“Good morning, husband,” Kelsie says as she exits the bathroom dressed in black yoga pants and a black T-shirt.
“Say it again, wife.”
Kelsie wraps her arms around my waist. “Husband.”
“What shall we do today, Mrs. Duquette?”
“Open presents,” she announces with glee.
“You’re like a little kid.”
“I don’t care what you say.” She pulls away from me and sits on the floor beside the fireplace. “We’ve had enough misery and seriousness to last a few lifetimes.”
Dropping beside her, I say, “I agree.”
“One more serious matter, and then I’m done for a while.” Kelsie rests her head on my shoulder.
“What is it, love?”
“Would you ever consider giving up leading Council?”
I kiss the top of her head. “Honestly, I hadn’t thought about it. Why do you ask?”
Kelsie sighs. “I’m torn between wanting to keep an eye on Mom and Hiro and leaving Falls Creek.”
This is serious. Rubbing her arm, I stare into the flames. I haven’t even been in Falls Creek for a year, but I’d do anything to keep Kelsie happy. “Where would we go?”
“New Orleans. I want to be there with Qadira and Cash. She could use the company. Plus, I’d get to know my niece or nephew. But if you don’t want to…”
“Let me think on it. I’d have to find a suitable replacement, and that will take some time.”
“As long as you’ll think about it, we can drop it for now,” Kelsie mumbles.
“Wait.” Shifting my position so I can face her, I say, “I’m not ready to drop it yet. As far as your mother and Hiro, it’s her life. There’s not much we can do to dissuade her from him. He might not be as bad as Khan.”
“I hope you’re right.”
Me too, but for now I’m ready to contemplate our future.
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