Only Forever

Page 54

“A fan?” The big guy next to me snorts. “He didn’t say he was a fan. He said he knows who you are. Big deal.”
I stare up at the giant. “Son of a bitch. You’re Rowan Hansley.”
He nods in acknowledgement.
“I didn’t know you two were friends,” I say as I glance between Rowan and Maverick.
Rowan chuckles. “More like family.”
“Family?” I narrow my eyes and study the two of them, but I don’t notice any family resemblance. “How does the world not know you’re related?”
“I said we’re family. I didn’t say we’re related.”
Before I can puzzle out what he means, the officer returns and plunks a pitcher of beer down on the table as well as five glasses. “Are you done fawning over the actor and former football player?”
“Don’t be jealous.” Maverick winks at him.
“Never said I was jealous,” he mutters as he pours me a beer and slides it across the table to me.
“I, for one, am glad we got another normie in our group,” the fourth man says.
The officer laughs. “And you think you’re normal? You didn’t get Ellery pregnant during a one-night stand?”
He shrugs. “It happens. Besides, I wouldn’t trade Willow for the world.”
I clear my throat. “As much as I’m enjoying this conversation,” I lie. “I’m not clear on why I’m here.”
“Introduction time.” The officer points to Maverick. “Maverick Langston, movie star and boyfriend of Juniper West.” He points to Rowan. “Rowan Hansley, former NFL star, current bakery owner, and husband of Ashlyn West.”
“And baby daddy,” Rowan interrupts to add.
The officer ignores him and continues his introductions. “Cole Hawkins, fiancé of Ellery West and father of the first West grandchild.”
“I’ll show you some pictures of Willow,” Cole – the same as every father before him – says.
“And I’m Lyric, Chief of Police of Winter Falls, and Aspen West’s fiancé.”
“West? You’re Lilac’s brothers-in-law?”
I remember Ashlyn saying something about her sister being engaged to Maverick Langston. I thought she was kidding. Guess not.
“Technically, I’m the only brother-in-law,” Rowan says, and I recall Ashlyn pointing out the big guy as her husband at the Litha festival. I didn’t pay any attention to the man at the time since I was too busy being caught up in Lilac. “The rest of them haven’t managed to seal the deal yet.”
“I got Aspen to set a date.” Lyric lifts his glass, and the others cheer with him.
I sip on my beer as I observe the men over the rim of my glass. They appear completely calm, not as if they just committed a felony by kidnapping someone. I decide to take a chance.
“Why did you kidnap me?”
Cole snorts. “This isn’t a kidnapping. I’m the only one who got kidnapped. The rest of you are a bunch of sissies who need to be coddled in a bar.”
“It’s not as if we tortured you,” Lyric says.
“But you didn’t buy me a beer either.”
Maverick ignores Cole to explain, “This is your initiation into the West family.”
I gulp. “Initiation?”