Resisting Mr. Rich: Chapter 38

Logan

head abates as my senses return.

I pat my pockets, looking for my phone. Shit, I must have lost it in the water. My pace falters. I have two choices. Go back to the yacht to ask to use one onboard. Or try to find a cab who will accept a soaking wet passenger whose world has just ended.

“Jesus,” I mutter.

“Stop!”

The sound is so faint, the breeze almost carries it away.

“Stop! Please!”

I look back over my shoulder, my breath leaving my lungs.

Maddy’s running.

No, she’s sprinting.

“Logan! Wait! Please!”

My heart stops in the few remaining seconds it takes for her to reach me. She throws herself against me, her arms wrapping around my neck and her legs encircling my waist.

“Don’t go!” she sobs into my neck, her body shaking uncontrollably. “I want the new story too.” Her sobs turn into hiccups as her cries are muffled against my skin. “I want our story.”

“Mads.” I hold her to me, dragging in splintered breaths as she falls apart in my arms.

“I’m sorry I put my apartment up for sale and left without saying goodbye. I’m sorry I—”

“You did what? You’re selling it?”

My stomach drops to my feet.

She was never planning on coming back.

“It’s not worth anywhere near what you needed. But I thought if Sterling said no, then at least it would be something.”

“You love that place. That’s your home, Mads.”

She clings to me harder. “I couldn’t be there anymore without seeing you everywhere. Without remembering the way you kissed me there. The way I knew that I’ve fallen in…” She falters. “I’m sorry, Logan. You were meant to hate me. You were meant to hate me and move on.”

“There’s no space in my heart to hate you. Even if I’d believed for one second that your email was real, I still wouldn’t have hated you.”

I ease her back so I can look into her eyes.

“My heart’s too full, Mads,” I confess. “Too fucking full of love for you.”

“No.”

“Yes.”

“No.”

“Yes.” I rest my forehead against hers. “You don’t get your own way over this. I read your article,” I say softly. “The real one. Every single word. I read it over and over on the flight here. It’s amazing. You’re so talented.”

“Log—”

“I’m not marrying Gabrielle.”

She tries to protest, but I slide a thumb to her lips to stop her from speaking.

“Would you still want me if I was the kind of husband who always had to borrow a coin to make a wish in fountains?”

“You do that anyway.” Her voice softens but it’s still joined by the line between her brows pulling deep into her skin. “Husband?”

I trace her lower lip with the pad of my thumb.

“If you swear to me you’ll never run from us again, then that’s where it’s headed. I know you love stories, Mads. You love the fairy tale, the happy ending. Things are happening with the business. So much is changing. And I hope it’s enough. But if it isn’t, I need you to know that I’ll fight to get it back. To get it for you. But until then, all I can promise you is the kind of love that makes me want to create our own language. Just for us. So I can write it for you. Whisper it to you. Give you something that no one else can.”

My chest cracks in the center as I wait for her reaction. Don’t push me away, baby. I can’t take it anymore.

She sniffs, gifting me with a small, perfect curl of her lips. “If this is a fairy tale, then are you the prince?”

I let out the breath I’m holding, blinking back the stinging in my eyes as relief and hope thread together inside me, strengthening the parts that were weakened when she left.

“You bet I fucking am.”

Princepe,” she whispers, her lips curling a little higher before they stall their movements and form a sad smile instead. “I spent so many years hating you. I never gave myself the chance to get to know the real you.”

“The real me can still be a dick.”

“You still didn’t deserve to be hated for something that was never your fault,” she whispers.

I run my thumb over her bottom lip again. She sucks in a breath as my eyes follow its path, and I dust it back and forth.

“It doesn’t matter now.”

“It does.” Her voice wobbles. “I hated you. I—”

“And while you were busy hating me, I was busy falling in love with you, Mads. Deeper and deeper.” I bring my lips to hers. “I wouldn’t change a damn thing that led me to that. Led me to you.”

I curl my hand around her neck, pulling her to me. Her lips part the moment mine touch them, and she falls into me, kissing me back.

“Don’t cry.”

“I don’t deserve you.”

“Stop.”

“I don’t.” She kisses me harder.

“You’re wrong. But it doesn’t matter because you’ve got me anyway.”

“What about—?”

“I’m not marrying Gabrielle. Mum and Dad will be okay. They have the money they need to save the business.”

“But Spencer was adamant. I don’t understand how you convinced him.”

I press my lips to her forehead.

“I didn’t. Gabrielle did. She showed him a photograph of a little boy who lost his parents in the earthquake where she was working. A boy she’s adopting.”

Maddy frowns.

“I know. No one had any idea. She didn’t know how to tell Spencer. She thought all he cared about was a son-in-law that could manage the business and about having grandkids. Which is what he wants. Now he’s got it, mostly. Gabrielle is bringing the boy over to London to live with them.”

