Between a Wolf and a Hard Place: BBW Shifter Menage (3 page)

BOOK: Between a Wolf and a Hard Place: BBW Shifter Menage
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Chapter 6

A
fter the feast
they’d consumed, the satiated trio sat out on Barron’s deck enjoying the evening. The shades of orange and crimson painting the gentle summer sky calmed Iris’s scrambled mind. A mind scrambled by the circumstances of her arrival, and the men sitting with her.

Why couldn’t they be less gorgeous, maybe even assholes? Dinner was a casual affair, and the guys tried to keep things light, but the subtle tension of unanswered questions filled the room.

Iris needed to leave. It would be too easy to stay and allow them to take care of her. A luxury she only vaguely remembered from when her parents were alive.

Pushing those thoughts out of her mind, Iris enjoyed her last night before she hit the road. As far as a comfy place to recuperate and rejuvenate, this couldn’t be a better setting.

No doubt Barron built his cabin with comfort and security in mind. Unless rock climbing ninjas attacked, the front of the cabin remained the lone approach. Calling this a cabin seemed like an insult. Despite the rustic building materials, it lacked no modern amenities.

But surrounded by these majestic redwoods and glorious vistas, Iris would live in a tent without complaint.

Iris imagined herself sitting out on this deck in the mornings eating breakfast, or curled up with a book. She wished she had her pencils with her so she could capture the wild splendor.

Which would she draw, the landscape or the men?

"I could sit out here forever." Iris sipped her coffee and leaned back against the sturdy redwood chair.

"You like it?" Barron's warm eyes widened as he waited for her response.

“I know I haven't quite been forthcoming, but this..." Iris returned to her study of the majestic redwoods covering the valley below them, and appreciating the peacefulness of nature’s symphony she exhaled through pursed lips. "This I wouldn’t lie about."

"You wouldn't mind living in the middle of nowhere?" Evan sounded surprised.

"No, I wouldn't. I would kill for this kind of quiet in Por–"

Evan lifted an eyebrow and shook his head. "What would you lie about?"

Anything to protect those she loved
. "You want honesty?” Iris sat her mug on the arm of her chair. “I appreciate you guys saving me, but I can’t stay.”

“Let us help you.” Barron whispered.

Oh, Iris wished she could take him up on that offer. She felt like Goldilocks when her ass touched the perfect bed. Too bad nothing would be right in her world until she found her sister and Sherry. “I can’t.”

"What don’t trust two animals to keep you safe?"

The disappointment and anger in Evan’s voice chafed.

“I apologized. What more do you want?” Iris sensed the power she had yet to learn to manage rise with her swirling emotions. "How about we make a deal? I won't hold it against you for being an asshole if you do the same. Deal?"

Evan’s expression hardened, breaking her heart a little.

"Fine, let's start over." Evan appeared in front of her so fast that if she had not been watching him, she would have missed it. He leaned down, trapping her with his hands on the armrests.

"What you doing?"

"If memory serves me right when you first open your eyes you are about to kiss me. Start there.”

“I..." Iris sucked in a breath, which she found difficult with him standing this close. She never known any shifters, but if this was the mojo they packed, she needed to stay far away.

Iris and shook her head and extended her hand. "I'd say we're about even since you got to see me without my clothes before knowing my name."

"Hey, I wasn't the one naked in your bed. I don’t hear you holding it against him.” Evan motioned with his head toward Barron. “Why are you so afraid? Is it us, or the way we make you feel?" Evan leaned closer and pressed his nose against her neck and whispered. “Just so you know," he drew in a deep breath, "you smell just as delicious to us.” Then he placed a gentle kiss against the side of her neck, and stepped away.

Iris waited for more, craved for them to take the choice out of her hands. That would be too easy. Thanks to their super sensitive noses, her arousal couldn’t be a secret. Why must life and sex be so darn complicated?

Instead, the jerk winked and returned to his chair.

