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DOUBLE

TEAM: A MENAGE
ROMANCE

SABRINA PAIGE

CONTENTS
Double Team: A Menage Romance
1.

Authors Note

2. Grace
3. Grace
4. Aiden
5. Grace
6. Grace
7. Noah
8. Grace
9. Noah
10. Grace
11. Aiden
12. Grace
13. Noah
14. Grace
15. Aiden
16. Noah
17. Grace
18. Noah
19. Grace
20. Aiden
21. Noah
22. Grace
23. Aiden
24. Noah
25. Grace
26. Aiden
27. Noah
28. Grace
29. Aiden
30. Noah
31. Grace
32. Grace
33. Aiden
34. Noah
35. Grace
36. Aiden
37. Noah
38. Grace
39. Grace
40. Aiden

41. Grace
42. Noah
43. Grace
44. Grace
45. Aiden
46. Grace
47. Noah
48. Aiden
49. Grace
Epilogue
Prince Albert
Synopsis
Authors Note
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapter 40

Chapter 41
Chapter 42
Chapter 43
Chapter 44
Chapter 45
Chapter 46
Chapter 47
Chapter 48
Chapter 49
What Im working on
Also by Sabrina Paige
About the Author
Acknowledgments

DOUBLE TEAM: A MENAGE ROMANCE

The Presidents daughter. Two professional athletes. One giant scandal. They'll
show her that two bad boys are better than one.
I can't stand arrogant bad boys - especially not when they're my loud, obnoxious
new next-door neighbors. Not even when they come in muscled, tattooed, toohot-for-their-own-good packages.
I'm a good girl - successful, responsible, and smart. I have to be - the eyes of the
nation are on me.
I'm the daughter of the President of the United States.
Dating a filthy, cocky, possessive football player would be the ultimate scandal.
Falling in love with TWO arrogant athletes in the middle of my father's re-election
campaign?
That would be another thing entirely.
Im twice as screwed.

Copyright 2016 by Sabrina Paige


Cover Design by Cormar Covers
Cover Models: Alex Boivin, Mike Chabot, Sarah St-Pierre
Photographer Sara Eirew
Editor Daryl Banner
Proofreader Sue Banner
Formatting Vellum
This book is a work of fiction. Any similarity to real events, people, or places is entirely coincidental. All rights
reserved. This book may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without the permission of the author,
except in the case of brief quotations used for review. If you have not purchased this book from Amazon or
received a copy from the author, you are reading a pirated book.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status of products referred to in this book and acknowledges that
trademarks have been used without permission.
This book contains mature content, including graphic sex. Please do not continue reading if you are under the
age of 18 or if this type of content is disturbing to you.
NOTE: All characters in the book are 18+ years of age and all sexual acts are consensual.
To check out the rest of Sabrina Paige's catalog on Amazon, CLICK HERE!

Created with Vellum

AUTHORS NOTE

T his is a MFM mnage romance! So if you're not into the idea of two hot athletes
falling head over heels for one girl, then take a pass on this one!

THERE ARE NO M/M scenes this is all about the woman. And this book gets pretty
raunchy, so if lots and lots of explicit smut scenes arent your thing well, youve
been warned.

THERES BASICALLY no football in here, either. But lets be real - are you reading one of
my books for the football? ;)

IVE INCLUDED a copy of Prince Albert, my royal romance (yes, hes named after the
piercing for a reason) AND at the end Ive included a sneak peak of the book Im
working on now Her Bodyguard which is the follow-up to Prince Albert and
tells Max and Alexs story!

BOTH OF THESE are full-length novels, and Double Team weighs in at 100k words, so
itll end around 55% on your Kindle, if youre trying to keep track of the pacing.
Prince Albert will end around 98%, and youll find the excerpt to Her Bodyguard at
99%. All of them are marked in the table of contents so you can easily find them.

ENJOY!

SABRINA

GRACE

I , Grace Monroe Sullivan, head of a charity foundation and daughter of Arthur

Sullivan, the very conservative President of the United States, am staring at a


cardboard box of blow-up dolls. And no, these are definitely not kids' toys. I know
the box contains blow-up dolls (free condoms and lube, too, apparently) because in
bright orange lettering on the side, it announces the contents: LIFELIKE PERSONAL
ROMANCE DOLLS! NOW WITH FREE GLOW-IN-THE-DARK-CONDOMS AND
LUBRICANT!
I suppose that could be helpful information if you're wondering which of your
many boxes contains your personal romance dolls. I thought sex shops were
supposed to be more discreet than that, but maybe broadcasting your purchases is
the hot new thing. I wouldn't know because I've never even been to a sex shop. I
mean, seriously, try to do that with your security detail in tow as they telegraph
their judgment through their eyes despite their ever-stoic expressions.
I've never ordered condoms and lube online, either. Thats just the kind of story
the media loves to get ahold of, and pretty soon you're not the smart capable First
Daughter who runs a foundation; you're the pervy First Daughter who orders stuff
from a sex shop.
No, thanks.
"Do you think it's the lube or the condoms that glow in the dark?" Vi asks over
the phone.
I sip my glass of wine and stare at the box like it's going to answer that question.
It doesn't. "Have you ever heard of glow-in-the-dark-lube?"
"You ask that question like I'm an expert on sex accessories," Vi sniffs.
"Really? You're going to go with the virginal-good-girl thing?" I tease. "Because
I could remind you of our days in boarding school if you'd like." Vi and I attended
boarding school in Switzerland. So posh, right? We're poster children for wealth,
privilege, and power. I reacted to that by knuckling down, trying to stay out of the
public eye as much as possible, and throwing myself into work. Even in high
school, I was the ultimate good girl. Vi reacted to that by whooping it up and
broadcasting her I-dont-give-a-shit attitude far and wide.
Her father thought that sending her off to a boarding school with other children

of politicians and world leaders would rein her in. Do you want to know what's
wilder than a boarding school full of the bored children of wealthy and powerful
parents?
Answer: absolutely nothing.
Vi is the exact opposite of someone I "should" be friends with, per my parents,
who are very concerned with that sort of thing ("You have standards to uphold,
Grace," my father reminds me sternly every time I see him), but the fact is, Vi and I
were friends long before Switzerland. We were an unlikely pair total opposites
thrust together in solidarity as children in the limelight when my father was
Governor of Colorado and Vi's was Lieutenant Governor.
"I'm monogamous currently." Vi laughs. "Well, mostly." Vi's flavor of the
month is a professional snowboarder whose name I can't remember.
"You're a paragon of virtue. But wouldn't glow-in-the-dark lube look like a
scene out of CSI?" I wonder.
Vi snorts. "That's both true and repulsive."
"I'm not the one who ordered glow-in-the-dark condoms and lube," I argue,
squatting down to read the address label on the box. "Mr. Dick Balsac is."
Vi cackles. "Please tell me you'll deliver that box to your neighbor personally."
"Or I could have it redelivered to the correct address," I suggest.
"It's right next door!" Vi shouts. "And you haven't met your new neighbor."
"I don't need to meet my neighbor," I protest. "I've already heard him quite
enough, thank you very much." He moved in just last week and already I've heard
enough loud music and splashing in the pool than any one person should have to
endure. I swear the other night I heard him playing bongos. Who plays bongos
other than Matthew McConaughey??
Vi snickers. "Yeah, you told me about the bongos. Don't you want to see if he
plays them naked?"
I make a gagging sound. "Yeah, I want to see if my new next door neighbor, Dick
Balsac, inflatable sex doll connoisseur, plays naked bongos in his backyard."
"You know the blow-up dolls are a prank. Dick Balsac is the fakest name ever."
"What if it isn't?" I take a sip of my wine and almost choke because I start
giggling so hard at the thought. "What if that is his real, actual name?"
"Then you have to meet him. Why don't we just look up online who bought the
house? Maybe he's hot."
"Yeah, right." I snort. I purchased my house in this quiet, off-the-grid historical
neighborhood specifically because it was filled with retired professors and older
business people. It's the most uncool neighborhood ever - which means that it's
really private and people leave me alone. And that's exactly what you need when
your father is the President and he's in the middle of a reelection campaign.
Even if he is the incumbent candidate, reporters are still interested in digging up
anything salacious they can on my conservative father, whose campaign is laserfocused on family values. That means that I'm under the microscope almost as
much as he is, so this out-of-the-way neighborhood was the best place in Denver

to stay out of the limelight.


Its not like I would be hitting up the bars or clubbing or doing anything wild,
even if I weren't under the microscope, anyway. Vi says I'm an eighty-year-old
woman in the body of a twenty-six-year-old, and that's probably true. The wildest
thing I do is drink a glass of wine and consider personally redelivering a box of
blow-up dolls to my neighbor next door.
"I bet he's hot as hell and tattooed and "
I interrupt her, laughing. "I'll give you a hundred bucks if Dick Balsac is under
the age of sixty-five. I'm going to be delivering this box to a crazy old man who
probably has a collection of blow-up dolls he has conversations with."
"Whatever you do, don't step inside for a cup of tea," Vi advises. "That's how
you wind up in a hole in the backyard rubbing lotion on your skin before someone
makes a suit out of you."
"Sage advice."
"Go deliver the box," Vi demands. "Your life is boring. This is literally the most
interesting thing to happen to you in forever."
"It is not! I protest even though I know she's right. You'd think that being the
daughter of the President of the United States would be inherently interesting, but
it's surprisingly not. All of the scrutiny and expectations that come with being the
First Daughter really just make your life dull.
In fact, this is the closest in proximity I've been to a condom in two years. That's
pathetic, right? Im twenty-six years old. Im pretty sure that most other twentysix-year-olds are dating and hooking up and generally having lots of fun. But when
you're the First Daughter, even going out on one date is a big deal. The man must
be appropriate, vetted, and a serious potential love interest. Good grief, I can't even
imagine what would happen if I had an actual fling. Democracy as we know it would
clearly collapse.
At least, that's how my father sees it.
Vi makes a kissing sound into the phone. "If I don't hear from you in an hour,
I'll assume your flesh is being made into a jacket."
"I'm pretty sure my security detail would frown on that."
"The new neighbor is going to be hot and you're going to owe me a hundred
dollars."
One more glass of wine later, I'm officially tipsy and emboldened. And, okay,
curiosity is getting the better of me. I could just go online and look up who bought
the house, but I kind of do want to see Mr. Dick Balsac with my own eyes.
My own slightly inebriated eyes.
I slip my shoes back on, hoisting the box up and carrying it outside. My day shift
security detail, Brooks and Davis as they insist I call them instead of their first
names Janice and Alice, reach out and steady the box as it threatens to slip from my
grasp the second I set foot outside of my gated driveway.
"I'm walking this next door," I protest, my heel catching on the sidewalk. In
retrospect, maybe I should have changed out of my work attire - suit and heels - to

lug a box of blow-up dolls around. Or maybe I shouldn't have had that second glass
of wine. Probably the latter.
"Would you like some help, maam?" Brooks asks.
I peer around the large box as I walk. "Hey, do you remember that time when my
father insisted that I have a security detail and I agreed, but only on the condition
that my detail not interfere with my life in any way, shape, or form? That's a fond
memory I have."
I swear I can hear Brooks and Davis rolling their eyes behind me right now.
They're just being polite by asking. It's against protocol for them to carry a box
even if I wanted them to, since it would interfere with their job of protecting me. Id
be just fine without protection, though. My fathers approval rating is the highest
of any president in the last ten years; the economy is good and there are no active
threats to my life - that I know of, anyway. But my parents are overprotective, to
say the least.
And honestly, Brooks and Davis are not bad at all as far as security details go.
They are humorless, of course. I think that's a job requirement. Contrary to popular
belief, we are allowed to decline protection, although my father would probably
have an actual heart attack if I did. I only relented to having a security detail if they
were female (how impossible would it be to have a relatively normal existence with
a team of brutes in suits following me around?) and if they were not reporting my
every move to my father.
Follow me around Fine. But I draw the line at them helping me with routine,
everyday tasks.
You know, like hauling a giant box of inflatable sex dolls and lube to my
neighbor's house.
I stand outside the gate with the box, Books and Davis a safe distance behind
me, as a male voice answers. "Yo."
Yo. Definitely not a retiree. "I'm your neighbor. I have something well um
of a personal nature that was mistakenly delivered to my house."
He laughs. "Of a personal nature?" he asks, obviously mocking the formality of
my words.
I immediately bristle. I mean, yeah, I've gotten called stuck-up a lot and Perfect
Presidential Daughter, but really, I'm doing this guy a favor. I could have just
inflated his dolls and thrown them over the stone wall that separates our
properties. On second thought, I definitely should have delivered the contents of
the box that way.
The gate opens and I stand there for a second, looking at his house. I've not seen
beyond the gates of any of the houses in my neighborhood; I've never even met any
of my neighbors. His driveway is short and cobblestone, just like mine; and his
house is similar to mine except it's at least twice as large. It's fucking huge.
Decorative trees line the edge of the wall between our properties and I make a
mental note to landscape better. I'm more than halfway up the driveway when he
steps out of the house.

Buck naked and carrying a set of strategically-placed bongo drums.

GRACE

I blink twice, stopping short as my neighbor casually walks toward me in bare feet.

Carrying bongos.
Naked. Totally and completely naked, the bongos strategically covering the
goods. He's definitely not a retiree. Nope. Not at all. He's young and fit and
Massive, I realize as he approaches me. My gaze reluctantly moves from the
bongos upward, lingering for just a moment too long on his very muscular, very
ripped chest and abs. I blame the wine for my lingering eyes. A tattoo covers one of
his pecs, moving up to his shoulder and down part of his arm.
His arms are just as huge as the rest of him sculpted biceps and forearms
and good Lord, this guy looks like he should be felling trees or something. My
eyes don't stay on his arms, though they go right back to the bongos. And the fact
that those bongos are covering his bongos.
My package?" he asks.
"What?! I'm not looking at your package," I protest. My voice seems to come out
at least an octave higher than it is. I practically squeak like a mouse.
The edges of his mouth pull up in a slow smirk. "I was asking if you wanted to
hand over my package. It looks heavy."
Heat rushes to my face. Oh God, I can feel my cheeks turning scarlet already. I
clear my throat. "Yeah. Obviously. That's what I was talking about, too. " I force
nonchalance into my voice. Eyes up, Grace. Make eye contact and do not look down,
even if this is the closest you've been to an almost naked man in two years. "The
package. Your package. Not your package." I glance down at the bongos again.
What the hell is wrong with me?
"I can take a picture if you'd like," he says, grinning. "Of my package, I mean. If
you'd like to revisit it on your own in a more private setting."
My cheeks warm. "Why would I want that?"
He shrugs. "Just a neighborly offer."
The box. I shove it at him. "Here are your inflatable personal romance dolls, Mr.
Balsac."
He doesn't even look down at what he's holding. "Is this a welcome-to-theneighborhood gift?"

"Yes, I've come to say hello, but instead of bringing a fruitcake, I brought you
sex dolls, condoms, and lube. Nothing screams 'Hi, neighbor!' quite like that."
"I could take a pass on the sex dolls, unless you're into that kind of thing
obviously. But a neighbor who looks like you bringing condoms and lube? Well,
then: Hello, neighbor." He grins.
Hello, neighbor. It's not explicitly sexual but I swear his words are saturated in
sex. Hell, every part of this man is dripping with sex. He's one of those men who
just exudes it from his pores.
Heat pools between my legs. Okay, the wine has to be the problem because I
could swear this feels like attraction and I'm not attracted to guys like this big,
muscle-bound guys who look like they could pick me up and toss me over their
shoulders and carry me up to their bedrooms
I clear my throat. "I'm not into that kind of thing, for the record. Those are your
sex dolls. Like I said when I buzzed the gate. They were misdelivered to me. See?
Right there?" I point at the address label on the box. "Mr. Dick Balsac."
He glances down and chuckles. "Heh. Dick Balsac. Awesome." He looks up.
"Who brings fruitcake to a neighbor?"
"Huh?"
"You said instead of fruitcake you were bringing sex stuff. Do people even eat
fruitcake?"
I exhale heavily. "Fruitcake, Bundt cake, whatever."
"Bundt cake?"
"I said whatever. I don't know what people bring to their neighbors."
"A cup of sugar," he suggests, then pauses for a beat. "Or sex dolls and
condoms."
"You know, I usually try to not take my lessons in social etiquette from naked
men with bongo drums."
"Hey, you're the chick who showed up at my house with two girlfriends,
bringing me condoms and I'll admit, the blow-up dolls are new for me. I've never
had a girl try to pick me up using inflatable "
"You think I'm trying to pick you up?" I ask in disbelief. "We've already
established that you're the pervert ordering blow-up dolls. I'm just being a
courteous neighbor and delivering your box. I have zero interest in picking you up.
Less than zero, actually. I have negative interest in picking you up. And those
aren't my friends."
Mr. Dick Balsac steps forward, and I swear I mean to step back and put more
space between us, but I'm somehow stuck, rendered immobile by the way this guy
smells masculine, like soap and cologne and - Oh God, I need to stop smelling
him. He's an arrogant ass who clearly thinks he's God's gift to women, and just
because I had two glasses of wine and apparently lost all sense of reason doesn't
mean I should stand here sniffing this guy. "Zero interest?" he asks, looking down
at me. "You sure about that, sugar?"
I swallow hard. I wish he didn't smell so good. Has it been that long since I've

smelled a man that my body is going haywire over one whiff of him? "Zero," I
reiterate firmly. I clear my throat. "Less than zero."
My body betrays me by sending goose bumps rocketing over my skin. I can feel
my nipples harden under my bra.
Negative, he says.
Thats right.
"That's too bad, because I'm definitely interested in picking you up." He pauses,
and I suck in a breath of air between my teeth, my breath hitching in my throat. My
heart pounds furiously in my chest. "In fact, I'd be very interested in picking you
up, throwing you over my shoulder, and carrying you right into my bedroom."
My God, he's brazen. No one has ever spoken to me like that. Hell, no one would
ever dare speak to the President's daughter like that certainly not the far-tooappropriate men I've dated, the ones who wear suits and have the best educations
money can buy.
This man is in no danger of being one of those too-appropriate men.
His gaze doesn't waver, his eyes on mine as he speaks. "I'd pull up that
conservative little mom suit you're wearing and yank your panties down your
thighs you are wearing panties, aren't you? If you weren't, well" He makes a
sound low in his throat, feral like an animal.
That's what this guy is: a brute. An animal who just said he wants to throw me
over his shoulder and pull off my panties. I open my mouth to tell him exactly who
he can go screw (himself) after talking to me like that, but instead I hear myself
whimper.
I actually whimper.
A small, self-satisfied smile spreads across his face, and I'm instantly mortified
by my attraction to him. I should be absolutely repulsed. I should be high-tailing it
out of here. This man has bad choice written all over him.
I clear my throat like I didn't just practically moan at his filthy words. "I am not
wearing a mom suit. What the hell is a mom suit?"
He chuckles. "I just made it up now. It's like mom jeans, but a suit."
I swallow hard, suddenly self-conscious. So my work clothes aren't sexy. I'm a
professional running a foundation. I didn't think I looked frumpy, though. I
smooth out my skirt with my palms. Why does the fact that he implied I look
frumpy a mom suit?! make me embarrassed?
"Some of us work," I say, my voice curt. "In professional jobs. Where we have to
look appropriate and not run around naked with bongos."
"Oh, so you think I'm not a professional?" he asks, smirking.
"You're the one with the nudity and sex toys." I find myself acutely aware of the
fact that this guy totally thinks I'm uptight, then irritated with myself that I care.
"I'm leaving now," I announce primly, except I can't seem to make my feet move.
"Obviously the box is a gag gift. Clearly, with all of this manliness I've got going
on, I do not have to resort to inflatable pussy."
I roll my eyes hard. "Whatever you tell yourself. Dick."

"Dick Balsac isn't my real name, by the way. Just to be clear."


"Oh, I wasn't calling you Dick Balsac," I clarify. "I was just calling you a dick."
"Hilarious," he says flatly. "So you're a comedian. I assume that's the reason for
your entourage over there?"
"They're - wait. You don't know who I am," I say, suddenly realizing.
He raises his eyebrows. "I don't know who you are? A little full of ourselves, are
we?"
"You're one to talk, Mr. I-Have-All-This-Going-On."
"Well, that's not being full of myself. That's just a fact, sugar tits."
"Excuse me?" Irritation surges through me. No matter how good-looking this
man is, he's totally a pig. Then I stop. "Wait. What are you doing?"
He's bending over, that's what he's doing. He's bending over right in front of
me. "I'm setting this box down."
"I don't need to see your -" I avert my gaze as he turns to set the box on the
driveway, giving me a view from the side of his perfect naked ass. Okay, I didn't
avert my gaze. I wanted to. I intended to. But it was so muscular and perfect and
biteable.
Did I just think of this man's ass as being biteable?
I quickly look away before he stands, but he laughs anyway. "It's an ass, sugar,"
My cheeks warm again. He totally knows I was looking at it, but I interrupt him
before he can call me that name again. "Yeah, there's definitely an ass in front of
me."
"I showed you mine. Maybe you'll feel more comfortable if you show me yours.
Then we'll be equal."
"I'm not aiming to be equal with a man who just referred to me as sugar tits,
thanks anyway." No matter how perfectly muscular his ass and the rest of him
is. "I'll see you later, Dick." I pause, my back turned to him, and take a deep breath.
This caveman is not getting under my skin. "And enough with the bongos already."
"You want me to get rid of the bongos?" he asks. "All right. If you insist."
Brooks and Davis, both still facing him, don't crack a smile, but I can tell by the
way their eyes widen what he's doing.
"He set down the bongos, didn't he?" I ask them.
"Yes he did, ma'am," Brooks answers, her gaze focused behind me. "Yes, he
did."
"Right, then." It takes everything I have not to turn around and satisfy my
curiosity. Then I remind myself that a guy who calls me "sugar tits," threatens to
throw me over his shoulder and pull down my panties, and plays the damn bongos
is not a guy I need to see stark naked.
Definitely not.

AIDEN

" W hat's that?" Noah plods down the stairs, his steps heavy. Being a six-four,

two-hundred-and thirty-pound safety, he looks out of place in this historic


house. Actually, both of us are fucking out of place in this house, but Noah is a
savant when it comes to real estate actually, hes a savant when it comes to most
things financial and political and generally nerdy. Not what you'd expect from a
football player. He bought this place as an investment property because he said it
was a steal and he was tired of living in the neighborhood we were both living in
where most of the pro players in town are.
Too much fucking drama, he'd said.
Noah's bright idea was to move out of his big-ass mansion close to the training
center and into this place. He tried to convince me of the same to "clean up our
images." Noah is a contract holdout and I just signed a one-year contract with our
team here in Denver, contingent on not publicly fucking up. It's not the best deal
ever, but it's not like I've been angling for some big fat deal anyway. I'm a poor
white trash kid from West Bend, Colorado. What the hell am I going to do with
twelve million dollars a year? Noah is holding out for something better, mostly
because he and our teams head coach don't get along.
Anyway, I'm not a grandma, so there's no way short of Hell freezing over that
I'd actually move to this kind of neighborhood. Even if my ball-buster of an agent,
the one with a mouth filthier than a sailor and a smoker's voice that comes from a
pack-a-day habit, agreed with Noah: "Put a lid on all that frat shit, Aiden, and keep
your dick in your pants."
Noah and I have both been playing professional football in Colorado for the past
few years. Noah landed a four-year contract here straight out of college in Florida,
and I got traded back out here from Texas a year after that. Our head coach hates
both of us, calls us hotheads, asshats, and whatever other expletive he can think of,
but the General Manager loves us me way better than Noah because, let's face it,
I'm pretty damn good in front of a camera. Noah hates the interviews and
photographs and autographs and dealing with fans. In fact, if he didnt love the
game so much, Im pretty sure hed be holed up out on his ranch totally shut away
from the human race.

Noah takes this stuff a lot more seriously than I do. I'm a work-hard-play-hard
kind of guy. Football has always been my first love, but hell, if I can't blow off
steam in my off time, what's the point?
Noah loosens up every so often mostly when moonshine or muddin' is
involved but otherwise he's nose-to-the-grindstone obsessed with the game.
Most people think he's an asshole, but we've been best friends since grade school.
His parents took in my sister and I during my senior year in high school after
basically everything in my family fell apart.
Last week after I signed the contract, Noah's mother real name Bess, but my
sister and I call her Mama Ashby called and laid a big ol' guilt trip on me about
setting an example for my younger sister and cleaning up my image so I don't waste
the opportunity to stay here in Colorado. I can't really do shit to argue with that
because I know it's true.
So thats why I wound up deciding to move into Noah's new place for the next
couple of months while renovations are being done on my house. Apparently I need
to lay low and act like an adult.
Except I'm standing here not wearing drawers and holding a box of blow up
dolls. So, all in all, I guess Noah is more of an adult than I am.
"It's a box of blow-up dolls." I set the box on the living room floor.
"The great Aiden Jackson is that hard up that he has to resort to inflatable
women?" Noah gives me side-eye as he passes through the living room and heads
toward the kitchen.
"Of course not. I've got plenty of real live women throwing themselves at me. It
was Moose screwing around. He sent it to Dick Balsac." The name makes me
chuckle. Maybe I have the sense of humor of a twelve-year-old, but that shit's
funny. Even if the very hot, infinitely fuckable girl next door thought I was some
kind of blow-up-doll-screwing pervert.
Noah has his head in the refrigerator pulling out vegetables and a family-sized
package of ground beef. I can't see his face, but I know for sure his eyes are rolling
hard because he thinks Moose's antics are stupid as hell.
Moose, obviously nicknamed for his size, always sends prank shit to the team at
the end of the season. It's a tradition, the same way I play the bongos naked before
big games - and also randomly when the mood strikes, like this morning. The
naked bongo playing started as a joke before my first game in Texas. I had too many
beers and bought bongo drums and then thought it'd be funny to pull a Matthew
McConaughey, since I was in Texas and all. Then we won, and clearly I could never
stop playing them or wed lose. That's how superstitions work. So the bongos have
followed me around since then.
Noah turns around and gives me a disgusted look. "Damn it, dude. Why are you
coming into the kitchen with your junk all hanging out? I want to eat, not vomit."
He pauses. "Wait. Were you in the front yard like that?"
"I was playing out on the deck upstairs and the doorbell rang."
"Some people put fucking clothes on to get the mail," he grumbles. "Get the

hell out of my kitchen."


"You could have answered the door, man. You heard me playing."
Noah shrugs. "I was in the shower."
"Anyway, it wasn't the mail guy. Ask me who it was."
Noah sighs heavily. "Do I care who it was?"
"You would if you got a look at your hot as hell next door neighbor. She came by
because the blow-up dolls got delivered to her."
Noah groans. "You went outside buck naked to get a package of blow-up dolls
from the next door neighbor when I just moved into this neighborhood last week?"
He emphasizes the words this neighborhood, which is a quiet, old money kind
of place not the kind where you see naked football players running around. In
other words, its stuffy as hell.
I shrug. "I don't give a shit about the neighbors. Some old lady was probably
across the road looking at my ass through her binoculars and thanking her lucky
stars that I moved in here."
Noah snorts. "I'm sure the neighbors appreciate it."
"The chick next door did."
He groans. "Come on, man. Don't shit where you eat. I told you that you could
stay here for the summer only if there were no shenanigans."
I swear to God, Aiden. When did you become an eighty-five-year-old woman?
Shenanigans?
Since Im negotiating contracts, Noah reminds me. And yeah, shenanigans.
The kind I get in trouble for and then wind up with a shitty team and a shitty
contract because I'm a liability. The kind you get in trouble for and then lose your
contract with the team.
None of our shit has gotten us into any real trouble, I protest, rolling my eyes.
We only got arrested one time, and that was when we were back home in West
Bend.
"That was last year," Noah argues
"We were only even in jail for a few hours. Racing a couple of tractors down Main
Street ain't exactly the crime of the century."
"You ran into Old Man Johnson's fence and the cows got out."
"A couple of cows."
"His whole herd. One walked into the church the next morning during the
preacher's sermon."
"One cow out of the whole herd. And that was awesome. Barbara Jo Andrews was
in the middle of singing her solo piece."
Uh-huh. How about the chick who was all over the tabloids because she said
you knocked her up?
And I didnt knock her up, did I? I didnt even sleep with her. And I wrap my
junk, thank you very much. The last thing I need are a bunch of little Aidens
running around."
"That's the last thing this world needs," Noah replies. "What about the time you

streaked Coach Hardys front lawn?


That was a dare, I insist. And fuck you! You were the one filming it. How
were we supposed to know his wife would be home? Or that he'd pick that moment
to walk outside? Youve gotten into just as much trouble as I have, Mr. I-ScrewedThe-High-School-Football-Coach's-Wife."
Noah holds up a hand. "I did not screw Coach Tanner's wife and you know it."
"Hey, I don't know what might have happened behind closed doors," I joke.
Noah didn't screw our high school coach's wife, although she did practically hunt
him down the day of our high school graduation. But neither of us are the kind of
guys who'd bed another man's wife, so the cougar moved on to greener pastures.
That didn't stop Coach Tanner from believing Noah screwed her, though, and
coming after him with a shotgun or me from giving him shit about it. "So dont
hassle me about shitting where I eat. I didnt say I was going to bed your neighbor."
Noah rolls his eyes. "I can see it in your eyes."
"She's definitely hot," I remind him. In fact, the thought of her pretending I
wasn't standing there naked, glancing away but then looking back at me because
she couldn't help herself, makes my dick twinge. The girl is tightly-wound; that
much was written all over her. And I could be the one to loosen her right up.
Get your naked ass out of my kitchen. And stop parading it around the front
yard.
Upstairs, I glance out of my bedroom window toward Stuck-Up Chick's house. I
told Noah she was hot, but hot is an understatement. The chick is the sexiest thing
I've ever seen in a long time - not trampy and overdone the way most of the
groupies who hang around the players are. And she didn't have a damn clue who I
was.
When the hell is the last time that happened? Noah and I are two of the most
famous faces in the state, at least to people who follow football Colorado's golden
boys, born and raised in a little town in the middle of nowhere: West Bend. It's the
reason we get cut a lot of slack for the crap we pull, like when we got arrested in
West Bend.
The whole prim-and-proper vibe the neighbor has going on is even hotter. I've
never much been into chicks who look like schoolteachers, but I'd definitely let
that one rap my knuckles with a ruler.
I step inside the shower intending to shake off the image of the hot little next
door neighbor, but instead I just wind up picturing her more vividly. The way she
pulled her lush lower lip between her teeth when she looked at me. The way she
sucked in a breath as her eyes lingered on my chest. The way she focused on the
bongos like she wished they'd suddenly become transparent. The way she looked at
me, her jaw set like she was offended by the whole naked with bongos thing, except
she couldn't take her eyes off them.
My cock twitches as I picture her standing mere inches away from me.

"I SHOULDN'T BE DOING this," she says, her voice breathy.


"You practically begged for it."
Her eyebrows go up. "I do not beg."
"No?" I ask. "Well, I'll have to do something about that."
"There's nothing you can do," she says, her jaw set, because I'm not one of
your desperate little groupies who's going to lose my damn mind at the sight of
Aiden Jackson's dick."
I like her sass. I can barely hold back a smile as I reach down with both hands
and slowly slide her skirt up her thighs. "No begging, right?"
"None." She speaks the word matter-of-factly, except she inhales sharply as I
yank the skirt roughly up over her perky ass.
"Even when I do this?" I ask, sliding my fingers between her thighs until I find
the spot covered by her panties. I press my fingertips against the cotton fabric and
she gasps louder. "You're soaked right through these."
"So?" she asks. "Doesn't mean I'm going to ask for anything from you."
The warm water from the shower pounding on my back, I stroke my hard cock as
I picture her face upturned, inches from mine, and imagine sliding my fingers down
the front of her panties.
I roll my fingers over her clit, and she grasps my biceps, her grip getting tighter
and tighter as she gets closer and closer to orgasm. When she tries to close her
eyes, I order her to look at me, and she does, her eyes clouded by lust. She makes
little panting sounds, her breasts rising and falling in the fitted button-down
oxford shirt she wears, unbuttoned enough that her cleavage is visible.
I bring her to the edge. Then I pull my fingers away and she whimpers her
response, the sound nothing more than a needy whine.

I STROKE my cock harder now, the image of her desperate and wanting pushing me
closer to the edge.

SHE WHIMPERS AGAIN, her mouth opening and forming a word, but she doesn't speak it.
Instead, she presses her thighs together.
I unzip my jeans, pulling them down and gripping my hard shaft. She looks
down and the expression on her face is agony. "Put your hand on my cock. Feel how
hard you make me."
She reaches for me tentatively, her thumb pressing against the tip where precum drips from it. "Aiden," she whispers.
I reach between her legs again, my fingers slipping easily inside her and she
groans as she strokes me. "You're not going to come so easily, sugar," I warn her.
"Not until you ask nicely. Not until you tell me how much you want to feel my hard
cock inside your tight little pussy, filling you up."
Her muscles clench down around my fingers, her swollen pussy warning me how

close she is. "Yes," she whispers.


"Yes, you're asking me to make you come? Is this you begging me?"
She whimpers as I stroke her, pressing my fingertips against the place inside her
that causes her to make the expression of unbridled lust that I can't get enough of.
"I want you inside me."
That's what I wanted to hear. I slide my fingers from her and pick her up,
pressing her hard against the wall behind us I thrust inside her in one easy stroke.
She gasps loudly as I enter her.
Fucking hell. She's warm, wet, tight, and smooth as silk. It's all I can do not to
come the second I'm inside her. Soon, she's groaning loudly, making these little
whimpering noises that come faster and faster as I fuck her up against the wall, one
hand gripping her hair and the other under her thigh, pinning her in place. Then
she's screaming my name, her pussy tightening around my cock suddenly as she
climaxes and I can't hold back any longer. I let go, flooding her sweet pussy with
my hot cum.

"SHIT!" I call out the word as the image pushes me over the edge, and I come.
When I step out of the bathroom, I glance over at her house. The hot neighbor is
sitting on her balcony drinking a glass of wine and reading the newspaper, a pair of
glasses perched on the end of her nose and her long legs stretched out in front of
her. Who the hell our age reads the newspaper anymore?
God, she is such a little nerd.
A sexy little nerd just waiting to be defiled.
Noah thinks that staying in this neighborhood is going to make me behave?
Yeah, right. Behaving is overrated.

GRACE

"I take it that since I'm talking to you, the neighbor wasn't totally psycho?" Vi
asks on the phone.
"Well" That's up for debate. My cheeks warm at the thought of the sexy
neighbor and the way I laid in bed last night fantasizing about what exactly I'd like
that over-muscled brute to do to me.
"You owe me a hundred bucks, don't you?" Vi asks, her voice light.
"How did you know?"
"Because you have a tone in your voice."
"What tone?" I ask. "There is no tone. I simply said, Well...' That indicates that
he could completely be psycho."
Vi ignores me. "I did some digging on your neighbor. Do you want to know what
his name is?"
"Nope," I say primly. "I'm not the least little bit interested."
I'm lying.
"Right," she says. "He's a - "
"La la la."
"Very mature."
"You're worse than my parents, Vi. I don't want to know what you found, spying
on my neighbor."
Vi sniffs. "The next time I see you in person, I'm going to slap you for your
insolence, comparing me to your parents."
"For most people, being compared to the President and First Lady would be a
compliment."
Vi and I both know that neither of us is like most people, and we know far too
much about the President and First Lady to consider the comparison a compliment.
Vi snorts her response. "Where are you?"
"It's ten in the morning," I say, glancing at my watch. "I'm working. Where are
you?"
"Lying in a hotel, waiting for room service," Vi says, her voice languid. I can
practically hear her stretching like a cat over the phone.
"Room service?" I ask absently, squinting at the projections for next quarter on

my desktop. Those numbers can't be right. "Where?"


"Where?" Vi pauses. "I'm actually not sure. Where are we, baby?" I hear a rustle
and the sound of a sleepy male voice. "New York."
"Is that your skier boyfriend?"
"No, that's old news," Vi says dismissively.
"I thought you were in L.A.?"
"I was, but we flew out to New York yesterday. Keep up, doll."
I laugh. "I'm trying my hardest. But seriously, Vi, I have to go work."
"You have a trust fund. Ditch the grind and come to Miami with me."
"I'm sure the kids the foundation helps would appreciate that," I note absently,
staring at the spreadsheet. Projected donations are down from last quarter.
"Bill has a private plane," she points out. I don't ask who Bill is a celebrity or
an athlete, for sure, since that's Vi's preferred dating population. "Besides, when's
the last time you had a vacation? And, no, your family trip with the parents doesn't
count, either. Everyone knows that being around your parents is stressful enough
to require another vacation."
"I go on vacations all the time," I protest. "In fact, I have a summer vacation
coming up." That's almost true. The statement could be true if you kind of squinted
and looked at it through one eye from far away. It's a vacation it just happens to
be a vacation involving at-risk kids and a ranch. I'm hands-on with the foundation
I run, even though I'm supposed to take more of an administrative role than a
direct one. But I'm not ashamed in the least to say that I'm married to my job I
love it, and that's never going to change.
One of the charities the foundation supports takes at-risk kids from Colorado
and teaches them leadership and life skills, using outdoor experiences like
wilderness treks and ropes courses and camping. A couple of years ago, I decided to
personally participate in the inaugural two-week trip for the summer season. I've
been doing it yearly ever since. The next trip is in two weeks, although this summer
is a little different than most. A professional athlete donated his ranch for the
summer, so the team designed a summer program around working on a real
Colorado ranch. So that's my vacation a working ranch vacation. That totally
counts, right?
"You need a vacation that involves no responsibility," Vi says. "Maybe your
neighbor could help you with that."
I roll my eyes. "He definitely screams no responsibility. Also, no manners and
no social skills, either."
"But he's hot, isn't he? Admit it. I could tell by your tone."
"There was no tone."
"I could also tell because I looked him up online."
I sigh. "He's only hot in a college frat boy sense. He also came to the door stark
naked with bongo drums hanging from his neck."
"Oh, so you got a peek at the package, then?"
I flush warm at the thought of what the bongo drums covered and the sight of

my neighbor's more-than-chiseled body mere inches away from mine. I could have
reached out and run my fingers over his muscular chest, down those rippled abs,
and lower
I shift uncomfortably in my seat as heat radiates through my body at the
thought, heading right between my legs.
I sigh exaggeratedly. "I did not. And I have a meeting in three minutes."
"Don't act like you didn't sneak a glance. Hot naked guy in front of you?" She
pauses and I hear a man's voice. "Of course, baby. Yes, there is a hot naked guy in
front of me."
"I was not looking at his junk," I sniff. My administrative assistant, Janice,
chooses the perfect moment to knock on my door. "Come in, Janice! I'm so sorry
that I won't be able to continue this conversation, Vi."
Vi laughs. "Are you blowing me off for a fake meeting?" She giggles at whatever
her flavor-of-the-moment is doing.
"Say hi to Vi, Janice," I order, holding out the phone and mouthing the words
thank you to my assistant.
"Hello, Violet."
"See? Unfortunately, I have to go."
"I'll let you get to work," she says, giggling again and squealing at her new beau.
"Don't forget the fundraiser next week," I remind her. "Bring your wallet."
"Always, darling."
It's the foundation's semi-annual fundraiser and a huge black tie event. My
father will be attending because he's in the middle of campaigning for re-election
(even though he just won the Colorado primary by a landslide) and "children always
poll well. Who doesn't like needy kids? And because you're my daughter, of
course."
My father, always the pragmatist.
He does bring a lot of funding, though, and funding is always good especially
considering the low projected donations for next quarter that I just saw.
I hang up the phone and look at Janice. "You have a meeting in five minutes,"
she says.

GRACE

" W hat the hell?" I'm changing out of work clothes getting ready to go for a run

when I hear music blaring from outside, barely muffled by the walls of the
house. Something country, but I can't quite hear the words. It's the neighbor. I
know it's him without even having to look. No one else in the world is that
obnoxious.
Or that sexy.
I put that thought right out of my head, because his obnoxiousness definitely
overrides his hotness. After wrangling on my sports bra, I pull on a tank top and
grab my sneakers from the closet, pausing in my bedroom. I give the thumping of
the music another thirty seconds before I'm officially annoyed. Sure, it's not like
it's two in the morning, but this neighborhood has always been quiet. Or at least it
was, before Bongo Dude moved in next door.
When I yank open the sliding glass door and stomp out onto the balcony, the
music assaults my ears. It's definitely country.
And that's definitely the hot neighbor I can see over the wall riding a
lawnmower around his expertly manicured lawn - shirtless.
It takes me a second to hear the chorus of the song and to place it: She Thinks
My Tractor's Sexy.
I nearly choke.
That could not be directed at me, could it? I'm not sure whether to be flattered,
amused, or annoyed.
As he rounds the end of the lawn, he looks up at my balcony and holds his can of
beer up in a mock cheers gesture because of course he's riding a lawnmower
and drinking at the same time.
Then he grins. Unmistakably cocky and smug, his grin is what pushes me over
the edge. The same guy who, upon meeting me, called me sugar tits is now riding
a lawnmower around shirtless while playing She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy?
He's totally trying to bait me.
That grin of his suggests he thinks he has.
I roll my eyes dramatically, as if he can see my expression from up here, but it
seems like a necessary gesture in response to his ridiculousness. Then I whirl

around and close the door behind me, standing with my back against it for a
moment as a laugh threatens to erupt from my chest.
He's juvenile. Completely and utterly juvenile. I shouldn't be laughing the
things he said to me, telling me he wanted to throw me over his shoulder and pull
my panties down my thighs, would have been far beyond inappropriate even if I
were a "normal" woman and not the President's daughter. But the fact that I'm the
President's daughter definitely makes them worse.
Even so, it's not the most awful thing in the world, seeing him with his shirt off
yet again. I flush warm at the memory of what I imagined him doing last night
when I had my fingers between my legs.
That does not mean I'm attracted to the jackass out there on a riding
lawnmower. I know his type. He's the kind of guy who's used to getting away with
frat boy antics, the kind of man who thinks he can whip out an arrogant little grin
and women will fall all over themselves for him.
I'm not one of those girls.
I tell myself that again as I peer through the blinds like a nosy old lady, straining
my neck to get a glimpse of him in his yard.
Yep. I'm definitely not one of those girls.
Fifteen minutes later, I'm running down the road, trailed by Brooks and Davis at
a safe distance, my pace a little faster than usual - which has nothing to do with the
fact that Bongo Dude was outside shirtless in his yard and I might have a little
pent-up frustration to run off.
Absolutely nothing.
We're not more than half a mile into the run when I hear the rumble of a motor,
and turn to see Bongo Guy.
In the middle of the street, coming up behind us, driving the riding lawnmower
like its a car. Still shirtless, even though it's not exactly a warm summer evening
in Colorado.
I pause as Brooks and Davis stop and reach for their weapons. Rolling my eyes, I
put my hand up. "Seriously, I'm a million percent certain my neighbor is not trying
to assassinate me by running me over with a lawnmower."
"You never know, ma'am. Protocol," Davis reasons. I can't tell if she's actually
serious, but at least she and Brooks refrain from drawing their weapons.
I turn, ignoring the fact that a shirtless man is following me on a lawnmower,
and resume jogging, but at a slower pace.
"Need a lift?" Bongo Guy asks, grinning widely. He takes a swig from his can of
beer.
"From the guy who's drinking while driving?" I ask, glancing over at him. I'm
glad I'm running because I can return my gaze to the road ahead instead of ogling
his bare naked, excessively muscled chest.
"Im fairly sure a lawnmower doesnt count," he protests.
"Um, it counts."
"I've only had one beer," Bongo Guy says. "Promise." He crosses his heart with

his finger and looks innocently at me - as innocently as someone who's so


obviously not angelic can look.
Focus, Grace. The last thing I need to think about is how obviously not angelic
this man is. "Should I even ask why you're riding a lawn mower down the road?"
"Should I ask why you're being followed around by a couple of suits who are
obviously packing?" he counters, referring to them as "suits" even though they're
in running gear.
I open my mouth about to speak the words, I'm the President's daughter!
except that I don't. I hesitate. I don't know why I don't just come out and say it. No,
that's not true. I know exactly why. It's because this is the first time in as long as I
can remember that someone hasn't recognized who I am.
Being the President's daughter is a privilege, of course. I have opportunities
most people don't have, and I'm grateful for that. But it also means that's all
anyone sees when they look at me. I'm labeled as my father's daughter and that's
it. Hardly anyone wants to know anything about me beyond that. Sure, there are
the people who know me for my work with the foundation, but personally? Not so
many.
So the fact that this guy doesn't seem to have a clue who I am is, oddly enough,
liberating even if he's crude.
"Sightseeing," Bongo Guy says.
"Pardon?"
"The reason I'm riding the lawnmower. I'm sightseeing."
"Sightseeing what? Old houses?
"Nah. I'm partial to another view."
I'm grateful for the fact that I'm running and already flushed right now, because
otherwise I think my face would have just turned bright red. "Do you usually drive
around in a lawnmower following women?"
"Actually, its the first time I've used a lawn mower for this purpose."
"But it's not the first time driving around and following a woman?"
"I used a tractor the other time."
I can't help but laugh. "Classy."
"Its a long story."
"I assume it's one that involves beer?" I ask.
"Perceptive girl." His eyes crinkle at the edges as he grins. Even when I turn
back to look at the road, I'm acutely aware of his gaze still on me.
"So following me around is your idea of a good time?" I'm running slightly faster
now, wondering if his lawnmower can keep up. How fast does a lawnmower even
go?
"Well, it's certainly better than following around Mrs. Johnson."
"Who's Mrs. Johnson?"
"The woman who lives across the street. You don't know your neighbors?"
"I know my neighbors," I protest, feeling slightly defensive. "I mean, I dont
know them, know them. I wave hello. I'm a nice person. I don't need to know

their names."
"How long have you lived here?"
"A couple of years." Okay, now I'm totally defensive. "You're obviously
friendlier than I am. With your nudity and riding lawnmowers andwhatever it is
you spend your time doing."
"You don't know what I do?" He asks the question like he's pleased with
himself.
"Something that gives you enough time to play the bongos naked and ride
around the neighborhood, clearly." He grunts his response. I continue to run, my
steps pounding a steady rhythm on the pavement. "Are you waiting for me to ask
you what you do?
Most women want to know these kinds of things.
I choke back a laugh. "You're full of yourself. And Im not most women.
Clearly.
I run in silence for a few more minutes before exhaling heavily. "Fine. What do
you do?
I cant tell you.
You cant tell me?
It's top secret." He takes another sip from his beer and grins.
Wait, dont tell me. Youre a secret agent living undercover as an obnoxious
frat guy.
Frat guy? You think Im a frat guy?
I shrug. "Youre the one with the bongos and canned beer and
What kind of secret agent frat guy lives in a house like that?
One named Dick Balsac?
He laughs. "Its actually Aiden.
Aiden, I repeat. "Huh. Dick suits you better.
Funny. Do I just keep calling you sugar or do you have a name?
You can stop calling me sugar, I say. "Its Grace." I deliberately leave off my
last name, although Im not entirely certain that Aiden would recognize me as the
Presidents daughter even if I told him.
Grace with the bodyguards.
Thats right.
So youre someone important, Aiden says as I keep running.
I laugh. "Thats definitely debatable.
Or someone who needs bodyguards. So you're someone people want dead.
Is this your version of I Spy or something? Youre going to try to guess my
identity?
You got something better to do in the next how many miles are you going?
Five.
Shit, I dont know if the lawn mower can go five miles.
Thats a real shame. Looks like Ill have to run these five miles on my own. In
silence.

Dont worry. I've still got plenty of juice left in this baby. Hes talking about
the lawnmower, yet his words definitely sound sexual.
I try to put that thought out of my head, focusing my attention on my cadence
and the sound of my feet on the pavement. One-two. One-two.
Hot bare-chested guy a few feet away.
Focusing isn't my strong suit right now.
Aiden's words break through my thoughts. So youre someone people want
dead.
Do people want me dead? Not right this minute; at least I don't think so. I
didnt say that.
Are you going to tell me if I guess right?
Are you going to tell me who you are? I counter.
Nah. I like it this way. So have you ever hooked up with someone whose last
name you didnt know?
I choke back a laugh. "Is that your lame version of a pick-up line?"
"I'm just trying to get to know my neighbor, Grace No-Last-Name. It's a
reasonable question."
"It's not a reasonable question."
He ignores me. "You don't look like a pop star or a model, so thats out.
"Hey! What's that supposed to mean? Are you following me just so you can
heckle me?"
This time when I glance over at him, I see his cheeks redden. Is Mr. No Shame
embarrassed? I meant that youre not all, like, super skinny and shit.
That's not helping."
If you want me to tell you exactly how hot your ass looks in that running gear, I
can. I was just trying to class it up a bit.
I laugh. "Thats appreciated.
So youre not a rock star or a model and youre not super famous -
How do you know Im not super famous?
You dont have any fans following you.
This is a gated neighborhood.
Good point. But you dont look super famous, which clearly means that you're
in in witness protection.
Youre suggesting that Im being followed by bodyguards because Im trying to
not call attention to my brand new government-provided identity?
Well, when you say it that way, it just sounds ridiculous.
Were rounding the corner, and when Aiden slows down, I find myself slowing
down and then stopping instead of running ahead. "Had enough of guessing?
He looks at his watch. I have to be somewhere.
I raise my eyebrows. "Hot date?
I dont even know this guys last name, but the thought of him with another
woman sets me on edge.
Jealous?"

Definitely not jealous, I lie, giving a casual shrug. "Have fun on your date,
Bongos.
"It's traininuh, work," he says. He starts to back up his lawnmower and spin
around as I turn to jog away. Then he pauses, looking back at me to call, Youre a
drug lord, arent you? Some kind of crime kingpin.
I laugh. "You got me.
See you around, sugar."

NOAH

A iden stands in my kitchen in workout clothes, making a protein shake. When I

walk in, he whistles. "Thats some fancy-ass shit.


Shut up, jackass." I straighten the collar of my shirt. I feel as ridiculous as I
look in this outfit. Theres a reason I dont wear tuxedos. Aside from the fact that I
try to avoid doing anything that requires a tux (or a suit, for that matter), they dont
make tuxedos in football player size. This thing had to be tailored for me, which
seems like an insane amount of effort and expense to go to in order to attend a
swanky ten thousand dollar per plate fundraiser.
Going to the fundraiser was not my idea. It was my agents idea, since
apparently I'm more marketable if I show up at a public event or two, mind my
manners, and pretend I like being around people. The real reason Im going is that
its for a good cause, even if it's going to be a room full of uber wealthy snobs eating
caviar to benefit a foundation run by the daughter of the President of the United
States.
"Why are you going to this again?" Aiden asks.
"Because I'm donating my ranch to a foundation for the summer, and this
fundraiser is to benefit the foundation."
"For what?"
"The foundation gives deserving kids a chance to spend time on a ranch learn
life skills, that kind of thing."
"Shit, are you having a mid-life crisis? First you move into this place, and now
you're not going to spend the summer at your ranch being grouchy and avoiding
everyone? You're going to let a bunch of kids have the run of your property? You
dont even like kids.
"Fuck off."
Aiden presses the button on the blender in response. When he stops, he pours
an extra-large protein shake into a cup and takes a swig. "Remember to put your
pinky up when you're drinking champagne. It's classier like that."
"I think I'll pass on the etiquette lessons from the guy who walked into my
kitchen the other day with his junk hanging out."

WHAT THE HELL was I thinking, agreeing to this? I've been here for an hour, and so far
it's been a parade of rich old men and their trophy wives or girlfriends asking to
take photos with me while offering condescending condolences about the team's
big game loss in February, as if I'm personally crushed because the team didn't win.
Im not, by the way. I'm still a little pissed off about it, though. More so now
that Ive been reminded of it about a hundred times.
I knew this fundraiser was a bad idea. Normally, I'd never do something public
like this. Make donations? Sure. I've done lots of those. But Ive never donated my
ranch before it was the first major thing I bought after I got signed in Denver. For
the past few summers, in between seasons, I go out to the ranch and decompress,
away from everything and everyone. This summer is different, though, because Im
in negotiations and I cant hole up away from everybody, as much as I want to do
just that. So when my agent came to me a few months back with info about this
charity, the idea of donating the ranch just popped into my head.
I should have anticipated that my cutthroat agent would want to maximize the
public relations part of that donation as much as possible, which is why Im
reluctantly at a fancy event where Im supposed to smile and pretend to be
interested in what a bunch of wealthy people who are completely out of touch with
reality are talking about. I realize the irony of saying that when I've played on a
multi-million dollar contract for the past four years, but even now, I have a hard
time seeing myself as wealthy. I'm still the same poor kid from West Bend, and I
always will be.
Before long, I find myself at the bar, asking for the bartender to put something
into a glass - anything, just to take the edge off. "Surprise me," I tell him.
I down the liquid whiskey - grimacing as the alcohol burns my throat before
crossing the room and dodging too many self-important people outfitted in black
tie attire to count as I walk out of the ballroom to the front hallway, planning to
head outside to get some fresh air. Okay, Im actually planning to hide out and
maybe read on my phone for a little while until I dart back inside to make an
appearance at dinner, then get the hell right out of here.
The hallway is deserted compared to the crowd in the ballroom, only a few
stragglers on their cell phones and one couple walking toward the entrance to the
ballroom. A man with salt-and-pepper hair and a young redhead on his arm brags
loudly to her about the size of his private jet. Talk about overcompensation. As I
brush past them, the redhead gasps. Noah Ashby! I nod and smile, dodging them
before Im dragged into another boring conversation.
Im so preoccupied with congratulating myself for my expert evasive
maneuvering that I dont notice the girl in front of me or her dress until too
late.
Everything that occurs next seems to happen in slow motion. I swear, the sound
of tearing is amplified by a million. I look down to see my foot on the back of a long

red dress that trails on the floor. My eyes follow the dress up as the silky material
skims softly around the curves of a womans hips, to her trim waist, to the creamy
smoothness of her back where the material
Oh shit. I broke the straps on her shoulders the straps that were on her
shoulders when I stepped on the back of the dress.
I lift my foot quickly, but instead of moving away from her dress, the material
somehow clings to my shoe, and I step down again, catching it under my foot a
second time. The woman shrieks, stumbling backward against me. Reaching out
instinctively, I catch her as she lands with oomph, her back colliding with my
chest.
Then, a flash goes off in my eyes. Someone probably some asshole reporter
covering the event just took a photo of the brunette whose arms are draped over
mine.
I look down at the woman.
The woman whose dress I just stepped on, tearing the straps and causing the top
to slide right down over her breasts. The woman whos struggling to upright
herself, reaching for the top of her dress to hold it up, only to find its caught under
my feet and when I try to step off of it, she falls back against me even harder. The
brunette who someone just grabbed a photo of topless.
As the next flash goes off, I do the only thing I can think of. I hold my palms up
in front of her tits to block them from the guy taking the photo.
But she chooses that exact moment to stand upright, lunging forward and
straight into my hands.
Specifically, pushing her tits right into them.
Which means that Im now standing here, wearing a tuxedo at a fancyschmancy charity event, holding the boobs of some rich girl.
She shrieks. Oh my God, are you groping me?
Before I can answer, hands are on my arms. Mr. Ashby, step away from the
Presidents daughter.
The Presidents daughter?
Oh, hell.
The woman whirls around, one hand gripping the top of her dress and yanking it
up over her breasts, her green eyes flashing. Brown hair frames her face, cascading
in waves over her shoulders. Her cheeks are flushed scarlet, although whether its
from anger or embarrassment, I cant tell.
Probably embarrassment.
Scratch that. She looks pretty damn irate.
Oh my God. I recognize you. Youre the the football player whos donating his
ranch, she hisses. Her nostrils flare again. Holy shit. The photos of her in
magazines dont do her a damn bit of justice. Theyre absolutely nothing compared
to the woman standing in front of me right now.
The one whose tits I just grabbed. Shit. I just felt up Grace Sullivan, the daughter
of the President of the United States.

And it was caught on camera. Good publicity from this event just went right out
the fucking window. Hell, Im probably about to end up getting waterboarded in a
windowless room somewhere. If I'm lucky.
I hold my hands up as two agents pat me down. Meanwhile, the President's
daughter stands there gaping at me, her mouth open. For a fleeting moment, I
consider asking if she's staring at me because she's stunned by my good looks or
because she's never taken a photo with a football player's hands on her tits before.
But I reconsider that since she's wearing stilettos and I'm certain she wouldn't
hesitate to use one as a deadly weapon. She looks like she'd have good aim. I was
not groping you, I begin my defense.
Her hand grips her dress around her breasts - the same breasts I just cupped. I
glance down because now I cant stop thinking about her tits. When she notices,
the flush on her cheeks intensifies and her eyes go wider. Your hands were on my
boobs.
Maam, the Secret Service will detain and -
Wait, detain me? I was a good boy and stood still for a second while the Secret
Service agents patted me down, but detain me for what was clearly a fucking
accident? I dont think so. I stepped on your dress, but the whole boob-groping
thing was really your fault, not mine, sweetheart.
Sweetheart?! She straightens up, standing taller as she steps closer to me.
One of the agents puts her hand up to separate us, but she swats it away. I can
handle a belligerent drunk, Brooks."
Belligerent drunk? I ask, bristling. First of all, Im not drunk. And just
because I'm right doesn't mean I'm belligerent."
"Because you're right? So those weren't, in fact, your hands on my breasts?"
"Look, sweetheart. I don't go around groping women. I stepped on your dress,
but you fell into me. And that flash went off because someone was taking a photo,
so I put my hands up to shield your tits from the photo. Like a gentleman.
Like a gentleman? she squeals.
That's right. I wasnt even touching your tits. Not until you pitched forward
and fell into my hands. That was your doing, not mine.
"You've got to be kidding me," she starts. Then a look of panic passes over her
face, and she pauses. Who took the photo? She looks up at Brooks and Davis.
"Obviously, the photos need to be deleted Oh, God. My dad is going to be here any
minute. He'll flip out."
Her dad. The President of the United States.
"I'll take care of the reporter, I blurt out. The last thing I need is for a photo of
me groping the President's daughter to circulate around the tabloids. I could kiss a
potential lucrative contract right the hell goodbye. "He went out the front door. He
wont have gotten far."
One of the agents puts up her hand to stop me. Sir, you need to stay here.
Yeah, right. I think I can take care of a fucking reporter, I growl. Unless you
want to keep questioning me about whether or not I touched her tits on purpose.

The Secret Service agent stares at me, her expression unchanging.


Seriously? I look at the Presidents daughter.
"Let him," she says. The agent looks at her questioningly, and she shakes her
head, sighing. "The gropingit was accidental.
At least she admitted it. As if Id purposely grope a girl, much less the
Presidents daughter.
I take off after the reporter. I can see the headlines now Football Player
Assaults Daughter of the President. Hell, could this night get any worse?

GRACE

"G od, could this night get any better?" Vi stands in front of me in a private room
in the event building with a needle and thread in her hand, sewing the straps

back onto my dress. Fortunately for me, Vi has always had a penchant for fashion
design and carries a sewing kit in her purse "for fashion emergencies." Her skill
with a needle and thread has come in handy on more than one occasion, and the
girl can work magic with a little duct tape.
"Are you insane? Better? What on Earth could make this night worse?"
"I don't know. Let's see assassination attempt? Someone chokes on their
steak at dinner? Car accident? Poisoning? You lean over a candle and your hair
catches fire?"
"That was a rhetorical question. You're a little morbid tonight."
"It's a gift." Vi shrugs. "Oh, here's another one."
"Another cause of death?"
"Of course not. Another thing that could make this night worse."
I exhale heavily. "What?"
"If it hadn't been Noah Ashby that had ripped your dress off and touched your
ta-tas. If it had been Senator Richards, that would have been infinitely worse"
I nearly choke. Senator Richards is approaching eighty and has a reputation for
being rather handsy. He's an equal-opportunity groper, too, crossing party lines
and earning him the disgust of pretty much every woman on the Hill. "That's
disgusting, Vi."
"You had Noah Ashby's hands on your boobs. By default, that makes this the
opposite of a bad night."
Heat rushes through me when I think about Noah Ashby's hands. His very large
hands, calloused and rough, warm against my skin. The entire thing my dress
tearing, flashing the world, falling against Noah's massive chest and getting
groped by Noah Ashby was unexpected, to say the least.
So was my physical reaction to his touch, the arousal that coursed through my
body like electricity. I tell myself that it was just a physical reaction, pure instinct,
and occurring solely because it's been a long time since a man put his hands on my
breasts. Thats what I told myself as I watched him take off out of the building after

the guy who took the salacious photos, and thats what I reassured myself again as I
walked back to this room, the throbbing between my legs insistent.
It was purely a physical response that had nothing to do with Noah Ashby. The
man was unlikeable in every way, a gruff, arrogant caveman who called me
sweetheart like I needed a pat on the head. He was a stereotypical cocky
professional athlete.
Of course, he did donate his ranch to the charity for the summer.
I refuse to cut him any slack for that. Professional athletes are always doing stuff
like that just to get good press.
I clear my throat. "Not by choice," I tell her primly.
Vi clucks her tongue. "I'd let him touch my boobs anytime. He's delicious." A
look of annoyance must flicker across my face because Vi laughs. "Relax, girl. I'm
not going to go after your hot neighbor."
"What?" I ask, confused. "What does my neighbor have to do with Noah
Ashby?"
"Noah Ashby is your neighbor! I told you, I looked up who bought the house. It
wasn't exactly public record, but I was curious, so I asked this guy that I used to
date - anyway, how I found out is beside the point. I tried to tell you before you
went over there, but you weren't having any of it. You've already seen him naked
and now he's grabbed your boobs. You might as well get it over with and get his
throbbing rod inside you already."
I ignore Vi's crude euphemism because I'm preoccupied with the whole neighbor
thing. "But I didn't see Noah Ashby naked. He's not my neighbor."
She looks at me skeptically. "Are you sure? You did have wine that night. You
know how you get after two glasses of wine. You have the lowest alcohol tolerance
of anyone I've ever met."
That much is true. You'd think with all of the dinners and events I've had to
attend, I wouldn't be such a lightweight, but that's definitely not the case. In fact,
I'd be a terrible spy three glasses of wine and I'd be spilling state secrets like
crazy.
I bring my attention back to Vi. "Yes, I'm sure. I was tipsy, not blind. And the
neighbor is definitely not Noah Ashby."
"So you've gotten to second base with Noah Ashby and you got a private nudie
show from another hot guy in the last few days? And you're asking how things
could get any worse? You should be thanking the universe for dropping two hot
guys in your lap especially after the long drought you've had."
"It was not a nudie show," I correct. "At least, not for me. Brooks and Davis saw
more of my neighbor than I did."
Two hot guys. My heart skips a beat thinking about her words. Two hot muscled
guys who were shamelessly flirting with me. Well, one of them was, anyway. Noah
wasn't flirting. The only reason I was inclined to believe that he wasnt purposely
groping me was that he seemed more irritated about touching my boobs than
anything else. That fact alone makes my physical response to him all the more

pathetic. My "long drought", as Vi put it, clearly has made me desperate.


Vi's laughter interrupts my thoughts. "Oh wow. You have the hots for both of
them."
My brow furrows. "I do not."
"Oh, please. I saw that look on your face. How long have I known you? As if I
don't know what that look means."
"It means nothing because there was no look. I spent exactly one minute with
Noah Ashby, and I think hes the most obnoxious person Ive ever met, I protest.
Hes almost as bad as my neighbor. Anyway, Noah is just a donor, and Im going to
go out there and thank him for his donation and never see him again. And were
both going to pretend that he never saw my boobs.
"Technically, he's only felt them, since you were facing the opposite direction."
"I'm sure he'll see them on the camera, if he can get the photos from the
reporter. And if not, he'll see them on the cover of a tabloid, just like everyone else
in America. I can already picture the headlines now: "First Boobs! President
Sullivan's Daughter Bares All! Singlehandedly Destroys Fathers Chances of Reelection!
"'Star-Spangled Tits,'" Vi chimes in.
"Oh, God, what if Noah is getting hold of the photos so he can sell them?" I ask,
panic rising in my chest.
Why didnt you just send Brooks and Davis after the guy?
They cant go take down a reporter. That would make things worse. My Secret
Service detail suppressing a reporters First Amendment rights in order to get
photos of my boobs back? That would make a great article. The prick of a needle
stings my skin. "Ouch! Watch where you're pointing that thing, Vi!"
"Maybe if you'd hold still for a second, I wouldn't be stabbing you with a
needle," Vi admonishes, yanking on the strap in her hands for emphasis.
"Maybe if you'd hurry up, we could go see whether I need to have a full-fledged
panic attack because I'm going to be half-naked on the cover of magazines across
the country - or whether photos of my boobs are going to be passed around the
locker room of the football team like some kind of joke - before my dad gets here."
"Holy shit, your dad will have an absolute meltdown. Do you think he'll have
Noah murdered?" she jokes.
"Even worse. He'll do that thing he does." I mimic my father's voice. "'Grace
Monroe Sullivan, I'm profoundly disappointed by the fact that you've caused the
spotlight to be focused on you and not on the re-election campaign.
Vi snorts. "Oh, please. Family values, my ass. If that photo of you and Noah
polled well, your dad would make it his freaking campaign poster."
I wrinkle my nose. "Can we not talk about my father and a topless photo of me
and a football player in the same sentence again?"
"Fine. Let's go find these incriminating photos. Just so you know, I'm totally
going to look at them, by the way, since I missed all of the excitement earlier."
I slap her lightly on the arm. "I forbid you to look at the photos. And Id like to

point out that you wouldn't have missed anything if you hadn't been putting the
moves on that tech billionaire."
"What can I say? Stanford Jones is hot in a rich, nerdy way. Beside, it's not like I
have two gorgeous men throwing themselves at me."
"No one is throwing themselves at anyone," I remind her as we step out of the
room.
Standing just outside the room in the hallway, Brooks is talking into her
earpiece. "Ma'am, your father is en route."
I groan. So much for tracking Noah down and finding out whether he got the
photos. "So soon?"
"Yes, ma'am."
"Did the football player get the camera?" I whisper the question to Brooks, even
though we're the only ones back in these rooms, which have already been cleared
and secured by the Secret Service in preparation for my father's arrival.
She doesn't have time to answer before I hear my father's voice booming down
the hall. "Grace Monroe Sullivan, why on Earth are you back here instead of
soliciting donations?"
I'm not sure if he's talking about soliciting donations for the foundation or for
his campaign. Actually, scratch that. I'm positive he'd pick his campaign over
needy kids. That statement sounds bitter, but it's not. I came to terms with my
father's single-mindedness a long time ago. It's not that he doesn't care about
other people; he does, and he's done great things as President that have helped a
lot of people. That's why his approval rating is so high. Well, that and my father is
immensely charismatic.
But he does have priorities, and priority number one is getting elected to a
second term. At this point, that's really considered to be in the bag. But that won't
stop my father from campaigning to win until he's certain the election is entirely
locked down. It's what he does, part of who he is.
Beside me, Vi snickers. "Grace Monroe Sullivan," she says softly, her voice low
in an imitation of my father's.
"Hello to you too, Dad," I call as my parents approach, flanked by their Secret
Service personnel. "And Mom."
"How many times have I told you not to refer to me as 'Mom'?" Katherine
Sullivan stops short of me, her eyes scanning down the length of my body. I know
what she's doing without her even having to say a word. She's evaluating me,
deciding which part of my attire or presentation should be changed. It's what she's
always done for as long as I can remember. It hasn't stopped, even though I'm an
adult. Actually, I think it's gotten worse over the years. "You know that I can't
stand that casual language. I've always been 'Mother' and that hasn't changed in
the month since I last saw you."
Standing beside her, my father rolls his eyes, but she doesn't catch it. Or more
likely, she caught it and ignored it. "Katherine, leave the girl alone. At least she still
calls us Mom and Dad, and not Kathy and Art."

I giggle at the thought, even as my mother visibly recoils, her face contorted in
an expression of horror. My mother has never been the casual type. Even when my
parents campaigned in the mid-west and my mother tried to dress "like a regular
person, she still looked out of place. She's one of those women who belong in
another decade. The magazines call her this century's Jackie O, and my mother
couldn't be more pleased with the comparison. She's always been more afternoon
tea and country club than jeans and shopping at Target. "Honestly, Arthur, you
shouldn't even joke like that. It's unseemly." Her eyes linger on my shoulders and
she narrows them slightly. "Is your dress torn?"
"Not anymore," Vi says. "I stitched the straps back into place."
"Well, you simply can't wear that dress, Grace. Where's your backup gown?"
"I don't have a backup gown."
"How many years have you been attending events like this, Grace? You didnt
bring a backup gown?"
"It doesnt look torn," my father interjects. "It looks fine to me."
"Well, you would be wearing plaid ties if I didn't dress you," my mother says
stiffly.
"I like plaid ties. They're distinctive."
"They're not Presidential."
"They could be your trademark, part of your brand," Vi suggests. "The President
in Plaid."
"Am I a brand?" my father asks.
"Of course you're a brand," my mother sniffs.
"Aren't we all," Vi adds wistfully.
"No, we're not all brands," I protest, more out of discomfort with the notion
than in disagreement. If my parents had their way, I'd be wearing campaign attire
twenty-four hours a day. As it is, I'm enough of a walking advertisement for my
father just by being his daughter.
"Don't be obtuse," my mother says, sighing. "Well, at least you're wearing red,
Grace. Thank God for small mercies. Red doesn't wash you out nearly as much as
some other colors."
I clear my throat, anxious to get my mother to direct her attention away from
her critique of me and my wardrobe choices. "Should we go?"
"Sure thing, kiddo," my father says. He puts his hand on my shoulder. "Now,
what am I talking about tonight?"
I groan. "Dad, it's the foundation fundraiser. You already know "
"I'm kidding, Gracie. Of course I know its the foundation fundraiser.
I exhale heavily. "I'm a little on edge."
"It's because she needs a vacation," Vi chimes in. "Or a good hard "
"Let's go out there already, Vi," I say, heavily emphasizing her name as I give
her a "cut it out" look.
"A good hard what?" my father asks, oblivious to the innuendo behind Vi's
words.

"Nothing," I reply, clearing my throat again. "Shall we go?"


My mother doesn't miss the implication. "You know, I spoke with Eleanor
Redding last week. Her son Brandon is attending tonight with her and I told her
that you'd be thrilled to connect with him. He graduated tenth in his class at Yale,
law review at Harvard Law School, and he's working in international "
"Thanks, Mother, but this is a charity event." I cut her off before she can say
anything else about a lawyer I should be dating. Or a banker I should be dating. Or
the billionaire son of billionaire parents who are politically well-connected that
she'd love to marry me off to. The last guy she forced me to go out on a date with
spent the whole time showing me photos of his yacht. No thanks. "I'd rather focus
on the charity, if it's all the same to you."
"Perfect. You can sweet-talk Brandon into donating to the foundation," she
says.
Great job, Grace. I walked right into that one. But I'd rather sweet talk Noah. The
thought pops into my head, causing my cheeks to heat as we walk to the ballroom.
What the hell is wrong with me lately? It's bad enough I can't stop fantasizing
about one totally inappropriate guy, but two?

NOAH

B y some kind of miracle, I make it through all five courses of the dinner or was

it six? I endure the man beside me who badgers me for inside information about
other players so he can place wagers on next season's games, wink-wink-nudgenudging me as he downs scotch after scotch and talks about how he understands
the game because he played football in college. I even survive the old woman next
to me who insists on showing me photos and giving me the phone number of her
married granddaughter, despite my protests against it, because "her no-good
husband doesn't deserve her and you look like a fine young man".
I don't stab anyone with a fork, which is really commendable, in my opinion. I
don't make any scenes. Somehow, I even manage to smile during the meal. All of
that is a big deal after all, my public demeanor has gotten me into hot water
before. Apparently, telling reporters to fuck off when theyre up your ass trying
to interview you after a game is frowned upon.
I blame my tolerance for this bullshit on her the Presidents daughter. Im
distracted by her during the entire dinner, catching glimpses of her from across the
room. She's hard to miss in that red dress, although truthfully she could be wearing
a paper bag and she'd still be the hottest woman Ive ever seen. I catch her eyes at
one point, and I think I see her blush, an immediate reminder of where my hands
were earlier tonight.
Id give just about anything to put them there again.
The thought of my hands on her breasts makes my cock twitch, and I have to
shift in my seat, returning my thoughts to whatever the hell boring bullshit that
the guy beside me is talking about, just so that I don't get a boner right here in the
middle of this event. And for the President's daughter, no less.
I've got no call getting a hard-on for a girl like that. First of all, shes out of my
league. Even if she werent the Presidents daughter, every part of the way she
carries herself would telegraph that fact loud and clear. Shes classy, practically
regal, every inch of her political royalty.
Shes also a rich snob. I remind myself of that fact. A girl like her, born and bred
into a family like that is definitely not down-to-earth. That much is true, no matter
how hot that girl is. No matter how much the thought of her soft skin and her firm

breasts make me want to pick her up and press her hard up against the nearest
wall, thrust my cock inside her, and make her moan.
Shes one of the rich and powerful. Hell, shes the daughter of the most
powerful man on earth. People like Aiden and I poor kids from Colorado who got
rich because we play sports don't get with girls like that, even if we have all the
money in the world.
And I wouldn't want to anyway. Rich girls are the exact opposite of my type.
Still, that doesn't stop me from watching the way that silky dress skims over her
curves as she walks, or the way she smiles as she tucks an errant strand of hair
behind her ear when she talks to someone.
The President makes a speech at the end of the dinner, with Grace standing
behind him on the stage with the First Lady. He talks about charitable giving and
the foundation and how proud he is of his daughter - and his campaign, of course.
This event is obviously a thinly veiled way of drumming up campaign donations,
more than it is about supporting his daughter's charity work.
When he mentions his campaign, Grace's face pales, but she smiles and
applauds with the rest of the room. Her smile doesnt quite reach her eyes, though.
It rubs me the wrong way that she's standing there behind him like a prop
accompanying him on the campaign trail when it's her foundation that should be
the focus of the evening.
I'm irritated by it and I don't know why. I shouldn't be, because it's none of my
business. I don't even know the first thing about her, or any of them.
All I know is that in the few minutes out there in the hallway, the girl I saw the
one who stood with her hands on her waist, glaring at me with her nostrils flared
had some fire in her veins. She didn't seem like the kind of girl to hang back and
smile demurely while deferring to anyone, which is exactly what she's standing
there doing right now.
I shake off those thoughts, because it's none of my damn business. After the
speech, I head right for the door because I'm tired of rich people and Im pretty
sure the longer I stay here, the greater the chance there is of me doing something
that's not good for my image. I'm going to sneak out quietly - or at least as quietly
as a guy my size can.
Until she catches me. I know it's Graces hand on my arm before I even turn
around to look. "Mr. Ashby."
"Ms. Sullivan." When I face her, Im looking down into those striking green
eyes. Hell, everything about this woman is striking.
She pauses for a moment, her lips parted just slightly. She's wearing this
lipstick, fire engine red, that perfectly matches the color of her dress, and I can't
stop staring at it. In that moment, the image of her on her knees, those bright red
painted lips wrapped around my cock, flashes into my head. My dick twitches just
thinking about it.
Getting a hard-on in this setting is the last thing I need. I clear my throat and try
to push that thought out of my head before she decides I'm some kind of pervert.

Then Grace leans close to me, her lips turned up at the edges in a playful smile.
"I think, since we've been to second base already, you can call me by my first
name."
Well, maybe Little Miss Perfect has a sense of humor after all. "Okay. Grace,
then."
She pulls the corner of her lower lip into her mouth and I think I hear her inhale
sharply. She's standing so close to me that I can smell her perfume, light and airy
and not at all what I'd imagine someone like her cool, calm, and professional
would wear. "Noah," she says, her voice soft.
The second the word leaves her lips, I picture her calling out my name, her head
against the pillow, her face upturned toward mine as I drive into her. Noah Noah.
Just standing near this girl is killing me.
"Grace!" a woman's voice interrupts, and whatever moment passed between us
is immediately broken as Grace turns to smile politely and answer a few questions. I
could easily take the opportunity to leave, and thats what I should do, except that I
find myself not wanting to go.
Grace breaks off the conversation quickly, gesturing at me to follow her as she
weaves through the crowd. She smiles graciously at people, but her security detail
does a good job of subtly whisking her out of the room. They open a door manned
by a Secret Service agent, and I follow Grace down a hallway and into a private room
as one of the women in her security detail clears the room perfunctorily and then
walks wordlessly outside.
I wait until the agent is gone to speak. "If you wanted to get to second base
again, all you had to do was say so," I say, regretting my words nearly the second
they leave my mouth. Yeah, thats fucking classy, Noah.
A look of confusion passes over her face. "I didn't want to you think I brought
you back here so I could so we could ?"
"First you put your tits in my hands, and now you're dragging me to a back
room." I dont know why I say it, except for wishful thinking on my part. Theres
just something about this girl who got so riled up in the hallway earlier, with her
cheeks flushed pink and her blue eyes flashing, that brings out some juvenile part
of me. I just want to get her riled up again.
Shes so damn hot when shes angry.
She narrows her eyes. "I did not put my tits in your hands," she says. "And I
certainly did not drag you back here so I could do whatever with you."
She actually looks offended - offended and pissed off. I'm not going to lie,
though, pissed off is a damn good look on her.
"No?"
She hesitates. "No.
Well, thats disappointing.
She blushes. A faint pink tinge colors her cheeks and Im unnaturally pleased
with myself for causing that blush. I know I shouldnt be hitting on her this is a
bad idea on so many levels but somehow I can't seem to help myself.

"Did you get the you know? The photos?"


"They're gone. Erased."
Her eyebrows go up. "You got them?"
"The photos aren't going anywhere." I leave out how much I agreed to pay the
guy to delete the pictures. I thought about keeping one just to show Aiden and
maybe to print out and frame because hed never believe what happened otherwise
- but I didnt. I deleted all of them because of the principle of the thing.
Sometimes having principles is a real drag.
"Is the photographeralive?" she asks.
"No, I killed him and left his body outside in the middle of the street with a sign
that says, This is what happens when you take photos of the Presidents
daughter.
She narrows her eyes. "There's no need for sarcasm. You're large and a
football player. It's not an entirely unreasonable question."
I choke back a laugh. "Because I'm a football player, you think that I pummeled
some reporter into the ground over a few photos?"
"Isn't that what you do for a job?" she asks. At first, I think she's joking, but she
looks at me blankly. It makes me irritated, the way she asks it, like I'm some kind
of hired thug.
"I play football. I don't break people's legs for a living."
She shrugs, but her cheeks are pink again, embarrassment coloring her face. "I
don't really watch the game."
"Of course you don't."
"What's that supposed to mean?" she asks, her voice tight, obviously bristling
at my statement.
"Girls like you don't watch football."
"Girls like me?" She draws herself up straighter, standing closer to me, her hand
on her hip.
"You're not a drink-beer-and-watch-football kind of girl. Let me guess. You
have season tickets to the opera?"
"You don't know anything about me."
"I know your tits aren't fake."
Her face colors. "You're a pig."
I think I must be a pig, because hours after touching this girl, I can still feel her
skin under my hands, smooth and soft and silky. Now I want more. In fact, Ive
never wanted to tear a dress off a woman as much as I want to destroy the silky
little red number that Grace is wearing right now.
"Why did you really bring me back here?" I ask, stepping closer to her. I
shouldnt be stepping closer to a girl like this. I should be backing off, walking the
hell away from her. I half-expect her to push me away or hell, call for her security
but she doesn't. She doesnt move an inch.
"To ask you about the pictures," she says, her jaw set but her voice falters.
"To ask me about the pictures," I repeat. "The ones with my hands on your

breasts."
She swallows hard. "That's right."
I cant help doing what I do next, even though its the last thing I should be
doing. I touch my fingertips to her arm, running my fingers over her skin until I
reach her shoulder. She doesnt flinch, doesnt pull away a bit when I touch her.
Instead, she makes a little whimpering sound.
Oh, hell.
That sound makes me hard as a rock. My cock immediately springs to attention
under my tuxedo, and I slide my hand to the nape of her neck, pulling her hair as I
turn her face toward mine. Im very nearly about to crush her lips under mine,
when there's a knock on the door.
Fuck. I think I groan the word aloud.
"Ma'am, the President and "
The Secret Service agent barely finishes what she's saying before a woman
pushes her way inside the door. "Grace, your Mom and Dad are "
Grace jumps away from me like she's been shocked by electricity, clearing her
throat loudly. "Vi, this is Noah Ashby. Noah Ashby, this is Vi Scott."
"Oh," Vi says, smiling as she looks between us. She makes no attempt to hide it
when she checks me out, her arms crossed over her chest as her eyes trail down the
length of my body. When her gaze reaches my pants, tented by my obvious
erection, she raises her eyebrows and grins. "Ohhh."
"Vi, this is not what it looks like " Grace starts.
"Oh, please. I hope this is exactly what it looks like, Vi says, rolling her eyes.
You Boob Guy. Good work with that. She hasnt gotten to second base in a long
time. Shes practically a nun.
Vi! Grace exclaims.
Oh, yeah, one other thing. Your parents are right behind me, Grace.
"Gracie, your mother and I are " the President's voice booms as he enters the
room, and it's a good thing Grace's friend barged in just a second before, causing
my boner to rapidly deflate, because meeting the President of the United States
while sporting a hard-on isn't one of the things on my bucket list. "Noah Ashby."
"Mr. President." Fucking hell, the President of the United States knows my
name? I might not like the guy hes always had kind of a smarmy, self-important
air about him, with all his preaching about family values but Ill admit that Im a
little star-struck right now.
He looks back and forth between me and his daughter, his brow furrowing for
only a second before his face brightens in an affable smile. "That was a hell of a
game you played at the end of last season.
"Thank you, sir." I think I remember hearing that the President was a big
football fan, but its a completely different experience hearing the President
congratulate you personally.
"Shame about the last quarter.
Yes it was, Mr. President.

Youre working with Graces foundation, isnt that right? he asks. Beside him,
the First Lady gives me a cool stare.
Ive donated my ranch for one of the summer programs.
Thats fantastic. Im always impressed when athletes are willing to get
personally involved in charities, especially when theyre such good ones. The way
he says it, Im not sure he even knows what the cause is. Im sure the kids are
going to be thrilled to have you working with them one on one.
One on one? Thats a big assumption. Kids and I dont exactly get along. Oh, I
dont -
Hes donated his ranch, Grace says. I'm sure Mr. Ashby doesn't have the
time to be personally involved in the actual session at the ranch, especially since
its two weeks away.
The First Lady puts her hand on the Presidents arm. Just because our daughter
insists on camping with children every summer doesnt mean that everyone has
the inclination to do the same. Im sure you have plenty of summer training to do,
dont you, Mr. Ashby?
She smiles at me, but her voice is unmistakably chilly. I get the distinct
impression that shes doesnt like the fact that she and the President walked in on
her daughter and I in this room alone, and it irritates me.
Thats the only possible explanation I have for why I say what I say next. Ive
never taken kindly to people telling me what I should and shouldnt do, and the fact
that this woman seems bent on discouraging me from being near her daughter only
makes me want to do it more - even if she's the First Lady.
Actually, I've been looking for opportunities to be more directly involved in
charitable organizations," I say, my voice even. "In fact, I really enjoy being handson."
Graces friend Vi hides a smile behind her hand even as Grace's face pales.

