Sequel: In Unexpected Places

Against the Odds

Chapter Sixty Eight

A/N: I'm so sorry for the long wait! Thank you for sticking with me. I hope you enjoy and as always, your thoughts and comments are appreciated! :)


“Goodness Alexandra, you’ve got quite a summer planned here.”

Alex glanced up from the tea kettle she was putting on the stove, her lips tugging up into a smile when she saw Molly’s eyes scanning the large calendar laid out on the kitchen table. She hadn’t seen her mother-in-law very much since they had gotten back from the honeymoon, but today that was being corrected. Her entire afternoon was free and she had jumped at the chance to spend some time with one of her favorite people in the world.

“Yeah,” she answered. “Summers are always busy for the family. I’m kind of jumping right into the craziest few months of the year.

“Royal Ascot…Trooping the Colour…oh! Another carriage ride?” Molly turned to her with wide eyes and an bright smile.

Alex laughed lightly. “Yes, another carriage ride and another balcony appearance. Emma is beyond excited.”

“I imagine she is,” Molly chuckled as her eyes moved back to the calendar. “Harry’s got quite a few polo matches too.”

“He does,” Alex smiled wide. “His first is actually on Father’s Day. And I’ll be presenting the prizes to the winners at that match.”

“Really?” Molly lifted her eyebrows with the question and when Alex nodded in the affirmative she couldn’t help but shake her head with a soft laugh. “You know, sometimes I still can’t believe the same shy, sweet nineteen year old that my son married all those years ago is the very same woman who has very often been the focus of the entire world recently.”

A soft smile tilted Alex’s lips. “Me either. To be fair, quite a bit happened between then and now. I’m fairly certain that nineteen year old girl couldn’t have handled being the focus of the entire world.”

“Oh, I think you could have,” Molly shrugged.

“It’s because of John, you know…” Alex said softly, her eyes turning to the side to meet Molly’s.

“That you’re with Harry?”

“No,” Alex shook her head. “I mean, I wouldn’t be with Harry if John had lived, of course. But…I made it through his death, through carrying our daughter and giving birth to her and being a single mom at twenty. Because of him, because I was able to make it through losing him; through losing someone I loved so much…” She took a deep breath and her smile pulled wide, as it did when she thought of John most times. “When I started seeing Harry, when I fell in love so quickly with him, I wasn’t going to let any of the ridiculous press speculation or paparazzi or any of that take it from me. I’d lost love once, and to give it up a second time over something so…” She shrugged and smiled at Molly, not being able to find the right words, but knowing Molly would understand what she was saying.

“Both men you’ve loved have been very lucky to have you, my dear,” Molly said, her motherly affection and pride for Alex evident in her voice.

The kettle began to whistle out into the room, breaking the heavy moment. Alex took a deep breath and moved to lift it from the stove as Molly let her eyes wander back to the calendar in front of her.

“I see Emma has a riding competition next month,” Molly said, changing the subject and moving on to a lighter, easier topic of conversation.

“She does,” Alex confirmed. She moved to the breakfast bar with the tea tray and motioned for Molly to sit before she joined her. “My parents will have moved here by then. I’m sure they’ll want to go. Would you like to join us?”

Molly smiled, wide and warm. “I wouldn’t miss it for anything.”


Harry’s eyes slid to the side as he caught Alex walk into the bathroom in his peripheral vision. His lips curled up slightly as he watched her lean against the counter, watching him as he ran his razor slowly over his jaw. She was clad in shorts and one of his button downs and her hair – still wet from her earlier shower – was pulled up on top of her head.

“Whatcha doin’, love?”

“I just sent Emma off to Louise’s. Now I’m just waiting for Anna to get here to get me done up for today,” she answered, moving to sit on the counter as she continued to watch him. They were due to make their appearance at the Royal Ascot later that morning – their first event that kicked off a very busy month of June for them. Harry’s grandparents would be attending, of course, as well as Edward and Sophie and his Uncle Andrew.

“Who came to get Emma? Edward?” Harry asked. His gaze moved to her for a moment while he ran his razor under the faucet.

“Louise and James’ nanny,” she replied. “Louise was with her. She’s so sweet. I’m glad her and Emma get along so well.”

“Me too,” Harry nodded as he pulled the razor back to his face.

Silence fell in the room for a few moments as he methodically shaved and Alex watched. Her lip tugged between her teeth for a moment and he could almost hear the wheels turning in her head, knowing that something was on her mind. But he was quiet, letting her work it over until she was ready to let him in on what was going on in her head.

