On the day of her bridal shower, Georgia kissed Jordan goodbye and picked up Daisy’s toy bag.
“What time will you be back?” Jordan asked, keeping his hands on her waist. All week they’d spent a lot of time together. Jordan cut back on his hours to shorten Daisy’s day at daycare and Georgia’s time alone in the house. Greyson spent his days in the living room while Georgia worked away in her office. Troy hung out at the daycare monitoring Daisy.
“Not sure. It depends on how long we spend talking,” she replied, watching Daisy put on her shoes. They were already late because Daisy didn’t want to leave behind any toy. It took ten minutes of negotiations for her to choose only a few toys to bring.
“Will Liam be there?” Daisy asked, standing and smoothing down her new princess dress.
“Yes. He is waiting for us now,” Georgia answered, grabbing her purse and car keys.
“Then what are we waiting for?” Daisy asked, rushing out the door to her car. Georgia laughed and placed one last kiss on Jordan’s lips.
“Don’t worry, Marcus and Troy are going to be at the inn today to watch the kids,” she assured Jordan when she saw him about to argue about her safety.
“Okay. I love you.” He kissed her again, bending her down in a romantic movie kiss before letting her leave. She giggled like a schoolgirl and went out to her car. She quickly buckled Daisy in and drove off to the Clover Leaf Inn. When she parked in the gravel parking lot Liam was waiting on the porch with Troy and a man she recognized as Preston Reese. Georgia got Daisy out and smiled at the men.
“Hello Georgia, this is Preston Reese. He has been doing the renovations on the inn,” Troy introduced her to the handsome man. He was tall like Jordan with light brown hair and bright green eyes. He had an elegant grace about him that made Georgia feel like a clutz.
“Hello, Preston. I wanted to get in touch with you about adding an addition to my house. I want to add an office for Jordan,” she explained shaking his hand. He gave her an easy smile and nodded.
“When I finish here I will get in touch about your house.” She gave him a smile in return and went into the inn. Daisy had already run off with Liam to play.
“Georgia! You are finally here!” Caroline cried, giving her a hug.
“Why is Preston here?” she asked after returning the hug.
“He came by to see the progress on the renovations. Then stayed after Troy explained why he was hanging out. The other ladies all know about it and are on alert should anything be out of the norm,” Caroline explained walking her into a large sitting room. Roxie and Evelyn sat on one couch, Myra and Ellie on the other. She noted Josie wasn’t there and realized the woman probably didn’t like her. That was fine with Georgia, she hadn’t liked the show of dominance Josie showed over Jordan.
“I didn’t invite Josie, I know you two don’t get along,” Caroline whispered in her ear.
“Won’t she feel left out?” Georgia asked, accepting a glass of wine.
“No, Josie understands,” Roxie remarked from her spot on the couch.
“How?” Georgia asked.
“Shifter ears, I can hear pretty much anything if I want to,” she explained giving Georgia a smile.
“So your sister-in-law won’t feel left out because she wasn’t invited to my bridal shower when I am marrying her best friend?”
“Josie knows she overstepped pushing you about Jordan. I think she wants to give you space,” Ellie shared sipping her own glass of wine. Georgia settled in a chair marked with balloons saying “bride”.
“How has this all been? I know being mated it like a whirlwind?” Ellie asked, reaching for cheese and crackers.
“I am loving every minute of being with Jordan. He and Daisy were the family I hadn’t known I wanted. I was content on being single and an author. I loved spending time with my nieces and nephews. I’m the youngest so I didn’t feel the need to give my parents any grandchildren,” she shared popping a grape into her mouth.
“Speaking of our parents. Have you told them?” Caroline gave her a knowing smirk and Georgia laughed.
“I called them after I said yes to marrying Jordan. They are coming to the wedding. I haven’t gotten around to telling our brothers,” she replied and Caroline gave her a shocked look.
“You have to tell them before they get the invitation in the mail!”
