Don’t call me that.” She looked down.
I tipped her face back up. “What?”
Shit. I called her baby?
“Why not?” I asked. I was supposed to tell her she’d been hearing things. That grief was making her cuckoo.
“Because I like it.”
“You don’t need them. You got more than enough talent to bring in the NFL on your own.”
“Fuck,” I muttered. “When did everything get so damn complicated?”
“When your life became about more than just football.”
“You sound like Yoda.” I grinned.
“It’s the beer.”
“You’re pretty good at this,” I observed. “Does this mean we can have sleepovers and paint each other’s nails?”
“What do you think I am? A drag queen?” He gasped as he continued brushing.
I laughed. “Is that a no to the nail polish and face masks?”
Braeden sighed and looped his arm across my shoulders again and steered me toward a stack of books. “So innocent,” he mused. “Tutor girl, as your man’s best friend and your self-appointed big brother, I feel like it’s time I teach you about the real world.”
“You’re my self-appointed big brother?” I asked, looking up at him.
He nodded like it was obvious. “You and Rome… you’re an exception to the rule. You two are the real deal, but most guys, guys like me, aren’t looking to settle down. They like—”
“To have fun?” I finished for him, slightly amused.
“But what about the girls?” I asked.
He gave me a clueless look. I sighed. “Maybe it’s me who needs to teach you, brother.”
“I need some clothes for her [Nova].”
I looked in the basket, too. There weren’t any. “She has some in her room,” B said.
I started to push up. “I’ll go.”
He slapped a hand over my wrist. “Don’t leave me alone with her.”
I laughed. “It’s a baby.” “And I love her, but she might explode again!”
Cambria Hebert: #HookUp A Coloring Book Inspired by the Hashtag Series
“Braeden James Walker!” Ivy intoned, putting her hands on her hips. “What have you done to my daughter!”
His [Braeden] eyes widened, and he glanced down. “What’s wrong with her?”
“She is not!” Braeden insisted. “What kind of father do you think I am? No daughter of mine will be showing her girly bits to all the world.”