On the wall in a frame was a picture taken by Tabby Falco after a football game one night. Rock was standing behind me with his pads still on and his arms wrapped around me as we both smiled at the camera.

“This is ours.” I said the words just as a sob broke free and the realization sank in.

Rock had talked about getting a place of our own, but I thought it was a dream to help us get through the tough times. I never imagined it would happen so soon. Or at all. I had only hoped we would get this one day.

“Yes, it is,” he said, pulling me into his arms and kissing the top of my head as I continued to take in everything.

“How?” I asked in awe.

“Lots of nights and overtime,” he said with pride in his voice. “It’s paid up for the year.”

The year? Oh my God. This was real. We had a home.

Krit’s words in the car came back to me, and I burst into tears as I realized what he had been trying to tell me.

“What’s wrong, baby?” Rock asked, turning me to look at him. His big hands cupped my face. “I’ll fix it. Just tell me what’s wrong.”

I shook my head. “Nothing,” I said on a sob. “Nothing is wrong. It’s perfect. Rock Taylor . . . you’re my hero.”


I watched as Trisha slept in my arms. The early morning light was slowly filling the room. We had slept our first night in our new home. Krit had brought over all Trisha’s things just before nine. He had moved him and her out after leaving her here with me. He said Fandora had been more than happy to get them out of there.

He had left here after giving his new address to his sister and kissing her cheek, telling her they were both free now. She had cried on me again. Yesterday had been a day of happy tears for her. Knowing I had made her this happy made me feel like a f**king king.

Her eyelids slowly began to flutter open and I watched, entranced by the perfect beauty that was all mine. Once she had them both open and those baby blues were focused on me, she smiled. That smile that made my heart stutter and my knees weak. Only this woman could do that to me. She’d be the only one who ever had that power. I didn’t question that. She was my forever.

“Good morning,” she said softly.

“Morning,” I replied, bending my head down to kiss the tip of her nose. “Did you sleep well?” I asked already, knowing she had.

She grinned. “Yeah. I managed.” The teasing glint in her eyes made me hard. But then, Trisha could yawn and I’d get hard. Didn’t take much.

We had made love twice last night before falling asleep naked, wrapped up in each other. My woman was easily turned on too. She had made me pull off to the side of the road more than once, her mouth doing things to me that kept me from driving. She was my own personal piece of perfection. It was hard to keep her sated. Not that I was complaining, ever.

Her hand slid down to wrap around my arousal. “Mmmm . . . someone is excited this morning.”

I pushed my h*ps toward her and she tightened her grip on me. Fuck, that was good. “You’re na**d in my arms. Hell yes, I’m excited. If this is what the rest of our life is going to be like, I’m worried we may never leave the bedroom.”

She giggled and began sliding down me until her big lips were wrapped around my cock. I threw the covers off us and to the floor as I rolled onto my back and slipped a hand into her long blond hair. “Ah, Trisha. That’s so f**king good,” I groaned. Waking up to my horny woman locking her lips around my dick was what dreams were made of.

She hummed her reply and I jerked in her mouth. She knew I loved it when she did that. “I’m licking that sweet pu**y next. Spread your legs and let me see you touch it. But don’t get off. I want you doing that on my face.”

Trisha’s eyes went wide, and she moaned as she pulled her knees up and stuck her round ass in the air, then spread her legs before slipping a hand between them. When she ran her finger through the wet slit she moaned again, and my dick f**king loved that.

“That’s it, baby. Play with that pretty pu**y,” I said as I shifted my gaze from her pink lips wrapped around me to her fingers getting coated with her arousal.

It turned her on for me to watch her masturbate. I never managed to let her finish it before I pushed her hand away and either ate her up or sank into her. I had tried more than once to let her do it all, but it drove me wild. I couldn’t.

