“It's the love that goes through the hardest trials and survives that's worth having.”
“I want to be with you, Em. I want to be with you every fucking moment of every fucking day.”
“Don't ever think Noah's in the way. He will always be the string that ties us together. He's our love growing inside you. He may not be the reason why I fell in love with you, but he's the reason why I got another chance at life. You saved me, Emma.”
“I'm cute, Mommy's cute, and Daddy's..." She tore her gaze up to meet his.
"Daddy's lucky," he finished for her.”
“I love you much it hurts. I ache for you in my soul. Please… I can’t live without you. I want to be with you every minute of every day. I want to marry you and make a life with you. I want to raise Noah and be a family together. Please… please say you want to be with me forever.”
“You’re the sexiest, most beautiful pregnant woman I’ve ever seen.”
“Aw, baby, you’re so sweet. But you don’t have to keep complimenting me because you’re so getting laid tonight.”
“There’s going to be good times and bad times and heart ache and joy. Don’t ever think that because of what happened before that your love isn’t as strong or as beautiful as anyone else’s. its the love that goes through the hardest trials and survives that is worth having.”
“Uncle Aidan?” Percy began.
“Don’t you think you ought to marry
Aidan jerked his head up, slamming it against the trunk lid. “FUCK!” he shouted as he saw stars before his eyes. A few more expletives escaped his lips as pain raged through his skull.
“Nice mouth you got there,” John chided.
Gritting his teeth, Aidan rubbed his aching head. “You mention that one to your mom, and I’ll tell her about your ball-sack comment.”
John’s eyes widened. “Dude, that is so not cool!”
“Yeah, well, deal with it.” Aidan started to resume gathering up the bags when he noticed Percy staring expectantly at him for an answer. Aidan sighed. “Perce—”
His blonde brows knitted together.
“Don’t you love her?”
“Oh Christ,” Aidan muttered, raking his hand through his hair. He winced as pain once again shot through his head. “Did your mom put you up to this or something?”
“No. When I asked her the same question, she just said that you were a cad.”
Percy shrugged. “I don’t even know what that means.”
“I’m pretty sure it’s a dude who acts like a douchebag to women,” John said.
Aidan glared over at John. “I am not a cad!”
“Holy shit... but we were using condoms."
Pink tinged her cheeks. "Not the weekend at the lodge."
He leaned over and lowered his voice. "Yeah, but I pulled out."
Emma cocked her brows. "And you're Mr. Super Potent Sperm, remember?”
“Just make sure Casey knows that I wear my alleged vagina with pride, not because she took my manhood with that purse of hers, but because I want to be a better man for you.”
“Oh come on, Emma. Admit it. You were dreaming about having sex with me. I must've been good if you were about to come."
She snorted exasperatedly.
"I'm surprised you're even asking about how good you were. Don't you always think you're amazing?”
“God Em, I love you so much it hurts,” came his pained whisper in her ear.
“I know. I love you so much, too.”
“andcuffs, massage oil, some edible underwear-”
Aidan held up his hand. “No need to explain anymore. You had me at handcuffs,”
“I'm serious about marrying you, Em. But I want to propose to you the right way- not half-naked and sporting wood.”
“I want you to think about this for a minute. What would you rather have? Words that can be spoken lightly and then taken back so easily, would you rather actions?”
“You're the only woman in the world I want to be amazing in bed for or to give mind-blowing, multiple oragasms to.”
“You’ve made all her dreams come true. The moment she holds Noah in her arms for the first time any of the pain and suffering she experienced will just evaporate in an instant. And you will be the one who gave that to her.”
“Aidan smiled. “He’s the amazing and beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” he replied, his voice choking off with emotion.”
“Emma's eyelids flew open, and her expectant gaze honed in on the mirror, peering in wonder at Noah's tiny head. "Aw, Em, it looks like he's got strawberry blonde hair!" Casey commented.
Aidan grinned. "Nah, I think it's redder, and he's more of a Ginger."
She gritted her teeth at him. "Don't you dare call our son a Ginger!”
