Authors: Karen Nichols
Nick and Jase came from their rooms as if the house were on fire. They barely squeezed past one another getting into her bedroom, both choosing a side of the bed and sliding over the sheets on bended knees.
Brea sat upright in the center, palms out in front of her, thumbs touching and her scream finally dying off to nothing. Long, amber hair hung freely around her face and shoulders in feathery layers, the longest tapping the pert nipples that topped her breasts and strained against the satin top.
Jase reached her first, gripped her shoulders and shook lightly. Harder when the scream finally stopped and her eyes popped open. He shook once more when he realized she hadn’t drawn in a breath.
“Brea! Breathe, damn it!” Nick took her hands, frowning and rubbing them briskly. “She’s like ice.”
Brea snapped from the once peaceful forest, her eyes wide and held that way for a long, long minute before her body seemed to melt against Jase. She felt Nick massaging her hands.
She didn’t know why they were so cold, where the warmth had gone. She hadn’t been cold in the forest. It had been sweet and warm feeling there. Right.
Until the horned thing showed up and ruined the party.
“A dream…” she whispered, her head shaking against the, oh so male chest. A bare male chest. She pressed her face closer, inhaling slowly.
“Lady, that scream could wake the dead,” Nick finally exhaled, flexing her hands and wrists. “And how the hell do you get hands colder then ice in the freezer?”
“I don’t know. I was warm….the forest was warm and smelled sweet,” she murmured, snuggling closer and not wanting to move away. “But you guys smell much nicer…..different and good.”
“Doesn’t sound like a bad dream to me,” Jase commented, sending a silent signal to Nick. The rearranged the blankets, stretching out on either side of her and letting her snuggle down.
“This isn’t a bad dream,” she giggle softly against his side. “This is nice. The other…it wasn’t….not bad, I mean….well, unless you count them telling me I wasn’t very bright and more than a little dense,” she thought, wiggling back against Nick and sighing. “You guys are so nice and warm. They said you belong to me. That I should take care of you,” she said drowsily. “I like that idea.”
“Who told you that, Brea?” Nick turned on his side, her back and behind against him. His palm rose, brushing the long strands of amber from her face and shoulder. She lay with her head on Jase’s chest, one hand held in both his. “Where were you, Brea?”
“Don’t know. Forest….pretty flowers….wings….and they got in my head,” she giggled. “I thought they were bees…..they didn’t care for that much. I haven’t dreamed of them in forever. I think I was four or five last time I saw fairies flying around my bedroom. Mother said they were watching over me. I knew I was sleeping, but they were so pretty. But don’t try and touch the wings….they get really testy.”
“It doesn’t sound like a screaming dream,” Jase said softly, settling down and 92
letting the rightness of them seep into him.
“Well…..” she frowned, lips pulled into a taut bow. “They were arguing. Said I was a child and said I was ignorant….not stupid ignorant, uninformed ignorant…..and I told her to stay out of my head again. Then this thing with hooves….and kind of creepy looking….with horns….but human….said my parents had been hiding me…..he was grateful they brought me to them. That he didn’t have to go in search of me. They tried to pull me away….I think I was pissed off….and then it gets a little fuzzy,” she listened to the two sets of chuckles and breathed deeply. Nice and toasty, she thought.
And they smelled so good. She never noticed guys smelling this good before.
“What happened?” Nick asked cautiously, their frowns meeting over the closed eyes and puckered lips.
“I remember raising my hands….together…touching, I mean and palms aimed at him….just my palms….and I felt the heat leaving me,” she said curiously. “But the little people were frightened. Said he’d kill me,” she snorted softly. “It was my dream. No one is going to kill me in my own flipping dream,” she announced defiantly. “I heard him swearing….and lots of crashing….and I saw him kind of fly backwards….and some really bright lights and I remember screaming. I think that part woke me up.”
“It woke us up,” Jase admitted with a long breath.
“I’m sorry,” she yawned and snuggled lower. “You’re not leaving, are you?”
“Do you want us here?”
“Yes. She said you were mine and I had to take care of you,” she announced firmly. “Both of you,” she informed them, yawning again. “Good night.” 93
They waited a quiet few minutes, looking over the slight figure curled against Jase.
