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A New Life in New York

Wild Thoughts (DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller) - Part One

July 9, 2020

“Are you sure you’re okay taking them all?” I asked my Mom and Dad. I had bags packed for all three kids sitting and waiting at the door. Harry was upstairs helping Finn get dressed.

“Yes, we are fine,” Mom said.

“We raised three girls,” Dad added. “These three kids have nothing on you and your sisters.”

“Yes, but we weren’t this close in age. I mean you’re taking a five-year-old and two two-year-olds. That’s insanity and I spend every day with them.”

“We are fine.” My Dad was starting to get annoyed with me, I could tell. It wouldn’t be the first time they’d been around all three kids or even had them overnight. It was just the first time they were taking them for more than a night. “You two deserve a few kid-free days, especially after the big party from the holiday and Finn’s birthday.” We had just survived two weekends in a row of a ton of kids and a ton of family. My parents were right, we did deserve a weekend to ourselves. Harry’s Mom was home in England visiting friends for a couple weeks so they had to take all of them for us to have even a second alone. And with it being summer, and the first summer that I didn’t need my sister every waking moment on the weekends, she’d gotten a summer rental with friends so we couldn’t rely on her to watch them either.

“It’s your six month anniversary,” Mom said. “Which I know you both have told me means nothing to either of you. But you should spend some time together, just you. Especially since Nellie is in Montauk for the weekend and Elizabeth is in Vegas for that birthday party until Tuesday.”

“Fine. I’ll stop arguing. But if they get to be too much, please call us. We won’t be that far.”

“Everyone is going to be okay, J.” I turned to see Harry coming down the stairs with Finn right behind him. He had the look on his face that he usually does when I’m worrying about something too much. “Sarah, Michael, thank you both so much. We appreciate you giving us this time to ourselves.”

“And we love nothing more than a long weekend with the grandbabies.” My Mom was cute and she did view them all as her grandbabies. As soon as she met Harper it was like my Mom had loved her forever.

“We both appreciate it so much. Especially with my Mum being gone.”

“Of course. There’s nothing we love more than having the kids.” Mom wasn’t lying but it didn’t make me feel any less guilty. “Go have fun.”

“Girls, are you ready to go?” Harry called. “Grammy and Pop-pop are ready to go.” Harper and Grey had been watching TV in the living room after breakfast. They ran over to us jumping into my Mom and Dad’s arms. It melted my heart. I loved getting to see my kids and my parents but there was something extremely special about seeing Harper with my parents. It took about three visits with them before they went from being Sarah and Michael to being Grammy and Pop-pop.

“Be good this weekend, kiddos.”

“We will,” Finn said. I bent down to give him a kiss on his head before handing him his bag.

“We love you,” Harry added as he bent to kiss Finn and then we kissed both of the girls.

“Love you,” came the voice of all three kids. My Mom and Dad waved as they got into the elevator and the doors closed.

“Do you feel like you’re gonna throw up?” I asked as soon as the doors shut.

“No. Your parents will be fine with the kids and we get four days by ourselves.” It didn’t take long before he had himself wrapped around me and his lips on my neck. “What do you think of this idea. As soon as we get to the house we get naked and we don’t put clothes on until we get in the car to come back to the city?”

“Not gonna wine and dine me for this anniversary that you and my mother seem to find SO important?”

“Oh I have plans. Lots and lots of plans.” I started to giggle as his lips moved across the bare skin on my shoulders that was exposed thanks to my off the shoulder dress. The first time I’d warn this dress for a trip out of the city he kept telling me how much he loved it. It was enough that I’d gone back to the boutique I bought it from and bought it in three more colors. It was shorter than I was usually comfortable wearing but I was reminded almost constantly that just because I was a Mom didn’t mean that I couldn’t dress my age or show a little leg on occasion, so I was trying to push myself out of my comfort zone.

“Then let’s finish packing and get on the road.”

“And then we can get naked?”

“Sure,” I replied. He kissed me hard on the mouth and I could feel his smile spread. “Now pack!” He took off running up the stairs. I’d finished packing last night while he and Finn were playing with some new game he got for his birthday two weeks ago. Most of his clothes had made it into my apartment this week as he ‘packed’ which usually meant hanging out with the kids while I did all of our laundry, the laundry of all three children, and somehow most of the clothes that Nellie and Elizabeth packed for their weekends away.

