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Marrying Mr. English:The English Brothers #7

By:Katy Regnery

Marrying Mr. English:The English Brothers #7
Katy Regnery

       The English Brothers #7


"Once upon a time . . .

Chapter 1

Vail, Colorado

December 1981

"C'mon, Ellie," pleaded Eve Marie. "They're, like, rich."

"They're all rich," said Eleanora Watters, hustling into the kitchen of  Auntie Rose's Breakfast-All-Day Chalet with an armload of dirty plates.

Eve Marie followed her through the swinging door.

"But they seem ni-i-i-ice," she whined.

"They all seem nice," said Eleanora over her shoulder, nodding at Manny as he took the dirty dishes and winked at her.

"But these two really are."

Eleanora turned to face her younger cousin, pushing a stray lock of  blonde hair behind her ear and planting her fists on her hips. "Like the  last ones? And the ones before them?"

Eve Marie had the decency to look embarrassed.

"When are you going to learn, Evie? They're all rats. Rich, old,  entitled, grabby rats. They come to Vail looking for a young waitress or  hotel maid to warm up their bed for a week, and once they've had their  fun, they leave. Do you know who they leave?"

"Us," said Eve Marie dolefully.

"Us," confirmed Eleanora. "And are we harlots to be thusly used?"

Eve Marie screwed up her face in confusion.

Eleanora rolled her eyes, rephrasing, "Are we hos, cuz?"

"No," said Eve Marie, though there wasn't much conviction in her voice.

"No, we are not," said Eleanora crisply. "We deserve better than that, Evie."

Images of home flashed through her mind at lightning speed before she  could stop them: her father's grubby double-wide, choked by a rusty  chain-link fence . . . the hellhole of a bar where her tips hadn't been  worth the slow death of her dreams . . . and-she touched Evie's cheek  gently with her knuckles as a fierce burst of protectiveness flared  within her-her step-uncle's leering eyes and filthy, grabby hands.

Eleanora dropped her hand and lifted her chin with determination. "If we  keep our legs closed and our options open, we just might find it."

She turned to the warming lights and picked up two plates of pancakes  and bacon for table two before bustling through the swinging door, back  into Auntie Rose's main dining room. Designed to resemble a rustic ski  lodge, the restaurant was a favorite of skiers and snowboarders who  wanted to fill up on a hearty breakfast before hitting the slopes.

"Will you at least, like, say hello?" persisted Eve Marie at her  cousin's shoulder, her voice almost drowned out by John Lennon's "(Just  Like) Starting Over" blasting through the ceiling speakers.

Eleanora ignored her cousin and plastered a smile on her face as she  carefully delivered the plates to the table. "Stack of hot cakes, side  of oink. Bon appétit."

"Looks great," said the man on the left side of the booth, reaching for  her wrist. He handled her gently but firmly, looking up into her eyes.  "Now how about making it delectable by giving me your number?"

Without fighting for her imprisoned hand, Eleanora flicked her eyes over  him. He was wearing a cream-colored Irish wool sweater-the type that  sold in the local boutiques for hundreds of dollars-and had sunglasses  in his heavily gelled hair. Vuarnet? No. Versace, she noted, glancing at  the stem close to his ear. His hair was salt-and-pepper, and his eyes  were lazy but hopeful as he grinned at her with what he probably  believed was charm.

"My number . . . hmm." Eleanora sucked her bottom lip between her teeth, then released it with a provocative pop. "Sure. Okay."

He looked surprised but delighted, tightening his grip on her wrist to pull her closer. "Oh, yeah?"

"But which number?" said Eleanora, tapping her chin in thought. "So many to choose from . . ."

"Oh, I meant your-"

"-my age? It's twenty-two. To your what? Forty-five? Or the number of  years between us? Roughly twenty-three. Or my birth date maybe? Nine,  three, fifty-nine. And yours? Well, I'm guessing it ends in . . . hmm . .  . thirty-six? How about those numbers? Probably not what you were  looking for, though. Ooo! I know! Maybe you're one of the good ones and  you've fallen madly in love with me and you want my ring size? It's a  six. No. Come to think of it, you don't look like the type to buy me a  ring, so how about the serial number on my father's shotgun? It's four,  three, six, oh, oh, seven-"

"Forget it," said the man, his face bright red as he dropped her wrist.

