Ian's POV

"I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride."

Sam grins up at me and eagerly leans up as I gently grab her face and kiss her full on. I can't kiss her properly because she won't stop smiling. We laugh as we lean away and grab hands.

"I present to you, for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Ian Harris."

Sam laughs as I drag her down the aisle and scoop her up halfway. She clings to me, giggling the whole time. I carry her into Granny's house to wait. I set her down and pull her into a hug. "You look absolutely stunning. Radiant."

"I should say the same thing to you," she leans back and smirks, "hot stuff."

I jump when she pinches my bum. She giggles at my slight frown. "You liked it."

"Did not," I sulk.

"Mommy, Daddy!" Liam yells as he comes barreling down the hallway. We laugh and scoop him up, peppering him with kisses. He giggles and soaks up the attention. Olivia barks as she rushes down the hallway toward us.

Once the guests have cleared to the reception, we spend about thirty minutes with the bridal party having pictures done. I cannot keep the smile off my face, much to the photographers chagrin. I can't help it—my heart feels like it's going to burst. But it's okay, because I think Sammi feels the same way.

The mothers, for some unknown reason, had the "brilliant" idea to rent some fancy outdoor tent for the reception. Honestly, I have no idea what it looks like on the inside, but I've been told it's rather extravagant.

Mothers. What will we do with them?

Sam laughs as she's dragged toward the tent by Liam, his face lit up and flushed in heat and excitement. Olive barks at their heels. Of course, being the social creature he is, he's already popped in and out of the tent several times.

She tells him to wait for me to catch up. He bounces in places as they wait with smiles for me to join them. I scoop Liam up onto my shoulder, much to his delight, and lean down to give Samantha a sweet peck. She laughs. "Having fun?"

"Yeah," I grin back. I bounce Liam on my shoulder. He giggles and grabs my head and arm. "How about you, Liam?"

"Yeah!" he yells. I laugh. Of course he is. He's a massive party animal.

"You two love birds ready to go in?" Emma asks. Sam raises her eyebrow.

"Can't we just go in whenever?"

"No! You have to be introduced!"

"Ugh," she throws her head back. "Bullshit. Tell them no."

"I can't tell them no."

"Bullshit!" Liam giggles. I frown and look up at him.

"We don't say that."

"Mommy did," he shrugs.

"We don't repeat what mommy says. She says bad words."

Liam looks at her. "Is that true?"

She shrugs. "Sometimes."

"Say another bad word, Momma!"

Sam laughs. "You've heard enough bad words for one day. Come'er and give me a hug," she grabs him and pulls him off my shoulder. He giggles.

"No, no, no, Mommy!"

They both laugh as she bear hugs him and peppers his face with kisses. I chuckle as he grabs her cheeks and returns the favor—she giggles and scrunches her face up.

"Presenting Master William Harris."

Liam perks up. "That's me!"

"It sure is," I laugh. He scrambles down from Sam's arms and runs into the tent, giggling and waving. He stops halfway across the dance floor and wiggles cutely. Sam and I laugh. What a little ham.

"Presenting the neeeeew, Mr. and Mrs. — Iaaaan Harris!"

Sam rolls her eyes, unmoving. I chuckle. "Come on."

"I'm not going," she huffs. "I won't be prodded around like a cow."

I laugh and grab her hand, dragging her with me. She refuses to stop pouting, even as we enter the tent. I smile and wave at everyone cheering and hollering as we enter. Someone starts clinking their glass and others soon join. I chuckle and scoop Sam into my arms, kissing her fully.

She stops pouting after that.

Someone whoops. We laugh and break apart, Sam rolling her eyes. I guide her to the head table, where we settle between Emma and Andy. We're served an abundant train of brunch items, a large selection from simple scrambled eggs and bacon to huge cinnamon rolls and who knows what else. We keep our choices relatively simple.

I watch as Sam pulls Liam onto her lap and kisses his cheek. He grins at her and resumes eating his sticky bun. They share the food on her plate after that. I reach over and ruffle his hair, earning a grin in response, which I happily give in return.

It doesn't take long for the mothers to hurry and herd us to cut the cake. I wrap my hand around Samantha's on the knife handle, putting my other arm around her waist. She turns slightly and smiles at me. "Ready?"

