His Outback Nanny(61)

By: Annie Seaton

“Ssh,” he whispered to his passengers as they walked behind him to the house.

Jemima was standing with Lucy and Angie. Garth and Liam had fired up the barbeque. She wore those loose pants and a fitted T-shirt, and a surge of pride filled him to think that she was carrying his child. She looked up and caught his eyes, and as she smiled at him, happiness flooded through him.

“Nanny, Grandpa!” Gwennie was the first to spot his parents, but Kelsey and Ryan ran just as fast and reached their grandparents at the same time.

“Oh, what a lovely surprise.” Jemmy’s warm breath whispered in his ear, and he put his arm around her.

“That’s only half of it. Once the hubbub dies down, we’ll see the next bit.”

Her beautiful arched eyebrows rose, and she brushed her lips against his. “I’m sure the children will love whatever you’ve done.”

“I’m sure they will,” he replied with a grin.

Once the greetings had died down, and Jemmy had been introduced to his parents, Ned put his fingers in his mouth and whistled. It was the only way he could be heard over the din.

“Come on, you lot. I’ve got another surprise. Everyone come over here.” He stood on the pavers beside his mother’s rose garden. Jemima had done an amazing job of bringing it back to life.

He took her hand and led her to the wrought iron table and chair set beside the small fountain that was fed by the bore. “Ryan, Kelsey, Gwennie, I want you here, too.”

He’d told the kids what was going to happen, and Gwennie was under threat of being grounded for life if she talked about it at school.

Ned looked around the families that were gathered around them. The only ones missing were his sister and Jemima’s grandparents, but they’d all promised to come for a visit at Christmas.

“Thank you all for being a part of our celebration today. We’ve got two lots of news, and this is the first one. Ryan?”

Ned dropped to his knee as Ryan pulled a small royal blue box from his pocket with—Ned smiled—a very grubby hand. Kelsey and Gwennie stood beside Ned, a hand on each of his shoulders, and Ryan crouched in front of them.

Together, three loud voices blended with Ned’s as he held out a diamond and sapphire ring. “Jemmy, will you do us the honour of being a wife and mother?”

Ryan continued. “That’s Daddy’s wife and our muvva, we mean.”

Jemima’s beautiful blue eyes were awash with tears as she gazed back at him. “Yes, I will.” She turned to the three children. “And that’s another yes, yes, and yes!”

“And for the rest of you, there’s a yes, number four, too.” Jemima stood and patted her stomach. “Our family is growing.”