Gavin wasn’t surprised that Vi had asked, but that Sierra wanted to go. “You sure? She didn’t pressure you into it?”


That comment earned him an eye roll. “Seriously? When have I ever turned down a chance to go shopping?”

“Point taken.”

“Besides, I like Vi. She’s super sweet and her texts are really funny.”

“Wait. You text with Vi?”

“Uh, yeah. How else am I supposed to stay in touch with her? It’s been two weeks since we had ‘the talk’ and I still don’t get to drive anywhere.”

Point out the weather has been shitty. But anything he said would increase her combative attitude today. “Fine. Go. Have fun.”

“Cool. I’ll call her.”

When she left the dining room table, Gavin said, “Forgetting something?”

“God. I can’t do anything right today.” She backtracked and picked up her empty pie plate and stomped to the kitchen.

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Gavin yelled, “Put it in the dishwasher, and don’t leave it in the sink.”

That earned him a cupboard door slam.

So naturally he yelled, “And clean up your damn room.”

Rielle exited the swinging kitchen door, holding a plate. “Is it safe to come out?”

“Much safer now that the teen terror is headed to her dungeon.” He eyed the plate. “What’re you having?”

“A hot guy I know made this delicious peach pie. But I’m willing to share.”

He scooted his chair back and patted his thighs. “Sit on my lap.”


“Because I want a taste of you and the pie.”

She straddled him. “You just want me to feed you.”

His dick stirred the instant that delectable body was close to his. “Maybe. Take a bite.”

Rielle sliced off a chunk, popped it into her mouth and chewed. “Not bad, tycoon. You are getting much better at this pie baking stuff. I liked the cherry better. Maybe we should go into business together.” She cut another bite and held the fork to his mouth.

After Gavin swallowed, he took the plate from her. “I’ll feed you. Open wide.”

“You just like saying that.”

“Yep. It’s too bad you didn’t add whipped cream. Because you know how much I like seeing white stuff on your lips.”

She blushed. And smacked him on the shoulder. “Gavin Daniels, you have such a dirty mouth.”

“Mmm-hmm. It goes well with my dirty mind.” He latched onto her butt, pulling her pelvis closer. He traced her full bottom lip with his tongue, then he gently sucked the succulent flesh, tasting the tang of peaches and the sweetness of Rielle. “I want you,” he whispered against her lips.

“I can tell.” She rocked forward into his erection.

“Your room,” he said huskily. “I’ll eat the pie off you and then I’ll eat you.”

“You make me crazy when you put those images in my brain.”

“Good. But I’m still not hearing yes.” Gavin dragged openmouthed kisses down her neck.

“Omigod, seriously?” Sierra complained.

Gavin tried to discreetly remove his hands from Rielle’s ass.

But Sierra wasn’t done stating her opinion. “You guys have two rooms you could be doing that in, not here, where I have to eat.”

“Watch your tone and think very carefully about the next thing that comes out of your mouth,” he warned.

“How is this my fault? I just came back down to get my stupid notebook so I can finish my stupid homework and find you two like… What. Ever.” She snatched her notebook and stomped off.

Rielle scooted back onto his knees. “Well, that was fun.”

“You’d rather we were still sneaking around?”

“No.” She traced the edges of his goatee. “We have to remember to restrict our displays to the bedroom when your daughter is home. But god, when you touch me the flame just ignites.”

“Let’s turn it down to simmer for now.” He kissed her once more and helped her off his lap. “If you hadn’t noticed, getting busted playing grab-ass made my dick deflate. I probably won’t be able to get it up at all tonight.”

“Poor baby. I can give you a hand with that. Later.” Rielle pulled him to his feet. “Let’s go upstairs and watch TV so Sierra doesn’t think we’re going at it in my bedroom.”

“I think there’s a college—”

“No sports.”

“Why not?”

“Because that’s all you watch. And you yell at the TV. Like you yelling at the players or the coaches or the referees will make a difference.”

The woman had no concept of the responsibilities of a sports fan. Loud indignation about lousy calls and shitty plays were his right.

Hopefully she’d fall asleep, like she always did, during one of her blasted cooking shows and he could catch the day’s highlights on ESPN.

He offered her a charming smile. “Whatever you want.”

