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BROTHERS (Slater Brothers Book 6) by L.A. Casey (1)

CHAPTER ONE

Present day ...

When you had five children, sleep was very hard to come by. And sleeping in on the weekends was practically unheard of. I was a trier, if anything, so ever since I became a father fifteen years ago, I attempted, every single weekend, to catch a few extra minutes whenever I could. My know-no-boundaries offspring made it their personal mission to make sure I didn’t.

“Daddy?”

I refused to lift my eyelids as I grumbled, “Go away.”

“Come on, Daddy. Get up.”

I snored. Loudly.

“Daaaaaaddy?”

I groaned but kept my eyes shut, hoping the kid harassing me would give up and leave.

“I know you’re fakin’ it.”

“Go bother your mom,” I half pleaded, snuggling into my pillow. “Please.”

I felt tiny, soft hands touch my bare back, and that was when the let’s-pretend-dad-is-a-drum game started.

“I don’t wanna play with a girl. I wanna play with you. You’re stronger than Mammy.”

I chuckled gruffly before I rolled onto my back, halting the drum game my son had started. I reached up and rubbed my eyes before I opened them and stared at the ceiling of my bedroom. A ceiling that had multiple stickers of stars and moons stuck to it from when Georgie was a baby. I turned my head to the left and came face to face with my actual baby. I reached over, gripped under Axel’s armpits, and heaved him onto the bed, making him squeal with laughter. He was the youngest of our five, our last child. My baby. He was spoiled rotten because of this.

“Your mom is plenty strong. Why don’t you want to play with her?”

“I’m not talkin’ to ‘er anymore.”

He said this as he sat directly on my chest, making me grunt.

“Why not?”

Axel scowled. “She keeps callin’ me a baby.”

My lips twitched. “You don’t think you’re a baby?”

“I just turned seven,” Axel said, puffing his chest out with pride. “I’m not a baby, Daddy.”

I grinned at him. “Your mom doesn’t mean anything when she calls you baby, son. It’s just a habit from when your brothers and sister were little. She even calls me baby now and then ... Do you think I look like a baby?”

Axel considered this, then giggled. “You’re definitely not a baby.”

He spoke as he poked at my abdominal muscles. Muscles that at thirty-eight were still tight, toned, and very defined. My love for working out never faded as I got older and neither did my wife’s adoration for my body, so I made sure to keep it in peak physical condition because it made her moan on sight.

I loved hearing that woman moan.

I yawned. “Is Mom still in her pjs?”

“Yup.” Axel nodded. “She said she’s gettin’ a shower when ye’ wake up.”

“I better go downstairs and relieve her then. What do you say?”

Axel cocked an eyebrow. “Are ye’ goin’ to kiss ‘er again?”

“Do you not like when I kiss her?”

He shook his head. “She’s my mammy.”

“And she’s my wife,” I countered, grinning.

“I was in ‘er belly,” Axel deadpanned. “Beat that.”

Easy.

“I put you in her belly.”

He stared down at me. “How?”

I hesitated, wondering if he was too young for the talk that I had given to all my other kids at various ages, but Axel’s attention switched to flicking my nipples and laughing when I flinched. He crawled off me when I playfully swatted his hands away, then jumped off the bed and ran out of the room shouting, “I woke ‘im up, Ma!”

I shot into an upright position. “You said you wanted to play!”

“I lied,” Axel shouted as he reached the stairs. “Mammy said I’d get the biggest cookie ever after dinner tonight if I woke ye’ up. Sorry ... not really, though! Cooookkkiieeee.”

I kicked the blankets off my body, then turned and hung my legs over the bed. I snorted as I heard my wife praise our youngest at the bottom of the stairs for waking me up. I wasn’t surprised that she enlisted our kids’ help; she always had them scheming when she didn’t want to do something. She said it was one of the perks of having children.

“Beau!” Georgie suddenly bellowed. “Give it back or I swear to God I’ll—”

“Hey!” I shouted, getting to my feet and walking out to the hallway to see what was going on.

Georgie, my eldest, had Beau, my second eldest, in a chokehold with her arm hooked perfectly around his neck. She had her right leg wrapped around his left to angle his body so she could get a firm grip in a better stance. He couldn’t attempt to break her hold on him without hurting himself in the process, and she knew it. I had taught her how to protect herself and how to hold her own, but she wasn’t supposed to practice her self-defence moves on her brothers.

I stared at my firstborn son, and a flashback of his birth suddenly entered my mind.

“He’s perfect, baby,” I said to my exhausted partner as she cradled our newborn son against her chest. “He’s so perfect.”

“He looks so much like ye’, Dominic.” Bronagh smiled. “We have a mini me and now a mini you.”

“How did we get so lucky?” I asked, amazed. “How did I get so lucky?”

Bronagh smiled up at me, so I leaned down, closing the distance between us, and brushed my lips over hers.

“What will we name him?”

“I love the name Beau.”

I raised a brow and leaned back. “How do you spell that?”

“B-E-A-U.”

“That’s pronounced Bo, baby. I like that, though. Let’s name him that.”

Bronagh blinked. “No, it’s pronounced Beau as in beautiful.”

