Sequel: In Unexpected Places

Against the Odds

Chapter Forty Five

A/N: Okay. So this is kind of a nutty chapter. It’s a transitional chapter so it moves through a few things. In reality some of this shouldn’t all be in the same chapter, but that’s just the way it worked out! And it’s alllll fluff. I warned you! :)


“So, how was your vacation with Matt?” Alex asked Charlotte one evening as they sat at a small wine bar, enjoying a glass or two after work. Harry was out of town working and Emma was with Mia, coming up with ideas for her upcoming birthday party no doubt, and Alex used the opportunity to sneak in some time with her friend.
“It was nice,” Charlotte said, trying her best at nonchalance; but Alex caught the small smile that Charlotte tried to hide as she took a sip of her wine.

“Just nice?” Alex teased. “Since when are the Bahamas just nice?”

Charlotte rolled her eyes. “What do you want me to say, Alex? We spent a week on an island. We drank a lot, did some snorkeling, and had a lot of sex.”

Alex laughed. “I know you’re trying to gross me out so I’ll quit asking you questions about Matt.”

“Is it working?”

“Did he ask you about going to Texas with us in July?” Alex grinned, ignoring Charlotte’s question.

“Of course it didn’t work,” Charlotte groaned. “You’re growing immune. I need to come up with a new line of defense.”

“Ha! Good luck with that,” Alex giggled before her eyes turned a bit more serious. “I’m just trying to be your friend here. You helped me out a lot in regards to navigating things with Harry in the beginning – and you still do.” She shrugged and took a sip of her wine. “I’m just trying to do the same for you.”

“I know,” Charlotte sighed. “And I appreciate it. It’s just…I don’t know how to do that stuff. To get together and gab about boyfriends.”

“No one is gabbing,” Alex said with a shake of her head. “I’m just asking how your vacation went and asking if you are coming with us to Texas in July. That’s all.”

Charlotte eyed Alex for a moment, trying to decide if she should just keep her mouth shut about all things Matt. But Alex was right; she was her friend and she knew she could trust her. She knew that even though Matt was Alex’s brother that she wouldn’t tell him the things they spoke of in confidence.

“Fine,” Charlotte finally said and Alex had to bite her lip to keep from laughing at how close to pouting Charlotte looked. “Our holiday was lovely. We even had a fight.”

Alex almost spit out her wine. “What? A fight? Why does that make it lovely?”

Charlotte grinned. “Because we got to make up.”

“And you said you didn’t want to gab,” Alex laughed, shaking her head at her friend. “Well, I’m glad you at least made up. You wouldn’t want to share the reason you fought would you?”

Charlotte sighed. “It was about the Texas trip. He brought it up and when I said I would have to see if I could go, he got butthurt.”

“Butthurt?” Alex asked with a lift of an eyebrow.

“He was hurt that I wouldn’t get all jumpy and excited and ‘oh I can’t wait to go!’” Charlotte replied with a wave of her hand. “And then I told him that he was crowding me and I needed space…”


“And then he got mad and left the room,” Charlotte nodded.

“Matt got mad?” Alex asked, a little surprised. “I know him better than anyone, and don’t think I’ve ever seen him truly mad. Maybe a little perturbed, but never mad.”

“Well, he got mad,” Charlotte said. She finished off her wine and then motioned to the bartender for another for both her and Alex. “I went and found him a couple of hours later on the beach. We talked it out and then…”

“You made up,” Alex grinned. “Look at you having an adult relationship. I’m so proud of you.”

Charlotte gave a laughing sort of groan. “Shut up…”

“Ha! So are you going to Texas or not?”

“Yeah, I’m going. Harry cleared it before he left town yesterday.”

Alex squealed. “Yay! Oh, you are going to love going to the river with us, Charlotte. We’ll camp out and then…”

“Oh God,” Charlotte rolled her eyes, interrupting Alex. “You and Matt are just alike. I don’t even know why I like both of you.”

“Because we are amazing,” Alex winked.

