Vanessa is crying, I reach out and hold her. “Baby look at me.” She tries to look at me through her tear-filled eyes. “I’m so sorry Logan I don’t know how this happened?" I try to lighten her mood. “Clearly you know all about the birds and the bees” Vanessa looks at me with a death glare. “Sorry too soon, did we not agree that babies were in our future together, ok so it’s happened quicker than expected but Vanessa I love you and this baby, Jazz will be a great big sister!”
“So your not angry? I look at her. “Vanessa, I am over the moon I’m going to be a daddy again” Vanessa nearly drops. “Daddy again?”
“Vanessa, I love Jasmine like she’s my own so yeah a daddy again, just because she’s not my blood doesn’t mean I will love them differently.” I scoop her up in my arms and calm her down she finally looks me hard in the eyes. “So we are going to do this” I smile at her kissing her cheek. “Yeah we are baby”
“Can we please not tell anyone until the scan, well just Jasmine, please.” I cup her face bringing her lips to mine. “Anything you want.”
The next day...
Dean and Victoria left this morning to head back into the city. We are having breakfast together and Vanessa is keeping herself busy. She is nervous about telling Jazz our news. Vanessa fiddles with her hands. “Jasmine I ... we have something we need to tell you?” Jasmine looks up to her mum. “What is it?” I look at Vanessa and she nods. “Well, how would you feel if you were going to have a brother or sister?” Jasmine thinks for a few seconds before flooring us with her answer. “I want a sister cause boys are stupid.” Vanessa laughs. “I will hold you to that in about 10 years time young lady, what we are telling you is I am having a baby, we are having a baby.”
Jasmine gets up from the table, walking over to Vanessa and stares at her. It is a moment I won’t forget for a guy I have to admit I get tears in my eyes. She places her tiny hand over her mummy’s tummy. “Hello there, I’m your big sister and I’m going to love you oh so much.” I try to keep the tears from falling but I have to make sure Jasmine is ok. “So you are ok with all this?”
Jasmine smiles at me. “Never better now I have a step daddy and a sibling. Can I maybe drop the step part out though?” Vanessa smiles at her. “You can do whatever makes you happy just know you also have your actual daddy we don’t want to upset him.” Jasmine nods. “Ok, so I have two daddies.” I give Jasmine a hug “Yeah you do sweetpea.”
We decide to play on the beach enjoying the time together. I have to put it up there with one of the best moments of my life. After all the years of fuck ups I am exactly where I need to be.
6 weeks later...
We are at the hospital waiting for the baby scan. Jasmine pleaded to come along and we made a promise that she wouldn’t miss it. The sonographer comes in and Vanessa is laying on the bed with her belly out. They place the gel over her tummy and start scanning around. The sonographer points “So if you just look there at that flashing, that is your baby’s heart. With the look of the measurements, I would say you are a little over 13 weeks. Would you like some pictures?” I just stare at the screen in awe of the tiny baby on the screen. I can’t help it I start to cry happy tears first time in my life I have practically sobbed clearly. “I love you all so much.” I kiss Vanessa and hug Jasmine. Jasmine smiles “Can I have my own picture please?” The sonographer smiles. “Of course how about this one here that ok?” Jasmine nods. “Yes please, thank you!” The nurse takes us next door and talks to us about the pregnancy.
“Congratulations to you, you will receive a letter with the details of your next appointment here is your maternity book. Take care of yourself and here are some prenatal tablets to start you off.” Vanessa smiles at the nurse “Thank you so much.” We leave the hospital and I have a surprise in store for Vanessa.
“Before we tell everyone you fancy a walk for some fresh air?” Both my girl’s smile and nod. We are walking around the park when Vanessa starts to smile. “I wonder if it’s going to rain again. That tree was a savour that day!” I smile at the memory. “I loved that day so much, the favourite date I ever had with you a romantic picnic, with you making leaf angels and giggling, before the heavens opened and we were both soaked through, can’t believe neither of us got ill after that.” Vanessa, squeezes my hand “I loved it so much!”
I lead both Vanessa and Jasmine across the grass “Come on I have something to show you.” As planned the picnic basket was there ready and waiting, I have been planning this and the time was right. Vanessa looks at me. “Logan are we going to have a picnic cause I’m starving?” I laugh. “Go ahead and look in the basket!”
In the basket Vanessa pulls out a box when she turns around to find me, I am on one knee Jasmine is standing by my side beaming from ear to ear. “Vanessa I have been in love with you for so many years, we have had our ups and downs and it may have taken us a long time to get here, everything happens for a reason. Will you and Jasmine become my family forever, will you marry me?” Vanessa looks at me with even more tears and as promised they were happy ones. “Yes, I will marry you!”
In the background, we hear cheering everyone that we love is here to share this moment with us. I called Vanessa’s dad and asked for her hand in marriage. He gave me his blessing and said he has never seen his daughter this happy before. It was such a relief. I look around and see all happy faces, Victoria is in bits she keeps shouting that it’s just her hormones. Vanessa’s parents are the first well-wishers. My dad comes across patting me on the back and hugging Vanessa. “Welcome to the family Vanessa.” My mum pulls her in for a hug. “Vanessa sweetie you are the best thing to happen to him, congrats.”
