“You think you’re better than me?” He turns to the other man then the author. “You’re right. He is a comedian. He’s a rather comical riot. This one actually thinks he’s better than me.”
“I am. I’m better than you’ll ever be. I think it’s good we don’t share the same last name.”
The author sits shocked as she looks from one to the other.
“What do you mean? What crazy is he talking about? I’ve known you all my life. We grew up in the same household. I think I would know your name.”
The younger of the two men chuckles as he runs his hand over the soft curls on top of his head.
“We don’t share the same last name. Not on paper.”
The author sits with her mouth agape, popcorn forgotten. One piece still hanging from her lip.
“The fuck you say? Now, I know you’re bullshitting me. There’s no fucking way.”
The darker of the two look to the author and taps her chin.
“Close your mouth, Beautiful. Certain people might get ideas if you continue to leave it open.” He winks and she could swear she saw a twinkle in his hazel brown gaze. “Yes, there is a way. If you don’t believe me then check the papers.”
Sliding a folder across the table to the older male, he waits for him to open it.
“Well … damn. Leave it to Mr. Pan himself to go and fly off becoming the first of us to bear an entirely different weight than the others.”
The smug, pompous smile slips from the younger man’s features.
“You told me you’d never use that name again. We locked in the names we were going to use.”
A deep chuckled fills the room as the older man ran a hand over his beard.
“I’ll pull that card out anytime I need to reign your shiny ass in.”
It’s the younger of the two’s turn to laugh.
“Better than your decrepit ass. You can admit it. You’ve always been jealous of me and all of my bronzed magnificence.”
The author taps her chin and snickers as she turns to face her computer.
“Hey Beautiful, don’t go getting any ideas over there. This is just the two of us brothers talking.”
She nods her head, bopping to the music only she can hear. The two men begin to grow louder with their verbal protests. Reaching up, she taps a wooden plaque on one of the shelves of the hutch to her desk.
“Cute. She’s really cute with the little sign that says, ‘I’m an author, whatever you say or do is likely to be put in a book. Thanks for stopping by’. None of this should be added to either of our stories.”
The younger one runs a hand over his face.
“Read the header. Is it your add on or my story? Mine’s fresh. You had to go and shift things. Now, you’re …”
”This one’s not on me, Pan. You had to go and be the ass who puffed up and wanted to preen for all the world to see. You gave her ideas.”
“Why is it the youngest always gets blamed for everything?”
The author begins to giggle as her fingers fly across the keys.
“This is going to be fantastic. I can’t wait for my readers to get this. Oh, and you’re both to blame. You shouldn’t be so … well, you know. Don’t mind me. Continue!”
Both groan then walk away grumbling leaving the author to her mechanisms as another walks up. Both men close the space between them, making a barrier using their bodies.
“What’s going on, guys?”
The new male’s voice cracks on the last word. A low rumble comes from that side of the room.
“Leave her. She’s busy and in that twisted mood where she just as easily kill you off as she would set you up to take a fall with that new mafia dude that has been hanging around.”
“He does seem like the type to take the fall. Did you hear the slight hitch in his voice?”
The two brothers share a laugh as they retreat to their neutral corners with their drinks of choice. The third male walks up slowly behind the author.
“Excuse me. Um … ma’am. I was just wondering …”
And the male with the small voice that continued to squeak even after he’d finish speaking was shot twice. He’d been warned but didn’t take it seriously.
Both Cross and his youngest brother’s laughter joined the almost diabolical laughter of the author.
Things just got interesting.