“Baby, we’re here.” I groaned rubbing my eyes. I looked out the window yawning. The familiar surroundings of my home town were all around us. “I’m sorry to wake you up.”
“It’s okay.” I blinked tiredly. “Keep going straight.” He kept going as I gave him directions to the Farm. I rubbed my eyes again before running a hand through my hair watching the surroundings.
“Did you have a good nap?” I smiled at him looking back at Peyton who was fast asleep, her head leaning on the side of the car seat.
“Yeah, sorry I didn’t help.” He shook his head taking my hand in his.
“I love you.” He smiled as he pulled onto the dirt road to the house. It wasn’t long, but it wasn’t short. He parked next to one of our beat up pickup trucks. I could hear the sounds of the chickens clucking in the distance as I got out picking up Peyton. She whimpered at me before holding onto me. She’s tired and wanted to sleep.
“Mama.” She whimpered. It was late. The house wasn’t close to us, but wasn’t too far.
“I know come on baby.” I rubbed her back closing the door.
“Oh my baby’s here!” Mom called from the house as I heard the sounds of laughing and talking.
“Hey Mom.” I smiled giving her a half hug as Peyton fell back asleep. “Is the crib set up?” She nodded looking at the Range Rover as Reese got our bags.
“Your dad set it up before. It’s in your room.” My brothers smiled at from the dining room as I walked up the stairs to put my daughter down to sleep. My room wasn’t anything special. Hasn’t really changed from when I left. I had an old queen-size bed covered in light colored sheets with an old quilt on top. Our house wasn’t the biggest but it was big enough for us. To a normal all American family, it’s big. To us, it could be bigger. It had seven rooms total. Jude and I had our own room. Each twin shared a room. Mace used to have his own room but since he enlisted he moved into the spare bed in Levi’s room. It let us have a spare room for quests or if Mom needs a patient over. We never minded.
Archer and Andrew used to have bunk beds but being adults makes you want your own bed so the bunk beds were put into Jude’s room for when his friends sleep over. My room was small, but I love it more than anything. I walked over to the portable crib in the corner of the room and laying Peyton gently on the sheets. She whimpered before putting her fist into her mouth sucking on it going back to sleep. I walked back down the stairs as Reese put our bags down in the living room. “Hey Booboo.” Archer said pulling my head in for a kiss. “Have the two of ya’ eaten yet?” I looked at Reese.
“I haven’t. Slept the whole way.” Reese looked up as my brothers eyed him. “Guys this is Reese. Reese, these are my brothers Archer, Andrew, Holden, and little baby Jude.” I pointed to them to show which is which. He smiled.
“Nice to meet you all.” Jude glared at me.
“I’m not a baby, Hally.” I rolled my eyes laughing.
“You are a baby Judy, only 17 years old.” He huffed at me looking at Mom. He hates when I call him a baby. He isn’t really, only in age. He’s taller than me, stronger than me, and even weighs more than me. Damn boys. Mom shrugged.
“Come back to dinner, all of you.” I took Reese’s hand pulling him to the table. Dad smiled standing up to hug me.
“Nice to see you home Baby.” He smiled kissing my head. “Reese.” He nodded at him. They shook hands as Mom made us a plate of pasta with chicken.
“Eat up Sweets.” I started to eat as the boys watched Reese. “So how was the ride?” Mom asked smacking Levi making all the guys go back to eating grumbling to themselves. I looked at Reese.
“It was good, Ma’am. Nice and simple.” He nodded smiling at me. I picked up my Lemonade my mom gave me and took a sip.
“That’s good.” I looked at her as Dad looked Reese up and down.
“So what do you do for a living, Reese is it?” He nodded.
“I work in the city in business.” He nodded as Dad squinted at him.
“What kind of business?”
“Dad!” I scolded him.
“What Hally? I need to know if my baby is dating a drug dealer or worse!” I crossed my arms glaring at him.
“It’s fine Halyn.” He looked at my dad. “I work as a CEO of Donald & Ike’s.” I looked at Reese. He never told me that. He was a CEO?
“And what do you do?” He asked raising his eyebrow.
“I run the place. We deal with finances for businesses as well as around the world business.” I felt his hand rubbing gently at my thigh. Dad huff nodding. He’s impressed.
“Well, how’d you two meet?” Jude asked as my older brothers just watched Reese eating slowly.
“She was my waitress when I went out to lunch one day.” He smiled at. “Then I was hooked.” Jude wrinkled his nose.
“Gross.” Mom laughed at him.
“I think it’s sweet.” Mom smiled.
“So the car.” Holden said clearing his throat. “It came in before. I got a quick look before I left but not much. I’ll check it out tomorrow.” I nodded.
“Thanks, Denny.” I smiled at him. I picked up a piece of chicken before my stomach screamed at me no more. I put down my fork taking a sip of my drink. “How are the horses? My Mustang?” Dad smiled.
“They’re good. Some are ready to breed soon. Your Mustang is good. He misses you.” I smiled as I pushed my plate way.
