Dominating Devney(Montana Maiden Series Book 3)(4)By: Vanessa Vale
She lifted one red brow. "I need protection and Devney doesn't?"
"You're unmarried, and without a father. You have no choice," McKenzie replied.
"As for Devney," Doc added. "She's a widow, so the rules are a bit different. Except...."
"Except?" Devney asked.
"You're also a virgin."
My gaze whipped to Devney, scanning her lush body. She was a virgin? She'd been married for what, seven years? Her skin flushed a red as bright as Sarah's hair. It must be true; that kind of reaction prevented her from being a good liar.
"What the hell?" McKenzie whispered.
Doc kept his gaze on Devney. "Jenkins wasn't interested in you, was he?"
"No," Devney whispered, her shoulders slumping ever so slightly.
Doc glanced between me and McKenzie. "Jenkins didn't like women. He had a lover, didn't he?"
Sarah was the one who nodded this time. "Barnaby Madden."
Holy hell. Old Man Jenkins had only married Devney as a front for his interest in another man. He'd stolen seven years from her. Seven years of fucking of living.
"This doesn't change a thing," Devney said, her chin lifted once again.
"It changes everything," I added. "Without a son, you inherit the ranch. There will be other men - men who will want to marry you to gain the land. Once they find out you still have your maidenhead, you'll be even more valuable."
"You both have two choices: Marry or fall under my protection until you do so," Doc told them with complete seriousness. "During that time, you will wear a belt that protects your maidenhead."
Sarah stood, hands on hips. "What? I've never heard of such a thing!"
Doc shook his head. "Of course you haven't. You've been under the protection of your father, and rightly so. With him gone and his protection with it, a man will easily take advantage."
Devney held up her hand. "You said two choices."
"As I said, the other option is to marry."
"I'll marry, eventually." She looked down at her hands. "But I want it to be on my terms."
I shook my head at this exchange. Her terms were impossible. No man would be dictated to by his wife. "Your terms? Not here in Liberty. It's not the way things are done. If you don't want another Wainright on your doorstep, then you need to marry a man that doesn't want your money."
She laughed, but completely without humor. "Name one man who's not interested in my money."
"Me," I replied. I had zero interest in her money. I had plenty of my own. The Bridger lands were bigger than the Jenkins ranch. Our ranch had more cattle, more horses, more water rights. More men. I didn't need her ranch or her money. I just wanted her. The thought that she was still a virgin made it all the sweeter. No man would fuck her but me. "I don't want your money, but I definitely want your maidenhead."
The man was crazy! I'd been a widow for a week and he expected me to marry. Him! I'd never laid eyes on him before and he was claiming me. I'd done that once with Jack Jenkins, and it had gotten me nothing but grief. Sure, marriage to Jack had been better than living with my father, who'd been a ruthless man - a supposed man of God. His severe discipline had been justified - in his eyes - because he saw the wickedness of women, the sins of Eve, in me. He tried ever so hard to beat it from me, but with his harsh viewings of the Bible, I could never be cleansed. So when we stopped in Liberty, Montana as part of his traveling ministry, I'd quickly accepted Jack Jenkins' proposal of marriage without thinking of the consequences.
And what consequences! I'd discovered them on our wedding night, when instead of coming to my bed, he'd gone to his lover, Barnaby Murphy. The man had a cabin to the west of the main house next to the river. I didn't know much about relations between a man and a woman. I still didn't, but I'd become very familiar with Jack's unorthodox arrangement with Barnaby.