Authors: Erin M. Leaf
Tags: #Menage a Trois (m/m/f), #Menage Amour
The First Time is the Sweetest
A mystery shooter.
Who is trying to kill Sabrina and why? Will Jimmy be able to protect her, or will he need the help of sexy FBI agent Gabriel? And how can Sabrina resist falling in love when she experiences passion for the first time?
Despite the danger, she can’t help how she feels, especially not when Gabriel and Jimmy begin to rekindle the romance they had to abandon years ago. When she realizes that both men desire her just as much as they want each other, she falls head over heels for the first time.
When violence strikes, the only way out of disaster is for the three of them to trust in each other and in love.
Contemporary/Ménage a Trois/Quatre/Romantic Suspense
THE FIRST TIME IS THE SWEETEST
Erin M. Leaf
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Ménage Amour
THE FIRST TIME IS THE SWEETEST
Copyright © 2010 by Erin M. Leaf
First E-book Publication: August 2010
Cover design by Jinger Heaston
All cover art and logo copyright © 2010 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
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All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
Siren Publishing, Inc.
Letter from Erin M. Leaf
Regarding Ebook Piracy
It takes months to write a novel. It takes many more months after a novel is written to revise all the mistakes. It’s work, albeit the kind of work that every author loves. We do it because we love to write, but we also do it because our kids need clothes and food. We do it because we have to pay rent on our apartment. We do it so that we can afford all the other things that make living in this world possible. So please, don’t copy or sell or redistribute this book. Don’t download a copy for free. The livelihood of the author, the editor, the publisher, the proofreader, the cover artist, and all the others who put their time into making this novel possible depends on you.
With deep gratitude,
Erin M. Leaf
To all the editors who have walked through my life, from my first grade teacher to the one who helped make this novel better: I have learned everything there is to know about writing from you. Thanks.
ERIN M. LEAF
Copyright © 2010
“Are you sure you’re going to be all right, honey?” her dad asked. Sabrina sighed with exasperation, despite the lovely sunny day.
“I’m a big girl now, Dad, you know that. And I’ve got a lot of photography projects planned, so it’s not like I’ll be bored. I’m going to be fine, and you know you’ve been planning this trip for a long time,” she assured him as she inhaled deeply, enjoying the flower-scented air. “Besides, you need the time off. I know how stressed you’ve been lately, especially with the extra charity cases you’ve been taking on. You need time to relax and not worry about the things you can’t fix.” She smiled as she waited for him to get into the taxi. Sabrina loved him dearly, but she couldn’t wait for him to go. She knew she’d miss him, especially since this was her last summer at home before grad school, but even so, she felt a trickle of excitement as she watched him fuss with his bag. Then he hesitated. She looked at his face and realized he was trying to be stoic about leaving.
“Oh shoot,” she heard him murmur softly. She watched him try to wipe his eyes surreptitiously.
“Dad!” she exclaimed. “No crying! You promised!” She shook her head at him. He laughed and hugged her one last time.
“Don’t forget, Jimmy’s here. I’ll be fine,” Sabrina insisted, holding him tightly. He nodded and stepped back, trying to smile at her. She thought about Jimmy. She hadn’t seen him in years. He used to live with his father Charlie next door, but by the time Charlie died, Jimmy was already in college. Sabrina knew her dad kept in touch with Jimmy, but even so, she never expected him to ask Jimmy to come stay with her this summer. Sabrina sighed. She wished her dad didn’t have to set up a babysitter for her, but some of the recent work he’d taken on was dangerous. As an attorney, he was dealing with more and more gang-related crime at his practice, helping abused members escape gangs through legal avenues. She knew he wouldn’t be able to relax on this vacation unless he could be sure she was safe.
Sabrina remembered playing with Jimmy when she was younger. They’d always gotten along great even though he was five years older.
And it doesn’t hurt that he’s drop-dead gorgeous
, she thought, hoping no one could see her blush. Sabrina had always had a crush on him, but he never teased her despite the way she followed him around, stammering whenever he spoke to her. She shook herself, reaching down to help her dad stuff the last bag in the car, absentmindedly hooking a strand of hair behind her ear. She handed her dad his coffee and tried to convince herself that her red face was due to the heat.
“Sabrina, are you sure you’re going to be okay?” Her dad paused by the open cab door.
He must have noticed my red face
, Sabrina thought absently, still trying to control her blush.
