Sweet Child o' Mine(21)

By: Lexi Blake

“I’ll go see if I can help with the prep work, but I meant what I said, Tag. I’ll figure it out and I’ll find some way to use it.” Adam grinned as he walked back in the house.

It would likely be fitting if Adam was the one who took him down. He gave Adam more crap than all the others, but he was fairly sure his friend wouldn’t figure it out.

God, he hoped Charlie never figured out he’d named their daughter an anagram for Kick A Little Ass.

“What was he talking about?” Charlie said, suspicion in her voice.

Ian gave her his most innocent look. “No idea, baby. You know how he likes to torment me.”

Charlie laughed and sank into one of the two rockers on the back porch. “Yeah, Adam torments you. That’s one world view. Sit down for a minute. Sean will come and get us when dinner’s ready.”

He sank down beside her. “Too many people? I can throw them all out.”

She shook her head. “Don’t you dare. That’s our family in there, but I wanted a couple of minutes where it’s just us.”

Us had been him and Charlie, and now that one word meant something more. Us meant two sweet girls who would likely drive their father utterly mad.

He reached for her with his free hand. He always wanted the connection with her. “Think you’ll ever want more?”

Charlie’s eyes widened. “Eventually, yes. I thought I would have to fight you on it.”

He shook his head. “No. I get it. I think I thought if we had kids, I would have to share you and I do, but I also thought somewhere in the back of my head that I wouldn’t be me anymore. I’m just a different me. I like this me, Charlie. Best thing I ever did was to open that door and welcome you home.”

Her jaw dropped. “You are such a liar, Ian Taggart. You gave me hell.”

Sometimes it was good to be him. “Not how I remember it.” He was good with his revisionist history. When she started to argue with him, he hushed her. “You’ll wake the babies.”

The gorgeous gleam in her eyes promised retribution. And he would take it. He would take everything he could get from her and give her back all of himself.

He held her hand and rocked while inside his family waited.

A man couldn’t ask for anything more.