Authors: Em Petrova
By the time they’d finished seeing to the fans and ignoring the Buckle Bunnies who sauntered up and smacked their painted lips, Bella had disappeared completely from view.
“She’s competing soon, right?” he asked Quint.
“Do you think we should go find her?”
“Yes.” Quint gave everyone a final wave, scattering them as he wheeled around and headed back toward the place they’d last seen Bella. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
“Me too.” Carter’s hackles on his neck stood up. He quickened his pace. The last person who would be a victim was Bella, but obviously Jeb was gunning for her, and Carter wouldn’t put it past the snake to corner her and try to take what he wanted.
A growl built in Carter’s chest until he could barely draw a full breath. When they passed Wynonna Calhoun, he swung around. “Have you seen Bella?”
She gave him a look that said she didn’t give a damn where Bella was. There wasn’t any love lost between them, though Carter didn’t know the whole story. Yet. He planned to uncover every mystery Miss Roberts held. She wasn’t slipping away from them.
How crazy that he thought of her as belonging to both of them. After last night, she damn well did. If she was running, it was only because she knew it too.
“Haven’t seen her,” Wynonna said, tossing her long red hair over her shoulder. Damn, she had as much attitude as Bella. Maybe all barrel racers had it.
He tipped his hat to the lovely woman and took off toward the place Bella had her horse stabled.
Of course she’d have her animal out right now, exercising it before the ride. But when he and Quint reached the area, it was vacant.
“Dammit, I know she’s avoiding us. I don’t know what’s worse—that or knowing Anderson’s stalking her,” Carter said.
“He’s not a dangerous guy. Just a cocky asshole.”
They exchanged a look. “Bad enough.”
“Damn straight. C’mon. I know where to look.”
“There aren’t many places where a woman and a horse can hide, but one of them worries the hell out of me.” Carter took off straight for the parking lot. She hadn’t competed yet, but maybe she’d taken off early—hopped in her truck and pulled out without a backward glance.
It was something Bella would do. She didn’t follow rules, even ones regarding a sport she loved. She followed her every whim and spoke what was on her mind at that particular second. He didn’t put it past her to withdraw from her competition just so she could avoid him and Quint.
When the overhead parking lamp shined down on the spot where Bella’s truck and trailer had been, he and Quint stopped dead in their tracks.
“Son of a bitch. She skipped.”
“Hell.” Carter’s oath echoed two things—emotion he felt for the woman he’d never let go of so easily, and a passionate need to turn her over his knee and give her a sound spanking.
* * * * *
Quint settled on the edge of a new motel bed in a new town and let his shoulders slump. After a long drive west to Arkansas, he was bone-weary. Carter’s brooding silence hadn’t helped ease the tension in the truck either.
Neither of them had seen or heard from Bella. They
sighted Jeb alone at the last rest stop, which fueled the only happiness Quint had felt in a long, dismal day.
This was all about Bella having the last say. She didn’t want to be left vulnerable for even a minute, but didn’t she know that sometimes more strength came from leaning on someone?
Or two someones, in this case.
Carter tossed his bag on the other bed and stood there for a long minute, staring at it.
“We should go look for her,” Quint said.
“Yeah. If she’s here, she’ll be parked on the grounds.” They exchanged a look. “This time we meet her on her turf.”
Quint’s chest welled with affection for his friend. His lover. They hadn’t touched each other since Bella was between them, but it had definitely added a new dimension to their relationship. Neither of them spoke of it, but he didn’t feel a hint of strain. They’d always worked things out with few words. This was no different.
“Let me wash my face, and then we’ll go out and see if we can find this naughty little cowgirl.” Quint got up.
When he came out of the bathroom, Carter was changing into a fresh shirt, his back muscles flexing as he slid his arms into the sleeves. Quint came up behind him and hooked an arm around his middle. They stood that way for a long minute.
Breaking apart, Carter shot him a crooked grin that didn’t quite reach his eyes. Then he buttoned his shirt. When the ends were tucked in and his hat straight, they set out.
“Who do you think hurt her? That asshole she was with years ago? That bull rider from Oshkosh?” Carter asked.
“Yeah, I think it starts with him.”
“Should we hunt his ass down and stick straw under his fingernails until he tells us what he did to her to make her so afraid of getting close to anyone?”
Quint shot him a wry look. “The idea has merit, but we should probably try to coax the information from Bella first. Though I don’t think she’s hung up on someone so much as a little wild.”
