Pulling up to Kurt's house, I smile to myself.
Whether Kurt likes it or not, he’s about to meet Kiki.
“Okay, here we are.” I try to sound cheerful, but inside, my stomach is in knots.
I need Kurt and Kiki to get on.
Pushing the door open, Kiki bounds out after me, racing to the garden before I can leash her.
“Dammit,” I mutter, chasing after her. She’s down the side of the house now, and I’m trampling through mud and branches to reach her. “Kiki!”
A branch scratches my head, and I curse out, swiping it away from me.
“Kiki!” I hiss, finally making it to the rear garden.
Kiki is on her back, having a belly rub from no other than Kurt’s dad.
I swallow, trying not to swoon at the way he’s talking to her.
“Who’s a beauty, huh? Where’s you come from?”
His voice is low and silky, and my ovaries flutter to life, wondering who this ridiculous specimen is.
He glances up when I move forward hesitantly, making an apologetic face.
“I’m sorry, she ran out before I could stop her.”
“Hey, it’s not a problem. You must be Kiki.” Lincoln grins, addressing Kiki. His fingers are lost in her fur, and she lets out an appreciative sound when he itches behind her ear. “Beautiful girl.”
My heart is hammering in my chest, and I feel like I’m going to pass out.
“I’m jealous of a dog!” Coos a voice, followed by bouncy dark curls and a figure to die for.
She’s dressed to kill in a short mini dress and heels, her naturally pretty face lighting up when she sees me.
“Oh! Hey, Alison, I didn’t see you there. Is this your dog?”
She glances over at Kiki, her eyes widening.
“Yes. You look gorgeous.”
Lincoln looks bemused, his fingers still stroking my dog.
Timea grins, shrugging her shoulders. “When your man looks as good as that,” Timea nods at Lincoln, licking her lips. “You have to try.”
Lincoln chuckles, shaking his head.
“Yet here I am, surrounded by three beautiful women. Aren’t I the lucky one?”
I flush at his words, and when his eyes meet mine, I lose my breath.
What the hell?
“Baby!” Kurt calls from the upstairs window, leaning out half-naked. “Come up!”
I motion to Kiki, and his eyes follow my hand, a smile on his face.
“You brought the dog?”
It’s irritating as fuck to hear him call her the dog, but I guess he needs bringing into line.
“You mean Kiki.” I roll my eyes, crouching beside my baby. And Lincoln.
I hadn’t considered it being a problem bringing her, and I furrow my brow as I consider Kurt's family home not being dog friendly. “Sorry, Mr. Derby—” Lincoln lifts an eyebrow, and I correct myself. “—Lincoln, is Kiki, okay to come in?”
Lincoln frowns with confusion.
“Why wouldn’t she be?”
Kurt has disappeared, and Timea trots back to the house as I turn back to Lincoln, clearing my throat.
How to tell him that his son calls my dog ‘it’ and didn’t consent to the adoption?
That I adopted her regardless of Kurt’s wishes, and that doesn’t seem to bode well for our future.
If we can’t agree on fundamental things, how would we fare in a marriage?
My stomach sinks and twists at the thought of not having a life filled with fur babies of all shapes and sizes.
The way Lincoln holds my gaze makes my legs turn to jelly, but I scold myself for being such a harlot.
This is my fiancé’s dad!
“Kurt doesn’t really like dogs,” I confess, leaning down to kiss Kiki’s head.
Lincoln makes a face before leaning closer to me.
His cologne smells woody and fresh, almost like he’d showered in a rainforest in the height of summer.
“No, he doesn’t.” Lincoln frowns with what looks like annoyance. “But it’s not Kurt's house. It’s mine.”
The possessive tone in his voice knocks the air from my body, and the smirk that he gives me tells me that he knows.
He knows the effect he’s got on women.
“That’s true,” I say with a smile. “So she’s okay?”
“She can sleep in my bed if she wants, sweetheart.”
The words are out before I can stop them, and my hand flies to my mouth in horror.
Lincoln snorts with laughter, shaking his head as he rises.
“Ha, I’m glad you get my sense of humor,” I say hastily, burying my head in Kiki’s fur.
I want to die.
Who says shit like that to their future father-in-law?
I’m going to hell.
“I get you, kid. I get you.”
Lincoln hesitates, looking back to the house before studying me.
“Are you staying over?”
Bringing my head up from the security of Kiki’s fur takes serious effort, but the icy blue eyes that hold me captive make it almost compulsory.
“I don’t know,” I say honestly.
“Well, you and Kiki are very welcome to stay.”
Lincoln leans close to my ear, brushing the hair away, so his lips are close to my skin.
“I’m making pancakes and waffles in the morning. If you’re lucky, I might bring them to you in bed.”
My mouth falls open as he winks at me, walking into his house without another word.