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Authors: Cat Grant

EntangledTrio

BOOK: EntangledTrio
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Entangled Trio

 

 

Cat Grant

 

 

Renowned mezzo-soprano Colette DuPlessis is carrying on a torrid affair with her costar, handsome young tenor David Lewis. David wants Colette as more than just a short-term fling, but she must return home to Paris—and her husband, conductor Aleksandr Petrovsky.

Though she and Aleks have an open marriage, Colette vows never to see David again. But when her new costar cancels right before opening night, she has no choice but to suggest David as a replacement.

It doesn’t take long before Aleks notices the amazing chemistry sizzling between David and his wife—and realizes he’s attracted to the gorgeous young singer himself. He and Colette quickly make it their mission to seduce him.

The three of them explore the far reaches of pain and pleasure. But Colette and David both soon learn they must guard their hearts closely, or risk losing themselves within this entangled trio.

 

 

 

 

Ellora’s Cave Publishing

www.ellorascave.com

 

Entangled Trio

 

 

 

ISBN 9781419933301

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Entangled Trio Copyright © 2011 Cat Grant

 

 

 

Edited by Grace Bradley

 

Cover art by Syneca

 

 

 

Electronic book publication February 2011

 

 

 

The terms Romantica® and Quickies® are registered trademarks of Ellora’s Cave Publishing.

 

 

 

With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the publisher, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.® 1056 Home Avenue, Akron OH 44310-3502.

 

 

 

Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be scanned, uploaded or distributed via the Internet or any other means, electronic or print, without the publisher’s permission. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.  (http://www.fbi.gov/ipr/). Please purchase only authorized electronic or print editions and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted material. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

 

 

 

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.

 

 

 

 

Entangled Trio

 

 

Cat Grant

 

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgement

 

 

Many thanks to Lori Toland and Aleksandr Voinov, two of the best critique partners/cheerleaders an author could ever hope for.

 

 

 

 

 

Trademarks Acknowledgement

 

 

The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:

 

Bud: Anheuser-Busch, Incorporated

Lincoln Center: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.

Mercedes: Daimler Chrysler AG Corporation

Metropolitan Museum: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Opera: Metropolitan Opera Association

PBS: Public Broadcasting Service

R Guggenheim Museum: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (SRGF)

Steinway & Sons: Steinway, Inc.

Styrofoam: Dow Chemical Company

Time
: Time, Inc

Veuve Clicquot: Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

 

The warm water pouring down Colette’s skin felt like slick, decadent heaven after singing her heart out onstage for the past three hours. Moaning softly, she pushed her head under the spray and massaged her scalp with her fingertips. The heavy, itchy brunette wig she wore every performance never failed to give her a headache, but she couldn’t very well play Delilah, temptress of the Philistines, with blonde hair.

It didn’t take long before every muscle in her body went pleasantly limp. All she wanted right now was to slip on a silky nightgown and tumble into bed. Closing nights always left her exhausted. So much energy focused and channeled into one last performance, then the rush of taking that final bow as the audience jumped to their feet, cheering and shouting “Bravo!” And then the curtain came down, and it was all over. Six long weeks of rehearsals and performances, gone by in a flash.

A familiar hollow ache curled in Colette’s stomach. This was her least favorite part of closing nights—the inevitable emotional drop that made her want to curl up in a ball and cry. Ah, well, it would pass. A glass or two of champagne at the farewell party always lifted her spirits.

She was about to shut off the water and climb out when a muffled noise from her dressing room made her spin around and nearly lose her footing. Gripping the shower rail, she righted herself just as the bathroom door swung open. One look at the tall, slender figure standing on the other side of the foggy glass made her breath sail from her lungs. She knew who it had to be before he poked his head in the shower, but that didn’t stop her heart from thumping—in relief and more than a touch of exasperation.

“David? For God’s sake, are you insane? What possessed you to—”

His huge, white-toothed grin faded, but only a little. “Sorry. Thought you wouldn’t mind a surprise, seeing as it’s our last night and all. Don’t worry—nobody saw me come in.” He jerked his chin in her direction. “Want some company?”

He stood there in his robe and Act Three costume—a skimpy loincloth that left very little to the imagination. Not many tenors could pull off the brawny strong-man look, but luckily David Lewis was both young enough and fit enough to do the role of Samson justice. His gorgeous, sinewy arms and well-muscled torso had attracted as much notice as his beautiful voice. His adoring fans—of both sexes—mobbed the stage door after every performance, squealing and begging for autographs as if he were Mick Jagger.

