A new Men of Steel novel is coming… until then check this out

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Let me tell you what it’s really like to be the daughter of Jase Steel.

Dating Scene.

Sunday dinner is a Steel family tradition. We rotate between Momma Joe and Thomas’s, Cyrus and Tara’s, Zandor and Bekkah’s, Xavier and Taelyn’s, and our house. Today, it’s at our house.
Eleven of us are at the regular dining room table, with the eight youngest Steels seated at the kids’ table. Salad and garlic knots have been served, and lasagna and roasted vegetables are being plated and passed around.
Like Garfield, lasagna is my father’s favorite, so I decide this is the absolute best time, and safest place, to tell my father, at sixteen, that Chad Wentworth asked me to a movie the following Friday night. My very first date.
The normally, noisy room falls silent, even the kids’ table decides to follow suit, and that didn’t even happen when Momma Joe said the blessing.
Uncle Cyrus, the oldest of the four, is the first to speak. “You shoot the first one, word will spread.”
His wife, my aunt Tara, covers her face and shakes her head.
“That’s enough, Cyrus,” Momma Joe scolds him.
“Tell him, whatever he does to our little Bell, Zandor will do to him.” Xavier chuckles and so does his wife Taelyn.
I look at Uncle Zandor as he smirks, shrugs, looks at his wife Bekkah, and then asks, “You okay with that?”
“None of y’all are right,” she replies, sitting back and taking a healthy drink of her wine.
When I look back at Dad, I realize that his eyes haven’t left mine and there is no expression to be read in them … at all.
Then he simply states, “No.”
I hear a large thud, and then he whips his head left. “What the hell, Carly?”
“She’s sixteen, for God’s sake,” she whispers like no one will hear her.
We all do.
They have a stare off until he finally looks over at me. “Let’s talk about God, shall we?”
“Really?” I roll my eyes.
“Jase,” Momma Joe snips quietly.
“With all due respect, Momma, you raised four amazing men, but girls, well, they’re nothing like boys.”
“You don’t say?” Momma Joe’s slowly raises an eyebrow.
“I know you’ve helped us the whole way, but this is my little girl.”
“She’s sixteen,” Momma Joe and Carly say at the same time.
I figuratively raise a victorious fist in the air, and then I just sit back and listen to them bicker.
Out of the corner of my eye, I notice my sister Kiki and my cousin Truth watching it all go down, eyes darting back and forth like they’re watching a tennis match. When Kiki looks at me, she smirks, and I give her a wink.
It’s a win.
It’s Thursday or, as I am secretly deeming it, First Date Eve.
After Kiki’s piano lesson, Carly, Kiki, and I got haircuts. When we started walking out of the salon, Momma Joe was walking in.
“Three of my favorite girls.” She hugs us all. “Would you care to join me for mani/pedis?”
“Heck yes!” Kiki squeals. “Perfect idea! Tomorrow’s date night, Momma Joe.”
The wink shared between my seven-year-old sister and my grandmother makes it obvious this was planned, even before we are greeted by the staff and brought back to the four pedicure chairs already waiting for us.
“I think she’s more excited about your date than you, if not even more so,” Momma Joe says with a laugh as we sit.
“Don’t let her fool you,” Carly whispers. “She has an ulterior motive. She’s just hoping you break him in so it’s not as difficult when it’s her turn.”
Kiki smiles. “I already have a boyfriend.”
“You do, do you?” Momma Joe laughs.
She nods. “He just doesn’t know it yet.”
“Dad doesn’t or the boy doesn’t?” I ask my bright-eyed little sister.
“Neither!” She laughs hysterically at herself.
After we’re finished, Carly asks Momma Joe to come over for dinner.
“I would love to,” Momma Joe replies.
The look exchanged between them also tells me that this was planned.
When we pull up the driveway, Dad is filling the doorway, my brother Max beside him. As Momma Joe rolls up behind us, he narrows his eyes, and Carly smirks as she waves.
All week, he’s been extra. Extra edgy, extra stress-y, extra … just extra.
Carly has been keeping me close, and when they don’t think I’m in earshot, she’s keeping him in check, telling him, “I see what you’re doing.” Or, “You better check yourself, Steel, or you’ll be on the couch.” Or, “She’s sixteen, Steel, and she’s a hell of a lot more street smart than I ever was. She’ll be fine. It’s him you should feel bad for.”
When we walk up the front steps, he looks at me. “Got a minute, Bella?”
