Step Bride:A Bad Boy Mob Romance

By: B. B. Hamel

“I told her you took me to Italy.”

He laughed. “Why Italy?”

“I don’t know, it was the first place I thought of.”

“We’ll have to make up some imaginary vacation now, you know.”

“Yeah, it’ll be fun though. I’ll tell her how annoying you are to travel with.”

“Sure, okay. I’m a delight and you know it.”

I laughed and kissed him. We lapsed into silence as Petey ran between rooms, sniffing everything and reclaiming his territory.

“By the way, how’s Richie doing?”

“Having the time of his fucking life at Disneyland, apparently. I told his mom that they can come home whenever, but I’m willing to bet they’ll spend whatever cash they have left first.”

I laughed. “I don’t blame them. How much did they take?”

He frowned. “Way too much.”

I laughed again and shook my head, looking around the apartment. Everything was pretty much the same, though there was a thin sheen of dust. Still, it seemed off somehow, and I was consciously struggling to keep the memory of Max holding a gun to my face out of my mind.

“It feels a little weird in here,” I said.

“What do you mean?”

“It’s just, that day keeps playing in my head, over and over.”

He frowned. “I understand.”

“I don’t know. After everything that happened, it just doesn’t feel like mine anymore.”

He paused. “You still haven’t seen my place.”

“Oh yeah. I guess you do have a real apartment somewhere.”

“I do in fact have a real apartment.”

“Is it furnished and maybe decorated a little bit?”

He laughed. “A little bit. Not much more than the safe house.”

“I’m not surprised.”

“What, I don’t strike you as the decorating type?”

“Nope, not at all.”

“I’m a little insulted. I have great taste.”

I kissed him on the cheek. “I’m sure you do.”

We lapsed into silence for a second as Petey came over and Liam began to pet him on the shoulders.

“You could always come stay with me for a while, you know,” he said softly.

“Haven’t you had enough of me already?”

He shrugged. “No, not really.”

“Not really? Ouch.”

“Look, you can come crash at my place. No pressure, leave whenever you want. I can even help you find a new apartment, if you want.”

I smiled. Even after everything that had happened between us, he was still trying to save me. Some weird feeling welled up inside me, and I grabbed his face and kissed him deeply, a slight tingle running down my spine. After a second, Petey barked, and I pulled away, laughing.

“Did I say something wrong?” he asked.

“No, not at all. Do girls usually kiss you when you mess up?”

He grinned that fucking grin. I hoped it never got old.

“Yeah. You’d be surprised.”

I stood up. “Come on. Let’s go see this dungeon apartment you live in.”

He stood. “You’re in for a treat, you know.”

“Yeah, okay.” I walked over to the front door and Petey followed me. I crouched down and connected his leash. I looked back up at Liam. “This doesn’t mean I’m staying over, okay? I’m just curious about your place.”

He smiled. “Sure, whatever you say.”

I opened the door and started walking down the steps. Liam followed.

“Really, I mean it. I’m not staying.”

“Okay. We’ll see.”

I pushed out the front door and walked down the stoop. I turned and looked at him.

“Really, I’m not.”

He wrapped his arms around me. “Really, I’m sure.”

I stared at him for a second and let myself fall into him as he began to kiss me deeply. Petey began to bark, but neither of us cared. I wanted to lose myself in him for as long as I could. I wanted him to keep trying to save me, even when I didn’t need saving.

He pulled away after a second. I leaned my head against his chest, and he wrapped his arms around me tightly.

“I’m yours, you know that?” I said.

“Yeah, I know.”

“And I’m not going anywhere.”

“I’m not either.”

I pulled back and looked him in the eyes.

“Fresh start,” I said softly.

He nodded. “New people. We can be whoever we want to be.”

“That sounds really good.”

He kissed me again softly on the lips and then pulled away.

“Come on. Let’s go see my dungeon.”

I laughed. He began to walk ahead, and Petey ran to catch up. I watched them for a second, wondering where he was taking me. I had lost my job, maybe alienated my best friend, almost died, but none of it mattered, not anymore. It was all over. It was time for a fresh start.

I jogged to catch up with my two favorite men, unable to get the smile off of my face.

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