Her body spasmed, and she moaned again, her chest vibrating against his. He pulled her dress over her head and feasted on the sight of one very sexy hot-pink bra and panty combo.

It needed to come off now. He needed to touch her.

With one finger, he hooked her bra and dragged it down across her taut nipples, popping them free. He took one in his mouth, rolling it across his tongue, nibbling and sucking, and she pushed against his teeth, begging him to take her deeper.

He sucked harder. Her nails bit into the back of his head, urging him on. His erection pulsed, aching to be free of the confines of his clothes.

Not yet.

He dragged his tongue down the length of her abdomen and fingered off her panties, then knelt between her legs to pleasure her there.

“Do you like this?” he asked. “Do you like the way I make you feel?” He treated her to a thorough openmouthed French kiss square in the heart of her wet heat. She bucked against his lips, seeking more.

“Yes. Yes.”

She was so responsive, so hot. Fingers deep inside her, he flicked her sweet nub with his tongue. “What do you need?”

She whimpered, writhing as he held back from granting her the release she sought. “You, Lucas,” she said on a long sob. “I need you.”

The syllables uncurled inside him, settling with heavy, warm weight, and only then did he realize how much he’d burned to hear them. He vaulted to his feet. His clothes hit the patio, and he had a condom in his hand in record time.

His luscious wife watched him with dark, stormy eyes, one leg dangling over the edge and one leg bent up, opening her secrets wide. A wanton gift, spread out on the table, just for him.

He kissed her, covering her mouth and her body simultaneously, then entered her with a groan, filling her, and squeezed his eyes shut to savor the hot, slick pressure.

They were awesome together. How could she deny it? How could she walk away? No other man could fulfill her like he could.

She needed him.

She only thought she wasn’t in the market for a long-term marriage, like she’d once insisted she didn’t want him like this. She was wrong, so wrong, about both, and he had to convince her of it.

Relentlessly, he drove her off the edge and followed her down a brilliant slide toward the light.

Later, when Cia lay snuggled in his arms in their bed, she blasted him with the last word. “The divorce is happening, no matter how hot the sex is. I asked you to marry me because you’re a close-the-deal-and-move-on guy. Stop talking crazy and do what you’re good at.”

Yeah, he excelled at moving on. Always on the lookout for the next deal, the next woman, the next indulgence. Matthew was the solid, responsible one.

Was. Not anymore.

Lucas pulled Cia tighter into his arms without responding. Matthew was gone. Lucas had assumed his place at the helm of Wheeler Family Partners. Lucas owned a house constructed for marriage. With these shifts, life could be whatever he wanted.

He wanted what Matthew had lost. With Cia. For the first time in his life, Lucas wasn’t interested in moving on. But how did he convince Cia to stick around? Maybe she was right and he wasn’t cut out for long-term. Gray sheep didn’t spontaneously turn white overnight.

But the shifts had already occurred, and he didn’t have to stay on the same path. This was it, right here, right now. If he wanted to change the future, he had to figure out how to make it happen.


When the doorbell chimed, Fran Wheeler was the very last person Cia expected to view through the peephole. She yanked open the door and summoned a smile for her mother-in-law. “Mrs. Wheeler. Please come in.”

“I’m sorry to drop by unexpectedly.” Fran stepped into the foyer, murmuring appreciatively at the way Cia had decorated the living room. “And please, call me Fran. Formality makes me feel old, and if I wanted to be reminded of my age, I’d look in a mirror.”

“Of course. Fran, then. Lucas isn’t home, I’m afraid.” Cia waved at the couch. “Would you like a seat? I’d be happy to get you a drink while you wait, if you’d like.”

Coolly, as only a pillar of Dallas society could, Fran cocked her head, and the chic style of her blond hair stayed firmly in place. “I’m here to see you. Lucas is with his father at a boring real estate seminar, so I took a chance you’d be home alone.”

Uh-oh. Well, she was way overdue for the tongue-lashing Fran likely wanted to give her for refusing the pearls. “Your timing is good, then. I took the day off from work. The offer of a drink still stands.”

A squawk cut her off. Fergie couldn’t stand it when someone had a conversation without her.

Fran glanced toward the back of the house. “Was that a bird?”

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