Home > Dare Me (The Donovans #1)(7)

Dare Me (The Donovans #1)(7)
Author: Samantha Chase

“Oh, I found a couple of excellent pot roasts that are slow cooking right now. Lots of carrots and potatoes and gravy.” Kate looked at her and smiled. “Plus some biscuits, a salad, a green bean casserole, and I made a peach cobbler and an apple pie for dessert.”

This was her mother’s idea of a simple Sunday dinner.

“Is there anything I can do?”

Her mother turned to walk back to the bar. “You could find yourself a nice boy and settle down so we can have more faces around the dinner table.”

Ugh…here we go.

Glancing around, Arianna wondered where her siblings were as she walked over and took a seat at the bar. “Why aren’t you pushing Jamie or Patrick to find nice girls, huh? Seems to me they’re older and should be doing their part to fill the damn table.”

“Watch your language, missy,” Kate snapped lightly. “I knew letting you live away from home would change you. Now you’ve got a sassy mouth with your mother. Where did I go wrong?”

Dear Lord…

“All I’m saying is that it wouldn’t be the worst thing for Jamie and Patrick to find themselves wives,” she said with a shrug.

“And here I am finding you nice guys and you’re throwing me under the bus,” Jamie said from behind her. He gave her a smacking kiss on the cheek before stepping behind the bar.

“What?” she asked innocently. “I’m just suggesting that it not be completely up to me and Ryleigh to give Mom and Dad grandkids.”

“Please, can you imagine me as a dad?” Jamie laughed. “How fair would that be? I’m too young to settle down. Besides, it wouldn’t be right to all the lovely ladies of Laurel Bay to tie myself down just yet.”

She rolled her eyes. Her brother was handsome and charming and never had a problem attracting a woman. But that was also his problem—he was almost too charming for his own good. He never had to work hard at anything because everything came easily to him. Personally, she’d love to see him meet a woman who didn’t fall at his feet.

“You’re ridiculous,” she murmured. “And I stand by my statement. You and Patrick shouldn’t be exempt from all this marriage pressure.”

Leaning against the bar, Jamie gave her an easy grin. “Ari, you need to let this go. I’m not ready to settle down and everyone knows it. And as for Pat? He’s married to his job. Mister big time property dude doesn’t even know women are alive half the time. He’s got the hottest assistant on the planet and doesn’t see it.”

Kate walked up behind him and smacked him upside the head. “Don’t talk like that. It would be inappropriate for him to notice her as anything more than his assistant and shame on you for implying otherwise.”

She walked away and Jamie waited until she was in the kitchen before speaking again. “And what gives? Why are you trying to get her attention on me?”

“Because you keep putting the attention on me!” she countered. “I’m not looking to get married either, but that hasn’t stopped you from pointing out every single single guy that comes in here!”

He laughed. “Yeah, that’s been fun. Ryleigh’s over it and nearly broke my finger the last time I tried to fix her up with someone.”

“So that’s how I can stop this? Bodily harm? Because I’m really good with my martial arts moves.”

Taking a step back, Jamie held up his hands in surrender. “Okay, fine. I’ll ease up. But you know it won’t change anything. Mom’s like a dog with a bone on this subject. She wants to see all of us married with kids. It’s just a matter of who she chooses to focus on.”

“Yeah, well, I wish she’d focus on someone else for a little while. I’ve got enough on my mind without having to be paraded around like I’m desperate or something.”

“What have you got on your mind?” he asked, suddenly turning serious. “Is it the job? I thought you liked it.”

“No, it’s just…”

“Is it the living situation because Liam’s coming home? Because I’m sure we can find you a place.”

“Well, yeah, but it’s…”

“Is someone bothering you? Do I need to kick someone’s ass?”

“Does that include you?” she asked with annoyance. “Because right now, you’re bothering the heck out of me!”

“Me? What did I do?”

“Other than not shut up? Jeez! You ask a bunch of questions and never give me a chance to answer them!”

“Oh,” he said with a laugh. “Sorry.” He rested his arms on the bar. “So what’s going on?”

Jamie really wasn’t the right person to share her thoughts with. He was sweet and goofy, but she knew he’d rat her out to her parents in a heartbeat.

So…she went with a lesser issue.

“I guess I’m nervous about where I’ll live when Liam gets back. I don’t think he’ll throw me out right away, but I’m sure he’s not going to want his little sister living with him either.”

“You got that right,” he muttered.

“Hey!”

“What? You know I’m right.”

Sadly, she did. But if things worked out the way she was hoping, it wouldn’t be an issue for long.

“You should just talk to Patrick at dinner. I’m sure he can help you find something,” Jamie went on. “It’s worth a shot.”

“I suppose…” It was the only thing she could say since it really wouldn’t come to that. Hopefully she’d hear back about the job tomorrow and then she could just move forward with her search in Chapel Hill.

“Or,” he interrupted again, “you can just ask Liam at dinner.”

“What?!”

Grinning like a total loon, Jamie reached over and gave her a poke on the tip of her nose. “You should see your face!” He laughed maniacally for a moment before leaning on the bar again. “Yeah, he called earlier and told Mom he’d be home for dinner and to set an extra plate because he’s got a Marine buddy with him.”

Dread pooled deep in her belly. “Should I go back to the apartment and pack a bag or…or…crap! It wouldn’t be such a big deal if it was just Liam, but he’s bringing a friend? What are the odds of that?” Groaning, Arianna let her head gently bang against the bar. “What am I gonna do?”

“First, you need to relax,” her brother said, all signs of amusement gone. “For all we know, the friend is staying at a hotel tonight. So I say just…you know…don’t do anything yet and then just talk to him after dinner.”

“You think?”

He nodded. “And if Liam throws you out, you know we’ve all got couches you can crash on for a few nights.” He paused. “Just know you’ll have to share mine with all my laundry that I refuse to fold.”

Arianna knew it was true but seriously hoped it didn’t come to that.

 

 

“I feel weird about this.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s a family dinner,” Will replied. “Your family would probably like to have it be just you joining them. I can just drop you off and go to a hotel for the night.”

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