“You better, Fisher.” She points one of her fingers at me as if I’m in trouble. “If you set Lola off, I’m smothering you with a pillow in your sleep.”

I give her an evil grin. “You wouldn’t dare.”

She licks her lips and shakes her head before walking out the door. I hear the Jeep travel down the road and breathe a little lighter. Moments later, knocks ring out on the front door. I open it and pull Mia into my arms.

“Baby!” she says. “I’ve missed you.”

“Me too.” It’s only been two weeks since we were last together but it’s felt like an eternity. I lean in and give her a kiss. She smells so good, like spring water and fresh air, and I just want to lead her to my room and make love to her. But she’s made it very clear that we can’t rush things this time around and that we need to take our relationship more seriously. I’m hoping this time is different. Fifth time’s a charm, right?

“So, what are we doing today?” she asks, looking around. I’m sure she’s wondering if Courtney’s here because the smell of her raspberry soap still lingers throughout the house.

“I thought we’d have lunch with my family,” I say, nonchalantly grabbing my keys from the counter in the kitchen, knowing we have to leave now or we’ll be late.

She takes a few steps forward and looks at me as if I’ve grown a third head.

“I’m not up to anything, I swear. Viola is having a prewedding meeting, and I want you to be there since you’ll be my date and all.”

“Oh, baby,” she gushes, running toward me. She throws her arms around my neck and kisses me. “You really want me to be your date?”

“Of course, I do. I can’t imagine going with anyone else. And you’ll be the prettiest girl there…and mine.”

“I’d love to join you. I love weddings,” she adds, running her finger down my chest. “Honestly, I’m still kind of upset Viola didn’t ask me to be a part of the wedding party since we’ve been together for years.”

I was hoping she wouldn’t bring this up again. We’ve already talked about this several times before, and Viola would die before ever allowing Mia to be a part of one of the biggest days of her life. She’s very open about how she feels about Mia and hasn’t yet forgiven her for the drama she caused years ago. We’re all adults and have significantly grown up since then, but Viola refuses to forget. She’s like a damn elephant; she remembers everything and jokes it’s one of her mom superpowers.

“You know she didn’t want a big wedding party. It’s not personal, babe.”

She pouts. “I know. But we would’ve looked so great together walking down the aisle.”

I pull her closer and whisper in her ear, “We’ll walk down the aisle together one day.”

She tenses then relaxes by my touch. I may have pushed the limit that time, but I’m not giving up on us.

“Are you ready? We have to get going, so we’re not too late.”

“Yeah. I can’t wait to see your parents again. It’s been too long,” Mia says.

“I agree. That’s all about to change.”

As we walk out the door, I text Travis and let him know I’m running a little late. He doesn’t reply.

COURTNEY

Mia Fucking Montgomery.

What the fuck is she doing here, is my only thought as I watch Drew and her walk toward the table where we’re all sitting. They’ve been broken up for months, but they’ve had this weird on-again, off-again relationship that drives me and everyone else insane. Viola and Travis loathe her as much as I do, but since their wedding is only two weeks away, Viola’s playing nice to accommodate everyone. If it were my prewedding lunch, I’d be escorting her dirty skank ass out of the building. And the country.

“Hey, you finally made it,” Travis says as he stands up and greets them, unfazed by Mia dangling on Drew’s arm. “We were just about to order.”

Noticing the way Viola tenses, I mutter, “I thought this was a family restaurant. When the hell did they start letting dogs in?”

She jabs her elbow into my ribs, shushing me before anyone else can take notice, but I can tell she’s holding back a small, pleased smile from my words. Viola and Drew’s mom and stepdad are having lunch with us, making this situation even more awkward than ever. Drew knows better, and when we’re alone, he’s going to get a mouthful.

As soon as Mia locks eyes with their mother, she puts on the widest, fakest smile ever, showing off her perfectly straight and white teeth. She’s a trust-fund baby, so I know she’s probably bought most of her assets. She’s fake inside and outside. The difference between Mia and me is while my parents have helped support me, I actually know what it’s like to work, to get my hands dirty, and take care of myself. I’m pretty sure the most work she’s ever done involves walking from point A to B in six-inch designer heels.


Tags: Kennedy Fox The Checkmate Duet Erotic
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