Sequel: In Unexpected Places

Against the Odds

Chapter Thirty Nine Part Three

Alex really should have not been surprised at how warm, friendly, and funny Elizabeth and Philip were. From the moment she had met Harry and he had pulled her into his world, each family member she met along the way had been exactly the same.

“Harry has told us so much about you both,” Elizabeth said as she sipped her tea. The initial, formal questions had been asked; how was their trip up, how was their Christmas day, those kinds of things. Now it seemed to relax a bit, falling more in line with the lively mood around them in the room.

“He has?” Emma piped up, her eyes wide.

“Of course, dear girl,” Elizabeth smiled. “He has told me all about you. He likes you very, very much.”
“Yes ma’am,” Emma nodded. “Actually, he loves us. He told us right before we came in here and he also told Mummy when he kissed her earlier.”

Alex’s eyes went wide and immediately she felt the flush crawl up her neck. She turned towards Emma, although she wasn’t sure what she could say. Emma wasn’t lying and she wasn’t doing anything that on a normal day would get her in trouble. She was just being herself, saying what she would have said to anyone else in the same situation. Alex blinked down at her daughter, her brain working fast, trying to find some way to cover the embarrassment of what Emma had just said so matter-of-fact when she heard it.

A shout of laughter.

She turned her head back around and saw Harry’s grandfather slap his knee with the mirth that had overtaken him. Not only that, but next to her Harry was chuckling into his teacup and across from her Harry’s grandmother was sipping her tea with a smile on her face.

“Oh, I like you, little one,” Philip grinned at Emma. “Telling it like it is; you’ll fit in well around here.”


“How did it go?” Kate asked Alex in a low voice a bit later. Alex was balancing baby Henry on her lap and making faces at him, enjoying his sweet baby giggles.

“It went so well,” Alex smiled as she turned her eyes back to Kate. “She’s so warm and lovely and Philip is so funny.” She glanced over to where Emma was currently holding court with Elizabeth, Philip, Harry, and Harry’s Uncle Andrew, the two older men continuously sending her daughter into fits of laughter.

Kate’s snorted with laughter and her lips twisted in humor. “Oh God, he’s hilarious, Alex. The first time I ever met him was at Peter and Autumn’s wedding. I think he had too much of the champagne and he looked me dead in the eye and goes, ‘Katie, let’s skip the small talk. What I think really needs to be discussed are all of the ridiculous contraptions you ladies are wearing on your heads.’ He didn’t call me Catherine or Kate, just went straight to Katie as if he’d known me forever. And then for thirty minutes he kept me in stitches as he made fun of every single hat and fascinator in the room, including mine.”

Alex couldn’t help but dissolve into laughter herself at the image. “That’s hysterical,” she finally managed to get out once she got control of her laughter. “He didn’t do anything like that, probably he’s drinking tea and not champagne, but he did get a kick out of my sassy pants kid over there telling them how much Harry loves us, including that he told me so earlier when he was kissing me hello.”

Kate shouted her laughter and fell back against the sofa. “She didn’t!”

“Of course she did,” Alex smirked. “If there is one thing that kids will do it’s tell on you. Nothing is sacred.” She shot a meaningful glance down at the happy baby bouncing on her lap. “You’ll learn.”

“Oh no,” Kate shook her head, her lips tugging up at the corners. “Henry wouldn’t do that to his loving mother, would you, my love?” She turned a playful, pointed look down at Henry who, with perfect timing, started giggling uncontrollably. Kate chuckled and reached out to tickle her son. “Of course; already pushing your luck little one.”

Harry was watching Alex and Kate laughing from across the room and he smiled as Bea, Eugenie, and Zara joined them. Zara snatched Henry from Alex and there was a moment where Harry couldn’t hear what was said and they all burst into laughter. He grinned, knowing Alex had made some smart remark to Zara, which is really what any of his family would have done.

