“Let’s just wait until after the party unless Cass says something. I want to make this Jefferson’s day.”

He nodded, bursting at the seams with joy. He wanted to tell everyone. He wanted to scream it from the rooftops. They’d been trying so hard for so long. Andrea had felt like a failure so many times, even when he’d told her over and over that it didn’t matter to him. Because it didn’t. He loved her. He wanted her happiness. If it wasn’t making her happy, then they didn’t need to try. They needed to practice but not for conception…just for love.

So, they had adopted Cass and tried not to stress the small stuff. They had other things to worry about. Like Andrea’s art gallery taking off beyond her wildest dreams, including opening additional galleries in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Paris all in a matter of years. She was a sensation. Not just selling others’ works, but her own, which had garnered a lot of attention once she had finally revealed them.

Clay and Gigi had abandoned Cooper & Nielson together, deciding to give up corporate law and focus more on what mattered—by opening up their new firm Maxwell & De Rosa. They still worked with big clients who had left Cooper & Nielson with them, but they spent their time on humanitarian cases as well. Made sure they remembered why they were in law…why they loved it—to help people. He wouldn’t say that he had completely abandoned his dream of going for attorney general one day if Brady became president, but for now, that dream was on hold for another one.

They walked into Brady’s house without knocking on the door and found Brady in the kitchen, pulling dishes out of the refrigerator. A domesticated Brady was one that Clay still couldn’t get used to seeing.

“Clay! Andrea!” Liz said as she walked in through the back door. “Little Cass!” She bent down and held her arms out. “Give your Cool Aunt Liz a hug.”

Cassidy ran forward into her arms. “Cool Aunt Liz!”

Clay shook his head. “Oh, dear Lord. You have her calling you that?”

“Well, it is true,” she said. She squeezed Cassidy tight. “Jefferson is out back. You want to go play?”

“Yeah!” she cried.

They all followed Cassidy out the back door as she rushed toward her cousin. Andrea placed a birthday present on a table for Jefferson, and then it was her turn to be pulled into a hug by Liz. Brady passed Clay a beer as they waited for everyone else to get here.

Liz grabbed a cocktail off the table and took a long drink. “What do you want, Andrea? We have these mixed cocktail things that Brady put together. We have champagne and beer, or I can make you something.”

Andrea froze and then shook her head. “Um…nah, I’m not drinking.”

Liz looked at her like she had just grown horns. “What? Why not? Come on! You won’t have to drive home for hours.”

“No. I’m just…not thirsty.”

Liz laughed. “What? Are you pregnant?”

There was a long silent pause in which Liz covered her mouth.

“Oh, y’all, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. I’m so inconsiderate. I know you’ve been trying. I didn’t mean it. Fuck!” Her eyes darted to the kids and back, and then she grimaced. “I mean…”

“It’s okay,” Clay said with a laugh.

“No, it’s not. I don’t mean to joke about that kind of stuff. I know it’s been hard for y’all.”

“No, really,” Andrea said with a giddy grin. “It’s okay because…I am. I just found out today.”

“Oh my God!” Liz shrieked. She pulled Andrea into a hug. “Oh my God! Oh my God! Congratulations!”

Brady reached his hand out, and Clay shook it. “Congrats, man. I’m so happy for y’all.”

“Ahhh!” Liz cried. “Tell me everything. When are you due? What names are you thinking? Boy or girl?”

“Boy,” Clay said automatically.

Andrea laughed and shook her head. “Uh-uh, honey. She’s definitely going to be a girl.”

“You’d deserve it, Clay,” Liz said with a wink.

He shrugged. “Maybe.”

They all laughed.

Everyone else started showing up, and Clay and Andrea couldn’t seem to contain their secret. They’d been trying to get pregnant for so long. So much of their time had been devoted to this, and all of their friends and family were so excited for them.

A bet was made immediately on whether or not it was a boy or girl. Clay insisted it was a boy. Almost everyone disagreed with him. Even little Cassidy said she wanted a sister.

Clay just laughed and shrugged. He told everyone they had eight months left before they would find out. He pulled Andrea into his arms and kissed her cheek.

“You know,” he whispered into her ear, “I don’t mind if it’s another girl.”

“I know you don’t.”

“So long as she’s healthy, that’s all that matters to me.”

She squeezed him tight. “Well, she’s going to be the middle child, just like you, so you’ll have to treat her extra special.”

“Middle, eh? We’re going to have another?”

“At least one more,” she told him with an excited glint in her eyes.

“Well then, I’ll have to treat them all extra special, won’t I?”

“Yes, you will. We both will. All our little girls.”

“Why are you so sure it’s a girl?”

She smirked. “Intuition.”

Nine months later, they found out Andrea was right.

And right about the next one, too.

And Clay realized that this was life’s greatest adventure. Falling in love with Andrea all those years ago on the beach at Hilton Head had turned out to be one of the best decisions of his life. But choosing to love her all these years later and sharing that love with their kids…now, that was truly the best decision of his life.


Stay tuned for Broken Record, Savannah’s stand-alone story in the next book in the Record series.

Broken Record follows Savannah Maxwell, a driven college journalist with a taste for rebellion against her political family who is torn between her political-oriented boyfriend and the boy she’s always wanted…