“It’s the truth, Em. You do save me. I would still be lost if you hadn’t come into my life, and I thank God everyday that you gave me another chance to show you how much my soul cries out for you. There will never be anyone else for me in the world.”
“You need to eat your salad," Aidan finally said.
"Oh, so now you're telling me what to eat?"
"You're supposed to be eating a lot of green, leafy vegetables for the folic acid."
She arched her brows in surprise. "And just how do you know that?"
Through a mouthful of baked potato, he said, "What To Expect While You're Expecting.”
“Aidan pulled away and stared intently at her. His blue eyes blazed with intensity. “Listen to me. You have every right to be scared, but I want you to believe me when I say that Noah is going to be fine. He’s blessed with some strong as hell genes.” Placing his hand on her belly, he smiled. “He’s part Fitzgerald, and for generations, the men of my family have been known for being tough, scrappy fighters with a will of iron to survive.”
“Really?” she questioned with a hiccup.
Aidan nodded. “But even more than the fighting Irish Fitzgerald blood pumping through him, he’s inherited the most amazing DNA from his mother. She’s the strongest person I’ve ever known.”
“Emma narrowed her eyes. “Wow, I guess we have a lot in common. Maybe we should get t-shirts that say, ‘We were both fucked over by Aidan Fitzgerald’!”
“It's the love that goes through the hardest trials and survives that is worth having.”
“Emma giggled. "I don't think so." She nudged him playfully. "Just go on over and make them an offer they can't refuse on taking your fiancee upstairs to consummate your engagement."
He scowled at her. "You're supposed to consummate a marriage, not an engagement.”
“Her voice drew him nearer and nearer like a siren leading a man to his doom.”
“Emma Katherine Harrison, angel of mercy and forgiveness, love of my life and mother of my son, will you make me the happiest man in the world and say you’ll marry me?”
“You remembered what I like,” he murmured.
She slammed her glass down harder than she meant to. “Of course I do. The only thing predicable besides your outrageous libido is your stomach. You ordered the same thing each and every time we came here.”
A ghost of a flirtatious smile played at Aidan’s lips. “If I don’t clean my plate, are you going to spank me, Mommy?”
Emma crossed her arms over her chest. “No, but I will force feed you myself like the damn petulant toddler you insist on acting like!”
“Come on. Let’s go inside before you can be more of a twatwaffle tonight.”
He burst out laughing. “What did you just call me?”
“It’s one of Casey’s words.”
“Hmm, let me guess. It’s probably one of Casey’s words for me?”
She nodded as she unlocked the front door. “Yes, but with some stronger expletives along with it.”
“I figured as much.”
“Patrick leaned forward in his chair, a serious expression washing over his face. “So are we not going to talk about the white elephant in the room?”
Emma cut her eyes over to him and grinned. “You mean the fact that one of the prizes is an enema bag?”
Crossing his arms over his chest, Patrick huffed, “That is not what I’m talking about, and you know it.”
“A tear dropped from my cheek to his forehead. "Please don't die," I whispered.”
“They live with the belief that anything is acceptable if you can get away with it, that self-gratification is the most important aspect of existence, and that power comes only to she or he who is strong enough and cunning enough to snatch it from the failing hands of those who no longer deserve it. Compassion has no place in Menzoberranzan, and yet it is compassion, not fear, that brings harmony to most races. It is harmony, working toward shared goals, that precedes greatness.”
“And he doesn't care what you're wearing or what you've brought him. He just wants you there. Wanting him. And time is running out. He won't love you unconditionally that much longer. And soon he won't love you at all.”
“This was a perfect storm of crap, all flying through the same fan, right at him.”
“…but Sassenach—I am the true home of your heart, and I know that.”
He lifted my hands to his mouth and kissed my upturned palms, one and then the other, his breath warm and his beard-stubble soft on my fingers.
“I have loved others, and I do love many, Sassenach—but you alone hold all my heart, whole in your hands,” he said softly. “And you know that.”
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