Saving poughkeepsie, p.1
The Poughkeepsie Brotherhood series book three
Saving Poughkeepsie, Copyright © 2014 by Debra Anastasia
All Rights Reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior written permission of the publisher.
1901 Avenue of the Stars, 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, California 90067
First Omnific eBook edition, November 2014
First Omnific trade paperback edition, November 2014
The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Library of Congress Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
Saving Poughkeepsie / Debra Anastasia – 1st ed
1. Poughkeepsie—Fiction. 2. Contemporary Romance—Fiction. 3. Foster Children—Fiction. 4. Family—Fiction. I. Title
Cover Design by Micha Stone and Amy Brokaw
Interior Book Design by Coreen Montagna
T, J and D, it’s always for you.
On an unseasonably warm November evening, the three brothers sat outside Blake’s house in chairs around his fire pit—something they’d taken to doing as often as possible in the last several months. The women had gone inside about an hour earlier, and Beckett guessed from the recent dousing of lights in the kids’ rooms upstairs, that his niece and nephew were now tucked in their beds. Sure enough, he watched the ladies carry wineglasses and a bottle of wine past the sliding door and into the dining room.
Cole was telling a story of the olden days, so Beckett tuned back in. Of the three brothers, the religious one held his liquor the worst.
“I forgot how it started—this was before Eve and Livia and Kyle, mind you. I forget which of your guys it was, Beck. Anyway, he’d covered all his fingers with raw dough—like Pillsbury dough right from the can—do you remember?”
Beckett knew that was his cue. “Brother, that’s going way back. Shit, I don’t think Blake even had hair on his titties yet.”
Blake rolled his eyes before grabbing his pec and puckering up a kiss in Beckett’s direction.
“Okay, I remember.” Beckett smiled. “Damn. That fuck up was Dildo. I have no idea what he was on, but that was a crazy night. But he had, like, a sack full of expired Pillsbury dough biscuits. And he was tripping and started cracking them open. Half of us had guns pointed at his head because he’d scared the fuck out of us, ’cause you know they pop loud as anything when you open them. He didn’t care, just started stretching out the dough and wrapping it all around his body. Naked as fuck, except for his tighty whities? Right?”
Cole laughed so hard he appeared to be having trouble breathing. “And then you got pissed off…”
The laugh circled the fire. Blake smiled wide, trying two and three times to take a sip of his beer and having to stop to laugh more.
“It was the stupid song he kept singing,” Beckett said, shaking his head. “I don’t even know. I snapped. Dragged his dumb ass outside, and there were, like, three dogs out there that Dentist had. Remember? I dropped the doughboy out there, and next thing I know the dogs are eating the dough off of him. I’m telling you, he was tripping balls so hard, he probably thought it was all in his head.”
“And they weren’t hurting him, just eating the dough and licking it off of him,” Cole added, slapping his thigh.
“And then Dildo started praying to the Pillsbury Dough Boy? And thanking him because he didn’t wrap his dick in it?” Beckett let the image come to his head, smiling. “I’ll tell you what, I’m pretty sure he’s been clean ever since. Worked like a charm. I was a fucking animal back then, though. He’s lucky that’s all I felt like doing that night.”
Blake shook his head. “Dildo still work for you?”
Beckett nodded. “Yeah, since I’ve been back I’ve been establishing the old veins, getting this beast of a town pumping again. But keeping stuff as clean as I can.”
Cole and Blake nodded approvingly. “I think you may be the most merciless nickname giver ever,” Cole said. “Dildo is a tall, bald guy, right? Rough. I’m surprised you didn’t give us nicknames.” Cole set his bottle in the cup holder on his chair.
Beckett pressed his lips together.
Blake shook his head. “Oh, he has names for us. Tell him.”
Cole poked the fire with a long stick. “How’d you find out?”
“Mouse told me.” Blake shrugged.
The men toasted with their bottles, as they did whenever Mouse was mentioned: the part of their tattoo who no longer existed. After years as Beckett’s most essential bodyguard, financial planner, and information-stashing genius, the man had died on the job, protecting Blake because he was loyal to his boss, who he considered a brother.
“And…” Cole shot Beckett a look.
“You’re unofficially known as Sparkles and Jesus.” Beckett squinted as Cole pretended to be offended.
“I think it’s only fair if we give you a nickname. Blake?” Cole asked.
Blake stood and added a log to the fire. It’d been burning steady since right after dinner. Being with his brothers like this was Beckett’s favorite. In his wildest dreams he never pictured getting to sit with them, out in the open in Blake’s backyard—as in grass behind the home where he lived.
Blake had had such trouble adjusting to having a roof over his head when they were teens, and he’d spent years homeless before he met Livia. But he wasn’t the only one whose life had changed dramatically. Cole, who Beckett had pictured getting prostate checks from a cardboard cutout of the Pope in a church’s basement for the rest of his life, was now happily married to a girl with the filthiest mouth he’d ever encountered.
