Status: Active

Dear God

Chapter 13

Things in Huntington Beach, got a little crazy with the band being in the studio, Lilly starting school, and myself joining the PTA at both schools, training for a new job, and getting settled in the new house. It was hard at first but once Imgot the swing of things, it wasn’t bad. Most days were easy, especially when Matt was around to help out with things.

We had quickly established a routine when it came to the kids and it made things just a little bit easier for me as well as for Matt. He would drop the kids off at school and I would pick them up. Most of the times I’d bring them back to my place and cook dinner. But sometimes I would just drop them off at Matt’s and Lilly and I would go back home. Some days were crazier than others, especially if Matt had to be at the studio or had something to do for the band. He was always good about taking them to school, but there were times were Jesse and Carly would spend the night at my place, which usually meant Matt stayed the night. Those nights were my favorite.

Today was one of the rare crazy days where I needed to be in three places at once and Matt wasn’t around to help me out. I sighed and leaned my head against the head rest running through a mental checklist as I listened to Carly and Lilly chatting away in the back seat. The two of the them were inseparable and it brought me so much joy. I actually missed their chatter when it was just me at the house. I was so happy that Lilly had found a friend so quickly.

I smiled when I saw Jesse walking towards the car, waving to his friends as he did so. “Hey bud,” I turned in my seat to greet the boy as he climbed into the open back seat. “How was your day?”

“Okay.” He said softly, not meeting my eyes. This was unusual for him, Usually when he got out of school he was a ball of energy and was talking my ear off, but not today. Today he was staring out of the window and dodging my questions or giving me one word answers. I wasn’t one to worry quickly, but I knew how cruel kids today could be and things haven’t been the easiest for Jesse or Carly lately.

“Is everything okay, Jesse? Did something happen at school?” I asked softly, glancing at him through the rear view mirror, as we sat at a red light.

“No..” he trailed off.

“Okay.” I said softly, dropping the subject until we got home. I didn’t want to push him to talk to me, but I couldn’t stop wondering what was going on with him. I decided that I’d try and talk to him one on one and see if he would say anything, if not then it was up to Matt.

When we got to the house, I made everyone a snack and even got the girls to settled down for a small nap which left just Jesse and I. He hadn’t said much since we got home, so I wasn’t surprised to see him curled up on his bed with one of his action figures. I tried to talk to him again, but he didn’t really say anything new. He kept promising me that nothing was going on, but his demeanor was telling me otherwise. After finally leaving him alone, I went down to the kitchen to do some baking to kill some time.

Later that evening, Matt came by to get the kids. “It smells good in here!” He called loudly as he opened the front door. I chuckled and continued reading my pamphlet from work. “Hey, babe. How was your day?” He asked, sweetly, kissing the top of my head as he entered the living room.

“It was good, I hate training but it will be worth it.” I smiled. “How was your day?”

“It was good, we got further on the album. We’re hoping we’ll be able to release a single soon.” He grinned. “How were the kids?”

“They’re fine. The girls talked non-stop, like normal.” I shifted so that my legs were tucked under me. “Hey, listen, when I picked Jesse up from school today he seemed off. He told me nothing happened at school, but he wasn’t himself. He seemed to have something on his mind, but wouldn’t talk to me. I’m a little worried about him.”

Matt sat up straighter and looked over at me. “What do you think is the problem?”

I shrugged. “It could be anything at his age. I’m not worried that something bad is happening, but it is clear that something is bothering him and I figured since he won’t talk to me, maybe he’d talk to you.”

Matt nodded. “I’ll talk to him after dinner. If you’re not overly worried, than neither am I. Life of an almost six year old is rough.” He chuckled.

“Speaking of dinner, are you feeling anything in particular?”

“PIZZA!” Lilly’s voice called from my bedroom.

Matt and I laughed. “Lilly, what have I said about listening into our conversations?”

“Sorry Sissy!”

“How’s pizza sound?” I asked with a laugh.

Matt quickly agreed and put our order in. “I’m going to take Jesse with me, maybe see if I can get any information out of him.”

Matt’s POV

After talking with Caroline I was a little worried about Jesse. He wasn’t one to withhold something from me. So I decided he was going to go with me to get the food. Like always he was excited to go somewhere with me, but I could tell there was something bothering him.

