His birth was rough, and I ended up needing an emergency C-section after ten hours of labor. I’d lost a lot of blood, and it scared the hell out of Oz. After that, we both decided that one healthy baby was all we needed. We were lucky, and it felt like that worked best for us. I love Oz and Henry so much, I’m not sure I could have more room in my heart for anything else. Sometimes it feels like I could burst from how much love and joy is inside me.

Oz could see how much this affected me today. He popped into my office thirty times throughout the afternoon to check on me and make sure I was doing all right.


I’d kept my job after having Henry. I worked from home sometimes, and not always full weeks, but we’d made it work so I could have both my career and my family. It also helped that Oz set up a day care on the floor below ours. While I might have been stepping into my career, Oz had taken some steps back in his own, freeing up a lot of his time. Heck, I thought it was hard having Henry a floor down for a few hours. Now he’s blocks and blocks away.

Oz finally came into my office this afternoon and told me to go already. That he had a car waiting to take me. I jumped up, rushing over to the school to get our little man. I was thirty minutes early and the first parent outside waiting for the school day to finally end.

Now we’re back at our office building, and I’m letting Henry get an ice cream from the vendor outside while we wait for Oz to come down.

“It’s always a tough decision,” the man next to me says. I look over at him and give a friendly smile. He looks like he just got off work, briefcase in hand, and his suit looks like it’s been worn all day with a few wrinkles in it.

“Oh, to be five and for this to be the toughest decision of the day.” I laugh, placing my hand on top of Henry’s head. I run my fingers through his wavy hair, like his father’s. Almost everything about him is, except he got my gray-blue eyes.

“How about you?” The man’s eyes run over me. “I’m guessing you want strawberry.” He cocks a smile at me, like he’s got me pegged. I want to roll my eyes, but I glance over to where one of my security guards is standing about ten feet back from me. Like always, they’re blending in.

“She likes chocolate,” Henry says, pulling my eyes back to him as he looks up at the man. “And stop talking to my mom.”

“Manners,” I remind him.

“Yeah, manners,” Henry says to the man. He’s still glaring up at him. It’s a face I’ve seen on his father many times. I have to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from smiling.

“Just being polite, little dude,” the man says, holding his hands up, but he narrows his eyes on Henry.

“I’m not your little dude,” Henry practically growls back.

I feel Oz’s presence come up behind me. He wraps an arm around me, then turns me to him. Before I can even say a word, his mouth lands on mine in a possessive, claiming kiss right in the middle of the street. When he finally pulls back, I stare at him then roll my eyes. The man is long gone.

“I had it, Dad,” Henry says, making Oz laugh.

“I know you did.”

Henry nods, looking back at the ice-cream board. I gape at both of them before I shake my head. I should be shocked, but I’m not in the least.

“I’ll take vanilla,” I hear him tell the vendor as Oz leans in, taking a nip of my neck before bringing his mouth to my ear.

“I’m going to fuck you so good you won’t even be able to talk to another person for the next week,” he whispers, then licks the shell of my ear.

“And my wife will take a chocolate,” he says, and I smile.

Epilogue

Mallory

* * *

20 years later…

The smell of rum and sunshine rolls around me, and I smile. I’m lying on my stomach with a cool breeze across my skin, and I feel his lips at the base of my spine.

I feel something ice-cold trail a little lower, and I realize it’s Oz’s tongue.

One of his big hands comes up and palms my ass cheek, squeezing it, and I let out a laugh.

“You’re acting like this is our honeymoon,” I say, rolling over and feeling Oz move over me.

I reach up, running my fingers through dark waves scattered with gray. He’s smiling, and the crinkles around his eyes show all the years of it. He’s ruggedly handsome at almost fifty and can still melt the panties off me. He’s shirtless, letting the tropical sun turn his olive skin a deep brown. His swim trunks are wet but feel good against my hot body.

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