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New Year’s Day: Epilogue



“Well?” My husband wraps me up in his strong arms, pulling on me until I’m lying practically on top of him. It’s many hours past midnight and the house has long gone quiet. “Was it a good New Year’s Eve for you?”

I told him a long time ago that I never liked this holiday. That it always made me sad and I was never exactly sure why. Since that confession, my husband has made it his mission every year to make this day the best possible. Sometimes even better than my birthday, which is on Christmas.

And he always does it well. This year is no exception.

“Yes,” I murmur, tilting my head back in the hopes that he’ll kiss me.

He does, just like I knew he would.

“Even partying with the children?” he whispers against my lips.

“Oh, that was the best part.” I kiss him, my lips lingering. “We should do that every year. Forget inviting anyone else and keep it a family affair.”

“That sounds nice,” he says.

“I agree. I think the kids would like it too. They had so much fun. I loved seeing their faces light up with excitement when we told them they were invited to the party.”

“They’ve been watching us for years.”

“I wish Arch and Daisy could’ve made it,” I say after a few minutes of silence.

“I’m just glad they’re safe in a hotel,” Crew says. “She’s about to have that baby.”

“I know.” Another baby in the family. I love all the babies. The children. I love witnessing them grow and thrive and enjoy their time together. It’s so nice, to have a large, close family. I didn’t have that as a kid and I’m grateful we can give that to our children.

We lie there in each other’s arms for a moment, my eyes falling closed. It’s been a long day and I’m sleepy but apparently my husband isn’t.

“You know, we used to watch our parents here when I was a kid. Though we’d spy on them by hiding behind a door and peeking around the corner. They had the party in the ballroom,” Crew says.

“I’m sure it was beautiful.”

“So many people. Sylvia always knew how to throw a party.”

“Whit and Summer do too. And their parties I’m sure are better,” I say firmly, not about to speak nicely about a woman who essentially tortured her daughter her entire life. I can’t imagine what that must’ve been like. And I can’t even wrap my head around doing something like that to Willow or my boys. They’re all my precious babies. I could never harm a hair on their heads.

“Their parties are definitely better,” Crew agrees, kissing me yet again. “We should go to sleep.”

“You’re the one who keeps talking,” I point out.

He chuckles. “You’re right. I’ll be quiet.”

“Good.” I snuggle closer, my eyes closing again when he says one more thing.

“Happy New Year’s Day, Birdy.”

“Happy New Year’s, Crew.”

“I love you,” he whispers.

“I love you too.”


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