To Cassie and Thatch: You guys are assholes.
Disclaimer: We’re assholes too. Love you.
I’m Thatcher Kelly.
Financial Consultant for Brooks Media and its subsidiaries and several other Fortune 500 companies.
What? It sounds familiar? Fuck that.
I can’t help it if Kline went first and stole all of my shit.
Net worth: $1.2 billion. Yeah, perfect Kline is worth more than me. But I have my hands on a lot more things. Important things.
Okay, maybe not important. But they’re…pussies. I have my hands on pussies.
Relax, I’m kidding. Well, mostly.
A man of many talents, I have more interests and jobs than you would expect.
Adrenaline Junkie. Jumps and falls, dives or climbs—orgasms. If it makes the bottom fall out of your stomach and end up in your throat with a wave of pleasure for your whole body to surf afterward, I’m in.
I’m built like a tree, but I’d rather do anything than just stand there.
Get out, get wild, fucking live life.
It’s also probably not a surprise I’m known for going through a laundry list of women. Quite frankly, I won’t fucking apologize for it. They’ve all meant something to me, regardless of the amount of time they’ve been in my life, long or short, and they’ve all taught me something about life or myself that I won’t give back.
But I’ve also longed for the kind of monogamy my friend Kline has for most of my life. A person who does their best to know you in and out and looks out for you when you can’t look out for yourself. The kind of person who wants to live life to its very fullest—but wants to do it with you.
Bottom line, I’m eclectic. A confusing mix of inappropriate jokes and heartfelt sentiment, you can dig and dig, and you’ll still be miles from the bottom of me.
At least, that had always been the case until Cassie Phillips.
She’s crazy and needy and borderline inappropriate at all times.
But she’s got the softest untamed heart when you’re someone she cares about, and fuck if that hasn’t become my singularly most important goal—mean something to the woman who already means all the things to me.
Because for the guy who wants wild and commitment in the same fucking breath, you better believe it’s going to be one bumpy ride.
Fasten that seat belt tight, ladies and gentleman.
This is us.
As the sun started to descend below the optical edge of the ocean and the Key West sky turned pink and orange with the last rays of the day, I snapped a few final photos before pulling my camera away from my face. Twelve crazy-hot male models frolicked in the sand, their muscles wet from the water and their tight bodies clad in nothing but next summer’s swim line for an up-and-coming New York designer by the name of Fredrick La Hue.
Yeah, it was a really tough life I was living.
“All right, boys, I think we can call it a night,” I announced as I got to my feet and dusted the sand from my knees. “Great work today, everyone. If you’re thirsty, which I know most of you lushes are, meet me at Sloppy Joe’s. Drinks are on me.”
The models and staff cheered, and I grinned.
“Consider this motherfucking shoot finished!” I exclaimed to a chorus of resounding hoots and Here, heres as I headed toward the tent and hooked my camera up to my laptop.
Hundreds of photos loaded on to the screen, and their tiny thumbnails begged to be clicked. Doing as their teeny beckoning bid, I clicked to select all and opened them up in my editor. I could hardly contain my excitement as I caught sight of some of the raw shots I had managed to capture. It had been a long day, toiling from sunup until sundown, but after I worked my editing magic, I knew Fredrick would get a big ol’ fashion boner over the plethora of sexy photos he’d have to pick from.
I grabbed a bottle of water from the makeshift snack table and, upon my return, found my assistant, Olivia, scrolling through the photos on my laptop. She glanced up from the screen and grinned. “These are fantastic, Cass.”
“Thanks. I think Frederick is going to be really happy with them. He loves a good bareskinned man huddle. But who doesn’t?”
Olivia smirked and continued clicking from one photo to the next.
She had been my assistant for a few years now, and I’d grown fond of our working relationship. Not only was she a good friend but I’d felt compelled to take her under my wing and teach her everything I knew about photography. She had the raw interest, and with my help on the technicalities and work ethic, I hoped that one day I’d eventually help her make the big jump from assistant to photographer.
Joshua, one of my favorite makeup artists and a pathological flirt, peeked over Olivia’s shoulder and then nudged her out of the way with his hip. It didn’t take his nosy ass long to start scrolling through my personal collection. “Wait…what is this? I don’t remember this shoot.”
An entire album of Kline, Thatch, and Wes’s rugby team filled the screen and glinted like horny glitter off the apex of Joshua’s eye. I smiled at the memory of taking those photos a few weeks before Kline and Georgia’s wedding. We had stopped by the boys’ practice before grabbing dinner, and needless to say, hot men playing rugby made me thankful I’d had my camera with me that day.
Joshua pointed to a picture of Thatcher. The Jolly Green Giant’s tall frame was unmistakable, perfectly defined lines and toned muscles taking up so much space in the shot they almost jumped right off the screen, and the only thing covering that fuck-hot body was a pair of black knit shorts. Hair wet with sweat, he was just standing there, hands on his hips, grinning like a cocky son of a bitch.
“Seriously,” Joshua insisted. “What is that?”
“That’s a Thatch.”
“A thatch? Is that one of those new cool words like fleek or rachet?”
I shook my head and laughed. “Thatch is his name, Thatcher Kelly,” I explained before muttering under my breath, “Or an action. God, yeah.” I stared at his photo. “I’d thatch that for sure.”
He sighed. “Is he single?”
The question felt strange for a fraction of a second, and then the fleeting uncertainty was gone. I grinned. “Oh, yes, he’s very single.”