The Rockers' Babies (The Rocker... Series) (10 page)

BOOK: The Rockers' Babies (The Rocker... Series)
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had always been so strong between us—sparked higher. I clung to him, kissing him deeper, forgetting

about the group of friends and family watching us as he devoured my mouth in a kiss that sealed our

pledge deeper than any ring ever could.

--

“Ladies and gentlemen. I give you Mr. and Mrs. Shane Stevenson!”

It sounded like the reception hall was full of hundreds of people instead of less than fifty as Shane and I walked into the room hand in hand. Our friends, family, a few of my co-workers, and some of the road

crew that had been with Demon’s Wings for years were in attendance. It was small, intimate, and absolutely

perfect in my eyes.

“To kick off the festivities the bride and groom will have their first dance.” The wedding planner had a

sultry, very sexy voice—something I hadn’t noticed until just now. But that thought completely evaporated

from my brain as Shane pulled me into his arms and the lights were dimmed.

I had no clue what music was going to play. Shane and I didn’t really have a specific song and I had

asked him to deal with it all. I knew that he had been working with Nik on a playlist and I was excited to

hear what they had come up with. My man wasn’t a music snob. I knew there was going to be a variety of

genres on his playlist. Thank all of Emmie’s freaking gods, because as much as I loved rock-n-roll I didn’t want to spend our entire wedding reception with my hands in the air.

The piano startled me, and then I was melting against my husband as John Legend’s “All of Me” filled

the room. A spotlight was put on us as Shane danced me around the small section of the reception room

used for a dance floor. His lips pressed against my ear and I shivered as he sang to me. “
Because all of me,
loves all of you… You’re my End and my Beginning…

Tears were flooding down my cheeks and I buried my face in his chest, clutching at him as he

serenaded me in front of all the people we loved. As the song slowly came to an end I was nearly sobbing,

literally so happy that I had to cry or implode. Shane kissed my tears away, whispering how much he loved

me in my ear over and over again until at last the music ended and I was a weak mess using him to hold me

up.

Around us everyone was applauding again, but I barely paid them any attention as the strings of the

next song started playing and my happy sobs turned into giggles. America Authors’ “Best Day of My Life”

flooded the room and I wrapped my arms around Shane’s neck, kissing him long and deep as the words

echoed everything I was feeling.

This really was the best day of my life.

I spent the next hour being passed from dance partner to dance partner. My dad, Nik, Axton, Jesse and

then Drake. Then my boss, Rex who was the executive editor and CEO of
American Rocker
. I also danced one with Mia, because she said we looked like twins and twins had to dance to at least one song. Wroth and

Zander were sweet when they danced with me, while Devlin was a flirt the whole time. When my new

father-in-law offered me his hand I was a little reluctant to take it, but didn’t want to cause a scene. I let him lead me to the middle of the room, my smile on the forced side as I stepped onto the dance floor with him.

It was hard to look at him and not see the family resemblance to Shane and Drake, who could easily be confused for twins at a distance. Clyde Stevenson was still a very good-looking man even, and I knew from

just looking at him that both his sons—and yes, his daughters too—would age gracefully. He seemed nice

enough, but I held back from letting myself really like him because neither Shane nor Drake had truly

forgiven him for abandoning them when they had desperately needed him the most. And because I couldn’t

forgive him, I definitely could not forgive his wife. Stella Stevenson was the reason Clyde had turned his

back on his sons, and no woman should ever demand that of a man.

“Thanks for including Natalie and Jenna in the wedding party,” Clyde said.

“No thanks is needed. I love them both. Jenna is very special to both Shane and me. I wish we could

see more of her.” Since the move to California, Jenna wasn’t able to visit us as often as she had when we

lived in New York.

“I’m sure we can work something out so that she can come visit a little more often,” Clyde assured me.

“She’s been complaining non-stop about not seeing you and Shane, but at least she still gets to visit Natalie, and Drake during the months he’s on the East Coast.”

We danced a little longer in silence and I was starting to wish the song was over already when he spoke

again. “I want to thank you, Harper.”

