A humble heart, p.27
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       A Humble Heart, p.27

         Part #1 of Hollywood Hearts series by R. L. Mathewson
 

  He nodded, not really listening. His eyes were taking in the tickets. Damn they were good tickets. Any man would sell his left nut for these tickets and this woman was tossing them at him like they were confetti.

  Edward was barely aware of Dana’s kiss on his forehead or her soft chuckle. He was pretty sure he heard her said goodbye. He didn’t snap out of it until Seth snagged the tickets out of his hand.

  “Edward, we’ve been best friends since kindergarten, right?” Seth asked.

  “Yeah,” Edward said, while he shoveled food in his mouth his eyes remained fixed on those four glorious tickets.

  “Okay good. Then as a friend I thought I would give you fair warning. I realize she’s carrying your babies and we have been friends for a long time and I respect that, but I have to be honest. I’m planning on stealing her from you. It doesn’t bother me that she’s carrying your babies. Any woman who can cook the way she does, baby a man, looks that fine and can score sweet tickets as good as these is worth tossing aside a twenty-two year friendship. I just thought I should let you know.”

  “No, I totally understand, man. I appreciate the warning,”

  he said in a daze. His thoughts weren’t on the game anymore, well that’s not true, the pure guy part of his brain was already contemplating how many beers he was going to have tonight, but the other part of him was thinking about Dana. She was the best thing that ever happened to him.

  He loved her so much and she clearly loved him.

  “I’m marrying her,” Edward blurted out.

  Seth chuckled. “Yeah, that’s the idea behind being engaged.

  “No, I mean I’m marrying her this weekend. I’m not letting anymore time slip past us. I’m going to set it up for tomorrow and you’re going to help me,” he said, looking into Seth’s eyes.

  “I suppose for these tickets I could do that. Tonight can be your bachelor party.” He grinned.

  “Yup, no girls though,” Edward said. He wouldn’t do that to Dana.

  “Not a problem,” Seth said. Edward trusted Seth. He was a guy’s guy, but he was also extremely respectful of women. He was raised by his mother, three aunts and his grandmother. He was pretty sure Seth had never even been to a strip club.

  “Call up Lucas and see if he wants to come too and the other ticket goes to my security guy. What’s his name?”

  Edward asked. He pushed the tray aside and stood up.

  Seth took it as the signal that he was done with the tray and sat down on the bed to finish it.

  “You want to invite the guy that had a sex scene with your future wife?” Seth asked around a mouthful of food.

  “And the security guy’s name is Bret. He said he used to work for you.”

  “Yeah, he’s a good guy.” Edward smiled just thinking about all the innuendos and comments he could say to Lucas about the little incident he wasn’t supposed to know about.

  “Daddy!” Cole yelled as he burst into the room.

  Edward picked Cole up and hugged him tightly. “I thought you were leaving?”

  “I am,” Cole said seriously. “I wanted to say goodbye.

  Plus, I wanted to see if you could get me a finger.”

  “A finger?” Edward asked confused.

  “Yeah, you’re going to a bassball game?” Cole asked in the cute toddler slur that made Edward smile.

  “Yes, I’m going to a bassball game. You want a foam finger?”

  “Is it big?”

  “Yes.”

  “Then I want one.”

  “What do you say?” Edward prompted the little boy.

  Cole’s face scrunched up as he searched for an answer. “You’re the best?”

  He chuckled. “No.”

  “Oh I know! Peease, Daddy?”

  “That’s better. Okay, I’ll pick one up for you and one for your sister so we don’t start World War three.”

  Cole gave him a big kiss on his cheek and then squirmed out of his arm. “Bye, Uncle Seth,” he yelled as he ran out of the room.

  “I think you should know that your son cheats at Mario Kart,” Seth said.

  “Oh yeah?” he asked, amused that his friend was beat by a three, almost four, year old.

  “Is if official yet? I mean with the kids.”

  “Yes, we signed papers three days ago. Mom pushed them through quickly.”

  “What did that asshole Jeff say?”

  “She didn’t have to call him and tell him, but you know Dana, she doesn’t do anything behind anyone’s back. He congratulated us and hung up.”

  “Prick.”

  “My sentiments exactly,” Edward said, pulling on his clothes.

  “So, are we really going to spend all day running errands to arrange this wedding?”

