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This month, I’m posting one final excerpt from Rock Me, my May ’10 release from Samhain. It occurred to me the other two were both in Candace’s POV, so I thought I’d pick one from Brian’s. Unleashed fans will rejoice that we hear from Evan in this one. :)
Also, just a note: it hasn’t been through edits yet.
Physical pain he could take. It came, did its damage, and was gone. He didn’t know what to do about the ache that gnawed at his gut after everything crashed down around him. There had only been a handful of times he’d experienced it, and today was definitely one of them.
After one night with the girl? No way.
It couldn’t be just about Candace. The way she’d treated him was shitty, that was all, and he’d be pissed at any girl who screwed him over. God knew he didn’t mind using someone, and he didn’t mind being used. But that shit was supposed to be understood from the start. There were ethics involved. Two people getting each other off was one thing. But she couldn’t ask him to be her first, she couldn’t look at him as if she wanted to crawl inside him, she couldn’t cry on his shoulder for ten minutes in the shower only to turn around and treat him like crap afterward.
But she wouldn’t know a damn thing about how any of this works, dumbass. Remember?
That was the exact reason he was better off without the hassle.
It was too bad the memories from last night and this morning were tainted from her subsequent freak out. He could’ve still been drifting on the euphoria of it all. Even now, he could still smell the scent of her skin, still taste her on the back of his tongue. Still feel her wrapped tight and wet around his fingers. He’d been walking around all day at half mast, from that memory alone, and it was beginning to wear him down.
When he went back up front, someone had turned up the tunes, but the sounds of Static-X were doing nothing to soothe his savage beast. He got the next person in line—who wanted a tat, thank God, because it was his favorite thing to do to mellow him out—and got her prepped and under the needle in no time. She wanted a fairy on her shoulder blade, and it would probably take a good hour or so. Plenty of time to clear his head.
Until Starla stuck the phone under his face, totally destroying his already feeble concentration. “Here. It’s your brother.”
He frowned and leaned away from the offending instrument. “He can get me on my cell later.”
Starla rolled her eyes and brought the phone back to her ear. “Evan, he’s tied up, can you call him later?” She listened for a second and then held it back to him, laughing. “He says you need to learn how to multitask.” Even the girl he was working on giggled.
“Dammit.” He grabbed the phone, crammed it between his ear and shoulder, and picked up the line he’d left off on her skin. “We’re swamped, brother. I don’t call for you and tell them to drag your ass out of court, do I?”
Evan cut right to the chase. He and their mom were alike in that regard, at least when it came to Brian. “Why is Sylvia Andrews calling me out of court asking me to help her keep you away from her daughter?”
“The hell. Are you shitting me?”
“What have you done now?”
“Man, I ain’t done nothing. I can’t even begin to tell you how much nothing I did.” Well, okay, he’d done a little, but that was no one’s business but his and Candace’s.
“Ordinarily I wouldn’t believe that for a second, but because it’s Candace we’re talking about, you might be telling the truth.”
Did everyone know this girl was a virgin except for him? Did other guys have some kind of built-in hymen alert mechanism he was lacking? He never would have taken Candace for someone who took frequent trips around the block, but hell, at least once or twice. She was in college and she was gorgeous, for fuck’s sake. But somehow she’d managed to keep that hot little body under wraps all this time. Were the guys over there blind?
I’d still want to wait for you.
“Why do you say that?”
“Her parents guard her like she’s Fort Knox. If they had snipers stationed around her place to take out anyone who dares approach her door, I wouldn’t be surprised.”
Then they must have surveillance cameras mounted somewhere across the street. Or spies. “I kinda get that now,” he muttered. “I’d already heard, but Jesus, I thought Michelle was always exaggerating at least a little whenever she talked about it.” Damn, it must have been hard for Candace growing up. Guys probably ran screaming from her at the very thought of facing down her parents.
Well, he wouldn’t have. He’d have proven it to her this morning, if she’d given him a shot.
“She wasn’t, trust me. I didn’t even know you were hanging out with Candace.”
“I’m really not. And I doubt I ever will be. So ease your mind.”
Evan paused for a second, losing the sharp prosecutorial edge to his voice when he spoke next. “You don’t sound too happy about that.”
“Look, does it matter?”
“I was already itching to tell the woman to take a flying leap. I would’ve done it, but I didn’t have the details. She didn’t like what I did tell her.”
“And that was?”
“I said I wasn’t aware of the situation with you and her daughter, but if she had a problem with it, she needed to take it up with you and Candace. Not me.”
Brian blew out the breath he’d been holding. Just when he thought he had his brother pegged, Evan surprised him. He could’ve shown the same outrage as Mrs. Andrews and trashed Brian on the phone to her for half an hour and promised her he wouldn’t let his evil thug of a brother near the poor defenseless maiden again. He could have, but he hadn’t. “Bless you.”
“They have to start letting her live her life sometime. But I have to say, if you’re trying to add a notch to your belt, then she really is better off without you.”
There was the Evan he knew. No matter what, he was always hiding in there somewhere. “Hey, just drop it now. All right? I appreciate what you said to her, but I can handle it from here without your input on who I should or shouldn’t hang out with. What the fuck am I, fourteen again?”
Evan sighed. “Sometimes you act like it.”
He bit down on a crude, juvenile comment that would only have proven his brother’s point, something like I got your fourteen right here, but suddenly, he was utterly exhausted. Spent. He didn’t want to deal with it anymore, just wanted to get through tonight and post up at home. For days.
“I gotta go. I do work, believe it or not.”
“I know you do, Brian. And believe it or not, I’m proud of you.”
He nearly choked. It was the first time he could ever remember hearing those words out of anyone’s mouth in his family. Focus, dude, he told himself, struggling to stay in the purple line on his client’s skin. Any second now it was going to start to blur, and how uncool would that be? Christ Almighty, he was a sap lately.
“Damn, for once I’ve stunned you into silence,” Evan laughed. “Hey, don’t be a stranger, okay? I dread to see you walk in the door, but Kelsey likes for you to come around, for some reason.”
“How’s the baby?”
His brother seemed taken aback that he would ask. “He’s great. He’s amazing. Come see him anytime you want, all right?”
“I will soon. See you.”
He clicked off the phone and tossed it back to Starla behind the front desk before things could become any gooier. He had a girl fully lodged under his skin and his brother trying to make him cry.
What the ever-loving hell.
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