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I like Cora. I don’t see what Elle’s issue is with her.

“No. They’re going out.” Jon winks at Cora.

“Oh! Yes. We’re watching the kids while you two have a night out alone.”

“Alone?” I raise a brow. “What’s that?”

Elle can’t hide her smile. She knows it’s true.

“Flint, come with me.” My dad nods toward the master bedroom.

“And you come with me.” Cora grabs Elle’s arm and drags her upstairs.



“What do you think?” Cora opens the bedroom door.

There’s a dress draped across the bed. It was my mom’s. A simple strapless black dress with a delicate cream ribbon tied around the waist. I remember trying it on when I turned eighteen, but my mom was bustier than me. It’s always been a timeless dress. And I haven’t seen it in years, but it’s still my favorite.

“Your dad went through some of your mom’s stuff that was packed away in the attic. He said you always loved this, but it was a little too big. I told him he should alter it for you. He didn’t have your measurements, but I think it might fit okay now. Do you want to try it on?”

I feather my fingers along the silk ribbon. “Yes,” I murmur.

“Wonderful! I’ll plug in my curling iron and do your hair and makeup.”

I take Issac and feed him while Cora grabs my bags from the car. Then Aria plays with him on the bedroom floor while Cora makes me feel like a princess.

“You’re good at this.”

She smiles. “I worked at a salon for ten years. There.” She gives my curls a light misting of hair spray. “Let’s get you into the dress.”

I step into it and she zips the back. It hugs my curves perfectly. I close my eyes and remember how my mom looked in it—how my dad looked at her when she wore it.

“Beautiful.” Cora presses her hand to her chest.

“Thank you,” I say. And I mean it sincerely. Maybe she’s exactly what my dad needs in his life right now. Cora doesn’t have to be my mom. I’m not Heidi.

“You’re welcome.” She picks up Isaac.

“There’s a bottle in the diaper bag.”

She nods. “I already put it in the fridge.”

“Mommy beautiful.”

I look down at Aria. “Thank you, sweetie.”

I like this life. A lot.

“Coming?” My dad calls from downstairs.

I ease my way down the stairs in the heels Cora got for me that are a good inch higher than what I usually wear.

Flint’s jaw unhinges as he takes a few steps backward like he’s losing his balance. “Leaving me speechless, Elle.”

I grin. We didn’t have a wedding. Neither one of us wanted it. We both did the wedding thing the first time. Instead, I slid on his ring and I took his last name in front of a judge.

But right now I feel like a bride walking down the aisle.

“On a scale of one to ten, how speechless?”

He takes my hands and brings them to his shoulders and slides his hands around my waist. “Infinity. Just like my love for you.”

I step back just enough to admire his new three-piece suit, much like the one he wore when we got married. A Jonathan Samuel Anderson original. But my dad used a different material this time, maybe more silk with fine pinstripes—and a sexy red tie.

I yank that tie several times until he smiles so big my heart wants to burst because … this life … it’s mine.

After I deem the knot to look as perfect as my man, I grab his lapels and pull him a little closer.

“Flint Hopkins, you sure do look the part.”

Out of the corner of my eye, I see my dad smile. It’s a lot of joy with a sliver of sadness.

“What part is that, my beautiful wife?”

“My husband, of course.”

The End