"Apparently you want to stay a woman of mystery, I get that, but we deserve something." Evan extended his long lean legs, crossed his ankles, and rested his interlaced fingers on his stomach as he waited for an answer.

She looked over at Barron. “Is he speaking for both of you?"

“In this… yes.” Barron leaned his elbows on his knees and stared at her. “I’ll go first."

Iris considered Barron the laid back one of this dynamic duo. Big mistake. He watched her so intensely. Waterboarding must be the next step.

"When we found you, you were in bad shape. We didn't think you would make it."

"I only have a few bruises and a wonky ankle." She rotated her ankle to show them she was fine. More than fine.

"That's the thing," Evan looked as solemn as his friend. "I know what you thought we were doing in the bed with you, but it wasn't like that."

She may not tell them everything, but she’d share what she could, they deserved that much. What they didn’t deserve was her troubles landing on Barron’s porch like an abandoned baby. "Honestly, I thought I'd died and gone the hunk heaven." She felt her cheeks and ears warm, and gave herself a mental slap.

Focus Iris.

Barron cleared his throat and Iris though she heard a faint but deep growl. When she looked at him he seemed annoyed.

"Your male should not have left you unprotected." Barron frowned, and his eyes flashed amber in the dimming light.

Iris remained silent. They didn’t need to know about her pathetic love life.

"Do you know much about our kind?" Evan asked

"Not really." Shame made her feel small and petty. It wasn’t a bigot. She had other things to worry about. Like eating. Life might be easy for these two, but three single women attempting to forge an independent life and run a business wasn’t so easy.

"I bet." Evan turned his gaze from hers and looked out at the darkening sky.

"Don't go there with me buster." Iris slammed the coffee mug against on the table. "You don't get to judge me."

"Guys..." Barron said, annoyance coloring his voice.

"Oh no, he started, all I
will
finish it." Iris dug her chipped fingernails into her palm. "You don’t have to worry about getting kidnapped and sold like a piece of chattel. You know what that’s like?"

Evan looked at her, his face impassive.

"I'm sure you don't, so let me enlighten you. You can never go anyplace alone, and even if you're not alone, you’re still in danger. I felt like a prisoner in my own house. Has that ever happened to you?"

Evan and Barron shook their heads

"Do you either of you have any women in your pack?"

Silence.

"Figures. You can’t tell me this surprises you, especially since it was a shifter that did this to me."

"We don't speak about pack business to outsiders." Evan finally answered.

"Outsiders or do you mean humans?” She wasn't the only one with issues.

"No, anyone outside of the pack. Knowledge is something that isn’t shared with outsiders willingly, not even with someone as exquisite as you."

"I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but in our territory we try to make sure all women are safe. So I'm sorry to hear that wherever you're from it's not like that." The sincerity in Evan’s voice sounded heartfelt.

"Is that how you feel, that we’re holding you hostage?" Barron asked.

No, what she felt as if she’d jumped out of the frying pan and into a volcano. She thought the men that broke into her house and abducted them were dangerous. They had nothing on these two.

"No, I don't." That she already knew from the pheromones flying around this house, that if she didn't leave, and soon, she'd be a willing captive.

"I'm curious," Evans said. “Are there any shifters in your family tree?"

Barron and Iris stared at Evan. "No, I've been thinking about this. That may explain why we healed her like that."

"Like what?" Iris asked.

"Impossible, we would have sensed it." Barron said simultaneously.

"I've seen many injuries, on human and shifters, but never seen a human healed by one of us with anything other than traditional medicine."

"How did you heal me?"

"If you had not slept between us, if we had not shared energy with you, sweetheart you would barely able to move."

“Wow,” Iris felt like she’d just been spit out of clothes dryer unsure which way was up. “As far as I know none of my ancestors were shifters." But she’d begun to suspect there were some in her family tree with a little special something in the mix.

"It shouldn’t have happened, but I'm glad it did." Barron’s voice was so deep and sexy. It took control she didn’t know existed to not go wrap her body around him and ask him to read her a bedtime story.

