Bonus Scene: Drunk and Disorderly, an alternate PoV for Brazen and Breathless
This bonus scene features Jake’s alternate PoV from a scene within Brazen and Breathless when he and Frankie arrive home to find Coop drunk. This scene may contain spoilers for the series if you are not up to date.
“Okay,” Frankie murmured, the compassion in her voice the kind of warm hug everyone needed when shit went sideways. “Can you drink some water for us? And maybe let me clean up your knuckles?”
He glanced at his hand and then shrugged, but he didn’t let go of her face. While Frankie didn’t flinch, Coop’s grip tightened enough to press into her cheeks. “Hands don’t even hurt. Why are parents so bad at parenting? Mom is great. Mom’s been a damn saint. So much makes sense now, and I don’t know why I didn’t see it. But fuck me, I wish I didn’t see it now.”
“Hey, bud,” I said, bumping his arm, and he eased up his tight hold on her cheeks. “Water, man. Before you puke all over Frankie then have to look her in the eye later.”
Frankie shot me a look. It wasn’t like it hadn’t happened before. Granted, not our proudest moment but…
“Dude, you puked on her the first time you got shit-faced,” Coop said with a snicker, but he took the glass of water from me, and I braced his shoulder and kept a hand on the glass so he didn’t slosh it around. Gradually, he slumped back on the sofa. “You remember that, Frankie? Threw up all over your shirt and your shoes. First time I saw you with tits for real. I mean, we’d seen them before, kind of knew they were there, but you had on that pretty pink bra.”
Shoulders shaking, I was hard-pressed not to laugh. “Do we tell him?”
Frankie shook her head. “Leave him alone. I want to know what happened.”
“His dad, apparently.” I raked a hand through my hair. Dads were just not good news around any of us it would seem.
“Course, then I threw up on you,” Coop said, his voice almost mournful. “And you said you threw that pretty pink bra away, and I felt bad.”
“It’s okay,” she murmured. “Really, there was no getting burrito and beer stains out of it.”
“Fuck, why do you even kiss us when we did shit like that?” Coop groaned.
“And there he goes.” I had a hard time containing my laughter. But in the great grand scheme of things, the memories we shared were worth a hell of a lot more than one stained, pink bra. “Dude, don’t remind her, or she might not want to kiss us.”
Then again, it had been a beautiful pink bra.
Not as pretty as the girl wearing it but…not much was.
Four Years Earlier
Drunk didn’t begin to cover it. We’d known Archie what—a week now? This asshole lived in an honest to god mansion. He had a driver bring him to school and he lived in a mansion. Not only that, he had free run of the place and the liquor cabinet.
“Not the hard liquors, Mr. Archie,” his butler—who the fuck had a butler?—informed us. “That cabinet shall remain locked. You may however, using restraint, visit the beer and wine fridges.”
Beer and wine fridge.
Frankie elbowed me so hard in the gut, I oofed and I caught her give me a hard look. I mouthed ‘what?’ I mean, I’d been minding my manners since we arrived at Castle Standish. The only thing the place was missing was a fucking moat.
“Stop glaring at Archie,” she whispered without moving her lips at all. “It’s rude.”
“I’m not glaring,” I whispered back at her, then curved an arm around her shoulders so I could press my lips closer to her ear and hide my mouth with her hair. The last thing I needed was the rich little shit getting any ideas.
“You are,” she muttered, but didn’t pull away. The fact the rich little shit in question glared at me when I hugged Frankie made me want to hug her more. Dude needed to get a grip. He was late to this party.
“Am not,” I countered in mature fashion. “You’re not the boss of us.”
Her inelegant snort pulled Bubba’s and Coop’s attention in our direction. Coop crossed his eyes and reached over to snag Frankie’s hand. I had to let her go or risk choking her when he tugged.
“We got it, Jere,” Archie was saying. “Thanks, seriously. Did you guys want to swim or hit the game room?”
“I didn’t bring a suit,” Frankie said and Archie laughed.
“We got lots of suits you can borrow…” But her face shut him up. “Tell you what, let’s split the difference! Jere, we’re gonna use the game system in the pool house. You mind setting us up with snacks out there?”
Not waiting for the response, Archie led the way outside and around the giant fucking swimming pool. They had a hot tub because of course they did and I caught Coop gaping as much as Frankie had accused me of. Only, she wasn’t yelling at him. She did make a little face as Archie pushed open the double wide french doors to the pool house.
“Wow,” she said slowly and turned around in a circle. We’d all come pretty much straight from school. The plan was to hang out and spend the night. We’d had to do some wrangling and since Frankie’s mom didn’t know Archie’s parents yet, she told her mom they were crashing at my place and my mom was away with the girls this weekend at some dance thing and I was supposed to be at Coop’s place.
