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Mother Faker: Chapter 38


Finn, what do you have?”

My son peers up at me with a sly grin. “Nothing, Mama.”

“Tummy hurts,” Addie whines. She’s sitting on the ground with fistfuls of grass in her hands.

“Please tell me she didn’t eat that.” Collette hovers over Addie, grimacing.

“Statistically speaking, it’s likely.” Phoebe shrugs. “She should be fine, though. Civilization used to subsist on a vegetarian diet, which I’m sure consisted of grass.”

Shayla scoops Addie into her arms. “Auntie Shay is so proud of you.”

“Can we get this over with? I can’t wear this jersey for much longer,” Liam grumbles, scratching at his neck like the offending piece of fabric is physically irritating him.

Dylan pops him on the back of the head.

“Ma, please.”

“Don’t be an idiot,” she retorts. Then she turns to me and breaks into a sunshine smile. “This is so much fun! I’ve never been on a baseball field before. Where are the men?”

Liam rounds his shoulders, sinking further into himself. “Please stop.”

I laugh. This was probably a horrible idea.

Winnie’s got her attention fixed on the doors where Sara said she and Beckett should be entering from. Outside of me, she’s taking his absence the hardest. No one has ever shown up for her quite like Beckett. I told myself it was good for her to experience disappointment. To understand that people don’t always show up. And maybe that’s true to an extent, but for now, I just want her to be eight. I want her to trust men. I want her to know that not everyone will let her down, that sometimes people love us enough to make an effort. Step one of proving that to her is to put my heart on the line and show up for Beckett. Show him that he matters. To all of us.

“He’s coming, Win,” I whisper, squeezing her hand.

“If he doesn’t, I’ll cut his balls off,” Delia mutters under her breath.

Dylan and I shoot her matching frowns. Shay hides her laughter in Addie’s soft hair.

The doors to the field fly open, and Beckett runs out wearing his typical game day attire—a Langfield Boston Revs’ jersey, the classic blue baseball cap, and dark jeans. God, he looks good, and slightly out of breath.

Coming to a stop in front of me, he slaps a hand to his chest.

“Are you okay?”

He shakes his head and bends at the waist, planting his hands on his knees. After a few heaving breaths, he straightens. “I am now.”

Suddenly nervous, I nibble on my bottom lip and lower my focus to the ground. We had a whole plan, but my brain has short-circuited with his arrival.

“You going to come give me a hug, or do I have to beg?” Beckett’s words catch me off guard, and I peer back up at him. The smile splitting his face is so big, so bright that I can’t help but to launch myself at him. Wanting to feel that smile against my cheek. Needing to soak in its warmth. He squeezes me close and breathes me in, his breath tickling my neck. “Duck, I missed you.”

Pulling back just a little, I peer up at him. “You did?”

He brushes my hair out of my face and presses his palm to my cheek. “Tell me now if you’re here for the reason I think you are. Because I really need to kiss you, but I won’t do it in front of the kids if you’re not ready.”

“Kiss me, Beckett. Show them what love looks like. You’ve been doing it all along, anyway.”

He licks his lips, and then he presses them against mine. It’s not chaste, but it’s not too graphic. I melt into him, like I’m finally at home after a week without the person who completes our family.

When he pulls away, he sighs against my mouth. “Did you say love?”

I shake from my stupor. “Shit, I had a whole plan.”

Collette hollers a “hey!” but Delia covers her mouth. “Not right now.”

Beckett drops his forehead against mine. Without letting me go, he slips his phone from his pocket and holds it out. “Take my money. She’s worth it.”

I roll my eyes, but my cheeks hurt from smiling already.

“So, tell me about this plan?” he murmurs.

“First they were all going to tell you they love you.”

Beckett pulls back, his brows raised. “They were?”

From my side, Finn yells, “You’re the bestest, Bossman. Course we loves you.”

Beckett spins me so my back is to his front and we’re both facing our family. “I love you too, Huckleberry Finn.”

“Wait, we were gonnas tell you why we loves you. Right, Winnie?”

Winnie tucks her chin to her chest, but she shoots Beckett a shy smile. He leans around me just a little and holds out his fist to her. When I spot the bracelets they made together still on his wrist, my heart squeezes.

Winnie beams. “No one has ever been so ridiculous for me.”

Beckett releases me so he can crouch down to her level. “People who matter and who care about you will always be ridiculous for you. Remember that, Bear. Now come here and give me a hug.”

My daughter flings herself at him, and he falls onto his ass in the orange clay.

Finn follows suit, jumping on them. I grab him quickly before they all ruin their jerseys.

Beckett lifts his chin so he can see the twins and Delia over Winnie’s head. “The three of you even wore the jerseys?”

Delia mutters, “I guess, for a man, you aren’t the worst. I mean, you are still an idiot, but you’re our idiot.”

