/ Language: English / Genre:love_hard / Series: Menage Everlasting

The Good, the Bad, and the Naughty

Jessica Frost

Texas Rangers James Sandford and Trevor Kent are on a secret mission. A range of robberies have been happening in Fort Smith, Arkansas. They believe it’s the notorious, sultry outlaw Isabelle LaRue who’s to blame. When they meet the gorgeous saloon singer Belle Samson, they think she’s the famous and ruthless outlaw in disguise. Belle Samson never expected things to get so complicated. Her plan was simple, hang out at Eden's Paradise and pretend to be a saloon singer. But when she meets two handsome, mysterious men at the saloon who don’t seem at all the simple cowboys they’re pretending to be, she figures she should keep a close eye on them. What she doesn’t realize is they planned the same thing. Soon the spies become the spied and when sexual tension rises to a climactic peak between these three, secrets are revealed that will put them all in danger.

Jessica Frost

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE NAUGHTY

The Lost Collection

Chapter 1

Foul curses rose in the early-evening air, breaking the silence that echoed in James Sanford’s ears. With each step he came closer to the saloon, it turned into a cacophony as several voices rose in unison near him.

He glanced behind him at Trevor Kent, his partner and friend, and lifted his brow and shoulders, mouthing, “Do we have the right place?”

This certainly didn’t seem like it.

For most of their trip from the train station to the saloon, he and Trevor had been quiet. They weren’t much for conversation, especially when they hadn’t had time to rest in the past few days. But because they were Texas Rangers, it came with the territory.

During their last case, they had to stake out an Indian tribe they suspected of harboring a couple of notorious outlaws. It was a miracle if they slept more than five hours a day.

Being in their profession for over five years now, they had become accustomed to the erratic work schedules and the stress, both physically and mentally.

When he and Trevor got off the train in Fort Smith, Arkansas this evening, they headed to the saloon instead of heading to the inn to catch up on rest and sleep, like Trevor wanted. James eagerly wanted to get an early start on their case, and the perfect place to begin would be here, tonight.

It took quite a bit of persuading on his part, but Trevor finally came around when James tempted him with the idea of mingling with gorgeous saloon girls to see if they could pick up any clues.

But now, as James observed a man stumble out of the saloon’s swinging doors and tumble toward him as he stepped onto the saloon’s porch, he wondered if his plan was all that great. This was hardly what James expected.

Shouting “Whoa there,” he lifted the luggage bag he held in the air to regain his balance.

Trevor, who stood a couple of steps behind James on the stairs, slid to his left to make space for the stranger’s motions. He glanced at James and lifted his eyebrow in puzzlement.

What the hell is happening here?

James shrugged and glared at the spectacle unfolding before his eyes.

“Sorry, m–mister.” The stranger stood up clumsily and wiped his drool and bloody lip on his cotton sleeve as he glared at James. He moved his gaze back to inside the saloon and waved his shaky hand before him, shouting, “That’s the l–last time I come h–here. The s–service s–stinks!”

A burly man came to the door and sneered at the inebriated stranger, who now staggered to his horse on the side of the saloon.

The rotund man hollered back, “Good riddance. We don’t need your kind here.” Then he noticed James and Trevor and gave them a nod. “Howdy.”

Trevor and James responded simultaneously, “Howdy.”

Trevor looked behind him at the drunk who attempted to mount his horse. “Is he the only one not welcome, or does that go for us, too?”

The man’s lip lifted to the side, and James figured it was his way of being hospitable. “No, only for varmints like him who order whiskey but don’t have money to pay for it.”

He pushed open one of the swinging doors and extended his arm inward. “Welcome to Eden’s Paradise, where whiskey and women go hand in hand.”

The saloon wasn’t quite what James expected. From hearsay, he imagined it would have been a lot grander, but, then again, the population in Fort Smith wasn’t that big. About twenty-five wooden tables sat in the room’s circumference. Only a few were occupied, but the majority remained vacant.

The bar was situated at the far right of the saloon, and a small stage that housed a piano stood at the opposite end of the room. A straight staircase with unvarnished oak steps sat perpendicular to the stage. James estimated the distance between the staircase and the stage hovered around the fifteen-foot mark.

He glanced at the burly man and smiled. “Nice name for a saloon.”

“I smell the whiskey, but where are the ladies?” Trevor added, scanning the room with a blank expression,

The man walked over behind the bar and gazed at them. Moving his jaw sideways, he flicked his tongue over his yellow front teeth as if he fiddled with a food particle lodged in between them.

Making a snapping sound with his tongue, he responded, “You fellas are early. The saloon girls only come out when the crowd gets here in about ten minutes.

Why don’t you have a seat, and I’ll pour you some whiskey?” He motioned to the stools at the bar.

Trevor was about to sit when James placed his hand firmly on his shoulder.

“Whiskey sounds good, but we prefer to sit at a table so we can get a better look at the ladies when they come out.”

Handing them two glasses, the barman shrugged. “Suit yourselves.” Then he turned back to wipe dry some glasses on the counter behind him.

Trevor frowned at James in confusion when he chose a table in the corner where the stage and piano sat.

Placing his bag under the table, he glared at James. “You just told him we wanted to get a better look at the saloon girls and here you go making us sit all the way in this isolated corner.”

James stared at the bartender, who hadn’t noticed their peculiar choice of table. All the other men in the saloon were too busy drinking and enthralled with their own table’s small talk to have even perceived their movements.

“Relax, Trev. He’s too busy to give a hell where we sit. And everyone else couldn’t care less, too. Besides, we need to talk, and what we have to say is for our ears only. When the girls come out, you can have your fun interrogating them then.”

Once they sat, Trevor took a big gulp and then cleared his throat. “Well, what do you think?”

“About what? Our assignment or the saloon?”

“Both.” Trevor glanced at his surroundings, his left eyebrow raised in curiosity for a brief moment.

James followed his gaze. “Well, it sure doesn’t look like what I expected. Its reputation made me think it was a wild, loud place.” Then he returned his focus back on to his partner.

“As for our assignment, we’ll wait and see. The captain fixed it. We’ll start our jobs this week on the train as expressmen. This way, we’ll be able to protect the safe and all the gold and money if Wild Isabelle LaRue strikes.”

After taking another sip of his whiskey, Trevor rested his glass on the table and leaned forward, raising his questioning eyebrow once more in the process.

“How do you know it’s her gang that’s been holding up the trains? Rumors across the West say she and her gang high-tailed it to Mexico after their famous heist two years ago. They got away with plenty of money and gold to last them a lifetime and more,” Trevor rationalized.

James raised his glass to his mouth and swallowed a swig. The whiskey passed his throat, stinging his tongue and tonsils in the process, and he concealed a cringe. He rarely drank, hated the taste of whiskey, and found it a distraction when on a case, but tonight it was part of his cover. Whether he liked it or not, he had to pretend he enjoyed the stuff or they’d look suspicious. After all, they were in a saloon. Why else would they be there but to drink?

Taking a deep breath to try to cool down his burning throat, he stated, “We’ve been over this before, Trev. You know what I told the captain then. She wasn’t only in it for the money. She was in it for the thrill, too.”

He then twirled the liquor in his glass as he stared at it. “My hunch is that she and her gang laid low for a couple of years, and when the dust settled, decided to get back to train robbing.”

“I still have my doubts.” Trevor snorted. “But you did convince the captain, because he decided to send us here to investigate.”

Men started coming in now in big numbers. Trevor glanced at the loud group of five who just entered and came to sit a couple of tables away from theirs. They seemed to be discussing ranch handling from what James could decipher.

Looking away a few seconds later, Trevor turned his attention back to James.

“Okay, now explain to me why we came here to Eden’s Paradise,” he asked.

“From what I know about Wild LaRue and her gang, they loved their booze and mixing.” James tapped the table as he spoke.

“Mixing? Liquor, you mean?” Trevor scratched his head.

“No, I’m talking frolicking.” James had to laugh.

A smile spread over Trevor’s lips as a naughty expression overcame his eyes. He obviously envisioned her in sexual trysts.

“Oh, so then the nickname ‘Wild LaRue’ wasn’t because of her robbing ways, but because of her…”

James nodded. “And rumors had it she liked her men in twos.” He sat back on his wooden chair, placed his arm behind the backrest, and raised his gaze to the staircase as the saloon girls started walking down the back stairs one by one.

“And since Eden’s Paradise is famous for its—” He froze.

As soon as she started down the stairs, James lost his train of thought. Her red, frilly dress and her wavy black locks cascading over her shoulders captivated his vision and his mind.

“Famous for what? Don’t leave me wondering here,” Trevor asked.

James heard his question but couldn’t answer. He was too busy sucking in air, hoping to reopen the passage to his collapsing lungs while he continued to stare at her as she smiled at the lady in front of her. Her pearl-white teeth and sparkling blue eyes enchanted him.

“Oh. Now that is a sight!” Trevor whispered, turning to look behind him.

James broke his gawking stare when she walked past their table and smiled at them, saying, “Howdy, boys.”

His vocal chords stilled, and heat rose to his cheeks as he clumsily tipped his Stetson hat, bowing.

Trevor, on the other hand, had no problem expressing himself. His smile widened and his eyes sparkled with interest and adoration when his gaze locked with hers.

Trevor was a ladies’ man, no doubt about it in James’s mind. In the years he had worked with his partner, James had seen Trevor use his charm to win a lady’s heart. Well, actually several ladies’ hearts. How many ladies Trevor had been with during the years he knew him, James lost count.

They came and went and Trevor never ever seemed to be affected by the breakups in the least. James figured it was because Trevor never stayed long enough with one particular lady to ever let the relationship go further than the physical.

James found it hard to understand why his partner was the way he was toward the ladies, but sometimes he wished he was a little less shy and gawky and more charismatic like his partner. Trevor knew how to flatter a lady and make her swoon.

Ordinarily, it didn’t bother James to see his partner work his charm, but tonight, Trevor’s suaveness irked him slightly.

With a wide grin splitting his face, Trevor stood up, took off his hat, and bowed. “Howdy, miss.”

A slight giggle escaped her lips, and her cheeks reddened a tinge as she kept walking. When she and the other ladies passed their table, she went up to the bar to sit.

“Oh, she is something.” James sighed.

“Uh-huh. She sure is pretty,” Trevor agreed.

“She’s more than that, Trev. She’s beautiful,” James remarked.

He continued to stare at her while a tall, extremely skinny man with a slight limp walked over to her.

“Why don’t you go talk to her?” Trevor asked.

“I’d love to go talk to her, but it seems she already has company.”

James was too distracted eyeing his competition flirting with the beautiful lady that he didn’t notice when one of the girls dressed in a low-cut outfit swanked over to their table

She asked, “Well, boys, I never seen you here before. Are you new in town or just passin’ by?”

“New in town,” Trevor piped up.

Her smile widened. “Well, welcome to Fort Smith. My name’s Sally.”

“Howdy, Sally,” Trevor responded.

“Nice to meet you,” James added.

“We don’t get many new residents here. So why did you boys decide to move to our lovely town?” She leaned her empty tray on her hip.

Trevor gazed at James, signaling if he should tell her. When James nodded slightly, he gazed at her. “We got ourselves jobs on the train.”

Her brow lifted inquisitively. She appeared to be gearing up to ask something, but closed her mouth and paused a second

Then she remarked, “That’s great. I gotta go get the other table’s order. Will you boys be wantin’ second shots of whiskey?”

Trevor nodded, and she started to go back to the bar when James stopped her. “Pardon me, but who is that lady dressed in red at the bar?”

Sally looked over, frowning as if she tried to figure out who he was talking about, then her eyes focused. “Oh, that’s Belle Samson.”

Something clicked in his brain, and his analytical mind rolled over the name again and again.

Belle.

She turned to him and placed her hand on his shoulder, leaning in so her cleavage was at eye level. She didn’t seem to do it so much to seduce him, but rather so no one at the table next to theirs could hear her.

“She’s pretty pleasin’ to look at, ain’t she?” She smiled.

“You could say that.” He nodded as he stared at the bar.

Then in a lower tone, she added, “Well, ain’t you the lucky one. She’s the new singer here at Eden’s Paradise, and soon she’ll be comin’ to the piano right behind you. You’ll get to see her performance up close. Get ready for a show. She’s got a voice of an angel.”

“New?” He lifted his brow and gave Trevor a piercing look.

“Yes siree, she came into town a few months ago. The moment Luke, the owner, heard her voice, he knew she was perfect for Eden’s Paradise. And I have to agree with the boss.”

He smiled as he glanced at the bar once more. He noted Belle looked at the stranger, but seemed very uncomfortable with his forwardness. James’s gentlemanly instincts reared up to the forefront of his mind. He wanted to get up and teach the brute that wasn’t any way to treat a lady, but after further observation, he thought better of it when he saw her take care of his friskiness.

He and Trevor needed to keep a low profile. Picking a fight with someone their first night in town would certainly not be good and could stir up questions he didn’t want to answer. Not just yet, anyway.

Taking a deep breath, he looked up at the saloon girl and remarked, “Interesting. Well, then, we look forward to seeing her perform tonight.”

“Uh-huh, you and every cowboy here.” Sally grinned sideways. “If you haven’t already noticed, she’s got a following.” She stood straight and threw her hair back as she walked away.

James looked around and sure enough most every cowboy in the saloon had his eyes fixed on Belle. Even Trevor. James swore if his eyes got any bigger, they’d pop out of his sockets. Coughing to clear his throat, he nudged his partner. “Stop gawking, will you?”

“Why? You can, but I can’t.” Trevor frowned.

“No, it’s just I need you to listen to me now. I need your full attention. It’s important.”

“What, about LaRue and her gang?” Trevor leaned in.

“Yes, I think Belle over there is LaRue.”

Trevor jerked his head back like a rooster did, in disbelief. “What? That’s crazy.”

“No, it isn’t. Rumor has it, she’s got long, wavy black hair like Belle and is pretty, too, with a beautiful voice.”

James took a breath, then continued, “Her name is Belle, short for Isabelle. And she came into town a few months ago. The train robberies started a few months ago.”

“Maybe it’s coincidence.” Trevor put his hand over his lips.

“Or maybe not. I say we get to know Miss Belle Samson and see if my hunch is right.” James tapped his finger on the table, making a low thumping sound.

Trevor leaned over and slapped his shoulder. “Now that is a brilliant idea.”

James let a grin surface.

When the captain notified him and Trevor that he would be sending them to Fort Smith to investigate the train robberies, James wasn’t too thrilled. He didn’t like being that far from Texas for long periods of time. But now that Miss Belle Samson was added to the equation, well, things just got a whole lot more interesting.

* * *

Belle couldn’t help but glance through the mirror behind Jack, the barman. Curiosity urged her to have a gander. A smile spread on her face when she noted that the handsome cowboys who sat at the back of the room stared at her. The one who seemed shy because of his blank expression earlier was taller, had sandy-blond, wavy hair, and a cleft in his chin. She gazed at his breathtaking, piercing green eyes in captivation when she passed his table minutes ago. His dark-haired friend with chocolate brown eyes was a little shorter and more muscular than he, but just as good looking.

She had never seen them in the saloon before or she would have surely remembered. And by the bags they placed under their table, they obviously were either visitors or newcomers to this town. She noted Eva, Sally, and Samantha, three saloon girls, observe them while they worked the floor, asking if customers wanted drinks.

When she saw Sally walking up to their table, a twinge of envy overcame her. They sat in her section. What she wouldn’t give to be the one serving them at that very moment instead of Sally.

Before she could continue to spy on the men, Jesse Rafkin walked up behind her. He took off his hat and bowed slightly, grinning.

“Hi there, Miss Belle. Golly, you certainly are the prettiest lady here tonight.”

“Hi, Jesse.” She forced a smile.

Jesse said the same thing every night since she came to work here. It was endearing, and she felt flattered the first time he said it, but once she found out how he really was, it lost its luster and became an annoyance, especially tonight when she wanted to observe what transpired at the good-looking men’s table on the other side of the room.

When he sat down beside her, she took a silent, exasperated breath and turned to look at him. He obviously wanted to chitchat, and since she had to sing in five minutes, she might as well let him have his daily say. Then she could prepare for her show.

“So, Jesse, how was your day?”

He wiped his nose with the outside of his hand. “Well, ah, not much happened today on the ranch. Just fed the horses, milked the cows. Stuff like that. How about you, Miss Belle?”

“Nothing much, either. Just did some washing and practiced the songs for tonight. Actually, I’ll be singing a new song tonight that you might enjoy.”

“I love any song you sing, Miss Belle.” He grinned as he leaned in closer and put his hand on her knee.

“Jesse, what did I tell you about touching me? It’s inappropriate.” She moved his hand away and distanced her body as much as she could while still sitting in her chair.

His grin spread and his brow lifted. “I’m sorry, but, ah—”

Before Jesse had a chance to finish his sentence, a light hand came to rest on Belle’s shoulder. She turned around to find Sally standing behind her with a sly grin.

“Hi, Sally. How are you today?” She smiled.

Sally opened her mouth to speak, but then looked at Jesse and gave him a sneer. “Stop buggin’ the lady, Jesse. Sometimes you can be a real pain where the sun don’t shine.”

He got up. “I can say the same for you.”

He turned to Belle. “I’ll, ah, talk to you later, Miss Belle. I’m really lookin’ forward to hearin’ your new song.”

Relief cascaded over Belle as he limped away.

She sighed and glanced at Sally. “Thanks.”

Sally nodded. “Don’t mention it.” She looked at Jack. “The newcomers at my table want second shots of whiskey, Jack.”

“Comin’ right up.” Jack got two glasses from under the counter.

The words were just on the tip of Belle’s tongue. She yearned to let them loose, but to her delight she didn’t need to. Sally beat her to the punch. She leaned in closer and gave a sideways glance toward the attractive men’s table.

“Them good-lookin’ fellas over there have been askin’ about you, you know.”

“Really?” Belle’s skin tingled and goose pimples surfaced at the wonderful words.

“I see you noticed them, too.” Sally laughed. “Dang, I never saw a bigger smile on anyone, even my brother when he became a papa after fifteen years of waitin’.”

“Is it that obvious?” Her cheeks heated at her revelation.

“Yes siree.” Sally nodded.

Jack placed the glasses on the counter. “There you go, Sally.”

Sally picked up the drinks. “Uh-huh, I told the tall blond one your name and that you’re the singer here with a voice of an angel. Both of them are lookin’ forward to hearin’ you sing, honey.”

Giddiness tightened her stomach muscles. For some reason, having to sing tonight stressed her. The extremely attractive visitors would be seated only a few feet away from her. She wanted to sing a new song, but no one had heard it before. What if she sounded horrible?

Sally placed her hand on her shoulder as if sensing her hesitation. “Don’t worry, honey, you’ll be great. Now go up there. It’s time to start the show.” Then she headed off to the newcomers’ table.

Jack placed a glass of water in front of Belle. “There you go, Belle. I know you’d want this before singin’.”

“Thanks, Jack.” A smile spread on her face at his thoughtfulness.

Swallowing the quenching liquid to relieve her parched throat, she turned to focus on the crowd. The place was full, not a single seat vacant.

Her heart skipped a beat in nervousness. Staring at the many faces sent panic surging through her. She grabbed hold of the silver locket hanging low around her neck and rubbed it for courage.

She always wore it close to her heart for it was her link to her loving past, the link to two people who meant the most in her life and who sculpted her character and soul. They always made her feel special thanks to their support and love.

Opening the locket to gaze upon the picture of her deceased parents, she took a deep breath as she gently passed her fingers over the image. The picture had been taken at their wedding. Ten years before Belle was ever born, yet she could see how much they loved each other.

Her mother’s voice came back to her, words she had spoken to her so many years before. “Belle, if you set your mind on something, there is nothing you can’t do. We believe in you, dear.”

Her eyes became misty for a brief moment as more memories came flooding in, memories of the swing her father hung on the big tree beside their home, memories of him pushing her, and she demanding he make her go higher and faster.

She could never go back no matter how she wished she could. She had forged her path years ago, a path her parents would surely not approve. Yes, she had made mistakes, more than she could remember. But she had learned so much as well, thanks to her parents and experience.

Time was precious, and she needed to make the most of it while she could. Taking a deep breath to muster her courage and toughen her hide once again, she closed the locket and slipped it into her dress between her breasts. The cold metal made her sigh.

She stood, headed for the piano, and chanted in her mind, The show must go on.

Chapter 2

Trevor took one last swig of his whiskey while he stared in anticipation at the pretty lady. She stood up from the bar, slowly straightened the creases in her dress, and strolled toward their table, heading for the stage. Glancing at them briefly, she bowed her head, her cheeks reddening.

“She looks nervous,” James whispered into his ear while he stared at her.

Trevor gestured his agreement. She hardly seemed like the flamboyant singer Sally said she was. But Trevor kind of liked her shy demeanor. It intrigued him.

When she sat at the piano and began playing, though, her hesitation visibly dissolved, and her confidence surfaced. Trevor could see it by the smile in her eyes when she gazed at her audience.

The song she played started slow, but as soon as her sweet voice caressed his ears, he sighed silently. It enamored him, and he sat there entranced by the spell of her singing and piano playing. And each time she glanced at the crowd, him and James especially, his heart skipped a beat.

She must have had the same effect on James because Trevor noted he didn’t budge throughout her whole performance. He just sat there, fixated. Even his breathing seemed shallower, as if he reached a level of serenity.

He had never seen James so smitten with a female before. His focus always remained on their cases, never on the opposite sex. It amused Trevor to see his work-centered partner fall for the sweet singer.

When she ended the last song and stood up, the crowd clapped and cheered. She smiled, blushing, and Trevor’s heart melted. Her modesty was becoming.

James tapped him on the shoulder then as he leaned in. “When she walks by the table, let’s start talking to her. Put on the charm.”

“Will do, partner. It’ll be my pleasure.” He smiled as many thoughts of what he’d say crossed his mind. They all had to do with her musical talent, her voice, and her beauty of course.

But his excitement turned to disappointment when an older man came to talk to her at the piano.

“Great,” he whispered.

“Don’t worry. Their talk won’t last long,” James replied.

After a few moments, though, it became clear to Trevor that James’s guess was wrong, because the man escorted her to a table to continue their conversation. From the way they acted, he appeared to be talking and she only listening, nodding in agreement every once in a while.

“Partner, that doesn’t look like a quick conversation to me. I think we got a long wait ahead of us.”

“No, I don’t think so. At least I hope not.”

Sally strolled by then with her empty tray by her side. James called her attention. “Sally.”

She glanced around as if she couldn’t figure out from where the voice came. The crowd was certainly loud in the saloon.

When she turned in their direction, James repeated, “Sally.”

A smile broke her blank face, and she swayed her body as she headed over to their table. “Well, boys, what can I do for you? Would you care for more whiskey?”

James replied before Trevor could speak. “No, but Trevor here,” he motioned with his chin, “would like to know who the man over there is who’s talking to Belle.”

Trevor cleared his throat. “Actually, what James really means is he would like to know when she’ll be finished with the man, so he can go talk to her. And James may not want a shot, but yes, I’d like another whiskey.”

James gave him a crooked frown. Served James right for answering for him like he did. James may hate whiskey, but Trevor didn’t.

“I’m sure you’d both like to talk with the lady.” She grinned glancing at them both. “How about I bring you each a shot? That there with Belle is the boss man. And once he starts yapping, he doesn’t stop. So you boys have a lot of time to waste.”

With disappointment in his eyes, James huffed, tapping his fingers on the table. “I’d care for some water instead, if you wouldn’t mind.”

Sally nodded. “One whiskey and one glass of water it is.” And she walked away.

They continued to observe Belle’s table while their drinks came. Twenty minutes later, Belle and her boss were still conversing, but they had both stood up. Belle appeared to be getting ready to leave.

James nudged him. “Follow me.”

Perplexed, Trevor held his lightweight bag in one hand and cursed. He followed James through the loud horde of men. Once out the saloon doors, they descended the stairs and stood in the plentiful moonlight.

“Why the hell did we come out here, partner?” Trevor asked.

James scanned the perimeter. Most of the crowd still remained in the saloon. Only a few cowboys stood outside chatting.

“Because it was too crowded in there to talk to her. Maybe we’ll get a chance to talk to her here. She’s bound to come out any second.”

“Good idea,” Trevor said, rubbing his itchy chin. His stubble made a brushing sound by the friction of his fingers sliding over it. He hadn’t used his razor since yesterday and needed a shave badly. His thick beard grew quickly. He hated the feel of stubble. But unfortunately, he couldn’t do anything about it. For now, he had to live with the stubble whether he liked it or not.

Deflecting his thoughts from his grooming woes, he stared at their surroundings. The wind blew gently, making the leaves in the tree next to the saloon rustle softly to and fro. The scenery calmed Trevor, but didn’t seem to affect James, who paced before him.

“So what are you thinking about?” Curiosity compelled Trevor to ask.

“Belle.” James huffed.

Trevor had to snort. “The same here, partner.”

“Mmm. She sure has a voice, doesn’t she?” James half chuckled.

Trevor didn’t speak, just nodded.

James resumed his pacing while he combed his fingers through his hair. “But something just doesn’t add up.”

“Oh, what?” Trevor swore he could hear the gears in James’s fine-tuned brain turning. He was mystified at how his mind worked. At times, he wished his worked in the same intricate way, but other times when he saw James worrying and obsessing, he was happy his mind didn’t think like his did.

No, his easygoing nature served him just fine. Letting James deal with the complicated problems was okay with him.

“The way Belle acted tonight has me confused.” James tapped his finger on his lip.

“Why?” Trevor gazed at the crowd exiting the saloon.

“She was shy, humble, nothing like Isabelle LaRue is said to be.”

Trevor had to agree. “True, but maybe she’s acting. Putting up a front so no one will figure out who she is.”

James nodded. “Could be.”

Just then, Trevor saw Belle walking out the saloon door. He nudged James in the ribs and pointed his chin up high in her direction.

“Quick, here she comes.”

James turned around in time as beautiful Belle strode in their direction. She looked at them, smiled slightly, and then averted her gaze to the ground as she came closer.

