“I have to finish getting ready,” I groan against his lips. “I don’t want to show up looking like a bloated, fat whale.” I make a face as I step away and he pats me on the ass to hurry it up.

Once I’m dressed, my hair is curled, and my makeup is done, I’m nearly out of breath. That took more energy than I anticipated, and now I’m ready for another nap.

“This baby is sucking every ounce of life out of me, and it’s not even born yet,” I whine, grabbing my purse off the table and slipping into my flats. No heels for me.

“He’s just preparing you for when he’s here, and you’ll need to function on only a couple hours of sleep a night.”

“I’m telling you…it’s a girl,” I say as he opens the door and he follows me out.

“I guess we’ll find out soon.”

It’s been years since I’ve seen Travis’ mom and dad. I was expecting it to be awkward as hell, but surprisingly it felt like old times. Just like everything with Travis, it felt as if no time had passed at all.

His mother is ecstatic about the baby, and I know she’s going to make every effort to come and visit us once he or she is born. His father has lost weight, and he’s pale and noticeably weaker. I feel for Travis, and although their relationship has been anything but a solid one, I hope they can mend it enough for the sake of our baby. I’d love for his father to form some kind of relationship with our child since his days are going to be numbered.

Once we finish dinner, we order dessert and start talking about baby names. His mom gives us a list of family names, in case we needed any inspiration. I wish I could say that we plan to take the list into consideration, but I can’t fathom naming our baby after Travis’ great uncle, Seaman Gaylord King.

After dinner, we part ways. It’s almost 9:00 p.m. and I’m not sure I’ll even be able to make it to midnight to open the gender reveal envelope together. Drew is working, and Courtney is partying with a few other friends, so we have the house to ourselves, but I just want to lounge on the couch and read until I fall asleep. However, Travis, as usual, has other plans.

“Please tell me where we’re going!” I beg from the passenger seat. He keeps his eyes on the road and his lips in a taunting smirk.

“We’ll be there soon, just be patient.”

“I hate surprises,” I groan, getting a smile out of him.

Travis pulls into a suburban neighborhood and parks on the side of the road in front of a large Victorian house on a small hill. The streetlights glow over the sidewalk, and I can’t place exactly where we are.

“What are we doing?”

He slides out of the car, and I watch as he walks around and opens my door for me. “Come on.”

Confused and a little skeptical, I step out and let him take my hand. As he pulls me up, he shuts the door behind me and weaves his fingers through mine.

“Travis,” I say as he leads me up the sidewalk. “What is going on?”

We start walking up the steps that lead up the hill to the stunning house. The house is pitch black, and it looks like no one is home.

Travis stops us about midway up the porch stairs and positions us toward the house. “So, what do you think?”

“About what?”

“The house.”

“Um…it’s gorgeous. Who lives here?”

He digs into his pocket and pulls out a small box. My heart begins racing, thumping hard in my chest as I watch him. He opens it slowly, and I swallow down the anxiety of what is happening right now. I study the little box in his palm and wonder if it’s what I’m thinking.

“As of this morning, we do.” He opens the box and pulls out a key with a red ribbon tied through it.

“Wait, what?” I gasp, my head spinning at his words because they make no sense. We’ve been looking at apartment ads, but nothing seemed to work out. “I don’t understand.”

“I made an offer on this house about a month ago, and it just closed this morning.”

“But…I thought we were apartment hunting?” I’m thoroughly confused, and I don’t know if it’s pregnancy brain, but my mind is a clusterfuck of emotions.

“That was just to put you off of my surprise.” He smiles. “I saw a sign for an open house and on a whim decided to go check it out. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was meant for you and me. There’s a large dining room, a fireplace in the living room so you can read next to it, a large bathtub so you can relax once the baby’s asleep, and even a little nook with built-in book shelves for your Harry Potter collection. Plus, there are four bedrooms, which means we can decorate one to be the nursery. The neighborhood is perfect. It’s close to my job, has good schools, and there’s a nice big backyard for Gryff and even room for a swing set. I didn’t know if you’d come back to me, but I just knew I couldn’t let it go. I put an offer in the next day, and they accepted.”

Tags: Kennedy Fox The Checkmate Duet Erotic
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