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Secondhand Smoke (Dartmoor Book 4) by Lauren Gilley (1)


One

“I’m pregnant. And it’s yours.”

              A weapon of mass destruction, comprised of five words, and a vicious stare. It struck him at impossible speed, blindsided him, exploded in his brain and left behind a mushroom cloud – and nothing else. No protest, no question, no conscious thought.

              He didn’t remember leaving Briar Hall; had no idea how he’d ended up on the curb in front of Leroy’s Gas ‘n’ Grocery. He was staring at his boots, and he had a bottle of Jack Daniels Honey in his hand. He tipped it up, pressed his lips to the sticky mouth of the bottle and opened his throat, let it burn a hole down into his belly.

              The night in the garage – that’s when it must have happened. She’d been feral, wicked, and he’d been too caught up in hating her and wishing she’d been worth something more than sex. They hadn’t been careful.

              But did he believe her?

              The whiskey tasted hideous, but he relished the way it clouded his veins, filled his head with a heavy dullness that eased the sharpness of his fury.

              Pregnant. And it was his.

              He’d never wanted anything less.

 

~*~

 

Too much to drink with dinner. Blood moving through his brain in sluggish pulses, a deep gong counterpoint to the throb of the music. A lazy night in the empty clubhouse, filled with the slow simmering promise of only the three of them.

Just not the three Jasmine had originally requested.

Tango and Carter left Briar Hall and headed to the clubhouse, not entirely sure if Aidan intended to take his bitch princess back to their place, and not wanting to tempt fate for even the slightest possibility. The couple had been talking on Walsh’s porch, the last Tango had seen.

They grabbed beers they didn’t need and settled in on one of the long couches, in front of flickering, mindless late night TV.

              A throat clearing. A feminine sound.

Jasmine appeared, goddess-like, hair cascading down around her face, dressed in nothing but her smooth tan skin and one of Tango’s old shirts, the buttons only half-fastened, a tempting wedge of skin visible down the middle.

“Well hey, boys.”

“Hey, baby,” Tango greeted, warmth blooming in his chest, face lifting in a tired smile. The sight of her never failed to shoot sex through his veins, kindle heat deep in his belly. His eyes tracked the sway of her hips as she crossed the room to get to him. His skin prickled as she lowered onto the couch beside him. Between them. Smelling of flowers and sun-dried laundry.

“Where’ve y’all been?” she asked, and reached to tidy his hair. Light touches, scrape of her nails against his scalp.

“Dinner at Walsh’s place,” Carter answered, before Tango could.

“He lives on a farm now, doesn’t he?”

“Not much like any farm I’ve ever seen,” Carter said with a snort. “The horses live better than I do.”

“His old lady have money or something?”

“Nope.”

“Hmm.”

Meaningless words; beneath their flat innocence, Tango could feel the buzz of restless energy. Jazz wasn’t looking for a conversation, she never was. The air around her crackled with sex, and when her eyes slid over to him, he saw the mischievous spark in their depths.

She bit her lip in a flash of girlish excitement, and asked him a silent question.

He didn’t say yes.

But he didn’t say no.

She winked at him, and he knew it was off to the races.

“What a lucky girl I am,” Jasmine said, and reached to trace a fingertip along the shell of Carter’s ear. “Sitting here with two blonde boys.”

              Carter stiffened all over; his shoulders tightened up. His head turned slowly, fractionally, gaze fixed on Jasmine with surprise…and wonder. A little wonder. Had this been a non-club woman, he probably wouldn’t have thought anything of her statement. But he knew Jazz at this point, the way her dirty mind worked.

              Jasmine smiled at him. “You don’t have a little girlfriend stashed somewhere, do you?” Her voice dropped with every word, that purring seductive tone Tango had heard so many times. He knew she wasn’t exclusive with him, but he never saw her turn the charm toward someone else right in front of him. It sent a jolt through his system. His cock stirred behind his fly, and his stomach clenched.

