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She walked to the door and opened it, fully intending to usher them out, but a brutal gust of wind and cold hit her full force. There wasn’t just a subtle change in the weather. Within minutes, it had gone from cozy, pretty snowflakes to the relentless force of nature.

They were so distracting that she hadn’t even noticed the weather changing before it should, from an approaching storm to a full-on storm.

Well, fuck. She couldn’t send them out in that weather.


She couldn’t get the door to close, and just when she thought she was going to fly out into the storm, Emerson pulled her in with one arm while he shut the door with the other.

“Thank you,” she said stiffly.

Yes, under Emerson’s touch, it became even clearer they all couldn’t stay in the cabin together.

Without another word, she straightened her shoulders and marched to the bedroom area. She gathered up her things, stuffed them back into her suitcase, put on her thick winter coat, and, rolling her bag behind her, marched straight for the door.

“I wouldn’t if I were you,” Darien said.

Her hand stopped midway to the handle.

“You take one step out of this cabin, and I’m going to take my belt to your ass.”

Of all the things Emerson could say, he chose the most antiquated of them all.

A spanking.

She wasn’t five years old. She wasn’t even twenty-five years old anymore, so she wished him good luck with even trying a squeak of a spank on her ass. He didn’t scare her. But her heart did start frantically fluttering around her chest.

She laid her hand on the handle.

“Do it, pretty lady. My specialty is orgasm deprivation,” Austin said. “But I’m tempted to take my belt to your ass as well if you don’t step away from the door.” She couldn’t believe those words had come out of Austin’s mouth.


Spanking? Orgasm deprivation?

Who were these men?

She expected Emerson to be stern, but Austin made her feel as if she didn’t call all the shots.

There was just no way she could continue being there. She’d rather face a deadly storm and possible hypothermia where she died in her car, but that was better than having her body betray her so incredibly blatantly. Her panties were already wet, and she wished they weren’t. She liked to remain clean and fresh, and these men dictated the direct freaking opposite of that.

She turned the knob just a fraction.

“If that door opens, I’m going to ransack your cabin looking for something I can use to punish your sweet asshole with, Adrienne. By that, I mean I’m going to improvise a butt plug and stretch your asshole with it while Emerson spanks your ass, and Austin is going to drive you over the edge with his mouth on your pussy, then pull away just when you want to come.”

For one moment, her stupid brain visualized everything they said they were going to do to her. A swell of heat obliterated her common sense, and she had to fight through the flames of arousal they doused her in to get her head straight.

Those were exactly the reasons she had to leave.

That, and she couldn’t help feeling embarrassed.

The worst mistake she had ever made in her life was marrying Desmond Morton. Peter would have had to tell them who they had to protect her against. They knew about her colossal fuckup. Colossal fuckup was the only way to describe it.

She had been weak. Desmond had caught her just when her father had died—she kept repeating that to justify her actions, baiting her with what he held in his hands until she fell for his ploy.

They knew her one big mistake, and she hated that they might be pitying her. Her fierce pride was not going to allow it. She detested showing her weakness to anyone. But somehow, them—Emerson, Darien, and Austin—knowing she had been duped made it infinitely worse to bear.

Trembling, her fingers suddenly ice cold as if her body had already started to prepare for the snowstorm outside, she turned the knob.

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