Read A Contract Bride's Triple Surprise Online

Authors: Reece Butler

Tags: #Menage Everlasting, #Menage a Quatre (m/m/m/f), #Inc., #Siren-BookStrand

A Contract Bride's Triple Surprise

BOOK: A Contract Bride's Triple Surprise
6.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Bride Train 2

A Contract Bride’s Triple Surprise

Ross MacDougal demands vengeance on the men who killed his young cousin, but his Clan Chief, older half-brother Gillis, insists that he produce an heir. Without one, they’ll lose their ranch to their brutish brother in Texas when their father dies. But no woman would marry the man known as the MacDougal Devil. An Eastern contract bride is the only way to save the ranch.

Amelia Smathers is desperate for her own home. Before dying of lung complications, her older sister Prudence insists that Amelia marry Nevin MacDougal, her husband Gillis’s kindly younger brother. Eyes tearing in grief, Amelia signs the marriage contract and heads west.

Amelia is shocked to discover a different husband, but Ross’s erotic touch soothes her. Still, she’s expected to share herself, just like Beth Elliott, their closest neighbor. Beth’s heated description of sharing three men has Amelia both alarmed and aroused. Then Ross’s past catches up with them...

Genre:
Historical, Ménage a Trois/Quatre, Western/Cowboys
Length:
113,965 words

A CONTRACT BRIDE’S TRIPLE SURPRISE

Bride Train 2

Reece Butler

MENAGE EVERLASTING

Siren Publishing, Inc.

www.SirenPublishing.com

ABOUT THE E-BOOK YOU HAVE PURCHASED:
Your non-refundable purchase of this e-book allows you to only ONE LEGAL copy for your own personal reading on your own personal computer or device.
You do not have resell or distribution rights without the prior written permission of both the publisher and the copyright owner of this book.
This book cannot be copied in any format, sold, or otherwise transferred from your computer to another through upload to a file sharing peer to peer program, for free or for a fee, or as a prize in any contest. Such action is illegal and in violation of the U.S. Copyright Law. Distribution of this e-book, in whole or in part, online, offline, in print or in any way or any other method currently known or yet to be invented, is forbidden. If you do not want this book anymore, you must delete it from your computer.

WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000."

If you find a Siren-BookStrand e-book being sold or shared illegally, please let us know at

[email protected]

A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK

IMPRINT: Ménage Everlasting

A CONTRACT BRIDE’S TRIPLE SURPRISE

Copyright © 2011 by Reece Butler

E-book ISBN: 1-61034-239-9

First E-book Publication: January 2011

Cover design by
Les Byerley

All art and logo copyright © 2011 by Siren Publishing, Inc.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.

All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.

PUBLISHER

Siren Publishing, Inc.

www.SirenPublishing.com

Letter to Readers

 

Dear Readers,

 

If you have purchased this copy of
A Contract Bride’s Triple Surprise
by Reece Butler from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.

 

 

Regarding E-book Piracy

 

This book is copyrighted intellectual property. No other individual or group has resale rights, auction rights, membership rights, sharing rights, or any kind of rights to sell or to give away a copy of this book.

 

The author and the publisher work very hard to bring our paying readers high-quality reading entertainment.

 

This is Reece Butler’s livelihood. It’s fair and simple. Please respect Ms. Butler’s right to earn a living from her work.

 

Amanda Hilton, Publisher

www.SirenPublishing.com

www.BookStrand.com

DEDICATION

As always, to my husband Paul and sons Andy and David, the three men in my life.

Thank you to my family, friends and co-workers who encouraged (and put up with) me for the last eight years.

The following groups were immensely helpful during my research trip to Montana.

Bannack State Park, governed by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

http://www.bannack.org/

Beaverhead County Museum for their helpful staff, reference books for sale, artifacts, and amazing taxidermy collection of local birds.

http://beaverheadcountymuseum.com/

Nevada City’s ‘living museum’ of buildings and artifacts. A special thank you to the volunteers who make this historical site come alive.

http://www.virginiacitymt.com/LivHistory.asp

Grant-Kohrs Ranch, National Park Service

http://www.nps.gov/grko/index.htm

For a who’s who of Tanner’s Ford, list of reference material and photographs, visit my website at
www.ReeceButler.net
.

