Nora Flite
Nora Flite
Nora Flite
Nora Flite

Never Kiss a Bad Boy: Holiday Bonus Story

 

Download the story HERE!

A Small Winter Moment

Marina

Snow fell through the air like bits of silvery lace. It cut along at a hard angle, drifting until it brushed my cheek. The shiver that went through me tickled my heart. Winter was cold, and bleak, and always grey.

An odd time for a wedding.

That Anabelle had chosen this month was her own business. Hell, none of us had even realized she was dating someone until the card arrived in our mail.

Thinking of the glittery, opalescent invitation as it perched between Jacob’s long fingers made me tremble. It had seemed so frail in his touch.

Are you chilly?” he asked me suddenly. The former hitman stood beside me in a charcoal colored pea-coat, his eyes matching the ice that coated the windows of the hotel in front of us.

When I looked up at him, I had the idea that he was trying to block the snow from falling on me. It was a sweet concept, even if it was impossible.

Twisting my hands in the scarf around my neck, I pulled it higher to hide my smile. It was hard not to feel flattered at how he worried about me. “It’s December, who wouldn’t be cold?”

A snowflake landed on my cheek. He reached down, brushing it away. “I’ll warm you up when we get inside.”

Any new snow that touched me melted instantly. Blushing, I darted my eyes out at the street. Kite was approaching with our suitcases, dragging them up the steps. I said, “Let me help.” Hurrying down to meet him, I grabbed one of the bags.

Kite lit up, his teeth shining like a beacon. “You didn’t need to wait for me, Marina. You could have gone into the lobby.”

I told her that,” Jacob said, grabbing the bag from me. “She insisted.”

Shoving my hands deep in my pockets, I avoided both their knowing looks. It was true they didn’t need me, Jacob was enough extra muscle to get the bags inside.

I wanted to help,” I said lamely.

Ever since that night on the bridge, I couldn’t bear the idea of them doing anything without me. Deep in my heart, I felt like I owed a debt I could never repay.

Clenching my fingers, I traced the faded scar. It had been close to a year since the fateful night these men had saved me. I’d expected to take my last breath, and instead, they’d filled my lungs with love.

My world had never been so happy.

They hoisted the luggage through the doors of the Ramada Inn. I followed behind, eager to escape the chill.

The lobby ceiling was vast, arching high above. Under the soles of my shiny boots, the rug spilled like lava. I spun in place, enjoying the tingles in my fingers as the warmth took over.

Jacob swayed to the front desk to retrieve our keys. The ceremony was in a mere hour, we’d cut it close by arriving so late. The sudden snow had made the drive slow, ponderous.

Come on,” Kite said, swiping a keycard from Jacob’s fingers when he came back to us. “Let’s get upstairs and unload.”

Fingering the zipper of my jacket, I trailed them into the elevator. “Can you really believe it?” I asked, pushing the button for our floor. “Anabelle, married? And how did no one know she was even engaged?”

She’s spontaneous,” Jacob said. He gave Kite a brief, pointed look. “She likeds her impulses, running off and doing what she pleases. I’m guessing this is no different.”

Did you see how small the guest list was?” Kite asked, ignoring Jacob’s squinted eyes. “This feels more like eloping.”

Crossing my arms, I inhaled. “It does feel frantic. But I’ve never planned a wedding, what do I know?”

They paused, eyeballing me up and down. I sensed something unsaid, a secret between them. I had no clue what it was all about, but I didn’t like their silence.

We reached our floor, and Jacob pushed the keycard into the room’s door, allowing us entry. “Oh!” I gasped, stepping inside with wide eyes. “This is amazing! How much did you pay for this, Jacob?”

Why do you assume he paid for it?” Kite asked, nudging his friend roughly. Dropping the bags, he came my way. His hand on my shoulder made me swallow. “Just because he throws it around doesn’t mean I don’t have money, too.”

Gripping Kite’s wrist, I shoved him playfully towards the giant bed. The blankets were gold and cerulean, opulent in color alone. Kite landed there softly, grinning so I could see all of his teeth.

