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Chapter 36

I was so excited! I was taking Brock home to Louisiana to meet my family. He’d already met Uncle and JuJu but there were the myriad of cousins and the extended bayou family I wanted him to meet. He had no idea what he was in for but he was going to have the time of his life, I’d make sure of that! He’s spent the last few weeks researching my home and bayou life. Somehow he’d convinced his professor to allow him to conduct a survey on the eco-health of the tiny parish I was born and raised in.

Mama was bringing Stephen too. Their relationship seemed so much stronger now that my father was out of the way. Oh, he tried a few more times to weasel back into our lives, especially Mama’s but it didn’t take long for Stephen to put him in his place. I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be too much longer before my sweet little mama’s last name would be changing to Carraway. Hey, a daughter knows these things! And I couldn’t be happier about it!

Touching down in Louis Armstrong International Airport, we rushed off the plane to get our bags. It seemed like a lifetime ago I left Cocodrie, the little bayou village I grew up in to live in California. I longed to smell the salt of the sea and taste the fresh caught fish from the bay. Gathering our bags, we turned right into the embrace of Uncle Etienne and JuJu. Uncle swung me around before wrapping Brock in a bone crushing bear hug. JuJu fawned over Stephen but I knew she would. We piled into Uncle’s SUV and headed on the two hour trip to Cocodrie.

Finally home, I just stood on the porch drinking in the sounds of the bayou. I didn’t realize how badly I missed them until now. I didn’t get the chance to bask long as the rest of the family came pouring out of the house like ants to a picnic. The LeBouef version of French was flowing fast and free, leaving my poor Brock in the confused dust. Stephen spoke fluently and even he was having trouble following along.

JuJu finally corralled us all into the backyard where long tables were set up and loaded with food. It was a feast fit for a king with all my favorites. If I got any happier I swear I was going to combust right there!

“Babe you weren’t joking when you said you had a big family,” Brock huffed as he pulled me down in his lap. “I can’t keep up!” I giggled and wrapped myself around him.

“It’s okay, sugah,” I purred. “You just have to keep up with me.” I kissed his forehead and smoothed back his chestnut hair. Brock nuzzled me as we sat watching the antics of my loud Southern family. He was deep in thought. I could see a myriad of emotions flickering in his eyes. Kissing his temple, I stroked his jaw. “What’s on your mind, sweetheart?” He sighed.

“Just thinking how I would give everything I own to have had this growing up. Don’t get me wrong, I love my sisters very much. I just can’t help thinking we got royally fucked in the family department.” My poor baby. His parents really were selfish assholes.

“Well you’re not alone anymore, my love. My family is yours now.” I knew my family would love him and they weren’t shy about showing it. He’d probably been hugged and kissed more times than he ever had in his life today. Today was his official adoption day into the LeBouef clan. I continued to stroke him and kiss him wanting to envelope him so tightly in my love for him he never felt neglected again.

Brock Landry was the best thing to ever happen to me. Looking back on the girl I was made me smile. I was so shy and insecure but the love I found in his arms brought out the real me. I felt free when I was with him. He was the light to my darkness and showed me how to shine. I know that sounds so cliché but it’s true. This man is so deeply ingrained in my heart it will never belong to anyone else. I’m ruined, y’all and so damn happy about it. There’s no other man I want to spend the rest of my life with than this one right here.


Damn, I’m gone for this girl. Her family is amazing. Her mom is amazing. Hell she’s amazing! I look at her and can’t believe she’s mine. I’ve asked her a thousand times what she sees in me. She gives me that beautiful smile that stops my heart and simply says ‘Everything.’ As I sat there with this heavenly angel on my lap, lovingly stroking me and kissing me, I am awestruck. She just simply loves me. All of me, the good and the bad. She saw past my mask to the man inside and loves me in spite of myself. She broke down every wall, tore through my defenses like a wrecking ball.

Then she stayed to put the pieces of my heart back together with her at the center. She didn’t do it to trap me or claim some kind of fucking prize. She did it because she loves me. She loved me even when I didn’t love myself. She has made me a better man, I’ll admit. And I want to continue to be better. For her. There’s not enough time in the universe for me to tell her how I feel about her. I could tell her I loved her every second of every day and it would never be enough.

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