#17 NYT Best Selling Book
Their Virgin Secretary –Out Now
Contemporary Erotic Romance/Ménage à quatre
<p class=”verdannasml” styleThree determined bosses…
Tate Baxter, Eric Cohen, and Kellan Kent are partners for one of the most respected law practices in Chicago. But these three masters of the courtroom also share a partnership in the bedroom, fulfilling the darkest needs of their female submissives night after night. Everything was fine—until they hired Annabelle Wright as their administrative assistant.
One beautiful secretary…
Belle felt sure she’d hit the jackpot with her job, but in the last year, the three gorgeous attorneys have become far more than her bosses. They’re her friends, her protectors, and in Belle’s dreams, they’re her lovers, too. But she’s given her heart to them all, so how can she choose just one?
An unforgettable night…
When her bosses escort her to a wedding, drinks and dancing turn into foreplay and fantasy. Between heated kisses, Belle admits her innocence. Surprise becomes contention and tempers flare. Heartbroken and unwilling to drive them apart, Belle leaves the firm and flees to New Orleans.
That leads to danger.
Resolved to restore her late grandmother’s home, she hopes she can move on without the men. Then Kellan, Tate, and Eric show up at her doorstep, seeking another chance. But something sinister is at work in the Crescent City and its sights are set on her. Before the trio can claim Annabelle for good, they just might have to save her life.
No one writes sizzling hot menage like Lexi and Shayla do. Hot Damn!
Their Virgin Secretary is a panty melting scorcher.
Annabelle (Belle) Wright thinks she knows what she wants. Her bosses. She’s see’s how happy her friend Kinley is with her three husbands and wants that for herself. But how taboo would it be to be married to three men? She was beginning not to care because she had strong feelings for Tate, Eric, and Kellan. She had no clue that those boys had been watching her too. What she would give for just one night.
This story is packed with everything including a haunted mansion, voodoo, ghosts, and murder. I was literally on the edge of my seat waiting for something else to jump out and grab me. Belle gives the boys one shot and they blow it, big time. So when she finds out that she has inherited her aunts estate in New Orleans she is out the door. Kinley helps her escape and Belle’s trio of alpha males are not happy about it. Even though they are not happy they are still in love with her. Of course it does not take long for Tate the technonerd to track Belle down. Kellan, Eric, and Tate are destined for apologies and groveling in order to win her back. This part cracks me up and the fact that Lexi and Shayla named Belle’s dog Sir.
“Kinley said you left with someone you called Sir,” Tate said. “But you were just being polite, right? You’re a very well-mannered woman. You wouldn’t have just met some random man and run off with him. I mean, if you waited twenty-six years to have sex, you’re probably not going to copulate with a stranger.”
“Tate, you’re not helping the situation, “ Kellan said.
It does not take long for the boys to set up shop and try to convince Belle that their relationship can work. They want her to move back to Chicago and be their girl. The problem is that Belle does not want to move back to Chicago. She wants to start a new life for herself in New Orleans and is not interested in being anyone’s secretary. So will the men be able to convince Belle of their love and that this crazy arrangement of theirs can work, or is it too late?
I have really enjoyed this series. It is a lot a of fun and has just the right amount of sizzlin hot sexy scenes to keep you fanning yourself and panting for more. Lexi Blake and Shayla Black are the Mistresses of Menage. No one writes sinfully sexy panty melting menage like Lexi and Shayla.
Annabelle Wright sipped champagne and glanced at her best friend as she prepared for the “big day,” a deep sense of déjà vu settling over her. “Haven’t we done this before?”
At the last wedding Kinley Kohl had planned, she’d been kidnapped and whisked away to Alaska by three super-hot men. Luckily, they’d saved Kinley from her asshole of a fiancé who, it turned out, made his money by fencing blood diamonds and running other profitable scams while giving the FBI the finger. He also hadn’t minded a little murder just for fun. The trio of guys who had taken Kinley before her nuptials had eventually made her their own, so being abducted had worked out well for her.
Kinley grinned as she fluffed out the veil she’d selected. “Oh, we’ve been here before. Hopefully, this wedding won’t have the same drama as the last. Just in case, I tried to convince Dominic we needed extra security but he gave me that stare. You know, the Dom Dom stare.”
Belle couldn’t help but laugh. Dominic Anthony was part owner of Anthony Anders, one of the top security firms in the country. He was also a Dom in the D/s community. And yes, she’d seen that particular glare, the one meant to convey that Kinley better do what the Dom wanted—and quickly. Belle frequently glimpsed a very similar expression from Kellan Kent. When he turned his blue eyes on her, she ached to fall to her knees and fulfill his every demand. Unfortunately, that stare of Kellan’s usually wasn’t directed at her. “I think we’re safe this time.”
