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Smolder
Author: Helen Hardt

 

Chapter One

 

 

Rory

 

 

I’ve always loved kissing.

My favorite part of a new relationship is the first kiss. Nothing compares to that first taste of another person, the passion and excitement it brings.

That first kiss is when I can tell whether I’m really into someone. I’m twenty-eight years old, and I’ve done a lot of kissing of both women and men, but still… Kissing always mesmerizes me.

Especially that first damned kiss.

I can still get wet from that first kiss. That’s how I know something more is brewing, that the physical chemistry is there even if the emotion isn’t yet.

I don’t like to generalize, but men are usually more aggressive kissers than women are. Must be a testosterone thing. I enjoy the primal passion of a kiss from a man as well as the soft gentleness of a kiss from a woman.

But a kiss from Brock Steel?

Seriously in a category all its own.

I didn’t plan on making out with Brock behind the band’s van at Talon Steel’s welcome home party. I’m damned lucky my brother didn’t catch us. He’s already on edge now that Callie is engaged to Donny Steel, his high school rival. At thirty-two, he ought to leave high school rivalries behind him, but men are different from women.

No one knows that better than I do. Perhaps that’s why I love them both. I love masculinity, and I love femininity. I love everything in between. The similarities and the differences.

As much as I love masculine men, I also love feminine women. I appreciate what’s different between the sexes. I’m not attracted to overly masculine women or overly feminine men.

What sets them apart is beautiful to me.

I accepted my bisexuality long ago, and it makes sense for me. I honestly don’t know whether I’ll end up with a man or a woman as my life mate.

But there’s one thing I do know.

I want to be a mother.

And my biological clock is ticking away.

I can always adopt. Or perhaps I’ll get involved with a younger woman who doesn’t have the biological clock problem. Truly though? I’m ready now. I don’t want to be one of those women having babies in her late thirties and early forties. I want to be young and energetic as I raise my child.

So what’s this got to do with Brock Steel being an amazing kisser?

I’m almost afraid to put it into thought.

Maybe if I say it to Callie, I’ll be able to accept that I’m actually thinking it.

Last time I saw her, she was headed into the house with Donny. They’ve been in there for a while.

I know what that means. They’re somewhere having a quickie. Why not? They just got engaged. Plus, with both of them living at their parents’ houses, they probably haven’t had a lot of alone time lately.

I know my sister. She marches to the beat of her own drummer. She won’t have an issue with a quickie while a big party is going on outside.

And Donny? As one of the original Three Rake-a-teers, he won’t either.

Still, I head to the deck. Maybe I can find her.

Bingo. In the kitchen… She throws a half-eaten piece of cake into the garbage. Unusual for her. Callie hates waste, but then again, neither of us has had much of an appetite lately, with all that’s going on. Pat Lamone has seen to that.

I walk through the French doors and into the kitchen. “Callie! There you are. I need to talk to you.”

My sister raises her eyebrows and glances at her fiancé.

“Go ahead,” he says. “I’ll be out in a minute.”

Callie nods and follows me back out onto the deck. I grab her arm and pull her over to a secluded part of the yard.

“Cal,” I say, “I have an idea, and don’t say anything until you hear me out.”

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

Brock

 

 

An hour earlier…

 

 

She’s tall, with gorgeous dark-brown hair and big milk-chocolate-brown eyes fringed in long black lashes.

Rory Pike.

She’s singing with her brother, Jesse, and the band tonight, so she’s dressed like a rocker. Skinny black jeans, leather boots with silver adornments, and a tight lacy T-shirt that accentuates those tits that could kill a man.

I’ve been with a lot of women, but I swear to God, Rory Pike is the hottest thing walking. She always has been.

Her sisters, Callie and Maddie, are also beautiful, but Rory? She’s something special for sure. She lights up a room. Hell, the whole freaking yard. Every eye is on her when she’s on stage. She’s like a magnet for men and for women.

I should leave her alone. I should listen to Donny. She did just break up with someone—a gorgeous woman, no less.

Can I compete with Raine Cunningham? She’s also a hottie, but she’s all girls all the time from what I hear…though I admit a threesome crossed my mind more than once while they were together.

David Simpson, my cousin from Uncle Bryce and Aunt Marjorie, stands beside me.

“It’s never going to happen, bro,” Dave says.

I feign innocence. “What’s never going to happen?”

“You and Rory Pike.”

“She likes men.”

“That’s not what I’m talking about. She’s out of your league.”

I have to stop myself from erupting in laughter. “Out of my league?”

“Prom queen, homecoming queen… Not to mention all the men here—and quite a few women—have their eyes on her.”

“Have you forgotten who you’re talking to? I seem to remember beating you out for prom king our year.”

“By one vote.”

“One vote is all it takes.”

“This isn’t high school anymore, cuz. Most of her serious relationships have been with women, from what I hear.”

“Do I look like I’m planning for a serious relationship?”

Dave laughs. “That’s my point. Everyone knows you’re not looking for a serious relationship. But Rory Pike is older. Closing in on thirty. She most likely is looking for something beyond a quick fuck at your place. That’s why she’s out of your league.”

“So that’s what you meant. I knew you couldn’t mean I’m not good-looking enough for her.”

Dave rolls his eyes. “You are the absolute worst.”

“Yeah? I never denied it, man. I’m going for it.”

“Not if I get to her first.” Dave smiles.

My cousin looks exactly like his mother—with his chiseled face and dark-brown hair—except he’s got his father’s blue eyes. Me? I’m a dead ringer for my father, Jonah Steel. Nearly black hair and dark-brown eyes. Dave and I have been fighting over women since we were big enough to toddle up to the swings on the playground.

We even shared a woman once back in college. Yeah, a threesome. It was hot, but we never did it again. Too weird seeing each other naked. But damn, the woman had a great time. Two men focused solely on her. Her moans alone were worth the effort.

I’m sure as hell not going to share Rory Pike with anyone—especially not my male model cousin. He’s too fucking pretty. Me? I’m more ruggedly handsome—according to women, anyway. Chicks like that. At least that’s what they say.

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