How about something from LOST IN YOU?
Petal, GA: LOST IN YOU by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2013, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Samhain Publishing
Releasing in digital formats March 12, in trade paper September 3
He allowed himself to get talked into going to the Tonk with William and a group of their friends. But he called Beth first.
“What are you up to tonight?”
“I’d planned on a movie with Lily and Anne. Why?”
Joe knew he sounded disappointed. But he didn’t care. He hadn’t really seen her in two weeks and he missed her.
“Oh. I agreed to go to the Tonk for a drink or two with William, Royal and Nathan. I thought it’d be nice if you were there too.”
“Can I take that to be that you miss me?”
He liked the flirty tone in her voice. “Yeah. Like crazy. Either way, I’d like to see you tonight. Or tomorrow after I close the shop.”
“Go have a drink or two. I’m meeting Lily and Anne at the theater in half an hour. I’ll stop in after. You can buy me a drink and some hot wings. I might let you touch my butt while we dance. If you’re lucky.”
He smiled, feeling a lot less tired than he had before he’d heard her voice. Before he’d known he’d be seeing her in a few hours.
“All right. I’ll see you later. Text me when you’re on the way.”
“See you later, Joe Harris.”
He only barely registered everyone all around him at the Tonk. He’d been working a lot, and when he hadn’t been, he’d been dealing with doctors and pharmacies and his parents.
Beth had shown up every day or so to bring him lunch. Or to check in. He’d been able to leave a few times to spend some time with her. Some of it had been with his lips on hers, or just walking hand in hand to the Honey Bear for a coffee.
She’d become part of his life in a way that seemed as natural as breathing. There was really no more telling himself he shouldn’t want her, shouldn’t feel strongly about her. He did and it was stupid to deny it.
Nathan ordered a pitcher. “Lily just texted to tell me she’d be coming by later. I have you to thank for that.” He tipped his chin.
“I need to get dancing with some pretty girls if Anne is coming too.” Royal poured himself a beer.
“I’m the first guy who’d say you should fight for a woman if you really want her. But, and I hate to say it because I know you’re ass deep in love with my sister, but Anne may not be worth all this effort. Well, worth is not a good word. She’s worth a lot of effort. But I don’t know if she’s ever going to get married. Even to a guy who clearly loves her.” Nathan waved away a woman who indicated she wanted to dance.
William sighed. “I don’t know about that, Nathan. Anne’s got some messed-up ideas about marriage. But she’s not a lost cause. You can’t blame her. Considering the example she had growing up.”
“Whatever.” Royal shrugged. “I can only take it for so long. If she doesn’t turn this around by the end of the year, I’m done. I love her, but I want a wife. A family. If she can’t commit, if she can’t admit I’m not your dad, she is a lost cause. I have to move on at some point.”
Joe imagined giving up on Beth and he realized it filled him with fear.
“My sisters—all of them—are good women. Strong. Stronger than most any other females I’ve ever met. Pretty. Smart. Hardworking. All positives. But stubborn. Holy shit, stubborn.” William leaned back and glowered at one of the women who’d been trying to catch Nathan’s eye. “I’m about to get pissy with these women who keep trying to get you to dance. For Christ’s sake, the whole town knows you’re engaged to Lily.”
Nathan snorted. “It’s just a few of them. They know too. Not worth getting worked up over it. None of them matter one bit. If they want to keep embarrassing themselves, they should go on. Once Lily gets here, they’ll back off.”
“They’re after Joe too.” Royal laughed. “Beth will end every single one of them.”
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