“We have a week of just us and a private beach,” she says, reminding me softly about our wedding gift from her Uncle Trevor and Aunt Liz, who are letting us use their beach house in Jamaica for a week. A week during which I plan to take complete advantage of our time alone without family and drama. Not that there has been any more drama. Lane has stayed away since he was served with a restraining order, and I’ve been seeing someone about my episode. The wedding is the only thing that has been keeping me from having all of June, and as of today, that is over. Even though I have to admit, the reception hall and the wedding venue are perfect. All of June’s late nights with her mom, sisters, and aunts have paid off. They did an amazing job.
“I don’t want to share you with anyone. I didn’t like being away from you last night or today,” I admit, and her face goes soft.
“Just a few more hours.”
“A few more hours,” I agree, standing her with me, then move my hands to her hair and smooth it back into place. “You look beautiful.”
“And you look very handsome in your tux. I can’t believe mom actually talked you into wearing one.”
“She didn’t leave me a choice.” I grin then search her face. “How are you feeling?”
“Fine.” She smiles leaning into me. “I got a little sick this morning, but since then, I’ve been okay.”
“I don’t like that you were sick without me there to take care of you.” I frown, moving my hands to her stomach.
“I wasn’t sick, just nauseous, and it’s normal, so get that look off your face.” She shakes her head smiling.
“It’s my job to worry about you,” I remind her. Just then, the door swings open and November comes in with her eyes covered.
“You two better be decent!” she shouts toward the wall opposite us.
“Mom, you’re safe.” June laughs, and November uncovers her face and looks at the wall then swings her head toward us. “What are you doing? The reception is starting any minute.”
“We’re coming now. I just wanted a few minutes alone with my wife,” I tell her, gently tucking June into my side.
“Oh,” she says softly, looking between the two of us. “You could have just said that.”
“You’re in Momzilla mode. You would have stopped us,” June informs her, and November’s lips twitch.
“True,” she agrees with a sigh. “I’ll give you a few more minutes, but then I’m dragging you both out of here.”
“We’ll be out in a second, Mom,” June says, and November nods then looks at me, and barks, “Don’t mess up her hair. You still have pictures to take,” before leaving the room, shutting the door behind her.
“Are you sure I can’t take off your dress?” I ask, hearing November shout through the door, “Do it and die, Evan!”
Covering June’s laughing mouth with my own, I pray silently that the night ends quickly.
“Are you having fun?” June asks from my side, and I look at her beautiful face then around the large, open room. Seeing all of our friends and family has made me realize how lucky I am. I may have had a shit childhood and fucked-up parents, who still to this day haven’t gotten it together enough to think about their son, but I have good men at my back, and a woman at my side who fits me perfectly. And really, what else is there to ask for in life?
Four years later
Finally catching my daughter, who I’m pretty sure was put on this earth to make me nuts, I swing her up into my arms and turn to face an older gentleman when he taps me on my shoulder.
“Yes?” I ask, holding Tia’s tiny hands down, so she can’t bop me in the face as she yells for candy, candy, candy, which she is not getting any of. She doesn’t need candy. Her on veggies and fruit is bad. Her on candy is my worst nightmare.
“Is that your boy?” the man asks, stepping to the side, and when he does, I feel my lips press tight.
I want to say no, that the little adorable hellion isn’t mine, but he is—or he’s all his dad’s. “He’s mine,” I murmur, taking my daughter with me toward her brother, Conner, who is apparently using the automatic popcorn butter-dispensing machine to wash his hands in butter.
“Jesus,” I hear Evan rumble from behind me, as the weight of his hand settles against my lower back. “I was gone for two minutes,” he mutters in astonishment.
“Yep,” I agree, trying not to laugh. “That is all yours.” I watch him approach Conner, tug his hands out from under the streaming river of butter, and grab some napkins. Our life is insane, complete chaos. There is never a dull moment, but there is also never a moment I don’t appreciate what we have.