Chapter 53: Epilogue

Christian’s PoV:

She has me actually fucking panting when I finally have to reach down, take her by the hair, and pull her mouth away from my cock. The woman is relentless, like she’s trying to suck the soul out of me, and as the muscles in my thighs twitch with anticipation of the release I’d just stopped, I think she might have nearly succeeded. 

“I wasn’t finished,” she says with swollen lips, the words labored like she’s just finished running a 5k. 

“Not nearly,” I agree. My fingers twist more tightly into her hair and I yank her up to me, sliding my tongue past her lips when her mouth drops open with a gasp from the quick shock of pain. It takes her a second to catch up to me, then her soft lips begin to move fervently and her tongue battles with mine for control. It’s a struggle my inner-dominant won’t allow me to entertain. 

I flip her on her back and spread out over the top of her, letting her feel as much of my weight as I know she can handle. She squirms fruitlessly beneath me. I give her a taunting smile, trying to encourage her struggle, then spread her legs apart with the tops of my thighs. 

“Are you ready for me?” I ask, stroking my cock against her entrance. She groans and tries to push down on me. 

Always so greedy.

“I’m ready,” she whimpers. “Can’t you feel how wet I am for you?” 

I can. She’s already soaked the tip of my cock and I’ve barely brushed through her lips. Her skin is flushed, her chest heaves with each needy breath she draws in. Her eyes bore into mine, half-crazed with desire. It all makes me want to bury myself deep inside of her until I’ve fucked all rational thought from us both. But I know the longer I keep her in this suspended state of need, the harder she’s going to come. And fuck do I want to blow her goddamn mind. 

“Say it again,” I tell her, and she’s so well attuned to my wants that I don’t even have to clarify what. 

“For you,” she repeats. “I’m wet for you. Only you. So wet. Please, Christian!” I stroke her clit with the pad of my thumb as she starts to beg. It makes her voice shrill and much too loud with our kids sleeping just across the hall. I reach up and cover her mouth, then slam inside her until I’ve bottomed out. Her eyes go wide as she screams into my hand, then roll back into her head. 

“That’s it, Ana. Feel me. Feel how perfectly I fit inside of you. Like you were fucking made for me.” I give her a few hard, punishing thrusts as I make my point. “You. Are. Mine.

She lets out a rough, broken groan in agreement and starts to push back against me. I take her by the hip, holding her in place so I can hammer in and out of her as fast and hard as I please. She takes everything I give her and sobs for more. The rougher I get, the more swollen she becomes, the tighter she is around me. It’s fucking heaven and if I could stay here, in this moment forever, I would a million times over.

She shakes her head away from my hand and screws her eyes tightly shut. “Fuck, I’m going to come. Oh….god….”

“Open your eyes, Anastasia. Look at me.” 

She struggles, but eventually her eyelids pry back. The moment her bright, blue irises meet mine, she starts to convulse around my cock. The strangled, almost inhuman sounds that force their way out of my wife make me so hard, I think my brain might be a little oxygen deprived from all the blood being diverted to my groin. I certainly can’t think straight. Can’t think of anything except continuing to pound into her with everything I’ve got. As she starts to get louder, I lean down and kiss her, swallowing each one of her cries of ecstasy. 

I can feel it when she starts to come down, so I reach between us and start to rub circles over her clit, trying to keep her flying while I approach lift off. She starts to gasp like she’s in pain. I’m overwhelming her. But when I falter, she shoots me a dangerous look and hisses, “Don’t you dare fucking stop.” 

So I don’t. I increase the pressure, change the angle, push until my balls are pressed so hard into her it’s nearly painful… then the quivering starts again and I lose everything I have inside of her in a spectacularly violent eruption. 

Our breathing melds together in a harsh, unpleasant melody that slowly smooths out into something calmer. My erection twitches inside of her and she smiles, looking like an angel floating on a cloud of euphoria. Her dark hair is a tangled mess on her pillow, but the way it frames her face makes her look stunning. 

All these years, and she still absolutely takes my breath away.

I reach up and lovingly brush the backs of my fingers over her cheeks, basking in her loveliness, until there’s a sudden, loud pounding on our door. 

“Mom!” Calliope screams, the sound still shrill even though it’s muffled by the barrier between us. I take a deep breath, silently express my irritation to Ana, then turn my head in the direction of our daughter. 

“Get away from the door, Calliope!” 

“But, Dad! They’re ruining everything!” 

