Which is why I’m glad I actually have this room for another night. I’m not sure if Nova will end up staying with me or not, but it doesn’t mean I won’t try and convince her.

Until then, I just watch her sleep, loving how vulnerable she looks.

I know she has a big soft heart inside her, it just takes a bit of work to get to it.

But that’s what makes it worth it.

Maybe most guys would shy away from a complicated woman but I thrive on it. I like the challenge. I like that Nova isn’t a doormat and she isn’t a pushover. I like that she has ambitions and goals and doesn’t balk from hard work. Women like that should be praised. I hate to use the term strong, because strength comes in all shapes and forms, but she is strong, even if she thinks she’s not strong enough.

She just needs to open enough. I get how scary it is. I know I broke her heart before and it’s hard enough to open up to anyone, let alone someone like me. I know what happened with her sister is lodged somewhere deep inside her and she’s doing all she can to bury it or make peace with it or just try and live with it.

I don’t want to change a single part of her. I just want to be there with her, by her side, even if she tries to push me away. I just have to earn her trust again, if I even had it in the first place, and that’s going to take time.

Do I even have time?

That’s the question.

It’s January first.

I have less than two months to either win her over or keep my job, and then I might be sent packing with Hunter back to San Francisco. I’ll have my son but it’s starting to feel more like a family when I have Nova around.

Why are you worrying? Pay attention to what’s right in front of you. Pay attention to your life right now.

No regrets.

Nova slowly blinks her eyes open as if she heard my thoughts. It takes her a few moments to figure out where she is. We didn’t get that drunk last night, but it was a whirlwind of sex, and perhaps she thought it was all a dream.

“Hey,” I whisper to her.

She clears her throat. “Hey.” A slow smile appears on her lips, making her eyes dance. “Fancy seeing you here.”

“How did you sleep?”

“Good. With what little sleep I got.” She groans and rolls over, the blanket moving away from her chest and exposing her breasts, her nipples tightening in the air.

Dear lord, I thought maybe this morning we could order room service and talk, that I’d be way too worn out to do anything, but seeing her like this has me raring to go again.

“Kess,” she says dreamily. “I can feel your eyes on me.”

“Don’t you dare cover up those tits of yours,” I warn her, inching over. “They are exquisite.”

She looks up at me and laughs and it hits me deep in the gut.

Her laughter sounds so pure, her smile wide and open and I can’t help but think:

I have her.

I don’t dare ruin it.

“Come here,” I murmur to her, sliding over her body, the cool sheets slipping down my back as I envelop her. With my elbows planted on either side of her head, I peer down at her face, taking in every gorgeous feature as I gently brush her hair off her forehead.

“How are you so unbelievable?” I whisper, running the tip of my nose against hers.

“How so?” she says.

“First thing in the morning and you’re a glowing goddess. Tell me your secret.”

She giggles. “Well it might have something to do with what we were doing all night long.”

“Oh. So you’re saying I have something to do with it.”

She bites her lip and smiles. “You might have something to do with it.”

And you’re still here. You haven’t closed up. You haven’t run away.

I don’t dwell on those thoughts for long.

I kiss her, just the soft, teasing brush of my lips against hers, as sensual as a caress.

She opens her mouth to mine, almost timid, and I respond in kind. Our kiss turns wet and warm, like slowly entering a bath of silk, and the lazy, relaxed morning starts to fade away. It becomes ignited as our tongues stroke each other, the heat building inside us until it envelopes us both, fireworks after fireworks.

Her hands disappear into my hair and she tugs at my strands and I’m so damn hard, my cock a stiff rod between me and her soft belly. I know I have to go slow and take my time. I need to stretch this morning out into the next morning, and the next, until all of time just becomes her naked, writhing body in my bed.

I place small kisses on the corner of her lips, down her delicate jaw, down her neck to her collarbone where I gently nip. I shuffle backward on the bed to continue kissing down to her breasts, taking her nipples into my mouth and sucking hard before lapping up in round circles, pinching and squeezing and watching them harden before me.

It spurs me on like nothing else, especially when she starts shifting beneath me, her legs spreading, her moans as light as air, and I’m practically salivating for her.

