She wrapped her arms around his neck. “I love you.”

“I know. You’re going to be spoiled rotten.” He pressed a kiss to her neck, inhaling her scent. “There’s something else.”

He waited while she took out the next gift. There were three keys in the envelope.

“What’s this?”

Sitting on the edge of the bed, he took the remote in hand and pointed it at the screen. “Watch.”

Henry sat watching her as the house he’d bought the week before came onto the screen. He’d had the realtor take a video of the property so that he could show her.

Tears glistened in her eyes as the camera moved from room to room.

“Is that our house?” she asked.

“Yes.”

She turned to look at him.

“Are you being serious?”

“I never joke about anything, April. I’ve been waiting for the right house to come along. This has a big enough garden for kids, possibly a few dogs, a future.”

April stopped him from talking by kissing him. The tickets for their honeymoon fell to the floor as she took his lips.

“I love you,” she said. “I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I’m never going to let you go.”

Henry pushed the strap of her wedding dress from her shoulder. “Good, because you’re mine.”

****

Seven months later

The honeymoon had been a dream, and when they got back their house was waiting for them. April would never forget her wedding to the most amazing man in the world. Henry was more than she ever imagined. He knew how to make her feel loved, desired, and cherished.

Their belongings were waiting for them inside the new country house he’d bought. For the last seven months, April had done nothing but redecorate their place. His apartment went up on the market, and she finished off the lease in her own. She stared in the kitchen, putting her own touches to the room. Henry wouldn’t allow her to spare any expense and demanded that she get exactly what she wanted. The appliances were top of the range, and he made sure Marcel helped her design the kitchen. She no longer worked at the restaurant, but she hung out with Marcel in the kitchen from time to time, to try his new recipes.

When the kitchen was finished, she moved into the sitting room. The days stretched into weeks, and those weeks into months. The morning sickness ended, which she was thankful for. She couldn’t drink coffee, but the smell no longer had her running for the toilet. Throughout it all, Henry stayed by her side, loving her. The sickness was worth it to have his hands on her, rubbing her back and holding her hair away. She loved him.

His only complaint during her decoration was for her not to overdo it. He paid several decorators to do the heavy work, and when she wanted heavy lifting, she called him to come home. She loved it when he came home. He always took payment out in the most illicit of ways. His touch ignited a fire that only he could put out.

“Where is that doctor?” Henry screamed.

April smiled as his panic drew her out of her memories. She’d been putting the finishing touches in the nursery when her waters broke. Instead of panicking, she grabbed her cell phone and stayed in the same place as she called him. They didn’t know what sex they were having and wanted it to be a surprise, so she’d settled on neutral colors for the nursery.

“Don’t worry,” she said, groaning as another contraction took over. She tightened her grip on Henry’s hand as the pain increased, making it hard to stay quiet.

When she called him, he’d been talking about plans for that evening. She silenced him with the news that her waters had broken. April smiled recalling the instant he understood what she said. He broke speeding laws to get to her. She’d been cleaning up the mess she created when he walked into the room.

“What the hell are you doing?” he asked, shouting.

“I made a mess, and I’m cleaning it up.” She hadn’t been in any pain, and there wasn’t even any sign of a contraction.

“You’re insane.” He didn’t let her walk to the car. No, Henry carried her all the way to his vehicle even though she must be the size of a tank.

“Okay, it hurts now,” April said, gasping at the pain.

“Shit, baby, I’m so sorry.”

The next contraction happened ten minutes later. There was no holding back the agonized screams. There’s no way childbirth is natural.

“I’ve got you, baby,” Henry said, stroking her hair.

“You did this to me!” Perspiration dotted her brow. She’d promised herself she’d never lose her cool during child birth. Sobbing, April stared at the man she loved. “I’m sorry. I love you, but this hurts.”



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