Page 24 of Happy Ending (Fisher Brothers 4)

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For a second, I considered telling Grant about our problem with the bar. It certainly wasn’t the right time, but a part of me longed to tell him. What if he could help somehow? I knew Frank would kill me if I spilled our dirty little secret on his wedding day, so I kept the information to myself.

“I’m not losing anything, old man. You’ve got your own angel now, right? Looks like we both win.” I gave him a wink and gestured toward Mariana, who stood chatting with my mom.

“Is that your way of asking me a question, boy?” he said after he ordered two beers.

Everyone knew Grant and Mariana had been inseparable since they’d met, but nobody e

ver said anything to their faces. Instead, we all commented on it and tried to figure out their situation behind their backs.

“Fine. Are you two dating? Together? What is it that old people do?”

He cast me a look I couldn’t quite read as he took a long swig of his beer. “I’ll only say this once, so listen up. My wife was the love of my life. The love of my life,” he repeated. “And I know that she wouldn’t want me to get remarried. She was a jealous old bat, and she’d turn over in her grave if I even thought about it. But she would have wanted me to be happy and have good company. That’s what I’ve found with Mariana, and I believe that’s what she’s found with me. It’s better than being alone, I’ll tell you that much.”

“How do you even get her to want to spend time with you? Are you actually nice to her?” I teased, knowing I was poking the bear.

Grant harrumphed. “I’m charming, and you know it. It’s why you look up to me. One day, maybe you’ll learn a thing or two from the master.”

I pretended to choke on my drink. “The master? The second you start teaching classes, I’ll be the first to sign up.”

“You’d be wise to,” he said as he walked away, a beer in each hand.

The old man was crazy, but he was right. I did sort of look up to him, and he knew it.

Elephant in the Room

Ryan

After I’d poured three beers and made five cocktails, the bar patrons seemed content.

Frank worked beside me, finishing making drinks for a couple of girls. He hadn’t spent more than five minutes in the office these past few weeks. He’d been on the floor, making drinks, closing tabs, and helping out like he did when we first took over the business.

Nick wiped his hands on a towel as he made his way to the end of the bar, away from customers and prying ears. Frank and I followed his lead, knowing we needed to talk about the elephant in the room.

Personally, I was glad that Frank’s wedding was over. It wasn’t that I wasn’t happy for my brother, but we needed to focus on the bar situation, and the wedding had been a distraction. A great distraction, of course, but a distraction nonetheless.

Frank twisted the wedding ring on his finger, and I wondered if I’d ever get used to seeing it there.

“Does it bug you?” I asked.

He glanced down at his left hand. “Nah, I’m just not used to anything on my finger. And it’s heavy.”

“I bet it wouldn’t be too heavy for Farnk.”

I grinned at him, unable to help myself. The mistake with his name was way too fucking golden to let go and never bring up again. So far, he hadn’t noticed the one welcome card that I’d tacked up on the wall of the office. Or maybe he had? I hadn’t been in there yet today.

“Joke’s old,” he said, trying to sound threatening, but I wasn’t biting.

“It just started,” I said. “It can’t be old already.”

“Are you two done?” Nick asked, and we both shot him a murderous glare. “We have shit to talk about.”

“You’re right,” I said, putting on my serious face.

Nick glanced at Frank. “I’m really glad you’re not on your honeymoon right now.”

I couldn’t have agreed more. I’d given Frank so much shit over it initially, telling him it was tradition to leave right away. But now, I thanked God that Claudia’s family decided to stay in town longer and extend their vacation, so Frank and Claudia had delayed their honeymoon.

“I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy myself, and Claudia would have killed me for ruining our honeymoon.” Frank ran a hand through his dark hair. “She still doesn’t know this is even going on.”


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