Authors: Tonya Ramagos
Marsha Spencer recognizes trouble
when she sees it. When Porter and Reid Bishop step into Bulls Eye Billiards,
it’s trouble with a capital T. It’s been a year since their betrayal of her,
but time hasn’t dulled the pain. By all rights, she should hate them. So why
does the sight of them still send her into do-me overload?
Porter and Reid are determined to
make amends with Marsha. They’ve given her time to stew in hopes she would calm
down and listen to reason. Now it’s time to make their move with a few added
changes. They don’t want things the friendly way they were before. They want
Marsha’s sultry body sandwiched between them and her heart in their keeping.
Marsha always secretly lusted after
Porter and Reid. They filled her dreams, fueled her imagination, and now they
want to turn her fantasies into reality. Can she forgive and forget and embrace
them both? It sure beats having to choose between them. But secrets from the
past change all their lives in an instant.
Marsha Spencer recognized trouble. When she heard the bottle
slam to the floor followed by uproarious laughter, she glanced at the group of
guys responsible at the pool tables, shook her head and passed the waiting
waitress a mop and dustpan.
When the next loud crash came from the kitchen behind the
bar, she closed her eyes and readied herself for the string of expletives she
knew to expect from Donnie, her bouncer who doubled as the cook.
“That’ll be the plate of hot wings for table three.”
Allie paused on her way to clean the first mishap and shot
Marsha a nod over her shoulder.
“Tell them it’ll be a few more minutes on their order and
give them the next round of beers on the house.”
“Sure thing, boss.” Allie gave her another quick nod and
made her way through the crowd.
Marsha glanced at the Budweiser clock on a nearby wall.
Barely seven p.m., two minor incidents down, and spirits remained high. If she
stayed lucky, Bulls Eye Billiards wouldn’t see any worse trouble tonight.
As if on cue, the jukebox drowned out the bar noise with
Travis Tritt singing about smelling T-R-O-U-B-L-E and the front door opened
wide. Porter Bishop strutted inside with his brother Reid close at his heels,
and Marsha’s heart skipped a beat. The handsome duo headed straight for the bar
and her blood pressure headed straight for the moon.
She didn’t want to admire the long legs cased in well-worn
denim that carried both men her way. She hated the moist tugs of arousal that
stirred in her pussy as she moved her gaze over Porter’s broad shoulders, up
the corded muscles of his neck, across the scar on his chin, and locked on his
She yanked her attention from Porter, landed it on Reid, and
her meltdown continued. Bonier and a smidgen taller, the effect he had on her
system was no less maddening or potent than his brother. A slow grin stretched
his lips and his do-me eyes sparkled, softening his otherwise stern features.
She knew without a doubt she’d just found tonight’s trouble with a capital T
They stopped dead in front of her, both resting their
forearms casually on the bar.
“What are you doing here?” she asked loud enough to be heard
over the cacophony of music and conversation filling the air.
“Came to have a few beers and play some darts.” The easy,
sexy slide of Porter’s voice moved over her like whipped cream.
“That is, unless we’ve been banned from your establishment.”
Reid’s sweet, lazy drawl added warmed chocolate to the mix, making her skin
“The dartboards are closed.” She wished she could say the
same for her libido when it came to these two. Both were prime specimens of
pure male perfection in their own way, and she should be loathing them more
than anyone on the planet. Not lusting after them like some horny teenager.
“I’ve got two teams from the dart league playing in about thirty minutes and
they’re likely to keep the boards tied up ‘til around midnight.”
“We’ll try not to drag it out that long.” Porter shot a
glance at the far wall of the bar where several members of the teams had
already started to gather and practice. “But seeing as you have only two
boards, it might.”
Two dartboards, six pool tables, twenty-two small square
tables and chairs, and a full-size bar made up the interior of Bulls Eye
Billiards. Marsha planned to change that soon by knocking out the far wall,
extending the gaming space by a good twelve feet and adding more dartboards.
Until then, space for the darters was limited.
She blinked at Porter, certain the music playing coupled
with the loud conversation had done something funky to her hearing. “What do
try not to?”
Reid removed his Tennessee Titans cap to reveal short, dark
hair with a touch of gray at the temples, turned the cap backward, and replaced
it on his head. She’d seen him do that before and recognized it as a sign he
was ready to get serious.
