106,113
07.03.2019

Which is the least of what Kate deserves. Because she did what everyone—including the members of my immediate family—thought impossible. She bagged me. The grand prize—the unattainable—the megamillions jackpot.

That should be celebrated. In a huge way.

Plus, a woman’s wedding day is supposed to be special—unforgettable. She only gets one. This is particularly true in Kate’s case, because shortly after James was born, we had that whole discussion about what we would do if one of us kicked the bucket early. You’ve heard of that “It’s a far, far better thing I do” guy in A Tale of Two Cities? The one who sacrificed himself so the woman he loved could go on to live with another man?

Fucking pansy. He deserved to hang. I’m not him.

Sure, I want Kate to be happy—but I want her happy with me. Or no one at all. So if I bite the big one before her? She’s just gonna have to muddle through on her own.

Single.

Celibate.

Because if she hooks up with another guy? Has my son calling some loser Daddy?

I’ll haunt her. Forever. Like, The Grudge style.

You think that’s awful, don’t you? Selfish, possessive, egotistical?

And this surprises you why?

Anyway—back to the wedding. Once I took over the reins, things got jacked up a whole lot of notches—no expense spared, no detail overlooked. Alexandra and I work great together. Her hyperactive planning and organizational skills coupled with my micromanaging and determination for the perfect day have made a stupendous combination. We also have the assistance of Lauren Laforet, the most sought-after wedding planner in the city, making sure all our big plans become a reality.

Prince William and Kate can kiss my ass. Amateurs. We’ve got this wedding-of-the-century thing in the bag.

On the dining-room table sits a model of the Four Seasons ballroom, with dozens of miniature tables and hundreds of name-labeled chairs perfectly arranged.

I’m impressed. “This is amazing.”

She pushes a strand of blond hair behind her ear, contemplating her handiwork. “I know.”

I notice one table doesn’t look right. I’m about to comment, but a commotion in the living room signals a new arrival. I move to the doorway to see who’s here.

“Woof! Woooof!”

It’s Brangelina. Otherwise known as Matthew and Delores. Curious about the nickname? You’ll see.

“Get off me, beast!”

Bear has a real hard-on for Dee-Dee. Literally. He tries to violate her every chance he gets. Maybe he’s just horny. Maybe he likes how her ass smells. Maybe he instinctually senses that she’s a freak who’d be into bestiality—I don’t know. Whatever the reason?

Funniest f**king thing ever.

“Matthew, help! He’s licking me! He’s drooling on me!”

“Down, Bear!”

Steven appears and drags the hot and bothered hound out of the room. Dee-Dee adjusts her outfit—a green silk halter jumpsuit, with a royal-blue poncholike cape and silver stiletto heels. Reminds me of a strawberry-blond, hazel-eyed peacock.

Matthew pounds me warmly on the arm. “Hey, man.”

“Hey.”

Then Mackenzie walks into the room. She’s taller than the last time you saw her—she’ll most likely get to five feet ten by the time she’s done growing. Her hair’s still long and blond with a slight curl; she’s wearing blue jeans, Converse sneakers, and a pink Yankees jersey. She’s a month shy of nine now—in this day and age, that’s practically a preteen.

Mackenzie is a masterpiece—and I take full credit.

She’s polite, brilliant, feminine—but not in a screechy afraid-of-spiders way. She watches sports—not to get the attention of some little prick, but because she knows what a two-point conversion and a technical foul are. She paints her nails and plays guitar. She’s confident but kind. Best of all, she takes shit from no one. Yeah—that’s all me.

Even though I have my own son now, she was the first. The only girl. A piece of my heart will always, always belong to her.

“Hey, sweetheart.”

She jumps up and throws herself into my arms. I spin her around.

“Hi, Uncle Drew! I didn’t know you were here.”

“Just got here. I like your shirt.”

Then, from down the hall, I hear Steven and Alexandra going at it. And not in a good way.

“I told you to put him in his crate!”

“I was going to but—”

“Going to isn’t doing! I should’ve just done it myself—like everything else around here.”

“Can you give the martyr complex a rest, please?”

They’ve been like this lately. Tense. Strained. We’ve all noticed. It happens—live with someone long enough, they’re bound to get on your f**king nerves. My sister’s nag-athons don’t exactly make it easy. But Steven’s always known what she’s like, and he worshipped her anyway.

Until now.

It’s his tone that bothers me the most. He sounds tired. Worn-out. Fed up.

Mackenzie gazes at the floor.

I grasp her chin and tilt her face up. “How’s it been around here?”

She sighs. “Dramatic.”

I glance down the hall. “Yeah, I’m sensing that.”

“That’s parents for you.” She shrugs. “Can’t live with ’em, but emancipation is a costly and complicated process.”

I chuckle. “You know my door’s always open, right? There’s a spare room with your name on it.”

She glances at Thomas. “But that would leave Thomas holding down the fort. He’s just a little kid.”

“And what are you?”

Blue eyes stare up at me—wise beyond their years. “I’m the big sister.”

I lean over and kiss her forehead. Then I whisper, “This weekend will be good for them, I promise. Like a mini vacation. And I’ll talk to them—knock their heads together.”

She gives me a soft smile, as if she appreciates my effort but doesn’t quite believe it’ll do any good. “Okay, Uncle Drew.”

Matthew walks over, oblivious of everything but Mackenzie. “There’s my girl!”

She looks back at him and the smile free-falls from her face. She raises her nose and folds her arms. Did you feel the temperature drop? That’d be from my niece’s cold shoulder.

“Mr. Fisher, how nice to see you again. You’re looking well.”

Matthew groans and drops to his knees. Even though he’s over six foot, with a boxer’s frame, he looks almost diminutive when faced with my niece’s displeasure. “Mackenzie, you’re killing me, baby.”

❮❯