7 Months (Time for Love)

By: Bethany Lopez

Time for Love Series Book 7

Chapter One ~ Brady

Girls were screaming, shouting, calling out our names, but I blocked it all out. Instead, I focused on the music, on my drums, and forgot about the crowd. I’d gotten good at it over the years, blocking out the women, ignoring the groupies … they weren’t the reason I played; I played for my brothers.

Truth be told, I’d much rather play with them in my garage, or Brock’s back patio, than in the bars we’d been playing for years. I loved the music, and what it felt like to share creatively with my brothers, but I couldn’t care less about the rest of it.

I didn’t want fame, or the limelight, and I certainly didn’t want the adoration of a woman who knew nothing about me other than that I rocked out on stage. I’d always left that to my youngest brother, Brendan, our lead singer and front man.

Brendan had always loved the spotlight, lived for it even, but now he was married and happy to go home every night to his pregnant wife.

And, Brock, our oldest brother, well, he was married with two kids at home.

Which meant, unfortunately, that I was now an even bigger target for the fans of Whiskey Heat.

The lone single brother. The only member of the band they had any chance of going home with … which was laughable, since I’d never taken a woman home after a set. I never even stayed to bask in their adoration. I always left alone, so they should know they had no chance of catching this fish, which only seemed to make me more desirable.

“Are you kidding me?” Brendan joked before the show. “You’re tall, dark and brooding. You never pick up the panties they throw at you, and you ignore the cleavage they offer. You’re a challenge. You glowering at them from behind your kit, then leaving every night without a backwards glance, is half the reason why these women come to our shows. They get off on that shit.”

“Shut up,” had been my response, but my brothers had both just grinned at me.

I glared out at the crowd as Brendan introduced the next song, and I noticed Natalie was serving Bronagh, Brendan’s wife, and her friends Ming and Cass. I watched as she maneuvered through the throng of women, head slightly down as she averted her eyes, trying to disappear right in the middle of everyone.

Nat had been going through a rough time. She’d finally left her verbally abusive husband and was trying to get a divorce. It was difficult, because Zeke, her husband, had gone off the grid. Totally disappeared. It was hard to divorce someone you couldn’t find. I’d only spoken to her about it a couple of times, but my partner and I were keeping our eyes peeled and ears to the ground. We’d find that asshole eventually.

My head swiveled back and I caught Ming’s eye right as the song began to start and I closed my eyes.

I knew she’d seen me looking after Nat.

Ming didn’t miss a beat.

Intelligent, observant, and highly attuned to everything around her, Ming was Bronagh’s best friend and a damn good lawyer.

She’d had a crush on me since we’d met over a year ago. The way she watched me, as if I were a wild animal that she wanted to tame, had been strange at first, but I’d gotten used to it. Ming wasn’t the type I usually went for, and I wasn’t hers. We’d never had a serious conversation about anything, still, there was no denying that she was a very attractive woman. I found her interest in me very flattering, and a bit of a turn on.

As the music consumed me and the drumsticks flew over my skins as if they controlled themselves, I thought back seven months to the night of my graduation party at Brendan and Bronagh’s.

I’d successfully graduated from the police academy and was feeling proud and a little nervous about what was to come. Brendan had invited everyone. All of the friends and people from the bar, people Brock and I had worked with at O’Malley Brother’s, which meant I was really uncomfortable.

Being in large groups wasn’t my scene. I’d go to the parties and barbecues, but I usually separated myself from the crowd and didn’t stay long. I knew my brothers were close with Cal, Shelly, TJ, Sasha, Scott, and Gaby, but I wasn’t.

I mean, TJ was my boy … He was a talented mechanic and had restored my 1966 Chevelle Malibu. Plus, he was a funny dude. Sasha, his wife, was cool too, and I didn’t mind Cal and Shelly, although I didn’t know them all that well. But, Scott and Gaby? I never said it out loud, but could admit to myself that I’d never forgiven them for the way they’d screwed over Brock.

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