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

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

He pauses, coffee mug to his lips, and then he gently sets it down without a sip.

“So I’m the shitty father for making choices for my kid?” Lo asks. “Is that it, Connor?”

“I didn’t say that,” Connor breathes. “You’re misinterpreting me.”

“Now I’m an idiot?” he retorts with actual malice.

The boardroom layers with thick tension. Connor and Lo almost never argue. My eyes flit to the three girls, who whisper softly to one another and watch on, not knowing what to do.

Connor hides his reaction, blank-faced. “You know I don’t think that.”

“Do I?” Lo shrugs. “I don’t know, Connor.”

I wouldn’t lie. I used to wish for this. For the day where Lo treated Connor equally like me, but justice doesn’t fill me. Justice doesn’t inch my lips into a self-satisfied grin. Truth is, I tense and an uncomfortable weight bears heavy on my chest.

Any jealousy I’ve ever had towards their friendship just fucking vanishes. Right now. I realize how different Connor and Lo’s relationship is from my relationship with Lo.

I can fight with Lo.

I can push him and pull him and pick him back up.

Because I’m his brother.

Connor can mostly lift him, support him, catch him. He can’t kick his ass into gear. I see that now. I see it more than I ever fucking have.

Impassive again, Connor shrouds all emotion, but he’s not speaking either. He just stares at Lo. And Lo just glares at him. It kills me.

All of this fucking kills me.

Because my brother needs Connor, and whether he admits it or not, Connor needs Lo. I could go on and on. I could chart the reasons why Lo and Connor just work as friends. Why Lo loves Connor for who he is: the egotistical narcissist that drives me fucking nuts. Why Connor loves Lo: the alcoholic, the sober man, the sarcastic geek—all of which I proudly call my little brother.

I could go on and fucking on. I could, but I won’t. What they’ve shared throughout years’ worth of time is evidence enough.

I used to be pissed by the idea of being “bad cop” to Connor’s “good cop” routine, but this isn’t something I want to change anymore.

I cut in to protect their friendship. So it won’t turn into something else.

“Fucking A,” I groan. I’m doing something I’m not made to do: resolve lingering tension. “Can’t we talk about this without shitting on each other?”

“Depends on Loren,” Rose says. “He’s usually the one taking the shits.” She untwists her lipstick at this. Like she just told everyone the date and time.

I actually almost laugh. Daisy does.

Lo raises his hands, about to clap, but then he pauses. “No, you know what? That doesn’t deserve a clap. Tell your husband that he’s a dick.”

“He’s aware.” Rose reapplies her lipstick.

“I am many things,” Connor agrees. His attention and focus never leaves my brother. “But I’m not saying your decision makes you a bad father. I’ve never thought that, not behind your back, and if I planned to say it to your face, I’d be more direct.”

“Then be painfully direct with me right now,” Lo says. “No bullshit. I can take it.”

Connor licks his lips. “You and I couldn’t be more different, and that’s partly why I love you—but the way I raise my children will be vastly different to the way that you raise yours. It doesn’t make you less than me, and it doesn’t make your children inferior to mine.”

Lo is quiet as he ingests this.

Lily raises her hand again. “But you’re a genius and possibly a telepath. Maybe even psychic, but that’s still to be confirmed…” Her voice dies off as Connor’s antipathy fills his blue eyes, letting all of us see. She lifts her hands in defense. “I mean, you’re definitely not magical. Those things…don’t…exist?” Lily can barely utter that last fucking sentence.

“Hey,” I interject. This is fucking ridiculous. “He’s a genius on paper but that doesn’t mean his ideas are the right ones.” Connor and I spent nearly all last year agreeing on our differences, and as we raise our kids different ways, I never realized how hard this might be for Lo and Lily who idolize Connor and his wisdom like he shits gold.

They only want the best for their son. They’d do literally anything for Moffy.

“But Connor always makes the right choices,” Lily replies softly. Fuck.

“Not always,” Connor admits.

Rose’s expression travels from shock to a full-on fucking grin. We’re all probably documenting this moment as a historic one: the day Connor Cobalt admits he’s not always right.

“You’re admitting this?” I ask. “Fucking really?” Maybe he’s changed.

Unperturbed, Connor sips his coffee casually. As if the admission is commonplace. My smile fades at the sight of his grin—for fuck’s sake.

“I’m admitting that on rare occasions I’ve picked a choice with too much risk and not enough reward. I wouldn’t consider it the wrong one, just not the one with the highest benefit.”

I shake my head a few times. He’s still the same Connor Cobalt, but he’s more tolerable for me. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve changed to fucking like him. Or if we’ve both just grown to meet in the middle.

Lo rubs the back of his neck, less on the offensive. “So you’re going to let your three-year-old, who can’t even choose matching clothes, decide her position in the media?”

Rose caps her lipstick like she’s sheathing a fucking sword. “Jane has style…” She rolls her eyes and huffs. “It might be unconventional but it’s hers.” Rose stuffs the lipstick in her purse. “And we’re not letting her make the choice until she’s at least six. Even then, if she says yes, she won’t be allowed to have speaking roles on the show. We’ll keep letting her choose as she grows older, and if she wants more involvement in the show, then she’ll get more involvement.”

Lily thuds her forehead to the table and groans with Daisy.

“What’s the fucking problem?” I look between them. I also notice the expression in my brother’s eyes. The one that says: I’m two seconds from sharing Lily’s chair. Just so he can hold her.

“I’m confused,” Lily mumbles into the table, adjusting the ice so her face is smashed against it. She’s so fucking weird.

Then again, so is Connor. So is Rose.

Everyone is a little bit fucking weird.

Daisy presses a kiss to Sulli’s nose. “I’m scared we’ll make the wrong choice.”

We won’t.

I grew up with a father I saw only on Mondays. I grew up with a mom who cared about me, but not enough and not in the way that I fucking needed. The fact that we love our daughter to put her before our reputations—that’s a better start than I had. That’s right.

I don’t have to say this though.

Rose snaps her fingers, gaining her sisters’ attention.

Lily peels her face off the ice and table.

“I need you two to know something. The six of us”—Rose draws a circle in the air—“we’re all perceived differently in the media. We’re all different people. I never thought you two would follow me. Admirable, yes. Loyal, of course. I love you both. I’d die for you,” Rose emphasizes like a promise. “But don’t choose my path because you think I’m smarter. No one knows your lives better than you do. You don’t need Connor or me to tell you which direction to move, but I’ll always help you stand.”

Lily ponders this with more hope in her eyes. “We’re followed by paparazzi more than you and Connor.” Lily and Lo are the most famous, and while Connor and Rose can give their kids more of a choice, Moffy is going to be in every fucking tabloid, probably every week.

Connor chimes in, “It makes sense that you’d want Maximoff to be comfortable with the media, and if it’s any consolation, I think Jane will want to be on camera with him.”

Lo makes an effort to relax his gaze towards Connor. It’s still daggered as fuck, but if I can see Lo trying, then so can Connor Cobalt.

Connor smiles into his next sip of coffee. “If you all didn’t catch that, I agree with Rose. Just in case you needed another genius to weigh in.”

Lo smirks.

“Yeah, we fucking didn’t, Cobalt,” I snap.

Connor raises his mug to me.