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Falling for My Brother’s Best Friend

Let’s say you’re an independent, self-sufficient woman who runs the family company and you find yourself falling for your little brother’s best friend. Now, more than ever, you need to count all the reasons why you need to abandon falling.

Abandon Falling #1 – He’s a womanizer. Hasn’t had a serious relationship a day in his life and changes women more often than he changes his sheets.

Abandon Falling #2 – He’s never serious. He cracks one-liners, mostly at your expense.

Abandon Falling #3 – When things go wrong, he seems unfazed and always remains in control. It’s so annoying.

Abandon Falling #4 – He has tattoos. Lots of them. Everywhere. Not to mention, he owns a tattoo parlor. (Damn it! Why doesn’t that sound like a bad thing anymore?)

Abandon Falling #5 – There’s a growing list of how different you two are. You can’t get along for fifteen minutes—a lifetime together would land one of you in prison.

Keep repeating those reasons and drown yourself in work. Pretend you don’t notice his good qualities or how enticing he looks without a shirt, and do not, I repeat, do not agree to live with the man while your place is being repaired from flood damage.

Trust me, even the strongest of us can only forego temptation for so long.

 

Falling for My Brother’s Best Friend by Piper Rayne is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.

 


 

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1

SUMMARY

Let’s say you’re an independent, self-sufficient woman who runs the family company and you find yourself falling for your little brother’s best friend. Now, more than ever, you need to count all the reasons why you need to abandon falling.

Abandon Falling #1 – He’s a womanizer. Hasn’t had a serious relationship a day in his life and changes women more often than he changes his sheets.

Abandon Falling #2 – He’s never serious. He cracks one-liners, mostly at your expense.

Abandon Falling #3 – When things go wrong, he seems unfazed and always remains in control. It’s so annoying.

Abandon Falling #4 – He has tattoos. Lots of them. Everywhere. Not to mention, he owns a tattoo parlor. (Damn it! Why doesn’t that sound like a bad thing anymore?)

Abandon Falling #5 – There’s a growing list of how different you two are. You can’t get along for fifteen minutes—a lifetime together would land one of you in prison.

Keep repeating those reasons and drown yourself in work. Pretend you don’t notice his good qualities or how enticing he looks without a shirt, and do not, I repeat, do not agree to live with the man while your place is being repaired from flood damage.

Trust me, even the strongest of us can only forego temptation for so long.

Authors: Piper Rayne

Book 4 of the Baileys Series.

Savannah

Early Wednesday morning, I tiptoe down the hall wearing a towel wrapped around my body, slide into my bedroom, and slowly close the door.

Once it clicks shut, I release the breath I’m holding, hoping I was quiet enough not to wake Liam.

Getting ready while trying not to make any noise is harder than dragging Grandma Dori out of Lucky’s Tavern on dart night.

I’ve managed to avoid Liam these past few days by being out of the house before he wakes up, and I don’t plan on running into him today.

Slowly sliding hangers over the metal bar, I select my most loose-fitting outfit from the closet.

After Austin’s wedding on Saturday—with the heat index the highest it’s been in three summers—I’m bloated.

Once I’m dressed, I comb through my long blonde hair, hoping it air dries enough to throw up in some sort of updo before I leave.

I make my bed, hang the damp towel on a hook on the back of the door, then grab matching heels and close my closet.

I turn to leave, but before I do, I walk back over to the bed and slide my hand along the comforter to smooth out a wrinkle.

I hear a groan and the sound of someone using the washroom down the hall without the door closed.

My shoulders sag in relief. Denver.

I sneak a peek as he walks out of the bathroom, still half asleep in a pair of boxers, scratching his junk.

Just what every sister wants to see.

He walks back into his room and shuts the door.

I slide out of my room and tiptoe down the hall as fast as I can, carrying my heels down the stairs into the kitchen area.

I place my shoes with my computer bag and purse on the table by the front door, setting my keys down quietly so I can quickly grab something to eat from the kitchen and get the hell outta Dodge.

