“Sorry, it’s just I don’t like her at all,” I admitted. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, but I wanted him to know it wasn’t just petty jealousy because it was that, too, but the bitch told me to leave him alone.

“Don’t think I didn’t see that she came to you earlier. From the way you carried yourself, I know she said something terrible and you walked away like a queen. I found that so hot. I can’t wait to take you back to my room tonight.”

“Me either, Joseph.”

“Fuck, I love the way you say my name,” he groaned against my ear.

He looked back to the cake and saw Julian standing next to my parents. “Jules, come here for a minute.” The big brute middle brother came over to us. “I need you to sit with Rachael. I have to go talk to Roxie.”

“Okay, Joey boy.” He winked at me and said, “Come on, beautiful.”

“Never mind.”

“Relax, Joseph. I’m yours.”

“Fuck yeah you are.”

“Wow, since when do you speak like that, Mr. Stick in the Mud? That’s his nickname since he was a kid. I’m loving the change she’s created in you.” He walked me over to the table and got us both a glass of wine. “I won’t tell anyone,” he teased, knowing that I was only eighteen.

“So, tell me about this whole thing with you hoping my brother jumps off a building.”

“Oh my God, someone told him I said that?”

“No, he heard it.”

“Shit, that explains more about why it took him so long to say something. Things have been a mess since the day we met.”

“Yes, and that woman is the problem. I told him several times over the years about the rumors, but he didn’t think anything of it. Joseph is all around class. Never would he do anything to mess up the Middleton brand.”

“I get that. Unless he was getting on me, I’ve never seen more than a straight face.”

“Hey, Rachael, I wanted to ask you something,” Harley said, smiling while Jacob had his hand wrapped around her waist.

“Okay,” I said.

“Do you want to stay at my house after we leave?”

“Sure. That’s fine with me.”

“Great, before we leave, I’ll drop off the keys at the hotel.”

“Fantastic.” They walked away and I said, “Shit.”

“Did you forget about my brother?”

“I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m here for the next month.”

“No, you won’t be,” Joseph said as he walked up, “I’ll find someone else to take your place here.”

“Well, Denise isn’t going to come here.”

“We can hire another employee. I’m sure there are people around here that could use a job.”

“You’re probably right.”

“I know I am. It doesn’t matter either way because I’m taking you back home and there’s no two ways about it. Are you ready to call it a night?”

“I’m ready to leave if that’s what you’re asking,” I tartly replied.


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