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If you read our holiday novella, Christmas With You, then you’ll be happy to get more of Cole & Sarah and their happily ever after!

ONE YEAR LATER

SARAH

I stand on the porch of our Victorian home that Cole bought before I realized how stupid I’d been to ever leave him. So much happened in such a short amount of time. 

Flying back to Chicago after our magical time together was harder than I imagined it’d be. I knew deep inside that my time away from my hometown had come to an end. After my first day back, I set up a meeting with my boss and put in my two-weeks notice. He was as shocked as me, especially considering I didn’t have a backup plan. For as long as I’d been in the communications industry, I’d been taught to never leave without another job lined up because openings were few and far between. While I’ve been known to be a risk taker, it was the first time I had jumped off a cliff without a parachute. But as I stand here, nearly one year later, with a ring on my finger, my dream job at a local station, and a husband to sleep next to each night—I’d say it was worth it. 

When I see his patrol car pull into the long driveway off the road, I hurry inside where all of our friends and family are waiting. 

“He’s coming.” I hurry inside as I grab a cupcake and stick a candle in it, then quickly light it. Our friends and family hide behind random pieces of furniture in the house. Since it’s Cole’s birthday, and he’d never had a surprise party before, I thought I’d throw him one. 

The car door slams and soon footsteps echo from on the porch.

I turn and give everyone the sign to stay quiet. My mother shushes a few people just as Cole punches in the code to the door. 

As soon as he walks in, he flicks on the light and twenty-five people jump and scream surprise. 

“Jesus!” He puts a hand over his heart. Sound makers go off and they all start singing Happy Birthday. 

Cole looks like he’s about to have a heart attack when I step forward holding the cupcake. 

“Make a wish,” I whisper with a wide smile. 

“I’ve already gotten everything I’ve ever wanted—you.” He smirks before blowing out the candle. 

“Mr. Cole,” Aubrey interrupts. She’s my work friend Patricia’s six-year-old daughter who’s always full of questions. 

“Yes?” 

I can’t help but grin at the way he softens his voice for her. 

“What did you wish for?” she asks.

He releases a soft chuckle. “You never tell your wish or it won’t come true.”

“That’s what mama says.” She giggles, then runs to her little sister. 

Cole’s parents come over and give him hugs and birthday wishes. As he eats his cupcake, he makes his way around the room and thanks everyone for coming. My aunt Charice serves punch as my dad shares what he planned for the Christmas Tree Lighting this year. 

“Hon, you know that’s not for ten more months,” my mom tells him. 

He chuckles. “Of course, but I never stop thinking of new ideas to keep it fresh. What about a dancing tree?”

I snicker and interlock my fingers with my husband’s as several people laugh. 

Dad grins wide, but if I know him, he’s being serious. 

“You should open your gifts,” his dad suggests. I nod, then lead Cole toward the table. 

“You guys didn’t have to get me anything,” he says. 

“It’s not much,” his mother says over the crowd. 

“Anything is more than enough,” he says as he opens the first one. His mother got him a set of bookends to help with his growing collection. 

“These are incredible!” Cole says, staring at the marble blocks that glimmer in the light.

“Know you’ve been reading those thrillers lately,” his dad tells him. 

I laugh. “It’s my fault, I know. It’s one of my guilty pleasures.” 

“Oh and we got you something too,” my mother says and everyone giggles. 

“Wonder what this is?” Cole teases as he studies the fishing pole wrapped in paper.

“You’ll never figure it out,” my mother taunts and the room cracks into a roar of laughter. After he unwraps it, I grab my gift from the kitchen. 

  As soon as he opens it, a bunch of spring-loaded snakes pop out. 

“Nice try,” he tells me without jumping. “I’ve been expecting more little pranks.”

I pretend to pout as he pulls out a tackle box. “Sweetheart!” 

“You’ve been looking at that one for a little while, thought I’d go ahead and get it so you can fill it full before fishing season.”

“I love it!”  he says, leaning in to give me a kiss. 

After we’re full of punch and his mother tells a handful of embarrassing childhood stories, it’s time for everyone to go home. We give handshakes and hugs until our house is empty.

