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2 bk SET – Twin Ties seriesAuthor(s): Lynn Kelling
Set of Two Novels
Ebook Edition (Available in epub, mobi & pdf.)
Publication date: February 4, 2014
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“There’s a sink in the kitchen at the back of the house if you want to get washed up there. There’s only the one bathroom,” Brennan apologized.
“Okay,” Luka grinned. He watched Brennan go, his button-down shirt all rumpled and damp in patches, his pants hanging open in the front but his underwear at least protecting his modesty. “You were right about that ‘small’ thing by the way,” he called. “I totally take it back.”
“Thank you,” Brennan smirked, disappearing into the dimly lit hall. A light blinked on, shining from the bathroom, then was blocked as the door shut. Struggling up off the bed, taking a moment to try to tame his raging libido, Luka attempted to wilt his huge hard-on by thinking about the nasty, sweaty, stinky people from the gym that morning.
Long moments later, he headed out into the hallway. The bathroom door was open again but no one was inside.
Moonlight filtered through the windows and it was just enough to see by. Luka could just make out the kitchen in the distance, so he turned to go that way when someone stepped into the hall a few feet ahead of him.
It was Brennan but he was wearing other clothes now—a snug-fitting, worn t-shirt and jeans. And his hair was different. It looked… shorter.
“Brennan?” Luka squinted.
“Alek? Shit, what’re you….”
Baffled, Luka repeated, “…Alek?”
“Luka?” Brennan said, appearing from behind the door to the linen closet. “I just needed to grab a clean towel… oh. Hey, Evan.”
“Evan? No. Wait. You’re… Evan,” Luka pointed, looking between the perfectly identical pair. “Whoa. Oh my god. Oh my god, you have a twin!? What the fuck!? This is… incredibly… insanely… Whoa. You didn’t tell me you have a twin! Well, I didn’t tell you I have a twin either, so I guess I really have no room to complain.”
Brennan’s eyes widened. “Wait, what? No way. You have a twin, too? No. Okay, now I know you’re fucking with me.”
“I’m not fucking with you!”
“Evidence suggests otherwise,” Evan muttered, glancing at Brennan’s come-streaked, falling-off clothes and unzipped pants.
“Shit. Yeah. Christ. Excuse me. Luka, you’ll be cool for a minute if I, um…” Brennan fumbled, gesturing to the bathroom.
“Yeah. Yeah! Go ahead. I’ll just stare awkwardly at Evan or something. Probably.”
They stood there as Brennan hurried back to the bathroom with the towel. Evan chewed at his lip, hunching over like he wanted to disappear, and swirled the half-empty beer in his hands, glancing up through his long eyelashes at Luka who was indeed staring awkwardly at him, as promised. Evan looked exactly like Brennan, so much so that Luka had an overwhelming desire to stand them next to each other so he could compare and contrast. Their features were the same, right down to the placement of freckles. It was everything else that was different.
“That’s so weird,” Luka gushed. “Oh man. This is how I’ve been making people feel all my life, isn’t it? I’ve never met identical twins before, besides, you know. Myself. And Alek. Obviously.”
“So, you wanna borrow a shirt or something? ‘Cause…” Evan nodded, tipping his beer toward the wet spot on Luka’s polo shirt.
Looking down at himself, Luka shut up quickly and ran a hand back restlessly through his hair. “Yes. Please. That’d be appreciated.”
Evan turned, walking into a darkened room located off of the center hall. Luka followed along behind him like a dog with its tail between his legs, embarrassed and confused. He accepted the shirt Evan handed over with a low, muttered, “Thanks. I’m sorry about that with your brother. Who is awesome, by the way. I swear I’m not just here to perv on him. It’s not just, you know, what it seems.”
“No problem,” Evan said, digging down into his pocket and coming out with a cigarette. His hand trembled slightly as he placed it between his lips and he seemed pale but Luka wrote it off to the shock of walking into the scene he just had. “You mind if I?”
“Nah. Your house, man.”
Evan nodded, lighting the cigarette and walking with Luka to the kitchen as he changed shirts, sitting down at the table and picking restlessly at his beer label. “Have a seat. Beer’s in the fridge.”
“Sure,” Luka agreed, sitting across from Evan. They were in better light, so he was able to study Evan closer, and the differences between him and Brennan. Luka found Evan’s hair was cut shorter and styled differently than Brennan’s, not to mention darker in color. Evan’s posture and body language, his expression and build were all wildly different too, but there was also so very much of the same. It was a little spooky. “Sorry for staring, but this is really fascinating.”
“What?” Evan shifted in his chair, sucking hard on the cigarette, blowing smoke out the side of his mouth.
“Well, you look like you should be the bad twin, with the cigarette and the beer and mild surliness and all. You know—the angel and the devil, that whole thing. It’s kind of this theory I have. Alek thinks I’m crazy. But anyway, I think Brennan is definitely the bad twin. I think you two got your disguises mixed up or something to throw the rest of us off.”
“Hmm. Brennan’s the bad twin?” Evan echoed, squinting at Luka, flicking ashes into the ashtray in the center of the table.
“Why, you don’t agree?”
“I don’t know.” Evan shrugged, “Don’t really know him that well but I’d disagree from what I’ve seen.”
Utterly baffled, Luka blurted, “What do you mean you don’t know him that well? He’s your identical twin brother! How could you not know him?”
“Long story. Just met the guy a few days ago.”
“Huh,” Luka grunted thoughtfully, considering this new information. “Well then, trust me, Brennan is the bad twin.”
“I still disagree. He’s as dangerous as a cupcake.”
Luka snorted, “Cupcake. Ha! That’s totally gotta be his nickname from now on. But I’ve gotta warn you, Evan, beware of that cupcake.” He thumbed back over his shoulder at the bathroom, raising his eyebrows and nodding once for emphasis.
“Wait,” Luka frowned. Finally, he realized one thing he almost missed, something that only sparked upon replaying the incident in the hallway over in his head. “You called me Alek. You thought I was him. You know Alek?”
“I guess,” Evan said evasively.
“Huh. Small world.”
Evan chuckled, sucking hard on the filter of his cigarette, filling his lungs with smoke and holding it there a second. Then he breathed it out and shook his head. “Yeah, tell me about it.”