Home > Reckless Hands (Joey and Adora Duet #1)(9)

Reckless Hands (Joey and Adora Duet #1)(9)
Author: T.L. Smith

He can read you better than anyone else can.

Joey is an observer.

I’m sure he’s just as dirty as his brother and cousins. He is, after all, second-in-command to his brother, Keir, and he wouldn’t have that if he wasn’t good at what he does.

And that’s as intimidating as it is deadly.

His smile is deceiving.

Conniving.

Calculating.

“I don’t want white.”

Joey grabs my glass of champagne and sits down beside me. So now I’m in the middle of Becca and him.

“I want to see you in white.”

“No.”

“I’m paying. Try the dress on, Adora.”

“Fuck you!” I snap back at him.

“Does she have this foul mouth with you as well?” Joey asks, addressing Becca.

“No,” she answers quietly.

“You don’t have to answer him,” I tell her but keep my eyes on him.

“She can answer me. Don’t control her,” Joey says, his tone taunting.

“You are the only asshole being controlling.” I get up from my seat. “I’ll try one white dress on, then you have to leave,” I tell him, my hands landing on my hips.

“Two,” he argues back.

Turning around to the bridal lady, I smile at her. “Pick me two to try on so we can pick the real dress and he can leave.”

“Is that your fiancé?” she almost whispers.

“Yes. Isn’t he an ass?”

Her eyes go wide, and she isn’t sure how to answer that. Instead, she gets busy putting two dresses into the changing room as I follow her in. The first is a tight lacy one with a small train. It’s beautiful, classic, and quintessential.

I walk out, and both sets of eyes lock on me.

“Wow!” Becca breathes out, and Joey’s eyes take me in before he turns to her. “Is this not weird for you? You’re helping a woman you are fucking pick a wedding dress for the man she’s marrying.”

For fuck’s sake, I want to walk over to him and slap him hard.

The bridal lady excuses herself and hurries away.

Who could blame her?

“Joey,” I snarl as Becca stands to leave. “Don’t leave. He’s being an ass.” She pauses, and I glare at him. “One more dress and you will leave.”

I stalk back into the changing room and start taking off the dress as the bridal lady enters and silently helps me. When I have the next one on, I walk out to Becca facing the other way and Joey watching her with a smirk.

“Last dress, now leave.”

Joey gets up, true to his word, and walks over to me. “It’s been a pleasure,” he says and nods, then walks out the door.

Becca smiles when she turns and sees me.

“Do you plan to ever get married?” I ask her.

“No, my family would not attend.”

“Would it be weird if you came to mine?” Again, I can feel the bridal lady staring at us.

“I would love to.”

“Good! Done deal.” I go back to the changing room and smile at the bridal lady, who we are providing with at least a month’s worth of gossip.

“Now, get me something in red.”

Her eyes go wide, but she remains silent.

Good woman.

 

 

He hasn’t annoyed me for two days, and the wedding day is creeping up on me.

But Becca, I’ve seen her every day. We haven’t gone further than kisses to the lips, and I’m okay with that. I have so much going on that I’m not really sure it was smart to start something with her to begin with.

The problem is, I just can’t seem to tell her that, though.

Her energy, who she is as a person, is sweet, and that energy draws you in. I’m not used to being around someone like her. I’m so broken and fucked-up that it’s refreshing.

Joey is the same as me, we are two peas in a pod, really.

“I heard you’re having a bachelorette party tonight.” I turn my head to see Lucas on the other side of the counter. The store isn’t even open yet, but he has keys.

“No, who said that?”

“Joey’s bachelor party is tonight, so I assumed you were having yours with only two days until the wedding.” I cringe at the reminder. “There is a way out of this, just so you know.”

This piques my interest. I turn my body, giving him my full attention. “And what is that?”

He shakes his head. “I’m not sure you want the answer.”

“I do,” I argue back.

He steps up closer, just a few inches from me. To all others, Lucas is one of the most feared men. It’s all part of his beauty, and you can see it if you look closely enough. It’s incredibly dark under those hypnotic eyes.

“I can kill you. It’s been a while since I’ve had my hands around another woman’s neck. Not sure Chanel would approve, but I’m happy to assist.”

I shake my head at his words and give him an eye roll.

“Go to hell, Lucas.” I turn back to stacking the bookshelf.

“I’ve already been, and the Devil himself kicked me out,” he jokes. “Okay, since that’s not an option, I’ve been instructed to tell you that the girls expect you at nine tonight.” I raise a brow and glance over my shoulder at him. “I mean, my offer still stands.” He smirks.

“Why?”

“Fucked if I know.” He shrugs.

“Why are you here?” It’s not like him to pop in all the time. He hardly used to, it was always his right-hand man. But since he was shot dead in this store, Lucas hasn’t replaced him.

“I own this place as much as you,” he replies simply.

“Chanel is working, and you’re bored, right?” I put two and two together. His face betrays nothing, but I know I’m right. “You could go and hang with your boss and his brother,” I joke.

“No, I’d rather slit my wrists than hang with your soon-to-be husband.”

His words make me laugh rather loudly.

“Whose throat are you slitting?”

We both turn to the sound of Joey’s voice.

Fuck me.

“I’m out.”

“Should I be worried that you spend so much time with my fiancée?” Joey asks Lucas as he passes him, and Lucas glances over his shoulder at me. “More than likely.”

I know he’s joking, he said that to piss off Joey. Lucas nods to me before he walks out.

“We’re closed. Did you not read the sign?” I turn back and face the bookshelves, giving him my back—exactly what he deserves.

“Is that the way you greet all your customers? It’s a touchy time for bookstores these days. You would think you should be welcoming me.”

“We do just fine, thank you very much.”

“So, you have money?”

“I do.” I turn my head and smile at him.

“So why don’t you buy Lucas out, then?” he questions.

“Because he’s a great business partner,” I argue. I haven’t really thought of changing things because I’m happy with the way they are. I’m even planning on hiring someone else to give me more time off.

“We should kiss.”

My hand pauses on a book that is full of stories about single dads finding love. I focus on the cover as I think over what he’s just proposed. How do I answer that?

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