Grabbing my hips, I laughed. “Fine, fine, thanks to both of you. It’s a really nice room.”

One side had a huge window, a perfect view of the courtyard below. Everything was coated in frost and pillowy white, it was picturesque.

Jacob followed me when I leaned into the bathroom, spotting the huge tub. No, more than a tub—it was a mini pool.

Is that a jacuzzi?” I blurted.

No, but it does have jets,” he said. Standing above me, he let his smirk show. “Maybe we’ll have to test it out tonight.”

I licked my lips; my tongue was very dry. “That sounds fun.” Fun isn’t the right word. More like, incredibly hot. Imagining the two men with me in the bubbling water was decadent.

Kite called out to us. “Come get your clothes, I can’t promise they aren’t wrinkled.”

Jacob’s little frown had me close to giggling. He said, “I’ll get the iron.”

It took almost half an hour for us to steam and smooth both suits and my own long, blue dress. By the time I was buttoning up the neckline of it, and fluffing my hair in the mirror, I was starting to get nervous.

Adjusting the shoulder straps, I said, “We’re cutting it close. Are you two almost done? I still have to do my hair, and…”

My sentence never ended. As I’d turned to lean into the main room, spotting Kite lounging in a chair, Jacob filled my vision. I startled at his serious eyes, and then again at the package in his hands.

Here,” he said softly. “This is for you.”

Baffled, I took the present and just… held it. “What?”

I helped pick it out,” Kite said, crossing a leg over his knee.

With my blood pumping, I gently peeled the wrapping away. In my hands, the shiny paper split to reveal a pile of soft, ivory fur.

It’s beautiful,” I breathed out. Lifting the shawl, I brushed it against my cheek. The material was like silk. I knew the fur wasn’t real—I’d have never accepted it otherwise—but whatever it was made from was luxurious.

I’m glad you like it,” Jacob said. His smile was wide, but the real joy was burning in his blue eyes. “You always seem so cold. I thought it might help.”

Kite uncrossed his legs, sitting up in his chair. “Spin around, let us see it.”

Chewing the corner of my lip, I did a quick little twirl. With my blue dress fluttering around my ankles and their eyes eating me up, I felt…

Stunning,” Jacob whispered, saying it for me.

I stumbled, facing him and preparing to say thanks. He swept across me, thumbs on my jaw. His mouth controlled mine, leading me deep into a kiss that had the sharp edge of teeth.

He always kissed like it was the last time we ever would.

I tilted away enough to speak. “It’s a little flashy, isn’t it? Shouldn’t I avoid trying to stand out when it’s Anabelle’s day?”

Against my lips, he chuckled. “You’re going to stand out no matter what you do.”

An arm came around my middle, pulling me away from Jacob. Kite wrapped me close, fingering the shawl, then brushing a knuckle down my throat. I was close enough to feel his warm breath. He said, “No matter what you wear, my eyes won’t stray off of you.”

Fuck, I was dizzy.

My belly slid into my knees. I didn’t have the strength to push Kite off of me; he tasted my lips, tongue curling over the roof of my mouth as he growled.

Fluttering my lashes, I managed to croak, “We don’t have time.”

His teeth dragged down my neck, nipping my collar bone. “Says who?” Kite asked.

Jacob spoke close to my ear. “Unfortunately, she’s right. We need to head down for the ceremony.”

With a defeated sigh, Kite gave me a final kiss, then released me. I was warm where he’d been. “Fine,” he said. His smirk was angled high. “I’ll take a rain check. Let’s get going.”

Straightening my dress, I wondered if I’d have to change my panties. I was soaked, and just from their kisses. “I need to finish getting ready. You guys go ahead.”

I could tell they didn’t like that idea.

Jacob coiled a finger in my hair, letting it bounce away. “You’re sure?”

You interrupted me with this gift.” I clutched the shawl, smiling. “I’ll be fast. Shut up and go already.”

Kite smoothed his hair, succeeding in messing it up further. The bastard managed to look even sexier like that. “I’ll see you down there. We’ll grab good seats for the show.”