With a defeated sigh, I straighten my right arm and lift myself high enough off the bed that Ana can roll out from underneath me. I immediately miss her warmth, and as I watch her throw on my sweatpants and t-shirt, I decide to take a moment to gather myself before I go find out what the boys have done that’s upset their sister so much. 

I might kill them otherwise. 

My eyes move around the room, finding nothing new or interesting to settle upon. We’ve spent a lot of time here throughout the years, but somehow this place will only ever really hold the early memories for me. Like the feeling of pure bliss I’d get when I’d arrive here after being away from Ana for far too long. That’s the strongest one. Stronger even than the memories caged inside these walls that used to bear more pain than I knew I was capable of carrying. 

That’s how it is with us. The good has completely erased all of the bad. The painful memories from our youth have been buried beneath years and years of love and happiness. They’re so far gone, we can hardly even remember the details of the terrifying things we’ve had to persevere through. That Ana has had to survive. 

I’m thankful for that. 

It took about five years after I left GEH for her to shake the last of her ghosts. I think it was the success of Phoenix that made her start to hope again for the first time, so I’d encouraged her to use the profits from that release to buy another press so that Grey Publishing could grow. Another year passed, another best-seller, and another printing press. 

By the time she came to me and told me she was ready to release the novel she’d written about our love story, she’d grown her publishing company large enough to be able to publish it herself. Everything about that book was her decision, her vision. And when the accolades came pouring in, she’d bathed in them instead of turning away in fear. 

And that’s when I knew I made the right decision. 

I may have slipped up over the years and started a new company… or seven. But it never lasts more than eighteen months or so. I always sell before it gets big enough to take over our lives or drag me back down into the dirtiest parts of the rat race. I always choose her. I always choose our children. 

And I’ve never regretted it. 

After a few minutes, I climb out of bed and go through my suitcase until I find a pair of workout shorts and clean shirt. I can hear Ana screaming at the twins all the way up the stairs and when I get down to the kitchen, I find both of them pinned to the wall with their mother’s finger moving threateningly between each of their faces. Calliope stands behind Ana, her arms folded over her chest while she glares at her brothers. I glance up through the kitchen window to see what the fuss is all about and when I see it, my teeth grind together and I count to three so I don’t start shouting right along with my wife. 

They’ve taken a sheet and painted, ‘CALLIOPE GREY HAD TO RETAKE THE SATs BECAUSE HER FIRST SCORE WASN’T HIGH ENOUGH TO GET HER INTO HARVARD,’ on it in bold, black letters. It’s currently draped over our car in the driveway. 

With a clenched jaw I give them both a very unamused look. Luke flinches, which means it was his idea. 

“Take it down,” I tell them, and both he and Teddy nod before hurrying out of the kitchen. 

“Lucas Elliot!” I call. He stops, meets my gaze, then sighs.

“I’m sorry, Cal.” 

She narrows her eyes. “You’re dead to me.”

“Hey,” Ana says, nudging our daughter with disapproval. Calliope turns to her, the anger gone now and only a desperate sense of pleading lingering in the gray of her eyes. 

“Do you think I’m a fraud?” 

“No!” Ana says, quickly. “You worked so hard to get here. You’ve earned it, Calli-lilly.” 

“But they’re not wrong. Oh, god… am I going to be the stupid kid in my class?” 

“Absolutely not,” I say firmly. She looks at me, and I move to her, bending down so I can stare straight into the eyes that are like mirrors to mine. “You are the most incredible young woman this university has seen in almost twenty years.” I glance at Ana, then back to Calliope. “You are a Grey. Don’t you dare forget what that means.” 

She smiles. “Okay, Daddy.” 

“Now go get ready or you’re going to be stuck unpacking this afternoon instead of out enjoying all the freshman orientation activities.” 

“Okay.” She looks at her mom. “Help me pick something to wear?” 

“Of course.” 

Calliope turns and skips up the stairs two at a time. Ana brushes her fingers over my chest, giving me an adoring look as she follows. It’s like a siren’s song, calling me to pursue her. But, instead, I turn my attention to my sons, who trapse back into the kitchen looking much too satisfied with themselves. 

“This is a big day for her,” I tell them seriously, and they each give me an equally serious look in return. 

“Dad, we’re her little brothers,” Teddy says. “If we didn’t make every single moment of her life just a little bit miserable, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs.” 

