Secret Pleasure: Part 3

Secret Pleasure: Part 3

by Lora Leigh

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250125354
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 05/16/2017
Series: Bound Hearts Series , #13
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 120
Sales rank: 178,295
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

#1 New York Times bestseller, LORA LEIGH is the author of the Navy SEALS, the Breeds, the Elite Ops, the Callahans, the Bound Hearts, and the Nauti series.

#1 New York Times bestseller, LORA LEIGH is the author of the Navy SEALS, the Breeds, the Elite Ops, the Callahans, the Bound Hearts, and the Nauti series.


"Lora Leigh writes compelling, red-hot romance." --Sacramento Book Review

Read an Excerpt

Secret Pleasure: Part 3


By Lora Leigh

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2017 Lora Leigh
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-12535-4


CHAPTER 1

As Cook promised, dinner was absolutely fabulous, as the middle-aged chef was a magician when it came to food. Every meal he crafted was wonderful. The difference was how he came from the kitchen and babied her and made certain dessert was just how she liked it.

It was the laughter her father couldn't hold back, Landra's giggles, and her son Jeb's quiet smiles. The black-haired, green-eyed Jeb didn't smile much, and Alyssa was certain she sometimes saw the same kind of shadows in his eyes that lurked in her own when she looked in the mirror.

Cook had been with the family since Alyssa was a teenager. She knew his name was James, knew he could make pancakes so light they nearly floated and that Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without his turkey. And she would kill for his tiramisu.

He spoiled them like they were his own children and the smallest compliment to his food had smiles wreathing his rough face and pleasure filling his brown eyes.

"Cook, the tiramisu made me want to weep tears of joy," she sighed as he stepped into the dining room, his craggy, often stoic expression suddenly beaming in enjoyment.

"The next time you play with SUVs in the street, no more tiramisu for a month." He wagged his finger at her as her father turned her head, chuckling. "Your father has ten new gray hairs, he claims."

She turned her gaze on her father, eyes narrowed before giving Cook a gentle, innocent look. "Cook, you know how Daddy tells tales on me," she reminded him with mock sadness. "He's just jealous because you make the tiramisu special for me. You know how vindictive he can get." She wrinkled her nose in her father's direction.

Cook sighed heavily, the laughter in his eyes nearly causing her to spoil the act with an uncontrolled giggle. "Poor Miss Alyssa. He's always told such horrible tales too." Cook nodded. "I'm certain you don't climb on file cabinets or chairs, and certainly you would never attempt to rescue snarling dogs or pull terrified cats from trees, either."

Oh well. She couldn't lie about all of it.

"I'm certain he exaggerated each of those tales." She couldn't stop the grin. "I swear."

Shaking his finger at her, he laughed at her antics before returning to the kitchen.

Within moments steaming coffee and after-dinner mints arrived, signaling the conclusion of another of his tasty meals.

Once she'd enjoyed an after-dinner coffee and listened to her father and Jeb discuss stocks and politics for a half hour she was bored out of her mind and searching desperately for a reason to excuse herself from the table.

"Alyssa, dear, you look so very tired," Landra came to her rescue, causing her to blink and look up at the older woman with an apologetic smile. "It's been a stressful few days for you, hasn't it, dear?"

That was putting things a bit mildly, Alyssa thought with silent amusement.

"I think it's time I head back to my suite," Alyssa admitted, rising from her chair as Jeb moved quickly to help her.

"Jeb, be a dear and see Alyssa to her room," Landra told him firmly. "After two days of enforced rest by Nurse Shaw, her legs must be feeling a bit weak. We wouldn't want her to fall before making it to her room."

Alyssa stared at Landra warily.

"Of course, Mother," Jeb agreed softly, his gaze meeting Alyssa's with a little conspirator's wink.

What the hell was Landra up to?

Was she trying to get her son killed by playing matchmaker? Shane and Sebastian wouldn't stand for it and she should know that. Cousin or no cousin, they would never tolerate another man interfering with their seduction of her. Which was really kind of funny. Shane and Sebastian had no problem sharing her with each other, but Alyssa knew for a fact they'd never willingly let another man touch her.

"It's all good," Jeb murmured as he offered his elbow to her politely and said loud enough for Landra to hear, "Come along, little sister, let's get you safely to your bed."

Yeah, he was related to Shane and Sebastian, there was no doubt. But she took the proffered elbow with a little roll of her eyes.

"You like to live dangerously," she murmured as they left the dining room and headed up the hallway leading to the outer suites.

"Mother likes to shake things up a bit," he agreed with a low chuckle, though his hand remained where it was just beneath her upper arm. "I like to allow her the illusion that she's managing to do so. It keeps her from any real trouble."

He was handsome. His resemblance to Shane was slight; despite Jeb's dark hair, his looks were actually closer to Sebastian's. If Jeb had had lighter hair, she would have figured out they were related before her father began his relationship with Landra.

