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The Interview: Epilogue


“…happy birthday, dear Wh-it—”

“The poet wan-ker!” Brin and El sing.

I frown their way but don’t lose my stride as chief birthday singer. “Happy birthday to you! Hip hip!”


“Hip hip!”


“Blow out your candles,” I insist, clapping my hands like a seal.

“This is a fire hazard,” Whit grumbles, but he does as I ask, blowing out the at least sixty candles on his birthday cake. This is what happens when you leave someone else to light them. Someone like Brin. “I’m cutting you all off,” he adds as we all cheer. “Except you.” His hand hooks around my waist, pulling me to him. “You’re not going anywhere.”

“I’m glad to hear it.” Between my legs gives a little pulse at the way he looks at me the moment before he pulls me close.

“When can we send them all home?” His words are a hot whisper against my neck.

“Not for a while,” I trill, pulling away.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” he grumbles as he catches El showing his date for the night his phone.

“You don’t know that’s what he’s showing her,” I say quickly, coming to his brother’s defense.

“Of course it is. He delights in winding me up because I, the better man, won the girl.”

“El was never interested in me,” I scoff, but he’s already stormed off.

“How many times do I have to pay to have this thing taken down?” he mutters. Whipping the phone out of his brother’s hand, he begins poking at the screen.

“Oi!” El complains, taking it back. “Get your glasses on. You nearly poked my eye out!”

El doesn’t confess that he’s the one who loads the video to YouTube as soon as Whit has it taken down. That’s the video taken at Speakers Corner when he recited his sweet poem to win my heart. Like he didn’t own it already. Some bystander (brother) loaded it to the platform, and it almost immediately went viral, and poor Whit touted (taunted?) as the Poet Banker. British humor being what it is, this soon morphed into the Poet Wanker. Needless to say, he hates when anyone brings it up. But as he says, the embarrassment means nothing because he won the girl.

“I thought people were supposed to be nice to you on your birthday?” Whit complains, standing in the middle of our new home in Belgravia. Four bedrooms, a huge family kitchen, a beautiful garden with a tree house, and a playroom.

Crossing fingers and toes. I send my silly prayer into the ether.

“Everyone here is nice to you. Look at all the presents you’ve received.”

“It would be nicer if they all buggered off home.”

“Looks like someone has been hanging around with Beckett too long.” Olivia, Beckett’s wife, laughs as she passes, champagne glass in hand.

“I’m nothing like Beckett,” Whit complains, his brows lowering. Just like Beckett. But then Heather arrives by my side, shoving a sticky two-year-old girl into my arms. “Aunt Mimi loves a hug.”

“Cookie,” the kid demands, pointing at the cupboard they’re kept in. Whit gets the jar out, takes little Dahlia, and thrusts her back into the arms of his sister. “Mimi is busy. She needs to help me with something in the cellar.”

Whit’s siblings are all doing well and mostly taking care of themselves. Primrose is studying to become a psychologist and has a long-term boyfriend. Lavender has become a bit of a renovation queen and is more likely to be seen wearing overalls and ripping down partition walls these days than smashing a love rival’s window. Daniel married his Balinese backpacking girlfriend last year, and Heather and Archer have little Dahlia and another on the way. That just leaves El and Brin, who seem to enjoy sampling rather than settling down. I have noticed that Whit has been very firm since the next generation of Whittingtons is on the horizon. He doesn’t exactly sound like a funcle when he categorically refuses to babysit. Despite my telling him it’s okay and that I don’t feel sad when I hold other people’s babies, he’s still very protective of me.

“The cellar?” I answer.

At the same time, Heather quips, “Because you need help lifting something heavy?” The insinuation is strong in this one. “Come on, little flower,” she says, hugging her daughter. “Let’s go find Gigi instead.”

“Yes, do that. Your grandmother should be smothered in sticky fingertips at all times.”

“Like Doreen, you mean.”

I groan aloud at Heather’s words. “Please don’t tell me she’d been regaling you with smutty stories again.”

“Okay, I won’t say it. What I will say is that she’s a hoot.”

“Enough chatting.” Whit grabs my hand and pulls me out of the kitchen behind him.

“Wave bye-bye to Aunt Mimi,” Heather says. “It looks like Uncle Leif wants his birthday gift early.”

“More like Uncle Leif wants his birthday gift to come early,” he says, ushering me down the back stairs.

“We can’t be away too long,” I protest, turning back from closing the cellar door to find myself pulled against a wall of hard Whit. I shiver under his attention as he presses his mouth against my jaw. “You can’t escape your own party.”

“Sorry, what was that you said about long?” My hand in his, he presses it between us, and I giggle. “Long and hard,” he asserts.

“Not quite,” I purr. “But it has potential.”