I shake my head. “That’s not how my kids love each other. My kids are an impenetrable force of solidarity. Unless you’re telling me that’s changed and I should actually be up there using her moment of weakness to find out who took my Lamborghini out last month?” 

Luke elbows Teddy harshly in the ribs and he grunts before he speaks up. “You know, I think we should go tell Callie how proud we are that she got into Harvard. It’s really an accomplishment when you think about it.” 

“Yeah, she worked so hard,” Luke agrees. 

I roll my eyes and walk over to the counter where my wallet and keys are laying, pull out a hundred dollar bill, and hand it over to Teddy. “Why don’t you guys go into town and get breakfast for everyone, huh? Make yourselves useful.” 

“Can I keep the change?” Teddy asks. 

“Yeah. But I swear to god, if you come back here with McDonalds on your sister’s first day at Harvard, I’m going to knock you upside the head so hard that Calliope’s first SAT score will be a fantasy for you.” 

“Deal,” Luke says, snatching the cash out of his brother’s hand and bolting for the door. Teddy calls after him and disappears. I cringe as I watch them fighting with each other inches away from the SUV… so close to the perfect black paint. 

Once the boys pull out of the driveway, I head upstairs to peek in on Calliope. She’s switching between two different blouses, holding each of them up against her and looking to Ana and Jade, who is watching through the screen of Ana’s phone, for approval. I pause, wondering if I’ll hear Sawyer’s commentary echoing in the background or if he’s buried in the lab at GEH. Once Welch retired, Luke was his chosen candidate for the head R&D spot. He’s not just good, he’s intuitive and daring. Now my Thursday night drinks with Ros are little more than bragging sessions about all the success GEH is having without me. 

When that happens, I always make sure to pay the check. You know… with the Endurance money she still has to pay me every quarter.

Ana turns to me and raises an eyebrow, but I just wink back at her and leave the fashion decisions to the girls. 

It’s not an area where my opinions matter or are even welcomed anyway.

I make my way across the hall, into Ana’s old room, and pull out my phone. My dad told me he wanted updates of every single thing that happened the moment Calliope touched down in Cambridge, but apparently having a grandchild attending his alma mater isn’t important enough to drag him away from his meetings because when I call his office, I get his secretary. 

“I’m sorry, sir. President Grey is currently in a meeting with the ambassador from Montenegro. He won’t be available for several hours.” 

“Can you pass me onto his press secretary?”

“Sure. One moment, please.” 

I roll my eyes when I’m put on hold and classical music begins to play. I’d never thought about the hold music that would play at the White House before my father was elected two years ago. Now, every time I hear it, it sounds ridiculous. 

“This is Katherine Grey,” Kate answers in a rush. 

“This is your brother-in-law.” 

“Hi, Chrisitan. I’m just about to step into a press conference, is this an emergency?”

“Yes, I’m afraid it is.” 

“Oh god, what’s wrong?” 

“My baby girl is going to college today and I don’t know how I’m supposed to just… leave her here.” 

“Awhhhh.” She draws the sound out for several long seconds. “You’re going to be fine. Just remember how it felt when your parents dropped you off at Harvard.” 

“I do remember how it felt. I didn’t want to be here and I practically begged them to take me back home. Why does she want to leave me, Kate?” 

Kate laughs. “Oh, she’ll come back. She’s stubborn and independent like her mom, but she adores you. No way she stays away for long.” 

“Oh no, I’ll make sure of that.”

“Of course you will. I’ve really gotta go, so if you need someone to coddle you more, you’re going to have to have to call Elliot. He’s golfing with the Senator from Maine this afternoon though, so he might ignore you. Just saying.” 

“Well, if I were him and I was golfing, I’d probably be too embarrassed to answer my phone too. Kennedy beat him last time we played.” 

“Kennedy is on her high school’s golf team. They were the top ranked team in the nation last year.”

“And it’s clear she had a teacher who wasn’t her father.”

Goodbye, Christian,” Kate says, laughter ringing behind each word. 

“Bye, Kate. Love you” 

“Love you too.” She hangs up and I briefly consider calling my mother, but I can see the car pull into the driveway, so I let the girls know there’s breakfast waiting for them, then make my way downstairs. 

The boys come in carrying a single box and a cardboard drink holder filled with coffees. When I lift the lid of the container and see that all they’ve brought back is an assortment of pastries, I give them a very unimpressed look. 

“You said not McDonalds,” Teddy argues. I take a breath, ready to let him have it, but Ana comes down the stairs and looks into the box like she’s looking at a chest full of treasure. 

