Release Date: October 1, 2010
Format: Trade Paperback
Hot and hard-bodied…the O’Banion brothers have what women want. Need a man who can swing a hammer? They’re ready. Craving an incredibly sensual seduction? You got it, times three…
Big brother TJ is hammering up a storm building a woodsy retreat for Marnie Dawson, who’s thrilled to see that the hunky contractor is so devoted to his work…and to providing the ultimate in pleasure. Then there’s Deke, rock solid and crazy about the way leggy Holly Dawson looks in high heels. Please, baby, please. Keep them on when everything else comes off. And when Eli and Kylie connect, they totally scorch the sheets. May the long, hot summer never end…
The excerpt contains adult content. By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age.
“You’re a good brother, TJ, you know that?” His middle brother Deke, slid to the ground beside TJ’s open passenger door. He slumped left when right would’ve been better. TJ held him up by pinning his shoulders.
“Yeah, yeah, I know. And you’re pissed drunk again.” How the hell had it come to this? His family was a mess, his business in the crapper. Why? Because his family was a mess! “Can you stand?”
Deke shook his head. “Can’t drive, either.”
“No shit.” TJ got hold of him under the armpits and heaved. Deke rose about six inches then got a foot under himself and helped. TJ wrestled his ass into the passenger seat. “Pick your feet up. That’s right, now swing them inside.” He bit off a comment about how disappointed the old man would be. Deke had suffered enough.
And going through old shit wasn’t going to make anything better.
Once Deke got his feet inside, he buckled him in and ran to the driver’s side.
“You okay to drive?” Deke’s head swayed with each word while TJ climbed in and started his pickup.
“I’m not the family drunk,” he grumbled, but he doubted Deke could even process the comment. His brother hummed under his breath. The neon from the bar’s sign put a green glow on his face. Or maybe he was green around the gills. “Don’t puke; I just got the truck detailed.”
“S’okay. Did I tell you you’re a good brother, TJ?””
“Tell Eli; he’s the one who won’t come home.” And TJ needed him here. He had a busy summer ahead and Eli was the best electrician on the Olympic Peninsula. When he was home.
“Eli’s in—no, wait a minute, that was last month. I know!” Deke tried to snap his fingers, but they wouldn’t work for him. TJ sighed and waited until Deke gave up. After a moment the light of remembrance lit his face. “Eli’s in Malaysia or Morocco or someplace with an m in it.” The announcement was made with drunken pride.
“Yeah,” TJ confirmed, “that’d be the place. Always looking for the next thrill, that’s our baby brother.” TJ didn’t bother to track him any more. Eli would come home when he was ready and not a day before, no matter that his refusal grated on every one of TJ’s nerves. Eli was the most stubborn O’Banion and would eat glass before he’d admit he was better off at home.
Rumor was that Eli was like their uncle. Wanderlust had killed him in the form of a rhino in a bad mood in Africa. Eli knew the story as well as any of them, yet he shrugged it off.
Deke put his head back on the headrest. He stared at the ceiling, blinked a couple times. “Why’d she do it, TJ? Why’d she take him that way?”
TJ sagged at the pain in his brother’s voice. “I dunno Deke. Women do what they do.” He pulled out of the parking lot and headed home. “There’s no figuring them out. Best to let it go.”
The clouds had moved off, leaving the sky black as ink and alive with stars. He liked driving in the quiet of night. He heard a sharp intake of breath but he didn’t look over. Deke’s pain was private and the beer had eased his tight control. “You know, Deke, it’s time to quit drinking.” He looked straight ahead. Deke wouldn’t want him to see the sheen in his eyes.
“Soon as it stops hurtin’, I’ll quit drinkin’.”
“Know what’ll help?” TJ glanced over.
Deke stared at him, bleary eyes gleaming from the dashboard lights. “Yeah, I do. I’m gonna get laid.”
“I was talking about work, but getting laid always sounds good.” He chuckled, glad that Deke had at least thought of a way out of his morass of pain and loss.
Deke nodded as if he’d found the answer to life’s biggest question.
