Home > Boys South of the Mason Dixon (South of the Mason Dixon #1)(4)

Boys South of the Mason Dixon (South of the Mason Dixon #1)(4)
Author: Abbi Glines

Vance Sutton must have been really handsome because he didn’t have one ugly son. They were all striking. They just weren’t all Asher. I really needed to stop thinking about him. .

“Tell me what you want for your birthday next week,” Daddy asked, changing the subject.

I wanted Asher Sutton to notice that I had boobs and curves now and that I wasn’t a little girl anymore. I wanted Asher Sutton to see me as something more than just a helpless kid who needed him to protect her from bad people. But these were all things that Daddy couldn’t give me. No one could.

“Put whatever you were going to spend on me in my savings account for a car.”

Daddy sighed. “How much you got saved? You’ve been working and saving for a couple years now and you still got one more year left. I’d think you had plenty by now. I told you I’d meet you half way. Whatever you save, I’ll equal.”

I wasn’t sure what I wanted yet. To be safe, I was saving all I could. If I had extra money in the end, I could use it for any problems the car had later on. I didn’t need anything else.

“I’m saving until I turn sixteen. Right now, the balance on my savings is five thousand even with interest.”

Daddy released a whistle. “Lord, girl! I’m gonna have to take out a loan to meet you half way at that rate.”

Of course, he was teasing. I replied, “guess you better start saving too.”

That brought a deep belly laugh from him. I smiled and inhaled the greasy chicken smell filling the air. I might not have Asher Sutton, but I had a good life, and I was grateful for that.

Asher Sutton

MOMMA HADN’T MENTIONED the doctor wanted to put her on blood pressure medication. I remained calm while Frank Harrod told me how happy he was that she had agreed to take it. He’d gone on and on about how dangerous it was at her age not to treat high blood pressure. Why the fucking hell hadn’t Doc John called me before now to let me know?

I pulled my truck into the gravel driveway outside the farmhouse I’d grown up in and I took a deep breath. I hadn’t been here since Christmas. Even then, my visit had been a short one, I made sure of it. I’d wanted to run away. As far away from here as possible. The memories haunted the hell out of me whenever I got near this place.

A loud banging startled me and I jerked my head around to see Bray grinning at me like a fool. “You are home, motherfucker!” he said, gripping the frame of the door.

Bray was only twelve months younger than me and seeing him smile was rare. Brent, his twin, was the happy one. A grin was always on Brent’s face while Bray normally scowled. Not much excited Bray, which only made me feel even guiltier for staying away so long, seeing him smiling at me like that.

I opened the door and grabbed the bag with the meds I had picked up and intended to force Momma to start taking right away. I couldn’t lose her. There was a lot of fucked up in my life, but my momma was the one person I depended on to be there. I would like to think no one knew I was such a momma’s boy, but the truth was, everyone knew. Then again, it wasn’t just me. All four of my brothers loved our momma. She was our home. We knew as long as she was here in this house, we had a safe place to come back to.

“Don’t look too excited to see me. I’ll think you missed me,” I teased Bray. He then grinned bigger, no longer trying to hide the fact he was pleased to see me home.

“Fuck that. I’m just glad you’re here. ‘Bout time you came back.”

“Holy hell! That can’t be my long-lost brother who thinks he’s too good to come home.” Brent called out from the front porch rail, before swinging his legs above it in one swift move we’d all perfected from our many years of jumping it. When his feet hit the ground, he took several long strides toward me before grabbing and hugging me bearlike.

As glad as Bray had been to see me, he hadn’t been as excited as Brent. He slapped me on the back. “Momma’s gonna be the happiest woman in Malroy,” Brent said.

“No,” Bray drawled. “The happiest woman in Malroy is Jenny Wilson. I spent a good thirty minutes with my head between her legs last night.”

“Dude, fuck, you did not just say that,” Brent replied, shaking his head.

I just chuckled. I missed this. Being away from my family and this place was so damn hard at times. Unable to help myself, I lifted my gaze to scan the yard, looking past it and toward the white picket fence that surrounded the house neighboring ours. I wondered if she was still living at home. If she looked older . . . Fuck, where did that come from? It only happened here, being so close to her. I normally didn’t allow myself these thoughts because they were too dangerous, too destructive, and entirely pointless.

Brent said with his dimpled grin, “Momma’s inside putting up some jam. She won’t allow them strawberries to waste. She’s been at it for two damn days. We’ll have good ol’ strawberry jam with our biscuits all year long.”

“Reckon with you being home, we can coax her to use some of those berries to make us fried pies,” Bray said. “Been craving one of them pies.”

I wanted to talk to Momma alone. This shit with her not taking her medication was serious and I had to fix it. Then, I needed to leave. Run like hell, because at this moment, all I wanted to do was look back toward that white picket fence.

“Where are Steel and Dallas?” I asked Brent as he fell in step beside me walking toward the front porch of the house.

“Uh,” he replied and glanced back at Bray before replying. I knew that look. Something was up. Fuck. I’d been gone too long. What other shit did I need to fix before I could leave again?

“Probably at the feed store,” Brent added. “We were low on some stuff. Steel said he’d go get it. I’m sure Dallas rode with him. The white truck is gone. I don’t see it.” He was lying. His tone always gave him away.

“Motherfucker, you suck at that,” Bray said, shaking his head and walking past us like it was a race. He took the steps two at a time, barging through the front door as if he were in a hurry to get away from everything behind him.

“What am I missing? ‘Cause I’m definitely missing something,” I asked, stopping on the steps, and turning from Brent’s deer in the headlights expression to Bray’s stiff back at my front.

“Just tell ‘im,” Bray said without looking back at us.

Brent didn’t say a word. We all stood there for a moment. The silence was deafening, filling the air with growing tension. I shouted, “if something is wrong with one of them, I need to fucking know.”

Bray dropped his hand from the door and turned to look at me. The hesitation I’d seen on Brent’s face wasn’t on his twin’s. There was an annoyed glare instead. “They’re fine. Everyone is just fucking fantastic. Calm your shit down,” he replied, shifting his gaze from me to the yard at my rear as he sighed. I could see him trying to control his temper, another thing that set the twins apart. Brent didn’t lose his very easily. Hell, you were lucky if you could piss him off. But Bray was a loaded gun. He’d blow the hell up fairly easily and I’d had to bail his ass out of trouble more times than I’d care to admit.

“Where are they?” I asked, looking at Bray.

Bray didn’t look back at me. The muscle in his jaw ticked as he kept his gaze on the yard. He was thinking this through, whatever it was, and though I didn’t like to be kept waiting, I also didn’t want to come home and end up in a brawl in the yard before even giving my momma a hug.

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