“Mm. Yeah.” Carter climbed behind the wheel of the truck. Their trailer had been offloaded and their horses tucked up in the nearby stables, being pampered with fresh hay and water.
Once they were on the road toward the fairgrounds where the next rodeo was held, Quint said, “So we have to lure the wild horse close enough to pet without breaking her spirit.”
“I like the way you think.” Carter took a left turn.
“What if we can’t figure out how?”
“I think we already did—she likes having both of us. Two of us can chase her down better than one.”
Turned out they didn’t need to search far. She came to the door of her trailer on the first knock. And damn if she didn’t open her arms to them.
Heart thumping with joy, Quint launched into the trailer, lifted her and bore her inside. She made a sound of surrender as he claimed her mouth. The long strokes of her tongue against his said she’d suffered without them as much as they had.
When he broke free of the kiss and let her slide all the way down his body, Carter picked her up and seated her on the small tabletop. As he tipped her face back for his kiss, Quint watched through hooded eyes. Damn, they looked beautiful together.
“I see you wasted no time in finding me.” Her voice was reedy and her lips thoroughly swollen from the last five minutes of their attentions.
“We shouldn’t have to come find you, darlin’.” Quint crowded closer to her and Carter. “You know where you belong.”
She met his gaze and for a solid heartbeat, he awaited her protest—her smart comeback. But none came.
Wrapping an arm around each of them, she brought them down to her level. Her forehead pressed against his, and Carter rested his jaw to the place they touched.
“Why’d you run, Bella?” he asked after a moment.
He felt the change in her. Stiffening, she pushed away and got to her feet. The trailer was too small to put much distance between them, but she managed. With her arms folded and several pieces of furniture separating them, she was doing a damn good job of showing her position on the subject.
Quint took a step toward her. “What happened back in Alabama, that isn’t the end, Bella.”
“I wanted it to be,” she said hoarsely. A knife twisted in his gut. She stared at him sidelong, a glint in her eye. “But I could probably go for one more ride.”
Quint arched a brow. “We’ll start at one then get you agreeing to two by the end of the night.”
“Or three…or forever.” Carter closed his fingers over the hem of her tank top. When he peeled it off her, leaving glowing, tanned skin, Quint’s cock jumped to instant attention.
“By the time we’re finished playing with you and come together, darlin’, there’s going to be a nuclear meltdown.” With one flick of his fingers, Quint unclasped her bra. He tossed it away and they went right for her breasts.
Throwing her head back, she cupped their heads to her as they sucked her nipples into their hungry mouths. She gasped and moaned and begged for more. “Just one more time,” she whimpered.
If someone had told Bella that three people could fit on her double mattress set into the back of her trailer, she never would have believed it. But it wasn’t difficult when they were stacked up like pats of butter melting together.
Every nerve ending in her body throbbed as she straddled Carter’s face. The scorch of his tongue against her clit thrilled her as much as Quint moving inside her from behind. He sank into her ass, and Carter suckled her throbbing button. With each move, she launched higher.
A haze of passion stole her mind. She had too much invested in these guys for her liking, but she’d make sure to put the brakes on all emotions tomorrow. For now, she wanted them more than anything.
Carter clamped his lips around her clit, using the tip of his tongue to lightly stroke the ball of nerves. She cried out. Quint thrust deep again, and her scream ended on a long moan.
God, they’d been at this for hours and still she wasn’t satisfied. With Quint and Carter, satisfied wasn’t even a word in her dictionary. She always needed more, more, more.
A deep burn spread through her lower belly. The guys knew just what to do to pull the loudest noises from her. If anybody walked by the trailer, they’d think a wild animal was inside.
Grinding her hips, she felt a brush of fingertips and realized with a jolt that Carter was fondling Quint’s balls as he fucked her ass. Her orgasm rushed up fast and hard. Her body shook as the biggest release of the night raged through her.
Carter gripped her hips, holding her tight as Quint caressed her spine with his lips.
“Come on, darlin’. Give it all to us.”
She had a feeling they were really asking for more than her screaming orgasms. They wanted her mind, body and soul.
She couldn’t be harnessed by a man, though.
But maybe two can hold me?
With her hands braced against the wall, she rode out the last of her bliss. Fatigue washed over her. As if knowing this, Quint slipped from her body and Carter lifted her off his face. She found herself curled between both men, a Bella sandwich.
A light slap came down on her outer hip, and she squealed. “Are you laughing at us, wench?” Carter rumbled.
“No, just thinking I’m like the filling of a sandwich.”
“So now we’re dough-y like bread.”
