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Indulge With Me (With Me In Seattle Book 10) by Kristen Proby, Suzanne M. Johnson (1)

Jules & Nate

Jules

 

“I’m so excited for you both,” I say, my champagne glass lifted in the air, toasting my cousin, Amelia and her fiancé, Wyatt. “Congratulations.”

“Congratulations,” everyone says happily, toasting the couple glowing with happiness. Lia and Wyatt got engaged a few months ago, and I wanted to host a party for them then, but the summer got away from us and getting our whole family together these days isn’t an easy task.

But I was finally able to arrange for everyone, and I mean everyone, to come to our beach house to celebrate the engagement. All of our families are here, including Amelia’s parents and siblings, Wyatt’s parents and two brothers, and all of my crazy brood.

I think there are more than thirty people in our home.

And I freaking love it.

I would normally hire my sister-in-law, Alecia, to organize a party of this size, but I really wanted to do this for Lia, and I’m pleased with the outcome.

“By the way, everyone,” I continue after Wyatt dips Lia down for a passionate kiss and everyone applauds, “the food is ready and set up, thanks to McCollum Catering, and it looks absolutely delicious.”

“That’s where I’m headed,” Will, my football player brother, immediately says.

“Me, too,” Archer, Lia’s brother says, high-fiving Will.

“And,” I say, giving both men the stink eye, making them halt in their tracks, “we have an array of cupcakes courtesy of our very own Nic.”

“Thank the good Lord,” Samantha Nash says, raising her hands in the air and making us all laugh.

“I have a mimosa and bloody Mary station set up down at the gazebo, so feel free to raid that. Have fun, everyone.”

The crowd disperses, most of the men headed straight for the food, which makes me grin. Alecia comes walking over with a smug smile on her pretty lips.

“Hey there,” I say and wrap her in a hug.

“This party is seriously amazing,” she says, and pops something in her mouth. “And these fried glazed donuts? Jesus Christ, I think I just had an orgasm.”

I giggle and reach for one of my own, sighing as it practically melts in my mouth. “Girl. Get me away from them. I’ll eat them all. I’m so glad you approve. I was nervous about taking it on myself.”

“You didn’t need me,” she says, shaking her head. “This setting is so beautiful, you don’t need a lot of fluff. The food is delicious, and speaking of which, how did you find this caterer?”

“Nate and I have an inside joke,” I reply with a chuckle and smile when my brother Dominic joins us, wrapping his arm around his wife’s waist. “I’ve called this caterer his minions since we were dating. Whenever we came here, he’d call ahead and they would come in and set everything up before we arrived, so it just sort of magically happened. I love them.”

“Well, I need to get the minion’s info from Nate because I’m planning a beach wedding next summer, and I could use them.”

“I thought you weren’t planning weddings anymore, now that you’re working full time at the winery?” I ask, accepting a mimosa from my husband, Nate, as he joins us. Alecia smiles as he passes one to her as well.

My husband is larger than life, and still sets my skin on fire as soon as he comes in a room. I want to climb him pretty much 24/7, and I pray that never goes away.

“This one is for a friend,” Alecia says with a small shrug. “I couldn’t tell her no when she asked for my help.”

“My tesoro spreads herself too thin,” Dom says, kissing Alecia’s temple. His voice is still thick with an Italian accent, despite living in the States for many years.

“I’m fine,” Alecia insists. “And this is a hell of a party. And speaking of parties, don’t forget we’re hosting one at the vineyard in a couple of weeks.”

“I wouldn’t forget it,” I promise and reach out to pat my brother on the shoulder. “We’re so proud of you, Dom.”

His lips curl up into a smile, and he leads Alecia away. I take a sip of my drink, surveying the scene.

“Everyone’s fine,” Nate whispers into my ear, tugging me against his side. “And you’re fucking beautiful in this dress.”

I glance down at the silver shift dress, cinched at the waist with a Gucci belt, and grin up at him. “It’s the heels, isn’t it?”

I mean, the brand new black Louboutins got him hard when I took them out of the box yesterday. He’s barely taken his eyes off of them.

“I’m going to fuck you in nothing but those shoes,” he promises, and everything in me catches on fire. He’s not lying. My ankles will be wrapped around his neck later tonight, and I’ll be wearing these shoes.

I can’t fucking wait.

“Getting me all hot and bothered when we have dozens of guests isn’t nice.”

His face transforms into that sexy smile that says I don’t give a fuck.

