Colters woman, p.6
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       Colters Woman, p.6
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         Part #1 of Colters Legacy series by Maya Banks
Page 6


  Her stomach knotted, rolled, tightening until she knew she would vomit. She glanced around in panic, looking for a place to hide. Somewhere he couldn’t see her.

  * * *

  Ethan frowned as the BMW pulled into a parking spot across the street. Unusual vehicle for this part of the world. If it wasn’t four-wheel drive, the locals had no use for it.

  He glanced back to where Ryan was looking at boots and then at the racks where Holly was. Only she wasn’t there. He scanned the store, looking to see where she moved, but she wasn’t anywhere to be seen.

  “Ryan,” he barked.

  Ryan turned around, his eyes searching for Holly as well. His features hardened when he saw no sign of her either.

  They fanned out, darting between the clothes racks. Ryan walked to the back toward the fitting room, and Ethan scoured the front by the window.

  He found her huddled behind a clearance rack, only her feet sticking out from under the clothes. When he parted the hangers, she flinched, as if afraid of who had come.

  “What’s wrong, doll? Who’s scared you so bad?”

  “He’s here. Outside. He’s come for me. He knows I’m here,” she said with a low moan.

  She rocked back and forth, abject terror in her eyes. She hugged her knees tightly to her chest, a protective measure. Ethan wanted to march into the street and kill the bastard on the spot.

  “I’ll kill him. ”

  For a moment, Ethan thought he had spoken his thoughts aloud, but then he realized Ryan had walked up behind them.

  “No!” she protested. “Please, take me home. He can’t see me. Please!”

  “We won’t let him hurt you, doll,” Ethan soothed. He turned to Ryan. “Pull the Rover around back. I’ll take her out that way. ”

  He turned his attention back to Holly and gently picked her up. Cradling her to his chest, he strode toward the rear of the store, careful to keep her hidden from view.

  He stopped at the counter for the briefest of moments when he caught the storeowner’s curious stare.

  “Riley, I need a favor,” Ethan murmured. “There’s a mean son of a bitch outside, and he’s looking for this woman. If he asks you, you haven’t seen her. ”

  Riley’s gaze hardened, and he fingered the shotgun he kept behind the counter. “Don’t worry, Ethan. ”

  Ethan nodded then hurried out the back. Ryan was there, holding the door open. “You drive,” he ordered as he climbed into the back, still holding Holly.

  A few seconds later, they pulled onto the main street. Holly lay in the seat, her head on Ethan’s lap. He stared at the BMW on their way past, committing the license plate to memory. Not that it was hard. California plates. Personalized. MASON. Arrogant bastard to boot.

  He stroked Holly’s hair, his rage building as he felt her tremble beneath his touch. When they were out of town, he pulled her up beside him.

  She clung to him, her face buried in his chest. She felt better than he had ever imagined a woman could feel. That the woman who would complete them all was finally with them was incomprehensible. And he sure as hell wasn’t going to let some abusive bastard take her away from them.

  “How is she?” Ryan asked from the front seat as he sped up the mountain, taking the switchbacks as fast as he dared.

  “Good question. How are you, doll?” he asked, smoothing her hair from her face.

  “I’m okay,” she said in a shaky voice. “He didn’t see me, did he?”

  “No, doll, he didn’t. I promise. You’re safe. ”

  He continued to caress her, running his hand up and down her back. “We’re almost home. ”

  He nuzzled the top of her head, pressing kisses to her hair. Gradually she ceased shaking, but she held him tightly, a fact he wasn’t complaining about. Whether she wanted to admit it or not, she trusted him. She trusted all three of them. It was a start.

  Chapter Six

  Adam was furious when Ethan and Ryan arrived with a visibly shaken Holly. He scooped her up in his arms and hugged her tightly against his chest. His eyes flashed over her head, demanding to know what happened from his brothers.

  “Her h—the bastard was in town,” Ethan spat.

