Hopeless Romantic by Marina Adair

Hopeless Romantic by Marina Adair

Author:Marina Adair [Adair, Marina]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Kensington Books
Published: 2020-11-16T00:00:00+00:00

Chapter 11

Levi knew what it had taken for Beckett to leave her scooter at home and carve out a night for herself. He was coming to understand the unusual amount of responsibility placed on her shoulders. In the early years, Michelle had been a hardworking single mom, raising Paisley and running the Crow’s Nest. But she’d always had people around to help out when times were hard. Or when she just needed a free night to herself.

At first there’d been Levi and his mom, then Gray had come along, and finally Emmitt, rounding out what had become the most unlikely family. They didn’t always agree, and they knew how to push each other’s buttons, but they always had each other’s backs.

Levi wondered who, if anyone, had Beckett’s.

Tonight, he wanted to be that person for her. He avoided involving himself in other people’s family issues because, well, he had enough on his own plate. But Beckett deserved to have a night of fun to herself. And he was going to make sure she got it.

Christ, what was it about Beckett Hayes that reeled him in?

Levi went for stacked, sophisticated, and no-strings. Beckett was willowy, perpetually frazzled, and becoming more and more intertwined with his world. And judging by the nervous way she clutched her phone, she was as close to having a fun evening as a DC politician was to crossing party lines.

He’d noticed that the farther from her house they drove, the higher the tension in the cab became, until they were a mobile powder keg, her cell was the fuse, and they were one call from blowing the whole night to hell. She had a definite handle-with-caution vibe going on, which he believed stemmed from her worry over what was going on back at home.

With a resigned sigh, Levi pulled into the bowling alley and parked toward the back. Instead of shutting off the engine completely, he left the heater running. “You want to talk about what happened back there?”

“God, yes.” She released a sigh of relief so large, the window momentarily fogged up. “I just wasn’t sure how to broach it.”

He unbuckled his safety belt and turned toward her. “I want to make sure you have fun tonight.”

“I do, too,” she said. “Just like I want you to have fun.”

“Good. Then we’re on the same page,” he said, but the fleeting, sidelong glance she gave him implied otherwise. “I just mean, I understand family dynamics and how stressful they can be. One time, my mom pretended her back went out so that she’d have an excuse to stay on my boat. After three weeks of sleeping on a lawn chair, the kind with slats, I woke up to find my mom and her water-aerobics friends doing synchronized swimming dives off the back of my boat. They had on matching suits, those decorative hats with rubber roses on top, the whole nine yards.”

Beckett laughed. “What did she say when you caught her?”

“She said as long as I was there, I could judge,” he said.


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