10

GRACE

"N oah Ashby would be a good celebrity endorsement," my father notes not less
than a minute after Noah walks out of the room. My cheeks still feel like

they're on fire after the lingering glance Noah gave me before he left - the look I
hope my parents didnt catch. Of course, Vi did, which is why shes giving me a
wide-eyed meaningful stare from across the room. I know that expression that's
Vi's "we so need to talk about this right away" look.
"He would," Vi says, raising her eyebrows as she looks at me again. "You should
talk to him about that, Grace."
"Me?" I squeak. "I don't think that "
"Im sure youll be working with him closely, since hes involved with the
charity, my father says.
Very closely, Vi says, and I give her my best glare of fury.
My mother narrows her eyes at us, but my father is completely oblivious,
preoccupied with the campaign. Endorsements from professional athletes play
well with a younger crowd."
"But you already have the Colorado vote sewn up," I protest. "You won the
primary by a landslide. You dont need a celebrity endorsement. Besides, you don't
even know his political affiliation. He might not be a Sullivan supporter.
"More votes never hurt," my father reminds me. "His political affiliation is
irrelevant. You know as well as I do that endorsements are purchased. Everyone has
a price, and I want to know his.
As soon as my father speaks the words, I know hes made up his mind. Hes
already decided that Noah Ashby is going to be at the ranch, and theres no
changing my fathers mind once hes made a decision.
My mother purses her lips. "I don't think she'll necessarily be working with him
that closely with the charity," she interrupts. "And he'd need to be vetted before an
endorsement, of course. If any sort of scandal is attached to his name"
Vi snorts. "You're joking, right?"
"Pardon?" my mother asks, her lips pursed again, her tone practically saturated
in disdain. She's never liked Vi, not even when Vi's father and mine worked
together in Colorado. Vi is well aware of that, which is why she enjoys pushing my

mother's buttons.
"If there's a scandal attached to his name?" Vi asks, clearly determined to get
under my mothers skin by pointing out how my father has already decided that Im
going to be working with someone whos the exact opposite of the kind of man my
mother wants me to date. "Noah Ashby isn't exactly a choirboy."
"See? Scandal. He's out," my mother tells my father. "Your entire platform is
based on old-fashioned family values. Any whiff of a scandal would taint the
campaign."
"What kind of scandal?" I ask before I even realize I'm speaking, my curiosity
immediately overruling any common sense I have. I shouldnt care about Noah
Ashbys scandals, I tell myself. I dont care, because Im not the least little bit
interested in the professional football player.
Not at all.
Besides, Im sure he hasnt done anything as scandalous as my neighbor Aiden
and his public nudity. That makes two men Ive met recently who are definitely not
choirboys.
Two men who make my heart race.
Two men I shouldnt be the least bit interested in.
"Nothing terrible," Vi says. "No drugs or anything like that."
"Domestic violence?" my mother asks.
"No. Adolescent male behavior. Streaking, boozing, that kind of thing."
"So that's adolescent male behavior now?" Despite the seriousness of the
conversation, I cant refrain from teasing Vi, who was infamous for leading our
high school senior class in streaking through the library.
Always the mature adult, Vi sticks her tongue out at me.
"We'll vet him first," my father decides, dismissing everyone's concerns with a
quick wave of his hand. "Isn't he up for contract renewal?"
My father asks the question casually, as if he doesn't know the answer. Its one
of my fathers tricks the casual question. In reality, my father never asks a
question he doesnt already know the answer to. Hes an avid football fan. He
clearly already knows everything about Noah Ashby without any of us telling him a
thing.
"What does that matter?" presses my mother.
"If he's up for renewal, he has to play it straight. Everyone loves a redemption
story. Grace will be working with him. Run it by him, will you, Grace?"
It's not a suggestion or a question. It's a direct order from the Commander in
Chief. I clear my throat. "Yes, Dad.
Working closely with Noah Ashby? I dont know whether to be excited or
terrified.
"Speaking of redemption stories," my mother interrupts, you really need to be
seen with someone appropriate during the campaign season, Grace. People are
starting to wonder if you're a lesbian, and a lesbian daughter doesnt poll well with
voters.

You took polls on my sexuality? I ask, utterly appalled. I dont know why Im
surprised in the least. Nothing my parents do when it comes to campaigning should
surprise me anymore.
"Well, there was that time in boarding school" Vi jokes. I throw her an icy
look.
"What people are wondering this?" I ask, my voice frosty. "I don't see why I
need to date someone because of the campaign. I didn't date anyone during the
first one."
"You're older now, dear. I have a few candidates. I'll leave their files with
Brooks. And be nice when they call you."
"Mom," I start. "Mother. I am not dating someone just because "
"Gracie, we need to run," my father interrupts, looking at his Blackberry. He
steps close to me and kisses my cheek. "Humor your mother, okay? Shes really
asking out of concern for you. She just doesn't want you to die alone."
"Thanks a lot, Dad," I mutter. "I'm sure that's the reason."
"Don't be caustic, Grace," my mother says. "It doesnt suit you.
When my parents have left the room, Vi waits approximately two seconds to
turn to me, her eyes wide. "So Noah Ashby."
I shrug and muster the most innocent-looking expression I can. "What about
him?"
"Oh, please. Don't play coy. I know you. You have the same look on your face
right now that you had when you crushed on Jared Caulder in tenth grade."
"I do not!"
"You do, and you're just as defensive as you were then. Grace and Noah, sitting
in a tree, K-I-S-S"
"Oh, shut it, Vi. You're as bad as my mom."
"Mother," Vi corrects, laughing. "Don't ever call her Mom."
"I sometimes forget how insufferable she is since I don't see her that often
anymore."
"I can't believe you just compared me to her."
"You're right. I feel like a bad person."
"You're a terrible person," Vi agrees. "But look at you, you big hussy.
"Vi!" I squeal.
"Two hot men after the President's daughter," Vi says with a wistful sigh.
"Which one will she choose?"
"There are no men after me," I protest. "And there's no choosing going on."
"You're right. I can't say they're both hot without verifying this for myself.
Personally. I thought Noah Ashby was your neighbor, but now I'm intrigued. I'll
need to check out Naked Bongo Guy for myself."
"That's exactly what I need," I say, laughing. "You sitting on my balcony with a
pair of binoculars and a tub of popcorn."
"Screw the popcorn - too many carbs. I'd have a bottle of wine."
"You realize wine has carbs too, right?"

"Alcohol carbs don't count."


"I don't think you're nutritioning correctly."
"I think you should have them both.
Wine and popcorn? I ask.
That too. But no, I think you should do them both, Vi states, matter-of-factly,
like we're talking about two glasses of wine and not sleeping with two men.
I choke. "I'm not doing either of them."
"Oh, honey. Noah looked at you like you were a piece of steak and he was a
hungry lion."
"He did not."
"He did," she assures me. "But the way you looked at him put that to shame. It's
the same look you get talking about Naked Bongo Guy, for your information."
"I'm not doing anyone," I reiterate, looking in the mirror on the wall to push my
hair back into place. "There will be no doing."
"There's been no doing for how long now?" Vi asks. "Five years?"
"It's only been two years!"
"Dear God, two years?! I was only kidding about five years. I thought it had been
six months, maybe. But two years?? Did you take a vow of celibacy that I'm not
aware of?"
"No," I say, suddenly defensive. "I just it's you know it's hard to date
anyone."
Vi arches an eyebrow. "It ain't that hard to get laid, honey."
"I don't have the same kind of freedom that you have, Vi," I protest.
Sometimes I wish I did. Okay, a lot of times I wish I did. The children of governors
or senators or congressmen don't exactly have the same kind of public scrutiny as
the daughter of the President. Of course, I don't know that public scrutiny would
change anything for Vi. She lives her life the way she wants to live it and makes no
apologies for it. It's something I've always envied her for.
"I know, darling," Vi says, her face softening. "But two years?"
"It's hard to meet someone," I argue. "No one wants to date the President's
daughter except men who want to climb the political ladder "
"By climbing you," Vi interrupts, wiggling her eyebrows.
"Exactly. Or guys who are more into my father than me."
"Or the guys your mother chooses," Vi says, laughing.
I can't help but laugh with her. "They're the worst."
"You should go out with Noah Ashby," Vi says. "And your neighbor."
"I couldn't," I protest. "You're the one who said Noah was surrounded by
scandal."
"Well, he's also going to be surrounded by you at his ranch," Vi interjects.
"Specifically, surrounded by your legs when you "
I hold my hand up. "Yeah, I got the picture."
"When he bangs you," Vi finishes anyway.
"I'm not banging him or the neighbor. I'm not seeing either of them. I don't

even know how to do that. See two guys at the same time? Isn't that weird?"
"Well, you see, when a woman and two men really care about each other, or they
get really drunk, sometimes one takes her from behind and the other "
"Violet Anne Marie Scott," I interrupt. "I can't believe you just said that. I was
not talking about a a"
"Threesome?"
"A" My voice drops to a whisper. "Yes. A threesome."
Vi sighs. "Oh, to be sandwiched between two attractive, muscular men. A girl
can dream."
"I can't believe you just said that," I gasp.
The strange thing is that, as scandalized as I am by Vi even joking about a
threesome with Noah and Aiden, the thought keeps popping into my head the rest
of the evening, even as I make my final rounds in the event, making small talk and
thanking donors. When I realize that Noah has already left, Im not quite sure if the
exhale I let out is one of relief or disappointment.
Later, when I'm lying in bed, thoughts about Noah and Aiden rush into my head
again, totally unwarranted. Obviously I'm some kind of pervert because my mind
drifts to Aiden and that cocky grin he gave me as he stood in front of me, nearly
naked. Then it flits to Noah and the way he smelled raw and masculine when he
stood close to me.
I picture Noah reaching for the nape of my neck the way he did at the event,
except this time, he pulls me close to him, his mouth crashing down hard on mine.

NOAH'S LIPS press against mine, his tongue finding mine urgently with no sense of
hesitation. When he kisses me, I think my heart stops beating for a minute. I melt
against him, lost in every sensation as he runs his hands through my hair, sending
goose bumps across my skin.
Then, as quickly as it started, he stops. Breathless, I look at him questioningly,
but not for too long before Aiden is standing there taking my hand and pulling me
toward him. I crash against Aiden's bare muscular chest, glancing at Noah for his
reaction, but instead of being upset, Noah just nods. "Kiss him," he tells me.
I do. When Aiden's lips touch mine, I kiss him back, my body melting against his
as his hands roam the length of my back to my hips, finding the edges of my
panties and sliding them down my thighs before I can even protest.
As if I want to protest.

MY HEART THUMPS wildly in my chest as I slide my fingers between my legs, rolling


them in circles over my clit. One hand stays on my breast as I give in to lustful
thoughts about the two men. It's a ridiculous, completely absurd, totally ludicrous
fantasy that I've never had before.
Except that every part of my body is on edge right now, ignited by electricity that

runs through me at the mere thought of being with Noah and Aiden at the same
time.

NOAH SLIDES TO HIS KNEES, yanking my panties to my ankles as he kneels on the floor,
then tossing them to the side. Before I can register what's happening, Aiden is
behind me, the warmth of his chest against my back, his hardness pressing against
my ass cheek as his hands run over my arms, then down to my breasts. Noah's
mouth envelops me, his tongue finding its destination between my legs where he
licks and sucks my clit like hes an expert in the act.
I close my eyes, relishing the sensation of Aiden's breath on my neck and his
tongue flickering over my earlobe before he finds the sensitive spot on the size of
my neck that makes me go crazy. I hear someone moan loudly far too loudly to be
appropriate, and it takes me a minute to realize that it's me. I'm far too turned on
to be embarrassed, though, considering what Noah is doing with his fingers.
I moan at the sensation of his fingers inside me, stroking me, his fingertips
pressing against that spot in me that makes my toes curl. Their hands seem to be
everywhere Aiden's hands on my breasts, my nipples coming to attention as he
pinches them; Noah's cupping my ass, pulling me against his face as his tongue
caresses my clit.

I THRUST my fingers inside my slick pussy, imagining that it's Noah's fingers inside
me. When I palm my breast, my fingers squeezing my nipple, I picture Aiden's
fingers there. I'm so wet, so needy, so on the verge of coming at the thought of
both men wanting me, touching me fucking me - that I hear myself moan aloud
in the stillness of my bedroom.

"YOU LIKE THIS, don't you?" Aiden asks. "I knew you were filthy the moment I saw
you."
I groan my response, unable to articulate any words right now.
"When I told you I wanted to throw you over my shoulder and carry you into my
house and fuck your brains out, it turned you on, didn't it?" Aiden asks.
My muscles clench their response around Noah's fingers as he pulls away from
my pussy, looking up with a grin. "Don't pretend otherwise, Grace," he says,
because you can't hide the way your body responds."
"Are you wet for us?" Aiden asks, his breath hot against my ear. I swear that I
get wetter the second he asks the question. "Does the idea of two men fucking you
turn you on?"
The moan escapes my lips before I can stop it, and Noah groans, sending
vibrations between my legs. I don't think I can hold out any longer the sensation

of both men touching me is too much.


"Say it, Grace," Noah orders. "Tell us you want to feel us both inside you."
"Mm-hmm," I murmur.
"We want to hear you say it," Aiden commands, his fingers under my jaw as he
tilts my head back toward him. His other hand pinches my nipple harder, sending a
shock of pain through me, except that instead of hurting, it adds to the sensation.
"Tell us how you want us to fuck you. Do you want Noah's cock in your mouth while
I take you from behind?"
"Shit." I exhale the word, my breathing erratic as Noah pulls my clit into his
mouth for emphasis. My hands go to his head, pulling him against me, demanding
more of his mouth on me. I want more of his fingers inside me. Hell, I want Noah's
cock inside me. Or Aiden's. Oh, God, I want both of them.
"Or do you want to ride Noah's cock, feel his mouth on your tits while I slide my
dick into your tight little asshole?"
"Oh my God." I breathe the words, overwhelmed by Aiden's filthy words and by
what they're both doing to me. The sensations are almost too much to take. I'm too
lost, too far gone to think logically or coherently, too turned on to be self-conscious
about being taken by two men.
Aiden's words trigger the image in my head riding Noah while Aiden fucks my
ass and the prospect of being filled up by both of them at the same time sends me
hurtling over the edge with the intensity of a freight train.

I FUCK myself with my fingers again and again, my orgasm enveloping me so


strongly that I cry out louder than I think I ever have in my life. The pleasure is
white-hot and blinding, so overwhelming that when it's over, I fall back against
the pillow, my chest heaving as I try to catch my breath.
It takes a few minutes before my heart rate returns to something less than nearheart-attack intensity, and I lie in bed, looking up at the ceiling and wondering
what the hell has gotten into me.
I've never had a fantasy like that before, not even once. I've always been as
straight-laced in the bedroom as I am outside of the bedroom, although to be fair,
the men I've dated haven't exactly been sexually adventurous.
But this? Fantasizing about two completely inappropriate men I just met?
Bringing myself to orgasm at the idea of them fucking me at the same time?
This goes beyond adventurous. It's just plain madness.
I tell myself that it's just a fantasy and that it means nothing. Except I'm not a
hundred percent sure I mean it.

11

AIDEN

"L ate night?" I ask, closing the front door behind me. I was up at six and off to a
cross-training session at the training center off-season training means
cross-training, which is a nice break except for when I'm feeling a little
frustrated, like I am right now. What Id like to do is pound out a really heavy
weight session, or go out to the field and run plays over and over until my mind is
totally consumed by football.
I haven't been able to get the hot-ass neighbor chick out of my head, and using
my hand has been no substitute for the real thing. Last night, I declined a text from
a cheerleader whos been after me for months, because I was too preoccupied with
Hot Neighbor. I even hung out on the balcony, craning my head to see if I could
catch a glimpse of her, but she never emerged from her house, probably because a
girl like that has a boyfriend, or a string of boyfriends.
Except that she was flirting with me, that much I'm sure of.
Fuck. I can't remember the last time I was this wound up about a stupid chick. I
need to just go get laid. The problem is that I dont want to just get laid by some
girl. I want Hot Neighbor.
"Not really," Noah says. He walks into the kitchen and peels two bananas,
tossing them into the blender.
"You're so domestic, making me a protein shake," I note.
"Fuck you," Noah grumbles. "This is my breakfast."
"You're testy this morning."
Noah grunts a response as he unscrews the lid to the protein powder.
"Aw, did playing nice with all the rich old ladies last night put you in a bad
mood?" I ask. I can't resist messing with Noah when hes pissy because it only
makes him angrier.
But instead of lashing out at me, he just ignores me and dumps four scoops of
protein powder into the blender.
"Oh, I got it. You had a little thing with one of those rich old ladies and you're
having a little morning-after regret? We've all been there, dude."
Noah glares at me. "I didn't screw anyone."
"Okay, that's the problem. I can pull out my phone numbers if you want.

There's this girl, Audrina, who's a total tiger in the sheets. She's a little crazy,
though
"Shut up, man. I'm not hard up. I just "
The expression on his face clinches it for me. "You met a chick," I say, realizing
what the pained look on his face means: he has a major case of blue balls. "You met
a chick and didn't get in her pants."
Noah turns on the blender to drown me out. As soon as he stops it, he tells me to
go fuck myself. "I didn't meet a chick. I mean, not really. Im out a hundred grand
because I groped the President's daughter, and "
"You paid a hundred thousand dollars to feel up the President's daughter?" I
ask, confused. "This was a charity auction? My mind is blown. I really need to start
looking into doing more charity work."
"No, it wasnt some kind of pervy charity auction, dickhead."
"The President has a daughter?"
Noah looks at me like I'm an idiot. Yes, the President has a daughter. Don't you
ever watch the news? Do you even know who the President of the United States is?"
"Of course I know who the President is," I say. Stop getting off-topic. You paid
a hundred grand to grope an ugly chick?"
"She's not ugly."
"Obviously she is, or you wouldnt be so upset about it. You really need to raise
your standards."
"You have no idea at all who I'm talking about, do you?"
I shrug. "I don't care about politics, dude."
"What's wrong with you? Read a fucking newspaper or something, man. Stuff
these politicians do affects your life, you know."
I grab an apple from the bowl of fruit on the counter and bite into it. "Doesn't
affect mine. I've got a house and job security."
"Sometimes I want to slap the sense of entitlement right out of you."
"Entitlement, hah. Go for it, bro. Remember when I whooped your ass senior
year of high school? I'll do it again."
Noah snorts. "I'd like to see you try."
"Not right now. Im not going to be distracted. I want to hear about how you paid
money to grope the President's daughter. Is she a hooker?"
"Yeah, Aiden. The daughter of the President of the United States is a fucking
prostitute and I paid a hundred grand to bang her."
"That's reasonable. Was it good?" I ask, then stop myself. "For a hundred grand
it should be. But obviously it wasn't or your attitude would be better today."
Noah gulps his protein shake before setting down the cup on the counter. He
sighs loudly, the way he does when he's exasperated with me. "I no, I didn't pay
money to bang her! Its complicated, all right?
Seems pretty simple to me. You felt a girl up for a hundred grand.
I stepped on her fucking dress, and then she fell into me with her boobs out
and I was putting my hands up because someone got a photo of her but she stood

up and oh, hell, I don't know why I'm even telling you this."
"So then you paid her money? If she's the President's daughter, isn't she rich
already?"
"I didn't pay her money," Noah says, exhaling dramatically. "I paid the
photographer to delete the photos."
"A hundred grand." I whistle. "To delete photos of your hands on some chick's
boobs."
"Not some chick. The daughter of the President of the United States."
"Photos like that would give you some bragging rights - if she's not homely, I
mean," I qualify my statement. "Maybe even if she is homely. If she's the
President's daughter, that means she's famous, yeah? A minor celebrity? Thats
probably about the equivalent of a reality star, I think. Still, its some bragging
rights."
"Are you finished now?" Noah asks.
"Maybe. Do you have the photos?"
"No. They're deleted."
"How do you know they're deleted?" I ask.
"I erased them from the assholes camera. Personally."
"Did you make sure they didn't get uploaded somewhere?" I point out.
It's obvious Noah didn't think of that by the way he glares at me. "If the guy
publishes them, Ill hunt him down.
"Noah Jackson is going to go all mafia-style on his ass?"
"Shut up."
"Soheres the most important question: How were the tits?" I ask.
"I'm not talking about that with you, asshole."
"You paid a hundred grand to keep her tits out of the tabloids and you're not
going to tell me about them? You do have a crush on her."
"I don't have a crush on anyone," Noah protests. "I'm just not a total dick."
I was just calling you a dick. An image of the hot neighbor chick Grace with
her hands on her hips, leaning forward just a little so I could see the top of her
cleavage in her business suit, flashes through my mind. Shit, I've got to get that
chick out of my head. Or get her ass into my bed.
Instead, I bring my attention back to Noah and his little crush. "You've always
aimed high, I'll give you that."
Noah rolls his eyes. "I'm not getting with Grace Sullivan. First Daughters don't
get with pro football players."
Grace. I take another bite of my apple. "Huh. You know, Hot Neighbor is named
Grace, too. Funny coincidence. That would be weird if we were both hooking up
with chicks named Grace."
Noah gulps down the rest of his protein shake before turning to rinse the cup at
the sink. "I'm not hooking up with the Presidents daughter - and you're not
banging my next door neighbor, do you hear me? I don't want some crazy girl
egging my house because you screwed her and then dumped her."

"There was only one egging in our old neighborhood," I protest.


"No Hot Neighbor," Noah growls.
"No Hot Neighbor," I say, my tone insincere because I'm already thinking about
how I can get Hot Neighbor in the sack. "I swear."

"AIDEN PAUL JACKSON, I swear to God I will kill you!" Annie's voice echoes loudly
through the house over the speaker on the phone, and I hold it away from me, not
even bothering to try to hide my laughter. I know exactly why my sister is calling
me.
Noah looks up from the sofa, where he's sprawled across the entire length,
scrolling through something probably some boring article on the economy - on
his tablet. "I told you it was a bad idea. You were really asking for it this year."
"You knew about this, Noah?" Annie squeals. "Why did you let him?"
"Annie Banannie!" I interrupt. "Did you think I was going to let a birthday go
unnoticed? What kind of a big brother would I be? Admit it. You'd be upset if I
didn't do it!"
"Noah," Annie sighs exasperatedly. "Tell Aiden I'm not talking to someone who
sends a human banana to my workplace for my twenty-first birthday."
"You work at a bar," I protest. "It's probably not the first time a singing banana
has shown up there."
"It's a restaurant," Annie argues. "And you promised you wouldn't do it this
year."
"It's your twenty-first birthday!" I protest. "Noah, explain in reasonable terms
to Annie that tradition requires the singing banana and theres nothing that can be
done about it. You cant buck tradition, Annie.
"This one tap-danced, Aiden. That's completely over the line."
Noah snorts. "I'm not getting involved in this argument."
"Look, do you know how hard it is to find a tap-dancing banana in Colorado
Springs?" I ask. "I thought nothing was going to top last year's banana, but it did,
didn't it? Tell me it did. They promised a good video of it, but the clip I got was kind
of grainy and I didn't get the expression on your face."
Annie groans in frustration. You guys are such children.
"At least a banana in a bikini didn't pop out of a giant cake the way it did for
your birthday last year, Annie," Noah points out helpfully. "He really toned it down
this year."
"The banana had backup dancers," Annie protests. "With instruments. It was
practically a marching band of bananas."
"Well, you needed a reason to get good and drunk on your twenty-first birthday,
right?" Noah points out. "Your brother's embarrassing sense of humor is a good
excuse."
"You mean the way my brother continues to emotionally scar me?

Are you seeing a counselor at college? I ask. I have lots of money. I can pay
for a good shrink.
Annie ignores me. Noah, did you know about the bodyguard?
Noah cocks his head to the side as he looks at me. Really, Aiden?
Like Im going to let my kid sister go out with her girlfriends and get shitfaced
with no protection?
We had condoms! Annie yells.
I shout to drown out her words. Ahh! What the hell, Annie?? I dont need to
know about that.
"Were the bananas the bodyguards?" Noah interrupts.
"No. Unfortunately, the bodyguard refused to put on a banana outfit and sing or
tap-dance, so I had to use two separate companies. You really can't find good talent
these days."
Noah snorts as he gives me a onceover. "Truer words have never been spoken."
I feel like thats some kind of commentary about me, but Im going to ignore it.
I told you I was sending someone, Annie. He was basically a designated driver. You
should be thanking me."
"You totally cock-blocked me, Aiden!" she squeals. "Noah, tell him!"
"Okay, first of all, I'd like to go through the rest of my life without hearing my
sister use the term 'cock-blocked' ever again, thank you," I point out. "And second
of all, I don't see how me sending a bodyguard out to bars with you had any
negative impact on your evening other than getting you all home safely."
"No one wants to hit on girls surrounded by thugs in suits," Annie protests.
"Noah, back me up here."
"Well, I'm sorry that no guy was man enough to hit on you despite the suits," I
say, shaking my head and mouthing "not sorry at all" across the room at Noah.
"You're so annoying, Aiden," she tells me.
"Admit that your birthday wouldn't have been the same without the banana."
The banana has been an annual tradition since ninth grade in high school when I
rented a banana outfit to sing Happy Birthday to Annie during a sleepover with all
of her friends. Totally worth using two weeks of the money I earned mowing lawns.
She was annoyed by it, which only encouraged me to do it again the next year and
then every year after that. It's been my mission to top the banana experience each
time. It's practically my brotherly duty.
She sighs loudly. "Fine. It wouldn't be the same without the banana. But
seriously, you're going to eventually run out of ways to embarrass me, dude."
"That'll never happen, Annie Banannie.
"Yeah, he'll always be naturally embarrassing," Noah jumps in. "Happy
birthday, by the way."
"That's true," I add. "Sorry. You're stuck with being humiliated forever, just
because you're related to me."
Annie groans. "Great. Thanks for giving me something to look forward for the
rest of my life." She sighs loudly, then her voice softens. Besides, I guess mom

always did think the banana was funny.


Noah clears his throat and stands up, taking Annie's mention of our mother as
his cue to leave. I have to get going. My gift is in the mail, kiddo.
I hope its not a banana! Annie yells.
You only have to worry about that from your brother, he says before walking
out of the room.
I take Annie off speaker, putting the phone to my ear as I walk upstairs. "You
didnt have a shit time on your birthday, did you, kid?
You know its always hard without mom around, she says.
I can't really stop doing the banana thing now, you realize. It wouldnt be
right.
Annie is silent for a minute. "I know. Youre not missing dinner at Mama
Ashbys next week, are you? Shes going to be pissed off if you do. You missed it last
month.
No way. Im there, I assure her. Ill give you my real birthday present then.
Oh, you have something for me other than a marching band of bananas?
Yep. But it has to be delivered in person.
Im scared to ask why. If its a snake, spider, scorpion, or an insect of any kind,
Im never speaking to you again.
Im sad that you question my gift-giving ability.
You gave me a snake in a shoebox when I was nine, Aiden.
Mom freaked when it got loose. I laugh at the memory of my mother holding a
broom and standing on a chair in the middle of the kitchen, yelling for my sister
and I to rescue her from the snake.
Yeah. Annies voice is wistful.
Love you, Anna Banana."
Annie sighs exasperatedly. "I know, A-hole."

12

GRACE

I down several gulps of water from my bottle, my heart still racing after my run

while Vi updates me over the phone on the latest developments in her business life.
"I'm on my way to Miami," Vi informs me. "Im looking at samples for the new
line.
Last year, Vi developed her own resort wear line of clothing inspired by places
shes traveled around the world. She got good reviews and after a big Hollywood
celebrity was photographed wearing one of her designs, she was put in some
exclusive boutiques in Miami.
Send me photos?
Top Secret photos, she says. Im in Miami for a week, unless youd like me to
stay in Denver to help make sure you take advantage of the whole two hot guys
situation."
"You're such a generous person. But I'll pass, since there will be no taking
advantage of two hot guys."
Vi sighs exaggeratedly. "I saw you with one of those two hot guys, and trust me,
Noah Ashby looked like he would be more than happy to be taken advantage of,
specifically by you."
"Nothing is going to happen between me and Noah Ashby, Vi "
"You heard your father. He wants you to milk that football player for an
endorsement."
"Is that an innuendo? Because if it is, I'm not even going to dignify that with a
response."
Vi laughs. "I give the both of you a week at the ranch before Noah Ashby has you
bent over a fence.
"Who says Noah Ashby is even going to the ranch?" Suddenly, I'm suddenly
distracted by a loud buzzing noise. "What the hell?"
A remote-controlled helicopter appears above the wall between my house and
the neighbor's, a plastic object dangling from it. Oh my God. "Is that a blow-up
doll?"
"Where? What's going on? Is this your neighbor's blow up doll we're talking
about?" Vi asks.

As if there are any other blow-up dolls in my life.


But I'm too preoccupied with what's happening to immediately answer. I watch
the helicopter hover above the wall just inside my backyard, the plastic doll
dangling from it with limbs askew.
"I'm not entirely sure what's happening"
I don't get to finish my sentence before the crack of a gunshot pierces the air.
The helicopter bursts into pieces, and the blow-up figurine zigs and zags erratically
back and forth a few times before collapsing into a heap on the grass. I turn, my
mouth wide open as Brooks materializes in the backyard, giving orders into her
earpiece. "Get inside the house, ma'am," she commands.
"Brooks, you realize thats just the neighbor's "
"Step back inside the house, ma'am."
"What's going on, Grace? Was that a gunshot?" Vi asks. "Are you okay?"
I step inside the kitchen, closing the French doors and watching Brooks intently.
"I'm fine. It's not me whos being shot at. Brooks shot a toy helicopter or maybe
the blow-up doll. I'm not sure. It might have taken down both."
"What?" Vi asks, laughing. "A toy helicopter and a blow-up doll? What the hell
is happening at your house?"
"I'm not sure, but I'm going to find out," I answer, crossing through the house
to the front door. Brooks might have told me to stay inside, but she can't be
everywhere at all times. "I think the neighbor flew a toy helicopter into the yard."
"And your security detail shot it down?" Vi asks. "How exciting. Wait, what does
the blow-up doll have to do with it?"
"Vi, I'll call you back."
"No way! Put me on speaker! I want to hear what's going on," Vi begs.
"Um I say, distracted by the insanity of what just happened. I need to talk to
Brooks and Davis."
"Grace Monroe Sullivan, if you cut me out of the drama, I swear Im going to
ditch Miami and show up at your front door!" Vi yells just before I hang up.
I make it down the driveway to the gate before Brooks spots me, following down
the driveway behind me at a fast clip. "Ma'am, I told you to stay in the house."
"Why?" I ask. "Because you think there was an assassination attempt made on
me by a remote-controlled helicopter and a blow-up doll? Really? Death by blowup doll?" I ignore her order, pushing open the gate to find Davis outside.
With Aiden.
Aiden has his hands over his head and his palms pressed against the stone wall
in front of our houses. For a second, I just pause, sucking in a deep breath as I gape
at him. He's shirtless, of course at this point, I'm not convinced the man actually
owns any shirts - his rippled back muscles on full display. Its the most distracting
thing Ive ever seen. When he sees me, he grins. "Well, sugar, I have to tell you, I'm
disappointed to be getting felt up by your security guard and not you." He looks
over his shoulder at Davis. "Would you mind trading places with her real quick?"
In response, Davis puts a hand firmly in the middle of his back, pushing him

harder against the wall. "Shut your mouth."


"Davis!" I protest. "Come on. Be reasonable here. He's obviously not trying to
kill me."
"Kill you?" Aiden asks. "Why would I be trying to kill you? I was just trying to get
your attention."
"You were trying to get her attention by flying a sex doll into her yard? Yeah,
you're a real Romeo," Davis says.
"The bomb squad will be here to check for chemical weapons in a minute,"
Brooks notes.
"What the hell are you talking about?" blurts Aiden. "Chemical weapons? Are
you insane? That was a joke. It's a blow-up doll, for shit's sake."
"Seriously, Brooks. Chemical weapons? Do we really need all the hoopla? I ask.
I think my voice might have gone up a full octave. You know this is nothing. Let's
not be completely ridiculous here."
"This is not nothing. This is protocol, ma'am, Brooks asserts, her tone forceful.
She looks at me, her expression entirely devoid of humor. Someone flew a drone
into your backyard with a plastic inflatable object attached that could be carrying
anything chemical weapons, drugs, a bomb -
A bomb? Aiden yells. Why would I fly a bomb into the backyard of a hot girl I
want to bed? Seriously, who the hell are you?
I cock my head to the side and look at Brooks, raising my eyebrows for emphasis.
"Does my neighbor look like a criminal mastermind? He doesn't even know who I
am, Brooks."
"You shot my freaking drone!" Aiden shouts.
Did he just say I was hot and that he wanted to bed me?
"What the hell is going on?" a familiar voice calls out, and I look up to see Noah
Ashby materialize at the end of Aiden's driveway a few yards away.
Everything is so chaotic that I dont have time to process what the hell Noah is
doing in my neighbors driveway because said neighbor is currently being frisked
by my security detail. This incident is really not going to go over well with the
homeowner's association, who I had to assure that there would be no security
issues related to me living in this neighborhood. Up until now, there had been
none.
"What the hell did you do? Why are you being arrested?" Noah asks, focused
momentarily on Aiden, whos being placed in handcuffs. Then he looks up at me,
and his eyes go wide.
"What are you doing here?" he and I ask each other at the same time.
"This aint the first time Ive been in cuffs, if you know what I mean, Aiden
deadpans, still not taking any of this seriously. Wait, how do you two know each
other?"
"I met Grace at the event the other night," Noah says, his eyes never leaving my
face.
"Wait a second. This is the girl you paid a hundred thousand dollars to grope?"

Aiden asks, his jaw dropping.


"What?!" I squeal. "You told him you paid money to grope me?"
Noah holds his hand up. "Wait, wait, wait. That is not what I said happened. At
all. I said I groped you, but I didn't pay anything. I mean, before I groped you."
I put my hands on my hips. "Oh, so you just told him you groped me for free,
then?"
"Aw, shit. This isn't coming out right at all," Noah says, groaning loudly.
"What do you mean you didn't pay anything before you groped me? You paid
something after?"
"I paid to delete the photos, not to grope you!" Noah says loudly. "I don't think
you're a hooker."
"Thanks for not thinking I'm a hooker," I reply sarcastically. "You paid a
hundred thousand dollars to get those photos back?"
I don't have time to think about that before Aiden interrupts. "You said you
groped an ugly chick, not Hot Neighbor!"
"An ugly chick?" I blurt.
I look back and forth between the two of them, my heart pounding in my chest.
How pathetic am I, thinking two hot guys might be interested in me, when they're
clearly both clearly insane?
"I didn't call her ugly!" Noah bellows. "You're the moron who assumed that the
President's daughter was ugly."
"On second thought, Brooks, the whole testing for chemical weapons thing is
totally fine with me," I huff, crossing my arms.
"Wait. You're the President's daughter?" Aiden asks.
I should be so pissed off right now. After all, I think one of these guys called me
ugly, the other might actually think that I'm a prostitute, and in a minute there will
be bomb squad guys crawling all over my yard. Then I'm going to get a call from my
father, and I'm going to have to explain that my neighbor, who has the sense of
humor of a twelve-year-old boy, flew a drone with a blow-up doll dangling from it
over my backyard.
But instead of storming off, I just stand there staring at the two men, who are
clearly pissed off at each other. Then I glance at Brooks and Davis, who are taking
this whole event entirely too seriously. I can see the news reports already:
"President's Daughter and Her Sex Drone! Live at Eleven!"
I cant help it. Laughter begins to bubble up in my chest, overflowing as I try to
stifle it by putting my hand over my mouth. There's nothing I can do to contain it.
The entire situation not even this situation, but all of the past encounters Ive had
with Aiden Jackson and Noah Ashby is ridiculous. But this most recent incident
takes the cake. It is absolutely the most insane thing that's ever happened to me.
So instead of answering Aiden's question, instead of saying, Yes, I'm the
President's daughter and this is a situation I can't be involved in, I start giggling.
Loudly.
Like a crazy person.

The problem is that once I start, I can't stop. And no one else is laughing.
They're just staring at me like they're trying to figure out where they might be able
to locate the nearest straitjacket.
"Ma'am?" Brooks asks. "Are you okay?"
"Did you put something in the blow-up doll that's doing this to her?" Davis
asks. The fact that she thinks it's plausible I'm laughing because of some kind of
chemical weapon makes me laugh even harder.
"You mean, did I fill the doll up with laughing gas?" Aiden asks.
Now, I hoot. Loudly. I think there are tears coming out of my eyes.
"Shut up, dumbass," Davis says, pressing her hand into the middle of his back
again for emphasis. "This is the President's daughter you're talking about. You flew
a drone into Grace Sullivan's backyard. Why the hell did you think you were getting
patted down, anyway?"
"Well, obviously I thought I was being frisked because you saw my junk the
other day and wanted a little more personal experience with it" Aiden starts, but
Davis shoves him hard up against the wall. "All right now! Thats getting a little
rougher than I usually like it."
"You want to see rough?" Davis asks. "Keep running your mouth."
"Holy shit. This is Hot Neighbor," Noah says. "So you walked out of my house
naked in front of the President's daughter??"
"Not entirely naked!" I shriek with laughter. "He had bongos."
"Yeah, I had bongos over my junk," Aiden calls. "Did you just snort?"
I clasp my hand harder over my mouth. "I did not snort!"
"Actually, I think you snorted," Noah says.
"That was a snort, ma'am," Brooks interjects.
"That was not a snort!" I object. "I do not snort when I laugh!"
"Whatever you say, ma'am," Brooks returns.
Then the realization suddenly dawns on me. "Oh my God. Do you two live
together?" My mind is spinning. The two hot guys the two men I fantasized about
fucking me at the same time the other night are standing right in front of me.
Together.
Because they live together.
Oh. Oh, no. I might have misread things. Maybe neither of them are interested
in me because they're interested in each other. Maybe what I mistook for flirting
was their idea of humor.
My cheeks flush hot. My face must be bright red. What's redder than red?
Whatever that shade is, that's what color my face must be right now. What if they
can tell I'm attracted to both of them? Suddenly, I have the illogical thought that
my filthy fantasies are somehow written all over my face. What if they know I
touched myself thinking about being with both of them at the same time?
I might die of actual embarrassment right here and now.
"We're your new neighbors," Aiden announces.
"Yes, neighbors. Youlive together because you're together." I say, my voice

soft. "That. yeah, totally. Makes sense."


"What??" Noah blurts. "We're not together."
"Wait, you think we're together-together?" Aiden yells.
"I obviously I misread um, I oh, God." I seem to have lost the ability to
form a coherent, rational thought.
"Hell, no, I'm not with him," Noah says, his nose wrinkled in disgust.
"Seriously. You think I'm with that guy?"
"Hey, what's that supposed to mean?" Aiden asks. "I'm a fucking catch. You can
ask anyone. You're a damn snob who would be lucky to be hooking up with me."
"The guy who didn't know who the President's daughter was?" Noah asks.
"Yeah, you're a total keeper. I'd definitely bring you home to meet the parents."
"Oh, screw you. Mama Ashby would be thrilled to have me as a son-in-law,"
Aiden yells.
I look back and forth between the two of them. "I'm obviously, I'm in the
middle of something here, and I "
"You're not in the middle of anything," Noah says, his brow furrowed.
"Although I can see how this might look like we're "
"A couple?" Aiden asks.
"We're not a couple," Noah insists.
"That's not what you said last night " Aiden calls.
"Shut up," Noah growls. "It's not funny. She actually thinks we're a couple. And
these Secret Service agents actually think you're a terrorist. What do you think is
going to happen when Coach Hardy finds out you've been arrested for domestic
terrorism because you threatened the life of the daughter of the President of the
United States? You think you're going to keep the contract you just signed once the
media gets wind of this shit?"
Suddenly, everyone is silent, including me. I'm definitely not laughing anymore.
"Well, hell," Aiden says. "I wasn't trying to kill you. I was just trying to get you
in bed."
"With a blow-up doll? Thats real classy, dude," Noah says, shaking his head.
"Hey, it's the truth," Aiden insists, looking over his shoulder at me. "I mean,
obviously I didn't know who you were or I might not have used the blow-up doll. Or
the whole She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy thing. I'd have tried to class it up a bit
more than that."
"'She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy'? Is that why there's a riding lawnmower parked
in my yard?" Noah asks.
"Are you two related or something?" I ask.
"They're teammates, ma'am," Brooks says, sighing loudly.
"You both play football," I realize. Why didn't I ask Brooks and Davis for intel on
Aiden after I met him? In hindsight, my ignorance seems less like bliss and more
like stupidity. "On the same team."
"But we don't play for the same team, if you know what I mean," Aiden says,
emphasizing the word play. He pauses for a beat. "We don't fuck each other. In

case I wasn't clear."


I choke out a laugh. "Yes, I see."
"I think she got that, Aiden," Noah grumbles. "She's not an idiot."
A sedan drives down the street, slowing momentarily before passing us one of
my neighbors, no doubt - and I look desperately at Brooks. "Please, please, please
tell me we can dispense with the whole bomb squad and domestic terrorism
investigation?"
"You know that Mrs. Johnson has been poking her head through the curtains on
her window for the last few minutes," Aiden says.
"Who?" I ask.
"Mrs. Johnson, your neighbor who lives across the road. She probably has
photos already. I helped her set up her social media accounts yesterday so she could
see pictures of her grandchildren that her daughter uploaded. She bakes great
banana bread."
Shit, Aiden. Stop getting to know my neighbors, Noah interjects.
"I'll talk to Mrs. Johnson," Davis says.
"Brooks, this man is obviously not a threat. Do you think we could take all of
this away from the front of my house? Or could we at the very least do away with
the handcuffs?"
"Wait. Can I keep the handcuffs?" Aiden asks. I might need them later.
"Do you want me to have you brought in for questioning?" Davis asks.
"All right, all right. There's no need to get all huffy about it. I get your point." A
cocky grin spreads across Aiden's face as Davis uncuffs him. "So, you're the girl
Noah's all wrapped around the axle about. Does this mean we're both competing
for your attention?"
"No one's competing for anything, jackass," Noah growls.
Two hot guys. Vi's words echo in my mind, and for a fleeting moment, the
prospect of two of the most attractive men I've ever met being interested in me is
appealing.
Then I come to my senses. These might be two of the best-looking men I've ever
seen, but theyre also two arrogant football players who have absolutely no regard
for appropriate behavior or social decorum. My father would absolutely have a
coronary if he knew I were the slightest bit attracted to either one of them.
And I'm not the least bit interested. Really, I'm not. Obviously, my lust-addled
brain is confused by the fact that I've not dated anyone in a million years, causing
me to have little fantasies about the two men.
I just need to get control of my mind. If there's anything in life that I'm a master
of, it's maintaining discipline and control. I'm the daughter of the President, after
all. I've lived most of my life in the public eye. The word impulsive is not in my
vocabulary.
"You're right. With me here, there's no real competition," Aiden says, gesturing
down the length of his body. "Not when she has all this in front of her. You might
as well just count yourself out of the running."

Noah rolls his eyes. "I'm sure she's interested in a guy whose idea of romance is
flying a blow-up doll into her backyard."
"You mean romance like tearing off her dress and getting photographed
grabbing her tits?" Aiden asks.
Noah starts to respond, but I interrupt the bro-argument, annoyed by the
increasing amount of testosterone on display. Okay, I might be more annoyed by
the very small part of me that might possibly find all of this testosterone slightly
attractive, especially since their caveman attitudes are so over the top that they
should disgust me. What I need to do is start thinking with my brain and not my
hoo-hah.
And my brain is definitely irritated right now. I clear my throat, shoving aside
the part of me thats attracted to them. "Excuse me? I'm pretty sure I get a say in
this, since you're discussing me like I'm not even here. And in case you're
wondering, I'm not some kind of prize for the two of you to compete over."
"We weren't saying you were a prize, exactly," Noah attempts to clarify.
"But if we were competing, the obvious choice would be me," Aiden notes. Im
the hot one.
Shut up, asshole, Noah growls.
I don't bother to stifle my groan. "You sent blow-up dolls to my house and then
answered your door naked when I brought them back to you."
Aiden grins, clearly pleased with himself. "Yeah, I did."
"And you," I say, pointing at Noah. "You ripped my gown and put your hands on
my breasts at a charity event!"
"Well, hell, when you put it that way, it just sounds awkward," Noah answers.
"Actually, it sounds more like assault," Aiden clarifies. Pretty sure thats a
crime.
I turn back toward him. "Says the guy who flew a drone into my backyard?"
"Drone makes it sound all nefarious and shit.
Big word. Did you get that from a word-of-the-day calendar? Noah glares at
Aiden.
Ive learned lots of big words that way, Aiden says, making a hmph sound. It
was a remote-controlled helicopter, really. An expensive one, but still."
"I feel like we're not presenting our best selves here," Noah notes.
"Speak for yourself," Aiden says. "I'm coming off just fine."
From behind me, Brooks snorts loudly. "If you think this is 'just fine,' I'm
curious to see what 'terrible' is."
"Look, sweetheart, I'm doing you a favor by donating my ranch to your charity,"
Noah grumbles.
"Oh, sure, go for the whole good-guy-donates-to-charity thing," Aiden jabs
sarcastically.
I bristle at his words. "Doing me a favor? Well, I guess I should be grateful that
you're doing me a favor after groping me in public."
"You asked for that one." Aiden whistles low, raising his eyebrows as he looks at

Noah, whose face reddens. "I can't believe you called her sweetheart."
"Says the guy who called me sugar tits on meeting me?"
"In my defense, I didn't know you were the President's daughter."
"Somehow I doubt that would have changed anything." I turn to Noah, my
irritation only increasing. "You can keep your favor, and you can keep your ranch.
And you can keep your hands-on approach to charity, too, because spending time
with you on a ranch, even if its for deserving kids, isnt worth it at all.
"Youre going to your ranch with her? Aiden asks. His nostrils flare, and for a
second, I think I see a look of possessiveness cross his face. The problem is, instead
of turning me off which is how the logical part of me would react the expression
sends a thrill of arousal rushing through me. But I shake off that feeling, crossing
my arms as Noah gives Aiden a look of pure fury.
"Not anymore. Right now, I'm going back into my house where I'm going to
have a cup of tea, read the newspaper, and forget all about the fact that two of the
most immature men I've ever met have disrupted my life the way they have over
the past week."
I dont wait for a response before turning to walk away, aware that Im
practically flouncing away from two professional athletes with bodies made for sin,
both of whom apparently find me attractive. I try not to think about either of them
when I go into my empty house and make my cup of tea, or when I flip through the
newspaper. I definitely try not to think about the fact that I just threw a bit of a fit
and angrily rejected Noahs donation of his ranch for the summer camp that starts
in exactly one week. And I try not to think of the fact that Im going to have to eat
crow and apologize to him in order to get the ranch back.
I totally lost my cool out there and let my temper get the better of me. I cant
remember the last time that happened. Im usually calm and collected, no matter
what, but these two men seem to get me flustered. But honestly, where does Noah
Ashby get off with the snide comment about doing me a favor by donating his
ranch? After what happened at the charity event, that's certainly the least he could
do.
You know that having Noah's hands on your breasts wasn't exactly the worst
thing in the world to ever have happened to you.
A tingle of arousal spreads through me at the memory of Noah's warm hands
cupping my breasts, at the way my nipples immediately hardened in response to
his calloused palms, at the heat that rushed through my body at his touch.
He really was doing you a favor by donating his ranch, and besides, he made the
donation before the charity event, which means it had nothing to do with what
happened.
Even so, the way he said it I was doing you a favor got under my skin.
He did pay a hundred thousand dollars to get rid of those photographs.
But getting rid of the photos of Noah groping me was definitely in his selfinterest. It was hardly just a gentlemanly gesture. Photos like that could ruin his
career, especially if he's trying to stay away from negative press. The thought of

those pictures making their way into the newspapers makes me shudder. I can't
even imagine the scandal that would cause for me and him - and for my father.
Still, the two of them also talked about competing for me, like I'm some kind of
prize at the county fair. The very idea of two men fighting for me is the dumbest,
most lame-ass macho thing I've ever heard.
Right. That's exactly why you fantasized about it the other night - because it's
just so lame.
I try my best to shove the thoughts out of my head. What I need to do is focus on
work. Obsessing over two athletes who seem to have a knack for making me lose
my cool is the last thing on Earth I need to be doing.

13

NOAH

" W hat the hell was I thinking?

I don't believe I heard my idiot roommate correctly. I have to remind


myself that Aiden is also my idiot best friend and that he's been my idiot best
friend since we were in high school, because if I didn't remind myself of that fact,
I'd be punching him right now.
I'm unnaturally pissed off about the fact that Grace Sullivan is my neighbor.
More specifically, I'm pissed off that Grace Sullivan is the girl that Aiden has been
lusting after and acting like a complete moron over.
"You agreed to go to the ranch with her and a bunch of kids?" Aiden asks. "You
can barely stomach being around me, let alone a bunch of other people especially
children. Seriously, do you even know how to talk to a kid?
"There's a reason I can barely stomach being around you," I growl. It was a
passing conversation with the President. I barely agreed to anything."
A conversation where I implied that Id get personally involved with the camp,
just because the First Lady seemed to be hell-bent on communicating that I
shouldnt be looking at Grace the way I was.
I'd really enjoy taking a hands-on approach to helping.
That's what I said, or something like that. The mere thought of taking a handson approach to Grace Sullivan makes all the blood in my body rush straight to my
dick.
"The President, huh?" Aiden asks. "Well la-di-dah."
"Oh, fuck off."
"The girl is clearly more attracted to me than she is to you," Aiden says casually,
bypassing me as he walks into the kitchen and opens the refrigerator where he
immediately begins rummaging through my groceries.
"Why the hell am I letting you stay here for the summer again?" I ask, watching
as he opens a container of my leftover spaghetti and grabs a fork from the nearby
cabinet drawer. "She's hardly more attracted to you than she is to me. The idea is
laughable."
Except that I'm not laughing. In fact, the prospect of that girl being attracted to
Aiden at all grates on my last fucking nerve. It shouldn't. After all, I don't know the

first thing about her and I have no claim over her.


Hell, I only even met her the one time at the charity event. She's not mine, and
logically I know that. Except that from the second I put my hands on her, every part
of me wanted to claim her as mine. It's not a logical response, that much I'm aware
of. It's some kind of weird, abnormal reaction, and I should absolutely not
entertain the faintest notion of touching Grace Sullivan again. Except that shes the
only thing I want.
"How exactly is that laughable?" Aiden asks, shoveling a giant forkful of
spaghetti into his mouth. Watching him eat my leftover food makes me irrationally
angry. "When's the last time you got with someone?"
I grab the container from his hand and toss it into the trash, just because hes
pissing me off. "I'm sure someone like her is totally interested in a guy who's
screwed half of the cheerleaders in Denver. And with that little stunt you pulled,
you're lucky if she doesn't get a restraining order against you."
Aiden leans back against the counter, crossing his arms and eyeballing me
silently. "You're jealous."
"Are you insane? Youd have to be certifiable to think that Im jealous of you.
Aiden grins. "Dude, I know you. You're jealous because you have the hots for her
and you think she's got a thing for me."
I choke out a laugh, except it rings hollow. "Keep saying dumb shit like that,
Aiden. If you think a woman like that is going to hook up with you, you're crazier
than I thought."
"And you think she's going to hook up with you?"
"It's more likely than her getting with you."
"All right. You want to bet on it?"
"I'm not betting on whether or not the daughter of the President of the United
States is going to hook up with one of us."
Aiden makes a squawking sound.
"Don't be a child. I'm not a chicken."
"Then you wouldn't mind a friendly wager."
"We're not betting over a girl. Especially that girl."
"So you're not going to compete for her, then?
"We are not competing for her," I reply. "And if we were, I'd be leagues ahead of
you anyway."
"Because you're going to go hang out with her at your ranch."
"Because I don't have some kind of weird need to seduce her with blow-up
dolls," I say. "And yeah, because I'm going to go hang out with her at my ranch.
Alone.
You mean with a million kids running around? At the ranch you just told her
you donated because you were doing her a favor? The same ranch she just told you
that you could stick up your ass?
"Yeah, the ranch that - oh, screw you, Aiden," I grumble. "We're professional
football players. There are plenty of girls throwing themselves at us on a daily

basis. We don't need to go after the same damn woman."


I turn to storm out of the kitchen, every part of me on edge. Fuck this and fuck
him. I don't need to compete with him when it comes to a woman. What I need to
do is worry about negotiating a contract and staying out of trouble. Laying low is my
priority. Chasing after the President's daughter is the opposite of laying low and
it's profoundly stupid. It's the last thing on earth I need to do if I take my career
seriously. And I take my football career very seriously.
"So that means you're definitely not interested in her, then?" Aiden calls after
me.
"Not talking about this anymore, Aiden."
"That's what I thought," he says, laughing. "All right, then. May the best man
win."
I storm upstairs. There's no way on Earth that Aiden Jackson is the best man for
a woman like Grace Sullivan.
And you think you are?
I try to shove the thought out of my head, even as I hit a session at the gym. But
Aiden's words still linger, replaying over and over on a loop. May the best man
win.
This isnt a competition. That girl is mine.

"DO I need to search you?" the Secret Service agent asks the question, her
expression cold.
"Do you usually search people who have meetings with Ms. Sullivan?" I ask. I
actually don't know the answer to that question. Maybe the agents do search
everyone Grace Sullivan comes into contact with at the foundation. I feel a sudden
pang of sympathy for her. That would be a hell of an awkward way to go through
your life, with everyone around you being patted down before they even get close to
you. But I guess shed probably be used to it by now.
The agent raises her eyebrows, the rest of her face unmoving. "She doesn't
usually meet with people who have been involved in public incidents with her."
Heavy emphasis on the words public incidents. As if I was going to forget
what happened at the charity event or in front of my house, although that really
was Aiden's fault, not mine.
I don't point out the fact that I don't exactly have an appointment with Grace.
It's too late, because her secretary notices that for me. "I'm sorry, Mr. Ashby. I
just don't have you in her appointment books. But I'd be happy to pencil you in for
"
The office door swings open before the secretary finishes speaking and Grace
Sullivan stands in the middle of the door. She's wearing a conservative suit a
plain black jacket and skirt with a white Oxford shirt with her brown hair pulled
back into a ponytail. On anyone else, it would look businesslike professional and

unflattering, even. But the suit seems to be made for Grace Sullivan, cut to cling to
her hourglass figure, the stark color of the suit somehow managing to set off the
green in her eyes.
When she sees me, those green eyes go wide for half a second and her lips fall
open slightly. I think I hear her inhale sharply, but those are the only reactions of
surprise she exhibits before her jaw clenches and a veil of disinterest falls over her
face.
"Noah Ashby." Her tone is frosty. "I'm surprised to see you here. I'm sure you
have better things to do with your time than do me any favors by dropping by the
foundation."
Okay, so she definitely hasn't forgotten about what I said. I clear my throat,
suddenly self-conscious in front of her secretary and the Secret Service agents, far
too aware that I was a shithead, telling her I was doing her a favor by donating the
ranch. I came across as a spoiled celebrity, one of those assholes who demand a
dressing room with only blue M&Ms in the candy dish.
"Wait. I know I don't have an appointment, and you probably have other things
to do." Probably? Of course she has other things to do. She runs a foundation.
"Shit. I don't mean probably. You definitely have other things to do. But I wanted
to come here and apologize."
Grace raises her eyebrows. Okay, she's definitely not having any of the apology.
I clear my throat. Fuck, this is embarrassing. I can't remember the last time I
apologized for something. "I know, you're probably wondering what exactly Im
apologizing for. Am I apologizing for the comment about doing you a favor? Or the
whole blow-up doll incident? Or the
Grace's face pales. "You know, outside of my office isn't really the place for "
Her assistant clears her throat. "Ms. Sullivan, if you'd like, I can pencil Mr.
Ashby in for another time."
"I didn't mean to come in here and talk about blow-up dolls."
I think I hear the Secret Service agent chuckle, but Grace's face flushes pink. I
can't tell if she's mad. Are her nostrils flaring?
"Stop talking," she says, her voice tight.
"Shit. None of that came out right. I'm really not normally an idiot, even though
I seem to be when I'm around you." I exhale heavily. "You know what? Yes. Pencil
me in for another time."
"Excellent, Mr. Ashby. If I can just "
Grace's expression softens as she looks at me, and she puts her hand up,
stopping the secretary. "Janice, could you hold my next appointment?"
"Ms. Sullivan, you know how "
Grace gives her a look. "Just for a few minutes."
"Absolutely, ma'am."
I follow her into her office and start talking as soon as the office door closes
behind me, oblivious to anything else. "Look, I'm man enough to apologize when I
say something out of bounds. I don't know why, but I'm driven by a need to have

this girl not think I'm a total moron or a narcissistic celebrity jackass even
though I seem to wind up acting like both when I'm around her. And I don't know
why I said I was doing you a favor by donating the ranch, because it's not true..."
"Noah, I think you should know that "
Grace. I cut her off before she can continue because I know that if I don't spit
my apology out right now, I'm going to be so distracted by the fact that she's
standing here less than a foot away from me, looking up at me the way she's doing
right now with her wide eyes and plump, perfectly kissable lips, and Oh hell,
what was I doing again? That's right. I was apologizing. "You're really doing me a
favor, letting me donate the ranch. I need the good publicity."
Shit. Why did I say that?
I do need the good press, that's true. It's why my agent suggested I do
something with a charity right now. But my ranch is my refuge during off-season. I
can count on one hand the number of visitors I've had there. Even Aiden knows not
to bug me when I go there to hide out. When I found out about the summer camp
that Grace's foundation runs, I wanted to do it because it was a cool cause.
Except now this girl thinks I'm an asshole who only cares about his public
image.
Grace blanches. "The good publicity. Right. You're up for contract renewal. Of
course."
"That's not what I meant, exactly. Fuck, I'm not saying what I mean here."
"It's okay," she says. "Aiden already explained."
"Explained what?" Aiden talked to her already?
Grace's cheeks flush pink, giving her this glow that automatically makes me
think of sex. Hell, everything about this girl makes me think about how much I
want my hands on her.
"I explained that you're in the middle of negotiating contracts." Aiden steps
into view from where he's apparently been standing on the other side of the office.
What the hell is he doing here?
"So you explained that I'm donating the ranch to help my contract
negotiations?" I have to ball my hands into fists at my side to keep from slugging
Aiden. I swear, if he weren't my best friend, he'd be dead right now. The best friend
part of things is beginning to be questionable, too.
"He didn't say that, exactly," Grace says, smiling at Aiden. When she looks at
him, it sends a rush of possessiveness through me. "He explained that the ranch is
really important to you and that it was a big deal for you to donate it for the
summer."
"Did you? I ask, my voice flat. I don't like the fact that he and Grace have been
in here talking, and I like it less that Aiden had time with her to explain my motives
for anything.
"Well, not really. I told her you're basically a hermit with no social skills, and
that you don't let anyone near your ranch."
I glare at Aiden, until Grace looks at me. When her eyes meet mine, I swear

there's something between us, the same magnetic pull I felt that night at the
charity event when I nearly pressed my lips to hers. "I'm not a hermit," I say
lamely.
A smile tugs at the edges of Grace's lips. "It's okay. I completely overreacted.
The real truth is, you are doing me a huge favor by donating the ranch and your
time - and the foundation is grateful for it." Her face colors again. "I'm really
grateful for it. Personally, I mean. If you are donating your time. I don't mean to
assume that you're still interested in showing up at the camp or that you were
even interested in donating your time to begin with before my father put you on the
spot."
"I told her you may not have time, what with all of your other obligations,"
Aiden interrupts.
"My other obligations?" I ask, narrowing my eyes.
"Aiden explained how busy you are with training
"Im not." I glare at Aiden. "Although I appreciate Aiden looking out for my
time commitments."
Aiden grins. "No problem, man. Don't mention it. I told her I'd be happy to
donate my time in your place."
"That's shocking." If Aiden thinks for one second that Im going to let him
cock-block me and make a move on this girl at my own ranch, he doesnt know me
at all.
Grace's brow furrows. "If there's a problem "
"There's no problem," I insist. "I actually don't have any other commitments
that conflict with the summer camp. I'm happy to take a more personal, hands-on
approach with the charity."
I look meaningfully at Grace, whose eyes widen. She takes a corner of her lip
between her teeth and in that moment, I know she's thinking about what
happened between us. Aiden has no chance with her. I watch her swallow hard.
"Um, yes. Right. Your contributions both of your contributions are extremely
generous."
"Well, both of us are really good at being hands-on," Aiden adds, winking.
Then Grace looks at him and does the lip-biting thing again. The fact that she
does it when she looks at Aiden makes me unreasonably annoyed. She moves to
tuck a piece of hair behind her ear, the gesture self-conscious, even though there's
not a single hair out of place. "Um. Hands-on. Both of you. Exactly. So" She
clears her throat and takes a deep breath, her expression settling into one that's
completely professional, her tone businesslike. "The kids would really respond to
two famous athletes spending any time at all with them. It would be a great way of
kicking off the inaugural camp session and I think it might encourage other
athletes or celebrities to get involved, too."
"So it's settled. Two weeks at the ranch," Aiden says.
"Two weeks?" Grace asks. "Oh, no. I didn't expect that you would be there for
the entire time. I figured you could show up and give them a motivational speech,

or sign some autographs. Most celebrities donate just a couple of hours or so to


charities like this."
"Are you going to be there for the full two weeks?" Aiden asks.
"I always go to the first camp of the summer," Grace says.
"Then I'll be there. I'm highly motivated to provide a personal touch," Aiden
says, grinning.
That grin makes me want to punch him. He thinks I'm going to let him spend
two weeks at my ranch alone with Grace? He's out of his damn mind. I clench my
jaw as I speak. "Two weeks? No problem. I'll be there too."
"Um. Okay. Well, I didn't expect " She looks down at the ground before taking
another breath and making eye contact with us again. "The fact that both of you are
willing to donate your time for two entire weeks is generous. Really generous."
"It's for the children," Aiden says piously.
Smarmy bastard. I could slap the shit out of him right now. "Charity is
important to us," I say before I can stop myself, sounding almost as transparent as
Aiden.
"I see," she says. Her cheeks flush pink again. "Well. I don't want to doubt your
generosity, but" Her voice trails off and she takes a deep breath. "I don't want
you coming to the camp because you have some kind of ulterior motive."
"Ulterior motive?" Aiden's face is choirboy innocent.
Grace's face reddens again. "Since, I mean" She exhales heavily. "Both of you
have said or done - some things that aren't exactly professional, and this camp
would be a purely professional setting."
The thought of what Aiden might have said to Grace that's less than
professional makes me want to explode. "So we'd need to behave appropriately," I
say for Aiden's benefit more than anyone else's.
A look of relief washes over Grace's face. "Yes. Exactly. And I think we're all
professionals here."
"I think some of us are professionals," I agree.
Part of me is wondering what the hell I'm doing here. A week ago, I was donating
my ranch for the summer so a bunch of kids and camp counselors could run around
and ride horses and make s'mores. That was as personal as it was going to get. Hell,
giving up my summer getaway was charitable enough. Now, I'm standing here
agreeing to two weeks of businesslike behavior with the hottest woman I've ever
seen and the best friend who's determined to cock-block me.
"Oh, I can definitely behave professionally," Aiden assents though his words
sound anything but.
Grace looks doubtful. "It's a children's summer camp, so no, um "
"Nakedness?" Aiden asks.
"Oh God," Grace breathes. I have the sudden image of her, underneath me and
breathing the phrase in the exact same way. Fuck, I just agreed to two weeks of
professional behavior when this woman can utter a single phrase and have me rock
hard. "I'm sure we can all agree that the blow-up dolls and the um nakedness

are not appropriate?"


"I'm not sure Aiden is capable of keeping his clothes on for two weeks," I note.
Grace blinks. "Yes. Um, you can't really take your clothes off "
"I'll agree to keep my shirt on, as long as Noah stops ripping your dress off."
Grace's hand flies to her mouth. Is it my imagination that the breath she lets out
might betray her sexual frustration? I can barely suppress the growl that rises in my
throat. I'm definitely not making any promises when it comes to not tearing this
girl's clothes right off her body.
"There's no reason for anything unprofessional to happen," Grace says, her
voice trembling. "We're adults. Professional adults. There's no need for anyone's
clothing to come off, right?"
She laughs nervously.
That laugh. It's warm and awkward and makes her more likeable than she was
before. Oh, hell. Getting her clothes off is absolutely the only thing I want.
When I look up, Aiden grins at me. Screw professional behavior. May the best
man win - and there's no fucking way that's going to be Aiden Jackson.

14

GRACE

"U m, yes. I just need a few minutes before the meeting, please?" My words are
coming out rushed, like I've just downed four shots of espresso, and I can't

seem to make them slow down so I sound like a halfway normal person. Is Janice
looking at me weird? She's totally looking at me weird.
"Are you okay, ma'am?" Janice asks, her brow furrowing. "You look a little
flushed. I heard there's something going around. I can get you some Vitamin C if
you'd like. Or maybe a cup of tea?"
"Okay. I'm okay. I'm totally fine. I think it's allergies. It must be allergies. I just
need a minute. Sixty seconds. A few minutes, maybe." I turn around and dart back
into my office before she can say anything else, closing and locking the door behind
me before collapsing back against it.
Oh my God. I hear myself breathe the words aloud. They sound like they're
coming out of someone else's mouth, throaty and hoarse.
I stand there, my back against the door, my chest heaving. Every cell in my body
seems like it's on high alert, every inch of me so turned on that I don't think it's
possible for me to catch my breath. My arms are dotted with goose pimples, my
nipples hard inside my bra.
I don't even think about what I do next before I do it. I yank the sides of my skirt
up over my hips, completely disregarding the nagging little voice inside my head
that asks me what the hell I'm about to do right now in my office, when Janice and
Secret Service agents are right outside and I'm already late for a meeting.
I practically stumble as I walk to my desk, drunk with lust, my palm landing flat
on a pile of papers that slips forward, sending pages scattering to the floor on the
other side. Normally, I would care about the fact that I just sent what are probably
important documents hurtling to the ground. Of course, normally I would have
better control of myself. Normally, I wouldn't be so consumed with lust for two
men two men! that I yank my panties down over my hips in the middle of my
office.
It's just that Aiden lighthearted Aiden with his inappropriate humor and
playful charm - showed up at my office offering to attend the summer camp,
looking like he was daring me to object as his eyes drank in every inch of me. And

Noah brooding, gruff, intense Noah stood so close to me that if he wanted, he


could have pulled me against him and finished what he started that one night.
And Heaven help me, that's exactly what I wanted him to do.
My panties around my thighs, I reach between my legs, stifling the moan that
threatens to escape my lips as my fingertips press against my clit. I imagine Aiden
giving me that cocky, sure-of-himself grin as he looks up from between my legs,
before his mouth returns to its work. I rub circles around my clit, my movements
frantic not just because I'm in a totally inappropriate place to be touching myself
but because I'm already nearly driven to the edge by how badly I want Aiden.
I want to feel his tongue inside me, to collapse as he brings me to orgasm, his
mouth pressed between my thighs. I want to run my hands over his muscled chest,
down his chiseled abs, to wrap my fingers around his hard cock and guide it into my
mouth. I practically salivate thinking about the taste of his pre-cum as it touches
my tongue and the way his hard cock feels between my lips.
And then there's Noah
With one hand firmly on the desk, I bend forward, biting down hard on my lip as
I thrust two fingers inside my slick pussy. I imagine Noah letting out a low growl
under his breath as he grasps my ass cheek with his hand, his other hand guiding
the tip of his cock to my wet entrance. I picture him thrusting inside me, his dick
filling me up in one swift movement, the head of his cock pressing on the spot that
sends arousal coursing through me in waves.
Bent over with my skirt bunched up around my hips and my panties halfway
down my thighs, I fuck myself with my fingers, gathering momentum as I picture
myself being filled up by Noah at the same time that my lips are wrapped around
Aiden's cock. When I imagine them coming inside me Noah letting go as he
thrusts his cock deeper and deeper into my wet pussy, Aiden's hands in my hair as
he fucks my mouth I crash over the edge. My orgasm overtakes me, leaving me
standing there taking short erratic breaths.
My office phone rings as I'm standing there with my fingers inside me, trying
desperately to compose myself. With my free hand, I press the speaker button.
"Yes?"
I recognize the voice of one of the White House operators on the other line.
"Please hold for the President of the United States."
Fuck. I barely have time to slip my fingers from between my legs and compose
myself before my father is on the line. "Yes, Dad?"
My heart still races, pounding so hard it threatens to beat out of my chest. I can
feel how flushed my face has become, and I struggle to sound normal when I've just
been interrupted in the most disheveled, completely undone state I've ever been in.
Once upon a time, I thought I could have a normal life in Denver, far removed
from Washington, D.C. politics and my parents' careers. What a joke. Normal
people don't get phone calls from the President when they're masturbating.

"I DONT KNOW what's gotten into you, but I love the new Grace. I wish I were there to
see it in person."
"There's no New Grace, Vi," I protest into the phone, flipping a page of the
newspaper even though I've read nothing on it. The words are a blur, the large
block print of the headlines melting together to become undecipherable. My
evening routine involves reading several newspapers it's old-fashioned, given
that all of the news is online now, but I like it except that tonight I've been
staring at the same newspaper for an hour without seeing a single word on the
pages.
"Are you sure about that?" Vi asks.
Am I sure? Hell, no.
I agreed to spend two weeks on a ranch with two of the hottest, most available
professional athletes in the world, one of whom I've seen nearly naked and the
other of whom has had his hands on my breasts. I've now had too many fantasies
about both of them fucking me at the same time to be in any way normal, and
the other day I had to shut my office door behind me to masturbate thirty seconds
after they left because I couldn't contain myself.
I don't even know where the hell Old Grace the girl who has been functioning
just fine on a diet of all work and no sex is right now. New Grace seems to have
taken over my body.
"Totally sure," I lie.
"Because it seems to me that New Grace could be a bit of a ho," Vi jokes.
"I am not!" I protest, trying to suppress the image that flashes into my head of
me bent over my desk, finger-fucking myself to the thought of Aiden and Noah
both taking me. "I only agreed to this because it's a good idea for the charity. Two
professional athletes at the camp will be great for the kids. They're going to love
it."
"Right. This has nothing to do with having the hots for those professional
athletes."
"Okay," I admit, my voice faltering. "This thing on the ranch might be the worst
idea ever. What's gotten into me?"
Vi snorts. "Well, it's obvious what you'd like to get into you..."
"I don't want either of them getting into me, thank you very much. They're
completely inappropriate. Aiden flew a blow-up doll over my house because he
wanted to get my attention!"
"It worked, didn't it? I mean, he already grabbed your attention pretty well when
he answered the door naked, let's be honest."
"Sure, Aiden is attractive. Obviously. He's all ripped and tattooed and he
definitely has a bad boy thing going, but "
"So does Noah," Vi points out.
"Noah is different." Noah isn't over-the-top the way Aiden is, the one who's
clearly used to women throw themselves at him. He's quieter than Aiden, more
intense. When I think about the way he looked at me that night of the event, like he

wanted to consume me, it makes me wet. I clear my throat. "Neither of them is a


good choice. They're both about as far from appropriate as you can get."
"Are you trying to convince me or yourself?" Vi asks. "Because I'm not the one
who conveniently arranged to have a private two week getaway in the middle of
nowhere with two of the most eligible bachelors in professional football."
"I did not arrange for a getaway," I state firmly. "This is a charity camp, and I
do it every year for the first set of campers, thank you very much. I didn't start
doing the camp because Aiden Jackson and Noah Ashby showed up to volunteer
their time." I'm suddenly very defensive, my words spilling out more and more
rapidly.
Vi laughs. "Whoa, girl. Slow down. I didn't say you started doing the camp
because two hot-ass football players showed up."
I swallow hard. "Obviously. Because that's clearly not what's going on here."
"I just said that you arranged for two of the most eligible professional athletes to
be alone with you while chopping wood shirtless and building fires and "
"Do you have any idea what we do at the camp?"
"Well, right now I'm picturing Noah Ashby and Aiden Jackson shirtless and
sweaty."
Great. Now I can't help but picture Noah and Aiden shirtless. Apparently I pause
for longer than I think, because Vi laughs. "Clearly you are, too," she observes.
"The summer camp isn't going to be a problem," I declare, more for my benefit
than for hers.
"Keep telling yourself that, Grace."

15

AIDEN

"O h my Lord," Mama Ashby says, her hand flying to her mouth.
She stands in the middle of the living room in the same tiny split-level

house she and her husband Paul have lived in for the past forty years. Noah
periodically tries to buy them a new house, but they refuse every time. Bess Ashby
jokingly accuses him of trying to get them to settle in a retirement village full of old
people, and we're not old!"
"Do you like it?" Annie pauses just inside the living room.
"Where did half of your hair go? And did you fall into a vat of fruit punch?" Bess
wipes her flour-covered hands across the front of her apron, giving Annie a halfamused, half-appalled glare.
Annie grins, pleased with herself for eliciting the reaction from Bess, practically
running across the room and dodging four yippy Jack Russell terriers to throw her
arms around the woman. "It's cute, right?" she asks, her hand going to her head.
I roll my eyes. "Cute isn't exactly the word I'd use."
"Shut up, Aiden. You're so old, how would you know what's hot right now? I like
it and my friends like it. Annie sticks her tongue out at me.
Super mature, Banannie.
"It's verypink," Mama Ashby observes, looking at me from across the room,
her eyebrows raised. I give her a what-can-you-do gesture, then return to surfing
the internet on my phone. Noah sits on the other side of the room, half-sprawled
across the sofa because that's about all of him that can fit on the furniture,
pointedly ignoring me. Ever since the whole Grace Sullivan thing, he's been cranky
as hell.
"Thanks! I figured I'd try something different."
"I need a change, too," Bess says, laughing. "Should I go pink?" She pats her
greying hair, pulled back into a bun on the top of her head.
"Definitely," Annie says. "Paul would love it. He's cool. He has tattoos and
works at a garage. You could rock the pink hair, Bess."
Bess laughs warmly. "Those tattoos are from his Navy days back when he was
eighteen years old. Can you imagine? I'd be the only one at the Thursday night
bridge game with pink hair."

Annie wanders over to the kitchen counter and picks through baked goods. "Did
you make raisin bread for me?"
"Of course I did," Mama Ashby says, "Five loaves. Just in case your brother and
Noah want a little light snack."
"Light snack," Annie scoffs. "You need to watch your weight, big brother."
"Whatever. I'm in my prime."
Even if I were watching my weight, I'd throw that right out the window with
Mama Ashby's cooking in play. She's always been of the belief that family dinners
and a good dessert could solve most any problem, which is why come hell or high
water, Noah, Annie and I are required to come back to West Bend for monthly
dinners. I missed last month the first time in a year and got an earful from
Bess.
"You know I made apple pie for after dinner," Bess calls from the kitchen.
"Did Aiden tell you what he did for my birthday?" Annie asks. She leans back
against the counter, biting into a piece of raisin bread.
"Are you going to just eat that right in front of me?" I yell. "Why don't you get
me some while you're up?"
"You're so lazy, Aiden," she calls back. "Get up and make a piece of toast
yourself."
"Just toss the rest of the loaf of bread at me. You know I'm going to eat it
anyway."
"Were you raised in a barn, Aiden Jackson?" Bess stands with her hands on her
hips, her expression stern but her eyes twinkling, indicating shes not at all angry.
I immediately jump up anyhow, crossing the kitchen to kiss her on the cheek.
No maam.
She swats me on the arm. Dont you forget your manners just because youre
rich and famous now.
I grab my sisters toast from her hand before she can object and shove half of it
in my mouth, jumping backwards when she tries to hit me. He doesnt have any
manners! Annie yells.
I have tons of manners, I protest, but it comes out more like mmph-mmphmmph because my mouth is full of bread.
Youre so gross, Annie says.
Your sons angling to be the rich one, I say, glancing at Noah, whos
apparently too engrossed with what hes doing on his tablet to pay attention to us.
I settled for my contract already.
He says he settled, Mama Ashby says, rolling her eyes. She passes me in the
kitchen, swatting me on the ass with a wooden spoon. We should all be as lucky to
settle for getting paid millions of dollars to do what we love.
That did sound spoiled, didnt it? I ask, laughing.
Uh, yeah, Annie says. Wheres my birthday present, anyway?
I have no idea what youre talking about, I lie.
You stole my toast and now youre reneging on my birthday present? Some

older brother you are.


Youre awful quiet over there, Noah, Mama Ashby notes. Noah looks up from
his tablet and grunts before swiping something on the screen. When I cross the
room to grab Annies gift from my bag, Noah tosses me a dirty look, obviously still
pissy about the whole Grace situation.
I should ignore it, but what can I say? Im an overgrown child and I like pushing
Noah's buttons. Hes just in a mood lately.
Now Noah gives me an even angrier look. No reason I can think of for that.
Are you two getting on each others nerves being roommates? Mama Ashby
asks absently as she reaches into the cupboard for dinner plates and hands them to
Annie. Youre only staying with him until your renovations are done. Right,
Aiden?
Yeah, if I dont kill him first, Noah growls.
The two of you have always been so close, but youve also always been at each
others throats, the woman notes. Everything is a competition with you boys.
Noah makes a grunting sound from the sofa. "Nothing's changed," he says
bitterly.
Noah and I have known each other our whole lives. Even before the Ashbys took
Annie and I in, we were best friends. But our version of friendship has always
involved a shitload of competition. It's that competition that drove us to be great at
football.
Despite being competitive in sports, Noah and I have never gone after the same
girl. Weve never had a reason to before. Ive been perfectly happy with the girls I
hook up with mostly hot chicks just looking for a good time and nothing else. Its
not that Im a player; its just that Ive never much seen any reason to tie myself to
one woman. Id rather keep my options open.
Of course, Ive never exactly been interested in a girl like Grace Sullivan before,
either. Shes way out of my league, thats for sure leagues above any of the
women Ive ever hooked up with smarter, prettier, and just a hell of a lot classier.
Plus, shes uptight and everyone knows that uptight girls are the wildest in bed.
They just need a little push. And Im the one to give her that push.
Unlike Noah. On the surface, he seems like hed be more Grace's type nerdy,
smart, and way too damn serious but thats exactly why hes not right for her.
Besides, I cant even remember the last time he got with a girl. Hes obsessed with
football. Theres work hard, play hard - thats my philosophy - and then theres
work all the fucking time, which is Noahs lifes motto.
A girl like Grace Sullivan needs someone to help her let loose. So, competition?
In my eyes, theres no competition. This race is already won.
Mama Ashby eyes me skeptically. What are you two competing over? Youre
off-season and youve already signed a contract.
Is that my present? Annie interrupts, unknowingly letting me dodge a bullet
with Noahs mom right there. She doesnt wait for me to say yes before she grabs
the folder out of my hands and flips it open.

Okay, help yourself, I say sarcastically.


Annie looks down at the folder and then up at me. No way.
That's not the real thing, I explain. The travel agent just gave me that so Id
have something to give to you so it would be less lame than just saying, Here, I got
you a plane ticket.
A plane ticket? Wheres he sending you? Bess asks, her hand on her hip.
Europe! Annie runs at me, slamming into me and throwing her arms around
my neck before I can respond.
I guess you're happy about it?"
Are you serious? Its like an open-ended ticket! Annie yells. Did you tell him
to get it, Noah?
Noah grins for the first time since we got here. I didnt. But Im glad he saw
reason and got it for you. Youll have a great time.
Oh my God. I have to call Lucas and Avery. Theyre going to be so stoked.
Theyre leaving in three weeks. Shit. The restaurants not going to let me go.
I already talked to your manager, I tell her. Besides, youre going into senior
year. You shouldnt be working at a restaurant. Youre supposed to get something
work-study, or at least something thats going to help you get a job after college.
That's what Noah tells me, and you should listen to him since he graduated magna
whatever-the-fuck.
Watch your language! Bess yells. Just because youre all grown up, doesnt
mean you can drop the f-word in my house.
Yes, maam, I reply, hanging my head.
Magna cum laude, Noah corrects.
I snort at the word cum.
Thanks, Aiden! Annie squeals, already across the living room and heading for
the front door with her phone in her hand. She flings open the front door, nearly
bowling over Noahs dad Paul. She gives him a one-armed hug, her phone pressed
to her ear.
Where are you off to, girl? Paul asks.
Europe! she exclaims before bouncing out the door.
Paul raises his eyebrows and shakes his head, slipping off his work boots. Hes
still in his coveralls from the shop, grease slicks down his tattooed forearms. When
he makes it into the kitchen, he heads straight for Bess, the way he always does.
Bess laughs as he half-slips an arm around her waist, swatting him away
playfully. Get your grubby hands off me. Go wash up.
Youre lucky I dont leave a grease-stained handprint on your ass, woman.
Bess gasps in mock surprise and hits him with a dishtowel. Paul Ashby, whats
gotten into you?
Paul turns to me. Your sisters going to Europe with pink hair?"
I shrug. Shes twenty-one now. Its not like I can argue with her. She wanted to
go for two months with her friends.
Paul shakes his head, sighing exaggeratedly. You kids," he says. He looks

across the room at Noah. "What are you doing over there ignoring everyone?"
"I was going to say hi, but you didn't let me get a word in edgewise," Noah says.
"These two are fighting about something," Bess says, giving Paul a look.
"No one's fighting about anything," Noah roars.
Bess raises her eyebrows. "Uh-huh."
"Oh, Lord." Paul rolls his eyes. "Don't break anything."
"We're not going to get injured," I assure him.
"I wasn't worried about you two. I was worried about my furniture."
"Thanks for the concern, dad," Noah calls as his father heads off to clean up.
Paul and Bess are fixtures in West Bend, Colorado. They were born and raised
here, and Paul has been running the only auto repair shop around for thirty miles
since he finished his enlistment in the Navy when he was twenty-two. Noah was
supposed to follow in his footsteps and take over the family business, but it was
pretty clear mid-way through high school, after the football team won our second
state championship and Noah and I were identified as rising stars, that Noah
wasn't heading in the same direction as his father. Luckily, his sister Denise turned
out to have a knack for auto repair and was perfectly happy taking the mantle not
that Paul is ever going to stop working. The man will probably keep working until
he keels over.
"Where's Denise?" I ask.
"She and Ed had to drive over to Gunnison for an OB appointment. They're all
nervous because this is their first baby. Wanted to get some fancy OB doctor over
there instead of Dr. Allen, even though Dr. Allen's been delivering babies for the
last thirty years. Delivered both of you and you turned out just fine." She shakes
her head and makes a tsk-tsk sound before she gets distracted by the image of the
President and First Lady on the television in the living room.
"You know, he came through Denver last week," Bess says, nodding toward the
television where a video clip plays of the First Couple waving to a crowd at some
kind of political event. "I'm voting for the other guy. I've never much cared for
either of them. I've always thought he was just kind of smug. I know people say
she's so fashionable and all, but she's always seemed off to me. Cold."
Noah grunts. "Exactly."
"Noah met him," I tell her.
"The President?? Noah Ashby, you're lying here on the sofa like nothing's going
on, when you met the President of the United States?"
"I thought you didn't care for him," Noah says.
"That doesn't mean I don't want to hear about it! Bess exclaims. "I swear, the
two of you with your celebrity lives, do you think us mere mortals don't want to
know who you're hobnobbing with?"
"It's not a big deal," Noah grumbles.
"We're working with his daughter on a charity thing," I say, unable to resist
riling Noah up since he's had such an attitude problem when it comes to this. I
guess I'm not all pissed off - because I'm confident in my ability to land Grace

myself. "Noah donated his ranch."


"Yeah, and Aiden decided he was suddenly all about charity," Noah adds.
"I've always been about charity. What do you think hanging around your sullen
ass is, if it's not charity?"
"Maybe you should take your charitable ass and get it out of my house," Noah
suggests, his tone biting. "Leave my neighbors alone."
"I think your neighbor is fine with my not leaving her alone."
"Enough," Bess interrupts. "Are you both arguing over some girl?"
"Not just some girl," I say.
Paul walks into the room. "The two of you can work out your crap somewhere
else," he booms. "We got more important things to talk about here like what
smells so good in the kitchen, Bess?"

16

NOAH

T his place is crazy.

