Back to us, head down, shoulders slumped.

“Micah,” I say in absolute misery.

He turns on us, his face a mask of rage, then he’s swinging so hard and fast I can’t even cry out a warning. Micah’s fist connects with Walsh’s jaw, whose head rocks back and he stumbles a few feet. He stays upright, though, and doesn’t make a move to retaliate or defend himself.

“You fucking bastard,” Micah shouts at him with both fists clenched. “I knew you had something for my sister, you perverted fuck. And you dragged her into this life—”

“No, Micah,” I yell at him, but he refuses to look at me. “That’s not what happened. It was an accident—”

Micah’s head snaps my way and his words are laced with so much disgust, I flinch. “What? You just fell off that dildo and onto his dick, Jorie? God, don’t you haven’t any shame?”

Before I know it, Walsh’s fist flies out and catches Micah in the jaw. He also rocks back, but doesn’t go down.

Beyond enraged, Micah holds his arms out. “Is this the way you want it? Want another crack at me? Take your best shot, Walsh, because then I’m going to stomp your ass into the ground.”

Walsh does nothing more than grit out through his teeth, “I don’t want to fight you, but I will. And if you ever talk about your sister like that again, they’ll be scraping you off the sidewalk when I’m done with you.”

“Stop it, both of you,” I yell as I walk in between them, holding my hands out. “Please… can we just go talk about this somewhere private?”

I turn to my brother in desperation. “Micah, please… this started off not how you think, and well… this isn’t what you think…”

“So I don’t think I just saw you in a fucking sex club with Walsh?” he asks me acidly.

“We care about each other,” I tell him quietly.

Micah jerks his head toward Walsh. “He cares about nothing but exploiting you.”

“That’s not true,” I say.

“Oh, yeah… then how come he sent me a picture of you while you were on that machine?” Micah asks, and before I can get a chance to explain that, he’s continuing to yell at me, “It wasn’t too hard to figure out. You were both acting weird at dinner. I caught the subtle little looks you gave each other. Then when I’d heard last night you’d been banging some black-haired, green-eyed girl, well… it wasn’t fucking rocket science. I followed you both from The Royale here. And tonight, you’re wearing the same goddamn outfit from the night he sent me the photo.”

“Micah,” I plead with him. “If you will just calm down—”

“Calm down?” Micah screams at me and points at Walsh. “Did you hear me? He sent me a fucking photo of my sister riding a goddamn dildo machine that I created. Do you know he sent that to me knowing I’d get worked up over the hot piece of ass on it? It fucking disgusts me knowing that was you in the photo.”

“I’m sorry,” I try to explain. “But he didn’t know it was me, and I didn’t know—”

“You’re awful quiet, Walsh,” Micah says as he cuts me off and turns his wrath to Walsh. “How come Jorie’s the only one trying to plead her case?”

“Brother,” Walsh says in a soothing voice, but keeping his distance so as not to be threatening. “I knew this was wrong. We both did. The last thing I wanted to do was lose you as a friend, and so yeah… we were wrong for hiding it from you.”

“I’m not your fucking, brother,” Micah practically spits at him. “You should have told me. Instead, you two played out a fucking act right in front of my face this weekend.”

“Yes, we did that—” I start to say, but I’m cut off again as he takes a threatening step toward Walsh, who holds his ground.

Then Micah lowers the boom, his voice going deadly quiet with menace. “The worst, Walsh, is that Jorie is as close to a sister as you’ll ever have. You fucking helped me change her diapers when she was a baby. It’s goddamn sick what you’re doing to her.”

My stomach plunges and rolls, nausea making me dizzy with the accusation.

“What do you want me to do?” Walsh asks softly.

For the first time, I feel a true rush of fear course through me.

Micah points at me, but looks at Walsh with hateful eyes. “I want you to stay the fuck away from my sister. In fact, stay the fuck away from me, too.”

My heart cramps with an immense pain when I see Walsh nod his head in silent agreement.

“No,” I start to say, but Micah grabs my arm.

“Come on, Jorie. I’m taking you home.”

I jerk free of Micah and turn to Walsh. “Please don’t do this. It’s out in the open now. We can—”

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