Authors: Jayne Rylon
Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary
Sally took a sip of the fruity mixed drink Neil—one of Devon’s pair of husbands—handed her before she set it on the fragrant cedar beside her chair. She flipped over onto her stomach.
“It’s still kind of weird to be flashing my ass all over these woods.” She hoped the color creeping up her neck into her face looked like a product of the rays they soaked up instead of her mild embarrassment.
“We’ll miss your cute behind around here.” James smacked it lightly as he joined Neil and Devon. The trio beamed at each other like the lovesick fools they were. “Want me to rub some more tanning lotion on you? You’re getting a decent base built up, but you were white as snow to start. Don’t think you want to chance a burn at this point. Five hours, even in your sweet ride, won’t be comfy if your tush is crispy.”
He waited for her nod before he reached out. They’d been so damn careful with her, as if she was made of glass. Eli and Alanso would never handle her with kid gloves. She sighed.
A steady massage from James’s skilled hands proved Kayla had been sharing her trade secrets. The pressure protected and soothed Sally simultaneously.
That must have accounted for why she murmured her thoughts aloud. “Do I
to go home tomorrow?”
Joe’s baritone, so similar to Eli’s, caused her to jerk. James scrubbed the tension from her shoulders. “You’re always welcome here. Indefinitely. But I’m afraid my cousin will go berserk if you postpone your reunion. At this rate, he’ll be as bald as Alanso when you turn up.”
“Yeah, right.” The indignant huff she tried for sounded more like a pout. “Why would he care that I’m gone?”
Crying was not an option. Not after fourteen days of shoring up her weakness with fun, cookouts, movie nights, shopping, laughter and girl talk. These past two weeks had strengthened her friendships with the crew and their ladies. Plus, she’d remembered what it was like to be independent. Something more than one of Eli’s gang.
For the first time, she wished there were other women at Hot Rods. Someone who could relate like Kate, Kayla, Morgan and Devon did when she needed to indulge in a men suck moment.
As if he could sense her mounting despair, James brushed a kiss over the crown of her head, then left her alone.
“I realize the toolbox hasn’t done a great job of showing you yet, but your guys adore you as much as we do our girls,” Joe continued. “I’m sure of it.”
She couldn’t deny that. Her gang cared for her. Like a little sister or another one of their buddies. The appreciation she’d had for that equality suddenly soured, transforming into something bitter.
It just wasn’t enough anymore.
Watching the four new families and the greater crew they comprised had ratcheted Sally’s aspirations to pretty astronomic levels. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to leave the gang.”
She rolled over and drew her knees to her chest, crossing her arms on top of them.
Resting her chin on her stacked wrists, she sighed.
Half the crew surrounded her now. Morgan had accompanied her sexy-as-sin husband. They’d probably left baby Nathan with Mike, Kate, Kayla and Dave. The big guy still had to rest fairly often after working his leg too hard. His limp grew more pronounced when fatigue set in. Luckily, his wife
a massage therapist. She’d do her best to unwind any lingering knots. Seeing all the crew had overcome made Sally feel guilty for her disappointment.
There were so many things she had to be grateful for. Why couldn’t she ignore the one thing she couldn’t have?
Morgan and Joe claimed seats on Sally’s right, balancing out the trio on her left when James and Neil raided Devon’s oversized lounger. She didn’t seem to mind being squished between the two handsome men. Her husbands.
Their bronzed skin glowed in the heat of the afternoon.
“I may not have known you all that long—or as well as I do now—when you bailed.” Devon slid her sunglasses to the top of her head, pinning her short hair out of her eyes, to peer at Sally. “But I’m positive you’re not a coward. So what’s with all this running away bullshit? Haven’t you had enough hiding yet?”
“Who says I’m—”
“Don’t bother arguing that one, cutie.” Joe shook his head. “Last night you sold yourself out. I haven’t seen you haul ass in two weeks like you did when Eli and Alanso’s Skype request popped onto my laptop. You practically dove over the couch like an extra in
Saving Private Ryan
to dodge those idiots. Nothing’s going to be resolved until you talk. All three of you. Hell, the entire gang of crazy mechanics. You’re just prolonging this torture for everyone.”
