Roman (Raleigh Raptors 2) - Page 60

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“Anytime.” I barely stopped myself from ruffling her hair—she’d decided she was too old for that now, so I wrapped my arm around her shoulder instead.

When I glanced toward Teagan’s back porch, I saw her leaned up against the railing, and nearly stopped breathing. She was so fucking magnificent. It wasn’t her face or that killer body. There was a light that had come back to her eyes, a fullness in her smile that hadn’t been there for years.

I’d get to put that smile on her for the rest of our lives. How fucking lucky was I?

“You look good with a few kids hanging off you,” she remarked with a smile, coming down her back steps in painted-on jeans and a green blouse.

“Do I?” I hadn’t realized just how many colors she’d forsaken over the past few years until she’d started wearing them again. Every time I saw Baker, I wanted to shred him into tiny little pieces for what he’d done to her, but I knew she’d flip out if I did anything resembling vengeance, and in the end, it was only Teagan’s happiness that mattered.

In a flash, I realized this could be our future. Thanksgiving with the parents, carrying our kids off the field. I loved Alex and Celia like they were my own. There was no reason to think it would be any different when Teagan and I decided we were ready to start a family. I understood that adoption wasn’t an option for some guys, and I didn’t judge them for it, but maybe that was because I’d never been able to have kids of my own, anyway.

I just hoped Teagan didn’t regret choosing me, because I knew how important having kids was to her, and I wasn’t fully convinced that her, “we can adopt,” speech had been the full truth. She’d been looking forward to the whole pregnancy, labor, newborn baby thing our entire lives. For fuck’s sake, she’d shoved a pillow under her shirt and ordered me to play house when we were seven.

She rose on her toes and kissed me softly, and I carefully balanced so Alex didn’t go flying.

“Bleh,” he fake-vomited. “Mom! Uncle Roman is kissing Aunt Teagan, and it’s gross!”

I laughed against T’s mouth but broke the kiss. The things I wanted to do to her definitely weren’t rated PG.

“Of course he is,” Elena muttered as her husband, Matt, lifted Alex from my shoulders. “I finally located the pie server, so it’s pie time!”

Neither Elena nor I mentioned that it had been kept in the same drawer for the last fifteen years. One of these years, he’d figure it out.

“My parents are coming over,” Teagan said softly, hooking her arm through mine as the kids ran ahead with their parents.

“Apple pie?” I guessed, pressing a kiss to her forehead.

“You know it.” She tucked a strand of her long, soft hair behind her ear, and I noted the lack of sparkle on her hand and found it dangling on a chain between her breasts. It was invisible to everyone but me…who had zero qualms about ogling her breasts.

I turned so my back was to our parents’ porches and tugged the chain free with my forefinger so the engagement ring swung in the afternoon sunlight. Then I lifted my eyebrows at her. “Are we keeping this quiet?” My voice dropped along with my stomach.

Her eyes widened. “What? No. I figured we always do pie together, right?”

“Right.” It was tradition. Our families were both too big to cram into one house without sending a table up the stairs, but we always gathered together afterward for pie.

“Your mom makes pumpkin and sweet potato…”

My brow puckered. “Your mom makes apple and the ever-atrocious mincemeat.” Where was she going with this?

“I thought we’d make…an announcement?” Her hands ran up my pecs to wind around my neck. “I didn’t want my mom to know before yours. Didn’t seem fair, and we agreed not to tell them over the phone, but with your game schedule—”

I kissed her quiet, sucking on her lower lip gently. “I fucking love you.”

“I know. Now get it back on my finger. They’re carrying the pies over right now.”

I slipped the diamond back on her left hand, then pressed a kiss into her palm before walking her through my back door and into Mom’s kitchen. We switched off houses every year, and this was ours.

I dished Teagan’s pumpkin pie and gave her extra whipped cream, since that was her favorite part, then joined her on the steps that led to my bedroom. We’d sat just beneath the landing—where we could see everyone but not be bothered—since we were kids.

Celia’s kids took their own pie and made a dash for the porch.

“Mmmm. Whipped cream.” Teagan took a dollop on her finger, but before she could get it to her mouth, I swooped in, sucking the digit between my lips and swirling my tongue over her skin until it was licked clean. “Shit. Roman,” she whimpered softly.


Tags: Samantha Whiskey Raleigh Raptors Romance
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