He grabbed her wrists and slid them up over her head, clenching tight as he pumped into her with territorial force. “I wanted you in my bed the day I met you.”

Swirls of excitement echoed through her. “I didn’t know until last week.”

“You’ve haunted my dreams. You never left me alone. That’s why I had to pursue you.” He sent himself into her with renewed vigor. “I need you.”

As he thrust into her, she understood his admission. “I need you, too.”

She wrapped her legs around his waist, tossed her head back against his pillows, and let her orgasm rip through her in clenching waves.

“Yes!” she screamed.

“Fuck, yeah.” He growled low and sent himself deep inside her. He gripped her hands with punishing force then came with uncontrolled shudders.

Eventually, he released the tension in his muscular form. She welcomed his weight, wrapping her arms around his shoulders.

He shifted to lean on his side, pulling her against his chest. “You’re amazing,” he said. “Thanks for spending the night with me.”

I think I love you. The words were there, but her lips refused to say them.

“You have no idea what you mean to me.” His whisper stirred the hair behind her ear.

Fortunately, it was his pillow and not his arm that absorbed a rogue tear that fell from her lashes. This wasn’t all he wanted, but it was all she could hope for. Because he wanted children and she couldn’t have them, and these beautiful moments needed to last her long into the future, a time when eventually the thought of him made her smile instead of filling her with barren regret.

She nuzzled against his chest. “Thank you,” she whispered, for everything he was, everything he could be, but all the things she’d never know.

His hold tightened around her. “Whatever you need, I’m here.”

Another tear almost dropped, but she clenched her eyes tight and refused to show her vulnerability. She wanted one perfect night. And he was giving that to her.

Whatever happened from this point on, she could live with it. Even losing him. But tonight, she had these moments to cherish. Her heart expanded with love she couldn’t share but recognized as whole and true.

Soon, she’d tell him she wasn’t as perfect as he thought. That she was flawed and damaged, and she couldn’t give him what he wanted in his future.

But now, lying in the moonlight, he was hers. And she was his.


Chapter 9

“Is this it?”

Trey glanced up as his brother waltzed into his office. “Is what it?” he questioned.

“Devon,” he replied. “She’s it. Love, marriage, babies. She’s the one.”

Grinning, Trey didn’t bother hiding his emotions or the truth from his brother. “Yeah, she’s it.”

Cade collapsed into the leather chair across from Trey’s desk. “God, it’s about time.”

Trey arched an eyebrow. “Why’s that?”

Uncrossing his arms, Cade sat forward. “Do you know how long we’ve waited for you to get over Jenna and find a girl who deserves you?”

“You…and who else?” he asked, disbelieving his cousins had any investment in his love life. They couldn’t even handle their own.

“Me, Adam and Liam. You had us worried. You’re the family guy, Trey. The one who’s supposed to find the girl, get married, pop out kids. Carry on the family bloodline and legacy.” His brother grinned. “That frees us up to stay bachelors for as long as we want.”

“Glad I could take one for the team,” Trey said dryly.

“Dad always knew you’d find the right woman and give him the grandkids he always wanted.”

Trey sobered. “You and I made some big promises at his deathbed.”

Nodding, Cade glanced at the floor, his forehead tightening. “Do you think he heard us, even in a coma?”

“I believe he did.” Trey stared down at his tightly folded hands. “After I vowed I’d get the family out of the business and give his grandchildren a safer future and you vowed to find the people who did this to him, he slipped away five minutes later.”

“With a son on either side of him, holding his hand,” Cade murmured, his eyes misting.

Cade blamed himself for their dad’s death. That fateful night, while he had dealt with Jenna’s overdose, Cade had declined to go with Dad on the bounty run that ultimately got him killed. Cade was also the one who had identified Dad’s bloody body for the police. While they both carried the burden of regret, he suspected Cade had internalized the blame and let it haunt him. Years later, that ghost still clung to him. A continuous dark presence beneath the surface of his easy grin and smooth debonair persona.

Pinching the bridge of his nose, Cade blinked and shook his head slightly. “You know the girl I told you about, Kylie Cross?”

“Was she the law student you met with a month ago?”

Cade nodded. “I guess there’s a final argument she has to give in front of a panel of lawyers. She’d been looking into the case Dad was supposed to testify at, something about the Fourth Amendment. Well, she thinks she found a  new angle that might break the old case wide open.”

Trey rubbed his chin. “I remember you talking about new information, stuff that never made it to trial.”

“Kylie and I got off to rocky start. I didn’t want someone prying into Dad’s life, like it might disturb the dust finally settling on his memory, you know? But she re-interviewed a witness who was dismissed by the defense, and she thinks there’s more to the story and Dad’s death.”

Trey sat forward. “That’s incredible. Is she still in Vegas?”

“For now. I’ve asked Kylie to come out here, told her I’d pay for all her expenses, but she keeps avoiding me. Now she corresponds through email only. After I bit her head off the first time we met, I can’t blame her, but I’m anxious to find out the details.” A tortured expression twisted Cade’s features. “Since you’re following through on your promise to Dad, making plans for the future with Devon, I want to find some closure for him, too.”

Trey felt protective of his younger brother, distressed that Cade still carried that burden of guilt. “What happened to Dad isn’t your fault. I think we’ve both made him proud.”

“You especially, when you bought Logan’s company and moved us into the corporate world. Devon’s like icing on the cake. I wouldn’t have pictured you and her as a couple, but seeing you together, you make perfect sense. It works.”

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