Bonus epilogue—Nick & Sophie
Thanks so much reading Nick and Sophie’s rivals to lovers story. This small-town firefighter story was my first romance novel and I’m thrilled that readers love the characters as much as I do. As a former volunteer firefighter myself—married to my own firefighter hero of a husband—I drew from many real life situations in this story.
As my thanks for supporting this crazy job of writing happily ever afters, here’s an exclusive bonus epilogue that’s only available to newsletter subscribers.
“Hey, Genie! Do you have time to grant me a wish?” I stood in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room, one hand on my hip, the other holding our teapot over my head. Nick was sitting on the couch, trying to do paperwork while watching the Vancouver Canucks pummel the LA Kings.
“Depends. Are you naked in this wish?”
“Nope. But you are.”
He looked at me as if he was considering. “Sounds promising. What do you need?”
That was a loaded question.
What I wanted him to do was give Max a good wash. Little Leo was due to pop out into the world any day now, and bathing Max was a slippery, full body workout I was no longer capable of. Like my girlish figure, my ability to bend and stretch had long since disappeared.
But what I needed was for Nick to show me, for the hundredth time, that despite the forty pounds I’d packed on, he still found me attractive.
I handed him the teapot. He reached above the stove and put it back in its home.
“And the naked part?” he asked, hands on hips, head tilted, eyes as squinting.
“Upstairs,” I said taking his hand.
“Oh, I like the sound of this!”
“You’re going to love it, Calendar Man. This is right in your wheelhouse.”
I snapped my fingers. Max slowly lifted himself from the living room floor and followed us. In the bedroom, Nick didn’t wait for the invitation to drop his shorts and t-shirt.
“Sure you don’t want to join me? No matter what it is you’re going to have me do, I’m sure I’ll do a better job if you’re naked, too.”
I shook my head but smiled. My heart grew two sizes. I wrapped my arms around Nick’s waist and tilted my head up to kiss him. He held my face in his hands and pushed his lips against mine, soft at first, slow nibbles, gently running his tongue on my teeth. I felt his cock move and lowered my hands to his ass cheeks, pulling him hard against my giant belly.
Nick reached down and grabbed the hem of my tunic and started to pull it up.
“Hey!” I said, slapping his hand away. “I said I’m not getting naked. This is a job you need to do on your own.”
He smiled and took a step back, swinging his hips—and his now fully engorged cock.
“And, you’re going to want to put that away, cowboy.” I turned to Max, “Come here, boy! Time for a bath!”
“What? No! No, no, no, that is not what I agreed to.”
“Babe, he stinks. And I know that once Leo gets here you’re not going to want to do it. So … please? Just a quick shampoo and rinse? I’ll take care of brushing him after.”
Max looked from me to Nick, as if he knew we were talking about him. He walked to Nick and rested his head against his thigh. Nick bent down and gave him a good scritch.
“You do smell a bit like an old tide, buddy. No more ocean swims for awhile.”
Nick looked at me. “How about this? I’ll get into my swim trunks and we can walk to the river and wash him there. We’ll both like that better than the tub. Right, Max?”
Nick was right. It would be easier in so many ways. Except for me, having to waddle my way along the path. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it out and back. And, I was disappointed about not getting to see the show.
“The wish you granted, Genie, was to fulfill my desires naked. If you’re not going to grant that wish then I want a do-over, a new wish,” I said.
He waved his left hand over his head, as if stirring magic in the sky as he reached to pick up his shorts and t-shirt with his other hand.
“When you and Max get home—”
“You’re not coming with us?” he said, turning and giving me his best pout.
“No. I’m too slow. And I have a plan. When you and Max get home—”
“You’ll be naked!”
I rolled my eyes. “If you’d like, I can be naked.”
“That’s all I want to know! Max, let’s go.”
“Wait. You need to take his shampoo. And don’t you want to wear your swim trunks?”
“Nah. If you’re not coming, I’ll take Max for a run, too. Up to our rock—”
“Still my rock.”
“Won’t need a suit there.”
“Take your phone. I want live-action video of the washing part.”
Nick grabbed the dog shampoo and kissed me. “Back in an hour or so. I love you.”