Dean smiles at Vanessa. “Just so you know I’m going to throw one hell of a stag party!!!!” Victoria glares at him. “You just couldn’t say something more fitting like Congrats to the happy couple,” Dean smirks. “Yeah, I will... on his stag” Victoria points at him. “You keep that up you won’t make it” Victoria turns back smiling at us “Congrats to you both I am over the moon for you” Jasmine beams and shouts. “Well, there is one more thing...”
We promised Jasmine she had the honour of telling this part. “I’m going to be a big sister!” Victoria screams. “YOUR PREGNANT?” Their mother screams. “I HAVE ANOTHER GRANDBABY ON THE WAY!” My mum is jumping about. “This is the best news ever I get my first grandbaby!” Vanessa smiles. “I’m 13 weeks pregnant” Victoria sighs “Aww thank god I don’t have to do this alone I have been shitting myself!” Mrs Hartman glares at Victoria. “LANGUAGE!” Victoria blushes. “Sorry, mum.”
We all head to a restaurant I booked to celebrate our engagement and baby news. Vanessa has never looked more beautiful I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to have her as my future wife. I can’t stop touching her tummy, we look around and both are families are chatting and looking happy. This has been a stormy road for us both but we are here now and I’m never letting go. I was young and stupid and I made so many mistakes, mistakes that cost me time with Vanessa but it made me a better man today. Vanessa wraps her arms around my waist. “So when did you pick this up, it’s stunning thank you!”
“The truth... the day I bumped into you at the jewellery store!” She stares at me I can’t get a read on her! Vanessa bites her bottom lip. “You’re not lying?” I shake my head. “No baby I’m not, that day I found that ring and I seen my life with you, I thought I would never get you back but that day when I saw you everything came flooding back I knew, you and Jasmine were it for me!! I wanted to win you back and I bought the ring that day!” Vanessa starts to cry again. “I can’t believe it, what would you have done if we never sorted everything out?” I tilt her face to me. “The ring would always remind me of you, not winning you back was never an option. I loved you then, I love you now.” I lean in and kiss her lips. I wipe her tears away. “Logan I don’t know what to say I love you so much.”
“I don’t want to wait I would like to get married before the baby comes Vanessa.” she smiles up to me. “Well then let’s do it.” I nod. “Are you sure?” Vanessa stands on her tiptoes kissing me. “Logan as long as I get to marry you I’m happy with anything.” I hug her and whisper into her ear. “Well then let’s plan a wedding.”
A few months later ...
I’m standing at the alter and I’m waiting patiently for my bride “So that stag was pretty wild!” I glare at Dean. “Don’t even go there ... has Victoria forgiven you yet?” Dean laughs. “Just about I’m on a sex ban for the foreseeable future.” I scoff. “How did you not use that head of yours seriously to handcuff us to a stripper and lose the keys.” Dean bites his lip to stop laughing. “It was all good fun, Logan.” I look at Dean. “You’re lucky Vanessa is a cool fiancee and found it hilarious. Dean pats my back. “You loved it you needed a send-off, Victoria was pissed she warned me no strippers, I couldn’t help myself. It was all innocent fun. I’m about to be a dad this was my last fun before my boy arrives.”
The music starts and both me and Dean shut up, Dean looks down and finds Victoria he gets a goofy smile on his face. My heart stops when I spot her with her dad and Jasmine. I have never seen her so radiant, she has the pregnancy glow. I start to well up. This is the start of our life as a family. Vanessa reaches me at the alter. In front of our closest friends and family, we say our vows. As always I had a surprise up my sleeve that no one in the family knew about. I turn around and look at our guests Vanessa's eyes go wide.
“I have extra vows if that’s all right? Jasmine honey can you come here?” Jasmine takes a few steps to me and I get on my knees to get on her level and pull out a ring just for her. “Jasmine would you please accept this as a token of my vow to you, that from this day forward I vow to love, respect and protect you for as long as I live. That this token I present to you, shows the world that I enter into this with you as well.” Jasmine sobs and her words eventually break out.“Ye...ssss.”
I found the perfect ring when I was looking for our wedding bands, the ring is called Jasmine lolite when I saw it I knew it was the right decision to make to include my stepdaughter into my vows. I look around and realised maybe I shouldn’t have done it as Vanessa and Victoria have makeup running down their faces ... so much for waterproof mascara. I take Vanessa in one hand and Jasmine in the other. This is the day of our new lives as a family. Next adventure is when our newest arrival makes an appearance soon. Vanessa tries to regain her composure. “I love you Logan thank you so much that was perfect.” I lean in closer to them both. “I love you both so much, Vanessa and Jasmine. Thank you for letting me be part of your family, For keeps.
Jasmine beams up at me. “For keeps.” Vanessa looks at me with a mischievous glare. “Just one more thing ...” Jasmine smiles at me “Your going to have your work cut out for you when you have a house full of girls!” I have shock written all over my face. “Girls?” Vanessa smiles. “We are having another girl.”
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story. There is always a reference to “For Keeps” in my books. It is something my husband and I say to each other, he has it engraved in his wedding ring. So it’s a little nod to him for all he does.
Lots of love Victoria
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