“I never claimed to be nice, Julianne. Be sure to eat some food.”

And with that, he kisses my cheek and walks away to talk to my brother Caleb.

I take a deep breath, and then a long drink of my mimosa. I could use another, although I rarely drink when my daughter, Stella, is around.

I search the crowd for her and smile when I see that she’s on my best friend Natalie’s lap, eating a chocolate cinnamon roll. I cringe inside, hoping no one lets her overdose on sugar today. I don’t need her to be high on sweets all day.

But then I shrug. Today is a day for celebration. She can have some sugar.

“Jules.” Amelia rushes over to me, panting, her eyes wide in horror. “I have an emergency.”

“Did you start your period?” I ask, whispering loudly. “Shit, you’re wearing white. Do you need a pad?”

“No, Jesus, I didn’t start my period. It’s much worse.”

“Worse than your period in a white dress?”

She nods and swallows hard, trying to catch her breath. “I lost my ring.”

I stare at her for a moment, trying to register the words coming out of her mouth, then glance down at her naked left hand.

“Wait. Your engagement ring?”

“Shh!” She covers her mouth with her fingers and leans in closer. “Yes, my engagement ring, and Wyatt can’t know.”

“Where the hell did you lose it?”

“In the bathroom.”

I take her elbow and pull her to the guest bathroom, just as Nic approaches it as well.

“Sorry, I’ll find a different bathroom,” she says, then stops and narrows her eyes at us. “What’s going on?”

“Lia lost her engagement ring,” I reply and hurry into the restroom, flipping on the light as I go.

“Never mind, I’m staying right here,” Nic says, following. “How did you lose it?”

“I don’t know! I came in to use the restroom, and I washed my hands. I always take it off when I wash them because I don’t want it to get full of soap residue.”

“First mistake,” I mutter. “Just take it in to get cleaned once a month. Trust me on this one.”

“Well, now I know,” she says and bites her lip. “Anyway, I set it on the vanity, and I must have forgotten to put it back on. So I left the bathroom, and realized that I didn’t have it about ten minutes later, but when I came back, it was gone.

Her voice is wavering, and her eyes fill with tears, and my perfect party is about to spontaneously combust.

“It fell down the drain,” Nic says simply. “It’s easy to fish out. We just need a wrench.”

“Do you have a wrench?” Lia asks me with hope-filled eyes.

“Of course I do,” I reply with false confidence. I’m not even sure what kind of wrench we need, but I’m determined to fix this. “I’ll be right back.”

I run out to the garage and root around for a couple of wrenches of all sizes, hoping that I get one that will do the trick, and hurry back in to find Lia sitting on the toilet with her head between her knees and Nic rubbing circles on her back.

“I’m gonna pass out,” Lia mumbles.

“No, you’re not. See? We’ve got this.”

I show them the wrenches, and Nic scowls. “That one is way too small.”

“What about these?” I ask, showing her the others I found.

“That big one might work.”

I discard the others, open the cabinet to the pipes, and all three of us struggle to get on the floor.

“I’m wearing way too tight of a dress for this,” Nic says with a scowl. “Seriously, someone’s going to walk in here and see up my skirt to my vagina and Matt’s gonna be pissed. He’ll spank me.”

“Why aren’t you wearing panties?” Lia asks.

“Because Matt forbade it,” Nic replies as if she just said that her hair is brown.

“Excuse me,” Lia says, stopping me from trying to fit the wrench on the pipe. “Did you just say he forbade it?”

Nic grins. “Oh yeah. And it’s sexy as fuck when he gets all dominant on me. It’s our thing.”

“Huh. I had no idea,” Lia says.

“But now you’re going to get me in trouble,” Nic says, sticking her lower lip out.

“Oh, for Godsake. Pull it together.” I roll my eyes and kick my brand new shoes off in frustration. “Take one for the team here, Nic.”

“I’m down here, aren’t I?” she replies and lays back to take a look at the pipe. “Here, hand me the wrench.”

I happily comply, and Lia and I join her, lying under the sink and watching her try to fit the wrench around the silver pipe.

“How is it dusty under here?” I wonder aloud. “Like, how does dust actually get under the sink? Isn’t that defying the laws of gravity or something?”

“I found dust inside my shoes,” Lia says with a shrug. “I think the dust is alive.”

“That’s disgusting.”

Nic grunts with the exertion of trying to turn the wrench and then collapses on the ground. “This thing is on there tight.”

