Hello, my lovelies. I sincerely apologize for not posting blog, vlog, and sending out newsletters for a while. I've been busy with writing, editing, and just life in general.
Anyways, The Brothers Book 3: Noah to Haru is now out on Google Play and Apple iBooks. I've just uploaded the manuscript to Amazon and it usually takes between 24 to 72 hours to go live. I will do another update with the direct link when it is live on Amazon.
NOAH TO HARU
NOAH TO HARU BLURB
It has been three months since Haru and the brothers returned from their winter vacation in Japan, and Haru’s relationship with Aiden is blossoming beautifully. Icing on the cake, they’re moving into a new, luxurious apartment, and Haru is more content and happy than ever. Well, except for one thing—his second stepbrother Noah.
Noah’s hot and cold attitude toward Haru is beginning to annoy Haru. One minute the brother is nice and caring, and the next, he turns into a prick and picks on Haru, even demanding a kiss daily. When a handsome new face comes into Haru’s life, which the brothers don’t like, Noah erupts into a possessive demon and turns Haru’s world upside down.
The Brothers Family Photos
(In the ebook)
That’s the last of it, I thought as I taped up the box containing my textbooks and then wrote my name on the side to indicate it belonged to me. Done, I sighed in satisfaction. Finally, after ten and a half years of living in this cramped apartment, we were moving.
“You done, Haru?” Aiden’s voice came through from the hallway.
“Yeah, I’m done,” I said.
“Me, too.” I heard Isaac shouting from his bedroom next door. “Yay! Finally!”
I started picking up the boxes and transferring them into the corridor. That way, it’d be easier for us to load them onto the push cart dolly to take down to the hired moving truck, which was parked in the driveway of the apartment complex. It was all hands on deck for the next two hours as us brothers, Aiden, Noah, Reo, Mason, Isaac, and I hustled and bustled back and forth moving our belongings. When we were done, Aiden locked the door of the pretty much emptied apartment. The only things left there now were old furniture we wouldn’t be needing.
“I’m going to miss living here,” I said as we headed back down the stairs. “I’ve lived here the majority of my life.”
Aiden wrapped his arms around my shoulders and pulled me close. “Me, too, but it’ll be nice to live in the new apartment,” he said. “More space.” He planted a kiss on my forehead. “Hmm. You smell good.”
I sniffed at myself. “I stink of sweat. Moving is a workout for me.”
“You smell of you,” he said. “Haru’s smell. Sweet and quite addictive.”
He must be joking, right? I was sure I stank of sweat.
I eyed him and saw a smirk playing about his lips. He looked damn happy, and I knew he was looking forward to living in our new apartment, as was I. It’d be a nice change, especially the space. The new apartment was massive, after all.
It had been three months since we’d returned from our trip to Japan to visit Uncle Jin, and a few major things had happened. One of them was Noah quitting his last job, and he had since found himself another—a member of a marketing team for some famous group, The Princetons or something. I heard they were a large family who owned and operated a chain of hotels and resorts across America as well as overseas in hot spots like Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, England, and Australia, just to name a few.
The other major thing that had happened was Aiden buying a new luxurious apartment for us to live in, with the financial backing from Uncle Jin. The old man had firmly told us to find a new place to live when he had heard about our deplorable living conditions from Isaac.
After having a taste of luxury back in Japan, Isaac had bitched about how cramped the apartment was to Uncle Jin. Naturally, Uncle Jin demanded we move since he would have none of his nephews living in such a despondent place.
Apparently, Uncle Jin and Isaac had become best buddies, and they had taken up chatting regularly. I suspected Isaac was reporting to Uncle Jin how Reo and I were doing on a weekly basis. It was Uncle Jin’s way of keeping tabs on us. We were heirs to his multimillion-dollar company, and he’d be damned if he’d let anything remotely harmful affect us, whether it be mentally or physically. And living in a cramped apartment was considered harmful to our mental health, according to both Isaac and Uncle Jin.
Down at the driveway, I climbed onto the passenger seat of the moving truck while Aiden helped Noah and Mason finish up with making sure everything inside the truck was secured. A moment later, Aiden slid onto the driver’s seat.