“Babe!” he called through the apartment. I hated when he did this. He’d yell at me from the master suite for something knowing that I couldn’t hear him that well. I took off up the stairs and as I walked into the master bedroom he grabbed me, threw me over his shoulder while he walked towards the bed and threw me down on it.

“What the fuck are you doing?”

“Seducing my lady.” I started to laugh pretty hard. “Why the fuck are you laughing at me?”

“You’re cute.”

“I'm glad you think so.” He bent down capturing my lips with his.

"You should be packing.”

“Why are you so concerned about me packing? It’s not like we have to leave the city for the weekend.”

“No, it’s not like we have to. It’s that you asked that we leave the city for the weekend. Your exact words last weekend were ‘I can’t wait until next weekend when we get this whole place to ourselves. No kids. No parents. No sisters.’ I would be just as happy to stay in the city for the weekend.”

“No. We are leaving down. I will stop trying to seduce you.” He kissed me one more time before standing up and walking to the closet. “Thank you for doing my laundry this week, J."

“You’re welcome. I felt like my full-time job this week was laundry. Between mine, yours, and every kid in this place plus my lazy ass sister.” He brought his bag into the bedroom and laid it on the bed next to me. After another trip he came back with an armload of clothes. “Your closet has to look like it was robbed. Do you have anything left in your apartment anymore?”

“Barely. Mom told me that she feels like she’s living there alone most days.”

“I mean she is. You and Harper stay here most nights.”

“I know. I’m sorry about that.”

“Why are you apologizing?” I asked as I sat up and started to fold his clothes to put in his bag. “I clearly like having you here or I would’ve kicked you out. You and Harper make this place perfect. And Grey really loves having a roommate. I sort of do too.” He laughed at me from the closet.

We’d been dancing around the issue of living together for a while. It shocked me completely how fast things moved once I stopped being scared. He was a complete gentleman as we moved through the very confusing path our relationship took but by the time the girls turned two we were inseparable. We just both kept avoiding the whole moving in together thing. With Finn out of school for the summer it just happened that he was here a lot more. But there were a few nights each week where we would awkwardly say goodnight after dinner or tuck the kids into their own rooms and spend the night on the phone despite being in the same building.

I knew that if we moved forward and moved in together it had to be me that made that move. We would never all fit in his apartment and it had been me that was hesitant to do anything because I was scared of what people would think of me. I’d heard the whispers at a few of the events I’d gone to that involved Greyson’s world. Harry had started attending them with me after we’d been together just over a month. The whispers weren’t anymore ‘look how sad Jane is all alone’ to ‘is it too soon for her to be so affectionate and with a younger man.’ I hated it but Harry told me that I needed to go for Greyson and that I was the bigger person for not telling them how I really felt about them.

I needed to stop caring what people who didn’t matter thought of me. What mattered was my family loved Harry and Harper. And that Harry’s family loved me and my kids, all five of them. Finn’s birthday had been a big test. We’d been at the house in The Hamptons for 10 days with Harry’s Mom and Gemma. All six of the kids spent the whole time with weekend visits from my family. By the end of the first weekend with everyone there it was obvious that we were becoming one big, giant family. They were the only opinions that mattered. I needed to stop caring what anyone else thought of my relationship.

“Are you almost ready?” I asked as I snuggled up into the pillows, Harry’s cologne clung to the linens and it made me smile.

“Yes, almost ready.” He came into the bedroom. “Why does my lady look like she’s trying to fall back asleep?”

“Because your lady is tired as fuck due to the fact that your girls refused to sleep in their own beds last night. And you are a weak, weak man who let them sleep in our bed.”

“They are so cute and now that they’ve figured out how to tag team me I can’t say no. I really am a weak, weak man. But when those two give me their little pouts, which I’m pretty sure Elizabeth taught them, and you mix Harper’s green eyes with Grey’s blue I am a mess and I agree to anything they ask. I’m pretty sure last week they asked me if they could buy an airplane and I said yes. I might need to check my credit card bill.” I giggled at him. Watching him with the girls melted me, every day.