While my fingers continue to work her breasts, I move further back still, my tongue snaking down her stomach in a long hot wet line until I’m at her hips. I smile to myself as I place my wide hands on either thigh and spread her legs wider, her gorgeous pussy opening up for me.

“Like I said, unbelievable,” I tell her. My words come out hoarse and rough and her body tenses with anticipation. I let my eyes do the work of my mouth at first, knowing she can feel them on her skin as I take in every delicate inch of her, from her sensitive inner thighs to her sweet glistening folds.

I can’t hold myself back any longer.

With an iron grip on her thighs, I shove my face between her legs and ravage her with my tongue, eating like I’m a starving man. I lick and suck and probe, voracious and uncivilized, drinking her in until we’re both moaning for more.

Her hips buck up into my face, her legs squeezing me on either side, her fingers making fists in my hair and holding on for dear life. I can feel how hungry she is for me, the same hunger I feel for her, and I swear if my dick even gets touched at this point, I’ll come all over her. That’s how fucking turned on I am.

Screw it, I think. There’s no way I’ll be able to fuck her and not come in a second.

So I keep eating her, licking her up from the inside out until she’s calling out my name like a prayer and her thighs are squeezing the life out of me and she’s pulsing around my tongue. I swear the whole bed shakes with how hard she comes.

Before she has a chance to come down, I stand up and start jacking off over her writhing body. “Sorry, I have to come,” I tell her through a moan and then I’m grunting loudly as I start to orgasm, the feeling ripping through me from my heavy balls to my cock and cum is streaming out in a hot arc, landing on her tits and stomach.

She doesn’t look surprised, she’s watching the mess, smiling with a lopsided grin as I continue to fuck my fist, milking out every last drop. Then I nearly collapse on her, my legs feeling boneless.

“Fuck,” I swear, wiping the sweat from my eyes, tasting her sweet cum on my lips. I quickly grab a towel from the bathroom and gently wipe the mess off her body. Then I climb beside her and collapse. We lie there beside each other on our backs, our chests heaving, trying to catch our breath.

“That was so Canadian of you,” she says after a moment.

“What? Cleaning you off?”

She laughs and rolls over, running her fingers down my pecs and tugging at my chest hair. “No, apologizing for coming all over me.”

I chuckle. “Can’t say we’re nothing if not polite.”

“Just so we get something straight here, you never have to apologize for coming on me.” A pause. “As long as I get to come first.”

My head lolls to the side and I give her a smirk. “Won’t be a problem there. I’m pretty sure I can make you come without even laying a finger on you.”

“Well, you do have very penetrating eyes.”

I wag my brows. “One of my many useful qualities. Another useful quality is the ability to order room service. What do you want for breakfast? One of everything?”

She’s shaking her head and smiling but I already see something changing in her eyes, like the realization of where she is and who she’s with. “I wish. I should get going.”

She moves to sit up and get out of bed but I’m on her in a second, pouncing like a jaguar in waiting.

“No you don’t,” I tell her, pinning her down with my body. “You are not leaving me, not now.”

“I should go back to the house, I didn’t know I’d be out all night.”

I’m not sure if it helps or not that her argument is totally feeble.

“Why do you need to go to your house? To check on your geckos?”

“No, I…”

“You’re reaching for an excuse. You just want to leave.”

“That’s not true. I don’t have my toothbrush or toothpaste.”

“Look, this may not be a Kahuna Hotel but I’m pretty sure they’ll bring that up to the room along with some lomi lomi eggs benedict and a mimosa. You have nowhere you need to be today. It’s January first and you don’t have to work.”

“But you want me to spend it with my boss?”

“Fuck yes I want you to spend it with your boss,” I tell her, kissing her. “I’m a damn good boss, at least in the bedroom. And I have this bedroom all day so just forget about going home, forget about all the things you should be doing and just fucking do me.”

She blinks up at me, thinking it over. “You do make very convincing arguments. No wonder you’re in marketing.”

“Stop acting like I’m good at what I do. I’m good at everything I do,” I tell her, rolling off her to pick up the phone.

“Including modesty.”

I give her the stink-eye and call room service, ordering up the aforementioned eggs benedict while Nova requests fried eggs, rice, soy sauce and Portuguese sausage, along with a vat of coffee and a bottle of Baileys.