Colters woman, p.4

Colters Woman, page 4

 part  #1 of  Colters Legacy Series

 

Colters Woman



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Page 4

 

  He sighed and sat down on the couch. “Come here, baby. ”

  She clutched at Ethan’s hand and chewed nervously at her lip.

  What had made her so afraid? Who had hurt her so badly that she couldn’t trust him or his brothers?

  Ethan’s arm went around her, squeezing her reassuringly even as he guided her forward. Ethan cupped her chin and forced her to look up at him. “No one will hurt you, doll. I swear it. No one will ever hurt you again. ”

  She relaxed a bit at his vow then turned her nervous gaze at Adam. “Are you angry?” she asked softly.

  He held out a hand to her and felt an insane sense of victory when she trustingly curled her hand into his. He pulled her into his arms and smoothed her hair from her eyes. “I’m not angry, baby. Not at you. Never at you. I’m angry at the son of a bitch who hurt you, who put that fear I see into your eyes. ”

  He tugged her down further into his arms then kissed her, gently, lightly, feather soft across her mouth. For a moment, she melted into his arms, and she fit so damn perfect, like she’d always belonged there. Then she tensed and yanked away from him, torment and self-loathing burning brightly in her eyes.

  With an inarticulate cry, she ran past him and down the hall to the bedroom.

  Adam started after her, surprised by her reaction. Ethan’s hand on his arm stopped him.

  “You’re going to have to explain,” Ethan said. “Now. ”

  “What the hell are you talking about?”

  Ethan sighed and dragged a hand through his hair. “She thinks she’s a whore. ”

  “What?”

  “Come on, Adam, you know she has to be confused. She’s attracted to the three of us. Some bastard has told her she’s a whore and now she believes him. She doesn’t understand herself or us. You have to explain it to her. ”

  “You’re right,” Adam said with a deep sigh. “I’ll talk to her. ”

  Adam walked down the hall to the bedroom, his brothers following a short distance behind. He knocked softly, not wanting to alarm her by barging in. “Holly, honey, it’s me, Adam. ”

  “Go away. ” Her voice, muffled by sobs, filtered through the door.

  He opened the door, flinching when he saw her huddled on the bed, her eyes red-rimmed. She’d discarded Ryan’s coat on the floor. He stepped around it and walked over to sit on the bed next to her. He pulled her into his arms. She didn’t fight him much to his delight.

  “Tell me why you’re crying,” he said softly.

  “What would you say if I told you not two minutes before I kissed you in the living room, I was outside kissing Ethan?” she said, her lip trembling.

  He smiled and smoothed his hand over her hair. “That makes me very happy, actually. ”

  Startled eyes flew to his face. “Happy? I’m acting like a slut and that makes you happy?”

  He looked sternly at her. “I won’t tolerate you talking about yourself that way. If you say anything like that again, I’ll turn you over my knee and spank your pretty ass. ”

  Her mouth fell open.

  “There are some things you should know,” he said. “Starting with the fact that you belong to us. All of us. ”

  He expected to see fear at his statement. Instead, he saw surprise. Ethan and Ryan, who had been standing in the doorway, moved closer to the bed. Ethan sat down behind Holly and slipped his hands over her shoulders, rubbing soothingly.

  Holly looked uneasily between the brothers as Adam allowed time for his declaration to sink in. She wet her lips nervously and turned troubled eyes back to him.

  “Does that mean you’re not going to let me leave?”

  He chuckled. “If you’re asking if you’re a prisoner, the answer is no. If you’re asking if we’re going to open the door and let you waltz out of our lives, the answer is no. ”

  He moved in closer, cupping her chin in his hand. Her breathing sped up. Beside her, Ryan curled his hand around hers. All three brothers were touching her, soothing her.

  “You belong to us, Holly,” Adam whispered. “I can feel your want, your need. It’s as strong as our need for you. You’re frightened, but you want us. ”

  “So you want a sex slave?” she asked in a strangled voice.

