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"Yeah. Where's Dad?" I asked her.
"In the living room. Come on," she said, leading the way. "Dave, the kids are here!" she called out as we approached the living room. "You should've met them at the door."
Dad was in his recliner. He turned to look at us and smirked. "Why? You just about tackle them when they get here. Don't figure they need me hovering over them too."
Momma slapped his arm, and he winked at her as Micah headed to hug him. That little boy was the best thing that had ever happened to my parents. Especially my dad. He smiled a lot more now. He also got outside and played with him. It was nice to watch.
"We got y'all a present," Micah announced, holding it up. "It's a really good one too."
"A present? Well, what day is it? Did I forget something?" Dad asked, looking up at Momma.
She shook her head and shrugged. "I don't know. I don't think so."
"Here." Micah shoved it into my dad's hands. "Open it."
Dad glanced up at me, and I shrugged. But the grin on my face was hard to mask.
Momma walked over to stand behind Daddy. "Go on, Dave. Open it up."
Dad held it in his hands like he was afraid it was about to burst into flames.
"Oh, for heaven's sake. Open the bag," Momma said, taking the bag from him and opening it herself. She reached in and pulled out the white box that was inside.
Sienna slipped her hand into mine as Momma lifted the lid.
She didn't speak at first. Then her hand went to her mouth as she stared down at the bib Micah had chosen with care. When she lifted it up, she showed Dad and then burst into tears, laughing and crying at the same time.
Dad read the bib out loud: "'I'm perfect. Just ask my grandparents.'"
Then he turned to look at us. His gaze dropped to Sienna's stomach, and Micah couldn't take waiting on them to speak. So he announced, "We're going to have a baby!"
Dad's face broke into a huge grin, and his eyes misted over. They had been robbed of this with Micah too. They would get to experience it all with this baby.
"I'm just so . . . ," Momma squealed, then ran to wrap Sienna in her arms. "Thank you. Thank you. I couldn't ask for a better mother for my grandkids."
When she was done with Sienna, she grabbed me around the waist and held on tight. "My boy's gonna have a baby," she sobbed into my chest.
Dad walked up and hugged Sienna. "If this ain't a surprise." He chuckled, trying to hide the fact that he had gotten a little emotional.
"Dad, can we go eat now? I'm hungry," Micah asked.
Both my parents froze from hearing Micah call me Dad for the first time. Honestly, it was a little intense for me, too. He was my brother's son. But in my heart he was mine. "Yeah, kiddo, we can go eat now," I replied.
Then my mother promptly burst into a new round of happy tears.
Sienna When I jumped up from bed and ran to the bathroom two days later, Dewayne was right behind me. He had my hair pulled back and was wetting a washcloth by the time I hit my knees in front of the toilet. Yesterday I had made it through the morning until the bacon Micah had requested for breakfast wafted past my nose and had me running for the toilet. But today I woke up this way.
"I love you," Dewayne said so sincerely as he held my hair back while I dry heaved. If I wasn't puking my guts out, I would laugh. This isn't where most women expect to hear their men tell them they love them.
Once I was finished, Dewayne flushed the toilet and started cleaning my face for me. I was getting spoiled by this. He helped me up and began fixing my toothbrush for me.
"I can do it," I told him.
"I know" was his response as he continued to put the paste on my brush, then handed it to me.
I laughed as he filled the gla.s.s with water for me to rinse and waited patiently like I was a child for me to finish.
When I was done and had dried my mouth, he took my arms and turned me around to face him. "Marry me," he said simply.
"You already asked me that. I said yes."
He gave me a crooked smile. "I mean today. Now. Tomorrow. Just soon."
Today? Had he lost his mind? I couldn't get the wedding together for today or tomorrow.
"Just because I'm pregnant doesn't mean we have to hurry up and get married. Two months isn't that long to wait."
He shook his head as if that was the incorrect answer. "I want a wedding band on your finger. I want your last name to be mine. I want to be able to say 'Have you met my wife, Sienna?'" he said, looking exasperated.
"So I'm to be your trophy wife?" I teased because of his last comment.
He smirked. "Come on, babe. Marry me. Let's not wait."
When the most beautiful, perfect man in the world, who you loved more than life, asked you to hurry up and marry him, it was hard to say no. Especially when he was only wearing a pair of sweatpants.
"Two weeks," I said, trying to sound firm.
He groaned. "Two weeks? That's forever."
Laughing because he sounded just like Micah right then, I slipped my arms around his waist. "Next week is a big week because we go to the doctor. I need time to adjust to the pregnancy and plan at the same time. I don't want anything extreme, but even a little wedding takes some time."
He sighed, then finally nodded. "Fine. Two weeks. But two weeks from today, you will be Mrs. Sienna Falco."
One week and six days later . . .
I watched as Dewayne walked Micah over to his parents'. The little blue rolling suitcase that Mama T had given him was trailing behind them. He was staying with them for the next week. Tomorrow afternoon Dewayne and I would pledge forever together at a small, simple beach wedding. Then, for our honeymoon, we were going somewhere-but I didn't know where because Dewayne wouldn't tell me.
