After all that was out of way, we got to the good stuff. The making up. The winning her back. I was always awesome at that part, remember?

But I don’t like to repeat myself; it’s unimaginative. So this time there was no deluge of flowers. No balloon-filled office. No three-man bands.

There were, however, affectionate text messages. Small but meaningful gifts. Notes on her apartment door. Every time I thought of her when she wasn’t there, each time I missed the feeling of her lying beside me, I let her know it. Poetry may or may not have been involved.

And Kate wasn’t idle either. Despite her obvious joy over her independent living situation, she made it known she was lonely without me. She insisted we talk on the phone right before bed.

More often than not, she’d end up nodding off while I was still on the other end, and I’d spend longer than I care to admit listening to her breathe.

Is that pitiful?

Screw it—I’m way beyond caring.

Kate also cooked dinner for us at her place three nights a week.

Then we’d work together at her kitchen table, like two high school honors students cramming for finals.

But around week eight, I felt a grand gesture was called for.

And I made my master move.

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have you ever seen Say Anything? Remember when John Cusack held that boom box over his head? I took a page from his book. But instead of a CD player, I stood on Kate’s sidewalk with a karaoke machine.

You remember how I feel about karaoke, don’t you? There’re lot of things I do well—singing isn’t one of them. But I sucked it up and belted out every pansy-ass love song I could come up with.

Matthew and Steven and Jack showed up and sat on the curb and heckled me, but I didn’t give a shit. Because the whole time I was singing, Kate was standing on her balcony, watching me, a small smile on her perfect lips.

And public humiliation goes a long way.

Because halfway through “Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake, Kate came downstairs, took me by the hand, and led me inside her apartment. I flipped the guys the bird on the way in. And once we were there, Kate rode me like a warrior princess charging into battle.

What? You didn’t think we weren’t having sex, did you? Me, go two months without getting laid?

Why don’t you just pull my brain through my nose with a pair of pliers? I’m sure it would be less painful.

We’d been having sex. But like I said before, there were no overnighters. Which was kind of like eating a sundae without sprinkles. It’s still good, but there’s definitely something missing.

That night, however, changed everything. Because when I opened my eyes, it was morning, and Kate was already awake.

Watching me. She traced my chest with her fingers and kissed me.

And then she told me she was ready—she wanted us to move in together again.

That . . . was the second best day of my life.

We found a new apartment pretty fast. I’d been looking for a while and had it narrowed down to three choices.

It was important to Kate that we have a place that was “ours” in every sense of the word. For her, it represented a new start to our relationship. A symbol of whatever female empowerment she somehow thought she was lacking before. I’d always thought Kate was strong, independent—I never realized she didn’t think that.

The building is more than a hundred years old, with original moldings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and two balconies that overlook Central Park. Plus, Bon Jovi lives a few floors below us, which is cool. Kate is a big fan of his.

So, I think that covers it all. Did I leave anything out?

I’ve learned my lesson. For good this time. Seriously. If I come home and Kate is screwing some random guy in our bed? I won’t freak out—I won’t say a word.

I’ll just pick her up, toss her over my shoulder, and carry her to the nearest DNA lab to make sure it’s actually Kate, and not some evil long-lost twin hell-bent on wrecking our lives.

I’ll never doubt Kate again. Or us, for that matter.

Still don’t believe me?

That’s okay. Time will tell. And besides—Kate believes me.

And that’s all that really f**king matters, isn’t it?

Now that you’re up to speed, I won’t bore you with anymore recaps. But the story’s not over yet. You can watch the rest of the action—live.

“I can’t eat another bite. I think my stomach’s going to rupture.”

“God, Matthew—another slice! how can you even?” Dolores asks.

Matthew rubs his protruding belly, like a grandpa on Thanksgiving day. “It’s a gift.”

She rolls her eyes.

The gang’s all here. The guys came over to help me arrange the furniture in the nursery, and the girls tagged along to supervise. Solid cherrywood—that’s some heavy shit. Take my advice: go with imitation wood. It looks just as nice and is a hell of a lot easier to move.

Shamu stares at Matthew as he picks up his fifth slice of pizza.

“Seriously, Matthew—you need to stop.”

Shamu? Oh, that’s Alexandra—new temporary nickname.

Matthew and I came up with it a few weeks back when she made the unfortunate choice of wearing a one-piece black-and-white maternity bathing suit to the beach.

Don’t tell Steven, though. he’s got zero sense of humor when it comes to us ragging on my sister these days.

With his mouth full, Matthew tells her, “Don’t be jealous, Sham—just because you’re too puffed up to enjoy this fine delicacy.”

Uh-oh. Did you catch his slipup?

Alexandra sure did.

“What did you call me?”

“What?”

“Sham. You called me Sham. What the hell does Sham mean, Matthew?”

I’ve never seen someone lined up before a firing squad, but now I know just what they’d look like. Matthew chokes down his bite like he’s swallowing a brick. And his wide eyes turn to me for help.

You’re on your own, man. I’ve got a kid on the way. It’d be nice to have four functioning limbs when he’s born.

“I . . . ah . . . I’m coming down with Tourette’s.”

Delores looks confused. Alexandra’s eyes narrow.

“Asslickingturdballmotherfuckerbitch. See?”

Shamu turns away. “Whatever.”

huh. That was disappointing. The pregnancy must be wearing her out. And speaking of pregnancy—Kate waddles into the room.

her hair is long and shiny. It sways left to right as she moves.

her brow’s wrinkled tiredly, and one hand rests on her lower back to help support the immensity that is her front.