“Huh? I don’t understand.”
He inhaled a deep breath. “I love you, Leah.”
I gasped and searched his eyes for the truth in his words. Then I thought I must be dreaming. All I could do was stare at him.
He clasped my hand tighter, as if he wanted to make sure I couldn’t get away. “Look, I know I don’t deserve you. I’m too old—”
“I’ve never cared about that.”
“I’m emotionally messed up, a royal asshole, and fucking coward.”
“Sebastian.” He wasn’t wrong, but I hated to see him beat himself up like that.
“But I’m tired of denying myself and I’m going to fight for what I want.”
“What do you want?”
“You, Leah.” His other hand pressed against my cheek. “Christ, I’ve never wanted anything more than I want you. And I don’t just mean sexually.”
I wanted to throw myself in his arms, but I was still reluctant to give in to my hope that he really meant what he said.
“What about the board?”
“Fuck ’em. I don’t care.”
I laughed. “Sebastian, you worked hard for your success. You’re good at what you do.”
“If they want to can me because I fell in love with my intern, fuck ’em. It’ll be their loss.”
“Yes, it would.” The joy was nearly bursting from my heart, but I held it back.
“What about my father?” I wondered if he say “fuck ‘em” to that too.
“I won’t deny that I don’t want to lose his respect, but if that’s what it takes to have you, then I’ll do it, Leah. I’m not kidding. I’m fucking dying from the inside out without you.”
Those last words crumbled most of the wall I’d been trying to shore up as he spoke.
“Tell me I get another chance. Not an affair, Leah, but a real relationship. I can’t promise I’ll be good at it because, as you know, I’ve never had that. But I promise to do my damnedest to make you happy.”
I looked down at our hands, still joined. “I’d like that but—”
“Whatever you want, Leah it’s yours. If you take this job, I’ll move to California. They can use lingerie and sex toys out here.”
I smiled. “That’s not it.”
“What is it, then?”
I bit my lip, afraid to tell him, and yet at the same time, more hopeful than I’d ever been. “I’m pregnant.”
His eyes registered with relief more than surprise.
“You knew?” How the heck did he know? Then it occurred to me. “My father told you?”
He nodded. “He let it slip. I know I’ll be seen as an asshole by him when he learns about us, but maybe you could not tell him that I told you. He made me promise I wouldn’t tell you that he’d let it slip.”
I studied him. “And… you’re okay with this?”
He let go of my hand and this time he pressed both his palms to my cheeks. “I’m fucking ecstatic, Leah. I hate that you didn’t tell me sooner, but I understand why. Fuck, you probably did it to protect me, my company. I didn’t know how badly I wanted love and family until you, Leah. Please say you’ll give me a chance to prove it to you.”
“There’s just one more thing.”
His breath hitched, and I realized I was putting him through torture.
“I want a chance to prove to you that you deserve love and family.”
“Fucking Christ you undo me.” He wrapped me in his arms and held me tight. He shifted to sit on the couch, pulling me into his lap.
“Oh, one more thing.”
He laughed. “You’re killing me.”
I used my hands to bring his face to mine so I could look into his dark eyes. “I love you, too, Sebastian.”
His lips crushed mine, like a man dying of thirst and I was the elixir to quench him. Of course, it felt like that to me too. I held on to him, never wanting to let go.
He’d kissed me before, but never quite like this. I felt his love pouring into me as his tongue swept through my mouth.
When I came up for breath, I looked into those dark eyes. “No holding back now, right?”
“Right.” His gaze was intense as it stared back at me. “I want to kiss you and hold you and love you, Leah. I’m sorry I withheld that before.”
I kissed him again, wanting him to know that he was safe to give me his love.
When he pulled back, he rested his forehead against mine. “Were you going to tell me about the baby?”
“Yes. I was going to tell you that last day in your office.”
“Fuck. I’m such an asshole.”
“No. Don’t say that. You were protecting your company. Those who work for you. You were clear from the beginning on that.”
“But you didn’t say anything.”
“I was overwhelmed by it all and trying to get my bearings straight. It took me time to tell my dad.”
“You didn’t say it was me. Why not?”