Both Trevor and James bowed their heads as she walked by them. Trevor expected James would speak first since it was his plan to come outside and he usually always took the lead where work was concerned, but when he saw his partner became tongue-tied, Trevor decided to take over the reins of conversation.

“Ah, Miss Samson. Howdy.” He took off his hat and bowed his head once more. Putting his hat back on, he continued. “My friend and I just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed your songs tonight.”

He glanced at James and gave him a coaxing look. “Isn’t that right, James?”

James nodded and mumbled, “Mm-hmm. Yes, miss.”

Trevor tried to contain a smile. Seeing his friend dumbfounded and acting awkward was humorous. Usually, James’s mind churned at high speed as he pondered their next move, and Trevor followed his lead, figuring his way while they went along. How the tables had turned in this case. He didn’t blame his friend. Belle could dumb many men. But to have it happen to his genius partner, who barely noticed women and who obsessed on every assignment like it was his life, had him amused.

She glanced up at him at first and then deflected her gaze to the ground, smiling. “Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it, ah…”

Trevor held out his hand. “I’m Trevor Kent and that’s James Sanford.” He pointed to his partner as she shook his hand and then turned to shake James’s.

“It’s nice to meet you both. You’re new to Fort Smith?”

“Yes, miss. We just arrived on the train early this evening and have been taking a tour of the place.”

She glanced at the moon and her blue eyes twinkled. Then she returned her gaze to Trevor. “What do you think of our town?”

Trevor gave James a sideways glance to see if he should continue or if James cared to retake the lead.

When he saw James remained bewildered, he added, “We like it, especially Eden’s Paradise. We heard it was pretty exciting and after hearing you sing, we know why it’s so famous.”

Even in the moonlit night, he could see her blush rise to her cheeks. “Thank you, Trevor.”

James finally piped in. “Yes, Miss Samson, we really enjoyed your show tonight.”

“Call me Belle, please. Thank you, James.” She turned and said, “Well, I have to be going. It was nice meeting you both.”

James stepped forward. “Miss Belle, I mean, Belle, it’s late and it isn’t safe for a lady to be walking all by herself. Why don’t Trev and I escort you home?”

She shook her head. “That’s mighty kind of you, but I’m staying at the Mayflower Inn. It isn’t that far off.”

Trevor observed the sly grin spread over his partner’s face. He swore he probably sported the same grin himself. Coincidence couldn’t have served them a more pleasing hand tonight. Their captain set things up so that they’d be staying at the Mayflower Inn, too.

Before Trevor could comment, James remarked, “Belle, it just so happens we’re staying at the same inn. So, would you mind if we kept you company on your walk?”

A smile surfaced on her pretty doll face. “Not at all.”

Trevor thought it was high time his charismatic persona cued in. He extended his arm and bowed his head slightly. “Well, Belle, let the escorting begin.”

She took his welcoming arm and giggled timidly. A whiff of her rose-scented fragrance tickled his nose as the passing wind blew her wild black curls toward him. His stomach did a little jerk, and he yearned to dip in closer to take a deeper sniff and touch her beautiful hair. Somehow, he guessed it was silky soft, just like her alabaster skin would be. She represented the embodiment of feminine beauty.

Even though she wasn’t scantily dressed as the other saloon girls, he could tell her curves were plentiful. Her full bosom enticed him, and the hint of cleavage he caught sent his manly urges to full arousal. And when she moved by his side, he sensed her hips swaying in a seductive dance from side to side. Although he adored the part of her that was all shy and demure, he wondered if she hid another part of herself from the public.

Maybe a spitfire of a vixen lay under that timid exterior, and if he played his cards just right, he’d be the lucky guy to unravel the layers of her personality and get the wanton, lustful self she held hidden. Damn, sometimes he loved his job.

* * *

She wished she could pinch herself now and make sure she wasn’t dreaming. Having two handsome gentlemen escort her home this evening overwhelmed her. She couldn’t help her racing heart and the giddiness that empowered her senses.

With the moon’s light guiding their path, they walked down the abandoned dirt road. Ten minutes passed and they had asked her so many questions about her singing, the saloon, and other things that she lost count. Actually, James asked the probing questions while Trevor just stared at her with a wide, inquisitive smile, as if he assimilated her answers and tried to read her.

She had to admit she liked the scrutiny from both men. Trevor’s dreamy, chocolate-brown eyes bewitched her, and James’s reserved, inquisitive attitude was so charming. His full lips made her wonder how it would feel to kiss them. Her nipples perked, rubbing against her tightly bound corset, making her arousal mount, and her pussy tingled with the thought.

A steamy fantasy stirred in her mind, and she soon envisioned having both men kiss her and undress her. They slowly caressed each part of her hot, exposed body, first her neck, then her shoulders, down to her breasts. Her imagination soared. Her bodice became even more restraining when her breathing turned into deep panting, and her chest heaved to replenish her lungs with much-needed oxygen.

Belle shook her head slightly when her companions weren’t observing, casting the sinful images out. She couldn’t let those wanton ideas overcome her, and being honest with herself, she was actually surprised they even came to mind. She never had such wayward ideas of other men before this, but these gentlemen obviously had an effect on her mind and body she had difficulty controlling.

She tried to focus on the here and now. On the fact that in just a matter of ten minutes, they got to know a whole lot more of her than she got to know of them. Or at least what she wanted them to know.

Her big secret must never be revealed. Too much had been planned out and sacrificed, and the ploy was weaved intricately. She’d risk her life if she must to keep it all hidden.

They arrived at the inn and stood in the lobby downstairs. “Well, Trevor and James, thank you for keeping me company on my walk tonight. It was a pleasure to have gotten to know you both. Or rather you getting to know more about me. I still don’t know much about you two other than you just arrived in town today and that you enjoyed my songs tonight.”

Trevor took her hand, caressing her palm while he stared at her. “Well, how about you have dinner with me tomorrow evening? You can ask me anything you want to know about me then.”

Shivers of excitement surged through her with the gentle pressure his fingertips put on strategic areas of her palm. The smile in his gaze and lifted eyebrow tempted her to jump out with “Yes,” but she needed to show some restraint even though her legs became weak with his heated fingers on her hand. She turned to James whose eyebrows creased as he glared at his friend. James seemed to be slightly irritated.

Trevor added, “James will be busy tomorrow night preparing for work. He has a lot to check out before we’re ready to start working at the end of the week.” He glanced at his friend. “Isn’t that right, James?”

The crease between James’s brows disappeared, and his eyes took on a humorous look a few seconds after that. “Yes, there are many things that need to be looked into. And, unfortunately, I’m the only one who can check them out. So if you wouldn’t mind keeping my friend company tomorrow evening so he isn’t in my way, I’d surely appreciate it, Belle.”

Her sixth sense screamed to her that there was more to it than that. Some secret message had just been communicated between the gentlemen about her. But what it could be baffled the hell out of her. An air of mystery surrounded these handsome men, and her curiosity to find out exactly what they were up to made her decide.

“All right, James, if you need to concentrate on your work, then I guess I’ll accept your invitation to dinner, Trevor. Tomorrow’s my night off, and it would be nice to spend it enjoying your company and a good meal.”

The widest smile spread over Trevor’s face. “Well, that’s great.”

“There aren’t many saloons in Fort Smith that offer food, so Sherry’s is probably our only choice.”

“Okay, then Sherry’s it is. Will seven o’clock be a good time to go?”

She started to head to the stairs as she replied. “Sure, I’ll meet you in the lobby tomorrow at seven, then.”

Trevor and James followed her to the stairs, and this time, surprisingly, James took her hand and kissed it, then grinned. “Have a wonderful night, Belle, and thanks for helping take him off my hands tomorrow evening. I’ll get a lot of work done this way.”

Oh, James’s shyness seemed to have vanished now, and she liked the daring side he displayed. Her hand tingled where his full, fervid lips caressed her skin.

“I’m looking forward to spending time with you, Belle, and getting to know you better.” Trevor mimicked his friend’s actions by gently taking her other hand and brushing his lips over it.

Heat rose to her cheeks as she giggled and then replied, “Good night, boys.” She skipped up the stairs hoping they didn’t catch her blushing.

My, but those two were charmers. A girl could get used to all their attention quite easily.

When she stepped on the second-floor landing, the images she had earlier of them undressing her and caressing her body suddenly came back to flood and occupy her thoughts. Her heartbeat escalated envisioning their curious hands roaming over her arms, her abdomen, her breasts. Her body heat rose as did her breathing, with every passing second and further arousing detail of the vision.

Tomorrow night would certainly hold mystery and temptation in its midst. Trevor Kent oozed manliness, and for some unexplainable reason, danger. A part of her feared what she was getting herself into. She might just be walking into the lion’s den tomorrow evening. But another part of her, a part she now seemed to have little control over, anticipated their date.

Her face broke into a wide grin at the thought of what could happen then.

Oh, the possibilities.

Chapter 3

James was still in shock. Trevor surprised him twice in less than an hour. His partner usually stood on the side and let James lead in their cases. More often than not, he’d add his two cents when a suggestion came to mind. But tonight, his friend was on a roll. His quick mind and genius ideas had James in awe.

“So you liked my plan, huh?” Trevor grinned smugly.

“Yes. At first I didn’t, but then I figured it out.” James chuckled.

“Do you think you’ll be able to break into her room without anyone seeing you?”

“I can’t believe my partner I’ve worked with for over five years would even ask me that.” James frowned.

Trevor lifted his hands. “Oh, I forgot. How stupid of me to ask.”

“Yes, it’ll be a snap.” His brow furrowed once more. “And while I’ll be hard at work investigating, you’ll be having the time of your life with beautiful Belle.”

Trevor’s brow rose in amusement. “Ah, partner, this is no time to be jealous. You know you’re the best at breaking in and snooping, and I’m good at covering for you when you do.”

James poked him in his chest as he replied, “Yes, but this time you’ll be with Belle, not trying to distract some Indians.”

Trevor smugly rubbed his nails on his cotton shirt to polish them and then gazed at them. “What can I say? My job can be hell at times.”

James punched him lightly in the arm. “Stop gloating, Trev, or I’ll go up to her and tell her that I actually really do need you at work.”

His rebuttal to Trevor got him wondering. They never found out what her room number was. It’d be awfully hard to break into her private quarters if he didn’t know where exactly she stayed James glanced at the counter. No one stood on duty, but there was a bell on the counter.

“That reminds me.”

He strode over to the front desk, placed his bag on the floor, and slammed his open palm down on the bell. It rang loudly, and within a minute, an elderly gentleman with a receding hairline and a beard came out from a closed door in the corner.

“Howdy, cowboys. Welcome to the Mayflower Inn. How can I help you all?”

James leaned on the counter. “Our boss reserved us a room here a few weeks back. Our names are James Sanford and Trevor Kent.”

While the man opened and flipped pages in his book, he stared at them as if he assessed them. Then he spoke in a curious voice. “Is this your first time in our humble town?”

“Yes, sir. Our employer got us jobs here and we just got in today,” Trevor responded.

Once the man got to the last filled page in the registry book, he let go of the paper and leaned his elbows on the countertop, grinning. “Well, you’ll love our fine town, gentlemen. Everyone who has stayed at my inn has said so in one way or another.” He put on his spectacles hanging from a cord around his neck and then pointed with his finger down the page. “Let’s see. Ah, here we are. You have room twenty on the second floor. The bathroom is just a door away.”

James looked at Trevor, then added, “Sounds mighty fine. Um, we were wondering if you’d be kind enough to tell us in what room Miss Belle Samson is staying in. You see, my friend here just met her tonight and got himself a date with the pretty lady tomorrow evening. He said he’d pick her up at her room but forgot to ask for her room number before she left.”

The man chuckled, glancing at Trevor. “Well, fella, aren’t you the lucky one. Miss Belle sure is a pretty lady. And it ain’t no surprise you’d forget somethin’ like that. She kinda has that effect on the fellas around here. She has a beautiful voice, too. You should catch her singin’ down at Eden’s Paradise when you get a chance.”

“Oh, we did. That’s where we first started talking with her.” Trevor placed his bag on the floor and leaned on the counter also.

“I see.” He closed his book after checking off their reservation.  turned around, and got their keys. “Well, you boys certainly have luck on your side, ’cause it so happens her room number twenty-two is next to yours. You’re neighbors.”

Trevor glanced at James and gave him a sly smile. James looked away, fearing he’d break into a smirk, as well. He extended his hand. “Well, thanks so much for all your help, sir.”

Accepting James’s handshake, the old man replied, “The name’s Melvin Burr. If you folks need anythin’ else, just let me know. The missus serves up breakfast at seven sharp in the dinin’ room in the mornings if you’re interested. Her bacon and eggs are really good.”

“Well, Mr. Burr, that sounds quite tempting. I think we’ll do just that since we have a big day ahead of us and need all the energy we can get.” Picking up his bag, James marched to the stairs with Trevor on his tail.

“Just call me Melvin from now on. We look forward to seein’ you for breakfast then,” the old man shouted while they ascended the stairs.

When they got to the second floor, they headed over to their room, passing hers. Opening their door, James stared into the darkness. He could only make out part of the front of the room. Using the limited illumination from the hallway wall lamps as his source of light, James walked over to the table next to the door and felt his way to a set of matches next to the oil lamp. He struck one, lighting it.

The light was enough for them to take in their surroundings in detail. James was pleasantly surprised. The room looked pretty clean and crisp. The beds had dark-brown blankets, and the table in the corner of the room had two chairs to sit on. A bureau in the other corner was big enough for them to store their clothes in.

Trevor tossed his luggage bag in the corner of the room and collapsed on the bed. The wooden foundation made a squeaking sound with his movements. “Ah. I’m glad this day is almost over. I’m exhausted.”

James didn’t crumple to the bed like Trevor. Instead, he sat on it slowly because of fatigue and his stiff back and leg muscles. It was sturdier than Trevor’s bed because the wooden support didn’t squeak when he put his full weight on it. It absorbed the shock in silence. He stretched his aching legs out before him and lay back, resting his head on the feather-stuffed pillow, which leaned on the wall.

The soft pillow and wool-stuffed mattress molded to his body comfortably. Being cramped on the train for so long had left his muscles tense, and, now, as his tendons in his calves relaxed, the tension rolled off of him with every deep inhale he took.

“I have to agree with you, Trev. This feels so good.”

They rested in silence for a few minutes. James kicked off his shoes and massaged his feet through his socks when voices caught his attention. They came from the other side of the wall. Her wall.

“Do you hear that, Trevor?” He sat up and put his ear to the wall.

Trevor stood up and did the same thing as James while he squinted in concentration. “It’s coming from Belle’s room.”

Although James couldn’t hear what was being said, he could tell Belle wasn’t alone in the room. At least two other men were in there with her.

“I think she has two guys with her.” Trevor obviously thought the same thing.

“Probably members of her gang.” James nodded. “Can you make out what they’re saying?”

“No, but they seem to be talking low, secretively.”

“Well, if they are part of her gang and they are conspiring on their next heist, they’d be talking softly like that.”

“Maybe, or maybe she is living up to her nickname, and they are keeping her company tonight, and she doesn’t want Melvin any wiser to her secret activities,” Trevor rebutted.

James’s mind wandered, imagining what exactly transpired in there. When she giggled, he thought maybe his friend’s hunch could be on the mark.

What he wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall in Miss Belle Samson’s room tonight.

* * *

When she opened the door to her room, Belle intended to undress and just sink into her warm bed to sleep. But the moment she closed the door, a voice said, “You’re finally here.”

Practically jumping out of her skin, she spun around to see someone turn up the light in the oil lamp on her bureau. As the light spread to the perimeter, she was able to release the air that stuck in the knot in her throat.

Realizing John and Mat had paid her a visit, she slumped her shoulders in relief and sighed. “Ah, you gave me a scare.”

Mat sat on the chair next to the bed. “Sorry, but we had to keep it dark in here. The light can be seen from the space under your door. No one could know we’re here.”

“How did you get in?”

John glanced at the window. “Through that. Your room is on the other side of the inn, and no one could see us sneak in.”

She walked over to the window and stared out. “It’s pretty high. You could have gotten hurt.”

“No, we’ve climbed more dangerous things before. Come to think of it, you were with us most of the time when we did, remember?” Mat piped in.

She laughed at the ridiculous look he gave her. “Of course, how stupid of me to say that. Still, why did you risk getting in contact with me? Wasn’t I supposed to be on my own for this one, and when I got any leads, I’d get in contact with you?”

“Yes, that was the plan or, rather, your plan.” John nodded.

“So what’s so important you would risk my cover?”

“We found out some important news today and thought you’d want to know.” John picked up the oil lamp and started blowing on it lightly, observing the reflective, flickering light bounce from one side of the wall to the other.

“Well?” How she hated it when he started something and then stopped midway, leaving her hanging.

John laughed as the light almost went out when he blew a bit too hard.

Huffing, she walked up to him and took the lamp away. “Stop that.” Placing it on the other side of the bureau, she asked again. “Well, what’s the news?”

“We found out today they’ve hired new expressmen for the train.” Mat lifted his brow, looking at John.

Belle began to pace, her mind churned in many directions. “Oh, they did?”

“Two men from Texas. They go by the names Trevor Kent and James Sanford.”

“What?” She widened her eyes.

“They go by the names Trevor Kent—”

Before he could continue, she lifted her hand to quiet him. “I don’t believe it.”

“Believe what?” John asked, looking perplexed.

Thinking out loud, she continued. “So they are the new expressmen. Now isn’t that interesting.”

Both John and Mat looked at each other, frowning, then returned their gazes back to her.

“What’s so interesting about it?” They spoke in unison.

She needed to think…alone. John and Mat were distracting her.

Getting up, she walked over to the window and, as slowly and silently as she could, slid it open. “You two have to leave now before someone walks by and hears I’m not alone in here. I don’t want to draw any more attention to myself than I already have.”

They looked at her with their mouths open in shock.

“Are you serious?” John asked.

“Yes, now scoot out of here.”

Mat pointed his finger at her as a smile widened his mouth. “I know that look. You’re on to something, aren’t you, Belle?”

“Maybe.” She shrugged.

“Then tell us,” John begged.

“Not just yet, I can’t. As soon as I know more, I’ll get in contact with you both. Okay?”

“Oh, all right. I guess we don’t have a choice.” Mat nodded, looking disappointed.

Pulling the curtain to the side, gesturing them to exit, she said simply, “No.”

“Fine,” John added and bent to get out the window.

Mat didn’t look at her, just urged her as he got out. “The minute you know, you’ll come tell us, right? And you’ll be careful, too?”

Not saying a word, fearing someone could hear them outside and come looking to see who was making noise, she nodded.

When they made it down to the ground a few minutes later, she closed the window and leaned on the wall. Gazing up to the ceiling, she bit her lip nervously. A metallic taste on her tongue told her she made a tiny gash in her lip, and she bled slightly.

Licking her lip to stop the flow, she walked over to her top bureau drawer to get her nightgown.

Her instincts had been right about the handsome, mysterious duo. A lot more was going on with them than they let on. Why would they come all the way from Texas to work on the train? And of all the jobs to get there, they got the expressmen’s jobs. How convenient they’d know the combination of the safe and have easy access to all the gold, money, and bonds stored on the train.

While beginning to undress, her hands did the movements, but her mind roamed a million miles away. “I was right about you boys. You’re up to something, and I need to find out what.”

Once she changed into her cotton nightdress, she slipped under the covers and snuggled to get warm.

“And the perfect time to do that will be tomorrow night. Whoever came up with the motto ‘divide and conquer’ was a genius. Together, boys, you’ve got each other’s back, but alone, your vulnerabilities will show.”

She rolled over to face the window and whispered as she closed her eyes, smirking, “Get ready for tomorrow night, Trevor, because I’ll certainly be. I’ve got a nice surprise in store for you. Maybe even two.”

* * *

Trevor knew where his mind headed and just let it lead him, enjoying the trip.

His eyes had gotten heavy after the voices in Belle’s room ceased and James turned out the oil lamp’s flame, going to bed. He did the same and surprisingly fell into sleep instantly.

As darkness enveloped his conscious, his subconscious awakened.

The knock was faint but distinguishable. James looked at him through sleepy eyes and mumbled, “Will you get it, Trev?”

Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he got up slowly and stretched, yawning. He couldn’t have been asleep for more than five minutes when the sound awoke him. Walking over to the door, he opened it, not knowing whom to expect.

To his delight, the vision that waited behind the door took his breath away. She stood there dressed in a sheer nightgown with her housecoat open, teasing him with the curves of her breasts and hips. A look of terror shadowed her eyes.

She lifted her brow and whispered, “I’m sorry to wake you, Trevor, but I heard a noise outside my room, and when I went to look, I thought I saw someone running away. I got scared.”

At first, he couldn’t draw his attention from her body. She obviously didn’t realize how much of her curves showed through the sheer garment, and he wasn’t about to tell her, primarily because he didn’t want to embarrass her, but also because he couldn’t. Her dark areolas peeked at him every time she leaned to either side, fidgeting, mesmerizing him. Heaven have mercy!

Struggling with his stupor, he finally mustered enough strength to break his fixed stare. He pushed the door open to welcome her in and stuck his head out to look down the corridor. It was vacant.

“I don’t see anyone there.”

She shivered with fright as she stood between his and James’s bed, waiting. “I know someone was there. I’m so scared.” She began to cry.

James threw the covers off himself and rushed to her side. He hugged her, rubbing her back. “Shh, Belle, no one is going to hurt you. Me and Trevor are here to protect you.”

She rested her head on his shoulder, and her tears subsided slightly. Trevor walked up behind her to caress her beautiful, silky, soft black hair. “That’s right, Belle, we’re here for you.”

She turned her head to him and, quickly wiping the tears from her eyes, she smiled. “Thank you both. I feel so safe here with you.” And to Trevor’s utter pleasure, she let go of James and twirled around to hug him. He hugged her back, his excitement rising higher and ever stronger with the mounting of his drumming heartbeat.

God, she felt amazing in his arms, so soft, so fragile and vulnerable, so feminine and alluring. He gazed deep into her blue eyes, wiping away the few tears that remained, and he imagined taking the embrace to the next level.

He envisioned bringing his lips softly down on hers—her warm, full lips that he longed to kiss, suckle—as well as her plump, luscious breasts. Heaven help him, being without female companionship for the past couple of months certainly weakened his willpower. And her vulnerability softened his heart. Her fervid body rubbing against his and her exquisite perfume tickling his nose acted as aphrodisiacs.

His cock became erect, and heat built within him. He yearned to take this further, to the next level, before his body exploded or he went mad with desire. But he mustn’t. He shouldn’t take advantage of her vulnerable state.

She clung so tightly to him that her heaving made her breasts rub against his chest. Her sheer garment hardly acted like a barrier. It felt like they were bare skin to bare skin. Thinking of anything other than making love to this beautiful woman became impossible. His skin turned sweaty, and his heart felt as if it would burst out of his chest with his body rising in frenzy and arousal.

When she brought her delicate hand to his chest, it scorched his skin. He needed to get his bearings before things went too far. He needed to bring her back to her room before ‘he took’ things too far.

Panting, he broke their embrace, asking, “Why don’t I go back to your room and check if the coast is clear?”

She moaned and shook her head as fear returned to her beautiful blue eyes. “No. I’m too scared to go back there. Can I stay here with you?”

Seeing the fear in her eyes, how could he deny her wish? Trying to tame his sexual urges, he replied, “Sure, Belle. You can sleep on my bed and I’ll sleep on James’s. And James can go sleep in your room.”

She glanced at James, stating, “It could be dangerous.”

“Whoever it was isn’t there anymore. Besides, James can take care of himself.” Trevor gazed at his friend.

His partner nodded. “Belle, don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.” He walked over to the door and said “Goodnight” without looking back.

When he shut the door behind him, Trevor gazed at her. “I guess we should go to sleep now. You must be tired.” He headed toward James’s bed as he saw from his peripheral vision she began to take off her housecoat The wheels in his head spun crazily while he imagined himself turning and catching a glimpse of her perfect naked body through the sheer garment. But no matter how he yearned to look at her, he shouldn’t. He might not be able to control what would happen next.

Just when he got to the edge of James’s bed, she said, “Would you mind sleeping on this bed, with me, Trevor? I’m too scared to sleep alone.”

Good God, was this some sort of test? Did the good Lord send this beautiful damsel in distress to show him how weak He made him? To lie next to her and not make love to her would be impossible. But gazing into her face, he realized that she needed comfort and security, and if that meant he’d have to curb his sexual desires and lie down with her on the same bed, then so be it. He’d pat himself on the back in the morning for having so much self control.

“Sure, Belle.”

He walked over to her as she got into the bed. Her dark right nipple stood erect rubbing against the lucid garment and his eyes fixed on it as his cock hardened still. Diverting his gaze to the wall behind her and taking a deep breath, he slipped into the bed and turned his back to her intoxicating body.

She fidgeted and then whispered in a sweet voice, “Do you mind holding me?”

That was it. He had come to the end of his rope of abstinence. Did she realize what all of this was doing to him?

He nodded, not uttering another word because he feared his voice would crack from how much stress he experienced at this moment.

When he turned to her, he saw her big, beautiful eyes gazing at him, and he stared back transfixed.

“Trevor,” she whispered as she cuddled closer to him. Her taut, plump breast came to rest on his ribcage as her perfume intoxicated him. Lord, but she smelled delicious.

“Yes?” he asked with tension in his voice.

“Make love to me.”

He hadn’t expected her to ask him that, but damn was he ecstatic when she did. Every inch of his excited body and naughty mind had him fantasizing about making love to her. He yearned to touch her luscious breasts that beaconed for his caresses and sink his cock into her hot, wet pussy. He wanted this more than he wanted anything in life.

“All right,” he said without hesitation.

She hadn’t broken eye contact. But when he came in closer, she did, staring at his lips. Then she bit her lower one. Heaven help him, but her every act increased his sexual appetite, and he brought his lips down hard on hers.

A sigh of desire escaped her slightly parted, warm lips, and she leaned in closer to him. He brought his hand up, cupping her plump breast through the garment. Her taut nipple slid closer to his palm as she thrust her body forward, and she trembled when he squeezed it. He pinched and rubbed the nipple until she moaned in pleasure.

