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Tangled (The Moreno Brothers #5.5)

By:Elizabeth Reyes

the years they'd been married or they might still be discussing Elliot. Instead, Romero's arms were already wrapped tightly around her, and he breathed in deeply, sounding as content as she felt.


Romero climbed back into bed, careful not to wake Izzy. She'd been mumbling since he'd gotten out of bed in the first place.

"No," she mumbled softly. "No albondigas for you."

He chuckled softly, staring at her. She hadn't done this in a while. Her mumbling in her sleep was something that only happened once in a great while. But over the years, he'd noticed it usually happened when she went to bed especially tired. Last night had been so good it didn't surprise him that she'd slept this soundly.

Most of the time, the things she said in her sleep had to do with him or the kids. She'd even scolded Max once in her sleep for cussing in front of the kids. It was always highly entertaining, and he loved teasing her about it.

He frowned, knowing his chuckling had woken her because she began to shift and open her eyes. Even half awake, she was fucking beautiful, and he had to smile. She stared lazily at him, her expression a bit confused obviously about waking to him staring and smiling at her the way he was. "What are you the soup Nazi now?"

"What?" she asked, her brows pinching together.

"Were you dreaming about albondigas?"

She stared at him for moment then smiled, her face flushing instantly. Romero groaned, burying his face in her neck. Jesus, he'd never get enough of seeing her blush. Even after all these years, it still happened often, and Romero still found it to be one of her most adorable quirks.

"What did I say?" She laughed, nudging him away playfully.

"You said, 'No albondigas for you.'"

Repeating it made him laugh again. Izzy nudged him again for laughing at her, but she was smiling now too.

"I don't remember what exactly I was dreaming. I just remember I was in the kitchen and the kids were running amuck."

Romero finally managed to pull himself away but not before kissing her on the nose. He laughed some more. He'd figured as much because she often disciplined the kids, especially Romeo, by threatening to hold their favorite dishes or special treat she made for them hostage until they behaved.

"You hadn't done that in a while," he said just as the kids ran in the room and jumped in the bed with Izzy.

"Well, with the kids back in school," she said, squeezing Romeo in her arms, "and me going back to work soon, you can expect it to happen more often. I'll probably go to bed completely spent more often now."

The mention of her going back to work squashed Romero's good mood a bit, but he didn't want to be too obvious about it. He really did want to be supportive of her decision to go back to work, but, like Manny, he secretly had wished she'd waited longer before doing so.

His security firm was highly successful and only becoming more and more lucrative each year. Financially, they didn't need her to go back to work, but Romero understood that wasn't why she was doing it. She'd worked hard to earn her degrees. It had taken her longer than all her siblings to earn her master's because she'd done online classes and just a class on campus here and there in the past five years. But she'd finally done it last year, and Romero was very proud of her. At the time, he'd hoped it was just a goal she wanted to achieve but that she wasn't seriously going back to teaching this soon.

Of course, Izzy's sister Pat was the one doing most of the encouraging that she should go back to work. Despite his relationship with Izzy's sister having improved enormously since he'd first met her, she was still Izzy's overbearing sister. The woman would always be annoying when it came to a lot of things. Romero had just learned to deal with her ass. The good thing was, after all these years, she knew better than to purposely get on his bad side. And since Romero had been so convincing about being all for Izzy going back to work, Pat couldn't know hearing her constantly nag Izzy about using her degree and getting back to teaching was annoying as shit.

Still, it wasn't just Pat. Izzy really did miss teaching, and she deserved to get back to it. So regardless of how disconcerting it was that she'd be working side by side with this recently divorced professor, Romero was going to be as supportive as he said he'd be. He trusted Izzy completely. The only consolation and hope he'd held onto was that she was already talking about how tired she'd be once she went back to work. She'd already said if it got to be too much she'd quit ASAP.

Romero could only secretly hope now that it would be.




hree weeks into her new job, Isabel was finally getting the hang of her new routine. But it didn't make it any less exhausting than that first week. Before she figured out what the safest time was for her to leave the university once she was done so she'd be on time to pick up the kids, she'd been close to calling Manny or Max, who worked closest to their school, to pick them up because she thought she might not make it. Luckily, both times she had. It'd been close, but she'd made it. It took a few days, but she had it down now-not just what was the latest she could leave but what route to take that took the least amount of time.

It was still tiresome, but at least it was less stressful. Not that Romero would be a jerk about it, but she still didn't want him to think she couldn't handle this. When she started this, she thought it'd be a breeze. It was just four hours of her day. She remembered thinking "How hard can it be? Plenty of women work full-time and still deal with their household chores and families." But she hadn't taken into account the commute time to and from work, the extra hour she now needed in the morning to get ready while helping the kids get ready as well, and