“You haven’t changed your mind?”

Seconds ticked by as I waited for his answer. Avoiding his eyes, I imagined all the things he might say. No matter how many times he reassured me that I was the only one he wanted, doubt managed to creep through time and again.

“Why on earth would I change my mind?” His voice was serious, hoarse with emotion.

I struggled over the next words, forcing myself to meet his eyes. “Things are different now.”

His jaw set. “Things are different every day, but what hasn’t changed and what will never change is how much I love you. I asked you to be my wife. I want that now more than ever.”

I took a breath, my nerves suddenly on edge. “But don’t you want a family, Blake? We never really talked about it, but now… What if I can’t give that to you?” My heart beat wildly over the painful ache there. Maybe he’d never admit it, but if this changed things for him—for us—I wanted to know now.

The look he gave me was unwavering, void of doubt. “I want you.”

I exhaled heavily. “This is important. We should talk about what it means for our future. This wasn’t something either of us could have predicted. I don’t want you to resent me if I can’t—”

A flash of irritation broke his determined stare. “Jesus, Erica, come here.” He caught my hand and, leaning forward, carefully lifted me from the other side of the tub so that I was straddling him. We were chest to chest. He held my face in his hands. They were warm and slid over my skin slowly.

“We’ll figure it out, okay?”

My heart hadn’t slowed. I still didn’t believe him. “But what if we can’t?”

He winced. “Stop talking like it’ll never happen.”

“There’s still a chance, I know.” Unlikely, but there was a chance.


I nodded slowly. Maybe he was right.

“Have you ever known me to not get what I want?”

“No,” I admitted.

“Good. If we want a baby, we will have one. One way or the other. First things first. We’re going to get you well. Then you’re going to toss those pills.”

I stared at him in shock.

“We’re not going to be able to plan anything anyway. If we try to do that, you’ll just worry and I’ll worry. Let’s just live our lives. Let me make love to you every night, and if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen.”

I opened my mouth to speak, but he stopped me, pressing his finger to my lips.

“No what-ifs. I can be quite determined when I want to be. I’m pretty sure if you want a baby, I’m going to give you one.”

His words nearly knocked the wind from my lungs. They rushed in over the daggers of my pain. Soothing and pure. I believed him.

I leaned against him, finding the broad toned muscles of his chest. His heart beat a steady rhythm under my fingertips. Sometimes I had to remember that he was human like me, because to me, he was always more. Larger than life, stronger than anyone I knew, with determination that matched my own. In my heart, I believed we could do anything together.

I lost myself in his eyes, a tornado of hazel and passion that reflected between us. “I love you,” I whispered, kissing him sweetly. Starting soft, I reveled in the simple pleasure of his full lips against mine. Then the sweep of my tongue, an invitation for his. Then his taste. I kissed him deeper.

He touched my cheek and pulled back a little.

I shifted over him, all too aware of his growing desire. “All this talk of babies, Blake, for the first time in my life, is actually making me want to make one. I wasn’t expecting that.”

A ghost of a smile passed over his lips. “We can’t. Not today…”

I felt for him under the water and smoothed my palm around his cock. He sucked in a breath, closing his eyes slowly.

“Erica, we can’t.”

“I know,” I said, hushing him with a kiss. “The doctor didn’t say I couldn’t please you, though, did he?”

“You don’t have to—”

I silenced him again, deepening our kiss. I tightened my grip around him and quickened my motions up and down his length. His hands moved restlessly over my shoulders, fisting into my hair as we devoured each other’s mouths. His muscles flinched under me where our bodies met, and my core clenched in response. Something awakened. That passion that could never be tamed between us lit up inside of me. I wanted release. But right now I wanted his more. I wanted to show him how much I loved him, thank him for walking through hell with me now and having faith in our future. I couldn’t imagine my life without this man, and I prayed he wouldn’t resent me if I couldn’t give him the family he wanted.

He grasped my hips and then released abruptly. “Erica, I want to, badly, but I can’t do this. You’re driving me nuts. I want to touch you, but I’m scared to death of hurting you right now.”

I slowed my upward stroke and drew back from his body slightly. His face was tight, every muscle coiled and ready for release. I wanted to give him that, but I needed to take the fear in his eyes away somehow too.

“Put your hands on the rim of the tub.”

He winced slightly, maybe at the tone. I knew he wouldn’t hurt me, but if I made it sound like an order, maybe he’d feel safer that he wouldn’t. He lifted his hands out of the water and rested them on the edge of the tub the way I’d asked him to.

“Now keep them there. Don’t move them until I tell you, okay?”

His bottom lip disappeared from view as he sucked it into his mouth, his white teeth biting into the plump flesh.

I cocked an eyebrow. “Okay?”

He nodded, and I circled both hands around his cock. I stacked my hands, sliding up his length, so that I was touching every inch of him. He flinched beneath my touch when I thumbed over the soft sensitive head.

“God, I miss you, Erica.” He exhaled, his head rolling back onto the rim of the tub. 

I leaned against him, my nipples grazing his chest above the water. “I love you, Blake.” I sucked at his skin, licked the salty flavor from it. “And I love watching you come.”

With white knuckles, he held tightly to the edge of the tub. He lifted his head and gazed at me with intense eyes. He was close. I kissed him hard, until he gasped for air.

“Come,” I said, mimicking the order he’d given me so many times.

Hips thrusting upward into my rapid effort, he climaxed with a violent shudder and a strangled moan. 

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