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April Wilson - aqua watercolor logo - fr

Quality Time

Written by April Wilson

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved.

Main Characters

Shane McIntyre

Beth McIntyre

Daniel Cooper

Sam Harrison

Luke McIntyre

Ava McIntyre

* * *


I love my job. I love the company that Cooper and I formed. We started with almost nothing, and together we formed McIntyre Security, an organization that does truly valuable work. We protect people. We save lives. And that is admirable work. But no matter how much I love my job, I still can’t wait to come home at the end of each day—because home is where my heart lies.


Our kids.

They are my heart.

As soon as I walk through the front door, I hear the little pitter-patter of tiny bare feet on the wood floor as Luke comes to greet me.

He runs toward me with his arms outstretched and a huge grin on his face. “Daddy!”

His shock of white-blond hair is damp and sticking up in tuffs, and he’s wearing only a diaper.

“Hello there, buddy,” I say as I scoop him up. He wraps his arms around my neck and squeezes tightly. I turn to kiss his cheek. His skin is warm and damp, and he smells like baby soap. “Looks like somebody just had a bath.”

“Baf,” he says, confirming my suspicions.

A laughing Sam comes around the corner holding a pair of Luke’s pajamas. “There you are, you little wiggle worm.” Sam looks to me. “As soon as he heard the door, he took off running.”

I settle my son on my hip and hold out my hand. “Where’s Beth?”

Sam hands me Luke’s PJs. “She’s in the nursery with Ava, getting ready to put her down for a nap.”

I head to the kitchen at the back of the house where I find Cooper working on dinner.


While Sam joins him, I sit on one of the sofas in the adjoining family room with Luke on my lap and wrestle him into his pajamas. Luke gets distracted by the many dials on my Rolex—one of his favorite new toys.

As soon as he’s dressed, Luke slides down off my lap and heads for the kitchen. He goes straight to Cooper and tugs on his jeans. “Hoop,” he says. “Eat.”

Cooper, who’s in the process of cutting up potatoes, glances at Sam. “A little help, please.”

“Come here, you,” Sam says as he swings Luke up into his arms. Sam carries Luke to the pantry, pulls out a container of toddler crackers, and hands him one. “Here, snack on this.”

“I’m going to change,” I tell the guys. “Then go say hello to Beth.”

Sam salutes me. “Got it.”

Then Luke mimics him, saluting as well. “Dot it.”

After changing out of my suit and into a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, I head for Ava’s nursery. The door is partly open, so I stand there for a moment and drink in the sight of my two girls.

Beth is seated in the rocking chair, holding Ava to her chest, patting the baby’s back. It looks like Ava has already drifted off to sleep.

I step into the room and bend down to kiss Beth. “Hi, sweetheart.”

She smiles. “Hi. How was work?”

“Good. I interviewed a potential new hire today. Once Liam and Cooper assess her skills in hand-to-hand and weapons, I’ll make her an offer.”

“Another female bodyguard?”

I nod. “Yes. We need more women on the team.” I hold out my hands. “Here, I’ll put her in her crib.”

Beth hands me Ava, but I don’t lay her down right away. I want to hold her for a few minutes. She’s growing so quickly, it seems every day she’s a little bigger. While it’s fun to watch them grow, part of me wishes they’d stay little longer.

After Ava’s in her crib, I return to Beth, who’s watching me with a smile on her face. “What?” I ask her.

Her smile morphs into a grin. “You’re such a good dad.”

I hold out my hands, and she takes them. Then I pull her to her feet and into my arms. Closing my eyes, I take a moment to enjoy the feel of her body against mine. I bury my nose in her hair and inhale deeply. Then I lean down to press a kiss to the crook of her neck.

God, she smells good.

My body stirs. “Missed you today.”

She makes a soft sound as she slides her arms around my waist. “Mm. Me too.”

I pull back a few inches and gaze down into her face. “It looks like we have a few minutes to ourselves.”

She grins up at me. “What did you have in mind?”

“How about a little quality time before dinner?”

She chuckles as her soft cheeks flush pink. “Is that what we’re calling it now?”

“Yes.” I scoop her into my arms and carry her out of the nursery and down the hallway to our bedroom. This is our private sanctuary, where in addition to our bed, we have a comfortable sitting area with a fireplace and TV.