His body heat augmented with every breath he took, and soon the covers became encumbering and suffocating. He kicked the blanket off of them. Cool air tickled his damp skin. Now finally free to move, he slid on top of her while his tongue twirled with hers in a dance of mating.

She rubbed his back, widening her legs. Her breathing became heavy, and he swore he could hear her heart beat faster with every second, almost as fast as his raced. She delicately sank her nails into his back and inched her way lower.

Shivers of ecstasy traveled through his body with the friction, making the hairs on his neck and his limbs stand on end and his cock stiffen. It hardened and extended, demanding encroachment into her sweet, delectable passage.

When her hands reached his underpants and she began to pull them downward, he lifted his lower body to aid her in her endeavor while he did the same to her sheer gown. He gazed down at her pelvis, licking his lips when the transparent garment rose inch by agonizing inch up to her waist.

Once she liberated his cock, it sprang out and the cool air made it harden even more. Her eyes opened in obvious appreciation. He couldn’t help but smile at having met her approval. She dipped lower to touch it in curiosity when he grasped her hand to stop her movement.

It wasn’t time for distractions. And her hand on his manhood would be the greatest distraction of all. No, right now, he needed to concentrate on her.

Without speaking, he dipped down and began to lick her abdomen, heading downward. Her salty skin made him hunger for her even more. Goose pimples formed on her skin from his licks, and she shivered, moaning. He crawled backward to the foot of the bed and pushed her legs wider. Goose flesh of excitement formed on her legs now, too, as he rubbed them up and down.

Bringing his attention back to her face, he noticed her eyebrows lifted in curiosity. Did she know what he planned to do to her now? She must have a general idea, but he was sure she wouldn’t expect it to be so satisfying. His years of experience with the ladies had made him an expert at pleasure. She’d soon whimper with ecstasy.

A gaze at her moist pussy and he moaned at the delicious sight. He touched her gently there, and she spread her legs wider while she bit her lip and teased her erect nipples with her hands. Seeing her pleasure herself in that way made pre-cum seep out of his cock as it stood high, waiting to enter her tight, hot passage when the time was right. When he had made her climax by his oral ministrations.

Bending to bring his mouth to her clit, he was about to touch her swollen, excited, and wet nub when a male voice said, “Trevor.”

Suddenly, Belle and her delectable pussy disappeared and Trevor jumped at the voice. He turned his head to see James had come back in and stood right behind him.

Damn!

James placed his hands on his shoulders and shook him

“Trevor, it’s late. Get up.”

His arousal instantly dwindled to a mere spark that completely extinguished as sleep drifted off and consciousness took its place. Opening his eyes, trying to push the fogginess away, he focused on his partner’s face. Complete disappointment.

Rubbing his eyes to erase the up-close image of his friend’s unshaven face, he sat up. “What time is it?”

James straightened, walked over to his bed, picked up a clean pair of socks and underwear he had lying there, and then strode to the door. “Three to seven. I’m going to get ready and then head down for breakfast. I suggest you get started, too, or you’ll miss it.”

Stretching, Trevor nodded. “I heard you. I’m getting up.”

Once James exited, closing the door behind him, Trevor stood and placed his ear to the wall separating their room from Belle’s. The dream had been so erotic. Dreaming of her in that wanton state had him still aroused. Tonight, while James would be busy searching her room for any leads and then heading back to the train station to test out the safe, he planned on seeing just how hot the real Belle could get when fully excited.

Chapter 4

Frustrated, Belle stared in her closet and sighed. She couldn’t decide what to wear this evening. It was already six forty-five. The entire day, thoughts of Trevor and James preoccupied her mind. Her instincts told her they were in Fort Smith for a reason other than work. Their auras screamed of this.

That inner voice that warned her that things weren’t always what they seemed hadn’t ever been wrong before, and she doubted it would be this time either. No, they were definitely up to something, and tonight she planned to get to the bottom of it, using all her charms as her aids in extracting the truth.

Once she decided on one of the most alluring dresses she had hanging in the closet, she huffed and drew courage from within. She slipped into it and tied the back bodice as tight as she could. It was low cut, and she feared if she took a very deep breath, she’d plum pop out of it. She dabbed on her favorite perfume and added some rouge to her lips and cheeks. She dampened her hair earlier, making her natural curls softer and more bouncy as they cascaded down her shoulders and back.

Normally, she wouldn’t dare to dress so provocatively, but desperate times called for desperate measures. And she direly yearned to know what Trevor and his partner were hiding. Locking her door behind her, she headed downstairs. Butterflies fluttered uncontrollably in her stomach as she descended the stairs and saw Trevor and James together. Gosh, they both were so handsome, each in his own distinct and charismatic way.

If given the choice of whom to date, she wouldn’t be able to decide. Both of them made her heartbeat speed up and her breathing shallower. If it had been James who had asked her on a date instead of Trevor, she would have accepted and been as delighted. But Trevor was the one who made the first move, and when his stare came to rest on her as she took another step on the stairs, her legs became weak.

The hungry look in his eyes as his gaze travelled from her face, down her body, and back up to her bosom had her swooning. Oh my, but this night would definitely be intense if the wayward look in his eyes were any indication.

* * *

Trevor barely heard anything James said in the past ten minutes. His mind hovered a million miles away. Thanks to last night’s bewitching dream, all he could think about was his date with Belle and how he’d charm her. The lady oozed charisma, innocence, beauty, and grace. Her shyness entranced him, and he ached to break through that coy, reserved barrier she built around herself and see the real her.

Checking his pocket watch once again, James remarked, “So the plan is clear?”

“Hmm, what, partner?”

James lifted his gaze in exasperation and sighed. “You haven’t been paying attention, have you?”

Trevor rubbed the back of his neck and squinted while giving him a sideways, guilty look. “Well, not really.”

“I knew it from that lovey-dovey look in your eyes that your mind was on something else.”

“Sorry, James, but I can’t help it.” Trevor shrugged.

James leaned on the wall. “I don’t blame you. I’d be acting the same way if I’d be spending time with Belle tonight.” He combed his fingers through his hair. “But don’t let her looks or seductive ways fool you, Trev. Remember who you are dealing with. Wild LaRue is unscrupulous and slyer than Jesse James. She’ll tear out your heart and serve it to the posse if you let her.”

Nodding, Trevor responded, “I still have my doubts about her being LaRue, but I admit she isn’t a simple saloon singer, either. There is much more to the lady than meets the eye.”

“Uh-huh.” James sighed.

“Okay, so what’s the plan again?” Trevor asked,

“While you’re distracting her, I’ll check out her room and see if I can come up with any leads. Once I’m finished there, I’ll head back to the train and check out the safe.” He poked Trevor’s chest lightly. “And you’ll try to get more information out of her about her past and when she came here. See if you can catch any holes in her story and then start digging deeper there.”

“Okay, partner.” Trevor sensed someone watched him. He turned around just in time to see Belle descend the staircase. He gulped as he took in every inch of her gorgeous body and stride as she got closer.

“Heaven, mercy!”

James’s gaze followed his and his mouth fell open. “I’ll second that.”

They both advanced to the foot of the winding staircase and took off their cowboy hats. James sported a huge grin, and Trevor wondered if he wore the same expression on his face.

When she got to the bottom, her smile widened. “Howdy, boys.”

James replied as he took her hand to kiss the back of it. “Good evening, Belle. You look so pretty.”

Trevor elbowed him. “Pretty is too mild a word.” He took her hand and kissed it, letting his lips linger a little longer on her sweet-smelling skin. “Belle, you’re the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. You’re graceful, musically gifted, and smart. Perfect in every way possible.” And he meant every word.

She blushed deeply, gazing at the ground. “Oh, thanks for the compliment.”

Glancing at James and seeing the fixated, admiring look in his eyes, Trevor coughed. “James, shouldn’t you be getting ready for work?”

Taking a big breath, James turned to him. “Oh, I almost forgot.” Heading for the stairs, he added, “You two take your time and have fun tonight. Trev, don’t worry about me. With all I have to do this evening, I won’t be back until late in the night.”

Belle’s brow lifted, and a curious look came on. “Oh, that late. What is it you and Trevor do, anyway?”

James’s eyes shifted for just a second. “Oh, nothing much, just some maintenance here and there.”

“Maintenance on what?”

“Anything and everything our boss can think of.” James fidgeted.

Trevor saw his partner falling and jumped in for the rescue. “Ah, Belle, we best be going if we want to make it on time to eat. I’m sure the saloon’s kitchen doesn’t stay open long.”

Still frowning in confusion, she replied, “You’re right, Trevor.” She glanced at James. “Have fun at work, James. Hope the tasks won’t be too tiring.”

James had ascended to midway up the staircase by now. “Oh, no, the work will be pretty fun, actually. Have a nice evening, the two of you.”

Trevor placed his hand on her back and guided her to the door. “Shall we go?”

She grinned and looped her arm in his, gazing into his eyes. “Yes, of course.”

Stepping out the door to the inn, Trevor glanced at her while they walked. Her allure enamored him, and he doubted he’d be able to concentrate on spying tonight. His mind had much more pressing things to consider, like how she actually looked without that dress on.

* * *

He couldn’t help gaping while he listened to her sweet words. He never figured Belle knew so much about history, culture, and many other things. It certainly was an unexpected, refreshing delight.

They arrived at Sherry’s saloon twenty minutes earlier and the place had been packed. But lucky for them, Belle knew Sherry, and when Sherry’s daughter saw them come in, she arranged for them to have the first available table the second it became vacant. Within five minutes, they got seats at a corner table where they could talk and enjoy their meals and each other’s company in quiet privacy.

Sitting just across from her at the narrow table, he couldn’t help but admire her beauty up close. The bright lighting in the room allowed him to actually see the finer details of her features and skin. He hadn’t noticed that her mesmerizing blue eyes also had specks of brown surrounding each pupil and that her long, black eyelashes twitched slightly when she batted them. Oh, it beguiled him so.

He also didn’t before note that she had a tiny mole on her face, close to her right ear. Her smile enchanted him. She had perfectly straight, pearl-white teeth that sparkled when she smiled. And her lips, well, he already noticed them the night before, admiring their fullness, softness, and red color. But tonight, having her so close to him and seeing her lips move with every word she spoke, had him leaning in closer so he could register each movement and imagine how it would feel to kiss those enticing, sinful lips.

Taking a deep breath, he tried to remember why he brought her here. Images of James hounding him if he got back to the room with no further lead on their mysterious neighbor–saloon singer urged him on. James could be a real pain in the ass when he wanted. And when James obsessed on a case, Trevor knew James wouldn’t rest until all the loose threads had been resolved. James was so sure Belle was the notorious, ruthless outlaw.

He had his doubts, but his dubiety shouldn’t be the issue here tonight. The fact remained Belle could very well be Wild Isabelle LaRue, and they needed to extinguish or prove that theory  soon before another train robbery occurred under their surveillance.

The captain sent them down here to check out the past robberies, and if LaRue was really behind them all. But he also expected him and James to prevent any further robberies from happening, thus the reason he got them the expressmen’s jobs on the train.

They’d be protecting the safe and all its valuables on the train. Them and only them. And if all the rumors about LaRue’s cunningness and ruthlessness were true, they had to be alert and observant constantly.

He heard she could outsmart any man and that she and her posse loved to walk around among the town people, posing as regular folks. This way they could get all the information they needed on the local lawmen and the train workers before they committed their heists.

Yes, that sounded logical. And now as he stared at the gorgeous saloon singer before him, he thought that just maybe James had been right and she could very well be Wild Isabelle LaRue. She could be working him right at this very moment without him even realizing it.

Coughing to clear the lump of air that lodged in his throat as he pondered over his dilemma, he thought it high time for the investigating to begin.

“So, Belle, you haven’t yet told me how you got the job at Eden’s Paradise. You came to town a few months back, didn’t you?”

She looked behind him, and her brows furrowed slightly as her face took on a serious tone.

She remained silent a few seconds and then replied, “Yes, I came to town about two months back.” She took a breath and continued. “I guess getting the job at Eden’s Paradise was pure luck. I was passing by and heard they were looking for a singer and, well, I went in and asked for the owner or manager.

“That’s when Mr. Petry asked me to sing in front of the crowd. Not many people were in the saloon at the time, so I didn’t mind trying out then. He liked my singing and Sally did, too. I think it was her coaxing that convinced him to hire me on the spot.”

Returning her gaze back at him, she finished with, “That’s about it.” She took a sip of her water, peering intently over the rim at him. He saw assertiveness in her stare. Mmm, he liked it.

Placing her glass down, she smiled and nodded while leaning forward. Her cleavage teased him as the front of her bodice dipped with her body. When she took a deep breath and her mounds lifted, then sank, his eyes opened wider of their own accord, and he hoped she hadn’t noticed. All his resolve and probing focus went out the window when his manly urges surfaced, taking over his body and brain. His breathing became shallow with the tightening of his throat, and he fidgeted, trying to regain his breath and hide his erection, which he knew could be visible if she peeked at the crotch of his pants.

When he saw her gaze come to rest there, he knew he had been caught.

* * *

It was now or never. All her planning and plotting she had been obsessing about all day long and she had yet to get anything out of him. She certainly hadn’t expected to be so dazzled by him, or that they would see eye to eye on several issues. And according to him, she and James also had the same philosophy on life. How interesting.

These handsome, mysterious men just kept surprising her. Maybe that was the reason why she completely forgot about her ploy. Maybe. Or maybe it had to do with his bewitching stare. She couldn’t help gazing into his dreamy brown eyes and getting lost.

She caught Greta ogling him several times when they first got here. Sherry’s daughter had been overly hospitable this evening, going out of her way to get them a table quickly. She had never done that before, especially not in five minutes flat, a world record for her, no doubt.

And after they were seated, she kept glancing over at him while she served other tables. Could she be any more obvious? Frankly, she found it outright rude of Greta to behave in such an unladylike manner. She had half a mind to get up the next time Greta ogled him from afar and tell her to stop it. That was no way for a young lady to behave.

But the fact Trevor hadn’t even noticed her made her think twice before doing it. She’d look pretty foolish getting up out of the blue and going over to reprimand the young lady. Why, it’d look like she was jealous. Jealous? Her? Never.

Taking a sip of water, she stared at him and decided it was time she forgot about Greta and got down to the business at hand. And that was finding out who Trevor and James really were and the real reason they came here.

She leaned forward and gave him a warm smile. She noted his eyes fixed on her bosom then, and when she saw the bulge of his manhood rise in his pants, well, she knew she had him.

Ordinarily, she felt uncomfortable when men leered at her at the saloon. In fact, it repulsed her, but she endured it because she had no choice. That was all part of the game. It came with being a saloon girl singer. She had to accept it and live with their stares. Quitting was out of the question. She needed to be there to be the eyes and ears of the operation. So she just ignored it and went on performing night after night.

But this evening was a totally different story. Trevor’s heated stare made her skin tingle and her heart skip a beat. Why, it even made butterflies flutter in her stomach and her legs weak. And staring at his excited erection made her pussy quiver and undergarments wet with arousal as she imagined his naked body under his attire, his surely muscular chest and arms, and his other enticing attributes.

She inhaled deeply, trying to catch her breath since her lungs had stopped functioning for a second. She folded her hands under her chin. “What exactly do you and James do again? James was vague when I asked him earlier.”

Her words seemed to break his focus, and he slid his gaze from her chest to her face in surprise. “What we do?”

“Yes. Is it a hard job?” She nodded.

He shook his head while looking around. “No, just light manual labor.”

She lifted her brow as curiosity urged her to probe further. “What exactly?”

He huffed. “Boy, I’m starving. When will they be coming to serve us?” He lifted his finger when a saloon girl passed by the table. “Excuse me, miss, but can we order?”

She nodded looking at the table. “Greta didn’t serve you yet. I’ll just go get her.”

“That’d be mighty nice of you, miss.” He smiled.

Oh, he wasn’t going to get away with avoiding the question. She squinted and glared at him. “Well?”

He observed her and grinned while taking her hand. He brought it up to his lips and kissed it, never breaking eye contact. Her breath caught in her throat at the unexpected move on his part.

“I didn’t intend on talking about work this evening, pretty lady. We’re here to enjoy ourselves. And talking about work sure isn’t entertainment to me,” he replied

Before she could respond, Greta came to the table. “I’m so sorry. It’s been so busy.”

Trevor let go of Belle’s hand that instant and looked at Greta. “What do you have to eat?” Greta didn’t respond, but just stood there wearing an obnoxious grin while she gawked at Trevor.

Belle glared up at her. “Well, aren’t you going to answer him?”

The young lady glanced at her and then returned her attention back to Trevor. “I’m sorry. What was the question?”

Belle wanted to curse, but decided to stay quiet when Trevor looked at her to give her a sideways smirk.

“What do you have for dinner?” he asked Greta again.

“Oh, we have fried chicken with potatoes and grits.”

“Now that sounds good. We’ll both have that,” he replied.

Greta grinned and before leaving the table said with a look of embarrassment plastered on her face, “You shouldn’t have to wait long. My ma runs an organized kitchen.”

The minute she left, he laughed lightly. “The young lady seems to have gotten under your skin, Belle.”

“Why would you say that?” She opened her eyes wide and heat rose to her cheeks.

“Well, the frown on your face when she waited at the table gave me a clue.”

Think, Belle, think.

What could she respond to that? Certainly not the truth. When she gazed at him again, she saw a wide smirk spread over his features. Hmm, so he toyed with her. An excellent deflection to her previous question.

Taking a gulp of water, she waited for the perfect reply to come to mind and thank God it did. “Well, she had interrupted our conversation. You were going to tell me what exactly was yours and James’s job.”

He shook his head. “Pretty lady, you sure are persistent.”

“Sometimes.” She nodded.

He lifted his brow and bent forward, whispering, “I like that.” Leaning back in his chair, he replied, “If I answer your question, do you promise you won’t ask me any more questions about work?”

“I swear.” She lifted her hand.

Taking a huff, he replied, “We work on the train. Light maintenance work.”

“Oh” was all that came out of her mouth. She certainly wasn’t expecting the complete truth, but somehow she expected a more elaborate lie.

Dumbfounded, she focused on her folded hands resting on the table. She prodded her mind, hoping her next move would come to her, but it didn’t. For the first time in her life, she was stumped as to what to do or say next.

* * *

He intended to make his move as they walked back to the inn. But circumstances made his plan impossible to accomplish. For a small town, Fort Smith had its share of people. Everywhere he looked, he saw people traveling in wagons, on horseback, or walking. He needed to go someplace isolated where they could finally be alone.

Once their meals had come at the saloon, they ate and talked for an hour more about anything under the sun. He marveled at how easily conversation came to them. They had many interests in common. And on further reflection, he realized the same could be said about James. If he had been on this date instead of him, Trevor was sure Belle would have had the same ease conversing with James as she did with him.

And as promised, Belle didn’t ask him any more questions about work. He found it odd she obsessed on it for some time. His suspicions rose with her persistence. Did this mean she really was Wild Isabelle LaRue? Not really, but it did tell him she sure as hell wasn’t just a singer. She was too smart to be just that.

Gazing at her now while they walked at a slow gait, he extended his arm and meshed his fingers with hers. Her warm, soft hand squeezing his back gently made his heart open up a notch more to her, and for a split second, he experienced bewilderment with the sentiment. But the sensation dissipated when she turned her face to him and smiled. He stared at her full, soft, red lips and yearned to kiss her and see how they felt.

“Sherry’s was great. Thanks for being with me this evening, Belle. I had an amazing time and enjoyed getting to know more about you,” he said.

“You’re welcome. I had fun, too. But now I’m stuffed.”

Raising his brow, he said, “Well, since this is a beautiful night for walking , the moonlight super bright, why don’t you give me a tour?”

“All right. If we turn on that road up ahead, it’ll lead us to the market and shops.” She scanned the area.

He shook his head. “No, Belle, I was thinking of someplace we could walk alone and talk. Enjoy each other’s company some more without having a crowd around us.”

“Oh.” Her eyes widened. “Well, the small woodland behind the inn would be perfect for that. There aren’t many trees to hide the moonlight, so we’ll be able to see where we’re walking, and since the land belongs to the inn, we can walk in there without being disturbed.”

He let go of her hand and wrapped his arm around her waist as he guided her behind the inn. “Now that is the perfect suggestion.”

She giggled and he found it adorable. Sometimes, she seemed like two different women—the innocent, shy Belle, and the enchanting vixen that she let surface only briefly when she looked at him.

Once they were alone with no one to spy on them, he guided them toward a tree.

“This is much better. Although I had a great time at the saloon, the food was delicious, I couldn’t wait to be alone with you.” He stared deep into her eyes. By moonlight, they sparkled like bewitching stars. “You’re smart, funny, and so beautiful, Belle.”

Instead of bowing her head in timidity, this time she leaned on the trunk behind her and reciprocated his stare while saying in a whisper, “Thank you, Trevor. I can same the same for you.”

“Oh, you find me beautiful, too?” He laughed.

“No! I meant smart and funny.” She gazed down with a look of embarrassment.

“Then I’m ugly?” he jested as he lifted her chin, forcing her to stare into his eyes again.

Her obvious bashfulness dissipated with his remark and she smiled at him. She focused first on his left eye, then his right, bringing her gaze down to his nose and then his lips.

With her stare centered on his lips, she replied in a sultry voice, “No, not at all. You are very handsome.”

“You find me handsome. Good.” Her enticing tone and hungry eyes induced his next move. He brought his arms on either side of her so she was trapped. Not that he thought she would run. She definitely wanted this, him. The way she fixed her gaze on his lips, licking her own, he knew she wanted him to kiss her, which was what he had been thinking from the second he saw her coming down the inn stairs earlier.

He bent down, bringing his eager lips close to hers. With his mouth a mere inch away from hers, he lifted his hand, caressing her soft curls. They felt like strands of silk sliding through his fingers. This close to her, the sweet fragrance of her perfume reminded him of fresh cut grass and he became utterly captivated by her. He dipped in closer, touching his lips to hers, and waves of electric arousal surged through their contact into his body, making shivers travel through his back, down to his legs.

His cock rose and thickened with desire. His constrictive underwear and pants rubbed against its head, and he tried to control a passionate moan from escaping his lips while he took the kiss further.

He pushed her lips open, and when his tongue met hers, he took a deep breath, wrapping his arms around her, crushing her body to his. His hardened cock pushed against her pelvis, and he swore he almost lost his willpower then. And although her dress had a frilly hoop skirt, he knew she could feel his arousal because she wrapped her arms around his neck and let out a soft, pleasing groan and breath while her tongue played along with his, enticing him to continue.

Her warm exhale tickled his chin. He could feel the rise of her bosom then and yearned to gaze upon it.

Freeing her mouth and pushing her hair behind her shoulders, he glided his lips down her neck and shoulders. She licked her lips and sighed. He sensed goose pimples form on her skin because of his heated breath and inched his way down to the top of her mounds that rested in temptation for him.

The same perfume he smelled on her neck assaulted him then. She obviously dabbed some between her breasts. And the fact she added some to that strategic place told him she expected him to take things beyond just kissing this evening. And by God, he’d wholeheartedly meet her expectations and more.

Imagining her naked in her room earlier, dabbing the perfume behind her ears and between her luscious, plump breasts made him crazy. He pulled her bodice toward him while he slipped his tongue to taste the skin between her plump breasts. In the moonlight, he could see the curve of each beautiful breast and the edge of her nipples. Her skin smelled of roses and her audible heartbeat made his tongue vibrate as he explored the warm skin. Mmm, it tasted sinfully, deliciously salty.

She threw her head back, moaning in delight. “Oh, Trevor.”

Before he could undo her bodice to fully get to those heavenly breasts, he heard voices.

People approached.

Of all the damn luck in the world, someone decided to come here now, right when he and Belle were getting so intimate.

Moving away from her, he took a deep, controlling inhale of air to calm his surging desire. As a couple came closer, he realized they planned to do what he and Belle started doing.

Great.

Turning his attention back to her, he bent to her ear and whispered, “So much for us being alone now. Since James won’t be back for quite some time, why don’t we continue this in my room?”

A breathless Belle stared at the couple and nodded. “All right.”

As they passed the couple, the man leered at Belle, admiring her cleavage, and with a lifted brow, nodded at Trevor, smiling. He gave him his silent approval.

Both Belle and the stranger’s partner hadn’t noticed, but it irked Trevor just the same that the swine would look in such a way at Belle when she was with Trevor and he had his own hand wrapped around his lady’s waist.

The vulgar gesture was uncalled for. He wanted to punch him and show him the right way to treat a woman. But then he decided it wouldn’t be a good idea because he didn’t want Belle to find out that the pig looked at her with such disrespect.

She deserved far better than that. And once he got her alone in his room, he’d show her exactly how a beautiful, exciting, witty, and smart woman like herself should be treated.

* * *

Just holding his hand as he guided her up the stairs had her panting. Her lips still throbbed from his assault on them moments earlier, and her neck and bosom tingled from his kisses, as well. Anticipating what lay ahead when they got to his room made her lungs restrict her breathing. Was it anxiousness and arousal or the dread of what she needed to do that spurred her emotions? Probably all three. His dashing good looks and charismatic behavior made her giddy. No doubt she had fallen under his spell, but she needed to keep her wits.

As she stepped foot on the landing of the second floor, her resolution empowered her and her goal became clear once again. She needed to find out the real reason why these enigmatic men were in Fort Smith. They certainly weren’t here for work. There lay something far more intricate behind their arrival. And if her inkling was right, it had to do with why she came here to Fort Smith.

Trevor turned to look at her with his dreamy eyes then. “Now that no one is around, we can get back to this.” He looped his arms around her waist, pulling her in for a deep, hungry kiss. Her analytical thoughts instantly dissolved then, and her mind wandered to more physical things, like how good his scorching, full lips felt on hers and how his chest crushed her breasts, making her nipples perk with the pressure.

He lifted her off her feet with his tight grip around her midsection and carried her to his room while never releasing her lips. She gasped and giggled in surprise. She liked his assertiveness.

She felt his strong arms under his shirt as he advanced to his door, and she hungered to tear his shirt off him and actually touch his skin, see his muscular body—arms, chest, abdomen, and everything else that made him the virile, gorgeous man he was.

