I Want (Enamorado Book 2), page 1
Enamorado Book 2
BONUS: Chapter One of I DON’T
Enamorado Book 2
© Ella Fox 2017
Ebook ISBN 978-1-945399-13-8
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of Ella Fox, except in the case of brief quotations or teasers embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Editing: Gemma Rowlands
Cover Design: Sommer Stein of Perfect Pear Creative Covers
Cover Photo: Wander Aguiar
I stared down at the texts that were blowing up my phone with a mix of horror and exasperation as I wondered how crazy shit happened to me so often. My family liked to joke about it, but I was genuinely starting to wonder if I had been cursed. The luck I had with women was truly, truly bizarre. I'd already regretted agreeing to go out on a date with a co-worker of my app designer's wife, but things had officially dropped into the land of the absurd.
Letty: Call the realtor and arrange a wire transfer. Ideally, I’d like to move us in within the next two weeks
Letty: You need to add me to your credit card accounts so I can shop. I’m scrolling the Louboutin website and I want at least ten pairs right away
Letty: Should I call your mom and ask her to fly to New York to shop with me? I looked her up on the internet and she dresses pretty nice for an old lady
My mother was in her early sixties and was, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful women I’d ever seen. She was not an old lady and Letty calling her that annoyed the hell out of me. I loved my mamá—talking about her like she was somehow less-than was not the way to go with me.
Letty: I just emailed Leigh Rice! She’s the top designer in NYC. With our bottomless wallet, I’m sure she will want to take us on!!!!!!!
I cringed reading that one in particular because the overuse of the exclamation point made me mildly nauseous. Also, my wallet was not Letty’s.
Letty: Have your parents ask Stella McCartney to design my wedding gown. With at least five hundred guests coming I can't wear anything anyone else would, and that includes anything from a couture line. My dress needs to be one of a kind, something that will be talked about for generations to come. I simply must have a train that’s exactly one foot longer than Princess Diana’s was and said train will need to be festooned with thousands of Swarovski crystals
That shit was bananas. I’d gone on one date with Letty while I’d been in New York on business and she’d been the one to kiss me at the end of it. I wasn't against women initiating the first move by any means, but I'd been stunned, and a little put off by the kiss because we hadn't had that kind of chemistry. Somehow she'd jumped from one dinner and a brief kiss six days before to getting married and buying a house together. The craziest part was that we hadn't even spoken since the night of the kiss, yet over the course of one day she'd blown up my phone with seventy-eight texts.
In addition to her never-ending stream of texts—none that had gotten a response from me— there were dozens and dozens of photos of several multi-million dollar penthouses she’d looked at. She’d then included more than a dozen naked selfies and several videos of her modeling underwear in front of a full-length mirror in a La Perla dressing room. Nothing weird about that, right?
The entire thing was, without a doubt, a nightmare. Once again I needed to extricate myself from a ridiculous situation. I wondered how many times similar scenarios could play themselves out in my life before I lost my shit completely. I hadn't had sex in well over a year—probably closer to two—because I couldn't be bothered to get that far into a relationship anymore. Every date was a disaster or a complete non-starter, and I didn't see that changing. Were there even any ordinary women left? It sure as hell hadn't seemed like it to me.
“Do you think she will like this one?”
I closed out the text thread from hell—I'd need to deal with that level of insanity later—to glance at what my brother was pointing to. His third anniversary was two days away, and as usual, Mateo was going all out. The emerald and diamond bracelet sparkled against the velvet pad it was displayed upon. Without question, it was a stunning piece of jewelry, one my sister-in-law would love, and not because it was expensive and crafted by one of the best jewelers in Barcelona. In Avelina's eyes, everything Mateo gave her was priceless. He could show up with a necklace made of jellybeans, and she'd get all teary-eyed and fall even more in love with him. More and more it was looking like my older brother had somehow lucked into a relationship with one of the last normal women around. If there were any others I sure as hell hadn't been fortunate enough to stumble across them and neither had the rest of our brothers. Mateo was damn lucky.
“It’s perfect,” I answered.
“But will she love it? Perhaps I should have commissioned earrings.”
I was more than half tempted to tell him to stop being such an idiot, but I knew it would be a waste of breath. My brother would accept nothing less than the best for his wife. It was a pattern of behavior I was familiar with, seeing as our father was the same way with my mother.
“She’ll go crazy for it,” I assured him. “It matches her engagement ring perfectly. You did good.”
