I lay in bed as Cage called out my name. He was coming. I knew that sound. I knew what he sounded like. He’d ran out of here like a man possessed. My body trembled from the aftershocks of my orgasm. Normally the orgasms I gave myself weren’t that strong. But with Cage talking dirty in my ear and watching me, I’d completely lost it. That hadn’t been as good as when Cage gave them to me, but it was the closest thing I’d had in a long time.
I squeezed my legs together and rolled over to look at the door he had left open. He hadn’t touched me. He hadn’t even gotten off in here so I could see. I had heard him, and hearing him shout my name had been wonderful. I loved it.
What was I doing? Last night I’d wondered if we could be friends. Could we be friends when we wanted each other like this? Was that idea even possible? Cage was in my life. We would have a child together. He’d hurt me then deserted me when I needed him most. But my body still wanted him. He was here. He wasn’t leaving me. Could I forgive him? Was that possible? Or. . . had I already forgiven him?
I heard the shower turn on, and I sat up. I wouldn’t think about this right then. We didn’t have to make any decisions yet. He might change his mind and leave again. This farm life was not what he’d always dreamed of. Staying here with me would be asking him to give up his life.
That wasn’t going to happen. Ever.
* * *
By the time Cage got out of the shower I was dressed and the biscuits were in the oven. Facing him after what we’d done wasn’t going to be easy, but knowing he’d gotten off too eased my embarrassment. I always woke up horny. I had been doing that for months. I just hadn’t had to worry about Cage walking by my door and hearing me.
“I was gonna make breakfast this morning. It’s why I was up early. I got, uh, sidetracked on my way down here,” Cage said.
I glanced over my shoulder at him and felt myself blush. “Oh” was all I managed to say.
“Yeah, oh,” he replied with a chuckle.
My body relaxed from the sound of his amusement. It wasn’t going to be awkward. It was Cage. The things we had done together should make me immune to any sexual embarrassment with him.
“Can I make the eggs, at least?” he asked, stepping up behind me, close enough that I could smell the soap on his skin, but still not touching me.
“If you want to,” I replied, taking a deep breath so I could enjoy how good he smelled.
He reached for the skillet and set it down on the stove beside me. He wasn’t going to say anything about it. He was going to pretend it didn’t happen. That we hadn’t just. . . done that.
“I kept your panties. Hope that’s okay,” he said close to my ear before walking over to the fridge to get the eggs.
That was it. We had to talk. “Why?” I asked, turning around to look at him.
“Why? Because they smell like you and I miss that smell. Real bad. . . and they’re still wet.”
I sucked in a breath and reached for the edge of the counter for support. “Cage, what are we doing? I mean. . . what is this?”
He studied me a moment then he set the eggs in his hands down on the counter beside me. He walked up to stand so close to me, I had to press my back against the granite countertop behind me.
“I’m doing whatever the hell you will allow me to. That’s what I’m doing. Why? Because I can’t live without you. However you allow me to have you is what I will take.”
I wanted to scream at him that he had had me completely and thrown it away. Didn’t he get that? “You had me Cage. You f**king had me. You wanted something else!”
Tears burned my eyes. I hadn’t said that out loud before. I had thought it, but I hadn’t verbalized it. Not until today. My throat clogged with tears, and Cage rested his hand on my hip. “I made a mistake. The biggest mistake of my life. I let my insecurities keep me from fighting for you. I let myself believe the words you yelled at me over the phone. I didn’t come here and make you listen to me. That was my mistake.”
No. That was only part of it. Did he not see that? I hit him hard against the chest and let out a sob. He didn’t move. “No. No. No! That isn’t it. I wasn’t enough. You needed more. I can’t live with that. Don’t you see? I can’t live knowing you touched someone else. That you wanted someone else. I only ever wanted you! Only you!” Tears were blurring my vision. I didn’t care. I needed to let them free. I needed to say it. For over a week he’d been showing up there to work. He’d been sweet and thoughtful. I had let him. But never once had he told me he was sorry for what he’d done to me. For making me believe I would ever be enough for him.
“The picture of me touching the girls breast. I was looking for my phone. My roommate had taken it and I was stuck at a party I didn’t want to be at. Very few girls had on tops and I wanted the hell out. They wouldn’t go away and take no for an answer. I shoved her back and I was reaching for her shoulder when she moved so that I’d grab something else. The picture of me getting in a car with a girl was the only ride I could get home that night. I had no battery in my phone because, once again, my roommate had taken it. I was miles away from any store and it was late. That was just a ride home. The kiss was set up. I arrived at a team party at a bar. I sat down by myself on the couch to watch television, and she came up and laid one on me. I pushed her off and stormed out of there to call you. You didn’t answer. I went inside to get a beer and play pool and the beer I took had been drugged. Fifteen minutes after I went back in that bar, I don’t remember one f**king thing. Not one. And I never slept with that girl. It was also a setup. She was helping Ace set me up. That photo was taken by Ace. They wanted me to believe I had f**ked her. Not once, Eva. Not f**king once have I wanted anyone but you since the moment I walked onto that porch out there and laid eyes on you. It’s been you ever since.”
I stood there, unable to find words. For six months I’d thought he had cheated on me. Betrayed me. For six months I had lived with the pain of not being enough.
“I should have fought for you. I should have fought for us. But I didn’t. I f**king didn’t, and I will never forgive myself for it.” Cage dropped his hand from my waist and stepped back. Then he turned and walked out the door.
