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“Never take the ring off,” he orders, his voice hoarse.

“I promise I won’t.”

Viktor frames my face, and looking at me with all the love in the world, while we’re both kneeling on a white beach in Bali, he says, “It will always be me and you,moyaMalen'kaya Roza. Forever.”

“Forever,” I whisper against his lips right before he claims my mouth.



Eleven years later…

We’re hosting a small gathering for the baptism of our baby boy.

Okay, so maybe it’s not as small as I thought it would be. With my entire family and the Priesthood at the house, the place is packed.

The women can’t get enough of Roman’s chubby cheeks and blood-red lips.

“You better hold on tight to your son,” Nikolas chuckles, where we’re standing on the lawn, grilling steaks. “One of them might try to steal him.”

“Where are the kids?” Luca asks.

I gesture to my house. “In the living room. They’re taking turns playing games.”

Lily, Liam’s daughter, comes out onto the patio and makes a beeline straight for Roman. “Can I play with him, Aunt Rosalie?”

“Fuck,” Liam mutters.

“She’s only twelve,” Nikolas chuckles. “Wait until she discovers hormones. Theresa just brought a boy home. I almost killed the poor fucker.”

Everyone bursts out with laughter.

Out of the Priesthood, only Gabriel, Liam and Nikolas have daughters. That might change in the future, though. I'd love to have a little girl who’s the spitting image of her mother.

We watch as Lily holds Roman’s hand, slowly walking him around the fountain. She stops and patiently waits every time he sees something interesting.

“She’s good with him,” I mention.

“She takes after her mother,” Liam murmurs, his voice full of love for his daughter.

Alya, Gabriel’s daughter walks closer to them and takes hold of Lily’s other hand, shyly smiling up at the older girl.

“Do your hearts also do this weird squeezing thing as if it’s being strangled, whenever your kids do something amazing?” Liam asks.

“All the fucking time,” Gabriel mutters, rubbing a hand over his chest as he watches his daughter warm up to Lily.

“What are you talking about?” Rosalie asks as she comes to take a seat on one of the chairs. The other women soon join her.

“The kids,” Nikolas answers as he wraps his arm around Tessa.

“I want a daughter,” I announce while flipping a steak.

“You’ll have to wait until everyone leaves and pray Roman takes a nap,” Rosalie teases me.

“Yes, please wait until we’re gone,” Luca chuckles, making the rest of the group laugh.

When the steaks are ready, and Mom comes out of the house with a large bowl of potato salad, Rosalie jumps up. “You should’ve called me, Mom. Let me take the bowl. Sit down and relax a little.”

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