What were they thinking, giving these kids ice cream? I dont know jack shit
about kids, but even I know that giving sugar to twenty kids and turning them loose
to set up campsites is a recipe for disaster. There are four camp counselors trying to
establish order in a field a few hundred yards away from my house the area I
designated for the campsite.
Aiden and I spent most of lunch hotdogs and burgers fielding questions from
a bunch of kids, some of whom were super excited we were here and some who
didnt know who the hell we were. I preferred the kids who didnt know who the
hell we were. The camp only started today, but already I think Ive answered more
questions than I did from reporters all last season.
I glance back at the house, wondering if anyone would notice if I ditched the tiny
terrors out here and caught a workout in the gym. Or shit, just enjoyed ten minutes
of silence.
Grace Sullivan has been all business since she got here. Professional doesnt
even begin to describe her attitude. Shes been cool as a cucumber ever since Aiden
and I met with her in her office. There were a few times the past few days when she
called me personally to ask questions about the ranch, questions that I could swear
an assistant could have asked. I thought she was calling because there was
something between us, but even during those calls she was all business. When she
introduced Aiden and I at the beginning of the camp, it was like we were any other
celebrities.
There was one moment after she finished the introductions, however, when that
she met my gaze and something passed between us. It was enough to make her
cheeks flush, but that was the only hint I was given that she might be attracted to
me.
Fortunately, Im not the only one whos been kept at arms length. Aiden hasnt
gotten any alone time with her, and thats how its going to stay if I have anything
to say about it. The camp counselors are all required to camp outside with the kids,
but I generously opened the main house to Grace and the field house to the
support staff who needed space during the week but wouldnt be staying overnight.

Grace started to protest that it wasnt necessary and that she usually stays with the
support staff, but her security detail stepped in and said that it was a better setup
from a security point of view.
Score one for the Secret Service agents.
A boy darts past me with a bunch of tent spikes in his hand, and I grab him by
the back of the shirt. He looks up at me. Dude.
Dude, I repeat, letting go of him. Anyone ever tell you not to run with
scissors?
Uh, these arent scissors.
Yeah, theyre spikes, Louis, I correct, reading the name tag on his shirt. And
Im pretty sure thats worse.
Why?
You want to trip and fall and get a spike through the eye?
That would be gnarly.
I roll my eyes. Wheres your tent?
He shrugs. I dont know.
Youre just running around with a bunch of tent spikes for no reason?
That kid has it. I paired up with him. He points to a nerdy blond kid with
glasses twenty yards away whos holding a tent and looking like a stiff wind could
knock him over.
I exhale heavily. Have you ever been camping?
No.
Where are your counselors?
He shrugs and points to a counselor helping a pair of kids with a tent. Then he
turns back to me and asks, Do you know how to set up a tent?
At the same time, I catch a glimpse of Aiden on the other side of the field,
walking toward Grace. Shes squatting down in her jeans and cowgirl boots the
most inauthentic bright red boots ever, but the second I saw her in them, I couldnt
help but think of her in nothing but those boots. She smiles as she talks to a kid.
When Aiden reaches her, she tucks a lock of hair behind her ear and directs that
smile toward him.
Walk over and take Grace out of Aidens hands or help a couple of kids set up a
tent? It isnt even a question.
Inwardly I groan; outwardly, I sigh. Ah, shit. Yeah, I know how to set up a
tent.
Dont sound so happy, Louis says. Are you a camp counselor? Youre not
supposed to cuss.
How old are you? I ask.
Ten.
Im pretty sure your ears arent going to fall off if you hear the word shit.
Youre kind of an ass, he notes as we walk. All right, these kids might not be
so bad after all.
"Did you just call me an ass?"

That's what my mom calls people sometimes when they cut in front of her in
traffic. Who are you, anyway?
Im a football player.
He looks at me with his nose wrinkled. You dont look like a football player.
Whats that supposed to mean? What the hell do you think a football player
looks like?
Rich, he says, matter-of-fact, as we get to the campsite. The twiggy little
blond kid is standing beside a pile of tarp and various supplies, looking helpless.
And I dont look rich?
Louis shrugs.
Whoa, the blond kid breathes, looking at me with wide eyes. I know who you
are.
I look at Louis. See? Told you. Im famous.
The blond kid, Spencer, as I note from his nametag, nods. Youre on that TV
show.
Youre on a TV show? Louis blurts. Well, why didnt you say that?
Because Im not on a TV show, I grumble. Howd I wind up paired with the
only two kids here who dont know who I am? Werent you paying attention when
they introduced us earlier?
Louis shrugs for the fifteenth time. Not really. I get bored a lot.
Spencer interrupts. Yeah, I remember that other guy over there. Hes a football
player, he says, pointing to Aiden.
Were both football players. Famous ones, I say, exhaling heavily in
exasperation. I glance at Aiden on the other side of the field, whos standing way
too close to Grace to be appropriate.
Do you know thats President Sullivans daughter? Spencer asks, oblivious to
my frustration. President Sullivan has been in office for eight hundred and
eighty-two days. Hes married to Katherine Sullivan, and they have a dog named
Ruffles.
What, are you an encyclopedia? I ask.
I had to do a report last week, Spencer replies. Whats an encyclopedia?
Its a reference book. People look stuff up in encyclopedias when they want to
learn about things.
You mean like asking Siri? Spencer looks at me blankly.
I exhale heavily. Yeah. Exactly like that.
Louis looks at me, his nose wrinkled again. You see those other counselors?
They seem nicer than you.
Theyre smiling more, agrees Spencer.
Are you here because youre doing community service or something? asks
Louis as he bends over and begins to pull out a tent. My moms ex-boyfriend had
to do community service once. But he picked up trash at a park.
This is my ranch, smartass. I grab the tent from the mouthy kids hands. You
guys are my guests.

Louis looks doubtful. Are you sure?


Youre asking if Im sure its my ranch or if Im sure about having you kids
here? Because Im starting to regret the latter.
Louis and Spencer stare at me blankly.
I exhale heavily. This is going to be a long damn two weeks, although if Im
being honest, Ill admit that Louis and Spencer arent so bad. Theyre even kind of
funny - for kids. How about less talking and more setting up the tents?

17

GRACE

Y oure good with the kids, I note, trying to sound casual as I wipe my palms on

my jeans not just because theyre dirty but because Im slightly nervous being
around Aiden now that weve finished setting up the tent. Aiden took over,
teaching the two kids how to pitch the tent while cracking jokes that made all of us
laugh. The second they were finished, Niall and Drew ran off to tell their camp
counselors they were done, leaving Aiden and I standing here alone.
Well, as alone as you can be in a field with twenty kids running around and a
bunch of camp counselors. Im definitely aware of that fact when I take a step back
from Aiden, putting a respectable amount of distance between me and the toohandsome athlete, whos the epitome of small-town sexy in his blue t-shirt and
faded jeans. He and Noah both look at home here on the ranch, not at all like you'd
think a couple of football players or celebrities would look plunked down in the
middle of Nowhere, Colorado, although I guess that's not surprising, since this is
Noah's ranch, after all.
I have a pain-in-the-ass younger sister, Aiden says. He runs his hand
through his hair and shrugs.
I laugh. I can definitely see you as a pain-in-the-ass older brother, I say.
How old is she?
Twenty-one. Shell be a senior next year in college.
You and Noah grew up in Colorado, right?
Did you read up on us? Aiden asks, a wide grin spreading across his face.
Actually, I didnt, I admit. I remain blissfully ignorant about both of you.
Because youre not interested, or because youd rather get to know us
personally? Aiden asks.
The way he asks the question is unmistakably sexual, and the us part of the
question doesnt escape my attention. Reflexively, I glance to the other side of the
field where Noah is helping a couple of kids with their campsite.
Youd like to get to know Aiden and Noah very personally.
I clear my throat. I have this thing about not getting intel on people I meet in
real life.
Intel from your security?

That too. But I meant internet-searching people I meet in real life."


"Your whole life is public knowledge," Aiden comments.
"Yeah, exactly. That's why I don't like looking up other people. People make lots
of assumptions about me because they can find articles about my life, going back to
when I was in grade school. They think they know who I am before getting to know
me."
"Being a player isn't too different from that," Aiden admits. "It's all PR. Just
like with me and Noah. People like the whole 'Colorado golden boys' story."
"You both grew up out here by the ranch?
"You literally don't know anything about us?" Aiden seems stunned by that
revelation, and I'm not sure if he's offended or amazed.
"You're not that famous," I tease.
Aiden lets out a warm laugh. "Whatever, we're famous as hell. But you really
don't follow sports at all?"
I shake my head. "Don't tell anyone," I whisper, putting a finger to my lips. "On
paper, I'm a Colorado football fan, through and through. But um not really. My
dad actually is a die-hard Colorado fan, though."
"We didn't grow up here," Aiden tells me. "Not on this ranch, I mean. Noah
bought this place a couple years ago. It's his place, really. He doesn't let people out
here ever, either. After the season ends, he usually disappears for a month or so,
doesn't talk to anyone, just holes up here like a hermit."
I glance over to Noah, who's still working with his kids on setting up their
campsite. "He doesn't look like a hermit."
Aiden laughs. "Noah and people don't go together. Trust me."
Noah leans over to pick up something from the ground, and I find my gaze
lingering on his ass for just a moment too long. I clear my throat, mentally
chastising myself for ogling another man when I have a ridiculously attractive man
right here in front of me. What's wrong with me?
I intend to change the subject. I don't want to talk about Noah with Aiden and I
definitely don't want to think about how attracted to both of them I am right now.
"You and Noah grew up together?"
Way to change the subject away from Noah, Grace.
"In the smallest town imaginable," Aiden says. "West Bend, Colorado."
"The smallest town imaginable, huh? I'm picturing a little Main Street with a
bunch of shops, looking like something right out of the 1950s?"
"Ah, so you've been there?" Aiden teases.
"I've been to places like it, for sure," I say. "Actually, I probably have been there
with my father during one of his campaign seasons. His campaign managers love to
pick those small towns for town hall sessions or photo ops in a local diner."
"During one of his campaign seasons?" Aiden asks. "This is only his second time
running for President."
I laugh. "My father has been in politics since before I was born. I was in
campaign photos before I could walk. Councilman, state senator, United States

congressman, Governor of Colorado You name it, my fathers done it. Political
royalty thats what they call my family."
Aiden grunts. "I don't really follow politics."
"Well, I gathered that much when you didn't know who I was when you met
me," I tease.
Aiden looks down at the ground, digging the toe of his shoe into the dirt.
"Yeah."
Is he embarrassed, and why do I find that so endearing?
"It's okay, you know."
"Noah stays on top of political stuff. It's never really been my thing."
"Most of the people I meet are way too into politics," I admit. "They want to talk
to me about my dad, or about the foundation, or want an edge somehow with their
political career, or their causes."
"Yeah?" Aiden asks. "I guess it's the same with football. The only people I meet
are fans."
"So I know nothing about football and you know nothing about politics. What
are we going to talk about for two weeks?"
Aiden turns toward me, the proximity too close to be simply friendly. My heart
races as I look at him, and I tell myself to step back away from him before someone
out here sees us and gets the wrong impression or the right one. But for some
reason, I can't make myself back away. "Talking wasn't on my list of priorities."
The look he gives me is sheer lust animalistic, primal, I'm-going-to-devouryou lust. Even as warmth rushes through my body in response to his words, I try to
muster the wherewithal to rebuff him. I clear my throat. "I hope you didn't come
here with the intent to do anything but talk, Mr. Jackson," I say. My words sound
false even to me.
Aiden chuckles. "I'll talk. He steps forward, his lips near my ear. "In fact, I'll
tell you exactly what I want to do to you.
I step back from him, my heart racing. There's a damn good chance my face is as
red as the shade of the boots I'm wearing. "I thought I made myself clear when you
and Noah signed up to join me at the ranch," I state primly. "Nothing's going to
happen that's unprofessional or inappropriate."
Aiden grins. "I think you're the first woman to play hard-to-get with me ever."
I bristle at his arrogance, despite my body's obvious attraction to him. "First of
all, I'm not playing hard-to-get, because this isn't a game."
Aiden doesn't seem put off at all by my statement. "It's definitely a
competition."
"Second of all," I continue. "I find it hard to believe that all women throw
themselves at you. Wait what do you mean, it's a competition?"
"You find it hard to believe that women throw themselves at me? With all this I
have going on?" he asks, gesturing to himself.
I roll my eyes. "Your humility is admirable."
"No reason to be humble when you're honest, sugar. And you're not being

honest with yourself."


"Of course I'm honest," I sputter. "What in the world would I not be honest
about?"
Aiden gives me his crooked grin again. "That Noah and I are going to be
professional or businesslike or friendly or whatever-the-hell."
My eyes narrow. "You agreed."
"Oh, I'll be appropriate right up until you ask me not to be."
I raise my eyebrows in disbelief. "You think I'm going to ask you to be
inappropriate?"
"I don't think so. I know so."
"You're appallingly arrogant.
Aiden shrugs, nonplussed. "I'm honest."
"And you honestly think I'm going to ask you to cross a line with me?" I fold my
arms over my chest.
"Yep." He grins. "Admit it. You've thought about me."
"We want to hear you say it," Aiden commands, his fingers under my jaw as he
tilts my head back toward him. His other hand pinches my nipple harder, sending a
shock of pain through me - except that instead of hurting, it adds to the sensation.
"Tell us how you want us to fuck you.
"I have not." I practically choke on the words, my mind consumed by the
thought of what Ive imagined Aiden doing to me.
Aiden lets out a laugh, low under his breath. "Liar," he says softly as he leans
close to me, his mouth near my ear. I shiver as the heat of his breath wafts over my
skin, sending goose bumps across my body. "It's written all over your face. How did
I do it when you thought about it? Did I pull up your skirt and bend you over the
desk in your office? Was I on my knees with my tongue in your pussy?"
I put my hand firmly against his chest, intending to push him immediately
away, except it lingers for a second too long, my fingers pressing against his hard
muscles. For a second, I think he's going to kiss me.
Then, I want him to kiss me. I want him to pick me up and take me straight to
the ranch house.
I want him to do a million dirty things with me.
No. I exhale heavily, stepping back from him. "No," I lie, my voice thick with
lust. "I'm not going to ask you to cross a line. It's never going to happen."
"Never?" Aiden asks.
"That's right," I reiterate firmly.
"That's a shame," he says. "How long has it been since youve been fucked,
good and hard? I mean, really fucked. Like toe-curling, hair-pulling, backscratching, break-the-bed and scream-down-the-walls fucked?"
He asks the question like he's asking when's the last time I had scrambled eggs
for breakfast, like this is a totally normal topic of conversation.
The answer is never, by the way. As if I'm going to admit that to him.
"Last week," I lie, attempting to sound breezy.

Aiden arches one eyebrow, clearly skeptical. "Last week?"


"Yep."
"Liar."
"Could have happened."
"Not a chance."
"Of course it could have. You don't know."
"Oh, I think I know when a woman is in need of a good fuck."
"That's probably one of the most misogynistic things I've ever heard."
"Don't know what that means, sugar tits. He winks at me.
I roll my eyes. "Classy."
One of the camp counselors waves at us, heading in our direction, and Aiden
grins. "I'm going to go be professional now."
"It's always good to learn a new skill," I say.
"Mr. Jackson," the camp counselor interrupts from yards away, waving him in
her direction. Aiden turns to walk away when I realize he never answered that one
question I asked.
"Wait. What did you mean by competition?"
Aiden turns around to face me. "Between Noah and I," he answers. "For you,
obviously."
"I'm not a prize," I call to his retreating figure.
Aiden laughs. "Neither are we, sugar."

18

NOAH

"O of, Grace lets out a sigh under her breath as she rounds the corner in the
hallway and collides with me. When she falls against my chest, my hands go

automatically to her waist to keep her from falling.


Score. I'm touching her again.
I'm so distracted by the fact that I'm holding her, and she's looking at me the
way she's looking at me right now, and by the fact that I want to kiss her, that it
takes me a few seconds to register the cool wetness spreading across my stomach.
Grace looks down at the bottle of chocolate syrup in her hands and then up at
me. Chocolate sauce is splattered across her breasts, dotted on her shoulder, and
dripping from her hair. A comparable amount of syrup is splashed on my shirt.
"You're determined to ruin every article of clothing I wear, aren't you?" she
asks.
I can't hide the growl in my throat at the prospect of ruining all of Grace
Sullivans clothing. "If thats what it takes to get you out of your clothes, I'll go
destroy your closet right now."
"Is this your version of flirting?" she asks.
My hand is still on her waist, the other on the small of her back. I should let her
go. I'm sure Aiden is around here someplace he disregarded the fact that I housed
him with the camp counselors and helped himself to a room in the ranch house and the last thing I want is a moment like this with Grace ruined by Aiden's stupid
ass.
But I've never been much good at doing what I should do. "Nope. This isn't
flirting. Flirting would be if I licked the chocolate sauce off of you."
Grace's eyes go big and her lips part before I even lean in close to her. What I'm
about to do is the opposite of professional, yet I can't seem to resist this girl. She
should be the last woman on Earth I'm attracted to rich, privileged, powerful even if she seems down-to-earth and charitable.
My lips are close to her ear, yet she doesn't make a move to extricate herself
from my arms. She doesn't turn away. In fact, I hear her sigh softly, the sound
barely audible but so damn hot that it only encourages me. Leaning in closer, I put
my lips on her neck, tasting a dab of chocolate syrup on her skin.

This time, theres no mistaking the sound that leaves her mouth as anything but
absolutely sexual. She definitely moaned the second my lips touched her neck,
thats for sure. I slide my hands around her back, moving lower until I cup her curvy
ass. My hands linger there and I pull her against my hardness.
Noah, she whispers, pressing her hand against my chest. I cant tell if shes
encouraging me or protesting.
Grace, I echo. Im two seconds from picking you up and carrying you to my
room and using the rest of that chocolate sauce to paint your naked body.
Noah, I cant-
You didnt let me finish. Then Im going to lick you from head to toe. Or toe to
head. Either one. Ill give you the choice.
Her cheeks flush pink, but she doesnt move from my arms. She just looks up at
me with big green eyes and perfectly lush lips that are practically begging to be
kissed. I shouldnt.
Because its not professional?
No. I mean yes. Its not professional, she protests. Then her voice drops to a
whisper. It's just that Im attracted to you and A-
Hey Noah, I-
Aiden. That fucker.
Grace jumps away from me like shes just been electrocuted. Aiden stands in the
doorway looking at me through narrowed eyes, but I dont give a shit whether he
saw Grace and I together or not. In fact, I hope he saw us together, because Im
staking my claim on this girl.
I should go clean up, Grace says quickly. The chocolate sauce. Noah and I are
into each other I mean, we ran into each other. She laughs nervously. We
forgot the chocolate bars for the smores for the kids outside. I found the chocolate
syrup in your refrigerator. I thought it might work in a pinch.
A sly smile spreads across Aidens face. Hey Noah, I was just trying to find you
to tell you your package arrived.
What package?
Aiden looks at me meaningfully, his eyebrows raised. You know. The one with
the prescription cream for your He nods his head, gesturing toward my crotch.
Sores.
Grace clears her throat. Im just going to um go change.
That jackass.
I didnt want to say anything in you know. Aidens voice drops to a whisper
before he continues: Mixed company.
Hes obviously screwing around, I say quickly, glancing at Grace, who looks
increasingly uncomfortable. You cant take anything he says seriously. I glare at
him. Hes not a serious person.
Im pretty sure that your doctor told you that the sores are no joke, Aiden
insists, his expression earnest.
Um Ill see you both later. Grace slips out of the room before I can offer any

other explanation for Aidens stupidity, although Id think his stupidity would be
self-evident by now.
Really? Cream for my sores? Thats the kind of juvenile shit youre resorting to
now?
Aiden grins. I prefer the term creativity.
Well, Id prefer to beat your ass.
Dont get all worked up just because Grace thinks that your junk is a petri
dish, Aiden says, laughing.
Thats real funny from someone whos probably screwed half the women in
Colorado.
I think you mean that its real ironic.
Big word for a small brain.
I know. Its a good thing I have my looks and my giant cock to make up for my
low IQ.
As long as you keep your cock away from Grace.
Aiden laughs. Thats not going to happen, Noah. You make your moves on her.
Ill make mine. Im sure shell choose the best man. By best man, I obviously mean
me.

AFTER CHANGING, I go out to the campfire mostly because Im hoping to get a chance to
tell Grace that I do not in fact have a sexually transmitted disease. Or any disease at
all.
Except for my best friend Aiden. Hes like a growth I cant get rid of.
I dont get to talk to Grace at the fire, though. Neither does Aiden, which is a
small consolation. Grace is preoccupied with helping the kids roast marshmallows
either that, or shes making a distinct effort to avoid Aiden and I. I think it might
be the latter.
She doesnt make eye contact with me when I pass her. She doesnt actually
think that what Aiden said was true, does she?
After smores, I head back to the ranch house. Grace stays behind to talk to the
camp counselors. I try to avoid thinking any more about the incident with Grace
earlier. The incident. Like its some kind of tragic experience.
Kissing chocolate sauce off of Graces neck was about as far from a tragic
experience as Ive ever gotten. That moan she let out gave me the impression that
it was the same for her.
Of course, Aidens whole prescription cream bullshit could have changed
things.
I shove that thought aside as I go out to the large deck that wraps around the
upstairs bedrooms on the side of the house. The deck is one of my favorite things
about the ranch house. During the day, you can see for miles out across the
meadows to the rolling hills in every direction. In the winter, when the countryside

is blanketed by untouched snow, the reflection of the sunlight is so bright its


practically blinding. And its quiet out here when its not being overrun by children
and camp counselors. I could sit on this deck for hours just immersing myself in the
stillness of the place.
But tonight, instead of soaking up the quiet because even though the kids are
heading to their tents for the night, theyre not exactly church mice I flip through
my phone, responding to personal emails and text messages. I generally try to
avoid the social media bullshit like the plague not only because I suck at it, but also
because when youre a professional football player everyone has a damn opinion
about your plays and your performance last season and what youre going to do
next season, and the wager on where youre going next year. Listening to all that
crap, all those opinions that become voices in your head, is enough to make you
crazy.
Thats especially true right now when Im trying to figure out what the hell I
want to do when it comes to my entire career.
Noah? Graces voice breaks through my thoughts as she steps out onto the
balcony from the guest bedroom. Shes wearing a pair of jeans, sneakers, and a thin
grey pullover with her hair pulled back in a ponytail. The outfit makes her look
more like a college undergraduate than the head of a foundation.
Whats up? I pull myself out of my Adirondack chair, trying to look casual and
not like Im jumping up like a damn puppy dog at the sight of her.
Whats up? Fucking A, Noah. Youre not a teenager. Try sounding slightly
more intelligent.
Uh hey, I say. Damn it. That might be even worse. You told her you wanted
to lick chocolate sauce off her naked body, but you can't muster anything better
than Hey, what's up?
She pauses when she reaches me then quickly breaks eye contact and turns away
to look out at the horizon. The stars are so bright up here. Its amazing. You forget
about that in the city.
Yeah. Its one of the things I love about being out here.
Oh, I didnt notice you had a telescope, Grace says, walking over to it. A
Celestron. Nice.
You know your telescopes? I ask, watching her bend toward the eyepiece.
Focus. Dont get distracted by her ass.
Her perfect ass.
Her curvy ass.
The ass that fit so well in my hands.
Oh, yeah. My dad is an astronomy buff. When I was a kid, we used to go outside
at night and hed teach me all of the constellations. Then when he was traveling,
hed call and tell me what the sky looked like where he was, what constellations he
could see.
Thats cool.
Thats cool. Nope, Im not doing any better at not sounding like an adolescent

boy.
I didnt have as nice of a telescope as this, though, thats for sure, she notes.
The White House doesnt have a telescope?
Well, I stayed in Colorado when my dad got elected President, so I havent lived
at the White House. Ive only visited, Grace notes. I cant remember there being
one, but my dad has hosted astronomy nights on the south lawn for the past three
years.
Huh. I didnt know that.
She laughs. He gets really excited about them. I flew in for the first one they
put on. Its all these kids little geniuses who are way smarter than me running
around mixing with scientists and astronomers. Theyre all so thrilled to be at the
White House and meeting the President, but what they dont know is that my dad
completely geeks out about it himself. The morning after the first astronomy night,
he spent the entire time during breakfast talking about it.
Are you and your dad close?
She smiles, but I can tell right away shes giving me her media smile. Of course.
My parents are both wonderful people who have always been devoted to me.
That sounds like the most bullshit press statement ever.
She bends over and looks through the telescope again, momentarily silent,
before she turns, her eyes searching mine. You wouldnt be trying to get me to say
something bad about my family, would you?
What? No. Shit. Is that what you think? That Im fishing for dirt? Im so
blindsided by the question that I dont know whether to be shocked or offended.
Her brow furrows before she relaxes. No, I dont.
I guess you probably get that a lot people who have another agenda for
getting close to you.
She exhales heavily. Of course you would understand that, she says, her
expression softening. I forget that youre in the public light as much, if not more,
than I am. I dont have many friends. Not close ones. So Im not all that great at
talking about myself.
You should be great at it, with all of the interviews you have to do, I tease.
I think the same could be said of you.
Well, Im not digging for dirt on your family, I tell her. Just so you know. And
Im not great at small talk either.
Okay, fine, she declares with a smile. Then we wont do small talk.
So whats the opposite of small talk? I ask.
Getting naked. The opposite of small talk is getting naked.
Super deep talk? she jokes back.
No. Its getting naked.
Is this where we talk about the meaning of life or some philosophical bullshit?
Grace wrinkles her nose. Ew. No.
Well, no small talk was your idea, sweetheart. Damn, that last word sounded
way too normal leaving my mouth. When I called her sweetheart before, it was

sarcastic, totally meant to push her buttons and wind her up. Right now, it just
rolled off the tongue like Ive said it a hundred times.
Okay. Tell me something no one else knows about you.
Is that how were going to play this? You accuse me of prying for dirt on your
family, but ask me to reveal all of my secrets? I raise my eyebrows. "That's a bold
move."
Fine. You can ask me mine, she says, laughing.
I already know yours.
Is that so?
Yep.
She crosses her arms over her chest. All right, I want to hear this. What dirty
secret of mine have you dug up?
I didnt have to dig. Its written all over you."
"What is?"
"The fact that you totally want me.
Well, that is a dirty secret.
I was hoping it could be.
Her face flushes red, but she laughs. Youre avoiding the question. Unless you
want to go back to small talk.
I was hoping no small talk meant we could pick up where we left off last time."
"Noah, I "
I cut her off because I don't want to hear her say what I suspect she was trying to
say before that she's attracted to me and Aiden. Okay, Ill show you my dirtiest
secret.
Are you about to show me your dick?
That is not my dirty secret, contrary to what Aiden might have you believe. The
prescription cream thing was not true, you know.
Grace laughs. Yes, I assumed that much.
Also, my dick wouldnt be a dirty secret, either, because Im pretty proud of it."
She raises her eyebrows. "Oh, are you?"
"Yeah. I'll take it out if you want to see why I'm proud."
Grace laughs. Come on. Out with it the secret, not the dick.
Ill show you, if you swear not to laugh.
She makes a solemn face and holds up her right hand. On my grave.
I think youre supposed to swear on the grave of someone whos already died.
Youre avoiding the original question.
You have to promise not to tell anyone. Do I need to go get a non-disclosure
agreement?
You can. Or I can pinky swear not to tell a soul.
I gasp dramatically. Thats the most sacred of swears, you know.
I know.
When she links her pinkie with mine, a twinge of arousal rushes through me and
I consider yanking her against me and finishing what I started earlier. Instead, I

sigh loudly. Fine. Come with me.

19

GRACE

N oah opens the deck door to his bedroom, and my heart skips a beat. Is this your

way of getting me into your bedroom? This isnt very subtle.


I've never been good at subtle.
I look around his bedroom bedroom doesnt accurately describe it, though.
Its a huge master suite with light grey walls and log beams that run across the
ceiling and match the rest of the house. Its understated and masculine, with a
sitting area on the other side of the room outfitted with several leather chairs and a
television. When my eyes flicker toward his bed, I have to force them away.
Do not think about Noah and his bed. Or what you might want him to do to you
on that bed.
Or on the floor.
Or the chairs.
Heat rushes through me at the prospect of Noah doing me anywhere in here, but
I swallow hard and clear my throat as he walks to the far side of the suite near the
sitting area where a set of closet doors lines the wall. I notice the keypad on the
doors before he even touches it. Wait, I say, stopping him. Are you about to
show me something completely weird? Ohhh were the blow up dolls really yours
and not Aidens?
Okay, Im not showing you. Forget we talked about it, Noah grumbles.
So they were yours.
No, they were not mine.
Okay, show me.
Nope, youre going to think its weird.
I promise I wont. I cross my fingers behind my back. Okay, I might.
Especially if he has a bizarre fetish. What if he collects locks of womens hair or
something?
Noah grumbles under his breath again as he unlocks the closet and slides open
the door, revealing a set of cabinets topped with shelves that reach the ceiling. The
shelves are filled to the bursting point with yarn. Skeins and skeins of yard in a
million different colors and textures. He looks at me silently.
Um is this some kind of BSDM thing? You tie women up with yarn?

Noah sighs exaggeratedly. Its exactly what it looks like, all right? There you go.
Youve seen my dirty secret.
When he moves to close one of the doors, I stop him. Wait. I dont get it.
I knit.
Excuse me?
You heard me the first time. I knit. In my spare time, I knit things. Socks,
scarves, blankets. Christmas stockings.
You knit.
No one knows. Including Aiden. Shit, especially not Aiden. Or anyone on my
team.
A giggle builds up in my chest, and I cover my mouth to prevent it from coming
out. It doesnt work, and now Noah is looking at me with a dark expression.
Okay, see, I wasnt going to tell you, he growls, closing one of the doors.
Im not laughing at you, I promise, suppressing a giggle. Its just that you
knit? Thats your dirty secret? The way you acted, I was afraid this was going to be
filled with body parts.
Body parts, really? Shit, if the guys on the team found out about the knitting,
Id never hear the end of it. It would be worse than a closet full of body parts.
I mock-button my lips. Mums the word.
You promised not to laugh.
Nervous habit, I say, rapidly changing the subject. Show me something
youve knitted.
Are you done laughing?
I swear.
He sighs. Fine. But dont make me regret showing you. He slides open a
drawer in the cabinet and pulls out a long grey scarf. This is one I just made. Its
angora.
Wow. This is
He sighs. Yeah, I know. Lame.
Thats not what I was going to say at all. I was going to say, its not what I
expected from you.
Look, I love football. Its my whole life. But a couple of years ago, I was having a
hard time getting my mind off the game at night, which gave me problems falling
asleep. The team has this life coach that players sometime see Im not crazy,
though.
I didnt think you were.
Doc sent me to her to fix my sleep, and He laughs under his breath. She
was pregnant and she was knitting when she talked to me. I thought it was the
dumbest fucking thing Id ever seen. She said I should try it because it might help
me clear my head.
Does it?
He shrugs. I started doing it at night and stopped having sleep problems.
Whatever keeps you in the game, right?

Noah gives me a funny look as he takes the scarf out of my hands and slides the
closet doors closed.
You must have knitted a million things by now. What do you do with them?
I donate them to charities. Anonymously, he adds, emphasizing the last word.
Okay, I have one more question.
He crosses his arms. Go ahead.
Can you do ugly Christmas sweaters?
Later, when I snuggle under the covers, thinking about big gruff Noah and his
knitting makes me smile.

THE NEXT MORNING, were up at dawn to work with the horses. When the kids find out
what they have to do, they all groan.
We have to clean poop? Niall asks, making a gagging sound. Hes echoed by
the moans of several of the kids and a chorus of barfing noises.
Thats right. Bryson, one of the seasoned counselors, crosses his arms.
Before you get on a horse, you need to learn how to take care of them. That means
learning how to brush them after you ride, and put on a saddle, and check the
horses hooves and muck the stalls.
You mean shovel poop, one of the other kids says flatly.
Yep. Do you know why we have you muck the stalls first? Because you have to
learn the not-fun stuff before you learn the fun stuff, Bryson says brightly.
Noahs standing a few feet behind me and I hear him speak softly. Its really
because kids are free labor. But also because sometimes in life, you'll have to deal
with shit. So you should get used to shoveling it."
I spin around and give Noah a wide-eyed glare at the use of his profanity, but the
kid beside him nods knowingly. And you cant let shit get you down, the kid says.
Noah fist-bumps the kid. Good philosophy, Louis.
I glare at Noah, who seems oblivious. No profanity.
What? the kid protests. Thats what my mom says.
Your mom is a wise woman, Noah adds.
Yeah. I know. Are you going to help muck the stalls?
Are you crazy? Noah blurts.
So youre going to just watch us do it?
Thats right. Im going to stand here and enjoy my cup of coffee, because thats
exactly the way my dad taught me. Circle of life, man. Ive done my time mucking
stalls. Now it's your turn."
Huh. I thought you were supposed to be a regular guy, not a stuck-up athlete,
Louis grumbles. But I guess once you get rich, youre too good for this kind of
thing.
Noah groans and rolls his eyes dramatically. Fine. Go get two pitchforks. Make
that three find your co-conspirator, Spencer. But you know youre a pain in the

ass, Louis.
Noah! I exclaim, my eyes big.
Louis grins. "Yes! I knew you would cave.
Did you just guilt me into shoveling crap with you? Noah asks.
Louis grin gets even broader. Deal with it, bro. You got played.
Noah tries to keep from laughing. Get out of here. When Louis runs off to grab
shovels, Noah shakes his head. Hes a total manipulator.
You cant call him a pain in the ass, I tell him.
Why not? Noah asks, looking at me blankly. I called him a pain in the ass
because I like him. And because hes a pain in the ass.
Number one, its profanity and we dont use profanity at camp. Number two,
you cant just go around calling the kids names.
He called me an ass yesterday when we met, Noah protests. Im pretty sure
Im not hurting his delicate feelings or exposing him to any profanity he doesnt
already know.
Well, at least he seems to have an accurate assessment of you.
See? You agreed that Im an ass right there, and you like me.
I raise my eyebrows. I like you?
Oh, please. Dont pretend like you dont. Noah grins.
I step closer to him, dropping my voice to a whisper as I lean in. Yeah. Theres
nothing that gets me hotter than a man who knits me socks.
Ohhh. Noah steps back, shaking his head as he laughs and puts his hands
over his chest. Going right for the jugular. I thought we said wed never speak of
that again.
I said I wouldnt tell anyone else. But I made no promise to never speak of it.
Louis and Spencer interrupt, arriving with pitchforks in hand. Lets get this
over with, Louis says, rolling his eyes.
Noah shoos the kids toward a stall, pausing for a second to whisper in my ear
before he passes me. If knitting you socks gets you wet, sweetheart, Ill knit you a
whole damn wardrobe.

20

AIDEN

I hope you dont mind if I use the kitchen, says Grace, looking up from the

counter where shes chopping vegetables. The kids are cooking over the
campfire and I just couldnt stomach the prospect of hotdogs for dinner.
Its Noahs place, so you absolutely have my permission to use whatever you
want.
She laughs as she slides vegetables off the cutting board into the bowl. Where
is your roommate, anyway?
Gym. Im irritated that she cares where Noah is. Not to be completely
arrogant or anything, but Im not used to girls not falling all over me. Im rich,
stacked, and a football player; I dont have trouble getting women. But Grace isnt
like the girls who usually throw themselves at me.
She seems oblivious to my annoyance, and its hard to stay irritated as she dices
up another pepper and slides it from the cutting board into the bowl, looking
fucking adorable in a navy skirt and white t-shirt, her hair pulled back in a high
ponytail.
I have to look away from her because if I keep ogling her, Im going to start
thinking about throwing her right up on this counter and putting my face up under
that skirt. And if I start thinking about that
Shit. My dick is hard now. I cover by sliding into one of the high-top seats at the
granite countertop.
I looked up West Bend, Grace says.
I thought you werent in the habit of internet searching.
She grins. I didnt look for you guys, she protests. Just photos of West Bend.
I was curious whether Id been there with my dad. I have, by the way. I recognized
the Main Street.
Its pretty much exactly like the Main Streets in a hundred other towns across
the U.S.
True. She turns, going to the refrigerator and pulling out more veggies. But I
remember the general store because they sold dresses. I spilled ice cream on my
shirt before this lunch at some diner, I think? My mother was really upset about it.
She brought me in there to get a new dress and the thing was like something

straight out of Little House on the Prairie.


That sounds about right for West Bend.
It must have been fun growing up there.
I laugh. Fun isnt the word for it. West Bend is small.
Like homey and quaint?
Yeah, and also boring and uptight.
She chops more vegetables and then looks up. Are you and Noah hungry?
Fuck, yes.
Im definitely hungry. I dont add the part about what exactly Im hungry for,
but when her eyes meet mine, the expression on her face tells me she understood
exactly what I meant.
I - She blushes and stammers. I picked up some stuff at a little grocery store
I saw on the way out here. She looks down at her phone. The recipe says it makes
four servings. Should I double that?
Were football players.
Point taken. So I should quadruple it?
In case you hadnt noticed, Im not exactly small. I pause for a beat.
Anywhere.
Thanks for the clarification. Grace is silent as she picks up a cucumber. Then
she pauses midair, cucumber in hand, and her eyes meet mine. Yep, shes
definitely thinking about cock. Her face turns bright pink and she sets the
cucumber back on the counter.
She clears her throat again. So, what position do you play?
Whatever you want. I give her another grin and she tosses me a dirty look.
Fine, fine. Im a cornerback.
Quarterback?
I sigh loudly. You have no idea what Im talking about, do you?
Grace laughs. Not a bit.
You really dont know anything about football?
I told you I didnt!
Well, Id be glad to teach you some plays.
She bites her lower lip. I know you would.
In fact, theres this one play I have I stop talking as I get down from the
high-top chair and walk around the island to where shes standing. Im so close
that I can smell her perfume maybe its her shampoo clean and light and floral.
Her chest rises, giving me a glimpse over her shoulder of her cleavage in her shirt.
Aiden she breathes. I cant tell if shes saying my name as a warning or if
shes saying it because she wants me to touch her.
This play starts with me yanking up this little skirt youre wearing. I slide my
hands down the sides of her thighs, pulling the cotton fabric up as my fingertips
brush her skin. When I lean in close to her, my lips near her ear, she lets out a
whimper.
A fucking whimper.

My cock hardens immediately, like some kind of reflex. Ive never gotten hard
because of a sound before. I pull the skirt up over her perfect ass.
Her perfect, nearly bare ass.
Shes wearing a little black thong under the skirt. I want to tear it off her ass
right now. Instead, I palm her perfectly round cheek before pulling my hand back
and giving it a light slap.
You did not just spank me, she whispers.
I think about how exactly shes going to look bent over like this while I fuck her
from behind, and my cock throbs in response.
Tell me how much you want me to bend you over and slide my cock inside you
right now, I whisper. She moans softly as I speak the words, my lips so close to her
ear. Tell me how much you want to feel me slap your ass as I fuck you.
Aiden
All I have to do is slide my fingers around your thigh, I say softly. If I reach
between your legs, will I find that your pussy is ready for me?
She lets out a frustrated groan and squirms against me, but doesnt move to step
away.
Say yes.
She lets out a long sigh. Aiden, I just no. I cant do this with you and No-
Damn it, fucking Noah. I hear the clomp-clomp of his footsteps on the floor
before I see him. What a cock-blocker.
Hey Aiden, he calls.
Grace leaps away from me like a pole-vaulter, leaving me with what is going to
be the most massive case of blue balls in recorded history.
Fuck. I mean to say what but thats what comes out instead. I clench my
fists, trying to suppress my irritation with Noah because the last thing I want is for
him to think hes getting to me or worse, that Im having trouble scoring with
Grace.
Noah grins and holds up his phone. A couple of cheerleaders texted me looking
for you. Apparently they want to make an Aiden sandwich. He uses air quotes.
Tell your hookups to stop texting me.
Im going to just um Ill be right back, Grace says, practically running out
of the room.
Really? Fake threesome? Thats all youve got, Noah?
He shrugs. Prescription cream for my sores?
Now that was funny.
Aw, you dont think an Aiden sandwich is funny? he asks as I storm out of the
room.

THE THREE OF us dont end up eating dinner together. Grace goes out to do something
with the campsite, leaving her salad half-completed on the counter. The campsite

is obviously an excuse to avoid what happened between us and Noah walking in


on us so I knock on her bedroom door later in the evening.
When she pulls it open, she gives me a look. You shouldnt be here.
Im not trying to get in your pants.
Grace raises her eyebrows. Or under my skirt?
Is that why youre wearing jeans now?
Today earlier was
Theres no Aiden sandwich. I interrupt her before she can say anything else.
The text message thing Noah was getting me back for saying he had an STD.
No cheerleaders? She crosses her arms and makes a serious face, except I can
tell by the way that her lips pull up at the corners that shes about to smile.
Cross my heart. No cheerleaders, no sandwich. I came by to tell you that. Thats
it. And to mention that you never made dinner.
You came by to point out that I never made dinner for you? How gentlemanly.
You can make me dinner anytime, you know. Im just saying.
Are you finished?
I grin. Not really. Where are your two grumpy guardians?
Theyre keeping a lower profile. Theyve cleared the house, so its not like they
need to be posted in front of my room.
Ditch them.
Excuse me?
Have you ever lost them before?
Her eyes go wide. No.
Not once?
No. Ive never done anything Id need to ditch them for.
Youve never done anything bad? I tease. I thought you just had bedshaking, toe-curling sex last week.
Grace rolls her eyes. Obviously that wasnt true.
Obviously.
Whats that supposed to mean?
Nothing. Im just saying that if youd had bed-shaking, toe-curling sex with
me last week, you wouldnt be running around here camping.
Where would I be?
In my bed, clearly. Because when I fuck you, youre not going to make it out of
my bed for a week.
When you fuck me? she asks, eyebrows raised.
Yeah, when. Just so were clear.
Grace lets out a loud exhale. I cant go any further with either of you.
Because you want both of us.
She bites her lower lip.
And both of us want in your pants.
I think so, she whispers.
You think so? I ask. No, thats a fact. We definitely both want in your pants.

So I think its pretty clear what has to happen.


Whats that?
I show you that I can rock your world harder than Noah can.
She laughs. Is that why you want me to ditch my security? So you can rock my
world?
Nah. Youre not sure yet. I want you to want me so much that you beg me to
fuck you.
She shakes her head and sighs. No one talks to me the way you and Noah do.
Sugar, if I said half the dirty things that came into my head when I look at
you
Grace puts up her hand. Im not going anywhere with you unless you promise
no hanky-panky.
Ill be a perfect gentleman. Cross my heart. When she narrows her eyes, I roll
mine. Come on, already.
She grins. Okay. Lets ditch the Secret Service.
Youre being a very bad girl, Grace Sullivan.
We make our daring escape out of a side door near the gym, and Grace giggles as
we run not-so-silently behind the stable and out into the meadow. Where are we
going?
Shh, loudmouth, someones going to hear you.
Grace repeats the question in a whisper.
Theres a pond down here. You cant see it from the house, but I noticed it
yesterday when I took some of the kids up on their horses. Lets go skip rocks.
Ive never skipped rocks.
What kind of horrible, tragic upbringing did you have?
I dont know, she says. Ive never really gone camping, either.
Uh, arent you running this camping thing with the kids every summer?
Well, I go with them and I do the day activities it's usually ropes courses,
trust-building things and stuff but theres always some of us who stay in a
building and hang behind if theyre doing an overnight trek.
You cant be serious.
What? Grace squeals. I dont have to camp in a tent in order to help the kids.
The ground is hard.
I have to tell myself that if I dont focus on what shes saying and not on the fact
that her ass looks so damn good, then Im going to be the one whos hard.
I knew it, I tell her.
What?
Youre spoiled.
Im not spoiled!
Sleeping on the ground is hard?
It is. Are you going to argue otherwise?
Next youre going to tell me that youve never been fishing or mudding or
drank moonshine.

Okay, now youre just being a jackass. You already know my answer is going to
be no to all of those things.
I shake my head at her in mock disappointment.
I didnt grow up in the country! she protests. I grew up in Denver.
You live in Colorado.
Wait, she says. I ski a lot. I definitely skied a lot during boarding school in
Switzerland, too. Thats outdoorsy, right?
Now youre just making it worse, I tell her.
When we reach the pond, I try not to be distracted by the way her ass looks in
those jeans when she bends over to pick a rock up off the ground.
Hows this? she asks.
Wrong kind of rock. You need the skipping kind thin and flat. Like this. I
hold up a perfect skipping rock and demonstrate, watching it ping across the
surface of the water. Five skips. Im a master at this.
She laughs. Youre a rock-skipping master?
We all have our gifts.
Is this what you did growing up in West Bend?
I told you there was nothing to do in that town. I hand her a rock. Try it.
She tosses it into the water and it lands with a ker-plunk. Thats
embarrassing.
Maybe rock-skipping isnt your thing.
Oh, shut up. Shes silent for a few minutes as she looks for rocks. You and
Noah have been friends for a long time.
We have.
Shes silent for a minute as she picks up another rock and throws it, watching it
plop into the water. I dont want to come between that.
Try this one. I hand her a flat rock, moving around behind her and taking her
wrist in my hand. Fuck, she smells good, and she feels so damn good against me.
You have to flick your wrist.
I let go and she tosses it. This time it skips twice. How about that, she
breathes.
Youre not going to come between us.
Unless she wants to come between us.
Where the hell did that thought come from?
Grace turns around, still close to me. How do you know?
Ive known Noah my whole life. We grew up next door to each other. Our moms
were best friends. Weve always been
Jackasses? she teases.
I was going to say tight, but jackasses works too.
Are your families still close? She steps away now, bending over to pick up
another rock.
My sister Annie and I are close with his parents, yeah. My dad was only in the
picture until my mom got pregnant with Annie. Two kids were one too many for

him, so he ran off. He tried to contact me three years ago when I signed my contract
because suddenly I was his son, but you know the saying too little, too late.
So your mom raised you.
Yep, single mom. She worked at a factory thirty miles out of town to put food
on the table for us. Thats one thing that still gets me now not having her here to
see how her work paid off.
She passed away?
Car accident in high school. A tractor-trailer truck ran a stop sign and slammed
into the side of her car. It was instant.
Im sorry.
Life kicks you in the nuts sometimes. I shake off the pang of sadness I always
get when I think about it. Anyway, Noahs mom and my mom were best friends
and our jerk-off father didnt turn up, Annie and I went to live with Noahs family
after that.
Thats why you guys are close.
I shrug. We were tight before that. But thats why you shouldnt worry about
getting between us. Both of us know the score.

21

NOAH

T hings have been getting more heated between Aiden and I over the past week,

which is why the charitys idea to have us head up a bunch of kids for a touch
football game before the end of the camp was a disaster waiting to happen.
Total accident, I call loudly after I trip Aiden on the field. Yeah, its a low blow,
but since that fucker put a laxative in my food the other day right before we were
about to head out for a trail ride, Im not playing clean anymore.
Aiden stands up, glancing around at the kids and smiling as he gestures at them
to back away. Im totally fine, kids. It was just an accident. Noah gets clumsy
sometimes and cant seem to control his limbs.
Standing on the sidelines with her arms crossed, Grace looks less than pleased.
Aiden gets in my face. In front of the kids, Noah? Real mature, he says, his
voice low.
Says the guy who put laxatives in my food.
The kids are goofing off, quickly losing interest in the game. But Aiden smiles
broadly and fakes a laugh for anyone watching us, like were standing here joking
around. He yells, Were just talking about plays. Take a timeout, kids!
Then he drops his voice low again, his smile turning into a snarl. You put
itching powder in my boxers.
I shrug. Maybe I did, maybe I didnt. Maybe that threesome with the
cheerleaders just got you more than you bargained for.
The fake threesome you made up, Aiden says, stepping forward and pushing
my shoulder.
Youre going to really lay your hands on me? I warn. Im bigger than you.
Huh. Thats not what Grace seems to think.
I push him back, ignoring the yell of several of the camp counselors on the
sidelines. Did you screw her? I growl.
Aiden stumbles back a few feet, giving me a smug look. Jealous?
I dont wait for him to say anything else about Grace. I just rush him, knocking
him to the ground hard.
Grace is suddenly beside us, yelling loudly. Noah and Aiden were just
demonstrating a football play. Kids, take five. Or twenty. Counselors, can you find

another activity to do? The players are going to practice and theyll show you some
plays later. Before either of us can hit the other one, she squats down and glares at
us, fire in her eyes. Stand. The. Fuck. Up.
She punctuates each word with a sharp inhale of breath.
Shit.
I get up, adrenaline still coursing through my veins, but I dont lay a hand on
Aiden as he rises and wipes his mouth with the back of his wrist, looking more
smug than before.
You should get your anger under control, Noah, he taunts.
Wait until later, I warn.
No, Grace snaps. The two of you jackasses are going to turn around and wave
at the kids and pat each other on the back. Then youre going to laugh and pretend
like you didnt just try to start a fucking fistfight in front of a bunch of children who
see you as role models.
Chastised, we do exactly as she directs, grinning like a couple of idiots and
clapping each other on the back for show. When I lean in to slap Aiden on the back
extra-hard he grins broadly and fake-laughs, all the while glaring at me. Sorry
you didnt make your move on Grace before I did.
I lean in to bro-hug him, a fake smile plastered onto my face. Later, Im going
to kill you, I reply, my voice equally pleasant. "Maybe in your sleep."
Enough, Grace says harshly. Turn around and walk back to the ranch house
like youre not five-year-olds who have to be told to keep their hands to
themselves.
Both of us walk silently toward the house with Grace behind us. Yeah, of course,
the mature part of me feels like an asshole for getting into a fight with Aiden in the
middle of a touch football game. The rest of me thinks I should have slugged him
when I had the chance.
When we reach the front door, Grace turns to her security detail. Theres
probably going to be yelling. A lot of yelling.
One of the agents looks like shes almost about to crack a smile. Roger that,
maam, she says. If we hear screaming, we wont assume youre in distress.
Grace opens the door and walks inside without saying a word, her stride brisk,
and we follow her through the living room. Okay, apparently she doesnt want to
have a conversation in the living room where there are seats.
Nope, shes going for the kitchen. Where there are knives.
Aiden must be thinking the same thing because he raises his eyebrows as he
looks at me. Why dont we get a drink, maybe a little chocolate, and talk about this
like adults in the living room?
A drink? Grace asks. I think her nostrils are flaring. Chocolate?
What? Aiden asks, putting his hands up. I thought maybe, you know, you
might want some chocolate since youre kind of upset right now
Oh, shit. I hear myself say the words aloud. Even Im not dumb enough to say
what I think hes about to say.

Chocolate, Grace says flatly. Because why, exactly?


Oh God. I stare at Aiden with my eyes wide, trying to telegraph to him not to say
what I think hes about to say. Dont say it, man. Say anything else. Say you think
she might like chocolate because shes looking a little thin. Or because you heard
chocolate was good for you. Do not remotely suggest that she might have PMS.
Uh
When Grace turns to look at him, I mouth the words shes too thin and point
at Grace. Aiden squints as he looks at me, obviously confused.
Did I say chocolate? he asks. I meant chocolate syrup?
Nice save. I give him a thumbs-up.
Grace glares at us with her hands on her hips for what seems like an eternity.
You got into it in front of my campers. Kids who look up to you.
That was unfortunate, Aiden admits.
Shit, man. Hes worse than I am at apologizing. I didnt think that was even
possible.
Were sorry about the football game, I say.
If it helps, Im positive that the kids really believed we were just practicing
plays, Aiden chimes in.
No. That does not help. Grace looks like shes fuming. The problem is that
when shes fuming, she looks really hot. A couple of pieces of hair fall out of her
ponytail and she pushes them furiously back in place, but they tumble down again,
irritating her more. Her cheeks are flushed and shes breathless as she looks back
and forth between us.
I think she might be really angry until she pauses for a second, pulling her lower
lip between her teeth as she catches her breath. Its the same thing she did before,
when she and I collided in the hall and she looked at me like she wanted me.
Youve been acting like complete idiots these past few days! Stupid
adolescent pranks? Getting into a fight at a charity camp?!
To be fair, the stupid adolescent pranks have been going on for a while, I say,
my eyes on hers as I step closer to her. I dont give a shit about how mad she is
anymore. All I can think about is how much I want her clothes on the floor.
She puts her hands on her hips again. So the pranks have absolutely nothing to
do with the fact that the two of you have apparently decided that you need to act
crazier and crazier because I dont know you have some misguided notion that
can impress me this way? Or youre trying to actually drive me insane?
Maybe its the fact that you want us thats driving you insane, Aiden points
out. Hes suddenly standing on the other side of her, just as close as I am to her but
neither of us makes any kind of move on her. My eyes meet Aidens and something
unspoken passes between us, a silent understanding that shes either about to
choose one of us, or it's possible that shes going to choose both.
Want you? Right now, Im not even sure I like either of you! Grace bursts, then
pauses, inhaling deeply. You are two of the most arrogant, juvenile, completely
inappropriate men Ive ever met. And you think that Im going crazy because Im

lusting after you?!


Thats right. The words come out low in my throat, my own desire for this girl
apparent even in my voice.
We think youre lusting after both of us, Aiden agrees, equally intense.
Grace sucks in a deep breath, her hands going to each of our chests. She grips a
fistful of our shirts, and I glance at Aiden, half-certain shes about to push us way
the hell away from her. Instead, she exhales heavily, closing her eyes. Both of
you, she whispers. And I cant just choose.
Then dont, I say at the same time that Aiden says, Okay.

22

GRACE

O kay. I echo Aidens words, my voice a whisper because Im not sure I actually
heard either of them correctly. My hands are still there, paused as I grip Aiden
and Noahs shirts, unmoving because Im terrified to do what I think I want to do
next.
Im afraid of what it might mean.
The Presidents daughter does not have a threesome. She certainly does not
have a threesome with two professional athletes. And she definitely does not have
a threesome with two arrogant, frustrating, holy-crap-hot men in the middle of a
kitchen during a charity camp while her two Secret Service agents are outside the
house.
You dont have to choose between us, because we both want you, Noah
growls.
I inhale sharply, my palms unfurling before I even realize what Im doing.
Flattening my hands, I brush along their chests, my fingers exploring their
muscular bodies over the thin fabric of their t-shirts.
When I hear myself moan, it takes me by surprise.
So does what happens next.
Noah reaches for me, gripping a handful of hair at the nape of my neck and
pulling it back so that my face is angled toward his. Is that a yes?
Yes. I barely breathe the word before his lips crash down on mine in a
powerful, all-consuming kiss that overrides all of the uncertain thoughts in my
head. I practically melt against him, losing track of everything as the world spins
on its axis. The kiss seems to last forever, and when Noah finally pulls away, his
hand still gripping my hair tightly, Im breathless.
I dont have any other word except yes.
I think I breathe the word again as Aiden moves to stand behind me, his lips
near my ear and his hands on the sides of my hips. Is this what you want, sugar?
The heat from his breath on my neck sends arousal rushing through my body,
setting every part of me on edge. Do you want both of our lips on you? Both of our
hands on your body? Both of our cocks inside you?
Yes.

Yes.
Yes.
Hearing him speak the words out loud makes them seem a million times filthier
than even the dirtiest fantasies Ive had of the three of us together. Even so, I dont
feel self-conscious as Aiden kisses his way down the side of my neck, his hands
sliding around my waist, his fingertips under the waistband of my jeans. Before I
know it, Aiden is lifting my shirt over my head and Noahs hands are on my jeans,
pulling the fabric down over my hips.
They undress me right there in the kitchen until Im standing between them
wearing only my bra and panties.
Noah kneels between my legs, his eyes heavy-lidded and his expression filled
with lust. Ive been picturing you in my head, but those images dont compare at
all to what you look like right now.
Is she wet? Aidens voice is low in my ear, his hands cupping my breasts. He
slides a finger inside the fabric of my bra, and my nipples immediately harden to
his touch.
Noahs eyes dont leave mine. Are you wet, Grace?
I moan my response as his face disappears between my legs, the heat from his
mouth radiating through my panties as he kisses me. He inhales deeply and groans.
Ive definitely thought about this, he murmurs, his voice muffled as he presses
his lips against my clothed pussy. Shes soaked. Right through her panties.
Is that true, Grace? Aiden whispers as he slowly removes my bra, his tongue
teasing me, flicking over the place underneath my ear that makes me shiver.
Yes. I barely choke out the word as Noah growls and tears my panties off my
body, ripping them at the seams like an animal.
Aidens hands replace the cups of my bra holding, stroking, kneading my
breasts. Your tits are amazing, Grace. I can see why you wanted to keep them to
yourself, Noah.
He never had them, I start.
Noah interrupts, his voice gruff and angry. I never had them the way Aiden
does right now. But he never had this. He grips my thighs, pulling me roughly
forward as he buries his face between my legs. When his warm, wet mouth covers
my pussy, I nearly lose my balance, but Aiden holds me up, pressing his erection
against my ass cheek.
Im lost as Noah devours me. Theres no warm-up, no teasing or slow start to
his movements. Hes all in, eating me like a starving man, his tongue stroking my
clit, his groans sending vibrations through my pussy and thrills of arousal through
my body.
Aidens hands are everywhere, caressing my breasts, his fingers pinching my
nipples. When I reach behind me, palming his leg, searching desperately for his
hardness with my hand because I want to feel him, he just laughs softly in my ear.
Not yet, sugar. This is all about you, so fucking enjoy it.
Two hot men making it all about me? I dont know whose life I just stepped into,

but this certainly isnt mine.


My head lolls back against Aidens chest and I surrender to their hands, to their
fingers, to their mouths as they continue to bring me higher and higher, my breath
coming in shorter and shorter gasps.
Noahs fingers are magic. He finds a spot inside me that makes my toes
practically curl, and he strokes it gently as Aiden whispers dirty things in my ear.
Have you touched yourself, thinking about the three of us together?
I moan loudly before choking out the word Yes, barely coherent as Noah
curses, his voice muffled as he sucks my clit.
Aidens voice is a low rumble in my ear. That day we were in your office, you
werent fantasizing about me bending you over the office desk and fucking you,
were you? You were thinking about both of us.
My groan gives me away.
I grip Noahs head as his fingers stroke me faster and his tongue swirls around
my clit, trying to hang on to him because Im afraid Im losing control. Im trying
desperately not to explode this instant, but Im already on the verge, brought so
close so quickly.
Tell me, what did you think about? Was I fucking you from behind while Noahs
cock was in your mouth? Or was it the other way around?
Aidens fingers find my mouth and Im taking them in, sucking them between
my lips like its his cock. His other hand grips my ass cheek, and when he pushes a
finger against my asshole, Im too far gone to protest, too far gone to be selfconscious even though no man has ever done that before.
Then he whispers. I cant wait to make this perfect, tight little asshole mine.
As soon as he speaks the words, I explode. None of my straight-laced, uberconservative boyfriends have ever spoken that way to me before. I go soaring over a
cliff, sent by Aidens finger against my tight hole, Noahs tongue on my clit, and
Noahs fingers inside of me.
I think I scream. I suck harder on Aidens fingers, trying to mute myself as I
climax so hard I think I might faint.
They dont let me recover. Im still coming as Noah slides his fingers from
between my legs, my pussy throbbing at the absence of his touch. No, I beg.
Dont stop what you were doing. Please.
Noah grins. Please? he asks. Youre a hell of a lot more polite since youve
just had an orgasm.
I try to glare at him but fail because my muscles are throbbing, my pussy still
squeezing tightly over and over, and I dont have the willpower to muster a stare.
Noah smiles as he puts his wet fingers in his mouth, licking every drop of me
from them as he groans. You taste fucking perfect, he declares. You should
taste her, Aiden.
I whimper, rendered barely incapable of words now, hardly able to hold my own
weight because I think my legs have turned to jelly.
I think I will," Aiden says. Before I can consider what hes doing, Aiden

replaces Noah between my legs, touching his tongue gently to my swollen clit. I
dont know where to look at Aidens rapturous expression as he begins to lick me,
or at Noah as he stands a few feet away, pulling off his shirt and dropping it to the
tile floor, his obvious erection tenting his pants as he watches us. I jerked off
thinking about exactly what youd taste like, sugar. And its better than I
imagined.
I moan as Aidens tongue laps me gently probing me, exploring me as he licks
every bit of my wetness. His movements are softer, more languid and slower than
Noahs. Hes taking his time with me, savoring every bit of it, not devouring me
with the intensity Noah just did. Its different from Noah but just as hot, and my
body responds the way it did when Noah was between my legs immediately, like
its been waiting for the two of these men forever.
This should feel so wrong. Not more than a few minutes ago, another mans face
was between my legs, another mans tongue on my clit, his fingers buried deep
inside me as I screamed my orgasm. But it doesnt. Instead, it feels perfect.
The throbbing emptiness gives way to overwhelming arousal again as Aidens
tongue enters me. Aiden fucks me with his tongue, moving in and out where
Noahs fingers were a few moments ago. I close my eyes, surrendering to the
sensation.
Oh my God. Im already close to coming a second time.
But I stop myself. No, I whisper. I think the orgasm might have made me
bold. Or crazy. Probably both. Thats the only explanation for why I say what I do
right now. I want more I need more than your mouths on me.
As the words leave my mouth, my heart pounds wildly in my chest, even as the
fearful part of me reminds me again that First Daughters dont have sex with
multiple football players. They have lights-out, missionary-style, good-girl sex
with their long-term boyfriends who are Wall Street legends, or prominent
attorneys, or independently wealthy billionaires.
But then Aiden pulls away from me, standing to disrobe, and he and Noah are
both in front of me naked and the fearful thoughts are replaced with one single
thought:
Holy. Fucking. Shit.
I just stare.
"You're" My voice drifts off as my breath hitches in my throat. "Um huge."
Everywhere.
They're both massive - walls of rippling muscle, defined abs, and the biggest,
hardest cocks I've ever seen. When they begin to slowly stroke those cocks right in
front of me, my face warms and the throbbing between my legs reminds me of what
I want.
"Well, I'm bigger," Aiden says.
"Really? You fucking think so?" Noah challenges him.
Maybe we should let Grace decide, Aiden responds, his eyes on mine. He gives
me a cocky smile. What do you think?

Think? Theres no thinking going on right now because all of the blood in my
brain has shifted downward. I think my IQ has dropped significantly, rendering me
stupid and incapable of forming a complete thought, let alone articulating a
coherent sentence. I think My voice drifts off as I summon the courage and
words to say exactly what I think. I want
Dont tell me youre speechless, Noah teases.
Yeah, I want to hear that pretty little mouth of yours describe exactly what you
want, Aiden chimes in.
Noah groans, his hand running down his length. So do I.
I want your cocks. I pause, exhaling and then taking a deep, slow breath
before I continue. My heart races wildly in my chest. Okay, Im going to say it. I
want your cocks. In. My. Mouth. I gulp a deep breath between each word not
because Im trying to be emphatic, but because Im trying to maintain my courage.
I want to taste both of you.
For a second, they just stand there unmoving both of them staring at me, their
hands on their dicks.
Shit. Did I say the wrong thing?
Okay. This wasnt the exact reaction I was hoping for."
Aiden swears under his breath, something unintelligible.
Holy fuck, that mouth, Noah says. Are you sure?
Am I sure?
Im about to get on my knees and put my mouth on the cocks of two football
players. No, Im not fucking sure. I think I might be temporarily insane or hell,
permanently insane.
I nod, swallowing hard. Yes. Im sure.
Grace, Aiden says, his voice low in his throat. He kisses me softly, and I taste a
hint of me still on his lips. His gentle kiss is followed by Noahs powerful one, each
distinct and sexy in their own way.
I slide my palms over their chests and down their abs until I reach their cocks. I
kneel in front of them, taking their cocks in my hands.
"Fuck," Noah groans. "Keep stroking me just like that."
When Aiden moans, its all the encouragement I need. Id rather have you
between my lips.
Shit, Grace, you have such a filthy little mouth, Aiden says.
New Grace seems to have taken Old Grace's inhibitions and thrown them out the
window. New Grace is dirty as hell. I smile at Aiden, taking his cock in my hand and
licking it from base to tip. Then I do the same to Noah. Thats right, I agree. And
I want you to fuck my filthy little mouth.
You keep talking like that, Noah starts, his voice faltering as I put my lips
around the head of his cock, and doing what youre doing, and Im going to come
in that filthy mouth of yours.
We both will, Aiden says.
My core throbs its response. Why does the prospect of taking both of them

tasting both of them make my body respond the way it does?


Promise? I ask.
Both of them growl. Literally. Like animals.
Ive never watched porn before, but I feel like a porn star kneeling with two
mens rock-hard cocks in my hands like Im sexy, and powerful, and in control.
My hand gripping Noahs shaft, I turn to the side, touching my tongue to the tip of
Aidens dick and tasting the salty-sweet pre-cum where it beads.
Thats so fucking hot, Aiden says, looking at me with half-lidded eyes.
Lightly stroking Noah, I wrap my lips around Aiden's cock. I suck, taking him
deeper for a few strokes, teasing him by pulling away to direct my oral attention to
Noah. I alternate back and forth, taking each man in and savoring the differences
between the way their cocks feel in my mouth and the way their wetness tastes on
my tongue.
When I close my eyes for a moment, Noah orders me to open them. Look at me,
Grace. Look at us. We want to see you.
So I do. My eyes don't leave theirs, the connection with each of them
intensifying as I quickly find a rhythm. Their hands tangle in my hair Noah's
grasp firm, Aiden's more gentle. Everything about this should feel wrong.
Except it doesnt.
They talk to me the entire time, telling me how wet and warm and tight my
mouth is, how it feels when my tongue flicks their dicks, how they want me to
swallow them deeper and deeper. The throbbing between my legs intensifies in
response to their dirty talk until Im moaning as I suck them, my entire body
turned on by the act of pleasuring both men at the same time. My nipples are erect,
begging for attention, my clit so swollen that I can barely keep from touching
myself.
Its like your sweet little mouth was made for us, Aiden says, his hand
caressing my face as I move down his shaft.
"It was made for both of us," Noah growls when I turn to him. His fingers
entwine in my hair as he fucks my mouth, his movements less gentle than Aiden's,
and I think he's starting to lose control.
I think I might like it.
When I take my attention away from him, substituting my hand for my lips as I
turn to Aiden, Noah lets out a long, frustrated groan. "Your mouth is heaven."
"Did you think about this, Grace?" Aiden asks, his eyes searching mine. "Did
you think about sucking both of our cocks when you touched yourself?"
I pull away to answer, stroking each of them in my hands, their cocks welllubricated by my saliva and their pre-cum. "Yes," I answer, breathless from my
own arousal.
Right now, I want them so badly I can hardly think about anything else but the
incessant throbbing between my legs. Right now, I want to jerk them off until they
come all over me. Right now, I want to swallow them whole.
"Knowing you have both of us in the palms of your hands makes you wet,

doesn't it?" Noah asks. "We're at your mercy and you love it."
Fuck. Yes.
Aiden groans loudly, and I think he might explode as I stroke him. But Noah
growls, taking my hand away. "Slide your fingers between your legs right now.
"Show us how wet you are, sugar," Aiden agrees. He takes over for me, his cock
in his hand, watching me.
I already know how wet I am.
But now I show them. Slipping my fingers between my legs, I coat them with my
slickness and hold them up so they can see. "Im really wet.
I'm turned on by the fact that these two men are standing over me jerking
themselves off. I'm not sure who I am right now.
Have you ever touched yourself in front of two men before? Noah asks.
I think you already know the answer to that question," I reply. "Ive never done
it in front of one person, let alone two."
Oh, hell, Aiden groans.
Slide your fingers between your legs, Grace. I want to see you touch yourself.
Show us how you touched yourself when you were thinking about us, Noah orders.
So I do. With one hand braced against Noah's muscular thigh, I press my fingers
against my clit as I watch both of them stroke their cocks above me. Their
expressions are already strained and I know they must be close to exploding.
I want to taste them when they do.
The thought makes me even hotter.
Fuck yourself with your fingers, Aiden says, as if he can read my mind and my
desires.
Whimpering, I do exactly that. My pussy is slick and my fingers slip easily
inside. I cant suppress the moan that escapes my lips as I press the palm of my
hand against my clit.
I want more. I want them inside me. I want them in my mouth.
I want to taste everything from them.
I'm practically delirious, out of my mind with lust as I bring myself closer to the
edge. I fuck myself with my fingers, wanting it to be their cocks instead.
Then Noah warns me: "Fuck, Grace, I'm close. I'm going to come all over those
perfect tits of yours if you don't tell me not to."
"Not before I do," Aiden chimes in.
Im about to chide them for the competitiveness competitive coming?! but I
dont. Instead, I look up at them and I open my mouth.
It's literally an open invitation for them.
"Is that what you want, Grace?" Noah growls. "You want us to come in your
mouth?"
Yes.
I nod, no time to speak the word before the prospect of tasting them pushes me
over the edge and I'm coming. I grip Noah's thigh, my fingernails digging into him
as I cry out.

My cries mix with theirs as they come on my open mouth. The taste of their cum
mingles together, the combination salty and sweet and familiar and new all at the
same time.
I feel filthy. Absolutely filthy.
And I've never felt more alive.

23

AIDEN

Holy shit.

Grace kneels on the floor with her face turned upward. Grace, the head of a
foundation. Grace, the woman volunteering her time with a children's charity.
Grace, the fucking daughter of the President of the United States of America. Grace,
whos classy and smart and funny and pretty and covered in my cum.
Our cum.
What the hell was I thinking? What the hell were we thinking?
She opens her eyes and looks at me with flushed pink cheeks, her face radiant.
Then she takes her index finger, wipes it along a droplet of cum near her chin and
puts it in her fucking mouth.
I think I could come again watching her suck her finger clean.
It's like a switch was flipped in her or something timid, hesitant, selfconscious Grace is gone and in her place is a shit-sure-of-herself vixen.
Noah and I reach for her hands and pull her to her feet.
Then she pauses, a flicker of doubt in her eyes. "That was" Her voice trails off.
Fucking hot, Noah says quickly.
Really fucking hot, I agree, kissing Grace tenderly on the lips. Im afraid that
the expression that just passed across her face means she's thinking about what
just happened, that she's regretting it, and that she's about to run screaming out of
the kitchen. I'd do just about anything in the world to keep her from doing that.
We should get you cleaned up.
"Let's get you to the shower," Noah suggests.
I just came, yet my cock twitches at the suggestion of getting into the shower
with Grace, even if its with Noah at the same time. I dont care how I have to have
this girl. I just want her, even if I have to share her. We can definitely take care of
you in the shower.
I slide one arm behind Grace's back and the other under her knees, picking her
up before she can protest or Noah can pick her up himself. She feels so tiny in my
arms.
Im perfectly capable of walking down the hallway, she argues.
I know. Im just concerned youre going to have second thoughts and take off

out of here, and I dont want that to happen before we get you in the shower.
Its for your own good, Noah chimes in, walking ahead of us toward his room.
For my own good?
We made you a mess, we need to clean you up, he explains.
We really, really made you a mess, I agree.
So the shower is solely for my benefit, huh?" Grace's face is close to mine and I
just want to kiss her again and again.
A hundred percent, Noah assures her. We dont have any untoward
intentions, do we, Aiden?
I dont know what untoward means, but if Noah is suggesting Im not going to
try to put my penis in you the first chance I get, you should know he doesnt speak
for me. Because Im going to. So dont drop the soap.
Grace slaps my chest playfully. Has anyone ever told you that you're a pig?"
Noah snorts. I ignore him because, well, I cant really get mad at anything right
now, not after Graces lips were just wrapped around my cock. In fact, I'm
practically fucking whistling as I walk.
In the shower, Ill show you just how much of a pig I can be, I reply, my voice
exaggeratedly seductive.
Grace wrinkles her nose. Im not sure what that means, but it sounds terrible.
Noah groans. Seriously, dude. I never realized how little game you actually
have.
Good thing I have a big dick.
Grace cant even hide the way she blushes when I say it.
You are a big dick, Noah says.
I carry Grace inside the master suite Noahs master suite and into the giant
shower. When I set her down on her feet inside on the marble tile, I bump into
Noah and for a second, it's probably the most uncomfortable and awkward
situation in human history, even if there is a naked girl standing right in front of
us.
After all, Noah is my best friend in the world. And yeah, Ive seen him naked
more times than I can count in locker rooms, but that doesnt mean I want to see
him naked in any other context. Or that I want to see him fuck a woman. Or that I
want him to watch me fuck a woman.
Or that I want a woman to give us blowjobs at the same time.
But I really, really want Grace.
And what happened in the kitchen a few minutes ago wasnt all that awkward
when it was happening. Watching Noah put his mouth between Graces legs should
have made me jealous as hell, except it didnt.
In fact, something about watching them together turned me on.
I dont know what the hell that means.
I dont have time to think about it, though, because just then Grace slips a little
on the wet tile in the shower, letting out a little shriek as she slides into me. I react
quickly, grabbing her arm to hold her up. When she laughs, she falls against my

chest and my arms slip around her back like its the most natural thing in the
world.
The instant she touches me, Im hard again. Its like Im a teenage boy and shes
the first girl Ive ever crushed on. Its embarrassing as hell how much I want this
woman.
Grace looks up at me, her hands on my chest, her green eyes wide and bright.
When I press my lips to hers, she opens for me. Her tongue seeks out mine, almost
like she's suddenly uncertain, even though she just had my cock between her lips.
The fact that shes hesitating makes her more endearing.
I'm floating on a damn cloud. So much so that I don't even mind when Noah
kisses her. Or when his hands cup her breasts. Were so competitive about
everything in the fucking world, yet somehow we stand here with Grace in the
shower, soaping her wet body like this is a damn team effort.
I think Im probably clean now, Grace whispers as I run my hands over her
breasts again.
Are you sure? We should be certain, I tell her. Like right here, for example.
Definitely want to make sure. I slide my fingers between her legs where shes
warm and already so slick. This time, I'm in front of her. This time, I get to see her
expression change the way her eyes get heavy, the way she bites on her lip as I
slowly probe her with my fingers.
Behind her, Noah runs his hands down her hips and over her ass. "What about
here, Grace?" he asks. I can't see what he's doing, but her eyes widen just a little.
"Such a tight little asshole. Has anyone been here before?
No." She doesn't speak the word. She moans it, and her pussy tightens around
my fingers, her response to his touch immediate. I thrust inside her with my
fingers, stroking her as Noah presses his fingers against her asshole. As I build
momentum, she grips my biceps tightly for support.
No one has been inside you, Noah says. Which one of us is going to take your
sweet, tight little virgin hole?
"I I'm not sure," she whispers, her eyes searching mine. "Which one of you
wants it?
Noah chuckles under his breath. "I guarantee you, both of us want it. I watch as
he presses his cock against her ass cheek, and a surge of jealousy rushes through
me.
If you think for a second that youre going to take it now - I growl.
"I'm so close," Grace begs, her voice soft, a reminder to keep my focus on her
pleasure. She reaches for my cock, distracting me from arguing with Noah by
running her hand down my length as she whimpers. I press my fingertips against
the textured spot inside her, provoking a long moan.
"Come on my fingers, sugar," I tell her. "Come on my fingers and then youre
going to come on my cock.
And on mine, Noah interrupts.
But, first mine.

Oh my God. Fucking. Stop. Arguing. Grace gasps the words, letting go of my


cock and gripping my arms as she comes hard, her words lost in her moans. Her
muscles clench down on me so tightly, I swear my damn fingers are about to break
off, but I stroke her and stroke her until she finally calms down, the large
convulsions turning into gentle flutters.
The first thing Noah says when Grace stops moaning is: "Fine. No arguing." He
waits only seconds after I slip my fingers from between her legs before he spins her
around to face the shower wall, pulling Grace's hands above her head and placing
her palms flat on the marble. The water from the shower runs over her naked body,
falling down her skin in little rivers. But youre mine. I mean ours. And we are
going to take every inch of you.
Both of us, I add.
You guys, she warns.
At the same time." I modify my words. "Both of us are going to take you at the
same time. See? We're capable of sharing."
"We can share. Were going to share," Noah echoes. I watch as he stands behind
her, guiding his cock between her legs. "Fuck, you are so warm and wet. I want to
slide my cock inside you right now. Except that would leave Aiden out. And you
want us both at once, dont you?
Grace whimpers. Yes.
Noah steps to the side abruptly. Feel her wetness on your cock, Aiden.
When I step behind her and press my cock between her legs, she sighs
contentedly. I drag the head of my dick along her slit. Her recent orgasm is still
evident, her pussy lips still swollen when I touch them.
I want to be inside that pussy so bad right now.
Instead, I step back, admiring the view of her ass. "Look how fucking mature we
are, Noah."
You want us to work together, Grace? Noah asks, his hand moving down his
length. You want us to take turns? You want us to play nicely?
Yes."
Push your ass out, I demand. Arch your back and show us your pretty pussy
and your little asshole.
Noah grabs a handful of her ass. Were both going to claim you, sweetheart.
Grace looks over her shoulder, her lips pouty as she arches her back more,
proudly displaying herself to us. Shes like a fucking wet dream right now. Her eyes
survey us as we jerk off, each of us with a hand on her ass cheeks, spreading her so
we can see everything.
"This belongs to us," Noah declares. I stroke my cock, watching as he comes
right on her asshole, marking it as his.
Ours.
Fuck.
Ive never jerked off on a woman the way I am right now and never after
another man.

Yet I can't help it. There's something primal about seeing Noah mark his
territory our territory and knowing that shes going to give herself fully to both
of us.
Shes bent over, completely on display, and I mark her as mine.
She stands there with our cum dripping down her, and I dont know that Ive
ever seen anything so damn hot in my life.

24

NOAH

T his fucking girl.

Grace lies on her back on the bed, her face flushed from the orgasm in the
shower, her expression a mixture of satisfaction and longing.
I want to erase the longing part right off of her face. I want her to be satiated.
This girl has me wound so tight, so pent up from lusting after her, that Im hard
again, even after coming twice. Her mouth wasnt enough for me. Jerking off on her
and marking her mine wasnt nearly enough either. I want to feel her pussy tight
around my cock. I want to feel her scream her orgasm as she comes on me.
After the shower, Aiden and I took her to bed, laying her down between us
teasing and kissing and tormenting her again nonstop until she was writhing,
begging to feel us inside her.
Now, Aiden's face is buried between Grace's legs. Her moans echo loudly in the
quiet of the bedroom.
I dont know how the hell the three of us ended up like this. The idea that Id
share Grace with anyone especially my best friend is insane. Im not a generous
man, and Ive never shared a woman.
Except here I am with her and Aiden.
It makes no damn sense at all. It makes no sense that Im watching Aiden
between the legs of the girl Ive been lusting after and that I dont want to kill him
with my bare hands for daring to touch her. And it makes no sense that the thought
of Aiden and I being inside her at the same time makes my dick so hard I think it
might explode.
I reach for a condom in the nightstand and tear open the wrapper, rolling it onto
my length as I listen to Graces moans and whimpers as Aiden licks her. Her moans
are like music, a fucking symphony that fills the room.
She tilts her head back, her gaze meeting mine to linger only for a moment
before it travels down the length of my body and settles on my cock. She does that
thing where she takes her lower lip between her teeth, the thing she does when
she's turned on.
As I make my way back to the bed, Aiden looks up at me, a dark look passing
over his face. His jealousy that I'm about to be inside her is transparent, and Grace

notices, her expression softening as she brings herself up to a kneeling position in


front of him on the bed. She kisses him, long and sensual, and I let them have their
moment. When she pulls away, the look is erased from Aidens face and replaced by
lust.
I kneel behind her on the bed, my hands exploring her body from behind as
Aiden's roam the front of her. Is this what you want, Grace? Youre sure?
She lets out a long moan. Im sure.
Aiden groans. Youve thought about sucking my cock while Noah fucked you?
She whimpers. Yes.
I put a hand in the middle of her back, pushing her down to her elbows so shes
on all fours between us. Like this? I ask, caressing her ass cheek. Her pussy lips
peek out from between her legs, glistening with her wetness, and I know the
answer to my question already but I want her to say it.
Yes. Her voice cracks as she answers.
I want to see you put Aidens cock in your mouth, I demand, and she does,
whimpering as she wraps her lips around him. His hands are on the back of her
head as he begins to thrust into her mouth. You thought about sucking Aiden's
cock while my dick was buried inside you, and it made you come, didn't it?" I reach
between her legs. She's so damn wet.
She moans her response, her voice muffled by Aidens shaft.
I cant wait any longer. Pressing my cock to her pussy, I pause for a moment just
inside her entrance, savoring the sensation of her tightness giving way to me. She
arches her back and pushes her hips toward me, obviously greedy for my cock.
So I give it to her.
Gripping her hips, I plunge inside her in one swift movement until I'm buried
deep, my balls pressed against her pussy lips. She's so tight that it nearly takes my
breath away, and I have to pause for a second as she adjusts to my girth.
She moans, long and loud. But thats not the only sound I hear. Aiden groans,
too low and guttural and totally primal, unlike anything Ive ever heard from him
before. When I look at him, his expression is one of torment. Gripping Grace's hair,
he thrusts into her mouth harder than he did before, clearly stirred up by seeing me
fuck her.
I think that it must be jealousy that has him so wound up, until he speaks.
Fuck her. His voice is raspy as he encourages me. When he pushes deeper
inside her mouth for emphasis, Grace moans, rocking her ass against me and
spurring me on. Fuck her and tell me how her pussy feels.
Then I realize that hes not jealous. Hes turned on. Oh, hell. I thrust harder
inside her, my movements quickening as she adjusts to me.
Her pussy is the best thing on Earth. It's not an exaggeration. I'm being
honest. It's the best thing I've ever felt in my life. "Its warm. So fucking warm and
wet and tight. Hell, its insanely tight. Her pussy fits me like a glove, Aiden.
"Oh, God," Grace breathes, her words muffled. She moans over and over as she
meets me with every thrust, bucking against me to impale herself on my cock.

"Just like her mouth," Aiden murmurs. "Her warm, wet, tight, perfect mouth."
I bring my hand down hard on Grace's ass cheek, causing her to yelp. Her
muscles squeeze my cock tightly in response to the blow. "Is this what you like,
Grace? Using your perfect mouth to suck Aiden's cock while I'm buried inside you?
Being totally filled up by both of us?"
She pulls away from Aiden long enough to answer. Yes. I love it.
I cant get enough of her.
"You want us to come in you, don't you, sugar?" Aiden asks. "You want us to fill
you up from both ends?"
"Oh, God," she moans again, her words muffled.
"Rub your clit, sweetheart," I tell her because I'm already starting to lose
control. I want her to come on my cock, to feel her pussy squeeze me until there's
nothing left. "You're going to come on my cock and you're going to swallow every
last drop that Aiden gives you."
"Oh, hell," Aiden growls.
Grace reaches between her legs, balancing on her knees and one hand as Aiden
fucks her mouth faster now. Arousal builds inside me as I plunge my cock deeper
into her, reveling in the fact that she's so damn wet for us.
I lose track of time. I lose track of everything except how Grace feels as she
squeezes my cock, how her ass looks as I pull in and out of her, and how she bobs
on Aiden's dick. The only thing I'm aware of now are sensations the sound of my
heavy, filled-to-bursting balls against the bottom of her pussy, her whimpers that
turn into little grunts as she gets closer to climax, Aidens dirty words encouraging
her to suck harder, faster, deeper.
Everything is sensation now slickness and sweat, groans and grunts, moans
and cries. Tightness and wetness and the softness of Grace against me.
Until she cries out loudly, her voice breaking through every other sensation as
she comes. The second she starts to orgasm, her pussy squeezes my cock, setting
my orgasm off in an instant. I grip her hips, pulling her as tightly against me as she
can possibly fit, fucking her harder and harder as I let go. Her muscles squeeze me,
milk me, and demand everything from me.
I dont close my eyes. I come inside her with my eyes open, watching as Aiden's
face screws up and he yells, clutching her hair at the roots as he comes in her
mouth. And I watch in fascination as she swallows everything from him, even as
her pussy continues to squeeze my cock.
For a few minutes, everything in the room is still. The only sound is our
breathing more like panting as the three of us struggle to catch our breaths.
Fucking hell. The sense of release is insane, like a weight has been lifted from
my shoulders, the pent-up frustration that came from being near this girl and not
being able to bury myself deeply inside her.
Until now.
I let out a long exhale. The problem is, I know before my cock even stops
throbbing that this girl is going to be an addiction. Im only going to want more.

