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Demon Bonded #10 is Live! 🎉💥💖

Demon Bonded #10!

I know, finally! XD

Finally. You can’t come from a place of gratitude unless you stop where you are. I am full of gratitude to see this book out and be able to share it with you all. Ky, Lovely, Feral and Magnificent Night are back, along with the drama of their existence. I warned a little bit before that the format is changing. Demon Bonded started out as 10,000 word episodes of erotica mixed with plot. We’re going to be seeing a switch as plot takes center stage; the erotic nature is still there, more so in later books, but there is a story to tell and each episode will be getting longer because of it.

Thanks for hanging in there, loves. Your continued support has made this possible. An artist can be a fragile existence of doubts, fears, and insecurities. I do my best to overcome them all, but it is not a journey taken alone. Thanks for being here for it. As a result, Demon Bonded #10 will be enrolled in Kindle Unlimited for the first 3 months. I have a history of issues with this program, as most of you know. At the same time, I know many of my fans use KU because it’s affordable. You guys are more important than my rants and I want to make sure you can enjoy these stories. For real, there is no point writing if no one is reading.

Oh, so Demon Bonded is updated on the website; subscribers can now read the fully edited series. Three are available for Free Members: episode #1, and bonus episodes #1 + #2. Within the next week or so, I’ll be compiling the new versions, making new covers, and re-publishing Demencious Saga and Apprentice Saga, the Demon Bonded bundles, that way you don’t have to go out buying each episode (unless you really obsess over getting the new covers. XD) ARC readers, I’ll be sending an email with episode #10. I’m behind again, of course—pretty sure it’s a default at this point. <3

If you picked up a copy of Blackthorne by Sadie Sins…

Welcome. You’re now included in a mm (aka gay, man on man) romance and erotica book list. It’s a weekly list that usually includes deals on books in the mm genre of all types, as well as whatever topical stuff I react to at the moment. If this isn’t your thing, you are not obligated to remain signed up. If it is your thing, I’m glad to meet you and I hope you enjoy your reading. <3

~Sadie Sins

I’m actually going through the process of unsubscribing those who have never opened the emails. Mailing list services aren’t cheap and they charge by the subscriber. So if you suddenly stop getting those emails you’ve been ignoring, this would be why. ^^

Puerto Rico Needs Our Help

I’m going to come out and say it; I am one of the 50% (I’m certain this number is higher within the states) of Americans who didn’t know Puerto Rico is a territory of America until this disaster struck. It wasn’t something really stressed upon in my education, and it wasn’t talked about in the day to day of the household I grew up in. Maybe if they were allowed to vote, it would be different; suddenly red and blue would be rushing to manipulate the people of Puerto Rico for their vote and they’d be recognized. Because of my ignorance, and because I have readers in Puerto Rico, a few I have thankfully heard from to discover they’re well either through email or Facebook check ins, I wanted to learn more. I want to understand the weight of responsibility and where it’s held during a crisis like this for a territory of the United States.

I remember Hurricane Katrina; the looting, the rape, the starvation, the lost—so many people lost and never found again because the government took too long to act. Worse, they didn’t bother to care. I won’t name it racism; we all know it’s racism. No matter how many Black Lives memes try to breathe simple awareness, it feels like white lives are the only ones who get attention (or voting rights.) This week, it was the voices of the angry, offended white people over black people kneeling during an anthem. You couldn’t even have a black person be ‘silent’ in their protest without the screams of others to block them out. All while people, US citizens, were suffering, hungry, and dying on an island who doesn’t have voting rights.

Food is rotting, power and communications is scarce. There are those outside of Puerto Rico still waiting to hear from loved ones and they don’t know if they’re dead, or just unable to communicate. I want to stress even though Puerto Rico itself is scrambling to get their people safe, protected and fed, their island has been devastated and resources limited. Think of having your toolbox swept away and rusting in the ocean along with all the things needed to be fixed. Refrigerators full of food but no power, and temperatures where digging a hole to create an old school icebox really isn’t going to do much to preserve the food long. Outside resources including clean water and safe food is needed to keep these people alive until they can rebuild.

Vox has an informative article about what’s happening and how to help. At the bottom of the article is a list of places you can donate to support Puerto Rico while America bitches over the right to kneel or stand during a racist anthem that third verse includes the line “No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave.” The writer of the Star-Spangled Banner has been quoted as saying blacks are “…a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.”

