Lonely Souls (Book 10)

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Because of Sparky's illness, Mom and Dad decided to move their end of Thanksgiving to my house, along with all of the Aunts, uncles and their families and so on and so forth.

The only one not to show was Gina, and I kind of missed her, but that was whole other deal that I wasn't ready for.

It was insanity at my house, but Church was picking up some extra cash doing tattoos all weekend for the crowd and I was soaking up being babied, since I was pregnant and no one wanted me to lift a single finger.

"Heyya', Princess." Sparks came and sat beside me on the couch, where Church had planted me and told me not to move a muscle.

"Hey, Old Man," I leaned on his shoulder.

He'd moved in with us recently, along with Ali, and we'd spent a lot of time together.

He was in his final days, and every day was worse than the last, but today he was holding strong.

"You warm enough?" I asked him, knowing he'd been really cold lately.

"Yeah, girlie," He kissed the top of my head, "Got my long johns on. Church put you on time out again?"

"Better believe I fucking did." My man came over chuckling, "She's been up all morning, Cookin' and shit."

"What'd she make?" Sparks joked, "I wanna know what ta' stay away from."

"The stuffing." Church chuckled.

"Oh, shit," Noah groaned, then hollered, "Keep away from the stuffing everybody, Chloe made it!"

I gaped at my cousin as he smiled and winked at me, handing his wife a glass of water.

Of course Noah's paternity test had come out negative and he and Arlee had made up, but he appeared to be making huge strides to become the person she wanted and needed him to be. I was proud of him. He'd even been toting the twins around and tending to them so she didn't have to.

"Shit! It's cold out there!" Bear came in with bagfuls of booze, "Where do I put the shit?"

"Table in the corner, bro!" Ian shouted and pointed.

"No, shit!" Bear chuckled, "They like ta' drink as much as we do!"

"Damn straight." Sparks chuckled and started caughing.

I saw the look on Church's face as he walked to the bar to help Bear.

We would make this enjoyable, no matter what. We would ignore the obvious and act like it was nothing, like the man wanted.

"Asher!" Bree shouted out my kitchen window and got a bunch of "whoa"s, "Oooh"s and "Oh, shit"s from the guys as they teased him.

"Hey, you better not be smoking out there, Chris!" Reegan shouted and I darted up to see what they were up to.

"It's weed, Doll." I heard Uncle Ash shout back.

"Bullshit!" Reegan yelled, "I see the filter, bitch!"

When I got the window in my dining room I saw the smokes they were trying to hide from the aunt's and ratted them out. Even dad had one.

"I see you too, Dad!" I shouted and they all turned around.

"You used to be my friend." Dad gaped at me and I laughed as Mom and the aunts all marched outside.

"Glad I quit." Church came up behinde and put his hand on the little bit of stomach I had, "That one Aunt of your's is scary as hell."

"Bree or Reegan?" I cocked my heard so he could kiss me.

"Whichever one is chasin' him around," He crained his neck and flinched when Aunt Reegan caught Uncle Chris and smacked him as she took the smoke, "Shit, she's gonna kill 'em."

"Nah." Jude came up and stood next to us with baby Brody in her arms.

She'd been in the back room, feeding her newborn, but he must have finished just in time for the show.

A huge smile spread on her face as she watched Reegan point and sneer at Chris while he laughed and tried to get a kiss.

"I swear, it's like a game to them." She scoffed, petting her baby's stark red bit of hair, "Ian does the same crap."

"Mmm, but you women love it." Ian came up behind her and gave her a kiss.

"Where's Finlay?" She turned and asked about their older son.

"He's playing with Haven, Ara, and a few other kids outback," He shrugged and kissed the baby on the head, "Ali and Blue are watching them."

"Blue is back there?" Church ground out.

"Yeah, they're playing baseball," Noah chuckled, "Haven was the outfield picking pinecones."

"She's not one for baseball." Arlee, June and I laughed.

"Definitely not, but she's so fricken cute," Ian grinned, "Not a care in the world, just picking pinecones and counting them."

Church was stiff and I knew what he was thinking. He didn't like Blue around Ali.

"It won't be long before Ali goes to college." I turned in his arms to face him.

"True." He nodded.

"You coming back to New York when Ali comes out?" Noah asked.

We'd discussed it, and Church was happy to answer his question.

"We're gonna split the time," He told him, "Couple months in each place. That way we get the peace and quiet and open roads here, and Chloe gets to keep your ass outta' trouble while I keep my kid's ass out of it."

"I don't plan on causing anymore trouble, man." Noah gaped at him, "I'm fuckin' don't, Man."

"Good to hear," Church told him, "'Cause my better don't need anymore stress. We got kids now."

"Kids?" Ian gaped at me.

"Only one," I laughed, "But he's already planning more."

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