Mother Faker: Chapter 9


Beckett’s expression is pure gold. Horrified confusion flits across his face as we settle at the tables we pushed together in the dining room. We don’t yet have a dining table that will fit eleven people, but we found two card tables in the basement and a whole slew of folding chairs. It’s not the most glamorous setup, but it works.

I considered putting Beckett at the end designated for the kids to really let him get a taste of what he’s in for, but after Finn shot him with a Nerf gun and the man dropped to the ground screaming like he was really under fire and then Collette kicked him in the shin and Phoebe swindled him out of a thousand dollars, I figure we’ll ease him into the rest of the news. I still need my job, after all.

Easing the kids into it is a different story. There’s no easing into telling them a man is moving in. I never imagined introducing my kids to a partner—real or fake.

I honestly thought that part of my life was over, and while in reality, that is probably true, that doesn’t change the fact that I’m now introducing them to Beckett.

I spent the day worrying they’d be upset that their mom was moving on. Then again, they did fine when Drake moved on… although he moved on with our nanny, so there were no introductions to be made.

What the hell is wrong with me? Am I seriously justifying my husband’s infidelity with the nanny because it was easier for the kids?

“Can I get you a drink?” I ask Beckett, realizing we only have wine and juice at the table.

That thought spirals into memories of what happened the last time we had wine, and suddenly, I’m picturing his bare ass. Then there’s a flash of him cupping my face as he leaned close after Elvis pronounced us husband and wife, right before murmuring, “Fuck, I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted to do this.”

With my heart suddenly pounding in my chest, I study the man across from me, searching for a hint of the guy who said those words. But he’s just staring at me like normal—with cold eyes and the hint of a frown.

“Sure, you have any whiskey?”

Delia’s chair screeches across the original hardwood floor as she pushes back and folds her arms across her chest. “What, do you think she’s going to serve you now that she agreed to fa⁠—”

Delia,” I admonish.

She turns her glare on me. “What happened to the freaking contract, Olivia?” She drags out my name to hammer home her point.

My face feels like it’s one thousand degrees. I’m going to kill her.

“Mom, this tofu tastes funny,” Kai interrupts.

Every head turns toward the kid who barely says more than two words at a time.

“That’s not tofu,” Shayla screeches. “That’s processed meat!” Jumping to her feet, she smacks the food out of her son’s hand before he can take another bite and I watch in horror as the chunk of processed meat flies across the table and smacks Beckett in the forehead.

“Food fight!” Liam yells, and within seconds, my fake husband—and my very real boss—is covered in our dinner. Across the table, Delia’s still pushed back, wearing a smug smile.

“I’m sorry about your clothes; I’ll have them dry cleaned,” I offer as I walk Beckett to the door.

We ordered pizza after the food fight, and I gave Beckett one of my white T-shirts since his was covered in food. Sadly, my shirt fit him—it was tight, but it fit. Which means that, for the last hour, I’ve had to stare at his stupid pecs through the thin layer of cotton. I’ve never both hated and loved a piece of fabric so much.

It was only made worse when Finn asked him to stay for a tea party. Beckett sat cross-legged on the floor next to my son, who was still wearing a skirt over his fatigues, with Adeline in his lap. Winnie served the tea, and Beckett toasted Huck and Bear and Little One. Then he clinked his teacup with Finn’s, holding his pinky out and everything.

Even the twins were intrigued by the entire ordeal—usually, they opt to watch Jeopardy! with Delia rather than join us for tea parties after dinner. Delia says it’s good for their brains. Honestly, those kids don’t need any more smarts; they freak me out with their scheming as it is.

Beckett may be onto something when he called them the Shining Twins.

Of course I love them; they’re my best friend’s daughters. But still, gotta call a spade a spade.

“Don’t worry about it,” Beckett replies, giving me what I could swear is an appreciative once-over. “Honestly, though, I didn’t expect such a crowd for dinner. I figured it would just be us. You know, a meet-the-family kind of night. So I could get to know the kids and make them comfortable.”

He’s watching me closely, as if he’s trying to figure me out. I don’t know what he thinks he’ll find. He’s already peered behind the curtain and lifted the mask. My life is an utter disaster. For years, I’ve played the put-together professional around this man, but today, the façade came tumbling down, and there is no unringing that bell.

“This was meeting the family,” I tell him, my heart rate picking up a little, because it’s just dawned on me that he doesn’t get it yet. I’m going to have to spell it out. “The girls, Shay, Delia, and Dylan… they all live here.”

His eyes bulge and he chokes on air. “All of them?”

Biting my bottom lip, I nod.

His Adam’s apple bobs, and he blinks at me a couple of times, like he’s still trying to comprehend my words. “And their kids?”

I can’t help but smile. “Yup.”

“Even the Shining Twins and Medusa?”

A laugh escapes me at that question. “Yes, even them.”

“Fuck,” he whispers, dragging a hand down his face. A second later, he goes ramrod straight, his eyes darting one direction, then the other. “I’m going to have to keep a lot more cash on me, huh?”

“Beckett, we don’t have to do this. You don’t have to move in. Just tell your family the truth.”

“No.” His green eyes dance, and a smile spreads across his face again.

I swear I’ve seen this man smile more today than in the previous decade. I’m not sure why he looks so happy; I just told him he’ll be subjected to complete insanity if we go through with this.

“You like cruel and unusual punishment?” I ask with a laugh.

Beckett leans in close, and I stop breathing. The scruff on his jaw scrapes deliciously against my cheek as his warm breath hits my neck. “No, but I do like calling you my wife a bit too much.”

Before the words even register, he presses his lips against the sensitive spot just below my ear. A soft sound—a blend of a whimper and a moan—escapes me.

“And that sound you make, Mrs. Langfield… Oh, I really like that sound.”

He pulls back a few inches and holds my gaze. My heart practically leaps into my throat at the spark of desire in his eyes. Without another word, he winks and heads toward the waiting car.

Delia appears out of nowhere and shouts, “Don’t forget you’re babysitting tomorrow, asshole!”

“That’s a thousand dollars, Medusa! I’ll make sure the twins add it to the tab!” he hollers with a wave. Then he’s gone, ducking into the car and heading down the street.

Dylan laughs from the porch. “Oh, this is going to be so much fun.”


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