Us After You by Claudia Burgoa
I’m an independent woman.
I’ve learned never to ask for help.
I’ve been on my own for years.
Until my sister leaves me to take care of my niece.
If only they had left her in my capable hands.
Instead, I share custody with him.
Infamous billionaire, Tucker Decker.
He likes his relationships casual and free of commitment. Family ties are at the bottom of his list.
He’s ruthless, impulsive, cold-hearted, and hot as sin.
But when it comes to his former bandmates, he’d do anything for them.
Tragedy demands sacrifice.
We’re forced to move-in together to care for my niece.
He has to learn that there’s more to life than money.
I need to learn how to trust…and how to love.
But when the ghosts of our past come back to haunt us, can we survive them and each other?
Excerpt Us After You by Claudia Burgoa
The party runs smoothly. Patrick or Rocco remains close to my sister unless his two friends are around. Thank goodness my parents sent their apologies. They’ll be at the wedding.
It’s past nine when the crowd begins to thin. The caterer and the cleaning crew are bustling around, making sure things remain tidy.
The door of the kitchen swings open, I’m expecting to see Grams who was going to help Gramps go upstairs. Instead, it’s him.
My cells buzz with excitement, which I don’t quite understand. He’s not my type. I like clean shaven, laid back, trustworthy guys.
“Need any help?” he asks.
“Why would you ask? Is this some kind of outreach program? One kind act to make up for your daily shit?”
He lifts his eyebrows and studies me.
“What is it?” I ask. “You keep watching me.”
He smiles, extending his hand. “Let’s start again, Tucker Dean Decker.”
The contact of his skin against mine sends a fluttering sensation along my extremities and my stomach. My breath quickens. I have the need to run away from him.
Those eyes have turned warm, and for some reason, he prolongs the grip longer than he should. I feel the warmth of his skin. Suddenly, I’m too aware of his closeness. For a moment, I look at his big calloused hand, swallowing mine. I enjoy the electric pulses that his touch creates.
Scared of how I feel, I tug my hand out of his grasp, taking a step back.
“Is it the haircut or the five-thousand-dollar suit?” he asks. “There has to be a good reason why you don’t like me.”
“Maybe both,” I reply. “Tell me, Dean, is that name strictly to pick up women?”
He shakes his head. “It’s a way to keep undesired attention. Introducing myself as Tucker Decker is…something I stopped doing a long time ago.”
I laugh. “Your ego has been pumped that much that you think women will throw themselves at your feet?”
“Baby, I don’t need a bunch of women to stroke my ego to know when a woman is attracted to me. The question is, why are you fighting it?” he says boldly.
“You’re full of shit,” I say, blowing out some air, before I smack him.
“Tuck, the jet is ready. We promised to meet Nana for brunch,” Ethan says.
“Is Rocco coming?”
Ethan steps inside, shaking his head. “Nope, and it’s for the best, Zeke isn’t going to take the new Patrick well. At least the fiancée is sweet.”
“You’re judging her without knowing her,” I declare.
“If you knew Rocco, you’d know why we’re cautious,” Ethan says. “I can’t apologize for watching over my friend. Aren’t you concerned that your sister is dating a rock star?”
A pit of hopelessness opens in my stomach, should I be concerned? “I…”
“He’s a good guy,” Tucker says. “Trust takes time, and I’m sure it’s both ways. We don’t expect you to welcome him with open arms.”
“I trust my sister,” I say.
“Maybe we don’t trust Rocco and that’s the root of it all,” he tells me and winks, leaving without letting me ask any questions.
Who are you marrying, Sienna Heywood?