Rock With Me(4)By: Kristen Proby
“Thank you,” he murmurs and kisses Liv’s head again. “I can’t wait anymore, baby.”
Natalie giggles. “Go ahead then.”
“Everyone, I have news.” Luke stands easily, the baby propped on his forearm and addresses the room. Everyone quiets and turn their attention to him.
My gaze catches Leo’s from across the room. This is the first family event Meg has talked him into attending. I wonder how he’s coping.
He winks at me, but I can see tension around his eyes.
We are one overwhelming group, even if you’re used to big, loud families, and I know he isn’t.
My mom has already started to cry, anticipating what the news is. She’s right, as usual.
“Natalie and I,” he pulls on Nat’s hand so she’s tucked into his side. “Are expecting again.”
“Holy shit!” Caleb exclaims first, and the room explodes into activity of voices and hugs and cheers.
“Jesus, what are you, a baby factory?” Jules asks with tears in her eyes as she jumps up to hug Nat. “This is what happens when you keep doing all that gross stuff.”
“Yeah, well, we want a lot of kids,” Natalie murmurs with a grin, her eyes happy. Luke laughs at Jules and kisses Nat square on, no-holds-barred, just for her benefit.
“Ew,” she scowls and backs away.
As everyone continues to celebrate the good news, I decide to slip out back and get a breath of fresh air.
I love them all, but they are seriously a lot to take in, and I spend ninety percent of my time alone, so the noise starts to get to me.
I grab a sweater from the mud room and slip out onto the covered back porch on my parents’ house, take a deep breath, and lean on the railing looking out into the woods at the back of their property.
“You needed a break too?”
“Holy shit!” She jumps and spins to look up at me, hand pressed against her chest, bright blue eyes wide, and I have to grip the railing at my hips to keep myself from crossing to her and kissing the hell out of her.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.” I smile at her and watch the dialogue of decisions running through that sexy head of hers. Should she smile? Scowl? Straighten those shoulders?
I would love to try to knock that chip off her shoulder.
“I just needed a minute away from the noise.” She swallows and looks back out at the trees. “Are you having fun?”
I smirk and cross my arms over my chest. “You have a great family, but it’s a lot of activity for me.”
“You’re used to fifty thousand screaming fans in one room, Leo. I can’t imagine this is too much activity for you.”
“That’s different. It’s my job.” It’s my life.
“Well, this group is a lot to handle. Especially at one time.” She smiles softly at me and then seems to remember to gather herself and look away.
“Meg wanted me to come, so here I am.” It’s the truth, and I’d do it again. Meg belongs to this family now, so I’ll do what I can to fit in and make her happy.
Aside from my band, Meg-pie is my only family.
“That was nice of you.” She sneers over the word nice and I can’t help but laugh out right and cross to her.
“Believe it or not, doll, I can be nice.”
She shrugs and watches my hands as I grip the railing again. She watched my hands the other day too, and I can’t help but wonder if the tats turn her on, or turn her off.
There is usually no middle ground there, and I don’t give a fuck either way.
She takes a deep, shaky breath and looks up into my face, her eyes a little brighter and pink lips slightly parted. Definitely turned on.
I can work with this.
I lift my hand to her cheek but she flinches, and I can’t help the surge of pure anger at her reaction. Who the fuck put that in her?
“Easy.” I pull some lint out of her hair and show it to her before letting it drop to the ground.
“Sorry,” she whispers.
“So, what do you do for fun?” I ask.
“Why?” she asks, her eyes narrowed.
“Because I don’t know you very well, and we’re sharing a porch, so we might as well have a conversation.” God, she’s so cold.