“In the States—”

“We aren’t in the States,” she tiredly interrupted. “I like Beau bein’ pronounced like the word beautiful. Bo can be his nickname, if you’re so pressed about it.”

“Okay.” I chuckled. “His name is Beau like beautiful, and Bo will be his nickname. I’ll inform my brothers of this to avoid your wrath.”

Bronagh smiled. “What will his middle name be?”

My heart warmed when I said the name, “Damien.”

My girl beamed up at me. “Beau Damien Slater. I love it, I love him ... I can’t wait for Georgie to see ‘im. She’s a big sister now.”

“Alannah will bring her up when I call,” I assured her. “She’ll be with us soon.”

Bronagh closed her eyes and snuggled Beau.

“I love our family.”

“I love you, pretty girl.”

“I love you too, fuckface.”

“Let him go, Georgie,” I said, my mind snapping back to the present.

“He has me phone, Da!”

“Let him go,” I repeated, sternly. “Now.”

Georgie gave Beau’s neck one last squeeze before she released him and forcefully shoved him to the floor. I folded my arms across my chest and stared down at my only daughter. She placed her hands on her hips and stared right back at me. I looked at my son as he groaned on the floor, then looked back at Georgie.

“Was that really necessary?”

“Yeah,” she answered without hesitation. “He took me phone without permission, Da.”

I looked at Beau. “Why’d you take her phone?”

He groaned as he pushed himself to his feet, then straightened up to his full height. He was fourteen, but he already dwarfed Georgie’s five-foot-two frame with his five-foot-eight one. When he stood next to her, it always amused me. He was fifteen months younger than she was, and he physically looked down at her. My daughter, however, never let a trivial thing like height stop her when it came to disciplining her brothers or any of her many male cousins. She’d had years of practice on how to harm them when she needed to. Or wanted to.

“I was only messin’ with ‘er, Da,” Beau said before glancing sideways at his sister. “She’s a bleedin’ psycho.”

Georgie kicked Beau in the shin. He yelped, grabbed his shin with both hands, and hopped around on one foot.

“Bo, give your sister back her phone,” I ordered. “And George, stop hitting your brother.”

I hoped by using their nicknames, the situation would calm to somehow make it playful, but Georgie’s antsy teenage attitude refused to cooperate.

“No promises,” she said to me as she snapped her phone out of Beau’s outstretched hand. “Next time, Bo, I’m breakin’ your bloody leg.”

She turned and stormed down the hall and into her bedroom, the door clanking shut behind her. Beau shook his head, then his leg, before he lowered his foot to the ground and trained his eyes on me.

“Ye’ need to send ‘er to a mental institution, Da,” he said, his face the picture of seriousness. “She is a bloody nightmare.”

I raised a brow. “She wouldn’t bother you if you didn’t touch her things.”

“I wouldn’t bother ‘er if she didn’t annoy the life outta me.”

I lifted my hand to my face and pinched the bridge of my nose.

“It’s too early to deal with this.”

“It’s after nine.”

I dropped my head. “Exactly. That’s early.”

Beau snorted as shouting and a bellow from my wife sounded from downstairs.

“Not in this house.”

I pointed at my son. “Leave your sister alone. Otherwise, she’ll whoop you.”

“Only ‘cause I won’t hit ‘er back!”

“I know.” I grinned. “When you’re bigger and fill out more, she won’t be able to grapple you so easily.”

“I can’t feckin’ wait.”

“Language.”

“Feckin’ isn’t a curse.” Beau rolled his eyes. “And neither is damn or hell.”

“The former can slide because it’s part of everyone’s vocabulary in this country, but if I hear you say the second and third, your ass will be whooped by me. Understand?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good.” I nodded. “Now, go clean your room. It’s Saturday, and you know your mom will raise all kinds of hell if she finds it dirty when she makes her rounds.”

As I walked down the stairs, Beau asked, “How come you get to say hell and not be whooped?”

“Who’s gonna whoop me?”

“You’ve got a point, Da.” Beau paused. “You’ve got a real good point.”

I laughed as I jogged downstairs. A glance into the living room revealed Axel lying upside down on the couch as he watched a cartoon on the television. I crossed my arms over my chest and stared at him.

“You’re going to give yourself a headache watching the TV like that, Ax.”

“No, I won’t,” he replied, not taking his eyes off the TV. “I always watch it like this.”

I had no doubt.

“Just sit up every few minutes; otherwise, the blood will rush to your head.”

“Okay, Daddy.”

I shook my head in amusement, dropped my arms to my sides, and walked down the hallway and into the kitchen. My eyes found her the second I entered the room. With her back to me as she cooked breakfast, I took a moment to drink her in. In twenty years, nothing about her had changed. Not really, even after five kids. Her body was the same level of perfection it had always been. Small waist, thick thighs, and an ass so fat it still made my knees weak when I looked at it.

Her hair was shorter—it hung just past her shoulders instead of touching her butt—but it was still a beautiful shade of chocolate brown. She had more laugh lines around her eyes, more stretch marks, and a slight tummy pouch from having so many babies, but she didn’t look thirty-eight years old. She could easily pass for being in her late twenties, and I told her that often because it was true ... not just because it got me laid whenever I said it.

