“I love you, Jo. I love you so fucking much I’d go to war to keep you by my side.”
I close my eyes and smile. “And I would too, Coop.”
“It’s you and me, Jo, forever.” He places a hand back on my belly. “I told you that I wasn’t letting you go, that you were mine.”
Utterly, maddeningly, intensely perfect.
One year later
I reach over in bed to curl against Jo. She’s drifted away from me in the night and I don’t like that. I moved in with Jo the day after we found out she was pregnant. I spent the following week selling my place, and taking steps to secure our future.
I couldn’t fight again, I knew that. I was going to try, but having Jo and a baby on the way made me rethink everything. I wasn’t about to risk getting hurt and not being what I needed to be for my woman and our baby and future children. When I approached Coach, I found out he’d already withdrawn me from the match and spent what money he had left to pay the penalties. It meant a lot that he would do that. It was further proof that Jo was right. Coach wasn’t as worried about losing his club as he was about me. He was and has always been my only family. It was then that we decided to go into business together.
With my money and face at the forefront, Coach and I have now opened up a total of five gyms in the last year. Last week we opened our biggest one yet, in Las Vegas. With the profit they have already been returning, Coach and I both are set for life. Which works out great for me. Coach is happy, which means Jo is, and I have more time to spend with my family.
I frown when my hand falls upon the empty mattress. I sit up and turn the light on and as the sleep leaves me and I become more alert, I hear Jo humming softly through the baby monitor. I stand up, grabbing my gym pants, slide them on quickly, then take off toward the nursery, which is right next to our bedroom. I pause at the doorway and lean against it and take in the picture before me.
Jo is in the glider, rocking our beautiful daughter, Mattie—named after Coach. She’s a gorgeous baby with a head full of soft blonde hair just like her mother and a smile that has wrapped in my heart just as tight as Jo’s has.
I watch as Jo’s fingers slide through Mattie’s hair as Mattie suckles on her breast. It’s a beautiful picture, and one that brings me so much peace it feels like my heart is swelling in my chest because it’s so full.
Jo is all I need… Everything I need.
I’m going to spend the rest of my life making her and our family happy and that makes me the luckiest man in the world.
As if Jo can sense me thinking about her, or maybe standing there, she looks up. Her beautiful full lips spread into a smile that warms me all the way through.
“I love you, Coop,” she whispers softly, so as to not disturb our daughter.
“I love you, sunshine,” I respond, my voice thick and hoarse with emotion.
I’ve loved her from the beginning, even when I didn’t know it, but now the words are hard to say because love doesn’t encompass what I feel for her.
I love Jo… but it’s more than that.
She’s my life, the reason I wake up every morning.
The reason I breathe.
Yeah, “I love you” doesn’t come close to describing what I feel for her, but when I look into her eyes, I see those same emotions reflecting there.
She feels the same and I know that down in my fucking bones, and that makes me smile.
I remember thinking that Jo was my soulmate when I took her virginity. I was wrong. She’s not just my soulmate.
She’s my everything.