Working the Lode is the first in Karen Mercury's sexy new trilogy about the California Gold Rush. It's a new release, just out December 29th from Siren. And Karen is sharing an excerpt today. Enjoy!
[Ménage Amour: Erotic Western Ménage a Trois Romance, M/M/F, voyeurism]
Going to California. It’s three thousand miles nearer to hell.
Mountain man Cormack Bowmaker meets up with Zelnora Sparks on the eve of California’s great rush—the discovery of gold. Zelnora is fleeing from her mentor, the mighty businessman Brannagh. They are being shadowed by the most scandalous Spanish bandit in the frontier.
Joaquin Valenzuela wants to rob them of their gold, but soon discovers a desire for much more. Californians call for the pickled head of Valenzuela in a jar, but his passion for the two Americans overpowers his zeal for mayhem.
They band together in their quest for riches, love, and the good life. Bowmaker is a sharpshooter, his aim true. Valenzuela will slit the throat of anyone who wanders by. Zelnora knows where to find the gold. And Brannagh will do everything it takes to stop them.
They are about to discover the frontier—within themselves.
This new release is offered at a 15% discount for four weeks from SirenBookstrand:
Bigler came racing forward before they even reached the store, brandishing the eagle feather quill in his hand. “Sister Sparks! I do believe I’ve found gold at the mill!”
“Keep your hollering down,” Cormack reminded him.
He was proud of the calm way Zelnora took this news. “Well, Brother Bigler, we’ll just have to do some investigation then, won’t we?”
She released his arm when they entered the store. Erskine, Quartus, and the redhead Miss Mercy Narrimore canoodled by the counter, drinking whiskey from the looks of it, and paying no mind to the gold as Zelnora marched into a back room and came back with some items that she slapped onto the counter.
“The Indians I’ve spoken to here at the fort have known about gold in these parts for many generations,” Zelnora said, accepting the eagle quill from Bigler. “The gold is supposed to be guarded by evil spirits. There’s a lake not far from here with plenty of gold, but there is a fearful animal, a sort of dragon who likes human flesh.” She poured the little nuggets onto a tray which she carried to the only window, turning it this way and that with one eye closed. Next, she took out an eyepiece to examine the crystals more closely.
Cormack and Bigler exchanged greedy looks. “Can you find out where this lake is located?” Cormack asked Zelnora.
“I sure can try.”
Bringing the tray back to the counter, she said, “I spoke to one of Sutter’s workers not long ago. From Hermosillo in Mexico. He told me we can find pounds of gold in quartz veins in the Sierra. One would only need a batea, which as far as I can tell is just a simple wooden bowl for washing the gold. He just kept saying batea, batea.”
“Can you locate this fellow?” Bigler asked tremulously.
Zelnora, eyes still affixed to the gold nuggets, blindly reached for Cormack’s bowie knife on his belt. He assisted by handing it to her. “I sure can try,” she said quietly, vaguely, holding one of the tiny nuggets on the counter and scratching its surface with the knife blade.
Quartus came wobbling over now, curious. “I can find gold with my divining rod!” he again declared, bolstered by a healthy application of “bug juice.” Fortunately, he fell silent then, fascinated by the doings of his wife. Her next step was to vigorously rub a nugget against the wooden countertop, then sniff it. The men became alarmed when she reached for a steel hammer and, with one bang, flattened a nugget on the tray.
Bigler cried, “What are you doing?”
A slow smile radiated across her face as she gradually stood to an upright position. Her eyes were fixed only on Cormack, however, when she said in a reverent tone, “This is gold.”
Bigler let out a walloping yee-haw to the heavens above while Quartus leaped up and down clapping his hands, twirling around in little circles chanting, “Gold! Gold! Gold!” to the same tune as the earlier song about Jake Herring thumping it. Even Erskine and Mercy ceased their canoodling and swiveled their heads with interest toward all the commotion.
Without tearing her shining, wide eyes from Cormack, Zelnora came round the counter and grabbed the front of his shirt in her fists. She fairly stood on tiptoes in her zeal. She resembled a lovely Madonna with her round brown eyes, her gleaming curls escaping from the mantle of her rebozo. “Cormack,” she whispered. He could barely hear her under the ecclesiastical hollering of the two gold-crazed converts. Now even Erskine was clapping Bigler on the back as Mercy set out more tin cups for whiskey. “Gold. Gold. Do you know what this means? From the size and character of those specimens, that area seems to be much richer than the gold fields of Georgia! It must have washed down from the mountains during the recent torrents. Where descending waters meet an obstacle or projecting rock, in the riverbed and also the declivities, we can find pockets of gold. Gold!”
