Home > Say You're Mine (The Gallaghers Series)(6)

Say You're Mine (The Gallaghers Series)(6)
Author: Layla Hagen

“That would be a shame, right?” he asked with a seductive smile. Brayden rested an elbow on the counter, watching me closely. “You’re a puzzle, Isabelle. I’ll enjoy figuring you out.”

I swallowed hard, averting my gaze.

“Who says I’m taking the assignment?”

“We both know you will.”

“So you’re demanding and cocky.”

“Is that your official conclusion?”

“No. So far just unofficial observations.”

“I can’t wait to hear more.”

***

I arrived home shortly after midnight and went straight to bed, not even bothering to take a shower or remove my makeup. What an evening! Brayden’s team lost, and Lars had warmed up to me a bit. I wasn’t sure about Thomas and Harvey; they stayed aloof, so I couldn’t get a good read on either.

I opened a window for a bit of fresh air before slipping under my covers. I was exhausted, but somehow I knew I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep quickly. My mind was all over the place thinking about the night; it was crazy to think I might be working with this hot band—my brothers would be all over it. I tried closing my eyes, taking in deep breaths, and feeling myself doze, right until my phone buzzed on the nightstand. I glanced over to read the text.

Did you get home safe?

It was from a number I hadn’t saved.

Isabelle: Who is this?

The answer came immediately: Guess ;)

Isabelle: Brayden? How do you have my number?

Brayden: From Sasha.

Isabelle: Thanks for checking on me. I’m home, already in bed.

Brayden: We didn’t finish our conversation.

I smiled, phone now in hand as I wiggled back under the covers. I’d expected him to call me out on it, but not this fast.

Isabelle: I need some time for the information to marinate in my mind before deciding if I’m taking the assignment.

He didn’t reply, and I thought he’d drop it... but then he called me.

I hesitated a bit before answering, sort of wanting to get dressed. Which was ridiculous because he wouldn’t know I was naked under the covers.

“By more time, I didn’t mean one minute,” I teased.

“Well, no, but I figured you might need more information.”

How could he sound even sexier on the phone? It wasn’t fair.

“True, that’s always helpful. Wait a second, I’ll close the window. The streets are loud tonight with all the sirens and cars.”

“Why did you move to New York?”

I was surprised by the question, but I was always happy to answer it.

“I love the city, always have. I’m from a small town in Montana, and I went to college in Philly. Stayed there after graduation but always dreamed of moving to New York. Small-town dream and all that. We used to do vision boards in school, and half the class wanted to move here. You’re from a small town too, in Oregon, right? So you probably know what I’m talking about.”

“I do. I came here for college. It was such a rush in the beginning. But after the band became known, things changed.”

“I can imagine.”

“What do you like most about the city?”

“Oh, everything, but it really is a heaven for foodies.” Tess and Skye Winchester were my soul sisters in that regard. They showed me their favorite eating spots, and that gave me a good head start. Ever since, my list of favorite food places had grown by leaps and bounds.

I yawned, and Brayden laughed softly. “Go to bed, Isabelle. We can talk tomorrow.”

“Oh, okay. Listen, I had fun tonight, but I’m not sure about the assignment. I don’t like to butt in where I’m not wanted.”

“You’re very wanted, Isabelle. Good night.”

 

 

Chapter Three


Isabelle

 


The next morning, I received an email from Sasha informing me that the whole band was ready to give this a try. Well, well. I wondered if Brayden used his persuasion skills on his bandmates, or if this was Sasha’s work.

She also sent more information about the assignment. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to leaf through it all because I’d scheduled clients back-to-back. I slowly realized that I’d have to work weekends and evenings if I took on GreenFire, because there was no way I’d cancel on any of my clients. I couldn’t do that to them. For most, it took a lot to open up and develop trust in someone, and I didn’t want them to have to go through it again with another therapist. I cared too much to let that happen.

My office was in a high-rise in Brooklyn, on the seventh floor. It was a nice building with a doorman and a reception area. Despite having five elevators, they were always full. I loved my office. I had a small waiting area with two chairs and a coffee table with magazines. The office itself was small, with a desk, and two vintage chairs opposite me. Mine was all leather, next to a golden bow lamp to light up the space.

I didn’t check my phone during my morning sessions, planning to read through everything during lunch. I had a fifteen-minute break for a quick sandwich.

Devouring a pastrami on rye from the local deli while scrolling on my phone, I found I had messages from both Sasha and Brayden.

Sasha: Let me know if you like the package. We’d like to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

Brayden: Did Sasha get in contact with you?

I grinned at my phone, choosing to answer Sasha first. I would have preferred to have had a few days to consider it, but I could tell they didn’t want to wait, and I wasn’t going to waste their time.

Isabelle: I only glanced at it, but I’ll reply in the evening, I promise.

I tapped the conversation with Brayden next.

Isabelle: Yes, she sent an email saying the band wants to collaborate. Was this your doing?

Brayden: Obviously.

I laughed, holding the phone closer as I responded.

Isabelle: Why?

Brayden: I think the band needs you. And it’ll be fun for you.

I thought so too, and I was looking forward to it. Time-wise it would be a challenge, but the project was right up my alley. I didn’t want to give them a hasty response though. First, I wanted to read the info Sasha had sent me.

Isabelle: I’ll tell Sasha as soon as I make up my mind. This evening probably.

Brayden: But you can tell me now.

The corners of my mouth tilted upward. Oh, he was good, but I was no slouch in the banter department.

Isabelle: And why would I give you any special treatment?

Brayden: Because Lars was right... just not in the way he thinks. I didn’t lose because you brought me bad luck. I lost because I was too captivated by you.

Oh my God. I wasn’t expecting that. My whole body hummed deliciously. Ever since moving to New York, my dating life had slowed down considerably. In the beginning I was too busy to even miss it. In the past few months, I’d gone on a few dates, mostly with guys I met online, but nothing panned out. Neither made me feel even 10 percent of what Brayden was doing to me. I couldn’t even understand it, but I honestly wasn’t even going to try. He and I lived in different worlds, I was very well aware. These flirty messages weren’t going to lead anywhere, but I sure as hell planned to enjoy them while I could. I’d never had a strong relationship, at least not the kind Mom and Dad had, or Josie and Hunter. I’d dated plenty in Philly, but I’d never found the one. Not that I was worried. It would happen when the time was right.

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