and leaned back to relax.

She shut the bathroom door, and his body damn near bolted from the chair. He immediately pecked on the door when he heard the creaking sound of the door underneath the sink.

Shit! Shit! Shit!

“Uh, Peyton? Can you open up for a second?”

“No, I… can’t.” Impishness now replaced the sobs he heard earlier.

Damn it! He mouthed the words and threw a punch at thin air while gritting his teeth. He heard the zipper. The damned-ass zipper hung in the middle so there was little doubt of what she’d found again with ease.

He grabbed the doorframe with both hands and leaned his forehead on the panels. “Peyton, let me in, hon so I can check on you for a second. I’m uh…worried about you.”

Worried about what I’ll do to you when I see you with my toys. He almost told her so too.

He heard her giggle right before she opened the door. Her face washed clean of tears and make-up, once she looked at him, she laughed hysterically and ducked under his arm.

“You just had to prowl.”

“You forgot to hide it,” she reminded him.

“Did it ever occur to you that maybe I don’t want to hide it?” What the hell was he thinking!

He knew better than to say something to invite her pursuits. He should’ve known better anyway. “You had little business putting your nose where it doesn’t belong.”

“You shouldn’t have left it here if you didn’t want me to find it again. I gave you fair enough warning. Since Braden gave me a key, sooner or later, I planned to find out what you kept in your bag.”

His jaw and his dick twitched. She looked at his face and then at his cock. She saw movement, no doubt. Hell, as hard as he was, she’d feel it too if she didn’t quit staring at it.

After a long silence, he responded. “Peyton, you’re right. It shouldn’t be here. I’ll go put the junk in the truck.” He stepped inside the bathroom and thanked God for locks. He leaned up against the wall and stared at the array of sexual accessories. Sweet and precious Peyton laid them all out on the vanity.

He really wanted to spank her ass for it. He studied the round beads, the vibrator, and the butt plug. Oh God, how his fingers tingled, his dick throbbed, desperately ached for him to give into temptation, grab a toy and open the door.

A light knock broke off the sudden need and the fantasy.

“Kane?”

“What now?” he groaned but he didn’t move. Instead, he looked at his love kit spread out in front of him. Damn it. Why him? Why her? Why now and why in the hell, here?

“I have to ask you something.”

“What?” he snapped.

“Why don’t you want me?”

Oh God, what a question. Lie! Lie! Lie! He wanted to avoid the truth now more than ever before. All he had to do was say something like a man would say anyway. Tell her that her age prohibited her from sexual play in his bed. Maybe tell her there was someone else. Something, anything, speak firmly and take control of the situation.

“I mean, I know Evan wants me. He’s just afraid of Braden and if I was a little bit older, I think Braden would’ve already pounded my ass and my pussy a few times, if you want to know the truth. Even when I drank too much, I saw it. You know when he had to help me shower? He looked at me like he wanted me, and he touched me like all he needed in the world was to wrap his arms around me and fuck me all night long.”

He yanked the door open and grabbed her around the waist. “Watch your mouth.”

“Why? I’m assuming you know what to do with a woman’s pussy since you own plenty of toys for one.”

“Damn it, Peyton!” He lowered his head and tugged her closer.

“Well, do you or don’t you? Maybe you’re waiting for someone to teach you how to use them?” she teased. “I can be your teacher, if you don’t know.”

“You better believe I know,” he said as he nipped on her lower lip. “And you sound like a jealous woman.” He kissed her harder then, and she kissed back with enough passion to knock him over. On second thought, she didn’t sound envious, she sounded hungry, and she kissed him like she was starved too death.


Chapter 7

<p>Chapter 7</p>

“I’ve gotta ask you something, Peyton, and I can’t wait to see your little cheeks blush when I do.” He broke their kiss but his lips never left hers. He sipped and licked them, lavished her with far too much attention.

“I don’t blush,” she said before she arched her dainty neck. “I’m not easily shocked, Kane.”

He clutched the nape of her neck and looked deep into her eyes. He swiped his hot tongue over her lips again. Damn the man for kissing her long enough to make her wet, so fucking wet he might think she’d peed her pants. Sexy, she thought. Real sexy. Damn it. Why did she always have damp panties around him?

He meant to claim her. Right here, real soon, tonight. Maybe it was okay to wear dripping wet panties when a man planned to do something about it. She’d find out because she’d ask him.

His eyes turned dark, possessive with a lust she’d never known before, maybe never would again, while his voice cleared but remained raspy, carnal intentions caught in his upper lip. She understood that he wanted to whisper all sorts of dirty nothings in her ear, and she longed to hear them.

He kissed her, released her, held her away from him and looked right into her eyes.

“I want to know how you’re going to react when I show you what I can do with your sweet little pussy. Are you going to come for me? Will you scream my name? Will you cry or beg? What are you going to do when I sink my tongue so far in between your legs that you’ll never forget this night?”

Damn him for going for a shock factor. She tingled all over as he held her tight against his cock rubbing it over her lower middle half.

“Tell me, darlin’, are you ready to know what it feels like to become a woman? ‘Cause I can’t wait to know how you feel, what you say when you climax, what you scream when you feel a wave of desire crashing against your walls, forcing your self control away. I want to know…” He licked his own lips before he nibbled at hers again. “I have to know…what your pussy tastes like when you’re drenched in nothing but sweet honey and cream.”

Good Lord he might as well go down on her now and find out. Her womb clenched, her hands weaved through his hair and she moved against him, eager to feel the ridge of his cock stroke against her. He tried to kiss her then but instead she pulled away from him and she didn’t blink when she wrapped her arms around his neck. With her mouth at his ear, she purred seductively. “My pussy is going to taste like the sweetest candy you’ve ever eaten in your life.”

She squeezed the cotton candy lube she’d taken from his bag into the palm of his open hand. She had every intention of leading him to the bedroom, but they never made it that far.

His hot and spicy breath swept her off of her feet, and he kept it close to her lips. He gathered her in his arms and carried her to the futon in the middle of the open space. A kick here and a shove there and the sofa converted to a bed.

He sat her in the middle of the seedy mattress and stripped off his shirt. She took away his pleasure by stripping her own clothing off piece by piece. She tugged at the thin top and quickly yanked it over her head, before she unsnapped the clasps and freed her breasts. She tossed the material beside of her.

“Holy fucking damn. You don’t waste any time, do you?” He growled as his lips ravaged her breast, and he sucked on her nipple, pulling it firm against his lips.

“Good Lord woman, you’re more than a mouthful.” He obviously liked the fact. His teeth nipped at the side of her breast before he licked over the pointed peak and sucked her in like she might have imagined. No, she never dreamed of this. It was too good, too hot and far more than she bargained for. She needed to run and run hard, run somewhere, anywhere, just away-far away-from this, from him.

The kind of pleasure Kane delivered destroyed a woman. This was what her mother once warned her about, what girls in gym class squealed about as they recounted their days in the backseats of automobiles. Only better, hotter, and far sexier.

His cheek rubbed against her flesh, the two-day old beard roughly burned her skin. Her breath caught in her chest as he kissed in between her swollen mounds, and licked a moist and delicious path straight down her stomach. His hand covered her breast, and he began squeezing, releasing, and stroking her nipple with his thumb.

Oh no, her friends never told of such discovery. This wasn’t a teenage boy touching her, but a hard and experienced man. One who understood there were many ways to capture and tame a woman, and Kane Cartwell smiled with the knowledge.

“The sweetest candy, huh?” He knelt on the mattress and unhooked his belt. She tried to act like it wasn’t a shock, a surprise but God help her, she thought she drooled.

His belt still hooked, he pressed his hand against her denim clad crotch. “I’m gonna find out. I’m gonna taste you, Peyton, and sleep with the reminder on my lips tonight. Good God, I’ve waited too long to sip on this sweet little pussy.” His hands parted her thighs and he pressed himself against her, studied her face, watching no doubt, for a reaction.

She liked to think she read a lot about the act itself. She felt well studied in sex. She made it her business to know positioning, angles she wanted to try and the best possible way to find pleasure, but he didn’t wait for her to wrap her legs around him. He did it for her.

Hooking a knee over his forearm, he moved his cock against her center again and again. Dry humping. Good grief she might come before he got inside of her.

“This is so…”

“Good? Ah yeah, baby. It’s good, and it’s gonna get burning hot too.” He unzipped, unbuttoned, tugged and pulled until he exposed her, all of her.

Her hips refused to still. She didn’t want to grind against him. She didn’t want him to think she lacked experience.

His fingers propelled over her mound. He caressed through what few curls she had there and then dipped, just barely disappeared into her folds.

She breathed harder now, and her hips rolled forward, defying her better senses while urging him to take her, finger her just once, with a few hard strokes. “Please, Kane…”

“Please, what? Tell me what you want me to please?” He tapped the folds and bit on his lip. “Talk dirty to me, Peyton. I’ll give you what you want.”

She gulped as she watched him, the cloud of judgment forcing her to take hold of the situation. She glanced at the beer on the coffee table. Oh God, he’s been drinking. A lot by the cans on the table, she thought. It doesn’t matter, he’s old enough to want this. She convinced herself she wasn’t taking advantage of him, she wasn’t using opportunity to rule over what little control he possessed when he was around her. Denial worked well right then.

“I want you. Please let me have you.” Her voice stayed shaky, and almost desperate. “Please let me know what it feels like to be your woman, even if it’s only tonight. Let me be your woman right now, Kane.”

His lips turned up the corners, and she tingled all over. With the ball of his hand, he rolled it over her cunt, popped his wrist, and then dipped two fingers into her pussy. He slowly pushed inside of her, barely easing them in place. Two fingers see-sawed up and down inside of her pussy. His middle finger dipped in, drew back. His index finger tapped against her walls and then vanished. Over and over again, he tried to make her crazy.

“Kane, please, harder. Give me… more. I can’t take this. It’s torture!” She moved her body into his palm trying to trap his fingers inside of her.

“I’ll give you more, sweetheart but first I want you to try something for me…” He kissed her pussy. God help her, he gave her a loving kiss on her mound. She felt the juices drizzle out of her moist center.

“Anything, I’ll do anything…” Her thighs parted, and her head rolled over to the side.

The door flew open before Kane had a chance to ask for favors, or offer a few suggestions. Anger spilled into the room as the wood panels crashed against the wall. Braden’s voice ricocheted across the boathouse. “What the ever lovin’ hell do you think you’re doing?”

Kane shot up off the bed and tossed a blanket over her in the process. Peyton’s mouth dropped in shock as Evan and Braden rushed across the room.

Evan stood over them. “Damn, I missed one hell of a party.”

Braden glared, huffed and puffed. Steam came out of his ears. She swore she saw it and blinked to try and envision it again.

Kane slid the candy lube he wouldn’t put to use anytime soon underneath the blanket and placed it in her palm. He closed her fist around it. Out of their sight and his mind, he thought. He stroked her hand underneath the blanket before he reluctantly moved.

Evan didn’t act as furious as Braden but they were not happy, and they both planned on getting a few answers. They’d want them any second now.

Braden glared at the display of an intimate party. “I’m waiting for someone to tell me what’s going on here.”

“It’s my fault,” Peyton said, pointing at the beer cans. “I got him drunk and tried to take advantage of him.”

“The hell you did. He’s been out here for several hours drinking. I talked to him earlier, and he slurred all over the place.”

Peyton held the thin blanket to her chest. “I know but I…I came in here and found him like this and I…I just…stripped.”

“I’m far from drunk, Peyton.” Kane stood up and buckled his pants, his erection still obvious even though, thank God, it never left his pants. He snatched his shirt from the floor. “Come on, give her time to get dressed.”

Braden and Evan followed him outside and Peyton scurried around to get the place back in order. First she put her clothes on, then she slipped into the bathroom and returned the cotton candy lube to the toy bag. Finally, she put all the contents from the bag back where they belonged and returned the kit where she found it.

“I am so dead,” she spoke to her reflection. “D-E-A-D.”

She walked back out, and all three men gawked at her. Braden and Evan waited for her version of an explanation, no doubt. She thought about suggesting something logical like, “We can all go home and forget this ever happened.” She verbalized it as soon as she thought about it. What a mistake.

For starters, Kane’s determined stance proved otherwise. “You think what happened here is forgettable?”

Evan stared at her, and no one in the room would miss the lust settling behind his seductive gaze. Kane studied his brother. Apparently Evan saw everything. Both brothers had a pretty good idea of where Kane and Peyton were headed even if bare skin never showed.

Peyton grabbed her duffel bag from the other room, snatched her keys from the kitchen counter and started for the door. “I’m not going to apologize.”

“You’re not leaving in that car right now either. It’s foggy and you can’t drive to save your life, so you’re not going to risk it tonight when you’re pissed at us.” Braden pointed at Evan. “You drive her home. Straight home. She has school tomorrow, and this shit between her and Kane is going to stop right now. I’ll be there in a minute. Make sure you don’t stop anywhere.”

Peyton rolled her eyes.

“Peyton, right now, I don’t want to see those eyes move up or down. Your sarcastic little ass is about to get a smart spanking.”

“A smart one, huh?” She rolled them again.

“I mean it!” Braden shouted.

Evan motioned for her. “Let’s go, sex kitten.”

“Peyton, this is unacceptable,” Braden snarled.

Before she walked away, she left behind a few choice words just for Braden. “You’re wrong. This…” She grinned at Kane, and his lips curved in a knowing smile, “was very acceptable.”


Chapter 8

<p>Chapter 8</p>

“He’ll ground you,” Evan reported with far too much enthusiasm.

He followed her into the house. She slammed the door.

“Don’t talk to me. I’m still not over your earlier stunt.”

“Fine.” He crossed his arms and blocked the steps. His eyes sparkled with soft seafoam blue, and finality lingered there with a twinge of misty defiance. “Don’t say a word but you might want to take a warning. Braden isn’t going to put up with your sneaking around. He wants you to finish out this school year. Then, you can go off to college, and make a good life for yourself.”

“Move,” she said, and she tried to scoot by him.

He stopped her by placing his hand on her forearm. “Peyton, before you go messing around with Kane, you need to think about the consequences. He doesn’t fall for little girls. He doesn’t play the kinds of games you like to play.”

“Move, and I’m not telling you again.”

“Go upstairs. Pout and cry, but while you’re there, ask yourself how often you’re going to enjoy Kane’s bed. How much do you think you’ll like having him season you with the sex shop’s flavor of the week, screwing you hard, and sending you right back to your own damn bed? How long will his way of life entertain you, huh?”

She stopped and turned around. “Jealous? Yeah, I think so.” She took one step and then two, before taking three more. She towered over him at a distance, two steps beyond an easy stretch, but if he wanted to grab her, he could. She watched the bubbles at his brow, those tiny little beads of sweat scattered as his breathing picked up.

“You wanted me in high school. You missed your chance because like an idiot, you refused to jump at it. Now, because your brother did, it’s killing you. It’s driving you stir crazy, and that’s why you acted like a jealous boyfriend when Jason Neely showed up here today.”

“You wish, sweetheart.”

“Wish nothing.” She popped her hip and held onto the banister. “Jason told me you’d act exactly like you did. Seems he knows a little more about you than I do, and I live under the same roof with you.” She started to turn but he pulled her back.

“What did he tell you exactly?”

She’d bet on a lump in his throat. Good, let him choke on it, she thought.

“He told me enough.” She pulled her arm free. “Enough for me to know which Cartwell to avoid in matters of the heart. For the record, it’s not Kane.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“You’re such a smart boy, figure it out.” She trotted up the steps and left him to wonder.

He drew quick conclusions.

She’d already stripped her shirt over her head and tossed it to the bed. She was so mad she was going to take a cold shower, find a friggin cucumber in the refrigerator and fuck herself. Too naughty, she thought, but she really wanted to do something drastic. Vegetables were gross and bordered along the lines of far too desperate. Too bad she failed to plan ahead. A toy from Kane’s small stash would have come in handy about right now.

She kicked off her shoes, stepped out of her pants and started digging through her drawers when she looked up and caught him staring at her ass. She wheeled around, slapped her hand on the dresser and prepared to make demands, until she saw the bulge, and plenty of it, stretching Evan’s pants.

She stared at his cock. “Get out of my room.”

“Sorry darlin’, I can’t do it.”

His thumb hooked through one of the belt loops, and he looked like a man ready to do something more than just gape at a woman’s ass. He maintained a certain stance, one guaranteeing her that he wanted to fuck an ass, particularly hers.

His gait remained slow and steady as he approached her. His eyes on her body, heated her in the same places Kane kissed only hours before.

“Can’t or won’t?”

“Won’t,” he growled as he pulled her in his arms. “It’s not even an option.”

She gasped as she fought to get away from him but he held fast and tight, determination spiraling through his grip. His cock pressed into her as a warning, her only cue before his mouth crashed against hers.

His lips and her lips melded together as perfectly as Kane’s mouth kissed her earlier.

“That’s good. Let me kiss you, sugar.” He didn’t kiss her greedily, though the hunger existed there. Instead, his tongue moved into her mouth nice and slow, with gentle attentiveness as he deliberately kept his cock out of the equation. He left space between their bodies like a skilled lover anticipating, thinking ahead, fearing she’d bolt if he made the wrong move.

Her heart raced, her pulse increased, and she felt dizzy, drunk now with possibilities as the harrowing realization hit her square in the face. Her hands flew to his chest, and before she pushed him away, he pulled her back and pinned her against him.

“Don’t do this,” she whispered as his arms wrapped around her waist.

“Why not? You don’t want me?” His eyes searched hers for answers she didn’t have. Wouldn’t have, couldn’t give if she found them.

She wanted him. Oh God, she wanted him. And what did her lust for him make her when she also desired another? Her breasts rose and fell, and her nipples ached for his touch, a tender caress or a tight suckling kiss.

“I’m only asking for whatever it is you want me to have, whatever you gave Kane, or more if you’ve got more held in reserve for me. But understand, I’m not asking you to choose. I won’t. Not today or tomorrow or the day after. He cares about you, and knowing Kane, his feelings won’t change.”

Oh now she wanted to die. Kane cared about her and the other two realized it.

He bent his knees and gripped her hips as he brought her legs around his waist and carried her over to the bed. Locking her ankles behind him then, she tore at him like a wildcat. She covered his face with kisses before she slipped her arm around his neck and drew him closer, refusing to let him leave her now.

“Kiss me, Evan. Oh God yes, please kiss me.”

Desperation filled his eyes as he gave her what she wanted. He kissed her lips until her mind blanked out the images of another. Framing her face, Evan made passionate love to her mouth and so help her, she felt his kiss in every last one of her nerve endings. Her body craved more. This was good-too good and way too hot. Slowly, in the middle of their satisfying kiss, he reached around his waist and pulled her legs away from him.

“I want you spread out on my bed, just like this, Peyton. So pretty and sexy, just like you are right here.” He nibbled her earlobe, sucked it, tapped it with his tongue and then kissed her neck. “I’m going to mark your pretty little neck, not today, but soon. I’ll put a love mark there so everyone will know. I’ll make sure you’re marked as somebody’s woman.”

Somebody’s woman? Anybody’s woman or his woman? Would they all mark her as Cartwell property, the way she’d felt since she’d moved there? Did she choose to belong to them the day she signed the paperwork at the lawyer’s office? Maybe this act took too long but even if it was long overdue, did they expect it? She couldn’t think about it. She only wanted to enjoy this. Evan was going to mark her, brand her as his, with a hickey!

She closed her eyes as his hot lips continued to drive her to the brink of craziness. Oh yeah, this kind of attention defined maddening, crazy beyond anything she’d ever understand.

“I see it in your eyes, Peyton. You like the idea.” He grabbed the headboard and looked down at her. “Then you’ll love this.” He continued to grind out his lust, pressing against her pussy. “I’m going to tell everyone. I’ll claim that little love bite as my own,” he growled as he yanked his shirt over his head and then crashed against her mouth again while pressing his cock harder against her center.

“Lose the panties and bra. Now.” A shudder of raw desire lingered in the air as he reared back on the balls of his feet.

“Do it and I’ll spank your ass from one end of this property to the next.” Kane stood in the doorway with his thick arms folded across his chest and a wide smile curving his lips. “It’s hell getting interrupted, huh, Evan?”

Oh Lord, she preferred death to this kind of embarrassment. The one person she didn’t want to walk in and catch them. The one man she didn’t want to see her in the throes of true uncontrollable lust, and he stood there looking like he wanted to join them.

Evan’s tongue curled over his upper lip, and he punched the pillow beside her head. “Damn it to hell.”

“Yeah, now you know the feeling. Braden’s behind me. You two get straight. Peyton, get in bed. Well, scratch that. You’re already there. Evan, get away from her. She has school in the morning and a volleyball game tomorrow night.” He grabbed Evan by the arm as he started through the door and swatted him on the back. “Those blue balls should pinch the hell out of you in about another hour or so.”

“Fuck you, Kane.”

“Yeah, man. I feel the pain. Believe me, I feel it.” He stared at her with those knowing dark, brooding eyes. He took his time looking her over. Her mother used to say men who looked at women a certain way enjoyed a simple man’s pleasure. Right now, she missed her mother. Her mother would know what to say, and how to advise her. She needed some advice, and she could use it from someone without the surname Cartwell.

She nervously headed for her dresser, snatched her clothing from the floor and tossed it in the nearby rocking chair. Kane picked up the items and then sat down.

“Out.”

“Nope, not until I have a few words with you.”

“You’re pissed, and I’m not going to explain myself just because the great Kane Cartwell’s ego is bruised.”

“My ego is fine. It’s yours I’m worried about.” He stared at her ass as she pulled her flannel pajamas from her top drawer. Her little round globes were just the right handful for a man who understood what to do with an ass like hers.

He tore his gaze away from her butt, and his voice changed to a soothing tone she’d never heard from him. “My mom used to rock me in this rocking chair. I don’t remember it of course, but I do remember how she rocked Evan.”

He rocked back and forth and back and forth. “Before you moved in, I used to avoid coming in here because at times, when the loneliness set in, I used to hear her…in this room.”

Her chin quivered as he talked about his mother right when she’d been thinking so much about her own. He offered her a weak smile and then continued, “Did Braden ever tell you about her? Our mother, I mean.”

She shook her head. “I’ve looked at her pictures. She was beautiful. I know you must’ve been very proud of her.”

“Yeah well she was too beautiful for her own good. Everyone always thought so.”

“How old was she when she died?”

“Twenty-nine.”

“Too young to-”

“She was too young,” Braden’s voice echoed from the hallway and his gaze immediately fell to her ass. “Nice thong.”

She wanted to die right there. Now, they could plan her funeral and bury her. Braden Cartwell told her she had a nice thong. Braden. Not Evan and not Kane. Braden. Sweet fire and ice, this was a very good day, a defining moment.

“Thanks,” she said. She then studied one very amused Kane. His lips formed a tight restraining line before he finally released an outright chuckle.

“I’ll tell you about her some other time.” He started to get up from the rocking chair. Braden walked over to the bed and sat on the edge.

“Mom started having babies at sixteen. Did he tell you?”

“No.”

Kane decided to stay then and sat back down. It was as if he understood what Braden planned to tell her, as if he needed to hear his brother tell a story about their mother and maybe even those she left behind.

“She had me when she was sixteen, Kane at nineteen and at twenty-two, Evan came along. We have different fathers. All with the last name Cartwell. You can do the figuring on that one.”

“Oh,” she said. She didn’t know what else to say. What’s a person to say in times like these?

One thing she realized quickly. She felt far too comfortable in her panties and bra in front of them, which made her feel free, in a weird sense. She reached for her pajamas again and decided to dress while Braden continued. He didn’t look away from her, and his gaze heated her in a way his brothers did with their lips. It only took a simple look.

Evan walked by the bedroom door right as she stepped into her pajamas. He didn’t see Braden at first. “You’d better hurry and get dressed. He’s home.”

“Yeah, he is,” Braden snapped.

“I uh…failed to see you there.”

“Well now you have, so come on in here and pull up a chair. I have a few things to say to all of you, and it’s high time I said ‘em.”


****

After she dressed in a pretty pair of pajamas Braden bought for her right after she moved in, mainly because he thought she ran around in provocative nightshirts, she sat down on the floor. She leaned her head against the dresser and watched him with curious eyes. His brothers had looked into those eyes and seen their future while he tried to defy it. Hell, he still planned to fight it. This thing with Peyton, whatever they were doing, had to stop before it went too far, and spun right out of control.

“Mom loved three men, Peyton. She loved ‘em all and according to her sisters, they all loved her as much as she loved them. Trouble was, they didn’t know about the things Mom shared with anyone other than them, at least not at first. See, they were all married to other people.

“By the time they found out about one another, there was so much betrayal to overcome, feelings and emotions no one wanted to sort through and a lot of dangerous anger loomed between them. One night while Mom was in the kitchen cooking supper, something bad happened. No one knows for certain how it all started or who initiated the confrontation.

Peyton shifted on the floor and Kane, as if on a dare, glanced at Evan and then at Braden before he reached for her. At first she ignored his hand but after Evan shot her an accepting smile and Braden noticed, she let Kane pull her onto his lap where she curled up against his chest. He cradled her like a small child.

It proved a point and soon Braden felt the undoing of a grown man. Kane would never give her up. He’d already formed some sort of intimate bond with her and anyone could see it.

Braden felt his heart sink into unfamiliar territory. He didn’t like where they were all headed. History would repeat itself and the only way to change the detrimental parts was to start at the beginning and work through the pain to ensure none of them experienced the kind of heartache lingering in the past.


****

Unsure if she soothed his breaking heart or he helped keep hers in tact, Peyton leaned against Kane’s chest. He nuzzled her hair and kissed her head while rocking with a timed pace, a silent song.

“Anyway at some point,” Braden continued, “Momma must’ve heard a lot of gunfire, and she ran from the house to see what happened. She rushed out to the barn and found the three men she loved. All of them lay dying in a pool of blood with guns in their hands.”

Peyton’s mouth opened and closed as she tried to imagine what their mother must’ve gone through when she found the three men she loved most dying, all three calling her name, perhaps, needing her beside of them as they took their last breath. “That’s horrific.”

“It’s worse than a horror story, Peyton,” Evan said as he watched her. “It was her life. She caused it. She did it with lies and deception and then when she decided it was too much to handle, what did she do?” He looked up at the beams high above her bed, and Peyton shivered before he said anything.

Kane shook his head. “This isn’t necessary.”

“Oh yes, it is. If you’re going to tell her part of it, tell her the whole thing.” He turned back to Peyton and pointed to the rafters again. “When the guilt ate her insides out, she decided to hang right here so her sons would find her.” His words were drenched in bitterness.

Braden closed his eyes, and Kane glared at the ceiling. Now she understood why Kane didn’t come in her room before she moved in.

It was more than the lullabies he thought he still heard, and it wasn’t the song in her voice he imagined. It was the memory of a life-changing discovery, the image none of them would ever shake.

“I’m so sorry,” she whispered against Kane’s chest but she looked from Braden to Evan. “I never knew or heard those stories.”

“Of course not, but now you know and since you do, you might understand why I wanted to help you but why I didn’t want whatever it is that’s going on between you and Kane and maybe even Evan and you, to happen. History often repeats itself, Peyton, and the sins of fathers can fall like a gavel upon their children.”

Kane held her closer, tighter. He needed her. She felt it in the strength he used to hold her there against him. She refused to pull away even with Braden’s warning.

“Peyton, you need to understand something. It’s not that I would fear what we would do to one another. I fear what a relationship, with more than one man, could do to a woman, what it might do to you. It’s hard to explain but I think in a lot of ways, my mother ended up very lonely even though she had three men who loved her so much they ultimately died because of her.”

“Maybe she didn’t find happiness because she refused to tell the men in her life how she really felt. It had to be hard on her if she had a relationship with three married men. Maybe all she wanted was the security found in the arms of someone she knew loved her enough to stay with her forever.”

Evan managed a grin. “You’re a romantic. Just like every other woman in the world, a hopeless romantic.”

Peyton sat up then, dabbing at her eyes. “No, I’m not a romantic, Evan. I was raised without a father. My mother refused to date. I don’t know romance from a good romp in the sack.”

Immediately all eyes fell to her breasts, lust filling each pair of eyes on her then.

“What do you know about a romp in the sack?” Braden asked.

“Well, nothing now, no thanks to you.”

He chuckled. “Somehow I expected a note of thanks.”

“You might get your ass kicked if it happens again,” Kane grunted.

Braden let it slide. “Peyton, I signed on to raise you into a woman who could take on the world. I wanted to help a woman-your mother-because she once helped me.”

“My mother helped you?”

“She pretty much saved my life when I was a wild teenager.”

“Braden ran with the wrong crowd, wanted to be a wild ass after Mom died,” Kane said.

“And every morning, I ate breakfast at the diner and every morning your mother reminded me of why life is good, why it’s a gift, one we only get to unwrap once.”

“Yeah, she always said that about life and about a woman’s virginity too, by the way.”

“Peyton…” Kane raised an eyebrow. He most likely feared she was only testing the waters before she dove into an outright seduction.

Braden cleared his throat. “Let’s make a deal, want to?”

Kane stuck his thumb in her side. She wasn’t sure if he did it to let her know he was horny or to shake her enough to tell Braden ‘no deal’ regardless of what he hoped to pitch.

“What’s on your mind?” She stood up, carefully walked over to Braden and sat down on his lap.

Kane chuckled, Evan snickered too and Braden sat there motionless for a few moments. After only a minute passed, she bent her elbow and hooked it around Braden’s neck. “I’ll make any deal you want me to make but on one condition.”

“What?”

“I can regard it like I do any other rule.”

Braden reached behind his neck and tried to loosen her hold. “Which means?”

Evan clarified. “What she means is rules are made to be broken. If it’s a deal she can’t live with, she won’t hold up her end of the bargain. Right, Peyton?”

Peyton moved her mouth to his ear. “And speaking of rules, Braden, I only break them when I’m feeling naughty.” She licked his earlobe, took his hand and added with a wink. “Wanna feel how naughty I am right this minute?”

He stood up and dropped her ass right on the floor. “Nope, I don’t. Did you not hear a word I just said?”

“Yes, I did, but-”

“Peyton, I want you to make deals, and keep them. Follow rules and respect them and until you graduate from high school, I want these two to keep their hands to themselves. Do you understand?”

She groaned. “Yeah, I got it.”

“Well?” He reached for her and pulled her up with one hand, the gesture seemingly close to a handshake. “So we have a deal?”

Pressing her breasts against his chest, she kissed the tip of his nose. “We do until we don’t.”

Braden growled. “Which means?”

“It means, ten seconds and counting, then all bets are off.” Kane clicked off the time holding up ten fingers while allowing them to fall one by one.


Chapter 9

<p>Chapter 9</p>

An outside hitter, Peyton’s starting position on the varsity volleyball team wasn’t easily earned but it was hers to have. If anyone doubted it, they only needed to look a little closer at what she’d achieved. On and off the court, Peyton played hard and worked for everything she accomplished.

She maintained a high grade point average, generally over a three point seven, and she’d been on the varsity volleyball and basketball teams since the first day she walked into Mountain High School. Most believed she had a full ride waiting at some of the biggest and best colleges. Those scholarships meant very little to her now. While she wanted to go to college, she realized with each passing day, a wave goodbye to the Cartwells meant leaving a piece of herself behind.

Peyton searched the crowd and didn’t see them. She assumed Braden might show up late because of an afternoon meeting but Kane and Evan rarely left the gym when she was on the floor. She couldn’t find them in the crowd.

By the time she saw Kane and Evan sneak in the side door, the girls stood ready on the court. Peyton watched them until they took a seat front and center on the second row of bleachers.

She gave them a guarded smile. This was a big game, the conference championships. Whoever won this game headed to the state championships, and she wanted to go. The team needed to go. This was their last year to prove this team had the ability. The whistle sounded out, and Peyton moved into position. She served first and within seconds, the game was well underway.


****

“Where’s Braden? She keeps looking up here, and I know she’s looking for him.” Evan looked around to see if he spotted his older brother.

“I have no idea but he’s here. He’s taping the game somewhere, I’ll guarantee it.”

“He acts like her father one minute and a jealous husband the next,” Evan complained.

“And we don’t?” Kane watched as Peyton’s fifth serve glided over the net. Actually, she slammed it. Pride took over and he stood up and yelled, “yeah” so loud he was heard over the rest of the crowd.

“Easy boy,” Evan whispered. “Right now you look like a proud boyfriend, if not a dog in heat.”

Kane turned around and searched the crowd. He spotted Braden right then. “No worse than he does.”

Evan stared up at the very top of the bleachers and saw Braden with his camera equipment. He proudly wore the school colors and Peyton’s number on his cap.

He waved at her a few times trying to get her attention and when she finally spotted him, she waved back. She shouldn’t have waved.

She missed the next served, and Peyton never missed a serve.

Kane shook his head. “Damn it.”

Evan slapped him on the back. “Ten points isn’t anything to snarl about. Damn good start.”

By the time they quit their chit-chat back and forth, Peyton moved all over the court, screaming for the ball, spiking it, and passing. At times they weren’t quite sure which position she played.

“Is she hogging the ball or showing off?” Kane asked.

“Both.”

She had a few good in-their-face spikes, and Kane cheered, prouder with each one.

And then everything went to hell in a volleyball net. The crowd opened up and everyone continued to cheer but danger loomed. It lurked in the shadows.

Kane had just glanced over his shoulder to observe his brother again when he turned back to the game. Everything happened in slow motion. Peyton slid across the floor, the ball high in the air, nearly hanging in the balance. She spiked it, got the point and the girls slapped hands, and patted backs.

In the corner of the gym, Kane saw a man in a long, black trench coat. His hands were in his pocket one minute, and the next minute, hell unleashed. So help him, he blinked and discovered they landed in the pits of it.

Gun. Kane thought it before he whispered it as if he didn’t believe it himself. He jumped from the stands yelling. “He’s got a gun!”

A ricochet of bullets pounded the royal blue and white mats hanging from the gym walls.

“Peyton!” He heard Braden’s scream in the distance.

“Get down, now, Peyton, now!” Evan trailed behind Kane, shouting at the top of his lungs, “Down! Hit the floor and stay there!”

Damnation the bullets were everywhere. Two shooters, there had to be two shooters.

Kane bolted across the gym floor and tackled Peyton, shielding her with his body as he pressed her against the hardwood floor. “Two shooters, there are two shooters.” He didn’t know why he kept saying it, and thinking it. Who fired into the crowd like this and why?

“I gotta get you out of here. Stay down, Peyton. Please God, stay down.”

He held her head to the cold floor as he tried to peer up from under his crossed arms. Bodies were down. He couldn’t tell who was injured, or who laid low for protection.

The shooters still rippled gunfire across the gym. Anguish surrounded them. People screamed out in pain.

He heard someone begging for their life, begging for their daughter’s life and then a click, a misfire maybe? “Now Peyton, run like hell, honey, let’s go! Move! Move! Run, baby girl, run!” He pushed her through the emergency exit, grabbed her hand and pulled her with him. The gym doors led to a long narrow hallway. If the shooter stepped inside before they made it out, they were toast.

“Book it, sweet cheeks! Run!”

Peyton ran as fast as he did and they both hit the back doors with their weight slamming against the bars across the emergency exit. They were free.

Once they made it outside, they sprinted for the parking lot about a hundred yards from the gym. “Keep her down, damn it!” He heard Braden shouting as their SUV screeched to a halt in front of them.

Once they shut the doors behind them, he noticed his brothers and Vicky looked unharmed. Thank God, one of them carried Vicky out to safety too.

“We’re going to pull you around to the back parking lot. Braden and I have to try and get those people out of there. It’s like a damn ambush. The second shooter isn’t on the floor, and we’re not sure where he’s located, maybe near where Braden was standing. We’ve called 9-1-1 and help is on the way but emergency crews will need all the help they can get.”

The girls immediately held onto one another tears streaming down their faces. When Peyton pulled away from her, Kane glanced at the blood on Vicky’s white uniform and then turned to look at Peyton in horror.

“Peyton, honey…”

“Kane, I’m cold. I’m so so cold.” She stared down at the blood and then passed out.

“Damn it! Peyton’s been shot! She’s bleeding. Step on it.”


****

Peyton slipped in and out of several worlds while she was in the hospital. The reality of what happened played out on the local news, and the devastation of what could have happened unfolded in her head. The world she visited frequently unraveled like a play in her dreams.

In the opening act, she saw the Cartwell men with their mother. They disappeared one by one until she stood there alone with their mom. They strolled through a beautiful garden chatting, getting to know one another. Then, she disappeared without warning. Braden, Kane, and Evan appeared where she once stood but their mother’s voice instructed her to choose. Over and over again, she told her to make a choice. “Walk away or make your choice.”

She didn’t want to choose, and her dream always ended the same. She woke up with a great sense of loss. She’d shake until she found comfort in the hands holding her own. Their voices soothed her, and most of the time, Kane’s arms cradled her right back into a deep, deep sleep.

He saved her life. Maybe the choice was clear.

Peyton blinked away sleep as she left behind another flight through fantasy. The television was off, finally. She’d listened to the local reports until she felt like she’d die if she heard another description of the events she apparently survived. Some weren’t so lucky.

She studied the faces of those waiting for her to speak. By the weary looks on her guardians’ faces, they’d all stayed with her and beneath their tired, hooded eyes, she saw something else, something resembling what she imagined as love.

She tried to focus on Braden, mainly because he always had all the answers. “What happened?”

“Shh…rest now. We’ll talk about all of this later, tomorrow maybe.” He patted her leg as he inched closer to the head of the bed. He moved his hand across her bangs and kissed her on the forehead. “You gave us a scare, Peyton.”

She tried to speak but her mouth offered little assistance. Her parched lips and heavy tongue felt dryer than the Grand Canyon.

“I’m thirsty,” she stated.

Evan knelt over her and offered her spoon. “Ice chips, open up.”

“Can I get a drink?”

Kane chuckled. “Scotch and water or vodka, straight-up?”

“Don’t tease right now.”

“You had us worried, kid.” Kane calling her kid irked her more now than ever before. She’d show him ‘kid’ just as soon as she got out of her hospital bed.

“Somebody tell me what happened. How many others were injured? Did anyone…” As soon as she asked, she closed her eyes. “Oh yes, yes somebody close. Somebody close, oh Coach Pratchert.” She remembered her stumbling and then the bloodcurdling sounds of bullets, a horrific catastrophe raining down on them and Coach Pratchert fighting her way to stand in front of the girls, her girls-her team.

Tears streamed down her face. “She caught some of the first shots.”

“Honey, let’s talk about this later,” Braden suggested.

“No, you don’t understand. I saw her. I saw it all happen.” Peyton closed her eyes again. “She took several shots to the chest, she couldn’t have survived…”

“No, Peyton, she’s-”

“Don’t say it.”

Peyton waved her hand in front of her face. She’d dreamed this nightmare and saw it several times when she closed her eyes. She couldn’t block out the images. Now, she played it over and over again in her head remembering how Coach Pratchert shoved a few of the kids off the bench. She’d stood up to protect her girls, teenagers with bright futures, the kind of promising futures she helped her girls prepare for and anticipate.

“Who would do this?”

“Pratchert’s ex-husband and the, uh, second shooter…he…got away.”

“He got away?”

Braden stood up and went to the window. He peered outside and watched the foot traffic come and go. “You’re not in danger, Peyton. We’ve talked to the local sheriff and federal agents. This was personal.”

“And Coach Pratchert’s ex-husband?”

“He’s locked up.”

“And everyone else? My friends and teammates?”

Evan’s face softened with what he perceived as good news, no doubt. “No one on your team suffered fatal injuries. A few parents and Coach Pratchert died before they were transported to the hospital.”

Peyton digested the information. A few parents and Coach Pratchert. Lives, somebody’s parent, somebody’s daughter or son, somebody’s lover, oh God, someone’s spouse… died at a high school volleyball game.

She turned to Kane. “You saved my life,” she whispered.

“Yeah well, I kind of like having you around.”

“Don’t downplay this, Kane.”

“Then thank me and forget about it.”

“I’ll thank you later,” she said with a hint of devilishness in her voice, but the sadness returned quickly. “When Mom died, Coach Pratchert offered,” she stopped speaking at once and looked at Braden specifically, “Did you know Coach Pratchert offered to take me in before you did?”

Braden nodded.

“I planned to live there until I found out the particulars of the arrangements Mom made with you. At one point, I really considered her offer.”

“We scared you, huh?” Evan asked.

“You terrified me,” she admitted.

“And now,” Kane asked, “Are you still scared, Peyton?”

She fell back against the pillows and closed her eyes. “Not now. No, I’m not afraid now.” How could anything frighten her with three tough cowboys sitting around her, standing guard, ready to protect her? A sigh fell from her lips. Her head rolled to the side, and she watched them as they clustered around her. “No, now the only thing I feel is loved.”


Chapter 10

<p>Chapter 10</p>

It took a couple of months for Peyton to resume normal activities again. Even though the injuries she sustained were minor, the nightmares took their toll and often she left for school with dark circles under her eyes.

When the bad dreams stopped, or at least her screaming throughout the night, her grades started to slip. Her overall attitude with life, the Cartwells, and everything in general, drastically changed. Her coach was a friend, and her mentor. With too much death surrounding her, it finally took its toll.

Evan sat at the kitchen table watching her as she stomped across the yard. A truck barreled up the driveway and took the final curve toward the house on two wheels. Peyton never looked back. Evan immediately stood, ready to go and save her if she needed saving.

“Peyton Storm!” A boy jumped out of the cab, took two or three leaps toward her and wrapped her around the waist, pinning her to him. He said something to her, something intimate, something secretive.

Whatever he said, she hauled off with a rapid reply. She hit him.

By the time Evan saw her tight little fist drawn, the first punch was thrown. Evan headed for the door but Kane and Braden beat him there.

“What seems to be the problem here?” Braden asked in a sensible tone while Kane gave the fellow an evil eye.

The younger guy held his lip and bled. “Damn it, Peyton, you throw a mean punch!”

“Peyton?” Braden waited for an answer. “You know better than to hit your friends.” The stench of booze filled the air.

“Yeah, well, maybe you should’ve taught her how to be a lady altogether. The fucking bitch bit me.” He tugged up his shirt and showed off a few bite marks, right above his belt buckle.

Evan watched Braden and Kane. His own dick twitched but their set jaws showed more anger than he’d ever want to go up against. Damn her for going down on the prick.

“I told you, I don’t suck a guy’s cock. You should’ve listened.” She prissed her small ass across the lawn and didn’t look back. She most likely realized they’d take care of her little problem. And they did.

“Trying to get Peyton’s sweet little cheeks around that bad boy, huh?” Kane grabbed his shirt and shook him. “How old are you kid?”

“Seventeen.”

At least he was smart enough to lie and Evan knew it was a fib. Peyton didn’t go out with guys younger than herself.

“Seventeen.” Kane released him. “Is that right?” He took a step backwards. “What the hell?”

He drew back and came through with a swing but Braden grabbed his arm and stopped a direct hit. Cursing, Kane glared at the guy one last time and then headed for the house.

From the porch, he shouted back at his brothers. “Someone explain to our guest why Peyton bit him, and while you’re at it, let him know Peyton doesn’t go out with minors. I started to hit him because he lied to me. If I find out her lips locked around his dick, I’m coming back out here with a gun.


****

Peyton pulled the bottle of vodka from under her bed. She poured it into the glass of diet soda she brought from the kitchen. She stirred it with a straw, tossed the plastic bottle back into the duffel bag and kicked it back where she found it just in time to look up at Kane.

“What do you want?”

“I want to know why you’ve decided to self-destruct.”

“I’m going through a hard time right now. It’ll pass. I’ll get over it.” She took a gulp of her drink, slammed it on her bedside table and opened her Spanish book.

“Peyton, you said you’d play basketball. You didn’t. You were supposed to try out for the softball team and you didn’t. There’s something going on here, and it’s time you talked to someone. If not me, then maybe Braden or Evan.”

“And if I don’t want to talk to them?”

“You’re going to talk to someone.”

She took another sip of her drink and realized when she stirred it, Kane wasn’t stupid. He reached for the glass and didn’t sniff. Instead, he turned it up and drank the bottom out of it.

“Vodka isn’t going to make the pain go away, Peyton.”

“I’m not in pain,” she replied.

“Oh you’re hurting all right. Everything you’ve done over the last few months proves it. You can’t get away from it and unless you let us help you, it’s going to become a big part of who you are. You don’t want-”

She turned the page in her book and pretended to read. “Go away, Kane. I don’t need your lectures.”

Braden studied them from the hall before he stepped inside her room. “She’s right, Kane. She doesn’t want to hear it. She’s doing fine on her own, it appears. The kid downstairs didn’t even know Peyton before yesterday. She met him on the internet. See how great she’s doing on her own? So good in fact, she almost let some twenty year old loser fuck her. It would’ve been her first time, or so he said, and you were just ready to lay it out for him, huh, Peyton?”

“He’s not a kid. Just because you boys tower over everyone and look older than you are doesn’t mean everyone else is a kid.”

“Are you talking about the kid downstairs or yourself?” Kane asked.

“What difference does it make?” she snapped.

Braden’s jaw set tight. “Peyton, I want this room clean, and I want it tidy before the weekend. I want you to pick up your things downstairs in the living room and start taking some pride in yourself again. Half the time you smell like cigarettes and booze.”

She stuck her lip out and pouted, something she often did whenever Braden scolded her. “I’m too old for you to tell me what to do.”

“I don’t give a rat’s ass if you’re forty nine and holding. I want you to call your softball coach and ask her to consider letting you try out late for the team. One C on your report card, and you’re grounded. Ditch school again, and you’re spanked.”

“Fine.”

“Then-”

“Oh fuck you, Braden! You aren’t my father.”

He stared at her dumbfounded. “No, you’re right. I’m not your father but I am still a man who cares about you. We all care about you, Peyton. Hell, Kane even saved your life. Maybe someday when you drag yourself out of self pity, you’ll let me show you a clip from the video footage I have. He’s lucky he didn’t die trying to save you.”

Peyton didn’t look up. She couldn’t look up. She slipped deeper into her own misery and couldn’t save herself from the freefall.

“She’s drinking in her room too.” Kane handed the glass to Braden.

“You’re tattling on me?” Tears welled up in her eyes. “I have a right to do what I want in this room. Braden, you said so yourself. It’s my room. I have the right to bring whatever I want into my own room.”

“If it’s legal,” Evan pointed out as soon as he appeared there too.

“Alcohol is legal!”

“If you’re twenty-one.” Evan continued to stick his nose where she didn’t think it belonged, “And you’re not twenty-one.”

“Gang up on me all you want but it’s not going to change anything.”

“It might,” Evan said.

“Young lady, I’m just getting started too after what your friend told us downstairs.” Braden tilted her chin, and she knew he wanted to see her squirm.

Kane sat down in the rocking chair. He looked like he planned to stay awhile.

“First of all, I want your keys,” Braden deadpanned.

“My keys?” she wailed.

“Yes, now.” Braden stood his ground.

“You can’t take my keys. You made me sell my car and without the one you gave me, I’ll have to bum rides.”

“You have three bums ready to sign on as your personal chauffeurs.” Evan smirked and added, “Then we can get a good look at that pervert who thinks he’s going to make you his mistress.”

She swallowed stiffly. She should’ve known they’d find out. The rumors were all over school.

“I’m eighteen years old. I can do what I want when I want.”

“Not while you’re living here,” Braden said. “You’re seeing a married man, Peyton.”

Kane’s jaw muscles tensed and he clenched his fist. “She’s what?”

“Tell him, Peyton,” Braden encouraged. “It’s out all over town. You’ll hear about it Kane, trust me. Everybody but the man’s wife knows it.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Peyton said. And they really didn’t. She’d decided not to sleep with that guy anyway, because he did have a wife. In fact, in recent days, she’d decided she might die a virgin.

