Home > Dirty Bastard (Roughneck Billionaires #3)

Dirty Bastard (Roughneck Billionaires #3)
Author: Jessica Clare

Chapter 1

Knox

There’s nothing I like better than a day down by the river with family and friends. Hot, clear weather and the waters of the Guadalupe River sparkling with sunlight. Cold beer in hand, burgers on the grill, and my brothers laughing and cutting up nearby. It’s pretty much perfect.

Until my brother’s new wife, Ivy, ruins it.

She hands a stack of red Solo cups to her husband, Boone, and then looks over at me and my other brothers, where we’re parked on the nearest picnic table, enjoying a couple of Natty Lights. “My sister Wynonna’s bringing a friend. And Clay’s bringing his girl and she’s bringing a friend.”

I bite back my groan, watching as my youngest brother Seth puts down his can. “They hot?” he asks. Of course he’s gonna ask that. He’s twenty and still thinking with his fucking dick.

Of course, I’m twenty-three and I do the same. But I know what kind of girls these’ll be. Blonde. Giggly. Vapid. Angling for rich guys. Wynonna, Ivy’s younger sister, is a sweet enough girl if not my type. But, man, she has shit taste in friends. I can only imagine the horrors that Clay is going to be flinging on us.

“Two babes,” Gage says, giving me and Seth a smooth, confident smile. “That means one for me and one for whoever wants my leftovers.”

I snort and pick up a cigarette butt from the table as Seth scowls over at Gage. “What makes you so sure that they’d be interested in you?”

He just lays his confident smile on Seth, all cockiness. “Because I’m me.”

Seth looks over at me, frowning. I slow my hand so Seth doesn’t see I’m reaching for his beer. Instead, I shrug. “He ain’t wrong.”

Seth’s frown turns into a scowl and he glances back over at Gage. “Suck a dick, Gage. I bet I can get one of those chicks faster than you can.” He’s not paying any attention to his beer, and so I drop the butt directly into the can. Now we’ll see how long it takes for Seth to notice it’s there.

“Oh, I’ll take that bet,” Gage says in his laziest voice.

“So will I,” I add in. “We both know they’re gonna take one look at Gage and cream their panties. Happens every time.”

Gage just flashes his white grin as if it’s some sort of accomplishment to be Gage Price. I’m just amused, mostly. And I watch his beer to see if he puts it down.

“How much?” Seth asks, crossing his arms over his chest. He’s the youngest, but he’s got the most bravado. “Fifty? Hundred?”

“How about that shiny new truck of yours?”

“If we’re betting that, it’s gotta be a real challenge for you then,” Seth demands.

“So make it a challenge,” Gage retorts. He puts his beer down and turns on the bench toward Seth. I casually slide his can toward me, listening to them argue, and look for something around here to put into his beer. The ketchup bottle is nearby. Ketchup and Natty Light? Sounds like a shit-show to me. I slide the bottle to the edge of the table and into my hands, all the while keeping my focus on my brothers as they bicker about the terms of their bet.

This is how it always is with Gage and Seth. They’re the youngest Price brothers and the closest in age and temperament. Out of the five of us, Seth is the careless hothead and the youngest. Gage is a year younger than me, and he’s the pretty one, the ladies’ man. Doesn’t matter if they’re young or old, rich or poor, Gage can get ’em in the back of his truck within a hot minute. All he has to do is flash his smile. He’s the only one that inherited Dad’s ladykiller attitude. Of course, I hope he doesn’t end up like Dad, with five boys and five different baby mamas. That shit always turns into a mess.

Then, of course, there’s Boone, the oldest Price and the responsible one. I glance over at him. He’s stoking the coals on the grill and chatting with Ivy, her pregnant belly sticking out like a basketball under her dark swimsuit and white, breezy cover-up. He’s utterly devoted to her, and if I didn’t like Ivy so much, I’d probably hate her for stealing so much of his time. But she’s a nice girl and makes him real happy, so I can’t be mad.

Clay’s all wound up over a girl, too: his high school sweetheart, who he just recently reconnected with. I think of Natalie back when I saw her at her father’s ranch. Plump but pretty. Kinda lonely and sad. Not really Gage’s type, so I’m real curious to see what kind of friend she’s dragging along with her.

I finish squeezing a few hearty rounds ketchup into my brother’s can of beer when Ivy wanders off with Boone, heading to the restrooms. At that moment, Ivy’s sister pulls up in her new little car, and Gage and Seth both lean forward with interest. I mostly sit back and watch.

That’s kind of what I do. As the middle brother, I don’t have my own foil. I’m on my own. It’s always been Boone and Clay, and then Gage and Seth. I’m not the best looking. I’m not the smartest. I’m not the youngest, or the oldest. I’m not the ambitious one or the friendliest one. So I mostly sit back and watch everyone, and tweak them to see if they’re paying attention.

