“You ready, baby girl?” My daddy asked.
He had my son, who was dressed in the tiniest little tux I’d ever seen, in his arms.
I smiled at him over my shoulder as my mother fussed with my ‘big boobs’ that couldn’t be ‘reasoned with.’
“Almost,” I said, turning back to my mom. “Mother, they’re boobs. They’re full of milk. They’re not changing unless I pump, which I’m not doing because the ceremony starts in less than five minutes.”
“Whatever,” my mother said, standing up with her hands on her purple clothed hips, and stomped out of the room, her hair bouncing in her wake.
“Uh-oh,” my daddy said.
I lifted my nose at him. “She needs to get over it. They’re not that bad.”
My dad studiously ignored my boobs, and offered me his arm.
He looked sad.
“What’s wrong?” I asked as I took his arm.
I leaned down and gave Lock a kiss on the cheek and leaned my head against my dad’s arm as we walked out into the bright sunlight.
We’d decided that the best place to have the wedding was at The Chief’s ranch that he owned outside of town.
They had a large barn that we’d decorated the night before so we could have the reception there once the ceremony was over.
There were over three hundred guests, nearly all of them a public servant of some kind, and we needed the room.
We’d decided to have it here so we could escape after the reception to have some alone time at our own place, which had shaped up to be exactly what we wanted it to be.
Especially now that we had the land that used to belong to the Prescott’s.
There’d been a big to-do during the trial that was sentencing Ronnie Prescott.
Apparently, when the land had been ‘split’ between Ronnie and Downy’s mother, he’d made an error in that he hired someone shady to do the appraisal, giving only a fraction of his land to Downy’s mother.
Downy had then turned around and sued Ronnie Prescott in a civil suit, and won. He was awarded not just the property that Ronnie owed him, but also 1.2 million dollars in oil and mineral rights that Ronnie profited from over the past ten years.
With no other way to pay him the money back, Ronnie signed over the deed to his land to Downy, who was now the owner of over a hundred and ninety acres of riverfront property.
It cost a whack in taxes, though. Downy was still considering his options since we weren’t sure whether we could afford it on both of our salaries or not.
I was guessing not, but there was no telling what he’d do. He had a special tie to the land that all of those dogs had died on.
He’d set up a memorial, and had turned about four acres into a large dog park, feeling that those dogs forever deserved to have somewhere to run and play in their eternal resting place.
It was very nice, and had seen a lot of business since we’d opened it to the public four months ago.
The dogs that were rescued that night were also returned to owners, or if the owners couldn’t be found, adopted out.
They were the lucky ones.
“I’m giving my baby away to somebody that doesn’t deserve her. So, I’m upset,” my dad said quietly, breaking into my thoughts with his sweet words.
I smiled and looked up at my father.
“Oh, daddy. We deserve each other,” I teased.
He rolled his eyes. “You’re not a father, you wouldn’t understand.”
As he said it, he looked down at the top of Lock’s head, brushing his lips against his fuzzy, still not quite all there, hair.
Making my heart squeeze in my chest.
My father and I had had a rocky relationship for the first four months of my pregnancy.
I was still, quite understandably, upset about what had happened.
My father didn’t offer any apologies, and I hadn’t expected him to.
In the end, I’d decided to forgive him.
I missed him. I also missed my mother who was torn between my dad and me.
So, I became the bigger person and let him back into my life, with the promise from him that he’d stay out of my business if I wanted him to.
He’d reluctantly agreed, but I could tell that he trusted Downy to take care of me.
Otherwise, he probably would’ve never agreed, and we’d have gone on living as I did before I’d met Downy.
We arrived at the beginning of the rug that ran up the length of the aisle.
I smiled at the attendees staring at me, but it didn’t take long before my eyes found the man at the end of the aisle, staring at me with an expression of shock on his face.
He looked like he’d literally been punched in the belly.
“What’s wrong with Downy?” I asked my dad.
“That’s what the face of a man who’s just seen his bachelor days fly the fuck away,” he teased.
I smacked him on the arm and left him where he stood, chuckling at his own joke.
He didn’t bother to try to catch me, only stayed back as I hurried down the aisle towards my future.