“Oh I think we do,” Evan said.

“That boy down there doesn’t know anything about me,” she informed.

“He knew enough to have your little pointed teeth bite him right above the belt. I’m willing to bet he knows what it feels like to have your lips on his, your bare breasts against his chest…” Kane shifted in the chair and she saw the raw hunger, almost heard it in his voice before he allowed her to see the bulge in between his legs, and he let her see. He splayed his legs and they fell right open encouraging her to look, never mind want.

“I’m not worried about a kid. I’m more worried about the family she’s setting out to destroy,” Braden said.

For a second Peyton wondered if he was talking about the married guy again-David Taylor’s family-or the family she disrupted when she moved in with them.

“The man has a wife, Peyton.” Braden said. She didn’t want to look at him. She felt his gaze burning through her. “A wife and two kids.”

She shrugged. “Maybe he’s tired of her.”

“Shit, I’m not going to listen to this,” Evan said, “Peyton, if you want to whore yourself out to a married man then you go right at it, but the sad thing is David Taylor is…was a good man. He’s never had the first bit of trouble making his ends meet, raising his family, and taking care of his pretty little wife. You’re starting trouble with a married man who doesn’t need it. Walk the fuck away. Be decent for a change. You used to have some decency in you before the…”

“Say it,” she mumbled.

“I don’t need to say it. You were there. You know…”

“I want you to say it! I want you to say it so I can hear it! I want to know I made it out of there. I want someone to tell me how lucky I was to make it out alive but only after I remember everything I can remember about that day. I’m tired of everyone tiptoeing around it, afraid to tell me how horrible and awful it was. I know how horrific it was but I…want…you…to…say…it!”

By the time she’d screamed her head off, she stood in front of Evan with her hands nothing more than tight fists. She stretched up on her tiptoes and for a minute, she thought she might swing at him, fight out her anger regardless of where she displaced it.

“You wanna know?” Braden’s shock made her feel pathetic. “Then I’ll let you see. I’ll show it to you. My camera captured it all.”

“No,” Kane warned.

“Yeah, it’s time. She’s right. We’ve tried to protect her and instead of helping her, we drove her away, into her own world and the guilt-the package you shouldn’t even think about carrying, Peyton- is tearing her apart. I’ll be right back.” Braden disappeared into the hallway after he agreed to show her the footage.

“And don’t you ever call me a whore.” She glared at Evan and then at Kane. “I would’ve gladly been your whore or yours,” she looked back to Evan again, “but I wasn’t woman enough for a Cartwell man.”

Evan’s voice softened but Kane shook his head and looked down at his hands. “Peyton, that’s not true.”

“What a sorry bastard,” she said turning to Kane. “You’re not going to admit it or deny it.” She wasn’t good enough. His actions spoke louder than words anyway. At one time, she thought he wanted her, but now everything she thought they shared seemed like a distant dream.

Braden came back with the DVD in hand. He turned on the DVD player and her television and then settled on the bed next to her. He tossed the remote to Evan who hit play.

Peyton took a deep breath and watched as the events Braden captured on camera told several tales of one blood spilling afternoon.


****

“I hope you’re happy.” Kane’s accusatory tone of superiority often pissed them off. He hoped it made them fighting mad. He was pissed now and they caused it.

“She wanted it over, behind her.” Braden grabbed a beer from the fridge.

“So you had to show her the way it all happened?” Kane’s face tensed as he relived the memory of watching her glance over at him throughout the recorded footage. His voice rang out over everyone else’s that day. It wasn’t until then, until he watched everything Braden’s camera captured, that he realized he carried something deep for Peyton. Something so deep, it terrified him. He not only dodged bullets for her, he ran in front of them and barely missed life-threatening shots fired.

“She’s going to move on, now. You’ll see.”

“You still need to ground her ass,” Evan said as he ran his hand over the front of his pants. “Imagine her out there at the boathouse with the guy she met online. She met him online and took him to our boathouse. I’d like to swat her little tail again and again for the stunt. I can’t even think about what he did to her, his mouth doing things to her that I…”

“That you what?” Braden pointed out the window. “She’s over there by the fence, by the way.”

“Never mind,” Evan said.

“I’m not grounding her. I can’t take away her car. It’s the only thing she feels like truly belongs to her.”

Kane understood but he still thought she needed some discipline. The kind he wanted to give her wasn’t anything these two would agree to at all so why ask. “Ground her for tomorrow. I’ll take her to school. I have to go into town early anyway.”

“You’re going to see David Taylor,” Evan said.

“I thought about it.”

“Peyton had little to do going after him.” Braden shook his head. “Damn pretty wife he has too.”

“Is she fucking him?” Kane asked like he didn’t care one way or the other but he did. He wanted to snap the man’s neck for looking at her. When he thought about another man handling her with nothing but sexing her little body crazy on his mind, he wanted to kill. It wasn’t normal. It wasn’t rational but who cared? His thoughts in regards to Peyton were his to own.

“Don’t know. I imagine she is.” Braden said. “Seems everyone in town thinks so.”

“Then, I’m going to go pay him a visit and ask,” Kane said and before he walked out he added, “And if he is, somebody better call him and tell him to run like hell.”


Chapter 11

<p>Chapter 11</p>

Kane pulled up to the traffic light and waited for the elementary school children to pass at the crosswalk. He glanced over at his passenger. She looked like an angel in her snug jeans and open blouse. And he felt like the devil for craving her, for wanting to strip off those brand name clothes and snack on her all morning long. One day soon, he might.

She took a deep breath, released it, and pretended he bored her. She then pulled out some perfume. It was some kind of expensive new body spray she wanted for her birthday and someone, Vicky maybe, gave it to her. The container resembled a Vicky kind-of-gift- girly and pink.

She hit the button, the window dropped as she leaned back in the truck, unzipped her jeans and wiggled them over her hips. Dramatically, she pressed down on the cap and the mist covered her in a place designed to rip through a man’s senses and grab him by the balls.

He looked down in time to see the dark purple panties folded over at the band. “What are you doing?” His dick stood ready now, no thanks to her. All he wanted to do was drive her to school, and she just had to yank down her pants. Damn it, if she wanted to keep him on a short leash, she restrained him with an unusual form of control.

Squirt. Squirt. “I like to smell fresh,” she said defiantly before she pulled her jeans back over her hips.

She might as well have left them down.

“Down there? When you’re headed to class?”

She winked. “You never know who might pay me a visit.”

“That’s it.” He slammed his hands against the steering wheel and passed right by the school headed for an empty warehouse two blocks away.

“Don’t act so pissy. You asked. Oh, and you missed the turn-off. It’s back there.” She slid the tiny bottle of spray back inside her purse and pulled down the visor. She gave her hair a few last minute touches.

“Go ahead. Fluff it up real nice, Peyton. By the time I finish with you, you’ll be lucky if you have one strand of hair left in your pretty little head.”

His truck peeled into the parking lot, and he cut too close to the building when he headed behind it burning rubber. Arousal shot straight through his cock. He fought for one last thread of self control, some way to get a handle on what he wanted, what he desperately needed.

The attempt failed.

He had to get it together but he realized it wasn’t going to happen until he wormed his way right inside her tight little snatch. Then he’d master something, maybe not control, but definitely her pretty unclaimed pussy.

“Kane! I’m going to be late for school. Damn it, I only sprayed a little perfume. It’s not a big deal.”

“Oh yes, it is. It’s a big fucking deal.” He slammed the truck in park, unhooked her seatbelt and his own all at the same time. He jerked her against his body. “You sprayed it in the wrong damn place.”

His lips crashed against hers before she fought against the kiss, the inevitable fire he planned to put out already raging inside of him and straight through her. This time, the rising flames of desire between them would not remain unattended.

She bunched his shirt in her hands and kissed him back with a woman’s kiss, the kind of kiss he’d remember. He growled as she brought him closer, forbidding him to break it as much as urging him to bring on more and he had plenty more. God, did he have it.

Her tiny teeth nibbled at his lower lip as she tried to take more control than he wanted her to gain. He gripped her hands then pushed her down flat against the leather seat and shoved her shirt high above her chest. Her tight nipples pressed against a lace bra, and he licked over the material, the lace area so thin he knew she’d feel his tongue tap against her ripe perky gems.

“Good God, woman, I’ve got to get inside of you.” His hand griped her waist as he kissed her chest and stomach. He had every intention of curbing his appetite, every ambition of doing it right then.

He unzipped her pants and felt her lips part for him. Her pussy wept with sudden need, a moist center so tight he wanted to taste her, needed to sink his tongue inside and gently swipe her nice and slow. His fingers plunged into her cunt while she cried into the worn bench seat.

“Why now! Oh God, why now?” She arched into his hand and covered her own mouth with the back of her hand.

“Because you’re mine.” And he wanted to taste her. Right there, he planned to know what she felt like grinding against his lips and after she came in his mouth, he might try to name the flavor of her sweet juices. He knew there’d be a name for her kind of honey.

Her back arched and his tongue dipped lower. “Sweet little Peyton.” He slowly licked and swiped at her folds, two fingers worked to stretch her and that’s when he saw the flash of headlights coming toward them from the other end.

‘Shit!” He jerked her pants up and pushed her away. He moved his hand over his hard dick again and again. “Damn it to hell, I could come just tasting you on my lips.”

The car slowly moved by them as Kane rolled down his window. The stench of marijuana lingered behind the car as it made its way across the back lot.

“Kids come here before school to park or smoke dope. You’re giving me quite the reputation.” She tried to make light of it as she straightened out her clothes and pulled down the visor again to check out her face and make-up. As she started to brush her hair again, she shot him a sideways glance and pure wicked smile.

“I still have every lock I had when we pulled in here. I guess you’re more concerned with short little curls than long strands of hair.”

“Damn it, Peyton.” He ran his hand over his dick and then grabbed her wrist forcing her to do it with him. All the little vixen did was smile. “This is out of hand.”

She gripped the denim clad shaft and roughly moved her palm over it. “Then let me do something about it, Kane.” She nipped at his ear, then his neck. Her tongue ran across his throat while his fingers massaged her scalp. “Please, Kane, I’m so wet right now, so wet and ready. Just take me to the boat. Take me out there and have your way with me.”

He swallowed stiffly and brought her hands up to his lips. “Soon, I will soon enough. ‘Cause God help me, I’m going to explode if I don’t.”


****

After he dropped her off at school, Kane headed for David Taylor’s office. He waited in the parking lot until he saw Taylor pull around back and then he walked inside. By the time he stood in front of the receptionist, he heard David talking to his secretary.

“Do me a favor and order two dozen long-stem yellow roses. Delivery is for Peyton Storm out at the Cartwell ranch. Leave the card blank.”

“Yes, sir.”

Roses. He planned on sending her roses, long-stem yellow ones, to their ranch. The man had nerve, and a lot of it.

“Can I help you? Sir, do you need some help?” The receptionist looked at Kane like she’d asked him once or twice before. He stared at her blankly.

“Yes, I’m here to see David Taylor.”

“Can I get your name?”

Kane stared back at the brunette. She was a pretty woman, petite, large breasts. Taylor had a man’s toy right in his front office. Why the hell did he have to fool around with Peyton?

Kane licked his upper lip. He could still taste her, smell her. Damn if she wasn’t right. She once told him she’d taste like candy and the woman tasted pure and sweet. Too bad for David Taylor because Kane didn’t share well, and he damn sure wouldn’t share his candy.

“That’s okay, I know he’s here,” Kane said as he placed his hand on the doorknob, turned it and went inside.

“Sir! Wait! You can’t go back there.”

David met him at the end of a narrow hallway with his hand out ready to shake it. “Well, I’ll be damned. Kane Cartwell? What brings you out this way?”

The secretary he undoubtedly asked for small favors shot him a knowing smile and then moved the hell out of the way.

Kane ignored his hand. “I need to talk to you.”

“I’m due in court in about fifteen minutes. Can it wait until this afternoon?”

“No, it can’t,” Kane said as he moved toward what he assumed was Taylor’s office.

“Ladies, hold my calls.” He followed Kane into the office and shut the door.

“Kane, why don’t you have a seat? Can I get you something to drink?”

Kane looked at the wet bar in the corner of the expansive law office. “Are you the reason Peyton is drinking now?”

“Peyton?”

“Yeah, you know the one. The girl you buy two dozen roses- long stem roses, and send them without a card-her. In fact, while I’m on the subject, those roses better not arrive today.”

“I can explain.”

“Bet so. Wanna do it with your wife around to hear it?”

“Kane.” The man looked worried. “I-”

“How about your kids? Want them to hear all about it? I don’t have a problem with it if you don’t.” Yeah, he’d aim below the belt before he’d let this man anywhere near Peyton.

“She’s eighteen. You have two kids, a wife, a family, something to build on together. What the hell are you thinking?”

He dropped his head. “I’m not.”

“Hell no, you’re not.”

“I can’t think around her. She makes me crazy.”

Kane saw death. “She makes you crazy?”

“You don’t understand what it’s like with us.”

Kane wanted to tell him she was using him to get to the Cartwells and blow his fantasy love affair to hell and back. He decided against it.

“Have you jeopardized her in any way?” Now he sounded like Braden. Why the hell didn’t he just ask if he’d fucked her?

“You mean, am I sleeping with her?”

“Yeah, precisely. Are you?”

The man watched Kane closer now. “Well I’ll be damned.”

“Answer the question.”

“You’re just like your daddy. I can see it in your eyes. You’re crazy in love with her. You’re so mad about her that you probably don’t even know you love her yet.”

Kane swallowed stiffly. “I asked you a question, and this has nothing to do with my father.”

“Of course it does. Your mother drove every man in this town nearly to his knees and now you have one just like her living in your house. Worse still, especially for Peyton, you look and act like one of the men who ruined everything for you and your brothers.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Maybe I’ll tell you sometime. I’m not sleeping with her, but I didn’t know she belonged to a Cartwell or else I would have…reconsidered pursuing her.”

“You knew she lived with us.”

“I knew your brother took her in and wanted to help out her mother. I should’ve figured out the rest.”

Kane wiped the sweat off his brow. “She’s nothing like my mother, for the record. Peyton’s strong and-”

“Boy, I knew your momma and your daddy. You don’t have to tell me anything. There are two women who have passed through these parts with those looks. Your momma was one of them and while Peyton doesn’t remind me of your mother much, she reminds me of something else more.

“She reminds me of what it feels like to be a man, a man who wants a woman so bad it could kill him. But again, I didn’t know she wore that proud Cartwell collar, and if I had, I wouldn’t have gone near her. I swear it.”

Kane narrowed his gaze on him and then gritted his teeth. Mentioning any kind of collar was a bad idea. Few people around town knew about Kane’s lifestyle, or at least the one he lived before Peyton moved in. The few who did saw him in the clubs which meant the man in front of him was already on the path to disaster. Peyton provided a slight diversion but she may have been one of many.

“Go home to your wife tonight and love her. We’re going to take care of Peyton until she doesn’t want to live out at the ranch anymore. When that day comes, she’s free game, but until Braden gets her raised and out of the house, she’s off limits.”

A wide smile replaced the man’s thoughtful frown. “I imagine you boys won’t turn her back out to graze among the locals.”

“If I have my way about it, she’ll stay for awhile.”

“I imagine, since you made a trip here this morning, you’ll find a way to make it happen.”


****

All day long Peyton daydreamed about Kane. She hoped he’d felt the same burn too, the same desire-filled air sweeping around him as he drove back to the ranch. She crossed her fingers tightly hoping he’d show to pick her up and then sweep her into his arms like he did before. With the same ache, the same uncontrollable need, she’d felt for him for some time.

When the final bell rang, she rushed to her locker, gathered her books and ran straight into Vicky. “Where’s the burning bush?”

“Funny.”

“Can you give me a ride home?”

Peyton’s mouth turned up at the corners. “I’m getting picked up today. I’m grounded.”

“Get out!” Vicky smiled in amusement. “Who grounded you?”

They started walking toward the exit, blending in with the other kids. A few guys deliberately bumped shoulders as they passed and one or two said hello.

“I think,” Peyton sighed as she stepped out on the concrete steps and pointed to the Ford Expedition waiting for her, “I’m pretty sure all of them.”

“Oh, that really sucks.” She laughed and then winked. “It must be hell riding around with all of those guys day in and day out.”

“Go ahead, laugh. One day your daddy may send you to live with us and then we’ll just have a scream together. It’s not as fun as it looks.” No, it’s better. So much better.

Vicky whispered in her ear. “There’s a name for it, Peyton. It’s called sexual frustration. You need a vibrator. It will solve all sorts of problems for you.”

Peyton grumbled as she left her friend behind and minutes later, she slid into the backseat next to Evan. Kane didn’t turn around in the passenger’s seat but Braden glanced in the rearview mirror.

“How was your day?” Evan asked.

“Great,” she deadpanned.

“Learn anything new today?” Braden put the windshield wipers on as the raindrops started to bubble and slide across the glass.

“Yep.” She shifted her weight and tossed her books behind her before she kicked the seat in front of her. “I learned a lot.” Kane caught what she meant. She made sure of it and watched as his shoulders squared.

“Like what?” Evan sounded too interested. He’d only been out of high school a couple of years. He probably still remembered everything on the curriculum.

She leaned back in her seat and put her arm over her forehead. “In sex-ed I was the volunteer since I’m the most developed in the classroom, or at least that’s what Vicky thinks.”

Kane turned around in his seat. “What does a volunteer do exactly?”

Evan gritted his teeth. “Do you still have Humphreys in class?”

She nodded, and his jaw tensed even more before she answered. “He’s an ass. He uses some sort of long stick to point out female body parts.”

“Yeah, right, I’d have his job, Peyton,” Kane informed.

She continued her exaggerated story. “It’s really not too bad. He just ran the end over my nipples for a little longer than necessary while talking about arousing a female. I started to toss my head back, lower my hand into my panties and scream for more.”

Evan laughed. “Good grief, Peyton.”

Braden put the break on and stopped at a stop sign. He cleared his throat and dared to inquire further about her day. “How did the co-op go with the art studio?”

“Oh, now there’s a thrill. It’s exciting.” She purred realizing at least one Cartwell was getting ready to blow a major gasket.

“So you like it?” Evan patted her arm and then added, “I told you Braden. She has a knack for art almost as much as sports.”

“Well, I don’t know how good I am at it but once I get to try it, I might like it.”

“What do you mean, try it? You’ve had the class since the start of second semester. Don’t you walk across the street to the studio each afternoon?”

“Yep, but I’m the model. I haven’t drawn anything yet.”

Braden clutched the steering wheel tighter and pulled off on a side road. Kane turned around immediately. “What do you mean, you’re the model?”

“I’m over eighteen, and they needed topless models and I’m the topless model for their adult-ed class.”

Before she said another word, Braden turned the Expedition around and raced toward the school. Kane clung to the door and Evan looked downright mad. She felt the heat of fury radiating off of his skin.

‘Wait, guys. I can explain.”

“I just bet you can, Peyton,” Braden growled. He never growled. He might bark or act like he planned to bite her head off but he never let out a man’s groan of disapproval.

They came to a screeching halt, and all three men barreled out of the truck. Kane turned around and pointed at her. “Don’t you fucking move from this vehicle or I swear I’ll spank your ass all the way back to the ranch.”

She kicked the back of the seat a couple of times and then folded her arms over her chest.

“Great! How did you know this is exactly what I need?” She threw her fist into the side of the door.


****

Peyton heard them before she saw them. She must’ve dozed off while they attempted to rearrange her life. She shook her head. More like sticking their noses where she didn’t ask them to sniff.

“Evan, get in the front seat with Braden.” Kane sounded furious as all three doors slammed in unison.

“You’re grounded,” Braden said the second he started the engine.

“Yeah, I kind of noticed.”

Evan turned around and smiled. “He’s dead serious. You’re so grounded.”

“Shut up, Evan.”

“You volunteered to take your clothes off for that class. Why?”

She shrugged. “Automatic ‘A’.”

“No doubt. I’ve seen those tits,” Kane sneered. “Still doesn’t excuse it.”

“Grounded,” Braden repeated.

“So tell me something. How is this going to work exactly?”

“Easy,” Braden said as he turned onto the state highway, “You can’t do a damn thing.”

“This is not fucking fair!”

“Language!” Braden yelled back. “I’m not interested in fair, Peyton. I’m interested in keeping you safe. In order to do it, you need to keep your clothes on.”

“Fine, if I won’t have anything to do, take me by the mall so I can pick up a new sex toy.” She smiled innocently at Kane, realizing immediately by his expression and the rigid shoulders of the men in the front seat, every dick in the vehicle twitched when she mentioned it.

“So maybe you can keep phone privileges,” Braden said.

“Really? I can talk on the phone? Sweet! Phone sex really gets me going.”

“Knock it off,” Kane snapped.

“Knock me up with something hard and stiff, I might consider it. Until then-”

“Peyton, damn it!” Braden growled again. He was getting pretty good at the sound effects. Maybe he was watching adult movies or something,

He slammed on the brakes. Peering into the rearview mirror, it was hard to tell if his gaze meant to warn Kane or scold Peyton. “I have a mind to bend you over my knee and let these two here spank you.”

“Oh goodie, spank me. I’ll cry for more, maybe even beg, and the next thing you know, the three of you will try to figure out what you can do to shut me up. An early hint, any one of your cocks should do the trick. I’ll open wide.”

Kane glared at Braden and then Evan. The evil eye left Evan rubbernecking to see where Kane’s hands were, and while they weren’t on her yet, they soon would be and she knew it.

She scooted closer to Kane. “Well I guess everything is out in the open now. Call it an ‘oops’ because now the cat’s out of the bag.”

Kane’s nostrils flared, maybe because some kind of crazy pact existed between brothers. An oath Kane was only seconds away from breaking altogether.

His eyes narrowed on hers, and he tilted her chin with his index finger. He acted like he wanted to kiss her but instead he reached over with his free hand and patted her denim-clad mound. “Oh no, sweetheart. See, it’s more like this sweet little pussy is coming out of hiding because it just got the wrong hound’s full blown attention.”


Chapter 12

<p>Chapter 12</p>

“Peyton, go in the house. I need these two to help me.”

Like hell he did. Braden wanted to give them another warning, a stern reminder, something to scare them off and hold them back. Kane figured he faced two choices. Lie to Braden and tell him he wouldn’t touch her or lie to Peyton because she’d call him out this time.

After what they’d shared earlier, she’d force him to face her, demand answers and expect to hear them. If he turned down her advances, she would want to know why. Hell, there was a third choice in there somewhere, and maybe, by God, it was time to toss good sense to the wind.

Peyton marched over to Braden. Her cute little butt barely shook as she walked straight up to him and shocked him as much as his brothers. “Braden, do you like me?”

“Well, what kind of stupid question are you asking now?”

“It’s a yes-or-no stupid question. Do. You. Like. Me?” She emphasized each word and added a huff or two between each syllable for added Peyton drama. “Check yes or no.”

“Of course, I like you, Peyton.” He touched the tip of her nose with his forefinger and turned his back to her. Kane wanted to laugh out loud.

Peyton wasn’t going to stand there looking at Braden’s back, unless she really liked his ass. And she might but she hated a man turning his back to her more. Kane and Evan learned early on it ranked as her number one pet peeve.

She started to reach for him and for some reason stopped. “Do you want to fuck me?” Her hands returned to her hips.

“Oh shit, here we go now everybody.” Evan headed for the feed room and stopped short of stepping inside. He didn’t look amused.

Kane almost felt sorry for Braden, because knowing his brother, he wanted to die right about any second. It simply came down to this, and he saw the caution light straight ahead.

After Kane talked to the man Peyton almost-but didn’t-fuck, he had time to think. David Taylor gave him a lot to consider. A woman ruined three prosperous lives. Three cowboys destroyed the underlying strength of one woman. His mother might have lived to meet Peyton if things had been different for her, the way he imagined he wanted them for Peyton.

Braden didn’t turn around. “I said ‘I need to talk to Evan and Kane’. Go up to the house and get some dinner started. We’ve all had a long day, and by the time we feed everything down here, it’ll be time to eat.”

“Then snack on this.” She grabbed his wrist hard, whirled him around and by God she pressed her little body against his as she cupped his face and most likely stripped his ever lovin’ mind with a kiss like hers. Watching it shackled Kane’s senses and gave him more to think about than he needed.

Evan stepped into the feed room. He couldn’t watch it.

Kane knew why. His own dick was harder than it had ever been. If Evan had feelings for Peyton, then he understood why it was a little tough watching her kiss Braden with one goal in mind-to try and convince him why they belonged together. From what he’d seen from Peyton, she wanted all of them, and she refused to deny herself any one of them.

“Stop.” Braden held her by her shoulders.

“No.” She started to kiss him again but he held fast to her thin arms.

“You’re making a train wreck of everything.”

“I’m shooting for the rodeo, and I’m ready to ride when one or all of you get your head out of the sawdust.”

“Peyton, your analogies need some serious help,” Evan teased as he stuck his head out of the stockroom.

Braden stepped away from her. “Get on up to the house, like I told ya.”

“No.”

Kane saw the tears fall before Braden blinked and realized he caused them. Kane took a few steps forward and wrapped her in his arms as she fell into one of those heartbreaking sobs she released on occasion, especially when she wanted to get her way.

“Where’s the key to her car?” Kane snapped.

Braden reluctantly pulled it out of his pocket and handed it to him. He in turn, handed it off to her. “Peyton, get in the car, passenger’s side.”

Sniffling, she walked off, but by the time she reached the car, Kane would just about bet she was smiling. Oh yeah, this stunt was going to get her exactly what she wanted but before he left, he planned on letting his brothers know. He wanted it to eat their hearts out. He’d drive them one inch short of crazy.

“I’m not taking her to the boathouse but if you want to look there, you’re welcome to and I’m not coming back with her until tomorrow. Maybe by the time I get her back here, you’ll make a decision to see her for what she is and what she’s not.”

Evan stepped out with a few buckets of grain piled high. “She’s already confused, Kane. You’re making it tougher on her.” He started reaching in each stall and dumping the horse feed in the individual bins.

“Confused? Hell, I’m more perplexed than she is. She seems to know what she wants and tries her damndest to get it but we keep pushing her away. She’s not Mom, nothing like her-thank God-and we’re not like our fathers.”

“You don’t know what you’re saying,” Braden gritted out through clenched teeth.

“Maybe you don’t want to hear it.”

Evan stopped at the other end of the barn and looked back at his brother. “If you hurt her, so help me God, I’ll repeat history.”

“This is exactly what I don’t want to see happen,” Braden said.

“I’m not going to hurt her,” Kane promised, “But I am going to love her, and I don’t care if I have your permission or not. I don’t care if you stay up all night wondering what it might have been like if you’d swallowed your damned-ass pride. I don’t give a shit if you like it, agree with it, or downright hate it. I’m going to love her until she knows she belongs to me. Now, what she does with the two of you later will be up to her, but for tonight, she’s mine. Interfere or try to stop it, and so help me I’ll run away with her and never look back.”


****

Evan watched Peyton’s car until it disappeared between the gates. “I hope you’re happy.”

“What the hell did you want me to do?”

“I wanted you to swallow some of your big-brother pride and tell Kane for once he’s right.”

“He’s not,” Braden said.

“She’s not a little girl, Braden. She’s never been a little girl. You wanted to take her on to raise and someone already beat you to it. Her momma did a fine enough job before she died and the least you can do is notice.”

“Her mother should have left behind a how-to manual so I’d know things, understand how we were supposed to handle her and manage her life most effectively.”

“We’re not supposed to manage her life, Braden. We took her in as family. When we signed those papers, it wasn’t just about being her guardians. Hell, we could’ve pulled strings and helped her stay right there where she grew up. Instead, you took one look at her and wanted to save her.”

Braden scratched his head.

“Then, she came in here and made this place a home. Just seeing her first thing in the mornings makes my day better. I guarantee you feel the same way. In a few short months, she’s going to leave for college and start her life. Why not let her live a little before she does, even if it means including all of us in some kind of fantasy?”

“I promised her mother to take care of her. I did not promise her mother I’d fuck her silly and put her on the school bus each morning afterwards.”

“Damn it, Braden! She’s not a kid. She’s a woman. She acts like a woman, looks like a woman, and by God she knows how to turn a man on which is something I’d just about fight Kane for right this minute.”

“This is why it’s a bad idea. Don’t you see? Try and understand.” He picked up a bale of hay and tossed it to the side before he sat down and leaned his head back against a rusty post. “I’m doing the right thing by her, and you boys are trying your best to ruin it.”

“We’re not doing anything here. We’ve kissed her. She’s a damn good kisser too, I might add, and I’m sure you’d agree.” He smirked at his brother but didn’t wait for Braden to respond, “Now, no thanks to you, Kane is going to run off with her tonight, and you might as well consider her fucked.”

“He’ll make us think he’s gonna do it but he’ll probably love on her a little bit and then bring her home in the morning. He’s not going to keep her out of school laid up in a hotel room someplace.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure about that, Braden. He’s already tasted her tangy little pussy so-”

Braden quickly jumped to his feet. “He did what?”

“Yep, this mornin’ and he said she didn’t complain either.”

“You talked to them about this?”

“I didn’t talk to Peyton. Hell, I didn’t need to confirm it after the way she was makin’ eyes at him this afternoon. Kane just said things got a little out of hand when he drove her to school. I pressed and he told me everything. He pulled around there at the old Davenport warehouse and just went wild on her.”

“Damn it. I can’t even trust you boys to drive her to school.”

“Don’t blame me here. I didn’t give her a ride but I can tell you one thing right now. If I’d had my head between her legs even for a minute, she wouldn’t have gone to school today. I would’ve taken her someplace far away from everybody and my tongue wouldn’t have been the only thing in between her legs.”

“I imagine you’re right then. She’s fucked.”

“Yep, I imagine so, or at least she will be before the night is over.’


****

“You told them we weren’t going to the boathouse,” she said as they started down the curvy road toward the lake.

“They believed me too. They won’t look for us out here, and if they do, we’ll leave.”

The dark, lonely road leading to the lake seldom saw traffic. Kane turned on the headlights. He’d only made a few stops. He ran by the mall and picked up a few things he felt like he wanted Peyton to have and then ran into the convenience market to pick up a few snacks. Peyton loved junk food. He wanted to make sure he had a stockpile so he didn’t have to leave again once he tucked her in for the night.

He tried to concentrate on driving but it wasn’t easy. Her eyes heated him in all the wrong places. Ten more minutes, just ten more minutes. He stepped on the gas and accelerated.

“In a hurry?” she teased.

He ignored her. No, actually he didn’t. Every muscle in his body tensed because of her. He didn’t know how on God’s earth he’d gain enough self control, but he needed to find some element of it before they pulled up to the boathouse, otherwise, he feared what might happen.

Kane didn’t want to hurt her but right now all he thought about was pushing his way into her tight pussy and fucking her until dawn. These thoughts might get a man killed if he ever revealed them to Evan or Braden.

Her fingertips ran over his hard leg. She shifted in her bucket seat. Her palm caressed his inner thigh with more strength, and a firm command.

Clasping his hand over her wrist, he said, “Peyton, don’t. We’re almost there.”

“Yeah, well, you drive. Watch the road.” Her tiny hand inched closer to the bulge in between his thighs and soon his head strained against the headrest. His hand covered hers only tighter as he held her under his grip straining against his cock. He gritted his teeth and moaned as she stroked.

“Damn, woman, can’t you wait?”

Her fingers worked at unzipping him. She didn’t have a problem finding what she wanted. Her moist mouth nibbled at his earlobe. “Let me give you a blowjob, Kane. Right now. Drive us to the boathouse while you drive into my mouth.”

“Oh God, Peyton. You have no idea how much I’d like to take you up on the offer.”

She rubbed her hand over his cock before she tugged it from his boxers. “Let me?” She lowered her head, and he slammed on the brakes. The back of the car fishtailed.

“Peyton!” He pulled over to the side of the road and stared at her. “Peyton, not even ten minutes. We’re less than ten minutes from the boat.”

She didn’t say anything. She just stared back at him with her lips parted and her tongue where he could see it. How many times had he imagined what she could do with her tongue, her hot little mouth, her sweet little lips? Now, he was going to shove his cock back in his pants and say ‘no thank you’? No way. Not today.

The silence ripped through the car, the air thick with sexual tension, only breathing broke through the thicket of the quiet. And then it intensified, forming a racket all on its own.

He cupped her neck and slammed against her lips. Her wet tongue slid across his in a second, and he held her against his mouth, kissing her, making love to her mouth just as he would her body-fast and desperate.

Her mouth opened, and her arms only tightened around his neck. He kissed her still harder because if he didn’t, he’d die from wonder, die because he didn’t know where a kiss like this led when Peyton parked with a man.

His hands gripped the hem of her shirt. He tried to resist the temptation all of one short breath, but inevitably, he pushed it up, ran his hands over her bra and moaned into her belly. “You’re making me crazy.” He slid his tongue back and forth over the band of her pants before he ran the stubble of his jaw across her stomach and licked at the flesh right under her breast.

She wrapped her hand around his cock and started to slowly pull him in and out of her grip. “You’re so big, Kane. I can’t wait to have you inside of me, fucking me.”

His heart stopped. He couldn’t think now, and all he wanted to do was screw her.

“That’s sweet, baby. So sweet.” With a slower kiss, he kissed her stomach, took a deep breath and pulled her shirt down over her middle again. He tried to regain some composure but she felt him pulling away from her. She must have known because she yanked him forward, and he crushed against her lips again. Their tongues mimicked sex, and he felt a smile tilt up her lips as he kissed her.

He pulled her back so he could look into those blue eyes. He didn’t yank her, but heaven help him, it wasn’t from lack of want. He’d like to pull her hair just enough to get a real yelp out of her and then paddle her behind for making him crazy.

“Kane,” she whispered as she undoubtedly translated the lust in his eyes. It was enough, more than enough to ignite the fire once more, the out of control desire he tried to contain.

Her arms wrapped around his neck, and he moved her over him. She straddled his waist as her lips parted his, and his lips melded to hers. She moaned against his mouth, and his hands clutched at her, weaved through her hair and drew her closer.

He pressed his erection against her denim, the ridge of his cock throbbing, the mushroom head tender as he felt the moisture seeping from her pants, enough to let him feel her heat. Her hand slid between their bodies, and he stopped her.

“Wait, Peyton.” He nudged her with his body, forcing her back to her seat.

“I don’t want to wait. I’m tired of waiting.”

His hand stroked her hair, and he looked into those haunting eyes, the eyes he recognized as windows, doors, the core he wanted to worm his way through to ensure he owned a piece of her soul. “I don’t want your first time…our first time,” he wasn’t sure, one hundred percent positive another man hadn’t already touched her. He fought back the urge to inquire and continued, “I’ve waited this long. Let me take you to the boathouse and do this right. God help me, Peyton, I want to do this right.”

She gave him feather-light kisses and then sank back into her seat. She reached for the seatbelt over her right shoulder but let it flap to the side as soon as she grabbed it. “Fuck it.” She moved toward him again, fingered his tight swollen scrotum and lifted the band of his boxers away from the pants she’d just unzipped.

“No, Peyton.”

“Yes, Kane.” She dropped her head and slowly sucked in the plump tip of his cock.

Her mouth was heaven found on earth. If she was a virgin, she’d at least sucked cock before. She kept her teeth out of the equation and her tongue slid across his slit trying to draw out the pre-cum. She didn’t have to try hard.

“Baby, you have to stop. I’ll come in your mouth.”

She held the base in her hand and massaged his sack with her middle finger as she slowly sucked in the shaft over and over again. Her mouth was like pure satin one minute and silk the next. And she made sure she kept his resistance low as she bobbed her head over his stalk and moaned as she stretched it with a tight, satisfying blow.

He wanted to fuck her mouth. She knew what she was doing. Damn it, she wasn’t a child. He placed his palms on the top of the car and God help him, he surged forward until he realized he had to quit right then. He had to stop this now because bright headlights were approaching, and they were right in front of them.


Chapter 13

<p>Chapter 13</p>

He slammed the car in park and decided it wasn’t worth a cowboy’s chance to glance at her. He reached behind his seat and grabbed the shopping bags.

“I hope you’re going to let me drink. I need a beer,” she said.

“Not a chance.” He unlocked the door, nearly kicked it open and headed to the bedroom. He tossed the shopping bags inside the door and started for the kitchen where he hurriedly unloaded the few groceries he bought. “For the record, there’s a lot of difference between need and want.” Something he might further explain in a matter of minutes.

“So you feel like you’ve contributed to my delinquency enough, huh?”

He froze as he thought seriously about backing out right there. What did he think he was doing? What was he thinking?

“Look at me, Kane.”

“You’re right. I need to take you home because I can’t stay out here with you and not have you, all of you. For me, Peyton, there’s no turning back once the teasin’ starts, and you need to understand I’m a man who takes it all once I have a woman I want.”

She lightly touched his wrist. “I’m a woman who wants you to grab what I put in front of you.”

He resisted the urge to let her just pull him around to face her. He needed to think about this long and hard for another three seconds since he hadn’t taken the time to give it a minute’s worth before now.

He should’ve thought about Peyton and the consequences before he drove them out there but he had one thing on his mind-his own goals and desires. For his own selfish reasons, he just headed for the lake.

“I said, look at me.” She pulled at him with a lot of force and he turned around to face her then but by the expression on her face, he didn’t have the look in his eyes she expected.

Without thinking, he spoke his mind. “Do you know why you can’t stand to have a man turn his back to you?” His tone stayed dark, nearly unrecognizable.

“Don’t, Kane. You’re trying to piss me off now because you decided you don’t want me now. You’re starting to question this…whatever this is between us.”

He grabbed her around the waist and held her tight against his body. “I know what this is, Peyton. It scares the hell out of me just as much as it scares the hell out of you to have a man you care about turn his back on you.”

“Shut up, Kane. You’re walking on a thin layer right now.”

“Your daddy walked out on you, Peyton, and somewhere deep inside, you think that’s what we’re going to do too. You think when you graduate from high school, we’re just going to turn you out and leave you without anyone, without a family.”

Her eyes looked misty, moist and ready to respond with an overflow of tears. “Aren’t you?”

The way she asked, the way she felt in his arms when she asked- so soft and vulnerable-drove him to kiss her. He kissed her until he was plumb dizzy, and he really forgot about her question.

When the kiss broke, she stood there in tears. “That’s about what I thought. You can’t answer me because you don’t want to make promises. The great Kane Cartwell doesn’t make commitments or break his own rules, at least not for a woman.”

“Huh?” Women profoundly confused him. Sometimes he wondered if Peyton was the only woman he understood and then she’d throw him a curve ball or lasso or something.

“I’ve known it from the beginning. Once I graduate, you’ll want me out of the house. I know Braden will, maybe Evan too.”

“The hell I will,” he growled against her lips, and his mouth crashed against hers, claiming her with his tongue and licking out any kind of promise she wanted him to make. “Peyton, I’m not letting you go. I swear it. I’m going to hold onto you for as long as you’ll let me.”

She shuddered, as he rocked her body against his. “I’m scared,” she whispered.

“Then I’m scared too,” he said with a forced smile. And horny, but he didn’t see why he should mention it. Why ruin the moment when Peyton needed him to take things slow?

“No, I’m serious, Kane.”

“If you’re scared then I know why, Peyton, and it’s enough to terrify me.” Realizing he had his arms wrapped around a virgin, he cradled her against his chest. “And we’re not going to do anything you aren’t comfortable doing, so help me God.” And he certainly needed all the help he could get because right now, his body wasn’t thinking as clearly as his mind.

She backed away from him and pulled him with her to the living room. As they passed the bunkroom, he reached inside and handed her a bag. “Go put this on. I bought you something.”

“What is it?” With a naughty smile immediately plastered to her face, she started to pull it out and he stopped her.

“No, just go put it on. I don’t want to see it again unless it’s on you.”

She swallowed stiffly, and the blush of her skin warmed him. Looking at her healed a hole in his heart he’d only recently realized existed. She stood there gripping the bag long enough to make him uncomfortable.

“I bought two different…styles. I want you to choose one and put it on for me. Dress up for me, Peyton. I need you to do this.”

Her mouth covered his, and he sipped at her lips while she greedily sucked his tongue. His palms framed her face and in an instant, he faced increased hunger. If his body served as an indicator, he responded to her kiss in a way guaranteed to have them both stripped down to bare skin.

He nuzzled her cheeks, chin and throat. “God, I want you. I want you in a way…it’s just not normal,” he said as he broke the control she held over him but still refused to leave her altogether. His lips continued covering her face, tracing her jaw and nibbling at her earlobe. “Will you let me have you, Peyton? Will you let me have a part of you no one else will ever have?”

She locked him into a sweet, seductive trance. “Kane Cartwell, you already have it, and soon, you’ll have something else too.”

And there he had it. The answer he wanted.

The truth he needed to find slipped out in the most innocent of confessions. He wanted to be one hundred percent certain without asking, and she gave him what he most wanted to hear.

She told him she belonged to him. She was giving him something no other man would ever claim. He didn’t give a damn about a girl’s cherry. What he wanted was the heart and soul of a woman, a woman who saved herself for the love of one man.

And damn it all, he gulped a big drink of air when he considered the underlying, ever present problem. He didn’t know if he wanted to or even could share her with his brothers. Not now.

They hadn’t discussed it, not really, but after Kane caught her with Evan and then watched as she kissed Braden, he felt like Peyton wanted all three brothers. His mind had a difficult time wrapping around a sharing option concept. Worse still, what if his brothers one day felt the very same? History might revisit the Cartwell ranch. God help them all if it did.


****

She stepped out of the bathroom in a designer lace-trimmed sheer mesh babydoll gown. Thank goodness she chose the one he wanted her in most. He also bought her a sexy corset-style bodice but he purchased it with one goal in mind, to make her look and feel like a seductress. Right now, he wanted her sweet, pure and innocent just like she professed she was.

He should’ve spanked himself. Here he was thinking about stripping her of her virginity, and he wanted her to look as delicate as a pretty rose he couldn’t wait to deflower. The babydoll style hung off of her slender body, and while it allowed for a silhouette, he strained to see the outline of the G-string.

He stretched out on the futon with blankets and pillows he’d pulled from the bunkroom. While she changed into the ideas of pleasure, he’d laid there with his cock in hand stroking, easing his fingers around his shaft and dreaming of her.

“Turn around.” His voice was raspy and the hunger he needed to quench was far less than his sudden thirst. He ached to lick her, his need to drown in her slick heat overwhelmed him with an obsessive desire.

She turned around. “Do you like it?”

“I love it.” I love you. He should’ve just said it and got it out of the way but right now seemed like the wrong time.

“Do you really?” she giggled.

“I really do. What do you think?”

“I’ve never felt sexier in my life.”

“Good. If I thought you had, I might have to-”

“Spank me?”

“Yeah, paddle that sweet ass.”

“Will you?”

“Will I spank you?”

“Uh-huh.” She nibbled on her finger. “I’ve been a very bad girl. You tell me all the time.”

“Good God, Peyton.” He pulled the sheet back and showed off his cock. He wrapped his hand around it and gently tugged it through his tight grip.

Her gaze didn’t follow his strokes, at least not at first. “Look at me, Peyton. Watch me.”

“I’m-”

“You’re going to watch me. Not my eyes, my hand.”

Nervously, she started to sit down.

“No, don’t sit. Stand right there and watch.” His mouth watered as he caressed his dick. “You know what I want you to do?”

She nodded.

“Have you ever given any other man a blowjob?” Now would be a good time for her to say no, especially after the one she gave him in the car.

She shook her head.

“Good girl.”

“But I know how. Didn’t hear you complain earlier.”

His hand stopped moving. “With a blow like that, you won’t hear one. Tell me something Peyton, if you haven’t given a man head, how did you learn?”

Her face blushed. “Movies.”

“Remind me later. I’m going to spank you a few times for watching a movie where a woman gives a man head.” He licked his lips. “Did you finger yourself when you watched the movies?”

“Sometimes.”

He tugged harder. “Did your pussy clench tight around your fingers? Did you play with your clit, Peyton?”

“Uh-huh, and I…”

“You what, Peyton?” He moaned as he closed his eyes and tried to imagine her with her finger in her cunt watching dirty movies.

“I came.”

“Good girl, I knew you did.”

Her eyes dropped down to his cock. “Does it feel good?”

“What?”

She laughed. “Right now. What you’re doing. Do you like touching yourself?”

“Come here. I want you to find out for yourself.” He took her hand in his and with her free palm, she reached for his thick length. “Did I tell you to touch me?”

She snapped her wrist back away from him. “No, but…”

“Peyton, lie down, sweetheart.”

She did.

He licked her kneecap and kissed her inner thigh. She tried to touch him again, her fingers straining against the distance he put between them.

“Don’t, Peyton. Not yet.”

She watched him as he ran his tongue up her leg, up and down her inner thigh and then stopped at her pussy. He took a deep breath and inhaled her. “Oh baby, you smell like cotton candy. Have you been playing in my toy bag?”

“Yes, I just…”

“Peyton, I didn’t tell you that you could play in my bag of tricks, did I?”

“Uh-huh?” He heard the uneasiness in her voice.

He tugged her panties over her hips and kissed her clit. She jerked as soon as his mouth covered her pussy but he didn’t stay long, just long enough to kiss the tender little bud and withdraw.

“Give me your hand.”

She did.

“Now, touch yourself here.” He showed her where he wanted her hand. “I want you to move your fingertip over your clit. Feel that?” He showed her how he wanted her to do it.

She swallowed stiffly. “Can’t you do it?”

“No, I can’t. You have to do it.” He moved with her for a few minutes and then moved his hand.

“Kane…”

“Don’t talk, Peyton, just feel.”

He grinned as he watched her, the blush of her skin turned a nice shade of pink. It showcased her embarrassment but not so much that she changed her mind. She didn’t stop when he moved his hand. Her finger continued to press against her clit.

“That’s good, sweetheart. Now, take your other hand and put two fingers in your pussy.”

“No.”

“No?”

She shook her head.

“What are you afraid of?”

“I…”

“You don’t want me to watch?”

Her hand moved rapidly across her mound, her hips rose once, just once but holy hell, it was a beautiful rise and fall as her legs spread open and the sparkling of her sweet juices spilled over the folds. “Really perfect, a little more pressure now and put your fingers into your pussy this time.”

“Will you do it?”

“Yes, but I want you to show me how you like it first. Now, do it. Don’t make me ask again.”

He tried to gain control. Damn it, this was why his brothers didn’t want him to take her. They feared he’d behave like this. They were afraid he’d dominate her, pull her into the lifestyle he craved, the one he’d lived in or on the realm of for nearly five years.

She stopped moving her fingers, and her hands fell to her sides and she dared him with her eyes. “I’m not doing it.”

He licked his upper lip and decided to let her choose her punishment. “Then tell me what I need to do to punish you. Spank you or eat your pussy?” What a punishment. She didn’t know the difference. He went with it. If things were different, and he was training a submissive for his bed, he’d have made her go stand in the corner or he would’ve put a ball gag in her mouth while he jacked off in front of her.

Her breath hitched in her chest. “I…I…can’t decide.” Instinctively, her middle finger touched her clit again and she began to roll it back and forth, her hooded eyes barely open, her mouth dropping wide in expectancy.

“That’s not what I wanted to hear, Peyton.” He snatched her wrist and tugged her from the bed. “I wanted you to answer the question. Now you’re going to have to face your punishment.”

He moved away from the mattress and kept his focus on her until he disappeared into the bathroom. When he returned he had his playthings.

“Roll over on your stomach.”

“No.”

“Remember who is in control here, Peyton.” He growled as he tried to remind himself of it too. The games he played with her now was a last ditched effort to maintain some element of composure before she stripped him of what little self-control he had left.