“I’m gonna come,” I panted as my balls tightened. “I want it on your titties,” I told her. I loved it when she swallowed, but I also loved watching my release on her body. Her ass and tits were tied for my favorite places. She took her hand away from between her legs and moved between mine, taking me down her throat. When she gagged, I felt the heat lick through me. “Now, baby. I’m f**king coming,” I warned her, and she pulled my c**k from her swollen lips and aimed my release to shoot all over her tits as she held them out to make sure they got every shot.

When I was done, she lifted her gaze up from her tits to grin at me wickedly.

“Damn, that’s sexy,” I said, looking at her. “So f**king sexy,” I repeated. My c**k was already stirring, even though the head was still tender. Seeing her tits covered in me was enough to have me ready for round two, fast.

I was breathing hard, and my body was humming with pleasure. I grabbed a T-shirt from the side of the bed and sat up and slowly cleaned myself off her tits, then played with her ni**les before slipping my hand between her legs. “Lie back, baby. It’s time I ate breakfast,” I told her.

She laughed, then moved up on the bed and lay down, letting her long legs fall open, revealing her bare pu**y. When she’d first waxed it, I had been like a dog in heat for weeks. I had already been obsessed with her pu**y, but seeing it bare had made me lose it. I wanted it all the time. I’d once pushed her into a janitor’s closet and went down on my knees between her spread-open legs and eaten her out with her panties shoved aside. From that day on, if she wore a skirt she knew what would happen. I had no control.

When I lowered my head to lick her tight little clit, she cried out my name, and that was all it took for my c**k to make a full comeback.

Kissing her candy-coated pu**y was one of my favorite things to do. I loved the way her legs trembled and how she clawed at my shoulders and pleaded things that made no sense.

When her body tightened, I stopped and slid into her in one move.

“OH GOD!” she cried out, and her body tensed and shuddered under me. When Trisha had an orgasm, it was like she was lost for a moment as her body squeezed me tightly and milked me so damn sweetly I always followed right behind her.

“I love you,” I said against her neck as my release filled her.

She was my home. Not this apartment, but her. As long as I was with her I was home.


Present day . . .

Today was one of those rare days I was home from work while the kids were at school. Rock had left for work and taken the kids to drop them off. I was supposed to relax and enjoy my day. At least, that was what my husband had informed me before kissing me good-bye.

I wasn’t sure what that was, exactly. My life was full and busy, and I loved that. Being a mom and a wife were the two things I had always wanted to be. When the kids went to stay with Preston and Amanda, I spent that time with my husband.

I had taken an extra-long shower this morning, then made myself an omelet for breakfast. I was about to call Willow, who I knew would be home with Eli, who was almost three now and very busy. Smiling, I thought about the last time we had gone shopping and how Low had run after him once he had unbuckled himself from the stroller. She had caught up to him in the window with the mannequin, where he was trying to pull the shoes off it. She had scooped him up just before the mannequin tumbled to its demise.

I reached for my phone at the same time my doorbell rang. Putting my cell down, I walked to the front door to find a wide-eyed Amanda Hardy. “What’s wrong?” I asked, reaching for her hand. If Preston Drake had done something stupid, I was going to slap him myself. He hadn’t gone through all the craziness to make this woman his only to mess it up weeks before the wedding.

“Sadie. She just called me,” Amanda said, looking ready to cry. “She’s coming home. Or here. She’s . . . Jax broke off the engagement.”

Jax Stone was the biggest thing in rock music, and each year he just got bigger. Sadie White had been a young girl from Sea Breeze High when he first met her and fell completely in love with her. It had been fun to watch a rock god fall for a girl I knew.

“What?” I asked, confused. The last time I had seen them, he was just as infatuated with her as I remembered. That was only a couple of months ago. Rock’s cousin Jess was engaged to Jax Stone’s brother, Jason. Jess was pregnant with a Stone kid. We had thrown them a baby shower and Jax and Sadie had come.

Amanda sank down onto my sofa and shook her head in a daze. “She sounded hollow. She wasn’t sobbing like I would expect with this kind of news. She was just . . . empty. Void of emotion. I don’t . . . I’ve never known Sadie to be so . . .” She trailed off.

