A/N: Here it is. The epilogue. The final piece of the story. Enjoy. Thank you guys for reading!! You've been awesome, especially those who took the time to review.
When Katie was seven months old, Lucas and Peyton decided to take that trip to Tuscany. It was a bit of a strange time of year to go, but spending ten days in Italy in January seemed like a good idea, given that they already had a trip to Tree Hill planned for April. They didn't want to miss their window of opportunity to take the trip they'd been given, so they booked their flights and arranged to stay in their 'villa', and it was all set.
Nathan and Brooke - engaged and planning the 'wedding of the year', according to The New York Post, for the coming summer - offered to take care of Katie while Lucas and Peyton were away. They had it all worked out. They'd just bought a penthouse together, and they had already insisted that one of their five bedrooms would be Katie's. They bought a crib and everything they'd need to take care of the little girl.
A week before they were set to take off, Peyton started freaking out just a little bit.
She had just put Katie down and was watching her sleep, when she realized that there was no way she could be away from her daughter for 10 days. No way. Sure, they had spent a couple nights apart since the baby was born, but 10 days? She just couldn't do it.
"She's coming with us," Peyton announced as she walked back into she and Lucas' bedroom.
"What?" he asked, lowering the manuscript he was reading.
"Katie. I can't leave her, Luke," she said almost desperately.
He smiled at her and pulled her into his side when she sat down next to him on the bed, and he kissed the crown of her head. He laughed a little bit. He really didn't want to leave Katie either; he'd just been putting on a brave face because he thought Peyton was fine with it.
"We'll bring her with us," he said quietly, holding her a little closer when she sighed in relief. "I don't want to leave her either."
"How come you didn't say something?"
"I thought you wanted it to be just us."
"I thought I could do it. But...it's too soon," she admitted.
"How did I not know you felt that way?" he asked. They told each other pretty much anything they were thinking. He definitely thought it odd that they hadn't shared this big fear with one another.
"I don't know."
"No more secrets," he said seriously, locking eyes with her. She smiled and nodded her head.
They were still getting used to the 'being married' thing. Sure, it had been almost six months, but there were still little things that would come up every once in a while. Peyton insisted she liked it that way, that little element of surprise. But with things like this, they obviously should have been communicating. What she loved most about their marriage was that neither of them got upset over little miscommunications. They didn't have them often, and that was probably why they were able to forgive each other so quickly, if forgiveness was even needed.
"Nathan'll be upset," Peyton said.
Lucas laughed, knowing that it was true. Nathan loved his niece almost more than anything in the world. Since he didn't work and Peyton was still on maternity, he spent a lot of time with those two girls. If Peyton had any errands or appointments to get to, it was Nathan she left Katie with. And that little girl loved her uncle. He really did have a way with her. Her face would light up when she saw him or her aunt Brooke.
But all of that didn't hold a candle to how she felt about her father. She was already a daddy's girl, just like Lucas had promised she'd be. She'd squeal and coo every day when he came home from work, and the first thing he usually did was pick her up and kiss her little nose. It was their routine. A few times, he came home and she was sleeping, and Peyton had to laugh at the way he was almost pouting about missing those little moments. He'd just said that the best part of his day was always coming home to his girls.
And so they packed enough baby supplies for two weeks - 'you never know', Peyton had said - and booked a slot for Katie on the plane, and the little family spent 10 days in beautiful Tuscany. It was their first vacation all together, and it was perfect. They got amazing photos and amazing memories, and Peyton thought it was actually really cool that their little girl was already a world traveler, even before her first birthday.
Nathan wasn't surprised at all when Lucas and Peyton asked him to be their 'manny' when Peyton went back to work. He didn't love the title, however.
Peyton didn't love any of it at all.
She absolutely trusted Nathan, and she knew she had nothing to worry about as far as leaving Katie in his care. She'd just gotten used to not working, spending all her time at home taking care of their daughter, and as much as she loved her job, she loved her daughter more.
As she pulled on her new suit - one that Lucas loved, since it was tailored perfectly - for her first day back, she came up with a plan.
