One Year later . . .
I turn into the driveway at Wishing Well Ranch and take a deep breath.
Fuck it feels good to be home. It’s been two weeks on the road. Which is about fourteen days longer than I want to be away from Summer.
But I’m happy. I’m fulfilled. I’ve got it all. My health. A job coaching on the WBRF circuit. And the girl of my fucking dreams waiting for me a couple minutes down this gravel road.
She better be naked. Naked and ready. I can feel myself swell in my jeans at the prospect. At the thought of our video chats while I’ve been away.
Usually, this gig only takes me away for a few days at a time. I fly in and I fly out, but I gave a clinic between weekend events this time to a bunch of young up-and-comers. It was fun.
But I miss my girl something fierce.
The road winds past the main house and then merges with a newer portion. Our portion. At the end of this driveway is our house. And I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of referring to it that way.
The only thing more satisfying would be being able to call Summer my wife.
“Mm,” I hum and slap my hand against the steering wheel of my new truck. The one Summer made me buy because it’s “safer.” And because the old one kept breaking down because I never found the time to do any work on it.
But I think the new truck is worth it if only because it means that when I pull up to the newly constructed bungalow to see my girl sitting on the front steps next to . . .
My old truck.
But not my old truck. Because the one she’s sitting next to is painted the prettiest blue. A steely blue.
The blue of my mom’s eyes in my favorite picture of her.
The sight of it winds me. The girl I wish my mom could have met. Sitting next to a truck that now reminds me of her—that she bought for someone she loved.
In the strangest way, it seems like so much more than a pretty girl sitting next to a pretty truck.
Pulling up, I park beside it and step out on wobbly legs. Jaw hanging as I stare at the vehicle beside me. The bridge of my nose feels awfully tingly, and my vision is only slightly blurred when Summer walks around the front of it, small hand trailing across the hood. Simple white tank top and cut-off jeans making her look effortlessly sexy. The best thing she’s wearing though is the soft look in her eyes and the tentative smile on her lips.
“Did I do okay?”
My lips press together as I try to suck in a centering breath. My gaze bounces between her and the truck. “Okay? Summer this is . . . how did you pull this off? Is this even the same truck? Does it run?”
She treads closer, bare feet on the freshly paved driveway. And before I know it, she’s wedged herself underneath my arm, hand slung in the back pocket of my Wranglers as we stand there hip to hip staring at my new truck.
She laughs quietly and just stares for a moment. “Yes, it’s the same truck. Every time you’ve been away this season, I’ve taken it into the shop to have them work on it.” A choked laugh bubbles up in my chest and she tilts her head against me, painting herself flush against my side. “I hated you being gone for two weeks, but it was the perfect opportunity for the guys to finish it up.”
“Wow.” She’s struck me nearly speechless. This was so far down my to-do list that I didn’t even see it coming. I knew I wanted it. One day. After the house was finished, and there were a couple adorable little Summer clones running around the yard.
“Is the color right? I spent a lot of time looking at pictures of her. Trying to find just the right shade.”
I wish I could say something to that, but I’m too choked up. So, I just fold her into a hug, take a deep inhale of the scent on her skin—cherries, always cherries—and whisper into the crook of her neck, “It’s perfect, Princess. And so are you.”
Life has never been better.
Work. Family. House. Truck.
The fact that Summer is on top of me. Riding me. Hips swiveling, head tilted back, dainty hands massaging her breasts, sporting a light sheen of sweat all over her golden skin. Her lips are slightly parted, and that’s where my eyes snag. Puffy and pink and making the most delicious fucking whining noises.
She looks like a fucking goddess in the harsh afternoon light.
I’ve never loved her more.
“Did you miss me, Princess?” I ask, gripping her hips just above where those little creases form.
She stares down at me, eyes brimming with desire, cheeks rosy, hair in the messiest of buns. I remember the first day we met. Her bun was so tight that it looked borderline painful as she sat across from me in that boardroom.
