Hello my amazing faithfuls. It's been a long time since I updated this story, feels like forever. I'm so happy that I finally got to writing it again. I already have the next chapter planned out so hopefully the next update won't be nearly as long of a wait. Thank you all for the incredible support you have given me. I hope you enjoy. =)

Special shout out to Hoppnhorn for reading over some of the scenes with me and helping me improve them. I love ya girl!

Bright sunlight shone down on the two men, outlining their bodies with dark silhouettes, giving them an intimidating air. They were standing idly in a small, abandoned field behind a tattoo parlor. A deal had been made with the owner, use his property for their business and they kept his protected. Simple. In the morning the warmth had felt good but now the moist heat was making the previously breathable fabric of Joe's shirt and jeans hug his sturdy form. He'd already taken off his jacket, leaving him in the black wife-beater underneath. But that was sticking to his skin too, the dark material clinging to the shapely muscles of his chest and back.

"What crawled up your ass?" Baggy asked with evident amusement. Lately, Joe had been very edgy and agitated, reminding Baggy of a pissed off Doberman baring its teeth.

"The fuck ya talking about?" Joe loudly snarled and Baggy took a step back, relaxing his posture in submission. When the Darley temper reigned supreme it made even the strongest men nervous, nearly paralyzed. Propelled by a fear of what was going to happen to you. Didn't matter which of the famous brother's it came from.

"Ya been real uptight man." Baggy cautiously explained followed by a tense swallow. The older man was beginning to feel that it had been a mistake to question Joe about his behavior. A potentially lethal error judging by the way Joe was looking at him, eyes narrowed into little slits. In Baggy's defense he hadn't expected Joe's anger to flare at him. He was used to the fairly carefree, happy Joey.

Joe kept his glare hard, unwavering but eventually the tight lines of his face softened. His friend seemed genuinely concerned. "Nothin' man. It's nothin'." But Joe really didn't feel like telling Baggy that his sour attitude was over a girl. A girl that shouldn't matter. After all she'd said it perfectly. They had their fun. So why was he expecting anything else? Why was Elena still lingering on his mind? Most women were a fleeting memory, nothing more than a few hours of fucking. Even though Joe knew Elena should be in that same category with the rest of them he couldn't deny that the last few nights without her felt strange. It's as though something vital was missing, something the whores he'd been occupying his evenings with couldn't provide.

Sure, he had his pick of the girls that flocked to the bar. His brother might get the top model but Joe always ended up with an impressive beauty himself. However, Joe didn't hold them in his arms at night and watch them sleep peacefully. Their time was limited to a heated romp in the back room. And quite frankly that's as far as he wanted to take it with those groupies anyway. They didn't look at him the same way Elena did. They didn't possess her sparkling green eyes that pulled him in while she cooed to him with her angelic voice. Whispering praises and encouragement under the sweat soaked air. And they didn't fuck him like he mattered. Instead they fucked him like a paying customer, one of many. Following the same rehearsed routine with overused whines and moans that lost their value. None of that had ever bothered Joe before. He'd enjoyed fucking whores same as every other man in the gang. Then he met Elena. And now those details were crawling under his skin, pestering him like thousands of tiny insects.

Stop it. Just stop. It didn't make a difference. It couldn't. Joe wasn't meant to be tied down, dedicating himself to one woman. Wait a minute. Was that even what he wanted? Damn it. He'd never thought of that before. At first he'd just been angry about whatever they had being over. But now…Did he really want Elena like that? Before he could answer his own silent question Baggy's voice broke through his thoughts, shattering them for the time being.

"Ya sure?" Baggy inquired again, still wary of Joe's irritation. The youngest Darley began to nod but Baggy continued, halting the false affirming movements. "It's that girl isn't it?" Elena and Joe's two week fling of nightly, dirty sex wasn't a secret. All the men knew. It had been too much of an amazing thing to not brag about. Every time Joe relayed some of the steamy details he felt pride swell in his chest. Needless to say Joe even suspected that a few were envious. It's as though they agreed with Billy that it was like being caught up in a hurricane. And Joe had managed to hold on for quite awhile.

