Authors: Mary Eason
His Favorite Mistake
By Mary Eason
Copyright © 2013 by Mary Eason
This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to the author and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author's work. This book has been re-edited and refreshed. This book was previously published as That's What Friends Are For.
A Note from the Author
I hope you enjoy Reyna and Brody's story as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. His Favorite Mistake is the second book in the series, Baby Its Cold Out.
At the end of their story, I’ve included a sample chapter from the first book for your enjoyment.
In The Book Of Love – Book One of Baby Its Cold Out, had Lila Taylor known the fate waiting her outside her door that morning, she would have pulled the covers back over her head, dismissed the cat’s complaining entirely, and ignored the flood on the first floor. But you see, Lila wasn’t expecting anything life changing to happen to her. Why you might ask? Because nothing exciting ever happens in Endsville,
Brody parked his truck beneath the canopy of a poplar tree and stared up at the window of Rayne's apartment. His stomach twisted into a hard knot. He sat staring up at her apartment and wondered what in the world was wrong with him lately. What had happened to the in-control, never-lose-any-sleep-over-a-woman guy. He didn’t let anything shake him—especially not a woman.
The guy looking back at him in the rearview mirror had never felt so uncertain about a woman before. He’d certainly never tried this hard to make one happy. This whole friendship slash I-don’t-have-any-idea-what-I’m-doing-anymore thing with Reyna James was bordering on obsessive and as out of character as it got for him.
Friendship—with a woman he found attractive? Was this the first real sign he’d finally slipped over the edge? Maybe working twenty-hour days had finally started to take its toll on his mental stability.
Nevertheless, friendship was all that Reyna had left to offer any man. After all, Cad had been the love of her life.
Brody couldn’t keep from cringing all over again. Guilt gnawed at his conscience he was betraying his best friend by having these feelings for Reyna.
Was it betrayal? If he was the only one who felt this way? Friendship was the only hope he had with her and he was just desperate enough to take whatever she would give him. He could be happy being her friend, couldn’t he?
Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to convince himself of that now any more than he had been the dozen or more times, he’d had this very same argument. What he felt for Reyna went way beyond wanting to be her friend. It might be all she had to offer him, but it was the last thing he wanted to settle for with her.
No matter how hard he tried to convince himself that he had her best interests at heart, Brody knew he would do anything to keep in his life. Even if it meant just being her friend.
Eight months ago, this whole conversation would have seemed pretty funny. After all, the thought of him, one of Denver’s most notorious bachelor’s, falling helplessly in love with any woman was hilarious. Especially one who didn’t know he existed beyond that dreaded F word.
Love wasn’t even supposed to be a part of his vocabulary. He was business first, and then women, which translated to physical satisfaction, second.
Oh sure, he enjoyed the dating thing—the hunt— but the forever-after? No, he'd never believed it until he'd met Reyna. She'd given him a glimpse of it, and he wanted it with every fiber of his being. But how could he take it - when she was his best friend's widow. A small town girl with an ageless innocence he'd found addictive.
“If you were the kind of friend you thought you were, you'd walk away now.” he admonished himself, knowing walking away was the furthest thing from what was going to happen.
Now, considering the circumstances, Brody was just grateful he had managed to keep his mouth shut. He couldn't imagine Reyna would ever allow herself to be involved in drugs. Harvey had been hurting over the loss of his son and needed to blame someone.
God help him if he were wrong, because he’d just invited her into his home.
So what was it about Reyna that made him want to throw all of his reservations out just to be close to her? After all, he’d known Cade for over ten years. He barely knew her at all.
The thing that bothered him the most was that no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't find an answer to that question. He didn’t understand why he felt this way about her but whatever it was it made him that much more determined to find the answer.
“Enough. Let’s just get this over with,” he said aloud before forcing himself to get out of the truck. “You asked for this, Samuels, so deal with it.”
With any luck, being close to Reyna every single day would kill whatever feelings he thought he had for her. He’d never had a relationship that lasted more than a few weeks. What was going to make this one any different? Just because he’d let his fantasy grow into unrealistic proportions didn’t mean the real Reyna James stood a chance of living up to that dream now, did it?
Unfortunately, Brody could still remember the way she’d felt in his arms the night of Cade’s funeral. The night he’d held her close all night long while she cried those useless tears for a man who had chosen to take his own life. A man who hadn’t been capable of being faithful to her from the very beginning of their short marriage. A man who didn’t deserve her.