"You think Steve'll negotiate?"
"Negotiate what, babe?" Lucas asked with a furrowed brow as he tied his tie.
"Well, no one has really been doing my job," she explained. "Well, they have been, but it's kind of been delegated around internally."
"And I can work from home and just go to the office only when I need to."
"OK," he said with a smile. He knew where this was going.
"So maybe I can talk to him and see if we can find some middle ground or something." She shrugged her shoulders as she pulled her hair up into a ponytail, and he walked over and kissed her quickly.
"I love how much you love our daughter."
"I'm sensing a but, here."
"But she'll be fine," he told her. "And you've missed working."
"I'll miss her more," she said, almost pouting.
"I know." He kissed her again, because she was just the best mother. "To be honest, I think Steve would cry if you told him you wanted to cut back your hours in the office. He's hated not having you around."
"I know," she said quietly. "Maybe you're right. Maybe I need to go back to work. I can't be with her every second of every day."
"Well, you could," he reminded her. "If you wanted to quit your job."
He hadn't brought it up, fearing that it would cause a huge argument, but he made enough, and they had enough money that if she wanted to quit working and be a stay-at-home mom, she absolutely could. He'd just assumed that, given how much she loved her job, she wouldn't want to do it. This separation anxiety, however, had him wondering if he should just throw the idea out there, just in case it was something she might want to do. He wanted to let her know that it was definitely alright with him if that was a choice she wanted to make.
"What?" She almost laughed. It wasn't crazy. She wanted to pretend it was.
"You could. That's all I'm saying," he said gently, shrugging one shoulder. They heard Katie babbling in her room through the baby monitor, and they smiled at one another. As they made their way down the hall, he said, "it's just something to think about if you want to."
"I love that you are willing to support us, but...I've missed working. You're right." He walked into the nursery before her, and she took note of the way his jacket fit him, and the way he wore his pants. "You know what I've missed most?"
"What's that?" he asked distractedly.
"Flirting with you in the office," she said, wrapping her arms around him.
"Oh, I've missed that too," he admitted in a low voice. "In fact, if you come into my office today and demand that we have sex on my desk..."
"That was a one time only thing!" she proclaims. "And don't say that word in front of her."
He laughed and shook his head, and she watched as he picked Katie up out of her crib, a task that was getting easier and easier now that the girl could pull herself up and stand, clutching the railing.
"Well, whatever you decide, Peyton," he said with a smile. "You know I'm with you either way, if you want to quit working or not."
"Thank you," she said softly. She kissed him quickly, then blew a raspberry on Katie's cheek, making the girl laugh and smile. There was a knock at the door, and Peyton grinned at her daughter. "Nathan's here."
They both laughed when Katie's face lit up upon hearing that name. The three of them walked out to the kitchen, and Peyton poured two cups of coffee and began preparing Katie's breakfast while Lucas answered the door.
"You're early," Lucas said.
"I didn't want to be late on my first day of work. So, $20 an hour, right?" Nathan joked. Katie held her little hand up to him, and he smiled as he pressed his palm against hers.
"Funny," Peyton said. "You want anything? Coffee? Water? Dry Cheerios and banana slices?" She laughed and gestured to Katie's little breakfast tray, and Nathan shook his head.
The four of them sat there and chatted for a while until Lucas and Peyton had to leave for the office, and Peyton picked Katie up and spoke softly, telling her she'd be back later and to be good for Nathan, though it was silly. She probably didn't fully understand what was going on, and she was always good. Peyton had just handed Katie to Nathan when it happened.
Katie's first proper word.
The three adults froze in their places, and Katie reached out her arms to her mother. She certainly knew Peyton was leaving. Peyton didn't hesitate to take the girl in her arms again, holding her close.
Lucas would have almost bet money that Peyton was going to call Steve then and there and tell him she quit. Lucas gave her a few moments just to hold Katie, then walked over to them and kissed the little girl's forehead again.
"You're really trying to make this even harder, aren't you?" Peyton said, speaking to her daughter.
