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Pen Your Pride

**Epilogue**

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One year later

“Mom have you seen my Jeep keys?” hearing Max coming down the stairs as I stir the batter for Nolan's  cake for his promotion dinner tonight. “ No  I haven't Max did you look  by the front door in the bowl?”  I watch him smile as he reaches in picking up his keys and turns walking in the kitchen then reaches in the bowl with a finger winking while I slap his hand with the spatula.  Now don't be late coming home for dad's dinner party and tell Zoey I expect her to come  with you.” Max nods before he kisses my forehead “ I know this senior  bash will be over  in two hours and I promise Zoey is coming back with me  okay so just relax mom.” Exhaling as Max shakes his head smiling then heads out the front door to  pick up Zoey for some senior party. Max and Zoey have been dating for a year now, both doing well with their grades and Max plans on attending UCLA while Zoey is going  to New York for  designer school. Max wants to get a  law degree and was offered a few colleges but he turned them all down  saying he didn't want to be that far from home. These last few months is all Zoey and Max have before graduation and she leaves the morning after so they have been spending as much time together as possible both knowing long distance relationships usually cant cut the hardships.

  Six months after our honeymoon, Nolan was informed  of his promotion to chief of police for the 28th because his chief accepted a new appointment to deputy commissioner. Nolan’s hard work on the corruption case was the  icing on the cake that gave him the upper  hand  against all the other officers vying for the position. So tonight I  have put together a small informal party to celebrate his new job with our close friends and family. Dean and Megan both flew in earlier and are  picking up the food that we ordered from a local restaurant, Tom and Peg are already in LA and should be here in the next hour  with Nolan , they offered to keep him away as long as they could. Nolan has become so loving and protective in the past year, he always checks in to make sure Max and I  are having a good day, and he has become such a caring loving husband and father,so I need to get this cake finished before they come home.

 After putting the batter in the cake pan then in the oven, I rub my swollen belly with a smile as  Jett stands from his spot walking by me to the door. We are expecting our first baby in a few months, when I told Nolan  the news of me being pregnant he of course became so much more attentive, Max also making sure I never over do anything. Max is ecstatic about having a baby brother or sister to help  raise, I think it's one of his reasons for staying close to home, Nolan is over the moon  knowing  soon we will have a little one in the house, his dream  of having a child coming true. As I lean against the door frame watching Jett playing with the two guard dogs my mind wanders to the how  my life has changed , how happy I am and feel so fulfilled  as the baby kicks I smile  rubbing my belly“ Sssh  daddy will be home soon.” I work from home now as a consultant for the probation and parole division, Sam is my go to guy still at the office and I was happy with the new probation officer they hired to replace me because he has a kind heart and is really good with the kids. Nolan  understood when I sat with the  board when they interviewed all the officers for my position, Max and Nolan both shaking  their heads smiling while they sat in the back of the room watching the whole process knowing I would pick someone who had the same outlook about these kids  as I do, all needing  one person  just to believe in them right or wrong.

  We also found Jett's original owner, a retired officer from San Francisco who turned to drinking when he lost his job a month before Jett showed up at my gate. He turned over all Jett's paper giving me legal ownership of  Jett telling Nolan and I he wants Jett to have a good life  and not the one  he was living. The man just walked back out of our life as he walked in, as a mystery, vanishing even though Nolan offered him a desk job he refused it graciously as he thanked Nolan for the thought.   After taking the cake from the oven when the timer went off, I laid down on the couch feeling tired as Jett laid on the floor. He lays watching me as I yawn always  close and vigilant  by my side, even more so I 'm sure because he's a very smart  dog and he feels that something has changed in me giving off a different scent. I was woke up by Nolan's soft lips on mine and smiled as he  pulled away “ Hey peanut feeling okay?” and I  nodded yes “ Fine handsome just  needed a catnap.”Nolan  winked placing his hand on my belly and grinned as the baby kicked as I exhaled slowly “ I need to get up and finish before our company arrives.” I turned towards Peg standing in the kitchen doorway answering “ Now you just rest sweetie I have most of it finished and you've done more than enough.”

Knowing I  can't argue with Peg and win I smiled thanking her as Nolan and Tom both sat down with me as we talked about our day, Nolan still  surprised I put this evening together without his knowledge. We all turned as Max walked in the front door with Zoey, Dean and Megan following, Megan went to the kitchen  while the other three came into the living room. Megan and Peg got the food all set on the breakfast counter as Max and Zoey  told us about their senior party and we all had a few laughs with some of the incidents they related that happened. I couldn't stop  a smile when Max rubbed my belly saying “ How's my baby brother  today?”  causing Tom to say “ Oh no son,  my granddaughter is doing great.” I chuckled with everyone because this was a normal thing with Max and Tom both voicing what they hoped the child will be, Max so wanting a younger brother and Tom wanting a little girl to spoil.  Max bumping Tom as they walked in the kitchen after we were told dinner was  ready by  Megan while Tom laughed softly “ A little girl just like her mom is what this family needs right now,  the next child  will be a boy.” Dean cleared his throat “ Wouldn't it work better if Alexia had twins one of each?” I grumbled playfully slapping his chest “ Oh thanks Dean,  twice the hours of labor and I can only  imagine the pain.”

Nolan grinned as we sat down and responded “ Now that is what I wish for, a boy and a girl  be it  now or later as long as  they are healthy.” I kissed Nolan's lips softly “ You'll be a great dad handsome, everyone in this room watching out for them , teaching and spoiling  them, I couldn't ask for more as a family, I love each and everyone of you.” Dean grinned “  And you know my neice's boyfriends will get the “talk” from us three, god help him if he breaks her heart.”Peg, Megan and I smirked as all the men nodded,even Jett added his voice barking softly making us all laugh as we dug into  dinner after toasting Nolan on his promotion.Max took Zoey home after dinner, Peg cleaned up the dishes refusing to let me help while Dean, Tom and Nolan  went into the family room to have some guy time. Megan and I sat in the living room watching some movie as we talked about her job, her and Dean and just normal small talk. When Max came back home everyone had already left so Nolan locked up the house and we called it a night all heading up to bed,  I snuggled against  him as he kissed my neck wrapping his arm over my hip placing his hand gently on my belly as we both drifted off to sleep.

 My doctor had mentioned  his  best guess on my delivery date being  close to the week after Max 's graduation  so as the months past by  all my attention was on making this the best memory for Max, it's not every day a parent gets to brag and show off their amazing son's accomplishments. Nick, Max's surfing instructor, has also become a large part of our lives, he and Max spend  a lot of time in the water together,Nick gave max a summer job and they have become close, he also has become one of Nolan's close friends seeing the three of us are close to the same age. Nick and Nolan were the two who did most of the work turning a spare room into the nursery, Max helping as much as he could  while dividing his time between his  senior finals, dates with Zoey and helping me around the house. As we all wait for this school year to end, Nolan and I  both agree our lives are so blessed with Max and our baby on the way, neither one of us ever dreamed all our wishes would come true like it has for us now.

To my fans and readers :

Again if you would like to see a sequel let me know. There is Dean and Megan, Zoey and Max or the  little one who could age.

 Thank you for being loyal and commenting  :) 

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