Razed (Barnes Brothers #2)(11)

Written By: Shiloh Walker




*

Zane gave himself ten seconds to stare after her as she headed down the hall. Ten seconds, because if he didn’t, he’d be looking for her the entire time he was there, and he knew it.

That was how it went when you had an obsession. Zane should know.

He’d been dealing with this one for going on three years now and it had only gotten worse since the night of Zach’s wedding.

He’d thought that finally something would happen, but she seemed to dodge him even more now than she had before. Before he’d kissed her, she’d just smiled and shrugged it off anytime he’d asked her out. Since then, he’d been a little more determined, and all it had done was make her retreat in on herself.

He was getting frustrated.

And pissed.

He could almost accept the fact that she’d had a thing for his brother. At one time, there’d been millions of girls fawning over the former TV star. Zach had grown up in front of the camera, growing from a skinny kid to a teenage heartthrob in his part as Nate in the sitcom Kate + Nate. He’d met Abby there. Met her, fallen in love with her. Even after the show had ended, the public obsession had continued. Paparazzi still hounded Zach and his face graced more than a few fan websites. Zane was definitely used to women looking past him to his famous younger brother.

Keelie wasn’t some faceless woman who’d never met Zach, but she’d also told him that when she’d kissed Zach, she hadn’t felt anything.

So he could almost accept that.

It was hard because Keelie, out of everybody else, was the one woman Zane wanted.

She was also totally oblivious.

Or at least she had been. Seemed to be.

He wasn’t sure how she felt now, but he knew how he felt.

He couldn’t get past this want he had for her.

It had steadily gotten worse, too.

“How’s it going, Z?” Javi asked.

Zane swung his head around, but before he could answer, Javi spoke again, and this time, his voice split the air.

“Ani, what the hell are you doing?”

The blonde had Keelie’s phone and was grinning maniacally as she punched things in.

Zane didn’t know her. He assumed she was the new woman Zach had hired to do piercings . . . or something. He shuddered mentally at the thought, but gave her a smile as she looked up at him. She had a hoop through her eyebrow, a stud in her left nostril, and there were more hoops and studs going up her left ear. In the right ear, she had a simple diamond that winked at him in the light.

She was cute. She’d be perfect for the project Zach had asked him to start, too.

Except she might not live through the night after Keelie found out she’d messed with her phone.

“That is Keelie’s phone, isn it?” Zane asked, arching a brow at her.

The girl nodded, still grinning.

“She’s going to hurt you, Ani,” Javi warned. “What are you doing?”

She shrugged, a guileless smile curving her lips. “Oh, just helping Keelie out a little. Relax, Javi.” She paused whatever she was doing on the phone and held out a hand to Zane. Her nails were a vivid, bright green. “Hi. Anais.”

“Zane.” He shook her hand. “Zach’s brother.”

“I can tell.” She lifted a brow and looked him over from head to toe. It was a thorough study, one that would have left him uncomfortable if he hadn’t spent more than a few years working around models who liked to do the same thing.

He returned her frank stare with a level one of his own.

She flashed him a grin and resumed toying with the phone.

“Girl, you are playing with fire. Keelie is going to get you,” Javi warned. “She’s crazy private. But don’t worry. I’ll make sure they play something pretty at your funeral.”

“Oh, lighten up.” Anais rolled her eyes. “She’s not as scary as all that.”

Zane blinked, looked from Javi to Anais and then back. “Ah, how long has she been here?”

“Not long enough.” Javi flashed him a wide smile. “She’ll figure it out, right?”

Zane cocked his head. “What kind of flowers do you like? I’ll make sure to bring them to the viewing.”

“So uptight, guys.” Anais just sighed and shook her head. And merrily continued to have her way with the phone, her curls bouncing around as she bobbed her head to some unheard tune.

Javi just sighed and swung his head around to look at Zane. “Zach ain’t here.”

“Where—” Zane’s question was cut off by a peal of laughter from Anais.

“Oh, man. That’s hilarious. One of her ringtones is “Never Say Never” from Justin Bieber. Justin Bieber—for real. I’m going to rib her hard about that.”

“You have fun with it.” Javi gave Anais a look that might have been pity.

“Where’s Zach?” Zane interrupted before they could start again.

A soft sound came from behind him and he shifted, watched as Keelie came back into the room.

From the corner of his eye, he saw Anais casually lay the phone down, out of Keelie’s line of sight. Amused, he slid his gaze back to Keelie as she said, “He’s not in right now . . . day off.”

“What?” Zane frowned.

Keelie’s mouth, so lush he’d had probably a thousand dreams about it, bowed upward. He remembered how it felt under his, how it tasted. His cock twitched in warning.

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