“Oh my God, you guys, we have to find it.” Lia shakes her head and wipes under her eyes. “And I need my emergency makeup bag from the car because I refuse to spend my engagement party looking like a goddamn raccoon.”

“Oh, honey, you don’t look like a raccoon.” I pat her shoulder, but she turns wet eyes to me.

“I will if we don’t find my ring.”

“I’m gonna get this mother fucker off,” Nic says, grunting again as she tries to turn the wrench.

“Would it help if I push as you pull?” I ask her and try to get some leverage under the sink to help. “God, it’s so uncomfortable down here. How do plumbers do it?”

“They’re not in tiny dresses and heels,” Nic grumbles, blowing a piece of her hair out of her eyes. “Lia, you owe me a makeover after this.”

“I’ll come to your house and do your makeup every damn day if you find my ring,” Lia pledges, holding up her hand as if she’s swearing on the Bible. “I’ll carry babies for you.”

Nic smiles softly. “Thanks for the offer, but we’re adopting.”

WHAT?” I shriek and pull her into my arms for a hug. “You are? When? You have to tell me everything.

“After we find my ring,” Lia says. “And yes, we need all of the details.”

Because of PCOS and diabetes, Nic didn’t think she’d ever be able to have children. My brother, Matt, has been amazingly supportive and wonderful, but I didn’t know they’d decided to adopt. I couldn’t be more excited for them.

“Thanks,” Nic says with a goofy smile. “She’ll be here in just a few months.”

She?” I pull her in for another hug. “Another baby girl in our family!”

“Oh no,” Lia says, tears streaming down her face. “I’m totally a raccoon now, and I don’t care. Nic, I’m so excited for you.”

“Matt’s so cute about it,” Nic says as she props her head in her hand. “He’s already bought some little outfits and stuff, but you guys, I haven’t bought anything. I don’t want to get my hopes up too high.”

“Why?” Lia asks.

“What if the birth mom changes her mind?” Nic whispers. “What if something horrible happens with the pregnancy?”

“Oh sweetheart, don’t talk like that.”

“I know, it’s totally horrible to think this way, but I can’t help it. I’m terrified that I’ll be standing in that birthing room with her, and the baby will come, and the birth mom will tell me that she can’t give her to me.”

Nic turns worried brown eyes to me. “I get it. I couldn’t give my baby up,” I reply and pet her arm, trying to reassure her. “But she’s doing this for a reason, Nic. Maybe she doesn’t have a choice. Or she just knows that she can’t provide for the baby like you can, and she’s doing the bravest, most wonderful thing in the world. She’s so fucking amazing.”

“I know,” Nic says, swallowing hard. “We got to meet her, and she’s really nice. I’m just trying to keep it together until all is said and done and the papers are signed.”

Lia pulls her phone out of a pocket I didn’t even know she had.

“Shit, guys. Wyatt just texted and wants to know where I am.”

“Back to the task at hand,” Nic says, pulling on the wrench again. “Damn it, I don’t know if I can get this fucker off.”

“Why do men screw them on so tight? Are they just trying to prove how strong they are?” I ask.

“Or, you know, trying to prevent leaks,” Nic says with a smirk.

“Or that,” I agree. “Hold please.” I reach up and flip a switch. “There, the floor will heat up. My ass is getting cold.”

“Good call,” Lia says. “But let’s hurry this along. He’ll come looking for me any minute.”

“Should we try a different screwy thing?” I ask, checking out the pipe. “It looks like it might attach here, too.”

“Maybe,” Nic says, thinking it over. “I just didn’t want to make too much of a mess.”

“I don’t give a shit about the mess, let’s just get the ring out, and then we can clean up.”

“Yes, that’s the best plan,” Lia says, nodding vigorously. “It came in a red box, you guys. This isn’t a cheap ring, or easy to replace.”

“Okay, pass me the middle wrench,” Nic says, holding her hand out, and I pass it to her, feeling like I’m assisting a surgeon.

“I didn’t expect to spend today like this,” I admit with a laugh. “We’ll think it’s funny ten years from now.”

Suddenly, someone clears their throat from the doorway, and we all stop moving, staring at each other, until my husband says, “What, exactly, are you doing?”

 

 

Nate

 

I haven’t seen Julianne in more than ten minutes. It’s unlike her to disappear at a party, especially when she’s hosting, but every time I try to go search for her, I get sidetracked by another family member.

I never expected when I was growing up with just me and my dad that I’d end up in a family with the population of Arizona. It’s everything I never knew I needed.

