When his bedroom door slammed back into the wall, it startled Brandon so badly he almost fell off his chair. Christ! He'd forgotten how annoying that was!
"Bran-baby!" Ethan hollered at top volume. The guy simply had no 'inside' voice. "How's it goin', man?"
"Don't call me that," Brandon said, the words as automatic as breathing—even after all this time. He sighed, closed the book, and reluctantly raised his eyes. His heart paused and then thumped, same as it always did when he looked at his older brother.
Ethan hadn't changed.
Sure, his hair was a bit longer. The ebony waves hung down past his shoulders now. It looked good on him. Then again, what didn't? And he had more tattoos. At least two that Brandon could see: one trailing up his throat to just behind his left ear, and the other a full arm sleeve down to his right wrist. His brother's black mesh tank top showed both off quite well. It also showcased the piercings in his nipples. Those were new. Big, fat, silver hoops that matched the pair in his ears.
Basically, though, he looked the same. He was sexy as hell in his trademark black leather pants that rode way low on his hips to show off the cut 'V' of his groin, and knee-high, shit-kicker boots.
Their mother must have been so thrilled by his brother's appearance. Brandon himself was... well, okay, thrilled by his brother's appearance, but there was no fucking way he'd let him know!
Ethan's coffee-dark eyes twinkled as Brandon looked him over. Those eyes were the only things that truly differentiated the pair, despite the three year difference in their ages. Brandon's were green. Other than that, they could have been twins: same high cheekbones, same pointed chin and razor straight nose. Wait. No. Brandon's nose wasn't straight anymore. It had a small but noticeable hump. 'Cause this asshole had broken it.
So keep that in mind, he told his dick. Just keep it in mind, fella. His dick couldn't care less about his goddamn nose, all it cared about was the wet dream standing in Brandon's doorway. He was rock-hard and Ethan hadn't even stepped fully into the room yet. Fuck, why couldn't his brother have just stayed gone?
"Ah, baby," Ethan purred, dropping his duffel at his feet. "Why ya gotta be like that? You know you love it." He held out his arms. "Step up and give us a hug, yeah?"
He'd picked up a bit of an accent. Brandon guessed nineteen months in England might do that to a guy. It sounded amazingly sexy combined with Ethan's natural, smoky rasp. There was a very good reason he was the frontman of Vancouver's latest up-and-coming punk band.
Brandon sighed and stood up, glancing down to make sure his shirttails covered his erection. "You want a hug, Ethan?" he asked, his own voice barely above a whisper. Who was Ethan kidding? The last time they'd seen each other he couldn't get away from Brandon's arms fast enough. Now he wanted a hug? "Then you fuckin' step up." Brandon held out his own arms, the gesture more of a challenge than a welcome.
Ethan strode into the room and swept Brandon into his arms. He smelled good. Sooo good. Without his conscious consent, Brandon found himself hugging his brother back, the embrace just this side of desperate.
"Look at you," Ethan murmured, his nose tucked into the wicked sensitive spot just under Brandon's chin. His firm, silky lips moved against the column of Brandon's throat.
Brandon attempted to step back, but Ethan's arms tightened around Brandon's waist. "You're a giant," he said, smiling that goddamned devastating smile of his. "Bet you get all the girls, huh?"
Arms still wrapped loose around his brother's shoulders, Brandon grimaced and said, "Not so much. I'm gay, Ethan."
He didn't know what to make of the flare that lit Ethan's eyes. He'd expected his brother to step away at his pronouncement. Hell, leap away.
Ethan didn't leap away. He just nodded and gave Brandon's waist another squeeze. "Ahh," he sighed. "I thought maybe that was a phase." His hot, pink tongue darted out to tease across his lower lip. He had incredible lips, the top fine and perfectly shaped, the bottom lush and full.
Brandon tracked the movement, helpless not to. "Not so much," he said again. His voice had turned husky. Hopefully, Ethan wouldn't notice.
"All the boys, then," Ethan said, lifting his shoulder in a shrug. "Whatever. Just saying you're hot, bro." He ruffled his hand through Brandon's hair and finally, finally, stepped back. Brandon had to make a very concerted effort to stay upright, and not just sag into a boneless slump of relief and, if he were to be completely candid, regret.
"You've got a great bod," Ethan went on, walking back to the door. "Great hair..."
Brandon pushed his hand through his hair self-consciously. He'd gone for a collegiate cut—what with starting college in the fall—super short at the back and sides, longer on top, and shaggy, floppy bangs. All the better to hide behind, m'dear.
He wasn't sure he liked it.
"Great hair," Ethan said again, picking up on Brandon's subtle body language the same way he always had, as if no time had passed at all. He tossed his desperately confused brother a wink and slung his duffel over his shoulder. "Plus that gorgeous face..." His grin turned sly. "If I do say so myself."
For the first time in, oh, say the seven days since he'd learned Ethan was coming home, Brandon smiled. "Narcissistic much?" he deadpanned.
The sound of Ethan's decadent chuckle was music to Brandon's Ethan-starved soul. "You know it, baby!" Ethan hollered, stomping down the hall to his own room.
"Inside voice, Ethan!" their mother called up the stairs.
Brandon sank back into his desk chair and swiped another shaky hand through his hair. That hadn't gone at all the way he'd dreaded it would.
If Ethan was willing to forgive and forget, then Brandon could, too. He loved the guy. Had loved him long before he'd lusted after him. And damn, he'd just missed him so friggin' much!
He could do this. Put aside all his fucked up incestuous feelings and try to have a relationship—a normal relationship—with his brother.
His amazing, talented, so-fucking-hot-it-hurt-to-look-at-him brother...
Brandon's palm dropped to his cock.
His head dropped to his desk.
There was no way he could do this.