Home > Be Your Everything (The D'Angelos #2)

Be Your Everything (The D'Angelos #2)
Author: Catherine Bybee

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

“Go! I don’t want to see any of you back here until Monday.”

Chloe stood outside the back door of their home in Little Italy, surrounded by both her brothers and her soon-to-be sister-in-law. They all had small suitcases at their feet as the Uber van pulled up to take them to the airport.

Mari, their mother, had a hand on Francesca’s shoulder as they saw the bachelor/bachelorette party off.

“Mama, are you absolutely certain?” Luca, the husband-to-be, her over-worried oldest brother, couldn’t stop the concern that crossed his face any more than he could the love he had in his eyes for the woman at his side.

He and Brooke were the real deal. Head over heels, all in . . . completely lost in each other.

Chloe couldn’t be happier for them.

They needed Vegas. Boy, did they need two nights in Vegas.

“I ran this restaurant before you were born and after with all three of you jumping around. I have it, Luca. Go. Just don’t get married. Wait until you come back for that.”

“What about babies?” Gio, the middle child and smart-ass in the family, asked.

“That you can do,” Mari said with a wink.

Brooke knelt to Franny’s level and gave the eight-year-old a kiss. “Listen to your nonna.”

There were hugs and waves as Giovanni, or Gio, as he was most often called, shoved all the suitcases into the back of the van.

Gio took the front seat as the rest of them climbed into the back.

“I can’t believe you talked me into this,” Luca said to his brother. “Busiest time of the year.”

“It is not. That’s in the summer,” Chloe argued. It was early December. The family restaurant was fully staffed and ran like a well-oiled machine, even with three of their employees out at the same time. “It’s going to be nothing but family and friends, celebrations and ceremonies from here on out. This is the last chance for you two to let loose until it’s all over,” Chloe reminded them.

“You mean until after Christmas,” Gio said.

“Right.” They weren’t taking their honeymoon until after Christmas. After they returned shortly after the New Year, it would be Chloe’s turn to get out of town. Her long-awaited tickets to Bali were burning a hole in her pocket.

This was her last opportunity to cut loose until it was all over as well.

Chloe watched their family home disappear from sight. It was a four-story building with the family restaurant on the bottom floor. The second story was the family home where they’d all grown up, and the third floor was where Luca, Brooke, and Franny now lived. On the very top was what used to be guest quarters but now was the bachelor pad that Gio took over. Secretly, Chloe was hoping Gio would find Mrs. Right and move on himself so she could occupy the upstairs apartment as her own space. She loved her mother, but living with her was getting old. As an Italian, Chloe wasn’t going anywhere until she was married, that’s just the way things were done in her culture.

“Franny is going to be okay, right?” Brooke asked Luca as they settled in for the short ride to the airport.

Chloe rolled her eyes.

Francesca, Luca’s daughter from his first unfortunate marriage, was probably already elbow-deep in gelato and milking Mari for all the attention and goodies a nonna could give her.

“She’ll be fine,” Luca said, kissing Brooke’s forehead.

The ride to the airport took less than ten minutes, a perk when you lived in San Diego and everything was close.

Getting through security and waiting in the airport would take longer than the actual flight to Vegas, but it beat a long drive across the California desert any day of the week.

“Thanks again for inviting Mayson to join you guys,” Brooke said to Gio and Luca.

“He’s a friend of yours. He’s a friend of ours.”

“Besides, we need even numbers,” Chloe added. As she said that, she saw Salena waving them over to her side before they entered the TSA line.

“Vegas, baby!” Salena all but yelled for everyone to hear.

Chloe tossed her arms around one of her dearest friends for a hug. They’d known each other before braces and periods. As ride-or-die friends went, Salena was someone Chloe could count on to be there.

“We could have picked you up,” Gio said.

Salena, who lived in Little Italy as well, shrugged. “It’s okay. I had Joey take me.”

“Joey? Do I know Joey?”

She waved a hand. “Flavor of the month.”

Gio narrowed his eyes. “You’re worse than me.”

“No one is worse than you,” Chloe and Salena said in unison.

The three of them fell in line behind Luca and Brooke, who were arm in arm and whispering in each other’s ears.

“They do know that we have separate rooms, right?” Chloe asked her brother.

“Yes.”

“I don’t think that’s going to matter,” Salena added.

“Divide and conquer. Once everyone arrives, we have dinner, pull straws on who is in charge for the night, and go to our separate clubs.” Gio lowered his voice. “We’ll give them tomorrow afternoon to knock it out.”

Chloe laughed. “We may never see them again.”

Salena nudged Chloe’s shoulder as they inched their way up the line. “Is Dante flying directly from Italy?”

Just hearing Dante’s name had Chloe standing taller. Gio’s best friend, and the one boy that had always been “off-limits” for oh so many reasons, was the cause of many sleepless nights.

The man only grew more beautiful with every year that passed.

And he knew it.

And the women knew it.

All the women!

“He’s already in the States. New York. He’ll be in Vegas about an hour after we land.”

Salena nudged Chloe again with a grin once Gio turned around.

Stop. Chloe mouthed the word without sound.

Once they moved through security, they found their gate for the forty-five-minute wait to board the plane.

Salena and Chloe sat with their luggage while the others went to find coffee and waters for the flight.

“Are you prepared for a weekend with Dante?” Salena asked once they were alone.

Chloe shook her head. “Listen to you. It was a high school crush.”

Salena laughed. “I’m pretty sure it started in fifth grade and never ended.”

“He’s lived in Italy for the better part of five years.”

“And every time he comes home, you forget how to speak.”

“That’s not true.”

Salena glared.

Okay, it was a little bit true. “I did better last year.” It helped that she stayed out of his orbit that time around and he was only home for a month.

“How long is he staying this time?”

“No idea,” Chloe said. Her cell phone pinged, grabbing her attention.

She opened her messages inside a dating app she’d been on for a few weeks.

“Who is that?” Salena asked, looking over her shoulder.

Chloe glanced at the image on her screen, the one she’d swiped right on. He was thirty, no kids. Worked somewhere in La Jolla. “His name is Eric. We’ve been texting for a few days.”

“He’s cute.”

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