“You look so happy,” I say to him when we stand toe-to-toe.
“I was happy,” he says, his hands moving to my hips. “Never thought I could be that happy again.” He pulls me closer. “I was wrong.” It’s the last thing he says before he leans down or I lean up; either way, our lips touch. His hands move from my hips to my back, pulling me closer to him as my hands move around his neck. We both moan when I feel his hardness against my stomach. His lips leave me wanting more as he kisses my jaw, under my jaw, my neck. “Will you stay with me tonight?” he asks, and my body goes tense for a second. “Not for that,” he says, laughing; the heat of his breath on my neck making me shiver. “Today was the first day in seven years I felt carefree.” He kisses me softly. “The first time in seven years I didn’t for one minute say why me.” His kisses are even softer. “The first time my chest didn’t feel like someone was sitting on it.”
“Today, I walked without the weight on my shoulders,” I tell him, and his head comes back while he looks in my eyes. “Today, I walked that whole park without a worry in the world because I knew if anything happened, you were right there.” I smile and lean forward to kiss his chest, right in the middle. My lips feel the pounding of his heart. “Today, I saw my girls smile, and laugh, and giggle, and be happy.” His green eyes get teary. “Today, I saw them not have guilt over being happy. Today, I saw Lizzie, who has been quiet and observant the whole time, throw her head back and laugh.” Now the tears come to my eyes. “Today, you gave that to them.”
“Okay, so you’re definitely staying in this room,” he says, laughing, “but I have to change.” He looks down at his towel and the tent under it. “Do you need to shower?” he asks me, and I nod. “Go get your things to shower in here, and I’ll go check on the girls and leave their door open in case they call out.”
I’m not used to sharing my responsibility with anyone or counting on anyone; it’s just been me. “Okay,” I say, going to my room and grabbing my things to head into his bathroom. The glass shower doors still have drops of water on them. I undress, setting the water, and walk under the rain shower. It’s so perfect and relaxing; I throw my head back as the water flows through my hair. I open my eyes, taking in the charcoal gray shower tiles that match the wood wall. Such a man cave yet so homey. I grab his soap, open it up, and squeeze it a bit to smell him. I pour a little in my hand, rubbing my hands together and washing myself with it. I use my own shampoo, rinsing it through. Grabbing a towel to dry off, I wrap my wet hair and get dressed. I brush out my hair, braiding it on one side.
Opening the door, I see him already in bed with the television playing. I walk to the chair and set my clothes on top of his. Walking to the bed, I throw the covers over and get under the sheet, my heart hammering away. I get closer and closer to him, looking up and smiling. He leans down and kisses me. “You smell like me,” he says, and I think I turn a shade of beet red. “I like it,” he says before scooting down and facing me, his hand on my hip, our chests together. I lean forward, kissing the crook of his neck.
Humming, I lay my head on his shoulder, and his arms wrap around me. I take in his heat, his body, just him. I close my eyes for one minute, just to rest, and it’s a second too long because I fall fast asleep. With his arms around me, I sleep like I’m floating on a cloud. We wake during the night, reaching for each other, and I kiss him each time I wake up and then fall back to sleep the minute his arms are around me. “Mommy.” I hear my name softly from the side of the bed. “Mommy.” I open my eyes to see Daisy. I get up and look over at Blake who is now awake and sitting up, looking over at me and then at Daisy. “I had a bad dream,” she says, crawling into bed with me. “A monkey was coming after me to eat my candy,” she says, and I laugh at her. She buries her head into my neck, and I wrap my arms around her. Blake settles behind me with his arms around me and Daisy.