“What are you thinking about, Mrs. Taylor?” My sexy husband’s voice rumbles behind me. He’s playing with the zipper at the back of my wedding dress. He keeps taking it down inch by agonizing inch.
All of our friends and family are at the wedding reception that’s winding down. We’d planned to get married early in the day but when my best friend and bridesmaid, Justice was in an accident, we postponed it for a few hours. I was prepared to cancel, but Justice said she was fine after my brother found her. He’s been helping me out by keeping an eye on her ever since.
Cash and I stepped away from the reception long enough to change into our travel clothes. We’re going away on our honeymoon tonight. Sure, the day didn’t turn out exactly as we planned but I still married my hot cowboy. That’s all that matters to me.
I hold out my hand with the diamond that shines in the light. It’s an oval cut seven carat diamond engagement ring. I didn’t need something this big, but Cash insisted. I told him that he might as well have peed on my leg to claim ownership. That’s what this monstrous diamond was really about.
My husband is a possessive man. It sends a thrill through me to get to even call him that. “I’m thinking,” I tell him as I study the diamond, “that I should have held out for something bigger.”
He growls even though he knows I’m teasing him. I would have married this man even if he had offered me an engagement ring from a gumball machine. It’s not about the jewelry. It’s about our love. “I would have put a rock the size of Texas on your finger if I’d thought you’d be able to lift your pretty little hand.”
I chuckle because I don’t think he’s joking. “The problem is you set the bar too high early on. Now what are you going to have left to surprise me with for Christmas?”
I can’t wait to celebrate our first Christmas together. Actually, there are a lot of holidays I can’t wait to celebrate with him. I mean, we celebrated together in the past since he’s best friends with my brother, Jack. But it was different. These will be our first celebrations as husband and wife.
“Do you honestly think I don’t have something up my sleeve already?” He finally works the zipper all the way down and cool air greets my back. He ghosts his fingertips along my spine, sending a shiver through me.
I lean into his touch. “No one would know.”
“We’re already late for our flight,” he reminds me as he gently helps me shrug out of the dress. He places it on the bed carefully. We’re in his old bedroom, and it’s fun seeing these glimpses of the boy he used to be. That boy grew up into a man that’s incredibly patient, loving, and kind.
“I still think we should start the honeymoon early. Maybe give ourselves a little preview,” I turn to him in my red lace bra set and smile innocently. We’ve only been together for two weeks, but I hope we never lose this hunger for each other.
His normally chestnut gaze is a deep brown now, the way it always is when he wants me. I’m certain that he’s going to reach for me just as a knock sounds on the door.
“Who is it?” Cash calls as he grabs my honeymoon dress. He helps me shrug into it quickly. It’s not fair that I didn’t get to help him change out of his fancy suit. He’d already done that when I was using the bathroom. Now he’s in dark blue jeans and a t-shirt with the Taylor ranch’s logo. I know what I’ll be sleeping in tonight.
“It’s Jack. Can I come in?”
I exchange a worried look with Cash as he tells him to enter. I hope that Justice is all right. I’d feel bad for not watching over her tonight except I know Jack has had eyes on her. If anything, he’s been looking at her the same way Cash looks at me. I can only hope this means I’ll be Justice’s bridesmaid soon.
“I’m taking Justice home tonight, but I wanted to see my baby sister off first.” The first two buttons of his dress shirt are open, and his tie is stuffed in his pocket. I’m not surprised. Jack always hated dressing up even when we were kids.
“It seemed like you two were connecting at the wedding,” Cash teases. They kept sending each other longing glances.
Jack doesn’t say anything. All of his time working overseas missions in dangerous, remote parts of the world has given him a damn good poker face. But for once, I wish I could read him. Instead, he focuses his attention on me. “Are you happy, squirt?”
Cash growls behind me. His every moment is dedicated to my happiness. He’d cut off one of his own limbs before he’d let me be unhappy for even a moment.
“I’ve never been happier,” I promise my brother before I throw my arms around him. I give him a big hug, thankful for this man who stepped up and raised me after my mom passed away. He was there for me when no one else was.
When he steps away from my embrace, I swear there’s moisture in his gaze. But he just pins Cash with a stare. “You take care of her.”
“Always.” Cash grabs him in a hug too. It’s one of those quick hugs that guys do where they thump each other on the back really hard. I still don’t know what they mean but I think it’s a sign of affection.
“Thanks for taking care of Justice,” I call after him.
He nods, giving me another look I can’t decipher before he leaves the room. We follow him and spend the last few minutes of our reception, getting more hugs and congratulations from our family.
When we’re finally in our truck on the way to the airport, I lean back into the seat and let out a little sigh.
Cash threads his fingers through mine. His touch sends tingles down my arm. I wish he weren’t driving and that we didn’t have a schedule to keep. I’d much rather pull him into the first hotel we happen across. “How was your first day as Mrs. Taylor?”
“Perfect. I married the man of my dreams.” I don’t know what our future together holds. I don’t know how we’ll build our family. I don’t even know if I’ll ever get pregnant. But I do know that the older cowboy next to me will be by my side no matter what happens. Cash is my rock, the one person I can count on. He’ll be with me always.
If you enjoyed Cash and Summer’s story, you’ll love Jack’s too. He’s the protective cowboy who’s determined to defend his little sister’s best friend.
She’s in danger now and with my special skills, I’m the only one who can keep her safe. It’s a good thing too. As soon as this is resolved, I’ll show Justice that this protective cowboy will never let her go.