Page 22 of Alpha's Castle

“Too late.” Connie gives me a small smile. Crap. I know I only have a limited amount of time before Dane gets here. I let out a groan. “What? I have never seen him before, and everyone is whispering about someone lurking outside of Tina’s place.”

“You peeping on me?” Tina turns to glare at Derrick.

“I have no idea what any of you are talking about.” Derrick tries to step around the ladies and let himself inside, but they block him. “I’m her fiancé.”

“I wouldn’t keep saying that if I was you,” Connie warns him. I don’t think I’m going to get anyone to move along. I am thankful that the girls are trying to block Derrick from getting near me. I didn’t think either of them liked me. If anything it might be in their favor if Dane showed up here and I was with Derrick. But they aren’t having any of that.

“I’m actually leaving.” I grab my purse that’s next to the door. I step out, locking the door behind me.

“We need to talk,” Derrick pushes.

“I have nothing to say to you. You slept with my mom.”

“You slept with her mom!” both the girls shout. Derrick’s face turns red with embarrassment.

“Khloe. That is a private family matter.” He runs his hands through his short blond wavy hair.

“Nothing is private here. Welcome to Smithville,” Tina informs him. I step around everyone. Derrick tries to grab my arm, but I jump away before he can at the same time Connie smacks his arm.

“We don’t just grab women around here,” she lets him know. I keep to myself that Dane does a lot of grabbing.

“Where are you going?” Derrick asks, ignoring Connie.

“I think I’m saving your life,” I inform him as I head toward my car. To my surprise, Connie and Tina are following me, then getting into my car with me. What are they doing? I’m not sure why they even showed up at my door to begin with. I’m guessing it’s about Dane.

“Are you guys going to kill me?” I tease as I start the car. I can hear Derrick shouting from outside the car but can’t make out what he’s saying. I could care less.

“Depends,” Connie says, putting on her seatbelt.

Tina leans up from the backseat. “Are you going to hurt Dane?”

I turn my head to look at both of them, surprised by the question. I put the car into reverse, pulling out of my driveway.

“Is everyone in this town crazy?” I ask my own question.

“Yes,” they both say.

“Then yeah. The chances of me hurting Dane are high. Most of the time I want to strangle him.”

“He may be big and handsome,” Tina says.

“You forgot to mention that fine ass of his,” Connie cuts in. They both nod in agreement.

“Like I was saying. He might look big and bad, but he’s a softie on the inside. A real good man and we don’t want to see him get hurt.” Tina adds.

That was sweet of them. I get it. Everyone in this town cares for each other. But what happens if Dane breaks my heart? He would have a whole town to comfort him. As for me, I’d just be alone again.

17

Dane

“The women just arrived at your house, Chief,” Bonnie informs me as I read over the shoe sales reports from the local retailers.

Women? My brow furrows at the plural version of the word woman. There should be only one of them there. There are only a handful of size ten wearing men in town who have bought shoes in the last six months and they’re all getting a visit from me today, but not before I puzzle this one out. “Did my mom drive out?”

A smile breaks across Bonnie’s face as wide as the ocean. “It is not your mom.”

“And you’re not going to tell me, are you?” I toss my pen down.

“It would ruin the surprise.” With that gleeful statement, Bonnie returns to her desk.

I glance at the clock. If I leave now, I can make a visit to all of these men and figure out who was peeping in Tina’s window before four. I pick up the phone, but my mom calls.

“Darling! I heard that Mae’s niece is out at your place. I’m going to get you groceries because I know you won’t have enough to eat. You eat like a bachelor.”

“I am a bachelor, Mom.”

“But you can’t act like one if you’re going to try to convince that sweet girl to marry you. You have to show off your good qualities!”

“I thought you always said I was the best catch in the county.”

“Of course, but this Khloe is from the big city. The men are different there.”

“Sounds fake to me.”

“Dane.”

“I’m kidding, Ma. I will buy groceries on my way home.”

“No. No. You won’t know what to buy for a woman. Leave it to me.” She hangs up before I can respond. I guess there’s nothing wrong with her buying groceries or trying to make me look good to Khloe.


Tags: Ella Goode Romance
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