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He felt her smile against his chest. “Oh, really?”

“Yeah, really.”

Her smile grew wider. “Good. I know I’ve been a jerk the last week, but…I just didn’t know how to deal with anything. I felt guilty that I was alive and Benny wasn’t, like it was somehow my fault. That maybe if I’d been at the marina things would have ended differently. I was hurting and knew I’d take all my anger out on you. I didn’t want to bring you down with me.”

“I want for better or worse from you, Lizzy. You can bring me down all you want.” He slid a hand down her back, snagging the back of her bra as he moved south.

She shuddered against him, arching her back into his chest as she lifted her head. With the dim light from the bathroom illuminating the room, it was hard to see much, but her eyes were filled with heat. “For better or worse, huh?” she whispered, her voice unsure.

He nodded. “This week without you has been hell. I love you, Lizzy and I won’t let you walk away from me.”

“Won’t?” She lifted a dark eyebrow as she shifted her body so that she fully straddled him. Looking down at him, she reached behind her back and unhooked her bra.

As it slid down her arms, displaying her breasts, his brain short circuited for a moment. Eventually he found his voice. “You’re mine,” he growled, unable to keep the hunger out of his voice.

She leaned down until their noses almost touched. “I love you too, Porter.”

His mouth was on hers before she could say another word. In a few quick moves he had her pinned beneath him as he took her mouth in a frenzied kiss. Heat built inside him like a raging inferno as she grappled with his shirt and he struggled to get his pants off.

After being deprived of her sweet body for a week he knew this first time between them would be fast and hard. But he’d take it slow the second time around. And there would definitely be a second time tonight. Maybe a third.

Lizzy had gotten under his skin in the best way and just the thought of being inside her again was making him a little bit crazy. Even when he knew this was the first night of many. Because he’d been serious about for better or worse.

He wanted the whole package from her. Marriage, a house, kids, everything. The woman was absolute grace under fire and her loyalty to her brother was simply amazing. He knew she’d make a perfect life partner. And that’s what he wanted. Lizzy as his partner for life—through the good and the bad times.