“Oh my god, I love this place,” she says, reaching in eagerly and taking out a pain au chocolat. When her teeth break through the crusty exterior, she lets out a long moan that makes my cock twitch, then looks down at our son. “Amazing. Thank-you, sweetheart.” 

She leans over and kisses Teddy on top of his head. He gives me a sly smile knowing that if Ana’s happy, I have no choice but to let it go. 

Point to you, kid.

Calliope is too nervous to eat, so after Ana, Luke, and Teddy finish their pastries and I’ve helped my daughter triple check that she hasn’t forgotten anything, the girls pile into the car while the boys help me connect the tow-trailer filled with boxes we’re going to have to load into Calliope’s dorm to the back of the SUV.

It’s frustrating getting onto campus because the roads are too narrow and overly packed and I’m towing an extra six feet behind me. The secret service, who took over for Taylor once my father was elected, are usually very good at staying invisible and out of our way. Today, they’re just another black car clogging up the fucking road. 

They’re the reason you don’t have to hire another Sawyer. They’re the reason you don’t have to hire another Sawyer. They’re the reason you don’t have to hire another Sawyer… 

When we finally make it to the unloading area near the dorms, I feel as though I’ve just driven my family straight through a battlefield. Each and every one of my nerves is frayed, which makes the prospect of saying goodbye to my daughter in a few minutes a little daunting. 

“Alright, boys,” I say, stepping out of the car and moving to the trailer. “It’s a long trek to Grays so let’s do this in one trip, okay?” 

“Make the goons carry it,” Teddy complains, glancing at the wall of suits forming behind us. Just like Ana, he’s not a fan of his 24-hour security detail. But I can’t let these guys go just because my family finally feels safe, the way I did with Woods, Harper, Smith, and Wyatt. 

“They can’t do their jobs if their hands are full,” I remind him. “So load up.”

“Bet I can carry more than you,” Luke tells his brother. Teddy gives him a look like he’s offended by the very notion and begins to pile his arms with boxes. Two more, in fact, than Luke carries. When Teddy walks away, teetering slightly as he balances the precarious pile in his hands, and makes his way blindly towards Grays Hall, Luke looks back at me and grins. “Sucker.” 

I laugh, then throw an extra box on his pile and start gathering things to carry for myself. Ana comes up next to me and takes a box into her hands. 

“What are you doing?” I ask, though it’s more of an accusation.

“I’m not helpless, Christian.” 

“We’ve got it under control.” I shake my head and move to take the box out of Ana’s hands, but Calliope steps up next to me and puts her hands on her hips. 

“Are you implying that she’s somehow too delicate to carry a 10lb box? Because that’s extraordinarily misogynistic, Daddy.” 

Right. She’s in college now.

“Fine.” I reach into the trailer and pick up one of the smaller boxes and dump it in Calliope’s arms. “After you, Princess.” 

She makes a face but turns down the path the same way her brothers went. Ana smiles, then we turn and take a walk we haven’t taken together since we were nineteen. 

Grays Hall is exactly as I remember it. The lacquer on the banister of the staircase has exactly the same sheen. The 4th step up still makes the same unique creaking sound. I’ve thought about this place more times than I could ever count. In a way, it represents the true genesis of my life. I’d like to take a moment to pause and really breathe it all in, but when Ana skips a few steps ahead of me, and I catch sight of her ass wrapped in those tight little jeans of hers… I’m suddenly no longer interested in taking trips down memory lane. 

If only my hands weren’t otherwise occupied…

We make our way up the 2nd landing and wind through the other students to the middle of the hallway. Calliope has to dig her keys out of the orientation packet we got yesterday. Once she finds them, she pauses for a moment to look at the door in front of her and takes a deep breath. 

“Come on, Callie. Your shit’s heavy,” Teddy complains. Calliope rounds on him. 

“I am at Harvard University and I am having a moment.” 

“Shut up, Teddy,” I tell him. He grumbles and shifts the boxes in his hands. 

Calliope slides the key into the lock and opens the door, but before she can take a step forward, both Teddy and Luke push past her and into the room. 

“Theodore Raymond and Lucas Elliot, I swear to God…” Ana says, threateningly. Calliope rolls her eyes, then looks at me. 

“You okay?” I check.

“Are you kidding? In an hour, they’re going to be on a plane back to Seattle and I’m not going to have to see them again until Thanksgiving.” 