And wanting someone like her is a dangerous temptation because she's totally out
of reach.

25

GRACE

I ts midnight. Thats what the clock on my phone says, and I know that because

Ive checked it approximately three hundred times. Its midnight and I, Grace
Sullivan, the head of a charity foundation and daughter of the ultimate spokesman
for good old-fashioned American family values am lying in bed between two men.
Two really hot men. Two really, really hot men who just fucked the hell out of me,
carried me into the shower again and cleaned me up, and then deposited me right
back in this bed.
Two football players who pulled me against them like this was the most normal
situation in the entire world.
And then promptly fell asleep.
Now Im sandwiched between Noah and Aiden, who are lying on their backs on
either side of me, snoring loudly. These arent regular snores, either. Theyre like
two freight trains. Or chainsaws. Dueling snorers. I wonder how the hell I slept in
this house without hearing them through the walls before.
I should be exhausted after four orgasms. Four! The most orgasms a boyfriend
had ever given me before in a single night was exactly one, and that wasnt
anything compared to this. Im not sure what I had with anyone before Noah and
Aiden was even an orgasm. What happened tonight with them was earthshattering, toe-curling, axis-tilting sex.
Filthy, uninhibited, holy-shit-what-am-I-doing sex.
With two men.
Two football players with wild reputations.
Two men who were very good at what they did tonight with their mouths, with
their cocks. Sharing me.
Theyve probably done this before, you know.
The thought pops into my head, and my breath catches in my throat, my heart
skipping a few beats.
No, thats not true. You saw how they fought over you, how they competed for
you. These men arent in the business of sharing women.
Except that theyre athletes. Football players have lots of groupies, dont they?
Women throw themselves at them like theyre rock stars.

Kind of the way you just threw yourself at their feet? An image flashes in my
head: me on my knees in front of them in the kitchen, sucking on their cocks one
right after the other and then begging them to come on my lips.
What the hell am I doing, begging for two men to fuck me?
Sexually confident, drunk-on-her-own-lust Grace has suddenly disappeared,
replaced by Scared Shitless Grace. This Grace is totally consumed by thoughts about
the implications of what just happened between the three of us.
We could get found out so fucking easily. It only takes one person walking in at
the wrong time, or one person noticing a gesture or a look and
It would be on headlines across the world.
Why did I let my libido get the better of me? Making impulsive decisions is not
what I do, and this is the ultimate in impulsive decision-making.
Panic rises in my throat, and I scramble out of bed. I have to get out of here.
What if there was a threat, a reason my security had to find me in the middle of the
night? Thats my rationalization for running away, even though the likelihood of
that happening is infinitesimally small.
I move cautiously, soundlessly, careful not to wake the slumbering giants. I
shouldnt be worried, though, because neither of them stir. I open a drawer in
Noahs dresser, lucking out that the first one I pull on is full of t-shirts. I slip a
shirt over my head and sneak out the bedroom door, tiptoeing through the house
and back to the kitchen for my clothes.
For all of our clothes. Cleaning up the evidence.
Ive seen enough episodes of Law and Order to know that cleaning up the
evidence isnt really possible. Things like this are always discovered. Someone
always finds out.
I take the clothes back to Noahs room, setting them in a small pile by the
bottom of the bed. For a second, I consider getting back into the bed with them. I
consider not being a chicken shit and going to sleep between them, waking up with
them, and repeating what happened last night tomorrow morning.
But Im not that brave. Instead, I tiptoe back to the guest room, collapsing into
bed and pulling the sheets up around me. I sit there for a few minutes with my
phone in my hand before I muster the courage to text Vi.
Shes the only person in the world I can trust to talk about what happened. She
responds in less than a minute.
Youve been radio silent, you know. I was wondering when I was going to get
this text. Call me.
When I do, she answers the phone after one ring, her voice expectant. Well?
Well, what?
Youre the one frantically texting me at midnight. Spill it or Im going to start
trying to guess what you did.
I groan. Youre not going to guess, because its ten times worse than anything

you could imagine.


Worse? Vi cackles. Oh, honey, tell me it wasnt disappointing.
You know what Im talking about? I ask, my voice going up an octave. I drop to
a whisper. You know why Im calling?
I can practically hear Vis eyes roll over the phone. Lets see. I only have a
bachelors degree in fashion design and not my private investigators license, but
Ill give it a shot. You left for a camping trip with two of the hottest football players
in the world, out in the middle of nowhere at a luxury ranch.
How did you know it was a luxury ranch? I interrupt.
Let me finish, Vi chides. And, please, of course it was luxury. Noah Ashby is a
multi-millionaire. Hes not living in a tiny log cabin without indoor plumbing.
Anyway, two hot football players, a luxury ranch, and one uptight and repressed
Presidential daughter? I dont need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that you got
plugged six ways from Sunday.
Im not uptight and repressed, I protest, even as I wince at her blunt words.
And plugged? Thats really disgusting.
Thats right. Repressed, Vi reiterates. And sex is inherently disgusting
bodily fluids, ham-hocks slapping against each other, spooge-shooters spraying
spooge
Oh my God. Spooge? Who even uses that word? What is wrong with you?
I was just showing you that using the phrase plugged six ways from Sunday is
in no way, shape, or form as disgusting as I am capable of being.
Can you spare me the evocative descriptions?
If you tell me why the hell a women who was spit-roasted by two very fine men
is calling me at midnight when she should be in the middle of a football player
sandwich.
Spit-roasted?!
You know, a cock in both ends, Vi elaborates. I assume thats how it went
down. Unless you were going right for double penetration from the get-go, in
which case youd have my very enthusiastic congratulations and utmost respect.
Im being serious, Vi.
So am I. If you took it up the butt and in the cooch, I would offer you a very
sincere congratulations, with only the tiniest hint of jealousy.
Im silent for a moment, pointedly ignoring her crude words. I ran out of the
room.
Oh my God, Grace. You fled the scene when they were sticking it to you?
No, not when they were sticking it to me, I clarify, exasperated. That part
was well, good.
Good, Vi interrupts. You just had a threesome and all you have to say is that
it was good? That doesnt sound very good.
The ache between my legs reminds me of exactly how good it was. It was
crazy, Vi.
I don't do crazy. I don't do wild or crazy or impulsive. I do measured. In

control.
Uh huh. And thats why youre now hiding under your covers in your room,
talking to me in whispers on the phone instead of sucking the spooge out of a
football players dick.
Stop saying spooge.
Why. Does it make you hot?
Are you high?
Sober as a judge, Vi says. And for the record, Im just trying to get you to
laugh about this shit. You cant take everything so fucking seriously or youre going
to drop dead of a heart attack.
I screwed two guys. Well, one. I went down on the other one. Vi, this is not
what I do.
I know. Thats why Im congratulating you. If you did it all the time, it wouldnt
be special. Grace Sullivan, the most tightly-wound girl I know, had casual sex with
two men at the same time.
Casual sex. Her words hit me like a punch to the gut. Shes right. Thats all this
was and nothing more. Noah and Aiden are professional football players who have
women throwing themselves at them all the time, and Im the daughter of the
President. It cant be anything other than casual even if I havent had sex in two
years and I just dove right into the deep end of the pool, making it feel as uncasual
as possible for me.
You hooked up with two men and the world didnt end, she continues, but
instead of reassuring me it just reminds me again that someone could find out.
It very well could. We both know that.
Thats just slightly dramatic, dont you think?
You know what I mean. The political world would explode if anyone discovered
what happened.
So dont let them find out.
Everything comes out, Vi, I hiss. Its just a matter of time.
Dont be ridiculous. People keep secrets for years. Think of all of the romance
novels written about secret babies. Hell, think of all the politicians hiding affairs
and secret babies. The three of you are mature, consenting adults who are perfectly
capable of keeping secrets.
Well, I dont know about the mature part, I joke.
Do I detect a hint of humor under your overstressed voice? Vi asks.
Slightly, I admit.
Thats a start, Vi says. Now, in all seriousness tell me everything.
Im not kissing and telling, I protest, feeling protective of what happened
between Noah and Aiden and I.
But it was good?
It was good. Really, really good. Too good, in fact. Even now, exhausted after
being fucked six ways from Sunday as Vi put it, my body craves their touch.
This is casual. It needs to be casual.

Someone needs to tell my body that, because right now it feels like it very well
could be an addiction.
So get back in the game, Vi says. Go get em, tiger. Break a leg. Suck a cock
or two. Wake those boys up and put them inside you.
I exhale heavily and roll my eyes, even if she can't see my face. When you date
athletes "
"Screw," Vi corrects. "When I screw athletes. I occasionally date them, but go
on."
"When you screw these jocks who are used to filthy, juvenile locker room talk,
are they ever the ones appalled by your dirty mouth?"
"All the time, doll. All the time."

26

AIDEN

M mm.

The heat from Graces body radiates onto mine and an image of what happened
last night flashes in my head before I even open my eyes.
In my not-yet-awake state, I reach out to pull her against me, my hand grazing
her ass cheek and
What the fuck.
Thats not Grace Im snuggling up against.
I practically leap to the other side of the bed at the same time that Noah growls,
If your hand so much as gets within a foot of my dick, so help me I will-
Dude. Why are you snuggling up on me? I ask, my voice loud.
Noah is already standing beside the bed, scrambling into his boxers. You had
your head on my chest, asshole.
If I did, its only because your chest feels like a womans. I dig around for my
clothes in the pile on the floor. You might be getting a little soft. You really need
to reevaluate your off-season training.
Fuck you, Noah grumbles. Where the hell is Grace?
Gone, obviously, I respond without thinking. Then the realization hits me.
Did she actually screw us and leave?
Noahs brow furrows and he turns to head to the bathroom, totally ignoring me.
Well, maybe Noah is used to chicks running away screaming after he screws them,
but Im sure as hell not.
Im the one who leaves. Im the one who has to figure out a clever (or not so
clever) excuse to ditch out on a girl after we hook up.
Not once in my twenty-six years has a woman ever pulled a - well, an Aiden
Jackson. The middle-of-the-night bail is one of my trademark moves not that
Im proud of it, but Ive never been with a girl I wanted to stick around and see the
next morning. Not once have I ever been the one who was ditched in the middle of
the night.
I already have pants on and Im pulling on a t-shirt when Noah walks back out of
the bathroom, pausing in the doorway. Why, are you sad she didnt stick around
and cuddle with you?

Pfft. At least that way shed have been between us and I wouldnt have woken
up next to your stupid ass.
You were the one trying to grope my stupid ass.
Only because it felt like a womans. I pause. Seriously. Its baby-soft. What
kind of moisturizer do you use?
A dark look passes over Noahs face. I use Shut The Fuck Up Lotion.
Youre really damn testy this morning. Obviously getting laid doesnt do
anything to make you less of an asshole.
I was doing just fine before I woke up, Noah growls.
You think Grace freaked out?
Fuck, I dont know. Maybe. Probably. After the shit that happened last night,
wouldnt you?
I just woke up in bed with you. I already am freaked out. Thats not a lie.
Well, that makes two of us. Its not like I wanted to wake up with you in my
bed.
This is awkward as hell. Noah and I have been best friends for as long as I can
remember having a best friend. Weve been through a lot of situations together.
This situation has never come up before.
I exhale heavily and clear my throat. Should we uh talk about it or
something?
Noah screws up his face into a grimace. Do you have feelings you need to
share?
Hell, no, I dont have any fucking feelings. Whats wrong with you?
Youre the one who wants to talk, Noah says, huffing as he digs in a dresser
drawer and pulls out gym clothes.
Well, we need to talk to Grace, dont we? I ask.
Noahs shoulders slump. Yeah, I guess.
You guess? Im asking you. Chicks dont run out on me after sex.
You think I have experience with this?
Girls running away from you? I think you might be an expert.
Noah scowls. You dont think she left the ranch and went home, do you?
Shit. I didnt think of that. I didnt think the sex was that bad.
Noah looks at me like Im stupid. It wasnt. I mean, I didnt think it was.
It wasnt, I agree, then say it again to reassure myself. It wasnt. It was kind
of hot, being with the same girl. I mean I clear my throat.
Noah shrugs. Yeah, I guess. I mean, it wasnt as awful as I thought it would be,
watching you with her.
Not as awful? You seemed to like it just fine. You were the one telling her how
much you wanted to watch her swallow my cum while you came in her. I say it
before I think about what Im saying, mostly to get under Noahs skin.
Noahs face turns red. Holy fuck. In all the years Ive known him, Ive never seen
Noah embarrassed. I almost feel bad. Almost.
He shuffles his feet and clears his throat. Are you finished now?

Yep. No more talking. You want to find Grace or go to the gym?


Find Grace is the right answer. Thats what we should do, at least that would be
the sensitive thing to do, but I suddenly have the need to something that doesnt
involve me being in bed with my best friend.
Gym, Noah grunts. What are you benching?
More than you, I challenge.
With that, everything is back to normal. Or whatever the hell normal is now.

27

NOAH

I ts been almost twenty-four hours since what happened between Aiden and Grace

and I. Aiden and I are good. We spent a few hours in the gym one-upping each
other and lifting weights and not talking about jack shit.
But its weird with Grace. Shes barely been around all day, off hiking in the
morning with the campers, and then breezing through the house on her way to
some kind of trust exercise in the afternoon that she pointedly did not ask us to
join in on.
Now, the campers are gathered around a roaring fire on the last night of the
camp roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. Aiden and I are out here hanging out
with the kids trying to make up for being dickheads the other day and getting into a
near-fight in front of them. We even spent the last hour before the hot dog roast
throwing footballs and teaching them plays.
Grace has definitely been avoiding us. Shes hardly made eye contact, and shes
either really fucking busy with the camp or shes pretending to be so she doesnt
have to talk to us. I dont know what the hell that means. Either shes totally
freaked out by what happened or else she thinks its no big deal. Regardless, she
cant just avoid talking to us forever, at least I hope not especially because I want
what happened to continue happening.
Now its going to be really awkward having her as a neighbor, Aiden says. I
told you it would be weird.
You said no such thing, I correct. In fact, Im the one who told you not to shit
where you eat.
That was good advice.
Grace has been making the rounds, talking to all of the campers and counselors,
and she chooses that exact time to greet Louis and Spencer, who are standing near
us elbowing each other and cracking jokes about wieners.
Did you guys get hot dogs yet? she asks them.
Spencer nods. Were about to go get wieners. He heavily emphasizes the word
wieners before snickering.
Beside me, Aiden chuckles under his breath. Wieners, he repeats.
I give him a look.

I want a big fat wiener, Louis says, snorting. Do you want a big fat wiener,
Spencer?
Go get hot dogs from the counselors over there, Grace says sternly, obviously
trying to change the subject. And dont run with the roasting sticks.
Yeah, Spencer says, elbowing Louis. Walk to get your wiener.
Can I get a stick to roast two wieners at the same time? Louis asks. Im
starving. I want two.
I think I hear Aiden snort.
Graces face pales.
Dont be greedy, Spencer says. The counselors said one at a time, not two.
Only greedy people want two.
I cut him off. Go get your hot dogs.
Theres an awkward moment of silence between the three of us, before Aiden
breaks it. Yeah. So, speaking of two wieners
Fucking hell.
Graces eyes get big and she clears her throat. No, no, no, she says, shaking
her head before she mumbles something and grabs the arm of a counselor passing
by, pretending she needs to talk to the counselor but its obvious as hell that shes
just trying to get away from us as fast as she can.
I glare at Aiden. Fuck, Aiden. Really? That's what you lead with? Speaking of
two wieners?
What? They were laughing about two wieners. Come on. You werent thinking
the same thing?
"That's besides the point," I hiss. "She's already uncomfortable, obviously. Way
to make it even more uncomfortable."
"You're assuming she's uncomfortable. Maybe she just wants to hit it and quit
it."
"Do you want to hit it and quit it?"
Aiden looks sheepish. "No."
"Well, then we need to talk to her. And we need to make it less awkward. Got
any bright ideas?"
"Flowers," Aiden suggests. "Chicks love flowers."
"Great idea," I tell him sarcastically. "Why don't you go run out and get flowers
at seven o'clock at night? Maybe the gas station down the road has some classy
bouquets."
"Yeah, well, maybe you should knit her a scarf."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Oh, I think you do."
I look at him through narrowed eyes, my fists clenched at my side. "Who told
you?"
"You left your knitting needles out one day."
"One day when?" I ask, increasingly pissed off. "Did you go through my shit?"
"One day like six months ago," Aiden admits. "At your old place."

"You've been sitting on that for six months?"


"I know. It was a real gold nugget of information. I was waiting for a good time
to drop it."
"Your sense of timing is fantastic."
"What can I say? I'm Aiden Jackson."
"Go find some flowers," I tell him. "And take your fucking time. Take all damn
night, actually."

28

GRACE

O kay, so I ran. It was poor form, getting up and leaving in the middle of the night.

I know that. But I really need my sleep and the two of you are insanely loud snorers,
so I left. Have you thought about getting those nose strips?
I exhale heavily. Nope. That's definitely lame. Worst apology ever.
I take another deep breath. Just be honest. I can be honest. I was freaked out.
Who wouldn't be freaked out, anyway? I don't have sex for two years and my
first foray back into dating no, not dating, casual sex - is having two men come in
my mouth. And on my ass. And bend me over in the bedroom
Oh God. My face feels like it's on fire.
I'm not sure if Noah and Aiden even want to see me tonight, not after what
happened at the campfire. But come on! Aiden and that wiener comment right in
the middle of the campers and counselors? Someone could have put two-and-two
together. It was far better to get out of there than to faint, which was probably what
was about to happen next.
It's also the last night of the camp and we're leaving tomorrow. Even though
Noah and Aiden and I are going right back to being neighbors, I'm feeling a sudden
sense of urgency to apologize.
Or run back to my house and never see either of them again.
The rational, responsible part of me says I should do the latter. It would be safer,
easier, and less complicated.
Yet I've been wandering around this house looking for the two of them and
going over my explanation in my head. And now I'm standing here in front of the
only door in this house that I haven't tried.
I take a deep breath and knock before pulling the door open. Noah is sitting in a
deep leather chair in the corner of the whatever this is. A library? A man cave?
The room isn't as rustic as the rest of the house. In here, it's mostly mahogany and
rich colors with books stacked in shelves from floor to ceiling. One corner of the
room holds an immense wooden desk and another wing of the room holds a pool
table.
I feel Noah's eyes on me. He makes no attempt to hide his gaze trailing down
the length of my body, making me all too aware of the fact that I showered and

changed out of the jeans and t-shirt that I wore earlier in the evening at the
campfire. My reasoning was that the campfire made my hair smell like smoke, but
that's not really the entire truth. At least, it doesn't explain why I changed into a
dress casual, black cotton, nothing fancy and added mascara and a hint of lipgloss.
"Impressed?" Noah asks.
Mildly.
"She does have a sense of humor, after all."
"I have a sense of humor," I protest. "Just not when it comes to"
"Wieners?" Noah asks.
"Exactly."
"And staying the night?"
My face warms. "About that"
"About that." Noah looks at me, his expression blank, except his eyes are
intense, focused on me.
"I came down here to explain," I start. "Actually, I've been wandering around
the house for a little while, looking for you and Aiden."
"Aiden's been gone for a" Noah looks at his watch. "Couple of hours now."
"Oh."
"He went out to the store. So he could be back here soon or else in a few days
we might find out he flew to Canada because he decided on a whim that he needed
real maple syrup or Canadian beer."
I bite my lip to hide a smile. If I'd just met Aiden, I'd think Noah was trying to be
possessive and keep Aiden out of the way, but that sounds exactly like something
Aiden would do.
Noah crosses his arms. "So, you came down here to grovel?"
"Does this require groveling?"
Noah's gaze remains on my face for a long moment and I feel naked under his
stare, heat rushing through me just like it did when I was with him and Aiden
before. I squeeze my thighs together, thankful that I'm wearing a dress that hides
the needy gesture.
"Fleeing in the middle of the night?" Noah asks. "I think a little groveling is in
order."
He doesn't move. He just sits there in his chair, his legs spread, looking at me
with hunger in his eyes. Even if I couldn't see the bulge in his pants, I'd be able to
tell exactly what he wanted just from the expression on his face.
The thing is, it's what I want, too - at least until Scared Shitless Grace takes over
my brain. When I forget about everything outside of this room, I'm certain this
with them - is what I want.
I cross the room, stopping when I'm standing between Noah's outstretched legs.
But I dont drop to my knees to grovel. It doesn't feel right somehow, not without
Aiden here.
But not having Aiden here doesn't stop Noah from running his hands up the

inside of my thighs, the warmth of his large palms radiating into my skin. It also
doesn't keep my thighs from quivering in response to his light stroke, or my pussy
from throbbing at the thought of him sliding his fingers up just a little more.
"I freaked out," I explain. It's not much of an explanation, though; its more like
a statement of fact.
"Do you freak out a lot?"
Yes. About everything.
"Only when I have crazy sex with two men," I say, my voice light.
Noah's fingertips dig into my thighs as he narrows his eyes, and I swat at his
hands. "Does that happen a lot?" he asks.
"It's happened once," I whisper as he pulls me down onto his lap, my knees on
either side of him.
"It's going to happen again," he growls, his hand going to the nape of my neck
as he takes my mouth. His kiss is punishing in its intensity, practically bruising as
he demands my mouth, my tongue, and my everything. I'm dizzy and breathless
when he pulls his lips from mine, his hands still on my cheeks. "You're not going
to freak out this time, are you?"
I'm about to say that I don't see two men here, and so I'm not in present danger
of having sex with two men, but Aiden chooses that exact moment to throw open
the door to the library, carrying a bag. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, he exclaims. Is this
seriously happening without me?"
Noah grins. "You snooze, you lose."
"Nothing happened," I protest, but I don't move from Noah's lap.
"Yeah, it did," Noah disagrees. "She groveled."
Aiden's brows go up.
"Not on my knees," I say quickly, imagining how Aiden pictures me groveling.
Aiden crosses his arms and gives me a stern look. "You should grovel. Because
you ran off in the middle of the night, I had to feel up Noah's ass."
"Had to?" I ask.
"Quit using that as an excuse," Noah interrupts. "You were feeling up my ass
because you wanted to."
Aiden shrugs. "It felt like a woman's."
"You're saying that Noah's ass feels like mine?" I ask. "Should I be insulted?"
"I have a great ass," Noah scoffs. "You should take it as a compliment."
"I think I remember seeing your ass, but I can't be sure. Maybe I should remind
myself of what it looks like," I say, biting down on my lip as Noah growls and pulls
me tighter onto his lap, grinding me against his hardness.
"I have more interesting things for you to check out," Noah says, his voice
gravelly.
"So do I," Aiden interrupts, holding up a paper shopping bag.
Noah narrows his eyes. "Did you go to the liquor store? I thought you were
getting flowers."
"Yeah, I brought tequila instead of flowers," Aiden scoffs. "Come on, give me

some credit."
"Flowers?"
"To say we were sorry," Aiden explains. "Because we made you uncomfortable
and shit at the campfire."
Now I cross my arms as I look at Noah. "You sent him to get flowers to
apologize, but you made me grovel?"
"Yeah," Aiden says smugly. "I guess we know who the real gentleman is here."
"What you did wasn't remotely groveling," Noah corrects me, pushing my skirt
up over my hips and gripping my bare ass with his hands. In the thirty seconds I'm
preoccupied with what Noah is doing, Aiden somehow manages to strip off his
clothes.
"Wow. That was fast," I observe.
"I'm sure that's what all the women say about him," Noah deadpans, and I slap
his arm playfully.
"You can grovel over here if you'd like." Aiden waggles his eyebrows
dramatically as he nods toward his hard cock.
Noah puts his hands on my forearms. "She doesn't have to grovel. She was
freaked out before."
"No shit." Aiden walks over to the chair, proudly displaying his nakedness.
"And neither of you were freaked out?" I ask, not sure whether to be impressed
or concerned by how blas they are about this entire thing.
Of course, they have no reason not to be, right? They're not the ones whose
father is in the middle of a re-election campaign. They're football players. It'll only
add to their reputations to be fucking the President's daughter if it were to become
public, but I'll be the punch line of locker room jokes for years. Fear should keep
me from doing this.
"Of course I was," Noah insists. "I told you that dickhead grabbed my ass." He
punctuates the statement by squeezing mine.
"I'd prefer not to repeat the snuggling experience again," Aiden says. "But
everything that happened before that"
"I'm cool with everything that happened before that," Noah echoes. His hands
go to the sides of my dress and I don't stop him as he tugs it over my head. Fear
takes a back seat to lust that overpowers everything else in the world.
As soon as the dress is gone, Aiden's hand is in my hair, pulling my head back as
arousal and adrenaline course through my veins.
"Shouldn't we" Shouldn't we talk about how crazy this is, or set some ground
rules, or not fucking do this?
Noah's hands slide up my body and cup my breasts. He slips off my bra and
tosses it to the side as Aiden pulls my hair back and leans over, kissing me hard on
the lips. His teeth drag across my tongue and catch my lip, and I arch into Noah's
touch. Screw talking. Or rules. "Fuck me," I whisper.
"Soon," Aiden promises.
"Shouldn't we what?" Noah asks, his voice thick.

"Mmm I forget," I murmur as Noah's fingers slip inside the front of my


panties and find my clit. Aiden moves to stand at our side. I turn toward him,
opening to take him in a Noah strokes me. I taste Aiden on my tongue, reminding
me instantly of the night before. My body remembers him too, and arousal floods
through me as I take his cock deeper into my mouth.
"Let me see how wet you are," Noah growls.
With my hand stroking Aiden's length, I pull myself up to my knees, revealing a
dark spot where I sat on Noah's lap. Noah reaches between my legs, touching his
fingers to my pussy and then pulling them away. A gossamer strand of my wetness
clings to his fingers, and he opens his mouth and touches his fingers to his tongue.
She is so fucking wet," Aiden groans, moving behind me and sliding his fingers
between my legs. He finds my entrance quickly, slipping his fingers inside me. A
wave of arousal nearly blows me over, and when I lurch forward, Noah's mouth is
on my breast immediately.
Noah swirls his tongue around my nipple until I'm so dizzy with anticipation
and desire that I can't see straight. I want his clothes off. I want the fabric barrier
between me and him to be removed. I want to feel him.
I want to feel both of them.
When I open my mouth, the word "please" comes out. It sounds nothing like me
it's needy and desperate, filled with longing.
But instead of giving me what I want, Aiden slips his fingers out from between
my legs. I let out a whimper, silently cursing my lust for these men. "I almost
forgot I did find you flowers," he says. "As our apology."
I'm so breathless that I'm nearly panting, and my thoughts are so muddled, I
don't think I hear him right. Flowers? I dont care about flowers. I want you to fuck
me. "Flowers? Now? Um, okay. Yes. Flowers."
"Not now, Aiden," Noah growls, pulling his shirt over his head. I run my hands
across his broad chest, watching his pecs jump at my touch. He reaches for the
waistband of his jeans. I stand to help him pull them off as Aiden struts over to the
shopping bag he brought with him earlier.
"You'll like these flowers," Aiden assures me, reaching inside the bag and
pulling out another bag, this one black velvet. From that bag, he pulls out a floralpatterned object.
Noah coughs. "You were going to use that to make things less uncomfortable?"
Aiden grins, obviously pleased with himself. "I couldn't find flowers, but this
has flowers on it. And we needed one if we were going to"
"Is that a vibrator?" I ask.
Aiden chuckles. "No, sugar." My face reddens and I feel embarrassed and nave,
but Aiden's expression softens. He takes my hand and pulls me against him, tilting
my chin up and bringing his lips down on mine. He kisses me softly and tenderly
before pulling away. "Do you trust us?"
I raise my eyebrows. "Hell, no."
Noah laughs, his palm on my ass. "She's not stupid."

Aiden glares at Noah. "Okay, do you trust that we wouldn't do anything to hurt
you?"
The expression on his face is so earnest. Is he only talking about sex?
"Yes," I answer.
Aiden leans close to me, his breath on my ear as he reaches between my legs,
brushing his fingers against my clit, then slipping them inside me again. I relax
into his masterful touch, barely flinching when I feel Noah spread my ass cheeks, a
finger pressing against my asshole. "You want to fuck both of us, don't you,
sugar?" Aiden whispers.
More than anything. Against every rational part of me that continues to scream,
"Don't do it! This is a bad idea!"
"Yes," I breathe instead. My palm is on Aiden's chest, my fingertips pressing
against his hard muscles as they twitch and flex.
"Both of us at once," Noah says, his voice low.
My heart stops. "Yes."
"Well, that's what the butt plug is for," Aiden whispers. "To get you ready for
both of us."
I breathe in sharply through my teeth. I'm not sure if I'm more scared or turned
on by the thought of both of them being inside me at the same time. "I've
definitely never done anything like that before," I whisper.
"We're not in a rush," Noah reassures me. "You decide when you want both of
us. Right, Aiden?"
Aiden strokes me with his fingers, his eyes locked on mine. "We definitely want
to take our time."

29

AIDEN

N oah and I take our time with Grace. I pick her up and carry her to Noah's desk,

her legs wrapped around my waist and my lips planted firmly on hers. We lay her
out on the surface, her legs splayed out and her perfect body fully on display for us.
Then both of us devour her. Our mouths are on her lips, her neck, her shoulders,
her breasts, her thighs and her perfect pink pussy. We take turns licking her,
fingering her, bringing her to the edge of orgasm over and over, but always pulling
away. We tease her until she's panting and desperate, all frustrated groans and
sighs and completely undone, the opposite of perfectly put-together Grace.
I want to see her like this every day totally unraveled, moaning and pleading,
her cheeks flushed with desire and need.
We don't let her touch either of us, not once, even though it would be so easy to
tell her to wrap her lush lips around our cocks and suck us dry. Instead, we focus
entirely on her until she's begging over and over for release.
"Please," she says again, her voice a cross between a whisper and a whine. Noah
looks up from where he is, bent with her breast in his mouth.
"I don't know, Aiden," he says. "What do you think?"
"I think," I start, my voice trailing off as I run my tongue up her wet slit, "that
Grace should tell us exactly what she wants."
"Yes," she breathes, as I pull her clit into my mouth. Her hips arch, and she
squeezes my head between her thighs, but I pull away, causing her to moan loudly
in frustration.
"Is this what you want?" Noah asks, guiding his cock toward her lips. She opens
her mouth, but he pauses just above her tongue.
"Tell us exactly," I demand, pausing to tear open a condom and roll it onto my
hard cock.
Her eyes flicker over me as I apply lube to the butt plug and show it to her.
"Yes," she whispers.
"Yes, what?" I ask.
"Yes to everything."
Yes to everything.
But that's not enough for Noah, who growls his response. "Tell me just how

much you want to wrap your lips around my cock," he says, as I push the butt plug
right to her entrance and pause there.
"I want your cock in my mouth," Grace moans. "I want to swallow you while
Aiden fucks me."
"And you want this?" I ask, pressing the lubed-up plug against her hole and
pushing to slide it slowly inside.
"Yes." She tenses initially, then relaxes, groaning as it settles inside her. Noah
grabs her hair and guides her mouth to his cock. She's lying on her back on the
desk, her head turned so that Noah can fuck her mouth, and her ass nearly off the
end of the desk so that I can fuck her.
And I'm definitely going to fuck her.
Now, there's no more foreplay, no teasing strokes or gentleness. My hands
under her thighs and pulling them against me for leverage, I slide easily into her
wet cunt. "Oh, fuck, you're tight," I groan, my breath catching as her tightness
envelops me.
"Her pussy is fucking perfect," Noah agrees, fisting her hair as he pumps his
cock inside her mouth.
Noah and I quickly fall into a rhythm, one at each end of Grace, her body jostling
back and forth as we fuck her. She makes little muted moaning sounds that get
quicker as our rhythm builds in speed. Noah is right; her pussy is fucking perfect.
It's warm and tight and so damn wet, I can't get enough. I want to feel her bare on
me, with no barrier between us.
I have no idea how long we fuck her. It seems like forever. Each thrust of my
cock inside her pushes the butt plug into her ass, and her moans turn into little
grunts. Her pussy swells around my cock, and it takes everything I have to wait
until she comes, her body convulsing and her pussy squeezing my cock so tightly I
can't help but let go inside her.
I pull her tightly against me, holding her thighs around me as I come in a whitehot explosion. Then Noah groans loudly, his hand still gripping her hair tightly as
he pumps into her mouth. She's moaning and swallowing and I can't fucking
believe I'm inside her, her pussy muscles milking me of everything, as I watch
Noah come in her mouth.
Everything about it feels incredibly wrong. Grace was right to freak out and run
when she did. Even I know this is a disaster waiting to happen. We can't just keep
fucking the President's daughter. Someone will find out and that would ruin all of
us. I'm supposed to play it clean and this is exactly the opposite of playing it
clean.
This is playing it really fucking dirty.
But then I look at Grace, her head tilted back against the surface of the desk, hair
mussed and eyes smudged with mascara. She probably thinks she looks like a train
wreck Grace is nothing if not totally put-together except she doesn't. I just
stand there for a second practically gaping at her because I want to memorize what
she looks like right now.

I want this picture permanently etched in my brain Grace on her back on the
desk, flushed and breathless after Noah and I ravished her.
Grace's hand goes to her hair and then to her lips, and she breaks eye contact,
looking suddenly self-conscious. "I don't know why I keep doing this," she says,
her voice soft.
I grin, playing it more casual and confident than I really am. "Yeah, you do,
sugar. Because for the first time in your life, you're having toe-curling sex and you
don't want to stop."
She lets out a loud exhale. "I don't want to stop, but I think about someone
finding out, or "
"Less thinking, more fucking," Noah growls. "Can we all agree on that?"
"I told you that if I got you in bed, I wasn't letting you out for a week," I remind
her.
"Double that time frame, since there's two of us," Noah says, his lips turned up
at the corners. "I hope you didn't have plans for two weeks."
Grace's eyebrows go up. "We have to leave here tomorrow."
"Well, it's a good thing we're very friendly neighbors."

30

NOAH

L ater, in my bed, Grace sits naked with her knees pulled protectively up to her

chest and her back against the pillows. For a few minutes, Aiden and I sit there on
either side of her and none of us say a damn thing.
It's really fucking awkward. The things we've done with her are some of the
filthiest and intimate I've ever done. We've come in her and on her, and now we're
all sitting here silent.
Fuck it. I might be all right with hanging out here at the ranch and stewing
silently, but that's when I'm alone, not when I'm with Grace. I slide my arm around
her shoulder, pulling her against me, and as she stretches out her legs, Aiden
reaches for them.
I exhale as she settles into me, her legs overlapping Aiden's. That's more like it.
Then Aiden breaks the silence. "What's that lock on the closet for?"
Grace giggles.
"Dead bodies," I say.
"Oh, God, it's all your yarn, isn't it? All of your knitting bullshit?"
"Fuck off."
Grace slaps me lightly on the chest. "You told me it was a big secret, that no one
knew about it."
"I thought no one knew about it," I grumble.
"I just want to know how you've been knitting stuff for years, and I'm your best
friend and I've never even gotten a damn scarf," Aiden complains.
"I'd like to put in another request for an ugly Christmas sweater," Grace
suggests.
"When you retire, this could be your second career. Knits by Noah Ashby. Ashby
Knits. Nah, the name needs more testosterone. Can you do anything other than
scarves?"
"Like knit men's sweaters?" asks Grace.
"That's not more manly," Aiden protests. "Cock sweaters. Now, that would be
more manly."
I groan. "Cock sweaters?"
Grace's hand goes to her mouth and she giggles again. "Or little penis hats?"

"Like Christmas stockings," Aiden says. "For your dick."


"Both of you are assholes," I growl, but I don't really mean it, especially not
when Grace's shoulders are shaking against me as she laughs.
God, I fucking love her laugh. It sounds so different from the way she is
normally, so serious and focused. It feels so damn good to have her in my bed that I
want her to stay in bed with us for as long as we can keep her.
"Socks for cocks?" Grace asks.
Aiden slaps her leg lightly. "You're a fucking genius. That's brilliant. They'd be
like dickwarmers. Dick cozies. I wonder if anyone has a patent on those."
Grace snorts. "I think it's highly unlikely."
"You snorted again," I point out, half to change the subject and half because it's
adorable. Damn it, I can't believe I'm thinking of anything as adorable. I can't
believe I'm thinking the word adorable.
"Did not."
"Uh, yeah, you did," Aiden concurs.
"I don't snort when I laugh," Grace protests.
"We told you before that you totally snort."
Grace lets out a hmph. "This is coming from the guys who snore like freight
trains."
"We'll get you the best earplugs money can buy," I assure her.
"Or Noah can knit you some earmuffs," Aiden chimes in.
Grace laughs. "So you think I'm going to keep staying the night?"
Suddenly the room is still.
"Uh, didn't we literally just say you were stuck with us for two weeks?" Aiden
asks, breaking the silence
"Yeah, I think we said two weeks of not letting you out of our bed," I add. It's
suddenly become our bed, like this is a normal thing.
"Is that right?" Grace asks, her voice light.
I slide my hand down her side to her ass cheek, grabbing a handful. "That's
right."
"Do you regularly just kidnap girls and keep them in your bed for weeks?" Grace
teases.
"I'm pretty sure Noah has to resort to that, but most women are chaining
themselves to my bed and refusing to leave."
Grace laughs. "I'm sure."
"There was the girl who handcuffed herself to your car," I recall.
"Oh yeah," Aiden groans. "That was really not my fault, either. I didn't even
know her. She cuffed herself right to the door handle."
"That's dedication," Grace says.
"No one's ever chained themselves to a car door for you?" I ask.
Grace sighs dramatically. "Not even once, sadly. Two guys did send a drone with
a blow-up doll into my yard, though."
"That was one guy," I point out.

"It would have been a winning plan if your Secret Service agents had a better
sense of humor," Aiden points out.
"They don't," Grace informs us. "No one does, when it comes to me. Which is
why I don't date or Look, out here at the ranch, it's risky enough being with you.
But at least there's a plausible reason for us being in the same house. There's no
reason for you to be in my house or me in your house when we're back in Denver."
"Do your security people report to your father?" I ask.
"No," Grace says quickly. "Not really. I mean, I don't think they have. It was
part of the deal when I agreed to protection. But they could."
"And then they'd be out of a job, right?" I ask. Or at the very least, out of this
position guarding you, which honestly seems like a pretty cushy one.
"That's true," Grace agrees.
"Well, it's not like we're trying to broadcast what we're doing to the world,"
Aiden says.
"What What are we doing?" Grace asks.
"Well, you see, when two guys think a girl is hot and she won't choose between
either of them" I start.
"I mean, this is crazy," Grace protests. "I don't know how this is supposed to
work."
"I don't know how this is supposed to work, either," I tell her. "It's not like
Aiden and I have ever done this before."
"Well, you seem to know exactly what you're doing."
Aiden grins and reaches over to high-five me. "We're naturally skilled."
"And modest," Grace adds.
"Why be modest when you're this good?" Aiden replies.
"I've never done anything like this before," I reiterate.
"Neither have I," Aiden says quickly. "Not even with any cheerleaders."
Grace laughs. "That's good to know."
"The point is, we don't know what the damn rules are either," I tell her.
"We should make our own," Aiden says.
"The only rule we need is that you don't grab my fucking ass," I grumble. "Or try
to cuddle with me."
"And no crossing swords," Aiden says. "I don't want to touch your"
"Throbbing manhood?" Grace suggests.
"Neither of us touch each other's junk," I interrupt. "That should be assumed."
"And in the case of accidental touching, there's no mention of it again," Aiden
says.
"Total silence," I agree. "Also, you're ours."
Aiden nods. "I think that's a given."
"Excuse me?" Grace asks.
"You heard me," I say, squeezing her ass cheek again. The gesture sends arousal
coursing through me and my cock twitches. "Youre ours. We claimed you."
"All of you," Aiden reiterates. "In the shower."

Grace face flushes scarlet. "I remember," she says. "I'm not some kind of toy,
you know. Or your property."
"I guess now isn't the time to bring up the 'Property of Aiden and Noah' tattoo
we wanted you to get?" Aiden asks.
"Property of Noah and Aiden," I say.
"Alphabetical order is only fair," Aiden argues.
"Bigger dick goes first," I reply.
"Oh, so it would still be me."
Grace sighs loudly. "Are you two finished?"
"Not quite," I tell her, sliding my hand between her legs and pushing her thighs
open. Aiden holds her right leg so that she's wide open between us, and I slide my
fingers between her legs. "Rule number one the real one this time - is that this is
ours and only ours."
"The two of you are pigs," Grace whispers, but her breath catches when my
finger begins circling her clit.
"We're possessive," Aiden says and Grace laughs. "Is there something funny
about that?"
"I haven't been with anyone in two years," Grace says. "And now I'm hooking
up with two men."
I'm hooking up with two men. The way she says it, casually like it's no big deal,
sends a pang of irritation through me. Except it isn't a big deal. It can't be, not with
who she is, and who we are and the fact that I'm negotiating with teams outside
of Colorado. But when I hear her say it that way, it sounds wrong somehow.
It also feels wrong that I haven't told her I'm taking offers from teams outside
Colorado. But I shove that thought aside.
"Well, you can hook up with just one of us if you want to," Aiden says.
"Obviously, I'd be the better choice, especially since I'm stay"
Staying in Colorado. That's what that fucker is about to say. I interrupt him. "Or
we can just pass you back and forth," I joke.
"Wow, I can't imagine why either of you are single," Grace says. "First you own
me, now you're talking about passing me back and forth? You really know how to
sweet-talk a girl."
"I'm better when I'm not talking," Aiden admits, grinning as he pulls himself
up and moves between Grace's legs. I watch as he dips his face to her pussy and
drags his tongue up the middle, stopping suddenly to look up. "Wait. Can we?"
"Can you what?" she asks, already distracted. My cock hardens at the sight of
Grace like this, her back arched and her breasts in the air, nipples erect like perfect
little buttons.
"Can we proceed if one of us isn't around?" Aiden asks.
"Uh-huh," she moans, her hand on Aiden's head as he buries his face between
her legs. She reaches for my cock, wrapping her hand around my shaft as Aiden
eats her. "If you and Aiden want to fool around with each other when I'm not
around, that's fine."

She yelps, the sound turning into a long moan as Aiden thrusts his fingers inside
her. "Just for that, I'm not going to let you come until both of us do," he says, and I
agree.
We're true to our word, too. Aiden brings her to the edge over and over until
she's panting and breathless and wanting. She sits upright against a mountain of
pillows with his face between her legs, and I kneel in front of her. When she wraps
her lips around my cock, it's all I can do not to thrust my length down her throat. I
hold back, even when I'm pulling her hair and fucking her mouth. I hold back even
when the moaning sounds she makes send vibrations up my cock that make me
want to come that instant. I hold back because I can't get enough of her warm wet
mouth on my cock. I can't get enough of the way she looks up at me as she sucks
me, the way her eyes try to close as she heads towards climax, the look of
frustration on her face when Aiden pulls away and doesn't let her come.
It's the look of frustration that does me in. I let go, filling her mouth, and she
swallows every last drop.
Then we switch places, Aiden's cock in her mouth and me between her legs. The
ultimate good girl prim, proper, raised by the President - arches her hips up and
squeezes my head between her thighs, trying desperately to fuck my face as she
sucks another man's cock, right after I just came down her throat. There's
something about how filthy, forbidden, and crazy this is that makes it impossible to
resist.
And I'm done with resisting it. I want Aiden and I to fuck the hell out of this girl
and I just don't want to stop.

31

GRACE

"A ren't there secret tunnels under the White House and shit?" Aiden asks,
spearing another forkful of pancake. We're sitting at a long farmhouse table in
the kitchen with a ridiculous amount of breakfast food on platters in the middle of
the table not plates, but platters. The kind you'd use to serve a large family. Noah
scrambled a dozen eggs, fried up a pound of bacon, and made a stack of pancakes a
mile high. It's one in the morning, and both of them insisted they couldn't possibly
sleep on empty stomachs, so here we are, sitting around the table. Noah and Aiden
are in shorts and t-shirts and I'm wearing one of Noah's shirts that's
approximately twenty sizes too large for me. Sitting here with them is familiar and
comfortable and so damn easy.
Noah rolls his eyes. "Strippers aren't coming into the White House through
secret tunnels."
"Just saying. There had to be a way for Marilyn to get in to see JFK," Aiden says,
pointing at us with his fork.
"You literally know nothing about politics, but secret tunnels and Marilyn
Monroe, these are the things you retain in your brain?"
Aiden grins. "It's a gift."
"It's something." Noah snorts.
"The Playboy mansion had secret tunnels under it too," Aiden points out. "In
the seventies. True fact I read it on the internet."
"When did you learn to read?" Noah asks.
"Wow, Noah. Sex really makes you funny," Aiden replies. "Wait, nope, it
doesn't."
"Have you two always been like this?" I ask.
"You mean brilliant and charming?" Aiden asks.
"She means you're annoying," Noah chides.
I laugh. "That is not what I meant."
"We're worse when we go back to West Bend," Aiden says.
"You mean, you're worse." Noah shakes his head and munches on a piece of
bacon. "Keeping him from doing stupid shit used to be my full-time job."
Aiden snorts. "He's a liar. He used to do plenty of it with me."

"Nope," Noah disagrees. "Remember when you tied mattresses to yourself and
got on our roof and jumped off?"
Aiden laughs. "I'm lucky Mama Ashby didn't kick me out on my ass after that.
She was pissed. I mean, cat-in-a-bath pissed off. You were the one doing the tying,
though, so don't act like you're all innocent and I was just a stupid kid."
"Did it work?" I ask, laughing. "The mattresses, I mean. Did they cushion you?"
"Obviously, they did not. He hit his head," Noah says.
Aiden grins. "It's okay, my brains are all in the head between my legs."
"Say what you will about him, but at least he's honest," Noah says.
"Your poor mothers," I say, then immediately regret my words, thinking of
Aiden's mother who died. "I didn't mean "
"It's okay," Aiden reassures me. "Shit, if my mom were alive, she'd say the
same thing. I gave her so much grief as a kid. Hell, Noah and I both did. If we
weren't getting into trouble at his house, we were getting into it at mine."
"It sounds fun," I say. "Small town life, I mean."
"Says the girl who grew up jet-setting around the world," Aiden replies.
"Uh no," I say, laughing. "I mean, sure, boarding school in Switzerland "
Aiden and Noah raise their eyebrows dramatically and give each other
meaningful looks as they pick up their glasses, pinkies extended.
"It wasn't like that," I protest.
"Boarding school in Switzerland wasn't fancy?" Noah asks, his voice skeptical.
"It was a little fancy " I start.
"Were there uniforms?" Aiden shovels a bite of what has to be his sixth pancake
into his mouth.
"At boarding school? Yes, but "
"Plaid skirt?" Noah asks, suddenly enthralled with where this conversation is
going.
"Navy blue, but "
"Pleated?" Noah asks.
"Pigtails and a white shirt, tied up under your " Aiden starts.
"No, boarding school was not a Britney Spears music video," I say primly. "It
was serious."
"You were a nerd, weren't you?" Noah asks.
"Not really."
Were you valedictorian? Noah asks.
Did you research me?
Just a hunch.
Fine. Yes, I was valedictorian.
Totally a nerd, Aiden says. Did you date any jocks?
In high school or in college? I ask.
Either.
I exhale. No.
No jocks, huh? Noah asks, eating a bite of eggs. What was your type, then?

My face reddens. No one in high school.


You didnt date anyone?
It wasnt a priority, I answer, suddenly defensive. I was studying.
Like Noah. Aiden nods toward him as he puts another pancake his seventh?
onto his plate. Hes practically a monk.
Football was my priority," Noah replies, an edge in his voice.
Aiden grins. You know what my priority is right now? he asks, his eyes on
mine. Dessert.
I raise my eyebrows. Dessert? After all this?
Noah and Aiden exchange glances. Yup.
I cant believe you guys can even eat anything else after -
Im cut off mid-sentence as Noah stands and picks me right up out of my chair,
flipping me over his shoulder with my ass in the air. I let out a shriek as they carry
me back to Noahs bedroom and show me exactly how much football players can
eat.

32

GRACE

I thought that the return to Denver, back to my normal life and the foundation,

would take whatever was happening between Noah and Aiden and I down a notch.
After all, the threat of my security detail leaking details of my personal life to my
parents is hanging over me like a black cloud.
Except that threat hasn't done anything to dampen what's happening with the
three of us.
Ive become reckless - completely and utterly reckless. I told Brooks and Davis
that I was working on a football-related charity project with Aiden and Noah that
required visits to their house and vice-versa.
It was quite possibly the stupidest thing Ive ever said to anyone while keeping a
straight face. To their credit, they didnt flinch or say anything other than Noted,
maam.
I havent gotten any frantic phone calls from my parents, so Brooks and Davis
havent ratted me out yet. I tell myself that Secret Service agents keep all kinds of
secrets, that even if they suspected anything they have zero evidence that anything
untoward is happening. I tell myself that theyre professionals.
Unlike me. I used to be a professional, but my level of professionalism might be
very quickly spiraling downward.
Your call with Robert Brownstone was rescheduled. Janices voice is loud over
the speaker on the phone.
Perfect. Ill catch up on
Wait. The call was rescheduled, so I slid a donor into the spot, Janice says.
Hes here now.
Great. I keep my voice cheerful, even though I really would rather watch paint
dry than schmooze a donor right now.
At least, thats true until I see who the donor is.
Ms. Sullivan, Noah says, his words clipped, his tone professional. Hes
wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and his hair is wet, like he just got out of the
shower.
Mr. Ashby, I say, extending my hand to shake his. Electricity runs through me
at his mere touch and my body aches for him, despite seeing him and Aiden last

night. He holds my hand a few moments too long before releasing it. Janice, how
much time do I have?
Thirty minutes, she says before answering another call.
Plenty of time, Noah says gruffly, his eyes locked on mine. I turn around, the
throbbing between my legs almost too intense to bear as I walk back to the office
with Noah behind me. I can feel his gaze on me as I walk. Inside the office, he
closes the door and locks it immediately, his hand going straight to the nape of my
neck before I even turn around. I couldnt wait until tonight.
Who said there was going to be a tonight? I whisper as he pushes me forward,
going straight to the window that overlooks a busy street. He puts my palms flat on
the glass, his hands going to my skirt and yanking it up at the sides.
Theres going to be a tonight, he growls, his voice low in my ear.
You didnt even ask if this window was see-through from the outside, I
whisper, as he hikes my skirt over my backside and yanks my panties down my
thighs.
If this window was see-through, you wouldn't have let me pull up your skirt,
Grace," Noah growls.
Okay, so maybe I'm not that reckless. I might be reckless enough to let Noah
Ashby pull my panties off and push me up against my office window, but not
reckless enough to screw him in public.
Yet.
At the rate I'm losing my inhibitions, I may be fucking Noah and Aiden in the
damn White House next week.
That should strike fear into my heart, but in this moment, all I can think about is
how much I want them.
Aidens not with you, I say, half a question and half a statement, but I'm
immediately distracted by Noahs fingers between my legs.
Fuck, youre so damn wet already, Noah growls. He doesnt need to tell me to
spread my legs. I step wider to give him access, like some kind of reflex, and he
pushes his fingers inside me so easily.
I think Im wet all the time, I whisper. I think Im walking around in a
constant state of arousal now, between being fucked by them and thinking about
being fucked by them. Its a high, some kind of addiction theyve triggered, and I
dont want to come down from it.
Aiden's coming soon. Right now, youre all mine.
Oh, God. Im close to coming already myself.
This pussy is so wet for me, Grace, Noah whispers, his voice gruff. So ready
all the time. Tell me how ready you are.
I whimper softly as he pulls his fingers from between my legs and the crinkle of
a condom wrapper fills the room. Im so ready, I whisper.
Tell me how much you want me to fuck you, Noah growls. Tell me how much
you want to feel my cock inside you.
I cant resist reaching between my legs to rub my clit. I want to feel your hard

cock inside -
He doesnt wait until Im finished telling him before he enters me. With one
long, swift thrust, he's inside me. I breathe in sharply at the sensation of fullness,
at his hands on my breasts through my shirt, at the way he pulls me against him
over and over as he begins to fuck me.
This isnt like other times he and Aiden have fucked me, when theyve taken
their time, brought me to the edge over and over just to torment me before letting
me have my release. This time is raw. It's primal. It's all about taking the edge off. I
think thats true for both of us.
He fucks me hard, and I meet every one of his thrusts with mine, pushing my ass
back against him, one palm on the window and another on my clit. Im just as
greedy as he is, not waiting for my pleasure but taking it from him, losing myself in
him as he thrusts faster and faster inside me. His hand is on my hair, pulling my
head back, using it for leverage as he rides me.
God, I want to come inside you, sweetheart, Noah growls, his hand yanking
my hair for emphasis, sending shocks of pain radiating through me, that are mixed
with pleasure. I think Im drunk, intoxicated by my near-climax, my fingers
moving faster and faster over my clit as I fly higher and higher.
Oh God, I want you to come inside me, I beg. I want to feel you. The thought
of him and Aiden, both bare inside me, both filling me up with their hot cum,
makes me climax. I dont just crash over the edge; I fucking free-fall, my cry muted
only when Noah puts his hand over my mouth to muffle me. Im lost, biting down
on his fingers because otherwise Im going to scream for the entire world to hear.
But in this moment, I dont care because my climax is blinding, white-hot and allconsuming.
Im hardly aware of Noah pulling out of me, barely aware of his muffled groan. I
just barely decipher his words: Arch your back, sweetheart. And I do. As I arch
my back and push up my ass, from the corner of my eye I see him rip off the
condom and toss it on the ground.
Then he comes on me. He comes on my ass and my pussy, and it drips down the
sides of my thighs. He comes on me in the middle of my very professional office
with its very professional dcor. He comes on me with my skirt pulled up to my
waist and my panties pulled down my thighs.
Then he leans close to me, his breath wafting over my skin. "You're like a damn
drug," he whispers. "I can't get enough of you like this."
I shiver. "I know."
"Aiden is in the lobby downstairs," he says, pulling my panties up. They're
damp, a mixture of him and me, but he doesn't wipe me off. He pulls my skirt down
over my ass and tugs the fabric down my thighs. "I think you still have fifteen
minutes before your next call. I'll see you later tonight."
He kisses the back of my neck, and turns, walking out of the office and shutting
the door behind him, leaving me throbbing and filthy and used. I feel dirty and sexy
and out-of-control. It's terrifying and exciting and I don't want it to stop.

My phone buzzes. It's Aiden.


I'm outside of your office.
I text him back.
I have a phone call in fifteen minutes.
He replies.
Tell your assistant I need five.
I smirk as I put Janice on speaker. "Send Mr. Jackson in, please, won't you,
Janice? This should just take a few minutes. I just need to debrief him after the
camping trip."
Aiden closes and locks the door, walking straight over to me and yanking my
skirt up roughly around my waist. "Noah just got finished with you, didn't he?" he
asks, his voice low and gravely. The look on his face is jealous and possessive,
despite the fact that the two men clearly planned this together. When he rips my
panties down around my thighs, he growls under his breath. "I can feel him on you.
He came all over you, all over these panties, didn't he?"
"Yes," I breathe, but I don't get to say anything else before his mouth is on
mine. This kiss isn't remotely like Aiden's usual kisses - the softer, gentler kind
that take my breath away. No, this kiss is demanding, owning, trying to take all of
me.
And I give it all to him. I melt against him, letting go of everything else except
him in this moment. Right now, it's just Aiden and I with his hands between my
thighs, pulling them apart, and his fingers exploring me. "This is his cum, isn't it?"
"Yes." My pussy throbs its answer. I don't know who this girl is, answering yes
with no hesitation. Yes, another man was just inside me. Yes, another man just
came on me. Yes, I want your cock inside me next. Yes, I want you to come on me
too.
"You fantasized about me fucking you here, didn't you? Fantasized about us
taking you right on this desk?" Aiden asks. "Tell me how you thought about it. Did I
bend you over?"
I nod, biting my lip as he unbuckles his pants and pulls out his cock. It's already
hard, pre-cum dripping from the tip, and I wrap my hand around his shaft, my
thumb rubbing the pre-cum into the tip. "You bent me over the desk and fucked
me until I came."
"Bend over," Aiden groans. "Do it. Now."
I do it, exactly as he wants. I bend over with my hands on the desk, and he traces
the head of his cock along my slit. I want to open for him, to take him in bare and

unprotected, to feel his skin against mine as he fucks me. But he doesn't. He
sheathes himself with a condom and presses his wrapped cock against me, without
entering me.
"Unbutton your shirt," he says, his voice husky. "Unbutton it and take out your
tits. I know they're so sensitive."
I do it, sliding the cups of my bra over my breasts and cupping them with my
hands. My fingers play with my nipples, and they become almost immediately
erect. I let out a little moan as Aiden enters me, one hand on my hip and the other
reaching around to touch my clit. His grasp on me ensures he's buried deep inside
me, his cock pressed into me as far as he can possibly go. He doesn't pull back to
fuck me. Instead, he remains buried deep inside me, rubbing my clit in circles as he
rocks gently against the spot in me that makes my toes curl.
"You like that Noah and I came to your office, don't you? We've claimed you
right here in your office."
I bite on my lip to keep from moaning out loud, tasting blood.
Then he stops dirty-talking to me and the only sound in the room is him fucking
me with short thrusts. My palms slip on the wooden desktop and several papers go
flying to the ground, but I don't fall.
I'm so caught up in my desire that I almost don't register the sound when Janice
buzzes through.
"Ms. Sullivan," she says. "It's your phone call with the First Lady."
With Aiden still lodged inside me, I reach for the speaker button on the phone.
Aiden puts his hand on mine. "The First Lady, huh?" he whispers. "Take the call."
"Aiden, I can't..."
"Do it," he growls. "Take the call."
I press the button on the phone, my heart nearly about to pump right the hell
out of my chest. "Put her through, Janice."
Adrenaline courses through my veins. I've never done something so wrong. I've
never taken risks like this, never dared to defy her, always said "Okay, mother" and
"Sounds like a good idea" and done what they've asked of me. And now, I'm not
only not in an appropriate relationship with an important person, but I'm fucking
two football players. And one of them is about to be inside me while I talk to her on
the phone. It doesn't get any more inappropriate than that.
Aiden stays lodged firmly inside me, bending over and pulling me against him so
that he can touch my breasts as my mother's voice comes over the speakerphone,
loud and shrill. "I can't believe I have to get on my own daughter's schedule to talk
with her during the day," she starts.
Aiden pinches my nipple between his fingers, sending a rush of arousal through
me that almost makes me yelp, but I work to hold back my cry. "I have to pencil you
into my calendar to make sure you get my... undivided... attention," I say, my
breath catching as Aiden begins to rock inside me again.
"I'm sure," she says, her voice tight. "You sound distracted." Her voice gets
lower as she turns to talk to bark an order at someone in the room with her.

"Nope, not... distracted... at... all," I say, my voice coming out much more
breathy than I intend as Aiden fucks me slowly from behind.
"Have you looked at the files I gave you? You can choose any of the men in there
as a potential interest, she says.
Aiden stops moving, instead gripping the flesh of my ass cheek hard at the
words "potential interest". I look at him over my shoulder, glaring at him and
mouthing the words, "She's crazy."
"I told you that I'm not "
"Don't give me your excuses, Grace," she snaps. "You need to get on board. Your
father's agreed to a family interest piece and your new boyfriend is going to be
there with you. Pick one."
Aiden thrusts inside me harder now, deeper. I feel his thumb against my
asshole, his touch insistent. Angry, even.
Heaven help me, it makes me hotter. His touch makes my skin erupt in goose
bumps, sends arousal coursing through me all the way down to my toes, and I can
barely keep myself from crying out.
"I'll talk to you about... I can't just be picking... someone," I say, trying to keep
my voice smooth as Aiden thrusts inside me with each word. I'm losing my mind
now, losing my train of thought, and definitely losing my ability to put up with my
mother's insistence on finding me a man. "I... oh, God."
"What on Earth else could you have going on that would prevent you from going
out on a simple date with an eligible man?" she asks.
Aiden fucks me harder now, his finger pressing into my asshole up to his
knuckle, his dick bringing me higher and higher. My hand slips now, and a letter
organizer goes tumbling to the floor with a crash as I try to right myself, sending
papers scattering all over the office.
"What is that sound?" my mother asks.
"Nothing... ugh," I moan, then bite on my lip as I right myself on the desk. Oh
God, I'm so close. My pussy is tightening more and more around him, swelling as
his thrusts get more frequent and more urgent. I know he's about to come and it
pushes me closer and closer to the edge.
"Are you coming down with something?" my mother asks. "We have a family
interview scheduled after July fourth, so if you need to see Dr. Greene, make sure
you see him."
"I think I am... oh God, I think I am... coming..." I blurt out the words as my
orgasm overtakes me like a freight train. I grip the sides of the desk, biting my
tongue literally - as I climax right here in the office with my assistant just
outside, and my mother, the First Lady of the United States, on speakerphone. I
gulp big breaths of air, gasping as I try to maintain control even through the haze of
my orgasm, trying to finish the sentence so it's not completely nonsensical. "I am
coming down with something."
Aiden pulls out, spinning me around and shoving me hard up against the desk,
the edge of the top pushing against my ass cheeks. He yanks off the condom,

dropping it on the floor. His eyes never leave mine as he strokes himself furiously.
"You'll need a boyfriend for the interview," my mother says. "They're already
vetted. They're all appropriate."
"Appropriate," whispers Aiden. "Fuck appropriate."
"What was that?" my mother asks. "Did you say something?"
"I said I don't know about that," I say, pausing as Aiden narrows his eyes, his
expression dark. Then he comes. I lean against the desk with my legs spread for
him, my panties stuck around my thighs as Aiden Jackson comes on my pussy. I
watch in fascination as my mother keeps talking, the First Lady of the United States
providing the shrill, judgmental background noise for Aiden defacing me with his
cum. It drips from his cock as he rubs the head of his cock over my clit, sliding to
the entrance of my pussy, cum still dripping from the tip.
"Then I'll choose," my mother snaps.
"I'm not discussing this now," I say, cutting her off.
"Don't think this is the last conversation we're going to have about this, Grace
Monroe.
I cough loudly. "Oh, God, my throat is just so sore. I'm going to have to go,
now." I pause for a second, about to rebel again. "Mom."
"Grace, I've told you a thousand times not to call me that. What on earth has
gotten into you-
I fake a sneeze and hang up the phone.
Holy shit. I just hung up the phone on my mother. The First Lady.
I've never done something so irresponsible.
My hand goes to my mouth. "I can't believe I did that.
"Fuck me while your mother was talking to you?" Aiden grins broadly.
"That too," I say, gasping. Oh God, I did. I fucked him while talking to my
mother. What the hell is wrong with me? "Hang up on her."
"You really are the most straight-laced little thing," Aiden says, grinning as he
pulls my panties onto my pussy, still covered in his and Noah's cum.
"Shut up." That's the wittiest I can be after all of that.
"So about those files " Aiden says, his expression intense.
I roll my eyes. "She's trying to set me up."
"You'll need to tell them no," Aiden growls, drawing me tight against him. He's
warm and when he wraps his arms around me, I feel safe and insulated from
everything outside of us.
"Why?" I ask. "Are you jealous, Aiden Jackson?"
"You're damn right I am," he growls. "And so will Noah will be too if he finds
out. We said you were ours and we meant it." He pulls away from me, reaching for
my skirt and straightening it. "And think about that when you're wearing those
cum-soaked panties today. I want you to walk around smelling like sex. Smelling
like us."
"That's disgusting," I whisper. It is disgusting. So why does the thought of
walking around with them between my legs the rest of the day, sitting in meetings

reeking of sex and them, make me wet?

33

AIDEN

Y ou went to Noahs ranch with Grace Sullivan and you didnt even tell me?

Annie squeals. I hold the phone away from me because shes so loud.
I didnt tell you because it wasnt a big deal, I lie. It was a very big deal. It was
this charity thing and -
Im a poly-sci major, Noah! You hung out with the daughter of the President
and thats not a big deal to you?
Say something, I mouth, glaring at Noah and pointing toward the phone.
Noah shrugs. We didnt really hang out with her that much.
Technically, thats true. We didnt hang-out at the ranch as much as we did fuck
her. And cuddle with her. And fuck her some more.
And then we came back to the real world, back to our regular lives in Denver,
back to Noahs new neighborhood and the place where Grace Sullivan is his nextdoor neighbor. The same neighbor we cant seem to stop meeting with at our
house or hers - that's the obviously bullshit excuse she gives her security detail.
The same neighbor that I fucked while she was on the phone with the First Lady.
We definitely didnt just hang out with her.
So are you friends, then? Annie asks.
Noah and I are silent for a moment too long. What the hell are we? Yeah, I
guess, I say, trying to sound casual. Except were not just friends.
I don't want to let this girl out of our bed. Even more, Im starting to really like
having her around. Thats something Ive never been able to say about a woman
before.
We hardly know her, Noah says. Sorry to disappoint you.
I mean, shes Noahs neighbor, so really thats all-
Shes your neighbor? Annie asks. You guys dont tell me anything. Oh my
God, you should ask her to come to the Fourth of July celebration!
Banana, thats not happening, I start before Noah chimes in.
Grace isnt going to want to come to West Bend for the Fourth of July, Noah
says firmly.
Why not? Annie asks. Wait. You call her Grace?
Thats her name, Noah answers. "What else am I supposed to call her? Her

Royal Highness? She's a regular person, Annie."


Shes also the Presidents daughter, I say. Im sure she goes to the White
House for the Fourth of July.
Well maybe if you asked her Annie suggests.
Didnt you just hear us say were not friends with her? Were acquaintances.
Acquaintances. Im the biggest fucking liar in the world.
We barely know her, Noah chimes in again.
Were both liars - the worst liars ever.
Annie sighs heavily. Fine. But both of you are going to come, right? Its my
going-away dinner, too, remember?
Obviously, were not going to miss it. What kind of big brother would I be if I
missed that?
You better not, A-hole. Because Im GOING TO EUROPE! She screams the last
part, her voice echoing through the entire downstairs.
Thanks for blowing out my eardrums, Banannie.
Anytime.
After I hang up the phone, I look at Noah. Im sure Grace goes to the White
House for July Fourth.
He shrugs. Annie has a point. We could ask her.
And what, bring her to West Bend? 'Hey mom, this is the girl that Aiden and I
are fucking in his house at the same time. We thought you might want to meet
her.'"
Noah rolls his eyes. Thats not exactly what I was picturing.
Its West Bend. No one can keep a damn secret in that town and all three of us
need to keep this a secret. Hell, youre in the middle of negotiations. If anything
like this came out, it would ruin us. More importantly, it would ruin her."
Were neighbors, Noah reminds me, distracted by whatever hes reading on
his tablet. Theres no reason to pretend we dont know her. Im sure she could
come up with a cover story if she wanted to come to West Bend. Shit, Im sure we
could come up with a cover story.
You just dont want to be away from her for four days, I realize. Fuck, Im not
sure I want to be away from her that long. Since we hooked up the first time, we've
seen Grace every day. Ive spent more time with her and Noah in the past few
weeks than Ive spent with anyone else in the past year.
The weird thing is, I'm not sick of it at all. Usually, I can't stand to listen to a
word that comes out of the mouths of the girls I hook up with. But Grace? Hell, it's
all I want to do.
Noah exhales heavily. Fine. I admit it. I dont want to be away from her for days
while were in West Bend. Do you? Shes been in our bed non-stop since the
camping trip.
Fourth of July is weeks away, I say. Shes going to be in our bed nonstop until
then. And you still havent told her about the thing that might take you away from
her permanently. When are you going to tell her youre looking at offers outside of

Colorado?
A flicker of annoyance crosses over Noahs face. Nothing's certain, he
grumbles. So Ill tell her when it comes up.
I shake my head. Its dishonest.
She's never asked, and it's not like it's a big secret. It's all over the media.
Youre only concerned about my honesty, right? Noah asks. Your concern
wouldnt have anything to do with the fact that you might want Grace all to
yourself, would it?
Noah stomps off to the gym without another word, the way he always does when
hes really upset. But he knows I'm right. He knows that he should tell her.
Shit, Im actually not even trying to get Grace all to myself. I've gotten used to
the three of us being together. We've settled into a familiar rhythm. Sure, being
with her the other day when we were alone was hot as hell, but being with her after
Noah had fucked her was even hotter.
Its not just the screwing, though. Its having her around here - laughing,
stretched out casually across both of us after shes come three times, her face
lighting up as she tells us a story about the kids shes worked with through her
charities. Its the way she breathes at night when shes asleep, this little almostsnore she makes thats so damn cute.
I think I might finally understand the term pussy-whipped. Yesterday, an exhook-up texted me a shot of her boobs and I replied to tell her I was off the market.
The idea of me, Aiden Jackson, being off the market is ridiculous. But it was the
only thing I wanted to say.
The thought of Grace's mother setting her up with some asshole in a suit makes
me want to throttle him with my bare hands. All I know is that I want Grace to be
ours - mine and Noah's. I want her in our bed and I don't want to let her go.

34

NOAH

"Y ou've never had moonshine?" I ask.


Grace gives us that big smile of hers, one that seems to be plastered on her
face more and more lately. Maybe it's the sex I tell myself that it's probably just
the sex and nothing more but she looks like she's calmer and more relaxed these
days. "I lived in the Colorado governor's mansion, and in Washington, D.C. And I
went to boarding school in Switzerland. Does this really come as a shock to you?"
"The woman hasn't had moonshine, or gone fishing, or been muddin'," Aiden
pipes up as he sits in an oversized cushioned patio chair in the back yard and kicks
his feet up on the coffee table. "Or been camping."
"How can you have never gone camping?" I ask. I thought you did the charity
camp every year.
Grace sighs dramatically and slouches back on the long outdoor sofa, trying her
best to look exasperated, but its obvious that shes not. The face she makes is
fucking cute. She's fucking cute, with her hair pulled back in a swinging ponytail
and her jeans and thin white cotton t-shirt that's practically transparent. "It's a
long story."
Aiden chortles. "No. Don't let her fool you. There's literally no story to it. She
has never slept in a tent, because "
"Shut your trap, blabbermouth. I told you that in confidence, Grace protests.
"Shes never slept in a tent because the ground is too hard," Aiden finishes,
imitating Grace's voice. She sticks her tongue out at him.
"Really?" I ask, shaking my head. "That's actually appalling."
"So Ive missed out on fishing, mudding, camping, and drinking moonshine. Is
that really a big deal?
I tsk-tsk her. It is a big deal. In fact, its something that needs to be rectified
immediately.
Grace kicks her feet up underneath her. Im not sure that Ive missed out on
anything by not growing up fishing.
Aiden gasps. You take that back right now.
Grace laughs. Doesnt it mostly involve sitting around drinking beer and
scratching your balls? And in case you havent noticed, I dont have any balls to

scratch.
Well, had you grown up near us, it would have involved drinking moonshine
and scratching your balls, I tell her.
"Well then, I stand corrected."
"Luckily, I can take care of one of the things on your list of stuff you've never
done. You're going to sit your ass down and have some moonshine," Aiden says.
"Where are you going to get moonshine?"
"Aiden is an idiot savant when it comes to the booze," I tell her. "He distills it.
Hes been doing it since we were in high school.
"Since high school?!
"Damn straight," Aiden says.
"I thought that was something people made in Kentucky, not Colorado.
I exhale under my breath, shaking my head. "Now youve done it. You're in for a
lecture."
"There's a long and noble history of bootlegging shine throughout this fair
country," Aiden starts, his intonation formal.
"Just go get it for her," I interrupt. "I don't feel like hearing a giant speech about
bootlegging tonight, if its all the same to you.
Dont worry, Aiden says, looking at Grace. Ill save it for another time.
She laughs. Lucky me.
Aiden returns with two glass canning jars and sets them in the middle of the
coffee table. "Lemonade and blackberry," he says.
"You made this yourself, Grace says skeptically, her eyebrows raised.
Thats right. Lemonade and blackberry because were coming into summer. I
make seasonal flavors.
I nod. If youre a member of our family, you get a jar of shine from Aiden for
Christmas.
Dude, whatever, you make it sound like I give out coal. I give other presents,
too.
Arent you not supposed to make this stuff? Isnt it illegal? Grace asks.
Youre sleeping with a rebel, baby, Aiden says. And the accomplice to my
crimes.
But this stuff can kill you, cant it? Arent there regulations for a reason?
Aiden rolls his eyes and sighs loudly, plopping down into his seat. Yeah, if you
don't know what the hell you're doing. I, on the other hand, know exactly what I'm
doing."
Grace raises her eyebrows and eyes the jars of shine. "You sure?"
Aiden sighs. "Dude, tell her I know what I'm doing."
I nod. "He does know what he's doing. Seriously. He's a weirdo with how much
he knows about this stuff."
"I learned from the best," Aiden says.
"He learned it in West Bend."
"You learned how to brew alcohol while you were kids?

Aiden shrugs. "I learned it from Old Man Johnson. He hired me on his farm for a
few summers, and he had a still. He used to make it. I ended up having a knack for
it.
"And seriously, we were high school kids with access to free booze hell, with a
way of making it ourselves, I tell her. He couldnt have had a better hobby.
I thought you were a saint, Grace says.
"Yeah, but I still got shithoused on Saturday nights," I say. "There wasn't
anything else to do in town."
My moonshine has never killed a single person, Aiden says. I havent even
blinded anyone.
"Well, that's a ringing endorsement if I ever heard one," Grace jokes. "I'm a
total lightweight, though."
"Oh yeah?" Aiden asks. "So if you have a few sips of this, you'll be dancing on
the table and taking your clothes off?"
"That's a good possibility."
"Well, hell, drink up then," I tell her, and she swats my arm.
"Okay," she says. "Do you have a glass?"
Aiden rolls his eyes. "I didn't realize the President's daughter would be so highmaintenance. Now you want a glass. Next you'll be wanting silverware."
"Fine," Grace says, reaching for one of the jars. "Do I drink this illegal
concoction straight?"
She picks up the jar, but right before she puts it to her lips, Aiden yells, Wait!
Oh my God, youre going to give me a heart attack. What!?
Aiden guffaws. If this kills you, did I just assassinate the Presidents
daughter?
I certainly wouldnt mind if you got thrown in a secret CIA cell somewhere, I
tell him.
Definitely. It's totally an assassination if this kills me. Probably even treason,"
Grace deadpans.
Okay. I was just checking. Carry on. Aiden grins.
Grace takes a sip of the lemonade moonshine, her face screwing up. "Oh God,
that's pretty strong. Strong and good. I told you Im a lightweight, right?"

HALF AN HOUR LATER, and we definitely know that Grace is a lightweight. She is very
tipsy, despite only having a few sips of the moonshine. She's sitting on the patio
furniture, her legs stretched out on me while Aiden reclines in an armchair across
from us, his feet on the table. We've been passing the moonshine around and as a
result, Grace's cheeks are flushed light pink and she's far more animated and
giggly than she normally is.
We're sitting around talking about the things we've never done, and Grace has
never been skinny-dipping.

"Never ever been skinny-dipping," she says. "How stupid is that?"


"You're sheltered," I say.
"I'm not," she protests, wrinkling her forehead. "Okay, I am. But I'm not. Does
that make sense? I've met foreign heads of state. I've met the Dali Lama."
"But you've never been skinny dipping," Aiden says.
Grace sits up, pointing at him. "I've never been skydiving, either."
I shrug. "I've never been skydiving."
"That's because you have a fear of heights," Aiden points out helpfully.
"Just because I don't want to hurl myself out of a plane doesn't mean I have a
fear of heights," I protest.
"You're afraid of heights?" Grace asks.
"I'm not afraid of heights!"
"No skydiving for me either," Grace says. "Aiden, you're next. What have you
not done?"
Aiden looks thoughtful for a second. "I've done everything."
Grace stands and takes the jar of blackberry moonshine from the table. "This
stuff is getting less strong now," she muses.
Aiden raises his eyebrows. "You better watch yourself. We don't need to be
peeling you off the bathroom floor."
"I've never been drunk," she notes.
"You were a little tipsy when I met you," Aiden says.
"I know!" Grace says, sipping from the jar, her eyes wide. "That was from two
glasses of wine."
"Alrighty then. I'm just going to take that from you for a little bit."
"No, no," she protests. "This must be really weak. I can't feel it."
Aiden gives me a look. "Are we going to be holding her hair back when she pukes
later?"
"Awww," Grace says. "That's so nice of you to offer. But you didn't say what you
haven't done. Rock climbing? Snowboarding?"
"Done and done. Come on, I grew up in Colorado."
"Scuba diving," she says.
"Done it. Got certified." He pauses. "Okay, I have one. I've never been in love."
Then he grins stupidly.
I groan and make a vomiting sound. "That's so fucking lame, dude."
"It's not lame," Grace protests. The edges of her words slur a little. "I've never
been in love, either."
Aiden looks at me expectantly.
I roll my eyes. "Fuck, fine. Me neither. Are you happy now?"
"Actually, yes," Grace says, taking another gulp of moonshine.
"You're getting cut off, darlin'," I tell her, reaching for the jar.
"Stop being bossy," she says, smacking my hand, but she lets me take it easily.
"And you interrupted me."
I laugh. "Excuussse me."

"I was saying something important," she insists, then starts giggling.
"Go on."
She stares blankly at both of us for a minute, then sighs. "Nope. It's gone. I
can't remember."
"You were saying that" Aiden starts.
"Oh!" She holds her hand up. "Happy. I don't know if I've ever been happy."
"You just said you were happy," Aiden says.
"I am. That's what I just said," she says, exaggeratedly frustrated. "I'm happy
right now. Here. I'm happy here. Oh, and skinny dipping."
"Let's focus on the skinny dipping," Aiden says. "Nudity is my favorite topic of
conversation."
"We can fix the never-been-skinny-dipping thing," I point out. "The pool is
right there."
Aiden rolls his eyes. "That's bullshit skinny dipping. It doesn't count unless it's
a public place where you can get caught."
"If we're loud, the Secret Service agents might hear us and catch us," Grace
points out.
"Well, shit, that's good enough for me." Aiden stands and starts undressing.
"Get your ass out of that chair and take those clothes off, sugar."
"What? Now? The water is going to be cold," she protests.
"I know. The pool isn't even heated," I agree.
"No excuses. We're checking two things off your list of shit you've never done,
right here and now: drinking moonshine and getting naked in the pool. Move it,
girl."
Grace mock-salutes as she stands. "Yes, sir."
"Ooh, I like the sound of that," Aiden says.
Grace shimmies out of her shirt and jeans, then starts for the pool clad in her
bra and panties until Aiden stops her. "What?"
"Nice try. Take it all off, sugar. Besides, we've already seen the goods. Fuck,
we've already been inside you tonight."
Grace swats at him. "You're so crude. Both of you."
"What did I say?" I ask innocently.
"You were thinking the same thing," she accuses.
"What?! Never," I lie.
She leaves her bra and panties in a heap on the ground. "If my nipples freeze off,
it's your fault," she says before running across the patio and jumping straight into
the pool. She hits the water and lets out a little shriek. "Oh my God, it's really not
heated, is it?"
The three of us make it in the pool for all of about ten minutes. Inside the house,
I wrap Grace in a giant bath towel and she stumbles against me. "I think I might be
a little drunk," she says.
"Checking more off your bucket list," Aiden says, grinning.
"You guys are bad influ influencesh," she says.

"Not me," I protest. "Aiden is the bootlegging lawbreaker."


"You are!" She points accusatorily at him. "I've slept with a criminal."
"Yeah, we're practically Bonnie and Clyde," Aiden deadpans.
"Bonnie and Clyde." Grace points at herself and Aiden, then drunkenly at me.
"And Clyde."
I roll my eyes. "Thanks."
She leans against me, standing unsteadily, so I pick her up and carry her to the
bed, where I lay her down on the sheets. She settles in between me and Aiden, her
head on Aiden's chest. Her eyes close softly, then flick open again. "Are you
happy?"
Aiden laughs. "Are you kidding?"
"But you guys didn't want to share me before when we started," she says. "Do
you feel like if you're sharing me youre shettling shuttling settling?"
Im happy, I say, even as her eyelids flutter closed again. And for the first time
in my life, I think thats actually true.
The problem is that happiness like this with this girl can't last.

35

GRACE

I m surprised you made it out of the house, Vi says, putting her champagne

glass to her lips. I was beginning to fear for your safety.


Its been weeks since I got finished with the camp, not months.
Vi sighs. Ive been working eighty hours in Miami and youve been getting laid
like good tile in Denver. Our roles are suddenly reversed. The student has become
the master.
Keep your voice down, I hiss. Someones going to hear you.
Oh, please. Half of the people here are wearing hearing aids anyway, Vi says.
Why did you force me to fly in for this?
Because youre my only friend, so you have to be my plus-one. Dont forget you
forced me to fly in to Miami back in March to help you cast models. And you get to
showcase your new line on me.
Vi cocks her head. You were helping me cast male runway models. It was hardly
the equivalent of a boring political function.
Trust me, listening to all of your lewd comments about the models was as
taxing as this evening will be.
What are you wearing tonight? A reporter asks the question as we stop and
pose in front of a backdrop with the event name printed across it while camera
flashes go off in my eyes. Ive never ever gotten used to media attention, no matter
how much Ive been in the public eye. Being in Denver is a million times better
than it would be anywhere else, but there are still events like this that I have to
attend for the foundation or as a representative of my family. I've always hated
them.
Vi on the other hand, is at home in front of the camera. Her hand around my
waist, she flashes a smile at the journalist who asked the question. Shes wearing
me, of course," she replies, her voice flirtatious.
Im wearing Vi Scott, I answer with a smile. Professional.
Are you here with anyone tonight? a reporter asks.
No, I -
Im her plus-one, Vi says, kissing me on the cheek and kicking her leg up
behind her before she pulls me out of the spotlight before she whispers in my ear.

Even though you should have plus-two.


My face flushes red, despite her whispering it low enough that only I could hear.
There is no plus-two. And thanks for that photo. It should play well with my
mother.
I know. Vi grins as she downs the rest of her champagne and links her arm
through mine. I love screwing with her. Seriously, I dont know why you dont just
go public with the whole two-men thing.
It would literally give my parents a heart attack, I hiss. And I would be
forever remembered as that whore, the President's daughter. I don't like the
spotlight as it is I'd be torn apart in the media."
Vi sighs heavily, waving dismissively at me. "I know, I know. We all remember
what happened to Monica."
"Exactly. Besides, there is no thing."
"I think there are two things." Vi giggles.
"But there's no thing."
"Right. Because all you're doing is having the best sex of your life with them."
"How do you know it's the best sex of my life?"
Vi cocks her head and looks at me like I'm an idiot. "You're saying they're not
pounding you like a piece of veal?"
I hiss at her to be quiet.
"No, wait. You're saying that what's-his-name, your college boyfriend Stefan?
Andreas?"
"Stewart," I say flatly.
"Oh, God. Stewart." She wrinkles her nose. "You're saying that Stewart rocked
your socks more than the two hunks of man-flesh you're getting schtupped by
right now?"
I give her a blank look. "It's plausible."
Vi grabs another glass of champagne from a passing waiter with a tray. "You're
delusional. And you're in denial."
"Don't throw your fancy self-help words at me."
"Seriously, you haven't dished a bit, and I'm your best friend. And you've been
holed up with them for weeks. As an aside, I'll point out right now that I had the
self-control to not turn that last statement around to be a comment about how
they've been in your holes for weeks."
I exhale heavily. "You're like a frat guy. How are we still friends?"
"We're yin and yang," Vi says, sipping her champagne. "I'm the id to your
superego. And you love me."
"I do love you," I agree. "And its okay, the " I glance around before leaning
in close to her and whispering. "The sex is amazing. Insane. And we haven't even,
you know "
"I do know." Vi raises her eyebrows. "One in the pink and one in the sti "
"Don't even finish that sentence. That is really the worst thing I've ever heard
come out of your mouth," I reprimand her. "And yeah, that."

