It still felt so strange to Sophie. This was really happening. All of it felt like one really long dream to her, reality hadn’t fully caught up yet, just a long, comfortable haze.
Never had she thought she would give up the beloved Lake House, a home that had been in Cameron possession for countless generations now, but when she first mentioned moving in with Stryker at the Cameron’s Sunday dinner table, her brother Ewan immediately jumped in and called dibs on the house. It wasn’t big, but it was larger than the home he, his wife Ashley and their daughter Ashton-Leigh were currently living in, and it was obviously right by a lake.
Ewan, Ashley and their daughter were very outdoorsy people, they went camping nearly every weekend during the warmer months and the outlook of having a perfect fishing spot right next to their home sounded like a lottery win to them.
So, with the knowledge that her beloved home would be in the best of hands, Sophie had packed her things, leaving all the furniture that had once belonged to her grandparents, and in one morning with the help of her parents, Michael, Connell and Silas – Emmy had stayed behind to babysit everyone’s brood – she was moved in, most of her things already put away as if she never had lived anywhere else, save a handful of boxes filled with things still needing to find a new home in her new home.
After her family had left – it was still not even 11 am – the home felt oddly quiet, she could hear the echoes of her own footsteps when she stopped to look around the house which was now her and Spencer’s full-time home too.
The large home didn’t seem as big as it was from the outside, masterfully designed to blend in perfectly with the small-town charm of Windenburg despite being very modern with all the creature comforts and things a career musician with a small family would need and want. Everything still smelled new, fresh wood, fresh paint, fresh concrete.
The inside was a stark contrast to the Lake House’s old-timey charm, compiled by generations of Camerons adding and changing it to their taste. This home was modern, yet tasteful, with a distinct androgenous note. Sophie had to admit she really liked it a lot more than she thought she would, considering she had a love for all things vintage, including movies. There was something to be said for fancy and brand-new, Stryker’s kitchen was Sophie’s happy place.
Her two dogs Huey and Molly just ran by, barking and chasing each other, tongues nearly dragging on the ground. Clearly, they didn’t mind all the extra-room either.
Sophie smiled knowing this home only existed because Stryker had gotten tired waiting for her to take him up on one of his many hints about asking him to move in with her into the Lake House, so he bought property just down the road from it, so close, you could actually see it from most of the windows of his home. The entire planning, design and construction had been handled by Cameron Enterprises, a family business, a legacy in its own right, once build from the ground up by the late Jamie Cameron, Sophie’s grandpa, and now run by her siblings Esmée and Ewan, employing Ashley, Abby and Emmy, and often contracting in Michael under the table.
Most of the building process has been done via phone calls and video chats, while Stryker was touring, all the way up until the day they had left for their couple’s vacation in Sulani, where he had asked her to marry him in the most romantic way imaginable.
That vacation had been heaven, even though it had been almost 7 weeks since then Sophie still floated on cloud 9 as she looked down at the giant rock on her ring finger, she remembered back to his romantic proposal, to all the sweet moments they had spent together exploring the islands, roasting in the sun, eating exotic foods, she blushed when she remembered that one day they stayed in during a monsoon. They spend most of it in bed, but not sleeping. Gawd, she had never experienced anything more sensual than that day.
As if on cue, her stomach turned.
Running for the downstairs guest bathroom, Sophie barely made it in time, before viciously throwing up her entire breakfast from earlier that day. It wasn’t the first time; this had increasingly been happening for about a week now. Sophie had attributed it to being nervous about the move, she had been dealing with severe anxiety all her life and it could have this effect on her if stressed, same reason she hadn’t really worried about her period being late, but now a sneaky suspicion crept into her mind. Especially since she wasn’t even really that stressed, rather than excited.
After washing her hands, she looked deep into her own eyes in the reflection in the mirror.
“Could it be?”
Her own voice startled her a little. With a deep sigh, she shrugged, double-checked that she didn’t have any telltale smears on her face, then left the guest bath.
She went upstairs to her and Stryker’s bedroom – which still felt so strange to her. It was big and modern, oozed his effortless cool masculinity, which helped Sophie get over missing him when he was traveling, something he had to do a lot of these days with his increasing fame. Even before she had agreed to move in with him, he had given her a key to come and go as she pleased, and to check on his place when he was gone for longer periods at a time. Sometimes, when he was on tour, she would spend the night here with Spencer and her dogs, imagining what it would be like to accept his offer to live here with him full time. Laying alone in his bed had always felt strange, but also good. It still smelled like him, felt like he was there.
Shaking her head as if shaking the thoughts out, she headed for a stack of boxes, dug around in them for a moment until she found what she was looking for, then locked herself in his ensuite bathroom. No, in THEIR bathroom.
When she stepped out of the bedroom some time later, Stryker was just leaving Spencer’s room next door, he looked up, smiled at her, which gave her hot and cold feelings of various emotions.
“Our little monster tuckered himself out chasing all his cousins, he is so fast asleep, it may be considered a coma.” Stryker smiled.