"When you are," I reply and kiss her nose. She laughs softly and turns to guide the knife into the cake.

I'm nice when I feed her the chunk of cake from between my fingers. She gets a malicious glint in her eye and I prepare for the worst. She giggles and smears the frosting across my nose and cheek. I laugh and scoop her into my arms, threatening to rub it onto her face. She laughs and pushes my face away with her hands.

Next we both have to feed Liam cake with our fingers because he insists. He giggles and absolutely soaks up the attention.

Sam and I cross the tent, on our way back to our seats. I spy the man walking towards Sam and slow our steps.

"Congratulations, Sammi."

She turns. Her face lights up in a smile. "Dad!"

"Hello," he laughs as she throws her arms around him and hugs him.

"When did you get here? I thought you couldn't make it!"

"You didn't really think I'd miss my only Princess's wedding, did you?" he asks as they step apart. "I snuck in just before the ceremony."

"Dad! You should have told me!"

"And spoiled the surprise?" he jokes. "Never."

"You're not… mad that Jeff walked me down the aisle, are you?"

"No," he waves it off. "Weddings are such a hullabaloo. I'd have gotten married in my street clothes in a courtroom if Scarlet would have let me."

Sam's eyes glow. I chuckle. Like father, like daughter, it would seem.

We're forced to go through the obligatory father/daughter and mother/son dances. Sam dances with Erik, and I dance with my mom. Sam also dances with her mom, to an upbeat song, because she never was one for convention and her mom raised her—it's only right that she get credit at her only daughter's wedding.

Emma leads the dance floor after that, much to our amusement. Sam and I return to our seats to watch the guests have a good time as we finish our meal and enjoy our cake. We laugh as Liam and Emerald dance together. Mostly hopping and holding hands and skipping. But it's very cute.

I comb my fingers through Sam's hair. She leans her head on my shoulder and smiles softly. The day is barely half over and I can already sense her energy draining.

Emma's, on the other hand, is just beginning.

"Everybody put your hands up!" she combo sings and whoops. "Who's ready for some dancing!? Woo!"

The first lines of "Cotton Eyed Joe" begin. She herds everyone into semi line formations and shout-sings the lyrics as they all dance wildly. She and Andy really have a go at it, screaming at each other and trying to one-up the other. It's quite amusing.

Sam and I mingle. Mostly I mingle and Sam gets dragged along—long parties are not her thing. But I know she's trying to be a good sport, and I appreciate the effort. It is her wedding, after all.

The festivities begin to wind down in the late afternoon. Liam, Carson, and Emerald have all crashed from their sugar highs. Sam and I say our goodbyes and move inside to change.

I close the door behind us. Sam removes her veil and lays it across the bed. She sweeps her hair to one side and turns her back to me. "Unzip me?"

"Sure." The zipper slides down easily.


I brush my fingers across the smooth skin of her shoulder. She smirks at me over her shoulder and turns to wrap her arms around my waist. "Being tempted?" she teases. I chuckle.

"Always." I give her a sweet kiss. "You know, Biblically we're not married until it's consummated."

She laughs and turns to grab her travel clothes. "You can wait."

"You didn't have to wait," I pout. She grins.

"That's because my powers of persuasion are stronger."

I chuckle and pick her up.

An hour is so later, we'll all packed and ready to go and have said our goodbyes. Liam was roused from his nap to say goodbye but is currently playing with Carson, perfectly content and without a care that his parents will be gone for a week.

Sam is pouting. I think she's hurt that Liam was so nonchalant about his goodbye and seems delighted that he'll be with Mimi and Carson for a week.

I pull her into my side and kiss her head as we walk to my truck. "He'll be okay."

"He's supposed to be sad we're going. He's supposed to cry, and I'm supposed to comfort him and eventually just bring him along."

I laugh. "Don't worry, he'll call us tonight or tomorrow and tell us all about how much he misses us." I kiss her and open her door. She pouts.

"He didn't even bat an eye."

I shake my head and hoist her into the truck. "He'll be sad eventually. When it sinks in."

"It's supposed to sink in now."

