Read Maxie (Triple X) Online

Authors: Kimberly Dean

Maxie (Triple X) (9 page)

“The more the merrier,” he said. “We’d love to have you.”

We?

Maxie had thought her head was clear, but that one word jumbled it back up. “
What?
” she squeaked.

He smiled at her and hooked his thumbs in the pockets of his jeans. “You don’t think I’d let a strange man stay overnight with you alone, do you?”

She stared up at him.

He brushed a finger across her cheek. “I’m the big, bad, protective boyfriend. Remember, Beauty?”

She did when he stole a quick kiss from her lips. The hot brush of his mouth unhinged her knees, but he was already pulling back and jingling his keys at Lexie.

“Are you okay to drive?” he asked.

Besides him, she was the only one who’d watched her intake. One bourbon was all she’d managed to choke down before she’d switched to Diet Coke. She held up her keys, smiling. “I’m fine. What’s the address?”

Maxie followed along dumbly when Zac grabbed her hand. What had just happened? How had she filled her house with guests, including a pretend hot-and-heavy boyfriend?

“We’ll come to the motel and help you pack your things. You can follow us to the house.”

“Thank God,” Roxie said as she got into Lexie’s Acura. “You know how sweet I am. Let’s go before I melt.”

 

If possible, the air was even steamier when Maxie climbed out of Zac’s Jeep at the Inndigo. The moisture in the air made it hard to breathe and the heat felt physically heavy. Of course, that could have been the pressure she suddenly felt pushing down on her. For a timid sort, she’d taken a huge, unsuspecting leap.

She glanced around the parking lot. The place wasn’t as rundown as she’d made it in her head, and it was relatively empty. The motel’s guests might be on the road or at the bars. Park Art wasn’t a big draw for these types.

She sighed. Maybe she’d blown things out of proportion, but she was glad she wasn’t letting Lexie and Roxie stay here. It was the addition of Zac that had her flummoxed.

Where was she going to put him? He wasn’t thinking he’d sleep with her, was he? How far were they going to push this deception?

“It shouldn’t take us long.” Lexie had the rental unit’s key in hand as she got out of her car. “We haven’t unpacked much.”

“Don’t forget all the trinkets you bought at the shops along the waterfront,” Roxie said.

Lexie grimaced. “Okay, it might take a bit longer than I thought.”

“I can help carry things,” Zac offered, following along.

They gathered at the door, but the moment Lexie opened the motel room, stifling heat swirled out.

“Holy steam baths, Batman.” Roxie pulled back sharply. “It’s even worse inside.”

Maxie stood on the threshold and felt the mugginess coating her skin. The air conditioning not only wasn’t working, it was pushing out heat.

Lexie braced herself before lunging inside. “Let’s make it fast.”

Together, they collected things and threw them in suitcases. Maxie gathered sacks from the local stores and rushed them out to the car. Zac went down to report the malfunctioning cooling unit to the manager, and when he returned, they loaded him down with suitcases to carry to the trunk. It took only a few minutes, but by the time they had everything ready to go, they were all sticky with sweat.

“I can’t take it.” Roxie pulled her tank top away from her skin. She looked miserable as she panted for air. Turning around, she searched for relief.

“Get in the car,” Lexie said. “I’ll turn the A/C on high.”

Roxie didn’t hear her. She was already heading across the parking lot, her steps gathering speed.

Maxie watched her. What was she doing?

Her gaze focused on the only thing that could be Roxie’s destination. But she couldn’t. She absolutely couldn’t be thinking of—

But she was.

Astounded, Maxie watched as Roxie yanked open the gate to the chain-link fence that surrounded the outdoor swimming pool. Without hesitation, she started peeling off her clothes and tossing them onto a poolside chair. She seemed uncaring of her surroundings, any onlookers or any pool rules.

“Oh no,” Lexie groaned. “Roxie!”

It was too late. Her plea was met with the splash of a cannonball.

Or make that a Cannon ball.

Maxie let out an impulsive giggle.
Bourbon.

“Is she serious?” Zac’s gaze was pinned on the pool, a look of pure astonishment on his face. “I’m
the sheriff
here.”

Lexie winced. “At least it’s clean. I saw the pool guy working on it earlier today.”

Maxie’s giggling stopped, but her gaze became riveted as Roxie came up for air. The daredevil splashed once and then dove back under. When she surfaced, she sleeked her hair back and let out a whoop.

“It’s like heaven.” She did a pirouette, sinking down before kicking off the bottom. Completely and totally naked.

“Please don’t arrest her,” Lexie said nervously. “It is hot, and most of the lights over there are burnt out. Nobody can see. Much…”

It wasn’t that bright, Maxie realized as she started moving. Only two overhead lights lit the pool, and both of them were dim. In the hazy night, they provided more of a glow over the water than a spotlight. The only illumination that burned steadily was under the water. It made the pool look big and wet and deep…

Her feet picked up their pace as her gaze transfixed on the woman who looked so much like her. Roxie stared back as she treaded water. Her smile was beckoning. Daring. Encouraging.

Maxie broke into a run.

“Maxie?” Zac called.

She didn’t slow down. Her arms pumped and her hair streamed behind her. She broke through the gate and kicked off her heels. Reaching behind her neck, she undid the tie that held up her sundress. It loosened, and she pulled off the damp, binding material. She threw it aside, took one step forward and dove into the pool.

And got wet.

Roxie was gaping at her in wonder when she emerged only a foot in front of her. The woman caught her shoulders as their legs kicked in unison. “Maxie!” she said with a cry of delight.

On impulse, Maxie splashed her. Roxie sputtered and then splashed her back. Laughing, they both sank underwater.

It was wonderful. So freeing and exciting.

Maxie broke the surface, gasping for air. Heat hit her in the face as her lungs expanded. She felt like she could finally breathe.