“You ready to get into our new apartment?” he asked.
I nodded. “Definitely.”
As Aiden started the engine, Reo was already maneuvering his car out into the street and driving away. Isaac got into the front passenger seat of Aiden’s car which was parked on the side street. He rolled down the window, stuck his head out, and waved his hand at us. “See you at the new apartment!” he shouted.
I waved back, chuckling.
Mason strolled over to Aiden’s car, which he’d be driving to the new apartment. As he opened the door to the driver’s seat, he said to Isaac, “Pull your head back in before you get hit by a moving vehicle, for God’s sake.”
Isaac chuckled as he slipped himself back into the car, just in time before Mason started the engine. Moments later, the car started moving away along the street.
As Aiden started the engine of the moving truck, the door on my side opened and Noah climbed in. “Shuffle over,” he demanded as he slammed the door shut.
I did, sliding over closer to Aiden across the bench seats. Noah made himself comfortable beside me and then pulled on his seat belt. I did the same.
“All done?” Aiden asked.
I nodded while Noah said, “Done. Let’s go.”
I was quite excited as Aiden maneuvered the moving truck out from the driveway and then onto the road. I honestly couldn’t wait to get to the new apartment and move into my bedroom. Finally, I get to have a nice big room instead of a closet-sized one. I could have a study area as well as a leisure one. It’d be great, especially when Jess came around to hang out. Uncle Jin had paid for my new queen-sized bed, study desk, chair, and other furniture. The bed was supposed to be very fancy and luxurious, like the ones in a five-star hotel, and I couldn’t wait to sleep in it.
I was grinning and thinking how awesome my new bedroom would be when I felt Noah lean toward me. I turned to look at him, wondering what he was doing. He made a show of sniffing me out. He pulled a face and said, “You stink.”
My good mood disappeared instantly at that rude remark. What the heck was wrong with Noah? He had been acting so damn strange lately, ever since we returned from Japan, in fact. His hot and cold attitude toward me was beginning to piss me off. One minute he was like the usual Noah—nice and caring—and then the next, he was picking on me and making rude remarks. Sometimes, like this time, it hurt. The spiteful comment, along with that handsome, arrogant face of his when he stared down at me, made for a painful punch.
I said, “I know. I’ll shower and change as soon as we get to the new apartment.”
“You better,” he said. “Because your smell will surely linger in the new apartment, and I don’t think any of us can stand that.”
I felt my face burn hot. I had no idea my body odor was that bad. But Aiden said he liked my smell. Then again, he probably lied because we were dating and...
Fuck! I didn’t know.
Turning away from Noah, I muttered, “I said I’ll shower so I’ll shower.” I moved closer to Aiden to put some space between Noah and me so my body odor wouldn’t affect him that much.
I heard him snorting as if he found my reaction amusing. Then I felt his hand wrap tightly around my arm and pull me back close to him. I found myself slamming against his chest.
I stammered, “What the hell was that for?”
He said, “Aiden is driving. You’re making it hard for him to drive. Don’t be such a baby, running off to Aiden every time someone picks a fight with you.”
I turned to glare at him. “So you admit it? You are picking a fight with me. What are you, a kid?”
My words must have pissed him off because he removed his hand from my arm to grip tightly on my chin, his fingers firm about my face.
He said, “That mouth of yours is running a bit too loose for my liking, Haru. I think you deserve some discipline.”
I widened my eyes because I could see the stern expression on his face, and I knew he meant it.
Shit! Noah had never been like this before. He had never threatened to discipline or punish us younger brothers before, so what the fuck was happening now?
I said, “I’m a grown adult, Noah; I don’t need any discipline from you.” I worked hard on removing his hand from my face, which was getting sore from his grip.
He finally let me go as he said, “Maybe I should have disciplined you when we were young. God only knows Aiden would never do anything like that.”
I heard a sigh from Aiden. He said, “You two fighting again? And now, you’re pulling me into it?”
I said, “I’m not fighting with Noah. It’s Noah, he started it.”
Noah didn’t say anything. He turned his head away and simply stared out the window as the truck sped along.
