Carter was remarkably efficient. Erection or no, he always took exactly thirty minutes in the bathroom. Shower, shave, hair and dress – it was all done quickly and precisely; which was why Lynn didn’t trust herself to turn over when she heard the bathroom door open. She might be pissed at him, but the sight of his impeccable body in a perfectly tailored suit, all done up for business, never failed to have her salivating.
Of course, Carter didn’t give a damn about her passive aggression. He merely rounded the bed to take up the tie laid out on the dresser, bringing his Italian-wool clad ass directly into her line of vision. Lynn briefly contemplated biting it in retaliation, but quickly decided that she wasn’t suicidal.
“Don’t pout, sweet. You’ll waste half the day in bed.”
Lynn bit her tongue against the retort that rose to her lips, instead answering truthfully. “I was waiting for the bathroom.”
“Now why,” Carter looped his tie effortlessly, creating a perfect knot that he proceeded to tighten over his silk shirt, “Would you do that? I would very much have liked to see my strap marks on that gorgeous behind of yours as you sank into the bath.”
She didn’t have to catch his gaze in the mirror to know he was smirking at her. Damn him.
Lynn merely rolled over to bury her face in the pillow frustratedly. “Aren’t you late for a meeting or something?”
In response, the man above her merely chuckled. He tugged the sheet about her shoulders slightly southward before pressing a sweet, lingering kiss to her shoulder blade. “Have a lovely day, sweet. I’ll be back before dinner.”
Lynn waited until the bedroom door was safely closed before she glared after him. She was so hot she could scream with it. The first time Carter had done this to her, she thought he was joking. He had to be joking.
She had long since learned that he had little humor where things like this were concerned – which left Lynn both frustrated and, somehow, even more aroused. The man could make her wet with a single glance across a crowded room, but he was perfectly in control of his own desires – so much so that he could rein them in for an entire day – perhaps longer, if need be.
Lynn shuddered at the thought, praying he wouldn’t be so cruel.
She swung her legs over the side of the bed, standing to stretch leisurely. She winced as proof of her arousal went meandering down the over sensitized flesh of her inner thighs before pressing them together experimentally. Of course, that was all she dared do, no matter how hot she was. She hardly needed to be in any more trouble when the day had barely started.
Lynn stripped out of her bra and panties before padding to the bathroom to take a look at the damage Carter had wrought. She made a face at her own reflection in the mirror. She seemed grossly out of place in the huge, immaculate expanse of marble and gold trim. Mascara was smeared over her cheeks from her tears and the remnants of last night’s makeup still dotted her face. How on earth Carter saw any appeal in her was beyond her sometimes. Lynn had, of course, learned never to bring up such misgivings to the man. Any hint that she belonged anywhere but in his arms was enough to earn her the harshest of punishments – the ones that lasted days and had her begging for him to take mercy on her.
When her insecurities reared their ugly heads, Lynn kept them to herself until they faded. After all, there must be something special about her if Carter fucking Wright wanted her…and that would have to be enough.
Biting her lip, Lynn turned around to inspect what the man had done to her behind and sucked in a sharp breath. Her ass was a network of thin red marks and dark bruising between. Carter was a goddamn maniac…and she loved it. As much as his punishments hurt, Lynn wore the marks like badges of pride until they faded every time. They were, he often reminded her, reminders of just how much he favored her.
Lynn tried to re-impress the idea upon herself as she sank into the bath and the discomfort rose to nigh unbearable levels. Goddamn him. Goddamn him…
“Heard someone got a striping this lovely morn.”
At the low Irish lilt that echoed around the bathroom, Lynn jumped, which sent another round of searing pain through her as the bottom that had just acquainted itself with the hot water repeated the process all over. “Fuck!” She spat the curse through clenched teeth before her eyes popped open to glare at the source of her agony. “Goddamn it, Gael. Can’t you say hello like a normal fucking person!?”
“Ah. She’s righteous pissed. Definitely a striping then.”
Lynn growled her displeasure at the lanky figure leaning against the door frame. As mad as she was at his intrusion, she couldn’t help the the way her already overheated body perked up in interest.
“Aren’t you supposed to be with Carter?” She finally managed as she settled fully in the bathtub with a low sigh.
“Doesn’t need me today. Specifically instructed me to keep an eye on you, beour.”
Lynn scowled. It didn’t matter how mouth-watering Gael was. In her current state or otherwise, she hated when he called her that.
“Such a good little doggie,” She was upset enough to be petty, and reckless enough to toy with the man before her, even if he was, arguably, more dangerous than Carter himself, “Following your master’s orders.”