Gold. Cormack kissed Zelnora, sweetly and gently, loving her with his mouth. He kissed her again and again as she grasped his shirtfront, nearly melting into him. Ho, boy, was he a perverted old hard case to get an erection when they had just discovered gold? He should be more concerned about his future riches. Gold, gold, gold…
As Quartus was now performing some new movement of polka steps, Zelnora broke away and walloped her husband a backhand across the chest. “Cheese it, Quartus! Captain Sutter told us to keep quiet any news of a mineral strike—there are bandits roaming the countryside ready to stick knives in us like porcupines if they hear of this.”
At the mention of “bandits” Quartus stopped his dance. His round eyes behind the spectacles spoke of his romantic reverence for highwaymen. “Bandits? Bear’s ass!” And he stumbled off to get some more bug juice.
“Sister Sparks!” bellowed Bigler, holding his tin cup up on high. “You are absolutely certain of this, then?”
“Oh, yes, Henry! This gold is of the finest quality, perhaps twenty-three carats. Give me some of that whiskey!”
At that moment, the door’s bell tinkled, and a local corncracker and a Californio entered, beaming from ear to ear in puzzlement at the spontaneous spree in Brannagh’s store. “Miss Sparks!” the farmer called. “What’s all the hubbub? Did we get a new supply of Forty Rod?”
Ho, boy, Forty Rod. Just a whiff of that firewater would kill a man at that distance, even around a corner. To distract the farmer, Zelnora went into the back room with the tray of gold and brought forth a presumably good bottle of some liquor.
Shoving it at the farmer, Zelnora said, “This brandy is of the quality that the Duke of Orleans drinks, Mr. Leese. Try some. Mercy, give the men cups.” Returning to Cormack’s side, she whispered fiercely, “Cormack. We simply must go back to Coloma and see to what extent this gold pans out. If we discover it’s worth pursuing, we build what’s known as a rocker, a sort of cradle to facilitate the process. But we can’t let anyone see what we’re doing. How will you hide it from Marshall?”
Cormack tipped his head to one side. Marshall? Who gave a flying fuck about Marshall? It was easy enough to hide the gold signs from him. “More to the point, Zelnora…What about Brannagh? If you come up to Coloma, what will you tell him?”
“He’s away for yet another week and a half. That’s plenty of time, right?”
Cormack thought, and nodded.
“Viva Carlos Quinto!” the Californio cried at the taste of the Duke of Orleans’ brandy.
Death or glory!
Cormack lowered the neckline of Zelnora’s chemise so that one plump breast bounced free. She smiled leonine to indicate her approval as Cormack urged Joaquin’s face toward her. “Effective methods, you would say?”
Joaquin licked between Zelnora’s breasts slowly with a fat tongue. Watching another man lick his woman aroused Cormack, wondering what Zelnora must feel having a strange man accost her while her fiancé watched. She grinned lazily, gripping Joaquin’s shoulders with her fingertips. Cormack slid one sure palm around the slope of Joaquin’s luscious ass, running two fingers between his spread thighs to tickle the sensitive bulge between his balls and asshole.
Joaquin muttered, “You have very effective methods, pelirrojo,” before diving down to slurp Zelnora’s nipple into his mouth.
Ho, boy, Cormack wanted to feel that dark, hot pole in his fist again. He was no longer ashamed to enjoy the hard plumpness of another man’s stimulated prick as it pulsated in his grip. But tonight he needed to please Zelnora. He wanted her to esteem Joaquin just as much as he did, and that would mean risking his own jealousy while watching the bandit pleasure his woman.
“It would distress me if you needed assistance mounting,” Cormack murmured into Joaquin’s ear.
Zelnora was inching up her skirts. He was slightly shocked to hear her salaciously say, “Joaquin needs no assistance mounting.”
Cormack nibbled on the velvety side of Joaquin’s neck. “Kiss her,” he commanded.
It was odd, watching Joaquin clamp his lips over Zelnora’s eager mouth. Cormack’s instant reaction was to yank a handful of Joaquin’s hair till his neck snapped and paste him in the nose. He stayed this overwhelming feeling by deepening the bites to Joaquin’s neck and unbuttoning his calzoneras with long, nimble fingers.
He would direct Joaquin. If he was the one guiding their actions, he reckoned he would not feel this possessive envy whenever Joaquin laid a hand on Zelnora. So he squiggled his tongue up and down the side of Joaquin’s strong neck while sliding a palm down his belly to unleash his cock. Fingering the long, dusky prick caused Joaquin to rock his hips, pressing his erection into Cormack’s hand, deepening his wet kisses upon Zelnora. With his thumb, Cormack described unctuous wreaths about the crown of the prick, making Joaquin gasp against Zelnora’s mouth and gooseflesh sprinkle the globes of his curvaceous butt.