“You’ll come home before Thanksgiving, Calliope.” My voice drops, a clear warning cutting through each word. “Even if I have to fly back here and drag you home myself.” 

“And he will,” Ana says. She raises her eyebrows at her. “Believe me.” 

Calliope laughs and moves forward to walk into her new room with her mother. I smirk at the back of their heads, adjust my grip on the boxes in my arms, and follow after them. 

The room is almost identical to the one Ana and Kate shared our freshman year. Two twin sized beds sit parallel to one another on opposite sides of the room. Identical wardrobes and desks are situated haphazardly around them. Though the room is empty, it’s clear that Calliope’s roommate has already arrived. Exactly half of the room has been decorated, almost as though there was a line drawn down the middle.

“Mom, look!” Calliope shrieks, discarding her box onto the empty bed and running to the window. “We have a view of the yard!” 

“Gorgeous,” Ana agrees. “Oh, just wait for the fall to come. All the leaves change colors and it makes everything look so magical. You’re going to absolutely love it here, Calliope.” 

Callie bites her lip, trying and failing to hold back her excited smile. 

“Damn,” Luke interrupts. “Cal, your roommate’s a dime.” 

He’s leaning over the other girl’s desk, staring at a picture tacked to a bulletin board. 

“Hold on there, Luke,” Teddy says. “I think that’s… I think that’s drool on your chin.” 

Calliope rounds on me. “Dad!” 

“Boys, go wait out in the car,” I tell them firmly. “We’ll be out in a few minutes.” 

“You’re not supposed to go to Dad first,” Luke spits at his sister, offended. Calliope crosses her arms over her chest, looking almost exactly like her mother.

“Fight it in court.” 

“I’ll fight you right here.” Luke starts for his sister, but I grab him by the collar and yank him back. 

“I said, go wait in the car. Now.” 

“Fine,” Teddy says. “See you later, Calliope. Make good choices, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” 

Calliope’s brow furrows. “That’s contradictory advice. You never make good choices.” 

“Yeah, well, you know what I mean.” He glances at me and Ana, then leans forward and gives her a hug so quick you would think he was trying to not be seen. “See you at Mom’s birthday.” 

He squeezes out the door and Luke pulls out of my grip so he can move to his sister. His temper, as hot and quick as mine, has fizzled out under the much more earnest look he gives her. “Seriously, don’t make me have to come up here and kick some guy’s ass, okay?” 

“I won’t,” Calliope laughs. 

“No, she won’t.” I add. They both look at me, grinning, then hug each other goodbye. 

“See you later, goober,” Calliope says. 

“Yeah, you too, Miss Priss.” 

He turns to leave, but there’s a blonde haired girl standing in the doorway looking at us sheepishly. “Sorry, I uh…” 

“Summer?” Calliope asks. 

She nods. “Yeah, are you Call.. uh…Cali-ohp?”

“Calliope, but you can just call me Callie,” she corrects her. 

“Oh, thank god. Hey, Callie.” 

“Hey, yourself,” Luke says. He wags his eyebrows at Callie’s roommate. She looks as though she’s trying not to laugh. 

“What are you? Fourteen?” 

“Sixteen,” he corrects her. “Which is coincidentally a number just over twice as high as the number of zeros on the end of my trust fund, if you get my drift.” 

“Luke, Uncle Sawyer gave me a can of pepper spray and I’m about fifteen seconds away from using it on you.”

“No need, Cal. It’s hot enough in here already.” 

“Oh my god, GET OUT!” Calliope picks up a pillow from the pile of things we’ve carried in and hurls it across the room at him. Luke dodges it easily, then he holds up his hand like he’s talking on the phone.. 

“Callie can give you my number. Call me, baby.” 

“Lucas…” I warn him. He grins and disappears into the hallway. 

“I’m sorry about that,” Calliope tells her roommate. “Little brothers, you know…” 

“I don’t, but I’ll trust you.” They each laugh awkwardly, then Callie turns to us. 

“Uh… these are my parents. My dad, Christian Grey. And my mom, Ana..”

Summer’s face goes pale and she raises a hand to cover her mouth in shock. “Oh my god, you’re Anastasia Grey.” 

“Yes,” Ana says gracefully. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Summer.” 

“Meet me? Oh my god, I can’t believe… I… and you’re… Oh my god, you have no idea how much I love you. Your Love and War series seriously raised my expectations of men so high that I’ll never find love.” 