Jax wasn’t a player. He had fought to make Sadie his, and, unlike other celebrities, they had a healthy, happy relationship. Heck, if you googled Jax, then a million pictures of them showed up on the Internet. The world loved them.

“She didn’t tell you why?” I asked.

“She . . . No. She . . . just said Jax ended things and she was coming home. That’s it.”

I went to get my cell and dialed Jess’s number. She’d know something.

Jax Stone and Sadie White were the kind that you expected forever for. The way he looked at her was the way Rock looked at me. Something was terribly wrong.


Jax and Sadie from Breathe


Jessica, my mother, was coming to get me. When I had called her to tell her my plane arrived at ten at Pensacola International Airport, the closest major airport to Sea Breeze, she said she’d be there. We would have plenty time to get back to Sea Breeze in time to get Sam, my little brother, from school. He was in kindergarten this year.

I put my hands on my stomach and closed my eyes. I wasn’t ready to tell Jessica anything yet. She’d want to know. Jessica was nosy, and although she had grown up a lot from the woman who had raised me, and had become a good mom to my little brother, she was still not someone I wanted to talk to about this. I wasn’t ready to talk to Amanda about it yet either, and she was my best friend.

I needed to process everything first. This wasn’t just about me now. If I had told him, maybe he would have changed his mind and listened to me. But I didn’t want the fact that I was pregnant to control his decision. I wanted him to listen to me and trust me because he loved me.

We had been through so much together over the past five years. Until yesterday I thought that we were rock solid. That nothing could penetrate what we had built. Then he had pulled the rug out from under me and walked away. It hadn’t been my Jax who had done that. It was Jax, but he was different. It was a side of him I’d never seen.

It had also shown me I couldn’t trust someone that way ever again. I’d fallen in love with him so easily. I had stars in my eyes the moment he leveled that blue gaze at me. He hadn’t stolen my heart—I had laid it down at his feet after only knowing him a few months. And I had never taken it back. It was his.

Until now. When he had walked out of our house—or his house now—and not listened to me or asked me about what had really happened, my heart had shattered.

This morning, after I had stayed up all night crying and waiting on him to return, I had picked up the pieces of my heart and taken them back with me before stepping out of the mansion in Beverly Hills that had become my home.

It was his home. It had never been mine. And it never would be again.

The plane touched down and I looked out at the airport I wasn’t familiar with. We normally flew into Sea Breeze in a private jet. But I had used the money that I had saved in my bank account to get a plane ticket. All I had brought with me were the clothes I could fit into the only luggage I had: a Louis Vuitton set that Jax had given me for Christmas two years ago. Everything else I had I left there. Most of it he had bought for me anyway, and I didn’t want it.

There were some things, like my books and my pictures of Sam and Jessica, that I wanted. And there were some photos of Amanda and me at Marcus’s wedding that I kept on the mantel. I asked Barbara, the head of the house staff, to get it packed up for me, and I left her money and my mom’s address to ship it to me. She had hugged me tightly and told me that he’d come around. That she loved me and believed I’d be back soon.

I hadn’t had the heart to tell her that I’d never be back. I had I had squeezed back just as tightly and promised to call and check in soon. Then I had walked out of the house, leaving my memories and dreams behind.

When I walked off the plane and headed for baggage claim, the numbness that had settled over me remained. I wasn’t feeling anything. Nothing at all. Although I knew this was actually happening, I wasn’t processing it well.

When I stepped off the escalator, Jessica was standing there, looking entirely too beautiful to have a child my age. The look in her eyes, so full of pity and pain for me, did something. It flipped a switch. Tears filled my eyes and I walked straight to her and dropped my carry-on at her feet, then threw myself into my mother’s arms and began to sob.

“Oh, baby girl,” she whispered. “I’m so sorry.”

I knew I had to get a grip on myself. But seeing my mother had brought all the pain back. It was like I was reliving Jax walking out last night after telling me it was over.

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