He yanked her ankles, and she giggled nervously.

“Don’t hurt me,” she purred. “I’d heard about this side of you but I don’t want you to hurt me, Kane, not yet.”

“Do you think I’m going to hurt you?”

“No.”

“How do you know for sure?”

“Because I trust you.”

Damn it all. If there was anything sweeter a woman said to a man, he’d like to know what. “Very good, you should trust me.”

She turned over on her stomach, and before he pulled her hips back, she arched for him. She didn’t try to scoot away from him, and she shocked him with her easy compliance.

He caressed her ass, her perfect globes, before he drenched the center split with lubricant. She jerked as the cool moisture seeped into her ass.

“Oh that’s perfect, truly beautiful.”

“Kane…” She moved her bottom against him.

“Shh…remember, you trust me.” He nibbled along her back, licked up and down her spine and then before he warned her, brought his hand up and smacked her flank.

“Wait! You can’t spank me yet. I’m not ready yet.”

“You told me to spank you, lover. I’m going to punish you because you won’t mind me. I wanted your fingers in your pussy and you denied me.” He smiled, fought back the urge to tell her that he preferred her ass. He’d watch her finger herself later. He’d watch her enjoy her own hand, sooner or later, in ways she never imagined.”

“Kane, please don’t.”

“You don’t like getting a spanking?”

“I do…I…”

He tanned her beautiful hide again. His cock throbbed as his palm met her flesh several more times.

She cried out. “You don’t understand. I need you to hold me.”

“Hold you?” Slap! Smack! Slap!

“Oh God…yes!”

“No, darlin’ what you need is for me to fuck you.” He felt for evidence. His fingers slid under her, and he pushed his middle finger into her cunt. “Yes, sweetheart, that’s what you meant, isn’t it?” He nibbled at her earlobe, and she moaned out a silent cry.

“Please, move your fingers inside of me,” she pleaded with him, begged him with unruly passion in her voice.

“Are you a virgin, Peyton?” He already knew the truth. She’d admitted it.

“Yes.”

“Tell me. Tell me you’re a virgin.”

“I’m a virgin. I saved myself for you.”

Oh dear God, he didn’t want her to add what he needed to hear most. Not yet, not now.

Too late.

He choked out a forced response as he removed a butt plug from a small pouch. “Okay, good girl,” His finger ran in between her cheeks, and she shivered with pleasure as he touched the hole he planned to claim.

“Good?”

“Oh yes.”

“Really nice, Peyton. You’re so beautiful, baby.” He didn’t tell her what he was doing next but he took the small vibrator from the pouch where she could see it. “Say no at any time and we stop, okay?”

She nodded.

“No, Peyton. Tell me you understand.”

“I underst-”

He pressed the small silicone plug into her anus, the tip barely penetrating the outer ring. She moaned, he added a little pressure. “Grip the sheets, baby, hang on for just a minute.”

“I can’t…”

“Oh yes you can.” He rolled back on the balls of his feet and stared at her pretty bottom, the image she created was more than he deserved to capture alone. Oh his brothers were going to kill him when they found out he introduced her to his treasures.

“Kane!”

“I’m here, baby.” He flipped her over and spread her out like he wanted her to try out mattress jumping jacks. He settled between her legs and held her thighs apart. “Ah Peyton, this is perfect.”

“I…this sensation…it hurts, Kane.”

“It’s going to hurt for just a minute but I can take care of you, Peyton. I can make sure no one ever takes care of you better than I do.” He kissed her clit and then licked her center. “Oh Peyton, I’m going to take care of us both.” His head dropped, and he lapped at her pussy like he was dining for the first time, and for once in his life, he indulged in a well-prepared meal.


****

She was on her death bed. Peyton decided this had to be her death bed because she felt like she was caught between one world and another, torn between exquisite pleasures and some sort of unexplainable, but heavenly pain.

She transitioned then. Somewhere in the midst of carnal experiences, she became a woman.

Her hands gripped the coverlet as she watched him devour her like an animal hungry for a first delicious snack. The more she watched, the more she wanted.

“Oh Kane, I think I’m…”

“You are, right now.” He mumbled against her flesh before his tongue slowly swiped deeper. He tapped the end of the vibrating plug and it flared against her ass before the sinful little toy zapped to a new speed, working almost in sync with the man licking her, coaxing out the juices of a woman-her cream, her pleasure.

“Kane! Good God, don’t stop! Oh fuck!” She twisted and writhed under his mouth as the sounds of a man’s vulgar appetite filled the room. He lapped, and then groaned. God help her, he growled, and it was the most animalistic thing she’d ever heard and it only called out more from her. She grinded against his face and chin and took the orgasm he gave her.

He held her against the weight of his arms, folding them over her stomach. She reached for him, her hand gripping his hair, pulling it until he cried out against her body and nibbled on her hardened clit in retaliation.

His eyes were dark, heavy with a new lust, and his tongue searched while his hands wandered around looking for answers. She prayed whatever he needed to find in a woman, he found it in her.

“Let me come again,” she whimpered as her hips rose off the bed. She pushed her pussy tighter against his lips, and his oral pursuit stopped right then. Within a second, he removed the plug, and then quickly sheathed himself.

Her chin dropped in shock. “Now that was something to see.”

He fisted his cock and ran it across her leg, rubbed it against her inner thigh. Then, he positioned it, right where a woman needs a man’s cock. Ready for entry.

“I’ll always surprise you, Peyton. Now, I want you to open up for me.” His fingers spread her pussy lips, his mouth captured her mouth and his cock pressed tighter against her entrance, the latex covered mushroom head followed his fingers into her tight walls. He moved his hand, and the tip parted her folds.

“Peyton…”

“Go ahead. Please…” She trembled as she urged him. She cried, tears drifting across her cheeks because there was more to this, at least for her, and she feared it.

“Look in my eyes, Peyton.” He didn’t move into her. He waited. “Watch me.”

She thought she said okay but she blinked. Heaven help her she blinked on impact as his cock tore through her walls with a bolt of pleasure rocking her through the pain. She wrapped her legs around his waist and held him there.

“Kane, you have to…it hurts too bad and so good at…the same time.” She tightened her bottom, arched against him and captured all of him. “Don’t hold back, let me have it all,” she whispered into his skin, her cheeks now damp with tears.

“Not too fast, baby. Relax.” He brushed his knuckles over her cheek and kissed her forehead. “Take me slow, baby. Take me nice and slow.”

“I want to feel you,” she purred as her neck strained away from the pillow, and she stared down at the evidence of not what she lost, but what she so willingly gave. The size of his shaft disappeared into her body with a slow grind, an even awareness, and a beautiful claiming. “I want it intense, Kane. I need it…”

“Damn it, no!” He didn’t want her to ask for it but oh how he wanted to give it to her hard and fast. His thighs bunched, he tried to hold back. She saw it in the way he stared at her. He bit his lower lip. “Hold still, baby. I’m going to come, if you don’t…hold still.”

She clawed at his chest. Every nerve ending she owned convulsed against his cock, and she gripped his shoulders, almost pinching him as she held him. “That’s the point, Kane…that’s the whole entire…”

Her thighs parted only more, and she balanced herself against his body, holding his forearms one minute and clinging to his shoulders the next. The whole time, her legs worked in a slow butterfly fashion, spreading open for him before squeezing him tighter by closing around him with her inner thighs.

“Come for me, Peyton…let me watch your expression as you come.” He pinched her nipples before he reached between their bodies, touched her clit, stroked it with his thumb and carried them over the edge.

“No! You can’t! Not…yet. Oh Kane…” She shook her head and tried to hang on for the longest ride of pure ecstasy as he fucked her right into an earth-shattering experience. He took her on an intimate journey with one goal, one purpose; a true body to body understanding.

He wanted her to realize, she now belonged to him and she did. In every way that mattered she was Kane Cartwell’s lover. She’d carry his brand, a collar, anything he wanted her to wear just to prove it. Right then and there, she belonged only to him.


****

How did he forgive himself? How would he ever explain to his brothers what he’d done to her? Would they take one look at them and know what took place? He shook his head. No, he wasn’t going to tell them. It had to remain their secret.

He glared in the mirror and didn’t recognize himself. He gripped the porcelain sink, looked down at the water in the basin as it covered the toy he’d chosen just for her. “Damn it.” He looked back up at his reflection and shuddered against what he saw this time. The cold, hard image he often saw no longer existed. His eyes were softer, not as cold, even the dark circles under them faded away into the night.

He knew a man changed when he fell in love but the physical transformations left him stumped. He studied his face, the one he saw every morning and every night staring back at him. Was he in love? Did he love Peyton Storm?

He shook his head, twirled the plug around in the cool water as he cleaned it. He dried it on a nearby towel and glanced up again. The least he could do was look himself in the eye, but even a simple task proved difficult.

He needed to feel ashamed. Maybe he did a little, but not enough.

Would his brothers take one look and see the difference in him? He saw it in himself and earlier while he’d watched her sleep next to him, he noticed it in her. God help him, he witnessed what changes he made in Peyton. After what they’d shared, would things remain the same between them?

He grabbed a washcloth from under the sink, and his hand grazed the leather satchel. He froze with a newfound decision, and his dick throbbed, ached for more. Did he clean up and get them the hell out of here or did he make another bold move and bring out yet another toy?

No, he shook his head. She needed to rest. He needed to let her sleep. He leaned up against the wall and stroked his cock, closed his eyes and imagined Peyton lying there on the futon bed. Her blush skin showing off the signs of recent sex, and her nipples round and ready, spiked hard in the cool air, waiting for another one of his kisses.

Did he love Peyton Storm?

He tugged harder as he fisted his cock and thought about the way she looked at him when he was in between her legs, tasting her sweet pussy as she pressed down on the top of his head. Oh God, and how she’d liked it most when he spanked her. The juices spilling into his hand as he caressed her, fingered her.

Did he love Peyton Storm?

He stretched her so wide when he entered her. He was scared too death he might tear her skin as he broke through the barriers and took what he wanted, at any cost. Was it one with a price too high to pay? Would she later just walk away?

He closed his eyes and moaned as he got off in his hand. Peyton. Oh beautiful Peyton. Young and pure, and all his. “Peyton…” His cum ran over his belly, the sticky spill clinging to his knuckles, and damn it all, he squeezed his hand tighter and tighter, wrapping, tugging, pulling for freedom, for more, for so much more. Something he’d only find in Peyton’s arms.

“God yes, I love her.” He collapsed against the bathroom wall and jerked when he felt her hand replace his.


****

She didn’t make out the words but she most certainly understood the actions. She slumped down next to him and slowly reached for his long, sticky shaft. She stared down at the flared mushroom head.

“If I didn’t satisfy you, all you had to do was come back to bed,” she whispered.

He watched her pump him, his dark eyes softer than she’d ever seen them before. He didn’t speak, only stared at her hand.

“Kane, I need this. I need whatever it is you want me to have. All of it.”

“You can’t handle the person I want to be with you, Peyton.”

“Try me,” she dared.

“Not now, maybe one day but not tonight. It’s too soon, and I don’t want to hurt you. I’d never hurt you, Peyton. You know it, right?”

“I know, Kane.”

His incredibly thick cock felt warm in her hand and soon she had new ideas, lots of dirty notions. She leaned over the bathtub and worked to find some water pressure.

“You didn’t pay attention when I tried to teach you how to work the faucet,” he said with a wicked grin.

“I was too busy checking out your backside. It’s hard to give a flip about water when a man’s fine ass is bent over the tub.”

He stroked her hip and then pushed her aside. “Let me get it.”

A few minutes later they were standing in the shower. He washed her like he thought she didn’t have the first inclination to do it herself.

His hands were rough and smooth at the same time. The calluses on them reminded her of the hard working man she had lathering her up while his gentle touch emphasized how much he cared for her. He handled her like fine china. Heaven help her, he cared too much, maybe. She had the potential to break a man like Kane Cartwell.

For a second, she thought back to the dreams she’d had. Their mother visited her in her dreams and asked her to choose, begged her to make a choice, and then left her to her own devices to do it.

For some time now, she’d known. She’d never walk away from Kane. If he was a package deal with his brothers then all the better but Kane wasn’t someone she’d leave behind. She closed her eyes and let him run the washcloth back and forth over her mound.

“Spread your legs,” he said.

“I can wash myself,” she said suddenly embarrassed when she realized he wanted to wash her pussy.

“You’re not going to. I need to do this.”

A wicked twinge of curiosity bit at her gut. She turned around to face him. If he was going to bathe her twat, she wanted to watch.

His lips quirked into a smile, and he moved the bar of soap back and forth over the cloth. He bent his head down and parted her lips with a soul stealing kiss, while his hand began to massage her pussy with the cloth, working back and forth around her swollen folds. When he finished kissing her, the washcloth dropped, and she looked down at the hard-on pressuring her for attention.

“Are you always so hard after sex?”

“No.”

“Are you horny or…”

“Honey, if I’m hard, I’m horny.”

She dropped to her knees and gripped his thighs. “Then I want to do something to take care of your problem.”


Chapter 14

<p>Chapter 14</p>

Vicky tumbled out of a car loaded down with teenage girls and ran for the barn. “Peyton! Braden! Anyone here?” She sprinted through the breezeway and right into Evan’s arms.

“Yikes! I didn’t see you there.” She giggled. “What’s up, handsome?” His face tensed a lot when she was around, sometimes Vicky thought with a little persuasion she could get Evan into bed but lately, she’d thought better of it.

Why would she stand in as Peyton’s substitute? It was clear all of the Cartwells wanted her best friend, and once she made up her mind which one, if any of them, she wanted then Vicky planned to consider the other two as possible options.

“What’s the rush?” Evan clutched her to him rather than released her. “Who’s in the car?”

He nodded toward the Ford Mustang and then turned his gaze back to her. “There are too many of you in that car. Someone’s going to have to stick around so I can give a few rides home.”

Vicky laughed, wiggled out of his grip and then looked back at her girlfriends and waved. Not as in goodbye but as in ‘get out of the car and say hello’.

“Why invite ‘em in?” he grumbled.

“Didn’t Peyton tell you?” Vicky smiled and then touched his arm, “We’re having a sleepover tonight. Braden okay’d it.”

“I didn’t get that memo.” His jaw tensed.

“What’s wrong, Evan? You’re not afraid of a few southern ladies, are you?”

He stamped his foot, like a child ready to throw a temper tantrum. He turned, headed for the back field and called over his shoulder. “I’m not afraid of a woman, Vicky. It’s the teenage girls who want a southern gentleman to lift their skirts that scare the hell out of me.”

By the time she saw him disappear over the hillside, her friends stood behind her laughing their heads off.

“I guess he just couldn’t take it. He had to run off and find big brother to deal with us,” she told them.

“Where’s Peyton?” a few girls chimed in together.

“I don’t know. Her car isn’t here so she’ll probably be back soon wherever she is.” Vicky didn’t mind playing hostess for a bit. The boys let her rule the roost as much as Peyton.

Evan reappeared at the far end of the barn with Braden on his heels.

“Evan, you’re so predictable,” Vicky said. “Hey, Braden.”

“Vicky.” He turned to the other girls, “Ladies.”

They giggled.

Vicky pointed at the two cowboys. “Girls, this is Braden, he’s the oldest. This is Evan, he’s the youngest. Kane…where is Kane by the way?”

Evan took a deep breath and stormed out of the barn again and Braden grabbed Vicky’s arm, “Girls, I have to talk to Vicky. Go on up to the house and get settled in. We’ll be there shortly.”

“Oh boy,” she teased. “This might be a whole lot of fun.”

“I promise, you’re not going to enjoy it,” he growled. “Annabelle, pull your car right up to the house and let the girls unload their things. Just leave it there for the night. We’ll be right there. Make yourself at home.”

Once the girls scattered, some of them hurrying up the hill to the main house and a few others jumping back in the car, Braden returned his focus to Vicky. “Where are they?”

“Huh? I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Peyton and Kane. Where are they?”

Vicky felt the corners of her mouth turn up in a nervous smile. “I don’t know. I didn’t know she wasn’t here.”

“Yes, you did. She would’ve called you and told you to carry on with the party as planned until she got here. Now, where are they?” His grip tightened.

“Stop, Braden. You’re hurting me.”

He released his grip and eased her arm to her side. “I’m sorry…I just…”

Vicky narrowed her eyes on him. “You really don’t know where she is?”

“Hell, no.”

“Well, I really hate you don’t believe me but Braden, I don’t know either but I imagine if she’s with Kane, she’s okay. In fact, I’d say she’s more than okay.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” he snarled.

Vicky smiled sweetly, tried to resist laughing out loud and just went for it. “To put it bluntly? I’d say she’s fucked.”

“Yeah, well, that seems to be the general consensus around here.”


****

He must’ve been crazy, stark mad to allow Peyton to come into their home and live with them like family. He’d known when he signed on for something like this, it was going to lead to trouble but he did it anyway. He’d promised Peyton’s mother. He’d guaranteed her safe keeping and swore to protect her even after she graduated from high school.

Peyton’s mom had been a dear friend, and he didn’t need his brothers to remind him how many times she saved him from himself. As a teenager, he was a rebel dying to live wild and manage trouble.

Peyton’s mom, a concerned bystander, seemed determined to keep him safe. At one time, Braden even made a play for her. He thought the whole older woman, younger man thing might appeal to her since she’d been so kind to him. She quickly set him straight and once told him with mischief dancing in her eyes that she wanted to save him for her daughter.

Humph! Saving Peyton for him? Some luck he had. His brothers were far too aggressive for him to compete with them regardless of what he said. He kicked a wave of shavings through the barn as he tried to think of where all of this started to go wrong.

Kane.

It was Kane’s fault. He couldn’t keep his hands to himself. Now, it wasn’t just his hands Braden worried about. Other body parts presented the problem. His mouth on Peyton’s lips, his body hovering over hers, and his cock stroking at the one woman Braden wanted to take to his bed. It drove him to pure madness.

“We’re in trouble here, Braden.”

Braden turned around and glared at Evan.

“You know it. I know it. Kane’s known it for awhile.”

“What kind of trouble do you think we’re going to find in her?” Braden asked curiously.

“Don’t know. I imagine Kane will have a pretty good idea, though.” Evan tilted his chin toward the gates of the property. The little blue sports car raced down the long winding driveway headed for the house.

Evan and Braden stepped out into the clearing and watched as Peyton jumped out of the car, pulled some kind of large bag with her and rushed into the house. Kane sat there for a few minutes before he slowly pulled away from the house. He headed straight for them.

“I imagine we’ll find out more than we want to know,” Braden said.

“You have no one to blame but yourself,” Evan quickly reminded him.


****

“Braden, Evan.” Kane jumped out of the car and started inside the barn. “Who told her she could have a bunch of squealing girls to spend the night?”

“I did,” Braden said.

“Great. I can’t wait.” Kane growled.

“I imagine it’s going to pale in comparison to last night.” Evan watched him closely.

“Probably.” Kane smiled.

“Did you touch her?” Braden folded his arms across his chest, and he stared off into the distance. “Did you?” He narrowed his gaze on his brother.

Kane meant to lie. He meant to tell his brothers he never laid one hand on her but as he stood in the very barn where three men died over one woman, he couldn’t do it. He just couldn’t.

“Well?” Evan coaxed for answers.

Kane squatted down next to the car and studied the front wheel. “I hit something in the middle of the road there off of Beaver Pike.” He tried to see under the car, and before he realized it, Braden grabbed him by the collar and pinned him flat against the hood of the car.

“Damn it, Braden! Get off me!” Kane shook him loose.

“Answer me!”

“What the hell do you want me to say?”

“Whatever he asks, try to answer him with the truth. Might be a good place for all of us to start,” Evan suggested.

Braden’s breathing chopped with as much uncertainty as the wind. He held him firmly against the car, his shirt bunched in his hands. “I want to know what you’ve done to her.”

“You better be careful what you ask me, Braden, because you damn well know where this is going to lead. I don’t think you’ll want to hear what I have to say.” Kane watched the flicker of acknowledgement in his brother’s eyes.

“Did…you…fuck…her?” He held him tighter, shook him once or twice.

“Let him go, Braden,” Evan said.

If Braden didn’t let him go, Kane’s anger would take hold, and it might get messy. Kane could take on both his brothers, and his strength, next to these two, tipped toward superior and then some.

He deserved what they wanted to dish. He’d fucked Peyton silly and tried to teach her things about a lifestyle they’d never want her to lead. Sure, he’d only eased her into it, but now he realized she wasn’t opposed to it, and he planned to introduce her to more. Braden and Evan would die if they knew what he had in mind.

“I want answers.” Braden shook him.

Peyton’s small voice trembled from behind the men. “Then ask me.”

Braden quickly released Kane, and Evan wheeled around to face her. Kane saw the awareness wash over both of them. Once they had the chance to get a good look at her, all questions rendered little explanation.

Braden tried to dismiss her “Peyton, you have company. Go on up to the house. We’ll be there soon.”.

“No, Braden. I’ll wait on you guys.” She took a deep breath, and Kane imagined she braced herself. Knowing Peyton, she was determined to tell them what they’d missed. Kane understood why. She wanted all of them, all three of them. He’d have to deal with it and learn to accept it.

“Get her up to the house, Evan.” Braden looked away from her and with a fierce glare he studied Kane and gave his demand once more. “I said, ‘take her to the house’, Evan.”

Peyton crossed her arms. Evan touched her forearm and tried to encourage her to follow Braden’s request. “Let’s go.”

“Don’t touch me,” she snapped.

“Peyton, I have some things to discuss with Kane.” Braden took a deep breath and a gulp, a real good dose, of fear. A man’s uncertainty driving his form of questioning while knowledge provoked his anger often ended badly in matters of the heart. No one knew this better than the three men glaring at one another.

“Do these ‘things’ concern me, Braden?”

Braden and Kane locked eyes. Kane saw more fury so he warned her too. “Peyton, go to the house.”

“No,” she answered in frightful determination.

Braden turned on her. He marched over to her, grabbed her wrist and tugged her into the barn. “I told you to go to the house! You wanted a slumber party, a sleep over, now go sleep over!”

Peyton set her jaw, and Kane’s dick twitched as he realized what kind of reply Braden would get.

“I already had one hell of a sleep over, a private party I’ve only dreamed about. You should’ve been there. Maybe if you’d been there, you wouldn’t have to blame Kane. I’m willing to bet you might even have a spring to your step today.” Her hands flew to his chest, and she gave him a shove. She then twisted her sexy little hips right by Evan and Kane and broke into a mad dash straight for the lower fields.

“Great!” Braden kicked the stall in front of him. “Fucking great!”

“If I were you, I’d go get her,” Kane said out of the corner of his mouth.

“You have such a way with her, you go get her.” Braden started to walk off.

“Damn it, she has company, and if I know Vicky, we have an audience peering down here. Peyton’s room has a perfect view of…”

Braden clenched his fists. “Shut up, Kane. I don’t even want to hear you mutter a sound.”

He locked eyes with Evan but Evan stood his ground. “I’m not going anywhere. We’re not repeating history here. Not today and not any other day if I have my say and believe me, I’m going to have a few words with both of you.”

After a moment of silence, Evan moved closer to his brothers. “We’ve danced around the subject for far too long. What we’re afraid of here is turning into our fathers, into the men we fear we already are but don’t you see? We’re nothing like them.

“For starters, we all brought Peyton here. We’ve been open about our feelings for her from the beginning. I think she’s made a few things obvious too. I mean hell, Kane you walked in when she was in my arms right after she left yours and then she kissed Braden in front of both of us. This doesn’t have to end badly for anyone.”

“Shut up, Evan. You were too young to know everything.” Braden stalked back and forth, shot Kane the occasional glare and continued to pace.

“Then why don’t one of you spill whatever you think I don’t remember because see, I remember a lot more than I should. I know one thing. A damn love triangle with any woman is a bad idea for Cartwells unless everyone is honest and no one keeps secrets.”

Kane didn’t say anything. Braden mumbled and Evan continued. “We’re going to destroy her if we don’t get it together and accept what’s going on here. I know Kane may have made the first move but it won’t be the last one. She cares about all of us.”

“She does.” It killed Kane to admit it.

Braden raised an eyebrow as if he wanted to hear more. “Didn’t stop you, did it?”

“Braden…”

“I don’t want to hear your excuses.” He stopped in front of her car, turned and walked back to Kane. “Did you fuck her?”

“Shit, Braden.” Evan stood closer to them. “Did you not see what I saw? The way she looks at him, even at us? Hell, yeah, he fucked her, and I would have too if I’d been in his shoes.”

Braden grabbed Kane’s shirt again and sneered. “Yeah, but Evan wouldn’t have done the things to her I’m willing to bet you did, now would he?”

“I don’t know, Braden. I’m not Evan.”

“Damn bastard.” Braden raised his fist and planned to hit him, no doubt. Kane decided rather quickly to let him have just one, but for some reason Braden decided not to throw the punch.

He looked like a man ready to regroup. Evan, on the other hand, finally managed to second guess what he’d missed. Kane understood how his brothers thought. Hell, while they were different in many ways, in many others, all three brothers were the exact same.

“I love her.”

“You what?” Braden roared out the question.

“Shit, you must have gone mad overnight.” Evan glared at Kane.

“You don’t?” He questioned them, both at one time.

“Kane, this is a bad idea,” Braden said, somehow gaining some sort of forced control, yet dangerously bridled.

“Might be, and if so, I don’t care. I love her.”

“I’m going to go get Peyton. She has company, and she can at least act like a happy hostess for one night.” Braden shook his head as he headed for the fields.

“She will,” Kane said.

Braden stopped when Kane spoke for her. He didn’t look back. “Just because she’s in your bed doesn’t mean she’s going to lose her focus, her goals and dreams.”

“I wouldn’t ask her to give up anything for me, Braden.”

“See that you don’t.”

Evan watched his brother take the easy pathway through the fields. “You wanna talk about it?”

“Nope.” Kane smirked.

He knew Evan wanted all sorts of details. Too bad.

“That good, huh?”

Kane chuckled. “Yep.”

“Damn.”

“How many girls are up there?”

“Too many,” Evan said.

“Great,” Kane groaned.

“Was she a virgin?” Evan had a thing for virgins.

“Yeah.”

“And you did the unthinkable, didn’t ya?”

“Yeah, I did.” Kane wasn’t proud of it, not exactly, but he was smug. He knew she wanted him, and she wanted him just as raw as she could get him.

“You’re not going to give me details?”

“Not today,” Kane smiled. Maybe never. “Right now, I’d say we have a few hungry girls to feed. I may run out for pizzas.”

“Yeah, pizza sounds good.” Evan headed for the passenger’s side of Peyton’s car, “And there’s a new candy shop next to the pizza place. Somebody said they have the best cotton candy in the world.”

Kane’s body went rigid, and he knew his face gave everything away.

“Oh hell,” Evan said. “She let you…”

“Cotton candy sounds like a plan.” Kane chuckled and stepped inside the car. He smacked his lips and looked over at his brother. “In fact, I can almost taste it now.”


Chapter 15

<p>Chapter 15</p>

“I’m not a little girl,” she snapped when Braden approached her. She was hanging upside down from the split rail fence.

“Funny, right now, you look like one.”

“I’m not one.” She pulled her arms back above her head and continued to do sit-ups, her shirt flying up and down with her body.

He reached out to hold it for her as she continued to work on her abs but instead of gripping the shirt, he touched her stomach with his open palm. The sensation sent chills up and down her spine.

She continued to sit up and fall down, her hair flowing over her back as she taunted him. His hand caressed her stomach, his palm stayed on her abs as she pulled herself up and over the old rickety boards.

His cheeks stained blood red when she twisted her body over the plank and landed at his feet. He grunted.

“I like working out over here. No one bothers me.”

“Your friends are up at the house, waiting on you.”

“I don’t care. Vicky got them into some chick flick before I got home and they had another hour or so before it’s over. She covered for me and told them I had to do some chores before I could party with them. Besides, they’re like four hours early.”

Braden scratched his chin. “I wondered about that.”

She cracked a smile. “Sorry, I guess I should’ve sent them home and told them to come back.”

“It’s fine, Peyton.” He brushed her cheek with the back of his hand and shocked them both when he leaned in and kissed her.

It wasn’t a kiss like any other she remembered. It was soft, tender, and so sweet, she almost cried when his lips touched hers. She didn’t latch her arms around his neck but instead, she let him lead. He didn’t take them far. It was a simple kiss, and it was only a kiss, she told herself. It didn’t mean anything. It didn’t promise anything.

Only, it did.

“Did he hurt you, Peyton?” Braden asked as he pulled her into his arms. “Tell me the truth.”

Peyton wrapped her arms around his waist, and he stroked her head and back. “Did he?”

“No, Braden. He’d never hurt me.”

“Are you sure?”

“Braden, he wouldn’t hurt me.” She pressed her palms to his belly and looked up at him. “He just loved me.”

Braden swallowed tightly and then released her. He ran his hand through his wavy hair. “What do you mean by ‘loved’ you?”

“Exactly what I want you to think I mean.”

“Peyton just because he…” Braden shifted his weight and then tried again. “Peyton just because he…”

“Fucked me?”

“Oh hell.” He took a deep breath and then choked on it. Coughing, he doubled over from the impact of a soft blow she dealt with a man’s word and a woman’s delicate explanation.

“He did, Braden. I did, he did, and we did. I think it’s called consensual sex and it was like-”

Braden’s mouth covered hers. Kissing her proved effective. It kept her quiet, and since Kane used the same tactic on her before, she imagined it must have been a man thing, either that or it was a Cartwell-thing.

This time his kiss was ravenous. He devoured her lips with a devastating kiss, one meant to change things, one meant to destroy the rules he put in place to save them from this. Her hands fisted in his shirt, bunched the material and clawed at the skin underneath. And just as soon as it started, he stopped it.

“I can’t do this to you, Peyton. I’m sorry I…”

“No need to apologize. I wanted it. I still want it.” She wanted it bad. She’d heard stories about Kane and Evan but evidently Braden didn’t fuck around a lot. She’d never heard anything about him or his skills in the bedroom. Kane and Evan, as much as they might hate it, were open encyclopedia volumes.

Kane and Evan held quite the reputation. After one night with Kane, she realized why. The man’s cock was on steroids or something. Braden must’ve kept his on valium because even now, with a hard cock, and she saw the imprint of it, he wasn’t aggressive. Kane and Evan pursued a woman, and when they did, they stalked her. Braden took his time and worked his way into an intimate situation.

He kept a tight upper lip but she saw the lust there in his eyes. He wanted her, needed her all the more since she’d revealed her dirty little secret.

“Let me love you too, Braden.” She brushed his hair away from his face and framed his cheeks. “Please let me love you.”

He picked her up and cradled her in his arms, and before she knew what she’d truly started, she held onto him with her kisses matching his. He carried her up the hill, and she was so lost in his mouth, his tongue, and his lips, she never paid attention. Her left hand ran over his chest while her right gripped the nape of his neck.

And he kissed her all the way up to the barn. Then, he released her.

“Braden, don’t walk away.” She was dying for more now.

“I have to walk away, at least for tonight, Peyton.”

“Why?” she whined.

He ran his hand through his hair again. “Because if I don’t, God help me, if I don’t, there may be hell to pay here. I have a lot of things to sort out, and if you’re smart, you’ll take some time to decide what it is you want.”

Her eyes widened in acknowledgement as the memory of their mother’s story, the way Braden once told it, replayed over and over again in her mind. She saw the fear in his eyes too. The harrowing anxiety existed there.

“Kane knows, Braden. He’s not stupid. Just because something happened between us first doesn’t mean-”

“Nothing will happen between you and me or you and Evan until I talk to him.”

She wanted to argue. She needed to convince him to change his mind but when she made the first move, one step in his direction, he quickly stopped her with the words intended for someone behind her.

“Vicky, how long have you been standing there?” He painted on a crooked smile.

“Long enough to know I interrupted something you both need to reconsider.”


****

It was after midnight, and the girls ruled the Cartwell house. Vicky sat down beside Peyton and flipped through a magazine. “You’re going to have to think about what you’re doing here, Peyton.”

”It’s all I think about.”

“You don’t understand. You don’t know what they’ve been through or the impact their mother had on the men around here. Now, you’re doing the same thing.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Do you even know what happened to their fathers?”

“Of course, I know.”

“Do you realize they all have Cartwell blood running through their veins because they’re not only half-brothers but cousins too?”

She swallowed tightly. “No, I didn’t know about…I never thought to ask. How did you know?”

Vicky tossed the magazine on the bed. “Wanna know why my father is an alcoholic?” The question, while it appeared randomly selected, had a purpose.

Peyton studied her friend. Vicky seldom talked about her father or his drinking problem. She also never mentioned that on occasion he beat her and her mother. She just didn’t talk about it or him, at all.

“Sometimes, I think Braden is kinder to me because of what he knows his mother did to wreck my father’s life,” Vicky continued.

“What are you saying, Vicky?”

“My father and their mother had some kind of fling too. Peyton, just like you, she could have any man she wanted. Many of them were married, my father, for instance. She didn’t care. She taunted them with short skirts, low tops, promises of passion. From what I understand, she dressed up the part and played it out well. Women around here hated her.”

“She destroyed lives, though. I don’t plan on-”

“Peyton, stop it. You are doing the exact same thing she did. You aren’t making a choice so what you’re doing is giving three men hope. Three men are staying bound to you, hoping you’ll choose one over the other.”

“It’s not like that,” she said. “All of the Cartwell men were married to other women and sneaking around. It was a mess from the very beginning. I’m not anything like their mother.”

Vicky’s voice dropped when she heard five or six girls chatting it up before they ran into the room. “You’re asking for a lot of trouble here, Peyton. You have to make a choice.”

One of the girls dropped to the floor with her hand over her chest. “So help me God, if I can sneak out of your room tonight, I’m going to crawl into Kane Cartwell’s bed and do him dirty.”

Peyton glared at her friend. Everyone else giggled, and someone else popped up with more promises.

“You can have Kane. Mr. Personality doesn’t do a lot for me. I’m taking on Evan, and so help me, I’m going to find out if what they say is true!”

Peyton stared at the petite brunette. “What have you heard?” She cleared her throat. She only dared imagine.

The giggling stopped abruptly. Peyton twisted around on the bed so she was sprawled across the comforter with her stomach flat against the mattress. She bent her knees and crossed her ankles high above her bottom.

“What do you care?” Sarcasm oozed with her friend’s saucy rebuttal, and Vicky raised her eyebrows.

Peyton shrugged, “I don’t. I just like to know anything and everything I can on them. A girl never knows when she might have some use for great ammunition to fire their way. Sometimes, I’m telling you, I need an arsenal of come-backs and a whole lot of private knowledge.”

The girl lowered her voice and scooted across the carpet. Using her palms she pushed herself up from the floor. “I’ve heard he does the threesome thing.”

Peyton damn near choked on the soda she barely swallowed before her friend revealed what she knew. “Threesome?”

Vicky’s eyes were wide too, and wild with understanding. “I’m sure it’s nothing but a tall tale.”

Peyton probed for more. “As in a threesome with one girl and two guys or as in three guys or two girls and…?”

“Shoot, Peyton, I don’t know. What difference does it make?”

As if he’d been standing there the whole time, Evan stuck his head inside her door and grinned from ear to ear. “Yeah, Peyton, if it’s true-what difference does it make?”

All heads turned toward Peyton, and she refused to answer him in front of her friends. They all knew she had a silly school-girl crush on him when he was in high school. Now, it was more, far more. She slid off the bed and glanced down at her friends. “Come on. Let’s get into to some trouble.”

As she passed by Evan, she smiled, patted his cheek and then leaned in with a few words to keep him up late at night. “It makes a big difference, Evan. Ask Kane.”

She wiggled her butt, laughed out loud and chased her friends downstairs. She never looked back but she wouldn’t forget the look in his eyes, the twinkle she saw in them when he leaned in her room. Evan Cartwell wanted to know what she thought about a threesome.

Now, she only had to convince him adding one more would surely sweeten the pie then she’d talk to Braden again. She wanted her cake and wanted to put the icing on it too. Braden was the frosting. Evan, while challenging, was already waiting by the bed.


****

“Truth or dare?” It was Peyton’s turn. She hated these silly games. Every slumber party she attended, someone mentioned this game. She decided it was a way for one girl to hold something over another girl’s head. Yeah, she’d take the dare. After one night with Kane, she damn sure didn’t want to tell her new truths.

“Dare.” She held her breath. Vicky shook her head.

“Dare or double dare?” Freda, one of Vicky’s friends, added a new twist to an old game.

If Peyton chose the dare, then it would be a ridiculous one, no doubt. If she chose a double dare then someone else had to participate and if the dare was humiliating then she didn’t have to go down in history as the only one with flushed cheeks.

Freda wrote down the dare and passed it off to Vicky. “Dare or double dare, Peyton?” Freda asked smugly. Vicky opened the folded paper. She immediately shook her head and groaned.

“Double dare.” Peyton grabbed the bowl of popcorn and tossed a handful at Vicky.

“Great.” Freda turned around and pointed at Vicky. “Since you wanted to warn her about the dare, then you can read it, and you can join her.”

Vicky tossed the paper on the floor. “Look, I’m not doing it. Braden will have a fit.”

Peyton giggled. “Here, let me see it.” She took the paper from another girl’s hand and read it. “Give Evan a blowjob while someone watches.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

Freda shook her head. “Everyone knows he’s got it bad for you. Might as well break the ice while you have moral support!” She opened her arms wide and moved from side to side demonstrating where she’d find her support system.

“You’re funny, Freda. I bet you had this dare in mind before you were dropped off here tonight.”

Peyton and Vicky took games far too serious and everyone there realized it. The girls seldom backed away from a challenging prank.

Vicky had a reputation for giving head, and since Peyton was even considering it, she must’ve lost her mind somewhere back at the docks. Yeah, she lost it all right, and she needed someone to help her find it. By the looks of the dare in front of them, they had a worthy candidate-Evan.

Vicky smirked. She probably understood this wasn’t a dare Peyton wanted to refuse. If she declined, then she’d face three truths to tell and Vicky would still have the dare, along with someone else, any one of them who might give Evan a nice blowjob.

After all, they were all over eighteen.

Braden made the stipulation clear whenever Peyton mentioned a party now. Since all three Cartwells were walking stiff ones, he at least protected himself in the event he didn’t turn down an eager woman’s advancements. Peyton shuddered. She’d almost kill if one of these girls moved in on her territory.

Only minutes after reading the dare, Peyton and Vicky crawled up the stairs. Peyton started giggling as they scooted by Kane’s room. Braden told him to sleep with his door open because his room was the closest one to the party. She watched him shift in his bed and realized he was awake.

“Hang on a minute,” she whispered over her shoulder.

Vicky shook her head. “Wrong Cartwell, Peyton.”

“Just give me one second,” she whispered.

Vicky reluctantly nodded and leaned her head back against the wall. Peyton crawled across the floor and then slid into Kane’s bed.

“Peyton…” He smelled like beer. He slurred like a drunk.

“Kane…” Her hand went to his dick.

“Baby, you can’t be in here. Not right now with your friends here.” He kissed her lips. It wasn’t impressive. Peyton saw very little appeal in a drunk’s tongue. He also looked sad. She saw it in his eyes as the moonlight skid across his bedroom. Braden really beat him up with words, and dealt him a strong hand completely full of guilt.

She fingered his waistband. Once she slipped her hand in his shorts, she slowly pumped his cock into her hand. “Can’t I give you something to think about?”

“Yeah, baby, give me something to think about.” He closed his eyes, and his hand covered hers.

“Damn it,” she said, “Are you drunk?”

“I’m hard.” He grinned.

“And drunk.”

“Yep. Go play with your friends.” He rolled over her and reached under his bed. He pulled out a dildo. It was still in its box. “Tomorrow night…” He tapped her chin with the boxed gift and grinned. “Tomorrow night, you’re going to love me all over again, Peyton Storm.”

“Promise?” She wrapped her hand tighter and gave him another few tugs.

“I promise.” He heard something at the door, grabbed Peyton’s wrist and growled, “Damn Vicky, you’re always popping up at the wrong time.”

“I don’t know, Kane. I think maybe I need to stick around and protect you boys or something. Peyton seems to have lost a good sense of direction. I wonder who might have led her astray.”

“I don’t know. Say you think she’s lost her way?” He cleared his throat, pushed Peyton away and rolled over on his side. With his arm crooked behind his head and the cotton sheet at his waist, he waited for her reply.

“Yeah, I do. Come on, Peyton, we have a dare to perform.”

“A dare?” Kane narrowed his eyes on Peyton.

“It’s nothing,” she whispered. “Now go back to sleep.”

“Stay out of the barn, Peyton.”

“I will.”

“Don’t go near Braden’s horse tonight. He might come unglued.”

“No dares with the horses, I promise.”

“Okay, ‘night Peyton.”

“Goodnight, Kane.” She slipped out of his room and shut the door.

In a matter of minutes, they slid inside Evan’s room, and for some reason, Peyton believed he fully anticipated their arrival.


****

Evan held her pinned to the wall the second she slipped inside of his masculine domain. His body was hard, the ridge of his cock pleading for some kind of relief.

“Evan! What are you doing?” Peyton demanded an answer.

He held Peyton tighter as he snarled at Vicky. “Go tell your friends if I get a blowjob from Peyton, I want it one-on-one and without an audience.”

“What are you talking about?” Vicky turned the light on and her eyes were large with the recognition.

“Holy shit, he’s naked.” Her eyes dropped to the proof.

“No fucking doubt. What man wouldn’t wait with his cock in hand after hearing what you two had in store for me?”

Peyton swallowed tightly and only glanced at Vicky. Her friend wasn’t paying her any mind. Instead, she continued to glare at Evan’s dick. “Damn I’ve seen a lot of-”

“Vicky, leave.” Evan growled, pressed his body against Peyton’s and confined her to the wall.

“Stop it, Evan. Let me go.” Peyton pushed him back, or tried, anyway.

Vicky grabbed the empty bottle of vodka from the floor. “For men who seldom drink now that they have you to raise, this brother must have tied one on tonight.”

“Get the hell out of here, Vicky.” Evan’s teeth clenched as he held Peyton’s wrists to his chest.

“Not without Peyton,” she said. “And you will let her go or I’ll go wake up Kane. He won’t like this.”

Peyton looked at Evan’s hooded eyes, felt his breath against her skin, inches away from her mouth. A second or two more and he wouldn’t care what he did to her in front of an audience.

“Vicky, I’ll be right there.”

“Good choice, Peyton,” Evan congratulated her. “I think you know what’s in store for you, don’t ‘cha?”

“No, you’ll come with me now,” Vicky retorted.

“What if I want her to come with me?” Evan’s thighs bunched, and he pressed into Peyton with a suggestive move, a confirmation of what he meant.

“You two can do whatever the hell you want,” Vicky said, “When she doesn’t have a houseful of gossips downstairs to tell it.”

Vicky glared at his nightstand and saw the monitor. “Oh Lord Evan, this is so low. You keep a baby monitor next to your bed? Good grief!” She threw up her hands and grabbed Peyton by the arm. “Let’s go. Lord knows Evan heard enough tonight. He shouldn’t have any trouble jacking off if we give him a little privacy.”

The contempt in Vicky’s voice surprised Evan, if Peyton guessed correctly. He dropped her arm and let the girls get away but Peyton didn’t leave his room without looking back one last time.

“Damn, if you wouldn’t scare a gal.” She licked her upper lip and started to close his door.

Before she made a clean break, she heard him on the other side, swearing and promising all sorts of things. “I’m going to do more than spook with this cock, sugar. I’m going to wear you out with it.”

Vicky snickered, grabbed Peyton’s hand, and they rushed back down the stairs. “All of these years and I’ve never once been jealous of you.”

“Oh stop it!” Peyton teased.

“I’m not kidding. I’m green with envy. Did you see the way he looked at you?”

“Knock it off, Vicky.”

”I’m serious here, Peyton. He has it bad for you. His eyes glaze over when he looks at you as if he really sees only you. He looks at you with that icky kind-of-awareness like you’re an unusual somebody, a rare and precious existence. I’m telling you, he’s hot after you, girlfriend.”

“I hope you’re right,” Peyton said.

“I’m right, and he’s hard. If I were you, I’d race right back up those stairs and make him carry through on his last promise.”

“No way. He’s drunk.”

“He’s not drunk on anything but lust, my friend.”

“Well after having his cock against my leg, I’m drowning in it.”

Vicky snickered. “With a cock he sports, I guess so!”

“I can’t do it tonight.”

“I know why,” Vicky said, her voice softer this time. “It’s Kane, isn’t it?”

Peyton shrugged. “Not really.”

“Don’t give me that shit. You two are like watching a romance movie bound to end in a sad song.”

“Why do you say that?”

“When you two are in the room together now, it’s ridiculous. I noticed it when the guys brought in the pizzas. There’s all this love flowing back and forth from one pair of eyes to the next, but Peyton you need to understand something about Kane.”

“What?” Peyton stopped in the hallway right outside the media room.

“Honey, he’s too selfish to notice what’s really going on with you two. You may think you feel something really special for him, and while I see a lot of sexual energy and sparks flying everywhere, in the end, he’s the one Cartwell who can and will hurt you.”

“He might not,” Peyton bit out. “Maybe not, anyway.”

“Honey, he will. Even if he thinks he loves you now, this isn’t going anywhere. Listen to me. I know the guy’s reputation. I’m telling you-”

“I think he does love me now,” Peyton hummed. “He just doesn’t know how much yet.”

“Maybe he does.” She pointed behind her. “Speak of the stud himself, go see what he wants. I’m going to entertain the gals with tall tales about Freda. I owe her one or two. Hell, with the hard cock we saw in Evan’s room, I’d say we’re both forever indebted to her.”

Peyton and Vicky broke out into giggles, hugged and parted ways. Kane waited at the top of the stairs. He watched her as she walked toward him. By the time Peyton reached him, he yanked her by the wrist and pulled her into the spare bedroom right across the hall from her own room.


****

“Kane, this is-”

“Shh, don’t make a sound,” he said as he placed her hand over his cock.

“No, you don’t understand.” She said one thing but reached behind his ass and locked the door.

“Then help me make out here.”

“Kane, Braden will kill us if he finds us and did you fail to notice I have company?”

“I don’t care if Jimmy Buffet is down there. You’re not going anywhere.” With a closed fist, he tilted her chin, and she shut her eyes as his lips came down on hers in a bruising kiss.

Seconds clicked away as his tongue demanded her time. Hot and saucy, he kissed her like he meant to lose total control.

“Kane, please…”

“Don’t move,” he said. “You want me as much as I want you, Peyton. I don’t give a damn who hears us.”

“But-”

“You’re fucked hard if you protest and licked if you don’t make me work for it, how’s that? Feel better? You have options. Choose door number one or door number two.”

Evan stepped out of the bathroom then. “How about closing them both and running right over here to me?”

She gulped. “Oh God, this is my worst nightmare.”

“Thanks.” Kane kissed down her neck and nibbled on her ear.

“No, you don’t understand. Kane, stop that.” Surely she didn’t decline his advances.

“I understand, baby. Tell me about it.” Evan stepped in behind her and rubbed his cock over her ass. “This isn’t a nightmare, and you know it. This is what you want. Your wettest of sweet dreams.” His lips cascaded across her shoulders as Kane’s cock rubbed against her leg.

They proved their point. They were right. This was heaven. For a brief moment, she saw stars and then, hell’s fury brought her straight back down to earth.

A loud knock on the door proved Braden felt confident of who occupied the spare room. “You three have less than ten seconds to open up or I’m going to send these gals out here home.”

“Shit!” Evan pursed his lips and glared at Kane.

