Claiming Cullen by Tara S. Nichols

Claiming Cullen
by Tara S. Nichols

Siren-Bookstrand

eBook ISBN: 1606014196

Five guys and one hot woman, shacked up in a cabin for the week, was not what Cullen had in mind when he pictured his relaxing week away. Cullen finds himself the center of a rather sexy competition, as Tess and Rael jockey for position to see who will get to lay claim on Cullen.

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Chapter One

Fishing pole, check. Tackle, check. Floppy pajamas bottoms, check. Raging libido, check, check, check, check. I made a little tick next to each item on my list titled What Cullen Needs to Survive On a Vacation With Adam. I had everything packed except for the raging libido, but I took that with me at all times. My efforts at efficiency were a vain attempt to occupy the time while we waited for Adam to arrive. Notoriously late, Adam could keep me waiting for hours. It was already ten, and I’d been ready to go since dawn. He, on the other hand was probably just getting up. Going over my own supplies wasn’t going to bring him any faster, but I had to do something to while away the time. He’d parked the van in my driveway, knowing I’d fuss over our provisions until I had it right. We’d done this before. I wasn’t always that anally retentive, but going anywhere with Adam, made me extra cautious.
I wasn’t the only one he was holding up either. Smokey, a big man with little patience, was on to his eighth cigarette. Jay, our token techno geek, had gone through the first round of batteries in his handheld video game, and he was already bitching about his sore trigger thumb. Last, but not least, Rael, the scholar of our group, sat on the steps, happily engrossed in a vintage, leather-bound copy of David Copperfield. My gaze lingered on Rael’s peaceful form.
Something about Adam’s other closest friend pulled on me in a way that I’d never allowed myself to entertain before. He was beautiful, serene, and confident, but definitely a guy. The fact that my body was responding just by looking at him wasn’t good. Going out into the woods with a group of guys wasn’t the best time to organize the psychological closet. I shoved my carnal thoughts back down, deep into my psyche, where I kept all things that I knew were forbidden.
Just as I was about to walk out into the street for the fourth time, Adam arrived at the side of the van, looking like he didn’t have a care in the world and with his arm wrapped around a girl. Not just some girl, Tess, his gorgeous late-night-fantasy-material girlfriend. The fact that she was carrying an overstuffed backpack warned me that all was not right with our well-laid plans. It was clear, to me at least, that she was intent on joining us.
I gave Adam my best are-you-serious look. He answered my unspoken question with a guilty shrug. Unbelievable, I thought, the dunce brought his girlfriend. He, of all people, should know better.
This “guys-only” trip was his idea. It was intended to pull me out of my month long mopey mood over my breakup with Michelle, my girlfriend of two years. The idea was for the five of us to go out into the wilderness together, no chicks, no distractions, just a cabin with a hot tub, and lots of beer. Either he didn’t get the memo, or he just didn’t get the concept.
Tess waved at us with naive enthusiasm. The guys exchanged wary glances, all except Jay, who was too enchanted to do anything but stare. An unsocialized video-game programmer such as himself didn’t crawl out of the basement very often, so his social skills were a little rusty.
Without any further argument, Adam threw both of their bags into the back of the van and climbed into the driver’s seat, ready to be off. I squeezed into the backseat between Rael and Jay, relieved that all three of us were of slight build. Smokey, standing at a hulking six foot seven and resembling a disgruntled Sasquatch, rode with the luggage.
Tess slid her slight form into the spacious front seat, and I gritted my teeth. I didn’t know her from a hole in the ground, but I hated her already. Sure, we’d all gone out once or twice, but I had always been too busy reassuring Michelle to really have had any interaction with Tess, and everything I’d learned about Tess, had been filtered through Michelle’s negative mind. For the longest time, I let Michelle try to convince me that being outgoing, beautiful, charismatic, a tomboy, and a shameless flirt, was a bad thing. Now, looking at Tess, I was starting to agree with Michelle. Tess was dangerous. One hot chick and five guys just promised trouble.
Aside from the fact that just looking at her gave me a hard-on, I could find flaw in every little thing she did. First, she requested the front seat in the van because she was susceptible to car sickness.
Then, she was allowed to choose the music, and to make matters worse, she chose Michelle’s favorite band. But it was the fact that she was wearing shorts that were so skimpy that, for the life of me, I couldn’t stop staring at her legs. That really got under my skin. Not only did I have to ride the whole way to the cabin with a rock hard erection, she’d also taken away my freewill.

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