"Do you think she'll ever tell them?" Mike asked as he leaned over her shoulder, dropping a cold glass of lemonade into her hand and a kiss onto her cheek. Chelsea coked her head to one side as she watched the two men taking turns tossing a ball to a flaxen haired blue eyed boy who was barely able to stand long enough to catch it.
"Voluntarily? Not a chance," she replied, reaching back to cover his hand with hers as she turned to look up into his dark eyes. "You ready for that?" she asked, turning her attention back to the unique family in the tall grass. Shannon already showing with her second child, Brooks and Nick the doting fathers.
"Can't wait," Mike pressed a kiss to the top of her head as she slid her hand protectively over her own bump as she felt a solid kick.
"Oh!" she exclaimed and then his hand was there, over hers', brilliant with diamonds. "I don't think you're supposed to wear that when your barbequing," she mused, her gaze lifting to meet his. He smiled but neither argued nor went into the house to take it off.
"Some women just aren't built to be monogamous." Chelsea turned and peeked around Mike, the smell of freshly baked bread suddenly filling the summer air. Her grandmother, framed in the doorway of the old house, looked smaller, frailer than she remembered when she'd left last fall.
"Do you hear that Mike? Who should I take as my second husband? Toews? Crosby?" she teased as he took the platter with the piping hot bread from her Gran and received a kiss on the cheek. Mike's money had certainly helped with the improvements on the ranch but more than that, Chelsea knew that the old woman was just glad to have a full house for a few months and even happier to have a great granddaughter on the way. The prospect of the pitter patter of tiny feet on the old woman floor boards had gone a long way to improving Mike's standing in her eyes.
"I thought you'd learned your lesson about mixing multiple men," he growled into her ear before lowering the platter in front of her so she could indulge her latest craving for fresh, warm butter soaked bread. Taking a thick slice, Chelsea closed her eyes, took a big bite and chewed slowly, savoring the taste and letting the butter drip down her chin.
"I know," she said, her mouth still full, "I've only just got you trained. Don't know how Shan does it," she added having a contented sigh before taking another bite.
"Brooks has got much better at sharing," Shan declared as she joined them on the deck, wrinkling her nose at the smell of the freshly baked offering and opting to soothe her own craving by sliding the spatula under one of the very thick and still quite rare t-bone steaks, sliding it onto a plate and grinning when the meat's juices ran out all over the plate.
"Another boy?" Chelsea asked and then watched as the two men puffed out their chests.
"With all the testosterone in that house, how could it be anything else?" her Gran observed as she reappeared with a big bowl of potato salad that Nicky was quick to grab out of her hands.
"What are you saying I don't have any?" Mike asked, his bottom lip jutting out, his spaniel puppy eyes drooping.
"I'm saying you're a nice boy," her Gran replied with a sparkle in her eye as she patted his chubby, stubble covered cheek. "That one, he isn't nice. Cute, but not nice," she added with a wink in Brooks' direction. The big forward's chest puffed out even more and a big shit eating grin spread across his face as he preened like a rooster. "Now this one, this one I would keep myself," she cooed patting Nicky's cheek which then turned a deep shade of scarlet as she grinned up at him.
"Old woman, put that poor boy down. He has enough to deal with that tigress he lives with," Chelsea's grandfather interjected as he emerged from the house and first placed a kiss on his wife's wizened cheek and then on his granddaughter's. "And I think CeeCee is perfectly happy with her choice, isn't that right?" he asked, looking benevolently at both of them. Chelsea reached up for Mike's hand and felt his hand slide along her cheek and she leaned into it and closed her eyes.
"Oh yes," she whispered, "very happy."