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Jeremy’s anger was slowly melting away. His jaw wasn’t as tense as he ran a hand through his hair, taking in what I had just said. “I worry about Harper,” he said. “More than I should, I’m sure. I don’t think treating them differently is the right thing to do going forward. Harper might notice the difference.”

A month earlier, one of the daycare workers had expressed concern to me about Harper. It wasn’t until that moment—when Jeremy was expressing his concern for her—that I remembered her mentioning it to me. She said she thinks we should have her tested for Asperger’s. I had forgotten all about it until that moment during my fight with Jeremy. And thank God I remembered because it was the perfect way to back up my defense.

“I wasn’t going to mention this because I didn’t want you to worry,” I said to him. “But one of their daycare teachers told me she thinks we should have Harper tested for Asperger’s.”

Jeremy’s concern grew tenfold in that moment. I tried to subdue that concern as quickly as possible.

“I’ve called a specialist already.” At least I will put a call in tomorrow. “They’re going to call back when they have an opening.”

Jeremy pulled out his phone, becoming sidetracked by the potential diagnosis. “They think Harper is on the autism spectrum?”

I took his phone from his hands.

“Don’t. You’ll worry yourself sick until the appointment. Let’s speak to the specialist first because the internet isn’t the place we need to seek out answers for our daughter.”

He nodded and then pulled me in for a hug. “I’m sorry,” he whispered against the side of my head. “It’s been a shitty week. I lost a big client at work today.”

“You don’t have to work, Jeremy. I make enough money for you to spend more time at home with the girls if that would make it easier.”

“I would go insane if I didn’t work.”

“Maybe so, but it’s going to be really expensive putting three kids through daycare.”

“We can afford…” He paused, pulling back. “Did you say…three?”

I nodded. I was lying, of course, but I wanted the mood of the night to disappear. I wanted him to be happy. And he was so happy after I told him I was pregnant again.

“Are you sure? I thought you didn’t want more.”

“I was sloppy with the pill a couple of weeks ago. It’s still early. Really early. I found out this morning.” I smiled. Then I smiled even bigger.

“You’re happy about it?”

“Of course I am. Are you?”

He laughed a little, then he kissed me, and all was back to normal. Thank God.

I gripped his shirt in my fist and kissed him back with everything in me, wanting him to forget all about the fight we were having. He could tell by my kiss that I wanted more than just a kiss. He took off my shirt, then took off his own. He kissed me as he backed up to the bed. When he removed my pants, he saw the bra and panties I had put on for him.

“You’re wearing lingerie?” he asked. He dropped his head into my neck. “And you made my favorite meal,” he said, disappointed. I wasn’t sure why he sounded disappointed until he pulled back, brushed hair from my face, and said, “I am so sorry, Verity. You were trying to make tonight special and I ruined it for you.”

What he doesn’t understand is that he could never ruin a night for me when it ends with him loving me. Focusing on me.

I shook my head. “You didn’t ruin it.”

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“I did. I threw my food, I yelled at you.” He brought his mouth to mine. “I’ll make it up to you.”

And he did. He fucked me slowly, kissing me the whole time, taking turns with each nipple as he sucked them. Had I breastfed, would he be enjoying my breasts as much?

I doubted it. Even after twins, my body was nearly perfect. Aside from the scar on my abdomen, the most important parts of me were still in tact. Still fairly firm. And Jeremy’s temple between my legs was still nice and tight.

When he had me close to the edge, he pulled out of me. “I want to taste you,” he said, moving down my body until his tongue was spreading me apart.

Of course you want to taste me, I thought. I kept things in tact for you down there. You’re welcome.

He stayed between my legs until I came for him. Twice. When he began to crawl back up my body, he paused at my stomach and kissed me there. Then he was inside of me again, his mouth on mine. “I love you,” he whispered between kisses. “Thank you.”

He was thanking me for being pregnant.

He made love to me with so much care, with so much compassion. It was almost worth faking the pregnancy just to have him love me like that again. To get our connection back.

If there was one good thing the girls brought to our life, it was that Jeremy seemed to love me the most when I was pregnant. Now that he thought I was about to give him a third child, I could already feel his love multiplying again.

There was a small part of me that was concerned about faking the pregnancy, but I knew I had options if I didn’t get pregnant that week. Miscarriages were just as easy to fake as pregnancies.

It’s been another week of reading Verity’s manuscript, and I’m bored. I’m finding it repetitive. Chapter after chapter of detailed sex with Jeremy. Very little to do with her children. She wrote two paragraphs about Crew’s birth, but then went on to talk about the first time they were able to fuck after Crew was born.

It got to a point where I started feeling jealous. I don’t like reading about Jeremy’s sex life. I skimmed a chapter this morning, but finally tossed it aside to get back to work. I finished the outline for the first book today and submitted it to Corey for feedback. He said he’d forward it to the editor at Pantem, because he still hasn’t read any of Verity’s books and wouldn’t know if the outline is sufficient. Until I hear back from them, I don’t really want to start on the second outline. If they come back wanting changes, it will have been work wasted.

I’ve been here almost two weeks now. Corey says they processed my advance and it should hit my account any day now. Once I get the feedback from Pantem, it’ll likely be time for me to move on. I’ve done all I can do in Verity’s office. If it weren’t for not having anywhere to go until that money hits my account, I’d have already left.

I hit a wall today. I’m burnt out from working so much these past two weeks. And I could read more of Verity’s autobiography, but I’m really not in the mood to read about all the ways Verity can suck her husband’s dick.

I miss television. I haven’t stepped foot in their living room since I arrived here almost two weeks ago. I leave the confines of Verity’s office and make myself a bag of popcorn, then sit on the living room sofa and turn on the television. I deserve to be a little lazy because tomorrow is my birthday, but I’m not planning on telling Jeremy that.

I keep glancing at the top of the stairs because I have the perfect view of it from the couch, but Jeremy is nowhere. I haven’t seen much of him over the last couple of days. I think we both know how close we came to kissing the other night, and how inappropriate that would have been, so we’ve been avoiding each other.

I turn the channel to HGTV and settle into the couch. I’ve watched about fifteen minutes of a house remodel when I finally hear Jeremy coming down the stairs. He pauses mid-step when he sees me in the living room. Then he descends the rest of the stairs and makes his way over, joining me on the couch. He sits in the middle, close enough to reach over and grab a few pieces of my popcorn, but far enough away that we aren’t in danger of touching.

“Research?” he says, propping his feet up on the coffee table in front of him.

I laugh. “Of course. Always working.”

He grabs more popcorn this time, cupping some in his hand. “Verity would binge-watch TV when she had writer’s block. She said it sometimes sparked new ideas.”

I don’t want to talk about Verity, so I change the subject. “I finished an outline today. If it gets approved tomorrow, I’ll probably leave in a couple of days.”

Jeremy stops chewing and looks at me. “Yeah?”