The show,” Jacob said, pursing his lips. With one more longing stare at me, he twirled on his heel and opened the door. Together, they exited, Kite waving at me as he vanished.

I took a long, much need breath.

They didn’t need to get me this, I mused, petting the shawl. In the room’s mirror, I studied my reflection with a shy smile. I love it, though. I wonder if—

The knock that came at my door surprised me. “What did they come back for?” I asked the air, gripping the knob. I expected to see Kite, or Jacob, or both.

In the hallway stood someone entirely different.

Anabelle,” I gasped, looking the bartender up and down. She was glowing like fresh snow, her dress—her wedding dress—clinging to her and creating ski slopes. I imagined her soon to be husband must love riding her curves.

She cleared her throat. “Is Kite or Jacob in here?”

A tiny, hard shard of doubt stabbed at me. I’d always wondered about the relationship between her and the former hitmen. Don’t be jealous, I reminded myself.

I said, “No, it’s just me.”

Her face fell, defeat seeping into her pretty features. “Oh,” she mumbled, considering me almost nervously. “I was hoping for some help, and I didn’t… I mean, this wedding was put together so fast, and I didn’t even invite bridesmaids or anything, so I don’t have anyone to… well, to…”

Something was wrong. Very wrong. I could see it behind her sheepish smile. “What is it?” I asked, ushering her inside.

She shut the door behind her, making sure her long train didn’t get caught. “Marina, I don’t know what to do! I thought I could get into this dress by myself, I did the fitting alone and everything, and now—well, look!” Twisting, she showed me her back. “I can’t get the zipper up.”

I could see the teeth of the zipper were pulled taut, revealing her shoulder blades. The fringe of tears blooming in her eyes made the situation clear.

Her dress was too small.

Covering my mouth, I grimaced. “I… here, let me try.” I knew it was futile, but still, I reached out and tugged at the zipper. First gently, then more furiously. It didn’t budge.

The ceremony is in twenty minutes,” she whispered, facing me again. “I don’t know how it happened, and I don’t—what the hell do I do?

Sympathy flowed through my veins, making me act before I thought it over. “We can fix this,” I said, sounding more confident than I was. How the fuck do I fix this? I wasn’t a seamstress, and there was no time to find one.

Twisting around, I scanned the room frantically. Behind me, Anabelle was making tiny noises. She was acting nothing like the tough girl I knew. Was this what weddings did to people?

I’ll never have to worry about that, I thought suddenly.

It was an odd thought, but when it took hold, it did so with icy claws.

No hotel bookings, no invitations, no stressful dress fitting issues…

I’d be free of all of that as long as I stayed with Kite and Jacob.

But that’s fine, that’s… that’s just fine, I…

Fur tickled my cheek, reminding me I was still wearing the ivory shawl they had bought for me. With my mind in pieces, I started to tug at it, seeking some kind of comfort in this tight room full of panic.

And then, it clicked.

Wordlessly, I ripped the shawl off, holding it out to Anabelle. “This,” I said, unable to stop myself. “Use this.”

Her brows went up, wet eyes darting between me and the white cover-up. “It’s beautiful,” she said softly. Her hand brushed it, and I felt my heart twinge as she wrapped it around herself. It hid the zipper perfectly. “Where did you get it? I love it!”

So did I.

Smiling quick enough to hide my lament, I hurried to adjust it on her. “It doesn’t matter, but it’s exactly what you need. Hurry up, your groom is waiting.”

Anabelle flashed as if a spotlight was trained right on her. The hug she gave me was fierce, she’d returned to her old self. “Thank you, Marina. I mean it.” Holding me at a distance, she hesitated. “I never told you, but you’re good for them.”

My mouth made a funny shape. “What?”

With a wicked glint in her eyes, she shrugged. “I’ve never seen them so happy before. So… light. They always acted a little grim, like they were running from something at their heels. All that drinking, partying, and then you came along.”