“Harry?” she finally spoke, breaking the silence in a soft voice.

“Yes, love?”

“We’re not expected to hire a nanny for Emma, are we?”

Harry turned from his reflection in the mirror, finding Alex’s wide blue eyes with his. He chuckled as he set his razor on the counter and turned his attention to her for the time being. “Why do you ask, Alexandra?”

She shrugged. “Louise and James have one. Henry has one. I just didn’t know if that is something that’s standard for royal children, if it’s expected that Emma should have one.”

He couldn’t help the chuckle that slipped from his lips. “Alex, nannies aren’t royal accessories…”

“Don’t make fun of me!” she interrupted with a laugh, reaching out to smack his arm.

“I’m not!” He reached out and grabbed her hand, pulling it into his. She narrowed her eyes at him and he laughed, shrugging his shoulders. “Okay. Okay. I’m sorry.”

“Be honest, Harry,” she continued, though her lips were smiling. “Don't get me wrong, I don't want to go out and hire a nanny, but I'm curious to know what’s expected, what's traditional.”

“Nothing, Alex. Nothing is expected. Emma is eight years old and for all intents and purposes Molly fills the role that a nanny fills at that age.”

“You mean somewhat of a babysitter?”

“Yes and no,” he answered. He took a deep breath before he continued. “I would never call a nanny a babysitter, just like I would never call Molly a babysitter. She’s a caretaker when we’re working, when we can’t be there to make sure the necessities are taken care of – homework and meals and that kind of thing. There is no need to bring in a nanny now, not when Emma is set in her routines and how she likes things. Unless Molly doesn’t want to watch Emma anymore…”

“Please,” Alex laughed. “She’d kill me if I tried to push her aside for a nanny.”

“Exactly,” he grinned.

“What about when we have more children?” Alex continued, her head tilting to the side slightly with the question.

His eyebrows lifted and he stepped closer to her, forgetting that his face was still half covered in shaving cream. “I think that while Emma is old enough to do things like travel on tour with us without a nanny, when we have small children…”

“They’ll need someone that can travel with us, someone whose job it is to do so,” she finished for him, smiling at how he didn’t tell her how it should be, but still voiced his thoughts and opened it up for discussion.

“Most likely,” he shrugged. “But we don’t have to make decisions on that right now,” he continued. His hands moved to her bare thighs and hers rose to his bare chest as he stepped a bit closer. “Unless you want to go ahead and make a reason to make those decisions now…”

Alex’s eyes flashed wide and a giggle left her lips as he wagged his eyebrows at her, his grin turning a bit smug.

“Oh, is that funny, Alexandra?” he murmured, his lips curving up even higher at the sides.

“It is when you say it with half of your face covered in shaving cream.” She reached up and swiped her finger along his cheek, lifting it to show him the white foam she’d scooped up. He grinned wide and then leaned in without warning, pressing his lips to hers, making her squeal with laughter as he nuzzled his face against hers, spreading the shaving cream from his face to all over hers.

“Harry!” she giggled as his arms moved around her, pulling her closer. Her arms twisted around his neck and just as she was prepared to relax into his arms, to give in to the path the lips now pressing against the skin under her ear would eventually take them, the doorbell rang out into the house. She sighed just as Harry groaned lightly and then chuckled against her neck.

“I suppose that would be Anna,” he murmured as he pulled back, a sight to see with shaving cream haphazardly covering his face and neck. Alex bit back a giggle, knowing she probably looked just as silly.

“It would be,” she nodded as he turned and reached for a hand towel. He quickly wiped the shaving cream from her face for her and then gave her a cheeky grin and a wink as he lifted her from the counter.

“Go get ready, love,” he murmured as he toweled off his on face and then bent to kiss her quickly. “I’ll be waiting for you when you’re done.”

She smiled and then stretched up on her toes to kiss him once more. “Mmmm…promise?”

He grinned. “With my top hat on.”


Their outing to the Royal Ascot went wonderfully. Alex was a little surprised to find that it was an absolutele blast watching the races with Harry’s family. They were lively and competitive and funny and she was delighted to join them in their revelry.

The two weeks after the Royal Ascot that led into one of the biggest events of the year for the British Royal Family – Trooping the Colour – were incredibly busy. Due to Harry’s new job in London, helping to plan out ceremonial events, he was up at the crack of dawn and crawling into bed at midnight, though Alex could tell he was happy and enjoying his work. But not once in those two weeks did let work come in the way of eating dinner with his wife and daughter and tucking Emma in at night. He made time for them amid his impending deadlines and Alex loved him even more.