"What the hell have you been doing?"


I cock my head to the side. "Do you want me to draw diagrams?"
"Would you?" Vi smiles. "I can whip out my iPad right now. I have some graphic
design apps."
"It's more than just the sex," I say, dropping to a whisper at the end. "We've
been hanging out."
"Does anyone know?"
"I told my security I was talking to them about donations."
"You really need to get better at lying, doll," Vi says, shaking her head. "That's
the worst cover story I've ever heard."
"Trust me, I know."
"So you're hanging out and the sex is great. And your eyes light up when you
talk about them," Vi muses, eyeing me. "Are you falling for them?"
"What?" I squeal. "No. I mean, no. No way. Definitely not. It's exactly what you
said before it's casual. That's it. I'm having fun and they're really easy to hang
out with."
"Uh-huh," Vi says, her tone betraying her obvious disbelief. "So tell me about
them."
"What do you want to know?"
"What do you think about them now that you've spent the last few weeks
'hanging out' with them?" Vi uses air quotes to emphasize her words.
"Aiden is really outgoing and flirty and funny. I thought he was a goof off, that
he didn't take anything in life seriously, but there's really a lot more to him than
that. And Noah is this grumpy, grouchy asshole on the surface, but he's a good guy
underneath and why are you looking at me like that?"
"Looking at you like what?" Vi bats her eyes innocently.
"Like you are right now."
"You're falling for them."
"I certainly am not."
"I know you better than anyone else. You can't bullshit me."
"I'm not," I protest, then say it again, to reassure myself more than Vi. "I'm
not."
"Whatever you say, doll."

"THIS IS NOT the kind of press your father needs right now," my mother hisses. She
stands in my living room wearing a light blue suit and a pillbox hat. A fucking hat.
She flew here wearing this outfit, like she'd dressed up to be photographed for the
cover of a magazine fifty years ago. She looks insane. The fact that she's standing
here, gesturing wildly as she berates me doesn't make her look any less crazy.
"I just can't believe you flew to Colorado to lecture me about something so
stupid," I snap. "I'm an adult. Even if I were in a relationship with Vi, which is

obviously silly, it wouldn't be any of your business."


"Not my business?" she huffs.
"My personal life is no one's business," I protest, suddenly more filled with
bravado than I ever have been. "No one's. Not yours, or dad's, or the press, or
anyone's. And if I were seeing Vi, it would be my relationship."
"So you are seeing Vi." My mother's eyes go wide.
"I'm not seeing Vi," I say, exasperated. "But if I was, I wouldn't stop just
because you didn't think it was politically expedient."
Look at me, all brave and full of shit. Brave enough to talk about what I
wouldn't do in the case of dating Vi, not brave enough to come clean about Noah
and Aiden and I.
"You're not seeing Vi," my mother repeats, her voice skeptical.
"I'm not seeing Vi," I sigh, rolling my eyes. "She kissed me on the cheek. It's
not like we were making out at the event. The whole thing is more than ridiculous."
"Grace Monroe Sullivan," my mother cries. "I don't know what's gotten into
you, but your language ill-befits a woman of your breeding."
"My breeding?" I laugh. "I'm not a horse."
She ignores the comment. "Brandon Redding. Harvard and Yale. He's going to
be seen in public with you. You've been dating for three months, keeping things
quiet so as not to distract from the campaign. You're hopeful about where the
relationship is going and you can see a future with him. He's already been briefed.
He'll pick you up at seven o'clock tomorrow night. Paparazzi are on notice."
"I'm not going out with some guy you've hired to play my boyfriend," I protest,
appalled.
She waves at me dismissively. "He's doing it for free."
"I'm not going out with him, mother."
She ignores me. "He'll take you out this weekend, and he's already been told to
clear his schedule for the Fourth of July. That will be your introduction to the
Washington crowd."
"I'm not"
She's out the door before I can even finish my sentence.
Later, my father calls me. Gracie, I heard about your mothers visit.
"Your wife is insane. I'm not being set up with some guy for PR purposes, Dad."
"You know your mother," he says. "She thinks it'll be good press. It will be good
press. You're not seeing anyone, are you? She swore you weren't seeing anyone.
Brandon is from a good family he's even attractive, too. Its not like she set you
up with an ugly man."
"No. I'm not seeing anyone," I lie.
"So what does it matter? It's one date, Gracie. Do it for me and I'll owe you."
"You'll owe me," I repeat flatly.
"I'll owe you," he says again. "The President of the United States will owe you a
favor. What do you need? Does the foundation need more donors? Is there another
event I can attend?"

"Yes," I say, thinking of the quarterly report and the decrease in donations. "I
mean, no. I don't need you to attend functions or lean on one of your corporate
buddies."
"I'd never do that," my father says, his tone the same one he uses when he talks
to the press. "In fact, I'm shocked that you'd even suggest something like that."
More of my dad's ass-covering in case the NSA is listening in, even though this
is a secure phone line. I think he does it without even thinking about it now, his
self-preservation instinct. I roll my eyes hard. "I'm not doing it, Dad. You can
figure something else out."
"Why are you being so difficult, Gracie?" he asks. "It's not like you. You've
always understood that we all do what it takes to help the campaign. The campaign
is the important thing."
"Yeah, its always the important thing," I blurt out, before he can stop me, or
before I can chicken out and just go along with his grand plan. "Dad? I have to go.

36

AIDEN

I cant believe shes doing this, I whisper to Noah.

I can hear you, Grace whispers back. Im literally standing right behind

you.
We just cant believe you wanted to come to West Bend for the Fourth of July,
Noah says. Or that you didnt have something to attend at the White House.
A look of irritation passes across her face, but I cant tell if shes irritated at us or
at the mention of the White House. The First Lady showed up at her house the
other day, I know that much, and Grace was grumpy as hell afterward. It took three
orgasms before she was less stressed out. Then when Noah mentioned the Fourth
of July celebration in West Bend, Grace agreed immediately, surprising both of us.
She shrugged off any mention of the White House celebration, saying that her
parents didnt decide where she could spend the holidays.
Noah and I stayed far away from that topic of conversation ever since.
"Boys!" Bess calls. She walks from the living room to the entryway, her arms
outstretched wide, drawing Aiden and I in for hugs before she turns to Grace. "And
Ms. Sullivan, we are just so honored to have you here."
Grace blushes as Bess hugs her without blinking. "Mrs. Ashby, call me Grace,"
she says. "And I'm the one who should be thanking you for letting me join you for
dinner. I hope my security wasn't too much of an imposition."
"Well, it's not every day my house gets swept for bugs," Bess says, putting her
hands on her hips. "At least not the listening-device kind of bugs anyway. And call
me Bess, everyone does or Mama Ashby. No one calls me Mrs., though, not even
Paul."
Paul pokes his head out of the living room. "Get in here, now."
"Holy shit, Dad, are you wearing a tie?" Noah asks.
"Language, Noah Ashby," Bess snaps. "I'm sorry. My boys weren't actually
raised by wolves, although they act like it."
Grace covers a smile with her hand. "It's all right. I've gotten used to it."
Bess stops for a second midstride, and I can't see her face because her back is
toward me, but I know exactly why she stopped. She just caught what Grace said
I've gotten used to it.

If there's anyone who would see right through all of this bullshit and our "just
acquaintances" story, it's Bess. She's sharp as hell.
I clear my throat. "Where's Annie? I thought she'd be all over Grace the second
she stepped through the door." I turn to Grace. "My sister is really into politics, so
be prepared. I'm pretty sure she thinks you're a real celebrity."
"What are you talking about?" Grace grins. "I'm totally a real celebrity."
"It's nice how you've remained so modest and unassuming," Noah quips.
"The backyard is all set up," Bess says. "Now, I know you said it couldn't be a big
thing, what with Grace coming and all, but you know Annie. It's just a few of her
friends. We tried to keep it to a minimum, though."
"Mom," Noah warns. "It can't be a big thing."
"It's okay," Grace says.
"Noah Ashby, give me a little bit of credit," Bess says, shaking her head. "You
said this needed to be private, so your father confiscated cell phones and locked
them up. No cameras, no phones."
"Oh, you shouldn't have to go to all that trouble," Grace says.
"Trouble?" Bess asks. "I've been wanting to take cell phones from that kid and
her friends for years. All the kids have those stupid phones in their faces all the
time, with their selfies and their twittering and their chats and snaps. I want to see
my Annie before she flits off to Europe for two months and I want to see her face
without a phone blocking my view. So, taking their cell phones away from them
was my pleasure."
"Well, then, I'm glad I could be the excuse for cell phone confiscation," Grace
says, smiling.
As we follow Paul and Bess inside, Bess puts her arm around Grace's shoulder.
"Now, my boys tell me that you're neighbors. They're not being rude and
inconsiderate neighbors, are they?"
Noah groans. "Mom, do you think she'd be here if she hated us?"
"Grace, you don't have to answer her questions," I tell her.
"I'm not interrogating her, boys," Bess says, smiling sweetly. "Why don't you
go on and get some pie and let me chat with her. This is the first time I've ever had
a real celebrity in the house."
"We're real celebrities, too, Mom," Noah says.
Bess pinches his cheek and his face goes dark red. "Oh of course you are,
sweetie," she says.
I stifle a laugh. If anyone else in the world dared to pinch Noah's cheek, they'd
be laid out on the floor faster than you could say the words ass kicking. But he just
stands there like a good son, letting his mom talk to him like a five-year-old.
Grace covers her mouth with her hands and pretends to sneeze, but when she
comes back up, she has tears in her eyes from laughing.
"You boys go outside and find Annie," Bess orders. "Lord knows she'll be back
here in two seconds, accosting Grace before you can stop her."
"You mean, the way you are right now?" Noah asks.

"Oh, hush your mouth," Bess says. "I'm your sweet old mother."
"Don't let her fool you," I warn. "She's younger than she looks."
Bess swats me with a dishtowel. "Get your smart-asses out of here. You too,
Paul. Go see if anyone needs anything outside. Grace here can help me in the
kitchen with the pies."
"If you need help, just yell," Noah says.
"I won't need any help," Bess replies.
"I wasn't talking to you, Mom. I was talking to Grace," Noah says. "Your father's
best CIA interrogators don't have anything on my mother. She wheedles more
gossip out of people than "
"Oh, get going before I pinch your cheeks again."
"I'll try not to reveal any state secrets." Grace turns to give us one more look
over her shoulder as we head out the back door to the yard.
Outside, I pause for a moment. The whole yard is decked out folding tables set
up along the side covered in bowls of barbecue and side dishes and enough of Bess'
home-baked pies to serve a small army. White lights are strung overhead, crisscrossing across the yard from one side of the fence to the other and bathing
everything with a soft glow. Some of Annie's friends play corn hole in the corner of
the yard, and some hang out in Adirondack chairs drinking beer.
Mama Ashby went all out on Annies going-away party, which isn't surprising in
the least. Annie was in junior high when our mother died, and that first year after
she died, Annie was heading in a real bad direction. But Bess just took it in stride,
the way she does with everything in life, and pulled her back from the brink. I adore
Bess, but she and Annie have a special bond that goes deep.
I stand there for a second, soaking it all in. Fourth of July in West Bend is one of
my favorite times of the year. Granted, we've never done it this way before,
hanging out in the backyard. Usually we're downtown for the celebration. Main
Street shuts down and there's a carnival right in the middle of town. That's what all
of my memories of July Fourth involve eating cotton candy and riding carnival
rides until I puke.
"Your mom did a real nice job of this," Paul notes.
"She did," I agree. "I'm sorry that we came in with Grace and she missed out on
going into West Bend for the Fourth, though."
Paul shrugs. "I think she was tired of the pie-baking contest anyway," he says.
"Shit, I was tired of hearing her complain about how it was rigged every year and
how Marla Johnson was going to win the pie-baking contest no matter what
because she sweet-talks the judges."
Noah snorts. "Mom takes the pie-baking contest way too seriously."
Paul chuckles. "So do most of the people in this town."
"A-hole!" Annie runs over and hugs me with all of the force of a freight train
running at full speed.
I let out an umph. "Shit, girl, you really should have been the pro football
player."

"Where is she?"
"Yeah, hello to you too, sis," I say sarcastically. "Its really nice to see you. Im
going to miss you when you go to Europe for two months and Im glad I get a chance
to hang out with you before I leave. I love you, too.
Annie hits me on the arm. "Don't cry, loser," she jokes. "I'm going to go find
her."
"She's inside with Bess," I tell her.
Annie's eyes go big. "Why did you let that happen?"
"You know mom, it's not like telling her no was going to stop her," Noah says.
"Oh my God, you guys, she's probably showing her our baby photos right now."
"She probably is," I groan. Good thing I was a cute-as-hell baby.
"Nope," Paul says. "I already thought of that locked up the baby photos with
the cell phones in the gun safe.
Annie puts her hand up to high-five him. "You're wiser than you look."
Paul shakes his head. "Don't be a shit, girl.
"I'm going to tell Bess you're cussing," Annie say, grinning.
"Tell Bess I'm cussing and see if I let you set off fireworks," Paul says gruffly.
"Do I look okay?" Annie asks, tucking a strand of hot-pink hair behind her ear.
I pretend to evaluate her thoughtfully. "Is your hair supposed to be that shade of
pink?"
"Shut up. I'm going to talk to her."
"Don't freak her out, Annie."
"I'm not going to freak her out! Honestly, you act like I'm crazy or something."
"You're a little intense when it comes to politics, that's all."
"I am not," she protests, taking out a notepad. "But I knew you would take our
cell phones, Paul, so I made notes."
I rip the pad out of her hands. "You're not interviewing her."
"These aren't interview questions. They're questions from a college student
whos concerned about the future of our country."
I shove it in my pocket. "Nice try."
"Noah, tell him to give it back!"
"You're not interrogating the President's daughter, Annie." Noah shakes his
head.
"Fine. I already have my questions memorized anyway." Annie bounces off
toward the house.
"Between Annie and your mother, that girl is going to run out of here
screaming," Paul mutters, shaking his head.

37

NOAH

I love West Bend's Fourth of July celebration, but to be honest, the one in our

backyard puts it to shame. We eat until we're stuffed, shoot the shit with Annie
who finally agrees to leave Grace alone after Noah and I threaten her with a
restraining order (only half-jokingly), and set off fireworks right before the city
ones that are still visible from our house out on the edge of West Bend.
Grace slips right into the family dynamic like a glove. I'm not sure whether it's
because she's been raised in politics and she's used to having to fit in, but she talks
to my parents like she's known them her whole life. She has my mom writing down
her secret cinnamon bun recipe within an hour of being here, and Annie is still
fawning over her even though she vehemently disagrees with her father's social
policies.
"How the hell are you guys friends with her?" Annie sidles up next to me, her
mouth half-full of pie, and elbows me, asking the question softly.
"You act like we don't have friends." I pretend to be offended.
"She's classy," Annie notes, shoveling another forkful of pie into her mouth.
"I'm aware."
"So you and Aiden aren't exactly uh in the same league."
"Says the girl who just shoveled half a piece of pie in her pie-hole?"
Annie makes a face and sticks out her tongue. "I like her. I really don't like her
father at all, and she supports him, so I really shouldn't like her. But she's really
nice."
"Yup." I nod, afraid to say anything else because if I do, I'm going to reveal what
I really think about Grace. If I open my mouth, I'm going to talk about how great
she is. I'm going to gush, and that's not something Noah Ashby does. Noah Ashby
grunts, and maybe acknowledges once in a while that someone might not be an
asshole. But I don't gush about how much I like someone.
So I just nod and say, "Yup."
"Yup," Annie says, her eyebrows raised. "That's all you have to say?"
I look at Grace across the yard talking to my father. My father is smiling and
looks positively taken with her. When they walk past, Grace grins when I ask where
she's going.

"I'm going to show her the old Chevy," my dad says.


"I like old cars," Grace explains.
"Really?" I ask.
"Yep. She turns to look back at Annie and I as she walks away. "And your old
man is cool."
My dad's face turns bright red.
"See?" Annie asks. "She's already got Dad talking cars. He and Mom are never
going to let her leave."
I grunt my response, and Annie is silent for a moment before she gets a weird
look on her face. "Wait a second."
"Wait a second, what?" I ask. I know exactly what she's about to say and I'm not
about to let her say it. I look around for Aiden. "Where's your brother?"
She points at me, ignoring my question. "You. You guys said you were
acquaintances."
"Yeah, so?" I shrug. "We are."
"No, you're not. You like her."
I give her my best "what the fuck" expression. "Uh, you must be drunk,
Banana."
"Huh-uh," she says, shaking her head. "You're weird. You're weird about her."
"No one's weird, Annie."
As soon as Aiden walks over, she starts right in on him. "What's the deal with
Noah and Grace Sullivan?"
Do not answer the question, I think, staring at Aiden as if we share a brain and I
can psychically transmit that thought to him. Do not respond. Just shrug the way
you do when someone asks you about politics or what your career plans are.
"Deal? What deal?" Aiden asks, sounding guilty as sin. "I told you, we barely
even know each other. We've really hardly met."
"You're both lying."
"Lying?" Aiden asks, his voice suddenly falsetto. "You're accusing us of lying
about Grace? That's really something, Annie."
"Oh my God, you are totally lying. That's the thing you do when you're lying
deflect and get angry. It's the same thing you did when we were kids and you took
all the heads off my Barbies and put them on sticks and told me they'd been
executed."
I snort. "I remember that. I think we were playing Roman Empire."
"You guys were both assholes," Annie accuses. "And both of you are weird. The
question is why are you weird?"
I shrug. "Whatever, Banana. You know we're both weird in general."
She shakes her head. "Nope, this is more than that."
I sigh exaggeratedly. "Anyone want another beer? Because I'm going to get a
beer. Annie?"
"Why?" she asks skeptically. "Do you want to get me drunk so I'll forget you
guys are acting weird about her?"

"Yes, Annie. You got me. My nefarious plan is to feed you beer until you forget
my evil ways."
One of her friends rushes up and interrupts. "We need a group photo."
Saved by the selfie.
"This isn't over," Annie says, narrowing her eyes at us before she runs off.
"Have fun in Europe," Aiden calls.
She flips us off behind her head as she walks away to join her friends.
Aiden turns on me. "What the hell, dude?"
"Don't look at me. It's your sister who's insisting something's weird with us
and Grace and -"
Suddenly I hear my mother's voice behind me. "Annie is insisting something's
weird with you and Grace?"
"What?!" Now I'm the one whose voice goes up an octave as I feign innocence.
"No idea what you're talking about. Nothing's weird. And you might want to go
grab the camera from Annies friend- someone apparently has a cell phone.
My mother just nods. Ill confiscate it. Your father is out in the garage showing
Grace his fixer-upper. You might want to head out there after a few minutes before
the poor girl is bored to tears."
"She likes old cars," I say quickly, then pause. "I mean, that's what she said. I
wouldn't know what she likes or doesn't like. Cars, hobbies, hell, I don't know
what food she likes."
Shit. Stop talking. I have to actually think it before I can get my mouth to do
what the fuck my brain is ordering. I'm almost afraid I said the words aloud, but my
mom isn't looking at me like I have two heads any more than she was just a minute
ago, so I think I'm safe.
"Oh?" my mom asks. "Because she seemed to know an awful lot about both of
you."
"Huh." Aiden stares at her and I know he's trying to look innocent but he really
looks like the cat that ate the canary.
"I can't imagine how," I say. Lying to my mom feels like shit.
She looks at both of us long and hard. "Grace wouldn't be the girl you were so
pissed off about the last time you were here, would it?"
"I don't know what you're talking about." I couldn't sound less innocent if I
tried.
Aiden shrugs exaggeratedly. "Me neither. I don't remember being upset."
"Uh-huh," my mom says. "Well, if the two of you are arguing about that girl "
I groan. "Mom, we told you we're not fighting over her."
She doesn't finish her sentence. She just stops and looks at us. "No, you're not
fighting over her at all, are you?"
A look of understanding passes across her face. My mother knows Aiden and I
are both with Grace.
"You need to be careful there," she says softly. "That girl is not just some girl."
"We hardly know her," Aiden protests, still sticking to our story, oblivious to the

fact that my mother has already deduced that it's all lies.
"Don't treat me like some nave old woman," my mom starts, putting her hand
up immediately when Aiden tries to interrupt, "and don't tell me the details,
because I don't want to know. But I know that I've not seen either of you look at a
girl the way you look at that one."
I groan. "It's not "
My mom leans in, her voice low. "You better make damn sure it's not just a
fling, because that girl is the daughter of the President. And the way she talks about
both of you it's just a matter of time before someone notices."
"Bess, there's nothing " Aiden starts.
"I already told you, I don't need the details. But it's rude to just outright lie to
my face." My mom puts her hands on her hips and glares at us. "At least come up
with better stories than the one you have, do you hear me? Because if the three of
you have something going on "
"Oh my God, Bess," Aiden hisses.
She narrows her eyes. "The two of you need to be careful. You're men. If
something like that were to come out, you look like the big men on campus. She
gets ruined. That's not right, mind you, but that's how the world works."
"We're being careful, Mom."
"Noah," Aiden whispers.
"Oh please, you heard her, she knows anyway. Nothing is going to come out.
We'll make sure of it."
"You brought her to West Bend," my mother whispers. "With the three of you
making eyes at each other the whole night, it's a wonder everyone here hasn't
already figured it out."
"We're more subtle than that," I say. At least, I thought we were. I didn't think
it was written all over us, the way my mom seems to think it is.
"Just don't be idiots. And don't break her heart, either."
"Nobody's heart is getting broken, Mom," I say brusquely.
"Yeah, you know Noah doesn't even have a heart," Aiden points out.
"That's hilarious, coming from the guy who " I start, but my mother
interrupts.
"I mean it, boys," she says firmly. "Love is complicated enough when two
people are involved. I don't want to see any of you with your hearts broken."
"Who said anything about love?" I ask.
"None of you did," she says. "But call it mother's intuition."
As I watch Grace walk back into the yard with my father, wearing a white
sundress, her long brown hair falling over her shoulders, I have the fleeting
thought that my mother might not be so crazy with her talk about love.

38

GRACE

"T a-da!" Noah gestures.


"So this used to be your room?" I look around the over-the-garage space.

It's a large open room set up as a guest bedroom with two beds on opposite ends, a
throw rug in the middle, and paintings of Colorado scenery on the walls.
"Well, it was both of ours once Aiden moved in," Noah says. "I haven't been up
here in years. I figured Mom would have converted it into an office or something."
"At least she took down the posters and shit from the wall," Aiden says. "There
was football crap everywhere. Do you remember?"
"It was like football exploded in this room," Noah says. "Are you sure you don't
want to stay here tonight? Or get a place in town? There's a bed and breakfast. The
owner, June, is nice. She'd be discreet."
I shake my head. "My cover story was that I came here for an interview. When
my mother finds out the interview was 'cancelled', she's going to wonder what the
hell I was still doing in West Bend. Or at this house, if my security blabs."
"You're a kind person who decided to visit the sister of one of your big donors as
a favor because the sister has a slight obsession with you."
I laugh. "Annie was really sweet."
"Did my mother interrogate you?" Noah asks. "She can be a little intense."
"She was wonderful. Both of your parents were," I tell them, and I mean it.
They're the kind of parents I wish I had loving and kind and genuinely concerned
about their kids. Paul and Bess have the kind of relationship that I'd hope to have
in twenty years; the way they still looked at each other, even in the middle of a
party, made it clear they are still head-over-heels in love.
"She was on her best behavior with you, then," Noah says.
"Maybe." I can see how Bess could wheedle gossip out of anyone. She was casual
about it, prodding gently while making dessert, but she was definitely probing. I
wonder how much about me and Noah and Aiden she's put together.
"Did she ask you about us?" Aiden asks.
"No. Why? Did she ask about me?"
Noah and Aiden look at each other. "She knows there's something going on
between the three of us, but she also knows not to say anything. In fact, she was

more concerned about us hurting you."


"Hurting me?"
"She told us not to hurt you. I mean, your heart. Not you physically. Not your
ass or anything." Noah babbles the way he does when he gets really nervous.
"My ass?"
"Her ass?" Aiden asks the question at the same time I do, punctuating it with a
loud snort.
"I'm glad your mother wasn't worried about my ass."
"I'm worried about your ass," Aiden says, reaching out to put a hand on my butt.
"Is that so?" I ask. "What are your concerns, exactly?"
"Well, obviously I'm worried that your ass is starting to feel neglected."
"Hmm," I muse. "We don't want that."
"No, we definitely wouldn't want anything like that," Noah agrees. He steps
close to me, sliding his hand around my waist to pull me toward him, and I crash
against his chest. He takes my mouth without another word, his kiss demanding.
Reaching behind me for Aiden, I grip his shirt, turning to kiss him next. His kiss is
softer, gentler.
Being with both of them is starting to feel so comfortable.
Too comfortable.
I think I might be falling for them.
The thought pops into my head as our clothes come off, and it stays in my head
as they shower my body with kisses. It stays in my head as their lips cover my
breasts, my thighs, between my legs. They take turns there, their tongues on me
and their fingers inside me, a rhythm that's developed between them.
The thought keeps running through my head like it's on a loop, over and over as
Aiden steps away and Noah dives between my legs. Over and over as his fingers
thrust inside me, until I start to lose any sense of reason.
Over and over until Noah pulls away and I open my eyes to see Aiden standing
beside us, holding a
"What the hell is that?" Noah asks.
Aiden grins. "It's festive."
"Where did you get that?"
"I brought it with me." Aiden grins, holding up a red, white, and blue butt plug
festooned with sparkly star-adorned streamers. "I like to be prepared."
"Is that a Fourth of July butt plug?" I ask. I'm not sure whether to be appalled or
intrigued. Appalled. I should definitely be appalled. Except the throbbing between
my legs won't let me be that appalled.
Even Noah laughs. "What the fuck, dude?"
"We didn't get to go into town for the fireworks"
"So you thought we'd make our own?" I ask.
"Every time we're together, it's fireworks. I just thought we should add a little
extrapizzazz."
"Pizzazz?" I ask.

"Well?" Aiden looks at me expectantly. "Are you going to model it for us?"
Yep, these are the guys I just might be falling for the ones who buy patriotic
butt plugs to celebrate Independence Day.
I just might be this crazy.
My eyes on Aiden, I strut over to the bed, my hips swaying exaggeratedly. Then I
get on all fours, right there on the bed in their high school bedroom, and I arch my
back and put my ass in the air.
I'm definitely losing my mind.
Noah growls as he joins me, standing on the side of the bed near my head and
guiding his cock to my mouth. The familiar taste of him sends heat rushing to my
core, and when I hear the sound of a condom wrapper tearing and feel Aiden on the
bed behind me, I think I might just come from the anticipation of him.
But Aiden doesn't slide his cock inside me not yet. He teases me, his fingers
sliding over my wet pussy as he reaches between my legs to rub my clit. The gesture
sends arousal rushing through my entire body. A shock of cold, the wetness from
the lubricant on the plug, makes me shiver and the initial pang of pain as he works
it into my asshole is quickly eclipsed by pleasure as he pushes it inside.
Noah grins, pulling out of my mouth. "That is fucking ridiculous."
I turn my head over my shoulder to see glittery star-spangled streamers behind
me, like a sparkly, red white and blue tail. When Aiden lightly smacks them, they
catch the light, sending red, white, and blue shimmers through the room. "I can't
believe I'm wearing this."
"It's festive," Aiden says, but I quickly forget about any festivity as he pushes
his cock against my wet entrance. I forget all about the star-spangled butt plug as
Aiden's cock slides inside my pussy and I wrap my lips around Noah's dick.
Then there's nothing else in the world except the nearly-overwhelming
sensation of being filled by these two men.
I push my hips back, meeting Aiden stroke for stroke as he fucks me, pushing
the butt plug into my ass harder and harder as his movements become more
forceful. Noah grips my hair on both sides, thrusting his cock into my mouth in
rhythm with Aiden's strokes.
The only thing I can focus on is wave after wave of intensifying pleasure as they
bring me higher and higher. All I can feel is them taking me, claiming every part of
me as theirs. I'm lost in them, absolutely lost as Noah murmurs to me how much
he loves my sweet little mouth and Aiden tells me how warm and tight I am and
how he can't wait to be inside my ass.
It's the thought of him coming inside my ass that nearly pushes me over the
edge. Soon I'm moaning, the sound muted by Noah's cock. Noah gives me a quick
warning before his cock spasms and he floods my mouth with his cum. I swallow
every last drop as Aiden groans, thrusting into me over and over as he comes. His
grip on my ass cheeks is tight as he pumps harder, pushing the butt plug inside me
all the way to the hilt and triggering my orgasm.
I come hard, the intensity so completely overwhelming that I don't even realize

the butt plug is playing music until I begin to come down, my chest heaving as I try
to catch my breath.
I don't even realize what music it is for another second. That's how far gone I
am.
When I realize what it is, my eyes go wide.
It's Hail to the Chief.
I turn to look over my shoulder at Aiden, who gives me a sheepish grin as he
feverishly tries to push a button on the plug to turn it off. "I just came while Hail to
the Chief played?! I don't want to be reminded of my father when you're fucking
me!"
Oh my God. I'm horrified.
"Ohhhhhh. Gross. I totally didn't mean to do that," Aiden says. He's examining
my ass now with an intensity usually reserved for surgeons. "I don't this button
isn't working."
The butt plug continues to blare out the synthesized version of the song.
Noah is laughing, the sound erupting from deep in his chest, and if I weren't so
incredibly humiliated by the fact that it's that song, I'd love the warm sound of his
laughter. "Hail to the Chief," he roars, his hand going his mouth. "How the hell did
you find that?"
Aiden finally finds the off button. "At a sex shop."
"I'm sorry I'm laughing," he says, doubled over. "I just can't stop. That is just
holy shit, why are you even with us?"
"I'm starting to wonder that myself," I joke as Aiden slaps me lightly on the ass.
"It's probably because you have big dicks."
"Mine's bigger," Aiden says.

39

GRACE

I refused to attend the Fourth of July celebration at the White House and didn't go

on the blind date set up by my mother. It's the first time I've dared to defy them
even a little bit. I know that's pathetic, at twenty-six years old, but I've always
been the conscientious and dutiful daughter, doing my part to support my father's
illustrious career.
My father called to give me a lecture about loyalty to the family and to my
country. "Not coming to the July Fourth celebration was a slap in the face to us to
me, personally. How can the country be united, if we're not united? You know that I
still have great things left to do, things that will help people. That's why I need you
to be onboard a hundred percent."
"A hundred percent," I echoed. I wondered if my father had always sounded so
self-righteous and if his desire for power had always been so transparent. Did I just
miss it, all of these years?
But I didn't defy him. I didn't tell him what I wanted to say, that I couldn't
always put his campaign his presidency first. That I wanted my own life.
Instead, I played the dutiful daughter.
The daughter who's too afraid to rock the boat and stand up to her parents.
My mother called to tell me that she needed me to be committed to the
campaign. Instead of trying to guilt me into compliance, though, she went straight
for the jugular: "We'll make sure the board of directors votes to remove you from
your position with our foundation."
Their foundation. That's what she called it, and for the first time, I realized that
she's right. It's my family's foundation, not mine. I might have put in blood, sweat,
and tears, but it's theirs. How sad is that? I've convinced myself that I'm a
grownup, doing something important, but I'm still just a kid, blindly obeying
orders.
Yet I didn't tell her to go fuck herself the way I should have. I chickened out.
Instead, I simply told her that I wasn't going out with the suitor she had selected
and she could find a different way of publicly redeeming me.
That's as much rebellion as I had in me.
Then I went to Noah and Aiden. I put all of the outside bullshit out of my head

and went to the only people I feel like I can be myself with.
When I'm not working, I've been spending virtually every waking minute with
Noah and Aiden. We don't go anywhere because we can't. Instead, we hole up in
one of our houses hanging out, reading the newspaper (I discovered that Noah loves
newspapers as much as I do, but on his tablet), or watching movies (Aiden secretly
loves romantic comedies).
And we talk. We talk about inconsequential things and our favorite things and I
slowly divulge more about my parents and how hard it was to grow up in the public
eye. We talk about music and our favorite TV shows and movies and books, and I
learn that Noah does the crossword in the newspaper every Sunday morning and
that Aiden geeks out on model planes and cars.
We talk about all of the little things, but the little things are important. It's the
sum of those little things that fill in the blanks about someone, that help you know
who they are and where they come from and where they're going.
And I find myself wanting to know all of those things about Noah and Aiden.
When I knock on their door tonight, Aiden gives me a look like he's hiding
something and he's more than pleased with himself.
What are you up to? You look very smug.
God, you cant keep a secret, Noah calls as he walks into the living room.
I didnt spoil it."
If youre about to gift me another sex toy, Im going to slap you.
Ooh, that would be kinky. I might like it. Aiden grins.
Noah glares at Aiden. We figured youve been here a lot and weve been at
your place and we wanted to take you out
Like on a date, Aiden interrupts.
I cant," I say softly. Panic rises in my throat. "You know I cant go anywhere or
be seen-
We know that, Noah says. But we still wanted to, I dont know, do something
special.
We wanted to take you on a date, Aiden says. But here.
Since our romantic gestures thus far have involved sex toys." Noah gives Aiden
a dirty look.
Sex toys and blow-up dolls, I add.
What I don't add is that I like the fact that they havent tried to win me over
with dinner and flowers and a chauffeur and all of the things that guys who want to
date someone like me do a night at the symphony, tickets to the opera, private
helicopter rides.
What I dont add is that I like that since we can't go out in public, we've been
forced to spend time doing normal things, that I've gotten to know them outside of
the media and public perception and all of that crap.
Its not like super romantic or anything, though. I mean, it's me and Noah, so
don't expect much.
I laugh. You're really selling this date business."

Just come with us, Noah says, sighing in exasperation. We obviously suck at
this.
You really do. It makes me wonder how either of you have ever dated
someone."
I haven't," Aiden says automatically.
Is that what were doing? Noah asks.
I stop dead in my tracks. I dont know. Are we "
Dating. Up until now, nothing has been defined, not outside of bed anyway.
I want to be dating, Aiden says quickly.
We told you that you were ours." Noah scowls.
You said that when we were in bed, I start, my face flushing warm.
"And in the shower," Aiden points out.
We want to be dating you, Noah says, his brow furrowed. When I said you
were ours, thats what I meant. Youre ours.
So, then youre my boyfriends, I say hesitatingly. I listen to the word roll off
my tongue. Boyfriends. Plural.
"Say it again," Aiden orders.
Boyfriends.
Aiden pulls me against him and kisses me hard, my lips throbbing when he pulls
away.
"Say it again," Noah commands.
Boyfriends, I whisper.
Noah brings his lips to mine, his tongue finding mine immediately. Then he
stops and looks at me. Damn straight, he says. Before I can protest, he bends
down and picks me up, slinging me over his shoulder and gripping my ass cheek as
he walks toward the back patio.
When we're outside, he sets me down facing him. My hands go to his chest,
sliding down his abdomen and my breath quickens. Close your eyes and turn
around.
I do what he says, my heart beating faster. His hands are on my shoulders, his
palms warm on my skin, and the heat of his breath wafts over my neck. But he
doesn't put his lips to me the way I ache for him to do. Open your eyes now.
My hand goes to my mouth when I see what they've done in the yard. "It's I
don't know what to say. What is all of this?"
Theres a tent in the middle of the yard, but not just any tent. This looks like its
been lifted from a hotel in Morocco, all billowing rich-colored fabrics and warmly
lit lanterns. The tent is open in the front, and its filled with large patterned
cushions and draped fabrics, and even more lanterns. Its the prettiest thing Ive
ever seen.
We just wanted to take you camping, Noah says.
This is definitely not roughing it, I say softly. No ones ever done anything like
this for me before.
Well, we know youre a princess and you cant sleep on the hard ground,

Aiden jokes.
This is really nice. I dont have any other words for it. Nothing I can
articulate right now anyway because my heart is too full.
Noah stands in front of me, taking my hands in his. This isnt just we didnt
want you to think were just
We didnt want you to think youre just any girl, Aiden says, coming up
behind me. His hands trail down to my waist, and his breath wafts across my neck,
making all of the hairs on my neck stand up.
I dont know what to say, I whisper. But I dont have to say anything because
Noahs lips cover mine, making words pointless now. Aidens lips are on my neck
and he kisses his way down my shoulder, his hand sliding around my waist to the
front and pulling me close against him. When I feel his hardness against my ass
cheek, arousal rushes through me.
They undress me, working in unison with whats becoming practiced skill, a
rhythm that were all developing together. Noah slides his hand under my legs and
carries me to the tent, laying me down in a pile of pillows and kneeling beside me to
survey me. You are just so fucking beautiful."
Noah and Aiden are fucking beautiful. Theyre like chiseled Greek statues,
perfect and hard and theyre both mine.
My boyfriends.
My boyfriends who kiss every inch of my body. My boyfriends who move slowly,
on either side of me, teasing me until Im writhing underneath them. It seems like
forever until they reach the lower half of my body, each putting a hand on my
thighs to spread them.
Look at this pussy, Noah growls. Have you ever seen anything so damn
gorgeous?
And so fucking wet. Aiden touches his fingertip gingerly between my legs, and
I fight every impulse to arch my hips up and force him to slide his fingers inside
me. I'm so empty, so needy, so wanting. Youre so wet for us, arent you, sugar?
Yes. I whisper the word, but Im really begging. I need them inside me. I need
both of them inside me.
Put your fingers in her, Noah says, his voice low. Aiden immediately complies,
filling me with his thick fingers, but it's not enough. It's not what I really want. But
he finger-fucks me slowly as Noah puts his mouth to my clit. The two men take
their time, bringing me close and teasing me, but keeping me from passing over
the edge.
The tent is filled with the sound of Aiden's fingers slipping in and out of my
wetness, and Noah's groans as he tongues my clit.
Then it fills with my whimpers.
When I start to lose control, bucking against Noah's face and trying to get
Aiden's fingers deeper inside me, I start to beg. "Harder. Oh, God, just like that."
But Noah pulls away. You want to come, sweetheart?
Yes. Oh God, please. My pussy throbs around Aidens fingers, but then he

slides them from between my legs, obviously trying to drive me insane.


Youre going to come, Noah growls. But its going to be on my cock.
I want more than just his cock. I want both of them, and Im suddenly certain of
it.
When Noah reaches for a condom, I shake my head. Im on the pill. And Im
clean.
Aiden groans loudly. Are you saying what I think youre saying?
I take a deep breath. Asking them to fuck me without protection isn't just asking
them to fuck me without a condom, and all of us know that. It's about intimacy. It's
about me being brave. It's about there being no barrier between us. Im saying
that I want you bare. Ive never done it like that before. But I want to feel you
inside me."
Fucking hell, Noah growls, his hand on his cock. Im clean, too.
So am I, Aiden says, stroking his length. And for the record, Ive never done
it like that either bare, I mean.
"So this is a first, for all of us," Noah says.
I pull myself up to my knees, taking both of their cocks in my hand and feeling
their hardness. Stroking them sends a fresh rush of heat through me. Im ready,
I whisper. For everything.
Everything?
Everything.
Aiden groans, pushing my hand away from his cock. You cant tell me that and
keep doing what youre doing with your hand, sugar, or Im going to come all over
that pretty little face of yours and I don't want to do that. I want to save all of my
cum for you.
His filthy words make me wet.
Noah slides his palm down the middle of my back to my ass cheek, gripping it
tightly in his hand. Now, which one of us is going to come inside your pussy for
the first time and which one of us is going to take your virgin ass?
Oh God. The way they talk is so unrefined, yet it makes me so damn hot.
A look passes between the two of them, and in a split second theyve worked out
that question for themselves. Noah pulls me down on top of him, and I guide his
cock inside me in one swift movement, letting out a long groan at the sensation of
fullness. He takes my face in his hands, and I bring my lips to his, losing myself in
his kiss. I dont know how long I sit there, impaled on his cock and kissing him, but
it seems like an eternity until I feel Aidens hands on my back. His palms run down
my body until he reaches my hips and he spreads my ass cheeks, his finger pressing
against my hole while I rock slowly on Noah.
As I lean forward, Noah takes my breast in his mouth, distracting me from the
shock of cold lubricant on my ass.
Are you ready for me, sugar? Are you ready to be filled up by both of us at the
same time?
Oh, God.

Yes.
Aiden begins to work his way inside me slowly, carefully, tenderly, and when I
flinch at the initial shock of pain and then the burn as he settles inside me, Noah
whispers, "Look at me, sweetheart." My eyes stay on his as Aiden enters me
entirely.
Are you all right, sugar? Aiden asks softly, his hands running down my arms.
His voice is thick and gravely, tight with arousal.
Am I all right?
We're all just paused here, unmoving, as my body adjusts to both of them. They
feel too big and just right, like my body is in shock but they're also the perfect fit.
It's the most intimate thing I've ever felt, being with them like this, totally bare
and exposed.
Yes, I groan. Its It feels amazing. My hands on Noahs chest, I start to
rock against him, moving on his cock so that the tip presses against the really
sensitive part inside me as Aiden gently begins to thrust his cock inside my ass.
Does it feel good to have both of us inside you, filling you up? Aiden wants to
know.
Mmm-hmm. Its all I can say because it's overwhelming to have them both
inside me. Soon all of the pain starts to fade away, eclipsed by pleasure thats more
intense than anything Ive ever felt before.
Your pussy is so damn hot and wet and tight, Noah growls. Tell me how it
feels to be fucking her tight little virgin asshole.
The words make me moan.
Shes so damn warm and tight, Aiden groans. He wraps his hand around my
hair, pulling it as he thrusts.
Yes, I whisper. It's all I can say.
They're inside me forever. At least that's how it feels. I want to stay like this
forever with them.
Their talk is dirtier the closer they get to climax, and I only encourage them with
my moans as I start to lose control.
Tell me how much you want us to come inside you, sugar. Tell me how much
you want to feel Noahs cum in that sweet little pussy. Tell me how much you want
me to come in your ass as he fills you.
Aiden's balls slap against my ass as he fucks me harder now.
Oh my God, I breathe. Im losing control, riding Noah harder and harder as I
get closer. I cant think of anything else except them coming inside me. I oh,
God I want to feel you come.
He does. They both do. Aiden thrusts inside me, once, twice maybe but I'm so
carried away by my own pleasure that I can't tell. Noah comes with a vengeance,
gripping my hips tightly to push me all the way down on his cock. Warmth spreads
through me and their orgasm triggers mine. It's white-hot, blinding, and I call out
their names. Or at least I think I do.
It feels like forever before I come down, gasping for breath as my hair falls down

around my face. I've never felt so undone, so reckless, so completely and utterly
free as I do right now.
Then they wrap me in their arms, and I feel warm. Safe. Sheltered.
That was Noah starts, but his voice drifts off.
Fuck, Aiden chimes in.
"Yeah," I breathe, because that's all there is to say.
Later, I lie on my back in the tent between them, my head in the crook of
Aiden's arm and my leg crossed over Noah's. Aiden plays with my hair and I listen
to the sound of his heartbeat in the quiet of the tent. I pull a blanket up further to
my chin, chilly even though warmth radiates from Noah and Aiden's bodies.
We lie in the tent talking all night.
We talk about what we'd do if we weren't the people we are now, if we were
"normal people", like that even exists. I learn that Noah would work the ranch, like
any of the other people out in West Bend. Aiden would be a racecar driver, even
though Noah and I tell him that with his sex toy obsession, he should be running
his own shop. I'd do my own foundation work, totally disconnected from my
parents and all the favors they call in.
Right before I fall asleep sometime in the early morning, I realize that this is
what it must be like to really, genuinely be happy.

40

AIDEN

A re you happy with yourself?

Are you asking just to be a dick? Noah grumbles. Because it doesnt


sound like youre happy for me.
Youre the one acting like a dick right now, dude, I tell him. Youre going to
just spring this on her? I told you that you needed to tell her before. Now its just
going to look like you've we've been hiding shit."
Tell me what? Graces voice echoes from behind us, and we both turn. I
knocked on the door but no one answered, so I just came in. But Im obviously
interrupting something.
Youre not interrupting anything, I say, glaring at Noah. Noah has
something he wants to tell you.
Okay, she says. No ones sick, right? You guys look like youre delivering bad
news.
I roll my eyes. Hell, Noah apparently thinks its great news. He told his agent
that much, anyway, then set his phone down and told me like it was nothing, like
he was describing a football play.
I cant tell if the calm expression on Noahs face is because he really doesnt give
a shit or if he really thinks that shes going to think this is no big deal. Either way, I
dont fucking like it. But its his news to tell, not mine.
You know Ive been negotiating my contract, right? Noah asks.
Grace shrugs. Sure, maybe. Actually, I think my dad mentioned that.
Your dad follows Noahs contract status? I ask.
I told you, hes a Colorado fan. She smiles. Oh. So are they paying you more
money or something?
I shake my head.
I don't understand. Whats going on? she asks, still smiling.
Im in contract negotiations, Noah says gruffly. Not just with Colorado. Ive
been looking at teams outside of Colorado.
Oh. Grace looks at him for a minute, and then at me. Her expression changes,
and she's still smiling, but it's her press smile, the one she gives when she's on
television or with her family a stage smile. "Oh. Right. Of course. Outside of

Colorado.
Theres a bidding war, he says.
Grace nods, swallowing hard. Congratulations, she says, her voice tight.
Thats good news.
Miami and Dallas, he says. And Colorado.
Those would be good career moves, then?
Noah nods. More money.
Because that's what's fucking important in life.
Grace nods, taking a deep breath before speaking. More money is good.
Shes so calm on the surface, like she's answering questions in an interview. I
recognize that kind of nonchalance because it's the shit I do for the press. I grin
and make jokes and play the clown and Grace is doing the same damn thing right
now not the clown bit, but playing a role. And Noah, fucking brilliant as he is,
doesnt see it. He looks like he's relieved, calmer. I know when she leaves, he's
going to tell me she wasn't upset at all.
He's so fucking book smart, but hes a damn idiot.
Graces brow furrows. You didnt tell me you were taking offers outside of
Colorado, she says.
There it is.
I can feel the air disappear from the room.
Then she turns to look at me. You knew he was negotiating outside of Colorado
and you didnt say anything either?
Grace, I I start. Fuck. It wasnt my news to tell her. I could kill Noah right
now.
Its not really a big deal, Noah says. Miami isnt a long flight and Dallas is
even closer, so
But Grace puts her hand to her mouth, shaking her head. This is all public
knowledge anyway, isnt it? she asks. Its the kind of thing that Id know if I paid
attention to football or followed sports.
Exactly, Noah starts.
Noah should have fucking told you, I point out. Hell, I should have made him
tell you. Or told you myself.
What the hell are you talking about? Noah asks. Its not like Id be moving to
the other side of the world. Its hours away.
Thats not the fucking point! I burst out, angry at him for fucking this up.
Angry at him for not realizing right now that hes fucking it up. This relationship
was already complicated enough before we decided to hide information from her.
I feel like an idiot, Grace says softly, shaking her head. Everyone else in the
world knew about this but me. Its you lied. Both of you.
Noah looks suddenly sheepish. We didnt lie. I just didnt want to tell you
before I knew for certain that I
"I don't get it," she says, stopping him. "If you knew you were leaving, why
even get involved with me? Both of you knew. Why even take the risk?" She takes

another deep breath, her voice quiet when she speaks again. "You knew what I was
risking by even being with you, the stupid excuses I've been giving to my security
detail to my parents - to spend time with you. You knew what I could lose by
getting involved with you what my father could lose. And Ive become someone
who's reckless and doesn't care about consequences. You make me fall for you for
both of you but you didn't tell me this one thing. You hid it. I don't care about
how short a flight it is to Miami or Dallas or Colorado. I should have known. I
should have gone into things with my eyes open." The words come out in a flurry,
and when she stops, she looks at us and just shakes her head. "I need to go."
"Grace, I " I start, and Noah tells her not to leave. But she turns around and
walks away.
You made me fall for you - for both of you.
I want to tell her that she's not the only one who fell.

41

GRACE

"A re you sure you're okay with party-crashing?" I ask Vi as she slides behind the
driver's seat. She's wearing a topaz-colored gown, one of her own creations

that falls somewhere between black tie and cocktail attire, but definitely not
conservative like my very appropriate floor-length black dress. My parents will be
less than thrilled that Vi is coming to my father's fundraising event, and doubly
less than thrilled about us pulling up in Vi's brand new splashy sports car instead of
the very suitable SUV with black tinted windows driven by my security detail.
"I take offense to the term party-crashing when I'm practically a member of the
First Family," Vi jokes, checking her lipstick in the rearview mirror before she pulls
out of my driveway, her tires squealing on the pavement.
"You mean, like a crazy drunk uncle who shows up for family reunions?" I ask.
"My neighbors are going to appreciate your driving, thanks."
"Crazy drunk aunt, thank you very much," Vi corrects me. "And I can't believe
you still agreed to do this event even after your parents insisted on trying to set you
up with that trust fund baby."
I sigh. "I know. Tell me why I'm doing this again."
"Because you're a dutiful, obedient daughter."
I laugh. "I'm a sucker."
"You are a sucker," Vi agrees. "Let me guess how it went down. Your father laid
a guilt trip on you the way he always does. He said something about your duty to
your country and to your family and mentioned the words freedom and
democracy."
"So you were listening to our conversation?"
Vi sighs. "This isn't my first rodeo. We've been down this road before, darling. I
love you, but someday, you're going to have to tell them they can stick duty to the
family and country right up their ass-"
"I do have a backbone," I insist. "I told them I wouldn't go out with the guy."
Vi's voice softens. "Of course you do. It's not exactly easy to flip the President
and the First Lady the bird, Grace."
"Thanks for coming tonight."
"Well, how could I resist showing up as your plus-one, just to keep the rumors

of our affair going?" Vi grins. "Just don't be surprised when I kiss you on the mouth
this time. I'll throw you a little tongue, too for realism."
"That's kind of you," I deadpan.
Vi shifts gears and pushes on the gas, and the engine roars as we pull onto a
deserted street. She glances over at me. "What?" she asks innocently. "Let's keep
Brooks and Davis on their toes, shall we?"
"I'm pretty sure I've been doing that enough lately."
"You sounded off when we talked on the phone," Vi notes. "That's the real
reason I showed up. So, spill it. What's wrong?"
Where do I begin?
"This doesn't have anything to do with the bidding war over Noah, does it?" Vi
asks.
"You know about that?" I ask. "Did everyone know about that but me?"
"So you are upset about it."
"I'm not upset." I shrug, brushing off the lie. "Okay, I'm a little miffed."
"You sound more than a little miffed. Go on."
"I'm slightly miffed." I watch the buildings zip past as we drive. "I don't know
it's not the fact that he's been pursuing contracts outside of Colorado. It's that
neither of them told me about it."
"So this is more than just a fling with them," Vi says.
"Yes. No. I don't know. I thought it was. I mean, it wasn't at first. I don't really
know how it even happened. I was so irritated with them at the camp for behaving
like frat boys or something, and then"
"Before you knew it, you were getting spit-roasted by the hot guys who irritated
you," Vi finishes.
"That's a very classy way of putting it, yes," I joke. "But then I started spending
more time with them, and"
"And then you fell in love," Vi says wistfully.
"Love? Are you insane?" I ask. "I just got used to them insisting they were my
boyfriends."
"Noah Ashby and Aiden Jackson said they were your boyfriends?"
"Yes. I mean, we agreed they were, I guess. They decided they were and I
agreed." I pause. "God, it really does sound like I have no backbone, doesn't it?
They wanted to be my boyfriends and I wanted them to be my boyfriends." I pause
again. "That just makes us sound like we're all in junior high."
Vi laughs. "Love always makes us sound like we're teenagers."
"Stop using that word."
"What would you like me to use instead?"
"I don't know, all right? Not that word. That's a big fucking word, Vi."
"We'll come back to it. Noah is pursuing contracts outside of Colorado"
"Right. Noah drops his bidding war news on me, like it's good news. And it is.
It's great news for him. I'm happy there's a bidding war over him. I'm thrilled. He
loves football and he should get paid well for it and it's wonderful."

"But" she prompts.


"I don't care that he's going to Miami or Dallas or wherever - at all. I'm a big
girl. It just it rubs me the wrong way that they lied about it. Or omitted the
truth."
"It feels dishonest."
"I feel like a terrible bitch. I walked out when they told me the news. He was
happy, giving me this good career news, and I just walked out. I don't know why.
They were saying I was theirs, that I was their girlfriend, but there's this big piece
of information they just didn't tell me. I mean, sure, it's public information. You
and other people knew. Hell, you and the rest of America knew."
"But that almost makes it worse." Vi voices what I'm thinking before I even say
it.
"Yeah, I'm the only idiot in this country who didn't know. And if I didn't know
that"
"What else are they keeping from you?" Vi finishes.
"Exactly. And, I mean, they're athletes. If they hid this, it makes me wonder
what else they'd hide girls, drugs oh hell, I don't know."
The look on Vi's face makes me stop.
"I know. I sound crazy," I admit. "It's just I'm taking a lot of risk by even
being with them."
"I know," Vi says. "I'm proud of you."
"For screwing two football players and getting myself into a hot mess?"
Vi laughs. "I love that this is your version of a hot mess, doll."
"This is a hot mess!"
"Oh, honey," Vi says. "This is hardly a hot mess."
Her tone makes me laugh. "I know, I know. It's not a hot mess unless someone
is pregnant or there are twenty tabloid articles being written about your scandalous
behavior."
Vi waves her hand dismissively as she looks over and gives me a grin. "Even
then. It's all good publicity, right?"
"For you, yes! Not when you're the president's daughter. Not when you're my
father's daughter."
"Well, maybe it's time the president's daughter got herself into a little bit of
trouble."
"Isn't that what they call it when women get knocked up?"
"Yeah, in the fifties, maybe. I'm referring to you not playing it so safe
anymore."
"I'm not playing it safe! I've been with both of them. A lot. That's as unsafe as
it gets."
"It's a little unsafe."
"It's a lot unsafe."
"More unsafe would be admitting you L-word them," Vi says.
I glare at her, but her eyes are on the road. "I told you to stop using that word."

"You don't know that I meant love. I might have meant that you like them. Or
that you want to lick them. Or that you lust after them."
"Like. Like is fine."
Vi is silent for a moment as we near the building. "Do you think maybe it's not
just about the fact that they didn't tell you?"
"Like what? It's not enough that they omitted pertinent information that
everyone else in the world knew about?"
"Maybe," Vi says, downshifting and coming to an abrupt stop in front of the
building. "But maybe there's a part of you that's a little afraid of where things
might be going?"
"They're going nowhere, obviously," I say, suddenly annoyed. "If they didn't
think it was important to tell me about that, what the hell else are they going to
hide?"
But Vi doesn't stop. She keeps talking, even as a valet nears the car. "Or maybe
you expected this to be nothing more than a crazy, wild fling, the kind of thing
you've never done before and that's it. And now it's not. It's more than that and
now the consequences are starting to be real. Your feelings are starting to be real
and now you're afraid of where it's all going."
I'm silent for a minute as the valet stands outside Vi's door. I watch couples
walk up the stairs to the building entrance dressed in tuxedos and gowns. "When
the hell did you become so insightful about relationships, Oprah?"
Vi grins. "Just because I don't enjoy serious relationships myself doesn't mean I
don't see what it takes to have one."
"Maybe you just need more than one guy," I tell her.
She pauses with her hand on the door handle. "Honey, if you find me three hot
football players, I'll give a relationship a whirl. Triplets would be preferable."
I grimace. "Vi, that is how would you even manage" I hold my hand up.
"Nope, I don't want to know."
She grins as we get out of the car. "I can see you just figured out how I would
manage."
"I need to rinse my brain thanks to that image."
Vi waits until she's beside me with her arm linked in mine to whisper. "I have a
feeling there are far dirtier images in that brain of yours now, thanks to certain
men who shall remain nameless."
"Shhh." I slap her lightly on the arm as we walk inside the building and straight
into the crowd. We're immediately spotted by a couple who head straight for us.
"Oh God, it's that lobbyist and his wife you know, the guy who smells like
cheese," Vi whispers. "Quick, run. It's every man for himself."
"Thanks a lot, Vi," I whisper, but I dodge them by walking around another
couple, turning toward a canap tray and pretending to be mesmerized by the
selection, and winding up out of the line of fire. But when I look back for Vi, I see
she's been sidelined by the cheese-smelling-lobbyist.
Vi peers around him, mouthing, "Save yourself."

I'm about to go rescue her when I run directly into the chest of a tall man in a
tuxedo.
"Grace," he says, looking down at me as his hands grip my forearms. I look up
into the eyes of a classically handsome man well-bred, white-collar, obviously
wealthy and I feel nothing. Nada. No spark, nothing like when I ran into Noah
that night, when he stepped on my dress and cupped my breasts in his hands.
Heat rushes through me at the recollection, followed immediately by a pang of
regret. I should talk to them. I shouldn't have just run out of there the other day. I
should tell them it was more about being afraid to trust them than it was about
their lie.
"Yes," I say, giving the man my best press smile. There's something familiar
about him, but I can't quite place how I know him.
"Brandon," he says, as if he can read my mind. "Redding. Our mothers know
each other, I believe."
"Oh. Right." Oh, God. It's my would-be suitor. "Brandon. It's lovely to meet
you."
He smiles warmly. "You know, it's not often that I get stood up."
Stood up? "Oh. I didn't think my mother actually arranged a date between us. I
mean, you called and I was just so busy that I didn't have time to respond and"
He laughs, turning to grab two glasses of champagne from one of the catering
staff that passes by and hands one to me. "It's okay. I know when I'm being blown
off. My ego can take it I don't need to be let down gently."
"I wasn't exactly blowing you off," I explain lamely. "It's just that I was"
"Busy," he finishes for me, sipping his champagne. "As you say."
"Yes." I swallow half my glass in one gulp. "And I wasn't especially thrilled
about being set up."
"Ah, there we are," he says, the edges of his lips turning up. "Admittedly, I'm
intrigued by the fact that you didn't want to be set up with me."
I raise my eyebrows. "Narcissistic, much?"
"Just confident. And not used to being turned down."
"What if I said, 'it's not you, it's me'?"
"Well, Grace." He leans in close to me, and I'm suddenly uncomfortable, but
when I step back, I bump into a woman behind me. He whispers in a conspiratorial
tone. "I'd say that you were being disingenuous."
"Excuse me?"
"I'd say you were lying."
"I know what disingenuous means." I don't know this guy, but his
condescending attitude certainly isn't endearing him to me. "I'm asking what
makes you an expert on my truth-telling ability?"
"Because there's a man over there who's looking at me like he'd like to kill me
right now, and I assume it's because I'm standing where I'm standing."
I spin around far too quickly to appear nonchalant. "What?"
But he's wrong. It's not one man standing there. It's two.

42

NOAH

"I 'm going on record saying this is not a good idea," I grumble under my breath as
we stand on the outside of the crowd at the event hall.

Yesterday afternoon, Aiden called Grace's assistant Janice and sweet-talked her
into telling him where Grace would be tonight. As it turns out, Janice is more skilled
in negotiation tactics than my cutthroat agent, so the price of that knowledge was
donating to tonight's auction to support Grace's father's re-election campaign:
dinner with two of Colorado's "golden boys."
"Yeah, well she left because of your bright idea not to tell her anything about
your negotiations. Let's go apologize. We were idiots and we screwed up. Grace is
reasonable. She'll understand."
You made me fall for you - for both of you.
Her words have run through my head all night.
I'm on edge. I've been on edge since Grace walked out the door after I told her
about the bidding war. To be honest, I was on edge the second my agent called with
the news about Dallas and Miami in the first place. Before Grace, the only thing
tying me to Colorado was my family. I love them, but they understand that my plan
has always been to go where the best team is. Playing for the best team has never
been about the money, though; it's always been about my desire to play the best
football I can, to be part of the best team I can.
I've never had any loyalty to a place. Hell, I never had any reason to before
Grace, before whatever the hell is happening between the three of us, before she
somehow became our girlfriend and I somehow became unable to picture a future
that didn't involve sharing her with Aiden.
"This is anything but discreet," I hiss. "You think no one is going to notice us
talking to her?"
Aiden shrugs. "So? We'll wait until she's alone."
"She's the president's daughter. She's never alone."
Aiden gives me a look. "She's been alone with us plenty of times."
Suddenly, there's movement in the crowd, and I catch a glimpse of Grace
looking breathtakingly beautiful in a long black gown, her hair pulled up on top of
her head.

Talking to a man.
A man who's leaning in close to her, his hand on her arm, looking like far more
than just an acquaintance.
Aiden sees them at the same time I do. "Should we kill him?" he growls.
"She's not with that guy," I tell him, sounding far more casual than I feel right
now. Right now, I feel like walking up to them, punching him in the mouth for
talking to her, and throwing her over my shoulder like a caveman so Aiden and I
can show her exactly who she belongs to. That makes me a pig. I know it does. The
rational part of me knows it does. Which is why I stand there, not throwing anyone
over my shoulder or punching anyone.
"Look at him. He's a suit."
"We're wearing suits, in case you haven't noticed."
"We're wearing tuxedos because this is a black tie event," I say. "We're not
suits."
The guy leans in close again, and adrenaline and anger course through me at the
sight of her and another man. I clench my hands into fists at my side. He's
standing there, with his mouth near her ear and it's all I can do to not walk over
there and stake my claim on her our claim on her right in the middle of
everyone. "Yeah, killing him sounds good," I admit.
But we don't get to kill or even tackle anyone because right then, Grace's
gaze meets ours, and her eyes go wide.
Then she turns and disappears into the crowd.
I'm about to follow her, but Aiden stops me. "Don't."
"Don't what?"
"You were about to go after her," he says. "Don't be obvious about it. You know
her parents are supposed to be here tonight, and her security, and a million people
with cell phones and cameras. Don't be stupid."
I shake off his hand on my arm. The irritation with the man standing near her is
making me jumpy. "Fine. Then I'm going outside for air."
I edge through a couple of people and pretend not to hear Aidens or my names
being spoken.
Then I feel a hand on my arm.
"Noah Ashby!" a voice says brightly. I look down to see Grace's friend, the one I
met at the charity event before - the one who saw me and my boner in the back
room with Grace. What was her name? Something to do with flowers. Daisy?
"Hi -" I start.
She turns to a couple she's talking with, her hand still on my arm. "I'm so sorry,
I'd love to chat more, but I've been looking all over for my dear friend Noah!"
Dear friend? I give her a puzzled look as she steers me away using my arm. She
smiles broadly, looking ahead.
"Just keep walking, doll," she says. Doll? "Thanks for getting me out of that
conversation. Can't stand that guy."
"Okay."

"I take it you're looking for Grace?"


"Nah. I mean, just to because Aiden and I donated something tonight and so
that's all we're doing, I mean if we see her here I mean, tell her we, you know
"
Fuck, fuck, fuck. I sound like a bumbling idiot.
Grace's friend Rose? just laughs. "You definitely don't have a career in
politics, doll. Anyone ever tell you you're a terrible liar?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"I'm her best friend," she says. "I know. You want to see her, right?"
"Yes."
She looks behind us at Aiden. "You too?"
"Are you taking us to her?"
"Depends," she says, stopping as we get to the hallway. Both of Grace's security
detail stand in front of a door at the end of the hall. Grace's friend Violet? That's
it. Violet. No, Vicrosses her arms. "Why are you here?"
"To see her," I answer.
She looks around before dropping her voice to a whisper. "Why?"
"To apologize," Aiden says.
Vi scowls. "You effed up."
I nod. "We did."
"She might not want to see you."
"We know."
She narrows her eyes. "So why should she talk to you? What are you going to say
that she'd want to hear?"
Irritation rushes through my veins, and I look around the hallway, my fists
clenched into balls as I lean forward and whisper to Grace's friend. "It's none of
your business what we want to tell our girl, so quit cock-blocking us and get out of
the way."
I expect her to slap me and call Grace's security detail, but she doesn't. A smile
slowly spreads over her face. "I'm only getting out of your way if you're about to go
in there and tell her that yourself."
"Tell her that you're cock-blocking us?"
"The part about her being your girl." Vi looks at Aiden. "Does that bit go for you
too, hotshot?"
Aiden's face turns pink and he shuffles awkwardly. "Yeah. Me too."
"All right. Then I'll take you in there."

43

GRACE

I text Vi again while only half-listening to my father's campaign manager give me


instructions.

Are you stuck with the lobbyist? My dad is late. Now I'm going onstage a little
earlier.
"We'll just have you kick off the first speaker introduction instead of your
father's. Notes are on this card." The campaign manager I can't remember her
name, my father just fired his old one for some hot-shot new one - stands in front
of me wearing a no-nonsense silk suit and directing one of her assistants. "Get her
a mic. No, not that one. Why would you bring her one we were having problems
with earlier tonight? Get one that works, for Christ's sake." She turns toward me,
her voice low. "I swear, these college interns don't know their heads from their
asses."
"I'm sure my parents will be here in a few "
The door opens and Vi stands there. Thank God.
"Could I just steal her for a tiny second? I'm her designer and I need to adjust
her dress." Vi asks the question in a way that's not really asking.
"Perfect," the coordinator says as a young girl in a black cocktail dress breezes
past Vi with a battery pack and a mic. "We'll just need to get you hooked up and "
"I can take care of the mic," Vi says, smiling sweetly. "We'll just be five
minutes. That's all I need. It's really a delicate fashion issue, and I'm sure the First
Daughter would prefer a bit of privacy."
"Okay." The woman holds up the pack. "The switch is on the back. You've used
a million of these, I'm sure. You'll exit there and walk out down the hallway, where
we'll be waiting to escort you on stage. Don't turn the mic on we'll do it when we
get out there. It won't be a live feed until we introduce you anyway. I'll have
another mic for you in case this one's a dud. I swear we've had nothing but
technical problems tonight already." She whirls around, whisking the frightenedlooking intern away with her and out the door.

As soon as she leaves, Vi takes the mic pack from my hands. "I'll help you get
this on, but there's someone someones here to see you."
My heart races. "They cannot be back here, Vi. You need to tell them to leave."
"Two seconds," she says, her tone leaving no room for argument. "Brooks and
Davis will get them out of here before your parents even get near the building."
"I don't want to do this here "
"Just hear them out, that's all." She gives me a long look. "You admitted
yourself that walking out was a mistake. You were afraid. And they make you
happy. Make up with them and go home and screw their brains out and be happy."
She goes to the door, pulling it open to let Noah and Aiden step inside.
My heart skips a few beats at the sight of both of them in tuxedos, arousal
immediately flooding my body.
"Give me one second to get this mic on her and then I'll give you some privacy,"
Vi says, walking over to adjust my dress.
"You're sure that's turned off, right?" I whisper as Vi situates the pack under
the back of my dress.
"It's definitely off. I'm not even sure it's working at all, actually. The light isn't
coming on. I'll grab a new one for you." Vi dashes out of the room before even
waiting for me to respond.
"I have to go out in ten minutes," I warn them. "My parents are late. I have to
introduce someone and "
"We'll be here and gone," Noah says. "We just have something to say, all
right?"
"I " I start. I have something to say too. I want to tell them I shouldn't have
run out like that.
"Me first," he says. "I should have told you about the fact that I was looking at
offers all over the place. The truth is, I was going to, but then things kept
happening with you with the three of us and I didn't know what the hell was
going on. First I thought it was just fun, what was happening and by the time I
realized it might be something more than that, it was too late to just tell you. I'd
already kept it a secret, and I thought if I told you, it would screw things up for sure.
And Dallas and Miami aren't far, and I didn't think it was lying exactly."
He runs his hand through his hair, a pained look on his face.
"I shouldn't have just run out of there. I just it felt like you were deliberately
trying to hide it, but everyone else in the world knew about it. So I was just the idiot
girl you were screwing who wasn't in on the joke."
They walk up close to me, and I inhale sharply at their proximity, breathing
them in. I'm heady just at their scent, reminded that it's been two days since I've
been in their bed. Every part of my body is turned on at the thought of being
between them.
Noah slides his fingers under my jaw, turning my face up to him. "You're not the
idiot girl we're fucking."
"We royally screwed up by not telling you," Aiden says, his hand going up to my

hair, tucking an errant strand behind my ear before grazing my neck with his palm,
sending goose bumps over my skin. "I screwed up as much as he did. You should
have known from the beginning, gone in with eyes open."
"It's just this whole thing has been insane," I say, my words already breathy. I
close my eyes as Aiden's hand moves down my arm, as my body responds
immediately to their touch. "You're backstage here at a charity event where my
parents are going to show up any second. You can't be here. And I don't think I
would have even risked it if I knew you were just leaving and"
They don't let me finish talking. Noah puts his hands on the sides of my dress,
hiking it up over my thighs as I let out a little squeal, then picks me up and carries
me to the nearest wall, pushing my back up hard against it. The mic pack digs into
my back, but I don't care.
My breath catches in my throat as he puts his lips against mine, and my body
responds to his touch. I let out a moan as he slides to his knees in his tuxedo,
pushing my thighs further apart. His fingertips graze the fabric covering my pussy.
"Your panties are all wet," he whispers, but it's more like a groan.
"I'm wet, and I have to go in ten eight minutes," I whisper. "And neither of
you should be here."
"We want no, we need to apologize," Aiden says. Standing beside me, he
turns my face toward his to kiss me hard on the mouth, his tongue seeking out
mine as Noah slides his finger under the fabric of my panties. I let out a long,
desperate moan into Aiden's mouth.
"I need to apologize on my knees," Noah growls. "I need to smell you. I need to
taste you. I need to make you come."
Oh my God.
It's wrong so wrong that I'm even considering doing this right now. I'm
minutes away from needing to be out there on stage, and I'm going to go out there
disheveled and reeking of orgasm? And I'm in here with them when I could so
easily be caught and- oh, shit, Aiden is slipping his fingers down the front of my
dress, covering my nipple, and Noah is pushing my panties to the side, his warm
mouth between my legs.
How in the world can I think rationally when they're doing what they're doing
right now?
I can't. I spread my thighs wider for Noah, groaning as he thrusts his fingers
inside my slick pussy before covering my clit with his mouth. "Oh my God," I
breathe. My body responds instantly so quickl to the sensation, the fact that it's
been two days since I've felt either of them between my legs made instantly
obvious.
I'm so quickly near climax I can hardly stand it.
"This is just a preview," Noah says as he flicks his tongue over and over my clit.
I'm so wet I think I'm dripping down my legs as Aiden reaches around my back,
fumbling with the zipper to my dress. He yanks out the mic pack.
"I'm taking this off," he growls. "I want your tits in my mouth."

"You can't," I breathe. "Oh my God. You can't. I have to go out there and you
can't make me look like I've been"
"Fucked?" Aiden growls. He throws the mic pack on the ground.
"Fucked. Yes," I breathe. "Holy shit."
Aiden pulls the loosened fabric of my dress down over my breast and tongues my
nipple as Noah fucks me harder with his fingers.
"When you finish with this political bullshit, you're going to come straight to
our bed, Grace Sullivan, and I'm going to come in this sweet"
Noah thrusts inside me with his fingers.
"Oh, God."
"Tight"
Thrust again.
"Perfect little pussy of yours," Noah says, the tips of his fingers pressing against
the sensitive spot inside me.
"And I'm going to come in your tight, little, almost-virgin asshole," Aiden says.
"Oh, fuck," I breathe. "Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck me." Aiden stifles my moan with
his mouth, but it hardly does anything to mute me as I come so hard with Noah's
face between my thighs.
The door bursts open.
I'm still coming as Brooks, Davis, and Vi run into the room. Noah's fingers are
still between my legs, my pussy still contracting around him and I'm dizzy, so
completely out of it, I don't even understand what's going on.
"Vi! What's wrong with you?! Get out of here!" I shriek.
"Don't say anything!" Vi orders, her voice shrill. "Don't say another word!" She
slides in her skirt and heels, grabbing the mic pack off the floor and yanking the
cords from it before she tears across the room and tosses the entire thing in a
pitcher of water.
"Ma'am, you need to come with us," Brooks says, her voice measured, as if it's
every day she walks in on the president's daughter getting it on with two football
players.
"Fuck," I whisper, panic rushing through me. "Turn around!"
They all spin around, and Noah slips his fingers from between my legs, standing
and pulling down my skirt as total chaos erupts. Vi and I are whisked out of the
room by Brooks and Davis while Noah and Aiden are immediately escorted behind
us by other Secret Service agents.
I can hardly catch my breath, my heart beating furiously. "What the hell is going
on?" I ask the question, even though I have a sinking suspicion based on Vi's
behavior with the mic pack.
But I don't want to say the words.
Brooks and Davis push us toward the SUV, but Vi puts her hand up. "Like hell
that's happening," she says, her voice tight. "Someone's already got the valet
pulling my car up, Grace."
"Ma'am, we need you to come with us," Brooks says firmly. "Your father"

"My father wants me to get in the car?" I look behind me for Noah and Aiden,
but I don't see them. I look at Vi. "Where's your car?"
"Come on," Vi says, taking my hand and pulling me behind her. The valet pulls
up in her car just as we reach it, and Vi is peeling away from the building as soon as
she shuts her car door. "Your security will follow us, but it beats being trapped with
your parents on Air Force One or something."
"Noah and Aiden" I start, looking in the side mirror behind us.
Vi shakes her head. "Out of there in the opposite direction," she says.
I exhale heavily. "Please tell me what I think just happened didn't just happen,"
I say, my voice trembling.
"I'm sorry, Grace."
"How?"
"The campaign manager had some dumb intern running the live feed, and the
girl turned it on early, I guess. Your mic pack didn't even look like it was working
when I left, so I'm not sure how I even missed something like that"
The image of Aiden tossing the mic pack on the floor flashes into my mind. "Oh,
God. It must have jarred something loose when he threw it or hit the on button
Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no." The full realization of what everyone must have heard
hits me all at once and I collapse heavily back against the seat.
"They only heard part of it thirty seconds, maybe. But it was the last thirty
seconds when Noah and Aiden were telling you"
Oh, God. Telling me exactly what they wanted to do to me.
I think my heart actually stops beating.
Everyone heard that and the rest of it
I'm going to be sick.
"No," I whisper.
Vi's hand flies to her mouth. "I'm so sorry, Grace," she repeats. "The room
heard a live feed of two football players giving the president's daughter an
orgasm."
Everything spins. I think I'm going to faint. Vi is saying something now, but it
sounds like she's speaking from far away, like she's in a tunnel. My phone is
ringing and ringing and ringing, interspersed with Vi's ringtone over and over and
over.
"Grace?" Vi asks. "Grace?"
Everything goes dark.

44

GRACE

"Hiding here was the right decision- the only right decision you've made in a long
time," my mother says with a scowl. She's wearing an all-white suit standing

in the middle of the expansive, modern, all-white room in one of Vi's ex's
mansions on Star Island where she practically blends in with the living room.
Vi drove us from Colorado to Miami nearly three full days of driving- where her
very wealthy ex (I'd call him a boyfriend but Vi doesn't do boyfriends) took us into
his gated compound, and we've been hiding out for the past day. We ditched our
cell phones on the way, and have been behind the gate since we arrived, so no one
except my security who followed me and the White House knows where we are. At
least for now.
I exhale heavily. I'm exhausted. I might not have internet or phone access, but I
saw the newspaper and tabloid headlines Vi's friend brought in this morning. I
wanted to see what the damage was with my own eyes.
It was as bad as I'd feared. Headlines this morning read "The O Heard Round the
World!" and "President's Daughter Donates Live Porn For Campaign Fundraiser!"
People are already selling my orgasm as a fucking ring-tone.
All of the articles have been about me. I might as well have an S for slut painted
on my forehead, because that's what they're calling me: the slutty daughter of the
president. Or the mentally ill daughter of the president.
None of the articles have mentioned Noah or Aiden by name. Yet. They've been
my unnamed lovers in every article. Or my rapists, depending on whos writing the
article.
"I don't need a lecture, mother. Did you come here for a reason or just to scold
me?"
"Scold you?" she asks, her voice going up an octave. "Scold you?! You didn't spill
ice cream on the front of your dress, Grace Monroe Sullivan. No, you acted like a
common whore and fucked two men on a live audio feed at your father's campaign
fundraiser!"
"Oh, fuck you," Vi bursts out. "And fuck your slut-shaming and fuck your
campaign fundraiser."
If my mother's head could spin entirely in circles, I think it would right now.

"You," she hisses. "You're not to say another goddamn word. If you think I don't
know what kind of an influence you've been on my daughter"
"Your daughter is twenty-six, not twelve," Vi says. "And she's been through
enough already."
"How dare you talk to me that way!" my mother screeches.
"Vi," I warn, finally finding my voice. Except my voice is conciliatory. "It's I
fucked up."
"You're damn right you fucked up," my mother yells. "You ruined everything for
your father. Do you understand that? His approval rating dropped twenty-two
percent in the last forty-eight hours. His polls are down by thirteen points! And, so
help me, you're going to fix it."
"Grace!" Vi says, looking at me with wide eyes. "Tell her to go to hell."
"But she's right. I shouldn't have done- that- at my father's campaign
fundraiser," I admit. "It was impulsive. And ill-considered. And I'm sorry it got
broadcast for everyone to hear. Hell, I'm more sorry about that than you can
imagine. I'm sorry I got caught." I take a deep breath and resolve to say what I'm
going to say, setting my jaw and looking at my mother with defiance in my veins.
"But I'm not sorry it happened."
"You'll be more than sorry, do you understand?" my mother shrieks. "You don't
want to think about your father's career? Fine. Don't want to consider all the good
he still has left to do during the next four years? Fine. Don't want to think about
the fact that you've completely destroyed your life forever, that you'll be
remembered as 'that girl' for the rest of your life? Fine. But you'll be doubly sorry
when your paramours lose their contracts, everything theyve worked for, because
of your inability to keep your legs closed!"
"Are you threatening me?" I ask, appalled. My own mother?
"Let me be crystal clear. We have fixers doing what they do at this very
moment patching up every loose end pertaining to this unfortunate affair. Now,
there's nothing that can be done to take back the fact that your voice has been
broadcast everywhere there were mobile uploads of you recorded on phones at the
fundraiser within seconds of it happening. But there are loose ends to tie up that
would affect your boyfriends greatly if they were to come untied."
"Don't listen to this, Grace," Vi interrupts.
"Shut up," my mother snaps. "Your neighbors, your colleagues, your staff at the
camp anywhere those men might have been seen with you are all being
interviewed as we speak. Payoffs are being made, favors being given, to retain their
silence. Non-disclosure agreements are being signed. Everything is being done to
ensure that at the very least, your boyfriends remain anonymous. And if you want
them to remain anonymous, you're going to do exactly what I say."
"Their silence they won't want that" I start, but my voice drifts off as I think
about the contract Noah is about to sign about the contract Aiden just signed.
There are morals clauses in those, aren't there? Behavior requirements. Noah and
Aiden said they had to stay on the straight and narrow.

If they couldn't play football


If my family if being connected to me- were the reason they couldn't play
football for the rest of their lives, they would resent me forever. I would have taken
away everything from them.
I can't be the reason for their total destruction. I won't.
So I make a deal with the Devil.

45

AIDEN

I t's been thirty-three days since the incident.

It's been thirty days since we were picked up in an unmarked SUV outside of
training camp (because in the midst of all of this shit, training camp started) by
armed agents in suits and taken out of town to a landing strip where the First Lady
met us and told us to stand down.

"MY DAUGHTER HAS BEEN EVISCERATED in the media," she says frostily. "She has been torn
apart. My husband's last term in office and his re-election campaign are now
marred by this disgusting incident."
"Where is Grace?" I demand. I don't give a shit about the president's re-election
campaign or what the hell his last term in office is like.
"Grace is going to rehab," the First Lady tells us. "It'll be announced tomorrow.
This little dalliance she's had with the two of you is going to be written off as a
byproduct of a nervous breakdown triggered by the stress of working on her
father's campaign and running the foundation."
"What, are you kidnapping her?" scoffs Noah. "This is ridiculous."
The First Lady raises her eyebrows. "Oh, I see. You think she's being held
against her will? How quaint. I'd figured both of you were slightly more worldly
than this."
"She wouldn't have chosen to go to rehab," I say.
She narrows her eyes. "Did you really think that the daughter of the President of
the United States is going to continue an affair with two athletes?" She practically
spits the word. "You didn't think this was ever going to work long-term, did you?
Surely the two of you aren't that nave. She was never going to choose you over her
family you do understand that, don't you? The First Daughter wasn't going to pick
even one of you over her image and her family and her career and her country. She
certainly wasn't going to choose both of you."
"We want to talk to her," Noah growls.
"Oh, you want to talk to her?" The First Lady mocks him. "That would do

wonders for her reputation, wouldn't it? If you care at all about her, you'll leave her
in peace so that she can pull together the scraps of dignity she has left."

IF WE CARE at all about her, we'll leave her in peace


The First Lady was right. Grace was completely annihilated in the media and we
were not, even though we should have been right there in the same articles.
Instead, we were written off as her unnamed lovers.
For the past month, Noah and I have both been on edge, seething, barely
speaking to each other. Noah stomps through the house, angry and sullen and
practically breathing fire. We've gotten in trouble for rough play at practices. Noah
got fined after he told a reporter to fuck off and walked out of an interview.
Mama Ashby called right after the campaign fundraiser. Word travels fast, even
in West Bend. She wanted to know if Grace was okay and said that the next time she
saw us, she was going to slap us both upside the head. That was until we told her
that Grace's mother had convinced her to go to rehab, or that Grace had chosen
rehab (and her family and her image) over us. Bess insisted that didn't fit with the
Grace she met in West Bend, but who the hell knows? A few weeks ago, I would
have thought the same thing. But Grace is the daughter of the president.
My sister called a couple of weeks ago. She had missed most of the news while
she was traveling. Her first question was whether we were the guys with Grace. She
was more pissed off that we'd hidden the relationship from her than anything else.

"I'M NOT TALKING to my sister about who I'm screwing, Annie!"


"It's different when she's the daughter of the president!" she yells back over the
phone. "I'm reading it in a tabloid right now!"
"The shit in the tabloids will stop soon enough if no one keeps feeding it.
"You and Noah were really with the First Daughter," she says in disbelief. "Like,
the three of you. Together-together?"
I exhale heavily. "Fuck, Annie, I don't know anymore, okay?" I exclaim. "I
thought we were. I thought she was with us."
"She was your girlfriend?" Annie asks, her tone softening.
"I thought so. But obviously I was wrong."
"So you and Noah both like her? Do you love her?"
"I don't know, Annie," I groan. "Why the fuck are we even talking about this?"
"It's not a hard question, Aiden," she says. "I wasn't asking you how to split an
atom. I was asking if you guys love her or not. It's yes or no."
"Fuck, Annie, yes, okay? I do. I'm pretty sure Noah does, too. Does that make
you happy? Your man-whore brother finally fell in love with a girl he has to
share and she's chosen to go to rehab rather than publicly admit she's with him."
Annie is silent for a moment. "No, that doesn't make me happy, A-hole," she
says. "And it obviously doesn't make you happy either. So why dont you man up

and do something about it you and Noah?"


"She's been taken off by the White House to fake rehab in hiding someplace,
Annie," I say, my voice tired. "We have no idea where the hell she is and no one is
giving us that information. Besides, even if we knew, its not like we could break in
and force her to talk to us.
"Well, then, get creative."

