Outtake: The Brothers - A Joe and Cory Rossi Request #FreeRead
It's Friday which means outtake day. This isn't so much an outtake, per say, as it is a request. But it is a full scene, and I know everybody is curious about these two Rossi brothers.
So, do enjoy.
You can find my other free reads and outtakes HERE.
And put in a request for an Outtake HERE.
A Joe and Cory Rossi Request
Joe toyed with the pieces of his dismantled weapon, taking his time to check each and every one over while he had them all apart, and in view. His father had always made sure he understood the weight and respect one should have for a gun whenever he was lucky enough to be holding one. And with that came responsibility.
Really, he liked cleaning and taking care of his weapons—though at the moment, he only had a couple. He found that after doing it for a while, it had become a habit for him. And like most of his habits, that turned into a ritual. So, once a week, he sat down at the desk in his room that he was supposed to use to do homework, and cleaned his guns.
And his knife collection.
He liked knives, too.
It was the smack of heavy footsteps coming down the hall that almost made Joe pause in his work. Not that it was anything new, or surprising to him. He rarely got privacy to do his business alone, and frankly, he was just used to his tag along, now.
Well, not so much a tag along as—
“Man, you missed out,” Cory said, slipping into his room.
Joe didn’t even look up at his younger brother’s declaration, or entrance. Cory didn’t seem to mind, either. His brother crossed the bedroom, glanced over Joe’s work, and then headed for the bed. In a plop, Cory fell backwards onto Joe’s bed with a groan.
“I think I’m still drunk,” Cory mumbled.
Joe did glance over his shoulder at that with narrowed eyes. “You didn’t fucking drive, right?”
“No. Simon brought me home.”
Joe didn’t say that out loud, but still.
Sometimes, he worried about Cory, and for good reason. The sixteen-year-old was only a year younger than Joe, but at times, the two brothers felt like they were separated by more than just a year in age. Sometimes, it felt like they were made up of two entirely different things—the truth was far more simple.
They shared blood.
Parents, and a sister.
But Joe and Cory Rossi weren’t at all the same. Similar in height and build, sure. Their strong Rossi features—taken from their dad, Damian—were enough to tell anybody who looked for longer than a glance that they were brothers.
That was about as far as it went, though.
Cory was outgoing.
Joe was introverted.
Cory liked to party.
Joe … didn’t.
Cory was out to have the best time.
Joe would much prefer to watch others have fun.
His brother could be the life of any party, and he liked the fucking spotlight. Joe just couldn’t say the same about himself, really. He didn’t like to have other people’s attention on him for very long, and he found his greatest solace in the shadows.
“You should have come,” Cory mumbled, rolling over to his stomach on the bed so he could eye Joe from his position. “You would have had fun, man.”
Joe smiled a little. “No, you would have had fun, and I would have … well, I don’t know what I would have done, but I wouldn’t have called it fun.”
Probably stayed to himself. Maybe tried to hook up with a chick as long as she wasn’t young enough to get him into trouble, or too drunk to remember her own name and age. Maybe, if Cory pestered him enough, Joe might have made an attempt to talk to someone.
That never really ended well.
Cory always said Joe came off as cold.
“Fine, then you could have come for me,” Cory said.
This time, his voice really was muffled. Joe glanced over his shoulder again to find his brother had all but rolled over on Joe’s bed, and stuffed his face into the pillow. He was lucky to have even heard him, really.
“Cory?” Joe called.
“You’re in my bed, bro.”
Cory waved a hand, and then it flopped right back down on the bed again. Joe was seriously started to wonder just how much his brother did actually drink at the party. Apparently, whatever that number was, it was too fucking much.
“Gonna go get you some water,” Joe said, standing from his desk.
Cory didn’t say anything that time. Joe moved over to the bed, and checked his brother over. Seemed Cory had passed the fuck out, and wasn’t getting back up anytime soon. Joe made sure to listen for steady, even breaths, and once he heard that, he was satisfied enough to move on and get his brother shit to have once he woke up.
Hangovers were a bitch.
Reason number one why Joe hated to drink, honestly.
Leaving the sanctuary of his bedroom, Joe padded through the upstairs, and then made his way down to the bottom level. The darkness of the house comforted him, even though he knew he wasn’t alone. His parents were likely sleeping, and his little sister, Monica, always went to bed at seven sharp every single night, no excuses.
Tonight hadn’t been any different.
Joe filled a glass full of water, and then dug into the cupboard above the stove to find the meds he was looking for. Tylenol did wonders for a head—
“What are you doing, son?”
People called him the Shadow, but there was goddamn reason why people also called his father the Ghost.
Joe swore a man couldn’t even hear Damian Rossi walking on fucking bubble wrap.
Spinning on his heel, he faced his father. Damian stood in the entryway of the kitchen with his arms crossed, and his sleep clothes on.
“Well?” Damian asked.
“Nothing,” Joe replied, hiding the bottle of Tylenol in his large hand. “Getting some water.”
“Mmhmm. Did Cory get home yet? His curfew was thirty minutes ago.”
Joe looked at the clock—shit.
“Yeah, he got home an hour ago.”
“Came up to my room, and we chatted.”
Damian eyed his son. “You know that I know you’re lying, right?”
Joe just shrugged.
“You would risk getting yourself in shit just to protect your brother, wouldn’t you?”
Joe shrugged again.
Because, yeah, he kind of would.
It didn’t matter that he and Cory were two entirely different people. It didn’t matter that his brother was always pushing him to do more shit, be sociable, or anything else that Joe hated. It didn’t really make a difference that Cory had a knack for pestering the living fuck out of Joe on a daily basis, so much so sometimes that he really just thought about knocking his brother out to shut him up pretty regularly.
He’d done that a couple times, too.
Cory could handle himself.
None of that really mattered to him at the end of the day.
What mattered, was that Cory was his brother.
So yeah, he’d always take shit for him.
Damian nodded when Joe chose to stay silent. “All right—keep looking out for him, huh? You’re good like that, Joe.”
“Whatever you say, Dad.”
“Mmhmm. Take your drunk brother his water and Tylenol, and let him know in the morning that his curfew dropped by an hour.”
Cory wasn’t going to like that.
“Got it, Dad.”
“But,” Damian added as Joe passed him by, “if you go out with him, he can take an extra hour beyond the old curfew.”
Well, it wasn’t only his brother trying to take Joe out of his comfort zones.So was his life.