Home > Stone Deep (Stone Brothers #3)

Stone Deep (Stone Brothers #3)
Tess Oliver, Anna Hart

Chapter 1

Slade

Jade dropped her arm around me. “Amy and I have decided you can’t go to Alaska.” Her words were a little stretched from drink, which, for Jade, meant two beers instead of one.

Amy grabbed my arm on the other side. “That’s right. We’re going to tie you up and keep you hostage.”

I lifted a brow at her. “I like where this is going. And if you weren’t married to my very scary big brother, I would be completely turned on right now.”

Amy released my arm and smacked it. “Oh my god, you can turn any conversation dirty.”

“Yep, a skill I’ve had perfected since I was fifteen when the only thing occupying my brain was girls and making out.”

“Then I guess that makes you mentally stunted at fifteen.” Jade laughed but her smile faded quickly. “Seriously, couldn’t you just stay here and continue working for that big ruddy-faced Captain Dill or Dell or whoever?”

Amy took a sip of my beer. She was sliding over to the long, slow words side of drunk too. “I guess the probability of being maimed or drowned isn’t quite high enough on a small fishing trawler. Slade prefers the threat of a horrible death to hang over him. Gives him a fucking hard on.”

Again, I lifted a brow at her. “Look who’s talking dirty now.” I lifted my arms and placed one each around Jade and Amy, a move that would have gotten any of the other guys in the bar a sound pummeling from Hunter and Colt. I’d grown to love them both like sisters. They were worried about the possibility of me working on a crab fishing boat on the Bering Sea. It made me smile to think about. I couldn’t ever remember anyone, not even my parents—especially not my parents—being worried about me. It felt nice.

“First of all, I only went for the interview. My fishing experience isn’t that tight. There’s a good chance I won’t even get the position. But if I do, the money is a lot better up there. Yeah, it comes with some danger, but I didn’t earn the nickname Bolt for nothing. My reflexes are fast like lightning, and I’m a Stone. I’m tough as fucking granite.”

Amy finished the last drops of my beer. “No one calls you Bolt.”

“They don’t?” I pretended shock. “Well, they fucking should. Maybe you should start the tradition, and others will follow. Look, Street, everyone is moving on here. You’re a friggin’ bar owner now.” I waved my arm around Lazy Daze. Six months after she’d married my brother, Hunter, she’d bought the bar. Jack, the owner of Lazy Daze, had given her a great deal on buying the place. She’d gotten insurance money after her mother’s house burned down, and she’d sold the lot it sat on too. She’d already made some improvements and even expanded the place to add a pool hall, a place where Hunter spent most of his free time. I squeezed Jade on the other side of me. “Jade is selling real estate.”

“I haven’t actually sold anything yet,” she said.

“You will. Colt and Hunter are doing their thing with fixing up that old house to sell. For me, I love working on the water. It’s the only trait I inherited from my old man.”

“Thank goodness for that,” Amy said.

My dad had been one of the worst assholes to ever walk the planet, but there was no way to deny that he’d been a good fisherman. If nothing else, people could say that about him.

“If I get the job, I’ll only be gone for a few months in fall and winter, and I promise to come home alive and with all my limbs.”

Jade leaned forward to look at Amy. “Do you know what this boy needs?”

“A steady girlfriend?” Amy replied.

“Yep.”

I leaned my head back against the seat of the booth. “Holy shit, here we go again. You girls don’t get it. I’m perfectly happy on my own. I’m a free fucking spirit, and I intend to keep it that way.” I kissed each girl on the forehead. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, Jessica Grimly promised me an extremely raunchy good time, and I see her winking at me from across the room.”

Amy slid out of the booth to get back to work. I followed her. “Hey, Street, can I borrow the key to that little room in back?”

“This is not a brothel, buddy.”

“No cash will be involved. I’m only going to be paying for this with my sweat and my—”

Amy pressed her hand over my mouth. “Shut up. No details. The key is in the office, and don’t you dare break anything in there.”

“Me? What kind of a sex-crazed maniac do you take me for?”

“You don’t really want me to answer that, do you?” Amy patted my chest. “Besides, Jessica makes you look like a damn monk, so tell her to keep the screaming down to a mild roar. This is a respectable drinking establishment.”

Colt and Hunter were just coming out of the pool room as I walked out of the office with the key.

“Where are you headed?” Colt asked.

“Back room with the very willing and very wild Jessica.” I looked back across the bar. Jessica licked her bottom lip and winked. I turned back to my brothers. “She used the words raunchy and punishing. You know I’m all about that. But I’ve got to remind her about her fingernails. I hate the fucking fingernails.”

“Then I guess a game of pool is out,” Hunter said.

“No, of course I’d much rather shoot colorful balls across felt than tie that hot little sweetie up and give her the spanking she’s been begging for all night.”

“Hey, boys,” Jessica’s sultry twang sounded behind me. She turned to me. “I just heard that you are heading up north to work on one of those crab fishing boats.” She stepped in between Hunter and me. “First Colt gets snapped up. Then Hunter gets hitched. And now the last of the hunky Stone brothers is shipping off to Alaska. You guys just threw cold water on every local girl’s fantasy.”

“The fantasy is still standing right here.” I pounded my chest like Tarzan.

She smiled. “No, I meant the fantasy of a foursome with all the Stone brothers.” She punctuated her words with a nice purse of her lips.

Hunter looked at her. “You mean all of us at once?”

“Yep.” She tucked her hands in her back pockets to give us all a nice view of her ample tits. “All three of you in bed at once wearing just those famous Stone smiles and your tattoos.”

We glanced around at each other, and a simultaneous look of disgust crossed my brothers’ faces.

“Shit, yuck, that’s fucking never going to happen,” I said. “Here’s the key, Jess. I’ll be right there.”

We watched her sashay away. “Damn,” I muttered, “I guess if I leave, and with you two wearing your powder blue, old man sweaters waiting for your little women to serve you meatloaf in front of the television, the women around here are going to be wandering the town dazed and horny and wondering how the hell such a dark shadow fell over our little town.”

“First of all, the day I show up in a powder blue, old man sweater is the day someone needs to put a bullet in my head,” Colt said. “And the fishing gig would only be a few months. Just think of the welcome home you’d get.” He patted my shoulder. “But, if you do get the job, it’s not going to be the same around here without you.”

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