I blinked. “Thank me? What for?”

He blew out a long sigh, full of emotions I wasn’t sure I wanted to name because that would mean I felt

sympathy for this man. “For loving my son. For making him the happiest I have ever seen him. You’re the

reason he has a smile on his face more often than not. Look, I realize my opinion doesn’t count for beans to you or anyone else in this room. Lana especially.” He grimaced. I could just imagine what Lana had said to

him about his opinion and whatever else. “But, I just had to say it. So, thank you.”

The song drew to an end and I found myself hugging him, if a little awkwardly. “Like I said, no thanks

is needed, Clyde.”

Dinner was just as delicious as I had been expecting. I sat at our long table with our wedding party,

tasting a little of everything from my plate as well as Shane’s when he wasn’t looking. I was sipping on my champagne, half listening to someone giving a speech, when my entire day went from amazing to complete

shit.

No way. No. No. NO. FUCKING. WAY!

The words must have actually came out instead of echoing in my head because a few of the closer-

sitting guests gasped. I stood up so fast that my chair toppled over and I just stood there, staring at the only two people I would have paid money to have pushed into the bowels of hell.

My mother was sitting at a table just off to my left. My beautiful stepsister taking her seat as if she

belonged here, when she was just tainting everything that I thought was achingly perfect only seconds ago.

When she noticed my eyes on them my mother actually smiled. Not her catty smile that she always used to

put me down and make me feel lacking, but the sweet I’m-such-a-good-person smile.

Beside me Shane muttered a violent curse and I felt Emmie moving behind me, already on her phone

talking softly—deadly—to security. I turned to Shane. “How did they get in here?” I whispered.

I saw the guilt in his eyes even as his throat worked with emotion. Damn it! I had seen that same look in

his eyes the night he had blindsided me with a surprise dinner with those same bitches years ago. I sucked

in a deep breath, my hands clenching into fists as I tried to reign in my growing anger at him. “You?”

“I made a mistake. She called me last night, crying about how she wanted to be a better mother. I felt

like shit and I finally just emailed her an invitation. But I realized it was a mistake as soon as I woke up this morning. Emmie tightened security, told them not to let her in. When she didn’t show up for the ceremony

we thought she wasn’t going to come… I guess she decided to wait until our guard was down.” He caught

hold of my fists, bringing them to his lips. “I’m sorry, beautiful. So sorry I let them ruin our day.”

I closed my eyes, blocking out the sight of his wet eyes and the crowd behind him.

It had been years since I had seen either my mother or stepsister. I hadn’t taken their phone calls. Had

tossed out every Christmas card and even the one birthday card my mom had actually remembered to send.

Shane had made me realize that I didn’t need them in my life and I wasn’t going to let them guilt me like

they once had when I was growing up…

I didn’t need them! And I sure as fuck wasn’t going to let them mess this day up for Shane and me.

I opened my eyes and wrapped my arms around Shane’s neck. “I’m not mad at you,” I told him, kissing

his cheek. “Let’s just ignore them. If we pretend they aren’t here… Well that will really piss Mother off.”

Blue-gray eyes widened in surprise. “Really? You aren’t upset with me?”

I shook my head. “I was. For about a minute.” We both grinned, and I stood on my toes to brush my

lips across his. “We both know I can’t stay mad at you for more than a minute.”

“Emmie will have security toss their asses out if you want.”

“No. Ariana is queen of scenes and I don’t want to give her the chance to make one. So, like I said,

ignore them.” I glanced at Emmie over Shane’s shoulder. When she raised a brow at me, her cell glued to

her ear, I shook my head. She shrugged, as if saying it was my party.

“Okay!” Dallas had the microphone now, having relieved the wedding planner of it to make her speech.

I turned to face her and Shane wrapped his arms around my waist, his lips brushing over the top of my

head. “Well, if you don’t know me then you don’t know Harper. She’s been my best friend since we were

both teenagers. We bonded over similar yet at the same time different mommy issues and the shared hatred

for Ariana Calloway—who is here by the way! Evil bitch, really, but that’s another story. Today we’re

going to talk about Harper and only Harper.”