He looks up at her, his mouth forming an O. For a second, they just look at each other, and I think an understanding passes between them. My best friend actually approves of my grumpy boss of a husband. Who woulda thought we’d see the day?

“You covered for us when we cut Finn’s hair. That was very magnanimous of you,” Collette says.

Phoebe nods. “I’m Phoebe, by the way.”

Beckett holds out his free arm, and the twins launch themselves at him, joining my kids on his lap.

Liam sighs. “For a Revs fan, you aren’t half bad.”

Beckett throws his head back and belly laughs. “I’ll take it. Also, we’re getting a pic of us in matching jerseys.”

Liam scowls. “Don’t push it.”

Shay smiles. “It’s nice having someone who actually drinks my smoothies.”

Beckett watches Kai, who’s shuffling closer, and holds out his fist. “Iceman, thanks for coming to the game.”

Kai grins. “Are your brothers here?”

Beckett’s loud laugh makes my cheeks hurt. He pulls himself up off the ground and points to the glass above home plate, where the owner’s suite is located. “Why don’t you guys head up there and let me talk to Livy for a minute?”

Dylan ushers my kids toward the door that’ll take them up to where Beckett’s brothers are, but when Winnie hits the threshold, she spins and rushes back. Throwing her arms around Beckett, she rests her chin on his abdomen so she’s looking up at him and whispers what I swear is “Love you, Bossman.”

I’m pretty sure he tells her he loves her too and that she can call him Beckett if she wants.

She shakes her head. “Nah, I’m your Bear, and you’re the Bossman.” After one more squeeze, she runs to catch up with everyone else.

When Beckett looks at me, his eyes shine with unshed tears. He ducks his head and swipes at them quickly. “God, they’re special. Now tell me, Livy, what was all this about?”

I take a deep breath and square my shoulders. “I know we’re a lot, and asking you to stay in the brownstone is slightly insane when you could easily afford to buy a new house for the five of us. But I made a pact with the girls. We’re a package deal.” Licking my lips, I take a moment to gather my courage to continue. My heart pounds in my chest, and my palms are sweaty, but I’m determined to lay it all out here and now.

Beckett doesn’t interrupt me. He watches me closely, not giving away what he’s thinking.

“You’re excellent with the kids—all of them. I hope you see that. And I know this isn’t what you ever pictured—I mean, really, who could ever dream up this insanity—but if anyone can figure it out, it’s you. You don’t have to be your father. And this family comes with four moms—so there’s a lot of help. I’m rambling, I know. What I’m trying to say is, please, baby, don’t move out.”

Beckett smiles and swipes his thumb across my cheek. “I know, Livy. And I loved everything about the declaration the kids made, but why did you think I was moving out?”

“The penthouse was ready.” I lower my gaze and fiddle with a button on his jersey.

With two fingers under my chin, he tips my face up so I’m forced to look at him. “Yeah?”

“And you made the contractors work overtime.”

Beckett sighs, his breath tickling the hair at my temples. “Because the house is falling down, and you refuse to leave it.”

I nod. “Right, and you wanted it safe before you left.”

“You think there is a world where I’d leave my wife and kids behind?” He clamps his hands around my upper arms gently. “Have you not been paying attention? You’re mine, Livy. Your kids…” He licks his lips and looks up to the owner’s suite, where the kids are likely already driving the staff crazy.

“You don’t like kids,” I remind him.

“I like your kids, Livy. As I was saying, your kids are my kids. I love our kids.”

My brain malfunctions, and I blurt out, “Thought you didn’t want kids?”

He chuckles. “I don’t. Never did. But I want our kids. Our kids are ducking awesome. And all my fears, the reason I didn’t want kids… none of it matters because when it comes to choosing between work or you and the kids, there’s no contest. I’ll always choose you.”

Butterflies take flight inside me. “You’re really ready for this? If you haven’t noticed, we’re a lot.”

He brings a hand to my cheek again. “You know what I did while I was on the road the last few nights?”

I shrug.

“Watched videos of the kids I’ve recorded over the last few months. Some are nothing but screaming and chaos. I didn’t even mute my phone. I scrolled Facebook to see if any of you had posted updates about what was going on at home. Stared at the wall and twiddled my thumbs, trying to figure out what the hell I’d do if you didn’t forgive me.”

“Forgive you? What could you possibly need forgiveness for?”

Beckett pales. “I punched their father. He may have deserved it, but I made your lives all exponentially harder when I reacted like I did.”

My heart aches for this man who did the right thing by standing up for me but still beats himself up over it. “You were defending my honor.”

Beckett’s jaw tightens. “He won’t bother you again.”

“You can’t promise that. Even if you could, it’s not your job. Drake is responsible for his actions.”

“Actually, pending your approval, I can promise that.”

My brows pull together. “Huh?”