She was tiny, feminine, and was the greatest love of my life, along with my five children. Children she gave to me. I glanced down at my ringed finger, smiling at the reminder that we recently celebrated our thirteenth wedding anniversary. We’d been married for thirteen years, but together for twenty, and I couldn’t wait to spend fifty more with her, God willing. I couldn’t imagine spending my life with anyone else, and I didn’t want to, either.

“Good morning, Mrs Slater.”

I knew she smiled without having to turn around. I could sense it on her.

“Good mornin’, Mr Slater,” she replied. “How did ye’ sleep?”

“Before or after you woke me up with your mouth on—”

When she spun around and narrowed her bright green eyes at me, my own laughter cut me off.

“Children,” she whispered hissed. “They are present.”

I glanced to my left, noting my third and fourth sons, Quinn and Griffin, sitting at the kitchen table on the far end of the room, not paying us a lick of attention. I turned my attention back to my wife and grinned.

“They can’t hear me.”

She gave me a once-over, her eyes lingering on my groin and torso a little too long, allowing naughty thoughts to enter my mind, but just as I knew she would, she turned back to face the stove.

“I made you eggs, and I’m workin’ on your protein pancakes,” she said, rustling the pan to flip the pancake. “The boys horsed down the first two batches I made, as well as two ten-egg omelettes.”

“Q and Griff?”

“Yeah,” she answered with a shake of her head. “Axel and Beau had cereal; Georgie hasn’t been down to eat yet. Quinn and Griffin are goin’ to eat us out of a home all by themselves. I can’t believe how much they can put away. They’re just as bad as Locke, and that lad never stops eatin’.”

“They’re growing boys.”

Bronagh snorted. “Growin’ boys, me arse; they are always feckin’ hungry.”

“So were my brothers and I growing up.” I chuckled. “We still are.”

“Oh, I know,” my wife answered. “I do the cookin’. I know how much your fat self can gobble up.”

I stepped closer to her, pressing my body against hers and sliding my arms around her tiny waist.

“You think I’m fat?” I teased. “My body fat percentage would disagree with you.”

“Ye’ have the appetite of a fat person and so do your kids. Well, except Georgie, but she used to eat just as much.” Bronagh shook her head. “I don’t know how we afford it. Ye’ know, it costs me nearly three hundred and fifty euros a week on just food? I don’t even shop in Dunnes anymore because it’ll easily reach over four hundred in price if I go in there.”

I leaned down and kissed her cheek.

“Why are you worrying about this?” I questioned. “I make more than enough to cover our bills. We own the house since Branna signed it over to you, and the cars are brand new since we traded in our others for a steal. We have a fantastic policy on our family health insurance and both of our life insurance policies. You set aside money each month to pay our bills on time. You’re worrying yourself over nothing.”

“I know.” She sighed, her body relaxing. “It’s just with the football season startin’ back up, and the lads all bein’ taller with bigger feet, it means we have to buy all new team uniforms and tracksuits, and new football boots, which are over one hundred euros each in their sizes, and new clothes since they’ve no summer clothes that fit. I only realised this when they got dressed this mornin’ because everythin’ was a little tight on all of them. Don’t even get me started on Georgie’s art supplies. She goes through them so fast that we need to replenish every—”

“Sweetheart,” I cut Bronagh off. “We have savings for a reason. This kind of reason.”

She tensed all over again as she placed a large pancake on top of four others next to the large omelette that I assumed was for me.

“Heat the eggs up,” she grumbled. “They’ve been coolin’ while I made the pancakes.”

I watched her as she moved around me.

“Bronagh, honey—”

“I’m goin’ to get a shower,” she cut me off, leaving the room. “I won’t be long.”

I stared after her, frowning. I had no idea why she was so worried about our finances all of a sudden. Ten years ago, I got a loan from my older brother Kane and bought a broken-down old building in the city centre and demolished it. After rebuilding it from the ground up, I opened Slater’s 24/7 Fitness. Every month since it opened nine years ago, it’d turned a considerable profit. I was even considering opening a second gym in Tallaght because the main one was doing so well. I had paid Kane back and had no debt whatsoever.

Bronagh knew all of this, so I had no idea why she was worrying about paying for our children’s sports gear or art supplies. I had enough to buy hundreds of football cleats. Hell, we could buy another house if we wanted to. My instinct was to follow her and find out what was truly bothering her, but over the years, I’d learned that she needed her space when she got upset. Normally, I invaded her space and didn’t give her a chance to run away when an argument got her going, but right now, something else was bothering her. I had to time when I chose to talk to her about it.

With a sigh, I turned to my plate of food and put it into the microwave as instructed. While it heated, I went to the refrigerator with the intention of pouring myself a large glass of orange juice, but when I lifted the carton and found it was empty, I scowled and shut the door with a little force before I turned to my sons.

“Which one of you morons put the empty OJ carton back in the refrigerator?”

Quinn and Griffin pointed at one another, but when Quinn scowled and slapped Griffin’s hand, Griffin yelped, most likely thinking Quinn was going to pound on him for lying, which I knew he had done.

