Forbidden pleasure, p.9
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       Forbidden Pleasure, p.9

         Part #8 of Bound Hearts series by Lora Leigh
 
Page 9

 

  She picked at her food as he ate, glancing up at him often as he felt her thinking. Hell, it was damned disconcerting knowing how close they were at times. So close that he could feel that quick little mind of hers working.

  “You still haven’t told me why we didn’t have sex last night,” she retorted as they finished eating. “You turned over like all you wanted to do was sleep, then slipped out of our bed hours later. You’re going to give me a complex. ”

  “Sex in the bed tempts me too far,” he told her calmly, watching her expression closely. “A quickie against the tractor is easier to control. ”

  “Excuse me?”

  Mac stood to his feet. “You heard me, Keiley. If I don’t have sex with you in the bed, then I’m not nearly as tempted to turn you over and paddle that tight little ass of yours until it’s blushing and you’re screaming in arousal. And I’m sure as hell not as tempted to tie you to the bedposts and make you beg for acts you’ve never shown an interest in. Until I get a handle on that, then I suggest you stop challenging me to do it. Because as I said, you’re going to get a hell of a lot more than you’re bargaining for. Now, I have work to do. ” He leaned across the table and kissed her parted lips. “I love you, babe. But if I don’t get the hell out of here, I might end up fucking your ass, literally, on the breakfast table and to hell with shocking your innocence. I’ll see you at lunch. ”

  Keiley could only stare in shock across the table at where Mac had been. He had made those statements calmly. As though he were discussing no more than the weather. As though those acts were commonplace within their marriage.

  They weren’t.

  Mac had never dared spank her. And he had never, ever mentioned tying her to the bed. And anal sex? Anal sex?

  She waved her hand over her flushed face as she stared at her half-eaten breakfast with wide eyes. Mac was definitely showing a side of himself she hadn’t anticipated. A side that excited her. It made her nervous, but it excited her.

  The information that Jethro Riggs was arriving for a week had done more than shock her, though. It had left her speechless. Jethro was Mac’s partner and best friend in the Bureau; he was also Mac’s third in the sexual games he had played before marrying her.

  Mac and Jethro were the “Trojan Duo” of choice among the women who knew the men and their sexual preference for a ménage. Jethro was as dark-haired as Mac, with a bad-boy smile and a wicked twinkle in his eyes.

  He had teased her steadily during the wedding reception. At one point, he had made the comment to Mac that if she got bored during the honeymoon he would be more than happy to fly out and help Mac keep her company.

  Keiley had known what he was talking about at the time and had checked around quickly to make certain no one else had overheard him. She hadn’t gotten up the nerve to actually question Mac about the rumors of his sexual games until nearly six months after their marriage, though.

  A part of her, she admitted, hadn’t really wanted to know the truth. But some imp inside her had pushed and pushed until she questioned him about it.

  It’s in the past, Kei. That had been his only response, but the flicker of regret in his eyes had terrified her at the time.

  She had dropped the subject just as quickly, and several weeks later, when he announced his intention to resign and return to his hometown and the farm, she had felt a sense of relief that had been nearly weakening.

  The gossip concerning them had been heavy at the time. Those who seemed to know about Sinclair’s Club had seemed certain that Mac would return to it. For something that was supposed to be quiet, private, there was enough gossip about the men’s club to fill a full-length book.

  A disgruntled wife had begun the tales several years before Keiley had met Mac, and over time, names associated with the membership began to filter through D. C. and Alexandria. No one had any true proof, but there was enough talk that at the time Keiley had wondered if proof mattered to any of them.

  And that was what terrified her. The fact that proof wasn’t needed, only supposition. The fact that Mac had retained his membership for several months after their marriage only fueled the talk. Sometimes he met there for business or for drinks with his friends. Each time he returned he had been quiet, brooding.

  At the time, rumor was that bets were being placed on who Mac would eventually approach to bring to their bed as the third for her first ménage.

  The gossip was the worst part. Whispers behind her back. Veiled comments that she could never fully confront. Smug smiles from the men and a glimmer of jealous snappishness in the women. Things she could have ignored if she hadn’t suspected the truth behind them.

  Standing up, Keiley cleared the kitchen table, loaded the dishwasher, and stood in the middle of the kitchen as she tried to figure out how to handle this.

  The best bet was to confront Mac about it. Just ask him about it. He wouldn’t lie to her if she asked him straight out if he intended to invite Jethro into their bed.

  Another part of her warned her to stay silent. If she didn’t push the subject, then neither would he. If Jethro was visiting on the off chance of being the third in their bed, then Mac would hold back if she pretended ignorance.

  If she could pretend ignorance.

  She waved her hand before her face again, realizing that she was overheating, flushing from her thoughts and the images her mind was suddenly flashing before her.

  Mac holding her, kissing her, but other touches as well. Touches from strange hands. Kisses from strange lips. Mortification blazed within her as she gave her head a quick shake and moved quickly from the kitchen to prepare the guest room for Jethro.

  She wasn’t going to think about this right now. She couldn’t think about it right now. She was already aroused, already upset over the fact that Mac hadn’t touched her since the afternoon before last. And too aroused by his statements before he left the house. She didn’t need to add the forbidden to the mix.