As I open the fridge door to grab a yogurt, shivers race up my spine with the sound of the front door opening and closing. He’s already up, not fast asleep in his room as I’d hoped.

I close the fridge door and turn around.

“Aaaahhhh!” I jump back, startled to find his big body already leaning against the counter with his arms crossed.

Damn him.

“Good morning, Savannah,” Liam says with a cocky smirk.

“Stop it.” I peel back the lid of my yogurt, eyeing the spoon drawer he’s currently blocking.

This is exactly why I was trying to sneak out. Liam Kelly is my brother’s best friend, very often the bane of my existence, and unfortunately too hot for my own good.

He’s also my landlord for the foreseeable future since my insurance company’s contractor is taking his sweet-ass time fixing my place after the flood.

“What?” he asks.

“You and that look.”

“What look?”

I want to scream at him for making this uncomfortable. How many people hook up at weddings?

It’s a common occurrence, so there’s nothing special about us messing around after Austin and Holly’s wedding reception.

“The look that says you just caught your prey,” I say.

“And you think you’re my prey?”

“No.” I glance at the drawer again.

He follows my vision, his smirk only widening further. His T-shirt is sweaty and clinging to his muscles, which means he woke up earlier and left to work out.

But he always keeps his door open when he’s not in his bedroom and it was definitely closed when I left my room to come down here. Did he set me up in order to talk about what happened Saturday night?

I glance at the fast food straw on the counter, next to an empty fry container. Denver. But that straw might work for my yogurt.

“Do you want to be my prey?” he asks.

“No. Why would I?”

“You seemed to enjoy it the other night.”

I inhale a sharp breath. “That was a mistake. A drunken mistake.”

“I wasn’t drunk.”

I step toward the drawer and jut out my hip. He could be a gentleman and step aside, but he doesn’t.

“I don’t think you were drunk either,” he says.

I stare into his bright blue eyes then let my gaze drift down his tattoo-covered arms that aren’t hidden by his Smokin’ Guns Tattoo Shop T-shirt.

I remember when he shot those T-shirts out of a handheld cannon blaster at the last Founder’s Day Parade. They were a hit, as is everything he does in Lake Starlight. Young and old, people love him.

“It doesn’t matter whether I was or wasn’t. It changes nothing. We’re not—”

“Spare me the lecture, I have it memorized.” He pushes off the counter, the blue of his eyes lighting with humor. “The fact remains that you couldn’t resist me.”

Liam Kelly couldn’t be any fuller of himself. Yes, he’s hot, but if he thinks I’m going to sleep with him just to be tossed aside like one of his Smokin’ Guns groupies, he’s wrong.

I open the drawer, grab a spoon, and slam it closed. I whip around to face him. “What do you want from me?”

He opens the paper that was sitting on the counter and takes a seat on a breakfast stool. “Nothing, Savannah. That’s your problem. You always think everyone wants something from you.”

He’s got to be kidding me.

“Because everyone does. Everyone always wants or needs something from me. Ever since I was nineteen, it’s been Bailey Timber or Austin or Grandma Dori or this town. something.

“You wanna see the list of people who depend on me?” My phone dings in my purse as though it’s agreeing with me. I don’t need to look at the message to know that it will be someone who needs something.

He continues to read the paper, cool and collected, while annoyance grates at me as if I’m a chunk of cheese.

He has no idea what it’s like to have all the responsibilities of the second oldest Bailey. The one who was chosen to take over the family business.

I can’t even remember who I was before my parents died.

After a minute of me staring daggers into the side of his head, he says, “I said I don’t want anything.”

“And you’re lying.” I shove a spoonful of yogurt into my mouth.

He lowers the paper. “You’re right. I’m lying. I’d like you to admit that you weren’t drunk on Saturday.”

I throw my hands in the air. “Seriously? What does it matter to you?”

