Home > Dirty Tricks (The Burke Brothers, #4)(3)

Dirty Tricks (The Burke Brothers, #4)(3)
Author: Emma Hart


Obviously, Leila was in charge of this run-in.

I put the mop back in the corner and take a deep breath to steady myself before I approach them again. Ignoring Leila’s eyes on me, I look at him. “Can I get you a drink?”

Kye Burke meets my eyes and studies me for a second that feels like a lifetime. I lick my lips and his gaze drops for a second. “Dr Pepper,” he answers, bringing his eyes back up again. “That’s her second, and she can’t drive now,” he explains, nodding toward Leila. “Lucky for her, I walked down here.”

“Not planned,” Leila deadpans, lifting her glass and finishing it. “But, hell. I’ll have another if he’s offering.”

I roll my eyes and grab her glass. Once I’ve filled it, I pull down a pint glass and, at Kye’s nod, fill it with Dr Pepper.

He hands me his card. “Her tab, too.”

Leila shrugs like the baby sister she is, so I run the transaction through and hand him the receipt to sign. He scribbles on the line, and I shove it into the register without a second thought.

“You know, most chicks are thrilled when I give them my autograph.”

“And most girls don’t realize that rock stars are all arrogant bastards.” I smile sweetly.

His autograph my ass. Every business owner and bartender in Shelton Bay knows the Burke boys have two ways of signing their name—one is their actual signature, and the other is all fancy for their rabid little fangirls.

“And the cell number on your Facebook is your current one,” he shoots back, holding the screen of his phone in my direction.

I frown and grab it out of his hand, focusing in on the details. Fuck. He’s right. How the hell did that happen? I’d swear I haven’t updated that for months. “Crap,” I mutter, handing the phone back to him. His fingers touch mine with a warm brush as he takes it.

“Internet,” Leila snorts. “Log in once and it knows your life story.”

Kye raises an eyebrow and looks at her. “After your walk of shame through Europe, you should make a point to avoid it.”

“Look, just because I got laid more than you . . .”

He turns his attention back to me. “You can refuse to serve her, right?”

“I can, but I’m not gonna lie, I wanna see where she’s going with this.” I lean forward and rest my forearms on the bar. “Lei?”

She winks. “Kye, just because I got laid more than you while I was away doesn’t mean I’m ashamed. Maybe I should write about it. I could see doing a book, actually. Young Southern girl travels to Europe and meets sexy European men, then proceeds to get brains screwed out of—”

“Please refuse to serve her,” Kye interrupts. “I’m gonna have a fuckin’ aneurysm if I have to listen to more of this shit.”

Leila sits up straight, clearly affronted. “What, because I’m a girl, I can’t sleep with people and not care? If I were you, I’d be celebrated for it. Hell, all y’all have been celebrated for it just because you have a cock. If I had one, you’d be high-fiving me.”

I purse my lips and slide my eyes to Kye. She has a point.

“Sis, you can sleep with who you want. But the idea of some asshole having, ugh, sex with my little sister makes me want to chase him down and rip his balls off.”

My gaze travels back to Leila. Good answer.

“So? Maybe I’ve wanted to slice the nipples off every chick you’ve ever slept with.” She looks at me. “No offense, Chels.”

My cheeks burn.

“But I’ve never called you on it,” Leila continues.

“Actually,” Kye responds, “you have. A lot. You called me on it after . . . well, Chels.”

“That’s because she’s my friend.”

“You didn’t call Aidan on Jessie.”

“Maybe I like Chels more.”

“When did I become the focal point of your fight?” I raise my eyebrows. “Can you take me out of it, please? I’d rather my private life not be common knowledge in town. Because, you know, some of us value our privacy.”

That and we’ve managed to keep our little . . . encounter . . . relatively private for a month. Which is unheard of in Shelton Bay.

I don’t have the words to express how much I’d like to keep it that way. Private. Secret. Unheard of except by his family and my best friend. Who is, oddly, probably closer to being my family than my actual family at this point.

The hottest rock star of the eighties and nineties, Lukas Young, is my father. Everyone expected me to be someone. To do something amazing.

I work in a bar in small-town South Carolina. I’m a simple girl with simple dreams. I just happen to have a complicated past. . . . One I’d prefer to stay there.

If it were to become common knowledge that I had my way with Kye Burke one night . . . It doesn’t bear thinking about. I’d be pushed to . . .

Well.

Do things I don’t want to do. Like . . . be in the public eye. Maybe even follow in my father’s footsteps and sing. God only knows there’s been enough speculation over what my future would hold, especially since I was thrust into his limelight several years ago.

“Chelsey?”

I snap out of yet another trance at the sound of my coworker’s voice, Clarissa. If she’s here, my shift is over. “Sorry. What?”

“You can go,” she says slowly, her eyes dancing between me and the two Burke siblings sitting at the bar. Both of their glasses are empty.

“You need a ride?” Kye asks, pushing his stool back but not getting up.

“Nah, I’m good. It isn’t raining or snowing. I can walk.”

“It’s freezing out there,” Clarissa offers. “Icy as hell.”

“I’m good,” I reassure her, tugging my shirt down self-consciously. I glance at Leila. She’s grinning, but it’s a knowing, shit-eating, determined grin. The kind of smile that only a best friend can get away with.

Instead of reacting to it, I shake my head, take my register drawer, and disappear into the back room. I sit and count it out carefully, record it, then put the cash in the safe. My coat and scarf are hanging on the peg with my purse where I left them when I arrived, and I wrap up warmly, pulling my gloves from my purse before stepping back out into the bar. Shelton Bay rarely gets snow, but the temperature drops low enough over the winter that you definitely notice it. If it weren’t for the lack-of-snow thing, I’d wonder if the whole town was teleported to the Northeast every winter. Usually you can at least forgo the scarf by late February, but this year the sea breeze is bitingly cold, and leaving the scarf at home is a mere dream.

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