Our family waves to us as we drive off. Liam barely even looks up. Sam huffs and crosses her arms. I put my hand on her thigh and settle in for the drive.

We arrive at our hotel around eight. We unpack enough for the night, take a shower, spend an hour or so in bed consummating our nuptials, rinse off, and then redress to answer a video call from Sam's mom.

"Hi," she gives us a half smile and looks away from the camera. "I hate to bug you but we have a bit of a situation here."

"What is it?" Sam asks. "Does Liam want to say goodnight?"

"Not exactly…" she looks guilty. "Come here, buddy. It's your mommy and daddy." She settles an upset Liam on her lap.

"Mommy! Daddy!" he frowns severely, "you lefted me! !" A tear rolls down his face. Sam's breath catches. She stands up and walks off camera. I see her swipe her face.

"You talk to him," she whispers. I smile sympathetically. She's hardly ever away from him, and if she is I'm with him, or one of my siblings. She must not only miss him but feel very guilty for leaving him.

"We told you we were leaving," I inform him.

"Not withouted me! You don't leaved me!" He sounds so hurt. "Mommy, why'd you leaved me?" he pleads, crying. "Mommy!"

Sam starts crying. I get up and hug her, snuggling her into my chest.

"Mommy, Daddy, why'd you leaved me?" he wails.

"Can we go back and get him, please?" Sam begs. "Please, I can't take it. Please."

"I'll do whatever you want," I murmur and kiss her cheek. "Do you want to leave now or in the morning?"

Liam is full on sobbing. "Mommy! Daddy!"

Sam's intake of breath is shaky. "Now."

We sit in front of my laptop. Angela is trying to calm him down. "Hey, buddy," I say softly. "Liam, it's okay. It's okay, stop crying. Mommy and I are gonna come get you."

"Really?" he says, hopeful. "You are?" Angela says at the same time, incredulous.

"Yeah," I confirm. "Will you sleep until we get there? It will be a couple of hours." He shakes his head.

"No! Never!"

"Liam," Sam says, "if you take a short little nap, daddy and I will be there in no time." He sighs and narrows his eyes.



"…Will you sing to me?"

"Of course."

Sam sings Liam's bedtime song as I collect the few items we unpacked and put the suitcases back into my truck. She's closing the laptop when I get back. "He's asleep."

"That's good. You ready to go?"

She nods and slips her shoes back on. I grab the laptop. She gently grabs my hand and kisses me when she stands up. "Thank you."

"You won't be mad the little gremlin is taking over your honeymoon?" I joke. She halfheartedly laughs.


"Because we can always convince him to stay."

She leans on me as we leave the hotel room. "No, I want him there. I hate the thought that he'll be upset we're gone. He can have sleepovers when he's older."

I kiss the crown of her head. "Whatever you want, love."

Liam is still sleeping when we arrive. Sam gently shakes him awake and he immediately puts his arms around her neck and hugs her. I think they're both crying. Sam in guilt and Liam in anger and confusion. We've never left him overnight—we've always picked him up and tucked him into bed at home.

I collect the bags we prepared for Liam's stay. We'll have to swing by the house and get his coat and a jacket, and we'll have to buy him hiking boots when we arrive, but it'll be worth it to not have a crying and abandoned child and a guilt ridden mom.

Liam holds my fingers as Sammi carries him to the car. I carry his bags in my other hand. "He really can stay," her mom insists. "I'm sure if he has a night to cry it out he'll be fine."

"It's okay," Sam reassures her. "We don't mind."

I toss the bags in the truck with our others and take Liam from Sam. He's half asleep dead weight and puts up no fight as I buckle him in. I pull out his head guard and lean his head against it so he doesn't end up hunched over while he's asleep. I clip his buckles closed.

"Thanks for trying, mom," Sammi says as she hugs her. "We'll see you in a week."

"Have fun hiking. And don't get yourselves killed!" she calls as Sam rounds the car. Sammi laughs as she opens her door.

"We'll do our best. Love you."


"Bye," she waves.

Sammi has to scoot her seat as far back as it will go because Liam insists on holding her hand. I put a hand on her knee and begin the long drive again. Sammi smiles at me and covers my hand with her free one. We'll have to see what time it is when we arrive back at the hotel. We may just have to drive straight through and forgo our first night pit stop.

