Faking it with my Brother's Best Friend - Melissa Schroeder

Faking it with my Brother’s Best Friend

Book 2 in the Faking It Series

Part of the Melissa Schroeder Instalove Collection

Part of the Melissa Schroeder Instalove Collection: Same World. Any Order. Individual Love.

I’ve been in love with Milo Darling for as long as I can remember. He’s my brother’s best friend and would never be interested in a curvy girl like me. I’ve seen the women he’s dated in the past, and let’s just say they don’t look like me. I’ve come to terms with it…mainly.

When I hear my ex is going to be at a charity ball I have to attend, the natural thing is to ask Milo. He’s safe, and he’s a gentleman, and well, who wouldn’t want to spend the night with the most beautiful man ever created.

Only, he’s not looking at me like I’m just a friend, and when he kisses me on the dance floor, I lose every thought I have ever had in my life. And, yeah, maybe, I’m going to be okay with a one-night fling with the man of my dreams. Who can blame a girl for taking him up on his offer?

And that night? I will just say that it blows my world apart.

But I know as soon as the sun rises, this girl will have to put on her big girl pants and get on with my life. Because there is one thing I understand and that’s that girls like me don’t get happily ever afters with guys like him.

Author Note: We are back with the Prescotts again, but this time, the meddling sister gets her man. There’s hijinks, a trip to a drag queen brunch, Milo in a tux, and scene in front of a mirror that embarrassed this author. As always with an Instalove Collection book, low drama, high romance and a happily ever after. 


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Faking it with my Brother’s Best Friend

Faking it with my Brother’s Best Friend

Book 2 in the Faking It Series
Part of the Melissa Schroeder Instalove Collection

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  • Book 2

  • Book 3

Faking it with my Brother’s Best Friend

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Chapter One

Hazel

 

“I’m not going.”

My best friend and almost sister-in-law Georgie gives me a look. It’s one I know well. Although she is five years younger than me, she seems to have her life together. Hell, she’s back in school and planning a wedding with my brother.

“You are going. You worked hard on this fundraiser and it’s your baby. You are not letting that Rachel woman screw with you anymore.”

Rachel Burton. She was my Regina in boarding school and college and made my life a living hell. The fact that our families knew each other made it worse. And now she’s going to ruin everything once again. I mean, I should have known she was coming. She’s searching for a husband, the richer the better. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t care about love or even building a life together. Rachel has always worried about one thing and one thing only…herself.

A fundraiser event like the one I’m running next weekend will be a great place for someone like her to be out on the hunt. I shouldn’t care, truly. The things she did to me ended almost a decade ago, but she still gets to me. When I got the news about my ex showing up too, well, that just made it worse.

I realize I have been pacing back and forth in front of Georgie, who is sitting on the sofa in my office just watching me. I stop and cross my arms. I’m sure I don’t look defensive at all.

“The best way to avoid that is not to go.”

Silence fills the office as Georgie stares at me. Yes, I know I am almost twenty-eight years old, but I still haven’t dealt with those issues. And to top everything off for the weekend of torture, I just found out my old college boyfriend, the one who slept with Rachel while he was still dating me, has RSVP’d to my fundraiser event. I didn’t realize that he was invited, but I found out from Bastian my assistant that Jason is coming in place of his father.

“You said you were okay with going stag to the fundraiser you put together.”

I frown harder. “I hate that term.”

“What? Fundraiser?”

From the smirk on her face, I know she’s screwing with me. “No. Stag. It’s…”

“Something else to concentrate on rather than the fact that you have to get a date.”

I sigh and collapse onto the sofa beside Georgie. I don’t say anything at first. We both know she is right, but I don’t want to admit it. Of course, Georgie—being my best and only female friend—doesn’t say a word. She patiently waits for me to respond.  She knows me well. She used to be the receptionist here at Prescott, but now she’s back in school and working on her business degree and getting married to my brother. And it was all thanks to me putting her together with my brother for a fake relationship.

I can wait her out. I’m good at it.

Less than thirty seconds passes before she says anything.

“Don’t you have a guy friend you can take?”

I roll my eyes. “My guy friends are a little too…flamboyant I guess is the best word.”

I know a lot of wonderful gay men. I mean A LOT. Until I met Georgie, they made up the majority of my friends. I know several who wouldn’t think twice about stepping in to help. I just couldn’t do that to any of them. Regina, I mean Rachel, is the worst. I would never ask my friends to be anything but what they are.

“Hey, how about Milo?”

My stomach tenses and my breathing hitches. Just hearing someone else say his name is enough to make me start babbling.

Milo Darling, my brother’s best friend and all-around great guy. He’s a sweetie who would do it, but I don’t know if I could survive that. I’ve had a crush on Milo for years. I can’t even remember when it started. All I know is whenever I think about him, or someone mentions his name, just anything to do with him really, my nipples get hard.

“He’s too busy.” He runs Darling Resorts and I know first-hand just how hard that is.

“No, he isn’t. In fact, he’s here in the building and coming over to talk to you.”

“What?”

“He was hanging out with Silas, and I texted your brother to have Milo come over.” While I had been pacing and ranting, she had apparently been texting. She seems sweet, but the woman is a little too smart for her own good.

Then I process what she says and panic hits me square in the chest as I try my best to catch my breath. “I can’t do this.”

“Do what? Talk to an old friend?”

There is a tone in her voice that tells me she knows about my crush. It’s hard to hide it from my bestie, but still, it’s embarrassing.

She leans closer and nudges me with her elbow. “You know he’ll do it.”

“And everyone will know it’s a pity date.”

