Fit for Love (A Stand By Me Novel Book 3)

Fit for Love (A Stand By Me Novel Book 3) by Brinda Berry Read Free Book Online

Book: Fit for Love (A Stand By Me Novel Book 3) by Brinda Berry Read Free Book Online
Authors: Brinda Berry
strangers. “It was nothing. She seems nice and you care about her. I know how important family is.”
    “Here’s my problem. Last night, the nurse said Nonna will be listed under Critical Care until she stabilizes.”
    “Oh. I hope she’ll be better soon.” My throat tightens. I know what it’s like to lose someone. To feel the void that person leaves behind.
    “I’m going to ask you to do something huge. I’ve no right to ask this of someone I don’t know, but I don’t feel like you’re a stranger. If Nonna weren’t…” Aiden rubs a hand over his forehead.
    “Ask. What is it?”
    “Could you come back to the hospital with me to see her? As my fiancée? It’s the woman’s dying wish and I can’t see myself breaking her heart.”
    My eyes grow wide. “You’re kidding. You want me to lie to her?”
    “Lie? It’s a simple misunderstanding and one for a good cause. I’ll tell her the truth if she pulls out of this and gets released. If Nonna doesn’t make it, she dies a happy woman.”
    Dies. She’s the only family he has in the world. My skin feels prickly and my chest aches for him. If I didn’t have Ryder and Mama, I’d be alone. How could I bear it? I’d do anything for either one of them. I’d beg, borrow, or steal. A temporary lie seems harmless compared to what I’d do. Without a doubt.
    The deli truck window slides open and Morty sticks his head through. “Order up.”
    Aiden takes both white takeout bags from the ledge. “Thanks, we appreciate it.”
    “Bye, Morty,” I say.
    “See ya,” he answers and disappears into the depths of his truck.
    Aiden walks beside me, giving me sidelong looks the entire way as if I’ll make a run for it and break free of his request.
    “Quit looking so hopeful,” I say and watch a limousine slowly pass us on the street. “You’re really asking a lot.”
    “I know. But I also think you know it’s important or I wouldn’t ask.”
    That’s not the only reason he’s asking. He trusts me on some level with one of the most precious things in his life—his Nonna. And even though I shouldn’t get involved—because he’s going to be personally hard to resist—I can’t say ‘no.’
    “So, fiancée,” I raise one eyebrow. “We visit her and I hope she doesn’t ask me something that gives us away. Right?”
    He chuckles at me as if I’m trying to be cute. “We can go over a few things and get to know each other. Believe me, she’s so excited about you that she won’t notice anything is off. You’ll be lucky if she lets you talk.”
    “And how do we get to know each other in the five minutes we have before we get back to the shelter?”
    “I ask you a question. Then you give me an answer. We take turns doing this until we know everything there is to know. Let’s begin with what you do.”
    I snort. “I’ve been a volunteer here at Angel’s for a year. Maybe a little longer. I write songs and sell them. I’ve had some lucky breaks, so it pays the bills. I take care of Ryder. End of story.”
    He gives me an easy smile. “Now, me. I’m a fitness trainer at Evolutions,” he says. “I take on private clients as well. I’m saving money to start my own business and looking for investors. I spend my free time training for triathlons.”
    I’ve never met anyone quite like Aiden. He seems different. Driven. Decisive. Not drifting along on a tide of creative bliss or hoping to figure out what to do in life.
    “Tell me more about Ryder,” he says.
    For some reason, I don’t expect the question. Most people ask about my songwriting and which songs are mine. They ask if I have hits done by famous people.
    Most people ask about Jared if they realize I know him.
    “Ryder.” I tuck my head down and can’t stop the grin tugging at my mouth. That kid is my savior and my heart beats for him. “He’s sweet and stubborn. He likes to wake to the sound of his favorite television shows. He loves doing things with his hands—building blocks,

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