“You want to tell me what’s going on, Jess?” I asked, once we were on the road.

Jesse sighed dramatically, causing me to chuckle. “Does Carrie love me, daddy?”

My breath stuck in my throat at the hesitation and uncertainty in my son’s voice. “Of course she does, buddy. Why do you ask?”

“Because we have a day where our mommies come into class for their special day. I don’t want my mommy to come, so I was going to ask Caroline but I’m afraid she’ll say no.” The sadness in his voice had me twisting in my seat to look at him. He had his head down and was playing with the buckle of his seat belt. Sometimes I keep forgetting the impact that Melony had on these kids. She really messed them up when it came to maternal love.

“I know for a fact that she would love to go to that with you, Jesse. You just have to ask her..” I smile. “You should do it after dinner.”

Jesse’s face lit up and he began bouncing in his seat. This was my normal Jesse, talking a mile a minute and asking a million questions about the studio. I loved that he wanted Caroline’s affection and approval on things now more than ever, it showed that he was comfortable with her and trusted her. As for Caroline, I was so glad that she knew Jesse enough to realize that something was bothering him and she tried to get to the bottom of it before bringing it up with me. That showed me that she had a relationship with my kids and paid attention to them. Which is far more than Mel ever did for them.

I sighed, running my hand down my face. I hated that I kept comparing Caroline to Melony because I knew they were nothing alike, but I couldn’t help it. Melony was a massive disappointment when it came to being a mother….well by the end she was bad. When Jesse was born, she was over the moon and attentive as well as involved. Once Carly was born though, that’s when things began to change and not for the better.

I pulled into driveway and smiled when I saw the girls running around the yard while Carrie sat in the chair with a glass of wine.

“I’m going to ask Carrie after dinner” Jesse yelled when I put the truck in park. I smiled and kissed the top of his head before letting him out of his seat.

I couldn’t keep the smile off my face as I approached the porch and Caroline beamed at me.

This was where I wanted to be.

Caroline’s POV

Later that night, after dinner, I was sitting in bed watching Netflix and reading one of the real estate books April gave me, when Jesse walked into the room and stood at the foot of the bed. He had a piece of paper in his hand and was looking down at it and back at me nervously.

“What’s up, Jess?” I asked softly, pausing my movie and putting the book down. Without a word he rushed to my side of the bed and thrusted the paper at me. Curious, I took it from the nervous boy and looked down at it. My heart stopped at the words on the paper:

You are invited to a Mom & Me day at the school on May 10 starting at 10 am to celebrate everything you moms do for your students.

Tears stung my eyes as I looked back at him.

“I was….I was” Jesse took a deep breath and finally met my eyes. “I was wondering if you’d come to our Mom & Me day with me, Carrie.” A small sob escaped as I reached for the little boy and pulled him onto the bed with me.

“I would be honored to spend the day with you, Jesse. Thank you for asking me.” I smiled through my tears and kissed the top of his head. “Is this what was bothering you after school today?”

He nodded and picked at a fuzzy on the blanket. “Yeah.” He whispered. “Tomorrow was the day that Miss Davis needed to know and I hadn’t asked yet. I was afraid you wouldn’t want to go…” He trailed off.

“Oh sweetie.” I kissed the top of his head, smoothing his brown hair down some. I placed my hand under his chin so that he was looking at me. “Jesse, I want you to listen to me okay?” I asked softly, smiling when he nodded and turned so he was facing me. “ I know you haven’t known me too long but I don’t want you to be afraid to ask me questions, especially something like this.” I said, holding up the flyer. “I may not be your real mom, but I love you just as much as I would if I were.”

“You are a better mom to us than my real mom.” He said, seriously.

“Oh Jesse, I try bud. I try.” I hugged him tight. “Listen, on that day why don’t you and I spend the whole day together. We can do whatever you want.”

“Really?! We could go see dad at the studio?” His eyes lit up.

“Well I’d have to talk to them and see if it was okay if we stopped by for a little while, but yes if that’s what you want to do we can. But I was thinking something more like go-karts and pizza.”

“That sounds way better than hanging out with dad and the guys.” He laughed.

“Hey!” Matt cried from the door, walking in on the last bit of our conversation, causing Jesse and I to fall into a fit of giggles. Matt smiled at his son before walking further into the room. “Alright bud, it’s your bed time. Go get ready and I’ll be in to tuck you in in a few minutes.”

