“Kayla?” I call in a panic as soon as I see the side door is wide open. What the fuck? The kitchen floor is a disaster. Muddy paw prints, dog food crumbs, and newspaper. “Skylar? Abby?”
“In here, Dad!” I hear Skylar respond from across the house.
Hesitantly, I walk over the mess and through the living room that leads to the hallway. I hear barking, then giggling and splashing in the bathroom and groan because I saw all five dogs outside in the fenced-in yard before rushing inside.
The moment I turn the corner, my jaw tightens, and I shake my head. “That better not be a dog in that tub.”
Kayla and Skylar are on their knees with soap suds up to their arms.
“Isn’t she cute, Dad?” Skylar smiles at me over her shoulder, giving me that look. She’s eleven and very mature for her age, has been so helpful with Abby who’s three, and loves taking care of the dogs. But with all of that aside, I’m not allowing another dog into this house.
Abby rushes toward me with a bright, toothy smile. I quickly pick her up, tossing her into the air before catching her in my arms. “Hey, baby girl. What’s going on here?”
“Don’t be mad, babe,” Kayla says, turning slightly to bat her eyelashes at me. Too bad it’s not going to work this time.
“I’m not mad. The dog’s just not living here, so you either take her back where you got her or find her another home. Because this isn’t it,” I say firmly, setting Abby back on her feet.
“She’s a stray,” Skylar tells me. “If we send her away, she won’t have a home.”
I step closer, eyeing Kayla as she pulls her bottom lip between her teeth, looking sexy and guilty as hell.
“We can find her a new home,” I say. “We have five already. That’s the limit,” I remind Skylar.
“Puppy!” Abby shouts, pointing. She’s been around dogs her entire life—literally—and loves every single one. They’re all so good with her too, letting her pull on their fur and ears.
“She didn’t even have a collar, Dad,” Skylar continues. “We had to give her a haircut, trim her nails, brush her teeth, and now a bath. Why can’t we keep her?”
She’s full on pouting now. I cut my eyes to Kayla, waiting for backup, but I know better. Skylar’s just as bad or perhaps even worse than Kayla when it comes to rescuing dogs. There’s been at least half a dozen of them brought into this house within the last couple years that Kayla has helped find new homes for, but for some reason they’re both fighting hard for this dog.
I unbutton my cufflinks before rolling up the sleeves of my work shirt to my elbows. After a long day of phone calls and paperwork at the station, I just wanted to come home and relax with my girls.
“I’ll make some calls and see if anyone is missing a dog or wants one,” I say firmly, leaving no room for argument.
“But I already named her.” Skylar frowns, her bottom lip pouting. “Princess Elsa.”
I glance at Kayla who’s pretending to be Switzerland even though this has her name written all over it. All of our dogs are named after damn Disney characters.
“I’m sorry, sweetie. We can’t have six dogs.” I kneel down in front of her, tipping her chin to look up at me. “But it was still nice of you to take her care of her until we find her a new home.”
She shrugs, not happy with me. “Whatever.”
“You girls finish up, and I’ll clean up the kitchen then make a few calls.”
An hour later, Princess Elsa is clean and running in the backyard with the other dogs. I hear nonstop barking and laughing from the kids who are throwing them toys and bones.
Kayla retreats to the kitchen, not making eye contact or speaking to me. She’s pissed, or at the least, annoyed. I watch as she digs in the fridge and pulls out a tray of chicken. Leaning against the counter with my arms crossed, my gaze stays glued to her while she prepares dinner, cutting the meat into small pieces and tossing them into a frying pan. Then she starts boiling pasta and digs around the pantry for canned vegetables.
After twenty minutes, enough is enough.
Kayla’s at the stove, stirring together the cooked pasta, chicken, and adding in sauce. I wrap my arms around her waist and bury my face in her neck. At first she tenses and when I place a soft kiss below her ear, her body relaxes into mine.
“You giving me the silent treatment, Angel?” I whisper.
“No,” she replies curtly.
“Good. You know I hate when you’re mad at me,” I say. “I missed you today.” I slide my fingers under her shirt and pull her tighter against me.
“I said I wasn’t giving you the silent treatment, never said I wasn’t mad at you.”