We do get a couple hours of sleep, Liam snuggled in between us like the intruder he will be for the rest of the trip.

I love him. I really do. And I'm happy that Sam's happy. I'm just not happy that I'll have to think of creative ways to ditch him.

Once we're awake, fed, and all packed up we're back on the road again. Sam and I found a beautiful resort in the mountains with hiking trails and gorgeous scenery where we decided to spend the week. It's a fair jaunt from home but we decided it was worth it to take the time to travel there. We're both excited to be out and exploring nature—we've missed it.

We stop a couple of times to stretch our legs and escort Liam to the bathroom. Which ends up being my job because he refuses to go with Sam once he finds out it's the bathroom only for girls.

I shove my hands in my pockets and lean against the wall as I wait for Liam to finish. He stands dutifully in front of the toilet as he pees. His pee mostly stays in the bowl.

"Blacks, bays, dipple greys, aaaallll the pretty little horsies," he sings quietly to himself. "Hush-by, don't cry, aaaallll the pretty little horsies."

I have to keep from making any noise of merriment otherwise he'll catch on and stop. He's adorable.

"Go to sleep a little baby." He yawns. "Aaaallll the pretty little horsies."

I grab him when he starts to slump over. "All done, little man?"

"Yeah," he rubs his eyes. I fix his clothes and wash his hands as he continues to fall asleep. I carry him back out to the car, where we meet Sammi. She pooches her lower lip out. "Awww. So sleepy," she brushes a curl off his forehead. She kisses him. "Want me to buckle him in?"

"I've got it," I reply. I give her a quick kiss and adjust him to open the door. I climb into my seat once he's all buckled in and given a blanket.

"Sing the song, Mommy," he whispers. She smiles.

"Okay. You ready?"


"Hush-a-by, don't you cry, go to sleepy, little baby." she sings in a beautiful, low, soothing alto voice. "When you wake, you shall have all the pretty little horses. Blacks and Bays, dapples and grays, Coach and six a little horses. Hush-a-by, don't you cry, go to sleep, my little baby."

I listen as she continues to sing softly. A talent I never knew she had until Liam was born. Her voice is very nice. Honestly, it's making me a little sleepy.

Does being a mom automatically give you a soothing singing voice?

Probably not.

But hers is nice.

I turn the GPS back on and follow it's directions for the last leg of the journey once I turn off the highway. Sam and I hold a conversation as she takes in the scenery and I look as much as I dare while driving.

I pull into a parking spot and kill the engine. The resort is beautiful—a huge log cabin style building tucked into the mountains and surrounded by all of the amazing splendor of God's creation.

Sam gently wakes Liam up and puts him in a jacket. The air is nice and crisp up here, even in May. I remove the bags from the truck and Sam helps me carry them in, holding Liam's hand as well. We check in, get our key cards, and comment on the amenities available as we walk to the elevators.

"I want to go swimmy," Liam pipes up. "I love swimmy!"

Sam laughs and herds him into the elevator. "Perhaps once we get settled in, mommy can take you down for a swim."

"And Daddy."

"Daddy will want to sleep."

Liam peers up at me, his eyes squinted. "Sleepy, daddy?"

"A little, yeah," I confess with a chuckle. "Are you?"

"Nope! I'm all awaked."

"That's good," I laugh. Little punk got to sleep in the car, of course he's awake. "You don't have to take him alone, though," I tell Sammi. "I can come too."

"It's okay, I don't mind. You've been driving a lot. I'm sure you're tired."

"You are probably tired as well."

"Not as tired as you," she smiles. We grab the bag again and step off the elevator. The building is so cozy and warm. I honestly love it. It's very welcoming and comforting.

Once the bags are in the room I collapse onto the bed. Sam kisses me chastely and turns to help Liam out of his jacket and shoes. Then she digs in the bags for his swimwear and helps him change. Then she ducks into the bathroom with hers.

Liam settles next to me, patient as ever. "'Sup," I nod at him. He giggles and pushes my face.

"Don't be silly, Daddy!"

I laugh. "I thought you liked silly daddy."

