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By´╝ÜKathryn Kelly

“I’m not telling Outlaw about us.” Cash’s words held a finality that Fee detested.

She had years left to think about kids and marriage, but she’d started to have baby fever. The deaths of her relatives left a hole in her heart, a void she longed to fill. A baby would give her new focus. Her own family, affording her a much-desired connection. “We can start a family. I want kids. So does Stretch. Don’t you?”

“This isn’t going to work,” Cash continued in that same tone. “I’m not getting my dick shot off for a doomed relationship. You’re asking me for shit I’m not willing to give.”

“We’ve been sleeping together on and off for months behind Christopher’s back.” Cash disappeared for weeks, then called her and asked to see her. Sometimes, it would be just the two of them. Other times, it was both him and Stretch. However…“Suddenly, neither of you are calling me. It’s the pressure of the deceit.”

“This is what I mean.” Cash indicated her with his hand, talking to Stretch as if she wasn’t in the room. “This is why we have to back away from her.”

“You can’t talk for him.” The moment the words left her mouth, she looked at Stretch. He still refused to meet her gaze and realization hit her. “But he can,” she whispered to him. “You love Cash more than me.” Just as she loved Cash.

What did this all mean?

Cash closed his eyes. “Don’t sound like that, Fee,” he said bleakly.

“Fee, we don’t want to lead you on.” Stretch broke in. “You started the affair with Cash, not me. I want us to make this work. He doesn’t want to.”

“Because of Christopher?” Fee cried in outrage.

“No,” Cash denied. “Because of you. You want a family, something we can’t give to you.”

“Something you don’t want to give to me.”

“Each time I’m with you, you want more. If you’re willing to accept this on my terms, we can fuck for the next twenty years. Stop talking about a family. You also both have to agree that we do it together, all three of us, or we don’t do it with each other at all.”

Cash half expected either Fee or Stretch to tell him to go and fuck himself. Fee wanted commitment and Stretch wanted exclusivity. He cared about both of them, wanted both of them. That being the case, why point out that they could do so much better than what he offered? The onus to look out for himself rested on his shoulders. If they wanted to give, he’d take.

It made him an asshole, but his father’s behavior showed Cash the necessity of caring for himself. Parnell had walked away from Cash and his mother, threw money at them—in Parnell McCall’s mind, money solved everything—and went on with his life. He allowed Cash to visit his new family, though he’d never bonded with his children.

Perhaps, Cash’s early life had something to do with how he felt about relationships. His father was shit at relationships, to such an extreme that Cash’s stepmother committed suicide because of Parnell’s antics.

Cash liked fun. He enjoyed sex. Stretch wanted more, looking to Cash for happiness or completion. Looking for something. It scared the fuck out of him. Unwilling to take responsibility for Stretch’s emotions, he kept him at a distance. Then, Cash brought Fee into the relationship and really complicated the situation.

The gene that linked Cash to Parnell also sealed his fate on commitment and fidelity.

Stretch gazed at Cash’s mouth, a moment before he stepped to him and gripped his cock.

In his eyes, Cash saw everything he should want—mainly love. A love he wasn’t quite sure he deserved, from either of them.

For two different reasons, he tried so fucking hard to stay away from Stretch and Fee, but always ended up back in their arms.

He brushed his lips over Stretch’s, ignoring his inclination to go to Fee since Stretch laid claim to him with this maneuver.

Out of the corner of his eye, Cash saw Fee’s shoulders stiffen and her mouth tighten.

“You finished fucking those girls, so now you’ve come to us,” she said, just to interrupt the moment.

He grinned in her direction. “I didn’t fuck those girls.” Smirking at her, he considered her from the top of her dark brown hair, pausing at her too small, almost indecent, skirt, before continuing to the short boots she wore on her feet. “Why take one of them when I have the two of you in here?”

Nostrils flaring, Stretch searched Cash’s face. Fee swallowed, relaxing again, accepting his story.

He crooked his finger at her. She walked to him, allowing him to wrap an arm around her and tug her into an embrace. A gesture he mirrored with Stretch.