Page 54

Better than Sexy (The Sexy 3) Carly Phillips 2022/8/10 15:05:12

God, this man. He was so special and good to her. Good for her. “What about us?”

“I’m not going anywhere. We’ll make it work.” And with that pronouncement, he bent his head and captured her lips with his.

Once his mouth met hers, all the longing and desire she’d kept tucked away came roaring back with a vengeance. His tongue curled around hers as he kissed her in front of the entire neighborhood and she didn’t care.

Not when the man she loved had her in his arms. She still didn’t know how they’d handle a long-distance future, but she was going to do everything she could to make sure they stayed together.

Vivi ended her last song at Club TEN29, though she’d already been informed she had an open invitation to return any time. She performed an encore, a new song she’d been working on recording in the studio. The experience felt so different now, knowing she’d be performing her music across the world.

The good news was the album would come first, no travel until she completed her music, so she and Landon had more time together in New York and she’d have more time with her mom, who was still grieving Vic’s death. She was about to walk offstage to the audience clapping when Landon unexpectedly joined her.

“How about another round of applause for our summer star!” he said, raising their now joined hands in the air.

She took her bows and met Landon’s gaze, shocked by the emotion she saw in his expression and the love gleaming from his eyes. Not that she didn’t know how he felt—he showed her every night—but this was a public expression of his feelings.

He held on to her hand, turning it over so her palm faced down. She sensed the moment the audience felt the change in him … in them, and a hush fell over the club as he slipped his free hand into his pants pocket.

He removed his hand, cupping something in his fist. “Vivi?” Taking her completely off guard, he dropped down on one knee.

Her heart lodged in her throat.

“I know it’s soon but when you know, you know. And I am certain I don’t want to spend another minute without you by my side.” The sensitive microphone on stage picked up his words and a murmur of awws, filled the air. “I also know that I don’t want to be apart when you take off to fulfill your dreams. So.”

Eyes opened wide, tears brimming, she listened, happiness filling her with everything he said.

“I’m going with you on tour. You need someone besides Ellie who has your back, and the guys can handle the club while I travel. I’ll come back every so often to check and make sure they aren’t running this place into the ground, of course.”

“Is with you. I’ll be your business manager. Your bodyguard. Your lover and your best friend. So, Vivi, will you marry me?”

“Say yes!” a familiar voice called from the back of the room. Tanner, she thought.

She blinked and tears fell as she nodded. “Yes.”

He slipped the ring onto her finger, and a chorus of applause broke out around them.

He stood and pulled her into his arms. “The business manager thing was a joke,” he said, whispering for her ears alone. “I’ll be anything you need me to be as long as we can be together.”

Looping her arms around his neck, she grinned. “I need a team around me I can trust. We will find an official role for you because there is no one I trust more. I love you, Landon Bennett.”

His lips brushed hers. “And I love you, Vivi Zane soon to be Bennett. Now come on. I have a surprise in the dressing room.”

He led her off the stage and into the back room. Inside, everyone she knew was there. Tanner and Scarlett, Jason and Faith, her mom, who was crying and beaming at the same time, Ellie with her big, happy grin, Amber and her son, and even Owen had made an appearance.

But when she turned toward her dressing table, the biggest surprise awaited. Landon’s parents stood to the side. Holding her hand, Landon walked toward them.

Samuel and Carrie met them halfway. “Welcome to the family,” Landon’s father, the last one to have come around to accept her, said, warmth in his tone. “I always wanted a daughter.”

She swallowed the lump in her throat. “But I… You…”

“Let’s go on from here, okay?” Samuel reached out and held her hand in his. “You make my son happy and that’s all I care about now.”

“I promise to always put him first. I can’t believe he’s going on tour with me.”

“You couldn’t keep me away.” Landon ran a hand down the back of her hair. “We’re a team.”

She grinned at his parents. “I think he learned that from the two of you.”