Badd motherf cker, p.6
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       Badd Motherf*cker, p.6

         Part #1 of Badd Brothers series by Jasinda Wilder
 
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  There was a window, so I gingerly stood up and walked stiffly across the small room and looked out.

  Jesus.

  Ketchikan was gorgeous. The view from the window showed docks extending along the shoreline with boats of all kinds moored to them, and then the sea rippling with whitecaps and dotted with sails and fishing boats and a massive cruise liner off in the distance approaching the shore. Then farther to the left side of my view the hills were carpeted in green trees, a leaden gray sky above, and colorful houses climbing up into the hills, and a mountain off in the distance, white-capped.

  I'd picked a beautiful spot to run away to, that was for sure.

  I turned away from the view and noticed a pile of clothing on the foot of the bed: a pair of jeans, a pair of black yoga pants, two V-neck Tshirts--one black and one white--a hooded sweatshirt, a thick cable-knit sweater, an unopened three-pack of plain cotton underwear, a sports bra, two pair of thick wool socks, and a used but expensive-looking pair of hiking boots.

  My throat felt thick and hot, for some stupid reason.

  It was just clothing.

  But...he'd thought of everything. Even a bra and underwear, and had made sure the underwear weren't second-hand. The bra, too, still had the tag on it, which had been scribbled over with a sharpie and a second-hand price handwritten on the back. I put on the underwear and the bra, both of which fit, although the bra was a little small. The jeans were exactly my size, so I put on those along with a T-shirt and the hoodie and, let me just say, being dressed in warm, clean clothing felt like a luxury after the events of the day before.

  My hair was a disaster, though. I discovered that after peeking into the bathroom. I finger combed it out as best I could, which didn't do much for the tangles, but at least now it was kind of less fucked. I turned to leave the bathroom, and that was when I saw the damaged doorframe, and had a mental flashback.

  He'd reached for me, as if his self-control had finally fizzled out, had his hand on my naked hip, and I remembered feeling his hand being so warm and strong, cupping the generous curve of my hip like his hand was made to mold to my curves, and then he'd spun around and punched the doorframe so hard the molding had splintered, his fist leaving a crushed indent in the wood and plaster.

  Shit, the man could hit hard.

  I was delaying, I realized.

  I had to leave the relative sanctuary of this room, had to go downstairs and face Sebastian and his supposedly ugly douchetard brother.

  Enough of the sissy shit. It was time to woman up.

  So I tugged the hood over my head, pocketed my phone, twisted open the doorknob, and left the room. There were two other bedrooms in the hallway, both doors closed, the hallway opening into an expansive great room. The kitchen area was separated from the living room by an island counter with stools on the living room side, and the sitting area featured two overstuffed armchairs, a mismatched leather couch and loveseat, a battered coffee table, and a small flat screen TV mounted on the wall opposite the couch. Windows let in natural light, and revealed breathtaking views of the harbor and the green hills.

  Nothing expensive, nothing fancy, but comfortable, cozy, homey.

  At the other end of the hallway from the great room was a doorway, which I assumed led downstairs. The great room was empty, so I assumed Sebastian and his brother were downstairs. Heart thudding, I descended the narrow staircase, pushed through the door at the bottom, emerged inside the bar next to the kitchen--

  And into a tense, frozen tableau.

  Sebastian was wearing a pair of faded, ripped blue jeans and a plain white V-neck T-shirt, which was in no way equal to the task of containing his muscular bulk or hiding his tattoos. I could actually see a lot more of the tats now that he was wearing a short-sleeved shirt, the sleeves of which stopped just above the bulge of his biceps and looked to be so stretched I was worried the stitching was going to pop. It was also stretched across his shoulders and chest, highlighting the breadth and width of his torso, and then draped down to cling to his slim waist.

  He was also barefoot and, holy mother of fuck, what was it about a man who was barefoot in blue jeans? So cliche, I know, but shit, it was so goddamn hot.

  The tats, though. I actually licked my lips, looking at them. Each image was distinct yet bled and merged with the others on each arm, extending across the back of his shoulders and down each arm. There were a lot of totems, animals, skulls, playing cards, pop culture images twisted somehow into a whole menagerie of images with their own stories.

