Nix and Bailey board the plane with high hopes for this trip, this trip that is meant to cement their relationship. Sure, they both realize that this trip isn’t all for fun and games. They’re well aware of the struggles Arizona and Hunter are going through, and using their work as a disguise for their time abroad won’t suffice once they arrive. Nix and Hunter have been speaking on a daily basis since he and Arizona went back across the pond. Nix knows about Arizona’s slip up right before they left. Hell, he and Hunter planned this trip together after the night she came home wasted and looking like shit and smelling like another man. Nix had wanted to pay for her rehab, as he always did, but Hunter insisted on taking care of her himself, financially and emotionally. Nix was reluctant at first to let up on his control over Arizona but Bailey stepped in and made Nix allow Hunter to do his thing, pointing out that maybe Hunter needed to do things his way to be able to forgive her, move past her infidelity. Nix is learning to let Bailey win some battles. In honesty, Nix knows his sister is in very capable hands, or it would have been a fight Bailey never would have won.
Even though anyone who spends a second in their company can tell that Hunter King is head over heels in love with Arizona Doyle, Nix needs to go and check on things and see how his sister is doing on his own. Hunter might do anything and everything to protect her and keep her safe but she’s Nix’s flesh and blood and he’ll always take care of her. But in the end, Nix relented and allowed Hunter to whisk his sister back to London for another stint in rehab, this one hopefully the final visit. Nix just hopes her infidelity doesn’t ruin her future with the only man that has ever been good to her and for her.
Now Nix and Bailey are on their way back to his homeland and the scene of his many crimes, as Bailey has taken to calling his transgressions. Phoenix Doyle is still in the doghouse with his woman over his less than stellar behavior on his last trip back home. He still argues that he did what he had to do to keep his sister safe and to put an end to his ex-wife’s shenanigans, it didn’t work obviously as evidenced by his sister’s most recent behavior. And the fact that he has an ex-wife is all part of the problem. Well, an ex-wife that he conveniently forgot to mention to Bailey, her only discovering Amelia’s existence from an email she found on Nix’s laptop may have been enough to get any man into trouble. And trouble always had a way of finding Phoenix Doyle, usually in the form of a female.
Amelia Doyle is in jail, serving time for her participation in a human sex trafficking ring, and won’t be seeing the light of day anytime soon. Nix wouldn’t allow Bailey to set foot on British soil if she were still running a mock, wild and free. No telling what that madwoman would do, she’s capable of anything. Nix has witnessed that with his own two eyes more than once and doesn’t care to ever experience that again.
“Hey mate” Phoenix greets Asher McBride, the man he once despised. Asher works with Bailey’s brothers and had played the part of his replacement while he and Bailey struggled to find their footing after their short time apart. He doesn’t dare refer to those long days and sleepless nights as a break-up.
“Doyle,” Asher extends his hand. “You remember Harper.”
“Course. How are you, love?” he asks as he leans in to plant a soft, friendly kiss to her cheek.
“I’m well, thank you. And thank you for inviting us along on your vacation.”
“It’s not…” Nix begins but is interrupted by Bailey.
“Anytime,” she says. “It’s fine. Pete and Raina were happy to loan out their flat for the month and we’re glad for the company on the flight over. I hate to fly.”
Bailey feels Nix’s stare boring into her but she ignores him. No reason to explain their drama to poor Harper. Not after recently losing her husband, Asher’s best friend, to a car accident.
“Wow!” Harper says looking around the large space. “This is amazing. You own this?”
Nix smiles and laughs, “Yep, all mine. This lady right here is a gold mine. She’s bringing in the big bucks with her talented writing.”
“Don’t be an ass, Nix,” Bailey says with a smile then turns to Harper. “He owned this plane long before he met me and I’m not bringing in anything.”
“Don’t sell yourself short, you’re an amazing writer, Bay” Asher says pulling her in for a sweet kiss to her cheek.
“Watch the hands, McBride. You know how I get when other men touch my woman.”
“Yes, I believe I remember your issues with that.”
Harper looks to Bailey for clarification then back at Asher. “Did you two…were you…I thought you were just friends.”
“We are” Asher says.
“He came to our movie premiere as my date because Nix and I were broken…”
“Careful, love, this plane isn’t sound proof and if you finish that sentence you and I are going to take a little trip into the master and have a go round over my knee.”
“Phoenix!” Bailey admonishes. “I can’t believe…”
“Shhh now, love. I think we’re embarrassing our guests.”
“Well, of course we are. You just threaten to spank me in front of them.”
“No. I promised to spank you in our bedroom. If you’d like me to take you over my knee right here though, love, that can be arranged,” Bailey shoots Nix a look to kill and he smirks. Nix pulls her into his side and kisses her temple. “Just riling you up, Bay. It’s fun.”
Bailey growls at him but a smile overtakes her attractive features. “Anyway, as I was saying, Asher works with my brothers and we went out a few times as friends. Don’t listen to Phoenix; he’s a jealous caveman with no manners.”
Nix pounds on his chest and lifts Bailey over his shoulder and starts for the back of the plane.
“Put me down. Where do you think you’re taking me?”
“Calm down. The overhead light just went on. We’re going to take off soon. I was taking you to a seat to strap you in. Maybe I should add a gag” Nix teases.
Asher leads Harper, with a strong hand to the center of her back, into a seat and the couples buckle up for their flight.
As the engine roars to life Bailey tries to jump from her seat and into the safety of Nix’s arms.
“Shhh, love. It’s fine. You need to stay in your seat till we’re in the air. After that I’ll give you a tour starting with our room. That should kill a few hours and take your mind off of flying.”
“You don’t like to fly?” Harper asks.
“No. I hate it. I know it’s safer than driving but…Oh, my God. I’m so sorry. Harper, I didn’t mean to…”
“No, it’s fine. No worries.”
“I’m sorry. That was insensitive of me. I wasn’t thinking” Bailey apologizes.
“I know, and please, I need everyone to stop walking on eggshells around me. I need to get back to my life, back to normal, my new normal I guess. It’s been months and Tristan would never have wanted me to stop living. If he were here, he’d be happy that I was finally getting to see London. I’ve always wanted to go. When Asher said he was going to take me, I thought I was going to explode with excitement.”
“Did you hear that?” Nix whispers to Asher. “You almost had her exploding with excitement.”
“Please don’t be a douche. I’m begging you” Asher pleads.
Nix raises his eyebrows and laughs. “Pay back is a bitch my friend and I don’t believe I’ve paid you back sufficiently yet. You know, for taking my woman out as ‘friends’.”
“Nothing happened between us. We’ve both told you that” Asher whispers.
“What are you two whispering about?” Bailey asks.
“Oh, nothing, love. Just guy talk. You know naughty words you’re pretty little ears don’t want to hear.”
“You mean like the words you beg me to say when we’re…”
“Now Miss Connors,” Nix warns with a smirk. “Don’t make me have naughty thoughts unless you’re ready to finish what you start.”
Bailey blows Nix a kiss then turns back to chat with Harper, a yawn interrupting her banter with Nix.
“You never could have handled that one, McBride.”
“Yeah, I see that. Looks like she’s giving you a run for your money too, Doyle.”
“That she is, mate. That she is.”
A piece of info about me...my favorite author that writes contemporary romance is Shayla Black