I Knew You Were Trouble When You Walked In

Chapter Twenty-Eight

"We're gonna be late, Belle!" Leland called from the front door, as Isabelle scurried around their bedroom, trying to find her pumps. She heard him say something to one of the kids before calling out to her once more, "Can you grab Leiah's jacket, babe? It's on her bed."

Isabelle sighed, refraining from running a hand through her wavy hair. She flung open their wardrobe, settling her eyes on the nude pump that had skipped her attention the first seven times she had searched the closet. She slipped it on quickly, grabbed her own coat from the bed, before running into the girls' room and throwing Leiah's cream jacket over her arm. She met Leland at the door, a grin on his face as he saw her. He slipped an arm around her waist, preventing her from heading to the car. He leaned down and kissed her, whispering in her ear, "You look beautiful."

She smiled, leaning up and kissing him once more.

"Ew gross," Cobie shouted from the car, which caused Dakota to laugh. The girls decided to join in, and soon the car was a chorus of 'ewwing'.

"We're going to be late," Isabelle smirked, unlatching Leland's hand from her waist and making her way to the car. She leaned over the front seat, handing Leiah her jacket, and buckled herself in, as Leland opened the driver's door and slipped in, starting the car and pulling out of his driveway.

She rested her head against the seat, smiling as Leland linked his fingers with hers.

"Chaotic, huh?"

"Getting Zahli ready has always been a hassle, but getting myself and four kids ready is near impossible," she laughed.

Leland chuckled, returning his hand to the steering wheel, "Come on, Dakota and Cobie practically get themselves ready."

"She ironed our clothes," Cobie piped up from the back seat, causing Isabelle to give a knowing smirk toward Leland.

As the car slowed at a red light, Leland leaned over, kissing Isabelle's cheek; his lips lingering near her ear, "It's only going to get worse when we have our own kids."

Isabelle coughed slightly, turning to face Leland with wide eyes. Before she could reply to his statement, the car was moving again; Leland turning up the radio as the girls belted out the newest hit.


"Happy birthday," Isabelle smiled, as she embraced Dog, planting a small peck against his weathered cheek.

"Thank you, honey," he responded, before kneeling down to scroop Leiah and Zahli into his arms.

"Happy birthday, grandpa," they chorused, giggling as he lifted them up.

Large, white tables were scattered on the green lawn, protected from the glittering, night sky by a large gazebo. Guests mingled as the music softly escaped the speakers that were littered around the gazebo. A large, white-clothed table held a large birthday cake and glass vases filled to the brim with lollies. A second table opposed the first, which was filled with colorfully wrapped presents. Leland handed the blue-wrapped box of hunting goodies to Leiah and Zahli, who skipped towards the gift table, hoisting it above their heads and settling it on a bare space.

The girls made their way towards Isabelle, handing her their coats before running off to greet Abbey and Maddy. Leland chuckled, resting his hand against her lower back and ushering her towards a table. Isabelle settled the girls coats over a chair, turning to face Leland, a cheeky smirk greeting her.

"What?" she asked, raising an eyebrow suspiciously.

"You just look really good, that's all," he grinned, pulling her closer to him and kissing her lightly.

"You don't scrub up so bad yourself."

A hand fell clumsily on Leland's broad shoulder. Turning to face the person behind him, Leland smiled, "Christopher, how's it, brah?"

The guy behind Leland was tall, slim and pale. He had short brown hair and dark brown eyes, similar to Leland's. A wide, toothy grin filled his face as he glanced over Leland's shoulder at Isabelle. She smiled back, hesitantly, fiddling with the hem of her long, beige coat.

"Belle, this is my brother, Christopher. First born," Leland smiled, wrapping his arm around her waist. "Chris, this is Isabelle."

Christopher grinned goofily, before enveloping Isabelle in a hug. She paused for a moment, taken aback by his absence of personal space, however she reciprocated his hug reluctantly. Isabelle patted his back gently, before stepping back, "Nice to meet you."

"Mama," Zahli tugged her mother's arm, panting slightly. "Mama, I need to go toilet."