If Micah didn't love Tabby and Dave so much, I wouldn't have been able to leave him that long. But he'd be so taken care of and spoiled while we were away, I knew everything would be fine. Tonight Dewayne wanted it to be just us. If he didn't get to see me tomorrow until the wedding, then he wanted to spend the night before with me. Alone.
Smiling to myself, I went to the bedroom and slipped out of the clothes I had worn to work today and turned on the faucet to fill up the bath. I needed to be clean. I felt yucky from working all day. Before Dewayne ran his wonderful mouth over me everywhere, I needed a bath.
Once the water was warm enough, I slipped inside and sank down. With a sigh I closed my eyes and laid my head back. Soaking in the tub was one of my favorite things to do.
The front door opened and closed. He was back. I would need to make this bath quick because, even with Micah there, he had been frisky this evening. His hands had kept slipping under my shirt while I cooked dinner.
I felt his presence the moment he filled up the doorway. Opening my eyes, I turned my head to look over at him. "I needed to get clean," I told him.
He smirked. "I'll take you clean or dirty, babe. In fact, I like you dirty."
Laughing, I reached up with my toes and turned off the water. Dewayne walked over to the tub and picked up the washcloth lying beside me, then picked up my body wash. "But bathing you has its advantages too," he said as he dipped the cloth into the water and ran it up my thigh while his eyes roamed over my body. "I'm looking forward to seeing that flat stomach get nice and round," he said as he brushed the cloth over it.
Enjoying his touch, I closed my eyes and let him play all he wanted. His breath was on my face just before his lips touched mine. He licked my bottom lip, then nibbled on it before trailing kisses across my jawbone and down my neck. "Smell good when you're dirty," he whispered. "But I'll make you smell better."
Shivering, I waited for the cloth to touch my body again. But what I felt instead was better. Dewayne had soaped up both his hands and used them to wash my body thoroughly.
This man wrecked me with things like this. He never made me question if he loved me. He never made me wonder if this was forever. With every look and every touch, Dewayne Falco proved to me that I was it for him. That our story was going to be full of happiness and love. Our house would be full of laughter as we raised our children together. Then one day, when we were old and gray, we would sit on the front porch swing, holding hands and talking about all the memories we had made.
Cage And Eva from While It Lasts and Sometimes It Lasts Cage Today was my baby girl's third birthday. I blinked and she had gone from being a tiny little bundle in pink to wearing tutus and tiaras-literally, and daily. Like all the time. Even when she went to preschool. They had just learned to accept the fact that Bliss was wearing what she wanted.
For a while she had looked a lot like me, but that was fading. Every day she grew to look more and more like her mother. Which only stressed me out. I couldn't imagine dealing with this when she became a teenager. I now understood why Eva's dad had wanted her to have nothing to do with me. I'd have locked Bliss up in her room and thrown away the key if someone like me had shown up sniffing around her.
Chuckling, I reached over and tucked my beautiful wife closer to my chest. She wasn't awake yet. I was trying my d.a.m.ndest to let her sleep late since she had a birthday party to pull off today. I had tried to tell her we didn't have to invite every friend we had and feed them all. But she had told me I was wrong.
I accepted her correction. Besides, it was my baby girl's birthday, and she loved having everyone here giving her attention. She was three going on thirty. She talked like she was grown, and poor Eli Hardy was one of her loyal subjects. She bossed that boy around, and he just took it. His dad would chuckle and say Eli knew a pretty girl when he saw one.
That was funny now, but that s.h.i.t wouldn't be funny in ten years. Eli Hardy was Low's boy, and I loved him. But he'd better never look at Bliss as anything more than a friend. My little girl was too good for any male out there.
"Mmmm . . . you feel good," Eva mumbled in her sleepy voice as she stretched out, throwing a leg over me.
"h.e.l.l yeah, I do," I agreed with her, and she let out a soft giggle.
When she was done stretching and making me h.o.r.n.y as f.u.c.k, she tilted her head back to look up at me. She didn't say anything at first. Then she gave me a teary smile. "Our little girl is three. How did that happen? She was just born."
I imagined one day we'd be saying this when she graduates from high school, and then when we send her off to college. Then the day she gets married . . . Wait, no. That s.h.i.t ain't happening. No getting married. Until she was, like, maybe forty, or I was dead.
"She's excited about it. Didn't think she'd ever go to sleep last night," I said, thinking about her telling me who all was coming and what games they were going to play.
"She likes to be the center of attention," Eva said, then smirked at me. "A lot like her daddy."
I bent my head and took a nip of Eva's earlobe. "I have no idea what you're referring to."
She giggled and squirmed, pressing her b.r.e.a.s.t.s to my chest. All the thoughts of today left me, and I was very focused on my naked wife. Pulling her on top of me, I claimed her mouth with mine.
"Cage, we can't," she said, wiggling on top of me. "We will wake up Bliss."
