At twenty-one, Jared Leigh had been prepared to give up the life of a touring musician to be a father after getting his girlfriend pregnant. When she told him that she’d gotten an abortion, Jared was devastated. Now at least he has the groupies to keep him company—until a blast from the past rocks his world.
Callie Talbert hasn’t seen her sister’s ex since high school. But after Callie bumps into Jared while she’s grocery shopping with four-year-old Logan, there’s a spark that wasn’t there before. Jared quickly realizes that her deaf “son” is the same age his own child would have been. When Jared demands to know more about Logan, Callie panics. There are things she just can’t tell him. Besides, Jared’s a bad-boy rocker, not a dependable father figure. He’ll move on to his next gig soon enough . . . right?
Trouble is, Jared refuses to be pushed away, and the more quality time he spends with Logan, the more he’s captivated by the woman Callie has become. When the truth is revealed, Jared only hopes that the three of them have what it takes to become a real family.
“We have a party today,” Logan said. “You come?”
The alarms went off again, drowned out by the need to be the ideal mom to a deaf boy with a cochlear implant.
“The correct sentence is ‘We are having a party today. Would you like to come?’” I said to Logan.
“Sounds good to me,” Jared replied. “What time and where?” He flashed his dimples, and my heart temporarily stuttered to a stop. Father and son were definitely going to kill me if given a chance.
“No, no. I was just telling Logan so he could repeat the correct sentence. It’s the only way he’ll learn.”
“But Jared will come, right?” Logan looked at Jared with those puppy-dog eyes no mere human could say no to, ignoring me and that he was supposed to repeat the sentence correctly.
I inwardly sighed and gave up the exercise for now. I had something more urgent to deal with. “I’m sure Jared has more important things to do than come to Mrs. Rogers’s birthday party.” To Jared, I said, “She’s our neighbor. She looks after Logan while I’m at work. It’s not a big deal. Just Mrs. Rogers, Logan, and me.” Nothing like those big celebrity parties he was used to. The parties he attended with his on-again, off-again supermodel girlfriend.
“She’s nice,” Logan said, referring to Mrs. Rogers. “You like her.”
Jared unfolded himself to his full height. He was a good few inches taller than me, and I wasn’t short by any stretch of the imagination. “Well, if you like her, then I know I will. Tell me the when and where and I’ll be there.”
“That won’t be necessary,” I bit out. “I’m sure you’re busy.” With groupies. With your band. With anything that doesn’t involve me and your son.
“As it is, I’m available. I just finished up with a band event for a local radio station.”
“It’s going to be boring, Jared. It’s not one of your rock-star parties. You won’t have fun at all. It’s just gonna be pizza and birthday cake.”
His mouth did that annoying trick of sliding up to one side. Damn sexy smile. “Rock-star parties are overrated. And I could go for some pizza and birthday cake.”
“And balloons,” Logan added. “Don’t forget balloons.” He didn’t bother to sign that, and I didn’t push it. As much as I didn’t want him to forget he was part of the deaf community, some days it was easier just pretending that plan didn’t exist.
“I won’t forget,” I said. “I promise.” To Jared I added, “I can guarantee you’ll be bored. I’m sure there’s a party you’d much rather hang out at. Maybe with a few celebrities.” I nodded with finality. Problem solved.
That damn sexy smile was still there. As were the damn sexy dimples. The guy wasn’t playing fair.
He checked something on his phone. “Nope, no rock-star parties with celebrities on today’s calendar. So I’m definitely free.”
My traitorous nephew whooped at that news.
“Seriously, why do you want to do this?” I asked, somehow not stomping my foot at how stubborn he was being. Father was definitely like son. Logan could be pretty stubborn too.
“Because I haven’t seen you in something like five years. I thought we could catch up. Maybe give me a break from all these crazy rock-star parties I’ve been attending.” He winked at me.
I had no idea what it was about that wink, but combined with the dimples, it was lethal. If I hadn’t been in full-out panic mode, my panties would have dampened with need.
Okay, maybe there was a little dampening going on, but he didn’t need to know that. A dampening you could blame on the long drought—aka my lack of a sex life.