Unbridled, p.1

Unbridled, page 1



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  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

  Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada

  (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

  Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

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  (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)

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  (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)

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  Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  This book is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

  Copyright © 2010 by Beth Williamson.

  All rights reserved.

  No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions. HEAT and the HEAT design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.


  Heat trade paperback edition / July 2010

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

  Williamson, Beth, [date]-

  Unbridled / Beth Williamson.—Heat trade pbk. ed. p. cm.

  eISBN : 978-1-101-45631-6

  1. Ranch life—Fiction. 2. Cowboys—Fiction. 3. Wyoming—Fiction. I. Title. PS3623.I5668U’.6—dc22



  To my dad, the real-life hero who has always inspired me, supported me, and loved me


  Alex looked out at the beautiful backyard, the pool sparkling in the late-afternoon sunlight, the patio furniture arranged just so. Everything appeared perfect, as beautiful as any Southern California yard. It seemed the world should be weeping instead of continuing on as if David hadn’t died, as if her life hadn’t come to a screeching halt.

  She’d been granted a day to leave the house, to vacate the only home she’d had for the last ten years. David’s family hated her, likely assumed she’d been the cause of the sixty-year-old’s death. She wasn’t, of course; she had loved David more than she thought possible.

  And now he was gone.

  Alex managed to swallow the enormous lump in her throat, then turned without looking back. It wouldn’t do her any good to regret her choices—she couldn’t change them. There was no do-over button to frantically press.

  Her footsteps echoed on the marble foyer floor; the clack of her heels sounded so damn lonely. As she passed the hall table, she stopped and picked up the African violet. She’d purchased it when she moved into the house, promising David to leave when it died.

  It never had.

  With the constantly blooming purple-flowered plant in her arm, she left David’s house for good. The warm breeze caressed her face, drying any leftover tears she’d missed. She slipped on her sunglasses and walked to the car, back straight, spine as stiff as a steel rod.

  It was time to emerge into the real world, out of the protective cocoon David had kept her in, to face the ghosts who constantly rode beside her. He’d known she didn’t want to return to Wyoming, but it seemed the universe had a twisted sense of humor.

  She had no place else to go, and she could almost hear his melodic voice telling her to follow her heart. Alex had learned to listen to him, to trust his judgment. This time would be no exception. He’d left her one thing; his family had seized the rest upon his death. And of course it was the one thing she needed to go back to Wyoming.

  A 1967 Camaro.

  It got shitty gas mileage, but ate up the road like it was an all-you-can-eat buffet. Alex had loved that car from the moment she saw it. David’s family promised to allow her to keep it provided she disappear, and quickly. Her presence in his house had caused them no end of embarrassment. A wealthy man who died living with a woman half his age was like inviting the tabloids to rip them to pieces.

  The rich green color of the car contrasted sweetly with the white stripes up the center. It was in cherry condition and it was hers. The pink slip was firmly in her purse, and it would take an act of God to pry it from her.

  Alex slid behind the wheel, the seat warm from the afternoon heat. After setting the plant in a box on the floor of the front seat, she turned the key and it roared to life. The thrum of the engine vibrated through her, giving her just a hint of what it could do if she opened it up.

  As she drove down the horseshoe-shaped driveway, she mentally said good-bye to the man who had been nothing short of a substitute father, mentor and friend. She managed to lock away the grief, but just barely. David would have been proud of her.

  The steady bass thumped from the dance club, calling any and all into its depths. Alex needed this, needed to have a night to release her emotions, to feel as a twenty-six-year-old woman should, to recover from David’s death.

  It had been a shock to everyone. He’d been so healthy, so full of life and verve, until Fate had sunk her deadly talons into him and yanked him away. Alex had been more than just his beard, the woman by his side night and day to keep the wolves at bay—she was his best friend.

  Deep in the night, they would talk of everything, anything. She told him about her past in Wyoming, how she’d run from the death of her mother, the abandonment of her father. He held her close as she’d sobbed just as she held him as he cried about losing his only love at twenty-one. The young man had simply vanished after appearing at David’s side at a family function.

  David had suspected his family, a bunch of vampiric money-sucking bastards, of either paying the young man a disgusting amount of money to disappear or perhaps even killing him. There was too much money at stake with David’s legacy from his industrialist grandfather. They couldn’t have a gay man at the helm.

  Alex suspected she wasn’t the first beard David had had by his side, a constant female companion to share his life, his bed, but never his heart or his body. Oh, she knew he loved her, but it was the love of two human beings who lived together and cared for each other as friends.

