Not two seconds later, the air left Trevor’s lungs as Edgard tackled him to the ground. Trevor rolled to dislodge the man from his back; Edgard countered, took a swing and missed. Trevor bucked and twisted his shoulders, but Edgard anticipated the move and used the momentum against Trevor to try and shove Trevor’s face against the fence.

Before Edgard cornered him and held him down completely to land a punch, Trevor rolled again and pushed to his feet. A noise echoed behind him, but he ignored it as he fisted his hands in Edgard’s shearling coat, dragging him upright until they were nose to nose.

“What the hell has gotten into you?”

Edgard attempted to jerk back. Trevor held tight.

“This is why you came here?” he yelled in Edgard’s face. “To sucker punch me and knock me in the fuckin’ dirt?”


“Then what?”

Edgard didn’t move. He just breathed hard and stared hard at Trevor without flinching.

Trevor’s rapid breaths sliced the cold air but couldn’t cut through the icy tension.

“Answer me, goddammit.”

“I came here for this,” Edgard said angrily, wrapping a hand around Trevor’s neck and smashing their mouths together.

The shock of Edgard’s insistent lips caused Trevor to open his mouth in protest, which played perfectly into Edgard’s plans as he jammed his tongue right into Trevor’s mouth.

Damn damn damn. His token resistance was just that—a momentary struggle with guilt as his body reminded him it’d been an eternity, a fucking lifetime, since he’d lost himself in Edgard’s hungry kiss. Trevor’s willpower vanished as the velvety smoothness of Edgard’s lips slid against his, coaxing, teasing, demanding a reaction.

Trevor gave him one; a hot, deep, wet mating of lips, teeth and tongue as he thoroughly devoured what he’d been denied, what he’d secretly craved these last three years.

When Edgard groaned in Trevor’s mouth, the vibration traveled down Trevor’s throat straight to his cock. His immediate hard-on was the invitation Edgard sought and Edgard ratcheted the kiss up another level.

Trevor instinctively matched his exhalations to Edgard’s broken breaths, countered the bold strokes of Edgard’s tongue with soft suction, found that familiar old lover’s rhythm until even the beats of their hearts seemed synchronized. The sensual assault filled something in Trevor that he hated to admit had been empty.

Warning signs went unheeded as the ferocious kisses continued, kicking Trevor’s need into high gear. But the unfamiliar prickle of Edgard’s beard on his cheek began to rouse him from that dark desire. Coupled with the low-pitched masculine moans—not Chassie’s feminine sighs—and Trevor broke away, knocking Edgard’s hands free.

“Stop. No.”

“Yes,” Edgard grabbed Trevor’s shirt. “This is why I’m here. Because it’s still there, Trevor. This need didn’t go away just because I did.”

“It don’t matter.”

“It should. God. Please let it matter.”


“Don’t. Just…don’t.” Edgard gently rested his forehead against Trevor’s and retreated into silence.

The heat of their bodies, the cold air, the confusion, the passion, the anger, the guilt, all swirled in Trevor’s head until he didn’t know which way was up. Unable to squirm either closer or away, damn near unable to breathe, Trevor squeezed his eyes shut and gave in, leaning against Edgard, just for a moment.

Finally he dredged up a semblance of sanity. “I love her, Ed. I’m not with her because she was my second choice.”

“I know. Why do you think it hurts me so bad, meu amore?”

My love. That single, familiar endearment could prove to be his undoing. Another pause lingered before Trevor said, “I can’t do this. I swear to fucking God I cannot do this again.”

“We’ll figure something out this time.”


“Look at me.”

Trevor shook his head.

“Goddammit. Look. At. Me.”

Heart thumping crazily, Trevor pulled back and caught the golden gaze that’d haunted his dreams since the day they’d gone from friends to something more.

Edgard curled one hand around Trevor’s face, keeping the other fisted in his shirt.

“Tell me how to fix this.”

“We can’t and talkin’ about it ain’t gonna change nothin’.”

“We were always better at fucking away our problems rather than talking them out, eh?”

No hint of a smile graced either of their faces.

“Neither one of those is an option now.” Trevor angled his head and impulsively kissed Edgard’s rough palm before stepping back. But he’d forgotten Edgard’s sheer strength as the man halted his retreat.

