Home > Stay Over (Kincaid Brothers #1)

Stay Over (Kincaid Brothers #1)
Author: Kaylee Ryan

 

CHAPTER

ONE

 

 

Brooks

 

I’m standing in the back of the room, watching as my little cousin smiles up at her future husband. I admit that Deacon and Ramsey together is not something I would have predicted. He’s ten years older than her. The same age as Orrin, and Ramsey, she lands in the middle of Archer and Ryder. I never saw it coming, but to see the two of them together, no one questions the love they have for each another.

The crowd, and by the crowd, I mean most of my brothers, chant for them to kiss as they stare lovingly into one another’s eyes. Deacon wraps his arms around her, pulling her into his chest, and drops his lips to hers. The moment is so intimate I have to look away, feeling as though I need to give them privacy.

My eyes land on Palmer, and the smile that lights up her face as she watches her brother and her best friend kiss can only be described as pure joy. She radiates happiness for them, and I’m sure there’s a little bit of pride there as well. She’s the one who got them together, and I’ve heard her boast about it many times. Even though she brags about setting all of this in motion, she can’t hide her happiness for the couple.

“When I get married, I’m not doing any of this engagement party shit,” Maverick, one of the twins and the babies in the family, says, stepping up beside me.

I huff out a laugh. “Trust me, my man, when you feel like that”—I point to where Deacon stands with his arm around Ramsey’s waist, holding her close to him while they talk to his parents—“about someone, there likely isn’t much you wouldn’t agree to.”

“How would you know?” my little brother challenges.

He and his twin, Merrick, just turned nineteen, and they have so much to learn. “Call it a hunch,” I tell him.

He’s quiet for a few minutes, and when he speaks again, his words surprise me. “You ever been in love, Brooks?” His voice is softer than it was previously.

“Love like that?” I point to our cousin and her fiancé. “No. There has never been anyone to hold my interest long enough.” It’s true. I’ve dated here and there but never anything or anyone serious. Not because I’m against the act of falling ass over heels in love. It’s the opposite, in fact. I grew up watching my parents and the love they have for one another. I’ll never settle for anything less than what they have.

“Dad’s always preaching about working hard and loving harder, yet all of us are still single. I mean, Merrick and me, we’re the babies, but the rest of you, well, except for Orrin, are still single.”

“Love takes time, kid,” I tell him.

I feel a slight punch to my arm and grin. He and Merrick both hate it when we call them kids. “It took Orrin thirty-two years to find the one, and Deacon too. They’re the same age. But they found it. We will too. Besides, you’re too young to be thinking about settling down.”

“I’m not. Not really. I just… you know, these things make you think, and the way Orrin fell so fast for Jade, I was just curious if it would be like that for the rest of us.”

“Honestly, I don’t know. I think that sometimes it’s fast and others it’s like a slow build. There is no timeline you have to follow.”

“Yeah,” he agrees as Rushton, the middle brother of the nine, joins us.

“What are you two talking about all serious?” His eyes bounce from me to Maverick.

“Mav was just telling me that when he gets married, he’s omitting the engagement party,” I tell him.

Rushton nods. “You might be on to something, little brother.”

After draining the last of my beer, I hold up the empty bottle. “I’m grabbing another. You want one?” I ask Rushton.

“Nah, I’m set.” Rushton holds up his bottle of beer.

“I’d love one. Thanks for asking,” Maverick quips.

“Yeah, not happening. Mom would hang me up by my toes.” Mav grumbles, making me smile, as I turn away from them and make my way to the bar. If we were at my place or one of the others, I’d let him drink, but this is a different setting, and like I said, Mom would be pissed, and if there is anything that me and my brothers hate, it’s when our momma is pissed at us. All nine of us are Momma’s boys and damn proud of it.

Reaching the bar, I raise my bottle at the bartender before setting the empty on the bar. I’m just about ready to turn around and do some more people-watching when I feel a shoulder bump into mine. Turning, I see Palmer standing next to me.

“I do good work, huh?” She smiles up at me. Her emerald eyes are sparkling.

“Are you ever going to let them live that down?” I ask her, nodding at the bartender, who places a fresh ice-cold bottle in front of me. “What are you drinking?” I ask her.

“Oh, a beer is fine.” She smiles kindly at the bartender, and the woman actually blushes. Palmer turns her attention back to me. “And no, probably not. I have to keep it up so that I have a good case for them to name their firstborn after me.”

“I don’t know if the world can handle more than one Palmer Setty,” I tease.

“Hey, I won’t be Setty for long,” she fires back.

“Really? I didn’t know you were seeing anyone.” I take a pull of my beer as the bartender places Palmer’s in front of her and quickly scurries away.

“Oh, I’m not. However, I know I don’t want to be some spinster cat lady. I believe that there’s someone out there for all of us. I just haven’t found mine yet.”

I hold my beer up, and she taps hers to mine. “Maybe Ramsey needs to get involved, so you don’t hold this over her head forever.”

“Oh, I’m so going to regardless.” Palmer laughs. “She’s my best friend, and she’s marrying my brother. I set them up. That’s lifetime bragging rights, my friend.”

“Good to know. I guess my brothers and I can take credit for Orrin and Jade since we all helped him get ready for their first date.”

“That gives you like a year, maybe. I mean, I set them up, I planned it, and now they’re getting married. Lifetime.” She grins, bumping her shoulder into mine once again.

“Savage. I like it.”

She nods before turning to face the crowd, resting her back against the bar. I mimic her stance and survey the room.

“Orrin and Jade seem happy.” She nods to where my oldest brother has his girlfriend, Jade, wrapped in his arms, swaying back and forth on the dance floor.

“Yeah. Things are getting serious, I think. At least they are for him.” I realize that Jade is one of Palmer’s good friends and is her sister Piper’s best friend, and I might be freely giving information that I should be keeping to myself.

“No, for her too. She’s really into him.”

“Good.” I nod even though I’m not sure she’s looking at me.

“We’re probably going to find ourselves at one of these with those two as the guests of honor sooner rather than later.”

“You’re probably right. My momma will be thrilled. Two weddings and the chance at more grandkids. Declan moved to the top as her favorite when Blakely was born.”

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