CHAPTER TWO

Bailey

“Are you coming to Rox’s with me?” I asked my younger brother, Collin.

“No. I have a meeting at the club. That’s how you need to say it to our sisters when you see them.”
I just shook my head and left his room. I went back to my own to put on my shoes before going downstairs and out the front door. I bypassed the waiting carriage which was for Collin anyway. Roxie’s townhouse was not far from ours, so I decided to walk. I rang the bell once I was at the door and waited. Roxie’s butler, Mr. Alden, opened the door and let me in. Aviana ran into the foyer and right to me. I scooped her up and kissed her cheek.
“I made a friend today,” she said.
“Oh, you did?”
My sisters walked into the foyer with their husbands and my nephews and other nieces. I greeted them all and kissed my sisters, Roxie and Harper, on the cheek. I came from a large family. I was one of eleven children and I was the second oldest. My youngest sisters, Natalie and Chelsea stared telling me about their shopping trip. The children dominated the conversation as we walked to the dining room.

“She was pretty,” Aviana said to me as we sat at the table.

She sat beside me and I smiled at her. Aviana was a beautiful little girl. She had hazel eyes like her father and dark, curly hair. Her skin was tanned and golden brown and she had chubby cheeks. She was only four years. She was also Roxie’s adoptive daughter. Roxie used to work as Cooper’s nanny before they fell in love and he already had one child. Aviana looked at Roxie as her mother and they have a very close bond.

“Are you trying to tell me something, Avi?”

“Why aren’t you married?”

“I guess she is trying to tell you something, Baz,” Harper said with a laugh.

“You and Cole are the only ones still unmarried,” Roxie said.

“Leave him alone,” Cooper said. “He doesn’t need to get married. Ever.”
“Are you trying to tell me something, Coop? Because we can fix that, you know?”

He shook his head at my sister.

“Uncle Baz,” Aviana said.

“I haven’t found the right woman yet, sweet pea. One day I will.”
“And she’ll be my auntie?”
“Yes.”
“And she’ll have cousins?”

I chuckled. “We’ll give you more cousins.”
“What about Uncle Cole?”
“You’ll have to ask him, sweet pea.”

Charlie, Harper’s son, and Emmett, Roxie’s only son, were talking quietly to one another. I wasn’t sure what they were talking about. Charlie was three years old, and Emmett was only two years old. His twin sister, Isla, was quietly watching everyone. My younger sisters, Natalie and Chelsea were whispering about something as they ate. They lived with Damon and Harper. Natalie was seven and Chelsea was nine. The two of them were very close. They’ve always been close with Harper so when she moved here, she brought them to live with her and Damon. Damon treats them like his daughters and he and Harper seemed content to just have one child.

It seemed like it was turning out that we were going to have a lot of children between us. I still have siblings that were children besides Natalie and Chelsea. My younger brother, Mathias just turned sixteen a few weeks ago and our twin brothers, Logan and Luca were thirteen. They live in Voxhagen with our mother but usually spend part of their summer here in Dubbury. I also have an older sister who’s thirty-one and married with two sons and I have one other younger brother who is only three years younger than my twenty-eight years. He was also married with one daughter. Clarence and Alberta lived in Baccavale.

“Are you okay, Issa?”

She nodded and smiled at me, revealing her cute dimples. She had Cooper’s hazel eyes like her older sister, Aviana. Emmett had gotten Roxie’s sea green eyes. I looked at Charlie who had a mixture of his father’s blue eyes and Harper’s sea green eyes. I smiled at my family. This was the life. I liked going to the club just like Collin but sometimes I liked just being around my family. My nieces and nephews could turn my day around if I was having a crappy one.

Dinner was served and Harper asked me what I’d done today. Conversation flowed easily amongst us and the children. Dinner was delicious like it always was. Roxie had an amazing cook. Aviana told me some more about her shopping trip with Harper and Roxie this morning where she met the pretty lady. I listened intently, giving her my full attention.