It’s been a while, sexy. Tonight work for you?
Seriously? He has women still calling him for booty calls?
I want to confront Mark right now, but now is not the time. We’re with his family, for crying out loud.
It’ll have to wait for later. We need to have that talk anyway.
Sam catches my eye and offers me a supportive smile. She obviously saw the text too. I just shrug, smile bravely and do my best not to stab Mark in the arm with the knife he’s currently using to chop the salad.
Just as I lift my glass to take a sip of my wine, Mark’s screen lights up again, but this time it’s from someone named Marcy, and it’s a photo.
Of her motherfucking tits.
Are you fucking kidding me?
“Man whore,” Sam mumbles and shakes her head. I don’t think I could confront him right now without killing him if I tried.
My skin suddenly feels clammy and I’m seeing red.
“I want to show you girls my garden.”
“I could use some fresh air,” I respond immediately. Maybe I’ll be able to breathe through the fury so I can talk with Mark calmly. But just then, the screen comes to life again, the way they do when you haven’t checked the last message that came in, reminding you it’s there, and I get a second look at Marcy’s double-D’s.
Lucy announces that we’re going outside just as Mark catches my eye. His brows rise in surprise when he sees my face, but I turn away, unable to look him in the eye. Luke agrees to listen for the baby as we shuffle outside.
“I planted some new rose bushes,” Lucy begins as she leads us to the back corner of the large yard. I smile and nod and follow along, but don’t really hear what she’s talking about as she gives us the grand tour on the pretty light-lined paths that meander through the yard.
“It doesn’t mean anything, you know,” Sam says quietly beside me. She and I slow down, falling behind Lucy and Nat, who continue to happily chat about Lucy’s plants. Nat is carrying Livie, who happily points to butterflies and birds flying nearby.
“No.” She shakes her head and loops her arm through mine. “You have to know he wasn’t celibate for ten years.”
I toss my head back and laugh. “Of course not. Have you seen him?”
“I have. He’s not gross.”
“No, he’s not.” I sigh and shove my hair behind my ears. “We need to talk.”
“I think I might bust Leo’s balls if it were me. But then, I’m not a terribly jealous person, I would just want to mess with him a bit.”
“I’m not typically jealous either, but seriously? That chick sent him a picture of her boobs.”
Sam shudders and then laughs. “Girls strip their shirts off and shove their tits in Leo’s face. It’s delightful.”
“Ugh.” I sigh and bite my lip. “Girls suck.”
“Yes, they do. She probably doesn’t know he’s with you now.”
“A lot of girls don’t care,” I remind her.
“True. He’ll tell them. He’ll be embarrassed when he sees what you saw.”
“I don’t want him to be embarrassed.”
“What do you want?” she asks.
“I don’t know.” I jerk one shoulder up in a shrug and then smile at her. “To unsee it. Thanks for talking me down from the ledge.”
“You’re welcome. Now when you talk to him, you can do it in a productive way.”
“I was daydreaming of stabbing him with that knife he was using,” I confess, making Sam laugh.
“Well, I guess that means you love him, because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t care who texted him.”
“I love him,” I say. “But I’m still pissed.”
She nods just as Lucy and Nat join us.
“Your yard is beautiful, Lucy,” I say and smile.
“Thank you, dear. I think dinner should be ready by now.”
When we step inside, the house smells amazing. The guys are just setting steaming plates on the table and Luke is feeding Keaton a bottle.
“He woke up?” Nat asks Luke.
“Yeah, he’s hungry,” he replies with a grin. Seeing Mark’s handsome older brother with the baby is a sight to behold. There’s a reason that Luke graced magazine covers and teenagers’ walls for so long. The man is hot.
“Are you okay?” Mark asks as he slips beside me and wraps his arm around my waist.
I could lie.
But I won’t.
“No. You missed some texts.” I point to his phone and walk away from him, sit at the table and decide to enjoy the rest of my evening with these nice people. Mark retrieves his phone as he sits next to me and checks the messages and then cringes and shakes his head in disgust.
Dinner is a flurry of good food and even better conversation. I forget about those stupid women on Mark’s phone for a little while and enjoy the people around me. When we’ve finished eating, the girls jump up to clean while the guys take the babies into the family room.
When the last dish is placed in the dishwasher and the kitchen is clean, we join the guys.
“Can I hold him?” I ask Luke, who is holding a sleepy Keaton.
“Of course you can,” he replies and gently passes the baby into my arms.
“I’m getting braver with the little ones,” I say with a smile. “How do you hold them all the time and not worry about hurting them?”
“They’re stronger than they look,” Neil replies and wraps his arm around Lucy’s shoulders, tugging her close to his side. No wonder the Williams men are affectionate. They’ve learned it from their father. “You won’t hurt them, sweet girl.”
I brush my finger down Keaton’s nose and kiss his little round cheek. He makes little sucky motions with his lips.
Suddenly, there’s a very foul smell coming from the little bundle of joy.
“Um, I think he needs to be changed,” I say and glance around the room in a panic.
“Come on.” Nat stands and motions for me to follow her. “I’ll help you.”
“Oh God. I don’t want to break him,” I whisper and follow Nat down the hallway to a small nursery. “Lucy and Neil put in a nursery?”
“They did. They love keeping the kids.” Nat helps me lay Keaton on the changing table and walks me through changing his very dirty diaper.
“Dear God, Keaton!” I exclaim when I open the diaper. “What are they feeding you?”