Love in Bloom (De La Fuente Family #3)(9)

By: Lexi Buchanan

Erin felt her cheek flame with heat. She might be a twenty-two-year old virgin, but the image of Mateo between her thighs made her panties wet and her belly clench.

“So,” Sadie started, completely oblivious to Erin’s internal struggle with the x-rated images floating around in her head, “when you come back from Montana, we need to celebrate the end of hell. What should we do?”

“You’re the party-girl, you tell me?” Erin grinned knowing her friend would already have something planned.

“You know me well. I was just testing.” She smirked. “Okay, I thought we could double date.”

She choked the moment Sadie dropped that bombshell. “Double date?”

“Yeah. Me with Andre and you with a blind date. It’s all arranged. I figured the Mateo thing would be over and done with by then.”

Sighing, Erin continued to eat knowing there would be no talking Sadie out of her plans. Erin just wasn’t sure if she’d be in the mood to go on a double date because she had a feeling that she’d still want to be with Mateo for a long time to come.

It made her sad to think that it was all coming to an end. She’d hated being a bitch, but she really would miss being on Mateo’s arm and just being with him. A few times, they’d had good conversations and he’d offered her a real smile. Nothing had been forced then, just like in his apartment the other day.

There hadn’t been any disagreement because she’d been there as Erin, even if her appearance had screamed ‘Caprice’. Mateo had been a surprise as well with his offer to join him in Montana. That had been out of the blue and it wasn’t something she’d been able to refuse.

She really hoped she wouldn’t live to regret her decision to meet Mateo there.

Chapter Five

Mateo paced the small area in the airport as he waited for Caprice to deplane. Her flight had landed a few minutes ago and he couldn’t stop his nerves from dancing. How would his body react to her after the episode in his apartment? Every time he’d thought about it, his blood had rushed south, giving him a hard-on, which he’d taken care of in the shower.

Over the last few days, he’d found himself more preoccupied with her than ever before and even looked forward to catching a glimpse of the real woman behind the Caprice façade.

He caught himself smiling with those thoughts in his mind and quickly wiped it from his face. They’d be ending their engagement after his brother’s wedding and it was a win for everyone. Caprice could get on with her life, he could move forward without having to admit his wild behavior in Dallas to his family and his family would be relieved that Caprice wasn’t in his life anymore. Despite everything that had been done to cover it up, something told him that they knew about some of it. Nothing passed his father, or at least one of his brothers would have discovered something.

For months now, Caprice had him puzzled with her behavior. Every now and again, she’d say or do something that was out of character. She came across self-centered, and on those other occasions, caring and intelligent. He’d been told that she was twenty-six, but once he’d caught her without makeup and she’d looked a lot younger.

He’d go crazy if he tried to work it all out. Shaking himself from his thoughts, he glanced up at the board inside the airport to see if a carousel was up there for luggage to be collected. And it was.

He sighed and made his way over while he kept a look out for her. He could at least stop being an ass and help her with her luggage for once. The only problem he had when he arrived to the correct carousel was that it was surrounded with folk and he couldn’t spot Caprice anywhere.

She had a habit of standing back from everyone until there wasn’t such a crush, but she wasn’t there. He glanced at his cell. No messages.


He froze at hearing his name on her lips.

He slowly turned, resigned that the Caprice and Mateo show would continue for a short while. Except the woman who stood before him wasn’t Caprice. It was her but then again, it wasn’t, and his brow furrowed in confusion. It just didn’t make sense.

“Um…Caprice?” His eyes raked over her while he tried to comprehend that she wasn’t wearing make up or designer clothes.

What the fuck was wrong with her?

“You feeling okay?” He frowned, which deepened when she removed her sunglasses.

Standing before him was a fresh-faced young woman, not a woman with too much, albeit perfect, make up on. Her hair was different too. The brilliant blonde was replaced by a bronzed shade of brunette that suited her so much better.

Her smile slipped and for the first time since he’d known her, she looked vulnerable. Even back in his apartment, she hadn’t looked so lost.