A new, scorching holiday tale by myself and Elise Logan
Katrina and Liam Holland have the perfect marriage, a home in the trendiest part of Baltimore, and a scorching sex life. As another Christmas approaches, there’s only one thing still on Kat’s wish list: Hunter Croft. But she made peace long ago with his decision to choose the marines over their relationship. Until seeing him again arouses feelings she thought were in the past…
Hunter has spent a decade outrunning his attraction to both Kat and Liam. But now that he’s stateside, his self-control crumbles when he comes face-to-face with the two people who star in all his favorite fantasies. Their reunion is both erotic and emotional—and has Hunter wondering if three’s really a crowd, after all.
Liam can’t imagine his life without Kat. But he can imagine a future where the three of them live and love under one roof. Liam and Kat have shared their bed with other men, but Hunter is the only one who could ever have a place in their hearts. And this holiday season, Liam intends to make their dream a reality.
Excerpt copyright 2013 – Emily Ryan-Davis and Elise Logan
The beer was cold, the music was hot and the women were willing. Hunter Croft welcomed the first, ignored the second and rejected the last. After thirty-six days back on United States soil, he’d finally sated himself on the parade of tag-chasers. No, that was wrong. His body still wanted it but his head was miles away, already working through the orders he’d gotten today.
He was going home. Not exactly his idea of a perfect Christmas.
He took a swig of his beer but it didn’t help.
After more than ten years, he still had the visual burned in his brain. He’d jacked off to it often enough. Kat and Liam. Kat’s legs hooked over Liam’s arms, pussy wet and flushed, tits bouncing with every thrust. Liam’s ass clenching, leg muscles bunching to press deep. His cock wet with Kat’s moisture, his balls drawn tight against his body. The electric, life-changing moment when Liam turned his head and saw him. Nothing had been the same since.
After that night, when he’d stood frozen in the living room of Liam’s apartment, Hunter couldn’t face himself. Couldn’t face Kat. He wanted her, wanted to be the one pumping between her legs. But that wasn’t all he wanted, and that other want—the one he refused to name—was what had sent him to Parris Island, into the arms of the Corps.
The Corps and the world had changed a lot in the last decade. He’d changed.
He drained his beer and set the bottle on the bar.
Kat Holland’s heart stopped beating as her brain replayed the two words her BFF had just uttered. Her chest flexed around a pang of longing. Nearly eleven years telescoped down to nothing, leaving the pain of his abandonment fresh and bleeding.
Kat forced her lungs to work. Pull it together.
“Earth to Kat.” Adele dropped a pair of chunky turquoise earrings on her desk. The earrings landed with a thunk, drawing Kat’s eyes from the computer screen and the latest convoluted, spelling-impaired update from Liam’s foster-sister. Jen always had some crisis brewing, but Adele’s words trumped anything in the email.
She shut down her computer and looked up at her friend, who held a vintage hat in one hand and a short fur jacket in the other. With a deep breath, she pushed herself to act normally. “Sorry. Distracted, I guess. I’m going to have to pass on those. I’m already working on my spring lineup.”
“Yeah, I figured, but my mother-in-law insisted you’d love them. I’ll break the news over spiced Jell-O or whatever crazy Christmas dessert she decided to make.” Adele stuffed the fur into a canvas tote.
Kat gave the earrings back to her friend. “Are you sure about Hunter? I thought he was in Afghanistan or something.”
“Not according to the latest. Are you going to try to get in touch with him?”
“Probably not. I’m sure he’ll be busy doing his Marine thing.” Kat bit her lip and checked her phone. Did Liam know? If he did, what was he thinking? No new messages. Frowning, she turned off her desk lamp. She and Adele left the room together and walked to the front door.
“I think you should.” Adele paused with her hand on the door knob and looked Kat in the eye. “I know how he left bothers you.”
“I’ll think about it.” Kat locked up after Adele and went into the living room to look out the front window. Her stomach churned. She wanted to talk to Liam, but she didn’t want to be the first to broach the topic of Hunter. Didn’t want to seem too eager. Desperate. Her subconscious provided the word she’d been avoiding. Shaking her head, she checked her phone again.
