Acres, Natalie - Sex Junkie [Cowboy Addiction 1](Siren Publishing Ménage Everlasting) (2 page)

BOOK: Acres, Natalie - Sex Junkie [Cowboy Addiction 1](Siren Publishing Ménage Everlasting)
13.64Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“So how are you, Morgan?” Blake asked. Her name falling from his lips sounded better than listening to her favorite country song on a hot summer evening in late June.

“I’m good, really fine,” she replied, fidgeting—lying. She was hanging on by a thread, and anyone who knew her well probably saw that for themselves. She wasn’t fine by any stretch of the imagination. Only time would separate her completely from addiction’s chokehold.

“Have you talked to Kit and Kemper?” Grant asked.

“Oh sure,” she quickly replied, running her fingers through her short hair. Immediately noticing the odd glances Blake and Grant exchanged without a word spoken between them, she directed the men toward the breakfast table. “Have a seat.” She went to the refrigerator, located some strawberry jam, and then set the squeezable, family-size container on the table.

“Bet they were glad to see you, huh?” Grant asked, picking up his fork and knife. He cut off a cheesy piece of omelet, shoving a hearty bite between his lips. “Especially since you let yourself in and all, bet they appreciated the hell out of that.”

Blake’s eyes pierced through Grant’s. He took a sip of coffee, waved his finger in front of an empty chair next to him and said, “Sit down. Tell us what’s going on with you.”

Nervously, she carried her mug to the table, gripping the handle as tightly as she could manage. Blake and Grant devoured their breakfasts like they’d never been fed, and she drank her coffee, hoping they wouldn’t want seconds.

When no one spoke, she finally cleared her throat and said, “Truth is, I haven’t seen Kit and Kemper yet. I got in last night. I let myself in.”

“With the key?” Grant pressed.

“No,” she said honestly. “I didn’t have one.”

Grant wiped his mouth. “You don’t say. How’d you get in?”

“Does it matter?” Blake asked.

“You know it does,” Grant bit out.

“Well, anyway”—Morgan struggled to keep the conversation moving—“I don’t know where they are.”

Around a mouthful of biscuit, Blake said, “They ain’t here.”

“And they probably don’t know you are,” Grant added.

“You’re right, Grant. They don’t know I’m in town,” she said bitterly, beginning to wonder if she made a wrong move returning there. She knew the long road to recovery would be a rocky one, but she wasn’t starting down that path with condemnation at her back.

A long silence taunted them almost as much as a full moon threatens to light the way for predators hunting their prey. She was afraid to interrupt the quietness for fear of an unwanted confrontation.

While they ate, Morgan considered what she might say, praying for the right words to explain her current predicament, some random phrase to coax their understanding. Nothing came to mind. Besides, she didn’t have to explain herself to them. She owed Kit and Kemper an apology, and they’d each receive one, but what did she really owe Blake and Grant?

Too much time had lapsed. There were too many buried memories. She couldn’t dig up the past as if yesterday would be cherished forever. Her present life paled in comparison to days she’d once spent loving them. But she wasn’t indebted to them.

Blake and Grant were her brothers’ best friends. Surely Kit and Kemper must have told them how low she sank when she began using drugs. Their suspicions were far too high. Grant acted as if he were angry, as if he couldn’t wait to gulp down breakfast and then call her brothers and see how they expected him to handle her.

Apparently, she wasn’t welcome there anymore.

“I must say I’m shocked to see the two of you together,” she finally blurted out, quite possibly the worst thing she could’ve said.

“You might say a woman separated us and brought us back together,” Grant replied, a bitter edge in his answer.

Blake looked up from his plate. “The same woman.”

“Oh,” she whispered. A surge of guilt washed over her. The four men in her life—the only people she’d ever considered her family—all held legitimate reasons for disappointment. She understood the hell she’d caused her brothers. If Blake and Grant were aware of her recent past, wouldn’t they have a right to be displeased with her as well?

