Party of Three
H.O.T. Cops: book 2
One man's putting her first…
Mira Adams knows she has a great guy in long-time lover Ethan West – he's smart, handsome, and sexy as hell. And she's always been respectful of Ethan's work – his law enforcement training with the H.O.T. team has led him on an admirable path of aiding the disenfranchised. Yet over time she's begun to fear that she'll always come in second to his career.
Another man's returning from her past…
To prove otherwise, Ethan has planned a very special weekend getaway for her birthday. His gift is Rogan Wolfe, Mira's old flame and one of his friends from the H.O.T. unit, who's more than happy to make Mira's deepest fantasy come true—to be shared by two men devoted only to her pleasure.
The party of three is just getting started…
Where Ethan is caring and well-meaning, encouraging Mira to explore her sexuality, Rogan is irresistibly bad to the bone, soon pushing her to expand her erotic limits in new and outrageous ways. Yet falling for Rogan all over again is one boundary she never imagined she'd cross. And submitting to this desire could change everything.
"This is the second in Alexander's H.O.T Cops series and the action is just that – hot. But it's also about the core relationship (as) these lovers uncover (unexpected) emotions. The sex is frequent and satisfying!" ~Jacqui McGugins, Romantic Times Reviews, 4 ½ STARS
“Party of Three reinforces my love for Lacey Alexander’s writing. What she writes is scorching hot and the emotions in her books go bone deep. This was an erotic roller coaster ride of delectable kink, and I’m dying to read the next book in the series.” ~Lindy, TwoLips Reviews, 5 LIPS, Recommended Reads
Warning: This excerpt may feature sexually explicit material not appropriate for young readers. By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age.
If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to stop reading here.
"Happy birthday, honey. Ready for your present?"
Mira lifted her head from where it lay resting on Ethan's shoulder in the hammock they shared. "My birthday's not until tomorrow," she reminded him with a playful smile.
"Yeah, but … don't you want your present now?" His blue eyes sparkled as he tilted his head to one side in the netting, and something in his look made the juncture of her thighs spasm, just lightly. Then again, it had been doing that a lot lately. In anticipation of this weekend.
"I thought my present was this," she said, motioning around them. He'd brought her to a secluded cabin in the woods on the north shore of Michigan's upper peninsula for her thirty-second birthday. To make up for some things. To start treating their relationship differently. And, of course, for some hot sex, which her body currently hungered for.
"It is," he confirmed. "But … there's more."
Hmm. "More? Really?"
He nodded, yet added nothing.
So she leaned closer, lacing her voice with flirtation to ask, "Well, don't you want to save it until my actual birthday?"
"Can't," he told her simply.
And she narrowed her gaze on him. Her boyfriend wasn't usually a man of so few words, so this conversation was beginning to feel downright cryptic. "Um, why not?"
That's when he began to look more hesitant, his expression transforming into a mixture of hope … and uneasiness. It was the look someone wore when they'd worked hard to find you the perfect gift but were still waiting to see your reaction when it was opened. Only Mira didn't see any sort of gift bag or box anywhere. "I can't save it," he told her, "because it's sort of … starting tonight."
Her birthday present was starting? Okay, he must be talking about the sex portion of the gift. Yet … why would he need to announce it if he was just talking about sex? Because yeah, she was good and ready for that, but … they'd had plenty of sex already during their four years together. "The sex, you mean," she said to clarify anyway, though she knew she sounded confused.
"Sort of," he said, and now he … hmm, to her surprise he suddenly looked just as uncertain as she felt. Not nervous exactly – Ethan was never nervous – but he'd slowed down on this present-giving thing and she sensed him wading through it a little more gingerly at this point, and definitely holding something back. What was going on here?
She lowered her chin, met his gaze. "Sort of?"
"Okay, wait," he said, holding his hands out before him. "I should have thought through how to tell you about this, because now that it's time, I don't quite know how to say it. So … give me a minute to think about the best way."
Mira just looked at him. How complicated could this present be? He needed a "best way"? He sounded more like someone about to break bad news than a man giving a birthday gift to his girlfriend. "You're starting to make me worry," she admitted, still peering down into his handsome face.
