Publisher:Class Act Books
Book Preview: "Brother Devil"
Still reeling from his wife’s accidental death, Michel comes to terms with his freedom from a shameful and cruel marriage. Always bested by his brother Luc, especially when it came to women, Michel is now free to indulged his long-suppressed desires. The women of Orleans Parish once called Luc Le Diable and Michel The Angel, but now he’s following in his big brother’s footsteps. If Michel’s an angel now, it’s a falling one and he’s enjoying it every sin of the way!
"Julie, why don't you check on the baby?" Luc didn't look at his wife as he spoke. "He probably misses his maman."
She didn't move, not wanting to leave them, afraid of what they might do to each other when alone.
"Yes, Julie." Michel echoed. He raised his glass again and drank, never taking his gaze from his brother's face. "Go on. Luc and I need to talk."
"Luc…" He turned to look at her. "I… Don't be long." She went out.
Michel waited until the sound of her footsteps died away before he spoke again.
"You're lucky." He sat down. "At least you know who the father of your son is."
"Oh, come off it, Michel! The wronged husband act doesn't become you--and it's about five years too late. Hell, Clarice balled half the men in Orleans Parish."
Michel didn't answer, drawing in his breath in something that might have been a half-sob.
"Let me amend that." Luc relented slightly. "Clarice liked the thrill of the chase. Once she had a man, she usually didn't want him, but God knows, she chased plenty. Still, after she married you, I doubt she slept with any of them."
"Oh, merci! That's a great comfort. But frankly, I'm only interested in the one she did sleep with."
"Why pick on me?"
"I didn't see any of those other men making love to her, Luc, but I did see you!"
Luc looked away. "She wouldn't leave me alone."
"And you didn't know how to say non, did you?"
"I was drunk. I thought she was Julie."
"Then you must have been really drunk."
"Damn it, we've been over this! You know exactly what happened." Unconsciously, Luc's hands clenched into fists. "For God's sake, how many times did I tell her it was over? She wouldn't leave me alone and you know it! Your wife was a slut, Michel, and that's all there is to it." He looked down at his brother coldly. "Why can't you admit that?"
"You don't understand, do you?" Michel's voice sank to a whisper
"No. I guess I don't," Luc agreed. "I've never understood why you let Clarice treat you like she did, and I've tried to imagine how I'd react if I'd seen you and Julie." He shook his head, sending the tied-back hair swinging. "I know what I'd do, but you? All you've done is try to drink yourself into a coma and give me looks that ought to strike me dead."
"Would it do any good if I got violent?" Michel rolled the glass between his palms. It wobbled, spilling some of its contents, the only evidence of the emotion coiling inside him. "Want me to get one of Gran'pere's pistols and shoot you?"
"That would certainly be a more normal reaction, and frankly, it'd make me feel a hell of a lot better."
"Then pardon moi for not making you feel better."
With a gesture of surrender, Luc dropped onto the sofa beside his brother, grimacing as Michel slid away so they didn't touch. "All I can do is say I'm sorry, and I know that's the most worthless phrase in the world right now. I didn't intend for it to happen. God knows, if I'd been in my right mind...maybe even a little less drunk...but it did, and now? Well, we're the ones who have to face what comes next."
"So what does come next?"
"Hell, I don't know. What do you want to happen?"
"I'd like to kill you." Setting down his drink, Michel got to his feet.
"Okay. Fine." Luc also put down his glass and stood up. "Shall we go outside and square off at forty paces with dueling pistols, or will it satisfy you if I simply stand here with bowed head while you drive a knife into my heart?"