Home > The Proposal(5)

The Proposal(5)
Author: Kitty Thomas

Well, mission successful, I guess.

They are definitely playing me. They're pissed that I've dangled my pussy over them like some virgin being auctioned off to the highest bidder, and you can bet they're all calculating their money and time investments and what they think I owe them. I'm sure they want to lure me in, gang bang me, and dump me—and this time without even the lame girlfriend title that I might otherwise have had if I'd stuck to standard-method good girl dating.

I'm about to go back out onto the main road and get that taxi when a broad dark figure fills the opening of the alleyway. This cannot be happening to me.

I start to back away, the heels that allowed me somehow to run three blocks suddenly deciding they don't even want to let me awkwardly stumble backwards now. The alley is a dead end. Nowhere to run. The stranger advances, and I move deeper into the darkness—as if this is a legitimate escape route.

I am going to die in this fucking alley because I couldn't just stay in a nice restaurant and have an uncomfortable conversation. I scream at the top of my lungs before he reaches me. Maybe he'll decide a shrill shrieky screamer isn't worth it. But this stranger who may want to mug me, murder me, rape me, has decided he's good with screaming.

He continues to advance in that slow lumbering horror movie way, and I just continue to scream because short of uselessly beating at his chest, there's not a whole hell of a lot of other options. My purse isn't substantial enough to even pretend to use it as a weapon. It's one of those tiny clutch bags that you can only fit a wad of emergency cash, a cell phone, and a lipstick in.

Just before he can do whatever he's decided he's going to do, someone pulls him away from me and then three men—my three men—are beating and kicking the shit out of him. The mugger/murderer/rapist manages to crawl out of the alleyway and go back to whatever den of iniquity he slunk out of.

Dayne rounds on me, breathing hard. “What in the fuck did you think you were doing? Are you trying to get yourself killed?”

All three of them look livid, and suddenly they seem far scarier than the stranger who almost accosted me.

I want to scream at them, but the tough act has drained out of me, and all I can do is cry and shake like some half-drowned lap dog—even though it isn't even raining.

Soren steps forward.

I instinctively step back. He looks wounded by this, but he removes his suit jacket and wraps it around my trembling form, then without a word leads me out of the alley to the waiting limo with the other two behind me looking like hulking bodyguards. They apparently all traveled together tonight. The four of us get in the back, and the limo lurches forward.

I'm not sure where we're going—probably not back to the restaurant—but I'm wrong about that. The limo stops. The driver gets out and waves off the valet when the man tries to take the keys. Then our driver goes inside the restaurant. Fifteen minutes later he comes out with to-go bags, and we're driving again.

I stare out the window. I'm still quietly crying, huddled in Soren's coat. Nobody speaks. A few minutes later the limo stops to drop us off in front of a high rise. Griffin's penthouse. It makes the most sense. It's the closest. Dayne takes the bags of food from the driver and we all silently go inside.

This is so weird. I should ask the driver to take me home, but I can't bring myself to do it after they just heroically rescued me and got all of our dinner to go like it was fast food drive-thru and no big deal.

“Sit,” Griffin says again, when we're standing in his dining room.

I hand the jacket back to Soren and sit awkwardly at the table. I walked into the restaurant tonight feeling sexy and confident and on top of the world. And now I feel like a teenager about to be scolded for sneaking out of the house. They've each got eight years on me and the age difference feels bigger than usual tonight.

The men take the food to the kitchen. When they return, it's on nice plates. Dayne brings in a couple of bottles of wine.

I'm grateful when they fill my glass almost to the top. I need it. My hand is still shaking when I take a sip of the dark red Merlot. The Penne Bolognese is still hot when it's placed in front of me.

“Eat,” Griffin says. I wonder how long they've known about each other... how long they've been planning to turn the tables on me?

Nobody speaks as we eat, which is just fine with me. In fact, by this point I'm starting to think what was said at the restaurant was some hysterical hallucination. Maybe we're really only about to have a standard confrontation and break-up. And after everything else that's transpired tonight, I can almost handle that.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realize obviously they were just playing a game with me. Maybe the original plan was to con me into bed with all of them, but after what almost happened in the alley we'll probably all have a cordial and mature breakup and that will be that. I can't imagine they'd still try to get me into bed after the almost alley assault.

When we've finished eating, Griffin pours himself another glass of wine, takes a sip, and calmly says to me, “Now, as I was saying back at the restaurant... you will legally marry one of us and the other two...”

“And I said no,” I repeat.

He laughs at this. “It wasn't a request. We've decided—”

“You can't just decide. That's not how this works. I told each of you when we started dating that if someone proposed and I accepted, I would break things off with anyone else I happened to be dating at the time. So if one of you wants to ask me, I may consider the offer.”

Though I'm not even sure if that's true anymore after this sudden Neanderthal act—not that I didn't know all three of these men were used to getting their way and how badly that could go for me if I lost control of this situation—which I clearly have.

“No,” Griffin says as if trying to reason with a small child about the utility of eating vegetables, “We all want you. We're all taking you.”

Again, my body is all in with this. And a part of my mind isn't sure about things. Only this afternoon I was in love with all of them and couldn't imagine how I'd ever be able to break up with the others if one decided to call my bluff and propose. And the only thing cooling my ardor is the way they've behaved tonight, but even that is leaving an unexpected and growing trail of wetness between my legs.

Instead of giving in to any of my more primal and uncivilized urges, I stand because realistically there's only one thing I can do now. “Thank you for dinner and for saving me, but this isn't going to work anymore. We're through. All of us.” I manage not to start crying again as I make eye contact with each of them so they know I mean it.

They let me walk out of the dining room, and I actually think I'm going to get out of the building. But before I reach the door, one of them—I'm not sure which—pushes me so that my breasts are pressed against the wall. A hand grips the back of my neck, holding me in place so I can't turn to see who has me. His other hand runs down my dress, and he shoves it roughly up so he can stroke between my thighs. I'm exposed, and I blush as I realize he can feel my arousal and knows how my body has reacted to their indecent proposal.

I don't even care which one of them has me. I feel like a butterfly pinned to a board, wings desperately fluttering, fighting for an escape that isn't possible. Only I'm not moving. I'm not fighting or fluttering. I'm barely even breathing.

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