Any errors, historical or otherwise, are my own.

A CONTRACT BRIDE’S TRIPLE SURPRISE

Bride Train 2

REECE BUTLER

Copyright © 2011

Chapter One

Montana Territory, 1871, spring

“Ye’ll be marrying Amelia Smathers.”

Ross MacDougal whipped his head around. He stood as if carved in wood, arms high above his head, axe blade to the sky. After a moment, he turned back to his work. All his muscles, from fingers to toes, worked together as he hauled the axe in a downward arc. The blade slammed into the innocent chunk of maple waiting on the chopping block stump. The log exploded into two pieces. They flew high, turning in the air to land on others. The head of the axe buried itself deep into the block.

He rotated his shoulders and stretched his neck. It gave him time to think of an answer for his older brother. As Gillis was his Clan Chief, “no way in hell” wasn’t acceptable. He spat to the side to clear his throat.

“She’s Nevin’s wife.”

Gillis crossed his massive arms and looked down from his three-inch advantage. Sawdust from the two-man saw speckled his red, bushy hair, beard, chest, and arms. Stomping downhill to tell Ross what he didn’t want to hear had knocked most of the chips off his worn kilt. It hadn’t knocked any sense into Gil’s head.

“Nay, lad. She’s for you.”

Even though everyone knew it was coming, when Gil’s wife Prudence died shortly after their daughter’s birth, it hit him hard. He’d developed a temper, one Ross didn’t want to set off. A broken jaw and eyes swollen shut would not be helpful. But he couldn’t be burdened with a woman now. There were things he had to do. He was not one to leave vengeance to the Lord.

“Prudence wanted Nev to have her sister.”

Gil used to laugh and smile often. Now, he only bared his teeth. “I say, nay.” He moved his feet slightly apart and dropped his arms to his side. Ready to attack—or defend.

Ross swallowed. His hands curled into fists, ragged nails digging into his palms. All he wanted was to live on the MD Connected with Gil and Nevin. That and kill three men slowly and very, very painfully. An oath of vengeance came before playing husband to an Eastern woman with soft skin and few usable skills. But his oath to the Clan came before anything else.

He looked toward home. Smoke rose from the chimney. Auntie and Tillie would be making breakfast. The babies would be clean and fed, the kitchen full of wonderful smells. He’d eat, work until the sun set, and then head up to his room to sleep. A deep sleep, filled with dreams of revenge.

“Why me?” He walked over to the wheelbarrow, bent over, and began stacking logs.

“Are ye daft? The MD need a son to inherit!”

“Nev can do that.”

“Aye, but ’tis you who will marry her,” replied Gil, dropping his voice.

His words were quiet but had an intensity that made his blue eyes stab deep. He watched as Ross pushed the wheelbarrow over to the woodshed, added the logs to the back row, and returned.

“If yer first babe is a lass, Nev can go East to find a wife of his own to make a son.”

“Let him marry the girl. If he gets a daughter, then I’ll find a wife.”

“What woman would have ye?” Gillis erupted, throwing his arms wide. “Ye act like the devil hisself, glaring like ye expect attack. Ye toss them knives in town, lookin’ at people as if ye are choosin’ a target. Ye wear a buckskin vest, nae shirt, and tie yer hair back with rawhide. Do ye wonder why they call ye the MacDougal Devil?” He shook his head, temper spent. “Why do ye do that to yerself?”

Ross bit back the answer. If the MD was strong, no one would attack women and children who couldn’t protect themselves. The Indian side of him made it easy to scare all but a few. He was tall, dark, and well scarred. His weapon of choice was a knife, but his skill with fists, feet, and guns was equally honed.