Cormack revealed his own cock, desiring to rub drops of semen against that succulent ass. It was no different than rubbing against a woman’s backside, after all, although Cormack could not fool himself that he did not handle a slick, hot penis. The sweaty meat pulsated as Joaquin humped his palm, Cormack rotating his pumping as though milking a cow, up, down, and over the tip of the erection. The bandit’s pleasured moaning incited Cormack to release his own ecstatic growls while he nibbled on his earlobe, daring to glide the entire length of his mammoth penis against that juicy ass. Joaquin grunted, whether with approval or not, Cormack only knew by the sudden pulsing of the cock in his hand. As Zelnora’s thighs were spread and she panted invitingly, teats bouncing happily, Cormack urged the quivering prick toward her pussy.
Joaquin was pressed between the two lovers. Perhaps as it would have taken too much effort to complain or extricate himself, he allowed Cormack’s massaging fingers to guide him to Zelnora’s honeypot, and with a deep groan, he entered her to the hilt.
“Ah, eres una mujer encantadora,” Joaquin uttered against Zelnora’s mouth.
Cormack was surprised to hear Zelnora reply in Spanish also. “Eres una hombre apuesto,” she sighed. You are a beautiful man.
Now that he had his friend pleasantly seated, to further stave off the jealousy that a foreign body lay atop his fiancée, Cormack thought it only equitable to pleasure himself against that delicious raw butt, uplifted for his taking. Plunging his hand between the outspread thighs, he cupped the pulsating testicles in his palm, abrading their fullness with loving squeezes and mushy caresses. Joaquin fucked Zelnora slowly, holding himself up on his elbows and gazing down into her face, eyes locked on to hers. Only occasionally did his pupils quiver and contract with ecstasy. Otherwise, he was the picture of concentration, as though he wished to remember every pore on his beloved’s face.
Ho, boy, the buoyant succulence of Joaquin’s ass as Cormack smeared his quivering cock over the trembling, meaty muscles. He could gratify himself against that ass—why not? It would be nearly the same as fucking Zelnora himself, to hump that delicious butt in tandem with Joaquin’s thrusts. Arousing the bulging balls with his palm, Cormack positioned himself gently atop the desperado and lunged his hips, stroking his cock against the smooth flank.
“That’s good, Cormack,” Zelnora urged sweetly, without removing her gaze from Joaquin’s. “Fuck his heavenly rump. Revenge yourself for how he shamed you.”
Fuck another man? That thought had not occurred to Cormack—at least, not today, so far. Yet the idea filled him with such lust, he nearly climaxed against the resilient ass, and it seemed that Joaquin spread his thighs even wider to signal his acceptance. Yes, he would revenge himself for that public cock-slapping he’d received, when several odious brigands had stood around with erect pricks enjoying the sight of Joaquin demeaning his pride, as well as his stiff and yearning penis.
Greasing up his pole with spittle, Cormack gently fingered the tight opening. Had Joaquin debased other men in this manner before? He was certain this snug passage had never accommodated another man’s cock. When he slid a finger up the ass, shocked at the slick heat clutching him, Joaquin inhaled sharply, but did not alter the slow, languid fucking he was giving Zelnora.
Cormack growled against the other man’s throat. “You like that, you debauched bandit? I’m doggone if you ain’t dreamed of having a prick up this tight little ass. I’ll fill you up,” he gasped when he pressed the crown of his penis against the opening, “with a bucket of my hot seed, while I—”
“Fuck me like a man, Cormack.”
Joaquin’s imperious demand rang out in the little cabin, divine with elegant Castilian tones. It was a command Cormack could not ignore, and he humped his prick farther up the blistering asshole.
Joaquin seemed to lose his control then. His head slumped forward on a rubbery neck, and he choked on his moans. Not even Zelnora’s nearly virginal pussy had been as hot and tight as this, and it was beyond ecstasy to feel against the underside of his prick the throbbing of Joaquin’s bulging penis inside Zel. He would erupt soon if he did not still himself, but a few more jabs of his bursting prick and Joaquin was jetting spurt after spurt inside the woman.
He could feel it! How odd, the flow of semen up Joaquin’s prick, the clutching at his own prick, the twitching and spasms urging and milking an orgasm from him.
“There. How’s that.” Cormack moaned in staccato sentences. “You want this. A man’s jism inside. Your sweet ass. Go ahead. Spew that jism. You want it. You. Want. Me.”
“Fuck me, Cormack.”
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