Sylvia’s stomach rolled as the electronic voice alerted them that they were close to their destination. Not that she couldn’t see that for herself. The streets of Holly Grove passed by her window as Logan drove toward the bed and breakfast they’d been stranded in years ago. Sometimes it felt like forever, yet others, like at the moment, it felt like it was just yesterday that they’d first met—strangers who were desperate to get to Seattle but stranded because of the snow.
Agreeing to get in the car with Logan a little over three years ago was the dumbest yet best thing she’d ever done. Since then, they’d returned to Holly Grove once a year, but this year was going to be different. The beautiful small town would always hold great memories for them, and Sylvia planned to add another one while they were there that weekend.
Keeping the secret from Logan for the last week was one of the hardest things she’d ever had to do. More than once, she nearly blurted out the two words that were going to change their lives forever. But she wanted the announcement to be unique, something they’d remember because of where it happened and now how it happened.
The entire situation was scary as hell. She had no idea how Logan was going to react to the news. Not that they hadn’t talked about having kids someday, but that someday was supposed to be further down the line. It was way too soon. They weren’t even married yet.
Except, to Sylvia, the timing felt perfect. She was ready to be a mom, even though the prospect scared her shitless. She never thought she was capable of being a good mom or a good partner. Her own mother was a terrible example, or rather the perfect example of what not to do. Her friends, on the other hand, were the ones who taught her how to love. They taught her how to be the kind of mother she always wished hers was.
“Sylvia, earth to Sylvia.”
Startled, she turned to look at Logan. “Huh? Did you say something?”
He laughed. “I’ve tried to get your attention for the last few minutes. What are you thinking about so intently over there?”
Her brain stuttered, trying to come up with something before she gave away her secret. She only had to wait a little while longer before Logan learned the truth when they walked into their room. Blurting out what was going through her head right now would ruin everything.
“Sorry, I didn’t sleep great last night. I was kinda just zoning out,” she said, which wasn’t wholly a fib. She hadn’t slept all that well the night before because she was so excited and nervous for their trip.
“You should’ve slept on the drive over.”
She smiled over at him. “I’m too excited to sleep. You know how much I love coming to Holly Grove.”
“I do. You love it as much as I do. I owe this place and that damn moose everything. If it weren’t for them, I’d like to think we’d still have figured out we were made for each other, but Holly Grove gave us the push we needed. I’ll forever be grateful for that.”
“Me too. I love you.”
“I love you, too, Sylvia. More than I can ever put into words.”
A familiar warmth coursed through her. It was always this way when she remembered she was loved so totally and completely by a man she wasn’t always sure she deserved. Logan never hesitated to tell her and show her how much he loved her, but Sylvia had spent so much of her childhood not feeling worthy of love it was always a jolt to her system. Someday, she hoped accepting love easily would be as second nature as breathing. Eventually, she’d be able to put her past behind her for good.
As soon as they parked, Logan was out of the car and around to her side before she could even get her seatbelt off. Not that she would’ve opened the door on her own even if he’d taken his time; she’d learned her lesson. Her fiance was an old-school gentleman, and she surprisingly loved that part of him, even though she’d spent so long taking care of herself.
“So, after we check-in, what do you want to do first?” Logan asked as he pulled their suitcases out of the trunk.
“Once we put our stuff away, I’d love some food.”
“I think that can be arranged, my love.”
The check-in process was quick and easy since Heidi had everything ready before they got there. While Logan was signing the registration card, Heidi winked at Sylvia, the sign that everything was set up in their room.
Moisture spread along Sylvia’s palms, and her stomach rolled again as they started walking up the stairs to their room. This was it. There was no turning back now. In a few minutes, Logan would see what she had Heidi set up for her, and he’d know the secret she’d been hiding for a week. What if he wasn’t happy about her surprise?
With that thought, nerves turned to dread with every step she took. She was a mess. What the hell was she thinking? She should’ve just told him at home. That way, if things didn’t go the way she hoped they would, she could just run to Meghan’s or Savannah’s and hide out. In Holly Grove, she didn’t have anywhere to go if things went sideways. And there’d always be the long, awkward drive home with Logan if he didn’t take the news well.
She followed Logan slowly to their room, then waited in the hallway as he opened the door and walked inside. Her chest ached with the breath she held as she watched him walk toward the bed where the surprised waited. He looked over at her, his brows furrowed, then back toward the bed.
“What is this?” he asked, his voice wavering.
“Sylvia, come here, please.”
She sighed and walked into the room, pushing the door closed behind her. “Ummmm….”
“Baby, is this real?” he pointed at the onesie lying on the bed surrounded by balloons, baby shoes, and other baby paraphernalia. “Are we having a baby?”
Sylvia looked up at Logan and gave him a tentative smile. “Surprise.”
Logan looked over at the bed again, then back at her, the smile on his face nearly blinding her. “Sylvia, baby, you’re pregnant? We’re having a baby!”
Before Sylvia could respond, Logan picked her up and spun her around, placing kisses all over her face. The fear she’d been feeling melted away with each press of his lips against her skin. Tears filled her eyes and spilled down her cheeks. He was happy. They were having a baby, and he was happy about it.
“This is the greatest news ever,” he said as he set her down. “I can’t believe we’re going to have a baby.”
“I was so scared you wouldn’t be happy about it,” she admitted.
Logan’s brows furrowed again. “What? Why wouldn’t I be happy about having a baby with you? We’ve talked about kids. You know I want a family.”
She sighed. “But it’s too soon. We aren’t even married yet.”
“Who cares. We can get married today, tomorrow, years from now. It doesn’t matter to me. All that matters is that we’re together. Finding out we’re having a baby is a dream come true.”
“You’re a dream come true,” she told him as tears streamed down her face.
He was the answer to a dream she never told anyone about until that moment. She’d always been too afraid admitting what she wanted would keep her from getting it. Then when she met Logan, she feared if she acknowledged what he was to her, she’d wake up and find out he was just a dream. Yet, here she was, awake and happier than she’d ever been in her entire life.
And her life had barely just begun. She had an entire future of unforgettable moments to look forward to. A life filled with love and joy and more happiness than she’d know what to do with, and she couldn’t wait.