“Beau,” Mackenzie starts when we’ve made a clean break.

“Not our business, darlin’.” I already know what she’s going to say, how she’s going to react. It’s just not what we need right now. Not tonight. Not on this day.

“I just wish there was something we could do.”

“We’re doing everything we can.” I bring my finger up to my nose and breathe her scent in.

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“Beau, be serious!” She slaps my hand away while I grin down at her.

“What?”

“Don’t do that, Beau.” She looks around like someone might be watching us.

“Why the hell not?” I breathe her in again, watching her blush a new shade of pink.

“’Cause it’s gross.” I pull her into my chest and wrap my arms around her.

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“Nothing gross about the smell of my wife’s pussy.” She tilts her head back and looks up at me.

“Say it again.”

“Nothing gross about the smell of my wife’s pussy.”

“Not that part.” I grin down at her when I realize what she means.

“Wife, your pussy is fucking delicious.” She shakes her head, but I see the flash of excitement come to life in her eyes.

“You’re terrible.” She drops her head to my chest and I silently high five myself for getting her mind off Brooks and Kelly.

“You ready for cake, wife?” I press my lips to the top of her head.

“Yeah, I’m ready.” She steps back, takes my hand, and locks her fingers through mine.

“Do you think Brooks and Kelly—”

“I think Brooks and Kelly are capable of sorting their own shit, darlin’. Now let it go, wife. We have a cake to cut so we can fuck off out of here.” I give her a wink before guiding us back over to the marquee. She doesn’t reply, ‘cause she knows it won’t get her anywhere. Instead, she keeps in step with me, and lets me take control.

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Today is our day, and yeah, Kelly and Brooks are in a bad place, but I don’t want them on her mind. I’ll do anything to make sure this doesn’t touch her.

She’s my wife.

The mother of my unborn child.

The woman who controls every part of me and in return, handed over every part of herself.

Though we lost our families we were born to, we found an even greater one in each other. In our club.

Through the pain and suffering of our pasts, we’ve become what was stolen away from us.

She is my family, and I, hers.

Nothing and no one will ever change it.

The Facts

Domestic Violence, Family Violence and Intimate Partner Violence all fall under the same umbrella. It is violence and abuse that occurs within the family unit and intimate partner relationships.

It occurs when a family member or partner exerts power and control over their family member(s) or partner. The relationship can include spouses, partners, siblings, parents and children.

It can take many forms and includes physical, verbal, emotional, psychological, financial and sexual abuse.

It does not have to occur within the home or between people who are living together.

It affects people of all ages, races, religions, socioeconomic backgrounds, gender, sexual orientation, cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.

1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

(*The national Domestic Violence Hotline.)

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