“I believe you,” I state, looking into his eyes when he turns his head toward me. I do believe him. I know he would step in front of a bullet to protect me. That he would risk his own life to save mine. I just hope that never ever happens.

“Good.” His fingers give mine a gentle squeeze. “Now let’s get you something to eat, get the shit with Miller over with, and then get home, where I can fuck away all thoughts about everything that’s happened.”

I really like that idea. I don’t say that; instead, I lean toward him and kiss his jaw. “I love you,” I tell him before I move back, unhook my belt, and get out of his truck.

After we eat, he takes me to the police station, where I meet with Detective Miller. Calvin Miller, to be precise. A man who also happens to be tall, fit, and seriously hot, with dark-brown hair and stunning blue eyes. I feel comfortable with him immediately. He never makes me feel like I’m being interrogated. He doesn’t ask me question after question; he just talks to me about my life and the people in it while he writes in his notebook.

When we’re done, he tells me that he will do everything within his power to put the person or persons behind bars, and for some reason, having him on the case makes me feel better.

When Tyler takes me home to his place, he wastes no time in making me forget about everything but the two of us. And when I fall asleep against his chest, listening to the sound of his heart, I’m no longer worried, because I know the guy with his arms wrapped around me will protect me.

Suggestion 16



I lean forward and adjust the temperature, then the air vents. I sit back and then forward again to change the station on the radio. Once I find something worth listening to, I pick up my purse and dig through it.

“Relax.” Tyler chuckles, and I turn my head to glare at him.

“Don’t tell me to relax when I’m about to sit through a fancy dinner with your family and mine,” I huff, flipping down the visor and swiping on lip gloss.

The night before last, his parents arrived close to midnight. They were exhausted from the drive, so we helped them get settled at his house and told them we’d see them in the morning, but only for a bit. Both Tyler and I still had to work. We had breakfast with them on Thursday morning, and while we were eating, Tyler suggested that our families get together Friday. Then he proceeded to call my mom to ask her to make reservations for all of us. Of course my mom was happy to set things up; I just wasn’t as happy as she was. I wanted the first meeting of our parents to be much more casual and personal. Lord only knows what my grams might say or even what one of my brothers might do.

“It’s just dinner, baby.” He shrugs, and I narrow my eyes on his profile.

“I know, but I . . . I just wanted our parents to meet alone. We could’ve had my parents over, or—”

He cuts me off. “You still don’t have a couch. And I don’t have a dining room table. I figured dinner out would be the easiest for everyone.”

“You need to buy a dining room table,” I say with a sigh while adjusting the top of my dress. A little black dress I bought to wear to dinner with him. I just never expected our parents, my siblings, their spouses, and my niece and nephews to be with us when we went out to said dinner.

“I’ll get right on that after I finish paying off our new alarm systems and the fence they’re currently putting in my backyard.”

Wait . . . what?

“My dad said he was going to pay for my alarm system,” I say quietly.

“Yeah, and then I told him he wouldn’t be.”

“I have some money. Just let me—”

“No.” He shakes his head in denial, the fricking stubborn caveman.

“Tyler,” I hiss.

“No, Leah, I’m good, and if you think I need a table in my dining room that we never fucking use, then we’ll go out and buy one tomorrow when I get off work. But.” He glances over at me. “Before that happens, I think we need to figure out which of our houses we’re keeping. Mine is more updated, but you’ve got an unfinished basement that would add to the square footage if I finished it out and added a bathroom down there.”

“What?” I breathe, my mind trying to play catch-up with the weight of our conversation. “Are you saying we should move in together?”

“Baby, we basically live together now. It makes no sense for us to be paying two mortgages each month. We could be saving that money.”

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