I said quietly to myself, “Why couldn’t you go with either Mason or Reo? Why do you have to be here with us?”
Noah must have heard me because he said sarcastically, “And I suppose you’d be the one to help Aiden if anything were to happen with the truck while we’re traveling, huh?”
I said, “If anything were to happen, I’d definitely help Aiden. I know I’m lousy at the heavy-lifting stuff, but I’m not completely useless.”
“I beg to differ,” he said.
I wanted to give back as good as I’d gotten but decided to bite my lips and stay quiet. I was never going to beat Noah when it came to us arguing.
I was damn glad to be out of the truck and getting away from Noah when we arrived at the new apartment building.
The place was brand new, massive and luxurious, fifty stories high, a hot spot for the uber-wealthy, and we were damn lucky to have claimed one of the five hundred units. It took us all afternoon and into the evening to move our belongings from the underground parking lot up to our unit on the thirty-fifth floor of the building. By then, every one of us was exhausted, and we still hadn’t gotten anything unpacked, with boxes everywhere in the open-plan living area, across the hallway, and upstairs where most of our bedrooms were.
There were six bedrooms in this apartment, and all of them were large and spacious, with three having a great view of the city of New York. There were also three bathrooms, plus two en suites in the two master bedrooms which were Aiden’s and Noah’s, located on the first floor of the apartment unit. The other four bedrooms were upstairs on the second floor, and they were mine, Isaac’s, Mason’s, and Reo’s. As the older brothers, both Mason and Reo got the rooms with the view of the city whereas mine and Isaac’s had a view of the thirtieth-floor courtyard.
“Pizza for dinner?” Aiden asked from across the room.
“Yes, pizza, please,” Isaac said weakly. He was lying on the floor, his head resting on my lap. I hadn’t a clue when he had moved his head there, since I was so exhausted myself that I just kind of collapsed there on the floor after moving the last of my belongings into my bedroom upstairs.
“Then I’ll order in,” Aiden said, retrieving his smartphone from his jeans pocket as he headed out into the hallway to make the call.
Chuckling as he looked at us, Reo said, “You two are a pair of weaklings.”
Isaac raised his hand in the air and said, “I concur and I’m proud of it.”
How could he be proud of being a weakling? Then again, it was just Isaac.
Mason came to sit on the floor close to me. He reached his hand out and started stroking my hair. His hand—large and warm—was very gentle on me, and I smiled, loving the feeling of being pampered. He said, “The new beds haven’t arrived yet. Did they text to tell us they were going to be delayed?”
On the other side of the room, Noah said, “They did. All our beds will be here on Monday.”
Mason said, “That means we’ll be sleeping on the floor tonight and tomorrow night.”
Reo said, “Good thing we still have our Japanese futons.”
Isaac raised his hand in the air again. “I know, we can all sleep in the living room.” He got up from my lap, looking excited. “It’ll be like when we were kids. Yeah!”
Mason laughed. “Sounds like fun. Let’s do that.”
Aiden returned and said, “Pizza’s on the way.”
Isaac said, “Bro, we’ve decided to sleep in the living room.”
Aiden chuckled. “Since our new beds are delayed, why not? Should be fun.”
“Yeah!” Isaac shouted.
Across the room, Noah said, “I see someone has forgotten to shower like they promised to.”
I felt my cheeks flushing hot at that sarcastic remark. I got up from my sleeping position, causing Mason’s hand to halt stroking my hair. Without looking at anyone, I left the room and headed upstairs.
Stupid Noah! Yeah, I forgot, all right?
In my new bedroom, I searched the packed boxes for my sleepwear, and after some hunting, I found them. Still fuming about demon Noah, I headed into the bathroom, the one located between my bedroom and Isaac’s, the one assigned to us.
Inside, it was luxurious with marble floors, countertop, and basin. The toilet sat to one side while there was a fancy bathtub on the other side and a shower cubicle tucked away in another corner.
After stripping myself naked, I headed into the shower cubicle. Turning on the shower, I sighed pleasantly as warm water sprayed down on me. The pressure was damn amazing, and I smiled.