Joe flicked his gaze over to his clever friend and saw that his lack of response was enough of an answer. "Yeah." He grumbled, cementing the bothersome fact. None of the guys knew exactly why their trysts had stopped. Figured, that the affair had just run its course. And Joe wasn't about to admit that she was the one who ended it, that he'd been kicked out. "Just get back in between her legs tonight Joey." Baggy offered with a cheeky grin.

"It ain't that easy." Joe replied, his dark hues now staring at the wisps of clouds slowly moving overhead in an effort to find some clarity. Without looking Joe knew that Baggy was going to say more, dig in the dirt Joe had used to cover up the truth until he uncovered what Joe was hiding. Thankfully, a beeping prevented that from happening.

Joe pulled his phone out his jeans and glanced at the blinking screen. With a sigh he brought the mobile device to his ear. "Yeah?" There was only one reason Mick would be calling. Sure enough, Mick started frantically shouting, the near deafening sound making Joe grimace. "Fuckin' cops coming your way man." That was all Joe needed to hear.

Now, there was a hierarchy to the way his brother ran things. The men he truly trusted were the seven in his immediate circle and Joe. The rest were mere errand boys and look outs. Billy didn't pay them very much but working for Billy Darley immediately gave you some protection and an inflated ego. Often, that was enough reimbursement. The gang had started using watchers about a year ago after Jamie got picked up and thrown behind bars for a few months, leaving the gang shorthanded. Every time one of the men ended up in jail Billy had to go to Bones for bail money or to use the impressive leverage he'd acquired. Either way Bones lorded that over Billy and the result was never pretty. Now they used preemptive planning to prevent as much setbacks as possible.

"Police." Joe yelled to Baggy. Immediately the men got to work. They grabbed the product that was leftover along with the money they'd made and hurried into the tattoo shop. The owner immediately knew what was going on. He'd been expecting this. It was going to happen sooner or later. Without a word he took the drugs and cash from Joe and stashed them in his safe. Just in case the officer decided to come in for further inspection. By that point Baggy had driven his car to the front of the establishment.

When the cop pulled up, eyes scanning everything in detail, both men were casually leaning against the counter and feigning interest in getting new ink on their bodies. It's true that the Boston Police Department was divided, not standing as a single unit. A handful of them were corrupt, crooked cops and another portion of them were too scared of the unyielding Darley force to try anything. But there were officers, like the one glaring at Joe beneath dark glasses, who thought they could change things. Come in swinging and be the hero, save Boston from the men that ran the city. It was futile and annoying.

It was just a few minutes before the blue and white cruiser drove off into the distance, continuing on its patrol. But it felt longer. Joe could feel his heart picking up speed while Baggy was aware that he was beginning to perspire with anxiety. Both men had done their share of time and neither wanted a repeat. Whew. Smoothly dodged a bullet. All Joe needed was to get pinched and have Billy bail his ass out. He would never hear the end of that.

The cold air from the night breezes had settled around them. All the windows were open in an effort to cool down the entire house, get out the heat that had accumulated during the day. By now Elena was used to the fast changing weather in Boston but Viktor and Michael weren't. Most of the day they'd been sweating bullets and now small goose-bumps had formed on their bare arms. "Cold?" Elena asked with an amused smile. She loved these men but there was no denying their current reactions were entertaining. They could handle the frigid winters in Russia but two different extremes in the same day and they got irritable. "How the hell do you get used to this?" Michael grumbled and Elena chuckled shortly. "Don't worry you'll adapt." She replied. Both men scowled for a moment but eventually relaxed their expressions. Even though the weather was making them uncomfortable they were truly grateful to be back with Elena. She was their sister, their closest friend. And being apart for such a long time was an unpleasant experience.

