Cash is made guardian of the children, along with Val’s brother, Brad Rafferty—a man who couldn’t be more different from Cash if he tried. A Yankee, Brad is a video-game developer who works twelve-to-fourteen-hour days at his desk. They lock horns as soon as they set eyes on each other. Neither man is happy to have the other around, but neither is willing to give up custody of his nieces and nephews.
It’s up to these two polar opposites to keep the kids together and give them a family again. But first they’ll have to keep from killing each other.
Barnes & Noble
Cash fought the groan, fought the urge to growl and let his head pop off. “Yeah, baby girl?”
“Belle says Daddy ain’t coming home. I told her Momma said she’d be home soon.” Beth was only five, looking enough like her daddy to make his heart hurt.
He rolled up in his bed, opening his arms and tugging her into the mess of blankets. “Oh, honey. I…. Shit, your momma and daddy went to live with Jesus, baby. They’re watching you from heaven.”
“You said a bad word.”
“Yeah, I do that sometimes.” Fuck him raw.
The baby started crying and Brad went stumbling past the door toward the nursery, cursing a blue streak.
Beth’s eyes went wide. “Uncle Brad said lots of bad words!”
“Yeah, honey. Lemme go see what I can do, huh?” Shit, he needed a shot or a smoke or something to clear his head. He stood up, picked up the wee one, and headed in after Brad. God knew they didn’t need to wake the twins.
Brad was a big man: tall, broad-shouldered, lots of muscles. He made quite the picture in his boxers, leaning over the change table.
The diaper change looked awkward as heck, though less awkward than Brad’s first one had the other day. He shushed little Branson. “Hush, baby boy. Shh. Shh. Before you wake the whole house. I need a couple of hours without kids everywhere, okay? Please? Give your uncle Brad a break.”
“Lemme have him, man, before he wakes the twins.” Cash swapped Beth for Branson, and she curled into Brad’s arms just so.
Lord, this was a clusterfuck and a half.
Brad sat in the rocker, patting Beth’s back lightly as he started to rock. “Why’re you up, Beth?”
“I was looking for Daddy. I found Uncle Cash.”
Cash closed his eyes a second, squeezing the baby a little. Yeah, he remembered that—looking for his own daddy after the accident when he was nine and finding his eighteen-year-old brother on the sofa, waiting to tell him the news. Jesus.
Jackie, y’all should’ve been more careful.
Brad made a soft sound. “I’m sorry, Beth. Your daddy’s not here anymore, but he asked me and Uncle Cash to look after you and your brothers and sisters, okay? He wanted to make sure we took really good care of you.”
smut fixes everything