Alex had been increasingly busy herself. She had begun taking meetings for potential patronages as well as meeting with Cathy Ferrier, the Chief Executive of Sentebale, to discuss and plan out a direct role alongside Harry as she joined him in supporting the cause so close to his heart. She had jumped right in, getting her feet wet by volunteering to help plan and organize the Summer Sentebale party which would be taking place in late July.

Though the day of Trooping the Colour dawned grey and overcast, it couldn’t damper Alex’s happiness to be attending such an amazing, important event with her husband and daughter. She simply loved the pageantry and the traditions of the event. She had watched it on TV most of the years she’d lived in London, and had even stood on the Mall with John the first year she had lived there, in awe of it all as it went by.

By the time they’d made it out of their house at Kensington Palace, Harry looking handsome in his uniform and Alex and Emma dressed in new dresses and light coats to match, and slid into the car that would take them to Buckhouse, the light drizzling rain of the early morning had stopped, making way for just the tiniest bit of sunshine that would hopefully hold for the duration of the ceremony.

And it did, holding off throughout the procession down the Mall and through the balcony appearance. Though they had been in a similar position only a month before for their wedding, it was still exciting and a bit surreal to climb into the carriage and settle in, waiting to pull into the processional behind carriages carrying the other members of Harry’s family. Most everyone was there, with the exception of Kate, who was unfortunately still suffering from HG, and Harry’s grandfather who had a bit of a cold and was staying home at his doctor’s suggestion just in case it rained and became chilly.

They smiled and waved at the people who had lined the processional route down the Mall, Harry and Alex seated on one side of the carriage and Emma on the other. Alex loved that Emma wasn’t shy, that she understood and took their new roles seriously. And she loved how Harry pointed out certain things along the route, talking and keeping them entertained and in that way he had, making sure that even through the waving and the smiling, they looked at ease and comfortable and frankly, like old pros.

A flutter of nerves went through Alex just before they stepped out onto the balcony, remembering the massive crowds that had been out on the Mall just a month before. But when she stepped out she instantly relaxed. The crowds, though huge, weren’t as heavy nor as intense. The focus wasn’t directly on them, though she was more than aware of the sheer number of photos and videos that were certainly being shot from the second they stepped out of the doors.

But the best part of it all – as she had known it would be and was so much looking forward to – was the ceremony outside of Buckingham Palace. She giggled as Harry made some joke about William and his giant black hat as he participated in the ceremony down below. She smiled wide while Harry bent down and explained different parts of it all to Emma, and she listened intently as Harry told her about the planes that moved in formation over them during the flyover.

It was as traditional and beautiful as it always was and Alex felt so grateful and so lucky to watch it from where she stood.

But more than anything, she felt the most enormous sense of pride in being part of it all.


The next event on their calendar wasn’t really an event at all. But in terms of importance, but for Harry it downright trumped anything else that had happened that summer.

One week after their appearance at Trooping the Colour came Father’s Day. It was Harry’s first as Emma’s father and it was Emma’s first where she had someone to make presents for, where there was someone who would be there to open them and express their excitement and moon over the thought and effort she’d put into them.

The truth was that for the Sussex household, Father’s Day that year was almost better than Christmas.

Though Harry had a polo match that day, Emma – with the help of Alex – had planned out a day full of surprises for Harry, starting with a surprise pancake breakfast.

Alex and Emma rose early to get to work in the kitchen. They made a giant stack of pancakes and set up the breakfast bar with every kind of topping that anyone could possibly want on their pancakes. Once they were done, Emma headed upstairs with a giant smile on her face and excitement that she could barely contain to wake up her dad.

She pushed open the door to the room and giggled when she saw Harry, sleeping on his back with his arms flung over his head. She stepped quietly into the room and then with another giggle she ran straight for the bed and jumped on it, startling Harry and sending his eyes flying open.

“What in the…”

“Happy Father’s Day!” Emma sang out, throwing her arms in the air as she did. Her face was happy and bright and Harry immediately just melted, his entire body warming with the emotion of hearing that phrase for the first time.

“Emma,” he laughed as he sat up and pulled her into a tight hug. “Aw, thank you so much, sweet girl.”

“You can’t thank me before I’ve even showed you your surprise or given you your present,” Emma giggled, rolling her eyes slightly.

“I absolutely can.” He bent to kiss her little nose before he pulled back and grinned down at her. “But if you’re telling me there is a surprise and a present, then I have to tell you that I’m dying to know what they are.”