“Do you think Carrie could do it tonight?” He asked, looking at me before turning back to his father. “ I mean, we are in her house.” He shrugged like it was the most obvious thing ever.

Matt looked over at me with a smirk before kissing the top of Jesse’s head. “Of course she can, but you have to be in bed with your teeth brushed within the next five minutes.” Matt told him.

That was all Jesse needed to hear before he was off the bed and in the bathroom with the door slamming behind him. Matt and I chuckled, looking at each other. I looked down at the flyer and couldn’t stop smiling.

“He was so nervous to ask you.” Matt said quietly, pulling his hoodie off and tossing it on the chair in the corner. “He told me that he had been thinking of a way to ask you all day.”

“I’m so glad he wants me to go.” I beamed.

“Care, he loves you. He asks when you’re coming to live with us all the time. He’s not use to the maternal attention and he’s a totally different kid now that I see he’s getting what he needs. Carly too. My kids adore you.”

Tears burned my eyes at Matt’s words. I loved his kids with all my heart and I would do anything for them. Spending time with them made me wonder when Matt and I were going to have one of our own. We already were kept on toes with our three now, but we didn’t have a little one running around that was half Matt and half me and I wanted that. But it was too soon to even bring up the idea of us trying to get pregnant. Hell, we weren’t even officially living together yet.

When I walked into Jesse’s room, he was scribbling away at something on his bed. “Alright, little man, time for bed.” I said, picking up his discarded clothes and putting them on his desk. “Did you pack up your book bag again?” I asked him, looking around for the bag in question.

“Yep. Dad helped me before I came to you.” He looked up at me with nervous eyes again. “You’ll really come to the Mom & Me day?”

I took a seat on the edge of his bed. “Of course I will, Jesse. I wouldn’t miss that for the world. It means so much to me that you want me there with you.”

I was shocked when the six year old launched himself at me. “I love you, Carrie.”

Tears once again burned my eyes as I held the little boy tightly. “I love you, too, Jesse. Now get some sleep, okay? I’ll see you in the morning.”

Jesse laughed, slipping under his covers. “No you wont. Daddy is going to let you sleep again. He always does when we stay.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at the kid’s statement. “You’re right, he does, but that’s to save you guys from the monster that I am in the mornings.” I stuck my tongue out at him causing his laughter to bounce off the walls. “Alright, goodnight Jesse. Sleep tight.”

“Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” He screeched, throwing his blankets over his head with another giggle.

Chuckling to myself, I shut his door and made my way down the hall to check on Lilly and Carly. I poked my head in and saw that both girls were sound asleep with their stuffed animals from the time Matt brought the kids to Iowa and we went to the amusement park. I pulled their door closed and made my way back into my room where Matt was messing around on his phone. With a sigh, I threw myself on the bed on my stomach and waited until Matt was finished with his task.

When he put his phone down, he smiled at me. “I love you, you know that?” He said softly, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear before cupping my cheek.

I pushed my face into his hand, loving the feel of skin on mine. “I love you, too, Matt.”

Matt smiled lovingly at me before kissing me tenderly. My heart fluttered and my stomach flipped at the love the kiss held. There was no urgency, just deep, passionate kisses. With a low growl, Matt rolled on top of me, slightly pinning me to the bed and kissing me a little deeper. My hands found their way under his t-shirt, enjoying the feel of Matt’s muscles flexing as he kissed me. I scraped my nails down his back, loving the way he growled deeper in his throat and thrust his hips into mine.
“Matt.” I gasped. “Matt, we can’t. Not right now.”
Matt groaned with a deep chuckle. “I know. But I just want you so bad right now, babe.”
“I know you do, and I want the same thing.” I patted him on the ass. “Let’s get ready for bed. We still have to finish Ozark.” I smirked, slipping out of my pants.

Matt groaned again, adjusting his pants. “Give me five minutes.” He said, rolling off the bed and heading into the bathroom.

I laughed, “Only five minutes? I’m disappointed Sanders.” I teased.

“Fuck off, Harper. You know I can last longer than that.” He took a step closer to me. “I can show you.”

“Go fuck your self….literally Matt. I’m going to make some tea.”