  And she could be wrong, she told herself as she moved up the stairs. She knew for a fact that her husband was incredibly jealous if other men came on to her, so it could simply be paranoia. Jethro Riggs’s visit could be entirely innocent. A friend on vacation dropping by for a little male bonding or whatever men did. That simple.

  Yeah. Right. The suspicious part of her brain was snickering smugly. Because it knew better.

  Keiley knew her husband, and she knew something had been growing inside him for months now. A well of dark hunger that marathon bouts of sex hadn’t sated had turned into a brooding predatory interest whenever he watched her that made her highly nervous. Excited, yes. Interested in that darkness, most definitely. But also extremely wary of it.

  Aroused by it.

  After finishing the preparation of the guest room and laying in clean towels, washrags, and essential items, Keiley moved back downstairs to the back of the house and her office.

  She didn’t sit at her desk, though; instead she walked to the patio doors and stared out at the barnyard where Mac had taken her so wildly not two days past.

  Today, the farmhands he employed were working the horses in the attached corral. The Thoroughbreds Mac raised were gorgeous, high-spirited, and extremely intelligent. The foreman, Teddy Raymond, had been hired out of Virginia two years before, and he seemed to love the horses as much as Mac did. He was an odd little man who kept to himself when he was working, but Mac seemed to think he did his job well enough.

  The trainer, Wes Bridges, was working with the yearlings outside the stables, and beyond that, cattle dotted the grass-rich fields and beyond. The farm sat in a wide, lush valley dotted with natural ponds and streams and thick, nutritious grass. Mac’s cattle sold well, and the horses were becoming a very lucrative sideline with the bloodlines Mac had chosen.

  The farm was idyllic, serene, but suddenly Keiley’s life was anything but that. She felt as she had when she first met Mac. Jittery inside,
excited, nervous, and so aroused she could barely sit still.

  Tonight, he was going to have to take care of business, she thought, because she would be damned if she was going to toss and turn all night long again, burning for her husband’s touch.

  She pouted at the thought. Married women should not have to do without their daily allotment of sex, no matter their husband’s brooding determination to drive them insane for it. He could be broody through the night. When he slipped into the bed beside her, then he should be ready to perform those husbandly duties that she had become so well accustomed to.

  A smile flitted across her lips. Maybe he just needed a little push. She could provide the push. He could provide the orgasm.

  With that thought she turned to her desk, sat down, and powered up her computer to get to work. She had clients waiting, and the paycheck was dependent on keeping them happy. She would take care of that; then she would take care of her husband.

  Jethro took the exit to Scotland Neck, staring around at the rather large town curiously as he drove through it. With the top down on his Mustang, the fresh air blowing through his overly long hair, he got more than his fair share of feminine looks as he traversed the main thoroughfare and followed Mac’s directions out of town toward the farm.

  His lips quirked as the red light brought him to a stop into a turn lane. The young women in the car beside him waved flirtatiously, then giggled like teenagers as he shot them a wink.

  Damn, he loved women. Blondes, brunettes, redheads, or dark as midnight. Women were his favorite subject, hobby, and sport.

  As the light turned green, he threw his hand up in a farewell and, with his foot heavy on the gas, sped out of town and checked the clock on the dash.

  He was a little late. It was edging into evening rather than afternoon, but the more leisurely pace he had taken on the drive had helped to clear his head. And his head sure as hell needed clearing.

  Janet hadn’t been happy when she awoke to him packing his bags for a trip out of town. Actually, she had been downright pissed.

  How the hell was he was supposed to know she had planned to shack up with him during the suspension? The thought of it sent a shiver down his spine. It wasn’t the good kind of shiver, either.

  Mysterious and contradictory, he loved the female mind, but damned if it didn’t throw him for a loop sometimes. Janet, it seemed, was dreaming of an engagement ring and wedding bands, wedding bells, and the long white dress. And where she got that idea, Jethro had no clue.

  He wasn’t the marrying kind. The bitterness in his soul still held the power to make him run hard and fast whenever he caught the gleam of forever in a woman’s eyes.

  Janet had that gleam when she woke up and caught him packing. She had tried to cover it. To hide it. But the moment he had caught that glimmer he had known the on-again, off-again relationship they had shared was now stone cold. No way. No how.

  Shifting back in his seat, he made the turn onto the country road that led to Mac’s farm and let a smile cross his face.

  Hell, he needed this vacation. Even more, he needed the time spent with Mac and his wife. The chance to be a part of the relationship Mac had with Keiley was an irresistible lure.

  It was the love, Jethro knew that. Keiley loved her husband, and if she accepted a third into their bed, then the passion and emotion that she shared with Mac would extend to that third.

  It was a gift Mac’s women had always given him. They loved him, some more than others, but those willing to step into the ménage had extended those softer feelings to Jethro.

  How much better would it be on the periphery of true love? Would it still the restlessness building inside him, or would it only make it worse?

  Breathing out at the thought, Jethro lifted his cell phone from the seat beside him, flipped it open, and punched in Mac’s number.

  “You’re late. ” Mac answered on the third ring.

  “I was being lazy today,” Jethro drawled. “I’m about ten minutes from the farm. You watching for me?”

  Mac straightened from the tractor he was attempting to repair. Tucking the cell phone between his shoulder and cheek, he wiped his hands on the discarded rag and glanced toward the road.
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