“Did you have some of this quiche?” Caleb asks as he goes back for seconds.

“Not yet,” I reply.

“Well, you’d better hurry because I’m about to decimate it.” He laughs and digs in.

I keep going back for the crab cakes. The spread is impressive, and I’ll have to send a personal note of thanks to the master chef, Suzanne. She’s never let me down.

I wander over to Natalie and smile at my daughter, who’s perched on Nat’s lap.

“Hi there, peaches.”

“Hi, Daddy.” She smiles and takes a bite of a donut.

“Have you been eating lots of sugar?”

Her eyes widen and she shakes her head innocently, but Natalie laughs and nods.

“Hmm. No more after that donut, okay?”

Stella grins, sugar coating her tiny pink lips and bats her eyes at me. “Maybe just one more?”

“No.”

“Half of one?”

I laugh and lean in to kiss her plump cheek. At almost five years old, she’s losing some of her baby fat and changing so quickly. I hate the thought of her growing up.

“You can have one more. Aunt Natalie is going to make sure you don’t eat more than that.”

“I won’t,” Stella promises and presses her sugary lips to my cheek. “Have you seen Julianne?” I ask Nat, who frowns and glances around.

“No, not in a little while. I saw her talking with Lia a bit ago. They’re probably down getting mimosas or something.”

I nod and walk across the wraparound porch to the steps that lead down to the gazebo.

I didn’t know it at the time, but buying this beach house was the best decision I could have made in real estate close to ten years ago. I bought it for a low price, and it’s only appreciated in value.

More than that, our family loves it and uses it often. It’s less than two hours from Seattle, making it the perfect getaway spot.

“Hey, Nate, thanks for hosting this,” Wyatt, the groom-to-be, says as I reach the gazebo and drink station. He shakes my hand. “We appreciate it.”

“It’s no trouble at all,” I reply. “Have you seen Jules?”

“No. In fact, I haven’t seen Amelia in a bit either. I texted her, but haven’t heard back.”

I nod. “They’re probably together, getting in trouble.”

“I think Amelia brought some makeup stuff for a few of the girls, so you’re probably right,” Wyatt says, physically relaxing.

“You were worried about her.”

His eyes meet mine and then he shrugs. “Of course. I love her. It’s what I do.”

“You’re going to fit into this family just fine,” I reply, clapping him on the shoulder. “I’ll go look for them.”

“I’ll join you,” Wyatt says and follows me back up the stairs.

When we reach the top, Matt is about to descend the stairs, his face tight and lips thin.

“What’s wrong?” I ask him.

“I can’t find Nic,” he replies. “I was going to check down there.”

“She’s not there,” Wyatt says. “We think the girls are checking out makeup stuff that Amelia bought. We’re going to look for them.”

Matt’s shoulders relax and he nods. “Let’s go.”

We walk into the house, past kids running about and parents sitting and talking, laughing and enjoying the day.

“Back here,” I say. “I bet they’re in the bathroom.”

I lead them to the guest bathroom, silently open the door, and the scene before us has all of us stopping in our tracks.

Three sets of legs, all long and smooth, are sticking out from under the sink. Their matching torsos are inside the cabinet, and the girls are giggling and talking.

I glance at Wyatt and Matt, and both of them just smile and shrug. Wyatt leans his shoulder against the doorframe, Matt crosses his arms over his chest, and I shove my hands in my pockets, then say, “What, exactly, are you doing?”

All activity below the sink comes to a halt as they freeze. Wyatt smirks next to me, and we wait for the girls to decide what to do next.

Julianne is in the middle. Her shoes, the ones that have kept me semi-hard for hours, are discarded on the bathroom floor. Lia is to our left and Nic is to our right.

There are wrenches on the floor.

I can’t wait to hear what this is all about.

Jules’ head pokes out from under the cabinet and she sends us a sweet smile.

“Hi.”

“Hello, my love. What’s up?”

“Oh, we’re just doing some home improvement work under here.”

I cock a brow as Wyatt snickers. Matt shifts, and when I glance at him, he’s got a huge smile on his face.

“I didn’t realize you were a do-it-yourselfer,” I reply and Jules bites her lower lip, making my cock twitch.

I’d like to make her bite that lip for more carnal reasons.

But that will come later.

“I’m usually not,” she admits. “Nic’s much better than me with a wrench.”

“I had no idea,” Matt says, and Nic’s head comes out from under the sink in surprise. “Hello, little one.”

“Hey, babe,” she says and offers him a small wave.

