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"Beautiful," he said and I started crying. He pulled me into his lap and I shoved my face into his neck, absorbing his smell. "Baby, why are you crying?" That's a good question. I had no idea why I was crying. I just felt really emotional.
"I'm sorry." I sniffled, wiping my face on his shirt.
"Did you just wipe your snot on me?"
I started giggling. "No, just tears. I promise."
"Uh hum," he mumbled and kissed the top of my head. I pulled my face away from his chest and looked into his beautiful eyes. I'm so lucky. "So, now that you have your stuff here, baby, you know that means you're officially moved in, right?"
I'm in complete shock. He totally tricked me into moving in. Actually, come to think of it, he tricked my dad. He got his way without having to fight with me about it. I loved staying there, but I liked having a backup plan.
"Oh my God. You bossed me and got your way, and I didn't even notice you were doing it."
"I didn't boss you, baby. I told you that you would want to live with me." He was right, as mad as it made me. I wanted to be there as badly as he wanted me to.
"You don't think this is too soon?" I mumbled, shaking my head.
Okay. He was sure about this. Me, on the other hand, I was not so sure. "I don't want this to go bad because we're so new. I feel like this is moving so fast. I'm worried that it's just because it's new to you and you don't really know what you're asking. Like you're going to lose interest sooner or later and I'll be heartbroken, and stuck moving out of a house that I love when I knew it was too soon to move into it in the first place."
His hands moved to my neck, his thumbs were under my jaw, tilting my head back so he had full eye contact. "You're pissing me off." Eeek! He looked pissed. Crap. "I'm a grown man. I know what I want out of life. I know who I want in my life. You're not in my head, you don't know how I feel, so stop trying to make choices for me," he says, shaking my head gently. "I'm trying to slow down for you. For me, going fast would be you wearing a ring instead of a necklace. Trust me, I'm taking it slow, as slow as I can."
For some reason, I knew that he was telling the truth. The thing that he didn't know was that, if he asked me to marry him, I would say yes, no questions asked. From the moment I saw him, I wanted him. Granted, I thought he was a big jerk after he spoke, but I still wanted him. When my apartment was broken into and he was there with me, taking care of me and making sure I was safe, I knew then he was really a good man. Then the way he talks to me and looks at me, well, that sealed the deal.
"I love you. You're it for me. I knew from the moment I met you that I was done for. I like having you here and I don't see that changing, unless you don't feel the same as I do? Then you need to tell me that so I can convince you that you do," he says, smirking at me. I wondered if he felt the same about his ex. Did he love her?
"Did you love your ex-wife?" I blurted out, feeling his body stiffen under me. "Never mind, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked you that." I tried to escape off his lap.
His eyes narrowed and he took a deep breath. "You can always ask me anything," he says, pulling me deeper into him and pressing my head into his warm chest. "I never loved her. I thought I was doing the right thing. We had been sleeping together for about a year and I knew that I didn't want anything serious with her. She always hinted at more, but I knew she wasn't the one. I did care about her, but I wasn't in love with her. I had been gone for a month and when I got back, she was waiting for me outside my apartment. She told me she was pregnant and that it was mine. I knew that I had to do the right thing. I never wanted my kid to grow up in a house where I didn't have access to him or her twenty-four seven, so I did what I thought was right at the time. I told her that it would work out and we would get married. That way, she would have insurance for all the medical bills, and I would have full access to my child, and maybe I would grow to love her. She claimed to be around three months. When I was leaving to go out with my squad, I was gone for two weeks, give or take. We had been married for a month and she moved in right away. When I came back from an assignment, a friend of mine stopped me before I could go home. He told me that she had slept with him and that he was sorry. I went home and confronted her about what she had done. She didn't deny it. She said she was trying to get me jealous to make me realize that I loved her. It didn't work. I kicked her out and told her that my lawyer would be in touch. A couple days later, she came by and told me that she had lost the baby. I asked for proof and she never showed me any. To this day, she tries to contact me every once in a while. I don't take her calls, but she has been known to show up out of the blue. Kenton knows about her after she claimed to have lost the baby, he did some digging for me. He found out that she never went to the doctor for any kind of treatment during the time she claimed to be pregnant. I guess she thought I would knock her up after we got married and I would never be the wiser. She didn't count on me staying wrapped up even after she claimed to be pregnant and I had a ring on her finger. Something in the back of my head didn't feel right. I never fucked her without protection and I'm thankful to this day that I listened to my gut."
