Home > Say You're Mine (The Gallaghers Series)(3)

Say You're Mine (The Gallaghers Series)(3)
Author: Layla Hagen

“Oh, perfect,” Sasha exclaimed. “I kind of feared the guys had already scared you away.”

“Brayden can be very persuasive,” Isabelle said.

“I promised it’ll be worth her while, and I’ll make good on it.”

Something told me Isabelle Gallagher was a challenge unlike anything I’d ever encountered. And I couldn’t wait to get closer to her.

 

 

Chapter Two


Isabelle

 


“I still can’t believe we’re all finally living in the same city,” I told my brothers, taking a slice of scalding hot pizza from the carton. We’d talked about having dinner together before I agreed to meet GreenFire tonight, and I hadn’t wanted to cancel on them. We had to be really quick. “Now I can fuss around you and annoy you face-to-face, not just over the phone.”

Dylan pulled me into a half hug, kissing the side of my head. “You’re never annoying.”

Ian laughed. “I’ll remind him he said that next time he says you fuss too much.”

“Yes, please do.” It had always been my dream to live in New York City. Our sister, Josie, moved here when she was still in high school, but I only made the move last year. And Ian and Dylan had only officially moved last week to open a subsidiary of their software company.

We were all sitting at the kitchen table in my apartment in the Bronx, enjoying three pizzas. Mine and Ian’s were with pepperoni, Dylan’s with salami, and it looked delicious.

“You want a slice, don’t you?” he asked with a laugh.

I grinned, nodding, and immediately took a piece. I couldn’t believe we were all together! Well, Josie wasn’t with us, because she’d given birth to the sweetest girl a few weeks ago. Sophie was absolutely adorable, and I was trying my best not to annoy my sis with too many calls or visits. I saw them last week at the Fourth of July celebration at their house, and although I’d love to see Sophie daily, I knew they needed their space too. Ever since I moved to New York, I was more protective of my sister than ever, even though she was older than me. I had no idea if it was because she was a mom now or because we’d spent so many years apart, but I wanted to pamper her all the time. So did her husband, Hunter.

I was also close to Hunter’s family, the Winchester gang. His cousins had become very good friends of mine too: Skye, Tess, Ryker and especially Cole. He was married to my best friend, Laney. All of them treated me like I was one of their own, and I was super grateful for that, buuut I couldn’t deny that having my own brothers in New York made my heart happy in ways nothing else did.

I kept checking the time on my phone, and my brothers didn’t miss it.

“You need us to go, right?” Dylan asked.

I smiled apologetically. “I do need some time to get ready.”

“Way to make us feel special,” Ian teased. When they smiled, my brothers could almost pass as twins. They both had dark blond hair, but Ian’s eyes were blue whereas Dylan’s were like mine, a dark brown.

“Aww, don’t be like that. You know I love you. I just don’t want to be late.”

We ate quickly, and then I walked them both to the door, hugging them tightly. Yeah, I was a little clingy, but I’d lived in Philly and they’d lived in Washington for the past few years, so now that we were in the same city, I planned to hug them every chance I got.

My apartment wasn’t big, and I’d schlepped all my furniture from my shared flat in Philly, but it had a lot of heart. It was mostly white or black IKEA furniture. My couch was dark blue, and I had several vintage carpets that matched the color. I’d hung three oil paintings I bought from street artists on the wall with the TV. It was called New York trio and depicted the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center.

Between my sister and her husband’s extended family, I never felt alone here, even before Ian and Dylan moved to New York. They all embraced me, and in my first few months here, they dropped by constantly or asked me out so I wouldn’t feel alone. I was so lucky to have them all in my life.

After they left, I headed straight to my bedroom. What does one wear when meeting up with a rock band for bowling? I took out my favorite “dress to impress” outfits before realizing I’d make a fool of myself. We were going bowling—not exactly the scene for cocktail dresses and heels. So instead I dressed in jeans, ballerina flats, and a yellow shirt that hung loose around me and exposed one shoulder. I pulled my hair in a ponytail so it wouldn’t get in the way of bowling and wore huge hoop earrings.

I wasn’t even sure I wanted this assignment. I had plenty of clients who I saw at my private practice, and I also moonlighted as a tour guide once a week, both of which kept me very busy. In the beginning I needed the second job because I had to build up my business, and touring had turned out to be an easy way to earn money. Nowadays I had plenty of clients, but I still did the tours because I wanted to have a secondary income source. Besides, it was a lot of fun. I loved exploring New York, and I’d met a lot of interesting people over the last year. Being out and about in the city inspired me. I was always looking for new things to do, getting myself out of my comfort zone. I loved that about New York—it was the perfect place for someone like me, who didn’t quite fit in anywhere.

The assignment for GreenFire would definitely take me out of my comfort zone, and I loved that. I had a master’s degree in counseling, specializing on familial relationships, and a second master’s degree in behavioral science. I put the second one to use by doing all sorts of research and behavioral analysis for companies. I’d never worked with a band before, but they clearly didn’t want to cooperate, and I didn’t want to waste my time. Even though their sinfully hot lead singer didn’t seem to have a problem with me. Holy shit, that man should come with a warning sign or ten! I thought he was gorgeous in the pictures I found after I looked up the band on the internet, but face-to-face, he was on a different level entirely. Everything from those hypnotizing green eyes to the scruff on his chin spelled trouble.

Sexy trouble, but still trouble.

He was so intense that I’d had a hard time making eye contact. That had never happened to me before, ever. But I’d had the uncanny feeling that he could read my every thought whenever I met his gaze, and I wasn’t used to it. I was usually the one doing the analyzing, interpreting body language, and so on. He was a force to be reckoned with, of that I was sure. Interesting to me was how his bandmates listened to him; even though they obviously disagreed, they respected Brayden’s judgment.

But still, there were four guys in the band. I needed all of them to be cooperative, not just one. So while getting ready, I also read as many articles as I could find about each member of the band, anything that would give me some insight I could use to find an in with each of the guys.

I Ubered to the address Sasha gave me on the Upper East Side. Fortunately, they were covering the bill, because taking a car from the Bronx to Manhattan would have cost me a bundle. I texted back and forth with my brothers on the way, also asking Josie for a few pics of Sophie. God, she was adorable.

Soon enough, the car stopped in front of a large building. The entrance was a simple black door I would have overlooked if not for the two bouncers flanking it.

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