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“Hey,” he said in a low voice. “Time for bed.”

Her eyes fluttered open, and she looked confused for a few seconds before she realized where she was. She sat up straight.

“I fell asleep, didn’t I? I’m sorry.”

He stood up and held out a hand to her.

“You missed an amazing game. I bet that breaks your heart. Let’s go to bed.”

He led her into his bedroom and she looked around.

“This is nice,” she said. “Very peaceful.”

He was just glad his clothes were no longer all over the floor and were in the hamper in the closet.

“Thanks. It is peaceful, but maybe too peaceful? I had no time to paint before I moved in here, and I keep thinking of painting this room, because it feels kind of depressing with all of the gray. Maybe some weekend I’ll try to tackle it, once I figure out what I want instead.”

She put her arms around him.

“As long as it isn’t Dodger blue, any color works for me.”

He leaned down to kiss her.

“I’ll keep that in mind, though you know, I am a Dodger fan.”

She ran her fingers through his hair and kissed his stubbly cheek.

“I know, don’t remind me. I keep trying to forget that,” she said as she unbuckled his belt.

“And here I was, about to say that if you were too tired for sex tonight, it was okay.” He unbuttoned her jeans and pushed them to the floor. She kicked them to the side.

“Why did you think I took a little nap? I had to rest up.”

She wrapped one leg around his waist, and he put his hands under her butt and lifted her. She laughed and wrapped her other leg around him.

“Well then, we need to make good use of that nap of yours, don’t we?” He dropped her down on his bed. He liked the way she looked there, unsmiling, with her eyes roaming over his body. “You look good in my bed. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get you in it.”

She stretched her arms above her body in a way that accentuated her breasts, almost, but not quite visible in her thin tank top.

“I can’t believe it, either,” she said. “I think it was because you didn’t want to share this incredible bed with me. First your couch, then your bed—you are incredible at selecting furniture. I could stay here forever.”

He pulled his clothes off before crawling above her onto the bed.

“Well then, you’re in luck, because I’m going to keep you here for a damn long time. We have . . .” He glanced at the clock as he pulled her tank top over her head. “Eleven hours until I have to get up in the morning. Eleven and a half, if I push it. You’re going to be very familiar with this bed.”

She propped herself up so she could unhook her bra and tossed it to the side. Thank God she did—he was agile, but unhooking a woman’s bra from behind her back while he was kneeling over her in bed might have been too much for even him.

And now those breasts of hers were bare for him. He cupped them with his hands, enjoying their fullness, their hard nipples in the middle of his palms. She stared up at him, her eyes heavy lidded, a smile hovering around the corners of her mouth.

“Do with me what you will, Dr. Ibarra. Your bed, your rules.”

Holy shit, did that get him hot. He took a deep breath, and her smile got bigger.

“Oh, you like that, do you?” She glanced down. “Mmm, I can tell you like that.”

He bent down to kiss her.

“If I had known it would be this fun to get you in my bed, I would have managed it weeks ago.” He looked her naked body over and grinned. “Okay. Here’s what we’re going to do first . . .”

Chapter Fourteen

. . . . . . .

When Nik woke up the next morning, she was alone in Carlos’s big pillowlike bed. She wondered briefly where he was, decided it was either in the bathroom or on a phone call, and abandoned thought to luxuriate in his fluffy blankets against her bare skin.

That was until she heard him coming back into the room. She stayed right where she was, ready for him to get back under the covers with her.

Instead, he leaned down and kissed her cheek, the only part of her body that wasn’t covered by his blankets. She pulled down the covers and smiled up at him.

“Good morning,” she said.

“Good morning,” he said. “How do you feel about coffee?”

She smiled and turned over to face him. He had on gray sweatpants and nothing else.

“I feel great about coffee, but you know that. I always feel great about coffee.”

He smiled back at her. Her hair probably looked insane right now. She usually tried to at least put it in a ponytail after they’d gone to bed, but last night . . . well, there hadn’t been time.

“Excellent.” He put a mug of coffee on the bedside table next to her. “Here you go.”

She looked over at the mug, and then back up at him.

“Really? You made me coffee?” He nodded at her like the answer was obvious, which she guessed it was. She still couldn’t believe it.

She sat up in glee. He’d actually made her coffee? He brought it to her in bed? No one had brought her coffee in bed since . . . wait, actually, no one had ever brought her coffee in bed. Other than the room-service waiters at hotels.

She picked up the mug and breathed in the hot, warm, earthy coffee smell.

“Now. How do you feel about breakfast?”

She looked up from her mug. Was this a trick question?

“I have very strong, positive feelings about breakfast at any given moment. Why . . . why do you ask?”

He walked toward the bedroom door.

“Wait here.”

Seconds later, he was back with a tray in his hands. Okay, no, it wasn’t a tray, it was a cookie sheet, but did she care about that? Not in the slightest. He set the cookie sheet/tray on her knees, and on it was a plate with a pile of golden scrambled eggs, three pieces of bacon, and two slices of generously buttered toast. Oh, and a knife and fork, and a little pot of jam. A little pot of jam? Now she knew this must be a dream.

“This looks amazing,” she said, because that’s what you say in dreams to people who bring you freshly made breakfast. “Did you make all of this?”

He smiled that same proud smile from when she’d complimented his risotto the night before. Apparently, no matter how good of a cook you were, you liked it when people told you your food was good. Now that she knew that, she’d tell him constantly.

“I did. I hope you like scrambled eggs. I wasn’t sure. I know you like pancakes, but . . .”

Luckily, she was a fan of all breakfast foods.

“I love scrambled eggs. I love all of this.”

She could never let Courtney know he’d made her breakfast twice. Oh shit, and he’d made her dinner last night, too. Courtney had such inane ways of judging relationships, but convincing her that it was just that Carlos loved to cook would be a losing battle.

He got back in the bed next to her, his own plate in his hands.

“You haven’t even tried it yet. How do you know you love it?”

She picked up her fork and took a bite of eggs. Delicate and creamy, they were everything she wanted scrambled eggs to be.

“Now I’ve tried it and I know I love it. Satisfied?”

He nodded.

“Very much so.”

Far too quickly, she’d finished all of her food and lay back down in bed.

“Oh my God, I’m so full I’m going to die.”

He was still chewing on his last piece of bacon.

“Maybe you shouldn’t have eaten so fast, hmmm?”

She pulled the blankets over her head.

“I worked up an appetite. I was hungry!” she said to the underside of his comforter.

He pushed his plate down to the foot of the bed and put his head under the blankets to join her.

“What did you say?”

They were almost nose to nose, tucked underneath his warm heavy blankets. It felt like they were in a cocoon together. She could happily stay like this with him all day.

“I said I worked up an appetite for all that food.”

He put his hand on her knee and ran it up and down the side of her body. She’d kept the sheet wrapped around herself as she ate, but now her whole body was available to him again.


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