Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
March 30, 2012
Erotic Contemporary Romance – Menage
Two brothers—one woman—unforgettable passion…
Years before, Nikki fell in love with Mitch and Connor, only to ultimately betray them both. Now she’s back and in need of their help.
Powerful and commanding, Mitch has never stopped craving Nikki. Connor hungers for her just as badly, but isn’t ready to forgive. If she needs some fast cash by working at their gentlemen’s club, she’ll have to audition—by stripping for them.
Aroused by their shameless scrutiny, Nikki’s willing to do whatever it takes to be near them again…even if that means being punished in the BDSM room or starring in one of Connor’s erotic films. Mitch won’t have it, unless he and Connor are the ones enjoying her body.
On a sultry weekend, Nikki surrenders to their lust, reawakening a timeless bond and the beginnings of forgiveness.
She smelled of magnolia and musk, the mingling of helpless female and seductive predator. A curious combination, but who said she couldn’t be both?
Hell, she was a freaking mess. Her palms were clammy with anxiety, her nipples tight with expectation. The kind a woman experiences when she’s about to be spanked, then hopefully laid…long and hard.
She paced the spacious office like something wild and caged. Her high heels clicked on the shiny hardwood floor, keeping time with her pounding pulse. No matter how much she needed it—and by God, she did—soul-stirring sex, followed by aching tenderness, wasn’t going to be on the menu this afternoon. Going to the men she’d betrayed years ago, brothers she’d truly loved, didn’t count as the smartest thing to do, but Nikki Blaine needed their help.
At the burgundy leather sofa, she stopped, clutching the arm for support, the secretary’s words ringing in her mind that Mr. Wade would be with her in a few minutes.
Nikki hadn’t bothered to ask which Mr. Wade the young woman had been talking about. She would have bet a year of her life that this room belonged to Mitch. Scented with leather and something woodsy, it was darkly masculine with rich mahogany walls, copper accent lamps topped by bronze-colored shades and classic cherry furniture. Solid and imposing.
Her attention drifted to the desk. That baby was nearly as long as a bed and wide enough for two people, maybe even three.
Don’t go there. She had no right. It wasn’t as though she could waltz in here after nearly fifteen years and expect Mitch to give her a hug or a welcome home fuck…if he showed up at all.
Where is he? Nearly a half hour had passed since his secretary had led Nikki inside. After Mitch’s initial shock had worn off, had he decided against seeing her? Did he figure she’d behave as cruelly as when they’d been in high school?
Sucking her lower lip, Nikki circled the sofa, pausing at the photos of him and Connor from well-respected business magazines. She was intimately familiar with these images, having seen them when she lived in New York prior to her ex-husband’s arrest. Through the years, she’d followed Mitch and Connor’s many successes, wanting only the best for them.
Smiling softly, Nikki reached for the first photo taken outside Wicked, their wildly popular gentlemen’s club. The reason she was here today.
Please say yes. Please show up. If neither of them did, Nikki wasn’t certain what she’d do. On a heavy sigh, she halted, her hand stalling before she could touch either of the brother’s likenesses. At the edge of the glass, she caught Mitch’s reflection.
He stood in the doorway to his office, bathed in the gauzy light pouring in from the arched window. Beyond it, Atlanta moved at a far more sluggish pace than Manhattan ever had, with today’s oppressive humidity forcing everything to an exaggerated Southern crawl. Feeling as though she were moving in slo-mo, Nikki turned.
Her heart stopped for a moment, then sped up as she regarded him quickly, afraid she wouldn’t have the chance to get her fill. At six-three, he made the sprawling room seem small, his body a man’s, lean yet muscular, no longer the lanky teen. Ruggedly handsome, he wore his thirty years well. There were laugh lines at the corners of his beautiful hazel eyes. They looked golden behind his sooty lashes, complementing his olive complexion. Combed away from his forehead, his chestnut colored hair was longish in the back and on the sides.
Nikki reined in her urge to run her fingers through his thick, wavy locks, to touch and smell him, her face buried in the hollow of his neck, her body pressed to his, lost in his heat and strength. Protected at last. Home.
A preposterous notion that made it difficult for her to move, impossible to speak, but still she hoped.
His expression wasn’t guarded or indifferent as she’d feared. Wonder flooded his features, no different from when they’d been in her parents’ garage after their first kiss. She was fifteen then. He’d been a year older and seemed so worldly. Life hadn’t been easy for him or Connor. She’d fallen in love with both brothers, but it was Mitch who’d made the initial move.
They’d been horsing around that afternoon, mercilessly teasing each other. Mitch finally settled the score by tickling her into submission. Before Nikki could catch her breath or slug him, his lips brushed hers. Their velvety warmth surprised. His bristly cheeks thrilled. She’d wanted him to hold her in his arms forever. Later that same week, Connor kissed her. Nikki never wanted to leave his side.
There was no guilt in what she felt. Both brothers accepted the other’s claim on her just as she had, treating it as needed and natural. For the most part, their relationship remained innocent. They were her dearest friends, like none she’d ever known.
Their bliss lasted three months, ending when school started that fall.
Pained at the loss, wanting back what she couldn’t have and sure as hell didn’t deserve, Nikki stepped closer.
