It was pandemonium at the docks when the Mackinac Marine Rescue and her flotilla of support boats returned. The crew and its occupants were treated to a hero’s welcome.
Remi’s dad ran down the dock and picked Darlene up, spinning her around. The kiss he laid on her made Remi realize the thong she’d found in their laundry actually got a workout.
Nothing and no one could convince Brick to put Remi down. So she let him carry her off the boat in his arms without too much fuss as Carlos Turk did the same with Camille, who was looking up at him like he was a fantasy hero come to life.
Her parents approached. Her mom wrapped the rescue blanket a little tighter around her shoulders. “Remi Honey, that was the bravest thing I’ve ever seen someone do. You saved lives today, and I’ve never been prouder.”
“Thanks, Mom,” she said, fighting back another round of tears.
Darlene turned to Remi’s own personal hero. “Brick, you saved one of the most precious things in the world to me. As far as I’m concerned, you’re fucking family. You always have been.”
By the time they made it home and finished recapping the highlights to everyone there, it was almost eleven in the morning. Brick carried Remi upstairs and kicked the bedroom door shut behind them. He proceeded to strip every article of clothing off her and kiss every inch of her body. After he finished his very thorough inspection, he made love to her until they were both limp and wasted on the sheets.
She woke hours later on her stomach, thirsty and hungry, with Brick’s hand possessively curling around her ass. Magnus snored on her right foot.
She managed to slip out of bed without disturbing either one. She pulled on one of Brick’s sweatshirts and limped downstairs feeling sore and happy.
The house was eerily quiet, and she found a note in Kimber’s handwriting in the kitchen.
At Mom and Dad’s for spontaneous celebratory picnic. Show up at 6. Be hungry! Love you!
Remi tucked the note into the pocket of the sweatshirt and took her water into the studio. Ducking under the police tape, she shuffled down the ramp into the room. There were tarps on the floor just inside the door, camouflaging the violence that had taken place there only hours earlier.
Bloodstains would need a scrubbing. Wounds would need time to heal. But for now, she’d focus on the good. She slipped around the tarps to her easel and stood back, taking it in.
The black of night with only the hint of stars was a bleed of black and blue at the top. It faded, getting murkier in the center with the purples and navies from the music. Two pale yellow circles cut through the dark. Headlights askew, highlighting the naked tree that had saved her life. The bottom of the canvas was a snowy white with shades of scarlet scraped and layered. Like bloody footprints walking away from the crime.
In the dead center, right through one of the headlights, was a perfect little hole. Vorhees had put his own mark on her painting by shooting a bullet right through it. Curious, Remi turned around and spotted a piece of tape on the wall marking another hole.
When she turned back, Brick was standing at the top of the ramp. Sweatpants slung indecently low on his hips, his chest bare. Hair standing up in tufts.
Her heart swelled in her chest.
He crooked his finger at her, and she shook her head, beckoning him.
His eyes narrowed at the challenge as he stalked toward her.
He ignored the tarps and barreled into her like a freight train. Bending at the waist, he tossed her over his shoulder.
“Wait!” she laughed. “Look at my painting.”
He whirled around, making her head spin and her stomach feel giddy.
He leaned in to examine it and grunted.
“He shot a hole in it,” she said, in case he’d missed the telltale circle.
“I see that,” he said dryly.
“I think I know what I’m going to do with it now.”
He grunted again and started for the ramp.
“The painting, I mean,” she said, trying to lever herself up.
But Brick merely landed a stinging slap on her ass.
She wriggled against his shoulder, biting her lip as arousal swept through her.
“Where are we going?” she asked, breathlessly.
“Back to bed.”
“There’s a picnic at my parents’. We’re supposed to be there at six.”
He didn’t acknowledge any of her speech. Instead, he took the stairs two at a time and carted her back to the bedroom and unceremoniously tossed her on the bed. She bounced once, laughing.
And then he shoved down his pants, and she wasn’t laughing anymore. Brick grabbed her feet and spread them wide.
She felt alive, excited, adrenalized. Loved.
He climbed onto the bed between her thighs, his erection thick and hard. With one swift thrust of his hips, he slammed into her, holding at the bottom until she writhed and relaxed around him. When the final inches slid into her, he paused, holding himself over her, buried to the hilt.
She locked her legs around his hips as he stole her breath.
When he didn’t start to move, she opened one eye and then the other.
“Remington,” he said, his voice serious.
Grimacing, he went down on one elbow and reached for the nightstand drawer.
“It’s a little late for a condom, buddy,” she gasped.
But the object he held between his fingers wasn’t a foil packet. It was a ring. Stunning brushed gold with the sparkle of multicolored gemstones.
“Marry me,” he rasped.
She felt her mouth fall open. “Oh. My God.” He shifted his weight, this time moving inside her. “Oh my God,” she repeated for different reasons. Her inner muscles were contracting around him, greedy for more. Needing to find fulfillment with him yet again.
“Say yes,” he demanded. “Say you’ll be my wife. Say we’ll figure out the family thing. That you’ll give me a lifetime. That you’ll let me keep you safe.”
She could feel his cock pulsing inside her, feel the tension in his trembling muscles as he held himself back from rutting into her like she knew his instincts demanded.
She gave him the only answer possible. “Yes,” she whispered, closing around his thick shaft as she said it. “Yes, Brick.”
He groaned and pulled out before sinking back into her. “Mine,” he whispered as he lunged into her. “My wife.”
“Yes, Brick!” She dug her nails into his shoulder, trying to hold him closer to her. “Yours.”
“Can’t hold back,” he whispered.
“Don’t, Brick. Don’t hold back.”
His body became a machine that pistoned into her, rocking her into a state of arousal so consuming she didn’t think she’d survive the finale.
“Can’t stop,” he groaned against her neck. “Need you.”
She held on tight, and as he powered into her body, she prepared for the detonation. They were so close. So in tune. They could have missed out on this. But they’d found their way to each other.
His grunts, timed with each thrust, told her he was close. And God, so was she.
“Brick. Now! Please!”
He surged into her and held, angling her hips higher. She came apart around him just as she felt him tense. His entire body froze like granite as his release erupted inside her. The heat of it dazzled her. Their orgasms mixing like colors on a palette creating something new and wonderful.
She felt his feet digging into the mattress as he bucked and thrust erratically, trying to ride out both their orgasms.
“My Remi.” He said the words over and over again, continuing to thrust gently long after the aftershocks faded. Neither of them ready for it to end.
Long minutes later, Remi tore her gaze away from the ring on her finger. The stones were a delightful surprise. Tiny inset sapphires and fiery rubies glimmered around the diamond in the center.
“Mmph?” He lifted his face out of the pillow and eyed her with a sleepy-eyed possessiveness.
“How are we supposed to tell our kids how you proposed?”
He gave her a devilish grin.
“I’ll ask you again when we’re fully clothed. This one was just for us.”
She sighed. “God, I love you.”
“You better. Because I distinctly remember telling you not to leave this house.” He gripped the curve of her ass just above a nasty bruise.
“You can’t seriously be ready for another round yet,” she said with a laugh. “Where does your testosterone come from? An invisible IV?”
He pinched her skin. “We’ll go to your parents. Eat. Tell everyone a G-rated version of the good news. And then when we come back, I’m going to make you apologize.”
“You dirty, dirty man.” She rolled over him and peppered his face with kisses.
“I’m all yours, Remington. For better or worse.”
“I think we just lived through the worse. Let’s go enjoy the better.”
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