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They arrived at the booth and Luke stood aside for Bridget to slide in, kissing him on her way. It caught him off guard, her showing affection in front of other people like that, and he had to reel it in quickly before he emoted in front of everyone.

Sitting next to her, slipping his arm around her shoulders, he gave her a kiss on the cheek while Dave and Katrina sat across from them and opened their menus.

“Hopefully, the nanny isn’t going nuts,” Dave said. “Davie’s new nickname is Tiger. The kid has got an amazing swing with his Nerf golf club.”

“Why in the hell would anyone buy a toddler a club?” Katrina asked, shaking her head. “He’s apt to bash everything in reach.”

“It was Rose,” Dave admitted, laughing, referring to his father’s girlfriend.

They chatted about the family, catching up with family gossip after the server took their order.

“What’s next for you?” Katrina asked Bridget.

“I have to keep pinching myself,” Bridget admitted. “I’m free. It’s sort of like being in prison when you’re in rehab. It vacillates between prison and a monastery. All your needs are met, but you have a strict regimen to stick to.”

“And now, you’ll manage that on your own, right?” Katrina asked.

“I have to get a routine that’s similar to it because it helped me through some dark days. I can’t be aimless. I want to learn how to parent. While I’m adapting, I have to figure out how I deserve a guy like Luke.”

“Get outta here,” he said, chuckling. “We’ve never lived together before except when she was expecting Emily. There was an end in sight because she was going to deploy. Now, it’s just me and Cypress Cove, forever.”

The two couples laughed, talking about the adjustments necessary at the beginning of the relationship.

“We jumped in together and Kat got pregnant right away, like you two. I’m just lucky she loved me right away.”

“Aw, that’s so nice,” Bridget said. “Are you going to get married?”

“No,” Katrina said before Dave could open his mouth. “It’s unnecessary.”

“I’d like to but as you can see…” Dave said.

“Ha! We aren’t getting married,” Bridget said. “I’m afraid I’d lose my benefits.”

Luke shook his head, amused. “We’ve never discussed it.”

“We have enough on our plate, I think.”

“You guys really do,” Dave said.

“It sounds like I don’t have anything to say about it,” Luke said. “But I’d marry her in a minute.”

“I have one eye and one leg. I don’t think I’m going to get any other offers. But we should still wait. We might end up being totally incompatible.”

“I doubt that, but whatever you say, honey,” Luke replied, pulling her close.

Their food came and after they ate, they agreed it was the most relaxing meal they’d had in a long time.

“We should do this again.”

“Let’s,” Bridget said. “I’m all for trying for it weekly. I know that’s a lot, and since I’m not working yet, it’s easy for me to say.”

“No, we should. Lunch at the diner. I’m in,” Dave said. “Remember, we have your house on Saturday and Maggie Angel’s on Sunday. That’s turned into a regular thing.”

“Does she ever tire of entertaining?” Bridget asked.

“We try to do a project part of the time. Earn our keep, so to speak.”

“Like the barn building?” Bridget asked.

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