A note for the ego; when you can accept your ignorance without the reactions of shame, without the ego getting in the way screaming ‘I’m not a bad person; don’t judge me,’ as it lashes out to prevent feeling small, vulnerable and unloved, you can learn, move forward, and do something in response. We are all learning, we are all capable of being better, but it takes accepting that we don’t know it all in this moment first. We don’t need to perpetuate the same crimes just to keep from looking like an idiot; it has the opposite effect seen clearly from the outside.

May Ally Lee Steinfeld Find Peace

I only discovered this yesterday, and I feel like I’m in mourning for this beautiful trans girl. I don’t usually bring this stuff up in newsletters but my mind is here, my heart is here, breaking. The police are ignoring the hate crime aspect – society, authority, the supposed moral core who upholds our laws are ignoring the demented, hate filled purpose of why this 17 year old was killed in Missouri.

When it is ignored, it is allowed. An innocent lost her life after being tortured, mutilated and set on fire, and it is allowed because she was trans. Until it is recognized trans are being singled out and victimized for one reason, they exist seemingly different in a sea of unique individuals, there will be no justice. How can we educate when people won’t admit to the problem? How can we look to our police to protect us, when they ignore our cries for help?

I cannot find peace with this world but I truly hope Ally has. I don’t want to hold this pain and build it in the world; I don’t want to define the world by the worst. At the same time, I cannot ignore because ignoring allows. Mourning is all I have today for every teenager who fought to have a right to be who they are and shine and was stomped down for it. We all have a right to shine as we are, beautiful and unique.

Demon Bonded #10

The line between humanity and demon blurs…

Ky can’t catch a break. While trying to come to terms with the murder he helped commit, the wards to his house are broken into by a new master sorcerer. Stewart Moore is condescending, arrogant, and might be Ky’s hope or doom in his upcoming trial.

The Aeternum, a coven of demon summoners, has laid claim to Tobias’s demons and wand. If Ky can’t convince them he’s going to survive long enough to protect the seven lives he’s bonded to, the coven will forcefully take them.

Ky is betrayed when a new revelation concerning Anselm brings his entire existence into question.

There’s no one to turn to or trust when his only allies are the abused demons who exploit to survive. Ky is submerged in a world of murder, slavery, and sorcery with no way back to his old life. He’s not who he thought he was; he might have never been.

Each episode in this sexy, suspenseful gay monster harem serial is over 10,000 words, and should be read in order to be enjoyed fully.

The Android And The Thief – Wendy Rathbone

Will love set them free—or seal their fate?

In the sixty-seventh century, Trev, a master thief and computer hacker, and Khim, a vat-grown human android, reluctantly share a cell in a floating space prison called Steering Star. Trev is there as part of an arrangement that might finally free him from his father’s control. Khim, formerly a combat android, snaps when he is sold into the pleasure trade and murders one of the men who sexually assaults him. At first they are at odds, but despite secrets and their dark pasts, they form a pact—first to survive the prison, and then to escape it.

But independence remains elusive, and falling in love comes with its own challenges. Trev’s father, Dante, a powerful underworld figure with sweeping influence throughout the galaxy, maintains control over their lives that seems stronger than any prison security system, and he seeks to keep them apart. Trev and Khim must plan another, more complex escape, and this time make sure they are well beyond the law as well as Dante’s reach.


Baby For My Omega – Dex Bass

Alpha doctor Adam Albright and omega reporter Oscar Oliphant both need love. Each of them dreams about that special man for starting a family together. But their busy careers haven’t let them find what they deeply need.

Convinced that he can’t find an alpha to love him, Oscar checks in to MPreg Hospital for an artificial procedure to become pregnant. At the hospital, he meets Adam, and he knows they have something very special together.

Oscar knows there’s no way Adam could be single and working at MPreg Hospital. And even if Adam is single, there’s no way MPreg Hospital would allow Adam to love a patient. It can only end badly. Unless Adam risks everything he has for an omega who caught his eye and his heart.

Adam and Oscar’s love is too strong to be held back. They risk everything for love and fatherhood together.


