Stealing the Bride
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by Brynn Paulin
Category: Erotica/Menage Erotica/Romance
Description: Mara is about to marry the wrong man and everyone knows it. At the eleventh hour, her roommates, Daniel and Jacob, devise a plan to steal the bride and keep her to themselves...forever.
eBook Publisher: Resplendence Publishing, LLC, 2012 January
eBookwise Release Date: March 2012
5 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [71 KB]
Reading time: 41-57 min.
Rivulets of sweat ran along Mara Nelson's limbs and pooled on her torso as she lay naked on a picnic table beneath the wood dining canopy in her campsite. Despite being out of the direct rays of the unrelenting July sun, the ninety degree temperature and the high humidity were making her retreat from the world just about unbearable. What she wouldn't give for her central air or even a fan right now. There would be neither. She was alone in this wilderness with a canvas army tent on a cement foundation, a wooden canopy under which she'd set up some of her gear, and a burbling stream running nearby.
There wasn't a soul for miles. Mara was completely alone with no electricity, no modern plumbing and no car to allow her to dash into town. Her cousin, who'd unenthusiastically assisted with Mara's plan, had protested that it wasn't safe for Mara to spend a week out here all alone. But Mara had insisted and her cousin had reluctantly relented and dropped her off three days ago with the promise to pick her up in a week.
Now, Mara had to admit, she hadn't considered this idea well enough. She hadn't anticipated how the solitude would disquiet her. She didn't like being alone with her thoughts and doubts about the future, but that was probably because of the unsettled urge to get moving that had dogged her since she'd taken this opportunity as a chance to slow down.
Eyes closed, Mara tried to stay perfectly still and listen to the nature around her. After years in the rat race of New York City, she'd become unbalanced and lost her center. It easily happened in the constant throb of the civilization that refused to sleep. Out here, she couldn't hear the perpetual buzz of humanity, a conglomeration of people, machinery, mass communication and electricity. But it wasn't silent. It was different.
Mara found the sounds of nature soothing. The bugs and frogs shared a symphony. Birds called to one another and rattled through the trees along with the squirrels and chipmunks that scampered around camp. Nearby, a stream bubbled, a gentle breeze set the trees to singing, footsteps crunched along the path--
What the hell!
She flew upright as she scanned the area. She'd been assured that this retreat in the middle of privately owned land was deserted and that she'd be utterly alone for the duration of her time here.
Before she could dash for her tent, two men broke through the tree line surrounding the campsite. Fear slammed through her. Two men and she was all alone? And she was naked--clothes had been an uncomfortable nuisance in this oppressive heat so she'd dispensed of them, knowing the squirrels wouldn't care.
She pressed her legs together and drew them up to better hide herself, though there was no mistaking she was unclothed. Despite the heat, goose bumps prickled down her arms. She didn't even have a weapon nearby.
The first man pushed up the brim of his baseball hat and grinned, and she realized it was a very good thing she didn't have a weapon. She'd kill him--both of them because, even without looking, she knew exactly who the other man was.
"My name is Luke Skywalker, and I'm here to rescue you," Daniel quipped.
Scowling, she climbed off the table and crossed her arms over her chest--not to shield her nudity because these two had seen her naked plenty of times in the year they'd been her roommates but because she was pissed. She glared at the pair who'd dared to invade her vacation and her privacy. From the looks of their heavy backpacks, they planned to stay with her.
"Aren't you a bit gay to be a stormtrooper?" she replied. She turned to Daniel's companion and lover of five years, Jacob. "If he's Luke, who are you? Yoda?"
Jacob turned to Daniel. "Not happy to see us, she is."
"What are you doing here? Twelve hours from home? It's not like you just happened to be in the neighborhood." She'd told them she was going on a cruise, not the wilds of Michigan.
Daniel shrugged his wide shoulders to let his backpack fall to the ground then straightened to his full height of just over six feet. Despite spending hours online as a professional blogger and internet reporter, his figure was lean. With thick, wavy, black hair, which stuck a little to his forehead in this heat, and his light-blue eyes, he was any girl's dream. Too bad he dreamed of only men--specifically Jacob. "A little birdie left her day planner open on the kitchen table with all the notes about her 'cruise' right there for anyone to see," he said. "As your friends, it's our duty to keep you safe."
"And stuff," Jacob added as he, too, let his backpack drop. Jacob was nearly the same height and build as Daniel, making them appear the perfect match when they embraced, but otherwise, he was the photo-negative of Daniel in both looks and personality. Where his partner was fair-skinned with dark hair and light eyes, Jacob had a perpetual tan enhanced by his olive-toned skin. His blond hair sported sun streaks of near-white, and his eyes so dark brown they were nearly black. Another dream. Perfect for his job as a Broadway character actor.
Daniel had a carefree personality and was always ready with a joke or a snappy response. Jacob seemed...more intense. More serious. The combination of light and intense kept her unbalanced in their presence.