  In return for her role, he provided everything she needed. When Alex first came to him, she expected to be his whore, and she was desperate enough to accept the offer. He was so gentle, sweet and funny—a balm to her wounded soul.

; Yet all he’d wanted was for her to be his companion, and eventually his friend.

  After ten years, they were as close as a man and a woman could be without being romantically involved. No one knew of their real relationship except for his friends, a bisexual couple named Kent and Don.

  She’d flirted with them and they with her. Kent had even gone so far as to make out with her once when they’d gotten drunk on Christmas. And he’d been an amazing kisser. David had never limited her sexual partners, but he insisted on her being completely discreet. Now he was gone and she was full of pain—she needed to escape it if only for a little while.

  As she stepped into the club, she was surrounded by the music; the steady thrum of the beat echoed through her body, through her flesh and bones. She reveled in the feeling, the sensation as foreign to her as being alone in the world again.

  Alex walked in, watching others as they drank, danced, laughed, lived. It was as if she were an outsider looking through glass, unable for anyone to hear or see her. She scanned the crowd for Kent and Don. They had cried together at the funeral the day before. When she’d told them of her plans to leave L.A., they invited her to the club for a last hurrah. Kent had kissed her and held her close, whispering in her ear that they could comfort each other. She wondered if it was an invitation to finally fulfill the flirtation, the attraction, that had lain between them for years.

  Truthfully, she was just a bit nervous about being with Kent and Don finally, about what might happen. They had enjoyed a sexual flirtation for so long, she never expected it to go beyond that. Yet Kent, the blond-haired charming one, had told her on more than one occasion they’d always wondered what she might be like in bed. Don, the dark-haired quiet one, had simply watched them with a sizzling gaze. Now she needed that closeness with them, a connection to another human being, or two. Her grief was pressing down so hard on her, she had to escape it for at least a little while.

  Alex found herself vibrating to the music, swaying with the crowd as mindless as the notes around her. She realized what she was doing and glanced around to see if anyone else had noticed. No one was paying attention to her, of course. She knew she shouldn’t be embarrassed, but she was never one to make a spectacle of herself in public.

  She wandered to the bar and managed to shout loud enough for the curly-haired bartender to hear her. She paid him twice as much as she needed to for the bourbon before she downed it in two gulps. He raised his brows, either at the tip or at her slamming back the booze.

  Alex held up her finger to request one more. That was all she would indulge herself with. If she allowed the buzz to sneak into her body, she’d lose control completely. That was the last thing she needed. Alex was a sloppy drunk, and seeing as how she’d just buried her best friend the day before, it wasn’t the time to show everyone else just how sloppy she could get.

  She sipped the second bourbon as her eyes scanned the crowd. If she didn’t find them before the drink was gone, she was leaving. There was no need to prolong the discomfort any longer than necessary. The idea of letting go, of feeling everything life could throw at her, was intimidating to say the least. Alex might appear hard as brass on the outside, but inside she sometimes felt like the scared sixteen-year-old who had arrived in L.A. ten years earlier.

  “Hey, gorgeous.” Kent appeared on her right, a tight white shirt gracing his nicely muscled body. Damn, the man took care of himself. His blond mane was perfectly arranged with nary a hair out of place. He smiled over her head. “Told you she’d be here.”

  Alex turned to find Don on her left side. His dark brown eyes were expressive, telling her without words that he understood her loss. Before she could say anything, he gathered her up in his arms and pressed her to his own firm chest. She was nearly overwhelmed.

  Then Kent embraced her from the other side and she was an Alex sandwich.

  Suddenly the comfort Don had initially given her turned into something else altogether. Heat poured through one man, through her, and into the other. She had no idea touching two human beings at once, being enveloped by them, was so intense.

  Kent leaned down and kissed her ear. “I’m glad you’re here, Alex.” He pressed his cock into the crevice of her ass and she felt every inch of it through the thin material of her pants. The man was well endowed and Alex felt the stirrings of arousal low in her belly.

  Then Don leaned back and kissed her. His lips were soft and plump, tasting slightly of rum and Coke, sweet and intoxicating. She kissed him back, surprising both of them. His sweet kiss turned into an openmouthed dueling of tongues and hot, wet heat. Kent brushed the undersides of her breasts, and the nipples popped like pink diamonds.

  “Wanna dance?” Kent leaned past her to insert his mouth between them, to lap at their tongues like a kitty reaching for a treat.