“Don’t look at me. I liked the idea. I sure as hell didn’t want him to interrupt this now.” He pointed at his dancing dick and did it ever get her attention. The purple tint to the mushroom head called for distractions.

She dropped to her knees as Braden knocked again. “Damn it. I’m counting.”

“And I’m sucking.” She smiled as she tormented both men. Evan was behind her massaging her shoulders, and Kane allowed her to pull his cock from his silk shorts.

“Ten…”

Her head lowered, and she kissed the tip before she licked her lips. Just a peck and a swipe across the slit, drew a heated growl from Kane.

“Sweet hell.” Evan yanked her from the floor, grabbed her around the hips and simulated the sex act by pressing into her backside over and over again. “You like giving head, don’t you Peyton?”

“Nine…”

“She likes it a lot,” Kane said.

“Eight…” Braden knocked again. “Seven…”

“Then here, sugar, sip this.” He tugged his cock from his pajama pants.

“Six…”

Peyton winked at Kane and dropped back down to her knees. With her legs wobbling against the floor, her awareness kicked in and a pool of desire dampened her panties. This was better than a wet dream. Better than sex itself. She licked around Evan’s grip, kissed his knuckles and took control.

“Five…Damn you, I said open this blasted door!” He kicked it this time.

With a wicked grin, she kissed Evan’s cock from the top to the base and back up again. “Hmmm. Evan, you’re going to love me for this.” Her mouth covered the shapely head, and she sucked him deep inside of her mouth.

“Good God.” He almost lost his balance but steadied himself with her shoulders before his hips moved with the suction.

“Four…Three… Two…”

With a pop, she released Evan and pushed up from her palms. “That’s it, boys. You heard the man. This party is over.” She didn’t look back, and didn’t particularly care if Evan still had his cock hanging out for Braden to see. She flung open the door, pinched his cheek, and let out a sigh of relief.

She slipped into the bathroom and leaned against the door. Nervously, she locked it and then stared at it like the door was her biggest enemy. It separated her from right and wrong. The panels she glared at now were the only thing preventing her from rushing right back out there and stripping off for all three of them. She didn’t care about her guests or care if everyone there knew it. She wanted to fuck them all right then and there. She opened the door and stared back at one lone barrier-Vicky.

“We’ve decided to play a game. It’s called, ‘Place your bets on which Cartwell Peyton bangs first.’ Wanna play?”

Peyton giggled, grabbed her friend’s arm and tugged her into the bathroom with her. Slamming the door, she put her finger over her own lips as if she wanted to hush her for some reason. “What if I told you that’s a game we’re guaranteed to win?”

“You didn’t?”

“I did.”

“When?” Vicky asked.

“You have to ask?”

“So you and Kane?” Vicky’s jaw dropped, “Oh honey, you picked the wrong Cartwell.”

“Who says I only get to choose one?”


Chapter 16

<p>Chapter 16</p>

“Kane! Kane!” Peyton tried to get his attention as she ran into the lower field with his cell phone in hand.

When he finally stopped the tractor, he jumped down from the John Deere long enough to snatch the phone from her hand. “Couldn’t you take a message? I’m trying to figure out what is wrong with this damn tractor.”

“She says it important,” Peyton said as she watched him curiously.

He looked at the caller ID and then held the phone to his chest. “And maybe a little private?”

“Oh, uh…sorry.” She stepped away but she tried really hard to listen, even though he lowered his voice.

“What do you want?” He wasn’t happy to hear from the mystery caller. “Yeah, I’ve been busy. Yes, busy.”

Peyton pursed her lips and walked a few steps forward. Soon, she skipped over a few rocks. She realized the girl on the other end of the phone must’ve wondered why Kane didn’t come over for a visit or worse, stopped by for stud service.

She shuddered but smiled. Out of all three Cartwells, she was certain of one thing in particular. Kane wasn’t seeing anyone at all. He rarely left the ranch, and when he did, he went to the boathouse. The few times he’d gone there, she’d followed.

She stepped through the rocks and headed for the pond still aware of Kane behind her, talking low, keeping his voice down. If he’d planned to get rid of the chick on the other end of the phone, it sure took him long enough. Her heart began to flutter, and her stomach turned somersaults. He might try a little consideration and tell her to kiss off. Peyton glowered back at him.

She turned around and caught him staring at her ass, really focusing on it, so she bent over. She made a dramatic effort to give him what he wanted to see. She bent over and picked up a large rock.

“She’s just a kid. No, hell no, I’m not sleeping with her.”

Peyton dropped the rock and turned to face him. “Does this look like a child’s ass?” She shook it in his direction but he turned around so she couldn’t see his eyes.

“I said no. I’m not fucking her for crying out loud!” He raised his voice and when he did, she heard him. She heard the denial, and something else too. Was it shame? Was he ashamed of her?

Tears welled up in her eyes. She tugged her shoes on quickly. She didn’t want to look at him. He watched her cautiously and picked up his pace.

“Francine, I have to go. Yeah, yeah, I’ll call you.” He broke out in a run chasing her through the pastures, “Peyton! Wait!”

“Get away from me!” she screamed out over her shoulder as she kept running for the house, the barn, and anyone she might find in the house or the barn.

“Wait! Let me explain!” he screamed out behind her. He tried to catch up with her but her legs carried her well ahead of him. “Damn it, Peyton Storm! Stop now!”

“Stay away!” she screamed, anger lacing her words, and holding a threat. “I don’t want you near me!” She picked up her pace, weeping so hard she thought she’d throw up before she made it back to the barn. She caught him in her peripheral vision. He couldn’t keep up her pace. Soon, he doubled over with his hands on his knees.

“Damn it, Peyton! It’s not what you think!”

“I know what I… heard!” This time she didn’t shout out as loudly as before. This time, her heart broke into a million pieces. He denied he slept with her and played the age card too. He was ashamed of her. Screw him! She jogged into the breezeway, where she immediately collapsed into Evan’s arms. She wept in his shirt with a final note of heartbreak. “I know what I heard.”


****

Kane finally made it to the barn a few minutes later. Out of breath, he was mad as hell now too. He jogged around back, hearing her whimper, sensing her sadness, aching to hold her or maybe even shake her.

“Peyton!”

“Don’t.” Braden put his prize stallion in the cross-ties.

“You don’t know what happened,” Kane said.

“She’s throwing up. You made her sick at her stomach. I told you to leave her alone, and you wouldn’t. Then, you didn’t wait even a day before you called Francine.”

“I didn’t call Francine.”

“She called you and you told her Peyton meant nothing to you, even called her a kid.”

“I never said-”

“Did you or did you not use the word kid and Peyton in a recent conversation with Francine?”

“I never said she meant nothing to me.”

“Might as well have!” Peyton shouted as she sprinted back into the barn.

“Shit. Peyton…” He tried to grab her arm but she hurriedly rushed right by him.

“Don’t touch me!” She glared at him. Worse, she glared at all of them. She shook her little finger in their faces. “Don’t any of you ever touch me again! I’m not going down this road! Do you hear me?”

Braden looked down at his shoes. Evan studied her carefully, and Kane stared off into the distance. Only minutes before, she was skipping rocks, her hair flowing in the wind, her voice loud with cheer as she hummed something familiar, only sweeter because the melody fell from her lips.

Her mouth turned nearly inside out now as she fought against the core of sadness. Her little chin quivered, and she ran three fingers over her forehead. “I’m moving out.”

“You’re what?” Braden’s head snapped to attention.

“I can’t let you do that.” Kane refused her before Braden had too. Besides, the responsibility fell on his shoulders to some degree.

She stormed to the cross-ties and studied the magnificent creature tied up there. Evan moved closer, anticipating the same thing Kane did, no doubt. She patted Quizzard, stroked him as he tried to bite at her hand. The damn horse was as ornery as the woman petting him.

Braden must’ve believed she feared his horse because he didn’t seem to notice her sudden interest in the unruly beast. “Peyton, we’ll all sit down and talk about this.”

“No! I am not talking to him.” She shook her finger in Kane’s direction, waved it around in the air and then glanced back at Evan. “And you! For the record! I wouldn’t blow you with someone else’s jaws!”

Evan’s lips curved in an easy smile. “Last night, you didn’t need someone else’s. Yours were ready to go to work. If we hadn’t had an audience, darlin’, I promise you, my cock would’ve swelled in between those sweet cheeks long enough for you to drink in every last drop.”

Damn it! Kane gawked at Evan. “Got a way with the ladies, don’t ‘cha?”

Peyton’s mouth opened but she closed it immediately, and the tears really poured now. “See! That’s it! That’s it! I’m out of here.”

Kane turned around, and then walked maybe two steps, three at the most. Evidently, Evan turned away at the same time and before either of them knew what happened, she was on Quizzard’s back galloping out of the barn.

“What the…” Braden rushed into the tack room and pulled out a horse tranquilizer. They’d need it to stop him. “Bareback? That’s suicide on that horse!”

Kane grabbed his mare out of a nearby stall, and with nothing more than a lead rope, jumped on her back as Evan hopped on a dirt bike and headed for the gates.

Kane called out behind him as he galloped up the pavement. “Get up to the road, Braden! That crazy animal of yours is headed for the damn highway!”


****

She waited for the pendulum of time to stop altogether. The dripping sound remained in the distance as the tick-tock, tick-tock continued to move closer. Back and forth, back and forth, something there in her hospital room kept a precise time.

Braden kept his voice down. “Is she going to be all right?”

“Maybe, if you boys can keep her off of your horses, she will. Who the hell let her have that stallion of yours?” The doctor she heard in the distance sounded like their neighbor. Right now she couldn’t think of his name.

He was a handsome thing. Single, available, probably in his early thirties and…weird. She’d never noticed it before. Now she did. She had time to think about it. He didn’t look at her like other men looked at her. She wondered why sometimes. Not now. She didn’t care why he didn’t look then. Every bone in her body felt shattered beyond repair so gaining or keeping a man’s attention proved irrelevant.

She blinked. “Doctor?”

“Yes, child.”

“Oh shit, he did not just call me child.” She rolled her head from side to side and that’s when she saw Vicky.

Evan laughed in the distance. “Act like one and wear the title, kid.”

“You like keeping these guys on their toes, I hear.” The doctor moved closer.

Vicky patted her arm. “You scared them too death, is what you did. How many times have they told you? Braden’s horse doesn’t like you.”

“Ouch!” Peyton hollered when she tried to move. “He loves me, can’t you tell?” With another moan or two, she tried to sit up. “What happened?”

She heard a loud groan. Braden walked out of the room.

Kane studied her from the corner. “He threw you.”

“I got that part, Kane. Leave.” She turned back to Vicky, “What happened?”

“He dumped you on the highway, right Evan?” Vicky asked.

Evan agreed. “Yeah and Braden is ready to put him down, teach him a final lesson for misbehaving.”

“What?” Peyton didn’t understand.

Kane crossed his arms over his chest. “Braden is so pissed at you and his stupid horse right now. Care to guess which one he’s taking it out on? He wants to put the horse down, put him to sleep, out of his misery.”

“Tell him to put me down instead,” she moaned.

Vicky looked rather amused. “You?”

“There’s an idea,” Evan said.

“I’m serious.” She motioned for Braden as he reappeared in the doorway. “You can’t put him down, Braden. I couldn’t live with myself if you did. There’s no way. This is all my fault.”

“No it isn’t. The damn horse is crazy. I knew it when I bought him. He was abused by his previous owners and he’s nuts. One of these days, Peyton, he’s going to kill someone. I couldn’t live if the someone he chose-”

“Uh-huh. No, he isn’t. You’re wrong.” She swallowed tightly. “It’s not his fault I can’t handle him. He’s wild and free and needs to run. I can’t hang on to him long enough. I don’t have the strength or the knowledge.” She closed her eyes and then opened them again to Kane’s.

With a stiff upper lip, she continued with her dramatic monologue. “It was fun while it lasted. I felt wild and free, just like he did but I can’t keep up with him and I know it. He has too much power and when I’m on him, he takes total control, and the control I’m forced to give him could destroy me. I realize it now.”

“Are we still talking about Braden’s horse or him?” Evan waggled his finger at Kane.

“Both.” She closed her eyes and fell into a restless sleep.

When she woke up a few hours later, everything was a blur. Now, she enjoyed the comforts of home, those found in her own deluxe bedding.

“Doc Davis said you didn’t have broken bones. Your tests were good too. He said he’d check in with us on his way home tonight.”

Evan stretched out on the bed. “My job is to make sure you stay put. You won’t get hurt here in bed.” He smiled as he kissed her forehead.

“I don’t know, Evan, with what you’ve got in your pants, I might.”

“Peyton, don’t start. You’ve had enough fun for one day. I’d like nothing more than to spank your pretty little behind but the fact is you’re on too much pain medicine. You won’t remember it, and I want you to know whose bed you’re in when I take you to mine.” He added with a wink, “Besides, when I paddle your ass, I want you to feel the burn all the way to your pussy.”

“Threats and promises. Should I shake and shiver or just yank my pants down and bend over?”

“That’s enough, cowgirl,” he playfully warned.

“Nope, not yet but it will be. You’ll see.”

“Not if I keep my pants on, sweetheart.”

“You won’t. I promise.” She sighed, curled up in his arms, and went right back to sleep.


****

When Peyton woke up again, she felt pretty good. She rolled over to the left and then to the right. Suddenly, she changed her mind. She felt far from splendid.

She felt like a horse threw her, a car ran over her, and a train used her body for tracks. She pretty much decided her body was bruised from head to toe. It didn’t matter. The pain disintegrated with a naughty memory. The damp area in between her thighs reminded her instantly of a wet dream she had-it was sexual all the way around. All in all, she’d never felt better, at least while she relived her fantasy.

“Smiling, I see?” Doctor Davis interrupted her daydreams as he walked into the room. “How’s that thick head?”

“Hard.”

“Hmmm…lucky for me and you. I might get a little pissed if I was in surgery on a Saturday.”

“I don’t blame you, neighbor,” she chirped. “I’m pissed at me too.”

He pulled out a few metal instruments and poked around on her body. He looked into her eyes with a bright light and then sat down next to her.

“You look better. Are you feeling okay, all things considered?”

“Never felt better,” she said. She wasn’t one to complain anyway.

Doctor Davis took a deep breath and let his words tumble out as he exhaled. “Peyton, I read your chart before we conducted a full examination. I think there’s something I need to talk to you about.”

Kane walked in and sat down in the rocking chair. He acted like he had a right to be there.

“Kane, can you give us a minute?” Doc Davis asked.

“Kane, the doctor wants to talk to me about something private,” she smugly advised.

Without missing a beat, Kane strolled across the room, shut the bedroom door, took a few strides back to his chair and sat down again.

The doc patted her arm. “We can talk about this later.”

“I overheard your nurses.” Kane’s face remained tense, just like it had been at the hospital and his eyes were cold with determination. “And you’re probably going to suggest birth control. I think it’s a good idea.”

“Why you…” Peyton sat up on her elbows and glared at him. “You have some nerve acting like you know what he’s going to talk to me about.”

“Doc?” Kane ignored her.

He took a deep breath. “Peyton, I don’t have to say anything you don’t want me to say in front of him.”

“Then zip it. Get out, Kane.” As if her arm was on auto-sling, she pointed toward the door.

“Nope, can’t do it.” He went to the window. “I heard your nurses discussing her chart. They said something about the last physical she had was six months ago. Evidently, uh, they noticed about her uh…and uh…well, six months ago she was a virgin. The reason she’s not now is because of-”

“Get…out.”

“No.” He turned back to the doctor and let it rip. His cold eyes lit up with a little amusement, and his jaw set with more determination than she’d ever witnessed before. “She’s mad at me right now. She’ll get over it, I imagine. She’s not a virgin because of me, and since she’s damn sure going to be back in my bed the second she’s able, I’d say she needs to be on some kind of pill or maybe a shot or something.”

“You’ve got some nerve, Kane Cartwell.” She seethed and her breathing pattern proved it. One minute she was breathing in and out of her nose, and then next she was huffing and puffing for air, gulping at it anyway she could get it.

“Tell you what.” The doctor looked like he just didn’t want in this particular discussion. “You two work out your differences and Monday, why don’t you stop by and see me, Peyton?”

“I don’t need birth control.”

“She’ll be there,” Kane said.

“I’ll call you,” she said. “Thank you for stopping by to see me.”

“Don’t mention it.” He placed his hand on hers and then pulled out a small business card. “Here’s my card, I’ll leave it on the nightstand here. If you have any problems, dizziness, blurred vision, that sort of thing, call me and I’ll come right over.”

“Thank you, I will.” She tried to act gracious, but right now it teetered along with the impossible. She wanted to kill one arrogant man.

“Walk him to the door, Kane, and show him out.”

“Sure, babe.” He glanced back at her and winked before they started for the stairs.

Oh no! He did not call her ‘babe’ in front of their doctor.

She whirled a pillow at the door and barely missed Evan and Braden. “Whoa, now, what’s wrong?”

“I’m mad! Damn mad! Kane called me girlfriend names!”

“You think you’re mad?” Braden just kept right on walking.

Oops, so she forgot about Quizzard. Right now, Braden probably didn’t care if smoke puffed out of her ears. He might stay ticked off for a few days over her stunt, and she didn’t even want to think about the hospital bill.

“What’s wrong, Peyton?” Evan stepped into the room with a wanton look on his face. It was one of those looks that made a girl want to kiss a guy right then just to see if he tasted as good as he looked.

“Your brother!”

“What about him?” Evan asked.

“He told the doctor that we were…you know.”

“No, I don’t know so you tell me.”

Kane reappeared. “I told him I was fucking her, and she needed to be on the pill because I didn’t plan to stop.”

“Oh shit. He’s back.” She fell against the pillows, propping against the headboard. She kept her arms extended at her sides and stared at the ceiling.

Evan laughed, “Play dead. He likes to role play.”

“Eww! You’re as sick as he is!”

“No, not quite, Peyton. I like my women fighting for cock, not restrained because they want it.”

Kane smirked. “Get off on it, don’t ‘cha?”

“Not yet, but I bet I will. I’m just glad you made the first move. Peyton here will never know what hit her when I put a little ball gag in her mouth and spank her into an orgasm I plan to drink right in.”

Evan’s dark eyes heated her to the bone quick but those kinds of promises made her hot in all the right places. Twat and nipples, a woman had to love a guy who made her cream without the first physical touch.

“One of you go get Braden, please. I don’t feel like this discussion is going anywhere, and I’m not feeling well.” What a tale! It took her places she couldn’t wait to go with the Cartwells.

Kane sat down on one side of the bed and Evan on the other.

“You’re not clammy,” Evan said after he touched her forehead.

“No, it’s not fever. It’s something else.”

Kane narrowed his eyes on her. “And you want Braden? Even though Braden is ready to kick your tail to Kansas and back, you still want me to go get him?”

“Exactly,” she said as she set her jaw. “Imagine, a woman like me, calling for your big brother. What on earth will you do?” She placed her finger at her jaw and then jerked. “Ah-ha! I have an idea. Call Francine. She can take care of any man’s needs.”

“In his defense, I don’t think he wants anything to do with Francine.”

“What do you know, Evan?”

“I know if he did, he’d be there now. Evidently, you’ve given him a few good reasons to stay away.”

“Oh, I guess she has a revolving door, one with his name on it. Does she have one for you too, perhaps the backdoor?” she purred. “If so, then where is Braden in all of this?”

Kane sneered. “Waiting to sink right in one tight tunnel, I imagine.”

He understood how to verbally go for the lower punch. “Screw you, Kane.”

“Kane, try to remember they pumped her full of morphine during her stay at the hospital. Don’t hold anything she says against her. If you do, wait a few days before you spank her. You’ll want it to hurt when you pop her precious behind. Right now, she’s feeling no pain.”

Evan grinned, rubbed his chin, and addressed Peyton. “One of these days, Peyton, I’m going to give you a good dose of something so stout, you’ll know better than to ask me something stupid about Francine. Yeah, pretty soon, I’ll teach you a lesson.”

“Why postpone it? Kane didn’t and then he couldn’t wait to head back to a woman who knows how to handle his dark desires, right Kane?”

He grunted and started to say something but Braden interrupted. “What’s the topic of conversation in here?”

“Wanna know? Come join us. Pull up a chair, stay awhile. It’s time we chatted.” Peyton shifted her weight and with a dramatic effort fluffed her pillows and threw a few more behind her.

Kane stood up and glared at her. His eyes flickered with knowledge, certain of the pain he caused, no doubt. “I think I’ll pass.”

“Go ahead, run off to the boat. That’s what you do best. Oh, and uh…don’t forget to pick up Francine on your way out there.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t.”

Braden blocked his escape route. “Have a seat, Kane. Doc Davis just left and seems we have a problem here now, don’t we?”

Peyton stared at the ceiling again. She thought about holding her breath until she turned blue but right now she wasn’t sure she wanted to pass out. She suddenly felt euphoric, and her twat burned a little from the drugs they pumped into her at the hospital.

“You okay, Peyton?” Evan must’ve noticed the sudden change in her. The new change in temperature between her legs made her uncomfortable enough to show some discomfort.

“I will be as soon as I get a few things off my chest.” And my pussy quits clenching like it needs one of you to fuck me.

“Now is not a good time,” Evan warned.

“It’s never a good time, and thanks to my temper tantrum today, I get to sit the bench for the next two weeks.” Peyton’s softball season didn’t have a long life anyway. They started their games at the first of March and ended by mid-April. She didn’t like sitting on a wooden slab.

“Doc said you couldn’t play.”

“Doc said she shouldn’t play,” Evan clarified. He loved softball and enjoyed watching her. He’d have her at short stop if he had to roll her there in a wheelchair.

“Anyway, it looks like I’m going to finish the season on the bench more than on the field so I’ve had time to think about a few things. You know, think over how I hope to finish out the school year, what I want to do with the rest of the time I have with you boys, and well, I’ve reached a decision.” She looked at Braden and then Evan. “You both have to fuck me.”

Evan looked like he was ready to go right then. “Do what?”

The first bead of sweat ran across Braden’s eyebrow. “I beg your pardon?”

She pulled the bed sheets back and started fanning herself with the sheets again and again. No one paid her any mind but really and truly, this medicine was doing one hell of a number on her. She was on fire, and in heat. Her pussy burned with something other than desire.

“Shit, Peyton.” Kane stood up and walked to the window, his fists clenched. “Damn it! Don’t you see what she’s doing? She’s pissed at me, and now she wants to fuck you.”

“You know better than to believe him.” She continued to fan herself, her legs spreading just a little. She tried to avoid being crude but in the back of her mind, she decided it didn’t matter anyway. They were aware of the pain meds, and she overheard Braden telling the doctor she didn’t have a tolerance for anything. Medicine, booze, men in boots. The last part, she imagined.

Maybe, just maybe the doctor had an immunization, some kind of concoction to inspire women to close their legs when they found men, particularly three of them, irresistible. Yes, she needed a simple shot to make her ignore cowboys in tight jeans.

“That’s not true, Kane, I wanted to screw them almost as bad as I wanted you.” She cupped her hand over her mouth and whispered to Evan, “The almost thing comes into play because he pursued me and you listened to Braden and steered clear.”

“I pursued you?”

“Yes, you did.” She flapped the sheet wildly now, raising it up around her and then slamming it against the bed again and again.

“Is there something wrong with that damn sheet?” Evan snapped.

“Side effect,” she breathed out as she returned her focus to Kane. Her brow covered in sweat, she dabbed at the beads scattering across her forehead. “I’m a flirt, Kane. You took it one step too far and then cried…” She jumped up from the bed and stripped her panties off as she ran toward the bathroom. “Oh! I’m on fire!”

“What the hell?” Braden, Kane, and Evan quickly followed her. She stood there with her bottom bouncing up and down while running water in the sink.

“I can handle this,” Kane told them but Evan peered around him, watching as she rubbed her hand over her mound with her left hand while dipping her fingers in the water basin, with the other one.

“I’m sure you can, big brother, but if there’s any way I can accommodate her hot little ass right now, I want to make myself available.”

Kane growled as he watched his brother’s amusement. “What the hell is wrong with you, Peyton?”

“I don’t know,” she squealed as she crossed her legs.

“You gotta pee?” Evan asked.

“Somehow I don’t think that will help,” she replied.

Once the sink was full, she flopped right down in the water. “Oh my God.” Braden stared at her in disbelief. More specifically, he gaped at her pussy.

“Is something wrong…uh, I mean, uh…” Braden lost the ability to think with the right head. He began stroking the front of his pants, and Peyton didn’t think he even noticed what he was doing.

Realizing precisely what kind of problem she had, Kane smirked. “Peyton, honey, it’s a reaction to the medicine. All you had to do was ask for a more pleasurable way to take care of this.”

As her teeth started to chatter, she kicked out her legs and made a sudden splash. “Would somebody please make him get out of here?”

“Hell no, maybe these two need to get out of here. I’ve already seen this pretty little pussy.” He dipped his hand in the water and before she anticipated his touch, his fingers twirled between her folds.

“Oh God, Kane.” She pressed her head into the mirror behind her. She didn’t want him to quit. She was on fire. Part of the blaze flaming through her body was an out of control lust, and while she hated to admit it, the other part was a chemical reaction to the medications. Still, the cool water didn’t cure the burn. Kane’s fingers did.

She couldn’t see Kane’s pupils because his eyes were well protected by his lids. His hand moved with her as she ground away at the pain, the ache, the fire tempering out of control.

“I’ve gotta tell you, I never saw anything flare quite like this. Good God, Peyton. You’re the sexiest thing in the world.” Kane’s mouth watered but when she looked up at the other two, she thought she saw them drool.

“Gosh-o-mighty! Somebody!” Peyton leaned back and bit her lower lip as Kane continued to finger her.

“Is this what you need, baby?” Kane inched closer to the vanity driving his fingers higher, reaching her in a hotter spot, beyond the superficial burn of a drug-induced reaction.

“Oh yes! God, yes. Please don’t quit. I’m on fire, I tell you.”

“Holy fuck.” Braden rarely cursed to the extreme but then again, this act warranted drastic measures all the way around. She didn’t blame him. She wanted to scream obscenities too.

The only time she felt remotely aware of how ridiculous she must’ve looked was when Braden nearly ran over Evan and Kane to get out of there. “Damn you, Kane! This isn’t going to help things.”

Evan narrowed his gaze on her mound, licked his lower lip and watched his brother take away just a small measure of pain. “But it is, isn’t it?”

“Oh yes…” she placed her palms behind her and rode Kane’s fingers up and down.

“Braden? Please! You don’t understand! I’m like a well done toasted pastry. I’m scorched from the inside out!”

Kane shot her a knowing wicked smile. “You got that right honey. You’re sugary slick from the inside out and just so creamy and warm in the middle.”

Braden immediately poked his head back in the bathroom. “Unfortunately Peyton, these two are using it to their benefit.”

Kane started to move his hand, and she pressed down on the fingers latched tightly inside of her. “Move and I may kill you now.”

A wanton expression crossed his face. “I’m not going anywhere, sweetheart. It’s kind of nice you want me around.”

“I’m not kidding here. This is not a laughing matter.” She tossed her head forward and began riding into his palm. Her hands on both sides of the sink, the water moved with her and a few waves splashed across the countertops.

“Damn it, Kane!” Braden slapped the wall beside of him. “Evan, get him away from her and get her in bed. If either one of you lay a hand on her, so help me God, I’m gonna kill ya. I’m gonna run over and see our neighborhood doctor real quick. Maybe he can rush over here. Don’t touch her. She’s obviously not in her right mind.”

Right mind? Hell, who said she had a mind at all right now? Kane’s fingers were the only sanity she needed. She closed her eyes tighter.

“Get your fingers out of her.”

“Move them and I swear it, you lose them,” she warned.

“In case you haven’t noticed, he already has.” Braden’s inability to understand didn’t matter. He still watched and that counted for something.

Kane reluctantly withdrew his fingers, and she cried out before she ordered them out. “Damn it! Now, you leave me no other option.” She played with her clit, tears poured down her face. “Okay, go get the doc. Something is wrong here. I think I’m going to explode.”

“You mean cum?” Evan asked.

“You’re not funny, Evan.” Although, he hit the nail on the head.

“Don’t you dare tell him I’m sitting here with my couchie in a tub of water!” she shouted at Braden as they started out of the bathroom.

As if they’d practiced it for years all three men stared back at her and asked in unison. “Your what?”

Peyton was irritated now. Maybe it was the medication. “Don’t play dumb with me. You call it a pussy, and I call it various things. I should call it ‘hot momma’ about right now! This is sad. I need help and all any of you can do is stare at my dick trapper!”

“Lord help us, I’ll be right back.” Braden disappeared. Evan and Kane didn’t move. Now, the heat poured off their foreheads with one bead falling right after the next.

“Both of you quit staring and get out of here. Braden will take care of it when he gets back.”

“The hell he will,” Kane growled and yanked her from the sink.

Evan grabbed a towel from the rack behind them and covered her about as quickly as Kane pulled her against his chest.


****

By the time Kane dried her off, her body was flushed and her eyelids heavy. She mumbled something against his skin while he patted down her thighs. She moaned out in a heavenly whimper when he’d gently swiped at her center.

“Kane?” she whispered into his shirt as she fell back asleep and Evan was envious. He hated the feeling he had when he saw the two of them together. Sometimes, it bordered with an intimacy he feared he’d never have with anyone at all. Worse still, he often feared he soon would have the same sort of bond with Peyton. The abnormality of it drove him to the brink of lechery.

Evan sat in the far corner watching them. Observing how kind Kane was to Peyton led him to all sorts of assumptions. After he tucked her back in bed, Evan motioned for Kane to follow him, and the two went downstairs to the kitchen.

“How’s Peyton now?” Braden met them in the foyer and instead of going to her, he followed them.

“She’s asleep.”

“Doc said this kind of reaction is rare but seldom lasts very long. I told him she was out of her head anyway. He thinks she doubled up on those pain pills, and since she’d had all that morphine, she had a reaction.”

Evan looked out the window, not paying a bit of attention to Braden. “Damn if that wasn’t the prettiest sight I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“Yeah, one of them anyway,” Kane remarked.

“I guess you’ve had a few of ‘em since you’ve had her in a way we can only dare imagine.”

Braden grabbed a beer, popped the lid and studied his brothers. “We gotta do something about her, and damn it if you didn’t make it tough, Kane.”

“What the hell do you want me to say? Want me to say I’m sorry? I’m not.”

“I didn’t think so,” Braden said.

“Well, you two heard Peyton. She had the best solution, I think.” Evan’s hand rested at his belt buckle. “Good hell, I’m hard just thinking about it.”

“I don’t care about your cock problems,” Kane sneered.

“Who said it presented a problem?” Evan laughed. “I gotta feeling there’s a pretty little solution waiting on me upstairs.”

“Damn it, Evan,” Braden muttered, took another gulp of beer and slammed the can against the counter. “Would it be too much to ask of you to stay the hell out of her bed?”

“Yeah, it would,” he said before he pointed at Kane. “He’s not going to stay out of it. Why should we?”

“Yeah, Braden.” Peyton tripped into the kitchen in her delusional state. “Why should you boys let Kane have all the fun?” She fell straight into his lap head-first.


Chapter 17

<p>Chapter 17</p>

Six Weeks Later

Graduation loomed, and Kane was more excited than Peyton. After her accident, the Cartwells reached a decision. It wasn’t an easy one for them, but they all agreed somehow.

Peyton needed to finish high school as a teenager without baggage. Since he came with a lot of it, he had to stand back and keep things platonic between them. She didn’t make it easy.

“Kane, have you seen Braden?” Peyton rushed into the kitchen in her T-shirt and thong. He didn’t look up. To glance away from the Daily News meant to give in to guilty pleasures. The closer Peyton moved toward graduation, the more he ached to touch her, just to remind her of the pleasure they’d once shared.

“Don’t know if he’s up yet.” Kane ducked his head and stared harder at the words in front of him.

Evan walked in and swatted her on the ass with the newspaper. “Where were you last-” He stopped suddenly. “What the fuck is that?”

Kane’s entire body jerked to attention, realizing the alarm in Evan’s voice sounded out with far too much warning. Immediately, he glared at the adornment around Peyton’s neck.

She ran a lone finger over her throat. “Oh, you mean this?”

Evan’s gaze stayed at her neck. “That’s it.”

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Kane shoved his chair back, made a sudden leap for her and Evan immediately threw back his arm to keep Kane from getting his hands on her. No doubt, a few seconds slower and Kane might have wrapped his hands around her neck and yanked the collar right off of her. Right after he choked her for wearing it with far too much pride in the first place.

“Down, cowboy, you know what I’m doing if I have this around my neck,” she purred, slowly running her finger back and forth over the leather choker.

“He’s gonna kill ya,” Evan began with the warning, the one signifier to let Peyton know he volunteered for the job of tattling to big brother.

He’d have to stand in line because this went way too far.

Every nerve ending in Kane’s body pulsed with anger and with lust. It was a dangerous mix. “Peyton, go to your room right now and get that damn thing off your neck.”

“Sorry, Kane, I can’t do it.” She popped a hip and smiled seductively. “I’m afraid my Master may punish me.”

“Your what?” Evan’s skin didn’t turn red, it flamed violet. Oh hell, violence loomed everywhere.

“The hell you can’t.” Kane stayed focused. “Just run on along and take it off. Now.”

“Braden!” Evan started his immature rant for big brother. “Braden! Hurry, get down here!” He walked out of the kitchen and stood at the steps long enough to scream. “All hell’s loose and there’s an outbreak!”

The brothers crossed their arms and seethed while Peyton pulled a pastry out of the freezer, tossed it on a plate and put it in the microwave. “It’s no big deal, guys.”

“Uh-huh.” Evan bit down on his lip.

“Really, it’s not. It just means-”

“I know what it means, thank you very much.” Kane glowered over her.

“Good, because now you know what does and does not belong to you.” She set her jaw. “For the record, I do not belong to Kane Cartwell. Say it with me now. Let’s practice together.”

Like hell she didn’t. If one woman on God’s earth belonged to him, Peyton Storm was his.

Braden casually walked into the kitchen and didn’t look surprised at all to find her with a collar around her neck. He sat down at the table and stared out over the lawn.

“That’s all you’re going to do?” Evan yelled. “Just come in here and sit down?”

“Hell, look at him,” Kane said. “He already knew she had the damn thing. Who called you?”

“Jones.”

“What are you talking about?” Peyton removed her breakfast from the microwave, grabbed a fork from the kitchen drawer, pushed it shut with her hip and cut off her first bite. Waving the first bite around, she inquired further, “Don’t tell me. You know the owner of Clink?”

“Sid Jones,” Braden said.

“What the fuck was he thinking?” Kane demanded.

“He didn’t know she was ours.” He slipped. And really fucked up when he did.

“Excuse me? I’m what?” Peyton dropped her fork. Hell, at this point, she might as well drop her pants too. Kane was sick and tired of her ‘fuck me now or I’ll fuck someone else’ games. In his mind, this act, this collar idea, bordered with treason.

Kane decided to run with Braden’s Freudian slip. “Boy, you hit that one right on, Braden. She may not know it yet, but she’s definitely ours.” He rubbed his hand over his erection. Damn if he didn’t have a stiff one the second he spotted her little neckband.

She narrowed her gaze, shoved a bite of pastry beyond luscious lips and chewed slowly.

“That’s right, darlin’, think about a rebuttal. Chew nice and slow,” Evan mocked her.

“Fuck you, Evan.”

“I would’ve volunteered for the job, baby. Seems someone beat me to it, and I wouldn’t dream of moving in on someone else’s territory.”

“I don’t have a problem with it,” Kane growled, and snatched her forearm in a locked clasp. He quickly pulled her with him.

“Braden! Do something!” She sat down on the floor, her bare feet bracing her against the tile.

“Damn it! Get up!” Kane yelled.

“No! Let me go!” She kicked out at him as he tugged her. Evan stood in the doorway, watching with a big grin. Braden’s eyes were misty with pure lust as he watched for a flash of skin, a show of pink. Oh yeah, he knew by the way his brother stretched his long neck. He wanted to see her little pussy.

Other than rubbernecking a little, Braden didn’t move and Kane noticed. All right then, he had big brother’s approval. God help her, she was going to know what it meant to submit by the time he finished with her.

“Braden! Evan! Do something!” she pleaded and tears now formed in the corners of her eyes. “I belong to someone else now!”

“Oh really? Then where is he? You pushed too far this time, darlin’, and you got my undivided attention just like you wanted.” Kane locked his lower lip under his teeth.

Evan started for the door. “I’m headed to town. Anybody need anything?”

“Yeah, go by the horse supply and grab me a crop. There’s a pretty little tail that I plan to spank.”

“The hell you are!” She leaned back until her back flattened against the glossy floor.

Kane stood over her. “Either get up and walk upstairs like a lady or I swear, you’re going to kneel right here.”

“Fuck you, Kane.”

“That works too.” He scooped her up, threw her over his shoulder, yanked her thong off and placed his palm on her sweet little cheek. “I’ve been waiting for the invitation. I’ll RSVP behind closed doors. Evan, get the crop. Bring it with you when you join us.”


****

She planned to claw him once he put her down. She was going to catch him off guard and slap the shit out of him. Then she was going to claw him. No, she’d bite him. Sink her teeth into him and take a chunk out of him. First, she needed to convince her pussy. Fucking today existed only as a last resort option.

“Whatever you’re thinking, Peyton, you need to change your mind before it ruins this moment for you.” Kane carefully placed her on his bed, pulled out a long metal box from his dresser and turned to find Braden standing in the doorway.

“Don’t even think about it,” Kane warned.

“I’m not. I’m going to observe. After what I heard from Sid Jones, she’s looking for trouble.” He sat down on a nearby chair-at least he thought there might be one under the pile somewhere, it was hard to tell with so many clothes there-and crossed his arms. “You wanted attention, Peyton. You found more of it than you can handle.”

“Whatever you two think you’re going to do-”

“Silence,” Kane ordered.

“Silence?” She jumped up and bolted. Braden quickly moved in front of the door.

“You’re going along with this?”

“After what I’ve seen, I’m not only going to agree to it, but I’m going to oversee your punishment.” Braden glared at her. “Back on the bed, Peyton.”

“I’m not…I’m…” she defiantly held her head high. “I belong to someone else. I already have a Master, like I told you.”

Braden’s chuckle sounded dark. Peyton stared at him harder just to confirm she glared at the same man who promised to take care of and protect her as her guardian.

“You don’t have a Master, Peyton.” Braden pointed to the bed, “But you will.”

“I’m telling you right now, I have-”

“No one placed the collar around your neck. You borrowed it, from what I understand.” Braden looked over her shoulder. “Kane, explain to Peyton why we know she’s playing games here.”

Kane scratched his chin. “There are several reasons, Peyton. For starters, you don’t have a clasp or lock on this cheap collar. If you did, it might have been a little more believable. Though, I doubt it.”

Braden grabbed the back of the chair, dumped the clothes in the floor and moved it to block the doorway. He sat down and studied her closely. “If Evan or Kane put a collar on your neck, it would’ve been one to certainly brand you. In other words, Peyton, it wouldn’t have been so easy to take it off.”

Kane proved the point by giving it a quick yank. It fell to the floor.

She flinched. Heaven help her, she quivered from the excitement, not because he ripped the collar from her neck, as if it had never been there in the first place, but because of the way he discarded. Her pussy already felt like a dripping water spigot, oozing with warmth.

Kane took her by the hand and led her back to the bed. She went willingly. Save her from herself. She gladly let him take her there. She played along, but only for the moment.

“Then there’s the issue of trust,” Braden began, almost deliberately trailing off so Kane could explain.

“You don’t trust easily, Peyton. You particularly don’t trust men. If you’re going to train as a submissive, you’d need a lot of trust. You trust me, don’t you, Peyton?”

With as much devilment in her voice as she could muster, she glanced over at Braden. “I trust…Evan.” He wasn’t there and existed as the obvious choice.

“You trust Evan?” Braden laughed. “And you trust us.”

“No, I only trust Evan.”

“Good thing. He’s right here.” Braden looked over his shoulder as Evan walked up behind them.

“I had a crop in my truck,” he grinned. “And I’m flattered to know you trust me, Peyton.” He slapped the crop across his open palm. It sounded out with far too much dark appeal. She glanced down. His denim jeans, snug and tight, almost lost their purpose. His cock stretched against the material and looked like it might have enough strength behind it to bust out of the zipper.

She nibbled on her fingertip. “Dear God.”

Evan walked around Braden and sat down on the bed. “I would’ve never taken you for the submissive type, Peyton.”

He tugged at his boots. His jeans and shirt were coming off too, and apparently, he didn’t want to waste a lot of time losing the Wranglers.

“You…think…I’m going to fuck Evan in front of you?”

“No, sweets, you’re going to fuck us all and maybe even at the same time,” Kane said. “Isn’t that what you wanted?”

She narrowed her gaze and looked at his cock. “You wish.”

“Say ‘yes, Master’ and that will suffice.”

“You’re nuts.”

“No, you wanted this, remember? Training begins right now.”

Braden nodded at Evan, and he stripped down to his boxers.

“The first thing we’re going to do, Peyton,” Kane’s voice held steady, “is teach you about obedience, establish trust, and educate you in domination and submission.”

“What if I-”

“Did I ask you to interrupt?”

Evan smiled. “Keep doing it. I get to punish you when you don’t mind.”

“Mind? Are you losing your grip on reality?”

“Peyton, Sid said you were asking a lot of questions. We’re going to answer them. This way, you won’t go to clubs where underage teenagers do not belong.” Braden’s legs splayed open, and the length of his cock left an imprint off to the side.

“I’m not underage. I’m eighteen.”

“And not quite twenty-one,” Evan reminded.

“Where’s your fake ID?” Braden asked.

“I don’t have one.”

Kane pointed at the wall. “Peyton, go stand in the corner until you can make up your mind to tell us the truth.”

Oh the tone he used with her was going to get him in a lot of trouble. Once she rode his cock again, she’d ride all night. Good grief, she almost came just hearing him. His raspy voice, his rigid body fighting to remain in control, all of it provided more than she bargained for or ever imagined.

Evan tried not to smile. He had the cutest little dimple in his cheek when he tried to fight off a big grin, especially when he wanted to look all tough and bad. Right now, he looked good enough to suck dry and she couldn’t wait to sip on his stalk. The way his cock twitched beneath his boxers made her mouth water.

“Corner, Peyton,” Braden said. “Now.”


****

Evan took her hand and led her to the corner. He pointed at the wall. “Stick your nose right here.”

“Evan!”

“I mean it, right here.” He tapped the wall again.

She glanced down at his cock pressing against his shorts and licked her lower lip. “Let me taste it,” she purred.

“No, Peyton. You can not taste his cock.” Kane grinned behind her back, and Evan mouthed the words ‘fuck you’.

He leaned over his box of supplies and rummaged through the selection of toys. It had been months since he’d even brought the box out of hiding. Braden watched him curiously. This was a first for Braden. He didn’t enjoy the kink clubs like Kane did, but he would benefit from his collection. They all would.

“Now, Peyton, I want you to understand something about this lifestyle you’re choosing to lead. Okay?”

She nodded but kept her nose buried in the corner.

“Say, ‘Yes Master’ and say it loud enough for Braden to hear you too.”

“No, I’m not going to-”

“I told you. This is never going to work,” Evan said. “Damn it, I don’t even want her as a submissive. I want her down on her knees sucking my cock but not begging to suck it, you know?”

“Quiet, Evan. Let her decide,” Braden said.

“Peyton, turn around and look at Evan.”

She did.

“Look at his cock.”

“Damn,” Evan grunted as she gave him one of those saucy little stares. Kane knew what it felt like to get one of those. He thought he might come unglued if he saw her give someone else one too but he handled this okay. He remained in control so this worked, for now. He might be able to share her with Evan…and Braden, but they all needed to remember one thing. She belonged to him first.

“Peyton, I’m going to go over the things we’d expect if we put a collar around your neck. Okay?”

She nodded, licked her lips and continued to heat Evan to the quick with her watchful eye. Kane knew because the temperature rose in the room. He’d bet on three cocks twitching and her mouth watering. Her dirty and delicious mind probably swirled with ideas now. He’d bet on it.

“You will kneel when you’re told to kneel, specifically at meals, which, by the way, will no longer be enjoyed in your T-shirt and thong.”

Braden’s legs fell open, and he unzipped his pants. “You’ll eat in the nude.”

“Braden?” she whispered.

“Yes, Peyton?”

“Braden,” she watched as he took his cock in hand and began to stroke himself. “Are you horny?”

“You want to move closer and see for yourself?” Kane asked.

“Yes.”

“You can step closer,” Kane told her and then added with a grin, “And kneel.”

“Huh?”

“Drop down in front of Braden and take his cock in your hands.”

“And?” Braden coaxed.

Kane watched as she knelt in front of Braden. His dick throbbed with a dull ache he’d never known before. Damn it! Why this, why now? He wasn’t even sure he wanted to lead her into the lifestyle. Now, he was going to tell her to give Braden head, and it might kill him to watch it. She was his. She belonged to him!

He took a deep breath. “Listen to my voice, Peyton. I want you to stand up again. Turn around and take your nightshirt off now.”

The corners of her mouth turned up and his heart melted there. She didn’t have on a bra and when the hem of her shirt cleared her hair, she let it sway in a dramatic image he’d never forget as long as he lived.

“Holy shit,” Evan said as he watched from across the room.

“Exactly.” Kane narrowed his eyes on her ass when she turned back around and knelt in front of Braden.

“Now, put your hands on his knees and ask him if you can give him head.”

She snickered as she watched the first bead of pre-cum ooze from the mushroom head. “Can I give you a blowjob, Braden?”

“Tell her no, Braden. I have a cock over here she can sip on.” Evan probably couldn’t wait to kick Kane’s ass since he didn’t ask her to start with him.

“You can, sweetheart.” He fisted the base of his cock and held it to her lips. Kane saw him hold his breath as she tugged him into her obedient mouth. By the time they were through with her, she’d have swollen lips, hot from their cum and ripe with the aftermath of their pleasure.

“Damn, if I’d known what I missed out on then…” Braden leaned his head back against the wall and didn’t bother finishing what he wanted to say.

Peyton sucked on his stalk, kneaded the skin with a slight tug and pull, before she blew him all to hell and back. She worked over him so fast, Kane realized it wouldn’t take long for Braden to come straight down her sexy little throat.

“Now take him slower, Peyton. Work after it, baby. Let Braden guide your head over his cock. Let him set the pace. He’s in control. You aren’t.” Kane ran his hand over his dick, Damn if he wasn’t going to come watching her bare ass move while she sucked Braden’s dick.

“Peyton! Peyton! Where are you?” Vicky’s voice rang throughout the halls. She was getting closer and closer. “Peyton? Are you around here?”

“Fuck!” Kane shouted.

Braden leaned back in the chair and looked down the hallway. Peyton released his cock and quickly stood up. “I’ll uh…be right there!” She reached over Braden’s back, and slammed the bedroom door, locking it as she did.

“Damn it! That girl thinks she lives here!” Kane barked as he threw his toys back in his box and glared at Peyton. “We’re not through here.”

She laughed, grabbed her T-shirt from the floor, bent down and kissed Braden’s cock and shot Evan a wink. “For today, we are. My buddy saved me from myself and we have a little hell to raise before graduation. See you guys tonight?”

“Stay away from Clink,” Braden warned.

They all grumbled and moaned but then watched as she left them standing there with their hard cocks and disappointed expressions.

“Damn it to hell.” Evan yanked his pants on. “I can’t do this with her. I’m going to explode if I even try.”

“It may be a bad idea,” Braden said as he dressed in a hurry. “I don’t know much about Sid’s club but evidently there were a lot of guys coming on to her and-”

“Who?” Kane demanded.

