“Okay,” I said. “What’s going on?”

“I’m leaving,” Cooper said bluntly.

I blinked, my mind reeling. “The company?”

“The state. I need some space, and I think this is the best move for all of us. I’m going to open a new branch of the business in a new city and get myself a fresh start.” His gaze was shuttered, and my gut churned at his icy expression.

I turned my attention to Quinn. “And what do you have to say about this?”

“I’m torn. This family feels broken now, and things don’t seem to be getting better. But from a business perspective, it would be the right time to purchase new real estate.”

I nodded and glanced at Cooper. “When will you go?”

“When we know for sure that Emma is all right and out of danger, I guess. For now, I’m trying to figure that out.”

I knew I should argue, maybe even apologize for blaming him. But it was all too raw, and I couldn’t seem to push the words past my throat. “Right.”

“Gavin . . .”

Emma’s voice echoed down the stairs, and my brothers looked at me with understanding, sad eyes.

“Well, you’re needed here. We’ll discuss more details when you’re back,” Quinn said.


Cooper said nothing. Instead, he turned and headed back down the steps with Quinn trailing behind him.

When they were gone, I locked the door and called back to Emma, “Coming,” as I trekked up the stairs. I reached the bathroom and she glanced at me, but as soon as her gaze met mine, the soft smile on her lips died away.

“What’s wrong? Who was at the door?”

“Nothing’s wrong,” I assured her with a fixed smile. “It was the guys. Just some business stuff, but it’s nothing that we need to worry about. I’m only thinking about you right now. Tell me what you need, pet.”

Her blue eyes darkened as she looked me up and down. “I need you to join me.”

“In the tub?” I laughed. “No way.”

“Then out of the tub. On the floor. On the counter.” She looked me over again, a slightly desperate edge to her chuckle. “Anywhere. I don’t want to feel like an invalid anymore. I want to touch you and—”

I bit back a groan as my cock instantly swelled at the thought. It had been almost a week since we’d touched like that, and I could still feel the heat of her around me.

I shoved back the thought and shook my head. “You’re in no state for something like that.”

She pouted, lifting a hand toward me. “Gavin, please? I need you.”

Her voice was so raw with need that my cock grew thick and achy, but I forced myself to remain strong.

“Not until you’re better.”

“Fine, then. Can you help me dry off, at least?”

She rose a brow in challenge, but I ignored it as I rolled up my sleeves and lifted her from the tub. Once she was standing on her feet again, I handed her a towel, but she shook her head.

“I want you to do it.”

“Emma . . .”

“What? I thought you wanted to do everything for me. Please?”

When she raised her eyebrows, I let out an exasperated sigh. She was determined to get her way, and it was beyond me to not let her have it. I would have given her anything just then—she was dewy and pink from the heat of her bath.

Bending low, I brushed the towel along her ankles and feet, then higher, up her creamy thighs. As I wiped the droplets from her skin, she spread her legs a fraction for me, offering me a better view of her, and I clenched my jaw as I moved to the next leg.

“I know what you’re doing,” I said, my chest tight.

“Getting dry?” she said in her most innocent voice.

I sucked in a steadying breath and grunted. “Don’t toy with me.”

“I would never.” Her lips twitched with a smirk.

“Emma, I don’t want to hurt you. Your ribs . . .” But then I was moving up to her stomach, sliding the towel over the white plane of her skin and watching as her nipples stiffened at my touch.

I swallowed hard, then moved to dry her perfect, round breasts. It took all my internal fortitude not to stop right then and drop my mouth to those silky pink tips and suck them hard so I could feel them grow stiff in my mouth.

“I want you,” she whispered. “And I can see you want me too.”

“You’re not in shape to be jostled around like that, Emma.”

“Then let’s not do that. We can do other things.” She moved to get on her knees, but I held out a hand to stop her.

“No. No fucking way. If we’re doing this, then tonight is about you.”

Slowly, I interlaced her fingers with mine and led her into the bedroom.

“Lay on the edge of the bed and spread your legs for me,” I demanded, suddenly desperate to feel her clit against my tongue.

“But, Gavin, I want to be with you.”

“You will be. And don’t argue,” I said.

Silently, she did as she was told and lay back, allowing me to see every inch of her milky-white skin and the pretty pink space between her thighs.

Staring at her, I tugged my own clothes away, not caring where they fell. She watched me, her pupils dilated as I pulled my boxers down and allowed my length to spring forward. Tempting me, she licked her lips at the sight, and I gripped my shaft, stroking it to quell the insistent ache that always came when I saw her bare.

Working myself up and down, I got to my knees in front of her and licked her in soft strokes, teasing her until I was ready to explore the space where I knew she needed me most.

She let out a gentle moan and I growled low in my throat, praising her for the sound even as I worked my cock in longer strokes, desperate for more.

“That’s it, baby. Show me how much you like it,” I whispered, then lowered my mouth to her again, lapping her core until I finally reached the tight bundle of nerves that I knew was begging for my attention.

Slowly, I circled her, loving the little twitch of her hips as she responded to my touch.

“Gavin,” she moaned. “You’re so good at this.”

“Yes, beautiful. Just like that,” I told her. And she did. With every push and pull of my tongue, she rocked her hips into me, pushing me to kiss her deeper, suck her harder, to work her to the breaking point.

As she moved, I gripped my shaft tighter, closing my eyes as I imagined her rocking into me this way, pulling my cock deeper into her body with every little spasm.

God, I couldn’t wait to be with her again, but for tonight, this would have to be enough. And with the taste of her on my tongue? I wasn’t about to complain.

“I need you,” she whimpered, and I licked her long and deep again before pushing two fingers into her waiting heat, moving in and out as she continued to roll her hips. “Fuck me, Gavin.”

She was close—I could feel it in the tightness of her walls, the neediness of her thrusts. She moved faster now and I gripped my cock even harder, working myself in long strokes.

She lifted to her elbows, her gaze drawn to my mouth, then to where my hand fisted my shaft.

“So hot, watching you touch yourself,” she murmured, her gaze soft and pleading. “Are you going to make yourself come?”

“After you,” I said, my tongue lapping at her in lazy circles.

I bit down on her inner thigh in a soft nibble, still fucking her with my fingers. When I brought my lips to her sensitive bundle and sucked—hard—her body pulsed and shook, clutching my fingers.

This was the moment. She let out a low, deep moan and I closed my eyes, savoring the greed in her tone as she bucked into me over and over again. I sucked her clit hard, wanting to squeeze out every last drop of her pleasure. When she lay back, breathless and trembling, I straightened, my hard length still in my hand.

She licked her lips, watching me with hooded eyes as I stroked myself. “Do you want me to—”

“No,” I ground out. “Just watch. And make sure I can still see your pretty little pussy.”

She spread her legs wider for me and I took in her body, remembering the feel of her as she shook around me. The pace of my strokes increased, my dick so hard it hurt.