When he halted at the room next to hers, he leaned her on the door and whispered through his slightly open lips, “We’re here.”

Her eyes widened, and she pushed her face away from his to turn to see exactly where “here” was.

Sure enough, her inkling had been accurate. “We’re neighbors?”

He rested her gently back on to her feet and smiled while he stuck his hand in his pants pocket. “Uh-huh. Nice coincidence, isn’t it?”

He took his key out and was about to place it into the hole when the door opened by its own accord. Or so Belle thought until she saw the most mesmerizing green eyes staring at her.

“James, you’re already back,” Trevor responded before anything registered in her mind.

James kept his eyes fixed on her as he replied, “Yes, the jobs were a lot easier than I expected.”

She tried to tear her stare away but couldn’t. James held her gaze locked, and she found herself suspended in speech and thought, just marveling at his perfect facial features and eyes of a deep green. So beautiful.

“Belle, would you like us to go someplace else, then?” Trevor took her hand.

The trance she fell under broke then, and she focused on her just-as-handsome date beside her.

Before she could reply, James interrupted. “Don’t change your plans. Please come in.”

Trevor frowned, looking perplexed and angered, but when James shot him a stern look, his expression changed to one of comprehension.

“Belle, how about we all enjoy a drink together?”

“Um…o–okay.” She fumbled with her words.

James smiled brightly, stepping aside to welcome her in. “Come right in, Belle.”

She took a hesitant step forward, but an inner voice screamed for her to stop. Her mind spun in many directions, and then finally settled on one train of thought.

As the idea solidified, she replied, “Why don’t you boys get my drink ready and I’ll be back in real quick? I’d like to freshen up beforehand.”

They both beamed while Trevor responded, “Great.” He grabbed her hand and dipped in to kiss her on the lips. It was gentle but hardly sweet. It spoke volumes of his sexual hunger. “See you soon.”

Her lips briefly followed his as he moved away, leaving her stunned and utterly flustered. Then she took a deep breath and pushed her hair out of her face.

While mumbling, “Mmhmm,” she walked away from the bewitching, handsome duo to her room.

When she finally stepped inside her sanctum, she sighed to settle her wanton, raging urges. She fanned her face and chest with her purse to cool off her heated skin.

Focus, Belle, focus.

She needed to get her bearings centered once more. God, when she first concocted this hoax, she never expected it would be so complicated. With all the other schemes she brewed up, she never had any problems. Everything went according to plan.

But not this time. No, hardly according to plan this time around. Then again, there hadn’t been a Trevor Kent or James Sanford in the past to turn her world upside down.

She glanced at the adjoining wall as she thought of them. While she stared, something sprung in her mind and her heart jumped into her throat with worry.

“I wonder. Did you boys hear anything last night?” she pondered as her hands began to perspire.

She walked over to the wall, taking her empty water glass from her night table. “If I can hear what you two are saying, then I know you heard John and Mat talking to me last night.” Placing the glass to her ear, she perked her sense of hearing and remained silent…

“So what did you find out, James?” It was Trevor’s voice coming through, barely audible, but she heard it clearly just the same.

“Nothing. I couldn’t find anything. It was clean as a whistle,” James responded.

“Hmm, so what do we do now?” Trevor mused.

“Well—”

Suddenly, the glass slipped from her hands and fell to the floor, shattering into pieces. Damn! She should have dried her sweaty palms before picking up the glass. Placing her ear to the wall, she tried to continue to eavesdrop. But unfortunately, the thickness of the wall acted as a barrier and the voices came through muffled, incoherent.

Double damn!

She paced the narrow room while her mind reeled with possibilities.

“Did you hear anything last night, boys?” she repeated to herself as she brought her hand to her mouth. “And what do you mean ‘It was clean as a whistle’? What was clean as a whistle?” Somehow, she doubted it had to do with work. Or did it?

Tapping her forefinger on her lips, she twirled on her heel to pace the other way.

It was clean as a whistle.

The words kept ringing in her ears. Yet, no answer came to her. An aura of danger, and excitement hovered over these men. And for the life of her, she couldn’t get them out of her mind for many reasons.

After walking back and forth for what seemed like forever, she stopped, realizing the answer wouldn’t come to her. She needed to go to it. The source. The men who intrigued her and made her insides feel like mush. Maybe they’d let something important slip out given the right circumstances.

Okay, it all became clear to her now. Taking a deep breath of resolve, she blew her hair out of her face and stood her ground.

Boys, it’s high time I turn the tables on you. The sweet and shy Belle is no more. Say hello to Isabelle the seductress. You’re not going to see what’s coming until it’s too late.

Chapter 5

Red and black corsets and petticoats floated in James’s mind. While his imagination soared, he gazed at the plain white wall before him, which acted like a screen. It played the image of her standing, staring at him, wearing only black undergarments and nothing else. She walked to him with open arms, her hungry eyes revealing what she wished from him.

God, his cock sprang in arousal at the thought. He remembered looking through her drawers earlier, searching for any clues and having to examine each and every one of her clothes and undergarments to see if anything lay hidden underneath them or inside them. He couldn’t stop his wandering mind and imagination as he realized her breasts had pressed against the bustier and the petticoats sat between her heavenly legs.

Needless to say, once he finished searching the drawer, his focus dwindled, and although he continued to rummage in her room, he daydreamed of the epitome of beauty named Belle Samson.

When he saw her in the hallway a few minutes ago, he almost lost it. She looked so breathtaking, especially with her swollen, red lips and her dress slightly disheveled. He knew she and Trevor had been hot and intense before he opened the door, and that aroused him all the more. He licked his lips, infatuated with her alluring mouth.

A loud “James, James” made him come back to reality, to the here and now.

“What, Trevor?”

“What are you thinking about? You look like you’re a million miles away.”

“Of this and that.”

Trevor laughed loudly. “Oh, I know what ‘this’ and ‘that’ you’re thinking. It’s written all over your face.”

“I’m that obvious?” James had to smile.

Trevor came to sit beside him on the bed and put his arm around him. “Partner, I was thinking the same thing.”

James stared at him, waiting. “So?”

“So what?” Trevor glanced at him.

“How was the date?”

Trevor took a deep, relaxing breath and then leaned back on the bed to stare at the ceiling. “I told you before, I didn’t get anything out of her that proves she’s Wild LaRue.” Then he beamed serenely. “But she is one smart lady.” He lifted his chin slightly to glance at James. “You know you and her got a lot in common?”

James perked his ears. “Oh? What?”

“A lot of stuff. Philosophy, books, other things.”

“Interesting.”

When Trevor didn’t continue, James coaxed him. “So what else happened on the date?”

“We joked and ate. The food was great.”

James slapped Trevor’s foot when he put it on top of James’s lap. He was in his way as Trevor stretched on the bed. “No, you oaf. I’m talking about kissing her. How was that?”

“Oh, that.” Trevor laughed again.

James got up and jumped onto his bed. He lifted his head and brought it to rest on his palm while he stared at his friend on the other bed. “You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?”

Trevor glanced at him briefly, then averted his attention once again to the ceiling. “Hell, yes.” He gasped. “How do you think it was?”

“Amazing.” A smile spread over James’s mouth.

“Better than amazing. Spectacular, partner. It was simply spectacular. Stars exploded in my mind with every kiss I stole.” He put his hands near his lips to reiterate. “Her lips, gosh, they were so soft, warm, and her tongue…”

“You slipped your tongue in her mouth?”

“And more.” Trevor nodded.

James sat up. He sported an erection now that left him fidgety. “Damn.” His mind roamed once more. He imagined he, not Trevor, was kissing Belle, first caressing her lips with the tips of his fingers and then brushing his mouth over hers, then probing inside it, exploring every valley and mountain. And his tongue would dance with hers, enticing her.

God, his arousal rose when he envisioned fondling her breasts and sliding his hand down every curve until he came to her pussy.

Mercy.

Trevor interrupted his lewd daydream. “We would have gotten to the ‘much more’ after that if you hadn’t been here,” he said when he turned to his side to face James.

“Where was I supposed to go after checking the train?” James shrugged.

“Eden’s Paradise would be a start.”

James got up. His penis strained in his confining pants and by walking, he hoped his erection would soon subside.

“I could have done that. But then I wouldn’t—“

Trevor sprang up to sit in the bed. “You knew I’d bring her back here, didn’t you?”

“Well, yes. I was hoping you would.” James smiled.

Trevor pushed himself to the edge of his bed. He obviously didn’t want to miss any sizzling tidbit James had to throw his way.

“So why did you want to be here when I did?”

“Well, remember I told you I heard that Wild LaRue and her gang were into multiple partners.”

“How could I forget something like that?” Trevor joked.

“Well, why don’t we test this rumor out?”

“How?”

“Use your imagination, Trev.” James gave him a sly grin.

Trevor chuckled. “Partner, your face says it all.” He sat up. “All right, let’s see if those rumors are true.”

He paused and seemed to be lost in thought for a second.

James was compelled to ask, “What’s wrong, Trev?”

Frowning, he replied, “Well, partner, I want to catch Wild LaRue and her gang as much as you do, but a part of me wishes Belle won’t take the bait tonight and she turns out not to be Wild LaRue.”

“Me, too, Trev. Me, too.” James nodded in agreement.

* * *

Trevor sprang to his feet the moment the knock came. “I’ll get it.” He opened the door and his breath got stuck in his throat.

“Sorry I’m late, but I couldn’t decide exactly what to wear. That dress was so uncomfortable, and I wanted to feel more relaxed.”

He tried swallowing his saliva to dislodge the air trapped in his throat, but it didn’t help. His gaze flicked from her beautiful face, down to her exposed porcelain neck, down to her unbelievably low neckline, much lower than the sinful dress she wore earlier had been, if that were possible. God, what he wouldn’t give to unfasten each and every hook and eye in her corset. The blouse she wore under it was transparent, and he could glimpse her milky white mounds.

He guessed that her concealed areolas lay less than an inch below, and her nipples were most probably fully perked and waiting. Given how tightly the bustier enveloped her chest and waist, he wondered what would happen if she took an enormous breath. Her bosom would likely break free of the confining corset.

Heaven mercy.

Trying to hold back his drool, he responded. “Oh, gosh, this certainly was worth the wait.”

She smiled as she came in and placed her hand on his lips, staring deep into his eyes. He brought his lips to hers, and to his delighted surprise, she snaked her tongue into his mouth to caress the inside of his lips and then dance with his tongue.

His cock rose and threatened to pop out of his pants then by the surge of arousal that shot straight to his cock. He brought his arms around her waist, pulling her in, crushing her body to his. And he dipped her partially backward while his tongue dominantly took over in hunger to probe her mouth thoroughly.

She gave out a low, sultry moan and then took an intake of air. It appeared to Trevor she was having a problem breathing. Who wouldn’t, wearing a bustier as tight as that?

A few seconds later, he heard a “Mmhmm.” Then Belle broke the erotic kiss to glance to his left. James stood there sporting the dumbest smile he ever saw. Trevor couldn’t help but grin himself. His partner’s reaction amused him.

James’s gaze trailed over her body starting from her head, down to her neck, chest, waist, and all the way to her feet, while his brow lifted in obvious admiration. “You sure do look lovely in that outfit, Belle.”

She smiled back and said, slightly out of breath, “Why thank you, James.” She looked over to the bureau where they placed the bottle of whiskey, a pitcher of water, and three glasses. “I wouldn’t mind having a drink right about now. I’m awful thirsty.” She sauntered to James’s bed on the other side of the room and sat down looking first at James and then at Trevor.

James was the first to react. “Of course, Belle.” Then he strode over to pour two shots and a glass of water, brought her one, bowing, and grinned slyly. “There you go, sweet lady.’’

She only tilted her head back in response since her corset obviously didn’t allow her much mobility. “Thank you, kind gentleman.”

He handed Trevor his drink and then raised his glass of water in the air. “Here’s to Miss Belle Samson, the most beautiful and talented singer in all of Fort Smith.”

“I’ll second that, James,” Trevor added while noting her blush spreading to both cheeks. He couldn’t tell if she was blushing out of shyness or because of her labored breathing.

“Thank you, boys.” She took a swill of whiskey and then tried to catch her breath.

James snuck a look at Trevor, signaling him to follow his lead while he sat on Belle’s right side.

“So, Belle, you have an amazing voice. How long have you been singing? Were you always a saloon singer?” James asked.

Trevor sat on her left side. “Yes, pretty lady, how long?”

“Been singing since I was a kid. My ma sang in the church choir. She taught me. No, I’ve just been singing in saloons recently.” She took a second large mouthful of booze and emptied her glass. She handed it back to James, huffing. “Would you mind if I had another?”

“Not at all. So what did you do before that?” Just as James got up, he glared at Trevor with worry in his eyes.

“I was… I did odd things.” She began to fidget.

Trevor took Belle’s hand and kissed it and then leaned in to whisper in her ear, “You okay, Belle? You seem to be having a problem breathing.”

Instead of talking, she just nodded. James came back and gave her the glass. She took it, swallowing it in two gulps. “Thank you.”  By now she began to perspire and fuss some more.

Trevor put his hand to her face and asked, “You sure you’re okay?”

“Boys, I’m sorry, but I think I’ll best be going.” She sprang to her feet and began to walk to the door.

Trevor followed her, wanting to escort her to her room to make sure she arrived there safely. The flush in her face had intensified.

As he opened the door for her, she took a step to pass him and then her eyes turned upward, and she fell back into his arms.

“Belle! Belle!” Trevor spoke loudly.

But she passed out cold.

“She fainted.” James was at his side now. He picked her up and brought her to his bed, laying her on it.

“It’s that damn corset. It’s way too tight. She can hardly breathe.” Trevor followed.

James looked up at him while he knelt beside her checking her breathing. “You’re right.” He began to unfasten her corset. “We need to take it off now.”

Both he and James started to unfasten it, Trevor starting from the bottom and James from the top.

As each hook detached from each eye, a little more of her plump breasts and abdomen became exposed. Ordinarily, Trevor would have noted this and gotten excited, but at this moment, it didn’t register. He was too worried about his sweet Belle.

Chapter 6

The water began to fill around her in the tank at an incredible speed. It rose from shoulder level, to her neck, up to her mouth and nose. No longer able to breathe, she struggled to escape, thrashing about. She struck the glass siding, hoping to break free, but it only made a weak vibrating sound underwater like a beating drum would in the middle of a forest.

Impossible to keep in her breath, she exhaled and took in water. Her lungs began to flood and unconsciousness crept hungrily closer with every second that passed. Just before blackness entombed her mind completely, she felt hands grasp her arms and pull her out of the tank.

Then she heard James’s deep voice ask, “Belle, can you hear me? Wake up, Belle.”

Her body shook vigorously, and slaps stung her cheeks. Consciousness came quickly then. Opening her eyes, she saw James’s worried face two inches away from hers.

“Belle, thank God you woke up.”

She gasped and pushed him away suddenly. Appearing startled at her reaction, he sprang to his feet.

“We were so worried.”

“What the hell were you doing?” she hollered.

She sat up to notice her bustier lay beside her, then she instinctively gazed down at her chest. To her utter embarrassment, her taut nipples stood at attention through her see-through blouse for all eyes to behold. She wrapped her arms around her chest to cover up.

“Oh, my God!”

James came to sit beside her while Trevor slid next to her. “Calm down, Belle. You fainted. We’ve been trying to wake you up for the past few minutes.”

Her head and lungs hurt. This made no sense. Glancing and frowning at Trevor, she responded, “What?”

James repeated what Trevor stated. “You fainted, Belle, because you weren’t breathing well.” He picked up the bustier and held it up. “This is the reason, Belle. It was so tight, you couldn’t breathe.”

Trevor got up and walked over to their bureau and took out a shirt. He then handed it to her. “Here, put this on.”

“Thanks.” She slipped into it, making sure not to expose her breasts in the process. It all came back to her then. She remembered having problems breathing and it got worse with every swallow of whiskey she took. She could barely breathe anymore and made a darting attempt to head back to her room to take the blasted thing off. Only, she didn’t make it. The room spun and then darkness encroached on her, making her faint.

She was so stupid. Why the hell did she have to use a two-sizes-too-small bustier and tie it so tight? Because she wanted to seduce her mysterious, sly neighbors, that’s why.

Hmm, so much for that plan.

She ended up looking like a complete fool instead of the siren seductress she wanted to play tonight.

“How do you feel now, baby?” Trevor took her hand then.

She combed her fingers through her hair. “Better. Thank you both for what you did. I’m so grateful.”

James smiled as he rubbed her arm. “You had us so scared.” He brought his gentle hand to her left cheek and caressed it with the outside of his finger. “But I can see the color coming back into your face now. Even after fainting, you are still the most beautiful woman I have seen.”

“Thank you for the compliment.” Her cheeks heated.

“I’ll get you a glass of water. It’ll help.” He stood up.

“Oh, it will. Thanks.” She nodded.

Trevor twirled a lock of her hair in his hands and then brought it to his nose, smelling it. “Baby, do you want me to help you back to your room after you finish the water? You need to rest.”

Rest? No, no rest.

She needed to stay here, with them, with both of them.

When James brought the glass, she took it, swallowing a gulp of the soothing, clear liquid. It lubricated her tight, parched throat and made the scratchy feeling disappear. “Mmm, that feels good.”

After drinking half the glass, she replied, “No, Trevor, I’m fine now. I’d like to sit here with the two of you and get to know you better.” She glanced at one virile man, then the other. A shiver of delight surged through her, and she lost her breath for a split second.

Maybe her plan wasn’t completely lost. She didn’t exactly look like a seductress in Trevor’s baggy shirt. But from the way James looked at her now and the other times, she knew he was as sexually attracted to her as Trevor was. And being completely honest with herself, she knew the same could be said for her. She found James to be just as desirable as Trevor. Heaven help her. Where were these taboo, wanton feelings coming from?

James took the lead by grabbing her hand and bringing it to his lips. Right before he kissed the backside of her hand, he stared deeply into her eyes. “Now that sounds like a marvelous idea. We like having you in our room like this.”

When his lips touched her skin, a shiver shot through her hand, heading up her arm, through her shoulder, to her neck, down to her chest. Her nipples became tight with desire, and goose pimples formed on her body.

Once James ended the kiss, he added without breaking his fixed gaze, “Isn’t that right, Trev, that we like having Belle here?”

“We sure do, pretty lady.” Trevor leaned over to kiss her lips. Her body quivered with excitement as electric arousal surged from his lips to hers, carrying through to her whole body. She moved her feet to brace herself as she leaned her head back. The bed cover made a rustling sound. Her heart beat so wildly that it amplified the rustling in her eardrums, making it almost sound like a stampede.

When she was nearly lost in the kiss, he ended it and gazed deeply into her eyes. “But you need to rest.” He scooted behind her, baffling her with his actions.

“What are you doing, Trevor?” she said, glancing behind her shoulder at him.

“Shh, just relax, baby.” He gently pulled her on him.

She didn’t refuse his advance, but instead received it with an exhale, relaxing. “All right.”

She leaned onto his chest while he began to massage her shoulders. Even though their clothing encumbered the sensations slightly, it didn’t act much like a barrier. She could feel his muscular chest, rippled abdomen, and erect penis pushing on her back. Her heart practically jumped to her throat as the image of his protruding, excited manhood touching her back came to mind.

A tingling shiver travelled through her, centering on her nipples, tightening and pebbling them. She rubbed her hands on the wool cover to try to stop her urge to turn and kiss him. If she did, then he’d stop massaging her shoulders, and that would be a shame. It felt so good.

She absorbed his body heat and smiled serenely, enjoying his ministrations. An awe-inspired sigh escaped her lips then. He certainly knew how to ease her stress away.

She wondered if heaven felt this marvelous. The two shots of whiskey she gulped quickly earlier slowly started taking effect now. Heat surged through her body, making her hot and sweaty. She wished Trevor’s thick shirt weren’t so heavy and encumbering right about now. But she couldn’t exactly take it off, could she? No.

Casting that wish out of her mind, she concentrated on him. She batted her eyelashes as she cozied up closer against Trevor’s hard chest. “Boys, you certainly know how to spoil a girl, you know that?”

Trevor brought his hands to her temples and gently rubbed them. “We’re only just starting. Just close your eyes and enjoy it.”

And she did. She closed her eyes, meshed her fingers over her waist, and relaxed.

James placed her left leg on his lap to massage her feet. “You have the most adorable feet I ever did see, sweet Belle.”

“That tickles, James!” She jerked up, frantically giggling.

“Sorry.” He laughed, letting go of her foot.

She looked at him through half slit eyelids, in a completely relaxed, outgoing mood thanks to Trevor’s massages.

She replied, grinning, “Maybe if I take my hosiery off, it won’t tickle as much.”

She sat up and pulled her skirt and petticoat to her upper thigh and began to unfasten her stockings from her garter. She heard James take a deep breath. Then he stopped her hand. “You need to rest, Belle. Would you mind if I did that?”

Her eyes sprang open in surprise at his preposterous request. Though when she perceived his anxiousness, she couldn’t help but smile. Hardly believing what came out of her mouth, she heard herself say, “All right.”

Trevor gently pushed her back to rest on his chest and caressed her arms and shoulders. What little remnants of hesitation and timidity that simmered in her conscience dissipated completely.

Staring at James, she sighed.

“You like this?” Trevor whispered.

“Oh, yes,” she groaned.

James licked his lips, unfastened the stocking, and caressed her leg as he rolled the stocking down. Her heart jumped to her throat in excitement, desire rising with incredible speed throughout her body. Her leg tingled wherever his blazing hand passed.

He moaned in a deep voice. “Oh, you have the most gorgeous legs.”

“Hell, yes.” Trevor grinned. He pushed her hair to the left side of her shoulder and nuzzled her neck, kissing her nape, and then licking his way up to her earlobe. His tongue made her pulsate with excitement, and she shivered.

She closed her eyes and arched her neck farther to the left to give him ample room to maneuver his sinful tongue, and gasped. Her nipples perked even more, and she instinctively opened her legs farther apart when James brought his hand up high on her right leg to unfasten her other stocking. She bit her lip when his warm lips touched her skin on her thigh just above his hand. His soft lips caressed her, making the hairs on her arms and legs stand on end. Her nipples tightened in excitement as her breasts swelled with her need.

She opened her eyes to catch him staring intensely at her as he kissed his way down her leg. God, her heartbeat pounded in her ears, deafening her. Trevor gently cupped her chin, turning her face to him, and brought his lips to hers. She leaned in when his kiss became fervid, as did her urges for more. He lifted his hands to the shirt she wore and began to unbutton it.

Her mind registered every button becoming undone, and she imagined how much more of her bosom became exposed to them with each move. It turned into an erotic vision spurring her to probe Trevor’s mouth and tongue as she opened her legs wider still for James’s kisses. She brought her hand to Trevor’s shirt and did the same to him as he did to her. The buttons seemed to go on forever as she clumsily felt her way down. It was as if her brain had severed its connection with her fingers, focusing instead on the marvelous, luscious sensations these two men were exposing her to.

Trevor finished undoing her shirt before she did, then pushed her up, removing the shirt and her transparent blouse at once. Cool air hit her upper body when she was fully exposed, making gooseflesh form on her chest and abdomen and arms. He stared at her breasts with hungry eyes and stood to continue unbuttoning his shirt. Her heart pounded under his heated stare, and her nipples throbbed.

She gawked at his muscular chest and brought her forefinger to her mouth, biting down on it to tame her soaring excitement. He had a body of a god. His tanned skin glistened in the oil lamp’s light, and as his chest contracted, her breath stuck in her throat.

She gulped, trying to dislodge the lump of air, but when James sat down beside her and began to unlace her skirt and petticoat, the lump moved back up to block her breathing. The sexual friction of pulling her clothes down induced more goose pimples to form on her lower limbs and upper body. She became wet between her legs, and her clit pulsated as she moved her pelvis on the bed to help James. Her skin now tingled from the cool temperature and their keen gazes.

Once completely shirtless, Trevor leaned down on the side of the bed and stared deep into her eyes, bringing his lips back down to hers, whispering, “You’re so beautiful.”

She lifted her hand and moved it to the back of his head. As he kissed her, she played with his hair by combing her fingertips through the thick strands. A musky, manly fragrance tickled her nose when she released his full, wanton lips, and she let hers travel to his hairless, tanned chest that seared her skin on contact.

He brought his hand to her breasts, cupping one, then the other, squeezing them, then circled each areola. She arched her back, opening her legs wider. Although she couldn’t see James while she kissed Trevor, she did feel his hand rubbing up and down her thigh from the outside and coming to the inside. As his hands guided up to the apex, she widened her legs and felt wetness escape her cunt.

He touched her lips softly and slowly then, circling them as well as her swollen nub while Trevor pinched her nipple and pulled it up slightly. Her wet pussy contracted, and she whimpered from all the overwhelming sensations flowing through her body, causing explosive reactions.

She inched her hand down to Trevor’s trousers, unbuttoning them, and snuck her hand into them, feeling his pre-cum coat her fingers as she touched the tip. He moaned with the contact, and when her hand enveloped his shaft, she marveled at his thickness. Sure enough, he was as big as she envisioned yesterday and today as she fantasized about him and his irresistible body.

He thrust his penis forward when she constricted her hand around his shaft. She began to rub it back and forth, trying to bring him closer with every movement to the level of ecstasy she hovered at that moment.

James murmured as he kissed his way up to her clit and pulled her legs farther apart. She lifted her brow, releasing Trevor’s lips briefly to gasp when James slipped his tongue between her pussy and pushed them apart as he probed her fully. His movements tickled for an instant because of her nub’s sensitivity, but then as she became accustomed to the sensations, her clit and lips trembled in titillation.

He continued to rub her clit, and as her peak inched ever closer, her heart beat so loud and strong that it felt like it would rip through her chest. She panted, trying to supply her lungs with added air to refuel her body’s need for oxygen.

It came then in a rush of heavenly ecstasy as her nub and pussy quivered and contracted. She tightened her grip on Trevor’s cock, and he thrust forward, quickly, releasing his warm cum, which spurted onto her hand and trickled down her wrist and arm.

