Four years later
“Daddy, when is Mimi Stella going to be here for the party?” Lucy asks around a mouthful of food.
“Don’t talk with your mouth full, Lulu. And she’ll be here in a couple of hours,” I say, cutting up the rest of her banana.
Her face—a replica of her mother’s—scrunches up as though she smells something bad.
“Is that a long time from now?” she asks.
“Nope.” I reach and toss a few slices of the fruit onto her plate.
Did I just lie to my kid? I prefer to call it self-preservation.
My daughter is nothing if not tenacious and has asked no less than a hundred questions in the short period of time she’s been awake.
Add an inquisitive nature and a seemingly innocent one-word answer becomes things like “how long is an hour? How long are minutes? Why does it take Mimi so long to get here from Georgia if the states are next to each other?”
And to think in a few months we’re adding another one to the mix.
It’s exhausting, yet I wouldn’t have my life any other way.
My wife walks in the kitchen, her eyes still sleepy and a huge smile on her face.
The woman is like watching magic come alive, and when she’s in the room, I can’t keep my eyes off her.
It’s a damn good thing we work in separate departments of the Bull Sharks.
The feelings I’ve had for Charley since we met have only grown deeper over the years, and I thank God every day that she said yes that December night in the gazebo.
My stomach drops just thinking about where I would be if I’d let her get away.
I know I wouldn’t be standing here in the kitchen of my beach house, feeding my amazing daughter breakfast and watching my glowing bride of three years cross the room to our baby.
At twenty-five weeks pregnant, Charley has that radiant glow that makes her even more beautiful than she already is, a fact I didn’t think possible.
The short robe she’s wearing does little to hide her growing baby belly and makes my blood run hot with all the bare leg on display.
Between the fact that her sex drive is in full force when she’s pregnant and that she positively glows, I’d keep her pregnant all the time if I could.
“Hey, sweets. You eating a peanut butter burrito?” She runs a hand over Lucy’s dark hair and kisses the top of her head.
Lucy is a mini Charley, except for the eyes. And Lucy’s hazel eyes are as devastating to my heart as Charley’s blue ones are.
I love my girls in a way that guts me and yet makes me feel like a superhero all at the same time.
“Yep.” Lucy pops the p before biting into her burrito. “Daddy cut up a banana too, just how I like it.”
Lucy nods enthusiastically. “Daddy does fruit best.” Her eyes swing to Charley’s. “Sorry, Mommy.”
Charley laughs and my heart swells at the sound of her laughter and my baby’s little voice. “It’s okay, sweets. Daddy is the best, isn’t he?”
“Yes!” Lucy lifts one fist into the air, then bobs her head around, humming a tune only she knows.
My eyes meet Charley’s, and we share a smile as she makes her way around the island to me. Her arms come around my waist, causing my skin to burn at her touch.
I lift her chin and drop a kiss on her mouth. “How are you feeling this morning?”
“Not so far.”
This time around, the morning sickness went on for weeks and still comes on randomly at times.
Thankfully, she also detests the nasty burrito concoction that she devoured when pregnant with Lucy.
“In fact,” she says, lowering her voice and wrapping a hand around my neck, bringing her mouth to my ear, “I’m feeling rather ravenous now that I’ve seen you shirtless.”
When I pull back and see that look in her eye, I flash her my grin that I know makes her crazy in the best way.
Right on cue, her eyes flare with desire. It takes everything I have not to drag her into the walk-in pantry and fuck her against the wall.
My daughter is in the room, after all.
“I’m done!” Lucy announces, lifting up her plate for us to see.
Charley clears her throat and looks toward our daughter. “That’s good, baby. You know what to do now, right?”
“Clean. Up. Then can I watch TV for a minute?”
“Mommy, you’re the greatest.” She wiggles down from the stool, with Charley admonishing her to be careful.
Before I let Charley go, I whisper in her ear, “You, me, our bedroom in twenty.”
She bites her lip and nods before moving away to help Lucy.
Twenty-five minutes later, Charley is naked on the counter in the bathroom with my head between her legs, quietly moaning my name.
“Oh, yes, God, that feels good.”
A few more flicks on her clit and she explodes, her sweet honey taste on my tongue.
My sweats hit the floor and we groan together when I bury my cock inside her, my favorite place to be.
Every time is like the first time with Charley, even when we’re in a heated frenzy.
Our hands are all over each other and our mouths fuse together as I thrust into her over and over. My movements become erratic, and as her pussy contracts around me, I let go.
When we’ve finally caught our breath and I clean her up, I take her face in my hands and kiss her softly. “I love you, Firefly.”
“I love you too, Iceman.”
“You ready for the party?”
She smiles against my lips. “Absolutely. I can’t wait to find out what we’re having.”
While this baby wasn’t planned either, it isn’t totally unexpected like Lucy. We knew we wanted more kids, but didn’t really plan when that would be.
When Charley told me she was pregnant again, I couldn’t have been happier.
And this time around, we thought it would be fun to find out what we are having at the same time as our loved ones.
“And,” she continues, “I’ve missed everyone.”
“Babe, you just saw Darcy and the gang yesterday.”
“Yeah, but that was at work. I feel like it’s been forever since we’ve seen everyone outside of work.”
Her eyes fill with tears. I hide a smile and wrap her in a hug. “It’s going to be okay.”
A pregnant Charley means a hormonal Charley in all kinds of ways.
But by the time the guests arrive and the party is in full swing on the back deck, Charley’s all smiles in a flowy, short, white dress, with Lucy by her side in a white sundress and her hair in pigtails.
My heart squeezes in my chest watching them.
When the time comes to reveal the gender, everyone gathers around the table where Lucy, Charley, and I stand together.
“In front of you are three covered plates,” my sister Megan says to us, “each one containing a cupcake. Inside one of the cupcakes are chocolate candies, and the color of them will reveal what Charley and Nate are having. So, let’s get started!”
Charley lifts the lid and breaks open her jumbo-sized cupcake.
Lucy is between us, standing on a step stool. We help her take the lid off, and her eyes go big at the sight of the decorated treat. “It’s so pretty.”
“Break it open, Lulu,” I say.
She sticks her tongue out like she does when she’s concentrating and tries to get her little hands around it, but only manages to get icing in between her fingers and up her arms somehow.
“Daddy, help me!”
We all laugh, and Charley and I move in to help her.
Once we get her cleaned up, the three of us get ready to tear it open.
“Alright my ladies, let’s see if there’s anything in here. On three.”
The cupcake opens, and the candies fall out onto the plate in a bright pink waterfall.
Shouts of congrats go up all around us and Lucy squeals, clapping her hands.
Once the shock of being a girl dad again wears off, I wrap Charley and Lucy up into my arms, hugging them tight.
Thoughts like what our newest addition will look like and how did I ever get this lucky tumble through my mind.
When Lucy wiggles out of the embrace, I close the gap between Charley and me, gathering her up in my arms.
“Ready to have another female in the house, Gentry?”
“Hey, being surrounded by beautiful girls isn’t a hardship for me.”
She laughs, and my mouth captures hers. I pour my heart and soul into that kiss.
We may have started out as a one-time thing, but now we have our unexpected forever.