My dick stays suspiciously still. Before I can commit one way or the other, my phone chimes with an email alert.

I snatch it from the bar, type in the passcode, and then skim the email that just came in from the lab that performed the HLA test. There’s a blue button to click that’ll show me the results.

“The results are in,” I breathe.

Declan sidles closer to peer at the screen, and I tap on the icon. I’d already set up an online account earlier today so I could have immediate access.

It takes a few seconds before the page loads.

The rush of relief is immense—way better than any orgasm I could get here. I grin at Declan, feeling almost dizzy at the myriad of emotions hitting me.

“I’m a match.”


I imagine this might be how it feels to be amped up on something like cocaine or meth, but I’ve never touched the stuff before so I can’t be sure. Anecdotal stories and personal observations from when I worked with the Vegas police department are what I’m basing it off, but I’d bet money how I feel resembles being high.

I’ve never quite experienced this surge of adrenaline before. It doesn’t wane but rather stays steady. Even in my most dangerous situations with S.W.A.T., I’ve never experienced this humming in my blood or the hypersensitivity prickling at my skin.

Whatever it is, I don’t want it to end. It’s causing such elation that I don’t even have a second thought about knocking on Leighton’s hotel room door. In fact, it never occurred to me to just call or text her the results of the HLA test.

For whatever reason, I wanted to tell her the good news in person so I could share just how amazing this moment is with someone else.

I knock again, harder this time. Eventually, I hear the lock unclick on the other side. I have to assume she carefully checked me out in the peephole before opening the door. She’s terrified someone from her dad’s past might know who she is and that she’s in Vegas right now, and I don’t blame her. I just wish she’d hurry.

As expected, she doesn’t seem surprised to see me when she opens the door, merely a bit groggy since I obviously woke her up.

Because I’m buzzing with adrenaline, which makes me hyper-aware of my surroundings, I certainly don’t miss how beautiful she looks even just rolled out of bed. Her short brown hair is a tangled mess. She doesn’t have her contacts in, her true blue eye color contrasting sharply against all that dark hair. In nothing but a tank top and sleep shorts, she has her arms protectively crossed over her chest, probably from both wariness of me and to provide some modesty to herself. Admittedly, I don’t like that she feels she needs to hide herself from me.

“August?” She knits her eyebrows in confusion. “What are you doing here?”

“I’m a match,” I reply with a silly, wide grin.

The news visibly wakes Leighton up. Her eyes flare wide, filling with wary hope. “Really?”

“Really,” I drawl, spreading my arms in a silent request for… a hug?

She reads me loud and clear, shrieking with what I’m going to guess is joy, although I’ve never heard that noise come out of her before. Before I can take a breath, she flings herself into my embrace. Her arms wrap around my neck so tightly I can barely breathe, but it doesn’t matter.

I’m a match. I can be a stem cell donor for my kid, which means we now have a real reason to believe he’ll be okay.

Leighton screams again, still in my arms. We jump up and down in place, and I start laughing because I feel giddy as shit. Damn, this buzz I have going is a good one.

Suddenly, the hotel room next door flies open. A man pokes his head out, glaring at us. “For fuck’s sake,” he snarls. “People are trying to sleep here.”

“Sorry,” Leighton immediately whispers, but then snickers.

Shooting the man a charming smile, I bob my head in acknowledgment of our error. Settling my hands on Leighton’s shoulders, I push her into her room, kicking the door shut behind us.

When we reach the area between the two full-sized beds, we stare at each other before simultaneously breaking into a happy but silent dance. Shaking our hips, we wiggle our butts, pumping our fists into the air. At one point, we hook arms by the elbows and swing around in a light-footed do-si-do, chuckling the entire time.

We stop, still smiling, then fling ourselves at each other for another deep, tight, and grateful hug. We were given a miracle of sorts with these results, and we know it.

I hold her tighter, the bitterness of our past not seeming to matter. At this point in time, I choose to ignore—though not necessarily forgive—the fact she never told me about Sam, because he now has a real chance at a long, healthy life that I’ll be a part of going forward.

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