The only sign of Gael’s displeasure was the slight narrowing of deep, piercing cerulean eyes. “Yer tryin’ to make me angry,” His surprisingly sensual baritone slid over her like a caress. “It won’t work.”
Lynn only glared at him, deciding to push her boundaries any damned way. If Carter said she couldn’t touch herself, she might as well do her damndest to see if she couldn’t get Gael to do the deed for her. Despite his level of expertise in certain areas, his self-control wasn’t quite as iron-clad.
“I don’t need a babysitter, Gael. Unlike Carter, I don’t go throwing myself into unnecessary danger.”
“That’s not what I hear.” Full lips quirked up in a smile that was much to attractive for his angular face and carefully tended ginger scruff. “You were out late last night. Anyone with a taste for the wicked might have had their way with you.”
Lynn colored deeply. Did Carter have to tell him everything? She swore, there wasn’t a single secret between them. “I was fine. I had Javier, I wasn’t alone-”
“D’you think anyone with a fuckin’ grudge against Carter would have given two goddamns about that? Sweet Lord,” Gael rubbed a thumb over the stubble on his chin, “you’re a pretty one, but sometimes I wonder what’s rattling around in that head of yours.”
Lynn’s gaze narrowed. “Fuck you. Get out.”
Gael merely chuckled. “Make you angry, did I?”
“I said get out.” Lynn stood from the bath in a smooth motion, sending water over the edge to spill onto the floor. She faced Gael head on, rivulets of moisture dripping down her bare body as her breasts heaved in agitation.
Gael looked over her lazily, interest obvious on his rangy features. He straightened to cross the bathroom slowly enough to make her nervous. While the Irishman was just as tall as Carter, he wasn’t as wide…but that didn’t mean he was any less effective with his God-given gifts. Every inch of Gael’s wiry form was designed for quiet violence – lean muscles, agile hands, and whisper soft movements. He dressed so said movements wouldn’t be impeded – in a form-fitting black t-shirt and worn black jeans with black leather loafers. Anyone who saw him at Carter’s side might not assume much…but that just meant they didn’t know him very well.
Gael came up short next to the bathtub. Despite the wet floor, he didn’t, for a single moment, lose his footing. The elevation of the tub halved the height difference between them, but he still towered over her enough to intimidate…not that Gael needed height for that. “Look at you…” He murmured lowly, reaching out to draw a thumb over one slick nipple in the barest whisper of of a touch, “You’re shakin’. Want it that badly, do you?”
Lynn hadn’t even noticed, but it was true. She was trembling – barely perceptible to anyone else but, perhaps, Gael himself. Reddening further, she smacked his hand away, covering her breasts with her free arm to take a step back from him. The young woman hadn’t estimated she might lose her footing on the floor of the tub – or, further, that she might slip and crack her head against the edge.
Thankfully, Gael stood for none of that. He caught her the moment she slipped, heedless of the water that slopped over his clothes. “Careful now, beour. All that stubbornness is liable to get you in trouble.”
Lynn squirmed against him, all the fight taken out of her the moment her wet form was pressed flush against his. A low whine escaped her as her arms slipped around his neck and she arched the hard buds of her nipples high for his tasting. “Gael…please. Please, I need it…”
One calloused hand slid up her sternum to rest between the breasts that desperately needed his attention, over the fluttering beat of her heart. His eyes, however, never left hers. “What d’you need, darlin?”
“Fuck me…” She begged shamelessly, clinging to his damp shirt. “Please, please-”
He cut her off abruptly with his mouth against hers, hot, searing and all-encompassing. Lynn poured every iota of need into that kiss – her tongue thrust against his almost aggressively and she felt the promising rise of his erection against a water-slick thigh…
…and then he drew away. “Ah, beour.” He breathed lowly against her mouth. “I adore ya so…but you and I…we both know better.” With that, he lowered her back into the bath before sitting on the edge of the tub to face her incensed expression.
The Irishman arched an ever-patient brow. “Yes?”
Lynn opened her mouth, then shut it, before she dropped her gaze to the water to seethe silently. She should have known better. While Gael might not have the control Carter had, his loyalty was more than enough to keep him from going against the elder man’s word.
She glowered at him, holding her hand out petulantly. “Soap, please.”
The lanky man grinned. “O’course, beour.”
Three hours later, Lynn was dressed and perfectly coiffed, sitting in her office and staring sullenly at the computer. Gael lounged in an armchair across from her, reading Ulysses for what must have been the hundredth time. It was his favorite book – and as he’d read it so many times, he could easily peruse it and keep an eye on her simultaneously.
