NAILED TO THE WALL

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Copyright © 2012 Jayne Rylon

Devon popped another handful of caramel corn into her mouth, despite the fact that the credits of their third movie scrolled past on the muted TV. She smiled as she thought back to Dave and Kayla’s first fight—a battle over the installment of the enormous flatscreen. Secretly, she was glad her friend had compromised and allowed the technology in her haven. The custom oak cabinet the crew had devised to hide any trace of ugly black plastic was a work of art.

Crispy, coated kernels surrendered to her chomping. She licked sticky sweetness from her fingers. When she looked up, she caught Kayla peeking at her from the corner of her eye.

Devon knocked her knee into her friend’s. “Want some of this?”

“Yeah.” Kayla made no move to grab a snack.

Morgan refilled their pretty, hand-blown margarita glasses. Colorful blobs encased in the clear material looked like confetti. They swirled and mixed in Devon’s blurred vision. Last round for her. Being petite had been a curse she’d endured her entire life. Little to no tolerance for alcohol was a related inconvenience to suffer.

When Morgan finished serving them—all except Kate, who’d opted for fancy tea instead of booze—she plopped on the floor beside her best friend.

“So…” Kate leered at each of them in turn. “Truth or dare time.”

“My favorite.” Devon grinned.

“Good, then you first.”

“Truth.” She had no qualms about sharing herself with these women regardless of the silly game they played.

“Make it something juicy.” Morgan poked Kate in the ribs. “You’re evil at this. I should know. Remember when you forced me to admit my crush on your boyfriend in high school? Holy crap. I forgot his name. How can that be?”

“I think it was Tim. Or Ted maybe. Damn.” Kate squinted. “It seemed like the end of the world at the time. Now that we have the crew, I can’t help but think you saved me from potential disaster.”

“Plus you got even in college with…” Morgan paused.

“Dan?”

“Uh, something like that. No, no, Doug. Definitely Doug.” Morgan laughed. “I guess we’ve always had similar taste in guys.”

“Great hormones think alike.” Kate winked. “And now I know you’ve got it good with Joe.”

“Lucky bitch.” A slap on Kate’s bared thigh accompanied the half-hearted curse.

“That’s me. Anyhoo… It’s been a while.” Kate tapped her chin, then glanced at Kayla and Morgan. “I’m rusty. Help me. Both of you.”

“Hell-oooo. You’re the only sober one here.” Kayla rolled her eyes. “You’ve got a pretty big advantage.”

“Good point.” Kate utilized their fit of giggles to consider. “Okay. But maybe we should change the rules. No singling anyone out. We’ll all answer the question.”

“Why the hell not?” Morgan shrugged. “We don’t really believe in the whole solo thing around these parts. We’re like the nine musketeers. Or is that three, three musketeers?”

“I can’t do math after four margaritas!” Kayla rubbed her temples.

“You’ve had five,” Kate corrected.

“You sort of proved her point.” Devon nodded gingerly enough to avoid rattling her brains.

“Okay, okay.” Kate held her hands up in surrender. “How about this? What’s one thing you always hoped to try with our guys but haven’t had the balls to go for yet?”

“Time to start planning our coup, huh?” Morgan clinked her glass against Kate’s teacup.

“Yeah. I’ll kick us off with some honesty of my own. Part of me is nervous. It’s been a while now, coming up on two years, since I met the crew. I feel like we need to keep things fresh for Mike and the rest of them. They’re used to adventure. I couldn’t stand it if we didn’t satisfy them as much as they’ve done for us.” The rush with which the confession burst from Kate had them all sobering a tiny bit.

“You’ve thought about this a lot. Worried.” Devon leaned forward to pat Kate’s shoulder. “Mike adores you. You’re all he really needs. You know that, right?”

“Yes.” Kate swallowed hard enough for Devon to spot her throat flex. “I do. Deep down. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to give him the world. Better than only what he requires. Bare minimum isn’t enough for the man of my dreams. We’ve also…”

“What, Katiebug?” Kayla defaulted to the nickname the guys had given their friend.

She released a dreamy sigh, then confessed, “Mike and I have toyed with starting a family.”

“No wonder you’re not drinking tonight.” Kayla stared at the cup of tea clutched in Kate’s white-knuckled grip.

“I’ve been dying to tell you all. I just…” She shook her head.

“You’ve been keeping too much inside.” Morgan glared at Kate. “Don’t you know we’re here for you when you need us?”

“If we’d hidden something like this, you would have kicked our asses.” Kayla leaned in closer. Morgan didn’t harp, though. She glanced away, and her cheeks seemed to blush. Before Devon could dig deeper, Kate sighed.

“I know.” At least she didn’t attempt to deny it. “I’m sorry.”

“So what’s your main concern?” Devon tilted her head as she tried to decipher the issue.

“Once we have more responsibility, what if Mike is restless? As much as I can already feel a burning love for the baby we’re praying for, I also know things will get harder. More stress. More obligation. More work. Our relationship could suffer. I’m terrified this brilliant magic we’ve created could fade into a perfectly comfortable, ordinary life. While he might be content, I can’t imagine him happiest like that.”

“Never forget we’re a team.” Morgan smirked. “With this many aunts and uncles to love a child, he or she won’t be hard up for attention. And you’ll never have to worry about a babysitter if you two need some time alone. Then, maybe someday, you could return the favor for Joe and me. Just think, our kids will grow up like brothers and sisters.”

“That is nice to dream about.” Kate brushed discreetly at the corner of her eye with a knuckle. “So I guess I’m going to answer my own stupid question. Tell me if I’m crazy.”

“You are,” Devon answered immediately.

“Brat.” Kate’s insult held no heat. Some of her seriousness dissolved. She took a deep breath, then admitted in a rush, “I’d like to watch one of you with Mike. I can’t promise I won’t get psycho jealous and try to rip you apart—gouge out your eyes or pull your hair or scratch you to shreds—but I’ll do my best. I think he should have the option. And secretly, though he’s never said anything, I think he’s a touch jealous of the other guys. They got to be with some of you and he never did. Not that he wants to screw around or anything. But he’s possessive. He considers all eight of us his in some way, you know?”

“You’re both similar in that regard. Always taking care of the gang.” Kayla grinned. “So how about a trade? Dave told me you were pretty damn hot that first time they shared you in the pool. I’m sure he’d be up for another taste. And he’s plenty strong enough to keep your cat-fighting ninja moves in check should you make a break for me.”

Devon noticed Morgan nodding in agreement. She thought about her relationship with the rest of the crew and how easy it would be to take the last step toward full-on intimacy. She loved each of the men for things they had in common as well as their individual strengths and quirks.

Morgan added softly, “I’ve grown so close to you all, and our guys. Most of us have been with some combination of them already…when we were first finding each other. One thing I’ve wondered about is making our sessions a free-for-all. The guys share each other. So why not us too? There are times, when we’re all together, it would be so easy to reach out and touch Mike, Dave, Neil or James. They’re gorgeous, and I love each of them. I’m sure I could improve their experience, same for them with me, but I’m afraid they’re off limits. Why do we do that?”

Devon gnawed her lip. It was no secret Neil and James had played around with every one of her friends before she entered the picture. Truth be told, she imagined sometimes what it would have been like to be Kate. To have had all five men focused on her pleasure.

Greedy much? Hell, yeah.