“I’m gonna fuck every woman I can find. Fuck ’em all.”
“That’ll take you all of two days.” Local women were few and far between and the O’Banions had burned a lot of bridges among the female population. Tourist season—and the fresh crop of women that came with it—was still weeks away.
These days, TJ didn’t see much point in messing with tourists. He’d spent years in the passing pursuit of pussy, but now he wanted a woman who’d stick around. He slammed down on those thoughts; they never led anywhere but to a cold shower.
“I heard Maribeth Anderson’s available,” he suggested. “You went to high school together, right?” She’d never interested TJ. No flare. All his appreciation went to women with flare.
Lots of flare.
Flare and the Olympic Peninsula didn’t go together.
“Maribeth’s divorced,” Deke grumbled. “I don’t do divorced women. Not any more. Not ever again.”
“They’re not all like Misty.”
Deke snorted. “We’re out of beer. Stop at the store.”
“No. We start clearing the land tomorrow at Jon Dawson’s place. We’re up bright and early.”
“What’ll we do if the heirs don’t want the cabins built?”
“My agreement was with Jon.” Besides, Jon had taken care of that problem before he died.
Deke nodded and subsided into his seat. Drunken reflection oozed out his pores, but the silence lasted for the rest of the trip home. TJ pulled into his sprawling parking area and shut off the ignition before his brother spoke again. “You’re a good brother, TJ. Have I told you that?”
He chuckled. “You need to quit drinking so I can get some work out of you in the morning.” He slapped his brother’s knee to startle him toward sober.
“Fuck ’em all. That’s what I’m gonna do.” Deke’s head lolled back on the headrest and TJ decided to leave him there. He took off his jacket and covered his brother with it. A snuffle told him Deke would be out for the night.
He walked into his house wondering what time it was in somewhere with an m in it. Not that he cared.
All he wanted was the youngest O’Banion brother home and at work again. He needed Eli to work on those cabins at the Friendly Inn. He needed Eli to come home so they could be a family again and build the business together the way they’d always planned.
As he shut his front door he studied the slumped figure in his pick up. Deke needed Eli, too. His brother’s pain was hard to see and, being the youngest, Eli had always been able to make them all laugh.
TJ wasn’t sure why his youngest brother had taken to wandering so far. Maybe knowing he had such deep roots here had let him stretch his wings.
Whatever it was, it was time for Eli to settle down. Here, where he was needed.
Marnie Dawson nodded to her bartenders as she crossed the dance floor of her club, BackLit. She only managed a nod because if she walked over and chatted she might lose her composure. BackLit was her dream and, with the rotten news she’d just received, she didn’t want to cry in front of the staff.
Wailing about the economic downturn and stingy-ass bankers was bad form for a business owner. Especially one known for her cool head.
So the nod of greeting would have to do. The club was an hour from opening and the bartender they’d just hired had to be brought up to speed. What the hell, she threw her a wave, and pulled out her cell phone. The woman waved back and grinned with a thumbs up.
Seemed happy enough. At least something was working out today. Now, if she could just get Holly to agree to sell their joint inheritance, she could buy out her partner, save her club and life could be normal. Maybe not normal as in nine to five, but at least she’d be in charge without a pain-in-the-ass partner.
“Holly, you never pick up anymore. Call me,” she said into her phone. It was almost as if her cousin had gone into hiding. Probably hiding from Jack. He was a possessive jerk and couldn’t accept the divorce, no matter what Holly said. She still didn’t get that Jack was a little off center, but the divorce had brought a ripple of relief to the entire Dawson family. “I’m heading to the Peninsula in a couple hours. Let me know when you’ll be there, and I’ll have your room ready.”
She pushed through the door to the back stairs then began the climb to the second floor office she shared with her partner, Dennis. Her voice went low because this was family business, not club business. It certainly wasn’t Dennis’s business.
“We’ll spend a couple days at the not-so-Friendly Inn and decide how much to ask for it. I need to be in and out, so our newfound cousin had better not throw us any curve balls.” If Kylie Keegan did try to hold things up, Marnie would call the lawyer she’d contacted ahead of time. She disconnected and turned her mind to clearing her desk so she could leave.
