Four play, p.21
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       Four Play, p.21

           Maya Banks

  course I’m going to look.”

  “Would she hear the phone ring?” Kelsey’s boss snapped. “If I can get your eyes off her by calling again—”

  “She wouldn’t hear it. She’s listening to her iPod. But I can’t walk past her; she might see me.”

  Moonlight and the nearby streetlamp filtered light through the slats in the blinds. Rhys watched Kelsey preparing to get down to business. He had to restrain a groan at the sight.

  “Oh, hell! She’s cupping her breasts.” Her voluptuous, full, mouthwatering breasts. “And she’s pinching her nipples. Damn . . .”

  Jeremy groused out a curse. “If you’re going to watch this, you’re going to share details. Every one of them.”

  The tone set Rhys on edge. “Fuck off.”

  “I helped you get into her house with a phone call and a plan,” Jeremy argued. “Tucker lent you his key. If such a gorgeous sight is going to fall into your lap, you’re going to share with us. Or we won’t help you with an exit strategy.”

  As if he hadn’t proven it time and again, Jeremy displayed once more why he was one of the most sought-after attorneys in Texas. The man could flat argue with anyone and win.

  “Fine.” Rhys ground out between clenched teeth. “She’s scraping her nipples with her fingernails.”

  Rhys could feel their excitement over the phone. He felt the same keen sense of arousal . . . which only multiplied when Kelsey slid a hand across the flat of her abdomen, caressing down to the inside of her thigh. Her legs parted. He swallowed.

  “Touch me ...” she murmured. “Yes.”

  She dipped her fingers inside her pussy, and Rhys nearly lost his mind.

  Tucker choked. “D-did she just beg someone to touch her?”

  Fucking hell . . . “Yeah.”

  “Any idea who she wants doing the touching?”

  “Where is she imagining someone touching her?” Jeremy barked.

  Before he could answer, Kelsey lifted her fingers from between her legs, and Rhys got a good glimpse. “Fuck, she’s wet.”

  “You see her pussy?” Jeremy demanded.

  “That’s a terrible word,” Tucker chastised.

  Jeremy scoffed. “You like cunt better?”

  Rhys ignored them. “It’s her fingers. They’re wet.”

  Tucker swallowed. “She really touched herself?”

  “Dude, she does it all the time.” Rhys rolled his eyes.

  Her friend let out a shaky breath. “I think I’m going to explode.”

  Easy to relate to that feeling, especially when Kelsey began a slow, rhythmic rubbing of her clit.

  “Please . . . ” She groaned. “Like that. Oh, yes . . .” Her hips lifted. “I want it . . .”

  “Damn it,” Jeremy snarled. “I’ll give it to her. Relentlessly. Until she begs me to stop. When she does, I’ll just give her more.”

  Not if Rhys had anything to say about it. That would be his privilege.

  “But I can’t,” she whimpered. “Too much . . .”

  Damn it, who did she picture sharing her pleasure with? What the hell did her imaginary lover do? Say?

  A moment later, she grabbed the slender wand, flipped it on, and eased it inside her. Her back bowed off the bed as it disappeared inside her body.

  “Oh my God ...” she cried.

  “What?” Tucker and Jeremy both snapped.

  “She’s using her vibrator.”

  Kelsey punctuated Rhys’s announcement with a cry of pleasure. It filled the room, heating his blood. On the phone, Tucker groaned. Jeremy’s silence had its own sound of careful restraint. He hoped neither of them had taken their cocks in hand. The last thing he wanted was to hear some other guy get off to Kelsey’s cries of pleasure.

  Though he had to admit, he was tempted to stroke himself in time to her moans.

  With one hand, she thrust the slim wand in and out of her hungry body, the sounds of her juicy flesh pushing the edge of his restraint. Finally having a soundtrack to this visual was killing him.

  With the other hand, she groped for her rabbit. She found the base first, flipped it on, then clutched the buzzing purple toy and dragged it between her legs, settling it right over her clit.

  “Yes! God, yes! I need it! That’s so good . . .”

  “I can’t listen to this and do nothing. I’m coming over there,” Jeremy growled.

  Everything inside Rhys protested. “Stay where you are, damn it. You’re going to help me get out of here when she’s done, but this isn’t a party.”

  She gasped. “Please. Oh God . . .”

  “I can’t take it,” Tucker muttered. “What is she doing?”

  Flushing. Arching her back. Biting her lip. Clutching her toys. Moaning. And . . .


  “I love you . . . you . . . you ...” Kelsey panted.

  Then she rent the air with a sharp, high-pitched cry that went on, became a low growl of satisfaction that nearly had Rhys climaxing in his jeans.

  “I’m going to paddle that woman’s ass for this torture as soon as I get my hands on her,” Jeremy promised.

