And after that was a baby emoji.

“What . . . ?” And then it hit me. “Oh. Ohhh . . .”

Pippa looked at me. “What is it?”

“No dinner at Will and Hanna’s tonight,” I said. “But, before I tell you, I just want to be sure that you’re ready for me, and everything that comes with my family, and my friends . . .”

She scooted closer. “Yeah, crickets, I want all of it.”

I turned my phone so she could read. The same confusion and then dawning understanding came across her face.

“Do you want to go?” I asked.

“Fuck yeah!” she said, grinning up at me. She turned, bending to pull her phone from where it rested inside her purse on the floor. “Hanna texted me, too.” She scanned it. “She’s apologized for likely missing me on this trip.”

I grinned at her. “Or maybe you’ll show up and surprise her.”

Looking back to her phone, Pippa’s eyes teared over. “Ruby texted, too. She doesn’t want to miss it. Is everyone going down there to celebrate?”

“Probably. And normally I’d stay up here, buried in work. But if you’re in, I’m in,” I said. “They’re insane and overbearing, but . . . I think you’ll fit in perfectly.”

She pulled back in mock insult. “You think I’m insane and overbearing?”

“No. I think you’re fun, and smart, and wild.” I leaned forward, kissing her nose. “I think you’re fucking beautiful.”

Hanna hung up the phone and then stared at it for a few confused beats. “He was in the car. He seemed super busy.”

“Jensen? Busy?” I asked, lacing my voice with intentionally sarcastic confusion. Jensen always seemed busy.

“No,” she clarified, “I mean, not like work busy, where he’s all business voice and monosyllables—if he even answers. I mean distracted.” Chewing her lip, she added, “He sounded suspiciously easygoing and happy. He said something about loving . . .” She shook her head. “I have no idea.”

Shrugging, she circled the kitchen counter to wrap her arms around me, resting her chin on my shoulder. “I don’t feel like going to work tomorrow.”

“Me either,” I admitted. “I don’t even feel like working tonight.” I lifted my arm behind her back to glance at my watch. “But I’ve got that Biollex call in about an hour.”

“Will?” Her voice was a little thin, the way it got when she was trying to ask me what I wanted for Christmas, or whether I would make her a cherry pie just because it sounded good. For dinner.

I looked down at her and kissed the tip of her nose. “Yeah?”

“Do you really want to wait two years?”

It took me a breath to figure out what she meant.

She was the one who wasn’t ready for kids. At thirty-four, I was ready now, but of course was willing to wait until we were on the same page.

I realized this was Hanna-speak for I think I might be ready. “You mean . . . ?”

Nodding, she said, “It might not work right away. I mean, remember what Chloe and Bennett went through? Maybe it would be good to just . . . see what happens.”

My phone buzzed on the kitchen island, but I ignored it.

“Yeah?” I asked, searching her expression. It had been hard for Chloe to get pregnant. She and Bennett had tried for more than two years. All joking aside, part of me believed that was why she was so blissfully happy. They hadn’t let it take over their lives—the wanting—but there was undeniable relief and victory in their eyes when they told us they were finally pregnant.

Hanna nodded, biting her bottom lip, but the smile lit up her eyes. “I think so.”

“You should probably be sure,” I whispered, and then kissed her again. “It’s not really an ‘I think so’ kind of thing.”

“I’ve kept the African violet in the kitchen window alive for the past seven months,” she said, and then grinned at me. “And I think I’m a pretty good dog mom to Penrose.”

“You’re a great dog mom,” I said, caution holding my excitement at bay. “But you’re also a workaholic.”

She stared up at me, and I realized what she was silently saying: It’s seven fifteen at night and—hello—I’ve been in my pajamas, not in the lab, for the past two hours.

“This is one day,” I said, voice tight. “Most mornings you’re gone by seven, and you’re not home until dark. I know we planned that I’d stay home, but at first, you’ll want to. It’s a big deal, isn’t it?”

“I’m ready, Will.” She stretched, kissing my chin. “I want to have a baby.”

I had a call in—I glanced at my watch again and groaned—forty-five minutes. And I’d wanted to review the due diligence package first, but now there was something I wanted more than that.

Specifically, Hanna’s warm waist beneath my hands, and the tiny gasp she made when I lifted her up onto the kitchen island. I wanted the dig of her nails in my back and the clutch of her around me. It wasn’t the first time we’d had sex in this room—not by a long shot—but it felt different.

“This is like super-married sex,” she said, pulling the thought from my head as she gleefully tugged the hem of my shirt out of the waistband of my jeans. “It’s our first productive—reproductive—sex! Goal-oriented sex! Sex with a mission!” She looked up at my face, beatific. “Missionary!”