“Guys, the fire is really going now… are you coming or not?” Mae asked, sticking her head in the sliding door of the house and then groaning. “Seriously, every time I turn around, you guys are tonguing in a corner. It’s disturbing,” she added, though in a teasing tone.

Chase and Polly sprang apart from each other, and righted their clothes slightly, as though caught under the bleachers by a teacher rather than by family.

“We’ll be right there,” Chase said and Polly nodded in agreement, both of their cheeks flushing.

“Grab the marshmallows from the cabinet, will you? I put them in the left hand one,” Mae said before stepping back outside. “And quit groping each other in my kitchen!” she added, sliding the door shut again.

Chase and Polly looked at each other and giggled, caught again making out. It had been eight months since Polly Royston had come back home to the north woods, but she and Chase couldn’t seem to keep their hands off each other regardless of how long it had been. They seemed to be constantly springing apart and looking guilty whenever someone walked in the room, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Mae was a common culprit in catching them. She had finally finished all the renovation work on the cabins, and had completed the construction on the new cabins ahead of schedule. In addition to opening her new law practice, serving all of the Keweenaw and occasionally working out of Houghton, Polly had also taken over as the main business contact for the cabins, arranging the rental schedule, taking care of payments, making sure a cleaning crew stopped by when necessary, and contacting Mae if they needed repairs. The four of them had decided Polly was the best point person and she hadn’t minded a bit. In fact, there had been an uptick in rentals since the new website went live and Polly had paid for some advertising in high end travel magazines.

The four of them, of course, were Polly and Chase, and Parker and Mae. Parker had finally come home, his tour of duty done, and was now a part time recruiter for the Navy while also serving as full time partner to Chase and his growing gillie business. The cabin rentals and the gillie work went hand in hand, and both seemed to be a booming success. Since Mae had played such a major part in renovating the cabins and had so much buy in to what they were trying to achieve, they had decided to make her a rental partner – and that was even before Parker and Mae had hooked up as a couple.

Polly knew they would be a good fit for each other, so about a week after Parker was home and finally over his jet lag, she had arranged to invite Parker and Mae over to the house for dinner – except that she and Chase were conveniently gone for the evening.

The next morning, the lasagna she had left in the oven was gone and Parker and Mae were a couple.

Just like she knew they would be.

And now everything seemed to be falling into place – Parker and Mae were moving in together in the original family house, and Polly was fully moved into Chase’s cabin, though he had promised to have Mae build her an addition on the back of the house for a sunroom with a hot tub, complete with a spectacular view of Lake Superior.

Chase had only agreed if Polly promised to always hot tub in the nude.

It wasn’t a tough compromise, she mused, smacking his ass even as she grabbed the marshmallows from the kitchen and took Chase’s proffered hand as they walked down to the beach, Jack following closely on their heels, glad to have all his favorite humans in one place.

The wedding was set for the spring, with Mae and Parker serving as their witnesses in the tiny beachside ceremony, though Jack would almost certainly be serving as ring bearer. A simple ceremony at dusk – Polly wondered why she had ever wanted a huge ceremony with hundreds of people. Back then, it was about the guest. This time, it was just about her and Chase – just as their marriage would be.

Polly Royston North had finally found her normal, her love, her life.

Parker was in full ‘fire god’ mode, stoking up the crackling logs on the sandy beach, while Mae spread well worn quilts on the sand for everyone to sit on. Within minutes they were making s’mores and watching a spectacular Lake Superior sunset, Polly firmed nestled in Chase’s arms and Mae resting against Parker’s side. 

And at that moment, Polly Royston knew she was home to stay.