Karina woke slowly. She stretched and wiggled under the warm, heavy blanket and didn’t want to wake up. When she did open her eyes, she found herself in a strange bedroom.
The large room was beautifully decorated in shades of gold and red. The similarly toned wood furniture blended into the walls, making the room appear huge at first glance. A matching quilt covered her on the plush king-size bed, keeping her comfortably warm. It was the look she’d always wanted for her own room at home but had never gotten around to trying.
With that thought, memory came back to her and she realized this was the third bedroom in the cabin. The one she’d admired earlier. Or was it last night?
The room was lit by a small floor lamp on the far wall. It gave off enough light to let her see around, but it was most definitely night. So either she had slept only a short while or an entire day. Doubting she’d slept for over twenty-four hours, she decided it must still be Friday night.
She looked down at her hand and found it bandaged. It looked as though a professional had done it. Which is what Kent was. Even if he did work with animals now, being a veterinarian.
Shit. He’d given her a shot. Had he shot her with animal painkiller? If he had, she was going to kill the bastard.
She tried to sit up, but her head started to spin almost immediately. She remembered feeling dizzy and Justin taking her into his arms, but nothing after that. What the hell had happened?
The door opened, and in walked one of the men she’d been in love with for longer than she could recall.
Kent. It didn’t matter how many times she saw him or how tired she was when she did; her body always went into overdrive at the sight of his tall frame walking toward her. He was slim and built. He reminded her of a runner, but not a thin marathon runner. One of those sprinters with legs and a chest to die for. His green eyes usually sparkled with mischief, but tonight they seemed much more subdued. She thought his hair was too short, but if he let it get too long, the curls made him look like a male Shirley Temple. She could stare at him all day and never get bored.
Coming right behind him, Justin walked in and leaned against the doorjamb. He was wider of chest and a bit taller and just as yummy looking. His hair brushed his shoulders in waves that she itched to play with. She wanted him to come closer just so she could get a whiff of his cologne. The deep woodsy scent always made her think of wild nights around a ritual fire.
“You’re awake.” Kent walked toward her holding a tray in his hands with something that smelled delicious.
She opened her mouth to answer him, but nothing came out. She swallowed and tried again. “What did you shoot me up with? I can’t even think straight.”
“Nothing major. Just a little bit of painkiller and antibiotics. You’re so groggy because you haven’t eaten all day.” His voice grew hard. “And you always go weak at the sight of your own blood.”
He put the tray on the nightstand and helped her to sit up.
“I’m sorry, really, I am. I never intend --”
“That’s your problem, Karina; you never intend anything to happen.”
She flushed, heat rolling through her body at the sound of Justin’s voice. He flicked on the overhead light, and she blinked in the sudden brightness.
“Justin, stop being an asshole,” Kent said.
Karina looked at Kent with surprise. She’d never heard him sound so sharp. She looked between the two of them, narrowing her eyes. “What did I interrupt?”
Kent sighed and shook his head. “Nothing. Don’t worry about it.” He glared for a long moment at Justin before turning back to her. “We were just both worried about you. But you’re gonna be fine. Eat this and get some sleep. We can talk in the morning.”
She looked at her wrist and only then realized she wasn’t wearing her watch. Hell, she wasn’t wearing anything but her camisole and panties.
“Did you undress me?”
“No. That was me.” Justin did it again. Just a couple of words and already her body was heated and primed for him. If only he wanted more than friendship from her. Although at the look on his dark face right now, she was wondering if he even wanted friendship anymore.
“Justin made sure you were comfortable in bed while I cleaned up downstairs.” Kent smiled. “And tried to save the steaks.”
“Oh no. Were they ruined?” Karina felt her stomach drop at the thought of their ruined meal. That she’d caused.
“Yup. Burnt to a crisp.” His smile lit up his face despite his words. “Don’t worry. We made do with soup and sandwiches. Pretty much exactly what you’re having.”
Karina took that moment to really look at what they had prepared for her. Thick beef stew and a ham sandwich. Along with a bunch of crackers and a large glass of milk. Suddenly she felt all of ten again and living with her grandmother.
Tears popped into her eyes, and she had to blink them away.
Gods, what the guys must think of her. She came all the way up here to seduce them, and here she was, practically an invalid in bed.
“Eat up. Then get some rest. We’ll see you in the morning.”
“Is it okay if I come downstairs to eat?”