Elena brought her legs up and crossed them on the armrest of the dark brown recliner. The position allowed her to lounge and feel more comfortable. Then she eyed her friends with a pleased smile and sucked on the end of her cigarette. But the silence didn't last long. "Elena, are you going to fill us in on the Italians." Viktor asked once he'd composed himself, forced his body to adjust. As much as they wanted to catch up with Elena personally they knew work had to come first. Their occupation didn't wait for anything or anyone. If they didn't know the details of what had been happening they would be rather useless right hand men. "They're wiggling their way in, buying up a large number of legitimate businesses and cover companies."

The Italians were a strategic group of people while the Russians were more impulsive. Elena prided herself in being a lethal mixture of both. So when the Italians made their move on a new territory they took their time. That way of doing things actually made them quite formidable because there weren't any sudden changes or movements. That made it harder to detect when and where they were up to something as well as making it difficult to stop them. She'd started scooping out a few leads, masked in the shadows while she gathered information. But so far she didn't have much more to go on than what Ivan had told her. That wasn't good.

Michael inhaled sharply and shook his head. Then the two men exchanged knowing glances before Michael spoke up. "You know what that sounds like." He stated and placed his smoldering cigar back between his lips. They would smoke cigarettes but their preference had always been a robust cigar. "Yes I do." She replied with a sigh, frustration echoing in her breath.

It was a blast from the past. An exact replica of what they'd been through three years ago in Russia. A branch of the Italian Mafia had marched into their territory. Word was the Italians had overused theirs, ran it dry. Poor decisions led to the deaths of some of their best clients, buyers pulled out of deals with them and they'd lost their high standing in the criminal world. They'd come to Russia to take over another estate, reclaim their title. Of course, that was just the story going around, it had never been proven. But, whatever the reason they'd invaded with the intentions of ending Elena's family. The battle had lasted for months between the equally powerful factions.

Snow covered ground had been tainted with crimson blood, gun shots rang out in the dark veil of night and endless punches were thrown in the cold air. More bodies had dropped and lives had been lost than Elena could count. Her father and Nikolai had put everything they had, all their efforts into ending the battle. And it worked. They'd won. But with every great victory came consequences. For Elena, it had been a price to horrible to pay. She'd lost someone very special to her. Mere words couldn't describe a memory and a face that continued to haunt her to this day. And it all started with Italians buying up properties and wiggling their way inside. There was no way Elena could allow a repeat. Learn from your mistakes. Don't follow in their bloodied footsteps. Even without her connection to Joe the Darleys would have to wait. This was the top priority. "What's the plan?" Viktor inquired.

"First we introduce you to my men. They need to know who their other superiors are." Viktor and Michael liked the sound of that. They'd been working in silence for Nikolai, keeping themselves relatively shut off. It would feel good to be in the light again. "Then we send two of the smart ones to keep an eye on some of the Italian's potential businesses. I don't have the time to sit on my ass all day and do it myself." That was all she could do for the time being, until she could put a face with the organization. If it really was the same leader from her past then the cart they were sitting in was about to take a plummet from the top of the roller coaster and send them on a very intense ride.

"And Elena." Michael began with a rarely used tone. He was cautious, nervous. There was something under his skin, bothering the usually steel man. "We have to tell you something… about your brother."

With a heavy mind and dragging feet Joe trudged home. If any of the neighbors saw him they would think it just been another night of too much drinking for the youngest Darley. But that wasn't the case. It would be so much easier if it was. Then he could just sleep it off. Unfortunately, you can't sleep a girl off. He really should be happy, no cop problems and every ounce of drugs sold. Billy would certainly be pleased. To Joe it just felt like a small triumph, not enough to overshadow the negativity plaguing him.

Even sharing a few drinks at Four Roses with Baggy and Tommy hadn't cheered him up. As per usual once the bar groupies spotted the trio they were all over the men, flaunting their assets to get picked. Baggy had kept himself occupied with two redheads, reveling in their attentions at the table. And Tommy had stuck with a decent looking brunette who wouldn't stop giggling. Every time Tommy or Baggy would whisper something dirty to their flavors of the night the girls would reward them by sensually rubbing the men's stiff dicks through the denim.

