Chapter Sixty One – Epilogue
Two years later.
"What do you mean Coop's retiring?" Bo was shaving in the bathroom when he heard Natasha's voice from the bedroom.
"Freya told me," she called back. "He's fed up with travelling, he's been offered a consultancy role with the British ice hockey association. It's more nine to five. Means he can be a better Dad, and Freya can start doing more work with me. So, yeah, he's accepted it. Handed his notice in last week."
Bo shook his head, "he didn't mention anything when we played pool for hours last night."
Natasha laughed as she peered around the door frame, "not in the circle of trust, obviously. Now, can I remind you, we've got twenty minutes and you're still in a towel. Arse into gear, Mr Holding."
Rolling his eyes he turned back to the mirror, needing to finish his shave.
The last two years had been amazing. Since Natasha agreed to be his wife, he hadn't looked back. He had played the last two seasons with the Hornets, finally winning the league this season, under the wily management of Coop. Him leaving? That could be a catastrophe.
"Come on, Bo. We are going to be so late."
Glancing to the door, he took in his wife, absolutely stunning in a red dress, wrapped around her delicious curves and tied at the waist, low cut without being slutty, split up one thigh, with heels, at the end of those long pale legs, and her rich dark red hair, piled up onto her head. He loved everything about her, and didn't think it was possible for him to love or desire her more, then she got pregnant. Now, her boobs were bigger, her hips curvier, and that swell that was their baby...she said she felt like a whale, to him she was a fucking vixen. He had a permanent hard on around her.
"Fuck..." he dropped his razor into the sink and stalked the last few steps towards her, snagging her and pulling her into his arms. "You look fucking edible."
As he tried to kiss her, she wriggled out of his arms, "You are covered in shaving foam. My make up took ages, I'm not letting you mess it up."
He raised an eyebrow, "you march in here, looking like a teenage boy's wet dream, and then hold me at arm's length?"
Slowly glancing down his naked body, her eyes deliberately paused at the tent in the towel, that was all he wore, wrapped around his waist, "needed the arm's length, obviously."
"You're denying me? After causing this?"
He dropped his towel, giving her a glimpse of his completely naked body.
"Would have tempted me before I got to own you..." she waved her wedding ring at him, "but now, I just know you're all mine when we get home. So there's no rush...think of the whole evening as foreplay."
When Bo came down the stairs in his tux, she knew that, for all her bravado, she was as desperate as he was. He was such a mountain of a man, smelled amazing, and boy, could he rock a suit. When she tried to snuggle in for a kiss, he laughed, "oh no, Mrs Holding, you will have to put up with all that hormonal horniness until we get home, at your own request. What did you say? An evening of foreplay?""
She groaned, because he was right, her hormones were raging on a permanent basis, and he was the sole focus of her rampant libido, not that he ever complained.
Kissing the top of her head, he took her hand, "we've got an end of season dinner to attend."
The hotel in the centre of town was lavish and the ballroom was decorated with the club crest. Fans, managers and team alike all mingled at the bar, and for a moment, Bo felt very protective of his wife. Their baby, was due in four weeks, and tonight was the last night of relaxation before they seriously started to prepare for his or her arriving.
Sport, by nature wasn't reliable, but he was sure that things were going to work out for them both, or rather the three of them. They'd been in their new home for a few months, and things were ready for the baby, and Natasha was taking a full year off afterwards, or so she said. She loved the cafe, and now that Freya was helping out, as well as her manager, she didn't need to be there every day. Things were good. It was just a waiting game, for him and the world to know what the club intended to do about him.
Sliding an arm around her shoulder, he pulled her close as they entered the room, and were immediately swamped by friends. Nudging him, Natasha encouraged him to go and circulate, she had spotted her friends at a table across the room, she wasn't huge on standing for long at the moment.
As he picked up a beer from the table near the door, he spotted Blake their team captain across the room.
"Hey, Cap, what's happening?"
Blake clapped him on the back, "about time you got here, would start wondering what you were up to, if you hadn't already done it eight months ago."
Rolling his eyes, he glanced over at her, sat with Freya, Lizzie and a few other women. Beautiful, serene, gentle, calm...everything he wanted, and needed.
Blake laughed, "you've got it bad."
Bo laughed too, "she's fucking amazing. Look at her!"
Shaking his head, Blake punched his shoulder, "I was a walking horndog when Michelle was pregnant, I know what it's like. But make the most of it, cos things are about to change big style. A little rugrat in your bed, taking over all your favourite places."
