“Stupid feelings,” I grumbled at the sidewalk. I pushed the button on my keys, unlocking my car and flinging the door open. I threw myself into the driver’s seat and tossed my handbag beside me. “Boys are dumb,” I repeated my mantra as I jammed the key into the ignition with vengeance and started the engine. I could smell him in my car; the heady scent of Jude was all around me. He’d been in my car just days before, checking it out at the garage and that overwhelming smell that was just him still lingered. Lemon, a small hint of leather, engine grease and his own natural pheromones that always seemed to have me wanting to lick him. It was infuriating when I was in such a foul mood. I just couldn’t avoid him no matter how much I tried.
“Fuck this!” I slammed the car into gear and rolled down the windows. I didn’t need the constant reminder of Jude, in my car no less. It was bad enough he invaded my thoughts, my dreams, my very soul. I couldn’t have him permeating the air inside my car too.
Everything conflicted within me as I made my way to Needle’s Kiss. My first day on the job and already I was a frazzled mess.
“If you want to be treated as an adult, Haven, act like one.” My pep talk did a whole bunch of nothing to calm the storm raging on my emotions.
Stewing the entire way to work, I grumbled and glared at anything that could have possibly offended my mood, and most things that didn’t. Pulling up to the parlor, I scolded myself for being childish and tried to paste a sweet smile on my face. After all, it was my first day working in a job that could possibly hand me my freedom and some much-needed respect from my big ogre brothers.
“Morning,” I called out in a fake-as-Barbie tone, the front door charm sounding at my appearance.
“Morn… hot damn, sugar!” Teeny stopped dead in her tracks, all but breaking her neck doing a double take. “What happened to you?” She met me at the front counter and looked me up and down.
“Pardon?” I asked, confused.
“You look hot. As in, I think I just got hit by a truck and the devil sent his sexiest vixen to get me, H.O.T.” She finished with a wolf whistle.
“Oh, give it up. It’s nothing much. Scarlett told me to amp up the wardrobe a little, so I did. It’s not too much, is it?” I asked, suddenly nervous I’d overdone her instructions. I looked down at my outfit of black torn tights layered under a red and black plaid schoolgirl style skirt and topped with a black sleeveless and very busty top.
“I fucking love it. Those boots… holy hell I’d fuck you in those boots.” She pointed to my grungy, chic black and silver studded stiletto ankle boots with a greedy look in her eyes.
“Back up now, sister. You’re banging my brother. You can’t have it all.” My mood had lifted significantly just from her words. I apparently needed that kind of affirmation that I’d done something right. “One sibling at a time, honey,” I joked as I pushed my handbag under the desk and took my seat.
“Fine. I choose the penis then. I don’t think I could live without a good penis even when it’s attached to an ass who infuriates me more than he pleases me.”
“Stop talking about my cock for shit’s sake,” Trip grumbled as he walked out from behind the wall separating the reception room and the rooms where they worked their magic. He stopped walking and screwed his face up while staring daggers through me. “Get up, get the fuck home, and change your clothes.” His voice was deathly quiet.
“No,” I told him with attitude, and turned back to my desk.
“Now!” he rumbled behind me.
“Fuck off, asshole,” I said nonchalantly. To hell he was bursting my bubble with his He-Man tantrum.
“Leave her alone and go away.” Teeny stood with one hand on her hip and one pointing to the back of the shop. “Now. Go on, get.” She tipped her head, cementing her words.
“Teeny, stay out of it. She’s my baby sister.” Trip threw his hands crudely toward me while stating his case to his girl. “The fuck she thinking coming in here looking like that?” His face colored crimson with his outburst. All the while, I pretended to busy myself with where everything was located behind the counter.
“Fuck off, Trip. Unless you don’t want to get off later.” Teeny smirked, an evil I-got-you-by-the-balls look in her eye. With a huff, Trip turned on his heel, mumbling something about cock-blocking, and throat-punching, and who knows what else. Teeny turned back toward me, her gaze following my brooding brother. “You know, he only does it because he cares.” Her voice just a tinkling whisper. There was no way she was giving up the power she just assumed for the day when it came to Trip.