“Hazel Prescott! There is no pity in going on a date with you.”

I know she’s right. I’ve come a long way in the last few years. I’m what they call curvy, and it has taken me a while to deal with what high school and college did to my head. It’s one of the reasons I wear four-inch-heels even though I’m five ten. I love them and everyone else can just suck it.

“I know that, but…you’ve seen Milo.”

“Yeah, I have. And I have seen the way he looks at you.”

I roll my eyes. She’s convinced Milo has a crush on me, but please…the man really is an Adonis, beautiful on the outside and, more importantly, on the inside. He is the CEO of Darling Resorts and, yes, he fits his name. Dark brown hair, green eyes, and he’s tall. At six-four, he makes me feel tiny next to him. I love that about him.

There’s a knock at my door before my brother steps in. I frown at him until I see Milo standing behind him. His gaze is searing. It’s like that every time I see him, but I think that’s Milo. He pulls people in easily and is one of the reasons he makes a good CEO. I have no doubt that if he hadn’t been born into a wealthy family, he would be CEO of some other corporation. There’s just something about Milo that draws people in. Which is why his friendship with my brother is so funny. He’s the opposite of Silas.

“Georgie,” my used to be not affectionate at all brother Silas says as he lifts his girlfriend off the couch and kisses her.  A few months ago, I would call the doctor to get Silas an appointment at this behavior, but that’s what falling in love did for him.

He sets her down on the floor. “So, what did you need?”

“She needs to talk to Milo.”

“Yeah, so what do you need?”

“Remember when you asked me to tell you when you’re being insensitive?” Georgie asks him gently.

“Yes.”

“This is one of those times.”

“Why? I was having a great time with Milo—”

“That’s a lie. You were complaining that Georgie was spending time with your sister,” Milo says, smiling, showing off those delicious dimples.

“I take it back. I don’t want you to be my best man.”

Milo’s response is a wider smile. He knows my brother isn’t being serious, although a lot of people would think he is.  They are definitely night and day with their personalities, but they understand each other. That’s what’s important in a friendship. Georgie and I are completely different too. She’s about five inches shorter than me, is sweet as can be, and is a brainiac. Like the things you need to use the calculator on your phone to figure out, she does it in her head.  I’m good at more creative things, but we understand each other.

“Let’s go, Silas.”

“Why?”

She rises up to her tiptoes and whispers in his ear. His face changes from confusion to determination. He takes Georgie by the hand and starts dragging her out of the office.

“See ya later, Milo.”

“Bye,” Georgie calls back as she follows my brother out the door.

Silence descends on the room. I stand there looking like the dork that I am. It’s hard not to. He’s perfect and pretty. Really, really pretty.

Milo is just staring at me with those clear green eyes of his and I want to sigh. I don’t because then he will know about my little infatuation with him. That would be embarrassing.

“So, you needed me?”

I curl my toes inside my Manolo Blahnik Mary Jane snakeskin pumps as his voice rumbles over the syllables of his question. I know it’s my imagination, but God, it sounds like his tone deepens over each word.  Does he sound like that in bed?

“Hazel?”

I blink and realize I’ve been staring at him like a goober. There is a good chance a little drool has dripped out of my mouth.

“Sorry. And I didn’t call you down here, Georgie did.”

He frowns. And yep, even that’s sexy. I mean, a man that pretty while frowning just makes me want to make him smile, mainly while we are both naked.

Good god, I need to get my mind back on track.

“I thought it was you.”

He sounds like a little boy who has been kept from his favorite treat. I sigh.

“Well, she did it for me without asking me beforehand.”

“Oh.”

He came anyway, and I need to say something, or this will get even more awkward. “Okay, now, I don’t want you to think that I’ve lost my mind, but I have this thing next weekend, and I kind of need a date. Georgie suggested you for my date.” My face is burning up as I babble on. “I mean, I understand if you don’t want to go with me. It’s a fundraiser for the charity Momzilla and I started, which means getting dressed up and pretending you want to be there with me.”

He doesn’t say anything for a long moment, and I can’t figure out what his expression means. It’s oddly blank.

“I know it’s kind of a pain. But I know you RSVP’d as part of Darling Resorts, and I know you don’t always go to things of this sort. Since you’re already going to come, I just thought you could pretend to be with me while you’re there. Also, now I feel kind of like an idiot because you are certainly aware that it’s downtown at your hotel. Still, if you are too busy, I promise not to hold it against you.”

I snap my mouth shut. He’s staring at me as if trying to figure out what I said, like I was speaking a foreign language.

“Why now?”

I blink again. “What?”

“Why now? You’ve known you had this event for a few months.”

I sigh again. “I put it off.”

“Hazel.”

His tone tells me that he doesn’t believe me. I just don’t want to admit why I’m panicking right now. I hate feeling like this and despise even more caring about it.

“Okay there was that, but I was planning on going on my own, only…Rachel Burton is going to be there.”

“And?”

God, he knows me too well. Maybe Ricky can pretend to be infatuated with me if I talk in a deeper voice.  He would do it because he loves me, and, well, he would be really good at getting people to give up the goods. Of course, most people know who he is since he owns the number one drag queen spot in the city, so that probably wouldn’t work.

“Hazel,” he says, snapping his fingers in front of me. When did he get that close? He’s looking down at me like…well, I don’t know what. There is a mixture of irritation in his gaze but something deeper, something that has me squeezing my thighs together. Also, I know I can’t lie to him.

“Jason’s going to be there.”

End of Excerpt

Faking it with my Brother’s Best Friend

is available digitally exclusively from Amazon

Harmless Publishing

Jul 1, 2021

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