Larenzo's Christmas Baby(70)

By: Kate Hewitt



‘We’re all imperfect.’

‘I’m sorry for hurting you.’ He stood up, Ava still in his arms, and walked towards her. ‘I love you, Emma. And I’m so thankful you stayed and fought for me. For us.’

‘Me too,’ she whispered, and then he was folding her in his arms, and even better he was kissing her, as Ava patted both their cheeks.

‘Dada,’ she crowed. ‘Mama.’

‘Family,’ Larenzo said, and kissed Emma again.





EPILOGUE

One year later

‘CAREFUL NOW!’ LARENZO called as Emma mounted the stepladder. She threw him a teasing glance over her shoulder and took another step up, the star in her hand.

It was Christmas Eve, and she was putting the star on top of their tree. Outside the city was blanketed in snow, and only that morning they’d had a birthday party for Ava, with Meghan and Ryan and his new baby sister Ella coming into the city to celebrate.

It had been a wonderful, crazy year, full of excitement and joy. So much joy. Emma had finally submitted her photographs and had had her first exhibition in SoHo. In May the investigation had finally concluded and Larenzo’s innocence had been proclaimed in all the papers. The gossip had trickled away, and Larenzo’s business had gone from strength to strength, as he’d built his client list and invested in innovative new technology.

They’d moved from the luxurious penthouse apartment to a Brownstone overlooking the park, with bedrooms for the children they hoped one day to have. Ava was already obsessed with babies, and Emma was looking forward to introducing her to a new brother or sister, whenever it happened.

Now she stood on her tiptoes and perched the star on top of the tree.

‘Is it straight?’ she asked.

‘Perfectly,’ Larenzo answered.

‘Star!’ Ava crowed and, smiling at them both, Emma came down from the ladder.

She glanced at the star and then burst out laughing. ‘It’s completely crooked.’

‘I like it,’ Larenzo answered as he pulled her towards him, Ava squirming as usual to get right between them. ‘It reminds me of how you love me despite my many imperfections.’

Emma shook her head, smiling. ‘You seem pretty perfect to me,’ she said, and kissed him.

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