I laughed as Matt cursed me out as he shut the bathroom door as I walked out into the kitchen. I quickly made myself some tea as I thought about my life so far. I was happy, for the first time in nearly six years, I was actually happy. I was back in California and I had a house. I was training for a job that I was actually excited about, one that would give me the flexibility to spend as much time with the kids I needed to, as well as work from the road if I needed to. Matt and the rest of the band were working on their next album and things were looking good. I was happy.


A few weekends later, Matt took Jesse to the studio with him with the promise of not staying all day since I had decided to hold a cookout last minute. The guys had been slaving away in the studio, working longer days than normal and I had been so busy that I have not had a chance to see the girls in ages. So I had figured a cookout was a good way to unwind and catch up at the same time. Plus, it was the first party to be hosted at my new house, so it was a house warming of sorts as well.

Once I got the house straightened up and ran to the store, I called up the girls and told them to come over. They all quickly agreed that a cookout was a great idea and they all promised to come over before the guys got out of the studio so we could have some uninterrupted girl time. Lilly and Carly were so excited to see their aunts that the start of our get together turned into a nail painting party.
The girls loved every second of it, but soon got antsy. So once their nails were dry I sent them outside to play. This kept them out of trouble and gave the adults a chance to talk freely.

“So how are things going with you and Matt in this living situation?” Lacey asked, taking a sip of her vodka lemonade as we put away the nail polish. She glanced around the kitchen with a smirk at the evidence of Matt being around. There was protein powder containers, notebooks with scribbled down lyrics and melodies, and other odds and ends scattered about.

I smiled watching Carly and Lilly play in the sandbox that the man in question had bought for them last week. I turned to face the girls and laughed at their expressions. “It’s great! He and the kids have been spending more time here than they do at their house, but I’m not complaining. It’s too quite when they aren’t here.” I grinned fondly, with a shrug.

April rolled her eyes lightheartedly. “Why doesn’t he just move in? It would make things easier with the routine you have established.”

“What routine?” Savannah asked. She had been away visiting her family for a few weeks, so when she came back she was more than surprised to see that I had moved here permanently and that it wasn’t with Matt.

“He drops the kids off at school in the morning and she picks them up in the afternoon.” Michelle grinned. “When the guys are at the studio late, he just sleeps here.”

I shrugged, still smiling. “That’s because the kids are already in bed and we don’t want to wake them up.” I stuck my tongue out at Michelle. “It works for us, but some days I get lucky and he doesn’t go into the studio and can do both.”

The girls all laughed and rolled there eyes. “Just move in already!” They yelled.

It was my turn to roll my eyes at my friends. I wasn’t fooling anyone though, we all knew that was going to happen sooner rather than later. I had been going back and forth with how to bring it up to Matt. I was ready for us to live together and he had already made it clear how he felt and was just waiting for me to make the call.

My phone vibrated on the counter and I couldn’t stop the smile from gracing my lips when I saw Matt’s name on the screen.

We are just finished up and we will be home soon. Do you need us to pick anything up on the way home?

“Do we need Matt to grab anything on his way home?” I asked the ladies as we worked on the sides for our little dinner.

“More wine!” April called out with a laugh, emptying the bottle in her hand.

Maybe some more wine? I think there’s enough beer, but we could always use more with you lot ;)

More wine? Didn’t the girls bring any over?

Nope. I told them not to bring anything since it was so last minute. You don’t have to stop and get wine, we can do without it.

No, we’ll get it. I’m just messing with you babe. I’ll see you soon, love ya.

I smiled at his use of the kissing emoji and sent one back of my own before turning my attention to the Mac and cheese I was making.



The sound of Carly and Lilly’s panicked yells for me had me dropping whatever was in my hand and running for the front yard. Carly was crying and Lilly was still yelling for me her eyes staring over the fence.

“Whoa, girls what’s wrong? Carly why are you crying, sweetheart? What happened?” I asked as I quickly looked over the girls for any visible injuries.

“Where’s Jesse?” A voice behind me said, making my back straighten quickly as I turned around. Standing on the other side of my fence was the last person I expected to see, especially at my house.