Groaning into her hair, I grab her shoulders and she reluctantly lets me spin her around to face me. She looks up at me with a stern expression.
“You know we can’t have another dog,” I say, and she arches a brow as if to challenge that statement. “How? Where? How?”
“Princess Elsa is a small dog, we could easily make room,” she argues.
“Great, now you’re calling her that too,” I say, brushing a hand through my hair.
“Plus, the dogs have the entire spare room. She could sleep on one of the beds with another dog. They get along so well already.”
“Plus, this time is different.”
“Didn’t you see how excited Skylar was? She’s the one who found her. We were at the park and she went adventuring off somewhere and came across her eating out of the trash. She had no collar, completely filthy, and she’s skin and bones. She doesn’t have a home and Skylar wanted to give that to her.”
I release a breath, knowing my quick response let Skylar down.
“I tried to tell her that we could find her a new home because I knew what you were going to say about keeping her, but Skylar bonded with her right away.”
“Fuck.” I pinch the bridge of my nose and inhale sharply. “She doesn’t feel that way about the other five dogs we already have?”
“She does.” Kayla chuckles. “But this one is different for some reason. Skylar’s protective of her, just like you were of me all those years ago.” She steps closer then wraps her arms around me, looking up at me with those bright beautiful eyes.
“I thought you wanted to try for another baby?” I remind her. “We’re not supposed to be adding more dogs.”
“Are you saying it’s a baby or a dog? You’re really gonna make me pick?” She arches a brow.
I cup her face and bring my lips to hers. “No, of course not. I already know you’d kick me out on my ass before any of those dogs.”
She chuckles against my mouth and nods. “As long as you know where you stand.”
“Pfft. You’d miss me.” I wrap my hand around her neck and into her hair. Sliding my tongue between her lips, I tilt her head back and deepen the kiss. “Wouldn’t you?” I tease with a smirk.
“Ew, gross.” Skylar barges in, making us pull apart.
“Mommy!” Abby walks in too. Princess Elsa races in behind her and nearly bumps Abby over. Though she’s used to it from the larger dogs, it still sets me in a split-second panic.
Skylar gets to her before I do and grabs her. Abby giggles then chases the dog into the living room. Skylar follows behind with slumped shoulders and a look on her face that has me calling her name.
She plants her feet, but doesn’t turn around to face me. “Can you look at me?” I ask softly, knowing she’s disappointed. Skylar grumbles and spins toward me, her arms crossed over her chest as she purposely keeps her eyes on the floor.
I don’t even have to tell her what I expect from her as a dog owner or how to be responsible and feed, walk, and care for it. She’s done those things since she was eight years old when Kayla and I moved in together. I’ve never had to tell her to do her chores or pick up dog poop in the yard. She’s just always done it willingly.
“Sky…” I move toward her with a grin and lower my body to meet her eyes. “I’m up here…” Kayla chuckles from behind me, knowing Skylar is being stubborn just to annoy me. She doesn’t want to give in, but I see her trying to hide a smile. “I’m not going to talk to the top of your head about the dog, so—”
Skylar’s head pops up, her eyes finally meeting mine with a weary grin. “Okay, fine. What?”
“Why do you want that dog so badly?” I ask, wanting to hear it from her.
“I don’t want her to be alone in the shelter, begging for someone to adopt her just like the other dogs in there, when we have a perfect home for her right here. She has brothers and sisters and a safe place to live. Plus, she’s really cute and sweet and gets along with everyone.”
She rambles off her pitch as if she’s been practicing it for hours. It’s so hard to deny Kayla as it is, but I have an extra sweet spot for my girls.
“Okay,” I say, releasing a defeated breath. “We can keep her—” Skylar’s face lights up and she nearly leaps into my arms, but I continue, “—on one condition,” I add.
“Anything!” she squeals.
“This is the absolute last dog. No ifs, ands, or butts.”
Skylar squeezes me as if to confirm.
“I mean it this time!” I say firmly when Kayla comes in for a group hug. Then Abby.
Kayla looks at me with the biggest smile, and I roll my eyes.
I’m a big fucking softy for them all.
Once the dogs and kids are tucked in for the night, I grab Kayla’s hand and drag her into the bedroom, locking the door behind me.
