Pulling myself together, I make quick work of taking care of business in the bathroom, but stop to look at myself in the mirror. Leaning in closer to the mirror, I see something on my neck that makes me gasp.

I turn, storming out of the bathroom and toward the kitchen. He left a hickey on me! It might be light and I’ll probably be able to cover it with makeup, but still. A freaking hickey like I’m in high school or something.


“Miles!” I snap, making him turn from the stove, spatula in hand and a stupid, perfect smile on his face. No one should look that good in the morning, or while cooking. Who cooks in their underwear anyway? He’s trying to kill me.

“Yeah, baby?” he says easily, like he’s not worried about my temper.

“I’m about to yell at you, so stop smiling,” I snap again, which only makes him smile more. He turns, flipping off the stove and putting the spatula down before turning to look back at me. Still smiling.

“Hard not to smile when you’re standing in our kitchen, in my shirt, looking like I made love to you all night. As long as you’re not trying to slip out on me, I don’t think there’s anything you could be doing in here that won’t make me smile.”

I ignore his sweet words because, well, because they’re too freaking sweet. Like everything that comes out of his mouth. It’s utterly mind-blowing how he does that, so I choose to ignore his words and to keep my anger. I don’t savor any of his words. Especially not the one about our kitchen.

“You gave me a hickey.” I point to the spot on my neck. The same spot he attacked last night in the limo.

He lets out a breath, like he’s trying to stifle a laugh.

“This jealousy thing you’ve got going on isn’t going to work,” I tell him, putting my hands on my hips and standing my ground. We haven’t even been together that long and he’s lost it multiple times when guys have gotten too close to me.

He moves toward me, and I don’t budge until he’s right in front of me. He picks me up, and I can’t help but squeal. My butt lands on the kitchen counter, and his hands bracket my thighs. He drops his head and I watch his movements as he breathes. I can’t stop myself from running one hand into his hair, finally making him look up at me.

“It’s hard,” he finally says. “I’ve wanted you so fucking long. You have no idea. So fucking long,” he says. “Then when I see someone trying to move in on that, well, I slip. I get pissed, and something takes over. I know it’s crazy, but I can’t seem to stop it, no matter how hard I try. I can’t.” He says the last part like he’s pleading with me to see it, too.

“How long have you been waiting?” I ask the question that’s been sitting with me for days. I know for sure he’s been waiting since I started college. I have a good feeling it was before that with how Osbourne Corp had been a part of my life before then.

“I first saw you when you were in high school competing in the state math competition. I was in college at the time and was asked to be one of the judges.”

I try to think back to that day. So many names and faces, but I can’t believe I would have missed him. I try to count the years. How long ago was that?

“Five years,” I mumble to myself, trying to wrap my mind around this piece of information. “You’ve been watching me for five years.” I shake my head at the words, still not believing it, even though I know it’s true. It all adds up.

“Sometimes it feels like longer. I can’t seem to remember a time before you, really.” His words are soft and sweet and filled with something I don’t understand.

“Why?” It’s the one thing I really don’t understand. I’m not a terrible catch, and I know I’m pretty. I’ve never had problems with men asking me out, but Oz is in a completely different league. I saw so many girls throw themselves at the guys with money around campus, and I have no doubt Oz’s bank account would get him the same attention. Even more so because not only is he rich but he’s also not bad on the eyes. At all.

He stands up a little taller, my hand dropping from his hair so he’s now looking down at me.

“I’d gone to the competition because sometimes you have to rub shoulders with the right people to get places. Back then I had to do it a lot more because I was still making a name for myself. Trying to make my empire bigger and better.” He shrugs like he doesn’t really worry about that anymore. He’s done that already, in the past five years. Everyone knows what Osbourne Corporation is.

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