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Too Sweet: Epilogue


A LOUD THUD JOLTS ME UPWARDS. The clock on the nightstand shows seven on a Sunday morning, but a quick pat on the right side of the bed tells me Mia’s no longer here.

The mattress is cold, so she’s been up for a while. I can’t remember the last time she got up before me.

I rub the sleep from my eyes, flinging my legs over the edge when another thud fills the silent morning air.

“What the hell is that?” I mutter, throwing a pair of tracksuit bottoms on to leave Mia’s bedroom at the exact same time Jimmy emerges from his across the hallway.

He’s back in Newport for a week ahead of the Austin Grand Prix next weekend. Once again, he decided to make it a surprise visit, so Mia and I had to pack a few things and move here for a few days.

She’s been unofficially living with me since the start of summer. Unofficially, because not all her stuff is in my house yet, but once college broke up for the summer, I stopped taking her home for the night.

Unless Jimmy flies in for a few days.

Sleeping here while he visits isn’t usually problematic, but this weekend we’re babysitting Noah. Logan took Cassidy away to finally pop down on one knee. Took him long enough.

“Was that you?” Jimmy asks.

“I was going to ask you the same thing.”

“It’s me,” Mia sing-songs from the living room and thud again. “Sorry, I didn’t want to wake you.”

“You’d wake the dead,” Aisha grumbles, exiting her bedroom. “It’s the middle of the night! What the hell are you doing?”

Toby stumbles out behind her, wearing nothing but boxer shorts, and we all move to the living room, where Mia sits on the floor with Noah. Another thud when she drops a big flat thing on the floor. It pops open at impact, turning into a ball.

“It makes him laugh,” she explains, smashing the ball to flatten it out again. “It’s seven in the morning, don’t look so grumpy. We’ve been up since five.”

“Five?” Aisha gasps, plopping down beside her sister. Her five-month-old bump makes the task less gracious, but it doesn’t stop her shooting Toby a dirty look. “I am not getting up at five with your kid. Forget it.”

“You find a way to detach your milk-making boobs, and I’ll get up at whatever o’clock,” he assures, pulling out cups. “Who wants coffee?”

Everyone save for Aisha, who has to tame her moody morning self with a healthy shake Toby’s making.

Noah flips onto all fours, crawling across the floor toward Jimmy. He spent last evening in his lap, playing with his car keys and whatever else Jimmy gave him that wasn’t a toy.

“Who are you going to be for Halloween?” he asks, scooting the seven-month-old boy off the floor. Two seconds later, he wrinkles his nose. “Never mind. You’re all set, Poopy Monster.”

“It’s your turn,” Mia tells me, beaming from ear to ear.

“We had a deal. I take care of feeding and putting him to bed. You deal with diapers and baths.”

“Fine,” she mutters, taking Noah from Jimmy’s outstretched arms. He’s holding the kid like he’s a ticking bomb. “But we’ll renegotiate this deal when it’s our kid.”

A surge of pleasant warmness fills my chest. She has no idea what she does to me. One sentence and I’m fucking floating.

I pull her into my side, my thoughts swirling around her words. “Give me a baby, and I’ll change every diaper, Mia.”

She props Noah on her hip, wiggling her ring finger in my face. “You’re not getting a baby until this finger is dressed.”

Little does she know I already have a ring. Grandma gave it to me a couple of months ago when I picked Mia up from the weekly Bridge session.

It’s in the safe, waiting for… fuck knows what for.

For Mia to finish college, I guess.

My grandmother pulls me aside while Mia’s helping Kenneth and my grandad clear the table.

“I have something for you,” she says, squeezing my hand as she glances over her shoulder at Mia. “I’m glad you found her. She’s a good person, kind with a big heart.”

“I got lucky.”

She pinches her mouth like she wants to agree, but not aloud.

I get it. Now that my head is clear of the clutter, I realize I’ve been all over the place the past ten years, slowly losing sight of what’s important and paying too much attention to work.

Mia evened out the field. She helped me find balance, tamed my chaotic personality, and helped me forge one clear path through life instead of eight at a time.

Grandma slides her engagement ring off her finger, glancing around to make sure no one saw as she pushes it into my hand.

My pulse soars, kicking into a disorganized thrum, a sense of panic seizing my muscles. “That… it’s—” I stutter, closing my fist around the emerald. “Why?” I finally ask although that’s not close enough to the what the fuck, Grandma? dancing at the tip of my tongue.

“This ring is supposed to stay in the family, Nico. I wanted to give it to Shawn because he’s the oldest, but it wouldn’t suit Jack.”

I step from one foot to another, my hand still between us, as I open my fingers, taking a closer look. It’s a simple ring, nothing fancy. Not a diamond like I’d choose if I thought of proposing, but the emerald means more than any diamond I’d ever find.