While his brothers tossed horrible and wonderfully insulting nicknames back and forth, Beckett let his gaze find the top of Eve’s ponytail bobbing in the dining room window.
They’d been together for four months now, since their run-in with Vitullo had forced them home. The two of them were occupying the same space and finding a new normal—a normal that looked like nice young neighbors on the outside but involved a lot of time reestablishing their local contacts and going over the information Mouse had accumulated for them while he was alive behind closed doors—with a side of waiting and watching for a Vitullo move.
Beckett had traded his soul to Rodolfo Vitullo for Eve’s life, and though they’d eventually worked a truce that released Beckett from his service (one branded scar later), their relationship was tenuous at best. Vitullo was not someone to be trusted and forgotten, especially since he still had to be angry over the loss of his daughter, Mary Ellen, and the loss of a good chunk of his money to Sevan Harmon.
“We’re going with Fluffy Beast for now, but reserve the right to change it at any time,” Blake announced as he tossed a cold beer to each man before taking one of his own from the cooler next to his chair.
“Fluffy Beast, Sparkles, and Jesus.” Beckett nodded. “Though the best nicknames only have one word, I’ll forgive you because it’s your first go-around.”
“Dogs have to shit,” Kyle called as she let Gandhi and the Hartt family dog, Marx, out.
“Hey, babe?” Cole called.
Kyle stepped out onto the porch.
“Give me a good nickname for Beckett.”
“Now you dragged out the big guns.” Beckett smiled.
“I’ll be right back,” Kyle said.
The men stayed silent as they watched the girls inside huddle up.
Soon Kyle was back. “Okay. It’s Becky.”
Beckett laughed out loud and held up his beer, toasting. Kyle stepped outside with her wine glass and bare feet. Eve and Livia followed, leaving the door open so they could hear the kids. The women joined the toast to his new nickname. Beckett looked from one face to another and then glanced up at the kids’ bedrooms. Everything he needed was right here. Right now. He had to make this work.
Livia filled up the dog’s water while Blake dropped the beer bottles in the recycling. She laughed when he came up behind her and nuzzled her neck. “Is this a three-beer pass you’re making or a four-beer?”
He laughed against her skin. “Hey, Mrs. Judgypants, how many glasses of wine did you have?”
“Once it’s opened it’s useless. We had to drink it.” She turned in his arms. He was glowing. Being with his brothers did that to him. It might have been how unsafe they’d felt growing up, but when they were able to relax together now it was a victory, just their laughter, their easiness. “You smell like the fire.”
He kissed her then, deep and demanding, and she agreed to his physical invitation. He took her hand and led her out into the backyard. She shivered a bit. The fire was almost embers, just enough to see his face while her eyes adjusted to the dark.
“Outside again?” She teased him.
“You know I love it best when you’re wearing nothing but the stars.”
She sighed. He still knew what to say.
Blake led her to their hammock.
“And the hammock?” She was grateful she’d chosen a long dress for the dinner party.
“You can wear the hell out of that too.” Blake lifted her in his arms, and as he slid her down to her feet, he used the tips of his fingers to trail her legs, catching the hem of the dress pulling it above her waist before setting her down.
After he had her situated, he made no move to take off his own clothes, instead kneeling in front of her like he was about to pray. Within the time it took her to gasp, Blake was tasting her and using the mesh of the hammock to his advantage, slipping his fingers inside of her, slowly first then at a strong pace.
She had to beg to get him to stop after she came, tilting backward in the hammock and motioning for him on the other side. Even upside down she knew how to find him, her unconventional position allowing her to take him deeper than usual. Finally he was the one to pull away. Making his way to the other side of the hammock, he adjusted himself to enter her and used the swinging to increase their friction and speed.
Neither had noticed the endless, ominous squeaking from the hooks buried in the trees, lost in their own pleasure, but when Blake sat down next to her in the hammock, both screws pulled out from their anchors simultaneously. They hit the ground butt first with a hard thud.
First, Livia moaned with the immediate ache she felt in her tailbone. “Ow,” Blake muttered, moaning right along with her. Then they laughed so hard together that they had trouble catching their breath. Blake wrapped her in his arms and reclined on the grass. She patted his chest gently, loving the tap back from his heart and his white smile. He looked amazing cloaked in stars, too.
Cole saluted Beckett’s retreating car as Kyle unlocked the door to their house. He went to the alarm panel and disarmed and rearmed the system. When he’d finished she twirled on him and backed him against the wall.
“Hey, sexy” was all she needed to say to get him started.
Hands in her red hair, he kissed her lips with a slow, precious tenacity. She moaned and her hands began seeking. Sex with Kyle meant even more than it had back in the day. After trying so hard to get pregnant for so many years, to have her remember that this connection was more than just a means to an end—an elusive end—was tender and exciting.