Charlotte waived her hand and Alex giggled. “Yeah yeah…”


“I can’t believe I’m getting Emma a puppy for her birthday,” Alex laughed as she spoke to Harry on the phone later that evening before bed. “A puppy that needs to be fed and trained and taken out for walks and…”

“And that’s all cute and snuggly,” Harry finished for her, bringing a small giggle from her lips as she leaned back on her pillows and pulled her blankets up around her.

“You are the worst. Such a softy.”

“I have never denied this,” he said smugly. “So when are you going to get this puppy?”

“Well, her party is next Saturday, but her actual birthday is Monday, so I figured I would let her take the day off of school for her birthday and we can go to the shelter and get a puppy.”

“A shelter?” His interest was piqued.

“Of course,” Alex said pertly. “All those animals need homes. I’m not going to go pay hundreds and hundreds of pounds for a dog when there are perfectly good ones at the shelter. I don’t need a hunting dog or a breeding dog…just a dog that can learn not to poop on my floor will do.”

“Ha!” Harry laughed, settling back into the pillows of his hotel room bed. “Okay, trainable shelter puppy it is then. Do you want me to come with you guys or is this just a mother/daughter thing?”

“You’d come?” Alex asked softly, a small smile playing on her lips.

“Of course I’d come,” Harry replied with a chuckle. “I love to be wherever you and Emma are.”

“Harry…” Alex sighed, her heart warming at his words. “I miss you…”

Harry grinned as Alex’s soft words came through his phone. “I miss you too, baby,” he responded, his voice dropping to match hers. “Only two more days and then I’m back.”

“Ugh. That’s too long, Harry,” she sighed as she leaned back against her pillows. “I have needs you know.” Her voice bordered on suggestive and it snapped any part of Harry that had been thinking about sleep right awake, even after the long day he’d had.

“Needs? What kind of needs?” His voice dropped to match hers.

Her lips curved into a smile. “Needs that only you can satisfy.”

“Alex…” he groaned. Blood was quickly rushing south from his brain and his pants already felt tighter. “Baby, I love when you talk like that.”

“Like what?” she asked, egging him on in a husky voice.

“Like you want me inside of you right this minute…”

“Oh but I do, Harry…” Alex breathed. The hand not holding her phone ran a path down the front of her body, seemingly have a mind of its own – or just connected to the place the rest of Alex’s brain was moving to at the moment – and stopped on the small of her stomach, right above the top of her panties. “I really do…but you’re not here so…”


Her response came in a breath. “Yes baby?”

“Are you…” He gulped and adjusted on the bed, his hand coming up to squeeze his hard cock through his pants. “Are you touching yourself?”

“If I slide my hand about three inches lower I will be…”


“Do you want me to slide my hand lower, Harry?”

“Yes…” he growled, even has his fingers worked open the button and pulled down the zipper of his own pants. His hand dipped into his boxers and he freed himself, wrapping his fingers around his aching length. He heard her breathy moan as she dipped her hand inside of her panties and his fingers tightened as he pulsed, amazed that from so many miles away she already had him racing towards the finish, with nothing more than her words and the knowledge of where her hand was right then.

“Harry…touch yourself for me too,” she ordered into the phone, her voice full of lust.

“I already am,” he groaned as he began to stroke himself slowly. It wasn’t the same as her; it wasn’t anywhere near on the level as if it had been Alex’s hands on him, but with her voice in his ear telling him what to do, he still felt utterly connected to her – as if she were there with him.

“God Harry…” she moaned, and he could almost visualize the way her back arched off of the bed when she made that sound. “I love when you get so hard for me. I just want to put my hands and mouth all over you.”

“You’re killing me, Alexandra.” His breath was harsh through the phone as he closed his eyes and pulled up memories of her, of the way she moved when his hands and his mouth were on her, of the sounds she made as he pleasured her, of the way she felt completely wrapped around him, and his hand began to move faster up and down his cock. “I want you so bad, baby. I want to feel how wet you are for me.”

She dipped her fingers down into her wetness and she gave a gasping sort of moan. “I’m soaked, Harry…”

His entire body pulsed. “Alex,” he said, pulling as much steadiness into his voice as he possible could. “Make yourself come for me…I need to hear it.”