He moaned in pleasure and let go of her lips when he fully expelled his cum and removed her hand.

“That was amazing,” he uttered with a sigh, coming to lie down beside her.

James pushed the other bed up next to the one she lay on and crawled onto it so he was just inches away from her and pushed her hair away from her face

“You are amazing, Belle,” he added, staring at her with his intense, green, gorgeous eyes.

He stared at her lips, licked his own, and then brought his mouth to her. She could taste herself on his full, hot, wet lips and what was left of her aroused juices seeped out onto her legs from the pleasure and sweetness of his kiss.

When he released her mouth, she licked her lips, and moaned as she stretched. “You boys sure know how to make a girl feel a whole lot better. Though I must admit, it took a toll on me. I am exhausted.”

James stared at her. “You’ve been through a lot.” He kissed her forehead and then caressed her hair. It soothed and calmed her, bringing with it sleepiness.

She turned on her side to face him, moaning, “Mmm, that feels good, James.”

“Well, close your eyes and rest.” He kissed her lips gently once more in a nurturing way.

Trevor turned to hug her from behind, caressing her shoulders, back, and neck. Absorbing their calming ministrations, she let her mind wander and thought how boring her life had been before she met James and Trevor.

Chapter 7

Trevor turned and, to his shock, fell to the floor with a thud. The sun peeked through the opaque curtain and blinded him momentarily when his eyes sprang open with surprise. Disorientation enveloped his mind. He shook his head to rid himself of the fogginess. As he focused on the room, he realized he fell off the bed.

He glanced at the bed. James slept with his back to him, undisturbed. There was no sign of Belle, and his heart felt heavy. He would have loved to wake up with her in his arms this morning.

Slowly, he got up and walked over to the curtain. Opening it and seeing the position of the sun up above, he figured it was around eight in the morning. Way too early to do anything but go back to sleep.

Rubbing his scalp, he headed to the bureau to get a drink of water. His dry throat tickled with every swallow he took. When he picked up the glass, he noticed a note resting next to the whiskey bottle. He opened the paper to read it.

Hi sleeping beauties,

I had to get up early. I have a busy day ahead of me. Thank you for a wonderful evening. I hope you’ll come see me at Eden’s Paradise again tonight, and maybe afterward, we can continue where we left off last night.

Belle

A smile spread over his face. He had been disappointed a moment ago when he realized she left, but that last sentence on the note brought his spirits up to soaring levels again.

He quietly tiptoed to his bed, not to awaken James, and laid down, bringing his arms to rest under his head as he stared at the ceiling. His mind brought him back to last night’s journey of intimacy. He couldn’t help but grin remembering how she looked naked on the bed, her skin glowing, her eyes full of wanton hunger and anticipation. His cock became excited with every vivid, arousing image.

He had to admit, he had originally been hesitant about James’s idea that they both seduce her. He’d never done something like that before, and he found it uncomfortable to think of both of them being sexually intimate with her at the same time. But when he saw her kissing James and how she reacted to him, he found it highly stimulating to watch. And he could bet James felt the same way.

Leaning to his side, his mind wandered further to thoughts of where tonight would lead. Making love to her while James watched, or vice versa, brought him to heightened excitement. His imagination delighted him to no end with all the possibilities, but then a disturbing thought began to build in the dark crevices of his mind and crept to the forefront of his thoughts without his consent. The thought of Belle being the famous outlaw Isabelle LaRue. The fact she didn’t hesitate in participating in last’s night lewd, taboo activities and also suggested they take it to further heights tonight made warning bells shrill in his head.

This brought him one step closer to believing she was the ruthless outlaw, and his heart hurt with the thought. He wished she weren’t because deep down, he had begun to feel something for her that entailed more than lust. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but it felt sincere, protective, and loving, and it frightened the hell out of him.

* * *

Belle touched her lips, remembering the night before, and sighed. Both Trevor’s and James’s kisses were unforgettable and she longed to be with them again.

When she awoke at five o’clock this morning with Trevor’s arm on her waist and her face leaning on James’s chest, she couldn’t help but smile. It felt good to be lying between the most gorgeous men she had ever laid eyes on and to feel their warmth and remember how they brought her to such an ecstatic state last night. She wanted to stay there with them, perhaps see where their sexual adventures would lead them still, but she had to leave.

She needed to get away from them, far away from them, and focus, think. She couldn’t be preoccupied with lustful thoughts that made butterflies flutter in her stomach, weakened her legs, or made her head swoon. She had to think of far more important things, like her mission and that James and Trevor could very well put everything in jeopardy.

Considering the fact that the handsome men seemed to turn her mind to mush whenever they were in close proximity to her, she figured she needed reinforcements. She couldn’t do this alone. Without realizing it last night, by being intimate with them, she passed the boundary of objectivity. Her feelings for them fogged her judgment. The reason why she originally wanted to seduce them vanished and she was no closer today to finding out the real reason for their appearance in town.

And that predicament was why she stood outside the sheriff’s office at Little Rock right this minute, taking a deep breath for courage. She staked out the place for the past half hour. When she saw the sheriff leave, she walked up to the front door and pushed it open to step inside. John sat at the front of the office with his feet up on top of the desk. The second he saw her step inside, he moved his feet off the desk and got up with a start.

“Belle, what are you doing here?”

She walked past him looking around. “Relax, I have no more news.” She glanced in the jail cell and saw it was empty, then peeked through the other door. “Where’s Mat?”

And just as she mentioned his name, he walked up behind her. “Here. What’s up?”

“Ah, you scared me!” She jumped, startled.

He laughed while walking past her to sit at the table next to John. He pushed the chair out next to him. “Sit, Belle.”

She shook her head and strode to the window to check if anyone else was coming by. She didn’t need any more complications.

“If you’re worried about Sam, don’t be. He isn’t gonna be back until later today. It’s only me and Mat until then,” John said.

“Good. The last thing I want is the sheriff to know I’m here.” She sighed with relief.

Mat corrected her. “No, you don’t want him knowing you’re in Fort Smith and that you’re the saloon girl singer at Eden’s Paradise.”

She pointed her finger at him. “Don’t start acting smart, Mat. I have no time for that. Besides, if he knew you both were my accomplices, you’d be in just as much trouble as I’d be.”

“True, so what’s your hurry?”

“I have to get back to town to get ready for the show. But I needed to talk to you both before I did. I need your help.” She huffed.

“Oh, now you need our help,” John piped in.

“Why are you giving me a hard time? You know I need to be on my own on this out there. Having you two as my sidekicks would bring too much attention to us, and if people like the sheriff there started asking questions, then my whole secret operation would be exposed. Besides, you need to keep Sam busy here, so he isn’t on to us. You know he is our biggest problem at the moment.”

“You’re right.” John leaned on the backrest of his chair. “So what help do you need from us?”

“Well, remember those two men you told me about the night before yesterday, Trevor Kent and James Sanford?”

“Um. What about them?” Mat responded.

“Well, as luck would have it, they’re staying in the room next to mine at the Mayflower Inn.”

Mat slapped his leg. “Darn. Talk about a coincidence.”

“Yes, but don’t get too excited, boys. I think there’s more to them than just being the new expressmen. They are way too smart to be just that. And I’ve tried to get information out of them, but they aren’t squealing.”

Both John and Mat sat to attention then.

“How exactly did you try to get stuff out of them?” Mat asked, squinting with suspicion.

Without giving away her whole seedy, bawdy, sexual, heavenly experience she had with the two irresistible men, she replied, “That doesn’t matter. What matters is I’m suspicious.”

John got up huffing. “Well, that’s it, Belle. If you’re suspicious, then it’s time to get out of there before it gets too dangerous.”

How dare he tell her to quit now when they were that close?

“What? No, I’m not.” She frowned.

Even Mat came to John’s defense. “Belle, he’s right. If you’re right, which you usually are, then it could get dangerous.”

“No, I can handle things.” She shook her head vigorously.

“What if they know who you are and know the real reason why you’re in town?” they asked at the same time.

Now her patience was running thin. “I don’t think they know. At least not yet.”

This time, only Mat asked, “How can you be so sure?”

Her voice raised an octave with her frustrations. “Just because. That’s all.”

“Okay, then what do we do now?” Mat asked.

She began to pace as she ironed out the last thoughts in her mind. “Well, I’ve invited them both to Eden’s Paradise to hear me sing this evening. I want you two to go into their room and check it out.”

They stared at each other. “All right, Belle. We’ll do it your way, but if we find something, anything, that proves your suspicions are right, then we’re gonna call in reinforcements. We won’t wait for your call on it,” John said while crossing his arms over his chest.

As much as she wanted to argue with them, she couldn’t. They were right. If James and Trevor were who they suspected, then nothing she could say would save them. Her heart almost broke at the thought.

* * *

James’s ears perked and his heartbeat quickened when he thought he heard her voice. He raised his head searching through the crowd for her. To his disappointment, he realized it was someone else, a saloon girl serving a customer a couple of tables away.

They came in five minutes ago and luckily found a table before the real crowd came in a few minutes later. The place was packed. Unfortunately, their table stood closer to the exit door than the piano and stage in the saloon.

Trevor glared at him. “Relax, James.”

“I’m relaxed.” He frowned back.

“Oh? Well, you could have fooled me. You haven’t sat still for one second, and you just jumped right now.”

“No, I didn’t,” he refuted.

“Yes, you did.”

James heaved. “Okay, okay. This waiting is driving me crazy.”

Trevor swirled the whiskey in his glass. “Me, too.”

James stared at him keenly. “Since I had to go check out the train station today, we didn’t have a chance to talk about what happened last night. But I’ve been thinking about it a lot.”

“Me, too.” Trevor paused, just staring to the side. “What do you think?”

“Think about what? What happened or if I think Belle is Isabelle?”

“Both.”

James took a deep breath and started. “Well, last night was amazing. Out of this world amazing. She’s so beautiful.”

Trevor’s eyes glazed over, and a serene smile spread over his lips. “Mmm, beautiful, desirable, all woman. You just want to hold her in your arms and…”

Then his face took on a serious look laced with a tinge of disappointment. “But unfortunately I guess this means there’s a good possibility she is LaRue.”

“You think it, too?” James’s heart hurt at the thought.

Trevor opened his mouth to say something when a female voice interrupted, “Well, look at who we have here?”

James’s attention ripped over to the lady standing beside their table. A smile spread over his face. “Sally, howdy.”

She leaned against Trevor and wrapped her arm around his shoulder in a too-welcoming way. As she dipped in, her cleavage caught James’s eye for a second until he quickly diverted his gaze back to her face. She then smiled in an alluring way, winking at him. She obviously saw him peeking and didn’t mind one bit.

“Nice to see you makin’ Eden’s Paradise your home, fellas.”

“We came to see Belle sing again,” Trevor responded.

Her brow lifted. “Belle? Yes, I figured that you would. She’ll be comin’ down in a minute. In the meantime, what can I get you boys, in drinks, that is? Anythin’ else, well, that comes extra.”

She winked at James again, and when James didn’t react, she threw her head back laughing.

Trevor looked at him, turned to her, and responded for them both, “We’ll just have two whiskey shots, Sally.”

She put her hand under his chin, tilting his head up slowly, “Comin’ right up, sweetie.” Then she blew him a kiss and walked away in a sultry gait while glancing over her shoulder at them.

Trevor gazed at James with a lifted brow. “What the hell was that?”

James shook his head and snorted. “You’re asking me? I haven’t got a cl—” Before he could finish his sentence, pain surged from his ankle up to his shin. “Ouch! Why did you kick me?”

Trevor put his finger to his mouth. “Shh, stop talking and look.” He pointed with his chin. “She’s coming down the stairs.”

James glanced over his shoulder just in time to see her descend in the epitome of elegance. She wore a pearl-blue gown that cascaded straight down to her shoes. The collar was all the way up to her neck with overflowing ruffles. The tight fit accentuated every curve of her breasts, waist, and hips.

His memory catapulted him back to last night with her naked on the bed, her long, gorgeous legs and her pussy that made him whimper in need to touch them once again. He imagined her full, soft breasts with her taut nipples erect, screaming for attention. He didn’t have the satisfaction of touching, fondling them last night. Trevor did. But seeing his partner touch them, pinch them, lick them, aroused him just as much, if not more.

Trevor let him read the note she left them when he awoke this morning. Now, it spurred his eagerness for the evening to come to an end so they could head back to the inn to continue where they left off last. Tonight, he planned on fondling, licking, suckling her breasts while Trevor watched, and he hoped to do far more than that.

* * *

Where were they? Her gaze scoured the room as she descended the stairs, but because the place was packed, she couldn’t see much. Had they come? Or had they stayed at the inn? God, she hoped not. Mat and John would be breaking into their room anytime soon. The last thing they needed was to get caught before they could find out what the handsome, secretive men were up to.

When she got to the end of the stairs, Jesse greeted her, much to her disappointment. “Miss Belle, you look beyond pretty tonight. You look like a princess.”

“Thanks.” She forced her smile and headed to the bar while he followed.

She rolled her eyes upward and silently sighed in frustration. “Jesse, I’m running late. I’ll be going up in a little bit. I want to drink something to soothe my throat. So I don’t have time to talk. Sorry.”

Glancing from side to side, she tried to search for them while she walked to the bar. Jack had already set her a glass of water on the bar.

How considerate.

He was one of the few men in the place who respected her, acted like her older brother. Unlike the pervert Jesse who never left her alone and looked at her like he owned her body and wanted to touch his property like he saw fit. She shivered in disgust.

“All right, I’ll talk to you after your show then,” Jesse replied from behind her.

“Sure, that’ll be fine.” She looked back to nod.

He waved to her. “Good luck, Miss Belle.”

“Thanks,” she said while taking the seat at the bar that was reserved for her. Sally stood near there waiting for Jack to get her order ready. She had the freakiest grin Belle ever did see.

“Why are you smiling like that, Sally?” Belle asked, frowning.

Sally looked at the bar. “Nothing. Just nice to see the boys got to finally talk to you the other night.”

“You saw?” Her cheeks heated.

Sally’s smile widened. “Sure did. Saw them waitin’ for you outside and that they talked to you for quite some time. Ain’t that so sweet.”

Belle couldn’t help but smile herself. “They were so kind.”

Sally slid closer. “I also saw them escortin’ you home, too.”

“They’re staying at The Mayflower Inn, too. They wanted to keep me company. That’s all.” Belle lost her breath then.

Sally laughed. “I’m sure they did. So which one caught your fancy?”

Belle was at a loss for words. “Uh.” She wanted to scream, Both of them! but didn’t dare. Instead, she replied, “We’re only friends.”

Sally threw her head back, laughing. “Belle, the look those boys have whenever your name comes up, they ain’t interested in only friendship with you, honey. They want much more.”

Playing coy, she responded, “Really?”

She nodded. “Yes siree.” Then she leaned in to whisper in her ear. “Maybe you don’t need to decide. At least not just yet. Sometimes two is better than one.”

“What?” Belle’s eyes sprang open as she darted her gaze at Sally.

As Sally picked up her tray, she nodded with more emphasis this time. “You heard me, honey. You heard me.” Then she handed the tray over to Belle.

“Why are you giving me this?” Belle asked, confused.

She pointed to the door. “There are a couple of gorgeous men who were askin’ for you before. They are waitin’ for their drinks.” Then she laughed deep in her throat as she walked away to serve another table.

Suddenly, Belle’s spirits soared and so did her awkwardness. The tray shook in her hands as she tried to walk over to them without spilling their drinks. When they were finally in view, she saw them staring at her with big smiles. Her heart warmed at the sight. Then it lurched with the thought that Mat and John were now searching their room. If they found what they looked for to prove their guilt, then that was it. It would all end here before it even got started.

Taking a deep breath for reassurance, she steeled her emotions and walked over to their table with a smile. “Howdy, boys. Sally told me two handsome customers were in need of some whiskey.”

She laid the tray on the table and picked up one glass, placing it beside James. James gently stopped her hand from moving while he stared up at her with those gorgeous green eyes that made her lose her breath and swoon.

“Not really, but I can think of something else that I’m dying for,” he whispered, then lowered his voice even more, though she could still hear him. “To kiss your beautiful, red lips.”

Trevor grinned and whispered next. “We missed you, pretty lady. We were looking forward to seeing you when we woke up this morning.”

She also missed them, but she couldn’t stay any longer. The feelings that began to build in her heart for them made her weak. They clouded her judgment. Even now standing beside them, her mind wandered. She needed to be on stage in just a few minutes, but all she could think of was sneaking out with them and heading somewhere isolated so they could be alone.

No, she needed to stop this foolishness. She smiled and gently moved her hand away. “I had to do something important this morning that couldn’t wait. I need to go on stage now, but I’ll see you boys afterwards and we’ll talk, all right?”

Trevor took her hand, kissing it. “And then later continue where we left off last night, right?”

A shiver of excitement shot through her hand, up to her arm, and body. She sighed at the promising, luring look he gave her. Mmm, yes, she would love that. That’s if John and Mat didn’t call the posse on them beforehand.

“Right.” She smiled.

As she walked away, her legs felt like numb stumps. Her hands trembled when she dipped to sit at the piano. She tried not to stumble and looked at the captivated crowd. Attempting to remember the first note of her song, she realized, to her horror, her mind was a complete blank.

* * *

John and Mat climbed into Belle’s room as quietly as they could. She told them she would leave the window open for them. The dark room left them blind as they felt their way to the door.

Placing his ear to the door, John whispered, “Okay, I hear nothing. The coast is clear.”

They gently opened the door and glanced out. Sure enough the corridor was empty. They crept over to the next room, and Mat took out a small, thin metal rod and inserted it into the key hole. Within seconds, they heard the click of the door unlocking, and they slipped in.

While John dug into his deep pants pocket for matches, he pointed to Mat to take off his jacket and place it against the bottom of the door to hide the light from outside. Right before John struck a match, he heard a smacking sound and something heavy falling to the floor.

“Mat, you okay?” he whispered.

When he heard no response, he clumsily tried to light the oil lamp as quickly as he could. The moment the light came on, he saw a big fist head for his face. The blow came fast and strong.

Before the pain registered, he lost consciousness.

Chapter 8

By some miracle, she didn’t mess up her performance tonight. As she ended her last song and stood, the crowd cheered. She bowed, smiling, and started to walk back to their table. Much to her chagrin, Jesse stood in the crowd, blocking her path. He had a wide smile plastered on his face while he continued clapping.

“That was amazin’, Miss Belle.”

She didn’t stop, but tried to walk around him. “Thanks. I’m glad you liked it.”

He grabbed her arm and looked at her with a sideways glance. “How about I buy you a drink?”

Before she could respond, she felt a gentle, warm hand on her shoulder.

“Belle has to get home now,” the male voice said.

She noted a sneer on Jesse’s face and turned to see James smiling at her. Her hero. She wanted to kiss him for saving her.

“I’m sorry, Jesse. I forgot I have to leave early tonight. I have an important appointment. We’ll make it for another night, then,” she stated.

Looking none too pleased, he responded, “All right,” and then slumped away.

James extended his arm for her to take. “Shall we go?”

She looped her arm through his. “Now, that sounds like a great idea.” She glanced at their empty table as they passed it heading for the exit. “Where’s Trevor?”

“He left a little earlier. He headed back to the inn.”

A pang of fear possessed her. “He went back to the inn? How long ago?”

“Oh, about half an hour ago.” He leaned in to whisper, “We figured since you are uncomfortable with people seeing you with us together, that only one of us should escort you home.”

She rubbed her neck as stress started to rise in her. “Uncomfortable? What gave you that idea?”

“When you came to our table before your performance, you weren’t yourself.”

“Oh, right. That’s sweet of you both.” She nodded.

The moment they stepped outside, Belle lifted her dress so she could walk faster and quickened her gait.

James followed her pace and laughed. “What’s your hurry, Belle?”

Panic formed a lump in her throat. She worried John and Mat hadn’t had time to check out their room thoroughly before Trevor headed back there. They would have been caught and their whole ruse gone up in flames. But of course she couldn’t tell James that.

Giving him an alluring, bashful look, she replied, “I’m anxious to pick up where we left off. I’ve been thinking of last night all day long.” Which was true. Every waking hour, thoughts of their kisses and caresses haunted her, making her desire mount. She wondered what more was to come.

James glanced around, smiling. “Well, seeing as there is no one here.”

He grabbed her around the waist and lifted her in his arms. She gasped in delighted surprise. He twirled her around behind a big oak tree, setting her delicately on the ground and cupping her face. Gently, he brought his lips to hers, kissing her..

It was a sweet kiss that warmed her heart, and when it ended, he looked deep into her eyes with longing. “I’ve been dying to do that all night.”

She licked her lips and leaned closer to him, hoping he’d kiss her again, but he just stared into her eyes and said nothing. His expression turned serious for a brief second, giving her the impression he was deep in thought, but then his jovial look returned.

After a few seconds, she asked, “Why are you looking at me like that?”

He took her hand and kissed it, then meshed his fingers with hers. “Oh, just thinking how great it is that you’ve come into our lives and that I want to get to know more about you. Trevor told me a little of what you talked about last night at dinner. He said we had a lot in common.”

“He said the same thing to me. Apparently, we have the same views on the Civil War and history.” She laughed, nodding.

He brought his hand to her cheek, cupping it and caressing her skin with his thumb. “You know, I’ve never met a woman like you. I’m not suave with words like Trevor is. I’m a shy, reserved man, a man of few words, but with you, I’m not. I find myself wanting to speak my mind and my heart. Why don’t we talk now about ourselves before we head back to the room?”

Her heart pounded with affection, listening to those words. As much as she wanted to stay there staring into his beautiful eyes and discuss what was in his mind and heart, she needed to get back to the inn. She began to walk and gently pulled his hand to follow her.

“I’d like that, too. You have a heart of gold, James, and I’d like to get to know more about you. I also want to learn more about Trevor. Let’s hurry on back to meet Trevor in your room. Then we can talk all together.” She lifted her brow, teasingly. “And after talking, we can enjoy each other’s company some more.”

He groaned, smiling and lifting his left eyebrow. “Now that sounds like a darn good idea. You don’t need to tell me twice. Let’s go.” He speeded his pace, and she giggled as he gently pulled her along.

They arrived at the inn about five minutes later. Her nerves were so rattled that her mouth had become dry. She swallowed, but because she barely had any saliva to lubricate her throat, it hurt and scratched. They mounted the stairs in silence, obviously trying not to alert the other tenants of their arrival or that they would be going into his room.

James looked at her and winked when they reached the second floor. He put his finger to his lips to signify they should be quiet and started tiptoeing toward his room. She followed his movements, and her heart jumped to her throat right before they got to the door. A pounding sound echoed in her ears because of her raging heart.

Several haunting questions swarmed in her mind. Who was behind that door? Did Mat and John have enough time to search the place and then leave undetected? Or had Trevor come back while they still sneaked around in the room and caught them red-handed? If he did catch them, what did he do to them?

The moment they got to the door, the answer to all her questions hit her in the face when Trevor opened the door slowly and smiled broadly at her, whispering, “Well, howdy, pretty lady.”

She tried to smile back, but the muscles in her cheeks refused to contract. “Hi, cowboy.”

He pushed open the door for them to enter and then closed it behind them. She examined the room, noticing everything looked undisturbed. Before she had a chance to turn to face him, strong arms snuck around her waist from behind and hugged her in an affectionate embrace. Her breath stilled in her lungs in surprise.

Trevor said, “Oh, it’s good to have you here in my arms.” He slowly pivoted her so she faced him, then he bowed to kiss her. His supple, heated lips pushed her bewildered mouth open, and his hungry tongue darted into her mouth wantonly looping hers. Making her mind switch from paranoia to affection wasn’t instant. But his excited, hard body hugging hers and his heated breath on her face made the transition easy.

Soon her legs weakened, and she wrapped her arms around his muscular shoulders and raised herself on her tiptoes to reciprocate his kiss the right way, getting lost in the moment and her arousal.

When she heard James close the door behind him and his footsteps approach, reason came back to her, and she focused on her dilemma. She gently pushed Trevor away to draw in air.

“My, that sure was a nice welcome.” Disorientation overwhelmed her once more. Too many questions whirled in her mind. For the love of God, what happened in this room in the past hour?

Hoping not to arouse any suspicions in their minds, she asked Trevor, “So what have you been doing here while we were back at the saloon?”

He gave her a sideways grin, “Ah, that is a surprise, sweet thing. Something we plan to pop on you very soon.” He walked over to the bureau and poured three shots of whiskey and brought them over to James and her. “But before we get to that, why don’t we sit down and relax?”

James nodded and walked over to the beds that were adjoined like the night before. He sat at the end of the closest one. “Now that sounds dandy.” He patted the seat next to him. “Come on, Belle. Come sit next to me.”

She grinned and followed his suggestion, but deep in her mind, she wanted to scream.

What surprise do you have in store for me, Trevor? The same thing you surprised Mat and John with? Where are they? Did you hurt them? Are they still alive?

When she sat down, James wrapped his arm around her shoulder, and her pussy whimpered in delight at their physical closeness. But as soon as Trevor sat beside her, she straightened her back and began worrying again.

Either one of them could wrap their hands around her neck now and choke her to death. God, she wanted to jump up and give an excuse she needed to get back to her room, that she wasn’t feeling well. But before she could react to her paranoia, Trevor touched her chin gently with his hand.

“All day long, we’ve been waiting to be alone with you, sweet thing. I especially have been waiting to do this.” He guided her in for another kiss as he met her halfway by leaning forward.

While he kissed her softly, James loosened the lace ribbons in her hair. Once he let her locks loose, they cascaded onto her neck, caressing her skin, inducing gooseflesh. She shivered from the pleasurable movement. Soon Trevor’s seductive kiss took effect, and her paranoia and all other trains of thought shot out the window the moment James began to nibble on her earlobe.

She closed her eyes and moaned, absorbing and enjoying their amorous ministrations. No more stress panged her. Serenity and sexual passion blended together to bring her to the threshold of euphoria.

Continuing to kiss down her neck, James untied the ribbon on her collar and unbuttoned her dress from the back. Meanwhile, Trevor’s lustful kisses made her heart race with arousal. Bringing her hands to his head, she urgently combed her fingers through his thick hair.

