Home > Newest Books > Some Kind of Perfect (Calloway Sisters #4.5)

Some Kind of Perfect (Calloway Sisters #4.5)
Author:Krista Ritchie & Becca Ritchie

I’m trying to convince my little sister of something. I’m not trying to win a Quiz Bowl right now.

Connor, thankfully, withholds his comment. Instead, he says to Daisy, “If you don’t want us to watch her, I’m sure Lily and Lo—”

“No.” Ryke slams the door to it first. “I’m not putting any stress on my brother.”

“They’ve watched Jane before,” Connor says before I can. Ryke has been giving Lo more credit lately, so I don’t understand why he’s withdrawing.

“Once we pile one fucking kid on them, it’ll be two, then three. They probably only want one baby for a fucking reason.” He exhales heavily.

I tap the table. “You look more stressed than Loren.”

Ryke rolls his eyes and groans.

“And maybe they do want another child sometime soon. They’ve mentioned keeping that door open. We haven’t heard otherwise…unless they spoke to you about something different.” I already simmer at the sisterly betrayal, but Ryke looks at me as though I’m being overdramatic for no reason.

“No—no one said anything to me about trying for kids. I”—he groans again and combs his hand through his hair—“I…”

“I take it back,” Connor says, “it’s worse than talking to a five-month-old.”

“Fuck you.” Ryke rests his elbows on the table. “Look, truth is…it has nothing to do with my brother or with you two. Maybe Dais and I are just doing great without any of your help? You all did fine without us.”

Connor and I lock eyes, understanding shared between us.

In this sudden moment, we’ve declared amnesty and come to eons worth of agreements. We’re so aware of their role in our children’s lives. We were all living together when Jane was born.

They played with her. They babysat her. They held her when she was fussy, and they found her lost lion. They brought her laughter and smiles and so much love.

It’s not that we feel the need to pay it forward. We just want to be as much a part of their lives as they’ve been a part of ours.

“We did fine without you,” Connor agrees with him. “But we also did better with you. Just like Lo and Lily do better with all of us, and you and Daisy do too. All of our children benefit from the love and support of family.”

Translation: you’re my family, Ryke.

I inhale the vigor of his words. Connor never had a true family. He had a mother who purposefully distanced herself from him, who refused to show him the power of love. Connor is acknowledging the benefit of real human connections. All the ones based on love. All the ones between us.

Ryke holds his gaze, and I think he can see the meaning behind Connor’s declaration too.

Daisy is fixated on her baby, her brows still knotted in pained contemplation.

I can’t bite my tongue. “Is it Mother?” At first, I even hesitated leaving Jane there for long periods of time. Lily did too. We’ve all had different upbringings in that house, none perfect, and we wouldn’t want our children to experience what we did.

But Samantha Calloway is different as a grandmother than a mother. She’s less overbearing. It helps that she has staff there to cater to the kids. She won’t be overwhelmed with all four at the Villanova house, but we also don’t leave them there often.

Connor and I have already started a discussion about nannies. Growing up, we’ve each had our fair share of bad experiences with them. So I’m still cold towards the idea, but it feels inevitable. We’ll need to set boundaries so the nanny is more like a babysitter and less like a surrogate mother.

Trust is also an important factor.

Very softly, Daisy says, “It’s not Mom. I’m going to leave Sulli there for a day. I will. But I’m just not…ready yet.” Tears well in her tired eyes, and she pinches them, choking down a strangled sound.

Ryke rubs her shoulders and whispers in her ear.

I immediately stand at the same time as Connor—ugh, whatever. I normally don’t go towards any waterworks, but this is my sister. I pad over to their side of the conference table.

Connor has already moved closer too, and we both sit on either side of Ryke and Daisy. In our shared silence, raw realizations cling to the air. We’d been right beside them on their long journey to have a child. We were their safety nets—something they could rely on if everything else failed.

We didn’t want to have to catch them, but we watched them fight. And they did fight, so long and so hard, to bring their daughter into this world. For a while, it seemed like a real impossibility. Then it seemed like my little sister might not survive.

She wouldn’t hear her daughter’s first words or see her first steps or even hold her in her arms.

I don’t pretend to know that grief. I couldn’t possibly feel what she has felt, but I know my sister. I know her kindness and her love and how much she wanted that little girl in her arms.

So it’s only natural she wouldn’t want to break apart.

Daisy hangs her head, her tangled blonde hair hiding her watery gaze. The strands are as wild as my littlest sister. Ryke skims his thumb over Sullivan’s buttoned nose, and the baby coos before falling into a content slumber.

“She’s beautiful,” I say in my quietest voice. My heart is full of this indiscernible, overpowering sentiment—because this child is so much of my sister and Ryke.

I realize I’m not making the situation any better, especially when Connor mouths to me, what was that?

I press my lips in an aggravated line, and then I silently huff, knowing what I need to say. “And this beautiful thing was not invited today.”

Ryke’s jaw hardens.

More calmly, Connor says, “If you let her go, just for an afternoon, she won’t disappear from this world. I promise you both that.”

Ryke dips his head down to look at Daisy, behind her cascade of hair. He whispers to her and then kisses her cheek. When he raises his head once more, he nods to Connor like he understands.

I’m not sure Daisy is there yet.

I put my hand on hers. “I’m always here for you. That won’t ever change.” I’ve expressed this sentiment many times before.

Her shoulders sink with exhaustion. She wipes at her eyes and then turns to me, her scar reddened on her cheek. “I just don’t want to miss a moment. We’ve been given this gift, and I can’t…” She growls beneath her breath as more tears fall. She rubs them away quickly before they land on her sleeping baby.

“I can’t say that you won’t because you will,” I tell her honestly. “Maybe you’ll miss that one time she snorts up food or the one time she falls on her ass, but you know the ridiculous thing about children? They do these painfully cute and stupid things all the time.” I help brush the rest of her tears off her cheek. She nods to me again. “So you will miss that one moment, but you’ll have a million more to make up for it.”

What’s not a dream: my sister has sleep problems and PTSD and depression. All I want is for her to be healthy. So does Ryke. So does Connor. So do Lily and Lo.

She just needs to let us help her.

Daisy pushes her hair out of her face. Softly, she says, “Okay.”

We exchange I love yous, and then I’m distracted by the two guys, their chairs turned towards one another. I think Connor asks Ryke something beneath his breath. Or maybe it’s the other way around. They speak in hushed tones.

I don’t pretend to wonder or care what they share. Though, I sort of do. It’s not often these two whisper together, not without Loren present.

I clear my throat loudly until I catch their attention. “What is it?”

Ryke and Connor glance at Daisy like they’re protecting her from shrapnel and gunfire. It’s absurd.

“She can handle your criticism.”

“It’s not fucking criticism,” Ryke retorts.

I cross my arms. “I wasn’t trying to be accurate. I just wanted you to talk, which was a success.”

“A partial success, darling,” Connor chimes in. “I hadn’t said anything yet.”

I gag. “Your ego is revolting.”

He can’t restrain his stupid grin. I find myself eyeing his lips too much, so I focus back on Ryke. “Then what were you two gossiping about?”