Dallas turned the full force of her smile on me and I felt my heart lift with the love shining back at me

in those blue depths. Dallas was my sister, not just my best friend. “Harper came into my life when I felt

like I had no one. No one should ever feel that alone, but I didn’t know that until the day I met the gaze of a violet-eyed beauty. She is the most loving, giving, forgiving, and beautiful inside and out person I have

ever had the good fortune to meet. I hope that Shane realizes what a treasure he has been handed today, and that he respects and cherishes it for the rest of his life… Because if he doesn’t I have a ball bat with his name engraved on it.” The room filled with laughter, most of them not suspecting that Dallas was

completely serious.

I snickered, but lifted my champagne flute to my lips as Dallas finished her toast.

Chapter 8

Layla

That freaking cake was calling my very pregnant name!

I glared at the twelve-tiered thing, my mouth watering at just the sight. I had been with Harper and

Emmie when they did taste tests for the perfect flavors. Some kind of lemon crème was what Harper had

finally decided on for the entire thing. It shouldn’t have surprised me. If you walked into Shane and

Harper’s house right now all you would smell was lemon. Candles, hand soap, dishwashing detergent. They

were freaks for lemon.

And the two beasts in my stomach were wanting to dive into sweet dessert.

I rubbed a hand over my very distended stomach, silently begging them to behave. Beside me Jesse was

people watching. Or rather, boy watching. One in particular. Harris Cutter was dancing with Lucy, who

seemed a little star struck by the fourteen-year-old. I thought it was adorable. But Big Daddy wasn’t having the same thoughts as I was.

I nudged his arm with my elbow, trying to draw his attention to me and not the kids dancing less than

fifteen feet away. “Hey.”

Jesse barely spared me a glance. “Yeah, baby?”

“He’s just dancing with her, Jess.”

“Who’s dancing with who?”

My eyes narrowed and I realized that maybe his eyes weren’t narrowed on Devlin’s son but only on

Lucy. “What’s with you?”

He shook his head, then seemed to force his gaze from our daughter to me. “Sorry, was I spacing?”

“Big time. Is something wrong? You really haven’t been acting like yourself all day.” Actually he had

been spacing on and off since the ceremony. I had put it down to concern after I had told him that Emmie

was pregnant and initially hadn’t taken the news well.

“It’s nothing. I’m just tired. Couldn’t sleep worth shit last night without you beside me, baby.” He

leaned over and kissed my cheek, but moments later his eyes were back on Lucy. His gaze was zeroed in on

her for the next hour, following her every move as she went around the room talking with all the people

that she knew, which was nearly everyone present.

While he watched Lucy I watched him. His jaw was tense, his skin on the pale side. My usual happy-go-

lucky husband was scaring the fuck out of me. I wanted to grab hold of him and demand he tell me what

the hell was going on.

“Did Lucy do something I should know about? Is she in trouble?” I finally demanded, knowing that if

that were the case, Jesse would have already told me about it. Damn it, Lucy would have already told me

about it. We were all open and honest in our little family. It was our house rule!

“No.”

Okay, now I was starting to get upset. “Then why can’t she take two steps without you nearly freaking

out? Why the fuck did you just follow her to the bathroom!”

Lucy had been standing talking with Jenna, Harris, and Harper’s boss’s daughter. When the three girls

had left the reception hall to use the bathroom Jesse had gone even tenser and followed after them. When

they had returned he had come back and sat down beside me. I grabbed his arm, forcing him to turn his

gaze from Lucy who was now dancing with Shane.

If I had been freaking out before, the sight of his eyes sent me over the edge. Those ever-changing dark

eyes that I fell in love with before I had even guessed I loved the man, were the darkest I had ever seen

them. Whatever was going on was bad. Really, really bad.

“You’d better start talking or I’m going to start screaming,” I told him as calmly as possible considering

BOOK: The Rockers' Babies (The Rocker... Series)
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