“Okay!” Emma said, clapping her hands in excitement. “Everything is downstairs. Come on, let’s go.”

“Is your mother downstairs too?” Harry asked as he moved from the bed and reached for his robe, pulling it on over his t-shirt and sweatpants.

“Of cooouuuurse,” Emma drawled as she reached out to grab his hand. “Come on, let’s go before it all going gets cold!”

Harry chuckled and let her lead him from the room and quickly down the stairs towards the kitchen. He was more than amused at her excitement and was dying to know for himself what in the world his girls had gotten up to.

“I got him up!” Emma called out to Alex as they pushed through the kitchen door and everything came into view.

“You did!” Alex grinned wide, watching as Harry took in the spread before him. “Happy Father’s Day, Harry.”

“Wow,” he laughed softly, blown away by how much effort they’d put into everything. “This is amazing, ladies.” He stepped further in, moving first to Alex to kiss her good morning. “I’m stunned.”

“And hungry, I hope?” Alex said with a soft smile, her eyes shining up at him. She knew just how much all of this meant to him, how he was probably just swimming in emotion. She loved that about him.

“Very hungry,” he nodded quickly.

“You go first, Daddy,” Emma directed, holding out a plate for him. “It’s your special day.”

“Well, thank you Emma.” He took the plate from her and then kissed the top of her head. “Though it’s a special day for all of us, really.”


After breakfast, after they had all stuffed themselves silly and frankly, all had a bit of a sugar rush from the various toppings they had put on their pancakes, Emma decided that she couldn’t wait a second longer to give Harry his present. She went and pulled it off of the counter and went right back over to where he sat at the table, holding it out to him with an excited, impatient grin on her face.

“What’s this?” he asked, his eyes lighting up as he took the wrapped box carefully in his hands.

“A present, duh,” Emma giggled. She moved back to her seat and plopped down, waiting eagerly for him to open it.

“I can see that,” Harry chuckled. His eyes slid to Alex and he took in the look on her face, how her eyes were soft and she bit her lip in anticipation, waiting for him to open it. “I take it that you know what this is?” he asked her teasingly.

“A present, duhhhh,” she answered with a smirk, bringing a shout of laughter from him.

“Fair enough,” Harry nodded. His eyes moved back down to the present and his fingers carefully pulled at the paper, tearing it away to reveal a slim, plain white box. He lifted the top from the box and pushed the folded tissue paper inside of it aside. “Emma…” His lips spread into a slow smile as he lifted the item from the box, his eyes still taking it in. “This is…”

“It’s a tie,” Emma said, matter of fact. She moved from her chair and over to him, wanting more than anything to explain it to him.

“I can see that,” he grinned and looked up to her. “Did you make this?”

“I did,” she nodded proudly. “Well, sort of,” she giggled. “I know you love animal ties so I drew all of the animals that Mummy and I could possibly think of. I made them all small and neat so they would all fit and look good. Then I signed it here,” she pointed to her signature on the tie. “And then Mummy took it and had my drawing made into a tie for you.”

“That’s amazing!” Harry said, genuinely thrilled with the thought they’d put into it. And it looked really good too. The tie maker had taken Emma’s drawings and put it with a fabric and a pattern around the small animals that really tied it all together. “Thank you. I love it so much.”

“Really?” Emma’s eyebrows lifted hopefully. “You don’t have to wear it if you…”

“Of course I’ll wear it,” Harry interrupted. He reached for her and pulled her into a tight hug. “I would be honored to wear it. Thank you so much, Emma.”

She grinned as she hugged her arms tightly around his neck. “You’re welcome, Daddy. I love you. Happy Father’s Day.”


After breakfast and after Emma had given Harry her amazing present, they’d spent a bit more time wrapped up in their warm family moment before having to start getting ready for the day; for Harry’s polo match that afternoon.

The day was absolutely beautiful. The air was warm and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky as Harry drove them out of London and into the country towards the Beaufort Polo Club. He relished opportunities like that; driving easily along the roads with Alex right next to him and Emma in the backseat with Gus next to her, his head hanging out of the half-open window, tongue hanging out and ears flapping in the wind. It felt normal and relaxed and these were the types of moments that he absolutely cherished.

“I love it when you smile like that,” Alex said, drawing his attention to her for a moment. His smile widened before he turned his attention back to the road.

“Smile like what?”

“Like you’re so content.” Her voice was soft and sweet. “With everything.”