“Melony, you’re not supposed to be here.” I told the woman, moving to stand in front of Carly and Lilly.
I looked down at the two girls. “Lilly, Carly go inside and see if Aunt Lacey or Aunt Meesh need help with setting the table.” Without a word the two girls took off as I stared at the woman in front of me. I was very aware of the fact that we were alone and I didn’t really know what to do. “Melony, what are you doing here?” I crossed my arms.

“Where is my son? Bring Carly back here!” She demanded.

“In case you forgot, you gave up your rights to your kids. So you don’t get to know where he is and you don’t get to see Carly.”

“I did not give up my rights! Matt forced me to.”

“Oh don’t you even dare! I know for a fact that you left them all by themselves! Who the fuck does that to their children?!”

Melony rolled her eyes at me. “You wouldn’t understand. Plus you don’t have kids so you don’t know what it’s like being a mom.”

I scoffed. “I don’t know what it’s like?” I wanted to scream, who does this bitch think she is? “In case you’re fucking blind, that little girl that was playing with Carly is my responsibility. She’s my daughter”

“I know for a fact that you didn’t give birth to her.” Melony sneered.

“Is that what you think? Just because I didn’t give birth to her doesn’t mean she isn’t my daughter. You think I don’t know the sacrifices it takes to raise a child? How leaving one of the best things to ever happen to me and all my friends wasn’t a sacrifice? Giving up my dream of being a music producer wasn’t a sacrifice? Forget having a social life! I’ve done the all nighters because of an illness. The lack of sleep because of the injuries, illnesses, hunger, and energy of a child. I know all those sacrifices plus the big one of losing my mom at the same time. So don’t you dare come at me and tell me that I don’t know what it takes to be a mother.” My chest heaving with anger. “I love Lilly with all my heart and I love Carly and Jesse just as much. Something you clearly don’t know how to do.”

The two of stood there, glaring at each other. I was vaguely aware of the sound of Matt’s truck pulling into the garage. I thanked my lucky stars that the guys were only at Brian and Michelle’s and that they didn’t live too far from me. At the same time, I didn’t want Matt to have to come to my rescue, I should be able to handle his crazy ex on my own. I continued to stare down the woman when the sound of my name being called caught my attention.

“Carrie! You should hear the songs that the guys are doing!” Jeese’s voice came from the driveway where Matt and the rest of the guys were unloading the cars. I watched in what seemed like slow motion when Jesse rounded the corner and froze in his spot when he noticed Melony standing there.

“Jesse, come here. I missed you, baby.” Mel cooed.

I tried to stifle my laughter when Jesse came over to me and wrapped his arm around my leg, sometimes stealing glances at Mel. “How was the studio, bud?” I asked rubbing his back, trying to show him some comfort and reassure him that everything was okay.

“It was okay.” He whispered and my heart broke. He was always so excited when he got the chance to go to the studio, so I knew he was feeling a certain kind of way with Mel being here.

“Why don’t you go inside with your sisters, bud. See if your aunts need any help.” I suggested, looking down at him before turning my gaze to the unwanted woman with a glare.

“Okay.” He nodded. “Are you coming in too, Carrie?”

I leaned down and gave him a tight hug. “I’ll be in soon. I need to talk to Melony, okay?”

He gave me a tight nod before turning on his heel and practically run into the house where I saw the girls watching what was going on. I hoped one of them was smart enough to warn Matt or call the cops, but I couldn’t worry about that right now. Right now, I had a crazy woman yelling for her son in my front yard.

“Jesse! Jesse, honey come back here!” Mel called after boy. “Jesse Thomas! Carly! Carly come out here! We’re going home you two!”

“Yo! Stop fucking screaming you crazy bitch. You’re going to annoy my neighbors. Speaking of, how the fuck did you find my house?” I snapped at her.

“It’s public record. I knew you wouldn’t be at our house, so I figured this was yours. What I didn’t expect was to see Matt’s name on the deed as well.” She shrugged as if I was common sense.

“So you just decided to come over and say hi?” I laughed humorlessly. “You’re crazy and clearly you don’t understand what a restraining order is. If you did you wouldn’t be here right now. It’s not just the one for the kids you’re violating, it’s for me and Lilly too.” I crossed my arms and stared her down.

Suddenly her demeanor changed right before my eyes. She was relaxed and kept messing with her hair. I raised an eyebrow at her, but she wasn’t paying attention to me.

