to see her!”
I turn to the truck to see what’s taking Blake so long, just as he strides up next to me, slipping his arm around me and his hand into my back jean pocket.
“God, what the hell am I going to do with you two? Women.” He tuts, earning a smack on the chest from me.
I smile at him. As much as I can anyway, without my lip feeling like it’s about to be torn off. I had to stay in hospital for a couple of days until the doctors were happy to discharge me. They released me after a lot of begging, and on the understanding that someone was there to help look after me. Blake stepped up without missing a beat. I’m still so sore and feel like a truck hit me.
But I’m healing.
That’s the main thing. I’m healing. And soon the black eye and the split lip will be gone. The short clump of hair near my face will grow back, and then there will only be the mental scars to deal with. I know those will be the hardest to heal.
I look up at Blake. His green eyes glitter down at me, and he tucks a strand of hair behind my ear with his free hand. It won’t be easy, but I know I’ll get there when I’ve got my own Mr. Wild looking out for me.
“Blake!” I scold again. “Press the damn bell already!”
He chuckles and pushes the bell. A few moments later, the door opens and Betsy barrels out.
“We told her you were coming. She’s been sitting by the door all morning.” Kayla smiles as she and Travis stand in the doorway.
I drop to the floor, holding my arms out wide and grabbing Betsy into a hug.
“I’ve missed you! You’re such a good girl, such a beautiful girl,” I coo as the others watch me. Betsy laps up the attention, whining and nuzzling into me. She feels so warm in my arms. She pants, and her doggy breath tickles my ear, making me giggle.
“What is this? I barely get a hello now?” Blake chuckles as Betsy turns to him, her tail flying around wildly.
“Pfft, she saw you this morning. You’re old news.” Kayla laughs as she and Travis stand back so we can walk inside.
“Don’t I know it.” Blake grins and ruffles Betsy’s ears, before leaning down to kiss her on the head.
“She’ll always be a daddy’s girl, don’t you worry. You’re the only man for her.” I roll my eyes as we follow Kayla and Travis into the kitchen.
Kayla snorts, slapping a hand across her mouth. Travis catches her eye and gives her a warning look. “Kayla…”
“Okay, okay. You tell them.” She looks from Travis to us, her eyes bright.
“Tell us what?” Blake wraps his arm around me again as he looks between the two of them.
Travis clears his throat, his face serious. “After Ralph found Betsy in his yard with Duke, I gave her a check over. You know, just to make sure everything was okay.”
“Yeah?” Blake looks at Travis, who is rolling his lips together, a look of deep concentration on his face. “Spit it out, man? Is she sick?”
I look down at Betsy, who’s watching us all with eager eyes.
She doesn’t look sick.
In fact, I’d say she looks really well since staying with Kayla and Travis, maybe even a little rounder from all the extra treats Kayla has no doubt been giving her. They offered to have her until I came out of the hospital, as Blake was there with me so much.
“Oh, she’s not sick.” Kayla snorts again, her shoulders shaking.
Travis shoots her another warning look, then turns his attention back to Blake.
“She’s not sick. She’s pregnant.”
My heart jumps in my chest and I grin at Kayla, who nods at me.
“What the fuck?” Blake hollers. “No way!”
“Way!” Kayla pipes up and laughs.
“She’s a good girl. She doesn’t run about having… having…” He screws up his nose. “Doing that with male dogs!”
Blake grits his teeth as I lay my palm on his chest. I can feel his heart beating out a strong steady beat beneath his muscles. The sight of him getting all worked up like an over-protective parent sends warmth through my body.
“Relax, Daddy. You’re going to have grandpuppies.” I beam at him, and his eyes meet mine.
“You think this is funny? Wait until I talk to Ralph. That Duke is about to lose his balls!” He purses his lips and I see him clench and relax his free hand by his side, as though trying to calm himself.
Kayla erupts into a new fit of laughter as Travis slaps a hand on Blake’s shoulder and squeezes.
“Too late for that, man.”
Blake’s eyes drop to Betsy, who’s come to sit at his feet. She gazes up at him with big brown eyes.
“What the hell you been up to, girl? How long, eh? How long have you been sneaking off behind my back?” The shock has gone from his voice and is replaced by warmth as he squats next to her and rubs his hand up and down her back. She licks his face as he grumbles, “Yeah, yeah, sucking up now.”
“She’s about four weeks along,” Travis says.
“They’ve been in doggy love for ages!” Kayla claps her hands together in delight. “Looks like you aren’t the only man in her life after all.”
