Clarke leaned away to see his face better. “So we’re going with Hope if it’s a girl then?” she said with a smirk.
Bellamy winced. “I walked right into that one, didn’t I?” Clarke laughed, snuggling back against his side. Bellamy kissed her again. “I’m telling you Aurora Hope sounds better”
“Mmm,” Clarke hummed, taking a sip of her drink. “I like Hope Abigail.”
Bellamy tossed his head back with a dramatic sigh. “You’re impossible.”
“I’m the princess,” she murmured into her cup.
They sat in silence as the sun disappeared below the horizon. It rarely got truly dark on New Earth. There was almost always one sun shining, but Bellamy liked the perpetual twilight feeling after the closer sun set.
“What if it’s a boy?” Clarke asked after a while. “We haven’t discussed boy names at all.”
“That’s because it’s going to be a girl.”
Clarke snorted. “You cannot will this baby to be a girl.”
“More like I’d never be lucky enough to get a boy. I’m destined to be surrounded by women that drive me crazy.”
“Oh, you love us, and you know it.”
“Debatable,” he grumbled, but he couldn’t stop the grin on his face. “You know, if it is a boy, I’m going to have to add another room to the cabin. And you remember what that was like.”
Clarke sighed into his shoulder which sounded more like smothered laughter. Bellamy closed his eyes and kicked off with his foot, setting the swing in motion again. The cool breeze fluttered his hair while Clarke’s soft breaths warmed his skin.
He had a million things to do, but right now none of it mattered. The only important thing on his mind was Clarke, a baby, and the green grass stretching all the way to town. It was perfect.
The breeze fluttered the tall grass, tickling Octavia’s palms as she skimmed her hand over the tops. Next to her, Jordan and Madi chattered enthusiastically about the deer-like creature they’d seen in the woods while hunting. Jordan tended to talk more with his hands, forcing Octavia to duck when he got overexcited. She decided to consider it training.
“It was so majestic,” Jordan said for the tenth time.
“It’s food,” Octavia interrupted before he got carried away again.
“We can’t kill it!” Jordan’s voice raised about two octaves. “It’s peaceful and-”
“Food is food,” she stated. He needed to learn that lesson. A sick feeling settled in her stomach. It was different here, she reminded herself. They had an entire planet to themselves—one overflowing with animals and vegetation. The edible kind. She swallowed the bile surging up her throat. “But as long as the little critters keep us full, we won’t need to hunt the deer.”
“But the critters are cute, too,” Madi mumbled.
“I like the rabbit-ferret things,” added Jordan.
Madi laughed. “Fabbits!”
Octavia rolled her eyes. A lecture sat on the tip of her tongue. Madi, of all people, should understand hunting was a necessity no matter how adorable the fabbits were. They would keep them fed through winter.
In the distance, she could see the cabin—the sky beyond a brilliant orange as the sun set. A small smile twisted her lips. She helped build that. It felt good to put down her weapons for tools. Exceptionally good. Powerful. Lincoln would have loved it, she thought. Would have loved this entire place. Surprisingly, thinking of Lincoln didn’t quite hurt so much anymore. As long as she focused on the good times.
“What do you think?” Jordan asked, tapping Octavia’s arm.
“Huh?” She shook out of her memories, having no idea what the two of them were talking about.
“I’m almost sixteen,” Madi said. “I am too old for piggyback rides. Right, Octavia?”
Octavia looked between the grumpy Madi and glowing Jordan then smiled. “You are never too old for piggyback rides, Madi.” With that, she tossed the string of fabbits at Madi and hopped onto Jordan’s back, nearly knocking him over.
His laugh rumbled in his chest and through her body. “Race you,” he shouted at Madi then took off.
Octavia held on for her life, laughing like a maniac. She hadn’t felt this free in... ever. She’d never been free. Madi quickly passed them on the downhill, the fabbits smacking her back with each step. She waited at the well for Jordan to catch up. Octavia hopped down, still laughing. “Come on, let’s go make dinner,” she said, taking their hunting spoils from Madi.
As they rounded the house, still panting and giggling, they came to a stop. Jordan blushed bright red. Madi giggled. Octavia just smiled as Bellamy and Clarke shared a less-than-kid-friendly kiss on the front porch. She gave them a good fifteen seconds before she cleared her throat. “Ugh. If you guys are going to do that out in the open, I’m going to move in with Jordan in town.”
She stomped up the stairs but shot Bellamy a grin that he returned, warming Octavia inside and out. Things were so different now—they were no longer living to survive, starving, scared of being discovered. Yet some things were the same, and it felt good. It felt perfect.