“You don’t remember how good we were together? Our pricks rubbing together as we rolled on the bed until we exploded? You don’t remember how wet and eager my mouth felt sucking every drop of spunk from your cock? You don’t think about how deep I reamed that tight asshole of yours as you bucked and begged me for more?”

Flashes of their past encounters made it impossible for Trevor to move away.

“The bondage games, your ass, cock, and balls spread for my taking. Jacking each other off in the silence of the horse trailer because we couldn’t wait another second to be together. That burning need for a fuck or a suck or a handjob from a man who knows exactly how you like it—is any of that ringing a bell? Or is it making you hard as a fencepost, Trev? Because I remember how hot you burned when I talked dirty as I was fucking you.”


“You don’t want me to stop, you stupid, stubborn bastard.” Edgard snarled and devoured Trevor’s mouth in another possessive, bruising kiss.

Before Trevor could break free from the temptation, a distressed gasp somewhere to the left speeded up the process. Trevor shoved Edgard away. He spun so fast he lost his balance. But the damage had been done.

Chassie stood in the shadows in absolute shock.

Chapter Seven

Not happening. Not happening. Not happening.

Her body, her will, her consciousness appeared to be floating in another dimension, as this one shifted and twisted into the surreal. She couldn’t believe her eyes.

Not happening. Not happening. Not happening.

She had not witnessed her husband in the arms of another man. She had not seen him kissing another man like he was everything in his world. She had not heard the details of how they’d been together, what they’d been together. She had not imagined how badly they wanted to be together now.

Not happening. Not happening. Not happening.

The mantra she’d used during her childhood to vanquish nightmares wasn’t working this time.

It was happening and she’d been a party to it all. From the corner of the chute where she’d been an unwilling voyeur in the details of her husband’s past life. She’d watched Edgard approach and accuse. She’d heard the angry longing and denial in Trevor’s words and posture. She’d observed the mating ritual—the banter, the fight, the manifestation of desire resulting in pure physical passion.

Chassie couldn’t process it. Not even when Trevor said, “Chassie, baby, let me explain.”

She couldn’t speak. Not even when she wanted to scream.

But when Trevor started toward her, she found the will to move. And so she did. She turned and ran.

“No! Chassie, wait! Don’t go.”

Tears blurred her vision. Instead of running into the barn, she raced for the open field beyond the fence. Before she’d reached the gate and her freedom, two strong arms banded her upper body, lifting her off the ground.

Her flight instinct fled and her fight instinct was in full gear. She kicked and thrashed and when she had enough air in her lungs, she began to holler. “Don’t you touch me!”

Trevor flinched.

“I mean it. Let me go! Let go of me right now, you cheating goddamn bastard!”

“Chass. Calm down.”

“Calm down? Fuck that and fuck you.” Chassie jerked her body sideways.

“I don’t want to hurt you, so stop fightin’ me.”

“Stop touching me when I said to get your goddamn hands off me.”

“You really don’t want that, sweetheart.”

A frustrated scream tore from her throat. “Yes I do. Let me go right fucking now.”


“You’re a lying son of a bitch and I want you to let…me…go!” she shrieked, hating the way he’d immobilized her. Chassie drummed her bootheels into his shins, trying to bruise his body as badly as he’d bruised her heart. She’d twisted so violently against his iron hold that her hair had come loose from her ponytail and swirled around her head. A few strands stuck to her tear-stained face.

“Fuck, that hurts, you little hellcat.”

“Good!” Anger renewed her determination to inflict pain on him. As she screamed and cried and kicked she knew she was completely out of control. But fighting back was her only option. Her mind and body relived the absolute desolation she’d felt upon seeing the man she loved with another, seeing the longing and apparently long-denied need as Trevor had kissed Edgard like he was everything Trevor had ever wanted, everything he’d ever needed, and she was just a second-rate substitute.

“Chassie. Please. Stop. I’m beggin’ you, baby, seein’ you like this is breakin’ me into a million fuckin’ pieces and I…” He paused. “Please. I need you to understand.”

The raw pain in his voice gave her pause. She quit struggling. After a minute or so, Trevor sighed and gentled his hold, even as it seemed to strengthen him.

Neither one said a word.

Her rapid exhalations stirred her hair. Her blood pulsed angrily and her skin actually hurt. Her eyes smarted from hot tears. Her skull pounded like she’d taken a 2X4 to the head. But that was nothing, nothing compared to the ache spreading inside her, leaving her both heavy-limbed and strangely hollow.