Blake looks at Betsy, shaking his head as he stands. I wrap my arms around his waist and press myself against his side.
“I think it’s wonderful. Like another new start.”
He looks down at me, his eyes sparkling, making my stomach flutter.
“Yeah, you would see it like that. More bags of shit for you to throw at me when you get mad.”
My mouth drops open, and he smirks. I narrow my good eye at him.
“Don’t. I’m the hurt one, remember? You’re meant to being nice to me.”
“I’m always nice to you.” He presses his lips to my forehead.
I sigh and sink into him. “I wish my lip was better already so I could kiss you properly.”
“I’ll kiss your lips as soon as we get home if you like, babe?” he whispers, and I giggle as he slides his palm to my ass and grabs a handful of it.
“Yuk! I heard that,” Kayla groans. “You know, it makes sense why you bust that eye. Now you only see dork face with one. Must be an enormous improvement.” She grins at me, and I laugh as Blake mumbles something under his breath.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Her face turns serious as she looks at me. Travis lifts his arm, and she slides underneath it.
I take a deep breath and nod, feeling Blake’s arm tighten around me, supporting me.
“I am. The police have got Mickey in medical custody, and he’ll be sent back to England once he’s cleared to fly. He’s already been told he won’t be granted bail while he awaits trial.”
My throat feels scratchy as I talk about him. I know what he did to me. What he tried to do to me. And I know it’s likely to cause an entire load of new nightmares, for a while at least. But I’m not scared this time. I’m ready for that trial. I’m going to stand there and look him in the eye while I give evidence. While I make justice finally happen. Not just for me, but for Rocket, and every animal he hurt, and every family who lost a loved pet when he stole them.
I’m doing it for all of us.
“What about your parents?” Kayla asks.
“They’re arriving tomorrow. It’s the first flight they could get.”
I’m looking forward to seeing them both. It’s been over two months now since I left England. They were heartbroken when I called them from the hospital. Blake already told them what was happening when I was first admitted, so at least I didn’t have to make that phone call. But the ones since then have been bad enough, hearing both my mum and dad sob at what Mickey did when he came after me. They always worried about me. They just wanted to keep me safe. Get me away from the area I grew up. The trial will be hard for them. Hearing what their daughter went through? It must be every parents’ worst nightmare. But we’ll get through it.
“I think they’re going to stay in my aunt’s house, while I stay with Blake,” I continue. “Then they can arrange the real estate agent themselves while they’re here.”
“They’re still selling it?” Travis asks.
I shrug, my stomach twisting into the same knot it always does at the idea of my aunt’s house being sold.
“I guess so. Nothings changed for them financially, so it’s the only option.”
Kayla gives me a sad smile before perking up. “Well, you’ll have your hands full with lots of little fur babies soon! You’ll be far too busy to notice!”
I smile at her gratefully. “You’re right. We’ll be busy, won’t we, Blake?”
“Hm,” he grumbles, looking down at Betsy again.
“Come on, Grand-daddy.” I smirk. “Let’s go home. You’ve got two women to wait on hand and foot now.”
“Fucking hell.” He blows out a long breath as we all laugh.
Four weeks later
My arm stretches over the cold, unoccupied pillow next to me.
He must be up already. I rub my eyes as I yawn. It’s so good to finally do it without my eye feeling like it may pop out of my head. My face has almost completely healed now, and the last traces of bruises are fading.
I turn and smile as I see the glass of juice on the bedside table, a white card propped up in front of it. I reach out and pick it up, bringing it closer to read Blake’s handwriting.
You’re still the sweetest flower, with the SWEETEST flower.
I turn it over and gasp as my breath catches in my throat.
He still has this?
I run my finger over the photograph. Down over my seventeen-year-old face, which is lit up, and beaming at the person behind the camera lens. My heart stalls as I remember the exact moment this photograph was taken.
Do you ever wish you could stay in a moment forever?
Those were the words I said to Blake that night. Before we walked around the lake for an hour beneath a sky of stars. Before he took this photo of me on my aunt’s front porch.
Before I lost her.
And then him.
I smile as I let myself be lost in memories of her. I still feel her all around each time I swim in the lake. I know she’s not gone. Not completely. She was there that day with me. Betsy may have led Blake to me. And he may have dragged me out of the water. But my aunt sowed a seed long before. A seed that helped me live that day. She taught me all about her garden and her herbs—nature’s medicine cabinet. Without that, there would have been no sleep tonic. There would have been nothing to lace Mickey’s drink with, slow him down. Give me a fighting chance.
