Malibu by moonlight, p.1

Malibu by Moonlight, page 1

 part  #6 of  Bishop Family Series

 

Malibu by Moonlight
 


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Malibu by Moonlight


  Malibu

  by

  Moonlight

  By:

  Brooke St. James

  No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the author.

  Copyright © 2017

  Brooke St. James

  All rights reserved.

  Table of Contents

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Epilogue

  Other titles available from Brooke St. James:

  Another Shot:

  A Modern-Day Ruth and Boaz Story

  When Lightning Strikes

  Something of a Storm (All in Good Time #1)

  Someone Someday (All in Good Time #2)

  Finally My Forever (Meant for Me #1)

  Finally My Heart's Desire (Meant for Me #2)

  Finally My Happy Ending (Meant for Me #3)

  Shot by Cupid's Arrow

  Dreams of Us

  Meet Me in Myrtle Beach (Hunt Family #1)

  Kiss Me in Carolina (Hunt Family #2)

  California's Calling (Hunt Family #3)

  Back to the Beach (Hunt Family #4)

  It's About Time (Hunt Family #5)

  Loved Bayou (Martin Family #1)

  Dear California (Martin Family #2)

  My One Regret (Martin Family #3)

  Broken and Beautiful (Martin Family #4)

  Back to the Bayou (Martin Family #5)

  Almost Christmas

  JFK to Dublin (Shower & Shelter Artist Collective #1)

  Not Your Average Joe (Shower & Shelter Artist Collective #2)

  So Much for Boundaries (Shower & Shelter Artist Collective #3)

  Suddenly Starstruck (Shower & Shelter Artist Collective #4)

  Love Stung (Shower & Shelter Artist Collective #5)

  My American Angel (Shower & Shelter Artist Collective #6)

  Summer of '65 (Bishop Family #1)

  Jesse's Girl (Bishop Family #2)

  Maybe Memphis (Bishop Family #3)

  So Happy Together (Bishop Family #4)

  My Little Gypsy (Bishop Family #5)

  Chapter 1

  Liam Kennedy

  Somewhere over Utah or Nevada

  August

  There was cause for celebration.

  It was a beautiful, clear summer day, and Liam was on a plane headed for sunny Los Angeles. His cousin, Daniel, was getting married, and the whole family was on their way to California for the big event. Daniel had grown up in Memphis, Tennessee and still lived there, along with Liam and the rest of their family, but he and his bride-to-be were having the wedding in her home state.

  Daniel was the son of Jesse and Rose and the oldest of four Bishop children. Liam and his sister Shelby, however, weren't Bishops—not by name at least. His mother, Jane Bishop, married Gray Kennedy, so their two children carried Gray's last name. The whole city of Memphis considered Shelby and Liam part of the Bishop crew, though, and they had been raised in and around their grandfather's motorcycle company just like their Bishop cousin counterparts.

  Liam was a friendly, outgoing sort of guy who found his natural path in life by working with people in public relations. When he was younger, he thought he would become a history professor. He loved history and majored in that area during college, but he fell into a PR job at his father's company, Alpha Security, and he had no regrets about making that his path.

  As a grandchild of Michael and Ivy Bishop, Liam had shares in Bishop Motorcycle Company, and he could have chosen to go to work there. He was still young, and maybe down the road he would change his mind and try building motorcycles or teaching history, but for now, he felt challenged and fulfilled by working at his father's personal security company.

  The Bishops and Kennedys were a close-knit group, so it was a no-brainer that they would all travel to California for Daniel's wedding. The bride, Courtney, was a famous pop singer who had a lifetime of connections in California. The couple had already decided they would reside permanently in Memphis after they got married, so Courtney wanted to have one last hoo-rah out west before she moved.

  Daniel's immediate family was staying with him in the gorgeous, multi-million-dollar beachfront estate in Malibu where they were holding the wedding. This meant that Liam and the rest of the extended family were doomed to roughing it in a luxury resort for the next three nights.

  Liam traveled to Los Angeles for work on a somewhat regular basis, and he always enjoyed the weather and the beach. He was thinking about it as he sat on the plane. His eyes were closed, so he didn't see his sister come back to her seat. He opened his eyes, only to learn that it wasn't his sister sitting there, but his mom.

  "Hey," he said.

  Jane smiled at him and put her hand on his arm. "Hey. Where's Shelby?"

  Liam glanced back, over the rows of seats, but couldn't see any sign of his sister. "I thought she went to the bathroom, but she's been gone for like an hour."

  Jane swiveled and peered through the seats, tilting her head this way and that to look for her daughter. "She probably stopped to talk to Shug," Jane said. "I think they had an extra seat on their row."

  "I'm sure she's gonna stay back there," Liam said. "I think she's mad at me."

  "About Abby?" Jane asked.

  Liam had been staring at the seat in front of him, but he turned to glance at his mom when she said that. He had broken up with his girlfriend only two days before, and apparently, his mom already knew about it.

  "News travels fast," he said.

  Jane gave him a regretful smile and rubbed his arm again. "What happened?" she asked.