“Mmmm…I need that too. Will you come with me?” Her voice was soft, almost a whisper.

“Oh God yes,” he groaned. “I will absolutely come with you.”

“Good,” she breathed. “Because it’s not going to take long, not with that voice of yours in my ear.” She moaned again and he could hear her take a deep breath. “Talk to me Harry, tell me how you would make me come if you were here.”

Harry had to stop his actions on his cock for just a moment. He stopped and took a deep breath, trying to pull his brain back from a place where all he wanted to do was stroke himself into madness while she did the same. He wanted to talk to her, to do exactly as she asked, but he needed to at least have his fucking wits about him to do so. He let out the breath and then squeezed himself once before moving his hand up and down on himself again, only slower this time, trying to control himself.

“Slide your fingers inside yourself, Alexandra.”

“How many?”

Harry moaned and if he hadn’t of slowed his pace moments before, he would have lost it right then. “Fuck baby…two fingers.”

Alex did exactly that and she cried out softly as she made a few shallow strokes with her fingers. “Oh God, Harry…”

“Does that feel good?” he asked as his head swam with visions of her, imagining what she was doing to herself right then.


He grinned at her mumbled answer but forced himself to keep going, to keep talking to her. “Now use your thumb and stroke your clit…soft, slow circles.” He heard her whimper and he knew instinctively it wouldn’t be long and he began to move his own hand faster. “God damn, Alexandra. I’m just going to fucking explode when you get there baby.”

“I wish you were inside of me,” she panted in a low, hoarse voice. “Nothing in the world feels as good as when you are inside of me.”

“Alex…” His voice was low and she heard the waver; the warning. He was just as close as she was.

And it only spurred her on.

“God Harry…” she purred into the phone. “When you are so deep inside of me and you hit that spot…that fucking spot that makes me come unglued…”

“Fuck.” His hand moved faster. “Find that spot with your fingers, Alex. You can do it…” He groaned as his imagination pulled up that visual for him. “Just curl your fingers and…”

“Fuck!” Alex cried and Harry knew she had found it, just like that. His head tilted back just as Alex’s did on the on the other end of the line. “Oh God…oh God…oh God…”

“Yes baby,” he demanded. “Come on…”

“Oh baby…come with me…”

And then with one hand moving furiously against her center and one hand pressing her phone tightly to her ear she went, her hips jerking and her soft cries floating across the line to Harry who followed her over the edge with a loud, animalistic groan; his eyes squeezing tightly shut and his head tilting back into the pillow as the pleasure pulsed through him.

“Wow…” Alex breathed after a few moments. She peeled her eyes open and blinked, laughing slightly that she was almost surprised that he wasn’t in the room with her, that he wasn’t the one who had just made her fall apart like she had.

“Jesus Christ, Alex,” Harry said, taking a deep, steadying breath. “That was…”

“Did we just have…phone sex?” Alex giggled. “We did, didn’t we?”

“Ha!” He laughed, his body falling into relaxation. “We did. Fucking great phone sex.”

“It was,” Alex agreed with a soft sigh. “God, I miss you.”

“I miss you too, baby.”

Alex opened her mouth to respond to him, but instead she found herself fighting a yawn and she realized she was just worn out. “Sorry,” she said sheepishly. “All of the sudden I find myself exhausted.”

“It’s okay love. I need to um…clean up anyway,” he chuckled. “I’ll let you get to sleep.”

“I love you so very much Henry Charles Albert David,” she smiled sleepily into the phone.

“And I love you Alexandra Mae. I will talk to you tomorrow.”


“Goodnight love.”


“Harry, this is too much,” Alex said as she looked around the space decorated for Emma’s birthday party. Her daughter had wanted an African themed birthday and Harry, in his seemingly endless quest to give Emma everything she wanted, had gone all out; renting out the event space at the London Zoo and having it transformed to look like the African bush.

And that was only for the first part of the party. That part would be the more formal event – parents were invited to attend, there would be lunch served, and there would be entertainment. Then later, after those festivities were over, the children were set to take part in an “overnight adventure” at the zoo. Led by several members of the team at the Zoo, the kids would take a nighttime tour through the facilities and had a full schedule of activities and games lined up.

