Home > How Much I Love (Miami Nights #3)

How Much I Love (Miami Nights #3)
Author: Marie Force

Chapter 1






Is it possible to go into hiding when everyone knows where you are? Asking for a friend. Well, that’s not true, and we all know it. I’m asking for myself because I’m in a mess of my own making. There’s no other way to put it. I had revenge sex with one of the groomsmen at my cousin’s wedding, and for months he’s been texting cute little daily notes that I find myself looking forward to with far more excitement than I should have for a supposed one-night stand.

Wyatt is coming back to Miami to interview for a job here and wants to see me again. File that under things that weren’t supposed to happen when I decided to get busy with a man who doesn’t live here. Meanwhile, my ex—and the subject of the revenge sex he doesn’t know I had—is texting me, pleading for a chance to make things right.

Did you follow all that?

In case you’re wondering, I’m not that girl. I’m not the one who juggles the boys and giggles when she gets too much attention or has sex with men she isn’t in a relationship with. I. Am. Not. That. Girl. I assure you I’m not judging that girl. I’ve been envious of her in the past, how she could bed-hop, having all the sex without the stress of dealing with a “boyfriend.”

I’ve had one boyfriend, and once upon a time, before he lost his mind and married someone else, I expected to marry Marcus. Somehow, he ended up married to a woman we now refer to as “the skank.”

Too bad he didn’t see fit to break up with me before he got married.


I didn’t see any of this coming, and it flattened me. Marcus married someone else. My sister, cousin and I have no idea if his wife deserves the name we’ve given her, but what does it matter? She married my Marcus, and she’ll never be anything other than “the skank” to us.

For a long time after I heard he got married, I blamed myself. I was the one who desperately refused to move back to Miami after we both attended college there, and for a while, he was a good sport about it. But six months after he left New York, he said we needed to see other people. So that’s what we both did for a few years, not that I “saw” that many people.

About eighteen months ago, he reached out to tell me he’d made a big mistake letting me go and could we try again? Since I hadn’t met anyone I loved more than I loved him, I said okay, but I kept our reconciliation between us—and the cousin I lived with, who was the only one in my life who knew we were back together.

Marcus flew up to see me every other month, made sure we talked every day and said all the right things about supporting my dreams and loving me enough to let me spread my wings.

After he suddenly married someone else, though, I began to wonder if he got all that supportive shit from Hallmark cards at the local CVS.

My phone buzzes with a text. I make the mistake of glancing at it to find that Marcus is begging me—again—to call him.

Did I mention the skank dumped him, and he’s been telling people that the biggest mistake he ever made was letting me get away? I heard about that two days before Carmen’s wedding five months ago, now.

Thus, the revenge sex with one of her husband’s groomsmen, an incredibly sexy doctor from Phoenix who rocked my world in more ways than one.

I experienced actual rage when my sister, Maria, and cousin Carmen gently broke the news that Marcus was apparently in some sort of regret tailspin regarding me and how our relationship ended. Oh, and he’s still in love with me and never stopped loving me. Even then, I hadn’t told them that we’d recently reconciled, and as far as I knew, we’d still been together when he married someone else.

You got married, I’d scream if I returned one of his hundred calls over the last few weeks and months. What more is there to say? And yes, I know I should block him. I just haven’t gotten around to that yet. Stop judging me.

He has regrets. Whatever. How soon into his “marriage” did he regret leaving me after six on-again-off-again years without so much as a conversation? He let me hear through the formidable Miami-to-New York grapevine that my boyfriend got married. To someone else!

So yeah, call me crazy, but I’m not in any great rush to make him feel better by calling him and talking it out. He can screw himself. Was he thinking about me when he married her? When he had sex with her? When he let me hear about his “marriage” from other people?

And you wonder why I’m in hiding in my new apartment. A couple of months ago, I inherited the garage apartment at home owned by my aunt and uncle from my sister, Maria, who moved in with her fiancé, Austin. She managed to grab the golden ring with a great guy who came with a beautiful daughter named Everly, whose life Maria saved when she donated bone marrow to Everly.

Maria met Austin a year after the transplant, when they were finally allowed to talk to each other, and fell madly in love one email and text at a time. Austin is a star pitcher who’ll be playing for the Miami Marlins next season. He took a lesser deal than he could’ve gotten elsewhere so he could live in Maria’s town.

Now that’s a real man who steps up for the woman he loves, and I couldn’t be happier for them. They’re adorable together, and Everly is a sweetheart. Maria hit the jackpot, and I’m a nasty cow for being jealous that my sister and cousin have it all figured out while I hide out, hoping the whole world will just go away and leave me the hell alone.

Of course, with my mother battling breast cancer and me being back in Miami to help take care of her, I can’t hide out for long. My brothers Nico and Milo are in charge of dinner for my parents tonight, so I’m able to stay in my bunker for a while longer.

I watch mindless TV and try not to think about what I’m going to do about Marcus’s nonstop texts, or Wyatt, the one-night stand, trying to score a second night, or my mom’s illness, or anything other than which of the Property Brothers is going to win their latest Brother vs. Brother challenge.

I need a real job beyond waitressing at the family’s restaurant. At nearly twenty-eight, I’m living in an apartment owned by one aunt and uncle while working for another aunt and uncle. Not where I thought I’d be at this age, that’s for sure. I need to go to New York and get my stuff out of my cousin Domenic’s apartment. I need to get a freaking life. That’s the bottom line.

My phone buzzes again. I swear to God, I’m this close to blocking Marcus. But this text isn’t from him.

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