I was at a loss for words. Heat swam up my throat, and I gave her a tiny push towards the door. “It’s not like that.” They were the ones that changed me. I couldn’t say it, so I just kept nudging her forward. “Go! I still need to get ready!”

Laughing, she twirled into the hall. “You look great, just go like that. Don’t change a thing.”

It was funny, but as I looked after her—those glowing cheeks, sparkling lips—I didn’t feel any more pains of loss. My shoulders were naked, my gift given away, but I felt richer than ever before.

I’m good for them?

Swelling with pride, I did exactly as she said; I changed nothing, heading out the door in the simple blue dress I’d been wearing.

****

Where were you?” Kite asked, the instant I scooted between him and Jacob.

Settling onto the chair, I gave them both a shy smile. “Small problem, but it’s fine now.”

Jacob crinkled his forehead, but before he spoke, the music began. I knew he wanted to ask me where the shawl was. I was grateful he couldn’t.

Besides…

He learned the answer moments later, when Anabelle descended down the aisle.

She was radiant, red roses in her hands and matching color on her lips. The bartender who I’d only ever seen slinging drinks, she now looked like she belonged in an ancient castle. She was a winter princess.

I wanted to be her.

Startled by my own realization, I shuffled in my seat. Jacob made a small sigh, making me peer up at him. His eyes were fixed on Anabelle, but not on her glory.

He was staring at the white shawl.

Flushing when he glanced down at me, I stared straight ahead. I was hot and prickly with guilt. I was sure he’d forgive me, though, once he heard the full story.

Anabelle finished her walk to the altar. The man she was marrying was waiting for her, his suit rich and crisply black. I knew his name was Mason from the invitation. He seemed nice enough, but it didn’t matter what I thought.

In Anabelle’s eyes, he was perfect.

I could feel the waves of love coming off of them. His gaze was liquid adoration, and she mirrored it. Her hands looped in his, and I knew they wanted to kiss before they exchanged vows.

Next to me, Kite squeezed my hand. I’d barely started to look at him when a set of fingers linked on my other side; Jacob.

They gripped me as if the world would dare try and yank me away from them. As if this was our last moment, a grand stand, and they’d make sure we stayed together till the very end of time.

What are they thinking? I wondered, my heart climbing up my throat. Are they imagining themselves up there… with me?

A jolt of fear and wonderment hit me so abruptly that I stopped breathing.

Once, I could never have imagined myself at the altar.

Certainly not with two men at the same time!

But now… sitting between Kite and Jacob, my amazing, loving, protective keepers…

I saw myself as a bride.

And I knew I could never have it.

****

The reception was in full swing. There weren’t many people, most of them from Mason’s side, but the hotel ballroom felt packed.

Anabelle had her dress bunched up around her hips, feet kicking as she laughed. Whatever part of her I’d seen earlier—the nervous, lamenting mood—it had erased away. She was ecstatic, and everyone could see it.

I was caught up in the excitement. Pus, a bit of alcohol had helped. Laughing, I spun between Jacob and Kite, the three of us smiling as I danced with glee. The energy was high, music thumping through my brain.

I was already sweating, but when Kite leaned in and whispered, “Follow us,” perspiration flowed down my spine.

Jacob grabbed my hand, guiding me from the ballroom. Behind us, the sound of cheering faded. And then it was gone entirely.

They tugged me into the elevator. Before I could ask where we were going, Jacob pounced. He shoved me against the mirrored wall, drowning me in kiss after kiss. His tongue swept around, erasing my brain with ease.

I was reminded of the first night we’d all spent together.

But there was no waiting this time. No subtle pretense.

These powerful men wanted to conquer me, and they didn’t care if someone saw it on camera later. They didn’t care who heard my moans, or who knew why I was screaming.

My cheek pressed onto the glass, breath fogging it. Kite pushed my wrist to the cool surface, nibbling the tender skin above my veins. I whimpered, feeling Jacob push my thighs apart so he could stand between.

His fingers cut into me, but I felt no pain. I was high on lust, lost on a cloud that dulled everything but pleasure. Jacob pushed his chest against mine. My nipples shoved through my dress, eager to be touched.

