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Authors: Stephanie Beck

Poppy's Passions

BOOK: Poppy's Passions
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Lyrical Press, Inc.
www.lyricalpress.com

Copyright ©2010 by Stephanie Beck

First published in 2010, 2010

NOTICE: This work is copyrighted. It is licensed only for use by the original purchaser. Making copies of this work or distributing it to any unauthorized person by any means, including without limit email, floppy disk, file transfer, paper print out, or any other method constitutes a violation of International copyright law and subjects the violator to severe fines or imprisonment.
CONTENTS

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Poppys’ Passions

Dedication

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Epilogue

About Stephanie Beck

* * * *
Back Cover Copy

Can Poppy find the courage to risk triple the love—and triple the heartbreak

Poppy Maguire is tired of being a loser. Emotionally neglected as a child, she wants to find the courage to leave her family and the job she hates. She desperately wants to make a change. Little does she realize how much of a change sexy brothers Cody, Michael and Trevor Paraby will bring to her life when the friendly shoulders they offer turn into so much more.

Comfort turns to passion and Poppy learns what life could be like in the arms of not one, but three men who love her. But what happens when the pink line on a pregnancy test doubles and she's expecting twins, courtesy of a Paraby?

The brothers blow her mind by offering her the family and love she's always longed for. But do they realize what they're in for? Cody is moving a little too fast, Michael may not be in for the long haul, and Trevor is a bit self-centered.

In order for Poppy to have the extraordinary love she fears she hasn't earned, everyone is going to have to do some growing. But can she break free from the bad seed of her abusive family and have the courage to bloom?

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The door to her room opened before Poppy reached it. There to greet her were her men. Much like their dads they were in various stages of dress, rather undress, but unlike the older versions, she found these men irresistible and wasn't feeling so sleepy anymore.

"Hey, babe.” With only his tight boxer briefs holding Trevor in, she was suddenly approaching perky. “Why are you up again? Are you feeling okay?"

"I'm fine.” She wrapped her arms around her middle to keep from touching them. “I was chatting with your parents. Why are you guys up?"

"You weren't here and Cody tried to kiss me,” Michael said. He shot a dirty look to the youngest brother, and she fought back a laugh. “I was going to kick his butt quick and go back to bed."

"Oh, so you have plans.” She let her robe slip, baring her naked shoulder in the dim hall light. “You wouldn't consider changing them for me, would you, Big Guy?"

They each immediately perked up, and Poppy felt her lips curl in a self-satisfied grin. Not every lesson on their path to a great relationship had to be painful.

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Poppys’ Passions
Stephanie Beck

[Back to Table of Contents]

Lyrical Press, Incorporated

Poppy's Passions

Copyright (C) 2010 Stephanie Beck

Edited by Pamela Tyner

Book design by Renee Rocco

Cover Art by Renee Rocco

Lyrical Press, Incorporated

Staten Island, New York 10308

www.lyricalpress.com

eBooks are not transferable. All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be scanned, uploaded or distributed via the Internet or any other means, electronic or print, without the publisher's permission.

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:

This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

Published in the United States of America by Lyrical Press, Incorporated

First Lyrical Press, Inc. electronic publication: April 2010

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Dedication

For my granddad who used to sneak into my notebooks and read my stories. He said they would be pretty good if I left out all the kissing. Miss you, Old Guy.

Acknowledgments

A new writer always has a boatload of people to thank. There are the ones who inspired and prodded until the story was actually written out (thanks Tanner and Mom). There are the ones who read it and loved it just the way it was (thanks Amanda, Pam and Jaime). Then there are the ones who saw the potential and helped make the story and writer better (thanks Jo P and Lyrical Press).

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Chapter 1

Seven. During Poppy Maguire's long drive across town in rush hour she'd had time to rank her puke and aggravation filled day as her seventh worst. Considering her year, seventh was no picnic. A never ending wave of disappointment and pain, nothing stood out positively in the last ten months. Today's disgusting developments seemed on par to finish the horrible year, demanding the white Russian in front of her have friends before she called it a night.

Her stomach growled hard, reminding her of the lunch she'd missed in favor of showering off kid puke. Poppy blamed the adult. Grandma brought the poor guy in with terrible stomach pains and finally confessed to giving him half a dozen red velvet cupcakes for breakfast. Both the boy and his guardian had both felt much better after he'd unloaded a gallon of red chocolate sludge.

Poppy needed to send the new ER doctor flowers. When the boy's hiccups started, Dr. Webster pushed her in front of him and let her take the brunt of the mess. She paid the price, shoes and scrubs ruined with red stains. Life as a traveling ER nurse in San Antonio's hospital system was never glamorous, but most days she managed not to wallow in puke. Some days she just got really lucky.

With the incident finally far enough away to think about food, she remembered the only things in her cupboards were stale Pop-Tarts. She grabbed a sticky menu when the brown lettuce in her crisper came to mind. With drag racers in town from all over the country, the usually quiet neighborhood bar was packed. It wouldn't be easy in the crowd to get an order in, but she stretched higher in her seat to catch Nick's attention. The older bartender had a soft spot for her.