“Because once we discuss it, it’ll be final.” She thanked her lucky stars for the dark-tinted glasses that hid the tears stinging her eyes. “I’ll be homeless
out of a job. And lonely.”
“You think they were calling to fire you?” James snorted, yet he still managed to look adorable.
Devon pinched his exposed nipple. “I remember a certain guy nearly walking out when he convinced himself he was going to lose the love of his life. Even though it was obvious to everyone else that Neil will love you until the day he dies.”
“And even after.” The taller guy laid one hand on his husband and the other on his wife. “Both of you. Forever.”
Their dedication almost derailed Sally. “Wait. You guys fought? Really?”
“Oh, hell yeah,” Joe interrupted. “They were annoying little fuckers as they tried to figure out how to be together. Like it’s that complicated. When you know who you want—the person or people you fit with—you stick with them. That’s all there is to it.”
Sally didn’t contradict him. Her heart ached as she considered that might be true,
she weren’t keeping a monumental secret. One Eli’s noble nature would never let him ignore. They were fucked on every level, even if her would-be guys didn’t know it yet.
“Sure.” Deflated, she realized her confidence leeched away. “Like it doesn’t matter what they think of you. Or if there are other…
. Idealistic crap only works if you’re lucky enough to be someone else’s everything and there are no other roadblocks.”
“I think you’d be surprised how King Cobra and his sidekick feel about you.” Neil shrugged. “If you’d give them a chance to tell you.”
“There’s so much to gain.” Morgan leaned forward. Her wide eyes urged Salome to listen. Really listen to what they were saying. The promise of something so sweet scared her. Could all her fantasies come true?
“And everything to lose.” She bit her lip.
“Haven’t you already lost it all?” Neil ignored the simultaneous slaps both James and Devon delivered. “No, really, if you don’t do something to change the situation, it’s over anyway, right?”
“I guess.” Sally sniffled. “Maybe I should just have Kaige box up my stuff. I could rent one of the guest cabins from Kayla for a bit until I found a place. If there’s any vacancy.”
“Or you could go the hell home and fight for them.” Neil tried to fire her up. “Isn’t even the smallest chance at this worth it?”
The guy drew his partners close to his side as if they were his lifelines.
Morgan surprised Sally by crossing to sit beside her. The woman’s hug didn’t bother her despite their nudity. It felt nice to have someone hold her. The shelter the crew had provided when she’d needed it most would never be forgotten.
Joe joined them, squatting beside the lounge chair. “I realize you had a lot to sort through. We don’t mean to be harsh. Sometimes you just need a kick in the pants…or bare ass. It’s terrifying and risky, but the rewards outweigh any potential harm. And we’ve watched you suffering this whole time. Whether you admit it or not, you’re already mourning your Hot Rods. Maybe you don’t have to.”
“Trust me, Mustang Sally, it’s a no-brainer.” James stared at her for a solid ten seconds before he cleared his throat and declared, “I think you’re ready. To see. I know we’ve behaved ourselves around you since you got here. But maybe you need a taste, to know what you’re battling for?”
“Are you suggesting…” She gulped. “What exactly are you proposing?”
“Watch me love Devon and James.” Neil stared directly at her as though he could see through her shades. “I dare you. Bet you’ll make it home in three hours flat this time.”
“I appreciate the offer, but I’ve already witnessed a threesome.” Bile rose in her throat. “I checked out Eli and Alanso working over that babe from the bar, remember?
? No, thanks.”
“Guarantee the two experiences would be nothing alike.” Joe reached out and encircled her ankle in his warm grasp. “You’re not looking for a meaningless bang. What these guys have is so much more. It’s powerful.”
“Beautiful,” Morgan added.
“Perfect.” Devon smiled, sure and content. “I believe you’re destined for your own amazing things, Sally. It wouldn’t hurt this much if it wasn’t meant to be. Alanso took one peek and it changed his outlook forever. Didn’t it?”
Sally swallowed hard then nodded. He’d talked so passionately that night he’d burst through their door and declared he was gay. No, bisexual. Describing what he’d seen here. With the crew. Alanso had painted a picture so very different from what she’d observed in the garage. Maybe part of her was terrified that she might get what she’d always craved only to find out it was nothing like what she’d imagined.