  Facing Sebastian was another man, this one a little shorter than Sebastian by maybe three or four inches, making him about six feet to Sebastian's six-four, but Jeeeeesus and holy hell, the man was built. I mean Sebastian was ripped, but this man...god, he was on a whole other level of massive. He had the same essential build--broad shoulders, a wide chest, tapered waist--but this other man took the image and ran wild with it. Arms thicker even than Sebastian's, nearly as thick as my thighs, a chest you could use as an anvil, the man was just...insanely muscled. Yet it still wasn't bodybuilder bulk...he was lean, hard. Everything about him just screamed DANGER. His head was shaved to the scalp on the sides and had only a thin scruff of brown fuzz on top. He had only one tattoo that I could see, a screaming eagle on his left biceps, the eagle clutching a trident in one talon and a flintlock pistol in the other, with an anchor superimposed in front of it. I recognized the logo, but it took me a minute to put it together; Sebastian's note had said his brother Zane had spent the last few years "pretending to be a badass." The logo was that of the US Navy SEALs.

  Damn. Probably not "pretending" to be a badass then, I'd guess.

  Sebastian had also said Zane would be the "ugliest motherfucker" I'd ever seen, yet, powerhouse warrior's physique aside, Zane was every bit as sexy as Sebastian. Craggy cliff-side jawline, deep-set dark eyes, high cheekbones, a wide expressive mouth... Yeah, Zane Badd was fucking hot as hell. But where Sebastian was hard, gruff, and rough looking yet with an intoxicating patina of warmth and charisma, Zane just looked...scary. His eyes were cold, dark, wild. Sebastian had that same wildness in his gaze, but Zane's eyes were just flat out icy. The man had seen and done some truly hellish things in his life, and it bled into his overall aura.

  Neither man had seen me yet. They were standing face to face in the middle of the bar, a few scant inches between their massive chests, eyes blazing, fists clenched; they were both pissed. Close to blows, it looked like, to me.

  "I had no fuckin' clue Dad was gonna put any of that shit in his will, Zane! How the fuck could I? I didn't even know he had a goddamn will, much less that he'd been having heart trouble. He just up and died, in the middle of a shift. He was dead before he hit the fuckin' floor, and I didn't hear shit about the will until yesterday. So don't come barging in here acting like I knew something you didn't."

  "That rat of a lawyer faxed me a copy of the will, Bast. You got ten grand none of us got. Explain that shit, then."

  Sebastian seemed to be seconds from blowing his top and attacking his brother. Who, from the looks of it, was every bit as close to going in after Sebastian in turn. And given the absurd size and power of both men, I wasn't sure this bar would survive if they started fighting.

  But what was I going to do? I was half their size, didn't know either of them, and was intruding on a clearly personal argument.

  "If you saw the will, and if you saw I got that ten grand--which I haven't seen a fuckin' dime of, by the way--then you saw what Dad said in his will. Because I was always the one to step in around here. I took over the kitchen when Mom died. I took over the paperwork so Dad could semi-retire. I ran this place, Zane. Me. All of you guys ran off to chase your dreams and I stayed here to run the bar with Dad. Nobody even asked if that's what I wanted. So then Dad gave me a few extra bucks as a minor reward or some shit, and you've got the balls to act jealous? Fuck...you."

  Sebastian punctuated the last word with a hard shove, sending his brother stepping backward a coup
le steps.

  And Zane? Well...he didn't take it well. Obviously. His fist flew, cracked against Sebastian's jaw and twisted him sideways.

  And then it was on, both men rushing at each other, spitting curses and swinging fists.

  I had to stop it.

  It wasn't even a conscious thing, honestly, I just reacted. From the time I was two years old, Dad had taught me martial arts. Every morning before dawn we ran through the katas, and once a week I went with Dad to his gym to spar. I never really cared about belts or anything, because I did it for Dad more than anything, but I'd passed the second-degree black belt test, on Dad's insistence.

  So I knew I could handle myself, and jumping in to stop a fight was just second nature. I had the skills, so I was obliged to use them when necessary in the defense of others--another lesson Dad had impressed on me, growing up.

  So when the fists started flying, I went in.

  I blocked Sebastian's right cross and redirected his momentum aside, sending him stumbling, and then spun to face Zane, who already had his own punch rocketing toward where Sebastian had been--and where I now was. I twisted to dodge it, stepped inside Zane's reach, caught his off-hand and twisted against the joint in a wrist-lock.