The doors dinged.

Together, they pulled me into the hallway. Kite grabbed my ass before we reached our door, burying his hands into my flesh and squeezing. “I fucking love your ass,” he growled. “Get inside so I can taste it.”

Someone must have opened the door, because through my haze, I realized we were in our room. Hands bent me, arching me so that my vision was full of dark eyes. Kite slid his tongue across my lower lip. Then he pushed his thumb inside.

I moaned as he pet my tongue, collecting saliva. My dress was bunched up, his hand slipping into the front of my panties. He didn’t need to wet his fingers when he brushed my clit, I was already slippery.

Jacob had vanished, I saw him returning seconds after the rush of water hit my eardrums. I knew we were heading into the bathroom, even before Kite started to guide me.

The marble room was steamy, the giant tub filling with water from multiple faucets. Bubbles sparkled, slick on the surface as they rose. The room was growing hot and humid; I was grateful when Kite slid my dress over my head.

In the air, my nipples hardened. Jacob took one look, then he scooped me into his arms and brought his lips to one breast. “Ah!” I gasped, bending into him as he suckled my sensitive nipple.

But the jolts of pleasure only increased; Kite moved next to the other man, licking my free nipple in slow circles. Together they made my thighs clench, my knees crumble.

Each time they tugged or nibbled, small bursts of pleasure would tickle my stomach. A thunderstorm burned through my body, my clit a lightning rod.

Get her in the water,” Kite said, breaking away.

Jacob glanced at me, giving my nipple a final suction. It was red and wet when he leaned away, his arms scooping me up. Easily, like I weighed nothing, he set me into the steaming water.

Kite captured my hips, forcing my ass back against the edge of the tub. Only the curve of my cheeks and the inverted-heart shape of my pussy and thigh-gap was visible to him. My skin was glistening, reflecting his hungry face back at him.

I gripped the other edge of the tub, looking back over my shoulder. Kite met my eyes, his smirk cutting as sharp as a knife.

Then he bent in, licking straight over my asshole. I gasped, scrabbling to keep hold on the porcelain. Kite lapped at me with gusto, twirling his tongue inwards, then low enough to stroke my cunt.

I was wagging my hips side to side, as if I was an animal in heat.

You love that, don’t you?” Jacob whispered in front of me.

I turned back, staring up at the perfect specimen of a man. His muscles were damp from the steam, hard as cement that had been left to dry for centuries. But nothing was harder than his cock, the length reaching for the sky.

He knelt down, sitting on the edge in front of me. My hands were busy keeping me from sinking in the water, I had no way to stop Jacob from slipping his cock between my lips.

Not that I would have.

He held my hair in a thick rope, forcing me to bob down on his length. He tasted salty, his scent making my eyes roll in my skull. Fuck, I could suck on him for hours, if he let me.

Kite Forced my ass cheeks further apart, then he swirled the tip of his finger over my tight entrance. Gently, he slid it inside, wiggling deeper and deeper. I groaned around Jacob’s cock, rocking my ass backwards until I felt Kite’s knuckle.

He fingered me, dipping in, then slowly sliding back out. Again, he stretched my asshole, making tiny circles along my hot walls. He filled me like that for a long while. The next time he tickled my skin, he inserted two fingers.

My pussy was dripping, my clit swollen and pulsing. Kite had a rhythm, and Jacob matched it, gliding over my tongue simultaneously. I was being plugged from both ends, and my brain was fogging from the flashes of muscle-tensing delight.

Rocking my hips, I started panting around Jacob’s thick shaft. Kite was plunging his fingers, stretching me out. Now, he leaned in, licking around my ass as he kept stuffing me with perfectly timed thrusts.

My ass hugged him, squeezing helplessly. When he reached beneath with his other hand to rub my clitoris, I made a muffled squeal.

Come for me,” Kite demanded, fingers exploring every inch of me. He stroked in faster, my muscles crushing, quaking around his presence. He was inside of me as deep as he could be, his tongue coating me intimately.

