Are you suffering from serious Sebastian and Mia withdrawals? (I'm right there with you!)
I might just have something that'll help
A little sneaky peeky into their lives after their happily ever after.... And what's even better, Gregory Salinas has very graciously narrated it, just in case you prefer to listen 😉
How cool is that?
“No! Put your pants back on.”
Loud peals of laughter bounced off the walls as the little redhead darted down the hallway. Hands planted on my hips, I dropped my chin to my chest and took a few drags of air.
Deep breath in.
Slow breath out.
I could do this. I would do this. I’d been in situations far more stressful than this, and I made it just fine.
A high-pitched giggle rang through the air. I looked up just in time to see a flash of red disappear into the family room. Groaning, I rushed after her, scooping up the discarded clothes in the process.
I found my little nudist holding on to the entertainment unit, body bouncing up and down to the tune of the song playing on TV.
Yes, this was what my life had come to… Chasing naked toddlers to the shrill soundtrack of colorful ponies singing about anything and everything.
The best times.
Lowering myself to the floor next to Evie, I hooked an arm around her and snatched her up. Her chubby little hands immediately went to my face; squishing my cheeks. The sounds coming from the happy place inside her rolled over my skin and settled inside my heart.
For a while there, I thought nothing could match the love I felt for Mia. Until the day Evie was born. From the moment I laid eyes on her, my world shifted. My heart immediately making room for this little person who already owned it.
“Hi, baby.” At least that was what I attempted to say while Evie tried to pull my top and bottom lip in opposite directions. When they went as far as they possibly could, she cocked her head to the side and squealed happily.
And even though I was being thoroughly manhandled, I couldn’t help but chuckle too. “Come on, let’s get you dressed.” I planted a few smacking kisses in the crook of her neck. Evie squealed and kicked even more.
Much like it was with her mom, the sounds Evie made always, always, filled me with so much joy, I hardly knew how to contain it. Or what the hell I’d done right to deserve it.
Scooping her up, I set her on the couch and dressed her as fast as I could. With any luck, this would be the last time today. But knowing Evie, she’d probably be naked within the hour. Because this kid liked to be without clothes about as much as I wanted to see her mom without them.
I tickled her sides and blew a raspberry on her tummy just as the doorbell rang. Picking her up, I held her tight to my chest. “I wonder who that is? You wanna go see?” I sing-songed much to my girl’s delight.
Her toothy grin spread even more when I opened the door and she spotted Simon. Almost immediately, her arms shot out; little grabby hands trying to reach for her godfather. Because Evie had everyone wrapped around her little finger, it didn’t surprise me one bit when my friend stepped forward and snatched her out of my arms.
“Hello, pretty girl,” he cooed. Like she’d done with me earlier; her hands went to his cheeks. Only she didn’t squish; she smacked him as hard as a three-year-old could. Simon blinked furiously with every sharp slap Evie’s little hands delivered.
I laughed heartily. “Finally, you’re getting some payback for all the shi—” my eyes quickly darted to the toddler still happily smacking Simon’s face. “—poop you’ve given me over the years.”
It was Simon’s turn to throw his head back and laugh. “Poop? Really, Seb?”
“Piss off,” I mumbled.
“Piss off,” Evie echoed, much to my horror.
Simon, idiot that he was, laughed even more. “Oh, Mia is going to kill you.” He caught his breath and leaned forward. “Just… please record it for me.”
“You’re lucky you’re holding my daughter.”
He trained his smile at Evie. “Uncle Simon is keeping you close, okay?” As if she knew what was going on, a happy giggle bubbled from the pit of her stomach.
Shaking my head, I closed the door and motioned for Simon to follow me to the kitchen. Simon took to keeping Evie busy while I prepared her dinner.
“I don’t think I’ll get used to seeing you so,” he cocked his head and looked me up and down before grinning like a damn idiot, “domesticated.”
It was meant as a joke but, shit, if it didn’t ring true. Mia and I hadn’t been together all that long before I knew she was my forever and I wanted a family with her. But even then, the thought of putting my career on hold so she could follow hers had never entered my mind.
