Unedited. Subject to change. No official release date yet, and all that jazz 🙂 Enjoy!
“There’s my double chocolate muffin,” I teased, opening my arms as she approached. She flung herself into me, wrapping her arms around my neck for a hug.
“Everything looks sooooo pretty Daddy!” she said, her eyes wide as she looked around. Her bedtime was actually fast approaching, but I spotted a bit of bright blue frosting at the corner of her mouth – someone had been at the cupcake table, and I doubted her energy was wearing off soon.
“You having fun?”
My question was met with a deep, vigorous nod, and I grinned as I looked up at Cat, who’d placed her hand on my shoulder.
It was a good thing that I actually liked my ex-wife, because our child was her spitting image. Nose, lips, heart-shaped face, head full of thick curls – Bri was a daily reminder of her mother.
“She insisted on coming to say hello,” Cat explained. “But I know you’re busy, so I’m keeping her occupied.”
I smiled. “Thanks. You okay?”
“I’ve had more than one glass of very good wine, so yes. I am.”
“You know you don’t have to stay for the whole thing, right?”
She rolled her eyes. “Yes, yes, I know. We’re leaving at nine, so I can get Bri in the bed.”
“Who is that with Miss Toni?” Bri asked, catching my attention. “Is that her boyfriend?” she giggled, which got even more of my attention.
I followed her gaze to where Toni was standing, wearing the hell out of slim, jewel toned jeans and a creamy white sweater that was resting right on top of her ass, showing off that curve. She was with a group of people I assumed were readers… except the Boris Kodjoe wanna-be beside her had his hand on her back.
Low on her back.
My eyes narrowed as I watched him step even closer to her, wrapping his arm around her waist. He leaned in to speak into her ear, then gave her a look that mirrored my thoughts from the other day, at the sushi place.
“Are you mad at that man and Miss Toni?” Bri asked me, pulling my gaze away from them, back to her.
I shook my head. “No, muffin. What makes you ask that?”
“Cause you have a mad face.”
“Yeah,” Cat agreed, and when I looked up, I could practically see the “I knew it!” sign flashing over her head. “You have a mad face, Jus. Guess I can’t be mad too, since we aren’t married anymore, huh?”
I quickly straightened up my face. “Mad about what?”
She rolled her eyes. “Mad about you being mad about that,” she said, motioning in Toni’s direction, where she was still standing with who I assumed to be her fiancé.
“Mad? Why would I be mad?”
“Not about to do this with you, Jus. Come on Bri-Bri. Let’s let daddy get back to work, sweetie.”