Destined (Lair #4) - A.M. Madden


The party was winding down. The kids were in bed, except for Shane and Alivia. Being the oldest meant they were allowed to stay up a bit later than the younger ones. They looked so grown up compared to the others. Shane was now ten, Alivia nine, and they were both going on twenty.

Too mature for their own good… or mine.

They were best friends. Hey, I loved the kid… as long as he kept my daughter in the friend zone. While watching them sitting on the side of the pool, chatting about something, Jack and I sipped our beers with our women on our laps.

Alivia’s giggling loudly at something Shane had said drew my attention. Leila and Camilla exchanged wide smiles while watching enthralled. Meanwhile, Jack and I panicked. With each year that went by, his son and my daughter grew closer and closer.

In a flash, visions of their teenage versions kissing in the back of a car, or sneaking off down the beach to do worse, knocked around my brain like a bullet in a barrel.

And then, as if my subconscious willed it to happen, I watched in slow motion while Shane leaned closer and planted a big wet kiss on my daughter’s lips.

What in the serious fuck?

“Lair!” I jumped up so fast Camilla had to stumble to gain her balance. “Get your kid away from my daughter!”

Chapter One


I ran a finger beneath the stiff cotton circling my neck in a pathetic attempt to provide some give—although I doubted the collar or bow tie had anything to do with my nerves right now. They most definitely had to do with the steel-blue eyes drilling holes into my skull.

I’d known the man behind them since the age of five… thirteen years to be exact. It had been my obsession with his bass-playing skills that had set forth the chain of events leading me to this moment.

Devil’s Lair were megastars in the rock music genre, and Trey Taylor was their bass player. After seeing one music video at the age of four, I wanted to be him.

From what I was told, I’d stand in front of the screen, mimicking everything Trey did on my toy plastic guitar. My obsession only grew when my biological mother, Paula, encouraged me with guitar lessons and by recording every Devil Lair’s concert she could find on TV.

Apparently, my mom had reached out to an old friend who happened to have ties to him and his band. Her motive had been to get her young son a signed photo from his hero… but that call led to so much more.

Because of her friend, Mom and I had been invited to join their European tour, where we met the entire band. I was just a kid thinking how great my life was, meeting my idol. At the time, I had no idea that my mother had been dying of cancer. Jack Lair, the lead singer, and his wife, Leila, the backup singer, took to our situation.

I later found out the short weeks we’d spent with the band and their families had laid a foundation that led to Jack and Leila adopting me once Mom had passed. Even with twin toddlers of their own, they’d taken me into their family without hesitation. I’d been lucky to have found two people who loved me unconditionally. Instantly, I became a son, a big brother to Madden and Siarra.

But losing my mom at the age of five affected me to the core, and I retreated into myself. It broke my new parents’ hearts. The only thing that I would respond to was music, and over time, combined with love and understanding, it was what had helped me to drop the shield I hid behind. Trey played a big part in that by mentoring me, using music to connect us. The world saw a bad boy rock star. To me, he was my dad’s best friend, and the man I grew up calling Uncle. He was a brilliant musician who had passed his skills to me, and a mentor who had influenced my life in more ways than just with the instrument he played. And it’d been like that between us until I’d started kissing his daughter.

When he folded his arms in an attempt to intimidate me, it worked. Meanwhile, it only caused my dad to chuckle. Traitor. The entire situation amused my father. Sure… it wasn’t his dick on the line.

I still shudder, remembering Trey’s claim to cut it off after he