Stay With Me (The Montgomery Brothers)

By: Samantha Chase

Chapter One



Mackenzie Montgomery was tired. Weary to the bone exhausted. It wasn’t the long hours at the office wearing him out, it was the incessant rounds of well-wishers with their “Congratulations” and “You all must be so happy” that was grating on his every last nerve.

“Must I be so happy?” he sneered under his breath. Deep down, Mac knew that they all meant well; he shouldn’t begrudge their being nice. Unfortunately, for the last two years all he seemed to hear was how happy everyone was for his brothers, their wives, their lives…sure, it was great but didn’t anyone have anything else to think about? To focus on?

“Great news about Lucas and Emma isn’t it, Mac?”

Mac looked up and there in his doorway stood one of his junior executives with an eager look and a wide smile on his young face. Mac tried to return the smile but at this point in the day, it made his face hurt. “It sure is.”

“Tell them I said congratulations!” the young man said and then he was gone.

Mac slumped down into his plush leather chair and turned to face his wall of windows. The sun was setting ever so slightly and the view of downtown Charlotte was one of bustling activity. Glancing at his watch he saw that it was just after five and he knew that he should get going and head to the hospital where the rest of his family had congregated to welcome the newest Montgomery.

A girl. Mac couldn’t help but chuckle. His big former NFL player brother, who had been so certain that he was going to have a son to teach all of his moves to, now had a tiny baby girl. There was a joke in there somewhere but right now Mac couldn’t seem to find it. He’d go, he’d meet the newest member of the family and pat Lucas on the back and hug Emma and remember to smile at all of the excitement that was sure to be going on around him when all he wanted to do was go home, have a beer and just relax.

The drive to the hospital was short and he even remembered to stop and pick up a bouquet of flowers for his sister-in-law. The noise level as he headed toward Emma’s room told him that he was right on the money with what was going to happen. He was greeted by his father first, then his brother Jason and then he made his way to shake the new father’s hand before handing the lilies to Emma.

“Oh, Mac,” Emma said as tears swam in her eyes. “They’re perfect. Lilies for our Lily.”

Right; the baby’s name was Lily. Happy coincidence? Or maybe he had subconsciously remembered his father telling him that was what they had named her. Neither here nor there, the fact was that he had done a good thing and now everyone was staring at him with sappy grins on their faces.

Great.

“Do you want to hold her?” Emma asked, nodding toward the bassinet that was next to her bed.

Mac was about to break out in a cold sweat. Hold her? The baby? Wasn’t that against the rules or something? He wasn’t the father! He could have germs or drop her! Lucas must have seen the look of pure terror on his face because he chuckled and said, “I’m not ready to entrust my princess with him yet. He can’t even catch a football!” The room erupted with laughter but Mac took it all in stride since it got him out of infant holding.

“Were you planning on throwing her to me? Because I’m pretty sure that the hospital has rules against that,” he teased and then smiled when his mother came over and looped her arm though his and pulled him close.

“You’ll have to hold her eventually,” she whispered with a sassy smile.

“Sure, when she’s talking in complete sentences, I’m sure I’ll be fine.” Off in the distance he heard his father’s cell phone ring and then watched as William quickly exited the room. Mac quirked an eyebrow at his mom but she simply shrugged and then walked over to gaze lovingly at her new granddaughter.

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