He tugged her off balance and into his arms. Rolling until she was tucked underneath him. He kissed her long and slow, and she felt her fears for the future disappearing slowly.

In his embrace she felt as if things would work out, but she feared that was false hope until she knew how he felt about her. Until she had some promises... But she’d never had a man make her promises. Never wanted them until now. Until Rafe. She needed something from him, but she was afraid to admit that even to herself.

How the hell was she going to tell him that she wanted him to be by her side? Not because of the baby, but because she needed him.

She tipped her head, closing her eyes and pretending that she had the answers she needed. But she knew that things were even more complicated now than they had been before.


Rafe woke with the sun, since he was still on European time, and left Emily sleeping quietly in her bed. Last night he’d almost lost her. He still wasn’t sure he’d said the right thing or even done enough to keep her. But today he intended to change all of that.

He went out to his car and retrieved the bag that Jose had packed and brought it into the house. He scanned the street while he did so, but saw no reporters hanging around, which was reassuring. As were the two cop cars parked at each end of her street. There was no foot traffic on her block today either.

He found eggs and the fixings for an omelet in Emily’s fridge and set to making breakfast for her. His hands were sweating when he put it all on the breakfast tray he’d found in her pantry. He dashed outside to pick a hibiscus from the flowering bush in her backyard and put it in a small teacup with some water. Then he patted his pocket to make sure the ring hadn’t disappeared and walked back to her bedroom.

With any other woman this kind of gesture might be enough to make her swoon. But Rafe suspected it might not be enough with Red.

She was still asleep on her side with his pillow tucked up against her. She looked small and vulnerable as she slept. During the day she was a virago, constantly moving and challenging everything in her path. But like this it was easy to see she wasn’t as invincible as she wanted the world to believe. Feeling like a voyeur, he put the tray on her dresser and snapped a quick photo of her with his iPhone.

Then he walked over to the bed and sat down next to her. He was tempted to slide back under the sheets with her. Make love to her again, but sex was tearing away layers that he usually used to insulate himself against women. And he couldn’t afford to let Emily any closer to him than she already was.

Love was a fairy tale, one he wasn’t too sure existed. He’d seen what his father had done for love and how that had torn their entire family apart.



“Wake up, sleepyhead.”

She blinked up at him and shoved her hand through her thick red hair, pushing it back off her face. She sat up, ran her tongue over her teeth and then looked at him. “Aren’t you chipper in the morning.”

He was. He’d always been a morning person, but he sensed that she wasn’t and decided silence was the better part of valor. “I’m still on a different time zone. I brought you coffee.”

“I can only have decaf,” she said.

“That’s what I made since it was on the counter next to your machine,” he said.

“Thank you,” she said, reaching for the mug. Blowing on the surface of the hot liquid before taking a sip, she closed her eyes, seeming to savor it as that first swallow went down.

He felt himself stir and shook his head.

Really. Was there nothing she could do that wouldn’t turn him on?

“You haven’t tried the omelet yet,” he said as he knelt on the bed and settled the tray over her lap.

“No. For trying to protect me. For doing this,” she said. “I’m just not the kind of woman men usually do this kind of thing for.”

“Yes, you are,” he said.

She wrinkled her brow as she stared over at him. He took off the lid that he’d used to cover her plate so it wouldn’t get cold and smiled over at her.

“Are you arguing with me?”

“Yeah, I am. I made you breakfast in bed, so clearly you are the right type. The other guys in your life haven’t measured up.”

She put her coffee on the tray and leaned over to kiss him. It was a little clumsy and tasted of sleepy woman and coffee. He wanted more but she pulled back.

“You’re saying all the right things this morning.”

“I try. How’s your stomach?” he asked. “I didn’t even think about your morning sickness.”

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