However, the girl who ended up perched on Joe's lap didn't have a very good night. She was a bouncy blonde with large breasts and a tight little body, something right out of Playboy. But she looked fake to Joe, a girl with a thousand twins walking around somewhere. Nothing about her was unique, not even the way she tried to get Joe's attention by rocking her hips against his and sucking on his neck. Despite being a red blooded male Joe couldn't take pleasure in what she was doing. His body wouldn't respond to her, almost as if it had placed itself on lockdown. This wouldn't be happening with Elena. By now his cock would be hard and aching, begging for her body. Needless to say, it hadn't taken long for Joe to tire of the blonde and send the perky girl on her with hurt pride.

In another bad mood, rather a constant stream of one, he pushed open the apartment door and kicked it shut behind him. With a careless movement of his arm he tossed his red leather on Billy's recliner. Next stop was the kitchen for a cold beer. After all, alcohol was supposed to make your problems go away, temporarily at least.

As he twisted off the tin lid Billy's baritone boomed through the walls. "Joe." He barked and Joe cringed. Tonight he just wanted to be left alone. The last thing on Joe's list was dealing with his brother. Why couldn't Billy be occupied, fucking some girl senseless on his well used bed?

"Yeah." Joe replied after gulping down some liquid stress relief. The far from enthusiastic response got under Billy's skin. Joe's voice was an honest reflection of his foul mood. Shit, he sounded depressed, like someone had just killed his best friend. And that made Billy's heart clench. This wasn't supposed to happen. His brother shouldn't be going through this. Billy had made sure of that. Fucking whores didn't lead to problems like this because there was no attachment, no feelings. But girls…girls were a whole new ordeal. One Billy never planned on venturing into. Seeing his brother now Billy was positive that wouldn't change.

"Ya gonna tell me what's going on?" Billy's tone was level but that wasn't a question and Joe knew it. But he couldn't open his mouth and make words come out. They were stuck in his throat, held there by fear. What would his brother think of him once he knew the truth? " 'S nothin'." Joe croaked out and slumped onto the sofa. "Fuckin' snap out of it Joe and tell me." Billy angrily demanded, letting some of his temper flare. He hated being kept in the dark about his brother, especially when Joe was so miserable. After everything they'd been through together Joe should be able to tell him anything.

"I just…it's just…Elena." Joe finally answered and Billy gave a short nod of acknowledgement. Expecting that response didn't mean Billy could lay claim to understanding it. Why would Joe want to be with the same girl all the time when he could have a different one every night? He'd only met Elena once. Could she really be that impressive? Must be for his brother to be acting this way.

"What didn't get enough Joe?" That was one way of putting it. But it wasn't just his cock that was craving Elena, his head was too. Joe couldn't fully explain it yet he mumbled a yeah. With long strides Billy crossed the living room and eventually ended up on the couch next to Joe. There was a change in his brother and Billy wasn't sure that he approved of or liked the transformation. But if Billy denied Joe something that made him happy then what kind of a brother would Billy be?

"So get your scrawny ass over to her." It wasn't a suggestion, more like an order. And Baggy had told him the same thing earlier. But Joe was at a loss. Just like he'd been when he was ten.

Fall had arrived bringing the start of a new school year. An event that Joe Darley had come to despise. It could be an opinion he picked up from his brother or his own mindset. Either way the scowl etched onto Joe's face as he waited for the current lecture being given in a monotone voice to be over with showed how unhappy he was. What was the big deal with school and 5th grade anyway? His last name evoked constant worried and disapproving looks from the teachers and most of the staff. That made him feel good, the fear his families reputation drove into them. But the rest was bullshit. It was mandatory education but history, science and all the other boring subjects wouldn't be very useful with the life he'd picked out for himself, following in the footsteps of his father and most importantly his brother.