“I think you owe me, Angel. In fact, I think you owe me big time,” I taunt, picking her up and tossing her on the bed.
“Oh really?” she mocks as I crawl over her. “What did you have in mind, Detective? Handcuffs? Whips? Maybe some taser play?” She wraps her legs around my waist and pulls me closer.
“Jesus Christ,” I say, laughing. “Taser play?”
She shrugs, biting down on that juicy bottom lip I want to devour. “I’ve been reading some romance novels lately and they’re giving me ideas.”
I arch a brow. “Really? Tell me more…” Leaning down, I bring my mouth to her neck and brush my lips to the sensitive soft spot below her ear. “Are there naughty parts in these novels?”
Kayla tightens her legs, bringing her hips to mine and grinding against me. “Yes.”
“Mmm…” I groan, biting her shoulder. “And there’s taser play?”
Her head falls back on a laugh. “No, but I wonder if there are books like that. Maybe I should do a Google search.”
“Please don’t. We don’t need the FBI beating down our door and questioning your browser history.”
Kayla chuckles. “If they haven’t already, I think we’re safe.”
I lean back on my knees just enough to reach for her shirt and pull it off. I tear mine off next and then undo her bra. As soon as I toss it to the floor, I wrap my lips around her nipple and suck.
Kayla rewards me with a throaty moan that I love so damn much. I cup her breast then move to the other one and suck there. She arches her hips, telling me exactly where she needs me.
Sliding down her body, I pull her jeans and panties down then part her legs. I kiss her thigh, slowly moving closer to her pussy. Kayla moans, reaching for me, weaving her fingers into my hair as I tease her clit with my tongue. I bury my face in her sweet scent, licking up her slit and sucking hard.
Within minutes, her back flies off the bed as an orgasm hits her hard and fast. Kayla moans my name and I add two fingers inside, working her even harder and faster.
“Oh God.” She fists the blankets, her hips bucking wildly as I work hard to earn another. I love watching my wife as I pleasure her, and could do this all goddamn night. The way she bites down on her lip, the way her eyes flutter closed, the way her breath hitches—it almost sets me off before I’m even inside her.
With a twist of my wrist, I sink deeper and suck harder and moments later she’s exploding once again on my tongue. I devour everything she gives, loving the way her arousal tastes.
“So goddamn good, Angel,” I praise, kissing my way back up her body. Pressing my mouth to hers, she uses her feet to push my slacks down and with a little help, I’m naked and back on top of her.
“You ready to make that baby tonight?” I taunt, stroking my erection and pressing it against her entrance, coating it.
“Please. Yes…” she begs, her hooded eyes pleading for it. I bend down and press my lips to hers, softly as I slowly ease inside her.
“You’re so beautiful. So fucking gorgeous and amazing. I wish I could give you all the dogs and babies you wanted…”
“Six of each and we’ll call it even,” she says the words so confidently, I nearly choke.
She giggles as I slide all the way in and she arches her hips for more. We form a rhythm, hard and fast, soft and slow, deep and urgent. It’s always this way between us. Always wanting more, needing it, craving everything. Feeling like I can never get enough of her, not ever wanting to be without her. It’s an all-consuming love.
“I love you,” she whispers after she climbs on top of me.
“I love you so fucking much,” I tell her, cupping her face and pressing a heart-stopping kiss to her lips.
Kayla presses her hands to my chest and rides me deep and hard. She leans all the way back, gripping my legs and grinding fast as we both chase the release.
“Jesus Christ,” I mutter, grabbing her hips and moaning as we climax together.
She collapses on top of me and I pull us side by side, pressing a soft kiss to her forehead.
“Think we made a baby?” I ask as we work to catch our breaths.
She looks up at me with a hopeful smirk. “Guess we’ll find out in a couple weeks.”
“With my luck, we’ll have two more dogs by then.”
“Don’t tempt me,” she taunts, wrapping her arm around my waist and pulling us closer. “You know what you were signing up for when you married me.”
“Did I? You came with three dogs. Now we have six,” I remind her.
Kayla snorts. “Double the love, baby.”
I reach around and cup her ass. “And I’m here for it. Always.”