The paper falls from his hands and he leans back. I soak him in once again, pushing back the memories of what it felt like to have his hands all over me.

He says, “It’d be nice to see you be honest with yourself for once.”

“Why? So you’ll feel better? Are you looking to up the caliber of woman in your bed from giggling girl to sophisticated woman?” I heap another spoonful of yogurt into my mouth.

He narrows his eyes. “You know what Saturday was. Tell me you didn’t enjoy it.”

I clean off the spoon and put it in the dishwasher before throwing away my yogurt container. “What was it then? If you remember, I ran out of the room.”

I’m starting a fight I can’t win. We didn’t fall into bed while stripping off each other’s clothes in a drunken haze. We had a heavy make-out session like horny teenagers.

His words of praise for my body have repeated in my head ever since, but I can’t live in some fairyland where I’m the one woman who could make him change his ways.

“If I have to tell you, then you’re not worth it.”

His words cut deep, as he meant them to. Rarely does Liam say anything without thinking it through. That’s where he differs from my brothers.

The three of them may be best friends, but Denver and Rome say whatever, whenever without thinking of the consequences. Liam though, he chooses his words wisely and with purpose.

My phone dings again and I sigh. “Fine. I need to get to work.” I slide on my heels and swing my bags over my shoulder, digging my cell phone out of my purse.

“You gotta bear all that weight, right? I mean, the success of everything rests on you.” His back is to me. He’s stripped off his T-shirt and is digging through the fridge.

I stand in place, staring at him. My shoulders fall, my bitchy attitude faltering. I hate that we’re like this. “You just don’t understand… I mean, the company and the family. Grandma Dor—”

“Don’t worry, Sav. I’m a big boy.” He raises his hand, his back still toward me. “Have a great day.”

Defeat consumes me.

I wish I could break the distance, place my hands on his hips and cast a trail of kisses up his back, taste the saltiness of his skin and trace his intricate tattoos with my tongue.

Instead, I spin on my heel and slam the door behind me.

My phone dings again.

“For the love of God, who wants something now?” I yell, thankful Liam lives miles from neighbors.

In full Brooklyn fashion, she writes Guess What? Followed by another text.

Brooklyn: Time to plan a reception, Maid of Honor. YAY!

I stare at the phone before looking back at the house one more time.

Liam would be the best kind of distraction to make me forget that I’m going to die alone after watching all my siblings get their happily ever afters.

 

Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

2

Liam

The door shuts behind Savannah, and I slam the fridge door out of pure frustration.

“Whoa, what did the ketchup do to you?” Denver walks into the kitchen wearing only his boxers, his hair poking out in a million different directions.

This is the first I’ve seen him since the wedding. I have to assume he was holed up in bed with someone all day and night after the wedding.

My friend is awesome, but he needs to get his shit together.

“Coffee?” I change the subject, noticing Savannah’s to-go coffee mug sitting by the pot. “Don’t make me throw this at you” is inscribed in a girly script on the side.

Juno never lets an opportunity to razz her sister pass, and Sav’s past birthday was no exception.

“Definitely.” His head hits the table.

I fill our coffee mugs and sit next to him with the paper. “First you go missing at the wedding, then you don’t return until late last night?”

He picks up his head to give me his classic I-got-some smirk.

“Who was it?” I ask.

“A repeat.”

I run the guest list through my mind, but it’s still hard to narrow the options down because it was the first Bailey wedding and practically the entire town was in attendance.

Then a tiny brunette pops to mind. “Mindy?”

His smile grows and he sips his coffee. “She still loves it when I—”

I hold my hand in the air. “We’re not sixteen, desperate, and horny anymore.”

“You’re not horny?”

I cock an eyebrow.

“Don’t shoot me that look. I get that you respect that Savannah is living here, but your dry spell has been going on since before she moved in.” He sips his coffee.

How do I tell him my dry spell is by choice, not necessity, and that it’s only been thirty-six hours since a woman was in my bed? And that woman was his sister.