“I figured the invitations were sufficient notice,” she shared, shrugging her shoulders. Her brothers were so much older than her that they didn’t always care about her life. Yes, they were proud of her being an author, but they lived so far away that they didn’t see each other except for the once a year family reunion.
“You are kidding me?” Myra remarked shaking her head.
“If I sent Ricky a wedding invitation he would have a heart attack.” All the women laughed.
“Ricky is your brother, I take it?” Roxie asked, Myra, nodded.
“Yes. He lives in D.C. and works as a scientist for the government,” she answered.
“I am glad to meet you. I haven’t been to the library much but I think that will change as Sophia and Bentley get bigger.”
“How old are they now?” Georgia asked, watching the women around her. These were her friends and she loved how open they were about their lives. The fact she was a triplet didn’t keep coming up, something many of her friends harped on before she moved.
“Almost eleven months. They will be one middle of May,” Roxie answered with a smile on her face.
“Are they walking yet?” Ellie asked and Roxie shook her head.
“No, but crawling everywhere and climbing out stairs. I made Xander go out and get baby gates everywhere in our house. Thankfully they spend a lot of time at daycare so I can get my painting in. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t get that quiet time to myself,” she answered and Georgia nodded her understanding.
“Daisy and Jordan have been living in our house for almost two months and I completely understand that. When she is home I am full-on mom mode with her. I rarely can get in front of my computer on the weekends when she and Jordan are both around.”
“But you don’t hate it,” Caroline pointed out.
“No, I don’t. I love having Jordan and Daisy. Daisy is a source of inspiration for my newest series,” she shared.
“Oh?” Myra’s eyes lit up with excitement.
“Yes. I got in touch with White Valley Publishing to share my newest draft with them. Turns out they can publish all but the last three of my books from Bethany and Felix. Bluemont Press still owns the rights to those books.”
“Did they share their thoughts?” Ellie wanted to know, she had her daughter Ava in her arms nursing.
“I’m waiting to hear. When I worked with Bluemont Press sometimes it took over two months to hear back,” she explained, all the women gave her shocked looks.
“Really?” Myra asked and Georgia nodded.
“I hope you hear back soon then. Want to open your gifts?” Caroline asked, refilling their drinks. Georgia nodded and held out her hand for the first gift.
“Mom sent this one,” Caroline explained, Georgia looked at it with trepidation. Opening the package she paused to stare at the silky cloth. Pulling it out she saw it was a white revealing negligee.
“What?” She gasped seeing there was a matching thong in it.
“Read the card!” Caroline coaxed trying to keep her giggles at bay.
“What was she thinking?” Georgia opened the card and groaned.
“Out loud!” Roxie demanded, laughing with all the others. Georgia shook her head but read aloud.
“Georgie, I thought since you already own a home you could use something more useful. Make use of this and make me more grandbabies.” Everyone started laughing in earnest now making Georgia blush a deep red.
“I know! When mom sent me that and asked me to wrap it I couldn’t believe it,” Caroline commented.
“I can’t wear this,” Georgia objected.
“No! You have too. Jordan won’t know what to do with himself,” Ellie countered with a bright smile on her face. Georgia couldn’t believe her mother.
“Please tell me the other gifts aren’t like this one?” Caroline shrugged unsure. She handed Georgia another one, this time Georgia opened it carefully.
“It is from me,” Roxie remarked. Georgia pulled out a canvas, it was the cover of the book Roxie did for her.
“Is this?” she asked and Roxie nodded.
“It is the original.” She took a minute to look over the woods Roxie painted. It was even more beautiful than the cover made it out to be.
“Thank you. This is amazing.” Roxie smiled and got up to give her a hug.
“I didn’t know what to get you when you own your own house,” Roxie remarked, sitting down to finish her wine. Georgia set the painting off to the side and opened the rest. From Ellie, she received a new spice rack, from Myra, a limited edition copy of her favorite series and from Caroline, she was given a three-night stay at a four-star hotel near the beach.
