This is literally the shortest thing I've ever written. Sorry.

She started at her mommy and daddy through wide eyes. She was standing in the hall, looking through the small opening between the door and the frame. It was late; she'd woken up because of the rain. She didn't know why she woke up; she could usually sleep through anything (a talent Beck and Jade really enjoyed). She wanted to go in and ask for her daddy to tell her a bedtime story –her mom's stories scared her- but the way her parents were lying in bed mesmerized her. They were both reading, occasionally glancing at the other, their eyes never meeting. Her dad's arm was wrapped around her mom's shoulder, their finger interlocked. Being three years old, she didn't know a lot. She knew her one year old brother was annoying, she knew her mommy's voice was pretty, she knew her daddy had special hair, but mostly she knew that her mommy and daddy loved each other.

"Achoo!" She sneezes, and both of her parents sit up, looking towards the door.

"Mads? You out there?" Her dad called.

"Yes," She whispered, opening the door. Her bare feet shuffled across their bedroom floor, the wood was cold against her feet.

"Did the rain wake you up, sweetie?" Her dad asks, getting out of bed. She nods, her brown hair bouncing.

"Want me to tell you a story?" Her dad asked, picking her up. She wrapped her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist. "I know a really good story about a prince and a princess."

"And so the princess counted to ten."

"Did the prince open the door?" A look of panic comes over the little girl's face. "Did he?"

"No." Beck says, "I said he was stupid, didn't I?"

"Yes, but not that stupid!" She shrieks. "Is there more to the story? It can't just be over, right! It can't be over!"

"Of course that's more." He's worried he's just getting her more worked up, but he's gotta finish the story now. He glances over at the clock. "Your mother is going to kill me."

"NO!" She says, tugging on his arm.

"Calm down." She frowns, but stops wriggling. "Don't stories always have happy endings?"

"Mmmhmmm." She agrees.

"So the prince and princess just ignored each other for a really long time, until the prince decided he needed to…" What was a word that a three year old would understand for 'rebound'? "Go with another princess."

"Boys are stupid." Maddie mumbles into her pillow.

"So he tried to kiss princess… Victoria… but she wouldn't kiss him."

"Kissing is yucky." Beck didn't respond to that, as a huge fan of kissing himself.


"So then they kissed, and lived happily ever after." He whispers.

"Thatsmynewfavoritestroy," His daughter says, her eyes closed.

"It's mine, too." He says, and kisses her forehead. "Goodnight, sweetie."

"Nigh," She murmurs. He waits until she is fully asleep, then leaves her room and heads back to his.

"Is she asleep?" Jade asks, putting down the book she's reading.

"Yeah." He says, crawling back into bed.

"You took a really long time." She comments.

"I know." He says, and kisses her. She kisses back, but just as they are getting into it, a wail erupts from the baby monitor.

"Should I…?" Beck asks, starting to stand.

"I've got it."