VI SHOWS up on our doorstep, barging into the house without a word and walking
straight into the living room like she owns the place. Nice digs, she comments.
Very grown-up for athletes.
Did you come here to comment on our interior decorating, or do you have news
about Grace? I ask.
Noah crosses his arms. Like where the fuck is she?
Shes home, Vi tells us.
Shes home? I ask. Un-fucking-believable. Shes been silent for a month, and
now shes home not more than a hundred yards away from us and weve had
exactly zero communication from her. No text message, no email, nothing. Like,
right-beside-this-place, home?
Vi nods. She doesnt know Im here.
Noah groans his frustration. So she disappears for a month and then comes
back to her house, which is right beside my place, and doesnt even bother to say,
oh, I dont know Hello, sorry I disappeared, Im back?
Look, dont get all pissy with me, Vi says. Like I said, she doesnt even know
Im here. In fact, Ive been expressly forbidden to talk to you.
Why the hell would you be forbidden to talk to us? I ask. I can understand
Grace being upset about what happened fuck, the media has been all over it. Shes
been in every damn tabloid in the country. But she cant be pissed off at us for not
fessing up to being with her when she decided to run off to some bullshit rehab for
the last month
Vi interrupts me. Her parents convinced her to do it, she says.
Yeah, we gathered that. We got a visit from the First Lady, Noah grumbles.
She made it clear that we shouldnt have ever expected Grace to slum it with guys
like us. White trash athletes dont get with girls like her, right? Grace clearly chose
her path, and thats what she wants to do. So if you have something else to say that
doesnt involve rubbing that fact in our faces, say it so you can get the hell out of
my house.
Grace didnt choose not to slum it with you two, as you so eloquently put it, Vi
says. She chose not to take your careers down in flames with her image.
What the fuck does that mean? I ask.
Did you really honestly think Grace would choose to walk away from you
because youre athletes and not billionaires or politicians? Vi asks. You cant be
that dense.

She could have come to us, I say. You took off with her that night. You could
have brought her here, and we would have protected her. Instead, you ran off with
her and the next thing we hear is from the First Lady. And the fucking newspapers.
Everything else is radio silence from both of you.
Im her best friend, Vi says. But shes a big girl who makes her own
decisions. And her decision was to do what was best for you.
I dont even know what the hell that means, Noah says, his voice loud. How
was this what was best for anyone other than her parents?
Vi exhales loudly. The First Lady had everyone who knew anything about the
three of you together silenced not killed, I mean, just paid off in exchange for
Grace going along with the nervous breakdown story.
Why would she do that? I ask. We would have come out as the guys involved.
Im not fucking ashamed of any of it!
Because of your contracts, obviously, Vi says. Grace knew that Noah was
about to sign a contract worth millions
Id already signed it, Noah interrupts.
What? Vi asks.
Id already signed the contract. That was one of the things I was going to tell
her at the fundraiser before we before everything happened. Id signed the
contract earlier. It was a done deal. She went along with this because she thought it
would protect us?
Its Grace, Vi says, sighing. Of course she went along with it. Shes always
worried about helping everyone before herself. Its her biggest flaw.
Why wouldnt she just come talk to us about it? I ask.
Because if it came down to it, she didnt want you to have to make the choice
between her or your careers. She didnt want you to resent her for it. Vi exhales.
And I was okay going along with it, because its what she wanted. But shes not
happy, and Im hoping youre not happy either.
Of course were not fucking happy, I snap.
Well, then, do something about it. Shes right next door.
So we should break the door down and talk some sense into her? Noah asks,
his voice gravelly.
Well, my advice would be to finesse it just a little bit more than that, Vi
suggests. She might have been misguided, but she still thinks that by staying
away from you, shes protecting you. And shes been through a hell of a month. It
was hard enough to convince her to come back to her house instead of living in
hiding for the next year, or moving to the other side of the world.
I think of the shit shes been through the stories that have been written about
her, the names shes been called and realize that Noah and I havent faced any of
that.
And she did it because she thought she was protecting us.

46

GRACE

I ts my first night back in my house, and this place is shut up tighter than Fort

Knox. The shades on the windows are drawn, the doors are dead-bolted shut, and
my new private bodyguards are posted in the backyard, the front yard, and in front
of my gate. I told my parents I was refusing Secret Service protection I liked
Brooks and Davis well enough, but theres no way I was letting a security detail
report my every move to my parents now but there are two unmarked SUVs
parked down the road from my house watching me anyway.
The neighborhood had to hire an additional security guy for the front gate
because of all of the reporters, and despite the increased security, my bodyguards
still had to get rid of two reporters who had managed to find their way to the front
of my house earlier today.
My neighborhood wants me gone.
Over the past month, Ive gotten death threats, been called every name in the
book, and been pretty much vilified in the national media. People have expressed
their sympathies for my parents or declared them the worst parents in the history
of the universe.
I didnt go to rehab, although it probably would have been better than hiding out
for the last month in the undisclosed location my parents arranged. Yesterday, I
was discharged and requesting personal space in this trying time as I recover.
The truth is, the last month has been a terribly shitty one but not because of all
of the media craziness or because people in America think Im either the sluttiest
girl in the world or the epitome of sexual liberation, depending on who you ask. Its
been terrible because Ive had to stay away from Noah and Aiden, despite wanting
to email them or text them or call them and just say this was all some kind of awful
joke and Id see them at home.
I wanted to call them a million times this month and tell them that I regretted
going along with my mothers plan to keep me under the radar.
I also wanted to tell them that I didnt regret anything that happened with
them.
Instead, I developed a slight obsession with Colorado football while I was away,
watching the sports channels videos of their training camp and trying to catch a

glimpse of them. I felt responsible when I read that Noah got angry and stormed
out of a media session, and when sports commentators described Noah and Aiden's
overly aggressive attitudes on the field.
But tonight, my regret is magnified about a thousand times as I sit here inside
my house thats as silent as a tomb. I peer through the curtains that cover the
window to my deck, momentarily contemplating going out to the deck and sitting
in the evening summer air, the way I would have before.
You need to get back to the way things were before, Grace.
Get back to your old routine.
Stop hiding.
All sage pieces of advice from Vi, except that assumes everything can go back to
what it was before.
I try not to look at Noah and Aidens house, but its impossible not to, and of
course the second I do, everything Ive tried to suppress for the last month
everything I felt before comes rushing to the surface. And in an instant, I cant
breathe. In an instant, my chest feels like its being crushed by an enormous
weight, and Im sitting on the floor trying to catch my breath.
I cant stay here. It was a stupid, stupid idea to think that I could just come back
to my house right beside theirs and everything would be normal.
I dont know how long I sit like that on my bedroom floor with my back to the
French doors before I hear buzzing, quickly followed by a gunshot. Before I even
pull open the bedroom door, my bodyguard is tearing up the stairs and inside my
bedroom. Youre safe, maam.
I heard
It was one of those drones, he says. The tabloids use them to get aerial views
of their targets and take photos of them. Its been neutralized.
A drone, I repeat numbly. For a second, my heart stops beating. No, it
wouldnt be Noah and Aiden. It couldnt be. It would be a reporter. Thirty-three
days ago, I basically told Noah and Aiden I wanted nothing more to do with them
not in so many words, but my actions were clear.
One of the other members of the security team is in the backyard with the
evidence. The FBI has already been contacted.
Can I just I shouldnt even go outside. I should ignore what just happened,
close up the house, and get out of here. I should have packers move everything and
find a new place, somewhere far from all of this.
Except I dont.
I walk out onto the balcony, even as my well-meaning bodyguard protests,
looking down onto the yard where the drone has been blown to smithereens. And
where there are what the hell?- hundreds of little quarter-sized glowing circles
scattered through the grass, an explosion of glow-in-the-dark
No.
I squint at the grass before looking up at Noah and Aidens house. Their lights
are on, but I dont see any movement inside the house and I cant see into their

yard.
Still, I ask anyway.
What are the the things in the yard?
The bodyguard clears his throat. Theyre prophylactics, maam.
Excuse me?
Condoms.
Condoms, I repeat flatly. Glow-in-the-dark condoms.
Yes, maam. Clearly its the work of someone mentally ill or
Or
I look back over at Noah and Aidens house.
Was there anything else?
Excuse me, maam?
Anything else. Was there anything else that was left in my yard?
Maam, you can trust us to do our jobs, he says. You hired us to protect you
not only from threats to your safety, but also threats to your mental health. Our job
is to intercept messages from the people who might be fixated on you because of
Yes. I understand. My heart is beating a thousand times a minute now. But
was there anything else left? I need to know.
There was a He clears his throat, obviously uncomfortable. There was a
doll. An inflatable doll.
A blow-up doll. I look over at Noah and Aidens house again.
After all Ive done to keep their identities secret, they wouldnt dare jeopardize
everything the first day I came home, would they?
And worse, why does the thought of that make my breath catch in my throat?
Why does it send hope surging through me for the first time in a month?
Yes, maam. Obviously, well be intercepting some disturbing things as you get
settled back into your routine, but my experience is these things do tend to die
down fairly quickly, even if it doesnt seem like it in the moment.
Hes trying to be encouraging, but the only thing I can focus on is the blow-up
doll.
Was there a note?
Pardon?
With the blow-up doll. Was there a note with it?
Maam, I really dont think that knowing the details is a positive
Was there a note? I snap.
I believe so, maam.
Show it to me.
Maam, in my experience, these sickos who send these kinds of things really
I want to see it, I say, my voice shaking. Please show me the note.
It will be considered evidence at this point and please dont do anything
rash.
But Im already headed downstairs and to the front door, my bodyguard in tow. I
dont go to the backyard where the remnants of the drone and the condoms and the

blow-up doll are. Instead, I walk down the driveway, ignoring the bodyguards
advice to stay away from the gate and the road in front of the house.
I dont know what Im doing. My thoughts are swirling around in my head as I
walk. Ive had an entire month to do nothing except think about what happened
with Noah and Aiden, and why I did what I did.
I had resolved to be okay with my choice to adhere to my parents plan.
I rationalized it. I told myself it was the best possible decision I could make in a
shitty situation.
Except that right now none of that makes sense in the face of what has to be
Noah and Aidens completely stupid attempt at reaching out to me.
Now, my decision seems idiotic as I push open the front gate and ignore the
guard posted there who tells me to stay inside.
Im not a prisoner in my own house, am I? I ask absently, looking around for
any sign of Noah and Aiden.
For a minute, I wonder if its all in my head. This could have been a sick persons
idea of a joke.
Except that there they are.
The gate to Noahs house opens and there they are, walking out of it, wearing
trench coats? In the middle of the summer, with their bare legs sticking out
underneath.
Are they about to flash me?
Even after all thats happened, the thought immediately sends a pang of arousal
straight to my core, and mentally I curse myself for my attraction to these guys who
thought that sending a note-carrying blow-up doll and glow-in-the-dark condoms
was an appropriate way to say hello.
These men, the ones who send drones to my house, are the men I tried to protect
by hiding out and pretending to have lost my mind when clearly, theyre the crazy
ones.
The crazy men who are standing in front of me in their trench coats and what I
assume is absolutely nothing else underneath, while one of the bodyguards yells at
them to back away from me.
The insane men who break into the widest grins Ive ever seen as I stand there,
so that I cant remember why the hell I ever thought that keeping this a secret was
a good idea in the first place.
We have a hell of a lot to say to you, sugar, Aiden starts.
One of the bodyguards interrupts. Back away from the First Daughter.
But I put my hand up. Its okay. I know them. Theyre my I pause, realizing
Im about to say boyfriends, but thats not accurate because theyre not anymore,
are they?
Say it, Grace, Noah orders, his expression intense. Say what you were about
to say.
But I dont. I close my mouth, and then I open my mouth again, and then I close
it again, and then I open it again. Like a fish. I was about to ask if youre planning

on flashing me.
Well, now, that all depends, Aiden says. Are you planning on admitting you
were wrong?
Admitting that I was wrong?! I ask. I just spent a month pretending to have
had a nervous breakdown so my psychopathic parents wouldnt out you two as the
guys fucking me at the fundraiser!
My voice is too loud. Way too damn loud. And I'm yelling in the middle of the
street.
One of the bodyguards clears his throat behind me, and I realize theyre right
behind me. Um. I clear my own throat. Could I have a few minutes, please?
Thats right, you did, Noah says. Now, did we ask you to do that?
I thought youd be grateful that I didnt decimate your careers, I say, bristling
at the question.
Aiden steps closer to me, looking down at me, his expression softening. Hes
standing so close and Ive missed him them so much that I close my eyes,
breathing him in, drinking in his scent. And I swear that I must have been living for
the past month in black-and-white, because when I open my eyes, its like
everything is Technicolor. I feel alive, more alive than I've felt in the last month.
Im a junkie who needs her fix, and I can hardly breathe as Noah steps closer,
taking my hand in his.
You ever think that you might have wanted to consult with us before you fell on
your sword, sugar? Aiden asks.
I didnt want you to have to make that choice, I say, my voice tight. If it came
down to a choice between me and football, I didnt want you to have to choose.
You should have given us all of the available information and let us make a
decision, Noah says, throwing back exactly what I told him before when he didnt
tell me about the potential contracts outside of Colorado.
Were in the middle of the road, I whisper.
Thats right. Were in the middle of the fucking road, and neither of us care,
Noah says.
What are you saying? I ask.
The night we came to the fundraiser, before we got occupied with other
things, I was going to tell you that we werent just coming there to apologize. I
signed a contract with Colorado, Noah says. Im not leaving. And theres no
morality clause in my damn contract. As long as Im not robbing banks or stealing
handbags from old ladies, nobody's firing me."
Ditto, Aiden says. My attorney says Im good.
And you would have known all of that if youd come here instead of running off
with Vi that night.
So what I did was for nothing, I realize. For the last month, Ive been
trying to protect you and well, why the hell didnt you go public, then, if you
didnt care?
Well, we thought you might have realized that a couple of football players were

beneath you, and that you wouldnt want more attention drawn to the incident
than already was on it, Noah says.
Why would I think that you were beneath ohhh. My mother.
We did get a visit from the First Lady, Aiden admits.
Well. I dont know what to say. I cant think straight when Im standing so
close to them like this smelling them, nearly touching them and all I want them
to do is pick me up and carry me back into the house and stay there for another
thirty days.
Well, I sure as hell do, Noah says. The last month sucked, and I dont want to
do it again.
Ditto, Aiden interjects. For the good of mankind, you just cant leave us
again.
For the good of mankind?
That was a little dramatic, Aiden says. For the good of everyone around us. Is
that better?
I raise my eyebrows. Thats what you came out here to say?
Nope, Noah says. We came out here to say we love you.
We love you and we fucking want you, Aiden adds. And neither of us give a
shit about anyone else's opinions about those facts.
We love you. We want you. And youre ours. That pretty much sums it up, right,
Aiden? Noah asks.
And were taking you home, Aiden says. Your house or ours. Pick one, but
make sure its one youre comfortable with.
Why is that? I ask.
Because youre not going to be able to walk tomorrow, Aiden starts.
Noah interrupts. Sweetheart, youve been gone for thirty days. If you think
youre going to be able to walk anytime in the next month, youd be mistaken.
Is this the part where Im supposed to tell you to pick me up and carry me
inside the house right now? I ask. Or do I get half a second to say I love you back
before you threaten to immobilize me?
Say it, Aiden orders.
I just did!
Say it again, Noah commands.
I love you both.
They dont let me utter another word. Aiden brings his mouth to mine, his kiss
soft and tender and gentle at first but quickly turning into something entirely
different as his tongue finds mine. His hands go to my face, his palms on either
side, and he kisses me and kisses me and kisses me until Im breathless.
When he finally pulls his lips from mine, I dont have a second to catch my
breath before Noah is sliding his arm around my waist to the small of my back and
yanking me against him. His hardness is evident even through the coat, and heat
floods my body at the sensation of him pressed against me. I melt into his arms, my
legs practically turning to jelly as he kisses me hard, rough, passionate, not the

least bit tender.


Aidens kiss is welcoming. Noahs kiss is punishing.
When we finally stop, my lips are swollen and my body is aching with need. I
dont want to stand here in the middle of the road with them. I want to go home
with them. I want to show them exactly how much I missed them.
Im about to tell them just that when a golf cart pulls up with a bright green and
yellow van driving slowly behind them. One of the security guards from the front
gate steps out of the cart. I apologize, Ms. Sullivan. Weve been tighter with
security given your situation, but this was a special delivery for Mr. Jackson and Mr.
Ashby, and theyve had unusual deliveries in the past, and the bananas had
paperwork, so we let them in escorted.
The bananas?
The van door slides open and bananas begin pouring out. Not the fruit kind, but
the human-dressed-as-fruit kind.
Carrying musical instruments.
My bodyguards step in front of me, trying to act as a barrier between me and the
bananas, but I wave them away. Its okay, I say, laughter starting to bubble up in
my chest. Theyre bananas, not assassins.
As I said, this was highly unusual, but Mr. Jackson and Mr. Ashby have had
unusual deliveries in the past, the security guard tries to explain.
What the hell? Did you do this? I ask, my mouth gaping as more bananas pour
out of the van. There must be fifteen of them. I dont know how they all fit in the
vehicle, but theyre forming a little group in their yellow tights and their banana
costumes. Theyre even wearing little banana stem hats on top of their heads.
I swear this was not my work, Aiden says, laughing as a trombone blares out
notes that startle me, making me jump.
Which of you hired a marching band dressed as bananas? I cant cover my
laughter, and I snort loudly as I hold my hand over my mouth.
I wish this were our work, Noah answers as the marching band begins belting
out REO Speedwagons Cant Fight This Feeling Anymore. I think I know whose
work it is, though.
Annie, Aiden chimes in. I give him a look that says I dont have a clue what
theyre talking about, and he laughs. Well tell you later.
And that is how I, Grace Monroe Sullivan, former head of my parents
foundation (before I was fired), and the notoriously slutty soon-to-be estranged
daughter of the very conservative President Arthur Sullivan, came to be standing
here in the middle of the road in my formerly quiet, historic neighborhood with my
football-player,
trench-coat-wearing,
drone-flying,
naked-bongo-playing
boyfriends, listening to a marching band of bananas play REO Speedwagon.

47

NOAH

G race giggles as I hoist her over my shoulder and carry her down the hallway to

my room. Our room. Fuck, were going to need a bigger room if the three of us are
going to do this. Hell, or just a bigger bed, at the very least.
I drop her directly onto the bed. She looks up, her cheeks flushed and her green
eyes bright. "Wait," she says. "I have one question."
"Shoot." Aiden and I wait expectantly.
"What is the deal with the trench coats, anyway?"
"We thought you might" I start, but Aiden interrupts.
"Hate us," he says.
"Hate is a strong word," I continue. "We thought you might not be happy to see
us, after the month you've had and the way it was really all our fault."
"How was it all your fault?" I ask.
"Obviously you couldn't resist us the night of the fundraiser," Aiden says.
"Because we're so sexy."
"Yeah, that was clearly it. There's something about guys in trench coats," Grace
murmurs.
"So, we figured we suck pretty hard at romance, but we're pretty good at
comedy," Aiden goes on.
"What's funny about trench coats?" Grace asks.
So we drop the coats to the floor and show her.
The fact that we haven't seen her in a month works in our favor, because both of
us are rock-hard.
"You knitted sweaters for your dicks," Grace realizes. "Do those saylove?" She
looks back and forth between us as she reads the lettering. "We love you."
"Impressive, right?" I ask, glancing at Aiden. "I told you she'd be impressed."
"She was more impressed with the drone," Aiden says. "And the banana band."
"You can't take credit for the banana band. You know that was Annies doing.
"Stop talking," Grace orders, standing up beside the bed. I watch, trying not to
gape like Ive never seen her naked before as Grace takes off her shirt, unhooks and
removes her bra, and dangles it from her fingers to tease us before dropping it to
the floor. She unbuttons her jeans and shimmies out of them, then does the same

with her panties and Aiden and I stand there mesmerized.


Then she puts her hand on her hip. Well, what?
Well, what? Im just standing here enjoying the show.
She walks over to us and puts her hands on our sweater-clad cocks. So, I just
want to be clear. Your grand plan was to fly a drone over my backyard, drop glowin-the-dark condoms, send a note in a blow-up doll, and then stand outside of my
house and flash me so I could see the 'I love you' socks you knitted for your dicks?"
Pretty much, I say.
Aiden snorts. You could still reconsider this whole relationship, you know."
But Grace just smiles as she pulls the hand-knit socks from our cocks.
Obviously, the media is right.
About what? I ask.
I must be crazy, because I think Im going to keep you.
Life wont be boring, Aiden warns.
Grace laughs. It hasnt been since I met you.
I inhale sharply as her warm hand wraps around my cock. Shes standing
between both of us, her hand moving lightly up and down our shafts, and I have to
close my eyes for a minute because I want to savor this moment. When I open
them, shes looking at me, her eyes half-lidded, her lower lip pulled between her
teeth.
Thats the expression I want to memorize, to etch in my brain forever and ever.
That look she gives me, that look she gives Aiden - the one that says she wants us
beyond all rational thought - is what I cant get enough of.
She strokes us as we both caress her body, our hands tracing every inch of her
except where she wants us to go. I know shes wet. I know shes wanting it by the
way her lips start to fall open in a little O, by the way she presses her thighs
together, by the way she starts to breathe in little pants that make her chest rise
and fall quickly, her perfect breasts on display for us.
Its the things like that I love.
When she falls to her knees, I try to stop her. You need to get up because I want
my mouth on your pussy. We havent tasted you in a month.
But she just smiles. Patience is a virtue, boys, she says seductively.
I glance at Aiden for a second, and he just shrugs. Im not going to complain-
His words are cut off abruptly as Grace guides him to her mouth and wraps her lips
around his cock. I watch, transfixed, as she strokes me rhythmically, her hand
moving up and down my length as she takes him in deeper.
Aiden moans low in his throat. Fuck, that feels amazing, he says, his hands in
her hair. Ive missed this little mouth.
When she gets enough of Aiden, she switches her attention to me, her hand still
on him as she meets my gaze. Her eyes are large as she touches her tongue to the
head of my cock, catching the pre-cum that dangles from the tip before swallowing
me.
Her mouth is like heaven and I dont ever want to leave it. Shes the sexiest

thing Ive ever seen, down on her knees like she is right now- naked, her eyes
clouded with lust and desire. She takes me in deeper, moaning loudly when I thrust
my cock into her throat. Its been so long since Ive been inside her that I want to
fuck her senseless. The image of her jerking Aiden off while she sucks my cock is
enough to make me come almost immediately.
But she doesn't let me. She pulls her mouth away and looks up at us as she
strokes both of us at the same time. Do you know what I thought about when I was
gone?
My voice comes out gruff"What?" as Aiden groans.
I thought about this, she says, her voice husky. Our cocks are so close to her
face, and all I can think about is how lush her lips are, how perfect her tits are, and
how much I want to come on them right now. I thought about the night that you
both came in my mouth.
Fuck.
Shit, Grace, Aiden groans.
Youre about to make us do it again, I warn.
I hope so, she whispers. I watch as she opens her mouth just like she did that
first time in the kitchen, tilting up her head until we're nearly touching her tongue.
The sight of her like this, open and wanting us, pushes me over the fucking edge.
I hear myself groan, followed by Aiden, and then were both coming into her
open mouth while she looks up at us and swallows everything we give her.

48

AIDEN

G race is on her knees, her hair falling back away from her face and down her

shoulders, looking up at us after we just came in her mouth. I cant get over the fact
that this woman this smart, successful, used-to-be-tightly-wound woman is
ours.
That she wants to be ours.
Noah and I reach down and pull her to her feet, and I carry her to the bed where
she kneels as I kiss my way down the front of her body. She leans into him as Noah
puts his lips on her neck, and when I cover her breast with my mouth, she tosses
her head back and moans loudly. Shes practically panting as I bring her nipple to
attention under my tongue, rolling over it again and again until its a hard little
bead.
I just cant get enough of her.
Noah and I reach between her legs, both of us finding her pussy with our finger
at the same time. Grace lets out a small gasp as both our fingers enter her. She
clings to my arms while Noah and I finger-fuck her pussy at the same time,
stroking her in opposite directions.
Her eyes dont leave mine. Her gaze is locked on mine and she alternates
between biting her lip and gasping as we slowly bring her higher and higher. Shes
tight and wet and slicker than anything Ive ever felt.
The fact that Noah and I both have our fingers inside her, that were both
bringing her this much pleasure, makes me crazy with lust.
Noah growls, grinding his cock against her ass cheek. Do you feel how hard this
is making me, sweetheart? Knowing that both of us are fucking you with our
fingers? Feeling your tight little pussy on our hands?
She lets out a whimper, and her pussy swells around our fingers. I want to
come, she whispers.
But I don't want her to come this quickly. I dont want you to come like this,
sugar. I want you to come on my face."
Noah groans. And mine.
Thats not possible she objects, but I put my finger up to her lips.
I want you to straddle my face, I tell her, as I slide down on the bed, my face

between her legs.


Noah grabs a handful of her ass. "I want my tongue in here, too."
Grace giggles. "Well, I can't sit on both of your faces."
Noah gets a look. "Yeah, you can," he says, lying down on his back in the
opposite direction, the top of his head near mine. "We'll just share you. We'll pass
you back and forth."
Grace looks back at him and then down at me. "Umthis is kind of awk-"
"Awesome?" I finish for her, grabbing her thighs and pulling her to my mouth. I
dont go easy on her. I dont lick her softly and sensually. I fucking devour this
woman, the way Ive been fantasizing about for the past month. I'm starving and
she's the only thing that can satisfy me.
Shes sweet and light and when she puts her hands on my chest and grinds her
clit against my mouth, I think Im going to explode again.
I grab her hips, fucking her with my tongue like its my cock until shes gasping
in short moans.
Get her on my face, Noah demands. Groaning in frustration that I agreed to
share her, I lift her off of me, light as a feather, and Noah reaches up, pulling her to
straddle his own face.
I stroke myself, listening to her moan but not quite able to see behind me what
shes doing. I picture her riding Noah, her hips rocking against his face as she
grinds her pussy on him. Her moans come faster now, breathy, and I know shes
close.
Shes going to come on my tongue, Noah." Im demanding it, claiming her
pussy as mine right now, and Noah gives in.
When she straddles my face this time, she's not the least bit timid. She brings
her pussy down hard, rocking on my mouth greedily and moaning as I slide my
tongue into her wet slit.
The whole time, Noah talks, his voice gruff. "Tell me what Aiden is doing to you
right now."
She whimpers as she rides my face. Hes his tongue oh my Godits oh
my God
Is he fucking you with his tongue? Noahs voice is gritty and tight.
Yes, she breathes. And Im fuckinghis oh my God. She cries out
loudly, grinding her pussy against my mouth as she comes.
Her sweetness tastes amazing.

49

GRACE

O n the bed, I lie on my side facing Aiden. Nestled up against me, Noah kisses my
neck, sending a shiver of arousal through me and causing goose bumps to erupt
over my skin. As Aiden softly kisses me, heat settles between my legs, my arousal
building despite just having had an orgasm.
Aiden slides his palm under my thigh, spreading my legs as he enters me. He
slides easily inside my slick pussy, but I inhale sharply at the sensation of his bare
cock entering me. God, I missed that.
He rocks inside me with slow thrusts, looking into my eyes as Noah presses the
tip of his lubricated cock against my asshole. Fuck, Noah groans. Are you ready
for me, Grace?
Yes, I breathe. The word becomes a whimper as he slowly works his way inside
me. Aiden puts his mouth on mine, his tongue distracting me from the initial pain.
When Noah is fully inside, they pause. I lie between them, totally filled up by
both of them, adjusting to the sensation of their cocks inside me at the same time.
Being between them like this, with Aiden cupping my face in his hands and Noahs
arm around my chest, is the most intimate thing in the world.
I missed your pussy, Aiden whispers. I missed your pussy and your tits and
your perfect little mouth and your laugh and the way youre looking at me right
now. I just missed you.
Noah brushes my hair from my forehead, whispering into my ear. Youre ours,
Grace Sullivan. Say it.
Im yours, I say as they begin to move slowly inside me. Then there are no
more words because there's nothing left to say. We fall into a rhythm as they bring
me higher and higher and I lose track of everything else in the world except them.
None of the other stuff matters not my parents, or politics, or what everyone in
the world is going to think about the three of us.
The only thing that matters is Noah and Aiden and I.
Theyre the only thing I can focus on as I float higher and higher, every part of
my body turned on until Im on the verge. When I finally come, its so intense its
practically blinding, overtaking my entire body. My orgasm triggers theirs and soon
theyre thrusting deeply inside me to flood me with their warmth.

After, we stay just like that with both of them still inside me, our limbs tangled
over one anothers for a long time. Noahs fingers stroke lazily up and down my
arm, and Aiden cups my chin, his thumb going across my lower lip.
Im so glad you came back, Aiden whispers. We needed you.
More than you know, Noah adds.
Im glad I came back, too. I needed them, I want to say. More than they could
realize.
Even though tomorrow, when you wake up, the entire scene in the street will
probably be making its way all over the internet? Aiden asks. Im sure one of the
neighbors got some good footage.
Fuck em, I whisper.
Fuck em, Noah and Aiden agree.

One month later


SURE ENOUGH, a video of the three of us in the street went viral. Aidens sister Annie
called the next day, proud that her banana band prank had something like twenty
million views. She triumphantly declared that she played an instrumental (pun
intended) role in getting the three of us together. Even if its totally gross that
youre hooking up with Aiden and Noah, Annie explained, and I dont know what
in the world you see in them, but since you are seeing them, you should definitely
let me interview you for my senior thesis. At that point, Aiden snatched the phone
out of my hand and told Annie to stop being a creepy stalker.
We went public a few days later on a talk show we knew would present our story
sympathetically.
Then we walked away.
We ignored all of the fallout, the million other requests for interviews and my
familys reaction, my parents threats to ruin us, and all of the fucking opinions
that everyone had about what we were doing.
It should have been easy enough to ignore. I mean, for the past month, when
Noah and Aiden havent been training, weve been basically holed up inside Noahs
house laughing and talking and fucking and hanging out.
The truth is, it wasnt easy, not at first, and especially not for me. Noah and
Aiden were far more used to saying fuck it than I was. Ive learned a lot about
saying that over the past month.
The funny thing is that each time you say it, it gets a little easier.
I walked away from what I knew a Grace who was safe and cautious, too afraid
to rock the boat to do anything inappropriate. I took a leap into the unknown with
Noah and Aiden, and Im starting to become a different Grace, the kind who doesnt
let anyone else dictate what she wants her life to look like.
And that Grace is far happier than Old Grace.

Noah walks up behind me and slides his arms around my waist. What are you
doing out here? We made dinner.
I relax against him, breathing him in, and look out over the backyard cloaked in
evening darkness. Just stand out here for a minute with me.
We got crazy and made chocolate-dipped strawberries for dessert, Aiden calls
as he walks up to us on the balcony. Unless you want us to have you for dessert.
Wait, are you guys out here having a romantic moment or something?
We can have chocolate-dipped Grace for dessert, Noah suggests.
Aiden tilts my chin up and puts his lips to mine, the sensation so familiar now.
Id definitely eat you for dessert, he says. Thats romantic as hell.
Our version of romance, anyway, I agree.

EPILOGUE

Grace
One year later

"I SWEAR, if either of you have another sparkly sex toy up your sleeve for this Fourth
of July" I threaten, but my tone is playful. Noah slaps me on the ass, and I try to
swat him but miss.
"Well, now I feel like it's my patriotic duty to find another July Fourth sex toy,
Aiden says.
Do not, I tell him. Were staying at that bed and breakfast near town. Thin
walls that means no shenanigans, or else the entire town of West Bend will be
talking about it."
Shenanigans? You sound like Noah, Aiden comments.
Shes picking up my vocabulary, Noah agrees.
Great. Now Im going to sound like an eighty-year old woman? I groan
exaggeratedly.
Bess pulls the door open, slinging a checkered red-and-white towel over her
shoulder. Why are the three of you standing out here on the porch instead of
walking inside the house like normal people? she asks, shaking her head. Youre
not strangers, so you dont need to wait out here for me to come get you!
Hi, Mom. Noah kisses her cheek and Aiden follows suit.
When Bess reaches me, she gives me a one-armed hug, her flour-covered hand
away from my shoulder. Im baking, and Im going to cover you with flour here if I
dont watch it.
Its all right. I laugh as we follow her to the kitchen and then out to the
backyard. Bess decided that the Fourth of July backyard barbeque should be a
tradition, so here we all are together.
Hey, big brother! Annie sees us from across the yard and runs headlong at

Aiden.
Dude, when are you going to stop tackling me? he asks. You know youre
never pushing me over, kiddo.
Whatever. Youre getting soft in your old age, she says, grinning.
Youre really going to smack-talk me? Aiden asks. You know what happens
when you do. Im going to give you a noogie right now.
No way! Annie squeals. I just had my hair blown out! Grace, tell him not to
mess it up!
She takes off running and Aiden takes off after her. Bess stands in the doorway
to the kitchen, looking out at us and shaking her head. Theyll never grow up,
she calls. You know that, dont you?
Ive figured that much out by now, I tell her.
Annie has grown up, though except for when she's around Aiden. She's bright
and articulate and exactly what my new foundation needed. So I hired her on a
month ago now. Thats right, Ive started my own foundation. It's six months old
now, and it's challenging and exciting and Im not doing it under the thumb of my
parents.
I havent spoken to my parents in the past year well, other than when my
mother called to express her disgust at the interview I did with Noah and Aiden. To
be fair, they were in a tough position; even if my father had secretly wanted to
support our very public relationship, the people who put him in office wouldnt
have stood for it.
And if theres one thing Ive always known about my father, its that hed
choose politics he'd choose himself over anything else, every time.
So he and my mother expressed their profound regret at my lifestyle choice
and that was that. He was banged up in the polls for a little while, but even so, he
was re-elected. He tried to call me last month I got the Please hold for the
President of the United States call but I declined it.
Maybe he was going to try to patch things up, since he'd won the election, or
maybe he was calling to remind me what a mistake I was making with my life by
being with Noah and Aiden.
But either way, I didn't care.
Noah and Aiden never lost their contracts. In fact, Noah said his head coach's
exact words were: "This couldn't make me like you any less than I do right now."
He never could stand Noah anyway. Noah just shrugged it off and went back to
playing what he loves.
Now that it's been almost a year, everyone seems pretty used to the idea of the
three of us together. I've been at every game cheering them on. I did learn a little
bit about football during the month I was hiding out from everything. But mostly, I
remain blissfully ignorant of everything except the fact that Noah and Aiden look
pretty damn hot in those tight pants.
My phone buzzes. Vi sends me a photo of her in a piece from her new swimwear
line, sitting on a yacht and holding a champagne flute while two shirtless men kiss

her on the cheeks.


Aiden comes up behind me and peers over my shoulder. "Is Vi hanging out with
strippers?"
I squint at the photo. "I'm about eighty percent sure they're not strippers."
The phone buzzes.
Two rugby players! I might have found my own Noah and Aiden. If I ask them to
spit-roast me, do you think they'll say yes?
Aiden chuckles. "She's talking about asking the rugby players and not me and
Noah, right?"
"Um I'm eighty percent sure," I joke.
I text her back.
Use the words spit-roast and spooge. Let me know how it goes.
Noah walks up and slides his arm around my shoulder. "This year, we get to take
you downtown to your first ever West Bend Fourth of July celebration. Aren't you
excited?"
"I don't know. Are you going to win me an over-sized stuffed animal at one of
the carnival games?"
"Obviously. I'm also going to buy you a funnel cake and cotton candy and take
you on rides until you puke."
"You know, I don't care what anyone says about you. You're such a romantic."
"Romantic as hell," Aiden agrees.
The truth is, they are romantics in their own ways. They're also rude, crude,
obnoxious jackasses who didn't have a clue what to do with a relationship. The
thing is, I don't have a clue what I'm doing either. I'd never been in a serious
relationship with one man, let alone two. But Noah and Aiden are also kind- and
thoughtful and funny but most of the time, just so damn easy to be with.
I needed them. I didn't know what I was missing in my life until the two of them
barged their way in with all of the grace of bulls in a china shop.
Noah and Aiden hug me close. "You ready to go play some carnival games?"
Noah asks. "I've always been a ton better at them than Aiden."
"Like hell you are," Aiden argues.
"Play nice," I say, laughing. "I love both of you."
"But me more," Aiden says.
"Equally," I insist. I slip my arms through their arms, walking between them as
they joke about something that I just ignore. My heart is full to the point of
bursting. I'm happy and I'm content, and I know that- no matter what anyone else
thinks- this is exactly where I'm supposed to be.
Even if our story isn't exactly a classic fairytale romance
Girl delivers sex dolls to naked bongo playing boy's house.

Boy chases girl on riding lawn mower.


Girl meets second boy. Second boy accidentally tears off her dress and gropes
her boobs.
Girl and boys fall in love.
There's lots of sex, and misunderstandings, and there's a condom-depositing
drone. And a banana band. And for a minute, they break up. Then they come to
their senses.
And they live happily ever after.
Or something like that.

CONTINUE READING for Prince Albert and a sneak preview of the book Im working on
next! If you want to read more books set in the town of West Bend, where Noah and
Aiden are from, be sure to check out my West Bend Saints Series!

PRINCE ALBERT

Sabrina Paige

Prince Albert is a royal prick.


Hes the most famous one on the planet, too wealthy, gorgeous, and a notorious
playboy. Hes also the most conceited, insufferable, arrogant man Ive ever met.
Did I mention hes a freaking prince? An actual, real life Prince Not-So-Charming.
Hes tattooed and pierced, too. Prince Albert has a Prince Albert piercing. That's
right he's pierced you-know-where. Allegedly. Ive never seen it.
My mother is marrying a king. Being a princess is every girls fantasy, right?
Except that means Albie is my new stepbrother.
Oh, and one more thing -- I accidentally married him.
Were keeping the biggest secret on the planet.
Ever heard the fairy tale about the Princess and her stepbrother?
Yeah, I didnt think so.
Im royally screwed.

Copyright 2015 by Sabrina Paige


This book is a work of fiction. Any similarity to real events, people, or places is entirely coincidental. All rights
reserved. This book may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without the permission of the author,
except in the case of brief quotations used for review. If you have not purchased this book from Amazon or
received a copy from the author, you are reading a pirated book.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status of products referred to in this book and acknowledges that
trademarks have been used without permission.
This book contains mature content, including graphic sex. Please do not continue reading if you are under the
age of 18 or if this type of content is disturbing to you.
NOTE: All characters in the book are 18+ years of age, non-blood related, and all sexual acts are consensual.
To check out the rest of Sabrina Paige's catalog on Amazon, CLICK HERE!

Created with Vellum

DEDICATION

To my husband, whos the best man I know.


To my darling daughter, who is the light of my life.
To Joanna Blake and Jordan Marie, who put up with so many emails from me that
began with Sodoes this go too far?
To all of the readers who have been so supportive: I apologize for all of the overthe-top ridiculousness of this book. But not for the anal.

AUTHORS NOTE

Prince Albert has been brewing in my head pretty much ever since I published my
last stepbrother book. Its the most ridiculous, over-the-top, and totally
implausible story Ive written.
And I hope you love it.
The country, Protrovia, is fictional.
And theres more sex than you might be used to from my books. For that, well, I
cant say Im all that sorry.

1
BELLE

Y ou, I say.

I blink my eyes several times in quick succession, silently offering


up a prayer that Im not seeing what Im seeing. Or, more accurately, who Im
seeing. Maybe Im having a mental breakdown and this is actually just some type
of stress-induced hallucination.
Losing my mind would be preferable to this. Hell, pretty much anything would
be preferable to this.
You, he says. He stares at me, unblinking. I swear, time stops completely.
The rotation of the earth comes to a grinding halt as he stands there, no more than
ten feet away, looking at me. Then, the corners of his mouth turn up -- just a hair.
The movement is most likely imperceptible to anyone else, but I definitely notice.
That asshole. Its like hes pleased with this development. Its as if he expected
this.
Youd have to be a fucking lunatic to be happy about this.
I wasnt aware that the two of you had met before. My mother looks back and
forth between us, her expression unwavering. If theres one thing Sofia Kensington
excels at, its revealing absolutely nothing when confronted with something
potentially scandalous. Shes entirely unflappable, standing there motionless in
her sage green silk shift and heels, her chestnut-colored hair pulled up in a
chignon, perfectly-manicured hands folded neatly in front of her.
Shes always looked regal. Becoming the Queen of a small European country is a
perfect fit. I know, without even asking, that its the culmination of her lifes
ambitions. It's everything in the world she's hoped for.
And now, I'm standing here harboring a secret that could jeopardize all of that.
If my mother knew the whole truth about me and the boy standing not more
than ten feet away from me
Lets just say the scandal would be one of epic proportions.
A scandal of royal proportions is probably more accurate, given the particular
circumstances.
I I start, then stop. My mouth suddenly feels like I swallowed twenty cotton
balls, and my heart is thumping so wildly I think it might actually beat right out of
my chest.

I recall bumping into Isabella in Las Vegas last week, he says, his voice light,
teasing, the hint of an accent on his lips. Everything he says, even the raunchiest of
things, comes out sounding like its spoken by a person whos well-bred, welleducated, pedigreed.
Of course, thats because he is the ultimate in well-bred.
I didnt realize who she was," he says.
And I definitely remember the way he speaks the raunchiest of things.
"Yes," I murmur, the word barely audible. "I believe we bumped into each
other."
That much is true.

"OH MY GOD. Why dont you watch where you're going!" I dont even bother to look
up at the asshole who just ran into me. Im too focused on the fact that theres a
wet spot spreading across the front of my dress, gin and tonic seeping through the
fabric and causing my nipples to harden under the amped-up air conditioning in
the casino.
"My apologies for your dress, although I'm not sorry I bumped into you," he
says. And a handkerchief appears in front of my face. Who the hell carries a fabric
handkerchief nowadays? "I'd be happy to pat that dry for you, if youd like."
The accent is what throws me European or something I cant quite place, but
definitely out of the ordinary here in a Vegas casino and I look up at him, ready to
give him a piece of my mind. The combination of alcohol and the fact that this is
the worst day of my entire life has made me edgy and beyond irritable.
Holy shit.
Even in my drunken haze, this guy is spectacular, gazing down at me with blue
eyes filled with mischief. Literally, spectacular is the only word for it.
Hes the most beautiful man I've ever laid eyes on, with eyes a periwinkle color
thats nearly purple under the lights in the casino, and lips so lush that I can't
think about anything except what it would be like to feel them against my skin
Of course, thats the image that immediately pops into my head, sending a
shiver down my spine as I picture his head close to me, his lips trailing across my
stomach, then down farther.
Theres something familiar about him, but my booze-addled brain cant quite
place it. For a second, I think I might have seen him before, but I tell myself thats
stupid. Its just my brain playing tricks on me.
This is not the kind of man youd ever forget seeing.
"Is that your shtick? I ask, the waver in my voice betraying my sudden
nervousness. Spilling drinks on girls and then patting them down?"
He laughs. "I don't need a shtick, luv," he says, leaning close to me to whisper
softly. "Unless you mean the one between my legs."
"You're crude," I say, wrinkling my nose. But I cant help but glance down,
exactly where he wanted me to look.

"You're" His voice fades away for a moment as his gaze trails down the length
of my body, making me flush. "Like a drunken disheveled Cinderella."
"So that would make you, what, the not-so-charming prince?" I ask, glancing
down at my shoe on the ground. I lost my shoe. So what? I was running from her -my best friend. My maid-of-honor.
The traitorous bitch.
The corners of his mouth turn up as he looks at me like he's pleased. His smile is
superior, patronizing almost, as if I'm a child who's amused him. "Something like
that."

SOMETHING LIKE THAT.


The bastard. He had conveniently failed to mention that it was exactly like that.
"I apologize for the secrecy," my mother says. "Whisking you off to Protrovia on
a private plane was designed to make thingsefficient. Less messy.
"Less messy," I repeat, the irony of the words apparent only to me. She hasn't
spoken the words aloud yet, but if she's about to say what I think she is, this is
going to be beyond messy.
Its going to be positively nuclear.
"Isabella," she snaps, then clears her throat. "It's ill-mannered to simply
repeat what I'm saying."
The man beside her King Leopold IV of Protrovia, whos already introduced
himself in the most bizarrely casual way (Call me Leo, like hes a regular guy and
not royalty as if were not standing here in the middle of a palace) places his hand
on her arm. "Sofia, please," he says quietly.
My mother takes a deep breath, as if my very presence here is trying her
patience. "The secrecy was all for your benefit," she says. "I didn't want this to
overshadow your bachelorette party, or your wedding plans.
My wedding, I realize, a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. My
engagement.
In the midst all of this ridiculousness being flown on a private jet without
being told where I was going (I'd like to say the intrigue was unusual but I'm used
to my mother's antics), taken straight to a palace -- I'd forgotten to tell her.
Oh, God.
"I'm not getting married," I say, my voice soft. I swear the air goes out of the
room, and everything becomes perfectly still.
"Excuse me?" My mother's normal reserve cracks again. Usually that would give
me some small sense of delight, except that this time it doesn't. This time, it just
makes me feel worse.
"I. Am. Not. Getting. Married," I repeat, this time more slowly, emphasizing
each word clearly. My head is spinning.
Im not getting married.
I don't say the rest of the words. But I think them in my head, panic rising in my

throat.
I am not getting married -- because I already am. The thought makes me want
to vomit.
Im already married.
To my brand-spanking-new stepbrother.
Prince Albert, the Crown Prince of Protrovia.
This is a royal fucking nightmare.

2
BELLE

I sabella Kensington, my mother hisses. This is not the time nor place.

If she only knew how badly this was not the time nor place.
Oh, juicy. King Leopolds daughter stands on the other side of the room,
leaning against an ornate carved wooden statue that's trimmed in gold and
glittering with precious gems, her torn jeans and faded t-shirt emblazoned with the
name of an indie rock band from the United States. She is a stark contrast to the
formality of this room in the palace.
I look around the room with a clinical kind of detachment that means Im
probably in shock. I havent even had a chance for a tour of the palace. I wonder if
this room is the place where they announce bad news. Do royal palaces have
designated bad news rooms? They should.
I suppose my mother and the king Leo only think their nuptials are good
news.
The girl I cant even remember her name; its like my mind has gone
completely empty -- pops her gum loudly. Sweet. A broken engagement? At least
Im not the only one causing drama for once.
Leopold gives her a disapproving look. Yes, Alexandra, he says, scowling at
her. Thats certainly a silver lining.
So the two of you are getting married, Alexandra says, crossing her arms over
her chest. I think were all pretty clear on that. Youve been seeing each other all
summer. Its not exactly a big secret, okay? Were one big happy family. Smile for
the press and all that. Are we done now?
Alexandra! Leopold bellows, his deep baritone thundering through the room.
The sound makes me jump, and it seems to surprise him, like hes not used to
losing his temper, because he clears his throat immediately. Yes. Sofia and I are
getting married.
Am I the only one in the world who didnt know?
Even isolated in a rural village in Africa before I came back to the States to
Vegas, because of my engagement -- I got mail. My mother could have told me
before this.
She could have sent a postcard or something:

Wish you were here. P.S. Im marrying a European monarch. Youre going to be a
princess!

THE KING CONTINUES, saying something using words like decorum and public eye and
propriety but I dont hear what he says. Its like hes speaking in a tunnel, his
words coming from someplace in the distance, and my head is swimming. I know
Im standing still, but it feels as if Im on a boat, the floor rocking back and forth.
Someone asks me if Im okay, but I cant seem to muster up a response.
Instead, I turn and run headlong through the room. My palms slam against the
heavy, ornately-carved wooden door, pushing it open without waiting for the
assistance of the man standing beside it. Is he a butler? Do palaces have butlers, or
is there a fancier term for them?
When I burst out the door, a bulky, imposing man in a suit with an earpiece in
his ear catches my elbow. Are you okay, Miss Kensington?
I shake my head, mute. The fact that he knows my name is fucking creepy. But
of course he knows my name. Im sure they know everything about me.
Oh God. What if they know about what happened in Vegas?
The thought brings a fresh wave of nausea to the surface, and I barely choke out
the word bathroom. The bodyguard points me in the direction of a room ten feet
down the hall, attempting to escort me, but I shake his hand off my arm and shut
myself inside, barely making it to a velvet-covered bench that must be several
hundred years old before my legs give way.
My breath comes in short gasps, and I feel lightheaded, on the verge of
hyperventilating. I try to slow my breath, reminding myself that I can't freak out.
Not here. Not now.
Closing my eyes, I think of other things -- things that don't involve being the
center of what's potentially the biggest scandal in the entire world.
Or, if not the entire world, at least the Western one. Or Europe.
Any way I think about it, it's a scandal involving several countries. It's the worst
possible scenario for someone whose idea of a nightmare is being in the public eye
at all.
I've successfully avoided any public attention for the last two years. Thats not
easy to do when your mother craves the public eye the way mine does, a whirlwind
of charity functions and social events. In fact, escaping all of that meant I had to
flee to another continent entirely.
I've been so disconnected from the outside world that I had no idea who he was.
And now, I feel like a complete and total idiot for not recognizing Prince Albert.
Hes only one of the most famous princes on earth. Notorious would probably be a

better word for it, known more for his antics in the bedroom than any kind of
political activity.
The door swings open and there he is, as if simply thinking about him was
enough to conjure him up out of nothing, summoned here by the universe. I
silently curse my luck. "Get out of here," I hiss, the words barely coming out, my
breath still short.
"Are you having a panic attack or a total mental breakdown?" he asks.
"Neither," I lie. In fact, I might very well be having a breakdown. Maybe Im
hallucinating this entire scenario.
"Good," he says. "I'd hate to think I over-estimated you."
I just needed a second," I say, my voice defensive. I don't know where this guy
gets off talking about over-estimating me. "Leave me alone."
"Not a chance," he says, still standing by the doorway. "Count to ten after I walk
out this door before you follow me. When you leave here, turn right and go down
the hallway. There's a Monet -- it's the third painting on the right side of the wall.
Push on the panel beside it. It's a secret passageway."
A secret passageway? Of course there's a secret passageway. It's a palace. Ive
practically walked right onto the set of a James Bond film. "Youre nuts if you think
I'm about to follow you into a secret passageway," I say, my panic turning into
disbelief.
He gives me a cocky grin and shrugs. "Don't pretend you have anything better to
do, luv," he says. "Unless you're planning to get on a plane and head back to
Africa?"
"How do you know I was in -- " Africa, I start to say, but he's already turned
around. Damn it.
I sit there in the bathroom, my heart no longer racing the way it was, no longer
panicked and anxious. Instead, my heart pounds wildly in my chest for different
reasons as I look at the closed door, where he just left. The thought of the way he
looks at me, his gaze traveling the length of my body, sends warmth radiating
through my body.
We spent one night together and not even that way. I havent been with him.
It was one random night in Vegas, driving around in a limo.
And getting married.
It seems like a lifetime ago.
I thought I would never see him again. I shouldnt have ever seen him again.
And how in the world was I supposed to know he was a prince? Or my future
stepbrother?
We spent one night together. One kiss. So what?
It was one kiss that Ive thought about it every day for the past two weeks,
unable to shake the way his lips felt pressed against mine.
I should be devastated by my broken engagement. When your maid of honor
confesses her affair with your fianc, it should crush you. Its supposed to crush
you, right?

Except that Ive been thinking of him instead.


I'm certainly not going to chase Prince Albert he was Albie to me then, and
definitely not a prince -- down a secret passageway.
I count in my head -- ten, then twenty, and thirty before I stand up and walk to
the door and do exactly what he told me to do.
Damn it. Prince Albert is totally trouble. I know it in my gut, with more certainty
than anything. I know it with all the certainty that I knew it that night.
Albie is going to be the worst kind of trouble.
And this is going to be the worst kind of decision.

3
ALBIE

T he door opens, and she steps inside, looking radiant even in the dim light that

shines from the overhead LED lighting in the passageway. The tunnels are an
artifact of the palace, a relic from a thousand years ago, crisscrossing underneath
the palace grounds and leading outside the gate. Theres a security guard posted at
the exit, of course, a necessary precaution but the tunnels were always my escape
to freedom, out from under the watchful eyes of my father.
That was when I was younger, of course. Now, I'm free to do what I want. My
father has given up on my being anything but exactly what I am.
The wayward crown prince.
The irresponsible prince.
The prince who lets his cock do all his thinking for him.
And my dick is definitely doing some thinking of its own, as I'm looking at Belle
right now, standing not more than a foot away from me in her simple shift dress,
an aqua blue the color of the ocean in the Mediterranean that makes her eyes look
even brighter than they are.
Isabella.
But she wasnt Isabella when she met me, half-drunk in Las Vegas. It was Belle
then.
Belle. The name rolls off my tongue.
You a-hole, she whispers, clearly angry. It makes me laugh.
Come again, darling? I ask. Oh, wait, no, there was no coming involved, was
there? We never consummated our marriage bed. There are lots of beds in the
palace, you know. Im happy to make that happen.
How kind, she says, voice dripping with sarcasm. Is this totally a joke to you?
You didnt tell me you were a
An asshole? I ask.
She glares at me. I can see it even in the flickering light. She looks at me, her
dark eyes steeled, her jaw set. A prince, she says, her tone imperious. I gathered
that you were an asshole the night we met. That didn't exactly take a lot of
detective work."
And yet, you saw fit to spend the entire night with me, I say.

Temporary insanity, she says. Obviously, I was out of my mind. And there
was a lot of tequila involved, if I remember correctly. Plus, I was running away. But
you already know that.

I BEND down to pick her shoe up off the ground.


Drunken disheveled Cinderella, complete with her high heel black, classy and
simple askew on the ground.
When I slide it back onto her foot, my fingers graze the side of her ankle, and I
look up at her. My eyes connect with hers and I cant help what I do next. I slide my
hands along her calf, watching as her eyes widen.
That's not my shoe you're touching, she says. Shes objecting, yet her tongue
traces the edge of her lip, like shes inviting me to slide my hands up higher. And I
want to go higher. I want to take my hands and move them up her thighs, farther
and farther until Im reaching underneath her dress. I wonder if she's wearing
panties.
No, its not, I say.
People are looking.
When I stand -- too close to her to be polite -- she inhales sharply, catching her
bottom lip between her teeth. But she doesnt move. She doesn't step back, the
way she would if she didn't like how close I am.
The look of realization that Im waiting for, the exclamation Oh my God,
youre him! Youre Prince Albert! never happens.
She doesnt have a clue who I am.

"YES," I say. "Fortunately for you, you ran right into me."
She laughs, tucking a strand of hair behind her hear. "Yeah, Im a lucky girl,"
she says. "You could have mentioned the whole oh, I don't know -- glaring fact
that you're a freaking prince."
I shrug. "You never talked about your work."
"That's not even the same thing --" she says, her face upturned. She balls one
hand into a fist, obviously frustrated, and the fact that she's at the end of her rope
makes her endearing somehow. "I'm not a..."
"Princess?" I ask. "Well, you're going to be."
"Our parents are getting married," she says. "And we just got married. In Vegas.
You're a prince. Please tell me you understand there's a potential for huge scandal
here. Don't you take anything in life seriously?"
"I try to take all of my marriages seriously."
Her eyes widen. "There are more marriages?" I pause for a beat, and a look of
realization spreads across her face. "That's not even remotely funny."
"Don't worry," I say. "You're the only woman Ive married in Vegas."
"That's hilarious," she says, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "It was a drunken

marriage. Youve gotten it annulled, havent you?"


I shrug. "I had other things to do," I say. Sure I did. Except that's not the whole
truth. I could have gotten an annulment. I should have gotten an annulment.
Instead, I told myself it was irrelevant. Belle walked away -- and I figured it would
be out of sight, out of mind. It was as if it never happened.
That's what I told myself.
Except for the inescapable fact that I couldn't get her out of my head, even half a
world away and two weeks later.
A woman taking up two weeks of residence in my brain especially one I didn't
even fuck? That's definitely some kind of record. My style is more of a one and done
kind of thing I prefer not to know the names of the women I screw. Of course,
Belles name has been on repeat in my brain, playing over and over on a loop. And I
didnt even screw her.
I married her.
"You could have gotten it annulled," I say.
"I was busy," she whispers. "Dealing with my"
Her voice trails off, and the way she glances away for a moment sends a
momentary pang of guilt rushing through me for giving her shit. Her other wedding
is what she was going to say. The night I ran into her the night we got married in
one of those Vegas chapels, by an Elvis impersonator, no less was the night she
found out her fianc was screwing her maid of honor.
That night, she was running through the casino, away from her former best
friend and all of her bridesmaids.
She told me everything over tequila shots in the back of a limo as we drove
around Vegas a slurred confession to me, her drunken priest.
Except that I'm the opposite of chaste.
And I've had nothing but the most impure of thoughts when it comes to Isabella
Kensington.
"I was busy," she says, clearing her throat.
"I hope you properly disposed of your ex-fiancs body," I say, my tone light,
joking, except there's a surprising undercurrent of irritation that runs through me
at the thought of that asshole who cheated on her with her best friend.
A smile pulls at the corners of her mouth, then disappears just as suddenly. "I'm
sure you have people that could do that for me," she says.
"Actually, we do," I say. "There's a secret branch of the military. If you need the
ex-fianc and ex-friend murdered, I'm happy to have it arranged. You are my wife,
after all."
"You're a perfect gentleman," she says. No ones offered to have anyone
murdered for me before.
I reach up to tuck the wayward lock of her hair that keeps coming undone, back
behind her ear, and when I touch her, she closes her eyes lightly, moving her face
ever so slightly against my hand. Her lips part, just barely, and I think that if she
allowed herself to do it, she'd be moaning right now.

The thought makes me hard as a rock, my cock pushing against the fabric of my
pants.
I lean in close to whisper against her ear. "I'm definitely not a gentleman," I
say, tracing my finger behind her ear and down the side of her neck. She tilts her
head slightly to the side, and her chest rises as she inhales deeply, the top of her
breasts exposed above the neckline of her dress. "Although I always let a lady come
first."
Belle makes a strangled sound, and reaches up, pushing my hand away from her.
Theres going to be no coming involved.
Are you saying youre not a lady? I tease.
She narrows her eyes as she looks at me, anger replacing her arousal. Did you
know who I was when you met me? You had to know who I was.
Are you insane? I ask. I bumped into you in Vegas. Does that sound planned
to you?
Theres no way this was a coincidence these kinds of things dont happen in
real life. My mother had to have shown you photos, told you who I was.
She did show us a few photos, but no offense, luv, I didnt really give a shit
about what my new stepsister looked like, I say.
Obviously, if I had realized how hot Belle was going to be, Id have paid
significantly more attention. I didn't even know she was going to be in Vegas or
that I was going to be in Vegas. It was an impromptu week of debauchery with my
friends. I'd tired of Europe, and what better place for debauchery with American
women than Las Vegas? I had no idea who she was when I met her it wasn't until
we signed the wedding paperwork that I recognized her last name. And by then,
well, I was too drunk to care.
How did you know I was in Africa? she asks.
I shrug, the gesture more nonchalant than I feel. So what if I did a little research
on her after the Vegas trip? Its not every day that a girl I spend all night just
talking to and marry, no less ditches me and runs off without so much as a see
you later.
I found out that Belle had been off the radar for two years, doing some charity
work in Africa. Shed only been back in the United States for a few days before the
infamous Vegas trip. And I found out that she was Sofia Kensingtons daughter.
Do you really think Im not going to check out the background of a girl I
married? I ask, holding up my hand to stop her from interrupting. I found out
who you were after the fact.
But you knew who I was before this announcement today, she says, a look of
horror coming over her face. You knew that I was your new
Stepsister? I ask.
Oh my God, she says, her hand covering her mouth. Im totally going to
vomit.
Theres no need to be so dramatic, I say.
You think Im being dramatic? she asks, her voice going up an octave. I got

whisked away on a private jet, taken to a palace, and told that my mother is going
to marry a king. And that the hot guy I spent a night hanging out with in Vegas
and married, by the way is my new stepbrother.
Hot guy? I ask.
What? she asks, looking at me blankly, her hands on her hips.
You just said I was hot.
She looks taken aback. I totally did not.
Uh, I beg to differ, I say.
Youre completely delusional if you think I said you were hot, she protests.
Youre hearing things.
I know what I heard, I tell her. If you like, Ill get the security footage and
play it back to show you. You called me a hot guy. You should just admit it.
Her eyes go wide. There are cameras on us in here?
Lighten up, luv, I say, rolling my eyes. I think youre the most tightly wound
woman Ive ever met in my life. I was kidding. There are no cameras. My father has
a thing about us not being watched the only cameras in this place are in the
public rooms."
Dont do that, she says, shaking her head.
Dont joke? I ask. Youre going to have to get a sense of humor if youre
going to make it in a palace, luv.
That, she says. Dont call me luv, she says. Just because we spent a night
doing tequila shots in Vegas doesnt mean you get to do that. You dont get to give
me pet names.
Luv, I say, drawing the word out more slowly, my voice more gravely than Id
like, the arousal in my tone more evident than it should be. Luv. I like how it just
rolls off the tongue. Youre going to beg me to call you luv.
I can promise you that Im never going to beg you to call me anything.
And I can promise you that Im not going to let you come until you ask me to
call you luv. Politely, too. Like a lady.
Youre a real piece of work, she says, shaking her head. But at least shes
smiling. Do you get slapped a lot?
Is that what youre into? I ask, looking her over. I could have guessed that
youd be into some kinky shit.
Oh my God, I am not into any kinky shit, she says.
I dont believe you, luv, I say. Its always the nice-looking ones, the most
straight-laced, prim-and-proper ones, who are the wildest in the sack. Although
that might not be true in this case. Little Miss Do-Gooder seems to have quite the
stick up her ass.
Well, youre never going to find out, she says, crossing her arms over her
chest as she shakes her head. She looks at me, her nose wrinkling like shes
smelling something bad. Do women fall for this whole Casanova act?
Works like a charm, I say. I dont have to do much actual work to get women
to take off their panties. Its one of the benefits of being royalty.

Life is a buffet of pussy, and Im a damn connoisseur.


Well, just so you know, she says. That is not on the table here.
Whats not on the table? I ask. Sex? I wasnt thinking of fucking you on the
table, luv. Not the first time, anyway. Id take my time with you, the first time. Or
maybe not. You seem like you'd like it hard and rough something public, maybe?
The threat of getting caught turns you on, doesnt it?
She interrupts, holding up her hand to silence me. I just left an irresponsible,
no-good, womanizing dickhead. And, well, okay, so I apparently drunkenly married
another one in whats, in retrospect, an extremely regrettable incident. But theres
not going to be any fucking happening here. Theres going to be no coming. In fact,
I wouldnt sleep with you if you were literally the last prince on earth.
I cant help but smile, and I dont even try to hide it. Im going to remind you
that you said that.
You wont need to remind me, she says. Because Im not going to forget it.
Why are you smirking? Its so annoying. I just said I wasnt going to sleep with you.
How is that remotely funny?
I shrug. What can I say? I ask. Youre amusing. I enjoy a challenge.
I cant even recall the last time anyone told me no. Thats one of the benefits
or drawbacks, depending on your perspective of being royalty, too. No one ever
says no, no matter how ridiculous the request. You have hundreds of people
dedicated to carrying out your every ridiculous whim.
It sounds fantastic. But honestly, its really fucking boring.
When was the last time a girl told me no?
When was the last time a girl didnt know who I was when she met me? Or spent
a night with me, laughing and talking drunkenly because she thought shed never
see me again?
Thats happened exactly once in my life.
It just doesnt happen when youre a prince.
Thats so patronizing, she says.
What is?
Calling me amusing. Implying that Im a challenge, she says. Im not an
obstacle course.
I open my mouth to say something about exactly what obstacles on her Id like
to climb, but she glares at me, speaking before I can.
Dont even say it.
What? I ask innocently.
You were about to make some disgusting, reprehensible comment, she says.
Youre so observant, I say. Dont you want to know what Im thinking?
Ugh. No, she says. How are you even a prince? Arent princes required to
maintain some sort of regal bearing?
Thats for public, luv, I say. All bets are off in private.
Somehow I doubt youre any different in a public setting, she says. So how
are we going to take care of this catastrophe?

What catastrophe are you referring to, exactly? I ask. The one where are
parents are getting married, sis?
Do not speak that word again, she says.
Sis? I ask. But were going to be related now. Would you prefer that I call you
wife?
Both of those words are off-limits.
Theres a giant list of things that are off-limits with you, arent there? I ask.
Has anyone told you that lifes a lot more fun if you loosen up a little bit?
Youre loose enough for both of us.
Thats a terrible thing to say to your husband.
Stop calling yourself that, she says. Its a fake marriage. We were
intoxicated. How could they marry us? I dont think its even legal to get married
while drunk.
I shrug. Youd be surprised what a little extra cash will do.
You bribed a wedding chapel? she asks, disbelief evident in her voice. Why in
the world would you do that?
Why, indeed?
Whats that saying -- when in Rome? I ask. When in Vegas. I figured Id
never have the opportunity to get married by Elvis again.
Its not legal, she says. It was a dare. A joke. It should be easy enough to
annul.
Im sure you have someone you can trust to do that. Someone who wont leak it
to the press, I point out.
No, I She stops. Of course I dont. Ive been in Africa for the past two years.
I was only in Vegas for a few days before well, all of this with you. You have to get
it annulled.
No, I say. The word escapes my lips before Im even sure of what Im saying,
before Ive had a chance to think it through. But as soon as I speak it, Im certain. I
dont think I will, actually.
What do you mean, you dont think you will? she asks, her voice rising again,
the way it did when she first saw me.
I shrug. I dont think I feel like it right now, I say. Maybe I will later, if you
ask politely.
I just asked nicely, she says, through clenched teeth. Youre really not going
to get it annulled?
Come on, luv, I say, not bothering to hide my grin. Isnt it more fun this
way?
I dont wait for her response before I press on the electronic keypad that opens
the door to the passageway. I think I hear her protest, but I dont wait for her
response.
Im whistling as I walk down the hallway, my footsteps on the plush carpeting
suddenly light as air. Id only come back to the palace because my term of service in
the Royal Protrovian Army was up, and my father had a heart scare that turned out

to be an ulcer, not a heart attack. And because he wanted me to get to know his
future wife Sofia Kensington.
Even in the military, I was treated with kid gloves, as the son of the king. So Im
enjoying the fact that Little Miss Do-Gooder isnt taking any shit. She gives back as
good as I dish out.
Maybe coming back to the palace wont be as damn boring as I anticipated.

4
BELLE

T hat dickhead.

That stupid, arrogant, childish, irresponsible ass.


I pull open the drawer that holds the clothes I arrived with one duffel bag,
nothing fancy. In fact, it was so un-fancy that the butler who escorted me to my
room when I arrived a few hours ago practically sniffed at me, disdain written all
over his face. I wonder if my bag has already been burned, so as not to contaminate
the palace.
Rummaging through my clothes perfectly folded and placed in the drawers for
me, each item separated by fancy lavender tissue paper embossed with the royal
crest in gold filigree -- I yank on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. I want out of this
stupid dress and these uncomfortable heels.
In fact, I should just get a flight out of here. I could head back to the States.
I mean, sure, everything is different now. It's been two years since I've lived in
the States. I was supposed to go back and move in with Derek.
Derek and I had been in a long-distance relationship while I was in Africa, which
seemed like the thing to do at the time, although in retrospect, it was obviously a
stupid idea. But we'd dated throughout college, and my mother and his parents
were friends. It's not as if we had no history together.
It was expected that wed be together. But if I were being honest with myself, Id
admit to myself that I was never in love with him. Not really.
It was far too easy to leave him for two years to go to Africa. It shouldnt be that
easy to walk away from someone you love.
To say that my mother will be disappointed with my breakup will be an
understatement. Its the reason Id been avoiding her phone calls for the past
week, hiding out while I got my shit together after the Vegas debacle. She had to
send bodyguards and a private plane to escort me to Protrovia, ostensibly because I
was avoiding her calls, but also because thats just like her, to do something like
that for dramatic effect.
Theres a single knock on the door, and the door swings open without
hesitation. My mother closes it swiftly behind her, standing with her hands on the
doorknob behind her back as if she needs it to support her. Isabella Kensington,

she says, her tone harsh.


I understand you're upset, Mother," I start. "I had planned on telling you about
what happened with Derek. I just needed some time."
"No," she says, walking toward me with long strides, her expression calm. You'd
never know she was upset in the least, not to look at her. "Upset isn't the right
word to use in a situation like this. Right now, Im devastated."
I choke back a laugh. "Devastated?" I ask. "You're devastated about my broken
engagement? I think that's how I should feel."
She holds her hand up, making a silence gesture. "I tolerated your need to run
off to that God-forsaken continent to save the world. I was more than
understanding."
"Yes, you were the epitome of support," I say, my tone bitter. I applied for the
two-year position without telling anyone, using my mothers maiden name and
keeping my secret until I knew Id gotten it without any connection to my mother
or the Kensington fortune. I only told her after Id already made the decision and
accepted the position.
"There's no need to take that tone with me," she says. "And your little outburst
today was appalling."
"I'm sorry you found it disturbing," I say. "Perhaps you'd find it as upsetting to
know that your favorite almost son-in-law was fucking Adriana? Or that he's been
doing it for years?"
"Derek is a man," she says. "All men have indiscretions, particularly men like
Derek. What matters is that he's marrying you. And, if you recall, I never liked
Adriana.
I shake my head. "Were not getting married anymore," I say. "And I don't
believe that. I don't want something like that."
She raises her eyebrow. "Please tell me I raised a daughter who's not naive
enough to believe in some ridiculous notion of true love."
I don't know why the words surprise me, but they do. "It's not ridiculous," I
protest, my voice weak.
Except I'm not sure I believe that. Maybe it is ridiculous and naive.
"Fairy-tales," she says. "I blame that nanny of yours. She was always reading
you stories like that when you were young. It's time to grow up, Isabella. Life isn't
one big fairy-tale."
"You're marrying a king, mother," I say. "You don't see the irony of that? You're
telling me that fairy-tales don't exist when we're literally standing in a palace?"
"Don't be stupid," she says. "You're not a stupid girl. It's beneath you. As are
fairy-tale notions of life.
"You didn't fall in love with a king..." I question, my voice trailing off.
She looks at me for a long time. "You will fall in love with Derek. You'll smile
and take his arm and stand by his side when he becomes the Governor of New York,
just like his father. And then you'll stand beside him when his family money
ensures he becomes President. And you'll turn the other way when he shares his

bed with someone else. You'll smile and look beautiful because it's what you do."
"I'm not a teenager," I protest. "I'm twenty-three. And, despite what you might
think, this isn't the eighteen hundreds and you can't force me into a marriage. I'm
not doing it."
"Well discuss it later, she says, waving her perfectly manicured hand
dismissively. There are more important matters at hand right now.
Like the fact that youre marrying a King, I say sarcastically. Obviously, thats
her most important concern here.
She raises her eyebrows and gives me a disapproving look. Yes, Isabella, she
says. Were talking about making history. I know that you dont seem to have an
appreciation for rules and tradition and God knows, I tried to instill that in you
Youre from the United States, I say. Youre not even a native of Protrovia.
You arent connected to their history or tradition.
We are making history, she says. Do you understand that? The Kensingtons
your family your fathers name, God rest his soul. We are making history. Years
ago, the idea of the King of Protrovia remarrying to a foreigner, no less would
have been unacceptable. It would have been appalling. But today, its different. And
we are a part of that. Do you not see the importance of this?
I shake my head. I dont want to be a part of this, I say, feeling strangely
detached from the entire thing. Im going back to the States, mother. Coming
here was a mistake.
Of course, Im already a part of this, I think. Im married to the Crown Prince.
I force the thought out of my head. Its inappropriate. And something Ill just
have to rectify before anyone finds out. The last thing I want is to become part of a
public scandal, my life spread out before the world like an open book.
Its very important to me that youre here for the summer, she says, her tone
calm. But its clear that its not a request.
Well, she cant tell me what to do. Im not a child anymore.
I cant stay here, I say.
The last thing you want is a public scandal, she says. I know how much you
despise being the center of attention.
Why would anything be a scandal? I ask, trying my best to keep my voice calm
despite the guilt that surges through me at the thought of the secret I share with
Albie.
Staying for the summer, getting to know the king and your new family, is what
people expect, Isabella, she says. Any behavior different from that is going to
raise red flags. It will cause more media attention than I know youd like to have on
you. Reporters will track you down wherever you go in the States. The wedding will
be the media event of the year. Here, in the palace in Protrovia we can protect
you. There is a whole PR team dedicated to managing the publicity. There are
bodyguards, security. The entire thing will be controlled. Everything will be
handled.
I dont know, I say, shaking my head.

Im disappointed, Isabella, she says. Id hoped youd realize the potential for
all the good you could do in Protrovia.
What do you mean?
Sofia sighs heavily. Youve always missed the forest for the trees, she says.
You think that being in the thick of things, administering shots to children and
wiping sweaty foreheads, is noble. Its far more noble to be the person that
provides funding for other people to do those things.
And thats your goal, being Queen of Protrovia? I dont bother to hide the
doubt in my voice. My mother has been involved with charity for years, but Im not
sure the power isnt the most alluring part of all of this for her.
Think of all that you could do as a princess, Isabella, she says. Ive already
set up work for you with refugees, with childrens organizations. Youll have a
virtually unlimited budget at your disposal compared to what you had in Africa.
Think of what you can do. Think of the children who need your help.
I have to think about it, I say, already feeling like the most selfish person on
earth. My mother is offering me the chance to do a world of good, and Im actually
considering not taking it, just because I dont want to spend the summer in the
castle with my new stepbrother, who just happens to be the hottest thing Ive ever
seen.
I know youll make the right decision, she says, smiling at me. Take some
time. Youre jet-lagged. Im sure youre tired. Relax, and gather your wits. Then you
can tell me when youve made the right choice.
Its less of a suggestion than it is an order. That much is clear.

5
ALBIE

Hey, Cinderella. I whisper the words, even though were the only two people in

the hallway. A housekeeper at the end of the hall runs a feather duster along
the window, and a member of the security team walks with purpose. When she sees
us, the housekeeper quickly darts around the corner and out of the way.
Its silly, really, all of the pomp and circumstance that goes along with living in
this place. It always made me uncomfortable, even when I was a kid.
Belle whirls around and glares at me. Are you following me?
Whoa, whoa, luv. I put my hands up in mock surrender. Dont get your
panties in a bunch. You do wear panties, dont you? I picture a thong. Unless you go
commando. That would be more fun, as well as convenient.
She looks at me with wide eyes. My panties are none of your business.
Im right about the thongs, though, arent I?
She ignores me, which is probably for the best, because that means I can use my
imagination when it comes to what shes wearing under those jeans. Seriously,
she says. Are you following me? How do I keep running into you? Isnt this a giant
palace?
Its three hundred rooms, I say. Three hundred and twelve. Give or take,
really. Some rooms are under renovation, and some are considered public areas for
tours and things. Ill give you a tour, if you like. The very private, very special tour.
That was a rhetorical question, she says. Stop stalking me.
Youre full of yourself, I say, standing close to her. She doesnt move, doesnt
step back an inch, and Im so close that I can smell the faintest hint of fragrance on
her skin something soft, lightly floral lotion, not perfume. Id rather you be
full of me.
She wrinkles her nose, an expression of distaste that should be annoying, but
just makes me hard instead. Apparently, I find her distaste attractive.
Youre crude for a prince, she says.
Youve said that already.
Obviously, nothings changed.
I hope not," I say. "Persistence is one of my strongest qualities.
A small smile breaks through her face, and she shakes her head. So, what, you

just wear women down? she asks. Id think someone royal like yourself wouldnt
need to resort to doing that.
Not normally, I say. But youre a special case.
This time, she laughs. Because I find you irritating?
I put my hand over my chest. Im hurt, Belle, I say. Truly. But I dont believe
you.
You dont believe that I find you obnoxious? she asks. Because I can assure
you, I really do. Even more so now.
Just because our parents are getting married? I ask. You didnt find me
irritating in Las Vegas.
Tequila has a way of making anyone entertaining, she says. And anyway, I
hardly remember it. Its all a blur.
Is it? I ask. The way she says it, her voice hesitating slightly, makes me
doubtful. Even through the haze of the alcohol, its hardly a blur in my head.

TRUTH OR DARE, she says, sinking back against the leather of the limo seat. Her hair
spills down over her shoulders, a cascade of brown thats so silky I want to reach
out and touch it. Or never have I ever. Yes. Thats it. I know nothing about you,
and Im sitting in your limo driving around Vegas. Its insane.
Never have I ever, I say. Youre going to lose this one, luv. Theres a lot of
things youve never done. I can tell.
She rolls her eyes. Yeah, right. Because youre so worldly, she says
sarcastically. Never have I ever driven around Vegas with a total stranger.
Thats not how you play, I say, my eyes lingering on her expression, her lips
parted just slightly. The thin strap of her dress is hanging halfway off her shoulder,
and I want to pull it the rest of the way down, but I dont. Shes drunk. No matter
how fucking hot she is, that makes her off-limits. Even so, I cant help teasing her
a little bit. Never have I ever been so wet in the back of a limo, driving around
Vegas with a total stranger.
She looks at me for a long time, and her lips fall open farther. She raises her
eyebrows like shes appalled, but flicks her tongue over her lower lip, and I know
without a doubt that if I were to reach between her legs, Id find shes just as wet as
I think she is. But I dont. Thats not how you play, either, she says. And,
besides, its not true.
Liar.

THE ENTIRE THING is completely a blur, she says. But her voice wavers.
Liar. I whisper the word, close to her ear, watching as goose bumps dot her
skin on her arms in response to warmth of my breath. You remember
everything.
I pull away from her, just far enough to see a flush rise to her cheeks, pink

coloring along her cheekbones that makes me wonder how she looks after orgasm,
whether that flush deepens and she gets a dewy glow like she has right now.
I cant help but feel smugly satisfied at the way I bring that flush to her cheeks.
Then she steels her jaw and looks at me. Barely, she says.
Barely. That means definitely.
I could help you remember, I say.
Thanks for the offer, she says. But Im busy. And besides, youre a prince,
after all. Dont you have better things to do? Im sure theres a damsel in distress
somewhere who needs rescuing.
Youre wandering these halls like youre the one who needs rescuing.
She chokes back a laugh, but theres no joy in it. Unless you have the ability to
produce my passport, you cant help me.
Your passport? Are you leaving? I cant help but be annoyed at the possibility
of her leaving when shes gotten here. Can I help it if Im intrigued by the thought
of spending the summer getting under this girls skin?
Belle shrugs. Maybe, she says. I dont know. But I cant find it. And at the
very least, I want to make sure I have it.
You have someplace better to be for the summer?
Something thats better than being paraded around like some kind of trophy in
media interviews and whatever else Im supposed to do as the child of the new
Queen of Protrovia? she asks.
How about getting to know your new family? I ask. Getting to know my
father? Or Protrovia. Its not such a bad place. You might find theres a lot to like
about our country.
Her face softens. Im not trying to be ungrateful, she says. Its just that
everything has happened so fast. And you already knew about the engagement. I
was the only one in that room that had the news sprung on her.
Well, it was a surprise to me when I got back from Afghanistan, I say. I
havent been back here that long, you know. The Vegas trip was to blow off steam
with my friends, American-style.
You were in Afghanistan? she asks.
In the military, I say. The Royal Protrovian Army.
She studies my face for a moment. I didnt know they sent people like you to
Afghanistan, she says.
People like me? I ask, laughing.
That is not the way I meant it, she says, and her face colors, the flush on her
cheeks deepening to an entirely different shade of red.
Oh? I ask. So you meant it in a non-condescending, non-pejorative way,
then.
I meant royal, she says. You know thats what I meant. You just like giving
me grief.
Thats not all Id like to give her. The words are on the tip of my tongue, but I
dont speak them. Not getting laid for over two weeks since I was in Vegas has me

so horny I can hardly focus. Thats the problem. Thats why Im standing here with
a rock-hard cock, in front of this girl who looks at me, her face upturned, eyes
telegraphing her irritation with me.
Ill admit that giving you grief, as you so elegantly put it, does hold a certain
appeal, I say, being deliberately patronizing.
Sorry that Im not as elegant as you are, she says, rolling her eyes.
Theres an American embassy in Protrovia, I say. You can get a new passport,
if you need to.
Attempting to get rid of me now? she asks. Youre not going to try to
convince me to stay?
Youre a grown woman, I say. If you dont want to stick around for the
fireworks this summer, Im sure you have better things to do with your time.
The fireworks? she asks, as I turn to leave. You mean, all the drama with the
wedding?
I wasnt referring to the wedding.
Sure, I say. That, too.
I watch as that same flush rises to her cheeks again.
I turn, leaving her standing in the hallway, whistling as I walk away.
If Belle stays for the summer, fireworks are definitely on the agenda.

6
BELLE

I m hiding out in my room. Room is an incredible understatement. I'm staying in

one of the family residences in the palace a huge suite the size of an apartment,
with a ridiculous walk-in closet, filled with designer clothes and shoes that are all
my size. It's everything you'd expect from a palace opulent beyond belief, antique
furniture and wine-colored fabrics and gold-gilded accessories.
I slept like the dead last night, longer than Ive slept in years. And Ive spent all
day holed up in my room, doing my best to pretend none of this is actually
happening.
Ive avoided everything on the agenda today.
There is literally an agenda an actual program, like youd get at a wedding or a
graduation. Its printed on delicate cream-colored paper and embossed with the
royal crest in the background.
I wonder if they do this every day, whether if they pass out an itinerary, a
schedule of events to be adhered to, expectations to be met.
Its completely and utterly ridiculous.
This entire thing is ludicrous.
Im not a princess, not even close. Sure, Im a Kensington my family's name is
recognizable in certain circles but I'm nowhere near being royalty.
My father was the child of Polish immigrants who changed their family name
from Kedzierski to Kensington when they arrived in America. Oliver Kensington
started working when he was eight, a shoeshine business on a New York sidewalk
before going to school in the mornings. He made his first million dollars before he
was twenty. By then, it was real estate, not shoe shining.
My mother was his high school sweetheart. When I was a kid, I remember them
having late night candlelit dinners every Friday night in our living room.
Sometimes it would be after an event charity or business something-or-other -and sometimes there was no event at all. I'd sneak out of my room and hide around
the corner, watching them as they held hands and my mother giggled like a
schoolgirl, talking to him.
"You get one great love in life, kiddo," he told me once. "If you're lucky. So you
have to make it count. Remember that."

Everything changed after my father died. My mother threw herself into


charities, social functions, her status. She dived into advancing the Kensington
name. I thought it was her way of remembering him, but at some point all of that
stuff became an end in and of itself.
Of course, becoming a queen is the ultimate position of status.
I cant imagine growing up in a place like this. Its a million times more rigid and
fraught with expectations than my life ever was. Id almost feel badly for Albie -- if
he didnt seem to enjoy all of it so much.
I spent all morning surfing the internet and getting the scoop on Albie. Theres a
lot of scoop to be had on Albie, too -- hundreds of magazine articles, photos taken
with telescope lenses of he and whatever girl-of-the-minute he was with, the
gossip about his bedroom exploits.
I dont know how in the world I didnt recognize him in Vegas. Hes as famous as
the British princes, maybe even more so a bad boy whose ridiculous antics make
headlines around the world.
After he got a Prince Albert yeah, that kind of piercing he showed the press.
Literally. The crown prince of Protrovia dropped his pants and let the press take a
thousand photos of it. A photo of him, shit-eating grin on his face, proudly
displaying his new piercing black bar censoring the royal dick was plastered on
all the major gossip magazines around the world.

PRINCE ALBERT SHOWS OFF HIS PRINCE ALBERT!