She realized James had finished unbuttoning her dress when he started to pull it down, exposing her corset to the cool air. Shivers of delight formed on her upper chest and neck that remained exposed to the air. Her nipples pebbled and perked for attention under the constraining undergarment.

Trevor released her lips and gazed upon her, and her body screamed for his touch. Since the ribbons to tighten the constricting garment lay in the front, James couldn’t remove it from his position, but Trevor could, and from the look of amusement in his eyes, he enjoyed every second of it as, one after one, the hook and eye attachments became undone. The agonizing anticipation was almost too much to bear. Almost.

But she didn’t move, just sat staring at him and enjoyed James’s continued ministrations from behind. He inched his kisses from her earlobe down to the nape of her neck, making her gasp. When the corset opened, she felt her bosom break free of the highly confining undergarment, and her breasts tightened instantly when the gelid air hit their sensitive tips. Her nipples perked and rubbed on the side of the open corset. She shivered with delight at the friction and took the initiative to unbutton Trevor’s shirt.

He stared down at her fingers then and smiled at her, lifting his brow when his gaze returned to her bosom. Heat seeped to her clit and pussy from his hungry stare. As he removed the corset, leaving her completely exposed from the waist up, James brought his arms under hers to her front and cupped her breasts, squeezing them softly together and then pinching her nipples.

She moaned, biting her lips to slow her rising arousal, and lay back on him. Trevor stood up and knelt down beside the bed. He lifted her legs onto the bed and then undid the rest of the dress, removing it with ease, along with her petticoat and everything else.

Within a minute, she lay stark naked, leaning on James, while he continued to tease and arouse her with each fondle of her breasts. When he pinched and pulled at them, she whimpered in pleasure while wetness seeped out between her legs.

Trevor glanced at James and then stood up, removing the shirt she unbuttoned moments ago. Taking it off, he flexed his upper arms and chest. She sighed, admiring his toned, tanned body. Never before had she witnessed such perfection in the male anatomy.

He then unbuttoned his pants, shimmied them down to the floor, stepped out of them, and kicked them to the side. His cock stood erect in all its glory for her gawking eyes to behold. Although she felt it the night before in his pants and peeked at it through his open trousers, she hadn’t seen it up close and fully exposed. He was huge and thick, and she lost her breath imagining how it would feel impaling her.

Good heavens.

The images her mind brought forth, along with James’s caresses, moved her ever closer to her peak. But just when she thought she would come, Trevor walked away to the other side of the room where the bureau stood, and James slowly and gently snuck out from behind her, bringing her head to rest on the bed.

Her body demanded further attention, while her mind attempted to fathom why they stopped simultaneously and so suddenly. Her nub throbbed, and her heart pounded in her chest as she tried to catch her breath, panting. Turning her head, she observed what they were doing. Trevor continued to gaze at her while he opened the drawer searching for something, and James stood at the top end of the bed staring down at her. He came to the side, bent down, kissed her on the lips briefly, and stood back up, grinning while he slowly and seductively took off his clothes.

She shivered with delight as, piece by piece, his clothing fell to the ground. He may have been somewhat less muscular than his partner, but his body, too, looked deliciously magnificent. His hairless, muscular chest and rippled abdomen sent shivers of wanton heat surging through her veins as her eyes absorbed every delectable inch of his glistening torso.

When he exposed his cock, a lump formed in her throat. My, but both he and Trevor could satisfy any woman’s fantasies with their size. She took a deep breath, admiring his sculpted physique when Trevor came back to the bed. He crawled to her other side and rested on bended knees. He had a bottle of an olive-green color in his hands. Before she could register his actions, James sat on the other side of the bed and glanced at Trevor.

“This is the surprise, baby,” Trevor said.

He smiled at James, who reciprocated his jovial expression. “This is the surprise I was talking about before, Belle. James and I thought you might enjoy this.”

Suddenly, all her paranoid thoughts came flooding back. She took a big gulp of air and focused intently on the bottle. What was in that bottle, and what did they want her to do with it? Her head began to spin, and her heart jumped to her throat when terror and apprehension rose in her body and mind as her worst fears settled on one single thought.

* * *

Her eyes practically popped out of her sockets. The look of utter fright was certainly not what Trevor expected her reaction to be.

In a quivering voice, she asked, “What’s that?”

His heart hurt realizing he frightened her. For the love of God, he couldn’t figure out what she thought it was. But he needed to reassure her quickly before she panicked. “It’s massaging oil.”

He glanced at James and noted his bafflement, as well. So he, too, couldn’t figure out why she reacted the way she did.

In response, Trevor said, “James and I thought you might enjoy a massage.” He poured some in his hand and handed the bottle to James, then rubbed the liquid into his hand and slowly brought it to her stomach. She jerked up for a split second.

He gazed into her eyes and saw the fear subsiding. “Are you okay?”

She began to giggle. “Oh, that’s cold.” Then she smiled as he rubbed his hands up and down her abdomen.

“Sorry,” he responded as he marveled at how soft her skin felt under his lubricated touch.

James poured a little bit of the ointment on her upper thighs, and she shivered.

“Ooh” escaped her lips.

As he began to massage the oil into her limbs, Trevor could finally feel her relaxing. She moaned, and he couldn’t resist asking, “How does it feel?”

She closed her eyes. “Mmm, good.”

He brought his hands to her breasts and rubbed them back and forth and then in circular motions. Her nipples hardened even more, pebbling to small circles. His cock stood hard and straight between his legs as he knelt beside her.

He glanced at James, who pushed her legs apart, rubbing his slightly oily hands on her sweet, nectar-filled lips. She arched her back and spread her legs farther apart.

When he heard her moan and saw her bite her lip, he couldn’t resist kissing her then and asking, “Do you want us to make love to you, Belle?”

She opened her eyes and stared at him. Her mind seemed a million miles away for a brief moment and then her lustful expression returned and she nodded.

Kissing her one more time, he bent down to lick her erect nipples while he stared at James with excitement.

* * *

She lay there wet and waiting. She couldn’t believe what was happening but enjoyed every sinful second of it. She had to admit she almost lost control when Trevor brought out the bottle. For one frantic, paranoid moment, she thought it was poison and they planned on forcing her to drink it.

But when she saw the deep concern in his eyes at her fear and how he tried to reassure her, she calmed down. Her mind wandered to Mat and John. They said they would be calling in the posse if they found something in their search tonight. And the fact they were nowhere to be found and the room was undisturbed when she and James got there meant only one thing. Mat and John searched their room and found nothing to incriminate her lovers and left.

The huge rope restricting her lungs finally broke loose, and she was able to relax and breathe in peace. Her suspicions were wrong, and these handsome men, who just made their intentions known to her, were innocent.

With an excited breath, she sighed and nodded to Trevor’s question. Yes, she definitely wanted to make love.

James was the one who spoke next in a gentle, reassuring voice. “We’ll take it slow, Belle. If you feel uncomfortable in any way, just let us know.”

His words soothed her embedded worries. Was her inexperience with two men that transparent? Or did he say that because of her fears about the massaging oil before? Or maybe they thought she was apprehensive to take things further with them? Whatever the reason, she felt grateful for their sensitivity and thoughtfulness.

“All right.”

James gently pulled her to the edge of the bed, the movement making her heart pound with anticipation and her breathing mount along with it. He braced his body with his knees while Trevor kissed her lips, probing her mouth with his wanton tongue. Her heart rate continued to escalate with excitement as her tongue danced along with his. She allowed her tongue to search and caress each and every perfect, white tooth in his mouth, his soft palate, and agile tongue. He moaned when she suckled his full, lower lip.

When James pushed her legs wider and settled at her open cunt, she moaned. He rubbed his  cock up and down her lips, making them quiver with want. He stared deep into her eyes while pre-cum seeped out of his head and coated her already wet cunt. She lifted her pussy to welcome him when his head came to the center of her opening. He pushed slowly and gently forth, making her tight passage widen, and the walls of her cunt stretched and squeezed around him upon feeling the fullness with his progress.

She trembled and moaned in delight, the sensations inching her closer to ecstasy. When he dipped in a mere two inches, to her surprise, he swiftly pulled back out. The quick movement made her want to jump out of her skin as her nub trembled from the friction. Her passage suddenly screamed for his penetration once again when he came completely out.

Meanwhile, Trevor let go of her mouth and trailed kisses from her neck down to her breasts. His nimble tongue licked one nipple, then the other, and then came back to the first to bite and tug it delicately.

A bolt of wanton desire shot through her nipple, travelling down to her pussy, making her nub tremble and her lips convulse. Her legs shook as she tried to curb the feeling crawling up in her. She didn’t want her climax to come just yet, though she worried it would because she couldn’t take much more of the teasing arousal.

She selfishly wanted to savor their sexual attention as much as she could. She panted, trying to catch her breath. And when James brought his penis to her opening again and pushed his hard, thick cock deeper into her passage with short, jerking actions, she screamed out his name, moaning, “Ah, James, James. Oh, yes.”

* * *

Hearing the vixen’s tone come out of her lips brought James that much closer to exploding in her. God, but she felt so good inside. Her tight passage enveloped his shaft perfectly, and the muscles in her cunt constricting him made his quick movements even more arousing.

Seeing Trevor kiss her nipples and pull on them stirred him closer to craziness. Who knew he could get so excited seeing his partner kiss and fondle a woman like this. But Belle certainly wasn’t any woman. Not only was her body one of a love goddess’, her plump, full breasts were a haven for any lustful man’s hands and lips, and her cunt was a veritable paradise for any man’s lips and cock. But if one added to that her charming personality, her humility and bashfulness, and her wit, elegance, and natural beauty, well, that made for the perfect woman any way he saw it.

Gazing at her dark, swollen pussy and nub as he came out of her, he groaned, rubbing his head up to her clit and then all the way down to her asshole. Her body jerked forward each time his cock passed her lips. She definitely wanted him inside her, but he knew the second he sunk again completely in her, he’d come before he brought her to her climax.

No, he wanted them to get it simultaneously, so he controlled his movements, sinking into her shallowly and coming out to run his head over her excited, wet bud. Her pussy closed around his shaft each time he dipped in partially and came out, and she whimpered.

Knowing she was almost at her peak, he thrust into her deep and hard. God have mercy, but heaven couldn’t feel as good as this felt right now.

* * *

She absorbed every single tug, bite, and lick Trevor administered on her hungry, pleasured breasts. She was wet and wild all over, her body escalating to a frenzy with each breath, each second that passed. Her fingers needed to feel, release her building excitement.

She stretched her arm out to encircle Trevor’s engorged cock, and he moaned, sliding closer to her so she could get a better grip while he continued to tease and pamper her breasts. Pre-cum coated her finger, and she brought her thumb and forefinger to the tip, rubbing it back and forth. He thrust against her fingers, obviously enjoying her hand’s attention.

Meanwhile, when James plunged deep in her again, this time hard and fast, she almost peaked. Her nub vibrated crazily and then simmered to a gentle throbbing once more. As he pulled out, she felt the friction as his cock’s ridges rubbed against the side of her lips and her clit. She wrapped her legs around his torso, and this time, when he dipped inward, she pulled his body closer to her, making him sink more acutely into her.

The walls of her cunt instantly became accustomed to his enormity and depth and welcomed him with increased desire, her clit quivering with more intensity from the friction.

He hurriedly pulled out of her and thrust fast and deep into her while Trevor tugged harder at her nipple and pumped his cock back and forth in her tight grip. They continued this erotic dance of lovemaking for a few more minutes until she felt the climax rise in her. It began to overtake her, though she tried to contain it. The feeling was euphoric, and she didn’t want it to end.

But she could control it for only so long. With James’s last deep thrust and Trevor hungrily pulling her taut nipple as he came in her hand, she climaxed. The walls of her cunt convulsed against James’s shaft while he picked up his pace and pumped into her. He came a minute later, murmuring her name.

Sweaty and alluring as ever, he collapsed next to her on the bed, panting. Trevor lay down beside her, caressing her hair and staring at her. She gazed into first his eyes and then James’s, mesmerized. As she assimilated the feelings that swirled in her, she realized that at some point today she had fallen under their spell and had opened her heart completely to them.

* * *

Leaning on his palm, James stared at her beautiful, perfect face and felt regret. Regret that he ever thought she was Wild Isabelle LaRue. From her reaction to their sexual advances tonight and her initial fear when both Trevor and he knelt beside her on the bed wanting to massage oil on her body, he knew without a doubt she couldn’t possibly be Wild LaRue.

LaRue had no scruples and certainly wasn’t innocent. Yet Belle screamed of innocence. She may not be a virgin, but her insecurity to be with him and Trevor spoke volumes of her inexperience.

He felt warmth in his heart knowing that she wasn’t the notorious, ruthless outlaw. Because if he looked deep into his soul and mind, he knew he had started to fall in love with this beauty lying beside him.

He glanced at Trevor as he caressed Belle’s hair and recognized the same look he surmised he himself expressed. Working with him for over five years, he had come to know him inside out. There was no doubt in his mind Trevor was falling in love for the first time, too, which brought them to a predicament. Actually, several. The first was which of them she liked best and wanted to pursue a relationship with. Would the fact she chose one over the other ruin their friendship? What happened when they caught the outlaws responsible for robbing the train? They’d be going back to Texas. Would she come along or would things end then?

When she turned to look at him with her bewitching, innocent, crystal-blue eyes, he bent down to kiss and cuddle her.

“Belle, would you like something to drink or eat?”

She snuggled closer to him, pulling Trevor along, too. “Um, no. I just want to lie here between you both. It feels so good.”

“Cuddling it’ll be, sweet thing,” Trevor responded as he slid closer still.

After a few minutes of silence, she spoke. “How long have you two known each other?”

“Over five years now. We met at work.” Trevor glanced at him.

“Well, you must have been working closely together because you get along so well. It’s like you know what the other is thinking simply by giving him a look.”

Did they really? James pondered. Yes, they pretty much did. Maybe that’s why they made the perfect team and the captain never separated them.

He thought back to the first day he and Trevor met. James had been with the Texas Rangers for a couple of months already, working with a veteran ranger, learning the ropes, when Captain Peak called him into his office. He had told him he was impressed with his performance with the Rangers so far and that his partner, who would be retiring soon, put in a recommendation for him.

He wanted to send him on his first assignment to bring in a couple of outlaw Indians in the south of Texas and that he would be assigning another newcomer to the Rangers as his partner, Trevor Kent.

James remembered his apprehension about being assigned a new partner then, especially since he would be working his first case. But of course, he didn’t dare say anything to the captain for fear he’d blow his whole career up in smoke if he even peeped a rebuttal.

Instead, he agreed to take on the assignment and a new partner. And when he first met Trevor, his first impression was the guy looked too good to be a Texas Ranger. A guy with his looks probably didn’t have the smarts and cunning it took to be a good Texas Ranger.

But he quickly learned that first impressions were more often than not completely wrong. He soon found out that Trevor was not only intelligent and astute, but he had a knack for surmising James’s next move, which came in handy when they worked a case incognito and couldn’t exactly tell each other what they were thinking or planning next.

Before they knew it, their partnership turned into friendship and they became best friends. They solved so many challenging cases together in these past five years. And their friendship went far beyond the conventional. It leaned toward brotherly bonding.

The fact they could be sexually involved at the same time with Belle proved it completely.

James rested his head on the pillow, but kept his focus on her. “I guess since we’ve worked so closely together for so many years, we’ve developed a strong bond.”

“What about you, baby? Do you have any family or friends here?” Trevor asked.

She shook her head slightly. “No, no family in Fort Smith. I came alone. As for friends, well, I have made several, but not many close ones. Sally was one of the ladies at Eden’s Paradise who first welcomed me to town. She showed me around and helped me find this place to stay. She’s been a real sweetheart.”

“No, baby, you are the real sweetheart.” Trevor moved her hair away from her face and dipped in to kiss her. James could see the kiss intensify when their lips opened and his tongue darted into her mouth.

His previously limp cock slowly hardened and extended upon seeing the sexual display. It rubbed against her palm of its own accord and to his delightful surprise, she turned her hand to cup his shaft. A thin film of pre-cum seeped out, lubricating her hand with each rub, and his arousal rose to the point of action.

* * *

The licentious feelings began to brew deep inside her stomach and twirled upward until they possessed her completely. Having these virile, amazing men cuddling with her would have that effect on any woman. When Trevor kissed her, she welcomed it with wanton desires, and instantly the kiss heated up.

The moment James’s cock rubbed against her hand, which rested between them, well, it unleashed her inner siren, and she wrapped her fingers around his thick, long shaft and rubbed him, bringing it to its full, hard erection.

Breaking Trevor’s kiss and biting her lip, which sent shivers of ecstasy shooting straight to her wet, swollen pussy, she gazed at them both, asking, “Would you boys like to make love again?”

She could hardly believe those words just slipped out of her mouth, but when she noted Trevor’s and James’s excited reactions, she was glad they did.

Trevor laughed and sat up. “Pretty lady, you don’t need to ask us twice. Our answer will always be yes.”

James stared at Trevor, and she noted a silent message passed from one to the other. He said, “That’s right.”

Trevor got off the bed. “Baby, turn around and get on your knees.”

At first confused, but then marveling at the command, she obeyed. To her surprise, he stood behind her and began to massage her back and butt cheeks. Her muscles relaxed, and her skin heated with pleasure from the movement as did her lips and bud tremble with delight.

“Mmm, that feels so good,” she moaned.

James knelt in front of her and kissed her while he gently caressed her neck, shoulders, and upper back. He bit her upper lip and then sunk his tongue into her mouth.

Once he began to caress her lips with his skillfully erotic tongue, her excitement rose with hunger for more.

As Trevor’s massages intensified and he spread her ass cheeks, tracing the line of her labia, it caused her clit and pussy to tremble. She couldn’t help the escaping sighs, and she wiggled her cunt closer to him.

“Oh, baby,” Trevor whispered, sliding his lips against her asshole, prodding into it. Shivers of gluttony convulsed through her. She had never had a man slip his tongue in her hole there, and frankly she was surprised it felt so good and pleasurable. With each dip of his tongue, the inside walls of her cunt tightened and her clitoris throbbed.

After a few more licks and dips, he stood straight and rubbed his hard cock up and down on her ass, lips, and clit, making her wetter and more excited than ever. James brought his dexterous fingers to her breasts, squeezing them seductively, which sent pleasurable, electric surges flowing through both nipples channeling down to her cunt.

She sighed loudly as juices seeped out of her, and her legs became so weak as she quivered with the overwhelming sensations bombarding her body that she almost fell.

* * *

Trevor found it hard to contain his sexual urges. Seeing her and James reach their peaks earlier had him curious and anxious to experience the same thing. Even though he climaxed in her hand almost at the same time as they did, he hadn’t yet experienced being in her tight passage. Oh, he had imagined how it would feel many, many times in the past couple of days since he met her, but now he’d actually be inside her soon, and he could barely wait.

When she sighed, almost losing her balance now, he grabbed her waist to keep her steady and probed her swollen lips with his fingers. Aroused, she convulsed at his touch, moaning while her juices coated his hand. He slipped one finger in, then another, bringing both back out to rub her engorged nub. She pushed her cunt toward him whenever he dipped them in her, obviously wanting him to go deeper. Unfortunately, his fingers could go only so far, but his cock could go much farther.

Taking his erect and extremely hard cock with his right hand, he guided it to her pussy, which wept for more vigorous attention. He slowly sank into her, and the scorching heat that hit his head made him almost lose his willpower. He came close to climaxing instantly inside her. God, but she was tight and so damn perfect inside. Exactly how he imagined she would be.

A whimper escaped her lips when Trevor stood still, just savoring the sensation of being in her. She moved her pussy back and forth while wiggling her delectable ass, urging him to move. And move he did, pulling out and then thrusting in deeper.

Her inner muscles expanded to accommodate his largeness, and he moaned when the tip of his penis hit the apex of her passage. Yes, the perfect fit. They were made for each other, no doubt.

* * *

She thought she’d go mad when Trevor remained motionless deep inside of her. Didn’t he realize what his actions were doing to her? God, she wanted more, she wanted it faster and harder.

To urge him on, she moved her pelvis back and forth, making his cock slip out and then back in her. The walls of her cunt contracted against his shaft in pleasure while her nub rubbed against the ridges of his magnificent manhood each time he came out. Her heart beat fast and powerful, and she found it hard to hear anything happening around her for how loud it beat in her eardrums. She could hear his groans of ecstasy mounting but just barely. Her body and mind focused on one thing.

Thankfully, so did Trevor’s mind and body seem to focus on the same thing. Following her lead and her wishes, he grabbed her hips, thrusting deeply into her and then pushing her off his shaft. Every once in a while, he lightly slapped her ass cheeks, and surges of arousal traveled through her breasts and pussy. Her legs trembled once more.

She arched her back and lifted her head to try to regain her balance. James took that particular time to initiate something that shocked her. He brought his cock to her pussy lips, rubbing them back and forth with the tip of its head. She heard the other girls at the saloon talk about giving their men pleasure with their mouths and thought it disgusting.

But now, having James’s glorious cock at her lips enticed her. To her surprise, she licked the tip. Pre-cum coated her lips, and when she opened her mouth to taste the saltiness, her mouth reacted of its own free will and opened wider to encircle his tip.

James groaned, grabbing hold of her hair and lifting it away from her face. “Belle, I’ll be gentle,” he whispered as he slowly pushed himself into her mouth a fraction of an inch at a time, heading for the back of her throat. She felt the stress on her jaw and mouth as it widened to accommodate his immense size.

Her first reaction was shock. Her jaw locked open, and she just stood still while he advanced at a snail’s pace. But with each slow movement James made with his cock in her mouth, Trevor intensified his caresses and ministrations on her clit and pussy, making her legs quiver and wetness seep from her cunt.

Soon the shock subsided, and her mind concentrated on the lewd emotions and sensations flowing throughout her whole body. Within seconds, for some unexplainable reason, James’s engorged cock deep in her mouth brought her further pleasure.

She rubbed her tongue over the ridges of his cock as it moved front to back, and her lips circled the shaft. When his pace quickened, so did Trevor’s as he played with her swollen nub with his fingers and thrust into her with more vigor and speed. She panted as her heartbeat augmented to a crazy, uncontrollable speed, until her heart pounded so hard in her chest it almost hurt.

Her ears popped with the increased pressure, and her climax came on her suddenly. She moved her head, making James turn and begin to rub himself up and down with his hand as he, too, moaned, coming in his hand.

Trevor rode her faster as her inner muscles convulsed and constricted around him and soon, he also, came inside her. She felt his spurting cum coat the outside of her lips. What a marvelous sensation to experience.

Once they had all reached euphoria, they collapsed on the beds, breathing deeply and sweaty. Belle stared at the ceiling. Estimating how much time elapsed since she and James got here until just now, she figured it was around midnight. Her legs were sticky, and she needed to bathe to get clean, but frankly she didn’t want to budge. Being here with her lovers felt great, right.

Maybe the bath could wait until morning.

Chapter 9

The sun teased her as she lay there. She had been awake for several minutes already thinking and reveling in the memories of their lovemaking the night before.

Oh, she had never experienced something so utterly enjoyable. If they weren’t right beside her now sleeping, she would have thought she dreamt the whole adventure.

Slowly sitting up so as not to wake them, she gazed at her lovers. Both were on either ends of the beds, facing opposing walls.

An urge to lean over and kiss one, then lean on the other side to kiss the other rose in her, but she didn’t dare try it. They needed to sleep, and she needed to get out of there before the other tenants awoke and caught her coming out of their room.

That’s the last thing they needed. If Melvin, the owner, ever found out what they were up to in this room, he’d kick them all out on their ears. Besides that, she needed a bath. Boy, did she need it desperately. Her body was drenched in sweat, and stickiness coated her legs and ass.

Slowly and quietly, she slid to the foot of the bed she lay on with James and slipped out without disturbing him. She then grabbed her things, put them on, and headed to her room to get a change of clothes before heading to the bathroom.

She inserted her key into the lock and twisted it, clicking the door open. As she stepped inside and closed the door behind her, a hand holding a cloth suddenly covered her face. And strong hands surrounded her body. She thrashed, trying to break free of the hold and push the cloth away, but after a minute of futile struggles, darkness enveloped her mind and she lost consciousness.

* * *

James turned around to hug his sweet Belle, but to his surprise, he embraced Trevor instead. His eyes sprang open as Trevor pushed his hand away. Apparently, James woke him with his movement. He rubbed his eyes and asked, “Where’s Belle?”

James lifted his head and focused on the empty room. “She’s not here.”

“I can see that, partner,” Trevor replied.

James twisted his body to the side and stood up to stretch. “I guess she left early so no one would find out she spent the night with us.” As he walked over to the chair near the door, he noticed a note on the ground. Someone had slipped it through the crack under the door.

Dipping, he said, “This must be from her.”

Picking up the note, he read it. At first the words sat in limbo in his mind, but then as he reread the note, the ricocheting effects haunted him and made his heart hammer in his chest and a lump of panic grow in his throat.

We have your lover. If you want to keep your dear Belle alive, come to Eden’s Paradise in half an hour. And don’t call the sheriff or she’s dead.

He dropped the note and stared at Trevor, frowning.

Trevor walked over to him while asking, “You look like someone just died. What’s on the note?” He bent down to pick it up.

But before he could read it, James ran to the bureau to get clean clothes.

He heard Trevor curse behind him. “Damn. Who the hell left this?”

James shook his head in anger and confusion as he walked over to the door, heading for the bathroom. “I don’t know. But if they touch one hair on Belle’s head, I’ll kill them.”

Time was imperative. They needed to get down to the saloon fast. And when they got there, there’d be hell to pay.

* * *

Voices came from all around her. Consciousness surfaced in her mind just seconds before, and she tried to open her eyes but couldn’t. Something kept her eyes shut. A blindfold? From the way it covered her entire nose, she figured it was a wide handkerchief someone wrapped around her eyes.

Her dry mouth hurt when she swallowed, and she almost choked thanks to the cloth stuffed deep in her mouth. Breathing became labored at that moment.

