Home > Say You're Mine (The Gallaghers Series)(12)

Say You're Mine (The Gallaghers Series)(12)
Author: Layla Hagen

“Business as usual,” Ian replied. “We’re successful businessmen by day, Casanovas by night.”

Dylan winced. “Casanova, really?”

Ian rolled his eyes. “Oh, lighten up.”

“I actually have a fun new project,” I announced, “with the band GreenFire. They want me to do some psychological profiling of them and their fans to see what would appeal to their market.”

“Holy shit,” Ian exclaimed. “That’s huge.”

“They’re a great band,” Dylan said.

Both my brothers were huge fans.

Josie batted her eyelashes. “When can you introduce me to them?”

“I don’t think I can. They made me sign an NDA, but I did tell them I needed to tell my family.”

Josie narrowed her eyes, and I knew she was putting two and two together. She was a lawyer, but my sister could have been super successful as a detective too.

“Wait a second. The party you’re going to tonight is connected to them?”

I nodded in excitement. I’d decided to go after all, and after perusing my closet for a suitable outfit, I realized I needed something new. So this morning, I texted my group of girls. Josie had happily agreed to go shopping with me, as did Tess and Skye, her husband’s cousins and Josie’s best friends. Laney, my best friend, was coming too.

“And you’re sure you can’t sneak me in?” Josie was still batting her eyelashes.

I giggled. “You and Sophie?”

“Oh, yeah. I’m a mom now. Supposed to be all serious and a grown-up.” Although she made it sound like a chore, the smile on her face gave her away, and I knew she loved being a mother.

And not for the first time, I wondered if I’d ever be that lucky...

***

After breakfast, Josie and I headed to Soho. We were meeting in front of Tess and Skye’s lingerie shop. They were both already waiting for us outside. Tess was wearing a white tennis dress with her hair styled a boho-chic mix of blonde and brown strands. Skye’s brunette hair was pulled back in a ponytail. She also brought her son, who was sleeping peacefully in his stroller. Laney joined us last, handing everyone scones. My best friend was a surgical resident, and she was married to Tess and Skye’s brother, Cole. She’d been a widow when she’d met him, and I could often see the sadness of her past on her like a shadow.

I was grateful that I hadn’t seen that shadow since Cole entered her life.

“I bought these on the way. Just two at first, but they were so delicious that I went back for more,” Laney exclaimed, tossing a strand of her straight brown hair behind her shoulder.

“Gimme, gimme,” Tess exclaimed, then took a bite. “Wow. Where did you buy this from? It’s delicious.”

Laney pointed to a small pop-up shop right at the end of the street, and Tess nodded excitedly.

The mood was relaxed and happy. I loved seeing my friends and family content with life.

How fortunate we all were — family meant everything to us. Which made me think of my clients. If they were a little bit happier when they left my office, I considered my job well done. I always told them I couldn’t help them solve all their problems or have all their answers, but I could help them focus on the good things in their life.

“So, Isabelle, what’s the occasion we’re shopping for?” Tess asked.

I wiggled my eyebrows. “I’m partying with a rock band, and nothing I own fits the occasion.”

Skye laughed. “Girl, you can just say you were in the mood for shopping.”

“Okay. That’s 100 percent true. I needed a reason for my guilty conscience.”

I had more clothes than anyone needed, but pretty things made me happy.

Skye said, “We can try the boutique that opened right across from us. They have very unique outfits.”

Everyone nodded, except Tess, who was looking at me inquisitively. She said nothing, but I was sure that was because she was analyzing me.

Skye led us to a small shop called Le Fleur. On the entrance door were the names of different French designers written in white cursive letters. I’d never heard of any of them. The prices were not cheap, but the outfits were different from what I found at Nordstrom Rack and Macy’s. A beige dress made of linen and cotton caught my eye. It had a wood leather belt around the middle. I had no idea there was such a thing as wood leather.

“What exactly are you going for?” Tess asked.

Looking behind me, I grinned. All the girls were already picking out items for themselves.

“Oh, I don’t know. Something casual that I could wear on different occasions. The only rule is that I have to look gorgeous in it.”

“By any chance, did any of the guys catch your eye?”

I turned around fast. “How did you know?”

All the girls were looking at me.

Tess smiled proudly. “Instinct.”

Laney pouted. “How come they caught on? You’re my best friend.”

“Don’t be too hard on yourself, Laney. I grew up in a big family. Picking up nonverbal cues was a vital skill,” Tess said nonchalantly.

“But I’m your sister, and even I couldn’t tell.” Josie sounded stunned.

“I might have had my poker face on because Dylan and Ian were with us. It’s habit. I don’t even think about it.”

“So, who is it?” Josie asked.

I pressed my lips together, shaking my head. “No, no. Saying his name out loud is going to make it sound more real.”

I might not have said his name out loud, but I definitely had Brayden on my mind. I enjoyed our shameless flirting. But I was afraid that tonight would turn into more. I really didn’t think I could resist being around him and not act on this crazy attraction, even though I knew our lives were too different for us to even contemplate dating. Besides, his tour was going to start in a few months. I couldn’t lose my heart to him. What would I do afterward?

When I went inside the changing room to try on the clothes, I checked my phone, and my stomach fluttered. I had a message from Brayden!

Brayden: My sources tell me you’ve confirmed.

Isabelle: Sasha gave me away again?

I’d messaged her that morning.

Brayden: Of course.

Brayden: I’ll send a car for you. Besides, we have extra security guards today. Our drivers know their way in. And you’ll be more comfortable.

Isabelle: Wow, okay. Thanks!

I could Uber, but if he wanted to treat me like a princess, I wasn’t going to say no.

Brayden: I can’t wait to see you.

Isabelle: Just see, or flirt the panties off me?

Brayden: Both.

I leaned against the mirror in the dressing room, grinning.

Isabelle: Game on, Mr. Rock Star.

See? I couldn’t behave even when we were texting.

How on Earth was I going to behave when I saw him again?

 

 

Chapter Six


Isabelle

 


I felt like royalty when I slid into the back of the black BMW Brayden sent for me.

I was wearing my new attire and couldn’t stop fidgeting as I glanced at the back of the driver’s head. The car smelled faintly like sandalwood—like Brayden. Was this his personal car and driver? He did say he preferred to be driven everywhere, so all signs pointed to yes.

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