Still, I shouldn’t be the one getting Grandma’s ring. I’ve got two older brothers already engaged or married, and Logan’s planning to propose soon. Why isn’t he getting the family heirloom? Why didn’t Theo?

“What about Theo or Logan? Why are you giving this to me? Why not them? Why not one of the triplets?”

She smiles fondly. “I love Mia like she’s my own, honey. I love Cassidy, and Thalia, too, but Mia has a special place in my heart.” She glances over her shoulder, looking at Grandad and Mia talking by the piano. “It’s thanks to her that Grandad agreed to retire, and I’m sure you’ve noticed it made a difference. He’s happy, Nico. He’s enjoying life for the first time in years.” She wraps her arms around me, curving herself into my chest for a quick hug. “Whenever you’re ready.”

My chest squeezes tightly. I’m grateful. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this grateful, but it’s too fucking soon. We’ve only been dating a few months.

“Thank you. You’ll be the first to know when the time comes.”

“Don’t rush, but don’t wait too long.” She points at herself with a cheeky grin. “You’ll be old sooner than you think.”

“Dress that finger whenever, but no babies until she finishes college,” Jimmy warns, joining Toby in the kitchen.

“It’s my life, Daddy,” Mia shoots back. “You were sixteen when Aisha was born. If I got pregnant now, I’d be—”

“You’ll be pregnant in half an hour if you don’t stop talking.” I gently push her toward the bedroom. The image of her, round with my baby… nope. Not going there again. It’s too soon. She’s too young. “Deal with the diaper, Mia.”

The first time I saw her holding Noah was enough to wake my paternal instinct, stirring brand-new hell inside my head.

We were at my parents’ house. Mom played the piano, and everyone was scattered around the living room, chatting.

I sat on the couch, watching Mia on the other side of the room with Noah in her arms. He grasped a thick tangle of her blonde locks, and Cassidy jumped to the rescue, unclasping his little fist before he tore Mia’s hair out.

“What’s wrong?” Logan asks, plopping down beside me. “You’re looking at Mia like it’s the first time you see her.”

“It is the first time I see her like this.” I motion my chin toward her, squeezing my glass tighter. “She’s too young.”

He turns to me, eyebrow raised as he quietly says, “No way… you want her pregnant? You want kids? I never pictured you as a dad.”

The images of Mia with a bump flicker before my eyes, and even though it’s not happening yet, my protectiveness kicks up some more. I’ll be fucking unbearable when she’ll be carrying my child. It’s good that I’ve got enough cash in the bank to last three lifetimes because I’ll be breathing down Mia’s neck for nine months straight.

“Take him away from her. Now, Logan.” I peel my eyes off Mia, but they snap right back when she laughs, making Noah giggle. “Fuck…” I breathe, rubbing my face while Logan’s barely holding off laughter. “Take Noah away,” I repeat through gritted teeth.

“He likes her, and Cass needs a breather. Noah doesn’t calm down even in my arms these days. Sorry, bro, I’m not touching that kid until your girl hands him back.”

“I’ll get her pregnant while you’re all eating dessert.”

He bursts out laughing, summoning Mia’s attention. She crosses the room, planting her pretty butt in my lap, her back to my chest, and Noah in her arms. She holds him over her knee, bouncing him up and down and singing a nursery rhyme.

I wrap my hand across her middle, kissing her neck. “Unless you want me to put a baby in you tonight, give him back,” I whisper in her ear when Logan walks away to chat with Grandad. “I’m serious, Mia. I see you with him, and I want you pregnant.”

It was right about then that Aisha got pregnant, and two months later, Logan knocked up Cassidy again. Now there are three pregnant women in the family, not helping my case.

Seeing my brothers and Toby so fucking excited when they touch the life-growing bumps, feeling their kids kick…

I’m happy for them, but I’m also jealous.

Even more when we arrive at my parents’ house six hours later where everyone’s congratulating Cass and Logan on their engagement. He got this backward, if you ask me. Marry the girl first, then get her pregnant. But whatever, he’s engaged, has a kid, and another on the way. Theo’s married and about to become a dad, and Shawn’s thinking about adopting a second kid.

Fuck waiting.

I grab Mia’s hand, dragging her upstairs while the family’s preoccupied with Logan and Cassidy, paying us no heed.

“You’re officially the first girl I ever brought up here,” I say, letting her into my old bedroom. “You better feel honored.”

Not much has changed. Mom hasn’t touched a thing in here. The same dark curtains hang around ceiling-tall windows, the same oversized bed stands in the middle, and the same shelves hang on the walls, stacked high with books and CDs.

I prefer my spaces lighter now, less cluttered.

I pin Mia to the wall, devouring her sweet lips the way she loves. This would be better if my pockets weren’t empty. Even better if I’d planned this at least a little but aren’t the best things in life those that happen spontaneously?

