Authors: Kaylee Ryan
“Hey, babe,” I greet her. She’s in the kitchen stirring something in a Crock-Pot. “Is that our lasagna?” I ask, resting my hands on her hips and kissing her neck.
She laughs. “No, meatballs.”
“Dada.” Knox comes barreling into the room. Leaning down, I catch him and lift him into my arms.
“Hey, birthday boy.” He gives me a sloppy kiss right on the lips and I laugh. Life has definitely changed, and I embrace it. I love our life.
“Mom.” He points to Kendall.
I freeze. That’s the first time I’ve ever heard him call her that, and I don’t know how she’s going to react.
She places the lid back on the Crock-Pot and turns to face us. “Hey, sweetie.” She tickles his chin.
“Mom.” He leans toward her, his arms held open wide.
“Come here, you.” She takes him from my arms and bounces him on her hip. “Are you ready for your party?”
I watch in fascination as he just plays with her hair. I don’t blame him; I love the feel of those silky strands sliding through my fingers. It doesn’t seem to faze her that he called her Mom. I take a deep breath, wanting that for them, for her to give in and let herself believe that she’s that person for him. She is already, but she fights it.
Hearing a car outside, her attention is drawn out the window. She sees the mailman and grins. “I got you and Daddy a present for your birthday.” She looks up at me. “Can you call your mom and see if she can stop and pick up a bag of ice?”
“Sure, babe.” I hold my hands out for Knox. “You want to come with Daddy?”
He leans toward me, but Kendall holds him close. “I kind of need him for the surprise I got the two of you.” She smiles.
I chuckle. “Okay, then. I’ll go call Mom.”
She nods then rushes out to the mailbox. Her excitement is evident. I guess that’s why she’s been acting a little off today; she was probably just nervous that whatever it is she ordered wouldn’t be here in time. I rack my brain for something that she could’ve bought that would be for both me and our son. I’ve got nothing.
The call with my mom takes longer than what it should have, as she rattles on about all the gifts she bought him. I assume my wife was banking on this, which is why she had me call.
I’m sitting in the living room when Knox comes tumbling in as fast as his little legs will carry him. “Dada!” He hugs my legs and climbs up on my lap. Kendall is laughing when she sits down beside me. Knox is playing with my beard when a small white envelope appears in my line of vision. Kendall and I haven’t had the best of luck with little white envelopes, so I hesitate.
“Open it,” she says, grinning.
I take that as a good sign, so I tear open the envelope. Inside is a single piece of paper from the state of Illinois.
‘Official Petition for Adoption.’
I whip me head toward her. “You signed?”
Tears in her eyes, she grins. “I did. Counseling has helped, and last week he called me Mom. Something just clicked. I knew his situation is much like my own, and I want to be that person for him.”
Wrapping my hand around the back of her neck, I pull her into a kiss.
“No,” Knox protests, trying to pry us apart.
“He loves his momma,” I say to Kendall.
She laughs as tears stream down her face. I lift Knox in the air. “Its official, bud.” I throw him up and catch him, and his laughter fills the room. He grabs onto my shirt when I settle him into my lap, and that’s when I notice Kendall changed him. I’ve never seen this one before; maybe that’s what came in the mail. Moving his arms so I can read it, I freeze.
‘I’m the big brother.’
I stare at it and read it two more times before turning to look at my wife.
“Surprise,” she says.
“Are we . . . ?”
I’m too overwhelmed to say anything, emotion clogging my throat, so I kiss her, long and hard. Then I grab them both in my arms and hold them tight.
Life has thrown me some curve balls, and there have been times when then unexpected changes have literally knocked me on my ass. I had to learn to live one breath, one second, one minute, one hour, one day at a time. I’ve learned that the best things in life are truly the unexpected.
I’ve embraced it and learned to live in my unexpected reality.
With You Series
Anywhere With You
More With You
Everything With You
Stand Alone Titles
Just Say When
Soul Serenade Series
I have the love and support of a wonderful family who stands behind me. Thank you for your understanding and your constant support and encouragement. None of this would be possible without you. I love you.
The entire Indie Community is a world of in itself that I am proud to be a part of. I’ve made life long friends on this journey and will be forever grateful for all you’re the support I have received.
Sommer Stein, Perfect Pear Creative Covers, you nailed it, Cover Girl! The cover of Unexpected Reality is more than I could have hoped for it to be. Thank you for always being on point and making my vision come to life.
David Marineau, it’s been great working with you. Thank you for being the face of Unexpected Reality. I wish you nothing but success.
Marc-André Riopel & Josee Houle this picture speaks for itself. It’s amazing and your combined talent produced a beautiful image.
Tami Integrity Formatting, you never let me down. You make my words come together in a pretty little package. Thank you so much for making Unexpected Reality look fabulous on the inside!
Masque of the Red Pen, thank you for your amazing proofing skills.
Becca Manuel, yet again you have produced a trailer that captures the book perfectly! Thank you so much.
My beta team: Kaylee 2, Jamie, Stacy and Lauren you ladies have become family to me. I value your feedback and the friendships that we have created. No matter if it’s a plot change, new story line, or even cover images, the four of you are there. Always. I cannot tell you how much your never ending support means to me. I love you ladies.
Give Me Books, thank you for hosting and organizing the cover reveal and release of Unexpected Reality. I appreciate all of your hard work getting this book out there.
To all of the bloggers out there
. . . Thank you so much. Your continued never-ending support of myself, and the entire indie community is greatly appreciated. I know that you don’t hear it enough so hear me now.
I appreciate each and every one of you and the support that you have given me.
Thank you to all of you! There are way too many of you to list . . .
To my Kick Ass Crew, you ladies know who you are. I will never be able to tell you how much your support means. You all have truly earned your name. Thank you!
Kaylee (2) Not much new I can say. You are a constant beam of support and the friendship that we have formed is something that I will always cherish. Thank you for being you!
Last but not least, to the readers. I truly love writing and I am honored that I am able to share that with you. Thank you for your messages and tags on social media. I love hearing from each and every one of you. Thank you for your continued support of me, and my dream of writing.
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