  “Did he hurt you, baby?” Adam demanded.

  She shook her head against his chest.

  He looked up to his brothers for confirmation.

  “He didn’t see her,” Ryan said. “At least we don’t think. He was parked on the street. Holly saw him from the store window. ”

  “Fuck. ”

  This certainly complicated things. He exchanged glances with his brothers. All silently agreed. Something would have to be done about the bastard. They couldn’t allow Holly to be terrorized any longer.

  Adam pulled Holly away from him slightly and framed her face in his hands. “Listen to me, baby. We won’t let him hurt you, I swear it. ”

  She stared at him for a long moment then slowly nodded.

  He let out a growl of satisfaction. “Go run some bathwater, Ryan. ”

  Ryan left for the bathroom, leaving Adam and Ethan in the room with Holly. Adam ran a hand down her cheek, down the curve of her slender neck and down to the neckline of her shirt.

  “Let us take care of you,” he murmured. “First a bath…” He let his voice trail off suggesting there was more to come.

  She shivered in his arms. But she didn’t look at all worried about the idea of more to come.

  “Adam, there’s something…there’s something you should know. ”

  He lifted his brow at her nervous statement. He looked over at Ethan who shrugged.

  She pushed away from him, and he allowed her space. She stood up and moved several feet from both him and Ethan.

  “I feel so stupid saying this,” she began. She wrung her hands in front of her, her agitation increasing.

  “Holly,” Ethan said. “Whatever it is, just tell us. It can’t be so bad, no matter what you may think. ”

  She took a deep breath and looked between them. “I thought you should know, I mean I don’t even know how this whole thing works. Between us, I mean. About sex. ”

  She broke off, her cheeks pink with a blush.

  Adam waited patiently for her to come around to her point. The fact she was entertaining thoughts of sex was promising, but she wasn’t sure how it would work between them. He smiled. She was delightfully innocent.

  “It’s just that I’ve never done this before,” she said awkwardly. “I mean sex in general. ”

  Not that innocent surely! His head jerked in surprise, and he looked at Ethan to see the same surprise blazoned on his face.

  “Say that again?” Ethan said.

  Her blush deepened.

  “But you’re married,” Adam began.

  “I left him on our wedding night,” she mumbled.

  A slow smile spread across Ethan’s face, and the same sense of satisfaction took hold of Adam. She was going to be more than just theirs. She would only belong to them. They would be her first. And her last.

  “Maybe you should explain, baby,” he said gently. They needed to know all they could about her. The more they knew, the better chance they had of keeping her. And letting her go wasn’t an option.

  “Water’s ready,” Ryan called from the door.

  “We’ll let you talk in the tub,” Adam said. He stood and closed the distance between him and Holly. She stepped back slightly when his hand slid under her shirt.

  “Trust me, baby. I won’t hurt you. We need to get you out of your clothes. ”

  She licked her lips then captured her bottom lip between her teeth and nibbled furiously. She was, in a word, adorable.

  Holly glanced between the three men in front of her and nearly hyperventilated. She wanted them, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to be naked in front of them. The mere idea had her wanting to hurl.

  Adam’s hand slid underneath her shirt, his fingers brushing the underside of her bre
ast. The thin material of her bra did nothing to muffle his touch. She felt the scorching blaze of his heat to her very depths.

  Feather light, his fingers brushed across her skin, around to her back and to the clasp of her bra. With a flick of his hand, the clasp broke free.

  Another hand slipped underneath her shirt, shoving it upward. She gave a startled gasp as she realized Ethan had joined Adam.

  Ethan pushed her shirt to her neck then Adam gently tugged it over her head. She self-consciously covered her chest with her arms.

  “Don’t,” Ryan said huskily. “You’re beautiful. ”

  She looked up to see him staring at her from across the room, his eyes burning into hers.

  Slowly she let her hands fall away until she stood in front of them in only her jeans.

