We finally made our way into town to Manny’s, Emma’s favorite restaurant. Of course, it had quickly become my favorite, too, once she’d brought me down here for some chicken alfredo and black tie mousse cake. That shit was an orgasm for your taste buds. The first time she’d taken me to Manny’s, she’d told me about the first date Luke had taken her on; how she’d eaten all of her pasta and then made love to a piece of cake. Of course, I was laughing my ass off by the end of the story because of how it ended with Leah’s drunk ass being dropped off by Calland right before they got to the good stuff.

Manny himself came out and seated us, immediately swooping both babies up in his arms and taking them back to the kitchen with him, calling for his wife as he went. Emma and Allie just grinned indulgently, knowing that their babies were safe with Manny. The worst that would happen would be that Manny would spoil them more than they already were, and at four months old, they were pretty damn spoiled.

A waiter came over and took our orders, chuckling when we all ordered the same exact thing; salad with house Italian, fettuccine alfredo with chicken, and, of course, black tie mousse cake. As he walked away to put our orders in, Jenna was talking pregnancy with Allie and Emma, so I took the chance to ask Leah what had happened after we all left last night.

“So are you and Ian good?” I asked, cautiously.

She sighed. “Yeah, I guess so. Apparently she’s an old family friend who he went out with once and never took the hint after that he wasn’t interested. I get the feeling that she’s a little looney tunes.”

I snorted. “Ya think? There’s something not right with her, that’s for damn sure. You and Ian make up okay, though?”

She smiled. “Of course. Hot, heavy make-up sex is the fucking best.”

I pretended to plug my ears and sang, “La la la la,” until she stopped, her words lost in laughter.

I heard Allie pipe up, “Oohh, Chloe is covering her ears, that means there’s juicy gossip going down and I want in!”

Amid giggles, we filled them in on what happened last night, Emma and Jenna becoming properly outraged on behalf of their little sister. She was quick to defend Ian, though, so I guess everything was for sure good with them. I hoped so, anyway. I really liked the guy and he seemed really good to Leah. Only time will tell.

Our salads arrived, along with the babies, Manny holding Liam, his wife cuddling Everly. They both were sleeping peacefully, so they laid them in their carriers, patted each of them on the back, and headed back into the kitchen with Manny winking and quipping, “Gotta make sure your alfredo is perfect!”

An hour and a half later, stuffed to the gills with the best Italian food you could ever ask for, we all headed back to Emma’s house, but Leah and I stopped at the store to get a few girls’ day staples that included the makings of special sundaes (we bought extra frozen yogurt for the nursing moms and newly pregnant to eat without the added booze), dried beef dip, and buffalo chicken dip. Yes, we all just got done eating, but when we do a girls’ day, it’s an all day thing, and always involves food. Don’t judge us.

We were standing in the frozen food aisle at the store when Leah looked at me, tears filling her eyes. I dropped the carton of fro yo I was holding into the cart and pulled her into my arms. “Leah, honey, what’s wrong? I thought you said everything was okay?” I held her back and looked at her with concern.

She gave a short laugh and dashed the tears from her eyes quickly. “I am fine. It just…she keeps calling his phone. Her and some other number that doesn’t have a name. I only know that one of them is Victoria because I answered it once. She got all huffy and told me to have him call her, that she wanted to thank him for the night before.” She groaned and moved back, grabbing another carton of fro yo from the cooler, tossing it in the cart as she said, “I don’t know why I get so upset when she says stuff like that. He was with me at my house, we were in bed, and he was fucking my brains out, so I know he wasn’t with her. But…”

She dropped her eyes to her hands, twisting her fingers together agitatedly. “I’m all in on this one. He’s it for me,” she said quietly.

“Oh, Leah…” I answered softly. “That’s a good thing, right? You love him?”

She nodded. “Short and simple. I do. God help me, but I do. Isn’t it too soon?”

“No, I don’t think so,” I told her. “I mean, look at your sister. Emma and Luke didn’t know each other for that long and see how in love they are? You can’t be within ten feet of either of them without getting hit by the waves of lust emanating from them both.”

She let out a wry chuckle. “You’re totally right there. Did I tell you I walked in on them?”

I blinked. “What? Luke and Emma?”

“Yeah. Luke’s so frickin’ hot and all, but he’s my brother-in-law. I didn’t need to see that.” She shuddered. “He had her bent over the back of the couch going to pound town and-”

“Jesus, Leah!” I shouted, cutting her off. “I so don’t need to hear that!”

“Well? How do you think I felt having to see it? I swear if there was a way to bleach my eyeballs, I would have!”

When we finally stopped laughing and moved on to the chip aisle, I asked her, “So why the tears, then?”

She shrugged. I don’t know. I just get so upset because it’s only been months that we’ve been together. I don’t know his past women, not really…he’s talked about them, but…then Victoria pops up out of the blue and he’s never talked about her before. Then there’s this other number but when I asked him about it, he just blew me off like it was a wrong number. I just don’t want to be made to look like a fool.”

I patted her back in sympathy. “I know. But at the same time, if you love him, and he loves you?” I made it a question and waited to see what she would say.

She nodded shyly. “He said it a couple weeks ago. Told me out of the blue that he loved me.”

“See?” I nudged her with my shoulder. “It’s gonna be okay.” I clapped my hands together. “Now. Let’s get this shit and get outta here so we can get some special sundaes in our bellies!”

Chapter 23

“Holy fuck, this is the funniest thing I think I’ve ever seen!” Allie crowed, squishing closer to me as we all stared out the window into Emma’s back yard.

We’d been back from the store for a few hours now, the babies were both napping, we’d all been snacking, and Hayden was coloring at the kitchen table when we heard shouting outside. Emma had jumped up and made a bee-line for the back door like her ass was on fire, locking the doggy-door shut and slumping in relief.

We hadn’t had to say a word; she’d taken one look at us all staring at her with mild amusement and explained, “I know that sound. That’s Luke’s you-fucking-dog-you-got-sprayed-by-a-skunk-again yell.”

We’d heard a gasp and then Hayden had piped up, “Ahhh…Aun’ Emmy said a dirty word!”

Emma had cringed and mouthed an apology to Jenna who just waved it off. “She’s been in the garage with Dad, Noah, and Calland when they’ve been ‘fixing’ something.”

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