“Call Sid, he can tell you but he said there were a few men there who even knew her age and several folks warned them that she lived here. He called to let me know because there was a rumor going around that she belonged to you.”

“You mean some of the Doms there thought Kane gave her the collar for more than show.”

“I didn’t give her the damn collar at all.”

Evan shook his head. “I know, dumb dick. That’s the problem anyway. When you took her to your bed, you should’ve gone ahead and put one around her neck then. Hell, she’s been walking around with her heart on display for everyone to see since you did her up dirty.”

“Shut up. It wasn’t like that.”

“Then why don’t you tell us what it was like?” Braden probed.

“In a word-heaven.”

And since then? Pure hell.


Chapter 18

<p>Chapter 18</p>

Kane waited until Evan and Braden got on with the day. He watched from his window as Evan grabbed the large leather binder with company checks from Braden’s extended hands. They exchanged a few words and then Evan tossed it on the dash inside the truck.

He headed into town. He’d probably stay there long enough to pay the feed bill, get the truck loaded down with salt and grain, then head on back. If Kane knew his brother and his disdain for blue balls, he’d burn rubber to get back there fast.

Braden looked frustrated as he glared at Vicky’s car. If any of them had only known how far this thing with Peyton would go, Kane dared to guess how it might have all started. Today, he knew beyond a doubt if he’d thought ahead, he would’ve locked the front gates. Vicky’s little butt wouldn’t have made it passed the lower fields.

Braden continued to pace in front of the house. One second or two more, and maybe he’d head for the corral and find his arrogant stallion. He had a better chance of controlling his horse than any of them ever stood a chance of controlling their feelings around Peyton. Braden’s appearance left little to his brother’s second guessing. He’d had Peyton between his legs and Braden probably couldn’t wait to see her there again.

He understood. A sweet little mouth like Peyton’s didn’t just vibrate around a man’s cock. She used it to worm her way right into a man’s life, his heart and soul ready to welcome her. He permanently lost himself to her when they’d fucked-made love-at the boathouse. He’d never take another woman to bed again as long as he had one hope of Peyton opening up her arms to him once again. And he did. He planned to prove it.

Right now.

He slammed his bedroom door and walked into her room. He didn’t knock, and he damn sure didn’t make excuses for it.

Vicky acted unimpressed with his dramatic entrance and never once moved from her sprawled out position. She crossed her ankles, twirled her hair, and flipped the page in a magazine.

“Hey, Vicky,” he said. “Where’s Peyton?”

“She’s getting ready to get in the shower, I think. We’re going to-”

“Go downstairs and watch television or something. If Braden comes in, stall him. I have some unfinished business with Peyton.”

“Yeah, I just bet you do.” She grabbed a stack of Peyton’s magazines and started for the door. She stopped and before she could say anything, Kane retaliated and offset it.

“She can tell you all about it. I’ll tell her to fill you in just get out of here for a few minutes.” An hour, maybe two, he growled as she slammed the door. He walked over and locked it and before he changed his mind, he stripped as he walked toward the bathroom. The evidence of a man in pursuit of a woman scattered across the floor with each step he took.


****

“She was over eighteen years old…” Her tender sweet voice filled the bathroom with a seducing melody. “When she saw him standing there….” A few hummed lines proved she didn’t know the words. “She wanted him to make her feel alive… alive… She was over twenty-one when he asked her for her hand… She told him she’d let him have it if he’d forever be her man….”

He felt like something jabbed at his throat as he heard her sing the soft lyrics of a popular top-forty country tune. He stopped, gripped the doorknob, thought about leaving, not just the tiny bathroom but for good. He wanted to run far enough away from her to ensure he never turned back, but damn it, he couldn’t do it. His woman stood on the other side of that curtain.

“Peyton,” he whispered as she hummed.

“Is somebody there?”

He cleared his throat, cursed his cock for thinking for him ninety-nine point nine percent of the time, and he pushed back the shower curtain. “Don’t say a word.” He pressed his fingertips to her mouth.

Her eyes glittered with acceptance, love, and heaven help him- expectant understanding. She didn’t have to say anything. He saw those truths when he looked into her eyes.

“I love you, Peyton. I loved you when I made love to you the first time. I loved you when I carried you out of the gym and tried to keep a bullet from grazing your skin and, lady, I love you enough to walk away from you if I’m hurting you by wanting to stake a claim in your life.”

She swallowed hard and watched him with those sensual blue eyes “But you love me, right?”

“More than a man should love a woman he’s supposed to help raise.”

She framed his face and kissed his lips. “Then love me, Kane. Let me feel you love me again.”

He pulled her to him and kissed her so deeply, he thought it was impossible to break the kiss. The meaning to life was found in a kiss like this. His purpose, his goals were redirected all because of a kiss like this. She left him ruins, and she did it with tears in her eyes and tenderness in her touch.

“I love you.” He told her again. Halfway hoping she’d tell him the same, the little vixen kissed his cheeks again and moved her mouth over his ear.

“Then love me nice and slow. Right here, Kane. Please love me like you can, not as a Dom, but as Kane Cartwell.” She wrapped his cock in her hand and slowly pumped it as she drew more from his erection. The heat pulsed through his dick straight into her grip, the length swelling the second she wrapped her fingers around his size.

“Then you love me without holding anything back,” he whispered against her chin as he licked down her neck.

“Oh, Kane.” Her head rolled back over her shoulders, and her neck was fully exposed. He kissed up and down her heavenly throat and moved into her responsive hand.

It would have been so easy to come then, so easy to let himself go. She tugged at his cock like she wanted him so much it hurt to even hold him. Her hollow eyes sharpened with lust and with hot hands, she caressed him into a sugary existence.

He kissed her again and again, dying for her taste, trying to keep his mouth on hers long enough to convince himself they were alone in their own moment. No one stood ready to interrupt them now.

“God help me, Peyton. Once I start on you, I won’t stop. I won’t care who is standing nearby or who hears me shout your name.”

“Shh…kiss me, Kane.”

“Hmmm…” He covered her hand with his and nibbled seductive words against her lips. “That’s it, baby. Stroke my cock.”

He kissed away from her mouth then, pecking a few along her chin and neck before saturating her throat. He sucked a little too hard on the skin before he reminded himself of who drove his passion and the consequences they might face for it. He also tried to coax himself away from a desire he felt compelled to fill.

“Fuck it,” he said as she arched her neck more, and he licked the very place he branded with his bruising kiss. One love mark no one would mistakenly believe ended without a lot of satisfaction. Passion prints-he planned to give her one or two, enough to let Vicky, his brothers, and anyone else who wanted to know they loved one another. And they did it up right.

After he kissed and licked over the areas where he left a couple of love marks, he kissed her chest. Tugging at one of her nipples, his mouth covered the other. Biting on the little gem with just enough pressure to keep it hot for him later, he left it hard and round in search of a more satisfying taste. The essence of a woman cried out for him and her sweet honey guided him lower.

Her stomach tightened as he kissed passed it, and his breath hitched once he smelled her sex. Sweet honey, he thought, should’ve been named Peyton. Cotton Candy love fragrances had nothing over on her. She was a fragrance unto herself and one he’d never forget because she’d stay on his lips daily. He’d make sure of it from now on.

“You’re bare pussy is so pretty.” He knelt down in front of her and whet his whistle by licking around her soft mound. Her fresh scent filled his senses, and his tongue dipped lower.

“Kane…please.”

“Please? Tell me what you want, Peyton. I can’t honor a request unless you ask for it by name and request I take the time to define what you want and need most.”

He wanted to stop the dark games from surfacing but somehow, she drew them out of him. He fought to control them there, and it wasn’t easy.

“I want you to lick me,” she said.

He held her pussy close to his lips and with his tongue swiping from left to right, he parted her folds. “Yum, darlin’, you told the truth when you said you’d taste like candy.”

He licked up and down with deliberate control. Then, he stopped, reached for her nipples and tweaked them. He stared into her eyes and clutched his cock. He held it at the base before he dipped his head again.

“Do you like it when I eat your pussy, Peyton?” He talked to the pussy and not the woman. A small little gleam of her essence stripped his senses as it fastened to her parted folds, leaving a little transparent line between the lips. He immediately licked it away.

She whined and he glanced up. Oh yes, she’d died in his arms right then, and he wanted her to feel more alive than she’d ever felt in her life. He wanted to make sure his woman walked on air. Her rosy cheeks and lust-filled eyes looked full of more than a simple woman’s need. He saw the yearning. Hidden beyond the pure sweetness, he also saw the raw beauty a man like him wanted to find in a long-term lover. In a wife.

Peyton Storm wanted to ride more than waves of pleasure with him. She wanted wild sex, hard fucking, and he wanted to give her the gift of him.

He shuddered. It wasn’t a passing thought without rewards. He ducked his head lower and moistened his tongue with her rich juices and he lapped once again. He ate like he’d never had an intimate meal before.

“Kane…I’m going to come.” Her palms left his shoulders and flattened against the tile on either side of her body. She shifted and swayed. “Please don’t stop. I swear…I’ll…oh God! Kane!”

He let her take the first of her orgasms with his tongue driving into her body, snacking on her folds while sipping at her center, catching the sweet spill of one satisfied woman. Then, all bets were off. He rolled her clit with the tip of his tongue, moaned against her mound and nuzzled her pussy before tapping the opening with his chin, his two-day old beard ruffling her short hairs.

“Mmm…” Satisfied, she swayed with him. “Oh this is good, Kane. So good.” She slumped down as her orgasm slowly left her with nothing but memories.

Her breathing stayed desperate and choppy. Poor little thing thought she’d take her orgasm and slump against the wall. Bless her heart, she did look satisfied. But he was just getting started.


****

“Vicky, you’re still here?” Evan picked out a bright red apple from the fruit bowl and took a bite. “Where’s Peyton?”

“Shower.” She acted too bored to even report it.

The first flag waved high in the sky. He’d proceed with caution.

“Where are you two going today?”

He took another bite and started to chew when he noticed Vicky’s body language. She kept her head down, buried in deep thought or hiding something or from someone. In this case, if Evan wanted to guess, she wanted to avoid him altogether. Evan glanced toward the stairs. And he’d bet on the why behind it.

“Where did you say Peyton is again?”

“She’ll be down in a sec. She just had to, uh, jump in the shower, and uh, you know take a shower, in the uh…”

“Let me guess, shower?” Evan narrowed his gaze on her and she finally looked up.

“Good guess.” She smiled sweetly, flipped a page in her magazine with far too much rippling paper racket, and after she tore the paper for her effort, she pretended to read again.

“Interesting article?”

Vicky looked up and nodded. “Why yes, it is.”

“Hmm…I never thought a two-page advertising spread for tampons made for interesting reading, but hey, it might provide some useful information on how to care for a woman’s greatest commodity.”

“Funny, Evan.” She glanced down at the magazine and flippantly turned the page again. “I’m reading the magazine. I read it page by page, even the ads.”

“Wanna tell me who’s upstairs with Peyton?”

“No one is upstairs with Peyton.” Her answer would’ve been perfect for one of those automatic phone responders. The kind where the operator says over and over again, ‘Are you still there? Press one for yes, and two for no’.

Braden walked inside and tossed a lead rope on the floor. “I’ve had it with Quizzard. I’m selling the damn horse. He’s possessed.”

Vicky closed her current reading option, stretched, and took too much time showing off her greatest assets. “No one wants your horse, Braden. Everyone in the county knows he tried to kill Peyton.”

About the same time the words left her lips, a lot of moans, groans, grunts, and screams of pure pleasure drifted throughout the house. The way the couple upstairs called out to one another left nothing to the imagination.

Braden looked pale. “By the sounds of it, she’s gonna die yet and I’m betting on Kane behind the smoking gun.”


Chapter 19

<p>Chapter 19</p>

His mouth traveled all over her, monogramming her with a man’s brand. Love marks, passion prints, whatever any guy called them, Peyton had them. No one would doubt if she belonged to him or at least a Cartwell if they saw her out somewhere. He should’ve just stamped her forehead and took out a billboard. He was eating her alive.

His tongue, he told her, remained stuck in her pussy. Her walls closed around him, and he licked her into another orgasm as she clutched his head and clenched her walls only tighter and tighter around his tongue.

“I’m dying, here.” She shook off another climax. He rose over her, and kissed her lips, offering her a taste of her own desire in the process.

“I’ve never heard of too many orgasms listed as a cause of death but if someone has to go, that’s the way to go out.” He bit at her lower lip and captured her tongue in a desensitizing kiss leading her to his lips, encouraging her to sip on his mouth, taste her own pleasure.

She didn’t know how many climaxes were considered too many but she felt like he gave her more than her share. He ate her pussy and sent her from one life changing orgasm straight into the pulsing beat of another. Then he fingered her until she screamed for one more, even asking for his cock, just begging for one long overdue slow screw.

“Tell me where you want my cock, Peyton. Do you want me to fuck your pretty little ass or caress your pussy?”

“Fuck me, Kane. Just fuck me!” She panted as she gripped his shoulders and wrapped her legs around his waist. “Please…now, right now.”

“Greedy little vixen, aren’t you?” He kissed the tip of her nose. “Ask for it. Ask for it by name, baby.”

“Fuck me, Kane.”

“Where do you want me to fuck you, Peyton?” His voice sounded much like it did earlier. The Dom resurfaced and was ready to take full control, defying his earlier promise. She was getting to him more and more. She realized it, and she loved it.

“Fuck my pussy, please. Use your cock, Kane.”

Ah hells bells. He was going to come just by hearing her ask. Why did he have to push her to drive him to the brink? He held his cock at the base, applied pressure and fought against spilling his seed all over the place. Clenching his back teeth he nibbled at her lower lip.

“Birth control,” he muttered.

Damn it to hell, he almost forgot. Damn it to fucking hell and back, he almost did not care. The doc promised to sneak in a birth control shot when he saw her again, but he kept missing Peyton when he stopped by the ranch.

She swallowed stiffly. “Kane. I…”

“Shh…I know. It’s too risky.” He started to thread his cock through his fingers and then he smiled wickedly. “I have one in my wallet.”

“What are you doing carrying condoms around in your wallet?” she ribbed him before she reached out of the shower and grabbed his pants. She didn’t care why he had them tucked away for safe keeping, only acknowledged he had them.

Right now, the only thing he cared about was getting his cock inside one very tight little pussy. Then, he planned to autograph it a few times and damn it all, he’d stamp it pretty with his seed if he ran out of condoms before he had his fill. It didn’t matter anyway. One day, one day very soon, Peyton Storm was going to become his wife.


****

She ripped the corner with her teeth and sheathed him. She rolled it over the thick head and then hurriedly covered his length. “I’m wrinkled now.” She looked at her hands and the evidence of too much time in the water.

“Yes, you are.” He gave her a hot kiss and then stepped out of the shower. “Don’t dry off,” he told her. He grabbed a few towels, kept his cock in his hand, and walked back into her room.

After he tossed the towels on the floor, he framed her face and smothered her with his sweet lips before dragging her with him to the floor. Once he had her there, he told her to get on her hands and knees.

“Kane?”

“Don’t tell me no. I’ll go easy. Let me tap your sweet ass.”

“I can’t take your…size there, without lubricant.”

His lips turned up in a devilish smile. “Darlin’, in case you haven’t noticed, you’re soaking wet from the inside out. I can slide right in your ass using your own hot cream, and you won’t even realize I’m there.”

“I doubt it,” she said before she crawled three or four inches away from him. She braced herself for his hard cock and stayed in position with her knees and hands planted on the floor.

“You think it’s this easy?” he asked with a carnal growl right below her ear. He slapped her ass and gave no small order. “On your tip-toes and stretch your fingers out like this.” He showed her his hands. His long fingers separated much like a child might do if they planned to trace their handprints.

“Kane…”

“Spanking?”

“You promised,” she reminded him.

“I promised to romp your pretty little ass. I thought you wanted the real me.”

“I do,” she whispered and reached for him.

He pulled away from her. “Then on your fingertips and toes.”

He rubbed his cock over her leg again and again until she followed his command and heaven help him, he almost lost his semen just watching her move per his explicit instructions. God, he liked her like this.

“Do you like it when I fuck you, Peyton?”

She didn’t know if he wanted her in the role of his sub or not, so she tested the waters with a simple nod.

“Yes?”

“Yes,” she said.

His hand flapped against her backside in a taunting smack as he spanked her. “Now, tell me again and show me some respect.”

“Kane, you promised.”

“I promised to show you the real Kane Cartwell. Darlin’ you have him. Now, I’ll ask you again. Do you like it when I fuck you?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Defiant little vixen, aren’t you?” He reached around her and pulled her nipple until she cried out a little, just a little.

“Very nice, tender and sweet,” he said.

His hands caressed her ass, and he sat down on the edge of the squares he made with the large bath towels. “Peyton, look at me.”

With her palms spread apart, she looked down the length of her body and stared at him in between her legs.

“I smell your arousal from here. It’s like honey vanilla sex, so sweet and rich.”

He gripped his cock and the condom covering him served as a reminder, they’d soon have an audience downstairs. He wanted to protect her and love her on his own terms. If they decided to move forward with her training, he didn’t see the problem with taking her induction slow.

“Kane, I can’t stay like this forever,” she told him.

“Oh, but I’d never complain if you did,” he said.

“Tell you what, since I’m horny, Vicky’s waiting, and those brothers of mine will soon knock, why don’t you tell me where you want me, just this once?” He wanted to assure her, most of the time when he took her, he’d take her how and where he wanted her.

She smiled as she crouched down to the floor and crawled to him. She lifted his legs and then stood in front of him. He swiped her pussy with his tongue and fingered her with a spooning hook, gentle but almost diabolical in the way he moved one lone finger in and out. He extended it for entry, bent it and then withdrew it.

“Come on down here and fuck me, Peyton.” He tugged at her hand, and she dropped to his lap with one leg over each of his. When she slid downward, she enveloped him with her body and in turn gave him a quick entrance straight into her vagina.

It didn’t matter how he took her then. As soon as he felt her surrounding him, he plunged into her depths. Too much foreplay led him into a quick pounding, an urgent effort for release.

“That’s it, rise and fall. Let me see those nipples, darlin.” He glanced down at them but he stared at her bare pussy as his fingers kneaded her breasts. “Oh, baby, you’re so hot. So wet and fine. Open up for me, stretch with me.”

“Kane, if you weren’t hung like a-”

He clamped down on her breast with his soft lips and let his teeth roll her nipple until she screamed with pleasure and with pain. The whole time he pushed deeper inside of her, burying himself in her moisture.

“I’m coming, Kane.”

He bit his lower lip, pushed her back against the floor and then rotated her legs in a butterfly position as he moaned out in pleasure. “Oh, shit! This is good, Peyton. Damn good.” His thrusts came hard and his cock began punching her pussy with pulsating jabs as he tried his best to make it last.

“More!”

“I got ‘cha some more right here, baby.” He held her legs open and with a thrust for the finish, he pounded into her pussy with five or six more strokes and Peyton didn’t just whimper, she yelped like a woman getting a wild romp, truly unaware of an audience.

But they had one and those who waited, bent their ears.


****

Vicky, Evan, and Braden pressed their entire bodies against the door. Braden should’ve gotten Vicky the hell out of there. Now, Evan had his cock mashed against her leg and so help him, he would fuck her if he didn’t get to Peyton soon. He hated it but he justified it. There was only so much sexual noise a man could stand.

“Damn, you two are missing out, huh?” Vicky smirked as she started back down the hall. She still didn’t offer to leave, and Evan might just fuck her for that reason alone.

He watched her as she prissed off in the other direction. “Vicky?”

“Yeah, Evan?”

“You’re next.” He winked as he watched the idea sink in, and he kind of had the feeling then and there, Vicky wasn’t as easy as Vicky liked to think.

“I…um, I…don’t think Peyton would like it if I um…?”

“Fucked Evan?” Braden offered. “Smart girl. You’re right. Evan, shut the hell up before you come between a friendship.” He pressed his ear to the door again, and right as he did, Kane opened it and Braden fell inside the room barely catching his balance.

“Well, I guess I don’t have to wonder what my best friend was doing for the last two hours,” Vicky glanced at her watch. “Have a good time?”

“Incredible.” She bit her lower lip, grabbed Vicky by the wrist and pulled her into the room.

Evan leaned against the doorjamb. “Anything left over for me?”

“Yeah, as a matter of fact, there is,” Peyton took him by the hand and waved good-bye to the other two. “Braden?”

He looked at Vicky and shook his head. “This is a bad idea, Evan.”

“Oh so you have a gnawing conscience again, do you?” Kane chuckled. “Damn if I do.”

“That’s the problem. You never think with anything other than your cock.”

Kane winked at Peyton. “When it comes to Peyton, you’re right. I seldom think with much else.”

Braden left all of them there in the hallway and stormed down the stairs. Peyton’s eyes twinkled when she looked at Kane. They danced with mischief, and Evan assumed there was plenty left to go around once they shut the door.


Chapter 20

<p>Chapter 20</p>

Kane relaxed in the rocking chair while Evan flopped down on the bed. “Tired?” he asked Evan as he propped his hands behind his head.

“Hell no, I’m horny.” He made the confession directly to Vicky. “She let me rub against her leg while you two made off like rabbits and birds.”

“Birds?” Peyton asked.

Kane and Evan locked eyes. Both grinned. Kane nodded. The girls didn’t seem to notice.

“Come on Peyton, you know what he means. You were singing out your good causes, finding your pleasure.” Vicky bent down next to the bed and started to sort through a few magazines. “Come to think of it, I read something about that in Cos-”

Evan didn’t give her time to think. He just lifted her off her small feet and brought her to him in one sudden sweep. His lips covered hers in a sweet southern minute and Vicky moaned against his mouth. “Evan…bad idea.”

Kane laughed. “Well, can’t blame a guy for trying.”

Vicky touched her lips and immediately looked at Peyton. “I’m so sorry,” she whispered. “I kissed him back.”

Peyton put her hands on her hips. “You know, I might have been born in a small southern town where the good ole boys run things. I admit it. I don’t know a lot about what goes on behind closed doors when a man and a woman invite another man and a woman to join them.

“I also don’t know much about your threesomes, Evan, but I have to admit, if I’m going to have one, I want the two guys in the equation somewhere and…” She turned to Vicky and gave her a tight squeeze. “And no offense, Vicky, but boobs don’t do it for me.”

Vicky shrugged. “Yours are hard to beat anyway. You’d only show me up.”

Evan and Kane continued to stare at one another like they really thought they had some kind of bright idea. Evan tried to make a pass at Vicky again. “Tell you what, Vicky, if you ever get a notion to give a man head, you think of me first, okay?”

Peyton saw all shades of fall, winter, and spring now. Bless her heart. She didn’t realize how quickly she played right into Evan’s hand. “You’re asking my best friend for a blowjob? Are you fucking kidding me?”

“Baby doll, I’ve walked around here for weeks with a hard-on. Kane gets his and you and this one,” he tilted his chin toward Vicky, “can’t even carry through on a blasted dare?”

Peyton began breathing through her nose. Kane winked which only infuriated her more. “You want me to blow him with you and Vicky watching?”

“Nope, I want you to blow me, but he has a few other ideas.”

“I want her to watch,” Evan said, “You can join in too, if you want, Vicky, but no offense, please don’t take any because I mean this as a true compliment. You have the reputation for sucking cock better than anyone around. I want you to watch Peyton give me a blowjob and tell her what she needs to do for improvement.”

Peyton set her jaw, opened her mouth to speak and then glared at Evan. Oh yeah, she was playing right into his hand. He might as well drop his pants and settle back against the pillows.

“I am not…” Vicky stood prouder, “a sexual teacher of any sort and I do not know where you gained your information but you are-”

“Wrong? Hmmm, well I’ll be damned. Somebody, or rather a wagon full of somebodies, just went and lied on your ass,” Evan said.

“So you don’t suck cock well, huh?” Kane said as he stroked the front of his pants.

“I didn’t say I didn’t do it well. What I said was-”

“No, I think you pretty much said it all. You don’t sip on dicks, you prefer straws, right?”

Peyton translated. “What he means is, you’ll suck Loy Martin’s dick-the straw, the college jock, rather than his, a true manly stud.” She huffed and rolled her eyes.

“Oh shit, Peyton. I’m so sorry.” She swallowed hard and ran her palm across her face. “It was only a few times.”

Peyton shook her head. “As you can tell, I’ve had my hands full around here, and I never did anything with Loy anyway outside of messing around here and there. He never put his dick anywhere near my mouth.”

“You two dated. At one time, you cared about him. I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it. I don’t care anyway.”

“You’ve known awhile?”

“Sure, everyone in town knows. He filmed you,” Evan told her.

Vicky’s jaw dropped all the way to the carpet. “He did what?”

“Don’t worry about it,” Evan said. “We paid him for all the copies.”

“When?” Peyton demanded to know.

“Today, when I went into town. I paid Loy a visit. Vicky, truth is, you and Peyton both need to stay away from him. Peyton, rumor around here is… you’re next. He planned to pop your cherry and post it for the world to see.”

“Well I messed up his one ambition in life,” Kane said proudly.

Vicky stared back and forth between the brothers. “I have no idea of how to repay you for this.”

Evan pointed to his cock. “I have some.”

“Evan!” Peyton scolded him. “I’ll give you head, damn it. Leave Vicky alone.”

“No, he’s right, Peyton. One of us took a dare, and the other was supposed to watch.”

“I’m not watching or being watched,” Peyton replied.

“That’s what you think,” Kane said promising all sorts of delicious sins in the future.

“I mean…Vicky,” she explained. “Again, Vick, don’t get pissed or anything but hey, I prefer cock.”

“And you’re good with cock too,” Kane said. “Okay you three, decide who is gonna do who because all this talk has me wild and ready.” He motioned for Peyton, and she went to him immediately.

“Give me some sugar, sugar.” He nibbled at her lips while Evan and Vicky watched.

Kane didn’t care who watched them. As long as he had her within his grasp, the world could watch with obvious amounts of unlimited envy. He pulled her arms around his neck and drew her body and her lips into one heated kiss. His tongue raked across her lower lip, and he bit at them playfully before he shot his brother a deliberately evil grin.

“You two gonna watch, or play?”


****

Evan reached for Vicky, and Peyton felt her heart stop beating right then and there. She swallowed tightly and moved her mouth to his ear. “Why are you doing this?”

“It’s what Evan wants, not me, darlin.”

“He wants Vicky?” she asked.

“Seems so.”

“But I thought-”

“You thought everything here was all about you,” Kane teased.

She closed her eyes and dared to look over her shoulder. Sure enough, Vicky and Evan were locked in one hell of a moment defining kiss. Her heart broke into a few shattered pieces.

Before she contemplated any act of defiance, she pushed Kane away and bolted out the door. She heard all of them calling for her as she ran for the fields.


****

Evan sent Vicky on her way after they upset Peyton. He was polite and walked her to her car. She saved them both the trouble of explaining their actions, and he’d forever owe her for it.

He didn’t like the chit-chat women often put a man through just because they wanted something analyzed. Lots of women looked for a quick fix for their guilt. Some of them were young and dumb enough to try to find it in the man who brought it on them in the first place. Thank goodness, Vicky didn’t leave with any. In some ways, she reminded him of Peyton.

She explained things rather well when she’d told him she wouldn’t fuck him even if she was drunk. She’d said, “It might hurt Peyton, and the last thing I want to do is hurt the only friend I have who is more like a sister to me than a friend.”

“What if she said it was okay?” He’d questioned her for a little fun.

“Well, if that were the case, then I’d be all for it,” she’d told him. Then she slipped a kiss on his cheek, patted his arm and added a reminder. “But it’s never going to happen. She’s in love with all of you. Someone needs to do something about it before somebody with the last name Cartwell really hurts her.”

Evan stood on the front porch and watched until Vicky’s tail lights disappeared into the darkness. He slowly turned and walked back inside.

“She’s at the boathouse,” Kane said.

“How’d she get there, walk?”

“Hell no, she didn’t walk. Somebody would’ve picked her up but I’ll bet anything that’s where we’re going to find her.” Kane shook his head and curled his lip over his top teeth to bite back the words hanging there. The fighting ones, the kind he wanted to turn on Braden and unleash with plenty of venom. “What the hell were you thinking when you gave her the boathouse keys anyway?”

Almost as quickly as the words left his mouth, Braden tossed two sets of keys his way. “Let’s go. I have a feeling who we’re going to find her with and if it’s what I think, you boys need to bite down some of your anger or tonight, we’re all going to sleep behind bars.”


Chapter 21

<p>Chapter 21</p>

Loy Martin had a few marbles but he didn’t have balls. He parked in front of the boathouse and evidently believed he’d indulge in a little Cartwell property. The boathouse and Peyton-both of which were off limits to creeps like Martin.

“Why the hell would she do this?” Kane jabbed his finger in Evan’s chest. “This is all your fault. You and your stupid mind games. I think Peyton has lived through one too many of those, don’t you?”

Evan narrowed his gaze on Braden watching him as he jumped out of the truck in front of them. “Want to place blame? Place it on him. She told all of us she had a healthy solution, and I kind of liked where her train of thought led her.”

“Yeah, I bet you did,” Kane grumbled as he jumped out of the SUV. He hit maybe two steps as he jumped across them and onto the wrap-around dock. He walked around to the front of the boathouse where the terrace door was wide open. He took one step in, grabbed Peyton around the waist with his right arm, and knocked Loy Martin to the floor with his left hook.

“Stop this, Kane!” She struck out in anger, her fists slamming into his back as her feet kicked in every place but the one-thank goodness-that counts most for a man.

Loy never saw the second punch ready to strike a blow, and if he had, he might have screamed. Evan looked angrier than Kane. Braden caught his arm and held it high above his back. “I told you. We’re not going to jail tonight.”

Kane looked at the little goody bag on the coffee table. “Looks like you two planned on some fun, huh?”

“What didn’t you understand about what he did to your friend, Peyton?” Evan’s veins bulged in his neck.

Braden threw Loy his shirt. “You taping something here, Martin?”

“No. Hell, no. I’d never tape Peyton. At one time, I cared about her.”

“At one time,” Braden said “And how about now? Do you care about her now?”

Peyton wiggled against Kane’s grip. “Don’t answer them. It’s a trick question. If you tell them you still do, they’ll knock your lights out, and if you tell them you don’t, then they may just kill you for bringing me out here.”

Kane sneered. “She’s right.”

“Then can I plead the fifth and go?”

Evan narrowed his eyes on him. “On one condition.”

“I guessed as much,” Loy said. “What is it?”

“You give us a man’s word you’ll never lay one hand on her again.”

Peyton stamped her foot. Loy found the act particularly funny.

“You even act like them now. That’s a Kane and Evan Cartwell signature move. They don’t get their way, and they stomp their feet until they do. Tell me something, Peyton, are you already buying people off to get them to do what you want them to do?”

He shook his head and acted disgusted. “Don’t worry, I won’t be back for her. She’s already yours. The hell she must put you through. You three don’t know which one is going to get her, huh? What do you do? Take turns?”

Braden grabbed Loy’s shirt and pressed him against the wall. “Listen here, you little prick. We’re raising her as our own. We’re not fucking her or taking advantage of her in any way, and it’s because of that very reason, we’re not going to stand by and watch someone like you do it either.”

Loy flashed them his peculiar smile and then pointed at Kane. “Huh.” He rubbed his chin, “And here I thought Kane there kept it hard for Peyton. Hell, boys, maybe he has the hots for me.”

Peyton screamed when Kane released her. She saw the swing before Loy did, and once thrown, Loy landed on the futon bed. Evan immediately picked him up and tossed him out the door.

Braden grabbed him once they were outside and threatened him again. “Have you had enough? Wanna go for a spring swim or get the hell out of here tonight?”

Loy put his hands up in front of his face. “I’ll leave. I was out of line. It won’t happen again.” He didn’t even glance back as he ran like hell for his car.

“Peyton, not one word about this. Not one fucking word.” Braden walked by her and headed to the fridge. “You three can wait on me outside or sit here in complete silence, but I need a minute.”

By the hard-on Braden sported and the animosity lingering in the air, Kane imagined he might need more than sixty seconds. In fact, he might need a night’s worth of them.


****

Evan followed Peyton outside. “Are you always going to take off and blow the hell up when something doesn’t go your way?”

“Don’t talk to me, Evan.”

“Fucking immature, that’s what you are. A child. A fucking-ass child. Wanna know why I wanted a blowjob from Vicky?”

“I don’t care.”

“Sure you do,” Evan said. “It’s why you decided to call up Loy Martin and talk him into bringing you right here where we’d find you.”

“I didn’t think you’d come out here looking for me. I left my car at home, for crying out loud. You three are just so freaking paranoid that you plot my every move so you know what I’m going to do before I do it.”

“Oh, that’s the first smart thing you’ve said all night.” Evan said.

“Really? How do you figure?”

“Call it a satisfying hunch but, Peyton Storm, I don’t care when or where, one day you’re going to marry one of us and have all of us. It’s just a fact. Maybe Braden is still trying to figure all of this out but not me, certainly not Kane. You’ve been ours, lock, stock, and barrel since you moved to the ranch so yeah, I’m expecting it. All I can say is it’s your move, baby.” He picked up an empty beer can someone left there on their deck and tossed it into a nearby crate. “And I’m about ready for you to make it.”

Peyton shivered against the spring night air and wrapped her arms around her waist and cried. She turned away from the porch light and soon felt the arms of comfort draw her into an awaiting storm.

Braden held her tight against his chest, his arms tucked around her sides. His fingers began to loosen one button after another and his mouth hovered at her ear. “I’m not waiting, and I’m not stopping unless this time, you say no and you mean it. But you damn well better mean it when you say it.”

“I’m saying no.” Kane intervened and for once he didn’t have dark hooded eyes concealing the lust waiting or mischief dancing across his face. Concern lingered there and a lot of it.


****

“We’re not going home, are we?” Peyton studied Evan’s profile. He watched the road.

Evan always towered over everyone and even though he was tall and thin, many feared him. He worked out, tossed a lot of hay and his six-pack abs made most grown women drool. He wasn’t the most handsome of the Cartwells but because of the way he looked at a woman, many ladies around town considered him the sexiest.

“No, we’re not.”

“Wanna clue me in on where we’re going?”

“Clink.”

“Oh, that’s going to go over well, Evan. Real well.”

“Sid Jones is a friend of mine.”

“I know, and he now understands, no thanks to Braden, who I am and how old I am.”

“And with me by your side, he’s going to offer us VIP service and never breathe a word of it to anyone.”

“Kane’s gonna blow.”

“I’m more worried about Braden. Kane stopped a wheel I’ve been dying to see set in motion but he threw the wrong spoke this time. Braden will go home with blue balls from hell and once he finds out where I’m taking you, Kane will pay hell.” He chuckled and obviously liked the idea.

“I have school tomorrow.”

“Ditch it or go in late.”

“Evan, I’ve missed two days this semester. I never miss school. It’s going to send up red flags and-”

“Oh but Peyton, you’re over eighteen, remember? See the system doesn’t care now whether you’re in school or not just as long as you don’t totally disregard their attendance policy, and you haven’t. You’re an adult and you get to decide. See how this works? Don’t you love making your own choices?”

“Then I’m making one now. I don’t want to go to Clink and I don’t want to hang out with you tonight.”

“Too damn bad, baby. Eighteen doesn’t mean shit to me. I’m going to do what I should’ve done when I was seventeen.”

“You mean you want to screw me?”

“You mean this is news to you?” He slammed on the brakes right in the middle of the lonesome road. “It goes beyond wanting to.” He kissed her lips softly and then ran his finger up her thigh. With a tilted smile on his lips, his tongue made a seductive show of licking around his mouth before doing the same to hers.

He backed away and watched her as his fingers trailed closer to her pussy. When she flinched, he moved higher. His grin only widened when he realized he wouldn’t find panties under her short skirt. With his finger parting her folds, he tapped the inside of her pussy lips. “Oh yeah, Peyton. It goes way beyond desire now, darlin’, and count on feeling me right here for the rest of the night.”


****

“You must’ve lost your mind letting Evan leave with her tonight,” Braden said. “At least with us, we knew she was safe.”

Kane stared out the window and watched as the trees flew by. He glanced at the speedometer and noticed Braden hit ninety without a problem. “Break the law, much?”

“What?” He glanced down at his speed, took some weight off the accelerator and shook his head. “I decided on the way out to the lake tonight that if I had a chance to show her how I felt, I was going to jump on it and just when I get up my nerve, you blow everything to hell and back.”

“Braden, it’s because of what we’re doing to her. Hell, one minute we want her, the next we don’t, and the next we find a reason to excuse our behavior. You’re right, she needed to live a little before she stepped into a bedroom with all of us.”

“That’s where she’s headed and you damn well know it,” Braden said. “I’m not giving her up now, Kane, and since you’ve had her in every way that matters, I imagine you’re not either.”

“Nope.” He scratched his head and narrowed his eyes on a billboard in front of them. “Go back.”

“Huh?”

“Go back a few miles and take the country roads out to Clink.”

“Hell no. Why do I want to go out there?”

“Because our little brother is determined to have his way with Peyton and make damn sure everyone knows who she belongs to in the process. I’m willing to bet they’re already out there, and if I know Evan, somewhere along the way, he’ll leave his brains in the bottom of a bottle. He’ll have his way with her right there in front of God and everyone.”

“If he does, I’ll damn near shoot him.”

“For public exhibition or for sexing her up?”

“Considering what you stopped back there? Both.”


Chapter 22

<p>Chapter 22</p>

When they first walked into Clink, heads turned. Peyton saw a few recognizable faces and one or two women dropped their jaws when they saw who led her through the crowd. A lot of gals loved the Cartwell men and if Peyton had to guess, they typically showed up at Clink alone.

She headed to the ladies room and fully expected to find Evan waiting for her when she came out. Sure enough, he waited there with his back against the wall.

“Such a pretty little school girl,” he said as he licked his lips. Nothing but lust existed in his eyes and when his gaze fell to her chest, so help her she felt flames around her nipples.

She walked ahead of him. Her misfortune of the night fell back on her desire to play the part with Loy. She’d dressed in a red plaid skirt, white blouse and cream stockings. Now, Evan planned to parade her around and make her pay for such a mistake.

By the expressions washing over many faces in the room and by the need-ridden stares some of the Doms there gave her, he might wish later he’d reconsidered. Peyton stopped before they reached the dance floor, stepped out of the way long enough for a group to pass.

“I’m going to lick your pussy right here in front of everyone,” he said.

She called out over her shoulder. “Really, Evan. You need to learn to keep that wicked tongue of yours in your mouth.”

Some words should never leave a woman’s mouth.

Evan grabbed her hips and moved her into one of the many hidden alcoves lining the walls of the club. The semi-private spaces were somewhat secluded because of the partitions but if anyone walked closer and looked down, the acts of sex were easily witnessed, if anyone wanted to check for confirmation. At Clink, even curious cats seldom approached a couple in the throes of passion.

“Evan, if you think I’m going to fuck you here, then you’re wrong.”

His lips brushed past hers, and he pressed her against the wall. Holding her lower half with his left hand, he gripped her hip bone and simulated the sex act as he moved into her over and over again. His eyes flickered with out of control lust.

The music in the club maintained a certain beat, and her head swam. It filled the club with a creative aphrodisiac. Peyton felt alive. Her nerve endings were sensitive to his touch, and everywhere his fingers caressed, she immediately craved his kiss.

His lips fell to her neck, and he growled as he kissed the same places where Kane’s lips had once been. Three love marks were planted across her neck, and he licked past them as his cock pressed into her center. The hard rod pleaded for the act itself. A little grind here or there didn’t quite manage to accommodate.

Evan rocked her body against his as her hands settled, without a grip, against his shoulders. He framed her face and didn’t just make love to her mouth but he fucked it with his tongue, making sure those who watched understood what kind of actions backed up his kind of kiss.

She stood on her tip-toes when he released her and wrapped her arms around his neck. With a wicked grin, he nibbled at her lips. “Liked that, did ya?”

“I want more, Evan.” She swallowed realizing what she asked him when he lifted her skirt.

Before she realized how quickly he worked, Evan’s cock was out of his pants, and he dragged her body from one side to another against the length of his hard-on. With a slight warning, only one, he fisted her hair in his hand, and he kissed her still deeper than she was ever kissed in public. At the same time, he penetrated her. A slight impalement, but his cock moved inside of her nonetheless.

“Evan,” she whispered. “Everyone is watching.”

“Honey, they might watch but most of them are doing the same thing we’re doing, and if they aren’t, they will be by the time I’m through with you.”

He jerked her hips forward, and began to move with her. He bit his lower lip and tilted his head back and watched her. The look he gave her was one meant to inspire orgasms. He gritted his teeth and his upper lip curled like it pleasured and pained him to finally get his cock inside of her. His thick dick ripped through her channel, and he shot her a devilish grin before he began to grind.

“Now, this is heaven.”

A sigh and a grunt left his lips, and they both looked down on the obvious act of sex. He pulled out long enough to let her see her own juices covering his shaft and then he yanked her legs around his waist.

“Heaven help me, Peyton. I’m going to fuck you hard right here.”

“Evan, everyone is-”

“Horny,” he said.


****

She felt like honey one minute and satin the next. He should have been ashamed to put her on display like this but she should’ve known better than to ever walk through this club without one of them with her. He had to let the men here know who she was and what she meant to him.

His cock moved in and out of her as he worked for release. Oh God, she felt better than any woman he’d ever experienced. Her pussy milked his cock as he moved into her and her inner thighs gripped him tight. He’d never had a woman’s legs hold him so close. Peyton knew how to work her body for a man’s pleasure.

Braden or Kane should’ve spanked her silly for her stunt. She deserved a good spanking for an act like she pulled. A hard hit to her ass and maybe she’d learn to think things through. His knowledge now drove him crazy. She’d never walk in there again without a Cartwell on her arm. And he’d never fuck another woman again without her name on his lips.

Yeah, she needed to think twice before her actions drew all sorts of reactions and lingering consequences. He refused to think at all now. He just wanted to fuck.

“Damn, you’re tight, Peyton.” He pressed his lips against hers and forced her to open her mouth with his greedy tongue. His cock continued to stroke at her walls while his tongue claimed hers. He placed his hands on both sides of her head, and pumped his kiss into her mouth, and his cock straight into her tight little snatch.

“I’m coming,” Peyton said.

“The hell you are.” He withdrew then, and dropped to the floor, his tongue parting the same folds his cock left unattended. He sucked on her clit and rolled it back and forth with his lips and tongue while she moaned. He watched as she tilted her head to the side enjoying the way he ate her pussy. “Oh yeah baby,” he mumbled against her mound. “You can come for me now.”

“Kane… Braden…”

“Wrong fucking brother.” He swiped her pussy harder this time.

She pointed. “No, Evan. They’re here.”

He jerked her down then and glared at her. “What do you mean they’re here?” Realizing, his denim butt would show from the side of the partitioned wall, he started to stuff his cock back in his pants. “They’re here?”

“Yeah, walking around. Here!”

“Shit.” He yanked her skirt down and grabbed some tissue from the wall dispenser. He took the time to clean her up some and tossed the paper into the small wastebasket. “Mother fucker!”

Her eyes danced with mischief, and she stroked the front of his jeans. “Wanna have some fun?”

He grabbed her wrists. “No, they’ll kill me.”

“Have it your way.” She started to stand and he jerked her back down.

“Peyton, this is not a game here. They’ll throw a public fit and drag you out of here.”

“Trust me. I know all this, but first they’re going to have to watch. Come on.” She grabbed his hand and kept her head low, moving them toward the more intimate area of the club. The loft was a social domain where public sex acts were guaranteed to continue with few interruptions.

They slid into a corner booth, and Evan watched his little vixen come alive. “I’m going to spank you for this,” he told her as she hiked her skirt and sat down on his lap.

“Just get those damn pants down,” she said over her shoulder. “I’m wetter than the Mississippi River, and I don’t care who sees us now.”

Evan moved her hair to the side and exposed the nape of her neck. “Darlin’, isn’t that the whole idea?” He chuckled as he unhooked his belt and let the zipper fall. Tugging his cock from the opening, he slid right into her pussy.

“Hmmm…” Peyton gripped his knees and arched her back as she bucked against him. Even though her pretty little skirt and the large table in front of them hid a lot of the act, no one would second guess whether or not his cock was inside of her.

“Damn you, Peyton for being such a little slut in public.” He grabbed her hips and fucked her hard. His vision blurred but he saw his brothers clearly on the floor below them. Braden’s fists clenched at his sides, and Kane’s eyes filled with knowledge.

“Harder,” she whispered as her juices surrounded his cock. “Give it to me harder, Evan.”

“Move forward, baby. Shift up. God, yeah. This is good, so fucking good. Hold still right there.” He gritted his teeth and heard her whimper. Her body began to use his dick for nothing more than her own personal toy. And damn if it didn’t draw him into one luscious playground.


****

Peyton’s feet were curled under her and her head rested on Evan’s shoulder by the time Braden and Kane reached them. Only couples were allowed into the loft. From the beginning, Peyton realized Braden and Kane would have to find the owner before they stormed right on up there.

Braden slid onto the booth from one side and Kane from the other. Kane sat down next to her and immediately slid his hand under her skirt, feeling for the sticking evidence of sex.

“Damn you, Kane.” She cursed him as soon as his fingers drifted across her mound.

He nodded at Braden. “They sure had a hell of a time here.”

Braden wanted answers. “Evan?”

“What can I say?” Evan said as he motioned for a cocktail waitress.

Kane glared at him and then Peyton. “Do you realize what the hell you’ve just done, here?”

Evan chuckled as he draped his arm over Peyton’s shoulders. “Oh, you can bet I know what I’ve done, and with who.”

Braden pointed to the floor below. “And all of these people here know it too, Evan. She’s fucking eighteen years old.” He slapped the surface of the granite-covered table.

Evan gave a quick drink order when the cocktail waitress approached. “A round for us and a Shirley Temple for her.”

The young woman smiled sweetly at Peyton and then looked back at Evan. “The usual then, right?”

Evan waved her off with a quick nod and then turned slightly to address Braden. “For the record Braden, I don’t give a damn if she’s eighteen or twenty-five and hot after your ass twenty-four-seven. She’s going to fuck me and fuck me plenty, so get used to it.”

“It’s not about which one of us she’s with, Evan.” Kane paid the waitress when she returned. “But I don’t want her here ever again. Understand, Peyton?” He grabbed her wrist and moved her hand into his. His gaze held with Evan’s.

Peyton’s demeanor changed in an instant, and she chewed on her lower lip thoughtfully before she stretched her neck so she could kiss Kane’s ear. “You’re jealous.” Her hand went to his cock, and she stroked him up and down and up and down.

“Damn it, Peyton. You’re not getting what you want here. These people are watching your every move. You want them to know all about your business?”

She stuck her lip out and initiated a provoked pout. “Ah, what’s wrong, Kane? What happened to the big and bad, rough and tough Dom?”

“Don’t, Peyton.” Braden’s eyes flickered with a justified warning.

Kane’s hand locked over hers, and she got what she asked for. With one hand helping her stroke him and the other loosening his pants, Kane’s freed cock pressed into her grip in a matter of seconds.

Braden shook his head. “Kane, think about this. Right here? Right now? After what she’s done with Evan for the world to see? Uh-huh, it’s a bad idea. She’s days away from graduation.”

“You think I care if the students there know what I do with you all?” She pumped his dick into her hand with a telling pace. She either wanted him inside of her quick or she wanted him to come all over her fingers.

Kane popped his neck and took a sip of his beer. “Damn, Peyton.”

“Ah hell, Kane!” Braden put his arm up on the leather seat and glared down at the floor. He should’ve moved if he didn’t want to watch.

Kane reached behind her and grabbed her around the waist. “Wanna blow me baby or are we gonna fuck?”