I couldn't believe that someone would do that. Claiming to be pregnant just to manipulate someone else was disgusting. "I'm sorry that she did that to you," I whispered, running my fingers along the underside of his jaw.
"I am too."
"So, what does she want when she tracks you down?"
"Don't know. I don't give a fuck and I don't take her calls. I want nothing to do with her I have Kenton keep track of her and what she's up to. Some people are unstable she's one of them. Plus a few years ago she showed up in town and started taking shit I lost a good friend because of her." Well, I was no longer worried about how he felt about his ex. I hated her and what she did to him, and if I ever saw her, I might beat the crap out of her.
"I'm sorry that you had to go through that."
"Even shit like that can teach you the best lessons."
"What lesson did you learn?"
"Let's just say the road to hell is paved with good intentions."
I smiled at him. "Good lesson?" My head came up when my phone started ringing from the bedroom. "I should get that. It might be Tia." I kissed him and climbed off his lap to answer it. Being Christmas, I knew that I could expect a few phone calls from my friends in New York. When I finally got to my phone, it had stopped ringing so I flipped it open to see who the call was from. It was a New York number that I didn't recognize, but the person left a voice mail. I put my phone to my ear to listen and had to fight the urge to throw it across the room when I heard my ex-fiancé's voice.
"Hey, I…um, just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas. I know it's been awhile, but I wanted to tell you that I love you and miss you, November. I know I messed up." There was a long pause and I thought he hung up then I heard a deep breath. "I hope you can forgive me. I miss you. Please call me back." My face must have said it all. Next thing I knew, my phone was out of my hand and Asher had it to his ear. He took it away and looked at it, and then pressed a button and put it back to his ear. I knew he was listening to the voice mail I just heard. I watched in fascination as his jaw clenched and I could hear my phone cracking in his hand.
"Easy with my phone, Hulk." He looked down at me and I smiled. He ignored my grin, took the phone away from his ear then threw it onto the bed. He used his other hand to pull out my hair tie and threw that behind him, and then wrapped my hair around his fist.
"You are not calling that piece of shit back."
"I'm not calling him back," I repeated. I never planned on it. Actually, I wanted to know how he got my number and why he was calling me at all. The only thing I could think was that he called my mom and asked her for my number.
"Why the fuck is he calling you?"
"That's a good question," I said, looking over his shoulder and wondering the exact same thing. He tugged my hair and I looked back at him. "I have no idea. I haven't even talked to him in two years. After I found out what he did, I changed my number and avoided him like the Ebola virus." I watched his eyes go soft and his lips twitch.
"Why didn't you avoid your mom?" I took a breath and told the truth.
"I wanted to forgive her. I wanted a mom who loved me. I felt like if I forgave her for what she had done, maybe she could forgive me for whatever it was that I had done to make her hate me so much."
"You didn't do anything to her. She was selfish and doesn't deserve to have a daughter that is as kind and forgiving as you."
"I don't know," I whispered. "She has always hated me. I was never good enough. I don't know why she is the way she is but it doesn't mean that I don't crave her attention or love. It's not easy growing up having your only comfort provided by people who are paid to take care of you. All I wanted my whole life was to feel wanted. Until I met my dad when I turned eighteen, I never felt like I belonged to anyone."
"You belong now. Not only do you belong to your dad and his family, you belong to me and mine. And one day, you will belong to our kids."
"Kids?" I asked, shocked.
"Kids. I told you, I'm going slow for you. But you're going to be my wife, and as soon as we sign the marriage license, I'm working on getting you knocked up."
I roll my eyes at him. "You have this all planned, huh?"
"Fuck, yeah." He smiles. I smile back. His happiness is contagious. "I can't wait to see you waddling around, knowing that I got you that way." My eyes narrow. He smiles. "That you are my life, and that you're carrying a life that we created inside of you." I felt faint. Even though he said I would waddle, and no woman wants to ever hear that they waddle or are going to waddle, it was still the most beautiful thing anyone had ever said to me.
"How many kids do you have in mind?" I asked softly, wrapping my arms around his neck. His hands slid to my waist and under my shirt. His thumbs running along my sides, causing goose bumps to break out.
"Two boys and three girls. The boys need to come first so they can protect their sisters, especially if they look like you."
"What happens if we have a girl first?"
"Then I'm going to buy a few more guns."
I started giggling. "You do know how hot you are, right? I mean, if we have boys, I'm going to have to buy stock in Trojan just to make sure that they are always protected. Either that, or invest my money into a medical company so that they can invent men's birth control." He started shaking his head, chuckling.
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