Chance of a Lifetime (Anderson Brothers)By: Marissa Clarke
“I didn’t speak up both times, because I believed it was not my place. That Gen needed to fight her own battles in order to win them. But now, I think I made a mistake. Not because she needs a caretaker or a defender, but because she needs a friend. And that’s what friends do. They get each other’s backs. They believe in each other.”
“That’s what friends do?”
“What does a friend do when all the rumors and evidence show his friend to be something entirely different than what was originally believed?”
Where was he going with this? Chance’s throat tightened and another roll of thunder sounded from outside. “You follow your gut and heart.”
Chance met Walter’s eyes.
“I haven’t been a very good friend, then, have I, Chance?”
“No, you haven’t.”
Walter took a pull on his beer. “I’ve been a shitty brother, too, huh?”
“Your heart was in the right place.”
He set his beer down and swiveled on his stool to face Chance. “When Genny came and talked to me last night, she said I needed to pull my head out of my ass and look around.”
Chance laughed and picked up a pretzel. “Yeah, that too.” His heart kicked up a notch. She’d actually done it. She’d confronted her brother.
His phone buzzed again, and he let it roll over to voicemail. The woman next to him paid her tab and left.
“She also demanded full control of her finances.”
“She can do that stuff herself. You know that, right?”
“I do now. She was very…direct. On more than one occasion before she left my place last night, references were made to shoving large objects up a specific orifice on my body.”
Chance busted out laughing.
“I hadn’t realized she was quite so passionate.”
Passionate, yes. Passionate, giving…amazing. Chance took a sip of Dr Pepper to wash down the pretzel while Walter finished off his beer. “So, what do we do from here?”
“What do you want to do, Chance?”
“Well, I’d really like to spend time with your sister without having to kick your ass in order to do it.”
“I’d really like to not get my ass kicked. She did a good enough job of that already. Do you plan on taking her with you on your crazy adventures?”
His phone rang again. Fucking Michael. He was supposed to be on his honeymoon. Without checking the screen he answered. “What the hell do you want?”
There was a long silent pause where his heart hammered so hard, he was sure she could hear it over the line. “So, answer my brother’s question. Are you going to take me with you on your adventures?”
“Yes, I…” Thank God. He sagged in relief and set his glass down. “Hell, yes.”
“Hey, Doc!” Gen’s brunette friend slid onto the stool next to him. Andy grinned and placed a beer in front of her. Before he could answer, his body buzzed to life with awareness. She was near. Without seeing her, he knew. He could actually feel her presence—just like Gen had described when they were younger.
He spun on his stool to find her only feet away, one arm extended in front, the other bent slightly to protect her face as she moved toward him.
Exactly like before.
The hood to her raincoat was tipped back and her wet bangs matted against her forehead. Before her fingers made contact, she stopped, and so did his heart. She tilted her head and took a deep breath through her nose.
And instead of the stiffness Chance had expected, both siblings smiled. They were in on this together. Walter hadn’t picked this bar, she had.
“How long have you been standing there?”
She smiled, and his whole body became lighter. “Long enough to know you’ve got my back.” And then, she did the most amazing thing. Just like before, she reached forward and touched his chest, then worked her way up his neck to his face while he held his breath.
He closed his eyes, reveling in the feel of her touch on his face. Like before, she ran her thumb over his lip. And then she kissed him. Sweet and gentle at first, as if telling him everything was okay. Soon, the sweetness turned heated, and everything was better than okay. It was phenomenal, like her hands digging into the hair at the nape of his neck to pull him closer.