“My pool,” I whisper.
Ty pulls me against him and hugs me tight.
“Who would do this?” I ask.
“That’s what we were just about to ask you,” Dan replies with a soft smile. “Any ideas?”
“I know who did this,” Ty replies. “Her ex-husband.”
“How do you know?” Kyle asks.
“No one else would do something like this.” I pull out of Ty’s embrace, keeping his hand firmly in my own, grateful that he’s here with me. “It’s definitely Jack. He knows how much I love this pool.”
“He must have been served with the protection order today,” Ty agrees grimly.
“Can you prove it?” Adam asks.
“That’s your job,” Ty responds coldly.
I shiver as I glance around the room again. This took work. These windows are strong, and the destruction is extensive.
“How could he have done all of this in five minutes?” I ask.
“He couldn’t have,” Kyle replies, his head tilted in thought. “There had to be at least two people doing this.”
I shake my head, at a loss.
“What do we do now?” Ty asks.
“Well, for tonight, we need to secure the house. The door between the mudroom and the pool doesn’t lock, so I’ll have someone come out and change the doorknob,” Adam replies.
“We’ll stay at my place tonight,” Ty informs me.
“No, absolutely not.”
Ty scowls at me as I shake my head stubbornly.
“We’re going to make some calls and wrap this up for tonight,” Adam continues. “Someone will be out tomorrow to check on things and continue the investigation.”
“Thanks, man.” Ty shakes all of their hands and leads me into the house and up the stairs to the bedroom.
“Lo, I really think we should stay at my place.”
As the adrenaline from the night begins to wear off, I start shivering. I wrap my arms around my stomach and shake my head. “I will never let Jack scare me out of my own home, Ty. I won’t give him the satisfaction.”
He frowns and pulls me into his arms, wraps his arms around me, and runs his hands up and down my back, as though he’s warming me up. “It pisses me the fuck off that he did that with the intention of hurting you.”
“I’m rather pissed myself,” I reply softly, and sigh as I lean into his embrace. “Stay with me?”
“I’m not letting you out of my sight, sweetness. You’re stuck with me.”
I grin against his chest and nuzzle him, relishing the scent of him, his strength surrounding me. “Thank you.”
“Come on, beautiful, let’s have a bath,” Ty suggests after the police and the locksmith have left.
My heart sinks. He wants to have sex now? I step away and frown up at him. “Really?”
He smiles softly and cups my face in his hands, pulls me in for a soft, gentle kiss, then pulls back. “As much as I would love to make love to you right now, I think I can restrain myself, Lo. You need a bath to relax. Let me take care of you.”
He leads me to the bed and, with his hands gripping my shoulders, lowers me to the side. “I’ll be right back.”
He disappears into the bathroom and I hear the water running in my large soaking tub. It’s big enough for two. I wonder, will he join me?
I’m too numb to get up and take my clothes off, and surprisingly, hearing Ty bustle about in my bathroom is strangely soothing.
He returns a few minutes later, shirtless, and my mouth goes dry.
“It should be illegal for you to walk around shirtless.”
He smirks and pulls me to my feet. “Why is that, baby?”
“Have you seen you?” I instinctively reach out and brush my fingertips over his chest, drawing a sharp inhale from him.
“Lo . . .” His voice is a warning, but I ignore him and continue to explore his chest, abs, hips, with my fingers.
“You’re so handsome.”
He takes my hands in his and brings them to his lips, kisses them softly, and watches me with hot gray eyes. “Come on, before I forget that you’ve had a traumatic evening, spread you out, and fuck you until the bed breaks.”
Well, doesn’t that sound delicious? Maybe I’ve changed my mind from earlier.
“Rain check,” he whispers, and leads me to the bathroom. Not only did he run the bathwater, but he lit several candles and poured my favorite bath oil into the water as well.
It’s soothing and soft and thoughtful.
He helps me undress and holds my hand while I step into the steaming-hot water. I lean back against the edge, close my eyes, and sigh deeply.
“Feel good?” I can hear the smile in this voice.
“Hmm. Join me.”
“I will in a minute. I want to check the house one more time. You soak.”
He kisses my forehead and is gone, and I let the heat of the water seep into my muscles, relaxing me. I’m suddenly beyond tired.
“No sleeping in the bath, sweetness.”
I open my eyes to find Ty standing over me, his arms crossed, gazing down at me with a half smile.
“I’m not sleeping,” I lie. “Join me.”
“Don’t mind if I do.” He quickly shucks his clothing. “Scoot forward.”
He slips into the bath behind me, then pulls me against him. “How do you feel?” He kisses my neck and reaches for a washcloth, lathering it up with body wash.
“Everything okay downstairs?”
“Yes. It’s quiet down there. The locksmith added a locking knob and a dead bolt.” I nod and am about to ask more questions when he leans in and whispers in my ear, “Relax. There’s nothing more you can do tonight.”
We sit in silence as he washes my arms, my back, my chest, and down my stomach to the juncture of my legs, never touching me in a sexual way, but in a soothing, cleansing manner that makes me melt against him.
Finally, he sets the washcloth aside, and while I’m still soapy, his hands glide to my shoulders and begin to knead the muscles there.
“Dear sweet Jesus, keep doing that and I’ll marry you.” The words slip out before I can stop them, before I even realize I’m saying them, and I bite my lips and cringe, hoping he doesn’t notice.
But rather than freaking out at the M-word, he simply chuckles and continues to spoil my shoulders and neck. “If I knew the way to your heart was rubbing your shoulders, I would have done it long ago.” He rinses the soap from my skin and tugs me back into his arms to rest against his chest. I curl up against him and sigh deeply as he continues to gently caress my arms and shoulders, kisses my temple, and nuzzles my ear.