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Forbidden Crush – A Secret Baby Romance
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She’s got a million reasons to tell me no…
I owe her an apology.
She’s hiding something.
Book 4 in the Forbidden Lovers series brings you Ryan and Macy’s story. Forbidden Crush is a standalone, full-length romance with burning passion, secrets, and drama. And don’t forget the HEA that makes it all worthwhile.
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Macy – One Year Ago
“Hey, beautiful,” he said.
There he was, gorgeous and looking right at me. Calling me beautiful.
Ignore the feelings. You are a grown-ass woman. Forget about that twinge of longing. It’s just leftover teen angst.
“Hi,” I said a little flatly.
“Pretty girl like you shouldn’t be drinking alone,” he said, a softness to the ends of his words that was almost a slur.
“I’m not drinking. I’m eating a taco salad,” I said.
“What’s in the glass then?”
“You gotta have vodka with that,” he said, “Let me get you a refill, do this right. I’ll buy you a drink. A real one.”
“I’m good, thanks.”
“Well you’re lookin’ good,” he said.
Ugh, he’s drunk.
“Thanks,” I said.
“You are. You’re lookin’ real good!” he said with more enthusiasm.
He sat on the stool next to mine, set his empty highball glass down with a graceless clunk.
“I haven’t seen you around here,” he said. I tried not to laugh.
“I’m not new,” I said helpfully.
“Gimme a clue here. I feel like if you’re not new, I should snow you. I mean know you,” he said, “Do I know you from somewhere?”
“You could say that,” I said wryly.
I was starting to wish there was vodka in my juice. All I wanted was dinner and silence after a long day at work. I didn’t want to be hit on by my former crush, the guy I never would’ve been allowed to date anyway. And one who was clearly so drunk he didn’t even recognize me.
“If I’d seen you before, I’d know. I’m sure you’re new here. You’re just playing games.”
“Maybe I’ve been here all along but you never looked at me twice,” I suggested, my tone a little more biting than I intended.
“Nah. I’d never have ignored you. I’d like to get to know you better. Maybe you’re a bank customer. I’m in the executive suite now, but I started on the bottom rung. Maybe you used to come in to cash your paycheck, about ten years ago?”
“About ten years ago I was fifteen. I wouldn’t have been cashing paychecks. My babysitting customers always paid me in pizza and cash,” I said.
“Well holy shit, I’m old,” he said with a gust of breath that was probably supposed to be a chuckle. “You were in high school when I was finishing my MBA.”
“Apparently,” I said, waiting for it to click, waiting for him to recognize me.
“I’m Ryan,” he said.
“Yes,” I told him.
“And you are?”
“You taught me to ride a bike, Ryan. You’ve known me since I was born.”
“No, no. I’d have remembered you. Why you playin’ games with me sweetheart?”
“I’m not playing games Ryan. You do know me. I’m Macy Paxton.”
“Holy fuck. Macy? Damn, you look good,” he said, realization finally dawning. “Oh, shit. You’re not gonna tell your mom about this are you?”
“She’s not your kindergarten teacher anymore. She can’t send you to the principal’s office. Although she’d be very disappointed in you. She always considered you a member of the family. Since she was your mom’s best friend,” I prompted.
He shook his head. “Cute little tagalong Macy, all grown up. Do you still bake cookies? You used to make me the best cookies. You were so funny, always trying to get my attention…” he trailed off. “But I’m not supposed to buy you a drink. That was bad. I was gonna get your number. Oh that would be so bad. Forget you saw me,” he said.
“I will never mention this to anyone, on one condition. You take a cab home.”
“I’ll make that deal,” he said, grabbing my hand and shaking it heartily.
“You drink too much, Ryan,” I said. “You need to cut that shit out.”
“A man needs a drink or two to wind down after work. I got a very shy pressure job.”
“That’s what I said.”
“You said shy,” I said, “You can’t even talk. Look at what you almost did, trying to pick me up in a bar. Think about what you’re doing, and I know you care how it looks. You’ve always been about the image.” I said it grimly, thinking of his pageant queen ex-wife, the epitome of the trophy bride.
“No big deal. I’m gonna go see what that girl over there likes to drink.”
“What girl?” I said.
“Dark hair, curvy, red lipstick…” he pointed straight ahead.
“That’s a mirror,” I said. “You’re pointing at my reflection. Now, I’m getting on the rideshare app and booking a pickup for you. You might want to settle your tab.”
“That’s soooo sweet of you. You’re a good kid, Lacy,” he said, grinning.
“Macy,” I groaned. “It’s—you know, let’s just hope you don’t even remember this tomorrow. One of us should be spared the agony.”
I picked at the rest of my salad and watched as he paid for his drinks and got in the Uber. I was glad I could get him home safely, make sure he wasn’t on the roads in his condition. He had always looked out for me when I was a kid.