“Griffin?”

“I’m sorry,” he said, his eyes still on his older brother. “I forgot.”

“How do you forget the carton is empty when you can feel it’s fucking empty?”

Quinn glanced around me, looking for his mom, but when he saw she wasn’t there, he kept his mouth shut about my cussing. I rarely cussed in front of my kids, and especially not to them, but sometimes, they irritated the life out of me when they did dumb shit, and it just slipped out. Putting an empty carton of orange juice back into the refrigerator was a dumb shit thing to do.

“I’m sorry, Da.”

I sighed. “It’s okay. Just don’t do it again.”

“I won’t.”

“And I’m sorry for cussing.”

Griffin’s lips twitched. “It’s okay. Just don’t do it again.”

Quinn laughed but muffled it with his hand while I smirked.

“You’ll tattle on me to your mom otherwise?”

“Well, duh, I’m hardly gonna try to fight you.”

I snorted. “You’ll be as big as me someday. You both will.”

“In height, yeah, probably, but ye’ work out a lot. I don’t think I’d be into that. I’m lazy.”

Griffin was lazy.

If you gave him the choice to go outside to play and get fresh air, or stay inside and play video games all day, his games would win every single time. He was on the soccer team purely out of parental force. Bronagh and I ran out of ideas to entice him to leave the house, so we had to resort to giving him an ultimatum. He either joined the soccer team or picked a different sport or activity to participate in, or all his gaming consoles, his computer, and his phone were going in the trash.

He signed up for the soccer team the next day.

Beau, at fourteen, played for the sixteen and under soccer team, Quinn and Griffin, who were twelve and eleven, played for the under thirteen team, and Axel had just joined the under eight team. Griffin tolerated the soccer team, but damn, the kid was good. Luckily, Beau and Quinn were awesome too, but they lived and breathed the sport. It wasn’t punishment to make them go to practice or to games; it was punishment to stop them from attending. Axel’s team wasn’t competitive because of the age group, so his games were just for fun, but he loved it.

Then there was Georgie, who was fifteen. My eldest, my only girl ... the only girl out of the twenty-five children my brothers and I have fathered.

Sports were out of the question for her because her passion lay with sketching, painting, and, recently, sculpting. The many years of being in her aunt Alannah’s company had rubbed off on her. She started drawing when she was young, and with Alannah’s guidance and her own talent, she could draw a lifelike portrait of someone by the time she was thirteen. She loved art; it was her form of self-expression. She attended a local art class on the weekends to gain more experience for the rare time when she wasn’t around her aunt. Alannah and Bronagh were always joined at the hip but even more so since she started dating my twin brother, Damien, many years ago.

“You’re always gonna be lazy if you don’t get your head out of the video games you play all the time.”

Griffin rolled his eyes and grumbled something under his breath.

“What was that?”

“Nothin’, Da,” he grunted. “I just don’t wanna hear ye’ givin’ out to me about playin’ on me games again. You and Ma always get on me case about it.”

“Because you’re always playing a console or on your phone.”

“I joined the football team like ye’ both said I had to do,” he protested. “Isn’t that enough?”

“For now, yeah.”

He relaxed, then went back to eating his breakfast.

“What time is your game?”

“Eleven,” Quinn and Griffin replied in unison.

“Is Mom taking you guys?”

Quinn’s lips twitched. “She said you could either take us, or ye’ could go and get the shoppin’ instead.”

I paused. “Grocery shopping?”

Quinn nodded, then smiled at my horrified expression. I never did the grocery shopping. The one and only time I’d done it in the past was an utter disaster. I apparently got the wrong brand of half of the groceries on Bronagh’s list and forgot the rest. She had to go back to the store and get the correct stuff, which put her in a pissy mood for that entire day. It was a horrible experience from start to finish, and I’d do just about anything to get out of it. My kids and my wife knew that.

“I’m taking you guys to the game.”

Griffin snickered. “Thought so.”

Quinn chuckled along with him before inhaling one of his pancakes. I joined them at the table with my food, and we talked about school, sports, and girls while we ate. Recently, both boys had taken a mild interest in girls. It was nothing explicit; they had just started to develop crushes now that they no longer found girls gross.

“Griffin’s got two girlfriends,” Quinn announced as we all finished our food. “They fight over ‘im.”

Griffin’s cheeks burned. “Shut up, Q!”

I frowned at Griffin. “Is that true, Griff?”

“No,” he insisted. “They just like me or somethin’. They follow me around at school and get mad when I talk to one girl and not the other. They aren’t me girlfriends, though. I don’t have one, let alone two.”

“Good,” I said, firmly. “That’s disrespectful to play two girls like that.”

“I know.” Griffin nodded. “We have to be nice to girls and treat them like we’d want a lad to treat Georgie, or you to treat Mom. I remember our talk.”

“Ye’ said Mom.” Quinn snickered.

Griffin scowled at him. “It’s only ‘cause I was talkin’ to Da! You say words like ‘im sometimes, too.”

I rolled my eyes.

