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Duke(5)

By´╝ÜCandace Blevins



Gen smiled through her tears. God, she loved her big brother. “Yeah. I could get a twenty thousand dollar pay-day out of it, if I play my cards right.”

“Any idea what they’re gonna do with it?”

“No, but this isn’t another Volkswagen or anything. These guys are rough. Motorcycles and leather jackets, some have lots of facial hair. I could be wrong, but I don’t see them creating a lot of jobs on this property.”

“Not sure I like the way that sounds, Gen. You want me to come with you the next time you show them property?”

“Oh, no. They’re perfect gentlemen. I’m not in the least scared of them. If anything, I feel safer around them, like they’d never let anything hurt me. Since Isaac taught me to shoot and I got my carry license, you know I have it with me when I’m out. I met with two of them this morning, and they’re bringing some more people up from Atlanta tomorrow so they can all look at it. There’s another property just down the street they want to see, and they asked if I could arrange to show it to them, even though it isn’t mine. Guy introduced himself to me as Brain, but his signature and ID said his name is Thurston. I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. He’s a bad-ass biker and his name is Thurston!”

Gen saw a car coming at her and recognized Isaac’s shiny black Shelby. “You had Cam call them while we talked, didn’t you.”

“That mean they’ve arrived?”

“It does. Thanks big brother, even if you are a pain, I know you’ll always have my back.”

Isaac opened her door and she said goodbye to Frisco, and let her brother’s massive, muscled, totally hot boyfriend draw her into a hug. She melted into his chest, let him hold her, but found strength in his arms and took a breath to say, “I’m gonna be okay, Isaac. Mike’s a butthole. I’ll be okay to follow you.”

Isaac chuckled. “Cassie’s all fired up about getting to drive my car. Let’s get you in the passenger side and I’ll play chauffeur. I stopped in the storeroom and grabbed the good stuff, so you can have rum and Coke until you pass out, if you want.”

Isaac kept the subject to lighter matters on the way home, and Gen walked in the door to her brother’s gourmet cooking.

Never one to do things the easy way, Frisco had two boyfriends and a girlfriend, and they all lived together. All three guys were bisexual, and Cassie was one lucky girl, as far as Gen could tell. She adored all of her brother’s partners, and loved spending time in their beautiful house. Before Frisco had came out to his family, he’d made them all believe Cam was renting the apartment over his garage. Now, Cameron lived in the house, as did the rest of them.

Frisco didn’t waste any time — the second she stepped into the kitchen her big brother demanded, “What’d he do?”

Gen froze and just stared at him. She wasn’t ready to talk about it.

Cam touched Frisco’s arm and said, “Give her some time. She’ll talk when she’s ready.” He stepped to her and drew her into a hug, and she once again considered how lucky Cassie was. Cam was a dancer, with the body of one. He moved like liquid sex, and his hugs made you feel as if at that moment, nothing in the world mattered except his desire to see you happy, safe, and protected.

Dinner stayed casual and easy, in part because Isaac made sure her rum and Coke never went empty.

It wasn’t until an hour or so after dinner, sitting in their living room relaxed and talking, that she broke down and told them what happened.

“I was supposed to have a closing this afternoon, but everything fell apart at the last minute. I’m gonna be able to salvage it, but not tonight, so I headed home.” She looked at her brother, rolled her eyes. “Mike’s been at my place for months. I can’t move him in officially because mom will throw a hissy-fit, but his furniture’s in storage and his clothes are in the biggest guestroom closet. I make him keep his razor and deodorant and stuff put away, so mom won’t figure it out when she visits.” She rolled her eyes. “God, the woman snoops. I can hear her in my bathroom upstairs, looking through stuff. I know she’s looking for evidence he’s spent the night.”

Isaac put his arm around her and pulled her into his side. She snuggled in and looked around. Cassie was leaning into Frisco, and Cam was sprawled on the floor at Frisco’s feet. They looked so natural, comfortable.

“Am I messing up your evening?”

Isaac’s arm pulled her a little tighter for a second, and he kissed the top of her head. “Not even a little. You’re an adult, if you want to live with someone you should be able to. Good to know it wasn’t just Frisco terrified of your mom, though.”

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