Frisky Beavers #3
By Ainsley Booth & Sadie Haller
365 days I’ve wanted Beth beneath me, begging for release. One long, angst-filled year we’ve circled each other, keeping things strictly professional.
But I’ve also got shit in my past that complicates relationships. And I should know better than to hope secrets can stay buried.
A year? Try ten. A decade ago, I let Lachlan walk away because deep down, I knew he needed something else.
As soon as I laid eyes on her, I understood what I was up against: he loves Beth. Looks at her in a way he’d never look at me.
I get it.
Curvy, smart, and bossy? I just might love her, too.
Two men. Two first dates.
Two first kisses…
But this doesn’t feel like a love triangle.
Oh no. It’s much more complicated than that. I’m not complaining. I’m game for anything. I just have one rule: we don’t tell anyone.
* Warning: there are no limits to these Mounties’ willingness to please
* Never underestimate the strength of a woman
* Sometimes the past can come back and bite you…if you’re lucky
* Top-secret clearance means three doesn’t need to be a crowd
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I put my hands on his shoulders and make a shushing sound when he protests. “Let me. You’re…tense.”
He laughs. “That’s an understatement.”
“Mmm. You’re welcome to talk about that if you want.”
A sigh is the only answer I get at first. That’s okay. If you want is what I said and I mean it. I tug his jacket off and smooth my hands over his shirt-covered muscles.
He finally speaks, low and quiet. “This isn’t how I pictured any of this going. You and me, I mean.”
Regret rolls over in my tummy, because maybe if we’d acted sooner, if I’d opened my mouth and issued an invite last fall, over the winter…
But I didn’t. And maybe that was for a reason.
Plus this is Lachlan. No matter what, I think I love him. I want to be his friend. His face is the first one I look for each morning and the last I seek out before heading home at night.
I roll my thumb along a knot in one of his neck muscles. He has more than most men, it’s hard to name them all. And I tell myself to hold my tongue, but that’s a total fail. “Yeah. Me, too.”
I swear he growls under his breath, but he holds still as I work my fingers from his neck down to his shoulders and back again. He rolls his head, stretching his neck out, and I let my fingertips glide onto the bare stretch of skin above his shirt collar.
Smooth, warm, and taut, his skin stretches tight over flexing tendon and muscle. He doesn’t move, so I let myself explore further, to the sharp edge of his hair cut, short and cropped in the back, fading up to a bit longer on top.
Precise, just like the man himself.
Whatever history they share, Hugh’s arrival has thrown Lachlan for a loop. I should step back and let them sort that out.
Instead I play with his hairline and let myself imagine touching him in a more intimate way. Exploring more skin than the few inches above his collar.
Hearing that tight, reserved grunt because I’m taking him deep into my mouth and he’s throwing his head back—
Lachlan’s hand closes around my wrist and I freeze.
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