I moved through my packed-full house. I wasn’t sure that so many people had ever been inside it. Shirley and Camille with their kids. Carter’s parents and Alison. Houston, Monica, and their oldest child, Emerson.
I stopped when I saw Camille and Joshua talking. He was so tall now; of course, he’d been growing steadily but it was somehow just hitting me now.
“How does it feel to be a teenager?” Camille asked with a smile.
He shrugged. “Feels the same as twelve to me.”
“Yeah,” Camille said, “sounds about right.” That was too true. Sometimes, I swore I felt like I was the exact same as I had been when I was sixteen.
The air shifted as someone came up beside me. “He’s really grown up.”
I looked up at Houston. I hadn’t noticed before, but age was really getting to him. Tonight seemed to be a night for noticing things. “Yes, he is.”
Nora ran by with Luc, headed for the stairs. I smiled softly at them, but Houston’s voice drew my attention again. “We got a couple of things right, didn’t we, Hads?”
I looked again at Joshua. He looked so much like his father. That had hurt before but not anymore. “We did. Josh and Nora are good kids.”
“Let’s hope your others come out so good. Mine, too, for that matter.”
I wondered if that was a crack about having more kids so late, but then decided it was probably innocent. He was older than I was and had two year old and a six month old at home. “How are Lindsey and Lydia, by the way?”
“They’re good. With the nanny tonight. We thought about bringing Lindsey, but she’s been fussy all day.”
I wonder if he and the nanny – I didn’t finish the thought. It was unkind and none of my business. “Emerson seems to be a good kid. How old is he?”
“Eight in a few months.” He looked at me sideways, arching a brow. “Carter seems like a good kid, too.”
I rolled my eyes. “Houston.” This was hardly the first time he had made a crack about Carter’s age.
He grinned. “Couldn’t help it.”
I shook my head at him. “You’re awful.”
He was quiet for a minute, studying me. “Josh told me you two are getting married. You know, I never really liked Carter. Or approved of you two. He seemed wrong for you. Young, immature.” He sighed softly. “But I was wrong about him. He seems to make you happy.”
I looked up at him. “Thank you. That’s kind of you to say, even if it is unnecessary. I don’t need your approval.” I was about to excuse myself when Carter came up to my other side.
He nodded politely at Houston before smiling down at me. “I think I hear some hungry cries coming from upstairs.”
I smiled. “We’d better go and check on them. Excuse me, Houston.” I took Carter’s hand and went upstairs with him.
In our room, Carter wrapped his arms around me. “You looked like you needed a break.”
I smiled up at him. “You’re perfect.”
A/N: Wow, did Joshua age up handsome! He really, really looks like his dad, though. But somehow better. Check the Meet the Character’s page for a better picture of Josh.