Page 23 of Labor of Love

It’s just the kind of man he is. Joining the Army to protect our country, running into a burning building to save others, almost losing his own life in the process, rushing to save me and tying his life to mine in order to keep me safe from my grandfather… But I wanted him to want to marry me.

“I wanted to marry you that much, too. I hated that I thought I couldn’t remember our wedding,” I admit. “But there wasn’t one, was there? Not really.”

I watch guilt wash over his face. “You remember.”

“Yes.” I nod. “When the judge said my grandfather was coming, everything came flooding back.” I swallow. “He’s a horrible man.” He is, and he likes to run his mouth right in front of me. Before, I wasn’t sure who to trust. Who was in his pocket, but now, now I know Orlando will protect me. He won’t let anything hurt me.

“He’ll get what’s coming to him,” Orlando vows.

“You lied to me.” I raise an eyebrow at him.

“I did.” He keeps his eyes locked with mine. “When you woke you looked so scared I wanted to put you at ease. Then…” He looks bashful for a moment. “I loved having you as my wife. I thought maybe if I could get you to fall in love with me, when you finally remembered you might stay.”

I throw myself at him, wrapping my body around him. He catches me easily as I pepper kisses all over his handsome face. “I told you I knew you were my person the second I woke up in that bed. I’d never felt so safe. I didn’t question you because I knew I was home.” My eyes fill with tears. “I think I crashed into your gate for a reason. It was fate.”

“God, I love you, little one.” He kisses me, taking my breath away. “I was so scared you’d try to leave me when you found out.” I want to laugh at the word try, because I have a feeling while Orlando might give me anything I ask for, the one thing he’d never accept is him and me being separated. Not that I would ever ask for that. It might be crazy, but something about that fills me with even more happiness.

“I hate how you had to get to me, but I’m so fucking thankful you’re here. I wasn’t living. You brought me back to life. Made life worth living again.”

God, I love him so much. Now I understand what he meant when he said he’s glad he got hurt as it led him to me. I, too, would take what my grandfather gave me if it led me to Orlando.

“Make love to me,” I say against his mouth.

He groans. “I’ve been dying to make love to you,” he admits. I know now why he’s been holding back. He didn’t want to make love to me until I knew the truth. Now I do.

“I’m yours now. You can have me whenever you want.” I watch his eyes darken at my words. This time when he leans down and kisses me, it’s so soft and sweet that I want to cry.

“I’m going to be the best husband to you. I promise I’ll make the rest of your life so sweet it will take away any pain you ever had before me.”

He kisses me again. I wrap myself around him, never wanting to let go. When he pulls away from my mouth, he trails kisses down my neck and shoulder. One hand slips up under my dress. He lets out a growl when he finds I have no panties on.

I’d not wanted anything slowing us down once the ceremony was over. I felt like I’d waited long enough and nothing else was going to get in the way.

“You’re going to be the death of me, little one.”

“I will be if you don’t start removing some clothes.” I start pulling at his shirt, wanting us to be skin to skin. He lets out a deep chuckle and helps me get him undressed. Soon he’s completely naked and back on top of me, pulling at my dress.

“You look beautiful in this, but it has to go.” I gasp when he gives a hard tug and pulls it from me. I hear a loud rip, but I don’t even care.

He stares down at me, his eyes taking me in. “I want you so bad, but I need to go slow with you,” he says. I’m not sure if he’s talking to me or himself.

“We don’t have to go slow.” I wiggle against him, the ache between my thighs building to a throb like I’ve never felt before. “I ache.”

His eyes fly up to mine. I watch a war battle behind them. “You’re a virgin. I have to get you ready, little one.” He slips a finger inside me, filling me. I moan.