"Noooo," he giggles. He eyes the huge screen. "Wanna watch a mooooovie?"

I chuckle and grab the remote. "You'll only see like three seconds."

"Mommy always takes time," he shrugs and settles back. "Monsters, monsters!" I click on Monsters Inc. as I am told and settle in next to him. We watch contentedly for several minutes.

The bathroom door creaks open. I peer over at it. Sam has a towel wrapped around her waist. She smiles at us and gathers her hair up, turning to peer at the tv. "What're you watchin'?"

"Monsters," Liam tells her. I raise my eyebrow, still watching her.

"Excuse me, what does the rest of that look like?"

She turns to look at me and raises her eyebrow. "The rest of what?"

"That ensemble?"

She glances down. "It's just my swimsuit."

"Since when was it your swimsuit? I've never seen it before."

She shrugs. "Whenever I bought it."

I motion for the towel to be dropped. She rolls her eyes and does so, grinning a little. The front looks like a regular-esque swimsuit, albeit with a low-cut top that shows off her chest and a slightly higher leg cut. I motion for her to turn. She obeys.

Thought so.

There's enough fabric on the back to attach the front of the bum to the back of it (which shows more of her bum then hides it), but the rest is completely open and zigzags with small straps. It shows off her spring tan quite nicely.

"You can't go out in that."

She giggles. "Yes I can."

"Not without me, you can't."

"Do I need my big, strong man to protect me?" she teases in a low, sultry voice, crawling onto the bed and leaning over me.


"I'm gonna do a lot more than protect you."

She smirks. "Promise?"


"You look pretty, Mommy," Liam stops us mid-way to kissing. I sigh as Sam moves away from me and smiles.

"Thank you, baby. Ready to go?"

"Yep!" He jumps off the bed and hurries to grab his swim shoes and goggles. He looks at me. "Bye Daddy. Sleep tigh'."

I chuckle. "Thanks, buddy."

I watch Sam as she holds Liam's hand and exits the room.

Fine, I ogle her. But who's counting?

She sends me a wink over her shoulder as she closes the door. I groan. Darn that child for being so parent-dependent! Sam would have never made it out that door had he not been here to interrupt us.

Sam's POV

I watch Liam happily splash and swim around, dipping into the pool only briefly myself, but sitting on the edge with my legs dangling in should he need me at a moment's notice. He never swims too far away, though.

"Hey, you alone?" some punk-ass guy asks me in what is supposed to be a sexy voice. I raise my eyebrow.


He pointedly looks around. "Doesn't look like it."

"Mommy, look at me!" I turn my head to Liam. He giggles and ducks under the water. He tadpole swims about six inches before he pops back up. "Did you see me, Mommy?"

"I saw," I laugh. "Good job."

"I maded friends, Mommy!" he says of the two little kids who have been playing with him.

"That great, baby!"

I give the guy trying to hit on me a pointed look. He shrugs. "I can dig a chick with baggage."

I laugh. Loudly. "I dare you to tell that to my husband." I smile saccharinely. "I'm sure he'd love to hear that he and our son are considered baggage."

He pales. His eyes dart back and forth. He starts to back up. "Look, baby, I didn't mean—"

"To ignore my wedding ring?" I wiggle my clearly visible finger with the ring. "Sure you didn't. You can tell him that, too."

He retreats quickly. Disgusting pig. But it is nice to know I'm still attractive after having a kid.

I let Liam spend another hour in the water before I tell him it's time to go up and go to bed. I rub him dry and hold his hand as we walk to the elevators. He's wrapped in his towel like a wet dog, urging me to go faster because he's cold. I chuckle and oblige him.

Ian is sleeping when we return. I tell Liam to be quiet and send him to the bathroom. I put the water on low, switch it to hot, and tell him to strip from his swimsuit. He obeys and hands it to me. He pops into the warm water for a quick rinse, and I give his swimsuit a rinse in the sink. I dry him off and put him into pjs.

"You can watch a movie while I shower if it's really quiet. You can't wake up daddy, okay?"

"Otay," he carefully climbs on the bed, watching his father the entire time. He gently scoots down and lays on my pillow.

"What would you like to watch?"