Mitch’s crisp white shirt rippled with his quiet breathing. He’d opened the collar, wore no tie and had folded the sleeves to mid forearm. Dark hairs dusted his skin, sending a thrum of pleasure through her. He had the look of an executive in crisis mode, prepared to get his hands dirty to make things right.
Nikki wanted his hands on her, exploring her breasts, nipples and especially her cunt. It ached dully, congested with more than a decade of desire. How long had it been since a man craved her to the exclusion of everything else? Since Mitch and Connor, she couldn’t recall. Even in the early years of her marriage, when she’d convinced herself she was in love, her ex had worshipped wealth, image, power, not her. She stared at Mitch’s fingers, wonderfully long, the tips blunt, recalling his eager, yet loving touch. It took all of Nikki’s will not to glance at his fly and see if this moment excited him as much as it did her.
When he didn’t move or speak, she risked another small step, her heels tapping on the floor, the distance still yawning between them, no different from the past. “Hi…thanks for agreeing to see me.”
Longing flared briefly in his eyes, making the years fall away. And then he smiled.
His reaction should have comforted Nikki, but it didn’t. He wore the same expression a man gives to a stranger he doesn’t care about, his emotions buried beneath polite disinterest.
Okay, she’d earned that and so much more for what she’d done to him and Connor. Shame made her want to apologize. Yearning made her ask, “How are you, Mitch?”
His fingers curled into loose fists. He shoved them into the front pockets of his beautifully tailored navy pants. “What brings you here, Nikki?”
Despite his blunt question, warmth continued to roll through her. His baritone was deeper than she remembered, deliciously rough and male, bearing a hint of his Midwestern accent, the same as Connor’s and hers. They’d all been transplants to Georgia as kids, making them as foreign to the locals as tofu at a Texas barbecue.
She wanted to smile at the memory. She wanted to ask him how much he knew about her problems these past months. Surely he’d seen the newspaper articles or caught some of the awful reports on the internet and TV. Even 60 Minutes had done a piece on what had happened with Bob Simon looking grimmer than usual. So in answer to his question, that was what had brought her here. And as soon as Nikki had the courage to bring it up, she would. “How’s Connor?”
Mitch inclined his head to the area behind her.
He was already in here? Watching? Listening?
Nikki reacted with a full body blush at Connor being in the other doorway, his approach muffled by the Persian area rug. His amazement at seeing her wasn’t nearly as nice as Mitch’s initial wonder, but it was no surprise. Outside of their height and powerful builds, they were nothing alike in personality or looks.
As Mitch’s fraternal twin, Connor was younger by thirty minutes, his complexion lighter, his features more classically beautiful, his eyes so dark they looked black. He wore his sable hair shaggy, like a rocker. Completing his bad-boy image was his close-cropped beard, a diamond stud in his lobe, black tee and jeans.
His attire was as laid back as his personality was intense. Arms crossed over his chest, he demonstrated his artist’s temperament and long memory. Nikki watched his transformation from stunned to wary. That more than anything kept her rooted in place even though she missed him as badly as she’d missed Mitch, hungering to feel his arms around her, his breath on her skin.
“Connor, hi,” she offered.
He opened his mouth, then closed it without saying a word, choosing instead to stare at his brother. Mitch offered no explanation as to her presence, nor did he try to comfort because of it.
Desperate to break the awkward silence, Nikki spoke without thinking. “How’s your grandmother?”
Both brothers frowned, their reactions remarkably similar.
Dummy. She knew better than to ask about the woman. Their grandmother had been the source of their problems when they were kids. Not that Mitch or Connor would ever admit to it. They’d defended her without pause.
“She’s fine,” Mitch said. He went behind his desk and sat, gesturing Nikki to one of the wing chairs facing it.
Her legs were too watery to move with any grace, so she remained standing, as did Connor.
Mitch pressed back in his chair. The springs squeaked. “What brings you here, Nikki?”
Her belly cramped at what she was about to ask and might not get, but she didn’t have any other choice. “I saw your ad. I need a job badly.”
Connor uncrossed his arms and moved close enough for Nikki to catch his clean scent. A lime fragrance, fresh, citrusy and so arousing she had to suppress a shiver.
“We advertised for an attorney?” he asked Mitch.
“No,” Nikki answered, pleased he knew about her former career, worried as to how he’d found out. “I’m not doing that anymore.”
Neither brother asked why.
Okay, so they knew most of the gory details. Nikki decided to explain the others. “Because of what happened, I’m pretty much unemployable in New York or anywhere else in the nation, at least as an attorney.” She shrugged, trying to make light of it. “You need wait staff and performers at Wicked. I’d like to apply for one of those positions.”
Mitch arched his brows.
Connor blurted, “Wicked’s a gentlemen’s club.” His attention dropped to her chest, lingering there. “The wait staff is topless.”
“Or bottomless,” Mitch cut in, sounding as distracted as his brother as he took in her length.
“Sometimes both,” Connor added, then cleared his throat and continued, “depending upon the room.”
“Yeah, I know,” she murmured, as breathless as they were. “I read the magazine articles about it. It sounds like an amazing place. Does full nudity pay the most?”
Mitch stood. His chair rolled back, smacking the credenza. Gone were his arousal and earlier detachment, replaced by an expression that was decidedly pissed. “Is this a joke?”