The Fall Groom - Page 27

“I love you so much, Mrs. Combs,” I say, and she smiles against my lips.

“I love you too, Mr. Combs.”

From what everyone tells me, the reception is amazing, but I’m not sure I remember anything beyond Gracie. My eyes are glued to her all night, and I can’t get over that she’s finally my wife. It’s a long time later when I’m sitting at a table watching her do some kind of dance with some of the kids from town that I feel Tidas come up beside me and take a seat.

“I never thought I’d see the day,” he says, nudging my side.

“That I’d get married?” When he’s quiet, I glance over at him, and he shakes his head.

“That I’d see you smile again.” He blinks quickly a few times as he reaches out and squeezes my arm. “I’ll be grateful to your Gracie for the rest of my life because she gave me my brother back.”

“Tidas.” Why am I so emotional today? Maybe it’s years of keeping my heart hard and swallowing the pain of what happened to me, but being with Gracie has broken down the walls I built, and now the floodgates are open. “I love you, brother.”

He smiles and nods. “I love you too.” He slaps my knee as he points to his wife on the dance floor. “Now all we have to do is kick back and make a couple dozen babies.”

“I like the sound of that,” I answer, keeping my eyes on my bride.



Almost five years later

I’ve always loved fall, but after the wedding Donovan gave me five years ago, it’s officially my favorite time of year, bumping winter to second place. I might go a bit overboard this time of year, but I can’t help it. What started out with me putting out a few decorations has turned into Donovan having to build me a small barn just for my decorations alone.

I keep Christmas stuff in there too, but fall and Halloween easily dominate the space. I mean, unlike Christmas, where I only get about six weeks, I get two full months with fall and Halloween. I switch out a few Halloween decorations with fall ones and I get to keep it all going until Thanksgiving.

“Is that a bounce house?” Donovan asks, looking out the back patio doors to see what’s going on in our backyard.

“Isn’t there a diaper that needs to be changed or something?” I say, and a deep, sexy bark of laughter comes from him. He doesn’t get so tense over gatherings anymore. and I knew today was the perfect time to spring a big Halloween party without it bothering him.

I don’t think it’s only me that’s gotten him used to being around people. The kids play a part in that too. I think he gets lost in us and forgets about anyone else being around. And what they might be thinking about his scars. They’ve faded even more with time, but I think he’ll always be somewhat insecure about it no matter how many times I tell him he’s perfect.

“Don’t think because your cute little ass is knocked up I won’t spank you.” I shoot him a glare over my shoulder. “Okay, there’s a llama out there too.” He runs his fingers through his short hair. He is paying way too much attention to what’s going on outside when I’m over here with no panties on under my dress.

“Come over here and try one of my mini apple pies.” I pull one out of the warmer.

“This is getting crazy.” He shakes his head but comes over to the kitchen island to eat his tiny pie. I’d made them with him in mind.

“You really think it’s too much?” I ask, starting to second-guess myself.

I’d hired a party planner who told me about all these great things I could do. There is going to be a million and one games for the kids, a fortune teller, a small haunted house, and the food is going to be out of this world. I’ve got a cart especially for funnel cakes. How could my pregnant butt say no to that?

“Sunshine, I was teasing you. You can have a whole circus in the backyard.”

He rushes over to me, cupping my face, and I realize my eyes are watering. I always cry so easily when I’m pregnant. Everything else about pregnancy is a cake walk for me except the emotions.

“A circus?” I’d only got a llama, well actually an alpaca because it's our son’s favorite animal right now.

“If that’s what you want, sunshine, have it, but please don’t cry.” I blink quickly, knowing my tears upset him.

“It’s my stupid hormones. I want today to be perfect, but you won’t even tell me what my Halloween costume is.” It’s supposedly a surprise, but it’s driving me bonkers. I don’t even know what the kids' costumes are either.

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