              “No,” Carter said slowly, and his blue eyes came to Tango. What the hell? they asked.

              Tango shrugged and took a long pull on his beer.

              “Aw.” Jasmine gave a pretend pout. “That’s too bad.” She grinned. “For the girls. Not for me.”

              Her hand slid down the side of Carter’s neck, flirted with the collar of his cut, his t-shirt. Opened against his chest and smoothed down. Slowly. Across his stomach. Landing in his lap.

              Carter jerked a little, sucked in a breath. He looked at Tango again, his gaze almost frantic.

              “What’s the matter, baby?” Jasmine asked, voice gentle, deep. “You ever done this before?”

              His eyes were big, a little frenzied, chest lifting as he breathed. He was aroused – that much was evident by the bulge Jasmine was rubbing through his jeans. But he wasn’t sure if this was against protocol. A good kid, Carter – always conscientious.

              “I’ve done it plenty,” he said, voice tight, and looked like he strained not to lift into her touch. “It’s just that…” Another look thrown Tango’s direction. Help me here, man. This is your woman.

              Jasmine turned to glance at Tango, and grinned before putting her attention back on Carter. “Oh, you’re worried? Don’t be, baby. Lemme tell you something about our pretty Tango-baby. He promised he’d get me a present.” Her hand continued to rub at the boy’s straining erection, working him with slow skill over the fly of his jeans.

              “Yeah?” he asked distractedly, eyes going to her ministrations. “What sorta present?”

              She reached for the button of his jeans. Thumbed it open with deft precision. “He promised he’d talk to Aidan for me. About the three of us.” The sound of the zipper going down seemed thunderous to Tango. Or maybe that was just all the beer. Or maybe the way the blood was pounding. “The three of us together,” Jazz continued. “But he hasn’t done it yet.”

              She pulled Carter’s cock out, took it in both her hands. “Maybe,” she purred, “it’s just as well. ‘Cause then we wouldn’t be sitting here with you.”

              Tango watched, as if in a drugged hallucination, as Jasmine got up onto the couch on her knees between them, her back to him, and bent forward, leaned low. Took Carter’s stiff cock into her mouth.

              Carter’s head kicked back against the sofa and he inhaled deeply, nostrils flaring.

              Tango knew just what her mouth felt like, could relate perfectly to that rush of sensation.

              She reached back with one hand and hiked her shirt up, exposing the firm curves of her ass. She was naked, of course, and Tango knew what she wanted.

              He reached between her legs, found her damp sex and stroked her.

              Years ago, when he was just a kid, before Jasmine, there had been Misty. And it had been her, and him, and Aidan in that dorm room, the night of Aidan’s deflowering, and that woman had been wicked and insatiable, and she’d wanted both of them. That’s how it went with these groupies, didn’t it? They did everything, had everyone, and eventually, none of it was enough. He’d thought – stupidly – that maybe he and Jazz could be something more for each other. That she’d stop seeking out the others, stop needing that reckless high of the forbidden.

              But she couldn’t change. And neither could he; after all, he was just a sex toy. That’s all he’d ever be.

              Jasmine sat up with a slow slurping sound, rubbing her damp lips together, eyes heavy-lidded and gleaming.

              “Tango,” she murmured, looking drugged as she turned to him. “Can we? Please?”

              He spent most of his nights in Ian Byron’s bed these days. Who was he to say no to anything?

              “Sure, baby.”

              Her grin was bright with excitement as she stood and motioned for them to follow her.

              Carter tucked himself away as he stood, spine curled awkwardly as he struggled against the overwhelming effects of arousal.

              “Hey, man,” he whispered as they started after Jasmine. “I’m not trying to…I mean, if you’re not okay with this…”

              “I want Jazz to have what she wants,” Tango said simply, without inflection. “It’s fine. All of it. Any of it.”