“Well, Harper kicked me in the rib cage at least 12 times last night. If I didn’t know that little girl loved me I’d think subconsciously she was trying to kill me in her sleep.”

“You can sleep in the car on the drive,” he said as he pulled me up off of the bed. “And Harper isn’t trying to kill you in her sleep. She loves you, nearly as much as I do.” The butterflies in my stomach fluttered wildly. Hearing him tell me he loved me never got old. From the first time the words left his lips until now each and every time he said it I felt the butterflies and the excitement that went along with it.

“I love you too. Now let’s get our ass on the road. I want to be in a bathing suit by lunch.”

“Naked weekend. Remember that.”

“Whatever, Styles. Let’s get this shit to the car and go.” We grabbed all of our stuff and headed down to the garage. It was habit for us to walk to my car at this point. My Escalade had car seats for all of the kids and was able to fit the luggage for all five of us even. Harry climbed into the driver’s seat after throwing our bags in the back, I got my phone set up and ready for the drive.

“Please don’t make me listen to podcasts the whole drive,” he begged before he started even started the car.

“I wasn’t going to. I know that my podcasts drive you crazy.”

“They don’t drive me crazy. You drive me crazy.” He started laughing. “Your political operative brain comes out and you start getting all riled up, which don’t get me wrong, can be sexy as fuck, but is also a bit much in a car.”

“I wasn’t a political operative.”

“Whatever you were, that side of you ignites and you can barely finish a sentence because you get so fed up. So how about my girlfriend picks some music and we listen to that in the car on the way out of town.”

“I can do that.” I picked a playlist of music that Harry had made on my iPhone one night when I took a long shower. He’d sat on the sink in the bathroom building this playlist of songs he claimed made him think of me. I loved it. Even if there were songs I wasn’t fond of I loved the thought he’d put into each of them. It didn’t take long before we were both singing along to the music as a way to pass time.

"I'm admittedly a bit surprised you picked the playlist I made for you,” he said.

“Why is that?”

“Because lately all I’ve heard coming out of your office is the new tracks that I loaded on your computer.”

“I mean I love listening to your voice but you might not enjoy it the way I do.”

“I'm glad you like them.”

“I don’t like them. I love them. Harry, you’re really talented and those songs are great. I’m glad you’re working on putting them on an album because the world should hear them, not just me and our babies.”

“I don’t think they enjoy them as much as you do.”

“I don’t know about that. Most days Finn won’t shut up about what you guys did at work. He thinks he’s producing this album with you.”

“I mean he is. If DJ Khaled could give an 11 month old an Executive Producer credit on an album I can totally do it with a five year old.”

“You can’t possibly be serious?”

“Oh, I’m dead serious. Finny is an Executive Producer on my new album. Although he requested that it be credited as Finnigan James Murphy.” I turned to look at him and saw him smirking behind his sunglasses and the hair that hung in his face.

“He's gonna have such a big head after that. What about your girls?”

“I asked them if they wanted an EP credit and Grey asked if it came with a cookie or cupcake. She was more concerned about getting dessert on the walk home from the studio.”

“That does not surprise me.”

“And Harper asked that I name the album Harper Rose.”

“That doesn’t surprise me either. And if the album is named Harper Rose I will also not be surprised. She’s the most important thing in the world to you.”

“True, well…yes. I mean you all are.”

“And you mean everything to all four of us.” He reached across the car and grabbed my hand, bringing it to his lips. “So I have a sneaking suspicion my sister is moving out.”

“What makes you say that?” he asked.

“She scheduled lunch with me tomorrow, she’s stopping out on the way to her summer rental. The way she did it was super business like. I mean she’s lived with me for nearly three years. She was young when she moved in with me and she spent the first couple of months basically raising Finn while I lived in the darkest pits of my depression. She deserves to have a life and be young. When she told me about the summer rental she offhand said ‘it’s not like you and the kids need me anymore’ which sort of broke my heart.”

“I understand why that would break your heart but also understand why she said it. I also think she’s probably moving out.”

“Why do you think it?”

“She’s been staying with her boyfriend more and I think I frustrate her a lot.” I laughed. They fought like siblings sometimes.