“Matthew,” Melony whined, looking over my shoulder. “Grab the kids and lets go home. We need to talk about some things.”

Her haze shifted back to me with a glare and I stomped down the urge to flip her off. I felt Matt’s presence behind me before he wrapped his arm around my waist. “I am home and there is nothing we need to talk about. You’re not getting the kids so don’t even try it.”

“But they’re mine! I’m their mother!”

“Not anymore.” He took a deep breath. “You were only a mother when it benefited you. You could have cared less about what happened to Carly and Jesse. You proved that when you left them alone. Caroline has been a better mother to them in the last few months than you have their entire lives. So don’t you dare stand there and insult her or her love for those kids.”

In the distance I could hear the growing sounds of sirens and I knew chaos was going to come raining down on us. Taking a deep breath, I wrapped my arm around Matt’s waist.

“Give it up Melony you’re not going to win. Not Matt and definitely not the kids. You lose.” I stated.

Just at the cops showed up, Melony began screaming at the top of her lungs. Claiming how I stole her kids and that Matt was hers. She tried to climb over the fence but thankfully the cops were quicker than she was and pulled her down. The entire time she was struggling with the cops and yelling at me, at Matt, and for the kids. As they were dragging her away from the house she was able to turn and look back at us.

“I am so glad I got an abortion. There was no way I was letting that bitch touch my child!” She screamed
I was shocked and based on the large, collective gasp behind us, everyone in the house heard that too.

I glanced at Matt just in time to see him take off after Mel “Matt! No!” I yelled reaching for him. I was able to wrap my hand around his wrist and with all my might, pull him back to me. He was vibrating with anger and I didn’t blame him. I was too, but for other reasons. “Matt…baby look at me.” Slowly he took a deep breath and looked down at me. “I know you’re upset right now, but we need to talk to the cops. Can you keep it together for twenty minutes? Then we can go inside and….do whatever we need to do to get over this.” I squeezed his hand and placing my other one on his cheek. “Please? Twenty minutes.”

With a single nod, he took my hand and lead me to one of the waiting officers. After talking with them for a few minutes, they informed us that they would be doing an evaluation and she would be charged for violating all the restraining orders. Once that was done we went back inside to find everything cleaned up and the kids with backpacks on.

“We’re going to take the kids for a little while. “ Michelle informed us. “You guys have some stuff to talk about that they don’t need to hear.” She smiled sadly, turning to Matt. “I-I’m sorry, Matt.”

Matt nodded before crouching down to the kids level. He wrapped both his arms around Carly and Jesse and I heard him whisper a gruff “I love you” I turned to Lilly and gave her a hug and kiss before turning my attention to my friends

“I am so sorry all that happened guys. We were supposed to have a fun night with no drama.” I sighed. “Can you give us a couple of hours to talk this over? I don’t want you guys to leave.”

“Of course!” April exclaimed wrapping me up in a hug. “Go deal with the aftermath of that shit show. We will take the little ones for pizza and maybe a movie.” She grinned when the kids cheered and took off for the car. “Let’s go asshole, we have some very excited children waiting for us” Michelle called.

Matt and I chuckled as we watched our friends wrangle the kids and drive off. The house was eerily quiet except for Matt’s somewhat escalated breathing and the waves crashing out back. I turned to face Matt and found his eyes scrunched shut and his fists clenched and it looked like he was trying to regain control on his breathing.

“Alright, kids are gone. We’re free to talk.” I nearly whispered. “Want to tell me why you’re so upset about this because my mind is all over the place about this.” I sighed trying to not let the doubt and panic fill my voice. There is only one reason for him to be this upset and I was trying to come to terms with it. He had slept with her….how long ago is a mystery but if she was saying she got on abortion it couldn’t have been too long ago.

“She killed….”

“Your baby.” I whispered, tears springing to my eyes. Admitting it nearly broke me.

Matt nodded sadly but then froze. “No baby, no” his face broke out into a grin. “It wasn’t mine.”
“But she just” I pointed out the window dumbfounded.

Matt grabbed my hands and held them between his and against his chest. “She said she got one, doesn’t mean she did. If she did then it wasn’t mine. She and I hadn’t had sex in almost a year. She tried, but by that point you and I reconnected.” He leaned down and kissed me. “It wasn’t mine.”

