That’s what Nick has called the baby since the day we found out I’m pregnant. We were doing the whole predawn-walk-of-shame thing for months when we found out we were part of the point zero, zero, zero, whatever percent of birth control fails—not that either of us saw our happy little accident that way. We were thrilled. What can I say? Timing has never been our strong suit.
At least my divorce from Karl had been final by then. And by final I mean Gina was true to her word and made him cry—and give me half the business before I signed. He is remarried with his own child born now, and I honestly wish him all the best. I’m too excited about the future with this amazing man to dwell on that asshole anyway.
And this morning, so is Happy. I take Nick’s hand and move it down from cupping my suddenly ginormous boobs to my round belly. Happy lets it be known that she’s ready to come feel that sunshine herself.
“Did she just kick?” Nick asks.
“Oh yeah,” I say with a chuckle. “Our girl’s a fighter.”
He kisses me again, this time on top of my shoulder. “I can’t wait to meet her.”
“About that.” I pause, letting the moment drag out for just the teensiest bit of drama. “How do you feel about this morning?”
Nick’s body freezes behind mine. “Today? Now?”
He stumbles out of bed so fast, he half slides, half skates across the hardwood floor but still has the wherewithal to grab my overnight bag. “Let’s do this.”
Never mind the fact that per usual, he is buck naked. That he sleeps in the nude is one of my favorite parts of his routines.
“While I absolutely love the view,” I say, sitting up slowly and doing the a-little-this-way-a-little-that-way dance of pulling on comfy pajama pants. “Don’t you think you might want to get dressed first?”
He looks down, obviously completely surprised to see his own dick. “Fuck.”
He gets dressed in record time while I text Sarah, who is probably nursing her baby in the green room of Aunt Maggie’s old place (now hers), then my mom, and finally Nick’s mom. They’ll meet us at the hospital, of course, everyone eager to meet the new addition to our family. Then Nick comes over, kneels down on one knee in front of me, and ties my sneakers.
“Let’s go have a baby.” He looks up at me and grins. “You’re gonna be a great mom.”
“We’re gonna be great parents.”
Sure, we’ll make mistakes—what parents don’t?—but we also have people around us who care, not because of how we could burnish their image but just because. We have family—real family. And I mean that sincerely. While things are still a bit rocky between my dad and me, we really have been working hard to have a closer relationship. Happy is responsible for that.
Nick goes ahead of me down the stairs, holding out his hand so I can grasp it for balance. Then we walk out of the house, and Nick drives us to the hospital where many painful (even with the drugs) hours later, Margaret Elizabeth Victoria is born. But you know, her daddy just keeps calling her Happy—he isn’t the only one.
This book was so much fun to write, so I first have to thank Avery Flynn for making it possible. You’re a fantastic cowriter and an even better person.
Liz Pelletier and Emily Sylvan Kim, for always having my back and for being the two best women in publishing, bar none.
To all the people at Entangled—Stacy Cantor Abrams, Elizabeth Turner Stokes, Curtis Svehlak, Jessica Turner. I am so lucky to work with the best, most supportive team in publishing and I am grateful to every single one of you. xoxoxo
And to my wonderful, wonderful family, who were less than enthusiastic about me diving right back into the breach but who rallied together (as always) to give me all the love and support and excitement I could ever ask for. I love you so much.
And finally, for my fans, who make this all possible. I am so grateful for all of your love and support for my books and me. It means more than I can ever say. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you a lot. :)
A huge thank-you to everyone—especially the fabulous Tracy Wolff, who really is a rock star. Thank you!!! Also, to Liz and the entire Entangled team, wow, y’all are amazing, and I have no idea how I can ever repay the many, many kindnesses. I’d offer to give you one of my kids but…well, they’re kind of a handful. LOL.
Speaking of kids, I couldn’t do what I do without the support of all three of the Flynn kids and the fabulous Mr. Flynn. The biggest thank-you of all has to go to the readers. Without y’all, none of this would be happening. I hope Mallory’s story was a good escape and gave you more than a few laughs (and okay, a couple of tears, too).