"I told you mama would be her first word," Lucas said smugly. Peyton had insisted Katie would say dada first. Lucas knew better than that. Mother and daughter had an extremely close relationship, which probably accounted for the way Peyton's eyes were gleaming with pride. "But, we do have to go."
They left after a couple more kisses and telling Nathan to call if he needed anything at all, and Peyton threw her arms around Lucas when they were in the elevator heading to their parking garage. He laughed and asked her what that was all about, and she kissed him and told him it was just because she was happy. He really couldn't do anything but wrap his arms around her.
She made it through the day with no problem. She only had one surprise the whole day, and it was a good one. Lucas hadn't told her, but he'd had the nameplate on his door replaced, almost immediately after they wed, to read Peyton Scott. She loved that surprise.
Her day was mostly just her trying to get her bearings again, and getting caught up on what she'd missed when she was on mat leave, but it really did feel good to be working again. And it did feel really good to flirt with Lucas in the office again, too. Of course, the element of danger was almost entirely erased by the fact that everyone knew they were married, but it was still fun to wink at him when he brought her a coffee, or to have him settle his foot next to hers in a meeting in the boardroom with the other senior staff.
Most of all, she felt that it was nice to have something that was hers again. Sure, it was work, and it wasn't really hers, but it felt like it was. She was damn good at what she did, and she'd worked hard to get to where she was, and it was nice to focus on that. She'd do anything for her daughter, but she knew that her working wasn't causing Katie any harm, so she stopped feeling guilty about being away from her.
And everyone - she, Lucas, and Nathan - was surprised that she only called home once to check in and see how things were going.
She realized, that first day back, that loving her job didn't mean that she loved her daughter any less. And the way Katie said 'mama' over and over again as soon as Peyton stepped through the door after work made her feel a whole lot better.
Katie was walking in time to be a perfect little flower girl at Brooke and Nathan's wedding. She was dressed in an amazing little white dress with a dark purple sash that matched the flowers and her mother's dress. Peyton held Katie's hand as they walked down the aisle, and when they got to the altar, Katie went straight to her father. It wasn't part of the plan, but everyone chuckled a little bit, and Lucas lifted her up into his arms anyway. They all knew Brooke wouldn't care.
There were tears in Peyton's eyes as Brooke walked down the aisle in the dress that Vera Wang had custom designed for her designer friend. Brooke thought it was crazy that she had a one-of-a-kind dress by one of the country's premier designers, but she did, of course, love it. And it's not every day that the woman who designed your dress sits in a pew in the church and watches you wear it, either, but that was the case.
It was a veritable who's who of New York society. Between Dan and Deb, Brooke and Nathan, and Lucas and Peyton, it seemed they knew anyone worth knowing in the city, and they just hadn't really realized it before. It was strange to have them all in the same place.
At the reception, while Lucas was holding Katie and talking to one of the guys he and Nathan played ball with, he saw Peyton talking to a man he'd never seen before. She was laughing and whatever the guy said, and Lucas definitely wasn't jealous, but he wanted to know who the guy was.
"Who's that?" he asked Brooke, pointing to the man talking to his wife.
"Oh! That's our old friend Skills," Brooke said happily.
Lucas deduced that Brooke didn't know about Peyton's one-night-stand with the guy, or she wouldn't have said the words like that. She would have been apologetic or she would have said it quietly and assured him that he had nothing to worry about. He knew he didn't, obviously, but he couldn't say he loved the way the guy was looking at Peyton. He wondered if that was all in his head, but then when he glanced at Nathan, his brother shot him a look as if to ask what the deal was with 'Skills' lingering looks when Peyton wasn't paying attention.
Lucas was grateful when Deb came over and demanded that she hold her granddaughter. Katie happily changed hands, letting Deb hold onto her, and Lucas kissed her forehead before heading over to where his wife was standing. He was calm; he didn't want to seem territorial, though he knew he was being exactly that.
"Lucas, hi!" Peyton said. "Skills, this is my husband, Lucas. Lucas, this is my friend Skills, from Tree Hill."
Lucas sensed that she may have been relieved that he was there, that maybe she hadn't wanted to be carrying on a conversation with the man any longer. He extended his hand and placed the other on Peyton's back.