"Sure thing."                       


"You're a bitch," he muttered, looking up at her with narrowed, angry eyes.

"Maybe. But I'm not a chump," she answered, ripping the bill from her  pad and placing it on the table before turning on her white Keds and  heading back toward the kitchen with Eve Marie at her heels.


Tom English watched the sassy little waitress make her way back across  the bustling dining room, chuckling softly as he admired everything from  the sharp way she'd taken down that dickweed to the way her tight ass  swayed back and forth under the big white bow of her pink gingham dress.


Pulling his eyes away from the waitress with a stab of regret, Tom  looked across the table at his companion, Van, raising his eyebrows.

"Talk about sharp nails!" said Van.

Tom chuckled again, picking up his coffee cup and taking a sip of the strong brew.

Van sneered as his eyes tracked the blonde. "You couldn't pay me enough  to go out with a girl like that. I don't care how hot she is. That guy  had it right. Bitch on wheels!"

Tom's grin faded as he placed his mug back on the table and looked up at his friend. "I don't agree."

Van scoffed, rolling his eyes. "Are you effing kidding me?"

Tom shifted his gaze back to the kitchen, hoping for another glimpse of her. "Nope. I thought she was fairly spectacular."

"Fairly spectacular," mumbled Van, grimacing as he shook his head.  "Well, you're not known for your taste in women. I hope to God she's not  the friend the cute brunette was referring to."

Tom, on the other hand, desperately hoped she was because he had zero  interest in the vacuous brunette, but that spitfire blonde? Oh, man. She  was something different.

And he could sure use the distraction.

In just four days, Tom English was going to lose every cent of his  fifteen million dollar inheritance, because his fiancée, Diantha  Montgomery, of the Philadelphia Montgomerys, had run off with her ski  instructor, leaving Tom high and dry the night before their wedding.

It's not like he was heartbroken-he hadn't been marrying Di for love.  No, theirs had been an agreement, a marriage of convenience. Tom's  thirty-second birthday was in four days-on Christmas Eve-and unless he  was married by the final day of his thirty-first year, his eccentric old  codger of a grandfather would disown him. Tom had heard the lecture a  thousand times:

A good woman makes a man honest, makes him work harder, makes him true.  If you don't have a good woman in your life by age thirty-two, you don't  deserve a cent and you won't get a cent. I'm not letting some  devil-may-care wastrel playboy squander my millions!

Diantha, more than happy to pocket a cool million in exchange for saying  "I do," had planned a lavish wedding in Vail, and they'd invited dozens  of friends and family to witness the temporary nuptials. The plan was  to stay married for a few months, secure Tom's inheritance, and then get  a quiet divorce and go their separate ways.

But when Di didn't show up to her own rehearsal dinner last Friday,  things didn't look good. A tearstained note shoved under Tom's hotel  room door confirmed the rest: Paolo and I have fallen in love and  decided to elope. We're leaving for Italy tonight. I'm so sorry, T!  Love, Di

While all the guests had returned home, Tom remained in Vail with his  erstwhile best man and sometime investing partner, Edison Van Nostrand,  for the week that should have been Tom's honeymoon. Time had certainly  flown by with Van as their entertainment coordinator-today was Friday  and Tom's birthday was Tuesday.

He shrugged and swallowed the rest of his coffee. If he was being cut  off in four days, he may as well enjoy his last few days as a  "devil-may-care wastrel playboy."

Van had asked their waitress-cute, airheaded brunette Eve Marie-to meet  them at the bar of the Hotel Jerome tonight for some fun. The young  waitress, checking out Van's brand-new Rolex, snapped her gum and  offered Van a sparkling smile as she promised to "do her best" to find a  friend for Tom.

Van brightened suddenly, looking over Tom's head with a lascivious grin.  "Hey, angel, don't break my friend's heart and tell him your friend  said no."

Tom shifted in his chair to find Eve Marie standing behind him, wringing  her hands nervously. She blew a small bubble with her gum and sucked it  back quickly, snapping it between her teeth.