Something truly dirty.

In her fairy tale she’d wind up with two princes. Iris wondered what it would be like to be possessed by them. The two men were both dominant, but so different she wondered how they remained friends.

Barron's was a walking pressure cooker ready to explode. He seemed like a man that lived and loved intensely, holding tightly to those he loved.

One the other hand, Evan seemed like the type to slip into your heart capturing it before you consented or knew what happened. Then once he had you he owned you.

If she had to choose, there was no way she be able to.

Call her tramp, but she would take them both.

Iris smothered the smile threatening to escape by slapping her hand over her mouth. Thank God these two couldn’t read minds. An image of the three of them in this cute cabin, spending all day fighting and doing all sorts of wicked and wonderful things.

Then starting all over.

Her smile and her little fantasy faded when she remembered she had no right to happiness or even the thought of it right now. As enjoyable as this slice of heaven felt, she had to face reality. And her reality did not involve becoming the filling in a hot man sandwich, but walking through hell to find her girls.

Tears hovered in her eyes, threatening escape. Iris turned her face away from the two men studying her, unwilling to answer questions. She had too many of her own, primarily where would she even start her search.

Once she controlled the emotions threatening to shatter her, Iris plastered a fake smile on her face and turned to Barron and Evan. “Thank you for the wonderful dinner, but I think I’ll go to bed now."

Thankfully they chose not to question her sudden departure. Her smile may have been forced, but her gratitude was genuine. The weight of their gazes made her want to turn around and lay all her burdens on the porch and beg for help.

Iris snorted and shook her head. They might be horny, but she seriously doubted they’d risk their safety for a stranger.

Especially her.

Chapter 7

E
van enjoyed
the sway of Iris’s hips as she walked into the house, wondering how they’d fix this problem of the reluctant mate. And she was their mate, after her reaction to his and Barron’s scent, he was sure of it. In addition, the more time they spent together, the instinctual drive to mark and claim her intensified.

How did he bring this up with Barron?

Even if only Evan marked Iris, he wanted both of them in his bed and life. It wasn’t that he couldn’t have a relationship without Barron, he just didn’t want one. The life he’d always envisioned for them became real for Evan the summer after their junior year when he drug Barron into a fortune teller’s tent.

It was rather funny that the man that turns into a bear didn’t believe in anything magic, but as soon as they walked into the over decorated tent that looked like some sultan’s den of pleasure, she nailed them.

This is what they’d waited for their entire adult lives, and Evan planned to use every dirty trick in the book to get her, but to keep her he’d be willing to give the one thing never shared with another woman – his love.

"I need to go for a run." Barron toed off his shoes and jerked his shirt over his head. "You’ll hold things down until I get back?" He asked as his jeans joined the pile of clothing on the porch.

"If you're asking if I'm going to let her leave while you’re gone? Fuck no. We may not be holding her hostage, but no way in hell is she leaving here tonight."
Or any night.

"I got this, get your hairy ass out there.” They chuckled at the ongoing joke, and then Barron shifted with a speed that never failed to amaze Evan.

However many times he saw Barron shift, it always amazed Evan to see his friend turn into a massive grizzly. Barron’s beast was not only a thing of beauty, but an asset in battle. Evan watched his friend take off through the darkening woods, hoping like hell Iris’s abductors were in the area searching for her.

Once they erased the threat to her safety, there was no reason for Iris to hold herself back.

At least, that’s what he hoped.

Evan understood the desperation many men, shifter and human alike. They grieved the loss of women and potential mates after the fever took most of them. But never would he condone the kind of shit his Iris and others were subjected to.

The thought a male putting his hands on Iris in anger made Evan’s lip curl as a growl rumbled in his throat. Evan leaned against the porch railing, closing his eyes to embrace calm.

