Duke's Redemption

Page 68

I head out the front door and meet my brothers before they can hit the porch.
“What the hell are you two jugheads doing here?” I ask.
“Momma told us you got yourself a pretty new girlfriend, and we didn’t believe her,” Devon says.
The younger of the two, Tanner, says, “Figured we had to come see for ourselves.”
I ask, “So, you just come by unannounced?”
Tanner smiles. “We knew if we called, you’d say no. Weren’t you the one who taught us that sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission?”
I sigh. “Should have known that one would bite me in the ass.”
Devon looks up at the house. “So, where is she? Or did you pay some girl to pretend to be your girlfriend in front of Momma?”
Tanner adds, “Is yourrealgirlfriend more of the blow-up variety?”
“No, fuckers,” I growl. “She’s inside.”
Devon draws out a long, “Suuuuuuuuuure.”
Just when I’m about to pummel them both into the ground, the front door opens, and Avery walks out onto the porch. The three of us turn to look at her. She still has some flecks of paint all over her tank top, but she got the ones off her face. She took her hair down and put on a pair of jean shorts.
“Hey, boys,” she says, walking down the stairs and coming toward us. When she reaches me, she stops and puts her arm around my waist. “I’m Avery.”
Since my brothers appear to be too stunned to speak, I say, “Avery, this is Devon, and this is Tanner.”
She smiles. “Nice to meet you. I’ve heard good things.”
That gets a loud cackle out of Tanner. “Oh, she’s pretty, Duke, but she’s a liar.”
I say, “Well, they just wanted to stop by to prove your existence, but they really must be going.”
Her hand playfully smacks my chest. “Oh, stop. You boys want to come inside? I’ve got beer, and I’ll order us a couple of pizzas.”
Both of their faces light up as they thank her, and we head inside. Avery leads the way, and I can see Tanner staring at her ass as she walks. I give a quick slap to the back of his head and shoot him a look that tells him to knock it the fuck off.
He leans in close so that no one else can hear him. “Sorry, man, she’s got a nice ass.”
“Yeah, I know,” I tell him. “And it’smine.”
When we are inside, Avery sets four beers down on the table and says, “Sorry about the mess. Renovations don’t exactly make for a clean house.”
Devon says, “No worries. My place isn’t going through a single renovation, and it probably looks worse than this place.”
She asks us all what we like on our pizza and then pulls out her phone to do a search for what’s close.
“Just call Moe’s,” Tanner says.
“Moe’s?” She asks.
“Avery is from Boston,” I inform them. “She hasn’t gotten to taste the fine Italian cuisine known as Moe’s.”
Both of my brothers gasp, and Tanner cries, “Well, we will just have to fix that! I’ll go call and order real quick.”
While he’s gone, Avery says, “Okay, what’s the deal with Moe’s? Is there something special about it?”
I shake my head. “Not really. It’s good; don’t get me wrong, but it’s not life-changing or anything. It’s just the only place in town.”