“It’s not a bad thing to say words how I say them. I know you guys are Irish, but you’re American, too. That’s half of my blood flowing through your veins, and I told you it’s important to know your heritage.”

“Ma said we don’t really have an American heritage ‘cause the country was stolen like forever ago.”

I paused. “Okay, that is true but—”

“We’re Irish, but because of you, we have American heritage,” Quinn cut me off. “We know. Please don’t tell us about it again. I feel like we’re in school when ye’ do.”

I had to keep from smiling. He looked pained at the thought of me lecturing him about my homeland.

“Put your dishes in the dishwasher and go upstairs and clean your rooms,” I said. “Mom won’t let you go to your game if you don’t do your chores.”

Griffin perked up at the prospect of getting out of a soccer game, so I added, “She’ll also confiscate your Xbox, desktop, and phone if she has to keep you home from soccer.”

Griffin grunted as he got to his feet. “She’s evil.”

I snorted as they left the room after taking care of their dishes and mine. I relaxed at the table for a moment, then turned my head when Georgie entered the room, fully dressed in jeans, ankle boots, and a sweater.

“You’ll be too warm wearing a sweater and boots today, baby. It’s warm outside.”

Georgie glanced at me and snorted.

“I’m always freezin’, Da. There’s no such thing as too hot for me. Not in this country, anyway.”

My lips quirked as she moved around the kitchen, cleaning up after Bronagh had made everyone breakfast. That was one of Georgie’s chores; she preferred cleaning the kitchen to the bathrooms. The boys would flip a coin to see who got stuck with toilet duty.

“What are you doing today, sweetheart?”

“I have class at the centre at half ten,” she answered. “Auntie Alannah is collectin’ me on ‘er way. Alex and Joey are comin’ with me.”

“And here I thought you would come to the boys’ game with me to keep me company. Some of your uncles will be there with your cousins, too.”

The look of horror Georgie shot my way cracked me up. Her lips twitched when she realised I was teasing her.

“Will ye’ go and get dressed?” she asked, her brow wrinkled. “You’re too old to be walkin’ around in your boxers like the lads.”

“Too old?” I repeated in outrage. “I’m thirty-eight, you little shit.”

Georgie smirked. “That’s only two years away from forty.”

I scowled. “Evil child.”

“I’m gonna be twenty in five years, does that make you feel worse?”

Pain clutched at my chest.

“Yes,” I answered, rubbing the spot. “It does. You’re my baby.”

“D’ye hear that, Axel?” Georgie hollered. “Daddy just called me a baby!”

I heard movement, then quick paced little footsteps as my youngest son barrelled into the room. Wrapping his arms around Georgie’s hips, he crashed into her, making her laugh.

“I told ye’!” Axel said to her. “I told ye’ they think we’re all babies.”

“Ye’ did.” Georgie nodded down at him. “I think Mammy and Daddy are goin’ crazy.”

Super crazy!”

“Hey,” I teased. “You’re all my babies.”

“He’s lost his mind,” Axel said with a shake of his head. “We should put ‘im in the old people’s home ye’ said he and Mammy are gonna go to someday.”

My jaw dropped, and Georgie burst into laughter.

“Ye’ aren’t supposed to tell them what I said,” she tittered, hugging her brother to her side. “They get upset when we call them old.”

“Ohhh.” Axel nodded. “It’s a secret.”

“A super secret.”

Everything was super to Axel when it was being stressed.

“A super secret.” He nodded and looked like he’d accepted a mission of some kind. “I got it.”

“A nursing home?” I blinked at my daughter. “Really?”

She smiled wide, and it warmed my heart.

She was the picture of her mother, and apart from my dimples, no one would ever guess she was my daughter. Bronagh got all the genetic rights to our firstborn; she got those rights with Quinn, too. He was the only one of my sons who resembled his mother more than me. He had her green eyes, her perfect complexion, her nose, her mouth. Everything. The rest of our boys got my genetics, which meant they looked the Slater part. Beau was the spitting image of Damien’s firstborn son, and since they were close in age, people often thought they were twins, which amused them greatly.

“I’m only teasin’,” Georgie assured me with a wink. “I’d never put you in an old folk’s home. I wouldn’t be able to carry ye’.”

I snorted. “Watch your brother while I go shower.”

Georgie saluted me, then ducked out of my reach with Axel, both screaming with laughter when I fake dived for them. A big smile stretched across my face as I left the room and jogged upstairs. I heard music blaring from the bedroom in the attic that we’d converted a few years before Axel was born. It was Beau’s room, and ever since he hit his teenage years, I was considering soundproofing the damn thing because Beau only understood one volume, and that was loud.

“Beau!” I yelled and banged on the rail of the spiral stairs that led up to his room. “Boy, you better answer me.”

The music switched off, and the door to his room opened ever so slightly.

“What, Da?”

“Turn that garbage down!” I warned. “We have neighbours, you know?”

“Sorry,” Beau said, popping his head out just enough for me to see he was red faced and sweating. “I’ll keep it low.”