She felt like she could do anything.

 

Zac could have been knocked over by a feather. Shy and quiet Maxie Miller was
skinny-dipping
.

She’d run across the parking lot, stripped down and flung herself into the pool. Without even a second thought. Stripped down to sleek, bare skin with nothing more than a pair of tiny pink panties to cover all that luscious beauty…

He couldn’t breathe, and he was hard.

It wasn’t a good combination. Not in public.

“Oh damn.” Lexie turned and passed him her keys and purse. “Could you hold on to these for me?”

It wasn’t a feather, but it made Zac take two steps back in shock.

The light outside the door to their old room showed the color in the woman’s cheeks.

“No,” he said in disbelief.

She dropped her gaze. “Peer pressure… Triplet pressure…”

Without another word, she ghosted away and headed towards her sisters. She wasn’t as enthusiastic or as hurried. Taking off her dress took longer, and she left on her bra and panties.

Who would have thought that Maxie would have been faster to rush the pool? And that she would have stripped down further?

“Come on, Lex,” Roxie yelled. “Hurry that skinny butt up.”

With a squeal, classy Lexie Underhill jumped in. She didn’t make a big splash. At most, she caused a tiny ripple, but when she came up for air, she let out an audible sigh of pleasure. With a sure stroke, she swam over to the other two.

Laughter ensued. The three of them formed a tight circle as they hovered easily in the water. They were virtually indistinguishable with their long hair gliding over their shoulders and plastering against their backs. Their legs kicked slowly, and their toned arms glided back and forth over the water’s surface.

Zac couldn’t hear what they were saying, but he stared on in fascination. Three of the most beautiful women he’d ever seen were practically naked out in the middle of the Inndigo pool. The water and dim lights made the scene hazy and damn near erotic. Like beautiful nymphs, they glided around, teasing each other and mimicking moves.

Holy. Shit.

On autopilot, he started to follow until he realized he was carrying a purse. He locked it in his Jeep. That got his thinking back on track, and he looked around to see if anyone else had witnessed what they’d done. And were still doing. There weren’t many cars parked in the lot, but he did see a curtain fluttering three rooms down.

Well, shit.

He
was
the sheriff.

He looked again towards the water. With the muted lighting, there wasn’t a lot to see. Although there was a lot to imagine.

He planted his hands on his hips.

What they were doing deserved at least a citation. He simply couldn’t do it. Their squeals of laughter and excited chatter were too much for him to spoil. It might be a hundred degrees, but the ice had just been broken. He didn’t understand why or how, but something important had happened.

He headed back to the manager’s office.

When he finally made it to the pool, he had towels in hand. The girls were still swimming and playing and being unconsciously sexy and alluring. Wet and stripped down, they were even more difficult to tell apart, but he knew which one was Maxie. By sight, by feel, by sound. He didn’t know what it was, but something about her resonated with something deep inside him.

She was also topless, which didn’t hurt.

No, that didn’t hurt at all.

Kneeling, he picked up the blue sundress. She’d been braless all day? He guessed he’d known that, the way he’d been able to look down her dress when she’d lain in his arms in the flower shop. But he hadn’t
understood
that. His fingers automatically drifted over the inside of the bodice. There was some kind of built-in padding.

He’d be damned. Out of the three of them, he never would have expected her to be the one to jump in the pool wearing only panties.

He draped the dress over a pool chair. Not quite sure what to do, he turned towards the water. He wasn’t staring, and the constantly moving water and bodies made it difficult to see anything clearly, but his imagination was working overtime. He’d felt Maxie’s body against him today, all warm and lush and straining.

“Are you going to join us, Sheriff Sexy?”

That would be Roxie, the one who was totally in the buff.

He smiled ruefully. He’d have given his eye teeth to jump in with them—and probably something even more valuable to jump in with Maxie alone—but he had to remember where they were and how stupid this really was. “It’s safer for me to stay out here and guard you imps.”

She treaded water as she grinned up at him saucily. “But it’s so hot up there.”

And it was hotter in the water.

He never got a chance to respond because Maxie, of all people, swam up behind the flirt and dunked her. She just put her hands on Roxie’s shoulders and pushed her down. When the woman came up sputtering for air, Lexie splashed her in the face.

“That’s what you get for flirting with your sister’s man.”

Maxie’s gaze flashed up to meet his. Her expression was surprised, wary and a bit rambunctious.

Smiling, he tossed the towels onto a plastic table. “Have fun, Beauty.”

He watched the three of them, catching flashes of skin and streaks of dark hair. Lexie’s purple bra-and-undie combo stood out like a sore thumb, but she’d become as playful as the rest. Any way he looked at them, they were gorgeous. Naked and natural. The combination was the oddest mix of adult sensuality and innocent joy. Seeing them together, he had no doubt of their connection. They were three parts of a whole that had been put back together.

They could frolic all they wanted.

Giving in to the situation, he put himself on lifeguard duty. Sitting down on a plastic lounger, he tried to get comfortable.

It wasn’t possible. Poolside, the air was even stickier. In jeans, that made it unbearable. Tugging his shirt loose, he indulged in a bit of stripping himself. He kept the shirt on but unbuttoned it, letting what little air movement there was cool him down.

Keeping an eye on the rooms and the parking lot, he tried to make sure that the law-breaking skinny-dippers had their privacy. When a truck pulled in to the far end of the lot, he almost called them in. The driver merely stepped out with a six-pack and went into his room, so Zac decided to let them stay.

They’d swum for almost forty-five minutes before a car full of construction workers arrived. A bridge was being repaired a few miles upriver. The work was behind schedule, and more help had been called in from out of town. The men looked tired and grungy after a full day’s work, but there was no reason to tempt them with three barely clad sirens.

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