Tempest, Kai’s younger sister, gets annoyed because her brothers won’t let her talk to the boys.
“How am I supposed to have any kind of social life, if you and Cody keep acting like total twatwaffles?”
“Where’d you hear that word?”
Tempest rolled her eyes. “Like you don’t know. You say it all the time, so does Cody. And that’s how you act. You’re like Hitler in baggies! I’m never gonna have a boyfriend!” She ran to the bathroom, sobbing.
Paisley followed her. Tapping at the door, she convinced Tempest to let her in.
“He’s ruining my life, you know.”
“No, he’s not.” She handed Tempest some paper towels to blow her nose and wipe her face. “He’s doing what he thinks is right. Men know how other men think. Most of them are motivated by having sex as much as possible, with as many different women as they can get.”
“Does that include my brothers?”
Paisley giggled, nodding. “Yes, I’m pretty sure it does.”
“He hasn’t made it with you, yet.”
“Because men like your brother are rare. They let the woman set the pace and wait. Maybe impatiently, but they don’t push too much. Eventually, that’s rewarded.”
“Why hasn’t he been rewarded yet?”
Paisley told her about Ralph. She went into more detail with Tempest than she ever had with Kai.
“Why are you telling me this, Pais?”
“You need to know that some men—not all or even most—are predators. They take what they want, and don’t care how a woman feels about it. He thought I was his possession. No other guys would ask me out, once Ralph decided he wanted me. I had to get away from him before he killed me.”
“Kai would never treat you like that.”
“No, he wouldn’t. And he takes his job as your brother very seriously. He loves you, and wants to protect you.”
“But he drives all the guys away!”
“I guarantee—one day, there’s gonna be a guy who wants to be with you so badly, nothing Kai and Cody do, is going to keep him away. And when that day happens, you’ll know that he really cares.”
“He could just be after sex.”
“I’m told that no pussy’s worth dying for—I have that on good authority.”
Tempest giggled, nudging her. “Meaning my brother, right?”
“Exactly. So, when he gets like that, just know he’s got your best interests at heart. He’s a good man, one of the best, like your dad. And I’m really lucky to have him.”
“So, when is he gonna get his reward?” Tempest gave her a penetrating stare, her dark eyes very much like Kai’s.
Paisley’s lips twitched. “Not sure yet—but soon…. Very soon.”
They spent the rest of the day at the beach, then went home for supper with his family. It was nearly dark when they pulled up at Toby’s parents’ home. The sprawling two story house fronted right on the beach. They walked in without knocking, the front door unlocked. The house was full of people, all of them headed to the back door. Music played loudly and everyone shouted over it, laughing and joking.
Toby, and an attractive blonde, stood in the kitchen ushering people through to the deck and down to the beach. Not only was she very pretty, Kai noticed, she was also very pregnant. If he didn’t miss his guess, she was due literally any minute. With a tiny flush of jealously, he took Toby’s hand, shaking it hard. Then he was introduced to Epiphany. He thought it was an odd name for a woman, until she explained.
“My dad was a priest. My mom was studying to become a nun. They met, and fell in love, almost immediately. After a crisis of faith, they both left the order.”
“So, their epiphany led to you?” Kai’s eyes twinkled.
She giggled, holding her stomach. “Something like that. Oh, he kicked!” Her blue eyes glittered, her face glowing as she pressed Toby’s hand to her belly.
“He kicked again!” Toby leaned over, mouth near her naval. “Hey, buddy, it’s Daddy. Give Mommy some space, huh? It’s her birthday.”
“When’s the baby due?” Paisley asked quietly.
“He was due today,” Epiphany said with a sigh. “But he’s a little late. It’s okay. Maybe tomorrow.”
“Still got a few hours,” Kai said, glancing at his watch. “If he comes fast.”
“Not during the party, huh?” Toby said. “Mommy needs her birthday celebration.”
“So, fatherhood?” Kai said.
The women circulated. Epiphany, who’d taken a real shine to Paisley, introduced her to everyone. They laughed and giggled, Paisley’s face glowing almost as much as Epiphany’s.
“Kinda weird to think of my friends being parents.”
“Weird for me too, but I’m so excited. My folks love her. We’re gonna get married once the baby’s born. She didn’t want to get married before.”
“She didn’t want to feel like I married her just because of him. Like I’d ever do that. But—you know. Women. Not logical.”
“Emotional, is the word you’re after.”
© 2019 Dellani Oakes