Thinking about Iris, and the flashes of irritation, anger, and frustration dancing across her elfin features were so cute that Evan purposely went out of his way a few times to annoy her. The fire and intellect in those green eyes attracted her as much as that lush body of hers.

Annoyed that he’d been separated from her for too long, Evan entered the spacious house and crept to her bedroom. The thud of her bare feet traveling back and forth across the hardwood floor made him chuckle.

What was going to her mind? Had she considered staying?

Evan froze when he realized they’ve never brought the subject up. How does one tell a woman you’ve known for barely twenty four hours that she’s the missing piece of your soul? Evan rapped twice on the solid door smiling again at her frustrated exhale before she flung the door open.

"Hey, what's up?" She asked her expression calm and peaceful. Iris may do a good job at faking calm, but they both knew the truth.

“Can we talk?" She looked as if she was about to deny him, so he shook his head. "We can talk out here if you don’t trust yourself with me in a room with an empty bed."

“You really are full of yourself.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “Besides, what more is there to talk about?”

“You leaving.”

“I said I wasn’t leaving until tomorrow."

"I know what you said." Evan extended his hand to her, prepared for her to slam the door in his face.

"Okay," she placed her small hand in his, and for the first time since she opened her eyes, he felt like she might accept them.

"There’s usually something sweet around here." Evan’s gaze drifted down her sumptuous body, pausing at her heavy breasts, wondering how she would taste. "Let’s raid the fridge before Barron returns."

"He's gone?" Pieces of hair escaped as her head whipped back and forth.

"What, we’re alone and you don't feel safe?" This woman smashed a man’s ego to smithereens.

Iris swung in front of him, placing her hands on his chest. "Don't say that, I can’t remember the last time I’ve lived without fear. It sounds and feels crazy, seeing that I don’t know either or you, but I know you wouldn’t hurt me.”

Evan covered her hands with his, touched that she was concerned for his feelings.

“This whole thing is so confusing for me.” She pressed her forehead against their conjoined hands. “You have no idea."

"I think I do." Her hair was arranged in some kind of knot on the crown of her head. With a quick flick of his fingers it was down around her shoulders. "Much better,” Evan slipped a hand beneath her hair, massaging the back of her neck and was rewarded with the sexiest little moan.

“Iris are you running from something bad or to something better."

She looked up at him and opened her mouth to answer, but he touched his finger to her full lips. "Don't answer, not yet. That something could be here, right in front of you. I realize I haven't exactly been on my best behavior since you been here."

"I’d say you‘ve been a jerk." She gave his finger a playful nip and grinned. “You did sort of save my life, so I forgive you.”

"Please, Tell me how you really feel, don’t hold back on my account.” Damn, he was a goner. "This sounds messed up, but I'm thankful that the guys in the mysterious city you call home didn't recognize the treasure right in front of them.”

"Why is that?" Her breathy voice gave Evan hope. Evan cupped her cheek, savoring the slight pressure as she leaned into it. "Because even without makeup, battered and bruised you’re striking.”

"Thank you..." Her cheeks flamed, and she spoke again. "You're not too shabby yourself."

"You still think I look like an angel?" Her cute little blush made Evan grin.

"You're never going to let me forget that are you?" She laughed, and if he thought she was beautiful smiling her laugh almost made his cock punch its way out of his jeans. He hoped like hell she didn’t glimpse down.

"More like a fallen angel."

He should apologize for what he was about to do, but why bother. Not even death could stop him from capitalizing on this moment, from taking a little of what was rightfully his. His soul would recognize hers through a thousand lifetimes. Standing this close to Iris he felt as if too many of those lifetimes had already passed without them meeting.

His gaze was fixated on those lips. Hell, this woman had no idea she already owned his soul. Letting her go would never be an option. A battle raged inside him. Should he seduce her into staying, or offer to slay her dragons for her?

Maybe he could do both.

For the briefest of moments, he felt no better than the animals that abducted her. But all of that was forgotten when he lowered his mouth so close to hers the soft whisper of her shallow breaths tickled his lips.

