Below I’m sharing a little of my current WIP that features the Fab Five from Whiskey Row playing catch up since Guy now lives in Baymoor.
THIS EXCERPT BELOW IS UNEDITED, COPYRIGHTED, AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE. ©D. A. YOUNG 2022
Guy logged into Zoom and settled back in his office chair, patiently waiting. He was five minutes early, but he lived for these videos. Jack was the first to appear. His oldest sandbox buddy and business partner’s eyes lit up as he grinned at him.
“Hey, Pip! How you doin’?”
Guy chuckled and returned the gesture, adding a two-finger salute. “Can’t complain, brother. How’s everythin’ on the homestead?”
“We’re great. The missus has decided to publish a cookbook. Ruby and Jack Jr. seem to have declared an unspoken peace treaty, but you know how your little buddy likes to live dangerously with her. We’re gonna be headin’ up to New York soon to visit Noelle’s folks. They’ve been fussin’ about not gettin’ enough time with their grandbabies.” Jack grimaced and scratched at his beard. “She suggested it and I readily agreed. Hell, if not, Alicia Kramer and New York head this way.”
Guy bobbed his head and hooted with laughter. “I heard that, brother!”
“Right? Anyway, it’s great to see you, man. The fam good?”
He answered just as Darby appeared on screen, followed by Casey.
“Likewise, Jackie. Yeah, Fern ain’t tired of my ugly mug yet,” he quipped. “Me and the kids are inseparable when they aren’t in school. We’re discoverin’ Aiden’s got a real talent for illustration and he’s creatin’ a comic book. Joanna’s killin’ it in her STEM program, and we just signed her up for tennis. What’s up, fellas!”
“Whatchu no good, Pippy!” Darby boomed and they all laughed at his enthusiasm.
“We miss you, buddy,” Casey added, peering closer into his screen. “Baymoor treatin’ you right?”
“Same, Case. I’ve got no complaints, whatsoever. Shoot, it’s high livin’ here! Nate and Val have taken me under their wing, never mind the fact that I’m a grown ass man,” Guy laughed affectionately. “There’s been nothin’ but love with the fellas and their families. As a matter of fact, we’re havin’ Sunday dinner at Graham and Annabelle’s this week. I gotta say, it ain’t ‘The Row’ but Baymoor definitely knows how to roll out the welcome mat. What’s good with y’all?”
“Moira has skipped walkin’ and is full on runnin’. She’s babblin’ nonstop and keepin’ me on her toes just like her mama. Sidra’s tour with Dominic just ended so she’s home until late summer. I’m headed to D.C. next week on behalf of the foundation to do a little elbow greasin’ for some noble causes.”
“I’m finally takin’ some much needed leave,” Darby shared. “I got all my ducks in a row and Tuck has been takin’ on more of the day-to-day stuff. It feels good to fully focus on my family and give Ms. Avery a reprieve. My woman has been nothin’ short of a rock star holdin’ down the fort. Liam is crawlin’ all over the place! Even though I’ve baby proofed the house like Fort Knox, little man is a true escape artist. And D. J. –”
“Basically, lives with me now,” Guy interjected good-naturedly.
He was referencing the fact that the young boy, who was like a son to all of them, was spending at least two weekends a month in Baymoor since he’d relocated.
“Boy, I tell you, D. J. looked like he won a goose’s golden egg when I made the announcement to move here. Swear to God, he had my belongings packed, and loaded into my truck with a full tank of gas before I’d even finished listing my reasons why!” Guy embellished.
The friends shared a laugh over the charmingly persistent scamp and his keenness to spend time with his best friend, Camille Holloway.
“Ms. Avery and I sure do appreciate you lettin’ him visit like this,” Darby acknowledged. “Just let us know if he overstays his welcome, and we’ll rein him in. Also, our door is always open to Aiden and Joanna, ya hear? We’d love to reciprocate the hospitality.”
“Rein in? Tuh! Don’t worry; the good sheriff and his brothers-in-law will do that before I even get the chance to open my mouth,” Guy snorted, his black eyes twinkling. “He’s bein’ watched like a hawk.”
Casey smirked at him and shook his head, a touch of rebellion and a whole lot of humor swirling in the depths of his hazel eyes. “A Sullivan courtin’ has officially started. There’s no way in hell they’re stoppin’ that train.”
“Hear! Hear!” Jack agreed adamantly.
A bleary-eyed Holt finally joined them in his pajamas with a steaming cup of coffee in front of him. “Hey, y’all.”
“I see Sweden’s comin’ hot!” Guy kidded. “How goes it, Thor?”
His other business partner yawned and raised the mug to him. “Lookin’ good, Pip. Sorry, for the delay. It’s our turn with Jules and he’s been strugglin’ with the time adjustment.”
“Welcome back, Holt,” Jack added warmly. “Bring him on over and we’ll get him straight. He can run wild with Jack Jr. We’ll fire up the grill too. Between playin’, eatin’ good, and this fresh mountain air, I guarantee he’ll sleep like a log tonight.”
“Sounds like a plan. I’ll let Kat know.” Holt squinted at Guy. “How’s the house comin’ along? We haven’t heard much about it lately. It should be just about done, right?”
Casey snapped his fingers with a devious grin, adding, “Oh yeah! Didn’t you predict before you left that y’all would be married by move in time?”
“Yeah, what’s the hold up?” came from a curious Darby. “You’re usually goin’ a mile a minute with the details.”
Jack leaned forward with a furrowed brow. “I been meanin’ to ask too, ’cause the clock’s windin’ down. Darby’s right. You haven’t been sayin’ much of anythin’…”
Tension gathered in Guy’s belly as four pairs of inquisitive eyes lasered in on him. His closest friends were waiting for him to address a question that he, frankly, just didn’t have a damn answer to. The closer they got to moving in, he’d been pressing Fern about marriage yet his dream woman had been nervously dancing around the subject for weeks.
There’s lots to do, so I’ll be taking a break indefinitely to wrap up this adventure.
I’m just popping back in to share a little tidbit I learned from Mailchimp. If you unsubscribe from the mailing list and then change your mind, your email can’t be entered again. Crazy, right? Rest assured, it’s not my intent to hold anyone hostage to the newsletter. Should you decide to unsubscribe, that exclusive content (i.e., cover reveals, synopsis, release dates, and graphics) will make its way here and on Instagram eventually, so you’ll still be kept in the loop.
Stay safe and in good spirits ❤
D. A. Young