His door clicked then, and just as I was about to walk up the stairs to see what he was doing, I paused. The last time I walked into his room unannounced, I got an eyeful of my teenager jerking off like there was no tomorrow. He couldn’t look me in the eye for a week after that happened, and since it only occurred a few months ago, I had to keep boundaries and respect his privacy. I remembered what it was like to be fourteen and hormonal. You got wood from something as simple as sniffing fucking flowers.

The only difference between me and my son was that I didn’t have to jerk off. I had paid escorts to take care of my needs. I was sure that was a perk from my past life that Beau would desperately love to avail of. With a grin, I shook my head and walked into my bedroom. I glanced at the closed bathroom door and heard the shower running. I quickly closed the bedroom door, kicked off my boxers, and tiptoed my way into the bathroom.

I hadn’t had shower sex with my wife in months, and there was no way I was going to miss the opportunity of loving her while she was dripping wet. When I stepped into the room, steam slapped me in the face. I could barely see a thing, but that was typical Bronagh. She had to have her shower water run so damn hot before she’d even consider stepping under the spray. The room was like our own personal sauna.

“Hey, mama.”

Bronagh jumped when I entered the shower behind her, but she didn’t spin to face me.

“You’re so predictable,” she said with a snort. “I knew ye’d come up ‘ere.”

I reached out and palmed her ass when I was close enough to do so.

“Can you blame me?” I asked, leaning down and swiping my tongue over her earlobe. “Your ass makes my cock ache.”

“After all this time?” She wiggled her butt against me. “I’ve still got it, fuckface.”

My lips twitched as I looked down and watched as I shifted my hips and began to slowly thrust back and forth. My cock fitted snugly between Bronagh’s ass cheeks felt like heaven. I bit down on my lower lip when she clenched her cheeks together, and it sent a wave of bliss riveting straight to my balls.

“Fu...ck.”

“Ye’ want me arse?”

I pressed my mouth against Bronagh’s sopping wet hair.

Yes,” I rasped. “Yes, please, baby.”

She rarely let me fuck her ass, so when she did, it felt like all my Christmases came at once.

“Get me ready.”

Those words sent blood rushing to my already throbbing cock. I dropped to my knees behind her, then when I leaned forward, biting her ass, she sucked in a sharp breath, then laughed.

“Bastard.”

I smiled as I slid my tongue over the flesh I bit. Without warning, I spread her wide and plunged my tongue into her asshole. Bronagh’s hands flattened against the tiled walls. My arm wrapped around her, flattening against her stomach in an effort to support her in case she slipped and fell. I groaned when Bronagh’s hand ran over mine before she pushed it down to her pussy, showing me what she wanted me to do. My fingers found her clit, and hearing the first long moan come from her caused my balls to tighten.

I fucking loved when she moaned.

I tongued her asshole and played with her clit until her body trembled. When I stood, I fisted my cock and pumped it twice before I aligned the head with Bronagh’s body. I used my left hand to spread her, and when I slowly thrust my hips forward, my eyes fluttered shut. The slickness, the heat, the pulsing tightness of my wife’s muscles. It was an ecstasy that only she could give me. I forced my eyes open so I could watch as my cock slipped inside her mag-fucking-nificent ass, and as always, I couldn’t stop my eyes from rolling to the back of my head as pleasure licked at me.

“Dominic,” Bronagh whispered. “Fuck.”

Fuck was right.

“Baby,” I lowly groaned. “You always feel so perfect.”

“Easy,” she whispered. “Go easy.”

I had to go easy with her. No matter how many times I fucked her ass, I always had to be very gentle with her in the beginning until she was stretched and used to the sensation of being so full. She came harder when I started out easier, so I took my time thrusting in and out of her body. I brought my mouth to her neck and kissed her skin until her head fell back against my chest.

“Mine,” I grunted as I scraped my teeth over her skin. “Everything about you is mine. I’m going to fuck you into ecstasy, baby.”

“Yes,” she replied, starting to push back against my body. “Fuck. Yes.”

Lazy thrusting soon turned to precise pumping. Bronagh bucked back against me wildly, giving me just as good as I was giving her. The only sounds that could be heard were our laboured breathing, the slapping of skin on skin, and the occasional grunt or groan that neither of us could contain. I picked up my pace and fucked my wife harder. When she played with her clit and groaned, the sound went straight to my balls, and I bucked into her harder, faster, deeper. When she sucked in a sharp breath, held it, and went still as I loved her, I knew she was coming. I hissed when her asshole tightened around me as her muscles contracted.

“Good girl,” I praised, running my tongue over her shoulder. “Fuck. You feel so good.”

Now that she had come, I had to chase down my own orgasm because in the back of my mind I knew that at any moment, one of the kids was going to call us and put an indefinite pause on our alone time. It took another thirty seconds, but when my balls drew up tight and a shiver danced the length of my spine, I knew I was about to come. My lips parted, and deep groans filled the room as the first spurt shot free. I hissed when Bronagh’s muscles contracted a couples of times and acted like a vacuum, sucking the cum out of my cock.

“Baby!”

She chuckled in response.

“I fucking love you,” I panted, slapping her ass for good measure. “You continue to ruin me.”

Bronagh grunted against the wall. “Ye’ve just about fucked me into a coma, big man.”

