Sophia

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EPILOGUE

SOPHIA, EPILOGUE, TENSION WITH A SIDE SERVING OF NERVES

My anxiety is back during dinner because while I know I got over one hurdle – telling my family, I know that wasn’t the big one. Telling Hayes about my family is the one I’m worried about – it will be far too easy for him to walk away afterwards and not only ruin my life but potentially my family’s as well. The Hayes I believe I know and love would never do that but what we’re about to tell him is so far out of the realm of his reality, who knows how he’s truly going to respond. I just hope ‘calm, cool and logical Hayes’ – not the ‘overreacting and jump to wrong conclusions because I’m thinking with my dick instead of my head, Hayes’ shows up.

Hayes being Hayes picks up on my nervousness and tries to reassure me the entire meal. Gentle caresses and touches, the odd kiss on my temple – little reminders that he’s there but nothing over the top. He wants to comfort me and not upset my Dad, but none of it helps because Hayes is the problem – he just doesn’t know it. Thankfully, he is so focused on me he doesn’t notice that the rest of my family is behaving oddly as well – everyone is nervous about the reveal.

After dinner, Mom, Dad, Hayes and I retire to their room while everyone else disappears to their rooms. Now I know Hayes is picking up on the tension because his grip on my hand is tighter than usual – I don’t protest though because I need the reassurance as much as he does.

Dad explains shifters to Hayes simply and matter-of-factly, as if telling him nothing more than spectacular than rabbits can walk on hind legs and dogs write novels. To Hayes, it’s all the same. I can see the disbelief in his face – his eyes deceive him the more Dad talks – he doesn’t believe us. I think he wants to but maybe it is his years of education or his own childhood is refusing to allow him to acknowledge even the possibility of shifters existing. The five of us kids have heard the story of how Mom and Dad met and got together a hundred times so I look at Dad with an expectant look on my face – if Hayes refuses to believe words, there is only one thing left to do.

Show him.

HAYES, UM, WAIT – WHAT?

He’s a bear.

He wasn’t shitting me.

He’s a fucking bear.

He’s. A. Bear.

I rub my eyes then slowly reopen them.

Nope.

Still a bear.

Our own child has no chance of being a shifter since Luke and Sophia aren’t blood related – and I’m disappointed. How amazing would that be! I’ll admit I don’t know the first thing about the life of a shifter but in theory – it sounds pretty damn incredible. Being on a first name basis with my soon-to-be father-in-law is also awesome.

Mom prefers Mom.

SOPHIA, I DO

I wed the love of my life and become Sophia Hayes on a beautiful spring day in front of my family as the lodge owner officiates – he was certified online years ago and has performed dozens of ceremonies over the years, ours just being the latest. Bridget stands up for me and Dad does for Hayes since Aidan isn’t here, something I hope Hayes isn’t going to someday regret and Kaleb isn’t old enough to sign.

The ceremony is brief and the end result is what we want – we’re married. Hayes kisses his bride respectfully since my Dad is standing two feet away but whispers in my ear ‘wait till I get you alone’ which sends goosebumps racing across my skin.

Suddenly, I can’t wait to get this marriage started.

HAYES,

Aidan is understandably pissed at me for getting married without him. He stays mad at me for a few weeks – only talking to me at work, until I introduce him to Sophia’s sister Bridget at our son’s Baptism.

Then he’s my bestfriend again.

They really seem to hit it off so time will tell if that turns into anything – God help me if he ends up being my brother-in-law. Sophia says Bridget sincerely likes him and I know Aidan is crazy for her – so who knows? They just might make it work.

Our son Luke Markus Matthews was born in July at a healthy eight pounds, five ounces. Sophia wanted to pay tribute to both of her fathers and I had no problem with that at all – I’ve come to love Luke as a father myself and can only imagine the kind of man her biological father was. Her Mom is an amazing woman so I can’t imagine her with anyone less than her equal and Sophia and Bridget are a reflection of their love – and they’re… well… I couldn’t possibly love Sophia more than I do – she is my all. So while I may not have known Markus Carson, I don’t doubt the kind of man he was.

It wasn’t that long ago I was convinced my life was going to be nothing but work and loneliness. Then a beautiful, intelligent and kind woman walked into it and changed everything for the better and nothing has been the same since.

And I couldn’t be more grateful.

Nothing’s been the same because everything is better. Work is better, my days are better – life in general is better – because of Sophia. I nearly screwed it up and threw it all away but she gave me another chance – thank God she did. I can’t imagine my life without her and little Luke in it. I’m stronger because of their love and our future looks incredible.

How can it not? We’ll be together.

THE END.

The Robertson Family’s Story continues in ‘Bridget’ – out soon on Inkitt.com.

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