ROYAL DICK EXPOSED! GET THE UNCENSORED PHOTOS THE ROYAL FAMILY
DOESNT WANT YOU TO SEE!

IT ONLY MADE him more popular with the press. But not with his father, apparently.
The next major magazine articles, two months later, announced that Albie would be
doing his royal duty and serving in the army.
The royal dick
I refrained from searching for the uncensored versions of the photos, even
though even now the thought sends a surge of heat flowing through my body thats
so intense it nearly takes my breath away.
I blame my stupid, traitorous body for thinking Albie is hot. Because more
importantly, he's a pretentious, arrogant dickhead.
If you dont want to stick around for the fireworks this summer
I cant stick around here for the summer, pretending to be a princess.
I dont want to stick around here for the summer. Not under the same roof as
Albie.

That night in Vegas, when we were driving around in the limo, Albie didnt touch
me. Not once.
He didnt have to. The things that came out of his mouth just like the things
he said to me in the hallway yesterday were enough to leave me practically
writhing.
I told myself it was because I hadnt been with anyone but Derek twice in the
past two years, during visits at Christmas. Not even when I saw Derek when I came
home from Africa, right before the Vegas trip.
I should have known things were over when I saw him. A reasonable person
would have realized it -- in retrospect, it seems obvious. He said he was too
stressed out because of a big case at the firm.
So its been a while.
Its been forever.
I told myself that was why I was practically crawling out of my skin when I was
sitting in the back of that limo with Albie. And when he kissed me
You may kiss this hunk-a, Fake Elvis voice seems to fade into the
background as I look at Albie, trying to stifle my giggle.
Albie steps close to me, and I breathe in sharply at his proximity. Even through
my tequila haze, Ive never seen any man more beautiful than this one. It was just
a dare, I say, my voice soft. We dont have to
He cuts me off before I can speak another word, his arm sliding across my lower
back and drawing me to him in one swift, hard movement. When he brings his
mouth down on mine, the world stops. Everything in the universe pauses.
Ive never been kissed the way he kisses me. He kisses me with an intensity that
takes my breath away, his tongue finding mine hungrily, and I melt against him.
Its the kind of kiss that demands more.
Its the kind of kiss that demands everything.
I think I let out a moan that is completely inappropriate for a wedding chapel,
even one in Vegas with an Elvis impersonator. The fact that Im so swept away by
Albie sends a pang of fear through me, and I break away. I look at him, my fingers
touching my lips, still swollen from his kiss.
Just a dare, I repeat.
But the way my hands tremble, the way this kiss has shaken me to my core, says
its not as simple as just a dare.
I shake off the memory. I try to shake off the feeling it leaves with me, the goose
bumps that dot my arms at the thought of his lips pressed against mine, his tongue
finding my tongue. I try to forget the thrill that rushed through me at his touch.
He was deceptive. He could have told me he was a prince.
Hes a playboy.
Hes definitely no good.
And hes my new stepbrother. That fact alone makes him off-limits.
I can still feel his lips against mine. How fucked up is that?
Its even more reason for me to leave.

The knock on the door startles me out of my thoughts and I jump, immediately
feeling guilty for sitting here thinking of Albie the way Ive been thinking about
him. I clear my throat. Yes?
I swear to all that is holy, if its Albie at the door, Ill kill him. He seems to have a
way of turning up at the most inopportune times, and an uncanny knack for being
able to read my thoughts.
And the thoughts Ive been having about him are certainly not ones I want read.
Are you going to hide out in here all summer, or what? Alexandra stands just
inside the doorway, her hand on her hip, glaring at me. Shes still dressed in her tshirt and jeans, and she twirls a piece of jet-black hair, laced with colored strands
pink and lime green around her fingers as she surveys me.
I was thinking that might be nice, I say. At least until I find my passport.
Youre going to leave? she asks. She sounds simultaneously accusing and
disappointed, and I dont know what to make of her. Im not sure if she wants to be
friends with me, or if she hates me on sight.
I cross the room to sit on the bed. You can come inside, you know, I say. If
you want, I mean.
Walking inside the room, she looks around. I havent been in here in a while,
she says. I forgot how stuffy these guest residences are. Youre not the stuffy type,
the kind of girl that goes for all of this.
Thanks, I say. I think its a compliment, although Im not quite sure about
her, especially considering her reaction to my broken engagement earlier. To
describe her reaction as gleeful would be an understatement.
She has her back turned to me, looking at one of the paintings on the wall. All
this shit, she says. You know this painting is worth like a million dollars. Its
practically a museum in here. You should definitely redo it, if you stay.
A million dollars. Im afraid to touch anything.
Alexandra turns around, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, and I notice a
lip piercing I didnt see before. Maybe she takes it out for special events -- like
engagement announcements sprung on her new stepsister. Im sorry I was a bitch
before, she says, her tone matter-of-fact. About you not getting married, I
mean.
I shrug. Its pretty scandalous, I guess.
Im usually the one disappointing my father, she says. It was nice to not be
the center of a scandal, for once. That sounds terribly selfish, Im sure.
I can understand not wanting to be the center of gossip. It must be hard being
in the spotlight all the time.
She cocks her head when she looks at me. Its about to be your turn, you
know, she says. Your whole life is going to be torn apart.
Her words send a pang of anxiety rushing through me. Did you just come here
to make me feel worse?
Shame flickers in her eyes, and she glances down at the ground. I didnt, she
says. Shit. I mean, sorry. Sometimes I Im too blunt.

Her phone buzzes, and she slides her thumb across the screen, a look of relief
crossing her face. I have to go, she says, not looking at me as she walks away.
I watch the door close behind her, filled with a sense of dread.
Your whole life is going to be torn apart.

7
ALBIE

I ts not a formal event. Its only dinner with the family. I can dress myself, Ben,

thank you, I say, not bothering to even try to hide the edge in my voice. A
flicker of embarrassment crosses the valets face, and I feel badly. Im sorry. I
didnt sleep well last night.
He nods. I can have Doctor Evanston called, if you like, Your Highness, he
says.
No, I say, quickly. Too quickly. Its nothing. Its fine, I mean. Its not
nothing. I havent slept well all week, not since I got back from the States.
As you wish, Your Highness, he says, retreating toward the door.
Ben? I ask. Were you able to find Miss Kensingtons misplaced passport?
Not yet, Your Highness, he says. But, rest assured, I will find it.
The idea of having Belle Kensington around the palace all summer might be
entertaining, but if she really wants to go back to the States, she should.
I wonder if shell even be at dinner. Its casual tonight, according to the agenda
which really means that its black tie and not full dinner dress. For me, dinner
dress would mean military dress with full regalia. This is the dinner engagement
announcement to my cousins and aunts and uncles, a small family gathering before
the more public events get underway.
I walk down the hallway in the direction of one of the dining rooms, an informal
one, not the formal ones used for the larger dinners.
Alb, wait, Alex calls, and before I can react, shes slamming into me, swinging
her arm around my shoulder.
God, youre a pain in the ass, I joke, as she leans into me. What are you
doing? Are you coming to dinner?
Yah, she says, snapping her gum loudly in my ear. Why are you dressing up
for this bullshit, anyway?
Because Im a responsible member of society, I say, grinning. And a
respectable member of the royal family.
Alex wrinkles her nose at me. Youve never been responsible, you lying liar,
she says. Dont even try to scam me I know the Army didnt change you that
much. And seriously, what is with the tux? You cant make me the only rebel. Who

are you trying to impress? Ohhh.


I shake my head as her eyes go wide. Im impressing no one, I say.
The girl, she says, her voice a sing-song. Yeah, you are. Youre trying to
impress her cause shes totally hot.
I shrug. I hadnt noticed.
Yeah, right, she says, laughing. You noticed. Shes your new stepsister, in
case you havent figured that out. That means you need to keep your dick in your
pants.
Thats a phrase I could do without ever hearing come out of your mouth again,
I say. You might want to go put on something that isnt jeans. Maybe consider
buttering our father up a little bit by actually playing by the rules, for once. Arent
you planning on going to Monaco?
So? she asks. Finns father has a plane.
Yes, but arent you using our house in Monaco?
Alex exhales heavily. Fine. You have a point.
Whats that? I ask, cupping my ear. Im sorry. I didnt hear you. Could you
say that louder, please? Did you say I was right?
I liked you a lot better before you did the whole military thing, you know, she
says. Before, you would have shown up to dinner stoned or with a stripper on your
arm. Now youre all about working for the man.
Its called picking your battles, Alex, I call to her back as she stomps off in the
opposite direction. And I never brought any strippers to the palace.
Well, I never brought any strippers to dinner at the palace.
I'm about to turn in the direction of the dining room, but I don't. Instead, I head
in the opposite direction.
Toward her room.
"Yes?" Belle asks, her voice muffled. When I open the door, she's turned with
her back toward me, her arms contorted as she tries to zip the back of her dress. "I
guess I do need help with the zipper, after all."
"I'm better at unzipping dresses than I am at zipping them up, but I'll give it a
try," I say.
Belle whirls around at the sound of my voice, one of the straps of her dress
sliding over the edge of her shoulder. Shit, her and the damn straps of dresses. It's
enough to make me want to rip the fabric off her entirely.
"Oh my God, what are you doing here?" she squeals, pressing her hands to the
top of her dress, and clutching the garment against her breasts. "I thought you
were the woman who was supposed to help me dress. She just left."
"Turn around," I say, crossing the room toward her. I know full and well that
this is a bad idea. I shouldn't be in here with her, not when the sight of her
shoulder has me hard as a rock. I swear to all that is holy, my dick is acting like I've
never seen a womans shoulder before.
I will not, she says. You need to leave. Im sure youre not supposed to be in
here. Isnt there some kind of palace rule against this kind of th

She stops talking when I reach her, and I hear her inhale deeply, the sound
sharp in the stillness of the room. Her breasts rise underneath her palms, and I
think about covering my hands with hers and simply moving them, causing her
dress to fall to the ground in a pool at her feet.
I could do it. It would be so easy.
And the way shes looking at me right now, her eyes big and her pupils dilated,
makes me think she would let me do exactly that.
Some kind of what? I ask, my voice soft. She looks up at me with her lips
slightly parted, and a sheen of gloss on them. Even though its simple, the effect is
somehow the most seductive thing Ive ever seen. A rule against a prince
welcoming his new st
Do not say it, she whispers. Ill slap you.
I look down at her hands. Please do, I say. But use both hands. Id like to see
that dress on the floor.
Belle blushes. You have to leave.
Or what, luv? I ask. Are you that afraid of being in the same room alone with
me? Relax. Im harmless.
She laughs. Said the lion to the mouse.
Isnt there a story about a lion and a mouse? One where theyre friends?
She narrows her eyes at me. Its probably more like the fox in the henhouse,
she says. I did some reading about you.
Mmm, I murmur, not sure whether to be irritated or flattered that shes
reading about my exploits tabloid sensationalism, no doubt. Quickly, before she
can protest, I reach around her waist and spin her so that her back is to me. Her
dress falls open, revealing an expanse of bare creamy skin.
Shit, shes not even wearing a bra. I wonder what else shes not wearing under
that little black dress of hers. The thought sends a rush of blood to my cock, which
tents the fabric of my pants.
Fuck. This girl is going to unravel me.
And? I ask, clearing my throat to cover the arousal I think must be evident in
my tone. I reach for the zipper at the base of her dress, my hand resting lightly on
the small of her back, the apex of the curve of her ass. She doesnt move. She
doesnt step forward or protest the way I linger there.
Maybe shes not aware that Im contemplating flattening my palm, running it
over the curve of her ass and down her thighs, yanking up that skirt of hers.
What did you learn about me from all your research? I ask.
Youre a playboy, she says.
Boring, I whisper, pulling on her zipper, my other hand on the top of the
fabric, guiding the zipper up, up, up her back. You already knew that.
My fingertips graze her back on the way, and she shivers visibly at my touch, her
head lolling to the side. I pull the zipper farther, my lips close to her ear.
I blow lightly on her neck, scattering a few errant hairs that have come astray
from her updo. She squirms at the sensation. What sordid secrets of mine did you

learn from your research?


Do you have sordid secrets? she says softly.
You tell me, luv. I trace my finger lightly across the back of her neck. I could.
I have one with you, in fact. That ones not as sordid as Id like it to be,
unfortunately.
You should stopdoingthat, she says, when I trace my finger up to the
baseline of her hair. Im two seconds away from taking the decorative pin out of her
hair, this silver piece with antiqued edges that must be some relic from the palace
she was told to wear, and letting the whole thing tumble down in waves. Im this
close to unraveling her completely.
What should I stop doing, luv? I whisper, watching the way she moves when
my breath wafts along her skin. Should I stop making you wet?
Youre not making me w Her voice drifts off. She doesnt say the word.
I know you cant stop thinking about me, I say. Did you think about me last
night?
God, no, she says, her voice catching. Then, more firmly. No. No. Absolutely
not.
Shes lying and we both know it.
The knock on the door startles us both, and she jumps away, looking at me in
horror. Shit, she whispers. Then, louder: Im justgetting dressed. Who is it?
But secret passageways are made for times like this, arent they? I press on the
electronic panel on the wall beside the fireplace, and wink at her before I leave.

8
BELLE

I am so wet.

He asked me if he was making me wet, and I lied. If he had reached between my


legs a moment ago, he would have known I was lying through my teeth. Every part
of my body is on edge, like Im charged with static electricity or something.
No one has ever made me wet by whispering into my ear. Hes barely touched
me, and Im practically melting.
Im going to be late for dinner, something thats surely frowned upon in a
palace. Im not certain about palace etiquette, but thats probably right up there
with a real offense.
Like marrying your future stepbrother in Vegas.
I tell myself Ill just be a minute. I tell myself that I cant possibly go to dinner
like this. I cant sit at the same table as Albie in my current state.
Thats what I tell myself as I lock the door to the bedroom.
Thats what I tell myself to justify the fact that Im going to be late for a dinner
with the king and soon-to-be-queen of a damn country, for goodness sake.
Im not the kind of girl who lets her libido get the best of her. My ex-fianc
never left me feeling like this not once.
No one has ever left me feeling like this.
Running my fingers up the sides of my thighs, I pull the fabric of the black dress
the very proper, very appropriate, very subdued black dress chosen by whatever
stylist my mother hired to fill this closet in the room up around my waist.
I glance at the secret panel on the wall where Albie disappeared. Just for a
second, I almost wish he would reappear right now.
But I push thoughts of him out of my mind. I dont need to think about Albie,
with that smug, self-satisfied grin of his, the one I imagine drives women wild.
The throbbing between my legs is incessant, demanding, refusing to be ignored,
and I tell myself that has nothing to do with thoughts of Albie. And it certainly has
nothing to do with what he just did. It has nothing to do with his breath on my
neck, his fingertips running softly across my skin.
My skirt ruched up around my waist, I slip my fingers between my thighs,
finding my clit, and press my fingertips against it, sighing louder than Id like at

the relief that immediately floods my body.


I sink onto the bed, lying here in this room touching myself while, at this very
moment, everyone in my brand-spanking-new family is on the other side of the
palace in the dining room.
Including Albie.
Deliciously sexy Albie.
Dark-haired, blue-but-more-periwinkle eyed Albie, who has a reputation for
bedding every model and actress in the western hemisphere.
Albie, the epitome of a shallow, arrogant, entitled man.
Hes everything I should find repulsive.
Except, right now, as my fingertips slide over and over my clit, moving in circles
until arousal courses through my body, hes the person I picture.
I imagine him with his lips near my ear, his warm breath against my neck,
asking me if Im wet for him. Goosebumps dot my skin, a chill traveling down my
spine as I think of him.
My eyes closed, my fingers dancing over my clit over and over until my heart
races in my chest, until my breath comes so short that Im nearly breathless I
think of him. I imagine him with his head buried between my thighs, my dress
pulled up around my waist, his tongue tasting me.
I think of his tongue, hot between my legs, flicking over my clit until I cant do
anything except call his name.
I imagine my fingers threaded through his hair, my legs wrapped around his
shoulders.
I can almost feel him sliding his fingers inside me, fucking me until I pant his
name.
Im so far gone, brought so close to the edge by just the thought of his mouth
between my legs, that I can barely keep myself from crying out when I crash over.
And Albies name is on my lips.

IM SO PLEASED that you decided to join us, Isabella. My mother raises her glass of
wine to her lips. Her chilly tune conveys the exact opposite of her words, and the
look she gives me is just as frosty as her voice.
Shes pissed off that Im late for dinner.
Im afraid the reason Im late is written all over my face, that my guilt is
immediately evident. Even as I slide into my seat at the table, I cant get the
thought of Albie as I imagined him naked, throbbing, irresistible out of my
head.
That fact sends heat to my face, and I know Im blushing.
I glance at Albie, and immediately regret it. Evidently, he finds my current state
amusing.
Yes, Albie says, I was afraid youd gotten lost, that wed have to send a

search and rescue party after you.


I had to finish up something, I say, trying to keep my voice composed, settled.
Nonchalant.
I might be failing terribly at the nonchalant part of things.
Well, I hope you know that Im always willing to help with whatever needs
attending to, Albie says, looking at me meaningfully. Arousal washes over me like
a wave, and I shift uncomfortably in my seat, crossing one leg over the other.
Im sure, Alexandra snorts, rolling her eyes. She flicks a strand of hair over
her shoulder and looks at me across the table. And winks.
I might actually die of embarrassment right now, if my mother didnt interrupt
to present me to the other guests at the table. She rattles off the names and
positions of the grandmother, two aunts, an uncle, and three cousins. I nod,
feigning interest in the social pleasantries but mostly just distracting myself from
the incessant throbbing between my legs.
Oh Albert, you are always such a gentleman. Albies grandmother beams at
Albie, adoration written all over her face. Shes regal, poised from head to toe,
dressed in a cream-colored suit with a single strand of pearls, her grey hair pulled
up into a loose bun.
Her words bring a fresh snort from Alexandra, and I wonder what she suspects,
or if shes just being obnoxious.
Yes, youre quite considerate, Albert, my mother says before turning to put
her hand on the kings arm. King Leopold looks at her and smiles, obviously
smitten with her.
Isabella, I was told youve spent the last few years doing charity work. One of
the aunts, Victoria something-or-other, interrupts.
Oh, I adore charity work, the blonde cousin says. The cousins are triplets, two
blondes and a brunette, with matching names: Lily, Rose, and Violet. I just love all
of the dinner parties and fundraising. In Paris once, we oh, what was your cause?
My cause? I ask, looking at her blankly.
Your charity, Lily says, staring at me. Your cause. Hunger, shoes for poor
children, whatever.
I wasnt actually hosting parties and fundraising, I say, starting to explain
what Id been doing the last two years.
Oh, Rose says, her brow furrowed. What kind of fundraising were you
doing?
My mother interrupts. Isabella means to say that she was working with a nonprofit group.
Working? the dark-haired triplet, Violet, asks. Her nose wrinkled, she looks
at me like Im a different species. Working, as in a job?
I was working, yes, I say. This entire conversation is beginning to sound
surreal. In Africa, actually.
Isabella, my mother says, her voice unnaturally bright. You must tell us all
about it later, perhaps at a time other than when were celebrating.

I would love to hear about Africa sometime, Isabella, the King says, his voice
warm. Theres an aid organization from Protrovia that you might have worked
with. From what your mother has told me, I believe they may have been in the
same region you were.
You were in Africa? The Kings mother sniffs. Isnt that rather dangerous?
Actually, I I start, before my mother interrupts.
His Royal Highness tells me youre spending the fall semester in Paris, my
mother says, directing her attention to Lily.
Lily rolls her eyes. I guess, she says. Semester abroad and all that. Im
supposed to expand my horizons. Its not like I havent been to Paris a million
times before.
The triplets sound bored with everything bored with this dinner, bored with
the company, bored with their wealth, bored with their lives. Theyre every kid of
every socialite parent I attended high school with in Manhattan.
Im going to New York, Violet interrupts, leaning forward. Back to design
school.
I dont know what youre going to do with fashion design, the kings mother
says. In my day, women of means learned certain things. These art degrees and
By your day, I assume you mean the eighteen hundreds. Violet snickers into
her napkin.
Dont get uppity, Albies grandmother scolds. New York City is no place for
someone of your stature.
Oh, I dont know, Lady Margaret, my mother says, her tone frosty. It was
good enough for a future queen, so Im sure Violets American education will be
more than sufficient.
The King clears his throat. Ive heard that youve also done very well in school,
Rose.
Thank you, Your Royal Highness, Rose sniffs, glaring at her sister.
I dont approve of all this traipsing about, Lady Margaret says. Running off
to New York City. Or, worse, can you imagine? Charity work in Africa? Actually
milling about withthose people?
Irritation courses through me, as the table goes quiet, no one speaking. When I
open my mouth, I speak with an edge that surprises even me. By those people, Im
sure you must be referring to the children who dont have adequate medical care or
potable drinking water?
Isabella, my mother says, her gaze penetrating. Perhaps well save this
conversation for another time, since its not the appropriate place.
King Leopold clears his throat. Mother, Im sure youll appreciate the fact that
Isabella was working with a medical non-profit organization, he says. I recall you
traveling around Europe to visit hospitals during the war.
Yeah, in World War I, Rose snickers, and her sister covers her mouth as she
giggles.
Hush your mouth, Lady Margaret snaps. Im old, not deaf. And it was the

second great war, for your information.


This is definitely more interesting than the conversations we normally have at
dinner, Alexandra interrupts, popping a forkful of food into her mouth and raising
her eyebrows.
Seriously, Lily says, wrinkling her nose as she looks at her sister. If I have to
hear about one more American designer
Youre such a snob, Violet says. When you really just have no concept of
design.
Oh, why dont you educate me, with your portfolio of work and
I trust youre settling in, Isabella? When the King interrupts, both cousins
stop squabbling and immediately go silent, their expressions pouty, like children
whove been scolded.
Yes, King Leopold, I say. Although Im afraid I may not be able to stay for as
long as Id like.
Oh, he says, and the expression of disappointment that crosses his face is so
genuine-looking that for a moment I feel badly even considering leaving. Your
mother and I were hoping youd be staying the entire summer. I know that Id like
the opportunity to get to know you. As would Alexandra and Albert.
Yes, Albie says. Id personally enjoy getting the opportunity to welcome you
to the family.
I cant believe his brazenness, and I pointedly try to ignore him, focusing on my
mother and the king.
Yes, well, Sofia says. Well have to discuss the specifics of her summer plans
in more detail another time. Im sure that Isabella intends to stay for quite a
while.
Im considering it, I say, irritated with my mother for speaking for me.
Isabella mentioned shed misplaced her passport, Albie says. I asked Ben to
see if the household staff were able to find it.
Oh? my mother asks innocently. Well, how dreadful. Well have to make
sure thats remedied. And in the meantime, Im sure well be happy to show you
why we all love Protrovia. Maybe Alexandra or Albert would take you on a tour of
the palace and the castle grounds.
I know Id be delighted to show her everything, Albie says, raising a tumbler
of amber-colored liquid to his lips.
The edges of his lips curl up, his expression a promise of the things he wants to
show me.

9
ALBIE

B elle excused herself from dinner early, feigning a headache and jet lag, obviously

lying her sweet little ass off and trying to avoid a personal tour of the palace by
yours truly.
Ill give credit where credit is due she made it nearly ninety minutes in the
middle of the cousins and my grandmother Margaret, whos still mentally stuck
someplace around the turn of the century.
My phone buzzes in my pocket, and I slide open the screen to reveal a message.

You cant keep avoiding me, Albie. I gave you enough time to play around after
you got back. Call me.

IM about to text back reflexively, a message to tell Erika to go fuck herself, just like
the two other times Id told her before. Erika is an ex-girlfriend, a friend of the
family and a reminder that several years ago, for a couple of months, I was stupid
enough to actually try out the whole having-a-relationship bullshit. The only
reason Erika was with me was because of my position, the proximity to the throne.
Instead, I hit the delete button, and block her number.
I need to get laid, but not by Erika.
And not by Belle either, not if I know whats good for me.
Of course, when have I ever done whats good for me?
Im in the middle of texting a friend whos always up for a night of partying and
hitting on women, when she knocks on the door.
I know its her by the knock. Its tentative and hesitating, not like Ben the valet
or my sister Alex, who would already be in the middle of yelling, Albie, you
disgusting pig, open up! before she even finished knocking.
No, its definitely Belle.
So thats why I dont bother to put on a shirt.

I pull open the door and revel in the fact that her eyes immediately focus on my
chest. And I try to hide my smile as she unsuccessfully attempts to look anywhere
else.
Can I help you? I ask.
I um can come back later, she says. Youre obviously in the middle of
getting changed.
Id could make you come now, I whisper, leaning forward conspiratorially.
I stopped by because I wanted to tell you that Im not interested, she says,
tucking her hair behind her ear.
Oh? I ask, leaning against the frame of the door. Youre not interested in
what, exactly, luv?
In a tour of the palace, she says. In case you were getting any ideas.
Oh, I have lots of ideas.
Not those kinds of ideas, she whispers, her hushed tone making her words
sound illicit.
Dont act all shy now, I say, my voice low. We both know why you were late
for dinner.
I dont know what youre talking about, she says, her jaw clenched. But her
eyes are wide, and she takes in a short breath. The thought of her reaching between
her legs and touching herself, being wet because of me, is enough to make my
damn cock explode.
So you werent late because you were busy thinking about my cock inside you?
I ask.
She laughs, but its forced. Maybe thats the only thing other women can think
about when theyre around you, but not me, she says. Anyway, I came here
because I wanted to ask about getting to the embassy to get a new passport.
Sure thats the only reason you came here? I ask. The way shes looking at me,
the way her eyes drop down to my chest, makes me wonder why the hell shes even
keeping up the pretense of not being attracted to me, when we both know it's not
true.
Thats the only reason, she says. "I'm quite positive."
My eyes are up here, luv, I tease.
Im not even looking anywhere else, she protests, her face coloring. And you
shouldput on a shirt or something. Why are you answering your door like that,
anyway?
Well, if Id have known it was you at the door, Id have answered without any
pants, I tell her.
"That would have only been embarrassing for you," she says. "It's quite chilly in
here, with the air conditioning, you know."
"Don't worry, luv," I say. "The royal scepter has no issue with shrinkage."
Her eyes go wider and she shakes her head. "Did you seriously just refer to your
dick as the royal scepter?"
I don't bother to hide my grin. Little Miss Do-Gooder acts like she's offended,

but she totally wants me. "Do you want to touch the royal staff?" I ask. "Give the
crown jewels a little polish?"
She wrinkles her face up in disgust. "Ugh. Anyone ever tell you that you have a
twelve-year-old boys sense of humor?"
"Usually I'm accused of having the emotional maturity of a twelve-year-old boy.
So I'll take the sense of humor bit as a compliment."
"You would," she says. "And for the record, I came here on business. Not to talk
about your little Prince Albert."
"Oh, there's nothing little about it, luv," I say, reaching for the button on my
pants. "Here. Take a look."
She puts her hand up. "Oh my God. Seriously. Are you that hard up for female
attention?" she asks. "We're right in the middle of your doorway, in case you've
forgotten."
"You're going to need to find your sense of humor," I say. "I think you might
have forgotten it somewhere in Vegas."
Her face colors. "I have a sense of humor," she says. "Just notyour kind of
humor."
"Joking about my cock isn't your style?" I ask. "Well, I'm glad you take my dick
seriously."
Belle rolls her eyes. "You're so not my style."
"Well, I've got news for you, luv," I say. "Girls like you aren't my style, either."
That part is definitely true. No matter how fucking hot this chick is, uptight women
aren't exactly my type.
Then why do you keep hitting on me? she hisses.
Im just having a little fun, thats all. If I were hitting on you, youd know it.
Trust me.
Oh yeah? she asks, crossing her arms over her chest. The movement has the
effect of pressing her breasts together, putting her cleavage so directly in my line of
sight that I cant possibly look away. I cant decide if shes doing it naively or if she
wants to get a rise out of me. In a literal sense.
Like I said, youll beg me to hit on you.
Belle rolls her eyes. Ill do no such thing, she says. Just because we had one
kiss doesnt mean that anything else is going to happen between us.
Whatever you need to tell yourself to sleep at night, Belle, I say. But we both
know youre thinking about my lips on your lips.
She shrugs. It was no big deal, she says. Ive had better kisses.
I wasnt talking about those lips, I say, looking down.
Her eyes go wide again. We did not do anything like that, she protests.
We didnt, I say. That doesnt mean you havent been thinking about it. And
we both know youre lying about having had better kisses. I looked up your exfianc. I saw photos of him. He wasnt lighting your world on fire.
You have no idea what my kisses have been like, she protests. "Or my love
life. At least mine has been tame enough that I don't have to worry about any fires

down there."
"Is that your clumsy attempt to insinuate that I've got some type of VD, luv?" I
ask.
"I told you I looked you up," she says. "You have a revolving bedroom door.
That's what the magazines say."
I lean closer to her. "Don't worry, Belle," I whisper. "I'm clean as a whistle. You
could even have me bare, if you like."
"Oh my God," she says. "That is not what I was implying."
"Hey, you're the one who keeps bringing up my cock," I say, enjoying the
appalled look on her face.
"I am not bringing up your" Belle's voice drifts off, and she glances over her
shoulder and down the hallway. "Penis."
"Penis," I say, laughing. "That's sexy. You can say the word, luv. Cock. Admit
you can't stop thinking about it."
"I am not going to admit it," she says, groaning in frustration. "I can't even
remember why I came down here now. I should have known it was a mistake."
She whirls around before I can stop her, and flounces off in the direction of her
room.

10
BELLE

"T his is so bizarre, and yet so exactly a Kensington kind of story," Raine says, her
voice partially muffled on the phone as she turns to tell someone in the room

to "hold on a minute." Raine did a stint in Africa, volunteering with another aid
organization for six months while I was there. She's a free spirit, a hippie chick
traveling across Europe with her boyfriend and exactly the kind of outside
perspective I need on all of this.
"Wait, why is this a Kensington kind of story?"
"Seriously, isn't this right up your family's alley?"
"We're not royalty," I say, dropping my tone to a whisper. "It's insane."
"But you're like, a real fucking princess," she says. "Soon to be, anyway."
"Yeah, right," I say. "That's the last thing I want to be. And you cant tell
anyone, Raine. They havent made an announcement yet.
"Phoenix," she says, laughing as she calls for her boyfriend. "Belle is living in a
castle. Like, for real. With a king and shit."
"Shh," I say, cutting her off. "Seriously. That's not public knowledge. They're
probably listening to my phone calls or something. I don't even have my passport."
"They're keeping you prisoner?" she squeaks. "That's fucked up, Belle. You're
an American citizen."
"Relax," I say. "I think it just got misplaced or something when they unpacked
my bags, maybe. I have to go to the embassy and get a new one.
"Do you want Phoenix and I to come pick you up?" she asks. "We're in
Amsterdam for a few days. Protrovia wasn't exactly on our tour, but we're flexible."
"It's okay," I say. I can't even imagine the shitshow it would be if Raine and her
boyfriend showed up at the palace. I adore Raine, but the thought of her walking
inside the palace, reeking of patchouli and weed and admonishing the royal
household for their gratuitous wealth, is enough to make me giggle. "Maybe it's
good that I'm here for a little while. Derek has texted me about a million times."
"What?" she asks. "Screw that. Your ex-fianc cheated on you with your maid of
honor. You didn't respond, did you?"
"Of course not," I say. "I'm just saying that maybe it's good I'm not in the
States right now. Maybe I should be here for a little while."

As I speak the words, I start to realize I might actually be considering staying for
the summer.
"Protrovia," she says. "Isn't that the place Phoenix, who's that prince, the
one who's always in the news? Albert. Prince Albert. I remember his name because
of the whole dick-piercing thing. Is he gorgeous? Are they all ridiculous?"
I groan. I haven't breathed a word about Albie to anyone. Not a single soul
knows what happened in Vegas except Albie and I, and it's staying that way. "Yeah,
I mean, I haven't really seen him much. I just got here. And, yeah. It's all pretty
ridiculous."
"He's the prince with the pierced cock, you know," she says. "Have you ever
screwed a guy with a piercing? It's pretty fantastic." She pauses, then laughs and
whispers to her boyfriend. "Yes, Phoenix, I'm talking about you."
"No, I haven't done it with a guy with a pierced you-know-what." I sigh. I called
the one person I thought would have never heard of Prince Albert, and she knows
all about him and his pierced cock.
"Well, you should," she says. "In fact, hes what you should do while you're
there. Shake off the cobwebs. You need a fling. Rebound sex."
"I do not need rebound sex," I protest.
Raine's voice comes back muffled. "No, Phoenix, remember, I told you her
fianc cheated on her." She pauses, then returns to the phone. "You know how
Phoenix feels about marriage. And lawyers. He says good riddance to Derek."
"I can't believe you're telling me to hook up with a prince," I say.
"It's not like I'm telling you to marry him," she says. "Just have a good ol'
fashioned fling. Hasn't he slept with half the women in Europe, anyway?"
"He's my new stepbrother," I say. I fail to mention the part where I've already
married him.
"That makes it even more appropriate," she says, laughing. "Don't all the royals
marry their cousins and siblings? Hey, I have to go. We're having lunch with some
other people from the hostel. Are you going to be okay?"
"Yes, go," I reassure her. "I'm totally fine.
"Fling," she says, laughing as the background in her room is suddenly filled with
conversation. "Go have a fling. It'll be good for you. When is the last time you had
casual sex?"
The phone cuts off before I can answer. Never, I think. I've never ever had a
fling.
But that doesn't mean I'm going to start by screwing the biggest manwhore in
Europe.
"Knock knock."
I whirl around to see Albie pushing open the wall panel in my room. "Are you
kidding me with this popping-out-of-secret-passageways bullshit?" I ask. "You
have no right to push your way into my room like this. I should scream for
security."
Albie raises his hands in mock surrender. "Relax, luv," he says. "I come in

peace. And I knocked on the wall. Twice. You didn't hear me?"
"Barging into my room through the passageway? Yeah, that's totally peaceful.
And not at all completely creepy."
"I came in this way for a reason," he says, giving me an impish grin that
immediately grates on my nerves. He flashes that grin around like it gets him out of
everything. And the truth is, it probably does.
But not with me. Not even if the way he looks at me makes me want to drop my
panties right this second.
And youre going to head right back out the way you came in, I say, crossing
my arms over my chest and giving him my best glare.
I come bearing a gift, he says. Ben my valet found your passport. The
footman never unpacked it from your bag. He hands it to me, and I turn it over,
feeling simultaneously grateful and skeptical.
Why didnt he bring it to me? I ask.
Because I asked him to find it, and he mentioned he did, Albie says. Besides,
I know that last night you said no tours, but I came to change your mind. Im
offering you a private tour of Protrovia.
Yeah, right, I say. A private tour of your bedroom, you mean.
He raises his hands in mock surrender. I have no ulterior motive, he says. I
swear.
I raise an eyebrow at him. Somehow I doubt that.
Suit yourself, then, luv, he says. If youd rather have tea with my
grandmother and a bunch of her stuffy old friends this afternoon, then have at it.
Im sure theyll have lots of opinions about your charity work in Africa.
The thought of enduring tea with Albies grandmother makes my stomach
queasy. Youre ditching out on the afternoon agenda?
Obviously, he says. But if youd rather spend the afternoon with the old
ladies, be my guest. He turns to push the panel on the wall again. Have fun, luv.
Hang on, I say. Let me get my bag.
I knew youd see reason.
Its not reason, I say, stuffing my wallet into one of the designer purses from
my well-appointed closet. Youre just the lesser of two evils.
Ill take that as a compliment, Albie says, grinning. Im clearly growing on
you.
I stifle my laugh as I follow him into the passageway. Yeah, I say. Just like a
fungus.
Outside, Alexandra and two men in suits are waiting on a launch pad beside a
helicopter. I dont know if Im disappointed or relieved that Albie and I have
chaperones.
Relieved is probably the appropriate response, I tell myself. I should definitely
be relieved.
A helicopter, I yell over the roar of the rotors, unsuccessfully trying to restrain
my hair as it whips around my face in the wind. At least Im wearing my old jeans

and not one of the new dresses from my closet. Thank goodness for small mercies,
because that would be unfortunate. Im sure Albie would be delighted to witness me
having a Marilyn Monroe moment.
Nothing gets by you, Princess, Albie says. I told you Id give you a tour of
Protrovia.
Alexandra elbows Albie. None of your combat landing bullshit this time, either,
Alb, she yells.
Its not my fault you have a sensitive stomach, he says, laughing.
Sensitive, my ass, Alexandra yells. Youre such a prick. I dont know why I
even agreed to get in a helicopter with you again.
Because youd rather puke into a bag than spend an afternoon listening to your
grandmother lecture you about how inappropriate you hair color is?
Wait. Youre the one flying this thing? I ask.
What did you think I did in the army, luv? Albie yells. Youre not getting cold
feet, are you?
Never, I say.
Thats good to hear, he yells. If youre good, I might even refrain from doing
any tactical flight maneuvers.
Ive never actually been in a helicopter, but I dont tell Albie that. A few of my
high school friends had parents with private planes, so Ive been on those but a
helicopter is different. Were strapped in, our headsets on, while Albie runs a dozen
checks, fiddling with buttons and dials on the dashboard in the front. Beside me,
Alexandra flips through her phone nonchalantly, like she does this kind of thing
every day. Of course, she probably does.
The two suits with us are their personal bodyguards one each, for Albie and
Alexandra. Apparently, Ill get assigned a security detail soon enough if I stick
around, but since I only just arrived at the palace, Im in some kind of transitional
phase.
I wonder why the hell we needed to sneak around inside the palace, when the
bodyguards already knew where we were going. But I dont have time to think about
that before were up in the air and Im distracted by everything else.
Alexandra texts on her phone, hardly paying attention to the scenery below us,
but Im transfixed. Albie speaks into the microphone, giving me a history of
Protrovia as he flies over the city, pointing out particular buildings as he flies over
the capitol city.
Protrovia dates back to fifteen thirty-two, he says, as we veer left out of the
capitol. He gives us a brief history of the country, but I'm too distracted to listen,
transfixed with the view I have of the buildings below.
Albie is such a nerd, Alexandra says into her microphone. Hes like, obsessed
with our family history and shit.
I guess if the whole future-king thing doesnt work out, you can always get a
job as a tour guide, I say.
Its good to have options in life, Albie says.

We fly out over the countryside, and Albie still points out important places, but I
find it hard to pay attention to what hes saying, simply because the scenery is
breathtaking -- rolling fields the color of emeralds, dotted with cottages and
farmhouses. At some point in the flight, even Alexandra puts down her cell phone
and looks outside.
Im not sure how long were in the air, before Albie tells us were going to land.
This is the summer house, he says, as an estate, spread across acres of land,
comes into view.
Isnt it summer now? I ask.
Well be there in a few weeks, Alexandra says. Once the royal couple makes
their engagement announcement. The engagement party will be at the palace, and
then well retreat to the countryside. Fewer public appearances and all that. Way
more boring, too. I cant see her expression, but if I had to guess, shed be rolling
her eyes.
No sooner does the helicopter touch down on the pad then a red convertible
speeds up, driven by a guy in sunglasses I can tell is gorgeous even from where Im
sitting. Beside me, Alex scrambles out of her seatbelt. Tell dad Ill be back in a few
days, she yells at Albie.
Im not covering for you, shithead, he says.
One of the bodyguards mutters under his breath, Your sister, and curses into
his microphone before ripping it off his head. He follows Alex out of the helicopter,
and I see her arguing with him outside, flipping him the bird as she hops into a
convertible that pulls away.
So much for the summerhouse being boring, I guess.

11
ALBIE

M y sisters bodyguard, Max, darts down the drive. I know hes smart enough to

have a vehicle here on standby, one of the dark-tinted black SUVs the security
detail drives that are supposed to be inconspicuous but stick out anymore like a
sore thumb.
My bodyguard, Noah, shakes his head. Do you know where shes going, sir? he
asks.
He insists on calling me sir, despite the fact that hes been my security detail
forever. And despite the fact that Ive asked him a hundred times to call me by my
name. Noah knows more about me than anyone, and he also knows Im not about
to rat out my sister, even if shes off running around with a spoiled asshole like
Finn Asher.
Belle stands beside me, her hair tousled from the wind, looking sexy and
disheveled and basically confused as hell. Is everything okay? she asks.
I have no idea where shes headed, Noah, I lie, shrugging. Besides, Im sure
Max is on it.
As if on cue, the bodyguard peels past us in an SUV, kicking dust up behind his
wheels as he flies down the driveway after Alex and Finn.
Noah narrows his eyes as he looks at me. Yes, Im sure hes on it, sir.
Were going to tour the grounds, Noah, I say. Im sure we dont need an
escort.
He gives me a stern look before issuing a yes, sir in response, walking ahead
of us. The estate is fully staffed, with its own security detail.
You should go have a beer or something, Noah, I call to his retreating figure,
and he flips me off behind his head.
Beside me, Belle laughs. Do your bodyguards usually give you the finger? she
asks.
Only Noah, I tell her. Hes been with me for along time. Hes probably the
closest thing I have to a best friend.
A best friend that calls you sir? she asks.
He does it because he knows it pisses me off, I say. He only does it when hes
annoyed with me.

So he calls you sir pretty much all the time, then?


You're so quick-witted," I say, rolling my eyes. "Do people tell you that all the
time?"
Constantly, she says, sticking her tongue out at me. Its a childish response,
but it makes me laugh. We walk in silence across the expanse of lawn from the
helicopter pad toward the summerhouse, and from the corner of my eye, I can see
Belle breathing in deeply, visibly relaxing as we walk.
I don't know quite why, but it makes me satisfied to see her happy here.
"So, do you always fly your wives out to your estates?" she asks.
"You're the first, actually," I say.
"So I'm special, then," she says. "I feel flattered."
"Well, we were married by Fake Elvis, so that automatically puts you leaps and
bounds ahead of my other marriages," I joke.
"I'm overjoyed," she says sarcastically, then falls silent as we walk across the
lawn. I point out various places on the estate the stables, gardens, and the lake to
the south, just barely visible on the horizon.
"When Alex and I were kids, my father used to take us out there to fish on
Sunday mornings in the summer, early," I say. "No matter how busy he was. We'd
get up at six in the morning, and return a few hours later and wake up my mother."
"Your father seems like a good man," she says. "Like...a normal guy, almost."
"He's the people's king," I say. "It's what they call him.
"Was it weird, growing up like this?" she asks.
I shrug. "I don't know," I say. "Was it weird growing up the way you did?"
"Touch," she says.
"I don't know any other way of life," I tell her.
Inside the castle, I show her my favorite places, the things that are a part of my
family history -- the Chinese pottery that I broke when Alex and I were running
through the house when I was nine, thousands of years old and super-glued back
together; and the place where my sister and I shimmied off a low overhang from
one of the windows when I was twelve and Alex broke her arm. It was the first time
I'd gotten in real trouble, grounded from everything.
Belle and I stand on the roof, looking out over the expanse of the estate, the
lawn so vivid it's nearly emerald-colored. Everything out here, in the country, is
more vivid and intense than the city.
This place holds all of the important memories of my life.
"This is where Alex and I would come up and get high, before I left for the
army," I tell her.
Belle laughs. "This isn't what I pictured," she says. "It's different from what I
expected from a royal family."
"It's all trappings, you know," I say. "All of this -- the castles, and the cars, and
the planes, and --"
"The media stories?" she asks. She stands a foot away from me -- too far, I
think -- and glances at me, and I think I see her smile. Teasing me about my

reputation.
"I'd say those stories in the media are greatly exaggerated, but they're probably
not," I tell her.
She laughs. "At least you're honest," she says. Then, abruptly: "Why did you
bring me here?"
"I'm sharing royal stories -- the good ones, not the PR-friendly ones -- and
you're not having fun?"
"No, I. That's not what I meant at all."
"Relax, luv, I'm just giving you crap," I say. "Other than playing hooky at tea? I
wanted to show you the real Protrovia."
"This is the real Protrovia?" she asks, her voice lilting. "Palatial summer
estates?"
"No, smarty," I say. "I'm just giving you a tour of the summer house. Come on.
Now I'll show you the real Protrovia. That way, if you decide to go back to the
States, at least you know what you're missing."
But I don't turn to leave. Not yet. I stand there, and she looks at me for a minute,
the expression on her face unreadable. "I'm starting to get an idea of what I'd be
missing," she says, her eyes lingering on my face for a split second too long. Then
the moment passes, and she clears her throat. "All right, Prince Albert. Sell me on
Protrovia."

12
BELLE

I m not sure what I thought I was going to get when I told a prince to sell me on

his country, but this was definitely not it.


What? he asks innocently. Is it the shoes? Not flattering?
Yeah, its definitely the shoes, I say, my voice dripping with sarcasm. But I
can't quite stifle the giggle that erupts in my throat when I look at him.
Albie is wearing jeans and a grey t-shirt, a navy blue baseball cap pulled down
low on his head, looking like any other guy his age.
Except for the ridiculous, bushy, dark fake mustache over his lips.
You need a hat, too, he says, producing a black baseball cap from behind his
back, with the words I Luv Las Vegas written on it in bright orange typeface.
I snatch the hat from his hand. Are you kidding me?
What? he asks, shrugging, his palms upturned. Youll look like a tourist. It's
the perfect disguise.
Did you buy that for me in Vegas? After claiming that he had no idea who I
was, he produces something like this?
Nope, he says. I bought it for myself in Vegas, actually. But, Ill admit, once
you got here, I was going to leave it on your bed as a welcome gift.
But your sense of decorum and propriety kept you from doing that? Nice, I
say, shaking my head. I slip the ball cap over my head anyway, pulling my ponytail
through the back. Fine. Lets go wherever youre taking me, Pornstache.
When Albies bodyguard sees us, he rolls his eyes and sighs heavily. That
mustache. Really? he says.
Noah is just jealous because he cant grow a sexy 'stache like this, Albie says,
leaning close to me to stage whisper.
From what I can tell, you can't either, sir. Noah holds the car door open for
me. Its a black sedan with a taxi plate in the back corner of the rear window, a few
years old and completely non-royal, nothing like the high-end SUVs with darktinted windows that are dead giveaways for the royal security detail.
Isnt he coming with us? I ask, watching as Noah closes my door and walks
toward the SUV parked twenty feet away.
I wonder how the hell Albie gets away with such laid-back security. This is how

it was in Vegas, too. There, Albie had no major security detail. None that I noticed
anyway, or Id have definitely suspected something then. Hes the most famous
prince on the planet. Id expect him to have a team of bodyguards, like a rock star
or a dignitary.
Absolutely, Albie says, settling into the back seat of the car beside me. He
doesnt make a move, doesnt put his hand on my leg or do anything inappropriate.
Im not sure whether to be pleased or disappointed with that. Hes our driver.
Is security always this lax for the royal family? I ask. Noah slides behind the
wheel of the driver's seat, tossing a backpack on the front passenger side.
Albie turns toward me and winks, wearing his stupid ball cap and that bushy
mustache.
Despite my initial misgivings, maybe the royal asshole isnt so bad after all.
Lets just say that Noah and I have an understanding, Albie says. He knows
that Im perfectly capable of losing him, if I really wanted to. Kind of like today. We
could have ditched out of the palace, gone through the tunnels, and skirted around
out in town. But this way, he can follow me from afar and trust that Im not going
to try to lose him. At least not today, anyway.
The Prince is under a bit of a delusion, Im afraid, Noah says, as he pulls down
the drive. He believes hes more clever and unobtrusive than he is.
I choke back a laugh. Ive definitely gotten that impression.
If you don't think my stache is the very definition of unobtrusive, Im afraid
we cant be friends any longer, Noah, Albie says.
I feel sorry for you, Noah, I say, shaking my head.
Why? he asks, his eyes forward as he drives us outside of the walled estate and
down the weaving, winding road toward wherever the hell were going. I realized
that I have no idea what Albie's plan is, yet Im blindly following his direction as if I
dont have a care in the world.
I'm sorry that you got stuck with this assignment to guard the prince, I say.
Its a sacrifice, Noah says. King and country and all.
Albie laughs, hitting a button that automatically slides up a partition between us
and Noah. Thats enough from him, he says.
You guys are really close, I note.
Noah tolerates a lot of crap from me, he says. "He came on around the time
my mom got sick."
I can only imagine the shit he must put up with, I say, only half-joking. From
the magazine articles and media frenzy that surround the playboy prince, I can
definitely see how difficult it would be to manage him.
I expect Albie to laugh, but when I look over at him, his gaze is focused out the
window, his expression guarded.
How did your mom die?" I ask, even though I already know she died. The death
of Queen Sigrid was all over the media after it happened. I was in my senior year of
high school. I still remember the memorials, the songs written about her. And like
everyone else around the world, I remember the photo of Prince Albert and Princess

Alexandra, standing beside their father, staid and unflinching, pain written all over
their faces.
It's one thing to read about the death of someone in an online news article, or to
see their face plastered all over the media, but another thing entirely to experience
that loss first-hand.
I should know. My father's death when I was a child rocked me to my core.
Neuroendocrine Carcinoma," he says, his voice flat. "It's a rare form of
cancer."
"I'm sorry," I say, my words insufficient, the way words always seem to be when
it comes to loss.
Albie makes a sound in his throat, more like a 'heh' than a laugh, avoiding
looking at me. "I'm sorry," he says. "I've heard it a thousand times. Just like you
probably have."
"Yes," I say. "It doesn't change anything."
"No," he says, his gaze still fixated out the window. It's the first time since I've
been here in Protrovia that I think maybe Albie is deeper than he appears at first
glance. Until now, Albie didn't seem to have much running below the surface.
"And now they're both getting remarried," I say, my voice soft. I'm not sure
how I feel about it. I'm not sure I've had enough time to get used to the idea.
It's not the fact that my mother is remarrying that takes some getting used to.
She has certainly dated since my father's death. She even came close to getting
married again, to a big Wall Street guy who ran a huge hedge fund. She called that
off last-minute, which in retrospect, was a good thing, considering he was indicted
a few years later for some white-collar crime I can't recall.
Yes, Albie says, looking at me, his expression serious for the first time since
we met. Do you think my father can compare to yours?
The question takes me aback, and I cant hide the question in my tone. Your
father is a king, Albie, I say. Youre literally the most powerful family in this
country. And youre asking me how your father measures up to mine?
The question is ridiculous. My father was a self-made millionaire, who built an
empire, a fortune from nothing. All of that was before I was born, though. I grew up
rich, with the best of everything. I never wanted for anything.
But I know where I come from. And where I belong.
And where I come from is definitely not royalty.
Thats what Im asking, he says, his gaze intense. What I read about your
fatherhis storyits amazing what he built.
I cant help but raise my eyebrows. Your father is a king, I say, my words
clipped. Talking about my father, makes the car ride suddenly more intense than I
anticipated. This isnt what I expected when I agreed to a tour of Protrovia.
Being alone with the playboy prince isn't what I expected, either.
I look out the window at the countryside passing in a blur as we drive, the greens
and blues of the landscape and the greys and browns of the stone cottages whizzing
by, and try to forget the growing tightness in my chest.

My family has ruled this kingdom for five hundred years, Albie says. Do you
know what thats like?
The question jerks me out of the melancholy triggered by thinking about my
father. Of course I dont know what its like to be royal, I say. My voice comes out
harsher than I intend it to be.
No, he says. But your father I read the articles about him in the business
journals. He started from nothing. Thats something, Belle.
I dont have a pedigree, I say stupidly. I dont understand where this
conversation is going, but it makes me feel anxious. My father has been gone for a
long time, and I cant remember the last time my mother and I talked about him.
Exactly, he says. Do you know what its like to do nothing? To have
everything passed down to you, simply because you were born who you are?
I havent exactly had to earn my way in life, I point out. Im not a plucky girl
from the wrong side of the tracks whos had to fight her way through life to get
what she has. My father left me millions of dollars.
No, I dont suppose so, Albie says. Except what did you do with the money?
I roll my eyes and look out the window, breaking away from his gaze. Im
irritated by the thought that Albie seems to have looked up everything there is to
know about me just to satisfy his damn curiosity. Im not some kind of Mother
Theresa."
No, he says. You took the money and set up a foundation, then went and
spent two years in Africa working for a charity.
Yes. I dont elaborate. Im starting to feel overheated, claustrophobic in this
car with him. I dont like talking about myself, dont like being the center of
attention, and Albie is putting me on the spot. I dont need to explain to this man
this stranger, whom I barely know why I left when I graduated college, why I
didnt take the trust fund and blow it on some fabulous lifestyle, the way my
mother encouraged me to do.
You should have some fun, Belle, she said, looking at me with sadness in her
eyes. Youre too serious. Life shouldnt be so serious.
Shed definitely never taken life seriously. Wealth, power, parties, socializing
that was what kept my mother going.
She couldnt understand.
I didnt want my fathers money. It was just a reminder of his death. And thats
the last thing I wanted to be reminded of.
Albie doesnt say anything else, and neither do I during the rest of the car ride.
Instead, I watch out the window as we pass houses that are closer together as we
come to a small village. I dont know what to make of Albies questions, except to
think that maybe hes not as flippant about life as I thought he was. Im not sure if
that makes me like him more or less.

13
ALBIE

I feel like I fucked up somehow with Belle, as if a cloud, a sense of heaviness, has

descended over the car ever since I mentioned her father. Belle has me on edge
since I met her in the casino. With her, I feel like Im perpetually making missteps.
Thats not something I do when it comes to women.
Im a master at bedding women, leveraging my status and privilege and wealth
and looks to get into their panties. Belle should be no exception.
But Ive somehow managed to turn things melancholy instead of light.
Im the fuck-up prince, the irresponsible one, the man who doesnt want to be
king. I dont do serious, so I have no idea why Im having a remotely serious
conversation with Belle about our dead parents.
Thats fucking depressing.
Its like, the exact opposite of what I should be doing to get in her panties.
Noah taps the brakes as we head into the small village, traffic slowing the
vehicle to a near crawl. A banner with colored flags stretches across the archway at
the beginning of the main road through town, a cobblestone path that is routinely
closed to traffic. Today, that stretch of road is crowded with pedestrians, throngs of
families who are here for a summer festival.
I tap on the divider, and it goes down. Turn right down here, Noah.
Ill go down and around town, Noah disagrees, shaking his head. This isnt the
first time weve gone into the village, and Noah knows the back roads and ways to
bypass traffic far better than I do.
Do you come down here a lot? Belle asks, finally breaking the silence between
us. I dont know why, but I feel myself exhale with relief.
Alex and I used to sneak out here all the time in the summer, I say. It used to
piss off my father.
He didnt want you running around with the commoners? she asks.
No, I say, laughing. It was more of an issue with security risk than anything
else. Hes perpetually convinced Im going to be assassinated.
Belle raises her eyebrows. Given who you are, thats probably a legitimate
concern.
I shrug. Hes too protective, I say.

She glances at me from the corner of her eye. Says the guy who went to
Afghanistan?
I flew helicopters, I say. And, thanks to my father, I wasnt able to get close
to any real action.
Theres something to be said for staying alive playing it safe, Belle says,
turning to look at me finally. The corners of her mouth turn up on the edges, just
slightly, but the smile doesn't quite reach her eyes. Even so, the way she looks at
me, her chestnut-colored eyes wide, taking the corner of her lower lip between her
teeth uncertainly, sends an almost irresistible desire to kiss her ricocheting
through me.
Fuck. I want to do a hell of a lot more than just kiss this girl.
Playing it safe is boring, I say, not wanting to take my eyes away from hers. I
watch transfixed, as she takes a deep breath, her breasts rising under the thin
fabric of her t-shirt, and I swear to God, that single breath makes my cock rigid.
Hell if a girl has ever been able to make my cock hard as a rock with one look,
with a single inhale of breath.
Then Noah clears his throat noisily, reminding me that Belle and I arent the
only ones in the car. Were here, sir, he says. Miss Kensington.
Beside me, Belle laughs, the sound light. I think it might be the best sound Ive
ever heard. Im not Miss Kensington, she says. Thats my mother. Everyone
calls me Belle.
Noah nods. Yes, maam.
Okay, maam is totally worse. Please never ever call me that again. I'm not that
old, she says, before turning to me. Where are we going?
It's the start of the summer festival, I say. This is the real Protrovia.
Noah tails us from a respectable distance as we meander through the festival,
among the throngs of families and tourists playing carnival games, listening to
music, and eating traditional Protrovian food.
Belle is mostly silent, contemplative, but I watch her take everything in as she
walks, pausing occasionally to talk to a vendor or run her fingers along a handmade
craft being sold on one of the tables. This version of Protrovia is a ton better than
the palace one, she says, turning toward me.
Behind her, someone squeezes past, pushing her into me. Her body presses up
against mine, and she doesn't jump away, not immediately. Instead, she lingers a
fraction of a moment too long, and when I reach for her elbows to steady her, my
hands land on her waist instead. Its completely inappropriate, touching her like
this out here, in the middle of everything, even for a moment.
She looks up at me, eyes framed by dark lashes, and I know she can feel how
hard I am, my bodys immediate response to her pressed against me. Rock hard
seems to be my default response to anything this girl does. But in that moment, I
know she wants me just as much as I want her.
Then Belle steps away, looking down at the ground and tucking her hair behind
her ear self-consciously. Her cheeks are flushed, pink lightly dusting her

cheekbones, and she tries to put distance between us, but the thickness of the
crowd causes her to slow down. Then I'm behind her, my lips close to her ear. I
know you could feel how hard I am for you, I say, my voice low.
The flush she gets when shes embarrassed, the one that is usually relegated to
her face, spreads all the way to her ears. I can see it from where I stand behind her,
and the sight makes me inexplicably harder.
Ive slept with models, actresses, socialites. Women throw themselves at me.
They offer threesomes and foursomes. They offer me anything I want.
And some American girl wearing jeans and sneakers and a t-shirt makes me
harder than Ive been in my damn life, with a mere blush.
Belle doesnt respond. She clears her throat and makes the same self-conscious
move again, tucking her hair behind her ear as she walks forward through the
crowd. When I catch up to her, I put my hand on the small of her back.
What are you doing? she asks, glancing behind her. There are a million
people here watching us.
I let my fingers slide just underneath the bottom of her t-shirt, grazing her skin,
hot to my touch, just for a moment, before I draw back my hand.
Propriety, I remind myself.
I should give a shit about propriety. I should give a shit about the fact that Belle
Kensington is my soon-to-be stepsister. Shes part of the royal family. I should
keep my dick in my pants and my hands to myself.
The problem is that Ive never been very good at doing the things I should do,
anyway.
When the crowd surges ahead, I take Belles arm and pull her to the right
sharply, ducking between a group of large men drinking beer before disappearing
into another group of tourists. We veer to the side and down a narrow passageway
between two brick-sided buildings. The alley is empty, and Belle pauses, backing up
against the wall and looking at me with a mixture of apprehension and lust.
We lost Noah, she says, her voice soft.
Are you worried about Noah? I ask.
Shouldnt you not be ditching your bodyguard? Belle asks the question, her
voice breathier than it was before, and Im not sure thats entirely the result of
darting through the crowd.
There are a lot of things I shouldnt do, I say. I trail a finger down her chest,
toward her cleavage, and she doesnt stop me. Instead, she sucks in a deep breath,
her chest rising under my touch.
Its the breath that undoes me. Its the sound she makes when she inhales the
way she does -- sharp, between her teeth -- that is going to be my unraveling, and
I know it. It holds the promise of everything thats inevitable between us my
tongue on her skin, the taste salty-sweet, the tangle of limbs, her slickness as I slip
inside her.
I can picture all of it hell, I can practically taste her on my lips now, without
even touching her just by listening to that inhale. Its the sound I imagine shell

make when Im plunging my cock into her, my lips near hers, as I watch the
expression on her face.
This is definitely one of those shouldnts, she says. But she doesnt move.
She stays where she is, paused with her back against the brick wall, her breasts
arched up.
Everything about her screams yes.
Prince fucks his royal stepsister, I whisper, reaching down to flick open the
button on her jeans. "It's a definite shouldn't."
Belles lips fall open in a slight O. But she doesnt protest. I almost expect her
to slap me. Im waiting for her to call me a pervert, a manwhore. I'm waiting for
her to tell me to go screw myself, to get the hell away from her.
Im not your stepsister, she whispers. Yet.
I unzip her jeans, pulling them down slightly around her hips, angling my back
toward the entrance of the alley to shield her from any wandering eyes. So youre
okay with the fucking part, then, I say, as I slip my fingers inside the front of her
panties, my eyes never leaving hers, even though I have the almost irrepressible
impulse to see what her panties look like.
This is high up there on the list of shouldnts.
Ive done a lot of bullshit flashing the press, hooking up with random girls
but Ive never screwed one in public. Always in private. I might drop my pants for
the press, but Ive never been caught with my pants around my ankles because of a
woman. Thats because whatever kind of whoring around I do, Ive always been able
to contain myself.
Belle has me going crazy. Pulling her into an alley, sliding my fingers down the
front of her pants.
This is not what I do.
My mistake, I say. Prince fucks his almost-stepsister. His wife.
No fucking, she whispers.
No fucking, I repeat, not a statement but a question, rolling my fingers over
her clit and watching her lids fall to half-mast, then widen. She catches that lower
lip of hers between her teeth again, and I swear that all I can think about is kissing
the fuck out of that mouth of hers.
I can think of a hell of a lot of things Id like to do to that mouth.
Theres not going to be any fucking, she says. But the last word fucking
comes out of her mouth in a moan, and the sound is so wanton, so desperate, that I
almost lose my shit right here.
I want to tear her fucking clothes off, right here in this alley. I want to rip her
shirt off. I want to fuck her hard against the wall, with her legs wrapped around me,
her tits in my face.
I want Little Miss Do-Gooder, Miss Does Everything Right, to be mine in the
filthiest way possible.

14
BELLE

T here might not be any fucking right now, luv, he says. But there will be. I can

promise you that much.


I watch his mouth move those lips of his that are so lush it's criminal but for
the life of me, I cant hear what hes saying. He touches me, lightly, his fingers
rolling over my clit, sending waves of heat pulsing through my body, billowing over
me so quickly I cant think of anything except that I want him to touch me more.
I want his hands all over my body.
I want him inside me.
I hear myself moan a sound that's very nearly feral, embarrassing in its
intensity and I think he groans.
Growls is more like it.
Then he brings his mouth down on mine. Its so hard, so fierce, that I nearly lose
my breath, as his tongue seeks out and finds mine immediately. Without a seconds
hesitation, he thrusts his fingers inside me.
Pleasure washes over me, the feeling so intense its agonizing. Its been so long
since I was touched.
And never like this, not the way Albie does, his fingers inside me, finding the
most sensitive spot, pressing against it like he knows exactly what I want.
What I need.
Everything about this is wrong. In my head, I know that. Nothing good can come
of this. Nothing good can come of my jeans hitched over my hips, of being pressed
against the side of a building in a filthy alley, with my soon-to-be stepbrothers
fingers inside me.
My manwhore stepbrother.
The Crown Prince of Protrovia.
Nothing about this is right. All it would take is one person to walk by, to glance
down the alley and recognize him. All it would take is one photograph, and he
would be ruined. I would be ruined. My mother would be destroyed.
The thoughts flood my head, swimming around and momentarily distracting me
from Albie's touch.
Albie seems to sense the internal shift in me, and he pulls away to look at me,

his fingers continuing to dance inside me, his movements sending pulse after pulse
of pleasure through my body.
"No words anymore, Belle?" he asks, his voice low. Guttural.
"Words," I say stupidly. What were we talking about, before he slid his fingers
inside me?
Albie chuckles. "I like the speechless version of you," he says, his eyes trained
on mine as he reaches underneath my t-shirt and cups my breast, the warmth of
his hand enveloping me. He doesn't take off my bra, doesn't slide his hand under
the fabric the way I desperately want him to do.
My skin aches to feel his skin against mine, and I hate myself for wanting him
the way that I want him right now. I curse my body for its obviously appalling taste
in men.
"Notspeechless," I say, the words coming out in gasps, despite my attempt to
produce a coherent sentence. Albie makes a 'come hither' gesture with his fingers,
applying more pressure to the perfect place inside me, and I clutch his muscular
biceps tightly, my fingers digging into his skin as increasingly powerful sensations
wash over me.
"You're so fucking wet for me," he says, squeezing my breast just a little too
hard, sending a twinge of pain through my body that somehow has the effect of
heightening the pleasure.
Is this what I like pleasure mixed with pain? Fucking someone I'm not sure I
even remotely like?
"There's going to be no fucking." I blurt out the words again, my voice breathy.
I'm not sure if I'm trying to reassure him or myself.
I can't think clearly. I'm so close, so on the edge. All I know is that I want to
crash over. I want him to send me over the edge.
But he just smiles.
He slides his fingers slowly excruciatingly slowly from my wet pussy, and I
think I hear myself whine, but that can't be true, because I don't whine. I definitely
don't whimper, brought to the brink of orgasm by a man and then denied. He
presses his fingers against my clit, but doesn't move. He just pauses there, his
fingers pushed against me, the heat from him radiating into me.
I hear myself begin to whimper again and I bite my lip to stop. I won't do it.
"I already told you, Belle," he says, squeezing my breast. His thumb grazes the
skin above the fabric of my bra, and I cant help myself. I arch my back, pressing
against him. His fingers are so close to just slipping inside the cup of my bra that
covers my nipple.
Told me what? I ask, my voice breathless. I tell myself to ignore the throbbing
between my legs. I tell myself that I should take this momentary pause as an
opportunity to shut down what's happening between us.
But my body seems to have a mind of its own when it comes to Albie.
I told you, he whispers, bringing his lips close to my ear. I close my eyes
lightly, savoring every sensation as his warm breath caresses my ear and my neck.

He strokes me with the tip of his finger, gentle now, a feather-like touch. Im
going to fuck you. That wasnt an idle promise, Belle. Youre going to beg me to
fuck you, luv.
Idontbeg. I somehow manage to whisper the words, barely able to form a
coherent sentence with Albies breath against my skin, teasing, promising more.
My body feels on edge, every nerve ending more sensitive than theyve ever been,
brought to the precipice by him.
But hell, I have my dignity.
Even if Im standing in a back alley with my jeans pulled down over my hips
while a man with a fake seventies pornstache has his hand inside my panties.
Ill remember you said that, he says, slipping his hand out from between my
legs. I look at him with a mixture of confusion and disbelief as he takes away his
fingers his glorious, magical fingers from where they were a second ago,
pressed against my clit.
Wha I start, my words trailing off as I watch him bring his fingers to his
mouth. He makes a show of slowly licking them, his eyes closing as he makes a
satisfied sound.
All you have to do is ask, luv, he says, his voice low. The corners of his mouth
turn up, a smile that has to be the smuggest, most arrogant expression Ive ever
seen on anyones face. Or maybe its just compounded by the fact that Im the most
sexually frustrated Ive ever been in my life.
Youre such ajerk, I say, unable to think of a word more clever than that. Im
pretty sure that all of my brain cells have evaporated, or have been turned to mush
because of this man.
I yank my jeans back up, fumbling with the button, my hands shaky and my
heart pounding wildly in my chest as adrenaline pumps through my veins.
Smoothing my hair, as if by that simple gesture I can calm my rebellious body, I
look at him through narrowed eyes.
And the pompous ass just grins. Hes thoroughly pleased with himself. The fact
that hes so damn smug, as if hes planned this the whole time, sends a surge of
irritation through me.
Just remember that, he says, bringing his fingers to his lips again. Im going
to fuck you, Isabella Kensington. Thats a foregone conclusion. And Im going to
lick that sweet pussy of yours until youre begging for release. And when I give you
permission, when I say you can come, youre going to come on my tongue.
My face flushes red. I can feel the heat rise to my cheeks, the throbbing between
my legs so insistent now that I swear I consider saying please. I actually consider
asking him to finish what he started, to plunge his fingers back inside me and make
me come. But I dont. Ill never beg. Permission? I ask, choking out the word. I
dont know what kind of women youve been with in the past, but youre not giving
me
He cuts me off, putting his fingers the fingers that were just inside me on my
lips to silence me. Shhh, he says. Im not finished. You should let me finish,

Belle.
I push his hand away. Im not listening to
Before I can react, his hands are on my wrists, pushing me against the wall, and
my heart races. Im not sure whether Im frustrated, angry, or aroused. All I know is
that I cant stop thinking about him inside me. And, despite the rational part of my
mind that screams walk away, every part of my body is crying out for his touch. I
want to know what he wants to do with me.
I want him inside me.
Youre going to come on my cock, Belle, he says. Im going to own you in
every way possible. And youre going to beg to be mine.
A secret thrill rushes through me at his words, and I hate myself for it. I steel my
jaw, wrenching my wrists from his grasp. Never, I say. And youre delusional for
thinking that.
And yet, in spite of myself, Im already wondering what he means by saying he
wants to own me in every way possible.
He chuckles, and the self-satisfied sound makes me want to slap him across the
face. But I dont. Instead, I mentally congratulate myself on my incredible selfrestraint.
Then he steps away, turning around and walking toward the end of the alley,
ambling like he doesnt have a care in the world. Come on, luv, he says. Noahs
bound to be sending a search party out for us. I wouldnt want you to get caught
with your pants down.

15
ALBIE

B elle is ignoring me, sitting in the helicopter with her headset on, her arms

crossed over her chest. Shes practically pouting.


I hate pouting. Hate it more than anything in the world. I hate whining and
sighing, the passive-aggressive crap I get from women when I dont want to see
them again. Which is, obviously, every time.
I should hate the way Belle sits there, silent, acting as if I dont exist.
I should hate the way her lower lip protrudes slightly, displaying her
displeasure.
I should hate the way she was excessively friendly the rest of the afternoon,
formal to the point of ridiculous, all Prince Albert this and Prince Albert that.
The problem is, I dont hate any of it. I dont hate it at all.
I fucking love it.
I love the fact that her lower lip is still swollen from my mouth on hers, even
hours after I kissed her.
I love that shes on edge.
And I love the fact that I know why shes so irritable, so on edge.
I love that its because of me.
I'm doing my last-minute pre-flight checklist, when Noah interrupts. "Max has
your sister, sir," he says. "We'll need to wait a few minutes."
Max brought my sister back from her jaunt off to wherever with Finn Asher?
Okay, so the thought makes me laugh. I can't help myself. Alex is going to be
pissed as hell when she comes back. I can't imagine the earful the bodyguard is
getting right about now.
When the dark-colored SUV pulls up in the driveway, Max gets out, opening the
back door and obviously arguing with my sister for a minute, before throwing her
over his shoulder and walking toward us. Alex unleashes a litany of expletives as
she punches him on the back.
"Your bodyguards have an interesting method of doing their jobs," Belle says,
half-under her breath, into the headset.
"If we came back without Alexandra, my father would fire him," I tell her.
Max deposits Alex firmly on the seat beside Belle, and Alexandra gives him the

dirtiest of dirty looks. "When we get back to the palace, I'm getting a new
bodyguard," she say, her voice getting louder as she speaks. "One who isn't a
fucking caveman!"
"Be my guest, Princess," Max says, sliding into his seat. He ignores her when
she calls him a "cocksucker," and looks up at me. "Ready when you are, sir."
Alexandra looks over at Belle. "Maybe you should go back to America," she says.
"It's better than being kept prisoner in your own house!" She sighs dramatically for
effect, sinking into her seat with her arms crossed over her chest.

"WHAT'S WITH YOU LATELY?" Price asks, slapping me on the back. We're sitting in the
upstairs VIP room of a club we frequent. The walls are made entirely of glass, and
overlook the crowd below. Well, a club we used to frequent. It's been weeks since
I've been out, which in royal terms is practically a lifetime. "You haven't been out
since you came back from the States."
"Nothing's up with me." I sip a glass of scotch from a bottle that costs over a
grand, sitting on a cushioned sofa in one of the most exclusive clubs in the capital
of Protrovia. I should be happy with this.
Instead, Belle has me wrapped around the axle, so blinded by lust I can't see
straight. Now I'm two glasses of scotch in, trying to clear my head.
"You just turned down the Lara twins," Price says, nodding toward the two
women walking away. Noah stands by the door to the room, nodding at us to see if
we want him to let another set of women inside to replace the girls who just left.
Price holds his hand up to motion the girls inside, but I stop him.
"What the hell?" he asks. "When did you become a monk?"
I shrug, attempting to exude a nonchalance I don't feel. "Sorry if I don't want to
stick my dick where a thousand other guys have been."
"Twins, Albie," he says, rolling his eyes as he leans back against the upholstered
sofa. He swallows several fingers of vodka in a single gulp. "Since when have you
ever given a shit about who you put your dick in?"
"Shut up." I can't think of a single time, other than the crazy ex, when I'd even
bothered to get a girl's name. Well, maybe a few times, when I screwed women I
already knew socially countesses, duchesses, people like that. But they were
forgettable.
They've all been forgettable.
Until now. Until Belle. And I'm not even screwing her.
Apparently, now I can't get her out of my mind, even when I try.

"YOU'RE IGNORING ME." Standing behind her in the tearoom, I whisper the words into
her ear. I speak softly, mindful of the room full of people, an event for whatever the

hell we're hosting today that my presence is mandated for. At this point, the events
are a blur, and I just show up wherever my presence is requested, like a dutiful
robot prince.
Belle doesn't turn around. She doesn't move or turn or acknowledge that she
heard me, standing motionless with her teacup and saucer in her hand. From where
I am behind her, I catch a whiff of the perfume she wears, something light with just
a hint of something floral jasmine maybe, or gardenia. She smells like summer.
Her dark hair is down, tumbling over her shoulders in waves to the middle of her
back, over the pale blue tailored suit jacket she wears that matches her fitted pencil
skirt. The outfit is made for a forty-year-old woman. It's conservative, respectful,
and appropriate.
And I don't even need to look at the front of it to know that it's the hottest
fucking thing I've ever seen. The way the skirt skims over her curves, caressing her
ass like it was made for her, makes me crazy.
My cock stirs.
I'm at an afternoon tea, in a room filled with people I should care about
impressing -- and I'm getting a boner looking at Belle's ass.
The problem is that Belle has been avoiding me for the past few days. I swear
she's doing it on purpose, making sure we're never in the same room together for
more than a few minutes. Last night at the club, I could have gone home with the
Lara twins. I should have gone home with them, fucked my brains out until they
erased every thought of Belle from my head.
That would be the smart thing to do. Instead, I jerked off, thinking about Belle.
And now, seeing her here, all I can think about is yanking that far-tooappropriate skirt up around her waist and coming all over that perfect ass of hers.
Belle finally half-turns toward me, her eyebrows raised. "Oh?" she asks, holding
a teacup to her perfectly glossed lips. "I wasn't aware you needed my attention."
The way she speaks is laden with meaning, her words practically dripping with
innuendo.
"I think you're mistaken," I say softly, my words barely audible. "It's the other
way around. You need my attention."
Belle brings the tea cup to her lips, slowly taking a sip, her eyes trained on mine
as she swallows, then licks her lips. The gesture is subtle, yet somehow the most
sexual thing I've ever seen.
She glances down toward my cock, where my growing hardness is evident, and
then back up at me. "You're lying, Your Highness," she whispers, then straightens.
Her expression changes to a professional one as an older man in military regalia
walks toward us with his wife on his arm.
Miss Kensington, I say, my voice excessively formal, while Im willing my
hard-on to deflate, May I introduce the Count and Countess of Etier?
Belle smiles primly and properly. She laughs at one of the Counts jokes, and
talks with the Countess about gardening or something.
Im not paying a damn bit of attention to what were talking about, because the

only thing I can think about is Belles ass.


I dont need your attention, she whispers, as soon as they leave. Or your
fingers. My fingers have been working just fine.
I nearly spit out my tea. The image of Belle in bed, with her perfect legs spread,
her fingers inside her wet pussy flashes into my head. When I glance at her, she
smiles smugly.
I notice someone else important walking toward us, so I whisper in her ear
quickly, before they arrive. You should touch yourself in front of me, I say, my
voice barely audible. Since we both know youre thinking about me when you do.
Belles face flushes, but she looks straight ahead, smiling appropriately as
another dignitary approaches us. Oh, I think that might be arranged, Your
Highness, she says, her voice sweet. But only if you beg.
From the corner of my eye, I glance at her as I greet yet another person of
interest to my father. When Belle catches my eye, she smiles.
Little Miss Do Gooder has more of a backbone than I thought she did.

16
BELLE

I wipe a towel across my forehead navy blue monogrammed with the royal crest

in gold stitching. Even the towels in the gym are excessively formal, perfectly
placed in a little pyramid on an antique table against the wall.
Five miles on the treadmill.
Thats what it took to run off the frustration caused by seeing Albie today at tea.
Five miles a day for the past few days, since we got back from the summer estate. If
I keep this up, if I keep running until Im nearly exhausted in order to run off the
overpowering attraction and sexual tension between us, Im going to be a damn
marathoner.
I could go back to the States, I think as I walk back toward my room. I could
return to the States and put all of this behind me.
Isabella, my mother calls, her voice echoing down the hallway. I turn around
to see her walking toward me in a tailored silk suit and a matching pillbox hat. I
texted you, but you didnt respond.
My phone is in my room, I say. I was in the gym.
Theres a foundation, Sofia says, handing me a packet of paperwork. Id
thought you might like to be involved with it.
What is it?
She waves her hand dismissively. Reading? she asks, absently, pulling out her
phone and scrolling over the screen. Or refugees? Im really not sure. Theres a
packet of information. Charity is your thing. You should organize a dinner,
fundraising or something. You can use your time at the summer estate to plan
something for the fall, when we return to the palace. Nothing that takes attention
away from the wedding, of course.
Fundraising isnt really my thing, mother, I say, but shes looking at her
phone, her brow furrowed. And you're assuming I'm going to stay until Fall.
I have to run, Im afraid, she says. Theres a crisis with the event tonight.
What event? I ask, as she draws me in, kissing my cheek.
Read the packet, darling, she says. Im late. I roll my eyes as she starts to
walk away. Then she pauses, turning back to me. Oh, I almost forgot to ask. How
are you adjusting to everything?

Fine, I lie. Thinking about returning home is what I deliberately leave out.
Except the problem is that Ive been living overseas the past two years, so I'm not
exactly sure where home is anymore.
Protrovia will grow on you, she says. Albert is taking care of you?
My face flushes and I cover my reaction with a fake cough.
Albie is not taking care of me, I think. Ive been taking care of myself. Every
night. While thinking about how Id like Albie to take care of me.
Yeah, sure, I say, my voice faltering.
She walks toward me, and speaks, her voice quiet. Alexandra hasproblems,
she says. Albert can show you around. He was in Afghanistan, you know. Hes
more serious now. Responsible.
I choke back a laugh as my mother whirls around without waiting for a response
from me. She walks down the hallway, every step of hers purposeful.
When I reach my bedroom, I pull open the door and toss the packet of paperwork
on the desk. I know my mother wants me to be part of a foundation, to take some
kind of administrative or public relations role -- whatever it is that a princess does.
But thats just not me.
Im hands-on, which is why I went to Africa in the first place. She totally doesnt
understand that.
Ill read the paperwork later.
I turn, my eyes resting on the box in the middle of the bed bright pink paper
embossed with a subtle floral pattern and tied with an ornate gold fabric ribbon.
Theres no card attached to the outside, so I sit on the edge of the bed, pulling the
ribbon to open the box lid.
Its probably a gift from my mother, a bribe to follow the not-so-subtle order to
get involved with the foundation. The thought makes me immediately annoyed. If
my mother thinks I can be bribed with some stupid gift, shes mistaken.
I pull off the lid of the box, expecting to see a purse or new pair of shoes,
something my mother thinks someone my age would like.
Its definitely not a new purse or a pair of shoes.
I stare at the inside of the box, blinking several times to make sure Im actually
seeing what Im seeing.
That prick did not do this.
I look at the contents of the box, unsure whether to be appalled or amused. A
notecard is perched on top of a small pile of sex toys, and I set it on the bed beside
the box. Its no mystery who left me this ridiculously inappropriate gift.
I reach inside the box, pulling out the first thing I touch.
Its a fucking gold dildo. Or gold-plated or something. Its so shiny its nearly
blinding, the end opposite the tip crusted in jewels, red and blue and green. I run
my hand down the shaft, my fingertips sliding easily over the smooth cool surface.
I should be appalled, I think. Instead, heat pools between my legs as I touch the toy.
The golden cock comes to life in my hands, vibrating when I accidentally trigger
something on it, and I yelp, dropping it onto the bed, where it bounces around in a

circle on the mattress. Scrambling to shut it off, a giggle builds up in my throat,


escaping my lips despite my best efforts to not be amused by Albies antics.
He sent me a golden cock.
I peek into the box again, stifling my laughter as I take out the contents one by
one and lay them on the bed:
Another vibrator of some kind, egg-shaped with a remote control
A glass dildo that looks more like a piece of art than a dick, purple and blue
swirls of color through it.
And
I pull out the last piece, unsure what the hell it is, turning it over in my hand for
a moment, a long pink piece of hair attached to a glass object that looks like a small
dildo.
Then I realize what it is.
Oh my God.
Its a butt plug. With a fake, bright pink horses tail attached.
I toss it on the bed like it's radioactive, shaking my head as I open the card that
came with this way-too-far-over-the-line inappropriate set of gifts.

Thought you might need a little help with your obvious frustration. If youd only
just ask, you could get more personal assistance.

I SLIDE OPEN the screen on my cell phone and text the royal bastard who thinks hes
so funny.

Got your gifts. Using them now. How did you know pink is my color?

IM BARELY FINISHED SENDING the text when he responds.

Pictures or it didnt happen.

THAT TEXT IS FOLLOWED IMMEDIATELY by another message:

Unless you want to show me in person. Just ask me to come down and help.

I THINK FOR A MOMENT, before replying.


Youre a smart prince. Use your imagination.
I lay back against the bed for a second, before sending another message to him.

Whats with the horse tail? Does the Prince of Protrovia secretly have a pony
fetish? Are you a Brony?

ITS a few minutes before he texts back.

Sorry, I wasbusy. Using my imagination, you know. Thought you might like it.
Weren't you a big equestrian when you were in high school? I read that
somewhere.

I TOSS the toys back in the box and put the lid firmly on the top, as if by closing it up
I can shut out the inappropriate thoughts Im having about Prince Albert. It would
be so easy to just say yes, to ask him to take the secret passageway between our
rooms and show up here to finish what he started that day in the village.
Thats not going to happen, I tell myself.
On principle.
Im not begging him for anything. The spoiled smug bastard is used to women
throwing themselves at him, to people jumping just because he says jump. He
thinks I'm going to be completely embarrassed by this little present, or that I'm
going to giggle and blush at his inappropriateness. Well, two can play this game.
I text him back.
Im sending you a gift.

17
ALBIE

I set down the phone, lying back against the bed. My cock is hard as a rock, rigid as
hell thinking about Belle and the box of toys I sent her. I can picture her right now,
her hands sliding over the sides of the box, pulling the lid from the top, and peering
inside. She'd pause, not sure whether to be embarrassed or turned on.
Definitely turned on. I know she is.
Belle might act like Little Miss Perfect, but shes wild. That afternoon in the
alley taught me that. She was mine then, totally at my mercy, with her back against
the wall, wetness nearly dripping down my hand when my fingers were inside her
sweet pussy.
Fuck. The thought of her legs spread, sliding the dildo inside her, makes me so
hard I think I might explode. Unzipping my pants, I pull out my cock and slide my
hand up and down the length of it.
Before I can continue, theres a knock on the door.
Your Highness? One of the staff asks.
Damn it. Talk about a boner killer. Im busy, I call. Could you come back
later?
Theres an envelope from Miss Kensington, the voice says. Should I slide it
under the door?
Please do, I call.
I lay there for a second, cock in my hand, waiting for the staff member to walk
away and wondering what the hell Little Miss Perfects gift is.
I lie there in bed, sliding my hand over the length of my cock, and close my eyes.
Immediately, an image of Belle pops into my head Belle on her knees in front of
me, those plump glossy lips of hers hanging open, her eyes wide as she gazes up at
me.
Im not sure there's anything else in the world that would be hotter than that
sight.
Damn it. Curiosity overwhelms my fantasy, makes me have to know what the
hell that girl put in the envelope.
Yanking up my pants, I walk to the door to get it. Reaching inside, I pull out
Belles gift.

