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“Molly convinced Dahlia to pierce your ears?” I growled at my twelve-year-old daughter, Joelle. I couldn't believe Mac had let Bridget talk him into allowing Dahlia to work at Silver Ink as a piercing specialist. But now that his older daughter had talked her sister into putting holes in my baby girl’s body. I was going to kill him.

“Chill, Dad,” Joelle sighed—every bit the pre-teen girl, attitude included—and tucked her dark hair behind her ears that now twinkled with tiny studs. “It’s not like I got anything weird pierced like Molly or Dahlia. I don’t know how they—”

I blanched and covered Joelle’s mouth before she said something I couldn't unhear. Mac’s girls were like my nieces and had been babysitting my kids since the youngest was in diapers.

Although, it made me feel a little less homicidal toward my prez when I thought about him finding out wherever it was his baby girl had been pierced. I’d have to encourage Joelle to spill the beans to Mac. I’d enjoy watching that show.

And the truth was, Dahlia had chosen very tasteful, small earrings, and they looked beautiful on Joelle. So, I put a smile on my face and hugged my sweet girl, whispering, “You look beautiful, sweetheart.”

When she pulled away, her cheeks were pink, her expression a little shy, but her hazel eyes—so much like her mother’s—sparkled with happiness. “Thanks, Daddy. I really like them.”

I kissed her forehead and told her to go show her mother. I grinned when Ireland shrieked and yelled about how she was going to kill Molly and Dahlia. I knew she’d be on my side, so I relished the thought of bringing her in on my evil plan to have Joelle give Mac a heart attack.

* * *

Ireland handed me a bowl of popcorn and plopped down next to me on the couch in the main lounge of the clubhouse. Mac would be coming out of his office to head to the kitchen for dinner any minute.

“What’s she going to say?” I asked in a low tone, so Joelle, who was on the couch across from us reading a book, wouldn’t overhear.

Ireland snickered and replied at a similar volume. “I told her that I was sure Mac would want to admire her pretty new ears and to assure him—like she did with us—that it wasn’t anywhere crazy like Molly’s or Dahlia’s.”

“Have I mentioned how perfect you are today?”

Ireland winked at me and leaned in for a kiss. A gagging sound broke us apart, and I grinned across the room at my oldest child. “Something wrong, jelly bean?”

“Do you have to do that alllllll the time?”

“Yep,” I drawled before planting another kiss on my wife’s delicious lips.

A couple of minutes later, Mac strolled out of his office, and Joelle jumped up excitedly, tossing her book on the sofa and running up to him. “Mac! Look what Dahlia did for me!”

The prez immediately bent his legs to bring himself eye level with Joelle and smiled. “Let me see, jelly bean.”

Joelle put her hands behind her ears and twisted her head from side to side.

Mac looked appropriately impressed and said, “Wow! You’re gorgeous,” making my daughter beam with delight.

He leaned around her to glance at Ireland and me apologetically. “She did this with your permission, right?”

I shook my head. “Apparently, Molly talked her into it.”

Mac sighed. “Those girls...I’m sorry.”

Joelle’s expression turned serious all of a sudden, and she patted his shoulder while I shoved a handful of popcorn in my mouth to keep from laughing. “Don’t worry, prez. Mommy and Daddy are cool with it. It’s just my ears. I’m not old enough to do it like Dahlia and Molly.” Her nose scrunched, and she whispered—the loud whisper of a child—“I don’t have enough boobs to have piercings on them. And I don’t think I want to.”

Mac’s eyes widened, and his jaw went slack, his expression horrified, making me grin from ear to ear.

“And I don’t know where Molly’s is because she said it’s a grown-up thing, and she’d tell me when I’m older. Weird, right?”

All the blood had drained from Mac’s face, and he nodded but couldn’t seem to form words.

Ireland giggled, and it drew his attention. When he saw our amusement, he looked relieved. “Not a funny joke, you two.”

“Not a joke,” I told him with glee before popping more kernels in my mouth.

He smashed his lips together, then seemed to remember Joelle was in front of him and softened his expression, forcing a smile. “You look gorgeous, jelly bean. Now, I have to go lock my girls away in a tower.” Mac’s eyes strayed to the popcorn we were eating, and they narrowed dangerously. “I’m sure your daddy will show it to you when you’re old enough to date.”

Ireland laughed, but the thought of my baby girl dating had blood pounding in my ears and my head ready to explode. “Relax, Sebastian,” Ireland murmured, amusement coloring her tone. “That’s a long way off.”

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