The fact that they were adopting a baby just mere weeks from now—and still not telling anyone about it—had filled them both with the need to be close. They were excited, nervous, and hopeful. And they did those feelings best together.
Taking off each other’s clothes was as easy as taking off their own after all their time together, and soon they were naked in their living room. She went to the floor, hands and knees, spinning to offer herself to him.
He felt the manly growl in his brain. She didn’t want foreplay. When she was like this, she wanted him hard. He slipped behind her and felt for the spot he needed. Kyle whispered his name softly, like he was her air. He placed two kisses on the dimples at the base of her spine and let her ache for a second as he trailed his fingers from her shoulders to her thighs. Silk. She was silk. Cole eased inside her. No matter how many times he’d had her, those first seconds would click his soul into place, as if it had been loose and she was the only one who knew how to align it.
And then there was only feeling. He had to remind himself to reach around her to find where she kept her orgasms hidden, teasing one from her with his fingers. After she shuddered and lost her whisper to a shout, he let the tide wash over him as well, wrapping his arms around her hips and pulling her into his lap.
She turned and looked at him, her profile so lovely, beautiful lips still gasping for air. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
Beckett drove, so he’d been careful to have only the two beers. He was playing it safe now, trying to appease Capt. John McHugh by following all the rules he could. Of course there were a few he could never obey. With Rodolfo Vitullo still lurking in the shadows, he had to keep a few of his options open.
“I paid the bill for Mouse’s storage unit yesterday,” Eve informed him from the passenger seat.
His deadly love was practical as well. She scanned the road, watching like she always was.
“You know, I was thinking of heading over there tomorrow. I want to make sure we’ve been back through everything, know all the information we have available. You know. How we do.” He put the cruise control on for the portion of Route 9 that was flat and straight.
“You mean as you’re working to be Poughkeepsie PD’s new best friend?” She gave him a teasing look.
“You know my brothers love it here. And fuck me, I love having them here. Nights like tonight? Shit, I would have killed anyone to have what we just did back in the day. You, my brothers? Only thing missing is Mouse.”
Gandhi snored from the backseat, and Beckett smiled at Eve. He’d known enough upheaval in his life to cherish the quieter moments.
“So no breaking rules?”
He checked the side of the road for the reflective eyes of the deer that liked to come out at night.
“Nope. Becky here is a fucking Boy Scout. I pledge allegiance, pay my taxes, go to church. Tons of bullshit.”
He looked back at Eve and she’d unbuttoned her shirt and pushed the cups of her lace bra under her breasts. She fondled her nipples while he watched.
“Tits!” He licked his lips.
She shook her head and bit her lip, trying to hide her smile. “Don’t forget to drive.”
He was halfway into the other lane and yanked the car back onto his side. She was busy sliding her jeans off her hips.
“You’re not wearing your seatbelt,” he added, almost frantically checking both her progress and the car’s position on the road.
“That’s true. I also kill people, so keep it in perspective, Becky.” She began to touch herself and his balls were ready to ignite.
“My dick is about to teach you never to call me Becky again.”
She laughed and took her fingers from inside he
He licked her fingers and groaned.
Eve started in on his jeans and finding him commando as usual, she grasped his penis and pulled it free without hesitation. She went down on him hard, and Beckett wondered if she was punishing her mouth for wanting him as much as she did. Driving the car while Eve expertly handled his stick made him feel so powerful. He wanted to head butt the windshield. (He didn’t.)
He almost missed their street and made wide, sloppy turns until they were parked in his driveway. Eve pulled away from his cock as soon as the wheels stopped and strolled across their front lawn buck-ass naked.
She waited for him like she was wearing clothes, relaxed.
Beckett opened his car door and let G scamper out. The dog continued on through the door Beckett opened and up the stairs, presumably to his beloved dog bed.
Eve began pressing the alarm code’s buttons as he came up behind her, slipping one arm around her waist and the other around her neck.
“How you want me, baby?”
She answered by biting his forearm as they walked inside.
He spun her in his arms. When he went in for a kiss, she slapped his face.
“So that’s how?” He put her hard against the wall, holding her by her throat as he slammed the front door. “You have to fight me? ’Cause I’m the toughest fucker you’ve ever met. Say it.”
He released his grip. She tilted her head back, closing her eyes. “You’re the toughest.”
She never did what he told her to. “How much did you drink?” he asked.
“Enough—” she looked at him, her eyes glass “—to know you still haven’t fucked me yet, Becky.”
He switched his grip, using her breasts to keep her against the wall, and alternated pinching her nipples with a full-on grope. Instead of fighting him, she moaned with pleasure, hips gyrating.
“Oh, now you’re a slut? How much wine to get you like this?”
She slapped him in the face again. He shook his head against the sting of it.