Ultimate Ultimatum [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Dakota Rebel
eBook Category: Erotica/Menage Erotica/Romance
eBook Description: Annabelle has been dating Mike, Kyle and Josh at the same time for quite a while. She believes they are all happy with the arrangement until one night they drop an ultimatum on her. They inform her that she will have to pick one of them or they will decide for her. Torn by her love for all of them, she figures that she would rather be alone and heartbroken than to have to choose between them. But when the time comes to share that decision with the men, she finds out they've had a different plan in mind the whole time. One that will ultimately satisfy all of them.
eBook Publisher: Resplendence Publishing, LLC/Resplendence Publishing, LLC, Published: 2010, 2010
Fictionwise Release Date: August 2010
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48 Reader Ratings:
"If you don't choose, we will choose for you."
Mike's words had been repeating over and over again in my head for a week. When he'd said it, I had expected Josh and Kyle to argue or at least look sympathetic, but the assholes had actually had the nerve to nod in agreement.
Okay, so in their defense, I had been leading them all on for way too long. But the truth was that I loved them all, and I didn't want to pick one. I liked the arrangement we had and, until recently, so had they.
I should have known something was up when Kyle had asked if all four of us could get together for dinner. They had all been made aware of the others existence and had never tried to force me to choose one of them. But when I'd walked into the restaurant and seen the three of them sitting there, I'd felt my heart sink. The other shoe, as they say, was about to drop.
The dinner itself was lovely. We'd talked and laughed and had a pretty good time together. So when Josh had suggested we all go back to his place for drinks, I'd agreed quickly. We had all gotten along so well, it hadn't felt even the slightest bit uncomfortable.
As I said, I'd never kept it a secret that I was dating all three of them on a pretty regular basis. In fact, there hadn't been a night in recent memory that I hadn't spent with one of them. They all meant so much to me that it never crossed my mind I would have let two of them go eventually. Until we'd gotten to Josh's.
"Annabelle," Mike had said after we'd all sat down in the den with our drinks. "You mean very much to all of us. And I suppose that's why we've been patient for so long with your dating choices. None of us wants to lose you."
My heart had sped up, and I' almost felt it trying to claw its way into my throat. I didn't want to lose any of them, either. When I'd tried to open my mouth to tell him that, I'd found the words had firmly lodged themselves behind the pulse against my tonsils and refused to come out.
"Darling," Kyle had whispered taking my hand in his. "You know that I love you, right?"
I had nodded, tears stinging my eyes.
"We all love you," Mike had said, his tone slightly aggravated. "And I believe that you love us, too. But this isn't working anymore. Not for us anyway."
"We've been talking a lot lately," Josh had said. "We understand your reluctance to let any of us go, but sweetie, we just can't live like this anymore. It's too hard."
They had been talking? All of them conversing with each other? It didn't seem right or fair that they had hidden that from me. As far as I had known, they'd never even met. Sure, I'd told all of them upfront that there were two other men I was fond of and would continue to see, but I never in a million years would have believed they would seek each other out and talk about me behind my back.
"So," Mike had said after a minute. "We've come to a decision. And I know it probably doesn't seem fair. But you are going to have to choose."
"No!" The word had come out louder than I had expected and actually made me jump. "Why are you doing this? Why now? I thought things were going great."
"For you maybe," Josh replied with a bite to his tone. "But we each only get to see you one or two days a week. For someone in love with you, there is a lifetime between hours."
"I've tried to be fair with all of you. You knew when we started dating that there were two other men in the picture. Why are you doing this to me?"
"Sweetie, it's not what we are doing to you. It's what you've been doing to us. We love you, and none of us wants to be cruel. But if you don't choose we will choose for you." And there it was. Straight from Mike Hamwell's lips, the ultimatum that had knocked me flat on my ass. They had given me a week to decide and asked me to meet them at Mike's house with my decision.
I didn't have one. In fact, in my six and a half days of anger and confusion, I hadn't even tried to decide who I might let go. I wasn't going to let any of them go if I could help it, but if they refused to continue the way things were then I would have to lose them all.
Most of that week had been spent trying to figure out how I had fallen completely in love with three different men. There wasn't one among them who I loved more or less than the others. I had equal and passionate affection for all of them. It was why I had never thought to let any of them go in the first place. How do you willingly throw away someone who holds a piece of your heart?
