Badd motherf cker, p.7
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       Badd Motherf*cker, p.7

         Part #1 of Badd Brothers series by Jasinda Wilder
 
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  I didn't delete that one. Not sure why, honestly. I just...couldn't.

  Something wet dripped from the end of my nose onto the bar top.

  What the fuck? I refused to cry about that bastard again. Not anymore.

  He wasn't worth wasting any more time or thought or energy on. Nobody was ever going to be faithful; Mom left Dad and me when I was eleven, cleaned out the bank account and split with some dude on a Harley. I remember it. She had a backpack, a too-big helmet, and walked out of the house, climbed onto the back of a rumbling Harley, wrapped her arms around the rider, a big, burly, hairy beast of a man, and they left, just like that. Dad stood beside me on the front porch, watching, utterly shell-shocked.

  It had come totally out of left field. Dad had joined the Marines at eighteen, had spent twenty years in the Corps, and had finally retired. He hadn't been sure what he was going to do, and had been at loose ends. Money wasn't tight, but we weren't flush, either. We'd had a nice house, a decent car, food to eat, enough extra cash to go to the movies now and then, out to eat maybe. I remember Dad being home a lot, and Mom working at a diner to put a little more cushion in the bank until Dad figured out his next career.

  And then, without a word, without a reason, without so much as a single argument or blowout, Mom just...left.

  It had scarred both Dad and me for life. Dad never dated again, and I'd always found it impossible to trust anyone except Dad. I never really had many friends, never really dated all that much. I got into lots of trouble in high school, of the drinking and smoking pot and fucking boys in the back of cars variety, but that was because I was angry and confused. I didn't have a mom to show me how to be a woman, and Dad had his career as a cop by then, so there wasn't anyone to tell me no. None of the boys I ever fucked meant anything. It was what troublemakers did, and it was--believe me when I say I get how fucking cliche this is--a cry for attention.

  I met Michael my junior year of college. He was a few years older than me, cool, laid-back, good-looking, had an intact nuclear family, mom, dad, brother, sister. He wasn't exactly close to his siblings, but he had them and saw them regularly. His dad was an asshole and his mom was a drunk, but he had them, both together in the same house, still married. It was odd, for me. We'd go over to his house, the same one he grew up in his whole life--unlike me, a Corps brat who'd been to six different elementary schools between kindergarten and fifth grade--and we'd sit around the dinner table with his whole family, and they'd argue and bicker and drink too much and sometimes Michael and his brother would nearly come to blows after too much red wine, but they'd always hug before Michael and I left, and he'd hug his mom and dad and sister too, and it was just...so weird. It made no sense to me. They were dysfunctional, sure, but in a normal way.

  My mom had abandoned me. I'd been more independent at twelve than most college kids. I made my own breakfast, packed my own lunch, and usually made dinner for Dad, too. I did my homework without being told, and most of the housework. I could take a bus from home to the precinct, and did so regularly. I'd routinely accept rides to and from school or to the station from Dad's cop buddies, which meant climbing into the passenger seat and playing with the radio and turning on the siren if they got a call.

  I could shoot a gun better than most rookies, knew a dozen different ways to break someone's wrist, and owned my own Taser. Which I'd once used on a guy on a bus who was trying to cop a feel on fourteen-year-old me.

  My dad was big, gruff, cynical, tough, intimidating. He once arrested a boy I'd been fooling around with--the kid had wanted me to blow him and I'd said no, and he'd gotten a little handsy in his teenage displeasure. Unfortunately for Billy Price we'd been in his car outside my house, and Dad had been watching. Honestly, Billy had been lucky Dad hadn't pepper sprayed him. He'd been cuffed, booked for assault, and had spent the night in the holding cell with the drunks before Dad let him out. I hadn't needed Dad's intervention, but I hadn't been upset about it either.

  Then along came Michael and his normal family and his affectionate-but-not-clingy ways, his not-impressive-but-decent cock, his not-impressive-but-decent ability to last for more than five seconds in bed, and the fact that he'd claimed to love me. He'd pick me up from work at the law firm, take me to dinner, buy me roses, take me to the movies or a concert, and we'd have sex and wake up and have breakfast, and he'd go to work in the marketing division of Amazon and I'd go to work in the small but intense firm where I was a law clerk, and that was life. He seemed happy. I'd thought I was happy.

