In this scene from Bro, Khyff is about to bolt for freedom when his client says one word that stops him cold.
NOTE: Bro has adult themes but NO graphic or explicit content.
Client or Friend?
As usual, Khyff's master hadn't allowed him to eat until he'd met his quota. First up: shower, clean clothes, food. Not necessarily in that order. He kept a few stale crackers hidden in his room for emergencies. He'd satisfied his last client, and was unscheduled the rest of the day. Or at least the next six hours.
Khyff bolted toward freedom.
"So you're an Antonello."
The way the client said it drew Khyff's attention. This particular client was one of the less odious. He didn't grab or cling, he was--thankfully--clean, and he tipped well. Still, the guy was paying for sex and Khyff had no choice. Being a pleasure slave meant you serviced the clients sent to you, or you suffered for it. In Khyff's case, refusing meant risking prison.
He would never go back there, no matter what they made him do here.
Khyff clenched his teeth and pasted on a smile. "Pardon?"
"Your last name." The guy continued getting dressed, seemingly in no hurry. "It's Antonello, right?"
"I never noticed before. It's right here on my receipt." He picked up his mobile and turned the screen toward Khyff. "I mean I've been here what... five times now?" He poked at the screen. "Whoa! Seven. Huh. I should have a free visit after three more."
Khyff choked back a retort. His master was giving away free visits with him? It would take hundreds of client visits to earn enough in his Freedom Savings Account so Khyff could buy himself. If his master was giving him away, it would take forever.
Khyff jerked open the door.
"You don't look like the other one."
Half a step into the hall, Khyff's heart stuttered. He made a slow pivot. "Other one?"
"The other Antonello. You look different."
The world went silent. Khyff came inside, shut the door and leaned against it. "So I'm sure I heard right. You know another Antonello."
"Yeah. I saw the name, and figured you had to be related. Antonello's not common. Not on Kelthia. I'm guessing you don't have much family here."
Good guess. More than three quarters of the world's population was black-skinned. Khyff had blond hair, blue eyes, fair skin.
Could this be a link to his missing mother? Did the client know her? Khyff fought the hope that rose within him. It had been how many years? No, he would not allow himself to hope. When you hoped, people could hurt you more.
When you can make yourself invisible, invisible truths are revealed.
Take two brothers: one a half-blood thief, one a pleasure slave. Raise them in different worlds, reunite them by fate, mix in a powerful immortal, and you have Bro, the story behind the Antonello Brothers.
Want to be first to know when Bro is released? Join one of my reader groups and you'll also get an exclusive behind the scenes booklet about the brothers.
JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.