“Oh good. Do you have a moment?”
“Sure, why? Feel like christening your new home now that we are alone again?” he winked.
“No, not exactly, but it’s the right direction.” Sophie sighed deep.
“You’re pregnant.” it was a statement, not a question.
“Umm – wow! You read minds now?”
“Don’t have to. It’s written all over your face. Never play poker, Sophie. You’d lose the shirt off your back.”
Okay – well – yes. What a very unceremonious way to break the news, here in the hallway, all sweaty on moving day, but … yeah, looks that way, pending confirmation by a doctor. But the test wand had two very strong lines and I have a gut feeling it’s not false alarm.”
Stryker’s face ran through a few different emotions until it halted at a smile, before he laughed.
“I knew it. I blame that Sulani monsoon for it. Man girl, we put rabbits to shame that day. We had not one, but two condoms bust on us. I knew then I’d be a daddy again. Looks like I was right.” he chuckled.
“How do you feel about this? You are taking it better than I thought you would.”
“Sophie, were you worried I’d freak out? Oh shit – you were! Jeeze girl, every time I think I finally managed to outlive my past bullshit with you, you throw me another nugget that screams I did not. Soph, one of the very first things you ever told me about yourself was that you wanted a stable full of kids. I always knew we’d end up promoting Spencer to being a big brother sooner rather than later. No, I am not really surprised it happened, I am not shocked, and it is definitely good news. Come here you.” he pulled her into his arms, they kissed.
“I’ll admit, I wasn’t really sure how I felt, I DEFINITELY wasn’t sure how you’d react, but now, I am actually getting excited!” she said as he released her again.
“Ya know, I’d break out the good champagne to celebrate, but now we both can’t drink real booze. Feel like clinking to the occasion with sparkling apple juice?”
“Sure, that sounds … dreamy.” Sophie laughed.
“I think the word you are looking for is pathetic. Gotta warn ya, full disclosure, since I have a lot of experience with it by now – that sparkling apple juice crap isn’t really my thing to begin with going down, but it is a punishment from hell if it comes back up, just so you know, if we are drinking that shit and you start with your morning sickness routine, I’ll start puking too, it won’t be pretty. That’s what you get when you have an addict knock ya up.”
“Well, maybe, but my addict makes really pretty babies.”
“So do you.”
“Ahem, Stryker … I know we just got engaged a few weeks ago, but I think we need to discuss the wedding?”
“What about it?”
“Well, are we gonna go for a shotgun wedding, try to squeeze that in somehow before I get too big for any dresses or are we gonna have another baby out of wedlock? No telling how long it will take me THIS time to lose enough baby weight that I would feel comfortable in a wedding dress.”
Stryker laughed hard, shaking his head.
“Give you the little finger, you wanna put a ball and chain on it. Just kidding. That’s up to you, baby. I can marry you tomorrow or we can wait another year, or two, or three. Big wedding, small, backyard or destination – or even just at the courthouse before a Justice of Peace. Doesn’t matter to me. I am sure we can figure out how to pull something together on pretty short notice. When I went to ask for permission to marry you, your parents BOTH made clear that they kinda expect us to get married at the estate. So, unless you wanna have THAT discussion with them, I think we already have a location. At least for a reception with the whole fam-damily if we were to go the Justice of Peace route.”
“Wait – you went to ask my dad for permission to marry me? Is that what you just said, cos that’s what I heard?!”
“No, I went and asked your mom AND your dad for permission like a real dork. I figured I have a lot of making up to do still with the whole family for them to trust me again. Anyway, both were onboard, obviously your mother is still not my biggest fan, but she liked my gesture. As did your dad. I told you I was doing it right this time.”
Sophie grabbed Stryker, pulled him in, then planted a big kiss on his lips that took his breath away.
“You are the perfect man. THAT gesture was perfect. I love it. I love you.”
“Aww, finally did something right. I know you like that old-fashioned business, by now you have tortured me with enough classic romance flicks that I got my man-card permanently revoked and my balls are in a jar on your dresser. However, your perfect man just remembered I need to get showered and dressed – and all that quick.”
“Now? Why?! Where are you going? Got a hot date or something?” Sophie wondered disappointed.
“Oh, God yes, such a hot date! He’s SO hot, especially the moment he finally shuts the fuck up with the lectures, breaks out his rubber stamp and signs off on my monthly mandatory check-in sheet in that oh-so special court-ordered probation officer kinda way. Hmm-hmmm. So sexy. I nearly pop a top each time he does, then do cartwheels out the door for another month.”
“Oh, that’s right, the probation officer, that is today, I forgot too. I would offer to grab Spencer and go with you, but I met him once, that was enough. You enjoy your alone time with that creep. Eesh.”