  “Well, not exactly. I have to make phone calls, but we can go and have fun. I’ll call while we’re out.”

  “Phone calls? How are you going to plan a whole wedding in less than a day on a phone?”

  “I’ll call the women up. They’ll be glad to help I’m sure.”

  “So, what you’re saying is you’re going to pretend to be over your head in details and confused so they take over the whole thing so you can surprise Dana without actually doing any of the work?” Seth surmised.

  Edward nodded. “Pretty much.”

  “Sounds about right,” Seth said, finishing the last of the juice.

  Chapter 15

  “What an asshole,” Edward muttered.

  “What? It was mine turn. I didn’t cheat,” Seth said as he bent to take another swing at the colorful golf ball.

  “Not that, and yes you did. I just got off the phone with Dana’s father. Apparently he disowned her over this video nonsense and he’s refusing to come out tomorrow.”

  “Damn. She probably didn’t want to upset you,” Seth said. “They rigged that clown’s mouth. I should have made that shot!” He sighed. “It’s your turn, Bret.”

  The security man took his turn and got it in on the first shot.

  “Damn it!” Seth said.

  “Who am I going to have walk her down the aisle now?”

  “What about that kid, Sebastian? Is he coming?”

  “No, he can’t make it. He wants to come, but his Grandmother broke her hip and he’s taking care of her.

  He’s just happy we’re getting married and that she’s happy.

  He did threaten to kick my ass if I hurt her so I guess that counts as a blessing.”

  “Have Cole walk her down the aisle,” Seth suggested, stealing Edward’s turn, again.

  “I guess I could.” Edward thought about how cute that would be.

  “Your Mom, Amy and Deana are taking care of everything else, right?”

  “Yes, when I told Mom I was planning the wedding she freaked out. She’s afraid I’ll end up wearing jeans and a tee shirt and serve beer and nachos at the reception.”

  Seth shot him an accusing look. “Only because you played stupid and led her to believe you were doing just that.”

  He laughed unashamed. “Of course. She canceled the berry picking with Dana. They’re dropping the tuxes off at your house tomorrow. I’ll bring Cole with me.”

  “How about her dress?” Seth asked.

  “I called Eric. He has her measurements and is contacting a designer to get a white gown.”

  “You’re a lucky bastard,” Seth said.

  “I know. Also, Mom is taking the kids tonight so Dana can have a girl’s night out.”

  “Won’t she know what’s going on?”

  “Not until tomorrow,” Edward said smugly.

  “How are you going to pull this off?” Seth asked.

  “Amy is going to tell her she needs to try on the dress for the movie and do up her hair. Then bring her into the back yard, which will be set up by then. She won’t know a thing because Rick is going to keep her in the office all morning going over her book.”

  “Nice,” Seth said appreciatively. “What else do we have to do tonight?”

&n
bsp; “Nothing. The girls have it all under control. We’ll just sit back and relax. Go to my place later and cook up some steaks and then go to the game.”

  “What if Dana’s home? Are you going to be able to hide this from her?”

  “It will be fine. I doubt she’ll be home. She’s taking the kids to a water park after she picks up Elizabeth from kindergarten. Then Mom’s taking the kids. Deana, Amy, Diane, and a bunch of women I don’t know are taking her out. They know not to say anything to her.” Edward stepped up to take his shot.

  “Sounds good, just don’t mess up.”

  Edward cocked an eyebrow at him. “I’m not going to mess up.”

  *******

  Dana slipped into the pool and sighed with relief. It was well after one in the morning and she was finally done with the fourth Christian and Bailey book. Edward called two hours ago to let her know the game was going into extra innings and that he’d be late. She told him not to worry about it.

  Now was the time to relax. It had been a very long day.

  They ran errands all day. Tyler was really nice and got along with Cole. She took the kids out to the water park and had a great time. It was tiring though. Tyler was a godsend, he let her relax while he took the kids in the water.

  When she came home Eleanor and Amy were waiting for her in the kitchen. Eleanor scooped up the kids and took them away, freeing her for the night. Amy made her dress up and they went out with friends. They hit several clubs.

  Poor Tyler was kept busy pushing away drunk horny guys from them all night.

