It had everything in that moment to do with how Gabe had woken her up about thirty minutes ago, first with his hand between her thighs and then his mouth, and now, as the last of the release was rolling through her, she decided she could wake up every morning like this.

Her grip tightened on the silky strands of his hair as she tugged that wonderful mouth of his to hers. She could taste herself on his lips as she kissed him.

“Hey,” he said, brushing his lips over hers.

“Morning.” She rolled him onto his back and straddled him, trailing a path of short kisses down his throat and over his chest.

His hands tightened on her hips. “Did you sleep well?”

“Perfect.” Her tongue flicked over his nipple. “How about you?”

“Like a babe.” He groaned as she reached between their bodies, gripping his hard length. “You know, you fell asleep on me last night.”

“Did not.” She lifted her hips, settling herself on his erection.

“Yeah, you did.” He slid his hands around, cupping the cheeks of her ass. “You passed straight out on my chest.”

She grinned. “It was the wine.”

“Just the wine?”

“And maybe the orgasms,” she admitted.

“It was definitely the orgasms.” His words ended on a groan as she sunk down his length, seating herself fully. “I liked it, though.”

“Yeah?” She started rocking her hips back and forth.

“Yeah.” He dragged one hand up the center of her back, tangling it in her hair. “I like your weight on me. I think that’s why I always sleep better when I’m with you.” He brought her mouth to his. “I like this better, though.”

Her laugh was caught by his kiss, and there really was no room left for words. Their bodies moved in a rhythm that was slow at first and then faster, until the only sounds left in the room were their soft pants and moans. The tension built deep inside her as she ground down on him.

“I love you,” Gabe said against her mouth.

Those three little words sent her spiraling over the edge. Whatever semblance of control and rhythm were lost. Her chest was flush to his as he wrapped one arm around her back, the other around her waist as he anchored her in, taking over. He thrust into her, hitting every spot that drove her crazy. Startling pleasure shot through her veins. She flew apart again, shattering into a million little pieces. This time, Gabe followed her off the edge, kicking his head back as he spent himself deep inside her and let out the sexiest sound she’d ever heard.

Nikki collapsed on top of him, her heart rate slowing down as her body still twitched. “I think . . . I’m going to fall asleep on you again.”

He chuckled as he smoothed hair out of her face. “I normally wouldn’t have a problem with that, but we’re going to have to get up soon.”

They did, but at that moment, her muscles felt like they were made of soup, and Gabe wasn’t moving yet. His one arm was still draped over her and his other hand was resting on the side of her head.

Nikki closed her eyes.

Things hadn’t been exactly easy the last month. Her parents fully accepted her relationship with Gabe, but her mother had called upon Gabe unbeknownst to her until after the fact. They had a private conversation, one that Gabe skated around addressing whenever Nikki asked, but she was pretty sure that her mom might’ve threatened him at some point.

Lucian and Julia hadn’t batted an eye when Gabe asked them to join them for dinner the first time. Probably had to do with the fact that they’d suspected something was going on, and when she’d been set up in Gabe’s bedroom after the attack, it was probably a good indication that they were more than just friends.

And Devlin was just . . . well, he was Devlin.

Nikki actually hadn’t seen him much since the day he showed up with Gabe at Rosie’s apartment. Even when she returned to working at the de Vincent house, he rarely ate dinner at home and seemed only to be there in the evening. She had no idea how he was handling everything, but she guessed he had a lot on his mind.

Like where in the hell was Sabrina?

No one had seen her. Heard from her. Nothing. Her family reported her missing, and all that did was compound the scandal now circling the Harringtons and de Vincents. The magazines and gossip websites were having a field day with everything, as was Ross Haid. After all, you had a murderous son and missing daughter of one wealthy family who had been engaged to another massively wealthy family whose name was synonymous with scandal.

But she and Gabe . . . they were doing just fine, all things considered. They were together. For real. No hiding. She’d had so many fantasies of the two of them being together, but none of them, not a single one, even touched what it was like in real life. A tired, happy smile tugged at her lips.

“What are you thinking about?” he asked.

“Us,” she admitted. “I was thinking about how many times I dreamt about this and how it being real is so much better than the dreams.”

The arm around her clenched and he was quiet for a moment. “Sometimes I still think I don’t deserve you.”

She lifted her head so she could see him. “You deserve me, Gabe. You prove that every day.”

“I’m going to keep proving it.”

“I know,” she whispered.

“We should probably get up and get on the road soon,” Gabe said, but he tightened his arm around her waist, pulling her closer. “It’s not a long drive, but I’d rather not get stuck in traffic.”

She kissed his chest. “We should.”

Nikki was ready to get the day started, because today was a huge day. One of the biggest of Nikki’s life, because it was a step toward her future—their future.

Nikki was meeting Gabe’s son today.

“Are you nervous?” he asked, brushing the hair back from her face.

“A little,” she admitted.

“You shouldn’t be.” Gabe sat up, holding her so they were eye level. His gaze met hers.

“You think?” she asked.

“I know this.” And then Gabriel de Vincent said the words she’d spent the better part of her life dreaming for; the same three words she’d never grow tired of hearing. “I love you.”

Gravel crunched under the tires as Gabe inched into the parking space toward the back of the lot. They were a few minutes early. He turned off the engine and then looked over at Nic. Her gaze met his, and without really thinking about it, he reached over and picked up her hand.

“I’m still nervous,” she said, threading her fingers through his, and he already knew this. The fact she changed her clothing five times before settling on a pair of dark jeans and a chenille blouse before they left was evidence of that. “But I got this.”

He drew her hand to his mouth and kissed the top of it. “I know you do.”

She rewarded him with a huge smile, a breathtaking one. “Are you nervous?”

Gabe almost lied and told her no, but that wasn’t how it was between them. They were honest, even when it was uncomfortable. “I am. I always am when I get to see him.”

Even when he saw William last weekend, which he had. He figured it was best that he spent some time with his son before he introduced him to Nic. The Rothchilds knew he was bringing Nic with him today. They hadn’t been resistant to the plan, but they also hadn’t been wholly thrilled about it. But it wasn’t personal. They didn’t feel that way because of Nic or her age or her relationship with Gabe. They didn’t feel that way because Gabe was involved with someone who was going to be a part of their grandson’s future.

They felt that way because of Emma.

The pain of losing their daughter was still evident in their eyes and every time he spoke to them.

Gabe had to tell them about Sabrina, even though he didn’t want to put that kind of knowledge in their heads. He didn’t want them to have to carry that or experience the helplessness turn into the kind of rage that could ruin a person, but with Sabrina still out there, the Rothchilds needed to be on guard just in case she attempted anything that involved his son.

Hopefully her whereabouts would be discovered and she’d become a nonissue, but Gabe wasn’t taking any chances by leaving the Rothchilds out of what was happening.

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