Home > Gotta Have Fate

Gotta Have Fate
Author: Max Monroe

 


Remy

 

Charlotte rises up on her toes and pushes a kiss to my mouth, and my brothers erupt into chaos from the car parked at the curb.

“Come on, Rem! You’re not going off to war, for shit’s sake!” Jude yells boisterously. “Say goodnight!”

I sink my hand into Charlotte’s hair and kiss her harder, and she laughs against my mouth.

As the fiancée of a man with three rowdy brothers, she’s used to this kind of nonsense. The teasing, the taunting, the absolutely relentless shit-talking. In a way, with our little sister Winnie in college, Charlotte has become the token sacrificial woman of our antics.

I pull back and lean my forehead against hers, and out of the corner of my eye, I see Ty climb up onto the sill of the car window, the whole upper half of his body hanging out across the sidewalk. He looks like the epitome of his history—a rugby player at Harvard University with full, perfectly coiffed light-brown hair, a bright white smile, and sparkling light-green eyes. He graduated a couple years ago, but he’s still every bit of the frat-boy-looking grinner he was back then.

“Get in the damn car, you love-sick bastard!”

Flynn is the only one with the decency to keep his mouth shut, but the truth is, Flynn rarely opens it up to say much anyway. He may be the most even-tempered, rational brother of all, but with his dark eyes, dark hair, and olive skin, he’s always had a bit of a mysterious edge about him.

As he sits in front of my building, behind the wheel of his Ford Bronco, messing with the radio, it’s obvious the momentous occasion of tonight has done nothing to change that.

“I’ll see you in the morning,” I say against Charlotte’s mouth, her lips curling up at the sides and making her nose twitch.

“I know,” she replies with a laugh, putting a small hand to my chest and shoving. “Go. Have fun! It’s your bachelor party, Remy!” I smile, and she taps my chest with a finger. “In less than a week, you’ll be tied down forever to a pretty spiffy ball and chain. Enjoy it while you can.”

“Please!” Jude yells again, clearly having heard her. “Listen to the woman. I implore you!”

I groan. “Maybe I should just stay here with you. It feels weird going out for my bachelor party without you going out for your bachelorette.”

“Remington Winslow,” she chastises with a roll of her eyes and a laugh. “I have to finish prepping and give my big presentation for the group in California tonight anyway, and I’m going out with the girls tomorrow night. Go. I don’t want you here.” She punctuates her words with a wink, and finally, I relent.

“All right. Fine. I’m going.”

“Hallelujah!” Ty shouts, dropping back into the front seat of the Bronco and turning around to high-five Jude in the back.

I’m slightly terrified of what they have planned, but I know that’s just my survival instinct talking. The amount of shit my brothers and I have gotten into over the years would make a nun curse. With five children, four of whom are boys, spanning ten years in age, it’s a miracle our mother, Wendy, survived raising us. I didn’t really understand it when I was younger—shit, I probably put my mom through more hell than the rest of her kids combined—but now that I’m twenty-nine and about to start a family of my own, I can see the error of my wild ways.

I lean forward, grab Charlotte by the jaw, and kiss her one more time with everything I have. The warmth of her mouth matches the temperature of the air, and it’s enough to make my fucking head spin. We connect deeply, entwining our tongues and melding our bodies together like we’ll never be separate beings again.

When I finally pull away, we’re both breathless in a way that even makes it hard to hear my brothers complaining.

“Love you.”

Charlotte smiles again. “I love you too. Now, go.”

I turn around and jog the short distance from the front steps to the sidewalk and open the front door to claim my rightful spot.

Ty waggles his eyebrows with a taunt, but when I give him a solid punch to the shoulder, he climbs back over the center console into the back seat and frees up the front for me, leaving only a yelp in his wake.

He’s obviously fine, though, because it’s not long before laughter pours out of the back seat as my two youngest brothers cut up with each other.

I shut the door, and Flynn fires up the engine, puts the old girl into gear, and pulls away from the curb.

I hold up my hand out the open window, and Charlotte shakes her head with a smile, crossing her arms over her chest to watch us go, her cutoff shorts, white tank top, and pink-tipped bare toes visible in the streetlight.

Damn, she looks good standing in front of my building.

Soon-to-be our building that houses our apartment.

Once we get back from our honeymoon, my Charlotte will officially move in with me, and we’ll be husband and wife for the rest of our glorious days.

Oh yeah, the future is bright and beautiful, my friends.

Reaching forward, I rotate the knob to turn up the volume on AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” and slap my hand against the top of the door to the beat of the music.

Flynn smiles from the driver’s seat, balancing one casual wrist at the top of the wheel as he drives through the busy Manhattan streets.

I don’t know where we’re going, or why Flynn insisted on getting his old Bronco out of storage rather than taking the subway, but I can’t help but admit I’m enjoying it.

If it weren’t for the sounds of horns and crowded sidewalks, I could almost convince myself we’d found a backroad to cruise.

Jude and Ty slap fight in the back seat like a couple of kids, and it’s far from the first time I realize what they say about the differences between a boy’s and a girl’s timeline to maturity really is true.

Charlotte is a year younger than Jude and three years younger than Ty, but she has more adulthood in the tip of one pinkie finger than the two of them combined.

Frankly, on several occasions, she’s the more level-headed of the two of us, and I’m seven years her senior.

It isn’t until we make the turn to take the Holland Tunnel out of New York that I start to get nervous about what my stupid brothers have up their sleeves for tonight.

“Where are we going?”

“Don’t worry about it,” Jude says from the relative safety of his spot directly behind me. He’s a smartass all the time, but I can guarantee he wouldn’t be saying it with so much attitude if I didn’t have to be a goddamn contortionist to hit him in the balls.

“Flynn,” I say instead of giving Jude the attention he so desperately craves. “Tell me where we’re going.”

“A strip club,” Flynn answers matter-of-factly.

I groan and sink my head into my hands. “You’re kidding me, right?”

Flynn looks over, and in the lights of the tunnel, I can see his response written plainly on his face. Do I look like I’m kidding?

Jude and Ty snicker in the back. I don’t bother trying to convince them not to go, and I don’t bother asking why. Both would be nothing more than a fool’s effort.

What I do ask, however, is logistical in nature. “Okay, then. Can someone tell me why the fuck we’re not just going to one in New York?”

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