"Nice to meet you," Skills said.
"Likewise." Lucas turned to Peyton and immediately recognized something in her eyes. It was the same look she always got when she wanted to be rescued from a conversation. And now they had a built-in excuse. "Someone was asking for her mommy."
Peyton smiled at him. That statement worked two-fold. It reminded Skills that she had a daughter, and it gave her a reason to walk away from him. She said a quick goodbye and then wrapped her arm around Lucas' waist as they made their way back to their daughter.
But her gratitude didn't last long.
"So that's him," Lucas stated. He was definitely a little unnerved, having just met the last man she slept with before the two of them got together.
"OK, what?" she asked, turning to him a little more. Katie was in her arms, blissfully unaware of what was really going on.
Truthfully, he was more upset that she obviously knew this guy had been invited to the wedding - she knew every detail about the event - and she'd failed to tell him that 'Skills' would be there.
"You obviously have an opinion, and I want to know what it is," she explained.
"He's not what I thought he'd be like."
"Because he's black?" she asked, raising her brow.
"No!" he was quick to insist. "No, don't be ridiculous. He's just...He doesn't seem like your type."
"Was every woman you ever slept with your type?" she challenged. She didn't love that he'd called her ridiculous. Not at all.
"None of the women I have slept with are here," he mumbled.
Now, they didn't fight often. They had little arguments that they resolved quickly, and that was that. They communicated well and avoided having any big disagreements.
A statement like that, however, was a sure-fire way to get her angry with him, no matter where they were or what they were gathered for.
Peyton didn't say anything in response, though she really wanted to make a comment on the fact that in a crowd of 500 people, it was definitely possible for one of the other 14 women he'd been with to be milling around somewhere. But she wouldn't stoop to his level, and she knew that silly accusations would accomplish it.
She merely stood up with her daughter in her arms, and made her way over to where Dan and her father were talking, leaving Lucas sitting at the table alone, cursing himself for being an idiot.
She ignored him for a while. She sat next to him through dinner, but didn't say a word; they both knew how much he hated the silent treatment. She smiled at the appropriate times and laughed when she was supposed to, and no one but the two of them knew anything at all was wrong.
She had heard his best man speech. He'd been working on it for the better part of two weeks, and she'd sat on his desk in his library and listened to him recite the words, and they made her laugh and cry and love him a whole lot more, as she'd told him. But that speech he'd spent all that time crafting wasn't the one that he gave. He left his note cards sitting next to her on the table, winking at her when she looked at him in confusion.
He spoke from his heart. He gave a soulful and moving speech using amazing words that made her cry again; that made a lot of people cry. Brooke was a mess, and Nathan wiped her cheeks, but even he was moved by his brother's words. Words like trust and understanding and forgiveness, and something about admitting when you're wrong.
Peyton knew the speech was as much for her as it was for the newlyweds. She had to laugh at herself when Katie said 'mama' softly and reached up to touch her wet cheeks. Lucas sat down next to Peyton again, and he leaned over to speak into her ear.
"I'm sorry," he whispered.
"Shut up," she demanded, making him smile. "I love you."
"I love you too, babe," he promised. She grabbed his tie and pulled him into a kiss that made him let out a noise that Katie laughed at. He was wide eyed when they parted, knowing Peyton wasn't necessarily one for PDA.
"Nathan," Peyton said, looking past Brooke towards the groom.
"Can you take her for a few minutes?" she asked. He nodded his head, though he looked confused, and Peyton handed Katie over.
She stood from her place and grabbed Lucas' hand, and he questioned what they were doing, but she didn't say anything. She turned around and walked backwards for a second, smirking deviously and looking at him in a way that let him know exactly what she was up to.
As soon as they were in the empty coat check room with the door locked behind them, she kissed him hard. He made a comment, as she undid the fly of his pants, about them being a little longer than a few minutes.
They didn't tell anyone - no one knew but them - but they had some of the hottest make up sex they'd ever had during the reception of her best friend's wedding to his brother.
