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She felt her heart melt. “I will. I love you, AJ,” she said softly. “Truth is, I’ve always loved you. I just thought maybe someone else would be better for you.”

“There’s no one better for me than you.”

She’d never been so grateful that he was just as stubborn as she. “There’s something I realized after you walked away from a very important business deal to help me,” she said. “Which, by the way, was stupid.”

He smiled at her vehemence and kissed her again. “So you love me because I’m stupid?”

“Yes. I realized that you can’t live without me.” She smiled when he laughed. She was never going to get tired of his laugh. “And that I cared for you more than I ever thought possible. And—”

He stopped her for another hard, long kiss. “And?” he pressed after they broke apart to breathe.

She blinked, mind empty. “I don’t remember.”

His smile was pretty damn smug. “Maybe we should take this to my place.”

“Yes, please.” She grabbed his hand and backed to the door, tugging him with her. She pulled it open, turned to go out, and stopped short.

Everyone had moved closer but no one closer than Zoe, who had her ear against the glass. “Okay,” she said, “I know this looks like maybe I was trying to eavesdrop.”

Darcy crossed her arms over her chest. “Actually, it looks like you were most definitely eavesdropping.”

“Yes, well, it’s just that I wanted this for you both so much,” Zoe said. “You two are together for real now, right?”

AJ pulled Darcy in and gave her a kiss that chased away anyone’s doubts. “For as long as she’ll have me,” he said.

“How long will that be?” Zoe asked Darcy. Everyone else looked at Darcy, too.

Normally being the center of attention like this would give her hives, but all she felt was … love. “For as long as he’ll have me,” she said, mirroring AJ’s words.

“Which will be for as long as I live and breathe,” he responded.

Her heart swelled against her ribs. “I can work with that.”


Five months later …

Darcy watched Wyatt toast his wife-to-be, grinning from ear to ear, staring at her like she was the best thing that had ever happened to him.

Emily appeared to melt.

So did Darcy. They were at the couple’s co-ed bridal party. “So sweet,” she said as Emily wrapped her arms around Wyatt’s neck, pulling him down for another kiss.

“Yeah,” AJ said. “It all seems to come down to the last person you think of each night. That’s where your heart is. Emily’s his heart.” He met Darcy’s gaze. “And you’re mine.”

Every time he said something like that to her, she marveled at how lucky she was to have him. “I’ve never known Wyatt to look so happy before.”

“It looks good on him.” AJ pulled Darcy into his arms. “You’re looking pretty happy yourself.”

“It’s the goofy-ass smile,” she said. “I see it when I look in the mirror in the mornings but I can’t seem to get rid of it.”

He grinned. “You’re welcome.”

They were in Emily’s backyard. It was sunset, the sky a brilliant kaleidoscope of colors as a storm rolled in. Thunder rumbled and Darcy looked up. “I hope we get rain soon. I want to dance in it.”

Even as she said it, the sky opened up. Around them everyone grabbed their drinks and belongings and made a beeline for the house.

AJ tried to pull Darcy inside as well but she resisted, laughing as the rain soaked through her clothes, plastering them to her like a second skin.

So what if she was starting to shiver and looked like a drowned rat? She twirled in a circle and did a hip-shaking boogie just because she could. As a bonus, she didn’t fall on her ass.

AJ stood there watching her dance in the rain, lips curved, those hazel eyes lit with affection and heat. Still apparently baffled by her love of being in the rain, he nevertheless always indulged her. The rain pelted at him, too, soaking his shirt, defining his sexy build.

Sometimes in moments like these Darcy just stared at him, unable to believe he was all hers. But he was, for as long as she wanted him. He’d promised, and AJ never broke a promise. He was sharing his bed and his life with her, and just thinking about it had love swamping her. “You’re getting wet.”

“No shit,” he said on a rough laugh. “It’s raining.” Reaching out, he stroked a strand of hair from her temple. “You’ve got some good moves.”

“I do,” she agreed.

“So do I.” And he started doing some sort of ridiculous white boy boogie that made her toss back her head and laugh.

And then she was scooped close, up against his chest. He shook his head down at her, showering her with the water from his hair. “You laughing at my moves?”

“Yes,” she said, still grinning.

“I have more.”

“Let’s see ’em.”

Lowering his head, he kissed her. “Later,” he murmured against her lips.


His answer was a wicked smile, and then suddenly he grabbed her and tossed her over his shoulder and went running. She shrieked as the water splashed off his shoes and hit her in the face.

Not stopping, he ran around the side of the house and to his truck, tossing her into the passenger seat, stopping to strap her in and kiss her again until she was quivering with much more than the chill now.