              And what Jazz wanted in this moment was a thrill. She ushered them into a dorm, closed the door, and then came to Tango, beaming, face flushed. She braced her hands on his chest and stretched up on her toes to kiss him, pressing her breasts into his pecs. She slid her tongue into his mouth, and Tango knew all too well the taste of man on her lips.

              “Thank you,” she whispered as she stepped back. “This is gonna be so fun. I’ll make it so good for you, baby. For both of you,” she added, and then her attention went to Carter.

              The new boy. The younger boy. The fresh plaything she’d never had before.

              She kissed him for long moments, until his mouth softened, until his hands found her hips and clamped down hard.

              Tango felt the faint stirrings of jealousy, but worse than that was the overwhelming sadness of it all.

              Jazz finally pulled back, and she undid the first button of the shirt she wore, eased it aside so her breasts were exposed. Carter’s eyes flicked down to them; he wet his lips. And then he looked at Tango.

              You’re sure? Is this alright?

              She undid the rest of the buttons and the shirt slid down off her shoulders, landed on the floor with a soft sound. The lamp gilded her nakedness. Carved deep shadows beneath her heavy breasts, in the sharp inward grooves of her waist. Tango had the rear view, but Carter had the front, and Tango watched, saw the other man’s eyes drink her up.

“Take your clothes off,” Jasmine said, voice rough, low. “Both of you.”

Sounds of boots hitting the floor, zippers, belt buckles, shirts and jeans landing like fall leaves.

Carter was beautiful, densely muscled, his skin smooth, his cock standing proudly.

Jasmine made a happy purring sound in the back of her throat. “Hmm, look at you.” She reached for Carter’s sex, curled her hand tight around his cock and stroked, stroked, stroked…until his hips flexed and he grunted through clenched teeth. His eyes came to Tango, half-drugged with lust, but a little cautious. Asking again, wondering one last time.

Tango nodded.

Jasmine stepped back toward the bed, towing Carter with her. “Come on, baby,” she whispered to him. “Let’s play.”

That was the moment Tango watched shame leave the boy; instinct took over.

Jazz laid back on the bed, making a sensual show of it, legs parting, hips lifting. She cupped her breasts and stroked them. Licked her lips slowly.

Carter was done hesitating, obviously. He climbed on the bed, between her legs. Passed a hand up her stomach, nudged her hand out of the way, closed his over her breast.

His other hand went to her sex, touched her boldly.

She laughed softly. “Yeah, you want it, little boy. I’ve seen you watching me.”

He pinched her nipple, tugged at it, his eyes feral. “I want to fuck you so damn bad.”

She rolled her hips as his fingers worked against her. “So do it. Fuck me good, newbie. Show me what you’re made of.”

Tango snagged a condom off the nightstand and tossed it onto the bed. “Wrap it up.”

Carter tore at the foil, rolled the thing on.

“Hurry, baby,” Jazz murmured. “I’m getting lonesome over–”

Carter reared up and drove into her, and her words dissolved into a sharp gasp. Her mouth opened, lips a painted O, head kicking back.

Cater buried himself to the hilt in her glistening sex. “Fuck,” he breathed. He braced his hands on the mattress, and started to move, slowly at first.

Jasmine put her hands on his shoulders, stared up at him a moment, gaze transfixed as he rode her.

Then she seemed to remember Tango. “Here, baby boy.” Her voice was breathy, uncharacteristic. “Come get in my mouth.”

He got onto his knees on the mattress at her head, took his cock in his hand, guided it to her waiting lips. She took him in, clamped tight around him, wet and warm. And he took her mouth, while his club brother took her pussy.

Tango’s eyes were everywhere. On Jasmine’s slick lips around his cock as he pushed into her mouth and then withdrew, cradling her head, keeping his rhythm slow because he could see the way the sex was consuming her. On Carter, as the complex musculature of his back flexed and strained, his hips grinding, thrusting. It was spectacular, the sight of him between Jasmine’s thighs, driving his cock into her, body torqueing as he went deeper, harder. He grunted and cursed. He gripped Jasmine’s thigh and angled her leg, spread her wider, took the penetration deeper. He dropped his head over her breasts, covered her nipples with his tongue. And Jazz seemed to levitate, bowing upward into his mouth, into his driving cock, her hips trying to meet the kiss of his, moaning as she sucked on Tango. The sounds were a vibration through her mouth, shooting up his cock.

