Can a reformed player ever truly play by someone else’s rules?
Sam Walsh has finally put an end to decades of self-destruction, turned over a healthy new leaf, and now he’s ready to call himself a married man. But love and marriage are only the beginning, and life is about to get much more complicated.
Will tying the knot tie down a free spirit?
Tiel Desai never imagined herself getting married again, and before she can blink, she’s swept up into the Walsh wedding whirlwind. If that chaos isn’t enough, she’s also busy winning over her future in-laws, grappling with a bumpy adjustment to her new job, and staying afloat when a string of disappointments hit.
They’re building a future, but can they ever fully demolish the past?
Sam and Tiel beat back their demons and learned to love each other, but love might not be enough to solve every problem that crawls their way.
Tiel leaned into me, nodding toward the kitchen, and whispered, “You ready?”
I blew out a long breath and frowned. Riley was seated at the table, the sports section of the newspaper spread out before him. He was eating cereal out of a two-quart mixing bowl, and he was naked save for his Batman boxers.
“Can we wait until he’s clothed?” I asked. His dress shirt, tie, and khakis were hanging off the back of the chair to his right. “I mean, I know we see his dick a lot—”
“A lot,” Tiel murmured, her lips pursing.
“Yeah, I don’t enjoy knowing that you can draw it from memory, sweetheart,” I said, exasperated. My brother preferred loincloth living, and my patience for that was waning.
“Come on,” she said, tangling her fingers with mine.
My thumb traced the hard lines of her ring. Her engagement ring. It had only been seated at that spot for twenty-four hours, and I was still high on the primal thrill of conquest.
She chose me, she wanted me, she was keeping me.
“The deal was we tell Riley before we tell the rest of your family, and then we tell my family, although I still contend they’ll say something offensive about the Irish but otherwise not be able to find a single shit to give. Actually,” she said with a heavy sigh, “I don’t think we should bother telling my parents anything. Send them an invite, and be shocked if they show up.”
“That’s not one of the options,” I said.
Riley growled at the newspaper and muttered, “Those motherfuckers need to get their offensive line together,” before refilling his bowl.
“He’s like our first baby,” she said, dropping her head to my chest. “We’re getting real parenting experience. From a twenty-eight year old.”
“Well…” I was about to protest that Riley often appointed himself as den mother and had done a decent job of looking after me when I’d refused to look after myself, but then he spilled milk all over his bare chest and mopped it up with his tie.
I rubbed my knuckles down her belly. “I’ve got time if you want to work on our next baby.”
She dipped her chin, smiling. “We worked pretty hard yesterday,” she said. “I’d be surprised if you didn’t get the job done.”
I wanted this. I wanted to stop talking about starting a family someday and make it a reality today.
It was one of the most ridiculous thoughts living in my head—and I had a lot of fucking odd thoughts up there—because I’d never imagined this for myself. Under no construct had my future ever included a wife, children, or anything beyond functional alcoholism and a thinly leashed contempt for the universe as I knew it.
About Kate Canterbary:
Kate Canterbary doesn’t have it all figured out, but this is what she knows for sure: spicy-ass salsa and tequila solve most problems, living on the ocean–Pacific or Atlantic–is the closest place to perfection, and writing smart, smutty stories is a better than any amount of chocolate. She started out reporting for an indie arts and entertainment newspaper back when people still read newspapers, and she has been writing and surreptitiously interviewing people–be careful sitting down next to her on an airplane–ever since. Kate lives on the water in New England with Mr. Canterbary and the Little Baby Canterbary, and when she isn’t writing sexy architects, she’s scheduling her days around the region’s best food trucks.
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