Then, Alex must have felt his eyes on her because she turned around then and their gazes locked. She smiled softly at him and then winked before her gaze shifted over to Emma and then back to him. She nodded her head to the side and Harry got it, she wanted to get Emma’s attention, wanted to get Emma to go visit with the group surrounding Alex.

“Hey Emma,” Harry called softly, getting her attention for Alex. Emma turned around to him and he pointed towards Alex. “I think your mum wants you to go over and see her for a few moments."

Emma turned towards Alex and sure enough, Alex motioned her over. “I have to go see my mummy now,” Emma grinned as she turned back to Philip and Andrew.

"Go dear girl," Philip nodded with a chuckle, patting Emma on the head. Emma giggled prettily and then jumped from the sofa and made her way out to Alex.

"Well, I have to say Harry," Philip said, tummy towards his grandson, they are both lovely. I just have one question though.”

"Thank you, Grandpa," Harry grinned. “I’m not quite sure how I got so lucky. And what is your question?"

"Are you sure she’s not yours?"

“Philip!” Elizabeth sighed loudly, turning a stern eye towards her husband who just shrugged.

Harry couldn’t help the shout of laughter that had left his lips. “Jesus, Grandfather," he shook his head. “Do you honestly think I could get away with that for six years?"

"I’m just saying," Philip chuckled, holding up his hands. “She’s sassy, smart, and says exactly what’s on her mind. She’s got Windsor written all over her.”

“Good God, Papa,” Andrew groaned, rolling his eyes as he took a sip of his tea.

Harry shoulders shook with laughter and he leaned back into the couch. “No no, I know what you mean, Grandpa,” he said as his eyes moved to the two blondes across the room. “She may not be mine biologically…” He took a deep breath and then his eyes turned back to Philip’s. “But she’s mine in all of the ways that matter.”

“Well Harry,” Elizabeth said softly, leaning over to pat his knee. “I’d say that Emma is a very lucky little girl.”

“No Granny,” Harry smiled. “I’m the lucky one.”


Alex jolted awake when she heard the click of the door. Her eyes immediately opened wide and she turned to the door, her heart beating fast in her chest at the late night intrusion. But when she saw Harry there, closing the door softly behind him, she immediately relaxed, a smirk replacing the startled look on her face.

“I’m a light sleeper, Wales,” she whispered into the dark room, laughing lightly as he turned sharply to her, surprised that he woke her up.

“Sorry, love,” he murmured back, his features easing from surprise into happiness to be alone in a room with her. He moved over to her, leaning over her on the bed and placing his hands on either side of her torso as he bent down to kiss her softly.

“Mmmm…” Alex sighed against his mouth. “Believe me, Harry, I’m not complaining when I ask this, but what are you doing here?”

He grinned as he pressed another kiss to her lips. “I snuck over.”

“You snuck over?” Alex pulled back from him, her lips twitching. “You ditched security?”

“Well, no…” His smile was playful, boyish. Alex loved it when he was like this, when it looked like he almost felt…free.

She laughed lightly and she reached for him, smoothing her hands up over his arms to those broad shoulders he had that she found so incredibly sexy. “Ohhhhh. So really, anyone who wanted to know could find out where you are?”

He shook his head and chuckled as her hands moved to his neck and pulled his lips to hers. “Listen. I don’t get to sneak anywhere, ever. Let me have my moment, would you?”

“Harry?” Her fingers slid up into his hair.


“Are you going to get into this bed or did you just sneak over here to stand by the bed and kiss me?”

He grinned against her lips. “My intentions when sneaking over here were definitely not honorable.”

“Thank God…” she laughed as she fell back into the pillows while he stood with a smug grin and pulled his sweater over his head, tossing it on the chair in the corner. He quickly toed off his shoes and pulled off his jeans, throwing them over his sweater. And then, clad in only his boxers and a t-shirt, he moved around the bed and slid under the covers.

“Oh God, Alex…” he murmured as he reached for her and pulled her warm body to his. She went more than willingly; after four days away from him she was just aching to feel him against her, to feel his arms around her, to have his hands and mouth on her. “I missed you so damn much.”