She disappeared under the table long enough to kiss his dick, and it was then when Kane saw all sorts of complications unfolding below them. Several people stopped and stared while others truly rubbernecked as they tried to see what was going on at their table.

“Shit!” He yanked her up, pushed himself away from her while shoving his cock back in his pants.

“Thank goodness. You’ve come to your damn senses,” Braden snarled.

“Let’s get outta here, Peyton.”

“Kane, I’m here with Evan, and we’re not-”

“You’re not…exactly my sentiments. You’re not doing another damn thing so those vultures below can witness it again. Showtime is over, baby. You have school tomorrow.”

He yanked her up from the booth, clasped her hand in his, dramatically and on purpose, and then pulled her out of the club. She tried to take two to three steps for every one of his strides.

Once they hit the back parking lot, he tossed her into Braden’s truck. “I’ll ride with Evan,” he said.

Braden didn’t put up a fight. Kane hardly expected one. He reached across her middle and buckled her in while Braden’s gaze lingered on her stockings.

Kane pointed at him before he kissed her on the cheek. “Remember, I want to get her out of this truck the same way I put her in it.”

“How’s that?” Braden asked in a raspy voice

Kane laughed. “In one piece.”


Chapter 23

<p>Chapter 23</p>

The private club that everyone knew about, but few acknowledged they ever visited, was located about forty minutes from the ranch. Plenty of time, Peyton thought, to get in all sorts of trouble.

As soon as they pulled out of the parking lot, Braden reached across the bench seat and took her hand in his. “Peyton, did you have fun back there?”

She didn’t detect sarcasm, although she expected it. Instead, Braden genuinely seemed interested in knowing whether or not she enjoyed herself.

“I hope this isn’t a trick question because I’m going to tell you the truth,” she said.

“I always want the truth.” His voice changed then. “Did you like fucking Evan in public?”

“Braden!” Sometimes, he embarrassed her. She felt her cheeks with open palms and sure enough, they were hot.

He pulled in the emergency lane and jerked the gearshift in park. He leaned over the steering wheel and took a deep breath. Then, he unhooked her seatbelt and reluctantly pulled her to him. “Why do you always do that?”

“What do I do?”

“You’re different with me than you are with them. You’re wild and free with them but with me, you’re something else.” .“I’m just me, Braden. I’m nothing special. Nothing extraordinary, I’m just an average girl. When I’m with you, there’s something about just being with you that changes everything.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”

“It’s a different thing,” she admitted. “When I’m with Evan and Kane, they want me all sexy and maybe even ready to fuck around the clock, who knows with them.”

“And with me?”

She pressed her palm to his cheek. “You know I love you, right?” She’d never told any of them that she loved them. She did love them all but it was comfortable to tell Braden.

He tilted her chin, lowered his head and kissed her lips. “How do you love me, Peyton? Tell me.”

“I love you like a woman loves a man. I deeply love you. I don’t know why we haven’t had sex but that’s okay. Love and sex don’t always mix right away. I’ve never told Kane or Evan that I love them, and I do, you know.”

“I know.” He turned back to the steering wheel and shifted the vehicle back into drive. “You love us all, and for right now, it’s more than we deserve.”

The truck hummed down the state highway a few miles before either of them said another word. When the silence broke, Braden did it with a powerful question.

“Kane…has uh, he mentioned anything to you about how he feels?”

She smiled. “I know how he feels about me.”

Suddenly, Braden looked tense, maybe even a little possessive. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“Really?”

“Nope, not with him. He’d take a brutal beating before he allowed one strand of your hair to curl around the wrong man’s fingertips.”

“You don’t say.”

The both shared a hearty laugh, and this time when the quiet calm threatened to allow for too much thinking, Peyton broke the ice with a sultry inquiry. “Braden? When will you make love to me?” She questioned him right there. Put him on the ever lovin’ spot.

He immediately pulled over again, slammed it in park and reached for her.

“Come here, Peyton.” He wrapped his arms around her waist and lightly kissed her lips. His cock pressed into her belly and said pretty much anything and everything Braden didn’t say.

“Will you let me suck your cock?” She smiled as he kissed her, and with his lips still on hers, he unzipped his pants.

“If you’ll let me drive us home while you do.”

“That’s dangerous,” Peyton said.

“And wild enough for you?” he asked.

“Not yet, but it will be,” she said as she dipped her head and licked the mushroom tip of his dick. She then scooted back over to her side of the bench seat. “No, I think we’ve waited this long. It’s time to get me home and straight into bed.” She reached over and patted his cock.

“Damn it, Peyton! The teasing needs to end at some point.”

“It’s going to end tonight, Braden.” She twirled her hair around her finger and studied him. “Because if you don’t sleep in my bed with me tonight, then I swear I’ll tease you for one full year before I’ll ever consider it again.”

He threw the truck in drive and stepped on the gas. Sometimes a man needed to ignore the set speed limits. A new race for a sexy kind of finish waited thirty minutes down the road, and this was one of those few times when he didn’t care to break the law.

“What I’ll do to you in that bed tonight borders along downright criminal.”

“Then bring your cuffs, cowboy, ‘cause I don’t like a man who makes promises he doesn’t intend to keep.”


****

Braden wanted inside of her so bad it hurt. He didn’t know if he wanted to wait until they got home. If he had to wait, the least she could do was make it worth it.

He shot her a sideways glance. “Will you do something for me while I’m driving?”

“I’m not sucking your cock right now. I know you, Braden. You’re so excited, you’ll wreck.” She giggled. The sweet sound of her laughter filled the cab, and it sounded like the world’s most coordinated orchestra used her lungs for a most beautiful song.

“Do you have on panties?”

“No!” She blushed. Too bad for Kane and Evan, she seldom blushed around them and both commented on it. They loved to see her little cheeks all flushed and rosy. Apparently, he brought out the color in them.

“Will you raise up your skirt and show me?” He swallowed stiffly and looked back at the road.

A few seconds passed, and she shifted beside of him. Her breathing sounded heavier, and he slowed down long enough to follow the stockings to her knee caps. He looked away, helped her with the teasing, and the waiting. When he turned to check her out again, he found her bare skin showing off a perfectly shaved and waxed mound.

“Beautiful.” He stared at her naked pussy before he looked into her eyes. “I want you to put your fingers inside of your cunt and finger yourself for me.”

“Braden!”

He only glanced back and forth at the road. “Peyton, I need to see you do it. I want to know you’re wet and ready for me. I only want you thinking about me, just me right now, Peyton.”

“I am thinking about you, Braden.” She touched her mound and watched him. God help him, her eyes lingered over him, and he almost came in his pants as he watched her middle finger slip out of sight. She moaned a little when she added a second finger.

“Damn you must be tight.”

“I am, Braden.” She quickly added. “But you can stretch me.”

“Shit!” He almost ran off the road because he was looking down at her when he should’ve watched out for the guard rails.

“Look at me for a second,” she teased. “Can you see me, Braden?” She scooted to the edge of the seat and then pushed up with one palm behind her while her right fingers continued to fuck inside her pussy.

She threw her head back against the seat and let her knees fall to the side. She licked her lips, and her head turned. Her cheek mashed against the seat. She fucked herself only harder. “Hmmm… Braden,” she whimpered.

“How does that feel, Peyton?”

“Hot…it’s so good, but I know how to make it better.” She closed her legs and trapped her hand between them and then slowly withdrew her hand. She drew her knees to her chest and twisted around sideways so her back pressed against the door.

He reached over and spread her legs, pressed against her thighs so she was fully exposed. He roughly ran the back of his hand up her leg. “That’s sexy, baby. Your pussy is so pretty, Peyton.”

“Oh yeah? Well, you need to keep your eyes on the road. Let me take care of things over here.” She giggled before she rubbed her palm across her mound, and he noticed she’d started to relax with him. Finally, he let out a sigh of relief, and his cock throbbed with the same acknowledgement his mind wrapped around. She was going to fuck him from this night forward, and if she didn’t watch it, he might bend her over on the side of the road any minute now.

“What are you doing there, Peyton?” He grabbed her ankle and pulled it across his lap. Her leg touched his cock, and he held her calf against his erection as he let out a hearty growl. “When I get inside of you, I may never leave.”

“You boys all make similar promises, don’t you?”

He jerked when she mentioned the others. Damn it, he didn’t want jealousy to ruin a good thing. He shook it off as soon as it grabbed him by the balls. “Seems Kane almost meant it. Hell, anytime we try to find him, he’s sniffing around your room.”

“Braden.” Her tone dropped again. “I need you to let go of my ankle for a minute.”

He did, and she bent her knees outward. Even in the moonlight, he saw her pussy glisten with desire. He smelled her arousal. Her fingers parted her folds and she began with a scissor like motion before she buried her hand against her body.

Taking it one second at a time, she fucked herself in various ways. Slow, fast, one finger, and sometimes two.

“Do you like touching yourself?”

“I like it good enough,” she said. “It’s erotic having your eyes on me.”

“It’s naughty, Peyton. That’s what it is.” He turned right and headed toward the lower barn. It had just started to piss-pour rain so he had to unload the feed in the back before they headed for the house.

“Where are we going, Braden?” She had a playful tone in her voice as her fingers continued to work in and out of her body.

“I gotta unload something before I take you in the house and make love to you all night long.” He cursed himself for sounding desperate, almost goofy. It didn’t matter though. Not really. Peyton loved him, and so help him, right now, it was all he cared about.

“Braden… I’m so close.” She rose and fell against her own hand as he pulled into the barn. The breezeway was perfect for parking, especially in bad weather. All of the Cartwells, at one time or another, made good use out of the barn.

He threw the gearshift into park for the last time and swiped her hand away. “You’ve done enough work for tonight, sweetheart.” He bit his lip and watched her reaction when he slipped his fingers into her cunt.

“I need to come,” she said.

He unhooked his belt, pulled his cock from his fly, and fingered her slower and slower. “Oh you’re gonna come all right, but not by my hand or yours.”

“Uh-huh. Promises, promises.”

“Nope, this is a guarantee.” He snatched her wrist and pulled her up. At the same time, he opened the door on the driver’s side and pulled her with him. He stepped out of the truck. As quickly as he stood with her, he gently pushed her back against the bench seat. Her legs hung over the seat, fully exposing her.

He moved in between her legs and touched her mound. “I’ve waited a long time, Peyton.” His hungry voice and intense focus heightened the awareness-hers and his. He touched her clit gently and twirled it with his thumb.

“Braden, please don’t tease me. We’ve teased all the way home. No more teasing.”

He reached for her breast and squeezed. “I need to see them when I fuck you, Peyton. I need to touch your nipples, feel them, and taste the way these pretty little gems spike under my tongue.”

She grinned as wide as he’d ever seen her smile. “Then start fucking me, big boy. This shirt is comin’ off!”


****

Braden’s cock stayed at her entrance until she stripped the shirt away from her body. When he leaned over her to help her take her bra off, she felt the tip break past her folds, but before she clasped down on the head, he tipped backwards and gave her a quick slap to the hip.

“Oh no you don’t.” He held his cock around the shaft and deliberately kept her from capturing him. He leaned over and kissed one breast and then the next. “You have pretty nipples, Peyton.” He held his palm against her jaw while he traced her lower lip with the pad of his thumb.

With his mouth over her nipple, he moved his hand away from her face and traced the outline of her body until he reached her thigh. Slowly, he slid his hand to her inner thigh and with a growl, he rose over her.

“Spread open for me, Peyton. Give me some room, baby.”

“Braden, I know how big it is. I can handle you.”

“I know you can, but can your snug little pussy…” He slid halfway in and she cried out. “See there, baby, trust me, let me go slow.”

Braden’s cock needed its own class. He was thick and incredibly long. She didn’t want to mention it, but she noticed a very unique quality when she gave him the interrupted blowjob. His dick curled in an extraordinary fashion. The natural shape guaranteed a woman’s pleasure and even before he pressed all the way into her vagina, she needed to come.

“Open your legs wider, Peyton.”

“Braden, just fuck…me.” She tried to take the lead by wrapping her legs tighter around him.

“Shh…wait baby, give me a minute.”

Beads of sweat formed on his forehead, and he stopped moving all at one time. Peyton gave him a wink and deliberately clenched her inner walls, clamping down on his cock.

“Shit!” He reached above her head and jerked the glove compartment down. He rummaged through some papers and pulled out a tiny foil packet. Bringing it to his lips, Peyton held her breath the second she saw it.

In fact, her body froze in time, but a recent memory drew tears, a fountain of them.

“Baby, what’s wrong?” Braden’s genuine concern washed over his face.

She shook her head and bit down on her closed fist. “Oh God, Braden. I’m so stupid.”

He cupped her cheeks and looked deep into her eyes. Slowly, he slid out of her. “Peyton, we can stop right now if you’re having doubts.”

“Doubts? No, no. It’s not what you think, Braden…It’s earlier…It’s…Oh God, Evan and I didn’t use a condom.”

She saw his face tense, felt his rigid body dampen with sweat, and he gritted his teeth with her news. He quickly stood up and moved away from her, yanking up his pants as he did.

“Get dressed.”

“Braden, it’s-”

“I said get dressed and do it now.”

The soft rain turned violent all at one time and lightning zapped across the sky. The darkness opened up with the bolts of electricity dancing out in a very unique pattern but the true thunder of a pending storm loomed somewhere else.

“Braden, it’s probably nothing. I’m…” What did she say now? Did she tell him it was probably the safest time of the month when the opposite actually applied?

“Peyton! Damn it! I said, get dressed or else I’ll drive you up there as-is. We’ve all seen you naked now, no need for modesty.”

She bit the inside of her jaw and glared at him. Yanking her clothes on, she cursed under her breath. Why did she have to react when she saw the rubber? Why did she have to tell Braden about the club?

She swiped the tears away from her cheeks and tried to gauge the anger Evan faced. Braden kept his back to her, not a good sign by any stretch of the imagination.

“What the hell, Braden?” She grabbed her shirt from the leather seat and poked her hands through the sleeves. “What the hell did you expect in a club? Did you honestly think he was going to roll a rubber over his cock in front of everyone there?”

Braden kicked the wheel of the truck. “Damn it! What I expect is for Kane and Evan both to take care of you! What I want is to keep you safe! What is unacceptable is for Evan to take you to a club like Clink in the first place.

“What the fuck do you want me to say, Peyton? Huh? Do you want me to tell you I wanted Evan to fuck you in front of the whole damn community? That I’m as proud as fucking hell he didn’t use a condom? How about I just go congratulate him for being the smart one of the bunch? After all, maybe if he knocks you up, he’ll have a clear advantage!”

“Oh screw you, Braden.” She barely whispered it, hardly believed she spoke it with enough passion to ensure him she meant it. The tears began again but she didn’t notice them as she sprinted into the rain and ran straight for the house. She had to get to Evan before Braden got there.

“Evan!” She screamed into her open palms as she ran. She heard Braden’s truck rev in the distance, and the crunch of gravels flying. She slid face down on the incline of the last hill in front of the house as the headlights beamed bright into the night. The rain pellets hit her in the face, and her hair stuck to her cheeks.

She cursed the mud and her inability to stay on her feet as she moved faster and faster toward the house. She heard the screeching tires and soon the headlights dimmed. The slam of the door assured her Braden beat her there. He arrived first.

“Braden, wait!” She dug her heels into the ground harder and still she wasn’t fast enough.

She hit the front door of the house and heard Braden shouting for him. He was upstairs storming toward Evan’s room. And Kane and Evan stepped out of the media room with wild, wide eyes.


Chapter 24

<p>Chapter 24</p>

“Peyton? What’s wrong? Are you hurt? What’s wrong with Braden?” Questions riddled around her. She didn’t know who asked what.

“Evan, get out of here! Now!” Peyton pushed him toward the back door. “Please, Evan!”

Kane grabbed her and shook her. “Peyton, you’re acting like a crazy woman. What’s wrong? What happened?”

Braden stormed across the second story of the house. “Evan! Evan, damn you! Where are you?”

Kane narrowed his eyes on her. “Peyton?”

“Get out of here now, Evan. Please, he’s going to kill you!”

“Peyton, what the hell is this about?” Evan asked.

“I told, Braden…I didn’t mean to tell him but I told him I, we, didn’t use a…” She stopped herself from saying more. By the look on Kane’s face, she’d already said far too much.

“You fucked her without a condom?” he demanded through clenched teeth.

Evan dropped his head and then looked back up at Peyton as Braden raced down the steps. “Peyton, I shouldn’t have. I thought…ah hell, I didn’t think. It never crossed my mind.”

“Why you fucking little bastard!” Kane gritted his teeth but at the same time, his arm flew out, and he held Braden off, at least long enough to postpone the first blow. “Braden, get a hold of yourself.”

Somehow, Kane remained calm. Peyton didn’t know how he managed it because she saw the fury in his eyes as well, but he controlled his own rage in order to stop one brother from fighting the other.

“I didn’t think, Braden. Are you going to tell me you’ve always stopped to think about birth control in the heat of the moment?”

“This isn’t any chick, Evan!” Braden’s strong voice of concern laced through his words as much as his anger. “This is Peyton!”

“Exactly! This is Peyton. Do you think I would do anything on purpose to hurt her?”

“You only think with your cock, and you don’t give a damn about how toxic you are. You could get her pregnant!”

“And he couldn’t?” He pointed to Kane. “For that matter, you probably could if you two were talking rubbers tonight, besides I thought Kane took her to see the doctor about birth control. Hell, I just didn’t think to ask. Shoot me!”

“Don’t fucking tempt us,” Kane said.

Peyton shivered as she held onto her elbows and kept her arms crossed over her chest. Her arms were shaking from cold and from fear.

“Go upstairs, Peyton.” Evan told her.

“Mind him,” Kane said.

“Mind…him?” Her teeth chattered as she asked for clarification.

“Yes! Damn it! You’re the one bound and determined to become a submissive and let me make one thing perfectly clear. If we train you as a submissive, and we all decide we’re going to live in the lifestyle, you’re damn sure going to do it around the clock!”

Peyton jumped back. Flabbergasted by the day’s events, she issued a threat. “I’m moving out.”

“The hell you are!” Kane snatched her hand.

She yanked it away. Her vision blurred, maybe from rage. She couldn’t think of one time in her life where her anger held her hostage. Right now, it did. She didn’t know what she wanted to say or what she wanted to do. She just wanted to run.

“If I had anywhere to go, I’d leave tonight.”

“Sugar, you have somewhere to go. I promise you. Right now, I can’t get you there fast enough.” Kane picked her up, slung her over his thick shoulder and started up the steps with her. Halfway up the steps, he turned to Braden and Evan. “I’m going to get her cleaned up and if you two can’t get along, go to fucking bed. That’s where we’re headed.”


****

Kane didn’t try to make love to her. He held her all night long. She cried awhile, cuddled with him some, and finally fell asleep in his arms. When he’d brought her upstairs, he’d wanted to take care of her, bathe her and hold her.

After she showered, her cheeks stayed so red from where the rain beat against them, Kane wanted to take up arms and battle the weather in her defense. She looked like a battered angel, and his guts twisted as he watched her sleep.

When the alarm went off, she tossed and turned before she hit snooze. “Great. Terrific. Another day.” She grumbled as she rolled over and gasped when she realized she had an audience.

They completely surrounded her. Braden turned the lamp on, and Kane stretched and yawned. He’d slept very little throughout the night, and he woke up long before the alarm went off.

“Sit up, sleepy head,” Evan said. “Sorry, Kane, service is for one. Breakfast in bed for Peyton is one thing. Serving you eggs with your bacon, doesn’t do anything for me.” He tilted his head toward the tent in Kane’s pajama pants.

Peyton looked down and blinked. Kane moved to his side and then put his arm over her legs, trapping her against the bed while the breakfast tray was placed on the nightstand.

The alarm sounded again, and Peyton reached over and turned it off. This time, she scooted closer to Kane and as she did, wiggled out of her panties without making a big deal out of it.

“What’s for breakfast,” she purred as she moved her ass against the ridge of Kane’s cock.

He nibbled at her ear and warned her. “I don’t know what you’re having but if you move any closer, you’re going to be late for school. I happen to love a little warm syrup first thing in the morning.” His hand cupped her mound and his fingers began to trace the entrance of her pussy.

Braden sat across from them, and Evan plopped down on the bed. He took a drink of the orange juice and then touched her cheek and gave her a wink. “Your favorite junk food with icing.”

She moaned, in part because the pastry looked tempting and in part because three fingers just plunged into her core. She felt hot all over and knew the others now noticed bodies moving under the blankets.

Kane’s fingers were ready to sin. The sensual massage he gave her inner walls compared to nothing else at five-thirty in the morning. He moved his cock against her hip and brushed her hair away from her neck.

“I saw your lip prints all over her, Kane. Real nice there, bro. Next time, why don’t you just get her whole neck.”

“I might cover her body in my mark,” he said before he propped up on one elbow and kissed her forehead.

Braden cleared his throat. “Peyton, I’m sorry about last night.”

“Me too,” she said. Right now, accepting an apology proved easy. She barely remembered last night with Kane’s way of distracting her.

“Evan, hand her the envelopes there.”

“What’s this?” she said as Kane ran his finger down the crack of her ass. She tightened her cheeks fearing a sudden impalement.

“Offers, I imagine,” Braden said. “Clemson, UNC, Alabama, even one from UT.”

“Really? As in Tennessee, UT?”

“No,” Evan smirked. “Texas.”

“I didn’t apply to Texas.”

“Don’t act blond, Peyton. He’s teasing you,” Kane whispered before he nipped at her ear.

“I’ll uh…I’ll uh…”

“You’ll?” Evan glanced at Kane and narrowed his eyes on both of them. He licked his lower lip before he clamped down on it with pearly white teeth.

“I’ll just look at them tonight…Oh hell!” She closed her eyes as a true whimper fell from her lips.

Kane gripped the side of her hip. It provided little warning. He buried deep inside of her pussy but he looked down on her and watched as she took in the atmosphere, and the truer meaning of the moment.

Her eyes still looked heavy, sleep just seconds out of reach and daybreak only minutes straight ahead. Oh yeah, he was going to fuck her, and if he did it in front of them, she’d better prepare for company.

Evan looked hungry enough to eat her breakfast but his sweet tooth craved more than apples and cinnamon. “Are you doing what I think you’re doing?”

Kane fisted her hair and pulled her tight against his chest as his dick pulsed against her walls. “You better damn well know it.” He leaned over her shoulder, shot his brothers an evil grin, and dipped his tongue to taste her morning sweetness.

“Your lips and your pussy are like velvet, sugar.” He wanted to plunge deeper, make an erotic show out of it but if he did, then he’d lose it and right now, he wanted to take things nice and slow.

Evan tossed the coverlet away from them and his eyes were immediately filled with a deeper lust. Kane saw the recognition in Braden’s face too then. Ah yeah, Peyton had fucked him. How had he missed it? When did he look away long enough? Did Braden get inside her sweet little cunt before he fell the hell apart last night? He must have, only he didn’t get everything he wanted, which is why Evan’s head was bit the hell off as soon as he came home.

“Come on, baby, give me those sweet hips,” he urged her as she bucked against him. “That’s my darlin’. Keep coming back here for it. Keep rocking with my body. Easy baby. Go slow and easy.”

Evan stood, unable to take his eyes off of Kane’s cock moving in and out of Peyton’s body. Kane knew today was the day, the morning, maybe the week, they’d all stay in bed together.

He’d plotted and planned it all night after he’d slipped downstairs to let his brothers know the good doctor-their neighbor- was planning a very nice Bermuda vacation since he was able to talk him into administering a birth control shot for Peyton.

While Doctor Davis administered her last pain medications on his final follow-up visit, he’d given her the shot, and Peyton never knew she’d had it. Evan cursed him, of course, since he waited a few hours to share the news, but Kane never planned to tell them everything. He made a deal with the good doctor and it cost him a pretty penny to pull it off.

After his brothers questioned his motives, he returned to her bed and held her close while he told her what he’d done. He expected one of those good old woman fits but since she’d had such a close call without birth control, she thanked him.

“I hear we don’t have to worry about rubbers now.” Evan tossed his clothes aside. Kane lifted her arms, and slid out of her long enough to help her get rid of the nightshirt. He kissed her back and noticed how she trembled under his touch.

“Kane took care of it,” she answered with a raspy voice as she hooked her arm behind his neck. His lips dragged slowly across hers, caressing them without popping her with a full throttle kiss.

“And you’re ready to celebrate, like this?” Braden watched them carefully. He still wanted to look out for her but he also wanted to fuck her. The need he had was as deep as anyone else’s in the room if his hard cock proved a point.

“I…I’m not sure I’m ready. Do you think I am?”

Kane was going to kill Braden if he didn’t give the right answer here. Peyton always looked to him for guidance so he’d better do the right thing now-the right thing by Cartwell standards.

“You’re ready,” Braden assured her. “You’ve already had time alone with us. Let’s see if we can make this work out together.”

Kane reached under the bed and brought out his box of treats. Leaving them next to the bed, he pulled out a pair of fluffy handcuffs.

“I…I don’t want to wear those,” she said.

“They’re meant for a woman’s pleasure, Peyton. Believe me, if I was a woman, I’d demand them.”

“Evan, you’d put in all sorts of tall orders for sex toys,” she hummed.

“That’s right, I might, especially if the partner looked as good as you.”

Kane pulled a dildo from the box and tossed it toward Evan. He took the toy out of the container, and by the time he held it in his hand, Kane tossed him the lube too.

“You’re going to cuff me and put a…vibrator inside of me?”

“Unless you tell us no and then of course not. Peyton, this is about your pleasure as much as ours.”

“But I thought…”

Evan’s lips covered hers. “Honey, no one here told you to think about anything. We’re going to please you in every way you can imagine.”

“And no more games, Peyton. Not the kind of dark games you thought you wanted to play. For now, we just want to enjoy each other. Can you do that for us? Relax and enjoy?” Braden wasn’t entirely comfortable with the whole Dom-sub relationship.

Since Kane and Evan had more familiarity with kink and practice living within the lifestyle, Braden felt at a loss. He more or less laid down the law the night before. Peyton wasn’t going to become their sub.

She looked at Kane. “You’re the one who needs the domination and submission practices, aren’t you?”

“Peyton, I need you. I need what makes you happy. Right now, with everything you’ve been through, we think it’s a bad idea.”

“Spanking me is out of the question too then, huh?” Her mouth tilted in a smile, and just for the gesture, her hot little body did too.

Kane flipped her over and ran his hand down the crevice of her ass. “No, ma’am. Bad little girls always get their bottoms tanned.”

“Braden, you can do the honors,” he said as he made room for his brother to take a seat beside of him.

Right now, Kane had to get his own emotions bridled if they weren’t going to make her their submissive. If they were going to handle Peyton with care then he needed to regroup.

He wanted to smack her pretty little apple-shaped behind but if he couldn’t carry it a little further than a slap here or there, he needed to step aside. So he did.


****

Peyton remained perfectly still as Evan bound her to the bed with the handcuffs. Her legs quivered on the inside but she didn’t think they shook where anyone saw them.

She watched him as he moved over her, his cock hung right at her mouth as he placed one wrist into the red ring and then another. Instinctively, she opened her mouth when she saw the precum slip from the slit of his dick.

“Ah now, Peyton, you can’t cheat,” he said. He started to pull away but she gave him a deliberate pout.

He grabbed the back of the headboard and slid in between her lips. “Good girl. Just take a few sips at a time.”

Sips, hell. She wanted the whole burrito. She wanted it messy and thick with a lot of meat filling the back of her throat. She sucked hard and deep, realizing right away that he planned to leave her.

Braden held her ankles, and Kane told Evan to move. “Ah, I’m getting mine first,” he said as his thrusts became uneven, and Peyton winked as she added more tongue to the oral fest.

“Move, Evan. This is about Peyton this morning.”

The first couple of beads drifted down Evan’s brow. “Damn it!” He slid out without filling her throat but she didn’t worry about it. They were all going to find their pleasure today, and no one was going to be left out.

“Guys, I really have to go to school this-”

She heard the silent hum before the vibrator impaled her pussy. Braden massaged her thighs as Kane played with the end of the toy in her vagina. She arched her back and whined as the vibrator suited its purpose.

“Stay still, doll,” Braden told her as he hovered over her pussy. His hot breath lingered over her clit and he lowered his head, his lips claimed her clit as the toy served its intended purpose.

“Let him lick you, Peyton,” Evan told her before his mouth covered hers in a soul stripping kiss.

Kane stood back and watched in awe. He didn’t say anything. He looked on as one brother tasted her sweetness and the other kissed it out of her.

“That’s it Peyton, let the dildo have a little fun too.” Evan smiled as he looked into her eyes.

“I’m going to come!” she cried.

“But of course you are,” Evan reassured her as he licked at her bottom lip.

She turned her head away from him. God help her. She didn’t want to kiss anyone right now. Kane smirked, proud of the way she reacted no doubt, and he fisted his cock as she struggled to find relief.

“Don’t stop, Braden. Good grief! This is so…so good.” She bit down on her knuckles to keep from screaming too loud.

As her orgasm left her, Braden rose over her and tapped the end of her toy. Evan kissed her again as his hand covered her breast and kneaded her nipple. He bit at her mouth and swiped away the moisture covering them. “Good, huh?”

“You have to move it now, one of you move it.” Breathless, she tried to convince one of the brothers to take the dildo and runaway with it. At first it was her friend, now as Braden pushed it deeper, her walls convulsed again. “I’m going to come again, take it out!” It might become her new best friend.

Kane dropped to her side and pressed his lips to her breast. He lavished her nipple with his tongue while Evan tried to fight her for another deeper kiss. She moaned behind his lips. Her hips jerked forward. Braden stood over her, watching and waiting. Moving the dildo in and out, he helped it slide to the right places at the most delicious moments.

She closed her eyes and tried to disappear into the moment. This kind of wicked pleasure would become the latest trend with women if she later told others about it. Good heavens, every woman deserved to have at least one experience like this.

After her second orgasm took her, Kane reached down between her legs and swirled around her swollen clit. He kissed her belly and hovered over her mound while he removed the toy. Once he took it out, he threw it onto a hand towel and told Braden to grab the butt plug.

“No, Kane. I can’t take it, please.”

“Shh…” Evan kissed her with butterfly kisses. “What if one of us fucks you while the plug is in place?”

“No, I can’t. Why do you want to-”

“Peyton.” Kane’s raspy voice stilled her whining. “Do you want us to put it in or don’t you? This isn’t about what we want but let me tell you why it’s necessary.”

“Necessary? Are you kidding me! I’ve survived two orgasms while you sit over there and play with yourself. I’m dying here. One of you please undo these cuffs and let me touch you.”

“You’re going to touch us,” Evan said as Braden squirted the end of the plug and made a big show about covering it with a lot of lubricant.

“We’re preparing you, Peyton.”

“For what? Death by Pleasure?”

Growls, moans, chuckles, and her own giggles filled the room. Evan kissed her forehead. “No darlin’, we hope to keep you alive here because we all want inside of you at the same time.”

“Then…I…I…”

Braden pushed her knees up and for a second, only about three or four, she realized he saw pretty much everything. He ran the plug over her back hole and bit down on his lip waiting for her consent. The whole time, it lingered at her entrance.

“I want you all inside of me,” she managed finally.

“Then trust Braden, Peyton.” Kane’s eyes flickered with certainty. “This is what we want you to do, okay?”

She nodded. Kane kissed her this time with one of those Kane kind-of-kisses. Familiarity with his mouth provided its own level of comfort as he took her mouth and melded hers with his.

“Don’t tense your bottom, Peyton,” Braden told her as he slid the plug in place. Once the sculpted head broke past the opening, the gentle buzz made her tingle all over.

“Don’t come yet, Peyton. Seriously, look at me,” Kane said. “We have a surprise for you.”

His kiss turned naughty as she tried to raise her head off of the pillow. She grabbed the pulleys on the restraints and tried to raise up and look down.

“Not yet.” He framed her face and kissed her nose. “Just wait.”

Evan stretched her opening with two fingers. The men knelt side by side and studied her pussy like they were checking out a fine piece of artwork.

Evan tossed something on the bed and once she broke the kiss with Kane, she saw it was Kane’s metal box. He pulled out a small mouth shaped toy. He rubbed it against her leg.

“Peyton, what does this feel like?”

She closed her eyes and tried to concentrate on the sensation. “Hmmm… I don’t know but…the thing in my ass is making me…very, very wet.”

“Wait!” Braden’s request stopped her from taking the pending orgasm. She tightened her bottom around the toy and stared at him. “Quit fucking around, Evan. Give her the clit sucker.”

“The what?” She tried to rubberneck enough to see what they were doing to her body. Specifically, her pussy.

Evan attached the toy to his finger and waggled the bright pink lips toward her. “It’s going to kiss your clit, babydoll.”

“I want you to kiss my clit, Evan.”

“Soon,” he promised.

He placed the toy over her labia and the inner works of the jelly mouth began vibrating violently with its pre-determined speed. The plug in her bottom caressed her, and the men watched with smiles on their faces.

“Kane, come here and watch this.”

“No! Don’t leave me. I feel like I’m on display.” She reached for him with puckered lips and shook her arms trying to free her wrists once again. “Please Kane, get these off. Stay with me. I can’t take it. I’m going to come again and I…”

Kane kissed her cheek. “Come for us. Let me watch you come for us.” He pushed away from her and knelt beside the bed. They watched as her body enveloped the butt plug and Kane tapped on the end while Evan clamped the clit kissing device over her clit.

An alarming but most incredible sensation zipped through her ass and pussy. Her hips jerked off the bed, and her pussy heated from the intimate fire of an orgasm running over faster than a volcano erupts. “Damn it… Somebody please kiss my nipples.

They couldn’t move fast enough for her or slower than a turtle’s pace to meet her request. All three of them stared at her bottom and her vagina like they were mesmerized by what they saw.

She clung to the furry covering as she yanked her body upward fighting the restraints. She cried out as her orgasm shook her and beads, maybe even marbles, of sweat poured off of her body.

“Help me, Kane, please…please.”

“Take it, sugar. Take this pleasure one more time.” He gripped the base of his cock, and her mouth watered as much as her pussy. He wanted to come so bad right now. She’d watched him closely the few times they were together, and Kane was a very controlled lover who only came when he decided he wanted to come. He might lose it today. His self-control was shot to hell in her bed.


Chapter 25

<p>Chapter 25</p>

Her pussy flowed with the sweetest cream, and his lips smacked to taste it. Braden pulled the plug from her ass and winced when he saw her flinch. He tossed it in the plastic container Kane placed on the towel and took the jelly-like clit toy away from Evan. He tossed it as well. Kane cleaned her front to back, careful to cover her entire pussy with a sweeping, erotic cleansing. He tossed the cloth to the side and moved.

Braden’s mouth then covered her pussy, and he lapped at her juices as he tried to restrain himself. Holding back right now was hell when all he wanted to do was come.

“Oh, Braden, thank you.” Her thighs squeezed his head, and she quit trembling from the last orgasm but her pussy wept from the remains of pleasure and the start of true ecstasy.

“Tastes like candy, huh, Braden?” Kane slapped his brother’s bare back as he dipped into his little box of treasures.

Evan eased over her body and grabbed the cuff keys. This time, he let her have his cock while he worked to free her hands, and Kane chose some body flavorings.

Peyton sucked Evan’s cock as her hips jerked toward Braden’s mouth. She gripped Evan’s dick by sucking harder and harder. He heard her lapping and sucking him. She needed his cum in her mouth. One shot and she’d come with Braden’s lips covering her folds, and he wanted her sweetness oozing into his mouth.

Damn his brother for having everything a toy store ever sold. Kane covered Peyton’s breasts with nipple snacks. A hint of strawberry cream blended with the arousing smell of sex as Braden licked her pussy, and reveled in it.

Once Peyton’s arms were free. She gripped Evan’s cock and gave him a hard blowjob. Forcing him to let her have all of him, she grabbed his hips and used his body for leverage.

“Damn, Peyton,” Kane observed with a hint of envy in his eyes. “You’re going to eat him alive.”

Braden lapped at her pussy. No, if anyone was indulging in a full course meal, Braden had the best of it. His erection reminded him second by second, he didn’t want her to come again without knowing what it felt like to come with him. He had to get inside of her and if they all had the same goals, then they needed to make those known. Right now.

Moving his mouth into her once more, Braden sucked her pussy lips and then withdrew his tongue from her tight compartment. He fingered her as he locked eyes with Kane.

Kane punched Evan in the shoulder and with a grunt he asked. “It’s time to make her ours?”

“For the record, she’s already ours, aren’t you, Peyton?” Kane sounded more hopeful than positive.

She smiled shyly and looked at Braden for the added assurance, no doubt.

He gave it to her. First with manual certainty by adding a few more fingers to help her moan out an answer and then with his verbal agreement, “As far as I can tell, she’s been a Cartwell since she moved in here.”

With tears in her eyes she smiled at all of them and then she whined as she moved the mood from serious to sexual all over again. “I want somebody’s cum in my throat before I die here from sexual malnourishment.”

Evan rolled over her body and kissed her strawberry nipples. “Sounds real good to me, sweetheart.”

“Darlin’, you’re going to have it in more places than you can imagine by the time we get through with you,” Kane said.

“Count on it. I’m getting this first, though.” Braden slapped her pussy with a love pat, and the reaction he received startled him.

“Do that again!” Her mouth dropped open, and her legs trembled next to him.

“Peyton, I…”

“Slap her pussy a little, Braden. For crying out loud, she liked it.” Kane studied her face as Braden tapped it again with a couple of open-palm love pats.

“Somebody has to fuck me now. Fuck me crazy. I mean it. Do me and do me hard. Right now.”

Braden yanked her from the bed. Kane rolled over on his side. Braden turned Peyton and pushed her back on the bed while Evan knelt at the headboard. They wanted to sandwich her body between two of them but leave her enough room to capture Evan’s cock in between her lips.

Evan, who was more familiar with threesomes than foursomes suddenly looked flushed from the excitement. Braden smirked at his kid brother. “What’s wrong, Evan?”

“Damn you both, just hurry. I need to lose some weight here.” Peyton popped her lips and teased him. By the time she looked back at Braden, his cock waited for her acceptance.

“Move your hips forward and let Braden penetrate you, Peyton. Then move back and let me. Slowly, we’re going to work into you and then you’ll let Evan fuck those pretty lips.”

“Kane, I can’t hold you both. You’re both too big.”

“Yeah, baby, we are. That’s why we’re going to do this slowly. The plug and vibrator were nothing more than preparation, remember? You’re wet and ready.”

“And stretched,” Evan reminded her.

Braden sank into her folds and growled as he held himself at bay, stopping the full penetration as Kane cupped her ass and used his thumbs to part her cheeks.

“Good girl. Oh this is so sweet, Peyton. That’s it. Milk this cock, baby.” Braden pushed all the way in and then mashed gently on her belly.

“Braden, do that again,” she said and as he did, he felt a wave of heat surround his cock. He didn’t think he could hold back now. He growled as he closed his eyes, and he dropped his mouth to her chest suckling her sweet nipples as the taste of strawberries enticed his tongue.

Kane rocked with them, and Evan dropped his cock between her swollen lips.

“That’s it, Peyton. Take it, sweetie. Suck me tight and deep.”

She grabbed Evan’s leg and buried her face in him.

Braden hollered out loud as his cock swelled into her walls and stopped against the thin barrier. “I’m coming, Peyton. Come with me baby, come… fucking hell! Tight. Hold tight to my cock.” Braden pumped into her vagina as Kane gripped her hips and screwed her little ass deep and wide. He pumped into her from side to side and twisted his body with the way she moved.

Evan held her head and used Kane’s shoulder to balance. “Here it is, baby. That’s it. Take it deep now. Here I come. Ah yeah, swallow me, Peyton.”


****

Evan’s hot spill filled her mouth as Braden’s cum shot fire through her pussy. He filled her cave with a flooded release and soon the remains of his pleasure dripped from her opening.

“That’s it, Peyton. Come to us.” Kane shot a burst of cum into her ass, and he pulled her away from his brothers after they collapsed. He grabbed her breasts as he held her back to his chest, and Braden quickly reached for another clit toy. Holding the jelly lips to her pussy lips, Kane fucked her ass until she screamed. Braden’s fingers were covered in her pleasure as Kane collapsed onto her back. Braden’s fingers fucked her pussy until her walls stopped convulsing around them.

Limbs crossed body parts and breathing from four sated adults filled the room. Peyton felt like she’d ran a marathon with the world’s greatest athletes pushing her to the finish line. Now, she’d crossed over it as the determined winner but what did all of this mean?

Glancing at the clock, she realized she’d miss her morning classes but since she had a test that afternoon, she decided to make her way to the shower. “I hate to bust up a party but I guess I need to go to school.”

Braden kissed her cheek and caressed her side with his fingertips. “You’re beautiful,” he told her.

“And perfect,” Kane said.

“And sexy,” Evan added.

“Wow, a girl could get used to this.” She popped a kiss on all of their foreheads and rolled out of bed. “On second thought…” She sat down immediately.

Evan, the experienced threesome-attendee, acknowledged the pain. “Take a bath, not a shower, and soak before you go to school.”

“Tell you what, grab your clothes and use my bathroom. The jets will work out the tension in your muscles. I might even bathe you if you’re good.”

“Braden, if you’ll bathe me, I promise to be really good.”


Chapter 26

<p>Chapter 26</p>

Peyton barely made it through the day. Vicky met her after class. She must have camped out at her locker because Peyton took her time going there. She’d stopped by the gym to return some game tapes and took one step at a time as she daydreamed about her future.

She’d only glanced through the envelopes from the various admissions offices before she’d left for school. She’d had offers from around the country.

Her volleyball coach once told her she’d never have to worry about scholarship offers and sure as the world, she was right. Peyton’s heart felt heavy as she thought about the day her coach lost her life. She’d jumped in front of bullets to save her rising stars, and she had many on her court. She was that kind of coach. She made winners out of players and stars out of winners.

Peyton passed by a few boys who made a lame attempt to flirt. Some of them called her Miss Cartwell now with pure lust in their voices. It only took one day for a few of them to get wind of her open sex act at Cling. She didn’t care. Let them look, make a few remarks and only wish they knew what really went on behind the Cartwell gates.

“There you are!” Vicky interrupted her jumbled thoughts.

“Hey, Vicky.”

“Peyton, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about the Evan-thing.”

“Forget it. I understand. Believe me.”

“No, I’m serious, I can’t lose you as a friend.”

Peyton hugged her tightly. “You’d never lose me, Vicky. But once you know the truth behind me and the guys, you may not like me very much.”

“Like you? I love you! You’re like my sister, Peyton. Why would you say something so ridiculous?”

Peyton grabbed her quickly and mumbled into her hair. “I slept with all of them.”

Vicky’s body felt like a limp dishrag all at one time. Peyton released the hold she had around her shoulders and stood back away from her. “I mean…you know, uh…”

“Peyton, please tell me you did not do what I think you did.”

“Vicky, you said-”

Vicky’s face glowed with knowledge. “Shit! Peyton! I’m not judging you. Damn girl, you know me better than that. I’m just jealous!” She giggled. “I need details, you know.”

She slammed her books on the floor and sat down next to them. The janitor slowly walked by them pushing the large broom. He raised a brow at the girls but didn’t say hello.

“I heard about you and Evan, you know.” She crossed her ankles. “Heard he was all over you at Clink.”

“No, you didn’t. You heard what they heard.” She tilted her chin toward a bunch of jocks as they passed.

“Hey! Peyton! Wanna meet us in the field house?”

“Shut up!” Vicky tossed a pencil at the group and then turned her focus back to Peyton.

“Okay, so I heard he did you right there in the loft thing they have. So help me, I can’t picture you doing it in the club, but hey, if you like exhibitionism, you picked the right guy for a partner.”

“What else did you hear?”

Vicky stood up and excitedly grabbed her hands. “Okay, here’s what I heard. Somebody said you and Evan were going at it like donkeys. You know. Making a lot of noise and fucking like wild animals. Then, I heard you were kind of discreet about it. Took it up the ass against some kind of wall thing. Then I heard Kane and

Braden came in, and Kane dragged you out of there.”

“Heard it all like that, did ya?”

She nodded. “The ass thing I made up just because I wanted to see what you said.”

“Uh-huh.”

“So when you uh-did them all-what did you think?”

“Vicky, I can’t talk about it right here.”

“You’re in love.” She sounded surprised.

“Looks that way.”

“With all of them?” Further shock.

“I am.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yep.”

“Peyton, this isn’t good,” Vicky dropped her hands then and looked at the end of the hallway. She tilted her head sideways and stared at the double doors. “Who is that guy down there? I’ve seen him someplace before.”

Peyton only glanced at him. “I don’t know. He kind of looks familiar but I don’t know him.”

“Doesn’t matter,” Vicky chirped. “Anyway, honey you have to think about college here. You’ve worked pretty hard to let your dreams wait you know.”

“Vicky, just because I love them doesn’t mean I have to put college on hold.”

“So they want you to go away to school?”

“Braden’s always wanted me to go to college. Evan and Kane too. Just because I’m in love with them doesn’t mean…, Who is that guy?” Peyton turned her attention back to the tall fellow at the end of the hall now and slammed her locker shut. He stood there out in the open rubbing his hand over the front of his jeans.

“I don’t know, but he’s creepy. I’m ready to get out of here.”

“Yeah me too. Watch him. He’s playing with himself down there,” Peyton said.

“Peyton, I hate to tell you this but after the rumors flying around the school today, every guy in this place walked around with a stiff one. It’s true…every last one of them.” She giggled as she locked arms with Peyton, and they walked passed the strange fellow without a second glance.

Once outside, Freda screamed her bloody head off. “Hey Vicky! You promised to help me with Algebra. Where have you been?”

“Great, I forgot. I wanted more details, and I’m stuck with Miss Studious instead.”

“I’ll fill you in later,” Peyton shrugged. “Besides, there’s a lot to tell.”

Freda stopped behind Peyton’s car and waved before she slowly pulled to the curb. Peyton tossed her books on top of the car and that’s when she felt the numbing heart-stopping object in her side.

“Miss Storm.” The hot breath against her ear was dangerous with desire and anger. “I have a gun in your side. Nine millimeter. I’ll drop you where you stand and call it a day if you don’t do what I say. Do you understand?”

Peyton nodded.

He pressed it harder against her ribs. “From what I understand, you know all about playing the part of perfect little submissive. I want you to say yes or no when I address you. Do you understand?”

Without thinking, she nodded again, and the gun clicked. “What did I tell you? I said answer with a yes or a no. Would you like for me to pull the trigger?”

“No! No! I’m sorry. I’ll do what you say.” Peyton scanned the near vacant parking lot. She saw Freda’s car creeping to a halt at the stop sign. She closed her eyes and prayed. Please! Please! See me! See me! Go get help! Her worse fear realized, Peyton saw the brake lights. Vicky must’ve noticed Peyton still standing there in the parking lot and asked Freda to go back. Oh God, don’t let him shoot them. Don’t let him shoot them.

“Okay, now, I’m going to take you to the other side and put you in the car. When your friends come back-I’m assuming that’s them approaching us now-you’ll react in a way that doesn’t set off any alarms or all of you die here today. Do you understand?”

Peyton nodded and said yes at the same time.

“Good. Very good, kitten. Now, get your books from the top of the car and move to the other side. Give me your keys.” Fear stilled her movements, and the tears she wanted to cry were locked inside her lids.

“Hey, Peyton. Everything all right, here?” Vicky’s expression held knowledge. She quickly scanned Peyton’s face before she focused on the large man next to her.

“Everything’s fine. I thought you two were going to go study.”

Freda gritted her teeth and shrugged. “She said you might have locked yourself out of the car.”

Peyton never locked herself out.

