His for a price(70)

By: Caitlin Crews

“Always,” she said. “You should have taken me with you.”

It was amazing what a full night’s sleep could do—much less three years of the same. Three years of learning how to love this man as he deserved. Three years of learning how to let him love her back.

The best three years of her life.

“The last time I attempted to take you into the shower before you were ready, you acted like it was an attempt on your life,” he reminded her. “You’ve become appallingly lazy, princess.”

“I have,” she agreed with a grin. “And so demanding.”

She crooked her finger at him, letting the instant gleam of dark honey in his eyes warm her.

Nicodemus crawled across the bed to her, taking her mouth with that marvelous ferocity that made her sigh against him while everything else turned molten and hot.

“I love you,” she whispered when he pulled back marginally, and smiled when he kissed her again, harder and deeper than before.

“I love you, too,” he replied. “Which is why you’ll understand that I cannot tolerate any secrets between us. Was I unclear on this in the past? I feel certain I wasn’t.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” she lied. “I’m a model wife. What more could you ask? I’m the perfect decoration.”

“The decor does not normally start its own PR firm and find itself too busy to tend to its primary purpose, which is standing about looking pretty,” he pointed out, shifting so he could take her in his arms and roll them both, until she was on her back and he was sprawled out beside her. “You’ve become entirely too professional.”

“I apologize.” She wasn’t sorry at all, and the little nip he gave her, at the tender place beneath her ear, made her laugh. “I know you preferred it when I was pointless and spoiled.”

He propped himself up on his elbow so he could look down at her, and she loved him so much it felt like a wave that crashed over her, again and again, bathing her in its sweetness. Its goodness. She loved the smile he wore so often now and that gaze of his that was always more honeyed than grim. She loved how well she knew him and how, astonishingly, he’d come to know her, as well.

Intimacy, it turned out, was worth all the trouble it took to get there. All the fear and all the pain. That sensation of being turned inside out, vulnerable and exposed, was only the beginning. Every day it deepened. Every day it got worse.

And better. So much better. So exquisitely, miraculously better.

“Tell me,” he said, grinning down at her. “Because I already know.”

“Then why must I tell you? Surely, your psychic powers are their own reward.”

“Confession is good for the soul,” he said, letting one big hand travel over her warm body, heating it as he went, from her tender breasts to the bright phoenix that flirted with the curve of her belly that wouldn’t stay trim much longer. “Especially yours.”

“Maybe you should spank it out of me,” she suggested, taking his hand in hers and holding it where it rested, hot and right, above the place far within where their baby already grew.

“How kinky you’ve become,” he said, pretending to chide her. “Spanking was meant to be a punishment, Mattie, not a pleasure.”

“Liar,” she teased him, and he grinned back at her.

“I love you,” Nicodemus said, his gaze another vow, and it warmed her all the way through. “You and that baby, who you should have told me about weeks ago.”

And then he made her pay, in the delicious way only he could.

The way he always did.

The way she knew—as she knew the sun would rise in the morning, as she knew she’d loved him a lifetime already, as she knew this child of theirs would be a little boy whose father would never, ever lie to him or leave him—he always would.

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