Uncaged, Page 1Harper Sloan
Copyright (c) 2014 by E.S. Harper All rights reserved.
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Cover Design by MGBookCovers Editing by Mickey Reed Formatting by Brenda Wright ISBN 13: 978-1496145437
ISBN 10: 1496145437
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Listen to Playlist Now
I And Love And You - The Avett Brothers Lucky - Jason Mraz
You & I - One Direction How Long Will I Love You - Ellie Goulding All of Me - John Legend Collide - Howie Day
Mine Would Be You - Blake Shelton Faithfully - Journey
I'll Make Love To You - Boyz II Men Wherever You Will Go - Charlene Soraia Gravity - Sara Bareilles Look at Me - Carrie Underwood Small Bump - Ed Sheeran God Gave Me You - Blake Shelton Make You Feel My Love - Adele
Chapter 1 - Greg - Early Spring
I've been sitting in my truck, staring through out the windshield without seeing a thing. My skin feels tight, my blood too hot, and my heart is beating too fast. The smile on my face though? It feels like it will never leave. Never--not once--did I ever think this would be reachable. When I pictured my future, it was always with the acceptance that I would just be cool Uncle Greg, and maybe if I were lucky, I would find someone compatible enough to spend my life with. I didn't expect love. I had given up that hope years ago.
Then I met Melissa, and everything I could have settled for went flying out the window. Poof--in an instant, I met my future. I crave her. The feelings she gave me and the love I knew would come from her was all that mattered.
We haven't had an easy time of it. There was the time when we almost lost Cohen that I thought I would once again end up with nothing. When I first met Melissa's nephew, Cohen, that boy had me wrapped around his little awesome finger. Melissa and her mom had raised him since his mom--her sister--had passed away. He was her boy. And now? Now he's our boy.
We both went through a tough time after Cohen's kidnapping. Not only was there a period when I didn't know if I would get him back, but in the mess of things, we also lost Melissa's mom.
But my girl is strong. We overcame together. My girl... My wife, and our beautiful little boy. And now? Now we have a bright future ahead of us. Nothing could top those two in my life. Not a damn thing.
Until last weekend.
I'll never forget the day she came home from visiting her sister and mother's graves. Normally, that would be something all three of us would do together. Cohen likes to spend time talking to his angels, and I know it gives Melissa some peace to have a place where she feels they are. Somewhere tangible so she can still be with them.
I watch out the corner of my eye when I hear a car pulling into the driveway. Cohen and I were kicking some serious ninja ass, rolling around in the front lawn, and just enjoying some man time. Melissa has been gone for a while now, so I know before even looking at her beautiful face that she's home.
I finally detach Cohen's small body from where we just conquered our last 'bad guy.' Somehow, that fight had turned into a wrestling and tickling match. Hell, I don't care what the reason is. If my little dude is laughing, that's all that matters.
Finally getting loose, I turn and spy Melissa through the windshield. She's been sitting in her car, just watching us with her blinding smile fully in place. My heart picks up speed when I look into her eyes so full of love for her men.
"Life doesn't get any better than this, C-Man."
Cohen turns, his big brown eyes twinkling with happiness. "Yeah it does. If we had some pizza!"
I laugh but turn my attention back to Melissa when I hear the car door shut. Cohen doesn't say anything else, but hell, even he gets stunned silent when she walks into our path.
She takes her time walking over to us. When she gets close enough, Cohen jumps up, runs and gives her a big hug before he starts dancing around the yard in a battle only he understands. His little arms flap around, his legs kick out, and the biggest grin spreads across his face. She doesn't even pause. Instead, she walks right up to me and plops her fine ass down in my lap. My arms wrap around her body, and I pull her against my lap, fighting the urge to throw her down and take her hard.
She laughs, wiggling against my growing erection. Yeah, she knows exactly what she's up to. She turns, her smile lighting up her face, and leans in and kisses me.
Resting her forehead against mine, her eyes still holding her smile, she whispers softly words that touch me to my very soul.
"If it's a girl, maybe we can come up with something to honor both our sisters."
A statement. Not a hypothetical 'if we have one in the future' kind of statement.
I come out of my daze, my smile wide enough that my face hurts, and get ready to climb out of my truck. I know that the second that I step foot into the office the guys will take one look at me and know. They may not know what's got me smiling like an idiot, but they will know something significant has happened. It's not easy keeping something so life changing to myself. But with news like this, I can't wait to share. Hell, I would be screaming from the rafters, taking out ads in the local paper, maybe even a few billboards if I could.
I lock up the truck, and before I can even take a step, I hear him.
I smile at Sway and walk over to where he's standing outside of his shop.
"What's going on, Sway?"
"'What's going on,' he says? Oh nothing much, you gorgeous man. Just sitting here, minding my own business, when I see you pull in, park, and just sit there with that delicious smile happening. That's what is happening, Gregory! Blinding me with all that yumminess all the way into my salon."
He's standing there, hands on his hips, tapping one red leather-booted foot, his long blond hair falling over his shoulder and the ever-present naughty gleam in his eyes. No shame at all in the fact that I'm pretty sure he just took all my clothes off as I walked across the parking lot.
