She turns to Drew with a sweet smile on her face, and I’m surprised he was able to temporarily make her stress vanish. “You’re welcome, Sugar. Anytime.”

Without missing a beat, she sternly looks at me. “Now go get dressed, Court. We can’t be late.”

Not wanting to give her any sass, I do as I’m told. Drew and I walk out of the kitchen and he grabs my hand and we walk upstairs.

“I’m actually nervous.” Drew lets out a long breath.

“You’ll be fine. But we might need to get you some different clothes.” I look him up and down and know Converse won’t cut it while working today.

“Come on.” I take his hand and walk downstairs to the washroom. He’s around the same size as Evan and I know there are extra clothes in the cabinets above the dryer. Though my brothers don’t live here anymore, if they’re dirty when they join for dinner, Mama makes them change clothes, washes them up, and places them here. I grab a pair of jeans that are worn out in the knees, a plaid button-up shirt, and find some boots by the back door that are his size. We go back upstairs and Drew changes while I slip on a sundress.

Looking over my shoulder, I catch a glimpse of him and laugh.

“I look like a cliché.” Drew rolls his sleeves up to his elbows and tucks his jeans into his boots.

“Nah, you’re missing a big ole’ belt buckle and a ten-gallon hat, but I can make that happen, if you’d like.” The space between us almost instantly vanishes because when I turn back around, Drew is pulling me into his arms and his lips are on my neck, trailing up to my mouth. I grab fistfuls of his shirt as his hands thread through my hair.

“You should probably get going; Daddy doesn’t like people who aren’t punctual,” I say between kisses.

His breath brushes against my skin before his lips trail across my bare shoulder. “That’s where you get it from.”

“Go on.” I shoo him. “Make a good impression and good luck.”

He smiles over his shoulder as he walks out of my room and I say a little prayer for him that my brothers don’t do anything stupid.

After I apply some light makeup and fix my hair, I go downstairs and help Mama load the cupcakes in the back of her car, then we head over to the church where the baby shower is being held. Cars fill the parking lot and many of them are parked on the grass.

“What time does this start again?”

Mama looks panicked. “Not for another hour.”

I say things to calm her, but I don’t think it’s working because her face is stone-cold pissed. “Charlotte should’ve told me everyone would be here this early.”

“It’s going to be fine. I’m sure it’s just the excitement of twins and the gender reveal.”

Once she parks, we make several trips into the community room with cupcakes. Aunt Charlotte helps me unload them from the car as Mom starts stacking the cupcakes into a tall tower. The room is decorated beautifully with pink and blue pastels. Across the room there are two different colored punches and cute cards laid around that say ‘boys or girls or both?’. Just looking at Mama’s cupcakes make my mouth water and I’m so tempted to snag one, but I know I’d be murdered in front of all these people.

Eventually, I find Benita and she looks so pretty in a cute yellow dress with her hair curled. Her face is glowing and as soon as she sees me across the room, she squeals loudly and walks to me and I pull her into a big hug.

“Sorry, my stomach is so damn big,” she says then she leans in and whispers in my ear, “What the hell is everyone doing here so early? The shower doesn’t start for a little over an hour.”

I smile and hug her again and whisper. “Because most of them like to gossip and this is the only thing going on right now.”

Just as we release our hug, Toby’s mother Theresa comes over to me. “Oh my heavens, Courtney! I didn’t realize you would be here all the way from California?” Her voice is sweet, but her eyes are looking me over. I’m sure she’ll have something to say to the women she plays rummy with every Thursday night. She resented me the day Toby said he was leaving to be with me. But I guess in the end she got what she wanted when he moved back to Texas.

“Yes, ma’am. All the way from Cal-i-forn-i-a.” My accent is overly exaggerated and I sound way too happy. She gets the hint and so does Benita.

My cousin and I exchange a silent conversation when Theresa pulls the attention back to her. “Oh, did you hear about Toby and Christina?”

Tags: Kennedy Fox The Checkmate Duet Erotic