“Nate,” I called. “How about you take these things off me?” I yanked my makeshift restraints.

Nate leaned on his side. His gaze raked over my naked form. Then, a smile blossomed on the corner of his lips. “No. Not yet. I’m not done.”

Chapter Five

I discovered that sex had an effect on me like an illegal drug. I wanted it. I was hooked. Once the high and the afterglow faded away, only regret bound me like a boa constrictor’s grip. The more I struggled to get away, the more suffocated I became.

I opened up my eyes and the first thought that came to mind was why the hell did I do it? The first one might have been an honest mistake. But the second one was surely pure stupidity.

Congratulation, Simone, first you fucked Jamie, and now you’ve fucked his brother. How are you going to explain this to everybody?

Nate was still asleep beside me. He didn’t snore much. Only a deep, faint noise accompanied his breathing. He looked so peaceful. Content even.

I hadn’t noticed it before, but Nate had pretty eyelashes. They were too lush for a guy. His lips were sensuous too. Even while he was sleeping, he was still a very attractive man. Nate was also kind and smart. His ex-wife was a fool.

The guilt in my heart weighed heavily. I should have known better. I’d let my weakness ruin my newfound home, my sanctuary. I’d probably ruined Nate and Jamie’s relationship as well. What would Luke say when he discovered what I’d done?

I’m a wicked, wicked woman.

Argh. I hate myself.

I slipped out of the bed and took a shower. Nate had woken and left when I got out of the bathroom. I put my makeup on, did a light cleaning then got to the kitchen to make breakfast.

As I made batter for pancakes, Jamie came down from his room. He poured coffee and proceeded to casually peck a kiss on my cheek.

“Hi, babe,” he said.

My face burned hot. I felt as if I were a kid caught stealing candy with a hand still in the cookie jar. What made it more awkward was that Nate saw all of this.

He’d also just come down from his room to have breakfast. His usually warm eyes turned icy, and his lips became a hard line. “What do you think you’re doing?” Nate asked Jamie with chastising tone.

“What do you mean?” Jamie asked back, unsuspecting.

I wiped my flour-covered hands on my apron. There was no way to avoid this situation. It was bound to happen sooner or later. “Jamie, Nate, we need to talk.”

Jamie took one good look at me, then both brothers seemed to catch on to what was going on. Jamie smiled. Any idiot could see that it was a forced smile. “Actually, I’m quite busy this morning. Can we do this later?”

“Jamie, we really need to have that conversation,” I said. I turned to Nate. “You too.”

Nate studied me. “Actually, I’m quite busy as well. I have something to discuss with Jamie first.”

“Oh. I have some documents that need to be delivered to our foreman. Can you run them to the site and give them to Lisa?” Jamie took a large manila envelope from the table and handed it to me.

This didn’t sound like a request. This was an order.

“While you’re at it, could you pick up a few items from the grocery store?” added Nate. He peeled off a sticky note and scribbled furiously.

It became clear they didn’t want me in the house at present. They preferred to have a talk without me. And since both of them were technically my employer, I couldn’t decline their request.

I took off my apron and ran the errands.

When I returned, the house was empty. The food I made for breakfast, untouched. I checked the garage. Both Nate’s and Jamie’s vehicles weren’t there.

Great. What happened after when they sent me away?

With nothing left to do but my daily chores, I did my work with dread. Jamie and Nate didn’t return for lunch, which was rather rare for them. They never missed out on my home-cooked meals. Luke called that he was busy at the office, but said that he’d come home for dinner.

After the house was clean and laundry done, I prepared dinner. I made everyone’s favorite as a peace offering. Buttermilk fried chicken for Luke, macaroni and cheese for Jamie, and spaghetti and meatballs for Nate. For dessert, I baked peach cobbler.

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