"The thing is about your gift," he began, "is that I want you to love it, really love it. But … I'm not sure how you'll take it."
She blinked, thoroughly perplexed now, then finally lay her head back on his shoulder, drinking in his musky, masculine scent as she silently provided him that minute he'd requested. A bird twittered in a tree somewhere to her right and the late afternoon sun warmed her face as she looked out over Lake Superior in the distance. Blue skies and unseasonably warm June temps in northern Michigan made the scene complete. And up until a minute ago, she'd felt relaxed, happy, like he really was making up for the troubles they'd endured since last fall, and even before that. But right now she didn't know what to feel – and the uncertainty turned her thoughts unwittingly back to what had led them here, to this moment.
Ethan had been a workaholic since they'd started dating, and while she admired a strong work ethic – and particularly admired the pro bono legal work he'd embraced – over time she'd started feeling like she came in a distant second behind his career. And when, last summer, he'd canceled their Labor Day weekend boating plans with friends at the very last minute, she'd realized her life with him was starting to be ... well, not all she'd hoped.
He was hot. Sexy. And great in bed. He was a good guy, a sincerely good man. In fact, Ethan West was the man she wanted to marry, and she'd known that almost from their first kiss. But then things had changed. He'd left the Charlevoix Police Force to study for the bar exam around the same time she'd moved in to his condo. And as soon as he'd passed the bar, he'd opened a small office not far from her shop, and business had been booming ever since for the quaint lakeside town's newest young lawyer. Life had bustled along, and they'd been fine. Until his work had started taking priority over her.
And things hadn't improved since Labor Day – and in reality, they'd gotten worse. More late nights, more lost weekends. And the truth was, right up until two weeks ago, she'd been seriously considering moving out. The only thing preventing it was the fact that she loved him, and that when he was there for her, things were amazing and the chemistry between them – both physical and emotional – was intense. She connected with Ethan in a way she never had with anyone else. And yet lately she'd been asking herself: Can I give my life to a man who doesn't put me first? Is that what I want, forever?
And then – like some kind of miracle – he'd taken her to lunch at her favorite waterside bistro one day and told her he'd rented a cabin upstate for her birthday weekend. He'd said he knew he'd been neglecting her and that he was going to change. Flashing a seductive grin, he'd told her he wanted to spend her birthday making it up to her by "doing hot, nasty things to you in the sun. Then doing more hot, nasty things to you in the moonlight. With maybe a little sleep in between before we start over again."
She'd bitten her lip, given him a sexy smile across the table, and reached out to take his hand. This was the old Ethan, the Ethan who'd swept her off her feet.
And now, here they were, alone in the woods, and she'd begun to think that maybe he really could repair what he'd broken between them. He hadn't so much as mentioned a case or a client since they'd left Charlevoix this morning. He'd even left his Blackberry at home. And he'd gone to the trouble of bringing along a few bottles of her favorite wine, one of which they'd opened to drink with dinner a little while ago. Ethan had grilled burgers – saving the steaks he'd brought for her birthday dinner tomorrow night – and they'd eaten at the picnic table on the dock down below the cabin and the hillside where they now lay. "I know wine doesn't really go with hamburgers," he'd said with a slightly sheepish grin, "but …"
And she'd just replied with a happy laugh. "Who cares? I like wine, and I like burgers. And I especially like how thoughtful you're being, Mr. West," she'd added teasingly.
Normally, she wouldn't have thought of renting a remote cabin as the way she wanted to spend her birthday, but the sentiment had touched her and now that they were here, she realized it was the perfect setting for a weekend of non-stop fucking. Since that was what she suddenly realized she wanted to do. Fuck him from now until Sunday when it was time to leave. Their sex life was the one part of their relationship that hadn't suffered over the last year, and she supposed the wine had her feeling amorous. And even though they were outdoors, no other house lay within sight, and the treed landscape added to the sense of isolation, so this felt as private as their bedroom at home – only a little more exciting.