“Finally, alone time with my baby,” I say before crashing my lips against his. I sigh against his mouth as he tightly grabs my waist. Right now, all I want is to give him his other birthday present.

 

COLE

 

We’re breathless as she leads me upstairs to our bedroom. Soon, she’s unbuttoning my uniformed shirt, and I’m walking her to the bed. I lay her down and lift her dress, then soon realize she’s not wearing any panties. 

“You’re so naughty,” I whisper against her neck before capturing her mouth with mine. I pull the material over her head and toss it on the floor. She giggles, removing her bra until she’s completely naked. Once I remove the rest of my clothes, I crawl up the bed. Then, she pushes me onto my back. 

“For the birthday boy.” She straddles me, licking her gorgeous lips. She flips her dark hair before aligning our bodies, She’s so goddamn wet when she takes me all in and my body tightens. We’re breathless as she picks up the pace, riding me hard and fast. I squeeze her hips as she moans through the pleasure. Leaning up, I pull her nipple into my mouth and suck. 

“Fuck. You feel so good…” I whisper as she throws her head back. Reaching down, I thumb her clit, and she screams out my name. 

“I know, baby, I know. So damn good.” I bury my face in her neck, cupping her ass cheek with my free hand. She lets out another mewl of pleasure.

“Luckily we have this big house to ourselves,” she mutters, dipping her mouth down to find mine. 

I grip her hips and drive up into her helping add more friction and soon Sarah is losing herself on my cock. She continues, pushing me further until I spill inside of her. It takes us a few minutes before we catch our breaths. 

“That was…amazing,” I whisper, pressing my lips to hers.

“Nothing less for the love of my life.” She beams.

After we clean up, I lie down beside her under the crumpled sheets. Sarah snuggles her body into mine as I close my eyes. 

“Oh, I forgot, you have one more present,” she says, standing and slipping on one of my T-shirts. “I’ll be right back.”

Before I can say anything, I hear the pads of her feet hitting the stairs. There are a few noises downstairs before she makes her way back. 

She plops down on the bed holding a rectangular-shaped box. It has the same paper as the amazing bait box she got me. “You have to try to guess what it is before you open it.”

I shake it, feel it’s weight, then look at the size of the package. “Hmm.”

The smile never leaves her face. 

“A watch?” I ask and she chuckles. 

“I got it right, didn’t I?” I grin but she shrugs, then tells me to open it. I’ve been wanting a new watch for a while, and I might’ve mentioned it a few too many times. 

When I remove the paper, I immediately see it’s a brand new Apple Watch. My eyes go wide, and I’m almost shocked. “No way!” 

“Open it,” she urges. I hurry and open it but there’s no watch inside. Confused, I look down and notice it’s a pregnancy test. 

I pull it out of the box and see two lines. “Does this mean what I think it means?”

She nods with tears in her eyes. “We’re pregnant.”

“Baby,” I say, pulling her close and kissing her like tomorrow will never come. I’m so overwhelmed with happiness I don’t know what to say. “I can’t believe this.” I lean my forehead against hers as a world of emotional swirl through me.

“Me either. I found out yesterday and took a handful of tests just to make sure. I still can’t believe we’re gonna have a baby.”

“Maybe two?” I waggle my brows, remembering what I’d told her about the nursery and my vision of seeing her as my wife, living in this house, pregnant with twins. 

She chuckles and nods. “That would be incredible. I’d be happy with any number of kids with you.”

“You know what’s funny? Aubrey asked me what I’d wished for earlier,” I say.

“And you told her you couldn’t tell her or it wouldn’t come true,” she confirms. 

“This is what I wished for. Us having a baby, starting our family. I knew after the wedding, we didn’t want to wait too long, but this…sweetheart, this is the best birthday present I could’ve asked for.”

Tears well on the edge of her eyes, and I wipe them away, then brush my lips across hers. “I love you so much, wifey.”

“Love you more, hubby,” she teases. “Oh, and I did get you an Apple watch too!”

I burst into laughter, shaking my head. “Thank you, baby. You’ve done too much.”

She brings our lips back together. And right now, in this very moment, I realize how damn lucky I truly am. Not only did she give our love a second chance, now we’re going to fill this house with children. Even though the journey wasn’t always easy, I wouldn’t change a thing.