“Not remotely.” She’d run her hands over their muscled chests if she had the strength. They’d worn her out.
That and worry.
She wasn’t ready to confide yet.
“Well, you’re definitely a sweet filling. Strawberry jam or honey. Mmm.” Quint swirled his tongue in circles up the column of her throat to that favorite spot of his behind her ear.
She let her eyes shut and let them give her ease. If she told the guys about Josey Wheels, they’d understand. Who else could? But voicing her fears was too difficult.
Barrel racing horses experienced a lot of strain on joints and tendons. Normally the rider wrapped the legs to protect them, but she’d been careless and warmed her up without the wrappings.
After the first few turns she’d realized her error and had quickly stopped. The day after she hadn’t noted any issues with her horse, but before the race in Alabama, she’d noticed her horse had a little tenderness along one leg.
Backing out of the race was the only way to keep her animal from true injury, and she’d seen to the tender spot herself, turning a hose on the affected area and letting the cold water run over it. Now she was watching the mare closely. No precaution was too silly—an injury could end her career.
As soon as she’d seen to the horse upon arrival, all looked well. But she couldn’t help but think of her upcoming event. She’d be throwing down against Wynonna Calhoun again, and losing didn’t set well with her.
“She’s asleep.” Quint’s rough whisper made her eyes fly open.
Carter’s chuckle vibrated her. “Sure she is.”
“Good to see you’re up. I’m not willing to wait much longer for an explanation,” Quint said, his dark eyes serious.
A shiver ran through her. She refused to believe it was because she didn’t like his disapproval. No, she’d chalk it up to his dark, dangerous appearance…his mussed hair and the red marks on his throat from Carter’s beard. How fucking sexy.
“If you think I’m going to have some deep talk about feelings, you boys are crazier than I thought.” She wiggled out from between their bulk and popped out at the end of the mattress. Her bra was clear across the room, so she settled for the first thing she saw—Carter’s shirt.
The worn cotton felt good when she wrapped it around herself. It smelled of him—sunshine and clean male. She resisted the urge to brush her nose over the collar, though, because the guys were looking at her that way again.
Like they were going to eat her alive. This time she didn’t believe they meant to fuck her, even if neither of them had gotten off during the last round.
Quint disposed of his condom in a small trash can and took a seat at the end of the mattress. Before she could move away—or want to—he caught her hands in his and dragged her closer.
Carter reclined on the bed, but she didn’t believe for a minute he was calm. A crease stood between his dark brows and his jaw was set at a stubborn angle.
They wanted her, probably wanted much more than sex with her. So many guys did, but why should she commit? It was more fun to play around and fly by the seat of her pants.
She couldn’t stand the waiting anymore. “Look, I know what you’re going to say.”
How was it possible they gave her the same skeptical expression?
“Do you guys practice that or something?” She wagged a finger between them.
“That look you’re sharing.” When they stared at her, oblivious to what she meant, she continued, “Forget it. This was fun, guys, but I think it’s time for you to go.”
At that, Carter sat up. Every muscle rolled as he moved to sit beside his gorgeous partner. Damn them, ganging up on her this way. Two naked, gorgeous cowboys begging her with their eyes? She was a bowl of pudding wrapped in plaid.
She couldn’t move with her fingers locked in Quint’s.
“You’re not booting us out, darlin’. We’re here to stay. And you’re going to tell us why you ran back in Alabama.”
Should she confide her worries about her horse? Any rodeo person would make noises of sympathy, but she’d seen similar things before. One racer’s horse had gone down with a broken leg and while the other women in her event felt the pains of that, deep down they were relieved to be competing against one less person.
Carter and Quint were different, though. They wouldn’t have a reason to pretend.
She pushed out a breath. “Fine. It’s my horse.”
Carter’s brows drew together to match Quint’s. If she weren’t upset about vocalizing this, she might have laughed. They really had so much in common, though each personality stirred her separately. And together, they were a force to be reckoned with.
“Something’s wrong with your horse?”
She told them the story, and they took turns compressing their lips. “Did you get somebody to look at her?” Quint asked at last.
She shook her head. “I think she’s okay, but if I suspect anything at all tomorrow before the race, I’ll pull out again.”
“You can’t keep forfeiting these races, Bella. You won’t get anywhere.”
She looked down at her hands trapped in Quint’s. “I know.”
“I’m glad you told us,” Carter said, wrapping his fingers around her thigh. His pinky stroked the backside of her knee, sending new ripples of lust up into her pussy. The back of her knee wasn’t normally an erogenous zone, but he could stroke her little toenail and it would turn her on.
