When I connected with his hooded gaze, my chest tightened.

“I want to see your eyes when you come,” he whispered.

There it was. He’d taken me from lightheartedness to lust, to a soul-branding kind of intimacy that brought everything higher. His reach went beyond the body and straight to my heart. The carnal fever ripping through me became something more potent still.

I anchored his mouth to mine, and we kissed until we were both breathless. Every passionate thrust was a proclamation. Every possessive touch was a promise. Waves of rapture crashed over me, one after the next, until I was boneless and trembling.

The muscles of his shoulders bunched under my touch. He lengthened, hitting me someplace even deeper. The orgasm that I thought impossible after the string he’d just given shattered through me.

His hips slammed against me, and my name tore from his lips with a hoarse cry. His body jerked and spasmed as he filled me.

Collapsing over me with his mouth on my shoulder, he worked to catch his breath. “Damn,” he muttered.

“Yeah” was the only word I could manage. I melted around him, relishing the contact. Even after being so intimately connected, I didn’t want to be far from his touch.

He lifted to his elbows, his chest still heaving. With a satisfied smile, he was the picture of sated. Flushed. Gorgeous. And possibly a little too pleased with himself.

I ran my finger over his etched lips. “Don’t look so smug.”

He lifted an amused brow. “Smug?”

“You look like you just took home a trophy.”

He laughed and I fought my own smile.

“I did. Your orgasms are like trophies. I’m collecting as many as I can.”

I rolled my eyes. Another few points for Blake.

He skimmed his hand over my torso, up and down my leg, and snapped the elastic that held the stockings tight to my thighs.

“I love these. Wear that corset again though, and I won’t be held responsible for my actions.”

I pushed at his chest. “You’re a bad sub.”

He wrapped his arms around me, pulling me closer. “Yeah, well, so are you.”

I failed to mask a pout. I was more than a little annoyed that my attempt to dominate had gone well off course, but undeniably satisfied with the results. “You’re not in charge, you know.”

Instead of a cocky remark, Blake regarded me silently, brushing a damp strand of hair from my forehead.

“I know,” he muttered. “There’s something a lot bigger than you and me taking charge right now.”

He cradled my cheek, looking deeply into my eyes. Then he settled his touch over my abdomen. His hand splayed there with a light caress.

“Our baby. The crazy way I love you. Everything I feel right now that I couldn’t control even if I wanted to.”

I closed my eyes, covering his hand with my own. My heart beat stronger at the vision that emerged. My belly, no longer flat, but full and round with our baby. Tiny kicks under our hands, anticipation in our hearts. I wanted that more than anything.

And he was right. Nothing was more important.



We’d had an intense weekend of making up and reconnecting after an absence that had rocked us both. But Monday afternoon came quickly. I wasn’t the nervous type, but a part of me felt like a fish out of water as we sat in Dr. Henneman’s waiting room.

I waited by Erica’s side, her hand safe in mine, to be called in for our appointment. I wasn’t a fan of waiting, but watching Erica scan the room, wide-eyed with anticipation, was almost worth it. A young mother sat across from us, her belly stretching the material of her maternity top. The weight there limited her range of motion as she tried to keep her small child from distributing the magazines on the table all over the floor. She scolded him gently, shooting apologetic looks our way when he shouted in protest.

I still couldn’t wrap my head around it. I’d seen pregnant women in passing all the time—I’d even employed some. I’d just never associated it with anything that I would personally experience, as a father, a husband. But here I was, and if all went well, we could be there too, trying to keep a toddler from destroying everything we owned.

Powerless as I was to control the outcome, I was silently determined to move heaven and earth to make sure Erica had a healthy pregnancy that resulted in the child we both now fervently wanted. I’d be there to support her through everything. Months of pregnancy. Morning sickness and discomfort. Labor . . .

Before my thoughts could take another spin through the “oh fuck” cycle, Erica’s name was called. I rose and followed her into the white examining room where the nurse took her vitals. A few minutes later, the doctor joined us. She was a pretty woman—thin and tall, with pixie-cut white hair.

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