Featuring Ten, Jared, Ryker & Jacob

“Dude, no, seriously. Check this out. Six months.” I patted my rounded gut then looked around at the slovenly lumps crashed in the living room with me. The kids were on the floor, using the loveseat to rest their backs on. I’d fallen onto the sofa.

Ryker yawned, stretched, and pulled his OU sweatshirt up to his chin. “Okay, look at this one.” He rubbed his belly tenderly. “Seven months, maybe twins.”

Jacob, who’d been napping, woke up with a snort, blushed, and then gawked at me and my soon-to-be step-son – God I loved ripping him about that – comparing our swollen bellies.

“Uhm, is this some sort of strange Rowe/Madsen family tradition that I’ve not been aware of,” the big farm boy asked with worry.

I snorted. “I think it should be. Like we totes crash out here after every Christmas meal at our place, and we compare gut sizes.”

Ryker reached over to tug at Jacob’s shirt, but J was having none of it. A half-hearted slapping slash wrestling match broke out, stalling because both were too damned stuffed with ham, hot dinner rolls, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie to really get tight with the roughhousing.

“Ugh, I’m going to puke,” Ryker said after they’d snuggled up to each other, his arm resting on Jacob’s stomach, and one leg tossed across his mans thighs.

“Me too. Ten, fetch us a bucket,” Jacob teased. I cocked an eyebrow at the jibe. Jacob wasn’t known to tease, at least not with me and Mads, so this little poke was a good sign. He was growing comfortable with us.

“Fetch? Do I look like your dog?” I tossed back then burped loudly. “Oh God, I am so full.” I looked back over my shoulder to see my fiancé exiting the kitchen, a mug of coffee in his hand. “Mads, why did you let me eat so…much?”

“As if I would have been able to stop you,” he countered then dropped down beside me with a weary sigh. “No one forced you to have three slices of pie.”

“There is nothing, only pie,” I muttered, wishing I had the energy to wiggle closer to Mads and get comfy like Ry and J were. But I had zero energy. Zip. I was majorly hungover from the feasting. “Hey, turkey stuffer, come closer so I can nap on you.”

I patted the cushion beside me. Ryker began snoring. Jacob smiled and ran his fingers through all the wild curls Ry worked so effortlessly. Mads wiggled closer and I sighed when his arm fell over my shoulder.

“Mm yeah, that’s the stuff,” I whispered, burrowing into him, my nose buried in his dark blue sweater, inhaling all that sexy Jared smell.

“Are we watching football?” Mads asked after taking a sip of his coffee. I nodded listlessly then yawned in his face. He gave me a flat look. “You sure you can stay awake long enough to watch the game?”

“Oh hell yeah. I’m so awake. Look at me being woke.”

“There’s woke and then there’s awake,” Jacob commented, his fingers combing through Ryker’s hair yet.

“Ten is terribly woke,” Mads stated.  I busted up as did Jacob. Ryker snorted and blinked at us.

“What? What did I miss?” Ryker groggily asked.

“Your dad saying that Ten was terribly woke,” Jacob told him. Ry made this horrible sound as he fought – and lost – his laughter.

“Okay, I’m not sure exactly what is so damn funny. Did I not use that right? Woke means to be aware of social and racial issues. Right?” Mads lowered his mug and looked at me for confirmation.

“Totally right,” I assured him. He nodded with pride. God he was cute. “And yes, I am terribly woke and so are you.”

I puckered up and Mads turned his head to press a kiss to my lips.

“See, your fathers are both woke,” Mads tossed at Ryker who rolled his eyes and then drifted back to sleep, Jacob joining him a minute or two later.

“How cute are they?” I asked on a whisper.

“Incredibly cute,” Mads responded then turned on the game. “You okay?”

“I’m good. Stop worrying. Grab that throw Mom made us.”

He tugged the crocheted blanket off the arm of the couch, draped it over our legs, and then lifted his arm so I could curl up tight to his side again.


“Almost perfect.”


I puckered up once more and he kissed me softly and lovingly.

“Okay, now life is perfect,” I sighed and then promptly fell asleep all cocooned up in yarn and Mads’ strong arms.

The End