With a chuckle, I nod.

“If that were to happen to me—if for some reason I forgot everything else . . . I would still remember you. How it feels to be loved by you. I’m the luckiest woman in the world, because I’m the only one who gets to say ‘Drew Evans is in love with me.’”

I cup her jaw, holding her precious face in both hands. “You’re the only one who ever will.”

Before I can utter another word, Kate rises on her toes and kisses me. Unhurriedly, she worships my mouth with her own, conveying her veneration with every deliberate brush of her tongue.

And . . . and I just can’t fucking wait anymore. With my lips against hers, the words bubble up from my chest. A rough, eager plea.

“Marry me, Kate.”

For a second, she doesn’t move. I feel her breath against my chin as she digests the words. Slowly, she leans back to look into my eyes, her face blank—staring—as if she’s not sure she heard what she thinks she just heard.

“What?” she asks softly.

“I . . . I had this whole speech, all the reasons we should get married. But the only reason that matters is—I love you. You’re the only woman I’ve ever loved—the only one I want to—for the rest of our lives.”

Holding her gaze, I sink down on one bended knee and take the ring box from my pocket. “We already have a life together, but I want to make it official. I want to grow old next to you, I want to know you’ll be there to smack my hand when I’m a dirty old man and try to cop a feel.”

The corners of her mouth arch up into a smile.


“If you’re the luckiest woman in the world because I love you,” I continue, “then I’d be the most blessed son of a bitch in the universe if I get to be your husband.”

I open the box, revealing the impeccable two-carat princess-cut diamond, encased in an elegant platinum band. I was tempted to go bigger—flashier—but this is Kate. It had to be something she’d love—a ring she’d gaze at adoringly on her hand. Beautiful, simple, flawless—like her.

Kate’s eyes dance between the ring and my face. She doesn’t cry, and I’m relieved. I want her laughter, her moans, her gasps—not her tears. Instead, she smiles, and it’s like the sunrise, when those first soft shades of light peek out from the horizon—new and stunning and full of possibilities.

“I thought you’d never ask.” Her breath hitches. And she whispers, “Yes.”

The effect of those three tiny letters is immediate and extraordinary. Warmth rushes through my veins. I exhale a lungful of air I didn’t realize I was holding.

Fucking yes.

I mean, of course she said yes. Never doubted it.

I take the ring from the box, and slip it on her slender finger. Perfect fit. Bending her head, Kate seeks out my lips and I’m more than happy to give them to her. Our tongues stroke each other, gentle but sincere, like a vow. Kate falls to her knees, and my fingers caress the soft wisps of hair at the base of her neck. I angle my mouth and encase her bottom lip in my own, sucking gently. She moans and pulls me against her.

I skim my fingers up the smooth skin of her outer thighs, where her dress ends. Grasping the material, I lift it up over her head in one sure move. Leaving her only in a red lace bra and matching panties—a thong.


I grasp her hips, dragging her closer. A groan of satisfaction rumbles from my throat when I cup the supple flesh of her perfect ass in both palms. That gorgeous ass—my favorite part. I hold her steady as I grind against her, making my already needy cock harder.

While we’re still lip-locked, Kate’s deft fingers unbutton my shirt, impatiently yanking it down my arms. I shrug out of the offending garment, and make quick work of the clasps on her bra. I sigh when those pale globes tumble from the confines of their red lace. Cupping the heavy flesh with both hands, I duck my head to take one already peaked, tight nipple into my mouth. Kate’s hands burrow through my hair, tugging and clasping. I suck at the tasty little nub, squeezing it between my tongue and the roof of my mouth with barely restrained pressure.

We fall back on the blanket, a tangle of moans and writhing limbs. Kate’s nails scour the muscles of my bare back, and I know she’s feeling just as wild as I am.

With my heartbeat drumming in my ears, I rear back and jerk the scrap of pantie fabric down her hips—tossing the thong over my shoulder. Luscious, rapid pants escape Kate’s lips as my tongue travels up her inner thigh. I hook her knee over my shoulder, spreading her open, savoring the view of her hot, pink flesh in the light of the setting sun.

I hover over her, just close enough to caress her with my breath. “Fuck, Kate, the things I want to do to you . . .”

Her round, dark eyes drift over my face—filled with love and need. Docile and demanding.

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