His body collapses, his weight pushing me into my pillow mountain before he rolls us to our sides. We’re both gasping for air. While I can’t speak for August, I feel deliciously broken in a way that makes me not ever want to be put back together.

We lay side by side, his cock still partially in me from behind. I can feel his lower abdomen, still covered by his t-shirt, against my back, and his breath on my neck.

Tensely, I wait—for words or even some level of affection. Even just an arm around my waist to pull me in a little closer.

He holds still, doing nothing but inhaling and exhaling.

I can’t stand the silence. Deciding to try to extend an olive branch, I’m grateful I can’t see his face right now or else I’d probably chicken out. “I’m glad we reconnected, August. Not only for Sam, but also because I’ve missed you.”

Yes, sex has made me sentimental and mushy.

Foolish as well.

August doesn’t reply.

It makes me angry. I start to turn so I can face him, but he merely rises and climbs off the bed. I grab a pillow and cover myself, turning to him as he zips up. When he buckles his belt, I watch silently, but he refuses to meet my eyes.

“Can you at least say something?” I demand, my anger warring with a sudden urge to cry.

Arrogantly, August deems to give me his attention, coolly appraising the way I’m now covering my nudity with a pillow. He shakes his head, an almost vindictive expression twisting his features with something like sympathy. “I stopped missing you a long damn time ago.”

God, that hurts. I don’t know if it’s true, but his words make a direct hit on my heart.

He waves at me… at the bed. “This was simply the emotion of the moment getting out of hand. Don’t get me wrong… it was great. But it didn’t mean anything. Understand?”

I nod dumbly. “Okay.”

“I’ll call you tomorrow so we can make arrangements to get Sam here,” he says, pivoting away. He doesn’t even glance back, but merely talks while striding to the door. “I’ve already arranged transportation.”

And without another word—about what we just shared or how he intends to transport Sam to Vegas for treatment—August walks out the door and shuts it firmly behind himself.



We are halfway through the two-hour flight from Vegas to Denver, and Leighton still hasn’t said a word. Didn’t speak to me this morning when I picked her up from her hotel, either. She sits across from me in a sleek captain’s chair on one of Declan Blackwood’s private planes. It’s all brown leather and gold-plated accents. I’ve never flown privately before, and I expect this plane is probably top of the line. It’s all lost on me right now, though, and I can’t drum up any genuine appreciation given the gravity of the situation.

Leighton won’t meet my eyes, even though our chairs are opposite each other with a table separating us. Her earbuds in, she’s staring blankly out the window at the clouds below us. I wonder if she can feel the weight of my glare. I’ve been in a rotten mood since leaving her hotel room.

Frankly, I had the best goddamn sex of my life with her last night… and I’m pissed about it. It freaks me out, actually. Shouldn’t Leighton and I have had our best sex when we were young and in love?

Shouldn’t the fact I want to strangle her mean there is no way in hell I could ever find pleasure within her body?

There is no getting past the fact she kept my son hidden from me for nine years. I get she had to leave in the dead of the night, without a choice in the matter. She was young and scared, and I understand that. I can’t even imagine the stress of finding out she was pregnant on top of all that. I get why she couldn’t reach out to me at first.

But her dad testified against the mob over eight years ago. Kynan’s sources in the Department of Justice have confirmed the continuing threat level to him is fairly low, but admittedly still exists. Does Leighton even know that? Did their handler inform her the high potential for danger was over? Did she even bother to ask, particularly after Sam was born, so she could potentially notify me?

I can’t seem to accept that there’s any reason that could have kept her from reaching out to me at some point, long before now.

God, I want to kill her as much as I want to fuck her.

I should have been okay—satisfied—when I walked out of her hotel room. After all, I’d just experienced the most powerful orgasm of my life. I should have been content to go home and fall into a dead sleep. But she had driven me from her bed with the ridiculous comment that she was glad we had reconnected. It had infuriated me—her shallow words. I hadn’t given them a second thought, heading straight for The Wicked Horse.

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