Lynn knew it was a bit late for her to still be holding grudges from that morning, but she couldn’t help it. Her ass still smarted and, despite her attempts to concentrate on her work, she was still aroused as hell. Carter had almost certainly intended things to play out just like this, and that just pissed her off more. Her lips pursed in displeasure, Lynn pecked at the keyboard before her, hardly concentrating on the paper she was working on for her master’s degree.
She briefly contemplated how far she might get if she jumped Gael and tried to get him inside her before he could shove her off…but she knew better. No doubt he’d be onto her before she even left her seat. The man had catlike reflexes.
Instead, Lynn did the best she could to detract from her heated state by changing the subject. “Where’s Carter today? Why didn’t you go with him?”
Gael glanced up from his book briefly. “Worried about him?”
Lynn pinkened. “I…well, I just want to make sure he’s safe.”
“How sweet a’you.” Gael smirked, making her frown, before he closed his book to set it aside. “Didn’t need me today. Nothing too dodgy for him to get into.” His eyes narrowed slightly as his tone hardened. “If there was, I’d be there. You know that.”
She did. If ever there was any real danger, you wouldn’t be able to pry Gael away from Carter with a diamond-reinforced crowbar. The two had been together for most of their lives – they were closer than brothers.
And she was caught between them.
Lynn remembered the day she met Carter like it was yesterday – indeed, clearer than almost any other memory in her almost thirty years. She was the manager at a little Italian restaurant on the lower west side when one of her waiters had come and told her with wide eyes that Carter Wright had just come into their establishment and asked to be seated.
Lynn almost told him to fuck off. There were few funnier jokes than the man who ruled half of New York with an iron fist being in her little hole-in-the-wall restaurant – but it wasn’t a joke. The man was sitting at one of the largest tables in the restaurant with his entire entourage, and Lynn had a small panic attack.
From the stories she heard about the man, he was liable to shoot the place up if he didn’t like the service, or torture the staff. Sell the women to an underground sex ring or something worse To her surprise, however, the man had been nothing but perfectly polite, complimenting the food and service, even after a server had spilled a glass of wine all over what was, no doubt, a thousand dollar suit. Even then, Lynn thought the man crazily, dangerously attractive – and the redhead at his side more mysteriously so.
Though Lynn never caught him staring, she imagined she could feel his eyes on her when she wasn’t looking. Or thought she imagined.
Within a week, Carter was in her restaurant again, and then again the following week. He became somewhat of a regular, though he was never anything more than astoundingly polite until perhaps three months had passed.
One night, after she closed the restaurant, a sleek black car pulled up at the curb and, for a split second, Lynn wondered if she was done for. Then, the window rolled down to reveal Gael’s impassive face.
“He wants to see you.”
The young woman hadn’t for a moment doubted who he was. Or that what came next would change her life…she just hadn’t known how much.
“How’s the work coming, beour?” Gael’s question jolted her from her reverie and she found him standing over her shoulder, his eyes on her lagging fingers. In retaliation, Lyn lifted her hands from the keyboard to glare at him.
“Don’t call me that.”
Gael chuckled, reaching down to cup her chin in amusement. “You love it. All that spit and vinegar when really you’re a softie at heart.”
Lynn scowled. “We’ll see how much of a softie I am when I never let you touch me again.” Carter once pointed out how cranky she was when she hadn’t gotten off. He was absolutely right.
“Oh?” Gael’s smile turned wicked as his grip on her chin tightened slightly and he leaned down to whisper in her ear. “I’ll touch you when and where I damn well please, beour. And you’ll like it. You’ll moan and writhe and scream my fuckin’ name and the only one who can save you is Carter…just the way you like it.”
By the time he released her, she was trembling again, resisting the urge to chuck her laptop at him. It was bad enough that she had just one man who could so effectively push her buttons, but two? Her situation hedged on unfair.
Standing from her desk, she shot him a thunderous look a moment before she turned on her heel to head leave the office without a single word. She needed to cool both her head and her body, and she could only think of one way she might assuage both needs at once.
Half an hour later, she was sitting at the edge of the pool, sipping on a glass of lemonade as she dangled her feet into the water. The infinity pool offered a magnificent view of New York City below, and the cool water felt amazing against her overheated skin. Though Carter wasn’t at the manor, there were, as always, four guards stationed around the otherwise empty pool. Lynn caught the gaze of one near the door manor and winked, garnering a small smile. Unlike Carter, she didn’t mind getting a little chummy with the people that held her life in their hands. Never hurt to be friendly, did it?