Mateo smiled at the jeweler before gesturing to the tray as he nodded. “It is just what I wanted. Thank you, Juan Carlos.”
After the jeweler walked away to wrap up the bracelet, Mateo turned and caught me smirking at him. He cocked his head as he rolled his eyes at me.
“I cannot wait until we come to the jeweler to purchase something for your woman. When that happens, you will know the anxiety of choosing correctly. I will enjoy smirking at you when the shoe is on the other foot.”
I barked out a laugh and shook my head as my mind went to the tsunami of ridiculous texts on my phone. My luck was what it was, and that wasn't good. "With each passing day, I'm more and more confident that I'll never be lucky enough to be in your position."
Mateo made a dismissive gesture with his hand. “At some point, you will meet the woman who will change everything for you. That woman will make everything you’ve been through worth it.”
I didn't recall my brother being a romantic before Ava, but certainly, in the years since they'd gotten together, he'd turned into one. "If that woman exists the universe is hell bent on making sure I don't have it as easy as you did. Millions of girls in the world and you didn't even have to look—she was right next-door the whole time. How you didn't notice it for years is beyond me."
When he trailed off and smiled like an idiot, I knew the memory of that night was playing out in his head.
I snapped my fingers in front of his face twice in quick succession. “You still with me or are you going to spend the rest of the day in the past?” I joked.
Mateo shrugged and laughed. “I am in the here and now, brother. I love that I have so many memories with her, but nothing is ever better than the present, particularly right now.”
Something about the way he said it and the look on his face—slightly more lovestruck than usual—raised my antenna. “What’s so special about this particular time?” I asked. “Something you want to share—like maybe there’s a baby on the way?”
Before he could answer my pregnancy question, our conversation was interrupted when the jeweler came back with the wrapped box that held the bracelet. We spent the next few minutes saying goodbye to Juan Carlos before we left to go back to work. Only after we'd climbed into my dark gray Range Rover to head back to the office did the conversation resume.
“So,” I prodded, “pregnant or not?”
“Not yet, but we have begun to try,” he said proudly. “Every time she so much as blinks I am convinced it is morning sickness. I know I am driving her crazy, but I cannot help myself. The idea of our child inside of her makes me feel even more protective than I do already.”
It was true—my brother was part Neanderthal where his bride was concerned. He protected her like she was the most priceless treasure in the world because as far as he was concerned, she was. I was so happy for them both that there weren't words. Their relationship had been storybook up until a few months before their wedding when things had spiraled gone horribly wrong for reasons beyond their control. He'd fought hard for his woman and had spent every day since loving her to the point of distraction. Their future children would be fortunate to have them as parents.
I grinned as I pulled away from the jewelry store and began the short drive back to our office building. “For the record, I’ll be taking on the role of fun uncle. I’ll spoil your kids like crazy, let them get all sugared up, and then drop them off at home so you can deal with it.”
Mateo barked out a laugh. "Ava and I have already figured that out. You will be fun, Dio will teach them how to charm everyone they meet, and Joaquin will wear them out playing fútbol. It is Rafael we worry about. We waited to start trying in the hopes he would improve, but so much time has passed without much forward movement that I am afraid this is as good as it will ever get. I would be lying if I did not admit to fearing he will never take to being an uncle. That would hurt all of us, but no one more than my wife. He and Diego have been her best friends her entire life—she needs them both to be there for our children."
I grimaced as I nodded. I formulated my response with a sigh as I slowed to a stop at a traffic light that I could’ve made it through but didn’t want to push. I knew the security detail behind me wouldn’t have been able to make it through safely, which was why I drove slower and didn’t push it. Unlike Mateo who was constantly guarded no matter where he was, I was able to eschew security a lot when I was in the states. In Barcelona, there was no escaping it for me, or anyone in my family.
"I'm not sure what we can do to get through to him," I muttered. "He shuts down if he so much as sees a stroller. What was done to him was awful, but at some point, he needs to move on."
Mateo let out a heavy sigh. "Now that we are trying I can better understand the pain he feels. To believe that you are having a child only to find out it was all nothing but a lie—I would not wish that on my worst enemy. He was geared up for fatherhood, and in the blink of an eye, it was taken from him in the cruelest way possible. I hope that someday—hopefully soon—he will meet the love of his life. Whatever Francesca was, she most certainly was not that. Once he experiences real love, everything will change."
“You think?” I asked.
"I know," Mateo answered firmly. "It will happen for you, too. I cannot wait for you to meet someone who is not eleven and three-quarter eggs shy of a dozen."