"Tangly," he whispers so softly I almost don't hear him. I put Tangled on, turn the volume to almost nothing, and then slip into the bathroom to rinse myself off. I drain Liam's tub water, hang his suit over the curtain rod, and turn the shower on. I step in fully dressed and stand under the stream for a few minutes, letting the water wash the chlorine from the fabric sticking to me.

The curtain jerks aside. I jump with a small scream of fright and sigh when I see it's Ian. "You scared me."

He wiggles a towel. "Care to dry off?"

"No? I haven't rinsed yet."

He glances over his shoulder. "Currently the womb-growth is entertained with a movie and a snack."

I laugh. "Don't call him a womb-growth, that's so degrading!"

"The point is," he huffs, "that's he's distracted for a short while and he won't be when we go to bed."

I quirk an eyebrow. "Yeah, and?"

"What do you mean, and?"

"What's the point of him being distracted?"

"We can—ugh," he sighs. "Do you even remember what honeymoons are for?"

"Ooooh," realization dawns on me. I giggle. "You should have just said you wanted to have sex, babe."

"I— I—"

I lean forward and peck his cheek. "It's okay, I know you don't talk dirty like that."

"Out loud," he mutters. My eyes widen in both horror and interest. He grins. "Leave the shower on. The more noise to cover us up, the better."

... ...

I slip out of the bathroom forty-five minutes later, wrapped in a towel and trying to not draw suspicion to Liam, who is still chilling on the bed.

I grab a pair of leggings and a flannel. I close the bathroom door behind me and drop the towel. Ian groans. I smirk in his general direction. "How long do you think it'll be before he notices we're gone?"

I giggle. When did he become the insatiable horny one?

"I dunno," I huff as I pull the leggings onto my slightly damp skin. "Probably not long." My unrestrained boobs jiggle as I jump my pants the rest of the way on. Ian's eyes never leave me. I laugh. "I'm getting dressed, stop thinking about it." I stick my arms into the flannel.

"I should have made him stay at your mom's. He would have been fine eventually."

I giggle and straddle him, facing him and brushing the hair from his face. "Don't be mad at him. I'm the one who asked to bring him along.

"Besides," I continue, "I didn't know you'd suddenly become such a horn dog." He gently puts his hands on my hips. He eyes my bare titties for a second.

"Me either, honestly."

"Want a blowjob?" I offer, already standing. I give him a chaste kiss. He thinks for a moment.

"After I touch you to get myself excited enough." His eyes are set on my boobs. I laugh and plop back into his lap.

"Okay, deal."

I climb onto the bed next to Liam. His movie is rolling the credits. He cuddles into me without comment and practically monkey clings to me, wrapping his arms around my neck and his legs around my hips. I rub his back and scoot to the middle of the bed so I can make sure I don't neglect Ian. Something I'm going to have to balance on this trip.

Ian shuts the tv off and climbs in next to me. He turns the bedside light off and puts his arm around both Liam and I, pulling us to him. We're a snuggly, tight-knit little knot.

"Sing, Mommy?" Liam asks. I kiss the crown of his head and oblige him.

Liam very kindly wakes us up. With kisses and whisper-shout demands, and eventually jumping on the bed. He's hungry, and I don't blame him. I could eat a horse.

There's something about hotel food that just makes it . . . so good. It just hits different, you know?

We head up to our room to get changed for a hike after our large and filling breakfast. I'm digging around for Ian's shoes when someone knocks on the door. Ian opens it.

"Helloooooo, party people!" a familiar voice rings out. "What's hanging?"

"Emma?" I stand from my searching. "What are you doing here?"

"I am the official honeymoon babysitter, appointed by yours truly and other concerned family members."


"I'm here to keep an eye on the squirt so y'all can honeymoon away."

"Hallelujah," Ian mutters. I frown at him. I turn back to Emma.

"But how—"

"It's all been arranged," she holds a hand up. "I booked the room right next to yours. Liam can sleep in the room with me, y'all can put him to bed so he doesn't get upset, and during the day he and I get to hang and have fun. So you guys can have fun," she winks over exaggeratedly at me. I roll my eyes at her. "He can eat meals with you, though, if you want."

"I guess it could work . . ." I glance at Ian, then Liam, then look back at Emma. I worry my lip. She waves her hand.