“One look at my skin and I’m damned in their eyes no matter what. Why shouldn’t I show them what they expect?”

Gillis sighed. He brushed off his arms and chest. Sawdust drifted in the light breeze off the mountain.

“’Tis true yer ma is Bannock. But she’s Nevin’s ma, too. He dinna act like a savage in town.”

Ross scrubbed his smooth face with his callused hands. His dark skin didn’t erupt in fiery red bristles like his half-brother, Gillis. He didn’t burn and peel under the summer sun, either. Nevin, close to a twin in looks, showed a sunny personality to the world. Nev ignored his darker skin. Ross rubbed it in like cheap whiskey on an open wound.

“I can’t get married now. I need to go to Virginia City for a bit.”

Gil snorted like a bull. He shook his head and set his fists on his hips. “What ye need, laddie, is a hot woman to cool ye down. Ye’ll have nae need to go traipsin’ ’round the countryside.”

“The men I want are there.”

Gil raised a bushy eyebrow. “And since when have ye been lookin’ fer these men? ’Tis the first I’ve heard of it. What, did ye gamble and let ’em walk away with yer gold?”

Ross clenched his jaw. He crossed his arms to keep from slamming a fist into Gil’s sneering face. He forced himself to be calm. He learned as a child the only thing he could control was himself. A blank face and still body gave nothing away.

“I’ve wanted these men for most of my life. I will kill them, or die.”

Gillis looked at him a moment before shaking his head. “Ye can wait a wee bit more to die. Long enough to put a son in yer wife’s belly.”

The words slipped between his ribs and stabbed his heart like a stiletto. Two of the men had been spotted only a few days away. Even before he learned about his targets, he’d planned to be gone before Amelia arrived. He’d let the newlyweds get acquainted before he demanded his half of the bedroom back.

Gil scratched his chin with his left hand. He frowned. “When ye were with yer ma’s people?”

Ross nodded. He flexed his cramping fingers.

“Sommat happened, and ye want revenge?”

Another nod.

“Ye were a wee laddie. Did yer ma’s people tell ye to do this?”

Gillis was a Highland Scot. He didn’t understand Bannock ways. Subtle messages were exchanged without the need for words. Gil had never been subtle. Neither had his older brothers or their father. Loud, angry words and flying fists were common though Gil was not often violent. When he was, he went berserk as if he’d saved everything up for years.

“Talk wasn’t needed. I knew.”

“Was that when they sent ye home?”

Ross shrugged. He wasn’t sent home. He was banished. He had not protected a child. No matter that grown men killed her, he was also guilty. When a quiet uncle had him pack his few things and returned him to the MD, he knew they didn’t want him. Neither did his parents. They sent him to live with the Elliotts across the valley.

Gillis tilted back his head and stared at the sky. “Who were they?”

“Four white men.”

“Four? Ye said ye had three to kill.”

“I took care of one that day.”

Gil swore again, this time in Gaelic. Ross had heard the words often from their father, usually directed at him. From the way Gil glared, things hadn’t changed.

“Ye can take care of yer past later. The Clan needs ye now.” Gil leaned forward and stabbed a stubby finger at him. His face was as calm as Ross’s, but his feet were braced to fight. “Ye will take the woman as yer wife. Ye will put a babe in her belly. After that, ye can turn her over to Nevin and go traipsing to California if ye like!”

Ross shook his head from side to side. Just an inch each way but enough to say no. Gillis narrowed his bloodshot eyes. He straightened up to his full six foot five plus boots and wild, red hair. He stared at Ross like a warrior ready to battle. A hundred generations of Highland Scots had done the same.

He held out his right arm, slightly bent with fist clenched. Such an arm, encased in ancient armor, shone from the Clan MacDougal crest. Their ancestor was Somerled of the Isles. He died in 1164 still screaming their war cry. Ross used the same cry but not in Gaelic—victory or death!

Instead of yelling, Gillis spoke quietly. As Clan Chief, he had no need to bluster.


