Kennick:A Volanis Brothers Novel

By: Meg Jackson

“You guy’s aren’t….you’re not…” she said, stammering, looking down at the stack with growing disappointment. Gypsies. The last time that park had been full, it’d been full of gypsies. And these guys, their business licenses, their thirty friends and families…well, it added up. So much for guardian angels. When she looked back up, the smiles were gone from the three men’s faces, replaced by cold resignation. Immediately, she regretted the thoughts she’d been having, the way she’d clearly started judging them before even thinking about it. Mustering up her bravery once more, she smiled as wide as she could.

“Well, at any rate, we’re happy to have you here,” she said, hoping to sound genuine. Cristov and Damon exchanged a glance. When they looked back at her, Cristov’s eyes were cold, but Damon looked impassive as ever, maybe even a little forgiving. For some reason, she couldn’t bring herself to look at Kennick.

“You should know,” she said as he turned to leave once more, apparently through with the conversation. He barely turned back, but she’d take it. “Kingdom’s not doing so well. I hope…I hope these all work out for you.” She raised her arms full of folders. “It would really mean a lot to our town, if we could get some new businesses and…and just maybe, you know, try to turn things around a bit.”

She knew she wasn’t exactly doing the town any favors by advertising its rather glum financial state, and that any smart businessman would have heard that and immediately pulled all the brakes, but she felt compelled to make up for the way she’d offended them earlier by laying the truth out, full disclosure.

There was a pause as Kennick studied her over his shoulder. But when his face broke into a crooked grin, she felt her breath leaving her body in a relieving sigh. She hadn’t released how much her shoulders had tensed, how much she’d wanted him to smile at her again.

“To answer your earlier question,” he said, eyes flicking to his brothers quickly before turning back to her. “We sure as hell are. And damn proud of it, too.”

With that, he turned around fully, and spreading his arms like a bird moved in between his brothers, clapping them on the shoulders and striding down the hall, each step matched up perfectly. Kim looked down, head buzzing.

It would take her a while to look through all this paperwork, even if she was doing it just to slake her own curiosity. Plus, she’d be able to see whether or not there was anything the men had missed. She’d hate to think of anything getting delayed over uncrossed T’s or undotted I’s. Kingdom didn’t have time to wait. She wouldn’t make it to the gym. But man oh man, was she looking forward to that pint.

Chapter Four

The voices in the trailer were a mix of masculine, barely hushed, and feminine, loud enough to brawl.

“I told you to get the fuck out of here,” Mina yelled, followed by an exasperated grunt.

“C’mon, Mina, we’ve known each other forever. Don’t tell me you’re interested in some other asshole.”

“It’s none of your business who I’m interested in, Jenner. The only thing your sorry ass needs to know is that I’m not interested in you,” Mina hissed.

Cristov, Damon, and Kennick exchanged looks, waiting right outside.

“Let me just…oof!”

The door swung open and Jenner Surry stumbled forward, holding his gut in both hands. Mina’s face appeared behind him, fury painting her cheeks red, her green eyes flashing.

“Fuckin’ lowlife,” Cristov sneered at the doubled-over man, who met his glare with one of his own.

“Screw off, Volanis,” Jenner said, slightly breathless but regaining himself quickly.

“Leave our sister alone,” Kennick said, looking steadily at the man. Jenner was about thirty, brown-eyed and blonde-haired, tall and wide – but Cristov and Kennick towered over him, and Damon’s muscles put Jenner’s to shame.

“She’s doing a good enough job taking care of that herself,” Jenner said, rising to his full height. “Bitch won’t ever get married with that attitude.”

Damon advanced, fists tense already, but Kennick held him back with a hand on his arm.

“What’s your angle, anyway, Jenner? Think that if you marry Mina you’ll be able to wrangle Kennick’s title?” Cristov asked, spitting on the ground. “That’s not how that shit works.”

“I don’t need to marry a Volanis to get what I deserve,” Jenner huffed. “But you boys would be mighty grateful to still be in the family when it happens.”

“Stop talking about me like I’m not here!” Mina shrieked from the doorway.

“What you deserve,” Kennick smirked. “You’ve got a problem with perspective. From where I’m standing, you deserve something, but it’s not a chance at rom baro.”

“You’re gonna fuck this up, Kennick,” Jenner said, moving within punching distance of the man. “We should never have come here. I wouldn’t have dragged the whole kumpania to the one damn town we shouldn’t be in, just to settle some dead man’s score.”

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