Sweet Child o' Mine(3)

By: Lexi Blake

God, he wanted to top her. Lately, he was too worried to. He looked at that big belly of hers and worried things were going to change again.


Ian looked up. “What?”

“You’ve got your ‘worried dad’ face on.”

“I do not have one of those.”

“You do. It’s a little like your ‘I’m going to murder someone’ face but slightly less happy. You’re going to be fine, Ian.”

He hated this. Hated all this touchy-feely shit. Still… Alex was kind of his go-to guy. If he couldn’t talk to Alex, he couldn’t talk to anyone. “I have no idea how to raise girls. Why couldn’t they have had penises? I know what to do with a boy. Shove ’em out in the backyard and let them free range for a few years. They’ll build their own cabins and become self-sufficient. I don’t think I can do that with girls. Speaking of complaints. Why two? One I could maybe handle, but now it’s a freaking girl gang at my house. Do you think they’re pulling a fast one on dear old dad? Maybe they’re hiding their penises and laughing their asses off in utero.”

Alex laughed, the sound lightening the mood. “This has been a fun nine months for me, brother. I can’t wait for the rest because there are no penises and that gang of girls is going to be so much fun for me to watch when they get to be teens.”

Ian shuddered. He didn’t want to think about teens.

Alex leaned forward, that sensitive I’m-about-to-give-you-words-of-wisdom-because-I-watched-a-lot-of-Oprah-in-my-time look on his face. “You’re going to be fine, Ian. I know you think because your dad walked out that you won’t know what to do, but Sean would disagree. Sean would tell you you’ve already been a great dad. There’s only one rule.”

“Don’t kill the children. Charlie already made me promise.” He didn’t like the fact that Alex was right. Or that the idea of Sean thinking he was going to be good at the father thing made him a little soft on the inside.

Alex rolled his eyes. “God, you’re a pain in the ass.”

“What?” He wanted to know. “What’s the one rule?”

“Be there. And let me tell you, Ian Taggart’s got that one down. So relax. You’re going to be a pro at this in no time. And I think you’re going to look good in the pink sling Eve bought you.”

“Oh, that was so not Eve, asshole.” The baby shower had been a revelation. So much fucking pink.

Alex gave him a shit-eating grin. “I laughed the whole time I was buying it. I tried to find a place that would bedazzle the fucker, but Eve wouldn’t let me.”

Ian stood. “You know what, I’m going to make that shit manly. You think I won’t wear a pink sling? I will rock that motherfucker.”

“If anyone can, it’s you,” Alex conceded. He grabbed his laptop. Alex would deal with setting up the project files and all the administrative stuff that came with a new case. He’d backed off of active duty since he and Eve had adopted a baby boy named Cooper.

Who would one day likely turn that innocent gaze of his on Ian’s daughters.

“You tell your boy to keep his hands to himself.”

“Oh god. I hadn’t even thought about that. You’re going to be that dad. You know the one who thinks his girls are perfect angels and all the boys around them are the devil? Can we wait until they’re born before you accuse Coop of trying something with them?”

Ian kind of thought Cooper eyed Charlie’s baby bump as though he knew something good was going to come out of there. “You’re wrong. I know my girls won’t be angels, and that’s why I intend to keep an eye on them at all times. And they’re going to look like Charlie so they’ll be gorgeous. No doubt about it. Those girls are going to be trouble.”