“She’s out,” Jase said quietly.
“Probably not. I know enough that the position she says her hands were in….” Jase looked down at the relaxed features in the dark of the bedroom. “We both know there are forces out there capable of summoning you either physically or psychically.
Evidently the Fae operate through her dreams. But maybe only when the snare wasn’t in place. Like now.”
“If her parents hid her, it wasn’t just from her own kind, but whoever or whatever was after her,” Nick slid lower, his hand around the dip in her waist and face against her bare shoulder.
“It’ll be a few days before we get information about her history, about her heritage,” Jase said with a yawn, laying on his back and pulling the blankets up, his eyes closing. She seemed to realize they were relaxing and pressed closer, a deep sigh breaking free.
Somewhere in the middle of the night, Brea shifted to her stomach. It was the way she usually slept and had snuggled her face into the pillow. Her hands were curled beneath her head and she was deliciously toasty, the warmth on either side of her adjusting and staying close.
She swore she heard mumbling. But didn’t give it a thought. The weight across her lower back was curious because that was new and felt like a hand on either side of 94
her waist, just at the rise of her hips.
But she was mostly asleep and didn’t want to figure it out now so she went in search of the dream again, hoping for more conversation with the tiny fairies. But all she found was a nice run on the beach and a few talking seagulls whose main topic of conversation was the lack of crab in the shallows.
She stirred shortly before seven and this time she was positive about the grumbling.
And the scents. Warm, close males.
Leftover from her dream, she thought, stretching her arms toward the headboard, arching her back and sending her behind up slightly.
“She stretches like a cat,” came the gruff, sleep hoarse voice.
“I noticed,” Nick answered, his hand sliding from its place at her hip to stroke over one firm, rounded globe of her ass. “And damn if she doesn’t have the sweetest curve….right here…..”
Probably not her best idea, she realized as another palm….a different palm, her mind mentioned casually, slid beneath the abbreviated silky tank top. Warm, caressing fingers stroked along her spine and back down, slipping possessively inside the bottoms.
“Skin like silk,” Jase said softly, his fingers sliding over her skin and back along her spine.
She felt her breathing stop, she swore it stopped! Who could possibly breathe 95
when a warm mouth began kissing her neck and shoulder?
Maybe this was another dream, she tried rationalizing. Certainly not any more confusing than talking fairies.
And who was whimpering in her head? Oh, god, that wasn’t in her head!
It came out of her mouth when the hand caressing beneath her top slid on top of the fabric, stroking higher until his fingers speared the hair at the back of her head, taking a strong hold and tipping her face up from the pillow.
Brea groaned against the warm, caressing kiss. His tongue tasted the lingering sleep, pressing against the opening when she tried gulping in a breath of air.
Jase angled his mouth over hers, spearing his tongue between the full lips and sinking into her heat, sweeping her tongue along to play. His hand tightened on her hair, holding her there but knowing she wasn’t trying to move away, but closer to him while her body arched against the palm and mouth stroking and caressing her neck, her shoulders and lower, flowing over the satiny fabric.
Brea groaned into the kiss, a fresh, wild heat flowing into her when she felt hips pressing into her from behind and from the front! So much pleasure sweeping through her she was positive it was a dream.
“Sweet,” Nick whispered against her throat, his tongue trailing hotly down the slender column. “It’s like tasting candy,” he breathed, nipping her shoulder and letting his palm caress over her side to the edge of the top she wore.
Hot, hungry fingers slid beneath the fabric, along her rips and to the front where they stroked ever so lightly on the full cup of her breast. Soft and learning the small 96
swelling shape of her before taking her breast completely in his palm, the aroused nipple stroked and teased to a hard little pebble.
“Beyond sweet,” Jase whispered against her mouth, breaking off the kiss and nudging her head to the side. He felt Nick shift and urged Brea to her back, both men groaning at the taut peaks of her breasts thrusting against the fabric for them.
“A taste,” Nick moaned, pushing himself to his elbow over her before lowering his mouth to hers. Not a soft gentle touch, a burning hungry claiming, tasting Brea’s need and more: her acceptance of them.