I laughed as I slipped out of her body and hugged her to me. I spent a few minutes catering to her. I washed her hair and skin because not only did I enjoy doing it, but she loved me doing it. After I washed my hair, and scrubbed my body, I looked back at Bronagh.

“Are you going to tell me what got you upset in the kitchen earlier?”

She turned to face me, looked up at me, and my heart thumped against my chest. She was beautiful, so painfully beautiful that I could never get enough of her. This woman had my heart, body, and soul. One look from those big green eyes, and I was completely at her mercy.

“I don’t even know what me problem is,” she answered with a sigh. “Sometimes, I just realise we have such a big family, and I’m terrified if we suddenly can’t provide for them anymore.”

“Bronagh.”

You’re the one who makes the money, Dominic,” she cut me off. “I just ... I just—”

“You just take care of everyone and everything else,” I finished. “Sweetheart, you are the heart of this family. Without you, there is nothing. You know that.”

When her eyes glazed over with tears, I leaned down and kissed her until she relaxed against me.

“Alannah pays you too. You’ve been working with her for years. You contribute financially as well as me.”

She sighed but didn’t disagree with me.

“No more worrying,” I murmured against her lips. “Okay?”

She nodded. “Okay.”

“I love you.”

She hummed. “I love ye’, too.”

I jumped when her nails ran over my softening cock, and it made her laugh as I backed out of the shower with a smirk in place.

“Same time tomorrow?”

Bronagh snorted. “If I can sit down by then, we’ll see.”

I left our bathroom with a shit-eating grin on my face. I dried myself off, changed into clean boxer shorts, and just as I was about to grab some pants, I thought I heard voices in the hallway. I ventured outside to investigate, and the second I left the room, gasps and giggles could be heard as well as a horrified, “Da!”

Georgie was clearly heading towards her bedroom with two of her friends in tow, Alexandra and Joanne, aka Alex and Joey. I had known both girls since they were in kindergarten with my daughter, so seeing them stare at me without blinking freaked me out. I looked down at my boxer briefs then back up to my child’s teenage friends, and I think, for the first time in years, I felt myself blush.

“Hi, girls.” I smiled as I reached out to grab a towel hanging over the stair rail and wrapped it tightly around my hips. “How are you, ladies?”

“I’m doin’ real good, Mr Slater,” Joey replied with a brow raised and her teeth sinking into her lower lip. “Real good, sir.”

Alex giggled, and Joey stared at me without blinking while Georgie’s burning face indicated her mortification.

“Can ye’ please put some clothes on?” she pleaded. “Please.”

I bobbed my head, sprung back into my bedroom and closed the door behind me before anyone could speak another word. Bronagh was in the middle of putting a bra on. She already had socks and panties on, and when she saw me, she raised her brows.

“Alex and Joey just saw me in my boxers.” I cringed. “I think Joey licked her lips, too.”

Bronagh grinned. “Is Georgie red faced?”

“Yeah,” I answered. “She’ll be complaining about this for the next week.”

My wife giggled as she pulled on a pair of jeans, and she playfully rolled her eyes when she found my eyes glued to her as she got dressed. I grinned, not ashamed in the least to be caught ogling her. I watched her as often as I could, and she and everyone else knew it. My kids weren’t bothered by it because seeing me being constantly affectionate with their mother was all they ever knew. I think if I stopped showing that affection, they would find it bizarre.

“Ye’ll have to apologise to Georgie,” Bronagh said as she put on her socks. “She’ll be a nightmare otherwise.”

I pulled on jeans, socks, and a T-shirt.

“I’ll catch her before she goes to the centre with the girls.”

“I’m bringin’ Axel shoppin’ with me, so ye’ just have Quinn and Griffin to bring to their game. Their game is a home game, so it’s just down to the pitches for ye’. I wanna stop off at Skechers and get Axel new runners; his last two pairs were ruined from all the climbin’ he does at Gravity with you.”

I smiled. “He loves it.”

“His runners don’t.”

I walked over, smacked her ass, grabbed her face, and kissed her like I meant it. When I pulled away, my wife swayed into me just like she did when we were teenagers.

“What was that for?”

“Because I felt like kissing you.”

She opened her eyes and smiled up at me.

“You’re so beautiful.”

“Speakin’ of beautiful …” She tilted her head to the side. “Why were Beau and Georgie fightin’ earlier?”

“He took her phone; she retaliated.”

“That lad constantly tries to find ways to annoy ‘er.”

“He loves her ... loves to piss her off, too.”

Bronagh chuckled as I kissed her cheek and left the room. I glanced over the stair rail and saw Alex and Joey descending the stairs with my daughter nowhere in sight. I made my way to her bedroom, and when I entered the room, I froze in the doorway.

“What the hell are you wearing, Georgie Slater?”

She spun to face me, and when I saw her bare stomach, my heart stopped.

“Ye’ were right ab-about it bein’ hot out,” she stammered. “I was just changin’ into somethin’ ... cooler.”

“Cooler?” I blinked. “You’re naked.”

“Da, please.” She frowned. “I’m not naked. It’s a crop top and a skirt.”

Two things she had never worn before. Ever.

