After a few moments, he turned around as if sensing her presence. Concern creased his brow and he walked over to where she stood.
“Baby, is everything okay?”
She smiled and nodded.
He frowned. “You shouldn’t be out here. You should be inside resting.”
There was more emphasis on the resting part. He was almost accusatory in his tone since he knew damn well she’d made love to Ryan and Ethan.
“I wanted some fresh air, and honestly, Adam, you worry way too much. I’m fine. I feel great.”
He tugged her into his arms and held her there for a long moment. His heart beat against her cheek and she nuzzled further into his embrace.
She slid one hand down to cup the denim-covered bulge between his legs. He backed away in a hurry, separating himself from her.
His green eyes flashed. “Just because you’ve got those two knuckleheads wrapped around your little finger doesn’t mean you’re going to get anywhere with me.”
She arched an eyebrow. “Are you saying I don’t have you wrapped around my finger?”
He scowled at her. “You know damn well I’d give you the moon if you asked.”
“Then make love to me,” she said softly. “I don’t want the moon. I want you.”
He sighed and shook his head. “Baby, I can’t. Don’t ask me this. Please. I—I can’t hold back. I’ll hurt you and that would kill me. You know me. I’m rough. I’m demanding. It’s better if we wait until after the baby’s born.”
His head reared in surprise. “Excuse me?”
“Bullshit,” she repeated. She crossed her arms over her chest and tapped her foot in irritation. “That’s such a load of BS and you know it. You’d never hurt me. You’ve never once done anything I wasn’t begging for.”
He looked at her in open-mouthed shock.
She turned abruptly with an aggravated huff and stomped out of the barn. Infuriating man. One would think she’d asked him to donate a kidney, though he probably would have agreed to that. But ask him for sex? And the world came crashing to an end. Weren’t men supposed to live, breathe and dream about sex twenty-four hours a day? Clearly no one had shared that little tidbit of information with Adam.
* * *
She was still in a fit of temper—and exasperation—thirty minutes later as she stomped around the kitchen, abusing the dishes. She still couldn’t cook worth a darn, but at least she’d mastered the cleaning aspect.
She was attacking the sink with a Brillo pad when warm arms wrapped around her and a mouth nuzzled her neck.
“Adam not cooperating with your mad seduction scheme?” Ryan murmured against her ear.
She sighed and leaned back into his arms. “He’s a rigid pain in my ass,” she grumbled. “And as far as I’m concerned, he can sleep on the couch tonight.”
Ryan chuckled and turned her around in his arms. “Cut him some slack. You know how he is when he gets an idea in his head.”
“It’s a stupid idea.”
Ryan pulled her against him and rested his chin on her head. “He’s not easy. He’s never been easy. But this is as hard on him as it is on you. He’s like a bear with a thorn in his paw.”
Holly pulled away and stared up at Ryan. “But he doesn’t have to be! That’s what irritates me to no end. He’s being all self-sacrificing and for what? He’s not happy, I’m not happy.”
“Would a foot rub make you happy?”
She stopped her rant. “Foot rub?”
He grinned. “If you come in the living room, I’ll give you the best foot massage you’ve ever had.”
She grabbed his hand and tugged him across the kitchen. He followed along, laughing.
He was being the worst sort of ass. Adam stood in the doorway of the living room staring at the rest of his family. A family that, for the most part, he’d avoided for the last three days.
Holly lay on the couch, her head in Ethan’s lap and her legs stretched across Ryan. Ethan idly stroked his fingers through her hair as he watched the movie playing on the television. Ryan was rubbing Holly’s feet, and she was sound asleep.
He missed touching her, feeling her in his arms. Whenever he was around her, his need was a tangible ache. He wanted to take her to bed and fuck her in a dozen different ways. And therein lay the problem.
Ethan looked up at him then, raising his eyebrow in silent question. Despite his urge to turn around and walk away from the tender scene in front of him, he felt compelled to walk over.
He hadn’t intended to hurt her. God knew he’d do anything not to hurt her, but his avoidance of her had done just that.
“Can you get up without waking her?” Adam whispered to Ethan.
Ethan smiled. “Right now a herd of elephants could run through and she wouldn’t stir.”
“I’d like some time alone with her,” Adam said hesitantly.
The three didn’t often make demands of her time. Part of making the relationship work was not harboring jealousy or making her choose between them. But every once in a while, they did need time alone with her. It was a need they each recognized and respected.
“Sure,” Ethan said softly. He gently extricated himself from the couch, easing her head off his lap and onto the cushion. Ryan followed suit, and they both left the room.
Adam stared down at her for a long moment before finally sliding onto the couch next to her. When he lifted her head, she stirred and snuggled closer to him.
He ran his hand down the length of her body, enjoying the feel of her softness, her curves, the swollen mound of her belly. He couldn’t wait to meet their child. At long last their family would be complete.
She stirred against him, and her eyes fluttered open. She blinked then smiled, her eyes going soft with love. That look never ceased to knock the breath right out of him. Her love was the greatest gift he’d ever received, and it wasn’t one he had any intention of fucking up.
“I’ve missed you,” she whispered.
He bent and kissed her forehead as his fingers trailed over her cheek. “I was an ass. I’m sorry.”
She raised her head so that her lips met his. “I love you. You’re not an ass.”
“Could we go to bed? Just you and I tonight? I want to hold you and our baby,” he said.
Her eyes glowed and she nodded. “I’d like that.”