The Dakiedes house was filled with love and laughter. All seven children were together. Damon’s heart filled close to bursting as he watched his offspring. Shannon stood next to him, his arm slung lazily across her shoulders while hers were circled around his waist. They looked good together, Apollo thought. The whole family loved Shannon like she was one of them because she was, just as Sean and Marcus were. He was glad to see his father letting go of his mother enough to experience love again.
“How long has that been going on?” Theo asked, taking a long draw off his beer. Apollo shook his head.
“No idea, man but I think it started the night of our signing party. They talk on the regular and Pop has taken her out a few times.”
“She’s a fucking knockout, definitely a MILF,” Julian muttered. Calix smacked him upside the back of the head and rolled his eyes.
“Damn dude be respectful. She’s family, even if she is fine as hell.” The boys laughed as they watched their father and the saucy redhead at his side.
“I wouldn’t count on wedding bells anytime soon, bros,” Darius slammed his beer, tossing the bottle in the bin. “Pop likes her but I’m not seeing the sparks like I used to when he was around Mom.”
“Oh yeah?” Eros questioned. “What makes you think there’s no sparks?” Darius sighed and grabbed another beer.
“Well, he does smile and laugh a lot more but it’s not the same. Hey, Cale you remember when we were little right? How Pop used to be around Mom, always kissing her and finding ways to touch her, make her smile?” Calix’s blue eyes got a faraway sad look in them.
“Yeah I remember. He went out of his way to make her happy. The two of them had a real love story. Now that you mention it, Dare, you’re right. There’s no sparks, at least not the romantic kind.” The brothers sighed collectively. “Maybe we should get Yia Yia on finding Pop a girlfriend.” A collective groan sounded this time from the six Dakiedes sons.
“Dude just…no.” Apollo said. “If we let Yia Yia anywhere near that idea, we’ll be having more siblings than we do now. Do you really want a brother or sister twenty plus years younger than you? Hell, Pop would have to raise him or her on his social security.” The whole group burst into raucous laughter, catching their father’s stern glare. Shannon giggled, patted Damon’s impressive abs and kissed his cheek. Damon shook his head as she walked away. Folding his muscular arms across his broad chest, he gave his sons the ‘come here’ look.
“What’s up, Pop?” Darius smiled. “We didn’t scare her off did we?” Damon chuckled, wiping his hand down his face.
“Nah, she can handle you lot.” Giving each of them a firm hard look, he sighed. “Ok out with the questions. I know you’re killing yourselves trying not to ask.”
“Oh thank God!” Eros huffed. The boys fired questions at their father, one after another. Damon took it all in stride, a placating grin on his handsome face.
“I won’t lie to you kids. I never have and I’m not about to start now. If…and that’s a big if…I were to ever meet someone who measured up to your mother, you all would be the first to know. Shannon is an amazing woman. Burke was a fucking idiot to let her go but I’m not picking up where he left off. We both decided we made better friends than lovers.”
“You know, Pop, you have our blessing to date. You always have. We don’t want to see you grow old and alone.” Meda popped a kiss on her father’s cheek. The men hadn’t realized their baby sister had snuck in on the conversation. “I love Shannon. We all do but if she’s not doing it for you, then I hope you remain open enough to find someone who does.” Damon slipped his arm around his only daughter and kissed her temple.
“Don’t worry about your old man so much, kids. I’m not on death’s door,” he chuckled. “I’ll be fine and I promise that I will remain open.
“I hope so, Mr. D,” Tess piped up. “You’re still a pretty hot tamale,” she giggled. Damon laughed and chased her to the pool. Tess squealed as he grabbed her and proceeded to tickle her like he did when she was little. “Ok ok! I give up!” she yelped. Damon hugged her and let her go. Apollo swallowed down the jolt of jealousy that rampaged through him. What the fuck?! Why in the hell would he be jealous of his father? Tess was like another daughter to the older Dakiedes. Just because he held her in his arms and touched her like Apollo wished he could didn’t mean he should be jealous. Huffing a breath, he grabbed a cold beer.
“You all right there, big brother?” Meda slapped him on the shoulder.
“Oh shit he got hit with the big green monster,” Julian laughed.
“Don’t say it, man,” Apollo growled. Julian never could take a hint. Wiggling his eyebrows, Julian kept going.
“Pop put the moves on your woman. He’s still got game, bro. You better watch out.” Apollo handed his beer to Meda and cracked his neck. Julian’s eyes went wide and his playful grin got bigger. Calix leaned over Julian’s shoulder.
“Run, Jules,” he chuckled. “Pollo’s bout to beat your ass.” Julian laughed, then took off as Apollo chased him through the yard. Finally catching him, the two wrestled around until Apollo had his older brother secured in a headlock.
“Uncle! Uncle!” Julian cried through his fits of laughter. Letting him go, Apollo shoved him off with a lopsided grin.
“Stupid bastard, I always catch you yet you insist on running.” Julian flopped on the grass, laughing.
“Wouldn’t be any fun if I just stood there.” The brothers laughed together. Julian sighed, then turned serious.
“You know I was only teasing about Pop. I know how you feel about Tess and I’d never do anything to hurt you. You know that, right?”
“Yeah, man I know.” Apollo flopped down next to his brother. “You were right about one thing though. Pop still has game, like in spades. He’s a fucking babe magnet. Even at fifty fucking two years old, he still attracts the honeys like flies. Blows my damn mind the number of women my age and younger who go after him. It’s insane, dude!” Julian couldn’t help but laugh. Fucker laughed all the time. He was the happiest guy Apollo knew.
“I know, man I know. Every game he comes to, the bunnies are all over him. They forget all about us and go straight for him. They don’t care how old he is. But, I mean look at the guy. We, my brother from the same mother, are going to age very well.” Apollo laughed and smacked Julian on the stomach. He sat up and caught a flash of black out of the corner of his eye. Tess. His mouth watered at the sight of her in the sleek high waisted bikini she was wearing. Soon, he thought to himself. He was going to get to finish what was started in his father’s study last year and this time, he wasn’t going to stop. He had plans to win her heart and he was going to succeed. Even if it killed him.
Julian let out a low whistle of appreciation. “Damn brother, she is fine. You better get your shit together soon or I’m snatching her up.” Apollo pounced on Julian, wrapping him up in another headlock.
"Dude, seriously? You never learn!" He proceeded to give Julian the hardest noogie he'd ever given to anyone. Julian squirmed and shouted, trying to get loose but it was no use. Finally Apollo let him go with another shove and left him sprawled out alone in the grass.
"So does that mean I can have a go?" Apollo threw his head back, staring at the bright sky. Yep. Julian was never going to learn. Laughing he strode off to find another beer and find a spot he could watch Tess without her knowing. That bikini was doing a number on his mind and his body but he didn't care. As long as he got to lay his eyes on her delectable body, he would deal.