“Actually, I thought you lost your keys again. I thought we’d give you a ride home if you needed one. I know Evan hates to come all the way out here when you lose them.”

Peyton never lost her keys. “Yeah, well, not today. I didn’t lose them today. You’re exactly right. Evan hates it when…” The man at her side narrowed his eyes and held the gun into her lower back. His jacket concealed it. “Anyway, thanks for checking Vicky. I don’t know what I’d do without you.” Her eyes watered then, and she stepped inside the car.

Oh God! Oh God! Don’t let him shoot them. Leave, Vicky! Please leave! She turned to look at her friend and quickly pursed her lips and closed her eyes tightly before she turned back to look at her abductor. He walked slowly in front of the car, and the way he moved reminded her of someone, of something. He stopped before he got in the car and Peyton assumed he was watching as Freda and Vicky left the parking lot.

Peyton reached in her purse and hit one for home. “Oh God, someone please answer. Someone please be there.” She didn’t put the phone to her ear. She just rambled. “If anyone can hear me. If anyone can hear me, don’t say anything. Just listen. Just listen because today I’m going to die if you don’t.”


****

Evan got the call. He almost didn’t hear the phone ring and typically wouldn’t have gone back inside to get it. Since the other two were in the barn, he thought it might be someone coming out to the ranch to look at Braden’s horse.

Braden had advertised the damn thing on the internet and everyone interested somehow had trouble with the directions. He didn’t mind taking the place of a computerized map if it meant that damn horse would soon disappear.

He answered the phone right as Braden and Kane rushed in. “Vicky called and-”

Evan put his fingers to his lips, replaced the receiver on the cradle and hit the speaker option. They glared at it as their nightmare unfolded.

“If anyone can hear me. If anyone can hear me, don’t say anything. Just listen. Just listen because today, I’m going to die if you don’t. I’m at the school. Someone has me, and he’s got the keys and he’s going to kill me. Call Vicky. Call Vicky if you hear me. He’s going to get in the car and drive us somewhere. Right now he’s pacing from one side of the car to the next and-”

The car door slammed and the engine revved. “Peyton Storm…”

“You know me?”

The Cartwells exchanged wary glances. Evan tried to think. The voice sounded somewhat familiar, faintly recognizable with a distinct accent he’d heard somewhere before.

“I know enough about you to recognize a bought whore when I see one.”

Evan clenched his fist and Braden flinched. Kane quietly stood at the window clutching the phone Vicky must’ve called earlier. He quickly keyed in a message and sent a text to someone, maybe Vicky.

“Keep him talking, Peyton. Keep him talking.” Evan stared at the only link they had to her now.

“I’m not a whore,” she told him.

A grotesque chuckle filled the phone. “You’re not? I think the whole town around here might disagree.”

Nothing came through the phone for the next several minutes but Evan realized they still had a connection. The hum of Peyton’s car was hard to deny. Evan found the mute button on the phone and hit it.

“What the fuck is going on?” He glared at his brothers.

“Vicky said she was with Peyton earlier when they spotted this creep in the school. She’s with Freda, and they’re on their way out here.”

“I sent Vicky a text. Freda’s dropping her off here,” Kane said.

Evan leaned on the kitchen counter and stared at the speaker. He traced it with his fingertips. “Come on, baby. Get him talking. Tell us what you see. Anything, Peyton. Get him talking.”

Braden clutched his keys. “As soon as we know where they’re headed, I’m out of here. I’ve got the farm phone and mine.”

“We need to notify the cops, Braden.” Evan said.

“We’re not involving the cops,” Kane advised. “If we can’t get her back on our own, then we’ll involve them, but Vicky said it’s just one guy. She’s trying to remember what she can and should get here soon. She said he’s tall, kind of a big guy. And she, uh, said…”

“Tell you what, whore,” the man who had Peyton decided to speak again-he was also going to die for talking to her like trash but he didn’t know he had death’s mark yet-“I haven’t had a good hand job in a while. Get over here and give me one.”

“You might wreck if you get too excited and ow! Please! Don’t! No! Let me go! Okay! Okay! I’ll do it. Please put the gun down. I’ll…Oh my God. I know who you are.”

“I guess it takes a girl like you a long time to notice a guy like me.”

“Who is he, damn it!” Kane screamed at the phone.

“I…I don’t notice boys my own age. That’s all. It’s nothing personal. It’s just that I don’t have time to date, and Coach Pratchert always wanted my undivided attention to go to volleyball.”

“And after the bitch died, you ended up and found a little southern comfort in those men friends of yours.”

“Your stepmom died because your father killed her and-”

An undeniable slap rang across the room. She screamed as he slapped her. And the bastard must’ve smacked her four times.

“It’s Coach Pratchert’s step-son,” Braden said with a tight upper lip. “Vicky just pulled in. I’m going to talk to her a second and get her to tell me what she can remember. Then I’m going to get on the interstate. I’ll wait for your call.”

“Braden, Peyton’s car is hard to miss. We can get some help from the law enforcement and-”

“And what then, Evan? They spot her car and initiate a high-speed chase? Hell no! She’ll only make this out alive if we get her out of it. No cops.” Kane gripped the kitchen sink as he looked down at the floor. “Nobody has her best interest at heart like we do.”

The stereo started to play through the phone. He didn’t turn it up very loud but the music lingered in the background. “I think I asked you for a hand job.”

“No, you told me you wanted one.”

“Shit! She’s going to put up a fight and if she does…”

“If she does, he’ll kill her.” Vicky walked through the door Braden held open for her. She glanced from one brother to the other.

“We saw him staring at us at school. We walked right by him, and I saw the way he looked at her. He’s going to do things to her, all sorts of things.” Vicky slumped down in a nearby chair. Her face was pale, and her hands trembled.

“Vicky, I need you to think. Are you sure the guy was alone?” Braden asked.

As if a sudden thought hit her, she jumped up from the table. “Braden, Peyton said you had most of the school shooting on tape. If you do, you’ll see him. He was the second shooter!”

“You’re sure?”

“I’m positive. You have to call the police station. You’re going to have to-”

“Suck me or give me your hand,” the guy said again.

“Coach Pratchert loved you like a son.” Peyton ignored his request apparently. “And you and your dad took her away from a lot of people who adored her.”

“Oh yeah? Well, thanks to your Cartwell friends, my dad is in jail. Going to prison for life.”

“On an insanity plea because the bastard couldn’t own up to what he did.”

The tires squealed then, and Peyton screamed. “What are you doing?”

“I’m going to fuck some humility right into your arrogant ass!”

Kane punched the cabinet so hard it dented the wood. Braden’s face drew up with the slicing pain of hearing a man threaten who they all loved most in the world, the one light they found at the end of far too many dark days.

Evan sat down on the floor with his head in between his hands.

“I can’t stand here and do nothing,” Vicky said. “I’m calling the police.”

A struggle unfolded on the phone. A few grunts, screams and moans.

“Wait! Please wait! Think about this! Do you want your father back? Is that what this is all about? I can help you.”

Vicky held the phone out and started to dial. Kane snatched it from her hand and tossed it on the table.

“Come on, Peyton. Buy us some time, baby. Come on, use that pretty little head of yours.”

“Your name is Stephen, right?” she asked him.

“Oh so you know my name?” It sounded like his breathing wasn’t near as ragged as Peyton’s which Evan translated as a good thing.

“I know your name because Coach Pratchert always talked about you.”

“Shut up about that bitch and tell me why you think you can help me.”

“I know what this is about…” Peyton let her voice trail off or maybe they missed a few words or something. Did they hit a dead spot somewhere? Oh hell, what if they lost signal and lost her?

Kane hit the cabinet again. Vicky flinched.

“She’s buying time,” Evan said. “She doesn’t have any idea why he has her.”

“Who cares so long as it works,” Braden said. “I just don’t understand why she hasn’t said where they are. She must’ve known she dialed us. Why the hell won’t she say where they are?”

“Maybe she doesn’t know,” Vicky said.

“I’m waiting for you to tell me what this is about, Miss Storm. Or should I go ahead and call you Mrs. Cartwell. From what I saw of you and the younger one at Clink, it looks like a wedding has already taken place. Are you still going by Storm or Cartwell?”

“I’m not a Cartwell,” she said. “But I’d be as proud as ever to tell you if I was.”

“We’ll see about that!” He screamed at her like it infuriated him to realize she didn’t deny the Cartwell name. “Just because they saved you that day at the gym, don’t expect them to save you now.”

It sounded like the car was moving again. Evan took a deep breath. As long as he kept the car on the road, he wasn’t abusing her. Evan didn’t think he could take it if he laid a hand on Peyton. He’d heard the fear in her voice, and his heart was breaking. He’d never felt so helpless in his whole life.

“Why are we headed this way?” she asked.

Kane stumbled backwards and hovered over the box. Braden moved for the door, and Evan climbed on the cabinets. Over the kitchen sink, he retrieved a pistol. He loaded it and handed it to Braden. Immediately, Braden checked the safety and shoved it in his belt.

He had his hand on the doorknob ready to move.

“We’re going to spend the night in Fletcher.”

“Fletcher?” Evan mouthed the words to Kane. The Cartwell ranch was in Arden, only minutes from Fletcher.

“Oh,” she said. “Why Fletcher? Why do you want to stay so close to where I’m living?”

“For several reasons. First, I need to make sure I’m close to the interstate, and second, I want to leave you somewhere close to the Cartwell ranch. After I have my way with you, I’m going to kill you.”

“Why?” she screeched.

“Because whores like you die. It’s why my step-mommy died.”

“You’re sick.”

A slap and then what sounded like a harder punch came blaring through the phone.

“They’ll kill you!” she screamed.

“No, Peyton, I’ll make him pray for death,” Kane said. “Braden, get to Fletcher. He might check in at the Holiday Inn there at the interstate. There’s a little mom and pop type hotel there behind it too and another few right there at the same exit. I can’t imagine that he’d risk staying at the Hampton. It’s not easy to get in and out of there.”

After a few minutes of silence, Peyton’s sniffles subsided. “I’ll do anything you ask me to do but I’m young…please let me live.”

“She’s begging him. Damn it to hell, she’s begging for her life!”

“I tell you what. How much do you think the Cartwells would pay me to let you live?”

“They don’t… they won’t…they…I don’t know.”

“Would they pay a million?”

In a heartbeat, Evan thought.

“How about two?”

“Without a thought,” Evan said it this time.

“I’m going to see if they’ll pay five. Give me your number, Miss Storm, and if they answer the phone, you might live until tomorrow.”


Chapter 27

<p>Chapter 27</p>

“She must know we’re listening. She gave Kane’s number,” Evan said as soon as the phone lit up in Kane’s hand.

“Step outside so they don’t hear their own echo from this phone,” Braden told him.

Kane walked outside and tried to remain calm. He needed to play it off like he didn’t know she was missing and without sounding like a man ready to murder the first caller, the twisted individual who had his woman.

Stephen picked the wrong damn girl-a Cartwell through and through.

“Kane Cartwell,” he said.

“Mr. Cartwell, you don’t know me but…”

“Then why the hell are you calling me?”

Silence. Damn. He fucked up.

“I have your girl. If not yours, then one of your brothers.”

“Peyton?”

“Pretty little blond hair, blue-eyed girl. Tight ass, big tits? She belong to you?”

“Who is this?”

“I said…” He did something to Peyton and she screamed. “Does she belong to you?”

Kane’s fury raged on. “You’re damn straight she does.”

“Wanna buy her back?”

“Listen, you son-of-a-bitch, you lay one hand on her and you’ll suffer the consequences. If you think that son-of-a-bitch who slaughtered all those people over at Mountain High School led people to a cruel and violent death, let me explain something to you. I have no conscience when it comes to Peyton.”

“No conscience? None?”

“None.”

“Good, then we have one thing in common.”

“What’s your price?” Kane bit out. “Name it. Name your terms. I’ll meet them.”

“Five million.”

“Done.”

“Get the money. I’ll call back in two hours.”

Kane cringed. In two hours, Peyton could be dead or worse, wishing for it. “I’ve got the money.”

“On hand?”

“In hand. I’m walking toward my truck. Where do I meet you?”

“Keep five million on hand and happen to have it on you?”

“Call it your lucky day. I have a cashier’s check in my brief case. I can make a stop at the bank before four o’clock closing and meet you afterwards.”

“You don’t mess around, Mr. Cartwell.”

“I will hand it to you with no questions asked but we have to have an understanding.”

“What’s that?”

“I hand it to you and you hand me Peyton. If I see one scratch on her, one tear, I leave.”

“Leave her with me?”

“You got it.”

“Now why would you pay someone five million dollars for a woman but refuse to follow through if she had a few scratches or tears?”

“I know what I’m looking for. If she’s hurt or you’ve had a piece of her, just keep right on going. I’ll hunt you down and gut you. Then, I’ll leave pieces of you all over the country. If you’ve got family, I’ll send them your head. Understand?”

Evan opened the door and shook his head in disgust. Braden barreled out of the house and grabbed the phone from Kane.

“Sir! Sir! This here is Braden Cartwell. My brother lacks communication skills. Let me just offer to pay you the five million dollars, and we’ll call it a day. How does that sound?”

“Sounds like Peyton has a little too much fun with you boys, if you want to know the truth. See, I saw her with the younger one at Clink. Now, your brother Kane tells me she is his woman but from the sounds of it, you’re kind of sweet on her too.”

“We’re her guardians.”

“Guardians, huh?”

“Yes. Now tell us your terms.”


****

Peyton knew the Cartwells had the money to pay the ransom. She cringed once she realized who Stephen wanted to deliver it. Kane wouldn’t hand it over without a fight.

“Why did you want Kane to bring the money?” she asked.

“I have my reasons,” he said.

“You’re going to kill him,” she said.

“I am indeed,” he said. “He’s the reason my father never made it out of that gym and because of him, we didn’t finish what we started. Kane Cartwell had to play the hero role and now we’re going to test him. Let’s see if he can be your hero now.”

She focused on the present. “What would you consider a fair trade for his life?”

“Yours.”

“Then you can have it.” She answered too quickly.

“How will this work then? I can’t get the money if I don’t hand you over to them.”

“I’ll help you if you let them live,” she said. She already realized her initial call was successful. She heard Kane’s roaring anger coming through the phone when Stephen called him. If anyone understood Kane and his moods, she did. She knew what made him tick, and he was on a timer when Stephen called him. It was why she chose his number to dial instead of Evan or Braden’s phone.

She didn’t want to bend down over her purse to check but if her battery life still existed, then they were still following her every move. The only chance any of them had now was if she thought ahead, planned ahead and said things to help their situation, give them an advantage.

“I need to go to the bathroom.”

“Pee your pants.”

“You want to smell pee in the car?” she asked.

“I don’t care. I’m not stopping.”

“How far are we from the hotel?”

“Fifteen minutes max.”

“Kane stays at the Hampton all the time. Evan at the Holiday Inn. Braden won’t let them bring their women home with me in the house. They know everyone at both hotels.”

He sneered as he ran his hand up her inner thigh. She flinched. “Is that right?”

“Uh-huh.”

“You’re willing to do anything you can to help me when that Cartwell’s neck is on the line, huh?”

“Yes,” she said.

“Even die for him?”

“We’ve established I’ll die for him, and you’ve stated you want me to. So what else do you want me to say?”

“Will you fuck me in front of him to save him?”

She closed her eyes and nodded.

“I told you back at the school. When I speak to you, then you answer. Yes or no. It’s not complicated.” His hand squeezed her knee.

“Yes, I’ll fuck you in front of him.”

“Perfect. Then I know where we’re headed.” He tossed his phone in her lap. “Hit redial and tell lover boy to meet us at the overlook five miles down the road from Picturesque Inn.”

She closed her eyes tightly and did what he told her to do.


****

Braden was on his way to the bank. Evan stayed home with Vicky, waiting and listening. Kane took the farm phone and kept Evan on the line. He knew she was calling before it rang.

“Peyton?” He wanted her to know he expected to hear her on the other end of the phone.

“Kane. He wants me to tell you to meet him at the overlook five miles down the road from the Picturesque Inn. He says he’ll call you with further instructions or meet you there in one hour.”

“Baby, I’ll be there. Peyton?”

“I love you, Kane.”

The line went dead. He didn’t get to tell her he loved her enough to die for her He didn’t get to tell her he’d die before he’d let anything happen to her.

He tossed the phone on the seat beside him and gunned it. He flew past a cop running radar and never even saw him there. “Damn! Damn! Damn!” He held the other phone to his ear and told Evan. “I’ve got company.”

“Pull over and tell him what’s going on but warn we have to play things our way. Who is it?”

“Dunno. It looks like it might be that guy you went to school with.”

“Pete?”

“Yeah, him.”

Kane pulled over and sure enough, Pete got out of the car.

“Kane, where the hell are you going like a bat out of hell?”

“Pete, we got some trouble. Here’s Evan. He’s gonna explain things to you.”

Pete took Kane’s phone and began shaking his head. “I know Evan but we can handle this. You have to understand, every cop in the county is looking for him. What him and his daddy did to all those people and the volleyball coach. Yeah. I understand. I just can’t let him handle it on his own. Yeah, well, this is a matter for the police. I know. I-”

Kane didn’t even have to ask. Evan was paying him hush money. By the expression on Pete’s face, a lot of it. He’d guess Pete just became a millionaire or close to it.

“Five hundred thousand is plenty enough. More than generous.”

Close to it worked for him.

Pete handed him the phone back. “I’m riding over with you. Give me one second.” Pete went back to his vehicle, grabbed a few things, including his gun and jumped in Kane’s truck.

“What do you know?” He pulled back on the road and hit the speaker function so Pete stayed abreast of what they had so far.

Evan filled them in again. “As soon as the call disconnected, Peyton took a slap for telling you she loved you. Then he told her they were going to the Picturesque Inn. Vicky used to work there. She says there are fifty rooms, all of them offer an adjoining room feature. They usually have about a fifty percent occupancy rate which means for what Stephen has in mind, we need luck on our side to get in the room next to theirs.”

Pete started dialing. “I happen to know the gals up there. I can get us what we need.”

“Leave Vicky there. Tell her to lock the doors. Get up here now, Evan.”

“Kane, listen. He’s going to leave the windows open and fuck her while you watch.”

“You mean rape her?”

“Yeah. He’s going to call you and tell you to meet them there instead of the overlook. He plans to have her tied to the bed by the time you get there. He’s going to ask you to leave the money in her car, and he’s still sketchy on the rest. This could go bad. Real bad.”

“Not if we’re in the room next to him,” Pete said.

“Did you hear that?” Kane asked.

“Yeah. It doesn’t matter. Kane… no mistakes.”

“Don’t worry little brother. Those picture windows allow for an incredible view but I won’t be on the outside looking in. I’ll promise you.”


****

Braden had the money, in case they needed it. They wouldn’t. The front desk called about the time Evan slipped into the room. Pete and Kane were armed and ready.

The girls at the desk managed to get housekeeping in the room they assigned just in time to unlock the door. If by chance Stephen noticed the lock wasn’t bolted, they had the master key to get in there. Either way, Stephen’s plans were now shot to hell.

They heard the door bang against the wall and realized right away, plans were going better than expected. The older hotel had thin walls, and every peep made in the rooms was shared between the two.

Kane realized it placed them at a disadvantage too and quickly put his cell on silent but he held it in his palm waiting for the call. Realizing the second the call was made, Peyton faced immediate danger.

“I don’t like this,” Evan said. “He may rape her before he makes the call. Sick bastard might-”

“Keep your ear to the wall,” Kane said. “She’s not going to get raped today.” Hell, she might later tonight. ‘Course Kane realized where she was concerned it would be the willing who raped the willing.

Kane heard them talking back and forth. “What are they saying?” “Peyton is provoking him,” Braden said. “What the fuck is she doing?” “I don’t know, but it’s not good,” Pete chimed in, and Evan gripped his gun tighter. Evan frowned. “If she doesn’t watch herself, the only cock we’re going to need to worry about is the one heard from a gun.”


Chapter 28

<p>Chapter 28</p>

“You push men for sport, huh?” Stephen stared at her.

“I don’t push anyone. I live my life and mind my own business. You might try it sometime. You know, breathe and let breathe. Something your daddy must’ve misunderstood.”

“You want to die today, don’t ‘cha?”

“Not particularly but I’d die before I’d watch you put a bullet in the man I love.” Peyton already realized somewhere along the way, Stephen’s plans were already blown to kingdom come.

She saw Braden’s truck when they pulled into the hotel. Kane’s had been abandoned a mile down the road. Evan pulled in right behind them and then drove right by them unnoticed.

“I’d actually like to help you, if you’d let me,” Peyton said with a soft voice.

“Then help by sucking my cock,” he said. “It’s the only thing a gal like you can do.”

“You probably can’t even get it hard,” she said as she looked at her fingernails. She didn’t know why but she had a sudden need to provoke him. She wanted to get this over with, and the sooner he dialed Kane’s number, the sooner she could start putting all of this behind her regardless of the outcome.

She glanced at the door to the adjoining room and noticed it was unlocked. In an instant, she realized the imminent end. Her captor didn’t know what kind of men he was messing with or what extremes they went to in order to keep her safe. With only one gun visible, the one he laid down on the bathroom vanity, Peyton saw her chance and took it.


****

Everything happened so fast once Peyton realized the adjoining room was unlocked. She saw it as her best opportunity to get Stephen pre-occupied enough for the Cartwells to come through the door and evade an exchange of gunfire.

“Help! Help!” She flung herself against the front hotel room door and took him by surprise. He quickly jumped up and pressed her against it before he struck her to the floor. Three men attacked him and wrestled him to the floor. Peyton cried out in agony as he grabbed her ankle still trying to hold onto her as Kane, Evan, and Braden held him down.

“You sorry son-of-a-bitch!” She heard Kane scream and several punches were thrown.

Evan’s buddy from high school rushed in with his gun drawn and held it on him. “Evan, damn it, cuff him for me. Get his hands behind his back. I’ve called for backup.” He tossed his cuffs to the floor as arms drew back and one hit after the other connected with the man.

No doubt, he caught the hell found behind an obsessive man’s uncontrollable anger. And he caught it from three separate cowboys.

“Kane! Braden! Stop this!” Peyton screamed fearing they’d beat him too death and then be charged with murder. She cried out in agony as she doubled over. Stephen had knocked the hell out of her, and every time she tried to move, she felt her breath catch in the center of her chest.

Evan and Braden brought Stephen to his feet and held him. Kane’s upper lip curled in defining rage, the kind of fury even a stupid man would see headed his way.

“Peyton, look away!” Evan screamed.

“No! I will not! Kane! Stop!”

Kane threw one punch to Stephen’s lower jaw and then another and then one more for good measure.

Stephen’s head rolled from side to side and Pete stood back helpless. “He’s had enough, Kane.”

Evan shook his head. “No, hell, no. He fucked with our…”

Stephen’s evil laugh filled the room. “That’s about what I thought. Sweet piece of pussy like-”

“Kane!” She saw the final blow but couldn’t stop it.


****

Kane carried her inside. Braden and Evan beat them home. Kane, since he threw the punches-all of them, according to him-had to stay and answer questions. Peyton also had to talk to several detectives and give a full report. She was coached, by Kane, and told to inform he was the only Cartwell who threw a few left hooks.

Once Stephen had finally regained consciousness, the police on the scene had to remove him from the room. He’d continued to make empty threats to Peyton. He’d wanted her to know she needed to live her life looking over her shoulder.

Kane threatened him as well, and the whole verbal war continued until Kane kicked Stephen’s feet out from under him and stepped on his chest. The cops finally separated them but it wasn’t a moment soon enough. Peyton saw a side to Kane she hoped she never saw again.

“I’ve got your bed turned down,” Braden said.

Kane started up the steps with her, and the other two followed. She rested her head on his shoulder and with her arm bent around his neck, she felt so safe and secure, she didn’t know why she had to finally cry. She’d resisted the urge until right then. Right when she needed to feel the most secure, she started bawling like a baby.

Picking up his pace, Kane carried her to his room. He knelt down on his bed. “Peyton, honey, what is it?” He brushed her hair away from her face as she looked from one brother to the next.

“I’m…just…I’m just…”

“You’re tired, baby.” Evan scooted closer to her and wrapped her in his arms. “You’re safe now, Peyton. We’ve got you.”

“Some of the cops said if you hadn’t thought as quickly on your feet as you did then…” Braden shuddered.

“I was scared,” she said.

“You were brave, Peyton,” Evan said. “Very brave.”

Kane stood up and walked over to his window. He glared down at the lawn like he was watching for someone. His rigid body drew her naked eye, and she was afraid to look away. He had something to ask, and she fully expected it. In fact, she was surprised it took this long.

“Did he touch you inappropriately?”

She closed her eyes as she remembered Stephen’s hands on her knees a few times, trailing up her thigh once and smacking her so many times, she lost count. “No, he didn’t.”

Braden gathered her in his arms and kissed her cheeks and forehead. “You’re sure, Peyton?”

“I’m sure.” But she knew they didn’t believe her by the looks exchanged. She didn’t sound too convincing either.

“I need to talk to her,” Kane said.

“Kane, I think we all need to be with Peyton right now.”

Braden touched her face. “Can I get you anything, baby?”

She shook her head.

“I need five minutes alone with her and then you can stay all night. Give us five minutes,” he demanded. When he turned around, they were gone.

Kane propped his ass on the windowsill and acted like he waited on some sort of full confession. His eyes were misty, moist with more than the natural gleam from his pupils.

“I love you, Peyton. I will never love anyone the way I love you.”

“Kane…”

“No, let me finish.” He turned back to the window and took a deep breath, held it and finally let it go with a huff. “I would love you if-”

“Kane, he didn’t touch me. Not really.”

Kane marched over to the bed and gripped her shoulders. He shook her but it didn’t hurt. “No games, Peyton. Did he touch you or didn’t he?”

She swallowed tightly. “I’m assuming by the way you’re acting right now, he’s a very lucky man because if he had, if he had raped me, I see now you would’ve killed him.”

“And I still might. I want you to tell me where he touched you and how.”

“Kane he only touched my knee.”

His lips pursed and his lips curled into that dangerous sneer she hated. “And…”

“He slapped me a few times but you already…”

“And…”

“He…uh, that’s it.”

“Peyton?”

“And my inner thigh but I swear it, Kane that was it. He never touched me anywhere else.” She hit the high points and the low ones, what else did he want?

He squeezed her shoulders and started to release her but instead clutched her tighter and held her against his chest. “I thought I was going to lose you.” He caressed her back and held her head tightly against him. “If I’d lost you, Peyton, I don’t know what I would’ve done.”

“I’m right here, Kane. I’m always going to be right here for as long as you want me.”

She shivered as she moved away from him. “I think I’ll go back to my room so you can get some rest tonight.” She touched his cheek and saw the disappointment in his eyes. “Unless you want me to stay in here tonight.”

“I want you to stay,” he said. “With just me tonight.”

Evan poked his head in the room. “Pete called. We’re going to have to run down to the station and answer some questions too. Seems the fellow is going to file a civil suit since we beat him up pretty good. Pete said if Braden and I come on down and answer questions tonight, it might help us if he actually makes it to court with such charges.”

“All right. Be quiet coming back in. We’re going to bed now, and Peyton has to get up early for exams tomorrow.”

“How’d you know?” she asked.

“I know everything,” he said.

“Vicky told him,” Evan said with a grin. “Oh that reminds me. She was here earlier but her mom drove out to pick her up. Seems her dad didn’t want her out here all by herself while this was going on, and I don’t blame him. She called a few times though, and I guess you know she came right out here right after that creep grabbed you.”

“Yeah, that’s Vicky for you.”

“She’s a good friend to you, Peyton.” Evan smiled. “She’s a good friend to all of us because she helped us bring you back home.”

“Yeah, I owe her.”

Kane reached over and turned the lamp on. “Hit the light over there, Evan. It’s too bright in here.”

“I’ll bet. You two behave. I’ll see you in the morning.”

A few minutes after he left, Peyton stood up and started to wiggle out of her clothes. She fell down to the mattress as soon as she stood up. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m just tired, I guess,” She tried to explain when Kane rushed around to her side of the bed.

Kane stroked her cheek with the back of his hand. “You were struck hard a few too many times. Let me help you. Sit down.”

“Kane, I’m fine. You don’t have to worry about me. I promise. Everything is back to perfect again.”

“I’ll be right back.” He disappeared down the hall and she heard him in her room. She knew he went to get her favorite pajamas but right now, she didn’t want her PJs, she wanted to feel him against her skin as she drifted off to sleep. She wanted to know she was alive and he was alive.

She stripped off and slid in between the cotton sheets. Fighting off sleep, she tried to stay awake but failed miserably. The last thing she remembered was Kane crawling into bed. He mumbled something sweet and sexy against her lips before she drifted off to sleep.


Chapter 29

<p>Chapter 29</p>

Two Weeks Later

Peyton stretched her neck and excitedly waved at Kane, Braden, and Evan.

“You act so silly about them,” Vicky said.

“Ridiculous,” Freda agreed.

“I’m still waiting for her to make her choice so the rest of us will have a shot,” one of the other girls said as she waved at her parents.

Peyton and Vicky exchanged knowing glances. Peyton studied Freda as her parents walked up and asked someone to take a picture of them.

After Freda’s parents took a few photographs of the girls, Peyton turned around and tried to find her men in the crowd once again. This time, they weren’t where she could see them.

She felt a sudden panic, and her chest tightened. She felt the loss just because she didn’t see them right away. God, she was in love. She was so in love that she didn’t think she’d make it five minutes without seeing one of her guys.

Vicky tugged her around then. “Come on. We leave our stuff here and march in. Hurry so we can see who we want to see before we go to the waiting hall.”

“The waiting hall?”

“Yup, that’s what they call the corridor in between the gyms. It’s the ‘waiting hall’ on graduation day.” Vicky grabbed her hand then. “And by the way, they must’ve had someone else’s seats. They moved over there.” She pointed to the second section of the gym and as soon as she did, they all waved like proud dads or brothers or worse still, boyfriends.

She gave them an oh-come-on-now look and rolled her eyes. Then she whispered to Vicky. “Do you think people know about my relationship with them?”

Vicky laughed. “I think if they didn’t know, one look at them right then with the silly waves, and they pretty well gave everything away.”

“Hmmm, I sort of thought the same thing.”

“Yeah, babe, the wave kind of did it.”

“And here I thought everyone was in the dark.” She clutched Vicky’s hand and they giggled as they walked toward the ‘waiting hall’. A few boys whistled, and Peyton couldn’t help but flirt a little, just to keep the men watching her on the end of their seats.

“Poor Kane will collect a hit list a mile long if you don’t stop the flirting.”

“I know. I like to keep him on his toes, you know?”

“Yeah, but he’s going to spank your ass if you don’t stop wiggling it around all these guys,” Vicky smacked her butt. She caught more of the graduation gown than she did her bottom.

They lined up in the hallway, and Vicky’s tone turned serious. “I’m glad your bruises are gone. I’d hate for your graduation pictures to have those shiners showing more than your true beauty.”

“Vicky, you know you don’t have to brag on me all the time.”

“Yes, I do. You’re my best friend. And I mean it. If I tell you something, you can always take it to the bank, Peyton.”

“Oh serious,” Peyton made light of the situation.

“This is serious.”

“Graduation?”

“No, what I need to say to you.”

“Uh-oh.”

“Peyton, I think Kane is going to eventually propose to you and…” Her smile widened and she took a deep breath before she continued, “Well, I don’t know what your exact arrangement is with them, of course, but I just want to tell you something. It’s about the day you were abducted.”

“I don’t want to think about that right now, Vicky.”

“Just hear me out, Peyton. I want you to know they were all worried but Kane…something changed in him by the minute, Peyton. He’s deeply in love with you, Peyton. They may all love you but Kane would cease to exist without you. I guess you know this though.”

Peyton looked into the audience as the double doors opened, and the graduation march began. Kane jumped to his feet and his smile lit up the gym. Yeah, she knew Kane Cartwell loved her. When Evan and Braden stood too, she saw the full circle of love, the kind of love many waited to find and the kind of love that would last for a thousand lifetimes.


****

“You didn’t have to do this, you know.” Peyton stood in Braden’s room with her hands on her hips. “This goes a little beyond your typical graduation party, you know.”

“If you think this is great, wait until you see what he’s planned for later.” Evan came in and slid a kiss on her cheek. “Hurry up, Braden. There are some parents here, and they want to see the adult in charge. I’m not dealing with them.”

Braden patted Peyton’s behind on his way out. “Told you I didn’t want anyone under eighteen here. What happened to following the rule?”

She shrugged. “Everyone wanted to come to this graduation party. I can’t imagine why.” She shot Evan a wink before she started for her room. “I’ll be ready in a few minutes. Right now I have to find something appropriate to wear.”

“Hurry,” Evan said, “I don’t want you to keep your guests waiting. This is your party, you know.”

“I know, Evan. I know!” Before she made it to her room, he grabbed her around the waist.

“Don’t I get something for the efforts here? You know I did have a little something to do with getting the place spiffed up for your friends.”

Peyton gnawed on the inside of her cheek and hit him in the stomach with the back of her hand. “What you want, big boy, I can’t give you until after the party.”

“Sure you can.” He yanked her into the spare bedroom and slammed her against the back of the door as soon as it closed behind them. His lips crashed against hers as he pressed his body into hers.

“You’re as naughty as I am right now, Peyton. Admit it.” Evan nibbled at her lips

“Considering about two hundred of my closest friends are waiting for me downstairs, this…” she popped him a kiss and patted down the front of his pants, “is going to have to wait.”

“The hell it is.” He gripped her side and moved his body into hers creating the illusion of one erotic sex act. The kind of pleasure to keep a woman panting for more, and Peyton ready to drop to her knees, only she didn’t. She grabbed the knob behind her, kissed more teeth then than lips, and barely made her escape.

“Damn it!”

She giggled as she listened to Evan’s moaning but let his displeasure ring out from behind the door. She didn’t pause or turn back to make things right. Party guests waited.

She nudged her door open and slid into her room for a few minutes of alone time. She didn’t forget to lock it back because Evan’s persistence lately bordered with truly irritating. And a little sexy too, if she wanted to think about his charming appeal.

Humming, she walked over to the closet and flipped the light on. She started to thumb through her dresses and glanced down at the shoes sticking out from the bottom of the closet.

“Hmmm…big feet, polished shoes, I wonder who I might find in here.” She waved her hands to the left and the right, and Kane pulled her in between the mountain of clothes on either side.

His quick movements and the feel of his hot fingers working over the nape of her neck ensured she wouldn’t leave him without a good romp. Peyton loved all of the Cartwells but if there was one advantage Kane had-it was his ability to control her with a simple touch, a hot kiss or roaming hands guaranteed to make her wet.

“I have company,” she breathed against his neck as his hands slid down her hips and rotated them forward and against the ridge of his wide erection.

“I have a serious problem with your guests,” he said.

“Oh do you now?” she said as she grabbed the metal rod running across the length of her closet. She planted her feet on either side of Kane’s torso.

“You know it.” He snapped the thong she had under her short skirt and bit his lower lips as he fingered her. “I have a problem with the guys here. Some of them look at you like they want to do exactly what I’m doing to you right now.”

She gripped the pole harder and allowed her body to swing forward and back into his palm. “You don’t say.”

He added another finger and twisted his hand as he fucked her with his long fingers. “Tonight, if I see any of those guys snooping around you, I aim to tell them you’re mine.”

“I bet that’s what you’ll do,” she said as she moaned.

“Damn, Peyton. You’re so wet, baby, I’m going to have to fuck you.”

She started to bring her legs down. He held her ass with one hand and brought her hips forward. Before she protested, and she might have considered it for the simple fact she turned Evan down earlier, he plunged harder with his fingers. He took her to the brink before he unzipped his pants, and allowed his cock to spring free. He immediately pressed it right into her vagina.

“Good Lord, Kane!”

“Now, I’m happy, baby. Knowing I can fuck you while all those boys down there are waiting on you. Hmmm…” His thighs bunched, and he stroked her deep.

She clutched to the bar where all the hangers lined up with her clothes. Using it to leverage her weight against his, she moved back and forth with his cock. Kane buried his head against her chest and moaned out with pleasure.

“Kane, I can’t hold back.”

“Come for me, Peyton. That’s it, baby. I gotta have you. I’m going to take you all night long.” He bent down and rose up, his cock tearing into her pussy and staking a full claim by going deep.

He locked her legs around his back and began to fuck her as hard as he could fuck. Harder and harder, he moved into her. “That’s it, baby. Come for me. Come hard for me. Get me going, baby. Good God, Peyton!”

She wiggled around the bar and moved with him, swinging her body forward and low before swaying back and moving high. “Don’t stop! Can’t stop! Don’t! Oh Kane!” She screamed her release, and he didn’t try to hush her. He only watched her until she fell from the bars into his awaiting arms.

He cradled her against the closet wall, slumped against the floor. “That was pretty damn hot, little lady.” He kissed the top of her head and then tilted her chin. “Promise a repeat performance soon?”

“Are you kidding me? I may lock you in here and make you give me wall sex three times a day.”

“Good damn. Three times a day? Promise?”

“You’d get tired of me,” she said.

“I’ll never get tired of you, Peyton. You’re my whole world.”

“Then if you don’t mind, can you carry your world into the shower and leave her alone for a few minutes? I need to get ready to play in a different galaxy for a few hours.”

“You got it. It will be my pleasure. After all, we’re going to let you have some fun tonight with your friends. Later though, you’re all ours. And baby, you’re going to see stars until morning.”


****

“There you are!” Vicky bounced out of the pool in a red string bikini. “Everyone’s been asking about you.”

“Kane,” she said with a smile and started to take off her very fashionable bathing suit cover-up when broad arms quickly wrapped around her. “Let’s just say Kane-”

“Had all sorts of ideas for keeping her under lock and key tonight. Apparently, they didn’t work.” He popped her bottom and then kissed her cheek.

The show of intimacy between the two excited Vicky to the extreme. “You two are a couple now, aren’t you?”

Peyton didn’t know what to say or how to answer the question. What did Kane want her to say? What the hell had he been thinking in the first place anyway? Slapping her on the butt with two hundred of her closest friends nearby didn’t exactly keep their relationship private.

“Let’s dance,” he said before she answered.

“I’m going swimming first,” she said.

“After the dance, Peyton.”

Once they were in front of the band, he wrapped his arms around her tight. She looked over at one of the covered tables and watched in amusement as Braden tried to shake off Freda. Evan tried to fight back a little jealousy. His eyes were overflowing with desire.

“You know, if you wanted everyone to think we had this very platonic relationship, you kind of blew that notion straight to hell and back.” She placed her hands on his shoulders as they swayed to a

George Straight song.

“You think?”

“Kane, I’m serious.”

“Darlin’, you have two choices here. Go change into clothing or we’re going to let everyone know who you belong to tonight. We’re not going to make any bones about it.” He smiled as he looked at her but his words were firm.

“It’s not negotiable,” Evan said as he cut in. “You can’t think for one second we’re going to let you step out of that mesh cover-up and show off your pretty little thong bikini.”

Peyton glanced at the water. Her friends were splashing around like they didn’t have a care in the world. Only a few of them wore bikinis and those who did had the designer bottom halves in the thong style. She tried to push them away as she inched closer to the pool.

“Don’t even think about it Peyton,” Kane warned. “If you do, you’ll be very sorry.”


****

Evan saw the challenge before Kane realized he’d issued one. The words barely made it from his mouth, and the mesh cover-up fell at their feet. Peyton dove into the deep end and her round little bottom warranted lots of praise as the boys looked at the floating goddess and whistled out beyond the chatter.

“Damn it.” Kane growled as he watched her splash around in the pool.

“I ought to strip off and see how well she likes it.” Braden’s face looked like snow-white.

“I have a feeling now is not the time or the place,” Evan said.

“Tell it to them.” Kane narrowed his eyes on the boys who tumbled into the pool now eager to splash around with the one who undoubtedly proved to the others she was the life of the party.

“Remind me to spank her for this.”

“She’s going to get spanked from all of us,” Braden agreed.

“And hard,” Evan added.

Kane narrowed his eyes on her as she swam the length of the pool. Damn if she didn’t look good swimming under water. He had a feeling Hugh Hefner’s pool never looked quite as inviting as his did right then. Her shapely legs fluttered under water as a few of her friends gathered around in the shallow end to compliment her designer choice.

“I bought it for her,” Braden admitted.

“Damn it, what were you thinking?” Evan said.

“I’d hoped she’d kick around here in it when no one else was around to see it.”

“She shot your plan all to hell,” Kane mumbled as he narrowed his eyes on her. Crooking his finger back and forth, he motioned for her with his focus intent, strong, and deliberately sexual.

“Why don’t you just look at her like you want everyone to clear the area long enough for you to fuck her,” Evan snapped.

“I thought about it,” Kane replied.

“Hell. You two have already ruined her. Look at her. Here she comes with nothing but pure sex driving her.” Braden watched her and instinctively rubbed his palm over his cock.

Kane chuckled. “If you think she looks like she needs a good fuck now, wait until I get done with her. She’s left me little choice but to let these guys here know who they’re dealing with.”

Peyton stopped to chit-chat with a few friends. She deliberately turned her gorgeous backside to them so they’d stand there and drool, really salivate.

“You want them to know we want her for our own?” Evan asked.

“I don’t give a damn what you two do or what you allow others to know. For now, she’s mine and everyone here will know it.” He headed straight for Peyton.

He walked up and slid his arms around her as she talked to her friends. He nibbled on her ear and licked the lobe.

“Kane.” She squirmed and a few of the girls giggled. The guys around quickly changed up their focus. Kane sort of had the bad-boycan-kick-ass look about him, never mind his reputation. It was enough for the younger ones there to keep their eyes on anything but Peyton’s ass.

“I need to steal Peyton away for a few minutes if you don’t mind.” He smiled at her friends.

“Kane, it’s graduation. Can it wait?” she purred.

“No, baby. This can’t wait.” He moved into her slowly to ensure she felt the hard ridge of his cock. “Do I feel like a man who can wait for his woman?”

The whispers stirred then, and Peyton blushed before she turned around to face off with him using just a little clever hostility. She glared over at Braden and Evan. Then with all the mischief she could find, she gave him a hard push, and Kane fell backwards into the pool.

Kane resurfaced. “Damn it, Peyton. Now, you’re in trouble. I want you inside and up those stairs before I bust your ass!”

“You’ll have to catch me first, Kane Cartwell.” She stood there tempting him and every other man in the place. She popped her hip and rested her hands on her waist.

All of her friends laughed, and the boys, no doubt, checked out their own rise since it didn’t compare to the one imprinted in Kane’s wet pants.

Kane waded through the pool, and he didn’t waste time doing it. Braden and Evan rushed to the steps. Undoubtedly, they realized Kane might find little humor in having his GQ look destroyed by one little woman.

By the time he made his way to the pool’s shallow end, Peyton made a mad dash toward the patio doors. The last thing any of them wanted was her pretty little butt running around exposed at her graduation party.

Evan grabbed her wrist. “Just go change. Then you can come back down here and enjoy your party. All you have to do is-”

Kane didn’t give her an option. He stepped out of the pool and snatched her away from Evan and tried to force a smile. “She’ll be back when she’s dressed properly.”

One of the teenagers said something to them in passing. Another one commented on her bottom and still another one commented her on her boobs. Oh yeah, she was going to change all right.

Kane led her through the crowd barely able to contain his anger. Trying to get a grip on it before he lost it, he stood at the steps and pointed upstairs. “Change now, Peyton. I’m stripping off in the laundry room.”

“No, I’m not going to do it. If I start letting you tell me what to do now…”

In a matter of two seconds, no more than three, she was hanging upside down and gripping his belt as he took the steps quickly.

“Why doesn’t this surprise me?” She acted completely bored and even smiled and waved at those standing in the foyer. “Don’t mind us. He has a personality disorder. We’re still trying to work out the kinks in his medications so he can communicate more effectively with women.”

“You think you’re cute, do you?” He smacked her ass, and she yelped.

“Stop it! Kane, I have friends here.”

“Friends don’t let friends show their ass.”

“They do when it’s a pretty one,” someone from the foyer shouted out from behind them.

Peyton didn’t fight it at all as Kane carried her to her room and discarded her on the bed. Why bother fighting a losing battle when there’s a hand grenade waiting to ignite?

“So I guess I’m going to get spanked?” she asked when Kane tossed her on the bed.

“Honey, if you think you’re going to get by that easy, you’re sorely mistaken. You’re fucked, sweetheart.”


Chapter 30

<p>Chapter 30</p>

“Kane, really now.” She stood up and took off her bathing suit and strutted over to her dresser. Slapping a few bathing suits on top of the flat surface, she kept her back to him and didn’t realize he’d stripped off until she felt the bare existence of his weighted cock pressing against her hip.

“Kane!” She turned around and rolled her eyes.

“Don’t do that.”

“Do what?”

“The thing you do with your eyes. Roll them. Don’t do it.”

“Why not? I always roll my eyes.”

“And you always look adorable doing it. Right now, I don’t need anything else to remind me of your youth. So help me, Peyton, I know I should apologize for this but you don’t understand. I have to have you right now. I have to know you belong to me.”

“Kane, you had me before I ever made it down there the first time,” she whispered.

He nibbled at her ear and moaned as she grabbed his cock and began to massage him as she moved him closer and closer to her vagina. With the tip right there, if she moved her hand, the fucking and hardcore loving started at once. If she didn’t, the teasing continued. Trouble with them right then, they had little else on their mind.

He pushed into her as he dipped his head and devoured her nipple. He mumbled all around her breast, need pouring from his mouth as he sucked her in and made her feel more like a sensual woman than she deserved. He cupped the nape of her neck and looked deep into her eyes as he fucked her.

She tried to kiss him, and he resisted. “Watch, Peyton. Look at me claiming you. I want you to watch me move in and out of you.”

Her gaze drifted to his cock as he withdrew and buried himself inside of her again and again. “Kane…I’m coming… It’s too good, so hot and…ah, Kane.” She dropped her hands to the dresser and with her palms as her anchor she pushed up and captured every stroke he gave her as he pounded into her pussy. He divided her slick folds over and over again as he tried to take the kind of pleasure he quickly delivered.

“That’s it. Milk my cock, baby. Oh Peyton, you’re so good, baby, so good and tight. Ah yes. Let me come now for you. Ah…Um…yeah. That’s it, right there. Hold still and let me have you. All of you. Give me all of you. Peyton!”

He collapsed against her and drew her close as his cock pulsed inside of her walls. When he was completely satisfied, he moved away from her and headed for the shower. He didn’t look back, and he left her where he’d placed her, on her dresser.


****

After she cleaned up for the second time since graduating, Peyton headed outside. Kane didn’t say anything to her at all. He just fucked her hard and fast, then showered, wrapped a towel around his waist and headed to his room.

Vicky met him in the hallway.

“Don’t ask,” Peyton said.

“Don’t ask? Are you kidding me? I heard you two coming up the stairs.”

“You did not.” She grabbed a pair of denim shorts and a plain baby-blue shirt.

“Yeah, I did. How’s this for a refresher. Does ‘milk my cock’ ring a bell?”

“Oh shit.”

“Yeah, I tried to push everyone back down the stairs but, hon, I hate to tell you, most of the guys heard all of your pillow talk.”

“If I’d been on the bed, then the pillow might have muffled the sound.”

Look at it this way. The guys now think you’re a sex kitten, and the girls aren’t going to go anywhere near Kane. He sounded almost tortured. Damn, does he always fuck you like that?”

“Vicky!” Peyton grabbed her flip-flops and started for the door.

They walked down the steps arm and arm. “Just think of it this way. There aren’t too many people getting it that hard at eighteen. By the time you’re twenty-eight, you’ll know the ins and outs of sex. You may burn out on it too, but hey, if you gotta lose your thing for it, might as well do it with him. Jeez, he looked hot enough to toast when he came out of your room. Shew. Tell me he’s a good fuck.”