“Probably so,” Kinley agreed with a peaceful sigh. “Everyone who hates me is enjoying a nice long stay in prison. I heard Becks got shanked. She still managed to live though. Oh, well, maybe next time.”
Nearly being killed by her former fiancé and her sister had made Kinley a bit bloodthirsty. Belle couldn’t blame her. She’d wanted their blood and misery, too, after she’d learned just how close they’d come to ending her best friend. Months later, the thought still made her shiver. But before the happy ending, Belle’s first instinct had been to rush to Kinley’s side and help in any way she could. Kellan had forbidden her.
You’re not going anywhere, Belle. If you try, I’ll tie you up and spank your ass so hard you’ll never forget the feel of my hand on your skin. Eric, Tate, and I will handle this.
Even months later, his edict didn’t make sense. Unlike Eric and Tate, Kell almost never took her to lunch or showed more than a passing interest in her.
When she’d asked why she couldn’t help save her best friend from three abductors, he had frowned and turned away, heading for his computer. Because I won’t have you hurt, Belle. I’ll protect you. Even from myself.
She’d only thought she heard the last part since it had been muttered under his breath, but that moment had been a turning point. While Kellan thought that threatening her with a spanking was the worst thing he could do, Belle had been forced to face the truth: she didn’t want to spend her whole life not knowing what it felt like to have Kellan’s hands on her. Or Eric’s. Or Tate’s. But now it seemed like she would.
She forced the maudlin thoughts aside.
“Dallas has been good to you.” A bit of sorrow crept into her voice. Since Kinley had moved in with Dominic and the Anders brothers, Law and Riley, she hadn’t had a ton of time for her bestie. And now Kinley was pregnant. Though she wasn’t showing yet, Belle knew Kinley would soon be engrossed in all things baby. It didn’t help that she lived in Chicago and her position as Girl Friday at Baxter, Cohen, and Kent consumed all her time. Lately, she’d been thinking about changing that. She couldn’t imagine not being around for Kinley’s child.
Belle had simply thought she’d have one of her own by now. Or at least be planning to start her own family. But she wasn’t even close.
“I miss you,” Kinley said, pulling her in for a hug.
“I miss you, too,” Belle admitted, teary-eyed. She really couldn’t remember a time Kinley hadn’t been her best friend. Even when they had attended different colleges and began their careers a few hundred miles apart, they’d always had each other. Now everything between them was…different. “I’m getting tired of missing you. Maybe I should move closer.”
Kinley pulled back with a shake of her blond hair, her brows forming a concerned V. “Away from Chicago? Away from your men?”
Belle took another long sip of her cocktail and forced herself to swallow the bitter truth. “They aren’t mine, Kinley. They never will be.”
Kellan Kent, Eric Cohen, and Tate Baxter were gorgeous lawyers, but she worked for them. They were her bosses, not her lovers. Just because she harbored fantasies of them didn’t mean they’d ever feel the same. In fact, after a solid year of working together, not one of them had made a pass. Belle doubted now they ever would. Apparently, her place was behind a desk, not in their arms.
She would have been happy with any one of them. Then she’d discovered they preferred to share women. That knowledge had given her libido one hell of a boost. Yes, she’d been shocked at first, but after some consideration, it had made an odd kind of sense. The three of them had become an unusual sort of family, each relying on the others for balance. She couldn’t imagine one of them without the other two.
Sadly, while they shared women, they just didn’t seem inclined to share her. Or even to touch her. The ache that terrible truth caused had become too much to bear. Tonight was her last-ditch attempt. She didn’t know how to look better than this. If they weren’t attracted to her tonight, then it was definitely over.
Kinley frowned. “I don’t know about that. I see the way they watch you.”
She’d seen it, too. Or rather she thought she’d seen it. When Kinley had been in danger and they’d feared she would get pulled into it, all three men had gone into über-protective caveman mode. She’d felt their eyes on her. That had given her hope. But as soon as the trouble had blown over, they’d gone back to treating her like a coworker. Clearly, they didn’t want to lose a really efficient office assistant.
“You’re reading too much into it,” Belle insisted. “They’re lazy. They don’t want to have to hire someone else. You should see the intern they brought in. He’s some judge’s kid. He constantly says ‘dude’ and he likes his…ahem, herbal refreshments. I have no idea how that kid is going to get through law school.”