The attention didn’t seem to faze him though. He merely laughed it off and refused to take it seriously, even when the opera house staff fawned over him like they did with all the lead singers. In fact, from the day they’d met six weeks ago at the start of rehearsals, David’s own attention had been focused squarely on her. She’d been both amazed and touched the first time he’d fetched her a scarf when her throat became chilled. Then a few days later, after a particularly strenuous run-through of the score, he’d brought her a cup of her favorite chamomile tea. He’d even added a dollop of the organic honey she adored so much. They had quiet, intimate dinners, long conversations about music, their favorite roles and the exciting cities they’d visited. He’d worshipped her with his eyes, treated her like the goddesses she portrayed onstage. It had been ages since anyone had pursued her like that, showering her with such sincere and unabashed adoration. She’d found it flattering—and incredibly arousing.

Even now, blood rushed into her cheeks and inspired a deep, moist itch between her thighs. Fortunately, he had just the cure for it. Nodding at David’s costume, she purred, “Get that ridiculous thing off and get in here.”

The robe was easy enough to discard, but the loincloth was another story. It wound around David’s waist and between his thighs, but he couldn’t seem to find where it unfastened. And judging from the rather impressive bulge in front, it appeared to be growing more uncomfortable by the second. “Shit!” he muttered. “I knew I should’ve paid closer attention when Martin wrapped me in it.”

“What are you waiting for? Just tear it off!”

“Are you kidding? He’ll kill me.” The San Francisco Opera’s wardrobe master was a crusty, formidable figure who didn’t take abuse of the company’s property lightly. Woe betide any singer who sent back a costume with so much as a loose button. Even stars like Domingo and Alagna feared his righteous wrath.

Watching him struggle with the stubborn scrap of cloth soon became frustrating—not to mention chilly. No point standing here in a draft. She shut off the water and grabbed a towel, wrapping it around herself as she stepped from the shower. David’s arms snaked around her waist, pulling her close, his lips fastening on that sensitive pulse point throbbing steadily in her throat. The musky scent of his perspiration filled her nostrils, making her head spin. She clung to him with a sigh, nails digging into his shoulders.

“You were amazing tonight,” he whispered in between kisses. “I’ve never heard you in better voice. And you looked so fiery and radiant in the last scene—”

“You should talk. You’re the one who literally brought the house down. Almost on top of me, in fact.” She held up her right wrist, where a stray chunk of broken plywood and Styrofoam painted to look like stone had scraped off a small patch of skin.

His pale blue eyes went wide. “God, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do that!”

“It’s just a scratch. Believe me, I’ve had worse. This isn’t the first time I’ve dodged falling scenery.” The concern lingering on his face caught at her heart, but she shrugged it off and coaxed him back down to her, hungry for his warm, wet mouth on her skin. It felt so delicious, she wanted it to go on forever…

Then she remembered she was flying home tomorrow. Home to Paris—and Aleks. Wouldn’t do to show up covered in another man’s love bites. “I know a better use for those beautiful lips of yours,” she murmured, sliding onto the edge of the cool white marble vanity. Her towel dropped to the floor.

The air was thick with steam, wispy, humid tendrils that turned David’s naturally wavy brown hair into a riot of springy curls. Still in his loincloth, he looked like a deliciously debauched Cupid, sans wings and bow. His gaze fastened on the thick, moist thatch between her thighs a split second before he knelt to bury his face there.

Grabbing a handful of hair, she ground herself against his mouth. He opened wide and sucked hard on her clit, sliding a finger deep inside her, working her G-spot in tandem with hot, moist flicks of his tongue. Every inch of her body now slick with fresh sweat, she rode his mouth and hand until she couldn’t hold back a moment longer. Head thrown back, she let out a soft cry and came right into his mouth.

David took his time licking her clean, then stood and leaned in to kiss her. Colette savored the bittersweet flavor of her own juices still clinging to his lips. It was nice being pleasured by a clean-shaven man for a change. Aleks’ beard always chafed when he went down on her.

“Another inspired performance,” she murmured. ”You’ve been waiting for this all evening, haven’t you?”

“Y-You know I have…” He sounded as if he’d just run a marathon—and was more than willing to do it all over again. Poor darling had given her relief, while taking none for himself. “God, Colette, I need you so bad—”

A soft rap on the bathroom door made them both jump. “Madame DuPlessis? Are you all right in there?”

It was Katie, her dresser. She’d gone to return Colette’s costume to the wardrobe department, but Colette had asked her to come back to help her dress for the party. But now, thanks to her impromptu romp with David, she needed another shower.

“I’ll be out in a few minutes,” Colette called, holding a finger to her lips to shush David. “I’m wearing the black gown in that garment bag hanging in the closet. Would you get it ready for me, please?”

“Of course, Madame.”

They held their collective breath until Katie’s footsteps faded away, then David whispered, “How the hell am I supposed to get out of here without her seeing me?”

“Wait until she and I both leave, then slip out. Take your time getting ready. We don’t want to show up at the party within five minutes of each other.”

