She nodded. “I do.”

Epilogue

Even nearly a year later, my engagement to Dante hadn’t left the lips of most people, it didn’t bother me though. When I wasn’t modeling, I was planning my Christmas wedding. It was just around the corner, and I couldn’t believe that before the new year, I would be Mrs. Marcello.

That morning had been a tough one, though. I was up early, trying to get some details in order before I had to leave for a photo shoot, and I kept getting sick to my stomach. It was the weirdest thing. I hadn’t eaten anything unusual, and each time I puked, I would briefly feel like nothing was wrong with me at all. I’d go back to planning, and then a few minutes again, it would hit me again like an 18-wheeler. I was fully planning on forcing myself to deal with it during my shoot; it was with a major designer I couldn’t afford to cancel on, but by the time I got to downtown Chicago, I was back to feeling like a million bucks.

“It sounds like you’re pregnant, dear,” my makeup artist said after I explained my symptoms to her.

I didn’t respond. It was so obvious. Thinking back, Dante and I never had protected sex. All the other guys used condoms, it was one of Dante’s rules, but for as frequently as my fiance and I had sex, it was only a matter of time. I got through my shoot and then immediately went to a drug store and bought a handful of pregnancy tests. I went home and took them all, and lo and behold, I was pregnant.

I couldn’t believe it. Despite how I thought I might feel, I was ecstatic. Dante was doing all he could to keep his involvement in ‘the life’ at bay, and now that he was going to be a father, he had even more reasons to stay at home more. I was blissfully looking at all of my positive pregnancy tests when I got a call, to my surprise, from my mom.

“Hey mama,” I answered.

My mom sniffled. “Hello, sweetheart. How are you?”

I smiled. “I miss you.”

She sniffled some more, clearly crying. “I miss you. I’m sorry your father and I reacted the way we did to you and your sister’s news. I suppose we just didn’t quite know how to deal with everything. We do miss you though. Will you come home for Thanksgiving?”

I was surprised. I honestly wasn’t expecting it. “Wow, really?”

“Of course. We always have Thanksgiving together, and we would love to see you. In fact, we’re hoping you’ll bring one of your significant others as well, maybe your fiance?”

I was blown away. What a far cry from ignoring me. “Yeah, mom. I’ll let him know right away so we can book tickets.”

“Okay. I can’t wait to meet him,” she said.

“I can’t wait either. I love you.”

“I love you too, Sadie. See you in a few days.”

I couldn’t stop smiling. “Yes you will.”

As soon as Dante got home, I pulled him into our bedroom. He was disappointed to learn sex wasn’t the first thing on the agenda, though I assured him it was certainly on it.

“My mom wants to meet you. She invited us for Thanksgiving,” I told him.

“Wow, she finally called?” he replied. “Of course. I can’t wait to meet your family.”

I kissed him, my stomach pressing against his reminding me of the other news I had.

“Oh… Um…” I stepped back.

Dante tilted his head to one side. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. Everything’s wonderful, just… Remember how I was telling you I was feeling really sick this morning?” I asked and Dante nodded. “Well, now I know why.” I pulled one of the pregnancy tests out of my pants pocket and held it up to him. “Surprise.”

Dante’s eyes went wide. “Are… Are you pregnant?”

I nodded. “Yeah.”

He swallowed hard. “Is it–”

“Yes, Dante, it’s yours,” I cut in quickly.

“I’m gonna be a dad?” he murmured, more to himself than me.

I placed a hand on his cheek. “You’re gonna be a dad.”

His shock turned into excitement. “I’m gonna be a dad!”

I nodded. “You’re gonna be a dad!”

He bolted over to the door of the bedroom, opened it and screamed out. “I’m gonna be a dad!”

I could hear the stampede of footsteps making their way towards us as Dante turned around and scooped me up into a warm embrace.

“You could have warned me he was drop-dead gorgeous,” Jada whispered to me as we tag-teamed preparing a couple of salads for Thanksgiving dinner.

I smiled. I often found myself feeling proud of Dante. “I figured you saw him on the papers and stuff.”

Jada scoffed. “You know as well as I do that those pictures do nothing for him.”

“What about you?” I said. “Mr. Rough-And-Tumble-Rancher. He looks more like a male model.”

Jada side-glanced me. “Yeah he does.”

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