“She’s just never spent this much time around a guy. She had female roommates all through college, I didn’t. She was living with Mom and Dad when she moved in with me and Finn. I think she could’ve moved out long ago. When Grey turned one I offered to help her find somewhere, she turned me down. She told me I still needed help and now she’s acting hurt that I don’t need her. It’s complicated.”

“It is. And I’m sure that the amount of time that Harper and I are at your place doesn’t help. She didn’t sign up to live with her sister, her sister’s two biological kids, stepdaughter, boyfriend, boyfriend’s kid and boyfriend’s Mom. We probably cramp her style.”

“Probably, I think she just needs to know that she can’t blame me for all of this stuff and typically when she’s pissed about something it turns into the argument of ‘I gave up my mid-twenties to take care of you.’ I don’t like fighting with her and when she throws that line at me I just basically crumble.”

“You have a big heart. It’s one of the reasons I love you so much, babe.” I leaned over in the car and kissed his cheek before resting my head on his shoulder.

“I love you too, babe.” I glanced down at my phone in my hand and pushed to see if there were any notifications. None.

“Your Mom is under strict instructions not to text you unless it is an emergency and that the only contact is to be bedtime FaceTime calls so we can say goodnight to the littles."


“Because if I didn’t tell her that she would text you every single move they make. I did also tell your Dad that if she starts to text he is to take her phone and break it and that I will buy her a new one on Monday.” I started to laugh really hard. My Mom and I did talk, a lot. And anytime anyone had the kids I was obsessively trying to make sure they were okay. I had been this way when it was just my kids and it became worse when we added Harper to the mix. The three of them together were like the cutest and most terrifying group of kids ever.

“I hate you.”

“Except you don’t. Our kids are safe. They are being well taken care of. Now it’s time to allow yourself to be well taken care of.”

“I know. I just hate leaving them for too long.”

“I know, I don’t either. So this is baby steps because someday I’m going to want to travel with my lady and not all of our kids. Something romantic. Somewhere sexy. And at that point we need to both be okay for more than a night without them.”

“Somewhere sexy, huh?”

“Yeah, I want you in a hut that’s over the water where we can go skinny dipping right outside our bedroom.”

“I mean we could skinny dip nearly outside the bedroom this weekend. For the most part the neighbors wouldn’t see it.”

“Oh, don’t worry, I’ve thought about that already.”

“Of course you have.” The drive out to the house wasn’t totally terrible today. The last drive out took a lot longer than it should’ve and the drive home after the fourth was a nightmare. Thankfully all of the children were passed out cold the whole time.

The wheels of the car crunched the gravel drive as we pulled through the gate at the end of the driveway and onto the property. I felt a wave of emotions come over me every time I saw the house. Of the many properties that Greyson owned, either privately or as part of his real estate business, this one had always been his favorite. He had purchased it when the kids were young and worked to redo it with his first wife. I still gave her use of it on occasion throughout the year so I’d never changed the way the house looked. And truly, coming here and being reminded of Greyson and his love of this house, how he’d get so excited on the first warm weekend and drag me out of the city and onto the boat always made me smile.

The first time I brought Harry here I’d been nervous. It was like I was afraid of what Greyson would think. I always felt his presence here more than I did anywhere else. We’d come out with all three of the littles and Elizabeth, who sat with me that night as Harry tucked the kids into their beds and told me to lighten up. She reminded me that her father would be happy that I was finally happy again. That he’d love the way my face lit up when Harry walked into the room because there was nothing Greyson wanted more in life than for the people he loved to be happy and feel loved. I felt so loved and was the happiest I’d been since Greyson died. She was right, I needed to not let this place haunt me. I still felt his presence here and I still missed him. But I no longer felt like I wanted to cry when I walked past the room he’d worked out of when we’d visit. Instead, I’d still smile at the pictures of he and the kids that were up in that room and not sit alone in there at night hugging them and crying. I’d spend my nights in bed with Harry talking about how wonderful life was.

