The crazy author says: This random brain vomit happens AFTER the series so don’t read it and be all like, “Nooooo, it’s a spoiler!!!” cuz I’ll be like, “Yesssss, I tried to warn ya!!!”
I shifted slightly, hoping to alleviate the strain on my hip. When that didn’t work, I ignored the dull ache and skimmed my knuckles across Jackson’s tiny shoulder blades. “I love you, buddy.”
He blew the most adorable spit bubble and grabbed my other hand. Ten perfect fingers wrapped around my thumb as he tugged it to his mouth.
“Hungry, hm?” I chuckled.
Thank God he wasn’t teething yet or else it’d be a bloodbath. Starvation had transformed my sweet-tempered newborn into a ravenous cannibal.
I cradled him closer to my heart, right where he belonged. “Mommy’s just putting your sister to bed and then…”
There was a sudden click, followed by a blinding flash of light.
Shielding his face, I squinted in my wife’s general direction. You’d think my eyes would have learned to adapt to the constant abuse. Developed some sort of automatic defense mechanism against photographic threats.
But four years into my double life sentence, I was still seeing stars. “You could at least warn me before you do that.”
“Glad you’re willing to compromise,” I muttered.
“Candid shots are my favorite.” She wasn’t lying.
And I wasn’t done with the sarcasm, “Really? I hadn’t noticed.”
Giggling, the blurry sadist bent to pick my fallen foot up off the floor. She returned my leg to the couch, which felt infinitely better, and paused to give my hip a gentle rub…
Which made me forget why the hell I was supposed to be annoyed.
Not that it mattered. By the time her camera had been set on the armrest above my head and our son was being stolen from my chest, I’d regained the majority of my vision anyway.
Breathing was an entirely different issue though.
I turned to the side and pushed onto an elbow, watching her settle into my empty wheelchair. When she lifted the hem of my borrowed t-shirt, Jackson didn’t need any encouragement. He latched on immediately.
Who could blame the kid?
I swallowed hard. “Yeah?”
No shit, Sherlock. “Of course, I’m staring.”
I couldn’t care less about making her uncomfortable. She needed to be stared at. Placed on a pedestal. Worshipped every second of every day.
On every single level of fucking worship.
The crazy girl deserved to know exactly how beautiful she was. I owed her the truth, “It can’t be helped.”
She went silent.
For so long I thought maybe she’d checked out on me. One glimpse at those impossibly dark eyes said the complete opposite.
And sent me reeling into a tailspin.
A raging inferno burned bright from within the endless void. Inescapable. All-consuming. The heat behind her midnight gaze scorched my godforsaken soul.
“Quit looking at me like that,” I growled.
“Like you want something you shouldn’t.”
She bit her lip. “Mmm, but I do.”
I glanced at our barely-three-week-old son, who was happily feeding on a luscious piece of heaven, and shook my head.
“I feel fine, Cale.”
Yeah, I bet she does.
My sanity might’ve flown the coop, but my willpower was holding steady. “It’s too soon.”
“We’ll be careful,” she promised.
“I’ll ride you slow and put you down easy, okay?”
As her sultry purr rattled my bones, seeping through to the marrow, I leaned forward and gave Jackson an apologetic kiss. “Ponies. I swear Mommy’s talking about cute, innocent ponies.” We won’t mention the dead part.
“Daddy’s a liar. Mommy only rides stallions. Bareback.”
Jesus Christ. “Stop talking.”
“Is that a yes?”
“I’m sorry, little guy.” I kissed him twice more. It wasn’t nearly enough. “You have terrible parents.”
Laughing, she mussed my hair. “That’s totally a yes.”