EPILOGUE

Bobby held Max up so he could see his Mom. Bobby whispered in his ear, "There's Mommy. We're so proud of her, aren't we, buddy?"

Max squealed and clapped. "Mommy!"

Bobby hugged him tighter. "Mommy is very, very brave, and we're going to have to be brave with her and love her."

Max leaned back against Bobby as the ceremony finished. Max clapped and squealed as the crowd went wild and they stood up to congratulate the graduates.

Bobby awkwardly picked his way through the crowd to find his wife. He stepped behind her and said softly, "Congratulations, sweetheart."

Max couldn't wait any longer as he squealed out, throwing his arms around his Mom in a big hug from behind, knocking her hat from her head. "Mommy!"

Alex laughed and turned to throw her arms around them both. She gently kissed his cheek before leaning in and pressing one to Bobby's mouth. "Thank you both," she laughed. It felt like it'd taken forever to get here.

Bobby smiled softly as Alex moved Max to her hip, holding him tighter. He bent and picked up her hat, dusting it off. "We're so proud of you, baby...so very proud." He kissed her cheek, easing her toward where her family had been sitting. "We have reservations at 8 at Finnigan's. Are you sure that your Mom and Dad don't mind watching him?" The dinner out had been her idea. He was rather confused because they didn't go out that often and she had been so insistent.

"Yes, they love visiting with Max," she replied, smiling and giving him an eskimo kiss. "Unless you don't want to go out," she replied offhandedly.

Bobby stopped her then, pulling her to him. "I want to, please don't misunderstand..." He had gotten this feeling in the pit of his stomach that she needed to tell him something. "I...I like having date night with you." He kissed her again.

She smirked and wrapped her free arm around him. "Where is the horde?" she asked, looking around the large crowd.

Bobby glanced over a crowd of heads. "Just that way..." He pointed, easing her into the mob again.

John was the first to spot his little girl as he wrapped his arms tight around her. "You did it, Lexi!" He gave his wife just enough time to take Max before spinning Alex around and setting her back down again. "I'm so proud of you."

She laughed and steadied herself. "Be careful, I wouldn't want you to hurt your back," she joked. She gently kissed his cheek as her brothers thumped her on the back. She laughed as her sisters came up and hugged and kissed her.

Her mother came up last and squeezed her. "I knew you could do it, Lex."

She smiled brightly. "Thanks, mom."

Bobby stood back, watching. He loved his wife's family and he loved that they loved her so much. He stepped in. "We'll be late..." he whispered in her ear. Mary Eames smiled. "We'll just follow you to your car and get Max's bag. I still think that you should just let him stay the night..."

"He has a surprise waiting for him tonight," she replied. They began heading toward their vehicle. Alex took his hand and lifted him a little higher up on her hip.

Bobby looked just as bewildered as the rest of her family did. "Don't look at me for answers. I know nothing." He shook his head, following his wife. John sighed softly. "We'll know when the time is right..." Bobby said softly, "Here's his bag...and he has a snack in there and juice for the car ride."

John smiled as Mary took her grandbaby after getting hugs and kisses from both his parents. They waved good-bye and headed down the block to their car.

Bobby opened the door for Alex, allowing her behind the wheel. "What's this all about anyway?"

"I'm not going to tell you until we get there. We're celebrating right now." She leaned her head against his shoulder.

Bobby smiled and shook his head. "Well, then why don't call your Mom and Dad and tell them will pick up the rugrat in the morning?" he said suggestively.

She lifted her shoulder in a half shrug. "Whatever you want, babe." She remained quiet until they reached the restaurant, letting him call her parents.

Bobby squeezed her hand. "Not even a hint?" he asked softly.

She shook her head, smiling over at him. "Not a-one," she replied, her eyes dancing with laughter.

Bobby smirked. "You'll be perfect undercover, babe..." He kissed her knuckles as they stopped for the valet to park their car. He moved around the car, quickly taking her hand again. He moved them toward the door, opening it for her. "Ladies first..."

She moved to their table and smiled up at him. They made small talk until the main course came. Bobby was getting restless, so she finally gave up. "If I tell you, will you sit still?"

Bobby's hands covered her smaller ones. "Is it good news, Alex?" He was worried that something was wrong.

"Everything is fine," she assured him, smiling. "Bobby..." she bit her lip and laced their fingers. "Bobby, I'm pregnant again."

Bobby's jaw hit the floor. "But we've been careful..." he said softly, letting a smile tug at his lips.

Her eyes searched his face. "You're happy?" she asked. Worry clawed at her.

Bobby stood then, drawing her to her feet. He kissed her full on the mouth and held her tightly. "Of course I'm happy. Are you happy?" He asked pushing her back to look into her eyes.

"Yes. I was a little worried at first, but this is just... this is amazing." She kissed him again before they turned back to their meals.

Bobby held her hand across the table. "Another baby..." He got a lop-sided grin on his face as he studied her. "I knew there was something different about you..."

She rolled her eyes. "You hush, or you're sleeping on the couch," she laughed.

Bobby wrinkled his nose and sat back, his shoulders broad. He shook his head. "I've got a free ticket into your pants..." He held up his ring hand, the gold band glinting in the soft light of the restaurant.

"That you do," she replied, taking his hand and kissing his fingers one by one. "You can use that ticket whenever you want."

Bobby sucked in a breath. He whispered, "You'd better behave yourself..." He met her eyes. After all, it was her confidence that had led them down this road close to three years ago.

The End

a/n: we hope that you've enjoyed this little journey into our minds. Thank you for taking this trip with us.