Sierra burst into the kitchen, shopping bags hanging from both arms. “Dad! You have to see all the totally awesome stuff I got today.”

Vi trailed behind her, smiling.

“Hey, Vi. Looks like you guys had a productive day.”

“We did.”

“You have time for a drink?”

Vi appeared taken aback by Gavin’s question. “What are you drinking?”

“Crown and water.”

“I’ll have one. Light on the Crown since I’m driving.”

Rielle skirted the pile of shopping bags, intending to duck out of the kitchen, but he circled her wrist, stopping her. “Please stay.”

“I don’t want to intrude,” she whispered.

“You’re not. So stay.”

“All right.”

Gavin mixed Vi’s drink and poured a soda for Sierra. “All right, sweetheart, tell me about your day and show me what you got.”

“First, we went to the toy store. There were so many awesome fun toys it was hard to pick one. So I got Amelia a Gloworm because I remembered how much I loved mine.”

That caused a pang. Didn’t seem that long ago Sierra was dragging that dirty, well-loved Glo-worm everywhere.

“Then we went shopping for girl clothes at the western store. Omigod the stuff is so cute. You should see the tiny jean skirt with pink leggings and a button-up western shirt with lace edging. And she’s getting matching pink cowgirl boots with rhinestones!”

Sierra was talking enthusiastically about all the things they’d bought…for someone else?

“Which leads me to this.” Sierra flipped the lid off a shoebox, taking out a pair of pink cowgirl books with rhinestones on the toes and dark pink leather decorating the shaft. “Aren’t these the coolest boots you’ve ever seen? I wanted some so bad…” She squealed and leaned over to hug Vi. “Thank you so, so much, Grams, for buying them for me.”

“You’re welcome, dear.”

Gavin went motionless. Since when did Sierra call Vi…Grams?

Since Vi started buying things for her.

“I cannot wait to wear these to school tomorrow. Marin will be so jealous.”

“The bottoms have a slick finish so make sure you scuff them up first,” Vi warned.

“Will do.” Sierra hugged her boots. “It is insane how much I love these things already.”

Vi laughed.

Sierra tossed the box on the floor and snagged another bag. “Then we went to this boutique called Sweet Repeats that sells the funkiest things. Jewelry, clothes, scarves, jackets.” She grinned. “Check this out.” She held up a black suede jacket with fringe on the underside of each sleeve. “Look at the metal studs on the lapels and down the front. It’s bad-ass, but doesn’t make me look like a thug.”

“And you can wear black with anything,” Vi pointed out.

“I will wear it with everything, I promise. Thank you.”

Vi had bought her a fucking leather coat, too?

Sierra pulled out yet more things Vi had purchased for her.

A pair of jeans with rhinestones on the rear pockets and the front pockets.

A fur-lined vest.

A long-sleeved thermal shirt the same pink as the boots with Cruel Girl emblazoned across the front.

A bag overflowing with bangles and baubles.

“And last, but certainly not least…” Sierra unwrapped a cork bulletin board. She piled two stacks of fabric and two spools of satin ribbon on top of it. “A memory board for my room. We’re gonna fancy it up next week, huh, Grams?”

“Absolutely. As long as it doesn’t interfere with your school work.”

Sierra jammed all her new items back in the bags and hugged Vi. “Thank you so much for today. I had a lot of fun.”

Vi brushed the hair back from Sierra’s face. “I did too. We’ll do it again soon.”

“I hope so. Gotta put my stuff away!” Sierra announced and raced from the room.

Gavin swallowed a gulp of his drink. “Well, that won’t happen again.”


“You taking Sierra out and buying her everything she wants.”

“Why is this a problem for you? Because I didn’t ask your permission to buy my granddaughter a few things?” Vi held up a finger to stop his protest. “Yes, Sierra is my granddaughter. You may still have a problem with our family ties, but she doesn’t. Don’t expect her to have your issues with the situation, Gavin.”

“So is it a coincidence, that she started calling you Grams after you bought all that shit for her?” he demanded.

“Sierra has been calling me Grams for months. Never in front of you, because she’s been afraid of how you’d react. Now I see that her fear was justified.”

Why hadn’t Sierra come to him with this name change business? “And because she’s accepting of the family tie, that gives you the right to try and buy her love or affection or attention or whatever it is you want from her?”

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