“I thought we could keep him in the back room until he’s trained,” Lin said quietly as they watched the kitten drink eagerly. “It’s nice and warm in there, and it’s not carpeted, so cleanups wouldn’t be too bad.”

“All right. Just leave him to his dinner for now, though,” Kam said, standing and taking her hand. “You and I have an overdue appointment over here,” he said, leading Lin to the bed.


•   •   •

They made love not once, but twice, in quick succession, their need for one another sharp and swelling after being apart for so many days. Afterward, Lin nestled contentedly in the curve of Kam’s encircling arm, her cheek resting on his shoulder, his fingers furrowing through her hair.

“Marque is fast asleep,” she murmured after a moment. She could see across the suite in this position. The kitten had curled up at the outer edge of the marble hearth, undoubtedly made drowsy by his milk and the warmth of the fire.

“Are you tired?” he asked, his roughened, quiet voice like a gentle, arousing scratch on her nape. “You’ve been traveling for twenty-plus hours.”

“I’m okay,” she said, stroking his strong biceps and squeezing it lightly, enjoying the dense texture. “I don’t want to sleep. Not now. I want to be with you.”

He kissed the top of her head and scooted into a sitting position. Dislodged from her resting place, Lin flopped back against the pillows. “Good,” he said. “Because we’ve got champagne.” Lin stared up at the ceiling dreamily, feeling ridiculously happy to be home. With Kam. He had turned and was opening the bottle of champagne. She sat up in bed, holding the sheet over her breasts, and accepted the filled flute from him several seconds later.

“To our four-month anniversary,” she said, grinning and holding up her glass.

“I was hoping today could be another anniversary.”

She paused in lifting the glass to her mouth when she heard how sober he sounded. Her gaze leapt to meet his stare. “Of what?” she asked.

He slipped a box into her free hand. She stared at the dark red ring box, frozen.

“Is this . . .”

She trailed off, going dry mouthed at the implication of her unfinished question.

“Yes,” Kam said. She met his steady stare. He looked so calm. So solid. So certain. It was an amazing sight. Shivers cascaded down her spine and down her limbs. “Will you?” he asked her quietly.

“God yes,” she replied fervently, and just like those other times she’d given him important answers, it felt entirely right. “I . . . I doubted at times this would happen to me,” she said falteringly.

He caressed her shoulder. “Why wouldn’t it happen to such an incredible woman?” he asked, his light eyes gleaming with emotion. “You’ll always be number one with me. Always. Nothing and no one will come before you. That’s what I promise you. You deserve nothing less.”

“I promise you’ll always come first, too, Kam,” she vowed shakily. He’d known that solemn oath was precisely the one she would hold most dear. Tears of happiness prickled behind her eyelids.

“Open it,” he urged in a gravelly voice, taking her champagne glass to free her hands.

A smile spreading on her lips, Lin followed his instructions, opening the lid to their rich, vibrant forever.

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