“Don’t change the subject. And stop fooling yourself.” Kinley crossed back over to the small veil, fluffing it out again. “Why don’t you talk to them and tell them what you need? Doms can’t read your mind.”
“I’m not in the lifestyle.”
Kinley submitted to her three Doms in the bedroom. Since starting down the path, she’d become very vocal about the communication aspect of D/s.
“Besides, that isn’t normal in vanilla dating. I should be able to pout like every other woman, then eat ice cream and play angry-girl music when I don’t get my way.”
“Brat.” Kinley winked at her. “But I see through your sarcasm. You’re completely interested in their dominance. And I know you like them.”
Like? She was pretty sure she was in love with them.
Kellan was the alpha male, all power and protection. He had everything under control and he always made her feel safe. Eric was the charmer, fit and funny and just really enjoyable to be around. She went to lunch or dinner with him often, and they talked about movies, sports, current events, and life. He was a sexy mix of athleticism and charisma. And then there was Tate. He believed he was the social outcast of the bunch, but Belle saw him as the brilliant nerd who’d turned into a smoking hottie. Half the time, she giggled at the outrageous things that came out of his mouth because he had no filter whatsoever. That also meant he tended to be the most honest. When he told her she looked beautiful, she believed him. The other half of the time she spent with him, he often floored her with his astonishing intelligence. His mind fascinated her as much as his body.
Apparently, all her feelings were one-sided.
“I don’t think that’s such a good idea, Kinley. They’ve had opportunities and passed them over. None of them are shy. If they were interested…I’d know it. Instead, I watch them date other women. It hurts.” She would only admit that to her best friend. The ache in her chest had become a real, physical thing. “I don’t think I can do it anymore. Seeing you so happy, knowing what life could be, I can’t stay here in limbo, hoping and waiting. I need to move on.”
Kinley took her hand, her fingers tangling with Belle’s. “Do you want me to throw mud pies at them? It worked on Tommy Harte.”
Belle laughed, remembering how Kinley had taken down the boy who’d made fun of her in fourth grade. But they weren’t children anymore, and revenge wouldn’t make those three lawyers love her. “It’s a sweet offer, but like I said, I’m thinking it’s time to move on. I’m not getting any younger.”
She was twenty-six and had barely been kissed.
Kinley squeezed her hand, her eyes widening. “Are you still…?”
“A virgin?” Belle frowned, trying not to be embarrassed.
She told herself she had no reason to be. Maybe it was weird to others. Most twenty-six year olds had a couple of lovers under their belt, but Belle was picky about everything. She’d once spent three months deciding on the right curtains to put over the tiny window in her bathroom. She wasn’t about to take a lover just to keep others from laughing at her. That part of her life—or lack thereof—wasn’t anyone’s business.
“Don’t you think I would have told you if I’d done the deed?” Belle asked. “Although I didn’t get a phone call from you until weeks after you’d slept with your guys.”
“I lost my virginity during a kidnapping. They took my phone or I swear I would have called you immediately.” Kinley made a cooing call. “Come on, Gigi.”
Kinley’s Yorkie yipped a little and jumped from her comfy spot in Kinley’s Prada tote. The dog tended to travel in whatever designer bag Kinley carried. The very pampered pooch stretched and yawned before jumping onto the ottoman and settling herself down. She didn’t make a move as Kinley placed the tiny veil on her head.
That was one well-trained dog.
The sound of yipping floated through the door as it opened and Dominic Anthony walked in. He looked urbane with his artfully mussed inky hair and perfectly tailored tux, but the effect was somewhat ruined by the three wriggling puppies in his arms.
“Kinley, sweetheart, you know I love you and I want you to have a great day, but I’m going to kill the puppies now. I’ll make it quick. They won’t feel a thing.”
“No, you won’t! Those sweet babies are proof of Gigi and Butch’s love.”
“They’re proof we should have gotten our damn dogs fixed. Number two pooped in my shoes. Three chewed up the curtains in the groom’s room, so we’re paying for that. And One ate a bar of soap, then yakked all over the place. Promise me our kids aren’t going to be this destructive.” He put the pups down and they immediately started darting all over the room, looking for mischief.
“No promises,” Kinley said with a saucy smile. “You’ve got about seven months before the chaos begins. I can promise you I won’t be having a litter, though. Just one for now. And I’ll make sure he doesn’t poop in your shoes. You know, it’s really a sign of affection. They like your smell.”