"It's rarely a good idea where Shane and Sebastian are concerned, to shake anything up," she pointed out. "She should know that. Putting her son in the line of fire could become a problem."

She would really hate to see him hurt.

"They've never been known for their jealousy," he assured her.

"Really?" She glanced up at him in amusement. "Just how well do you know your cousins, Jeb?"

"Well enough to know not to piss them off," he assured her. "We never spent a lot of time around each other, but when we did, it was an interesting visit. I've seen them in a lot of moods, but I've never seen them possessive of a woman."

Briefly she related the incident of them arriving as she talked to Gregory and the resulting confrontation. By the time she and Jeb reached the turn in the hall that led to her suite, he was actually laughing.

"I wouldn't have minded seeing that." He chuckled at the end of the tale. "Shane can be incredibly cutting when he wants to be. But, as I said, 'jealous' wasn't one of the descriptions I've heard applied to him before now."

The door to her suite opened and Shane stood in the doorway, his expression dark, his blue eyes narrowed on Alyssa's hand where it rested on his cousin's arm.

"I guess it's all according to how deeply I've grown attached," Shane drawled. "I can be a very jealous man, when the situation warrants it, Cousin."

Alyssa slid her hand from Jeb's arm, closed her eyes momentarily, then opened them and stared back at Shane. "There's a joke in there, right?" she asked, completely amazed that those words had just slipped past his lips.

"Is there a joke in there, Jeb?" Shane asked, though his gaze stayed on hers; the blue darkening, his expression seemed carved from stone.

"Not that I'm aware of," Jeb assured him, amusement still lingering in his voice. "Should I let Mom know you're here?" There was definitely an air of familial teasing in that question.

"That's up to your discretion," Shane answered, and there was no missing the heavy warning in his tone.

"Then I believe I'll be very discreet if you don't care." Jeb snorted at the warning. "Good night, Cousin." Turning, he nodded to Alyssa. "Little sister."

Little sister her ass.

"You and your family are giving me a headache," she announced, pushing past Shane and entering her bedroom.

She was definitely going to have to see about better locks on all her doors. Earlier, Sebastian had somehow managed to slip the lock between her office and her living room. Now the two of them were just making themselves at home in her bedroom. And no one had ever thought to ask if she gave a damn.

It was going to have to stop. They were making her crazy.

Stepping back, Shane lifted a brow and glanced over at Sebastian. His expression was knowing, brooding, as though to remind Shane that she'd become confrontational.

She wasn't just confrontational; she was burning with arousal. The feminine need made the gray of her eyes look stormy, gave the lightest flush to her creamy cheeks. The hunger made her irritable. The sensual, carnal need she refused to name or accept, the possession she was dying for, pushing for, gleamed in the very depths of her eyes.

And tonight, she would have it.

There would be no way to deal with the danger they were facing while this lay between them. While the hungers and the needs driving her, torturing her body and her senses, continued to rise inside her.

It was a rare woman who could match the sensual, overwhelming sex drive of one of the cousins, let alone both of them. And few women would be able to commit to owning both their hearts and sensual hungers. This woman more than owned them, though. She tempted them. She burned within them.

They'd realized that the night of Landra's Winter Ball eight years before. This woman was more than a match for them, for both of them and their erotic needs. Watching her become lost in her pleasure between them, feeling those fires flame brighter, hotter, when both of them touched her together, was like feeding the conflagration with gasoline.

"What are the two of you doing here?" As she turned to confront them, the gray in her eyes shifted, shades of it colliding like storm clouds gathering to rip across the skies.

The soft pale cream skirt flowed around her legs, falling nearly to her ankles, where strappy sandals graced her small feet and made her look incredibly delicate. A cream blouse, designed much like a vest, the buttons beginning low enough to show the tempting rise of her pretty breasts, reminded him how sensitive the peaks of those luscious mounds were.

Jeb had enjoyed the view throughout dinner, no doubt. He'd definitely been enjoying it when Shane opened the door, drawn by their laughter in the hall. Bastard. He could have sworn he'd taught Jeb better as a boy. He might well have to loosen a tooth or two with his fist again if the boy wasn't careful.

"I believe we're here to see you, siren," Sebastian stated, his voice smooth, as though the overriding hunger she was only stoking wasn't ready to burn out of control.

"Well, now you've seen me." Holding her hands out to her sides slightly, she threw them a hard, mocking look. "You can leave now."

Leave now?

Crossing his arms over his chest, he stared back at her with a smile.

He'd waited eight years. They'd never imagined how they would come back into her life; they'd just known they would. They hadn't imagined when they did have her back they'd have this challenge. A challenge that fired their blood as well as their lusts.

"Sweetheart, I think you're well aware that's not happening. Not tonight."

Alyssa was a very intuitive person; they'd always known that. And Shane knew damned good and well she was aware what the night would hold when he'd opened her bedroom door to the sound of her and Jeb's laughter in the hall.

