I originally wrote an epilogue into the ending of Her Soldier’s Touch that got cut during the editing process. This hasn't been edited, but I hope you enjoy.
Colt hovered on the edge of consciousness, caught between the fading images of his dream and the soft lips trying to coax his eyes open. The lips won the bid for his attention as they trailed across his jaw and closed over his earlobe. A warm mouth sucked gently, and he groaned. His father’s angry face finally evaporated, to be replaced by erotic images that had every inch of him standing at attention. Aware of a slight weight on top of him, he opened his eyes. The canopy above him came into focus. Sunlight streamed in through the curtained windows, running in bright streaks across the ceiling above him.
He shifted his gaze and Rachel’s beautiful, smiling face came into focus. Her blonde locks were a curtain around his head. Lying on his chest, she peered down at him, warmth and love shining in her eyes.
“Good morning, Mr. Taylor.” She pressed her mouth to his, kissing him softly.
In awe of her, he reached up, sifting his fingers into her hair, brushing it back away from her face, and returned her kiss. When she finally pulled back, he stroked his fingers over her face, memorizing every detail.
“Good morning, yourself, Mrs. Taylor.” Two months had passed by in a blur since she rescued him from himself. Two weeks after he asked her, they married in a small church, surrounded by their small gaggle of friends and family. He didn’t think he’d ever get tired of calling her by her married name. Loved knowing she was now his. And he knew, because she told him every day, she loved hearing him call her that.
They’d become those newlyweds. The disgustingly cute couple who called each other by their married name. They couldn’t keep their hands off each other, either. They’d worked their way through four rooms in the house already. It was delicious and if it meant he was dreaming, he prayed he never woke up.
He stroked his fingers over her jaw and down the column of her throat, her eyes fluttering closed. He lifted his head and kissed her again. “I love waking up to you.”
“Did it work?” Her eyes opened, that familiar edge creeping into her gaze. The worry. Sleeping beside him meant she’d witnessed one too many fitful nights. Determined to ease the dreams, she’d warned him as they lay in bed last night that she wanted to try something this morning.
“Mission accomplished.” Per Greg’s request, they stayed overnight in his father’s house. They’d done it every weekend in the last two months. They were painting Greg’s room this time. Army green. Rachel was right about two things. Greg adored the idea of fixing up this old house and making it theirs. The kid loved painting.
She was also right that sleeping in his parents’ bedroom left him conflicted. The nightmares still haunted him here, but waking beside her always had the images and the emotions they inspired evaporating as quickly as they came. “Waking up to your beautiful eyes helps a lot.”
It always did. Slowly but surely the nightmares were fading. Though the memories would follow him for the rest of his life, the past was losing its grip on him. Having the two of them really was healing him. He couldn’t begin to tell her what she’d done for him. Her showing up in that airport had changed his whole life.
Relief flooded her face, the tension leaving her body. “I’m glad.”
“I’m afraid we have a problem, though.” He slid his hands down her back and burrowed them under the hem of her nightshirt to curve around her bare bottom. He gave himself a moment to luxuriate in the feel of the soft, round globes in his hands, before pressing her into him. Let her feel his arousal. “Look what you did.”
A slow grin curled across her mouth, hunger flaring in her eyes. “I don’t see that as a problem. I see that as a perk.” Hands braced on his shoulders, she leaned down, caught his bottom lip between her teeth and tugged. “I have a surprise for you, Mr. Taylor.”
“What’s that?” He smiled, lost already in the velvety feel of her skin beneath his fingers and looking forward to the soft, muted moan that would fall from her lips when he slid into her.
She pushed upright, sitting back on his hips, his boxers now the only thing separating them. Her wicked smile said she knew very well she had him right where she wanted him. It was the secretive glimmer in her eyes, however, that gave away her true intentions.
He narrowed his gaze on her. “You have something to tell me.”
If at all possible, her smile widened. Her eyes beamed at him. “I’m pregnant.”
The whispered words hit his chest on a wayward arrow. Everything inside of him ground to a halt, taking his smile with it. He drew his brows together and shook his head, as his mind attempted to process what she told him. “I thought you were on the pill.”
They’d discussed this and decided to do away with the condoms. They agreed they both wanted more kids, but they weren’t ready to be parents again so soon. They wanted to enjoy each other for a while. After spending his life avoiding emotional entanglements, he’d wanted time to get used to married life, to relish simply having a family. He’d assumed it would take him a while, but the truth was, with her, he’d fallen right into it. Spending his life with her came as natural as breathing.
“I was, but I missed a couple. I doubled up like I was supposed to, but…” One shoulder hitched. She bit her bottom lip, worry creeping into her eyes. “Tell me you’re happy.”
The soft uncertainty that crept over her finally snapped him out of his stunned stupor. He sat up, sliding his arms around her, holding her tight. “Are you kidding me?” He pressed a gentle kiss to her mouth. “That’s the second best news I’ve heard in a while.”
She frowned. “What was the first?”
His lips curled against hers as he kissed her. That was easy. “When you told me you’d marry me. It’s right up there with the day you actually did.”
She smiled, her eyes luminous and filled with so much love he was half tempted to pinch himself to make sure he wasn’t actually dreaming. Her brow furrowed, a playful admonishment in her eyes. “You scared me.”
“Sorry, baby. You surprised me. I had to process your news for a minute.” He kissed her softly in apology and dropped his gaze, sliding a hand over her still flat stomach. The thought of a new life awed him. “A baby.”
“Our own family.” She whispered the words, tears filling her eyes.
Her words lodged in his chest. His mind filled with all those visions he had the day he finished the room they laid in.
“Our own family. That’s unbelievable, isn’t it? I’ve dreamt of this my whole life. Something normal and happy.” He cupped her face in his palms, overwhelmed by the swell of emotion that caught him in the chest. “Here you are. I am a blessed man, Mrs. Taylor.”
She gave him a watery smile and leaned in, planting a gentle kiss to his lips. “I love you.”
He tightened his hold on her, more grateful than he had words that she hadn’t given up on him. “I love you, too. So much.”