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“He gets it from you,” Case teased.

“When you have kids, I’m turning them against you,” I warned.

“They’ll hate you, so I doubt that’s possible,” Case responded.

Heath spoke to Balto, talking to him about enrolling Balto Jr. in football.

But Balto didn’t seem to be listening. He watched his son with the same focused attention he used to only give me. A slight smile was on his lips, and there was a glow in his eyes, a fatherly pride even though Balto Jr. had done nothing particular to be proud of. Transfixed, he looked at the miniature version of himself like he couldn’t love anyone more.

Not even me.

It was hard to believe this was our reality now, not when it was so hard for Balto to be anything but a stone-cold killer. Now he was a wonderful husband to me and an even better father. He loved our son so much. It was written on his face every single day.

And it made me love him even more.


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