Amelia Barnes was having the worst day of her life. Like the absolute worse day of her life. She'd been planning her sleepover with a group of her friends from her competition dance team for the weekend, when one of her friends dropped the hammer.
"Ugh. Amelia your dad is so hot."
The words were just words until the rest of them joined in. "Girl yes! Your mom is so lucky!"
She was use to guys in her class oogling her mom. And even she had to admit, her mom was very pretty. But her dad? That was her dad!
She knew that grown-ups found her dad attractive, judging by the amount of women who wanted pictures with him when they went out somewhere.
But they were old and this was her dad.
She had to talk to her mom about this.
She walked through the front door of their house. She loved their house. It was a big suburban home in Southlake, Texas. It had enough rooms for them all to have their own room but it wasn't obnoxiously big. She'd put up a fight two years ago when her mom and dad sat all of them down and said they we're relocating to Texas for her mother's job from New York. The arguments were pretty easy.
Her father's job was based in New York. Their family was in New York. They've lived in New York all their lives.
It didn't work. Their father commuted out of necessity only when they needed him, but he and her Uncle Sam we're pretty much retired. And her Uncle Sam and Aunt Darcy were relocating with them because Darcy worked as her mother's assistant.
It was a hard move, but worth it. Southlake was a lot quieter, and her parents worked hard to give all of them a good life. She and her brother and sister made friends fast. And then Evie, which came as a surprise because ew.
She dropped her backpack and dance bag on the large sectional. Her brother was reading and her sister was playing video games. Evie was playing with her toy kitchen on the side of the living area and she could see her mom in the kitchen flipping through a magazine at the counter.
"Hi honey. Good day?" She loved that her mom was home when she got home from school now. A perk of moving to Texas, her mom made even more money teaching at the University, and had set working hours.
She nodded and sat down next to her mom. "Is dad home yet?"
"He, Sam, and Steve went out to play golf," her mom smiled ruefully and shook her head.
Amelia rolled her eyes. She didn't know why Sam always wanted to play golf, with her dad in particular. Her dad was an amazing shot, and never lost. But it was something easy for all three of them to do.
"Can I talk to you?"
"Of course, Princess. What's going on?"
Her mom could be spacey sometimes, but never when her children needed her. That's what she loved the most about her. That and her amazing cooking.
"So we we're planning this weekend's slumber party."
"Right. Daddy and I are going grocery shopping tomorrow. You just need to tell us what you want," her mom said.
"Oh, I got a list in my bag. Katy is allergic to dairy."
"Noted," Jane smiled. "Tell me what's going on."
"Well," Amelia bit her lip. "The girls on my team think Dad is hot."
Her mother raised her brows and smiled. "Oh yeah?"
"Yeah. And it's so gross. Dad is not hot! I mean. He's not bad looking-,"
"You look just like him,-" her mom interjected.
"I know," she huffed. "It's just," she paused. "I know that the guys in my class have like huge crushes on you. But that's different."
"Because you're my mom an he's my dad."
"And now. They're all coming to the house this weekend."
Her mother laughed and gave her a hug. "I think this is normal, Amelia."
"How is this normal, Mom?! This is weird! Dad is not hot!"
"I think your father is hot," she teased. "Exceedingly so."
"Yeah. But you're his wife. You're supposed to think that."
Jane bit her lip and studied her oldest child. "Your brother had the same conversation with your father about me a couple months ago. Apparently his friends think the same thing about me."
"That's weird, Mom!"
"That's not weird, honey. It happens. There will come a time when they grow out of it. But right now they're just little crushes. I'm sure you'll have them on some of your friend's dad's eventually as well "
"No I won't," the idea was just ludicrous. Her mom usually was smarter than this.
"You will," her mom stated matter-of-factly. "I did."
"What?!" Her mom wasn't the type to get crushes. "No you didn't!"
"I did. I had a best friend in college, granted she was much older than I was. But her father was a teacher. I blushed in his class every day. And then I took another of his class the next semester, even though it had nothing to do with my major."
Her mom chuckled, "Cause it was fun to look at him. Like I said. It's normal."
Amelia bit her lip. "Do you think daddy ever had a crush on his friend's mom's?"
"I'm sure he did. But that was a different time, you know. He definitely had a crush on his math teacher."
"Daddy loves math and science, huh mom."
"He sure does, honey."
"So what do I do? About this weekend?"
"Nothing. You do nothing. Chances are they'll all be to shy to say anything around him."
"You think so," she asked.
"I do. I really do. Now go do your homework before Daddy gets home and it's time for supper."
"Thanks mom," she gave her mom a hug and kiss and grabbed her backpack on the way up the stairs. She heard Evie exclaim 'Me!' "I'll be back down after homework, Evie! Love you!"
Later that night Jane and Bucky were finishing up folding a load of laundry and watching a late night talk show when Jane brought it up.
"Amelia was traumatized today."
Bucky looked at her, alarmed. "She didn't walk in on us again, did she?"
"No," Jane laughed. "No more birds and bees talk needed. At least for now."
Bucky visibly exhaled. That was the worst conversation of his life with his little girl. "I can't imagine anything more traumatizing than that."
"Well if her father would learn to keep his hands to himself," Jane teased.
"I never hear you complaining, doll," he smirked because well, he was right. "Why was my Princess traumatized, this time?"
"Her friends think you're hot."
He raised his eyebrows in surprise. "How is that traumatizing?"
Jane laughed. "Because you're her father. She doesn't see you like that. And she likes boys but she doesn't want to date yet so, she thinks it's weird."
