Authors: Suzanne Thomas
Tags: #Menage Amour, #Menage a Quatre (m/m/m/f), #Menage a Quintet
ABOUT THE E-BOOK YOU HAVE PURCHASED:
Your non-refundable purchase of this e-book allows you to only ONE LEGAL copy for your own personal reading on your own personal computer or device.
You do not have resell or distribution rights without the prior written permission of both the publisher and the copyright owner of this book.
This book cannot be copied in any format, sold, or otherwise transferred from your computer to another through upload to a file sharing peer to peer program, for free or for a fee, or as a prize in any contest. Such action is illegal and in violation of the U.S. Copyright Law. Distribution of this e-book, in whole or in part, online, offline, in print or in any way or any other method currently known or yet to be invented, is forbidden. If you do not want this book anymore, you must delete it from your computer.
WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. 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."
If you find a Siren-BookStrand e-book being sold or shared illegally, please let us know at
IMPRINT: Ménage Amour
Copyright © 2010 by Suzanne Thomas
E-book ISBN: 1-60601-725-X
First E-book Publication: March 2010
Cover design by Jinger Heaston
All cover art and logo copyright © 2010 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.
Siren Publishing, Inc.
Regarding Ebook Piracy
If you have purchased this copy of
through BookStrand.com, Amazon, or their affiliates, thank you very much for your support.
Like each of you who are reading this book, I too love to read. When books are pirated and sold or given away on black markets, it hurts the author’s livelihood. If authors can’t earn a living from their hard work, then they have to stop writing. Then we will no longer be able to enjoy books from some of our favorite authors.
Please take that in to consideration if you’re offered this book without paying for a copy through BookStrand.com and their legitimate affiliates.
With deep gratitude,
To my mom for telling me to follow my dream.
The slow procession of wagons finally stopped just at the edge of the little town called Dolton, Colorado, as the sign proclaimed in painstakingly chiseled wording. Where they stopped, the entrance—or exit if one were coming from the opposite direction—was within walking distance. They normally didn’t stop so close to a town, so the convenience was appreciated by the weary travelers. The different families set about making a temporary camp as women and men milled about in apathy and exhaustion. Haggard faces and skeletal frames depicted a hard crossing. Children did not run around screaming and playing like normal, but followed their elders around in a sort of comatose state.
Some of the men wandered into town but most didn’t have the energy and stayed with the women to set up. The wagon master walked up and down the train to talk to people, making sure everything was handled. No one noticed the small woman sneak into town along the backside of the wagons. The alley between two buildings was right next to the end wagon and very easy to miss if someone wanted not to be seen.
Alice furtively glanced over her shoulder to make sure no one saw her. This would be the eighth town that she had tried and not a single honorable position was available in any of the previous seven towns. She thought she was ill-fated. The merchants she asked had suggested a couple of occupations that she had no interest in, and if that was the case, all she had to do was say yes to the wagon master’s suggestion, which was why she was trying so hard to find work anywhere away from him and the men on the train.
She plastered herself against the side of the building, feeling the wooden slats dig into her spine as she watched one of the men in question go through the saloon doors. She definitely didn’t want to go in that direction. Peeking around the corner, she slipped into the group of people walking by to get her wits together. She would try the mercantile first. She would go in, be confident, and tell the owner that she was experienced and reliable. She would list all her good qualities. She had done this many times, so it would be easy, she thought to herself.
The entire way there, she tried to build her confidence. The problem was she was nervous and afraid because the alternative was horrible. She missed her father desperately. Being alone was not something she had ever envisioned. She thought by now she and her father would be set up in one of these towns and their own shingle put out doing business. To lose him so suddenly had been a shock that lasted hundreds of miles. She had existed in a haze of sorrow. Thankfully, the conversation she had overheard had snapped her out of her mourning.
She still couldn’t believe the audacity Mr. Taylor had in offering her to the other men. He made it sound like she would be thankful for their protection. Oh, he would be expecting her to accommodate him as well, but she would be able to choose among the others.
Some proposition, she thought in a huff. She’ll accommodate him, all right, with her foot on his butt.
The jingle of the door announced her entrance. She smiled at the man behind the counter and ambled on down the aisles. She was a little dismayed at the stores smallness, not enough work for one person, let alone two. She looked at the merchandise on sale, seeing the variety. She saw many tools for mining and trapping. The jingle from the door singled new arrivals, so she changed her direction and went to the back wall. The different candy jars pulled her toward them. She saw peppermint sticks and lemon drops as well as her favorite, honey drops. She picked up the lid to inhale the sweet smell.
“May I help you, miss?” asked the man who was behind the counter, startling her. She jumped a little before gently replacing the lid, not wanting to break the darn thing before asking for a job.
“Yes, sir, I was wondering if you had a position of employment open. I am experienced in clerking, and I am hard worker,” she said softly.
The man shook his head. “I am sorry, miss, but my wife and I run this store, and we don’t need any help. If you had come at the beginning of summer, I might have hired you temporarily.”
“Do you happen to know of anyone in town hiring right now?” she asked.
“I think Harry’s had a sign up a couple of days ago, but I haven’t been down there to see if it was still there. Harry’s is the cookhouse about ten buildings on your right. Walk out of here and turn left,” he said as he was called away by a customer.
