Before the Wilde Brothers series could happen, there was another love story that had to unfold. This story of the Wilde brothers' parents, Brian and Meg, and it gets the series off to a Wilde Start.
My name is Brian Wilde. Officer Wilde if I’m on duty. I’m a beat cop from the Chicago Police department, and I thought I had my life more or less in order until the night I met her. She’d been attacked and I found her curled up by an alley dumpster, soaking wet, scared, and looking so damned beautiful she stole my heart before she said a single word. For her, I would break the rules that governed my life, both personal and professional. From the moment Meg came into my life, I knew she was special, and I knew I’d do anything to keep her safe.
* * * *
I’m Meg Wilson, and I met Brian on one of the the worst days of my life. I caught my boyfriend cheating on me, got abandoned at a party by my so-called friends, then some lunatic attacks me, steals my purse, and leaves me sitting on a mound of wet trash with a bruised face and a sprained ankle. Then Brian appeared, and for the first time in my life I understood why some women had a thing for guys in uniform. He was a hero out of a storybook. Kind, considerate, brave, and protective, all wrapped up in Chicago Police blues. The worst day of my life turned out to be one of the best, and it was all because of him.
Brian put her down and then helped her into his car, wracking his brain the whole time for ideas on where to take her. By the time he dropped into the driver’s seat, he’d only come up with one idea, and there was a decent chance it was going to get him slapped.
He went for it anyway.
“There’s one place I know where you’ll be safe, and while the décor isn’t exactly five star, it won’t cost you a cent.”
She gave him a sidelong glance, her fingers playing with the stained hem of her dress. “The only place I’ve felt safe tonight…is with you.”
Her words resonated deep inside him. “Then come home with me, Meg. I’ll sleep on the couch, and in the morning I’ll drive you home and stay with you until the locks are changed.”
She didn’t slap him, but she didn’t say anything for what felt like an eon. When she did speak, all she asked was, “Why are you being so nice to me?”
He slid the keys into the ignition, but left the engine off. If they were going to do this, then he needed her to understand a few things. “Because you had a really lousy day, and I want to help. Not because I’m a cop. In fact I’m pretty sure there was an entire hour of ethics class dedicated to discussing why what I’m doing right now is a bad idea. I’m doing it anyway, because you need a friend, and you deserve better than the ones who let you walk home tonight. Besides, what kind of man would leave you with no place to go?”
She tucked a strand of hair back behind her ear and gave him a shy smile. “Plenty of people would do it without a second thought. But you’re not like that, are you?”
“No, I’m not. So does that mean you’re coming home with me?”
“Yes, please, but I’m not taking your bed. I’ll sleep on the couch. I’m pretty sure I’ll fit on it a lot better than you will.”
“We’ll talk about that once we get there.”
“You’re being pushy again.”
“I’m a Wilde. It’s a family trait. Once we know what we want, we don’t take no for an answer.”
“I’ll try to remember that.”
He winked at her and then coaxed Rosa’s engine to life. “It might save time later, when I ask you out for dinner.”
She gave him a wide-eyed look and then laughed, her hands coming up in a gesture of surrender. “I’ll save us some more time. When you get around to asking, the answer is yes.”
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