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Second chance holiday, p.8
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       Second Chance Holiday, p.8

         Part #4.50 of Until series by Aurora Rose Reynolds
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  After walking around to her side to help her out, I take her hand and help her up the stairs and into the house.

  “Really, who does he think he is?” she asks before rambling some more while pulling off her cap and unwrapping the scarf she had tied around her neck.

  I walk straight into the kitchen, open the cupboard above the fridge, and pull down my whiskey before pulling the cap off and putting the bottle to my lips to take a swig.

  “That’s really not fair,” Kat states as I put the bottle down on the counter.

  “Sorry, Kitten,” I say and put the lid back on the bottle. “Come here,” I tell her, feeling the liquid heat of the alcohol lessening some of the anger I’m feeling.

  She looks at me for a few seconds before walking to where I’m standing. When she’s close enough, I wrap my arms around her.

  “How are you feeling?” I ask, rubbing her back.

  “Pissed.”

  “I got that, Kitten. How’s our boy?”

  “He’s fine,” she says and immediately melts into me.

  Earlier in the week, we found out that we would be adding another boy to our family. Everyone was overjoyed. Well, everyone except Asher, who had found out the week before that he and my baby girl were going to be adding another girl to their bunch. When we told everyone that we were expecting, they were all really excited about the news, and November was more than excited about becoming a big sister—even if she already considered Brandon her brother.

  “Do you think Brandon will be okay?”

  “He’s fine.” I rub her back again. “He said he was going to talk with his dad and then he would be home,” I remind her.

  Brandon was upset with his father as well but had tried to neutralize the situation and agreed to go talk with his dad while I took Kat home. I was proud of him.

  “I can’t believe you punched him.” She pauses then looks up at me and smiles. “Twice.”

  “He had his hands and mouth on you,” I growl, my anger returning at the memory. “He’s lucky that he was able to walk away and that Trevor was there to hold me back after I got the first two hits in.”

  I never thought that, at my age, I would be fighting at a high school function. But seeing that fuck touch my woman—the woman carrying my child—had my blood boiling.

  I hear Kat’s yawn and look down at her, realizing that she has been going all day. The stress of this situation added on top of her pregnancy has her worn out.

  “Head up and get ready for bed, babe. I’m going to send Brandon a message to make sure he’s okay before locking up.”

  “Okay.” She yawns again, and I kiss her forehead and pat her bottom. “I’ll meet you in bed,” she says, walking away.

  When I hear the water turn on upstairs, I send I message to Brandon asking if he’s okay. I quickly get a reply that let me know that he just got in his car and is on his way home. I clean up the kitchen and wait until I hear Brandon pull up outside. Then I open the front door and meet him on the porch.

  When I see him, I can tell that he is stressed. As much as he has matured over the last few months, he is still a young kid, and sometimes, it’s hard to remember that.

  “You okay?” I ask him, letting him inside.

  “Yeah. He’s heading home tomorrow. I guess the only reason he wanted to come was to see if he had a chance of getting back with Mom,” he says.

  I want to get in my car, head to the fuckwad’s hotel, and beat the shit out of him for hurting his kid again.

  “Sorry, bud,” I tell him, squeezing his shoulder.

  “Nothing with him surprises me anymore.”

  “You wanna talk about it?”

  “Nah. I want to go to bed. Can you tell Mom I said goodnight?”

  “Sure,” I tell him, watching as he heads down the basement stairs.

  I finish locking up and set the house alarm before heading upstairs. When I reach the bedroom, Kat is already asleep, so I make quick work of my clothes before getting into bed behind her and pulling her into me.

  “Is Brandon home?” she asks sleepily when I kiss the back of her head.

  “Yeah,” I tell her, running my hand over her slightly rounded stomach.

  “I should go make sure he’s okay.”

  “He went to bed and said to tell you goodnight.” I whisper.

  “I hate that he has to go through this.”

