“That seems easy enough,” Cara agrees, and Parker smiles.

“Easy enough for even you to make, babe,” he teases.


Placing her hands on her hips, she glares at him. “I can cook.”

“Baby, I love you. You are a master at many things, but cooking is not one of them.”

“I took that cooking class last month, and the instructor told me he thought I was talented.”

“That instructor lied to you.”

“No, he didn’t.”

“He did, babe.” He chuckles.

“You told me when I got home and gave you the leftovers that it was the best thing you’ve ever eaten.”

“I wanted a blow job.” He shrugs, and her eyes narrow even further.

“What’s a blow job?” Kenyon breaks in, and Parker’s eyes widen while Cara’s go to the ceiling.

“Uhh… it’s uhh…” He looks around for help. “I-it’s kind of like a reward,” he stutters out, and I feel Ashlyn’s body next to mine shaking uncontrollably then hear her snort.

“Why—” Kenyon starts, but Cara cuts him off, shouting, “Boys. Shower. Now,” before he can finish whatever it was he was about to say.

“Do we have to?” both Jordan and Kenyon ask at the same time, looking between their parents.

“Yes, now go on up. I’ll be there in a minute.”

“Oh, all right,” Jordan grumbles as they both hop down off the island and run out of the kitchen. As soon as they’re gone, Cara turns on Parker and pokes him in the chest with her finger.

“I swear to God, the first time they say the words blow job and reward in the same sentence, I’m filing for a divorce,” she hisses, poking him one last time before turning on her heels and storming away.

“You’re an idiot,” I mutter to my brother, hearing Ashlyn snort again then cough.

“Sorry.” She giggles, covering her mouth. “I…” She snorts again, shaking her head while her face turns red. “I’ll be back.” She runs off, and I hear her laughing and snorting as she goes, making me grin.

“I totally forgot they were here,” Parker grumbles, watching Ashlyn run off, and then turns to look at me and grins. “I hope they never say that shit around Cara’s mom. She will drag my ass to church and drown me in the baptism pool.”

“If that happens, call me. I want to come watch.”

“Shut up.” He smiles, then looks at the door. “I better go help her get the boys to bed.”

“That would probably be wise,” I agree, watching him go, then pick up the empty pan and spoons and take them to the sink before filling the pan with water and dumping the spoons in.

“Did Parker go up?” Ash asks as I flip off the water and turn to face her.

“Yeah.”

“I know it’s wrong, but that was really funny.” She laughs as she hops up on the counter. “It’s like the time Hope couldn’t pronounce popcorn and kept calling it cockporn.” She giggles, and I grin, walking to where she’s sitting and making room for my hips between her legs, then pulling her flush against me.

“You look happy,” I state, touching her smiling mouth with my fingertips.

Her face softens, and her hands come up to rest on the underside of my jaw. “I am. Seeing you happy, makes me happy. I wish Parker and Cara lived closer with the boys.”

“Me too,” I agree, kissing her softly before pulling back. “Tomorrow, I want to take them out to pan for gold. Do you want to see if Hope can come?”

“Yeah, I’ll call Jax in a few and see what’s going on.”

“Good.”

“Friday, after I get off work, I have an appointment with Kim to do my hair. I’m going to ask Cara if she wants to come, so if she says yes, you and the boys are on your own.”

“That’s fine. I’m sure we can find something to do.”

“Awesome,” she breathes as I run my thumb over her bottom lip, dragging it down before nipping it lightly, listening to her breath catch. I thrust my tongue between her parted lips, swallowing her moan as she clings to me.

Hearing a horrified scream come from upstairs, she shoves me back, hops off the counter, and runs out of the kitchen before I can catch her.

“Dammit Ash,” I growl, following her up to the second floor, and then almost plow her over as she stops suddenly.

“What—?”

“There’s a rat in the closet!” Cara screeches, holding a towel to her chest as both boys run into the hall naked, dripping water everywhere, with Parker behind them soaking wet.

“A rat?” I frown, and her eyes fill with fear as she looks at the closet and nods.

“Yes, a huge rat. I… I was getting a towel, and it… it—”

“Oh, my God.” Ash doubles over laughing.

“This isn’t funny!” Cara shouts, and Ash laughs harder. Realizing why she’s laughing like a madwoman, I walk toward the closet and place my hand on the knob.

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