Where was she?

Moving her hands, she realized they had bound her to a chair. She rubbed her hands back and forth, trying to free her hand while her mind wandered. The last thing she remembered was heading to her room and entering it. Now it all became clear in her mind as the last remnants of fogginess dissipated in her brain.

Someone had been waiting for her. They used chloroform to knock her out. Why? Who wanted to kidnap her? Was her cover revealed? And did the kidnapper or kidnappers want to silence her forever?

She quietly cursed from the sting of the rough rope restraining her hands as she wiggled her wrists back and forth. She struggled to breathe when she heard the door open. Dragging footsteps followed as well as a man’s voice.

“Stop struggling, will you, and just sit.”

The voice sounded familiar, but she couldn’t quite place it. From the row and muffled sounds, she figured other hostages had been brought into the room. Now her mind rode on a wild spree of wonder. Who were the other hostages, and what the hell did the kidnappers want with all of them?

Her heart beat so frantically in her chest with rage and fear, it hurt. Perspiration began to seep from her pores with her mounting anxiety and discomfort.

Soon the sound of footsteps emerged again. From the two different sounds, she gathered two people left and one of them had a limp because one footstep sounded awkward. When more gagged, urgent sounds drifted her way, she realized two other hostages had been left in there with her and tried to communicate with her. Unfortunately, she couldn’t make heads or tails what their mumbled moans meant.

Grimness hovered over the room so thick, she felt despair. Her situation looked dire. Just as she took a labored exhale, she heard more footsteps approach. The door and the knob jiggled for a second. But it didn’t open.

A split second after that, a raised female voice came through. “Why did you lock the door? I told you I wanted to talk to her now.” It took a few seconds for her mind to recognize the voice, and in awe her mouth opened.

It can’t be.

Then the slightly familiar male voice replied, “Sorry, I forgot.”

“Well, come on, open it now.”

The man walked over and opened it.

Then the lady cursed. “Why the hell are they still gagged?”

“I thought you didn’t want them knowin’ where they were?”

She huffed. “I didn’t want them knowin’ where we were takin’ them, but leavin’ them like this now is cruel. Look at her, she can barely breathe.”

Belle understood she meant her, and, after light footsteps approached, someone took out the cloth in her mouth.

Taking a much needed deep breath, she felt the person untie her blindfold. She opened her eyes and shut them briefly again because of their sensitivity to the light. She reopened them and stared at her. Sure enough, her ears hadn’t played a trick on her.

“Sally,” she uttered in a quivering voice,

Sally laughed, throwing her head back. “From the look on your face, honey, it looks like you just saw the devil.” She glanced behind her to the man standing at the door and then pointed to the gagged and blindfolded men on the other side of the room.

Belle remained motionless from shock as she realized Jesse was the man she had been talking to. His voice was much deeper. No wonder it sounded familiar, but she couldn’t quite place it. And to her continued bewilderment, the gagged and bound men were John and Mat.

Jesse limped over to them and took off the handkerchiefs they had tied around their eyes and mouths. Both John and Mat stared at her, and John nodded slightly but didn’t say a word. She understood his signal and followed their lead of silence, figuring Sally and Jesse didn’t know who they were and that they were in it together.

Belle decided some probing was needed now. She stared at Sally, who stared back at her in silence. “Why did you kidnap me?”

Sally took a deep breath, and Belle noted her regret. “Honey, I wish we didn’t have to, but unfortunately, we need you.”

She pointed with her chin at John and Mat. “The same goes for those guys.”

Sally looked over her shoulder. “No, they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Though I still haven’t figured out for sure what they were doin’ there or what exactly they wanted.”

“She don’t believe their story.” Jesse sneered at them.

Sally walked to the door. “Well, sweetie, I gotta go. Got a very important date I can’t miss.” Then she addressed all three of them. “Don’t bother screaming. The walls are thick, and no one will hear you. Besides, Tom here will be on you in a second.”

She walked out, but Tom stayed behind, staring at her with hungry eyes. Belle’s stomach turned over in revulsion. She could read his thoughts through his expression, and she didn’t like it one bit. But thank God so could Sally.

She came back in and looked at him sternly. “How many times must I tell you to leave Belle alone? I don’t want you tryin’ anythin’ when I’m gone, either. You hear me? Now come on out.”

“I won’t.” Tom broke his stare and nodded, glaring at Sally.

He left the room and locked the door behind him. Relief cascaded over Belle that instant.

“So can you tell me what the hell is happening?” she whispered, taking a deep breath.

Mat whispered back, “We don’t know much. All we know is when we broke into Trevor Kent and James Sanford’s room, we were ambushed and knocked out. There was someone or more than one person in there already. My guess is they were looking for something.”

“So I guess they don’t know who you are?” She shook her head in bewilderment.

John nodded. “Yes, and we made it seem like we’re thieves who broke in to steal money and jewelry. Whatever we could find.”

“They didn’t seem to believe your story.”

Mat glanced at the door. “I don’t know. But Tom and the other guys don’t appear smart enough to figure things out.” He stared back at her. “So that is the Sally you told us about?”

She nodded. “But apparently, she isn’t just another saloon girl.”

Mat responded this time. “Well, this is the first we saw of her. And from what I see, I think she is the brains behind whatever scheme they have going here.”

 “Uh-huh, it looks like that. But what I don’t understand is what they want with Trevor and James.”

“We’ve been asking ourselves the same question all this time.” Both John and Mat nodded in agreement.

Belle’s head hurt from the swirling questions bombarding her brain. So much to think through. She hoped Trevor and James were all right. God, her heart longed for them.

After ten minutes of worrying and thinking, she decided the time had come to plan their escape. She needed to find her men and make sure they were safe. Her inner voice screamed she had to locate them soon before it was too late.

Chapter 10

Tumbleweeds rolling over the desert sand farther up the road made James want to scream. The place was deserted as far as he could tell. No one hid in the surrounding buildings up ahead, and Eden’s Paradise was closed. He didn’t like that one bit. He had staked out the place, hoping to get a clue as to where they held Belle and who the hell her kidnappers were. For the life of him, he couldn’t figure out who they could be and what in God’s name they wanted with Belle.

It’s not like he and Trevor were rich, or even Belle. And what did they mean by naming Belle as “their lover”? Obviously, someone had been spying on them up close for quite some time, but who and why, and more importantly, how? How the hell could someone know so much about them without him and James even having an inclination?

He slouched and bowed his head, rubbing his scalp while he waited for Trevor to get back. He had gone to the neighboring buildings behind Eden’s Paradise, scouting them out to see if anyone lay hidden aiming a gun at them, waiting.

He worried about Belle. He envisioned her frightened, crying, scared to death. They probably had her tied up in a dark, cold room. He prayed they hadn’t harmed her in any way. This was all their fault. They never should have gotten involved with her. Because of their selfish, lustful urges to satisfy their sexual desires, they put her life in danger.

And now, as he delved deeper into his conscience, he realized most of the blame should be on his shoulders. He came up with the outrageous idea Belle was Wild Isabelle LaRue. What a stupid, stupid man he had been.

Lifting his head to take an exasperated breath, he saw Trevor approach.

As he walked up to him, he asked, “So?”

He shook his head, frowning. “It’s clear. What time is it?”

“Almost ten. Whoever they are that took Belle should be coming in a minute or two since they certainly aren’t here now.”

And sure enough, the moment he ended his sentence, he heard galloping horses approach. He turned behind him to see three riders, two men and a female.

And when they came close enough for him to see clearer, he lost his breath. Glancing at Trevor, he noted his eyes practically popped out of his head.

“That’s Sally.”

James nodded. “Yes, what the hell is she doing here and with those guys?”

“I don’t know, but one of the guys with her, I recognize from the other night. He was in the back of the inn with a girl that night I took Belle out. He was a real pervert. He ogled Belle while we passed him and the girl he was with. I wanted to punch his face. And now I regret I didn’t,” Trevor responded.

James’s head continued to hurt trying to assimilate everything happening at this instant.

“So maybe he was the one spying on us all along. How else could they know Belle and we were lovers?”

Trevor never broke the fixed and cold stare he maintained as he observed the threesome’s advance.

“Partner, I think you hit the nail on the head there.” He took a deep breath. “Well, I guess we’ll soon find out for sure.”

As she dismounted from the horse, Sally handed her reins to one of the men, who then tied her horse to the fence next to the saloon. She walked over to them, taking off her gloves.

“Well, well, boys, nice to see you again,” she said with a side grin.

James took a step forward. “What are you doing here?”

She headed for the door and unlocked it. “Come on in, boys, and we’ll talk inside.”

James glanced at Trevor and followed her in, along with one man who tailed him. Her other companion entered a few seconds later. They took out their guns the moment they stepped inside and pointed them at Trevor and James. James went for his hidden gun, but Sally spoke before he could slip it out.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you. My men are good shots, and if by some miracle you have a quicker draw, then my man who has Belle has instructions to kill her if we don’t come back in time.”

James lowered his hand slowly and stared at her with rage brewing in his veins at the thought of anyone hurting Belle.

“No one better hurt her, or I’ll kill you.”

Sally laughed. “Boy, you’ve fallen for her.” She looked at Trevor next. “So have you.” Then with a wicked, wide smile, she added, “Lucky girl.”

It suddenly hit him then like a ton of bricks, and his heart lurched into his stomach with dread and surprise. He pointed his finger at her. “You…you’re Isabelle LaRue.”

Her brow lifted, and she did a little curtsy for him like an opera singer did when she finished her performance and responded to the crowd’s applause. “The one and only.”

“How can that be?” Trevor frowned.

“LaRue is supposed to have long black hair and have a beautiful voice,” James added.

Isabelle laughed harder still. “Oh, I see the rumors I started got all the way down to Texas. Good. I started them to defuse the attention off of me.” Then she lifted her finger up and wagged it to and fro in front of them, acting like a school teacher reprimanding her students for their intolerable behavior.

“Tsk, tsk. You boys should know better than anyone else that rumors are made-up stories bored folks create to entertain themselves. More often than not, there’s as much truth in them as I can lift with my little pinky.” She finished her closing sentence by raising her tiny pinky into the air and twitching it.

The part of the rumor that she had raven hair and a beautiful voice may have been completely off, but that she was sly, ruthless, and could fool any man was right on the spot. And as he stood their motionless, pondering this over, it dawned on him she mentioned Texas. Did she figure out who they were?

If she had figured out they and Belle were lovers, then odds weighed heavily that she put two and two together and surmised they were Texas Rangers, too. But he certainly didn’t want to play into her trap any further and replied in coolness and fake ignorance. “Texas?”

She walked over to the bar and served herself a drink. She answered without lifting her gaze. “Don’t play coy with me. I know you’re Texas Rangers.”

“That’s ridiculous,” Trevor rebutted.

Anger possessed her face, and James envisioned steam coming out of her ears for how volatile she became.

“Now don’t insult my intelligence, boys. There’s nothing more I hate than a man who thinks he’s smarter than me. The moment I served you boys here at Eden’s Paradise the other night, I knew you were lawmen. Then when you told me you were workin’ on the train, well, I put two and two together and figured out the Texas Rangers were called in again.”

Holding her glass up, she took a loud gulp, then pointed a finger at them. “They didn’t outsmart me two years ago, and you haven’t outsmarted me this time, either.”

James knew denying it would serve no purpose. She mentioned her man would kill Belle if they didn’t arrive on time. Time was ticking as they stood here chatting.

Taking a deep breath, he asked, “So what is it you want from us?”

She walked over to them, placing her hand under his chin. She squeezed his cheeks and leaned in until she was just a mere inch away from his mouth and puckered her lips as she stared at his.

“You two are such handsome devils. You know, you have the most desirable lips. I’d love to…” She paused.

Revulsion rose in him as her heated breath floated over his face. He tried not to show any reaction, especially not his disgust, even though his stomach churned with vile acid and the taste in his mouth nauseated him.

Suddenly, she laughed and let go of his face and paced in a circle while waving her hands in the air. “I want you to get us into the train today, and I want you to open that safe and give us all the gold and money in it.”

“What makes you think we can bring you in, let alone break open the safe for you?” James rubbed his sore cheeks.

She sat at a table nearby, threw the glass to the other side of the room, and then slapped her hands on the table hard. Her face turned red with rage. Her movement was so unexpected her posse even jumped.

“You’re tryin’ my patience, boy. Do you think I haven’t had you followed since I found out you’re Texas Rangers?

“I know you got the job as the train’s expressmen and know the combination of the safety box on the train. I also know the bank is deliverin’ the bonds and gold this afternoon and you two are supposed to place it in the safe when it arrives. It’s the biggest amount they’ve ever transported by train.”

She sighed, getting up. “And obviously, I found out about your adventures with Belle, too. I like that girl. She has spunk. She reminds me of me a few years ago.” She walked up to Trevor this time and stared him down.

“It’s just too bad for her she got involved with you two because she got herself stuck in the middle of danger, and now you’re gonna do what I ask or she dies.”

She headed to the door as her henchmen pointed their guns for them to follow.

“You’re gonna get us on that train, and you’re gonna give us the bonds and gold.” She motioned to her men to put away their guns right before she stepped outside.

“My boys are puttin’ their guns away now so no one outside becomes the wiser we’re holdin’ you as hostages, but don’t try anythin’ stupid or they will shoot and kill one of you in a second without so much as twitchin’ or hesitatin’.”

* * *

Belle began to shake with the urge to urinate. She hadn’t gone since last night, and her extra full bladder pained her. As she fidgeted to keep from peeing, a genius thought came to her.

She glanced at Mat and John and whispered, “Whatever I do, just go along with it. I have a plan.”

John shook his head. “I know that look, Belle. I don’t want you trying anything dangerous.”

“If you haven’t already noticed, we’re up to our eyeballs in danger. Just let me do this and keep quiet.” She huffed.

He squeezed his lips together and murmured, “Oh, all right.”

She stretched her head forward and started shouting, “Jes—” then corrected herself by saying, “Tom, I need to go to the bathroom.”

She heard footsteps and then the door opened. He peeked in waving his gun behind his head. “What did you say?”

“I have to go to the bathroom.”

He smiled as he limped to her. “Oh, so the pretty lady needs somethin’.” He looked her up and down and licked his lips. “And what will you do for me if I let you go?”

Anger bubbled in her veins, and if she could, she’d punch him in the nose for his vulgarity. But instead, she swallowed her fear.

“Did you forget what Sally warned you not to do?”

He sneered but said nothing while he walked behind her chair to untie her wrists. As the rope loosened, it stung. The circulation had started to return. He then came to the front and bent down, still holding his gun, to untie her ankles. In doing so, his free hand slipped under her dress, up her ankle, and headed to her knee.

“I’ve been dyin’ to get my hands on you ever since I saw you come in the first night at the saloon.” He smiled while he gazed into her eyes. “It’s payback time for all the times you teased me and pushed me away.”

From her peripheral vision, she could see John getting riled up, but thank God he didn’t say anything. Instead, she quickly brought her hand to stop his vulgar advance.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

He laughed. “Why not? Sally ain’t around to stop me. And what she don’t see, she don’t know.”

With her focus trained, she slipped one foot between his legs as he continued to stare at her with determination, like a hungry wolf. Then arching her body so she could bring the full force of her strength to her leg, she kicked him in the crotch.

He fell backward whimpering in pain, his gun sliding a few feet away. She sprang to her feet, kicking the gun farther away. Then coming to his side, she kicked him in the face, knocking him out before he could recuperate from her first kick and attack her.

She quickly ran to Mat and began untying him.

He stared at her as she had untied one hand. “I can do the rest. Go tie him up before he comes to.”

“You’re right.” She nodded.

After a couple of minutes, Mat had freed John and they took over tying Tom while she hurried to the other room to see where they were. But all she saw were empty cots, linen, chairs, and other furniture. It appeared to be a storage place. She did notice another door and when she opened it, it led outside. From the trees and walking path, she realized they were in the inn’s basement.

She closed the door and searched the room. An open whiskey bottle resting on an upturned chair caught her fancy, and she grabbed it, returning to the other room.

She gazed down at their unconscious prisoner. “Is he completely tied?”

“Yes.” John nodded and glanced up at her. “What are you going to do with that?”

She crouched. “We’re going to find out where Sally went. I have a funny feeling it involves Trevor and James.” She poured some of the whiskey on Tom’s face, and he bolted his head up, coming awake the instant the liquid hit his face.

He gagged. “Augh!” Glancing up, he asked, “What did you do that for?”

Belle forcefully probed, “I need answers, and I need them now. Where did Sally go?”

“I ain’t tellin’ you nothin’.” He laughed, looking to the other side.

John bent down and grabbed hold of Tom’s finger and twisted it. Tom writhed in pain. “Oww!”

Frowning, she warned him, “I won’t say it again. He’ll break your finger and your whole hand the next time if you don’t tell me where she went.”

He tried to move his body away from John, glaring first at him, then at Belle. “All right! All right! She went to the train station with two others from our gang.”

“Train station?” Mat asked.

“Why?” Belle continued.

“She found out the bank was deliverin’ a large amount of bonds and gold to the train, and she plans on stealin’ it.” He sneered. “And she’s taking along your boys to help her steal it.”

Her heart jumped to her throat. “Why Trevor and James?”

He chuckled. He obviously noticed her reaction. “Sally is really Isabelle LaRue, and she found out your boys are Texas Rangers who know the combination to the train’s safe.”

“Sally is Isabelle LaRue? Trevor and James are Texas Rangers?” she said out loud to herself, trying to assimilate his statement. Shock made her slump to the chair beside her, and she stared at him in a daze.

Tom absorbed her reaction and apparently reveled in it from the sly smile he gave her.

“Ha, you didn’t know that about your boys, did you? Guess you didn’t know they was usin’ you only for their pleasure, too, huh?” He paused and added the final stabbing touch. “How does it feel, Belle, to be a two-man whore?”

John leaned down and punched him, the blow so hard Tom passed out.

She stood up, bewildered.

John held her hand while Mat dragged the unconscious prisoner to the other side of the room where he would remain hidden if anyone decided to come down to check the room out.

“You all right, Belle?”

She looked up at John. “Huh?”

“What the bastard said about you and the Rangers, it isn’t true, right?” he asked with wide, disbelieving eyes.

Brewing humiliation heated her cheeks. She diverted her gaze to the door. “It doesn’t matter. What matters is we got to get to the train station before she kills them and takes off with the gold and bonds.”

She pointed her finger to Mat. “You, go get Sam and meet us at the train station.”

“Got you,” Mat responded, hustling to the door to leave.

She followed his cued exit and John tailed her, slipping the gun in his pants.

“What are we going to do when we get there? We got only one gun?”

She shrugged. “We’ll see when we get there.” Instead of heading to the front of the inn, she headed to the wooded area behind the inn.

“What are you doing?” John shouted.

She shooed him away with her hand. And without looking at him, she said, “I got to go. Go see if you can get us some horses on the road, and I’ll meet you up front.”

Her heart drummed in pain. She could barely breathe. It was true she needed to relieve herself, but she also needed a minute alone.

Tears had threatened to break free minutes ago. Tom’s harsh, accusing words cut deep to her core of strength, leaving her vulnerable and hurt. She wouldn’t be any good to anyone unless she got a rein on her emotions.

Chapter 11

They arrived at the train station in record time. John stopped a man on horseback on the road in front of the inn. He explained who he was and that it was an emergency. The kind man agreed to lend him his horse and so when Belle joined him, refocused and ready, they galloped off to the train station.

And now that they were here, Belle hadn’t the faintest idea what to do next.

John stared at her. “So what do we do now? Do we wait for Sam and Mat to get here?”

She shook her head. “No, it might be too late then.” She dismounted and walked to the back of the train. “We don’t even know if they’re still here. They could have left with the gold and bonds already.” And her heart sank to her stomach with the thought.

All these months, she thought Sally was her friend. But she’d been wrong. Dead wrong. She turned out to be a ruthless, dangerous criminal.

Belle had also been wrong about Trevor and James. Although she still was angry with them and deeply hurt, she couldn’t deny her feelings. She had fallen in love with them. And now, when the possibility that Isabelle LaRue had escaped with the gold and bonds and perhaps hurt them, or worse, killed them came to mind, it made her heart tear into two.

Wiping her moist eyes so John wouldn’t see, she said, “The safe is in the express car. So we sneak up and see who’s there.”

As they inched their way to the car, she prayed to God the two men she had fallen in love with were still alive.

* * *

They waited in the deafening silence in the express car. Trevor and James sat beside the safe waiting for the bank to deliver the gold and bonds on board.

No passengers boarded the train yet. They’d only be boarding in a couple of hours, right before it left the station. For security reasons, only the train personnel were there and of course the expressmen who would protect the safe and all the valuables in it.

Because of this, James and Trevor easily snuck Wild LaRue and her henchmen into the express car where the safe was housed without anyone noticing. Now they remained hidden behind a storage section in the car so they wouldn’t be seen by the bank guards when they arrived. But LaRue and her henchmen still had their eyes on them and would shoot to kill if they tried anything smart.

Trevor hovered on the brink of madness. His mind travelled miles away, worrying about Belle. Was she all right? What would they do to her? Ruthless LaRue was notorious for killing any and all witnesses in her path of heists, especially lawmen who stood in her way.

Since he and James were Texas Rangers who could identify her, he knew she would be killing them once she got the goods, but he prayed they would let Belle go. After all, Belle was an innocent bystander who got caught in the middle of this.

LaRue and her gang could escape to another town, maybe this time even high-tail it to Mexico. Belle wouldn’t be a threat to her or her gang. They could let Belle go free without fearing she’d have the lawmen after her.

And just as he stared out the car window worrying about her, he saw the top of a pretty head peek in.

Belle!

What the hell was she doing here? She saw him, and he signaled her with his eyes that LaRue was on the other side of the car hiding. She nodded and then disappeared from his vision.

His heart jumped to his throat, and his palms perspired. What would she do? God, he hoped the smart thing, which was let the other workers on the train know they were being kept captive and have one of them get the sheriff and his deputies.

He glanced at James, but he didn’t seem to have noticed her. He was dying to signal to him, but he didn’t dare. LaRue had the eyes of a hawk and she was focused on him and James now. So he just stood there waiting for the right opportunity.

And when the knock came at the door about forty minutes later, his heart dropped from his throat to his stomach and his legs went weak.

James walked to open it when LaRue whispered, “No heroics, boys, or Belle gets it.”

James nodded and just as he opened the door, he said in shock, “Belle?”

Trevor panicked.

Why the hell did she do such a stupid thing?

LaRue jumped out from behind the storage trunk and rushed to the door. She signaled with the gun.

“Damn it, get in here, or I’ll kill ’em,” she whispered.

Belle stepped in holding her hands up in front of her. “Don’t hurt them, please.”

As soon as the door shut, LaRue frowned, cursing, “What the hell are you doing here?” She took a quick glance outside. “Was this stupid idea Tom’s?”

Belle shook her head. “No. He’s tied up and unconscious back at the inn.”

Flabbergasted, LaRue stuttered, “W–what?”

“Mm-hmm, my brothers and I knocked him out and tied him up.” Belle nodded. “He’s the one who told us about your plans.”

“How the hell did your brothers know where you were?” In apparent confusion, LaRue shook her head.

Belle walked in closer to talk. Trevor opened his eyes wide in astonishment. Instead of shaking in her boots, she was as cool as a cucumber. The lady had spunk. Another reason why he loved her so.

Staring her straight in the eye, she replied, “You had them tied up in the room with me. You see, they are deputies in Little Rock, and now they are outside armed and ready to attack when I give the signal. My other brother, the sheriff, is also with them.”

She glanced behind her and added, “So if I was you, I’d give myself up.”

LaRue laughed. “Give up. Do you think a sheriff and two deputies can stop me? Honey, I’ve had bigger posses after me and my gang.” She peered out the window, and when she noted the coast was clear, she signaled her henchmen. “You boys, go out there and kill ’em.” She pulled Belle in front of her, wrapped an arm around her waist, and pointed the gun in Belle’s face with the other.

“I’m gonna stay in here and make sure this here lady and her lovers stay put and don’t cause any more problems.”

Her men nodded and crept outside with their guns held up ready to fire. Belle glanced at them, and Trevor’s heart skipped a beat with utter worry for her safety. When she winked at him without LaRue seeing, his heart pounded erratically, making breathing difficult. He knew she would do something crazy.

She wasn’t trained for this. They were. Why didn’t she just leave everything to them and her brothers, the lawmen outside?

Glancing to the floor, Belle said while slowly slipping her hand up her sleeve, “I don’t think it was a smart idea letting your boys out there.”

“My boys are the best shooters in all of the West. Your brothers are no match for them, honey,” LaRue mumbled while scouting the perimeter through the windows when two shots were heard, one right after the other. She was too preoccupied to notice Belle took out a gun she had hidden in her sleeve.

Readying her gun in one hand, Belle responded, “That’s where you’re wrong. You see, my brothers are the best marksmen in all of Arkansas.” And with the other hand, she pulled LaRue’s arm roughly, freeing herself, and then she shot LaRue square in the shoulder in one split second. “And I’m even faster than they are.”

With an expression of shock, LaRue took two steps backward. Her gun fell to the floor. She never saw it coming. Trevor’s jaw fell at Belle’s speed. And when he glanced at James, he sported the same reaction. But an instant after that, James jumped forward to grab the gun LaRue dropped. He pointed it at her.

Wild LaRue put a hand on her bleeding shoulder and simply gawked at Belle.

Taking a deep breath, she replied, “Honey, I knew there was a reason why I liked you.” Then she forced a laugh as she saw the door open and three lawmen walked inside. “I would have never thought I’d be taken down by a woman.”

Moving to sit on the chair on the side, she added, “Well, I guess it’s better to be taken down by a woman instead of a man.” Then she cackled. “Except if you’re talkin’ sex. Then anythin’ goes.” She glanced at Belle and Trevor and James with her address. “Ain’t that right?”

Trevor saw Belle blush and wanted to run to her and hug her. But Belle looked at him for only a second and then diverted her gaze back to her brothers.