Isabelle nodded, scooping Zahli into her arms, "Okay. I'll see you later." She smiled towards Chris, who was pulling faces at Zahli over Isabelle's shoulder. He nodded, and continued his conversation with his brother.


Isabelle sat beside Beth and her friend, Moon, at one of the tables. She scanned the room, her eyes resting on Leland, a smile breaking out on her face. He caught her gaze, smiling back at her.

A nudge broke her daze, "You'll get pregnant if you two keep looking at each other like that."

With widened eyes, Isabelle turned to face Beth, who was giggling. Her laugh caused Isabelle to laugh as well, however she shook her head fiercely, "No more. The house is hectic as it is with all four."

"Four?" Beth snorted, "Sista, try twelve!"

"I have no idea how you survived," Isabelle chuckled.

"It was worth every stressful minute," Beth smiled, resting her hand on Isabelle's forearm. "Just imagine having a baby with someone you are head over heels in love with, and having that person there as you raise them together. It's magical, and it is worth every grey hair that will pop up on your pretty, little head."

Isabelle smiled, glancing back over towards Leland who was deep in conversation with a few men, some she recognised; Kaleo, Sonny and Christopher, and some that she had never met before. She watched as he spoke, laughed and smiled. Her heart pounded against her ribcage, and she bit her lip. He made her feel something that she couldn't even imagine existed in her relationship with Tim. He made her feel weak at the knees, and like her heart would jump out of her chest. He caught her looking at him, and smirked. She let out a small giggle, before turning back to face Beth, "I guess so."

"Let me tell you, sista. When you see the man you love, with the child you created together, it makes you feel overwhelmed with love," Beth smiled. Isabelle could tell Beth wanted to say more, however she hesitated, noticing Leland making his way over to the table.

He leaned down, hovering over Isabelle's shoulder and kissing her cheek, tenderly, "Are you ready to head home? Zahli looks like a zombie, and Leiah's heading the same way." He nodded towards the two girls, who were slumped on uncomfortable, plastic chairs, their eyelids drooping.

"Yeah," Isabelle nodded, standing up, "Let me just say goodbye to your dad and I'll grab Zahli."

After saying goodbye to everyone and strapping their two tired children into their car seats, they were headed home. Dakota was staying at a friend's house for the night, and Cobie sprawled himself across the back seat of the Hummer, his face buried in his phone. As the car pulled into the driveway, Cobie jumped out, making his way to his bedroom. Leland and Isabelle unbuckled their girls and placed them gently in their beds, tucking them in.

After locking the house, Leland fell onto the bed beside Isabelle, pulling her closer to him. She shuddered as his breath wisped against her barely covered shoulder. He kissed it, chuckling slightly. She rolled over to face him, letting her eyes flutter as he brushed a stray hair from her cheek.

"What are you thinking?" he whispered.

Isabelle smiled softly, her eyes remaining closed, "Your little comment in the car."

A laugh escaped his lips, "What about it?"

"I love Zahli more than life, but my pregnancy, my labour, her birth, her first couple of years of life, it was a nightmare. I swore that Zahli would be my only child. I don't know if I want anymore children, Leland," she softly spoke, her eyes fluttering open to gauge his facial expression.

He paused for a moment, his brow furrowed before he leaned over, pressing his lips against hers. She smiled, her eyes scanning his face as they broke away.

"But I've never had a baby with someone I'm madly in love with."

Leland grinned, "Is that a yes?"

He rolled on top of Isabelle, pushing himself up onto his arms as he leant down to kiss her. She laughed, shaking her head, "That's a maybe, sometime in the future." He brushed the hair away from her face, taking in every inch of her face. His eyes lingered on her lips, as he licked his own. He hovered there for a moment, before Isabelle reached up, and cupped her hand on the back of his neck, pulling him closer to her face, "But we can always practice."

His lips hit hers passionately, as her hands fumbled for the hem of his white shirt. Her legs wrapped around his muscular torso, as he groaned, "I love you."

She grinned, "I love you too."