Until Evie came into this world kicking and screaming. We knew we wanted as much time with her as we could possibly get, but I’d also seen the difference Mia was making in our field already.
There was no way I was going to ask her to give that up.
“Eh, what can I say?” I shrugged my shoulders. “I’m a natural.”
Simon threw a “Clearly,” over his shoulder as he set Evie in her highchair before sliding onto one of the stools at the kitchen island.
I grabbed two waters from the fridge, and after setting Evie’s food in front of her, I took a seat opposite Simon and handed him one of the bottles.
“Eleanor is starting to notice boys,” Simon groaned.
“No,” I croaked out. “Don’t even go there. I just can’t.”
Shaking his head, he leaned forward and placed his folded arms on the counter. “Neither can I. All I keep thinking is if this boy is anything like I was at that age, I’m digging his grave.”
His gaze skittered to where Evie was sitting. “Funny, isn’t it? We’d do just about anything to protect them from the world outside.”
I hummed in agreement, but before I could say a word, Simon’s brows pulled together. “Uh…” his lips twitched with the grin he was trying to hold back. “You might want to rescue those peas.” Not even three minutes after I’d set the plate in front of her and already her face and hair were covered in green.
Planting my hands on my hips, I aimed my frown at the floor and blew out a heavy breath.
Not even bothering to hide his laugh, Simon pushed to his feet. “I can see you’ve got your hands full here, so I’m going to go.” He moved around the counter and smacked a palm against my shoulder. “We’re still on for lunch on Sunday?”
“Wouldn’t miss it.”
He bent down and kissed the only spot on Evie’s face that wasn’t covered with mushy peas before heading out.
Brows pulled together, I glared at my daughter as best I could. “It’s supposed to go inside, not all over.”
In answer, she scrunched up her little nose, eyes roaming over the mess she’d just made. Then she threw her head back and squealed. My frown dissolved instantly. Picking her up, my gaze flicked between her unbelievably cute green face and the dirty highchair. “Better get you all cleaned up before Mommy comes home.” I nuzzled her neck and got peas all over me.
Evie pulled on my nose. “Piss off.”
I groaned. “Let’s not say that in front of Mommy, okay?”
Thirty minutes later, Evie was clean while I was drenched. I’d just pulled her top over her head when her mouth stretched into a yawn. My gaze flicked to the clock, Mia would be home soon, and I knew she’d want to at least say hi to Evie.
Snatching a book from the bedside table, I crawled into the way-too-small-toddler-bed and tugged her little body to mine. We were about four pages into Evie’s favorite story when I heard Mia’s car pull up.
My heart immediately started bouncing around in my chest; slamming harder and faster as I waited for the sound of the front door opening and closing. Of her soft footfalls growing closer.
“This never gets old.”
I looked up from the book and grinned. Mia had her shoulder propped against the frame; arms folded in front of her. The corners of her lips lifted, and I swear, my heart stuttered at the sight of it.
I was still staring at my wife like the lovesick fool I was when Evie hopped out of the bed and waddled to her mom with speed no kid should possess. Bending down, Mia scooped our daughter into her arms; nuzzling and kissing her until her happy laughs filled the room.
With a smile of my own, I set the book on the bedside table and strolled toward the two women I loved most. Pressing a kiss to Mia’s mouth the instant I reached her. “Hi.”
Those green eyes always so full of love shot to me in a quick glance before she focused on Evie again. “Hi.” Her greeting came out pitchy as she was laughing at our little girl honking her nose like a horn.
This right here was everything. There wasn’t a medical breakthrough or award that could ever compare to this. That could complete me the way my wife and daughter did.
“How was your day?”
Mia lifted her head. “It was so good. The treatment is working.” She beamed, and I swear my heart felt a million times lighter at the sight of it. “Mr. Clifford’s numbers are improving. I’m positive he’ll be going home to his wife soon.”
Reaching out, I toyed with the braid hanging over her shoulder. “That’s wonderful, baby. I’m so proud of you.”
Man, the look she gave me. It made me feel like I’d conquered the damn world. “Go ahead and clean up, I’ll get Evie to bed.”