“Well then, you must see this smile a lot, my love.”

Alex grinned. “Quite a bit lately, actually.”

Harry turned and winked at her before reaching for her hand and pulling it to his lips. He kissed her fingers softly before entwining them with his and moving them to rest on his leg. “Thank you for coming out today, for taking part in all of this. I know you had a busy week, but it means a lot to me that you and Emma will be there…especially today.”

“We wouldn’t be anywhere else,” Alex said with a wide smile and a shrug. “Especially today. Right Emma?”

“Right!” Emma immediately answered from the backseat.

Harry chuckled as he glanced at her in the rearview mirror, her little blonde head bent over the book she was reading. “You don’t even know what you’re agreeing too, Em.”

Emma lifted her head to look up to the front seat and she shrugged. “It doesn’t matter. Mummy is always right so I agreed.”

Alex laughed and turned a smug smile in Harry’s direction, whose shoulders were shaking with laughter as he turned a corner and the polo fields came into view.


The polo match was quick and fast paced and just as he’d assured her so smugly before it all began, his team had won easily. No doubt boosted by Harry’s high spirits and his desire to be on the team that Alex would be presenting the prizes too at the end of the match.

Alex couldn’t help the way her cheeks flushed when the announcer called her name to come up to do just that - present the prizes to the members of the winning team, including her husband. Her lips curled up in a smile as she made her way to stand by the podium. Her eyes caught Harry’s as she went and her cheeks pinkened more at his gaze, at the smug, smirk of a smile he flashed at her.

She reached out to shake the announcer’s hand when she stepped up to him, her smile turning wide and friendly as he handed her the first trophy. He called out the player’s name and he strode over, grinning as he accepted the trophy from her and then kissing her cheeks.

“Watch it!” Harry jokingly called out to his teammate, bringing a loud laugh from the crowd and his wife. The next player was called out, followed by a smiling William and Alex handed them their prizes as they came up and kissed their cheeks, just as she had the first. Harry was last in line and Alex’s eyes danced when the announcer pulled the microphone to his lips to call up Harry.

“As much as our final team member, the Duke of Sussex, would probably love to be presented his prize by his lovely new bride, there is another lady in his life who would like to do the honor today.”

“Uh oh!” Harry called out as he pulled at his collar with a joking look of nervousness, pulling a rumble of laughter from the crowd. Alex laughed as well and shook her head before sending a playful wink in Harry’s direction.

“As it is Father’s Day,” the announcer continued. “Princess Emma would like to come present the Duke with his prize.”

Harry’s face lit up as a murmur of delight went through the watching crowd. Alex waved at Emma to come up and she did so instantly, walking swiftly with a wide grin on her face. She shook the announcer’s hand just as Alex had done and then took the trophy as the announcer called for Harry to come collect his prize. He strode over, his smile so wide that Alex had to suppress a giggle at the thought that his face might split in two.

“Here you go, Daddy,” Emma smiled wide and proud up at him as she handed him the trophy. “Congratulations!”

“Thank you, Emma Rose.” The pride was evident in his voice as he took the trophy from her. He knelt down to her level, pressed a kiss to each of her cheeks, and chuckled when she threw her arms around his neck, hugging him tight.

Alex watched, her smile bright and her eyes full of love as her daughter and husband hugged and then spoke a few words to each other, both of them laughing as they pulled apart and Harry stood back up again. Holding tight to Emma’s hand, he made his way over to Alex, his smile widening just before he leaned in to kiss her cheeks.

“You two are conspiring to take me down today, aren’t you?”

“Of course,” she winked up at him, trying not to let herself get affected by how he looked right then – slightly sweaty with his wide, happy smile and flushed cheeks. “Though I think you and Emma took down the entire crowd just then.”

“Fair enough,” he chuckled with a shake of his head. “Alright ladies, we’ve got some pictures to pose for with the team and then we can head out to Highgrove. Father is already there waiting on us, I’m sure.”


“I hear you’ve chosen most of your first patronages, Alexandra.”

Alex turned a warm smile to her father-in-law as they walked the grounds from the treehouse back to the main house. They had helped Emma surprise Harry with an arsenal of Nerf Guns and Super Soakers in the treehouse, to replace all of the old toy guns that he and Emma had played with up in the treehouse two summers before. With her husband and daughter caught up in playing soldiers with all of their new toys, she chose to walk back to the house with Charles and let them have some alone time for a bit.

“I have,” she answered as she pulled her cardigan tighter around her against the cool breeze of the late afternoon.

