Forty Two

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"Alura Moscow do you have a special friend?" My mom demanded. Not again, I'm an adult for Christ's sake.

She had pulled me aside a minute after witnessing Bane and I enter the dining area hand in hand. We were now standing in the kitchen, her waiting for me to spill the tea.

I groaned, "You and papa really have to let go of that term."

She brightened up, momentarily forgetting about the situation at hand, "Oh how is he? Are him and Franny headed to Gramps'?"

"Yeah, I spoke to them this morning."

She nodded, "Good good, your papa gave you a hard time I bet— had been calling me to check if I'd received a call or not."

I grinned, rolling my eyes, "You've both rogered me enough about that—let's go to the kitchen, I didn't get to greet everyone."

She shook her head, smirking, "Nice try peach, is he a special friend?"

I sighed, "He's my boyfriend." I mumbled, feeling like a teenager instead of a young adult.

Mama grinned, clapping her hands, "Oh that's so exciting! Let me go kiss the boy!"

Before I could stop her she was on her way to the dining area, making a beeline for Bane. She approached him in a couple long strides, grabbing hold of his face and placing two loud kisses on his cheeks.

Bane stumbled a little before balancing himself, and I slowed down my walk towards them, understanding that the damage was done.

Bane placed a hesitant kiss against mama's cheek, and the rest of us observing the interaction broke into fits of laughter.

She just smiled warmly at him, whispering something to him, to which he blushed, before nodding.

"So now that we all witnessed that episode of the Hunter and it's Prey, let's eat." Adonis exclaimed.

Murmurs of agreement passed through the area, and soon everyone was taking their places at the dining table.

Mama sat at the head of the table, with James at the opposite end. The four chairs along the right side were taken up by myself, Bane, Adonis, and my 4 year old step sister, Ainsley, who adored Adonis. On the opposing side sat Jason, Jess, and Jordan, the three triplets, 9 years old— I don't know how my mum managed that— and next to them was James' dad.

We were a big group, but it was all the more entertaining.

I was going to introduce Bane before mama claimed responsibility and announced it herself. I sat mildly embarrassed next to Bane who was enjoying my discomfort, an arm slung behind my chair, hand rubbing my shoulder every now and then.

Mama's voice pulled me out of my thoughts— "Lu baby, you and Donny go make dessert— Bane honey you go on with them."

We all got up hurriedly, ready to escape the noisy chatter and my step-grandfathers loud voice— poor Mr Clark, he was deaf in one ear, we couldn't really blame him.

Adonis shoved Bane and I into the kitchen before shutting the door, leaning against it with a sigh.

"They're so fucking loud I can't hear myself think." He complained.

I grinned, "Aren't you used to it though? You grew up with these guys."

He rolled his eyes, "I'm used to it sure, doesn't mean I enjoy it— and you don't get to talk— even though Fran has seven siblings, they're all past the age of 17."

It was true that Fran had a huge family. Our gatherings used to be quite busy— but I was always the youngest, and Frans youngest brothers were a year or two older than me, so we stuck in a group.

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