“Okay, that’s one question answered.” Quint eyed her.
“There’s more?” She lifted her chin in defiance.
“A few. Don’t get your panties in a bunch.”
“I’m not wearing any.”
As if they’d forgotten, both cowboys looked down at her pussy, barely concealed by the tails of Carter’s shirt. Two cocks stirred in their laps, and she prided herself on throwing the dogs off her scent.
Or onto it, rather.
Quint shook himself. “We need to know why you’ve been avoiding us.”
“Easy. I was done with you.” She picked at a thread on the cuff of the shirt.
Carter snorted. “That’s why you let us into your trailer and wrapped yourself around us. Let us have you in ten different ways.”
“Umm, I figured you only live once. We have fun in bed. Why not pass the time?” Her bravado was failing as they stared right through her charade.
“Pass the time,” Carter echoed. “Sure, sweetheart.”
“You don’t have a bit of attachment to either of us?”
“Well, you do look hot as hell when you’re together.”
They exchanged a look that threatened to set her aflame all over again.
With a bit of pressure on her knee, Carter pulled her closer. Quint let go of her hands and held onto her hip. They spread her legs before she knew their intentions.
Several fingers met at the wet seam of her pussy. Quint pushed a thick finger inside while Carter drew a circular pattern over her rapidly swelling clit. Breathless, she tried to gather her wits. Moving away wasn’t an option, so she might as well give in and tell them what they wanted to hear.
“Fine, I…” pant, pant, “want you both.”
“You mean you want this?” Quint splayed his fingers and teased her anus with one while thrusting deeper into her pussy.
She swayed forward, and they caught her. Carter supporting her while stroking her into a four-alarm blaze again.
“Wider, darlin’.” Quint nudged her thighs apart, and she obeyed. Following commands went against every cell of her being but when it came to Carter and Quint, she was a softie. They made her think of a bigger trailer and a bigger bed. Of exploring cities across the country together while doing what they loved.
And loving each other.
“You’d never let that ass Jeb Anderson do this, would you?” Carter’s question was a pail of cold water to her libido. She snapped her legs shut and folded her arms around her middle.
“Who would ever let that man lay a finger on them? He’s had every Buckle Bunny from Sacramento to the Jersey shore. Probably has more STDs than wins.”
Quint’s mouth quirked up, but he wasn’t fooling anyone—he was relieved to hear her say that. “So that’s a no?”
“We knew he was lying.” Carter stood, grabbed her and tossed her onto the bed. They followed her down and blew her mind all over again. When she surfaced from the ecstasy, would she even remember why she was trying to stay away from them?
Something to do with men not believing she was good enough. Or not being good enough for her. Hell, she couldn’t remember anymore, not with so many tongues and hands on her.
* * * * *
“Think she’ll come around a third time?” Carter watched Quint make a toss that missed its mark. They were both out of sync tonight, which was bad for their winning streak. Yet they could afford to go for a bit without prize money. After the last two cities, they had enough for gas, food and motels. What else did they need?
Bella. We need Bella.
She was back to the vanishing act. Neither of them had laid eyes on her since their night in her trailer. After checking in on her horse, they’d found it in relatively good shape. But no Bella around.
Quint issued a steady sigh through his nose then began to recoil his rope. His second throw missed its mark too. “She’ll come back. She just needs some time to work it out in her mind. Just like a strong-willed horse. You take a little then give them some lead.”
“She needs to run wild for a bit, is that what you’re saying?”
“Yeah.” Quint raked his gaze over Carter’s body, landing on his bulging fly. “You thinking about her?”
Quint’s jaw was dark with a five o’clock shadow, inviting a heat to settle in Carter’s balls. He liked this new extension of their relationship. Maybe it was time to take things solo, without Bella’s presence.
Stepping up, he caught Quint’s forearm, stopping him from throwing the lasso again. When he angled his head, his lover did the same. Their mouths came together in a rough kiss. Teeth and tongues added a dash of heat. And when they ground their cocks together, a low whistle sounded.
A flush heated Carter as he jerked away. Feminine laughter sounded, and together they turned to see the prettiest little cowgirl in the world leaning against the fence. Her hair was in a messy rope over one shoulder, her breasts pushed out as she draped her arms over the top rail.
“I see I started something between you.”
They broke apart and Quint wrapped the rope he still held. They moved toward her.
A quiver of some emotion passed over her face. Part excitement, part trepidation? Carter couldn’t tell, but he was certain about one thing. By the time they were finished with her, she’d forget the worry part.