It’s Harvest time!
With six babies, a senior in High School and another pregnancy for the Blackthorne/Hopkins Clan, it should be enough.
Now there are business expansions, wedding plans, and Justin and Fallon must learn the roles of their new lives. When you tie all that into one. This group is in for on hell of a Fall.
**Homosexual Themes participating
Copyright © 2018 J. Haney & S.I. Hayes Hard Harvest (County Fair Romance, Book 5)
Work, that’s what today has been. Rose just did not want to stay in her clothes. Every time Eden or I went in to check on them, she had wiggled and wrangled her onesie up over her head or pulled her arms out of the damn thing. Finally, I just said screw it and put her in the bouncer in just her diaper. Now she’s a happy little munchkin. AJ is back to throwing balls and nailed his Uncle Nick right in the nuts. Floored him completely. I think he’s gonna be a pitcher. Oddly, it also appears the kid’s a southpaw.
The babies are all fed and back in their activity centers while AJ and I watch Voltron on Netflix. I swear the remake is not what it used to be, but the kid seems to be into it. I’m just starting to nod off when I hear the front door.
“Where is everybody?” Fallon hollers and AJ is on the move, pulling from me and staring at the floor like a puppy stuck on the couch.
“Momma!” he screams and I ring out my ear as I pick him up just as Fallon comes into the room.
She sits down next to me and I let the screamer go tottering over to her. “Has Daddy been mean to you?”
“No, though Uncle Nick is nursing a pair of black and blue balls.” I smile.
“Nick - boom!” A.J. chuckles as I shake my head.
“Do I wanna know?”
“Someone has a mean fastball,” I say, tickling the boy.
“You know he only throws balls when I’m not here.”
“Not true, he throws them all the time, I know enough to get the hell out of the way!”
“He doesn’t throw them when I’m with him.”
“That’s because he already knows it’s not nice to hit girls.”
“If you say so. I think it’s you all.”
“Could be. So how did it go? Was it worth the trip?”
She bites her lip and stares at the ceiling. “Don’t look at the bank account for a while.”
“Wait. Are you saying you already bought it?”
She’s looking around like she’s looking for someone to blame. “Maybe.”
“So much for not expanding.” I snicker.
“AJ, tell Daddy to be quiet. He has work to do.”
“Do I now?”
“Well, of course, we want it to look the same, so you need to make all the tables and chairs.”
“So, it’s like that? I see. Put the man to work. Is this to be my new life? Taking care of our kids, building furniture, and making wine?” I pull her and AJ close.
“I suppose so.”
“Huh, should probably change my name to something more Italian, to go with my new occupations. More like Vinny or Tony. Those are good, little old Italian man names. I should go out to the garden and tend the tomatoes.”
She waves me off. “Have a good one.”
“I should very much like to, just let me put the boy to bed,” I whisper.
“I doubt he’s going to sleep anytime soon.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure, he skipped his after-lunch nap. Preferred to watch the boob tube.””
“Why is he watching tits?”
“My God, woman! It’s an expression. We watched Dragon Tales and Voltron.”
“You’re the one who just said boobs.”
“The only boobs he watches are yours and Eden’s.”
“Uh-huh, just wait and see. Eventually, he’ll tell on you.”
“Tell on me? Nah, this is my little man. Right?’” I hold up my hand and he high fives me like we’ve been practicing.
“You sure about that?” Fallon crooks a brow at me.
“Well, I mean there’s no way to be sure about anything in life, we just have to trust in God and our bond.” I backpedal quickly, to save my own ass.
Just as she is about to open her mouth to take another jab at me, Pete storms through, slamming the front door.
“Pete? What’s wrong?” Fallon asks.
The kid ignores her and heads for the kitchen. Fallon follows, AJ in tow an I’m not far behind. Pete’s in the fridge taking a long hard drink from a bottle of water.
“You not gonna answer?” she asks again.
Pete stares her down like never before. “I don’t want to get into it,” he says poignantly.
“I don’t care.” She crosses her arms as AJ holds on to her thigh.
Pete tries to go around the island to deflect her, but being the dutiful man that I am, I block him.
“Ugh! Why can’t you people stay out of it? This is all your fucking fault!” he shouts.
“Whoa, easy kiddo.” I put up my hands defensively.
“I’m not your kid, Justin. Just leave me the hell alone!” He tries to push by me, but I grab him as Fallon looks at him with concern.
“Boy, it’s about time you chill and treat us with a little more respect.”
“Respect?” He grunts against my hold. “Like you respected me when I asked you to say out of the shit at school? They suspended half the dance team! Now they are talking about firing Vice Principal Piccolo, thanks to you! Marcus won’t talk to me anymore and they are trying to take me off the video game project! That was my in for college! What the fuck am I supposed to do now? Rot here with you and a bunch of screaming babies?” He collapses into a heap in my arms, sobbing and snarling. I loosen my grip and he hits his knees in a pitiful display.
Hearing the commotion, Nick comes downstairs followed by Blaine. “What’s going on?” he asks as Blaine watches from behind him.
I look at them, not sure what to say as Pete pulls his knees up to his chest.
“Blaine, can you take AJ?” Fallon asks calmly. Blaine nods, mumbling compliance as he comes into the kitchen and picks up the little man. “We need to take him out back.” Fallon looks back to Pete and me.
Pete’s head shoots up. “I’m not going anywhere with you!” He’s up and moving before I can grab him again. Nick, however, does not disappoint, grabbing Pete by the arms and holding him tightly.
“Get the fuck off me!” he growls, struggling, his feet kicking at the air as Nick carries his ass out the back door