12 Months of Braeden – January

Takes place after the series

“Did you guys know that next week is universal letter writing week?”

Braeden had a feeling his friends didn’t have a clue when letter writing week was or any other non-major holiday, but he asked anyway, hoping it would spark some kind of conversation. The only noise any of them had made recently was a cheer or a groan when one of them did something in the video game they were taking turns playing. It was pretty sad if he thought about it. Not the video game playing part, even though they were all in their thirties, but the silence. Why couldn’t they have meaningful conversations while kicking each other’s asses in Mortal Kombat?

“What are you talking about?” his brother-in-law Declan asked though he didn’t bother to look over at Braeden. Which was probably a good thing since Oliver was getting close to using his finishing move on Declan’s character.

“I was just thinking about what I can do for Andi next week and realized it’s letter writing week. I think I’ll break out the good stationery and calligraphy pens and really make the notes I leave her next week extra special. What are you guys going to do for your ladies this month?”

“Why would we do anything?” Gabriel asked, surprising Braeden. 

Of all the guys in their group, Braeden would have guessed Gabriel was the most romantic of the bunch. Did he not leave Savannah notes throughout the week to tell her how much he loved her or just to wish her a good day?

“Ummm, to make your woman happy, of course.”

“But we just did romantic stuff last month for Christmas, and Valentine’s day is next month, and it’s just January, nothing special about that,” Declan pointed out. 

His statement was followed by affirmations from Gabriel, Oliver, and Logan. Every word out of their mouths hurt Braeden to his core. 

“It’s a wonder Brooklyn hasn’t left your ass. I sure hope you didn’t combine her birthday with Christmas,” he muttered.

“I’m not stupid.”

“Well, I beg to differ. All of you are fools. Haven’t you ever heard of keeping the romance alive? Do you really think your relationships are going to go the distance if you do the bare minimum?”

“And you think writing our wives notes this week is going to do the trick?” Logan asked, the skepticism in his voice not lost on Braeden. He was dealing with a pack of cavemen. He fought the urge to roll his eyes but realized that he could use the moment to teach the dummies what they obviously needed to learn.

“Among other things. You should be doing something every day to tell them how much they mean to you. Your worlds would be absolute shit without your wives. They know it, you know it, but do they know you know it?”


Braeden smiled, waving off Oliver’s question. “You can’t take these women for granted. We all married up when we landed them, and every day we risk the chance that they could realize that and cut bait. Which is why I shower Andi with notes galore, orgasms aplenty, and all the alone time she could ever ask for.”

“Dude…really?” Declan groaned, the sound making Braeden smile. His reaction was exactly why he threw the mention of orgasms into his little speech. Anything to rile his brother-in-law up and make him uncomfortable. He lived for those moments.

“These women deal with your farts, your stinky feet, your children, and your grumpy-ass attitude. They support you in everything you do, and they love you unconditionally even when you don’t deserve it. The least you can do is leave them a note here and there, but honestly, you should probably do more, so you don’t end up a statistic.”

“Come on, man. You don’t really believe that, do you?” Oliver asked as he paused the game and turned to look at him. “Our wives love us. They wouldn’t divorce us just because we don’t romance them twenty-four seven.”

Braeden could feel all four sets of eyes on him, and it warmed his heart. Maybe these boneheads weren’t beyond learning something new. Perhaps he could help them save their marriages before it was too late.

“I could give you all a master class on how to keep your wives happy, and I’m not talking about sex. It’s the little things that will make your marriage last—helping out around the house, planning a spa day for them, giving them the house to themselves for a few hours or a weekend, leaving them love notes in random places. It all adds up. You know the saying, happy wife, happy life. That is one hundred percent my motto.”

Declan scoffed. “Maybe he has to work harder because he’s him.”

“Think whatever you want, dear brother of mine, but if you don’t believe me, ask your sister. We can call her right now and put her on speakerphone. My system is flawless. We’ll be growing old together. Can you say the same for you and Brooklyn?”

“You’re an asshole.”

Braeden laughed. “That may be so, but it doesn’t make me any less right. So should we call your sister or not?”

An hour later, after a lengthy call with Andi, Braeden watched as his protégés concentrated on writing love notes to their wives. His heart swelled inside of his chest with the knowledge that he had single-handedly saved four marriages in one afternoon. He and Andi would have other loving couples to hang out with for decades to come. He wouldn’t have to drop any of his friends because of messy divorces. And he wouldn’t have to disown Declan because everyone liked Brooklyn better.

If he could get these guys to realize the error of their ways, maybe he could help others. He could take his show on the road and teach men all over the world how to be better husbands. The idea had merit. Of course, he’d have to run it by Andi first. She was the ultimate decision-maker in his family. Just the way he liked it.

To My Beautiful Wife,

Savannah, you are the best thing that ever happened to me. I would not be the person I am today if you hadn’t walked into my restaurant and sat at my bar. I can’t wait to grow old with you and love you every day for the rest of my life and beyond.

I love you.

To the Love of My Life,

I used to despise snow. Now, it reminds me of you, and even though it sucks to deal with it here in Seattle, I love it. Every time the snow starts to fall, I remember those days I spent falling in love with you, and I fall in love all over again. They say Christmas is the most magical time of the year, but whoever “they” is, never met you. Being with you is the most magical time ever, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life wrapped up in your magic.

I love you more and more each day.


You are the strongest, most amazing woman…no person I have ever met. I’m in awe of you every day. I fall more in love with you every second I am with you. My world began when we got married. There is no me without you. 

I love you with everything I have.


You know I’m not very good at expressing my feelings. Hell, I’m not really good at expressing myself, period. But I hope you know that I love you more than I could ever say. Every day I worry you’ll realize I’m not worth the headache, and the sad thing is, I’d totally understand. I hate to admit that I learned something from Braeden, but I promise I will never take you for granted. You are more than I could’ve ever hoped for, more than I thought possible, and more than I deserve. You and our children are my world, and I won’t let a day go by that I don’t prove that to you.

I’ll love you forever and always.


Your ass looks amazing in those jeans.

Love, Braeden