She's slick so I slide inside easily. I'm moving in and out of her fast—probably too fast—but I can't help myself. It's like my dick is trying to make up for lost time.

I feel her hand patting me on my arm. "Jack Henry. Stop. I have to tell you something."

Stop? Is she fucking kidding me? I am like a fast-moving train without brakes. "What is it?" I ask as I continue moving inside her.

"I didn't want to run into a problem finding a doctor down here to remove my IUD, so I had it taken out before I left."

"Okay," I reply, unconcerned because I'm not certain what she's talking about and I can't bring myself to care at the moment.

She pecks me on the arm again. "That means we're having unprotected sex right now."

"Are you telling me I gotta stop?" I think the prospect of her saying yes has me moving even faster.

"No, but I'm not on birth control. I was going to tell you I had condoms for us to use, but you moved so fast, I didn't get to tell you before you were inside me."

"I don't think I can stop. I mean, I guess I could if I had to but…fuck…I don't want to." I'm so close to coming and my dick isn't the least bit concerned with consequences for his actions. My head is battling my penis for dominance but right now, the one getting the action is sitting in the driver's seat and isn't prepared to move over. "Baby, I'll quit if you want me to, but you better decide fast because I'm close to blasting my swimmers into your cockpit."

"First it was a snatch and now it's a cockpit?"

"You better tell me what I need to do," I grit through my teeth. I'm trying to hold back but it's damn near impossible after going so long without having her. "I'm about to blow my load."

"Pull out and come on my stomach." Her words aren't spoken a second too early because as soon as I withdraw, I immediately explode all over her. "Oh, Laurelyn…that was so…fucking…good."

When I finish, I collapse to the side of her and lie on my back, looking at the ceiling. Now, I'm the one with the postcoital euphoria. I catch my breath after a moment and reach for her hand to bring it up for a kiss. "I love you, baby. I've missed you so much and I can't tell you how happy I am to have you back here."

She rolls from her back to her side and hitches her leg over me. "I know. I feel the same. It's good to be home."

"I love hearing you say that." I reach for her face and pull her close for a kiss. "Now, let's start over with this birth control conversation. I'm not sure I understood a word you said."

"Did you hear the part about me not being on any?"

I didn't at first but I guess it sunk in after a minute. "Sort of."

"I wanted the IUD removed before I left because I wasn't sure if I'd have a problem finding a doctor here to take it out."

I don't know anything about that stuff. "We have properly trained medical doctors here. We're not barbarians."

"I know that, but we never discussed how long it would be before we wanted to start a family. I don't really know if it takes a while to conceive after an IUD is removed and I didn't want it to cause any problems when we're ready, so it seemed like the smart thing to do. I'm sorry. I was going to talk to you about it, but things moved so fast. While you were proposing didn't seem like the right time to bring it up, and then your mouth was between my legs and I definitely wasn't interrupting that to talk about it. You just moved so fast. You went from having your mouth on me one second to being inside me the next."

"Baby, it's okay. If it happened, then we'll just have a baby. We're getting married soon anyway. Don't worry about it."

"No. I've told you how I feel about us having a baby. I'd be happy if it happened just now. If it didn't, then that's just more time to practice until we decide to try."

"I think we're okay because I'm supposed to start my period in a few days. I'd be happy too if it happened, but I'd prefer to be married for a little while first, if given the choice."

"Agreed." I roll her to her back and hold her arms above her head as I straddle her legs. "Because I want to do all kinds of explicit things to you before we have a baby, Mrs. McLachlan." I lower my mouth to her breast and take her nipple in my mouth. I roll my tongue around it until it hardens. "You know a baby would be disturbing us every few hours wanting to do this."

"You love the thought of that, don't you?"

I do, despite what Evan told me about it. "What makes you say that?"

"This isn't the first time you've brought up nursing."

What? "I don't remember ever talking about that."

"I wouldn't expect you to because you were drunk as shit—although you somehow remember the drunken proposal."