She nodded and smiled at her dad, kissing his cheek. “I’m going to be fine, Dad,” she assured him as she thought about what a whole summer with Jimmy would be like. As a freelance journalist, he didn’t really have what other people would consider a “steady” job, and he traveled most of the year. She hadn’t talked to him in years, and she was really looking forward to the next few months, getting to know him as an adult, not a kid. It would be the longest time they’d ever spent together. Her dad pulled back and searched her face. She reached out and tugged at his collar, pretending to smooth out a wrinkle but actually twisting the collar up. She’d pulled this trick on him a thousand times, and she giggled as he tried to fix his collar and hug her at the same time.
“All right.” Her dad laughed as he pulled away and straightened his shirt. His face portrayed an endearing mix of amusement and exasperation. He was really a sweet man. Sabrina smiled at him, and he winked. She knew she’d miss him, miss the feeling of home and safety and everything else a father meant, but she was anxious to stretch her wings and become her own person.
“Have a good time!” she whispered fiercely into his hair, hugging him one last time. “I love you, Dad.”
“I love you, too, munchkin. And be nice to Jimmy!” he admonished, giving her a last, quick hug. He stepped back and settled into the car.
“Oh, she’ll be nice to me,” Jimmy’s deep voice teased from behind as the car door shut. Her dad smiled as she jumped, not realizing Jimmy had come out of the house. Sabrina loved the dark, rumbly tone of his voice, loved the hint of amusement that often hovered suggestively on the edge of his words, teasing the unwary. She felt herself flush again.
Damn this ridiculous skin!
she thought, impatiently pushing her hair back. She loved the color but hated how the natural red also came with absurdly fair skin prone to blushes.
“Then make sure you’re nice to Sabrina!” her dad called from inside the car. Sabrina could tell her dad was laughing and rolled her eyes.
“I’m always nice to Sabrina,” Jimmy retorted, and Sabrina snorted. He smirked, and she shook her head at him, pretending to be offended. He laughed, and she gave up trying to look stern as her father waved from the taxi and it pulled away from the curb. She stood on the sidewalk, waving until the car turned the corner, then turned and smiled at Jimmy.
“I thought he’d never actually leave,” Jimmy said, his mouth turning up in a crooked grin as they walked up the tree-lined driveway to the house. His hand rested on her waist, guiding her up the steps to the front door.
“Me, too!” Sabrina shivered, acutely aware of the warmth of his hand. She wished he could see she was all grown up but knew he didn’t. She sighed quietly to herself. Maybe she could be his friend, but she knew better than to hope for something more. The trees shook their leaves at her, and she relaxed as a breeze ruffled her hair.
Enough with the self-pity!
She gave herself a mental shake.
Jimmy’s here for the summer, and you’re finally free of the hell that is adolescence.
“So, what are we going to do about dinner?” Jimmy asked as they stepped inside the cool foyer of the house. To their left lay the dining room and kitchen, while directly in front, the stairs to the second floor curved along the wall. Her dad’s den sat along the right, and the living room was at the back of the house.
Sabrina headed directly toward the stairs. She wanted to change because she was sticky and hot.
From the heat
, she thought, smiling as she lied to herself, amused with her ability to prevaricate. “I have no idea what we’ve got to eat. Why don’t you surprise me?” Sabrina glanced at Jimmy as she started up the stairs.
What the—was he staring at my butt?
She shook herself. “I’ll be right down after I change. I’ve gotta get out of these hot jeans. I’d no idea that it was going to get this warm in June.” As she ascended the stairs, Sabrina thought she heard him mutter something about her being hot, but when she turned around he smiled innocently up at her. She narrowed her eyes at him, but he just laughed.
Get a hold of yourself, girl! He’s not looking at you that way!
“Didn’t I tell you to put on something cooler this morning?” he nagged as Sabrina glared, running his hands along his shorts as if to say,
He stood at the bottom in his cutoffs and a T-shirt, looking delicious and not the least bit overheated. Her eyes went to where his short dark hair stood on end from where he must have run his hands through it, brown eyes laughing.
“You are such a tease,” she retorted, flipping her hair over one shoulder, then sticking out her tongue. He chuckled, and Sabrina blushed. Again.
She whirled around, ignoring him as she dashed up the rest of the stairs. Once she reached the top, he eyed her through the railing that ran along the second-floor landing near the stairs.
What is he staring at?
She went into her bedroom, thinking she had a stain on her jeans or something, but there was nothing there when she looked in the mirror. She shrugged. The possibility that he might be looking at her ass crossed her mind, and she wrinkled her nose before dismissing the idea.
No way, not Jimmy!
Sabrina threw on a pair of light gray sweat shorts and a white halter top, setting the incident from her mind.
She stopped to examine herself in the mirror before going back down. Her straight hair was caught in a scrunchie and not flying out like it usually did. It was too hot to bother with a bra, and her shorts were a little threadbare in spots, but they were her old favorites. She looked decent and comfortable. She headed downstairs.
