Rory felt his jaw drop slightly as he watched her, his interest piqued. He wasnât normally one to let a girl walk away without snagging her phone number, but something about her told him that she wasnât the type to give that away so easily.
âAlready hitting the latest talent?â Quinn came up beside his older brother and handed him a beer.
âFuck off, Quinn,â Rory ribbed, surprised at how light he felt at the moment. It had been some time since he had laughed at all, he realized, as he downed the beer Quinn gave him.
A third brother, Kane, appeared behind Quinn a few seconds later, nodding at Rory. No one would know those three were related if it wasnât for the famous Kavanagh name.
Quinn was the odd man out in the group of brothers, with his straight black hair, clean-shaven face, and snakelike black eyes. Quinn had even added to his differences by covering his arms and chest with tattoos that peeked out from under his sleeves and shirt collar, along with piercings on both ears and several other places.
âYou coming to Maâs tomorrow?â Kane asked Rory, leaning his back against the bar.
His body was turned to face Rory, but he was obviously scoping out the bar as his dark blue eyes peered around the room. Rory followed Kaneâs stare, noticing more than a few heads turned in their direction. He didnât bother rushing to answer his brother, since Kaneâs attention was clearly elsewhere.
The Kavanagh brothers were well known in the Bronx, especially Woodlawn, but even if they werenât, the group of athletic men was hard not to stare at. Several women on the other side of the bar were giggling, batting eyelashes, and attempting flirty glances as they openly gawked at the three men.
Rory knew Kane was a notorious ladiesâ man; he watched him smile eagerly at a woman passing by. Everyone had always told him that Kane resembled Rory the most out of all the Kavanagh brothers, which was ironic since Kane was one in a set of twins. Rory wasnât as close to Kaneâs twin, Kieran, who was currently serving time in prison. They had had a falling-out before Kieran landed up in jail and not gotten around to resolving things between them yet.
Considering their similar dark brown hair, scruffy beards, and muscular build, the biggest difference Rory could see between himself and Kane, aside from their eye color, was that Rory liked to let his hair grow to chin length, leaving the wavy locks down to frame his face. He liked his longer style versus Kaneâs short hair, and most of the women he found himself around seemed to share that opinion.
One woman had even told him he appeared medieval, as if he could be her knight in shining armor. That was a comparison that still eluded him, since his refusal to settle down or be in any type of serious relationship usually had women calling him much different things, none of them very pleasant.
Pulling back his attention to his brothers, Rory purposefully stayed noncommittal, though he knew Sundays at the Kavanagh house really werenât optional. Not if their mother had anything to say about it.
âWhat about Monday, coming to Legends?â Quinn asked, nodding suggestively at one of the women watching them, as he referred to the MMA club and gym that the Kavanagh family owned a few blocks over.
âI canât start training yet.â Rory pushed his hand through his hair, wanting to avoid the topic.
He was suddenly feeling a lot more sober than he liked, wanting his brothers to leave so he could slip a few more pills out of his pocket undetected. The numbing feeling they had brought earlier was already wearing off.
âItâs been over a year since the fight, man. The hell you canât trainâyouâre Rory âKnockoutâ Kavanagh, best MMA fighter in New York!â Quinn said sarcastically and slightly louder than was necessary.
âNew York? Try the entire nation, Quinn,â Kane added, a swell of pride in his voice as he beamed at Rory.
âWas, guys. Past tense.â Rory spoke through gritted teeth as his hand touched his own knee, feeling the thick scars through the fabric of his pants, gruesome evidence of the injury that had ended his mixed martial arts career. The bottle of pills was now burning a hole in his pocket as he thought about how badly he wanted some relief.
âMaybe it would be present tense if you didnât reek of booze all the damn time,â Kane said, daring him to counter the statement. Rory took a slow, deep breath to calm himself. He loved his brothers, but he didnât need their pity.