But that was a year ago. And my girl has changed a lot since then. She’s all undone right now—just the way I like her. Undone and riding my cock.
“Yes, so much. I’m coming next time.”
I think I love her more with each passing moment.
A deep rumble in my chest sounds as I reach to rub at her clit. “You’re a business owner now. Can’t go following your boyfriend around the country.”
She stops now, glaring down at me. “Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do.”
I especially love her when she gives me attitude.
I thrust up with a smirk. “Ride harder.” I rub more firmly at her clit, knowing she won’t be able to resist moving again if I do.
I smile when I’m right. She moves again with a playful little shake of her head. “Such a good girl, Summer. Ride it.”
She moans, eyes fluttering shut. “I’m coming next time.”
“Baby, you’re coming a few seconds from now. Let’s see those tits bounce. Go harder. Take it all.”
“Fuck,” she breathes as her head tips back, the sun catching her hair and making it shimmer. I let my hand trail up her body, her waist, the light line in her abdomen from spending her days working out.
I stop when my palm rests on the scar over her chest. And now, the look she gives me is soft, full of love and tenderness. I spent two weeks on the road and she’s acting like I was gone for months on end.
“I hated being away from you,” I confess, loving the way her lips tip up when I say shit like that. “But I love you. And I love watching you come on my cock. Let me watch. Let me see it. Let me hear it.”
She bites down on her puffy bottom lip, and I almost explode on the spot. When she nods, I double my efforts, thrusting up to meet her, circling more tightly on her clit. Her wet heat clenches on me.
And then she’s crying out, “Rhett!” with her head tipped back, lashes fluttering shut, looking like a goddamn angel. It’s still the best sound in the world. And I follow, hand still on her heart, shooting up into her, while she falls forward on to me murmuring, “I love you.”
“So fucking good,” I murmur back, feeling like I should pinch myself. Like I have no idea how I stumbled into having a woman like Summer choose a man like me.
But that’s just it. We’re here, choosing each other every damn day. And I want to choose her for the rest of my life.
I’d have married her that day in the stands when I retired. Right there. On the fucking spot. But I’m greedy like that, and I know she needed time to sort her life out. Hell, I needed time to sort my life out.
Her sister still won’t talk to her. And that’s a wound I so desperately wish I could fix for her. But I can’t. Not yet anyway. And her stepmom is lucky she doesn’t come around because I’d have more than a few words for someone who’s as cruel to my girl as Marina is to Summer. But she and her dad are closer than ever. And everyone in my family—hell, my entire town—loves her to pieces.
She’s become the golden girl of Chestnut Springs since buying out the local gym and transforming it into Hamilton Athletics. The place geared toward training athletes. Or torturing grown men as I like to call it.
It’s good for our small economy. And the ladies from town love it. They say they’re going for a Pilates class, but really just sit around and stare at the hockey players and bull riders who train there during their off-seasons.
Summer flops forward and kisses me, warm and damp and smelling like cherries, fingers tangling in my hair. “I said I love you.”
“I love you too, Princess. You know I do.” I feel her smile against the skin of my chest before she rolls off me with a satisfied sigh.
I press a kiss to the scar on her chest and get up to get a warm cloth.
Over the sound of the running water, I hear her voice. “How much?”
Chuckling as I walk out of the bathroom, I catch sight of her, and the air in my lungs stills. She’s heart-stopping, sprawled on our king-sized mattress. Right now, it’s just a mattress on the floor. The unfinished floor. And she’s surrounded by drywall that needs painting.
Our expansive rancher is definitely not complete yet, but we couldn’t wait to move in. I was sick of her living in the studio loft above her gym. We built on our favorite hookup spot. The spot where we’d drive “the rust bucket”—as my truck has become lovingly known—toss a blanket in the back and make love under the stars. This spot has the best view of the mountains—and that’s what Summer wanted.
And I want her with me all the time. It’s fucking consuming. But she’s my favorite human in the world. After a certain amount of time together, other people usually get on my nerves.
But not Summer. She’s my person. And I’m hers. Two halves of the same whole.
