You're The One (Very Irresistible Bachelors #1) - Layla Hagen
“Ready to get out of here?” I asked my best friend, Josie.
We were in the Hamptons, attending a brunch one of my clients had thrown to celebrate the Fourth of July.
“What time is it, anyway?” Josie murmured. Her eyes widened when she checked her phone. “Hunter, it’s already three o’clock. We won’t make it in time to Amelia’s. She’ll roast our asses for being late.”
“Not if we show up with her favorite dessert,” I said. Amelia was my aunt. We had to be at her place in Brooklyn for dinner.
“Of course. Bribing people with food is your favorite strategy, after all.” She flashed me a smile. Josie Gallagher knew me like no one else. After bidding our goodbyes, we left the building and hopped into my BMW, passing a plethora of New Yorkers just arriving into the Hamptons.
I was glad we were spending the rest of the day with my family. Amelia loved celebrating holidays, and the Fourth of July was one of her favorites. It was an opportunity for everyone to gather—my four cousins, Josie, and me. Amelia was more than an aunt to me. She’d practically raised me. Come to think of it, she’d practically raised Josie too.
When we made it over Shinnecock Canal and hit a traffic jam, I wondered how smart it had been to drive into the Hamptons today knowing we had to make it to my aunt’s annual party. But I couldn’t turn the brunch down. I owned one of the largest real estate development companies in the country, and the client who’d invited me was about to sign another deal with me.
“Thanks for coming with me today,” I said.
She pulled her dark brown hair into a ponytail, flashing me another one of her gorgeous smiles. I routinely asked Josie to join me at events. Everything was just ten times more entertaining when I had my best friend with me.
“Anytime. Oh... and if you want to buy my favorite dessert too when you stop to buy Amelia’s, I won’t mind.”
“I’ll do that. Any other requests?”
“Hey, don’t tempt me.”
I laughed, focusing on the road. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Josie looking at her phone. She’d done it a couple of times since we left the brunch.
“Why do you keep checking your phone?”
“Sent my parents something for the Fourth. It’s a surprise. Can’t wait to hear from them.”
“What did you send them?”
“Their favorite dessert.”
“Who’s bribing who now?”
She shrugged one shoulder, smiling from ear to ear. “Hey, we’ve been friends for fifteen years. It was about time I stole some of your tricks. Besides, I’m not bribing them. Just... hoping it’ll motivate them to visit me soon.” Her parents lived in Montana.
Josie and I had attended the same school. We’d been friends since she’d gotten into a fight with the school bully and I’d defended her. She’d been fifteen, and I’d been seventeen. Since then, she’d stuck next to me. I’d resented it in the beginning, like any teenager who didn’t want a younger girl shadowing him.
But Josie had slipped under my skin, and soon I’d been the one shadowing her. Trouble seemed to follow her around. I had no idea when Josie and I had become best friends. I also had no idea when my friend had turned into a smoking-hot woman. She was tall and curvy, with legs that went for days. She tempted the hell out of me, but I knew better than to give in to those instincts.
“Why didn’t you fly out to visit them?” I asked.
“I’m in the middle of a huge case. I just can’t take time off.”
I knew just how true that was. Once you jumped on the corporate hamster wheel, you were either all in or all out. Josie was a successful lawyer, but the hours she had to put in were even crazier than mine. One of these days, I was going to surprise Josie by flying in her family for a holiday. I just had to be smart about it. My best friend wasn’t a fan of extravagant gifts.
“We should have planned to go straight to Amelia’s after the event,” Josie murmured. “But I want to change out of this dress.”
Damn it. I did not want that visual in my brain. She was wearing a tight white dress and high heels that had already been messing with my thoughts the entire morning.
“I know. I need to get out of this suit too,” I replied. There was no such thing as a casual