The Struggle Within – Tyler May

Through Ryan’s trials, there are three different perspectives: a best friend watching from the outside, a lover desperate to get in, and his own mind.
His struggles were theirs. He just didn’t know it.
A tragic accident changed Dr. Ryan Jacobs’ life and freed him from a past he thought he’d never escape, but with that freedom came the realization: he could escape the man, but would be bound to the torturous battle within his mind. Fighting for control of his thoughts, he lived recklessly in a life of addiction and the next good time. Wearing a mask of deception, and hiding it beautifully behind his playboy ways, he fooled himself into thinking this was the real him, but he couldn’t fool everyone.
Dr. Michael Jonas considered Ryan more than just a friend, he was his family. With the support of his wife, Michael held Ryan’s hand, listened to him cry, and helped him through the hardest events of his life. He could see through the fake smiles and playboy attitude, seeing his best friend for the man he really was. After Michael’s wife had given birth to their first child, Michael vowed never to let pain affect his family again, Ryan included. But Michael carried his own burdens and watching Ryan struggle was harder than he thought. It tore him apart, silently, until there was only one choice. Save his best friend before it was too late.


January 21, 2017: What an extraordinary day in history…

January 21, 2017. What an extraordinary day in history…

I’m currently compiling and lightly editing the two Demon Bonded Sagas I’ve written so far: Demencious Saga and Apprentice Saga. They will be available through the KU program for the first time and purchasable in two ebooks instead of the nine individual books. The saga price will be $4.99 each, except when I first release them; they’ll be $0.99 then so my current readers can acquire them inexpensively.

I thought about this a lot, to be honest. The thing is, I don’t write to make money. I make money writing so that I can continue writing. This is probably not the soundest business decision, but I’m addicted; I love it, and this is the life that I am blessed to have. I understand for some who have purchased all nine individual Demon Bonded books, that offering the books like this now might feel unfair. That is not my intention. Yes, you paid more than others will end up paying for the series so far, but you also contributed to my ability to write the next books in the series, something I am eternally grateful for. Because of your generosity, you have also made it possible for newer readers that don’t have as much money to be able to purchase a story that I think we all love—Even more amazing, in my opinion.

You’re never going to find one of my ebooks out there for $10 (not that I’m disparaging authors that charge that amount.) I was born into poverty, adopted into middle class, and I’ve been homeless and disabled—my value of money is far lower than my value of being able to share the really cool stories that float around in my head with as many people as possible. Reading was an escape for me in many a difficult life struggle, and I want to be able to offer that for others no matter their financial circumstance.

Okay, next. Part of meeting so many new authors has been learning they blog about stuff far more interesting than I do. Eric, who not only writes a plethora of amazing gay stories, also has time to blog his ass off and host Facebook groups where others can find and talk about the books they love. Please, check him out when you have a chance.

Gay Fiction Addiction and Fiction Addiction

Blood In The Water by Tami Veldura

Kyros Vindex, treasure-hunter, has a problem. He’s carrying a torch for a fellow pirate with the sexual awareness of a teaspoon. Rumors say the man has killed hundreds. He’s determined to knock some sense into the work-a-holic that captains the Midnight Sun, but damned if he knows how.

Eric Deumont has more pressing concerns than the treasure-obsessed Kyros. There’s a creature inked into his chest that no witch in the seas will lay hands on for all the gold in the world. He knows it gives the Midnight Sun a cursed reputation and that doesn’t make living any easier. He has heard stories of spirits trapped for lifetimes inside spelled puzzle jars. Eric tracked down three of the pieces for such a jar with a lead number four. The fifth is still out there.

Even then, the spirit of vengeance that lives in Eric’s skin has no intention of giving up such easy access to the mortal realm. It craves blood and the light of the moon allows it to wreak unchecked havoc. Cursed is an insult. This is madness.

StepDaddy by Sadie Sins

Hey, don’t miss out on StepDaddy. It’s free for the month!

Ethan never expected to fall for his mother’s new love interest. He had never thought he’d ever look at a man that way at all. There’s just something about his caring but controlling stepfather that has everything upside down for the eighteen year old, his crush only getting worse the longer they share space.

Jeff has been doing everything he can to avoid his new stepson. Ethan is sweet, lonely, and absolutely beautiful. And worse, Jeff can’t help but want to protect the boy, especially when Ethan insists on dressing in provocative, hot ways. His stepson might just be trying to bait him, but for what he’s not sure.

