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Blowing him a kiss, I backed out and headed to the kitchen.

I looked out onto the deck while the coffee brewed, at the copse of trees beyond that, and the ocean beyond that. Maybe we’d go to the beach today. We had a spot that was ours alone. For now, just being with each other was all we wanted.

A tingle raced down my spine as I heard Lucky’s paws hurrying across the hardwood floors. He would be following alongside Gideon, whom he worshipped. My husband was more than a little fond of Lucky, too. The nightmares were coming less and less frequently, but when they did, Lucky was handy to have around.

“Good morning,” Gideon murmured, his arms encircling me.

I leaned into him. “I think it’s technically afternoon.”

“We could go back to bed until evening,” he purred, nuzzling my neck.

“I can’t believe I haven’t bored you yet.”

“Angel, if you’re bored, I’ll put more back into it.”

I shivered at the image that came to mind with those words. Gideon was a vigorous lover on an average day. Since we’d been on our honeymoon, he had been even more so. I could swear his body was even more lean and ripped now than before, just from the exercise he got making love to me. Certainly I was happier with my body than I’d been in years.

“Who was on the phone?” I asked.

He took a deep breath. “My brother.”

“Really? Isn’t that the third time in the last couple of weeks?”

“Don’t be jealous. You’re much sexier than he is.”

I bumped him with my elbow.

Gideon had told me about Hugh’s files and that Chris had talked to Christopher. What was said during that conversation, we didn’t know. That was something private between father and son. But whatever it was, Christopher had e-mailed Gideon twice—three times now—asking for advice.

“Is it always business he wants to talk about?”

“Yeah, but the stuff he’s asking … He already knows the answer.”

“Anything personal?”

Gideon had been assured by Chris that nothing of his abuse had been relayed to his brother, and my husband wasn’t inclined to change that. Christopher had caused a lot of damage over the years, and without an apology, Gideon wasn’t writing a blank check of forgiveness any time soon.

He shrugged. “Are we having fun … How’s the weather … That sort of thing.”

“He’s reaching out in his own way, I guess.” I shrugged it off, too. “Wanna head down to the beach?”

“We could …”

Turning in his arms, I looked up at him. “Something else on your mind?”

“I’d like to run a couple of things by you before I put work aside for the day.”

“Okay. Let me caffeinate first.”

I was smiling as we fixed our coffee. Once we reached his office, he woke up his laptop.

The image on the screen was self-explanatory. I pulled out the chair and sat. “More GenTen creative?”

I’d seen a dozen different ad concepts so far. Some of the messaging was clever, some was too clever, and some was just pedestrian.

“Refinements to the last round,” he explained, setting one hand on the back of the chair and the other on the desk, surrounding me with warm skin and delicious masculine scent. “And some new directions.”

Scrolling through the deck, I nodded at most, but one made me shake my head. “That’s a no.”

“I don’t like it, either,” Gideon agreed. “But why doesn’t it work for you?”

“I think it’s sending the wrong message. You know, the overwhelmed wife/mother/businesswoman can only find quiet time by distracting the family with the GenTen.” I looked at him. “Women are capable of wearing those various hats easily. Let’s show her playing the games with the family or enjoying the GenTen for herself.”

He nodded. “I said I wouldn’t ask again, but since we’re discussing women having it all … Are you still feeling good about leaving your job?”

“Yes.” There was no hesitation before answering. “I still want to work,” I qualified, “and helping you with things you don’t need help with isn’t going to satisfy me for long. But we’ll find a place where I fit.”

His mouth quirked wryly. “I do appreciate your take or I wouldn’t ask for it.”

“You know what I mean.”

“I do.” He swiped and tapped on the trackpad, bringing up a presentation. “These are a few of the projects currently taking priority. When you have time, look them over and let me know which ones interest you most.”

“They all interest you, right?”

“Of course.”

“Okay.” I’d make a few lists, order them by interest, and knowledge base, and skill set. Then cross-reference. Most important, I would discuss everything with Gideon. That was what I enjoyed most about sharing his work with him—exploring that fascinating razor-sharp mind of his.

“I don’t want to tie you down,” he said quietly, his hand moving to my shoulder and brushing down my arm. “I want you to soar.”

“I know, baby.” I caught his caressing hand and kissed the back of it. The sky was the limit with a husband who loved you like that.

The sun dipped below the edge of the horizon, setting fire to the ocean.

Gideon refilled our flutes with champagne, a small splash of the golden liquid escaping the rim as the yacht rocked gently on the waves.

“This is nice,” he said, giving me a slow, easy smile.

“I’m glad you like it.”

It amazed me to see him so happy and relaxed. I’d always thought of Gideon Cross as a tempest. Lightning and thunder, fiercely beautiful power that could be both dangerous and compelling. Barely contained, like the vortex of a tornado.

I would describe him as the calm after a storm now, which only made him an even greater force of nature. We were both … centered now. Feeling confident and committed. Having each other made everything achievable.

All of which had led me to thinking about a dinner cruise.

“Come here, angel.” Standing, he held his hand out to me.

We carried our champagne from the candlelit dining table to the luxurious chaise longue for two. We settled there, tangled with each other.

His hand stroked up and down my back. “I’m thinking of blue skies and smooth sailing.”

I smiled. So often our thoughts followed similar paths.

Reaching up, I cupped his nape, running my fingers through the rough silk of his hair. “We’re getting the hang of this.”

Gideon dipped his head down to kiss me, his mouth moving gently, his tongue licking leisurely, reaffirming the bond between us that grew stronger every day. The ghosts of our pasts seemed like faint shadows now, beginning to dissolve even before we’d renewed our vows.

One day, they would vanish forever. Until then, we had each other. And that was all we needed.

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