“You have them well trained, Lydia,” Amelia said.
She shrugged and sipped her coffee. “For a while I did all the cooking. Then I decided if I was going to cook for these hordes of men, they were going to do the cleanup. To be honest, I got no complaints. And after a while the boys wanted to learn how to cook, so for some meals we all cooked together and shared in the cleanup. But I still did most of the cooking.”
“Flynn is a very good cook,” Amelia said.
Lydia’s lips lifted. “I’m so happy to hear that.”
“Tucker holds his own in the kitchen as well,” Aubry said.
“Barrett is no slouch, either,” Harmony said.
“Grant cooks as well,” Katrina said. “When Anya and I let him in there.”
Lydia laughed. “Yes, I imagine that’s a battle with the two of you being such good cooks.”
“Anya is much better at it than I am, and honestly, she’s more gracious about letting Grant cook with her.”
Anya smiled. “Grant’s not bad as an assistant. At least he doesn’t scorch the rice.”
“We miss your cooking now that you’re away at college,” Katrina said.
Anya grinned. “Oh, but my roommates love me.”
“That’s the best part about being a great cook,” Amelia said. “You are very popular in college.”
Anya nodded. “I found that out very quickly, especially among the microwave-and-Top-Ramen crowd.”
Amelia laughed. “Yes, I remember those days very well. Just don’t give any recipes away.”
“Hey, I’m not stupid. I’ve already scored concert tickets and history study notes in exchange for my awesome culinary skills.”
“That’s my smart sister,” Katrina said with a nod.
After a while Lydia broke up the party, saying she was tired and was going to bed. It turned out Amelia and Flynn would be staying at the guest cottage down the road—ostensibly to give them some privacy since they were a new couple.
It was sweet and as Flynn brought their luggage into the cottage, Amelia was in awe of what Lydia considered a “cottage.” This was a house, and a fairly sizable one at that.
“Shouldn’t Grant and Katrina and the kids be staying here?” Amelia asked. “It’s huge.”
“It’s not as big as the other house on the property,” he said as she followed him down the hall and into the main bedroom. “Grant and Katrina are staying in that house.”
She blinked. “There’s another house?”
He flipped on the light and turned to her with a smile. “There’s a few. My parents have a lot of land.”
“Wow.” She had no concept of owning so much land that you could build several houses on it. “That’s kind of amazing.”
“Yeah. This house is on the smaller side. Just two bedrooms.”
She laughed. “Right. Just two bedrooms. And about . . . what? Fifteen hundred square feet, I’m guessing?”
“Sixteen hundred. With a fold-out couch in the living room for extra guests. You’re pretty good.”
“Thanks. This bedroom is lovely. And a king-sized bed, too.”
“Yeah, always plenty of room for one of us big guys to roll around in.”
She moved over to him and put her arms around him. “Or one of you big guys with a plus one.”
He turned to face her and framed her face, brushing his lips across hers. “Definitely that. You want something to drink? Mom has no doubt stocked the fridge.”
“I think I’m so full I might explode if I eat or drink anything else. So I’m good for now.”
“You probably need a walk.”
“That sounds amazing. I’d love to.”
He took her hand and they headed out the front door. It was so remote out here, no lights, nothing like living in the city. She looked up and saw what she thought were a million stars overhead in the clear night sky, so she tugged on Flynn’s hand to stop him.
“Look at all those stars.”
“Oh. Right. I forget you’re used to living in the city. It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?”
“It’s unbelievable. You had this every night?”
“Every clear night, yeah. My brothers and Mia and I would lie out in the dirt and spot the constellations. Then we’d argue over which one of us was right.”
She tore her gaze away from the stunning sky to look at him. “Which one of you was usually right?”
“Mia. But don’t tell her I said that.”
She laughed. “Oh, so it’s a secret, huh? What’s it worth to you for me to keep it?”
He grabbed her around the waist, then hauled her against him. “You’d sell my secrets?”
“Maybe. Depends on what you’re willing to sacrifice to buy my silence.”
He rubbed against her, and she felt him getting hard. “I’ve got something that might interest you.”
She pressed her hands against his chest. “I’m intrigued. Go on.”
He looked around, then took her hand and walked her farther down the road. The road curved away from the house, and it was suddenly very dark. All she could see was Flynn and the night sky. Since there wasn’t much of a moon, she could only make out the shapes of trees. She inhaled and caught the smell of hay, and heard cattle in the near distance. But otherwise, she had no idea what was out there.