"Stop thinking about me naked, Sway," I guffaw. "I got some good news this weekend. You can't wipe this smile off if you tried."
"Oh, Gregory... That sounds like an invitation to try." We both laugh, but truth be told, I doubt there is anything that can knock me off my high. "Well? Are you going to tell Sway what has you all happilicious?"
Happilicious? The hell?
"You're something else, Sway." I laugh, shaking my head. "Melissa told me this weekend that we're pregnant. Well...she's pregnant, but you know what I mean." Even saying it out loud brings a fresh round of pure fucking joy to flush through my system.
My girl. Pregnant.
"Ohhhhh! A baby!" Sway starts going on and on about Uncle Sway this, baby showers that, and that is when I take my cue to leave.
Right when I open my mouth to tell him bye,
I hear it. Clapping coming from behind me. Turning, I find them. Axel, Beck, Coop, and Maddox are all clapping like demented seals with smiles front and center. Even Maddox has a grin on his normally stoic face.
"Congratulations, brother. Didn't know it was possible with all those holes and rings you have through your dick," Beck spouts.
"Would have thought with as many as he's rocking, that those little swimmers wouldn't have a chance," laughs Axel.
I start to chuckle until I hear a gasp of pleasure coming from behind me.
"What! Gregory, what is this?" I turn to see Sway dramatically fanning his face, his eyes zoned in on my crotch.
Isn't this just lovely. I was apparently wrong; there is something that could wipe the smile clear off my face.
"Nothing, Sway," I say, trying my best for a stern voice while leveling the four morons with my hardest 'shut the fuck up' look.
"Gregory Cage, do you have piercings?" he practically pants.
Shit. "Thanks a lot, jackasses," I grind out. They all laugh. Even Maddox is laughing so hard that he has tears in his eyes.
"How far of a stretch is it that you'll forget you heard that?" I ask Sway.
"Oh, darling. I'll forget that juicy piece of yum the day that pigs learn to fly. And to think, I thought you were the straight-laced one of the bunch. Who knew you were hiding all of that?" His eyes roam over my body before landing right on my crotch again.
"Sway, I'm a married man now. Stop thinking about my dick."
Really, as annoyed as I am with the idiots still laughing by the door to our office, Sway's face really is comical. A mix between shock and awe.
"Plus, Maddox has one too. Lust over him. He's single." I laugh before pushing my way through the group. They're all laughing even harder now--except for Maddox.
"Oh my gosh! Congratulations, Greg!" Emmy screams when I walk through the front lobby. She politely ignores the fact that the whole state of Georgia may know about my piercings now. "I bet you, Melissa, and Cohen are thrilled!"
"Thanks, Em. We couldn't be happier." I give her a warm smile and hug. We chat for a few minutes before I continue down the hall. It doesn't take long before the four amigos are filing in. I should have seen it coming. No way they would leave it all at the door. Literally.
"Well?" Coop asks.
"Well, what, asshat?" I throw back before dropping down in my chair.
"Congrats, man. Izzy told me last night," Axel interrupts, at least having the decency not to mention my junk again.
"Well what, my ass. All the shit you have jammed through your dick and you still knocked her up?" My answering growl is enough to have Coop shut his mouth and hold his hands up. "Just asking, dude. I thought Dee was full of shit when she mentioned all that party you are rocking in your pants." He laughs and wags his brows at me.
"You really need to learn how to shut up. Or maybe buy a filter," Beck says in a loud whisper.
"What? Can you honestly tell me you aren't the least bit interested in why he has all that going on?"
Beck just shakes his head at Coop, choosing to ignore his ridiculous question.
"For the record, I don't make it a habit of thinking about his dick at all." Axel laughs, sitting in one of the chairs next to my desk and picking up a stress ball. "But while we're on the topic, what in the hell compelled you to do that shit?"
"Are we really going to do this? Should we whip them out and compare sizes while we're at it?" I run my hand through my hair in frustration. Ever since word of my piercings got out, I've had a feeling that this would be coming.
Maddox finally chimes in, a wicked grin forming. "No need for that! I know mine trumps all you little boys."
"Wanna bet?" Coop mocks and stands, making to unzip his pants.
"If you pull that shit out in my office, I will cut you."
He wisely sits back down when I reach for my scissors.
"All right. If you really need to know, I lost a bet. An old friend of mine bet me I wouldn't do it, then stepped up the bet that I wouldn't get more than him. So I got wasted, and the rest is history. Melissa loves them, so all in all it's the best bet I ever lost. The end."
They all just look at me. Maddox is the first to break the silence. "You guys should take notes. As funny as you think it is, the ladies love it. Congrats on the baby, brother." And with that, he leaves the room.
I get a few more mumbled congratulations before Beck and Coop get up and leave. Axel never moves from his seat, still just throwing that damn ball up in the air.
"What? I can tell you have something to say." I lean back and get ready to hear him out.
"Did you really have to put ideas in Izzy's head? She now has some brilliant idea that I need some... What did she call it? Oh yeah, 'Trifecta of vaginal bliss.' What in the hell does that shit mean?"
