Integral Instruments - With prelude to Justified Voices (Book 7)

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33

Meg

The following morning, we woke up on the yacht. The buzzing of an alarm hit my senses, pulling me out of my blissful sleep. It only stopped when it slammed into the wall.

“Ryan!” I gasped, rolling over to see Ryan sitting straight up in bed, rubbing the sleep from his face.

“Sorry, hun.” He flopped back down and pulled me into his embrace, “I can’t take anymore schedules.”

“It’s only 4 more days.” I snuggled in as the adjoining door opened and Piper climbed onto the foot of our bed, weaseling her way between us.

Elle walked in, but shouted, “I’m peeing in your bathroom. It’s bigger than ours.” On her way to the bathroom.

“You sure you want this?” I sighed at Ryan.

“You kidding?” The smile he gave me was so pure and amazing as he snuggled into Piper, “This is the best feeling ever. We’re just missing one though.”

His smile grew clever, “One who, according to the alarm clock and schedule, should be here right about...”

A knock sounded at the door and he wagged his finger at the door behind him.

“Tell me your at least, out of bed!” Arlee huffed.

“How’d you do that?” I huffed an amused laugh.

Elle went and opened the door for Arlee before she hopped into our bed as well.

“I set the alarm exactly 5 minutes before the schedule.” He smiled as she glared at us all in the bed, “I knew she’d be here on time. The kid lives by schedules.”

“And you should too! Are you kidding me?” She snapped, “Breakfast is almost finished and I’m supposed to take the littles until 12. You guys need to get out of bed!”

“Arlee,” I teased, putting my arms out, “Come snuggle.”

"You are supposed to go into the spa room today." She glared at me, "You can't keep ditching."

"Neither can you." I kept gripping the air, like a child starved for attention and she cracked, laughing at me as she climbed into the bed between us all.

I noted the faint scent of alcohol on her her and I looked to Ryan, who didn't seem the wiser. I guess I had told her that I wanted her to be kid, and I guess that did include trying a drink here and there. I just hoped she didn't make a habit out of it.

“This is what it’s about.” He smiled at me so lovingly that I melted, “I don’t get one girl by marrying you. I get the 3 most beautiful, talented, tough girls I know.”


Ryan

“Just grab her and pick her up!” I could hear Arlee’s laughter as I made my way to the pool.

The guys had kept me busy with stupid shit, while Meg had a bridal shower and spa day. Although, I was excited to see some of that lingerie that the guys had promised she’d get.

It was time for me to make my way to the deck though, to pick up the girls and drop them off with my parents, in their suite.

I heard Elle and Piper’s full-blown laughter, along with Arlee's, as I got closer to the pool though and couldn’t hold back my smile.

“I’m trying! She’s slippery and quick!” Ian’s voice sounded over the laughter of my girls, “Come here, you little squirt!”

“NO!” Elle screeched.

When I turned the corner and they came into view it was actually pretty funny. Arlee had Piper in a grip lock, trying to keep her out of the pool while Ian was still trying to drag Elle out of the water.

Elle was a pretty feisty kid and it was funny to watch a kid as tough as Ian struggle to keep her contained.

“Just pick her up.” I called out to him as I chuckled, “It ain’t that hard.”

“Dad!” Elle waved and kept trying to get away from Ian, but now she was coming toward me and he visibly relaxed.

“You wanna try to grab her? Arlee put so much sunblock on her she’s like a skinny greased pig!”

"She's Irish." Arlee cackled, “She needs it, and how do you know what a greased pig feels like anyway?”

“Don’t answer that!” I pointed at him, “Not in front of the little ones!”

He stood up straight and shrugged, giving me a crooked grin.

“Nope!” Arlee cringed, “I don’t need an answer to that either. It is Ian we’re talking about here.”

“Exactly.” I went to the side of the pool and made eye contact with Elle, “Okay, girlie. Time to go.”

“Okay, Dad.” She gave me a sweet, angelic smile and swam the rest of the way to the side.

“What the hell?” Ian gaped at us.

“I’m her Dad.” I shrugged.

“You need my help, Dad?” Arlee came over to Elle and me with some towels.

“No, I’m good.” I wrapped the little wet one in a towel, “I’m going to get these two dressed again and they’re going to go visit with Uncle Greg, Gram and Gramps, while your mom and I hang out.”

Both little ones started to cheer. They enjoyed their time with my family and it really warmed me how everyone just fit together. These three ladies and their mother had been my missing pieces.

“Are you sure?” She fidgeted in front of me, biting her lips. It was a habit I noticed she’d picked up from her mother.

“Arlee,” I gave her forehead a kiss and pointed at her, “You’ve got Julliard in the bag and a backup plan to boot. Your mom and I both agreed that you were going to take some time to be a kid for a change, even if you are almost an adult.”

“Fine,” She rolled her eyes, “You know where to find me if you need me.”

“Not in your room working.” I gave one final finger wave and grabbed a kid in each arm, then headed down below to our rooms.

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