Ye’ll
marry the woman, Ross MacDougal, or ye’ll be banished from the Clan.”

His heart slammed against his ribs. He shivered in the hot May sunshine. “They killed my cousin. She was nine.”

Never had he spoken of that day, of her screams. He refused to beg Gillis to change his mind. Their father hadn’t managed to beat the stubbornness out of him, and neither would Gil. After an endless moment, Gillis dropped his arm, but not the attitude. He shook his head.

“Ye’ll have to wait for yer vengeance. The Clan needs ye to marry Amelia. If yer first babe is a lassie, I’ll send Nev East to find his own wife.”

Raised by the ways of clan and tribe, Ross knew to the very marrow of his bones that his wishes came second. He didn’t like it, but it was part of the price of belonging.

He barely tilted his head, once. Gillis relaxed back into the older brother who’d gladly taken him and Nevin in as partners.

“If ye used some of the manners Mrs. Elliott drilled into yer thick head, life would be easier for ye.”

“I don’t need easy. I need their deaths to clear my soul.”

“Death can wait,” said Gil. “The Clan needs sons to inherit the MD. Now.”

“Why? There’s three of us. We’re not all going to die in the next few years.”

“The MacDougal might.” Gil tightened his lips and looked at the mountains surrounding them. The screech of a golden eagle rang through the sudden silence.

“What’s Father’s death got to do with us?”

“Fin had a son three years back. The lass came to them big with child. She died birthing a big, red-haired lad the spitting image. That’s when Da wrote me a letter. If we don’t have a son before he dies, Fin inherits everything. Texas and Montana Territory.”

“That son of a bitch would sell our ranch out from under us before we even know the man’s gone!” Ross exhaled a curse. “Who knows what he’ll do to my mother.”

“Hold up, laddie.” Gil held up his palm. “When one of us has a son, the deed to all MacDougal land in Montana Territory comes to us. We’ll own this land and be free of them forever.”

Ross drew a deep breath, inhaling the scent of their land. He couldn’t live anywhere else. Yet Father could kick them off at any moment. Fin and Hugh would sell the ranch to eager miners insisting there was more gold if only they could rip up enough land.

“Three years and you didn’t say a damn word about this?”

“I thought Prudence would give me a boy. I love the wee lassie, but Father insists on a son.”

Ross looked at the mountains rising to the northeast and southwest. The river meandered through the valley bottom, the dividing land between MacDougal and Elliott land. Their families had shared life, and death, since 1846. He thought of the six Elliott boys, as well as their wild sister, Jessamine, as brothers.

“Vengeance is the past, lad. It can wait. The Clan needs ye now. For our future.”

All Ross needed to do was marry Prue’s sister and put a son into her. The Montana Clan would be finally free of their father, and he could complete his quest for vengeance. He didn’t much care who the child’s mother was.

Gil said Prue wasn’t a five-petticoat matron who kept the marriage bed cold. Perhaps Amelia was the same. The blood pounded through his heart and found a home in his cock. It swelled, proving he might be out of practice, but it was raring to go.

While making a son, he’d also teach Amelia to bend to the needs of the MacDougal Clan. Once he seduced her into enjoying bedsport with him, he’d bring Nevin in. Let her get used to both of them. He cursed as he rearranged his cock in his pants.

“Bed her well, and put yer babe in her belly,” said Gillis. “Bring Nev in to keep her warm. He’ll make her laugh, and it’ll strengthen the Clan. Then ye can kill whoever ye want.”

“Show me the marriage contract, and I’ll sign.”

“No need.” Gillis almost smiled. “I forged yer name and sent the papers before Hope was born. Congratulations, lad. Yer wife already rode the Bride Train. She’ll be in Tanner’s Ford tomorrow.”

BOOK: A Contract Bride's Triple Surprise
6.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Magic Path of Intuition by Florence Scovel Shinn
Pebble in the Sky by Isaac Asimov
Sword and Song by Roz Southey
Yowler Foul-Up by David Lee Stone