By: Beverley Kendall

“Hey,” he says with a jerk of his chin toward me.

“Hey,” I reply.

Seconds later, Paige is at my side.

“Trent, how are you?” She steps forward and kisses him on the cheek.

“Good. Good. She gets bigger and more beautiful every time I see her.” He hikes Bree up in his arms.

“Tren,” Bree says his name, smiling at him.

“Well you have to come by, doesn’t he, Mitch?” Paige prompts. She’s not very subtle.

“Right. Yeah, you should.” Actually he may not come by the apartment but I know Paige takes Bree to his mom’s at least a couple times a month. And I know he sometimes sees Bree when Paige’s mom takes her on weekends.

The guy’s okay. If push comes to shove, I can carry on a decent conversation with him. He’s into sports so that’s an instant conversation piece.

After we shoot the breeze with him for a couple minutes, he says, “Okay, I’ve got to get back to my run.”

His gaze shifts between us as he appears to contemplate which one of us he’s going to hand Bree to. He finally settles on Paige, which is a relief. I don’t want a repeat of what happened the last time.

As he leans toward Paige, Bree lets out a disgruntled shriek and says, “No, Da-da,” and holds her arms out to me.

To me.

Grinning, I feel one hundred feet tall when I take her from him. She immediately settles in my arms and puts her head against my chest. I wonder if she can hear my heart expanding to twice its size.

Calder looks at me, and grins. “I guess she knows her dad now.”

“You could say we’re sort of fond of each other.” Those were the exact words he said to me last year. And I can tell by the spark of amusement in his eyes that he remembers too.

“Yeah, I can see that. I never stood a chance did I, Bree?” he teases, stroking her cheek.

“You’ll have a bunch of your own someday,” I say. Okay, so he’s turning out to be an even nicer guy than I’ve been giving him credit for.

Paige laughs at that. “Don’t hold your breath. He’s never introduced me to a single girl he’s ever gone out with, isn’t that right, Trent?

Laughing, Trent completely evades the question. “You two will have enough to keep me busy.”

I don’t deny it because he’s probably right about that.

“Seriously, you should come over sometime next week,” Paige says, determined to get him over to the apartment for dinner. To her, the guy is family and she wants their relationship to survive relationships, births and distance. And I get that.

“Give me a call next week and we’ll schedule something, okay?” He glances at me as if gauging my reaction to the prospect of us spending an evening together.

I smile. “We’ll see you next week then.”

After that he kisses Paige and Bree goodbye and resumes his run.

Once he’s out of earshot, Paige looks up at me, speculation in her eyes. “What was that about?”

“What was what?” I ask, feigning innocence.

“You know, the stuff about Bree and—and well everything?”

Gently taking her hand and weaving our fingers together, I ask, “Everything as in us having enough kids to keep him busy?”

Her eyes widen and she sputters, “W-what?”

“Of course not now. I mean after we’re married and all that good stuff. Don’t you think Bree would make a great older sister?” I glance down at Bree, whose eyes are volleying between us as if she’s following our conversation closely and understands every word.

“You want more kids?” she asks in a whisper.

“With you, I want a kid for every room in our five-bedroom house.”

“Oh Mitch.” My name is a loving whisper. She reaches up and kisses me gently on the lips.

“And the next time I’m not going to miss a thing. Not a doctor’s appointment, not a leg cramp, nothing.” And that’s a vow I intend to keep.

Paige’s eyes tear up. “Mitchell Aaron Kingsley, you are the best father and boyfriend me and Bree could ever have.”

“And do you know why?” I ask.

A smile edges her mouth. “Why you’re the best?”


“Because you just are.”

“No, it’s because I love and have the love of the most incredible, beautiful woman in the world, and only the best will do for a woman like that.”

Rising on her toes, she palms my cheek and kisses me again, this kiss longer and more passionate. Ending the kiss, she drops back on her heels and whispers, “You had me at filling every room in our five-bedroom house.”


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