“He’s a good fuck,” Peyton said as she looked around the pool. “And I’m a horrible hostess.”

Vicky gave her a squeeze. “Oh, you mean the party guests? Yeah, well Braden said anyone under eighteen had to leave before midnight and everyone else has to leave by three. Evan counted heads a bit ago to see how many people are still here. Something like a hundred-fifty are still here.”

“Most of them must be in the pool,” Peyton said with a laugh as she made her way to the podium where the band was playing. She tapped the microphone and mouthed a few words to the band leader in an attempt to ask for permission to use it.

He nodded and motioned for the others to cut the music or at least find a light tempo to hang in the balance, which is what they did. They allowed the music to rumble low in the distance as she stepped center stage.

Peyton seldom experienced stage fright but right now, she had some. She looked at Braden, and as always, he looked as proud as ever. Evan winked. It was safe to assume he was still extremely horny. If he realized Kane romped her twice since she’d turned him down, he wouldn’t look all smiles and puckers right now.

Kane tried to focus on anything but her. She knew why. She’d felt it in him for days now. Kane loved her, and he feared he was going to lose her. She loved him, she loved all of them, and she wasn’t going to leave them. What would they do without her? She couldn’t imagine her life without them and worse still, she couldn’t stand to think of them without her.

She stepped up to the microphone and took a deep breath. She knew in many ways Kane would be relieved but she wasn’t sure about Braden or Evan. They both enjoyed seeing her play ball, and Braden had high hopes. He wanted her to attend a major university somewhere in the south, but that was in the beginning. Maybe now, he’d see things differently.

She wasn’t the same girl who moved into their home nearly a year ago. They’d finished raising her where her mother left off and thanks to Braden, Evan, and Kane Cartwell, she was now a woman. Strong and independent, she was a woman in love, and she planned to stay that way for many years to come.


****

“Should we hold our breath?” Kane asked as Braden and Evan joined him.

“Don’t think so,” Braden said. “She may apologize for being so rude and disappearing on them, though I doubt it. By the look on both your faces, you’re pretty pleased with whatever kept you busy for nearly a half hour.”

Kane folded his arms over his chest and resisted the urge to smile when he felt the tug at the corners of his mouth. Oh yeah, it was some of pleasure’s best and more hell than he’d ever known. Ever since those damn letters started pouring in from all those schools, he’d felt the same way every time he looked at her, touched her, or heaven help him-screwed her. He couldn’t get enough. He wanted more.

Peyton’s eyes danced with mischief. She grinned big and waved at them.

“Oh shit, we’re in trouble,” Evan said recognizing the one and only Peyton Storm-signature smile.

“Great. We give her the world and what does she do?”

“Hi boys,” she said while she curled her hair around her forefinger.

Kane grumbled. “Oh yeah, we’re history. She’s up to something.”

“Kane, honey, would you come on up here and join me?”

He stared back at the buxom beauty seducing him to get his ass up there on the stage. Like the man-magnet she was, he didn’t deny her. When it came to Peyton, all she had to do was tug at his heart strings or pull at his cock, and all he wanted to do was plan out a thousand tomorrows.

He worked his way through the crowd while Peyton called for her next victim. Braden was such an easy target, she saved him for last.

“Evan. Honey, be a dear and come on up here too.”

Kane looked around and saw his brother obediently following the sound of his angel’s voice. Wherever she wanted to lead them now, they were ready to go. He pointed at his brother and laughed.

“Braden, sweetheart would you come over here as well?”

By the time they were standing next to Peyton, she was rambling on about something that happened to her on the last day of school. She told a few stories about Coach Pratchert and why she’d loved playing volleyball for her, and finally, the moment arrived.

Kane realized what all this was about. She wanted to tell them all where she planned to go to college. She’d made her decision.

“I’ve known for some time now where I was going to school. I haven’t said anything to anyone other than Vicky.” She smiled at her BFF-the one she must’ve shared everything with and that fact left Kane feeling a little jealous.

“Coach Pratchert, as many of you know, challenged her girls. She taught us to strive in the face of adversity, she taught us how to play as a team and how to stand alone when necessary. As some of you know, I lost my mother…”She grabbed Braden’s hand and squeezed it before she finished “It was a year ago today. If losing my mother taught me anything at all, it’s that I do not want to stand alone.”

Before too much pity or uncomfortable silence rippled through the air, she continued.

“Coach Pratchert and Mom taught me to seize the opportunities given. To take the chances you want to take and to let go of the dreams others instill in you when you’re not as sold on those ideas as they are.

“Coach Pratchert wanted me to go to a larger university. I think Braden Cartwell did too.” She touched his cheek with her free hand and then let go of the one she clutched to her side.

“I’ve decided on Western Carolina University because in all honesty, and girls, if you look at these three, I know you’ll understand, I can’t imagine leaving here and turning my back on the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Meeting these men, changed my life.”

Braden gritted his teeth and shook his head. Under his breath, he scolded her. “Peyton, we should’ve talked about this.”

“I don’t want to talk, Braden. In fact, there are several things I want to do over the next few hours and talking isn’t one of them.”

A few oohs and ahhs rippled over the crowd and she realized then there were enough microphones around the stage to ensure everyone heard everything she said. What the hell. She didn’t care.

Most of the town heard the news about her public romp with Evan. Others witnessed the way Kane carried on around her ninety-nine percent of the time. And then poor Braden looked at her like it pained him to look at any other woman.

“As most of you know, I kept my mother in the dark most of my life. She gave me the world and yet I never found satisfaction in anything she gave until she gave me the greatest gift of all.” Peyton pointed to the Cartwells.

“As you all know, Mom asked Braden Cartwell to look out for me, and she trusted him to take care of me until I made it out of high school.

“Keep in mind, when I moved in with these three, I didn’t make it easy on them.” The crowd laughed and a few cheered. A few of the guys in the audience provided a couple of provocative remarks and Loy Martin shouted he ‘could attest to that’.

Peyton’s voice dropped a pitch, and she tried to keep from crying so she had to speak slower and focus on the crowd instead of the men she loved. “I love pulling capers. Vicky and I have pulled a few in our time, but these three already knew all about those stunts, and I didn’t bargain for the Cartwells. Even without the coveted ‘Raising a Teenage Girl’ manual, these three contemplated everything I planned to do before I did it.

“I used to stir up a little hell before I met the Cartwells and then, lo and behold, when I didn’t go looking for it, I ran smack dab into trouble. Momma always said trouble ran in threes. I believe her now.”

Surprisingly, Kane moved closer now. He didn’t like to stand in front of anyone long but he stood beside of her and wrapped his arm around her waist.

“I’m not staying behind because I don’t have better options. I’m going to Western Carolina because it’s the best choice for me. I need to stay part of this family team now, and Western Carolina offers what I wanted to find in a college. It’s less than a fifty minute drive from the ranch to campus, and I’ll play volleyball on a full scholarship. That is if these three still want me around to stick my nose in their business as much as possible.”

Kane wanted to fade right into her all over again. He needed to bury himself so deep inside of her that she begged and pleaded for him to stay right where he was until the break of day. He wanted to love her. And thank goodness, Peyton had similar ideas. Thank God, he was smart enough to ask for his brothers’ blessings before he did something as crazy as he planned to do right here and now.

Before anyone saw it coming, Kane dropped to his knee and stuck his hand in his pocket. He retrieved a beautiful three stone diamond ring and as soon as he saw the twinkle in her eye, he realized Peyton certainly got the meaning behind it.

“Kane?” Her hand went to his cheek and in true Peyton-form, the little vixen held the microphone in front of him while grinning all over the place. Man oh man how he loved her right then and there, but he also wanted to spank her more than put this ring on her hand.

“I uh…”

Evan winked at Peyton, and Braden lifted her arm out. Kane took her ring finger in between shaking hands and slid the ring on before he popped any kind of question.

“Kane? Buddy, I think you need to ask her something first,” Evan said.

“Well, I just assumed she’d say yes considering there were about fifty-five college offers she turned down to stay here around us.”

Peyton bit her lower lip, and he saw she was going to wait for some kind of assurance those fifty-five college offers didn’t go unopened without a significant reward.

He swallowed hard and kissed her hand. He cleared his throat, and she blushed. She must’ve known what few theatrics he could manage were headed her way. Taking the microphone in one hand, and holding tight to the other, he looked into her sparkling blue eyes.

“Peyton Storm, I’d be much obliged, ma’am, if you’d say yes and accept this here marriage proposal.”

“Ah now, Kane. Is that the best you can do?” She winked.

“No, darlin’, you and I both know I can do a lot better.” He dropped the microphone.

The onlookers cheered. The boys and men around chuckled with a knowing reference to let everyone know the underlying meaning. The girls held their hearts and grown women looked envious.

Kane gazed deep into those mischievous, perfectly-set eyes, and he gave it his best shot. He knew from the get-go she wouldn’t make it easy.

“I love you Peyton. From the first day you arrived here, I told Braden and Evan they’d have to keep me away from you because I planned to love you from the moment I saw you. ‘Course I had to wait three months to lay the first hand on you, and that was pure hell, let me tell you.

“My heart had an unusual way of beating after you came here and regardless of age, I knew from day one you were put on this earth to love me and if you’ll have me, I’ll spend the rest of my life showing you why I was put here too. Nothing or no one has ever made me feel the way you do. I want you to be my wife, Peyton, and as far as I’m concerned, you already are.”

All of Peyton’s friends dramatically swooned then. Peyton held her heart, and she nodded quickly as he gathered her in his arms and kissed her like there was no tomorrow worth facing unless he faced it with her.

When their kiss broke, Evan and Braden stepped forward. “Sisterin-law, what do you think of the ring?” Evan said.

“I imagine Braden picked it out,” she said.

“Yeah, he did,” Kane grumbled. “I figured you knew the second you saw it what all this meant.”

“Well, uh, I only saw one of you down on one knee,” she complained as she patted Braden’s cheek.

Evan leaned in and whispered in her ear loud enough for the other two to overhear. “Darlin’, I’m going to be down on more than one knee before the night is over.”

“But…” She wanted to ask questions, and Kane just wanted her to shut up and let him feel like the lone bridegroom for a little while.

“But don’t you think others are going to wonder why we all live together and-.”

“Surely to gosh you don’t think we care what other people think or say?” Evan asked.

“No, but I mean I did have public sex with you at Clink.”

“Uh-huh, and it was nice and hot too,” he said as he grabbed her around the waist and almost kissed her.

“Knock it off you two,” Braden said. “The only one who gets to kiss her in public now, at least for the night, is Kane. Lucky bastard.”

“Yeah, that’s what she said.” He snapped Peyton’s wrist to his thigh and cupped her neck in a determined hold. He raked his teeth over her bottom lip before his tongue captured hers in a hungry kiss. She burrowed her hand in his hair and moaned before he grinned and stopped before the urgent call of sex interfered with a simple kiss.

“Now, go party. Me and the boys have some planning of our own to do,” he said.

“Like what?” Vicky popped up at the wrong time. Imagine.

All of the Cartwells greeted her with a nod or hello.

“Hope you understand, but tonight, Peyton can’t have any overnight guests,” Kane said with a very wide smile. It was fully intentional.

Sticking her lip out in a pout, she turned to Braden. “Why not?”

Peyton studied all of them, and Kane saw the devilment dancing across her flushed cheeks. “Yeah, why not?”

Kane pulled her close and planted his palm on her backside. He squeezed one of the globes and leaned in to whisper sweet nothings in her ear. “She’s not staying, baby. We have things to do and a lot of them are very delicious things we want to do to you. Got it? No Vicky.”

Vicky grabbed her hand and stared at the rocks on her hand. “Holy shit. One diamond not enough, Kane?”

Kane grinned. “Nope, guess not.”

“You didn’t pick this out,” she said without second guessing any of them. “Braden did. No expense was spared.”

She hugged Peyton tightly and then let her go. “So help me, I should hate you. Congratulations, Peyton. I swear I don’t know why in the hell you’d want to marry all of them.” She looked from one belt to another.

“Oh yes you do!” Peyton giggled, looped her arm with her friends and they took off through the crowd.

“Damn. She knows?” Evan asked.

“She’s always known,” Braden said. “And let’s get one thing straight. Regardless of how we handle this with Peyton, Vicky is always going to be treated like family for as long as Peyton wants her. We’re going to act like we always have and just accept that Peyton wanted her to know about it because girls need a friend to lean on for things. We can’t be her everything, even with three of us to try.”

“I don’t know why the hell not,” Kane said as he rubbed his chin and stared into the night.

“We just can’t, Kane. She still needs her own independence and her own friends. She may even still have the occasional girls’ night out when she wants to have a little girl talk.”

“And wouldn’t you love to know what they’ll talk about once they all realize she belongs to all of us.” Evan slapped his brothers on their backs, and they started walking toward the house.

In passing, Kane overheard Freda telling her daily dose of good gossip. “That’s the scoop girls. Evan, the one there in the middle was supposedly grinding into her so hard at Clink that she gripped the table and brought it out of the stand. Then, Kane and Braden joined them. Some say Kane was getting a hand job right after the fact and…”

They were almost on the terrace when Evan decided to have a little fun. He walked up to Freda and scooped her up in his arms.

“What are you doing! Evan! Put me down! Peyton! Peyton! Make your man over here put me down!”

“In case you didn’t hear, Peyton’s marrying my brother, Freda.”

Her eyes locked his in a challenge. “Word is you did her dirty at Clink.”

“Word is, huh?”

“That’s the word.”

“Wonder who spreads the word around these parts?” Kane asked as he studied his brother and Freda.

She shrugged. “One can never tell. Besides, it travels fast. Arden is a small town.”

“Clink is on the other side of Asheville, Freda.”

“Well, some say…”

“Freda,” Evan dropped his voice and then kissed her lightly on the lips. Oh yeah, Peyton would have his head for that one. “Tell me something, Freda. When you’re all dolled up at Clink wearing your long black wig and pump high heels, do you really think I don’t notice legs like these in a short black skirt?”

Freda held her breath and closed her eyes. Her friends began to snicker.

“I even spotted you while I was fucking Peyton. I saw you there in the corner watching us, trying to hide behind that Domme you hang out with some. Now tell me something, angel. Do you think that daddy judge of yours would like to know how his daughter spends her time?”

She swallowed stiffly and beads of sweat poured from her brow. “You’d have to prove it.”

Kane sneered. “We own part interest in a few properties with the owner of Clink. Don’t think we’d have a bit of trouble finding proof, darlin’.”

“What do you want, Kane?” She blinked back tears.

“I want you to be friends with Peyton for as long as she enjoys your company but I want you to shut your mouth about my future bride. Otherwise, one of these cold lonely nights, I’m going to send Evan out after you with my riding crop. Then you’ll see why little girls shouldn’t play in a big boy’s world.”

“Peyton does,” she squeaked.

“Honey, Peyton is far from a little girl. She’s a full grown woman in every way that counts. You should know. You watched her with Evan.” Kane gave her a pat on the head, deliberately trying his best to make her feel as young as her gossiping with school girls made her look. “Let’s go, Evan. Freda needs to get back to socializing. I imagine her friends can’t wait to hear details about what she does when she goes to Clink.”

Braden, forever the one with a conscience, offered Freda a warm smile. “Freda, don’t worry. These two here have their hands full with this ranch. We like your father and don’t want any trouble. Your secret is safe with us.”

Evan found a chair underneath one of the large umbrellas where party favors were scattered around the table. He licked his lower lip, plucked a cherry from one of the drinks and let it swing in front of her face.

“Freda, I like breaking in new subs. I think you’d be an awful lot of fun to train. Come snooping around here with gossip about Peyton, and so help me, what I did with Peyton at Clink will look like child’s play compared to what I’ll do with you behind closed doors.”

“Shit, Evan. Come on.” Braden pulled his brother away from the table and the three disappeared behind closed doors, making sure they shared a good, hearty chuckle.


****

“What was that all about?” Peyton asked as she approached Freda.

“You’re a crazy idiot for putting up with those three,” Freda said as she dabbed her forehead.

“It’s safe to guess. She’s jealous.” Annabelle, another one of their close gal pals must have witnessed the whole thing. “Evan gave her such a heated stare along with a somewhat seductive warning. I’d say it’s safe to say Freda here is sitting in damp panties about right now.”

Vicky looked at Peyton, and Peyton rolled her eyes.

“You might have some competition with Freda,” Annabelle said.

“I’m marrying Kane, in case you haven’t heard.” But her heart was beating so fast it felt like it was coming out of her chest. Evan openly flirted with Freda? Freda, of all people?

Freda stood up and set her jaw. The girl always had the ability to shoot someone down with a simple glare. She often stared down her nose at others like they weren’t worthy of standing in front of her. It pissed Peyton off but she tolerated her because Vicky grew up with her and liked her, for some reason.

“When are you going to knock off the act, Peyton? Everyone here knows the whole Kane engagement thing was for show.” She picked up her hand, stared at the ring and let her arm drop immediately. “Look at this ring. It’s almost gaudy. Three stones for three cowboys? Huh! I guess you just don’t care who knows, do you? In your own words, ‘trouble travels in threes’ and three stones sort of indicates you kind of like the trouble you’ve found here, huh?”

Peyton didn’t have confrontations. She didn’t like them, and she avoided them because she liked to laugh and play. She lived for the good times and since she worked hard, sometimes she felt like she deserved it. What she didn’t deserve was the arrogance of a judge’s daughter belittling her for loving three men.

Feeling their eyes on her, Peyton glanced up to the upper balcony. Sure as the world, there they were. All three handsome men standing in their cowboy boots, tight fitting jeans and button down shirts looked good enough to eat. And she was starving.

No, she didn’t think she’d justify her decisions or explain why she loved three men, but looking up at them then, she came to an understanding, a peace from within. She refused to deny what she felt for any of the Cartwells. She didn’t give a shit if it was right or if society condemned her because of it.

Freda pointed. “Oh! Well speak of the handsome devils. I guess you’re being summonsed to the bedroom now, Peyton.”

Before she thought better of it, she drew back and slapped Freda. Vicky flinched beside of her, and Freda whimpered as she held her face.

“That’s for being a bitch, for being so fucking proud that you can’t be yourself. For walking into Clink in a disguise and thinking you’re so much smarter than everyone else that you can fool people who’ve grown up with you and protected you. That’s for trying to make something beautiful into something ugly. I pity you, Freda, and half the people here do too.”

Vicky tried to stop her. As Peyton made her way back to the band podium, she realized she was right on her heels. “Peyton, think about this. Don’t do it. If you plan to stay here and live here, don’t do it. It’s one thing to let people think what they want but quite another to say something you’ll later regret.”

“I won’t regret this.”

She stepped to the podium and spoke to the town. Yes, the town. By the time she finished here, everyone at the party would know she was a Cartwell woman and her men were off-limits to all other women. It was the kind of gossip people didn’t wait to spread when they bumped into a stranger on the street. They picked up their cell phones and started dialing everyone on their speed-dial features.

“I want to thank everyone for coming tonight. This party has been very exciting. As you can imagine, I’m exhausted. All of the seniors here are exhausted. We’ve had a wonderful and busy week. Graduation has been so exciting, but with a new engagement pending and three very handsome men waiting…” She pointed to the upper deck. “Well, I think you all can put the rest of it together. If not, let me spell out for you.”

Braden shook his head. Evan smirked and Kane moved away from the balcony, no doubt on his way to stop what he knew she planned to do. He wouldn’t make it. She wanted to say her peace and then call it a night and go love on her cowboys.

She held up her ring. “There are three diamonds here because I am marrying, at least in my heart, all three Cartwells. I wasn’t going to bring attention to the love we share because when Kane proposed, it became clear to me, they might want to protect me from the whispers. For those of you, like Freda, who are concerned about my fling at Clink, I want to assure you. The gossip you heard about me and Evan is one hundred percent accurate.

“If you think words are cheap, you should see how I dress around these three. I like to act the part, if you know what I mean. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an after-party to attend.” She tilted her chin in the direction of the balcony. “And for those of you who are apparently interested, let me explain. It’s a private sex party, and I’m the guest of honor.”


Chapter 31

<p>Chapter 31</p>

“What were you thinking?” Braden said as he followed her ass into the media room. “Do you want everyone to know what you’re doing here, is that it?”

She turned the question right around. “What am I doing here?”

“Huh? What is it that I’m doing here because now I don’t know anymore! I told the world how I felt about the men I love, and you’re questioning it. I don’t tell it, and you think I’m ashamed. Kane proposes, and I see the hurt in your eyes and a flicker of it in Evan’s. He kissed Freda tonight, for crying out loud.”

“This is about Freda?” Evan questioned when he joined them.

“Hell no, it’s not about Freda. That kiss was for me. You did it to show me you didn’t have ties.”

Evan started to speak but Braden held up his hand. “If you think he kissed her to make some kind of point, you’re dead wrong, Peyton. He was taking up for you and-”

“His past lifestyle came in and just kicked his ass,” Kane said as he passed. “Freda is nothing more than a gossip, and she gossips about those she wants to hurt. She gives her version of the truth, and Evan set her straight.”

“You should’ve seen the look on her face when Evan told her about seeing her at Clink.” Braden rubbed the back of his neck. “The poor girl looked like she might choke on a few ass beads or something.”

“Nice,” Peyton said, rolling her eyes.

“Don’t think she’ll talk too much about you in the near future,” Evan said.

“You shouldn’t have slapped a judge’s daughter, Peyton.”

“Why? She stared down her nose at me like I was trash and-”

“Have we made you feel like trash in any way?” Braden asked. “In any way?” He clutched her shoulders.

“No, you haven’t. I only feel loved when I’m with you. All of you.” She looked around the room.

“You’re sure?” Evan moved in behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist.

“I’m pretty sure,” she moaned as she rubbed her bottom against the hard thickness poking her in the back. “Of course, we could test it and be absolutely certain. We can all strip off and run around the house playing a few sex games. You know, just to see if I have regrets or something in the morning.”

Kane growled and rubbed his hand across the front of his slacks. “Darlin’, if you think you’re going to wake up in the morning, you need to check out the time over there.” He tilted his chin toward the Grandfather clock in the corner. “It’s nearly three, and our little party is on ice upstairs. You’ll consider yourself lucky if we finish with you before high noon.”

“Is that right?”

Evan chuckled. “Considering Kane here was given special treatment before the party, I may have to spank you a few times to remind you playing favorites isn’t polite.”

“I don’t play favorites.” Hell yes, she did. Kane made sure of it.

“See that you don’t.” Evan snickered and scooped her in his arms. “I’ll see you two in Peyton’s room. First, I’m going to go fuck her silly in a closet somewhere.” She buried her head in his shirt as he carried her up the stairs. “Yeah, I hear you can do some wicked things with those legs while hanging onto a rod.”

Peyton bit her lip. “Which rod are we talking about here? The one I swing from or the one you plan to bury deep inside of me while making me scream for more?”

“Just for that, I’m going to spank you with Kane’s riding crop.” He kissed her cheek and nuzzled her ear. “And you’re going to beg me to fuck you by the time I’m finished with you.”

“I’m begging now. Right now.” She wrapped her arm around his neck and nibbled on his ear. “Take me right here on the landing. Up against the wall. Let me feel you, Evan. Rub that cock right into my pussy like only you can.”

“Oh, yeah, like only I can, huh?” He snickered. “Wait until Kane and Braden hear about this.”

“Take me up on it?”

“You like a show, don’t you, baby?” He put her down, unhooked his belt, and her fingers went to work. She unbuttoned his jeans and pulled his cock from his pants while he helped her out of her shorts and thong.

“I love to put on a show when I have a leading man or two to help me steal center stage.”

“Oh we’ll catch an audience in about two minutes. They’re locking up and heading this way. You can count on it.”

“Then show me a good time and make it count.” She pressed her arms against the wall and captured her lip under her teeth. “Give me what I want, Evan.”

“You always get what you want, Peyton.” He leaned over, slanted his lips over hers and rubbed his tongue against hers as soon as their lips parted in a hungry lover’s kiss.

“Always.”

She fisted his cock and drove him forward. “God, you feel good.” She rolled her neck over to the side and waited for his lips to trail down her neck. Instead, he held her chin and kissed the act of sex right into her mouth. Sucking on her tongue, he released it as he drove into her again and again.

“That’s good, Peyton. Take my cock, honey. Let me feel you, Peyton.” His thighs bunched, he bent down and picked her up. He held her to him as he drove into her with her back against the wall.

“Evan! Faster! Let me come. Oh God, I need to come for you.”

He slowed down his grind but his mouth continued to captivate her senses. He stripped her of any thoughts beyond sex. All she wanted and needed was his kiss and his cock stroking inside of her. “Good hell, woman. You can kiss.” He held back from her, and his breathing increased.

“Now, baby. You can come with me now.” He patted his cock against her inner walls with a tap to the left and then to the right before he moved straight into her with a force meant to provoke an orgasm. And his cum sprayed into her pussy in one steady bolt of heat.

“That’s good, baby. Oh so good.” He fucked her nice and slow then until her breathing subsided and gently let her slide away from him right into Braden’s waiting arms.

“You’re so naughty, you can’t even wait until you get upstairs,” he said.

“Oh Braden, I love all of you so much, I’ll take you wherever I can have you.”

“Then let’s get you cleaned up so I can get in between those legs next,” he said.


****

Peyton’s room was lit up like a honeymoon suite. Champagne on ice, or rather white grape juice in a fancy bottle if she cared to guess, and rose petals scattered on a new fluffy white rug led to silk sheets with more of the same.

“I like my new rug,” she said.

“Kane’s idea. He said we might get tired of fucking you in the closet.” Braden smiled.

“That closet has you boys tore the hell up, huh?”

“Damn, I’d say,” Evan agreed as he followed them in the room.

“Grab what you need and meet us in my bathroom,” Braden said with a wicked smile.

“Ah hell, Braden. She’s almost down to bare bones now. Just strip her off and bring her with you. I know Kane wanted her dressed for sex but I’m more interested in the woman than the clothes she might wear to our bed.”

“Good thing, because I plan on staying naked around here.”

“Then, I guess Braden’s idea of kids is shot to hell,” Kane said from the doorway.

“You’re the one who wants kids soon, lover-boy. Want me to tell her why?” Evan asked.

“I can only imagine,” she said. “You three go wait for me in Braden’s tub. I’m going to get a few things, and I’ll be right there.”

“You’re not going to run away or anything, right?” Evan winked. “Wouldn’t want you to rush out to party with your friends.”

“The only party I want is right here. This is the best graduation any girl could ask for.”

“We aim to please,” Braden said.

“Good thing,” she quipped. “Because you’re going to have to show me and right now I’m feeling insatiable. It’s going to take all three of you to keep me satisfied.”

“We never doubted it for a minute, Peyton. Never one minute.” Kane kissed her lips and then gave her pussy a love pat. “Now, get what you need and hurry. The water is getting cold.”


Chapter 32

<p>Chapter 32</p>

“If this isn’t a picture.” Peyton walked into the master bathroom and stood back to take in the sight of three men in a tub full of rose petals. “I could snap a photograph and get a nice little pension for the efforts, don’t you think?” She bit playfully on her fingertip.

Kane stood. “What kind of price would this bring?”

“Or this,” Braden said joining him.

“Ah boys, this one would put you two to shame,” Evan stood with his cock in his hand. “What do you think, Peyton?”

“I think I love them all and don’t want to share.” She stepped on the first of three tiny footrests, and they helped her into the tub.

Braden gathered her in his arms and twisted her around so he held her to him with her back against his chest. “This is perfect. I’ve waited all day for this.”

Kane hit the button on the side, and the jets began to spray the water into motion. The roses swirled across the top. Evan sank against one of the jets, and it was obvious he had his cock in hand. His facial expressions told one tale while his upper right shoulder rose and fell with the movements going on under water.

“Are you happy, Peyton?” Braden nibbled on her ear and Kane straddled them so his legs draped over theirs and his cock hung at her entrance. He didn’t impale her with his length. Instead, he fisted it tight and began to move it forward and up so she felt the tip at her belly, right above her mound. With his other hand, he moved his fingers into her pussy.

“Go easy, Kane,” she whispered. “I’m tight right now. The water dried up the places you boys might want to visit.”

“Oh hell, what an invitation.” Evan said as he tried to wrestle Kane for his spot. Instead, his fingers earned the chance to test out what she meant. Kane and Evan took turns sliding their fingers in and out of her as Braden massaged her breasts.

“Hold them up for me,” Evan told his brother.

“For you or her?” Braden chuckled as he lifted her breasts above the water. Evan dipped his head, and his lips covered her nipple. He sucked her breast while his tongue rotated around the shape of the tight nub.

Kane reached for soap and handed Braden a bar. He immediately started to scrub her back while Kane washed the rest of her body. When he washed her pussy, he fingered her more than cleansed it with soap and water. Evan’s mouth continued to stay busy, feasting on her fullness, pulling her inside his mouth and lavishing her with the best of sexual fantasies.

“She’s all clean and ready for the first of many swipes,” Kane said as he stood up and pulled her out of Braden’s grip.

“I want to soak,” she whined.

“They’re going to soak. I’m going to eat your pussy,” he said with no uncertainty in his voice.

“Kane, good Lord, you don’t have to put it that way.” She blushed.

“Fine, how about this?” He lifted her from the water and set her bottom on the dressing table nearby. “I’m going to sit down here in front of you.” He pulled her feet to his knees. “I’m going to suck your clit and finger your pussy until I see your juices gather around my fingertips. Then, I’m going to suck you until you scream for more.”

She shivered.

“You should’ve settled for the first explanation.”

“I liked the second one better,” she said.

She watched Braden and Evan relax in the tub while her body tensed with excitement. “Are you going to eat me or stare at it?” She leaned back on her palms.

“Oh darlin’, I’m going to lick every last drop, count on it.” He kissed her leg and then parted her knees. With three fingers, he pressed into her and stretched her muscles with a dipping circular rotation.

She cried out as she closed her eyes. The moisture became a puddle in a few seconds, and the damp need began to overflow as his fingers moved slow, too slow, into her vagina.

“I’m not going to last like this, Kane.” She moved with his hand. Her body cried out for more than a finger fuck, an erotic and wild need to have his lips on hers. His mouth sucked her into a fiery whirlwind of desire. Oh yes, she needed his tongue tasting her.

“Hmmm…that’s good baby.” He glanced into the reflection. “Boys, take a look at this pretty pussy.”

“Kane.” She felt her skin heat again as her orgasm threatened to explode her walls into a sensation of pleasure. “Please snack on me or else somebody is going to have to fuck me.”

“Oh darlin’, I’m going to lick this pretty little pussy until the only thing you want is my tongue in between your legs.”

“Don’t tell her that because I have a cock ready and waiting over here,” Evan said.

“I’m coming.” Peyton interrupted the guy chatter and Kane dropped his head. He nibbled her pussy lips and moved his fingers from side to side.

“Come for me, baby.” He glanced up as he tweaked her nipple with his finger and thumb, pulling it for her pleasure while he moaned against her cunt, waiting for her orgasm.

“Give him that sweet honey, Peyton.” Evan pushed himself from the water and sat on the edge of the tub.

“Oh hell, don’t do it,” she pleaded as she saw him tug harder and harder against his cock. “Evan, please. It drives me crazy to see you cum in your hand.”

“Why didn’t you say so?” Braden stood and sat on the edge of the tub as well. He pulled at his cock as Kane licked at her walls.

Kane’s thumb rotated her clit before he gently bit down on it, sending shards of pleasure through her body.

“Oh God! Now!” She tried to watch Braden and Evan as they tugged at their large cocks. She ran her fingers through Kane’s hair and couldn’t stop herself from pulling it.

He moaned out and bit down with a little more pressure on the clit he now possessed, and owned. And she watched as Evan began to jerk with his release, amazed at how the cum shot from his shaft in an even stream.

“Holy shit!” She grabbed Kane’s ears and stood on his knees. He held onto her ankles, and she fucked his mouth like a wild woman out of control. Damn it all, she should’ve been ashamed to abuse a man’s generosity but she didn’t stop. She slammed her mound against his mouth, and he licked harder, more violently than he ever licked before. The groans coming from his lungs were carnal and Braden shot his release into his hand, mouthing he loved her as he came. Kane dropped her between his legs and insisted on fucking her mouth with as much speed as he needed.

He held onto her shoulders and growled within seconds. She sucked in the mushroom head and planned to suck him slow, in and out, let him know how much she appreciated the way he pleasured her. Instead, he returned the favor. He held onto her head and as her mouth closed around the head, he fucked his cock into her cheeks and a hot spray of his cum filled the back of her throat.


****

The fun they had in Braden’s tub and bathroom provided one form of entertainment. The pleasure found on her bed, quite another. They’d tangled the sheets for more than an hour and yet no one penetrated her. They’d touched, kissed, played, tweaked, sucked, and driven her crazy. Now, they waited for more. The cocks in the bed strained against her hip or thigh and they all had a purplish tint to them, the veins bulging at the sides.

Kane dropped his hand in between her legs and parted her folds with his finger inside of her walls. “I love this pussy. It’s so tight I swear sometimes it hurts just to fuck you.”

“I’m sorry it hurts,” she said with a grin.

“Yeah, man,” Evan said. “If it’s too painful, I have a solution for you. Leave the fucking her part to me and Braden. We can handle it, stud.”

“Shut up, Evan,” Kane said. “I can still toss you out of here on your skinny ass too.”

Braden rolled over her and positioned the head of his cock just inside her walls. “Let me see how bad it hurts. I can’t remember,” he grinned as he slid inside of her. “Oh yeah, now I remember.”

His lips captured hers in a duet of mutual sharing. She licked her way into his mouth and then he licked his way into hers. “This is good, Peyton. Really, good.” He moved his hips in desperate time before he shifted his weight and pulled her body with him.

Evan dipped his finger into some lubricant and ran it down her crease. “God, there’s no one woman anywhere with a better ass.” He kissed her cheek, and Kane slid him the riding crop.

Tassels fell from the end intended for a man’s grip. He ran the featherlike material over her cheeks, and she moaned as she moved with and against Braden’s cock.

Kane sucked her breasts and tickled her back as he held onto her waist. “Arch your back baby,” he told her and she didn’t waste time doing it. Braden’s body provided a platform and he helped her with the process.

Evan massaged her globe and then smoothed his palm over it before he struck the crop over her bottom.

She bucked. “Holy shit, Evan. Easy!”

Braden nuzzled her neck and then looked at Evan. “Hmmm…that’s hot, Peyton. Her little pussy just closed completely around my cock. Ask him for more, Peyton.”

“Let me have another one,” she said.

Evan slapped the crop across her bottom again. This time, a bead of sweat formed over Braden’s brow. “Lord help me, I didn’t think she could get any tighter until-”

Evan ran his dick over her ass and then slid in between her cheeks. Kane slid his fingers over her belly and pressed down on her stomach.

She cried out as she bucked against his cock. “Evan! Slow! Go slow!”

Kane took the crop from Evan and turned it upside down so the tassels ran over her mound. Braden fucked her hard and deep as Evan came through the rear with quick delivery of pounding strokes.

“That’s it, Peyton.” Kane watched her. “Fuck them, baby. Let them have that sexy body, princess.”

Evan twisted her hair around his wrist and held her hips as he moved forward. Braden withdrew and then thrust into her again. They fucked in a sequenced time, coordinating the way they slid into her separate compartments.

Braden leaned back several inches and Kane snapped the crop over her pussy. It only ignited her orgasm before Braden hammered into once her again.

Sweat formed on all of their bodies and Kane reached over and removed a lock of hair stuck to Peyton’s face. “God, you’re sexy.”

Evan slapped her bottom and fucked out a harder pattern. He was coming. Braden was right behind him. He stared into her eyes with love and adoration mouthing the sentiments over and over again. “I love you.”

Kane pressed the crop in between their bodies and swiveled it over her mound again, and that’s when she screamed out her release.

“Now! Oh please, don’t stop! Kane, please do it again!”

With a wicked grin, he turned the crop around and tapped her pussy this time with a gently smack from the leather crop. She cried out in satisfaction as the jolt of cum from Evan’s dick filled her ass with his hot spray. Braden bit his lip and jerked again as the last of his seed saturated her folds, and they handed her over to Kane, sliding out at the same time.

Kane brought her up on all fours and slid his rock-hard cock into her ass. He continued to use the crop to feather over her nipples and the sensation drove her mad. She bucked against him as his mushroom tip retreated and then dipped into her tight ring.

“Don’t hold back, Kane. Please! I need you to fuck me. Hard! Now! Faster!” She threw her head against his chest and so help her, he fucked her. He threw her down on the bed and gave her what she craved most from him.

She needed him to know she wasn’t going to break in his arms. She wasn’t going to run when she saw this side of him. In fact, as he held her pinned to the bed and slapped her hard on her behind while screaming her name, she decided she might even enjoy him more like this.

Kane let his defenses down. He buried his cock into her ass so deep, he touched a barrier no one else had reached. Shards of light danced in front of her eyes as he fucked her ass like a wild animal out of control.

“Damn it to hell, Kane,” Evan warned. “You’re going to kill her.”

“Shut up, Evan. It’s perfect! Too good, so hot and oh…Kane! Give it to me harder, Kane! Harder!” She came again. He was fighting to stay locked inside her cheeks, and he growled so loud, she thought he’d never scream again. But scream he did. Right as he lost everything he tried to restrain.

“Peyton! Oh God, Peyton! Take it all, baby. Oh yes, take it all!


Chapter 33

<p>Chapter 33</p>

The next morning, the men woke up to a country breakfast. Peyton drove out to get it at Cracker Barrel before they stumbled downstairs. She’d had all the excitement she could stand the night before. She saw little reason to add to it by burning the place down with her cooking skills.

She had everything on the table by the time they made their way to the kitchen. She tossed the bags under the sink just in time to make a nice showing. “Good morning, boys.”

“Something smells good,” Evan said as he slid a kiss on her cheek.

“You went to a lot of trouble,” Braden said eyeing the eggs and sausage patties while he patted her bottom.

Kane grabbed a biscuit from the table, took a bite and winked. “Uh-huh. I’d know a Cracker Barrel biscuit anywhere.” He took a sip of coffee and tugged her onto his lap.

“What time did you get up?”

“About two hours ago,” She shrugged. “I couldn’t sleep.”

Braden’s brow arched. “Why not?”

“Just couldn’t. Excitement, I guess.”

“Woke up wet, did ya?” Evan snickered.

“As a matter of fact, I did. Wonder why.”

“Wet dreams, I imagine.” Evan shoved a piece of sausage into the biscuit.

“More like living out fantasies,” she said.

Kane balanced her on his leg and reached around her for the salt. He nudged her breast on purpose and grinned at his plate. “You know, you don’t have to run around here horny, right? I mean, you don’t have to wait for one or all of us to make a play for sex, Peyton.”

“Nice of you to explain things for me,” she said as she winked at Braden.

“And you don’t have to sleep with all of us at night, by the way. In fact, we talked about it yesterday. Braden’s going to move to the spare room and we’re going to turn the master suite into a…”

“Shit, Kane, spit it out,” Evan laughed. “The master bedroom will be our playroom, and Braden will take the other bedroom for his. We’re going to add a few things in the master like a trampoline and sex machine, bondage toys and-”

“Huh?” She swallowed stiffly.

“He’s kidding.” Braden took a swig of juice. “My room is going to be more like a game room, really. We’ve been meaning to put a pool table somewhere so we decided to add a pool table, ping pong table and a few other things up there. We thought we’d put a king-size bed up there too for nights when we all stay together. Otherwise, unless you’re opposed to it, everyone is going to keep their rooms for now. Kane wants you in his bed all the time, of course. He’s selfish.”

“I’m in love,” he said.

“And we’re not?” Braden snapped.

He shifted Peyton over his body and moved her to the other side, stretching her legs out over his as he continued to eat his breakfast. He took a bite of his food, ran his finger up her inner thigh and then picked up his fork again. “Look at her. Is she beautiful first thing in the morning or what?”

“Kane, I’ve already showered and put on my make-up.”

“You don’t need it,” Evan said. “In fact, I like you better without it.”

Braden shook his head. “So it’s Western Carolina, huh?”

“Yeah, I think it suits me.”

“But you’re going to take advantage of the scholarship and play ball, right?”

“I am,” she said. “Braden, I’m not going to give up my dreams. I’ll still play ball and study hard. I’m going to become a nurse.”

“You can’t mean a nurse-nurse, like the kind who takes care of other people nurse?” Evan asked.

Kane stopped chewing his food and studied her. “Who said you would work?”

“I want to work. I want to do something for the greater good, and I guess nursing will allow me to help others and…”

“No, you’re not suited for the hospital, Peyton.” Kane said and refused to look at her. “If you want to take care of someone and nurse something, have a few babies. Hell, have a whole house full of them.”

“Kane, maybe we should talk about this later,” Braden suggested. “After breakfast.”

“She’s not working at the hospital. Period.” He got up and walked over to the sink, looked out at something-nothing-and pretended interested.

“Kane, I have college and nursing school first. It’s not like-”

“I said no,” he said.

“I didn’t ask for your permission,” she said.

“Good, because you won’t get it.” He walked outside and let the door slam behind him.

“What the hell?” She pointed in his direction and then glared back at the two brothers left to cool the path Kane heated.

“You should’ve realized he wouldn’t want you in the medical field, Peyton.” Braden wiped his mouth and tossed the napkin on the table. “It’s a fear he has. He doesn’t want to lose you, and if you’re here, where he can keep you safe, he doesn’t have to worry about anything happening to you.”

“At the hospital?”

“Germs, diseases, some crazy psycho wanting to take out his frustrations on whoever worked to save, but didn’t save, a loved one. There’s all sorts of things that could happen. Kane has an issue with protecting those he loves, in case you haven’t noticed.”

“Now you sound like him, Evan. You’ve all discussed this already, haven’t you?”

“We discussed some things we’d like to do to keep you safe, yes.” Braden took a drink of coffee. “Now, don’t get mad, Peyton. There’s a lot we’ve discussed when you haven’t been around. Things like children and-”

“Children?” She saw Kane’s body straighten, his shoulders squared. “You might as well bring your stubborn ass back in here, Kane. If they’re going to talk about the future and children, then standing there on the porch isn’t a smart idea.”

He turned around and marched back inside and stood in front of her. “Let me guess, you don’t want children?”

“I don’t have a problem with them as long as I don’t have to change diapers or lose sleep over them. I’ll play with them, feed them and hand them over to the rest of you for night duty or diaper detail.”

“Some mother you’ll make,” Evan said. “I’m kind of with her on diapers. It’s why I wanted to have a vasectomy years ago.”

“Did you really?” His confession just pissed her the hell off. “Why would you consider something like that without a woman in your life?”

“Too much sex with all the wrong girls,” Braden said. “He didn’t do it, by the way.”

“Great,” she said. “Spare me the details.”

“Honey, I hope you’re not jealous. Considering I’m going to share you with these two, I think-”

“By the way, that reminds me.” She stood up with her hands on her hips. “Kane proposed marriage. Where does that leave you two?”

“That was for legal purposes, in case you didn’t figure that part out,” Braden said. “We want you to marry all of us.”

“That won’t work.”

“Why not?” Kane demanded.

“Because, you already act like you have a stronger hold on me and eventually these two will feel like you do. I don’t like it, and it will never work.”

Braden chuckled. “Then what will?”

“Hmmm, I guess we’ll just have to think about it and take some time to figure it out.”

“While you’re thinking on it, give some thought to a different career option too. Once you enroll in school, you need to declare a major so you don’t waste your time on courses you won’t need.”

“Kane, I’m becoming a nurse.”

“Peyton, over my dead body.”

“Braden, hand me your gun. I can shoot one Cartwell and still have two of you left.”

Kane crooked a smile. “You think you’re pretty smart, don’t you?”

“Smart enough to land the three most eligible bachelors in town. I’d say I’m anything but a dumb blonde.”

“I’d say you’re right, Miss Peyton Storm Cartwell. I’d say you’re right.”


Epilogue

<p>Epilogue</p>

Six Years Later

Kane and Braden took turns with the baby after they brought the little one home from the hospital. In true Peyton-form, she kept up her end of the deal. She wasn’t going to share diaper duty or lose sleep when the little darling cried. She made the promise six years ago, and she never led the men she loved to believe anything different.

“Trixie needs a change,” she said as she handed the little beauty off to Braden. Trixie’s biological father was Kane but no one ever planned to tell her until later in life, if and when she asked.

“What time do you get off tonight?” Evan asked as he poked his head in the nursery.

“I guess whenever I tell her she can get off,” Kane said with a flirty wink. “What the hell are you thinking asking her a question like that?”

Trixie cooed at Braden, and he cooed back. Everyone laughed.

“See, even Trixie knows you ask stupid questions,” Kane said as he leaned over and kissed Peyton. “She’s a smart girl like her mother.”

“I don’t know. Right now, Peyton’s intelligence is up for a little debate. The deal the two of you cut doesn’t sit well with me,” Evan said.

“I bet it will,” Braden said without looking away from Trixie. “She’s in training for all of us. Not just Kane.”

Evan stared at them blankly. “You mean…”

Kane grumbled. “Part of the deal.”

“Maybe you two should explain this deal you made,” Evan said.

Peyton wrapped her arms around Evan’s waist. She looked up at him and kissed his mouth before she backed away. “I’ll let them explain. I have to get to work.” She made her rounds and kissed them all goodbye. “I think you’ll like the details.”

Kane waggled his eyebrows. “I’m sure you will, little brother. It’s like this. Peyton gets to go play nurse three days a week and three days a week she submits to us as a submissive in training. It’s a sweet deal all the way around.”

“She agreed to train as a true submissive?” Evan studied his brothers.

“With Trixie, we don’t want anything too elaborate. I mean, we’re not going to put a collar and leash on her for crying out loud. All bets are off behind closed doors, and three days a week, she will submit to her Master for the night.”

“So it’s more games than going back into the lifestyle?” Evan sounded disappointed, and Peyton smiled to herself as she listened to them chit-chat. She strained to hear everything they discussed but she found herself almost as excited as she’d been the first day she made love with all of them. There was something about submitting to them. It made her pulse race and her heart flutter an extra beat.

“If that’s the way you want to imagine it, then that’s fine but I can tell you one thing, Braden and I have talked and there’s little she’s going to get by with when she’s in my bed. I’m making a sacrifice for her to work at the hospital. When she submits to me, I’m going to make sure it’s worth the exchange.”

“You feel the same way, Braden?”

“You’d better believe it.” He picked Trixie up and handed her off to Kane. He held her out and studied the child. “She looks like Peyton.”

“She acts like her too,” Braden grumbled.

“She’s going to give us a run for our money, isn’t she?” Kane asked.

“Not if we get her mother under control first. She’s going to follow her lead. Wait and see. She looks at Peyton like she’s the only one in the room. She adores her. She’ll be exactly like her.”

Peyton giggled and stepped back inside the nursery. “You guys are so funny. I wish I had a tape recording to play back to you someday. Poor Trixie doesn’t stand a chance, do you, sweetheart?” She tickled the little one’s toes, and Trixie cackled.

“Okay, I’m off. Try to behave until I get back,” she said.

Kane grunted. “You’re the one who needs to behave.”

“For sure,” Braden said.

“Oh please step out of line,” Evan said. “I love to spank your little round behind, and I can hardly wait to see you with your nose in the corner again.”

“Dream on, Evan, dream on. If we’re playing these games now, I want the real thing. The whips and chains, and the whole shebang. You boys better get online and buy some new toys. I’m all grown up now. I’m not eighteen anymore.”

“Thank, God.” They all chimed in at once and even little Trixie laughed right along with them.