“Might be a good idea,” Sam said slowly. “Thanksgiving is coming around. We could have a big dinner. Maybe let the girls invite some of the friends they’ve made. The best way to ensure Drace’s future is to make certain he has the loyalty needed to overcome anything that gets thrown at him.”

Everyone had hated old Joe so badly that torturing his boys had been a favorite game. Cade would be damned if he would see his son tortured that way.

“Okay.” Cade breathed in slowly. “I’ll call Marie and see if she can find us someone.”

Marie had been their housekeeper while they were growing up. She was retired now, living comfortably on the fund Cade had set up for her years before. She would be more than willing to help. They were still her favorite boys, she claimed each time they drove over to make certain she had groceries, medicine, whatever she needed.

“Good plan. But that’s not going to fix Christmas for us,” Sam warned him. “A housekeeper is not a good enough present.”

Cade shook his head. “Damned if I know yet. I’ll see if Marly is any more forthcoming tonight than she has been in the past weeks. We might get lucky.”

Chapter Two

She wasn’t. Cade stared at Marly in the privacy of their bedroom after putting Drace to bed, a frown on his face.

“You don’t want a housekeeper?” he asked her, confused as frustration flashed in her expression after he made the offer.

“A housekeeper is fine, Cade.” Oh, he hated that tone of voice. Where the hell had his sweet, passionate little wife gone?

“Then what was with the look?” He faced her, hands on hips, his eyes going over her overly dressed body. “And what’s with the clothes? What happened to your dresses, anyway?”

She frowned darkly. “It’s getting cold, Cade. I like my jeans.”

“Not that damned cold, it’s not.” He felt like a sulky child and he was certain he looked like one. “Dammit, Marly, you look good in the dresses.”

But she looked damned fine in the jeans, too. They molded her body like a second skin, smoothing over her slender legs, emphasizing her small waist and flat stomach.

“I like the jeans for now.” She shrugged. “We’ll discuss dresses when it gets warmer. Unless you want me to freeze to death, that is.” She arched a brow in question.

Cade’s eyes narrowed.

“Fine. This room is plenty warm anyway. Wear the jeans outside it, but at least take them off while you’re in here.”

Her eyes rounded as though she were scandalized. “What if Drace cries? I’m not trotting into my son’s room naked.”

Cade wanted to roll his eyes. “He’s a baby, Marly. You breastfed him, for God’s sake.”

“That doesn’t mean I intend to run around naked in front of him.” She crossed her arms under her breasts.

Cade’s mouth watered at the sight of those soft mounds beneath her light sweater. His cock throbbed. He was walking around in a nearly constant state of arousal.

“Then put a robe on.” He forced the words past his gritted teeth. “Marly, baby, you’re pushing a desperate man here.”

What was that glimmer that flashed in her gaze? As though she were stilling a flare of anticipation. How long had it been since he had paddled her ass for playing games with him? He hid his smile. Let her keep playing. He couldn’t wait to watch those tender curves redden; hear her screaming for release.

The baby’s nursery was on the other side of the bathroom. Pretty much protected from the sounds of her arousal and completion. He checked the monitor at the side of the bed. It was on. No danger. His hands itched to touch her. Hell, it had been before the baby was born since he had sunk his cock up her tight ass. He could take her, show her the dangers of pushing him so far. Hell, that was most likely why she was pushing him. She loved it as much, if not more, than he did.

“A desperate man,” she snorted softly, her eyes filled with warmth and amusement. “Really, Cade. You act like you haven’t been touched in months.”

His eyes narrowed at the deliberately provocative sound of her voice. Her nipples were hard. He could see them beneath her sweater.

“Days,” he growled.

She gave him a moue of false pity. “Poor baby. But I’m sure things will settle down soon.”

Cade knew she was more than aware that he wasn’t about to go to Sarah or Heather, so he wasn’t exactly certain what the hell she was up to. And from his conversation with his brothers earlier, the other two women were no more forthcoming than his own wife was.

“Is this about Christmas?” he finally asked her point blank, wondering what the hell was up with the subtle little game he sensed was being played. “Am I supposed to be catching hints that I’m missing about presents?”

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