When the two finally realize their attraction is mutual, Jeff knows he must leave to keep from crossing the line. Heartbroken, Ethan comes up with a plan. He’s just not sure it will be enough to convince his stepdaddy to stay.

18+ This novella contains explicit m/m sexual content, graphic language, and themes of bondage and discipline between adult men. Over 35,000 words long.

Soapbox time, my dears.

Look away if reality frightens you; I can’t protect you or soothe your fears. Mine are just as large.

The darkness is sweeping in, and LGBT* was wiped from the face of the White House with the ascension of America’s new president. In one stroke, the very existence of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, queers, asexuals, and all the many variations we humans use to help identify our core self when it comes to sexuality has been blacked out from the government that is supposed to represent all of its citizens. At the same time as I write this, there are women, men, Americans, and people all over the globe of all creed, all color, all orientation, protesting the future that is to befall my country.

Humanity is crying out, and I hear it. I hope you hear it too and understand.

The rights that I grew up with—that I know true in my heart—I learned as an adult had to be written through my government to be protected. And when the governing power decides that those rights have no value, we are not protected. When a man that can rape and assault a woman—many women**—rises to the seat of president when his entire country knows and dismisses his crimes, women are no longer protected. Voices in America said that one man was more powerful, more ‘right’ than the women he assaulted and their rights to their bodies. Believe me, no politics in this election will ever compare to the absolute devastation that one message speaks when it comes to our fundamental human rights: One man has more power over my female body than I do.

This message is not limited to women. This is a message that one man can refuse to pay his employees and not be punished. That one man can exploit citizen status, the color of skin, religion, gender, youth, sexual orientation, years of institutional racism and sexism to ensure that his victims fear too much to fight back. That one man can defraud students in a fake school of his creation and not face the consequences beyond throwing an endless stream of money. That one man can exploit the sheer lack of wealth all his victims have as he takes whatever he pleases. That one man can lie, every moment, every time and not be held accountable for his words and actions. Voices in my country said that this behavior was acceptable. Their votes said it when their silence reigned. They said money was greater than human rights. They said money was greater than my human rights, greater than my family, my friends, my neighbors, and the strangers I have yet to meet but share so much.

Those cold, apathetic voices are willing to give my rights away, but my rights don’t belong to them. They are mine. Our rights are innate, born to us, live within every child born until the day we die. We are equal, and we are free, and that is how we are meant to exist. And yes, these rights are only protected because of the documents of my government that ensure that it is so, but that doesn’t mean that they will ever be gone if those documents change. It doesn’t mean our rights will ever not be ours even when an administration that lords over us with subversive religious mandates says otherwise.

Our rights cannot be taken from us, but they can be given. In the silence, in the bargaining for power and safety, in the fear, people give their rights away.

As this darkness sweeps in, crashing in a frozen wave to submerge my country, I will not be silent. I will not give my rights away. I will support every voice that speaks up against inequality and tyranny. As much as this new president will try to separate America from the globe we live in, I will do everything to reach out. Our neighbors are our help, not our enemy. They are our guide when we are lost in the darkness. My voice might not be the most educated or the loudest or compelling, but it is all I have, and I will use it.

Now is the time to be loud. This is the first day of the first battle that will continue for the next four years. It will become as innate as my breathing—as innate as those rights that each and every one of us holds within. I will be loud. I will not be silent and complacent in the stripping of our freedom. If we are all loud, our roar can shake apart this darkness.



Rob has had enough of his older brothers teasing him. Just because his mother insisted he was her honorary girl when she was done raising sons didn’t mean he was an actual girl! He’s sick of being treated like a chick and he’s looking for vengeance.

Rob’s three older brother’s are sick of their little brother acting like an angry, spoiled brat. When Rob crosses the lines with another one of his childish pranks, they decide it’s time to teach their little sister a lesson in being a girl the only way three muscular, controlling guys know how.

This story is 17,000+ words long. It contains graphic language, sexually explicit content between brothers, a great corset and leather boots, spanking, and mild humiliation mixed with some tears. 18+ Only

17,000+ wrds, Published June 11, 2016.
Heat level: XX


Sizzling hot story with four brothers! Loved the characters and the plot. Great job!
story warning: contains incest between 4 brothers. Wheew! This was another great story by Sadie. One thing you will always get with her books, is lots of heat! The best Thing about them though, is they have an actual storyline with that sex. If you like taboo books, this one is perfect! Rob and his older brothers heat up the pages.
Shocking debauchery.

