“Speaking of your love life…how is Justin?”
“I wouldn’t know,” she said coolly. “He broke up with me.”
“That’s what Colt is nagging me about. I won’t tell him, even when he offered to cut off that ‘little bastard’s prick and feed it to him’.” Keely’s lips turned up, but it was a pale imitation of her usual bad girl grin. “Much as I love Colt’s threatening swagger, I need to deal with this fallout on my own. I’ve tried to talk to AJ, but…”
“She’s a great listener, but she doesn’t have a frame of reference for that sort of stuff.
The only relationship she’s ever been in is with Cord.” She sighed. “Macie and Channing are cool and I love them to death, but they’re pregnant, hormonal, and I don’t want them blabbing to my brothers because they’d round up a damn posse.”
“I ain’t got tons of experience when it comes to relationships, but you wanna tell me what went down?” Chassie offered.
Keely stood and ducked into the extra closet her father converted into a half-bathroom during Keely’s teen years. She returned with two Dixie cups and poured a generous slug of rum in each. She handed a cup to Chassie. “I’ve always had a couple three guys on a string at any given time. Never made any promises, I just wanna have a good time while I’m still young and can.”
That attitude sounded exactly like Keely’s brothers’.
“After I met Justin, I thought I’d try an actual relationship. We clicked on so many levels and the sex was spectacular. By Christmas I was convinced he was the one.”
“Did he feel the same way?”
“I thought so. Remember I went home with him for a couple days during Christmas break?” Chassie nodded. “His mother is awesome. So’s his dad. However, Justin’s brother Jack is the biggest f**khead I’ve ever met. Jesus. I can’t believe Carter is such good friends with him.
“Anyway, New Year’s Eve we planned to go out with Justin’s best friend Logan and Logan’s girlfriend, Tiffany. We’d rented a suite in downtown Denver, the whole shebang.
Long story short: Tiffany threw a hissy fit and ditched us. Justin didn’t want Logan to spend New Year’s alone so we headed back to the hotel.”
“You, Justin and Logan.”
“Yep.” Keely drained the contents of her glass and refilled it. “We’re having a good time, drinking, bullshitting, listening to music, the usual. Logan tossed off some comment about how he and Justin both would be kissing me at midnight. I said something like
‘why wait’ and the next thing I knew, Logan and I were kissing. Full body, with him-on-top-of-me type of kissing.”
“Justin didn’t mind?”
“No. In fact he was really into seeing me get it on with his best friend.”
Chassie swallowed hard at the conversational direction. “Were you into it?”
“With two hot, horny cowboys eatin’ me up like I was fulfilling their ultimate fantasy? Hell yes. It was a raunchy, wild night of pure sexual debauchery. The next morning we laughed and teased each other like normal. I thought everything was fine.”
“At first it was. The next day Justin went skiing with Jack-off. Then he went back on the road and didn’t return to Colorado until the Denver Stock Show. When I saw him in person I knew something was up. He admitted he’d had fun in the threesome with his buddy, but afterward he realized I was not the type of girl guys like him married. I was too free, too easy, great for wild sex but nothin’ more. It stunned me because I’d never pegged Justin as that type of judgmental guy.
“I suspected he’d told Jack-off the down and dirty details about our private New Year’s bash. And Jack-off, being the self-serving, self-righteous prick, convinced him to break up with me. Initially I was so livid I thought about tracking Jack-off down in Chicago to rip him a new one. But as a couple days passed, I put the blame back where it belonged.”
Please don’t say on yourself, Keely. Please don’t say it.
“Justin is to blame. His hang-ups aren’t my issue. I’m comfortable with who I am.”
Chassie exhaled with relief.
“Maybe his repressed brother filled his head with bullshit, but Justin entertained enough doubts about me to let his opinion be swayed. Hard as it was to swallow, I realized I don’t wanna be involved with a man who doesn’t know his own mind.”
“Smart.” She studied Keely’s face. “So have you been mopin’ around over Justin like a lovesick calf?”
Keely grinned. “Hell no. I’ve been dating Logan.”
Chassie laughed, then clapped her hand over her mouth. “Sorry. For a minute there, I forgot why I’m here.”
“It’s okay.” Keely poured more rum in Chassie’s cup. “Enough about me. I wanna hear all about you and that hot-as-sin husband of yours. How are things going after a year of wedded bliss?”
Chassie tipped the cup, watching the thick liquid stick to the waxy sides as she pondered her answer. “Honestly? It’s kind of…confusing right now.”
“That’s cryptic, Chass. What gives?”
Where should she start? When Edgard sauntered up the driveway? When she caught her husband kissing another man? After she watched them having sex? After all three of them started f**king on a regular basis? “Trevor’s dad had a heart attack.”
“Shit. I had no idea.”
“Yeah, well, neither did he. No one in his family told him until a week after it happened.”
Keely whistled. “Double shit. Must seem like everyone is keeping family stuff from you guys. Is Trevor’s dad okay?”
“I guess,” she hedged. “Trevor’s checked in a couple of times, but he’s really distracted when he calls. I don’t want to press him. He’ll tell me when he comes home.”
“You’re doing everything at the ranch by yourself?”
“No. I have help. Good help, as it turns out.”
“Trevor’s former ropin’ partner. Edgard Mancuso. Know him?”
Chassie heard the expression “bug-eyed” but she’d never seen it on a person until Keely.
“Holy shit. Know him? I’ve lusted after him almost as long as I have Trevor. Edgard Mancuso. The hot Brazilian? Dark hair and golden eyes? With the ripped body, luminous smile and slow, sexy accent? Knows how to rope and ride like nobody’s business? That Edgard Mancuso?”