She smiles and pushes her drink away, motioning for the bartender. He stops in front of us and gives me a friendly nod before looking at her. “I’m sorry. Can you make this nonalcoholic? I can’t drink this.”
“Sure thing,” he says, taking her glass away.
She hits me with a smile and grabs my hand, laying it across her stomach. “Ben.”
“Hmm?” I’m still trying to piece together why she suddenly doesn’t want the drink that she so eagerly consumed our first go around. It takes me a minute to focus on my hand. My eyes meet hers and she smiles. And then it clicks. “Baby, are you pregnant?” The hope in my voice dominates over the sudden anxiousness that begins to brew in my gut.
“I really don’t want to be the size of a house when I’m walking down the aisle to you. So, I was thinking maybe a spring wedding instead? I’d be five months by then.”
“Angel.” I’m on my knees in the middle of the bar, pressing my face against her stomach. “Please tell me I’m not hearing you wrong.”
She giggles against me and turns my face up. “You’re not hearing me wrong. Nolan’s going to be a big brother.”
My senses are flooded with a need to protect this woman and my baby that she’s carrying. “We need to get out of here.”
“Why? This is our spot.”
I shake my head and stand, grabbing some money out of my wallet and paying for the drink she won’t be consuming. “There’s people smoking. And it’s really loud.”
She laughs and puts her hand in mine, allowing me to lead her outside. “Babe, I don’t think the noise level in here is going to hurt the baby. He’s barely the size of a peanut right now.”
I stop in the middle of the parking lot, spinning around. “He?”
She smiles up at me and places her hands on my chest. “Just a gut feeling I have. It’s too early to tell.” I wrap my arms around her, staring down at the woman that I’ll give my life for. “You’re going to put me in a bubble for the next nine months, aren’t you?”
I kiss her forehead, pulling her against my chest. “I’ll do whatever’s necessary,” I say. And she doesn’t argue with me. She allows me to hold her right where we stood that night. Before I knew she’d change my life. Before I knew I was holding the woman I was going to marry.
My future. My forever.
* * *
First and foremost, thank you to my family for your continuous support. To my ridiculously amazing husband. You, YOU are my favorite thing in the entire world. I’m a bit crazy about you. Heads up.
Thank you to Rahab Mugwanja for making me better. I owe you a margarita the size of your head.
Thank you to all the amazing blogger friends I’ve made so far. SERIOUSLY, I can’t even express how much you all mean to me. Beth Cranford, Erin Thompson, Kylie McDermott, Smexy, Lisa Jayne, Maree Hunter, Karrie Puskas, and countless more. Did I just name drop? Oh, fuck yes I did. You all have showed me so much love ever since I published Sweet Addiction and I will never be able to thank you enough. To Give Me Books for everything you’ve done for me. I heart you girls. Now, all of you come to Maryland so I can hug you. Now. Do it.
Thank you to R.J. Lewis for always being there. Even when I’m stressing out. Even when I’m really stressing out. My cell phone bill has reached a new high due to our international text messages and I love it. However, if I don’t get a new book from you soon, I might become hostile. :)
A special thanks to Trish Tess for showing me so much love. You, my little friend, are the sweetest.
And finally, to the best readers a little indie author could ask for. Thank you for taking a chance on me and for all your kind words. Your support means the world to me and I wish I could hug each and every one of you.
Thank you again.
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