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Perfect Love Story (Love 1) Natasha Madison 2022/8/3 13:49:01

So it’s no surprise that I find Hailey cutting bread while she listens to Mila’s story.

“And then someone farted, and they threw up all over the mat.” She uses her hands to gesture the act of vomiting.

“Maybe she was sick before?” Hailey looks up, making Mila shake her head. I look around the vast room, taking in the changes since Hailey moved in. The big dark room has light now. The pictures of us scattered around the house. The throw pillows on the big couch and the covers that go with them. Also, the fridge is covered with Mila’s schoolwork she brings home, piles and piles of paper. I shake my head. “Hey, girls.” I smile, walking to my daughter, and kiss her head, then go around the island to my woman, mine.

Hailey sets the knife down and turns around to greet me with a smile plastered on her face. Her hands go around my neck. “Hi, handsome.” My hands bring her close to me while her lips touch mine.

“Dinner’s almost done.” She turns back around to finish cutting the bread. “I made a pasta bake.” She cooks every single night except Saturday; that is our pizza night.

“Great, I’m going to go wash up.” I walk to our bedroom, taking in the changes there also. The brown cover is gone, replaced with a light gray one, and more throw pillows that always get tossed on the floor. Pictures of us are everywhere; my girl never misses a picture moment. But my favorite picture of us is the one that Mila took. It is the two of us on the beach, her sitting in front of me, both of us just looking at the water. It’s our thing. I take the ring out of my pocket, thinking about how am I going to do this. Putting it in the drawer by my bed, I take a shower before she starts calling for me.

By the time I walk back out, the table is set for the three of us. Mila sits in her chair to my right, and Hailey sits on my left.

“Hailey,” Mila shouts, “Poppa is clean.”

We sit at the table, telling each other about our day. I hear the vomit story again. Bath time and bedtime go by at a snail’s pace. It feels like forever until Mila finally falls asleep. I find Hailey wrapping Christmas presents in our room.

“You know that the gifts will cover most of the tree right?” I ask her.

“I know, but it’s our first Christmas sharing a home, and my family is going to be here. So I want it perfect.” She smiles at me.

“Come with me.” I grab her hand and walk to the back door leading to the ocean.

“Where are we going?” she asks surprised when I start walking toward the beach. “Jensen, we won’t hear Mila.” She stops in her tracks, not moving another step.

“I brought the monitor.” I show her. “Now, come on.”

We walk down to the sand, and I take in the water. “It’s calm tonight,” I mention when she sits on the sand, pulling me down by my hand.

“It’s getting colder,” she mentions as my thoughts are mumbled, and I don’t know how to make the first move. I turn to look at her, her hair blowing in the wind. She looks at me, leaning in to give me a kiss. “Love you,” she whispers, and I know, I know this is it.

I get up, and she follows my movement. I stand in front of her and then get down on one knee. “Jensen,” she whispers.

“I love you,” I tell her. “My life was a disaster, like a hurricane came through it, came through me. Left me in ruins. The only good thing I had was Mila.” I smile, moving her hair from her face. “But I slowly got up, thought I built everything back, but I didn’t. I built the walls, I built the roof, but the foundation, the foundation wasn’t there.”

“What?” she questions softly.

“When you build a house, it all starts with the foundation. You need a strong foundation to keep everything up.”

“Okay.” Her hands go to my face.

“So I built this house for me and Mila. Except my foundation was weak. I had none till you.”

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“Honey.” She blinks away tears while smiling.

“You came in and made us stronger; you made us secure. With you, the wind won’t knock our house down. The storm will pass over us. I want to dry your eyes when you cry. I want to smile when you smile. I want to be the one by your side when you have bad days and good days. I want to be by your side even when you want to kick my ass. I want to watch the water with you every day. I want to be the foundation of your world.”