“That’s not how you put the cinnamon sugar on the doughnuts,” our daughter says.
“It is, too,” our son replies.
“Okay, that’s enough, you two,” my husband interrupts, understandably out of patience with the scene unfolding in our kitchen. “Let’s agree to disagree about our cinnamon sugar sprinkling techniques.”
“Nikki.” He gives our daughter a stern look. “As long as most of the cinnamon sugar ends up on the doughnuts—and not the floors or your hair—Tayden can sprinkle however he likes.”
Her bottom lip sticks out as she purses her lips and glares at her little brother, but Nikki gives up the argument. For now.
I almost laugh at her stubbornness. But I bite my tongue. I’ll give you one guess to figure out who she inherited that stubborn streak from.
If you guessed that she got it from her father, you’d be correct. If you guessed that she gets it from me, you’re also right. Given how stubborn Hunter and I are, we were always destined to have stubborn children.
It’s both a blessing and a curse.
And right about now, I’d guess my husband is seeing it more as a curse.
In this instance, I don’t blame him. But, deep down, we both know that Nikki and Tayden’s stubbornness is what will keep Ferguson Family Orchard’s going and growing for generations to come. At six and four, they both already understand how important this place is to our family and our community.
It’s why each of them is determined to do their best when it comes to helping us in every aspect of the orchard.
That includes perfecting our family’s secret and delicious apple cider doughnut recipe.
Tayden cuts another doughnut from the dough and makes a hole in the middle. It’s slightly off-center. Nikki’s face grows red.
Uh oh. That’s my cue to jump in and intervene before we have another battle on our hands.
“Knock knock knock,” I call out from the entrance to the kitchen.
Three pairs of eyes turn my way.
Tayden’s face bursts into a grin and he waves at me as if we’ve been apart for months instead of an hour, sending a cloud of flour flying in the air.
Nikki’s eyebrows shoot up exactly the same way her father’s do when I’ve dropped another one of my business ideas on him.
As for Hunter . . . with the smoldering stare he’s giving me right now, it’s a wonder my knees don’t buckle out from under me. There’s a smudge of flour on his nose, which adds an air of adorableness to his handsome looks. Need pools between my thighs. You’d think that after all this time I’d be immune to that hot gaze of his.
I’m not. And thank goodness for that.
Clearing my throat, I grin back at my family. “Hey, kids. Guess who just pulled up out front?”
Tayden’s jaw falls open as Nikki cries out, “Grandma and Grandpa?”
“That’s right. Their flight must have landed early.”
They both drop their cooking utensils and race past me. Over my shoulder, I can hear them throw open the front door and start shouting and screaming.
Shaking my head, I join my husband at the counter to help him finish this mess.
“I’ve never been so glad to have my parents visit,” he says. “Five more minutes, and we would have had two grounded and very unhappy children.”
“Then it was meant to be.” Resting my hand on his shoulder, I lean up on my toes to kiss his cheek.
Before I do, he wraps his arm around my waist and pulls me against his chest a second before his mouth crashes against mine. His tongue sweeps into my mouth, hot and wet. My body tingles, and my nipples grow tight as they’re pressed flush against the hard wall of his pecs.
The need already pooling in my belly turns into a river of need. I’m not the only one. His hard length is pressed against me, bulging out of the jeans hanging low on his hips.
By the time we pull apart, our chests are rising up and down and the air sizzles with our mutual lust.
And thanks to the arrival of his parents, we might be able to do something to satisfy it.
“Come on,” he says, taking my hand. “Mom and Dad can finish making this batch with the kids. I think we have a barn or a hay bail somewhere to expect.”
I beam at him, even more in love with him today than the day before or the day before.
“I’m pretty sure I saw some apples that needed sorting in the cider barn,” I say.
“Hmm. Sounds important. We’d better get to it.”
Then he sweeps me up in my arms and practically races out the door.