She sure isn’t expecting this today.

Even I didn’t expect this until three minutes ago.

“First girl I kissed in this room.”

She smiles, peering up at me. “Are you throwing me a bone? You took my firsts, so you’re finding a few to feed me?”

“First girl I love…” I take her face in my hands, not an ounce of doubt clouding my mind. “First and last. Marry me, Mia.”

She stills.

Stops breathing, but her heart beats so fast I hear it in the silent room. And then she does what I’ll never grow tired of. She melts in my arms, spreading her small hands flat on my chest.

“I’ll get you a ring. I have a ring. It’s in the safe—” I shut up when she scrunches her nose, fighting a smile. “What?”

“I can tell you’ve never done this before. You’re supposed to ask the question, Nico, not bark an order. I can’t answer if it’s not a question. Try again.”

God, I love her so fucking much.

“Will you marry me, baby?”

“You really need to ask?” she chuckles, her eyes shining. “Of course I’ll marry you. I told you I’ll never let you go.”

My fingers weave into her hair, and I cover her mouth with mine, sinking into her bee-stung lips like I’ve never kissed her before. I have. So many times over the last eight months, but other than that first kiss under the parachute, none compare.

Mine. Always mine.

She smiles against me, inching away, cheeks deliciously pink. “You really haven’t brought a girl up here before? Not even back in high school?”

“No. Only three women ever set foot in this room. The maid, my mom, and my wife-to-be.”

Her cheeky grin rears its full power, green eyes gleam with mischief. “So… you never had sex in this room.”

I grip her waist, lifting her into my arms. The height difference between us, especially when she’s not in heels, means my spine gets a kicking whenever I bend to reach her lips. “You’re trouble, you know that?”

“So you said,” she whispers. “Should we go? I’m sure your family’s wondering what’s taking us so long.”

I cross the room and sit on the bed, cradling her to me, chest to chest. “They’ll have to wait.” I slide my hands under her skirt, pushing her panties aside. “You like taking my firsts, don’t you?” I kiss her neck, working her up, even though the lacy fabric tells me there’s no need for that. She’s already soaking wet. “I want in. I want my fiancée to ride me.”

She arches back, her small hands working my zipper for a moment before she frees my hard cock and impales herself on it without a second thought. “You’re a bad influence,” she sighs.

“Am I? I like the little devil in you. Focus, Mia. I’m sure one of my brothers will come looking for us soon, and you’re not getting off me until you come.”

“That…” Her eyes close when she sinks all the way down. “Oh… won’t take long.”

“Good girl. Faster.” I thrust my hips, meeting her moves as she slides back and forth. A soft, barely audible gasp tears out of her. “Shh… fuck, you’re so wet, baby.”

A few minutes of deep strokes, and she’s right there, poised on edge, ready to be tipped over. I lift her skirt, landing a slap on her butt. It works like fucking magic. One slap, and she starts vibrating, hurtling toward the release. “There you go, almost there,” I whisper, forcing her forehead against mine when her orgasm hits. “That’s my—”

A knock on the door sends Mia into a near-catatonic state. She stops moving, eyes wide, cheeks hot. Her pussy spasms around my cock when the door flies open.

Logan steps in, curiously glancing around the room before his eyes stop on us. Mia hugs into my neck, biting the flesh in the crook, silently coming apart. And all I can think about is how much I want to spank that pretty ass again.

I’m so thankful for her sense of style right now. Her over-the-knee A-line dress disguises that my cock is currently inside her, throbbing, just about ready to explode.

“What’s wrong? Is she…” Logan pauses, eyebrows knotting in the middle. “Is she crying?”

I get why he might think that. She holds onto me for dear life, clinging to my chest as she shudders gently.

“No, she’s not. Get out.”

“You sure? Mia, are you—”


“Forget it,” he mutters, walking in further. “Let her go, Nico, before I make you. What the hell happened?”

Mia stirs, bucking against me, and I bite my tongue hard enough to taste blood. I’m so close it’s taking everything I have not to spill.

“Logan,” I grind out, his name sounding like an insult rolling off my tongue. “She’s fine. Now get the fuck out of here.”

He takes one more step but suddenly halts. His knotted eyebrows meet his hairline as recognition hits. “Oh, shit!” A supersized grin splits his mouth wide open. “Fuck, sorry.” He holds his hands up, backing out. “Um, yeah, I’m just gonna—” He slams the door behind him.

Mia’s not moving, still as a statue.

“Again,” I say, biting her ear. “I missed the look on your face, so you’ll have to come again.” I push my hips up once, then again, and the third time, she parts her lips against my neck, gasping softly. “Good girl, that’s it, relax. We’re alone, just you and me, baby. Nothing else matters.”


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