Bait: Chapter 1 – Last Stop, Gethsemane – excerpt 4

cover of Bait - a novel - showing "bait" spelled with a Christian fish and a fishhook

Excerpt from Bait – a Novel

Chapter 1 – Last Stop, Gethsemane (continued)

I tried to imagine what sort of evangelical babe my brother had fallen for. None of the others he’d dated for the past 20 years ― all of them cool, calm, resolutely Christian, like our mother ― had incited this height of reaction from Danny. He’d never deliberately hidden any of the others from me.

“I’d like to meet her,” I tested.

“How ’bout joining us for church on Sunday?” he suggested slyly. “I’ve started attending a new fellowship in Philly, and Jenn says she might attend with me too. When she’s not studying, of course.”

“How ’bout . . . not,” I countered. “Maybe you could bring her to one of my gigs.”

“I don’t think so,” Danny stifled a laugh. The last time he’d seen my band play, our lead singer had lit a picture of the president on fire, setting off smoke alarms that summoned two engines to the club. That was more than five years ago, and we’d mellowed a great deal, but he hadn’t been back to see me perform since.

“But if you reconsider church, we’d love to have you worship with us. And Richie too. He’s looking for a new church home, and since he’s living closer to Philly now, he’s starting to attend with me.”

“Church is bad enough,” I said, “but Richie?” Our younger brother had always gotten along better with Holsteins than with me.

“It’s been years since you really spent time with him,” Dan said. “He’s matured a lot since college. His new veterinary practice is taking off. He’s doing well, and it seems like his life is finally on track.”

“I’m glad,” I said. “But I won’t be coming to church with you. Tell everyone I said “Hey” when you see them on Sunday.”

“Oh, I will.” He rubbed his hands together and checked his watch. “Gosh, look at the time ― I must say good-night.” He rose quickly, gave me a quick peck on the cheek, and headed for the door. I followed him out. If Lill was still downstairs ― and there was a chance she wasn’t ― I didn’t want to keep her waiting any longer.

One flight down, Danny stopped and turned. “Seriously, Jax, I wish you would get together with us. Maybe you could join us for dinner some Sunday at Mom and Dad’s. I miss you. All of us Metzgers do.”

“I’ll think about it,” I said in a tone that said otherwise, taking his arm and guiding him to street level.

To be continued…

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