Home > A Greene Family Vacation (The Greene Family #6.5)

A Greene Family Vacation (The Greene Family #6.5)
Author: Piper Rayne

 


Cockamamie Unicorn Ramblings

 

About Piper & Rayne

 

Also by Piper Rayne

 

 

“Sorry, we can’t swing it. You’ll have to enjoy paradise without us,” I tell my siblings at my dad and Marla’s house before our Sunday dinner, while we’re all sitting around the living room. “We just had Leighton and there’s no way we’re gonna leave her.”

Our family is leaving for Hawaii next month for a much-needed family vacation. When everyone booked the trip, we opted out since Presley was pregnant, but Marla and Hank were supposed to go. After his diagnosis, they offered their tickets to Presley and me. We discussed it but decided to pass. We just had our daughter a couple weeks ago, and we’re still settling into parenthood.

“Hank needs to stay put for his treatments.” Marla pats my dad’s knee.

He gives her the look he’s giving everyone these days. Like he’s thinking, Stop talking about me, I’m fine. I do not have prostate cancer. I guess it’s good he’s positive though. “I told you I’d delay the treatments.”

“NO!” half the room shouts.

Dad shakes his head, continuing to put together a bouncy seat for Leighton.

“But you and Presley go. Leighton will have some quality grandparent time.” Marla reaches into the carrier and tickles her.

“I appreciate that, Marla, but I’m nursing and—”

Nikki cuts off Presley. “I have a pump you can borrow. I’m sure you can get enough to leave for Mom. It’s a short trip. Only five days.”

Presley and I have already talked about this. We both agreed not to go, but Presley wants me to do most of the talking because she loves my family and hates to be the reason any of them are disappointed. I say screw them, they should understand.

“We’re taking the twins,” Fisher says.

A few of my siblings pretend that’s welcome news, but who really wants to travel with two seven-month-olds? Not me.

“More power to you and Allie, but Leighton is a newborn.”

Unfortunately, Marla is probably taking it as an insult that we won’t leave Leighton in her care, and my dad is so hell-bent on acting as though he doesn’t have cancer he’s just as miffed. But they have enough on their plate. After a long nine months of pregnancy, I’d love to spend time with my wife on a Hawaiian beach. What moron wouldn’t? But even if Presley wanted to go, I would have been apprehensive. I want to spend time with the baby.

“Plus, this way, I’m here for Truth or Dare,” I add.

Jed shoots me a look. One that suggests we’ve both agreed to let our new manager run the place in our absence. We’re supposed to be looking to expand our distribution, open another location while the new manager runs Truth or Dare, but it’s only been a few weeks since we brought on Caz. He needs more training, and I need more time to trust him.

“Well, that means we have two extra tickets. Who should we offer them to?” Marla continues being the planner in our family.

Fisher raises his hand. “Cam.”

Chevelle groans. “Cam? Why? So we can watch him flirt with half-naked women the whole time?”

“Careful there, you sound jealous.” Fisher’s voice is low and stern.

Chevelle whips her head around toward him. “You’re crazy.”

“I better be.”

Allie puts her hand on Fisher’s knee while bouncing Axel. Something flashes between them that I can’t decipher. Do they know something I don’t?

“Not to mention Cam can afford his own vacation,” Mandi says. “I say we bring Clara.”

“I second Clara.” Nikki raises her hand.

Presley tentatively raises her hand. “Not sure if I get a vote, but of course, I’d pick my sister. She’s had a rough go of it lately.”

“Yeah, and mostly due to my moronic brother. We owe her one just for whatever it is he’s done.” Chevelle eyes Presley. “Even though no one will tell us.”

I put my hand around Presley’s shoulders. “I’m sure you have secrets we don’t know.” I point at all the Greene women, and they look down at their laps.

There’s been some conflict in the family lately because my stupid-ass brother, Xavier, somehow did something to ruin his friendship of over twenty-five years with Clara Harrison, our town librarian and Presley’s sister. Presley knows what went down and she’s only shared snippets with me. But what she didn’t have to tell me is my brother’s rise to stardom from being the starting quarterback for the San Francisco Kingsmen has gone to his head.

We tried to talk some sense into him when he returned earlier this summer to help our dad. I give him props for rising to the occasion, but most of what we said seemed to fall on deaf ears. I think his new and definitely not improved attitude even put his relationship with his model girlfriend at risk. Rumor on the gossip sites is that they broke up, or so my sisters tell me. Now that he’s back in San Francisco for training camp, I don’t expect to hear much from him and that’s just not the Xavier I grew up with.

“Okay, I think we can all agree on Clara.” Marla raises her hand, and no one argues. “As for the other ticket, we could offer it to one of Ethel’s friends.”

“She already has Dori and Midge coming,” Posey says. “And who’s going to be responsible for those three now that you and Hank aren’t going?”

Marla looks at my dad. “Well, one of you will have to.”

Mandi quickly raises her hand. “Not me. I know I’m the easy choice since I’m usually the responsible one out of us, but I am not going to spend my week away from the inn babysitting three elderly women who will badger me about being single, embarrass me by trying to fix me up, or having to talk the police out of arresting Midge for theft.”

No one says anything because we all assumed it would be Mandi, and let’s face it, it’ll probably still be her because no one else will step up.

“Maybe we can make up a schedule. Each of us takes a day or something,” Allie offers, and Fisher snorts.

“We have our hands full,” he says, staring at Axel on her lap. Laurie is currently propped up with two pillows because she’s already sitting up and poor Axel isn’t. I can already see that the comparisons those two will have to endure their whole lives will be insane. “There is no one else. Cam is practically family.”

“But he’s not,” Chevelle says, and the way she keeps fighting this has my senses tingling that maybe there’s more going on I don’t know about. “Rylan can bring another friend. I’ll even watch them.”

“One is enough, and the only friend who was even allowed to go is Declan.” Marla shakes her head. “Maybe Cam wouldn’t be a bad choice. He could help watch the boys.”

Everyone laughs. Cam in charge of the boys? What planet did she just arrive from?

“Calista,” Nikki says and eyes Rylan across the room.

He only gives her a disgusted look.

“No girls,” Marla says and pats Rylan’s knee as though he wanted Calista to come. “I think Hank and I will just make the decision.” She looks at my dad, who is busy on his phone. Probably playing Words With Friends, as he seems to do that a lot these days. “Hank?”

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