Burning Seduction

By: Vella Day
Montana Promises Book 5

Chapter One

Detective Trent Lawson might have been responsible for putting a lot of men in the Montana State Prison, but he’d never escorted any of them out before—especially someone related to him.

“Your brother is being brought out now,” the guard said.

Despite having visited Harmon many times, the barren walls and sterile environment still gave Trent the creeps. He couldn’t imagine being cooped up in there. The three years his brother had served seemed like a lifetime.

Dragging his palms down his jeans, Trent was both excited and uneasy about having Harmon back in Rock Hard. He’d thought he’d known his older brother, but apparently Trent had kept his head in the sand when it came to him. Now that he’d served his time for insider trading, it was time for Trent to let go of his anger. At least that was his plan. How well he could execute it was anyone’s guess.

He shook his head. There had been a time when he’d worshipped his older brother, but no longer. Harmon had fallen off that pedestal when he broke the law. It was ironic that Trent had been the one who’d been tossed in the Last Opportunity School just as Harmon was finishing college and graduating at the top of his class.

He’s here.

Standing erect, and with his gaze cast slightly downward, Harmon was led out by an armed guard. Before prison, his brother kept his light brown hair perfectly styled, but now it was cropped short. He’d also been on the chunky side, but his brother was thinner now and packed with muscles. Despite the positive change in fitness level, his brother looked older, more worn. Appeals and false hope had done that to him.

Trent inhaled, moved toward Harmon, and embraced his brother for a moment before holding him out at arm’s length. “You look like shit, bro, you know that?” Humor was the only way to calm his churning gut.

He held his breath, not having any idea whether he’d be met with anger, cheer, or total elation.

Harmon smiled, and a familiar brotherly rush filled him. He looked behind Trent. “I take it the old man didn’t come?”

Trent blew out a breath. “You know better than to ask.”

Harmon slung an arm over Trent’s shoulder. “As I’ve been saying, I was framed, but no one seems to believe me, especially Dad.”

All criminals claimed they were innocent, but Trent decided to keep that opinion to himself. “Dad’s a cop at heart. He’ll need irrefutable proof.”

Harmon lowered his arm and nodded. “I plan to get some, but I was hoping doing my time would have helped him forgive me.”

“You know him. Or maybe you don’t. Ever since he became disabled, he’s become more ornery.”

“Didn’t think that was possible. I had hoped we could be a family again, but I guess not.” He shoved a free hand in his pocket, holding his few possessions in the other.

As much as Trent would have liked to turn back the hands of time to before his parents divorced and when Harmon was riding high, Trent was the first to admit that wishing for those days wouldn’t make them return. Besides, he wasn’t ready to open his heart and be all-forgiving either. He, too, had been betrayed.

They reached his Jeep and Trent jogged to the driver’s side, while Harmon slid onto the passenger’s seat. “If I forgot to mention it, thanks for picking me up,” Harmon said as soon as Trent was seated.

“That’s what brothers are for.” Even when Trent had visited him in prison, the tension between them had never been this intense. “I found you an apartment, but it won’t be available for another week.”

“Fantastic, though I won’t be a charity case. I’ll need to look for a job, even though I had a little money left over after the trial.”

He had a lot left over. The lawyer’s fees had only put a small dent in his savings. “I asked Pete Banks of Banks Construction if he needed someone for his crew, and he said he could use a man. Since you always were the handy one, I thought it might be a good fit.”

“In high school, maybe. I appreciate you helping, but I want to do this my way.”

Trent wasn’t one to push. He understood pride better than anyone. “Fine.”