“Tell me. Tell me how much you love me.” Her lips tip up and her eyes dance.
“Woman, I’m wiping you with a hot washcloth after sex. That’s how much I love you.”
“Tell me more.”
I crouch down beside her and get to wiping, mind racing as I do, dick filling again being this close to her pussy.
I feel her eyes on me. She’s waiting for me to say more.
I slide her lacy thong back up her legs, because she looks fucking fantastic in expensive lingerie. “Turn over. I’ll show you.”
Her lips twist, questions dancing in her eyes, but she relents with a sigh, showing me her beautiful round ass.
I can’t help but pop a nice loud smack on it before walking back across the room to chuck the cloth in the hamper, pull on a pair of sweats, and reach for the bag I dropped in the bedroom before losing all my clothes with her. Swiping a pen, I walk back over to her, catching the curious glance she gives me over her shoulder.
“Okay. Pay very close attention, Princess.”
She giggles and nods her head. “Okay.”
I straddle her, and it’s a terrible idea, because all I can think about is sliding my dick between her legs. But I focus, uncapping the pen.
And then I start writing. Connecting the dots on her back the way I often do with the pad of my finger when we lay together. Her back is like the night sky, full of constellations. She and I really are binary stars, stuck in each other’s orbit, drawn together by forces we can’t see or understand—but that we can feel.
What I’m writing today is four words. And I swear I can almost hear her thinking, her body just a little bit tense, her head canted as she tries to decipher it.
“There,” I say, right as I finish.
“Rhett?” She turns to glance over her shoulder now, but her eyes are less playful this time. More watery. “Did you just write what I think you did?”
I shrug and grin at her. “Guess you’ll have to go look.”
She shoots off the bed, and I watch her take quick steps across what is basically a construction zone, toward the bathroom. The creases under her ass, the lace framing it, and the words Will you marry me? written on her back.
It’s so fucking satisfying.
I dart to my bag and grab the velvet box I hid. I go fast, not wanting to miss the expression on her face when she sees it.
My eyes trace her as she turns her back to the small temporary mirror in the ensuite bathroom. She casts a glance over her shoulder and then . . .
She smiles that little smirk that used to piss me off and now drives me wild. She doesn’t even turn my way. She just stands there, staring at her reflection, smiling.
I drop to one knee and hold up the ring in my hand—a canary solitaire with smaller diamond points to make it look like a star—and I might as well be holding up my heart.
Because this girl owns every bit of me. And she has from the first day she smirked at me.
When Summer turns back to me, her smile grows larger. She doesn’t even glance at the ring, she just stands there staring at me, her irises dancing with mine and speaking a language only the two of us know.
“Yes.” She nods, tears springing up now.
“Princess, please don’t cry.” She pads closer to me, wrapping her arms around me and pressing my head to her chest. Her heart beats are loud, strong and steady, and so fucking sure. Just like I am of this—of her.
“They’re happy tears.”
I reach up, swiping a stray tear from her cheek. “I still hate them. But I’m glad you’re happy. If these were your last moments, would you go happy?”
Taking her hand in mine, I slide the ring onto her finger, loving how perfectly it suits her.
We both spend a few seconds staring at it. Admiring it—but maybe more admiring what it means.
She grips my head, rubbing her thumbs across my beard. “Yeah, but this won’t be my last moment. I’ve got too many things I want to do with you first.”
A huge grin bursts across my face and I surge up, scooping her into my arms. I carry her back toward the mattress.
“Me too, Princess. Like take you to the main house and introduce the future Mrs. Eaton. Maybe make out with you at The Spur tonight so that everyone talks about it. But first,” I toss her down onto the bed, thriving on the watery giggle that escapes her. “First, I’m going to spend the afternoon listening to you scream my name.”
She laughs and holds her hand up to gaze at her ring. Looking so fucking happy.
And seeing her happy?
Seeing her happy is everything.
And I’m happy too, because I get to be stuck in her orbit for the rest of my life.