Safe Bet (The Rules 4) - Page 57

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“Seriously. He’s funny. So are his friends. I particularly like Shep,” Fable says with a smile because yes, Shep and his girlfriend Jade are here too.

“I like Shep, but I’ve always been partial to Tristan.” It’s true, even though Tristan has been a total dickwad most of his life, he was always nice to me. His girlfriend Alex has really helped him learn how to not be a dickwad to everyone, which is a bonus.

“Oh, I like Tristan too, and his girlfriend Alex. I love her! Steven and Kelli are sweet too, I’m so glad they brought them.” Fable beams. “I love all your brother’s friends. They’re so much fun.” And with that, Fable leaves, calling out Gabe’s name when she spots him.

Shaking my head, I go and grab a glass of champagne and sip from it, smiling as I watch everyone talk and laugh. There’s a real hodge podge of people here tonight. I invited my brother and Lucy, and he ends up bringing an entourage, which thankfully Fable and Drew don’t mind.

I’m just thankful I can surround myself with people I know and love during the holiday season. My relationship with my parents still isn’t perfect, but we’re slowly healing. Mom and I talk on the phone on occasion. Dad and I chatted on Face Time last week. We’re trying, and that’s all I can ask for.

“Hey Syd.” An offensive lineman for the Niners smiles and nods at me as we walk past each other and I say hi in return, marveling yet again at my surreal life. A year ago—heck, even a few months ago—I would’ve never believed it if someone told me I’d work as a nanny for a famous NFL player and his wife.

But here I am, working for a wonderful family, looking forward to the newest edition coming soon. Thankfully the paparazzi have moved on, and I’m not referred to as the ‘Naughty Nanny’ any longer.

Nope, now I’m referred to as Wade Knox’s girlfriend, and I don’t have a problem with that. Not at all.

I go in search of Wade, stopping to chat briefly with Fable’s former boss Colin and his wife, Jen. They own multiple restaurants on the west coast and they are so stunningly beautiful together, it’s hard for me to not stare at them. Totally ridiculous, I know, but I’m star struck—by pretty much everyone in this house.

It’s when I’m wandering aimlessly through the house a few minutes later that Wade finds me. Strong arms wrap around my waist from behind as he pulls me close to him.

“I’ve been looking for you,” he murmurs near my ear just before he kisses it, making me shiver.

I turn in his embrace, slipping my arms around his neck so I can play with the hair at his nape. “I’ve been here all night. Where’d you disappear off to?”

“I was with Owen. We were talking.” I adore his best friend, and they don’t get to spend much time together considering they’re both so busy. When they have the opportunity to talk, I don’t want to interfere.

“I thought so.” I run my hand across his shoulder, down his chest. “You look nice. I like the sweater.” It’s charcoal gray and extra soft.

“Thanks. I like your dress.” It’s dark green and also extra soft. His hand slides down my side, then back up, making my skirt rise. I slap at his hand, making him chuckle. “I’ve always been a fan of dresses.”

“More like you’re a fan of easy access,” I retort, though I’m not angry. Not in the least.

With Wade, I’ve become a fan of easy access too.

“Quit complaining.” He kisses me before I can say something, stealing all my words, my thoughts, with a mere brush of his lips. “Are you having fun?” he asks once the kiss is over.

I nod and snuggle close, his arms tightening around me. “This is the best Christmas I’ve ever had.”

“Really?” He sounds surprised.

“Really.” I kiss him this time, rising up on my tiptoes to put my all into it. And I am. The both of us are, the kiss getting deeper and deeper, until I hear a tiny giggle at our feet.

I break away to see Autumn gaping up at us, her hand going over her mouth to contain her laughter. She’s wearing a black velvet dress with a white lace collar and a full skirt and she looks adorable. “You’re always kissing Uncle Wade!” she accuses.

My cheeks go warm at being called out by a four year old. “I really like Uncle Wade.”

“I know,” Autumn says in a voice that has clear duh undertones. “He likes you too. Maybe he likes you too much!”

With that declaration, she scampers off.

“You could never like me too much,” I tell him, my gaze meeting his.

His eyes are serious though, making my smile fade. With gentle fingers he brushes the hair away from my forehead, making me tingle. “Maybe I don’t just like you.”

I part my lips, ready to say something funny in response but he beats me to the punch.

“Maybe I’ve fallen in love with you.”

Oh. Oh my God. My heart starts racing and I swear my stomach feels like it just filled with about a million fluttering butterflies. “Maybe I’ve fallen in love with you too,” I admit.

He smiles and it’s the sweetest, most intimate smile I think I’ve ever seen on Wade’s face. “Oh yeah? So we’re in love now? Think the tabloids will buy it?”

I give him a little shove, then curl my fingers into the fabric of his sweater so I can tug him close. “Definitely,” I murmur, just before I press my lips to his.

Tags: Monica Murphy The Rules Romance