“What’s up, Kay?” I ask, pinching my brows together.

She immediately knows I’m referring to her being a grandma at six in the evening.

“I volunteered at the animal shelter all day today, which I love, but I seriously want to adopt every dog in there. I need a bigger yard.”

I burst out laughing and shake my head at her.

“Seriously! I love all of them,” she gushes, her lips forming into a cheesy grin. “But I washed at least fifteen big dogs today because no one else wants to. They can be a hassle, but I need them to be nice and clean so I can get them adopted.”

“You have such a big heart,” Viola says with a wink.

“Are you saying you’d like to adopt another dog?” Kayla doesn’t waste any time. She’s been volunteering for the last few years on and off, but recently, she’s been there a lot more than usual.

“Travis would kill me. But Gryff could use a friend,” Viola says. She’s always had a thing for puppies and can’t pass up the opportunity to pet a dog that’s in her sight. Kayla instantly lights up. “Well, maybe I’ll bring one or two by for you to foster until I find a forever home! Or three?”

“You’ll have five dogs by the time she’s done with you,” I warn Viola. “Seriously. She’ll bring wine and dogs to your next get-together. She might bring enough to pass them out like party favors.” The waiter sets my drink down and notices we are nowhere close to ordering, so he steps away, giving us more time.

We continue to laugh and Kayla doesn’t deny it; instead, I see a fire in her eye. “Oh my God! That’s a great idea,” she adds. “An adoption party!” I wrap my arm around her and squeeze and she turns and looks at me. “Court, you should totally get a dog. You’ve got the perfect fenced in backyard and you could use the company for when Drew’s working. Plus—”

“Don’t you even. Travis got Viola a puppy and the next thing we knew, she was popping out babies like Easter eggs. I’m not ready for all that yet!”

Viola nods her head. “It’s true. Puppies equal babies. But I’m not going to complain about a niece or nephew. So maybe you should get one,” she teases. I’ve never seen two people so excited about babies and animals.

I playfully roll my eyes with a smile. “Well, maybe one day. In the future. I can make that happen for both of you. But, not right now. And plus, how do you know I’m not a cat person?”

“I can get cats, too. Gerbils, rabbits, teacup pigs! Any kind of animal you want.” Kayla takes another sip of her drink.

“Oh my God!” My head falls back, laughing. “You’re slinging animals like drugs!” I’m laughing so hard and so is Viola.

“You’re both going to make me pee myself.” Viola wipes tears from her face, which makes me laugh even harder, but this time it’s at Viola’s expense. “Seriously, don’t laugh at me. You both just wait. Getting pregnant and pushing out babies changes things down there. Especially your bladder. Mine is weak as fuck now. One sneeze and I’m a goner.”

I suck my lips into my mouth, trying hard to contain my laughter, but the seriousness of Viola’s face has me cracking up even harder.

“Y’all don’t know how much I needed this,” I tell them. “I love y’all so much.” Being with them makes it so easy to get lost in the good times, in the right now.

The waiter comes back and we finally order. Viola rests her chin on her fist and searches my face. “Are you okay, Court?”

She knows the details about what happened in Vegas and who was involved, but Kayla has only gotten the CliffsNotes version. Once we got home, we went to the hospital and had blood work taken and went to the courthouse and filed a temporary restraining order until we could schedule an appointment with a lawyer. I felt like the days rushed by and I haven’t had free time to tell her every detail, but she deserves to know what’s going on.

“I’m okay, I think. I hate being alone in the house at night, knowing Drew won’t be home until late. I hate how she knows everything about that house. About Drew. I hate her,” I say with a passion.

“She’s Voldemort for real,” Viola adds. “The one that shall not be named.”

“Great, now the Harry Potter theme song is going to be stuck in my head for the rest of the night,” Kayla jokes and hums it, then of course Viola joins in.

“You two are ridiculous.”

Viola pulls her straw out of her glass and points it at me. “You should be grateful I left my wand at home.”


Tags: Kennedy Fox The Checkmate Duet Erotic
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