Put Out (Kilgore Fire Book 5)(9)

By: Lani Lynn Vale

One didn’t wear nice clothes to a mechanic’s shop, especially my brother’s. My brother was a slob, and anywhere he went, his mess was sure to follow.

“What are you doing here?” I asked Bowe since I had no other recourse but to act like nothing was bothering me.

“This is my car,” he said.

I blinked, surprised.

“It is?” I asked. “You race?”

He nodded.

“I do.”

“When?” I wondered.

The man already built houses on top of being a full-time firefighter. Now he was adding racing to the list?

“On the weekends that I’m not on shift or working,” he said. “It’s happened a lot more lately than it usually does.”

“Why?” I asked, looking up at his face for the first time.

“We’ve been slowing down on flippin’ houses,” he grunted when Alec moved, letting go of his half of the weight.

His arm strained, and I licked my lips, admiring the way his bicep bulged with the added weight.

He looked different today, and I realized then that it was the fact that he actually had a shirt on.

Any time I saw him when he was outside of work, he never had a shirt on. In fact, it was a surprise to see him at work with a shirt on since the majority of the time I saw him when he was working at his project house.

Though, I had to admit, I hadn’t seen him much at all lately since I hadn’t been working for July anymore.

“How’s your grandmother?” I asked him, watching his face for any signs of discomfort.

Surprising me, he smiled, wide and true, and then looked down at me.

“She got out of the hospital and is actually going to start staying in the same facility my grandfather is staying in,” he smiled.

“Your grandfather’s in a facility and your grandmother’s not?” I didn’t know how to shut up. Seriously.

Had I realized how upsetting that certain topic would be for him, I would’ve never brought it up.

Instead, since the man was so fuckin’ nice, he spoke about it even though I could tell it hurt him to do since I was looking at his face as he explained.

“My grandfather has Alzheimer’s.” He grinned, even though I could tell that was the very last thing he wanted to do. “He’s been going downhill for a couple of years now, but it was only a couple of months ago that we decided to move him to a home that specializes in care for the elderly with life altering diseases.”

“Oh,” I murmured.

That’s when my sister chose to step on my foot, causing me to turn my head and glare at her.

“Ow,” I said through clenched teeth. “What was that for?”

She widened her eyes.

“You’re going to make the poor man cry,” she countered.

It was said with such softness that I had to strain to hear the words.

I lifted my lip at her in a silent snarl and turned back just in time to get a face full of dirt and other things that came out of something above me.

“Ack,” I jumped back, knocking into my sister when I went.

“Hey!” Ariel cried. “You’re such a hoe!”

We went down in a tangle of limbs, luckily with me on top.

I put my hands down to stop my entire body from landing directly on top of her, but my hand caught on a puddle of oil that’d dripped from so many cars that Alec had yet to clean up, and landed hard on top of Ariel.

Our breath left us in loud whooshes, and I scrambled up only seconds after falling.

“Ariel!” I cried, getting up to my knees and staring at my sister.

My sister who was busy laughing her ass off.

“Oh, God,” she laughed, wrapping her hands over her belly. “That was like it was out of a movie or something.”

“Your hair is in the oil,” I told her. “You’re never going to get the smell out.”

She got up and whipped her head around, the wet strands of her hair slapping against my arm.

I stood up completely just in time for Bowe to lean down, causing us to knock heads.

“Oomph,” Bowe said, pulling back, but not in time.

The crack of our heads had my brother’s laughter starting to rumble out of him, and I leveled a glare on him.

“You know,” I said, not seeing the amusement in the situation at all. “This is all your fault.”

“My fault?” he asked. “How do you figure?”

I wiped the dirt away from my eyes with my forearm, and then pointed at him.

“You should’ve worn your fucking glasses.”

He grinned.

“I could’ve said the same about you.”

I harrumphed, left my sister sitting on her ass where she was still laughing, and stomped away.

Instead of trying to get into my car with grease all over me, I opted for a shower.

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