And sex had never felt like that in his life.

Not even with Emma.

He was a little amazed about how that thought didn’t slice through him like a barb-tipped whip. It was just there. A thought. A past. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Gabe dragged his gaze from her face. He’d cleaned her up with his shirt, but neither of them were covered. Her breasts rose and fell with deep, even breaths. He loved those plump little nipples. He felt his dick stir to life as his gaze dropped to where her thighs were spread. She was almost bare between her thighs. Just a dusting of hair. He’d already known that. Obviously, but seeing her, all of her, lying next him, completely comfortable, was a whole different thing.

His gaze found his way back to her breasts. The deeper, pinker skin of her nipples made his mouth water.

“Are you staring at my breasts?” she asked, her voice soft.

He grinned as his gaze flickered to her face. Her head was still turned away from him, but he could see that her eyes were closed. “Maybe.”

“I think you were.”

“It wasn’t the only thing I was staring at.”

She turned her head toward him. Lashes fluttered open, and then he was staring into those beautiful brown eyes. “You’re a dirty old man.”

“Damn straight.” He pressed his dick against her thigh.

Her eyes widened slightly. “Are you hard?”

“Almost.” He lifted his hand to her cheek. “I have a beautiful woman lying naked next to me. I’m going to be in a permanent state of hardness.”

She laughed softly.

Looking over his shoulder at the wall clock, he sighed. “Do you have to be anywhere?”

“No, but I should probably text my mother,” she said, yawning. “I told her I was going to get boxes.”

“Want me to grab your phone? I think your purse is somewhere on the floor.”

“Not yet,” she said. “Because that means you’d have to move, and you’re warm, and I’m comfortable.”

Good. He didn’t want to move either.

Hell, Gabe didn’t want to let her go.

That thought seemed like it came out of nowhere, but it really didn’t. He pushed it aside. “You hungry?”

She made some sort of noncommittal sound and lifted a shoulder, which jiggled her breasts, and now his dick was rock hard. Great.

Her eyes had drifted shut again. He traced her lower lip. They should probably talk. He was sure they hadn’t really settled anything, but how could talking settle things?

He had a feeling that talking would make things worse, because she’d been getting real close to touching on the subject of what they were, and he didn’t have an answer for her.

His fucking head was a mess when it came to this woman.

Gabe closed his eyes as an almost keen sense of desperation washed over him. The feeling that there was an expiration date on this—on them—was hard to shake.

He thought about what Dev had said to him the night before. What was he thinking? He should be focused on getting a place in Baton Rouge and building a new life with his son.

Not this—not building a life with Nic.

Gabe never planned to rip William away from his grandparents. That was why he was looking for a place in Baton Rouge. Eventually, he wanted his son living with him full-time, but that was going to take time. More time than three months, and the thing was, there may not ever be enough time for the Rothchilds to give him up.

If the Rothchilds fought him and took him to court, it wouldn’t look good if Gabe was dating a much younger woman. Gabe knew that—knew that people went to ugly places to protect the ones they loved. Hell, he’d done some ugly things to protect people.

He wasn’t Dev, though. They had the power and money at their fingertips to ensure that there’d be no problems with custody, but he wouldn’t do that to his son. He wouldn’t do that to Emma’s parents who’d lost their own child.

It was a fucked-up situation.

A burn centered over his chest. What he was doing was unfair to Nic. Gabe wanted her, but he knew he wasn’t going to get to keep her, because she was going to want more. She deserved more, and he didn’t have that in him.

He wondered if he ever truly did, even with Emma.

He’d have to give her up.

His eyes flew open as he felt the flick of her tongue on his thumb. Their gazes connected as she drew his thumb into her mouth, sucking hard enough that it sent a burst of pure lust to his cock.

Fuck.

All thoughts evaporated.

He lifted up on his elbow, his gaze glued to where those lush lips were wrapped around his thumb. “I’m going to fuck you,” he said.

Nic’s eyes closed as she moaned around his thumb. Fuck. That was the hottest thing he’d seen and heard in a while.

Keeping his hand curled around her chin and his thumb in her mouth, he rolled her onto her stomach. He gripped her hip, urging that sweet ass up in the air.

“Don’t move,” he said, and once he was sure she was stable on her knees, he gripped his cock and guided himself to the prettiest part of her. He pulled his thumb out of her mouth and curled his arm around her shoulders, effectively keeping her in place.

He remembered how tight she’d been, so when he eased himself into her, he did it slow, giving her time to adjust to his size. Then she twitched that ass of hers, tilting it back on his cock.

He sucked in air. “Thought I told you not to move.”

“I can’t help it,” she said, making a tight, slow circle with her hips. “You feel too good.”

Gabe held still as she rocked back, riding his dick. Watching her ass move . . . yeah, this wasn’t going to last long. Not at all.

Using his hand, he stilled her hips as he lowered his mouth to her ear. “I’m going to fuck you now. Hard, babe. I’m going to fuck you hard.”

Nic shuddered.

And that’s what he did.

There was no slow buildup. This was no slow seduction. He fucked her hard, slamming into her, driven by the way her back bowed and her soft moans filled the room.

He knew he should slow down. She’d said it had been a while, but he couldn’t. His blood pounded and she felt too damn good, clenching and squeezing down on him. He reached around, finding her clit, playing with her as he hammered away.

Her cries grew louder as she thrust her hips back at him, riding him just as hard as he was doing her. The couch was going to knock a damn hole in the wall, but he couldn’t stop.

You’re going to lose her.

A chill swept down his spine.

Gabe lost all semblance of control when he felt her spasm around him. Pulling his hand away, he pinned her down, one hand on her lower back, the other lifting up her hips. He thrust into her over and over, feeling like he lost a little bit of his mind as his release powered through him.

Feeling like he lost a little bit of himself.

Chapter 27

Nikki had been a nervous wreck when she texted Gabe Sunday morning and asked if he wanted to meet her at the shelter. Part of her had expected him to turn down her offer, but that’s not what happened. His response had been immediate and now they stood in front of Ned Rivers, being handed leashes.

Ned was one of the volunteer supervisors at the animal shelter, an older man who’d grown up in the city, and had a bad run at things in his younger years that had included a stint in prison. While doing time, he’d taken part in a program that involved rescue dogs and ever since he’d dedicated his life to second chances.

And that was what this shelter was all about.

Second chances.

Seemed oddly fitting to be there with Gabe.

Right now, Ned was giving Gabe a speculative look. Nikki was confident it had nothing to do with it being Gabe’s first time here, but more about who he was. Very few locals didn’t know who the de Vincents were.

“Thanks, Ned.” Nikki took the leash while the older man eyed Gabe. “Who needs the exercise today?”

“Besides me?” Ned quipped, grinning up at her. “Fusion and Diesel.” He slid a glance in Gabe’s direction. “They’re full-sized pits. You think you can handle them?”

Gabe gave a half grin. “I hope so.”

“You’ll be fine.” Nikki hid a smile as he took the leash from Ned. “Fusion and Diesel are just big babies.”

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