I was in my own little world, enjoying the water on my skin when the door burst open and Noah stood there, a fluffy towel over his shoulder and two product bottles and a body sponge in his hands.
I felt my face heat up with embarrassment. Fuck! I was naked and in the shower, and Noah was just standing there, staring at me like I was an alien or something. He looked damn stunned, all right.
His expression dark, like he was fucking pissed, he walked in and said in agitation, “You’re such an airhead. How do you expect to clean yourself properly without shampoo and body wash?” He shoved the two bottles and body sponge into my hands.
I was quite dumbfounded as I took them. Turning on his heel, he left the towel lying across the side of the bathtub and then headed out the door, slamming it shut behind him.
I finally relaxed and realized I had been holding my breath the whole time from the moment Noah opened the door. I shifted my gaze to my hands and noted the shampoo and body wash.
“He’s pissed at me but still brings me these?” I said, confused.
After showering, my body now feeling fresh and smelling clean, I dried myself using the towel Noah had left me and then got myself dressed in my pajamas. I went downstairs into the open-plan living area a moment later and by then the pizzas was already here.
Aiden signaled for me to come over to him, which I did. He pulled me into his arms and planted a kiss on my forehead, at the same time sniffing me. He chuckled. “You smell good.”
“Thanks,” I said, taking a sneak peek at Noah on the other side of the room. He still looked damn pissed and dark, and I felt a little freaked out by his bad mood.
“Hungry?” Aiden asked.
“Yeah,” I said.
After dinner, Isaac brought out his portable gaming console for multiplayers, and he and I began our car racing battle while the others unpacked and brought out the Japanese futons, duvets, and pillows. They arranged them across the living area with our heads directed toward the floor-to-ceiling glass window that overlooked the city, which was now dark and showcasing countless glittering dots of streetlights everywhere.
When I got tired of losing to Isaac—only because he had gotten damn good at it from spending a shitload of time playing it—I quit, and Mason took over. Meanwhile Aiden, Reo, and Noah disappeared off to their respective rooms, probably to do a bit of unpacking and then shower since they had separate bathrooms now.
I admit it was nice to use the bathroom whenever you wanted and not having to schedule and lineup like we used to.
I crawled under the duvet and lay on the futon, a shounen manga in my hands. I was just past a few chapters when Aiden joined me, and I snuggled against him. He smelled so damn good.
We made ourselves comfortable, me in his arms and reading, and Aiden embracing me while checking his email from work on his smartphone.
Isaac said, “That looks comfortable.”
Aiden said, “You’re not joining us until you’ve showered.”
I nodded in agreement.
Moments later, Isaac left, followed by Mason. I supposed they were heading up to shower and change before hitting the hay.
Alone with Aiden, I relaxed and basked in the sweet moments. Aiden laid down his smartphone on the floor and then buried his nose against my hair. He moved and kissed my forehead, followed by the tip of my nose, which drew my attention to him.
“What are you doing?” I asked, chuckling.
“Taking my opportunity when I still can,” he said. “Before the others return.”
I widened my eyes in understanding. We had been so busy for the past weeks, him working and me studying, and in every spare moment we had, we’d be cleaning up the old apartment and packing and organizing things that we hadn’t had any alone time together.
Before I could utter a word, his lips found mine. He kissed me passionately, his tongue slipping straight into my mouth, kind of catching me off guard.
I groaned deep in my throat, my body squirming in delight as he ravished me. My heart soared when he sucked at my tongue and then turned his attention to my lower lip, teasing it. I held on to him, begging for more as I moaned softly.
I felt he was about to plunge his tongue into my mouth again to ravish me senseless when he pulled back. With a firm hand about the back of my head, he pressed my face against his neck.
Huh? What was Aiden doing?
“Is he asleep already?” I heard Reo asking.
“Mm-hmm,” Aiden responded.
“Typical,” Reo said.
Ah, I see. Aiden must have heard Reo’s footsteps, which would explain why he had terminated our kiss so suddenly.
I relaxed and made myself comfortable again. Wrapping my arms around Aiden, I closed my eyes, a smile on my lips.
NOAH TO HARU