Husky, he spoke, “Now you’re my wife, Charlotte Emerson.”

God, how she loved the sound of that name.

Strong hands lifted and lowered her weight, Matthew growling, “Those precautions you been takin’…” He gave her one sharp thrust, he filled her up. “No more.”

Lost in pleasure, a “Hmmm,” was all that she could manage.

“You hear me, Charlotte?” Matthew nipped her earlobe.

When he did not get an answer, he bit her harder, marking her neck with his teeth.

It only drove her wild. Her fingers tangled in his hair, she kissed him for all she was worth.

All his perfect movements stopped.

Panting, Charlie opened her eyes and found a hungry and adorable Matthew waiting.

“No more precautions, Charlotte.”

Caught somewhere between bashful and wicked, Charlie asked, “You telling me you want to make a baby with me?”

Matthew grunted and rolled his hips, savoring the pleasure of her gasp. “More than one.”

A dark smile teased at Charlie’s lips. “Is this where if you don’t get your way, you’re going to spank me until you do?”

One smack on that round bottom gave far more pleasure than pain. Eyes hungry, full lips curled into a dark smile of his own. Matthew eased the sting, kneading the flesh of her backside.

She bit her scarred lip and rubbed against him like a cat in heat. “I’ll give you children, Matthew Emerson. I’d give you anything in my power if you asked it.”

His approval was immediate. Bobbing her on his lap, he reveled in the wet grip of her, their eyes locked, the grunts of their love making filling the room. Charlie came crying out his name. Two thrusts later and Matthew spurted his seed inside the woman he could not live without.

* * *

They had been married less than five months before Matthew discovered he got what he asked for. The Emerson men had all gathered for breakfast, making a clamor below stairs in the morning. Feeling tired even after so much sleep, Charlie came down to join the boys. One look at the plate of scrambled eggs Matthew slid before her and she was running out the door to vomit in the bushes.

Matthew pushed through the screen just as Charlie wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “You all right?”

After two deep breaths, she answered, “Yeah… don’t know what came over me. Must be all this heat.”

She skipped breakfast that day, and spent more time napping then waking. When flapjacks were served the following morning, Charlie felt right as rain. It was not until a few days later when she came down for breakfast and just smelled scrambled eggs that she pressed her hand to her mouth and ran for the toilet.

That afternoon Matthew took her to the doctor, proud and puffed up as a peacock when his suspicion was confirmed.

Yup… he’d knocked her up good.

Not knowing a damn thing about pregnancy, Charlie tried to take it in stride. Her inexperience became a game for Nathaniel. He would fry an egg and eat it right in front of her. Omelet, hard-boiled, poached… no reactions. But the second she caught a whiff of scrambled eggs, or God forbid, saw them gold and fluffy on a plate, she was off running. When she caught on to what he was doing, she came at him with her own brand of revenge. The next time he teased her by scrambling himself some eggs for lunch, Charlie felt her stomach lurch, walked right up to him, and puked all over Nathaniel’s boots.

Matthew had been about to throttle his brother, but felt no need seeing his little spitfire fight her own battles.

His older brother just stared down, completely disgusted as the lady walked on past with a, “Fuck you, Nathaniel.”

When his brother looked up at him, Matthew warned, “You best clean that up. And if I see one more fucking scrambled egg, I’ll break your goddamn nose.”

Charlie had greater problems than Nathaniel’s nonsense. When she needed a woman to talk to about babies, it was hard to know who would help her. She’d brooded over it, worrying the little insight she’d gained from Ruth wasn’t enough.

Just shy of seven months into her pregnancy, it was clear something was bothering her. Charlie rocked in her chair with a scowl, stroking the ever-expanding Gus. Eli was at the grill, Nathaniel sipping a jar at his perch, Matthew puffing a cigar as he sat with a few men from town. When she sniffed, all three Emerson boys looked up to find her burst into tears for no apparent reason.

Matthew pushed back his chair and went to his wife, helping her stand and taking her to the privacy of his office. Once the door was closed, he sat her down and waited for an explanation.

Blubbering, a complete mess, Charlotte tried to calm down but only got more worked up. “I can’t find any women to talk to. I have so many questions, and Ruth hardly knows a damn thing. I keep going to town, but everyone is afraid of me, standoffish, or just wants to ask me about Beau. AND I don’t know which ones have babies. What the hell do I know about this shit? Why am I acting all crazy?” Charlie was getting hysterical knowing she was being ridiculous and at a loss to stop it. “This is all your fault!”

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