Authors: Kindle Alexander
This is an explicit and erotic novel intended for the enjoyment of adult readers. Please keep out of the hands of children.
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Reed’s fingers fumbled over the last button on his silver Gucci button down. Smoothing his hand down the sleeve nervously, he lectured himself to take it easy. It’s okay to be late. However, Reed really wanted to be at the ballroom before his brother and future sister in-law made their grand entrance.
God, he couldn’t believe his younger brother, Rylie, was getting married. The big rehearsal dinner tonight began the wedding festivities. A few days from now, his brother would be a married man. How could Rylie be old enough to be married; where did the time go? Giving in to the thought, Reed closed his eyes, remembering the younger kid brother he left behind. They were six years apart in age, and the last time he spent any time with Rylie, he was a lanky teenager who did little more than play video games for most of the day. Today, Rylie stood close to Reed’s height, almost six foot three inches tall. His almost too thin frame had turned muscular and solid, with not an ounce of fat anywhere to be seen. They both shared the same handsomely chiseled facial features, naturally blond hair, and deep emerald green eyes. But after five years in the military, most of it in the Marine’s Special Forces division, Rylie’s eyes held something more—the weight of a seasoned warrior and a battle weary fighter.
Forcing his mind away from thoughts of his brother, Reed glanced at the small alarm clock sitting on the night stand beside his bed as he hurried back into his bedroom. He ran his eyes across the two printed silk ties lying on the hand carved antique dresser. Reed fondly remembered the little antique shop in Europe where he discovered this treasure. Smiling, he smoothed his hand across the cool marble top before settling on the pink and gray Saint Valentine by Hermes tie perfect for this special occasion. Turning up the collar of his neatly pressed dress shirt, Reed stood in front of the dresser’s mirror, and absently tied a Windsor knot. He’d tied this same knot almost every day of his adult life, and didn’t need the mirror to know he tied it perfectly.
His mind stayed focused on Rylie, thinking back to the day when his brother announced his engagement. He truly couldn’t have been happier for the two of them. The love Rylie held for his beautiful bride, Elise, shone bright in his eyes every time he spoke of his childhood sweetheart. The love and romance of the situation made Reed wonder if maybe someday his brother might stand up next to him, and be his best man. Perhaps Rylie might feel this same deep pride and happiness he felt at this very moment.
Reed chuckled at the absurdity of it all and he pushed all wayward thoughts aside. Who was he trying to fool? No way could he ever be the settle down type of guy. It didn’t matter that his ancestry was full of those kinds of men. For as long back as he knew, the men of his family not only met their soul mates, but stayed with them until they died. No instance of divorce or separation appeared anywhere in their long family tree. However, those same ideas didn’t seem to run true with Reed. Not once in his life did Reed feel a deep connection with any other. Too many lovers passed through his front door, and he never considered sharing his life with any of them. Hell, if truth be told, they weren’t even lovers. They were merely just tension relievers; distractions to help pass the time.
Many in the circles Reed ran in considered him a wealthy playboy. Reed rightfully earned his reputation of a hardedge lawyer who would fuck you in and out of the courtroom, but very few knew it was all a game to him.
Almost from the beginning, Reed embraced his homosexuality. Europe didn’t have the same deep prejudices toward his lifestyle as many here in the United States. Although his family fully accepted him, it still caused Reed issues every once in a while when he visited the states. But for awhile now, Reed felt ready for that something missing from his life to make its presence known. His deepest, secret desires were the love and romance of finding his one true connection, the one person he might wake up and go to sleep with every single day for the rest of his life. And if the fairytale ever landed on his doorstep, he would readily hang up his playboy ways and give himself as freely as Rylie did to Elise.
Maybe moving back here to his hometown truly was the best possible choice. Reed felt closer to his brother at this moment than any other time in his life. He spent the last few years abroad, interning, learning from the largest international law firms, while Rylie chose the military route, working for years at a time overseas. Their schedules rarely matched up. Time passed too quickly. While Reed kept up with Rylie through text, email, or the occasional phone call, he still regretted not being there to play big brother to him. So when Baker&Pruitt offered a full partner position with an obscenely large salary, Reed seized the opportunity and happily moved back to the Washington DC area where he grew up.
Selecting a pair of onyx and diamond cuff links, Reed secured them through his cuffs. He sprayed himself with Clive Christian, his favorite cologne. The black Armani suit jacket lay across his bed. He picked it up, sliding it easily onto his broad shoulders, before making his way back to the mirror. With one last glance, Reed ran his fingers through his thick blond hair and grinned at his reflection. Everything looked in place.
His iPhone and the keys to his new Porsche Carrera GT—Reed’s gift to himself for the new promotion—lay at the end of his dresser. He grabbed both before heading out the door. Thank God the hotel was just a few miles away; the drive went quick. The valet stood ready and waiting as he pulled into the circle drive of Hotel Zaza. Quickly, he leapt from the car, tossing the keys in the valet’s general direction.
“Take care of her, man. And park her close by,” Reed said, pulling a fifty dollar bill from his wallet and handing it to the young valet before making his way inside.
Walking through the bronze plated front doors of the elaborate hotel, Reed saw a young man standing ready to greet and guide guests to the Grand Ballroom just across the atrium. This wasn’t a traditional rehearsal dinner. The wedding was only a few days away, but most of the guests came from out of town, making this more of a wedding event in the lavish style of his mother’s party planning skills. This dinner could be considered more of an engagement party than a rehearsal, a kick off to the next few days. His mother planned luncheons for the women, golfing for the men, and ongoing parties until they finally reached the true reason they were gathered together: Rylie’s wedding.