At fifteen Billy already ruled the high school with Bodie, Baggy, Tommy and Heco at his side. Even upperclassmen were afraid of the formidable group. Ever since the story started circling the halls about Billy sending the star quarterback of the football team crying to his mother with a busted face everyone treated him with reverence and apprehension. Large crowds of students would instantly part for Billy, providing him with a clear path, boys gave him their money and girls gave him their bodies. It seemed like Billy didn't even have to try. With the impressive physique he'd worked for and the harshness in his eyes one glance was usually all it took for those around to bow down and do whatever Billy said. That's what Joe wanted, to be just like his brother, to be king. Then he wouldn't mind school, he'd probably enjoy it. But he wasn't there yet so he hated it. Being in stupid grade school while Billy was in the much bigger high school didn't help. Joe was alone, completely separated for seven hours from his brother and the boys he grew up with.

Finally. The bell rang signaling the end of English or History class. He wasn't sure. He'd spent most of it lost in his thoughts or scribbling in his notebook. The loud rustling of papers and zipping of backpacks filled his ears as everyone around him scrambled to get out. They didn't like being stuck here all day anymore than he did. Joe stuffed his notebook in his bag along with his pencil and raced out of there with the herd of shouting 5th graders. All he wanted was to get home and spent the night hanging out with Billy.

"Lookie here, it's the tiniest Darley." Perfect. Joe instantly recognized that degrading voice. Josh. He was a year older than Joe, a cocky little shit. And he had no reason to be. His father was an account or something lame. Josh himself was on the bigger size but it was fat not muscle. No girls were attracted to him, no teachers liked him. He was a loser. So he'd become a bully for the last two years to overcompensate and for the last few weeks he'd made Joe his favorite prey. Nothing physical had happened. Just constantly yelling at Joe and spitting in his face. Joe had almost told Billy about it but decided not to. He wanted to deal with this on his own, prove to Billy that he could be just as strong. With his hands casually shoved in his pockets Joe spun around, staring daggers into Josh. "Go fuck yourself." Joe snarled, trying to echo the way Billy sounded when he was angry.

"Ohhh. Ya got a mouth on you." Josh replied, taking a few steps closer to Joe. It was then Joe noticed that Josh had two other boys behind him, flanking their leader. But Joe wasn't going to back down. Billy wouldn't. "That ain't all I got on me." Joe flashed them a devious smirk. He'd certainly learned how to talk from listening intently to Billy. "You're a joke, you know that?" Josh continued as if he hadn't heard Joe. "Daddy's getting old and weak, fat bastard." Joe rolled his shoulders and kept his posture relaxed. "Look who's talking. You look like a cow with hair."

Josh's ears picked up, as if he finally realized that Joe had been responding the entire time. A spark of anger flashed in his eyes but instead of acting on it he just drawled on. "And big brother is becoming nothing more than a low life criminal. Just another worthless, good for nothin' punk." That made Joe's chest tighten and his nostrils flare. Josh could say what he wanted about Bones but bad mouthing Billy crossed the line. "Shut up." Joe growled in warning. His hands had already clenched into small fists at his sides and they were shaking with fury. "But you… you're not even good enough to be that. Stupid Joey Darley." Josh kept taunting and Joe had enough. He dropped his bag to the ground with a soft thud and lunged at Josh.

Everything after that happened in a flash. Details lost in the midst of shouts and flying limbs. Joe landed one punch on Josh's face but it didn't do much harm. The motivation and drive to fight resided in Joe but he didn't know how to channel it. So he just kept blindly swinging but it was Josh and his friends who got the good shots in. By the time Joe made it home that night he had a split lip and an ugly black eye. Thankfully, Bones wasn't there but Billy was. "Who the fuck did this?" He instantly demanded while holding Joe's face in his larger hand and inspecting the damage. At first, Joe hesitated. He still wanted to handle his own problems.

But the truth was, after the beating he received his reaction had been to cry. He hadn't let the bullies see it but the majority of the walk to the house he'd had tears falling from his eyes. The pain racking his body had just been too much and he couldn't hold back the waterworks. "A couple of guys from school." Joe mumbled, not looking his brother directly in the eye. But Billy wasn't accepting that answer. "Names." He firmly insisted. With a sigh Joe relented. "Josh Thomson. I don't know the other two. They're always with him though." At that moment Billy released a rage filled growl that sent shivers coursing through Joe. There was so much power, so much force in that one sound. It was unreal. But Billy quickly moved on. "Come on." He took Joe's hand in his own and led them to his room, just in case Bones got back.

