A Beaumont Family Christmas (Beaumont 5.60) - Page 25

I nod and wait for her to sit down next to me. “And Quinn is just across from them. It’s like old times when they were younger, and we used to travel. The three of them have always been inseparable. They have this entire plane to spread out, and they’re together.”

“We must’ve done something right,” Katelyn says. She has no idea how right she is.

“I know I did.” I push her hair behind her ear and lean in to kiss her. “Meeting you on Christmas was the best thing to ever happen to me.” Our lips finally touch. I know she’ll never tell me the same thing, and I’m okay with it. Katelyn had a life before me, one that she thought she’d have until the day she died, and I will never ask her or the girls to forget about Mason. It would be unfair of me. I knew what I was getting into when I pursued Katelyn.

The plane touches down, and even though the landing is as smooth as it can for December in Vermont, we still jostle around a bit. Oliver starts to cry, and Katelyn is out of her seat before the pilot gives us the okay to move about the cabin. I have a feeling she and her daughters will fight over who gets to soothe Oliver’s tears.

When we’re finally in the hanger, I stand and go meet the pilot, thanking him for getting us here safely, and we talk about what the rest of the month entails. By the time I’ve finished with the pilot, all our belongings are loaded into the back of the two SUVs I rented. The plan is for Quinn to drive one while I drive the other. The problem I didn’t foresee is unfolding right in front of my eyes—who will ride with Oliver. The twins want to ride with us, which is fine. But I know Katelyn would like to sit in the back seat with the baby. And then there’s Nola, who Elle is trying to convince to ride with her and Peyton.

I glance over at Quinn, who is leaning against the car, tapping his foot. Is he frustrated or humored by everything that is going on? He’s probably a little bit of both, as I am. I’d like to get on the road. According to the research I did, there's a saying in Vermont that if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes, and it’ll change. I also learned about snow squalls and how deadly they can be, especially at night. They sound like something I don’t want to get caught in.

“Ladies, the loves of us three James men lives,” I say to get all their attention. “We need to get on the road. I’d really like to get to the lodge sooner rather than later, and it’s already getting dark out.”

“Maybe we should rent a hotel for the night,” Katelyn suggests. “This way, we can drive in the daylight and not worry about the backroads.”

While I like the thought, I am also looking forward to relaxing in the hot tub and chilling with JD, Liam, and a few cold ones.

“I’d rather leave now w

hile the weather is clear,” Quinn says. “According to the app, it’s going to snow tomorrow, and I’ve heard this place can be unpredictable with snowfall.”

“Weather is unpredictable,” Elle says.

“Yes, but Vermont is notorious for saying they’re getting a blizzard, and they get a flurry or two, or the weatherman tells everyone the storm is going to miss them, and they wake up to thirty inches. I’m just saying, I’d rather head toward the mountain now, knowing it’s not snowing instead of waiting to see what is going to happen in the morning,” Quinn rebuts his sister.

“I agree with Quinn,” Katelyn concedes. “He’s right. We should get going.”

Music to my ears. “Now, who is going to ride with Oliver?”

Many hands go up, but it’s Elle who relents. “I’ll go with Quinn and Nola,” she says just before she gives Oliver one last look. “He is really cute,” she tells all of us. I happen to agree and wish I could take all the credit for his looks, but the only one I’ll ever be able to claim is Quinn.

We finally pile into the cars, and I decide to follow Quinn. He’s much more versed in the matters of navigation and technology. Plus, his co-pilot will help him. Mine is making baby noises in the back seat and trying to convince our daughter that she needs a baby of her own.

It’s pitch black by the time we arrive at the lodge, although you would never know it by the well-lit parking lot and trails. The people skiing at night look like tiny specs cruising down the mountain, and if you look closely and focus, you can see snow kicking up from their skis. What surprises me the most is the location of the house. When I was told it was at the base of the lodge, I didn’t think Katelyn meant it in the literal sense. I was wrong. If I had to give directions to this place, I’d say it’s in the parking lot. In fact, there are five designated parking spots just for the house itself.

No sooner do I have the car in park does the front door fly open. The squeals are ear piercing as Liam comes running toward me with his arms out. As soon as he reaches me, he’s wrapped me in his arms. The only thing missing is his legs hitched over my hips.

“What are you doing?” I squeeze out through panted breaths. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think he’s trying to suffocate me.

“I’ve missed you,” he says. It’s true we haven’t seen each other much. I’ve hinted that he should move back to Los Angeles, but he won’t unless it’s something Josie suggests. I respect that as his friend. As his bandmate, I feel like 4225 West has been pushed aside because of the member’s distance. I know we’ve been around for over twenty years, but many bands are still making music and selling out venues. That could still be us.

“I’ve missed you too,” I tell him. I’m being honest. I do miss being around him all the time. “Listen, we sort of have a surprise for everyone. Mind going in and making sure everyone is gathered in the living room or something?”

“What’s going on?”

I grip his shoulder and shake my head. “Inside. Even the infamous Liam Page has to wait for the news.”

Liam nods and heads back inside after saying hi to everyone. I tell Quinn that we’ll come back for the luggage after we’ve had a chance to introduce the newest member of our family to everyone, and Elle tells us how we’re going to walk into the house. I’m going in first, followed by Quinn and Nola, with the twins next, and finally Katelyn and Oliver. Truthfully, I want to be with Katelyn, but sometimes there is no use in arguing with Elle. She’s headstrong and very set in her ways.

As instructed, we fall in line and head into the house. As much as I want to look around and take everything in, it’ll have to wait until later. Right now, I have far more important things to do, like introduce my son to my best friends. Quinn and Nola follow me in and stand off to the side.

“What’s going?” Josie asks.

“We have something to tell everyone,” I say as the twins walk in.

“Oh my god, which one of you is pregnant?” Josie blurts out.

“Why? Why must one of us be pregnant?” Elle asks.

Tags: Heidi McLaughlin Beaumont Romance
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