“Naked,” I repeated. “You aren’t leaving the house in that. If you lean forward, your ass will be out for the world to see.”

I ran from her room to mine, grabbed a T-shirt that I made as a joke the year before, and rushed back to my daughter’s room. I pushed it at her and waited outside as she changed into it. When I heard her screech, I felt deeply satisfied with myself.

“Daddy!”

“Don’t ‘daddy’ me,” I warned as I re-entered the room. “If you won’t dress yourself correctly, then I’ll do it for you.”

My child almost snarled at me. “This will put me at the top of the loser list, Da! No lad will ever look in me direction if ye’ make me wear this!”

Fireworks went off in my mind at her words.

“You’re never taking it off.”

Georgie stomped her foot on the ground and turned her back to me. She opened her mouth and shouted, “Ma!”

I listened for Bronagh and smiled when I heard her walk towards our daughter’s room humming a song.

“What is it, Georgie?”

“Da is ruinin’ me entire life, and he’s happy about it.”

I was very happy about it.

Bronagh entered the room on a tired sigh, but when her gorgeous eyes fell to the T-shirt Georgie had on, she laughed with glee. Our less than impressed teenager screeched. “It’s not funny! I’ll be slagged to the high heavens if I have to wear this, Ma.”

Bronagh folded her arms over her chest. “I thought ye’ didn’t care what people thought of ye’?”

Georgie shifted her stance. “I don’t.”

My wife raised a brow. “Then what’s the problem?”

Georgie pointed at her shirt and read the words printed in black.

“This is my dad. He will do to you what you do to me. It’s even worse with the stupid picture of Da without his shirt on under the writin’.”

“That’s a nice picture.” I frowned. “Don’t be mean.”

She refused to look at me. Instead, she focused on Bronagh. “I’d sooner walk around school in me bra in front of every lad in sixth year than wear this T-shirt, Ma.”

My child just described an actual nightmare of mine.

“Do you want me to have your cousins flank you all day at school on Monday?” I growled. “Because I’ll call them right now and arrange it.”

My stubborn child scoffed. “Go for it.”

She challenged me, and she was old enough to know never to do that.

“Fine,” I said and took out my phone.

“Fine,” Georgie quipped.

I dialled Jax’s number and placed my phone to my ear.

“What’s up, unc?” he answered on the third ring.

“I need a favour, kid.”

I heard a female giggle, then a pained groaned from my nephew. “I’m kind of busy, unc. Can this wait?”

I shook my head as a grin crept its way onto my face.

“It’s about Georgie.”

I heard Jax instantly hush who was giggling.

“Is she okay?” he asked, his focus fully on our conversation and not the girl he was with.

“She is,” I said then growled, “but she is threatening to wear just her bra to school come Monday.”

“She is threatenin’ to what?” Jax all but roared. “Is she there with ye’?”

“She is.”

“Put ‘er on the phone,” he demanded. “Now.”

He was Kane’s kid; there was no doubt about it. I tapped my phone on Georgie’s shoulder and held it out to her when she turned to me. She looked at the phone for a moment, and I saw her tough girl act begin to crack. She covered up her near slip, took the phone, and pressed it to her ear.

“What d’ye want, Jax?” she asked, though her tone wasn’t as stern as before.

I looked at Bronagh when Jax’s voice bellowed through the receiver of my phone. She grinned, and I shook my head. She was enjoying this just as much as I was.

“No!” Georgie suddenly bellowed. “If ye’ do that, I’ll make sure Daisy Mars never looks at ye’ again.” She gasped at Jax’s response. “Ye’ wouldn’t dare, Jax Slater.”

“I would,” I heard Jax threaten.

“Go ahead then,” Georgie angrily spat and hung up on Jax before turning and tossing my phone back to me.

“Can ye’ both leave, please?” she asked. “I want to be on me own.”

I opened my mouth to ignore her and continue our discussion, but when a soft hand touched my elbow, I turned my attention from my daughter to my wife.

“Come on,” Bronagh said. “Leave ‘er be.”

I had to be tugged out of the room and down the stairs.

“Georgie will be down in a few minutes,” Bronagh said to Alex and Joey who were keeping Axel and Beau company in the living room. Beau, whose focus was on Joey, didn’t even notice that his mother spoke. He was too focused on his sister’s friend, and it made me snort.

Twenty minutes after our argument, Georgie, who was correctly dressed, left with her friends and went to the community centre when Alannah pulled up outside to collect them. Bronagh took Axel with her when she went shopping, and Beau accompanied me to the boys’ soccer game. We didn’t get home until after four p.m. After soccer, I took the boys to lunch, then to see the new Marvel movie. When I stepped foot into my house, it sounded like World War III had erupted.

Jax was over, and he and Georgie were knee-deep in an argument in the kitchen. I pushed passed my kids and jogged into the room. My wife was leaned against the sink, pinching the bridge of her nose. I looked at my firstborn nephew and my firstborn child, who were glaring daggers at each other. When my nephew caught sight of me, a deadly grin spread across his face.

“Uncle Nico,” Jax said, turning his attention back to his cousin. “Georgie has a boyfriend ... and he’s a Collins!”