“I really don’t think we had this much stuff.” Ryan looked around at the boxes and stacks of random things that filled the room, frowning. “There’s just no way all of this is ours.”
Scott was nodding like he wanted to believe Ryan, but he was the more practical of the two because it didn’t look like he was taking Ryan’s word for it. “Um, I think we just had a lot of stuff in the closets?”
Trying not to laugh, because they really did have a lot in the closet when we’d first met, I focused on getting them organized so Ryan didn’t have a heart attack. “Okay, I’ll start on the kitchen. I’ll work from the basic layout you had in the apartment, and you work on your bedroom.”
That had both of their cheeks pinking, but they straightened like having a plan made them feel better. Clearly, having a Dom in their lives was helpful outside of the bedroom too.
“Once you have that done, we’ll tackle the living room together.” Looking around the room, I didn’t think it was quite as bad as they thought. “A lot of this stuff is going on shelves or into the office. That room is nearly empty. It’s not going to take long.”
Contrary to what Ryan thought, I’d seen a lot worse when I’d helped my siblings move.
Scott let out a breath and seemed glad to have something positive to focus on. “Yeah, we packed things up really well. That’s why it looks like so much.”
They really had, so he wasn’t just grasping at straws.
The goal had been to pack everything up and move in one day with a rental truck and we’d done a damn good job. It’d taken most of the day to get it moved, and Sunday would be filled with unpacking and cleaning up the old apartment, but by Monday they’d have most of it done.
“We do as much as we can, but the goal is not to be up all night.” I looked at my two worriers and waited for them to nod.
Scott smiled, ignoring Ryan’s huff. “Yes, we’ll get clothes put away and the bed made and then when we’re tired, we’ll go to bed.”
We’d already had a long day and I wasn’t going to make Sunday even harder by staying up late.
Ryan’s expression said he wanted to keep pushing to get it all done, but then Scott gave him a bashful grin. “Don’t you want to test out the new bed?”
That stopped our overeager boyfriend in his tracks.
Going very still, he thought about what Scott was hinting at. “I…Well, yes, we didn’t get a chance to test it out yet.”
For them, the new bed was a nearly obscene combination of everything they loved. It had bars like Scott’s old bed and was the sturdiest thing I’d ever seen, and the mattress was the same brand Ryan had before. It was just much bigger than anything they’d ever had, but they needed it if we were all going to sleep together on a regular basis.
“Then we have a plan.” One that would hopefully keep us from being up all night. “Let me know if you need help.”
Or if they got nervous figuring out how they were going to live in the same room together.
The weeks between signing the lease and getting the closet organizers installed and ordering the new bed had let them get used to the idea, but two weeks just wasn’t a lot of time, no matter how much they wanted each other.
So I was keeping my eye out for bumps in the road…like my two cuties being too shy to talk about something.
My taking control seemed to have some of Ryan’s stress reduced because he stopped looking at the stacks of boxes and actually smiled. “Nope, we’ll be good. The organizer looks great, and I think even all of Scott’s hoard of clothes will fit in there.”
Rolling his eyes, Scott snorted. “Your clothes are the reason we had to put in extra hanging bars. How many pairs of jeans does one man need?”
Ryan barked out a laugh. “Says the man with five red ties that all look the same.”
Scott looked offended. “They’re not all the same. Besides, you bought me several of them for birthday and Christmas presents.”
And now Ryan was blushing like a virgin on his wedding night.
“You look good in red.”
They were so fucking cute.
“Nope, go hang up clothes before you two end up distractingly cute and sexy and I take you to bed before we get anything done.” That had both of them turning to me in unison, wearing similar expressions of lust and curiosity.
“No distracting your Dom. Shoo.” They chuckled as I waved my hands, but I could still see them both trying to decide if they could distract me or not.
As they finally walked back to the big bedroom that now held their new king-sized bed and Scott’s bedroom furniture because Ryan had decided he liked that set better, I went into the kitchen. Some of the bedroom furniture might’ve gone into storage, but every plate and spoon were in boxes littered all over the kitchen.