He would have killed me for sure.
I wipe at the tears rolling down my cheeks. I may have to wait longer until I see my aunt’s face again, but Blake? I’m lucky enough to see his every single day since he insisted I stay in his house with him. We both know I’m never moving back to England. I’ll go back for the trial, but my life is here now.
With him and Betsy.
I swing my legs out of bed and pull on one of his t-shirts over my naked body. Then I pad into the kitchen in search of him, clutching the photograph against my chest.
The sight in the kitchen makes me freeze. Blake’s tight, naked ass is on full display as he rolls his hips from side to side, whisking something in a bowl. A familiar song plays on the radio, and he leans over, turning the volume up.
“Enjoying the show, babe?” He calls over his shoulder as Ginuwine’s “Pony” blares out. He rotates his ass side to side and then pumps against the kitchen side. When I don’t move, he calls out again, “Get over here, Daisy.”
I walk over to him, pausing as I notice the strings tied around his waist. I was too busy admiring his ass—and the nail marks I left in it from last night—to notice them before.
He turns, and I read the words on the apron:
Vegan men last longer.
“Where did you get that?” I squeal as his perfect white teeth flash at me in a wide grin.
“I found it online.”
I clasp my hand over my mouth as I laugh.
“Did you know, not only do we last longer, but our cocks get even harder too?” He raises an eyebrow at me.
“Really?” I smile at him. “I’m not sure I believe you.”
“I thought you may say that, so I came prepared, ready to demonstrate.” He smirks as he throws the apron off and stands in front of me, his cock standing to attention, pre-cum glistening on its thick, smooth head.
I step closer and wrap my hand around it, licking my lips as I gaze up into his eyes. They darken with desire as I give him two slow pumps up and down.
“What’s next in your demonstration?” I ask, biting my lip as his eyes drop to my mouth.
“Now you spread your petals for me and give me that sweet fucking pollen,” Blake growls as he whips the t-shirt off over my head and lifts me onto the kitchen side.
I laugh as I part my legs so he can stand between them. “It’s like that, is it?”
“Oh yes, it most certainly is like that,” he groans as he pulls me closer, his eyes flashing with desire.
I suck in a breath as he sinks his into me, and I feel myself stretching around him. No matter how many times we do this, the first time he slides inside me is always pure heaven. I will never have enough of connecting with him like this.
I drop my head, leaning back on my hands, and let out a long moan.
“You feel so good.”
“So do you, babe.”
He pushes forward, burying himself to the hilt and letting out a deep groan. His fingers flex against my skin as he holds my ass, lifting my hips to where he wants me, so he can fuck me harder.
“Fuck,” I cry out as he slams into me, building up pace.
His lips drop to my neck, and I arch up, forcing my nipples against his chest and spreading my legs wider. My wet arousal coats him, making him slick, and I clamp down on to him, looking at where our bodies meet.
His eyes follow mine, and he hisses. “That’s right, babe. Squeeze my cock with your sweet little pussy. Milk it dry.”
The sight of his cock getting buried deep inside my body is one of the hottest things I’ve ever seen. My mouth goes slack in wonder, thinking about how it even fits. He pulls almost all the way out and I see the rim around his head, shining with my arousal. Then, as he pushes back inside me, the incredible fullness has me crying out again.
“So, so good!” I pant, letting out a whimper and biting my bottom lip.
“Tell me, babe,” he moans, his fingers digging harder into my ass.
I drop my head back and close my eyes, ecstasy storming through my body as he changes angle and the friction from his head rubs my G-spot.
“I love your cock.”
“My cock fucking loves you,” he grits out.
A high-pitched moan catches in my throat as he rolls his hips and the rim on his thick head rubs me inside again, sending a shudder through my body.
“Don’t you mean your cock loves fucking me?” I grin as I look back at him, my chest rising and falling with each pant.
He smirks and bucks his hips so his balls slap against my ass. “That too.”
My breasts are bouncing up and down with each thrust as he grips me and pulls me closer to him, fucking me deeper than I thought possible.
“Blake,” I groan as the first tingles begin in my toes.
This is how it is with him most of the time. Hot, dirty, and wild. And I love it. He has total control over my body, and he knows it. It sings to his tune. Just like my heart does. Just like my soul does.
They all sing to Blake Anderson’s sweet melody.
It’s like we can’t get enough of each other, and it’s only getting stronger. Each time with him, I discover something new. I unearth another part of myself. A new pleasure, a new desire, a new sensation. It’s like parts of me have been buried away until we found each other again.
