When he pulled back, he met her eyes again as Sierra’s internal muscles clamped around his cock. He wasn’t ready for the moment to end, but he couldn’t hang on. The tight warm clasp of her body milked him. For some reason, he couldn’t get the words out, but Luke prayed Sierra could feel everything he felt.

Sierra pulled his face down to hers, thrusting her tongue deep in his mouth and Luke’s orgasm pummeled through him just as Sierra came.

Heaven help him. He might not be able to speak the words, but he was in love with Sierra Sellers and the mere thought of what that meant scared the shit out of him.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Cole pulled into Lucie’s apartment, and he wondered if she would even be home. He hadn’t seen her car in the parking lot, but it was dark and he hadn’t looked that hard. It was very possible the woman had taken her daughter and disappeared for the night, hoping Cole wouldn’t confront her. Resolutely, he parked the truck, turned off the engine, grabbed the bag he’d set in the passenger seat and headed to her door on the second floor.

After two solid knocks, he was about to give up, but before he turned to walk away, he heard the chain rattle and the deadbolt click, telling him that Lucie was in fact home. And she was letting him in.

Progress.

“Hey.” He greeted when her beautiful face appeared beside the edge of the door.

“Hey.” She replied, taking a step back and letting him in.

“I thought you wouldn’t be here.” Cole said the words out loud, wondering when he’d become so honest.

“You said you were coming by.” Lucie stated though he could tell from the look on her face that the thought of disappearing had definitely been on her mind. “What’s in the bag?”

Lucie’s curiosity had her expression briefly turning from distrust to wonder as she stared down at the plastic sack he was holding.

“Where’s Haley?” He asked, ignoring her interest but smiling just the same.

“She’s in her room. I told her she had to take a shower before you got here, and she just got out.”

“Have you had dinner?” Cole asked, glancing around the apartment, taking in the small table in the kitchen that was set with plates and forks.

“We were just about to.” Lucie responded, glancing back at the table he was eyeing before turning her attention on him once again. “I made enough for three if you’d like to join us.”

Cole hadn’t eaten since lunch, and he was starving, so her offer was easy to accept. He nodded his agreement and they stood staring at one another.

He let his eyes roam her face, scrubbed clean of makeup and looking so incredibly young and beautiful, Cole felt something deep inside of him give. Lucie couldn’t have been but in her late twenties, but with her dark, chestnut brown hair pulled back in a haphazard ponytail, those deep chocolate brown eyes lacking the normal makeup, she didn’t look much older than twenty.

During the week, when she was working at the club, she was generally all dolled up, looking much older than she was, and Cole decided he liked the clean, fresh look on her better. Not that he would say a word because either way, Lucie was a beautiful woman.

“Let me get Haley.” She broke the strained silence before heading down the short hallway, calling out to her daughter in the process.

Cole turned to the small kitchen, noting the array of pictures decorating the small refrigerator, all created at the hand of a small child. He smiled to himself as he looked over each one, noting the creativity that only a child could possess. One picture reflected a small square box, topped with a triangle and housing two smaller boxes and a slanted rectangle. Obviously a picture of a house. Along with that, there were others containing stick figures of a small person with long brown hair and a taller one that looked almost the same. Apparently a family portrait.

His eyes travelled to another that was hidden behind the edges of the family portrait. This was almost the same, but included a taller person with short hair along with what looked to be a small animal. A dog maybe. So, apparently little Haley had included a man and a dog in her family portrait and Cole wondered what conversations that one had sparked between mother and daughter.

“Mr. Cole!” Haley’s exuberant, if not fragile, voice called out from behind him. When he turned, the little girl launched into his arms, wrapping her arms around his neck while Cole returned the gesture.

“Hey pretty girl.” He said, patting her back and holding her close. “I’m so glad to see you.”

“You are?”

The wariness in her little voice shocked him, and he glanced over at Lucie. She didn’t make eye contact with him, which he expected.

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