Rob had finally had enough. His assholic older brothers had crossed him for the last fucking time. The three jerks had once again—well, Frank had and he totally fucking hated Frank—Frank had said he was a girl. Worse, a cheerleader. This time in front of the entire fucking football team. The bastard had stood in front of everyone and said the reason his little brother couldn’t try out for the team was because he was really a chick and they should have him cheer instead. And then everyone had laughed. Dan, his other asshole of a brother, had laughed the loudest and even Joey, who was usually the nice one out of the three, had joined in. Whenever he was around Frank and Dan, Joey always took their side. It wasn’t fair. Rob had three older, stronger, meaner brothers and they always picked on him.

Today, he was going to show them.

Rob stalked into their family kitchen, his parents still at work and his brothers still at practice. He placed the bag of sugar he had bought at the convenience store on the table, pulling a chair out and standing on it so he could reach the higher cabinet over the fridge. Fucking Frank was always laughing about how he needed to stand on something to reach the cabinet just like their mom. But Frank was a goddamn giant, as was Dan and Joey, and normal people needed a stool to reach that high. He wasn’t short and petite, he was just being compared to fucking giants. Everyone looked like a matchstick compared to his brothers.

Grinning viciously, Rob grabbed the container of whey protein powder out of the cabinet, gasping when he fumbled the large, plastic container and nearly dropped it. Fuck, that would have been a total mess. He cradled the container to his chest as he jumped down from the chair, then headed straight for the sink.

They thought they were so fucking great with their bulging muscles and tall, athletic forms. Just because mom had wanted a girl for the longest time and used to call Rob her baby Robyn didn’t mean he was a girl. Just because she had spent the first five years of his life dressing him in pink and calling him Robyn and telling everyone he was her honorary daughter didn’t mean he was actually a fucking girl. And what the fuck did his brothers do? Did they show sympathy? Did they try and help him bulk up like them or help him practice so he could join a sport? No. They just made fun of him too, teasing him for his slender body and cute face. They were always calling him Robyn, and cutie, and their pretty sis. God, he hated them all.

Just wait until the three of them were fat and slow, then they’d wish they were even close to as skinny as he was.

Rob poured three-fourths of the protein powder straight into the sink, turning the faucet on and running the garbage disposal so it wouldn’t clog. Taking the container with him, he hefted the five-pound bag of sugar and tore at the top of the heavy paper bag. Only to scowl, his fingers not strong enough to actually rip through the thick material. Goddamn, he hated his brothers. He could just hear Dan jeering in his ear about how weak he was. He didn’t have girl’s hands!

Grabbing the nearest knife, Rob stabbed into the bag, tearing the instrument out and pouring the sugar into the nearly empty protein powder container. He didn’t need to be strong; he was fucking smart. Once the plastic jar was filled, he replaced the wide cover and gave the powder a good shake to mix the contents. He got back on the chair, putting the container back where he had found it.

His brothers mixed the stuff into everything. Everything. It wouldn’t take long before they started getting fat, then they’d see how terrible it was to make fun of someone because of their body. Rob couldn’t help that he was short and thin. It was just the way he had been born. Just because his three older brothers had been born looking like Greek gods didn’t give them the right to treat him like shit. Fuck them.

Putting the chair back, Rob had a moment of quiet worry, his gaze sliding up to the cabinet. They always mixed the powder in stuff, usually flavorful stuff because it tasted like crap. He was pretty sure none of his brothers would be able to tell.

He snorted, grabbing the empty bag of sugar and crumpling it between his hands, then stuffing it into his backpack. He’d dump the evidence at school. He didn’t want to risk anyone seeing the bag in the house trash. No, he was fucking brilliant and didn’t have to worry about shit. His older brothers were a bunch of idiot jocks. Like they’d fucking figure it out?