Savannah is like an itch on my back I can’t reach. I’m not exactly happy with myself for still being pissed off that she ran out of my bedroom on Saturday night when we were making out.

We were seconds away from quenching the thirst we both have for one another. Savannah may be in denial, but I know that whatever is brewing between us isn’t going away.

“The tattoo shop is busy, and I don’t have time.” I stand to dump out the rest of my coffee. Might as well shower and head to the shop to do the books since we don’t open until later.

“It’s funny.” He meets me at the sink. “I was thinking, when I was at Mindy’s house—”

“You slept with her at her parents’ house?” Last I heard, Mindy had moved to Vancouver.

“She stays above the garage.” He shrugs and leaves his mug in the sink while I put mine in the dishwasher.

“Did you sit down with her parents for breakfast?”

“No,” he scoffs. “We stayed in bed. Stop trying to make me forget my original thought.”

“It’s so easy though.” I pluck his cup from the sink and add it to the dishwasher because we both know he won’t.

“Har-har. So you and Savannah…? Buzz Wheel reported about you two.”

Of course Buzz Wheel had something on Savannah and me leaving Austin’s wedding together. I hate that online gossip blog. “I drove her home.”

“Good. Not that I’m a dick of a best friend who’d say you can’t date my sister, but I was hoping this whole dry spell wasn’t because you had the hots for her.”

“You’re delusional. I gotta shower.” I head for the stairs.

“Are you dodging me?” he calls.

“I answered the question,” I say before I shut my door.

Once I’m secluded, I push his words out of my head but my bed being front and center only reminds me of her. The way her body slid against mine. The softness of her skin.

The flowery smell of her hair. Her swollen lips and lust-drunk eyes. Somehow or another, I gotta shake her out of my system.

After stripping down, I head to my bathroom and brush my teeth while I wait for the shower to warm up.

Denver might think he’d be okay with me messing around with his sister, but he’s a classic after-the-fact-opinion guy.

And this is one area where he’d definitely have an opinion about it after the fact. Especially since his sister thinks I’m not good enough for her.

***

Wanna know what sucks? When you’ve got woman issues and you can’t go to your two best friends because they’re the twin brothers of the girl you can’t get out of your head.

I enter Smokin’ Guns and lock the doors, keeping the blinds shut so no one bothers me. I’m still pissed off after my confrontation with Savannah this morning and could use some alone time.

In my office in the back, I’m only alone with my music for a few minutes before the door chime rings.

“Liam!” Rhys calls. He rounds the corner of the office before I can tell him where I am. Being my right-hand man, he knows what I do every Monday. “What’s up?”

He leans his shoulder on the doorframe, crossing his arms. Rhys is unique for a tattoo artist because the man doesn’t have a drop of ink on him.

He looks like a skateboarder, with his beat-up Vans and endless supply of worn-out jeans and T-shirts.

“Not much.” I drop my pen on my desk and slide out my chair. “How was your weekend back home?”

“Good. Seattle is changing. Not sure it’s a good thing.”

Rhys is a transplant. No one knows much about him other than that he showed up at my shop one day, asking if I was looking for any artists. He keeps a quiet life with his dog on the outskirts of town.

We’ve gone camping and fishing a few times. Compared to Denver and Rome, he’s mellow as hell.

“How?”

He shrugs. “Just different, I guess. Lots of new condos going up. People being pushed out to the ‘burbs because they can’t afford rent in the city anymore. But tat places are lighting up every block.

“Maybe you should do a branch?” He smiles because anyone who really knows me knows Lake Starlight is my home and I have no plans to make Smokin’ Guns some kind of franchise.

“Maybe you should open a shop?” I raise an eyebrow.

He guffaws. He’s gun shy, which I get. Especially not having any tats himself. Some people would say he’s not a true artist because he doesn’t understand what it’s like to get one.