When she reached the kitchen, Jimmy had started water boiling and held a box of spaghetti in his hands. He’d stripped off his shirt, and for a moment, she just stood there, staring at the muscles rippling beneath the smooth skin of his back.
, she thought. Suddenly the cooler clothes didn’t feel all that much better. She knew he was gorgeous, but this was the first time she’d seen him shirtless in years. She couldn’t resist. She had to touch all that gleaming perfection, so she snuck up behind him and tickled his waist, laughing.
“Hey!” he yelped, jumping around. The box of spaghetti flew across the room and landed in the corner by the doorway as he reached for her, his intent plain.
“No, no!” Sabrina yelled, dashing around the table giggling. He wiggled his fingers and stalked her. Sabrina felt her nipples rub against the soft cloth of her halter as she avoided Jimmy’s grabs. She hoped Jimmy couldn’t tell they were erect, but as she ducked behind a chair, she noticed him looking at her chest. He swallowed and she watched him murmur something to himself before tearing his eyes away.
Looking at his face, Sabrina knew she wasn’t going to escape payback but thought maybe she could stall the retaliation for a little while. She waved her hand in a “just try it” manner, laughing. He growled at her. She laughed. He growled! God, he was sexy. Then, just when she thought he was going to lunge, he straightened up and turned around, dropping the stalking pose entirely. He walked back to the stove and began stirring the tomato sauce.
“Jimmy?” she asked tentatively, hoping she hadn’t pissed him off. She didn’t think so, but it had been awhile since they’d horsed around like this. He didn’t reply, so she inched back around the table warily. “Everything okay?” she asked him, stepping closer.
“Gotcha!” he growled, tickling her. Sabrina yelped. He chuckled and tickled her faster, and she fell over, landing on her butt. She laughed so hard she couldn’t fight him off, and he followed her down, tickling furiously as she tried to fend him off.
“No! No, ah!” she cried, giggling and squirming on the cold tile, delighted that he still liked to goof around as much as she remembered. She’d worried about him a lot this past year. His dad told her that he’d had a difficult time while on assignment in Afghanistan, and it was wonderful to see that he was still able to let go and joke around. She grabbed his left hand and tried to pry it away from her waist, bare beneath her halter top, but he slid it from her grasp and tickled her faster. By now her stomach hurt from laughter.
“I've got you now!” Jimmy threatened, kneeling over her and sliding his hands around her torso. She giggled at him and shoved ineffectually at his shoulders, but he didn’t let up. Then his hands accidentally slipped under her halter. Jimmy sucked in a breath and froze; his left hand rested on her ribs and the other lightly cupped her breast. Sabrina felt her nipple pebble beneath his palm. Arousal sparked through her, and for a moment she couldn’t move. Jimmy’s eyes darkened as he slowly dragged his hands out from under her top, the calluses on his palm grazing her nipple as he pulled away.
What the hell?
Sabrina thought, trembling as she tried not to let on how aroused she was. She flushed. This was Jimmy, a grown man, not some cute boy from school! She squeaked under her breath and hoped he couldn’t tell how much she wanted him to keep touching her. When she looked down at herself, both nipples were peaked and visible against the soft cotton of her halter. She glanced back up at Jimmy, who stared at her breasts, face taut. She squirmed a little bit, hoping he’d move back so she could get up and stop embarrassing herself.
For goodness’ sake, you’re not some naive girl!
she told herself sternly. She was twenty-one, about to go to grad school, and more than capable of taking care of herself, but none of these rationalizations seemed to matter. Sabrina desperately wanted Jimmy to slide his hand back over her nipple. It wasn’t until she made another small sound that his eyes flew up to her face. She tried to will her flush away and refused to look him in the eye as he sucked in a deep breath, then stood and offered her his hand. She grabbed it and let him pull her up.
“Sorry about that, Sabrina.” Jimmy walked back to the water and sauce on the stove. He stopped and Sabrina stared at his broad back as he clenched his hands against the granite countertop. He looked uncomfortable. “It’s been awhile since we goofed around like this. A few years ago, you didn’t have any body parts I had to avoid.” Jimmy chuckled as he turned around. He shoved his hands in his pockets. Sabrina stared at the way his biceps flexed, her mouth going dry.
“I’m impressed,” he added, breaking the silence as he teased. Sabrina blushed again, dragging her eyes away from his muscular body. He slowly crossed over to her, and for a minute she thought he was going to touch her again; then he walked past her and stopped to pick up the spaghetti box. He smiled as he stood back up. Mortified, Sabrina crossed her arms over her chest, hiding her breasts as she dropped her eyes. She should have worn a bra! Except, she never thought Jimmy would care. Or notice!