Circle Three Ranch
Beckett's Wolf Pack, Triad Mates - Book 2
Babies for Nikki
Nikki Sinclair didn't take crap from anybody - especially men. Her own failed marriage proved that men would only use her. It didn't matter that she longed for a man to love her, hold her, protect her, and want children with her. It just wasn't meant to be.
Alexander and Butler, enforcers for Beckett’s pack, were stoic, often brutally serious wolf shifters that no pack member or outside challenger ever crossed. Their lives held no tenderness, no softness, and no mate to complete their triad.
The Fates had gifted them with Nikki. She brought laughter and tenderness into their lives. And "Hell no!" She was not afraid of them!
They needed her to be safe and understand that sometimes giving up control did not mean weakness. All they had to do was convince her to put aside her stubbornness and accept them as her mates and the fathers of her babies.
Note: It is suggested that the previous title in this series be read first for continuity.
It was pure coincidence that Nikki found herself sitting in the middle of Butler and Alexander on one side of the table while Julia and Laurie sat on the other side. At least, that’s how Nikki chose to see it. She liked the way they sat close to her, making her feel safe as she was sandwiched between them. It was also nice to feel their legs pressing against hers. She knew it was just because the table was small and the bench seat had little room to offer her and the two massive men. Whatever the reason, she was going to take any closeness she could get.
“Here,” she said quietly as she took two plates of food from the tray and set one before each man. “Eat up. You’re going to need to keep up your strength if you plan on spending the afternoon with us.” There was a definite twinkle in her eyes as she teased them and she was rewarded with both their smiles.
Alex took the napkin and plastic cutlery she offered him, holding his hand over hers just a second longer than normal. “Thank you, Nikki,” he told her sincerely, rubbing his thumb across the back of her hand before he reluctantly released her.
This is so not helping. Nikki closed her eyes and took a deep breath, trying to center herself. It didn’t work. The wonderful masculine smell that invaded her senses served to only heighten her awareness of the two men beside her. Opening her eyes, she reached forward and picked up another napkin and cutlery pack.
She had to cool it. These men were bodyguards for Laurie. She would get to the bottom of that later, but for now she had to mentally shake herself and focus. She knew these men were just being kind. She was not going to give in to the feeling that anything might happen between them. Turning, she handed the other set of plastic cutlery and a napkin to Butler who took it gratefully, holding her hand a little longer than necessary as well.
“Thank you, sweetness,” Butler told her softly.
“Oh, you are a charmer,” she answered, teasing him, reaching up to touch his cheek gently. “You’d better be careful or I’ll take you home with me.”
The sudden sound that could only be described as a growl from Alex startled her. She looked at him quickly, surprised to see the possessive gleam in his eyes. His silver gray eyes flashed hotly at her and she could have sworn she had seen them change color.
“You can come, too,” she told him, laughing, touching his cheek lightly, surprised when he turned into her palm and rubbed his face against her hand.
She pulled her hand away and busied herself with her own meal. They were just being flirts. They probably did the same thing to every woman they met. There was no way she could let herself get caught up with any thoughts of fantasy no matter how gorgeous these men were. Instead, she settled in her little spot between them and concentrated on eating her food.
They ate in comfortable silence, Nikki smiling at Laurie and winking as she indicated how Julia was enjoying her meal. Laurie nodded and winked back, unable to keep the smile of happiness from her face.
“So how far along are you, Julia?” Nikki asked her once all of them had finished their food.
“Five months,” Julia told her, smiling down at her belly and rubbing it tenderly. “I’m so thankful to finally be pregnant again. My mates are happy that we’re having another child. They want a big family just like I do.”
There goes that word again. Mates. As in more than one. She would have to ask Laurie to explain more about that when they got a chance to be alone. Even though she didn’t really get the whole double mate thing, Julia’s words made her heart happy. How wonderful that her men wanted a family. There must be some good guys in the world after all. Despite the ache in her chest at the fact that she would never have that future, she was glad that someone else did.
“Adrian and Colin are lucky men,” Alexander spoke up, looking directly at Nikki, his deep voice vibrating through her. “Julia is a wonderful mother. My niece Tammy is amazing. You’ll see when you meet her.”
Nikki smiled as she looked up at him, entranced by the way the silver in his gray eyes swirled as he looked down at her. “Your niece?”
Alex nodded. “My oldest brother Adrian is one of Julia’s mates,” he explained, surprising Nikki by the way he said it, as if relationships with three people were a common occurrence.
“Well, lucky you to have two men to love you,” she said without hesitation as she turned to face Julia. “I'll bet you have some hot nights.”
Julia blushed but couldn’t stop the laugh that escaped her. “You could say that,” she admitted.
“So, Laurie, you also seem to be equally blessed with your two men,” Nikki teased, laughing as she reached out across the table to touch her friend’s hand. “You’ll have to tell me how that works exactly while we’re shopping.”
Laurie laughed and squeezed Nikki’s hand. “I’m so glad you met us here today, Nikki.”
Nikki nodded and sat back against the bench seat, a contented sigh escaping her as the two men beside her crowded against her. She closed her eyes briefly, taking in the wonderful feeling and the amazing scent that soothed her heart, then opened them and looked first to Butler and then to Alex.
“So what about you two?” she asked, her tone light. “Do you have two women each?”
Both men turned in their seats to face her seriously. The smile left her face as she realized how intensely they were looking at her.
“No, Nikki,” Butler answered hesitantly, his deep voice taking on a timbre that made her hands shake and her heart race. “There is only one woman that is destined to be our mate.”
Nikki’s eyebrows rose in surprise. Our mate? As in Alexander and Butler will share one woman as their mate?
Wow. Lucky woman.
Copyright © 2012 Lynnette Bernard
All Rights Reserved.