  He proposed over dinner at a swanky restaurant, and we planned the wedding. We'd planned it to be small, just his family and closest friends. Dad and I didn't really have anyone except Dad's cop buddies since we didn't give a shit about Mom's family, and Dad was the only child of long-dead parents.

  I never questioned Michael. He didn't stay late at work, didn't keep his phone under his pillow or text at odd hours or take secretive phone calls. There was no lipstick on his collars, no perfume I didn't recognize on his body.

  The lipstick on the collar thing, though--does that actually happen? How do you get lipstick on a guy's collar? Are you kissing his shirt?

  Point is, there weren't any warning signs.

  We had regular sex. He never acted weird. He wasn't super possessive or jealous, never obviously checked out other chicks...

  Then...on our wedding day, he fucked Tawny Howard in his dressing room.

  If I hadn't caught him, would he have married me? Taken me to bed on our honeymoon with Tawny's pussy juice all over his dick?

  I shuddered, since now I had no clue what else he'd been up to--or, rather, who else he'd been up in. We never had sex without protection, since I wasn't on birth control--I had regular, not-very heavy periods and hated the way birth control messed with my hormones. I was glad for that, now, because it meant I was clean even if he was a cheating bastard whore.

  I felt another tear trickle down my cheek, and then another. He'd probably been cheating on me the whole time, I'd just been too stupid to see it. I'd made the conscious effort to trust him after he'd told me he loved me. He'd said it first, without any pressure from me. It hadn't even felt forced, or unnatural, or fake. I'd believed him. And I'd let myself feel like I was in love with him, too. I'd put blind faith in him, which had gone against every instinct I'd ever had. I hadn't wanted to trust him, hadn't wanted to fall in love with him. But I'd made myself trust him because, as I told myself, if I didn't choose to trust someone eventually, I'd go through life alone, like Dad. Who was sad, lonely, and difficult, except where I was concerned.

  Speaking of Dad...I opened our iMessage thread and started reading through the backlog.

  Dru? Where the shit are you, girl?

  Seriously. Call me. NOW.

  WHErE THE fUCk DID YOU GO?!

  DRU EMMALINE CONNOLLY CALL YOUR FATHER FUCKING PRONTO!

  The texts got increasingly angry and frightened, until the last few were nearly unintelligible. The voicemails were worse. He sounded absolutely terrified, and for a guy who'd done a tour in Iraq and patrolled the worst parts of Seattle every night, that said something.

  Shit.

  SHITSHITSHIT.

  I'd fucked up.

  Mom had left him for no reason, and now I had, too, or at least I was assuming it must have felt like that. I mean, I'd told Rolando to tell him I'd call him, but for someone who'd already had his wife abandon him, it had to have felt like a betrayal. Like a knife to the heart.

  I wiped my eyes, tried to swallow the lump in my throat, and hit Dad's speed dial in my phone, and he picked up before it finished the first ring.

  He sounded groggy, scratchy. "Dru?"

  "Yeah, Daddy. It's me."

  "Where the motherfucking goddamned hell did you fucking go?" Only a Marine Corps DI could swear like that.

  "I'm in Ketchikan, Dad."

  "Alaska?"

  "Apparently."

  A moment of silence, then the sounds of the burr grinder and the faucet
as Dad made coffee. "Explain."

  "I--I'm sorry, Dad. I'm so sorry. I didn't think about how it'd make you feel, I just...I had to go. I couldn't stay in Seattle another second. It was a crazy spur of the moment thing and I was drunk...but it was the right thing to do for me. I'm just sorry I worried you."

  "Worried me? Worried is what I'd be if you got in a fender bender or some shit. I heard from Rolando that you jumped in front of a seaplane during take-off and climbed into the plane drunk and still in your wedding dress, and took off in it? That's not worry, that's a heart attack. I tore 'Lando a new asshole for letting you do that. He should've cuffed you before letting you get on that fucking airplane."

  "I wouldn't have let him. I wasn't thinking straight. I was panicked, I was--wait, you didn't have an actual heart attack, did you?"

  "No, no. Thought I was having one, and even went in to see Doc Roberts, but he said it was called panic, not angina. I'm healthy as a horse, just worried about you. You're all I've got, baby-cakes."

  "Everything in Seattle is stained by Michael. I'll come back, I just don't know when."