“This is not too much,” Harry laughed with a shake of his head. “This is mild compared to what some of the kids that go to Emma’s school have for birthday parties.

“Oh God,” Alex groaned. “I don’t even want to know. It still blows my mind who some of the parents are that are coming to this thing.”

Harry chuckled and tucked an arm around her, pulling her up against his side. “They are all just trying to get a chance to meet you.”

Alex snorted. “Please.”

“You know it’s true.”

She laughed and bumped her hip into his playfully. “Stop. You are going to give me an ego the size of…well, yours.”

“Ha!” He laughed, his eyes crinkling at the sides before he leaned down and pressed a sweet, quick kiss to her mouth. He pulled back slightly and checked his watch. “Alright, they should be arriving any moment. Want to gather Emma and go do your official duties?”

Alex nodded and Harry took her hand in his, pulling it to his lips for a moment before he led her from the room where the staff were finishing up with the beautiful centerpieces. They stepped outside into the sunshine and Alex thought once again how lovely it was to have such a beautiful day, especially in rainy April, for Emma’s birthday. Molly and Emma were standing just outside of the doors and Emma was bouncing excitedly, waiting with extreme anticipation for her friends to start arriving.

She didn’t have to wait long. Within minutes the first of the children started arriving and Harry and Alex stood with Emma to greet all of them with their parents. It wasn’t lost on a single person who stepped up to greet them how at ease the three of them looked there, how much they looked like a family.

There were the parents that Alex had known were coming, parents of these children who were actually celebrities. When Gwyneth Paltrow walked up with a beautiful smile as she held tight her daughter’s hand, Alex managed to keep her cool, although barely, as Gwyneth kissed her cheeks, did the same to Harry and then commented on how sweet and beautiful Emma was before heading inside.

When Kate Hudson arrived with her son Ryder, Alex was floored with how talkative and lovely she was and just how cute it was when Ryder offered a shy little wave to Emma.

But it was one of the last arrivals that really got Alex.

When David Beckham arrived with his son Cruz – who was a little older than Emma but still friendly with her – Alex immediately felt her cheeks flush and her smile pull wide. He was very handsome, even better looking than in any of the pictures she had seen. Harry grinned when he saw his old friend and he clapped his hands together, surprised but delighted that he was there.

“David! I had no idea Cruz went to school with Emma,” Harry said as the two men shared a friendly hug. “Alex didn’t even tell me you would be coming.”

“I actually thought Victoria would be bringing Cruz,” Alex offered, stepping closer to Harry and smiling at David. She had met Victoria Beckham once at a school function and found her to be friendly and charming, just as her husband appeared to be.

“She was,” David nodded turning his attention to Alex. “But Harper is a bit under the weather and the business meeting I had today was cancelled, so she asked if I could come.”

“Oh, I’m sorry that Harper is sick,” Alex said softly, tilting her head to the side. “I’m Alex by the way, Emma’s mother.”

“And my girlfriend,” Harry said with a smug smile, his hand moving to Alex’s back.

“Mummy!” Emma interrupted, tugging on Alex’s dress. “Can I please go inside now and play? I’ve been out here forever!”

“Sure, go ahead,” Alex nodded, laughing as Emma ran off instantly and Cruz followed right behind her.

“It’s nice to meet you, Alex,” David said, reaching out for Alex’s hand. Alex grinned as she offered it to him and he shook it lightly, offering a slight squeeze. “I’m going to go make sure my kid doesn’t whip all the other kids into some sort of trouble, he has a habit of that. Harry,” he turned towards his friend. “It’s always good to see you and Alex,” he turned towards her with a smile. “It was lovely to meet you. I will chat with you both in a bit.”

He walked away and Alex couldn’t help but feel a little giddy. He was David Beckham after all.

“I saw that.”

Alex turned her head to Harry, her eyes wide. “What?”

His lips twitched. “You were looking at his ass.”

Alex rolled her eyes. “Harry, we are at a child’s birthday party. Don’t say ass.”

“Then don’t look at his ass.”

“Harry, what did I just say?”

