One night I was out with my girls enjoying a much needed ladies night while wondering if one more dirty martini would push me over the edge. The next thing I knew, I was in the club’s bathroom listening to a woman screaming, “No,” and a man’s voice growling, “I know you want it.”That asshole picked the wrong restroom, in the wrong club, at the wrong time.Little did I know the asshole was Cade’s VP, and although we saved that woman from his clutches that night, she’d be found floating in a motel pool a month later.Running a PI firm is a lot harder than taking pictures for one, especially when your professional life spills over into your personal one. I’m going through cupcakes like our new puppy goes through piddle pads, and if I’m not careful there’s bound to be a Cupcake Overload.
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I was caught between full-blown panic and hoping that I’d be able to blend in with the crowd.
That hope was dashed when Cade pulled me toward a large group of men and introduced me.
“This is Lila,” he said, and even in my panic, I could hear pride in his voice. He was happy to be introducing me to his brothers.
That felt amazing.
I tried to pay attention as the guys smiled and introduced themselves. Some stepped forward and shook my hand, some just nodded, and the oldest man pulled me into a big hug. They all told me their names, but seconds after I was having a hard time remembering them.
Jake, Rocky, Smitty, Big Ron, Pretty Boy, and Snape were just a few of the names that were thrown out. It was totally overwhelming. My head was swimming as I turned my head back and forth, taking everyone in. That’s when I realized that their vests had patches on the front with their names on them.
I breathed a sigh of relief and muttered, “That makes it easier.”
“What?” Cade said, leaning down with his ear toward me.
“Oh, nothing,” I replied, my face reddening as I hoped that no one else had heard me talking to myself.
Get it together, Lila, I chided myself. This time, keeping my voice in my head.
Cade pulled me to another group, and began the introductions again. This happened three more times before we were close enough to the keg for him to ask, “Want a beer?”
“Yes,” I practically shouted, causing him to grin at me again. Warmth filled me at how happy he was, introducing me to his “family.” I felt tears welling as I realized Bea was right; this was a big step, for him and for me. He was finally letting me fully in to his life. No, I hadn’t met his family in Hawaii yet, but these people had been his family for over twenty years.
My heart pounded and my eye twitched as I took in my man in his element, proud and happy to have me on his arm, and I knew without a doubt that I was a million percent, ass over feet, in love with him.
Award-Winning Author Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. She's a lover of all things romance: books, movies, music, and life, and she incorporates that into the books she writes. When she isn't reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible. Some of her favorite things are: Kristen Ashley Books, coffee in the morning, and In N Out burgers.
Bethany Lopez is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.