"So, I proposed while I was drunk in Vegas and talked about having kids—that you would breastfeed?" That's weird. I must've been drunker than I thought.

"Yeah, you told me you couldn't wait to see me nurse our babies." I'm sure she'll be adding this to my list of weirdo behaviors.

"I don't remember saying that, but it's true. You've triggered something in me I thought I'd never feel or desire. All I can think about is making you mine and starting a family."

"That's because you're a caveman," she laughs. "You have a desire to procreate, and I'm agreeable, but you need to marry me first."

No argument here. "Just tell me when and where and I'll be there. Mum will be ecstatic to help you plan everything. She, Chloe, and Emma will probably plan the whole thing if you'll let them."

"None of my family will come, so I don't need a big wedding, unless it's what you want."

It makes me sad every time she mentions that her family won't come. "I just want you. I don't need anything else, but why don't we go to Sydney so you can start making plans since we don't want to wait long? Does Thursday sound okay? We'll make a long weekend of it."

"Yeah. That sounds good. I can't wait to see everyone."

"Would you mind terribly if I don't tell my family you're here? I'd like to surprise them. If Mum knows you're with me, she'll be on her way here within the hour, and I'd like to have you to myself for a little while before the vultures descend."

"I'm perfectly fine with a little alone time."

I roll her to her back. "Can I practice being your husband?"

"I'd be mighty disappointed if you didn't. Practice makes perfect, you know?"

I've been in Australia for three days and Jack Henry has practiced being my husband until my stuff is tired—it's just completely worn out. I didn't think it could be done, but I was wrong. I guess that's what happens when you try to make up for three months in a seventy-two-hour time frame.

I think I'm grateful for the five-hour drive so I can have a break from our almost nonstop sex. He won't admit it, but I think Jack Henry may have had enough for a while too.

We go to his apartment before driving out to his parents'. The place seems so foreign to me. We didn't spend time here before because Margaret insisted we stay at her house. Just like at Avalon, right away I notice the pictures of us—and me. They're everywhere. I pick one up adorned by a heavy silver frame. In it, I look like I'm daydreaming about something, completely unaware that my picture is being taken. I have no recollection of when he took it or where we were because it's a close-up and I can't make out any part of the fuzzy background.

"Is this from when I was in Australia before or when you were in the States with me?"

"It's from when you were here. I have lots of pictures like that."

I know he's right when I take notice of the honey highlights in my hair. I don't have those anymore, but I think I need them back. I look brighter and more cheerful with them. "You mean pictures where I'm staring off into space looking like a goofball?"

"No. I mean pictures when you're natural and candid because you didn't know I was taking them. I like those best—it's how you look most of the time."

It's weird to think of him taking my picture when I don't know it. "I was already convinced but now you're a confirmed freak: ass-biter. Sweaty-back licker. Obsessed giver from behind. Sneaky photographer. What other kind of rabbits are you hiding in that hat of yours?"

"That's a long list. You make me sound like I need therapy or something."

"The only reason I'd need therapy would be if I didn't have you in my life. I admit I may have bordered on the need while we were apart." I completely get that.

He pulls me to him and kisses the top of my head. It's a gesture of the pure way I know he loves me—nothing sexual about it—and there's never a time when I feel more cherished than when he does this simple act. "I love you."

He squeezes me and plants another kiss on the crown of my head. "I love you, babe—more than anyone or anything else in this world."

I adore this man and I don't doubt his love. Trust doesn't come easy, but I believe him when he says he will never hurt me. My ability to feel safe enough to give myself entirely is a true miracle within itself. He has changed me—just as I have changed him. These moments mark a new beginning for us—one we will begin as husband and wife.

Jack Henry parks in front of his parents' house, and I'm anxious. I don't know why but my heart is pounding a million beats a minute. "Why am I nervous?"

"I don't know, but I am too. It feels weird, doesn't it?"

He looks at the cars in the driveway. "Everyone's here. Are you ready to make your surprise appearance?"