Heart's a Mess
Author:Scott, Kylie


Alex’s head filled with a red haze, the thumping headache long forgotten. His face felt on fire, mostly from embarrassment. Mary or Meredith or whatever the hell her name was—what the hell did he care? She wasn’t the woman who’d gotten him going—hadn’t really hit him all that hard. If he remembered right, the woman had a temper. She’d been less than impressed when he’d bailed on her offer of hot sex a few months back. Little wonder his text message had set her off.


Correction. Duncan’s text message on Alex’s phone.


He caught up with his brother in the back office and tackled the fucker, taking him down to the ground. Doing as much damage as he could.


“Shit. I’m sorry,” Dunc said between bursts of laughter. A well-placed blow to the bastard’s ribs stopped that.


Duncan grunted and twisted, maneuvering around to face him. Before Alex knew it, they were a tangle of flying fists on the floor, just the same as when they were kids. An elbow caught him in the shoulder and knuckles grazed his mouth. They were pretty evenly matched in height and weight these days but anger gave him a clear advantage. He was fucking furious.


“I told you not to do it!” Alex raged. “Why don’t you ever listen?”


Duncan panted and blocked another jab to his ribs. “It was just a joke. Calm down.”


Everything was a joke to the asshole. If anything, the piss-poor excuse made Alex wilder. He snarled, his fist landing square in his brother’s eye.


Duncan howled and kneed him in the guts in return, making his belly cramp in pain.


“You said you had to find her!” Duncan yelled.


“Not by sending random fucking texts to every woman on my phone!”


Hair pulling was soon involved, as was biting. They fought brutally dirty, with all the familiarity only brothers could muster. No weak spot was left unexploited.


Until someone let loose a whistle shrill enough to break even their concentration.


Hell, it sounded loud enough to shatter glass. It echoed through the confined space and bashed around inside his skull until his frontal lobe felt as though it would implode.


His ears rung and rung, the pain was indescribable.


“Holy shit,” Duncan whispered eventually.


Alex looked up to find his older brother John standing over them. Marie and the new girl, Violet, stood alongside him. Two fingers were tucked between Violet’s shiny red lips.


“Wow,” said John, fingers still embedded in his ears.


“Uh, thanks, Vi.” Marie gave the woman a squinty, pained smile. “That’s impressive.”


Violet shrugged and put her hands by her sides, thankfully removing the threat of an immediate repeat of the noise. Her gaze stayed firmly off him and his brother. He couldn’t blame the girl. How bloody embarrassing, watching your bosses beat the shit out of each other on the floor. Damn it.


“Why don’t I just get back to work?” she said.


Yes, he and Duncan must look highly unprofessional.


From where he lay, Alex had an awesome view as she about-turned in her high-high heels and walked toward the door. He’d always made a point of not noticing members of staff, curves or no. Just then, however? Fucking impossible.


Holy shit, the girl had been made stacked in all the right places. The glory of an hourglass figure couldn’t really be underestimated. She didn’t fit his usual choice, but his hands would look perfect wrapped around her waist. And those spectacular tits would overflow his fingers for sure. Not that he would ever go there because she was staff. They had rules, standards, but damned if he could look away. A neat ponytail of shiny, improbably colored red hair slid across her back, and she stopped dead in place. As if she could read his mind and was giving him just a little longer to stare at her ass, bless her, but no.


“You did a flow chart of women’s breast sizes?” she asked. Because she’d stopped to stare at the whiteboard hanging on the wall, hadn’t she?


Oh, holy fucking shit.


Alex closed his eyes as his world crashed around him.


The board was covered in Duncan’s scribble, but still perfectly, horribly legible. The woman cocked her head and stepped closer. Of course she did. Alex could just feel the lawsuit creeping up on him like a sucker punch waiting to happen. All those years of hard work, undone in one stupid moment. He couldn’t bear to watch.


“Please don’t look at that,” he said softly.


“And a bar graph too,” she noted.


“Please. Violet…” What could he possibly say? He braved opening his eyes. Damn it, she was still looking.


“Huh,” she said. “That’s really detailed.”


“What?” Marie turned, taking in all of it, no doubt. “You idiots.”