Devoted:A Masters and Mercenaries Novella(5)By: Lexi Blake
“What aren’t you telling me?” Flynn knew when his brother was holding back. Mitch had an incredible poker face, but he rarely used it around his family.
“She might have come in on an assumed name. Not exactly assumed, but she’s not using Slaten. She’s got her membership under Amy Lyndon. It was her married name, but legally she’s gone back to Slaten.”
“So she’s trying to hide her last name,” he mused. “I find that interesting.”
“I do too, Flynn.” Mitch used his name with a pointed stare. “It’s not like you’re going in as John, Jr.”
Flynn waved that off. “I only went by that at the office. I’ve always used my middle name since I discovered that chicks dig Irish sounding names. Also, might I point out if I was still using my legal first name, the baby and I would get very confused.”
Johnny’s head came up at that moment and he yawned as though telling his uncle he didn’t have to be confused. He was the center of the universe and he knew it.
Sometimes Flynn kind of envied the kid. He’d never had that kind of attention lavished on him. Not even when he was a baby. He’d had a succession of nannies who came and went. His parents were all right, but they’d led very busy lives and hadn’t had time for their children. His father had mellowed over the years and he’d been a much better dad later in life.
Flynn had to face the fact that he was lonely. He’d changed up his life and it had been for the better. He enjoyed his job more now. Chase was happy and healthy. But he’d also isolated himself.
It had been an easy thing to do after how his engagement had ended. He never talked about it. Only Chase knew how he’d screwed up. He hadn’t even told Mitch. That was how ashamed he was of not seeing through her lies. After he’d figured out how bad it was, he’d taken a step back and devoted himself to work.
Gaining Master rights at Sanctum had been his way of getting back out there. His brother had introduced him to the lifestyle and he’d realized very quickly it suited him.
That was when he’d started to think about taking a submissive.
It was a logical thing to do. He would look for a woman who wanted the same things he did. They would discuss their relationship up front and work out a contract between them. No more of that shitty go-with-the-flow dating that inevitably ended in him getting his ass kicked. This time he would do it right.
“I thought you were going into this because you were serious about finding a sub.” Mitch didn’t seem to notice the fact that his son suddenly found his father’s nose deeply fascinating. Johnny giggled and he poked at it. “Now you want to play spy?”
“I’m not the one who likes to send in the spies. That’s her MO.”
“That was her father’s MO,” Mitch corrected, gently shifting his son so tiny fingers didn’t go up his nose. “He and your dad apparently liked to go at it hard. Our dad. Sorry, it’s still hard sometimes.”
“It’s okay.” He’d gotten used to Mitch distancing from their father. In some ways, it was a miracle they were so close. Mitch was hard to get to know, but he was loyal once a man was in his circle.
Flynn had earned that. He’d changed his nephew’s diapers on occasion. That had to buy him loyalty. Johnny was a cute thing, but he was squirmy and did not skimp on the poop. He was also going to drive his father crazy. Flynn stood and held his hands out. Johnny gleefully went to him.
“I hate that it bothers you,” Mitch said, turning back to the dishes and finally making some headway with them. Laurel was working late and Mitch had planned a nice evening for them that included his wife not having to clean the kitchen. “You know I consider you and Chase family. Not consider. You are my family. It’s just weird to have gone from having no family to kind of being surrounded by it twenty-four seven.”
“Is Daddy feeling suffocated?” Flynn asked Johnny, who drooled and looked ridiculously adorable.
“No,” Mitch said with a sigh. “I’m not very good at the advice stuff.”
Flynn kept his eyes on the bundle in his hand and shook his head. “But Uncle Flynn didn’t ask for advice.”
Except he kind of needed it.
“Oh, you asked for it by being a dumbass. I know that much. I’ve been around enough brothers to know that the first rule of brotherhood is to not let your brother make an ass of himself,” Mitch explained.
He had to admit, when Mitch used that tone of voice, he really did feel like the little brother. Sometimes it made him feel oddly welcome. Today it put him on edge. “If she’s so innocent, why did we catch a Slaten employee trying to hack into our system?”
Mitch stopped and turned, drying his hands on a towel. “You can prove it?”
Beyond being his brother, Mitch was also a hawk of an attorney. He liked to fly around, looking for places he could swoop in and sue.
“My CEO says he believes it beyond a shadow of a doubt, but you know I can’t sue them. I can’t even bring the cops into it.” The weight of the baby in his arms was soothing. He found himself bouncing on the balls of his feet as Johnny yawned and laid his head on his shoulder.