My brow arched. “You saying I’m dirty?”
Mia’s gaze slowly traveled up and down the length of me, her irises darkened wickedly. However, the words that came out of her mouth did not match the filthy promises in her eyes. “You’re wearing Evie’s dinner.”
Taking the hem of my shirt between my fingers, I pulled the material away from my body and studied the green and red stains. “Good point. Cleaning up sounds like a great idea.” I kissed both my girls before making my way to the en suite in our room.
After flicking on the faucet in the shower, I stripped out of my clothes and stepped under the warm spray of water, and almost groaned at how good it felt. Planting my hands on the tiles in front of me, I dropped my chin to my chest; slowly rolling my head from side to side.
Chasing around a toddler all day certainly wasn’t for the faint of heart. My muscles ached. Joints creaked. But, shit, I wouldn’t trade a second of it.
I was still standing with my head bowed when the shower door opened. A second later, Mia’s hands touched my sides. “I’ve missed you.” She planted a kiss between my shoulder blades.
Her hands started wandering, one smoothing up my chest, the other dipping lower and lower until she could close her fingers around me. I hissed out a breath. Her hold tightened before she slowly, steadily, began to move.
I threw my head back, fingertips digging into the cool tiles. Mia’s lips burned my skin with every soft kiss she pressed against my back. Her hand torturing me in the most delicious way.
It felt so damn good.
And if she kept going like this, I was going to explode. Curling my fingers around her wrist, I stopped her movements. “I want to make you feel good too.”
“Always so selfless.”
“Baby,” I said as I turned around. Taking her face between my palms, I lowered my head. Our mouths were so close my lips brushed hers with every hoarse word that rolled off my tongue. “It’s not selfless when touching you, making you feel good, gives me pleasure too.”
Her quick, sharp inhalation was the only opportunity I gave her to suck air to her lungs before my mouth closed over hers. I’d been kissing this woman for the better part of five years, and I swear each time still felt like the first time.
Electricity still shot through my veins like an adrenalin shot to the heart. Every stroke of her tongue still touched the very bottom of my soul. And I most definitely still couldn’t get enough.
Never breaking the kiss, we moved backward until she was pressed up against the tiles. I braced one hand above her head and trailed the other up along her arm. Over her shoulder, along her collarbone, down the center of her chest until I could dip my fingers between her thighs.
I flicked my wrist and Mia tore her mouth from mine to catch her breath. I loved that I still had this effect on her. That a single touch felt as magnified to her as it did to me. Her teeth dug into her bottom lip as she rolled her head to the side.
I peppered her skin with wet, open-mouthed kisses along her jaw all the way to her ear. She was so close to slipping off the edge. I heard it. Felt it. Instead of giving her that release, I pulled my hand away and roughly demanded, “Turn around.”
She cocked a brow, a salacious smile touching the corners of her mouth. “Only because you asked so nicely.” Keeping her eyes trained on me, she slowly spun around. Bracing her hands on the tiles, she pushed her ass out. “Like this?”
My hands found her hips; fingers digging into her skin, I pulled her closer. With a slight bend of my knees and a snap of my hips, I was exactly where I wanted to be. My mouth latched onto the skin where her neck and shoulder joined, sucking like a starved man while I moved behind her with sharp, jerky movements.
I was way too tightly strung for this to last very long. But it didn’t matter because the moment I felt the delicious build of pleasure, Mia was right there with me. My teeth sank into her skin, my name rolling off her tongue in a breathless whisper.
Pressing a tender kiss against her skin, I cupped her shoulders and slowly spun her around to face me. I wiped the wet strands away from her face, my eyes following the movement. I kissed the very tip of her nose, then the corners of her mouth before finally stealing her lips.
It didn’t matter if it was a quickie against the wall or if we spent hours loving on each other’s bodies, it always left me feeling like I was the luckiest son of a bitch alive.
Probably because I was.
Pulling back slightly, I brushed her nose with mine. “I love you, Mia.”
Her lips stretched into a wide smile. “The feeling is mutual.”