Sequel: In Unexpected Places

Against the Odds

Chapter Thirty One

“So, your birthday in a week…” Harry began one night over dinner at Alex’s. It has been three weeks since Harry’s own birthday and the days had moved fast. He had been doing engagements, some which were out of town, and had just gotten back from a week of training on base. Alex had been busy with work and studying for exams, but had just finished her last mid-term that day, just the mood around them relaxed and happy.

“She’s going to be twenty-seven,” Emma announced as she took a bite of her food.

Alex rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Thank you, Em. You don’t have to tell everyone, you know.”

“I don’t tell everyone,” Emma sassed back, rolling her own set of eyes.

Harry bit back a laugh, but his eyes danced at their banter.

“Oh yes, Emma. I forgot that you didn’t tell the check-out lady at the grocery store today,” Alex laughed.

Emma shrugged. “I don’t think she really wanted to know.”

Harry couldn’t help the laughter that escaped his lips then and Alex turned to look at him, narrowing her eyes playfully.

“What?” Harry asked innocently, raising his eyebrows. “She’s funny.”

“Hilarious,” Alex chuckled. “But yes, my birthday is in a week. You sound like you have something in mind.”

Harry nodded and swallowed the bite of food he had just taken before throwing her a big smile and setting his fork down. He rubbed his hands together quickly in a move that she knew meant he was preparing to have to persuade someone to get his way.
“Uh oh,” she giggled as he set her own fork down and waited for him to speak.

“What do you mean ‘uh oh’?” he asked, amused.

“You are preparing to persuade me.”

His lips twisted. “How do you know that?”

“Because you did this,” Emma chimed in, mimicking his hand motions.

Alex’s eyes widened in surprise and then she burst out laughing. She reached over to ruffle Emma’s hair affectionately. “Even Emma knows your moves. Not so slick as you thought, huh?”

Harry grinned wide. How he loved these two ladies and how well they knew him. “Anyway,” he announced, changing the subject. He pointed toward Alex. “Birthday.”

“Okay Wales, lay it on me. What do you have planned?”

Harry took a deep breath. “Paris.”

Alex tried not to let her smile grow too wide. She had never been and she knew he knew that. She also knew that her dinky tourist version of Paris would be a lot different than the Paris would take her to. “Paris, huh? Keep going…”

Harry’s lips twisted. “Okay. We would leave on the Friday evening so Emma doesn’t miss school and you don’t miss work. It would be you, Emma, Me, and…Molly.”

Alex’s smile widened. She loved that he was including Emma and Molly. “Continue…”

“Friday night we can lay low, have dinner…whatever. Then Saturday…” he trailed off and grinned. “EuroDisney.”

“DISNEY?!” Emma squealed. Her fork clattered to her plate and she stood straight out of her chair, her head whipping to Harry. “We get to go to Disney?”

“If your mum says yes to Paris, we do,” Harry grinned, nodding.

Emma immediately spun around and launched herself at Alex, flinging herself on her lap and wrapping her arms around her. “Mummy please!” she cried. “We have to go. I’ve never been to Disney. Please Mummy. Pretty please?”

Alex laughed down at her daughter and couldn’t help but share Emma’s excitement. “Do you honestly think I’d say no to Paris, Emma? Of course we can go. But can we let Harry finish telling us to plan for the whole weekend?”

“Oh thank you, Mummy!” Emma squealed in excitement. She gave Alex and giant hug and a kiss and then scrambled back to her chair, a huge smile on her face.

“You are terrible,” Alex said, looking at Harry pointedly. “Throwing in Disney first; I was going to say yes anyway, Wales.”

He looked pleased with himself. “I figured. But, you know I needed a little insurance.”

She rolled her eyes but her smile remained. She knew he knew that she was going to say yes, but knew that he had to find some way to mess with her. If messing with her resulted in the smile that was lighting up her daughter’s face, that was fine with her.

“Yeah, yeah…” Alex teased back. “What else you got for me?”

He leaned back in his chair, a bit more relaxed. After Disney, I’ve got Molly and Emma tickets to go to the theater and see The Beauty and the Beast. Private box, of course.”

Alex grinned. “Of course,” she replied over Emma’s newest squeal of delight.

“And we,” Harry continuing, his eyes softening a bit. “We’ll go out to dinner. I’ve booked a private room at my favorite restaurant in Paris. I’ve got some other small things for us that night, but I’d like to keep them as surprises. Then Sunday we can do whatever you’d like before we come back that evening. Whatever you’d like to see in Paris just let me know and we can do it. So what do you say love? Can I take you to Paris for your birthday?”

Alex grinned, too excited to even make him wait for an answer he already knew was coming. “Yes, of course. We’d love to go.”

“Excellent!” Harry exclaimed, clapping his hands together and winking at her. She winked back and her lips twitched at his excitement.

Oh, how she loved him.