“Don’t you think your skirt is a bit short to be on the floor?” Matt asks her and she shakes her head.

“No, I’m perfectly fine.”

Matt tilts his head, looking up her legs, his arms still crossed.

“Really? Because I can see farther up that skirt than I’m comfortable seeing in mixed company.”

“You picked it out,” she reminds him.

“I didn’t anticipate you crawling under the sink.”

“If you’re still hiding under there because you think we can’t see you, you’re wrong, sweetheart,” Wyatt says and Amelia lets out a deep sigh before joining the other two, sitting on the bathroom floor.

Her bright blue eyes are full of tears.

“Hey,” Wyatt says, immediately concerned, and squats next to her, cupping her cheek. “What’s going on?”

“We’re trying to take the pipes apart,” Lia says with a quivering voice, “because I think I dropped my ring down the drain.”

My eyes fly to Jules’ and she grimaces. “Why didn’t you come get me?”

“We thought we could do it by ourselves,” Jules says. “But this pipe is on here really tightly.”

Matt helps Nic to her feet, kisses her cheek, then whispers in her ear and makes her face turn scarlet red. Then he squats down and checks out his wife’s handiwork.

“First of all,” he begins, “you’re doing this wrong.”

Wyatt and I help our girls to their feet, and we all stand back to watch Matt work on the pipe. Amelia is sniffling, leaning against Wyatt.

“I’m so sorry,” she whispers.

“Hey, it’s okay,” he says. “We’ll find it.”

Jules leans closer to Nic. “What did Matt say to you?”

“Trust me, you don’t want to know,” Nic replies and gives Jules a smug grin. “But things are going to get interesting later.”

“Lucky girl,” Jules says, nudging her with her elbow.

I plunge my fingers into the back of Jules’ hair, fist it, and press my lips to her ear.

“You have no idea what I have planned for you later.” The words are so quiet that no one else could possibly hear them. Julianne takes a surprised, quiet breath, and I’m pleased when her cheeks turn pink.

I’m going to make her ass turn pink later.

“There’s no ring in here,” Matt announces and Amelia gasps.

“But there has to be,” she says. “I set it on the vanity.”

“Where else have you been?” I ask her.

She takes a deep breath, dries her eyes, and pulls it together.

Good girl.

“I went to the gazebo for a drink. I could use another one.”

“Okay,” Wyatt says. “Where else?”

“I grabbed something to eat, I ran out to the car for a second to grab some face cleanser for Meredith, and then I came into the bathroom.”

“Is your car unlocked?” I ask. Amelia nods.

“Okay,” I say, taking charge of the situation. “Wyatt, take Lia down to the gazebo to look around and get the poor woman a drink. Make it a stiff one.”

“On it,” he says, leading her out of the room.

“Matt and Nic, go check the car. Julianne and I will go check in with our guests and look around the food tables to see if we can find anything.”

“Sounds good,” Matt says. “Let’s go, little one.”

Nic grins and follows her husband to the front door, and I lace my fingers through Julianne’s and pull her hand to my lips, pressing a kiss on her knuckles. When the other two couples are gone, and before I lead her out to the rest of the party, I pull her into the bathroom and shut and lock the door.

Her wide blue eyes, the same color as Amelia’s, meet mine.

“Put your shoes on,” I command her. Her lips tip up into a smile, and she does as I ask, slipping her slender feet into her fuck-me heels.

As soon as she has her balance, I pick her up and brace her against the back of the door, kissing her like my life depends on it.

Because I swear, there are moments that it does.

Nothing is more important to me than the woman in my arms and the tiny girl outside that door.

“You make me fucking crazy,” I growl into her ear. “It seems I can’t go six hours without wanting to be planted inside you. I love you so much I ache with it.”

“Yes,” she pants, circling her hips and freeing my long hair, running her fingers through it. “I love you, too. So much.”

I smile against her lips, set my cock free, and slip easily inside her, making her groan when my apa slides along the most sensitive parts of her pussy.

“Jesus,” she whispers as I fuck her hard, one hand reaching back to grip onto her heel.

“You’ll still wear these later,” I say, burying my face in her neck and biting her, careful not to leave a mark. “But I need this right now.”

“Hell yes,” she says and whimpers when her orgasm moves through her. She clenches down on me, and the pressure in my spine and balls is out of this fucking world as I lose control.

Once we catch our breath, I set her on her feet, make sure she has her balance, then tuck myself away. As she rights herself, I pull my hair back, and then, with a smug smile on her gorgeous face, we leave the bathroom.