  “Me too, Kitten.” I sigh, tucking her closer to me.

  I wish there were something I could do for both her and Brandon, but I know that this situation is beyond my control. Kat, her ex, and Brandon will be tied together for the rest of their lives whether I like it or not. The only thing I can do I is be here for both of them when they need me.

  I wait and listen for Kat’s breath to even out before closing my eyes and following her off to sleep.

  *

  I walk into the kitchen and stop when my eyes land on Kat and Brandon. They are leaning on the counter and have their heads together, looking at some recipe book. I watch as Kat says something, making him laugh, then bumps him with her hip, smiling at him. I like knowing that our son is going to have this, that he is going to grow up with people around him who want and love him and that he will never feel like November felt growing up.

  “Let’s go pick out a Christmas tree,” I say after a few more seconds of watching them.

  Both her and Brandon’s heads rise at the same time, and Kats eyes draw together in confusion.

  “It’s not even Thanksgiving,” she says, standing up. I smile when I see the small bump that is starting to form on her stomach.

  “I know, but it’s a tradition I started when November moved home. I always get her a tree. And now that we’re a family, I would like to get one for us as well so that we can start our own traditions,” I say, looking at first Brandon then down at Kat’s stomach.

  I missed out on so much with November; I refuse to miss out on anything now.

  I still couldn’t believe that I was going to be a dad and that I would be having a son. I had given up hope of having a larger family a long time ago. I never would have dreamed that I would be getting married or having a baby or marrying a woman who had a child already and adopting him as my own. Life has a way of giving you everything you didn’t even know you needed, and Kat, Brandon, and now our new little one are proof of that.

  “Do we need to buy Christmas decorations?” Kat asks.

  Brandon groans behind her. Kat loves to shop and could spend hours in one store just walking around.

  “We can do that another time,” I say.

  Brandon mumbles, “Thank God,” under his breath, making me laugh and causing Kat to roll her eyes.

  When we get to the tree farm, we spend way more time than is necessary looking at trees. When I was on my own, I would come here and pick out whatever tree was closest to the entrance of the farm. But like she does when she’s shopping, Kat has to look at and compare each tree before settling on one. I swear she does it to be a pain in the ass. She liked two trees when we got to the farm but insisted on looking around only to end up coming back to the first two.

  “That wasn’t so bad,” Kat says with a smile, sipping on her hot chocolate.

  “Mom, you had us walk around for over an hour only to come back to the first trees you saw,” Brandon says.

  “I wanted to make sure we got good ones,” she says then looks at me.

  I can’t help but laugh at the innocent look on her face. “Let’s get these tied down, bud,” I tell Brandon when I see that he is going to say something else.

  I send a message to Asher to make sure he and November are home before getting back into the truck with Kat pressed to my side and Brandon sitting next to the door. As soon as we pull up in front of November’s house, July and June are on the porch, jumping up and down, while November stands behind them with a smile on her face. I get out and help Kat, walking her up the front steps, where she and November hug and start laughing when the girls yell, “Uncle Brando
n,” and attack him before he even makes it up all the steps. Once he has both girls picked up, one on each side of him, he makes it up the rest of the steps, the girls talking to him about God knows what.

  “Hi, Daddy,” November says, smiling at me.

  “Hey, baby girl,” I say and pull her in for a hug before releasing her and putting my arm around Kat’s shoulder.

  “Tree time already?” Asher asks with a smile.

  “Yep,” I tell him.

  He nods then kisses November’s head before heading down the stairs to the truck. I kiss Kat and Brandon puts the girls down before we follow behind Asher and work at getting the tree inside.

  Chapter 9

  KAT

  “It’s Christmas already?” July asks, looking at me then her mom.

  “No, baby.” November laughs. “Grandpa always brings me a tree before my birthday and Thanksgiving,” she explains.

  “Oh.” July pouts. “When do we get presents from Santa?” she asks, making me laugh.

  “On Christmas, but you have to be good.”