  The plan had been to spin him around and shove him away to separate the brothers, but I underestimated the snake-fast speed of Zane's instinctive reaction to the wrist-lock. The man was a Navy SEAL for fuck's sake...what had I expected? He simply accepted the pain of the wrist-lock and slammed the heel of his palm into my chest, right against my diaphragm. Knocked the wind out of me, sent me stumbling, gasping for breath. It wasn't a hard hit, and had been instinctive, the result of hundreds of hours of practice.

  Before I could react, he had his fingers around my throat, cutting off my breath and lifting me clear off the floor a solid inch. "Who the fuck is this bitch, Bast?"

  Of course, my training had obviously covered how to counter a hand around the throat, and I wasn't about to be choked out or intimidated, SEAL or not. I grabbed his hand in both of mine, twisted to break his grip, wrenched his arm around behind his back, spinning him in place, and then brought my knee up between his legs as hard as I could.

  Which dropped his big soldier ass to the floor, post-haste.

  I crouched beside Zane, who was writhing on the floor in agony. "My name is Dru Connolly. And if you ever call me a bitch again, I'll rip your fucking balls off, do you understand me?"

  He nodded, cupping his balls with both hands, struggling for breath.

  I felt two hands grab my shoulders and pull me away. My first instinct was to start breaking bones, but then I realized it was Sebastian, so I let him pull me a few feet backward.

  I twisted in place and stared up at him. "You said your brother was ugly, not that he was a complete asshole."

  Sebastian's lips quirked. "I think I also said not to expect much by way of manners from him."

  "True." I noticed then that Sebastian's lip was split, and he was trickling blood from his nose. "You're hurt. Come here."

  Another instinctive reaction, happening without conscious thought. I pulled him over to the bar and sat him down in a chair. There was a clean white towel sitting on the bar, folded in quarters; I grabbed it, stuffed some ice from the service bar into it, and touched it to the puffy, swollen, split open lump on Sebastian's lip, and then used one of the dangling corners to dab at his nose. I wasn't sure what came over me, honestly. Even as I was doing it, it felt odd. Unlike me. Yet also oddly...right. And familiar.

  Which freaked me the fuck out.

  I don't have much of a nurturing instinct, and never have. Or, at least, I never thought I did. Michael sliced open his finger cutting bell peppers once, and my idea of nurturing him then had been to toss him a roll of paper towels and tell him not to bleed on the peppers. That cut had required four stitches, and the man had been my fiance. Now, a man I'd met the night before got into a fistfight with his own brother and got a split lip and bloody nose for the trouble, and I was wifing on him so hard my ovaries were wondering if it was baby time.

  I blinked up at him as I realized what I was doing, and that he was staring down at me with those wild warm intense brown bear eyes, exuding heat and sexuality.

  I stepped back abruptly. "Thanks. For the clothes, I mean. And...for--for last night. You were a true gentleman, and I--yeah. Thanks." I turned away, moved past the still gasping and writhing Zane for the exit.

  I made it to the door, had my hand on the knob.

  "Wait." Sebastian's voice halted me. It was a growled order, rumbling so low and so powerfully I had no chance of resisting.

  I couldn't move. I felt him come up behind me, felt him grab me and spin me around. "Why'd you do that?"

  "Do what?"

  "Jump in like that."

  I shrugged. "Instinct. I told you already, my dad is a cop and a former Marine, and I'm his only kid, so he taught me everything he knows and then some."

  Sebastian was too close. "You kicked my brother's ass, and he's a Navy SEAL."

  "I wouldn't say I kicked his ass, but even Navy SEALs are still men with sensitive balls."

  "He didn't mean it. The choking or the bitch comment."

  "Felt like it, in both cases. And I don't take being called a bitch any better than I do having a man put his hands on me against my wishes."

  "You wrist-locked me." This was from Zane, behind us both. "It was muscle-memory instinct."

  I stepped past Sebastian. "Yeah, and what about calling me a bitch?"

  He was on his feet, albeit gingerly, and limped over to me. "That was uncalled for, and I apologize. I was pissed off, and you got in the way of it." He held his hand out for me to shake. "Can we start over? I'm Zane Badd."

  I shook his hand. "Dru Connolly."

  Zane glanced past me to Sebastian. "Since when you do you do girlfriends, Bast?"

