Maybe Tonight
her in his arms. She was crying. No, he didn’t want to make her cry, didn’t want his screw-up life being the cause of any problems for her.
    He steered her to the anteroom that was his storage area/office/place to get away. Anton’s new project was there–a bench he wanted to put in the garden. Mads made Laney sit down, then he crouched before her and told her everything.
    “I bumped into her on the same day you and I met. She was out walking with Lida, and Lida was asleep in her stroller.” He laced his fingers with Laney’s. He loved her hands, loved the perfect moons of her nails and the tiny mole between her thumb and index finger on her left hand.
    “And then she showed up here last week, and she asked me to create something for Lida. I couldn’t say no. I didn’t want to say no.”
    Laney chewed on her lower lip and nodded slowly. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
    “I thought you’d freak out over it.”
    “Mads…honey…please, don’t hide things from me. Just tell me. Trust me.”
    “Okay…I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have kept it to myself.”
    “We’re together now. We’re partners, right?”
    “Of course. It’s just you and me.”
    “Then don’t hide what’s going on from me.” She leaned in and pressed a gentle kiss on his forehead. “Especially not now…”
    “No, you’re right. No more secrets.”
    “Good…now show me what you’re making for her.” Her voice was lighter, calmer now. Her touch like feathers on his skin. “And then we can talk about what you’ll make for our daughter.”
    He grinned at her. “I’ve got lots of ideas.”
    “Good, because I’m sure she’ll be as picky as her mom.”
    “Her mom has good taste.”
    “I love you, Mads…” and she kissed him again, grazing her lips over his, brushing the tip of her nose with his and filling him with a sense of joy, that this was love, this was what it meant to be loved.
----
    Pregnancy suited Laney. Even with the frequent bouts of morning sickness, even though she still barely looked pregnant, Mads was convinced she’d become more radiant, more beautiful. Sometimes, when they were in the apartment and everything was quiet, he’d imagine he could hear their baby’s heartbeat loud and clear and reminding them that soon she’d be with them too.
    She was five months along. They were halfway there and he still found it incredible that soon he would really be a father. Not just a donor. Not the purveyor of someone else’s happiness.
    But just that night, as Laney lay on the sofa reading the latest issue of
Vanity Fair
while he made dinner for them, he felt as though no one could be happier than he was.
    He watched her as she turned the page, as one hand cupped the tiny mound that their daughter inside her, and his heart swelled and soared.
    “Laney?”
    She lowered her magazine and smiled up at him. “Is it time?”
    “I want to marry you, I want us…to get married.”
    The magazine fell from her hand as she sat up. “Are you serious?” She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. She tried to look steady but he saw how her hands trembled.
    He crossed the room and sat down beside her on the sofa. She turned towards him. Her smile wavered. “You’re really serious?”
    He nodded. “I don’t want anyone else. Just you. And I want to marry you.”
    “I want to marry you too.”
    “So say yes.”
    “Yes…
ja
…” She touched his cheek. He cupped her hand and brought it to his lips, pressed tiny kisses to her palm. “
Jeg ønsker at være din kone.
“*
    “
Og jeg vil gerne være din mand.
“**
    They kissed again as outside snow began to fall. From somewhere in the building Kashmir sang of electrified love and Mads felt like nothing could make him feel more complete. Nothing in the world could mean more to him than the woman in his arms and the family they would have together.
    *Translation: “I want to be your wife.”
** Translation: “And I want to be your husband.”

12
FATHER
    “Do you ever

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