“I want it in here.”
“It’s not going to work.”
“Only if you center it.”
And the argument was off again.
Cade escaped through the doorway with a growing sense of male horror and split a direct path to the kitchen and the coffee he prayed was waiting there for him. He found the coffee. The coffee and Sam and Brock, heads lowered, resignation marking their faces.
“What the hell is going on in there?” Cade questioned the other two men. “They act like they’re ready to tear each other’s hair out.”
“No, that was this morning. When the picture first arrived,” Brock sighed. “They’ve been crazy ever since Marly had Drace. You gotta do something about this, Cade.”
Cade crossed his arms over his chest and stared at Brock in no small amount of surprise. “And you expect me to do what?”
Drace was nearly six months old and growing daily. Cade had never known such a sense of love, of responsibility, as he did when he stared at his infant son. Nor such a sense of terror. How to protect him? No matter his age. To instill in him the strength of a man, the acceptance and the honor it would take to survive in the world.
“Hell if I know,” Brock mumbled. “Those three women have gone crazy. I swear they have.”
“Yeah. And they’re wearing panties again, too,” Sam bitched. “What’s with that shit? I touch Heather and she pats me on the head like I’m Drace’s age and goes about her business.”
They were horny. They were all horny. Not that they had been cut off…exactly. Just seriously restricted. Cade hadn’t anticipated this. Drace was his pride and joy, but there were days he exhausted Marly. And during those days, being with Sarah or Heather wasn’t the answer, either. The shift in the family dynamics had come about slowly, but it had settled like a comfortable shirt across their shoulders.
“I feel like I’m a fucking kid again,” Sam sighed. “Trying to seduce my favorite girl. Heather’s worse than a virgin some days.”
They were bitching about it, but Cade could hear a thread of amusement, feel the slowly building tension and anticipation growing in them all. He shook his head and headed for the coffee pot. He’d be damned if he knew what the three of those women were up to, but he knew it was something.
“And they keep mentioning presents,” Brock pointed out. “What do you buy them? Hell, I can’t think of anything they don’t have that we can afford.”
“I offered Heather a trip.” Sam sounded more than bemused now. “Anywhere she wanted to go, for however long. Thought she was going to cry. And not because she was happy, either.”
Uh oh. Cade turned back to them slowly.
“Yeah. Same with Sarah.” Brock shook his head. “I took her to look at new cars, and she acted like I broke her heart.”
Cade had tried several different suggestions with Marly. She smiled. Acted enthusiastic over each but there was no missing the sadness in her eyes. Christmas was only weeks away now. There wasn?
?t much time left and he had no idea what the hell she wanted.
“Has Sarah even given you any hints?” Sam asked Brock desperately. “Hasn’t Heather mentioned anything to her?”
“Not a damned thing,” Brock griped. “I even asked her what the others wanted. She told me to stop being a man and to figure it out.” Insulted male ego echoed in his voice. “How does one stop being a man?” he grunted irritably.
“By being a woman,” Sam snickered. “Want us to buy you a thong for Christmas, bro?”
Brock hurled a biscuit at his cackling brother, hitting him in the forehead even as Sam tried to duck. Crumbs rained down as it broke apart, littering Sam’s broad chest with the baked flour.
“Cut it out. Both of you.” Cade grabbed for one of the few remaining biscuits. Heather had made them, obviously. They were light and flaky, damned near melting in his mouth when he bit into one.
“How about a housekeeper?” He frowned as he thought of all the extra work involved in the house now. “Someone to just come in through the day.”
They all stilled. At any given time during the workday, they could sneak in for a few minutes of heated, lusty sex wherever they found one of the women. Cade sobered at that thought. Or at least it used to be. He frowned. He hadn’t touched Sarah or Heather since Drace’s birth. He was spending too much time trying to get into his own wife’s pants. Like the other two, she was as hard to seduce these days as a nervous virgin.
“Yeah, maybe that would be a good idea.” Sam straightened in his chair. “Hell, Heather gets out of bed too damned early to fix breakfast anyway. I never get to touch her in the morning anymore. That could work.”
“At least we don’t have to worry about a housekeeper walking in on anything anymore,” Cade said wearily. “Damned if I want any more talk circulating around town about our lives. I’d like to see it settle down a bit before Drace is old enough to go to school.”
The other two sighed. They had talked about this before. They had never given much thought to what those in town gossiped about. They were careful of their wives’ reputations, and were feared enough that nothing was said or done to hurt the women. But they knew how cruel and thoughtless other children could be. It wasn’t something they wanted Drace to suffer for.