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Tangled (The Moreno Brothers #5.5)

By:Elizabeth Reyes

Tangled (The Moreno Brothers #5.5)
Author: Elizabeth Reyes





One

Guess What?

M

anny held out his plate for Romero. "So why is she going back to work again?"

"I told you. Because she wants to, okay?" Romero said, flipping over the burgers on the grill. "It's not even a sure thing, so drop it already."

Manny shook his head as Romero put another burger on his plate. "I'm just saying Romeo ain't even five and that kid's the biggest momma's boy ever. That's gonna be tough."

"All right." Romero slid a patty onto Manny's plate, already feeling irritated. "First of all, he's not a momma's boy-"

"Ha!" Manny scoffed before Romero could finish. "You hear that, Max? Romeo ain't no momma's boy?"

Max laughed, looking at Romero. "Yeah, and Manny ain't fat."

"Hey!" Manny suddenly frowned.

Aida laughed, leaning into Manny as he took the seat next to her. "Don't listen to him, sugar. You ain't fat, and you"-she pointed at Romero-"don't listen to them. Romeo just loves his mommy as much as his daddy does."

"That's right," Romero said just as Izzy walked out the back door, holding Romeo on her hip with one arm while talking on the phone with the other. "Babe"-he frowned, refusing to even look at Manny or Max-"why you holding him?"

She motioned to him that she was on the phone as she let Romeo down.

"Is she still wiping his ass too?" Manny asked, already jiggling with humor.

Romero turned to his uncle, even more annoyed now. "No, she's not, and he probably just woke up. He was taking a nap. He's been having nightmares lately."

"Why?" Max asked. "Did you guys tell him she's going back to work?"

Manny started his wheezing laughter. "Yeah, that'll give that kid nightmares."

Even Aida brought her hand over her mouth to smother her laughter, but she couldn't hold back the snort that escaped her and only made them all laugh more.

"You know what?" Romero said, pointing and waving his grilling spatula at all of them.

"Guess what?" Izzy said, smiling big as she walked toward them. "I could be starting in as soon as a few weeks. That was Elliot," she said, motioning to the phone.

Romero lifted a brow, peering at her. "Who?"

"Professor Banderas," she said, "the one at the university who told me about the position in the first place."

"But last night you said the professor whose place you'd be taking might not leave after all."

"He's not," she explained, reaching for a cucumber slice. "But Elliot said he could use an assistant."

"You're not an assistant," Romero reminded her, gripping the spatula a little tighter. "You said you were excited about teaching again. That's why you wanted to go back. And since when did this guy go from Professor Banderas to Elliot?"

"He asked me to call him by his first name since we're pretty much gonna be working side by side." She took a seat across from Max at the patio table. "And he says I can do guest lectures a few times a week. He'll even help me prepare them since this is a first for me."

Romero stared at her for a moment as she smiled sweetly-excited. The irritation he'd already begun to feel because of Manny and Max's comment suddenly reached a new level.

"Momma, look!" Romeo rushed up to Izzy, holding some flowers from the garden, then lowered his voice when he'd noticed he had everyone's attention. They all heard him anyway. "They're pretty like you."

Izzy took the flowers then pulled him to her. "Aw, my little Romeo!" She smothered him with kisses, making him laugh uncontrollably.

Romero turned to his uncles and shot them a warning look before they started running their mouths again. He took another hard swig of his beer.

"A few weeks, huh?" Romero asked, flipping over the burgers again and doing his best not to sound as irritated as this made him. "That's kind of fast. What about the kids?"

"That's what we were talking about just now. Elliot's fine with me coming in only while the kids are in school. I already checked, and the school can extend Romeo's pre-K hours from three to five. So I'd drop them off and then be back to pick them up when they get out in the afternoon."

Romeo had since run off again. Izzy stood up from where she was sitting and walked over to Romero, leaning in to kiss him, then ran her hand over his abdomen. "Either you're flexing or you're tense," she said, lowering her voice as she continued to run her hand over his abs.

"Neither," Romero said, pulling her to him.

"Umm," she said then giggled as she slipped her hand under his shirt. "Then those workouts are paying off. Very nice."

Romero peered at her for a second. It wasn't unusual for her to compliment him or even feel him up unabashed the way she just had, but she had been known to try and butter him up when she thought he might be getting tense, and she already admitted she thought he might be.

His uncles and Aida had gone back to their loud game of dominos. Standing behind the big barbeque built-in, she lowered her hand where nobody could see it. This was probably why Izzy was being so blatant and her hand was still having fun under his shirt. "Something on your mind, Izzy?"

"Now it is," she said with a sinful smile as her hand moved down just inside the top of his shorts' waistband. The kids' squealing had her moving her hand upwards quickly with a frown. "But I guess that'll have to wait until tonight when they're in bed."

Romero smirked and leaned into kiss her a little deeper than he knew she'd be expecting. After a few seconds of his sucking her tongue, she pulled away, a bit breathless, looking around.

"To be continued," he said with a grin, staring at her lips.

Izzy smiled, walking around him to the small fridge just under the counter. The moment she bent over he checked for the kids. They were far enough away, so he slipped his hand over her shorts, down her ass and between her legs.

"Stop!" she whispe

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