Hott and Handled (The Hott Brothers #3) - Leah Sharelle


To my daughter Tamara, this is what I like to call, dedicated to you.

(inside joke)

And to Handsome, 18 books and counting my friend. XOXO


“But Ma, why can’t I go too?” I shouted at my mother without thinking first. Dad always said we had to think before speaking to our mum when angry, but I couldn’t help it … I was mad. My brothers Lenoxx and Hendrixx went out into the stables to help with the horses, and I had to stay inside with Mum, helping her with making lunch.

It wasn’t fair.

“Fenny, you know why,” my mother said softly, coming up to me at the kitchen bench, her hand gently cupping my face. “The doctor said it would be at least another six months before you could start doing more physical exercise. You can’t get your heart rate too high baby, not yet. You have only been home from the hospital for two weeks, you don’t want to overdo it and end up back in there again.”

I felt the anger burning inside me, it happened every time Mum mentioned my heart rate or doctors and definitely with the word hospital. It feels like all I do is go to Melbourne and the Children’s Hospital there. The doctors said my last trip was hopefully my last, no more operations, no more staying away from the Triple H and my brothers.

“Ma? Why didn’t Noxx or Drixx get the same bad heart? Being triplets means we are the same, right? Why did only me get it?” I asked Mum, suddenly feeling overwhelmed with the need to cry. Every day I saw my brothers go out and kick the footy around the backyard, ride horses and chase the cows on the four-wheelers, all while I watched from the house. The most Mum lets me move is to the front porch, and even then, she wraps me in a blanket and makes me sit on a seat, so my heart rate doesn’t get too much.

Mum put down the potato and peeler on the sink then walked over to me where I was at the window, her hands cupping my shoulders as she kissed the top of my head.

“Fenixx, I can’t tell you why you were born with ASD and not the other two, only the Lord can answer that for you, son. But what I can tell you is this—” gently she turned me around, so I was now looking at her. “—Atrial Septal Defect was given to you for a reason, it was in the plan to make you the man you will end up being. The struggle you have been through since the age of six is just a blip in your path, mate. One day, you will be out there with Lenoxx and Hendrixx doing everything they do. In fact, I have a feeling you are going to give me more grief than the other two put together.” Mum gently shook me, her nose touching mine. Her blue eyes shone with happiness and no sadness. That was our mum; she was always happy, no matter what the family had thrown at it, like my heart issues. Trips to Melbourne were a part of life for six years now, she never complained when we had to go.

“Do ya really think so, Ma?”

“I know so, Fenixx. And it’s you, not ya, and why did I get it, not me,” she reprimanded like she always did whenever we spoke wrong.

“Yeah, yeah,” I grumbled, but inside me, some of the anger lifted just a little bit. This latest operation was hopefully just that–the last–and then finally I could get out on the horses and maybe climb a tree like Lenoxx does, or even scale the stable roof like Drixx did last week.

Mum rubbed her nose against mine once more, then went back to peeling the veggies for dinner. Behind my back I crossed my fingers and prayed that soon I could go outside and play.


Fuck I was sore.

My body was screaming at me to give it a break, but my mind, which needed the distraction of hard work, won out.

Yesterday, Hendrixx married his one. He and Blake left for the snowfields right after the reception, leaving the hands and I to clean up the remnants of the party held in the valley on the Triple H.

Glasses haphazardly were left all over the ground and tables, balled up paper napkins and paper plates littered the paddock, but it wasn’t those items that were holding my interest. Nope,