“And?” Charles chuckled. “May I ask what you’ve chosen?”

“I’m fairly certain you already know,” Alex laughed, turned a glance at him. “I’m thinking that maybe you have an opinion or suggestion for me?”

Charles’ warm laugh rumbled through him, his eyes crinkling up at the sides, much like Harry’s did when he laughed like that. “Straight to the point, much like my son. Very well then, I am familiar with your choices so far. You’re joining Sentebale with Harry, of course. And then your former organization, Healing Families Through Friends, which is wonderful.”

“It’s too close to my heart not to continue to lend my support,” Alex murmured with a soft smile.

“Of course, of course,” Charles nodded. “And then you’ve chose The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. I have to admit, that one surprised me, though pleasantly so. No royal has ever been patron of the RSPCA before.”

Alex’s smile pulled wide. “I know it’s not a traditional choice, that it deals with animals and not people…but it’s something I believe that people need to get more heavily involved in. There are far too many animals that are being mistreated and going unloved out there. There are too many animals in shelters that need good homes. There are too many animals that get put down because there is no more room in those shelters.”

“I think it’s a wonderful cause, Alexandra. And I understand that Gus came from a shelter?”

“He certainly did.”

“That’s good. Being patron of the RSPCA and having a dog from a breeder would raise some eyebrows certainly.”

“Certainly,” Alex chuckled, bringing a shake of the head and a laugh from Charles.

“I realize you still have a couple more patronages to choose, but if it’s alright I thought I might bring one up for your consideration. Would you mind?”

“No at all,” Alex answered, her voice lifting with her curiosity.

“Camilla is involved with several literacy programs for young people, one of which is called Book Trust.” Charles stopped walking for a moment and Alex halted with him, turning to look at him as he spoke to her. “I know how you’ve instilled your love of reading in Emma, how important it was to you that she developed a love of reading herself. Book Trust aims to do that for young people and it seems like something you’d really love to get involved in.”

A bright smile lit up Alex’s face and her eyes went wide. “Wow. Charles, I’m so touched that you would suggest Book Trust to me. What about Camilla? She’s on board with this suggestion?”

“Oh yes,” Charles smiled and laughed. “She wanted to ask you herself but she couldn’t be here this weekend, so she asked me to do so for her. She would love to work with you on things for Book Trust.”

“I would love that,” Alex exclaimed with a quick nod of her head. “Can you have her send over some information on Book trust for me? Maybe let me know who our office needs to contact to set up a meeting?”

“Absolutely,” Charles nodded. “And you’re sure you don’t mind at all? It’s just a suggestion and there is no pressure to feel like you have to choose it or even consider it.”

“No no, I don’t mind,” she assured him. “Not at all. I’m thrilled that you and Camilla thought of me.”

“Good, good,” he smiled warmly as he turned towards the house against and Alex followed suit. “Now tell me, Alexandra, who do you think is going to win that game of play soldiers going on in that treehouse right now? My money is on Emma.”

Alex’s peal of laughter rang through the gardens as she nodded her head in agreement. “I think you’re right, Charles. He never had a chance against her.”


It was much later that night when things finally wound down. After dinner and a rowdy game of Go Fish in the Library, Emma had finally crashed, barely keeping her eyes open long enough to change into her pajamas and crawl into bed. Charles had bid them a good night and Alex and Harry had retired to their room, both tired but happy as they moved about and dressed for bed.

Alex had just pulled back the sheets on her side and climbed into the bed, more than ready to move in next to her warm, handsome husband and give him her own special brand of Father’s Day present, when her phone rang out from her bedside table.

“Who could possibly be calling me now?” she groaned as she reached for it to look at the caller ID.

“Tell them to bugger off. Or better off, don’t answer,” Harry grumbled as he wrapped his arms around her from behind, his lips pressing against the back of her neck.

“It’s Matt…” she said softly, her eyes flashing wide as she ignored Harry’s instructions and slid her finger across the screen before pulling it to her ear. “Hello?”

Harry sighed but kept his arms around her as she listened and then turned to him with wide, excited eyes.

“Okay Matt, be safe,” she said softly, a soft smile moving across her face. “We’ll see you soon. Keep me updated until then.” She hung up the phone and then turned towards Harry, her eyes filling with tears.

Harry grinned, immediately knowing what was going on and no longer caring about the interruption. “Well love, what did Matt have to say?”

“Sorry baby, but we’ve got to go back to London.” She grabbed his face between two hands and pressed a firm kiss on his lips. “Charlotte’s in labor.”