Not really. Well, maybe.

She had been a big part of both their lives. That was a long time ago. They shouldn’t care about her life choices. Should they? She couldn’t decide.

Indecision was one thing she really hated about addiction. She was as wishy-washy as an old woman, hell-bent on pleasing everyone at her tea party.

Morgan could only hide behind a smile for so long. Eventually, the pressure would send her spinning. She was unstable.

She wasn’t sure if she wanted to stay or go. This coming home bit may have been more than she could handle.

While she considered Blake and Grant part of her extended family, the truth wasn’t quite so romantic. Blake was her high school flame. Grant was her rebound lover. Still, she’d loved them equally and fairly. Then, when they let her go, she walked away. She didn’t cry or beg. Oh no, she embraced the freedom, made her own choices—however wrong they were—and discovered a single woman’s life wasn’t what it was cracked up to be.

Blake finished off his breakfast, tossed the napkin on the table, and said, “Lord howdy, Kit and Kemper will sure be glad to see you.”

She released a sigh of relief. That was something she’d been dying to hear. She wanted reassurance that her brothers wouldn’t kick her out as soon as they discovered she’d come back home.

“I hope so. Do you know when they’re due back?”

“Sometime next week,” Grant replied, arching a brow. “How long you plan on staying?”

She shrugged. “I haven’t decided.”

“Are you clean?” Grant asked, putting to rest any further back-and-forth speculation. Without a doubt, her brothers told Grant and Blake everything, enough to make them loathe the choices she’d made, perhaps even judge her.

There was a sudden chill in the summer air. She crossed her arms in front of her body and rubbed them briskly. “Yes,” she finally managed, noting the somewhat weak and anything-but-convincing reply.

“How long?”

“Damn it, Grant,” Blake said, his open palm falling against the flat surface of the table. The dishes rattled, and she jumped. Both men stared at her blankly, perhaps alarmed by what they saw.

“Has someone abused you?” Grant asked, his eyes flickering with pure fire, intense rage.

“No,” she reported, leaving the table. “I’m glad to see you, but it’s been years since we’ve all sat down and enjoyed a meal together. We’ve changed. It’s like having breakfast with strangers who ask too many questions.”

She was unable to sit still under the scrutiny. The nervous energy made her stutter, and the confidence she’d cherished only hours earlier seemingly vanished without leaving behind a trace.

She could have cut off the hand that fed her for a fix right then. The pressure made her crave the drug from a needle, the smoke from a pipe.

“We’re hardly strangers, Morgan. I want you to answer me,” Grant said firmly, following her to the sink. “Has someone abused you?”

“No,” she lied. “I’m able to fend for myself. I always have been.”

“The Morgan I know could pack a punch when it mattered,” Blake teased.

Grant rinsed off his plate. “The Morgan we knew isn’t the same woman standing before us now.”

Truer words had never been spoken. Sheltered by the brothers who raised her and the men who once loved her, Morgan had witnessed scenes similar to those documented on true crime shows. She’d been privy to information only shared with a drug dealer’s inner circle.

When she first met her neighbors in
, she’d been feared because of the company she kept. When she left town, she in turn looked over her shoulder because of that same clique of people she once called out as friends.

“How long have you been off the drugs?” Grant returned to his original question again, forever the relentless cowboy, the one determined to press for answers.

She gripped the basin and stared out the window. “Not nearly long enough.”

Chapter Two

Morgan cleared the table, rinsed off the plates, and loaded the dishwasher. Outside, Blake and Grant were in a deep discussion, huddled close one minute and parting the next. One or the other paced in front of the porch. From what Morgan could tell, the conversation was heated at times.

She could only imagine the topic at hand.

As she watched the two men debate an issue, she remembered how each of them previously loved her. Her body tingled, reacting to the physical sensations the men stirred within her. The emotional tug-of-war had begun from the moment they walked into her kitchen, and for good reason.

