The second they turned down the aisle, Zane smiled. As he continued to walk beside his wife, he scanned the shelf for what he was looking for.
Grabbing the package, he nonchalantly placed it into the cart that V was pushing, continuing to walk slowly.
“Why’d you put that in there?” V questioned, stopping abruptly to look at him.
“Why not?” Zane responded, glancing down into the cart at the Oreos he’d just tossed in.
“I thought you were trying to eat healthy?”
Zane peered up at his wife, then back down the cart. “Those are healthy.”
“In what universe?” she questioned with a smirk.
He loved when she smiled. That was part of the reason he’d tossed the cookies into the cart, simply to make her smile.
“You like Oreos, right?” he asked, feigning ignorance. Oreos were V’s favorite.
“You know I do,” she said.
“Then if you eat them, that’s healthy for me.”
“Zane Walker, that’s not how this is supposed to work.”
Moving up behind her, Zane wrapped his arms around her and kissed the side of her neck. “Really? It’s worked up to this point.”
Smiling, Zane placed his hands on the handle and began moving forward, keeping V trapped between his body and the cart. As they passed the section of chocolate chip cookies, he grabbed a package and tossed them in the cart as well.
“Hey!” she replied with a chuckle.
Pressing his lips to her ear, he lowered his voice. “Those are for when you’re really good.”
“And what do you consider ‘good’?” V questioned.
“Wait till we get home and I’ll show you.”
“Come on, boy,” Sawyer called to Buster, making his way through the living room toward his bedroom. Without missing a beat, Sawyer went right to the bathtub and turned on the water. While the tub filled, he glanced over at the door, expecting to see Buster standing there.
He didn’t expect Buster to be merrily wagging his tail because, it was true, his dog didn’t particularly care for baths, but Buster had always eventually given in.
Didn’t look as though that were the case today.
“Buster!” Sawyer yelled, hoping the little dog could hear him in the other room. “Come on, buddy. It’ll take five minutes.”
Sawyer sat on his haunches, waiting for Buster to come running. It’d never taken more than two requests before.
“What’re you doin’ in here?”
Sawyer’s gaze lifted to Kennedy as she stepped into the doorway of the bathroom.
“Tryin’ to get him in the bath, but he’s ignorin’ me.” Raising his voice a little, he called out to Buster again.
Kennedy smiled, but that quickly morphed into a full-fledged laugh.
“What’re you laughin’ at?” Sawyer asked.
“Nothin’,” she said, through bouts of giggling.
“I just thought your powers of persuasion generally got you whatever you wanted.”
Turning off the water, Sawyer got to his feet, staring down into the half-filled tub before smirking at Kennedy again.
“Are you losin’ your touch, cowboy?”
Sawyer glared at her, fighting a grin.
“Stay there, I’ll get him,” Kennedy said sweetly, a wide smile on her face.
“Good luck,” Sawyer told her. “If he won’t come in here when I call, he ain’t gonna…”
“Good boy,” Kennedy crooned at Buster, who appeared in the doorway beside Kennedy. “Wanna get a bath?”
Sawyer stepped out of the way as Kennedy continued to sweetly convince Buster to follow her into the bathroom.
“You’ll have to put him in there yours—”
“Jump in,” Kennedy instructed and sure as shit, Buster jumped right up onto the edge of the tub and then into the water, splashing Kennedy and making her laugh.
Sawyer stared blankly at the scene before him. “How’d you do that?”
Kneeling on the floor beside the tub, Kennedy glanced up at him over her shoulder, a mischievous gleam in her eyes. “Looks like you’re better with the ladies, Sawyer. I suggest you don’t give up your day job.”
Kennedy moved closer, dropping to his knees behind her, nuzzling his mouth to her ear. “For the record, I’m good with one lady. And how do you know I didn’t do this on purpose, just so I didn’t have to give him a bath?”
“Because I know you,” she whispered. “You’re not that good.”
Oh, he was that good.
And in a few minutes, once they were alone, without the inquisitive brown eyes of his dog peering up at them, he’d show her.
“What is that?” Ethan asked when he walked into the living room to find Beau up on a ladder.
“It’s a banner, what do you think it is?”
“Why are you putting it up?”
“Uhh… because we’re having a party,” Beau answered, glancing over his shoulder.
Ethan sighed heavily. He had never understood the need to decorate for a party. Especially when the invitation went out describing what the party was for. So, why in the world did someone need to decorate their house with all sorts of crap reflecting the reason for the party?
“I get that,” he told Beau. “I’m just not sure why we have to go through all the trouble.”
“Because it’s fun. And Mason will like it,” Beau offered.
“Fun? And Mason’s only five months old. I’m not sure why he would care.”
“Oh, come on, don’t be grumpy,” Beau retorted, turning his attention back to putting the banner up.
Ethan knew he wasn’t going to win this argument. He never did. Partly because Beau was hard-headed. The other part was because he’d let Beau do whatever he wanted if it made him happy. That’d become Ethan’s mantra ever since the day they got married. He loved this man and his happiness – even if it included cheap ass banners and stupid balloons – was the most important thing.
“Fine,” Ethan told Beau, turning to leave. “I just wanted to make sure that you weren’t doing it for other reasons?”
“Like?” Beau asked before Ethan could step out of the room.
“Oh, you know. I just wanted to remind you that we’re gay. Not women.”
Beau’s rumbling laugh followed Ethan out of the room, making him smile. Yeah, Beau could do whatever he wanted, as long as he always laughed like that.