A Very Merry Hockey Holiday

Page 8


Tomorrow was her appointment where they would do a blood test to see if she was pregnant. She kept telling herself she was, but it just didn’t seem real. Why was she cramping and hurting so bad? Some people said they experienced the same, but it wasn’t that common. She was going to make herself sick with worry, and what good would that do?
As she let out a long breath, Piper leaned into her and smiled.
Audrey shook her head. She loved her best friend, but even right now, Piper couldn’t make her feel better. She wouldn’t feel better until she knew one way or another.
“It’s going to be fine,” Piper reassured.
“And what if it isn’t?”
“Then you try again, or you adopt, try a surrogate. There are other options.”
“I want to carry my own child,” she whispered, tears stinging her eyes. “I want to be the wife Tate deserves.”
“You are,” Piper said, squeezing her arm. “And I know for a fact he has told you that. So stop this. Be happy you have a healthy husband and daughter because some people don’t even get that.”
“I know, but—”
Lifting her daughter, Katarina, up on her hip, Piper shook her head. “No, no but, you’ve been doing this for far too long. Look around, Audrey. These people are fighting for their children, begging the good Lord above to save them so they can keep loving them, and you have it all. You have a loving husband, a gorgeous daughter, and they are healthy. What else do you really need? You’re being selfish and hurting yourself. The stress and the depression are going to have you pushing up daisies, and then Tate and Pennyloo will be alone. Do you want that?”
Audrey swallowed hard as she blinked back the tears. Her heart hurt because Piper was right. She was being selfish. She had everything she could ever want. A successful business, family that loved her, and like Piper said, a husband and daughter who thought she hung the moon and the stars. She was blessed. To the extreme. And maybe instead of wanting more, she should be grateful for what she had. She wasn’t even supposed to have been able to have kids, and she’d been convinced she would never find a man to love her because of it, but Tate loved her without children. He loved her no matter what.
So why was she making such a huge deal about this?
Disgusted in herself, she looked around the room at all the families who watched as their children tried to enjoy the day. It brought tears to her eyes. She had spent so much time worrying about having babies when these people were struggling to keep theirs. Swallowing past the lump in her throat, she took in a deep breath and let her shoulders fall.
“No, I don’t.”
“I know,” Piper agreed. “So stop. If tomorrow you’re not pregnant, then that is God’s will and let it go. You have it all, and you’re awesome on top of that.”
Audrey smiled as she blinked back her tears, nodding her head. When she looked up, Tate was looking back at her, his eyes intensely on hers, and she smiled. A real smile. Just for him. He loved her, and boy, did she love him. He was everything a woman could hope for, and he did everything in his power to make her happy. She wanted to do the same, and she thought that was having a baby, but maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was just loving him that would make him happy. He had told her that, and if she got her head out of her ass, maybe she would start to listen.
Standing up to his full six foot seven glory, he closed the distance between them and wrapped his arms around her, kissing her temple. “Thinking hard?” he whispered before placing a small kiss to her head again.
She smiled, lacing her fingers around his thin frame. “Just thinking about tomorrow.”
“Not stressing, right?”
She shook her head. “Not anymore. I’ve decided that if I’m not, then I’m done. We have everything we need.”
“You’re right, and I’ve told you this a billion times.”
She smiled at his statement as she ran her fingers down his jaw. “I’m sorry I’ve been a crazy lunatic for the last four years. I should have listened to you sooner. I should have realized I have everything I need with just you two.”
He cupped her face, his eyes boring into hers as a smile pulled at his lips. “I know how you are. You want to please and make everyone happy. You’ve driven me insane—I’m not going to lie—but I love you. So it’s okay. I’ll take the crazy any time of the day as long as I get to kiss you whenever I please.”
She grinned as her arms went around him, running her nose along the bottom of his jaw. “Like now?”
“Yeah,” he said with a grin. “Now is great.”
When he dropped his mouth to hers, she closed her eyes and lost herself in his kiss. His lips were always so soft and inviting and hit her straight in the gut. When a little body came between them, Audrey pulled away, smiling as she looked down to find her daughter watching them. Her eyes, blue like the ocean, were wide as she looked up at them, her arms tightening around Audrey’s leg.
“Mommy, is it cupcake time?”
Audrey nodded. “It is! Let’s eat.”
Kissing Tate’s jaw, she went to step away, but he stopped her, his fingers lacing with hers as his eyes met hers. “Tomorrow though, you’ll get your Christmas wish.”
She smiled. “Santa came five years ago and gave me you and our daughter. There isn’t anything else on my list.”
He laughed. “Liar, I know you want those shoes.”