“She’s already promised to help me get dinner on the table.” Carly smirks as she pushes up on her tiptoes and gives him a loud peck on the cheek.
“Carly,” he grumbles as Kiki leaps at him.
“Catch me, Daddy!”
Momma Joe and Carly keep Dad busy the entire night; Kiki even seems to be in on it.
By the time he has read to Max and Kiki has made him listen to her newest song, in which she has also choreographed—on the fly, I’m sure—I have showered and shut myself in my room.
Lying in bed, unable to sleep, looking at the time on my phone as I switch between scrolling through Instagram and watching Snapchat stories, I hear a light knock on my door before it is opened.
He walks in. “Scooch.” He sits on the edge of my bed and waits for me to move over before lying on top of my duvet.
“Not gonna say I’m always rational.”
I stifle a laugh.
He raises an eyebrow then continues, “Got you back less ten years ago, Little Bell. So, to me, you’re ten, not sixteen, so this is fucking hard.”
I want to point out that is a messed-up way of thinking, a piss poor excuse for treating me like I’m Kiki’s age, but I also don’t want to get grounded.
He looks at me, expecting me to say just that, but I know better.
“I love you, Bella.”
“I love you, Dad.”
“I know you’re smart, but I also know the mind of a teenage boy, because I was one. I have a few things I need you to hear, Bella, really hear about dating.”
I roll to my side and look at him.
He takes a deep breath then exhales slowly. “They earn every fucking thing you give them, starting with a yes to him asking for a date. Did he earn it?”
“I think he did. Before I even asked you, I told him he’d have to pull into my driveway, get out, and meet my family before I’d be allowed to leave the premises.”
He fights to hold back a smile, then it’s gone. “You don’t put yourself in a situation you don’t feel comfortable being in. No means no.”
“He hasn’t even sent me a message that is suggestive at all.”
His eyes widen, and his jaw tenses before he says, “You said he; have others?”
“I’m sixteen. Sexting is¬—”
“Not dating. Any little fuck sends you sexual messages—”
“They get blocked.”
“They?” His voice is higher than I’ve ever heard.
“I’m going to a movie, Dad. We’re meeting friends—”
“I can drop you off at a movie, where you can—”
“Dad,” I groan exaggeratedly. “You told me when I got my license that I could ride in a car with my friends. I haven’t yet.”
“Never said boyfriends,” he grumbles.
“Never said he was my boyfriend, Dad. It’s a first date.”
He stares at me; I stare back. Then he nods.
“What do you really want to say?” I ask.
“He doesn’t deserve you.”
“He’s a friend, who asked me on a date, not for a freaking—”
“Don’t you dare,” he warns.
“Then trust me, Dad. Trust. Me. He’s not the one you should be afraid of.”
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”
“It means he’s the first one to ask, not the ‘first’ one.” I air-quote first. “I’m not going to sleep with the first boy I date, get knocked up, and—”
“That’s not cool, Bella.”
“Then tell me what you want to tell me, Dad.”
“He doesn’t deserve you,” he states matter-of-factly.
“How will I know if anyone deserves me, Dad? I haven’t even been kissed.”
He doesn’t even fight to hide his smile this time. He beams.
I flop back on my pillow. “Oh my God, can I just go to sleep?”
“When you even think he’s possibly the boy who deserves your first kiss, Bella, you make damn sure he deserves you. Which means you know him. You know he treats his momma right because that’s the way he’ll treat you. You remember you can do anything he can, and if he makes you feel like that’s not the case, he’s out. You remember to still dress like you and don’t change for him. No over-the-top makeup shit, Little Bell. Never let him think for you. Don’t get your head stuck up your ass, because the right guy for you will love that you’re intelligent. And remember, you never have to do something to make someone love you. The right person will cross the fucking desert in tin foil just to open a fucking door for you.”
He pushes his arm under my head and pulls me into a hug. “Compare every single boy you ever meet to the man I was when you came back into my life. Nobody will love you like I do. If he even comes close, I will shake his hand and give him my blessing.”

Bella : Tag you’re it
Men of Steel, Book 6
Copyright (c) MJ Fields, 2019

Read the Men of Steel complete series first

1 thought on “A new Men of Steel novel is coming… until then check this out”

  1. I have read all of the Steel books and I am up to date with the Steel Crew , I love love love this family. Thank you.

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