Wicked Whiskey Love

By: Melissa Foster

Kennedy set her pink tiara on Bear’s head and said, “Now you weally look like a cheerleader!”

“Only for you, Ken,” Bear said with a shake of his head.

“Where’s Dixie?” Bones asked.

“Penny and Izzy dragged her off with Jed, Quincy, and Scott,” Crystal explained.

“Penny said they were going to do single-people things, which was quickly followed by a waggle of Quincy’s brows,” Gemma said.

Bones glanced at Sarah. I’d like to do single-people things with you. As if she’d read his thoughts, she blushed and looked away.

Bullet grunted something Bones couldn’t make out. Like the rest of the guys, he looked ridiculous in his cheerleading outfit, with two pom-poms sticking out of his back pocket, but he was six foot five, and there wasn’t a man alive stupid enough to make fun of him. And like all the Whiskeys, there was nothing they wouldn’t do for Kennedy.

“Shoot. I forgot the stroller,” Sarah said.

“I’ll carry her.” Bones reached for Lila. “Come here, peanut.”

Sarah turned her shoulder toward him. “You’ve already got Bradley.”

Bones reached up and put one hand on Bradley’s back and waved his other hand. “And I’ve got a free arm.”

“Mommy, he’s a good holder,” Bradley said, patting Bones on the head. “He’s holded me a lot.”

She blinked up at Bones with an apology in her beautiful brown eyes. “It’s okay. I can carry her.”

Lila reached for Bones. He stuck his finger out, and she wrapped her tiny fingers around it, pulling it toward her mouth.

“I don’t doubt that you can,” Bones said. “But this is what friends are for, lightening the load.” Didn’t she have close friends wherever she’d moved from? Or had they scorned her? The thought made his muscles constrict. “If you’re not comfortable with me holding her—”

“No, it’s fine. I’m just being—”

“A responsible mother.” Which makes you even more alluring. “It’s an admirable trait.”

Sarah shook her head. Her pretty blond hair billowed around her shoulders. “But really, Bones, you can’t carry them both.”

“Oh boy,” Finlay said, glancing knowingly at Gemma. “You haven’t learned not to question the manhood of a Whiskey. They’ll always prove you wrong.”

“Darlin’, you’ve got a bun in the oven and you’ve been out here all afternoon.” Bones extended his arm. “Now, please hand over that pretty little lady. We’ll walk over to your place and pick up the stroller if you’d like, and then we’ll trick or treat in your neighborhood. We should probably get her hedgehog and blanket, too, in case she gets fussy.” Sarah lived only three blocks away. It wasn’t a long walk for him carrying the kids, but he worried about Sarah lugging a baby on her hip all evening.

Sarah gave him an incredulous look, her eyes full of wonder. “Her hedgehog…”

“I have no idea how you got out of the house without it.” Bones had given Lila a stuffed hedgehog when she got out of the hospital, and from what he’d seen, Lila rarely let it out of her sight.

Gemma sidled up to Sarah and said, “They say you can tell a lot about a man by how he treats his mother.” She turned loving eyes to Truman and said, “I think you can tell more about a man by the way he treats other people’s children.”

Bear had befriended Truman when Truman was a teenager. A few years later, Truman had taken the fall for a crime Quincy had committed and had spent several years in prison. Shortly after being released, he’d rescued Lincoln and Kennedy, siblings he hadn’t known existed, from a crack house where their mother had overdosed. He’d met and fallen in love with Gemma, and they’d since married and adopted the children, raising them as their own. The kids had come a long way. Kennedy had been afraid of everyone and everything. Now she was in preschool three mornings a week and loved being the center of attention. Truman was a good man who had been through hell and given himself wholeheartedly to others. Bones was proud to call him his brother.

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