Home > Dare Me (The Donovans #1)(4)

Dare Me (The Donovans #1)(4)
Author: Samantha Chase

“Stop. Just stop.” She let out a long breath. “Why are you just now telling me this?”

“Because I don’t know if it’s something I’m going to do. I know everyone will freak out if I move away again.”

“You can’t live your life for everyone else. Trust me. I’m doing it and it sucks.”

“Then maybe you need to stop doing it,” she challenged.

“Please, one crazy Donovan daughter at a time.” She paused. “So…you really think you’ll move away?”

“I’m not sure. I keep looking at positions in bigger cities and…there’s nothing keeping me here in Laurel Bay. Once Liam gets home, you know he’ll only tolerate me staying here for so long. He’s going to want the place to himself and will probably resent having his baby sister in the next room when he wants to bring a woman home.”

“Ugh…I don’t need that image in my head.”

“You know what I’m saying. I didn’t want to sign a lease on someplace here if I wasn’t going to stay. Maybe Liam coming home is the push I need to make that decision.”

“Damn. I’d really hate it if you moved, Ari. I feel like you just got back. I missed you.”

“I’d only be a few hours away,” she said softly. “And you can come and stay with me anytime. Like when you need to run away from all the matchmaking.” Then she laughed.

“Sure, laugh it up, but I’m telling you, soon it will be your turn and then it won’t seem so funny.”

“All the more reason for me to leave town. And who knows? Maybe I’ll meet a nice guy and fall in love in Chapel Hill.”

They didn’t stay on the phone much longer and when they did hang up, Arianna studied her phone and pulled up her photos one last time.

It would be easy to delete all the photos of her and Will right now, but as she scrolled through them again, she just couldn’t do it.

“Tomorrow,” she whispered before putting the phone face down and doing her best to fall asleep.

 

 

“It’s decided, you’re coming home with me.”

Will Jameson looked over at his friend and was seriously at a loss for words. Not that he didn’t appreciate the offer—because he did—but…it was complicated.

More complicated than he cared to explain.

“Do you want to go back to California?” Liam Donovan asked him.

“No.”

“Have you made any plans or even thought about where you’re going to go?”

“Not exactly.”

“Will, we’re out of here in two days! How could you not know where you’re going to go?”

With a shrug, he replied, “I’ll figure it out once I drive out the gates of the base.”

Which was a huge lie because he’d done nothing but think about it for the last year. In a perfect world, he could very easily agree with his buddy and go with him to Laurel Bay—to Arianna—and have a pretty spectacular life.

But he’d totally screwed that up.

At the time, it seemed like the perfect thing to do—to just never talk to her again once he realized she was related to Liam. He just never told her that he knew. And now, a year later, he wondered why he didn’t just say screw it and let things just play out the way they should.

With his buddy beating the shit out of him for touching his little sister.

Beside him, Liam was scowling as he looked down at his phone.

“Problem?”

“Let’s just say it’s a good thing I’m heading home.”

“Why?”

“I think my whole family’s gone mad,” he murmured. “Honestly, I don’t know what’s gotten into them.”

“Yeah, you’re going to have to elaborate, because I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“My sisters,” Liam said. “It sounds like my parents practically have a ‘Come date our daughters’ campaign going on at the pub! It’s insanity! I mean…are they even checking these guys out?”

Will didn’t know what to say, but the thought of Arianna going out with a bunch of guys did not sit well with him either.

If anything, he was probably more pissed off than Liam.

“How…um…how do you know this?” he casually asked as he scrolled the local news on his own phone.

“Jamie’s texting me and telling me how he’s going to set Arianna—she’s the youngest of all of us—up with some guy he used to play lacrosse with! Lacrosse!” he added with a snort of disgust. “I bet he’s a total douche.”

Will had to agree.

Liam began to furiously type out something to his brother, but Will needed to know more. “So…what’s the big deal? She’s obviously a grown woman, right?”

Shooting him an angry glare, he said, “She’s only twenty-three and my doofus brother should not be setting her up with any of his friends! They’re all older than her and…and…just no. Brothers are supposed to protect and look out for their sisters, not set them up with their friends.”

“Um…sure, but…how much older? Aren’t the two of them close in age?”

“Dude, whose side are you even on? She’s young and doesn’t need my brother or anyone fixing her up. She doesn’t need to be dating. Period.”

“That sounds a little unrealistic,” Will countered. “You know she’s probably dated plenty of guys while she was in college.”

The look his buddy gave him told Will that was the wrong thing to say.

And this is why I had to say goodbye to Arianna…

Yeah, he knew Liam well enough to know how protective he was of his sisters and the fact that Will was nine years older than her would not have gone over well.

“Why is your brother even texting you if he knows this is a sensitive topic?”

“Because my brother’s an ass sometimes.” Tossing his phone down, Liam leaned back in his chair and raked both hands through his hair. “I swear, sometimes it’s like he’s baiting me and thinks it would be funny to watch me come home and go off on everyone. It’s so stupid.”

“And yet you’re taking the bait.”

“No,” Liam quickly replied. “Well, yes. Maybe.” He growled in frustration. “I’m not going to go home and create a scene, but it’s good to know what I’m walking into.”

“I don’t see how you’re walking into anything. It’s not really any of your concern.” Will knew he was now the one baiting Liam, and yet he couldn’t seem to help himself.

“Will, just…trust me. You don’t get it. You’re an only child. You have no idea what it’s like to have sisters.” He growled again. “All your friends hit on them and it’s just…it’s wrong.”

Well, there was the definite confirmation that he’d made the right decision, but it didn’t make him feel any better.

“You know what? I don’t want to talk about this anymore,” Liam said as he got to his feet. They were hanging out in the barracks while most of their squad was out celebrating the weekend. “I want to know if you’re in on my business plan.”

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