“God Alex…” Harry groaned later that night as she pressed a hot kiss against his throat. She was sitting above him on her couch, straddling him as they made out like teenagers in heat. “You are fucking killing me,” he muttered as her hands roamed up under his shirt, smoothing over his taught muscles.

“This is killing you?” she asked teasingly, pulling back from his neck and arching an eyebrow.

“Yes,” he grunted, although his lips held a small smile. He ran his hands up her thighs, pushing under her skirt and moving around to her ass to pull her tighter against him. She grinned at him.

“It doesn’t feel like it’s killing you, Harry. In fact,” she said, her voice dropping lower. “I think there is plenty of blood flow going on here.” She bit her lip as she ran her hand over him, squeezing his erection through his jeans.

A growl left his lips and he flexed his hands on her ass before moving around one hand around in between her thighs, pressing his fingers over her sex through her damp panties. “Fuck, Alexandra. When are you going to let me in here?”

Alex giggled as she pressed forward on his hand, a gasp sliding from her lips as he dipped a finger inside her panties, swiping at her wetness. “What? You don’t like fooling around?” she asked in a sultry voice, in direct contrast with her eyes that feigned innocence.

Harry shook his head slowly, his lips twitching. “You know I love fooling around. You know I love any way that you let me near your body…” He trailed off and then arched and eyebrow at her as he slid a finger further inside her panties and up inside of her. “Any way you let me in your body. Whether it’s my fingers…or my tongue…” His words were rewarded with a moan from her at the mention of the amount of time he’d spent doing exactly those things to her lately. He grinned. “I’ll take whatever I can get, Alex.”

“Mhhmmm…” she hummed, her eyes sliding closed as his hand worked his magic on her. “That’s good, Harry.”

“You like this?” He whispered, picking up speed.

She nodded slowly and then opened her eyes again. They were dark and hazy as they settled on him and he felt the surge of victory coming on, thinking that after over a month without sex she was finally ready to go there again.

“I do like that…but that’s not what I meant,” she whispered, her hands moving up to grip his shoulders. “I meant that it’s good that you like fooling around because tonight…” She lowered herself closer to him. “Tonight that’s all we’re doing.”

He groaned, his head rolling back on the couch. “Yep, it is official, Alex,” he grunted. “You’re going to kill me.”

She giggled and leaned forward to kiss his neck again. “You are so dramatic, Wales.” She pulled up and reached for his face, bringing his eyes down to her. “Now kiss me, you cry baby.”


The trip into Paris was quick and easy. The plane ride went by smoothly and they were met at the airport by two Range Rovers, ready and waiting to take them their hotel for their weekend stay. The four of them chatted on their way through the streets of the city. Alex was the least talkative, busy taking in the sights of the city she had always wanted to visit but had never had a chance.

Harry pointed out many of the landmarks as they went by, except for the Eiffel Tower, which needed no pointing out. Alex and Emma both watching it go by with wide smiles and Harry and Molly shared a look over them, both happy to see mother and daughter so happy.

When they arrived at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée it was late evening. After checking into their beautiful suite and discussing what to do for dinner, they all eventually decided to just order room service, relax, and get rested up for the morning.

And later, long after Emma had fallen asleep in the bed in Harry and Alex’s room, after both Harry and Alex had hugged and kissed Molly goodnight, they sat snuggled up together on the comfy couch in the living room of the suite, enjoying the soft music playing from the speakers hidden around the room.

“Thank you for taking us here,” Alex said softly. She turned her face up to his from where it lay against Harry’s shoulder. “I know we haven’t done much yet but check in and spend a ridiculous amount of your money on room service…” She smiled as he smirked about the room service before continuing. “But even if that’s all we did…it would be an amazing birthday. I love you, Harry.”

His lips curved up and he leaned over and kissed her softly. “I love you, Alexandra. Happy birthday.”

“It’s not my birthday yet,” she teased, flashing her watch, showing the time as five past eleven.

“Ah! But you forget,” he grinned. “Paris is one hour ahead of London. It is your birthday here.”

Alex laughed. “I did forget. Well in that case,” she reached up with one hand and wrapped her hand around his neck, pulling him down for a sweet kiss. “So far, this is absolutely the best birthday I’ve ever had.”

“Hmmm…glad to hear that,” Harry responded against her lips. Even as he said the words she surprised both of them when a big yawn took her over. “Tired?” he asked, chuckle escaping his lips.

“Apparently,” she laughed. “It just hit me.”

“Well, to bed then, Alexandra. We have a big day ahead of us.”

She nodded and they rose, shutting off lights and turning off the music before moving hand in hand into their room. They both changed into pajamas and then crawled into bed, tucking Emma in between them.

Alex was asleep in no time but it took Harry a bit longer. He laid there and watched the two of them, both Alex and Emma, for a while; watching their faces – so much alike – relaxed and happy in sleep. He couldn’t help but marvel at how lucky he was to have them both; how much he loved them both. Then finally, with a big yawn of his own his eyes slid closed and he drifted off, completely content.