Where was the romance? The tenderness? The true love?
Her inherent belief in those values and the existence of something more than sex for procreation had been a huge part of her decision to abandon her family at the ridiculously young age of fifteen. And if Eli and Alanso, two of the most generous and kindhearted men she knew, couldn’t drum up some of those emotions, then who could?
The trio in front of her offered to validate every last one of her fantasies. Right here. Right now.
Salome took a deep breath, angled herself toward them more fully then whispered, “Show me. Please.”
“My pleasure.” Neil speared his fingers into the short hair sported by his husband and his wife. He closed his eyes and sat straighter, as if touching them gave him strength. They leaned into his hold, relinquishing all control to the man at the core of their group.
Responsibility for his mates appeared to mix with genuine desire to give. Neil kissed first James, then Devon. Slowly, with lingering swipes of his moist lips over theirs. When he finished, he let the pair enjoy each other while he examined the bond between them. His radiant smile reflected the bliss their connection generated. Each of them amplified their combined happiness.
Without clothes to block the view, it was easy to see the effect Neil had on them and the greater impact they had on the man binding them together. Both of the guys had impressive hard-ons in record time. Devon reached over to encase their erections in the softness of her fingers. Well, she probably had a few calluses mixed in, but they didn’t seem to mind any roughness in the female construction worker’s grasp.
Unlike the debacle with Fawn, chatter had no place in their union aside from whispered praise. They didn’t need to verbalize their desires. Criticizing someone else’s needs wouldn’t have been tolerated. The three members of the performance crew—who delighted Sally with their open, honest affection—fed off the reactions of their counterparts.
Like a perfectly built transmission, each gear ticked and fell into place with another. Balanced, they pivoted and swung around, one person acting then accepting the advances bestowed by another.
Tears dripped off Sally’s cheeks. One splashed onto Morgan’s hand, which held her own.
“It’s going to work out.” The other woman and her husband bracketed Sally. They rubbed her back in platonic circles and surrounded her in a bubble of confidence she couldn’t seem to muster. “What you guys have is this beautiful too. It’s just covered in grime right now. You have to polish it. Let this shine through.”
Devon moaned when Neil placed his hand over her heart, cupping the left side of her chest in his palm. The woman was petite and proportional, but her guys seemed to enjoy her high, firm breasts. James mirrored his lover, covering the opposite half of their wife’s torso. They teased her, ramping up her desire until she seemed to forget about their audience.
Her eyelids drooped closed.
Joe picked up his wife’s train of thought. “It’s true, Mustang Sally. You’ve let your relationship rust. It’s broken down. Stuck somewhere juvenile, in a spot you needed it to be for a while. Then I’d guess that companionship became habit. A safe rut. Maybe because none of you were ready to take the wheel of something this powerful. Time to dissect your bond and restore it just like one of your projects. The potential for an end product better than the original is under all this bullshit. What you make of it is up to you. All of you.”
Neil devoured James’s lips while they manipulated an obviously erogenous zone for Devon—her heart. When she whimpered and writhed between them, Neil broke away. His chest heaved as he struggled to draw a lungful of air. Eyes burning bright, he stared at James.
“I love you,” he whispered, then used his free hand to nudge the smaller man’s shoulder.
James grinned as he slid his fingers down Devon’s torso. He gripped her hips, lifting her easily as he reclined in the chair. When he’d finished his maneuver, he stretched out on his back and cradled his woman on his lap. The not-so-subtle rocking of his hips broadcast his intentions.
Neil glanced over his shoulder from his position between the two pairs of legs spread around him. His wide-eyed gaze met Sally’s for an instant and he spared her a sad smile. “I know how it feels, when everything is fractured inside you. You’ll get it together right. When the pieces lock, it’s smooth as glass.”
Though he spoke to her, he curled his fingers toward his upward-facing palm.
Joe leaned over just long enough to rummage through the cabinet built into the bottom of the side table, which sat beside her chaise. He tossed out several toys—bullet vibrators, a butt plug, furry handcuffs and a few other things she didn’t recognize—before he grunted his approval.