“We’ll need a statement from Miss Whitaker,” calls the commissioner to Jack’s back.
“Later,” Jack shouts back, holding me tighter in his arms. “Much later.”
When we walk outside, I’m relieved to find Charles there, prepared to drive home Jack’s Bugatti. His driver is there as well, holding open the back door of the limousine. Jack climbs inside with me in his lap and we don’t talk on the short ride home, Jack simply rocking me in his arms, warming my chilled skin with his hands. He seeks to calm me, but I can hear the unruly tempo of his heart and know how terrifying the last hour has been for him.
Carrying me inside minutes later, he mutters unevenly, “I thought you’d left. For just a moment, I…thought you’d changed your mind.”
A weight sinks in my belly. Grief over what he went through before finding me. “No. I’ll never change my mind about you, Jack Lincoln. Or my heart.”
There’s a wealth of relief in his exhale. “I’m so sorry about your mother,” he says thickly. “Goddammit, I should have been here to protect you, baby. I—”
“No one could have known he’d go that far, Jack. We’ll be more careful now.”
“Damn right we will. I’m hiring enough security to populate a village. Installing a gate. Buying an armored car—”
I lay a finger over his mouth. “Let’s just be grateful for now. I’m safe. We have each other. Nothing is going to change that.”
Momentarily appeased, he carries me to our bedroom and settles me on the edge of the bed. Kneeling in front of me, he takes a ring box out of his pocket. Opens it to reveal a diamond so large, I can barely fathom that it’s real. “Jack…”
“Maisy. My angel.” Intensity radiates from him. Love. Bottomless love. “The first time I saw you, the world became a place of…miracles. It was always a gray, broken place for me, but how could it be broken if you, with your smiles and selflessness, existed? And now you’re carrying my child, you’re here. In my life. If that’s not proof of miracles, I don’t know what is.” He stops to gather himself. “But if you could grant me one more and marry me, I’ll be your miracle, too. A vengeful bastard turned into a devoted husband. Dedicated father. I promise to be those things. Just promise to be my wife.”
It’s hard to speak when my heart is preparing to burst into confetti, but I swipe at my tears and sob, “Yes. Yes. I promise, Jack. I love you. Make me your wife.”
His breath releases in a heave, closing his eyes for a moment before sliding the ring onto my finger. I reach out and tangle my fingers in his hair, bringing him toward me for a kiss that is loving, sweet, reassuring, but quickly becomes something hotter. Sinful. A wicked meeting and retreat of tongues, harsh inhales mingling over the scrapes of teeth.
“Maisy, no…” Jack pulls back, his breathing rocky. “What you went through today…”
“Means I need you even more.” I wrap a hand around his tie and lie back on the bed. Using his tie like a leash, I guide Jack down on top of me, both of us groaning when he settles in between my spread legs, my dress pooling around my hips. “Love me, Jack.”
One lowered zipper later, he’s sinking all of that steel thickness inside of me, the opening of my panties ripping around his girth. “As if I could ever stop, Maisy.”
Five Years Later
It’s the sweetest sound in the world.
The voices of my daughter and wife winding down the stairs of my home.
Was this even a home before Maisy? Before Gigi was born?
I don’t want to think of a time before Gigi wasn’t squealing on her way down the water slide I had installed in the pool. Or sleeping next to me on the college couch while I play video games. Or running toward me with chocolate all over her face, arms open for a hug.
So I won’t. I won’t think about the time before life really began for me. It’s too scary to ponder how my insecurities and control issues could have pushed Maisy away.
Oh, I still have some slight control issues.
For instance, there is a security team lining the perimeter of my property at all times. Gigi is the only kid in school who rolls up in an armored Hummer with an ex-military sniper carrying her pink backpack on the way to class. And forget about the precautions I take with my wife. Her recording studio in Manhattan is sealed up like Fort fucking Knox. Not only am I still on edge after her kidnapping five years ago, but she’s so good at her job, she now has a legion of fans that can be a little overzealous for my taste.