Peyton had thought maybe Katie would want to be a musician; to play guitar or piano or to sing. She'd always enjoyed music. Before she could talk, it would steal her attention if a commercial with a catchy jingle would play, and she'd always liked to listen to classical music as she fell asleep. For whatever reason, Tchaikovsky was always her favourite. Peyton and Lucas always just assumed those were signs of the inevitable.
They were a bit surprised when their little girl insisted that she wanted to be a ballerina.
She wanted a tutu. They were shopping one day with Brooke and as they passed a little dance store, she claimed in no uncertain terms, as firmly as a two and a half year old could, that she needed a pink tutu. Peyton was about to go inside - because let's face it, that little girl got pretty much anything she wanted - but Brooke stopped her.
"Sweetie, I'm going to make you the most special tutu ever," Brooke said, kneeling in front of her niece.
"Can you?" Katie asked excitedly, her bright blue eyes wide.
"Yes. And no one else will have the same one. It'll be just for you. One of a kind," Brooke said, tapping the girl's nose. She picked up Katie, who was grinning ear to ear, and she shrugged off the way Peyton was shaking her head.
"What do you say?" Peyton prompted her girl.
"Thank you, auntie Brooke."
"You're welcome, Katie-bug," Brooke said, kissing her little rosey cheek.
Katie-bug was a nickname that Nathan had come up with shortly after he'd started taking care of Katie during the days. Even he didn't know where it came from, but now it was he and Brooke's special little name for her. The couple did almost anything and everything for Katie, usually without being asked. They were waiting until Brooke's work life wasn't so hectic before they had kids of their own, so they figured they could spoil the pants off their niece. Peyton secretly thought that Brooke and Nathan wouldn't wait much longer before starting their family.
When Peyton and Katie returned home after their day with Brooke, Lucas was laying on the sofa with a book in his hands and a cup of coffee on the table next to him.
Lucas loved that name, smiled every time he heard it.
"Hey, honey," he said, lifting her up to sit on his stomach as he lay there. Peyton walked over and sat on the coffee table across from them, and she picked up his mug and had a sip of his coffee. "Hey babe."
"Hey." She leaned over and kissed him quickly. "Guess what?"
"Your daughter is going to be a ballerina," Peyton informed him.
"Oh, she is, is she?" he asked, smiling in amusement. Katie had been talking about it, but he didn't think it would ever turn into anything serious. Apparently, he was mistaken.
"Brooke's making her a tutu."
"A special one!" Katie added.
"I bet," Lucas laughed. He glanced at Peyton, sensing there was more to the story, but she just smiled and announced that she had to get started on dinner.
She worked away in the kitchen, looking out into the living room every now and again to see Katie still perched atop Lucas' stomach, with him reading to her from his book. It was Orwell's 1984, and there was no way Katie understood any of it, but she turned the pages when her daddy told her to, and she hung on his every word. Peyton loved that he did that; read classics aloud to their daughter. Peyton thought that if this ballerina thing was a phase, which it most likely was, then maybe Katie would end up being a writer or something.
When Brooke showed up a couple days later with a perfect little pink tutu, complete with matching leotard and little soft-soled ballet shoes, the look on Katie's face was absolutely priceless. She hugged Brooke as tightly as her tiny arms would allow, and she insisted that she needed to put on her tutu right now.
Peyton, Lucas and Nathan waited patiently to see the little creation on Katie, and when she stepped out of her bedroom and twirled her way down the hall, Peyton had to place her hand over her heart. Sure, the little outfit was adorable, but the girl in it, even more so. Peyton rest her head against Lucas' shoulder as he draped his arm around her and kissed her forehead. She could tell he was smiling.
"Well?" Brooke asked, putting her hand on her hip.
"Beautiful, sweetie," Lucas said, kneeling down in front of Katie, who was smiling widely.
"What do you think of the shoes. They're the best part, right?" Nathan asked.
"Oh my God. Give it up!" Brooke said, laughing at her husband. At Peyton's questioning glance, she explained. "He bought the shoes. I hand-crafted the rest, and he expects to get recognition for whipping out his credit card."