His palm replaced Jases’ in her hair, tender and stroking the soft thick strands, fingers caressing along her jaw while Jase let his hand push the top out of the way, small perfect mounds topped with pink, demanding little nipples. He shifted slightly, lowered himself and dragged his tongue over the nipple closest to him, his palm cupping the mound and squeezing.
Brea lost herself in the cascading sensations.
So many were flooding into her at once! Her back arched, pushing against the mouth suckling her breast while her own hand squeezed free to sink her fingers against Nick’s scalp. Soft, wild little pants were pulled free when he broke the kiss, leaving moist, hot kisses along her jaw.
“Fuck,” came the hot whisper from Jase, his free palm sliding over her stomach and inside the bottoms of her tap set. His eyes lifted to meet the equally glazed look of his friend. “Smooth….silk all the way down,” he groaned, his fingers trailing along the slit between the swollen petals, creamy syrup meeting his touch.
He felt like he was on fire, each new taste, each little whimper from deep inside her fueling the flames. He was hard. Hell, he was beyond hard, the length of him pressed against her hip.
Brea wanted to touch! She could feel them both, one pressing against her on either side. She tried moving her hands lower only to have her wrists grasp and pulled high above her head.
“Oh, no beautiful…..you touch us right now and we’re as good as dead,” Nick whispered against her throat, his tongue licking a hot path along the crease where her shoulder met the column. Soft and sweet tasting, the possessive growl from deep inside him vibrated along her body and his.
Us. The word registered in some far, hidden reaches of her mind.
Her lips parted, gasping for breath at the same time she felt a long finger slide through, swirling softly at her opening, spreading her and continuing deeper. Slowly.
Very slowing until she was positive she’d scream from wanting more.
Nick watched the thick tawny lashes open, pale brown eyes edged with gold and calling out silently for more. He covered her mouth before she could either protest or make demands, his tongue surged forward to wrap around hers, pulling, stroking and arousing. Her body gave up a savage shudder, her back arching against Jase while her hips thrust forward when he eased two fingers inside her.
She called to them. Their names whispering, pleading for more of their touch.
They felt the heat and pleasure radiating from her, filling her and sweeping through them with a power they had only dreamt of being possible.
Brea felt her body like she had never known it before. Sensations crashed around her and over her. Part of her wanted to blame being unable to breathe. No oxygen to the brain, she whimpered, the edge right in front of her and held just out of her reach.
It was the sound of a decidedly feminine voice that broke apart the delicately woven threads.
If the loud ringing had registered in any of them, no sign was given until the voice spoke.
Loud and irritated.
“Jase? Nick! I know you’re there! It’s not even eight in the morning! Answer the phone, I need to talk to you! NOW!”
Brea’s eyes slammed wide and her body jerked upright, dislodging the hands and mouths exploring and arousing her body. Her head swiveled to take in the definitely aroused males; the tousled hair that she knew her hands had been involved with and the stark, open hunger in their eyes.
Breathing way too fast, she scrambled up and then down to the bottom of the bed, her head shaking wildly.
“It was a dream!” She whispered fervently, wide eyes sweeping from one to the other. “What….how…..I don’t…..oh, god….”
“Brea, take it easy, baby, it’s alright…” Jase moved slowly, reaching out for her at the same time Nick eased to sit up. Before either of them could make a move, her feet entangled in the blankets and she backed up again, tumbling over the end of the mattress and onto the floor.
Nick swore softly and was up, moving to the end of the bed only to have her surge to her feet and run into the bathroom, the door closing loudly behind her. He brought two hands up and pushed a long breath between his lips.
“Interesting my ass. I’m killing Mariana first chance I get,” Jase growled furiously. “It’ll be a fucking mercy killing.” He threw the blankets to the bed and stormed to his own bathroom.
Nick blamed the caffeine and made a stop in the kitchen before heading to his bedroom to shower and get dressed. One of them would have to call Mariana and find out what was so important to call before eight on a Saturday morning.
Brea leaned heavily against the bathroom door. Shoulders against it and refusing to look into the very large mirror above the double sink. She squeezed her eyes shut.
She knew she was a very unbecoming shade of red at the moment.
She’d been in bed with two delicious looking, yummy smelling males.
