“Are you really?” I’m smiling.
“I really am. And I’m happy I haven’t been called in to the hospital, but if I disappear, you know where I’m at.”
“You didn’t get off tonight?” I ask, hoping he doesn’t have to leave.
“I’m on call. We’re shorthanded at the hospital, which seems to be the normal these days.” He purses his lips together and offers an apology. I don’t take it personally, because I know how much he loves helping others and his job.
Drew finally comes back and hands me a glass of sparkly champagne.
“Congratulations, brother,” Evan directs at Drew, offering a peaceful handshake to him.
Drew leans over and gives Evan a hug, and I’m smiling that he hugs him back. John walks up, and I can tell by the look on Drew’s face he doesn’t know which brother it is.
“How’s it going, Court?” John asks. “Everything you ever dreamed it’d be?”
“Pretty good, Johnnie boy,” I give him a nudge in the stomach. “And yes. Everything and more,” I say, turning to smile at Drew.
“You know I hate it when you call me that,” John scolds, but I ignore it.
I nod and sip my champagne. “And you know I hate it when you annoy me, but that doesn’t change anything. Have you seen Mom and Dad?”
John points across the room where my parents are dancing to Strawberry Wine. Just as I plan to walk over to them and cut in, Benita stops me with the boys. Drew is occupied by John and I instantly grab one of the cutest baby boys I’ve ever seen.
“Oh my goodness, Beni. They’re so adorable.” I offer kisses on their chubby cheeks and when they smile I see they have her dimples. “Now who is who?” I chuckle because they’re identical and I can’t tell them apart at all.
“You’re holding Reagan and this one’s Beau. They both have their own little quirks, which helps me tell them apart, I think.” She laughs. “I wish you lived closer, Court. I miss you so damn much.”
“I know. Maybe one day when I’m old and ready to enjoy the smaller things in life. But I promise to come and visit several times a year. If you guys ever decide to come to Cali, you and Aaron and the boys are always welcome! I’ll volunteer as tribute to watch these cutie pies.” I rub my nose against Reagan’s tiny nose.
Aaron walks up and gives me a side hug and wraps an arm around Benita. “Aww, look at y’all being the most perfect family,” he teases as he looks back and forth between the babies we’re each holding.
Benita smiles at me. “Now it’s time for you to have some kids and join us in parenthood.”
Just as she says that, Viola walks up with TJ—or Travis Jr. as Travis finally got his way to name one of the kids—in her arms and agrees. “I think you should have twins just like Benita. Keep the family tradition going.” She grins. “Plus, then I’d get two nieces or nephews.”
“Have I told you how much I love her?” Benita laughs.
“Yeah, yeah. She’s pretty lovable.” I roll my eyes, pretending to be annoyed. Married less than a day and already being hassled to make babies.
Just as Viola scowls at me, TJ starts fussing.
“You tell her, TJ,” I say. “You’re the only little man I need in my life.” I speak in a high-pitched baby voice to try and calm him.
Travis comes over and takes him from her arms. He immediately stops crying and Viola stands there shaking her head.
“I have the magic touch,” Travis gloats.
I lift my eyebrows at Viola and laugh. “Apparently, that’s not the only thing that’s magic.”
Viola gasps and Travis lets out a hearty laugh. “That’s right.”
“Excuse me, but I need my bride now.” Drew grabs my hand and pulls me away from everyone and we walk to the dance floor. His hands find their way to my hips and we sway to the music.
“Have I told you lately how much I love you?” The corner of his lips tilt up in a bright smile.
“I think you mentioned something about it earlier?” I scrunch up my nose, pretending to think about it.
“Thank you for marrying me.” His words send shivers down my spine, and even after all this time, he still affects me just like he has since that very first day.
“Thank you for asking me.” I smile up at him and he brushes his lips against mine. He kisses me deeply and then trails his lips down my neck and nibbles on my ear. He’s interrupted by a clearing of a throat, and I turn around and see my father, who cuts in.
We dance for a couple songs and once we’re done, he walks me over to where Drew’s standing with Travis. “She’s officially all yours now,” my father tells him, and Drew gives him a firm handshake.