Nothing since before lunch. She didn’t know what to make of Liam’s uncharacteristic silence. She and her husband kept up a running stream of texts throughout the day, snapping photos and volleying comments back and forth while they went about their respective business. Rarely did an entire hour go by without a word from Liam. Did he know about Hunter’s return?
She turned to fuss with the stocking holders on the mantle. While she was arranging the heavy brass reindeers side by side, a chirp announced an incoming text from Liam.
Picking up dinner.
She let out a relieved breath and replied. Want me to do anything??
Be ready for a three-way tonight?
Her pulse skipped. Hesitating over her response, she settled on a light-hearted answer. Like I’d turn that down. Anybody I know?
Stop asking questions. You’ll ruin the surprise.
Getting naked was just what she needed. A dirty, sweaty, orgasmic Christmas Eve would kick Hunter’s ghost to the curb.
Kat spent the rest of the afternoon decorating and tidying in anticipation of a guest. They’d bought the lovely row house at the bottom of the market for a steal, and she’d loved bringing it back with Liam. It was a good neighborhood, close to Johns Hopkins and full of wonderful restaurants and shops. With a smile, she double-checked the locks before heading upstairs to pamper herself.
By the time she left the bathroom, night had fallen. Multi-colored lights twinkled through the bedroom window, the 34th Street light display nearly as bright as daylight. The community display was another reason they’d chosen this row house. It had been a real charge to work with her neighbors on the details. The weekend she and Liam had spent hanging precariously from ladders and leaning too far out windows to get the lights up had been a blast.
Kat pulled the towel from her head. The scene in front of her made her forget all about the lights outside.
Her husband reclined on the bed, naked except for the gift-wrapped box balanced on his flat stomach. A frilly silver bow overflowed the box and curled around his erect penis.
A low-level buzz swept over her skin. She’d always associated that tingle with Liam, because whenever she saw him, that little wave of arousal swept through her. Even now, after eight years of marriage.
“Is that what you got me?” She dropped her towel and, grinning, crawled across the bed to place a kiss atop the smooth, flushed head of his cock.
Liam grasped his shaft with one hand and angled his erection away from her mouth. “This is for later. For now you can have what’s in the box.”
She stuck out her tongue but sat back on her feet and pulled the box close. Liam groaned as the ribbon tickled his balls.
“I offered,” Kat said impishly.
“Later.” He rose from the bed and went into the bathroom. “Did you leave any hot water?”
“Little bit.” She pried open the box to reveal another surprise, delicate layers of paper imprinted with the logo of her favorite French lingerie boutique.
She dug through the packaging until her fingers struck silk. Careful with the cool, tissue-thin fabric, she pulled it from the box and held it up by its tiny straps. The bordello-red confection took her breath away. Though the demi-bra was opaque silk, the midriff was sheer, delicate lace, with only a wide pleated strip of silk at the hips to hide her assets.
“Liam, this is practically a Band-Aid.” But she carefully smoothed the silk between her fingers. It felt like heaven in her hands. Kat rubbed the butter-soft material against her stiff nipples and moaned.
“Put it on,” Liam said. “I want you to wear it to dinner.”
“Um. That’s some dinner. Just what are you planning?” A second item lay nestled among the tissue paper. Kat drew out a tiny red G-string, its miniscule crotch framed in more lace. She would be the very naughtiest of the naughty in this.
“Santa doesn’t divulge his secrets and I don’t either. Get dressed. I want to look at you.”
While Liam finished shaving and dragged on a pair of pants, she brushed out her damp hair and slipped the G-string up over her legs. Her first impression of the baby doll was correct—it barely covered her breasts, leaving the full upper curves exposed. Her nipples stood prominently against the silk.
“Perfect,” Liam said behind her. “Your ass is so fucking amazing.”
The compliment, accompanied by a possessive stroke over her butt, tripped her body into sex mode. Her pussy heated and softened. “Who am I dressing for tonight? You or him or both of you?”
