Your Endless Love (The Bennett Family, #9)By: Layla Hagen
Summer & Alex ~ The Bennett Family, Book 9
“There are too many options.” I flick my gaze from the Cinderella figurine to the carriage on the shelf below. Next to me, my brother Daniel seems to have as much trouble deciding as I have. We’re shopping for presents for our niece’s birthday. As we head to the next aisle, his phone chimes.
“Great news,” he announces, his attention on the small screen. “Alex Westbrook’s team just informed me he can drop by St. Anne’s next week.”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you.” I clasp my hands together, grinning. St. Anne’s is a group home where I often volunteer. Nothing makes the kids’ day more than a celebrity visiting, and Alexander “Alex” Westbrook is playing their favorite superhero on the big screen. Daniel owns an adventure center, catering to a famous clientele. Ever since I found out Westbrook is his client, I pestered him about this. “You’re my favorite brother.”
Daniel shoves his phone back in his pocket, elbowing me conspiratorially. “Don’t play the favorites game. I know you say that to all our brothers.”
“How about, you’re my favorite brother right now?”
“Ouch. Hurtful, but honest.”
I sigh, tilting my head to one side. “We have seven siblings. You can’t monopolize the favorite spot all the time.”
I love being the youngest, and I take thorough advantage of it. As a kid, I could get away with anything.
As we step into an aisle displaying miniature musical instruments, I ask, “Does Alex have any special requests?” I’ve organized quite a few celebrity visits at the group home and know stars can be high-maintenance. Since Alex is leading the A-list in Hollywood, I imagine he’ll have some requests.
Daniel nods, inspecting a miniature saxophone. “Yeah. He doesn’t want press or PR communication. No photos on social media.”
That’s not what I expected. “Sure, no problem.”
“He’s not one of those celebrities boasting about their charity work,” he says, as if reading my mind. “And since his split from Amy, he tries to keep an even lower profile.”
“I don’t blame him. What a mess.” I’m not one to keep up with celebrity scandals and tabloids, but as Hollywood’s darlings, their split is so highly publicized, there’s no escaping it. The official reason for the split was that they simply grew apart, which the tabloids don’t believe. As such, the speculations run wild.
I can’t imagine how dreadful it must be to have your heartbreak splashed all over the Internet and printed media. A breakup is bad enough in itself. I usually go through them by consuming copious amounts of sugar—or wine—and watching bad rom-coms with my sisters commiserating with me. But having the whole world watch your every move when you’re at a low point? That has to be a special kind of hell.
“Audrey would love a saxophone,” I tell my brother.
“I’m buying this one then,” Daniel announces, grabbing one of the miniature saxophones.
“I think I’ll buy her that treasure-hunting set we saw right next to the entrance.”
“That’s what I call an efficient shopping trip.”
“The power of experience, brother. The power of experience.” Since all my siblings are married, and most have kids, I developed quite a knack for buying gifts.
“Just so I’m mentally prepared, will it be one of those over-the-top parties?”
I bring both hands to my chest theatrically. “I’m shocked you’d think otherwise. Of course it will be.” I smile sheepishly. Yeah, I might go a tad overboard when it comes to organizing our nieces and nephews’ birthday parties, but I can’t help myself. The kids love it. And so do my siblings. They just like teasing me about it. I point my forefinger at Daniel. “And don’t think you can get out of me what the theme will be. It’s a surprise.”
“I made the meeting with Alex happen and I don’t even deserve a heads-up?”
I narrow my eyes, recognizing one of my own tactics for luring out secrets: inducing guilt. “Nope, you don’t. And speaking of Alex, is he flying in that day from LA? Should I arrange for a car to pick him up from the airport or the hotel? I can pick him up too.”