Colters' Lady(7)

By: Maya Banks


She’d been pleased beyond mention when he’d entered the police academy and taken a job as a police officer in Denver. None of her children had followed her into public service, and she laughingly told everyone that Seth was the child of her heart.

“No, she really means it this time,” Adam said with a sigh. “Dan’s health isn’t good, Seth. They think it’s cancer. They’re thinking of moving so he can be closer to good hospitals.”

“Oh damn,” Seth murmured. “That’s too bad.”

“She wants you to consider moving to Clyde so you can be appointed to serve out her term. There’s still two years left. You’d be a shoe-in come election time.”

“Oh Christ, Dad. You know I don’t want her job.”

16



“Maybe you should think about it. You’d be close to home and family. It’s a good job. Everyone knows you here. You’re a damn good cop.”

Seth held back the groan. Once an idea was planted in his mom and dads’ heads, it was impossible to sway them. They’d nag and cajole until he begged for mercy.

“It’s a good time for a change. Fresh start after the shooting. Sure, things would be calmer here, but it would be your town.”

“I’ll think about it, Dad, okay?”

Adam gave a disbelieving grunt.

A noise in the kitchen had Seth turning around to see Lily sitting at the small breakfast bar. He hadn’t even heard her come in. She looked tentative, as if she worried she was intruding.

He smiled at her then held up a finger to signal he’d only be a minute more.

“Look Dad, I need to go. I’ll call you tomorrow to check up on things. Tell Mom I’ll get up to see her before I go back to work.”

“If I tell her that, you’re going to come if I have to go down to Denver and haul you back myself,”

Adam warned.

His father wasn’t kidding and Seth knew it well. “I know. I’ll come.”

“Okay, son. I’ll talk to you later. I love you.”

“Love you too, Dad. Give Mom a kiss for me and tell the other dads I’ll see them soon.”

Adam chuckled and hung up.

Seth put the phone back into his pocket and turned his attention to Lily.

Her nose wrinkled in confusion. “You have more than one dad?”

“Uh, yeah. Three.”

“Stepdads? It must be nice to have a close relationship with them.”

There was a wistful note in her voice that told Seth she thought having a close familial relationship in any context was nice.

“Not exactly. I have an unusual family.”

She cocked her head to the side for a moment as if she’d say more, but then she blushed as if thinking she was intruding.

He chuckled. “You can ask. I love my family dearly. Wouldn’t change a single thing about them, but my upbringing was definitely not typical.”

“How so?”

“I have three fathers and one mother. My mother is in a relationship with all three men.”

Lily’s mouth rounded in shock. She seemed to want to say something but fell silent. Then she glanced up at him again. “How is that possible?”


17



Seth shrugged. “They all three love her more than life and she loves them. She married the oldest of three brothers but she’s committed to all of them. They had four children. I’m the oldest. I have two younger brothers and my sister is the baby.”

“Wow. I mean…wow. And you don’t know who your biological father is?”

He smiled. “Nope. Doesn’t matter to them. Doesn’t matter to me. Although lots of teasing goes on now that we’re adults. Mom swears I’m Ethan’s child. What she means, though, is that I’m laid back and not a freak like my younger two brothers. Michael is more Adam’s personality though maybe not as intense. And we all swear that Dillon was hatched because no one will claim responsibility for him.”

Lily laughed. “That’s so neat. You must have grown up with so much love.”

Again the wistful note crept into her voice. He ached at the loneliness he heard in her words.

“I did. One thing was for certain, though. Me and my siblings got away with nothing growing up. It was impossible with four parents in the picture.”

She laughed again, and he felt the sound all the way to his soul.

“You sound very proud of them.”

“I am. Wouldn’t trade them for anything.”

“What do your brothers and your sister do?”

“Tell you what. Why don’t I fix us a cup of hot chocolate? Dinner won’t be ready for another hour.

We can go into the living room, get comfortable, and I’ll tell you whatever you want to know.”

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