Home > Good Trouble (Gator Bait MC #2)

Good Trouble (Gator Bait MC #2)
Author: Lani Lynn Vale

 


Blurb

Bain met Diana, a.k.a. Luce, the night before he was set to deploy to Afghanistan.

It’s not every day that you take your brother’s girlfriend to prom because he refuses to put out the effort.

That night was one of the best nights of his life and the next day, he leaves and doesn’t see her again.

But there are letters. Not many, but enough for them to form a connection.

Over the two-year deployment, they became great friends.

The best of friends—at least, as good of friends as you can be when it’s your brother’s wife.

Fast-forward six years and she still counts him as one of her greatest friends. Even going as far as to stick by him when he’s sent to prison because his own brother turned on him.

• • •

Luce had a crush on her then-boyfriend’s brother since way before she and Bain’s brother were married. From the moment he volunteered to take her to prom, she’d fallen.

Over the years, she’d tried to hide it. Tried to go on with her life and act like she loved her husband and only her husband. But as time went on and Braxton started to treat her more and more like crap, she realized the truth. Her husband wasn’t Bain. Her husband would never be him.

Hell, that’d been proven time and time again.

The smoking gun, though? The thing that made her realize it was time to leave?

When her husband stood by while she was assaulted, while the man she tried to act like was just a friend protected her. Then was sentenced to eight years in jail for it.

It was time to admit the truth.

Bain McDempsey was it for her. She just had to help him see it. Oh, and get him out of prison first.

 

 

PROLOGUE

Marry the man that makes your heart happy. Not the man that makes your brain understand.

-Luce’s secret thoughts

BAIN


I sat back in my chair and grinned.

Today was the last day that I would be home for a while and it definitely was nothing less than comical.

Why?

Because my brother, who was two years younger than me, was a complete dumbass.

Why was he a dumbass?

Because he didn’t want to go to prom.

Actually, he’d done one better than that.

He’d asked his current girlfriend to prom, she’d said yes and the day that it was supposed to happen—i.e., fuckin’ today—he’d backed out and said he wasn’t interested in going anymore.

Which led us to now.

His girlfriend, the Lucille Ball lookalike, was standing in our kitchen, dressed to the nines. Meanwhile, Braxton had his arms crossed over his chest and he was still dressed in his workout clothes from earlier.

They were supposed to leave an hour ago, yet, there he was, still refusing to go even though I could tell it meant a lot to her.

“Please, Braxton. I really want to go,” the girl pleaded.

I still didn’t know her name.

Braxton hadn’t mentioned her in the entire week that I’d been home, which was telling.

Braxton was a complete and utter dick at the best of times. He may be my brother, but he definitely wasn’t my favorite person in the world. And the reason why was currently staring me in the face.

“Just go,” I suggested. “You’ll only get to do prom once. It’s your senior year.”

Braxton lifted a lip at me in disgust. “If I wanted your input, soldier, I would’ve asked for it.”

I rolled my eyes. “I’m Navy. I’m not a soldier.”

Braxton knew that. I’d corrected him about eight thousand times this week. Yet, he’d found a new way to insult me, so he did it every second that he could.

My brother, the asshole.

“Boys,” my mother said. “Let’s not start this again. We’ve been playing this game all week. Now, Braxton, go get dressed. You made a commitment, you’ll follow through.”

I snorted.

Which pissed my brother off to the point where he was coming off his lean against the counter and about to head toward me.

“No.” My dad intercepted him before he could take even a step toward me. “Go get dressed.”

“I’m not going,” Braxton denied. “You can’t make me. I’m eighteen.”

“I can’t make you, no,” Dad agreed. “But I can make you pay me back for that tux that you made me rent you. Or the stupid Hummer you begged and pleaded for when you told me it would be the perfect vehicle to take your date to prom in.”

My dad was a pushover. A pushover that had a lot of money to spare.

He worked as an engineer at a chemical plant. Meanwhile, my mother worked as an engineer at the competing chemical plant in the next county.

Between the two of them, they were plenty rich enough to buy us everything we wanted.

One child—me—didn’t want them to pay for anything. I went out of my way to pay my own way.

Meanwhile, Braxton was still on the tit. He would milk my family of everything and anything that he could. He would do anything to make that happen as long as he didn’t have to work.

He was the proverbial spoiled rotten kid.

God, sometimes I hated him.

“I’ll take her,” I said out of the blue.

My mother and father both looked at me. Braxton looked at me. Braxton’s nondate looked at me.

For the last hour, the girl had been standing in our kitchen bitching at Braxton all because he wouldn’t take her to prom.

Not that I really wanted to go myself when I was their age, but I definitely went. Because that was just one of those things you did in high school. You went to prom. It was a core memory.

“What will you wear?” she asked carefully, considering it.

I could see the wheels turning in her head. She definitely wasn’t opposed.

I could also see the excitement. She really wanted to go, and she didn’t have to go with her boyfriend to be happy.

Plus, I could see that it was pissing Braxton off that I offered to go with her.

“I have my Navy dress uniform.” I grinned.

“Dee…” Braxton started, hesitant now.

“Sweet.” She clapped giddily. “Let’s go!”

“Diana.” Braxton snapped.

Diana looked at him, dismissed him, then looked at my parents. “Thank you for being patient with me.”

“Go get that uniform on,” my mom teased.

Dress whites for the win.

“Awesome.” Her eyes lit. “When can you be ready?”

I looked at my watch. “Five minutes?”

I’d already shaved. My hair was trimmed. My body was ready for bed—since that’d been where I’d been headed before the beautiful girl had walked in.

“Sweet. I’ll wait outside,” she said, tossing Braxton a dismissive glare before she walked right out the door.

I took the stairs two at a time and was ready in two minutes, not five.

Snatching the keys to the old truck that I’d planned on leaving in Dad’s barn, I took the stairs two at a time and arrived outside to find Braxton arguing with Luce.

“Listen, Diana,” Braxton growled. “I just want to stay in tonight. Can we please just watch a movie?”

Diana immediately disagreed. “No. I’m going to prom. With or without you. Sorry.”

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