It was after five before the once nearly empty house was full, Frank, Dan, and Joey coming home, sweat still clinging to them from their time working out. They all beelined it to the kitchen, crashing through the house like a small herd of animals. Their parents wouldn’t be home till much later seeing as it was their weekly date night, meaning the boys had to fend for themselves for dinner. Rob was nowhere to be found but the sound of the shower could be heard from the downstairs bathroom. Joey’s expression was grim as he scolded the eldest of the three tall, tanned, dark-haired brothers for his earlier comment.

“You know how sensitive Robbie gets, Frank. You really shouldn’t have said that. Not in front of the entire team.” Joey’s hair was longer than the other three, black and shoulder length with a soft curl that was currently dripping sweat while he chugged a bottle of water.

Frank, the tallest and strongest of the three, looked far from apologetic as he reached above the refrigerator and grabbed the protein powder from the cabinet. His hair was short with bangs that teased over his forehead when they weren’t spiked back. “Come on, Joey, the kid gets asthma walking to the fucking mailbox. He can’t join the team. Those guys would break Rob to pieces and you know it.”

Joey flinched, his kind, gray eyes full of worry as he imagined their petite, slim-limbed brother trying to go up against an entire football team. Rob was just too small and delicate even if he was all punk attitude.

“Besides,” Frank continued, taking the glasses Dan handed him and putting the three out on the table. “You know what Johnson would pull if Rob even stepped near a fucking tryout. No way in fuck I’m letting that happen.”

At Frank’s unhelpful lack of explanation, Joey turned with furrowed brows to Dan, the youngest of the three rolling his deep blue eyes back at him.

“Seriously, Joey? Don’t you fucking pay attention? Johnson’s been perving on Robyn for a fucking year now. You really want to let that creep near our little brother?” The glass clinked, Dan stirring milk into his protein shake. “Rob doesn’t know how to handle himself with a guy like that. Johnson would have the kid stripped and on his knees sucking cock in five minutes flat.”

His spoon held in his hand like a knife, Joey pointed it straight at Dan’s face, the brunette’s expression dark. “Could you please not put that mental image in my head, asshole? I will stab that fucker if he touches my Robbie.”

Dan and Frank exchanging a silent look, Frank carefully pulled the spoon from Joey’s hand. “Yeah, well, to save you from a life sentence in prison for murder with spoon, I made sure the kid wouldn’t step near the field,” Frank said flatly, using the spoon to stir his own drink. He dumped a final scoop of powder into Joey’s glass, replacing the lid to the container. “Robyn is too sensitive for sports. Remember when he tried to play kickball, then spent an hour bawling when he stepped on that butterfly?”

“Come on, he was ten,” Joey reminded, unable to stop a small smile from gracing his lips. Robbie had always been ridiculously adorable. It was kind of hard not to pick on him. He had the cutest face and just got so worked up over everything. How could you not want to piss him off until he threw a little hissy fit? Robbie’s beautiful, violet-blue eyes would flash angrily and he’d always try to take a swing at you even though the kid had the scrawniest damn arms. Of course, it always ended in tears, the boy so emotional, he’d be hiccuping by the time the older brothers relented.

Joey admitted to a dark, secret thrill in seeing his little brother cry, especially when Robbie would cling to him for comfort after, burying his face against his chest until he finally calmed.

Joey slowly frowned, growling internally when his mind flashed for a second on Nate Johnson who had started hanging out with the three of them more, always asking to come over to the house. If that fucker so much as looked at Robbie funny, he was going to beat the guy’s face bloody. He’d beaten guys for less when it came to his little brother. All but Frank and Dan, who he shared an unspoken agreement with to back off when things got too rough when picking on their little brother.

Maybe it was time to teach Robbie how to take care of himself. If a creep like Johnson was looking at the kid…

“He asked me to show him how to get strong,” Joey said after a moment, meeting Dan and Frank’s eye as his glass was handed to him. “He wants to learn how to fight.”

“Like fuck,” Frank growled. “The kid would be fighting everyone that looked at him sideways. He’s too mouthy, too undisciplined—Way too angry all the time.”

Dan agreed with a grin, raising his glass. “Besides, if Robyn was strong, then he wouldn’t be our cute little sis anymore.” They each took a sip from their respective drinks, Joey immediately spitting his back into his cup when the overwhelming flavor of sugar hit his tongue. Frank and Dan slowly followed suit, their eyes growing dark.