There were paychecks to sign and the new bartender’s paperwork to be done. This trip to the Peninsula had come at a bad time, but if she wanted to save her club, she had to go.
Besides, lately there hadn’t been a convenient time for anything. Her Grandfather’s funeral had come hard on the heels of another family tragedy. Her Aunt Trudy had died in a car crash before a major rift between Grandad and Trudy could be mended.
Distracted by the family sadness, she opened the office door and walked into a scene from a porn flick. She halted half a step into the room. “Whoa,” she muttered and backed up.
But her desk was littered with paperwork and damn it, she had to get out of Seattle. If she left there was no telling how long Dennis would indulge and she didn’t have time to wait.
Three intertwined bodies writhed on the floor in the dusk of the unlit office. The square of light that splashed the trio didn’t make any one of them raise so much as an eyebrow. They were all too involved, too close to coming, to care that she’d walked in. She should have clued into the action when she saw the closed door, but she’d been preoccupied.
Dennis usually waited until after closing before he indulged his penchant for group sex. She didn’t recognize the women, but she rarely did. Not only did Dennis like groups, he liked variety.
“Excuse me, all, but I have work to do,” she said, to no avail. They either didn’t hear her or didn’t mind an audience.
Dennis sprawled on the floor, naked. She knew it was him because of his crooked baby toe. It hooked up over the one next to it. She couldn’t see his nod of welcome because his face was bracketed by the strong thighs of a brunette. His muffled voice came to her in a breathy groan. “Marnie, come join us. The girls will like you.”
The brunette looked at her with heavy-lidded eyes, her makeup smeared from the sheen of perspiration that covered her face. They’d been here awhile. The woman dropped her pussy lower and Dennis’s voice muffled out as she covered his face with a sigh of satisfaction.
She clasped her breasts and squeezed her nipples while she rocked over his mouth. Her moans grew in intensity and Marnie held her breath in a purely physiological reaction to the unfolding scene. She ignored the moistening in her panties and put on an air of nonchalance.
Dennis knew how to work a woman, or so she’d been told. She had no interest in finding out for herself.
A blonde faced the brunette and rode Dennis’s cock. She rolled over him, her head thrown back while she bounced so hard her ass jiggled. The brunette released her nipples to slide her hand to the other woman’s clit. The blonde squealed at the touch. “Oh, yeah, yeah.”
Deep powerful groans reverberated through the room, Dennis, she assumed. The musk of sex permeated the air. Envy warmed Marnie’s low belly while her nipples peaked hard. She hadn’t been laid in, what? Three months? Didn’t seem fair. Dennis was as discriminating as a sailor on shore leave. No, she didn’t envy the way he behaved, the easy sex, the nonchalant attitude.
It was sharing the physical release she missed. She was so tired of coming alone. “I’ve got a lot of work to do in next to no time. You going to be long?” She directed the question to the gyrating women.
They laughed and kissed each other. The blonde wiggled her fingers at Marnie in a gesture meant to coax her closer.
Marnie shook her head. She never shared her men. But, it was impossible to look away. Besides, she had every right to expect to work at her own desk in the middle of the afternoon.
Normally, she would back out of the office if she stumbled into this, but with no time to waste, she closed the door to wait it out. If she left, they might go for another round and she’d suffer rush hour traffic all the way to the Peninsula.
She leaned her butt against the desk to wait. The only lighting came from the three security monitors on the wall next to the door. One screen showed the club’s entrance, another the delivery door in the back and the last showed the bar itself and the cash register. She watched the bar for an idle moment, while she flexed the muscles at the top of her thighs. She found no relief from her frisson of need. She shifted, flexed harder then distracted herself by watching the monitors more closely.
Everything looked routine. Tuesday meant a slower crowd so it was a good night to train new crew.
The moaning from the trio got louder. The scent of sex grew stronger. She crossed her legs at her ankles, admired her new boots and pondered whether she should strip and join the fun. Just once. Now, that would blow Dennis’s mind.