  He shrugged. "Nothing."

  "Nothing as in you don't want to talk to your mom about your love life?"

  "No ma'am, it's not that. It's just that there's nothing to say besides I broke up with her. It has nothing to do with my love life. That's the point."

  Jane made a confused expression.

  He shrugged. "I liked her. She really is a great girl. We had fun together and everything."

  "But you didn't love her." Jane assumed.

  Liam couldn't help but let out a little humorless laugh as he shook his head.

  "Why'd you stay with her so long?"

  Liam knew exactly how long he had been dating Abby Carter—ten-and-a-half months. He knew this fact because Abby reminded him of it on a regular basis. She knew how long they had been seeing each other to the minute. In fact, Liam wasn't even sure what day Abby counted as the beginning of their relationship—he thought it might have been the first time they went out as a group, which was neither here nor there as far as he was concerned.

  Abby had been devastated when it came time to make plans to go to Daniel's wedding and Liam didn't invite her. He had to travel for work, and she never complained about being left behind for that, but when the family started making plans to go to the wedding, Abby assumed she would be going as well. The only problem was that Liam didn't want her to. This was what first tipped him off that something was wrong and he needed to make a change.

  He was good to Abby. He was loyal and had never even thought about seeing other girls. The problem was that what he shared with her was more like a friendship than a relationship. Abby obviously didn't see it that way because she
was completely wrecked by the breakup—altogether shattered, dismantled.

  This was why Liam's sister, Shelby, was mad at him. She and Abby were good friends before Liam and Abby ever started dating. Shelby stated her concern about their future break-up at the beginning of the relationship, but Liam had assured his sister that it would "all be okay". As it turned out, it wasn't all okay, and now Shelby was dealing with a friend who was all broken up because of her brother.

  "Why'd you stay with her for so long?" Jane repeated when Liam didn't answer her the first time.

  "Ma'am? Oh, Shelby, I guess."

  "Did you hear what I said?" Jane asked, staring at him with that same perplexed expression like he must not have understood her question.

  Liam nodded. "I stayed with Abby because of Shelby. When we first started dating, Shelby made me promise not to break Abby's heart. I kinda told her I wouldn't, so I was trying to keep my word about it. I think she knew it would make things awkward with her and Abby. I figured she'd be mad at me."

  "And is she?" Jane asked.

  Liam smiled regretfully and glanced over his shoulder as if indicating that Shelby wasn't sitting beside him. "I think so," he said. "She's not saying much about it, but I know she hates that it happened."

  Again, Jane rubbed Liam's arm in that same comforting, motherly manner. "You have to follow your heart, though," she said.

  He smiled at her, feeling thankful for the encouragement, as cliché as it might be.

  "And for what it's worth, I could tell you were never in love with Abby," Jane added.

  Liam glanced at his mom with a look of curiosity at the not-so-cliché second statement.

  She smiled. "I could," she said with a shrug. "It wasn't that long ago when your father and I fell in love, so I know what love looks like."

  "I know," Liam said. "And I see the way Daniel and Owen act with their ladies. I knew I was never passionate about her, but I guess I talked myself into believing that a friendship type feeling was good enough."

  "I'm not saying that you need to base everything on passion," Jane clarified. "There's a saying that 'love is a decision', and to an extent, that's true. Lord knows your father and I haven't spent every second of our marriage being driven by passion. Sometimes in love and marriage, you have to just know that you care for a person and stick by that… but I will say that I could tell it was a mediocre beginning for you and Abby." She wrinkled her nose as if she hated to say that. "I like the girl a lot, don't get me wrong—but I also know my son, and I know you're willing to make big bold moves if you really want something."

  "I felt bad doing it," he said.

  "I'm sure you did," Jane said. "They say that breakin' up is hard to do-oo…" She sang the oldie in a soft tone that no one could hear but Liam, and he smiled and shook his head at his mom.

  "I didn't want to hurt her."

  "I know. That's why you dated her as long as you did."

  "Well, I'm glad you're not mad at me," he said.

  Jane smiled and leaned over to kiss him on the side of his head, poised as if she was about to get up. "Shelby's not either," she whispered. "She'll get over it, no problem." Jane must have seen her daughter coming, because just as she was standing up to go to her seat, Shelby came back and switched places with her mother. "Take it easy on him," Jane said to Shelby with a smile before she walked away.

  Liam knew he had put his sister in an awkward position with her friend. He was sure she had been the shoulder Abby had cried on for the past two days, and he really did regret that. But he had spent the better part of the last year seeing someone he wasn't truly infatuated with, and it was such a relief to finally set the record straight. It was difficult, but Liam knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he had done the right thing.

  By the end of the flight, Shelby had started to warm up to him. He knew she would eventually, and he was relieved that it seemed to be happening quicker than he anticipated. He figured their grandmother must have taken up for him while Shelby was talking to her. Either way, Shelby acted mostly normal to her brother during the remainder of the flight and didn't even bring up Abby (or Liam's decision to break up with her) at all.

