Home > Fire (Brewed #4)

Fire (Brewed #4)
Author: Molly McAdams

For the Coles.

Your Plantation House is magical, and we are so blessed to have been married there.

 

 

I leaned forward and bit at Wyatt’s afternoon snack, pretending like I was gonna snatch it out of his hand mid-air.

“Dad!” he called out again through his laughter and playfully pushed at my face. “That’s mine.”

“Mine,” I argued and pointed to the rest of his snack on the plate in front of him. “Says my name right there.”

Quinn giggled softly from my other side as another belly laugh left my oldest son.

“It doesn’t say nothin’,” he drawled.

“Anything,” I corrected gently. “Doesn’t say anything.”

Wyatt just smiled like the little cheeser he was and took a big bite.

I ruffled his hair as I stood from the large, round table in the kitchen and leaned down to kiss the top of Quinn’s head before heading over to where Savannah was standing at one of the islands. Her tiny body moving to the soft music filling the kitchen. A subtle smile on her face as she rolled out dough for whatever she planned on baking next, even though there was a cake cooling on the other island.

“Wife,” I murmured as I brought her into my arms and dipped down to capture her mouth—all sugar with hints of lemon.

“Missed you,” she whispered when I pulled away, her golden eyes bright as they searched my face. “How was work?”

“Work,” I responded with my typical answer.

I liked my job. I really did.

Coaching the sports teams at the high school was good for me, and it was financially necessary for my family. With Amber as small as it was, we barely had enough people coming through, staying at our bed and breakfast, to cover the bills. But my other job meant leaving Savannah to run Blossom alone for half the day. Not being there to help her? That shit weighed heavily on me.

So, it didn’t matter how much I enjoyed it. It was only, ever, just work.

“How was it here?” I asked as my attention shifted to where our baby, Levi, was sleeping on an activity blanket.

“Pretty quiet actu—”

My head snapped to the side when loud banging sounded at the front door. A quick glance at Savannah’s furrowed brow had me releasing her and heading that way, making another sweep around the kitchen to make sure my kids were where I’d left them as I did.

If we were expecting a new guest, Savannah would’ve told me.

If one had called last minute, she wouldn’t have looked surprised.

If it were Sawyer? Guy would’ve walked in without knocking.

And something about the knock set me on edge—like it’d been filled with anger. Anger that called out to me because it filled me too.

My steps quickened when I heard the front door open. That familiar, red haze slowly drifting in until I rounded the corner from the kitchen into the entryway and felt like I ran into a brick-fucking-wall.

Because halfway through the entryway was Hunter.

My brother.

A man I hadn’t seen in nearly ten years because of too many sins to list.

“The fuck—” The shock at seeing him standing there abruptly faded when I realized who was beside him.

Madison Black.

My stare darted back to Hunter, finally noticing the wrath and betrayal pouring from him as he stared me down, and my stomach dropped. Straight to the fucking floor.

Because there was only one reason for Hunter to look at me the way he was, and it had everything to do with the woman beside him. With the woman beside him and me.

And my wife was a room away.

Jesus Christ, Savannah . . .

The outright fear for what they were about to do—what they were about to say—mixed with my hatred for Madison. For everything she’d done. Everything she’d gotten me to agree to, only to go back on it all. To try and uproot my life now.

But I couldn’t let her.

I couldn’t let this happen.

A harsh breath left Hunter as if my reaction had confirmed everything. “Yeah.”

I hadn’t realized he’d moved until my head snapped back from the force of his hit. Before I had a chance to react, he was there. Grabbing the front of my shirt and pulling me closer as his fist connected with my jaw.

Then all I saw was red. All I felt was that rage burning through my veins.

And for the first time in my life, I took it.

Welcomed that sickening darkness and let it use me.

But everything still happened the way it always had. Nothing more than bits and pieces made up into a blur. That thick haze messing with my mind as I unleashed all of my fear and anger on him.

Ramming him into the far wall across the room.

Punching him once . . . twice.

His head cracking against the wall.

Hunter was fast. I’d forgotten that. But once I started going, he couldn’t stop me. Almost nothing could.

Not even my own horror when the next thing I knew, I had my hands on a woman. Madison was pinned against the wall, and I was holding her so damn tight. Fucking shaking as I kept her arm twisted between us and gripped her jaw.

But all I could think in that moment was this was on her. She’d put everything at risk the moment she’d thrown away our agreement and set foot in my town. And now, she was actively threatening my marriage. “What’d you do, Madison?” I demanded through clenched teeth. “The fuck did—”

A pained breath burst from me when I landed on the floor with Hunter on top of me. Swinging and connecting with my cheek as he seethed, “That’s for fucking my girl.”

No!

Fear and rage exploded from me as he struck again. Yelling more accusations as I used Hunter’s weight to throw him onto the floor—twisting and shoving my foot into his chest. Sending him back a couple feet as I scrambled to my knees and swung as he did the same. Connecting with his nose and feeling the crunch beneath my knuckles. Knowing it wasn’t enough.

It never would be.

That rage and that haze blinding me to everything except the threat in front of me.

“Beau.”

That voice . . . that girl . . . stopped everything.

My name couldn’t have been louder than a breath, but it stripped me. Cooled that fire and filled me with the deepest shame in an instant.

My world, my world, my world.

Oh God.

Fear slipped back into my veins like poison as I stared at the floor I knelt on. Unable to meet her eyes for the first time in my life because I knew—I knew she’d heard.

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