“All right.” He sighed. “Although I don’t know who you think we’re fooling.”

“Do as I say,
mon cheri
. We need to be discreet.”

She climbed back in the shower for a quick rinse-off, then threw on her robe and wrapped her wet hair in a towel. David shot her the world’s most forlorn look as she blew him a quick kiss before stepping out into her dressing room. He really was quite sweet. They hadn’t even said their final goodbyes, and she already missed him.

It was a relatively spacious dressing room compared to the cramped backstage facilities at older opera houses like Covent Garden or La Scala. A small couch stood against the far wall, flanked by a black baby grand piano where she warmed up before every performance. She sat down at the nearby vanity table to dry her hair, then styled it in a simple chignon and put on fresh makeup. No need to be elaborate tonight, thank God. A light dusting of foundation and blush, a kiss of lipstick, a dash of mascara and she was done.

“I watched from the wings again tonight, Madame. It was your finest performance yet,” Katie said breathlessly. “I only hope I’m half as good if I ever get the chance to sing here.” She was a local conservatory student working at the opera for class credit and practical experience. Normally Colette appreciated her smiling face and boundless enthusiasm, but at times the latter proved a bit trying. With a pang, she realized Katie reminded her of herself twenty-odd years ago, a starry-eyed hopeful studying at the
conservatoire
in Montreal. Hard to believe now that she’d ever been so guileless and naïve.

“Remember to always sing from your heart. Audiences can tell when you’re not giving your best,” Colette replied, a soft shuffle and bump from the bathroom drawing her nervous glance. Fortunately, Katie was busy smoothing the wrinkles from Colette’s gown and didn’t seem to have noticed. Still, they needed to hurry up and get out of here so David could leave.

Pasting on a smile, she rose to let Katie help her into her gown. It was the simplest one she owned, a floor-length black silk sheath that looked equally stylish no matter which accessories she wore with it. Tonight she added a simple pearl choker, matching earrings and a pair of low-heeled, black suede pumps. The sable coat Aleks had given her for Christmas last year put an elegant final touch on her ensemble.

She gave herself a last appraising look in the mirror, hoping no one else could detect the weariness lurking behind her eyes. After over a decade of singing lead roles in major opera houses around the world, she should’ve been used to this awful exhaustion that always claimed her at the end of an engagement. While her love of performing remained as passionate as ever, these long separations from her husband had grown depressing and tiresome. Filling the lonely hours with brief dalliances helped, but only for the short term. It all felt so futile and empty, but what was her alternative? Give up the international career she’d worked so hard for and remain in Paris year-round? Aleks certainly wasn’t about to give up
his
career.

Katie gathered up Colette’s purse and makeup bag and followed her to the stage door, where a sleek black town car waited to whisk her away to the party. The foggy, bitter December chill had chased away all but a handful of intrepid admirers, holding out their programs and autograph books with hopeful smiles. Usually Colette relished any chance to play the diva, but tonight she didn’t have the energy to engage in idle chit-chat. She scribbled a few quick autographs, then gave the crowd a wave and sank gratefully into the limousine’s plush back seat.

The car glided ten blocks north along the wet, misty San Francisco streets. It would be snowing in Paris by now, and a twinge of homesickness reminded Colette of how much she missed it. Glancing out the window, she briefly considered asking the driver to take her back to her apartment. Her plane left at noon tomorrow, and she hadn’t finished packing. But it would be unconscionably rude to skip the party, and that was one facet of traditional diva behavior she refused to embrace. The opera world was small and insular, and no doubt she’d be working with some of these same people again quite soon. Wouldn’t do to gain a reputation as a haughty prima donna who was too good to break bread with her colleagues.

The car pulled up in front of a tiny, out-of-the-way bistro that looked vaguely familiar. It wasn’t until Colette walked through the front door that she realized she’d been here with David a couple of weeks earlier. It had a warm, welcoming atmosphere, but only about a dozen tables—and no sign of her party. Was she in the wrong place?

Fortunately, the host recognized her. He took her coat and ushered her down a long hallway that led to a private dining room near the kitchen. With a half-forced smile, she greeted her fellow cast members—except for David, who hadn’t arrived yet—Michel, the conductor, and a few of the orchestra musicians. There were about twenty people in all, gathered around a long table littered with half-empty wine bottles and the remains of several appetizers. She caught snatches of conversation in French, English, Italian, German, even a little Russian. Aleks had taught her some of his native tongue, though she was hardly fluent.

Heaving an inward sigh, she took the empty seat beside Nicholas Lytton, the British baritone who’d sung the role of the High Priest. He poured a glass of champagne and nudged it in her direction. “You look like you could use this, dear heart.”

BOOK: EntangledTrio
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