Once he was out of the house, I prepped Leo’s bedroom. I’d planned to do this tomorrow, but was happy to move up the timeline, in case Leo decided to make an early entrance.
Weeks ago, I’d asked Nick what his favorite book was when he was a little kid. He didn’t hesitate. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, he said.
Of course, I bought a copy for Leo but I also wrote my own version. And that’s what I was planning to share. I’d written new words, just for Nick, and asked my friend Lynne to illustrate it. She did an amazing job, painting pictures in the same style as Eric Carle. I had it printed into a real book. I was going to read it aloud to him. Naked, it turned out, which was unsurprisingly appropriate given the creative license I’d taken with this classic childhood story.
I built a blanket fort in Leo’s room, and piled it deep with cushions. And when Nick came home, that’s where I was waiting for him.
“I’m in here,” I called when he got up the stairs. “Join me,” I said patting the space beside me.
“I’m sweaty. I need to shower.”
“I love your smell. And I’ve got a present for you.”
“A naked present?”
He crawled into the fort.
“This is amazing, Sophie! Where’d you get these blankets?”
“Lynne lent them to us. Until she has grandkids. They’re sweet, eh?”
“Leo’s going to love it in here.”
“I was thinking we should practice reading out loud to each other, because in a few days, we’re going to have to know how to do that on top of all the other things we’ll need to learn.”
Nick just smiled.
“Here,” I said, pulling The Very Hungry Caterpillar from under a pillow beside me. “Read it to me?”
He laughed and kissed me. “Thank you. I’ll read it only if you promise to be a good girl and go right to sleep when I finish. Promise?” he asked.
“Not on your life!”
“That was a trick question since you can’t be a good girl and go right to sleep. Not when you’re lying here in a bed of pillows, all sexy like that.”
I knew he was goofing around, but that was exactly what I needed to hear because I felt anything but sexy.
Nick read the book with great drama, insisting I say the food names with him. I fell in love just a little bit more, even though that barely felt possible. And then it was my turn to read to him.
He nodded and rolled onto his back. I sat up, cross-legged with my belly supported by an Incredibles Jack-Jack pillow.
“Still sexy?” I asked.
“Close your eyes. Just listen.”
He did. I started to read,
In the light of the fire exit
a sexy man lay on a cot.
His eyes popped open. “What kind of kid’s book is that?” he asked, trying to grab the book from my hand.
“Stop! I didn’t say it was a kid’s book. I just said that we have to learn how to read out loud. Close your eyes. Just listen!” I started again.
In the light of the fire exit
a sexy man lay on a cot.
One Sunday morning
his pager went off and—pop!—
off of the cot sprung a horny
but relationship-wary firefighter.
I could see he’d opened his eyes again. “Stop looking at me. Close your eyes or I’ll stop reading, young man.”
“You’re so mean!”
He started to look for some love.
he went out with Sophie.
But he was still wary.
he made her his deputy.
But he was still wary.
he and his new deputy kissed.
But he was still wary.
“They did more than that. Oh, unless you mean he kissed her—”
I put my hand over his mouth and he gently bit, then started to kiss my palm. To his credit, his eyes were still closed.
he moved in with his new deputy.
But he was still very wary.
he moved out, even though he didn’t want to
because he was still wary.
he and his new deputy bought furniture,
modelled bathing suits,
ate at a 5-star restaurant,
shared laughs and hopes,
and he made love to her
(but only in his mind).
That night he had a heart ache.
The next day was Sunday again.
The firefighter moved back in with Sophie,
and after that he felt much better.
Now he wasn’t wary any more—
and he wasn’t a sad firefighter any more.
He was a happy (still horny) firefighter.
They built a warm home, in Lily Valley,
They grew together for months and months.
Then he planted a seed in her womb,
and when Leo pushed his way out…
they were a beautiful family!
When I looked down at Nick, he was blinking quickly.
“Pillow fluff. In my eye,” he said.
“Do you like it?”
“I love it, Soph. Love it. You wrote this? It’s amazing. You’re amazing. I love you. Love you so much.” Nick dabbed the corner of his eye by his nose. “Damned pillows. We’re going to need to wash them before Leo starts playing in here.”
