Luke's Absolution

By: K.L. Kreig

The Colloway Brothers #3



Prologue





December 27th





Enjoying the view of her toned bare thigh with each step she takes, courtesy of that nice high slit in her dress, I watch her sashay over to where I’m leaning against the bar. She orders a Corona Light from the bartender, tapping her perfectly manicured pink nails against the cool granite while she waits.

I’ve been watching her with that jackass photographer for the last hour, getting progressively angrier by the minute, not quite understanding why. She’s smokin’ hot, yes, but I have absolutely no claim on her. Not that I wouldn’t mind a little sample. Or fifty.

Confusingly, it’s the same reaction I had when I saw her in his arms last Friday night. The urge to introduce his face to a cement wall was so great, had she not been drunk off her ass, I may not have been able to resist.

She’d be a handful for any man to juggle, no doubt in bed and out, and picture boy, Cooper Jensen, isn’t even close to enough man for her. It will take a strong hand to control her, make her submit, and God himself help me, that’s all I’ve thought of since I laid eyes on her for the first time months ago. I want to hear her raw voice sobbing my name while I have her pinned helplessly underneath me. Who knew that Eric’s sister was so fucking sexy? Probably why he kept her under wraps all those years ago.

Addy Monroe is like a wild horse. Untamed, full of fire, even feral if you get her riled up enough. I had a small taste of that last weekend after Gray’s bachelor party when we stopped by the bar where the girls were having their own celebration. I saved her from herself by confiscating their almost-empty bottle of Patron. Every heated word she spat tugged straight on my cock, and by the time I left with her passed out in my arms, I was rock hard. Let’s just say it was a long fucking night all around.

I want her. Not that I deserve her. She’s untainted, unlike me. I have so many fucking stains, industrial-strength cleaner couldn’t remove them all. But I’m not looking for a relationship; I’m looking for a good fuck. I’m looking for oblivion.

Liar, my conscience loudly whispers.

Fuck off, I tell him, even louder.

I discreetly adjust my hardening dick. “No tequila tonight?” I feel the smirk on my face, but don’t know if she sees it or not. I’m trying to refrain from looking at her as I will my own body into submission.

“Unrequited love sucks, doesn’t it?” she replies with a bite before taking a sip of her beer straight from the bottle. I love a woman who isn’t too prissy to drink her alcohol from the actual container it’s served in. More than that, I love a woman with a smart, feisty mouth.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about, sweetheart.”

I flick my eyes over to see hers stray to Gray and Livia across the ballroom and her lips upturn in a sly smirk. “Whatever you say. I’m pretty much the subject matter expert on that shit.”

She turns and leans her back against the bar, mirroring my stance. We’re both silent, watching the happy newly married couple with drinks in our hands. The more I think about what she said, the more it plain pisses me off.

Yes, I care deeply for Livia. I have for years. No one can possibly understand what I watched her go through and what I had to suffer through myself. How that bonds two people on a totally different plane.

But even if Livia could have been mine, I know her heart will always belong to Gray. I could never interfere with that. Wouldn’t. Besides, I’ve done enough to my family without intentionally trying to steal my brother’s girl. I do have a few shreds of decency left that I’m trying desperately to hold on to. They’re wound so tightly around my fingers, they’re cutting off the circulation, but I’ll be damned if I’ll let them go.

Regardless of what Addy may think, I’m genuinely thrilled for them both. After what she’s been through, no one deserves happiness more than Livia. But fuck, I won’t deny watching them get married today was hard. Harder than I thought it would be, and it’s not because I still want her. I gave up on that notion years ago, even if my heart didn’t quite get the memo.

No…it was hard because the love that hovers above them like a bright golden halo is sickening. What’s even more sickening is that as I watch them, I’m envious. I want that, only the logical part of me knows I’ll never have it. I push those feelings of optimism that keep bubbling to the surface down deep into the muck again. I may have moved past the worst times of my life, but in no way do I kid myself that I’m worthy of a woman’s love or acceptance of who I am and the things I’ve done.

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