“I love you too.” I close my eyes and hug her back just as fiercely. “Now let’s go see your dad at the hospital so we can decide what happens next.”
“And what will that be?” Her eyes are searching mine for answers.
“Whatever you want and whatever he wants. Between you, me, him, and Evy, I’m sure we can come up with a plan.”
She smiles and nods. “I think you’re right.”
“Of course I am.” I smack her on the ass and then kiss her quickly. “Now get dressed before I try to put my dick in you again.”
“Hmm.” She thinks about it, but I stand up and toss her onto the bed. She bounces once before she giggles. I flip her over so she’s on her stomach and slap her ass one good time.
“Get up, wench. I need to feed you.”
“You caveman,” she laughs as I pull on my underwear.
“Only for you.”
After we have a quick breakfast, we hop in my truck, and I drive us over to the hospital. Gracie said her dad was supposed to be released today but she wants to get there early and hear how he’s doing from the doctor's mouth. I think after yesterday’s scare she wants to talk to his endocrinologist directly.
When we get to his room, we see Evy sitting on the bed next to him, and they’re holding hands. It looks like an intimate moment, and for some reason I want to back out of the room and give them their privacy. But Gracie, being my sweet innocent girl, goes right on in.
“Hey, Dad, morning, Evy.” She smiles at the woman, and I don’t miss the tender way Evy looks at her.
“Hey, Gracie,” she says and stands from the bed but still keeps a hold of Joseph’s hand.
“Morning, pumpkin.” He smiles at Gracie and then turns to me. “Good to see you, Donovan.”
I nod and tell them hello as Gracie jumps right into it. “Has the doctor been in yet?”
“The nurse said she’d be by in just a few minutes,” Evy answers. “But I think before that your dad and I need to tell you something.”
“That you two have been sneaky dating?” Gracie says and smiles brightly.
Evy looks at Joseph, and I can see her cheeks flush a little. “Well, yes.”
“I want you to know Evy and I did a lot of talking last night,” Joseph says.
“Good, so did Donovan and I.” I take Gracie by the hand and squeeze it as I look down at her and wink.
“Evy and I are getting married.”
“Good morning, Mr. Hall, I bet you’re ready to head home today,” the doctor says, interrupting the bomb that just went off in the room.
“Umm, can you give us a second?” Joseph asks as he looks around at all of us.
“Sure.” The doctor smiles and backs out.
“You and Evy are getting married?” Gracie asks, and when the two of them confirm, she surprises all of us by bouncing on her toes and squealing as she covers her mouth to muffle the excitement.
“Well, that wasn’t exactly the reaction I was thinking, but I’m happy to see it,” Joseph says as he looks to Evy.
“Are you kidding me?” Gracie goes around the bed to hug Evy and then her dad. “I’m so happy for the both of you. I mean I knew you’d been dating on the sly, but I had no idea it was this serious.”
“I think we both realized after yesterday that life is short,” Evy says and shrugs. “I love your dad with all my heart, and we talked a lot about what we want for the future.”
“You’ve taken care of me a long time, kiddo, maybe even at times when I should have been taking better care of myself.” Joseph squeezes her hand now. “I should have been better about letting you live your life instead of worrying about mine.”
“No, I mean it. And I’m not just trading out one nurse for another.”
“I told your dad that I’ll help him manage his diabetes better, but we’re going to do it together.” Joseph nods at Evy.
Seeing the two of them and the way they look at each other gives me hope. Life is short, and it’s never too late to find love. I stand back and let them talk for a few minutes before the doctor comes back in and goes over Joseph’s discharge paperwork. I step outside for that, giving them as much privacy as possible.
A little bit later, Gracie and Evy come out of the room with Joseph’s things in a bag. “I’m going to go with Evy to sign his discharge paperwork. Are you okay to hang here for a second?”
“I’ll be right here.” I lean down and kiss Gracie on the cheek before the two of them walk down the hall.
I wait a beat to make sure they’re not coming back before I turn and go into the room with Joseph. He smiles at me as I walk in and then he nods like he’s been waiting for this.