They spent the next few hours together, just the two of them, fists in the air as Billy taught Joe how to fight. Before the night was over Joe knew how to properly deliver a good strong hook, punch and a few jabs. Billy wasn't sending him out there unprepared again. When Billy was satisfied he sat Joe down on the bed. "Listen, you never just take a hit Joe, you strike back, always." For other kids it might be alright to get knocked around but not for a Darley, not for Joe. "Next time some pricks smack ya, you let 'em have it. And if that doesn't work tell me. I'll take care of it." Billy clapped his brother on the back, tugging him close and Joe smiled wide. This was a side of Billy that Joe was privileged to seeing, a side most of the world would never bear witness to. And that's exactly how Billy wanted it.

The next day at school easily became one of Joe's favorite. The boys that were so tough yesterday were now walking with a pronounced limp and sporting unsightly bruises. Billy had definitely taken care of it. He'd taught those boys a lesson they would never forget for their entire lives. And he'd done it for Joe. Just like he always would. Full of new confidence Joe strolled right past them and raised his middle finger with a wicked grin. Never fuck with a Darley.

Billy had been there for him before. Why would it be any different now? The situation wasn't the same but their bond was. In fact, it was stronger than ever. Billy might crack jokes and give Joe a hard time but above all else they were brothers. Joe knew Billy wouldn't let him down.

"I can't man." Joe started explaining. Can't wasn't a word the Darley's often used. To Billy it was right up there with failure and weak. Expressions that simply didn't fit with their lifestyle and the men they were. "She…she implied she's got other men." The words tasted like bile in Joe's mouth. And he wanted to take them back. Other men. That was an insult. For as long as Joe could remember it had been once a girl fucked a Darley no other man could compare.

"The fuck ya mean implied?" Billy demanded. He didn't like the way that sounded at all. Was she crazy? Picking some frat boy over his own brother? "Well she…" Joe began but Billy cut him off. "Doesn't matter what she said Joe. There ain't no one better than the Darleys, you know and she knows that. Now go remind her and don't take no for an answer."

His brother was right. Of course Billy was right. Tonight Joe would show Elena that no other man could fuck her like he did. He was going to make her cum hard enough to black out. Then she would forget about those losers and beg Joe to claim her that way every night. That's what Darley men did. That's what Joe did. Letting it end the way it had and spending the last week pissed about it wasn't who Joe was. It didn't settle right with him. But what he was planning to do now felt good. Because it wasn't just about having her body pinned underneath his once more, it was about seeing her face and hearing her voice. He'd been missing a part of himself without her but tonight he would get it back. Joe wasn't sure exactly what he wanted with her or where he wanted what they had to go. But he knew it was more than sex. His gut was telling him it was a lot more, something he would only be sharing with her.

Still, Joe couldn't deny his surprise at Billy giving him permission to continue with the same girl. "Cause if you don't get your shit together your ass is moving in with Heco." Billy threatened. Normally, Billy wouldn't be so accepting of this situation. But seeing the high spirits his brother had been in compared to the melancholy way he'd been acting lately was swaying Billy's usually set in stone mindset.

For a moment Joe tried to figure out if Billy was serious or not but eventually decided that he didn't care. He had permission and a metaphorical boot in the butt. That's what mattered. So Joe rose from his seated position and bolted for the door. "Joe." Billy called out making Joe skid to a halt. "Yeah?"

"She gonna be a problem?" Without a doubt Billy was being sincere now. Joe turned and gave his brother an honest answer. "No man. Promise." He couldn't think of a single reason that she would ever become trouble for them. Billy knew Joe wouldn't lie to him, especially not about such a crucial topic. In any case Billy was going to have to have a talk with Elena, personally and find out for himself. It didn't matter how happy she made Joe or how much his brother liked her. If Elena was a threat to Billy, his business and his family she had to go. No second chances, no hesitation.