Lucky for him, I’m not one of those people. He’s a skilled artist and that’s all that really matters as far as I’m concerned.

“I like you branching out better.”

I chuckle. “Why are you here so early?”

“I was gonna sketch out some ideas I have.”

“And your place?”

He shrugs again. He’s a man of few words. “How was the wedding?”

Okay, I can take a hint. He’s not up for talking about himself. “It was great.”

“Great not good, huh? Did you finally get laid?” He laughs.

“None of your damn business.”

He nods and pushes off the doorframe.

But Rhys is someone I can trust, and I need to talk to someone before I go apeshit crazy. “Hey, Rhys?”

He turns around, his smirk saying everything I need to know. Rumors are already spreading, even with how careful we were when we left the wedding together.

“What’s the word?” I ask.

“Nothing. I just know you and Savannah Bailey in a room together can be either hot or cold. You forget I was here for the blackbird tattoo.”

I had tunnel vision the night she came in, asking me for something to remember her parents by. It still surprises me when I look back on it—that she trusted me to permanently mark her skin. “Truth?”

He walks back to the doorframe and leans against it in the same position he was in previously. “Always.”

“I took her home and we messed around and now I can’t get her out of my head, and since we live together, I spend most of my time out of my own house or in my barn.” I sound too vulnerable and way too much like a chick.

Rhys loses his smirk. “You need to decide right now if you’re going to pursue her. Either you go after her with everything you got, or you walk away.”

“You make it sound so easy.” I run a hand through my dark hair then pull on my neck, wishing the knots in my muscles would vanish.

“Believe me, I get that it’s not. But you can’t be in limbo like you have been. It’s not healthy, man.

“If it’s not gonna ever happen, you need to move on with your life.” He crosses his arms, and I wonder what brought him here. He sure sounds as if he’s speaking from experience.

“She’s my best friends’ sister.”

“Exactly.”

“Meaning I can’t very well separate myself from her forever.”

“You won’t, not can’t.” He pins me with a stare as if to say, “tell me I’m wrong.”

“What do you want me to do? Kick her out of my house and date other women?”

He touches his nose as though I got the answer right.

“I can’t kick her out. Her grandma would hunt me down and strip me of my balls. Have you ever met Grandma Dori?”

He chuckles. “Then do the one thing you can. Date around. Work her out of your system.

“I get the situation isn’t ideal, what with you two living together, but if she’s the one putting out the Heisman arm, you can’t be expected to play priest in your own house.”

I debate his words. Maybe he’s right. I’ve been so hellbent on not disrespecting Savannah, maybe I went about this wrong.

“The only other thing you could do is convince her to sleep with you. I mean, you don’t do serious relationships, right?”

His question throws me into a tailspin at first. I’ve never had a serious girlfriend, but I’m not against having one. I’ve just never found someone I could imagine infiltrating my life.

I’ve lived on my own since I was eighteen, so she’d have to be amazing for that to happen.

I can’t say the thought of just sleeping with Savannah hasn’t occurred to me before though.

“I’m not sure her brothers would be okay with me doing a fuck-and-chuck with their sister.” I raise an eyebrow.

“Do they have to know?”

“I guess not. Maybe you’re right.”

He pushes off the wall again, cocky smirk in place. “I usually am.”

“Is that why you ran all the way up here to Alaska? To prove you were right about something?”

“Nah. I just got tired of the view.” He goes to the front desk everyone gravitates toward to draw for some reason.

I press play on my phone and “Call You Mine” by the Chainsmokers comes on through the Bluetooth speaker.

Rhys comes back and grabs my phone. “Listen to this a few hundred times and you’ll start to believe it.”

“Get Lucky” by Daft Punk plays. He pats my shoulder and leaves the room.

Maybe he was a therapist before he came to Lake Starlight. Either way, I’m going to do what he says.

Either I try to sleep with her, or I date random women until Savannah Bailey is so far out of my mind, I can barely remember what she looks like half-clothed.

 

Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

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