“Are they dead?” she asked,

The tallest brother answered with a frown, “Yes, they are.” He grabbed LaRue by her good arm and lifted her roughly. He spoke to his deputies. “You two, take her out of here and bring her to the doctor to mend her shoulder.” He then looked at Belle with serious eyes. “And you, I need to talk to outside.”

“All right, but can you give me a minute?” She nodded.

He looked at her and then at Trevor and James. “One minute.” Then, speaking to them, he said, “If you’ll come back to Little Rock with us, we’ll make arrangements for you to transport LaRue back to Texas.”

“Thanks. We appreciate all you and your men have done,” James replied.

The sheriff looked at his sister. “If I had been informed of my sister’s and brothers’ plan earlier, I would have been a better help.” He walked over to the door, pointed a finger as if to remind his sister he’d be waiting for her outside.

Once he left, Trevor started to swoop in to hug and kiss her. James tailed him, saying, “Pretty lady, you put us through hell.” But Belle put up her arm to stop him.

The look in her eyes bore a hole through his heart.

* * *

How the hell would she pull this off? She had played it over and over in her head while she and John rode to the train station. She promised herself she’d steel her emotions and not risk getting hurt anymore. What they had was over. They’d be heading back to Texas in a day or so, and she would stay here.

There was no room in their lives for their complicated fling to continue. The only person who would continue to get hurt was her because she had fallen in love with them both. And she couldn’t endure any more of it.

Taking a deep breath, she put her arm up to block Trevor’s advance. A lump formed in her throat, but she swallowed it.

“Look, boys, I’m sorry, but we can’t do this anymore,” she said with inner determination,

Trevor’s expression saddened while James asked, frowning, “Why not?”

She glanced at the window. “Because what happened between us wasn’t real. I planned the whole thing so I could find out what you were up to in Fort Smith.” She moved farther away to avoid their intense stare.

“You see, I came here incognito a few months back when the robberies started, to investigate them. My brothers John and Mat were in on it, but I didn’t tell my brother, the sheriff, Sam, because I knew he wouldn’t allow me to come.

“And when my brothers told me you were hired as the new expressmen, I found it odd that out-of-towners would be hired instead of lawmen from here. I figured you were the ones responsible for the train robberies happening around these parts.”

Trying to keep her emotions buried, and right now it pained her unbearably to do so, she stared at them purposely with a blank expression and added, “I decided to seduce you to try to find out the truth about why you came here.”

“No, it was more than that.” James shook his head.

“Belle.” Trevor tried to take her hand.

She felt the tears brimming, and she wanted to jump into his arms, both their arms, but she couldn’t.

Breaking free from Trevor’s hold, she ran out of there mumbling, “I’m sorry, but I can’t.”

Chapter 12

Two weeks later

She dragged her feet as she stepped into the office. John took one look at her and frowned. “Boy, did you wake up on the other side of the bed this morning or what?”

“Don’t start with that again, John.” She knew she didn’t look great. Her hair was tied in a tight bun, she wore no rouge, and her extremely conservative dress looked more like a housecoat than a dress. Plain and baggy. But she could hardly care less. The past couple of weeks had taken their toll on her. She had no energy to enjoy life anymore.

Now that her spying work had ended and Isabelle LaRue and her gang caught or killed, there was no reason for her to continue her charade of singing at the saloon. The fact was, she didn’t really enjoy it. She loved to sing and play piano, but to have horny, perverse men drooling at her night after night turned her stomach.

There were only two men she wanted horny and gawking at her, and they were many, many miles away in Texas. They left the day after they captured LaRue. They tried to talk to her several times that day and the day before they left, but she refused. She hid out at John’s place and asked him and Mat to make excuses for her. She knew if she’d seen them, then her heart would shatter into a million pieces and never mend again.

But unfortunately, it still shattered in a thousand pieces, and so far, she still hadn’t put it back together. Hopefully, with time, she’d be able to move on. In the meantime, when Mat came to her room this morning telling her Sam wanted her to come to the office to talk to her and that it was important, her spirits lightened a bit.

She hoped her eldest brother had finally come to his senses and realized what an asset she’d be as one of his deputies in Little Rock. She asked him time and again to let her try out for the job, but he refused.

After both their parents died in an accidental fire when Belle was only thirteen, he took it upon himself to take care of his little sister. Even though, she grew up before his eyes, he obviously still saw her as his baby sister. The job would be too dangerous for a girl, he had told her over and over again.

Mat and John disagreed with him and let him know their opinions, but unfortunately, their reasoning landed on deaf ears. He was the sheriff, and his decision was final.

To prove her overprotective brother wrong, Belle came up with this whole complicated plan of going to Fort Smith. Mat and John refused to help her in the beginning, but once she explained her detailed scheme, they agreed with hesitations.

She found out Eden’s Paradise looked for a singer, and she decided to try out for the job. She knew Eden’s Paradise was the most popular saloon in all of Arkansas and if the bandits responsible for the train robberies in these parts were still here, then that would be the place they’d frequent.

She’d been right. Of course, she didn’t figure out Sally was really Wild Isabelle LaRue and that she and her gang had been responsible for all the heists. But when all the cards were played, she did end up catching the criminals responsible. So it had to count for something, right?

Looking around in the office this morning, she asked, “Where’s Sam?”

John pointed to the office in the back. “In there. He’s with someone.”

“Okay, then I’ll wait.” She moved to sit next to him.

But before she could sit, he added, “No, he told me he wanted you to go in. Whoever it is wanted to talk to you.”

Creasing her forehead, she stood straight and mumbled, “Hmm,” as she headed for the door.

Knocking, she heard her brother respond, “Come in.”

When she opened the door, her eyes registered a tall, husky man stand to greet her. Her brother did the introductions as she closed the door behind her.

“Belle, I’d like you to meet Captain Peak. He was the Texas Ranger captain in charge of the train robberies case you solved.”

“Howdy, Miss Belle.” The captain’s smile widened as his hand stretched out before him. “It’s a pleasure to finally meet the lady who took down one of the most notorious outlaws in the West.”

“Thank you, Captain Peck.” Her cheeks heated at the compliment as she shook his hand.

He gestured with his hand. “Please, have a seat.”

He glanced at Sam, then continued. “I came in a few hours ago and have been talking here with your brother. He has been filling me in on all the details of Isabelle LaRue and her gang’s capture and just how much you were involved in the takedown. And that is why I asked him to call you here.”

“Oh?” Belle looked at her brother in confusion.

The captain turned more to his side, toward her, and leaned his elbows on his knees as he continued. “Well, the Texas Rangers are in need of more Rangers, and from all I’ve heard about you and your quick draw and cunning, I believe you’d be the perfect Ranger. There is a particular case that’s been on my desk for the past few months, and we’ve been having one hell of a time solving it.”

He took a deep breath. “Truth be told, we need a female Ranger spy on this particular case, and unfortunately we have no female Rangers at this time.” He paused a second and then asked, “So, Miss Belle, would you be interested in joining our team?”

She could hardly believe her ears. Could this be happening? She stared at her brother, waiting for him to show his opposition to his offer.

Instead, he nodded and said, “Belle, I think you’d be a great Ranger. You proved to me just how good a law woman you are.”

Her jaw fell even though she tried to keep it closed. She wanted to pinch herself to see if this was all a dream, but figured she’d look pretty foolish if it wasn’t. What the hell, she’d play along with it, and if she woke up and it had been a dream, then it was fun while it lasted.

Smiling broadly, she gazed at the captain. “I’d be honored to become a Texas Ranger. Thank you, Captain Peak, for offering me the job.”

He stood up and reciprocated her wide smile. “Now that’s what I like to hear.” He put his hand into his jacket pocket and took out a ticket. “I was hoping you’d say yes and brought a train ticket for you for Austin, Texas. That’s where our division is situated. The departure date is in a couple of days. Will this be enough time for you to get your things together by then? If not, we can change the date for later, but I would prefer you get started on the new case as soon as possible.”

Her eyes sprang open with her will to register the realness of everything happening so fast.

“Oh, that’s fine. I can leave then. There’s no problem.”

“I must be going now. I have further business to take care of in Fort Smith, but I’ll see you when you arrive back in Austin.” He looked at Sam and back at her. “I’ll have someone pick you up at the train station.” He extended his hand first to Sam. “It was a pleasure meeting you, Sheriff Samson.”

“The same goes for me, Captain Peak.” Sam shook his hand vigorously, smiling back.

The captain turned to her and grinned wide while he shook her hand. “Welcome to the team.” Then he walked over to the door and left, saying, “Bye,” right before he shut the door behind him.

Belle slumped into the chair behind her, sighing and gazing at the ceiling. John walked in then and looked at Belle and Sam with wide eyes.

“So who was that? And what did he want with Belle?” he asked.

Sam replied for her since her giddiness made her slow to react. “That was Captain Peak, a Texas Ranger, and he offered our sister, here, a job as a Ranger. She leaves for Austin, Texas, in a few days.”

“Austin, Texas?” A frown came over John’s face.

Then it hit her. She’d be leaving her family behind. Suddenly, the high she had been riding on came crashing down and sadness began to choke her.

Chapter 13

Belle waited in Captain Peak’s office, fidgeting with her gloves. She was excited, terrified, and exhausted all at the same time.

Throughout the long and tiring train trip, she had been thinking about her brothers and how hard it would be leaving Little Rock and them behind. But Sam convinced her it was an opportunity of a lifetime, and she shouldn’t throw it all away. It was time she stood on her two feet and forged her way in law enforcement. Only good things were on the horizon for her from now on.

They promised they’d come visit her next month when she was settled in her job, and that helped reassure her in her decision.

As she sat in the office waiting now, the sound of her heart pounding hammered in her ears, and her breath became shallow with anxiousness. One of the Rangers who picked her up at the train station said that the captain was busy on another case, but that her partners she would be working with on this case would be coming in soon to talk to her.

Gosh, she was actually here and soon would be working on her very first official Texas Rangers case. She could hardly believe it. She wondered who her partners would be. She hoped they’d be easy to work with.

Deep in her heart, she hoped that she would have seen Trevor and James when she arrived, but she figured they were probably away on another case. The odds of crossing paths with them would be slim. And the thought weighed heavily on her mind and heart.

Although several weeks had passed since she last saw them, her feelings for them hadn’t changed. If anything, they intensified, and she longed for them every night when she went to bed. She hoped this new job would keep her so preoccupied that thoughts of her loves would be buried and she could heal finally.

And just as she reflected on that hope, the door to the office opened, and two of the handsomest faces she had ever seen peeked in. She lost her breath at the sight.

When they walked in smiling, she barely whispered, “Oh, my God,” and ran to them as James closed the door. She jumped into Trevor’s arms, surprising him.

He had to take a step back to keep from falling backward. “Oh, I like that reception!” was all he said.

She twisted her head to look at James as he turned to face her, beaming.

He opened his arms, asking, “Do I get a hug, too?”

She laughed. “Yes, of course you do.” And she let go of Trevor to hug James.

“We’ve missed you, Belle.” He lifted her in his arms and twirled her around,

Tears had begun to trickle down her cheeks, and she sniffled. All her emotions flooded her at once. And she let them spill out into her words. She couldn’t keep them bottled any longer.

“I’ve missed you both, too.”

James gently put her down and wiped her tears. “Why didn’t you let us talk to you before we left? We wanted to explain everything to you.”

Honesty was her only crutch today, and so she took a deep breath and drew on it for strength.

“Because it hurt too much to be near you, to see you again knowing you’d be leaving for Texas the next day. I couldn’t bear it.”

“Belle, it doesn’t matter anymore. You’re here now.” He bent down and kissed her gently and sweetly on her lips.

“And we are never going let you go ever again.” Trevor hugged her from behind and kissed the top of her head.

She laughed. “Well, that’ll be hard since I’m going to be meeting my new partners in a few minutes and heading out on my first…” She paused and stopped breathing. The smug look on James’s face revealed everything.

“Oh, my God! You’re my new partners?” she inquired while covering her mouth with her hands in awe.

He nodded. “Uh-huh. We convinced the captain that we’d need your help for one of our unsolved cases, and once he heard everything you did in the LaRue case, he decided to personally come recruit you himself.”

“You did that for me?” was all she could reply.

“No, pretty lady, we did it for us. We need you, we love you, and want to spend every waking hour with you,” Trevor responded.

His words made her swoon. “Really?”

James agreed, “Uh-huh. We love you, Belle, and need you in our lives forever.” Then he grinned. “We also really do need your help on this case. We’ve been working on it for months and can’t make any headway on it.”

“Oh, what’s it about?” Her curiosity piqued.

“Well, the outlaw we need your help with has your name, actually.”

Her mind searched and then her mouth fell open when she realized who he meant. “No, it can’t be Belle Starr, can it?”

“The one and only,” Trevor responded, nodding.

She twirled around on the heel of her shoe with excitement. “Oh, my God, I can’t believe it.” Swallowing and taking a deep breath, she asked, “So what is it you’d like me to do?”

Trevor stared at James before saying, “We can talk about that later on when you’re settled in.”

James picked up her bags while Trevor extended his arm for her to take.

“If you’ll follow us, pretty lady, we’ll show you where you’ll be staying. I’m sure after the long train trip, you want to freshen up.”

She tittered, taking his arm. “That sounds nice.” Entwining her arm through his, they left Captain Peak’s office. Her feet hit the floor with every step, but she was riding on such a high that it felt like she floated on a cloud of happiness instead.

* * *

Trevor couldn’t wait until they arrived at the room. He and James discussed this several times in the past couple of weeks, and he hoped her reaction would be favorable. It was a big step for all of them, but both he and James were ready for it. Now the question if she would be ready for it, too, battered in his brain.

“This is where you’ll be staying, pretty lady. Hope you like it.” He glanced at her while he put the key into the lock.

Anxiousness flowed through his body, making his hands sweaty, and he needed to squeeze the knob tighter in his grip to twist it open since his fingers slipped. When he opened the door and saw her reaction, he couldn’t help but smile with satisfaction.

“You like it?” he asked.

She stepped in, her eyes big, and twirled around, taking in every inch of the place.

“It’s beautiful.” She sighed,

The spacious room had a double bed, the curtains and bed cover were a burgundy-red silk. She skipped to the window, pushed the curtain to the left, and stared outside.

“The garden view is breathtaking.”

James walked over to her after placing her bags on the bureau and held her hand, guiding her to the side door.

Once he opened it, she looked confused. “Why is there another room?”

“This is our room.” James took her hand and kissed the palm while staring at her. “Trevor and I thought it was a good idea that we have adjoining rooms, so we can discuss the case whenever we want.”

“And discuss further matters of the heart whenever we want.” Trevor slid to her side and wrapped his hands around her waist from behind.

He pulled her hair to the side. A whiff of her sweet-smelling perfume enticed him. He nuzzled into her hair, reveling in her scent. Then he bent to the side to nibble and tug her earlobe and inched his way down her neck until he got to her shoulder. She moaned with delight, sending surges of arousal to his cock.

Weeks had gone by since he last touched her silky-soft body, kissed her full, warm lips, and made passionate love to her. He glanced at James while kissing her shoulder and saw the hunger in his eyes for her. They needed her and the way she panted, he knew she needed them, too.

He whispered in her ear, “We want to make love to you, baby.”

She opened her eyes, gazing at James, who leaned forward to kiss her on the lips. The kiss was brief, but she arched her head forward, obviously not wanting it to end.

Trevor took it as a cue. He dipped down to lift her into his arms, carrying her toward the bed. She took a deep breath as he crushed her body to his chest. Wrapping her arms around his shoulders to brace herself, she kissed him as she combed her fingers through his hair with apparent urgency. Sparks flew with their heated contact, making him intensify the kiss.

He snuck his tongue into her heavenly mouth, looping hers with his, probing every inch, teasing her of more to come.

She sighed with obvious rapture.

He couldn’t see where he headed, but when his knee hit the edge of her double bed, he gently placed her on it without breaking the kiss. Her hands slid from behind his neck, down to his chest, and to the buttons of his shirt.

James moved to the other side of the bed and began to undo the ribbons in her beautiful jet-black locks, letting her hair cascade down her shoulders. Then he turned to her back and undid the lace bindings of her dress and corset.

Once he was done, he pulled the dress down to her mid-section, exposing her chest for Trevor. That’s when he finally broke the kiss to gaze upon her full bosom, and his breath escaped him as he admired her perfect, plump breasts. The dark areolas were taut and pebbled, waiting for his lips to kiss, his tongue to lick, and his mouth to suckle. He cupped one, then the other, massaging them in his hands as she closed her eyes and lay down on the bed, moaning in pleasure.

Trevor’s cock poked at the closure of his pants, and he needed to release it. Glancing at James, signaling him to take over, he got up and shrugged off the vest and shirt she completely unbuttoned and removed his trousers and underwear, freeing his hard, erect cock to the cool air. The second it sprung free, he jerked it up in excitement. Pre-cum leaked out with his anticipation.

He observed James, who slowly inched his lips from her arm, up to her shoulder, and then down to her breasts. She threw her head back on his contact, and he heard a pleasurable, exhaling sigh escape her lips.

She arched her back, lifting her breasts closer to James’s lips. He suckled one while he pinched and pulled on the other. She bit her lip and lifted her pelvis, obviously signaling James she wanted to be free of the restraining attire.

He followed her gesture and pushed down her dress over her hips and thighs while continuing to suckle and lick her luscious, plump breasts. Once she was completely naked, Trevor could see her quivering, swollen pussy and clit when she spread her legs, and his breath caught in his throat, unable to be released. His lungs failed to function because his mind was too preoccupied with the vision. Having been away from her for so many weeks, he had forgotten how intoxicating the view of her naked body could be.

He refocused his attention back to James and her delectable breasts, noting that with every lick of James’s tongue, her skin tingled and her nipples stood more erect. She arched her back once more, staring at Trevor.

Her wanton gaze began at his face, then made its way down his torso, focusing on his cock. More pre-cum seeped out of his cock because of her demanding stare as his penis jumped higher to attention, ready to obey her every demand.

It was time for them both to make love to their beloved, let her know exactly how much she meant to them. He bent down to kiss her lips and squeeze her free breast, then pinched her nipple. Her back arched once again, and her breasts thrust forward, wanting more.

Knowing his partner wished this as much as he did, because they had discussed it just that morning, Trevor first glanced at James, then at Belle, softly saying, “Belle, James and I would like to make love to you at the same time.”

A look of bewilderment came over her eyes then, and he wondered if he had pushed her too fast. Maybe she wasn’t ready. Damn, he wished he could take back the words just now.

* * *

Confusion swirled in her mind. Make love to her at the same time.

“How can we?” The words slipped out of her mouth before she even had a chance to think.

Trevor smiled serenely while he sat on the bed caressing her stomach. Each time his finger came just above her pussy hairs, pangs of electric desire made her lips quiver and goose pimples spread over her exposed skin.

“One of us will enter you from the back.” He stared intensely into her eyes.

It took her a few seconds to understand what he meant and fear of the pain settled in her mind.

“We’ll take it slow, Belle,” James said.

Implicit trust made her nod without hesitation. A part of her was still scared of the pain, but another imagined how it would feel to have both of her men in her. Wetness seeped out of her with the image.

James got off the bed and began to undress while keeping his hungry stare on her.

“Baby, get on your hands and knees and come on over to the edge of the bed.” Trevor slid off and gently nudged her to turn.

She followed his guide not knowing what would happen next. He slapped her ass. The sting shot straight to her cunt and nipples. She moaned in pleasure.

Once he stood up, she turned her head in disappointment. “Where are you going?”

“To get the lubricant, pretty lady.” He laughed.

“The lubricant won’t make it hurt, Belle.” A fully naked and erect James came behind her, pulling her gently toward him, farther to the edge of the bed. Massaging her ass cheeks, he pushed them open. The cool air hitting her lips made her lose her breath.

Then he glided his cock over her cunt and asshole. She bit her lips, closing her eyes, wanting to savor every movement he made.

Trevor’s footsteps became louder as he approached the bed. He said to James, “Here, partner.”

He sat on the bed and dipped forward to gaze into her eyes. His deep brown eyes made her giddy.

“It may feel cold at first, baby.” He pulled her hair away from her face and dipped in to kiss her lips, bringing his hands to her breasts, cupping, messaging, and stroking the nipples back and forth. She swallowed a hungry groan and snaked her tongue past his partially open lips, meeting him in a dance of arousal.

The moment James spread the lubricant on her anus, coldness made her stop teasing Trevor’s mouth for a second.

James massaged the oil around the hole and then slipped his finger in and out, inching his way deeper and deeper each time he slid it in.

At first, the awkward, uncomfortable sensation made her freeze, barely breathing. But as the lubricant spread into her hole, it became pleasant.

Trevor lifted her up and slipped under her. “I’m going to go in from the front, baby. James will take it slow and enter you from the back. You tell us if it hurts, okay?”

“Uh-huh,” she moaned while James’s one-finger penetration became two. Her skin stretched to accommodate the second finger, but no discomfort came with it.

Trevor kissed her lips, slipping his tongue into her mouth as he rubbed his cock over her bud and circled her pussy. Positioning his penis over her wet opening, he dipped the head slowly in and out.

She spread her legs a little farther apart while James massaged her butt cheeks with one hand and penetrated her anus with two fingers from his other hand.

A shiver of aroused shock surged through her with the fullness and she moaned, “Ahh!”

Trevor caressed her right breast, circling the outside, making his way to the inside, until he traced her areola. His finger passing over her skin caused arousal to pulse through her nipple travelling down to between her legs.

She took a deep breath, trying to calm her raging heart, which she thought would burst out of her chest. Her arousal escalated and she began to perspire. She moved her pussy lower onto Trevor’s penis when he pinched her nipple.

He moaned deep in his throat with what sounded like an insatiable hunger for her and thrust his cock deep into her passage. She opened her eyes wide in shock. The sensation of being instantly impaled in two places at once overwhelmed her. But it was good, pleasurable beyond anything she could have imagined.

Trevor nor James moved at first. Then, while James kept his two fingers deep into her anus, Trevor slid out and slipped back deeper into her chasm. A groan escaped her lips when her inside walls tightened around his shaft. Oh, but this felt so good.

When the tip hit the top of her cunt, she almost climaxed. But he stopped moving and the urge subsided.

In a husky voice, he proclaimed, “Baby, it feels so good to be inside you again.”

James spoke in a soft tone. “Belle, I want to go inside you now, too.”

She nodded, biting her lip, unable to utter a sound right at that moment.

Trevor thrust into her once more and remained deep in her pussy while James slid his fingers out of her hole. She felt empty. What a disappointing sensation. But thankfully, it didn’t last long and James rubbed his wet head up, down, and around her hole.

Her anal muscles spasmed, and she lifted her ass cheeks higher in the hope he would enter her now. Her intentions were obviously understood loud and clear because he inserted the tip into her passage half an inch and pulled out.

Before he entered her again, he asked, “Does it hurt, Belle?”

She tried to speak, but couldn’t. Her vocal chords remained tied in a knot. Her body screamed so loud for more that she trembled all over. She shook her head no.

He rubbed her ass cheeks and pulled them wider apart, sliding his cock a little deeper in her. Even though it wasn’t unpleasant, it didn’t feel completely pleasurable.

He stayed motionless in her asshole while Trevor slowly moved. He pinched both her nipples, then twirled the tips with his thumbs and index fingers while he continued to move in and out of her. Her juices seeped out of her lips as her arousal mounted.

That was when James sunk deeper into her asshole and moaned in delight. All unpleasant sensations disappeared and she sighed wantonly.

Her men apparently took that as a cue to move in and out of her then. While one exited, the other sunk into her. The experience was incredible.

She thrust her head back and followed their movements by swaying her hips to and fro. James slapped her ass cheeks. The sting made her legs weak.

While they continued their mating dance of love, the friction that came with their movements made her body hot, and she panted, trying to catch her breath. Her heart pounded furiously in her chest with excitement and her ears throbbed as blood rushed to her head.

Soon, their thrusts turned to pumps, and she met each of their movements with one of her own, sending their shafts deeper into her passages.

Her climax crept up fast and furiously on her as she tightened around them, crying out, “Oooh!”

Trevor was the first to come in her. His cum spurted into her, heating her insides.

Out of breath, he kissed her when his climax ended.

James came a moment later. His cum leaked downward, mixing with Trevor’s. It caused coolness to soothe her throbbing pussy.

She collapsed on Trevor’s chest and tried blowing her hair out of her eyes, but she was too out of breath. She could hear Trevor’s beating heart. He rubbed her hair and kissed the top of her head while James caressed her back. Their endearing gestures made her feel warm in her heart.

* * *

Holding her like this right now felt perfect. Trevor couldn’t have asked for anything more.

“It’s so good to have you in my arms again, baby,” he said, pushing her hair out of her face so he could admire her beautiful blue eyes.

“I like being here with you both. I missed you so.” She stared first at Trevor, then at James who crawled onto the bed beside them.

James kissed her lips. “This is where you belong, Belle. With us.”

She smiled and Trevor saw the intense love she had for him and James then. He knew it was genuine and everlasting.

Making love to her had solidified his feelings for her, as well. She was their soul mate. No doubt in his mind.

Even though he and James hadn’t discussed it, he knew they would want to make an honest woman of her.

He thought about it at this moment as he stared at her. They’d probably wait until this case was solved before proposing, since it would be inappropriate to publically show she was having a relationship with one of them now. But as soon as it was solved, they’d ask her.

Of course, only one of them could officially marry her in the eyes of the law. They’d let her decide. But who she married didn’t make a difference to Trevor. She’d be a wife to both of them and they’d love her equally with all their hearts.

Trevor kissed her forehead as she slid off of him and between him and James. He glanced at James, who now cuddled her, giving her butterfly kisses on her cheek.

She closed her eyes and then laid her head on the pillow beside his. The long, exhausting trip had obviously caught up to her and fatigue dragged her into sleep.

Both he and James gently rested their arms on her waist as Trevor closed his eyes and listened to her calm breathing. Their true love was finally where she belonged, in the arms of the two men who would love her forever.

THE END

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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK

IMPRINT: Ménage Everlasting

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE NAUGHTY

Copyright © 2010 by Jessica Frost

E-book ISBN: 1-60601-649-0

First E-book Publication: July 2010

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