So… I know that AIW has been in a holding pattern for just under a month…
Thank you for being so patient while my Alc mojo went on sabbatical…
Part of the problem is that chapter 20 of S&S is nearly 15,000 words long… so the AIW is a bit of an undertaking since it’s starting to look like it’ll be just as long…
The other part of the problem for me… It’s hard as fuck to write flirting when I’m in the mood to kill any/every man that crosses my path due pregnancy hormones.
Ok… now that I’m done trying to make excuses for leaving you AIW readers hanging…
Here is the teaser I promised.
We pulled into Corbett’s driveway right behind Rotten (and only 7 minutes late) and the boys were trying to take off before the truck stopped.
“Hang on. Act like y’all have some sense… Had, rules of the house?”
She hummed while she thought about it and then turned around to put her face between the seats. “Stay out of the garage unless there’s an adult with you because of all the tools. Once the food starts getting put out, y’all can pick as long as you ask one of the men about what you’re taking because some of it will look normal but be spicy enough to light you up… Don’t let Hunter get you into trouble… I think that’s it. You guys will do fine.”
Jack tilted his head a little. “That’s it? None of the rooms are off limits or anything?”
“Nope. I mean, always knock first if the door is closed, but there’s no ‘chamber of secrets‘ or anything. Just be careful in Daddy’s study. He’s not one for collectibles and what he’s held onto isn’t worth much except to family.”
“Ummmmm, like there is a splinter of wood on one of his bookshelves that looks like charcoal. It’s from the first fire Jason worked. There’s a paper mache fish on his wall that Tara made for him for back when she was in fourth grade for Father’s Day. There’s a deck of cards that Sookie made for him for Christmas when she was 5. She used pictures of him on the kings and drew everything else. And… There’s a little clay mug on his desk. It’s the only dish that didn’t break when his grandparents came over from Ireland. It looks empty, but Grampa always said it’s full of hope.” Wow. Sentimental mother fucker was a master at faking ‘hard ass’. I liked Corbett even more all of a sudden.
Both of the boys smiled at her and gave her a nod so I hit the button to unlock their doors. They didn’t get far though.
They were headed off by a guy about Corbett’s age. About 6 feet tall and had enough meat on him to make me realize the football game wasn’t going to be a gimmie.
The boys stopped dead in their tracks in front of him. He was smiling and wearing jeans and a T, but I’m pretty sure that it was his parade rest that got their attention.
“You men are the Herveauxs, yeah? Jackson and Carmichael?”
They looked at each other and then nodded and Had gave me a wink.
“I’ve been sent to negotiate.”
Carm bit. Surprise, surprise. “Negotiate what?”
“A group rate. We’ve been briefed on the new cussing tax. My partners and I think we’ll all have more fun this afternoon if you don’t have to keep an eye on us.”
“Lemme hear your perposal.” It was hard enough to keep a straight face without the ‘isn’t he adorable’ look Had shot in my direction, so I whispered that I still wasn’t taking offers, even if Carm would be willing to ‘hear her perposal’.
“My associates and I propose a flat rate for the duration of the party. From the time we reach our accord until 1900 hours this evening. The agreement would encompass any language that would fall under the category of ‘game talk’ or ‘talking smack’. The parties included would be Corbett, Dermott, Terry and myself (I’m Bravo, by the way) which would allow for additional taxing of peripheral parties in attendance.”
The boys seemed shocked but whispered back and forth for a minute… And then went to Had for more whispering.
Finally, Carm piped up, “$200.” I wanted to slap the greedy little turd, but Had shushed me as soon as my mouth was open to argue with him.
Bravo reached into his pocket and handed over a wad of bills. “Pleasure doing business with you boys. Hunter’s around back eating all of the snacks.”
Jack went to take off, but Carm stood there long enough to count the cash before shoving it into his pocket and shaking Bravo’s hand.