Blacksmith’s Heart ~ A Love Under the Sun Romance by Dellani Oakes ~ Part 26

“No clue. Don’t get me wrong, guys. I love my mother. I don’t like her much, though. Could we talk about something else?”

“Sure, Baby. So, how about them Mets, huh?” He winked, pouring them more coffee.

“I’m more of a Red Sox fan,” Hana said with a smirk.

“I knew I liked you,” Mitch hugged her. “Sox rock!”

“Darlin’, I’m sorry. This relationship absolutely can’t work. If you continue to be a Red Sox fan, I can’t love you.”

“I’m kidding, I don’t even like baseball.”

“Cool, cause it’s a stupid sport.” He kissed her quickly, fending off a blow from Mitch.

“Don’t hurt me, I’m working on your horses.” Jasper laughed as Mitch continued to swing at him, missing entirely, on purpose.

“Stop!” Issy walked in, calling loudly at the men. “You break anything in his house, I’ll take it out of your hide, Mitchell.”

“Who says I’ll break anything?”

He knocked into a table. An expensive looking oil lamp wobbled precariously. Jasper caught the lamp, laughing at Mitch’s sheepish look.

“We’ll be outside,” Jasper said as he handed the lamp to Issy.

“I’ll call you for lunch. You going out for part two of the fiasco?” she asked Hana.

“I thought I’d go out for a little while, but don’t need to right this second.”

“Great. I want to get the photos done before the kids get home. It’s too hard to concentrate when they’re around. Mitch is almost as big a pain in the neck as they are.”

“What about Jasper?”

“Oh, if I could have a dozen men just like him, I’d never have another problem getting anything done. I’d have one to take care of the horses, one to cook, one to clean, another to take care of the kids, one to keep me entertained in the bedroom, and the rest to model.” She laughed, leading Hana to her studio.

“Is he really that different from other men?”

“You can’t tell?”

“Not a lot of experience, really. I’ve dated, but just casually. Never anything serious, obviously.” She shrugged, embarrassed by her lack of experience.

“Well, speaking as a woman who has dated everything from the Son of Satan to Dumb & Dumber, I can tell you that Jasper is one of a kind. Now, let’s get you in this difficult garment and snap some pictures. If we can, right after lunch, we’ll clean him up and put him in a few shots with you. The publisher and author are arguing over the cover. It’s a small enough company, she can get away with it. Most authors are stuck with what they’re given. I’m doing a variety, so maybe we can reach a compromise.”

“Good luck with it.”

“If it means I get to keep photographing Jasper without his shirt, I’ll delay it until publication,” she snickered.

Hana joined her, laughing happily. They got her dressed and Issy set about posing her. Issy worked quickly, keeping up a constant banter as they worked. Hana hardly realized how much time had passed, until Issy put her camera down, arching her back.

“Oh, Lord! You’re as good a model as he is. That’s the most work I’ve gotten done in one session in ages. We’d better get some food on the table or we’ll have a couple hungry cowpokes.”

They got a surprise, however, when they walked into the kitchen. Jasper and Mitch were fixing food for them. Each man greeted his woman with a kiss.

“Get a lot done?” Jasper asked.

“Oh, loads! She’s as easy to work with as you are. Hey, after lunch, I want to get some shots of the two of you together.”

“Sure. No problem. Do I get to bathe first?” He smirked. He was pretty grubby, though his arms and hands had been well scrubbed.

“Please. I don’t suppose you brought those sexy jeans, did you?”

“And the chaps. I anticipated another session. You liked those pretty well, as I recall.”

“She sure as hell did. Get yourself cleaned up and kitted out, Jas. She shows her appreciation enthusiastically every time she photographs you.”

“You don’t get jealous that she is always working with handsome, jacked men?” Hana asked him.

“Oh, hell no. She’s mine, and always will be. And she sure channels her enthusiasm acceptably.” He chuckled, winking at Hana and playfully pinched his wife.

Hana laughed loudly as Issy blushed. “I didn’t think anything would embarrass you, Issy. But he just did.”

“He’s telling my secrets.” She kissed her husband fondly.

“What she’s not telling you is how she met me,” Mitch said. “I was the model for one of her first books.”

“I thought you had a software company,” Jasper said.

“Oh, that was before the software gig. I was in college and needed money. She put up a sign at the college about needing male models for portfolio shots. Must be big, buff and bodacious. I figured I qualified.” He flexed.

© Dellani Oakes 2022

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