Sweet Liar (Montgomery/Taggert 18) - Page 93

“Mike,” she whispered, “do you make twins?” She tried to make the question sound light, but she couldn’t. She wanted Mike, and she wanted the children he could possibly give her.

Mike knew what she was asking: She wanted to know if the two of them could have kids together, and Mike knew that an affirmative answer from him was a lifetime commitment. But then he’d made a commitment the first night they’d made love and he’d used no birth control, which had been a very conscious decision on his part. “Probably,” he said at last. “Want a couple?”

“I rather would, yes,” she answered as though it were not the most important answer she’d ever given in her life.

Above the heads of the sleeping children, their fingers entwined, holding to each other tightly.


Mike woke when he heard the soft sound of a key turning in the front door lock. Since the attempt on Sam’s life, he never seemed to sleep soundly; he always had one ear alert and listening. Now he knew that the person coming in the front door had to be his brother Kane because, for all his brother’s act of nonchalance, the truth was, Kane was mad about his two boys and could hardly bear them to be out of his sight.

Easing out of bed and tiptoeing from the room, Mike was still pulling on his trousers when Kane entered the town house. “I see the place is still intact,” he said. “Did my brats give your lady nightmares or did she do the sensible thing and leave you?”

Without a word, Mike put his finger to his lips and motioned for his brother to follow him. Silently, he opened the door to the bedroom he shared with Sam and allowed him to look inside. Samantha was on her back, and in the crook of each arm was one of Kane’s sons, one on his stomach, his face pressed into Sam’s arm, while the other boy was on his side, half on her, half off.

“It’s been so long since I’ve seen them clean I’m not sure I would have recognized them.” As Mike started to close the door, Kane looked at his brother and what he felt was in his eyes. “God, how I envy you!”

Mike smiled but with a touch of sadness at the memory of the death of his brother’s wife. His sadness was soon erased by the cry of “Daddy!” and the hurtling through the air of one small body then another. Catching one then the other of the heavy, sleep-warmed children, Kane started for the living room.

“Sammy!” one of the boys yelled, putting out his arms for Sam to come with them, but Mike put his hand over the door as a barrier.

“Oh, no, monster, you’ve had her long enough. She’s mine now.” At that he shut the door, locked it, turned to Samantha, who was just waking up, and stroked a pretend mustache. “And now, my beauty…”

“Mike,” Samantha said, sitting up in the bed. “You can’t…I mean, there are people out there.”

“A common occurrence in my family,” he said as he made a leap onto the bed and grabbed her about the waist, pulling her to him.

“Mike, really, you can’t. Your brother—”

“He knows all about the birds and the bees.” He was fumbling for the edge of her nightgown, but fumbling in an expert way as she made halfhearted attempts to push his hand away. Halfhearted because what if she won?

When Samantha finally left the bedroom, she found Kane in the breakfast room buried behind The Wall Street Journal and the twins sitting on the floor eating.

“What are they eating?” she asked, although she could very well see what they had been given to eat, but she wanted Kane to admit it. She was having a difficult time liking this man.

When Kane spoke, he didn’t seem very concerned, for he didn’t even look around his paper. “Cookies. Diet cola.”

Without asking their father’s permission, Samantha took the paper towels laden with cookies from in front of the children along with their cans of cola.

Kane looked around his paper at her. It wasn’t that what she was doing was so unusual, heaven knew that every female in his family had tried to get his sons to eat properly, all without success. What surprised him was that Samantha had taken away the boys’ food and they weren’t screaming in protest.

Kane watched as she put pillows on chairs at the table—his boys did not eat at tables—towels over the pillows to protect them, then lifted the boys to seat them on the pillows.

Giving up any pretense at pretending to read the paper, Kane saw his rambunctious boys sit quietly while Samantha scrambled two eggs, toasted whole wheat bread, and poured two glasses of milk. Kane was now fascinated because to his knowledge, his sons had not eaten anything except grasshopper legs and rose thorns and sugar for years. Twice he managed to catch the eye of one of his boys, raising an eyebrow in question, but his son merely gave him an angelic smile, as though their eating eggs and toast and sitting at a table without spilling anything was what they did every day.

After the meal Kane watched Samantha wash their hands and faces—another first—then kneel and hold up two cookies.

“What do I get for these?” Samantha asked.

“Kisses,” the boys chorused, sounding like something out of a 1950s model-child training film.

Smiling, the boys each kissed one of Samantha’s lovely cheeks, then held theirs up to be kissed by her. When the boys went scampering into the garden, Samantha called after them that if they got dirty she’d have to bathe them again and rewash everything.

“Genitalia, too?” one of the boys asked.

Samantha turned to Kane, her eyes wide in shock.

Tags: Jude Deveraux Montgomery/Taggert Historical
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