Nate: Good. Love you. I already texted Blaise good luck, and he gave me a middle finger emoji back.
Me: And then he followed it with a kissing emoji, right?
Nate: How’d you know? Wink emoji.
Me: No clue.
Nate: Game is starting. Stop texting me. I have to start my cheers.
That was another new tradition. My brother liked to watch Blaise’s games in a bar, and he always announced who his brother-in-law was and sent video of the entire bar cheering Blaise on. Most of the videos ended with more than a few patrons mooning the camera as well. Both Nate and Blaise assured me it was their inside joke. I wasn’t privy to it, and I didn’t think I wanted to be.
Either way, I was happy.
My brother was happy.
Blaise was happy.
His family was happy.
I felt a kick in my stomach.
Our little guy/girl was happy too.
And that, right there, was everything I could’ve asked for in life.
Another deafening cheer, and the game started.
Blaise kicked in two goals and assisted on another one.
The Falcons won.
We went to Europe. Blaise played for six more years.
Our little Zeke was followed by Crosston and Sailor—Cross a little boy, and Sailor a little girl. She was the apple of all her boys’ eyes.
No one could blame them.
I woke to Blaise pressing kisses down my spine, pushing the sheets away.
I stretched, enjoying his type of alarm. It beat wails, screams, beeping sounds, toy cars being rammed into the wall, or just shrieks.
Then giggles split the air. That was the other good alarm.
I heard the little feet stampeding on the floor, and we braced, knowing we had imminent arrival in three…
The door slammed open, and Sailor appeared.
Her blond hair stuck up in the air. She had red marks around her mouth, probably juice stains, and her father’s eyes were irritated. She crossed her arms over her little chest and puffed up. “Why are you both still in bed?”
Blaise groaned. “Sail—”
“Why, Daddy?!” She clambered onto the bed, crawling to us and settling on his chest, staring down at him. He jerked his head up, mock-glaring right back.
I just waited.
This was almost a tradition now, during the off-season.
This time, Sail broke first. Her face melted, and she started giggling. “You’re funny, Daddy.”
He swept an arm up around her and rolled. She shrieked, and then the tickling started.
I slipped out of bed, making my escape. I was taking advantage. I could do with a long, hot shower by myself. Hearing another shriek/giggle, I glanced back. Blaise had Sailor in the air, pretending she was an airplane, and she was loving it.
I got into the shower, and I was loving that.
A few minutes later an arm slid around my stomach as the water pounded down. Blaise settled his hips up against mine.
“You thought you could just slip away like that?” he growled.
I laughed, noting how similar my giggle sounded to Sailor’s, but then his hand slid between my legs and my head fell back to rest against his shoulder. “The kids?”
“With my mom and Stephen.”
I was going to take advantage of this too.
So we did.
* * *