So when I pulled into Mike's driveway that night, I was as unprepared as I had been a week ago when they'd dropped their bombshell on me. If they wanted to try to choose for me, then fine, I'd let them. And when the "winner" announced himself to me, I would calmly and rationally tell him to go fuck himself, repeat said statement to the other two and leave with whatever dignity I mustered up. It was the best plan I could come up with, and that was pretty fucking sad.
Those men had some nerve pulling this on me. I figured it must have been Mike's idea.
Mike Hamwell was quite possibly the smartest person on the planet. He ran his own software company and had offices in Detroit, Japan and Paris. Mike traveled a lot and would often take me with him. In fact, he probably came up with this little ultimatum thinking he would win, hands down. With his jet-black hair, piercing blue eyes, heavily muscular body and piles of money, I'm sure he was used to winning whatever girl he set his sights on. He had probably taken a look at his "competition" and decided he would just make the other two go away. Maybe he wasn't as smart as I'd given him credit for.
Josh Tiner may have gone along with the scheme, thinking he had an unfair advantage. Josh never went into anything thinking he would lose. I'd known him since high school, and we had quite the long history together. We had only started dating about a year ago, but he'd stolen my heart the day he walked into biology wearing glasses, khakis, honest-to-God penny loafers with tassels, and a black T-shirt with a large red anarchy symbol on the front. Josh's red hair, green eyes and ghost white skin made him stand out like a sore thumb in a school full of tanned, blond-haired, blue-eyed yuppies, and it made me want him immediately.
We'd become fast friends in school, but had never taken our relationship beyond that. I had told him I valued him too much to ruin what we had. He agreed, and we'd been content to stay platonic for years. He'd taken off to save the whales in Arkansas or something but returned four years later to sweep me off my feet. Any thoughts of being platonic evaporated in the heat that exploded between us. I was already dating Mike when Josh came back. Had I been single, Josh might have won a war that had never started. But fate is a funny little bastard sometimes.
And then there was Kyle. Sweet, funny, sexy Kyle Swardson was probably horrified at the fact that the other two were doing this to me. He would never hurt a fly and had manners that could make Emily Post double check herself. Kyle had been raised by his grandmother in Missouri and moved to Detroit to pursue his acting career when studios had started popping up in the area to take advantage of the tax breaks offered by the State of Michigan. He had ended up working the afternoon shift at the movie theater by my house.
Since I work from home, I often take breaks during the day to go to the movies and spend some quality time with myself. After a few weeks, Kyle started letting me in for free. Then he started sneaking in with me. Before I knew it, he was my movie date three days a week, and we had become quite...grope-y in the theater. He finally asked me out on a real date nine days before he was 'discovered' at a Laundromat of all places by some big shot director. Apparently, as long as you're physically fit, have smoky gray eyes, a permanent five o'clock shadow and white-blond hair it doesn't matter if you're standing next to a washing machine in a Gwar T-shirt and jean shorts. Hollywood will find you...by way of Detroit.
He'd been cast in two feature films with a third in the works and I always teased him that I knew him when he was just a lowly popcorn scooper, and I loved him anyway.
Thinking about the amazing men inside the house made me angry. How dare they make me choose one of them? If they had been talking then they should be able to see why I love them all. Men are so stupid sometimes. All they had to do was open their eyes and pay attention, and they would see that all three of them were special and perfect and needed to be loved by me. Assholes.
A knock on my door made me jump and scream a high-pitched girly scream. I looked over to see Kyle shaking with laughter next to the car. I rolled down the window and glared at him.
"Ms. Schwartz, are you going to come in, or are you just going to sit in the driveway all night?"
"It would serve all of you right if I pulled out of here and left for good," I said with a sigh, but I opened the door and climbed out of the car anyway.
I let Kyle take my hand and lead me to the front door. I was in no hurry, but apparently, he was and he walked much faster than I ever would have on my own.
The door was already open, and I had one last fleeting thought of running away as fast as I could, but the opportunity was gone as I was pulled into the house.
"Everyone is in the den," Kyle said, motioning down the stairs.
With a deep breath, I walked down to meet my fate with Kyle close on my heels. I smelled his cologne and wanted to cry at the thought that this could be the last time I did. Maybe, I would pick up a bottle of each of their fragrances and spray them on my pillow on alternating nights to make it feel as if they were with me.
I walked into the den with my head held high, but when I saw Mike and Josh sitting next to each other on the couch, my eyes filled with tears. I couldn't let them go. I wouldn't. In my twenty-eight years on earth, I had never fainted.
It was strange how fast the floor came at my face, and then there was darkness.
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