I smiled and leaned up on my toes to kiss him deeply. “I’m sorry she did that to you. She’s so fucking crazy.” I took a deep breath. “What are we going to do Matt? She knows where we live now and that’s really unsettling. We don’t know what she is capable of.”

Matt sighed and nodded. “I know, I was thinking that too.”

“I don’t want to move….we shouldn’t have to. Maybe we need to invest in a better security system and privacy fencing?” I could feel the panic starting to rise. I looked up at my boyfriend with pleading eyes. “You’re the famous one here, what do we do? Those are my babies now and I will do anything to keep them safe.”

Matt chuckled softly, kissing me lightly. “First thing we need to do is calm down. She’s going to be in jail for a bit, so we have time to plan. We’re not moving…well not all of us.” Matt laid a hand on my cheek, smiling when I instinctively nuzzled into it. “I’m done waiting Caroline, after all of this here today, I’m moving the kids and I here permanently. We’re going to be a real family.”

“Strength in numbers, right?” I smiled, loving what he was saying about being a real family.

“Right.” Matt nodded with a smile. As we stood there staring into each other’s eyes, I watched as his smile turned from carefree to mischievous instantly. He looked around the room and when his eyes landed back on me they were darker and filled with lust.. “We don’t have the kids.” He looked around again and wiggled his eyebrows at me.

I felt my cheeks heat as he looked over me. Even after all the time apart, Matt still gave me butterflies. “What are you implying Mr. Sanders?”

“I want you upstairs, in bed, and naked Miss Harper.” Matt growled, lifting me up over his shoulder, smacking my ass. “Watching you defend the kids had me so hard. You were so hot being all protective.”

“Now you know how I feel when you’re with them.” I stuck my tongue out.

“Oh baby, don’t be sticking that tongue out unless you plan on using it.”

I giggled and blushed like a virgin school girl At his comment, but he knew I had every intention on using it. Much like it was our first time together, there was a lot of flirting and foreplay before we took full advantage of our kids being gone.

X x x x

Later that night, Matt and I were cuddled up under a blanket around the fire with our friends. Everyone was relaxed and having a great time enjoying each other’s company after long days. I couldn’t help but picture this happening frequently and eventually getting bigger as the rest of the group started families of their own.

Matt must’ve noticed I was lost in thought because he kissed my shoulder lightly. “You okay, babe?”
I looked at him over my shoulder and melted at the look of gentle concern on his face, highlighted by the flames. He was beautiful and he was mine. I couldn’t resist not kissing him, so I leaned forward slightly and kissed him. “I love you.” I whispered. “I’m fine, just enjoying being here together with our friends.” I said louder so everyone heard me.

My words were met with cheers and toasts before we all settled into conversations again. It lasted til late in the night and once the fire was dampened, everyone made their ways home.

As Matt was locking up the house, I checked on the kids. I stopped in the girls’ room first and quietly straightened things up before tucking them in again. I quietly left their room and went for Jesse’s. Out of all of the kids, he was the one I was worried about the most when it came to this whole Melony situation. The girls had said that he seemed distant despite his enthusiasm when they went out for pizza, which didn’t surprise me.

I stood in his doorway and watched him sleep, much like I use to do when Lilly was really little. They were some of the quietest and purest moments of motherhood.

“Come to bed Carrie.” Matt’s quiet voice startled me. “They’re fine and we will leave the door open Incase they need us.” He soothed.

I nodded and followed him to our room, quickly realizing how good that sounded in my head. It was no longer my room but our room. I smiled to myself as I got ready and crawled into bed next to Matt, instantly snuggling into his side. He chuckled lightly and wrapped his arm around me as I laid my head on his chest.

“I’m sorry today didn’t go as planned.” He said softly, kissing the top of my head

Shaking my head, I looked up at him. “You have no reason to apologize, Matt. You didn’t know she’d show up. Sure, we knew it was a possibility, but no one couldn’t predicted this.” I leaned up and kissed him “Plus, it finally got you to agree to move in” I winked, teasing him.

Matt laughed and kissed me again before shutting off the lamp next to the bed. “Goodnight, goofball. Love you.”

“Love you too Matt.” I whispered before falling asleep in Matt’s arms.
♠ ♠ ♠

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