Jules hurries to the buffet line and quickly searches around the food, lifting spoons and spoon rests, hoping the ring fell on the table top.

I pull the table cloth off the ground and look under it, in case it rolled beneath the food.

Nothing.

Matt and Nic wander out from inside the house, Nic sporting the same grin as my wife, and I assume somewhere outside of my beach house has been christened by these two.

“It’s not in the car,” Matt says. “We’ll head down and see if Wyatt and Lia found anything.”

“We’ll be right behind you,” Julianne says and then sighs and looks up at me with worried eyes. “She’s going to be devastated if we don’t find it.”

“Is everything okay, darling?” Julianne’s mom, Gail, asks as she joins us. She reaches over to add some ham biscuits with fig jam to her plate. “I need the recipe for these biscuits. They’re so flaky.”

“Everything’s great, Mom,” Julianne replies, pasting on her fake smile. “You know how it is, just making sure everyone is having a great time.”

Gail narrows her eyes on her daughter, but doesn’t call her out on the lie. She just pats her hand and says, “Let me know if I can help. Everyone’s having a lovely time. Don’t worry.”

She wanders back to her seat, next to Wyatt’s mom. The two have been thick as thieves for weeks.

“We’ll find it, or replace it,” I murmur to Julianne. “Let’s go down to the gazebo and see what’s what.”

She nods and leads me down the stairs. Wyatt is sitting on one of the deep couches with Lia curled up next to him. Her tears are gone, but she looks defeated.

Matt and Nic are pouring themselves bloody Marys. Meredith and Stacy are chatting on the opposite couch, drinking mimosas.

“I take it you didn’t find it,” Julianne says, her shoulders falling in disappointment.

“No,” Lia says. “I’m so pissed.”

“I’ll file an insurance claim,” Wyatt replies. “And I can replace it.”

“I know, but it’s expensive, and it has an immense amount of sentimental value,” Lia replies. “I’m so sorry.”

“What happened?” Meredith asks.

“I lost my engagement ring.”

“Oh, honey,” Stacy says. “I’m so sorry.”

Lia shrugs. “You know, it sucks, but I’m not going to let it ruin the rest of this party. Everyone is here to celebrate us, and I refuse to mope about this for one more minute.”

She stands and holds her hand out to Wyatt.

“I want a chocolate cinnamon roll.”

“Let’s get you one then,” he says as he stands and follows Lia up the stairs.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Meredith says, looking down at her own wedding band and engagement ring. “I had a scare like that once, and I was positive my heart was going to fall out of my chest.”

“I did lose my wedding band,” Stacy says, shaking her head. “When I was pregnant with Michael, my hands were so swollen I couldn’t wear my rings, so I put my engagement ring in the safe, but kept my wedding band out for the rare occasions that I could manage to wrangle it on my finger. I set it on the bedside table, and it disappeared. To this day, I don’t know where it is. Isaac bought me a new one, but I wish I had the original.”

“It happens,” I reply and wrap my arm around Julianne’s back. “Things can always be replaced. Do you need anything from upstairs?”

“No thanks,” Mer says with a smile. “We’re enjoying the ocean breeze and the company.”

Jules leads me upstairs, and we find seats next to Natalie, Luke, Will and Meg. Stella has moved to Will’s lap, and he keeps stealing her nose.

“You don’t have my nose!” she exclaims with a laugh.

“Here, I’ll put it back,” Will says, and presses his fingers to Stella’s face, making her laugh harder.

“Mommy,” Olivia says as she runs up to Natalie. “Look at my new pretty!”

She holds her hand up to Natalie’s face, and Jules and I freeze before glancing at each other.

“Uh, Olivia, I don’t think this is for you.”

“I found it in the bathroom! Finders keepers, losers weepers.”

Jules squats next to Olivia and kisses her cheek. “Baby doll, that’s a pretty ring. But you know what?”

“What?”

“That’s Miss Lia’s ring. She lost it earlier, and you found it for her. She’s going to be so excited.”

Olivia’s beautiful face scrunches into a frown. “But I like it.”

“You have lots of costume jewelry at home,” Nat says with a laugh. “Please give Aunt Jules the ring.”

Olivia slides it off of her finger and drops it in Jules’ outstretched palm. “Okay.”

“Thanks, baby doll,” Jules says before kissing the little girl again and turning to me with a bright smile. “Thank the baby Jesus! We found it!”