He told her how beautiful she was, that he'd never made love in this bed with any woman, and the impact of his words made her still for a second and look back over her shoulder at him. A sheen glazed her eyes and again they christened the two-hundred-year-old bed. The grand timbers shook as he thrust, loving her in smooth cadence fused with friction, and when she begged for more as if she couldn't get enough of him, he held her tightly and spilled his seed into her, wishing it would take root and bind her to him. She bowed beautifully, her head flung back, as her pleasure exploded, making him drunk for more.

They collapsed on the bed, and she curled into his strength, his arms wrapped around her. His lips on her throat, Nash didn't want the sun to rise, didn't want the world to interfere. He wanted only Hayley and any time he could have with her.

* * *


Hayley reached for the ringing phone and mumbled hello and the name of the plantation.

"Hayley, dear, this is Grace."

Sleepily, she rolled over, rubbing her face. The sound of the shower running came to her as she glanced at the alarm clock. The early hour made her sit up sharply. "Are the girls all right?"

"Fine, just fine. I'm calling to ask Nash if they can stay over an extra day or two. My neighbor's grandchildren are coming in for a visit, and since they know the twins, they'd have a good time."

How nice it must be for the girls to have so many friends, Hayley thought.

"Is he around?"

"Just a sec." Hayley left the bed, pulling the tangled sheet with her, and opened the bathroom door with the phone still tucked against her ear.

"Is that the shower?" Grace asked.


"Hayley…" There was a bit of hesitancy in Grace's voice that should have alerted her. "Are you in his bedroom?"

Hayley stilled, realizing her blunder. "Well, ah, yes. I am." There was no way around this, and Hayley wasn't the least bit embarrassed about sharing herself with Nash.

"Thank God."

"Grace!" Hayley sputtered.

"Honey, if you can't see that you two were meant for each other, then maybe a little hot sex will help."

Hayley burst with laughter. She adored this woman. "I won't even go there, Grace Rayburn."

Nash poked his head out the shower door, frowning, his gaze flicking to the phone.

Hayley held it out to him. "Your mother." Then she said into the phone just before she handed it over, "Who is being a shameless tart."

She started to walk away, but Nash snagged the sheet and hauled her back. He dripped water all over her as he put the phone to his ear.

"Yes, they can. No, we're staying right here." He wiggled his eyebrows and bent to kiss Hayley's mouth. "Yes, Mom, I do love her."

Hayley breath caught, and she touched his cheek. "I love you, too," she whispered.

"Oh, I plan to," he said with a long look down her body as he drew the sheet aside. He tipped the phone away from his mouth. "When do the stitches need to come out?" he said to her.

She grappled with the sheet as if Grace could see them. "Tomorrow is okay."

"All right if mom's doctor takes them out?" She nodded and into the phone he said, "Yes, that's fine. See you in a few days. Bye." He clicked off the phone and tossed it on a pile of towels, then with a grin, pulled her into the steamy shower with him.

He kissed her, the spray hot and strong and awakening her body.

"Good morning," he murmured against her lips, then picked up the soap, lathering her breasts and massaging them in slow wet circles.

Hayley gripped his hips, wondering how they had the energy for this, then finding it as his lips closed over her nipple. He drew on it deeply, humming as if tasting a light confection, his tongue rasping over the sensitive tips again and again until Hayley thought she'd melt into the tile floor.

Then he knelt on one knee, soaping her thighs, her buttocks, and murmured something about loving her awake for the rest of her life. A little tinge of sadness pulled through her, knowing she wouldn't be here for that, yet the thought fled as he covered her softness with his mouth. She cried out, instant heat speeding through her, making her shiver and moan.

"I love your taste," he murmured, and brought her body to an incredible peak in seconds. Suddenly he stood and pushed her against the tiled wall, lifted her and plunged into her slick depths.

"Oh, mercy!"

"Nah, no mercy," he said, and thrust hard. "We've years to make up, baby. Years."

"And you plan to do it in one weekend?"

"It would take a lifetime." He withdrew and pushed into her again. "And even that wouldn't be enough."

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