“Gavin had our lawyer contact Drake. It’s why I’ve stayed away for the past week. I wasn’t sure if he’d agree and I didn’t want to make things worse for you.” Beckett brushes a hair out of my eyes, and he lets out a tired sigh. “But fuck, I missed you. I can’t do it again. So if you agree, when he signs the settlement documents, he won’t be a problem anymore.”

“Settlement documents? What for?”

“Livy, I assaulted him. Even if he deserved it, he has leverage now. But we can use this to our advantage. If he takes the money, Bouvier Media will continue to use his firm, which is good, because he needs to pay child support. He will have to agree not to bother you again and guarantee that he will not slander your name or mine. I also added one additional stipulation.”

I bite my lip, my imagination running wild as to what this man came up with. Drake can’t look at me when he picks up the kids? He disappears from our lives forever?

“He needs to show up for all the kids’ extracurriculars.”

My heart lodges in my throat. “What?”

“He’s either in their lives or he’s out. I won’t have Winnie feeling like she doesn’t matter.”

“Beckett…” I murmur. “What if the kids find out?”

“Then they’ll know their mom and stepdad did everything they could to ensure they have a relationship with their dad. They’ll know we set aside our feelings for him and chose them. That’s all I ever want them to see. Us putting them first, choosing them. Hopefully Drake won’t screw this up. Hopefully he’ll take this second chance and run with it. But if he doesn’t, they’ll always know love, Livy. And so will you.”

I swallow heavily, my heart beating out of my chest. “Because you love me,” I whisper into the breeze.

Beckett cups my cheek. “Very much. I didn’t know what love was until I met you. To me, the definition of love is you. Not this baseball field. Not our jobs. You, me, and those kids, Livy. Our family. That’s all that matters. I love you, Olivia Langfield. I love you so ducking much that sometimes I can’t think straight.”

“I love you too. God, do I love you. But are we really doing this?” I laugh as he licks his lips and edges closer to me.

“Yeah, we’re really doing this. Stay married to me? Tell the press the truth with me? That none of this was fake. That you and me, our marriage, we’re the real deal.”

In answer, I press my lips to his, pulling a moan from him. When he loops his arms around my waist and pulls me closer, it’s like coming home. This crazy warm feeling eases through my body, and I sink into him, finally accepting what he’s been telling me all along.

I drive him crazy. I leave him breathless. I’m who he’s always wanted.

And he’s the man I’ll want for the rest of my life.

A throat clears a couple feet away and we break apart, finding Hannah watching us, a flush creeping up her cheeks.

“Uh, Mr. and Mrs. Langfield, the team needs to take the field, if you’re uh… done using it.”

I hide my face in Beckett’s chest and laugh as he presses a kiss to my head.

“It’s all yours.”

Then we stroll, hand in hand, up to the owner’s suite, to spend the day watching baseball with our family.

“Finn, don’t touch that!” I chide as we walk through the family room in the back of the stadium. We won six to one. Now that the guys are all busy with the press, Beckett is giving the kids the tour he promised them while Dylan’s head swivels in all directions, not being shy in the least about checking out the players’ assets.

He waves over a few players who are finished with post-game interviews and introduces us. “These are the moms.”

“The moms?” Eddie Martinez, my favorite player, asks.

“Yeah, I live with them in the mom-com.”

“Is that a play on rom-com?” Coach asks.

Beckett frowns, incredulous. “What? No. A mom commune. You know, like Fuller House? Moms living together to help raise each other’s kids, because who needs a man?

I smile proudly at my insane husband, fighting back a giggle.

“Dude, he’s pranking us, right?” Damiano asks Eddie.

Wrinkling my nose, I shake my head. “No, boys. He’s serious.”

“Let me find Miller; he’s chatting with the press, but I want to introduce you,” Beckett says, scanning the room for the younger brother of one of his best friends. The catcher has settled in with the team almost seamlessly if his batting average is anything to go by. The man scored another home run today.

Finn pulls on my shirt. “Mama, Slimy needs to go to the bathroom.”

I sigh. “Who’s slimy?” A new invisible friend is my guess.

Finn hikes up his tutu and digs around in the pocket of his camo pants. With a grin, he pulls out a snake and holds it high above his head. Shayla screams and scrambles away, and as she turns with Addie in her arms, green goo shoots from my little girl’s mouth and covers Damiano.

“Is that kid sick?” Damiano hollers.

The man is a bit of a hypochondriac, among other things, though anyone in their right mind probably wouldn’t be thrilled after being barfed on.

“Sorry!” I snatch the snake from Finn’s hand before I realize that, holy shit, I’m holding a snake. When it clicks, instinct takes over, and I fling it across the room.

Damiano screams like a girl and bounces on one foot, then the other. In a heartbeat, the entire room spirals into mayhem. Beckett tugs Addie out of Shay’s arms and pulls her to his chest. With one hand, he points to Finn, signaling me to get him.

“You sure you’re up for this?” I mumble as we rush out the door.

Beckett just smiles and throws his head back in laughter. “It’s going to be a ducking disaster.”


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