(Dakota Heat 3)Menage Amour: Erotic Cowboy Menage a Trois Romance, M/F/M
While struggling to keep her ranch, Dakota Wells turns away the two sexy, hard-as-nails cowboys who come looking for work. But they won’t take no for an answer and convince her to hire them. Little does she know how hard and fast she’ll fall for them.
Joe Taylor and Colt Mason have their own reasons for wanting to work at her ranch. The man causing their new employer trouble is the same man who ruined their lives years ago. Thoughts of revenge have kept them going and they won’t let anyone get in their way.
Protecting Dakota is easy. Protecting their hearts from the little spitfire is a lot more difficult.
When Dakota learns of their plan, she knows she must stop them, even though dreaming of payback has driven them for years. Can she convince them to give it up for a chance at a future with her?
Dakota Wells braced her feet and looked down the barrel of her shotgun. “Get off my land.”
The two men who’d just gotten out of their dilapidated truck halted in their tracks. Both lifted their hands, their surprise apparent. They shot a quick glance at each other before the one who’d gotten out on the driver’s side spoke. “Ma’am, Mr. Tillman from the feed store told us you might be looking for hands. We were hoping you’d hire us.”
His deep, husky tone sent a shiver through her. Dakota fought to ignore it and concentrated on studying them. Both looked to be a couple of inches over six feet tall. The shearling jackets they wore had been left open, giving her a glimpse of their powerful builds. The graceful, controlled way they moved warned her that they could strike out like rattlers. She definitely didn’t want them to come any closer.
Their hair hung below their hats, the driver’s a deep brown, the other’s blonde. Their cowboy hats shaded their faces, preventing her from seeing their eyes. She’d learned to tell a lot about a person by watching their eyes. She tried to ignore the fluttering in her stomach as they both continued to stare at her. Inwardly cursing for allowing herself to be distracted, she forced herself to focus on their faces. The smiles they shot at her looked out of place and forced. Planting her feet more firmly, she narrowed her eyes.
She’d seen enough snakes with fake smiles to last her a lifetime.
When the blonde spoke, she shifted her gaze to him, keeping the gun aimed at the driver. “We know everything there is to know about horses. We also know about cattle, but Tillman said he didn’t know if you still had any.”
“Well, we can help with the horses and anything else you need help with.” He gestured toward the porch she stood on with half the railing missing. “We can fix the porch for you.” He pointed to the roof. “You got some shingles missing, and we could chop wood for your fireplace.”
“I don’t need any hired help, and even if I did, I can’t afford to pay you. Goodbye.”
The driver of the truck took a step closer and lowered his hands. “Ma’am, we’ll be happy to work for room and board. We have no place to stay and can’t afford one.”
Dakota tightened her grip as the other man also dropped his hands. “I have no place for you to sleep.”
The other man took a step toward her. “We’d be happy to sleep in the bunkhouse.”
When the driver started to take another step, Dakota pumped a cartridge into the chamber. “Close enough, cowboy.”
He froze, lifting his hands again, looking more frustrated than afraid. “Ma’am, we’d be happy to sleep on the porch or in your stable. We just need meals and a place to shower.”
Dakota eyed them warily. They didn’t have the cocky attitudes the men Ed Franks usually sent over did. Far from it. These two looked hard and cold, but polite and respectful. Other than frustration, they showed no emotion at having a loaded shotgun pointed at them. The men Ed usually sent over would have already been inching toward their truck and either spurting threats or lewd comments.
It had been a long time since she’d been around a man with any balls. Other than her father and Ben Parson, the town deputy, her neighbor was the only formidable man she’d ever met. But Ed’s courage came from his money and the men he constantly surrounded himself with.
In contrast, the two men standing in front of her would have been right at home in the old west. These two looked more than capable of taking care of themselves.
But could she trust them?
She cocked her head, gesturing toward the neighboring ranch. “I saw your truck going up to Ed’s place the other day. What were you doing there?”
The driver shrugged. “Looking for work.”
“And he didn’t hire you?”
“No, ma’am. Said he didn’t want any strangers around and to come back next month.”
Damn it. That meant Ed didn’t want any witnesses around. Now more than ever it would be good to have another set of eyes around. Or two.
“How do I know you didn’t take a job with him and he’s the one who sent you over here?”
He frowned at her as though confused, making her wish once again that she could see his eyes. “Why would he hire me and send me over here?”
Instead of answering him, she lowered the gun. “Look, I’m sorry you’re having a hard time right now, but maybe you’d be better off finding some kind of work in town. Being out here with me could be dangerous.”
The blonde flashed her a grin, which did strange things to her insides. “You’re a tough woman, ma’am, but I think Joe and I can handle any danger from you.”
Dakota narrowed her eyes again as his seductive tone shot heat straight to her slit. She shifted, uneasily. “That’s not the kind of danger I’m talking about. But if you’re thinking along those lines, then it’s best you be on your way.”
The driver stepped forward and Dakota raised the shotgun again. “I said that was close enough, cowboy.”
He held his hands out again, shooting a look at his friend. “I can’t deny you’re a fine looking woman, but chasing you around doesn’t put food in my belly. My friend doesn’t mean anything by what he said. It’s kinda hard to see any danger around here, except for falling off a horse, something I haven’t done since I was four.”
Her daddy had told her to always go with her instincts. She couldn’t quite associate these men with Ed Franks. They just didn’t seem like the kind of men who would blindly follow orders like the men Ed surrounded himself with.
She lowered the gun again, hoping like hell she wasn’t about to make a huge mistake. “Before you decide to stay, you should know that Ed Franks,” she gestured toward the ranch next door again, “is doing his best to run me out. Your lives may be in danger, no, make that will be in danger when he sends his flunkies over again.”
The blonde frowned and pushed his hat back. Getting a good look at his face for the first time, she barely smothered a gasp. Tight features made him look cold and ruthless, but the gentleness in his gaze nearly undid her. “Are you telling us that the men over there are causin’ you trouble, ma’am?”
Dakota blinked, trying to remember what they’d been talking about and smiled humorlessly. “You could say that. If you stay here, he’s gonna have his men try to scare you off, buy you off, or kill you. Hey, if you can get past the scared, you’ll be making money after all. I’m not sure how much he’ll offer, but it’ll be a helluva lot more than room and board. If you want to work until then, fine.”
The blonde stepped forward. “My name’s Colt Mason and this is my friend Joe Taylor. You don’t have to worry about him buying us off ma’am. We won’t leave as long as he’s bothering you.”
Dakota laughed. “Sure you will.. Don’t forget about the scaring you off part. You’ve got to get past that before you get the money.”
The driver, Joe, narrowed his eyes. “We won’t be taking any money from him and we don’t scare easily.”
Dakota nodded, not believing him for a minute. “We’ll see.”
“Yes, ma’am. You will.”