Not only had Blake been Morgan’s high school sweetheart, he was her first love. When he left for the
, she stayed behind to attend
, a local community college. They’d agreed to see other people, but kept in touch on a regular basis, until Morgan found someone else. Blake probably never dreamed his best friend would fall under the umbrella of alternative options.

With Grant, what started out as a late-night fling turned into a whirlwind romance, and quickly developed into one of the most intense relationships Morgan had ever known. In matters of sex and the lifestyle Grant and Blake independently introduced, Morgan gained an education in bondage and submission.

Blake taught her to submit to her dominant partner, but Grant kicked things up a notch. Through him, Morgan realized she had become dependent on the Dom-sub experience. Her survival relied upon what Grant and Blake trained her to enjoy and need.

Morgan hurried around the kitchen putting away the items used for preparing breakfast—nonstick spray, salt, pepper, cheese, and margarine—and couldn’t help but glance outside once more. Even in her current state of mind, Grant and Blake still tempted her.

A little voice inside her head reminded her of the obvious. She had let herself go. She was an addict on the way to recovery. She had no reason to look at Grant or Blake and contemplate a future. They had too much to give a woman, and she offered nothing in return, at least not yet. She shook her head, pushing aside the twinge of sadness creeping up.

When had her confidence slipped? At what point had she started to believe some of the very garbage Kilo, her drug-dealing boyfriend, pitched her way? She was good enough for Blake Ballantine and Grant Fowler in the past. Why couldn’t she be that woman again? She paused with the thought, clutching a soapy dishrag in hand. Her gaze bounced between men.

Even if they gave her another chance, which one would she choose? How did she select between former lovers, particularly when both men had loved her so well?

Reluctantly, she wiped down the counters, postponing the inevitable. Judging by their expressions, Morgan realized once she joined Blake and Grant on the porch, her days of running would be over. They wouldn’t let her hide from what she’d done. They’d force her to face them, and her fears.

The screen door opened and closed. “We want to talk to you,” Blake announced.

“Sure,” she retorted. “Let me finish here and I’ll be right out.”

Blake left the same way he entered. Morgan completed the task of tidying up the kitchen. Unable to resist, she returned to the sink and peered outside a final time.

Grant and Blake sat on the expanded porch, each of them rocking in their respective chairs. Whatever awaited her on the other side of the window was bound to do one of two things.

Blake and Grant would either convince her she should’ve kept running, or they would show her why coming home was the best decision she’d ever made.

* * * *

“She’s a drug addict, Blake. She’ll lie, cheat, steal, and do whatever it takes to get high.”

“Maybe that’s who she was, but didn’t you see her? She looks good. Her eyes are clear. She’s able to look at you when she speaks. From what Kit and Kemper once told me, she wasn’t able to do that before. Regardless, it doesn’t change the fact that I still love her.” Blake studied his tented hands and added, “I guess I always will.”

“You love what she was, not who she’s become.”

“How do you know who she’s become? We haven’t seen her in over three and a half years. For all you know, her past made her a better person.”

“I don’t see how. You must’ve forgotten about the last time she was here. Kit found her with a needle in her arm.” A beat later he added, “And don’t get me started on the thieving she did. She took so much cash from this house that if I’d been her brother, I would’ve had her arrested.”

Blake’s heart sank. “To this day, I’ll never understand why Kit and Kemper didn’t tie her down, call us over here, and ask for help. She might have listened to us. We could’ve gotten her clean.”

“She didn’t want help,” Grant reminded him. “She was living the life she desired at the time. She even told Kit and Kemper that if she needed anything at all, she’d ask for it. Then, she robbed them blind. That doesn’t sound like a woman ready to ask for assistance.”

“A junkie doesn’t ask for help.”

BOOK: Acres, Natalie - Sex Junkie [Cowboy Addiction 1](Siren Publishing Ménage Everlasting)
13.64Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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