Black lace panties.


Black lace panties that are still warm.
Black lace panties that are still warm and damp.
Bringing the panties to my face, I inhale deeply. My cock jumps in response.
Sweet and light, Id recognize Belles scent anywhere.
Well, hell. I was wrong. Maybe I can imagine something hotter than Belle on her
knees in front of me. And that's Belle on her bed, her legs splayed open, sliding her
fingers inside her pussy covered in these little black panties.
Thinking of me the whole time she does it.
Coming as she thinks of me fucking her.
I strip off my clothes, depositing them onto the floor forcefully, my thoughts
completely consumed by her.
The girl is screwing with me, giving back as good as she gets. And that fact
makes me harder than anything else.
I pick up her black panties again, their silky soft smoothness cool in my hand. I
stroke the length of my cock, picturing what Belle just did in those panties.

BELLE LIES against the pillow in her room, wearing that light blue suit from tea -that powder blue, so very appropriate suit -- except that the jacket is unbuttoned,
and she's wearing nothing underneath it. The lapels of the jacket hang down, just
barely covering her nipples, but the mounds of her breasts are exposed. She runs
her hand down the middle of her chest, her fingers lightly trailing over her breasts
until she reaches the side of her jacket and opens it, revealing her perfect tits. Her
head lolling back against the pillow, she lightly closes her eyes as she runs her
finger over her nipple, bringing it to attention immediately. Her lips fall open, and
she lets out a quiet moan as she caresses her breasts, her fingers playing with her
nipples until she's ready.

I STROKE MYSELF, my movements regular and rhythmic, as I think about Belle and her
panties. My cock is rigid to the point of practically exploding at the mere thought of
Belle in bed, touching herself as she thinks about me.
I wonder if she fantasized about me with my head between her legs, my tongue
flicking over her clit until she's breathless.
Until she's wet.
Until she's at the point of no return.
Until I thrust my tongue inside her and she comes on me, her legs wrapped
around my head, hands pulling at my hair as she cries out my name.
I stroke my cock as I picture her fantasizing about me, her hands sliding up the
sides of her thighs, pulling that skirt up around her hips to reveal those lace
panties. I bring them to my face again, inhaling deeply her scent, knowing that just
a few minutes ago, she was wearing these.

She was touching herself in these, reaching down the front of her panties to roll
her finger over her clit, with that appropriate skirt of hers bunched up around her
waist. I imagine Belle sliding two fingers inside her pussy, her wetness soaking the
fabric of her panties. She fucks herself with those fingers, stroking herself the way
I did, imagining that it's me inside her.
I stroke myself faster, more furiously, as I picture Belle finger-fucking herself
until she's at the brink. No longer satisfied with just the scent of her, I palm her
panties, running the silky fabric down the length of my cock until I'm jerking
myself off with her panties in my hand.
When I come, shooting my load into those lacy panties of hers, it's Belle I
picture, Belle that pushes me over the edge. It's the thought of her fucking herself
as she thinks about me, her orgasm soaking the little black panties that are in my
hand now.
I'm barely satisfied when I'm finished. I'm still hard as a fucking rock, not
nearly satiated, still wanting her.
I should be disgusted with myself for jerking off into Isabella Kensington's
panties. Coming all over my stepsister's panties is a new level of filthy, even for
me.
The problem is, I'm not disgusted at all. I'm more turned on than ever.
I slip the panties back into the envelope she sent them in, and seal it up before I
put on a robe and lift the receiver on the phone on my desk. "Yes," I say, into the
phone. "I have an envelope that needs to be delivered to Miss Kensington's room,
please."

18
BELLE

I adjust my dress, smoothing the knee length skirt. It's a breezy material that

moves with me, swinging around my legs at a respectable knee-length. Paired with
nude heels and a jacket, its a perfectly appropriate outfit from my giant walk-in
closet filled with perfectly appropriate clothing.
Whats not appropriate is that Im not wearing panties. Im totally bare
underneath, and even though I tell myself that its because I dont want visible
panty lines in a photo thats part of my mother and Leos official press release
announcing their engagement, the real reason has nothing to do with that.
The real reason has to do with the envelope Ive tucked away in the zipper
section of one of the designer purses in my closet, stuffed into the only place I
could think of where someone wouldnt inadvertently discover it while cleaning
and draw the inevitable conclusion that Im some kind of pervert who keeps jizzcovered panties.
I think I am some kind of pervert.
Ive never been one of those women who sleep with a guy and suddenly go off
the deep end, becoming totally obsessed with dick. But now suddenly I am.
And I havent even slept with Albie I havent even seen his cock.
Except in photos. I did look up those pictures after all, the uncensored version of
Albies bare-it-all-for-the-press cock photos, the ones where he stands with his
pants unzipped, proudly displaying the full monty for the press.
And he should be proud of that thing.
Its not exactly small.
So now, Im one of those cock-obsessed, cant-think-about-anything-else
girls. And it just happens to be the cock of one of the most irritating, domineering,
pompous men in the world.
Who wants me to beg him for that cock.
Well, that is just never going to happen, I tell myself as I apply a coat of bright
red lipstick to my lips. This is not an appropriate shade of red at all, especially for a
photography session. The rest of me is subdued, with my cream-colored dress and
matching nude heels, hair pulled up into a smooth high ponytail.
In reality, though, Im far from subdued. Im agitated, edgy, being driven to the

brink by frustrated thoughts of Albie.


And thats the reason I walk down the hall to the photography session, wearing
my appropriate dress with no panties.
There, in one of the drawing rooms, the rest of my new family is already
standing my mother and Leo by a set of antique sofas, a photographer on his
knees at their feet, camera in hand. The photographer's assistant hovers anxiously,
jumping each time he barks a terse one-word order.
I pause for a moment inside the doorway, and Albie and Alexandra both turn to
look at me. Alexandra is scowling, texting furiously on her phone. She glances up at
the overly happy couple, who gaze into each others eyes like a couple of lovesick
puppies, and rolls her own eyes before returning to her phone.
I purposely avoid Albies stare, even though what I want to do is stand there,
taking him in with my eyes. I can feel the heat of his eyes on me, traveling up the
length of my body from my feet to my head, until his eyes finally meet mine.
He watches me as I walk toward him. He looks at me with hunger. Knowing he
wants me makes me wet. It also makes me acutely aware of my aching emptiness.
Youre late, Albie says, a small smile on his lips. Busy schedule?
You know what they say about idle hands.
As soon as I speak the word hands, Albies mouth turns up on the edges. He
thinks he knows exactly why I was late.
Hey Alexandra, I say, tearing my eyes away from Albie.
Theyre supposed to finish up in a few minutes, she says. Family photos will
be next. Apparently black was not an appropriate color for the pictures, so I'm
stuck wearing this thing. She rolls her eyes, finishing a text on her phone, and
then looking up.
You look really pretty, Alexandra, I say, meaning it. Shes wearing a creamcolored shift, tailored to fit her curvy figure, with matching nude heels.
Ugh, she groans. Im like so blah beige.
Youre stunning.
Its Alex, by the way, she says, looking down at her phone when it vibrates.
Stop calling me Alexandra. Thats what my dad calls me, not my friends. I meant
to say that to you the other day.
I nod, feeling pleased that she counted me as one of her friends. Yeah. Dont
ever call me Isabella.
Girls! Albert! My mother waves us across the room.
Showtime, Alex says, sighing audibly as she walks ahead of us, the click-click
of her shoes more of a clomping sound as she stomps just a little too hard on the
floor.
Shes pissed, I whisper to Albie, while maintaining an appropriate distance
from him. He smells like aftershave or cologne, Im not sure which. All I know is
that the scent might as well be an aphrodisiac, because I have the sudden
inexplicable urge to rip his clothes off.
I like the lipstick, he whispers softly.

Arousal surges through me at the thought of wrapping my red-painted lips


around Albies dick, down on my knees as he grasps a handful of hair, and pulls me
onto his shaft.
I can let you borrow it if youd like to wear it, I say. I mean, if thats what
youre into.
Nah, he says. You know what I want."
"Oh?"
"I want you on your knees. I want to see that bright red lipstick on my cock.
Weve almost reached my parents, and I pause for a moment, leaning close to
him to whisper. Im not wearing any panties, I say, and I dont wait for his
response before walking ahead of him.
My mother directs me to the side of the photo, and then Im lost in the dizzying
array of instructions, directions to turn my body slightly or adjust my chin, the
photographer and his assistants styling and re-arranging us a thousand different
ways in the span of thirty minutes.
During the shoot, King Leopold makes jokes, the corny kind I thought were the
type of thing that dads do, except hes a king and not a regular dad, which somehow
has the effect of making the lame jokes actually funny. The eighth one something
about an armadillo has Alex, Albie, and I finally giggling, and earns a stern
Leopold, from my mother.
Do you remember the time we got in trouble for coming in here when we were
kids and jumping on the sofa? Alex asks Albie.
Dad was going to blow a gasket, Albie says, as a flashbulb goes off midsentence, bright white light practically blinding for a split second.
Dad was? Alex says, laughing. Mom took away your dessert for a week.
The mention of their mother changes the mood in the room almost
immediately, and Leo smiles wistfully. Yes, she did, he says quietly, pausing as if
hes remembering her, and then speaks to the photographer : I trust we have
enough photographs at this juncture.
The photographer immediately lowers his camera. Yes, Your Royal Highness,
he says. More than adequate.
Thank God, Alex says, kicking off her shoes before she even gets a few feet
away. Im out of here.
My mother puts her hand on Leos arm. Shall we? she asks.
Albie and I trail behind everyone else, lingering, putting distance between us
and them. When we leave, Albie walks behind me, his steps purposeful. I halfexpect him to grab my wrist as we walk, to yank me back and pull my body flush
into his, bringing his mouth down on mine. Maybe I half-hope that will happen.
"You really should stop playing games, luv," he says.
I look down the side of the hall, checking to see if any housekeeping staff have
noticed us.
But no one's there. The hallway is quiet and deserted, as if fate itself is giving us
permission to flirt, to engage, to continue walking this lust-fueled tightrope.

If I had any sense at all, I'd turn around and head for my suite. Id call Raine and
tell her that I'm going to buy a plane ticket, that I will meet her and Phoenix in
Amsterdam and pretend none of this ever happened.
I'll forget I'm a soon-to-be princess.
I'll forget that I'm Albie's soon-to-be-stepsister.
I'll forget that I'm his wife.
If I had any sense, that's what I'd do.
But I don't.
Albie grabs my wrist, right in the hallway, and pulls me into the nearest room.
It's a game room filled with antique furniture like every other room in the palace.
Except this room has old chess sets and a gilded billiard table. In the center of the
room sits a circular gaming table topped with cream and gold marble, surrounded
by gilded antique chairs.
Albie pulls me into the room, walking briskly around the area without a word
before going to the door and securing the lock. He turns to me, his back against the
door. "You and I need to stop this back-and-forth," he says. "We both know
youre dying to have me.
I back up until my back is flush against the marble topped table, taking Albie in.
He's wearing a dark suit, tailor-made for him, that sets off his blue eyes and dark
hair perfectly, as if he stepped off the pages of a fashion magazine. But what I see
in those eyes is nothing like what I'd see in a magazine. It's intense, feral. Filled
with lust.
"I know you want me," I say. Heat courses through my body, the marble top of
the table cool against the small of my back. "Based on the state you returned my
panties in."
"But today, there are no panties," he says, crossing the room with long,
purposeful strides until he reaches me. He stands in front of me, too close for
comfort, and I suck in a deep breath of air as my heart races a million beats a
second.
He looks down at me, using his knee to spread my legs. "Just say you want my
fingers there, stroking your clit. You want me to put my mouth between your legs,
suck your clit until you're breathless"
No, I say.
I reach between my legs, pushing aside the breezy fabric of my skirt to slide my
fingers down the front of my mound to touch my throbbing clit. I bite my lip at the
shock of arousal that courses through me, watching the expression on Albie's face
change from one of unabashed lust to surprise.
He didn't think I would touch myself in front of him.
Hell, I didn't think I would do something like this. Lust is making me insane.
Temporary insanity, I think. I've never been left so unsatisfied before, and yet the
only thing I can think about, the only think I care about right now, is pushing him
to the brink. Making him be the one who begs for it.
"All you have to do is say please, Belle," Albie says, his eyes on mine. He stands

there unmoving, unwavering, his leg pressed against the bottom of my pussy. I
know I'm wet, and the thought of my wetness soaking the fabric of his suit -- the
thought of leaving my mark -- makes me insane.
"After you," I say, my voice breathy. "It's such a small word. Just a request,
really."
"Ladies first."
But I'm not going to say please. I'm not going to beg him, the way every other
girl in the world has begged him.
He watches me, unable to disguise his arousal, the bulge in his pants more than
enough evidence that he's turned on.
The knock on the door startles me and I jump, pulling my skirt down and
straightening up immediately, my heart racing. "Oh my God. Is the door locked?" I
whisper.
Albie raises his eyebrows and winks at me. "Live a little, luv," he says,
chuckling as I push him away.

19
ALBIE

L ive a little.

Thats what I told her, hours ago in the game room, when we were interrupted
by a member the household staff who needed to prepare the room for an afternoon
event.
Live a little. Detour to the observatory.
Thats the text she sent me ten minutes ago, as I was making my way toward the
petite ballroom, to an event for some cause or another, something utterly
forgettable.
Of course Im going to detour to the observatory. My cock is rock hard, thinking
about what just happened in the game room earlier today. Thinking about Belle,
with her dress hitched up around her thighs, giving me a view of her bare pussy
under that conservative dress of hers.
The thought of bending her over in that conservative dress with the flirty skirt
makes me want to come right now. I wont pretend I dont want to slide my cock
inside her tight pussy, push her up against a wall and fuck the living hell out of her,
because I obviously do. I want to do that, more than anything.
Almost anything.
I like the game were playing, the back-and-forth between her and I, the way
she ups the ante each time I do something inappropriate. I like pushing Belles
boundaries. I like the idea that I can make someone like her so proud, stubborn,
unyielding even consider begging me to fuck her.
I want her to beg me.
The idea is thrilling.
The observatory is empty, completely deserted, and I wonder if shes about to up
the ante in the ultimate way if shes called me here because shes giving in.
Reaching into the pocket of my pants, I finger the condom I brought with me.
But its deserted, even of Belle.
I wander the expanse of the room, the moonlight from the glass ceiling bathing

the room in an eerie glow. Its the only room in the palace thats more modern, the
furniture reflecting the fact that this was an addition to the palace in my fathers
time. Its the only room hes added onto the palace. Everything else dates back to
the fifteen hundreds. In this room, the furniture is sleek, modern, navy and cream
colors that are elegant but fitting for an observatory.
This used to be one of my favorite places to be in the palace when I was a kid. My
father would bring me up here to look at the stars with the telescope.
I havent been up here in years, since before I left for the Army.
The phone vibrates in my pocket, and I open a text from Belle.
Look down.
Shes not in the room. I know immediately where she is. I walk across the
observatory, where a set of floor-to-ceiling windows overlooks the music room.
And there is Belle.
Shes sitting on top of the fucking piano.
She's sitting on top of the piano, wearing a red strapless gown, her breasts
practically spilling out of the top. Her legs crossed, the slit in the side of the skirt
falls open, revealing the expanse of her creamy thigh.
The dress is scandalous. It will be scandalous, if she shows up to the event in
that. Im sure it looked less scandalous on the rack, or on the runway, but on her is
looks like sex. She looks like sex.
And shes sitting there, her legs crossed, looking up at me.
Should we finish what we started?
I send the text, waiting for her to beckon me down and beg me to take her up
against the piano. Or on top of the piano.
I want to lay her back across the lacquered surface of the grand piano, spread her
legs, and devour her.

Depends. Are you asking nicely? Are you saying please?

THE TEXT MAKES ME LAUGH. Even now, shes refusing to bend. Its such a small thing.
I shake my head, knowing that she can see the gesture from where she sits.
When I call her, she answers, her voice breathy. Ask me to come down and join
you, I say.
She just laughs. No.
Youre stubborn.

Did you think I wouldnt be? she asks.


I think you want me to touch you, I say. I think that you want me to spread
your legs, spread you out right there on the piano, and lick you until you come.
She doesnt say anything, but I can hear her breath catch in her throat and then
she exhales heavily. From the window, I watch as she moves, just slightly, her legs
parting so that the red material falls down between her thighs. Shes a tease,
obscuring what she knows I want to see.
Are you wearing panties tonight? I ask.
She doesnt answer. She looks to the side, glancing toward the door like shes
afraid of someone walking in, even though most of the staff and guests are far away
on the other side of the palace right now.
Then she shows me shes wearing nothing underneath that dress of hers. She
pushes the fabric to the side, spreading her legs for me on the piano bench, and
shes completely bare.
Completely and totally bare.
And the expression on her face, the sly smile, says she knows exactly what shes
doing to me right now.
As if my raging hard-on wouldnt be obvious from a mile away.
I want you to touch yourself, I say. Theres nothing in my voice that leaves
room for discussion.
She doesnt argue, doesnt say a word, but I can hear her breath get shorter on
the phone, and she listens.
For once.
I watch as she slides her fingers slowly between her legs, then pauses. Dont
stop, I tell her.
Ive never done this in front of someone, she says, her voice a whisper, so low
I can barely hear it.
The fact that shes on display, right in the music room, with her legs spread
open, is enough to make me hard as a fucking rock. But the fact that shes never
touched herself in front of anyone before is enough to make me insane.
Youre going to make yourself come in front of me, I say, my voice gruff.
Right here.
Im not sure I can, she protests.
Youre the one who set this up, luv, I say. You had me meet you here. Now,
stop being coy. Spread your legs so I can see you.
She looks up at me in the window, the phone to her ear. For a second, I think
shes going to close her legs, stand up, and walk out of the room.
But she doesnt. She spreads her legs wider. When the fabric of her dress falls
between her legs, momentarily covering her, she pulls it up farther on her thighs,
suddenly less timid.
Slide your fingers over your clit, I tell her, my voice low, watching as she
obeys. Her eyelids fall closed, the phone still at her ear, as she touches herself.
Shes like a fucking piece of art, spread out on the piano the way she is, in that

red dress thats practically obscene, her legs open.


Touching herself for me.
Are you wet? I ask, even though I already know the answer.
Her breath comes in short pants, and I repeat myself. Tell me, Belle.
Yes, she says. Im wet.
Is this how you touch yourself when youre alone?
No, she whispers, her voice breathy.
I will my hand to remain where it is on the cell phone, my other hand on the
window, my fingers pressed lightly up against the glass. I will my hands to remain
where they are, no matter how much I want to unbutton my pants, draw out my
cock, and run my hand down the length of it while she touches herself.
Ill remain in control.
Show me what you do when youre alone, Belle, I say. Touch yourself the way
you do when youre alone. When youre thinking about me.
I dont she starts to say, but stops.
I know you think about me, Belle, I say. You think about me sliding my
fingers inside your wet pussy, the way I did that afternoon, dont you?
She doesnt answer, but I watch as she draws her hand away from her clit,
spreading her legs open wider as she slides her fingers inside herself until her palm
is pressed flat against her mound.
Fuck, this girl is going to give me a heart attack. I can already picture the
headlines:
Prince Drops Dead in Royal Observatory, Pants Around His Ankles, Cock in
Hand.
Tell me what youre thinking about, Belle, I say, as her eyes close. Her mouth
falls open, tongue running along her lower lip, and all I can think about is what Id
like to put in that smart little mouth of hers.
You, she whispers. Im thinking about you.
Tell me, Belle, I say. Are you thinking about my fingers sliding in and out of
your slick pussy?
Yes, she says. Her hips buck against her palm as she fucks herself with her
hand, tossing her hair back as she closes her eyes, no longer caring if Im here or
not. I watch her as she loses her inhibitions more, giving herself over to pleasure,
her chest heaving as her hand moves faster.
But you dont really want that, do you, luv? I ask. You want more, dont you?
You want my cock inside you, filling you up.
I want her voice trails off as she bites the side of her lip.
Say it, I order. Say you want my cock inside you. Tell me how much you want
me to bend you over that piano, to pull that dress of yours up around your waist and
fuck you until you come around me. You want to feel my bare cock inside you,
pressed against you until you cant hold out, until you come and youre milking me
of everything I have.
She drops the phone, and it clatters on the marble floor, spinning in circles. But

she doesnt seem to notice.


My eyes stay fixed on her face as she brings herself to the edge. Im transfixed,
watching her expression. Her breasts heave as her breath comes shorter and
shorter. Then, at the last moment, she opens her eyes, and looks straight into
mine.
And she comes.
Her lips, painted red to match her dress, form a perfect O. Her head back, hair
tumbling over her shoulders, eyes wide open and meeting my gaze, she comes. I
can hear her on the phone, the small moan she allows herself, still in control at the
very last.
I want to rip that control from her.
I want to make her scream. I want my name on her lips. I want it to be my name
she moans when she comes.
I want that more than anything.
When she's finally finished, she slides off the piano and picks up the phone.
Putting it against her ear, she doesn't speak. I hear her breath, short gasps as she
comes down from her orgasm. You never said it, I tell her.
Said what?
"Please."
I already told you, she says. Im not going to beg.

20
BELLE

I ts the big night the night of my mother and King Leopolds engagement party.

Next week, well head north to the summer estate, where well be shielded from
much of the media flurry that will inevitably follow the official engagement
announcement.
Well go to the summerhouse.
Suddenly, Im including myself in the future royal plans, as if I'm staying for the
summer.
Who am I kidding? Last night, I fingered myself in the music room while Albie
watched. Even from where he stood, through a window and an entire floor higher, I
could see he was hard as a rock watching me, a very large bulge in his pants.
Of course I'm going to stay for the summer.
I'm not thinking clearly right now, obviously. My rational mind is clouded by
unruly desire, my ability to think clearly diminished by my lust for my stepbrother.
I'm not rational at all, not anymore.
But that doesn't mean I want to give in to his demand to beg him to fuck me.
Even though every part of me is begging for it, lusting for it.
"You lookwell, good enough to eat."
The voice is deep, sultry, soft so soft that I'm the only one who can hear. At
least, I hope so, anyway. I whirl around, or try to, but Albies hand is on my waist,
guiding me around the corner, and down a service hallway of outside the main
ballroom where the engagement party is being held.
"Albie, what are you doing?" I hiss, pushing against him, but he holds my arm,
his lips near my ears.
"We only have a second," he whispers from behind me. The service entrance is
empty, but anyone could walk through at any moment. I should be terrified of that
terrified of the possible repercussions, of the potential public embarrassment.
Instead, a surge of adrenaline rushes through me, a secret thrill at Albie's hands
on me. The heat from his body radiates onto mine, and every cell in my body is on
high-alert, acutely sensitive to him, aware of his every breath.
"We need to go to the engagement party, Your Highness," I say.
"Spread your legs."

"Excuse me?" I must be hallucinating, driven mad with lust. He did not just tell
me to spread my legs right here in the hallway within twenty yards of the ballroom
where our parents -- the King and Future Queen of Protrovia together with
everyone who's everyone in this country, are celebrating their upcoming nuptials.
Because that would be insane.
"You heard me, luv," he whispers. "Don't think. Just do it."
But Heaven help me, that's exactly what I do.
I stand here, in my ridiculously expensive designer cocktail dress, with my
stepbrother's arm around my chest, pulling me tightly back against him, and I
spread my legs.
"And?" I ask, provoking him. My heart pounds loudly against his arm, and he
fumbles with something.
"I have a present for you," he says, slipping his hand between my legs from
where he stands behind me. A sensation of something cold makes me jump.
"What the hell, Albie?" I yelp.
"This is your present," he whispers. "I sent it to you in your box. I borrowed it
back."
The box he sent me with the sex toys.
"You are not touching me right here, right now, with one of those things," I
hiss.
Its unfortunate you say that, he says. I guess Ill have to take it back. I feel
a light vibration flick on, sending a tingle through my core, and then it stops as
quickly as it starts.
Hes teasing me. Taunting me.
He knows Im wet, just as soon as he touches me.
Dont, I say. Dont take it back.
Is that a yes? he asks.
I cant believe Im considering this, I whisper.
"Make your choice, luv. One of the caterers or the staff is going to walk out of
that entrance any second now," he whispers, his breath hot on my ear. "You don't
want them to see you with your stepbrother's hand up your skirt, do you?"
I shake my head. "No."
He flicks the vibrator on again, and the sensation sends arousal rushing through
me. "Then spread your legs, Princess," he says. "Because I'm not playing around
anymore. Say yes."
"You're going to send me out there with that inside me?" I ask.
Most definitely, he says. Say the word, luv. The word is yes.
Hurry, I whisper. Do it now.
I dont say yes. Just hurry. Its the principle of the thing.
He chuckles, his breath warm on my ear, and I stand motionless with my body
pressed against his as he slides the vibrator inside me, aided easily by my wetness.
When he finishes, he takes a step back and puts a business-like amount of space
between us. Its just in time, too, as two servers carrying trays bound around the

corner and stop sharply in their tracks. "Your Highness," one of the servers says,
carefully balancing a tray of champagne flutes while bowing his head.
"Please," Albie says, waving them past us. "I apologize for being in the way."
Once they've walked past us, Albie holds up a small remote. "I like to watch you
come," he says, slipping the remote into his tuxedo jacket pocket. "And I want to
watch you come in a room filled with every important person in this kingdom."
"You're crazy," I say, except what's crazy is the fact that this is turning me on.
"Someone will hear it."
He smiles, reaching inside his pocket, and I feel the vibration inside me. But I
hear nothing. "What were you saying?" he asks. "This was especially-made for
me. It's not exactly available on the open market. And yes, it's totally silent. So
don't worry -- people will have no idea why you're coming all night. Shall we?"
He doesn't wait for a response. He walks ahead of me, out the hallway and
toward the ballroom, and I'm left to catch up. I take my steps slowly, carefully, and
measured, conscious of the vibrator inside me.
I feel a weird mixture of nervousness and confidence as I walk toward the
ballroom, several steps behind Albie. And arousal.
I definitely feel aroused, even with the vibrator turned off.
Its a delicious secret Albie and I share. One among several secrets.
I push that thought out of my head, squeezing my muscles around the vibrator,
assuring myself that its not going to slip out and clatter to the floor in the middle
of this event.
Now, that would be a scandal.
Darling.
My mother greets me like Im the prodigal daughter, arms
outstretched, her face beaming. She never calls me darling, but I cant help but
smile anyway. She looks happy. Really happy, like I havent seen her in years, and
despite our differences, that makes me feel good.
Mother, I say, as she draws me in close, giving me two air-kisses. You look
really stunning.
Shes breathtaking in a cream-colored chiffon evening gown that trails to the
floor, a huge diamond statement necklace lying carefully over the scooped neckline
of the dress. Her hair is piled on her head, and she wears a small tiara not the
royal crown, which shell wear during the wedding, but gorgeous nonetheless.
Thank you, darling, she says, smiling. As she pulls me close, she whispers
softly. I know you hate these big social things, but please try your best and I
promise I'll make it up to you."
I smile politely, the moment interrupted when King Leopold takes my hand.
Isabella, he says, his voice warm. Have I told you how delighted I am that
youve decided to stay for the summer?
Im honored to be a guest in your home," I say.
Leopold laughs, a deep sound that comes from his belly. My dear, youre
family, he says. Please dont ever call yourself a guest again.
Ill try to remember that, Your Royal Highness, I say, bowing my head.

Albie tells me he showed you around Senijk, Leopold says, referencing the
town where their summer estate is. My mind immediately flashes to exactly what
Albie showed me in the village that day his skill with his fingers.
I showed her the most important parts of Senijk, Albie says, beside me, and I
avoid looking at him as the vibrator flicks on inside me, low and slow, but the
movement surprises me and I yelp.
Are you okay? Leopold asks, and I just know my face must be bright red.
Uhyes, I say, coughing to hide my embarrassment. I just turned my ankle
in these heels. Im afraid I havent gotten used to wearing high heels again.
I imagine this entire thing is a bit of a shock for you, Leopold says, as Albie
increases the intensity on the vibrator. I look over at him and shoot him the most
murderous glare I can muster under the circumstances.
The vibrator is one thing, but turning it on when Im trying to carry on a
conversation with his father is another thing entirely.
A very bad, very warped thing.
Itsyesa shock, I would say.
Its probably difficult to leave someplace that intense, Albie says, his voice
the epitome of professional and measured. Except for the fact that he looks me
right in the eye, his expression filled with mischief, and lingers just a little too long
on the word intense, turning up the intensity of the vibrator as he speaks.
Uh-hum, I say. What the hell were we talking about again? I cant think
clearly when all I can focus on is whats happening between my legs.
Its a good thing that there is a ballroom of people waiting for an audience with
my mother and the king, because I theres no way I can muster a coherent
sentence. My entire body feels warm, heated to the point of discomfort by the
arousal surging through my veins.
Albie leans close to me as we walk away. Do I hear a faint buzzing sound? he
asks.
Shut up, I reply, through gritted teeth. Oh God, if he keeps this going, Im
going to have to walk out of here right now.
Im kidding, he says. Totally silent. Although, judging from the expression
on your face, its obviously working.
I dont know why I let you put it in me, I hiss, barely able to choke out the
words. Another surge of the vibrator, and I stumble, putting my hand on Albies
arm for support.
Oh, trust me, luv, he whispers, smiling politely at someone from across the
room, someone important whos undoubtedly walking toward us to say hello. I
cant tell who it is because Im practically seeing double already. Im going to be
putting more than that in you.
Miss Kensington, a voice says, and the vibration stops abruptly. Thank God,
because I was about to cause a scene. I look up to see an older gentleman, and Albie
introduces us he's a politician of some kind. Or was it an earl? I've already
forgotten.

Then Albie and I are split up. For the next half hour, one of the royal family's
handlers, a public relations expert named Christine who dictates my every move,
escorting me from guest to guest. There is a whole team of public relations
handlers on staff, all dressed in identical black suits on non-event days and gowns
and tuxedos on nights like tonight.
Christine is stiff and rigid, all business and no pleasure, her jet-black hair pulled
up in a high ponytail that only serves to make her face look even thinner than it is.
She introduces me to guests in a clipped tone, with just a hint of a smile, an
expression that must serve her well in this capacity. Everything about her screams
dont fuck with me.
She's positively terrifying.
And the entire time, the vibrator flicks on and off inside me, at random intervals
that Albie determines from wherever he is in the ballroom.
I smile and nod and exchange pleasantries with people until Im dizzy, unable to
think of anything except the throbbing between my legs. All-business-Christine
introduces me to important people, reminding me between introductions of the
importance of learning royal customs and maintaining royal bearing. And the
whole time, Albie is sending random pulses of vibration through me that nearly
leave me breathless.
Ive been reduced to a weak-kneed, quivering bundle of desire, controlled by my
pussy and by my stepbrother.
Thirty minutes into this fiasco, and Im worthless. All of my brain cells are now
devoted to maintaining my composure while Albie turns on the vibrator again.
I will not have an orgasm here in the middle of this, I tell myself. It would be
deeply humiliating.
Nevertheless, I can feel it building in my core.
Are you okay? Christine asks. You look flushed. Should I send for a doctor?
No! I snap, then quickly lower my voice, clearing my throat as I look over her
shoulder. I'm desperately trying to find Albie in the sea of people, to telegraph the
message that he has to stop what he's doing. Um. I needsome water. Or some
air, maybe. Champagne. Im babbling, making no sense. She must think Im on
drugs or something.
Ten minutes, she says, curtly, whirling around and walking briskly in the
other direction, her hand on her earpiece.
I breathe a sigh of relief when the vibrating ceases, even though it does little to
stop the pulsing between my legs. I mentally calculate how far it is to the ladies
room and whether I can get through the crowd without being seen by anyone.
Oh my God. Alexandra takes my arm. You got stuck with Christine. Shes
the worst of the PR robots. Do you want to make an escape?
I giggle, the absurdity of all of this suddenly hitting me. Shes awful, I
whisper.
You have to medicate to get through it, Alex says, leaning her head on my
shoulder. I totally like you, Belle. Have I told you that? Youre not terrible. I

expected you to be terrible, like one of those really smug bitches, the kind who
think theyre Gods gift to the earth just because they go around saving people and
stuff.
Youre obviously well-medicated, I say, laughing.
I took some X, she says. Wow. Has anyone ever told you that your hair is
really brown? Like, not poop brown, either. Its pretty brown. Do you want some
X? I have some, right in my clutch.
Ill pass, I say. As if I need to take anything that would increase the
sensitivity of my body in any way, shape, or form.
Quick, she says. Two oclock. Sir Richard Benton. Hes hot, right? We
should talk to him.
"What? Who?" I ask absently. I catch a glimpse of Albie across the room as the
crowd parts. He's standing next to a blonde tall, long-legged, thin, and
gorgeous. She puts her hand on his forearm, the gesture at once possessive and
familiar.
"Richard Benton," Alex says. "Come on. Please tell me you've heard of him, at
least. He's been in movies in the States. He was knighted in England. I can't
remember why. Probably for being hot as hell."
I can't think of Richard whoever-the-hell-he-is, not when I'm looking at Albie
on the other side of the room, with some girl hanging all over him.
Alexandra follows my gaze. "Ugh," she says. "That bitch."
"What bitch?" I ask. I find it unreasonably difficult to pry my gaze away from
the two of them. The girl laughs I can't hear it, but I just know she has one of
those perfect little musical laughs, a tinkling sound and touches his forearm
again.
"Erika. She's the worst," Alex whispers, though not quietly enough. It's more
like a stage whisper, which is wholly inappropriate for this setting. If it weren't for
the fact that I'm completely distracted by Albie on the other side of the room, the
entire thing would be laughable. I have a princess hanging on my arm, high as a
kite and airing her opinions too loudly, and a vibrator inside me, my royal
stepbrother at the controls.
And all of it, at my mother's engagement party, surrounded by the crme de la
crme of Protrovian society.
"Why is she the worst?" I ask absently. Albie pats the bitch on the arm, then
looks up. I avert my eyes, but not quickly enough. He makes eye contact with me
from across the room.
"She's terrible," Alex says. "Manipulative and shallow. They were together
years ago. I dont know what he ever saw in her. She cheated on him a lot. Albie
won't ever say it, but I think he was in love with her. And she broke his heart."
I swallow hard the lump that's beginning to form in my throat. What if he still
has feelings for his ex? I definitely dont want to do to someone what Derek did to
me. Suddenly, everything about what I'm doing with Albie feels even more wrong.
"Excuse me," I say to Alex. "I need to run to the restroom."

But before I can make my stealthy exit, Christine catches my arm. "I'll need you
to take your seat, Miss Kensington and Princess Alexandra," she says. Then,
looking up, "Ah, Prince Albert, you as well. You'll join the King and Queen at the
head table."
"Wait, I " I begin to protest, but I'm ushered along. Behind me, Albie steps too
close for a split second, his breath warm on my neck. I tell myself to focus on
something else, anything else, because walking this way through the ballroom,
with my nipples erect underneath my dress, is the worst possible thing that could
happen.
"You weren't about to sneak out of here, were you?" Albie whispers, and I feel
the vibrator start up again, the rumble low and steady. But instead of being turned
on, the way I was before, I just find myself irritated. I'd tell him to turn it off, but I
know he'll just turn it up a million times more. So I just grit my teeth and promise
myself there's no way he's making me come. I won't let it happen.
Willpower, I tell myself. Think of something else. Something un-sexy.
Like the image of Albie with that blonde's hand on his arm, giggling like an idiot
because he said something that was most likely inappropriate.
"No," I say curtly. "I'm headed to the table to sit with my new siblings."
He turns up the vibration higher and I involuntarily yelp, a sound I quickly cover
with a cough. Behave, he whispers.
Apparently thats something you need to learn, I say, my words coming out
breathier than I intended.
Oh, youre jealous, he whispers. Then he shuts off the vibrator, leaving my
muscles pulsing around it.
Of course hes seated next to me at dinner. Im seated between Alex on my right,
and Albie on my left, probably a strategic move by the public relations team to
make sure everyone is reminded how integral a part of the family I am. Mercifully,
Albie leaves me alone during most of dinner.
My legs crossed, sitting in a chair, I almost manage to forget the vibrator is
inside me. And, deliberately ignoring Albie, Im almost able to forget about him and
the ex-girlfriend.

21
ALBIE

I saw

you talking with Erika earlier, Sofia says, sipping from a glass of
champagne. Will she be joining us at the summer house? Ive heard so many
lovely things about her.
On the other side of Belle, Alex snorts, her inhibitions lowered by whatever she
took to get her through tonights events. I glance at my empty scotch glass,
downing a glass of champagne as a poor substitute. Lovely, Alex scoffs. Ive
never heard her called that before.
She wont be joining us at the summer house, Sofia, I say, my voice firm. At
least that shuts her up. Im not sure whether shes manipulative or simply
unobservant, but its obvious to everyone else that Erika and I are nothing.
No? Belle asks, her voice innocent. You should invite her.
I flick on the vibrator in response, and watch as a flush runs up Belles neck,
then down the front of her chest. She crosses her legs, and re-crosses them as I
increase the vibration a little more.
I was having fun with this whole thing earlier, the thrill of turning the vibrator
on and off at inopportune times. But now, Im not. Im not going to wait any
longer. I want to watch Belle come, sitting right here at this table.
Are you okay, Belle? I ask, cutting a piece of filet and popping it into my
mouth. You look a little feverish.
Imfine, she says, looking straight ahead as she takes a sip of wine from her
glass. No one else notices, but I can see her eyes close for just a moment too long.
The thought of her sitting at this table beside me, her pussy wet because shes
on the verge of coming, makes me hard as a rock, and I have to adjust the napkin
that covers my lap.
When she finally looks over, her gaze falls to my lap, then up to my eyes again. I
know she saw how hard I am. She looks away as quickly as she turned. Prince
Albert, she says. You should stand and make a toast, dont you think?
I cough to hide my laugh. Clever girl.
I flick the setting on the vibrator up higher, trying not to think of what thats
doing to her. I run quickly through mental images of anything that might deflate
my raging erection.

Oh, that would be lovely, Albert, my grandmother says.


Perhaps it would be more appropriate to save a toast for a less public event,
my father says, interrupting and saving me from having to reveal my massive
hard-on for Belle.
Yes, I say. Some things are better left for private, dont you agree, Belle?
She tucks a wayward strand of hair behind her ear, then adjusts a few more
strands with trembling hands, before running her hand along her brow. Her chest
rises and falls, hardly apparent to anyone else, Im sure, but I know what that
means. Certain things shouldnt be done in public, she says, her voice breathy.
Are you all right? Alex asks. Seriously, you look like youre not feeling well.
Isabella, are you having an episode? Sofia asks. She gets anxious during
public events sometimes or, she used to, anyway.
Imfine, Belle says. The gravelly tone in her voice makes me even harder,
and I turn up the vibrator again. She clutches the sides of her chair, her fingers
white at the knuckles where she holds it tightly.
I wonder how long she can hold out. But mostly, I wonder what shell look like
when she comes.
Isabella, my father says. You do look flushed. Alex, why dont you walk
Isabella back to her room. Perhaps you should lie down.
I turn the vibrator on the highest setting, determined to make Belle come before
she leaves. She closes her eyes lightly, gripping the chair tightly, the wrinkle on her
forehead the only other outward sign of anything happening. Yes, Belle, I say,
Why dont you lie down. It looks like youre tense. Perhaps you need a little
relief.
Yes, she gasps, far too loudly, then inhales immediately. Its one word, and
she says it in a way thats so unmistakably erotic that it has to be the most
inappropriate response ever given at a royal dinner. And I know by the flush that
rises to her cheeks that she just came, right here at my father's engagement party.
This is definitely one for the history books.
The table is silent, and my grandmothers eyes go wide as she glances
uncomfortably at Belle before gulping her water. Well, my grandmother says. I
guess thats a yes, then.
Belle clears her throat. Yes, she says, this time more measured, but still
breathy, as I turn down the vibration. Excuse me.
She stands to leave, her hand on the back of the chair to steady herself, and she
looks down for a moment at me. Im fine by myself.
Oh, no, Ill go with you! Alex jumps up quickly, obviously eager to get the hell
out of here, taking Belle by the elbow before anyone can object.
I wait a whole five minutes before I make a bullshit excuse to get up from the
table to follow them. On the way out, I see Erika walking toward me, no doubt
trying to chase me down and throw herself at me, the way she did earlier tonight. I
make a mental note to let security know shes off my approved list, regardless of
whatever idiot sends her an invite to a palace event in the future.

Outside of the ballroom, Alex is talking to Finn Asher, laughing as she opens her
purse to show him something. Several feet away, her bodyguard Max stands in a
suit, his arms crossed, glaring at the two of them. He looks like hes two seconds
away from throwing Alex over his shoulder again, the way he did at the
summerhouse.
Where did Belle go? I ask, my tone accusatory.
She said she wanted some air, Alex says. Dont be a nag.
When I walk outside, I see Belle standing on the edge of the granite deck, her
forearms resting on the railing. When I reach her, she doesnt look at me. You
shouldnt have followed me out here.
Isnt that what you wanted?
That gets a rise out of her. She turns to face me, her eyes icy. No, she says,
and I can tell shes trying hard to keep her voice measured, restrained. That is not
what I wanted.
A couple walks past us carrying glasses of champagne, and I turn my head. The
last thing I want is to talk to a nosy, irritating socialite and her husband.
In fact, the last thing I want to do is talk to anyone right now.
Youre awfully cranky for someone who just had an earth-shattering orgasm,
I say quietly, watching her face turn scarlet.
She looks around before speaking. I did not have an earth-shattering
anything, she says.
Liar, I say, turning on the vibrator again.
She flinches. Stop it, Albie.
Too much? I ask. If you like, I can reach up there and retrieve it.
Thanks but no thanks. She turns, walking down the stairs from the deck to
the lawn that stretches for acres behind the palace, trimmed on the edges with
large trees to hide the massive walls that secure the palace grounds.
Youre angry, I say, following her across the lawn. She walks faster, trying to
get rid of me, and I let her, until she reaches the side of the glass enclosure that
surrounds the swimming pool.
Im not angry, she says, turning to face me. Besides, someone is going to see
us out here. You should get back to your girlfriend.
I flick on the remote to the vibrator. Dont lie, luv, I say. It doesnt suit you.
Stop doing that. She glares at me, then glances toward the deck.
Shes an ex.
I didnt ask who she was, she says. Will you turn that thing off now?
Ill turn it off once you admit youre just being cranky because youre jealous.
Ill admit no such thing, she says, as she marches toward the pool house and
yanks open the door. I follow her inside, flicking the vibrator up all the way, just for
added effect.
Oh God, Belle says. She faces the wall, leaning with one hand over her head,
and lets out an exasperated groan. But I dont turn the vibrator off; I only turn it
down. Im not a monster, after all.

Walking up behind her, I take her other hand and put it against the wall. She
stands with both palms flat against the wall and her ass sticking out, and I run my
hands along those curvy hips.
Youre not done yet, luv, I tell her.
She lets out a moan, long and low under her breath, her fingertips pressing
against the wall. Its too much, Albie, she says. Im so sensitive.
Just come for me, Belle, I whisper. Thats twice now that youve come and I
didnt get to hear it. I want to hear you moan.
Ioh God, she groans. Screw you, Albie.
Not yet, luv, I say, letting my hands graze the length of her evening gown,
squatting as I follow it down to where it falls on the ground. I pull the entire thing
up around her waist, draping it across her bare ass. But soon.
Oh God, she says again, arching up her back as she presses her hands firmly
against the wall. The movement has the added effect of pushing back her perfect
ass at me, and I run my palms over her smooth skin.
Oh, Albie, I tell her, one hand caressing her ass cheek. Thats what I want to
hear you say. That, and please. Please make me come, Albie.
Im not begging you, she says, her voice strained. Then, That feels so good.
Running my palm over her ass, I draw my hand back and bring it down hard, the
crack reverberating through the room.
Damn it, Albie, she says, then moans. And she doesnt move. She shakes her
hair, tossing her head back, and I realize something.
She likes it.
You enjoyed that, didnt you? I ask. Youre so close to coming, and you liked
my hand on your ass, spanking you.
Maybe, she whispers, looking at me over her shoulder.
I reach between her legs, my fingertips brushing along the length of her pussy
lips. Youre drenched, I say. Soaked. You fucking love this. Say it. You want me
to make you come.
Im not saying it, she says. I wont beg.
I bring my hand down on the opposite cheek, and she flinches. But she doesnt
stand up and walk away. She arches her ass out more. I caress the red mark thats
rapidly spreading across the expanse of her skin, while she moans low under her
breath.
Say it, luv, I tell her, reaching between her legs from behind until I find her
clit with my fingertip. But I don't move my finger. I just press it gently on her clit.
Tell me how much you want me. You want me inside you. You want to feel me,
coming inside you.
Albie, she says, groaning loudly, her frustration evident.
"Belle."
"What?" her eyes are closed, her forehead wrinkled, and I know how much she
wants to let go.
"You're the only one I want to make come. Not Erika, not anyone else. Do you

understand? Now say what I want to hear."


Yes." She whispers the word so softly that I barely hear it.
I dont move. I know shes close. I know shes on the edge, so close to coming,
and I want to send her hurtling over the edge. Yes, what, luv?
She groans again. Yes, I want you inside me. Yes, I want you to make me
come.
Not enthusiastic enough, I tell her. But I finally move my finger on her clit.
You want to come. You want release. All you have to do is tell me how much you
want it.
Oh my God, Albie, she whispers. Please.
The please is what gets me. Its the please, coming from Little Miss Do-Gooder,
Miss Propriety, that kills me.
But I cant stand not seeing it on her face. I want to see the expression on her
face when she comes.
When I take my fingers away from her clit, she practically cries, until I spin her
around and push her roughly against the wall. Yanking the piles of fabric of her
dress up, I thrust my fingers between her legs, returning them where they were on
her clit, and she practically melts against me.
It takes all the willpower I have not to crush her mouth under mine, but I want
to see her face as I roll my fingers over her clit, faster now. Come for me, luv, I
tell her. I want to hear you say my name.
Fuck, she says, clutching at my wrist, pressing my hand against her pussy as
she jerks involuntarily, a full-body spasm. Albie. Oh myholy shit, Albie.
The expression when she comes is the hottest thing I've ever seen. Her eyes are
closed and her face is angled up toward mine, her lips barely parted. I savor it for all
of a split second before flicking off the vibrator.
I don't wait for her to finish. Instead, I slide my fingers along her pussy lips until
I reach her entrance. I find the vibrating egg easily. Her slickness makes sliding it
from her the simplest thing in the world. I toss it on the floor with the remote, not
caring if they shatter into a million pieces.
Tell me you want it, I say. Tell me you want my tongue. I want to taste you.
Ive been aching to taste you. Say it, Belle.

22
BELLE

T he most handsome, most eligible bachelor in the world well, maybe bachelor
isnt the right word, not if were counting our fake marriage -- is looking into my
eyes, telling me that he aches to taste me.
And thats after making me come twice in a night.
The rational part of me is telling me we could get caught. Its my mothers
engagement party, for goodness sake. And Im in the pool house with Albie.
Albie, my stepbrother, whos telling me he wants to put his tongue between my
legs.
I want you, I whisper, hardly sure Im even hearing the words coming out of
my mouth. I want your tongue on me.
Say please, he says. I like to hear you say please.
Screw you. Thats what I think. Those are the words that run through my head.
But oddly enough, the word that comes out of my mouth, because apparently
theres some kind of disconnect between my lips and my brain, is please.
Albie makes a growling sound under his breath before sliding his hands up
underneath my ass and lifting me up off the ground. I dont even have a chance to
object. I just giggle stupidly as he carries me across the room to a chaise lounge and
deposits me firmly on my feet beside the cushioned piece of furniture. Now, he
says. Youre going to straddle my face while I eat that perfect pussy of yours.
The words make me flush hot. No one has ever talked to me the way Albie talks
to me Derek certainly never did. Of course, Derek never sent desire coursing
through my veins the way Albie does. Albie has a way of making me lose my mind
and toss my inhibitions aside like theyre nothing.
Albie sits back on to the chaise, sliding his hands up my thighs and pushing the
fabric of my dress toward my hips. Stop thinking, luv, he whispers. Im starving
and youre going to be my meal.
Wait, I protest, as Albie pulls me against him until Im standing with my
pussy near his face.
Mmm, he says, inhaling deeply. If youre not going to climb over me and sit
on my face, I suppose I can make do this way.
Wait. Albie.

Please dont tell me youre having a crisis of conscience right now.


No, I say, swatting his hands away. Someones coming.
Yeah, youre going to be in a second, if you play your cards right and stop
talking.
Shut up. I slap his hand. Someones coming. Two people. Look out the
window.
Albie shrugs. The door is locked, he says. Well just move away from the
window. Theyll go away.
I jump up, scrambling across the room to the only cover nearby -- a large bar on
the other side of the room. I slide behind it. Albie follows me slowly, ambling like
he has all the time in the world, while my heart threatens to beat out of my chest.
When he joins me behind the bar, he slides his hands around me, cupping my
ass and pulling me against his hardness. Of course, fucking you right here against
this bar works too, he says.
Shut up, theyre right outside, I whisper, craning my neck to try to see the
window by the front door.
So? he asks. His hands are underneath my skirt, his fingers on the crinkle of
my thigh, so close to my pussy I can practically feel him already. You cant see all
the way over here through those windows.
Then I hear the doorknob jiggle and someone laugh. Dont you have a key
somewhere? the male voice asks.
Shit, Albie, I hiss. Who has a key to this place?
The family, security, staff, he says, ticking off people on his fingers casually,
as if hes not the least little bit worried about getting caught in the pool house with
me. He could be anyone. Just duck down.
He drops down to the ground behind the bar in his tuxedo like hes done this a
million times before.
Of course, he probably has. Albie the manwhore prince has probably crawled out
of more bedroom windows than anyone on earth. Hes a professional at handling
this kind of situation.
I, on the other hand, am not.
And Im in very real danger of dropping dead from a heart attack or abject
humiliation if were caught in here together.
So Im about to join him, cross-legged on the floor, when I see it.
Fuuccccck.
The remote control is right there in the middle of the entryway to the pool
house. The vibrating egg coated in my wetness has rolled into the nearby
corner. The vibrator might be overlooked thank goodness for small mercies but
theres no way anyone who walks inside the door would miss that remote control.
My stomach lurches as the couple outside drop the key to the ground, and then
laugh they fumble to find it.
I can make it across the room and back here in time.
What are you doing? Albie asks. He reaches for my hand, but I shrug him off,

about to dart from behind the bar.


And the door opens.
The fucking door to the pool house opens and Im standing there behind the bar
like a deer in the headlights, staring at Alex and Finn.
Oh! Alexandra says. Belle, is that you? What are you doing in here?
I lean across the top of the bar casually, sliding my forearms across it, mindful of
the fact that Albie is practically sitting at my feet. I glance down at him with wide
eyes, but he just looks at me and winks. Like none of this is any big deal.
The asshole.
Oh, I say, feigning breeziness in my voice I definitely do not feel. Um, yeah. I
was just getting away from the party. Gettingsomething to drink, you know.
Come on, Finn says, pulling her arm. He looks like he stepped off the pages of
Yachting and Polo Magazine, even in his tuxedo. Lets get out of here.
This is my new sister! Alex says brightly. Stepsister, I mean.
Yeah, uh, you guys should go, I say. I mean -- I just, um, need a few
minutes.
Come with us, Alex says. Well go up to the roof and get baked. I have weed
in my clutch, if you want some.
Shes like a walking dispensary. Im about to answer, when Albies touch his
hand underneath my dress, on my thigh -- practically makes me yelp.
Are you okay? Alex asks.
Yeah, I say, my voice innocent. Yeah. Im totally okay. More than okay. Im
like, completely fine.
Fuck. Im awful at lying.
I think I hear Albie chuckle and I want to kick him, but Im afraid hell yell and
that will be the end of our little secret. So I stand there, totally motionless.
And then Albie does the unthinkable.
He edges his way in front of me, pushes my legs apart, and arches his head up.
His mouth is so close to my pussy that I can feel his breath warming me.
I reach down with one hand, try to push his head away, but he grabs my ass
cheeks, gripping them so tightly I have to grit my teeth to keep from crying out.
Are you mixing cocktails while youre back there? Alex asks. Why dont you
make me and Finn one?
No! I cry out, sharper than I should as Albie touches his tongue to me, licking
me, probing me, his hands pulling me hard against his face. I mean, um. Its really
better if I just take a breather from everything right now. Because
Because your brother is currently sucking my clit into his mouth.
Because your brothers tongue is lodged inside of me.
Because your brother is going to make me come right here.
Those are all inappropriate excuses.
Because, my social anxiety, I lie.
Your stepsister is so weird, Finn says, as he slips his hand around Alexs waist
and pulls her against him. Lets go up to the roof.

Im not Weird, Im about to say, but I cant focus on anything except what
Albie is doing with his tongue right now.
Holy shit, the guy has skills. I mean, I should have anticipated that, based on
what I read about him in the magazines.
But, I mean, he has real skills. Porn star skills.
If hes this good with his tongue, I can only imagine what hed do with that
pierced cock.
The thought of it very nearly sends me over the edge, right here, right now.
Standing behind the bar, in front of my soon-to-be stepsister and her guy-of-thehour.
Talk about inappropriate timing.
With one hand, I grip Albies hair, trying to pull him away from me. But hes
unrelenting.
Whats that? Alex asks, bending over to squint at the floor.
Theres a remote, Finn says. Shit, dude, that might be for a bomb or
something.
No! I say loudly. I mean. Im sure its not a bomb.
Oh my God. This is exactly what I need two stoners thinking the remote that
goes to the vibrator is a fucking bomb.
Visions of the palace being evacuated and my mother finding out what exactly
Ive been doing with Albie flit through my head.
Are you sure its not a bomb? Alex asks. Ill mention it to one of the security
guys. I should just take it to them.
I think bomb remote control things are bigger, Finn says. I mean, Ive seen
them in movies. They dont look like this.
Between my legs, I feel Albies mouth vibrate as he laughsinto my pussy.
Heaven help me, the vibration coupled with what hes doing with his tongue has
me ready to come right now.
I slap him on the side of the head and in retaliation, he tongue-fucks me.
Some retaliation.
Dont touch it! I yell, and they both look up at me, backing away from the
remote control like its radioactive. Thank goodness they dont seem to have
noticed the vibrator. I meanfuckif itsa bombyou should stop touching
oh God.
Are you having a panic attack? Alex asks. Finn, its not the remote to a
bomb. Im like, eighty percent sure.
Yespanic attack I choke out the words, nearly blinded by lust. Damn it,
Im about to come for the second time tonight in front of someone else.
Im not sure if that makes this a high point or a low point in my life.
I can get the doctor, Alex says. I should call him.
No! I shout, as Albies tongue flicks inside me again. Ijustneed to be
fucked. Um, not fucked. I do not need to be fucked. Fuck. Fuck is what I said. Just.
Leave?

Alright, alright, Alex says, putting her hands up in mock surrender. Geez.
Im out of here.
Finn elbows her. See? he asks. I told you shes weird.
Ill tell security about that remote. Lets just leave it, Alex says as they exit.
The door slams closed behind them.
Fuuck! I scream, clutching Albies head as I come on his face, unable to hold
back any longer.
The orgasm is intense. Its incredibly intense. Its magnified a thousand times
by the fact that I was trying not to come while Alex and Finn were in here, the
experience made even more dangerous by the fact that theyve probably sent
security this way to grab the remote control to the vibrator.
My pussy is throbbing. The empty ache that begs to be filled is almost
unbearable, as I pull Albies face away from me. He looks up at me, obviously
pleased with himself.
We have to get out of here, I whisper. Now.
But Albie just grins and puts his face back between my legs. His tongue works its
magic again, the sensation so exquisitely overpowering its nearly painful. When I
push him away, he just laughs. Fine, he says, pulling himself to a standing
position. He kisses me full on the lips before I can object. Do you taste yourself?
Its the sweetest taste imaginable.
Oh my God, I cant believe you just did that. I scramble out from behind the
bar and across the room to grab the vibrator and the remote before someone else
comes in here.
Cant believe I did what? Albie asks innocently. Kissed you so you could taste
yourself?
That too, I say, scrambling to pick up the sex toys. My boob falls out of my
dress, which is just further evidence of how absolutely fucking classy I am, and I
hitch the top of the dress up an inch. I have no pockets. Take these.
Albie slips them into his tuxedo pocket as I stand up to see a suited man heading
toward the pool house. Albie catches my panicked look and grins. Well go out the
back door.
He grabs my hand and pulls me out of the pool house, and I lose a shoe in the
process.
Thats the second time Ive lost a shoe around the prince.
Id say that on the bright side, at least my dignity is intact -- if it werent for the
glaring fact that I had two public orgasms tonight in front of my family.
All in all, Id say with a fair amount of certainty that dignity has gone right out
the fucking window.

23
ALBIE

O h my God, she gasps, her breath short as I pull her along the side of the

property. The shadows from the trees that line the border of the yard hide us.
Or at least, I hope they do.
When we reach the side of the palace, totally deserted, Belle leans back against
the building, her breath short. Seriously, theyre going to be looking for that
remote, Albie. If your sister told them it was a bomb, wont they be evacuating?
I laugh. Theyll probably do a sweep of the palace, but theyre not going to
evacuate our parents engagement party, I say. You really need to chill out, dont
you? Are you always this anxious?
No, she protests, obviously lying. Theyre not going to evacuate over a
potential bomb threat at the palace?
Consider the source of information, I say. Its my sister. Shes not the most
reliable person ever. Especially since shes obviously high as a kite.
I left my shoe back there, she says, her brow furrowed. Someone is going to
figure out that
I hold up my hand. Figure out what? I ask. That the future princess took a
stroll through the pool house? You need to calm down, luv.
Her eyes flash. God, she really doesnt like being told what to do, does she? I
mentally congratulate myself on getting her to use the word please earlier.
But I want to hear it more. I want to hear it while shes underneath me. My dick
jumps at the thought.
Youre so cavalier about everything, she says.
Thank you.
She wrinkles her nose. That wasnt a compliment.
But Ill take it as one anyway, I say, opening my tuxedo jacket. I have scotch
or weed. Take your pick.
Belles eyebrows go up and she laughs. Youre going to get stoned right here,
outside of the palace?
I have a one of those electronic cigarettes. Its not like Im whipping out a joint.
It hardly smells.
This is not what I thought palace life would be like, Belle says. But she takes a

swig from the flask, grimacing before she hands it back to me.
What? I ask, leaning back against the wall beside her. You never thought it
would be this damn classy, did you?
She laughs. Yeah, right. Classy is exactly how I would describe this
experience.
I take a drag on the vaporizer and hand it to her. This is made of gold, I say.
Thats class, right there.
Ive never gotten high, she says.
I sigh loudly. Why am I not surprised that Little Miss Do-Gooder has never
gotten stoned?
Im not Little Miss Do-Gooder, she says, disgusted. Why are you trying so
hard to corrupt me, anyway?
I turn to face her. Because you need to be corrupted, luv, I say, softly. Tell me
you didnt love all of that tonight.
Her face flushes, and she brings the vaporizer to her lips.
Suck it into your mouth, I instruct her, laughing. Ironically, I have a feeling
thats what Ill be telling you pretty soon.
When she laughs, a vapor cloud blows out her nose and she coughs. If youre
implying that I might blow you soon, youd be mistaken. I am so not blowing you
out here.
Oh, I didnt say out here, luv.
Shit, she says, as two security guards walk down the side of the property in
our direction. She turns and walks quickly toward the palace, while I amble slowly
behind her. I dont bother trying to remind her that Im the Crown Prince my
familys security has caught me doing worse things than smoking weed behind the
palace.
We take the long way around, away from the ballrooms and all the hoopla that
surrounds our parents engagement party. Belle walks in front of me, her bare feet
padding on the thick carpets that line the hallway. A piece of her hair falls out of its
updo, and even though she doesnt look completely disheveled, she looks undone.
Im responsible for that undone state.
I have the irresistible urge to undo her completely.
She looks over her shoulder at me as if she can read my thoughts. Where are we
going?
I look around at my choices of rooms. In here, I say, grabbing her hand and
pulling her down the hallway.
What are you doing? she hisses.
Im not finished with you, I tell her.
No, she whispers, looking up at me with wide eyes. She might say no, but her
eyes betray her. Her pupils are practically the size of saucers, and she runs her
tongue along her lower lip.
No? I ask.
The throne room, Albie? she asks, noting the plaque outside of the room that

labels it. Arent there security cameras?


I already told you, luv. My dad has a thing about cameras. Theyre only in the
public spaces, I say. This wing isnt considered public.
I wave my key card over the door and the green light flashes when it unlocks.
Come on, I say. Dont be a scared kitten.
A scared kitten?
Isnt that the American phrase?
You mean scaredy-cat, she says, laughing. The door closes with a heavy thud,
and I step close to her.
I shrug. Exactly.
Not quite, she says. She takes the edge of her lip between her teeth.
Scared pussy.
Thats definitely not right, she says, giggling, and I dont let her keep
laughing. I bring my mouth down hard on hers, harder than before. She moans as
her tongue wars with mine.
Ive kissed a lot of girls, but this kiss is something else entirely. Its the kind of
kiss that makes you need more, and Im not used to needing anything.
So youre saying that your pussy isnt nervous at all, then? I ask when I pull
away.
Im not saying anything about my pussy.
It didnt seem nervous to me a few minutes ago, I say. I should refresh my
memory, though.
I reach for her, and she backs away from my grasp, nearly catching her foot on
the hem of her dress. When she doesnt fall she just laughs. I reach for her again,
and she runs, giggling, across the wooden floor of the throne room and down the
purple carpet that leads up the stairs to the thrones.
She stops short in front of the thrones. We shouldnt be in here, she says.
Arent you afraid of getting caught?
We arent going to get caught, I tell her. No one is back this way. The room is
locked. Its not even one of the regular patrol stops for the guards.
How do you know that?
Ive been sneaking out of the palace since I was thirteen, luv, I say. Theres
not a part of this place I dont know like the back of my hand.
Belle looks away, touching the edge of the throne gingerly and drawing her hand
back like shes afraid to touch it. Its the throne room, she says. We should
leave. Its just wrong to be in here.
Why? I ask. God, youre such a good girl.
I am not a good girl.
Says the girl whod never smoked weed until tonight? I ask, flopping down
onto my fathers throne.
Belles eyes go wide. You cant just sit there.
Says who? I ask. Do you know how rarely this room gets used?
Well, you cant just barge in and lounge around on the throne like its a

recliner, she says.


Says who? I ask, spreading my legs wide and putting my arms behind my
head. Im a prince. I can do whatever I want, luv.
Youre a cocky prick, she says, rolling her eyes.
In fact, Im the Crown Prince of Protrovia. You should be kneeling in front of
me, I say, sitting up.
Youre hilarious. She stands in front of me with her hands on her hips,
looking so damn uppity that even though I was kidding before, Im suddenly no
longer joking.
I want Belle to kneel in front of me, those lush lips parted, her tongue
outstretched.
I want her to kneel at my feet and take my cock in her mouth.
I want to come in that perfect little mouth. Right here in the throne room.
My cock hardens at the thought, and I dont even bother to try to pretend
differently.
I wasnt joking, I say, my voice thick. On your knees, Belle.
Her eyes linger on mine, and then drop lower, down to the obvious erection
tenting my tuxedo pants. Oh, she says, more of an exhale than an actual
coherent word.
Oh isnt an answer, Belle, I say, slowly undoing my pants. The right answer
is Yes, Your Highness.
She raises an eyebrow. Im not ever calling you Your Highness.
You need to be taught royal manners.
Is that a threat? she asks. She looks at me with a strange mixture of impish
innocence and total deviousness.
Its a promise that Ill be the one to teach you, luv, I say. And youre awfully
cavalier, for someone whos standing before the ruler of a country.
Youre not the ruler of a country, she says. But she steps toward me, her eyes
going lower as I slide my pants down, take out my cock, and stroke it lightly, aware
of her steady gaze.
You really are pierced, she says, inhaling deeply.
Youre still standing, I note. I do believe I asked you to kneel.
Belle stands there unmoving for a moment, the expression on her face changing
as she looks at me with unwavering focus. The lust in her eyes betrays her. Youre
such a dick, she says.
And she kneels.
She grasps the sides of her dress, pulling it up daintily, and kneels before the
throne.
She kneels before my cock.
Her dress billows around her on the floor, her breasts practically spilling out of
the tightly fitted top. Her hair pulled off her shoulders and piled on her head, the
dress shes wearingshe looks like she stepped off the pages of a magazine.
She looks like a doll. My own personal, slightly disheveled Cinderella.

Her lips fall open, parting just enough so that I cant help but picture her mouth
wrapped around me.
My dick twitches in response to the very idea.
And yet, the thought of my cock in your mouth makes you wet, doesnt it? I
ask. I know its true. I know shes soaked just by the look she gives me when I ask
the question. I know that underneath that dress, youre throbbing at the thought
of tasting me. Tell me.
Yes, she whispers. I want your cock in my mouth.
I slide forward, the tip of my dick near her face, and her mouth falls open like a
reflex, her tongue on the edge of her lips.
But I dont give her my cock. Not yet. I reach around to the back of her hair, to
that ridiculously appropriate updo of hers, and grab a handful before it tumbles
over her shoulders. I want those sweet lips of yours on me, Belle."
Belle directs her dark eyes to me, watching me as she wraps her hand around the
base of my cock. Her eyes stay on mine while she licks me slowly, her movements
languid as she moves over the head of my cock before she envelopes me in her
mouth.
That mouth.
That warm and wet and perfect mouth.
I groan as she takes me in, running my hands through her hair and pulling it
away from her face so I can watch her work her mouth over me. She makes little
moaning sounds when she sucks me, her eyes closing each time she pulls back on
the length of my cock, like shes savoring the sensation of me in her mouth.
My groan seems to spur her on. She works me over, easing me deeper and
deeper into her mouth until shes practically inhaling me, swallowing me so far
that it's all I can do to keep from coming down the back of her throat. I watch her
head bob up and down on my length, her tongue working magic for what seems like
an eternity until I cant possibly take it any longer. When she brings me to the
edge, I have to grab a handful of hair and wrench her away.
Did I do something wrong? she asks, looking at me with disappointment.
God, no, I whisper. I just dont want to come like that. I want to come inside
you, luv."

24
BELLE

I stand there in my designer dress, in front of the throne of Protrovia, as Prince


Albert unwraps a condom and rolls it onto his length. I'm mesmerized by his cock.
My mouth aches for him, mimicking the throbbing between my legs that is so
incredibly insistent.
Youre staring, he says.
You can wear a condom over the piercing?
Are you disappointed? he asks, drawing me to him. His hardness presses up
against my belly, and I instantly regret the fact that Im still wearing my dress. I
want to rip it off. I want to feel his nakedness against mine, his skin against my
skin. "I'll take it off, if you'd like."
I want him inside me, bare.
Ive never wanted anything so much in my life. I want to feel his piercing inside
me, pressing up against me.
But I dont want to tell him that.
I cant tell him that.
No, I say, my voice wavering. I justdidnt know you could.
He doesnt answer. He just brings his mouth down hard on mine, his kiss
punishing in its intensity. My heart beats furiously in my chest as his tongue finds
mine, and he kisses me until I feel like I'm drowning. I lose myself in his kiss, until
theres nothing left, no thoughts about anything except the two of us in this room.
Dont lie to me, he whispers. You were thinking about fucking me without
one, werent you?
Yes.
I was wondering how the piercing would feel, I admit. Thats all.
Liar.
Albie grins. Dont worry, luv, he says. Youll still feel it.
A fresh wave of anxiety courses through me as he looks down at me with those
periwinkle-colored eyes. Im suddenly nervous, despite the fact that this should be
the least awkward part of the evening, considering the fact that my soon-to-bestepsister thought the remote control to my vibrator was a bomb detonator.
Albie senses my hesitation. Worried? he asks.

Never, I lie.
He pulls at the fabric on the sides of my dress, lifting it up until it bunches
around my waist, and slips his fingers between my legs. Your body definitely isnt
nervous.
As his fingers slide over my wetness, a whimper escapes my lips, needy and
unbidden. No, I whisper.
Even now, you're still saying no? he asks, a smile tugging at the edges of his
lips.
No, Im not nervous, I lie again. I run my hands over this muscular chest,
flinching as his muscles twitch underneath my palms, then down his well-defined
abs.
Touching him like this, how could I not be a little nervous?
I havent stopped thinking about your pussy since I met you, he says. Tasting
you, touching you, being inside youits consuming me.
I want you inside me, I whisper.
Do you? he asks, sliding his hands under my ass to pick me up. He carries me
toward the throne. Because I seem to recall you saying the words, I wouldnt fuck
you if you were the last prince on earth.
I dont remember saying that, I tease.
I remember exactly what I said.
Dont make me remember that I said that.
No? he asks, setting me down in front of the throne. He spins me around and
yanks the fabric of my skirt up before pulling me against him. His hardness presses
against my ass and the only thing I can think of is how badly I want to feel him
inside me.
Maybe you misheard me, I say, my breath hitching in my throat as his hands
wander over my ass, his fingers spreading me.
Yes, Im sure that's what happened, he says. His warm breath plays along my
neck, and when he sweeps my hair off the nape of my neck, goose bumps sprinkle
my arms. So tell me now, how badly do you want me?
Please, I say, closing my eyes and surrendering to his touch. He plants kisses
along the back of my neck that make me whimper.
I could go. I could tell him no, and turn around and walk away.
I could do the appropriate thing.
But I don't. Instead, I say it again. "Please."
He growls, like an animal, a long low sound in his throat. Get up, he says.
Kneel, on the throne.
I dont even ask why. I dont object, and I dont question.
I just do what he tells me to do.
I kneel on the throne, facing away from him, every inch of my body screaming
for his touch and my pussy throbbing for sweet release.
Im going to take my time with you, Belle, he says, and I cringe at the thought.
I dont want him to take his time with me.

I want to be fucked.
But not today, he says, kneeling behind me on the throne, as if he can read my
mind. Now, Im going to fuck you, the way I think you want to be fucked hard
and fast and filthy.
Yes. I barely choke out the word before hes pressing against my entrance.
"Oh God, yes."
Gripping the sides of the throne, I brace myself as he slides inside me without
hesitation or mercy. His thick hard cock fills me up fully and completely. My hands
find their place on the back of the throne as Albies slide over my hips, gripping me
tightly.
"Oh hell," he says. Its like you were made to fit me.
I murmur something, suddenly rendered incoherent. I can barely register what
he's saying, let alone think rationally, not when he's doing what he's doing with
his cock.
He fucks me, his initial thrusts slow and short, but only for a moment before I
beg him to fuck me harder.
And he does. Gripping my waist, he fucks me with deep, forceful thrusts, his
piercing pressing up against the most sensitive spot inside me.
Thats how you like it, isnt it, luv?
Yes.
I cant speak any other words but that one. Yes.
My head is yanked back as he grips a handful of hair and wraps the length of it
around his hand, sending a shock of pain through my body. And instead of being a
turn-off, the way that I think it would be, its the exact opposite. It intensifies
everything.
He fucks me, his grip on my hair, pulling on it like a leash.
I cant think about anything except his cock.
My whole world right now is his cock.
I accidentally blurt out the word cock, because of course I do. And I
immediately flush with embarrassment when he laughs, the vibration ricocheting
through my body. What, luv? he asks. You were praising my cock?
God, hes such an arrogant prick.
I think those words, but they dont come out of my mouth because I cant
articulate anything except yes.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
Over and over.
Im reduced to an incoherent, babbling idiot who can only say yes.
He grasps my breasts not gently or tenderly. He pinches my nipples between
his thumb and forefingers as he fucks me. And he talks to me, low in my ear, telling
me all the dirty things he wants to do to me. Im going to keep fucking you
because youre mine, Belle."

Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
I let go, savoring every sensation that washes over me as he brings me closer and
closer to the edge his hands on my breasts as he pulls me back against him, the
warmth of his breath against my ear, his tongue flicking over the edge of my
earlobe.
And that cock.
Tell me how much you love me fucking you, Belle, he says, his voice strained.
I want to hear you say it.
Oh God, I breathe. Yes, please.
Say it.
Fuck me.
He slaps my ass cheek, the crack loud in the stillness of the room. Say it,
Belle.
Yes.
He delivers a second slap hard against my rear. Fuck, Belle, he says. Say it.
Say you want me to come inside you.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
Oh God, yes. Its all I can say, pleasure rolling over me like a tidal wave,
coursing through me from my head to my toes.
He yanks my hair and a shock of pain surges through me. I wantto hearthe
words, he says, his voice gruff.
Then he pauses. He pauses, completely still inside me. Im on the verge of
coming, and I cant remember what he wants me to say. My pussy throbs around
him, my body pleading with him to thrust inside me again.
So I just say please.
Please, I whimper. Make me come.
Fuck. He lets out a loud groan. Touch yourself, Belle. Now.
He thrusts inside me, his movements swift, purposeful. Deep. And with a sense
of urgency. The tip of his cock his piercing presses against me, sending pulse
after pulse of pleasure soaring through me that only intensifies as I move my finger
over my clit, faster and faster.
Everything about this is primal. This is not romantic sex, slow and languid and
loving.
Its fucking.
And it's the best thing on this fucking earth.
Belle, he says, his voice strained. Come for me, Belle. Now.
And I do.
I let go, a loud moan escaping my lips before his hand clamps down over my
mouth to mute me. When he thrusts inside me, saying my name as he brings me

over the edge, I come, harder than I've ever come before. Harder than I could ever
imagine coming. I crash over the edge, blinding white-hot pleasure that obliterates
my awareness of everything else.
Afterward, Im trembling in his arms, my heart racing so fast I think it might
explode. Albie slides his arms around my chest, hugging me to him. Youre
shaking, he whispers.
I dont know why, I say.
Probably because I just had the most mind-blowing orgasm of my life.
He squeezes me tighter against his chest, and puts his lips to the side of my
neck. "Because I blew your fucking mind, luv."
"No one's mind was blown," I lie.
Totally mind-blowing.
What's not mind-blowing is the awkward silence that follows, as my lustaddled brain begins to clear, and the realization of where we are and what we've
just done sets in.
He shrugs back into his tuxedo, and I fix my dress, arrange my hair back into
something vaguely resembling the updo that I came in here with, and steel myself
to do the walk of shame right out of this room.
It's my first time doing a walk of shame, and I'm doing one out of the throne
room in a freaking palace, after screwing my soon-to-be stepbrother.
Classy, Isabella.
I can picture my mother saying the words, her mouth turned down into a scowl.
Actually, no. Scratch that. I can't even begin to imagine how she's react, especially
given the fact that she was "devastated" by my broken engagement.
Fucking Prince Albert on his father's throne really would just be the cherry on
the sundae.
Albie's phone buzzes and he picks it up, mouthing the word "Noah" at me,
while I silently panic at the thought of one of the royal security team looking for us.
How could you be so reckless, Isabella?
I swallow hard to quell the growing feeling of nausea in my belly.
Then Albie turns around and looks at me. "That was Noah," he says.
"Apparently my sister did talk to one of the security team about the remote.
They're doing a sweep of the palace now."
I swear my heart stops beating. "What are you talking about? A sweep of the
palace?" I ask. My voice is high-pitched, more like a squeak. "They're looking for
the remote that goes with thatoh, holy shit."
"The remote to the vibrator?" he asks, chuckling.
The bastard is laughing. He thinks this is funny.
"What's wrong with you?" I hiss. "They're going to bomb sweep the palace, and
that's hilarious to you? They're going to catch us in here. Everything is a joke to
you."
"Relax, Belle," he says. He's calm. Too damn calm. How the hell is he so
composed when they're looking for the remote control to the vibrator that he used

to make me come at dinner tonightin front of the entire royal family?


This is not a time for being calm. This is time for freaking the fuck out.
The fact that he tells me to relax makes me do exactly the opposite of relax. I can
feel myself spinning up, my anxiety spiraling out of control. I'm about to be
publicly humiliated. We're about to be publicly humiliated.
"Don't tell me to relax," I say, positively seething with anger and panic. "Do you
just love being the butt of jokes in the headlines?"
An odd expression crosses his face, and I think I might have hurt him. "Calm
down, luv," he says, his voice clipped. "This will stay our filthy little secret. No
one's going to know you fucked Prince Albert."
"Albie, I didn't mean " I start, but he interrupts me, putting his hand up.
"You need to get out of here," he says. "Obviously we don't need to be seen
leaving this room together."
"What if they search you?"
Albie laughs now, not even bothering to try to be quiet. I'm going to smack him.
So help me, I'm about to smack the Crown Prince of Protrovia.
Then the door opens. I stand there like a deer in the headlights.
Shit.
"Oh. Prince Albert. Miss Kensington," Noah says.
"I've been taking Miss Kensington on a tour of the palace," Albie says, suddenly
business-like, a paragon of sophistication. "Can you believe she hasn't seen all of
the important rooms?"
"Yes," I say. "A tour."
I don't look at Noah. I avoid making eye contact, because surely it's written all
over my face. Hell, it's probably hanging in the air in the throne room the smell
of sex. And I have no idea what he did with the condom.
Don't panic. Don't panic.
Breathe.
Noah speaks into a microphone on his wrist. "Throne room is clear. I've
accounted for the Prince and Miss Kensington."
Out in the hallway, Albie speaks to Noah. "About that remote"
My heart sinks. Surely Albie isn't this reckless. I think I might faint.
"I know it was your sister who reported the remote, sir," he says. "But we still
need to follow protocol. Of course we're keeping everything quiet, under the
circumstances, since it's your father's engagement party."
I swallow hard. "Do my mother and the King know about thebomb scare?"
"Of course," Noah says. "They've been apprised of the situation. If we think the
threat is legitimate, we'll initiate the Chess Protocol."
"I'm afraid to ask what that means."
"Protect the King," Albie says. "In the event of an emergency."
Of course. They'll initiate the Chess Protocol.
To protect the royal family from the security risk associated with my renegade
vibrator.

It would almost be funny, if this scenario didn't involve my imminent public


humiliation.
"About that remote" Albie says.
Don't vomit, I tell myself.
Noah sighs. "If you're about to tell me this was you, Albie"
Albie shrugs. "I'd rather not say, with her here."
"What?" I squeak. "What aren't you going to say in front of me?"
"It's personal," Albie says, raising his eyebrows and giving me a look. "And my
personal life really isn't any of your business, don't you think?"
"I see," I say, not seeing at all. I wouldn't put it past Albie to brag to Noah about
hooking up with me. Who knows how close the two of them really are? Maybe Albie
brags about all of his exploits. The thought makes me dizzy. "Am I free to go,
then?"
"Of course," Noah says. "But stay in the wing near the ballroom, please. We
haven't swept the residences yet."
I dart into the closest bathroom I can find to clean myself up, certain that my
indiscretion is written all over my face. But instead, when I look in the mirror I see
a slight hint of pink on my cheeks. The flush makes me look well rested, which is
better than looking well fucked, I supposed.
And I was fucked well, wasn't I?
My fingers linger on my lips, the sensation of his bruising kisses still there even
now. I can still feel him throbbing between my legs, sense his hands on my breasts.
I need to get out of here before my mind lingers too long on things it shouldn't.
I open the door and walk straight into her.
Albie's ex-girlfriend.
"Well, now," she says, her perfectly pouty lips curling up into a snide smile. "I
don't believe we've had the pleasure of being introduced."
"Isabella Kensington."
"Erika Matheson," she says with a sniff, her eyes traveling up the length of my
body as she clearly judges me. "So you're the new stepsister."
If I didn't hate her before, I hate her now, as she looks at me with disdain.
"Yes," I say. "Forgive me. How do you know the royal family?" I blink
innocently, pretending to have no idea who she is.
She smiles, the expression cold. "Albert and I will be having one of these parties
in the not-too-distant future," she says.
Maybe the ex-girlfriend isn't so much an ex, after all. The thought makes me
feel queasy. Did I just help Albie cheat on his fianc?
"Oh." I force out the word. "Are you and the Prince engaged?"
"Not yet," she says, examining her perfectly manicured hand like she isn't sure
whether or not she's wearing an engagement ring. "But we will be. It's a foregone
conclusion."
"I see," I say.
I need to get out of here.

But my feet seem to be rooted in the ground, held there by an invisible force. I
scan the hallway, looking for someone to rescue me from this conversation I don't
want to have.
My mother is the one who does the rescuing, accompanied by two ladies-inwaiting. Those are their actual titles, too. They're really personal assistants, but
retain the ridiculous antiquated titles, for no other reason than that it's apparently
what tradition dictates.
"Mother," I say brightly, breathing a sigh of relief. "You know Erika Matheson."
"I do," she says. "You're Prince Albert's girlfriend, aren't you?"
Girlfriend. Not ex-girlfriend.
"Of course," Erika says, smiling warmly at my mother.
Now I really hate her.
And Albie. Let's not forget about him. I definitely hate Albie, who seems to have
forgotten to mention that Erika is still under the impression they're dating.
I glare at Erika and she apparently takes the hint. "It was lovely speaking with
you, Isabella but I really should be going."
"Miss Matheson?" my mother asks. "Please consider my invitation open-ended.
You're obviously important to the Prince."
"Thank you," she says, smiling smugly. "I will certainly consider it."
"What invitation?" I hiss at my mother as soon as Erika is gone.
"Oh, I invited her to the summer home when we were talking earlier this
evening," Sofia says, waving dismissively. "After the incident tonight, I thought it
better to keep her and the Prince under close watch, if there's something going on
there. Minimize the possibility of scandal before the wedding."
"What incident?" I ask. My chest feels tight. I swear that my lungs have
suddenly decreased in capacity. I can't seem to take in enough air.
My mother leans close, speaking softly. "The bomb scare earlier this evening,"
she whispers. "There was no bomb. The remote was apparently aahemdevice
that was used by the Prince and a romantic paramour."
A romantic paramour.
That would be me.
"What does that have to do with Erika?" I ask stupidly.
My mother looks at me, her head cocked to the side. "Don't be obtuse, Isabella,"
she says. "Erika was obviously personally involved. Now, I must get back to guests.
Go lie down. You're looking a little peaked."

25
ALBIE

"C ome on, man," Price says. "What the hell is your problem lately?"
"What?" I ask. "Nothing. No problem."

"Then you won't mind if I take home both of these girls." He nods toward the
women on the other side of the room, both of whom are perched on the edge of one
of the sleek black modern sofas artfully arranged to create a sitting space. The
redhead waves back before crossing one long leg over the other, her foot tapping in
rhythm with the bass in the club downstairs.
Redheads used to be my favorite.
Used to be.
What the fuck is wrong with me? One screw one filthy as hell night with Little
Miss Do-Gooder and I'm completely preoccupied with her.
There's something messed up with that.
What I should do is get her out of my system. She's been avoiding me ever since
the night of the engagement party, obviously regretting what happened in the
throne room.
"Albie?" Price asks, irritation evident in his tome. "This is exactly my point.
You're not even paying attention to me saying I'm going to screw both of these
girls."
"It's fine."
"Really," he says flatly. "Since when is Prince Albert just not feelin' it?"
"Go," I say, sliding my phone out of my pocket. "Pick up all the girls you want.
With my blessing. Have fun."
Price rolls his eyes. But he turns around, holding his hands up in the air.
"Ladies, I'm all yours."
I open the screen on my cell phone and start typing a message.
Stop avoiding me. You know you want me.
She doesn't respond, which only irritates me. The music in the club downstairs
is getting on my nerves, and I'm watchin