Home > Super Hot Wingman (The Best Men #0.5)

Super Hot Wingman (The Best Men #0.5)
Author: Sarina Bowen

 


RED FLAGS

 

 

MARK

 

My first thought when my sister calls to tell me she met a totally great new guy is he better not break her heart like the last guy did.

But I don’t share that with her. Yet.

I do the wise older brother thing instead. I ask all the right questions.

“And how did you meet him?” I ask Hannah as I put away the suits I picked up from the cleaners earlier this evening. “Was it at that pickling class you went to? Or was it mayonnaise canning?”

“Don’t be silly. Mayonnaise is gross. It was at a candle-making workshop,” she says.

“So I was close,” I say as I shut the closet in my bedroom and head to the living room, straightening up a farm puzzle my daughter left on the coffee table.

“I almost didn’t go to it. Which means it was kind of a moment when I met Flip.”

Hannah lives for moments. Let’s hope this is a good thing. “And are you going to see this guy again?”

She laughs, like she’s never heard anything so silly as my question. “Yes.”

“Why is that funny?”

“Well,” she says, whispering the next words like a confession. “I’ve already spent four days with him.”

The piece with the tail of a wooden cow falls from my hand with a clatter. “What? But . . . it’s only Monday.”

More laughter comes from her. “Yes, you’ve always been good at counting, Mark. That means I spent Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday night with him.”

“Every night?” I ask, hackles raised.

There is nothing worse for a relationship than rushing into it. That’s a red flag.

“He’s amazing,” she says with a sigh. I know I should feel happy for her, but my radar is beeping. “We both had Friday off so we just spent the whole time together. Mark, I am completely serious when I tell you this—I think he’s the one.”

I force myself to take a deep breath. “Hannah, that seems really soon,” I say as I pick up the cow and set the barnyard animal cutout on the coffee table next to the pig.

“When you know, you know,” she says, all breezy, like nothing can ruin her day.

This man could, though. He could ruin many of her days. Or her years. I don’t want to see her get hurt or make the same mistakes I've made.

“He treats you well?” I ask carefully. “Or am I going to have to rescue you like that time a few years ago when you were on a date and texted me in the middle of dinner to call and pretend your apartment flooded?”

She laughs. “There will be no fake floods with Flip.”

But a fake flood would be preferable to what went down with the guy who broke her heart a year ago. “Or what happened with Colin,” I add.

“Mark! Stop mentioning the ghosts of boyfriends past. Flip is amazing. I promise you don’t have to go all ‘protective big brother’ on me. He’s great and I want you to meet him. I’m sure you'll give your full seal of approval.”

I’m not so sure about that. But we’ll see. “What are you thinking? Coffee or dinner in a couple weeks?” I ask as I flop down on the couch, tired after another long day. Wall Street plus parenting will do that to a guy.

“As if I can wait that long. You get to meet him this weekend.”

I sit up straight. “What’s happening this weekend?”

“We’ve decided that Saturday night will be game night! And you’re going to be there,” she pronounces.

“Oh. I am, am I?”

“Yes. You and Flip’s best friend. I’m claiming you as my Scrabble teammate. And you don’t even have Rosie that night so it’ll be perfect,” she says.

Damn, she’s good. “How did you know I don’t have Rosie then?”

“I might have stopped by Bridget’s wine shop to grab a bottle, and she mentioned it was her weekend. It works out perfectly. So you can’t say no.”

I bristle at the mention of my soon-to-be ex-wife, even though I’m impressed by my sister’s sleuthing. And if anyone should have what she wants, it’s my little sister. “Fine. I’ll be there. What do I need to bring?”

“Just that big brain of yours and your competitive spirit. I’ll text you the address. Come over at eight. Flip and I will handle drinks and everything else. Although I should see if Asher wants to bring some of these incredible mackerel rolls he sent over to us last night from his favorite sushi place. Which is now my favorite sushi place. They were melt-on-your-tongue-worthy rolls.”

What the hell is she talking about? “Some other guy sent you mackerel rolls?”

“Yes, Flip’s BFF. You’ll love him too, I’m sure.”

Whatever. I don’t really care about some dude who’s friends with my sister’s new man. But this guy, Flip? The man Hannah’s suddenly over the moon for? My job is to check him out very carefully, and make sure he’s worthy of my baby sister. She waxes on for a good long while about Flip and how wonderful he is as I head to the kitchen and clean up the tomato and cheese sandwiches I made my kiddo for dinner.

When Hannah hangs up, I check on my six-year-old. Rosie’s sound asleep, and I press a soft kiss to her forehead, wondering briefly what you wear to a game night to meet the dude your sister is nuts for.

Yep. This is my life. Separated single dad at the age of twenty-seven, and the most exciting thing I have to do is play party games with my sister’s new friends.

Yay me.

 

 

YOU HANDSOME DEVIL

 

 

MARK

 

On Saturday evening, I’m right on time to hunt for Flip’s flaws. Besides the obvious one—his name is kind of ridiculous.

And the other one. He lives on Park Avenue in a penthouse apartment that spans the entire twelfth floor of the building. When I step off the elevator, I’m standing in the man’s private foyer.

A goddamn Degas sculpture stands opposite the coat rack. It’s a brass one of the dancers. At best, our man Flip is a super-rich art collector.

At worst, he has a thing for skinny teenage ballet dancers.

News flash: I don’t trust this guy.

It’s not that I don’t trust rich people. It’s that I don’t trust people, especially people my sister seems enamored of, and she definitely is fond of the preppy, penthouse-owning, gray-eyed guy who struts into the entryway to shake my hand. “I’ve heard so much about you,” he says, his smile showing perfectly white, straight teeth.

“Nice to meet you,” I manage. And I give him a handshake that says, if you hurt her I will disembowel you.

At least, I hope it says that. I looked this guy up on social media and he’s never been short of female companionship. Year after year, he has beautiful women by his side. I don’t want Hannah to be one in a long line.

She appears next to him a moment later, tackle hugging me, nearly knocking my glasses off. “This is amazing! My two favorite people have met!”

As I adjust my glasses, I feel a little nauseated, honestly, but now Flip is looking at her like he’s already in love. “This is pretty great,” he says. “Good thing Asher suggested I get a hand-carved jukebox at the place right next to the candle-making studio, or else I never would have tried the class. And never would have met my amazing new girlfriend.”

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