Instead of Nick's friendly brown gaze, she connected with the Christmas green eyes that had haunted her the past week. She shook her head, telling herself the owner of those eyes wasn't the reason she'd been to the bar every night for seven days. A drinking problem, developing one of those was probably less detrimental than getting mixed up with the man behind the green eyes.

Nick appeared from the kitchen and slid a basket of chicken wings, potato wedges and celery sticks in front of her. “From Cody across the bar. The celery's the best I could do for fresh vegetables, so make sure you eat it."

"Ah, thanks, Nick.” Mouth immediately watering at the scent of chicken, she took a moment to send a celery salute to the owner of the green eyes across the bar.

The last few months had been touchy health-wise for her, and as a nurse she knew she'd lost too much weight too quickly. Her hair had thinned, which was why it was trapped in her trademarked ponytail or on the worst of hair days, twin pigtails. Her sisters said she looked great, finally losing her baby fat, but she felt like a ghost of herself and not strong in her new shape.

Cody must have agreed because every night since they met he sent her food or a drink with cream in it. He let her eat, unlike most men who would have immediately moved in, but he kept an eye on her, ambling over after she'd made a dent in the big basket of food. He sidled up on the stool beside her, motioning to Nick for another beer before setting his Stetson on the bar.

"Tough day, darlin'?” His tone was a little lazy but not nearly as southern as the Texan men around her.

"A little,” she admitted, offering him chicken and fries.

"Eat.” He handed cash across to Nick as she took another bite. “Trevor won his race today, so we're in town another week."

"That's exciting."

It didn't bother her that he didn't pursue the topic of her rough day, because they'd learned in earlier conversations Cody's stomach couldn't handle even her most tame hospital stories. The poor guy got twitchy and pale just at the mention of needles.

"You don't have to get back to your ranch?"

"Nope, late summer is sort of a lull. My dad is handling the day to day stuff for a while, and at least for another few weeks it'll be quiet. In September we'll start selling stock and getting ready for winter. Do you have any time free this week? Maybe for a movie or some sightseeing?"

"I thought we've had this talk, Cody. Actually I'm pretty sure we've had it the past seven nights. I have no plans of being the middle of a Patrich brothers’ bed party."

There was no missing the whispers about the Patrich brothers in the small corner of the city she'd moved into. They were a little infamous with the women from drag races past. It was no secret the three shared women, one woman at a time among them, at the same time. One of the girls she worked with told her all about her own crazy night with the brothers. Poppy was, of course, properly horrified and disgusted by the thought of three men doing incredibly wicked, erotic things to a poor unsuspecting woman.

Or at least she kept telling herself she was. The reoccurring dreams she had with her playing a starring role between the three delicious brothers screamed otherwise. She couldn't say she'd been invited, but she was woman enough to recognize the looks Michael and Trevor gave her when she'd met them a few days earlier. She hated to admit it, but she'd looked right back and liked what she saw.

Guys in the past had liked her. They thought she was cute in a neighbor girl sort of way, with her curly hair, freckles and short stature. The Patrich brothers were no different.

"Pretty Poppy, you're selling us short if you think we wouldn't make sure you had a good time,” Cody told her, easy as always, no push in his tone, no pressure.

"Oh, I just bet ya'll would,” she muttered, and he grinned. “But what next? I know you boys go through women like tissues when you're in town, together and individually. I have no aching desire to become one of the pack of castoffs."

His grin fell away, and he looked thoughtful a minute. She wondered if she'd hurt his feelings. He was a single man, they were all single men, and the woman she'd heard from had in no way been coerced or lied to. Poppy didn't mean to make it sound bad, just honest.

The Patrich brothers had all the makings of men she would want to keep. She didn't want a taste of something only to be denied more when they moved on to the next woman. She'd played those games before, and it wasn't something she wanted to repeat.

"Cody, I'm sure you, Michael and Trevor know how to show a girl a good time. You're nice guys, and really I had fun the other night over dinner. Like I said though, I've been used and thrown away too often to do it again. And to willingly do it is crazy, so it's probably better to be friends. Wouldn't it be nice to have a friendly face the next time you come to San Antonio? One that doesn't want anything from you guys but to hang out and have a beer?"

He patted her hand with his big, work scarred one. “Yeah, darlin', that would be nice. Friends are good. So pal, tell me the edited version of your day. I had some ribs earlier I would hate to lose, but tell me what you can."

Another shit day. Poppy pushed tears away from her tired eyes. Worse than shit. Horrid covered in terrifying, trapped in shit. She took her time as she walked into the bar, simply named “The Bar,” and hung up her wet jacket. It had to be raining, of course. Heaven forbid such a horrible day end with sunshine. The crying sky mimicked the tears shed by the heartbroken families who'd left the hospital without their loved ones. She didn't question why she turned right instead of left to her apartment, and refused to examine the reasons why she sought comfort in the bar, but she knew. Alone wasn't what she needed, not after her day.

BOOK: Poppy's Passions
12.39Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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