Evan and his wolf agreed they wanted this woman, to keep, for a very long time. He brushed his lips against hers with the softest of caresses and moaned at the pleasure rushing through him.

If he didn't think throwing his head back and howling would scare the shit out of her, he'd go for it. Sweet Iris pressed her soft breasts against him and that was all it took for the thin grasp on his control to slip.

With one hand buried in her hair, and the other around her waist, he pulled her to him, leaving no doubt how attractive he found her.

Would she believe him, could she?

After all the pain and heartache she'd survived, Evan vowed no one and nothing would ever hurt her again. Evan wanted to spend a lifetime discovering Iris's secrets, peeling back the layers of her complex personality until he reached the heart of her. Once she trusted him with that precious heart Evan would treat it like a jewel.

Iris didn’t wait for Evan to initiate the kiss. She rose on her toes and damned near wrapped herself around him.

How could a simple kiss be so overwhelming? The tentative touch of her tongue on his lower lip called to his beast. Not just the furry one, but the essence of everything that made him a man was at the mercy of this woman.

His entire world shifted on its axis with her taste. Something elusive and indiscernible filled him, surrounded him, and reeled him in. This started as his opportunity to rock her world. Instead, she’d blown his to smithereens.

At the edge of his periphery he scented Barron, but at this point he was unable to untangle himself from Iris's web. If Barron chose to be pissed off …

He'd get over it.

Instead, it appeared the bear decided to get her under him.

Barron walked behind Iris, resting his hands on her hips and released a satisfied rumble.

Sweet sassy Iris’s arousal spiked, but the hint of apprehension beneath musky scent bothered him. Evan watched Barron wrap Iris's hair around his large hand and turn her face his.

The grin he gave her was anything but friendly. "I don't know about you," Barron bit down on his bottom lip releasing it with a soft pop. "But this doesn't exactly seem fair.” He turned Iris's body around to face him. Iris didn't answer verbally, but she rested her palms against Barron’s lightly haired chest and slid them up around his neck.

"Sweetheart, this isn't something you want you need to tell me now." Barron said.

"What... What are you saying?"

“I’m about to kiss you, that's it." He settled his hands on her hips again, and pulled her closer. "At least for now."

Gripping her hair tighter, Barron pulled until her back arched. Iris whimpered when Barron's lips and teeth came in contact with her long pale neck.

"Isn’t she the sweetest thing you've ever tasted?" Evan balled his fist to keep from lifting her shirt and tasting the rest of her.

Barron growled an agreement just before his lips touched hers. Even without his heightened sense smell, Evan knew the moment Iris surrendered. She wrapped her fingers in Barron’s hair, and pushed her lush ass back against Evan.

And that was all she wrote.

He wasn't quite sure how much she’d recovered, so that limited what he could do without causing more harm. Her pleasure meant everything. Evan lowered himself to his knees kissing the backs of her thighs, relishing the tremble running though her body.

As he bit, licked and nibbled his way up her body, he wondered if she'd ever done anything like this. "Sweetheart," Barron whispered.

She answered with a soft hum, and Evan chuckled against her thigh and gave it a quick nibble before standing and taking his place behind her, settling his hands above Barron's. The poor girl better get used to it, because as soon as she was ready, he planned to bury himself deep inside that ass of hers.

"The game has changed, and if you think you're leaving this house or us...It ain't going to happen." Barron informed Iris.

Every muscle in Iris’s body grew taut, and Evan reassured her with soft kisses and gentle words until she relaxed.

"Are you saying I'm some kind of prisoner?" She tried to move from between them, but with a wolf at her back and the bear in front the struggle was futile.

"No, I think you've imprisoned us." Evan slipped his hand between her body and Barron's, and rested in on her soft stomach. "And we plan to fully enjoy our captivity, as will you.”

"Now that we've settled that, time for bed."

BOOK: Between a Wolf and a Hard Place: BBW Shifter Menage
2.51Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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