SURRENDER YOUR HEART- unedited excerpt TEASER
Copyright © 2014-2017 by J.B. Morgan
All rights reserved.
“We’re here, Aunt Tushy!” Hailey, my youngest niece, squeals right before three bodies slam into me. I barely managed to open the front door, before their imminent attack.
“Tushy?” I scrunch my nose up at her.
“I’m trying out a new nickname for you.”
“Let your aunt come up for air,” their dad laughs from his perch on the porch railing. “Are you sure you want to watch three knuckle-heads?”
“Hey!” his oldest daughter, Nicole, frowns. “I’m practically a teenager,” she huffs.
Jason, my brother, pushes off the wooden rail, and stops next to her. “You might be, but you’ll always be my little princess.”
“Dad,” she blushes, pushing him away when he tries to hug her. “You’re embarrassing me.”
“Get used to it, honey. It’s what parents do!” I wink at her. “Now, who wants to come inside and help me finish making cupcakes?” I barely finish the sentence when the trio rushes by, nearly running me over.
“I still think you’re nuts for taking them on,” Jason states, “but I’m forever in your debt.”
“They’re not terrible,” I laugh. “Now, go on, before I send them with you, hyped up on sugar.”
“No need to tell me twice!” he chuckles, while sticking his head into the house. “Kids!” he shouts, “I’m out of here. Be good for your aunt, or we won’t have movie night if I receive a bad report.” He warns his children.
“BYE!” They yell back in unison, not bothering to send him on his way.
“I bet they’re elbows deep in frosting. I hope they save you some to frost with,” he hops off the bottom step, making double time for his truck. “Catch you later tonight!” he shouts over his shoulder, throwing a hand up in salute.
I wave in return, while shaking my head at him, laughing the whole time I walk back to where the kids are. Sure enough, they’re licking spoons full of batter and frosting.
“One rule,” I announce as I enter the kitchen. “Don’t stain your clothes, or your dad will ground me from creating mayhem with you next time.”
“You better talk to Aaron, he’s the messiest eater in the family,” Hailey teases her brother.
“So?” he sticks his tongue out, full of frosting, in retaliation. Unfazed by his gross behavior, she reciprocates his actions with her own tongue full of batter.
“What adventure are we up to, today?” Aaron questions, while licking his fingers clean.
“I thought we could welcome my new neighbor to our little hood, by baking him cupcakes.” His brows knit in distaste, obviously not impressed with the neighborly gesture.
“Don’t worry, we have all day to come up with something fun to do. Why don’t you wash your hands,” stopping for a moment to look at each one of them, “so we can finish this task, before writing a to-do list for our summer plans. How does that sound?”
“It won’t be all kiddy stuff, right?” Nicole asks.
Aaron’s face contorts with disgust before protesting. “The girls can’t make me do anything girly.”
“Let’s do what Aunt Tushy wants to do!” Hailey shouts, reminding us all she’s still in the room.
“I’m not sure Tushy is an appropriate name for public ears,” grimacing at the nickname, as I try to point her in a different direction in the name category. “Let’s stick to Aunt Tessa.”
“It’ll catch on. You’ll see,” she gives me the devil may care smile, licking chocolate off her fingers, and lips.
“Exactly what I’m afraid of,” I mutter to the other two. “Now, go clean up! There are messes to make, treats to finish, and lists to write.” They scatter off to different parts of the house to wash up, while I’m left wondering if I cut off more than I can chew.
I love my nieces, and nephew. They need a good woman figure in their life, after the passing of their mother a few years back. Now, living in the same town, I’m fortunate enough to help Jason out while he’s working, taking the kids every chance I can. There was a time when I wasn’t allowed to do anything with the children, thanks to the Jerk – who shall not be named.
Sounds of pounding feet interrupt my train of thought as the kids’ race back in, getting us back to baking, and the art of making messes. This morning started out on a good note, and I can only hope the rest of the summer stays on par.