His cousin had stated that his cousins had never been jealous men, and he was right. Until Alyssa, neither he nor Shane had been particularly jealous concerning their women. Protective, yes, but if another man attempted to draw a lover away they didn't fight for her. What would have been the point?

Until Alyssa.

"I can't deal with the two of you tonight." A hard, decisive shake of her head and she turned from them as though she actually expected them to obey the underlying demand to leave.

As Sebastian had related to him earlier, her attitude was one of a princess dismissing a peasant or, rather, one dismissing the stable boy she'd taken as her lover.

"Alyssa," Shane reproved her gently, "do you really think we're leaving so easily? You've indeed forgotten a lot if you've forgotten exactly how untamable and untrainable, we really are."

She turned back to them slowly and shot him a look from the corners of her eyes. What he saw there was all he needed to see. Pure, sensual purpose was reflected there along with sweet innocence and a hint of confused emotional responses.

Alyssa stared between them. From Sebastian's dark, brooding sensuality to Shane's determined lusts they were in some ways so very different yet in others so very alike. And when they were together their eroticism had a way of overwhelming the senses.

"What the two of you have in mind isn't happening, either," she informed them, praying they didn't know just how hard it was to force those words past her lips. "You've both had your little revisit to the past. But I simply can't afford what you'll do to what's left of my heart if this goes any further."

She'd fought too long, too hard, to get herself to a place where she could function without them. She'd given them so much of herself, so much of her heart and soul, that at times she'd hated them for the handicap being without them had given her.

"And you really think that excuse is going to see us out the door, siren?" Sebastian's voice was dark, smooth. It slid over her senses like the softest caress, yet the warning of power lay just beneath the surface.

"It's not an excuse, Sebastian," she assured him, watching him closely. For once, it was Shane who appeared relaxed and amused while Sebastian seemed ready to slip the leash of his control. It was clear neither of them wanted to listen to reason or any sense of logic. "I can't risk destroying myself further. There's just not enough left of me to risk losing any more."

Turning away to escape to the only sanctuary she had left, a shower she didn't need, Alyssa found herself swung around so suddenly she could only gasp.

Sebastian held her to his chest, the look of implacable determination hardening his expression.

"You did not suffer alone, Alyssa." The hard, ruthless snap in his voice was an indication of how thin his control was at the moment.

The loss of that control didn't frighten her, though; it excited her, infuriated her. Just as his statement left her astounded. She hadn't suffered alone? She had been alone. Neither of them had been with her. She had lost everything and had nothing, no one to turn to for comfort, for warmth.

"Didn't I, Sebastian? What do you call six years of not living? Six years of just drifting through life as though the only reason I existed was to love two men who couldn't be with me and couldn't be honest with me about the reasons why?" Struggling against him, she glared up at his set expression, his dark, tortured gaze. "The two of you made this decision for me."

"To protect you." Dark blond brows furrowed in a brooding frown.

"To protect me? You would have protected me far better if you had come to me and explained what the hell was going on." Pushing her fingers through her hair, she tried to fight the frustration she felt each time she tried to make sense of the past eight years. "I don't understand you," she gritted out, frustration raking at her nerves. "What gives you the right to do this to me, after all these years?"

"The same right you took when you made the choice to wait for us," he pointed out, the dark, latent anger throbbing in his voice. "Think about that, Alyssa. You can hate us for it all you need to, curse us until hell freezes over. But you knew, all these years you knew, we didn't choose to leave you. If you hadn't known that, if your heart hadn't known that, then you would have never waited for us."

"What did I know, Sebastian?" she cried, placing her hand over her heart, over the ache she'd known for as long as she'd been separated from them. "That I was alone? That something held me so locked inside myself that I didn't know how to escape?"

"You didn't want to escape," the whisper came from behind her, from Shane's lips at her ear, his hands settling on her shoulders. "No more than we wanted to escape you."

Those wicked, drugging lips trailed down her neck to her shoulder as his fingers pulled the material of her blouse aside.

"You weren't locked inside yourself, 'Lyssa. We were locked inside you. You were the only solace we could depend on. You were locked inside us. And you placed yourself there willingly when you gave us your heart." His voice, soft, low, had her stilling herself between them, her heart racing as the sensual, erotic tone mesmerized her. "Just as we placed ourselves in your keeping. You belong to us." Her eyelids drifted closed, her body melting between them. "And we belong to you. We have the deepest love that can be shared, sweetheart. It's soul bound."

Soul bound.

Would she have allowed it if she had known it was possible?

Her breath caught at the feel of the buttons of her blouse being undone, leaving the silent question unanswered.

"We were dying without you, siren," Sebastian whispered, his hands spreading the edges of her blouse apart with a slow, seductive move. As it caught at her shoulders Shane eased it over her shoulders, down her arms and away.

They were doing it to her again. Completely mesmerizing her with the pleasure erupting through her senses. And was she strong enough to fight it?


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Secret Pleasure: Part 3 by Lora Leigh. Copyright © 2017 Lora Leigh. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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