Colters' Wife

By: Maya Banks

Chapter One


Adam Colter fingered a strand of Holly’s light brown hair as she lay sleeping. Her back was nestled into his chest, her behind cradled in his groin.

He allowed his hand to slide from her hair to her shoulder then down her side and over the swell of her belly. Underneath his fingers, the baby moved, and his chest tightened at the fierce satisfaction that gripped him.

She stirred restlessly, and he pulled his hand away, not wanting to disturb her sleep. She tired easily these days with the baby being due just a few short weeks from now.

With reluctance, he pressed a kiss to her head then carefully extricated himself from the bed. He dressed then went in search of his brothers.

He found Ethan and Ryan in the kitchen eating breakfast. They looked up as Adam entered, their gazes questioning.

“Holly still asleep?” Ethan asked.

Adam nodded. “She didn’t even stir when I slipped out of bed.”

“She’s been awfully tired lately,” Ryan spoke up, concern coloring his voice.

“I wanted to talk to you both while she’s sleeping,” Adam said as he took a seat at the bar next to his brothers.

Ethan’s brow creased. “Is something wrong?”

“No. I just wondered if we shouldn’t move Holly to Denver well before her due date. I was thinking two weeks at least. I don’t like the idea of her going into labor early and getting stuck on the mountain.”

“I think it’s a good idea,” Ryan said. “The idea of her going into labor here scares the shit out of me.”

Ethan nodded his agreement. “If you want I can call and book a condo.”

“Do that,” Adam said. “I’ll make arrangements with Riley to take care of the horses while we’re gone.”

3


A light shuffling sound had Adam and the others turning around.

Holly stood in the doorway, her hair disheveled and dark circles under her eyes.

“Good morning,” she murmured as she walked over.

She slid into Adam’s arms and turned her face up for his kiss. He covered her mouth, enjoying the taste of her sweet lips.

After a moment, she eased from his arms and turned to Ryan. Ryan folded her in his arms and hugged her tight, his hand going down to tenderly cup her belly.

“Mornin’,” he murmured as he gave her a gentle kiss.

She rested a moment in Ryan’s arms before going to Ethan.

“How are you feeling, doll?” Ethan asked as he slid his arms around her.

“Tired,” she admitted. “Little bit here has his days and nights mixed up I’m afraid.”

“Kept you up huh,” Ethan said sympathetically. “Sit down and I’ll fix you something to eat.”

She shook her head. “I’m not that hungry. Thought I’d get some juice and go sit on the front porch for a bit.”

Adam exchanged worried glances with his brothers as she headed for the fridge to pour herself a glass of juice. She waddled back out of the kitchen, and a few seconds later, they heard the front door open then close.

“Book that condo,” Adam said grimly. “We’ll head out after her next check-up with the midwife.”

—¶–

Holly stepped out the front door and closed her eyes as the cool September breeze blew over her face. She dropped her free hand to her belly and massaged absently as she made her way to the big comfy chair the guys had gotten for her.

She sank into the plump cushion and sighed in relief as she propped her feet up on the ottoman. She’d only been on her feet a few minutes and already they were screaming in protest.

Whoever said pregnancy was all peaches and sunshine had clearly never experienced it.

4


She sipped at her juice and rubbed her hand over the swollen mound of her stomach. In response, the baby kicked and rolled, bringing a smile to Holly’s face.

She hadn’t exactly been truthful with the guys. Sure, the baby kept her up from time to time, but lately her sleep had been plagued by nightmares. Since returning to the men she loved more than anything, she’d been afraid that something would happen to separate them again.

There were nights when she woke, bathed in sweat, reaching out to make sure they were still there. Especially Ryan. No longer did he get up to return to his room. He seemed as anxious as she was to make sure nothing came between them again.

She touched him often, reassuring herself, combating the images of him being shot. Just as Adam and Ethan seemed to reach out for her, their fear of losing her just as prevalent.

They all fought their demons in different ways, and frankly, Holly was ready to move beyond the paralyzing fear. Ready to settle in with the men she loved and live their life together.

The door opened and she looked sideways to see Ethan eyeing her with concern. He walked over and settled into the wide chair next to her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders.

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