  She got home an hour ago and put the finishing touches on the book. Tyler went home a half hour ago after double checking the house. Now she was alone for the first time in her house, ever. She planned to take full advantage of that by skinny dipping.

  If anyone asked she would deny it up and down, but it was very relaxing as long as she knew no one would catch her. She figured she had at least one more hour before Edward came home, not that she would mind him seeing her, but there was always the possibility that Seth would be with him.

  A noise caught her attention. “Hello?” She looked around the pool. She didn’t see anyone so she went back to swimming. A minute later she heard another noise.

  “Look, I know someone’s there. So you might as well come out,” she said, swimming to the edge of the pool, hoping to block the view of her body.

  A man stepped out of the darkness in front of the gate.

  She didn’t recognize him. “What are you doing here?” she demanded.

  “I

  I’m sorry

  I just had to meet you. I’m a huge fan,” the man said.

  He took another step into the light and Dana realized to her horror that the man’s pants were unzipped and he was palming himself. “You need to leave! Now!”

  The man reached for the gate and yanked on it. The padlock stopped him. Dana knew it would only keep him out until he found a way to pull himself over the top. Dana pulled herself out of the pool, wrapped a towel around her body quickly and grabbed her cell phone.

  She looked back in time to see the man pull himself over the top of the gate. She made a mad dash to the house. She slid into the house and turned around in time to close the sliding glass door. The man grabbed the door and pulled. She shoved as hard she could and locked it.

  She reached over and hit the panic button on her security system.

  Ear splitting sirens went off. Every light in the house and outside flew on. Within seconds the house phone rang. She grabbed it knowing it would be the security company.

  The sound of glass shattering sent her flying through the house. The man threw a chair through the glass door and was coming inside. She ran into her office, locked the door and ran for the hidden panel. Her hands were shaking violently as she pressed the code in.

  “Come on..come on!” she said. The phone was still ringing. The door slid open. She jumped inside and hit the button to shut the door. She dropped to her knees, gasping for air.

  She answered the phone. “Ms. Mathews, this is McGuire Security. Are you okay?”

  “No, a man is inside my house!”

  “The police are already on the way, ma’am.”

  “I have to call Edward and stop him from coming inside,” she said to herself.

  “I have him on the other line, ma’am. He added himself to the account a few days ago. He’s on his way now.”

  “Tell him not to come inside until the police are here.

  Tell him I’m safe in the office bathroom.”

  “One minute, ma’am. Hold while I relay that message.”

  Dana sat on the tile floor. She could hear the man tearing through her office. He sounded frustrated. She heard the office door slam shut. Whether or not it was a trick or the guy was really gone, she had no plans of finding out.

  She heard a click followed by the operator’s voice. “Mr.

  Pierce stated and I quote ‘you better keep your ass in that room or he’ll wring your neck’”

  She chuckled while tears streamed down her face. “I’m staying, don’t worry about it.” She sat quietly on the floor for several minutes trying to hear what the man was doing.

  “Ms. Mathews?” a woman’s voice said beyond the door.

  “Ma’am, I’ve just been informed that the police are there,” the operator said.

  “Thank you for everything.” Dana pulled herself to her feet and hit the button to open the door. It slid open. Four officers were standing in the trashed office.

  “Are you okay?” the female officer asked.

  Dana tightened her towel when she caught the male officers checking her out. “Yes, I’m fine. Did you get him?”

  “Yes, he was searching the house for you,” one of the men said.

  They heard screaming and rushed out of the room.

  Dana followed them. She could hear Edward screaming.

  “You fucking piece of shit! I’ll fucking kill you!” Edward yelled. Dana came in the room to find Edward being restrained by three officers and a naked intruder pinned to the floor ten feet away.

  “Edward,” Dana gasped. Edward took one look at her in the towel and flipped out more.

  “I’ll fucking kill you! You break into my house go after my fiancé? My fucking kids live here, you stupid shit!”

  “They weren’t here. I saw them leave earlier,” the man said as if that would make Edward feel better.

  “Get the fuck off me! I’m going to kill him!” Edward fought against the officers harder.

  “Cuff him!” the officer near Dana said.

  The officer yanked Edward’s hands behind his back and cuffed him. “What are you doing?” Dana demanded.

  “Don’t worry, it’s just to keep him from doing something he’ll regret later.” the officer said.

 
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