Until he uncovered me. Set me free.
His mouth finds mine, and he kisses me in the way I love so much. Passionate. Intense, Commanding. The right mix of pressure. His tongue seeking mine, stroking, sucking, devouring. The way he first kissed me.
Like I’m the last lungful of oxygen the world has to give.
Then he rests his forehead against mine and stares deeply into my eyes, murmuring my name as he continues to thrust into me. His cock reaches places inside me that make me cry out and has my body sending wetness gushing to meet him. He dusts his lips against mine, kissing me softly as our breath mingles.
This is the other side of him that I love. The gentler, tender side. The side that makes love to me like I’m the only woman in the world.
But I know in his world, I am.
“Daisy,” he groans. “I love you, babe. I fucking love you. Never leave me again.”
His eyes grow dark and intense as they sear into me, fueling the fire that burns for him deep inside my core.
One that will never dim.
“Blake…” I whimper as everything pulls tight, coiling inside me.
“Come for me, Daisy. Let your pretty pussy bloom like a fucking flower and come all over my cock.” He growls deep in his chest. “Do it!”
I shudder underneath him, a mess of shaking limbs and quivering muscles as I explode, convulsing around him, crying out his name and shuddering. Blake wraps his arms around my back before my own arms give way, and then pulls me against his chest as he growls out deeply, “FuuuuccckkIcanfeelyoucoming!”
I love hearing the strain in his voice when I come and knowing how much it turns him on. I swear he holds his own orgasm back most times we have sex just so he can feel mine more than once.
“Do they come harder too?” I pant, shaking again as the sensation of his hard cock pounding into me is too much to handle, and I do what I know he’s waiting for, and come again, my chest jutting out and forcing me closer against his as euphoria takes command of body.
“Fuck. Yes, we do,” he groans.
I look at him. “I thought so. Now fill me up. I want it all.” I widen my legs further and moan loudly as he pumps me hard.
God, he’s incredible.
His eyes burn into mine as he holds himself deep inside me and clenches his jaw. His abdominal muscles ripple as his cock swells inside me. I watch in awe as he comes, shooting his heat hard and fast, jerking inside me as he pumps out all that he has.
Giving me everything and more.
“Yes,” I whisper, holding his gaze.
He growls from deep in his chest, and then his hands are in my hair, pulling my lips to his as he slides his tongue between them and moans into my mouth. I open to him, letting him have me. I’m his now, and he knows it. But I wouldn’t want it any other way.
His lips leave mine, and he lets out a deep sigh, resting his forehead against mine again. I draw in a deep breath as my body relaxes and I revel in the calm washing over me.
“Good job you talked me into it, isn’t it?” He grins at me as his cock twitches inside me.
“You didn’t need much persuading.” I sigh as he turns his attention back to my neck, kissing below my ear.
“I’d do anything for you, Daisy. You know that.”
We had a long talk after I came home from hospital. Blake sat and listened to everything Mickey said and did that day when he tried to kill me. I didn’t want the first time he heard every gory detail to be when he comes to the trial with me. He looked like he was struggling not to erupt into a Hulk-like rage the entire time I spoke. He sat there in stony silence, his jaw set, his eyes dark, as I told him everything.
When I repeated what Mickey said about him showing people how to trap animals for survival on his show, he reassured me he only shows people what to do if it’s life or death. He said the forest has so many other food sources that you can find with less effort if you know where to look. It was enough for me, but not for Blake. He told me he was turning vegan from that moment on. Made up some story about it being easier to cook the same meal. But I know the real reason.
He did it for me.
Because I’ve seen too much animal suffering—it still turns my stomach to think about the fear in their eyes and the smell of blood.
And because he would do anything for me.
He always would. Even when we were seventeen and he stopped a drunken kiss in case I regretted it the next day.
Blake Anderson has always put me first.
I smile as I reach up and stroke his jaw. “I love you.”
“You’d better.” He grins, pressing a kiss to my lips. “Because I have something else to show you.”
“You mean, this”—I reach my hands down to squeeze his delicious muscular ass—“is not my only surprise this morning?”
“Nope.” He grins at me as he pulls out and grabs a clean washcloth from the sink to wipe me with.
I narrow my eyes at him, and he smirks. I know he put it there in preparation—confident in his ability to get me having sex with him as soon as I woke up. I shake my head and smile.
He knows me so well.
“Okay. Show me, then.”
He grins as he lifts me down from the counter. He holds his t-shirt out so I can slip it over my head and then he pulls on a pair of sweatpants.
“Close your eyes.”