“I missed you too,” she whispered as she wound her arms around his neck. “Harry?”

He dropped a kiss to her lips as his eyes met hers. “Yes love?”

“Today was wonderful. I know I told you that earlier, but…I just…it was wonderful. Your entire family is so welcoming. It made me feel…”


Alex smiled softly. “Like we – Emma and me – like we belong.” Harry’s face broke into a wide grin and then suddenly Alex found herself being rolled on her back, Harry moving above her, pressing her down into the mattress. She giggled softly at the abrupt change in position and then shifted, allowing his hips to move in between her legs as his hands moved up into her hair.

“Alex, you do. You both belong with me…here,” he said, the love and pride evident in the way he spoke, the reverence in his voice. “That’s what this was, you know that right? You meeting my grandparents, being here with my family? It was you being brought in to the final fold.”

Alex blinked. “The final fold?”

“Yes, my love,” Harry breathed as he pulled her closer, moving his arms under her, completely surrounding her with his warmth, his love. “The rest of the family knows you, loves you and Emma. There was just one more step. And now it’s done and now…you’re in.”


He chuckled softly and pulled her lips to his. His tongue tipped out to her lips, she parted them instantly, and a breathy sort of moan left her lips and pushed into Harry’s mouth. He deepened the kiss instantly, his tongue finding hers and sliding slowly alongside of it. His blood started to pound in that way it did whenever his mouth met hers and he pulled back slightly, wanting to finish this conversation before they got too far gone and the ability to speak coherently left him completely. “Yes, baby…now you’re in,” he smiled against her lips. His eyes lifted to hers, almost groaning at the look of love and lust he found there. “All that is left to do is let time pass.”

“Harry… are you trying to tell me that your grandmother liked me?" Alex breathed, her eyes searching his.

He laughed softly and his arms tightened around her, pulling her so close that she thought she might melt into him. “I think I’m saying more than that, but yes, my grandmother liked you, both you and Emma."

Alex beamed, her heart full with the knowledge that Harry’s family fully welcomed her, that they their trip here went so much better, did so much more for them than she ever considered it would. “Good, we liked her too."

And then she was done talking. Her hands moved into his hair and she brought his lips crashing to hers. Harry groaned against her mouth and as much as he had been ready to talk about what the day they had meant for their future, he knew that this moment wasn’t for talking.

This moment was about loving each other, about appreciating each other. This moment was about the happiness, support, and faith they had found in each other. This moment was about Harry thanking Alex for sticking with him through all of the crazy shit he had brought into her life and loving him enough to still be here with him.

But most of all, this was Harry wanting to make love to the woman whom was going to be his life. Of course he had known that before the day they had just had, but now it was different. Now she had been fully brought into his family and his grandmother had told him that as soon as the time was right she would have his full support. And as silly as it might sound to those not in his family, that meant the world to Harry.


His hands were soft, reverent, and loving as they moved over her. His fingers smoothed down her sides to the hem of her nightshirt that rested on her thighs and he pushed it up slowly over her hips. Then lifting himself slightly he pushed it all they the way up and over her head, her arms lifting so that he could pull it from her. He groaned as his eyes moved back down over her, taking her in. She wasn’t wearing a bra and so there she was, in just a pair of small, white, lacy panties, sending whatever blood that was left in his body rushing straight to his already aching length.

And Alex was right there with him. The need to be with him, to connect with him on this primal level was taking over every single part of her. This time it was her hands that tugged at his shirt, pulling it up and over his head in tossing it to the side without a second thought. Her hands returned to him quickly, smoothing up over his taught abdomen and his broad, bare chest.

“I want you so badly,” she whispered. “Please Henry…make love to me…” Her lips curved at the corners as she said her words. She knew what those words would do to him, how it affected him when she was vocal about her desires, when she asked him to please her.

“God, I love you,” he groaned as her hands came up to his face and she tugged his lips down to hers. His entire body moved into hers, hot skin against hot skin. He kissed her fully, deeply before moving his lips from hers and running them slowly down her jaw. “Do you know how much I love you, Alexandra?” He whispered hotly into her ear, sending a shudder running through her heated frame.

