“I really didn’t come for advice. I just needed an alibi since I told her I couldn’t go out with her tonight because I promised I’d come over here for dinner and to talk about family stuff.”

“You’re an ass, Calland,” I told him, shaking my head at him.

“But you love me,” was his reply.

Chapter 8

“You’re fucking kidding me,” Chloe gasped, her jaw dropping.

“I wish I was,” I replied, succinctly.

We were at Allie’s house for the Down & Dirty party, helping her set things up. Allie and Emma were in the kitchen putting together a veggie tray while Chloe and I moved chairs into the living room from the dining room table to make sure there were enough seats for everyone.

I was filling Chloe in on all the details of what happened with Victoria at Ian’s office yesterday, and while I wasn’t whispering, I wasn’t talking loudly, but that didn’t stop my sister and Allie from stomping into the living room, wiping their hands on paper towels.

“I heard the name Victoria and I know you aren’t in here telling stories that we can’t hear,” Emma said sternly. Allie stood beside her, nodding her agreement.

I opened my mouth to say something and the door opened, bringing my mom and oldest sister, Jenna, into the room. They called their hellos, but only got half-assed hellos in response because everyone was still staring at me.

Chloe gave me a sympathetic look, because I’d already told her I was just gonna fill the rest of my family in at breakfast tomorrow, but…my family, especially the women, are like a dog with a bone when they want to know something. They’d do well in the CIA or the FBI; they’d just talk prisoners to death, or at least into giving up all the information they had.

My mom’s eagle eye read the situation immediately and turned to me. “What are you hiding?”

I threw my hands up. “I’m not hiding anything! Geez Louise, people!” I sighed. “Can’t a girl have a private conversation with her best friend?”

“Leah Nicole…” Mom warned, and I grinned.

“Okay, my God. I was gonna tell you all at breakfast tomorrow, but just wanted to tell Chloe because she and Brandon can’t make it tomorrow.” I shot Chloe an apologetic look, because I’d just essentially thrown her under the bus.

My mom picked up on that immediately, too. “Chloe? You guys aren’t coming tomorrow?”

Chloe glared at me and then smiled at my mom, shaking her head regretfully. “No, we actually already had plans…” she took in my mom’s crestfallen expression and backpedaled. “But we can move things around and be there!” she said brightly.

My mom beamed because she’d just gotten her way. “Good, that means everyone will be there, including your mom and her…and T.J. and Allie’s parents, too.”

Chloe’s eyes narrowed. “My mom and her what, Mrs. Jensen?”

“Oh, blah. I’ve told you time and time again, call me Jan. Mrs. Jensen was my mother-in-law. And, nothing, I don’t know what I’m talking about. Don’t mind the ramblings of an old woman. Now, Leah, you tell us right now what you’re hiding.”

And just like that, my mom had effectively closed that subject.

“I wasn’t hiding anything, I promise,” I began, and then told them everything that had happened with Victoria.

With all that finally out of the way, we got back to setting up for the party. Chloe and I headed to Allie’s office to start dragging out her tubs of stuff and getting it all laid out on the table she had set up in front of the fireplace.

Chloe was arranging the wide array of dildos, cock rings, vibrators, bullets, and other interesting items designed to make you scream alongside the bottles, jars, and tubes containing creams, lotions, powders, and lubes of all types for whatever you could imagine, while I went back to get the star of the show, Big Kirky.

I was a little apprehensive lugging him into the living room, because, well…I honestly didn’t know what kind of crazy thing Nanny would pop off with when she saw him. Big Kirky was an eighteen inch tall, ten inch diameter, jelly-type dildo, complete with veins and balls, and the thing weighed like ten pounds.

Allie joked around about using him for a door stop (which I think she actually did at one point), but really she had just gotten him for the shock factor when she started selling Down & Dirty. I’ve been to a few of her parties over the past few years, and he’s always been the ice breaker, for sure.

Thankfully, Nannny had gone into the kitchen with Daisy and my mom, so I made my way over to Chloe, calling out for her to clear a spot for Big Kirky. She shook her head and laughed as she did so, then laughed even harder at the thump he made when I set him down.

We moved back from the table and studied our handiwork, satisfied that we’d remembered to set up everything like Allie had asked us to.

She came into the living room, holding a stack of catalogs and pens in her hands. When she saw the table, she nodded to us. “Thank you, you two! Looks great! I guess we’re ready?”

I shrugged, looking around. I didn’t see anything else that needed to be done. The front door opened and Jackson walked in.

“Jesus…” he muttered as his eyes went directly to the table we’d set up. “I forgot about that thing.”

Allie just grinned and lifted her face to meet his kiss. “What are you doing here? The party is getting ready to start.”

“I know, I just forgot to grab extra diapers to refill the diaper bag with and wanted to get them before everyone got here,” Jackson called over his shoulder as he headed upstairs. He was back downstairs in an instant, clutching a handful of diapers.

Emma walked out of the kitchen munching on a carrot stick and almost ran into him as he stepped off the stairs. “Ooh. Sorry, Jacks,” she said, patting his chest fondly and moving away from him. She stopped and turned back to him, her eyes narrowing.

“Where’d you come from?” she asked.

“This is my house, you know,” he said, drolly.

“Smart ass,” she muttered. “You know what I mean. Is everything okay with Luke and Everly?”

Since the party was at Allie and Jacks’ house, all the guys, along with the babies, were hanging at Luke and Emma’s house.

“Chill, mama bear, everything’s fine,” Jackson said to her. “I just needed to grab some diapers.”

Emma looked confused. “You could have just grabbed one of Everly’s. She just moved up to the same size as Liam. Why’d Luke make you walk over here just for diapers?”

Allie interjected with, “Yeah, what she said. You checking up on us?”

Jackson gave her a look and said, “No, woman. I’m not checking up on you. I’m also NOT putting my SON in one of Everly’s diapers. They’re girly!”

Emma screwed her face up at him. “What? They aren’t girly, they’re just normal diapers,” she said, looking at him like he’d lost his mind.

“They have Minnie Mouse on them!” Jackson exclaimed, looking affronted that it was even suggested he use a diaper depicting a female cartoon character on his son.

Emma rolled her eyes and said, “They also have Mickey Mouse on them.” She turned to Allie. “Your husband…”

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