“Porter and I are part of the Southern Boys. I believe Coby
talked with you about taking over the sponsorship for the team.”
Marsha stiffened, now doubly certain her hearing had flown
the coop. Yes, Coby had talked to her. She’d agreed to pick up sponsorship of
the Southern Boys on Thursday nights as well as another team on Tuesdays after
the bar the teams had been playing out of lost its liquor license last week.
Darts had become a big sport in the Spring Valley area in the past decade,
spawning the Greater Valley Darting Association to organize events. Coby
Tremont was both the captain of the Southern Boys and president of the GVDA.
disclosed to her were the names of
the members of his team. Something she could’ve checked out herself on the GVDA
website if she’d thought about it.
“First beer is on the house. If the Southern Boys take first
tonight, you’ll get another for the win.”
It was the agreement she’d made with Coby to finish out the
final six games of the season. If the team stayed together for the next season,
she’d also agreed to pay the bar fees to the association. It was a marginal cut
into the Bulls Eye Billiards’ profits that would be greatly offset by the
amount of business the teams would bring in for the sponsorship. Though she’d
intended to wait until she followed through with her plans for expansion to
make room for additional dartboards, when Coby came to her, needing a bar for
his team to play so they wouldn’t have to forfeit the remainder of the season,
she’d said yes on the spot. She likely would’ve taken more time to consider the
idea if he’d told her who he had on his team.
Which is precisely why he didn’t tell you.
The whole town knew about the friction between her and the
Bishop brothers. Together with their younger sister, Blair, they’d made front
page of the local newspaper more than once barely a year ago when they’d fought
her in court for the ownership of Bulls Eye Billiards—then known as Martin’s
Serve them and move on.
They’d be spending the night
on the opposite side of the bar. Allie could deal with them from here on out
and she wouldn’t have to look at them, let alone talk to them.
As if she would be able to keep her gaze
from lingering on the masculine curve of Reid’s chin and square jaw or the way
Porter’s jeans lovingly hugged his incredible ass. Even from several feet away,
especially over the span of four-plus hours.
“So what’ll it be?” She knew what they drank. She’d been
serving them since her first day on the job, back when she was an employee of
Martin’s Pub rather than the owner of Bulls Eye Billiards. Still, she played
dumb, preferring them to think she’d put them and their drink preferences out
of her mind.
The idea fell so far from the truth it nearly made her
Porter’s brows drifted together, narrowing hazel eyes filled
with a look that told her he wasn’t buying her forgetful act. “A bottle of Bud
Light for me.”
“Michelob Ultra, bottle,” Reid said.
Marsha pulled the bottles from the cooler, twisted off the
caps with a towel, and slid them gently across the bar. “Starting a tab?”
“If you’ll let us.” Porter picked up his beer, tipped back
the bottle and took several long swigs.
Marsha’s gaze zeroed on his mouth. The way his lips curved
easily around the bottle, the way his throat worked as he swallowed, sent her
imagination flying in a whirlwind of erotic images. Her nipples beaded,
pressing uncomfortably against her lacy bra. Fingers of acute desire danced
between her pussy lips, coaxing a layer of cream from her center to wet her
He lowered the bottle and she snapped her attention back to
his eyes. Locking gazes with him wasn’t any easier on the lust building inside
her than staring at his mouth had been.
“Shoot well tonight, gentlemen,” she said, hoping she didn’t
sound as breathless as she felt. She tapped the bar with her fingertips and
quickly moved away, putting distance between her and the trouble duo before she
said or did something she knew she would regret.
Like letting either of them know how she lay awake at night
fantasizing about Porter’s muscled physique and Reid’s equally arousing lanky
build…naked. Or how she longed for those friendly conversations they used to
have when they’d kick back with a beer in the wee hours of the morning after
Even if she dared to let the past fall behind them, even if
she were brave enough to expose the truth, even if she were insane enough to
believe the attraction wasn’t one-sided, she’d never be able to choose between
them. Her hormones were too fickle and greedy. She’d have to have them both.
* * * * *
“She still hates us.” Reid led the way, weaving through the
crowd to an empty table near the dartboards.
Porter scoffed. “Ya think?” He set his half-empty beer on
the table next to Reid’s and pulled his Hammerhead steel-tip darts from his
case. He halfheartedly inspected them as he stewed, checking the flights for
breaks and the shafts for splits. But the lingering image of Marsha behind the
bar stayed in his mind’s eye.