Tango pulled out of her mouth, sat back, hard and aching, watching. She kicked her head back and gasped. “Oh. Oh. Oooohhhh.” He knew the flush of her cheeks, the way she bit her lip – a real orgasm, and not a show.

Carter made a sharp growling sound and tensed, ass clenching as he drove into her hard, pressed her down into the mattress, and found his own release.

Jazz heaved a deep, satisfied sigh; ran her hands down Carter’s back, to his ass, squeezing, holding him where he was. Both of them panting, gleaming with sweat. A moment Tango should never have been witness to, much less a part of.

Then Jazz turned her head and looked at him. “Baby boy. Come here to me.”

An invitation. The woman who made him feel like both a sheltered boy and a man. And a man who had no idea of his sordid history; didn’t know that in a way, his own nakedness was as much a part of the temptation as Jasmine’s.

“Tango,” Jazz prodded.

He plucked two condoms off the nightstand and joined them.

 

~*~

 

Aidan had to close one eye behind his nighttime goggles on the way to the clubhouse, but he managed not to wipe out or crash into another vehicle. Wouldn’t that just be perfect? His epic turnaround had been prompted by an accident – and when that didn’t work, it would be back to the asphalt he went. Splat.

              But he arrived in one piece, staggering off the bike once it was parked in front of the clubhouse, head tipping back as he sucked cool night air into his paper-dry mouth.

              The stars cartwheeled overhead. The plain gray façade of the clubhouse snapped in and out of focus. The black dog affixed to the siding was running, long legs reaching…

              He was at an unheard-of point of drunkenness. He’d never in his life been this wasted and still been on his feet.

              But the fury was still there, flooding his veins, tangling with the whiskey in a way that made him think he’d breathe fire if he tried to speak.

              She’d done it on purpose, hadn’t she? Gotten pregnant. That’s what women did – they trapped you, pinned you to them for life. Drained you of your money and your soul, and all with those five words:

              “I’m pregnant, and it’s yours.”

              He snarled up at the sky, but the stars ignored him, dancing and swirling and refusing to keep their constellations.

              “Bitch,” he said to Tonya, though she wasn’t there to hear.

              The ground heaved beneath him as he walked to the front door. One way, and then the next. He stumbled and caught himself against the wall. Took three tries to turn the knob and let himself in.

              He wanted there to be a rampaging party waiting for him, some den of heathens where he could drink and fuck and smoke the hatred away. But the common room was empty. TV rumbling to itself. Two beers sitting on the coffee table, cold condensation running down their sides.

              Fresh beers.

              Someone was here.

              The back hall lengthened as he walked down it, like he was in a funhouse. His head pounded, the blood thrusting against the backs of his eyes with each beat of his pulse.

              If he so much as smelled Jack Daniels Honey after this night was over, he’d probably puke on the spot.

              Damn you, Tonya.

              Damn women.

              He heard moaning. Deep, highly-aroused, feminine moaning. Porno material, the kind you dreamed about hearing when you were inside a woman.

              Women – the stuff of both dreams and nightmares.

              All the dorm doors stood ajar, clean and ready for occupancy. All but one, a seam of light flashing along the floor where it was shut up tight.

              Aidan didn’t knock; he’d spotted the bikes in the parking lot. He opened the door and nearly fell inside, catching himself against the jamb and waiting for the room to stop spinning.

              A whole lot of naked skin greeted his glassy eyes. Tango. Carter. Jasmine between them. She was groaning and undulating, chanting “yes, yes” in solid agreement with the double penetration situation they had going on.

