I wake up in the middle of the night to a whispering voice coming from another room. I rub my hand under my eyes smiling at the new addition to my ring finger now that Cade and I are happily married. As the whispering continues I climb out of bed, noticing that Cade isn’t next to me.
Figuring the noise was coming from Jude’s room I quietly tip-toe into the hallway and follow the voices. Peeping my head into the room slightly so as not to be seen I notice that Cade is in the rocking chair with Jude in his arms. He must have woken up, I think to myself. In Cade’s hands are a photo book and he points to each picture individually and talks about it.
He points out photos of me and my friends for several minutes until he finally sucks in a shaky breath and holds Jude tighter. I watch as he points towards another photo and breathes out the breath he’d been holding in before describing the photo, “This man here holding your mumma’s stomach while you’re in there is your daddy. Kaiden. He was a good man and he loved your mumma a lot. He would have loved you so much.” Cade places a kiss on Jude’s head as my baby boy touches the photo and smacks a kiss on it, covering it with slobber. I swallow my giggle because I don’t want Cade to know that I saw this bonding moment between the two of them.
“Even though your daddy’s not able to be with you in person, he’ll always be with you in here.” Cade lifts one hand off the photo album and places it on Jude’s heart and Jude covers Cade’s hand with his own. “That’s right, buddy.”
“Daddy.” Jude gurgles, tapping his heart and Cade smiles. Then Jude lifts his hand to Cade’s cheek and murmurs, “Dadda.”
Cade’s smile widens before he bends down to give Jude a kiss on the cheek once again. “I love you, buddy.” They stay cuddling together like that for what feels like hours and before I know it Jude is fast asleep and Cade is putting him to bed. He’s brushing Jude’s hair away from his face when I quickly skip back to our room and quietly slip into bed, pretending as if I never left.
Moments later Cade walks into the room and slips in beside me, pulling me close. I pretend to wake up as I roll into him, cuddling into his chest.
“Sorry I woke you.” Cade whispers into my hair, placing a kiss on my forehead.
“S’okay.” I murmur groggily, still faking tiredness. “I love you.” When I say these words they mean more than they ever had before. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought Cade would act the way he did. I never expected him to talk about Kaiden with Jude, but he’d exceeded my expectations, more than once, and I loved him so much for it.
Jude deserved to know about his wonderful father and I didn’t want to take that away from him. I never thought Cade would be the one to talk about him first.
Cade brings me back to my thoughts as he replies. “I love you more.”
“Not possible. You’ve made every dream I ever had, and every dream I haven’t but wished I did, come true. I love you.”
“Scarlett. You don’t understand. Not only did you give me you, you gave me Jude and took away my curse. I cant wait for you to be the cliché barefoot and pregnant with my child. Just the thought of you pregnant makes my knees weak with pleasure. No one can give me more than what you have, so you have to believe me when I tell you that I love you so, so much more.”
“Thank you for being there for me through everything.” I tell him.
“Anytime.” He says. “You call for me, I’ll be there, no matter what.”
I’ve both lost and gained so much and I will continue to do so, but at least I know that at the end of the tunnel, Cade and Jude will always be there, waiting to catch me when I fall.
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