A Bonus Chapter: The Mischievous Mrs. Maxfield by NinyaTippett

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Author's Note:

Charlotte's life as she takes on college is something that a lot of people have asked for. It's a whole new world for her—one that's going to really test her mettle—and I thought it would be the best moment to capture in this collaboration with H&M for their #ladylike movement. Many of us already know her indomitable spirit and resilience but it never hurts to see it again in action if only to remind us of the brand of strong, independent women this world needs more of.

To see more Wattpad characters in their fierce, fearless and fabulous moments complete with their own spin on #ladylike fashion, make sure to check out the H&M Wattpad profile.

Thanks to H&M for sponsoring this bonus chapter!

XOXO,

Ninya

***

Alarm clocks are the worst of the best inventions—one I could happily hate on while acknowledging the fact that without them, this world would be chaos.

It's one thing to be jarred awake while in the middle of the most peaceful sleep of your life. It's another to be met by its obnoxiously energetic blare when you've been wide awake and counting down the last two hours before it went off way too early on a chilly fall morning on one of the most important days of your life.

So I smacked it good and hard the moment it broke the torturous silence, satisfied even as my palm started to itch from the sting of the impact.

"Good morning, Mrs. Maxfield."

Even Brandon's husky greeting murmured against the top of my head couldn't soothe my nerves.

"Do you know that you never snore?" I asked in my most casual and conversational tone as if it wasn't five-thirty in the morning. "That you lie there not only looking like the most attractive human being asleep but also the most perfect-sounding?"

He dignified that comment with a muffled snort before he finally raised his head and squinted down at me with hooded but smiling eyes, his mouth quirked up at one corner in amusement.

"Let me guess—you didn't sleep well?" he asked.

I did what I could to shrug as cozily snuggled as I was in my husband's arms. "No. I was just lying here ruminating your divine existence like always—of course, I didn't sleep! Did you honestly think I could?"

Brandon laughed because he just didn't get it.

"Babe, it's college. While I know it's your first day and you're just as excited as you are terrified, you're going to be perfectly fine," Brandon said in what I've come to recognize as his merger-negotiation-voice although I could detect some tenderness in it that he definitely did not show a boardroom of people. "You've faced bigger crowds and higher stakes than this and rocked it. No one will be strong enough to resist you."

I couldn't help a grin. "You know that you're incredibly biased when it comes to me, right? I'm an acquired taste to most people—like clams."

Brandon's brows rose softly and he looked like he was trying to hold back a smile. "Clams... Right. Very sexy. If anyone asks me what my wife is like, I'll say clams."

"You know what I mean!" I said as I lightly shoved at his chest which honestly felt like hitting a slab of marble.

He laughed—and to my exasperation, I eventually smiled because it was such an irresistible sound—and hauled me up until I was practically straddling him. My hair, the long, blond curtain of mess that it was, hung over us that it seemed to have shrunk the world into that moment where all I could see was Brandon's smile and all I could feel was the swift and steady pounding of his heart under the soft cotton of his shirt.

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