Kind of like I’m tweaking their beers at the moment.

Wynonna gets out of her car, but no one’s looking at her. She’s practically a kid sister. Instead, Gage, Seth, and I are sizing up her friend. The moment I see the “friend,” I snort and go back to watching my brothers, because this girl isn’t here because she’s wanting to hang with a family. She’s clearly here to catch herself a rich bachelor.

How do I know? She showed up to a family barbecue in a red string bikini and high heels, and I’m pretty sure the bottom of that bikini’s a thong. She saunters forward, acting as if poor Wynonna ain’t at her side, her attention on the three of us at the table. Seth begins to pick up his beer and I tense, but at the sight of the blonde, he forgets all about it.

Not yet, then. Of course, I wonder if I should add more to it, since both he and Gage are so distracted. It’s not that she’s not gorgeous, of course. She is. The girl sweeps her blonde hair back with a practiced motion and levels a sultry smile at me and my brothers. Can’t help but notice she’s got a nice pair of tits and the ass that hangs out of her thong is tanned to perfection. I’d be a eunuch if I didn’t notice shit like that. All the same, though, she ain’t my type.

I cross my arms and lean forward on the picnic table, waiting to see how things will play out.

“I’m Gina,” Blondie says, stepping over to introduce herself before Wynonna can even say hello. I notice that Ivy’s sister frowns at her friend and then shrugs with a roll of her eyes, heading back to her car to get her bag. Guess she isn’t all that surprised by her friend’s predatory sensibilities. Guess she’s run into this sort of thing before.

“Well, hello there,” Gage says in his best flirty voice. I swear he sizes her up and she visibly preens. Poor Seth doesn’t stand a chance scoring this one.

Gina saunters over to the table and manages not to lose her footing despite the incredibly high-heeled, impractical sandals she’s wearing. “So, what’s your name?” She scans over all of us as she says it, as if mentally assessing who’ll be the best catch. I can practically see the wheels turning in her mind.

“Gage,” my brother says, lifting one finger in introduction.

“Seth,” says my youngest brother and races forward to help her with her bag. “Seth Price.”

Her eyes light up and she hands the bag to him. “So you’re one of the Prices?” Her gaze slides to Gage. “You too?”

He nods, a hint of a smile playing on his mouth. His expression is as lazy as ever, and he remains where he is, sprawled and uncaring on the bench. I know his game, though. I’ve watched Gage work a girl a million times. He’s gonna let Seth woo her hard and then swoop in at the last minute and win her away. It’s like a game to him. Sometimes I think he doesn’t see people as people. Me, I can’t see past the person underneath to just appreciate the appearance.

Gina’s attention swings to me, sizing me up. No doubt she sees the beard and T-shirt, just like my brothers. The redneck tan. But Seth’s a blond and Gage has a Latina mama, so they don’t look much like me. I’m a ringer for Clay and Boone, despite all of us having different moms. Clay and Boone’s moms were both married to my dad (though at different times). Mine was the mistress.

I guess I’m the first bastard Price. And maybe that’s why I answer like I do. “I’m just a cousin,” I say. “Johnny Smith.”

Gage snorts lightly. Seth just shakes his head. They know my games, too.

“Nice to meet you, Johnny.” Gina’s smile remains sweet, but her interest fades immediately, like I knew it would. The bag in Seth’s hands is designer, and she’s glittering with gold at her neck. She came here looking to score a rich Price, and now that I don’t fit the bill, she’s done with me. The cynic in me is amused and unsurprised. Same story, different day.

Happens with every chick I meet. Far more interested in the wallet than the man. It’s the one downside of being obscenely rich. I suppose if there has to be a downside, that’ll be it. As downsides go, it’s not the worst problem to have. Hell on my personal life, though. Gage thinks I should just suck it up and take whatever ladies throw my way, like he does. I can’t do it, though. At heart, I’m a people watcher, and I can’t get past the flash of greed I see in most girls’ eyes when they hear I’ve got money. I know there are girls out there that aren’t interested in a guy purely for his wallet, but I’ll be damned if I can find them.

Gina looks around at the picnic table and then nibbles on her lip. “Is there a powder room around here?”

“Powder room?” Seth echoes, a confused look on his face.

“Crapper,” I say helpfully.

Gina gives me a withering look. Oh yeah, she hates me. I love it.

“Yeah, let me show you where.” Seth gets up and takes her arm, leading her away before Gage can volunteer. Not that Gage is gonna volunteer, of course. That ain’t Gage. He’s never lifted a finger for a woman. They usually just fling themselves right at him and all the work is done. He needs to meet a woman that won’t put up with his shit, but Gina ain’t that girl.

   
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