Friday, May 21, 2010

Sweet Thursday by Mari Carr

Ellora's Cave

Wooowee! If you've followed the series, you know this will be a treat! AND you get two for the price of one. Who could resist a double dose of hotties!

Wild Irish, Book Four

In high school, Lily was too shy to do anything about her feelings for her best friends, Justin and Killian. Now she’s ready to put to rest her regrets with a proposal that might shock even her oversexed friends—the three of them, together, one night, multiple positions.

K and J are more than a little surprised to see Lily at their ten-year reunion. The plain Jane they remember is now a stunning woman—who wants to have sex with both of them. Who are they to deny her? Even if Killian suspects they might be treading on dangerous emotional territory.

The night stretches into the weekend and, as K suspected, none of them want it to end. But he and Lily know people live in pairs, not trios, and they call a halt now, before it’s too late.

Justin, however, knows a good thing when he sees it. He’s ready to fight for what he wants…what they all need. He just has to convince Lily and Killian that unconventional can also be extraordinary.

“I was wondering if I could drag you away for a moment, Lily. I’d love for you to meet my wife,” Chandler  said.

“I’d like that. Will you guys excuse me for a few minutes?”

They nodded and Justin watched Lily cross the room with Chandler. They stopped before a petite woman in a wheelchair and Justin felt guilty for not making more of an effort to befriend Chandler in high school. While he hadn’t participated in the bullying, he hadn’t expended any effort to get to know the guy either.

“Nice guy, that Chandler,” Justin said when they were alone.

“What the hell are you doing?” Killian asked.

“I was about to ask you the same thing. Were you not sitting at this table and listening to the same things I was? Lily wants to release her inner bad girl tonight…with both of us! This is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Killian narrowed his eyes, his nostrils flaring with anger. “Opportunity? You think thrusting Lily into a ménage is an opportunity?”

Justin put his hands on his hips. “That’s a rhetorical question, right?”

“Goddamn it, Justin. This is Lily you’re talking about. Not some hook up from a bar. You can’t seriously think she understands what she’s agreeing to?”

“I think she just made it pretty clear she’d jump both of us in a New York minute if we offered the ride.” His words had come out more callously than he’d intended, but he was fighting back some serious demons tonight and Killian’s holier-than-thou attitude was tweaking his nerves.

“You prick.”

Killian’s fists clenched and Justin wondered if his friend would actually hit him here. They’d fought before. He had a fierce temper, while Killian’s tended to be a slow burn. On occasion, they’d both reached the boiling point at the same time. Mercifully those times were few and far between, since they were pretty evenly matched in a fight and they suffered for their anger for days afterward.

“Takes one to know one.”

“You’re an insensitive motherfucker sometimes.” Killian’s words were spoken quietly, but the malice was clearly there.

“Watch it, K. I’d hate to mess up your nice clothes but if you throw a punch, I’m fucking bringing it.”

Killian looked around the reception hall before closing his eyes and Justin imagined he was counting to ten in his head. When he opened them, Justin knew the heated moment had passed. He often wondered how Killian was able to pull himself together like that—so quickly, so effortlessly.

When he spoke again, his voice was calmer, reasonable. “It’s Lily, Justin.”

“I know!” he replied hotly, then repeated himself, his cockiness fading away. “I know.”

“You know it’s Lily and yet you’re still willing to involve her in a ménage. I don’t give a shit how sexy she looks or how much she flirts with us, she’s still innocent.”

Justin considered his friend’s words. “I don’t think she’s as innocent as you believe. And even if she is, she was serious about taking a walk on the wild side, K. I figure she can do that with us or she can find a stranger or two—who might not be as careful with her as we would.”

“No.” Killian shook his head. “We’re not going there. Not with her.”

The adamant look on his friend’s face took him aback. “Why not?”

Killian frowned and dropped back down into his chair. “Jesus, Justin. You know, at some point you’re gonna have to face the fact that there are consequences to every action.”

Justin sat on the edge of his chair, Killian’s words running through him like sandpaper. “I don’t need a fucking sermon from you, K. I get enough of those from my father. I just don’t see why giving Lily a night to explore her fantasies would have any other consequences than we’d all get laid and be happy.”

“I don’t picture Lily as a one-night-stand kind of girl.”

“You heard her, Killian. You heard her say she wanted to have a little fun. Fine. We’ll lay it all out on the line for her. You can issue your gloom and doom and dire warnings and we’ll let her decide. She’s an adult. Regardless of who she was to us a decade ago, she’s changed. You’re protecting the memory of the shy girl she was. Why not try to get to know the woman she’s grown into?”