They’d debated for several days about whether they wanted to get rid of some of the excess furniture or keep it in storage, but I’d voted for storage since it wasn’t expensive in the new neighborhood and they wanted to buy eventually anyway.
I was halfway through the kitchen and trying to decide if the spices should go on the left side of the stove or the right when the doorbell rang. It was such a startling noise, I nearly tossed a jar of onion powder clear across the room.
Who was at the door?
We were too far out to get anyone selling shit or wanting to talk us into one religion or another, so confusion was written on all our faces as Ryan and Scott came out of the bedroom.
“Did you guys order pizza?” That was the only thing I could think of.
They shook their heads as Ryan spoke. “No, I thought about it earlier, but I couldn’t remember our address.”
I chuckled. “Me neither.”
I’d written the address down earlier, but I’d lost my piece of paper somewhere in the move, and going out into the front yard to look at the mailbox seemed ridiculous.
When the bell rang again, I shrugged and we headed toward the noise.
One look out the small window by the door had me wincing and starting to apologize. “I’m really sorry. I was on the phone with my mother when you called out the address earlier, Scott.”
That sounded bad.
“Not that this is in any way your fault. My family has boundary issues—which is probably why I’m a Dom—and I really wasn’t going to do this to you on day one here.” I knew I shouldn’t have let my mother tell everyone.
I wasn’t hiding my boys…just protecting them.
There was a huge difference.
They both just stood there for a few seconds before laughter poured out of them as my brother Rich started basically singing that they’d come to visit.
He was the attention-whore of the family.
“You look panicked.” Scott smiled, kissing me tenderly and completely ignoring the drama outside. “Don’t worry. It’s going to be fine.”
Ryan snickered. “At least we don’t have to worry about if they’ll like us.”
That was because one of my older sisters was now cheerfully calling out, “Darey, we’re going to love them. We’ll be good. We promised Mom.”
I was pretty sure they’d already broken every promise they’d made to my mother to get the new address out of her.
“Bullshit!” Calling out through the door, I tried to stay focused on Ryan and Scott who were both mouthing, “Darey?”
“I know we talked about meeting everyone slowly, but that plan seems to be out the window.” Forcing the stress out of my voice, I considered my options. “I can pull in the big guns and call my mom to make them behave, or I can use guilt and call my dad. He’s a romantic at heart and one tearful sigh that they’re going to wreck my relationship will have him losing his shit. What do you want?”
Should I even leave it up to them?
Before they could even suck in a breath, I was shaking my head. “No, I’m just going to video call my father, and he can—”
“No. Wait.” Scott wrapped his arms around me as Ryan moved closer to us both.
Ryan seemed to have the answer before Scott could keep going. “We’re going to meet them and then put them to work. They knew we were busy and they’re coming to drive you crazy anyway.”
I chuckled. “Are you sure you don’t have a thousand siblings hiding somewhere?”
“No.” Scott nearly giggled. “He just watched The Brady Bunch reruns for years.”
Ryan blushed. “I always wanted a big family.”
I snorted. “Be careful what you wish for, baby.”
They both laughed as the volume outside went up a notch. They knew they’d won. My family could always smell defeat. They were a bit like sharks.
“We can do this.” Scott seemed to have found the confident, take-charge side of his personality he brought out at work.
All it had taken was for me to panic.
Good to know.
“If they say anything inappropriate, I need you to tell me. They’re excited to meet you guys but some of my siblings weren’t blessed with common sense.” Fingers crossed everyone hadn’t managed to be free at the same time.
They both nodded, but it was Ryan that responded for them. “We will, as long as they keep it to teasing about our relationship in general and not about…well, you know…it’ll be fine.”
Yes, they were used to dealing with people all day long and they’d done sports in high school and college, so they could deal with idiots.
Even well-meaning ones.
“Yes, it’s going to be fine.” Or I was going to call my mother.
One more deep breath and I turned toward the door, stepping away from my boys. Putting my game face on, I opened the door. “I hope you don’t think this is a good time.”
