If You Were Mine - Bella Andre

Bella Andre - The Sullivans #5 - If You Were Mine

If You Were Mine (The Sullivans #5)
Bella Andre


Chapter One

Zach Sullivan stared with disgust at the bundle of fur chewing on his shoelace.

“No way.” He shifted his foot to try and get the little bugger off, but for such a tiny thing, it was tenacious. It growled a little and shook its tail as it renewed focus on his shoe. His new shoe. “Sophie loves dogs. Ask her.”

He looked up to see Gabe smirking at him. Clearly, it had been way too long since he’d wiped a grin off his little brother’s face.

“Sophie’s got enough to deal with lately, between her pregnancy and marrying Jake,” Gabe told him. “Chloe and Chase are going to have their kid any second now. Marcus and Nicola are always on the road. Ryan is practically living at the stadium for baseball season. And I wouldn’t trust Lori with a dog if she was the last person on earth. Trust me, you were at the end of my list for someone to watch the puppy while we’re away on vacation, but Summer insisted you needed to have Cuddles.”

Zach almost hurled. “Cuddles?”

“Summer named her.” They both looked down at the puppy. “I think the name fits pretty well.”

Gabe was incredibly protective of Summer, his fiancee Megan’s daughter. Zach knew better than to insult the dog’s name, even if it was, hands down, the worst one ever.

“Look,” Gabe said, “Summer is convinced you’re the perfect person to keep the puppy. For some reason none of us can figure out, she thinks you can do no wrong. Don’t disappoint her, Zach.”

Zach had thought Summer was pretty great for a seven-year-old. Until now, when she was trying to stick him with a dog he didn’t want for two weeks. Especially since there was no way a puppy was going to fit into his life for even two days.

His daily—and nightly—schedule was all about fast cars and pretty women. What the hell was he going to do with a puppy?

Shaking his head, Zach said, “You’ve really lost your touch, Gabe, letting two girls lead you around.”

Zach was still surprised by how smitten his brother was—not only with Megan, but with her daughter, too. And it wasn’t just Gabe who had fallen way down deep in the bottomless pit of “true love.” Chase, Marcus, and Sophie had tripped into it, too.

Their mother was beyond thrilled knowing there were babies and more Sullivan weddings on the way. Zach was happy she was happy. Just as long as she had no false expectations about him falling in love.

Because it was never going to happen.

But Gabe clearly didn’t care if he’d lost his touch, or that he’d never be able to pick up a stranger at a bar for hot sex again. If anything, his brother looked disgustingly happy about it.

“I’m not asking you to dress the puppy up in frilly doggy clothes or to spend all day rolling around in the grass with her. I just need you to keep her fed and watered and walked while we’re on our trip. So, will you do it or do I have to break Summer’s heart by telling her she’s wrong about you being a good guy?”

As if to punctuate his brother’s request, Cuddles finally let go of her grip on Zach’s shoelace and looked up at him with oversized brown eyes, her little pink tongue licking at her whiskers as if she’d just finished a truly tasty meal.

Damn it, he’d always been a sucker for puppy-dog eyes.

He wasn’t happy about it, but he supposed he could suck it up for a couple of weeks while Gabe, Megan, and Summer took a European vacation to see castles and princesses and whatever else it was Summer had been going on and on to him about at the last Sunday lunch.

His reputation as a player with women was well deserved, and it was exactly how he liked things: no deep connections to have to deal with down the road, no woman to disappoint or leave behind one day. But his family was different. His brothers and sisters meant everything to him.

“Fine.” He scowled down at the dog. “I’ll do it. What is she, anyway?”

His brother grinned, not bothering to hide his evil pleasure at Zach’s capitulation. “A Yorkshire Terrier. Evidently, she’s a big one.”

“Big?” He bent and picked her up by the ruff with two fingers before putting her back down by his shoe. “She can’t weight more than