  “You can’t hit a woman!” Tucker protested.

  Before Rhys could say that he wouldn’t mind seeing Kelsey with a pink bottom, her boss answered. “How likely are you to forget the sound of her orgasm? Ever? How many times will you play it in your head the next few days? Weeks? Months? How many times will you masturbate to it and wish to God you were hearing it in person because you’d given her that much pleasure? How many times after your self-induced orgasm will you be bitterly disappointed that you were only torturing yourself with the sound because you don’t know who the fuck she’s fantasizing about when she brings herself to climax?”

  No one said anything for a long minute. Rhys could hear Kelsey panting as she slowly resumed normal breathing. On the phone, her other two admirers each struggled for self-control.

  “You’re right,” Tucker finally said. “I’ll never forget that sound. And since Rhys didn’t find anything in his search, we still don’t know who she wants.”

  “Or who she loves,” Jeremy added. “Are you sure that neither of you knows about another man in her life?”

  “We’re the only men who ever visit her house,” Rhys said. “I have nosy Mrs. MacDermott across the street watch her when I’m at the station, and she always clucks that even her fourteen-year-old granddaughter has more boyfriends than Kelsey.”

  “She sees no one at work. I intentionally keep her far too busy for an office romance.”

  “I talk to her folks every other week or so,” Tucker said. “They don’t mention a boyfriend. Believe me, I ask. And as far as I know, except her dentist appointment last week and grocery shopping, she hasn’t been anywhere.”

  “Maybe her lover is purely imaginary.” Rhys winced as he said it. That would pretty much kill their collective hope.

  “Or it’s one of us, and she just can’t say it,” Tucker suggested. “I’m wondering . . . Kels and I have been friends for so long, maybe she thinks bringing up sex would be awkward. Or how does a woman tell her boss that she’s fallen for him? Or a neighbor she’s never even dated? For all that Kelsey is independent, I don’t think she’s brave with her feelings.”

  “Another something we have to thank that prick Alex for,” Jeremy muttered.

  “Totally,” Tucker agreed. “So maybe . . . we just have to keep trying individually to reach her.”

  Jeremy hesitated. “I still think Rhys’s idea of getting her drunk would be more effective.”

  “I won’t take advantage of her when she’s tipsy.” Tucker’s disapproval blared through the phone.

  “I just want to ask her questions, not tie her to the bed and fuck her all night . . . though that plan has a lot of appeal.”

  “Kelsey and bondage do not belong in the same sentence.”

  Jeremy snorted. “That’s your opinion. Which, by the way, is wrong.”

  “Look, I know the nasty bedroom games you pl
ay, but Kelsey is much too sweet to be aroused by that crap.”

  The way Jeremy laughed wasn’t nice. “Then why is she wet at work all day long? And why does she get wetter the more I command her?”

  This argument was going nowhere.

  “Stop, both of you,” Rhys insisted.

  “Let’s give it a week or so,” Tucker suggested. “We could all question her separately to see what we can learn, then touch base again.”

  “We can meet at my office some late afternoon when you’re both available.”

  “Won’t Kelsey be there?” Rhys pointed out.

  Jeremy shot back, “I’ll demand she do something in another room.”

  “Demand?” Tucker clearly didn’t like the sound of that.

  “I’m good both at being her boss and a Dominant. She’ll comply.”

  “She’s not a damn dog.”

  Rhys sighed. “Stop it! We’ll each try to pry the answer out of her separately. We’ll meet up at Jeremy’s office next week and be totally honest about the outcome. I’d still rather see her happily settled with one of us than some loser we don’t know who could hurt her.”

  “All right,” Tucker grumbled.

  Jeremy’s voice was firm. “Agreed.”

  Tucker sighed. “What do we do if, by next week, we still don’t know anything about Kelsey’s feelings?”

  Rhys paused. Jeremy sighed. Together, they said, “We get her drunk.”

  The honeyed bliss of release was gone when Kelsey opened her eyes. The tingling in her arms and legs receded, her heartbeat returning to normal. That electric, so alive feeling slowly dissipated, leaving something jagged and empty in its place.

  Slowly, she opened her eyes. And she was alone. Again.

  Shoving aside her toys, she tore out her earbuds, drew her knees to her chest, and hung her head. How long could she stay in this limbo, desperately wanting three men and having none because she didn’t know what they really felt and was too afraid to upset the status quo? Because she couldn’t risk choosing one and potentially having the other two disappear from her life?

  Tucker she could never live without. He knew her down to her core. He was the first person she thought of when she needed a hug. The only person she’d bared her secrets to had been him. Just as she’d listened in return. His quiet, sexy ways left her breathless. She itched to touch him, discover how much deeper their friendship could be. Doing without Tucker would leave a hole in her heart from which she’d never recover.

