Authors: Lacey Thorn
Tags: #Multiple Partner Erotic Romance
Guarded for Pleasure
By Lacey Thorn
Resplendence Publishing, LLC
Cover Art by Les Byerley
Published by Resplendence Publishing, LLC
2665 N Atlantic Avenue, #349
Daytona Beach, FL 32118
Electronic format ISBN: 978-1-60735-691-2
Warning: All rights reserved. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
Electronic Release: August 2013
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and occurrences are a product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, places or occurrences, is purely coincidental.
For the fans of the Pleasures series who didn’t want to see it end,
this one is for you! Thanks for loving my stories as much as I do.
Special thanks to M. Berry for always helping me with sound advice! And to my amazing editor who works tirelessly to make me better with every book!
Meg raced up the stairs, her fingers clenching the postcard that had been waiting like a coiled snake in her mailbox. Terror nearly consumed her, and she fought her panic to get up the stairs to the safety of her apartment. She couldn’t seem to catch her breath as she struggled and failed to wipe the single word he’d written from her mind. It pulsed like a neon sign in her brain—MINE.
She’d tried so hard to stay one step ahead of him, but now he’d found her. She’d left everything and everyone behind, refusing to even call, in hopes of protecting them. All to no avail…he was here.
She hugged the wall as she rounded the hallway and headed to her apartment. Her keys shook in her hand as she made her way as quickly and quietly as possible to her door. She’d need to be fast, pack a bag of only what she needed and be gone within the hour.
He knew where she lived, could show up at any time. She couldn’t get that thought out of her mind.
Reaching for the lock with trembling fingers, she froze like a deer in the headlights. Slowly, reality bled through her terror. The door was ajar. Her heart was pounding so hard she couldn’t hear anything else. Had he been here? Was Raymond even now somewhere in her apartment waiting for her to show up?
She flattened her back against the wall beside the door and squeezed her eyes shut. What should she do?
“Meg, are you okay?”
She jumped, bit down on her lip to hold back the scream that wanted to escape. She recognized his voice; it filled her dreams with sex and passion. A pure fantasy brought to life she wanted to taste and explore—him and the other two men who all shared the penthouse apartment. God help her, she wanted them all. Sometimes in her dreams, she was with all three of them at the same time.
“Meg?” Luke’s voice was husky, filled with concern. He ran fingers over her cheek, brushing her hair out of the way. “Talk to me.”
She hadn’t opened her eyes, too caught up in the images of him and her messing up the sheets. Just his voice did that to her, made her forget everything else. Not smart right now.
She glanced up at him. “My apartment.” She nodded her head toward the cracked door.
Luke pushed her behind him, and a gun appeared in his hand.
Fear and desire waged a war inside her, replacing the terror of only a moment ago. Why did Luke look even sexier with a gun held confidently in his hand? With his broad shoulders hiding her view of the inside of her apartment, she trailed her gaze down to his waist and butt.
What terrible timing, but God, she wanted him to fuck her into oblivion. She wanted to sink her teeth into him, wanted to scratch him with her nails while she called his name, over and over and over again.
What the hell was wrong with her? She shook her head, knowing exactly what she was doing. Trading an emotion she couldn’t deal with for one she could. Much easier to focus on lust and desire than fear.
Her heartbeat slowed down. Taking a deep breath, she got a grip on her emotions, which were all over the place at the moment. She needed to be calm and rational, to think.
Sex was what had gotten her into her current situation. And that situation, Raymond, was what had kept her chaste for the last six months. Not easy when she had eye candy like Luke and his roommates, Phil and Rick, under her nose for the last three months. But she’d been good, strong, and fought the sexual pull she felt toward them. It wasn’t right to have those urges for three men at the same time anyway. The fact they were friends and roommates just screamed wrong, wrong, wrong. And she was focusing on the wrong part of this whole scenario right now, though it was a pleasant reprieve from the terror that had consumed her earlier.
Terrified to lust-filled in ten seconds. She shook her head. She blamed the adrenaline rush surging through her body. She’d been all poised for fight or flight when Luke had interrupted and left her standing there. So the hormonal rush had turned into something else, fueled by her desire. Fight, flight or fuck. She almost laughed at how crazy her thoughts were.
“Hurry up. I’m waiting right outside the door with Meg.” Luke was on his phone, talking to either Phil or Rick apparently.
She let her eyes soak him in while he spoke. His brown hair was cut close to his head, making her think of a military cut. His eyes were the color of melted chocolate. She’d seen him in nothing but running shorts once. Sweat gleaming on his chest, making the curly hair there damp. She’d followed a drop of sweat with her eyes as it trailed down to disappear in the waistband of his shorts. She’d wanted to trace that same path with her tongue, her teeth.
Right now, she wanted to sink into his chest, feel his arms wrap around her as he held her close. Safe. Luke would make her feel safe, if only for a little while.
“Meg?” Luke’s voice interrupted her very inappropriate thoughts.
“Yes,” she whispered back.
“Are you hurt?”
She shook her head. Confused. Overwhelmed. Half-crazy with lust at a time when that should be the farthest thing from her mind, but not hurt.