She couldn't help her arousal whenever she was around them, either. Thank goodness, there was no way for them to know. Her current dampness could be attributed to perspiration, sort of, and they couldn't possibly know the streaks of lightning pulsing in her middle. It was her curse to be attracted to two gorgeous gay men.
Beside them, she felt like the girl who'd been hit by the ugly stick. While she was passable weight, too many hours behind a desk crunching facts for a high-profile, international lawyer kept her from being particularly toned or thin. In fact, amongst the New York svelte, she felt downright fat. Her mousy brown hair fell to mid-back and was usually kept in a ponytail to tame it. Right now, it was tugged into a messy braid to keep it from sticking to her body. Her features were plain, her brown eyes were boring and a profusion of freckles speckled her face and arms. Mostly, she didn't notice the spots, but when she did and noted their abundance, she cursed her genes and her lack of sunscreen as a youth. Others probably saw them, but most of the time, she didn't.
Truthfully, she was quite comfortable with herself as she was, or she would have made changes. She was who she was, and her roommates were who they were. Men who inhabited a different echelon from ordinary people like her. An upper echelon. The beautiful people echelon.
Unaware of her musing, Daniel turned and grabbed his backpack then hefted it onto the table she'd deserted. Opening the top flap, he dug inside and pulled out a Coke. He held it out to her, and she took it without thought, groaning at the cold against her palm. Her roommates knew her vices.
He pulled out one for himself. "We thought it was odd that you'd take a cruise right before your wedding--and without your fiance. Does Marco know you're here?"
"No. He thinks I'm visiting my cousin. Besides he's in Vegas with my boss--his best man. A bachelor thing."
"Oh the wicked web we weave," Daniel chortled, his eyes sparking with some secret knowledge that escaped her. Likely, he was teasing her.
She glared at him. "Shut up. Look...I wanted to be alone. I needed to get my thoughts together--"
"Before you marry the man who holds the Guinness Book record for boringness," he interrupted.
"Marco's a nice man. There's nothing wrong with him."
"You don't love him," Jacob added, dryly.
Mara sighed. "Look. Thanks for the Coke, but I want you guys to leave. I'm trying to re-center myself and get one with nature and all that crap, and you're really messing it up."
"How very crunchy granola of you," he laughed. Of the three of them, she was the least spiritual when it came to these things, and they all knew it.
Jacob slipped a tendril of her damp hair behind her ear, and she sucked in a breath as his fingers grazed her cheek. Her pussy contracted with need. She took a step back, shifting her arms to fully cover her puckered nipples, but he followed. The scent of clean, hot male filled her senses.
"Sweetheart," he said. "Have you considered that the reason you feel out of balance is because you're freaking out about marrying a guy you know is totally wrong for you?"
Actually, yes, it had occurred to her--not that she'd admit it. Marco felt comfortable, and he liked her.
Jacob's fingers trailed down her shoulder and traced her collarbone. Suddenly, her nakedness took on a sensuality she'd never expected to feel in her roommates' presence. "I should go get dressed," she murmured as his fingertips skimmed toward her breast.
She took a step backward and slammed into Daniel who'd moved behind her while Jacob had distracted her. His hands settled on her hips, holding her flush with his hard body while Jacob edged even closer. Jacob's T-shirt-clad belly rubbed hers as his head dipped toward hers. "I think there's something you should know about us," he said.
Desperately, she tried to think while her heartbeat deafened her. Daniel's thumbs stroked her sides, his fingers splaying toward her pussy. Mara tried to swallow around the rock in her throat. Her heart raced out of control. She wildly shook her head, knowing she had to get away before she revealed how much she wanted them--if she hadn't already.
Daniel brushed his lips against her ear. "We're into both men and women, Mara."
"We're into you," Jacob whispered into the other.
Mara wrenched from between them and stumbled a few feet away. This wasn't possible. No...no...oh God, no! Horror mixed with realization slammed through her. How many times had she wandered near-naked from her shower to her bedroom? How many times had she inadvertently run into them while she was naked because she'd thought they weren't home? It was a small apartment and none of them were particularly careful. She'd seen them naked plenty of times, too.
Oh my God and they're into women, too.
She dashed into her tent and whipped down the flaps while desperately trying to keep them from seeing more skin than they already had. Doing the nature-girl-in-tune-with-the-universe thing had obviously been a huge mistake. She was an idiot to think all this solitude would help her get her thoughts together. Her body buzzed with arousal, and she was more confused than ever--where the hell were her clothes?
"Mara, you're overreacting," Jacob called.
She angrily paced to her duffel bag and yanked out a pair of khaki shorts. "Why didn't you tell me before?"
"That you're overreacting?" Daniel asked.
She glared at the canvas flaps. "You know what I mean!"
