Fierce – Brody…Prologue

The first in The Fierce Five Series will be live next week. Brody. Though the covers on these books are branded a little differently, it’s still the same style of books I write. Family dynamics mixed with hot romance and a little twist in the way of meddling parents.

Brody_2

I thought I’d give you a little taste for a few days, starting with the Prologue.

Brody swung his bare, size thirteen feet over the side of the bed, lifted his arms above his head and turned to the right, then left. The accompaniment of snap, crackle, pop filled the room.

Naked and feeling gloriously free, he walked into the bathroom for a quick shower. With his head much clearer, he wiped the steam off the mirror and eyed the slight red mark on his temple from the ridiculously low showerhead.

The foreign two-day-old growth of beard staring back at him managed to look neat enough for him to keep. Why not, he thought. Being uncomfortable was the least of his problems right now.

Grabbing his phone, wallet, and key card, he walked out of the hotel room in search of some food.

In the elevator, he finally looked at his phone and noted the time. Guess it was going to be lunch, so he headed toward the bar.

“What can I get you?” the bartender asked. She was well past her prime, trying hard to hide it and failing miserably.

A quick glance at what was on tap had him changing his mind from his normal drink of choice. But when his eyes landed on the stock of liquor reflecting against the mirrored wall, he resigned himself to the cheap stuff. “Vodka and tonic.”

“Coming right up,” she said, her voice a bit raspy, her eyes sending more his way than he wanted to acknowledge. “You want some food with that, sugar?”

“Sure,” he said as he watched her pull a stained sheet of paper out that he supposed passed as a menu.

“What are you in the mood for?” she asked, placing the drink down in front of him. A cheap glass that wasn’t cleaned to his taste either, but not dirty. Spending as much time as he did in a bar, he took note of everything that wasn’t up to his standards.

“A burger and fries,” he said, finding that the least offensive thing at the moment.

When the greasy concoction was slid in front of him, he wished he was back home and could just walk into the kitchen and get his brother Aiden’s specialty fish tacos, made with a slaw marinated in one of his brother Mason’s summer IPAs. As pissed off as he was at everyone right now, he couldn’t get them out of his head.

After washing down the last of his fries with his drink, he threw cash on the bar and walked out to the ocean breeze awaiting him.

Spring on the Outer Banks was busy, and the beach was filling up rapidly with tourists and kids, blankets and umbrellas.

Toeing his shoes off, he picked them up and carried them as he made the lone walk along the shore. Breathing in the salty air mixed with the sweet smell of artificial coconut cleared his head. Doing all the things his siblings told him to do. Too bad he didn’t agree with them.

An hour later, covered in sweat, he undressed and climbed in the shower once again, trying to cool off.

The ringing of his phone had him cursing as he hit his head on the showerhead for a second time stepping out of the tub.

With a towel wrapped around his waist and water dripping on the sterile white bath mat, he pressed the answer button and heard his sister Ella’s voice echoing off the walls on speaker.

“Did I wake you?” she asked.

“No, I was in the shower,” he said, grabbing another towel and running it over his short dark hair and neck.

“So you did just get up? Good, you need some sleep.”

“I’ve been up for hours,” he said, his tone grouchier than normal. “Just got back from a walk on the beach.”

“Even better.” When he snorted, she laughed. “Brody, we’re worried about you. You’re working too hard and too long. This was for your own good.”

“Whatever,” he said, still not happy about being here.

“You’re the only person on the face of this earth who complains about being told to take a week off. What’s wrong with you?”

“When was the last vacation you had?” he asked. “That any of you had?”

“Not the point,” she answered, her voice light but firm. “We aren’t biting each other’s heads off like you.”

“I’m always like that,” he said.

“Not this bad and you know it.”

Sometimes the truth did hurt. “I’m coming home tonight. I can’t stay here another day. I don’t know what to do with myself.”

“We figured you’d say that, so I was elected to make this call. If you step foot in Charlotte before Sunday afternoon, you can’t come to the bar, the restaurant, or the brewery.”

His jaw tightened. “Who’s going to stop me?”

“The staff have instructions to block you from entering. Without you firing them, too. I’ll change the locks if I have to, Brody.”

“What the hell, Ella? Is this some kind of a joke?” He whipped the towel off and started to briskly wipe the steam off the mirror. He needed to do something other than stand here, shell-shocked. How could his family betray him this way?

“Nope. Orders from Mom. Take it up with her if you want.”

His shoulders dropped. Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen. Ella and his mom were outnumbered, five testosterone-bearing behemoths in the house to two estrogen-toting pipsqueaks. Somehow, though, estrogen always seemed to win in the Fierce household.

“See you Sunday,” he said, wondering what the hell he was going to do with himself for the next three days.

“We love you, Brody. Even Cade, but next time you need to keep your fists to yourself. You’d been warned before.”

Brody cracked the barest of grins. “How’s his eye?”

“Not as bruised as his ego.”

“Where was he sent to cool off?” Brody asked.

“He’s fishing with Dad for two more days. Consider yourself lucky you got a solo timeout. He’s getting the lecture.”

Lucky, sure. There was no luck in being the leader of the Fierce Five.

 

 

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