He smiled down at me, his teeth all perfect and white. I wanted to lick them. “Just maybe?”

“I’m crazy about you, Noah Crawford. And I’m pretty sure that’s because I’m in love with you, and not because you actually do drive me crazy. So yeah, I think that sounds like something I might want to do for the rest of my life.”

“Is that a yes?”

I laughed at his persistence. “Yes, Noah.”

He looked relieved, and his smile became celestial. “Okay, good.”

I pushed my fingers through his wet hair. “Very good.” My eyes drifted over the features of his face. His hazel eyes held so much love and adoration. He was happy, and I did that for him.

I traced his prominent jaw, feeling it tense beneath my touch until I moved on to feel the softness of his lips. Noah closed his eyes and kissed my fingertips, his neck arching as I continued down his chin, and further still, to lightly caress his Adam’s apple. His neck was thick and muscular, the artery that resided beneath the skin throbbing with the life essence that flowed through his perfect body. It almost wasn’t fair how beautiful the man was. But I wasn’t complaining, because he was going to be mine forever.

“Make love to me?”

Noah opened his eyes, and with unquestionable certainty, said, “Always, but we need to get you out of the rain.” He stood and pulled me up with him. “Mack’s probably going to have my nuts for this.”

Despite my protests, he wrapped his arms around my shoulders so that I was huddled into his side, and he led me to the front door. And then it dawned on me as he tried the handle: I’d climbed out of the window and the front door was locked.

“Um, it’s locked,” I told him, stating the obvious.


“Well, you’re not climbing back up the damn tree, that’s for sure.” He looked around again to find another avenue. “Back door?”


Noah looked back toward his car. “You’ll have to call them to let you in then. I’ll go get my phone …” His voice drifted off and he swore, running his hands through his wet hair. “Shit! I’m such an idiot. I left my phone at home.”

“You drove all the way here without your phone?”

“Without my phone, my shoes, my shirt,” he said with a devilish glint in his eye. “If I hadn’t already had my pants on, I would’ve left those, too. See how crazy you make me?”

I stood up on my tiptoes and kissed the tip of his nose. “Okay, so let’s survey the situation. We’re both half naked, it’s dark, it’s raining, we have no way to get inside, and I want you … now. Come with me.”

I took his hand and pulled him down the porch steps and toward the small grove of trees next to my house.

“Where are we going?”

“You’ll see,” I said, giving him an impish grin.

Once we stepped through the threshold of the thick trees, I led him to a clearing in the center. I stopped and looked up, drawing his attention to the lush canopy of trees overhead that formed a barrier against the elements.

“What now?” he asked as I stepped close to him.

“Now,” I said, tugging at the button of his jeans, “we get you out of these wet pants before you catch your death of cold.”

Noah sighed and reached for the top button on my shirt. “Well, we can’t have that, now can we?”

I shook my head and then leaned up to suck on the skin over the throbbing vein in his neck as we both worked to rid each other of the remainder of our clothes. Once all barriers had been discarded, Noah picked me up so that I could wrap my legs around his waist while our lips found each other again. He slowly lowered us down to the ground until his back rested against the trunk of a tree and I sat comfortably in his lap.

As my tongue sought out his, my hand traveled down his chest and abdomen to find his cock wedged between our bodies. He hissed and threw his head back when I finally touched him, giving me ample access to his neck and shoulders. I didn’t waste a second of time, bathing his delicious skin with my tongue, my lips, my teeth. His cock was titanium smoothness in my palm, and I pressed him against myself, coating him in my wetness.

Then his hands cupped my ass, and he lifted me as I guided him to my opening. Noah filled me completely, just like he’d always done, just like he always would. We both moaned at the sensation of our bodies coming together like puzzle pieces perfectly matched to each other. For the first time in a couple of weeks I could ride the real him and not just some synthetic version that could never really compare.

Noah released my hair from the band holding it in place, and then he dipped his head to capture one of my nipples with his mouth. His teeth scraped the hardened peak as his lips sucked and his tongue flicked back and forth at a maddening pace. I arched my back and took him in fully, riding him. Slowly, tenderly, we made love as we each whispered words of forever.

It didn’t take long for either of us to reach our climax. Having spent so much time away from each other had both of us wound pretty tightly. Plus, the turn our relationship had taken—the promise of many years spent in the company of the one we loved, our soul mate—had driven us both to such a point that we only wanted to be consumed by the other.

Consummation had its perks.

Before long, I was cuddled in his arms, the heat of our bodies providing all the warmth we needed. We were completely spent, undeniably satiated.

“I have to go.” Noah’s voice was a reluctant whisper. “I don’t want to, but Stone is up to something, and I can’t risk missing another day of work before the board meeting on Monday.”

I straightened and gave him a soft kiss. “It’s okay. I understand.”

His hands brushed my damp hair from my shoulders, and then he cupped my face to kiss me more deeply. I actually whimpered when he pulled away.

“How are we going to get you back inside?”

I shrugged. “You leave, and I’ll bang the door down.”

“And what, pray tell, are you going to tell Mack when he asks how you got locked out in nothing but my shirt? Which looks so very fucking good on you, by the way.”

“Don’t worry about my dad. I can handle him,” I said, having no clue whatsoever how I was going to explain it to him, but I’d come up with something. “Hey, I’m the future Mrs. Delaine Crawford. Some of your ingenuity has to have rubbed off on me, right?”

Noah bit down on his lip, his eyes fixated on my mouth. “Jesus, that sounds good.” He hugged me close and then stole my breath away with a hungry kiss.

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