“Are you going to open it or just stand there?” she asks, coming up and placing her hand against my side, while using the other to push Ninja back a step.

“I’m trying to decide,” I grouch, listening as she giggles and pushes me to the side so she can pull open the door.


“Hey, Mom. Hey, Dad,” she says in greeting with a kiss and hug to each of her parents. “I know why you’re here, but I have bigger news.” She hops up and down then shoves her hand out toward her parents. “Evan asked me to marry him!” she yells happily, making them showing up worth the annoyance of not having my morning free, just to show her how much I love her wearing my ring.

“Oh, honey, I’m so happy for you,” her mom squeals, giving her a hug as she steps into the house.

“Thanks, Mom,” June whispers, then looks at her dad when her mom releases her. “Dad?” She takes a step toward him, and his eyes soften while his hand stretches out to take hers, looking at the ring there.

“I’m really happy for you, June Bug.”

“Thanks, Dad.” She smiles, closing the distance between them and wrapping her arms around his waist.

“I told you she’d love the ring,” November says, leaning into my side while smiling at her husband and daughter.

A few days after I asked Asher for his daughter’s hand, wanting to do everything right this time, I called up her mom and asked her to help me pick out the ring. She cried the whole time we were shopping, but I could tell me asking her to be involved meant everything to her. What she didn’t know is it also meant a lot to me to have her approval.

“You did,” I agree, placing my arm around her shoulders, giving her a squeeze, while her arm wraps around the back of my waist, doing the same.

“Now, I don’t care what either of you say. We are going to have a wedding, a real wedding. The kind of wedding that takes planning. You are not going to run off to the courthouse or off to Vegas and get married, and you are definitely not going to give me just a few days to throw together a wedding like your sister did,” November says, looking between June and me as she moves to her husband’s side.

“We’ll see, Mom.” June grins, leaning into me.

“Oh no, we won’t see. I want at least one of my girls to give me what I want, and since July is already married, she’s out. We all know April is never getting married, unless there is a guy crazy enough to try and tame her. May is…” She pauses, looking at her husband and scrunching up her face. “I don’t know what May is, but I doubt she will be getting married anytime soon. And December, way too picky to settle down. So that leaves you.”

“Babe,” Asher cuts in, shaking his head.

“Don’t babe me. I want to plan a wedding. A real wedding.”

“Maybe you and Dad should renew your vows. You could plan that,” June suggests, leading us down the hall toward the kitchen.

“I don’t want to marry your dad again,” she mutters under her breath, but we still hear it, followed by a smack before she cries, “I already married you, Asher Mayson!”

“You’d think with time, you’d stop being a pain in my ass. Nothing has changed,” he says, and I hear the love he has for his wife in his words, even if they are slightly annoyed.

“Whatever,” she replies, dropping her purse to the counter next to the box June was looking through earlier as she reaches behind her to rub the cheek her husband obviously smacked.

“Have you had breakfast?” June asks, looking between her parents while picking up her cup of coffee and taking a sip.

“We ate earlier, honey,” November tells her, taking a seat on one of the barstools. “We weren’t planning on staying long. We tried to call, but as usual, you didn’t pick up your phone, so we decide to just swing by.”

“Oh, I don’t know where my phone is.” She looks around like the damn thing is going to appear out of thin air.

“You need to start keeping better track of it. I want you to keep it on you at all times,” Asher says, sounding all-dad now.

“Dad.” She sighs.

“No, June Bug, this is serious. I’m guessing Evan told you that Lane is out of jail.”

“He did, but I really don’t think I have anything to worry about. Lane nev—”

“Don’t say it,” I cut her off, before she can defend him. “He could have gotten you in a lot of fucking trouble, and I have no doubt he knew that shit when he was seeing you.”

“I know, Ev.” She sets her coffee cup on the counter, wrapping her arms around her waist. It takes everything in me not to go to her and comfort her right now, but she needs to understand the kind of man Lane really is.

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