Darling, All at Once (The Fairfields Book 1) by Piper Lennox

Darling, All at Once (The Fairfields Book 1) by Piper Lennox

Author:Piper Lennox [Lennox, Piper]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Piper Lennox
Published: 2018-08-26T16:00:00+00:00

Juliet’s father calls me “son.”

It’s small, but one of those things that instantly relaxes me. Ditto on the fact he insists I call him Paul. It reminds me of Alvin, who basically scolded me any time I addressed him with a title.

A lot of things about Paul remind me of Al, in fact: he makes his own fruit wine, loves Seger, and tilts his head whenever Juliet speaks. You can tell he’s truly listening to her. Can’t be said for all parents, no matter how old their kids get. He thanks me for my suck-up gift, a bird feeder, and sets it up on the patio right away.

“You know what lingonberries are, Cohen?” Paul asks after dinner, and produces a bottle of bright red liquid from a wine rack on the counter. They’re all over the house, filled with bottles and dust.

“Uh...no, sir, can’t say I do.”

“Here. Juliet, pass me two of those glasses, would you?”

Juliet pivots from the island, where she’s slicing brownies for dessert, and daintily slides two wineglasses from an overhead rack. I love watching her here, the way she moves so graceful and comfortable compared to her rushing, business-like gait in her loft, or the cringing tiptoe she does in my apartment. You can always tell where people feel most at home.

While Paul pours some of the wine into each glass, Juliet clucks her tongue. “He won’t like it, Dad, I’m telling you. Cohen likes dry wine.”

“Hush. Let the man decide for himself.” Paul offers his to Juliet so she can dip her pinky in and taste it. Since she winces, I brace myself. This stuff looks sweeter than Kool-Aid.

When I take my glass, though, swirling it the way Paul does, I’m pleasantly surprised. The first sip is sweet, but has a mellow tartness behind it that reminds me of cranberries.

“It’s hell finding lingonberries in these parts,” Paul says, taking the seat across from me at the table, “and my online group told me to get some jam or something, make a fake batch?” He shakes his head. “I told them I don’t half-ass anything.”

“Even if,” Juliet pipes up, licking some chocolate from her finger, “it means doing so illegally.”

“Exactly.” Paul laughs. Juliet rolls her eyes. “Buddy of mine from the forums sent me some through the mail. Weren’t the freshest, obviously, but they got the job done, don’t you think?”

“Far as I can tell.” I take another sip and tap my glass against his when he holds it up. We toast to the health of the baby.

“You kids decided on a name yet?”

Juliet plates the brownies with a visible cringe. “Not yet,” I answer, before she even has to join the conversation. “We’re just going to wait until we know what it is. Save ourselves some trouble.”

“Not that you need my opinion, but you really can’t go wrong with Robert.”

“I didn’t even know Great-Grandpa, Dad.” Juliet passes him his brownie, then slides a plate to me. “Why would I name a kid after him?”

“What’s wrong with Robert?”

“Nothing, but—”

“Celia’s a good name, too.


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