“Slade.” Her voice shook. “What are you doing? We should talk about this.”
“Time for talking is past, baby.” Slade’s voice sounded hoarse, utterly unlike the sunny man she knew. This man had purpose, and it wasn’t to make her laugh.
Dex was on his knees before her. He gently threaded his fingers through her hair and pulled, lifting her head until she caught his eyes. “You gave up the right to talk, darlin’, when you didn’t tell us that someone is trying to hurt you. So now we’re going to go over the rules. Rule number one, you never hide anything from us.”
Rules? Hannah might have thought they meant rules of employment…but with Slade’s hand making its way up her thigh, she didn’t think that was the case. What was he planning to do?
She was so damned confused. Tears welled in her eyes. One minute they were her friends. The next, they thrust her over their lap, touched her in the most deliciously inappropriate way, and started talking about rules. If this was a joke, she wasn’t laughing. She certainly didn’t want to be the butt of it.
“Slade, let me up.”
Gavin’s voice broke through her panic. “Slade, release her. She asked.”
“That is not the way this works. You don’t understand, Gavin. Unless you’re willing to rethink your position, stay out of this.” Slade’s hand was right under the cheek of her ass now, caressing her, lighting up her skin. “I can’t let you go, Hannah. We meant to do this slowly, but that’s no longer an option.”
“Do what?” Her voice shook.
“Teach you to submit.” Slade’s voice was husky as he bent to whisper in her ear.
“To us. Open your eyes, darlin’.” The deep drawl she knew well wound through Dex’s words, but there was an underlying note of command she’d never heard him use before.
Shivering, Hannah did. She couldn’t ignore that voice. But when she looked into Dex’s dark eyes, the gravity there terrified her.
“Please don’t do this to me. I’m not like the other girls. I have…feelings for you. I couldn’t handle being your plaything.” Her breath hitched, and she tried to control her tears.
Hannah had stupidly fallen in love with the three of them, but she wasn’t naïve. They never kept a lover for long. If she gave into her desires, she would have a few days of sex-soaked bliss with them before they left her behind for their next willing female. That would break her heart into a million tiny pieces.
Then she would definitely have to leave her job—maybe even leave the city. Because no way could she be close to them every day, knowing they’d found another lover and were lavishing all their attention on her.
But maybe if she held them off now, she could move on one day, find some nice guy and have a decent life. She would never let that nice guy know she longed for these three men. Hell, she could never let themknow how much she truly loved them.
Dex and Slade shared a glance before the middle brother caressed her thigh. “Thank you for that, Hannah.”
For admitting that she was a lovesick idiot? “Please let me up, Slade.”
“I won’t do that, baby.” He sounded as tortured as she felt. “I can’t.”
Dex leaned in, his face inches from hers. “Hannah, we know you’re not like the others. We knew it the minute we met you. Do you have any idea how hard it’s been to wait for you to get to know us? But that’s over now, especially since we know how you feel.”
Behind her, Slade pushed her skirt up to her waist. She felt the cool air on her backside and she shrieked.
“Just because I care about you doesn’t mean I’ll be your plaything.”
Dex’s jaw firmed, but he cupped her face tenderly. “Relax, darlin’, and listen to me. You’re not our plaything. But don’t think for a second that you’re not ours, Hannah. You are.”
Ours? They couldn’t possibly mean in any other way except to toy with and use. They would discard her when the fun and games were over because that’s what they did with every woman. Hannah wanted to believe that she was different, but she’d be kidding herself.
She wriggled, trying desperately to force Slade to release her. “Let me go. Take me home. I swear I’ll tell you if this stalker contacts me again. Just…don’t do this.”
“Calm down,” Slade demanded. “There is no going back, baby. We’re going to keep you in Alaska until you agree to be ours.”
“Marry us, darlin’. That’s what he means.”
Marry? Her head was whirling. They wanted her to marry them? How was that supposed to work? Or was this “proposal” just one way more they played with a woman’s heart? If so, she already couldn’t take it. The yearning was too deep and haunting. Their leaving would create scars she’d never heal from. “Please, don’t.”
“Stop talking, Slade,” Dex snapped. “She’s not listening.”
“You’re right. We just need to move forward.”
Relief poured through Hannah—along with crushing despair. They’d release her, and she could go back to her old life, minus the job she loved. She’d carry on somehow. But since they hadn’t really touched her, she’d get over her broken heart someday. Maybe.
Instead of letting her go, Slade pulled her underwear down around her thighs. Hannah gasped. Her bare bottom was on full display.
Dex stood over her, leaving her to stare at the blue industrial carpet. “Look at that beautiful ass.”
“I told you it was gorgeous under all that crap she wears. Her breasts are going to be spectacular.” Slade ran a palm over her backside.
Tingles danced everywhere he touched. Were they really talking about her sexually?
“The only thing that would make this gorgeous bottom look better is a nice shade of pink. How many?”
Slade continued his perusal of her ass. Hannah could feel the heat of his stare. “I think her offense was pretty damn grave, but she’s a novice. She didn’t understand the rules. I say twenty-five.”
Hannah brought her head up. “Twenty-five? You—you’re going to spank me twenty-five times? You can’t…”
But Slade proved in the next instant that he could. His hand came down with a crack, and fire licked across her flesh. Horror and desire washed over her in equal waves. Hannah howled and bucked.
Dex knelt to her again. “Be still, Hannah. No fighting us. You take your discipline with grace or there will be more of it.”
It seemed wrong, but desire swelled as Slade palmed her ass. Still, nothing could dampen her fury. “Gee, thanks.”
Smack. Hannah stiffened and whimpered.
“No sarcasm,” Slade growled. “But you can make that breathy little sound you just made, love. That went straight to my cock.”
One smack. Then another. Hannah gasped, fists clenched. Slade didn’t seem to notice. He simply went to work, his hand raining down blows on her backside. She bit her lip, forcing herself not to cry. Even if they thought she needed disciplining like a child, she refused to act like one.
Then something strange began happening. Heat permeated her skin. She cried out, her eyes still blurry from tears. The pain lingered, but it was being overtaken by a whole new sensation, a weird sort of pleasure she didn’t understand.
“Fifteen,” Slade called out.
He had been methodically counting every time his hand slapped her flesh with firm male gusto. As he dealt her ass another blow, he announced the sixteenth whack. Hannah drew in a sharp breath and tried to focus on Slade’s voice telling everyone how many times she’d taken it.
Nine more and she’d be done. Smack. Eight more and this punishment would be behind her. Would that end the sweet heat and amazing floaty feeling taking over?
Hannah finally stopped tensing against Slade’s hand. There was no use fighting it. Slade would have his way. Dex and Gavin would let him. They would spank her when she was bad. If it felt this good, she might be bad a lot.