Peyton and Lucas laughed as Nathan shrugged his shoulders, and Katie intervened.
"I love it all," she said, very seriously. She ran over and hugged Nathan's legs, then started spinning around again, making Lucas shake his head.
Katie spent the rest of the evening 'dancing' and insisting that Peyton put on 'ballerina music' for her. The adults ate dinner and talked over coffee with Bach and Mozart playing in the background, and Katie stealing their attention constantly, though that was nothing new.
At bedtime, after Brooke and Nathan left, Lucas had to promise that she could wear her tutu again first thing in the morning, in order for her to get into her pajamas. He was shaking his head when he walked into the living room, and Peyton just smiled at him as he ran his hand over the back of his neck. He wasn't sure what the smile was for, but he noticed the way she checked him out as he stretched his arms over his head. He loved that even a couple years into their marriage they hadn't even begun to lose that spark. They promised each other they never would, and so far they were holding true to their word.
"Maybe we should sign her up for classes," Peyton suggested.
"Classes?" he laughed. "She's two!"
"The best artists always start young, Lucas. Look at...Yo-Yo Ma."
"You're comparing our daughter to an Asian cellist?"
"He's the best at what he does, isn't he?" she asked seriously. Lucas got sat down next to her and looked over at her. He could see that she wasn't joking about any of it.
"Do they even have classes for two year olds?"
"I'm sure we could find one. And it's probably just pliés and running around, but she'd have fun."
"She's really hell bent on being a ballerina," he conceded. Peyton smiled and leaned against him. "OK fine. We'll find a school with ballet classes for babies."
"She's not a baby anymore, Luke," Peyton reminded him, trying not to laugh.
"I know," he admitted, almost sadly. "Don't remind me."
"Honey, kids grow up."
"I know. But today it's ballet classes, and tomorrow she'll be going off to college," he said. He may have been exaggerating his point a little bit. Peyton kinked her brow and smiled at him. "Sorry."
"It's alright," she said, as though it was insane for him to be apologizing. "You know what's crazy?"
"I never really pictured having kids with any of my boyfriends. I guess I always assumed I would, but it was never like, something that I thought about," she explained. Lucas nodded his head. He knew exactly what she meant. "But with you it was different."
"For me too," he said softly.
"I could picture our kids," she admitted. "Granted, they had curly hair, not straight hair like Katherine has."
"They?" he asked. "Plural?"
"Oh," she said sheepishly, smiling cutely when he pulled away from her a little. "Well, I mean...eventually. You know, if you want."
He grinned at her and leaned over, pressing his lips to hers gently. She was almost certain that was a yes.
"Sounds good to me."
"Good," she said softly. "Wait. Are we actually planning something?"
Lucas laughed and shook his head. "Wow. That's so unlike us."
They talked a little more after that; planned a little more. They threw out the rough timeline of maybe waiting until Katie was four before they started trying again. It gave them a little time to get a little more settled than they already were. It gave them a little more time to bond with their little ballerina, too, which they were both insistent on. They wanted to have a firm, steady, solid relationship with Katherine before they brought another baby into the mix.
And when Brooke and Nathan announced their pregnancy only two months later, they knew waiting was perfect. 'Spread out the babies', Lucas had said.
Truthfully, he was really, really looking forward to them having another baby of their own.
Well, the ballerina thing wasn't a phase. At least not yet. At four, Katie was still in dance class and loving every second of it. Brooke was commissioned, though she had her hands full with she and Nathan's son, Jonathan, to design little dance outfits for her niece, and she did so without complaint.
Lucas had taken Katie to dance class one Saturday, since Peyton had taken work home to do over the weekend so she could leave early on Friday and she and Brooke could take the kids to see a children's entertainer in the afternoon. Nathan was going with Lucas, upon Katie's request. She wanted 'uncle Natie' to watch her, and he just couldn't say no.
Peyton was in the kitchen after wrapping up her work, and she heard Katie giggling in the hallway outside the apartment, so she walked into the foyer to greet her husband and daughter.