I sit on the sofa, holding Beth on my lap. “So, tell me, how was your day?”

She smiles as she brushes her thumb across my cheek. “It was good. Liam and Jasmine stopped by the bookstore during their lunch break. She told me she just earned her black belt in Karate. She also leveled-up in Krav Maga, and now she’s eligible to go for her instructor certification. You should have seen her, Shane. She’s so excited. And I can tell Liam’s thrilled to see her adjusting so well to her new life.”

The hem of Beth’s dress has ridden up, and I slip my hand between her knees and slowly skim my palm up her leg to her thigh. Her skin is soft and warm, a temptation I can’t resist.

Beth sighs as she gently bites down on her bottom lip, waiting with rapt anticipation, wondering what I’ll do next.

“Dinner will be ready soon,” I remind her. My voice is low and rough. Arousal does that to me. “Someone’s bound to call us to the table any minute.”

She nods, her blue-green eyes bright.

I continue my gentle exploration, and to my delight, I quickly discover she’s not wearing panties. “You little minx.” My voice has dropped another octave. I swear, I’m in that woman’s thrall.

I slide my thumb between her labia and find her deliciously silky wet. As I rub small, tight circles over her clit, she opens her legs to give me better access. Her eyelids drift down and her breath quickens, as does my pulse. “You’re so wet.”

She makes a sound in her throat, part moan, part whimper. As I continue my efforts, fast and firm tiny motions, her thighs start shaking.

“Look at me,” I say wanting her eyes on me. “I want to watch you come.”

Her lids flutter open, and she locks her gaze on mine. As her arousal climbs, her pupils dilate and her breathing deepens.

Her voice is little more than a shaky breath when she utters my name. “Shane.” So much emotion and meaning is packed into that one syllable. So much longing and desire.

“I know, baby. Just relax and let it happen. Let me make you feel good.” I watch her closely, losing myself in her beautiful eyes.

When she starts to rock against my thumb, I know she’s close. I press my mouth to hers, nudging her lips open, so I can drink in her soft cries of pleasure when her orgasm hits her. Those cries are mine.

Her muscles tighten, limbs shaking, and she gasps against my lips as she comes apart under my touch. I feel her body quivering as I slowly stroke her sensitive clitoris as she comes down from the high.

Beth presses her face into the crook of my neck as she tries to catch her breath. Just as she reaches for the fastener on my jeans, I hear Cooper’s deep voice bellow from the kitchen.

“Dinner’s ready!”

I catch Beth’s hand and give it a squeeze before I bring it to my mouth to kiss. “Dinner’s ready.”

“But you—”

“Tonight, sweetheart. I’ll just have to wait.”

After a delicious meal of roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli, Beth and I clear the table and do the dishes while Sam and Cooper entertain Luke in the family room.

I don’t know how I got so lucky.

After Beth and I finish cleaning up the kitchen, we join the others in the family room. Sam’s on the floor, on all floors, playing pony—Luke’s favorite game. Luke’s seated on his back, clutching the back of Sam’s T-shirt and squealing with joy.

I reach for Beth’s hand, linking our fingers together, and we join Cooper on the sofa. The three of us watch Sam and Luke goofing around on the floor. They end up in a tickling match, and watching Luke attempting to tickle someone is truly amusing.

Yeah, I’m not sure how I got so lucky. I guess I owe my good fortune to Tyler. If he hadn’t hired my company to protect his sister, I never would have met the love of my life, and I wouldn’t be married to the woman I adore and the father of two precious children.

I pull Beth close and press my lips to the side of her head. “Have I told you lately how much I love you?”

She smiles. “A few times.”

Without warning, Luke barrels into me, holding out his arms. “Up, Daddy!”

I sit him on my lap and ruffle his hair. He looks so much like his mother. I give him a squeeze and kiss the top of his head. “I love you, too, buddy.”

The baby monitor squawks, signaling that Ava is waking up from her nap.

“That didn’t last long,” I say.

Sam jumps to his feet. “I’ll get her.”

I glance over Beth’s head at my best friend seated beside her. “You know you two need to have a kid, right?”

Cooper just smiles.

* * *

I hope you enjoyed this quick visit with Shane and Beth. Who would you like to read about in next month’s bonus newsletter content? Drop me an e-mail and let me know.

~ Love, April

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