My shattered heart slowly began to reform. Each moment that I’d thought he had wanted someone else melted away. Every tear I’d cried over not being enough to hold him dried up. I shoved off from the counter and went after him. He was walking across the yard, headed to the barn, when I hit the first step.
“Cage! Wait!” I cried, and started running down the rest of the steps.
He turned around and saw me then started walking back to me in long strides. “Don’t run, baby, you could fall,” he said, looking concerned.
I just laughed. He was my Cage. He was back. My nightmare was over. He grabbed me around the waist, but I flung myself into his arms. “I love you. I love you so much. I should have listened to you. I was so emotional and I wasn’t myself. But you deserved more from me. You deserved to be heard and I wouldn’t give you the chance.” I held him tightly knowing nothing I said could make the fact I hadn’t trusted him better.
Cage’s arms tightened around me and I felt him shudder underneath me. I cried harder. The boy who hadn’t been loved and had been left by everyone had trusted me with his heart and I’d let him down. I would never do it again. Ever. If he was going to give me the chance, then I would spend my life proving it.
I ran my hand over his head and threaded my fingers through his hair. He had bent down and buried his head in the crook of my neck and wasn’t moving. He just held me silently. “I love you so much. I never stopped,” I told him again.
Slowly he lifted his head and looked down at me. “You’re my world,” he said simply.
Eva wasn’t loosening her hold on me, and I was good with that. We’d stand here like that all damn day if she wanted to. “I’m not engaged to Jeremy anymore,” she said against my chest. I smiled. I had forgotten that she didn’t know I knew she wasn’t engaged anymore.
“I know,” I replied.
She frowned and gazed up at me. “You do?”
I pressed a kiss to the corner of her mouth. “Yeah, he called me. Let me know.”
Her frown deepened. “I was going to break it off. He just beat me to it. I don’t want you to think I wanted to marry him.”
My smile only got bigger. I took a small taste of her bottom lip with my tongue. “I know,” I whispered before she slipped her tongue into my mouth and I entered the sweet warmth I’d missed.
Her body molded against me. Feeling the small swell of her stomach pressed against me made the possessive beast inside me come to life. That was mine, and I wasn’t f**king letting it go again. She couldn’t force me to leave her side with a damn gun pointed at my head.
Her hands slid under my shirt and went straight for my n**ples. The woman was obsessed. I kissed a path from her mouth to her ear. “You start playing with my n**ples, baby, and I get to play with yours.”
She arched her neck, and I took it as an invitation to continue kissing and licking my way down to her neckline. She started pressing her br**sts toward me and kissing any skin she could find, including my biceps. “Cage,” she said, sounding desperate.
“Yeah, baby?” I asked as I eased my hands under her shirt so I could finally get my hands full of her br**sts. They were different and I wanted to get my hands on them.
“I need you to touch my boobs,” she said in a throaty plea.
“Yeah, I need that too,” I replied, unable to keep the smile out of my voice.
“And I need you to make love to me,” she finished.
I cupped her ass and picked her up. She wrapped her arms and legs around me and kept kissing me. I was going to take her inside or to the barn—I wasn’t sure which was closest.
“No. Here. I can’t wait,” she said, tugging on my shirt as her legs slid back down my body.
“Here?” I asked.
She managed to pull my shirt off, and her mouth was on my left nipple as a small moan escaped her and I decided that right there was a pretty damn good spot.
I reached for her shirt. She lifted her arms and stopped flicking her tongue over the small metal bar in my nipple just long enough for me to get her topless.
I unsnapped her bra and slid it off her arms in one swift movement. Taking both of her shoulders, I held her back and took in the sight of her high, heavy br**sts sitting over her now round stomach. She was beautiful. Perfect. And mine. All mine.
“I need time with those,” I said, looking at her br**sts.
“Good, but let’s do that after I have you inside me,” she said, reaching for my sweats and slipping her hand inside to wrap her hands around me.
“Anything you want. Anything you f**king want,” I groaned.
* * *
A couple of hours later we’d managed to sate ourselves enough to make it back inside the house. Eva was curled up nak*d against my chest on the sofa, and we had the blanket pulled over both of us. Her eyelids were growing heavy as I played with her hair. There was a lot that needed to be done outside. Jeremy had made a list for me. But it wasn’t getting done today.
“I wasn’t sure what her middle name needed to be. But since her last name is going to be York, can we let her middle name be Brooks?”
I smiled and bent my head to kiss her neck. “Yes, I like it.”
“Bliss Brooks York,” she said with a pleased sound. “That way, she’ll have both of our last names.”
I froze. Both of our last names.
Eva’s last name hadn’t been something I’d been thinking about. I had been so focused on getting her back, I hadn’t thought about much else. I had always planned on marrying Eva. She was my always. But I knew it would be later. After school. After I had a job to support a family.
I slid my hands down over Eva’s stomach. I was about to have a family. Things weren’t exactly playing out in the order I imagined them. “I don’t even know her due date,” I said more to myself than Eva.
“March seventeenth,” she replied, laying her hands over mine.
We had three months before we became parents. I wasn’t going to let my baby be born into this world without her momma’s last name being York. But I needed a plan. Eva deserved something special.
“Will you cut us down a Christmas tree. We need one right over there in that corner.”
I loved that she had said us. “Of course. I’ll do it today.”
“Thank you. I’ll make you cookies,” she replied.
I moved my hands up to cup her br**sts. “I like cookies, but I can think of a few parts of your body I’d rather eat,” I replied.
Eva shivered against me. “Okay. It’s a deal.”