He didn’t answer immediately, too intent on petting her. Kat closed her eyes and focused on the light pressure of his fingers over her skin, the slow burn he roused inside her. His touch never failed to ignite.
Liam turned her to face him, tipping her chin up with his thumb. His pale blue eyes were serious, more serious than she expected. “You’re my wife, no matter who else we might enjoy.”
Something in his voice brought questions to her lips but Liam quieted them with a kiss. “Love you, K-K.”
“I love you, too,” she replied, bemused.
He ran his fingers through the hair at her temples, pulling it straight before releasing the dark brown curls to frame her face. “Ready?”
Taking her hand in his, he led her downstairs. The neighborhood Christmas lights cast a soft, rosy glow through the front windows.
Liam ignored the display outside and headed for the kitchen. Kat followed, equal parts curious and uncertain. When she caught sight of Liam’s third, her mouth fell open.
Hunter felt like he’d been kicked in the gut. He recovered faster than she did and narrowed his eyes at Liam. “You told me she was in California. Visiting her sister.”
Liam shrugged. “I lied.”
“To get you here. Now are you finally going to finish what you started, or are you going to disappear for another ten years?”
Kat snapped her head around to look at her husband. “What the hell, Liam?”
Liam leaned against the door frame and shrugged. “I love two people in this world. You and him. When I found out he was stationed in D.C., I figured it was time to fix things. So I invited him over.”
“There’s nothing to fix.” Hunter’s feet itched with the urge to leave, but need rooted him to the spot. He needed the petite woman who stood in front of him with her half-bared breasts and her shocked, yearning eyes. That need, and the unwelcome desires associated with the two of them, scared the shit out of him. What the fuck did it say about him that he felt safer being shot at in Afghanistan than he did being propositioned in a kitchen in Baltimore?
“Kitty-Kat, why don’t you go unzip his pants and show him how much you’ve missed him,” Liam said, ignoring Hunter’s protest.
Her big brown eyes widened even more, a question in them that Hunter no longer knew her well enough to read. Liam could read her, though, and he nodded in Hunter’s direction. “Go on, babe. He’s not going to turn you down once you’ve got him in your mouth.”
Hunter stood frozen as Kat crossed the kitchen. Red silk did nothing to conceal the outline of her nipples and did everything to push his buttons. She made eye contact with him and his resistance flagged. Wasn’t this exactly what he’d convinced himself he wanted?
“It’s been a long time, kitten,” he said, the words rough in his throat.
She swallowed and whispered, “You left.”
“You were going to marry Liam. What was I supposed to do?”
“You didn’t have to go.” She dropped her gaze to his chest and lower until she fixed her attention on his cock. It pressed against the fly of his jeans so hard he thought the zipper might break under the strain. “Will you unzip for me? I want to watch you do it.”
Hunter drew a fortifying breath. Across the kitchen, Liam hadn’t moved. The bulge at the front of his pants left no question as to his interest in the unfolding scene. Hunter searched his old friend’s face for signs of jealousy and found none. He searched himself and found exactly what he was afraid he might find. Jesus.
“Hunter…” Kat licked her lips.
His willpower where she was concerned had never been very strong. He took a step forward, plunged his hands into her hair, and crushed her lips beneath his.
Liam grunted but didn’t say anything or move to interfere. Not waiting for Liam to change his mind, Hunter twisted her hair around his hands and drew her up on her toes to match him. Off balance, she stumbled and landed against his chest, her hands flattening along his sides. Her tongue met his, urgent and hungry.
Hunter relished her warm weight and the sweet flavor of her mouth, two sensations he’d longed for in the years without her. But she wasn’t his to take, not like this. Liam had offered him something physical, nothing more.
He wrenched his mouth from the kiss and stared down at her. Kat’s lips were red and wet, parted as if she wanted him inside again.
If Liam wanted to give his wife away, if she agreed to being used for whatever scheme Liam had in mind, Hunter wasn’t going to question it. Disentangling his hands from her hair, he palmed the top of her head and pushed her down to her knees.
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