Jacob tugged my hair rougher, forcing past my gag reflex. Above me, he growled—and I shivered in response. My pussy was aching, empty and soaking. I was trembling with my need to come, and Kite’s hot mouth and curling fingers were getting me close.

Back and forth, he started to thumb my clit like he was the pendulum in a clock. Tick, he rubbed my clit. Tock, he stroked it again. On and on, Kite toyed with me, sensing my orgasm was cresting fast.

I tensed, a tremor starting up in my belly. The wave of pleasure crept down, impossible to stop—imminent. I couldn’t have held off from coming, Kite controlled that power.

And he demanded that I come.

Now.

With a throaty sob, I thrashed between them both. The orgasm was boiling, my ass clenching greedily to Kite’s still curling fingers. He teased my pussy, dipping along the cleft of my dripping lips.

Fuck,” he hushed. “That was beautiful.”

In my mouth, Jacob swelled. It caught me off guard, his warm seed flooding down my throat. He coated my mouth, every taste bud was made from him.

His fingers mashed in my scalp, holding my nose against the base of his cock. I couldn’t breathe, I could do nothing but swallow.

Finally, he ripped me off of him. My gasp was as loud as his.

Dammit, Marina,” he panted. His eyes were burning; was he angry? “I didn’t want to finish yet.”

Kite let me go, so I slid away from the tub’s edge, regaining my balance. Wiping my lips, I smirked at Jacob. “You’re mad at me for getting you off?”

Narrowing his eyes, he slid fully into the tub. The threat in his tone had my heart jumping. “I wanted to come inside of you.”

Backing up, I tried to keep my voice steady. “We don’t always get what we want.”

I do.”

I froze, ice in my belly and liquid sin still on my tongue. Jacob pushed up against me, our skin pressing suds between us. Around us, the marble room echoed with my raw moan. I had come once, but my thighs were rubbing together with my need for more.

Jacob kissed me, cupping my chin to keep me still. I wasn’t going to fight, but it excited me how he acted like I would. His possessive nature was intoxicating.

But Kite was just as demanding.

Hold up,” he said, pulling the rest of his clothes off. “Why do you get to go again when I haven’t gone once?”

Jacob bit my tongue, flicking the tip with his. Then he let go, the air between us as lonely as a void. “I’m not stopping you,” he said, glancing at Kite.

Standing straight, Kite ran a wet hand over his hair. “No, you fucking aren’t.”

It was so strange to hear them fighting over me. It wasn’t real fighting, but these two men acted like I was never enough for them.

I would have worried that I wasn’t…

But I knew better.

Jacob spun me sideways, opening me up to Kite. His hands forced my legs wide, lifting one of them up until it perched on the tub’s rim. I was exposed, vulnerable; especially when Kite bound my wrists to the small of my back.

He leaned in to drag his lips along my ear, dipping his tongue inside so that my mind became mush. “I’m going to fuck you now,” he whispered. “I’d ask if you’re ready, but I know you are.” Pointedly, he ran his fingers between my legs, feeling my slippery skin even with all the suds.

His cock rubbed along my ass, and inside, I tightened with the memory of his fingers. Pushing the plump head against my ring of muscle, Kite spread my arse in one precise stroke. “Fuck—fuck!” I stuttered, unable to form full sentences.

The tingles returned to my core. Each time he pumped into me, my pussy clenched sympathetically.

A hand touched mine; Jacob curled my fingers around his already hard prick. He was getting stiffer under my touch, and when I looked into his eyes, he breathed out like he was barely holding back.

His kiss blinded me, I was swept away under the tangle of his tongue. Without waiting for him to take the initiative, I pushed his cock inside of me.

Jacob thrilled; I felt it through his kiss. One hand squeezed my hip, finishing the thrust solidly. I was pinned between them, fully stuffed—pushed to my limits. But they’d shown me before that I could survive them.

I wasn’t scared.

I might never be scared again.

We rocked together, Kite fucking my ass and Jacob pistoning into my cunt like a man on a mission. I knew Jacob didn’t have a condom on. I knew it was dangerous.

