“Would you like to come in?” she asked. He could tell she held back a laugh by the way she bit at her lip.
He hesitated. What would happen if he did? His sister had just asked him to drop Bailey off. In fact, he recalled her specifically saying there was no need to stay. But suddenly he wanted to stay just a little longer. Just for a minute. He had to admit the incredibly pink atmosphere and tiny feminine squeals coming from the back of the house were a powerful man repellent, but she most certainly was not.
“I mean, you don’t have to. You can just come back at three.” She obviously sensed his hesitation and began to step back into the house. His arm reached out instinctively to the wooden frame, signaling her not to close the door.
“Maybe, just for a second. Make sure Bailey’s okay,” he said. Her expression called bullshit. You only had to be around Bailey for half a second to know she’d never met a stranger or been in a situation she couldn’t man- age, much to her overprotective uncle’s chagrin.
“Okay, well, come on in. You’re very brave. A couple of other dads practically ran.” She laughed, and the sound was so genuine and sexy. He couldn’t recall being so turned on by just a laugh, but hers was—simply perfect.
He entered the house and was instantly met with a familiar floral smell. He wasn’t sure if it was a candle or just the natural scent of her home. Two plush couches were loaded with enough brightly colored blue and red pillows to stack all the way to the ceiling. Shit, he wouldn’t mind taking a nap right here, but no, the beautiful woman in the room was more appealing, and as she led him through the house he admired every inch of her.
She was curvy—her hips were full and her ass round. A body that most women would stupidly think needed improvement, but guys thought was just right. She turned to face him in the kitchen as she said something about what the dads who’d left would be missing and he nodded in agreement while he tried not to be too obvious about checking her out.
Her pink dress was snug around her shapely chest, with a white flower pinned over her left breast. Was it a corsage, like you’d wear to a prom? Or just a piece of jewelry? He didn’t understand, but he also didn’t care because it drew his eyes right to her cleavage. Her legs were endless and bronzy, and her pink sandals were once again adorned with flowers. Good God, what was with the flowers and why did he suddenly find them so hot? She grabbed something off the table and he spotted yet another bloom on the smooth ponytail at the back of her head, nothing out of place, no detail forgotten. And then suddenly it occurred to him what she’d just said and what she must be assuming.
“Oh, I’m not Bailey’s father. I’m Uncle Mike.” And he was officially an idiot. Uncle Mike? Oh well, he was no doubt two seconds away from being introduced to her Ken doll husband who probably drove a foreign car, liked sushi, and was the ideal father. Did he look like he’d just been imagining her wearing nothing but flowers? He needed to pull his thoughts out of the gutter.
“I’m sorry. I just assumed. Well, it’s nice to meet you. I’m Anne Edmond, Claire’s mother, obviously.” She opened the screen door that led to the backyard then stopped to look over her shoulder. Her lips quirked and her eyes were a sparkly blue this close up. His gaze dropped to her lips as she spoke, her words leaving parts of his body in a state that just might cause a problem. Then her voice dropped into a conspiratorial whisper that he was sure she hadn’t intended to be hot as hell, yet it was. “You better brace yourself for this, Uncle Mike.”
He stepped onto the patio and into a little girl’s dream come true, which thankfully proved an instant cure for the rising problem in his jeans. He now knew exactly why the other dads ran. The backyard was meticulously landscaped, which he could appreciate, but the party decor was so over the top he didn’t know where to start. Every direction he turned he encountered an explosion of crafty shit; his eyes had trouble focusing on one thing.
Giant pink and blue paper flowers hung down from the wooden pergola above the patio. An antique wagon was painted white and held all the gifts, the trees in the yard were strung with tiny pink lights, and even the grass was dotted with striped pinwheels. Everything coordinated and looked like it was handmade just for this day.
Pink and blue cupcakes stood on various cake stands on the food table, colorful candies filled bowls, and little zigzag-painted bags that were decorated with all the guests’ names sat off to the side in an oversized tin bucket. Seriously? He’d been to weddings that weren’t this over the top.
About the Author
When she's not writing, cooking, or hanging out with her husband, NICOLE MICHAELS is a portrait and wedding photographer. She enjoys writing love stories with happy endings and lives outside of Kansas City with her husband and three sons. Visit her at http://nicolemichaelsbooks.com/