Reynolds' Family Romance - Book cover

Reynolds' Family Romance

Niccolite Slater

Chapter 2


With my journal tucked tightly against my chest, the constant reminder of my mission ahead, I shuffled inside behind Zak and his fiancée, head bowed as the rest of the family gathered in the open foyer.

I bit back the scowl playing at the edge of my tongue as Mya’s devil children scurried around the foyer, lacking any manners that might have been taught in their household. Probably none.

Mom sent me a double thumbs-up, trying to force a smile out of me, but I just shook my head. If everyone would stop worrying about me, this vacation would be just fine. Fat chance of that.

“Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds and family, I’m glad to have you all here.”

My head shot up at the deep baritone voice that echoed against the rich mahogany trim, eyes widening as my gaze landed on the owner of the gorgeous voice.

He was dressed in a light gray tailored suit that complemented every muscle in his arms and chest. His thighs and ass filled out the suit pants in a billion different delicious ways that made my mouth water.

When I finally settled on his face, his brown doe eyes shadowed by thick lashes and a mop of midnight curls that cuddled his sharp cheekbones, it was all too apparent that a sex god was giving us a tour.

Fucking hell. If this is what the beach boys looked like these days, I had seriously been missing out.

I swallowed the need to lick my lips at the specimen of a man before me, knowing full well that Mya was drooling on my right.

She nudged me—more like jabbed me in my side—to let me know she already called dibs. She might have had three demon children, but her radar for the next man in her life was always on.

Her track record spoke for itself, but Mom always told me that Mya had it harder in life. That I needed to allow Mya to succeed, to “take one for the team.”

And I did. I always conceded when it came to Mya, because conflict was not my friend.

It was better being a little uncomfortable and easygoing than speaking my mind and receiving the death glares as I stood my ground.

A full-body shudder rolled through me at the thought of pushing back. Gross. Not happening.

But deep down, I wanted to throw my own version of a temper tantrum, stomp my foot, and claim the tour guide in front of my entire family.

But it was those types of rash decisions that would plant me in my therapist’s office again, my mother demanding a stronger prescription.


Mya giggled. She always thought my “illness,” as she referred to it, was hilarious. It wasn’t.

My head jerked up again, horror etched into my features, as I stared at the man and shot him a sheepish smile. Can’t even be caught flirting…nope, always spacing out. Way to go, Lee. Way to go.

I had to angle my neck up until it was almost uncomfortable to meet those his gaze, those brown irises flashing in amusement as a grin spread across his lips. Oh, fuck, a dimple too? God didn’t make things fair.

“Are you all right?”

I nodded hastily, ignoring my family’s stares. A man who worried about the sickly child in the family got a plus one in my book.

I couldn’t wait to detail him in my journal, the book feeling like a weight against my chest.

“Fantastic.” His smile was genuine, but with a hint of worry. “My number is on the fridge for any emergencies, as well as repairs needed. Please enjoy your stay.”

His attention didn’t leave mine as he said those words, and in some parallel universe, I could believe that they were meant for me.

But alas, they were not.

Because the sick girl didn’t get the island boy. She got the quiet time and the right moment to bury her feelings.

The man slipped toward the front door, brushing past my shoulder, electric sparks shooting through me at his touch.

He shot me a lingering, heated look that I really wanted to overthink as I melted under his stare.

When he slipped out the door, my heart thumping in my chest erratically, Mya pulled me back to earth. “I called dibs. You know that.”

She headed for our room—the one we were sharing with her three sons. But I knew how these vacations went.

Her sons would end up in my bed, wrestling around until I found a comfortable enough spot on the floor.

I had complained once or twice to Mom, and she thought it was entirely hilarious that I didn’t want to give up my space to the sister in need.

Dad, despite being on my side, was a total pushover, and he avoided conflict like the plague.

As much as I loved the little rascals—I didn’t—I was not going to spend a week in there with them. Not again.

This vacation was about taking steps forward. Even if I refused to speak up, not succumbing to the inevitable said way more than words ever could.

I conceded too much for this family.

That stopped today.

My hand wrapped around the handle of the last suitcase in the foyer, and I surveyed the open layout, eyes searching for a nook of my own.

These houses always had some retro nook for hippies, and it would be mine for the week. A place of quiet that I could call my own.

Mom reappeared in the hallway, just outside of her designated room. “Bailee, where are you going? I’m worried—”

I cut her off, eyes falling on the nook. A green room. Of course. “Stop worrying. I’m not that fragile. I’m just going to sleep in the green room.”

Surrounded by my own personal little forest? I could see the hints of vines wrapped around the door frame and resisted the urge to squeal.

“The green room? There’s no green room here, sweetie.”

Trust Mom not to have researched the place she was staying at, so I just pointed in the opposite direction of the bedrooms and on the other side of the kitchen.

“See?” I took a few steps closer, my shoulders relaxing at the sight that reached my eyes. “A little hammock and a bathroom too.”

“Dear, I’d feel much better if you—”

Dad entered the kitchen next, and it was only a matter of moments before the rest of the family filtered in. He placed a quick kiss on Mom’s cheek, trying his best to speak up for me.

“Let her be. If she doesn’t like it, she can still room with Mya. It’s not fair that she usually ends up on a couch or the floor. No one can sleep around those little devils anyway.”

Mom gasped in mock horror. “Honey! Those are your grandchildren!”

But there was a playful tone to her words. We all knew how horrid Mya’s kids were. I wonder what Mom would do if she knew that Mya’s kids were only half-siblings.

Dad shrugged. “And as my grandchildren, I can say that.” He threw me a small smile and gestured to my new room. “Go get yourself comfortable. We’ll be down at the beach if you need anything.”

I bobbed my head up and down a few times as I slipped off to hang with the plants. Dad hadn’t asked me to join them because he knew I didn’t want to. Because he knew I wouldn’t have said yes.

Two seconds later, I was curled into my hammock, eyes fluttering closed and thoughts of doe eyes and rough hands running around my mind.

Mya might have called dibs, but just this once, I might fight her for that right.

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