Harry pulled the car to a stop. We grabbed all of our bags and I unlocked the door letting us into the house. It was silent which was something that so rarely happened here. A house of this size demanded to be filled with people and over the last few months had been filled with our family. Most weekends we came out with our three kids, most of my three stepchildren, and Harry’s Mom. This was the first time we’d been here alone. This was the first time we’d been alone for more than dinner in months. Harry took my bag, gave me a kiss and started up the stairs to the master bedroom to put our bags in there. I headed to the kitchen to survey the situation knowing we’d need to run to the store. I opened the refrigerator to find it full.

“Harry!” I yelled.

“Jeez, girl. You don’t need to scream. I’m right here,” he said as he walked into the kitchen. “What’s up?”

“There’s food in here.”

“Yes, it’s a refrigerator. They store food.”

“I know that but we got rid of everything when we left last weekend because it would be spoiled by now. This fridge is full. With good food.”

“It is. It’s magic.”

“It is not. What did you do?” I turned to look at him as I shut the door. He pushed me back against the refrigerator and bent down to kiss my neck.

“I had food delivered to the house so that we didn’t have to leave.”


“I’ve got my ways.”

“No seriously. How?”

“I have an assistant.”

“Yes,” I replied.

“I gave her the key and sent her out here yesterday to stock the fridge.”

“Harry, that’s nearly four hours in the car if she lucked out and didn’t hit traffic.”

“I do pay her pretty well and it meant that yesterday she had to do very little to help me in the city because she drove out here. Plus she has a long weekend off since we are out of town and I’m not in the studio.”

“I guess that’s true. I just feel bad. We can grocery shop for ourselves. She’s been doing that at the apartment lately too.”

“You’ve been working more. A personal assistant is to help with personal things. She’s doing her job.”

“I know. I just am not used to that stuff.”

“You’re telling me that Greyson didn’t have an assistant.”

“I mean, he did. He had two technically. One covered all of his business stuff, one did personal. But I hated it then too. He tried to make me have one shortly when I was pregnant, it was a nightmare.”

“You don’t delegate well.”

“Not at all.” He laughed at me before capturing my lips with his. “Nice distraction technique, Styles.”

“I would rather talk about what we are having for lunch and when naked weekend starts than assistants and work.”

“Okay, lunch. What all is in this house?”

“Anything you can imagine. I had stuff for us to make dinner brought, snacks, stuff for salads.” I rolled my eyes. “Don’t roll your eyes at me. You eat more salad in a week than I do.”

“I know but that’s half because you ALWAYS have that stuff in our fridge at home.”

“I mean it’s always in my fridge, it’s only in yours half of the time.” There he was changing the way I spoke. I often said our bed, our bedroom, our home, our kids. Everything seemed like we were a team but he was right, it was my fridge, not ours. I pouted at him. “Don’t do that. Don’t make that face. It's your house.”

“I know. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry. I love how much time I get to spend then with you and all of the kids but until you are ready for us to be there together I’m not going to push it. I’ll happily stay a few nights a week with Harper at my place. I’d stay every night there if it made you feel more comfortable.” I wrapped my arms around him and buried my face in his chest.

“That would just make me sad. I like having you there.”

“And I like being there. But it’s not my home or Harper’s home until you tell us it is. And to be honest, that’s completely okay. I understand your hesitation. I understand your fear. I am not going anywhere.”

“I am not going anywhere either.”

“Perfect." He gave me a soft kiss before turning to the fridge and starting to make lunch. We ate at the kitchen island while talking about our week. We’d both been working a lot and while we usually saw each other every day it didn’t mean we had time to sit and talk about our how work was every day. Harry was getting a lot of work done on a new album and was extremely happy with the way it was turning out. I had been doing a lot more freelance writing with a political focus because of the approaching Democratic and Republican National Conventions at the end of the month. In addition to writing, I was preparing myself for two weeks on the road to be part of cable news coverage of both conventions. I’d started appearing as a talking head on TV last winter and had been doing work on some podcasts as well.

“I’m gonna miss you when you have to travel,” he said as we were done with lunch and laying on one of the couches on the patio enjoying the weather.

“I’m gonna miss you and the littles. I haven’t been away from the kids for that long. I’ve also not left them with my parents for that long either. It will be a challenge for my Mom to get Finny to his day camp activities but that should help her since she’ll only have to manage Grey during the day.”

