Home > Dreaming of California (Daniels Family, #4)

Dreaming of California (Daniels Family, #4)
Author: K.L. Donn


Prologue

 

 

Cali

 

 

“California Love” by Tupac and Dr. Dre plays loudly on the radio as I sit in congested traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway. Leaving Tennessee earlier in the week was hard but easier than I had thought. I love my cousin Noah, and I was so excited to see him finally get his girl, but I was also feeling a little blue.

I’ve always been a wanderer, a free spirit. Maybe even a bit of a gypsy. But witnessing my cousin so happy—the love, family, and happiness surrounding him—had me jealous and envious.

I want that.

Though, I’ll never achieve it.

I can’t seem to hold onto a relationship to save my life. I ruin everything, just like my mother.

Horns blaring shock me out of my reverie as I notice the cars ahead of me begin moving. Thoughts of Roman and Silas filter through my mind as I hedge forward until the next red light.

Without a word, I left them in South Carolina. I knew they would find me in Tennessee, and I know they’ll find me here in Los Angeles again. It’s their job. They locate people, arrest people, work for a government agency they can’t tell me about, and that’s the problem. I’ve lived my entire life surrounded by so many unknowns that I can’t handle it with them.

Forget that they both want me. That I’m crazy about them. I can’t do secrets.

And they’re filled to the brim with them.

Always sharing knowing looks and not saying a word when I ask them about it. Leaving to “work” without being able to tell me where or when they’d be back. I can’t handle that uncertainty, and when I told them that, they just reassured me everything would be fine.

That’s when I left South Carolina.

When I left my heart behind in shattered pieces of glass.

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

Cali

 

 

A Few Months Later.

 

 

Rinsing the suds from my hair, I try to wash away the tears. Roman and Silas are here. Months after I ran away, they found me. Which isn’t surprising since that’s their livelihood.

After spending the last few weeks convincing my friend, and roommate, Calla Davies to give her man a chance, she took my advice, and now she’s trying to convince me to take it as well. The trouble is they’re still secretive, and I’m still skeptical. I’m not asking them to quit, or, at least, I didn’t think I was. But if they stay, can they ever give me the honesty I’ve been asking for? How can it be possible for us to have a relationship otherwise?

Shutting the water off, I step out into the chilly bathroom, allowing the air to dry me off as I wipe the condensation from the mirror. Staring at the girl facing me, she looks exhausted and sad. Something I’ve never really been, even after losing my parents. I’ve always taken everything in stride.

But now, my heart is firmly on the line, and it hurts.

Like a punch to the gut, it cramps every time I think of these stubborn, fickle, possessive men. We’ve kissed, made out for hours, but I’ve never been intimate with either of them, and I have to wonder if that’s where I’m having so much trouble.

I love them; I have no doubt about it. But how can a relationship like ours survive?

Stepping out of the bathroom while scrubbing my hair dry with the towel, I don’t expect company, not after Calla moved out.

“Fuck. Me.” Roman’s voice stops me in my tracks. Peeking up at him through my dark curly hair, I bite my lip. I didn’t wrap a towel around my body, so I’m stark naked. “Damn,” he groans, stepping forward from the dinky kitchen.

I’m frozen to the spot, unable to move to even cover myself up. “Uhm, what are you doing here?” Reaching a hand out, he glides the tips of his fingers across my belly and around to my back. “Roman?” I choke out, shivering at his touch.

“You’re so fucking silky.” The feel of his soft shirt brushing along my back has my over-sensitive skin vibrating. “Silas is going to be pissed he went for coffee.”

The words are barely out of his mouth before the man in question walks in. Without missing a beat, he kicks the door shut, places the tray of coffees on the counter, and stalks towards me like I’m his prey.

His blue eyes darken to nearly black as he licks across his lips. Without a word, Silas bends down, gripping the back of my thighs, and picks me up. Slamming his mouth down on mine, he forces me back into Roman’s sturdy frame, and I register when he hits the wall.

“You woke the beast now,” Roman chuckles as he kisses along my shoulder and neck.

Silas’s tongue delves deep into my mouth, exploring every crevice. Taking my breath and infusing life into me with his own.

“Silas,” I gasp out, forcing our mouths to break. “What are you guys doing here?”

“You keep kicking us out, California. We’ve decided that doesn’t work for us anymore. We’re here to stay, and you’re going to stop fighting us and agree to be ours.”

“Or what?” I glare at the man.

“Or nothing. This isn’t an ultimatum. This is us telling you what’s happening,” Silas growls like it’s a done deal.

“You know you’re tired of running, Cali,” Roman croons in my ear.

He’s not wrong. Neither of them is, really. I want to be theirs, but I can’t live with the half-truths anymore. Not again.

“Can I get dressed?” I decide not to address either of their statements. They reluctantly let me go, and I slip into my once-shared room with Calla and hurriedly get dressed in a pair of shorts, tank top, and pink cowgirl boots. Twisting my hair up into a messy bun, I open the door, knowing they won’t wait forever.

Staring at the men leaning against the wall, I blow out a breath. “I was promised coffee.” Silas grins, knowing it’s my weakness. “Calla has moved out, which means I’m moving out.”

They both spear me with a predatory look. “We have a house,” they respond in unison as Silas hands me my coffee.

Taking a satisfying drink of the hot brew, I’m pleased he got my order right. Black with a double shot of vanilla. I can feel their eyes on me as I swallow until it’s gone, not caring about how hot it is, just jonesing for that shot of caffeine.

“Well?” Silas questions, and I tilt my head in confusion. “We have a house,” he repeats.

The man is so serious. He hides pain like an arsonist hides a match. He doesn’t want me to see it, but it’s there nonetheless, and I feel it bleeding from him every time he gets exasperated by Roman or me because our personalities are so alike. Silas grounds us, though. He keeps the two of us from getting into too much trouble.

“So?” I realize them stating that fact is likely their way of asking me to move in with them, but unless they say the actual words, ask the real question, I refuse to consider it.

Roman is the more jovial of the two. He’s not afraid to tell me what he’s thinking at all times; he jokes, he laughs. He looks at life like it’s one big day at an amusement park, and I love that about him. On the flip side are his secrets, not just from his occupation but from his past as well.

“Dude.” Roman swats Silas’s shoulder. “She wants the fucking question. Not an assumption.” They glare at each other for a minute, and it’s then that I see it again. This feeling I got in South Carolina with Roman. He doesn’t just want a friendship with Silas; he has feelings for him. That secret between them is one reason I’ve kept reconsidering our relationship.

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