She had two sets of hands all over her. ALL over her, she repeated as if that was necessary because her body was still humming happily from the whole experience.
She wasn’t a prude. She wasn’t raised a prude.
Her mother had the girl talk with her every couple months.
Every couple months, rain or shine.
But that talk had never included a discussion about two warm, very willing bodies in bed with her at the same time.
Not that they seemed to mind.
Of course they wouldn’t mind! She shouted to herself. They had a very willing slut puppy in the middle!
What sane, red-blooded male would protest that?
Oh, god, but it felt so good, she whimpered at the memory.
Brea striped off the tap set and set the shower to stinging scald, leaning against the wall. Trying to still the humming in her girl parts that continued long after their 101
touch was gone. Damn it.
She hung her head between her arms and let the water drip off her once she’d turned it off. How as she supposed to face them?
She knew her face would turn into a bright fall flame of color the instant she went into the room.
She was embarrassed. Humiliated.
She thought it was a freaking dream! Not that she had dreams about sharing herself with two men in her lifetime. She had two men aroused and horny and they wanted her!
Oh, god, no matter what she told herself, it sounded worse and worse.
She was dried and dressed, her hair bound into a tight braid before deciding she’d just pretend it hadn’t happened.
That made sense to her.
Nope, never happened. Admit nothing, deny everything, demand proof, she remembered one of her geek friends telling her over and over in high school. Perfect.
Then she hit the hall and heard the banging coming from the kitchen. She looked over to see Nick scanning something on the computer, making notes and ignoring the growling.
Yes, it was definitely growling coming from the kitchen.
“I swear to god, I’m going to kick your ass into next fucking week!” Brea raised both brows, looking from the growling kitchen to the calm Nick.
“What’s going on?”
He half shrugged. “Nothing.”
“Where the fuck did you put the coffee?” Jase demanded, coming to stand in the wide archway that separated the rooms. But he wasn’t glaring or growling at her.
She looked at Nick again.
“What did you do?” She knew she’d ground and blended a special batch of coffee for Jase the previous afternoon. And she also knew she’d left it on the counter next to the coffee maker.
“His mother says he has too much caffeine. And that’s obvious by his current state, wouldn’t you agree?” Nick commented, not looking from the stock reports he was reading, frowning that one wasn’t performing like he would have wanted.
“Hah….his mother said that,” Brea walked closer, thumbs hitched in the pockets of her jeans. “And you’ve chosen to be his guardian? Enforce something his mother believes is good for him?” She asked with deceptively innocent curiosity.
Jase actually felt a soothing calm sweep through him. He knew that voice and he learned much quicker than his friend.
That voice was a soft, gentle warning of the storm to come. He relaxed a little and watched.
“It’s for his own good,” Nick mumbled.
“How old is he again?”
“Thirty-four,” Nick answered absently.
“And he enforces rules from your mother?”
“Hah! In his dreams…”
“I see….” Brea moved carefully to stand behind him, her hands up and on the tee shirt covered shoulders at the same time her hips nudged his chair just a little closer to the desk. Strong broad shoulders. She slapped at the female in her and pulled her attention from her bedroom. “Where’s the coffee, Nick?”
“Sorry. It’s for his own, good,” he repeated, scowling a little at the press of her breasts against his back. “Torturing me won’t work.”
“Hmm…..you don’t think so?”
“Positive. But, hey, give it your best shot, gorgeous,” Nick chuckled, the pen in his hand faltering just a little when she leaned closer and ran her tongue around his ear. He swallowed the heavy groan at the solid, firm mounds pressing against him.
“Where’s the coffee?” She asked again, the sugar in her words dripping into his spine.
“No clue.” Those words were the last ones spoken calmly. “Fucking A, woman!
Turn loose of the ear!” He felt each and every one of those small teeth on the sensitive curve at the top of his ear, her hands biting into his shoulders and keeping him from moving because he was caught between the desk and the woman. “Brea!”
“Where is the coffee, Nick? I made that blend yesterday for Jase and I want it.
Now,” she said without removing her teeth. In fact, she bit down just a little harder.
“Don’t make me ask again.”
