Until Ashlyn Page 74

“That sounds good,” I agree against his mouth, smiling.

Epilogue

One year later

“Baby, I’m home,” I call, walking through the front door and dropping my suitcase to the ground next to the stairs, placing my coat on top of it. Gaining no reply, I fight back the ever-present fear that lives inside of me and head toward the kitchen to look there.

I know she’s home; I’ve talked to her every couple hours since I left and spoke to her as soon as my plane landed. Honestly, I didn’t want to leave her, but it couldn’t be avoided due to her current condition. Breathing in a sigh of relief, I smile when I spot her lying on one of the lawn chairs with her feet up, and Michelle sitting next to her, rubbing her very large stomach. She’s already eight months along. It doesn’t seem possible, and I have no idea where the time went. Sliding the door open, both women’s heads turn toward me, but I’m focused on my wife.

“You’re home.” She starts to sit up, but I shake my head and move to where she’s lying, resting my hand on her stomach and my mouth against hers.

“I missed you,” I grumble, and she smiles, resting her hand on my jaw and running her fingers across it.

“You were gone one night.”

“I know, and I swear, without you, it was hell.”

“It was kind of nice having you out of my hair and not bickering at me.” She laughs, and so does Michelle, who I lift my head to look at.

“Hi, Michelle.”

“Hey.” She stands then leans over, kissing Ashlyn’s cheek and mine. “I’m gonna head home, so you guys can naked fight it out.” She winks, making me chuckle.

“Bye!” Ash shouts as Michelle heads into the house, leaving us alone, and then her eyes come to me and her hands rest over mine on her stomach. “We missed you.”

“I thought you said it was nice having me out of your hair.”

“I lied. I hate going to bed without you.”

“Me too.” I lean in, kissing her softly, and then rest my lips against her stomach. “How was my girl?”

“Good, active as ever. I swear she sleeps all day then keeps me up all night, dancing on my bladder.”

“Sounds like her mama.”

“I know.” She grins, running her fingers through my hair, and then her face softens and I know what’s coming. “How was everything?”

“I told you it was okay when I talked to you this morning.”

“I know, but—”

“No buts. After what that bitch did, after the way they reacted? Trust me, it wasn’t hard to watch her be sentenced.”

“Okay.” She presses her lips together as rage simmers through me. Finding out Isla was the one who put up the fake profile on Dominate Me for Ashlyn was a slap in the face and a kick to my gut. I have no pity for the cunt, and I hope she finds out firsthand what the fuck it means to be someone’s bitch.

“Because of that selfish cunt, I almost lost you. So, sorry, but I have no fucking sympathy for them or her.”

“I didn’t say anything,” she mutters, and I realize she didn’t say anything; I’m just still that fucking mad. Waking up drugged, and having my wife taken from my arms while I was helpless to do anything, will forever torment me. I had never felt as much fear as I did then, and will thank my lucky stars if I never feel it again. “Please get that look off your face. I’m okay, remember?” She touches my jaw and I close my eyes.

“I know.”

“Good, then help me up. I’m kind of stuck.” She laughs, and I smile while helping her up off the chair and then leading her toward the house.

“Are you hungry?”

“When am I not hungry?”

“Good point,” I mutter, watching her smile. Since almost the moment she found out she was pregnant, she has been sending me on food runs, even waking me in the middle of the night to go out and get whatever she’s craving. “Where do you want to eat?”

“Mexican sounds good to me.”

“At this point, my daughter is going to come out speaking Spanish with as much time as we spend eating at the Margarita House.”

“That wouldn’t be a bad thing.” She laughs again, and her belly bounces then her eyes widen.

“What?” I rush to her, but she slaps me away.

“Nothing. I’m fine.” She waves me off, but I know she’s lying. I also know she’s become more stubborn with pregnancy. Helping her out to the garage and into the car, I drive us across town to the restaurant she has become obsessed with and help her inside. Before we are even through the door, Maria, the owner, is there with two menus and a smile on her face.

“Not much longer, is it?” Maria smiles over her shoulder at Ashlyn, leading us to our table.

“Nope, a few more weeks and she’ll be here,” Ash agrees, holding her belly while scooting into the booth before I take my own seat.

“Would you like your regular?” she asks, and Ashlyn nods.

“Yes, please.”

“And you?”

“I’ll have what she’s having, but if you could bring me a Miller with mine, I’d be thankful.”

“I can do that,” she assures, walking off and coming back a minute later with chips and salsa, a bottle of beer for me, and a glass of apple juice for Ashlyn.

“Thanks.” I lift my chin then move my eyes to Ashlyn and see her flinch. “What’s wrong?”

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