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He had to pause because the emotion and relief and hope that flooded him took away his ability to speak for a second.

“I mean, I know it’s a big deal to go on vacay together when we hardly know each other, but it doesn’t have to be any sort of pressure or anything,” she said softly, letting him see the emotion and hope in her eyes. But there were nerves too. She was worried he’d say no.

“Yes,” he said.

“Yes, you’re okay with no pressure or yes to—”

“Yes to all of it,” he said. “Everything. Whatever you want.” And then he sealed the vow with a kiss.


Cabo was everything Napa hadn’t been. Warm, sunny . . . perfect, Lotti thought on a dreamy sigh. Sean had upgraded their accommodations to a villa with a private pool and its own access to the beach. He said he’d done it because he wanted to go skinny-dipping with her, but she knew there was another reason as well.

He didn’t want anything to remind her of the honeymoon this trip had been planned for, showing another surprising side to Sean O’Riley. A sweet side.

There were other ways in which he’d made sure that this trip didn’t remind her of anything in her past. Of course, most of those ways had occurred in bed. And on the kitchenette counter. And the patio lounger. And the shower . . .

At the moment, she was on the lounger sunning while Sean was on the phone, checking in at home. She flopped over on her stomach and untied the back of her bikini so she wouldn’t get a tan line. The air was warm and salty and she could hear the waves, which lulled her into dozing off.

She woke up as two big, slightly callused hands ran up and down her body and smiled. “Mmm, Thor,” she murmured. “Don’t stop.”

A low, masculine growl had her smiling. “Don’t worry,” she murmured. “My boyfriend’s on the phone. We’ve got plenty of time.”

She squeaked when she was lifted in the air and tossed over Sean’s shoulder like a sack of potatoes and carried toward the pool.

“Oh no,” she said, laughing. “I can’t get my hair wet before we go out to dinner.”

He didn’t slow down.

“Sean! I’m not kidding! You’re closing in on batshit crazy if you think I’ve time to fix this mop before those fancy reservations you made—”

He was still moving and all she could see was the smooth, sinewy expanse of his tanned back and those low-riding board shorts emphasizing his great ass. “Stop!” She was laughing so hard she could scarcely talk. “Sean, wait! I take it back! You’re not closing in on batshit crazy . . .”

He paused in his progress and slid a hand to her ass. “No?”

“No,” she said. “I’d never imply that you’d do anything halfway.” She paused. “You’re completely batshit crazy.”

His shoulders were shaking with laughter as he put her down on the top step inside the pool. The water was a perfect seventy-eight degrees so she felt no twinge of guilt when she smiled up at him sweetly, sexily, making a promise with her eyes, causing him to smile at her in return as she . . .

Shoved him backward into the pool.

It would’ve been the perfect move if he hadn’t been as fast as a cat, a big, bad mountain cat who snagged her around the ankle and took her in with him.

She laughed at the shock of the water and was still laughing when he kissed her. It was one of those kisses that started off sweet but then escalated quickly. Her bikini top was floating away on the water before she could blink and Sean slid his tongue over a taut nipple, making goose bumps race along her skin.

“Give me a chance,” he said against her lips.

She pulled back to meet his gaze, having to blink a couple of times before the words he’d spoken could sink in. “What?”

He cupped her face in the palm of his hand. His thumb stroked over her cheekbone as he studied her eyes. “I want you to give me a chance.”

“A chance at what?”

Shifting so that he could press his forehead to hers, he said one word. “You.”

Her breath caught. “Sean,” she breathed.

“Because you’ve got me,” he said. “All of me. I’m falling in love you, Lotti, heart and soul. I know it’s too soon for you. I know you’re scared. I know you’re not sure about me. I know it’s going to take time, but I’ve got that to give and more. I can wait. You’re worth it.”

She couldn’t tear her gaze off him, this incredible, amazing man who’d had her heart from all those years ago. “We must both be crazy.”

“Because . . . ?”

“Because I’m falling for you too, Sean.” There were other words that needed to be said. A lot. They’d have to talk more, but she had that one thing of his that she had begun to crave. His heart. And for now that was enough.