I snorted as I took the final turn toward our office building. “Don’t hold your breath,” I said dryly. “If history is any kind of a road map, I’m destined to be single for life.”
Mateo was laughing as I pulled my car into my assigned space.
"As I said before, your soulmate is somewhere out there. When the time is right, you will meet her, and everything will fall into place."
I shook my head as we got out of the car and I clicked my key fob to lock the doors and arm the security system. Sometimes I marveled at what a sap my big brother was. He believed in the whole soulmate thing, and nothing anyone else said or did would ever change his mind. I was happy for the love he and Ava shared, but I didn't hold out a lot of hope that such a thing was in the cards for me.
“Fifty bucks says I’ll still be single in a few years when you and Ava are having child number three.”
Mateo chuckled as we stepped into the elevator. “I will take that bet.”
“Well, then, prepare to lose,” I answered.
“I’m so sorry we didn’t get a chance to spend any time together,” Emery sighed, a frown marring her perfectly smooth face. Even without any makeup on she was stunningly beautiful.
Although she was two years older than me, Emery had been my best friend and counterpart since the day I’d met her when I was four years old, just a scared out of my mind little girl. We’d lived next door to one another and had always been there for each other, no matter what. I’d been devastated when she left Lakeport, primarily because I hadn’t expected it. She’d gone from high school senior to international sensation in what felt like the blink of an eye.
Her rise had come when she’d been approached after a high school talent show by the director of Bytes, an insanely popular show about computer hacking vampires that had been about to launch on cable. The rest, as they say, was history. She'd done a screen test, and four weeks later she was filming in Los Angeles. From there she'd gone from supporting character to breakout star of the show within one season. The show had aired its final episode two months ago, and now Emery was going on to do her first feature film.
The exasperating thing to me was that Emery didn't enjoy acting. She originally did it for the money, but at a certain point it took on a life of its own. I constantly told her that she should take the money she'd earned and bounce so that she could do what she loved, which was horticulture. That was her dream, but she felt too beholden to the people who'd helped her get where she was. I suspected they manipulated into her staying, but I couldn’t make decisions for her.
Besides, who was I to talk? I'd never enjoyed school and I'd always known I hadn't wanted to go to college unless college started offering a multi-prong fashion, makeup, food prep and arts and crafts degree. I wanted to do hair and makeup while also learning how to cook and make intricate crafts— but I didn't want to be a chef, a hair stylist, a makeup artist or a full-time crafter because choosing one meant giving up the others. That limited my choices and left me on the fence about what to do with my life.
The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to be independent so that the people who had given up everything for me wouldn’t have to worry about taking care of me ever again. I’d graduated high school at loose ends, unsure of exactly how to proceed. And then, Emery stepped in. At the barbeque to celebrate my graduation she told me she needed a house sitter for six weeks while the show filmed in Europe and asked if I would be interested.
It was like dangling a carrot in front of a rabbit. I'd jumped at the opportunity without hes
Of course, Emery took precedence over all my other clients. Three years in I worked for her every time the opportunity presented itself. Since I stayed with her anytime I was between jobs—something that was becoming more and more rare—it wasn’t a surprise that I felt most at home at her Malibu rental.
“The studio set up an interview they need me there for, hence the earlier flight,” she said, halting my trip down memory lane. “I’ll be mostly off the grid because the location is so remote, but on Saturday I get to stay in town and stay in a hotel, which supposedly means access to reliable internet. If you’ve got something that isn’t time sensitive you think I need to know, just Facebook message me. I’ll FaceTime you as soon as I get to my computer each week. My business manager is on alert that any call from you is high priority so, in case of emergency, he's your go-to."
I assured her with absolute confidence that I had it all under control. She exhaled with relief and hugged me tightly before climbing into the back of the black stretch limo that would be taking her to LAX.
Her boyfriend, Elliot, a screenwriter, was already seated inside, talking on the cellphone that was always in his possession. Elliot and Emery became a couple over the course of the previous six months. They'd met at a club on the night of her twenty-third birthday, and he immediately set about wooing her. Two months later they were sleeping together, and a month after that, he'd moved in. I made an effort to be polite to Elliot, but something about him didn't sit well. At thirty-eight he was significantly older than her, and on top of that, he had four ex-wives.
Other author's books:
- Cards of Love: Wheel of FortuneOn The Way Down (The Retake Duet Book 1)On the Way Back (The Retake Duet Book 2)
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