“I’ll see him in the morning.” Dad eyed my plate as I messed with my glass. Mom stood up. “Alright, seems like everyone is down.” I stood up to help her clean up the dishes.
“So Reese…” I walked into the kitchen hoping for the best.
“Hally, they’ll leave him alone sooner or later. They’re just looking out for you.” I put the dishes in the dishwasher as I heard the guys talking in the other room.
“I know.” I sighed taking the left overs and putting them into the fridge.
“You need to eat more.” I looked over at Archer as he walked into the kitchen. “You’re too skinny.”
“Shut up Arch, I’m fine.” I said as I closed the door. “You don’t need to be concerned about my weight.”
“Mom.” We both said at the same time. She shook her head.
“Both of you shush up.” She shook her head as I walked out of the room to see everyone in the living room.
“I’m off to bed.” Dad said hugging me. “You want to feed the horses tomorrow?” I nodded as he kissed Mom before going up stairs.
“We’re going to go get a drink.” Andrew announced to everyone.
“Where are Hudson and Levi?” I asked Mom as she came out of the kitchen with an apple in her hand.
“Hudson’s on duty tonight and I’m not sure, but I believe he’s helping Mr. Lawrence tonight.” I nodded. Hudson would be sleeping at the Firehouse tonight as he’s on duty as the county EMT.
“Well we’re going now. We’ll be back later on.” Archer said looking at me. I glared at him. “Reese would you like to come with us?” He asked looking at him slowly. Reese smiled.
“No thank you. I’m just going to do a little bit of work before calling it a night.” Archer nodded.
“We’ll be back later.” And with that, the house was quiet. The only sounds were coming from the crickets outside, the dishwasher going, and clock ticking in the living room. Reese kissed me.
“Do you mind if I do some work?” I shook my head.
“I don’t mind.” Mom looked at me as I pulled my phone from my pocket. “Come look at these pictures Mom.” She was cooing over the pictures I had taken from the zoo when I heard movement from upstairs. I handed her the phone before walking up to get Peyton. She was whimpering and chewing on the pink elephants ear. She gave me a tired look. “Aw my poor baby.” I lifted her up putting her on my shoulder.
“What’s wrong?” Mom asked as Peyton grunts chewing still.
“I think she has a tooth coming in again and it’s hurting her.” Peyton looked over at her Grandma before Reese.
“Let Grandma see baby.” Peyton shook her head clinging to me. “Peyton.” I handed her over as Mom sat her on her lap. Peyton looked at her with the pink ear covered in spit. “Let me see your tooth.” She put her hand in her mouth rubbing at her gums. Peyton pulled away from her and started to cry.
“Do you feel it?” I asked as I bit my lip as she cried smacking at Mom’s arm.
“Yeah,” She said wrinkling her nose. “Two in a row.” She pulled her finger out. Peyton cried slamming at her as her face turned red.
“Come here.” Reese said cuddling her close rubbing her cheeks whispering to her.
“What should we do?” I asked sitting next to Reese closing his laptop rubbing at Peyton’s back.
“We can rub a little rum on it, that’s what I did with all of you.” She shrugged. “Or you can take the medical route and rub a little baby Orajel on it. I have some in the cabinet I think.” I nodded at her. “Let me get it.” She stood up. I laid my head on his shoulder kissing at Peyton’s cheeks as she looked at me unhappily.
“My poor baby.” Reese whispered kissing her head rubbing her back.
“I found it.” I looked up as Mom held out her arms for her. I kissed her head before handing her over to get her meds.
“Nom, nom, nom.” I said as Mom rubbed the gel on quickly before passing her right back as she started to scream at her.
“What’s this racket?” Dad said walking down the stairs.
“Little Baby got another little tooth growing in.” Dad rubbed his eyes.
“Come to Papa.” He took her gently rubbing her back. He rocked her gently. “I was thinking that all of us should go to the lake tomorrow at Noon after everything is done. Wouldn’t that be fun?” He kissed Peyton’s head.
“I haven’t been to the lake in so long.” I smiled looking at Reese. “You’ll love it.” He smiled pulling me to him.
“I’m up for anything.” Dad nodded.
“I also need you to do some business tomorrow as well. It’s your favorite. But I’ll tell you in the morning. Let’s all get some shuteye.” He gave back Peyton who crawled onto Reese and plopped her face down on his chest.
“I’ll stay up with her. I know you’re still tired, go get some sleep.” I looked at him as he handed her a toy she instantly put in her mouth.
“You sure?” He nodded kissing me. “I’ll be up soon. I need to do some things, anyway.” I nodded.
“I love you. Wake me up when you get up.” He nodded stroking Peyton’s hair.
“I love you too.” I smiled at him as I went upstairs. Dad stared at him as he smiled at Peyton who smiled back at him handing him the little cell phone toy before taking it back giggling.
“Goodnight Reese.” He said gently, as if weighing up the words.
“Goodnight Mr. Meyers.” He smiled as Peyton waved leaning back on him. “Goodnight Mrs. Meyers.”
“Goodnight Son.” She smiled pulling her husband with her. “I told you he was perfect.” She whispered closing the door to their bedroom.
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