“Yeah? I don’t like theirs,” Dominic groused. “Now that they’re weaned, it’s time to find them happy homes.” Placing a gentle hand on Kinley’s stomach, he kissed her, then sighed. “And now I have to go clean my shoes. Damn it. Do not eat the flipping curtains again, Three. They’re expensive.”
As the puppy barked, Dominic shook his head and left.
Kinley and Gigi seemed utterly inured to the chaos around them. Belle watched as the pups continued exploring the room, nose first. “One, Two, and Three?”
“The guys won’t let me name them because they think I’ll want to keep them.” She petted her dog softly. “Gigi’s been fixed now so there won’t be any more little four-legged surprises. But I’m going to find these three the best homes ever.”
Belle hoped Kinley could work miracles. The poor little things wouldn’t find anyone willing to take them on looks alone. They were a weird mix of Yorkie and whatever the hell Dominic’s huge dog Butch was. In short, those were some fugly little pups.
But she had something in common with them. She was looking for a new home, too. Despite the fact that she’d settled into her Chicago apartment, somehow it just had never felt like home.
She thought again about the letter she’d received a month before. She’d been putting off addressing the issue because they’d had big cases to tackle at the firm. She couldn’t leave her bosses in a lurch. Then she’d been too tired, too battered by recent rains, too afraid to give up today when they might come around tomorrow. She’d found just about every excuse to not rock the boat.
But watching Kinley with her husbands made Belle certain this boat needed to be rocked. She’d tried to drop anchor in Chicago…but clearly it was time to float elsewhere.
“Doesn’t she make a beautiful bride?” Kinley held Gigi up and stared at her angular little canine face. The damn dog wore a wedding dress.
Belle loved Kinley, but sometimes, her bestie was completely insane. “Yep. Let’s get this show on the road. There’s an open bar at the other end of this wedding, right?”
Hopefully the reception wasn’t all kibble.
“Of course.” Kinley laughed. “I know a dog wedding is silly, but Dominic, Law, and Riley insisted on a quickie Vegas ceremony for us. They thought they could get out of a big party. Ha! I might be making an honest woman out of my Yorkie, but that reception is going to be all me. We’ve got a full bar, and those men will be dancing.”
Belle had to hand it to her friend. Kinley knew how to get her way. “Well, I’ll be there beside you.”
They finished getting ready and gathered the dogs. Belle couldn’t help but think that even the dog was getting married before her.
It was definitely time for a change.
* * * *
“We’re at a damn dog wedding. We flew down from Chicago to see two freaking canines bark out their vows. Please tell me someone else sees how illogical this is.” Tate Baxter shook his head as he looked at the happy “couple.”
Gigi and Butch were seated in places of honor at the elaborate reception, silver bowls in front of them. He often marveled at the crazy things people did for their pets. He’d never had one. Didn’t see the rationale. When he wanted company, he walked into Eric’s room. That had caused a few uncomfortable situations because he’d never seen any particular reason to knock first.
“It is,” Eric agreed.
Tate sat back in his chair at the table he shared with his two friends, still shaking his head. “I put off prepping for an important case tonight to come to this event.”
Well…sort of. The case was on his laptop, so he could just as easily do it on the plane ride home tomorrow, but that wasn’t the point. He certainly hadn’t come because he had any grand desire to see two dogs get hitched.
“Not exactly,” Eric corrected. “You came for the same reason I did. We want to be wherever the hell Belle is. But hey, it ended up being the most entertaining wedding I can remember. The groom tried to hump the bride in the middle of the ceremony. And right in front of their three illegitimate kids,” he joked. “And did you see that one of the puppies peed on the minister?”
Kellan set his beer on the pristine white tablecloth in front of him, shaking his head. “Don’t fool yourself. This shindig wasn’t about the dogs. Kinley is topping from the bottom in a big way. She wanted her grand wedding and this is how she got it. I would say she’s earned one hell of a spanking, but Dominic’s gone soft.”
Tate fought hard not to roll his eyes. Kellan was a hard-ass. He took the whole Dom thing way too seriously, if anyone asked him. Which they didn’t. And that was a mistake because he’d been smart enough to figure out that he liked to dominate a female sexually, but he needed a woman who took charge of him when he missed social cues or forgot to put on matching shoes—stuff like that. “Ease up. She’s pregnant. They’re being indulgent.”
Law Anders was out on the dance floor with his wife, swaying to the music and wearing a big smile as he rubbed himself against Kinley. Dance had been a mystery to Tate for years, until Eric had explained that it was really just an excuse for a guy to rub his penis all over a girl and not get slapped in the face. After that, Tate had totally seen the logic and understood why men bothered with dance. He really enjoyed it now.