“Yeah.” Lily’s voice drifted down from above them. “Why not get to know me now?”

Justin looked up and wondered how much of their conversation she’d heard. He’d expected to see anger on her face, but instead she simply looked…beautiful. Christ. He tried to ignore the small voice in the back of his head that said he really was a heartless bastard.

She smiled serenely and took her seat between them again. “Still trying to protect me, Killian?”

Killian shrugged. “I’m not sure you know what you’re asking for, Lil.”

She looked at his friend, reaching over to take Killian’s large hand in her own. “I know exactly what I’m asking for, and I knew before I came here tonight that if there was the slightest chance of capturing your attention, I’d take it.” She glanced over her shoulder to include Justin in the “your”.

“God, K. I don’t think you understand how much I want to do this. I’m sick of coloring inside the lines all the time. I want to grab hold of this opportunity to be free and wild and uninhibited—for just one night. I don’t want to look back at my life in fifty years and realize I never did one daring thing. I’m tired of regrets.”

“If we do this—” Killian started.

She placed her finger over his lips. “When we do this,” she corrected.

“We call the shots. We decide what your limits are. If you can’t agree to that, then no deal.”

Justin fought the urge to contradict Killian’s threat. “We’ll give you what you want, Lily. We’ll take care of you.”

She ran a manicured hand through her long, dark hair, pushing it behind her shoulder, and his breath caught at the way the movement thrust her breasts forward. Where the hell had this Lily come from? Her every movement seemed to scream sex and seduction.

She’d been with him and Killian throughout their teen years and he’d always thought she was cute, but this woman? Holy crap. He’d never approached her sexually in high school because she was too sweet, too innocent, too…well, unavailable. She hadn’t been kidding about the ever-watchful eyes of her parents. To say they kept her under their thumb was an understatement. Plus, the younger Lily had given off some serious untouchable vibes, where this older, more mature Lily was sending up a beacon he’d have to be a blind man to miss.

“I can take care of myself.” Her voice was low, husky and sure, and Justin grimaced at the ever-growing tightness in his pants. Damn zipper was chafing his cock. This was the last time he went commando.

Killian sighed. “Yeah, well, I don’t know why you’re so sure we’re your ‘wild side’ guys. It’s been ten years, Lily. Don’t you think there’s a chance we’ve changed a bit?”

“I know we haven’t seen each other, but I’ve read your letters, your emails over the years. I think I know exactly what kind of men you are.” She ran her hands along her thighs nervously. “I’ve missed a lot of opportunities in my past and I regret that fact. I want to be someone different and I figure tonight could kick off my new future in style.” She thrust out her breasts and fluffed her hair, feigning sex appeal with her quirky sense of humor. “Besides, I bought this new outfit, got a fancy haircut, practiced walking in these damn heels—all just for you two.”

They laughed, but her words touched something inside Justin. If there was one thing he could understand, it was regrets. It was as if she could see inside his head. She was a good friend, but regardless of the fact she was dressed to kill, she was treading on unfamiliar ground.

Rather than acknowledge how much her comments touched him, he reverted to form and made a joke. “Jesus. Twenty-eight years old and you’re still doing your homework.”

Lily grinned, leaning forward and giving him an eyeful of her cleavage. “Do you have a problem with that?”

“Hell no,” he said, expelling a breath on the words.

“You know, it’s a far cry from us being friends to us being willing participants of a ménage. What makes you think Justin and I would go for something like that?”

Justin narrowed his eyes at Killian’s comment.

“I was your friend in high school,” she said. “And I’ve never been an idiot. I heard the rumors, the whispers of the other girls in the locker room.”

Justin leaned back for a moment and considered her answer. She’d heard about them. All these years, she’d known about their penchant for sharing.

Killian’s hand moved from the back of her chair to her face. He cupped the back of her head, forcing her to look at him.

“Haven’t you ever heard that expression, ‘Be careful what you wish for’?”

She offered them both a cute, gentle smile, her face artlessly pleading. “It’s just one wish, K, one night. Please.”

“Damn. Power look,” Killian muttered and his hand dropped to his lap.

She paused, obviously confused, but Justin understood exactly what his friend was talking about. She’d taken him down with that look too and he was pretty sure neither one of them was going to refuse her a damn thing tonight.

“Do you even know what you’re asking for?” Killian added.

She narrowed her eyes, annoyed. “I’m not thick, Killian. I know what I want to happen tonight.”

Justin leaned even closer. “Tell us. Put it in words.”

She grinned at his challenge and he was blown away by the daring woman facing him down. “Sex. You, me, K. Bed optional. As many positions as we can squeeze into the night.”

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