  “Jesus,” Ethan breathed.

  Adam undid the fly on her jeans then slid the zipper down.

  “If you don’t hurry, the water is going to get cold,” Ryan drawled.

  “We can’t have that,” Adam said in a voice that sent spasms from her belly to her pussy. Her muscles clenched in red hot need.

  He began to peel her jeans down her body until she stood in only her panties. Ready for the agony to end, she hooked her thumbs in the waistband and quickly shimmied out of her underwear.

  “You’re perfect,” Adam said.

  She found herself lifted into his arms, and he carried her into the bathroom. He lowered her into the huge tub of foamy suds, and she moaned in pleasure as the warm water lapped over her body.

  “We’ll give you some time to relax,” Adam said as he stood back up. He dropped a kiss on top of her head. “I’ll be back to wash your hair and dry you off in a few minutes. ”

  She watched as they filed out of the bathroom, and she sunk lower into the suds, closing her eyes. Would they want to have sex with her now that she had told them she was a virgin? She was nervous about the whole idea. Not only had she never done it, but she had three men wanting to make love to her. And she had no idea how they planned to go about it. But damned if the idea of it didn’t have her toes curled.

  * * *

  “This changes things a bit,” Adam said as he faced his two brothers in the bedroom.

  “What are you talking about?” Ryan demanded.

  “Holly’s a virgin,” Ethan said.

  Ryan lifted a brow but said nothing more. He merely pinned Adam with a questioning stare.

  “What?” Adam asked, sensing there was a lot on his youngest brother’s mind.

  Ryan sighed and shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans.

  “How do we know she won’t change her mind? How do we know she didn’t have cold feet and take off from her husband?”

  Ethan started to protest but Adam silenced him with a look. He could see the uncertainty in Ryan’s eyes, knew of anyone, Ryan would be the most distrustful.

  A twinge of pain squeezed his chest. Would he ever know what Ryan had endured in Iraq? Sadness weighed heavy on his mind. God knows he and Ethan had tried to get Ryan to open up, but ever since his return a year ago, he hadn’t uttered a word about the time he spent in captivity.

  “Ryan, she needs us. I’m not saying it’ll be easy. Hell, she’s married. She’s scared to death, and she’s confused over what she’s feeling for us. All we can do is protect her and show her how very good it can be with us. ”

  He turned to Ethan. “She trusts you. She’s already established a bond with you. I think you should be her first. ”

  “She’s not a piece of meat to decide over,” Ryan said in disgust.

  He turned and walked out of the bedroom before Adam could respond.

  Ethan chuckled softly. “He’s right, you know. You don’t have to control everything, Adam. No need to orchestrate the entire act of sex. I think we can handle it on our own. ”

  Adam didn’t respond. That wasn’t what he meant, but maybe they were right. He was trying too damn hard. He rubbed a hand through his hair and massaged the back of his neck.

  “I’ll be out in the barn,” Adam said. “You can see to Holly. ”

  Truth was he needed some fresh air. Needed to think.

  * * *

  The water had grown tepid, and Holly wasn’t going to wait on the men any longer. Hell, it wasn’t as if she couldn’t handle herself anyway. Yet, she sat docilely in the tub like an obedient stooge.

  She stood up, water running down her body. She reached for a towel that hung on the rack beside the tub and began drying off.

  “Let me. ”

  The towel slipped from her fingers as Ethan took it and began rubbing her back.

  “I can do it,” she said, more sharply than she intended.

  She reached for the towel, not liking the fact she stood naked before him.

  He probed her with his stare for a second then let her have the towel back.

  “I’ll be in the living room if you want to join me,” he said as he walked out of the bathroom.

  She took her time, her mind a mass of confusion. She was seriously deluding herself if she thought it would be as easy as setting up a new life here with the three brothers. She knew nothing about them, had no idea what she would do here, and there was the little matter of her marriage to a vile, sadistic monster.

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