Page 44 of Puppy Madness

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“It’s positive,” I whisper.

Lizzy leaps to her feet, crying joyfully, and then Shelby runs to the front window and starts barking. He rarely barks, but whenever Dominic returns home, it’s like he can’t help himself.

“You’ve got to tell Dad,” Lizzy says after we’ve hugged. “He’s going to freak.”

My heart pounds with warmth, my soul feels like it’s soaring in my chest, everything cozy and joy-filled as I grab the test and rush to the front door.

Pulling it open, I wait as Dominic walks up the path, his lips turning upward in a smile as happy as my heart. The sun dances in his silver hair as his gaze moves to my hands, his eyebrows shooting up.

He huskily breathes as he gets close, wrapping his arms around me.

“Is that what I think it is?”

“Yes,” I whimper, clawing onto him. “It’s positive. I’m pregnant. We’re going to have a baby together.”

He lets out a whoop, lifting me off the ground and spinning me around. I hold tightly onto my man, feeling like I’m flying.

And I am. We are.

Right to the future that we want so passionately.




I lie with my cheek gently resting against my wife’s bump, the lamplight giving our living room a romantic feel.

It’s late, a light breeze whispering against the glass.

Danni breathes softly, her hand moving through my hair. We haven’t spoken in minutes, but it’s enough to simply be here together, to wait for our child’s kicking, his eagerness to get out into the world and meet us.

“What are you thinking about?” she asks after another few minutes of peaceful silence.

“Everything, all the time,” I say, smiling, feeling my cheek push against her bare bump.

“That’s specific,” she murmurs, lighting lightly.

I look up, meeting her eyes. Her hair’s gorgeously wild, her cheeks getting even more flushed and vivacious, with another life adding to the heat.

Her face has become a little fuller from pregnancy, making her smile sweeter, a testament to our child’s going to be here very soon.

“I am,” I say. “The wedding, how difficult it was not to cry when your mom was walking you up the aisle and how good it felt to let the tears go, and know if anything was worth crying for, it was this, it was you.

“And Lizzy, standing there as your maid of honor. I could tell she was happy for us, truly happy. She wasn’t just saying it. She wasn’t just doing it for our sake.

“And you.”

“What about me?” she murmurs, her hand moving through my hair over and over.

“How determined you were to work at the shelter, rehoming those Corgis, before the bump here made it impossible.”

“It had to be done,” she says, with that increasingly confident look on her face.

It always makes me think of how she’ll watch our children with that beautiful mixture of love, attentiveness, and self-assurance. It’s the assurance she’ll be able to rise to any challenge.

She proved it, putting in the extra effort with the remaining Corgis.

“Do you remember when I asked if you had a problem with us keeping Shelby?”

She’s about to answer when the dog in question comes trotting into the room, climbing the doggie steps and walking onto the couch, trotting over and resting his chin on the bump. He does it tenderly, his nose shifting as though he can smell how close the new life is.

“Yeah.” Danni moves her hand from my head to Shelby, stroking his ears, the intact one and the one which looks injured. “I felt like I was going to cry for a week. I couldn’t say goodbye to this little guy.”

Shelby opens his mouth, licking at the bump, making a gentle noise of love.

I close my eyes and simply exist in this moment, no longer thinking of the past, of the future, of anything except for this glory of now.

Then Danni’s belly shifts and our son is eager to get out and meet us.




“Mommy, look,” Jeneva says, our five-year-old walking into the kitchen with Shelby in her arms.

I laugh at the doctor’s coat she’s put him in, Shelby’s tail wagging like crazy. Even as the years have passed and he’s starting to slow down, he always gets excited when the kids pay him attention.

“Careful with him,” Dominic says, walking into the kitchen through the other entrance.

He’s wearing a suit, a rare sight that fills me with temptations, not at all appropriate with the children nearby. Even as I stifle the urge to collapse into lust – it’s never waned, this spark between us, this burning fire – I admire my husband.

His suit is the same shade as his full head of hair, his muscles somehow even bigger, even more flooded with confidence than when we first met.

He adjusts his cufflink and sighs, and then I walk over, handling it for him.

“Nervous?” I ask.

He leans over, gently kissing me on the forehead.