“Son of a whore—Didn’t we just get this stuff?” Frank tore the lid off the protein mix, scooping the powder up and putting it in front of Joey so his brother could inspect it. It was clearly sugar, the crystals unmistakable, large and nonclumping.

“The little bitch,” Dan growled lowly.

“He must have been really pissed,” Joey muttered, going to the sink and dumping his glass down the drain. He cupped some of the running water into his hand, rinsing his mouth from the teeth-itching sweet flavor.

“Yeah, but sugar? He knows that can kill you, Joey.”

Joey shrugged but his expression was grim as he glared down while the sink drained. Robbie had never tried to get him to eat sugar before. Watching his older brother take daily injections of insulin since the age of seven had set a line none of the Conner brothers had dared to cross before. “You know how he gets when he’s angry. He forgets shit. Says and does things he doesn’t really think out.”

“I’m the one that called him a cheerleader,” Frank said with a growl, tossing the protein powder straight into the garbage bin. “He should have come at me.”

“We all use the powder. Rob knows as much,” Joey reminded reasonably. “He wasn’t just going after me.”

“Fuck, fine, what the fuck are we going to do about it?” Frank fixed his forgiving brother with a hard look. “That shit was expensive and we can’t have Robyn dosing the diabetic with a daily shot of sugar. He’s got to stop with this shit already. It’s getting old, man.”

Joey sighed, slumping against the sink. “Come on, guys, you’re just going to get the kid more upset. You can’t keep picking on him. He’s never going to grow up if you’re always on his case about shit.”

Frank and Dan exchanged another look, Dan stepping up and whispering into his taller brother’s ear. Joey watched them warily, his arms folded over his chest.

“It’s just a punishment, Joey,” Frank assured him. “So Rob won’t do it again. Think of it like training.”

“Like fuck,” Joey said with a scowl. “What are you going to do, duct tape him to the door again? Robbie was pissed for weeks and only acted out more. This prank war hasn’t helped anything.”

Snickering at the memory, Dan shook his head. The boy’s eyes were full of mischief, Joey even more anxious to see. “Nope, I think it’s time our little bro grew into a full-fledged woman.”

“Damn it. You guys know that shit pisses him off the most,” Joey growled in exasperation. “He’s tired of us calling him a girl.”

“He looks like one,” Frank said flatly. “He’s sure underhanded and bitchy like one. And if Rob keeps this shit up, we’re just going to have to treat him like the girl he is.”

Joey inhaled sharply, his stomach tightening against his will. A part of him loved the idea of Rob as a girl. It was the same part that used to love to tease the boy merciless until he’d cry and cling to him, whimpering into his shirt front. For the longest time growing up, Robyn had been their little sister and it was really hard to let go of seeing the boy silky and in pink. But Rob wasn’t a girl, he was a really angry boy who had been a total pain in the ass lately. One that he really wanted to protect from whatever revenge Frank and Dan had up their sleeve. His other brothers knew Joey could take care of himself but because of his illness, they still felt the need to overreact. Something he was pretty sure the two were going to do again as Dan suddenly bounded down the stairs and out of the front door right after flashing Frank a grin.

Fixing his remaining brother with a glare, Joey pushed himself from the sink. “What the fuck did you mean by that? What are you going to do to him?”

“You mean, what are we going to do to him.” Frank wasn’t intimidated by Joey’s scowl, returning it with a tilted chin. “You’re the one babying him, Joey. You let Rob get away with all kinds of shit.”

“I have to,” Joey said reasonably, used to this particular argument. “You guys are total asshats to him. He thinks we all hate him.”

Frank wasn’t impressed. “We just say shit, bro. Robyn’s been a total terror. He poured soda in our beds, put glue in the shampoo and I’m pretty sure he’s the one that left out Dan’s porn for mom to find. He told Jessica that we all have crabs and that—”

Joey sighed heavily, running his hand through his shoulder length hair. “Fine, I get it. He’s been a total dick lately. Just, you freaking out on him isn’t helping shit.”

Frank shrugged, opening the fridge and pouring himself a glass of orange juice instead. “You babying him hasn’t done shit either. You notice when it all started?”

Joey thought back but couldn’t really pinpoint when Rob had started being quite so angry. A few years back he had gotten really defiant about mom pretending he was a girl but it had only been recent that the kid had started pulling these stupid and sometimes dangerous pranks.

