I Love How You Love Me (The Sullivans #13)(10)

by Bella Andre

“In the cockpit confessional,” Grace said with a smile, referencing one of the things Dylan had said to her during their interview. “So do you also believe that you can’t keep a secret when you’re out on a boat?”

“You’ll find out for yourself the first time you go sailing with him.”

Just then, Mason let out a little wail, and she hurried over to take him from Brooke. “I think he misses his mommy,” Brooke said.

Grace pressed a kiss to his forehead. “It’s been a big day for him, meeting so many new people.” For both of them. “He’s probably hungry and thirsty, too.” She reached into his bag nearby for a bottle. He cuddled into her chest and started drinking like he’d just crossed the Sahara Desert.

Dylan brought them over to the dining table, where he pulled out a chair next to his. She’d intended to put Mason in his portable high chair, but after he had his bottle he crawled into Dylan’s arms and immediately dozed off.

It was, Grace thought, the cutest, sweetest thing she’d ever seen—a big, strong man holding a sleeping baby so gently. One who obviously felt so safe that Mason wasn’t the least bit disturbed by everyone else coming into the dining room, laughing and teasing each other in the way only a truly close family could. Grace noted that she wasn’t the only one who thought Dylan and Mason painted a beautiful picture—she was pretty sure Claudia’s eyes got a little glossy, too.

Heaping platters of food were passed around, and with Dylan’s hands full, Grace filled both their plates with some of everything. She thought she’d be too nervous to eat in a group of famous strangers, but the minute she took her first bite of his mother’s delicious food, she realized she was starving.

Sitting down with everyone at dinner finally gave Grace a chance to study his family a bit. Still a little star struck, at the same time she was amazed by how normal they seemed. They joked, they teased, they flirted—especially Adam. From what Dylan had told her, they all got together on a regular basis.

Tatiana, who was sitting on her left, said, “I’d love to know more about the story you’re writing, Grace. Especially since Dylan is usually so reluctant to be interviewed.”

More than a little surprised that Tatiana didn’t seem the least bit wary around her because she was a journalist, Grace told her, “It’s a piece about the heart of a sailor and why people are drawn to getting out on an ocean that can be both beautiful and dangerous. I’ve read a ton about sailing this week, but two hours with Dylan has been more helpful than an entire library of books would have been.”

“It sounds fascinating,” Tatiana said. “I’ve always admired people who are skilled at culling a ton of information into just the parts that matter. What’s your secret?”

“Brilliant questions,” Dylan answered.

“Endless questions, anyway,” Grace said. “If you hadn’t all shown up for dinner, I would probably still be peppering Dylan with them.”

“So you’re not done with him yet?” Mia asked.

Mason shifted in Dylan’s arms so that he was halfway in hers, too, and Grace focused on helping him get more comfortable as she replied, “Not even close. The two of us have still got a lot of ground to cover.”

When she looked up, everyone was grinning like crazy. What had she just said to make all of them look so happy?

Fortunately, that was when the conversation changed to their cousin Ryan’s winning pitch at last night’s baseball game, so Grace finally let herself relax into her seat. As much as she could relax, anyway, with Dylan’s thigh pressed against hers beneath the crowded dining table.

With her son sleeping on both of their laps and his family right there, too, she shouldn’t have had to keep fighting back her desire for him.

But she did.


“Since everyone is here tonight,” Mia said when everyone had finally eaten their fill, “Ford and I want to talk with you about something we’ve been thinking a lot about.”

“Please tell me it doesn’t have anything to do with weddings,” Adam begged, looking trapped. “I swear that’s all any of you talk about anymore.”

“Actually,” she said with a wide smile, “our wedding is exactly what we want to talk about with all of you.” Ian and Mia shot each other a look that read to Grace like a secret, silent code between brother and sister.

Meanwhile, Adam informed Dylan, “It’s just the two of us left now.” A moment later, however, when his gaze flashed to Grace and Mason, he shook his head, then picked up his beer and took a long pull.

“As most of you know,” Mia continued, “I’ve been planning my wedding since I was a little girl.” When Adam groaned again, his sister socked him in the shoulder. “I always thought the bigger the better, probably at an exotic destination with a week-long party on an island. But now…” Mia paused when Ford threaded his fingers through hers and lifted them to his lips while they shared a look so loving Grace could feel it in the center of her chest.

“Now all we want,” Ford finished for her, his voice just as deep and mesmerizing as it was when he was singing one of his hit songs, “is to have our family with us. We had thought about getting married up at the lake, but we don’t want to take away from Rafe and Brooke’s special day this summer.”

“Of course you should get married at the lake,” Brooke immediately protested, but instead of agreeing with her, Rafe pressed a kiss to his fiancée’s forehead. “Something tells me they’ve already got something else in mind.”

Ian cleared his throat. “Sounds to me like the two of you are ready to say your vows, aren’t you?”

Dylan’s oldest brother looked and sounded truly choked up, not at all as if he were teasing. And when Mia’s eyes also filled as she nodded, Grace barely held in her gasp of surprise.

Oh my God, Mia and Ford weren’t about to get married tonight, were they?

“That’s exactly what we’re ready for,” Mia confirmed. “Ford and I don’t want to wait any longer. And we don’t want to have a big circus of a wedding with helicopters and paparazzi. We’ll have a big party later for everyone to come to, but for tonight, we just want you guys.”

Tears were already streaming down Claudia’s face by the time she made it around the table to throw her arms around her daughter and her soon-to-be son. “I can’t believe you all planned this in secret! A wedding right here in our living room.” Dylan’s mother sounded overwhelmed. And absolutely thrilled.