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One Hot Desert Night(29)

By:Kristi Gold

"Nothing is too good for my bride," he replied. "I personally cannot believe you continue to avoid telling me this news."

That would take a great deal of courage, and moving on to the topic  slowly. "I've been thinking I'd like to put in a pool in the back of the  house. It gets really hot in Atlanta during the summer, kind of like  the desert."

"That is your news?"

She swallowed hard. "I'll get to that shortly. I've also been thinking  the side yard would be a good place to put a play yard with swings and  slides and maybe monkey bars. Of course, we'd wait until we get back  from the honeymoon before we do that."

"Why would we need a play yard at this point in time?"

She lifted her bare shoulders in a shrug. "Well, Sam will be using it  when Piper and Adan bring him for a visit. Zain and Madison would  appreciate having a place for the twins to play when they come later  this summer since they couldn't make the wedding. And of course, Rafiq  and Maysa and their little boy will surely stop in at some point in  time. Also, we'll need to add a baby swing for our son or daughter  within the next year."

He stopped dead in his tracks and turned her toward him. "You would be willing to conceive a child within a year?"

The moment of truth had arrived. "We've already conceived a child, honey. That's my real news."

Myriad emotions passed over his face, beginning with puzzlement and ending with awareness. "You are pregnant."

"Yes, I am. About six weeks. And just so you're clear, I didn't plan  this. I did forget to take my pills two days during all the wedding  planning chaos." When he didn't offer a response, she grew worried. "How  do you feel about this bombshell?"

"Concerned," he said. "Afraid."

Not at all what she'd wanted to hear. "What are you afraid of?"

"That I might not be able to keep you both safe at all times."

She formed her palm to his face. "Rayad, life doesn't come with  guarantees, but mothers have babies every day without incident. Look at  Maysa. She gave birth to a nine-pounder naturally. They're both doing  fine."                       


"I understand that, yet I still cannot help but remember my failures."

She didn't have to ask about those presumed failures. "It's going to  take time to work through this, honey, and I'll be there with you every  step of the way. I only hope that when you hold our baby in your arms  for the first time, you'll realize you've been given a second chance."

He clasped her hands and touched the band he had placed on her left  finger less than an hour ago. "I promise you now I will not go back."

"To the military?"

"To that place where I became trapped in a hell of my own making. I will  move forward with my life, as long as you are by my side. And I will  endeavor to protect you to the best of my ability."

"No guns involved, I hope."

He finally smiled. "No more guns from this point forward."

"I love you, my sweet, strong husband. Always."

"As I love you, my beloved wife. For eternity."

After they sealed their commitment to each other with the second kiss of  the evening, Sunny felt truly blessed to have found a really nice guy  beneath that stoic exterior. Her remarkable lover. Her retired assassin.  Her one true love, now and forevermore.