A Mail-Order Hope

By: Janelle Daniels

“You won’t.”

He held her close again, blocking out fears of the future. “I couldn’t go another second without telling you. You need to know. I love you so much. I was a fool, Belle, hiding up on the mountain. My life is here, with you.”

When a happy tear slipped down her cheek, he cupped her face and kissed her softly, tenderly, and whispering words of love as she returned his kiss.

“I love you too,” she said. “I love you.”

He cradled the back of her head, bringing her eyes to his. “Marry me then. Let me build a home with you. Anywhere you choose, I’ll follow you. Just say you’ll marry me.”

“I will.” She kissed him again. “I will marry you. I’ll build a home and family with you. I don’t care where, Asher. Even if it’s on the mountain.” A small laugh escaped her lips. “I just want you.”

He crushed his lips to hers, sealing her words forever. From this moment on, he would never be alone again.


Testing out the porch swing Asher had added to the cabin in the meadow, Belle leaned into Asher’s arm and watched the clouds change to brilliant colors at sunset. After their wedding a few months ago, they’d debated where to live, and she had decided she wanted to live where it had all started.

And she was so glad she had. “It’s so beautiful.”

He hugged her to his side and tilted her chin up higher with his other hand. “You’re beautiful.” His lips brushed against hers and she sighed, loving her husband’s touch. She thought she’d be used to it by now, but every time he held her, touched her, kissed her, she melted even more.

He nuzzled her lips a moment longer before pulling back, fully relaxed as they swung in their peaceful surroundings. “I’m glad you wanted to stay here.”

“I know it’s important to you.” This was his home, and in the short time she’d lived here, it had become hers too. Although, soon, they’d need to add on to the cabin.

A small smile turned her lips, and her hand subconsciously moved to her abdomen. Very soon.

He must’ve felt her movement, because he turned to look at her with a matching smile. “What is it?”

She bit her lip and leaned in closer to him. “I have something to tell you.”

He looked a little concerned and she wanted to laugh. “It’s something good. At least”—she twisted her fingers together—“I hope so.”

“Then tell me.”

“We need to extend the cabin,” she blurted out.

“We do?” He looked confused for a moment, but then the confusion cleared. “Do you have more belongings we forgot to get?”

She’d been holding her breath for his reaction, and the misunderstanding made it all rush out in laughter. “No! I have all my things.” She waited a moment to see if he would finally understand, but she quickly realized she’d need to be more specific. Taking his hand in hers, she squeezed. “We’re going to have a baby.”

His mouth fell open. “Are you certain?”

She nodded. “I talked to Clara and Olivia about it. They said we should expect an addition to our family in late spring or early summer.” When he didn’t move or respond, she asked quietly, “Are you happy?”

“Happy?” A smile lit is face, and any concern she felt vanished. “I’m thrilled! So happy I feel like I’m going to burst.”

Their lips met halfway, and they kissed between their laughter. They were already a family, and this baby was an extension of their love.

He broke their kiss. “Can we have more?”

She laughed in surprise. “Well, we should probably get through the first baby and see how that goes, but I don’t see why not. How many would you like?”

“With you?” He kissed her quick. “As many as I can get.”

“Well, the meadow is large. Our cabin could be a mansion filled with babies by the time we’re done.”

He tapped her nose. “Don’t get me excited,” he said, before taking her into his arms and rushing into the cabin.

“Where are we going?”

“Let’s practice making a baby for the next time around.”

Her laughter was drowned out by his kisses. There would be many children indeed.

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