He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. Oliver didn’t want to let go. Not after almost losing her for good. She felt so right here, how could he ever have said or done something to drive her away? He was a fool once, but never again. She would be his—and he, hers—forever.
When their lips finally parted, he leaned his forehead against hers. “I want us to be a real family. Like my parents had. These last few days thinking about you raising our child without me… I couldn’t bear the thought of it despite what I said that night at the restaurant. I was upset and confused about the news. It may not have been planned, but this child will always know that he or she was wanted. I’ll do everything in my power to see to that. But most of all I want to make you happy, Lucy. Anything you want, we can make it happen.”
“I don’t know what I could possibly ask for, Oliver. Today alone, you’ve proposed with your mother’s engagement ring and given me a half a billion dollar estate. It seems greedy to ask for anything else.”
“Harper told me that you were trying to go back to school. You never mentioned it to me before.”
“Yes,” Lucy hesitated. “That was my plan, but…”
“No buts. If you want to go back to Yale, you absolutely should do it.”
“It’s so far away, Oliver. From you and your job. I don’t want to be alone in Connecticut while you’re here running your computer company.”
Oliver just shrugged off her concerns. “If you want to be in Manhattan every night, I’ll have you flown to class and back on Orion’s private jet each day. If you want to stay there during the week, we’ll buy a nice place and I’ll come spend every weekend I can with you until you graduate.”
“I don’t know,” Lucy said. “That seems like it would make things far more complicated than they need to be. If I was moving up there by myself as I’d planned originally, that’s one thing, but I’m not leaving you behind. Maybe I can look at some of the local programs. I’m sure Columbia or NYU has something that will allow me to stay in the city. And when the babies—er, baby—comes,” she stuttered, “we’ll all be together. That’s the most important thing.”
Oliver grinned. Of course, he preferred having her as close as possible, but that was completely up to her. “Are you sure? Like I said, whatever makes you happy, Lucy.”
“Being with you makes me happy.” Leaning in, she rested her head on his shoulder and sighed in contentment. “After everything that has happened, I may even defer school for another year or two. I’m not sure I can manage a wedding, a pregnancy and caring for an infant on top of the senior-level classes I need to graduate. The art will always be there when I’m ready. I want to focus on remembering every moment of these early months with you.”
“If that’s what you want.” Oliver smiled. They certainly did have a lot coming up in their lives over the next year. “And don’t forget, we have to decide where we want to live. We have two amazing Manhattan apartments to choose from.”
“I want to move to your place,” Lucy said without hesitation. “For one thing, I couldn’t ask you to leave your beautiful garden. And for another, Alice’s place is stunning, but way too formal and stuffy for children running around all wild.”
Oliver smiled at her decision. “Children, huh? Are we already planning on having more than one?”
A curious expression came across Lucy’s face. She wrinkled her nose and bit at her lip. “There’s something I need to tell you,” Lucy admitted.
“Yes? Anything, love.”
“The doctor says we’re having twins.”
Twins? The room began to spin and close in on him.
Oliver was about to experience a lot of new firsts. His first time in love, his first time to be engaged, his first children were on the way… And this was the first time he’d ever fainted.
He was out cold before he hit the floor.
Lucy eyeballed the three paint swatches on the walls of what would soon be the twins’ nursery. Three months later, they were both growing and thriving, pressing Lucy’s belly out to a larger bulge than she anticipated this far along. She and Oliver had decided not to find out the sex of the twins, so she was comparing different shades of gray paints for the neutral design they had planned.
With her hands planted on her hips, she frowned at the wall and continued to after Oliver came up behind her. “The one in the middle,” he said without hesitation. “And Emma is on the phone for you.”