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|Moonlight on Nightingale Way(On Dublin Street #6)(49) by Samantha Young|
“Tell Nate to tell the girls that Sophia is not a doll,” Hannah said.
“That’s exactly what I’m texting to Nate. You’d think between him, Braden, Marco, Cole, and Cam, one of them would be able to deal with an argument between two girls.”
Jo snorted. “Especially Nate.”
Liv threw her a dirty look. “Not funny.”
“What am I missing?” I said.
“Nate was a manwhore,” Hannah supplied helpfully. “Before Liv, of course.”
“I’d rather hope so,” I said, making Joss snort.
“Should we be saying the word ‘whore’ in front of Maia?” Ellie asked, her brows puckered in concern.
“Well, you’ve done it twice now, so I reckon the question is redundant.” Maia shrugged.
Shannon grinned at us all. “Did I mention I love my niece?”
We laughed, and I felt something warm bubble up inside me as I saw Maia’s eyes brighten. This was the person she was always meant to be. Being with Logan was changing her, giving her confidence to be herself. Which was proving to be a smart-arse, sarcastic, hilarious, sweet kid who had a habit of making everyone around her fall in love with her.
I watched as Maia settled in with us, not caring she was a fifteen-year-old among women whose ages ranged from twenty-six to thirty-six. She was comfortable and happy listening to the ladies joke about their jobs and their husbands and kids, and I understood why. These women were more than friends. They were all a family. And their warmth drew people like Maia and me in. We were helpless before it. The very definition of a moth to the flame.
We’d gotten onto the subject of movies when Jo said, “I don’t think I’ve been to the movies in about two years. That’s ridiculous.”
“That is,” Liv agreed. “Nate and I have a date night every two weeks, and we go see a movie once a month. We just went to see that new one with that hot real-life ex-marine. Bad movie but yum to the male eye candy. Nate had to wipe the drool off my chin.”
Joss wrinkled her nose. “Oh, I rarely get to see movies like that. Braden refuses to watch movies where the men think they’re prettier than the women.”
“No. Braden doesn’t watch those movies with you because he takes possessiveness to a whole other level,” Ellie teased.
Joss rolled her eyes. “Look, if your brother is happy pretending that I find no man but him attractive, we’re going to leave him to his denial. Although the truth is, no one does it for me like Braden does it for me.” She raised a finger and pointed at us. “That does not leave this room. I like to keep him on his toes. Ego in check.”
“Like they don’t find other women attractive,” Hannah huffed. “I swear I’ve heard Marco growl – yes, growl – under his breath if I so much as share a smile with a good-looking guy, and yet I’m supposed to believe he watches reruns of Dark Angel for the plot? I don’t think so.”
“Hey, Dark Angel is one of the most underappreciated TV series of all time,” Liv argued.
“For a reason,” Hannah argued back.
“They’re all the same,” Jo interjected. “Cam has this new colleague. I happened to mention he was good-looking, and he suddenly felt the need to” – she glanced at Maia and then back at us, giving us a knowing look – “prove himself.”
“You mean have sex,” Maia said.
Jo curled her lip. “Well, there’s no getting anything past you, is there?”
“Believe me, I’ve seen and heard a lot worse.”
The humor in the air dissipated, and an awkward silence fell over us all. Maia’s cheeks were reddening, and I was just about to open my mouth to change the subject for her when Jo beat me to it. “Actually, I mentioned this guy was good-looking because I was thinking of you, Grace. You’re single, right? He’s single too. I was just saying to Cam how it might be fun to set you up on a date. I’ve never played matchmaker before.”
“Ooh.” Ellie nodded, eyes glittering. “Do it. And then you can update us on every date. It’ll be fun.”
“Have you forgotten what it’s like to date?” Joss said wryly. “And you want her to share that excruciating time with all of us?”
Ellie made a face at her. “It was just a thought. And anyway… you’ve only ever dated one man.”
“And he was enough, believe me.” Joss turned to me. “You can tell Jo to stick the cute single guy up her ass. I’ll back you up.”
“That didn’t sound right at all.” Liv was choking on laughter.
“Get your mind out of the gutter.” Shannon gestured with a nod of her head to Maia. “Impressionable minds are present.”
But Maia wasn’t paying much attention. Instead she was staring stonily into her empty glass for some reason.
I frowned, wondering what had been said to upset her.
“Uh, thanks for the thought, Jo, but I’ve been on six incredibly bad dates in the past few months, and I’m feeling a little gun-shy. Maybe some other time.”
“Aka never.” Hannah grinned. “Poor Jo. That career in matchmaking didn’t last long.”
“You’re all shits,” Jo said in response to their teasing, but her voice was filled with laughter. “Now, where is the loo, Grace?”
I showed her the way and then wandered into the kitchen to get more drinks. I wasn’t in there but two seconds before Shannon sauntered in. She sidled over to me and smiled. “They’re great, aren’t they?”