Now he was the one turning serious. “My ego and I made a lot of assumptions about you and me, thinking that just because I was one hundred percent ready to be in love, you must be one hundred percent ready to love me back. I’m sorry for barging into your heart like a bull in a china shop.”

“You once told me that two people don’t have to be completely the same or look at everything the same way, for a relationship to work. These past weeks with you have been exciting and frustrating and happy and crazy-making. And the truth is that I can’t wait for seven more decades just like these with you. Everything might not always be calm and easy, we may get messy and raw sometimes, but I know that as long as I’m with you, they’ll always be wonderful, too. So, if you ask me, barging like a bull into my china shop sounds just perfect. I don’t want to change one single thing about you, Adam, and I couldn’t stand it if you tried to be someone you aren’t.”

A violin was playing a romantic melody, one that floated across the still lake water to them, as she said, “Marry me, Adam. Be mine forever.”

He kissed her soft then hard, teasingly then deeply, over and over again.

“Is that a yes?” she asked.

“Not just a yes,” he told her, grinning like a fool. “It’s a hell yes to marrying you and having picnics with our kids under the oak tree of our rambling old house during the day and making love beneath the stained-glass windows upstairs every night.” He kissed her again. “And that’s me saying yes to holding hands as we rock together on the front porch.” Another kiss, one filled with pure love. “But you should know that I’ll never stop making you blush by kissing you in front of the whole world and asking you to dance at the most inappropriate times.”


“You want to know how long I’m promising you, Kerry?” He brought his lips to hers and whispered, “Forever.”

* * *

Back at the inn, they stripped each other so fast that the door was barely shut and locked behind them when Adam came over her on the big bed, deliciously hard and heavy as he kissed her. And kissed her. And kissed her some more, until her head was spinning even faster than it already had been back on the beach.

Every part of her wanted every part of him as he began to run those drugging kisses down over her cheek, her jaw, her neck, her shoulders.

“What are you going to plan for our wedding?” he asked her between kisses.

“Wedding?” It was hard to think straight with his tongue swirling lazily over the tip of her breast.

His laughter vibrated against her sensitive skin as he moved to tease her other breast. “You just asked me to marry you, remember?”

“Yes.” He slid his hand down over her stomach, then between her thighs. “Yes.”

His laughter turned to a growl of satisfaction. “Maybe you’re thinking of the honeymoon, then?” he said as he began to run nipping little kisses down over her rib cage. “Somewhere hot and sunny where I can keep you naked for a week.”

She was barely able to think, let alone speak, as he dipped his tongue into her belly button. But somehow she managed, “Two weeks.”

He rewarded her excellent suggestion with another breathtakingly hot kiss, one that had her arching her hips to get closer to his mouth. Spending one night a week with Adam had been incredible. But knowing he would be hers forever? Knowing she’d be laughing, and teasing, and loving him every single night—not to mention anytime they could get away from work during the day?

Her body exploded in a kaleidoscope of pleasure, one that she was desperate to share with him. And thank God, he could read her mind just as he always did, because even as ecstasy took her over, he did, too, in one gorgeous thrust.

She couldn’t hold him tightly enough, couldn’t wrap herself around him closely enough. And this time, when he whispered that he loved her against her mouth between kisses, she whispered it right back, over and over and over again, until she knew he’d never, ever forget just how much she loved him.

Or that all she ever needed was him.


Drake Sullivan enjoyed Rafe and Brooke’s wedding. Not only because he got to spend time with his family, but also because the laughter all around him was a much-needed infusion. He’d tried to paint last night and had ended up with something that could have been done far better by a child. Which he’d just confirmed when Chase and Chloe’s little daughter, Emma, gave him a drawing she’d been working on at her seat during the reception. He could see the budding artist in her, from the way she watched everyone and everything around her so carefully—and from her extremely long attention span as she’d worked on her drawing with her tongue between her teeth.

She’d drawn the lake with the dock jutting out into it and the mountains rising up behind it. Her drawing was confident and, honestly, pretty damned brilliant. “This is great, Emma. Can I keep it?”

She beamed up at him. “I made it for you, Mr. Drake. You have to keep it.” She gave his legs a quick hug before running off to play with her cousins, who were calling her name from down the beach.

“Looks like you have a little admirer.” Drake’s sister, Suzanne, was smiling as she walked up to him. He showed her the drawing, and her eyebrows went up. “Wow, that’s really good.”

“Better by a mile than anything I’ve done recently, that’s for sure.”

His sister put her hand on his arm. “Your muse still messing with you?”

Drake had never believed in a muse before. Painting had always been there for him, a natural extension of himself. At least, it had been there until the past six months or so. “I’m thinking of heading out of the city for a while when I get back.”

“Montauk?” she guessed.

Drake nodded. He had a little cabin on the water there that he didn’t use nearly enough. But maybe if he got away from the noise, the activity of New York City for a little while, and surrounded himself with water and sand like this, he’d get back what he was starting to feel he’d lost.

“Maybe I’ll come visit,” she said, but he knew better. His brilliant sister could rarely pull herself away from her computers long enough to get out to the far tip of the Hamptons.

Still, he wanted her to know she was welcome, so he said, “Come anytime, Suz.”

Their brothers, Alec and Harrison, walked up to them just then. Despite their physical similarity—both of them tall and muscular, with dark eyes and hair—the luxury airline mogul and the university academic couldn’t be more different.

“Everyone, including Dad, is placing bets on who’s next,” Alec said.

Not following, Drake asked, “Next?”

Harrison clarified, “They’re betting on which one of us is going to go down in the flames of love like Adam just did.”

With his painting going badly enough that he was going to have to cancel an important exhibition soon if he didn’t snap out of it, Drake couldn’t help but feel as though he had more than enough trouble on his hands without bringing a woman into it. But his siblings? Sure, he could see one of them falling crazy in love out of the blue.

“Who’s in the lead?” he asked.

The last thing Drake expected was for Alec to grin and say, “You.”