"Don't worry about him! You can trust me. I'm only going to do safe activities with him. Hey, Liam," she addresses my son. "How would you like to go digging for animal bones?!"

His whole face lights up. "Yeah!"

"And then we'll get some food at the secret cave cafe."


"Then, we'll traverse the wild woods looking for bears!"


"Don't worry, it's a small, flat plane they've set up specifically for kids," she tells us. "And then," she turns back to Liam, "we'll go to a campfire, roast some marshmallows, and sing some camp songs! How does that sound?!"

"Awesome!" Liam turns to me, his big, pleading eyes out. "Can I go, Mommy? Pweeeeeese?"

I glance at Ian, who nods. I sigh. "Alright, you can go. But you have to obey Auntie Emma and do everything she says, alright? Unless it's dangerous."

"Yes Mommy."

We bundle him up in appropriate clothes for the weather and send him off with Emma. Me a little hesitantly. Liam with enthusiasm.

"Bye Mommy, bye Daddy!"

"Bye, baby, love you!"

"Bye, little man!"

Ian grabs me as soon as the door closes behind them. "Freaking finally," he sighs and dips his head to kiss me. I refrain from laughing and return his kiss, pushing my fingers into his thick, dense hair.

I laugh in surprise as he throws me down onto the bed and climbs over me, peppering me in kisses.

The rest of our honeymoon is so relaxing I almost regret having to leave. Liam spent most days with Emma, although he did come on a couple hikes with us, and we always tucked him into bed at night after he'd made some new fortress with Emma. Then we had time to ourselves to relax and pamper, like we were supposed to be able to do from the beginning. Some nights were quite steamy . . . whew.

And the hikes! Oh, the scenery was so beautiful. Ian and I spent almost all day every day hiking and mountain biking. We'd spend hours just taking in the view. Words can't even describe how breathtaking it was.

My favorite part was when we were all hiking together as a family. Liam has such a curious mind and Ian's adorable knowledge on nature finally got to shine for someone who was actually listening to more than half of what was said.

What? I just like listening to his voice. So shoot me.

I pull Liam from his carseat and set him on the ground, sighing. "We're finally home," I tell him. He peers up at the sky.


"It is gloomy, isn't it."

"The sky pee-peed on me, Momma," he giggles as another raindrop lands on his cheek. I laugh.

"Alright, inside with you."

We get everything inside before the sky opens up and the rain comes pounding down. Luckily we picked up dinner on the way over and don't have to make some poor delivery person go out in the rain and get drenched.

We eat, get Liam brushed and tucked and sung to, and then we collapse on the couch. Ian pets my hair. "We should get a house."

"Hmm?" I ask distractedly. I'm half asleep already. I took the second day of driving and I'm pooped.

"I said we should get a house."


"So we have more space. A space that's our own and we can decorate however we want. And a yard. Liam would love a yard. So would Olive—and don't let me forget to pick her up from April tomorrow," he adds quickly. "I'm getting a raise at work. We could afford it."

I look up at him. "Just because you graduated doesn't guarantee you a raise."

"Actually, Uncle was going to move me towards the top of the chain."

"He was?"

"Yeah, but I don't fancy lots of desk work. I really prefer physical labor. So we met in the middle."

"How so?"

"I become more of a managing position and get a pay raise."

"Really?! Why did you tell me?" I sit up and hug him. "Aww, congrats, Ian." He chuckles.

"Thanks. It's nothing, really."

"It means a lot! You're earning respect and proving yourself. I'm proud of you."

He smiles and kisses my nose. "I'm proud of you, too."

I laugh. "Don't say that too quickly. I've been too focused being a mom to get my degree in a timely manner." He grabs my hips, giving me a look I can't quite place.

"There is nothing wrong with going at your own pace. And there's nothing wrong with not getting a college degree at all."

"What if I told you all I wanted to do was be a stay-at-home mom? That I don't really have any aspirations apart from that? Would you hate me?"

He kisses me softly, lingering. "I would love you. Because whether or not you realize it, that is an aspiration, and I'll love any aspiration you have."


"Of course."

I smile and settle back on his lap. "Then let's get a house."