EIGHTEEN MONTHS LATER
I rubbed my palms against my eyes, pushing off from the couch where I’d accidentally fallen asleep—an hour ago? What in the world? I thought I’d just closed my eyes for a second, but I hadn’t been getting regular sleep for a few months now.
I cinched my soft cotton robe around myself, having not bothered to throw a shirt on underneath it—not when I had to whip the girls out every five minutes it seemed these days. My legs bare, I padded down the hallway in search of my husband.
I turned not into our room, but the room directly across from it, softly opening the door to spy inside.
My heart skipped a beat as I held my breath.
Cannon sat in the rocking chair in the corner, shirtless, our three-month-old baby girl cradled against his chest. Her white blanket practically glowed against the midnight ink decorating his skin, but she slept soundly tucked against his chest. His eyes were on Melony, gazing down at her like she was an answer to a question he’d been asking his entire life. A soft hum radiated from his throat, a slower version of a rock ballad that had quickly become her personal lullaby.
Tears pricked my eyes, pure happiness and unbelievable bliss soaring through me in waves. How did I get so lucky?
I didn’t bother moving, didn’t make a sound, yet Cannon’s eyes slowly trailed to mine, as if he’d known the minute I’d opened the door. He flashed me a wicked smile, slowly rising from the rocking chair and gently laying Melony in her crib. The girl didn’t even make a peep—she was already Daddy’s girl, sleeping for him much easier than she ever slept for me.
I backed out of the doorway, allowing Cannon to softly close it behind him.
“I thought you were sleeping,” he whispered as he followed me into our room.
“I didn’t mean to,” I said, pushing back my long blonde hair. “You could’ve woken me.”
He wrapped his arms around me, pulling me against him. “Never,” he said. “Plus, I like it when I get to put her down. Gives us some bonding time between feedings.”
The mere mention of feeding had my breasts aching, and I groaned.
Cannon massaged my upper back, kneading his fingers into my tense muscles without me having to tell him where I ached.
“Mmm,” I sighed against his chest. “That feels amazing.”
“Careful,” he warned. “Talk like that, and I definitely won’t let you sleep.”
Instantly, I melted for the man.
“I’m very much awake now,” I said, glancing up at him.
He cocked a brow at me, then flicked his tongue over my lips. “How awake?”
“Fully,” I teased and backed out of his touch until I’d found the bed. I untied my robe and let it fall to the floor. I had nothing underneath except my soft cotton panties.
Cannon hissed, his eyes taking their fill of my post-baby body. “You’re incredible,” he said, spanning the distance between us. “Gorgeous.” He dropped to his knees on the bed and kissed the planes of my tummy. “Mine,” he growled as he nipped at my inner thigh.
“Impatient,” I growled back as he teased me over my panties.
He laughed, dipping his head between my thighs, and sliding the fabric to the side. He slid one finger between my heat, then two, and I arched against his hand.
“So wet,” he said. “I love how responsive you are for me.”
A moan was my only response as he worked me with those fingers and that mouth until finally, I lifted my hips high off the bed, silently demanding he take my underwear off.
He obliged, as well as striping bare for me, and the sight of him, even after all this time, made my mouth water.
Cannon settled between my thighs, our bodies aligned as he teased my center with the tip of his hard cock. His eyes burned into mine before he kissed me, a claiming of lips and tongue until I was a writhing, needy mess beneath him.
“I love you,” he said and punctuated those sweet words by sliding into the hilt.
I moaned, breathless as I nipped at his bottom lip. “I love you,” I breathed against his lips. I rolled my hips, adjusting to the sheer size of him, my entire body trembling with coiled heat.
Cannon pulled all the way out only to slam home again, sending waves of electricity crackling along my skin. Again and again, the man claimed me, body and soul until both our breaths were ragged, and sweat slicked our bodies.
More, I always wanted more when it came to Cannon Price.
And he constantly delivered.
Driving into me faster, harder, he took us to that sweet edge until my body crashed and shattered, trembled, and sparked beneath him. Until he found his own release inside me, and I was wrung with pleasure and sheer, delicious exhaustion.
Cannon gently cleaned us up before tucking me into his side, our faces nose to nose as we lay in bed, simply breathing in each other’s presence. My lids heavy, my muscles loose, I practically melted into his arms.
“Thank you,” he whispered as I nearly drifted into sleep.
“For what?” I asked.
“For loving me for me. For giving me the world. For making me a better man.” He kissed my forehead, holding me close.
“It’s not hard,” I said. “Loving you is as easy as breathing, Cannon Price.”
He smiled down at me. “Only for you,” he argued.
“Tell that to your daughter.”
Water coated those dark eyes, the smile on his lips free and genuine and raw. I reached up and kissed him, soft, easy, loving. Silently showing him just how damn easy he was to love, and hoping one day he’d accept it.
Until then, I certainly didn’t mind proving it to him every single day for the rest of our forever.