"There didn't seem to be a good time to tell you?"
"Not once in the entire year we've been roommates? You couldn't manage to say 'hey, by the way, we're bisexual'? Don't give me that crap."
Silence greeted her, and she imagined they were looking at each other and trying to decide their next move, which sure as hell had better be to get out of her campsite.
Turning from the flaps, she went back to her duffel which was set on one of the two camping cots. She needed underwear and a shirt. She sighed as she pulled out a pair of lacy pink panties. Any clothes would be unbearable in this heat. Even as she considered dressing a droplet of perspiration rolled down the center of her back.
Enraged at the men's intrusion and the way they made her tummy tremble with need, she spun back to the front of the tent to yell at the men and instead screamed as she plowed into a very solid, very male chest.
Eyes wide, she stared into Daniel's azure-blue gaze. He gently pressed his finger over her lips. His arm snaked around her waist to steady her. "We were afraid you'd freak out then move out."
"Then you'd marry Marco before we could stop you," Jacob said from beside him.
Her gaze whipped toward him. "Stop me?" she repeated slowly. "What is this? Some game to break up my engagement? How could--"
"Tell us you love him. Truthfully. Tell us," he demanded.
"I...I respect Marco. We respect each other, and he meets my needs--"
"Marco puts people to sleep whenever he speaks," Daniel interrupted. "You need love and passion, not a good discussion on the exchange rate of the Pekinese yen."
"Japanese," she corrected.
"I know. And you know what I'm getting at. You're deluding yourself. Worse, you're settling. You're worth way more than that."
Jacob stepped closer to her. "We have a proposition for you."
"No," she said automatically as her entire body shook with the anticipation of what he'd say.
He smiled with the knowing, smug curve of the lips that had women swooning in theatre aisles. His fingers trailed down her naked arm. "I think yes." He closed his eyes for a moment as if savoring the feel of her skin. "Just listen for a second. Give us a chance. Give us until the end of your retreat to convince you that Marco isn't the right choice for you."
The end of her retreat would be her wedding. Both she and Marco would be getting back into town from their separate trips on the morning of their small ceremony. No rehearsal. No last minute details would be attended to. They'd get back and head for the chapel. They were both ready. And now, her roommates were proposing she wasn't...
"How?" she whispered.
Daniel's fingers tensed at the small of her back. "How do you think?"
Lord...this isn't happening. What nefarious, dreamland nymph was making her secret fantasies become reality? Maybe she was just delirious in this horrid heat.
She squeezed shut her eyes and reached up to rub them, only to discover she still held the lacy panties clasped in her fist. Her eyes widened in shock, and Daniel gave her a broad grin. "My favorite pair."
Agilely, he worked them from her bloodless fingers then tossed them to Jacob when she snatched for them.
"I've always liked that you wear this type panties instead of thongs. Skimpy, yet so modestly feminine." Jacob's thumb stroked over the cotton crotch of the garment, and she swallowed as she imagined him touching her and finding her wet.
Defensively, she pressed her legs together and crossed an arm over her puckered nipples again. She held out her other hand. "Give those to me."
He handed them over, but she knew better than to think she'd won the battle, especially when his fingers closed around her wrist. The slightly callused pads caressed the tendon leading into her palm, and she shuddered with the lightning that zapped her clit. A knowing gleam filled their eyes. Both guys were filled with a determination and a desire she'd never before seen when they looked at her.
Had she been blind to it, or had they always hidden it from her?
What was she going to do about this? What would they do if she climbed on one of the cots and spread her legs for them? She wanted them both right now, so much so that it never occurred to her to question her need for two men at the same time. Menage had never been something she'd considered--until them. Late at night, she'd entertained that secret fantasy.
"Sleeping with you would be a very bad idea," she muttered, half to convince herself of that truth. Her heart jolted, protesting her refusal. The pain of her denial spiked relentlessly into her middle. Here was everything she'd ever wanted, and she was rejecting it...
It was for the best. How long would she have them if she said yes? A few hours? A few days?
"Mara..." Daniel pleaded, but she interrupted.
"I want you to leave. Both of you."
Jacob smiled, his wide grin the nail in her coffin. He was gonna say something she didn't like. She just knew it.
"Can't," he said, confirming her fear. "We don't have a way out of here until our ride comes back--just like you."
Well, fantastic. Wasn't that just friggin' great? How on earth would she keep them at bay when her body wanted to gravitate toward them? Her brain screamed 'have at me', and her womb twisted with the tension of her need. As much as she wanted to fool herself about perspiration, the moisture in her cunt had nothing to do with sweat and everything to do with desire.
Dread settled in her belly. She was screwed. Probably quite literally.
"Please, leave my tent," she said, quiet defeat weighing her words. "I want to get dressed then I'm going for a walk."
A long walk. If it wasn't so damned hot, she'd make the thirty mile walk all the way back to civilization.