Your Forever Love (The Bennett Family #3)(2)By: Layla Hagen
Max has been working out of our London office over the past few years, and I’ve missed him terribly. But now he’s back, and I intend to take advantage of that.
“I can get my own date, no need for help.”
“Yeah, that’s what Sebastian and Logan said too.” I wink at him, but Max merely shakes his head. Behind him, I spot Christopher. They are identical twins, and today they are particularly hard to tell apart because even their tuxedos and bow ties are identical. Luckily, Max has slightly longer hair that falls into his eyes. Still, I’m tempted to glue tiny, colorful dots on their clothes, as I did when we were kids because it was easier to tell them apart.
“You should get yourself a date,” Max suggests.
I sigh. “Tried it once after the divorce. Didn’t end well. I’m much better at finding dates for other people.”
I believe in love. I truly do. But maybe I’m not destined to find my happily ever after. Maybe I already blew my chance. I was the first in my family to marry, almost five years ago, and that proved to be a mistake. Now I’m divorced.
The thought of being alone for the rest of my days leaves a dull ache in my chest. Watching Ava and Sebastian on the dance floor only intensifies that ache. I want someone to look at me as if I’m his whole world. Is that too much to ask?
Max pulls me into a hug, whispering, “You’ll find someone, but you need to get back in the dating game. If you do it more often, you’ll get better at it.”
Drawing in a deep breath, I bite the inside of my cheek. The truth is I don’t want to ‘get back in the dating game.’ For one, I’m not ready to open myself up again. More importantly, I clearly can’t trust my own judgment when it comes to men.
“By the way, I want to introduce you to someone,” Max says.
I chuckle. “Really? You want to become my matchmaking assistant?”
“I meant a business partner, Eric Callahan.”
“The CEO of Callahan’s Finest?” I ask in surprise.
Callahan’s Finest are among our biggest distribution partners on the East Coast. Max has known Eric Callahan since college. Sebastian and Logan met him over the years, but I never got the chance.
“Isn’t Callahan based in Boston? What is he doing here?”
“Callahan is looking to expand their chain of shops on the West Coast, so Eric will be here for about three months, overseeing the expansion.”
“Anyway, he’s here with his daughter, who is a great fan of yours. She can’t wait to meet you. She’s an aspiring designer.”
“Let’s go to their table.”
“No need. They’re on their way here.” Max points to the other side of the room.
The girl catches my eye first. She has light blonde hair that falls in beautiful waves and walks with a pronounced limp. She wears a delicate pink chiffon dress, which bounces with every step she takes. What surprises me most about her, though, is that she appears to be eleven or twelve.
“I imagined his daughter to be younger,” I murmur.
“He had her when he was twenty or something. His wife died a few years ago,” Max explains.
As they come closer, I hear the girl whisper, “Is that her, Dad?”
That’s when I focus on the person next to her. I nearly do a double take when I take a closer look at her dad. Holy smokes and fires. This man is… perfection. He has deep brown hair and striking blue eyes. He’s also muscular and tall—I’m talking at least six feet. His arms are strong enough that I imagine he could carry anything in them without effort… including me. Where did that thought come from? I haven’t even met the man. Everything about him screams sexy, even the way he walks, as if he owns the place. He carries himself with a self-confidence that oozes raw power and masculinity.
“Eric,” Max says. “This is my sister, Pippa.” Someone calls Max’s name, and my brother adopts an apologetic expression. “Have to go.”
After Max leaves, the girl steps closer to her dad, as if wishing to hide behind him. Her father caresses her cheek, as though she’s a delicate flower and the slightest wind could sweep her away. They are adorable.