  "So you're in Alaska?"

  "It's where the plane was going. It's nice here."

  "You need anything?"

  "A new heart?"

  This got me a sad laugh. "You and me both, babe."

  "I just need time."

  "Are you somewhere safe, at least? You need money or anything?"

  "I've got savings. I'm..." Was I safe? I mean, sort of. For Dad's purposes, I decided, yes, I was safe. "I'm okay. I mean, I'm not okay, but I'm somewhere safe. I'll be fine."

  "You want me and the boys to put the hurt on that ex asshole of yours?" He paused a moment. "Wait, he is ex, right? You're not taking him back, are you?"

  "No, don't hurt him, he's not worth it. And hell the fuck no I'm not taking him back. I'll probably let him try to explain himself, at some point, but I'm not taking him back. I got my ability to forgive from you, after all."

  "Yeah, I don't got that ability."

  "My point exactly, Dad."

  He chuckled. "Ah. Right." He was quiet for another moment. "Sure you're okay, baby-cakes? I got an old buddy from the Corps in Spokane who has a plane. I can send him to come get you."

  I should. I should have Dad's Corps buddy come get me and bring me home. There was nothing in Ketchikan for me.

  Except a certain tattooed bartender...

  Nope.

  NOPE.

  No way. Bad plan. Super bad horrible terrible no good very very terribly stupid plan, having anything to do with Sebastian. Or his beefcake asshole Navy SEAL brother.

  But I couldn't bring myself to do it. I didn't have any good reason, and lots of good reasons not to, but I wanted to stay. I wasn't sure where I'd go, or what I'd do, but as long as I was in Ketchikan--a long, long way from that stupid cheating motherfucking dickhead bastard cock-face shit-eating son of a bitch Michael--I might as well stay here and figure things out, like I'd originally planned...albeit planned might be the wrong word, but I was going with it.

  You don't grow up a DI's daughter without learning how to string swear words together.

  Had nothing to do with Sebastian.

  I just needed a change of scenery, somewhere new and unfamiliar to put my thoughts in order, to sort out my feelings, to just...let myself be hurt and learn to get over it. Plus, the storm wasn't letting up, so I was stuck here for another day or so anyway.

  "Dru?" Dad's voice shook me out of my thoughts. "Are you still there?"

  I blinked, cleared my throat. "Sorry, Dad, I got lost in my head for a second. No, I'll be okay for now. But keep that buddy on the hook, because I might need a ride out of here when I'm ready."

  "You got it, honey." I heard the sound of coffee pouring. "Well, I'm gonna let you go, then. I love you, Dru. And I'm sorry you're going through this."

  "Thanks. I love you too, Dad. And I'm sorry I freaked you out."

  "Now that I know you're alive and okay and where you want to be, I'm okay. Take whatever time you need. I'll be here when you get back, and if you need anything, anything, just call me. All right, honey?"

  "You got it, Dad. Love you, bye." That stupid lump in my throat wouldn't go away.

  "Bye."

  I set the phone on the bar and spun it in circles.

  At least I'd always have Dad.

  I headed upstairs in search of Sebastian to remind him about the breakfast he'd promised me.

  6

  Sebastian

  "What were we supposed to do, Bast? Forget everything any of us ever dreamed of doing with our lives? We all hated it here. We wanted more. You always seemed content to run the bar with Dad." Zane was sitting on one of the stools, flipping idly through a magazine while I rustled up breakfast in the upstairs kitchen.

  "Nobody ever asked me what I wanted, Zane. That's all I'm saying. You all just assumed. What if I wasn't content here? You left, then Brock..." I stirred the scrambled eggs a little more forcefully than I needed to. "One after another, everyone just left. It was just Lucian and me for the last few months, after Xavier got that ride to Stanford, but Lucian...you know how he is. He was working Clint's fishing boat more than he was home, saving his bank. Then he just fuckin' vanished. Packed a bag, boarded a cargo ship headed east, and I ain't heard a word from his ass since."

  "Last I checked in, he was in the Philippines."

  "Lawyer said Thailand."

  "That was six months ago. I had a buddy in Intelligence ping him for me a few weeks ago, and got him tracked down to Manila."

  "Nobody ever tells me this shit," I groused.

  "That's 'cause your caveman ass don't have a fucking computer or cell phone."