Kent and Justin looked at each other before Kent answered. “We have to go out for a bit.”
“You guys are leaving?”
“We have some things we have to do.”
“Things to do? It’s the middle of the night in the middle of the woods. What could you possibly --” Karina stopped herself. She had interrupted their vacation. They hadn’t invited her. They didn’t owe her any explanations. She put up a hand in apology and to hold off their response. “Sorry. Never mind. You guys just go do what you need to do. I’ll sit here and eat. And then get some sleep.”
Karina had to stop herself from saying anything at the looks on their faces. She knew they didn’t trust her not to snoop around. So to placate them, she reached for the tray and brought it over her lap. “Go, get. I’m sorry to be a pain. Have fun.”
To further convince them, she grabbed the sandwich and took a bite, shooing them out with her free hand. Kent bent down and kissed her on the forehead before following Justin out the door.
Karina continued to eat as she thought about what had just happened. What the hell was wrong with Justin? Usually he was calm and even tempered. Tonight he was like a cat that had been rubbed the wrong way.
And Kent was awful tense. She looked at her bandaged hand. Was it that? Had she hurt herself more than she’d thought? Or was it just the fact that she’d interrupted their time here at the cabin?
Every few months, they would come up here and do “guy stuff.” At least that’s what they called it. But they didn’t pack coolers full of beer, they didn’t bring back any hunting trophies, and neither of them was big into the typical macho crap that so many other men she knew were. So what the hell did they do up here alone?
The thought that maybe they were secretly gay had crossed her mind more than once, but that didn’t seem likely. They lived together, that was true. And they had for at least five years, but that was it. They each had their own bedrooms, and they’d had girlfriends. Plenty of them. Not that she’d kept track, but living next door to them in a duplex, it was hard to miss. Anyway, there would have been no reason to hide it. Plenty of their friends were openly gay, and neither would have had to hide it for work. Kent owned his own animal hospital, and Justin was a telecommuter for an insurance company across the country.
And the damn cookouts the guys threw always had more women than men. The two of them were magnets for the opposite sex. Herself included.
It wasn’t like she was a stalker or anything. The two men had actually started the friendship. They’d invited her over for a “welcome to the complex” cookout. And their friendship had grown from there.
Some weeks they spent more time at her place than they did their own. Other weeks the reverse was true. But the one place they never spent any time was where she wanted them most. In her bedroom. Or to be more exact, her bed.
She knew they were interested in her as more than a friend. She’d seen their erections when it was just the three of them. They were difficult to hide in swim trunks, after all. And she knew at the very least they were fond of her. They wouldn’t seek out her company so much if they weren’t. So why the hell hadn’t they done anything? Were they afraid of ruining a good friendship with her? Were they afraid it would affect their own friendship if she chose one and not the other?
Her major problem was she didn’t want one or the other. She wanted both.
That made her a sick, twisted pervert, but she couldn’t help herself. The thought of both of them making love to her at once had given her more fantasies than she could remember. In fact, they’d been the only fantasies she’d masturbated to for the last three years.
Damn men. Why couldn’t they be mean? Or ugly? Or stupid? No, they had to be sweet, gorgeous, gentle, and intelligent. At least most of the time.
No wonder she’d fallen in love with them long ago.
Well damn it, maybe she should have done it at home. Coming up here had been spur of the moment. She’d never expected this kind of reaction. They acted like they were hiding something from her, but if it wasn’t a secret affair, what was it?
She looked at her tray and realized she’d eaten everything on it and was feeling much better. Kent must have been right. Between the blood loss and the low blood sugar, she’d just been drained.
But now she had energy to burn.
The sound of the door closing downstairs pushed her into action. She jumped out of bed and watched out the window as the two of them headed into the woods. Wherever the hell they were going, it wasn’t with the SUV, which really piqued her interest.
Decision made, she turned around and grabbed her clothes lying on the bureau and quickly dressed.
She knew she’d promised to rest, but damn it, there was something wrong. They were not normally this quick to anger or secretive. The nosy neighbor and concerned friend in her couldn’t let it go. She needed to find out what was up.
As quietly as possible, despite the fact that she had seen both men leave, she snuck down the stairs and headed to the front door.
A quick glance at the mantel clock told her it wasn’t quite as late as she had thought, but it was still after ten. What the hell were the two of them doing going into the woods this late at night?
Whatever it was, she was going to find out.