“Yes…” she moaned as she wrapped herself around him, arms and legs, pressing him harder against her. He moved his head up for just a moment, catching her hazy eyes with his before his head dipped again, pressing into her neck.

“I love the way everything is better in my life because you are in it,” he went on, needing to tell her even as he moved to show her with his body. She whimpered as his lips and tongue worked down her neck and over her collarbones to her chest. “I love how strong you are…” He pressed a hot, wet, open-mouthed kiss on the swell of her chest and Alex arched into it, wanting to push more of herself into the mouth that was absolutely wrecking her senses.

“Harry…” she groaned. “Please…”

“I love how big your heart is…” he continued moving to press his lips over her pounding heart. “I love that there is enough room in there for me and everything my world is.”

“Harry…” Alex called out shakily. She threaded her fingers into his hair and tugged, bringing his deep, intense gaze up to hers. “Stop…you’re going to make me cry,” she breathed. “I don’t want to cry, Harry. I just want…oh!” She moaned as he leaned forward and pulled a hard nipple into his mouth. He watched her as he worried it with his lips, tongue, and teeth until she was writhing beneath him before he switched to the other nipple. He worked at her slowly, thoroughly, until Alex was pulled much closer to the edge than she ever thought possible with just a mouth at her breast.

“I love that you are such a wonderful mother…” he whispered as he lifted his mouth from her breasts and moved to her stomach, his breath bringing goosebumps to her skin. He knew her emotions were going to run high with his words and he knew that she wasn’t sure she could deal with that and making love to him at the same time. But fuck, his emotions were so close to the surface with everything that had happened that day and more than anything he needed her to be right where he was; he needed her with him.

His lips moved to the tops of her panties and he looked up and caught her eyes, searching them and trying to communicate everything he was trying to say and everything he knew he could never begin to say. He held her gaze as he reached for her hips, his fingers tucking into the band of her panties and he pulled, tugging them down over her thighs and off of her long, lean legs, tossing them to the side. “I love how you calm me, how you bring me back to center,” he said as he moved back up to her, pressing light kisses on her flushed skin as he went, until he was back at her lips and kissing her with every single bit of passion he had in him.

“Henry…I…” she tried, not knowing if she wanted to shush him or try to reciprocate his words. He was completely taking her down. His words and the deep, intense look in his eyes were filling up everything, all of her senses. Everything around here was just…him.

And suddenly she couldn’t take it anymore. She needed him. She ached for him in every cell of her body. Her hands were frantic as they moved to his hips and pushed at his boxers, wanting them off, needing him naked and pressing inside of her in that way that only he could. She wasn’t sure if she could handle the pure, raw emotion that he was invoking within her if they weren’t joined together.

“Please Henry,” she begged, her eyes wide and wild as his boxers slid down over his hips and were tossed to the side. “I need you inside of me right now.”

There was no way he could have refused her right then, not with everything he was feeling. With a groan he found her hands with his and pulled them up over her head, his fingers twining with hers as he pressed her into the bed with his body. He pressed his forehead to hers and their breathing was heavy, their chests moving up and down together as the moment wrapped around them.

“Look at me, Alexandra,” he pleaded as her eyes slid closed. He adjusted himself between her legs, ready to enter her. “Look at me, my love.”

Alex’s eyes fluttered open and Harry immediately pressed forward, his eyes holding hers as he filled her slowly, fully. “Oh God…” she cried out, arching against him, her fingers tightening around his.

He stayed there for a moment, catching himself, catching his breath. He had never in his life felt the kind of intensity that he was feeling right now with Alex. And it was all because now he knew; he knew that the only thing that stood in in between him and future with Alex and Emma was time. Time he had. Time he could deal with because time was constant and it meant one day she would be his.

When he finally moved it pulled moans from deep inside of both of them. He pulled out and pressed in, strong and steady above her as he held her eyes, never letting go, keeping her with him.

