Apparently he had more than a minute, based on the fact that the door to Luke’s room clicked shut, and Cole knew Sierra had likely disappeared into her own room. Gripping his hands into fists, his short nails digging into his palms, Cole stood in the center of his room and fought to breathe. It was something he’d grown used to over the years.


Ask anyone and they would tell you that Cole Ackerley was a calm, even gentle man. What they didn’t see was the fury that bubbled like acid deep in his gut. Those same people would tell you that Luke was the aggressive one, the one with the temper, the loose cannon that could go off in the blink of an eye. That’s where the two men were similar; however, Cole had spent years reining in that temper, burying the aggression and single handedly convincing everyone he was the gentle giant without a mean bone in his body.

Sometimes he wondered why he even bothered. Especially when it came to Luke. The man was dominant, he was aggressive. And Cole loved that about him. Yes… loved. Luke McCoy was the one man that Cole had given himself to whole heartedly. Without thought.

After that one night in October, Cole had accepted what Luke still made a conscious effort to deny. There was something between them, something that they could fulfill in one another that no other person, man or woman could satisfy.

He’d learned early on that he was bisexual, although he wasn’t all that fond of the term. In his opinion, there wasn’t a single term that would define the satisfaction to be found in another human being, when it came to intimate contact in any form.

As far as sex was concerned, Cole had never thought to set boundaries on himself or question his preferences. There were numerous women he’d enjoyed over the years, and a handful of men. Either way, Cole found satisfaction in the person, not their gender.

Which led him to Sierra and the way his body responded to her. From the moment he’d laid eyes on her at Club Destiny, Cole had accepted that she was the one woman who would likely change him forever. Did he believe in love at first sight? Not specifically. Does that mean it doesn’t exist? No. And Sierra Sellers was living proof because Cole had found himself fantasizing about the woman in more ways than one since that fateful day.

And now, Luke had gone and dismissed them both as though they weren’t worth the effort because he couldn’t maintain his control when he was around them. That’s how Cole knew there was something more between the three of them. Something more between Luke and Sierra and something more between Cole and Sierra. When another person has the ability to make you lose your mind in sheer, unadulterated bliss, they were worth pursuing.

Grabbing his cell phone and pacing toward the window that overlooked the strip, Cole dialed the familiar number.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” Those were the first words out of Cole’s mouth.

“Look, I’m catching a plane back to Dallas tonight. What happened…” Luke sounded calmer than he had earlier, but Cole knew he wasn’t thinking rationally.

“That’s fucked up, man.” Cole let out a frustrated breath, jamming his fingers through his hair. “How can you walk out on her like that?”

“It’s for the best.” Luke stated, followed by a few seconds of silence. “This isn’t what I want.”

Right. Cole had been down this road before. Luke could say the words all day long, but the only person who might believe them was him. Cole knew better. This was everything Luke wanted, but since the man didn’t have the power to control what was happening, he was going to run fast and hard.

“Keep telling yourself that, Luke. Maybe one day you’ll believe it.” Cole clicked the end button, tossing the phone on the bed to keep from heaving the damn thing at the wall. He felt the blood begin to pound in his head, every muscle going rigid, and he knew he had to calm down.

He wanted to go to Sierra, to check on her and make sure she was alright, but he needed some air first.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

An hour after she had come back to her room, Sierra had showered and put on her pajamas. At three o’clock in the morning, she knew she should be asleep, but she just couldn’t do it. Hell, she’d even tried lying down, but thoughts of Luke and what happened were scrambling her brain. Part of her wanted to know if he had come back or not. Her pride told her that it didn’t matter. What he had done was unforgivable.

One last ditch effort to get some rest had her filling a glass with water, downing it quickly, then heading back to the bed. Just as she pulled the blankets back, there was a knock on the door. Her traitorous heart started pounding harder, anxiety filling her chest like a helium balloon.

She stopped at the door, her hand resting on the knob, but she didn’t turn it. What would she say to Luke if he showed up now? She dared a glance through the privacy hole and saw Cole standing there, and she immediately opened the door.

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