"We can be quick and quiet. Try not to scream my name," I said, picking her up and sliding inside her easily. "Fuuuuck yeah, that's the way to wake up," I whispered in her ear as she made her sweet, s.e.xy noises and then pressed her face into my chest to smother her sounds.
"You're soaking wet. Someone else woke up h.o.r.n.y too," I teased.
She lifted her head and glared at me, then moaned. "Stop talking. I'm trying to be quiet."
I reached back and tugged on her hair, then licked a trail up her neck.
"Cage," she whimpered, then bit down on her bottom lip again.
"Ride me hard, baby. Make it fast," I told her as I lifted my hips and pushed deeper inside.
Pleasure lit her eyes, and I covered her mouth with my free hand. Her teeth bit down on my palm. "f.u.c.k yeah, bite me," I encouraged.
She started rocking back and forth while moaning into my hand. "I said ride me, not play with me."
Her eyes flashed. She lifted her hips, and the slaps of our bodies. .h.i.tting each other filled the room. Over and over again, until she cried out into my hand and I followed right behind her.
Eva Being married to Cage York was never dull. This morning was just one example. I smiled as I flipped the chocolate chip pancakes Bliss had requested this morning. The fireworks Cage always managed to set off in my body still left tingles between my legs an hour later. He was just really good at that. And he was mine.
"Can I put on my new sparkly tutu now, Mommy?" Bliss asked from her chair at the table.
"No, sweetie, you could get syrup or chocolate on it. Wait until after you eat breakfast to get dressed for the party," I told her.
She sighed dramatically. Bliss did everything very dramatically. Even sleep. She was impossible to sleep with. The moving and talking that went on was cute but kept us up most of the night.
"Can I wear my boots with my new tutu so I can go help Daddy feed the cows?" she asked.
As much as Cage would get a kick out of her strutting out there in her sparkly tutu and the work boots he had bought her for when she helped him feed the cows and spread the hay, I couldn't let her do that. She'd be so upset if it got dirty before her party. Those were tears I didn't want to happen on her big day.
I scooped her pancakes onto the pink ballerina plate she loved and walked over to set it down in front of her. "You could get the tutu dirty out there too. Maybe you could wear the tutu you wore to help Daddy outside yesterday."
She scrunched up her little nose. "Um, no. That one needs to be washed."
Yes, it did, and whichever one she wore outside to help Cage today would need to be washed too. "Well then, wear your blue one. It's clean."
Bliss picked up her fork and took a bite of her pancakes. "Okay. That works."
The things that kid said sometimes. With a smile I went back to the stove to clean up the mess I'd made from Bliss's special birthday breakfast. It was what she ordered every Sat.u.r.day morning, but it was what she wanted, so I made them. I had apple cobbler to make and pasta salad to fix before lunchtime. I had made everything else last night. Including the cake. Cage was grilling ribs for the party because they were Bliss's favorite food.
"Mmmmm, these are good, Mommy. Best pancakes in the whole universe," Bliss said as she ate.
She used to say the world until she recently learned that the universe was bigger.
"That's because I made them for my most favorite girl in the universe," I told her, then focused on cutting up the veggies for the pasta salad.
Cage Standing over by the grill with a beer in my hand, I took in the scene in my backyard. My best friend, Willow Hardy, was once again pregnant. She was sitting in the swing under the tree with her feet propped up on her husband's legs. Willow and Marcus's son, Eli, was with Bliss, sliding down the large inflatable water slide we had rented for the event.
Across from them sat Preston and Amanda Drake. Preston was leaning up against the tree, with Amanda sitting between his legs. They laughed at something Marcus said. They didn't have kids yet, but knowing Preston, one would be along soon enough.
Dewayne and Sienna Falco were recently married as well, with a baby on the way. Their son, Micah, was over by the cows, feeding them some of the old bread we had left out for them, with Daisy May Taylor.
Rock and Trisha Taylor's boys were throwing the football with their dad and uncle Krit. I had never imagined Krit Corbin would get married, but d.a.m.ned if he wasn't engaged, with his wedding date set for next month. His fiancee had him so wrapped around her little finger it was comical. It was fun to watch. I understood completely. He thought it was bad now, but just wait until he had a daughter. I sure hoped he had one. All reformed players needed a little girl of their own.
"Those smell good."
I turned my attention to the newest arrivals. Jason and Jess Stone were in town for the week, visiting her mother. Jess was another one who had surprised me. Jess had been trouble back in the day. The girl had caused all kids of s.h.i.t. But then Jason Stone had rolled into town, and it had all changed. Jess's diamond ring and wedding band flickered in the sun as she rested her hand on her pregnant belly. She was due any day now. At least, it sure looked like it.
"Sadie and Jax sent a gift too. They wanted to be here, but Sadie's on bed rest still," Jess said as she held up two presents wrapped in shiny pink paper.
"Glad y'all made it. Eva is over there, setting up the table with Larissa and Trisha's help. Beers are in the cooler, and sodas are in the big ice bucket over under the tree."