Bonus Chapter

Chase

It’s a crisp summer night, the stars twinkling like fireflies in the clear sky above. Woodsmoke hangs in the air, orange flames crackling merrily in the firepit as I wrap an arm around my wife. Our son is sitting on her lap, and she takes his hand in hers, showing him how to skewer a marshmallow.

“Does it hurt?” Asher asks, looking down at it.

“Does what hurt, sweetie?”

“Does it hurt the marshmallow when we poke it with the stick?”

“No, it doesn’t hurt.” My wife smiles indulgently. “The marshmallow can’t feel it.”

“That’s a good question, though,” Megan says, winking from the other side of the firepit.

She’s visiting from Denver with Isla, her wife. We all get together regularly, and they both dote on their nephew, spoiling him like crazy whenever they come to stay.

When I met my wife’s sister for the first time, we were unsure of each other. Megan was convinced that Sienna had made a mistake moving out of the city, and as a protective older sister, it took her a long time to trust me. But with time, she came around. Now, she agrees that moving to Cherry Hollow is the best decision my wife ever made, and we’ve bonded over how much we both care about Sienna.

“Okay,” Asher says, still inspecting his marshmallow with concern. “Now what?”

“Now, we have to hold it over the fire,” Sienna tells him gently. “But we can’t put our hands too close or we’ll get burned.”

She guides Asher’s hand until his marshmallow is toasting, keeping him a safe distance from the flames.

“That’s awesome,” I say, ruffling my boy’s hair. “Good job.”

Asher smiles at me. “Thanks, Daddy.”

My son is the sweetest kid. With his bright green eyes and dark hair, he looks more like me than Sienna, but personality-wise, he’s his mom through and through.

“You see how it’s getting nice and golden?” my wife says. “That’s exactly what we want.”

“Does the fire hurt the marshmallow?”

“No, buddy,” I tell him. “The marshmallow can’t feel anything. Promise.”

Asher nods sagely. “It’s a strong marshmallow.”

My wife catches my eye and we grin at each other.

“There, that looks done,” she says, pulling Asher’s hand back. “Now it’s time to make the s’more.”

I hold out the graham crackers and chocolate while Sienna helps our son remove the marshmallow from the skewer. Then I show him how to sandwich the s’more together.

“There you go,” I say, grinning down at him. “Look at that. You made your first s’more.”

“It looks like a great one!” Isla says. “Good job, Asher.”

“Thank you, Aunt Isla.” Asher smiles at her praise, but his face falls as he looks down at his s’more.

“What’s wrong, honey?” Sienna asks. “Don’t you want it?”

“I feel bad.” His cute little face contorts into a worried frown. “We poked the marshmallow and we burned it in the fire and now we…we smooshed it with the graham crackers. It was mean.”

“Don’t worry, the marshmallow can’t wait for you to eat it,” Sienna says, biting back a laugh as she catches my eye again. “It desperately wants to be eaten by a sweet little boy like you.”

“Really?” he asks, blinking up at us.

“Absolutely,” I assure him.

Asher tentatively brings the s’more to his mouth and takes a bite. Immediately, his expression clears, and he beams at us through a mouthful of crackers.

“Like it?” Megan asks.

“It’s so good! Thank you, marshmallow!” We all laugh as Asher crunches through his s’more before looking eagerly up at Sienna. “Can I have more please, Mom?”

“Sure.” She kisses his cheek. “That’s why they’re called s’mores! Because once you’ve had one, you always want some more.”

Asher giggles. “That’s silly.”

As Sienna helps him make a second s’more, Moose bounds out of the trees holding a stick in his mouth.

“There you are,” I mutter as he drops the stick at my feet, sniffing around me. “I was wondering where you got to.”

I pat him, and he pants with delight before circling the fire to get attention from everybody else, licking at their hands.

“Can Moose have a s’more?” Asher asks.

“No, but he can have a graham cracker.” I point at my dog. “Only one.”

He eagerly gobbles a cracker out of my hand, his gaze lingering on the rest of the packet. I tuck them out of sight, and Moose sighs before obediently settling down next to me.

“Good boy.” I pet him affectionately.

The days when it was just him and me roaming these woods feel like a lifetime ago. Things have changed so much; I have a beautiful family now, and my wife and son are my whole world. Every day I spend with them is happier than the last, and I know Moose loves having more people around to fuss over him.

We spend a while longer by the fire, talking and eating s’mores, occasionally adding more wood to the pit. After a while, Asher dozes off in my arms.

“I think it’s time for us to call it a night,” Megan says, smiling as her wife’s head droops.

“Yeah, I think this kiddo’s ready for bed too,” Sienna says, resting a hand on our son’s head.

“We can take him to his room if you want to stay up a little longer?” Megan suggests.

“Sounds good.”

We thank her, saying our goodnights and kissing our son. Asher doesn’t stir as his aunt stoops and lifts him into her arms, carrying him into the house with Isla and Moose following behind.

Sienna beams at me. “What an amazing night.”

“It was great, sugar.”

She sighs happily as I pull her onto my lap, wrapping my arms around her. Her soft pink hair brushes my face, and I breathe in the scent of her sweet shampoo, my heart stirring. Sienna is curvier than ever after having Asher, and she drives me wild whenever I look at her. I can’t believe I get to call this beautiful woman mine. It still feels surreal, even after all these years.

“Asher was so sweet with the marshmallows,” she says brightly. But her smile falters a little when she adds, “I can’t believe our baby is starting kindergarten in a few months.”

Every time I think about it, I’m caught off-guard. It feels like only yesterday our son was still crawling around the cabin, gurgling happily at Moose.

“It’s crazy,” I agree. “But he’ll love being with other kids. You’ve seen how much fun he has with Ronan and Hazel’s girls.”

Sienna nods, looking a little reassured. “That’s true. He loves making friends.”

My pulse quickens. It’s the perfect opening to talk about something that’s been on my mind, and I look at my wife, cupping her soft cheek and running my thumb across her bottom lip. “Maybe we can give him something better than a friend.”

“What do you mean?”

“A brother or sister.”

Sienna’s eyes widen, her mouth curving up into a grin. “You think it’s time?”

“I sure do, honey. I’m ready if you’re ready.”

After we had Asher, we decided to hold off a few years before having more kids. Sienna was focused on writing, and we had our hands full with our baby boy and our dramatic husky. But Sienna’s author career has blossomed recently, and each book performs better than the last. Plus, now that our boy is growing up and starting school, it’s the perfect time to give him a sibling to come home to. Somebody to grow up with.

“I think that’s an amazing idea,” my wife says, her face glowing.

“Then what are we waiting for, beautiful? Let’s make a baby.”

Sienna squeals, laughing as I grab her and pull her on top of me. We undress each other, hands urgent, and I thrust into her with a deep groan, fucking her beside the fire just like our first time together all those years ago. I breed my wife’s perfect body, slamming my cock into her as she whimpers and moans for me. I’m determined to put a baby in her belly, and as I spill my seed deep into her womb, I capture her lips in a kiss, my heart overflowing with love for the woman who has changed my life forever.

“I love you, Sienna,” I murmur, pressing kisses on her smooth skin. “My beautiful wife.”

She smiles up at me, the firelight dancing in her pretty brown eyes as she says, “I love you too, Grumpy Forest Man. So much.”

The old nickname makes me smile as I pick up my wife and carry her to bed.

Our night together is only just beginning.

Next Up: Her Wild Lumberjack