Though she wasn't the sort of girl who usually thought of their sex as fucking. A little dirty talk in the bedroom was fun, but it almost surprised her when that particular way of describing it entered her mind. I must really need this. I must really need to let go this weekend and just let my body have him the way I want him, with no inhibitions, nothing held back. No, their sex life hadn't suffered due to his work, but … maybe she had held part of herself back lately, due to resentment, to not feeling totally connected to him anymore. Well, this weekend, no holding back. This weekend, he gets all of me. Maybe even more than he's ever had before. She bit her lip, feeling naughty, aggressive.
And as for this mysterious present of his – well, it would just have to wait because she'd just decided there was no time like the present to have her way with her man. She boldly sat up, turned, and moved to straddle his thighs in the hammock. The netting beneath them wobbled and tilted, and for a second she feared it would flip them, but then it re-steadied itself, bringing her confidence back at the same time.
"Uh, what's going on?" he asked, clearly jarred – but still a small, sexy smile reshaped his face as his hands came to rest on her denim-clad hips. She liked the feel of his eyes on her.
All of me. I want you to have all of me. The words echoed through her as she spontaneously stripped her tank top off over her head, revealing a pale yellow bra with peach polka dots underneath. "I think I'm ready for some of that hot and nasty I was promised," she replied, taking on a sexy pout.
In response, Ethan's fingers splayed across her hips, then glided smoothly downward to stop high on her blue-jean-covered thighs. She felt every fingertip like a pinprick of electric heat. "Mmm, I like when you get aggressive," he said. "And I hope you still feel just as ready after I tell you about your present."
Oh, so he was back to the mystifying present again, huh? But she refused to let that get in the way of what she wanted right now, so she ran her palms up under his t-shirt, onto his muscled stomach, even as she asked, "Ever gonna end the suspense on that?"
When he squeezed both her thighs, she felt it between her legs. And his eyes twinkled warmly as he said, "Why don't you lay back down with me for a minute and I'll fill you in."
She lowered her chin, slanting a questioning look in his direction. This required lying back down? Stopping her mid-seduction?
A sigh left her, and yet – even as stopping killed a little of her arousal, the strange secrecy going on here kept the spot between her thighs humming with anticipation. Anticipation of sex mingling with anticipation of the unknown.
Ethan eased her back down beside him, soon cradling her in his arms, and then he said, "Do you remember that night last summer – that night when we had too much to drink and started talking about fantasies?"
She nodded. It had been an evening a lot like this one: warm weather, good wine, and a quiet dinner for two that had led them on a walk to a park, where they'd ended up cuddling on a bench. Intoxication had had them laughing at first, and then touching and kissing – and then Ethan had asked her what her most secret sexual fantasy was. "It's okay, whatever it is," he'd told her.
And she'd slowly, quietly admitted that in the darkest, most private parts of her mind … she sometimes wondered what it would be like to be with two men at the same time.
He'd asked her questions. "Do you want to have two cocks inside you at once?" "Do you want to be the one in control or do you want to have that taken away?" "How much have you thought about this?"
And she'd answered – with vague replies mostly, because her fantasies had been just that, vague. Not entirely formed. Undetailed. The truth, she'd told him, was that it had started with a dream – she'd woken up remembering she'd dreamed about a threesome with two guys. "And sometimes I think about it because it turned me on, but at the same time, I'm not entirely sure I'm comfortable thinking about it, you know?"
He'd grinned, clearly pleased, aroused, by her sharing that. "Think you'd ever really want to do it?" he'd whispered.
"Only … under some perfect circumstances that I can't even really imagine," she'd told him honestly. And that had pretty much ended the conversation. Though they'd had really good sex afterward, back at home.
So now, after a long hesitation, she finally answered his question. "Um, yeah, I remember. Why?"
"Well, what if I told you," he answered slowly, reaching to skim his knuckles ever-so-lightly down her chest, between her breasts, "that for your birthday, I'm giving you your fantasy?"
Mira's mouth dropped open as the blood drained from her face. "You're what?" she whispered.
He spoke low, direct, but kindly. "You heard me."
Lying on her back on the thick netting, with Ethan peering down on her, she simply blinked, still not quite able to believe her ears. She felt like someone else, in some other place, time – her whole world transformed into something surreal she didn't quite recognize. "But … but …"
Yet her lover only smiled down at her – it was perhaps the surest, most confident and in-control smile she'd ever seen on his face. "Don't freak out, hon," he said softly. "Just trust me."
