She was gone. I sniffed the baby’s hair and pretended not to feel anything as the others carried on with life as usual. I wish I knew what the fuck was wrong with me. I can handle life and death situations without batting a lash, and have on more than one occasion, but the whole dance with her was making me twitchy.
I thought I had taken care of that shit long ago. No way-no how, just wasn’t in the cards for me. But here lately, my resolve have been shaken more than once. And it was all because of one tiny little slip of a girl-woman.
Even the thought of her made me want, and for a man like me, that want was a bad fucking thing. This last time had been close-too close. She was getting to me in a big way, and there was no telling how long before my dog slipped his leash.
It was for her that I was holding on so tight to my control. The look in her eye that reflected the hunger in mine scared me for her. She had no idea what she was asking for-no idea of the hell that awaited her if I should give in.
I looked around at my family under cover of my lashes as the baby drooped on my chest. She’s another one, just wormed her way into my heart in a matter of seconds and had me wishing for things that I knew damn good and well could never be.
I enjoyed the warmth of her slight weight against my chest as she listened to the beat of my heart. I’ve been reading up on things since she came to us a few short days ago, and they say that that’s good for the little ones, make them feel safe or some shit. I’m here to make sure my niece always has that.
She was probably the closest thing I was ever gonna have to a kid of my own and I already loved her more than my own life; my little baby Zak. I held her a little closer and she sighed in her sleep as she cuddled.
Just a whiff of sadness left me at the thought that I might never have this, but I didn’t let it fester for long. I’ve long known what was to be. My beginnings had made damn sure that hearth and home were never to be in the works for me.
I felt the old familiar taste of bitterness threaten to manifest itself and battled it back. Fuck if I was taking that trip today, fuck that. At least my brothers weren’t cursed with the same shit and were busy making strides to turn our little haven into their own fucking village.
Place was going to be crawling with babies in the next year at the rate these fucks were going. Babies and women, and the big bad SEALs I had fought and bled with were putty in their hands.
I was always careful theses days not to let envy seep in and taint shit. It was no one’s fault that my life had to play out the way it did. This shit was set in motion long before I’d met the other men in this room. In fact they had added something I never expected to have in this life, family. For that I will be eternally grateful.
They were all happy as fuck and that made me feel good. It warmed me, made everything seem worth it to see them like this. Even as I missed her, missed what could’ve been and what never will be.
As much shit as I give my brothers about their pussy whipped ways, inside I was like a kid at a carnival. I’d spent the best and the worse times of my life with my brothers and they each to a man deserved the happiness that was even now so evident as they sat around gabbing about shit.
They were never more relaxed than they were at times like this, when my sisters were with us, gathered around the dinner table at somebody’s house. It was heart warming to see the looks on their faces, the way they were able to relax even with the shit that was brewing on the outside, it didn’t infiltrate here, we wouldn’t let it.
This is what it all comes down to, moments like these, and if I felt a little like the outcast looking in from the outside that was okay, I’ll keep watch, that was my job. To make sure that every man, woman, and child here was safe and stayed that way.
I listened in to what was going on around me as the baby snored lightly on my chest. The women as usual were on some shit about weddings and fittings and who the fuck knows.
Lo and Con with their bitch made, pussy whipped asses were hemming and hawing but we all knew short of wearing a dress they’d do whatever the fuck they were told and be happy about it.
I never thought I’d say this or even think it, but I was happy as fuck that they’d found their one and only. It showed me another side, a better side to the whole family dynamic. And even though I knew there was no hope for me, it was good to see them achieve it.
I’m not too sure about Cord and the one he had in his crosshairs though, poor kid. She might be the commander’s kid, she and her brother. I let my eyes go to the two of them as they seemed to fit in so effortlessly with the rest of us. Putting in their two cents worth and being heard.
If it turned out that they were indeed his, then that would make them ours now. And what about her, the one who was after me? Didn’t she deserve to be a part of this growing…don’t go there Tyler, dangerous fucking territory.
