“Thank you,” she replies quietly, but I can hear in those two words how much I just gave to her. My hand goes to the back of her neck before traveling to her jaw so I can tilt her head back.
“I know what’s in front of me, Lil. I know exactly what I have, so when I feel like it’s being threatened, the first thing I want to do is lash out and kill anything that may come in and jeopardize it. I know what we had before, and I know what we have now. And I will always do everything within my power to protect it.
“Austin isn’t a threat,” she says, her hand coming up and traveling along my jaw.
“Lilly, your kind of sweet is hard to come by, so when you get even just a little taste of it, you want more. I’m saying that as a man who knows what bitter tastes like,” I tell her gently. I don’t know what happened with Austin and his past relationship, but I have a feeling he knows what bitter tastes like too. And he also knows the kind of woman Lilly is, and how hard that is to find.
“I think you’re reading too much into this.”
“I’m not, but that’s okay as long as you know that you’re mine. I will try to control the urge to throw you over my shoulder and carry you back to my lair,” I tell her, making her laugh. She rubs her face against my chest before lifting her eyes to meet mine.
“We should go check on the kids and get them something to eat,” she tells me before taking a step back. I pull her back to me, bend her back and put my mouth on hers. Once I feel her relax, I nibble on her bottom then top lip.
“Now, we can go get the kids,” I tell her, my mouth still against hers.
“You have to let me go.” She’s right, but I don’t want to.
“Are we good?” I don’t like fighting with her.
“Good.” I kiss her once more before righting her, turning her towards the door, and smacking her ass. She looks at me over her shoulder, and all I can do is shrug. “You have a nice ass.”
“We’re in my parents’ house.”
“Just because were in their house doesn’t mean I’m going to stop touching you when I want to.”
“My dad isn’t going to like you smacking my ass,” she says. I smile, pushing her out the door of the bedroom. “Cash, seriously, he won’t like it.” I ignore her, leading her down the hall with a hand in the small of her back to where the kids are. “I would hate to see my dad put his old Seal skills to use by making you disappear.” I start laughing. “This isn’t funny,” she says loudly just as we walk around the corner into the rooms that the kids are playing in.
“What’s not funny, Daddy?” Ashlyn asks, running up to us.
“Nothing, love bug.” Lilly glares at me when I chuckle. “Are you guys hungry?” Lilly asks the kids.
“I’m starbing,” Jax says, his head going back, his arms going straight out at his sides.
“Little dude, when are you not hungry?” I ask, and he looks at me. I can tell he is really thinking about what his answer is going to be.
“When I eat,” he replies, making both of us laugh.
“Baby, seriously, are you sure you don’t want me to take you?” I ask. I know I promised I would trust her with the whole Austin thing, but what the f**k? The idea of my woman going to meet another man for coffee seems ridiculous to me.
“Cash, we talked about this. I will only be gone for about an hour, if that, then I will be home,” she repeats the same thing she told me five minutes ago.
“I know,” I grumble. I’m sure I sound like Jax.
“An hour,” she repeats, kissing me. She grabs her bag and a set of keys off the counter and heads out the door. I watch her go, wanting to drag her back inside, but I know she will kick my ass if I try. I look around the quiet house; Jax and Ashlyn are out with Lilly’s dad. Her mom is sleeping, so it just me and my imagination. I need to keep busy.
“What the hell are you doing?” I spin around, coming face-to-face with Lilly’s mom, who is looking at me like I’m crazy, and maybe I am. I got bored, so I started cleaning. I had just finished vacuuming the whole downstairs when she showed up.
“Vacuuming,” I tell her, lifting the vacuum up.
“I know. I was trying to take a nap when I heard you down here. What the hell is wrong with you?” Her hands go to her waist and she looks a little scary. “Austin is just a friend to Lilly, so you need to relax, and if you don’t want to relax and cleaning helps you decompress, or de-stress, or whatever the hell it is you’re doing, then take the vacuum upstairs and finish what you started,” she says, walking past me into the kitchen. I’m just finishing my vacuuming when Lilly comes into the room. She looks just the same as she did before—no happier, no sadder—so I guess that’s good.
“You vacuumed?” she asks, looking around, then at the vacuum in my hand.
“Yes,” I say defensively. “I know the kids are messy; I just wanted to help out.”
“Oooo-kay.” She rolls her eyes. “I brought you a coffee and a cinnamon roll; they are both downstairs.”
“Thank you.” Ha! She thought of me when she was out with Austin. She starts to walk away, but I snag her, bending her backwards and kissing her, possessing her mouth. When I right her, she looks at me and smiles before skipping away. The damn woman is going to make me lose my mind.
I’m dying. I take a deep breath; my lungs are on fire, along with the muscles in my legs. I’m pretty sure I’m dead already. I look ahead and see that Austin and Lil’s dad are about a quarter of a mile ahead of me. We’re hiking up the side of the mountain they said was great for hunting bears. Honestly, I don’t even want to see a bear in the wild, let alone get close enough to shoot it. “Hurry up there, son,” Lil’s dad calls back over his shoulder. I shake my head in disgust; I thought I was in good shape.
“I’m coming,” I grumble, and glare when I see Austin look over his shoulder with a smirk on his face. He isn’t even sweating, which is strange considering he has as much hair on his body as a wild animal. After about twenty minutes, we get to the top of the mountain. The view is breathtaking. “This is amazing.”
“This is where I asked Lilly’s mom to marry me,” Frank says, his eyes landing on me, his arms crossing over his chest.
“It’s a good spot,” I tell him, looking out over the valley below.