Zane This is a surprise... I expected to find Dela behind the door, but she didn't come here alone. Lionel and Maddox are with her. It makes me freeze because while I can understand Lionel being here, I never thought they would bring Maddox with them. "Hello," Dela smiles up at me. "You have coffee and cakes for three people, right?" "Yeah, I'm just..." I lift my eyebrows at Maddox. "No offense, but seeing you without your sons or wife is odd." He lifts his eyes to meet mine, and I notice the rings underneath them for the first time. The guy is frowning, but I can tell something is haunting him. The look he gives me, it makes me shudder. "What's up?" Maddox sighs before muttering. "I will tell you after I've had some coffee and cake to calm myself down..." I step aside to let them all inside. "Be my guests." All three guests enter my home, but Maddox doesn't immediately sit down inside the kitchen. He steps in his tracks once he sees Shirley, and I'm close to hissing when
ZaneAlone at home with Shirley last, yet I can't relax. I just cleaned up the kitchen, but my body is on autopilot while my head is working.I have to make Shirley my wife. My body, mind, and soul want her to be entirely mine. I must ring it, but I haven't figured out the best way to propose. Should I wait until Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve?And if she says yes, then what about our honeymoon?The football season doesn't end until January, and she can't get on a plane next month because of her pregnancy. Most of all, I had wanted to take her somewhere nice. I want to spoil Shirley and make her happy. For some reason, her sister was always the favorite, while Shirley minded her own business. So I want to be the one that finally takes care of her.Should I take her to Hawaii?No, Shirley probably doesn't want that. She likes the safety of having her own toilet now that she visits the bathroom frequently. So maybe I should arrange a luxurious dinner at home?"What are you looking at?
Shirley I'm dabbing makeup on my eyelids when I receive a text message. My eyes land on my phone sitting on the toilet lid, and my eyebrows shoot into my hairline when I see it's from Gina. What the heck does she want now? Curious, I slide my fingers over the screen. Gina: So I've been thinking... I want to apologize for how I behaved the last time we saw each other in person. If you would let me... This isn't easy for me, Shirley. I'm sure it's not for you either. But I'm going to become an aunt, so... Could we talk? My heartbeats are erratic. Truthfully, I do miss my sister. She might be superficial, but she is family. And... If Gina is apologizing for something, then wow. She has never done that before. This is character growth, so maybe I should hear her out? Losing your ex-husband to your sister can't be easy either. I understand her anger and frustration. I do, but... Can Gina get over what happened, or will she hold a grudge? Me: You won't try to slash me for being with y
Shirley I know this is wrong. If anyone catches us, then—no, no one will figure out what is happening because we aren't doing it! "Zane!" I hiss as I'm dragged through a crowd of drunk people. Zane is holding my hand, leading me toward the restrooms. Without looking at me, he murmurs. "Yes, darling?" I glare his way while we are walking. "We can't do it. Not here." "Why not?" Zane doesn't sound bothered by my inner panic. He keeps leading me like a man on a mission. "This restaurant is newly opened, and it's so luxurious. I bet they clean the restrooms plenty of times. You got nothing to worry about." A shudder sweeps through me. "But we can't do it—" I'm interrupted by Zane pulling me inside one of the restrooms and locking the door behind him. The room is elegant and dark, too fancy to be a restroom. Large too. There are golden lamps that are dimly lit. There is a sound of a fountain installed against the wall. It smells fresh, and there is a couch outside the stalls and pl
Shirley "Are you sure you don't want me to go inside with you?" Zane asks from the driver's seat. "No," I meet his gaze, smiling briefly. He seems worried, but I have a good feeling about this. "You can wait outside in the car for a few minutes, and if I don't come rushing out, then just leave." Zane takes a deep calming breath. "Alright," he hesitates and looks up at his old house with shadows filling his eyes. "It feels so weird to be here. As if it were a lifetime ago since I lived here with Gina." "It does, doesn't it?" I lean in to kiss him, and then I'm on my way. I slam the door and hurry over the snow. The temperature is freezing when I ring the doorbell. I expect Gina to take her time, but she shows up immediately. With a ball of red hair on her head, my sister looks beautiful even without makeup. But there are dark circles underneath her eyes. Are they because of Zane and me? I plaster on a smile. "Hi, I thought—" I gasp in surprise. Gina hugs me quickly and thoroug
ShirleyAfter some passionate lovemaking, I sit in the bathtub with Zane. Bubbles are all around us, and low romantic music plays from the bedroom. The tiles are misty, and I'm dissolving. At this point, I'm not even sure if I have a spine...Zane's solid and capable hands are slowly stroking my stomach. My back is pressed against his broad, warm chest and rhythmic heartbeat. It feels safe. It feels sexy.This is heaven. Cozy. Perfect. I lean further back, leaning fully against the man I love, and continue our conversation about today. Zane hasn't spoken much. He is busy tending to my stomach and listening. Earlier, he massaged my feet. I'm freaking spoiled."Finally, I no longer need to stress about being shunned by my family. I'm so glad I made up with Gina," I speak softly and close my eyes while enjoying the sensation of Zane drawing little circles over my stomach. It's been a week since we were are Gina's place. Christmas is coming, and I can safely say I'm starting to loo
Gina It's another day working at The Coffee Bean, and I'm still following the rules I've made to become a better person. The three golden rules are: One, I visit my niece weekly. Socialization is good for me. Natalie is the sweetest, and Shirley is my only sister. She has helped me a lot besides therapy, and I want to help her. She cuddles with the baby, and I tell her stupid jokes. Two, I broke up with fashion, and I won't ever take him back. He wasn't a good lover and left me broke and miserable. Three, stay away, and I repeat, stay away from men! I failed one marriage with the sweetest man on earth, so how could anyone else love me? Let me tell you: no one does, and no one ever will! I shall stay single until I die. Lonely Gina is better than spoiled-and-married-brat Gina. But... Our regular customer, David, has been staring at me from his table for an hour. Not in a friendly manner, either. No. It's more in this "I want to fuck you" way that causes shivers inside of me
David It doesn't surprise me that Gina hasn't called me. I gave her my number, but as expected, she didn't have the balls to contact me. Is it because I'm younger than her? Twenty-three to her thirty? That's a dumb reason, though. Age is just a number. Perhaps her hesitation has to do with the fact I have a soon-to-be two-year-old under my care? Linnea isn't my kid, but people think that all the time. I don't want kids, but I didn't have a choice after my parents died in a plane crash five months ago. My little sister is now under my care. It's a lot of work. Don't get me wrong. I love Linnea, but I wasn't ready to become the father of my baby sister. Because that's what I've become. When I'm not playing football, I'm changing diapers. I've hired a nanny, Irene, and she is a lifesaver. Without her, I wouldn't be able to continue playing. Irene takes Linnea to my games in her stroller, and my little sister is always geared up and wearing my colors. It makes me happy that Linne