If I could hit it and leave, which was my usual ammo, I would’ve fucked her the first time I caught her scent, but something about this one told me she was different, that she was more trouble than I was ready for.
Figures, she was the only one in my existence that made me feel more than a momentary pang of lust. And that too was part of the problem. She made me feel. I had no fucking tolerance for that bullshit; feeling more often than not got you fucked, and not in the good way.
I didn’t like missing her, didn’t like that nagging little voice in the back of my mind that kept whispering how right she looked here, how she should be a part of this, of us. There was too much to consider, too much buried that shouldn’t ever see the light of day. But sometimes I wish…
“Give her here Ty she’s out for the night.” I gave Zak the stink eye, fucking baby hog; he can’t even let me get ten minutes with my niece without him breathing down my damn neck. I knew just how to get him out my damn face though.
“Bro, I think your woman needs tending, that one sip of wine you allowed her at dinner seems to have gone to her head.” His head whipped around like a dog on a bitch’s scent. I didn’t have to wrack my brain too hard to figure out what he was up to when he made a beeline for her, leaving my ass alone with the baby.
Pussy whipped AWOL motherfucker. I grinned into the baby’s head and held her closer just in case one of my sisters got any ideas; they were fucking baby thieves too.
“Logan you promised that we could go tomorrow.” That was my sister Gaby. She had the female whining shit down to a tee. Who knows what she was trying to weasel out of my brother this time.
“Gabriella, which part of it’s too dangerous did you not understand?” You can’t get married if you’re dead.” Uh-huh, he’s bitch made, I had no doubt that whatever she wanted he’d cave. I watched the little by-play between the two of them until they got to whispering and swapping spit, disgusting.
Connor seemed to be deep in his own convo with his bride to be. Dani was a little less in your face than Gaby but she was no pushover by any stretch of the imagination. She just had a different way of getting what she wanted out of her man.
I’m not touching Cord and his shit, that’s a whole other ball game. And thank fuck Quinn with his crazy ass wasn’t even interested in settling down with somebody’s innocent daughter. Like me, he had sworn off the trap, bachelors to the end. The only ones left without a noose were Dev, Quinn and I, at least I wasn’t alone in our bachelor pad turned family compound.
It hadn’t even been a year since we settled here and already the landscape had changed. We’d planned for life as was to be expected, we aren’t monks after all, but I don’t think any of us had expected that shit to catch up with us this soon.
Still, it was good to see my boys happy and acting like love sick asses, even though most of the time it made me want to hurl. After the fuckery we’d dealt with in the field it was more than their just rewards. Now if we could just put paid to the shit we’d become embroiled in here at home, shit would be smooth sailing.
The intrusive and very unwelcomed thought brought me up short. There was a lot of shit going down around here lately, too fucking much for my taste. I wondered not for the first time if I could slip away and take care of shit on my own, but that was going to take some doing.
My brothers were all too on their game for me to just slip away without them knowing. But I wish I could find a way to eliminate the threat without the rest of them having to lift a finger.
Lo and Con were so happy, and now Zak had his woman and my niece to take care of. Cord was looking like he’d lost his damn mind too and was getting ready to take the plunge. They shouldn’t have to deal with any of this.
Not that they can’t all handle their shit, it’s just that they shouldn’t have to. We’d put in our time protecting our country, putting our lives on the line and getting very little gratitude in return. They deserved to be happy and at peace now with their wives and the babies that were on the way.
I could ask Dev and Quinn to join me since we were the only ones left unattached. Yeah that might…
“Tyler what’re you contemplating over there?” Lo with his nosy ass intruded on my inner thoughts. He was studying me like he could read every thought in my damn head and he probably could, nosy fuck.
I lowered my eyes and pretended to sniff the baby’s hair. Fucker sees too much, but I guess that’s why he’s our leader. “Nothing, just enjoying our niece.” I waited until the heat of his gaze shifted, only to look up and catch Con’s eyes. Fuck! I made my excuses real quick under the guise of putting the baby down for the night. Her parents had disappeared so I was stealing her until morning.