Justice (Creed Brothers #1)(3)

By: K.C. Lynn


Despite my feelings, I sit in the corner alone and watch as a flock of hungry women surround him and his brothers, vying for their attention.

Typical.

“Happy birthday, Ryanne,” Jessica Bennett yells to be heard above the loud music, clinking her glass with mine as she shimmies past my table.

I nod my thanks, my lips lifting in a halfhearted smile.

There aren’t many places in town where I could celebrate my eighteenth birthday. Denim and Pearls is the only bar where they accept people under the age of twenty-one. We aren’t allowed to drink but that isn’t a big deal to me.

The place is rustic with a country flare. The tables are made of old barrels and there’s a rhinestone saddle hanging above the dance floor. Country music blares from the speakers, drawing a large crowd. I was having a good time, anywhere is better than my loveless house, but then they showed up—the three brothers who wreak havoc on every girl’s hormones.

The Creed boys are foster brothers who are closer than those bound by blood. They came to town years ago, living off the streets until Thatcher Creed, who most around here call Old Man Creed, took them in and raised them as his own.

Many didn’t approve when he did, but Thatcher has never cared what the people in this town thought about him. It’s something I’ve always admired. He raised the boys proudly and stood by their sides when they had no one.

Justice, Knox, and Braxten have made quite the names for themselves and their reputations precede them. They can be dangerous if they think for even one second their family is being threatened. They’ve stolen the hearts of many. I know this because I am one of them. Though all three of them are ridiculously good looking, I only want one.

Justice.

His bad boy appeal caught my attention from the moment he rolled into town. I was only twelve but my young heart fell hard. Many people were leery and even frightened of the boys. They got into a lot of trouble when they first moved here. I often heard my parents discussing their disapproval of Thatcher taking them in. It’s typical of their pretentious selves. My parents have never been kind or compassionate, not even to their only child.

I was warned to stay away from them. It wouldn’t look good for the family name, which is everything to my parents. My father is a descendant of one of the six founding families of Winchester, our small town located in the heart of The Mississippi Delta. Old money and bloodlines are everything here. I have a certain standard to uphold, one I fail miserably at according to my mother.

Staying away from the brothers wasn’t a hard rule to follow because they are older than me. We went to the same school but I was a freshman and they were seniors. They barely knew I existed. Braxten should have graduated after them but he’s smart, really smart, and worked hard to finish school with his brothers.

For two years I watched them from afar, mainly Justice, and swallowed up the rumors that surrounded them, especially one. A rumor that rocked the entire town and garnered every girl’s attention. It still does. Which is why every female in this place is hanging all over them at the moment.

You’d think I’d be used to it by now but I’m not, and the only reprieve my tortured heart gets is when he’s out of town for work. Contracted by the government, all three brothers are sharpshooters, and not just any marksmen but the best in the country. Shooting is just one of the many things Thatcher taught them.

As if feeling the weight of my stare, Justice’s eyes find mine over the crowd of women. My heart tumbles in my chest as I gaze back into his dark irises that are filled with so much intrigue and mystery.

His lips kick up in that sexy smirk of his, turning my insides to mush. He wears his usual worn jeans that hang enticingly off his lean hips. His dark hair is wild and mussed, looking like he just ran his fingers through it. With a black T-shirt, biker boots, and a leather jacket, he’s the very definition of a bad boy.

That familiar longing builds inside of me, the sight of him making my heart crave things I can’t have. Instead of returning his smile, I roll my eyes, hoping to hide the effect he has on me, and shift my gaze away.

I’m certain I can hear his amused chuckle all the way over here. The one that rumbles deep within his chest and is as arrogant as his smirk. It’s irritating yet infectious all at once. Most of the time I long to hear it. Just like I long for the brief moments I’ve spent with him.

It has become somewhat of a game between us. This push and pull. I pretend he annoys the hell out of me and he plays along, but deep down he knows my true feelings. He has to. I’ve always been terrible at hiding my emotions.

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