Elena grumbled as she brought the whiskey bottle up to her lips and took a long pull. Tonight vodka just wasn't strong enough. The exceedingly loud rock music was starting to make her head pound, courtesy of all the unpleasant thoughts swirling in her mind. Hopefully, the liquor would numb the pain. Viktor and Michael had filled her in on what her brother had been up to, what jobs he'd had them doing. What the hell was Nikolai thinking? Had he completely lost it? To attempt something so large scale was a ridiculous feat in itself but to not inform Elena, his own sister… Did he not trust her anymore? Was that the real reason he'd sent her out here? So he could pull this crazy stunt off without Elena interfering? The phone conversations they'd been having recently were definitely different. Strained and careful like he was hiding something from her. Now Elena knew what and to say she was pissed off was an understatement. He'd been slowly shutting her out for years and this was the icing on the fucking cake.

A noisy bang brought her back to reality and the current status of her home. This house certainly didn't look the way it did when she moved in. Of course the people stampeding through nearly every room while hooting and hollering had a lot to do with it. Viktor and Michael had dove right into the job the day after their arrival, working hard. This party had been her idea, they deserved it and she knew they appreciated it. But just because she had thrown the thing together didn't mean she had to enjoy being caught in the middle of it. She was only here to make sure the house didn't get burned down and that none of the whores tried to steal anything.

"Hey doll." Elena cast an uninterested side glance to a drunk, young man that placed himself right next to her. Wonderful. She distinctly remembered inviting lots of women for Michael and Viktor to enjoy but she didn't recall inviting Mr. Happy Pants. "Let's go in the back and I'll fuck ya good and proper." He continued in a completely wasted disposition. Charming.

"You're in my house ya little maggot." Elena seethed. "Watch ya fuckin' mouth." She snarled with enough venomous anger to make the man jump and take off in the other direction. Wise decision.

Just as she was about to take another swig of the Jack and get through the night her ears picked up a persistent knocking. After setting the alcohol bottle down on the nearest surface she yanked the front door open with an irritated huff. "The fuck ya…" Elena started with a growl but immediately stopped.

In front of Elena's sea green eyes was a face she never expected to see again. Joe. His own stormy hues didn't seem to be on her at all, rather they were looking past into the congested house. Joe hadn't planned on being so upset but seeing the party was quickly driving him to that point. "How many fuckin' boy toys ya got?" He angrily demanded, disbelief etching itself across his handsome face.

Elena's own fire sparked at that and she temporarily forgot that Viktor and Michael were close by. If they spotted a Darley on the front stoop the results could be disastrous. "None of your fuckin' business." Elena snapped back.

Joe didn't like that answer, not in the slightest. What did she mean it wasn't his business? Of course it was. He was her… well shit, what was he? Now that question was aggravating Joe further. "Who is he? Who ya fuckin' over me?" His words came out with a vicious growl. Until now the thumping bass of rock music had drowned out their argument but Joe's deep baritone was threatening to rise above. Thankfully, reality struck Elena and she shoved Joe, closing the door behind them.

The push vaguely registered with Joe. He was too busy becoming more enraged by picturing another man buried in between Elena's legs. How dare another man touch her? "I'm gonna kick his fuckin' ass." Joe furiously declared. Two flat palms pressed against Joe's firm torso, trying to stop him from barging into the house and following through on his threat with the first man he saw. That was the last thing she needed right now. And the fury swirling in Joe's hues told Elena that if he got his hands on someone they would never look the same. The way he'd gotten rough with the hotel manager had just been a taste, a mere sample of the famous Darley temper. This was a truer viewing.

Elena was preoccupied with keeping the situation under control but she still noticed how handsome Joe was in this state. His eyes were harsh, his jaw was set tight, and his muscles seemed to be straining against his clothes more than usual. For some women this might be a scary sight to see but for Elena it was extremely appealing. There was so much masculine power emanating from him that it was almost unbearable.

