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

I flip him off.

Rose clears her throat at Daisy, my wife staring far past the table, almost in a trance. As Rose snaps her fingers at her sister, Daisy shakes out of the stupor. “What…?”

“What are you thinking?” Rose wonders.

Daisy slowly lifts her gaze to mine. “What if they objectify her like they objectified me, just because she’s my daughter?”

My muscles tighten, jaw hardening. I was there. I was there when she tried to reclaim her body. So she could feel like her arms and her legs and her fucking hips belonged to her first, not second.

It tears me apart imagining Sullivan losing this piece of innocence. I wished, every fucking day, that I could’ve changed that for Daisy. That I could’ve done something more instead of just being there. Even if that might’ve been enough at the time.

“I was the model,” Daisy says to me. “I gave them permission to photograph me, and maybe they’ll think the same about her, just because she’s our…” She lets out a strained breath, staring up at the ceiling like it’ll give her the answer she wants.

“Hey, sweetheart.” I raise my brows at her. “We can fucking protect her from that. You know how we start?”

She thinks. She’s quiet. And then she nods more assuredly. “Yeah, I do. We don’t let her be photographed. We don’t let her be in the docu-series. It’s her body, her image, and I’m not letting them latch onto her like she’s a thing and not a person. I can’t.”

“We can’t,” I say. “I’m with you on this, Calloway.” I’m always fucking with you. Right now, I can’t imagine someone sexualizing Sulli. She’s just a baby. And I’m going to have an even harder time imagining that nightmare as she gets older. As a pre-teen—no. It’s fucking sick. It’s all fucking sick.

And I don’t think Janie will have the same issue. The Cobalts have filled the role of American royalty. Elegant. Classy. Janie has mostly been photographed for articles about fashion, not anything about will she model?

Since Scott Van Wright went to jail, Rose and Connor’s sex tapes have also been synonymous with breach of consent. People fixate on Calloway Couture and Cobalt Inc. events and what Rose is wearing on Instagram. Not sex.

Lo spins around in his chair, his spirits higher. “And that’s why I’m glad I don’t have a girl.”

Will she be a future sex addict? I hear the fucking condemnation.

Lily’s nose crinkles. “You were the one who wanted a girl!”

“Not anymore, love. People can change their minds. I just changed mine.”


I slow clap.

Connor joins in.

Lo claps for himself and flashes his usual half-smile.

Rose stands, palms on the table. “So it’s set then?” she asks. That’s when I notice the hoard of lawyers outside the office, waiting by the copy machine with manila folders in hand.

We all begin to nod, falling into silent agreement. Our children will be raised differently, and that’s alright. I sense our strength together, our support for each other’s choices.

Today, I’ve fallen in deeper love with these people.

No matter which direction we fucking move, we’ll all still be there.





[ 4 ]

July 2018

The Cobalt Estate

Philadelphia





CONNOR COBALT


I wait outside Jane’s bedroom door with my arm propped against the wall. From inside, dishware clinks. Gently, I push the door further open, granting me a better view.

Velveteen pale pink chairs surround a tiny round table, teacups and saucers spread over floral placemats. My three-year-old daughter nimbly skips around her guests, most of which are inanimate. Her favorite: a stuffed lion. Seated in the most robust and ornate chair of all six.

I never played pretend like this.

Not as a child.

Never as an adult.

Yet, I feel my lips rise.

Jane pours what looks like milk in a teacup. On the other side, her squirmy eleven-month-old twin brothers babble inarticulately, but they seem to play along. Inspecting their saucers and placemats with curious yellow-green eyes.

Hair in a sleek pony, Rose bends between both boys and fills a sugar bowl with Cheerios. Fire never extinguishes from her gaze.

My grin expands tenfold.

Beckett tugs on his mother’s black dress, one that just barely hides her collarbone, one that hugs her frame perfectly, like a dust jacket fit on a newly printed hardback.

Beckett asks her a question that neither of us would be able to piece apart, but Rose regards him with understanding.

“Of course. I’ll take up your requests with the hostess.” She kisses the top of his head, his brown hair much darker and curlier than Charlie’s.

Then Rose brushes her hands together and places them on her hips, eyeing the state of the table. Every place setting is symmetrical and identical to the next.

Her gaze suddenly lifts to mine.

I don’t move. I don’t cower. As her glare fastens onto mine, I only grin wider. Hello, Rose.

Go to hell, Richard, her eyes say.

Shoulders strict and chin raised, she marches around our child’s table. Even with her heels soundless on the carpet, I can still feel the hostility with each purposeful step.

She stops, grips the door like a weapon, and drills the hottest and coldest glare into me. Rose Calloway Cobalt has always been a series of contradictions.

I adore this one just as much as every other. “Rose,” I say smoothly.

She bypasses the perfunctory Richard and snaps, “You were given one direction and you failed.” She growls at the sight of my burgeoning grin. “I said you failed, Richard. Be angry.”

“I’m amused,” I say in a hushed voice so Jane can’t hear. “And a smile usually accompanies amusement, not anger.”

She huffs, her shoulders falling and eyes roaming my white button-down and composure. “Then you’re amused at your daughter’s loss. She wanted to surprise you with the tea party, but you’ve decided to go rogue and spy on us.” Rose lets go of the door, just to cross her arms. “I’d punish you for this.”

“You’d punish me?” I arch a brow. “Have you been reading Coballoway fan fiction?”

She rolls her eyes dramatically. Lily sent us links to fan fiction based off of Princesses of Philly. Willow first sent them to Daisy, then Daisy sent them to Lily, and Lily sent them to everyone.

I skimmed some, and I completely stopped reading when I crossed the title Royal Love: Scott Van Wright & Rose Van Wright. In the writer’s defense, this was published online long before Scott publically went to jail.

Regardless, anytime you attach “Van Wright” to my wife, it instantly becomes my least favorite fiction.

“You don’t think I can punish you?” Rose burns hot and leans close, just to say with a great deal of seriousness, “I’d cut off your tongue with a dull serrated knife, and I’d finish you off in a rusty guillotine.” She lifts her manicured nail at my eye. “Don’t fuck with me or my babies—”

“Our babies,” I correct her.

She skims me head-to-toe, her disdain only present to mask her love. I feel it in every glare. “I can’t believe I allowed my DNA to mix with yours and create multiple little monsters. What was I thinking?”

Standing tall above her, I reach out, my hand curving around the crook of her waist. She relaxes at my touch, and her chest collapses. I draw Rose closer, until her legs brush my legs. In a whisper, I say, “You were thinking ‘I’m undeniably, indisputably in love with the most brilliant and the most handsome man on Ear—”

Rose puts her palm over my lips. “I hate you.” She feels my grin grow beneath her hand and she growls, dropping it.

“You love me.” I study her full lips but mostly the blaze in her eyes. I’m about to express just how much I reciprocate those feelings, but then a toddler abruptly cuts off our exchange.