He’d come so close to touching her that night. Experience told him she wouldn’t have resisted. She’d all but asked him to make love to her. She’d wanted him. But she’d wanted him for comfort. To wipe away the memories of the terrible day. He couldn’t accept that from her.
Even today, Brody couldn’t look at her and not remember those tears. Or how much he’d wanted it to be him who she cared so much for.
As he locked the truck and stood staring up at the building, the last words Cade had said came back to haunt him. Some comment made in passing a few days before his death along the line of things coming to a head. At the time, Brody had thought Cade was simply blowing off steam. No doubt, they’d had another argument and he was once again, regretting marrying Reyna. Brody had simply thought Cade was looking for sympathy.
The night of the accident, he couldn’t get those words out of his mind any more than he could keep from wondering if somehow, his friend had seen the end coming.
After Cade’s funeral, out of frustration and probably guilt, Brody had brought up Harvey’s accusations and asked Reyna about the drugs found in Cade’s car.
He could still see the hurt in those brown eyes of hers when she’d answered him. And God help him, he hadn’t fully believed her.
She was hiding something it was easy to see. She was almost like an open book. He wasn’t sure he wanted to know what that something was had been just as clear. He hadn’t believed a word of what she’d told him during the course of the night.
The apartment Reyna shared with Cade was in one of the nicest buildings in the neighborhood. This building and most of the others in the exclusive neighborhood belonged to Harvey James.
It hadn’t really came as any great surprise when Harvey insisted Reyna move out of the apartment but what he couldn’t understand was why she was so adamant about not taking a single thing beyond her few personal possessions with her. It was as if she wanted to put her marriage in the past. That had only made Eric even more suspicious. After all, Cade was the love of her young life, wasn’t he?
The lobby was all but empty this rainy night. Brody headed toward the elevator bank lifting a single finger in greeting to the doorman who knew him by his first name.
As he left the elevator and walked the half dozen steps to her door, he hated he couldn’t bring himself to dismiss Harvey’s accusations from his thoughts any more than he could Cade’s innuendos. God help him, but he hated that he didn’t believe Reyna’s innocence.
Unfortunate for him, none of that mattered the moment she opened the door. It didn’t matter that he had more doubts than answers.
The second he saw her standing there in the doorway, the second he spotted that smile of hers that lit up his heart and dispelled those doubts, he didn’t care what she was involved in or how much trouble lay ahead for him. It didn’t matter how many broken loyalties he’d committed by being here now, or offering her a place to live. By wanting her, the way he did right then.
None of those things mattered anymore. He was crazy about this woman and that was all that mattered to him. He was crazy about her and too far-gone to walk away from her now.
“Reyna, what’s going on between you and Brody anyway? I’ve been asking you to get us together for weeks now and all you do is stall.”
Reyna James held the receiver away from her ear and counted to ten. Not now. Not again. Not today.
Of course, it certainly didn’t come as any great surprise that her cousin was asking her the same question yet again. Not anymore than she was questioning what was going on between herself and Brody. After all, Reyna had known it was coming the second she answered the phone and heard Jenna’s voice on the other end. It was always only a matter of time.
No matter what the pretense of the call was in the beginning, Jenna always brought the conversation back to Brody Samuels and each time, Reyna skirted around the whole unpleasant and frankly unsettling question she’d come to hate with the same evasive answer.
“Reyna.” Jenna’s pitiful wail resounded through the telephone line making her reaction perfectly clear. Even with the receiver held at arm’s length, Reyna hadn’t missed the anger in her cousin’s voice.
From past experiences, Reyna knew Jenna Vanderhaven was not accustomed to having her wishes ignored. Once she’d made up her mind about something, she went after it with the same amount of force as an invading army.
Jenna had made up her mind weeks ago that Brody was the perfect man for her. Just like that. Without a thought for Brody’s wishes, or Reyna’s, for that matter.
The second Reyna had introduced her cousin to Brody, Jenna had probably pulled up his financial report in her head. Reyna secretly believed Jenna had every single eligible man’s personal history filed away in some compartment in her mind. Without saying more than two words to Brody beyond that first simple hello, Jenna had made up her mind. It wouldn’t have surprised Reyna one little bit if her cousin hadn’t started picking out wedding gowns already.
“Jenna, I told you I don’t really know Brody all that well. He was more Cade’s friend than mine.” That was sort of the truth. If she didn’t count the fact that, for all practical purposes, she’d spent the night with him. Would have spent much more than just that single night in his arms, if Brody hadn’t been strong. She certainly wasn’t. Mostly because she’d dreamed about such a thing happening, had wanted Brody since the first time she’d met him.