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Rules of Desire: Protecting Erin

By:Leah Brooke

Chapter One




Erin woke once more to the feel of a tight band around her swollen abdomen.

She’d had cramps on and off for the last several hours and had tried to ignore them.

She couldn’t ignore them anymore.

They’d woken her several times during the night but had eased quickly, allowing her to drift back to sleep, warm and comfortable between two of her husbands.

It was bad enough that she had to get up two or three times a night to use the bathroom and she couldn’t wait to get back into bed and be warmed by her husbands’ hard bodies on either side of her.

With her head pillowed on Duncan’s chest, his arm around her, and Jared at her back, she was cocooned in warmth and didn’t want to move.

It would seem that her baby had other ideas.

Another tightening of her abdomen, one that hurt worse than the last made it clear that she couldn’t lie there much longer.

When she felt a rush of moisture between her thighs, panic set in and she knew the time had come to wake her husbands.

But she didn’t want to panic them.

Tilting her head back, she looked up at Duncan, taking in his handsome features and sleep-tousled hair with a smile.

Another contraction and the fact that she was uncomfortably wet had her pressing a hand to his chest.

“Duncan.”

The arm at her back tightened. “Hmm? Need to go to the bathroom again?” He started to sit up and reached for her to help her out of bed, his tone groggy, one that she knew would change quickly.

Their room-darkening curtains made it impossible to know the time, but a glance at the clock told her it was just a little after five.

“My water broke.”

“Hmm. Okay.” His entire body stiffened, all traces of grogginess gone. “What? The baby?” Reaching out, he turned on the light, bathing the room in a soft glow.

Jared jerked upright, kneeling next to her with a protective hand on her swollen abdomen, his eyes searching hers. “The baby? You okay?”

Erin struggled to sit up, with Duncan and Jared both reaching out to help her.

“I need to take a shower.”

Duncan, usually the most playful of her husbands, was already shaking his head. “No.” He stood, naked, and went to the closet. “We need to go. We’ll wrap you in a blanket.”

Wearing just a pair of sweatpants that hung low on his hips, Reese rushed into the room.

“What’s going on? The baby?”

Duncan shook out a blanket and came toward her. “Yeah. Her water broke. I’m gonna get her wrapped in the blanket. We all need to get dressed.”

Reese came to kneel beside her, his smile tender but his eyes dark with concern. “Does it hurt, baby?”

“Not much.” She swatted at Duncan’s attempts to wrap the blanket around her. “No, Duncan. I’m wet and need a shower.” With Reese’s help, she rose and started for the bathroom. “I’m getting dressed. I’m not going to the hospital in a damned blanket.”

When another contraction hit, she stopped, holding on to Reese until it passed.

“Enough of this.” Still naked, Jared bent and gently picked her up. “Let’s get your damned shower. Reese, call the doctor. Duncan, get her suitcase out of the closet.”

Another contraction hit while Jared washed her, and pausing, he held her to him, rubbing her back.

“Christ, I wish I could take the pain for you.”

Once the contraction passed, Erin laughed to ease the tension emanating from him.

“That’s a picture I’d like to see.”

Jared’s eyes narrowed, his smile not wiping away the concern in his eyes.

“You callin’ me a pussy, darlin’?” He finished rinsing her and turned off the water, keeping a supporting arm around her.

Leaning back against him, she smiled up at him over her shoulder.

“I wouldn’t dare.”

Reese, already dressed, opened the shower door, holding a large bath sheet.

“Come on, baby. Let’s get you dried off and dressed.”

He gathered her close when another contraction hit, frowning as he wrapped the bath sheet around her. Once it passed, he carried her into the bedroom where Duncan turned from her closet.

They both hurriedly dressed her in her most comfortable dress before Duncan lifted her in his arms, smiling and dropping a soft kiss on her lips.

“Let’s go have a baby.”

When another contraction hit, Reese grimaced and closed in on her other side, covering the hand she pressed to her abdomen with his own.

“Oh, baby.”

Jared, who’d already thrown on jeans and a T-shirt, slid a pair of her fuzzy socks on her feet. His tousled hair told her he hadn’t done more than run a towel over it, leaving it hanging rakishly over his forehead.

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