This short first appeared in the online Literary Lovers magazine for Valentines day 2019.
My beautiful Poppy,
I still remember the very first time I saw you.
All these years later and I still see you as clear as if it was yesterday, not more than ten years ago.
You stood in that shitty dive bar, microphone in one hand, beer bottle in the other,
singing your heart out. I had no choice but to look and see where that god-awful noise was coming from,
but one look at you and I knew.
I knew you were going to be a part of my life. I felt it.
It might have taken us a minute, but we got here baby. We made it.
Thank you for coming back to me.
Thank you for giving me our son.
Thank you for the beautiful life you’ve given me.
Love you forever,
I tuck the letter back into the wooden box with all the others I’ve gotten from Keir over the years, letting my hand drift over the engraved letters of our names before I put it back on its shelf. I’ve kept all the notes and letters he’s sent over the years. Starting from when he’d been trying to convince me to give him another chance.
Who would have thought the broody football player I’d met all those years ago in college would turn into such a romantic?
“Is there a reason my pregnant wife is in here climbing on stuff? Pretty sure she knows how mad it makes me.” I feel his hands snake around my swollen belly at the same time he speaks.
“Probably because your wife is pregnant.” I emphasise. “She’s not an invalid.”
Turning around on the small step I was using to reach the shelf that was barely out of my reach, I lean into his hard body. One of the perks of being married to a former football star that now owns a gym. His body is astounding. One strong arm wraps around my lower back, the other lifts me behind my knees as he carries me towards our bedroom.
We already have a son, Chase, and Keir was the same while I was pregnant then too. I'm used to his caveman tendencies by now.
Once we make it to the bed, he places me gently on the mattress. Like I’m something precious that might break if he isn’t careful with me. It’s then I notice how quiet the house is.
Our son is never quiet. Ever.
The only sound in the room is the radio quietly playing from downstairs.
“Where’s Chase?” I ask, at the same time Keir gets busy peeling my leggings off me.
“Mom came and took him. She said you’ve been hogging him again.”
“I do not hog him! He's my so-” my words trail off as Keir begins to kiss his way up my legs.
By the time he’s made it to my panties I’ve completely forgotten what it was I was going to say.
By time he’s made me come once with his mouth, and again with his cock, I barely even know my own name.
An hour later an I'm utterly spent. Resting my head on Keir’s chest, I revel in the peace I feel in this moment.
My mind goes back to the note I was reading earlier. We really do have a beautiful life. Despite the ups and downs we’ve encountered along the way, I wouldn’t change a thing.
We have a beautiful, growing family.
We have each other.
With the sound of Keir’s heartbeat under my ear and his arms holding me tight. I close my eyes and allow myself to fall asleep, completely content.
The sound of Poppy’s phone chirping on the bedside table wakes me up, but Poppy is still out cold. The ringing stops but now I’m wide awake.
Looking at the clock I see it’s early afternoon. Pop must be exhausted if she’s asleep in the middle of the day. She’s forever on the go, never sitting still for a minute.
She doesn’t let the fact that she has a toddler and is pregnant again stop her from working pretty much full time. My mom wasn’t exaggerating when she said Poppy is a baby hog when it comes to Chase. She does everything for him, and me for that matter.
My wife never stops to take care of herself. That’s why I had a bag packed for Chase within ten minutes of my mom asking if she could take him for the night. It’s time Poppy took a break and relaxed. I’m sure the two orgasm’s she had an hour ago helped her with that.
The phone starts ringing again and this time I pick it straight up, concerned it could be my mom calling about Chase. It’s not. The name Duke flashes on the screen so I swipe to answer.
“Hey. Everything ok?” Duke is Poppy’s brother and even though we got off to a rocky start, we’ve become good friends over the last few years. He knows I'll forever be sorry for hurting Poppy all those years ago. It also helps that he’s settled down and married Pop’s best friend Elliott.
Yep, we’re a regular little Brady bunch over here these days.
Well most of us anyway.
“Is Poppy with you?” Duke asks. No greeting but he’s a man of few words usually so I don’t take it personally.
“She’s here. Taking a nap right now, you need me to wake her?”
“I’d say so. Elliott is in labor and asking for her.”
Well shit, that’s the last thing I expected him to say. Telling him I’ll get us there as soon as possible, I hang up.
Waking Poppy up, I hustle to get us to the hospital. We arrive just in time for her to see our nephew being born.
Hours later I stand in the hallway waiting for my brother to show up. Everyone else is here meeting the newest edition to our family, Duke and El’s baby boy.
Everyone except TJ that is.
We’ve had a rocky few months, but I really thought we’d turned a corner. He’s had his reasons for staying away from us and I get it, but he said he’d be here today.
Dialling his number again, I’m not surprised when it goes straight to voicemail. It’s been the same for the last hour. Leaving a message asking if he’s ok, I go back into the hospital room, already knowing it’s going to be a nightmare dragging Pop away from the new baby. Is it even possible to be broody and pregnant at the same time?
It’s not until I finally get her out of the room and almost out of the hospital that my phone finally rings. As soon as I see it’s TJ calling, I have the call answered.
“Where are you?” TJ asks, ignoring my question. I do not get a good feeling when I hear the tone of his voice.
“Just about to leave the hospital.” I tell him, squeezing Poppy’s hand when she looks at me questioningly
“I’m here. Inside the hospital.” Somehow, I just know he doesn’t mean he’s here to see Elliott.
“Can you, uh” he stumbles over his words “...Can you guys come back in here. I need you here.”
Find out what happens next in Struck (Flawed Love #3) here