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The men chuckled, getting to work. They were getting to know Bridget. Within a few hours, they’d completed the ramp.

“What else can we help you with?”


“Seriously,” Chris answered.

“I’m converting the house back into a one-family. Frankly, I don’t even know where to start. I have three high-end kitchens in this place.”

“One kitchen at a time,” Chris said. “How much time do you have?”

“At the rate she’s going? Probably less than a week.”

“Right, not much time.”

“Okay, so we won’t accomplish this before she gets home,” Justin said. “I’m happy to get over here every weekend to make it happen.”

“Thank you. And if you know anyone who needs a great kitchen, send them over.”

“I wonder if Maggie would let me remake her kitchen,” Justin replied.

“Ask her,” Dave said.

“I’ll be building an addition to the cottage if she says yes.”

“I’ll help,” Luke said, grinning.

It was getting late, so the men left, one diesel truck pulling away after another. Margaret came out on the porch, holding baby Emily.

“Oh boy, you got that done in a hurry.”

“Yeah, what do you think?”

“It’s perfect. By the way, this baby is going to be walking before you know it,” she said.

“I’ll be right in and you can show me,” Luke replied. “I can’t believe how fast time is going. Hopefully, Bridget will be here for the first steps.”

“Yep, she’s quite the mover. I’m babyproofing the living room. Nothing to pull down on her head.”

“Thank you for thinking of all that. We might have less than a week to get the house ready for Bridget.”

On Sunday at the rehab center in New Orleans, Luke visited, standing to the side with the baby in his arms, watching Bridget walk on the treadmill, trying out a new prosthesis. She was picky about the fit, having read everything she could get her hands on about the issues that could arise, and she was determined that she wouldn’t have any problems. The key was optimum healing of the stump. She hated the word.

“Call it my stub,” she told Luke. “It’s stubby.”

“Stub it is,” he said, getting used to their new normal. “My wife has a stub.”

“Wife?” she asked, laughing, looking at him sidelong.

“Oops, my girlfriend. You will at least admit to being my girlfriend, won’t you?”

“Yes,” she said, sighing. “I’ll be your girlfriend. But no wife. I can’t even wrap my head around why in the hell you’d want to marry me.”

“Why wouldn’t I?” he asked, astonished. “You haven’t said it, but we love each other. You had my kid.”

“I’m a bitch, Luke. Let’s keep it real.”

“You probably have reason to be,” he said. “Let’s change the subject.”