Fiona Cullen


Sitting at my desk at work, I was annoyed as hell at the world. Looking out the window at the never-ending grayness of a Montana February, I wanted to scream at it to brighten the fuck up. But, I knew that was unrealistic.

Just like I knew it was unrealistic for Bevvy and me to always be in harmony. But, damn, these past few months had been rough. She’d been worse than a bear to be around, and walking on eggshells sucked.

I knew I could be an idiot and I wasn’t always the most sensitive guy, but she could at least give me a roadmap for what would piss her off. However, these days, it seemed like anything would. 

Rubbing a hand over my heart, I tried to push aside the memory of last night’s fight. It had been nasty. But I refused to concede I was the selfish, self-centered asshole she claimed me to be.

When my phone buzzed, I glared at it, half-tempted to ignore it. If she was calling to make up, I knew I should at least attempt to. But, some things couldn’t be taken back. However, I knew with Bevvy, there was little I wouldn’t forgive her. I loved her that damn much.

Glancing at the number, I didn’t recognize it, and hit the button to answer it, expecting it to be a spam call. “Yeah?”

“Is this Reid Burke?” a nasal voice asked.

“Yeah.” I waited, expecting some half-assed sales pitch.

“We have a Beverly Gharrett in the clinic, and she’s asking for you to join her.”

“Clinic?” Already on my feet, I grabbed my jacket, jerking my arms through as I tried not to drop the phone. “Is she ok? Is she hurt? Was there another accident?” My mind raced at what could have happened to my sweet Bevvy. Any thought of our recent arguments fled as fear for her filled me.

“Just come here as soon as you can.”

I stared at the phone as the call disconnected.

Fuck, I had to get to her, and I had to get to her now.



Resting on the uncomfortable exam table, exhaustion nearly overwhelmed me as I battled falling asleep, even only wearing the sheer paper gown they had given me. I knew they’d called Reid for me. I hadn’t had the courage to call him from here. If I had, I’d have blurted out everything, and I needed to see his face when I told him what had happened.

Taking a deep breath, I pushed down my terror as questions filled my mind. What if this changed everything between us? What if he no longer wanted me?

I didn’t know how much time had passed since they’d called him, but I heard a commotion in the waiting room, and suspected he’d arrived. When the door burst open and he strode toward me, his blue eyes gleaming with fear, devotion, and love, I lost control of my emotions, breaking down into sobs.

“Bevvy,” he whispered, standing over me as he wrapped his arms around me, like he could shelter me from anything that threatened me. “Whatever it is, we’ll face it together. I love you, baby.”

“Do you? Will you when you know what I’ve done?” I cried.

He eased away, hooking the physician’s stool with his foot so he could perch on it and be at my eye level. “What you’ve done?” He failed to conceal his fear as he continued to softly stroke his hands over me. “What’s going on Bevvy?”

“I never meant for it to happen. I never thought it would fail,” I gasped out. At his confused shake of his head, I sobbed. “I know I’ve been a bitch and I’m sorry. I came here today to try to figure it out.” I saw the shock in his gaze at me swearing, but there really was no other word to describe how I’d treated him.

“Baby, I can be a bear. It’s me.”

I huffed out a laugh and shook my head. “No, Reid, it’s definitely not you. Although why I’m like this is largely due to you.” I grabbed his hand stroking over my face and kissed his palm before lowering it to my belly. “We’re to have a baby.”

His eyes widened as he gaped at me. “A baby?” After a prolonged moment when it felt like my heart stopped beating, he whispered, “Why are you so sad?” He rose and stooped forward over me, maneuvering me so he could kiss my belly where his hand had been. “Hello, little one. I’m your dad. We’ll meet soon.”

“Not too soon,” I said around a half laugh-half sob. God, he slayed me. “I might lose it.”

He sat with a thunk, his hand in mine gripping it so tightly I winced. “Lose it?”

“Yeah. I have an IUD.” At his nod, I whispered, “They have to remove it, and I might lose the baby.” Tears leaked out. “I’m sorry for being the selfish one, but I didn’t want to go through it alone. I wanted you here.”

“Baby, neither of us is selfish, ok? Your hormones were raging last night,” he said with a grin before letting out a deep breath. “And I’ll be here the whole time holding your hand.” He took a deep, shaky breath. “You wanted me here.”