  They were standing at baggage claim when Liam's cousin, Owen, walked up from behind him and put his arm around Liam's shoulder. Liam glanced at Owen to find that he was smiling.

  "I heard you're single again," Owen said.

  During the past few months, Liam had several conversations with his cousin about Abby and his lack of feelings for her. Owen was madly in love with his girlfriend, Darcy, and Liam had gone to him for help and advice about trying to create some sort of spark with Abby. She was beautiful and sweet, and Liam really had tried his best to make things work. Owen had told Liam that the spark between himself and Darcy wasn't forced and had given his cousin advice to break up with Abby before things got too serious. It was for this reason that Owen was smiling when he made the remark about Liam being single again.

  Liam gave Owen a wide-eyed glance that urged him not to bring it up in front of Shelby who was still standing nearby.

  "She can't hear me," Owen said. "And I'm proud of you. You did the right thing."

  Liam shrugged and sighed. "It didn't seem too right when she cried her eyes out."

  Owen rubbed his cousin's back and gave it two hearty pats. "What are you gonna do, marry a girl just to avoid a few tears?"

  Liam smiled, feeling thankful for Owen's easygoing outlook on the whole thing.

  "Liam, baby, you need to go up to the desk."

  Liam turned to find his aunt Rose walking up to them. She was looking directly at Liam, and his expression instantly shifted to one of curiosity.

  "I think your luggage is lost," she said.

  Liam glanced at the carousel, which was now mostly empty except for a few suitcases, none of which belonged to him.

  "Jesse's bag didn't show up, either," Rose added with a sigh. "He's talking to the lady at the desk. I think both of your bags got sent to the wrong place."

  Chapter 2

  Liam

  Calabasas, California

  Later that day

  Jesse and Liam's bags went to the same place.

  Unfortunately, it was not California.

  The airline said they would try to have the bags available by the following afternoon, but everyone knew by the time they transported them from the airport to the house, it would likely be too late for the gentlemen to get dressed for the wedding.

  Plan B was to purchase another suit that was as similar as possible to the lost ones.

  The rest of the group had gone straight to the hotel, but Liam, along with a few others, went to Courtney's house to try to sort out the missing suit situation.

  "Let me make a call," Courtney said after they informed her about the luggage.

  "We can just go to the mall," Liam said.

  "That's what I was thinking," Jesse added. "Do you have a mall around here? Surely they have a navy suit we can buy."

  "I'll take care of it," Courtney said, already scrolling on her phone. "You guys would just waste time going to the mall. I have a friend Taylor who's a tailor."

  "You have a friend Taylor who's a tailor?" Jesse asked, sounding a bit confused.

  "Her name's Taylor Quinn, but she's also a tailor," Courtney said, glancing up from her phone with a smile before going back to tapping and scrolling on it again. "She's usually super busy, but I think she'd help us out in a crisis. She's the one who made Daniel's suit, so she knows the wedding is tomorrow. I'm gonna tell her it's Daniel's dad who lost his suit, and I'm sure she'll help us out."

  "I can probably just go to the mall, though," Liam said. "I usually don't have any trouble finding stuff in my size."

  "Neither do I," Jesse said, obviously not wanting to be fussed over.

  "A tailor named Taylor," Liam said absentmindedly, smiling at the thought of it.

  "That's why she's a tailor," Courtney explained, holding her phone to her ear.

  "You
mean she changed her name to go with her job?" Jesse asked.

  "No, I mean she became a tailor because that was her name. Heyyy!"

  It was apparent to all of them by Courtney's change in tone that her friend had picked up and she was now talking to her. She smiled and held up a finger indicating that she was listening to the person on the other end.

  "I'm good, but I might need you to come to the rescue if you can. I know it's late notice, but Daniel's dad and cousin lost their suits for the wedding tomorrow. Well, the airline did…"

  Courtney paused, listening, and everyone quietly waited.

  "They were navy, double breasted with a vest, but they don't really need the jackets since we're doing it out on the beach. We just got the jackets for photos, really."

  She paused, nodding her head.

  "Yeah, we tried to get them close to Daniel's—at least the color. They could bring Daniel's up there in case you don't remember what fabric we used."

  She paused again.

  "I know. It's okay. They don't have to be perfect. I just figured they'd be better off coming to see you than going to the mall."

  Another pause.

  "Are you sure? Thank you so much! I'll tell them. I really wish you could make it to the wedding."

  Pause.

  "Okay, I will. They'll see you at four. I really owe you for this."

  Pause.

  "Okay, well, thank you. Talk to you later. Bye."

  Courtney pressed the button to hang up her phone, and looked at Liam, Jesse, Rose, and Daniel, who had all been standing around waiting to hear what the tailor had to say.

  Courtney smiled. "So, obviously, there's no time to do anything custom, but she said she's got a pretty good selection of navy at her store, and she'd be happy to meet you up there and make sure you got something with a good fit. She said she could do some minor stuff, hemming or whatever, if you need it."

  "That sounds perfect," Rose said, looking at Jesse for his approval.

 
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