              A good old everyday occurrence in the MC world. Some overwrought groupie wanting to be fucked from every direction, treated like a piece of meat. They were all the same, weren’t they?

              Women.

              Aidan pushed off the doorframe and fumbled at his cut, managed to shrug out of it. His hands were made of lead as he found the hem of his shirt and peeled it over his head. He didn’t think it was possible, given how much he’d had to drink, but his cock stirred to life, asking to join the party.

              “My turn next?” he asked, and walked toward the bed.

 

~*~

 

Jasmine dragged in a huge breath and launched into another coughing fit, choking, gasping for the breath that had been denied her those few precious seconds.

              “Is she okay?” Tango asked between his teeth.

              “Yeah,” was Carter’s terse, furious response. “I got her. You get him under control.”

              Tango dug his elbow into Aidan’s windpipe, until the guy gasped and his eyes bugged.

              “Shit,” he wheezed. “Shit, Kev…”

              The door clicked and the sound of Jasmine’s coughing dimmed as she and Carter moved down the hall.

              Tango dug his elbow in another notch, just because the anger wouldn’t ebb inside him. Because Aidan was drunk off his ass, and he didn’t know how much force it would take to get through to him.

              “Kev,” Aidan gasped. “Kevin.”

              It had all gone so terribly, terribly sideways. One moment it had been the two of them filling Jasmine, and he’d been building toward the wildest orgasm of his life. And then Aidan had come in, joined them. “Don’t reach above your means, junior,” he’d told Carter, his words slurred. He’d shoved the younger member aside, had taken his place at Jasmine’s sex.

              And she’d been ecstatic, all purrs and moans and deep gasps.

              Until Aidan wrapped both hands around her throat, called her a slut, and tried to choke her to death.

              Tango had thrown his drunken best friend to the floor, and he was pinning him down now, boiling with murderous fury.

              “What in the fuck is wrong with you?” Tango hissed in his face. “Were you trying to kill her?”

              Aidan licked his lips, started to answer. His breath stank of sweet whiskey.

              “I swear to God,” Tango said, “I love you, and you’re my best friend in the world, but you touch her again, and I’ll break you in two. You do not touch Jazz. Understand? Not ever again.”

              Aidan stared at him a long moment, chest heaving, brown eyes far, far away. Then they closed, and his face pinched, and he drew in a shuddering breath. “She’s pregnant,” he groaned. “I got her pregnant.”

              Tango’s skin shriveled. “Jazz?”

              “Tonya.”

              “Oh, shit.”

              “She told me tonight.” Fat, drunken tears leaked from the corners of Aidan’s eyes and he took a deep, shuddering breath. “I didn’t use a rubber, and I knocked her up.”

              Tango recalled the beautiful, cold rich girl who took horseback riding lessons with Walsh’s wife. Perfect, moneyed features, and a cruel mouth. Nothing but a heartache in designer clothes, but Aidan had been infatuated. He’d been hooked…

              “Is she going to…get it taken care of?” he asked, haltingly. He couldn’t imagine a woman of that caliber allowing a biker’s seed to grow inside her.

              Aidan’s face screwed up tight.

              “Shit,” Tango muttered, releasing him, sitting up.

              Aidan pressed his hands over his face and took another of those haunted, rattling breaths.

              Tango raked his hands through his hair, suddenly aware of their mutual nakedness, and lack of a girl.

              He bit at his lip. “I’m sorry, bro. Really. I don’t…” He swallowed. “But what you did to Jazz…”

              “I know, I know,” Aidan groaned. “I’m sorry.”

              Tango sighed. “She wanted both of us together. Guess that won’t seem so romantic after this.”

              “No such thing as romantic,” Aidan mumbled. He pulled his hands away, and his eyes opened unnaturally wide, came to Tango. “Brother.” His voice was strained, lost. “Why do we put up with bitches? You and me – you’re bi. And I could learn.”
              Tango sighed. “Aidan–”

              “I’m serious.”

              “You’re drunk.”

