“Who’s a killer?” Screaming at the top of my lungs, a large guy with shaggy hair and a beard walks up behind Dillon, wrapping his arm around his shoulder.

“Jesus, Parker,” Dillon growls, and I look at the guy standing next to Dillon and feel my stomach twist when I realize the guy is not an ax murder, but Dillon’s brother, Parker. “What the fuck are you doing here, man?” Dillon asks, and his body turns toward his brother. Opening the door, I get out of the car and watch them over the roof, a little taken back by how much they look alike.


“Did you really think you could tell me you got married and I wouldn’t make time to come out and meet your wife?” Parker asks, tugging Dillon into a hug that rocks him back and forth roughly.

“Where are Cara and the kids?” Dillon asks him once he pulls away.

“Inside, wandering around the monstrosity you call a house,” he mutters dryly, and I giggle then freeze as two sets of blue eyes turn toward me.

“Baby, meet Parker. Parker, my wife, Ashlyn,” Dillon says, and his face softens as he speaks, making butterflies take flight in my stomach.

“She is pretty.” Parker smiles at me over the roof and I smile back.

“I know she’s pretty,” Dillon grumbles then palms the side of his head. “Stop staring at her.”

“I cant.” He grins, then heads around the back of the car toward me. As soon as he’s standing in front of me, his arms wrap around me and he forces me into his chest so tight that I cant breathe. “Nice to meet you Ashlyn.”

“You too.” My words come out muffled against his shirt and I pat his back, trying to make him understand that he’s cut off my supply of oxygen.

“She can’t breathe, idiot,” Dillon grumbles, tugging me from his brother and tucking me under his arm. I take a gulp of air as Parker’s eyes jump between the two of us with a thoughtful look on his face.

“There you are,” a woman says, and I look behind me at the door that leads into the house and watch an African American woman with rich dark skin, and short cropped hair that accentuates her almond shaped eyes, high cheekbones, and full lips step down the two steps into the garage. Even though she’s dressed casual, in a pair of white Converse, dark jeans, and a plain gray V-neck, she screams elegance.

“Cara.” Dillon lets me go, and her face lights up as he moves toward her and pulls her into a hug.

“I told your brother that we should call to make sure you would be home, but he insisted we surprise you,” she murmurs, hugging him back.

“You never have to call,” Dillon says softly, letting her go as she smiles studying him, then leans up touching his cheek.

“You cut your hair.”

“I did.” He grins, wrapping his hand around mine and pulling me back to his side.

“Maybe you could have a talk with that one,” she nods toward Parker, “about chopping his off.”

“Never gonna happen, baby,” Parker says, dropping his arm around her shoulder, and she rolls her eyes skyward then moves them to me for a brief second before going back to Dillon.

“Is this your wife?” she asks him quietly, and I don’t see his reaction, I just watch her face soften before she looks at me once more.

“Cara this is Ashlyn, Ashlyn this is Cara, Parkers wife,” Dillon introduces us as she steps away from Parker.

“Nice to finally meet you.” I stick out my hand and she shakes her head, wrapping her slim arms around me.

“I’ve heard so much about you, I’m so happy to finally meet you.” She leans back enough to see my face and shakes her head again before hugging me once more, this time tighter.

“Dad, Uncle Dillon has like five bathrooms!” is shouted a second later, and she pulls away just in time for me to watch two adorable little boys in matching outfits bound down the steps into the garage.

“Did you use all of them?” Dillon asks, and the boys each look at him, grinning widely. “Uncle Dillon!” they shout, launching themselves at him. Stepping back, I smile as he scoops up both boys into his arms and swings them around. I’ve seen Dillon numerous times with my niece, Hope, but now it’s different. I can actually picture him holding a little boy who looks like him and me in my head. My heart does a little flip inside my chest at the idea and my breath catches when his eyes meet mine and soften, like he knows what I’m thinking.

“Jordan,” he lifts his right arm holding one little boy, “Kenyon,” he lifts his left holding the other, “I want you to meet your aunt Ashlyn.”

“Hi,” they chime in unison, studying me with curious looks on their faces.

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