Only Forever

Page 39

“I think I’ll skip Sunday dinner this week,” I state as I stare at the mess the puppy made of the table.
“Why was your puppy here today?” Aspen asks. “I don’t get to bring Waffles with me.”
Waffles is Aspen’s rescue dog she brought home from Dallas. All of my sisters are animal lovers, although Juniper is the only one who has made her love of animals into a profession.
I, for one, don’t understand the appeal of having an animal. They’re messy, need to be fed and walked, and shed fur everywhere.
“Girls! Can we not argue about who gets to bring what animal to Sunday dinner now? We need to clean this mess up.” Mom picks up the remaining meatloaf and marches to the kitchen.
“You’re not going to throw food away, are you?” Juniper asks as she follows her. “My dogs love meatloaf.”
“I’m glad I don’t live with her anymore,” Ashlyn mutters. “Her dogs may love meatloaf, but they also love to throw up after they eat human food. She should know better.”
Dad elbows me. “Go on. This is your chance to escape.”
I know better than to run out of a family meal, even if such meal has been ruined by a rambunctious puppy. “But Mom.”
“I’ll deal with your mother. I have my methods.”
He waggles his eyebrows in case I was confused about what methods he would use. I wasn’t confused. My parents have a very active sex life, which they never tried to hide from us when we were children. I know exactly how Dad settles Mom down.
“Thank you.” He winks and I make my way out of the house.
As I bike home, I analyze the interactions of my family today and in the past. I think I am beginning to understand why my sisters attempted to avoid Sunday dinners when they were having relationship problems with men. It’s not enjoyable to have the entire family involved in your business.
But my family is confused about the situation. Beckett and I aren’t involved. He’s my boss. I’m not worried about work becoming awkward. I’m worried about losing my job. I’ve worked entirely too hard at my career to get fired over a man.