On One Condition

Page 26

Johanna nodded. “She knows her daddy.”

“Yes,” he said softly, and smiled down at the baby. “Yes, she does.”

Johanna lay back on the bed. Damon cradled their daughter close and kissed her tiny nose. He headed back toward Johanna and handed her a cup of apple juice. His eyes were warm and shining with pride. “You were fantastic.

You’re amazing.”

She smiled and sipped her juice. “She’s perfect.”

“Just like her mother,” he said. “I love you both.”

“I love you, too.”

Damon brushed a finger down the tiny infant’s cheek tenderly. The baby grunted, turning her head before letting out a loud cry. Damon grinned at her, handing the baby to Johanna. “She has your temper, too.”

“Ha ha. Very funny.” She lowered her top and guided the baby to her breast. “She’s only hungry. You cry when you’re hungry, too.”

“Indeed.” He scooted closer and dropped a kiss on the infant’s wispy blond hair. “I don’t blame her one little bit for her choice of dinner, either.” Damon plucked the blue envelope out of his jacket, holding it between two fingers.

“Guess we don’t need this anymore.”

“You can open it now,” she teased. “Go on. Get it out of your system.”

He shook his head but opened it. His eyes widened when he read it. He burst into laughter. “Perhaps it’s good that we waited.”

“Why? What does it say?”

He handed it to her, still laughing too hard to speak. She read it, then started laughing, too. “You see this, Jessica?

You’re supposed to be a boy!”

“No one told her, apparently.” Damon rubbed his eyes.

“Okay. I concede. Next time, we won’t find out, either.”

“Next time?” she echoed, raising a brow. “Who says there will be a next time?”

“Well…there is the issue of an heir. We have to raise one lord in this world who won’t be a greedy prig like his father.”

“Ah, yes.” She nodded solemnly, biting back a grin. “We can’t have your good name die out, now can we?”

“Of course not,” he agreed and kissed her lightly. “But next time, I get to stay in the bathroom. After witnessing childbirth, I think I can handle it.”

She punched his shoulder. “You never give up, do you?”

He kissed her forehead. “Never.”

A knock on the door interrupted them, and Damon drew back with a grin. “Ah. I think Lilly’s here.”

“Come in,” Johanna called.

The door crept open, and Lilly peeked through the door.

Her light brown hair framed her sweet heart-shaped face.

When she saw Jessica, Lilly’s huge smile lit up the room. She stepped inside, then stopped. “Is it a boy or a girl?”

Damon embraced his sister, tugging her inside by the hand. “Come in. It’s a girl. Her name is Jessica.”

“Jessica. Like Mom,” Lilly said.

“Yep. Would you like to hold her? She’s done nursing.”

“Yes.” She nodded. “I would love to hold Jessica.”

Damon guided Lilly to the chair, then collected Jessica.

“Here you go.”

Jessica squirmed, let out a sigh, and closed her eyes. “She likes me,” Lilly said.

“How could she not?” Damon answered. His eyes glistened with unshed tears.

“I like her, too,” Lilly replied.

Damon sat on the ground at Lilly’s feet, whispering soft words to Jessica. Johanna’s heart warmed.

“Will you come stay with us for a little while? In your room?” Damon asked.

Lilly pursed her lips and her forehead crinkled. “For Jessica. But then I will go home.”

Damon shot Johanna an excited grin. “Sounds good,” he said.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Jessica,” Lilly said, brushing a kiss to the baby’s forehead.

Johanna grimaced. “I guess I can’t hate Valentine’s Day anymore, can I? I met you on the night before Valentine’s Day, and gave birth to Jessica on the damn day, as well.”

“Nope. You have to love it now.” When she scrunched her nose, he laughed.

“Fine.” Johanna grinned. “But only if I have you in my bed every Valentine’s Day morning.”

“I think we can arrange that.” His mouth pressed against hers tenderly. “I love you. Always.”

“And I you.”

Together, they watched Lilly and Jessica. Life couldn’t get any better.

It just couldn’t.

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