“Ha! You just don’t want to admit it,” he laughed, shaking his head at her. “I saw you.”

She leaned into him then, turning wide, innocent eyes up to his. “Aw, baby. Don’t be jealous. You know the only ass I’m interested in is yours.”

“Alexandra,” he admonished playfully. “We are at a child’s birthday party. Do not say ass.”

Then with a swift kiss he winked at her and then turned them into the doors to the party, ready to get Emma’s party underway.


The party went well and Emma had a blast, along with all of her friends. For two days after the party was over all Emma could talk about was all of the fun she’d had and all of the different types of animals she had gotten to play with. But by the time the Monday after the party rolled around and it was her actual birthday, they party memories took a backseat.

Because she was getting a puppy.

She had begged and begged for a puppy for years, and Alex had finally given in. She’d had a long and serious discussion with Emma about the responsibilities of a pet, and after careful consideration, she’d decided to take the jump and let Emma get one.

On the morning of Emma’s seventh birthday Alex pulled Emma out of bed and into the kitchen, where they worked together to make chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. They topped them with chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and whipped cream and Emma ate what Alex was sure was an entire week’s worth of sugar.

By the time Harry arrived, having wanted to give Emma and Alex special time alone in the morning, Emma was bouncing off of the walls – a mixture of excitement and sugar high.

“Harry! I’m getting a puppy today!” she squealed as she ran to Harry for a hug once he stepped inside of the door.

“I know,” he laughed as he pulled her up into his arms. “You’re also seven years old today. How does that feel?”

“I feel so oooooooold,” she sighed dramatically, her eyes rolling back in her head.

“Ha!” he laughed. He pressed a kiss to her forehead and then set her back down. “Well, happy birthday Princess.”

“Thank you Harry,” she grinned. “Can we go to the shelter now? I don’t think I can’t wait any longer.”

Harry chuckled. “Can I say hi to your mother first? Where is she?”

“Here!” Alex called out as she sailed around the corner, sliding an earring into her ear as she moved, her final touch in getting ready. “We got behind with pancake making and I had to rush to get ready.”

Harry smiled as she stepped up to him and laid her hand on his chest, turning her lips up to his for a kiss. Emma squeaked and clapped her eyes over her eyes, now a habit whenever Harry and Alex kissed hello. Both Harry and Alex laughed as they pulled apart and then they all moved into a flurry of activity, pulling on light coats and making sure they had the collar and leash they had bought for whichever puppy they had decided to get. Then they were out the door, down into the car, and off to the shelter to find a new puppy for the birthday girl.


Emma knew him the moment she saw him. He was an eight week old white Labrador puppy and when Emma went up to his cage he bounded over on his too big paws and smooshed his nose right through the gate, taking an instant shine to the little girl with the big smile and bright eyes.

“I want him,” Emma breathed, turning wide eyes to Alex. “This is my puppy.”

Alex knelt down so she was on Emma’s level and spoke low. “Are you sure, Emma? This is a big decision.”

“He’s my puppy, Mummy. I just know it,” Emma said softly as she turned back to the Labrador bouncing excitedly in his cage.

“Yeah?” Alex asked with a soft smile. When Emma nodded, never taking her eyes from the puppy, Alex turned her eyes up to Harry and she grinned. “Looks like we’ve found a puppy.”

“Looks like it,” Harry grinned. “What do you think you’ll name him, Emma?” he asked as the staff member they were working with opened the cage and pulled the puppy out and handed him off to Emma. The puppy immediately licked Emma’s face and she giggled prettily as she settled on the floor to play with him, completely in love.

“How about Gus?” she asked, turning a look up to Alex.

“Gus? I like it,” Alex nodded. “Any particular reason you’ve decided on that name?”

“It’s from Cinderella, Mum,” Emma rolled her eyes. “Remember? The mouse named Gus? And they call him Gus Gus?”

“Ah yes,” Alex laughed. “Gus it is then. Shall we take Gus home?”

“Yes!” Emma squealed.

Alex smiled as she moved off to fill out the paperwork required and then, once everything was official, Emma slipped Gus’s new collar on and then took their new family member home.

It was officially Emma’s best birthday ever.