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Forever Yours (The Moreno Brothers #1.5)

By:Elizabeth Reyes

Forever Yours (The Moreno Brothers #1.5)
Author: Elizabeth Reyes

Chapter 1


"I gotta take this," Sarah said to Angel as she made her way out the kitchen door and into his back yard.

Angel nodded and continued what he was busy doing in the kitchen, but she could tell just by that look he already knew it was Sydney calling-again.

He'd watched her send Sydney's call to voice mail earlier when her phone rang just as Alex was bringing out their mom's birthday cake. Normally, she didn't answer his calls when Angel was around anyway, not that she had anything to hide when she spoke to Sydney. Even after all these years, she hated that weirdness she felt whenever she did happen to take Sydney's call in front of Angel. So she avoided doing so as much as she could.

The only reason she decided to answer it now was because Sydney didn't call nearly as much as he used to anymore and almost never twice in one day. It worried her. The last few times they'd spoken he'd mentioned having issues with his girlfriend, Carina. Sarah wondered now if maybe something big had happened between them and he needed to vent.

To her relief, he sounded perfectly cheery when she answered. "Hey, Lynni, you busy?"

"Not really. Well . . ." She glanced back at the kitchen window facing the backyard. "I am at Angel's right now. They're having a birthday party for his mom, but I could spare a few moments. What's up?"

"A party on a Thursday?"

"Yeah." She smiled. "You know this family. It's her birthday today, so it wasn't going unnoticed regardless of what day of the week it is."

"Oh well, then never mind," he said quickly. "Go back to the party. I thought for sure you'd be home by now, and I had some down time. Since I hadn't talked to you in a while, I just thought I'd call and catch up.

"Is everything okay?"

"Yeah, yeah, everything's fine. I'll talk to you another time."

She felt kind of bad about hanging up, especially because she got the feeling he did have something he specifically wanted to talk about. But she also knew the longer she was out there the weirder Angel would be about it when she finally got back in. He never said anything. Sarah had to give him credit where credit was due. He'd come a long way and was obviously doing his best to be as accepting of her friendship with Sydney as he could, but she knew him too well to not pick up on that vibe anytime the subject of Sydney came up.

Once back in the house she grabbed a small bowl of chips and salsa and headed to the family room. Angel patted the open seat next to him on the sofa where he sat with his dad and Sal.

"Everything cool?" he asked, taking one of the chips and dipping it into the salsa.

"Yeah," she said. "I just thought maybe something was wrong since he rarely calls twice in one day." She made sure she pointed that part out. "But everything's fine. He was just calling to catch up since we haven't talked in a while."

She glanced at him nonchalantly before dipping another chip into the salsa. So far so good. No weirdness. He even leaned in and kissed her with a smile. "You missed out," he said with a smirk.

"On what?"

"One of the guys in the mariachis is new." He chuckled. "The other guys in the group know Sof is with Eric, but since he's not here, they decided to punk the guy, telling him she was single and looking for a man. They encouraged him to hit on her. He did and she turned him down, of course, but was nice about it. Then he got all cocky, laying it on a little too heavily. Luckily for his ass Alex was in on the whole thing, so when he got in the guy's face, we all knew there was no real danger of things getting too explosive. Still, you know Sof. She wasn't in on it, so she was embarrassed and pissed." Angel shrugged. "No harm done, but the expression on the guy's face when he had to look up at Alex was classic. They let the guy in on it before he messed his pants."

Sarah laughed because she could only imagine. "Poor guy," she said, glancing around for Sofie.

Sofie was standing with Alex now, laughing. Apparently she'd gotten over it, but Sarah remembered all the times Sofie had to deal with that kind of reaction from her big brothers for real.

"They mean well."

If Sarah had a dime for every time she'd had to remind Angel's sister this about her brothers over the years, she could pay for her entire education in cash. It was true. Sofie's brothers could be on the overbearing side, but in the end, they really did mean well. Sarah had often wondered what it would be like to have grown up in such a big family and have brothers like the Morenos.

In fact, she'd never admit it, but there had been plenty of times she'd felt a little jealous about how close they all were. She'd grown up all alone. It's why she'd always been so grateful for her best friend, Sydney, who was the closest person, aside from her mom, she had as family. No matter how much she knew Angel didn't buy it, Sydney really was like brother to her. At least that's how she'd always seen it.

Still, days like today – when the Moreno's had been celebrating their mom's birthday and as usual the whole gang of them and their friends were there-Sarah couldn't help feeling a little bittersweet. Their mother had been showered all afternoon with gifts and serenaded by the mariachis, and her kids had cooked for her, not allowing her to cook at all. And what a meal they'd prepared! Since they all had grown up helping run the family restaurant, they all knew their way around the kitchen, so she'd had a feast made with lots of love.

Growing up, except for the times she'd spent them with Sydney and his family, Sarah and her mother had always celebrated birthdays and holidays alone-just the two of them. And while her mom had done her best to make it feel special, there were so many times Sarah wished her mom would get married and have more kids. She'd be the be