“Blake!” I laugh.
I roll my eyes and do as he says. He leads me outside, walking slowly, holding my hand in his.
“Okay, I know we’re on the back porch. I can hear the birds.”
He laughs. “Correct. Come on, keep going.”
We walk over the grass and then smooth, warm wood is beneath my toes.
“Okay, okay, we’re on the jetty.” I grin. “Are we going swimming?” My voice lifts in excitement as I bounce on my toes.
“No. Guess again.” He chuckles.
I chew my lip, my eyes still firmly closed. “I don’t know, Blake. Can I look yet?” I whine.
“Okay. You can look.”
I open my eyes and look at the jetty. My hands fly to my face as I take it in. Every edge of the jetty is lined with vases, jars, and pots. Each spilling over with bright white daisies, their white petals are yellow centers dazzling in the bright sunshine. Sitting in the middle—pretty as a picture with her growing belly—is Betsy with a daisy chain around her neck.
“Blake!” I gasp.
“You like it?”
I turn and throw my arms up around his neck. “It’s so beautiful. Thank you!” I wipe my tears away as he leads me to Betsy and pulls us both down to sit.
“I want you to know you’ve always got a home here with us.” His green eyes shine as he looks at me.
“I know,” I whisper, looking at them both. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
“And since Maria asked you to run the salon for her while she’s in New York, we figured you’d agree to stay.” He shrugs his shoulders and chuckles as I push him playfully.
“Idiot,” I murmur, grinning at him. He knows full well I’m staying for him and Betsy. I’ve told him enough times. The new job is just a bonus.
He laughs, grabbing my left hand in his, and holding up a small black box in his other.
“I got you a new job present.”
I suck in a breath as butterflies rush about in my stomach.
Is he about to…?
He takes the lid off, and I find a key inside.
My brow creases in confusion as the fluttering in my stomach stills.
“It’s yours now, Daisy. It could never be anyone else’s.”
I look at him and he’s watching me closely, gauging my reaction. Then he tips his head to the lake, and I look across the water. My aunt’s house looks back at me, a giant yellow bow tied to the front door.
“Blake, you didn’t!” My eyes are wide as I turn back to him.
“I fucking did!” He laughs when my mouth drops open.
“But how? Mum and Dad sold it last week. They signed the papers.”
“Yeah. So did I.”
“You mean, you own it?” I study his face and blow out a breath. “I know you’re doing well with your show and everything. But a house, Blake? You bought my aunt’s house? You own it now?”
“No. You own it.” He smiles at me.
“What are you talking about? I didn’t sign anything.”
“Not yet. But I’m pretty sure if you agree to this, then it makes it just as much your name on that paperwork as it is mine.”
“What are you talking abo—?”
My words freeze in the air as he pulls out another box from behind one of the vases. This one is a dark green velvet. My eyes fill with tears as he lifts the lid and I see the giant yellow diamond ring inside.
He looks at me with such love and adoration in his eyes that I think someone is about to shout “Cut!” and I’m going to find out it’s all an act. A make-believe fairy-tale being filmed, and not my life. Not my actual life. I stare back at him, my mouth wide open.
“Marry me, Daisy. Marry me and stay with me. Have fur babies with us.” His eyes dart to Betsy and back to me. “Have human babies with me. Just say you’ll never leave again. I love you with everything I have, and I always will. That I promise you.”
“God,” I sob, nodding as I hold out my hand and he slides the ring onto my finger.
“No. It’s Blake.” He chuckles.
I laugh and then launch myself at him, knocking him and a vase of flowers over. He falls down on his back against the jetty, with me on top of him. The water from the upturned vase runs across the jetty, washing some daisies into the lake where they float on the surface of the water.
Warmth spreads in my chest as I bring my eyes back to him and wrap my arms around him.
“Is that a yes, then?”
“It’s a hell yes!” I laugh, as he pulls me down into a kiss. I sigh as his tongue finds mine.
He loves me, he loves me not.
I know for a fact Blake loves me. He’s taken every broken and battered part of me and slotted it back together. Where my soul felt like it was missing a part, he planted love there, and let it grow.
He is everything.
As I get lost in our kiss, I hear Betsy jump to her feet, skittering across the boards to join in. She licks us both all over the face before we can move away.
“Stop!” Blake calls out as she lands one right on his mouth.
I wrap an arm around her, pulling her into a group hug, being careful of her swollen tummy. She only has a week or two left until the puppies are due.
My heart swells as I look at them both.
This moment, right here…
This is what paradise looks like.