Dirty Brothers

By: Penny Wylder


Driving through the town I grew up in is surreal. I haven’t been back here in years. Everything looks exactly the same. I drive by my old high school. The exact same banner announcing prom is hung out front. It’s as though I’ve stepped back in time, back to when I had a crush on the wealthy bad boy, when he snuck over to my house to make out the night of my sister’s prom.

Next time someone warns me about the bad boy in town, I’ll be sure to listen.

I’m thinking of old times when a car speeds past me. The roar of the souped-up motor scares the shit out of me and my car hops the curb, spilling my coffee down the front of my white shirt.

“Sonofabitch,” I say and grit my teeth against the burn. I throw my middle finger out the window. Good thing the coffee wasn’t fresh. It’s still hot enough to be uncomfortable against my skin, though. I look toward the car which is now just a blue speck in the distance. It’s too far away now to see a license plate, or even the make of the car. From the short glimpse I got of it, it looked expensive. Probably some insecure little man trying to overcompensate for something he lacks downstairs. Needless to say, I’m pissed.

There’s nothing I can do about it now but cuss and complain to myself the entire way to my father’s bakery. I didn’t want to come back in the first place, but now I’m really in a bad mood and want to be here even less.

The little bell above the bakery door jingles as I walk in. There’s no one else in the front. Business obviously isn’t booming. The place could use a coat of paint and new furniture.

My dad is probably in the back of the store. I’m supposed to meet my sister here to try and help my dad out of a financial bind he’s gotten himself into. I guess it’s a good thing she’s always late. I can use this time to get the stain out of my shirt and look halfway presentable.

I head toward the back of the bakery down a long hall toward the unisex bathroom. Inside, I look in the mirror and realize it’s worse than I thought. I take the shirt off. I probably shouldn’t have worn this turquoise bra underneath it. It’s ill-fitting as well. The tops of my breasts spill out of the cups. I’m all cleavage. I was in a rush when I left and couldn’t find another clean bra so I wore what was available.

I scrub the stain with the powdered soap from the dispenser and hope for the best. I get most of the stain out. I’m drying the shirt under the hand dryer when the door swings open. I yelp in surprise and drop my shirt to the floor.

I’m surprised and confused at first seeing the person in the doorway, but then I look into a set of eyes as blue as a summer sky and my heart skitters. I’ve only seen eyes that blue on one person and they belonged to a ghost from my past. And here he is again, back to haunt me.

I scramble to put my shirt back on. It’s still wet and clings to me like a second skin. There’s nothing I can do about it. I try to hide my breasts the best I can but my cleavage is more than my little hands can handle.

“What the hell are you doing here?” I snap at him.

Thomas Logan’s large body fills the doorway

in a suit that belongs on the runways of New York—not in the suburbs of Boston. How is it possible that he looks better than he did in high school? It’s been ten years since I’ve seen him last. Why can’t he be bald or fat? Instead he looks like some kind of super hero trying—and failing miserably—to blend in with the rest of the world. It’s not difficult to tell the body of a Greek god is concealed under those expensive clothes. His dark hair is meticulous, his face smooth and angular, chiseled to perfection. I can’t believe it’s really him.

He doesn’t say anything at first. Just smirks at me.

“Well?” I say.

“What else do people do at bakeries?”

He doesn’t look like the type of guy to frequent a rundown bakery. He doesn’t look like the type who would ingest anything into his perfect body that isn’t organic or made from the finest ingredients.

“Well, the bathroom is occupied,” I say.

“I can see that.”

His eyes flicker with humor and his gaze lingers on my breasts a beat too long before he looks back at my face.