“Thank you, everyone,” she smiled at her friends.
“Anything for you. You’ve made our Jordan happy again,” Ellie replied standing to walk her baby around.
“Georgia!” Daisy's frantic call came from the back. She jumped out of her chair and outside before remembering there were other adults with her.
“What?” she asked coming up to a panting Daisy.
“There was a weird man in the backyard. He scared Liam!” Daisy exclaimed pointing to the bushes. Georgia looked around for Liam and saw him in Preston’s arms.
“What do you mean?” Troy asked he was holding Bentley.
“He was sitting in the bushes just watching us. I saw him when Liam and I went to play hide and seek.” Daisy pointed again to the spot where the ground had been disturbed.
“What scared him off?” Georgia asked, internally she was panicking it had been Scott.
“Liam. He growled at the man. The man growled back and his hands extended to claws like Uncle Jordan.”
“Okay, let’s get inside. I want you to stay in Liam’s room and play,” she ordered passing Daisy off to Preston. Their eyes connected and Preston nodded his understanding.
“Troy,” Georgia beckoned once the kids were gone.
“I lost sight of them for a second. We were all playing hide and seek,” Troy explained walking over to sniff where Daisy said the man had been sitting. She watched him and then Marcus walk around the area sniffing the air.
“Smells like a jaguar, but none I know,” Marcus announced after five minutes.
“We lose the scent at the road. He climbed into a car,” Troy added. Georgia frowned and rubbed at her arms.
“I think I should take Daisy home. If he was able to sneak into the brush I don’t want her outside without Jordan.”
“I understand. I will let Greyson know what happened, this way he is up to date on everything that happened. You need to tell Jordan,” Troy explained. Georgia nodded and with Caroline’s help she packed up her gifts.
“I am sorry we have to cut this short,” she told her sister.
“I want you and Daisy safe. You need to tell Jordan so he can alert the judge who issued the restraining order.” Georgia hugged her friends and ushered Daisy into her car to get her home.
“You are home early?” Jordan remarked when they walked into the house.
“Scott showed up at the inn. At least we think it was him. He hid in the bushes behind the inn. Daisy saw him and Liam growled at him. He snarled, scaring Liam. That is when Daisy called for me. Troy told me they were all playing hide and seek. No Scott didn’t touch her,” she explained once Daisy had gone to put away her toys. She didn’t want Daisy privy to their conversation.
“How did he get here?” Jordan demanded, pacing around the kitchen, his jaguar let out a growl.
“I don’t know. I am shocked he found us at the inn. It isn’t like Scott knows much about me, does he?”
“He must have gotten trickier while in jail. I bet being sober he had plenty of time to figure things out. How did he know where you would be? I have no clue. Unless he has a friend on the inside, that I doubt. He isn’t someone many people trust.”
“Then he did his research,” she remarked, wrapping her arms around him. She needed his comfort.
“I don’t want Daisy outside without you,” she added looking up at his blazing eyes.
“I agree. Scott got too close. I will do a run around the town in my jaguar to see if I can’t find Scott before things get worse,” he replied about to strip down.
“What about Daisy and me? We can’t go with you,” she pointed out. He nodded and pulled out his phone.
“I’ll get Troy over here. I want to do a turn around the town before Scott’s scent disappears.”
“Then take Greyson with you,” she ordered. He nodded and they waited for both Troy and Greyson to arrive. It took less than fifteen minutes for both men to arrive. Troy settled in the living room to play barbies with Daisy while Georgia walked Jordan outside. He shifted into his beautiful jaguar with golden fur and deep black spots. Greyson shifted into his lion, he stood as tall as Jordan but had a massive mane of honey-blond fur. Both men were magnificent to look at. Maybe when the weather got cold Jordan would let her curl up against him shifted as a Jaguar in front of a fire.
“Be careful,” she told them both and watched them leap off the porch headed to Caroline’s inn first.
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