BROTHERS IN BLUE
2017 © Jeanne St. James
~ All Rights Reserved ~
Marc let himself in his parents’ front door, his ten-month old puppy, Menace, squeezing past him in a rush.
“Jeez, asshole, you almost knocked me over,” he scolded the dog, not that the gangly mastiff was listening. He was already bee-lining to the kitchen where he knew there would be food. After all, he was a growing dog, now wasn’t he.
Marc was beat. After doing the double-back from the three to eleven shift last night to working the seven to three shift this morning, he was freaking exhausted. And he wasn’t even including the wrestling he and Leah had gotten into on the mat. That had taken a toll also, as well as their stilted conversations throughout the rest of the day.
He didn’t seem to be the only one relieved at three when their shift ended. He bet Leah had gone home and collapsed. If he hadn’t already committed to dinner at his parents’, he’d be snoozing on the couch with the TV on, a cold beer next to him, and a farting mastiff doubling as a blanket.
But family obligations and all that. And anyway, his mother was a better cook than him. So no complaints there.
He followed the direction Menace had gone and ended up in the kitchen. The oversized puppy sat at his mother’s feet, his tail thumping heavily against the floor, as she stirred something on the stove.
“Smells good, Ma.” He walked over and peered into the pot before landing a loud, sloppy kiss on her cheek.
Mary Ann Bryson pushed him away with a laugh. “Stop it. You’re as bad as Dennis with sloppy kisses. You’re never going to find a woman if you kiss like that.”
Ew. He’d never kiss her the same way as he would a woman. Not his mother.
And, obviously, one of his mother’s immediate goals in life was to get him hitched and to start producing offspring like he was a prized farm animal.
“Ma, his name is Menace.”
She wiped her hands on the dish towel tucked into her waistband. “You know I refuse to call him that.”
“You don’t have any problem with Chaos’ name.”
Marc could see no difference between his puppy’s name and Max and Amanda’s border collie Chaos. It was probably only because Max was her first born. Being the middle child always sucked.
His mother just waved her hand at him like he was a gnat buzzing near her ear.
“Who names their dog Menace?”
Marc spun toward the female voice. The rookie stood in the doorway to the kitchen, leaning against the jamb, her arms crossed at her chest.
What in the holy fuck was she doing here?
“Someone cool, that’s who,” he answered her with a frown. He lifted his hands up in question wanting to know what the hell was happening here.
Leah ignored the gesture and gave him an exaggerated eye roll. “Someone cool, huh?” If the eye roll was any bigger, she would’ve sprained them.
She wore form-fitting blue jeans and a maroon, snug—Yes!—long-sleeved T-shirt. Her feet were bare against the wood floor, and—Sweet baby Jesus—her hair was down. It draped around her shoulders like a silk curtain. Straight as an ironing board. Not one curl to be seen.
An image of him running his fingers through all that length flashed through him, but he pushed it away when he noticed the dark smudges under both of her eyes. She was just as exhausted as he was.
Menace got off his lanky ass and barreled toward her like a galloping giraffe. Leah moved to brace herself before the impact. Marc rushed forward and snagged his collar just in time as the dog launched himself at her.
“Settle, you fool,” he told the excited puppy.
Ignoring the near disaster, his mother asked in her booming voice, “Oh Leah! How was your shower?”
“Hot and deliciously wonderful.”
Like the woman in front of him.
“I’m sure it felt good after that stupid quick turnaround shift. Those ridiculous things. I don’t know why the department does that. I’ve never agreed with it, even when your father did them way back when.” She shook the wooden spoon at Marc before turning back to the stove.
It was Marc’s turn to roll his eyes. Like he had any control over double-back shifts. She needed to talk to her eldest son, the one that was actually in charge. “Where’s Pop?”
“I don’t know. But you know he won’t miss dinner. That man never misses a meal. Honey, why don’t you go into the living room and cuddle up with a blanket until dinner is done.”
Great idea! He could use a little nap.
“That sounds like a plan,” Leah murmured and she disappeared into the next room. Menace followed on her heels.
Apparently, his mother hadn’t been talking to him, her own son. Leah had usurped the “honey” title in the house. That was just wrong. But never mind that, why was his mother acting as though she was family? Was Leah related somehow and Max never said anything? He thought back in horror at the episode in the wrestling gym earlier.
Marc brought this voice down to a rough whisper. “What’s she doing here? She’s not related to us, right?”
Oh say no. Please say no.
“No, silly! When Max hired her, she had no place to stay, so we offered to put her up until she finds a place of her own.”
Fucking Max. “So Max suggested this?”
“Yes. He actually encouraged it.”
He was going to kill his brother. It was bad enough that he not only hired a woman, but he was making Marc coach her, and now… Now his pupil, recruit, rookie—fuck—his sexual fantasy was living in his parent’s home. Right. Next. Door.
Pork roll. Pig cheeks. Pork belly.
“Don’t you think it’s a noble gesture that she wanted to become a police officer like her father?”
When his mother spoke, he realized he’d been staring blindly at the empty doorway since Leah had left. He shook his head to clear it. “What? What are you talking about?”
“Her wanting to be a cop after her dad died in the line of duty.”
Now he’d have to resurrect Max’s dead body and kill him all over again. “Yeah, that’s great,” he said absently, thinking about all the ways he could murder his older brother and dispose of the body.
His mother stopped what she was doing and glanced at him. “You did know, didn’t you?”
“Yes, Ma. Of course I did. She’s my rookie.”
His mother’s eyebrows pinned together as she clicked her tongue. “Silly, she’s the department’s rookie… Or…is she your rookie, Marc?”
Well if that wasn’t a loaded question then he didn’t know what was. And he certainly was not falling into his mother’s trap. One slip and she’d have the rings picked out and the venue booked. No matter that he’d only known Grant for three days. She’s a female and to his mother a potential candidate for popping out grandchildren. She probably already inspected Leah’s womb, just to check her potential.
JEANNE ST. JAMES is an erotic romance author who loves an Alpha male (or two). She was only thirteen when she started writing since it gave her an escape from teenage angst! Her first paid published piece was an erotic story in Playgirl magazine. Her first erotic romance novel, Banged Up, was published in 2009. She is happily owned by farting French bulldogs. She writes M/F, M/M, and M/M/F ménages.
She has a few new releases coming up in 2017. So keep an eye on her website at www.jeannestjames.com or sign up for her newsletter: https://www.MyAuthorBiz.com/ENewsletter.php?acct=JJ4625816541890
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/jeannestjames