I stretch one more time and pull myself out of bed. I’ve got to get ready too. Kylie asked me to go with her and Sophie to get mani-pedis. Although Sophie’s pregnancy has been going fine for the most part, apparently her emotions have been a little out of control. Mostly to the effect of her bursting into tears every so often. She swears she’s fine, and it’s just the hormones, but Kylie thought it would be nice for the three of us to go out and have a girls’ day at the salon. Just to lighten up her mood.

Collins has been trying to get me to pamper myself for months now, offering to buy me a spa day. He went on about how I went through some rough times with losing my job. But I’m not comfortable having him spend all that money on me, even if he can afford it.

After showering I head to my enormous new closet. The first time Collins showed it to me I couldn’t believe it. There’s a chandelier! The thing is larger than my old bedroom was in Connecticut, and entirely too big for the small suitcase worth of clothing I brought here.

Even after I received my settlement money from my last job and bought some new clothes for my job at the law firm, I still only use a small set of drawers in one corner, and a small section for hanging my dresses.

I pull on a tank top and some cutoffs, slip into my flip-flops, grab my keys and purse and head out to meet the girls.

When I arrive at the salon, they are already there.

“Here she is,” Sophie says, her voice is high and excited, and she smiles big. I’ve only been in LA a few months, but I love how close I’ve become with Sophie and Kylie already.

I give them both hugs in greeting, and the spa staff set us up in three neighboring pedicure chairs. I try to get Sophie to sit in the middle seat, but she wants to sit near the window, so I end up between the two.

I sink my feet into the hot water, and sigh. It’s been a while since I’ve done something so decadent. I’m used to worrying about rent, or the next student-loan payment. I still have student-loans, but with the salary at my new job, the fact that I no longer pay rent, and the settlement money which I’m mostly saving, I finally have room to breathe financially.

“This is the best,” Sophie says as she sinks back into her chair.

“How’s the little one treating you?” I ask eagerly, motioning to her stomach. She isn’t showing yet, but there is a glow about her that hints at her pregnancy. I can’t help but get excited for her. Just talking about it brings an energized grin to my face.

“Oh just fine,” she rolls her eyes as if it’s no big deal. “I feel almost guilty because I haven’t had morning sickness or anything.”

“I bet you can’t wait to meet him or her,” I say.

“I am super excited,” she says. A small tear wells in her eyes. A reminder that her hormones are acting up. “Maybe one day, you and Collins can have a baby too. And if you have one soon, they could play together.” She sniffles, and another tear drifts down her cheek, but then she laughs at herself, making Kylie and I laugh with her.

Yet I realize how envious I am of her. I can’t help but wonder and hope that one day Collins and I will have a family of our own. The idea of it is enough to give me a rush of joy. I know Collins would be a great father. My heart warms at the image of him chasing around our little son or daughter, resurrecting the tickle monster just for them.

Of course we still haven’t talked about our future, I don’t want to rush him. For now I’m happy just being with him. And I know he’s happy too.

My phone chirps and I check it to find a message from Collins.

I miss you, Gremlin.

I smile and show the message to Sophie and Kylie.

“Awe,” Kylie says.

“He can’t send you messages like that,” Sophie says. “Or I’ll spend the whole dang day happy crying.”

“Sorry,” I say. I text him back.

Miss you, too.

Can’t wait to see you.

Get back to work. The sooner you finish, the sooner we can...

Kylie leans forward in her chair. “Pace wants us to have one soon too. When I met him, I never would have thought he would be a kids guy, but he’s so damn good with Max, I’ve been pushing him to wait until after we’re married, but I kinda can’t wait, either.”

“I know,” I say. “Maybe part of it’s being around you two, but I seriously feel like my ovaries are screaming for me to have a baby, and soon.” I feel like I’m admitting too much, but I don’t care. Somehow I’ve already started to think of Sophie and Kylie as sisters, so talking to them like this just feels right.

“I’m sure your turn will come soon,” Kylie says. She raises her eyebrows and smiles knowingly.

I laugh. “I hope so, but we still haven’t talked about marriage.”

Sophie’s eyes go wide and she almost jumps out of her chair. “But you want to marry him, don’t you?”

“Of course,” I answer, blushing. I don’t say that I’m hoping one day, maybe in the near future, he’ll propose to me again. It doesn’t even have to be cheesy romantic. He could just poke me hard in the arm again and say he wants me to be his wife. I want to be patient, because I know he needs time to think about things. Collins doesn’t make decisions lightly. He’s deliberate and thoughtful. Besides, I’ve only been back in his life a few months. And I’m just happy to be with him. Finally I add, “He seemed to need some time, so I haven’t brought it up again. I’m waiting for him to.”

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