“Wait, Luke and Jamie live here, too?”
“Unfortunately. Luke joined the Marines after high school, and I got a scholarship to Harvard Law.”
“Harvard Law? That’s amazing.”
“I was actually living in Midtown West for a few years, you know?”
“I was with Goldman Sachs for a while. Got married for the wrong reasons, then divorced for the right reasons.”
I blinked. “Not you too? Why?”
Nate smiled and patted my shoulder affectionately. “Some other time. Don’t want to ruin this reunion with sappy life stories, do we?”
I couldn’t help but smile.
“Shall we?” He offered his hand. “I’ll give you the grand tour of our ‘Fortress of Solitude.’”
I finished unpacking the last suitcase Nate took out of the Chevy. The horrible weariness weighing on me since I left New York completely evaporated. I guessed because I’d been reunited with dear childhood friends. I felt in good hands, and that small blessing lifted my spirits considerably.
After everything was put away, I scanned my new apartment with bubbling excitement. It had one bedroom, a kitchenette, and a decent sized bathroom with a tub. It was slightly bigger than the place I’d rented while I was waitressing. Nate said the apartment was originally a storage space for his computer equipment. He ran his own security firm from the house, while his four employees manned the Manhattan office.
That explained the high fence and cameras. When the brothers decided to get a live-in housekeeper, they’d added a separate entrance to the apartment for both theirs and the hired help’s privacy. I had a tiny yard and a parking space beyond the window of my kitchen sink. It wasn’t much, but it was more than I was happy to have.
I spent the next two hours unwinding in the bathtub, recovering from the heat. Donning my only clean dress, I proceed to the kitchen to cook dinner. Nate came down to check the commotion.
“Oh. I’m making dinner.” I poked my head out from the refrigerator. “You need to do some grocery shopping, though. Even Martha Stewart can’t make magic supper with only lettuce, ketchup, and a pack of hotdogs.”
Nate chortled. “I was thinking we could go out to eat or something. Besides, it’s Jamie’s turn to shop.”
“I thought you guys were bored of eating out.” I dusted off my hands and undid the apron. “Why don’t I go shopping?”
“But you just got here. I bet you’re tired.”
“I’m fine. I just had a long bath.”
Our conversation was cut short by a scream from the door, and before I knew it, something big, blond, and muscular swept me off my feet. “Miss Leezee!”
Only one person called me that name. Jamie Cody. The last time I saw him, he was a scrawny, hyperactive six-year-old with an imaginary friend named Fred. The Jamie before me was… oh, my… I couldn’t believe my eyes. How could he turn out so handsome?
“You’re killing me, Jamie,” I gasped. His hug was like a boa constrictor.
“Sorry.” He stood towering before me.
“How do you get so tall, too?” I marveled. “And big! You were so skinny when you were little.”
“I worked out,” he answered nonchalantly. Jamie’s eyes were like Nate’s—vivid blue. Jamie leaned toward me. “If you’re thinking ‘where else is he big,’ you guessed it right.” He winked.
Nate punched him on the shoulder. “Don’t mind him. He’s a pervert. Jamie’s the infamous Bellwood horndog.”
“Don’t tell her that.” Jamie shoved his brother. “Nate’s just jealous. He’s a bitter old man. Do you know that his ex ran away with a shriveled old dude? But the bastard is a billionaire. Figure that.”
“Shut up, Jamie.” Nate shoved his younger brother.
“You shut up.”
Watching them like that reminded me of old times. I guessed they hadn’t changed much. Men are just boys with bigger shoes and mustaches.
“Say, Miss Lisiewicz, you look just as puurty as I remember,” said Jamie. He scrutinized me from head to toe. “You’ll always be my angel, you know that?”