Rosie shook her head, sending curls bouncing in every direction. “All I’m saying is that I think you need to proceed with caution.”

“I’m not proceeding with anything.” She picked up what was left of her beignet. “We’re friends and I think what he did was like a . . . token of our friendship. A true white flag.”

“Well, I’m happy to hear that, because I have something for you.”

With Rosie, her surprise could be anything from a Ouija board to a voodoo doll. A used voodoo doll.

“I have someone I want you to meet.”


“He’s single. He’s got a job. Doesn’t live in a haunted house, which is a negative for me, but whatever. Not everyone can be perfect. But you don’t work for his family. He’s good looking aaand you didn’t sleep with him when you were eighteen.”

“There are a lot of people I didn’t sleep with when I was eighteen,” Nikki replied with a wry sigh.

“Yep.” She smiled widely. “And here’s the best part. He actually asked me about you.”

She started to frown. “What?”

“He saw us together at Cure, actually, and thought you were just the hottest thing since Hot Pockets.”

“Um . . .”

“I don’t know why he didn’t come over and say hi. I think he got nervous or something. And you know what else I think? I think you should go out on a date with him.”

She opened her mouth to say no, absolutely not.

Rosie beat her to it. “If you really are ready to move on with your life, the first thing to do is to get out there and meet someone who isn’t Gabe.”

Nikki thought there were a whole lot of things that she could do other than going out with some random guy. “I did have dates in college—”


“And I had a boyfriend—”

“We know how that turned out,” Rosie quipped.

Nikki’s eyes narrowed, but seriously? Why was she being so resistant to a date? She’d even decided that it was time for her to get out there and go on dates. Nothing was holding her back. “You know what? Yes. I will go out on a date.”

Excitement filled her brown eyes that were more hazel in the light. “Really?”

Nikki nodded. “Set it up.”

Above their heads, something crashed into a wall—something fragile by the sound of it. Probably something expensive, too.

Gabe’s gaze lifted to the ceiling. “That sounded like a glass.”

“Or a vase,” Lucian commented.

“I hope it wasn’t a window.” Julia lowered her pool stick.

Gabe smirked. “Sabrina knows better than that.”

For the last thirty minutes or so, Sabrina had been up in Dev’s office and every so often, they heard Sabrina’s shrill voice. They couldn’t tell what they were arguing about, but they had their guesses.

This wasn’t anything new.

Most likely she was pressuring Dev about setting a date and each time she did, it ended with her throwing something when Dev refused to cave.

Walking around the pool table, Lucian came to Julia’s side. “Why don’t you head upstairs and pick out a movie for us to watch?” He hooked his arm around Julia’s shoulders, tugging her into his side. “I’ll be up in a little bit.”

Julia arched a brow, but stretched up and kissed his cheek. “I’ll be waiting.”

“Damn straight.” He smacked her ass as she pulled away, earning him a narrowed glare. “That’s me warming up.”

“Whatever,” she muttered, her face flushing as she waved goodnight to Gabe and then left the room.

Gabe leaned back, resting his arms on the bar behind him. “Smart move.”

“Hmm.” Lucian walked behind the bar and picked up several glasses. “You think Dev is going to pick a date?”

“If he did, she wouldn’t be up there throwing shit.” Gabe turned on the stool, facing his brother as he poured bourbon into the three glasses.

“Dev isn’t who she wants.”

Gabe snorted as he took his drink. “Yeah, well, not my problem.”

“Until she moves in here.” Lucian leaned against the bar. “You think she’s going to magically stop trying to jump on your dick?”

The image those words provoked curled Gabe’s lip. “She’s out of her mind if she thinks going down that road with me is going to be successful.”

Lucian tipped his glass to Gabe.

Pulling his phone out of his pocket, Gabe checked the app for the alarm system at his workshop. It hadn’t been turned off, which meant Nic hadn’t been there yet.

She hadn’t come to the shop since he took her there on Wednesday, but she did take the kit and a piece of wood with her when they left.

As he sat there, swirling the amber liquid around in his glass, he wondered what Nic was up to. Was she out in the Quarter? It was a Saturday night, and he doubted she was sitting at home.

Hell, what was he doing sitting at home?

He’d gotten a text earlier in the evening from one of the women he usually crossed paths with at the Red Stallion. Alyssa was always down for a good time, no strings attached. Normally, he would’ve responded—he would’ve dragged his ass down there. That would be the smart thing to do.

Except he had no interest in going to the bar.

He had no interest in seeing Alyssa.

“Have you paid any more mind to what Troy said to you about the car?” Lucian asked.

He’d paid a lot of mind to it. “We’ve all pissed off people, but for someone to know where I was and to do that? I don’t know who that could be.”

“So you think it was a kid then?”

He lifted a shoulder. “Don’t know. I just don’t think it has anything to do with Nic. She hasn’t been home in four years and who’d be pissed enough at her to do that?”

“Not you,” his brother replied smoothly.

Gabe ignored that comment.

Lucian was quiet for a moment. “You don’t think it has anything to do with the Rothchilds?”

The question jolted him. “You think they threw something through my car window?”

“Not them, but maybe someone they hired.” Lucian shrugged. “You have the potential to change their life and not in a way they’re going to like. I know it sounds crazy that they’d be involved, but we’ve seen crazier.”

It was crazy, but Lucian was also right. They’d seen crazier. “I don’t think it’s them. It would be stupid if so. I’m not being the bad guy with them. I’ve been more than reasonable.”

“That you have been, but . . .” Lucian trailed off.

He didn’t need to finish his thought. Gabe knew what he was thinking. People were truly capable of anything.

Gabe was finishing off the glass of bourbon when Dev made his grand appearance, raising both of Gabe’s brows. Dev’s normally pressed, wrinkle-free shirt was half untucked. There was a red mark along the left side of his face.

“Whoa.” Lucian slid the third untouched glass toward Dev. “Looks like you’ve had an interesting visit with Sabrina.”

Dev snorted as he picked up the glass, downing the drink in one gulp.

“Did she hit you?” Gabe asked. Sure, Sabrina had a habit of throwing stuff—usually whatever was the most expensive within grabbing distance, but hitting?

Dev lowered the glass to the bar. “Let’s just say her tantrum reached an all-new high.”

“Or low, depending on how you look at it,” Lucian suggested. “I have got to ask this. Why are you marrying her, Dev?”

Sitting on the stool next to Gabe, Dev folded his arms on the bar. “Why not?”

Gabe looked at his older brother. “That’s not exactly the best answer to give to that question.”

His brother shrugged. “Their company could be a valuable asset down the road.”

“Wow,” Gabe murmured. “And some say romance is dead.”

Lucian snickered. “We don’t need their company. We have more money than any future generations could ever hope for.”


***P/S: Copyright -->Novel12__Com