She walked out and followed the directions. She made sure that none of the train’s passengers saw her as she walked along the boardwalk. She saw a dog hiding under the walkway in front of her. She could hear the growl from where she was. Well that would top her day, she thought as she envisioned the bite those teeth could inflict. She slowed down, let the men behind her go first, and followed quickly. She heard a yelp in front of her, along with a curse that was muffled. A man turned a reddened face to her and apologized. She smiled demurely and lifted her skirt to sidestep him.
She muffled a giggle so the gentleman wouldn’t hear. The nice thing to do would have been to thank him for taking the bite. Her father would have laughed with her, she thought sadly. He would have probably done the same thing. She stifled another giggle. She missed him.
The only sign she saw was a small plaque that said Harry’s. No help sign, she thought in despair. Oh well, she should try anyway. She paused to straighten her dress before stepping through the doors.
Harry turned out to be a rotund little man in the filthiest apron she ever had the misfortune to see. His personality, she found, was just as vile. If one more of these Neanderthals suggested she try the local brothel, she was going to be spending time at the local jail because she was going to kill him.
The bustle of the small town flowed around him as he stood breathing deeply. His senses filled with an overwhelming musk. His whole body absorbed the elusive scent, eliminating everything else. He didn’t smell the dung and filth of the streets that usually permeated the air. He centered his focus on finding the direction of the smell. He let it flood his nostrils as he followed it.
When he entered the general store, he clenched his fists as his cock hardened. He knew she had been here recently. The whole store permeated with her intoxicating scent, telling him she had spent some time here. The small store had merchandise packed on top of merchandise. He went up and down the aisles as he tried to follow her progress. The strongest scent, he found by the candy section while it lingered over the jars. He smiled as he took in the seductive aroma near the honey drops. He scooped up the jar, took it the counter, and purchased the entire contents. He had the clerk package it and leave it there so he could pick it up later.
He stepped out onto the boardwalk and trailed his mate to the next stop. He paused briefly from his pursuit, held back by a furious growl. He looked down as a dog came out from under the lip of the walkway and went to bite him. He felt himself growl low in his throat, causing the dog to stop and cower. The ragged mongrel took one sniff of the man, turned tail, and ran yelping. He didn’t miss a step as he went on.
His mate’s scent mixed with the smell of food as he stopped before entering the door. He went into the chow hall and watched the hustle of the workers and the men eating at different tables. Only a few women sat with the men, and, as he crossed the floor, none of them possessed that aroma he looked for.
“Steak and eggs or hasher and eggs?” asked the little man in a dirty apron.
“I’m looking for the woman who was here a couple of minutes ago. Did you see where she happened to go?”
“The only woman that could be was here looking for a job. I sent her away, as I have all the help I need. I suggested, with her looks, that she should go over to the whorehouse and she would be hired in a second.” The little man looked up and choked on his laughter. He visibly trembled and took several steps back before pointing in a direction.
Brand felt the rage that consumed him, and it almost made him shift right then and there. Only years of control helped him overcome the urge. He slammed the door with enough force to shake the entire building.
He walked along the edge of the boardwalk as he tried to get himself under control. He almost missed the exchange of words that made him freeze.
“Did you see that little morsel asking for a job over at Harry’s? I wouldn’t mind offering her a job.” The man gave a dirty laugh to his friend. “I just saw her go into the Landmark hotel, and I’m going over there to see if I can do a little persuading.”
When Brand heard that, he changed directions and headed to the closest hotel. His ground-eating gait quickly had him walking into the lobby. He stopped short as her fragrance flooded his senses, causing his cock to swell in excitement. The low growl, barely audible, made the man standing next to him sidle away as quickly as possible.
“I can work in any part of the hotel, sir,” she said to the man shaking his head sadly.
She apparently had been talking to him awhile, as the number of customers lined up behind her fidgeted. The man placed his attention on the next person in line, clearly stating that he was done with the conversation.
She turned dejectedly from the counter. He could see tears shining in her eyes as she hurried out the door. She passed right by him, overflowing his senses with her essence. He took a deep breath to fill his nostrils with her. He turned and followed.
She stopped a little ways away and leaned against the building. She lifted a hand to wipe angrily at the tears flowing freely down her cheeks. He turned as rapid footsteps came up behind him. Seeing the man who had made the comment about offering her a position, he reached out and grabbed him and pulled him up by his shirtfront. He growled low in his throat right in front of the man’s face.
“Touch her and you are dead,” he rumbled out in a low voice so as to not disturb his mate.
The man gasped and paled as he took in the size and obvious strength of the giant who held him. He gave the woman a look of remorse and nodded his head in agreement. He was roughly deposited back on his feet to scurry away as fast as he had come.
The woman in question didn’t even notice as she continued down the boardwalk. She also didn’t notice the number of times that he had to fend off would-be assailants who took her for prey.
He finally had enough and walked to intercept her next entry to an establishment.
“Excuse me, miss. My name is Brand Dupries, and I couldn’t help but overhear that you were looking for a job. I happen to be in town to find a housekeeper for my ranch. My brothers and I are in dire straits, as our last housekeeper married and left,” he lied without care.
The tension mounted as he waited for her answer. Her hands visibly shook, and the blush on her beautiful cheeks stood out on her pale face. Her hair, the color of a wheat field, hugged her head in a wraparound braid. Her ample breasts moved with every breath she took, and it required all his strength not to stare. Her small waist accentuated full hips. His palms itched to hold her plump ass in them.
She was unbelievably beautiful, and she belonged to him and his brothers. He understood that if she didn’t agree to willingly go with him that he would take that decision away from her with little to no qualms.