“Well, what?” he asked, pouring more batter on the hot griddle.
“Are you ready to tell me why you’re suddenly here?” Eric asked, helping h
imself to a sausage link.
“Are you going to tell me why you started acting like a little bitch and abandoned Kasey and Mikey?” he countered, checking on the hash browns that he was cooking for Kasey to go along with the pancakes and sausage that she’d demanded before she’d passed out.
“Is that for Kasey?” Eric asked, gesturing to the potatoes with a sausage link.
“Yes,” he said, shifting the plate of sausages away from the little bastard before he could eat them all.
“You might want to rethink the potatoes,” Eric said, popping the last bite into his mouth.
“Why’s that?” he asked, stirring the hash browns.
“Because when she was pregnant with Mikey potatoes made her sick,” Eric said with a shrug, making Reese pause mid-stir.
“Celery makes her sick this time,” Sara said around a yawn as she walked into the kitchen, stole a pancake and sat at the kitchen island. “She can eat potatoes this time.”
Shrugging, Eric grabbed a pancake and joined her, pausing long enough to send her a glare. Flipping the pancakes, Reese repeated his question, “Why did you ditch her?”
“Because he’s an idiot,” Sara said, putting her pancake on a plate and pouring an insane amount of syrup on it before swiping Eric’s fork.
“The sexual tension between us is stifling,” Eric said, throwing Sara a wink.
“I loathe you,” she said, as she reached over and stole his pancake with a glare that the seemingly happy man ignored with a smile.
“I was doing her a favor,” he said with a shrug as he got up and helped himself to more food.
“By ditching her?” Reese asked, as he shifted his attention to Sara to find her glaring at Eric’s back and muttering under her breath.
“Exactly,” Eric said, holding up his plate and gesturing for Reese to load him up.
Glaring down at the smaller man, he said, “And?”
“I wanted her to have a second chance and she wouldn’t have had that if I was around, reminding her of Michael,” he said with a shrug as he grabbed a sausage and took a bite. “She deserves to be happy for everything my brother put her through.”
“Eric,” Sara bit out in warning as the two of them shared a look.
Shaking his head in disgust, he grabbed another sausage and took a bite. “She’s been through hell and deserved to be happy and if that meant that I had to get lost for a bit then so be it,” he said with a shrug.
“And you couldn’t have told her that?” Reese asked, as his respect for the man rose.
Eric snorted at that. “She’s too damn stubborn to listen.”
“She really is,” Sara agreed with a nod.
“So, now that you’ve knocked up my best friend, what are you planning on doing about it?” Eric asked with a pointed look at Reese.
“I’m going to marry her,” he said with absolutely no hesitation.
“Have you asked her yet?” Sara asked, as he finished making a plate up for Kasey, who last time he’d checked was still passed out.
“What’s the hold up?” Eric asked, stealing another sausage link.
“She’s stubborn,” he said, making the other man chuckle.
“She’s not going to marry you if she thinks you’re only doing it to do the right thing,” Sara informed them as she pulled out her phone and checked her messages.
“She’s right. She won’t,” Eric agreed.
“That’s not the only reason,” he promised her.
“Then make sure that she knows that,” Sara said, looking bored as she continued to scroll through her phone.
“I will,” he promised, telling himself that he had this in hand when in reality, he was so out of his fucking league on this that it wasn’t even funny, but at the moment he was willing to bullshit himself if that’s what it took.
Deciding that it was probably for the best if he got out of there before they realized that he was full of shit, he grabbed a bottle of apple juice, two forks, and the plate loaded with food and headed back towards Kasey’s bedroom only to stop halfway there when he spotted Mikey sitting on her bed, looking absolutely lost. Hoping that she was hungry, he changed course and decided to spend time with his favorite little girl in the world.
“Are you hungry?” he asked, as he walked into the small bedroom, taking her shrug as an invitation.
“How’d you sleep last night?” he asked, handing her the bottle of juice and sat down next to her as he handed her a fork.
“Uncle Eric snores and Aunt Sara hogs the bed,” she said with a sigh as she helped herself to a sausage.
“I’m sorry about that,” he said with a wince of sympathy, remembering all-too-well what it was like as a kid being forced to share a bed with his brothers and cousins during one of their many family trips.
“It’s okay,” she mumbled with a shrug.
“Something on your mind, sweetheart?” he asked, taking his time to cut the pancakes into smaller bites to make it easier for her.
“Mom’s pregnant, right?” she asked, staring down at the plate as she reluctantly helped herself to a bite of pancake.
“Yes,” he said slowly, not sure if it was his place to answer her, but he wasn’t about to sit here and lie to her when she already knew the truth. He wouldn’t lie to her or hurt her in any way and he needed her to know that.
She nodded slowly as she stabbed another piece of pancake with her fork, making sure to double-dip it in syrup. “And the baby’s yours?” she asked after a slight hesitation.
“Yes,” he said, deciding to leave it up to Kasey to tell her about the twins.
Mikey nodded as she took a bite of food. As he joined her, he looked around the small bedroom, deciding that he was going to have to make sure that her next bedroom was a hell of a lot bigger and had plenty of shelves for all the baseballs and hats that she liked to collect.
“What happens to me?”
“What do you mean?” he asked, looking at the little girl, who was worrying her bottom lip and reminding him so much of her beautiful mother.
It made him wonder if their children were going to take after their mother. He sure as hell hoped so.
“Am I going to go live with Aunt Sara?” she asked, risking a glance to find him frowning.
“Why would you go live with your Aunt Sara?”
“Because,” she said, shrugging it off like it was nothing.
“I don’t know,” she admitted with a shrug as she took another bite.
“Is there something you want to ask me, sweetheart?” he asked, glancing back down at her to find her staring down at the plate of food and giving him another shrug. “Anyone ever tell you that you’re stubborn?” he asked, chuckling as he put his arm around her tiny shoulders.
“Is mom going to love the baby more than me?” she asked before shaking her head quickly and saying, “Forget it.”
When she moved to climb off the bed, he tightened his hold on her and pulled her back down next to him with a heavy sigh. “I see that we have a lot to talk about, don’t we?”
Shrugging, she went back to staring down at the food as she picked the fork back up and absently picked at her food as she shot glances up at the bedroom door every few seconds.
“You’re tempted to go hide out on the roof, aren’t you?” he asked, quickly figuring out that look.
“Yes, yes I am,” she admitted with a shrug.