  His eyes narrowed. She was afraid. Not just of him and his brothers but of herself and the unknown man who had done so much damage to her both physically and mentally.

  “If you think this is only about sex, you’re wrong,” Adam said in a low voice. “We’re talking about forever. You would be our wife, our mate. ”

  “W-what?” she squeaked. “B-but…you can’t all marry the same woman!”

  “Can’t we?” Ethan asked behind her.

  “It’s not legal!”

  “You’re thinking with your mind,” Adam chided. “There’s no law that says you can’t live with three men. In our hearts, you would be bound to all three of us. Wife to each one of us. Cherished by all of us. ”

  She shook her head in denial, in confusion.

  “It’s that way in our family,” Ryan said quietly. “If you’re wondering if it’s genetic then no, it isn’t. We have a choice, and we’re choosing you. Our fathers chose our mother, our grandfathers chose our grandmother. But we aren’t bound by an invisible compulsion to lead that kind of life. It’s something we decided when we were old enough to do so. We always knew there would be but one woman for the three of us. And so we’ve waited. ”

  Adam watched Holly’s reaction to Ryan’s sincere explanation. A sheen of tears rimmed her eyes, and her hands shook in her lap.

  “I can’t,” she whispered.

  “But you want us,” Ethan persisted.

  She nodded a little shamefully.

  “Then why can’t you?” Adam prompted, wanting to hear the demons she fought.

  “Because I’m already married,” she choked out.

  Chapter Four

  Cold fingers of dread gripped Adam’s chest. Already married? He looked up to see the same dread mirrored on his brothers’ faces. He glanced down at her finger, unbelieving that he would have missed a ring. But none shone there.

  Ethan’s hands had stilled on her shoulders. Ryan’s grip on her hand had loosened. His own hand had dropped from her chin. Could it be the one woman meant for them was forbidden?

  No, he wouldn’t accept that. Couldn’t.

  “Who is he?” Adam growled possessively.

  Her hand fluttered to her throat, a defensive gesture. Panic flared across her face, quickly running out of control.

  “He’s the man you’re running from,” Ryan said, his face stony.

  “He’s the man who put the fear in your eyes,” Adam added, tilting her chin up once more.

  She closed her eyes and nodded.

  Relief poured over Adam. Ethan’s hands once again smoothed over Holly’s shoulders. This was something they could deal with. She would simply divorce the bastard.

  “You’re not going back to him,” Adam said simply. “You’ll never go back to him. ”

  “You don’t understand,” she whispered. “He’ll never let me go. ” Tears sparkled in her cinnamon eyes.

  “He doesn’t have a choice,” Ethan muttered.

  “He’ll hurt you, just like…”

  Her voice trailed off but Adam understood what she had left unsaid. He’ll hurt you, just like he hurt me. He had never dealt with such rage as what built within him. It swirled like an out of control storm.

  She cleared her throat and continued on. “He’s a very powerful man. He’ll kill you. All three of you. Murder means nothing to him. I can’t let him do that. ”

  “And you think you going back to him is the answer?” Ryan asked incredulously.

  She shook her head. “No, I’ll never go back to him. Not willingly. But I also can’t stay here. If he doesn’t know I’m here, if I’m somewhere else, he can’t very well hurt any of you. ”

  A smile tugged at the corners of
Adam’s mouth. The little spitfire was trying to protect them. He felt a surge of pride. Their mate was proving very worthy indeed.

  “I realize you’ve only known us a short time, baby, but you’re going to have to learn to trust your husbands,” Adam said.

  Her eyes flew open even wider. “But you’re not my husbands! Weren’t you listening? I’m already married. ”

  “A mere technicality,” he said calmly. “One we intend to rectify as soon as possible. ”

  She made a sound of frustration. “Did you hear anything I said?”

