Four years ago, my dreams were shattered in an instant.
Three months ago, I found something I haven’t had in years.
That hope came in the form of a sexy, carefree hockey player named Brody Murphy. He swooped in and won me over with his big heart and the way he cared for me…and my girls. When they look at him, they see the father they’ve never had.
Now, my past and present are colliding and the outcome might just be too much for me to bear. Can I make the right decision when I’ve spent my whole life making the wrong ones?
“Who’s Viper?” Lucy asked.
“Uh . . . Viper is one of my friends.” I chose my words carefully. No way could I ever accurately describe Viper to a six-year-old without scaring the hell out of her.
“Does he play hockey too?” Piper chimed in.
“Yep. He’s on my team.”
“Why did his mommy name him Viper?” Lucy scrunched up her nose in disapproval when she said his name.
“That’s not his real name, Baby, it’s just a nickname.” I laughed quickly. “His real name is Lawrence Finkle.”
Lucy and Piper shoveled their soup in their mouths, seemingly unaffected by what I’d just said. Kacie, on the other hand, stared at me with her mouth open.
“Viper’s real name is Lawrence Finkle?”
“You didn’t know that?” I cocked my head slightly to the side.
“No!” She gawked at me in disbelief. “That’s like . . . the nerdiest name ever!”
“Finkle Tinkle,” Lucy said to Piper before exploding in laughter.
Piper crossed her eyes and responded, “Finkle Tinkle Winkle.”
Lucy threw her head back and laughed so hard the vein in her neck popped out. A second later, Piper joined her, giggling hysterically.
I looked at Kacie and tilted my head toward the girls. “Easy crowd, huh?”
She didn’t even hear me. She was too busy staring down at the two laughing hyenas with that mommy glow all over her face. If anyone ever asked me to, it would be really hard to describe exactly what love looks like, but I got to witness it firsthand every time Kacie looked at her girls. The way she loved them made me love her more, if that was even possible.
Beth Ehemann lives in the northern suburbs of Chicago with her 4 crazy kids and her husband, who’s also a big kid most of the time. She loves reading, photography, martinis and all things Chicago Cubs.
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