  “I’m good. June’s not always good,” she says, lifting her chin.

  November bites her lip and looks at me then back down at July, who is watching the men put up the tree. “Is tattling being good?” she asks July.

  “I didn’t twattle,” she says, her eyes going wide.

  “Just making sure.” November laughs.

  July jumps off her lap and runs to her dad, pouting out her lip. I can’t hear exactly what he says, but I can tell by the look on her face that it must make it better.

  “Dad’s so happy,” November says quietly.

  I look at her then over at Mike, who turns his head and winks when his eyes meet mine.

  “I wanted him to find someone. I set him up on an online dating website and pushed him to date, but he was never really into it. I thought that he would spend the rest of his life alone. I never would have thought that he would be getting married and having a baby. And that I would be getting not only one but two brothers.” She smiles and lets out a small laugh.

  “I never expected all of this either,” I say quietly, laying my hand against my stomach.

  “Well, I’m excited. Even if Asher is jealous that you’re having a boy,” she says, and I laugh. “He swears he’s cursed with girls because he was a man-whore.” She rolls her eyes, and I laugh harder.

  “What are you guys talking about?” Asher asks.

  I immediately stop laughing, look at November, and feel my eyes go wide.

  “Oh, nothing,” November tells him, leaning back in her chair so she can smile up at him.

  “Hmmm,” he grunts then bends down and kisses her. “I’m going to head up to the attic and get the Christmas decorations. The girls want to decorate tonight,” he says.

  November sighs. “Honey, it’s late. They need to take a bath.”

  “Babe…” is all he says, and she shakes her head.

  “Okay, honey,” she mumbles. When he walks away, she says, “When our girls get older, he is so screwed.”

  “Tired?” Mike asks.

  I roll over to look at him. “Yes, but I had a really great time,” I tell him, wrapping my arm around his stomach. “June and July have their daddy wrapped around their little fingers.” I smile.

  “They do,” he agrees and takes a breath. “I couldn’t ask for more for my daughter or my grandbabies. He loves all of them unconditionally and would do anything for them.”

  “I love that for them,” I say, kissing his chest.

  “Just think. Next year, that will be us and our little man,” he says, and I smile.

  “I can’t wait to make thousands of memories with you,” I tell him quietly.

  “Me too, babe,” he says, kissing the top of my forehead.

  After seeing Mike with his granddaughters and Brandon, I know that the memories we make as a family will be extra special.

  Epilogue

  MIKE

  A few years later

  “So, you’re going to let me run the club?” Brandon asks.

  I nod. I never really thought about retiring at my age, but I like the idea of being home with Kat. Brandon has taken it upon himself to get management classes under his belt, and he had also proven himself mature enough on more than one occasion to run the club without me around. I knew that he would take the job seriously and always treat the girls at the club with respect. He also works well with Joe, and that says a lot. My brother is difficult and doesn’t trust many people, but he loves Brandon like his own kid.

  “Yep. I’m handing the reins over to you. But if you need me, I’ll be around,” I tell him, watching as his face changes.

  He looks away from me and scrubs his hands down his face before lowering his head, his shoulders slumping. “I know you’re not my dad,” he says, and I can hear the strain in his voice.

  “I’m not,” I tell him, watching as he slowly lifts his head.

  “You’re not my dad, but you’re the man I look up to. The man who has shown me how to be a man, and for that, I will always be grateful and would be honored if you would let me call you Dad.”

  I sit back in my chair and look at the man in front of me. The kid who used to wear jeans that were way too baggy now wears suits on a daily basis. His hair, which was shaggy, is now groomed and cut into a style that says he cares about his appearance. Women and men notice him when he walks into a room. Where he used to be quick to anger, he is now cautious in his reactions. I didn’t raise him, but he is no longer the boy I once knew. He is now a man, and I would like to think I had something to do with that.

  “I would be proud to call you my son,” I tell him.