  Jeremy . . . She’d been working for him for nearly four years. His absence in her life would kill her. Without him, she feared she’d morph from a confident, independent female back to the spiritual equivalent of wallpaper. Her self-assurance soared under Jeremy’s hot stares. He’d taught her when to crush opponents and when to show compassion. He made her feel vital, vibrant, needed—and like the kind of woman who could inspire the forbidden. He aroused her as no man had, his commanding streak the stuff of her fantasies. They just . . . clicked.

  Rhys often reminded her not to take her life, her job, her problems—or herself—too seriously. He was her positive outlook, her silver lining. He’d taught her that things happened for a reason. Besides preventing her from being too maudlin, he shared her passion for movies with sophomoric humor and was her resident handyman. He was always willing to eat whatever experiment she dished out in the kitchen. And always backed it up with Moose Tracks ice cream. Without him, she’d forget to embrace all her tomorrows and smile gratefully for each new sunrise.

  How was she ever going to choose? But how could she keep denying her feelings—and fearing theirs?

  Kelsey sighed. She’d had this argument with herself a thousand times. And a thousand times reached the same conclusion: She had to keep her love for them to herself.

  Rising slowly, she padded to her bathroom and shut the door. A sumptuous bubble bath might relax her enough to sleep. Of course, she could give herself another orgasm . . . but pleasure without her fantasy men—Tucker, Jeremy, and Rhys—was losing its blush.

  And the depression afterward was getting heavier by the climax.

  She turned the handle on her temperamental bathtub, praying for hot water. And waited. And waited.

  Cold water sloshed over her fingertips. Damn this tub!

  Groaning, Kelsey closed her eyes. Why now? She had three incredible men to try to soak out of her heart.

  Call Rhys or pray for sleep that probably wouldn’t come? Kelsey chewed on a ragged fingernail for a moment, then sighed. No contest.

  She padded across the hall and grabbed her cell phone.

  “Hello?” he answered.

  That was it? No How’s my sexiest neighbor? Or I never thought you’d call, baby. Just hello? Even weirder, Rhys’s voice on the other end sounded stilted. Shaky.

  “You all right?”

  He swallowed. “Great.”

  Sounded more like aliens had overtaken his personality. But if he didn’t want to talk about whatever was bugging him, she wasn’t going to push it. More than once, she’d been down about her hopeless situation with these great men, and Rhys had encouraged her to confide her troubles in him. But she’d remained silent. She couldn’t pry now and expect him to spill if she wasn’t willing to do the same.

  “Is this a bad time? If I’m interrupting something—”

  “Not at all. Just hoping to see you again.”

  God, she’d love to see him too. And that was so dangerous.

  She winced. “Even if it’s to fix my bathtub?”

  “Absolutely. I’ll be right there.”

  Before she could say anything, he ended the call and she heard his knock on her front door. Damn, he must have been walking and talking at the same time. And she was still standing here stark naked.

  Throwing on her cover-up, Kelsey dashed down the hall and opened the door. She caught her breath. Rhys stood there in faded jeans and a tight gray T-shirt that clung to every ripped, rugged muscle. The breeze ruffled his short tawny hair. Those green eyes of his were like lasers, fastening on her face, then drifting down in a hot gaze to the zipper secured just above her cleavage. Like he wanted her. Her nipples peaked.

  Awareness that she wore nothing beneath a thin bit of white terrycloth was sharp as a blade—and just as disconcerting.

  Rhys’s narrowed gaze fastened on her breasts. He gripped the door frame and raised his stare to her face again. She’d never seen this side of him. No teasing or laughter. No flirting. Desire broke across his expression, taut, harsh, unapologetic. Though he didn’t say a word or make a move, his want detonated like a bomb between them. The explosion rocked her.

  She swallowed, shook. Should she let him in? What would happen if she did?

  Nothing. She was strong; she had to be. To give him what she wanted—what they both wanted—would upset the delicate relationships she had with all three men.

  “Come in.” Her legs trembled as she stepped back to admit him.

  He brushed against her as he entered her foyer, and she bit back a gasp at the rush of tingles. A flash of dizzy need assailed her.

  God, this was a thousand times stronger than any orgasm she’d given herself, and he’d barely touched her.

  “Your cheeks are flushed, Kelsey.”

  I’ve been stroking myself and thinking of you.

  Forcing a shaky laugh, she shut the door, enclosing them in the privacy of her house. “I had a wrestling match with the bathtub and lost. You know how I am when I lose my temper.”

  The corners of his mouth lifted, but it wasn’t exactly a smile. “What’s the problem?”

  As Kelsey retreated down the hall to her room, hoping the little white garment covered her ass completely, she beat back a rising panic. Nothing was different tonight. She could let Rhys in her bedroom—and had a dozen times at least. He would enter, go
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