“On the fridge, damn it! Behind the cereal! Now get those damn……Jesus, woman…..” Nick’s hand was up and rubbing the ear the instant she backed away, patting his shoulders.
“Thanks,” She leaned close once more, laughing when he jerked to the side, but her lips touched his ear. “Touch his coffee again and I’ll….” She whispered softly.
“Try me.” She stood up and went to Jase, taking his hand and leading him into the kitchen. He reached up, moving cereal around and finding the container she’d put the coffee in the day before. “It’s a good batch.” Brea wasn’t sure why or how, but the butterflies and embarrassment that she’d felt simply vanished when they were near her.
It was honestly as if it had never happened.
Then she felt all the worse because neither of them mentioned it. Nothing was said. No actions were taken. It was like they were back to where they’d begun.
Damn them. She was already confused enough as it was.
She let them scrounge up their own breakfast, her attention on the recipe she was making for dinner. The chicken was marinating and she’d sliced the little yellow potatoes and had them soaking in cold water the ease some of the starch out of them before moving on to peeling and mincing garlic.
“What’d she tell you?” Jase asked over the steaming cup of coffee he held in both hands. His laugh was light at the scowl from his friend.
“She threatened to transfer all my funds into your account if I did it again,” Nick growled, his hand up to absently rub the teeth marks on his ear.
“Our little Brea is just full of surprises,” Jase commented, opening his in box and responding to clients and potential clients before turning to the list of applicants. Both 105
of them looked up when Brea came into the room.
“Can I borrow one of the cars?” She asked and looked from one to the other, her palm up when both of them started to speak. “I want to go out. Alone. I’ll be careful, I promise.”
“Where’s your phone?” Jase asked, taking the palm sized rectangle from her when she pulled it from her pocket. He studied it for a minute, sent a call to Nick’s line, another to his and a third to the home line. Then he input all the numbers before handing it back to her. “The keys are hanging by the back door, Brea. I’m going on the assumption you have a license.”
“I do….I used to drive my parent’s extra car all the time. Not much need for one of my own….” She swallowed and turned to go down the hall in search of her wallet and pack. “I’ll be careful, promise,” she said with a smile, striding out without waiting for a response.
“You sure that’s a good idea?” Nick waited until he heard the back alarm sounded her leaving before releasing the main gates and leaving them open for her.
“No. To be honest,” Jase paced, something gnawing at him. “She’s jittery. Her scent’s shooting all over the place from lies, to embarrassment to a little fear. But if we pushed to always be with her, she’ll run for sure.”
“Because of this morning?” Nick exhaled slowly.
“Maybe….hell, we knew it wouldn’t be easy to convince her. It’s not even close to what the rest of the world considers acceptable,” Jase emptied is cup and shook his head. “We have to convince her to talk to us when she gets back.” 106
He wasn’t sure how they managed to work for half an hour before he couldn’t take it anymore.
“I’m going into town. Let me check and see which one she took and activate the tracker,” Jase carried his cup into the kitchen and set it in the sink before going out to the garage, groaning and quickly returning to the house. “She took your jag. I’ll take my bike. Punch the location into my GPS.”
“My….” Nick exhaled again, thinking of his low riding sports car zipping around the curves without him in it.
“Share and share alike,” Jase remarked with a deep laugh, making certain he had the keys and his wallet before taking off at a run for the garage.
He had the helmet locked on when the information flickered on the small screen.
The car wasn’t moving. It looked like it was near where her shop had been, though, so he headed into town, growling at the bad feeling instincts were feeding him.
Jase tapped the dash and spoke into the built-in microphone in his helmet.
“Nick, get me any information you can find on her parents vehicle. The jag isn’t moving.” He listened to the soft curse, his eyes alert and watching all vehicles that passed him, looking for Brea.
“You really aren’t surprised that we scared her, are you?” Nick sounded angry but Jase knew it wasn’t at Brea.
“I don’t think it was us. I think it was the dream,” Jase answered honestly.
“Got it…..an almost new SUV in a dark gold. Nothing special. I called Mariana, she’s running late and won’t get here until after two,” Nick told him.
“Gives us some time to sort this out. Got the jag. It’s parked where her shop used to be.”