Before my last shift of the week, the chief lets me know I’d been approved for the shift change. In just a couple weeks, I’ll be back on day shift, and that can’t come soon enough. Although finding out Courtney wasn’t in fact pregnant took me by surprise, I’m still glad to be switching to day shift because it feels like I don’t see her for four days straight.
“Babe…I’m heading out,” she whispers, shaking me lightly. I’d meant to get up with her so I could tell her the good news. “I’ll see you after work, okay? I love you!” She presses a soft kiss on my cheek and before she pulls away, I wrap an arm around her and pull her on top of me.
“Don’t go,” I mumble, burying my face into her neck.
“Drew!” she squeals, alerting Buddy to jump up on the bed and rescue her. Reed jumps up next.
“You can’t jump up here every time you hear her scream, Buddy,” I tell him. “Especially when she’s screaming my name later tonight.”
“Oh my God!” She blushes. “Don’t tell him that!” Slapping a hand against my chest, I growl in her ear and pull myself on top of her. She laughs as I hover over her body and she tries to push me off. “You’re going to make me late! I have that conference today and have to leave early! I didn’t wake up before the sun for nothing.”
“What conference?” I ask.
“The one in San Francisco. I told you about it a few weeks ago,” she reminds me.
“Oh, right. The one Jayden is attending with you?” I ask dryly.
“Yeah, it’ll be a good learning experience for him,” she says with a smile.
“Great,” I draw out and she senses my sarcasm.
I know how much she hates being late, but I don’t release her just yet. Buddy and Reed make themselves comfortable at the end of the bed, so I take advantage.
“You can’t leave without breakfast,” I tease, sliding my hand down to my groin and wrapping a hand around my erection through my shorts. “It’s the most important meal of the day, after all.” I grind my hips between her legs and I can tell she’s contemplating it as her head falls back.
“Tonight, I promise.” She presses her lips against mine before she pushes me off.
I pout and push out my lower lip.
“Stop it!” She laughs. “I’ll let you mount me as soon as I get back.”
I pretend to think about it before responding. “Okay, fine. But I’m holding you to that.”
“Yes, I know.” Rolling her eyes, she kisses me once more before getting off the bed. She stands up and straightens her clothes out. She runs her fingers through her hair and adjusts herself.
“Still beautiful,” I say, folding my arms behind my head as I watch her. She flashes me a quick smile before she walks toward the door.
“Don’t forget to walk the dogs,” she reminds me, although she knows I always take them for a walk.
“I know! Now go!”
“Fine. Love you!” She blows me a kiss and steps out.
“Love you!” I call out. Climbing back under the sheets, I decide to sleep for a few more hours. I then realize I completely forgot to tell her my news, but that means I can tell her later when I’m between her legs tonight.
Once the dogs and I get up, I take them for a walk around the block. Reed is so full of energy, he gives Buddy a run for his money. I love our new neighborhood. It’s quaint and mostly quiet, and I love the family atmosphere. It’s definitely a change from living near the campus. People are always out walking their dogs or pushing a baby stroller, and any time I’m out walking or running, people wave hello without even knowing my name. It’s everything I’ve ever imagined sharing with Courtney.
Just as I’m mixing up my protein shake and snacking on some of Courtney’s muffins she tried to hide from me in the back of the freezer, my phone rings and Logan’s name flashes on it.
“Hey, man. How’s it going?” I answer.
“Drew, we got a picture. You’ll want to come down here.” His tone is serious and deep and my gut instantly tightens.
“A picture of what?”
“The LVPD just sent over a still of the guy that carried Courtney out of the hotel room. It’s not the bartender like we assumed.”
My jaw ticks as anger boils through my blood. “Who the fuck is it?”
“I don’t know yet. They digitally restored the image and finally got a good frame to confirm it’s not the same guy. But that means she had someone else besides the bartender helping her.”
My heart beats faster at just the thought of who would help Mia. I know if I ever see him face to face, it’ll take everything in me not to wrap a hand around his throat.