(UVMC, Montana Chapter)
The sun casts a warm glow over the sprawling estate as we pull into the driveway. I can’t believe what I’m seeing – a beautiful two-story house with a large front porch and a yard that goes on for acres. Jessica’s eyes widen in disbelief, mirroring my own reaction.
“Surprise!” Nina exclaims from the back seat. “I bought you guys this house! It’s close to Randolph’s place, so you’ll be nearby family. As soon as we walked through the yard, we know it would be perfect for you two and Loki.”
“Woof!” Loki wags his tail wildly, slapping Nina with it. She laughs and pets the puppy.
“You bought us a house?” Jessica asks incredulously.
Nina’s a generous person, but this is beyond anything I could’ve imagined.
“We appreciate the gesture, but we can’t possibly accept something like this,” I say, shaking my head slightly. “It’s too much.”
“Who said anything about accepting it?” Nina replies playfully, a mischievous glint in her eyes. “This house comes with strings attached. I expect more babies – more little ones for me to dote on as if they were my own grandchildren.”
I laugh, amused by her boldness. “Nina, Loki is the only grandchild we’re planning on having right now. If Jessica happens to get pregnant, great, but if not, we’re happy with our family just the way it is.”
Jessica nods in agreement as she reaches for my hand. I give her a reassuring squeeze. She’s been working hard as a fundraising specialist for the local animal shelter, and even though she loves her job, it doesn’t leave much time for us to consider expanding our family further. We’re still getting used to married life. It’s been amazing, but we’re not ready for kids.
Nina sighs, but she’s still smiling. “All right, I understand. But promise me you’ll at least consider it?”
“Of course.” Jessica gets out of the car to give Nina a hug. “We promise.”
As we stand there, taking in the beauty of our new home. An overwhelming sense of gratitude hits me. Our lives may not be perfect, but with each other and the support of our friends and family, Jessica and I are building something truly special together.
The rumble of motorcycle engines signals the arrival of the rest of our family. I watch as they pull into the driveway, their bikes gleaming in the sunlight. Jessica grins and squeezes my hand as we walk out to greet them.
“Welcome to our new home!” I call out, throwing my arms wide.
“Damn,” Scar says, dismounting his bike and looking up at the massive house. “This place is amazing.”
“Wait until you see the backyard,” Nina says.
“Let’s check it out.” Matrix sets his helmet on his bike before leading the ground into the backyard.
“We’re not that far from Randolph’s place, right?” Scar says, eyeing Nina.
“He’s a couple of blocks over.” Nina’s face turns pink.
“Speak of the devil,” Reaper mutters.
Randolph, Jessica’s dad, strolls into the yard. He’s carrying a six pack in each hand. “The caterers just arrived.”
“I’ll take care of it,” Nina says, smiling at Randolph before walking away.
“What’s up with that?” I ask Jessica.
“Let’s get this party started!” Nitro shoves a beer into my free hand as the catering company sets up lawn chairs and picnic tables for everyone.
As the sun climbs higher in the sky, the smell of barbecue fills the air. Kids run around laughing and playing while their parents talk and share stories. The camaraderie between us all is undeniable, and it feels like one big happy family gathering. It’s what I’ve always wanted.
“Everything good?” Jessica asks, noticing me scanning the crowd.
“Yeah, just... Reaper,” I say, gesturing toward him. He’s leaning against the wall, a solitary figure amidst the laughter and chatter.
“Ah, yes. Our lone wolf,” she says softly, concern in her eyes.
“I hope he finds someone to love too,” I admit. “He deserves happiness just as much as the rest of us.”
Jessica nods, her gaze warm and understanding. “The right woman will come along for him. It’s only a matter of time.”
I wrap my arm around her waist, feeling the warmth of her body against mine. As we watch our friends and family enjoying themselves, I can’t help but think back on everything that has brought us to this point. Despite the challenges we’ve faced, the love and support surrounding us have made all the difference. And even though our journey has been far from easy, I wouldn’t change a thing.
“Jess,” I say, turning to face her.
She looks up at me with those beautiful violet eyes, sensing the seriousness in my tone. “What is it, babe?”
“Nothing bad, I promise.” I take a deep breath. “I just want you to know how much I love you.”
Her face softens, and she smiles gently. “I know you do. And I love you too, more than anything.”
“Good,” I say, grinning. “Because I plan on spending the rest of my life showing you just how much.”
We stand there for a moment, wrapped in each other’s arms oblivious to the rambunctious shenanigans around us. The world outside our embrace may be chaotic, but one thing remains constant – our love for each other.
As we continue to watch the party unfold, I know our future will be filled with love, family, and perhaps another puppy or two for Nina to dote on. Fur babies can be spoiled just as much as human babies.
No matter what lies ahead, I know that Jessica and I will always be able to face it head-on, hand in hand, surrounded by the people who mean the most to us. For now, though, I’m content to simply enjoy this moment with the woman who has captured my heart and soul.