Meant For You (Connor Family #3)

By: Layla Hagen



Chapter One


Paige




“To the squad finally being reunited,” Luna exclaimed, holding her glass of wine for a toast.

I’d moved back from Paris two nights before and had immediately planned a reunion   with my two best friends, Luna and Faith. I’d asked them to meet me at my grandmother’s old inn because I’d stopped by to visit the property this afternoon. We ended up ordering pizza and drinks and staying in. It was fitting. We had many memories here.

“I can’t believe this space still looks the same. It’s like a time capsule,” Faith said.

“Except for the coat of dust,” I chimed in. The place had been empty and boarded up for a few months, and now that I had returned, my parents had asked me to look into selling it.

“We’re so glad you’re back.” Faith hugged me with one arm.

“I’m glad too.” My three-year work stint in Paris had been exciting, but I hadn’t seen myself settling down there. I was an LA girl at heart. I’d missed my friends, my parents, my siblings, and nieces. I’d also missed the near-constant sun. I couldn’t wait to hit the beach. I tanned quickly, and even though my hair was almost black, some strands earned a reddish hue after spending a few days in the sun.

“So you’re really going to sell this place, huh?” Faith asked.

“Yep. No other way.” My grandmother had run a successful B&B, but my parents wanted to enjoy their retirement doing nothing at all, and my siblings and I all had full-time jobs. I couldn’t see myself running a B&B on top of that, so better to sell the place than leave it to decay. The house would need some serious repairs before putting it on the market as it was.

The doorbell rang as we carried the empty pizza cartons to the kitchen.

“Are you expecting someone?” Luna asked.

“No.”

I dashed to the front door, swung it open, and came face-to-face with a very tall and very handsome man. He looked at me, then behind my shoulder at Faith and Luna.

“Can I help you?” I asked.

“I’m Detective Will Connor.”

A detective? Not what I had been expecting. Were detectives supposed to be this hot? I would have pegged him for a guy trying to break into the modeling or acting business. He certainly had the looks for it. Tall and well built, with chocolate brown, messy hair. His eyes were a smidge darker, and the bone structure of his jaw reminded me of the models in those aftershave commercials: defined, strong… sexy.

“Oh, and what’s the reason for your visit?”

“A neighbor called. Said he saw lights here and that the place had been boarded up for a few months.”

“It used to be my grandma’s inn. Now it’s mine. I came to take a look at it.”

“So you’re the owner?”

“I am, Detective. My name is Paige Lamonica. Would you like to see an ID?”

“No need. The neighbors thought someone broke in, what with the place being empty. Are there any signs of forced entries? Boarded-up houses attract burglars,” he explained.

“I haven’t checked the whole house yet, but all doors and windows on the ground floor are still boarded up. The boards will come down, though. I’ll be renovating the place.”

He folded his arms over his chest, and I took in those biceps for the first time. Holy hell. He was wearing a short-sleeved shirt, and I had to practically force myself to look away.

“You didn’t see anything out of place either, right, girls?” I asked, turning to look at them. They nodded wordlessly, too busy checking out Will to answer. I’d mentioned earlier this evening that I wanted to date more, and now I could practically feel them measuring his dating potential. I turned my attention back to Will.

“Looks like you made this trip for nothing. Sorry for keeping you from problems that really need your attention.”

“I’m off duty, but I was in the area when the call came through.”

“Well, nothing going on here except some old friends catching up and celebrating the Fourth of July three days late.”

“Make sure you’re not too loud.” His tone was teasing.

“Why, Detective, will you arrest us?” I asked playfully.