“Well then, let’s eat,” November says, and I look at her then the girls, wondering what the hell I just got myself into. July is a handful on her own, and with all her sisters coming home over the next couple of years, I have a feeling I’m going to need some back-up. I shake off the feeling, knowing I have a few years until I need to think about it, and go and eat breakfast.
“Hey, babe,” I answer the phone as the girls pass around the ring I got for July. I step out of the room and stand in the hallway. All along the wall are pictures of the Mayson family, and my eyes land on a picture of July when she was a little girl. Her long blonde hair looked wild, like she had been rolling in grass, her dress wrinkled, and her tiny arms were wrapped around a giant dog’s neck, her head pressing into his black and white fur. He sat looking regal, the look on his face one that said he would eat anyone who got too close to her. I knew instantly that was Beast; I also knew from the picture the bond they shared.
“You’re not home,” she complains, her voice still scratchy from sleep. I look from the picture to the ground and smile. Since the moment I first stayed at her place, she has been calling her house our home. I love that.
“I came to your parents’ to get your Jeep.”
“Oh,” she says, sounding disappointed.
“You okay?” I ask after a long moment of silence, wondering if she has fallen asleep.
“Did my mom make breakfast?” she asks.
I laugh and mutter, “Yes.”
“Can you bring me some when you come home?”
“Sure thing, baby.”
“Thank you,” she murmurs, still sounding tired.
“Sleep ’til I get home.”
“Okay,” she agrees, saying, “I love you,” before hanging up.
“Do you mind making July a plate, and then following me back with the Jeep, so she doesn’t catch onto why I was here?” I ask, walking back into the living room.
“No problem,” Asher says, and November gets up, gathering some food together for July.
“Do you know how you’re going to ask her?” December asks.
“No, I haven’t thought much about it. Figured it would come to me,” I confess, taking the ring back, putting it in the box then in my pocket again.
“I think however you do it, it will be perfect. She loves you,” November says, coming back and setting down a plate covered in plastic wrap. “Just follow your heart.”
“Thank you.” I smile, and she pats my cheek.
“Thank you too, for loving my baby the way she deserves to be loved,” she tells me, and those words echo in my ears as I make my way out to my car, and I watch Asher get in July’s Jeep as November gets into her own SUV so they can follow me to the house. The first time I got married, I did it because I thought I loved her. Now, I know different. Now, I know what love feels like, and the way it doesn’t change you, but makes you want to change yourself…to be worthy of the person you are with. I also know that no matter what I want to do in life, I will have a woman at my side to support me, and that says it all.
I roll over and look at the clock when I hear the garage door open, seeing it’s a little after ten.
I get out of bed and find one of his shirts, slipping it on, and then find a pair of panties and pull them on before heading out into the living room, where I’m greeted by Juice and Capone.
“I thought you would still be sleeping,” Wes says, wrapping his arms around my waist from behind as I stop to pick up each of the boys for a cuddle.
“I heard you come in,” I tell him, and then my stomach growls. “And I was hungry.”
“I just put your plate in the microwave.” He kisses the side of my neck and I follow him into the kitchen, hopping up on the counter across from him.
“Thank you for getting my Jeep,” I say, watching as he pulls the plate out of the microwave.
“No problem.” He takes in my position on the counter and smiles, handing me the plate then opening the drawer to get me a fork. “Coffee or juice?”
“Juice,” I reply through a mouthful of fluffy pancake, and he pulls out the jug of orange juice from the fridge, giving me a glass and kissing my forehead before leaning on the counter behind him, crossing his arms over his chest. The top collar of his grey thermal is unbuttoned, showing off the defined muscles of his chest and arms. Last night flashes through my mind. I love the way he is able to make me feel so small and feminine, the way it feels as he’s standing, holding me up with his strength while fucking me.
“What are you thinking about right now?”
My eyes focus on him and I feel my cheeks heat, so I shove a forkful of food in my mouth again and mumble, “Nothing,” causing him to smirk and my eyes to narrow, which only causes his smirk to turn into a grin. “What’s the plan for today?” I ask, swallowing another bite of pancake.
“You wanna go on a ride with me?”
“Sure,” I agree immediately; there is nothing better than being on the back of his bike.
“You’re gonna need to dress warm.”
“Where are we going?”
“Just for a ride,” he says, shrugging.
“Okay,” I agree slowly, wondering what he’s up to.
“Also, we need to stop pretending I’m not living here, and stop wasting money on my apartment.”
“Um…you were the one pretending like you hadn’t moved in,” I remind him.
“Yes. I asked you, ‘When did we move in together?’ and you acted like we hadn’t,” I tell him, hopping off the counter and rinsing off my plate before setting it in the drying rack.
“No, I just didn’t want to have that conversation, with your mom and dad in the next room. Plus, you looked freaked when you asked that shit.” Okay, so he may be slightly right. I was a little freaked about it, just because I had no idea when it happened. It was like one minute we were dating, and the next, he moved in. “Judging by the silence, I think you get my point,” he says, and I roll my eyes. “So are you good with me closing my lease?”
“Yes,” I agree, wrapping my arms around his waist and looking up into his handsome face.
“What’s the mortgage on your house?”
“I don’t have one.” I shrug.
“You rent this place?” he asks as his eyebrows pull together.
“Maybe you should sit down,” I suggest, walking him backwards until we reach the living room, where I push him onto the couch and straddle his lap.