Yeah, she still hated them. He’d seen that much in the grim
set to her shapely lips, in the muscle tic in her slim jaw. If he’d had his
way, he would’ve gone over that bar, drawn her slender body that had been
driving him wild for years into his arms, and kissed those lips into one of
those dazzling smiles she used to treat him with so often.
And she likely would’ve knocked you on your ass.
He figured he wouldn’t have minded that so much either as
long as he got to gaze into her ocean-green eyes and picture the two of them
tangled on a white sandy beach on some deserted island. The dim atmosphere of
the bar had done nothing to tone down the intoxicating power of those eyes.
Even in the pale light, their intensity had swirled with the remnants of her
Not that he could blame her, he reasoned, rolling the barrel
of his darts in his fingertips, re-familiarizing himself with the coarseness of
their Gorilla Grip. They’d tried to talk to her on the steps of the county
courthouse the day the judge ruled in her favor. They might have gotten
through, too, if Blair hadn’t sashayed her highfaluting, designer ass right
behind them. Instead, talking to Marsha had been like spitting words at a brick
Reid sighed and took a pull from his beer. “I’d hoped she’d
come around to listening by now.”
Porter had hoped so, too. They’d steered clear of her for a
full year, hoping distance and time, if nothing else, would mend the rift
between them. It had been the longest damn year of his life. Stunning, with
long dirty-blonde hair she most often wore in a tight ponytail, curves that
made his mouth water and legs that seemed to go on for miles, it wasn’t just
her beauty that had gotten under his skin. Her personality flat out did it for
him, too. She was smart, funny, vivacious and had a level head on her shoulders
that surprised him more often than not. He’d missed talking to her, secretly
lusting after her, simply hanging with her in the last year. So much so that
he’d found himself spending that year trying to replace the void in his life.
Too bad for him he knew nearly every woman in Spring Valley and not a one of
them could hold a candle to Marsha Spencer.
“Guess we should be grateful she didn’t have Donnie toss us
out by our ears.” Porter laughed when Reid lifted a brow. Donnie was a hell of
a cook and an even better bouncer. He was also a friend. If Marsha had given
the signal, the other man would’ve politely asked them to leave before
attempting to get physical. “Let me rephrase that, we should be grateful
didn’t toss us out by our ears.”
“Here’s the thing,” Reid said as he put his bottle back on
the table and dried his fingers on his jeans. “We’ve agreed we’ve given her
enough time to stew. One way or another we’re going to get her to listen to
“We are,” Porter agreed. “And we’re getting started tonight,
just as soon as our matches are over.”
“You two gonna stand there yabbering all night or you gonna
play darts?” Coby Tremont walked over, slapped Reid on the back of the shoulder
and grinned Porter’s way.
“We’re likely to do both.” Porter shook hands with Coby.
“How’s it going, my man?”
“Can’t complain. Can’t complain. Hell, it wouldn’t do me a
bit of good if I did.”
Porter chuckled. “I hear you. Mind if we throw a few
practice shots first, get warmed up?”
Coby shook his head and pointed toward the dartboards. “Take
board one. I’m teaming Tucker and Mitch on board two. You guys will be starting
us off in 501 doubles.”
Porter nodded. 501 was a game of strategy as well as skill.
The object was to reach zero points counting backward from five hundred and one
as quickly as possible, ending the game by doubling out. If the score was
thirty-two, a double sixteen was needed to end the game.
He’d expected to be paired with Reid for most games. They
played well together and knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses on a
dartboard. Porter could hit bulls eyes almost with his eyes closed. Reid’s
darts, on the other hand, fell into the triple or double space of the number he
aimed for like clockwork.
Porter stepped to the toe line, aimed his dart and let it
fly. The steel tip wired the green bull, missing by a fraction of an inch. The
next dart landed on the opposite side of the wire, right where he wanted it.
Dart three fell smack in the center of the red bull.
“Too bad that was a practice shot. Let’s see you do it again
when it counts.”
Porter ignored the comment, walked to the board, and pulled
out his darts. He turned, headed back, and gave a curt nod to Randy Nickel,
apparently one of his opponents in tonight’s first match. He didn’t much care
for the guy. Cocky and pompous, he grated on Porter’s nerves. Of course, he was
partially responsible for the scar on Porter’s chin and that didn’t help the
guy climb the likeable charts a bit.