  He smiled. “We heard everything, but your concern is unfounded. We can take care of ourselves, but more than that, we can take care of you. ”

  Her hand fell, a helpless gesture that stated she was at a complete loss as to what to do or say. They were pressing too hard, something they couldn’t afford to do if they didn’t want to lose her.

  “Come into the kitchen. Let us fix you some breakfast,” Adam said, changing the topic to something neutral. Safe.

  He saw the relief in her eyes. She nodded.

  “I’ll be there in a minute,” she said, her voice husky.

  Adam got up and motioned for his brothers to follow him. A few seconds later, Holly was alone in the big bedroom, her senses reeling from what she had just experienced.

  They wanted her. All of them. And damn it, she wanted them too. She desperately wanted to see where this whole bizarre episode would take them. But there were several problems with doing that.

  One, Mason would find her if she stayed here. She knew that just as well as she knew he would step on anyone who got in his way.

  Two, her longing to be cherished, protected, was what got her into her present mess, and here she was falling under the spell of three gorgeous cowboys. She had to quit looking to others for her happiness.

  Their wife. She shook her head, still unable to comprehend what they had proposed. As progressive as today’s society was, she didn’t think it was so forward-thinking as to excuse one woman living with three men.

  But then, why should she care what anyone else thought? She sure hadn’t when she had run from Mason Bardwell’s home in the dead of the night. On their wedding night at that.

  She closed her eyes and rubbed her forehead. She needed aspirin and maybe a good stiff drink. Nothing made sense to her, and it hurt to try and sort through the myriad of emotions swimming around in her head.

  “Holly,” Ryan said from the door.

  She looked up to see the youngest brother leaning against the doorframe, studying her quietly.

  “It’s time for breakfast. ”

  She nodded, not trusting herself to speak. Not trusting that she wouldn’t throw herself across the room into his arms.

  As if reading her mind, he ambled over to the bed and extended his hand down to her.

  Slowly, she reached out and took his hand, liking the warmth that spread up her arm at an alarming rate.

  He pulled her to stand beside him. His gaze slid over her, heating a path where it fell.

  “You haven’t kissed me,” he murmured.

  Her eyes widened in surprise. She hadn’t expected him to say anything of the sort.

  “You’ve kissed Ethan and Adam, but not me. If I was a jealous man, I might take exception to that. ”

  Her mouth fell open. What to say to that?

  “What do you say we remedy that?” he asked huskily.

  He bent down, his mouth hovering a mere inch above hers. Sweet Jesus, how could she possibly resist? His hand slid over her jaw, to the back of her neck. His fingers plunged into her hair and pulled her to meet his mouth.

  She sighed against his lips and let herself melt into his chest. The kiss was slow, hot, and thorough. Not as demanding as Adam’s, not as gentle as Ethan’s. Hot. It was the only word she could come up with to describe it.

  Her nipples hardened against his chest, her breasts swelling and plumping in desire. An ache built in earnest between her legs, and she felt a sudden wetness. She clenched her legs together, trying to ease the burn, but it only grew stronger.

  His big hands traveled down her back and settled on her ass, cupping and squeezing, pushing her against his groin. His cock, hard, big, bulging in his jeans, thrust into the cradle of her pelvis.

  “Can you feel how much I want you?” he whispered.

  He didn’t wait for an answer. Instead, he resumed devouring her lips, raining a trail of heated kisses over her jawline and down to her neck.

  She threw back her head and moaned when his teeth nipped the delicate curve of her shoulder. One hand still cupping her ass, his other hand slid around to her belly, then underneath her sweater, upwards until he cupped her breast.

  Her breath caught in her throat when he thumbed her nipple. Exquisite currents of pleasure radiated in all directions from her breasts. Her pussy pulsed in response. Her clit tightened, ached, strained.

  She moved restlessly in his arms, so close to something wonderful. Then he shoved her shirt up and lowered his head. She clenched her teeth together in anticipation. Hot breath blew over her nipple, puckering it, tightening it unbearably. But still he didn’t suck it into his mouth.

 
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