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Whip's Breath
Author: E.C. Land






Two Months Ago



Working backstage is no hardship. When Stoney asked if a few of us would come down to the Franklin charter and help out with the charity event Twister’s ol’ lady started several years back, none of us had a problem speaking up.

Bonus it gives me a chance to spend time with K-9 and Red, two of my brothers who I served in the Army alongside. We all went through hell out there in the sandpit. Then again when several of our brothers were killed by some psycho bitch who was pissed when Venom broke up with her years ago.

The shitty part of it all is the woman had his kid and didn’t tell him. If not for Amaya, his ol’ lady and the woman who he should have been with this entire time, my brother wouldn’t have known about Linc. The kid’s a damn good one and deserves to be happy. Maya took him from his mother and has given him one hell of a life.

Since those two moved into the house, it’s been great. We all still live together, and it works. Venom and I even started plans on expanding the house some more now that the house next door went up for sale, and we were able to buy it. We had a discussion about me moving into it, but instead, we’re making the house we’re in now bigger and giving Lincoln, and any other kids they may have later on, a big yard to play in.

I don’t want kids myself. I’m happy with helping in watching out for Lincoln. He’s become my little partner in crime. Lincoln and my nephews and niece down in Louisiana are the only kids I want to have in my life, besides the club kids.

My sister and I grew up with a bitch of a mother, and I failed my sister when I left the moment I could, leaving her alone. I don’t know what all happened. My sister, Brielle, refuses to tell me all of what she endured at the hands of our mother before she ended up in the clutches of Titus and his uncles. I have a hard time with the fact Brielle kept so much of her life away from me, but now the two of us are growing closer once again.

Taking a breath, I walk backstage, to find K-9 standing outside one of the dressing rooms. Izzy went all out this year. She’s managed to get an up-and-coming band called Pushing Daisies to play as well as another band called The Stones. When it comes to The Stones they have another singer who agreed to play with them, as well, but it’s no shock. Bellamy Mason has a long history with them, so it makes sense she’d be playing here too.

I’ve never heard either band, but I will tonight, along with Demons Among Us. They’ll be the headlining band, and not because the members of the band are brothers. Chaz, the lead singer, is going to also be having his own ol’ lady up on stage for a few of the songs the band is performing. All four of my brothers that make up the band worked their asses off making a name for themselves without any help. None of them wanted to go with some bigwig. They preferred to stick to the indie lifestyle. It’s interesting how it all works out.

In fact, Cane’s woman is about to put her first book out on her own as well without using a publisher, indie style. It’s been edited and all that shit. Harley, Neo’s ol’ lady, even made the cover for Piper’s book. It’s pretty badass at that. When my brother, Cane told all of us about his ol’ lady writing a book, we all encouraged her to keep it up. Piper doesn’t have the most confidence in herself, thanks to her ass of a brother. He screwed her up royally with his fucked-up games.

“What’s going on, brother?” K-9 asks.

“Nothing much, just ready for the night to end, so the real party can begin,” I banter, wagging my brow. The club has everything set up for an afterparty for those invited. I look forward to finding a woman to sink myself into.

“I agree with you there, Whip. I’ve got my eye on a sweet piece.” He chuckles, rubbing his hands together. But I can see the anguish in his eyes.

K-9 lost his little brother not long ago and found out months after that his brother’s girlfriend was pregnant. Ironic how everything has a way of revealing itself. K-9 told me once that before he knew his brother’s girlfriend was his girlfriend or that she was still so young when they met, he wanted to date her himself. He’d been pulled to her.

Things haven’t been the same for him since all his drama started. Now he has a nephew he doesn’t get to see very much since Anabelle, his brother’s girlfriend, pisses him off every chance she gets and refuses accepting help from anyone, according to him. Not even her brother, Lex, who’s the drummer for Demons Among Us, helps her like he wants to, and Anabelle lives with Lex and the others

K-9 and I talk for a few more minutes, and I leave him to do his thing and go check on the others. I check with Red and Viper, then move on. As the night comes to an end, the drinks are brought out, and the ladies and gents invited back start to flow in.

I grab a beer and stand with my brothers, keeping an eye on all those in the room. Izzy didn’t want too many people, but there’s still quite a bit of people here. Anything can happen and I’m not about to let it while I’m around.

Out of the corner of my eye, a beautiful woman with dirty blonde hair catches my attention. She’s laughing and joking with three other girls. I’m not worried about the others. They are nothing compared to the beauty of the woman I turn to give my full attention to, appraising her.

Fuck, I’m a sucker for blonde hair and blue eyes. I notice immediately she and her friends are chatting with the members of Pushing Daisies. A swell of jealousy starts to take hold. I’m not one to get jealous. I’ve never been that way. But right now, I want to be the one she aims that smile at.

“Brother, why don’t you go for it?” Red suggests.

“You know, I think I will,” I say, grinning.

Her eyes come to mine when I stalk in her direction.

“Hey,” I say, getting her attention.

She smiles brightly. “Hey.”

“What’s your name?”

“Harper,” she murmurs, glancing from me to her friends.

I scan the group and nod to the members of Pushing Daisies. “Mind if I steal her away for a drink?”

“Go for it, man.” One of them grins.

Harper giggles and takes my hand without hesitation, when I hold it out to her. “I already have a drink.” She laughs, holding up the clear plastic cup Izzy got for those who wanted mixed drinks.

Taking it from her, I down the rest of it. My kind of girl, drinking Jack and Coke. Hell yeah.

Let the fun begin.



Chapter One




One Month Ago



“You can’t seriously be leaving?” Gigi chides.

Why she’s angry with me for leaving is completely unreasonable. When it’s because of her and Salina that I don’t remember much of the night we all went out, and they convinced me to drink so much I blacked out the night.

“I’m going and don’t act like you don’t know why I’ve taken a job away from here,” I say, annoyed by the talk we’re having now. Gigi and Salina have been my roommates since we started college. None of us wanted to live in the dorms so we moved in here together. With graduation over with as well as the stunt they pulled a month ago, I lucked out in getting a job at the elementary school in Stonewall Mills. It’s a small town, but I don’t have a problem with living in the small town in the middle of nowheresville.

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