“What are you guys doing here?”
“We wanted to come and see what you guys were doing today,” Trevor says, and I almost laugh. “Well, we’re not going to be here; we’re going to get Lilly a car,” I tell them all before picking up my plate off the counter and finish eating.
“So we can all go,” Nico says, and everyone else agrees. I look around, seeing that there is no real way to get out of this, so I may as well just have them tag along. Who knows, maybe if they are there with me, Lilly will be more agreeable. I know she won’t argue in front of everyone. I rub my hands together thinking I couldn’t have planned this better if I tried.
“All right, we’ll leave after Lilly finishes eating breakfast,” I tell everyone.
“You’re not buying me a brand new car that costs more than I make in a year,” Lilly yells, walking back and forth in front of all of us. We’re all standing outside the dealership. Phil is looking around nervously; I don’t blame the poor guy. When we first got here, I told him what I wanted for her, and he of course, being a salesman, took us to the top-of-the-line model with all the bells and whistles. The newest model GMC Acadia was nice; actually, it was perfect, and she was getting it whether she wanted it or not.
“Baby, I am. It’s safe and good on gas,” I tell her.
“I will have to sit on a phone book just to see over the damn steering wheel. How the hell is that safe?”
“Actually, the seats are completely adjustable,” Phil says, earning a glare from Lilly. And laugher from our group.
“This is not okay.” She stomps her foot.
“Look, maybe we can compromise?”
“Compromise?” she yells, throwing her hands up in the air. “Like what? I say you’re not going to buy me a car, and you force it on me? That kind of compromise? Yeah, no thanks.”
“Calm down, okay? I want you to be safe, and this is one of the safest cars available.”
“Actually, we have a Mercedes Benz tha—” I look up and narrow my eyes on Phil. “Never mind,” he mumbles before walking off.
“Take a deep breath.”
“I don’t like this,” she whispers, and I see tears in her eyes. “I didn’t want a car to begin with, and I don’t want that thing.” She point at the Acadia.
“Why don’t you want it?”
“I just don’t. And I don’t want you to spend that kind of money on me.”
“You know, if you were to sue me for back child support, you would be rolling in the dough.”
“I would never do that,” she gasps.
“Lil,” I laugh, running my fingers along her jaw, “I know that you wouldn’t, but the point is that you could. I haven’t been around since Ashlyn was born. I wasn’t there to help you with bills or expenses. I want you to have nice things. There is no reason for you to struggle anymore. So please, let me do this for you,” I beg. It’s not lost on me how different this situation is compared to the one I was in with Jules. Jules wanted everything; she was never satisfied, and if I took her to a car dealership and told her to pick out a new car, she would have left me filling out the paperwork while she took off in her new ride.
“I don’t like it.”
“I know, but can you just do this one thing for me? I want to know that you’re safe, and that when you have my kids in the car with you, they’re safe too.”
“You say ‘this one thing’, but I know that you’re going to have a million other things.” She pouts.
“You know you’re really f**king cute when you’re upset?”
“You’re so...” she stops, like she’s trying to think of a word to use to describe me.
“Annoying,” Liz supplies, laughing.
“Yes,” Lilly says, looking at Liz. “Thank you.”
“You are so annoying,” she says, looking back at me.
“But you love me.”
“Don’t remind me,” she grumbles, so I bend her back and kiss her until I feel her body relax, and I know I have her right where I want her.
“Let’s go get your new car,” I say kissing her again before swinging her up into my arms. “Get the paperwork ready, Phil.”
“On it.” He smiles.
“Yay!” I hear Ashlyn yell.
It is official. My family is f**king crazy. Yes, they mean well, but they need to leave; I want to be alone with my woman and kids. I look around the room, realizing that everyone is settling in, getting comfortable like they plan on staying all f**king night.
“What the f**k is your problem?” Nico asks, making my eyes narrow.
“What the hell is going on? You guys have never all stopped by on the weekend. And now it seems like you’re never going to leave.”
“We wanted to come show our support and prove that we do like Lil,” he says, looking into the kitchen where she and November are standing.
“First, don’t call her Lil. Second, since when have you liked her?” I ask, watching Lilly laugh at something that November says.
“She’s grown on me, and I know that it’s not some game or a show that she’s putting on for us.”
“Lil’s not like that,” I tell him, taking a pull from my beer.
“So you can call her Lil, but I can’t?”
“Pretty much.” I shrug.
“Daddy, can we go outside?” Ashlyn asks, coming to stand in front of me.
“Yeah, baby, let’s go get your coat.”
“I’m coming too,” Asher says.
“Me too,” Trevor says.
“Oh, me too,” Nico says in a high-pitched girl’s voice.
“You’re silly, Uncle Nico,” Ashlyn says giggling, making Nico smile. He bends, picking her up and holding her upside-down.
“Do you still think I’m silly?” he asks, bouncing her up and down, making her laugh louder. I look up and see Lilly watching; our eyes meet for a second before hers go to Nico, going soft. She loves that Ashlyn is able to experience this; being an only child and her parents’ siblings living so far away when she was growing up, she wasn’t able to spend much time with her aunts and uncles.
“Okay, you’re not silly-y-y-y,” Ashlyn squeals before Nico rights her and sets her feet on the ground, making sure she is stable before letting her go and ruffling her hair.
“All right, get your jacket and see if Jax wants to go out with you,” Lilly says, walking into the living room.