              “No. Why…why do we…? Why don’t we just…?”

              Tango sighed again and leaned over him, the long hair on top of his head falling down onto Aidan’s forehead. “Because you’re very straight, and I’m very confused, and you can’t be gay in this club.”

              He kissed him, his best friend, his surrogate brother. On the lips, his mouth clinging. Yes, a voice in the back of his head said. Give your body to someone you love. And he could almost imagine that Aidan responded, lifted into him. It wouldn’t be the poison of Ian, would be something so whole and pure.

              But it could never be.

              He pulled back. And Aidan’s gaze was unfocused, blurred-over.

              “You need to sleep,” Tango said quietly. “And then I’ll help you figure it out. All of it. I promise.”

 

~*~

 

“Here.” Carter handed a cold water bottle from the fridge to Jasmine and she took it with a nod of thanks, still wheezing.

She sucked down half of it in one long gulp. Gasped afterward, coughed a little more.

They both stood naked in the clubhouse kitchen, but they might as well have been fully clothed for all the interest he had in their state of dress.

“Thanks.” Jasmine’s voice was all wrong, scraped-hoarse. She pressed the cold bottle to her forehead, her neck, between her breasts. The smile she sent his way was nothing like the one she’d been giving him before. It was without pretense or sexual innuendo. It was embarrassed, actually. “I’m sorry.”

He folded his arms. “For what?”

She ducked her head and fiddled with the bottle cap in her hand. “I’m a total skank, huh? Sorry.”

His chest tightened. From the moment he’d prospected, he’d been fascinated by the Lean Bitches. It had started as a violent disgust…but the curiosity had been there, lurking beneath. And the longer he’d stayed with the Dogs, the more he’d seen, the more he’d begun to hunger for the nastiness. Why work and struggle and make a fool of himself for a girl out in the real world when there were the club girls wanting to snag a piece of him? There were casual groupies who showed up and then never showed back, but then there were the hardcore few. The ones who’d put themselves in Dogs’ beds every night for years, and seemed to enjoy it. Jasmine was their leader, and she was gorgeous, and he’d fantasized about her while he’d held his cock in his hand.

And now he’d been inside her, and his world was upside down. He wasn’t thinking with his upstairs head; possession roared in his veins.

“Jazz.” He loved the sound of the word on his tongue. The taste of it. Loved the way her head lifted, eyes wide and red-rimmed, helpless and hopeless all at once. “You’re not a skank.”

Her mouth lifted at the corners. “You’re sweet.”

“No. I’m dead serious.”

She blinked.

“And Tango’s not your man if he let that happen just now.” He nodded toward the hall, toward what the three of them had done. “’Cause if you were mine,” he said, feeling bold, feeling ten-feet-tall, “I wouldn’t share you.”

 

~*~

 

Tango was dressed and sitting on the side of the bed, having a smoke when Carter came back in. He didn’t turn his head to look at the other blonde; nakedness was never a turn-on once the heat of the moment had passed.

              Carter grabbed his jeans and hauled them up his legs in a few efficient movements, not speaking until they were in place. “Did you kill him?” he asked, nodding toward Aidan’s still figure on the floor. His voice was still strained. Tango hadn’t seen him angry since he was a teenager, since Ava was kidnapped. That same tight ire was in his voice now, over Jasmine.

              Tango took a deep drag on his cigarette, forced the smoke out through his nostrils. “He fell asleep. He smells like someone broke a bottle over his head. Or maybe a barrel.”

              Carter braced a shoulder against the door and exhaled sharply, still pissed, all jacked up in the shoulders about it. “What the hell was that? Is he jealous or something?”

              “Nah. It had nothing to do with Jazz. Or us,” he added with a sigh. “Tonya’s pregnant.”

              Carter hissed. “Shit.”

              Tango regarded his passed-out friend, sprawled across the orange carpet, snoring, his brow knotted with a worry the alcohol hadn’t been able to dim.

              “Yeah. Shit.”

 

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