I throw my head back and laugh so hard my sides cramp up. "Do those women tell each other everything?"
"Apparently so. And, Greg, I don't want to hear about your dick anymore."
We talk for a while before he gets serious again.
"I'm happy for you. For all three of you. I know you, and I know this wasn't ever even on your radar. But, brother, this looks good on you."
And just like that, my heart feels full to capacity, my skin feels tight, and that damn smile that's so big it hurts comes rushing back to the surface.
"Thanks, man. Thanks."
I may not have ever dreamt of this life for myself, but I finally feel like I have everything. There isn't anything that can take this feeling from us.
Chapter 2--Greg--Six Months Later
Ah. And now the fun begins.
I left Cohen sitting on my bed, harmlessly watching some ridiculous cartoon so that I could jump in the shower. We're running late, but that's pretty typical when Melissa leaves us to our own devices. What does she expect? The 'bad guys' won't kill themselves, blanket forts can't be constructed in a split second, and Lego fortresses won't build themselves. My boy needs to have some one-on-one time with his dad, and with the twins fast approaching we're squeezing in every second of 'man time' that we can.
I smile, drying off as quickly as possible before grabbing my boxer briefs. The last time I made the mistake of forgetting to grab some before I jumped in the shower, I swear Cohen spent an hour talking about wiener-rings after that. Melissa thinks it's hilarious, but I keep envisioning my little dude going to school and announcing to his class that he wants to have earrings in his wiener because his daddy does. That shouldn't make pick-up awkward.
"Daddy, Daddy, DADDY!"
When I step out of the bathroom the first thing I see is Cohen jumping on the bed, his little arms flapping wildly and his ever-present cape flying behind him. With a smile, I hook his little body around the waist with my arm and toss him in the air. Pretty soon he's not going to be small enough for me to toss around, and just the thought of him growing up too quickly makes my chest tighten.
"What's up, little dude?"
His tiny hands cup my face, pulling me closer until our noses touch. "Daddy," he whispers.
I bring my hands up and frame his head, rubbing our noses slightly. "Cohen," I whisper back.
He giggles, his smile growing larger. "Mommy has a funny belly now."
"Yes, little man, she sure does. But, Mommy has your sisters in her funny belly, and pretty soon they're going to be here and she won't have that belly anymore."
His brows crinkle for a second while he processes this. It doesn't take long before he asks the question I've known was coming.
"How is mommy going to get my babies out of her funny belly?"
Shit. This isn't something Melissa covered.
His face loses all traces of confusion and his crooked little smile takes its place.
"You don't know! I'm going to ask Dilbert! Dilbert knows everything, Daddy!"<
Damn, Sway! There's no way in hell I'm going to let Sway--also referred to by his given name, Dilbert, by only Cohen--give my son sex-ed. I can picture it now. Sway would have Cohen out of his cape and into a wig and heels in no time.
"Come here, son." I take a seat on the bed and hold my arms out, waiting for Cohen to crawl into my lap. His little knees almost take out my dick a few times, and I'm pretty sure I've lost my nuts. He finally settles, sitting on his shins with his knees pressed painfully into my thighs and his tiny hands holding on to my shoulders. "All right, little man. When Mommy has your sisters, the doctor is going to give her a shot so she doesn't feel anything. Then she's going to lie down, and the doctor will carefully take your sisters out. It's all big doctor secrets, and no one will tell Daddy. They even put up a special blue wall that makes it invisible."
With every word I speak, his mocha-colored eyes grow larger and larger. His mouth is hanging open, and the look on his face is nothing short of amazed. Yeah, I know Cohen, and there isn't anything he loves more than a big mystery.
"You with me, C-Man?" I laugh, tickling his sides.
He giggles, jumps down with a large chant of excitement, and takes off to find the magical invisible wall.
"Cohen, get your shoes on! I promised your mommy we wouldn't be late." I can hear him banging around the house, hopefully on the way to his shoes.
It takes Cohen and me forever, as usual, to get out of the house. He couldn't find his sneakers, so my kid is rocking his red cape, jeans, a tee, and bright orange rain boots. It hasn't rained in Georgia in what feels like years, but Cohen's wearing those damn boots with pride. When we walk into the restaurant where we're meeting everyone, my eyes immediately take in my beautiful wife so that I don't miss a second of her reaction to our boy's outfit.
As she's mid-sentence with Asher, her eyes grow as wide as her beautiful belly, and her hand shoots up to cover her mouth. I can clearly see the laughter shining bright in her eyes from across the dimly lit room. It's not abnormal for Cohen to end up looking like a misfit when I'm in charge of getting him ready. At least it's better than last weekend's bathing suit, tank top that said 'my uncle is cooler than yours'--thank you, Maddox--his cape, and a damn sombrero.
Cohen takes off the second he spots Nate, Axel and Izzy's son, sitting at the end of the table next to his mother. Even with almost two years between those two, they are thick as thieves. I laugh when Cohen immediately starts flailing his arms around and moving around in the wild movements he's so fond of. Nate lets out a laugh so loud that a few diners around the table look over with smiles.