“But how did you get the money for your dad?”

“I sold the island… and I sold the patent for Vex to Spencer. Under the condition it’s to be put into the boy’s name and managed by Gabrielle until he’s eighteen.”

“You sold it?”

“I sold it,” I confirm. “It’s what I was pushing for before. But Spencer wasn’t interested. He was fixated on a family for Gabrielle and making her secure. A mix of his illness and losing his wife made him unable to see anything else, I guess.”

I stroke Maddy’s wet hair back from her face.

“We’re all getting what we want.”

“But Gabrielle was going to agree to marry you.”

“She loves her dad. And people do crazy things for love. Even if they’re hurting themselves in the process.” I give her a pointed look as my voice softens. “Don’t they?”

“When someone squirms their way into their heart, you mean?” She bites her bottom lip, so close to smiling I realize I’m holding my breath waiting to see it.

“Champion squirmer right here.” I press a kiss to her lips.

“Do you think Drew will be happy about us? Or will we have to hold his hand through it,” she murmurs as she kisses me back.

“You fucking won’t be holding anyone’s hands except mine,” I growl, causing her to narrow her eyes at me in question. “Don’t worry.” I smile. “Just something he said.”

“I can’t believe you sold Vex. It’s your dream.” Her hands trace their way from my shoulders and up the sides of my neck. I groan as she slides them into my hair and strokes my scalp.

“I’ll still be running it. I don’t care whose name is on the paperwork. I care about seeing it happen. It’s going to change the future of engineering. The way that we do things. The rest of it, having my name on it, that would just be for ego.”

Maddy arches one brow.

“Yeah, fuck, okay.” I smirk. “But I still get to play with rockets. I’m still cool.”

“You are.” She smiles.

She finally fucking smiles, and the sight steals my breath.

I pull her back and put my lips on her forehead.

“I am so in love with you, Maddox Harper. So stupidly in love with you.”

“Logan…” Her voice drops to a whispered sob. “Your happiness means everything to me. I… I don’t know how to tell you, to show you that. Nothing is enough, nothing is…”

The thought of her crying again makes every muscle in my body clench.

“Hey.” I place my fingers beneath her chin and tilt her head so our eyes meet. “You think coming here to see Sterling and ask him for fifteen million isn’t a big enough gesture? You think selling your apartment to help me, isn’t?” I smile as I say the words, trying desperately to dissolve the weight she’s carrying inside her.

She lets out an uneven breath and warmth fills my chest as her voice lifts.

“I was shaking the whole way here. I was sure he’d say no.”

“But he didn’t.”

“No. He didn’t. But I told him everything. About Dad and what he did to Drew, how it made me feel about you all these years. How I feel now.”

“You’re amazing. You know that?”

Self-doubt and guilt fill her eyes. “I wanted to do it for you. I had to do something. It’ll never be enough though.”

“Stop. Please stop.”

The crease is back between her brows. I press my lips to it in a kiss.

“If I think of a way you can make it up to me, will you stop beating yourself up?”

“I’ll try.”

“Not good enough, Smiles. I want a promise.”

She smiles for the second time. And once again I’m breathless. Because after everything that’s happened, she must be mine.

I slant my mouth over hers and kiss her. She grips onto my collar and holds me to her as she whimpers against my mouth.

“Was that squeak a confirmation?”

She smiles as I kiss her.

“You’ve got to say it.” I run my tongue over hers before pausing our kiss. “Say it, Smiles.”

“I promise you,” she breathes.

“Good girl.”

I keep my hand on her face, the other cups her ass, holding her up against me. I stop myself from squeezing a handful of it, because I know where this will go if I do. I’ll be making her scream my name so loud that the whole marina hears. But now she’s here, in my arms again, it isn’t enough to bury myself inside her again. I need more. I want everything.

I break our kiss. Her lips are pink and swollen as she blinks at me.

“Technically, I still own the island for three more days until the sale finalizes.” I push a curl away from her eyes. “Come back there with me. Come back and fuck me on the staircase without telling me you hate me.”

She laughs suddenly. The sound makes my heart swell so much it’s in danger of exploding. But she stops abruptly when she looks into my eyes.

“You’re serious?”

“Not that the hate sex isn’t hot.” I rest my forehead against hers and trace a finger down her throat. “But I want the loving kind. I’ve never had it. Not with anyone. I want it. With you.” My finger stops over her heart, and I splay my palm over her skin.

She draws in a measured breath. “I’ve never had it before either.”

“Then be with me without hiding, Mads. Give me all of you. Please.”

She places her hand on my chest, mirroring my position. “You have all of me, Logan. I just didn’t know how to let you before.”

She smiles through a small sob, and I pull her back to me, kissing her, both of our hands firmly planted over the other’s heart.

“All of me. I promise,” she whispers.

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