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“Who the fuck are you?”
“Caleb!” I turn to march toward him, but Nate stops me with a hand on my shoulder. His eyes are locked on Caleb’s, ice cold, but his face is completely expressionless.
If this is how he looked at his opponents in the ring, I’m surprised they didn’t turn and run and cry for their mommy.
“I’m Nate McKenna.” Nate steps forward and extends his right hand. Caleb doesn’t take it, he just keeps staring at Nate.
I frantically look around the room for help, but everyone is just watching the show, wondering what’s going to happen next.
“Why are your hands on my sister?” Caleb doesn’t move, his face is also expressionless.
Fuck, I was afraid of this. Of all my brothers, Caleb has always been the most protective. He’s a Navy SEAL, he can kill someone and make it look like natural causes, and I think if you look “testosterone” up in the dictionary, there would be a photo of his handsome face rather than a definition. He’s the same height as Nate, and roughly the same build.
And he loves me.
Not a good combination.
“Caleb,” I try again, but Nate puts his hand up to make me stop and I frown at him.
“I am Julianne’s date today,” Nate states simply.
That’s a good way to put it. I like it.
Caleb doesn’t seem to.
“I think we should take this outside.” Caleb turns toward the door, and Nate follows.
“STOP!” I scream and both men stop and turn to me. “This is not about you, Caleb. Stop being a testosterony asshole.” He frowns and starts to yell back at me, but I walk over to him and kiss his cheek and whisper in his ear, “Stop. I love him. He’s a good man. If he fucks up you can kill him.”
Caleb pulls back and looks into my eyes, then his face softens and he tugs on my ear. “Okay.” He looks back at Nate, then to our brothers, who seem to give him some kind of weird subliminal message that I’ve never been in tune with, and then extends his hand to Nate. “Caleb.”
Nate takes it and grips it firmly. “Pleasure.”
Caleb laughs. “Right. Sorry I’m late, guys. I’ve been packing.”
“Where are you going?” Natalie asks, tears in her eyes again.
Jesus, she never turns off the water these days. Is this what pregnancy does? Makes you a slow moving, emotional wreck? Ugh.
“I can’t tell you that.” Caleb smiles at Natalie and hugs her close, rubbing his hand over her belly. He always did have a crush on her. “I’m afraid I won’t be here when the bambino gets here.”
“Oh.” Natalie looks at me and back at him. I know how she worries for all of us. After losing her parents so unexpectedly a few years ago, she always worries. “Please, be careful.”
“I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be excited to come home and meet… what are you naming her, anyway?”
Natalie and Luke look at each other and grin. “We’re not telling,” Luke responds.
“Fuck that, I won’t be able to be reached for a good three months, so tell me.” Nate and I take our seats, he kisses my cheek, and I rub his thigh under the table.
“Watch your mouth!” Mom yells and Caleb rolls his eyes at her.
He’s so gonna get it.
“It’s a surprise.” Caleb frowns at Nat and we all laugh. “No one is allowed to get on the phone and call TMZ, got it?”
“Whatever. Spill it,” Will calls out.
Natalie looks at Luke and he grins and nods his agreement to tell us.
“Her name is Olivia Grace. Grace is for my mom.” She rubs her belly and smiles and I feel tears start to roll.
“Hey, you okay?” Nate asks and wipes my tears off my cheeks.
“Yeah, Natalie’s hormone issues are contagious.” I laugh and dab beneath my eyes with a napkin, careful not to smudge my makeup. “It’s a beautiful name, sweetie.”
SAFE WITH ME, Caleb and Brynna's love story, is scheduled for release late this summer.