Lucas pushed the door open, and Peyton noticed that he looked utterly exhausted, and she assumed that had something to do with the fact that he'd called her after Katie's class was over and told her that they were going to hang out in the park for a bit before coming home.
"Well, hey there, baby," Peyton said with a laugh as Katie ran towards her, throwing her arms around her mother's legs.
"Me and daddy and Nathan fed the ducks! They ate all the bread and then they were fighting over the crumbs. And then uncle Nathan stepped in a big puddle and got all wet!" the little girl said excitedly. "And he said I couldn't laugh, but then daddy said I could and he laughed too."
"I bet uncle Nathan loved that," Peyton chuckled, winking at Lucas, who was shaking his head at his daughter's retelling of their day.
"No. He was mad," Katie said, giggling. "But then he lifted me up and he said he was going to throw me in the pond with the duckies!"
"No," Peyton said, wide-eyed.
"Daddy wouldn't let him though," Katie said as they moved to the living room and sat down. She climbed up onto Peyton's lap and tangled her hand up in her mother's hair.
"I bet he wouldn't," Peyton said quietly. "You sleepy?"
"Just a little bit," Katie promised. It was a lie, and both her parents knew it. "I had fun with daddy."
Peyton looked over just in time to see that look of awe he got in his eyes every time he heard their daughter say something like that. She said it often, but he never got sick of it. It was just the sweetest thing in the world. Her little voice and those perfect words.
"Why don't you have a little nap before we have to go dinner at grandma and grandpa's?" Peyton suggested.
"OK," Katie said. Peyton kissed her forehead and set her back down on her feet. "Will daddy tuck me in?"
"I dunno," Peyton drew out dramatically. "Maybe if you ask him really nicely."
That was plenty nice enough for Lucas. "Come on, munchkin."
Katie gave her mother a kiss before starting down the hall, and Lucas shot Peyton a wink before he followed after her.
Peyton assumed that Lucas would come back out and tell her all about Katie's class and his day with Nathan, but after about 15 minutes, she wondered what was taking so long. She walked down the hall to Katie's room, and when she looked inside, she had to smile at what she saw. Her husband asleep with Katie curled up in his arms, laying atop a pale pink duvet with little ballet shoes on it. She didn't think she'd ever loved him more. But then, she felt that way a lot.
She hurried into his library to grab the camera, and she snapped a few pictures of that moment. The best part was, she knew Lucas would look at them and smile, and thank her for thinking to get photos. As she walked back to the library to put the camera back in its place, she couldn't stop herself from feeling like they were ready for their second child.
After their family dinner that night - the family that had grown so much in recent years - they returned home and tucked Katie into bed, and Lucas explained that he had some work to do that he should have done that afternoon instead of napping with their daughter. Peyton just kissed him at his library door and went back to the living room to watch a little television while he worked.
After about an hour and a half, she got an idea. Well, she remembered an idea he'd had, and she decided it was time to have some fun. Whatever work Lucas had to do would have to wait.
He didn't expect Peyton to come into the library at all, and when she did, he assumed it was for something trivial, like to ask him how he mixed those really good Manhattans, or what channel reruns of The Office were on.
"Hi," she said. She quietly closed the door behind her, but Lucas didn't look up, and she smiled. He had a pencil tucked behind his ear, and a red pen between his teeth, and she really didn't know why that was so sexy, but it definitely was.
"It's time," she said.
"Time for what, sweetheart?" He finally looked up, and that was when he saw what she was wearing. A black trench coat and a pair of heels. Very familiar red ones that he didn't even know she still had. "Fuck," he breathed out.
She started walking towards him and he rose from his seat to stop her from opening the jacket. He wanted to do that himself.
"For another baby," she explained.
"Fine by me," he said, smiling at her as he untied the sash and went to work on the buttons.
"Yeah? No complaints?"
He just shook his head. His beautiful wife was fulfilling two fantasies in one, and he suspected she knew it. He pushed the jacket over her bare shoulders and eyed her as it fell to the floor. Their eyes locked as he rest his hands on her hips, and he gave her the most honest answer he could think of;