As he glanced around, Tate looked for Belle, hoping for an opportunity to rub his penis all over her. Inside her would even be better. Whatever she’d allow.
One year, two months, and four days. Four hundred thirty days all totaled, but he hated to calculate their time together that way. It depressed him. Ten thousand three hundred twenty hours wasn’t much better, considering that was how long he’d gone without sex. Because that was how long it had been since he’d first laid eyes on Annabelle Wright. She’d walked into his office with her resume in hand, and he’d just stared, dumbstruck. He didn’t believe in love at first sight, but he’d found lust in that single glance. Oh, yeah. He’d taken one look at the goddess applying for a job and known exactly why he’d gone to the gym five times a week since he’d turned seventeen.
But love? He’d taken a whole week of consideration before deciding that he had fallen in love with Belle. After all, he was a careful man. He liked to think things through.
“Indulgence leads to chaos. Dominic is going to rue the day he let that sub run wild.” Kellan frowned at Kinley.
Tate just swiveled his gaze toward the dance floor. “Who is that?”
Kellan’s gaze shot straight to the dance floor and he scowled.
Belle danced with some overgrown ape whose smile seemed way too friendly. She looked gorgeous in her emerald cocktail dress. Its V neck and body-fitting lines showed off her every curve. She wasn’t a tall woman, but those crazy-sexy black shoes she wore made her legs look deliciously long. Tate had no idea how women maintained their balance on those high, thin heels. He was pretty sure, however, they would look great wrapped around his neck.
The only thing he didn’t like about the way Belle looked was the animated expression she turned up at the lug hanging on her. Then she laughed—a sound that always did strange things to his insides.
Eric slapped a big hand across his back. “Chill, buddy. That’s Cole Lennox. He’s a PI here in Dallas. We’ve used his company before. He’s happily married. I don’t think he’s trying to mack on our girl.”
Tate still didn’t like it. “Why isn’t he dancing with his own wife?”
He was rational enough to know that jealousy was a completely illogical response in this situation. Technically, Belle wasn’t his. She’d never even gone on a real date with him. They’d had lunch exactly fifty-two times over the last year, but they’d mostly talked about work. He’d taken her to happy hour fifteen times, where she always ordered vodka tonics, Cîroc or Grey Goose with a half a twist of lime. They’d still talked about work. And the weather. None of that counted, though, because she’d treated him like a colleague, not a boyfriend. He hadn’t kissed her or made his intentions clear, so he had no right to be jealous that Belle danced with another man. For once, he didn’t care if he made less-than-perfect sense.
Kellan pointed to the other end of the floor. “He can’t. His brother is dancing with her. They’re twins and I’ve heard they share.”
“Really?” Tate sat up and sent a challenging glance to Kell and Eric. “I’m seeing a pattern here. The Lennox twins married the same girl. Those three oil tycoons over there have one wife, and we all saw the trio of royal princes walk in with their bride. Hell, the whole board of Anthony Anders decided to marry the same woman. But it can’t work for us? Explain that.”
That was the argument Tate had heard from Eric and especially Kellan for the past year, ever since the night they’d sat around the office and each admitted they were crazy about their new secretary. Administrative Assistant. Office Manager. Belle had changed her title more than once. She took exception to the term secretary, but Tate thought it was kind of hot.
Kellan sighed, turning toward him. “Just because it works for other people doesn’t mean it would work for the two of you.”
“The two of us? Really? You’re still going to play it that way?” Eric challenged. “Tell me you don’t want her, too.”
Kellan’s eyes hooded. Tate had made an almost scientific study of his friends in an attempt to really understand them. Kellan had four major expressions that he used like masks. This particular one Tate had named “stubborn asshole.” Kellan used it a lot.
“Of course I want her. I’ve never denied that. She’s a beautiful woman, not to mention lovely, kind, and very smart. If I was interested in getting married again, I would be all over her. But I’m not, and I doubt she’s the type of woman to have no-strings-attached sex.”
“I want strings.” Tate needed to make that brutally clear because his partners seemed to constantly forget. They should take notes during their conversations the way he often did. But again, no one asked his opinion. “I want to be tangled up in all her strings. She’s the one. I get that what we want is unusual, though it really doesn’t seem that way today. I swear the two dogs are the only non-ménage relationship here. Belle might be surprised that we all want her, but she’s not going to be shocked. She’s fine with Kinley’s marriage.”
