“I love you, too, Declan.”
He lets out a deep breath as if he’s about to work out and speaks again. This time the sincerity in his voice rings louder than everyone around us. “I had no idea what I was getting into when you stubbornly insisted you sent that text to me by accident. I think it was on purpose or that fate intervened for us because that’s been the best mistake of my life. I want to keep making mistakes with you. I want to keep thwarting criminals with you. I want to keep loving you, and I want you to allow me the privilege and honor of doing that for the rest of our lives. So Denise Meyers, will you ruin me for all others by making me the happiest man and becoming my wife?”
“Yes! Of course yes!” I cry and let the tears fall. He wraps me in his arms, kissing me and pulling out a ring as everyone cheers around us. The world around us spins while he slips the beautiful engagement ring on my finger.
I hold my hand up and out for everyone to see. They erupt into cheers again.
Holy shit. I’m getting married.
One year later…
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
“FUCK!” I shout as I sprint down the 24 flights of stairs from Burnz and Earnz Fitness’ new headquarters.
“Slow down!” Vincent yells behind me as he practically does parkour to get down the stairs.
“She’s having the baby now. What do you mean slow down? We gotta go,” I pant as I continue to leap down the flights two, three, and even four steps at a time.
I cut him off. “Stop bitchin and come on. I need my best friend there so when I pass out you can revive me and remind me why I decided to get my girlfriend-”
He cutsmeoff this time. “Wife.”
“Shit, yeah, wife. I got my wife pregnant. Still can’t believe we eloped like that,” I tell him as we finally reach the lobby and practically dive into the car waiting for me. Thanks to my newest assistant, who’s an even better one than Denise. Don’t tell her I said that.
“I’m just glad I got to go along for the ride.” We’re both sweaty and in need of a shower as we haul ass through the city, heading toward the hospital where Denise’s being taken.
“It’s too soon,” I tell Vincent, counting on my fingers how many weeks she’s supposed to be versus how many she has left. “37 weeks. 37 weeks. That’s it. The baby’s not done cooking yet. He can’t come right now. The crib hasn’t been delivered yet. We’re still shifting my workout room into the nursery.”
“Calm down, Deck. It’s fine. I promise. The baby can do supersets while waiting for you two to put its changing table and rocking chair together.”
“Shit.” I grab my hair, ready to pull out every strand. “I forgot the rocking ottoman. What about her hospital bag? She was going to pack it next week.”
“Declan!” Vincent shouts, making the driver peer at us through the rearview mirror. “If you don’t chill out, I’m going to punch you in the face. None of that stuff matters right now. Besides, I’m sure Dens will kill me if you show up with a black eye. Relax and let’s just get there.”
I finally let out a deep breath just in time for us to pull up in front of the hospital. We run inside where a nurse tells us where to go. The maternity ward is quiet when we slam through the swinging doors. I see Dalia talking to the nurse at the nurse’s station before she turns to face me.
“Where is she?” I shout, startling everyone around us. Vincent grabs me by the shoulders and pats them gently to get me to calm down.
“Chill, she’s being checked by the doctors,” Dalia says nonchalantly.
“Why are you so calm?” I ask her. “You weren’t this calm while you were screaming at me over the phone to get my ass down here.”
“I took a shot of this,” she says, pulling out a small flask and handing it to me.
The vapors alone sting my eyes. “What the fuck is that?”
“Moonshine baby.” She smiles like it’s an accomplishment.
“I’ll take some of that.” Vincent reaches around and takes the flask from me to take a sip.
“Oh no. You two better not get drunk in here. You’re fucking dangerous together.” I warn both of them.