“What if the kids stay with me? Or maybe I stay with the kids since there’s not quite room for all of us at my place. My Mum will be back by then and Lilibet can help a little when she’s not busy. We can manage the littles.”

“I don’t want to impose. You have work to do on your album.”

“It’s not an imposition. I love you and I love the littles. Maybe I’ll miss you less if I have them. Plus you’ll be home Friday through Sunday morning in between the two conventions. You’ll get to spend some quality time at home with all of us.”

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“I wouldn’t offer if I wasn’t sure. Lilibet and I talked about it last night while you were working on your latest article. She’s on board to help. Mum loves the kids and was sad that you’d be leaving just after she got home and that she’d go almost a month without spending time with them so she’s on board. I haven’t talked to Nellie, I know she has a lot going on and is here on the weekends. I don’t want her to think she needs to adjust her plans because I am adjusting the kids’ plans.”


“Yes, we know that the kids being home while you’re gone will be good for them. And I don’t want to go two weeks without seeing you and the littles.” I sat up so my head was no longer in his lap and kissed him.

“You are amazing. I love you.”

“I love you.” He placed his lips on mine and without hesitation the kiss deepened. With our lips still connected I moved so I was straddling his lap. His hand slipped under the hem of my dress pushing it up.

“We should go inside,” I mumbled against his skin.

“We probably should but we don’t have to. We are alone and no one can see us.” He was right. The house had so much privacy that the only way to see into the yard would be from a helicopter. He looked at me, his eyes pleading with me to stay put. His index fingers slipped into the side of my panties at my hips waiting for the approval to slide them off of me. He lightly and playfully bit my lower lip. As I captured his lips with mine I raised myself up on my knees granting him his wish. He had my panties down to my knees before I stood up so he could take them off. I started to unbutton his shirt.

“Hey sis!”

“Fuck,” Harry mumbled as he quickly pulled my panties back up and adjusted my dress so it looked appropriate just as Nellie walked out the back door onto the patio.

“Hey Nellie. I thought you weren’t stopping by until tomorrow,” I replied trying to distract from the fact that Harry was buttoning his shirt and trying to hide the visual excitement he had from the activities we’d been participating in.

“I decided to leave early and head out today. I am working remotely tomorrow morning but all of my housemates had a long weekend so I wanted one. Plus I could hitch a ride with Justin instead of taking the bus.” Justin was her boyfriend. Harry stood up and fiddled with his hair a little. “Shit I was interrupting something wasn’t I?”

“No,” I started to say.

“Yes,” Harry answered. “It’s fine though. I’m going to go change for a swim. Give you two a chance to talk.” He leaned over to kiss me and took off into the house.

“Sorry,” Nellie said as she followed me over towards the kitchen.

“You’re fine. Want something to drink?” I asked as I poured the wine I’d been drinking with lunch into my glass. “Wait, where’s Justin?”

“In the car. He knew I wanted to talk to you and didn’t want to be in the way.”

“He’s not in the way plus it’s not like Harry’s not here. Tell him he can come in and the guys can hang out while we talk.” I watched her fingers fly around her phone to send a text to her boyfriend. Without even asking I poured the last of the bottle of white wine I was drinking into a glass and handed it to her. “Hi Justin,” I called when I heard the front door open.

“Hey Janie,” he said giving me a hug and a quick kiss on the cheek.

“Harry should be down any second. You two can hang out, evidently we need to have a talk.” He laughed a bit. “Help yourself to something to drink if you want.” Without a word Nellie followed me out of the house, through the yard and to the table that was on the opposite side of the pool just outside the pool house. Normally we’d pick somewhere closer to the house but I wasn’t sure what the conversation would be and I wanted privacy.

“How was your drive out?” she asked as she took a sip of her wine. She was clearly trying to make small talk and avoid the topic she wanted to talk about.

“Not too bad. We missed a decent amount of the traffic because Mom and Dad picked all the littles up so early.”

“How are you doing away from them?”

“So far so good. Though Harold appears to have told our father that if our mother tries to call me or text me he is to break her phone and a replacement will be purchased on Monday.” Nellie started to laugh. “Evidently I need to relax and learn to spend time away from the kids so that in the future we can take real vacations that involve us not being within a two hour drive of our kids.”