But, Elena realized it was more than his disposition that was making warmth bubble in her stomach. It was the reason for his current temperament. Joe Darley could have any woman in his bed tonight. There was no doubt about that. So, why was he here? Enraged and determined to beat someone up over her? Could it be because he actually liked her, because this was about more to him than incredible sex? Elena wasn't certain that was the reason. But she was silently hoping it was. That Joe coming here tonight proved what her gut was telling her.

With that in mind her hands moved from Joe's chest to his face, cupping the chiseled sculpture. "Joe." She murmured, attempting to bring his attention to her. But his eyes were still on the front door and the men he wanted to tear through behind it. Soft lips kissed his cheek, once then twice, slowly drawing Joe's focus to the woman peering at him beneath naturally long lashes.

"What?" He snarled, still driven by the unusual thoughts that had been plaguing him for the better part of the last week. Elena merely shook her head. Then she kissed Joe tenderly on the mouth. She had to tell him the truth without using drawn out sentences. With a huff Joe finally rested his irises on her sensual face, highlighted by the moonlight and minimal amounts of make-up. Elena was truly beautiful. But now she had Joe baffled, unsure of what to do next. Unlike the fight he'd been expecting her actions were so affectionate. Then he understood the words she was speaking with her emerald orbs. It's no one.

Grasping that from her jade pools relaxed Joe, yet didn't relieve his confusion. This didn't make any sense. He felt like he was receiving two different messages. "Then why did you tell me that shit?" Was she trying to drive him crazy? Didn't she know how disastrous that could be? With a heavy sigh Elena looked at the house behind her. "Family." In this case one word was all Joe needed. Family was something he could easily identify with. Billy certainly had his own idea of what a relationship should be. Nonexistent. A good fuck was all you needed. Anything else was nothing but trouble.

But Joe knew part of the reason for the mindset is the majority of girls the brothers came across couldn't handle them. It was one thing to fuck them for a night but anything more, an actual relationship was out of the question. Because no matter what those girls said, trying to convince the men otherwise, they were weak. Fake, clingy and annoying about summed it up. Incapable of genuinely wanting the brothers for who they were ad not the power their last name held. At the very least they would turn into snitches. All of that was unacceptable. And that left Joe still trying to figure out why Billy had pushed him to Elena tonight, aside from his poor mood. But he would deal with that later. Right now it didn't matter, she did.

"That's your family in there?" There was a part of Joe that had never pictured Elena having relatives in Boston. Not for any particular reason. Although, she'd never mentioned them and not even hinted at them once. And she carried herself in such a way that he'd assumed she didn't have anyone else to rely on.

Elena nodded shortly. "Somewhere in between all the drunks and whores." Joe smoothed a hand along the back of his neck, acknowledging the information. The intense rage he'd been consumed by was steadily leaving him. And he wasn't the only one. Seeing him now Elena realized how much she'd missed him. She'd been denying that truth, burying herself in her work but it wasn't enough. At night her thoughts drifted to him and in the morning her hand caressed the other side of the bed, expecting that she would feel Joe's chest under her fingers. But he wasn't there. His breath wasn't tickling her neck, his arms weren't wrapped around her, and he wasn't there to smile at her right after she woke up, making everything brighter. She'd been alone. And now he was back, making her heart pick up speed and everything she'd been fighting against climb to the surface.

"Do you want me to leave?" He finally asked. How could she even entertain the thought of him leaving? Breaking it off with him once had been bad enough. Elena didn't have it in her to do again. Especially not with the way he was looking at her. "No." That was all Joe needed to hear.

Please excuse any mistakes. I proof read late at night but wanted to get it posted tonight. I will go over it soon and fix any errors, make improvements. And I know I'm so evil leaving it like that but trust me it will be worth it in the next chapter. Thank you- Darley's Little Devil. Hoppnhorn. Mrs. Mercer. Sparkly Blue Eyes. Saiyuo 12. Leeseelee. XxxDarkCloudxxX. You are all INCREDIBLE. I'm very fortune to have you as my faithfuls.