It coordinated well. Since our moms didn’t talk that much these days, we’d probably be safe. Frankie set her bookbag down by the sofa inside the pool house room and my need to stare stuttered completely at the huge screen on the wall and the gaming systems.
Never one to feel uncomfortable for long, Coop leapt over the sofa and landed on it with a bounce. “What are we playing first?”
Just like that, arguments erupted over what we’d play and Archie settled it with a whistle. “Ladies first,” he offered with a sly grin at Frankie. Coop groaned and so did I.
There was only one game Frankie chose first.
“What?” Archie asked, but Frankie pinched Coop and he laughed as Bubba made room for Frankie to sit between him and Coop.
“I want to play Mario Kart,” she said at the exact same time we said, “She wants to play Mario Kart.”
Man, he’d learn.
The next two hours were fucking hilarious as we plowed through the races and tried to sabotage each other. It was hard to do five player, someone always had to rotate out, so we made the lowest score drop each time. It seemed fair and we were all so damn competitive it changed often. Not Archie though, he got in nearly every game.
Well, so did I.
Frankie stayed in far more than she fell out though neither Coop or Bubba seemed to mind. Pizza arrived and we fell on that like ravening beasts, cleaning out the two larges in record time and we were still hungry.
“Tacos?” Archie offered.
“Hmm, quesadillas,” Frankie said as she reached for a controller.
“Burritos,” Coop and I chose and Bubba went for tacos with Archie. Though when this spread arrived, there were literally trays of everything.
It was getting dark when we broke out the beer and gave it a shot. It wasn’t too bad. Ice cold it was actually really nice. We’d switched to a first person shooter which was hilariously harder than it should have been. I was damn good at these games. Frankie was kind of scary accurate at them.
Archie kept the beer coming, and twice I finished Frankie’s for her because her nose would wrinkle up if it got warm at all. I wasn’t sure when Coop caught on to what I was doing cause he snaked her next half-full one when it was room temperature.
I had to take a leak bad, but the warm haze enveloping me coupled with the fact I’d finally gotten to sit right next to Frankie made me not want to get up. Move your meat and lose your seat.
The game perspective switched and I had to squint to stay focused because fuck it was like we were drunk waddling through this level. Then Archie took me out. Asshole. But Frankie squealed with laughter. Oh, he got her too—but she threw a grenade and Coop whooped because they died at the same time and Coop won by default.
“Champion!” he shouted and we were all laughing.
Frankie pushed up to stand and glanced at me with flushed cheeks. “Come on stinky boy,” she ordered and held out her hands to me.
“No more bean burritos for you.”
I did a test sniff. “Wasn’t me. Had to have been Coop.”
“I don’t care which of you did it, you’re gagging me.”
I opened my mouth to protest that and vomited all down her shirt.
“S’okay,” she said, holding up a hand like this happened all the time. “Just—someone get me a towel and a bucket.” She sounded like she’d stopped up her nose and was breathing through her mouth.
Oh fuck. I was a dick. “I’m sorry…”
“I got this.” She stripped out of the shirt with care and this time my gaping was real. Because beneath the oversized shirt she’d been wearing was the prettiest pink lace bra covering the prettiest tits I’d ever seen.
I mean. Yeah, Frankie had tits but…fuck me, Frankie had tits.
Half my drunk seemed to pass out from the hot wind blowing through me.
“Wow,” Coop said, echoing my internal dialogue. “Look at that…you have lace on your nips.”
Then he threw up on her as Archie lunged across the room and Bubba covered his face. It was like slow motion destruction.
I clapped a hand over my mouth because I didn’t want to join the puke fest but seriously, it was such a pretty bra.
And now it was pretty spectacularly ruined.
Fuck my life.
I was still thinking about that bra the next morning when I was hungover and ready to die. Frankie kept telling us to not worry about it, but holy shit. I’d always known she was a girl. Always known I liked her.
But now…now all I could see was that pretty pink bra and if I hadn’t puked on her first, I’d have punched Coop for ruining it.
Even more when I saw the bra in the trash.
We were the worst friends ever.
Could we buy her a new bra? Would that be weird?
“Shut up,” Frankie told me and stuck her tongue at me. I winked. Fuck I loved her. She had lots of pretty bras now, but she still had the prettiest fucking tits I’d ever seen. “I kiss you because you brush your teeth. You also held my hair back when I got puking drunk. You guys were doing all kinds of things for me with my broken wrist, including helping me in the bathroom.”
And we’d do it all again, no question or hesitation.
“Why do you kiss me when you’ve had to do that?”
“’Cause you’re fucking beautiful,” Coop answered promptly. Good boy. “Inside and out.”
Yes, she was.
And she was ours.
Just as long as we kept the bean burritos to a minimum.
Pretty sure we got the best end of that deal.