There’s a conversation on Twitter about infertile heroines who are or become okay with that. Even though it’s no secret I love my babylicious epilogues, I’ll probably keep an eye out for good recommendations anyway.
I’ve written two heroines who can’t or won’t have babies.
And Carmen, from No Surrender (Kindle/Nook) flat-out doesn’t want to be a mother. Ever. I’ve been asked a couple of times if, after spending time with Gallagher’s family and agreeing to marry him, Carmen does have a baby. Nope. Gallagher and Carmen never have children. When his sister gets older and starts having babies, they spoil the crap out of their nieces and nephews, though.
Of course, thinking about No Surrender always makes me think about (and often re-read) the “I love you” scene. Those are really hard for me to write (though kissing scenes are harder), but this one wasn’t and it’s still my favorite declaration scene of all of my books.
From the paper bag, he pulled a beautifullyâ€”and no doubt professionallyâ€”wrapped box and set it on her lap.
He had to help her take the ribbons off and he cursed himself the entire time. â€śI canâ€™t believe I was so stupid. I should have thought of your hands.â€ť
â€śShut up. Iâ€™ve never had pretty ribbons on a present, so donâ€™t ruin it for me.â€ť
He slit the tape for her, too, and she gingerly peeled back the paper, not wanting to tear it. A plain white box dragged the anticipation out until she felt like a little girl on Christmas morning.
Finally she managed to open the lid and pull out the tissue paper. Inside was a bottle of scented lotionâ€”mandarin.
â€śThey didnâ€™t have a big selection at the gift shop,â€ť he said, talking too fast as though he was nervous. As if he didnâ€™t know heâ€™d just given her the best present of her life. â€śSo I made Oâ€™Brien drive me down the street to theâ€¦whatever you call it. The smelly lotion place. The girl said lavender was a soothing scent, but you said you donâ€™t like flowery shit. Oh, and Oâ€™Brien and I almost came to blows over whether vanillaâ€™s a flower or a fruit. We still donâ€™t know.â€ť
He didnâ€™t seem to notice she hadnâ€™t said anything. That she couldnâ€™t say anything because her throat was clogged with emotion.
â€śThey had grapefruit, but she said that was energizing, which would suck when youâ€™re stuck in the hospital. And they had peach, but hornyâ€™s probably not so good, either. So we kept trying them out until we both smelled like a fucking fruit salad. I picked mandarin because the woman said it promotes serenity and tranquility, soâ€”â€ť
â€śI love you.â€ť
â€śâ€”I bought that one. What?â€ť
â€śI love you.â€ť And then, to her horror, a tear trickled down her cheek.
Sheâ€™d hadnâ€™t said those words since her mother died, and the emotional rush of putting them out there seemed to break through the dam and more tears followed.
â€śOh shit. Carmen?â€ť He grabbed four or five tissues from the box on her bedside table and shoved them at her. â€śPlease donâ€™t cry, babe. Shit. Iâ€™m sorry.â€ť
Unfortunately, his utter helplessness in the face of her tears made her laugh, which killed her bruised ribs, limiting her to a weird wheezing, hiccupping sound.
â€śJeez, Carm.â€ť He screwed the lid off the lotion and waved it under her nose. â€śHere, be serene. Tranquil, whatever.â€ť
It took the nurse and the threat of Gallagher being expelled from her room to calm things down.
â€śAre you serious?â€ť He recapped the lotion and set it down so he could touch her. â€śBecause Iâ€™ve risked my life for you, and gone through hell for you. Iâ€™ve taken bullets for you, and now I buy you some fruity cream shit and you love me?â€ť
â€śYes, I love you because you bought me fruity cream shit. And yes, Iâ€™m serious.â€ť
Okay, back to work for me.