kanbukai.com 2022-08-06 07:57:13


Part of The Lost Ones series • Written for Hotlander

Summary: It’s been six months since she fell for her neighbor across the hall, seven months since she lost her only remaining family, nine months since Jamie lost his father. On their first summer holiday as a couple, they’re reaching milestones they didn’t expect.

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“Ready to dip your toes in the water, little bug?”

To Claire’s question, the baby only formed a spit bubble and glanced up toward the harking of the seagulls circling far above their heads.

“Okay,” Claire murmured, and kissed the baby’s soft cheek; she smelled of sunscreen and saltwater. “Here we go.”

The waves were gently lapping at Claire’s ankles as she helped lower her tiny companion until the baby’s bare feet touched the cool water. The baby let out an excited shriek and kicked her legs.

“No,” Claire laughed. “I can’t set you down. You’ll drift out to sea ‒ and what would your mother think of me then, if I let you go?”

At mention of Jenny, Claire glanced over her shoulder to be sure the others still weren’t within earshot ‒ baby Kate was easy to contain, but JJ and Maggie required more hands-on supervision, and so Jenny and Ian were presently preoccupied with their older children further down the beach.

She caught Jamie’s gaze instead, and felt her heart flutter. He must have been watching her with the baby from his spot in the sand, but he took her glance as an invitation to join her. She stood as he neared them, bouncing little Kate on her hip.

It was gloriously sunny ‒ the only day that it had been on their short holiday‒ and with the Murrays heading home tomorrow, they’d decided to make the most of the day at the beach.

Jamie pressed a kiss to her temple as he pulled her into his arms, his hands coming to rest warmly on the bare skin at the small of her back.


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