I kissed his cheek. “Can we go back to the bed? I thought this would be more comfortable.”
He helped me up off the floor. Not my sexiest moves these days.
“My god, you’re beautiful,” he whispered.
It felt hard to believe, but by the way he looked at me, I knew he meant it.
He took my hand and led me back to our bedroom. I lay on my left side in the middle of our king size bed. Nick spooned around me and lay his arm lightly over me, rubbing my belly and somehow bumping my nipple—several times.
“What would make you feel good right now?” he asked, moving his hand with intention to my giant-for-me breast.
“Getting this baby out of my body,” I moaned.
“I’ve heard that an intense orgasm can help speed things up. I’m down with going down.”
“I love you, but I haven’t got one horny bone in my body right now.”
“Good thing I do,” he said, nudging his hips and hard-on into my lower back. “How about a massage? Would that feel good?”
“You don’t mind?”
He answered by kissing my neck. Then my shoulder. Then every vertebra down my spine. When he reached my tailbone, my butt cheeks clenched and my hips tilted toward him, of their own volition.
“I saw that,” he said.
“This is not a massage,” I said, gripping my pillow.
“It will be once my very strong tongue gets involved,” he said, licking then sucking the spot at the bottom of my spine.
“Ni-ick,” I panted.
“Not even one horny bone in your body, eh? I’m not buying that, Princess. Your words and body are not in agreement here.”
“Not horny,” I sighed, pushing my hips as far back, as close to Nick, as I could.
“Are you comfortable? Leo in a good position?”
“Okay then. Me and my unapologetically horny self are going to teach you a little lesson in truth-telling,” he said giving my ass a gentle bite. “You just lie there. Don’t do a thing. Let me do all the work.”
Nick’s heat moved away from me as he rolled off the bed.
“No-o. Don’t go,” I pleaded.
“Patience, woman! I’ll be right back.”
Nick went into the bathroom and came back with two towels. I watched as he rolled them into a huge sausage shape. He lifted my top leg and put the roll between my knees.
“If I wasn’t throbbing so hard, I’d be comfortable enough to fall asleep.”
“Ah-ha! The truth comes out!” he rubbed his hand up and down my inner thigh, teasing me, coming close to, but never touching my folds.
I tried to push my sex into his hand but he laughed and pulled it away.
“Don’t be rushing. We have all afternoon and the only thing I want to do is love you until we’re both very hungry caterpillars.”
Nick dove his fingers into our bedside jar of coconut oil and pulled out a small, solid lump. He placed it on my nipple and massaged until I could feel the oil dripping down between my breasts. I moved my hand to rub it since it was ticklish.
“Hands off. I have a plan for that.”
He moved his head toward me and licked the drip as he massaged my second nipple with his oily fingers.
“I’m going to do this every day until Leo stops nursing, to make sure your nipples don’t crack.”
I whacked him. “I don’t want to even think about that right now.” My libido was acting insane. From zero to one hundred with just one right touch. From one hundred back to zero with just one wrong thought. “Show me your cock. I need to see it.”
Nick stood and grabbed the base of his shaft in his right hand. Since I was in the middle of the bed, he wasn’t close enough to take in my mouth, so I pushed up on my elbow and leaned toward him.
“I want you,” I moaned.
“Not your turn. Me first. Close your eyes and know that this,” he wiggled his hips and his fully erect cock swayed, “will be waiting for you once you’re fully and deliciously satisfied.”
I lay back, closed my eyes, and put my hand between my legs. Without a word, Nick took it and wrapped my fingers around his own hand, which was now slowly stroking his shaft.
“There. All lubed up for you,” he said letting me take over. “Hang on tight and let this incredibly happy and very horny firefighter give his stunning wife an orgasmic massage that will make her flutter like a butterfly.”
The next of the brothers to be tamed by a strong woman is Dylan. This is a rivals-to-lovers story between a lawyer who’s been hired to find fault in grad student Kama’s dating research. It was so fun to write it made me want to go back to university! Kama is a complicated heroine who I felt a close connection to. And the way Dylan supports her weird quirks makes me love this guy—even though he’s a shark!