Strolling into the ballroom, Reed looked around. His lips widened into a pleased grin. As usual, his fantastic mother had outdone herself. The marble flooring, gold fixtures, and thick crown molding added an air of sophistication to the room. In the middle of the spacious ballroom hung a large, intricate crystal chandelier, which seemed to transform the room into a palace. Fresh flower arrangements and pictures of the engaged couple were placed with care across tables and pedestals. Each centerpiece held a snapshot marking special moments throughout Rylie and Elise’s lives. Sweeping past all of these thoughtful touches, Reed spotted his parents chatting with friends.
“Mother, it’s stunning as usual. Rylie will be so proud,” Reed said, leaning in to kiss her on the cheek so as to not mess up her perfectly applied lipstick.
“Thank you. I wanted it to be nice for them.” His mother, Olivia, beamed at the compliment. “And you look dashing as ever.” A waiter walked past carrying a tray of freshly filled champagne glasses. Reed carefully took one, while turning to his father’s voice.
“Son, I want you to meet the Hendersons. Darlene, Jacob, this is my son Reed. He’s just accepted a partnership with Baker&Pruitt.” Carson, Reed’s father and United Nations Ambassador, never stopped working, and of course, Reed knew the drill well. Shaking both the Hendersons’ hands, he began doing the whole small talk thing he’d done for most of his life. The five of them all stayed there several minutes, chatting in polite conversation, until the large ballroom doors were opened to a sudden burst of cheers. Reed turned, placing his now empty glass on a side table to begin clapping along with the other guests as his brother and future sister-in-law entered the crowded room.
The couple smiled and blushed, but Reed’s attention was suddenly diverted. His eyes were immediately drawn to one of the friends flanking Rylie and Elise. Reed’s heart picked up a beat, pounding faster and faster, until it threatened to leap from his chest. He glanced down at his mother, wondering if she’d noticed his heart slamming wildly in his body. Evidently not; her eyes stayed fixed on Rylie, and she lifted her hand to wave at him.
“Oh, Rylie looks so handsome and Elise like an angel next to him,” Olivia said, smiling up at Reed. She stepped closer, wrapping her arm through his. “I want this for you someday. And look there at Trevor and Brody. My three soldiers all in their dress blues. I’m so glad they went that direction, and not the suits I tried to buy for them. They all look so distinguished.”
“Yes, they do. You did well in not forcing the suits on them,” Reed agreed, keeping an eye on one of the two soldiers with his brother. Leaning into his mother, he asked the name of the one with auburn hair, who stood just the right of Elise. At his question, his mother turned to him with a knowing smile.
“That’s our Trevor, dear. He’s a good boy. Very stable, quiet, and extremely shy. Your father and I welcomed him into the family. Poor thing lost his parents. He was an only child. He has no one but us.”
Reed watched Trevor closely. He then remembered meeting Trevor a few years ago at a family gathering, or it could have been at Rylie’s graduation from boot camp. If so, damn, he had changed. His body filled out rather nicely. Trevor held his broad shoulders back and his head up, making a picture of pure confidence. But the deep furrowed brow let Reed know that while Trevor might appear confident, he was having trouble dealing with the crowd.
Reed thought over some of his past conversations with Rylie. He’d now be able to place faces to the names. The other soldier to the left of Rylie must be Brody. All three of them were part MARSOC, a Marine’s Special Forces division. They were also all on the same team, staying together since meeting in boot camp. Rylie didn’t say much about that side of his life. Most of his assignments were top secret, but Reed knew the three of them were tight. Best friends. Reed appreciated Brody and Trevor making the trip to stand by Rylie on his big day.
Brody’s hair was cropped short and black as coal, adding to his handsome, rugged good looks. The young man carried himself with an arrogant strut. He looked a little edgy, maybe itching for a fight. He was indeed impressive, but it was Trevor who intrigued Reed. Actually, he did much more than intrigue him. Trevor made his body quicken. Reed had always been attracted to a man in uniform, but there were more than good looks and a hot body in dress blues holding his full attention at this moment.
Reed watched Trevor scan the room. For the briefest of moments, their eyes met. Reed found himself lost in a sea of cerulean blue. The look in Trevor’s eyes seemed to reach out and speak directly to his soul. Reed tried to hold the gaze as long as he could, but a hint of bewilderment crossed Trevor’s features. He turned away. Perhaps the man truly was shy. Trevor truly looked nervous; maybe even embarrassed. He seemed completely out of place. Then the oddest thing happened. Reed felt the need to comfort Trevor. Giving a small laugh at the thought of comforting another, baffled at his sudden nurturing side. Usually, his first thoughts were to go over all the things he could do to such a hard body. Strangely enough, that never crossed his mind. Well, until now, as he started thinking about what awaited him under the perfectly starched uniform. Reed grinned to himself, chuckling, shaking his head to clear the now very explicit thoughts of how he could comfort the redhead.
Olivia stayed on Reed’s arm as they worked their way through the crowd. After his little outburst of a laugh, all he could do was to shrug his shoulders when she looked up at him questioningly. It took some time for them to wind across the room, and through scores of well-wishers to get to the couple. Once they reached the front of the line, they congratulated his beaming brother and his beautiful fiancé. Reed spoke briefly to Rylie, giving him a quick, hard hug. His brother didn’t let go, and he could feel the emotion pouring from him.
“Have a good night, brother. Let the stress go. Worry again tomorrow. Tonight’s for you and your lovely bride to be,” Reed whispered, giving him another good hard pat on the back before moving aside. Rylie kept eye contact with Reed, the moment still storming in his eyes as he nodded. Reed allowed himself to be pushed away and when his brother was absorbed in the next group of people, Reed turned, searching for Rylie’s friends. He wanted to introduce himself, but they vanished into the sea of people converging on the happy couple.