Casey, Parker, and Shawn Smith have grown up in a family with two fathers. They"ve never really fitted in, but they didn"t care to either. Owning a ranch, they don"t have time to mess around, so when they decide on a woman, she is the only one who matters.
When her mother dies after a three-year battle from cancer, Poppy doesn"t know what to do. Her best friend Shawn and his brothers have the perfect answer. She can take the role of their housekeeper, helping to run their ranch.
But the Smith brothers want Poppy as more than just a housekeeper"they want her as their woman. Each brother made a vow to her mother to love her and take care of her. Poppy will belong to them. It"s a seduction of the senses, and the one thing the Smith brothers don"t do, is lose. They"re going to win their juicy woman.
However, someone is killing animals on the ranch. Can the brothers protect Poppy from this unknown threat" And will Poppy choose a life with three men, or walk away with nothing"Books by Author:Sam Crescent Books
"Why do you have two daddies"" Poppy Williams asked. She was shoving mud into her bucket, and she hoped it would make a mud castle. She"d never been to the ocean, so this was the closest to building a sand castle she"d ever get.
"Because both my daddies love my mommy, and she didn"t want to pick, and they didn"t make her pick. They say they"ve got enough love inside them to last a lifetime, and when they die, they"re going straight to heaven to be together," Shawn Smith said. He sat opposite Poppy. They were both eight years old, and didn"t really know what was going on with their parents.
No one else wanted to play with them. She was the trailer trash kid, and he was the weirdo with too many dads. Poppy liked him though, ever so much. He never pinched her clothes or called her names. Shawn was nice to her. He had two older brothers. Parker was still in school with them, but Casey had long gone. He was, like, ten years older than they were, and he never had time for kids.
"Oh, look, it"s stinky and gross together in the mud."
She wrinkled her nose as the school bully, Benjamin, came to their little area to taunt them.
Poppy stood up, shook the dirt from her hands, and glared at the bully. He was taller and bigger than she was, even if he did call her fat.
Shawn stood beside her as they faced off with their bully. They held hands as they were both united together. No one could tear them apart, and nothing, or no one would.
"Go away, Ben!" Shawn spat the words at their bully.
She didn"t know why others in their year thought Shawn was weird just because he had two dads. She"d visited the Smith family and it was full of love and friendship, and she felt happy there.
The Smiths owned a huge ranch far off the beaten track. It had a lake, and lots of places to run and hide. Horses, cattle, and so much fun to be had. She couldn"t go there often as her mother didn"t want her to be too overly influenced by the Smith family.
Poppy didn"t see a problem. They always treated her like a princess.
"What are you going to do about it, shorty"" Ben pushed Shawn, who fell down and landed on the ground.
Poppy hated to see her friend hurt, and she rushed forward, standing on Ben"s foot, and then pushing him hard. He grabbed her two pigtails and pulled, making her scream.
He didn"t let go even as she tried to hurt his stomach. Poppy was sure he was going to tear out her hair, and then her mother would be so cross.
So many hours were spent brushing the long, blonde curls. She knew her mother loved her hair so much.
Suddenly the pain stopped, and she heard a little whimper come from Ben. She had started to cry from the pain, and her scalp was hurting her so bad. Looking up, she saw that Parker, one of Shawn"s older brothers, had Ben"s arm. He was putting a little pressure on it, but not that much. Ben was on the ground, though, and she frowned.
Ben was just a big bully who couldn"t stand any pain.
"It"s not nice to pull on a girl"s hair," Parker said. "Stay away from my brother and Poppy. You got me" Or the next time I"ll pull your hair until you scream like a little girl."
Parker pushed Ben to the ground, and she watched as the bully scurried away, leaving them alone. He held a hand out for Shawn to take.
"Never go down, and if you do, don"t stay down. Always, always protect the girl." Parker rubbed her head. "You okay""
She nodded even as her scalp burned.
"Don"t ever let them see you cry."
He didn"t linger, and was gone. Shawn pulled her in for a hug. "I"m so sorry. I shouldn"t have stayed down."
"It"s fine, Shawn. He pushed you really hard."
Six years later
"I don"t get the math," Shawn said, leaning against her locker.
Poppy giggled. "That"s what you always say."
She grabbed her bag, and as they turned to go, out of the corner of her eye she saw Ben. Out of everyone from kindergarten through to high school, he was the worst. He liked to make her feel less than what she was, and he always brought up Shawn"s two dads.
Years ago, she didn"t understand why people had a problem with Shawn having two dads. Now, she got why they were confused. A lot of people didn"t understand how two men could love one woman.
She"d seen the way both Mr. Smiths looked at their wife, and one day she hoped more than anything that at least one man would love her. Poppy never admitted the truth to Shawn, even though he was her best friend.