  Alex could hardly catch her breath. The idea that these two hot men would want to share their bed with her, which was patently obvious now, made butterflies explode in her stomach. She’d come to the club expecting this—it was no time to be a pussy about it. She chased away the lingering apprehension and smiled.

  “Yes, let’s dance.”

  The dance floor was crowded with gyrating bodies, pulsing with heat and arousal. Alex was already warm from Don and Kent, and the mixture of their sexual titillation made her temperature rise even more.

  As the beat thrummed through her, Kent stayed behind her while Don took up position in front of her. She expected them to be good dancers, and they didn’t disappoint her. Kent put his hands on her hips and swayed behind her, his cock just brushing against her ass.

  Don’s dark gaze held hers as he approached her from the front. His chest came close to hers, close to the aching nipples clearly visible through her white blouse. It was a tantalizing dance, a tease to keep her wanting and needing more.

  Her breath came and went in pants; she could hardly get enough air in. She wished she’d tossed back the rest of the bourbon; her body burned for something, anything. As she swung her hips around and moved as one with her dance partners, her pussy began to throb with the music.

  Don slid down the front of her, his tongue leaving a path from her throat to her breasts. He nipped at her, leaving her almost dizzy with arousal. Kent pulled her toward him, putting her ass in the saddle of his obviously hard cock.

  She closed her eyes and Don pressed her front once more. The music thrummed through her as she twisted and turned with them. Hands and bodies rubbing, touching, inciting. Alex was on fire, had never been so aroused in her life.

  She grabbed Don and yanked him until his lips slammed against hers. Tongues tangled, rasping against each other as Kent reached around to tweak her already aching nipples. She came up for air, meeting Don’s dark gaze. He smiled and she knew she was ready to do more than dance.

  Kent whispered in her ear, his voice husky with need. “I want to fuck you, Alex. I want to taste your pretty pussy and feel your mouth on my cock.”

  Alex looked into Don’s gaze as his partner had sex with her in words. He licked his lips, as if tasting her, and she did the same. With a smile, she turned to Kent. His brows went up as she backed into Don, reveling in the feeling of his hardness against her.

  Kent’s nipples were hard beneath his white shirt. She longed to taste them, bite them and make him hiss. Her sexual proclivities had always leaned toward the experimental, although this would be her first ménage, and with two bisexual men to boot.

  She could hardly wait.

  Alex took Kent’s hand and brought it to her throbbing pussy. “I need you.”

  Instead of looking shocked, he smiled and met Don’s gaze over her shoulder.

  “Let’s go.”

  The ride to their house was excruciating. They’d put her in the backseat alone. She almost tore her clothes off and masturbated during the fifteen-minute ride just for some relief. As it was, she kept touching her nipples, tugging at them through her blouse.

  “Are we there yet?”

  Kent chu
ckled. “Anxious, ma petite?”

  It was David’s nickname for her, and the sound of it made her heart clench. She was there to escape the pain of his death, to give and receive comfort. Kent’s reminder put an instant kibosh on her arousal.

  “I’m sorry, Alex.”

  She shook her head. “Don’t be sorry. I want to be here more than anyplace else in the world.”

  Kent turned to put his hand on her knee. “Same here, doll. Now, let’s see just how much fucking we can get done tonight.”

  She laughed, reveling in his honesty, his ability to put her at ease. Don was a lucky man. If Kent had been entirely straight, she might have to fall in love with him.

  They pulled up to the beautiful adobe-style house and Alex was calm, yet there was still a steady beat of need within her. Kent helped her out of the car as Don opened the front door. By the time she entered the house, he’d lit a series of candles leading them to the bedroom.

  Her stomach jumped in anticipation, wondering exactly what she’d gotten herself into. It was enough to make her just a tiny bit nervous, but it wasn’t fear; rather, it was the unknown. A ménage had always interested her, but it had never gone past the fantasy stage.

  When they entered the bedroom, an enormous king-size bed dominated the room. Don stood by the bed, lighting one more candle, throwing a light blue glow in the room. She heard the snick of the door closing behind her and she closed her eyes.

  As if it were their standard position, Kent stood behind her, his warm hands sliding down her arms. Don cupped her chin and kissed her, his fingers unbuttoning her blouse. Their hard bodies surrounded her, bringing back her arousal as if they’d found the magic switch deep within her.

  “I can smell you, Alex.” Kent nibbled at her ear. “I told you I want to taste that pretty pussy of yours.” He cupped her throbbing mound. “And judging by the heat I feel, you’re ready for it.”

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