Runaway Brother MobiPocket

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By Icy Snow Blackstone

At the age of twenty-two, newly-graduated Nicolo Liguori was forced by his three brothers to become care-giver for his father and for the next ten years, Nick gives up his own ambitions , working during the day in the family’s New York jewelry business, and returning home every night, to be at his father’s beck-and-call. Then Papa dies and Nick is free…or is he? Carlo, Marco, and Pietro expect him to continue life as usual, but Nick has other ideas. Secretly buying a motorcycle, he starts to work one day and…disappears.

Nick gets as far as the southern coast of Georgia before an accident disables his bike. Stranded, with no idea of the South except what he’s seen on TV, Nick isn’t certain what kind of reception he’s going to get. Then, a pretty Southern miss and a white tank disguised as a temperamental horse named Shazam change his life as they and the citizens of Oceano teach a runaway Yankee about life and love in a small Georgia town.

Contemporary Romance

Sensuality rating: 2

Cover Art by Blaise Kilgallen

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Cover of Runaway Brother by Icy Snow Blackstone
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Chapter 1

When the antique Italian clock ended its ninth tinkling chime and Nicolo Liguori didn’t walk through the office door, his secretary had the odd sensation that something was wrong; at three minutes after nine, she was certain of it.

Punching a button on her intercom, she said to the CEO’s admin, “Lila, we've got a problem.”

A minute later, Lila was in her boss’ office, telling him his brother was late to work and three minutes after that, Carlo Liguori was on the phone to his good friend the Police Commissioner, reporting his brother missing and demanding someone be sent to investigate.

~*~

“He’s probably just late. Had a flat tire or ran out of gas or something.” While his partner, Cameron Sanders, unobtrusively placed himself in a corner of the office, Detective Liam McCoy, assigned to take Mr. Liguori’s statement, tried to downplay the whole thing.

“My brother keeps his car in perfect running order,” he was informed coldly. “It doesn’t have flats or run out of gas. Besides, if that unheard-of event were to happen, he’d call.

Nick’s very careful about letting people know where he is. At all times.”

“That’s right,” Nicolo’s secretary confirmed. “He’s very punctual, always where he’s supposed to be when he’s supposed to be. You can set your watch by Mr. Liguori--” She looked down at her clenched hands, “--usually.”

“So his phone went dead.” McCoy conceded the Liguoris knew their brother’s habits better than he but still felt there was nothing to worry about. “Maybe he forgot to recharge it? It’s only nine-thirty. He could still be on his way.”

Karen shook her head. “Every third day at exactly 3:30 I check Mr. Liguori’s cell to make sure it doesn’t need recharging. I did that yesterday, as usual. It didn’t.”

“I suppose it’d do no good to suggest he forgot it?”

“Detective, if that had happened, he could’ve used his car phone. This is--” Whatever Carlo was going to say was interrupted by the arrival of his younger brothers, Pietro and Marco, both looking more agitated than the occasion called for.

“Lila says Nick’s missing. How can that be?” Pietro demanded.

“Technically, he isn’t missing. Yet.” McCoy put in.

“He'll have to be gone for forty-eight hours before that happens.”

“Forty-eight hours?” Carlo allowed himself a brief flash of emotion. “He could be dead and buried by then.”

Lila looked startled and Karen, who’d been Nick’s secretary for eleven years now, gave the distinct impression of wanting to burst into tears.

Sono spiacente. Sorry,” Carlo went on. “Poor choice of words, but I think you understand what I mean.”

“Of course.” McCoy realized he had to do something to mollify the three. 

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