“I love your compassion,” he whispered, kissing her swollen lips softly. She whimpered, knowing there was no way she could hold back anything with him in this moment. “I love the way my family loves you…how you and Emma fit with us…”

“Harry…” she groaned. He was moving so deep and strong within her and he was just surrounding her and it was threating to overwhelm her. She didn’t know what to do, how to focus, how to deal with any of it. “I can’t…” Her voice cracked and the tears she had been trying to hold back came, filling her eyes and quickly sliding down her cheeks.

Harry didn’t hesitate, didn’t pause. “Yes you can, Alexandra. My beautiful, sweet, Alexandra,” he soothed, leaning in to kiss the tears from her cheeks, which only served to make more appear. “What you’re feeling is what I feel, baby…” he murmured, watching as the realization washed over her, as she understood what he was doing.

And that knowledge, the knowledge that the intensity within her body that was making her heart pound and her chest ache, that was making her brain feel completely scattered and was causing the tears that we clouding her vision was what he felt, it was more erotic than anything she had ever felt in her entire life.

The burn began instantly and it was a swift, sharp build. “Oh God…Harry…” she cried out as he caught what was happening and immediately began to adjust to get her there. He moved faster above her and released her hands, moving his arms under and around her, pulling her closer, so close that he wasn’t sure where he ended and she began.

“Yes Alexandra…fuck…” he groaned as she wrapped her arms and legs around him and he sank deeper within her. “I love you so much…please…” He leaned forward and captured her lips with his and when her mouth opened under his with a whimper and a shiver he knew that he wasn’t going to last. They were wrapped so completely up in each other that he had no hope of holding back and he needed her to join him there. “Come on baby…I want to come with you…”

“Yes Harry…I…I…” And that was all that Alex could say before her entire world exploded.

Everything around her went hazy with her release and she had no choice but to close her eyes against it. Harry’s mouth covered hers and caught her cries as the waves of her release slammed into her and it was completely over for him in that moment. His fingers dug into the skin on her back and he tensed even as her body still clamped in a vice around his.

“Alex…” he groaned in that animalistic way that can only be attained in moments of pure, raw pleasure and then with one final stroke he buried his face in her neck and let himself go, giving her everything he could possibly give her in that moment. His groan was strangled and his breathing was erratic and it was quite possibly the most electrifying release he’d had in his entire life.


Any other time Harry would have stayed wrapped up in her as long as possible. But in that moment his first thought after his brain cleared was of her, was to make sure she was okay, to make she he hadn’t frightened the mess out of her with the emotional freight train he had just laid on her. He pulled from her neck with a soft groan and looked up, finding her already looking down at him, her eyes already on him.

And she was smiling.

It wasn’t just some soft, hazy, sex afterglow smile either. It was a smile that spoke of true happiness, of having a full, warm, heart. It was a smile that said in that moment that what he had unconsciously set out to do when he had crawled into her bed, to communicate just how deep his love was for her, had worked. She knew, she understood, and it meant everything to her.

“Are you okay?” he asked quietly, knowing the answer but still needing to ask, needing the vocal assurance.

“Am I okay?” she laughed softly. “Am I okay? Oh my God…Harry…” Her hands left his back and she cupped his handsome face in her fingers. “I just…I don’t even know if these are the right words to respond to what just happened but…I love you too, Harry.”

He grinned and a light chuckle left his lips. “Those are the right words,” he murmured as he leaned forward to press a light kiss on her lips. “Those are the perfect words.”


The following morning Harry was gone when Alex woke up, but the note he left brought an instant smile to her face.


I wish I could have stayed in bed with you all morning, but I had to “sneak” back to the main house before everyone else woke up. I’ll see you at breakfast.

I love you,


She smiled as she read the note several times, loving that even a simple sentence was full of the love and humor that was so much a part of Harry. And then, prying herself from the warm bed she pulled on her discarded pajamas from the night before and moved from the room to go wake up Emma and start getting them both ready to meet Harry and his family at breakfast.