  "I'm not his girlfriend," I said, before Sebastian could answer.

  "Not yet," Sebastian murmured under his breath, just loud enough for me to hear.

  "Not ever," I said, shame and embarrassment over my behavior last night blasting through me. "I need to find a flight back to Seattle."

  Sebastian frowned down at me. "Why?"

  "Because nobody knows where I am. I sort of ran away on the spur of the moment, and I--"

  Zane spoke up, then. "Sorry, sweetheart, but you're not going anywhere."

  I whirled on him, ready to get pissed all over again if he was trying to order me around. "And why not?"

  He leaned past me and pulled open the door, revealing a torrential downpour, and then let the door close. "My flight here landed just barely ahead of this storm, and I heard the pilots saying all flights were going to be canceled for at least the rest of the day, if not longer. This storm is huge, and nasty."

  "Shit." I turned away from both men and moved to sit at the bar. "I've got to call Dad at the very least. "

  Sebastian pushed Zane toward the door to the upper level. "Come on, we'll talk upstairs."

  When they were gone, I pulled out my phone and unlocked it. Sixteen missed calls, nine voicemails, and forty-seven texts.

  Fourteen of the calls, seven of the voicemails, and forty-two of the texts were from Dad, everything else from Michael.

  Really? He had the balls to try and get hold of me after what he did? Dumbass.

  I was tempted to delete everything from Michael unheard and unread, but I didn't--I couldn't. I'd been with him for four years, and couldn't just dismiss him that easily, as much as I wanted to. I was still in shock, I think, still mentally and emotionally processing what had happened, what I'd seen.

  Yet another reason to keep my distance from a man like Sebastian Badd. I knew the old adage about the best way to get over someone was to get under somebody else, but I didn't roll that way. It wouldn't work. No amount of casual fucking could erase four years of my life with Michael. No matter how spectacularly Sebastian might fuck me, it wouldn't fix my broken heart.

  It wou
ld be fucking spectacular, though...or, should I say spectacular fucking.

  Shit. I was not supposed to be thinking about how good Sebastian would be in bed.

  Bad Dru. I wasn't fucking him. I was going to go back home and deal with the mess that was my life.

  The problem was, I didn't want to go back home. I didn't want to walk the Seattle streets and see our favorite restaurants and bars. I'd have to go back to my condo. I'd smell him on my sheets, and I'd have his toothbrush in my bathroom, and his pubes in my shower drain, and his size medium condoms in my bedside table, and his clothes in the drawer I'd given him. He was woven into every facet of my entire fucking life, and I didn't have the slightest clue how to unravel it all.

  Against my own will, my thumb tapped the messages app, and brought up the text message thread with Michael.

  Dru, it wasnt what you think., please call me!!!!

  She meant nothing to me baby i swear. It was a moment of stupidity please please please forgive me! Ill do anythng!

  There were three more texts in the same vein, each more desperately misspelled and unpunctuated than the last. I didn't respond to any of them, but I knew he'd get the 'read' receipts. He'd know I saw them, which meant I'd be hearing from him at some point. No way I was ready for that, so I pulled up the voicemails and listened to the ones from Michael first.

  In the first one he sounded frantic, desperate, a little crazy. "Baby, baby--you gotta call me back. I know what you saw, and it's not like you think. It was just that once. We can fix this, Dru, I know we can. I love you."

  Delete.

  "Dru, baby. I'm so sorry." He sounded calmer in this one, and honestly close to tears. "I screwed up. I know I did. I just--I wish you'd give me a chance to explain."

  Explain your cock in Tawny's blown-out pussy, asshole.

  Delete.

  When I finally drummed up the courage to open Michael's last voicemail, it wasn't what I was expecting. "I'm guessing you won't listen to this, and if you do, you won't call me back. I get it. I was an asshole. Nobody has any clue where you are and we're all worried. It's not like you to just vanish. At least call your dad so he stops panicking. I think if you don't let him know where you are soon, he's gonna make me disappear, and I'm not entirely sure that's a joke." He sounded lucid, but drunk. "There's so much I could say, but I've been drinking and I'm not gonna say it in a voicemail. I just--I know I messed up, but--fuck. Your dad's calling again. Hopefully somebody will hear from you at some point, Dru. We're all worried. So...bye, I guess."

 
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