The Gift of Shayla
By N.J. Walters
(A holiday m/m/f ménage a trois novella.)
Adam Lancaster has been in love with Rob McKeith—and attracted to Rob’s wife, Shayla—for years, but he fears their friendship would be over if they knew the truth. So he’s thrilled when his secret fantasy becomes reality and the couple offers him a very special gift: a sensual Christmas Eve in their bedroom…
“Adam.” There was an edge to Rob’s voice now. Adam knew his friend too well to think he was going to drop whatever was on his mind.
“Where’s Shayla?” He desperately tried to divert the conversation. It was strange he hadn’t seen her. She must be out somewhere, but he couldn’t imagine where she’d be. Not at eight o’clock in the evening on Christmas Eve.
When Rob didn’t answer, Adam finally turned his face toward him. His friend’s expression was more serious than he’d ever seen it. Shit. He picked up his glass and gulped down the rest. A waste of good scotch, for sure, but he needed the hit. Not that one drink would have much effect on him, but it was better than nothing. He needed something to dull the coming pain.
“I’ve seen how you look at me,” Rob began.
Adam closed his eyes and swallowed hard. The liquor he’d just drunk burned in his gut. He could still salvage this. He had to. The alternative didn’t bear considering.
He opened his eyes and chuckled. “Of course I look at you. I see you all the time.” There, that sounded casual enough.
“I’ve also seen how you look at Shayla.”
Adam’s heart stuttered before taking off at a gallop. He was totally fucked. He didn’t know what to say. “She’s a beautiful woman, man. That’s it. I would never…” Damn, he was only making thing worse. He shut his mouth.
Rob shook his head and sat forward in his chair. The leather creaked and the fire crackled, creating a homey atmosphere. Yet it was about to be a scene of carnage when Rob ripped out his heart. “You never could lie worth a damn, Lancaster. At least not to me.”
Adam felt as though he’d taken a shot to the gut. He was going to lose Rob. His best friend, the person he’d loved and wanted forever. And he was going to lose Shayla too. In the time she and Rob had been together, she’d become a good friend, always welcoming him to join them, never shutting him out or complaining because he lived next door and was always underfoot.
He’d have to sell the house and move. There was no way he could stay here now. He stood, his legs shaky. Rob stood as well. They both topped out at six feet, but Rob was the leaner of the two of them. Years of heavy construction work had given Adam thick muscles. Right now it didn’t matter who was physically stronger. Rob could destroy him with nothing more than a few words.
N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.
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