But Mira suddenly couldn't breathe. And the sun that had lulled and relaxed her all afternoon now began to make her sweat, even as it began to dip quietly toward the horizon through the trees to her left. Finally, she managed three words. "I don't understand."
At this, Ethan bent to lower a kiss to her forehead. And despite everything, even just that one chaste little kiss made the crux of her thighs tingle hotly. "Listen, relax," he told her. "Relax and let me explain."
He sounded so calm, so rational, that it did relax her. A little anyway. Maybe she'd misunderstood what he was saying. Maybe he meant something else entirely.
"I know I haven't been a great boyfriend lately," he began. "And I know it's driven a wedge between us. I want to fix things, Mira. I want to make things right. I want to prove that making you happy is my top priority, starting now."
She still just blinked up at him, taking in his features, everything handsome and sexy about him. She'd always loved his olive skin, and his dark hair, black as night, traits left over from an Italian ancestry that had faded in name a generation or two ago but showed up in his family's coloring. Now that dark hair stood out in bold contrast to the soft greens and browns above him, the trees that nestled their weekend hideaway and made it feel so deliciously remote. But the moment continued feeling utterly unreal – especially as he went on.
"I thought a lot about how to prove that, what I could give you to make up for how wrapped up in my practice I've been."
She felt the need to interrupt. "You don't have to give me anything more than this, just spending time with –" But he pressed gentle fingers over her mouth, quieting her.
"I know that, but … I guess I wanted to make a grand gesture, something big. And so … I thought about your fantasy."
Yes, it had been vague, but she'd told him as much about it as she could that night – it was about having two cocks inside her at once. It was about being caressed by two pairs of male hands, having her body kissed by two men's mouths. It wasn't about control – keeping it or giving it away. But it was about … maybe being a little overwhelmed. In a good way. With masculine power. With sex itself.
"And I want to make it come true," he continued. "I want to give you that. I want you overcome with pleasure. I want you to have orgasm after orgasm in a way I could never make happen on my own."
Mira blew out her breath, poleaxed by the very idea. Strange how fear and stark desire could mix. And they both swirled inside her now as she tried to wrap her mind around the fact that he was offering this to her. Not as a fantasy, but as reality. Even though they weren't that kind of people. They were mainstream, middle-of-the-road; they were dependable and responsible. Yes, a little dirty talk in the bedroom – but that was about as kinky as it got and she'd always been perfectly pleasured by what they shared. "We have great sex," she felt the need to remind him.
"I know we do," he told her, now cupping her cheek in his palm. "But I want this weekend to be … something beyond normal for us, beyond great. I want it to be something new, something extreme, something that'll bring you more pleasure than you can even imagine."
Okay. It was beginning to sink in that this was really happening, that he was really planning on this. But he didn't know her as well as he thought if he didn't realize … "Ethan, I can't have sex with just anybody. I mean, you know I haven't been with that many guys." She'd always been in serious relationships. She'd never had a one-night stand in her life. And she'd never been intimate with anyone she hadn't gotten to know first. For her, good sex was about trust, about knowing the person you were with. "So I can't imagine who on earth I'd really want us to …"
"Rogan," he said simply – and that was when her world changed once more.
Oh Lord. Rogan Wolfe was … well, God, what wasn't he? Ex-boyfriend, tough cop, bad boy to the bone – and the man who had taught her to love sex. She'd never told Ethan that part about her relationship with Rogan, but while, before him, she'd liked sex just fine, with him, she'd found her true sexual being, and she'd loved how much he'd drawn that out of her. In fact, she credited her good sex life with Ethan in part to her time with Rogan.
Still, she was stunned to hear this was who Ethan had in mind. "You don't even like Rogan," she pointed out.
At this, though, her boyfriend just shrugged. "We get along all right."
The fact was, Ethan and Rogan went back a long way, all the way to police academy and the Hostage Ops Team on which they'd been placed and where they'd trained together. And she'd always been keenly aware that, in some aspects, the three of them were closely, weirdly intertwined.
She'd met Rogan when he'd joined the Charlevoix Police Force a little over five years ago. She hadn't even known Ethan yet, but he and Rogan had worked together on the force and even now they still played on the same summer softball team.
