Jess walked into her parents’ back yard and looked around. It seemed everyone else was already here. All her brothers were scattered around, their significant others not far from them. Nolan’s two younger stepkids were running around, the oldest sitting near her mother and talking to Jess’ second oldest brother, Kelan.
And she was here all alone. Nothing unusual about that. She’d never thought she’d feel lonely around her family, but that’s exactly how she felt lately. And she was tired of it. She wasn’t going to let herself feel this way anymore. That’s all there was to it.
She spun around to see Austin Melnik walking toward her. She barely held back a groan. Just what she didn’t need right now when she’d just made the decision to stop feeling things. Apparently her parents had invited more than family. As more people spilled into the yard, she thought they might have invited both fire departments for the day. Which was pretty much the same thing as family to them.
But, she could barely take her eyes off of Austin. And the pink bundle he carried. How long had he been here if he’d already got his hands on her baby niece. Her mouth went dry at the sight of how comfortable he was with her. “Melnik,” she greeted him, trying to keep her voice neutral.
But, his eyes narrowed, then his lips quirked up. As if he knew exactly what she was doing. Hell, he probably did. It wouldn’t be the first time he called her out on her bullshit. Damn those lips. Even now she wanted to kiss them.
So, she turned away and headed into the middle of her family. They would keep her safe from doing something stupid. Like falling for someone who deserved a lot better than her.
This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use “yard”. I’m still plotting out Still Burning. This will probably take place before it starts or close to the beginning. Jess has quite a bit to work through.