Sun streamed through the palm fronds outside their bedroom window, sending fingers of light dancing across Dax’s skin. It was her new favorite sight in the mornings. Patty fingered the locket around her neck. She’d thought about replacing the pictures of them with more recent ones, but in the end she couldn’t do it. This was where it had all started.
And if their relationship hadn’t been derailed by the pregnancy? Maybe even that had worked in their favor. They’d both grown and matured, and as fate would have it, they’d ended up working in the same specialty after all.
Leaning over, she touched her lips to his bare shoulder then laid her cheek against the sun-warmed skin, smiling when he murmured in his sleep. Someone else was going to have to catch their baby. And any other ones they might have in the future. She hadn’t told him yet about the tiny being tucked beneath her heart. She’d just taken the test a few minutes ago.
Her lips traced the line of his neck. So very strong. So very forgiving. She couldn’t believe her luck. She’d not only gotten to love him once, when he was young. She was getting to love him again, with a love she was even more sure would endure.
He rolled onto his back with a suddenness that made her squeak. “Wanting something, Mrs. Morrow?”
“Mmm…yes. I have something for you. Something I think you’ll like.”
“That sounds promising.”
This time they hadn’t waited to get married, had done it quickly, while her aunt could still mostly understand what was happening. Their mothers were both there as well, thrilled to see their children finally get the happiness they deserved. Patty hadn’t been so sure she did deserve it, until she saw the look in Dax’s eyes as she walked into the room where the justice of the peace was waiting. And then she knew. Dax loved her. Had said he realized it the moment he saw her again, although he’d refused to admit it to himself.
He hauled her on top of him until she straddled him, but when he went to pull her down for a kiss, she stopped him. She placed her news—housed in its plastic strip—on his chest, watching him puzzle through what it was.
Then his eyes came up and speared hers. “Is this what I think…?”
“Yes. And this time I wanted to let you know the minute I found out. I don’t want to waste another second of our lives together.”
“Hell…I—I don’t know what to say.”
There was an intensity to his gaze that sent a shiver through her. “Are you upset?”
“No.” He set it down and gripped her shoulders. “Not upset. I’m happy. Just so damned happy.”
She leaned down and rested her elbows beside his head. “I’m happy, too. Truly.”
Threading his fingers through her hair, he pulled her closer and kissed her on the mouth. Softly. Too softly.
“Hey,” she murmured. “I won’t break.”
“I know. I just want to enjoy you.” The locket dangled between them, and he caught it in his hand. “I’m glad you kept my picture.”
She smiled. “And I’m glad you kept my ring.”
This time when they kissed, rings and lockets were forgotten as they once again pledged their lives and hearts to each other. Patty treasured the second chance she’d been given, and she was going to make sure that Dax knew how much she loved him. Each and every day of their lives.
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