The Soul Mate Page 33

“I can’t wait until we move in together,” he added.

I’d dug my heels in and kept my own apartment, opting to keep living apart until we were married. We’d bought a house together last month and Mason had been living there alone, fixing it up. But I wanted something else to look forward to after the wedding. The truth was, I couldn’t wait to move in.

“We have a lifetime together,” I told him, stroking the stubble on his jaw. “Now shoo. Go. We have a wedding to attend.” I gave his chest a pat and led him to the door.

“See you out there, Mrs. Bentley.”

My mouth curled into a grin. “See you soon, Dr. Bentley.”



All afternoon, I’d spent my time either putting the final touches on the nursery or convincing Bren not to jump on a pogo stick to see if it would force the babies out. For weeks now she’d been taking walks around the neighborhood, trying to kick-start her labor, but so far it had done nothing but make her cranky and exhausted.

Not that I could blame her. Being overdue for ten days was hard for anyone, but being overdue with twins? As far as I could tell, that was a fate worse than death.

Dutiful husband that I was, though, I’d made sure the bags were packed and in the trunk, the doctor was on speed dial, and both nurseries were ready for the babies. Though we’d initially thought about a blue one and a pink one, Bren wanted something that spoke to both of us. So our son’s room had a little fisherman’s cottage and tepee for him to play in while our daughter had a safari-style room with a giraffe my mother had painted watching over her from her crib.

I adjusted our daughter’s mobile—all different colored parrots—then started as I heard the front door slam.

“Contractions!” Bren shouted and I rushed into the living room, my eyes wide.

You’d have thought that after the number of babies I’d brought into the world, I would know how to keep calm at a time like this, but no. Things changed in the blink of an eye when my own family’s safety was involved. My heart jumped into my throat and I clenched my fists at my sides to keep my hands from shaking.

“How far apart?” I demanded.

“Don’t know. Had the first one a few minutes ago.” Bren looked at me with wild eyes and I took her arm, guiding her back toward the couch.

“No, don’t. What if my water breaks?”

“Then we’ll get a new couch. I want you to be comfortable. Put your feet up and I’ll get you some water.”

“But if we go to the hospital now, won’t they induce labor?” she cried.

“You know we can’t go until they’re five minutes apart.”

“But what if we go when they’re five minutes apart and I get fully dilated and the babies fall out in the car?”

“You’ll be with someone who knows how to deliver them. Which, technically, I should be doing anyway.”

She rolled her eyes. “Yeah right, Dr. Big Shot. I’m not letting you near my hoo-ha unless it’s in prime condition.”

“You don’t think you’re being a little—?”

“No, I don’t,” she said, then clutched her stomach and began to moan in pain.

I hurried to grab her a cup and the stopwatch I’d kept in the kitchen since the seventh month of pregnancy—it never hurt to be too prepared—then rushed to her side and gave her the water.

 “Thanks,” she breathed when she’d finished, and she leaned farther back against the overstuffed cushions before grabbing the cup and taking a long drink.

“There are some things I need you to do for me when we get there,” Bren said matter-of-factly.

“What’s that?”

“You know the nice nurse, Suzy?”

I nodded.

“She’s the one who’s going to be in the room with the doctor, okay? And make sure you’re extra nice to her so she gets me the good drugs.”

“I’m pretty sure Trent already has the good drugs set aside for you.”

She wrinkled her nose.


“I’m still not crazy about your best friend delivering our baby.”

“He’s the second-best doctor in the city. You already said no to the first.”

“Because you are going to be right by my side so I can swear at you for getting me in this predicament.”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.” I beamed, but then Bren clutched her stomach again and closed her eyes as she breathed through another contraction.

I’d been in this situation many times—always detached and professional—but now, seeing the woman I loved in physical pain, an ache inside my chest bloomed and for the first time ever, I had to force myself to relax and not worry.

I clicked the stopwatch, trying to stay calm for Bren’s sake. “Four minutes. You know what that means.”

She let out a long breath, then smoothed her hand over her stomach. “Time to get these kids out of me?”

“Yep.” I grinned. “Time to have our babies.”

Years of planning and it had all come down to this, this, and it was go time. I wouldn’t leave my wife’s side, would see to it that she was well cared for and attended to.

As I helped her into the car, I stared back at our little suburban house with the white picket fence and found myself grinning. By tomorrow, we’d be a family of four, healthy and happy and safe. I’d gotten here the strangest way possible, but now that I was here?

There was no way on Earth I ever wanted to leave. It was like every childhood fantasy I’d ever harbored about my future had morphed into a vibrant, technicolor life. The only thing missing were the two tiny humans we were about to meet.

“Dammit, Mason, drive, would you!” Bren groaned, clutching her round belly again.

I stepped on the gas, flooring the pedal as we sped off for the hospital, driving carefully even though my racing heart demanded that I run every red light in the city. Taking one hand off the wheel, I reached over and squeezed her hand. “Relax, baby. Breathe for me. You’ve got this.”

Bren inhaled slowly and deeply, closing her eyes in the seat next to me.

We arrived at the hospital and Trent’s calming demeanor set us both at ease. Eight hours later, two six-pound babies were nestled into the same basinet—one swaddled in a pink blanket, the other in blue while I laid beside Bren in the hospital bed, holding her close

They were pink-skinned and healthy, each with a swath of downy-soft brown hair.

“I’m so insanely proud of you,” I murmured, kissing her hair. “They’re perfect. Just like you.”

“Are you sure you’re not scarred for life? You did just watch me deliver twins—vaginally,” she emphasized.

I let out a soft chuckle and pulled her even closer. “Not even a little. I always thought it was pretty amazing what I did for a living—seeing life brought into this world—but I never understood the gravity of it, never felt such immense pride before. Watching you today was incredible.”

I looked down at Bren and wiped away a stray tear from her cheek. The look in her eyes was pure love.

“I couldn’t have done it without you,” she murmured.

She had been so scared to let me in, so afraid to fall in love, and I knew today that she’d finally surrendered to it completely. Because she wasn’t just in love with me, we had added two new family members, and I could feel how much she loved them already. Her motherly instincts kicking in from the first moments she nuzzled the babies on her bare chest—nurturing them with skin to skin contact and attempting to nurse them.

“And I couldn’t have done this without you. You’re my soulmate, Bren.”

I caught another tear with my thumb.

“Damn hormones. I’m sorry I’m crying,” she said with the perfect little sniffle. For a woman who’d struggled expressing her emotions, she’d come a long way.

“I’ve got you. These next few weeks are going to be rough, but I’m here, and I’ll never let you go.”

Placing my lips against Bren’s forehead, I felt her exhale and relax. She’d made all of my dreams come true, and I couldn’t wait to spend the rest of my life showing her just how grateful I was.

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