But I… trusted him.

How could I not, after everything?

Kite clutched at my belly, shaking as his shaft thickened. His orgasm was calling to my own, as if he was capable of summoning my release. I breathed faster; so did he.

Jacob showed his teeth, grimacing as he fucked me harder. The water splashed, spilling over the tub and floors. A soap bubble burned my eye, but I was on fire everywhere else already.

Hold tight,” Kite growled. “I’m done, I’m going to fill your tight ass with my come. Do you want that? My hot, thick come deep inside of you?”

A ringing began in my ears. Distantly, I heard myself saying “Yes.” But then I was coming, and he was coming, and I didn’t know which way was up or down. My cells were hot, my skin slippery with seed and juice.

I didn’t have my hands, so I leaned into Jacob and moaned. My teeth grazed his shoulder, and on a whim, I bit down.

Fuck!” Jacob shouted, his neck arching away from me. The fury in his eyes was tempered by his desire. I was still clenching with aftershocks when he held me close, slamming hard—fast—and finally trembling with orgasm.

At the last second he yanked out, spilling his white semen over my belly. It mixed with the suds, vanishing. But I still felt it on my flesh, and I loved it.

I loved them.

Kite pulled free, grunting as he did so. I shuddered at feeling so empty, then emptier when Jacob broke away, too. Without them supporting me, I started to collapse.

My eyes closed; their arms caught me.

They carried me from the tub, but I didn’t know which of them did it. I did open my eyes enough to know it was Kite who rubbed me down with a towel, drying my skin and hair. In an exhausted tangle, I let them set me on the giant bed.

Under me, the gold and blue colors shined. I was reminded of riding across an ocean, or diving deep into the sea. Kite and Jacob… they made me feel like a rare pearl.

It was so warm, it was easy to forget that outside our walls, a snow storm raged.

Something cold slid over my skin. Blinking, I stared down at my hand as the overhead lights caught the edge of the smooth metal.

A ring.

It was twisted, two pieces that connected together to form a whole. Black onyx, metallic silver, and a stone on each; sapphire and emerald.

What is this?” I asked when I finally found my voice.

Jacob sat up, trailing his nails along my wrist until he touched my knuckles. “Something Kite and I have been wanting to do for a long while.”

Kite scooted closed to me, his hips brushing my lower back, his arm circling to hold my belly. When he whispered, it went straight into my brain. “Call it a future promise.”

A promise.

My eyeballs ached, dry and unblinking. I looked from their faces, to the ring, turning my hand slowly to study it. “You’re… you’re not asking me to…”

No,” Jacob said, cutting me off. “Marriage can’t happen. We all know that.” There was pain in his eyes, but it melted when he brought my fingers to his lips. They were warm, a gentle caress. “We don’t need marriage, though. What we have goes deeper.”

Kite held me tighter, nuzzling my temple. He reached around to trace the underside of my wrist. Both of them now held my hand. “Marina, you mean more to us than life itself. But not everyone can see our scars, or know our blood bond. With this… the world will see you belong to us. More than anything, I want every man to know that.”

I thought about the times Kite had scared off potential male suitors, and I grinned. Coiling my fingers, I gripped Jacob’s. Then, I pulled them both against me in the bed. We were a knot of limbs, our naked skin warm even without blankets.

I said, “You really mean all that. You think I belong to you.”

Jacob focused on me, his pupils as hard as black ice. “We know you do.”

Every muscle inside of me went slack and tight at the same time. It was a rush of pleasure, heat slicking my thighs and swelling my heart. I spoke before I thought about what I would say. “I am yours. Both of you. And… I love that. I love you.”

I kissed them both, switching back and forth and never wanting it to end. Let this be my life, a hot ball of lips and teeth and probing fingers.

Lying there under them, I turned my cheek—saw the ring again. It represented everything I had with these men. Precious stones, unbreakable metal… a love that was linked forever and wouldn’t end.

Maybe I couldn’t be a bride on paper. But in my heart, and to these men?

I’d always be their wife.