I’m so fucking nervous it’s beyond a joke. I’m pacing like a madman at the entrance to the park when I see Jolie turn the corner, her bump greeting me before she does, her hair twisted up into a ponytail as she yawns.
She’s waddling now, which she hates, but I think it’s the cutest thing in the world. I love watching her when she doesn’t know I’m there, and I cross my arms, leaning against the iron railing as she waddles towards me.
“Hey beautiful,” I smile as she looks up, her face lighting up with the delectable smile she rocks so well. “You’re wearing the jeans!”
“Urgh, I don’t fit in anything else! I feel like a whale,” she complains, pouting as I kiss her lips, my hands stroking her hard stomach.
“You look stunningly beautiful. Trust me, you’re fire, baby.”
“You’re just saying that because I’m pregnant with your baby,” she grumbles, peering over my arm at the basket beside me. “Ooh, tell me you have pickled eggs.”
“Can’t wait to kiss you later,” I tease, lacing my hand through hers as we walk up the windy path of the park.
Trees provide natural shelter from the last of the winter sunshine, and I already know exactly where we need to sit. It’s not far from the gate either, as Jolie is struggling with distances and hills now the weather is getting warmer.
“Did you bring a blanket?” Jolie asks when I stop beneath a magnificent oak tree, the golden hues of the sunshine illuminating the deep green of its leaves.
“Listen, I’m a seasoned picnicker,” I declare, tugging open the basket. “One blanket, a jar of pickled eggs for my babies, raspberry flavoured—“
“Diet?” She interrupts with a grin, watching as I place the items onto the blanket.
“—diet lemonade,” I laugh, shaking my head at her. “Plus I might have stopped off at Lucilles’ Bakery for some slices of that heavenly carrot cake.”
“Oh Jax, you’re amazing,” Jolie coos, sinking to her knees as she strokes her bump tenderly. “How did you know I needed this?”
I hand her a can of lemonade, shrugging with a pleased smile. “I just love you, woman. That’s all this is, nothing serious.”
“Thank you,” she says, slipping her nail under the ring of the can, the popping noise scaring off some birds from the tree above us. “Oops!”
I hand her a jar of pickled eggs as she hugs it to her, her eyes sparkling.
“I’m the happiest girl right now,” she gushes, twisting open the lid. “What time are you due back at work?”
I wave my hand dismissively, and she smiles widely, popping a pickled egg in her mouth with a groan.
“I don’t have to be back today, I’m spending it with my girls.”
“I’m picking Immie up at three,” she frowns, sliding her phone out of her back pocket.
“We are,” I correct, and she looks up at me with a grin.
“She made cakes today. She was so excited,” Jolie says, sucking the vinegar from the fingers. “She’s so beautiful Jax, she melts me.”
“Imagine being me, with you as my girlfriend, and her as my daughter,” my eyes fall to her bump, and we grin like idiots. “I can’t imagine what life will be like when there’s three of you. I’ll never sleep.”
“God, I will,” Jolie yawns. “This is exhaustion, the laziest exhaustion I’ve ever experienced. I barely move and I’m snoring.”
“Mmm,” I say, gazing at the way the sun falls on her hair, the blonder strands at the ends looking almost white. “Have I told you you’re beautiful today?”
“No,” Jolie lies, and we laugh companionably. “Stone rang me earlier, apparently he’s stocked up on essentials for the baby,” she continues, a small smile on her face.
The past couple of months had gone really well with Stone, and even Aunt Lillian had met up with us a few times. Stone adores her for everything she did for Jolie, and when she had some parking grief with the neighbours and the council, it was soon settled when twenty bikers showed up in her defence.
Stone had kept to his word so far, and seen Jolie every week without fail. She’s been to the clubhouse once or twice, but she didn’t feel too comfortable there.
I can imagine it’s to do with the way they are. Bikers are good guys, usually, but a pretty lady can turn any man insane.
Especially one like Jolie.
“So I’ve got something I want to talk to you about,” I say, pushing the sleeves of my shirt up as she looks at me with a suspicious expression.
“If this is about the names again, I’m being serious. I draw the line at Fiona and Jane. Just, no.”
“She needs a plain name,” I chuckle, as I shake my head. “But that’s not it.”
Jolie looks worried for a second, and I can’t get my words out quick enough.
“I need your opinion.”
“Oh,” she frowns, relief evident on her face. “On what?”
“The surname situation with the baby.”
Jolie blinks a few times, before shrugging. “She’ll be a Cohen.”
My heart soars at her words, but it just makes me know I’m doing the right thing even more.
“What about your name though?”
“I don’t care about my surname, Jax. It doesn’t hold many happy memories for me.”
I slip my hand into hers as she dips her head, her fingers tracing the edge of my hand as I take a deep breath.
“You can change it, you know?” I say nonchalantly, as she shrugs.
“I know. But it’s a bit dramatic isn’t it, paying to change your surname. What would I change it to anyway? Mendes?” Her eyes sparkle with amusement as I look up at her, my eyes meeting hers.
“What about Cohen?”
“Cohen?” She echoes, tilting her head to mine. “Oh, because of the baby? It doesn’t matter in this day and age—”
I drop the ring box in front of her from within the basket, my heart pounding so hard in my chest I can barely hear myself speak.
“Marry me, Jolie. Take my name. Keep it, do what you like with it, but take it because it’s yours. I’m yours.”
She turns white as she stares at me, her fingers clutching my hand as though I’m keeping her steady.
“Yes?” She whispers, tears falling down her cheeks as I push the box towards her.
She still hasn’t opened the box, and I’m quite sure she hasn’t even blinked yet.
“Of course I will!” She whispers, throwing her hands around my neck, knocking me backwards as I break our fall with my outstretched hand. She’s sobbing into my arms now, and I kiss her neck, her cheek and whatever else I can reach until she releases me, her forehead resting on mine.
“Tell me they’re happy tears, baby,” I plead, stroking away the streaks left behind on her cheeks.
“You really wanna marry me?”
“Yeah, I really wanna marry you,” I mimic as she shakes her head, her eyes wide as she turns to see the box on the floor.
“Oh, my God, I haven’t even seen the ring—”
“No biggie, just a haribo,” I tease, watching as she lifts open the box.
This is it, the second biggest moment. I’m praying I’ve remembered it perfectly, and even got Lauren to help me scour shops for it. In the end, I’d had it made, because nothing like it existed. That confirmed it—Jolie too is one of a kind, so the ring has to be.
“Jax…” she murmurs, her eyes darting up at me as she gasps, closing her eyes with disbelief. “You remembered the ring?”
“I hope it’s like it.”
“It’s better, it’s beautiful. It’s...perfectly unique, it’s—”
“Exactly like you,” I finish, as she chokes up, sliding the ring onto her finger. “We can get it resized after the baby, because your fingers won’t be as swollen,” I say quickly as she gazes at it.
The emerald catches the sunlight immediately, the tiny crystals surrounding it gleam beside it proudly. I’d gone for a platinum band, because I can’t skimp on anything for this woman.
“You gonna be Mrs Cohen, babe?” I ask, kissing her ring finger as I examine it, shaking my head in disbelief.
“Yes,” she claps her hands together, cupping my face in hers. “You’re going to be my husband. I’m so happy, Jax!”
All of this.
Everything that has happened between us, all from a one night stand. I want to go back and high five myself for taking her home, and for doing whatever it took to get her to be mine.
Jolie is going to be my wife, and the mother to my child and hopefully many more.
I won’t tell her that just yet, as I think this pregnancy is enough to put her off for life.
But fuck, we need more babies.
Especially with how much fun we have making them.
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