I lean against the side of the yellow sports car. After Blade and I got married, he had Gabby fix it up for me. It’s in the shop more often than not, but I haven’t been able to let it go. It’s not about how much money I paid for the car. It’s about how the car led me to finding my delicious mountain man.
Now, I fan myself with my hand in the late afternoon humidity. Even with the sun above me causing beads of moisture to roll down my back, nothing could move me from this spot.
As soon as I hear the low hum of the truck engine, I have to fight a grin. Instead, I school my features into my best scowl. I put my hands on my hips and wait.
Sure enough, Blade’s truck chugs up the mountain and slows behind my car. He’s out of the vehicle within seconds. I take a moment to admire how fine he looks in that white T-shirt stretched tight across his shoulders. It hugs his belly that’s become a little more pronounced since we had three beautiful daughters. He’s just as active, but now his activities involve chasing around our three princesses and attending impromptu tea parties.
I drag my gaze up to his face, loving the big, thick beard that’s now peppered with silver. But his dark eyes are still the same. They shine with love and affection when he looks at me. Today, they shine with even more appreciation than normal as he prowls toward me like a predator on the hunt.
He’s probably taking in my short skirt and tank top. The outfit doesn’t quite fit the way it used to. Since having three babies, my body has changed in a lot of ways. But it’s hard to care about the extra weight and the stretch marks when Blade has made it so abundantly clear that he adores my body and the way it’s brought three little lives into the world.
As I expected, heat sparks in his gaze when he sees the red heels. They’ve been shoved into the back of the closet for a couple of years now. It’s not that Blade and I don’t play together anymore. We still do, all the time.
Last week, Blade spent a day tracking me through the forest. It reminded me of how we first came together, and it made me remember all those things that make us who we are as a couple.
We’ve come so far. As expected, my book was turned into a movie, and it became a global phenomenon. It launched the careers of all the young, unknown actors who starred in it, and the franchise has made us very wealthy.
Blade eventually gave up narrating. At least, narrating books for anyone but me. I didn’t ask him to. He made the decision one day that he only woman he wants to work with is his wife. I’m not going to lie. I swooned a little when he said that.
“Are you lost, sweetheart?” He licks his lips as he looks me up and down. I don’t think he even realizes he’s doing it. Blade is wildly attracted to me, and he’s not afraid to show it. I know without a doubt that he finds me beautiful. He always wants me, even if we have to sneak in a few minutes while the girls are watching their favorite TV show.
“My husband should be along any minute now.” I try my best to look scornful and unaffected by his presence. But that’s nearly impossible because everything about this man lights me up.
“And he lets you walk around like that? Looking good enough to devour?” There’s no mistaking the feral glint in his eye or what’s about to come next.
I fake a left and for once, he moves left. He misses me by inches, and I dart away from him into the canopy of nearby trees. Unfortunately, I didn’t think this through. I should have put on my running shoes, but I couldn’t resist making Blade look at me like that again.
He captures me easily, dragging me down to the forest floor where he has his wicked way with me. After he’s satisfied us both multiple times, he stretches out on the grass. My head is resting on his shoulder, and I inhale his masculine scent.
“Happy anniversary, sweetheart,” Blade says as he strokes my hair. He’s stretched out in the sun, a powerful lion that’s been sated. He has been for now, but he’ll be hungry again soon. The thought has a shiver running down my spine. I don’t think we’ll ever get enough of each other, and I love that.
“Ten years,” I whisper. It’s been ten years of love, laughter, and joy. So much joy. Blade lives to make me and our girls happy. He’s always doing things to delight us, like the way he built them a playhouse for their birthday and then spent the afternoon decorating it for the perfect tea party. After, he grilled hotdogs, and we sat at the river for a family dinner.
Sometimes, my parents travel and join us for a weekend. The girls delight their grandparents, and even though I had some stuff to work through with them, the three of us have a great relationship now. They dote on their granddaughters and love Blade for the way he loves us.
“I got you a gift,” I tell him. He loves watching my belly grow round and getting to spoil me for nine months. He spoils me all the time, of course. But there’s something about when I’m carrying his baby, that sends everything about the man into overdrive.
He quirks an eyebrow. “I know. I enjoyed it.”
I smack his chest. “Not that.”
He tucks a strand of hair behind my ear and the smile he gives me is filled with pure love and male satisfaction. “There’s nothing else I need but you. You and our girls.”
“How about more daughters?” I asked him once if he wished he had sons instead of daughters. He told me how much he adores each of our girls, how they are miracles that he loves with his whole heart.
“We could make that happen.” He waggles his eyebrows. “You know I’ll do anything for the sake of our family.”
I chuckle, even though it’s not a joke. Blade would do anything for us. As it is, he rarely does anything for himself, and he never asks for anything. He’s a selfless husband and father whose only concern is what he can do to make our lives better and easier.
“You’ve already done it.” I take his hand and put it on my stomach.
His eyes grow round, softening with even more affection. He leans his head and presses a gentle kiss to my belly. “Hi, little one.”
He always talks to our babies when they’re in my belly. He reads them stories and sings them songs and tells them how much he loves them. Then the moment they’re here in the world with us, he keeps doing that. He never stops. He showers on his children all the love, support, and affection that he didn’t receive as a boy.
Tears prick my eyes as I marvel at how such a little boy became a man with a heart this big. “Actually, it’s little ones.”
He looks up at me, and I didn’t think it was possible, but his grin grows even wider. “Are you saying twins?”
“Remember how I went to the doctor yesterday?” I thought maybe I had an infection because I keep waking in the night to use the bathroom.
“Well, turns out I don’t have an infection. Just three of your big babies sitting on my bladder.” The news shocked me to my core since I wasn’t expecting to be pregnant with even one baby. I would have told Blade the moment I came home, except he’d already gone to bed because of a migraine.
“Three?” He gasps out the word.
“Three. All girls.” I don’t know how we keep getting so lucky as to have so many beautiful children. I told Blade early on in our marriage that I wanted as many children as our bodies could make. He didn’t flinch. He didn’t even look surprised. He told me that he loves my big heart.
“Healthy?” It’s always been his top concern with every pregnancy. He wants to know that me and our children are healthy and safe.
“All with a clean bill of health and their mama too.” Tears fall from my eyes. Every day with Blade, I feel so lucky and amazed. He’s given me more than his last name, daughters, or even a cabin. He’s given me a family.
He captures one of the tears on his finger. “Are these happy ones?”
I cup his face, wanting him to know how incredibly happy he’s made me. How happy he always makes me. “Thanks to you.”
He purrs. “It’ll always be that way. For as long as there’s breath in my body, my first thought—my only thought—will always be your well-being and happiness.”
My heart melts at his tender words. This man says the sweetest things to me. He’s always reassuring me of how much he cares for me and our little family. He does it with his words and his actions, constantly proving his devotion. “You make me happy.”
“I’m about to make you a lot happier,” he warns as he begins kissing his way down my body.
I laugh at his words and lean back, letting the sunshine fall over my face. It’s going to be another perfect afternoon with my mountain man right here in our little slice of heaven.
Can this innocent princess convince the wild mountain man to claim her curves and his rightful throne?
Rafe is falling for the princess who showed up at his door to insist he’s a prince. He’s no prince, but he’ll show her a good time! Pre-order Engaged to the Mountain Man now!