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Authors: Kate Watterson

Beautiful Triad

BOOK: Beautiful Triad
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BEAUTIFUL TRIAD

Sexual Studies 3

Kate Watterson

SIREN POLYAMOUR

Siren Publishing, Inc.

www.SirenPublishing.com

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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK

IMPRINT: Siren PolyAmour

BEAUTIFUL TRIAD

Copyright © 2009 by Kate Watterson

E-book ISBN: 1-60601-583-4

First E-book Publication: August 2009

Cover design by Jinger Heaston

All cover art and logo copyright © 2009 by Siren Publishing, Inc.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.

All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.

PUBLISHER

Siren Publishing, Inc.

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DEDICATION

For Karen and Aggie with thanks and affection

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BEAUTIFUL TRIAD

Sexual Studies 3

KATE WATTERSON

Copyright © 2009

Chapter One

The only thing to mark the drive was a discreet lip of asphalt off the winding road, and Drew missed it the first time. It wasn’t until they wound up on a loop back to the small county highway that they realized it.

It was fine with her, Lauren Hanes decided as she looked out the window at the late afternoon sun dappling the crowding trees and sending shadows across the hood of the car. The later they were, the less time they would spend on this vacation. Every lost minute was a reprieve. She’d actually been grateful for gridlocked traffic on the interstate for the first time in her life.

With a muttered expletive, Drew turned the car around on the narrow road and they headed back. “Rob said it was hard to see. I guess he was right.”

She glanced over. They been dating about six months now and she knew he was tense just by the set of his wide shoulders, probably from the five hour drive. In profile, his familiar features were clean cut, with a slight frown gathered between his fine brows, the sifted light through the forest coming in the window accenting the nice line of his lean jaw. Thick dark blond hair, always a little unruly, gave him a surfer boy look, as did the honed athletic body beneath the Purdue Ebook piracy is stealing. It is a federal offense.

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Beautiful Triad

7

University tee-shirt and tan shorts. Blue eyes the same color as the summer sky above the canopy of trees narrowed in concentration as they drove much slower back the way they had just come.

It was popular opinion Andrew Fletcher was very hot and she was a lucky girl.

She
was
a lucky girl. That was part of the problem. He wasn’t just attractive, but also intelligent and considerate...

Shake it off. Stop thinking about it and maybe it will go away.

“Is that it?” She pointed at gap in the trees. “There’s a mailbox.”

“It’s got to be. I guess when he said private, he meant it.” Drew carefully pulled his expensive sports car into the narrow lane, which immediately curved to the right through the woods. She had her first glimpse of the water, a sparkling peek as they slid around a corner. It was a half a mile at least before they spotted the cabin, and a few minutes later berthed the car next to a silver pickup truck also sporting Indiana plates.

Some cabin, Lauren thought with amused assessment, trying to ignore the knot in her stomach. The place was gorgeous, with a pitched brow front three stories high overlooking the lake, all glass windows and huge decks. The area around the structure had been carefully landscaped to look natural, but was free of the tangled shrubs and wild vines and instead planted with a variety of ferns that hung delicate lacy leaves over the pine needles. The effect was expensive rustic at its finest, but then again Rob had mentioned his uncle was filthy rich.

Drew switched off the engine, took a look at his watch, and gave her one of his hundred watt smiles. “What a place.”

“That’s an understatement.” She stared at the house, amazed.

“Only an hour and half late. I guess that’s not bad, but I’ll be glad to get out of this car. I’ll get the bags and you go on in.”

“No, I’ll help you.”

“It’s okay, I’ve got it.” He pushed a button and slid out to go around to the trunk.

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8

Kate Watterson

Since there really wasn’t much choice, she got out, too, and had to admit even though the very idea of this week made her uncomfortable, the air did smell fresh and clean, and the view to the lake was spectacular. Down a narrow path to the water, she could see a boat slip and the jut of the dock, and then a vista of deep blue water all framed in thick trees and not a soul in sight.

“It’s pretty.” The remark was a little inane, but she wasn’t at her finest, the hours in the car aside.

Not staring the week from hell in the face.

“Gorgeous.” Drew hefted both their bags and nodded at the steps up to the first level of the house. “But I’m going to have to admire the view later. After you, babe. I’m dying for a cold beer.”

Even as she turned to comply and started to go up, a tall man came out of one of the sets of French doors on the front lower deck.

Like Drew, he was dressed in an old comfortable tee-shirt and shorts, and a welcoming smile lit his face. “It’s about time. I was just about to call your cell and ask what the hell was going on. Come on in.”

The only things she carried were her purse and cosmetic bag, and Rob Hanson came forward politely and took them from her despite her protest. The antithesis of Drew in every way, except he was just as good looking, there was nothing boyish in his dramatic dark coloring; wavy black hair, ebony brows, and skin bronzed by a light summer tan. Even his lashes were thick and dark, framing eyes that were a startling gold-green hazel. His gaze flicked over her skirt and silk blouse, inappropriate for the wilderness surroundings, and she said defensively, “Drew picked me up from the office.”

“You look great, but you might want to change and just be comfortable. After all, we’re all on vacation. Let me show you to your room.” He didn’t bat an eye but turned to lead them into the house, the interior proving to be just as stunning as the outside. Vaulted ceilings went up three stories in the great room, and there were lofts above on two levels. A huge stone fireplace, scattered leather furniture in comfortable groupings, and an open state-of-the-art Ebook piracy is stealing. It is a federal offense.

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Beautiful Triad

9

kitchen did not really represent the fishing lodge he’d offered for their proposed and much discussed mutual vacation. Somehow she’d pictured pine walls and cots, not this luxury.

“This is awesome,” Drew commented as he followed with their luggage.

“Yeah, Uncle Jim is in some sort of technology group that scored big a couple of decades ago. He spends most of his time in Italy now, and this place sits empty. Not bad, huh? Up here. You have the master suite.”

He climbed up the first set of stairs. As she followed, Lauren felt a frisson of apprehension. She objected, “We can take a guest room.”

“Karen isn’t coming. I don’t need a room this size just for me.

You two can have it. Wait until you see it.”

What?

He turned around and she realized she said it out loud. Rob lifted his brows a fraction. “She had to cancel. I thought Drew told you. It’s just the three of us.”

* * * *

No, Drew hadn’t told her a damn thing, and the expression on her face spoke volumes to him. Lauren looked even more unhappy than she had the whole drive down through Kentucky and Tennessee, and though most people of his acquaintance would love a free vacation courtesy of a friend’s distant uncle with way too much money, she wasn’t exactly jumping for joy.

As long as she didn’t jump overboard on their relationship. That was his real worry.

“You don’t like her much anyway,” Drew said causally as he walked past her into the room. “I figured you’d be more relieved than anything.” It was true, and actually neither of them was very crazy about Rob’s latest girlfriend. She was shallow, something Lauren Ebook piracy is stealing. It is a federal offense.

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10

Kate Watterson

definitely was not. A little stubborn maybe…well, a
lot
stubborn at times, but not shallow.

“Drew!” Color flooded into her smooth cheeks. Looking mortified, she gave Rob an apologetic smile. “I’ve never said that, by the way.”

Rob didn’t look offended, his face impassive. “That’s all right. To tell you the truth, my heart didn’t exactly break when she told me she had to work on some emergency case that came up. We’re more off than we are on these days, and we were never that serious anyway.

This way, you can relax, read, swim, do whatever you want instead of hanging around with her. Fletcher and I plan to fish the day away and drink copious amounts of beer. No rules this week, just whatever anyone wants to do.”

BOOK: Beautiful Triad
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