Page 7 of Room Seventeen

That will not be us. Every step has been a blood fight but Dante, Bastian, and myself have regained what our father’s lost and now we are creating our own legacy.

I bump my knuckles against Dante’s who looks up. “What?”

A vein at his temple starts to throb with irritation until he sees what I’m seeing.

A softer version of Harley Quinn minus the fishnet stockings and pigtails walks our way.

“Little birdie looks like she’s wanting to play with the big boys.”

I agree. She’s playing like an easy ride, but a layer of innocence permeates the air around her. She wants to make it seem like she’s got plenty of experience at seducing men under her belt, but I would bet my sizable bank account she’s never experienced having a man between her thighs. Not a real man anyway.

She’s trouble and not what we need right now. Large breasts, wide hips, beautiful eyes, and a smile that teases a man’s cock. She’s a dream.

“Devstvennitsa?” A virgin? Bastian throws back a finger worth of chilled vodka. He leans against the back of his chair with an ankle over his knee. To the outside world, he looks like a man enjoying a drink in the back of the bar. But what tells me he’s anything but relaxed is the way the asshole knocks the band of his skull ring on the glass.

He does it to dig under my skin, but I shake it off tonight. I’m not interested in his games.

I regard Trouble’s long, bare legs and the way the unraveled edge of her cutoffs brush against her upper thighs. Supple, creamy, and shapely. If she were to turn around and bend over there wouldn’t be much keeping us from seeing all the sweetness under such little clothing. If those fringes fray anymore, she will be wearing strings instead of clothes.

“Could be fun.” The words sound foreign coming out of my mouth. It’s been all about work and no play for us for so damn long that I think I’ve forgotten the definition.

Beside me, Dante’s eyes darken with curiosity I haven’t seen in those steel-colored eyes in a long time. The same thing goes for him. Fun isn’t in our vocabulary. All three of us eat, sleep and breathe the daily grind. And it’s paying off, but we still have a ways to go before we are “there”. The top of the heap. But we are climbing up one rung at a time. We’ve fought for every inch of success we are enjoying but the fight isn’t over yet. Part of the game of climbing the ladder is the enemies left behind. It’s unavoidable and right now too many weaker families are sore about losing territory to us. They rather see us all ruined and dead. It doesn’t matter that Dante, Bastian, and myself have plans on how we can all survive and make money. For most, it’s a power struggle and one I am damn sure going to win. There can only be one family at the head and it will be ours.

“I’m up for a little fun. I’m curious to see if that forearm tattoo goes all the way up.”

It is sexy. Colorful hearts with vines twining around them stick out among the blacks and grays of the surrounding ink.

Seeing Dante interested in a little down time is good and bad. It means he’s not totally dead inside. But like the rest of us, my childhood friend has a dark side that not many women understand.

And the trouble walking our way fits his description of a good time. Innocent with a glint of wickedness in her pretty brown eyes. A girl he can warp and bend to fit all his darker tastes.

We don’t have a type other than willing. But it’s been a while since any of us have entertained the idea of inviting a woman between us. Nearly two years. So to hear my blood brothers considering playtime makes me wonder what the hell happened between Seattle and here. Not that I’m complaining.

Dante brushes his hand through his dark hair and mirrors Bastian’s relaxed posture. Ankle kicked up, eyes hooded. Only instead of a ring like Bastian, the bastard is playing with his knife—a four-inch stainless steel blade he normally keeps tucked into his belt. Snakes engraved in the silver give it a badass look but it’s the man wielding the weapon that should have people worried. Where I like a quick exit from a dangerous situation, Dante takes pleasure in making his enemies bleed for him.

When neither man speaks up with their opinion, I roll a shoulder with a warped perspective in mind when it comes to the trouble walking our way. “Look at it this way. If we don’t take her up on the silent offer, someone else will.” I mean why else would she be coming toward us?

“At least we know she’s safe with us.”

Bastian scoffs at Dante around a mouthful of his drink. “Safe? Where are you going to leave your knife tonight, brother?” He turns an eye on Dante whose smile grows as he swishes the dregs of his vodka.

“Where I always do. In my belt.”

“Stop all the back-and-forth shit already. She’s almost here.”

Dante straightens beside me, leaning his elbows on the table, his knife presumably put away since I don’t see it in his hand. He shoves the empty glass out of the way and interlocks his fingers under his chin. The move bulges his thick arms against the confinement of his long sleeves as Trouble arrives at our feet looking irresistible.

“Hey boys, you have room for one more between the three of you?”

I rise and my brothers join me.

I breathe in and it’s not the alcohol or cigar smoke I’m smelling anymore. It’s her. Clean. A hint of vanilla and maybe jasmine. I don’t know or care. It etches into my brain and I know ten years from now I’ll look back on this moment and remember her.

I fill my lungs again. God, her fucking scent curls through me. I take her hand in mine and nearly fucking groan at how soft her skin is over mine. She’s strong but tender. Brave but scared as fuck, too.

“There’s always room for someone as beautiful as you,” I lean in and speak over the music. Based on the response of her pupils dilating and not even the darkness of this place can hide the hard tips of her nipples stressing the material of her top.

Bastian moves in and wraps his fingers around her other hand, bringing his lips to brush over her knuckles.


Tags: Penelope Wylde Erotic
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