Home > My True Love (The Steeles at Silver Island #2)

My True Love (The Steeles at Silver Island #2)
Author: Melissa Foster


Chapter One

 

 

“GO, GO, GO!” Bellamy whispered urgently, nudging Jules toward the candy cauldron.

Jules Steele plunged her hands into the well of candy, searching for miniature Almond Joy candy bars, while her bestie-since-birth and coconspirator kept watch.

“God, girl. Flash everyone much?” Bellamy tugged on the skirt of Jules’s sparkly green fairy costume, causing the wings to flap.

“Belly!” Jules swatted Bellamy’s hand away and, careful not to mess up her zombie makeup, shimmied the sparkly costume and fluffy purple underskirt a little lower. “Leave my butt alone and watch for my mom, please. If she catches me, she’ll kill me.” Her mother liked Almond Joys as much as she did.

Bellamy turned around, and Jules went elbow deep in the candy.

The Steele family’s annual Field of Screams Halloween event was in full swing at their winery on Silver Island, off the coast of Cape Cod. Black and orange lights crisscrossed the patio and lit up the trees, which were filled with creepy fake spiders and gauzy webs. Witches and ghouls hung from the back of the building, and zombies crawled out of graves in an eerie mock graveyard between the vineyard and the winery. Tables of refreshments boasted cookies shaped like gnarled fingers and other Halloween-themed goodies. Practically everyone on Silver Island had shown up in costume. Children, dressed as witches, superheroes, and other fun characters collected candy, bobbed for apples, and created mayhem, while adults mingled and danced, awaiting the big event—the haunted walk through the vineyard, when the Steeles hid among the vines and jumped out to scare those who were courageous enough to brave the darkness.

“Are my parents still kissing?” Jules called to Bellamy.

“No,” Bellamy said. “Now Gomez is groping Morticia’s butt.”

Her parents were always kissing and touching each other. Jules had walked in on them making out in the kitchen far too many times. They were so in love she could feel it from across the room. Was it wrong that she was jealous of them? The only man making her tummy tingle these days—or if she was honest with herself, the only man to ever make her feel like a pent-up tigress—was the surliest guy on the island, Bellamy’s oldest brother, Grant Silver. He wasn’t even at the party, and she still couldn’t get the six-plus feet of deliciously muscled hotness out of her head.

“I swear your parents get more action than anyone else on this island,” Bellamy said with a laugh.

Jules cast a deadpan stare over her shoulder at the petite brunette with big brown eyes and cherubic cheeks. Earlier today she’d chopped off six inches of her hair, and her new jagged bob was perfect for her gold-fringed flapper minidress. Bellamy was an up-and-coming lifestyle influencer, and she also worked with Jules at her gift shop, the Happy End.

Bellamy giggled. “Sorry, but it’s true. Well, except for maybe Daphne and Jock. Those two have been sneaking off together all night.”

Jules’s oldest brother, Jock, had recently reconciled with his twin, Archer, after a decade-long feud that had begun after Jock’s pregnant girlfriend, who had also been Archer’s best friend, was killed in a tragic car accident. Jock had just moved back to the island with his fiancée, Daphne, and her three-year-old daughter, Hadley. They were getting married on New Year’s Eve, and Jules couldn’t be happier for them. She was close to all five of her older siblings, but she and Jock had a special relationship. She’d been diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumor when she was three, and she’d had one kidney removed. Jock had sat by her bedside day and night until she was fully recovered.

“Just keep watch.” Jules tucked another candy bar into her bra and began rooting around in the cauldron again.

“Caught ya!” Tara Osten, another bestie, took a picture of Jules elbow deep in the candy cauldron.

Jules snapped upright, clutching an Almond Joy, and shoved it into her bra. “You’re a sneaky little mouse!”

Tara, a pretty blonde, was a year younger than Jules, and she was dressed as a sexy mouse, which was fitting, since her nickname had been Mouse since they were little, thanks to her older sister.

“And you’re a candy thief.” Tara leaned over Jules’s shoulder and whispered, “Do you see any Snickers in there?”

Jules snagged two Snickers and handed them to Tara. She found another Almond Joy and grabbed two Butterfingers for Bellamy, tossing them to her. “There’s plenty more where that came from.”

As Jules and the girls were tearing open their candy, her parents walked over arm in arm. Her friends all called her father, Steve, a silver fox because he was athletically built, with short silver-and-black hair and a neatly trimmed beard. Her mother, Shelley, was effervescent and beautiful and as voluptuous as Jules was petite, with long auburn hair and stylish bangs. They were all about family and madly in love. Jules counted herself lucky to have them. She couldn’t imagine growing up with her parents living in separate homes, like Bellamy had. The Silvers ran the Silver House resort with one of their sons, and they were almost always together. But they had separated when Bellamy was a toddler, and although they’d decided to stay married and still acted like husband and wife, they’d continued living in separate houses.

“Hello, ladies,” Jules’s mother said. “What’s going on over here?”

“Nothing!” Jules shoved the entire Almond Joy in her mouth and immediately gagged. She grabbed a napkin and spit the candy into it. “Ew!”

“What’s wrong, honey?” her mother asked.

“That’s not Almond Joy. It’s Snickers. Someone put the wrong candy in the wrapper. How does that even happen?”

As Jules whipped another Almond Joy from her bra and tore it open, Tara said, “Are you sure? That’s an Almond Joy wrapper in your hand.”

“I think I know the difference between Almond Joy and Snickers.” Jules popped the candy into her mouth and bit into caramel. “Ugh. Gross!” She spit it into a napkin.

Her father laughed and high-fived her mother. “My work here is done, my love.”

Bellamy and Tara cracked up.

“Dad! What did you do—swap out all the Almond Joys for Snickers and glue the wrappers closed?” Her father and brothers were major pranksters. “This is a community event. What if someone is allergic to peanuts?”

“Just making sure my beautiful wife got her fair share of her favorite goodies tonight.” He winked at her mother.

“I always do,” her mother said, patting her father’s butt.

“Mom! I’m being serious,” Jules complained, and her parents laughed.

“Don’t worry, Bug, I took care of our partygoers.” Her father had called her Bug since she was a little girl, because he said she lit up the night like a lightning bug. He slid his hand casually into his pocket and pulled out a small card, handing it to Jules.

She read the bold print. ALLERGY ALERT! WE’RE PRANKING JULES. PLEASE DON’T EAT THE ALMOND JOYS. THEY’RE REALLY SNICKERS.

“You girls have fun,” her father said, and sauntered away, laughing with her mother.

“I can’t believe you did this! You’re supposed to protect me, not prank me!” Jules shouted after them, but she couldn’t help laughing, too.

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