He laughed and sat back against the couch. "Well I'm glad someone thinks I'm 'hot.' My own wife doesn't call me that anymore."
Jane scoffed and tossed a pair of Surrey's jeans at him. "Last time I told you that you were hot, I ended up pregnant with Genevieve."
Bucky puffed out his chest. "I still got it."
Jane laughed again and fell easily into his arms. Still after 15 years together he made her feel like the only woman in the world.
He stroked her hair and held her close as he propped his legs up into he coffee table in front of him. "You ever think about another one?"
"Another what? Another baby?"
"Yeah. You think about it?"
Her husband's tone was curious, nothing more. She looked up at him and gave him a tender, but brief kiss. "I want the whole world with you, James. Always have. Always will."
"I've been thinking about it a lot lately. Amelia is growing up. Max is more independent than I thought he would be. Surrey is a little adult and Evie. Our children barely need us."
"I think we have a few years before Evie stops needing us, baby," she teased.
He huffed and kissed the top of her head. "It all goes by so fast. I never thought I'd have this. Until I met you."
She sat up and faced him, her legs crossed and held his hand. "Do you think about having more children?"
He smiled that slow smile that always made her go weak in the knees. "Everytime I'm with you, baby-doll. I'm either praying the condom breaks or praying that you forget your birth control. It lets me down every single time."
She burst out laughing. "You prayed, to God, that I'd forget my birth control? I don't think he works like that."
"Hey. He gave me you, didn't he? Gave me Amelia, and Max, and Surrey, and Genevieve. Let's face it. When it comes to family planning, all of our kids we're happy accidents."
"Yeah, we kind of suck at it, don't we?" She bit her lip and laid back in his arms again, lacing her fingers through his, playing with the wedding ring he wore on his right hand.
"So why don't we do it again? One more time? It's your choice, baby. But I'll be there the entire time, you know that. I just feel like another little girl or boy will complete our family."
Jane knew, since the start of their relationship that's she couldn't deny Bucky anything. She could put up a convincing argument, sure. You didn't get a PhD without knowing how to argue your case. But honestly she'd been thinking about another kid a lot lately. Preferably a little boy, but with James she was up for anything. "You know we have a big year coming up. Amelia's competition season is going to be grueling. Max is trying out for football. Surrey is thinking she wants to compete dance as well. Then there's Evie," she chuckled. "You think we have time for one more?"
"If I have to be a dance dad, or a football dad, or a stay at home dad, I'm game. So long as I get to be on the ride with you."
"You always know the right thing to say, James."
"You make it easy."
"It could take a while for me to come off my birth control."
"Well," he smiled and stood up and lifted her easily into his arms. "I guess we better practice."
She giggled the whole way up the stairs and down the hall to their bedroom. "Practice is good."
"Baby, you have no idea."
Three days later, Amelia couldn't stop laughing. Her friend Katy nearly choked on her soda when her dad walked into the media room to start the projector for their movie. The rest of the girls were all giggly and blushing.
She hugged her dad and thanked him before he left. He kissed her head and told her to holler if they needed anything, and left. He really was the best dad. She heard someone sigh as she sat back in her own recliner and whisper. "She's so lucky."
She let it go. A couple days ago she'd begun to realize, her science teacher was pretty cute himself.
Jane felt her husband pin her to the counter with his hips. It was his favorite way to let her know that he was in the room. He put his arms on either side of her and leaned in to kiss her neck. "The girls are settled, watching the movie."
She turned in his arms and let him hold her. Her favorite place in the world was in his arms. She raised her hands and ran her fingers through his hair. He kept it shorter now. Longer on the top so he could comb it back. Her husband still looked like he was thirty five and not nearly fifty. The only gray he had was in his short cropped beard under his lip. She gave a soft moan in appreciation and started kissing him back with a hunger that'd been there overwhelmingly since their talk a couple nights ago.
They couldn't keep their hands off each other. Not that they ever could before. She sometimes thought that they would scar their children until Steve intervened.
'The greatest gift that a father could ever give his children is to love their mother and vice versa,' he had said.
Bucky took that to heart.
They heard footsteps and a 'not again,' come from Surrey, and Bucky pulled back and looked at their eight year old and laughed at the expression on her face as Jane shook with laughter into her shoulder, as Surrey grabbed a juice from the fridge and ran to the living room, her dark brown hair flying behind her.
"Maxy! They're kissing! Again."
They both shook when they heard Max say in a calm and matter of fact voice. "Uncle Steve says that we should be more worried when we don't see them kiss."
"Oh yeah," Surrey tossed her hair and settled back on the couch with her video game remote. "I forgot."
"Sometimes the open concept kitchen and living room isn't a good thing," Jane laughed.
"Steve seems good at that birds and bees stuff. Think he'll give the rest of the kids the talk?"
"I know you're still traumatized about your talk with Amelia, and that was almost three years ago. But no. We agreed. I grow them, and you teach them how and why I grow them."
"It's a lot more fun to make them, I think."
"You would think that," she laughed. "Sometimes I think it's a chore," she teased.
He grinned. "You know I'm more than happy to take the top baby."
"I know," Jane pulled away and grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge. She took a drink and handed it to him. "But sometimes it's faster in the mornings when I'm on top."
"I don't know one man that wouldn't get turned on by having his wife bounce on him early in the morning," he grinned as she blushed.
"Just for that Barnes, you're on duty tonight. And it better be long, and hard,and worth it."
He gave her that slow smile of his and she had to feel to make sure her panties didn't spontaneously combust. "I think, Mrs. Barnes, that this will be the ride of your life."
It almost was a waste to wear any underwear around this man.