“You moaned.” Luke replied with a lift of his brows, the invitation there for her to spill what had caused the sound.
Okay, time to snap out of this and get control. “I’m fine. I didn’t go in.”
“Smart thinking, but you should have left immediately. Called for help.”
“I would have,” she lied. “I just got here.” At least that was true.
Luke gave a weary sounding sigh and looked at her. His eyes darted over her shoulders, and she didn’t need to turn her head to see who belonged to the footsteps coming toward them.
“Rick, take Meg up to our apartment and keep her there. Phil, you’re with me.”
“Now, wait just a minute,” Meg began, but Luke caught her completely by surprise when he leaned low and kissed her.
He. Kissed. Her.
Every thought in her head fluttered away. She was pretty sure she moaned again. Almost certain she rubbed against him. Every inch of her thrummed with need when he stepped back.
“Go upstairs and wait for me.” He didn’t wait for her agreement. He pushed her door open the rest of the way and slipped inside with Phil right behind him, gun in hand.
Phil with his long dark hair that curled at the nape of his neck, baby blue eyes, and thickly muscled arms suggesting comfort and shelter.
“Everything will be okay,” he whispered with a wink before disappearing into her apartment.
“Come with me, Meg,” Rick said and tried to take her hand.
“I’m not going anywhere,” she huffed. One kiss and she was such a fucking girl. Let the big guys come in and save the day. Bet Luke thought he would get the girl when it was all done. And damn it! He just might.
“Meg?” Rick tugged at her hand.
She glared at him, unwilling to give in to his golden boy good looks and charm. He always sported wavy blond hair that looked like he’d recently run his fingers through it, green eyes that reminded her of lush grass that was like rich carpeting under her feet, and biceps that made her mouth salivate. He was blessed with all that and a wicked smile and a sense of humor that made her laugh each time they chatted.
She felt herself starting to cave and practically snarled at him. “I said I’m not fucking going!”
His brows disappeared into his hairline, making her sigh. She’d known the men for three months and never once cursed around them. No, she’d done her best to appear a very proper lady. She almost snorted at the absurdity in that.
“It’s my apartment,” she explained, softening her tone. “I don’t want to leave. I’ll wait out here until they say it’s okay to go in, but I won’t leave.”
“And what if it isn’t okay to go in? What if someone is waiting in there for you? Are you willing to put all of our lives in jeopardy just to assert your independence?”
Her shoulders deflated, and she shook her head. No, she wasn’t willing to do that.
Rick tugged her again, and she followed him into the elevator.
“Luke and Phil will make sure it’s all okay. If there’s anyone in there… Well, he’ll wish he wasn’t when those two get a hold of him. Once your apartment is secure, they’ll call the cops in and—”
“No cops.” She almost screamed, trying in vain to keep the hysteria at bay. She whacked at the closed elevator doors as if they would open faster that way.
“Meg, calm down.”
She smacked at him when he reached out to calm her. She slapped and clawed and screamed. Everything was crashing down on her head. Six months of running. Six months of lying low and taking dead end jobs to stay under the radar. Her savings was almost gone, and if the cops got involved, so was her identity. She could end up serving jail time if the cops decided to dig into her alias. It would pass a surface screening, but if they dug deep… Well, she didn’t want them to go there. Besides, it would send alerts to her two best friends, and she definitely didn’t want them here right now. Not after all she’d done to protect them so far.
Rick wrapped his arms around her, pinning her limbs to her side. His voice crooned in her ear, but she had no idea what he was saying. She was too lost in the panic, too lost in the threats issued that day long ago.
“No cops,” she begged. “I can’t… Please. Please. No cops. No cops.”
“Okay, Meg,” he soothed her.
The doors popped open, and he led her to the penthouse door, the only apartment on this floor.
“It’s okay. I sent Luke a text. No cops,” he reassured her.
“A text?” What if Raymond was in the apartment? A text tone would distract Luke, possibly give her ex a chance to attack and hurt him.
“It’s okay,” Rick assured her as if he could read her concern on her face. “His phone’s on vibrate. It won’t make any noise.”
“Promise me.” She turned and grabbed his shirt. “Please.”
He rubbed her fingers. “I promise. I swear, Meg.” He took her hand and tugged her through the doorway. “My God, you’re shaking.”
He led her to the couch, sitting down and tugging her to sit on his lap. He wrapped her in his arms, offering her a safe place to rest.
How had everything gone so wrong? How had her life come to this? She rued the day she’d ever let her friend introduce her to Raymond. She’d give anything to go back in time and undo that one “yes” that had led to this path. She’d never have fallen for his sultry charm, never allowed him to kiss her, touch her. She’d have walked away with a smile and never looked back.
But would he have let her?
I knew from the first moment I saw you that you were mine, that you belonged to me. I’d have moved heaven and earth to have you. And now I’ll never let you go. Never.
She shuddered, and Rick hugged her impossibly closer.
“…by the river…”
“What?” She sat up straight, pulling away from his chest. “What did you say?” There was no way he knew. No way. She’d been careful. No one knew where she was, not even her two best friends in the world.