  "I have a computer."

  Zane laughed. "Dude, that's not a computer, it's a dinosaur. I'm pretty sure my first cell phone had more computing power than that old piece of shit."

  It really was an ancient piece of shit. I think Dad got it in like '96 to keep his receipts and inventory more organized, or something. I mainly used it to play solitaire on boring evenings. Sometimes it was Minesweeper, but I didn't really understand that one. Inventory happened on a clipboard, and receipts got filed in a filing cabinet. No internet, no email, and I wasn't sure it even had a CD-ROM player, or whatever it was called. The most technologically advanced piece of equipment in the bar aside from the twenty-year-old register was a radio connected to four little speakers I'd installed up on the ceiling. The radio got three stations clearly: country, rock, and pop; it stayed tuned to rock.

  "Whatever," I said. I didn't want to get into the real reason I didn't replace the damn thing.

  Zane, however, was a perceptive bastard. "I get that it was Dad's, but he's not in the computer, Bast. He's gone. You won't be replacing him if you get a new computer and an internet connection."

  "Fuck you," I snarled. "What the fuck do you know?"

  Zane had done that ninja thing he could do, where he'd moved so quickly and silently I didn't even know he was right behind me until I felt his hand on my shoulder.

  "Dude, look, I get it, okay?"

  I spun on him, shoved him. I knew it was stupid to physically provoke him, since he really was a deadly motherfucker, but I couldn't help it. "You don't get a goddamn thing, Zane! You...weren't...here."

  He growled, and his hand latched around my throat. Four inches shorter than me, but the motherfucker was strong as hell. He had me shoved up on my tiptoes and seeing stars. "Because I was in fucking Afghanistan killing terrorists, you asshole! I was crawling through the dirt dodging RPGs when Dad died. I went off the rez when I found out, but I was in-country. What was I supposed to do? Go AWOL? Fuck you too, Sebastian. You're not the only one who lost him." He let me go, turned away with a sigh. "Shit."

  I followed his gaze and saw Dru standing in the entrance watching us.

  "I--I'm sorry. I'm obviously interrupting." She turned around to leave.

  "Stop, Dru, wait." Zane's voice stopped her. "You're getting a bad im
pression. Don't go. We're not usually like this."

  "I don't need to be around your family arguments," she said, opening the door to the stairs. "I've got drama of my own--I don't need yours, too." She was down the stairs then, her footsteps slow but steady.

  I pushed past Zane. "Plate the eggs for three, and finish the bacon," I told him.

  He frowned at me. "Like I can cook?"

  "Do your best," I said. "If you can HALO jump, you can manage bacon."

  I scrambled down the stairs after Dru, not really sure why, apart from a gut feeling that I didn't want her to leave yet.

  I just wanted my dick inside her, part of me argued, and I knew she didn't need that from me.

  Didn't stop my dick from wanting her, though. Or my feet from going after her, but I wasn't sure if my feet were acting in service of my dick or the strange feeling in my gut that wanted her to stay. Of course, "gut feelings" usually happened somewhere other than my heart, but I was going with gut feeling since it seemed simpler and easier to explain.

  I caught up to her at the front door of the bar.

  My hands wrapped around her waist, spun her around, pressed her back up against the door. She stared up at me, blue eyes sad and angry and shocked and confused and...sparking with lust as fierce as my own.

  I kissed her.

  It wasn't a rough, demanding kiss, but it wasn't some slow sappy wet thing, either. I kissed her like she was mine, like I had all the time in the world to kiss her thoroughly, like I'd spent a thousand nights and thousand days kissing her like this, my hands on her waist, pulling her against me now and pushing my body against hers.

  God, she was soft.

  Pliable.

  Her tits were firm lumps squashed against my chest, her lips warm and damp on mine. She was perfect. She just fit. A moment of frozen disbelief, and then some other part of her took over, a part of her that wanted this kiss as bad as I did. Her mouth moved, then, her lips sliding on mine, tilting, gliding, wet on wet, and then I probed the seam of her mouth with my tongue and she opened for me, accepted my tongue and slashed hers against mine. I pulled her closer, and I knew there was no way she was missing the iron staff of my erection wedged between us. I tasted her tongue, and then felt her moan, heard it, tasted it. God, that moan. It sent fire into my veins.

 
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