Home > Attachment Theory (The Brodie Brothers, #2)

Attachment Theory (The Brodie Brothers, #2)
Author: Kayley Loring


PROLOGUE - Dylan

 

 

* Three not at all pathological love and angst-filled years ago *

 

 

I’m not self-centered. I don’t actually think the world revolves around me or that my misery is so potent it’s affecting everything around me. But I just passed a hysterically crying little boy who was being comforted by his mom when I was in the parking garage. There’s a guy sipping a smoothie right outside the doors who’s wearing a Lonely Island T-shirt—is The Lonely Island even a thing anymore? And as soon as I walk into the fancy natural foods grocery store, the end of “Walking on Sunshine” segues into eighties breakup anthem “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake.

How do I not take that personally?

I feel seen, but not in the celebrity way.

I put my sunglasses back on, pull the visor of my baseball cap down on my forehead to shield my face a little more, and head straight for the end of the deli lunchtime line. Because that’s why I came here. But emotionally—I don’t know where I’m going. But I sure know where I’ve been… I’ve had my face so far up my co-star’s vagina that I didn’t realize my head was up my own ass again.

That sounds weird.

But it makes a lot of sense in my heart.

Our relationship didn’t even survive three full days after the movie wrapped.

And now I’m going down the only road I’ve ever known—the one from employed actor/model with a girlfriend to newly single, newly unemployed actor/employed model who’s pretty sure he’s going to die alone…but also pretty sure his most recent ex is still in love with him.

But I need a post-breakup nap.

I’m twenty-four. I’ve been working since I was twelve. And I’ve had as many girlfriends as I’ve had acting jobs.

I’m not a love addict.

I’m an eternal optimist who just happens to spend more time with beautiful actresses than any other type of human—for work.

I’m an optimist who falls in love with the actresses who play his love interests because he’s such a talented and devoted actor.

It’s not my fault I get cast opposite such attractive women I have chemistry with, and it’s definitely not my fault they’re so difficult to be in a relationship with in real life.

Or that they’re nothing like the characters they play in the movies and plays and TV shows we work on together.

But it’s nobody’s fault that I’m going to die alone.

Alone, alone, alone.

I can do this.

I can eat lunch by myself.

I can sleep in a bed by myself.

I can love myself.

I’ll give Luna three days, and then I’ll check in with her—see how she’s doing. See how much she misses me, in case she’s too stubborn to reach out and tell me herself. I know how it goes.

Maybe I should fly to Texas for a couple of days, stay with the parents. Have some of Mama’s chocolate pecan pie and chicken fried steak. She always says that’s what real love tastes like. I’m probably just hungry.

Maybe I should text to ask if I left anything at Luna’s place though…

Or maybe I should adopt a cat.

Or maybe…

Maybe I should drop to my knees and beg that woman in the red dress over there to marry me.

I’ve never seen her before in my life, but she’s heading this way and I’m pretty sure everything will be okay if I can just talk to her.

It’s just a T-shirt dress, but she looks so elegant. She isn’t wearing any makeup that I can see, but she’s stunning. Her long dark hair hangs over one shoulder. I’m already in love with her face. Kind of exotic. Definitely intriguing. So beautiful I can’t stop staring.

I remove my sunglasses. Not in that cheesy slow-motion Hey girl, I’m lookin’ at you and you’re lookin’ goooood kind of way. More like Hey girl, I’ve got astonishing blue eyes, and yes, I am famous but I see that you’re special too kind of way. She doesn’t seem to be looking at anything except the ground five feet in front of her though.

Which is unfortunate.

She’s carrying two bags of groceries in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other, heading for the exit. She doesn’t seem to be in a hurry, but she’s definitely lost in thought. Concentrating so hard on something that she doesn’t even realize there’s a super-hot man standing fifteen feet away who’s dazzled by her.

Her hair, her face, her expression, her grace, her bare legs that just happen to be slammin’—and would you look at that…her shoelaces are untied. Both of them.

“Excuse me.” I step in front of her—right into that space that’s five feet ahead of her. “Hey.”

She stops in her tracks and looks up at me. I see zero recognition in those warm brown eyes. I’m just a handsome stranger in a grocery store who’s standing between her and the door. She tilts her head the tiniest bit in question.

“Hi. Your shoelaces are untied.”

“Oh. Shit.” She looks down, trying to move aside the giant tote bag that hangs from one shoulder, and then bends her knees to lower the grocery bags to the floor. “Shit.”

“I’ll get it, I’ll get it.” And before I even think about what I’m doing, I slip my Ray-Bans into the neckline of my shirt and get down on one knee to tie this woman’s white sneakers.

Her legs smell like cocoa butter and vanilla, and I want to lick them all the way up to the deceptively innocent-looking cotton panties that I just know she’s wearing underneath that dress. It’s October, but all of a sudden it feels like summer. I want to take her to an island and shower with her in a fancy hotel bathroom and get drunk with her on a beach. I want to say filthy things to her while making her feel better than anyone’s ever made her feel in her life.

“Do you want a double knot?” is what I actually say, looking up at her.

She’s staring down at me, a look of mild disbelief on her face. “Yes?”

I tie another knot on both shoes and then slowly stand up. Do I take my time and let my gaze sweep up the length of her before looking her straight in the eyes and watching her for a reaction? Yes. Yes, I do.

Do I stand here ready to catch her when she gazes up into my electric-blue eyes and swoons?

Yes. Yes, I do.

“Thank you,” she says. She doesn’t whisper it like I’ve taken her breath away, and she doesn’t say it in a husky voice, and she also doesn’t appear to be amused or aroused. She’s genuinely thanking me for tying her shoelaces. “I really appreciate it.”

“No problem.”

She looks at me for a few more seconds, and I wait for her to say something flirtatious or witty.

And then I realize she’s waiting for me to move out of the way.

So I do.

“Thanks again,” she says casually as she starts to walk past me.

Men probably drop to their knees in front of her all the time, so I guess this is nothing new for her.

Or maybe she just has to get somewhere.

“Let me help you with that.” I reach for the handles of one of the shopping bags, fingers grazing hers. I’m not making a move. I’m just not ready for this woman to walk out of my life yet.

“Oh. Thank you.” She loosens her grip and allows me to take that bag from her.

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