I’d had enough of Oliver’s one track mind for the day. “If that’s true, you shouldn’t be on the force.” Ethan, Cade, and Oliver turned to look at me with Oliver’s eyes piercing with rage. “I know you’re a better cop than that, and so do you. We will not use this woman like a piece of meat. I’d rather get to know her first rather than just fuck her and cost ourselves a wonderful woman. We don’t even know if she’ll agree to that yet.” Oliver sat back in his chair a bit, taking in my words. “You will just have to continue dating your hand for now. I know you well enough to know that your son comes first. Keep it in your pants so that we can make sure the kids are covered, then we’ll deal with the other piece.”

A silence fell over the room as everyone sobered under my words. “He’s right,” Cade interjected.

Oliver rolled his eyes. “If she’s gonna be good for the kids, then that’s what’s important.” He gulped down his entire glass of whisky in one huge gulp. “But now that I’ve seen her, all I can think about is what I want to do to her.”

“You aren’t the only one,” Ethan replied, “but we promised we’d be thorough and that we’d be careful this time. So no one will make a move on her until she’s comfortable with the kids and I’ve had a chance to explain things to her. Agreed?”

“Agreed,” Cade and I replied in unison.

“Oli,” Ethan growled.

Oliver crossed his arms and pouted like his daughter might. “I agree.”

“Good,” Ethan said. “Besides. If we let all of the sexual tension build up for now,” he began, us all eyeing him with anticipation, “then it’ll be that much sweeter when we can finally release it…”

4

Jordan

I’d all but made flashcards to memorize the names of my new families, fathers and children. I hadn’t met any of the dads but Ethan yet, but when I called Ethan to inform him I was ready to start earlier in the day, he told me he asked all the dads to be there for a grand introduction. It was a little intimidating, the thought of meeting them all at once, but he assured me it was the best way to do it, especially considering it was Friday, and the kids were certain to be a little rowdy going into the weekend. No one knows a child better than their parents, so I didn’t argue, just told him that I would be making sure I had everyone memorized before heading over.

There was Ethan Coleman, the dad who’d interviewed me. He was a structural engineer and worked for the city of Dallas. Some of the crispness of his home made more sense once I learned that. He had twin boys who were six named Davin and David. Ethan also included that he was half Jewish. He hadn’t passed many Jewish traditions on to his children, but used his Jewish heritage to educate his children on the importance of not judging someone because they are different. I had a lot of respect for that and wanted to make sure that I continued that practice with them. The twins were athletic and were on a baseball team, that practiced on Saturdays and had games on Sundays. They were the only family I’d seen thus far, and I’d made a mental note that Ethan was gorgeous and to watch myself around him.

Rogan Paulson, had a six-year-old daughter named Danielle who Rogan described in his letter as not very outgoing. She was the only one of the kids that didn’t have an extra-curricular, much to her father’s dismay. Despite being a C.E.O. of an accounting firm, he described himself as really outgoing and athletic and was concerned his daughter didn’t share the traits. He was concerned she was becoming a loner and had made several attempts to get her to do stuff after school. I found that it was rare children had no friends, so I set a personal goal to figure out what Danielle liked and who her friends were to help her father feel better about her socialization.

Cade Milton and his daughter Nova, were apparently new to the group. Nova had a lactose allergy, something that she shared with her father. As a result, the family led an entirely dairy-free life. I spent a good deal of time researching lactose-free foods as well as foods and drinks that people tend to not realize have dairy. Cade was adamant that Nova was good about avoiding dairy, but she was only six after all, and as her nanny, it was my job to protect her, so I wanted to be well versed in that allergy. Cade was a prosecutor for the city who claimed his daughter was more outgoing than he was. She also had ballet on Saturdays fairly close to the same time the twins had baseball, which was going to take some time to juggle effectively.

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