“Well, I noticed,” Frank spoke up when Joey didn’t have an answer. “It started when he was passed over for that bit in the school play.”

Blinking, Joey nodded after a moment in agreement. That could have been about the time.

Frank poured him a much smaller glass of juice, handing it over. When Joey went to take the glass, Frank didn’t let go, meeting his brother’s eyes steadily. “The play you prep’d him for like two weeks straight. Where he kept making doe eyes at you until you were wrapped around his finger.”

Huffing in annoyance, Joey rolled his eyes. “Come on, man, he’s a good kid. Annoying at times but he’s—”

“Joey, he’s in love with you,” Frank interrupted curtly. “Head over fucking heels. Absolutely, completely smitten with you.”

Nostrils flaring, Joey put more pressure into his grip until Frank relented the glass. He drank it down like a shot, trying to ignore the way the cold liquid felt like lead in his gut, heat rising over his skin in an anxious wave. “That’s crazy,” he finally said after the silence had stretched on too long, his voice gruff.

Frank was unaffected, looking completely at ease. “It’s pretty obvious. Robyn threw that hissy when you started dating that chick from the next town over. He sulked the entire time, you know, when he wasn’t spreading rumors about the three of us and hiding all our fucking shit. Dan figured it out before I did,” he added as if Dan thinking the same thing confirmed it all. “I was ready to hold the little brat out of a window by his ankles until Dan spoke up.”

“This is crazy,” Joey muttered, turning and rinsing his glass to give him something to do with his hands while his mind reeled. He glared over his shoulder, his expression full of accusation. “You’re just saying this shit to get me to agree to whatever terrible you’re about to do.”

“He loves you, Joe. He was auditioning for the role of a chick—”

“There weren’t any male roles!”

“Yet he still wanted to be in the fucking play,” Frank replied, his eyes narrowed on the way his brother’s face was flushed in anger. “Believe me, Robyn is in need of facing some facts about himself and that is not going to happen if you don’t face the fact that our little bro wants your dick. Bad.”

Glaring stonily out the small window that looked into their backyard, Joey held his tongue. There had been times, glances, sometimes hugs that had gone a little too long that had made him wonder. But that had been a while ago and he had told himself it had all been in his head.

“He doesn’t,” Joey said, sighing softly. “He really doesn’t and you’re going to freak him out if you suggest such a thing. The kid is angry enough, Frank.”

Giving his younger brother a calculating look, Frank tilted his head, indicating Joey should follow. After a moment, Joey did, dragging his feet as they walked down the hall past the bathroom, stopping in front of Rob’s room. There was a pretty pink unicorn superglued to the boy’s door covered in swipes of black sharpie. One of Dan’s jokes after Rob had deliberately erased one of his video game saves. Mom had set aside a room just for the girl she had always wanted. Instead, her Robyn had been born a Rob and the woman had still insisted her youngest get a room of his own. It used to be all pink until Rob had finally put his foot down a few years back.

Frank pushed the door open, stalking immediately to Rob’s backpack. The room was painted a mellow sage green, no remnants of the soft pink and white lace curtains their mother had inadvertently tormented her son with in view.

Maybe it had been all their faults. Just, Rob had never really seemed to mind. He used to like his pink clothes, used to like getting to wear socks with fun patterns and do twirls to show off his latest dress. It was really easy to forget that their little sister was a boy, especially when it was just so easy to make Robyn cry.

“Come on, Frank, don’t go through his stuff…” Joey trailed off, Frank pulling out the empty bag of sugar from Rob’s pack. Gnawing on his lip, Joey didn’t say anything when Frank turned the bag over, searching for whatever evidence he was determined to find. He looked around the room again, taking in the posters on the wall Rob had started putting up. Most were of girls in elaborate, funky clothes from school girl outfits combined with combat boots and crazy, sparkling pigtails to a wall dedicated to leather, gothed out vamp girls. They had a subtle sexuality to them, very subtle when compared to some of the posters Frank kept on his side of their shared room. Rob was young in a lot of ways still, Joey reminded of it at every turn.

Grunting, Frank continued his search, finding what he was looking for deep in the pages of Rob’s math book.

Joey sighed heavily when Frank held up the photo that had been carefully hidden away, his own face staring back in a quiet, easy-smiling pose. Fuck.

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