Holly didn’t miss the suspicious stares of Adam and Ethan when she reappeared in the kitchen at lunchtime. The questioning glances turned to scowls when Ryan strode in behind her, a satisfied smile curving his lips.
They continued to frown at him for the entire meal until finally Ryan excused himself, mumbling something about checking the horses. Holly smiled and looked down so the others wouldn’t see her reaction.
“I’m going to go take a shower,” Ethan muttered as he put away his plate.
Adam continued to pick at his food, staring over at Holly every once in a while. She waited until Ethan had been gone for a few minutes before casually putting away her own plate.
She avoided Adam’s stare and headed toward the bathroom.
The mirrors weren’t fogged when she slipped in. The sound of the shower echoed in the large bathroom, and she could feel the chill from the spray clear across the room. She suppressed a chuckle. A cold shower wouldn’t do Ethan any good once he stepped out and found her naked and waiting.
r /> She shimmied out of her clothing and tossed the pants and shirt aside. The water turned off then Ethan stepped out of the shower, reaching for a towel on the rack. He still hadn’t seen her, and she capitalized on the surprise angle.
Noiselessly, she closed the distance between them and reached her hand out to caress his ass. He tensed as her arm snaked around his hips, dipping to his groin.
His cock swelled in her hand, and she smiled.
He groaned softly. “You’re not playing fair, doll.”
She pressed a kiss to the center of his back, nibbling a path up his spine. “Neither are you.”
He shuddered against her lips then turned around to face her, holding the towel over his groin. He cupped her face with one hand and bent to kiss her. She knew it for what it was. A brush-off.
To hell with that.
She yanked the towel away and cupped his erection in her hands, boldly sliding her fingers over the length.
She leveled a stern look at him. “I’ll give you the same two choices I offered Ryan. You can give in like a good boy or suffer the wrath of a hormonal pregnant woman.”
He sucked in his breath and held it then let it out with a curse. “I knew that asshole caved.”
She grinned wickedly. “Just like you’re going to.”
He arched an eyebrow then his expression softened. “Doll, I don’t want to hurt you or our baby. You’re tired. Worn out. No way I’m placing more demands on you. I can wait.”
She rose up on tiptoe and kissed him. “But I can’t.”
He stared down at her, indecision wrinkling his brow. Then she went for the kill.
He closed his eyes, and she knew she’d won. Manipulative? Probably. But she wasn’t going to waste time feeling guilty when the three of them were harboring misplaced fears about hurting her.
He pulled her into his arms, kissing her deeply. She moaned as she melted into his body. She needed this. Wanted it. Craved it.
“I’m not fucking you on the bathroom counter again,” he muttered as he gently picked her up.
She giggled as he carried her into the bedroom.
* * *
Holly stepped outside the kitchen door and closed her eyes as the breeze blew over her. She felt invigorated. The fatigue that had hung so heavy over her in the last weeks had dissipated and in its stead, a refreshed energy had taken hold. She felt lighter, freer, and she’d slept wonderfully the past two nights after she’d waylaid Ryan and Ethan.
Adam…well, he was another story. He’d avoided her for the last two days. If she wasn’t so certain as to why, it would have hurt her feelings, but she knew why he was running. But he couldn’t hide from her forever.
She found him in the barn mucking one of the stalls. She stood watching him, his shirt off, muscles bulging as he worked.