And what had led Rogan to Charlevoix in the first place? He'd been looking for a new position and, after reaching out to the other H.O.T. members, who'd kept in touch over the years, Ethan had let him know there was an opening there.
So she'd have never even met or dated Rogan if not for Ethan's involvement in bringing him to town. And maybe she'd have never met Ethan, either – despite them both having been born and raised in the Charlevoix area – if she hadn't started coming to Rogan's softball games when she'd been dating him. It was funny how much of her world had been shaped by the actions of these two men.
"Getting along isn't the same as liking," she pointed out to Ethan. Because despite the things they had in common, Rogan and Ethan were very different. Almost like night and day in ways. And despite them both being part of a tight-knit group of old friends who got together once or twice a year, apart from the H.O.T. affiliation, they weren't at all close. They might drink a beer together with the rest of the team after a game, but otherwise, they didn't socialize.
And so the fact that Ethan was suggesting bringing Rogan into their relationship in such a radical way felt at once ironic and … almost fitting. Almost – dare she think – like a thing that made sense on some level, a thing that was supposed to happen?
"I can like him fine for a weekend," he told her. "And he was the only guy I know who I thought you'd be comfortable with. For this."
This. The mere word brought her back to the matter at hand, the threesome he'd suggested – and she swallowed sharply, the leftover taste of wine in her mouth now turning a bit stale. The fact was, if Ethan had gone so far as to select Rogan, her ex, to join them in his threesome plan, it meant that he'd really, seriously thought this through. It wasn't some off-the-cuff idea he'd concocted a few days ago. And it meant … "Um, does Rogan … know about this? I mean …"
"Of course he knows. He's on his way here right now."
"Holy crap," she whispered. Because this made it … real. Really real.
And he was already on his way? When there was so much to consider, so many questions to ask?
"Ethan," she began, "what if … what if you would think of me differently afterward? I mean, how could you not think of me differently?" Because a woman who could do that, who could be with two men at once … well, Mira had never seen herself as that woman. Even after her dream, and the hazy fantasies. Doing it wasn't the same as dreaming it. If she did this, she would be changed, forever. She would be different, a different person, at least in ways, than she was now.
"I won't," he told her. Again, as always with Ethan, all confidence. And it assured her once more that he really had thought this through, but …
"What if you're wrong? What if I do this and … and it kills something between us? What if somewhere deep down inside you, it … makes you think I'm slutty? In some ugly way. What if you can't help it? I mean, once we do this, we can't take it back."
He narrowed his blue gaze on hers and she realized that – Lord, the fear and desire from a few minutes ago … both ran deeper now, fuller. She could almost feel the two conflicting emotions consuming her at once. Was she really considering doing this? Could she? And not just from a morality standpoint, but … could she overcome her trepidation enough to pull it off? To be that sexual? That self-assured? When deep inside she was scared to death?
"Look, honey," he said, his voice going tender, "I understand what you're saying. But I've thought about this a lot. I thought about it for weeks. And the fact is … it'll be a gift you're giving me as much as one I'm giving you."
She blinked, and her voice came out light, high-pitched. "Huh?"
A solemn sigh left him as his eyes sparkled darkly on her at the precise moment the sun shifted in the sky just enough to immerse them in shade. "The fact is, the more I thought about it, the more it excited me. The more I realized that I want it, too." His voice went deeper then. "I want to see you that way. With another man. And with both of us at once." Her skin flushed with warmth at his words. "And once we share that, it'll bring us even closer."
Mira's heartbeat pulsed all through her body. Her cheeks, fingers, breasts, tingled with odd heat. She hadn't thought about it like that – that it could somehow pull the two of them closer together, that it could bond them in a whole new way.
And somehow … somehow that began to make it feel … possible. Like a thing she could maybe, really do.
Just then, he leaned over her, the heat of his body warming hers, his palm curving around her neck, as he whispered deeply in her ear, "Tell me you want this as much as I do."
She bit her lip, her pussy pulsing against her blue jeans. Did she? Did she want this? "M-maybe," she heard herself stutter. "I … I think," she went on. Then, "Yes. Yes."
She'd heard herself say it. So it must be true.