“Are you sure you don’t need a drink? Not everybody can handle my family without having something to dull the senses.”
Jax laughed and shook his head. “They can’t be any worse than my dad. And no alcohol for me; Hank Hawthorne drinks enough for all of us.”
Mila took a weary breath and placed her hand on her mother’s front doorknob. “Last chance. You ready?”
Standing behind her, Jax wrapped his arms around her waist and dropped a kiss on the sensitive curve of her neck. The small brush of his lips made her tingle. “You gonna let me at least get to third base tonight to soothe my ego if it gets trampled?”
She turned to face him, giving a quick nod.
“Then let the bashing begin.”
Mila sent up a prayer for the safety of her boyfriend, boyfriend, and opened the door. They’d decided on the term last week at dinner. Now her family’s potential reaction sent her stress level to the ceiling. She led him straight to the kitchen. The second she laid eyes on her mother’s petite form, Mila’s anxiety decreased to a manageable level.
“Hi Mom.” Mila couldn’t help the big grin consuming her face. She bent and hugged her mother.
“Hi, honey,” her mother’s husky voice was full of warmth. As always, it soothed Mila’s rattled nerves.
“Mom, this is Jaxon Hawthorne. My boyfriend.” She stepped beside him and wrapped her arm around his lean waist. “Jax, my mother, Asha Vincent.”
“It’s my pleasure, Mrs. Vincent.”
Her mother wiped her hands on a dishtowel as she studied Jax from head to toe. Not a hint of smile adorned her smooth honey-brown face. Mila’s breath hung in her throat as her heart thumped an out of rhythm staccato. Her mother knew Mila was seeing Jax, but not that he was white. Mila hoped the omission wouldn’t bite her in the ass.
Finally, her mother dropped the towel on the countertop before crossing her arms over her generous bosom, a feature she hadn’t passed along to either of her daughters.
“Jax, have you ever been married?” her mom asked, her beautiful face devoid of expression.
“Do you have any children?”
“None that I’m aware of, ma’am.”
“Do you have a job?”
Jax gave a little husky laugh. “Yes ma’am.”
Her mother was quiet for another moment. “If all that’s true, I’d say somebody raised you right.” She turned toward the granite island and picked up a hulking bowl of baked beans. “Take this to the serving table. After my brother says grace, Mila will fix you a plate and you two will sit next to me.”
Mila’s heart started beating at regular speed again as Jax took the container. He made it through the first round. Her relief was almost tangible as she watched him walk toward the door in his long, lust-invoking stride.
“And Jax?” He paused and turned to face her mother. “I don’t care what color your skin is. Around here it just has to be thick.”
He nodded and gave a look that screamed confidence and a bit of arrogance.
“Mrs. Vincent, I have no doubt I can handle anything that comes my way.”
Mila couldn’t control the little whimper that escaped her throat, or the fact that her panties were now damp. His response was the sexiest thing she’d ever heard. If he kept this up, he wouldn’t have to worry about third base; he might be in homerun territory.