Page 24 of Vanquished


Current Day

“What do you have there, Ace?”Rylee was in the kitchen making lasagna when Colton walked in holding a large, brown envelope in his hand.

Before he answered, he came around the side of the island and gave her a long, slow kiss, the kind that made her toes curl and her skin sizzle with desire. As long as she’d been with this man, this was a feeling that would last forever.

He leaned on the counter, all sexiness in his white t-shirt and jeans hanging low on his hips, his dark hair slightly windblown from being outside and those gorgeous, green eyes drinking her in with the promise of things to come. He reluctantly dropped his gaze to the packet and said, “It’s from the private detective I hired. Apparently, he found something from my family tree on Ancestry or something.”

“Ooh, really?” Rylee was intrigued now. She knew that he’d long wanted answers to his parentage. This just took that dream one step further. However, when he just stood there and stared at it, she grew impatient. “Aren’t you going to open it?”

He shrugged. “I guess I should.”

Rylee’s heart went out to him. Pushing her eagerness for him aside, she walked around the counter and threaded her hand through his. “You know we’re in this together, don’t you, Ace? Whatever is in that packet, whatever you find out, I’m here to shoulder the burden. You don’t have to do things alone anymore.”

He turned to her with turbulent emotion in his eyes. “I know that, Ryles. I’m still learning that. I also know that I couldn’t have done any of this without you by my side.”

“And I’ll always be here,” she vowed.

He brought up their intertwined hands and kissed the back of hers before he took a deep breath and reluctantly released her. He tore open the envelope and withdrew several sheets of paper that had been clipped together. “Here goes…” he murmured and began to read through the information.

Rylee skimmed over the typed page and waited for Colton to make some sort of acknowledgement. “Huh.” He chuckled. “I guess Dad was right.”

She knew he was referring to her adopted father. “What’s that?” she asked curiously.

“It turns out that I am Irish.” He pointed to a notation on the sheet. “Apparently, I’m descended from a man named Conor Flannigan.” He frowned slightly as he flipped through the rest. “It doesn’t say much about him other than the fact he was known for horse racing and lived back in the ‘old days.’”

“The ‘old days’?” she teased. “My, I’m surprised they were able to find anything at all, in that case. But I supposed the carvings on those stone walls were remarkably well kept.”

“Mockery doesn’t become you,” he retorted, and then he sobered. “I just wish I knew more. I feel like my past history is an endless mystery.”

“Maybe that’s a good thing,” she said as she wrapped her arms around him. “You already know everything that you need to know, like how much I love you.” She kissed him. “Now, how about you put all this aside and take me to the bedroom where I can make you forget everything but the here and now?”

He nodded his head and offered her a wink. “I like that idea, Ryles. But I love you even more.”

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Tags: Tabetha Waite Romance