Eric sighed. “Maybe, but we need to be careful. She hasn’t dated anyone since she started working with us.”
Tate knew that very well since he’d been keeping an eye on her. Hopefully she never knew the extent of his observation because what he’d done was somewhat illegal. And possibly a little stalkerish.
“There’s some reason for that,” Eric went on.
Didn’t they get it? “Because she’s waiting for us to make a move.”
“Or she’s just working hard and isn’t ready to settle down,” Kellan pointed out. “She’s young, man.”
“It’s not like we’re old.”
At least Tate didn’t feel old. He was thirty-two. Given that the average life expectancy of an American male was seventy-six, that didn’t sound old. Then he did the math and realized that he was forty-two percent of the way through his accepted life expectancy. Forty-two percent—closing in on half. When he looked at it that way, he did feel old. He refused to waste another second.
“That’s it.” Tate stood and straightened his tie. “I’m going in.”
God, he hoped he looked halfway decent because he often got rumpled and didn’t notice. He would probably still be wearing pocket protectors if he hadn’t become good friends with Eric in high school.
He’d tutored the jock through Algebra II, and Eric had taught him that jeans weren’t supposed to hit above the ankles. They’d been a weird duo, the jock and the nerd. But their relationship meant more to him than any other. His parents were cold intellectuals who had told him he’d failed by not going into academic pursuits—because yeah, Harvard law had been a breeze. His brothers cared more about their experiments than family. So Tate and Eric had stuck together like blood, and Kellan had joined them after college to form the tight-knit trio.
But Tate realized now that he needed more. He needed Belle. So did they, but if they had their heads too far up their asses… Well, she had to come first. “I’m going to do it. I’m going to offer her my penis.”
Eric’s head hit the table and he groaned. “Dude, how do you ever get laid?”
So he wasn’t smooth. At least he was honest. “She already has my heart. I would like for her to take my penis, too. Is that so much to ask?”
“If you ask her like that, she’ll smack you,” Kellan pointed out.
Frustration welled. He sat back down. “Damn it, that’s why we need to go after her as a pack. I’m not good at the smooth stuff.”
“By smooth stuff, he means any type of actual communication with a woman.” Eric rolled his eyes.
They were totally missing the point. “I communicate fine. She’ll know what I want and how I want it.”
“Which is precisely why she’ll know where she wants to slap you next.” Kellan shook his head. “This might be a bad idea, but it couldn’t hurt for you to dance with her. Can you do that without asking her to take your penis in marriage?”
He wasn’t completely sure. His cock had a mind of its own. “I’ll try to handle it.”
“Good. Go on, then. I’ll talk to Eric.” Kell sighed. “I guess we really do need to figure out how to handle her. I can’t stand the thought of another uncomfortable plane trip back. She didn’t talk to me the whole flight down. The hands-off approach isn’t working. I get the feeling she’s just about ready to throw in the towel and leave us all.” Kellan’s eyes narrowed suddenly. “And that asshole isn’t married. Go. Make sure he doesn’t get his hands on Belle.”
Tate’s stare zipped to her. Sure enough, a guy was cutting in on Lennox. He leered down at Annabelle, then stared directly at her boobs.
Those boobs were his, damn it. At least he fully intended for those boobs to belong to him. Well, a third of them anyway. “You two work it out because I’m making a move by the end of the night, and if you leave this up to me, it could all go to hell.”
He knew he was the social idiot of the group, but he was the only one completely honest with himself. Belle was the one for all three of them. She made him feel like the best version of himself, encouraged him to actually give a damn what other people thought, helped him put someone else above himself, and gave him no choice but to love her. Sure, the real world would think he, Eric, and Kell were freaks for loving the same woman, but the real world sucked. According to them, he’d been a freak most of his life. So what? They’d have their circle of friends, all of whom had a similar relationship with their own wives, to make them feel normal.
Either way, he wasn’t going to let Belle slip through his fingers. He had a genius-level IQ, but he’d figured out something his parents and brothers hadn’t: His intellect meant nothing if he didn’t have people to care about, those who truly loved him in return. A Nobel Prize wouldn’t keep him warm at night, wouldn’t give him something to really live for.
But she could.
Tate stared at her for a moment, loving the way the light played on the coffee color of her skin. She smiled up at her dance partner, her expression lighting up the whole damn world.
She was his, and he was tired of waiting. It was time to really start his life and that meant it was time to claim her.
Fuck, he hoped he didn’t step on her feet.