When he cocked his head quizzically, Blake laughed, "half her body will need time to recover from delivering the baby, and the other half will be purely to feed it. You, Daddy dearest, you are definitely, second in the queue."
He hadn't thought about that, not that it was all about sex, he and Natasha were so much more than that, But he'd find it hard to keep his hand's off her, that was for sure.
At that moment, they were joined by Coop and a few of the club management and suddenly he was embroiled in deeper conversations.
Everything ached, that was Natasha's thing at the moment, she'd enjoyed being pregnant still did, and once she'd got past Mia's gestation, and extra detailed ultrasound scans ruled out any similar heart defects, she had started to relax. Only for every joint and muscle in her body to scream out at her on a regular basis.
Freya returned from the bar, placing a cup of tea in front of her, "you look like you can use it."
She smiled appreciatively, "you are very astute."
Lizzie leaned in, "she's been there three times. She knows it all too well!"
Natasha groaned, "tell me these joint pains go away."
Lizzie laughed, "when your watermelon size baby has squeezed out of your v-zone, you won't feel anything but that trauma! I promise."
Freya giggled, "leave her alone. Don't scare her off." Wrapping an arm around Natasha, she asked, "you didn't get this last time?"
Natasha shrugged, "it was a long time ago, plus she was born early, and I was a lot smaller than this...I feel like a house."
Freya trolled her eyes, "you are literally all baby bump, your arse and legs are no different and your hips are as curvy as normal. You're fine."
As the conversation changed, she looked across the room to Bo, stood talking to his colleagues. So tall, so handsome. He still made her knees weak, and marrying him was her greatest decision. After meeting her parents, an irreconcilable relationship, they'd driven West, spent a few days tying up some of his loose ends, selling his condo, storing his furniture, and sending his cars to California – a silent unspoken agreement that he wasn't planning to return to the States for a while.
Then they flew to Vegas and tied the knot. Just the two of them, much to the chagrin of his family and their friends, but it had been perfect.
Almost sensing her gaze, he looked up, then gave her a wink, but his eyes held that teasing look, he was returning all the innuendo and promise that she'd started with in the house.
"You two are almost sickening," Freya leaned in. "He can't keep his eyes off you."
"Or his hands," Natasha offered with a grin.
Freya wailed at that, "TMI!"
They were seated formally for dinner, and then the awards were presented. Peter 'Nails' Naylor had player of the year, Blake the captain, goal of the year, and Bo had the Players' Player, an award chosen by his own teammates. Then Coop was called up to stage, and offered an award for his outstanding achievement,
"Thank you, all." He waved the trophy to the crowd. "I have had the best five years of my life here, at this club. SO much fun, such great players, managers and the fans are second to none." That caused a cheer from the back of the room.
"But as I approach forty, I am finally admitting I need to hang up my skates."
The whole room groaned, and Bo's hand wormed into Natasha's giving it a squeeze.
"This club will always hold a huge place in my heart, but I am stepping back. I won't be first team coach next year." That was clearly a shock, people gasped and groaned.
"But I will stay on in a 'director of hockey' role, to help the new coaching team find their feet. The guys here are happy for me to announce, that as of next week, the first team coach here, at the Hornets, will be Blake Myers, former captain of this team.
"And taking the captain's armband, and in that respect signing a four year contract here, is Bo Holding."
Natasha thought her heart would explode as she looked up at him, beaming as the whistles and cheers turned the room quite rowdy.
"Surprise," he offered with a wicked smile.
She shook her head, "don't you know shock is no good for me?"
"But it's a good shock?"
She nodded, "the best, I love you Captain!"
Natasha was exhausted, and whilst she knew that Bo wanted to stay and mingle, celebrate everything, she wasn't up to it.
"I'm going to head home."
"I'll come with you," he offered, stooping down to check how she was.
"Just tired, you're having fun. Stay."
He shook his head, "no way, I promised you a lot when we got home, and whilst my original plans don't seem to be right, now that you're so exhausted, I'm thinking a foot rub, some cocoa, and a night long hug all qualify as a replacement?"
She sighed, "Mr Holding, you sure know how to treat a woman."
Three hours later, Natasha shook a sleepy Bo awake. When he looked up at him, she grimaced.
"Seems the excitement of earlier was all a bit much."
He sat up, rubbing his eyes as he tried to decipher all that she was saying.
"The baby, it's on it's way."
Despite the panic, despite both of their anxieties for different reasons, Joseph Oliver Holding arrived before breakfast, and stole his parents' hearts.
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