Indulge with Me Page 1


“I’m so excited for you both,” I say, my champagne glass lifted in the air, toasting my cousin, Amelia and her fiancé, Wyatt. “Congratulations.”

“Congratulations,” everyone says happily, toasting the couple glowing with happiness. Lia and Wyatt got engaged a few months ago, and I wanted to host a party for them then, but the summer got away from us and getting our whole family together these days isn’t an easy task.

But I was finally able to arrange for everyone, and I mean everyone, to come to our beach house to celebrate the engagement. All of our families are here, including Amelia’s parents and siblings, Wyatt’s parents and two brothers, and all of my crazy brood.

I think there are more than thirty people in our home.

And I freaking love it.

I would normally hire my sister-in-law, Alecia, to organize a party of this size, but I really wanted to do this for Lia, and I’m pleased with the outcome.

“By the way, everyone,” I continue after Wyatt dips Lia down for a passionate kiss and everyone applauds, “the food is ready and set up, thanks to McCollum Catering, and it looks absolutely delicious.”

“That’s where I’m headed,” Will, my football player brother, immediately says.

“Me, too,” Archer, Lia’s brother says, high-fiving Will.

“And,” I say, giving both men the stink eye, making them halt in their tracks, “we have an array of cupcakes courtesy of our very own Nic.”

“Thank the good Lord,” Samantha Nash says, raising her hands in the air and making us all laugh.

“I have a mimosa and bloody Mary station set up down at the gazebo, so feel free to raid that. Have fun, everyone.”

The crowd disperses, most of the men headed straight for the food, which makes me grin. Alecia comes walking over with a smug smile on her pretty lips.

“Hey there,” I say and wrap her in a hug.

“This party is seriously amazing,” she says, and pops something in her mouth. “And these fried glazed donuts? Jesus Christ, I think I just had an orgasm.”

I giggle and reach for one of my own, sighing as it practically melts in my mouth. “Girl. Get me away from them. I’ll eat them all. I’m so glad you approve. I was nervous about taking it on myself.”

“You didn’t need me,” she says, shaking her head. “This setting is so beautiful, you don’t need a lot of fluff. The food is delicious, and speaking of which, how did you find this caterer?”

“Nate and I have an inside joke,” I reply with a chuckle and smile when my brother Dominic joins us, wrapping his arm around his wife’s waist. “I’ve called this caterer his minions since we were dating. Whenever we came here, he’d call ahead and they would come in and set everything up before we arrived, so it just sort of magically happened. I love them.”

“Well, I need to get the minion’s info from Nate because I’m planning a beach wedding next summer, and I could use them.”

“I thought you weren’t planning weddings anymore, now that you’re working full time at the winery?” I ask, accepting a mimosa from my husband, Nate, as he joins us. Alecia smiles as he passes one to her as well.

My husband is larger than life, and still sets my skin on fire as soon as he comes in a room. I want to climb him pretty much 24/7, and I pray that never goes away.

“This one is for a friend,” Alecia says with a small shrug. “I couldn’t tell her no when she asked for my help.”

“My tesoro spreads herself too thin,” Dom says, kissing Alecia’s temple. His voice is still thick with an Italian accent, despite living in the States for many years.

“I’m fine,” Alecia insists. “And this is a hell of a party. And speaking of parties, don’t forget we’re hosting one at the vineyard in a couple of weeks.”

“I wouldn’t forget it,” I promise and reach out to pat my brother on the shoulder. “We’re so proud of you, Dom.”

His lips curl up into a smile, and he leads Alecia away. I take a sip of my drink, surveying the scene.

“Everyone’s fine,” Nate whispers into my ear, tugging me against his side. “And you’re fucking beautiful in this dress.”

I glance down at the silver shift dress, cinched at the waist with a Gucci belt, and grin up at him. “It’s the heels, isn’t it?”

I mean, the brand new black Louboutins got him hard when I took them out of the box yesterday. He’s barely taken his eyes off of them.

“I’m going to fuck you in nothing but those shoes,” he promises, and everything in me catches on fire. He’s not lying. My ankles will be wrapped around his neck later tonight, and I’ll be wearing these shoes.

I can’t fucking wait.

“Getting me all hot and bothered when we have dozens of guests isn’t nice.”

His face transforms into that sexy smile that says I don’t give a fuck.

“I never claimed to be nice, Julianne. Be sure to eat some food.”

And with that, he kisses my cheek and walks away to talk to my brother Caleb.

I take a deep breath, and then a long drink of my mimosa. I could use another, although I rarely drink when my daughter, Stella, is around.

I search the crowd for her and smile when I see that she’s on my best friend Natalie’s lap, eating a chocolate cinnamon roll. I cringe inside, hoping no one lets her overdose on sugar today. I don’t need her to be high on sweets all day.

But then I shrug. Today is a day for celebration. She can have some sugar.

“Jules.” Amelia rushes over to me, panting, her eyes wide in horror. “I have an emergency.”

“Did you start your period?” I ask, whispering loudly. “Shit, you’re wearing white. Do you need a pad?”

“No, Jesus, I didn’t start my period. It’s much worse.”

“Worse than your period in a white dress?”

She nods and swallows hard, trying to catch her breath. “I lost my ring.”

I stare at her for a moment, trying to register the words coming out of her mouth, then glance down at her naked left hand.

“Wait. Your engagement ring?”

“Shh!” She covers her mouth with her fingers and leans in closer. “Yes, my engagement ring, and Wyatt can’t know.”

“Where the hell did you lose it?”

“In the bathroom.”

I take her elbow and pull her to the guest bathroom, just as Nic approaches it as well.

“Sorry, I’ll find a different bathroom,” she says, then stops and narrows her eyes at us. “What’s going on?”

“Lia lost her engagement ring,” I reply and hurry into the restroom, flipping on the light as I go.

“Never mind, I’m staying right here,” Nic says, following. “How did you lose it?”

“I don’t know! I came in to use the restroom, and I washed my hands. I always take it off when I wash them because I don’t want it to get full of soap residue.”

“First mistake,” I mutter. “Just take it in to get cleaned once a month. Trust me on this one.”

“Well, now I know,” she says and bites her lip. “Anyway, I set it on the vanity, and I must have forgotten to put it back on. So I left the bathroom, and realized that I didn’t have it about ten minutes later, but when I came back, it was gone.”

Her voice is wavering, and her eyes fill with tears, and my perfect party is about to spontaneously combust.

“It fell down the drain,” Nic says simply. “It’s easy to fish out. We just need a wrench.”

“Do you have a wrench?” Lia asks me with hope-filled eyes.

“Of course I do,” I reply with false confidence. I’m not even sure what kind of wrench we need, but I’m determined to fix this. “I’ll be right back.”

I run out to the garage and root around for a couple of wrenches of all sizes, hoping that I get one that will do the trick, and hurry back in to find Lia sitting on the toilet with her head between her knees and Nic rubbing circles on her back.

“I’m gonna pass out,” Lia mumbles.    

Next page