The moment she caught sight of Gael, however, watching her from just inside the glass-paned door, Lynn set her lemonade on the edge of the pool to slide into the water with exaggerated coyness. She’d purposefully worn her sexiest bikini – a white number with gold accents – just to tantalize him.
And, maybe, to torture herself.
As she swam laps, Lynn recalled how the already strange turn her life had taken got even stranger a few weeks after her initial meeting with Carter Wright. The man made no bones about what he wanted from her, and Lynn – quite quickly, in hindsight – had agreed to the physical terms of their relationship. As horrible as it was, there was a small part of her that got off on the fact that, somehow, such a powerful man wanted her. Of course, it helped that Carter was absolutely mind-blowing in bed – so much so that, after the first time, she had all but waited by the phone slathering.
Ultimately, however, it was the more subtle things about the man that kept her coming back – the masterful calm with which he handled his life and business, the way she made him smile so subtly that he didn’t even know he was smiling…and when he’d started to have her stay the night, he held her so tightly she wondered if he feared she might disappear altogether. Lynn soon realized that the danger Carter posed to her had nothing to do with his place in society.
Even then, however, she hadn’t been quite sure of the nature of the relationship between he and Gael. The Irishman was almost always at his side, and one often caught the two of them in hushed conversation about one thing or the other. Several of the employees at her restaurant speculated that Carter might be fucking him too, but that showed just how little they knew about either man. She couldn’t imagine them ever doing anything less than completely dominating another female party in each of their own rights.
She had never come up with the gall to ask Carter what his relationship with Gael was. At the time, it was none of her business. While her despicably fragile female feelings might be deepening by the day, Lynn never deluded herself into thinking what was between her and Carter could ever be more than casual – he wasn’t the kind of man who committed to anyone or anything.
In the early days of their relationship, she had known neither the depths of the man’s depravity nor just how close he was with Gael, but she found out the latter in relatively short order. One night, the Irishman had come knocking while Carter was balls-deep inside her with some urgent matter and Lynn nearly had a conniption when the man admitted him – while still fucking her.
She might have protested had she been cognizant enough to do more than writhe on the man’s cock as he cleaved her with it in languid, slow strokes that had driven her to orgasm embarrassingly quickly. Gael, for his part, hadn’t acted as if there was anything remotely strange about his watching Carter make her come so hard she could barely breathe. In fact, watching him watching her had made her body seize all the quicker.
And Carter noticed.
He left her as soon as she finished, and Lynn whined like a goddamned puppy, despite their company. Carter lingered only long enough to throw on a robe, directing a command in Gael’s direction before striding from the room.
Lynn was sure she’d misheard him. Handle…what? Handle her? He couldn’t be serious. When Gael advanced on the bed, however, she realized just how serious the situation was. He tugged the sheets from her bare body and whispered in her ear how he’d seen the way she looked at him, daring her to deny it.
Considering that the man’s very agile hand was already between her legs, Lynn could hardly rise to meet the challenge. With just that hand, he made her climax until she begged him to stop, all the while egging her on in that sexy Irish brogue. By the time Carter returned, he was fucking her from behind, gripping a handful of hair and calling her a dirty slut. By that time, Lynn certainly felt like one. She’d been fucked soundly by two men in a single night.
The moment Carter stepped into the room, however, Gael stopped. He pulled out of her mid-thrust and Lynn might have murdered him, despite her own exhaustion. But Carter had saved her. Instead of reprimanding them, he merely shrugged out of his robe to perch on the edge of the bed, still stroking his prominent erection, and encouraged them to continue. When Gael slammed back home inside her, Lynn might have died and gone to heaven.
Or had that been when Carter came on her face in long, hot spurts from the sight of Gael fucking her? Either way, it made for an epic night – and the beginning of a decidedly singular physical relationship with both men.
There was no question who called the shots – Carter was king in that aspect. At any time, he might have cut Gael off – especially when things between he and Lynn became slightly more involved. But he did no such thing. In fact, he asked her, just once, if she had any qualms with Gael’s unique position – and she had answered quite contrarily.
And now, here they were – or rather, here she was. Lynn was supposed to be cooling off, and instead, she was only working herself up. After six laps or so, she paused at the edge of the pool to take another sip of her lemonade. In her absence, Jerry, the head butler, had replaced the watery one with a fresh one, bless him. As she swallowed, Lynn shot a glance towards the manor doors, where Gael was still watching her like a hawk.
As she met his predatory blue gaze, she pressed her thighs together in a desperate attempt to quell the ache between them.
How long was it until Carter came home? Lynn wasn’t sure she’d survive that long.
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