Okay, it was only four of them.
It wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been.
Rich gave me very well-done puppy dog eyes. “But we were excited and when you gave Mom the address, we knew that meant you wanted us to come visit.”
“No one here is that gullible.” I rolled my eyes as Ryan and Scott tried not to laugh. “That’s not believable at all. You need to work on your bullshit. I taught you better than that.”
I turned to my boys. “It’s really sad when you teach useful skills and then you see people completely ignore them.”
Their eyes were sparkling as Ryan nodded. “Family’s hard. It’s not surprising that you’re the smart, witty one.”
I loved those two.
Sighing, I played along. “I know. I tried to help, but the rest were hopeless.”
Meggie sighed. “God, they’re just as dramatic as you are. They’re clearly made for you.”
Rich, Adam, and Grace laughed, nodding as they pushed in closer, making it clear they wanted introductions and a tour.
That took more than a few minutes, but eventually they calmed down and managed to look like we weren’t raised by monkeys.
“Darey kept you to himself so long we thought you might be imaginary.” Grace’s wicked grin had the boys chuckling.
“I was protecting them from this insanity.” I waved at the four of them. “And I was right. On the day they’re moving in?”
That had them finally looking chagrined.
“We’re going to help.” Adam was generally more laid back, so that didn’t surprise me. “Put us to work. Oh, and Mickey and Anna are going to meet you at their old place tomorrow as long as you give them the address. They couldn’t come today, but they wanted to help the cleanup there.”
Okay, maybe I wouldn’t kill them.
“They don’t have to do that.” Ryan’s tight expression and the way his gaze was bouncing around between everyone said he was worried about imposing on them.
“Oh no, they butted in, so that means they have to be useful.” I glanced around at the troublemakers. “I’m pretty sure that was what they promised my mother, anyway, before she let them come over.”
They were trying to play it cool, but Rich laughed and Grace giggled, giving them away.
“Yep.” Turning back to my boys, I smiled. “They have to be helpful or they have to tell Mom they lied.”
And the way they rolled their eyes said they knew I’d tell on them.
“So.” We had to get back to work. “Meggie and Rich, you’re going to help me in the kitchen.”
Had to keep the primary troublemakers close.
“Adam and Grace, there are two big bookshelves in the living room that are going on the far wall on either side of the windows. If you could put those together, that would be great. Then we can get that room organized a lot easier.” And it would keep them out of anything personal in the bedroom.
Those two were more well-behaved, but they were not saints by any means.
Nods went around the group and everyone got to work with Meggie and Rich coming with me. Once I sent Ryan and Scott back to the bedroom with quick kisses, the two main troublemakers pounced.
Meggie grinned as she started filling up the pantry. “Sooo, they’re really built.”
Rolling my eyes, I focused on the spices. “They’re both very sweet and we click together.”
She was convinced my love of big guys was some kind of kink.
She might be right, but I’d never admit it.
Rich laughed as he started taking plates out of a box. “Are you sure you haven’t moved in here too? I mean, you’re obviously the one in charge here.”
In more ways than one—but I was going to do my best not to mention the others.
“I was not going to let you run amuck over them.” It might not be the whole truth, but it was enough that it sounded believable and had them both shrugging in acceptance.
They might be nosy troublemakers, but they weren’t delusional about it.
Now I just had to keep everyone busy enough that they didn’t ask too many questions my boys didn’t want to answer.
Dare knows that love alone can’t save his boys from a terrible fate…meeting his insane family.
Every hurdle they’ve crossed and every step they’ve taken has brought them closer together, but to test their bonds, Ryan, Scott, and Dare know they have one big obstacle left to tackle…family. But for Scott and Ryan, Dare’s two strong, sexy subs, admitting what they need from Dare is easy compared to handling his rambunctious family.
Between his family testing his patience and his desire to test his boys’ limits, Dare knows that keeping their relationship quiet won’t last much longer. But as love takes their relationship to the next level, the one thing they all know is that they’re finally where they were meant to be…together.