Bonus Scene: “Dreamy and Devoted,” an additional Legacy and Lovers moment
The following is an additional scene from Legacy and Lovers. It takes place after the end of this particular book and prior to Farewells and Forever.
Legacy and Lovers is Book 11 in the Untouchable series. To read more, Rules and Roses is Book 1.
Note: This scene is brought to you because of a Review Challenge. What is that? And also, please be aware that spoilers may lie ahead.
“Dreamy and Devoted”
Laughing, I made my way off the dance floor while fanning a hand toward my face. The club was amazing, the music was fantastic—but even better, everyone was here. My friends. My family. I glanced down at the rings on my finger—my fiancés.
That sent a little thrill through me. At the bar, I found a spot where air conditioning was actually blowing downward. Stopping there, I tilted my head back to let the coolness wash over me.
“What can I get for you?”
When I opened my eyes, the bartender was standing there. “Water, please. Ice cold.”
He chuckled. “Coming right up.”
If I had alcohol right now, I might throw up. I’d danced with the guys, multiple times. Danced with KC. Danced with Chloe. Danced with Dad. Even Alec and Craig had gotten pulled into the action. It was all so overwhelming and at the same time—amazing.
“Hey,” Rachel said as she slid up to the bar next to me. “You good?”
Sweat gleamed on her brow and her lips were a little swollen. I didn’t make any comments on that because she was still working on her and that was the important part. The bartender brought over the ice water and I grasped it gratefully as Rachel ordered one for her and a soda. Holding up a finger, I downed about half the glass.
Between the chill of the water and sitting under the fan, I didn’t feel like I as overheating as much. “Oh, I’m fine—just hot.”
Rachel laughed. “You’ve been hot forever, why is that an issue now?”
I rolled my eyes even as I laughed. She grinned and when her water got there, she clinked her glass with mine.
“Cheers, gorgeous,” she told me. “I still think you’re nuts for taking on four of them, but they might almost be worthy of you if they keep spoiling you the way they are.”
“I adore them,” I reminded her. “They’re perfect just like they are.”
She made a gagging sound, then grinned. “I’ll give them credit, they make you smile and that’s the important part.”
“I miss you,” I confessed and she sniffed.
“Of course you do, because I’m awesome.” She managed to hold the arrogance for all of five seconds before we were both cracking up. Another couple of drinks and I was almost not boiling alive when she added, “Are you happy? I mean for real? This is—” She motioned to the club, the Greek themes with its columns and nooks, the dance floor and the stage.
“It’s Archie,” I reminded her. “And yes, I am happy. Like—no caveats happy.”
“No caveats?” Rachel raised both eyebrows. “That’s something.”
“Right?” When Dad and Eddie asked me out to dinner tonight, I’d had an idea that something might happen. Archie’s was the only proposal left, but… “It’s everything,” I admitted. “Rach, I have a family. A huge family. Not just Dad and Kelly and the kids, though that’s so cool. I have Jeremy and Eddie—I couldn’t imagine Eddie being ‘family’ but he is. Then the guys…they’re everything. We’ve had some ups and downs, but they’re still my best friends and they love me and I love them—”
“You know there might be something wrong with you,” she teased.
“Maybe, if there is, I don’t want to fix it. Because there’s also you.”
“Saving the best for last,” she said, grinning.
“Absolutely, Mr. Thorns.”
That cracked her up all over again. “I still think I could give these guys some tips but after today, I might have to admit Archie’s got the romance and showmanship down.”
Laughter bubbled up through me as effervescent as the champagne that had been flowing since Archie “popped” the question. “He does,” I said.
“Okay, all dreamy swooning aside—this what you want? Marriage to all four of them? You guys are ready for it?”
“Can anyone be really ready?” I asked before I drained the water and the bartender slid another over to me. I mouthed thank you and he winked at me before Rachel groaned. “What?” I said swinging a look at her.
“He’s flirting with you.”
I held up my hand. “Sorry, I’m taken.” We stared at each other for a beat and Rachel’s lips trembled.
“But you noticed he was flirting.”
“I didn’t care,” I said, rather than admit that I wasn’t really paying attention to the bartender. Nice guy brought me water. So what if he winked? He wasn’t one of my guys.
“That was the right answer,” Jake said as he slid up behind me and wrapped his arms around my middle. Thankfully, I wasn’t dying from heat stroke but even if I was, I’d still have leaned back into him.
Eyes closed, I just drank in his nearness as he pressed a kiss just behind my ear. “Rachel.”
I cracked my eyelids open to find Rachel giving us an indulgent smile.
“Looking after our girl?” Jake asked.
“Always,” she said. “Also, you look ridiculously happy.”
“Don’t hate,” Jake teased and I elbowed him. He gave a gentle oomph then squeezed me lightly. “Fine, we love Rachel, we just don’t tell her that. We’re much better at the snarking and the threats.”
“This is true,” Rachel agreed. “Now, go away, I want time with my BFF before you guys drag her back out to the dance floor.”
“I was thinking of stealing away to a private room,” Jake mused. “Maybe celebrate a little more personally.”
Rachel made a gagging sound.
“Don’t worry,” Jake said, still grinning. “You’re not invited.”
“Oh my god,” I laughed and tilted my head back to look up at him.
“Too much?” His eyes were practically dancing and I smiled as he brushed his lips to mine.
“Nope,” I promised. “You’re perfect.”
“No ma’am, that’s you. But I will let you girls have a drink. I’m gonna threaten the bartender so he doesn’t flirt with you again.”
“Hey? It’s me.” Then he winked and gave me another kiss before he slipped away and when I glanced back at Rachel, she was laughing.
“Ridiculously happy,” she commented. “And I am glad. I still don’t think anyone is ever going to be good enough for you, but those four come the closest.”
“They’re perfect for me,” I said. “They’ve always been perfect for me, even when I didn’t see what they felt or were asking me for.”
Her expression softened. “Want to go find a table with our waters and gossip for a bit?”
“You have anything good to tell me?” I raised my brows. Her smirk was adorable.
“Maybe, you’ll just have to work at getting it out of me.”
The bartender had brought over two fresh glasses with ice water and no winks. Scooping them up, Rachel and I weaved through the crowd. There were well-wishers and more than one quick side hug as we climbed the stairs to the second level. It was definitely cooler up here.
“Damn,” Rachel said, lips quirking. “Foreplay, Frankie. Foreplay. You want me to come clean with the details, you need to work me up to it.”
I rolled my eyes and laughed. “You’re terrible.”
“And you love me, so don’t bitch.”
It was true, I did love her. “Fine…have I mentioned how beautiful you are to me?”
“That’s better,” Rachel said and when she winked, I held up my left hand.
“Don’t I know it.”
There was a beat and then we were cracking up all over again. I caught Archie’s eye from across the room and he raised his glass to me where he was talking to Eddie and I grinned, before I blew him a kiss. Coop had Trina on the dance floor and Ian was—there he was, he was dancing with Chloe and she was laughing.
I couldn’t adore them more if I tried.
“So damn gone on them,” Rachel commented.
“Yep,” I admitted. “One thousand percent.”
©2023 Heather Long