“It’s cute,” she said through giggles. “Also kind of adorable that you say ‘our kids’ when you’re talking about them.”

“I mean well they are ‘our kids.’ We each have a kid or two involved in it and they are all at Mom and Dad’s for the weekend since Anne is back in England.”

“I know that, but it’s the meaning behind it. You view them all as your kids and so does he.”

“Hard not to see it that way considering I share my bed with Harper as often as I do Grey.”

“I heard her call you Mom the other day,” Nellie said. I nearly choked on my wine. I didn’t realize anyone had been within earshot of that. I knew it was just that she was picking up on what my kids called me but I’d been terrified. I didn’t know how to react to my boyfriend’s kid calling me Mom. “It’s cute, don’t look so scared. You’re a great Mom to all three of the kids, even if she isn’t yours.”

“I try not to treat her any differently than I do Finny and Grey.”

“I know and you’re amazing at it. And it’s cute to see Finny and Harry bonding. He’s great with the littles.”

“He is. I really am so lucky to have found him.” I was staring over her shoulder at Harry walking outside with Justin. He was in a pair of white swim trunks. He’d been threatening me with these since spring when he brought them home from a shopping trip. I was so fearful that they’d be see through and wouldn’t let him wear them when any of our family was around in case they were obscene, clearly with just me he was ready to test them out.

“You are lucky. It’s part of what I wanted to talk to you about actually.” I took a deep breath to prepare myself for the conversation.


Sorry! I know...cliffhangers suck but it was such a perfect place to end it. So I'll own up to the evil side of this. And also let you know that I'm already planning on writing non-stop tonight to try and finish part two with some urgency.

This piece is obviously a bit of a time jump. We went from their first date to their six month anniversary here. I wanted everyone to get a glimpse into their future and how their romance progresses before I give any more insight into the early days of the relationship. Don't worry!! Some of the things mentioned (the girls' 2nd birthday, Finn's 5th birthday, the first time he said I love you) will be told. I was just too excited to write them away for a weekend and write just the two of them alone.

So what do you think the sequel will hold? What is the conversation that Nellie wants to have with Janie? Will Janie ask Harry and Harper to move in with her and the littles? What do you think of how their relationship and their relationship with the littles is progressing?

I do want to mention that I did A LOT of research about widows moving on after the loss of a spouse. It's all over the board for people and how fast they move. In some cases (like my maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather) you never move on. You loved your spouse so much that the idea of being with another human doesn't cross your mind. And in other cases, I read about people who fell for a friend or met the person they fell in love with at work or a grief support group within weeks of losing their spouse and were married extremely quickly, some as short as six months after the passing of their spouse. I want to give you insight as to why I made the decision to have them advance to the point that they are at right now before the second part of this is published. I feel like Janie spent the first nearly two and a half years after Greyson died grieving him and missing him every day. She'd started to date and wasn't finding anyone who fit. But because of how in love with Greyson she was and still is that she knows the power of love and doesn't want to spend the rest of her life without that. She met Harry at the right time and their situation was right for them to move on together. Six months in and being as lovey-dovey and happy as they are may seem shocking to some and not to others. You are entitled to your opinion on that, but in mine she has found someone who loves her, loves her children, and understands how important Greyson still is to them and respects that. I felt that the pace that they've moved up until this point was appropriate for them. If you disagree with that, that's okay. You're more than welcome to express that feeling with me as well.

I can't wait to hear what you think of this chapter, what you think is coming up in the sequel and what you'd like to hear in the future. Please comment away as the only way for this story to improve is through comments.

xx. AM


I am really glad you're enjoying it. These characters are fun for me to write and such a departure from what I've written in London Calling and In the Heat of Los Angeles. Writing Harry as a Dad basically makes me melt.

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That's probably why I love it so much... because Harry with kids makes me so happy.

xXFluffy_GruXx xXFluffy_GruXx

YAY! I'm glad you like it. It's SUPER fun to write. I also really love the challenge it gives me. Plus really, Harry with kids. I'm pretty much dead.

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:) I am so in love with this.

xXFluffy_GruXx xXFluffy_GruXx