As though to reprimand me, his teeth press into my bottom lip, the sensation resonating places elsewhere. I open my mouth with a soft groan, and his tongue slips inside. He moves into this kiss as his body moves me against a wooden trestle table.

“Let’s see what’s going on under here,” he whispers huskily as he lifts me onto the top of it.

“Really, Whit. We’ve got a houseful of guests, and you want to look at my underwear?”

He pauses in the action of lifting my dress over my knees. “Do you have a problem with that?”

“It would be a first, right?”

His lips tilt quite sinfully as he tips forward and presses them to the inside of my left knee. “The benefits of having a nubile wife,” he asserts smuttily.

“You’re such a cliché, marrying your secretary.”

He drops to his knees and slides his hands up my thighs. “I had to do something to stop her from being bent over other men’s desks.”

I laugh, but mainly because his hand has slipped around my inner thigh with a squeeze. Because he knows I’m ticklish. “Stop that!” I protest, pushing at his hand.

“Don’t be mean. Let the birthday boy see his gift.”

His gift.

Whit still sends me a gift card every Christmas and birthday. And I mean every birthday. Not just mine or his. It was Elvis the dog’s twelfth birthday last week, and a gift card arrived in my inbox from Agent Provocateur. There was even a suggestion in the text that I might buy something themed. So I did. An underwear set that was little more than a crisscrossing of ribbons that came with a matching collar and lead.

It led to an interesting night and sore knees the following morning. Totally worth it.

“Oh, pretty.” His words are a sultry purr as I lift my dress to my waist. “But let’s get them off, shall we?” He hooks his fingers into the sides.

“Yes, let’s lose the knickers,” I intone, rolling the r dramatically. “God, I love saying that word.”

“It rolls off your tongue as easily as they roll down your legs.” And he does just that.

“It thought you wanted to look at them,” I say as he shoves the scrap of black lace into his pocket.

“Later, darling. I’ll take my time and make you work for it, but I just need a little taste for now.”

Oh God. The things this man says.

His head bows, his elegant hands spreading my thighs wider, his tiger gaze burning bright as he slides his tongue along my pussy with a velvety groan.

“Oh yes.” I fist my hand in his hair as he thrusts two fingers inside me, the invasion so slick as his tongue slips off the rise of my clit. “You’re so giving on your birthday,” I rasp, bucking up into him, “but Whit, please. I need you inside me.”

“Ask properly,” he demands, as his tongue and his fingers work me so well.

“Get up here, birthday boy.” I pull on his thick, dark hair. “Please, I need you to fuck me.”

“There’s my filthy-mouthed girl.” The man just delights in making me curse.

His jacket slipped off, his zipper undone, he lines himself up, and we both watch as my body accepts his thick crown.

“That never gets old,” he grunts as his hips flex, filling me in one long drive.

I cry out and slide my hand to the back of his hair, bringing him closer. I can taste myself in his kisses as he begins to move. And move, my cries becoming louder and more desperate as he picks up the pace.

“I fucking love you, and I love fucking you,” he grunts as he fills me again and again.

“Leif?” Our heads whip collectively to the door at the sound of his mother’s voice. “Where’ve you gone? There’s a delivery here for you, and it needs your signature.”

“You locked the door, right?” he asks, his attention whipping my way.

“I think so. I’m not sure.” Did I? “I really don’t remember.”

His eyes close as though in pain, but it’s my walls throbbing around him. “Better make this quick,” he rasps, sliding his hands under my butt, changing the angle as he drags closer.

“Better get used to being interrupted,” I whisper, pressing my palm behind me and letting my head fall back.

“Leif? Mimi!” his mother’s voice trills.

“She’s not moving in with us,” he mutters as his whole body stills over me. He makes this noise, a masculine sort of ungh, as I laugh and react around his cock again.

“Not your mother.” I take his face in my hands as though love bleeds from my fingertips.

“The adoption agency—” Here’s a lilt of a question in his words before he halts. We’ve both learned the hard way not to get our hopes up. But it’s more than that, I want to tell him. This is fate’s hand. And while I still have fears inside me, I also have so much to give.


Love for Whit and for myself.

Love for a child somewhere in the world who needs it.

And love for another child unexpectedly created between my body and his.

My heart feels full as pleasure begins to pour through me, the rush of emotion and heat and love dragging Whit with me. I see stars burst, and I see universes created, each of them filled with love. I see our future. Our children, here in this house. I see us growing old together.

I see his mother… standing open-mouthed at the door?

Whit tips his head, oblivious, his body struck by the live line of his orgasm. “Best birthday ever,” he rasps, collapsing against me.

As his forehead drops to my shoulder, I whisper, “Whit, your mom is at the door.”

His shoulders move with a chuckle, but he doesn’t move. “And that’s what I call divine payback.”


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