At the wonder and hope in his voice I nodded, reaching for him as he pressed his forehead against mine. “Always. I always want you with me. I’m sorry for the past weeks. I never meant the things I said. I’m so ashamed…”

Shh, Bevvy.” He kissed my nose and beamed at me. “We’re gonna have a baby and be so happy!” His eyes sparkled with joy, although he couldn’t fully conceal the terror hidden within. “Tell me what the doctor told you.”

“She said the likelihood is small that anything bad will happen, but I…” I closed my eyes as tears leaked out. “I want our baby so much, Reid. I know we didn’t talk about it, but I do.”

I felt him swiping away my tears before softly kissing my cheeks. “As do I, baby.” He rubbed my cheek, waiting until I met his gaze. “Whatever happens, my love for you will only grow.”


“Yeah, principessa.” He grinned. “Although I should start calling you regina, as our baby will be principessa.” At my confused look, he whispered, “Queen. For you are the queen of my life, baby.”

His hold on my hand tightened as the doctor entered, linked in our love and devotion to each other and our baby. As he whispered words of encouragement and love in my ear, I prayed we never lost this, for I’d be lost without him and his love.



That night, I held a sleeping Beverly in my arms as my mind spun with all that had occurred today. When I woke this morning, I’d been a miserable bastard, worried that my relationship with Bevvy had been forever damaged by the harsh words we’d spewed at each other last night. Now, as I held her, I knew nothing could mar what we had.

Just as I’d admitted to myself this morning, I’d forgive her anything.

Especially now that I understood she suffered from pregnancy hormones. Letting out a dep, relieved breath, I relived the terrifying moment when the doctor had removed Beverly’s IUD. I’d expected something dramatic, but instead, Beverly had said she’d felt fine and the doctor had done an ultrasound.

Fuck, hearing the heartbeat and seeing our little peanut floating around inside Bevvy had brought me to my knees. I swiped at my eyes as my hold on her tightened. I thought I knew what love was, and I did, but in that moment, I’d felt the most overpowering love for her. My extraordinary woman. God, how I loved her.

“Reid,” she breathed as she pressed against me.

“Right here, principessa,” I murmured, kissing her neck. My arms remained wrapped around her.

“Are you still staring at the ultrasound pictures?” Her voice held a hint of amusement, as well as relief.

“I set them aside so we could cuddle. But they’re on the bedside table.” I pushed up on my elbow. “Want to look at them?”

She fell back so she could look into my eyes, and I leaned over her. “No, I’ll stare at them later.” She bit her lip. “Did I hear the doctor correctly?”

Grinning at her, I nodded. “Yeah, she said she thinks our baby is fine. Growing well and with no concerns.” I kissed her because I couldn’t help it and then backed up so I could smile at her again. “Marry me, Bevvy.”

She froze, a tiny bit of her happiness leaching away. “Marry you?”

My joy about the day evaporated at her response. “Why don’t you want to marry? We’re having a baby!” I held onto her like she was my lifeline, and I wouldn’t let her go. “I love you and you love me. We’re in this together, Bevvy.”

Tears dripped down her cheeks and she closed her eyes. “I’m so sick of crying all the time.” With a huff, she looked at me. “I wanted you to marry me because you wanted to, not out of obligation.”

Squealing as I tossed her onto her back and loomed over her, my blue eyes blazing, I shook my head as it looked like she wanted to continue to prattle on with her nonsense. “No, Bevvy. Stop talking.” I took a deep breath and then another. “I want to marry you. I’ve wanted to marry you for months, but for some reason we started fighting and it didn’t seem the right time to ask you to marry me when we barely wanted to be around each other.” I shook my head at her when she opened her mouth to speak.

“You don’t have to apologize again, baby. I understand. Or, I kind of do with sisters. I’ll never know what it’s like to have my body taken over by hormones like you. And you have to know I’ll forgive you anything.” At her surprised look, I nodded. “Anything, baby. I love you that much.”

I cleared my throat. “I want to marry you, Bevvy. I want our baby to be born in a home with parents who love each other and who will love him or her. I want everyone to know you are mine and I am yours. Forever.”

“Forever, Reid. I’ve been yours since I can remember. Of course I’ll marry you.”

I groaned, kissing her with every ounce of love in me. “Let’s marry soon so we can go on a honeymoon before the baby is born.”

“A honey/babymoon,” she teased.

“Hell, yes.” I held her in my arms, my life perfect because she was mine and I was hers, just as we were always meant to be.