“You’d be creepy too if you had to deal with the crowd he has to deal with on a daily basis, they’re not all dreamy like me. Luckily, I didn’t forget, cos that would be extra-drama we don’t need, the judge made clear to me that even one slip-up will cost me my deferred sentence and my fancy tanned ass will be going straight into a standard 6 x 8 feet room at Club Fed for some burly dude with a scary name to have his way with. I’d like to avoid that at all cost. While we’re trying not to forget dates here, reminder that my mother is coming over for lunch tomorrow, so to give you a break from cooking, I can pick us up lunch on my way home. I’d offer to cook for her visit, but she and I are finally on what could be considered pretty okayish terms, don’t want to risk it by feeding her the toxic waste I usually produce on a stove. She’d probably accuse me of trying to poison her on purpose as payback for all the shit she pulled on me.” snickered Stryker.
“Oh, I don’t mind cooking – MARCO – neither for us nor for your mom’s visit. Maybe over lunch we can talk about how we are gonna break the news to everyone that there may be a pretty speedy wedding in our future on account of us forgetting how birth control works on account of lust and desire. Your mom could be our guinea pig on how the news will be received, considering we’ll have the weekly Cameron family dinner on Sunday at my parents’ house to get the news out of the way quickly this time, so everyone knows to keep their schedules open for a potential shotgun wedding if that’s what we decide on.”
“Hmm, Marco, huh? Nice touch. You’re really trying to get rid of me now, aren’t ya?”
“Just preparing you for your mom’s visit tomorrow, so you don’t fly off the handle. Again. You KNOW she will call you that again, she always does. She can’t help it.”
“Yeah, thanks. So appreciated. I think I have kept myself together pretty okay during the last dozen or so visits with her, especially when Spencer’s there. Not flawless, she still makes me wanna tear my hair out with her odd ways of looking at life and elective memory of the past, but I think with few exceptions I managed to just let her drivel wash over me and move on. I gotta get into that shower, dressed and get going now for real, if I miss that appointment there won’t be a wedding for a long time, unless you want to have it in prison. That judge was pretty clear about there not being any slack for me, a one and out kinda deal.”
“I remember and no thanks, as enticing as that does NOT sound, my parents’ estate will do just fine.”
“Kiss me like you’re gonna miss me, wifey.” Stryker pulled her close and planted a hearty kiss on her lips.
“Not your wifey yet. You could still mess up and break us up again.” she told him as he released her again.
“Ouch – thanks for that incredible vote of confidence. You sound like your mother. And mine.” he slapped her butt, then headed past Sophie towards their bedroom door.
“Get your butt in the shower before I spank it! And I don’t mean a cute lil slap – I mean full on beating! Don’t even think trying to get out of the pregnancy and wedding by going to prison for being late to the appointment!” Sophie told him giggling.
“Don’t offer that kinky crap unless you’re willing to put out, woman! Saying such stuff when I have no choice but to leave is no fair. You’ll pay up for this – LATER!” Stryker teasing winking as he disappeared in the bedroom.
Sophie remained in the hallway, still giggling, shaking her head to herself.
“Wow, Soph. In the shortest time imaginable you went from wallflower no boy or man would look at twice to being on the verge of becoming the wife to a superstar rock musician EVERY woman drools over. And he wants you. Like, REALLY wants you. Not to mention that you are now living in a huge fancy home with him, you have a son with him, and you are pregnant with child number two. Wait, let’s hope it’s only child number two and not two, three, etc. Oh boy, I haven’t even thought about that yet! Silas has twins, mom had triplets AND twins! Man, I better get that Gynecologist appointment scheduled A.S.A.P.! If this is multiples, I can kiss the wedding BEFORE the birth goodbye, cos I KNOW I won’t fit into ANY dresses much longer. But I need to go try some on. No matter when we ultimately tie the knot, I need to have a dress in my closet – pronto – for peace of mind! And what AM I gonna do? Stryker is no help deciding with this “whatever you want” spiel. So, what DO I want? A quick wedding? Should we wait and take some time planning? I always thought I’d have a June wedding, but I’d be HUGE by then. Ooof, so many tough decisions!”
Here are some photos from Sophie’s wedding dress shopping and fitting with her mom Abigail. They may not have a date just yet, but she found ‘the one’, her perfect dress! So whenever the big day comes, she will look like a princess!
3 thoughts on “Chapter 413) Movin’ On Up”
I loved this chapter. They are so cute together. You have so many hot guys in your story! 😍😍😍 I really like seeing Stryker healthy and self aware and Sophie with more self esteem and not feeling so unattractive. She’s beautiful. I’m not surprised there’s that tint little fear way in the back of her mind that he’ll mess up, but I think he chipped away some more of it by remembering his appointment, asking her parents for their blessing, being happy she was pregnant, and saying he’d marry her today. He truly loves her. That is the perfect dress for her. She’ll be a beautiful bride.
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Aw, another little nooboo! Adorable!
Wow, what a stunning bride Sophie will be! Gorgeous dress.
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I can’t wait to find out the number and gender(s)! Sophie looks like a beautiful angel in those wedding gowns ❤ Loved this chapter. I'm just sorry I was late in reading it. LOL!
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