Actually, that was me, but go on…

“Oh, I hope not,” Ana says. “But, thank you.”

“Would you, I mean, if it’s not super rude of me to ask… would you sign your book for me? I have one here. I had to make sure I had a copy with me.” 

“Sure,” Ana says. Summer moves to her bookshelf and Calliope gives me a slanted look, clearly not pleased that she seems to be paired with her mother’s one woman fan club. She’s not a fan of Ana’s War and Love series, because it’s both erotic and based so closely on our relationship that the male lead’s name is Tristan. Calliope has said over and over again that she has no interest in reading about her parent’s sex life, but from the moment Ana got the deal to turn her novels into a movie franchise, she hasn’t been able to avoid it.

I chuckle back at her and wrap my hands around her shoulder. Ana hands the book back to Summer, then turns to face Calliope. 

“I guess we’ve gotta let you get to it.” 

“Already?” Calliope asks sadly. Ana nods, then opens her arms. Calliope seemingly vanishes from my side, she moves to her mother so quickly. By the time Ana gets her arms around her, they’re both in tears. 

“Call me every single day, okay?” Ana makes her promise. Calliope nods. 

“I can come home whenever I want, right? Even if it’s not a long weekend?” 

Whenever you want.”

Calliope takes a deep breath and nods, then hugs her mother again. “I’m going to miss you so much, Mommy.” 

“I know, baby. Me too. But we’ll be here for homecoming weekend with Uncle Elliot and Aunt Kate, and Daddy and I are going to come for the Yale game.” 


It takes a good amount of time, but Ana finally releases her, and Calliope turns to me. 

“This is your last chance, kid. You sure you don’t want to just stay home and live off of me forever?” 

She laughs. “As enticing as that sounds, I think I’ve gotta try to make it my own way. My dad sort of set this impossibly high standard and created perpetual motion at 24 so… you understand.” 

I nod, wanting to give her the same kind of lighthearted response she’s given me. But suddenly, my throat is a little tight. So, to buy myself a few seconds, I reach into my pocket, take out my wallet, and remove a brand new American Express card. 

“This is for you,” I tell her. “And as long as your grades stay above a B average, you can use it to your heart’s content.” 

“Really?” Calliope asks, her face lighting up like the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center I used to take her ice skating under when she was small. 

“Really. And if you get into trouble or if you need anything, anything at all, just call me. I can be here in seven hours, okay?” 


“Come here, Princess.” She falls into me and I wrap her up in a hug so tight, I lift her several inches off the ground. The thought crosses my mind that I could bolt. I could toss her over my shoulder and take her back to the car, drag her back to Seattle, and lock her in her room. I own the plane, no one would even know… But instead, I set her down and kiss the top of her head. “I love you, Calliope.” 

“I love you too, Daddy.” 

With a sad smile, I turn from her and immediately reach for Ana. Her hand in mine is the only thing that keeps me together as we leave our daughter’s room. Once we’ve closed the door behind us, though, Ana breaks. 

“Christian!” she sobs, pushing her face into my chest. “How did this happen? She was just a baby a few years ago, wasn’t she?” 

“A few seconds ago.” 

“I’m not ready for this. How am I supposed to live a day without her? Who am I going to hang out with?” 

I snort. “Sawyer, probably.” 

That gets to her. She giggles into my shirt, then pulls away to look up at me. Her eyes still glisten with tears. “What are we going to do when the boys leave for school?” 

“Don’t be ridiculous, Luke isn’t going to get into college.” 

She slaps me across the arm and I lean down to kiss her softly on the lips. “Once the kids are gone, you and I will have each other. Forever.” 

“Mmm, that does sound absolutely perfect.” 

“Good, hold on to that. Because this,” I gesture back to Callie’s room. “This hurts like a motherfucker.” 

She laughs in agreement, then takes me by the hand and tries to drag me down the hall. I stop her.

“Hold on.” With purpose, I step to the room directly across the hall from Calliope’s and knock sharply on the door. Fifteen seconds later, a tiny redheaded girl in jean shorts and a Harvard t-shirt appears in the doorway.

“Yes?” she asks. I glance down at her and breathe a sigh of relief. 

“Nothing, I’m sorry to bother you.” She gives me a confused look and closes the door. When I turn to Ana, she’s got her hands on her hips and one eyebrow raised. 

I grin and take her hand so I can lead her down the hallway to where we’ll join our sons. “I just had to check.”