  I watch his eyes fill with tears. Then he takes a breath and shakes his head smiling.

  “I’m not gonna cry about this shit.” He shakes his head again before standing up. “I have work to do. Can you tell Mom that I’ll see her this weekend for Christmas dinner?”

  “Of course,” I mutter, my chest still compressed from the sheer weight of what just happened. “You bringing a date?” I ask when he gets to the door.

  “No, Dad, and you can tell Mom I said that,” he says before walking out the door and shutting it behind him.

  I take a deep breath, letting it out slowly. Then I pick up the phone, call Kat, and tell her that I will be home for dinner.

  ASHER

  “Baby, wake up. It’s Christmas,” I whisper to November, who grunts and rolls away from me. Nothing much has changed since we got together. “Baby, we need to get up. Everyone’s gonna be here soon.”

  “Go away,” she mutters, sticking her head under the pillow.

  “Baby, we gotta make breakfast,” I remind her.

  “Asher, I swear I will kill you one of these days,” she cries, making me chuckle.

  I force her to her back before placing my mouth over hers in a deep kiss. Then I lift her out of the bed and put her on her feet.

  “Now go get ready to help me make breakfast,” I say before smacking her ass and leaving the room.

  TREVOR

  “Stay like that,” I groan into Liz’s ear and plant myself balls-deep inside her tight pussy. I swear I will never get enough of this, of her.

  “Don’t stop. Please. I’m so close,” she whispers, and I smile and slide back out.

  “Not gonna stop, babe. Just hold still,” I tell her again, swiveling my hips.

  “Yesss,” she hisses.

  “Dada, frewnd!” I hear my son cry.

  I stop and look down at Liz, who narrows her eyes on me.

  “It’s Christmas!” my daughter yells through the baby monitor in my son’s room. Then my boy starts to laugh.

  I lay my head against Liz’s back and want to cry—my kids are total cock blockers.

  “You owe me ten orgasms,” Liz says, falling to her stomach. “And hours of oral,” she adds, putting her head under the pillow.

  “Sorry, baby. Merry Christmas,” I tell her, kissing her quickly and gett
ing out of bed to go get my kids.

  CASH

  “What the hell?” I put out my hand in search of Lilly and come up with a small, cloth-covered foot. I lift my head, look across the expanse of our California king bed, and see that Jax and Ashlyn have both gotten into bed with us and are lying crossways in the bed between Lilly and me. I sit up and straighten first Jax then Ashlyn before making my way over to Lilly. Lying down along her back and wrapping my arms around her, I breathe in her scent.

  “It’s Christmas,” she whispers.

  I smile against her neck. “It is. Do you want your gift?” I ask, rubbing myself against her.

  “Nice try, mister. I know the kids are in bed with us,” she groans.

  “They are. I guess you’ll have to get my gift later,” I tell her, kissing her neck and making her laugh.

  “Daddy, it’s Christmas!” I hear behind me.

  I roll to my back just in time for Ashlyn to land on my gut, making me grunt.

  “Do we get to open owe pwesents now?” Jax asks.

  I look over at Lilly as Ashlyn crawls on top of her and Jax comes to lie on my chest.

  “First, you have to brush your teeth. Then you can see what Santa brought for you,” Lilly says.

  At that, both the kids get out of bed and take off out of the room.

  “Alone at last,” Lilly says, running her fingers through my hair as I lower my mouth to hers.

  “Santa came!” the kids shout.

  I groan, closing my eyes. “We need another ‘naked house’ day,” I tell her, and she smiles.

  “Well, then, I guess I got you the perfect gift,” she says, getting out of bed.

  I watch her go before lying back, looking up at the ceiling, and smiling.

  NICO

  “I can’t fit into anything!” Sophie cries lying back on the bed in a huff. Her large, pregnant stomach rolls as our daughters move around. Her naked breasts rise and fall and her pussy is slightly visible through the thin, white fabric she’s wearing.

 
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