As she found herself lazily drifting back to earth, she felt it happening to him too: the madness. He was sobbing into her neck as he impaled her wildly, without any rhythm or control. He harshly called out to her, seeking an anchor to hold him steady, the way he had for her and she kissed him gently, whispering reassuringly when he convulsed for what seemed an eternity before collapsing limply on top of her. She soothed him with her words, the same three words over and over again, while her tears overflowed into his already damp hair beneath her cheek.

“I love you, Gabe,” she whispered as she clung to him, the words barely audible. “I love you.”

Gabe heard the emotional words and they meant a hell of a lot in that moment but as much as he wished he could respond in kind, he just didn’t want to deceive her or raise her hopes unfairly. So he said nothing, merely removed the condom and was grateful for the moment’s respite as he left to discard it. He took an extra minute in the bathroom to compose himself but even so, when he returned to that bed and took her into his arms again, he was still trembling almost uncontrollably.

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She was a sweet, warm weight in his arms, and he relished tucking her close to his heart, enjoyed entangling his longer legs with her shapely ones and absolutely straight out loved the feeling of her growing heavier against him as sleep claimed her. He forced himself to stay awake for a while, just to watch her sleep and hear her occasional delicate snores. His heart felt full and when he eventually fell asleep, it was with a contented smile on his lips.

“Morning.” The soft voice was spoken directly into her ear and Bobbi sighed before turning over onto her stomach in an effort to ignore it.

“Come on, Bobbi, it’s time for breakfast.”

“Don’ wan’,” she groaned into the pillow, batting at the annoying presence beside her.

“I’ve forgotten how adorably grumpy you are in the mornings.” The voice, which she now recognized as Gabe’s, was laden with laughter, but Bobbi didn’t see what was so damned amusing about being awoken at the crack of dawn. “I suppose it’s not something you outgrow.”

“Neither, apparently, is obnoxious cheerfulness at some god-awful hour in the morning,” she groused, lifting her head to glare into his handsome, grinning face.

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“It’s eight a.m. Not quite as god-awful as you seem to think it is. Aren’t you working today? I didn’t think you’d appreciate being late.” He was sitting on the bed wearing sweatpants but nothing else. She blushed as she recalled the nasty, sexy things they had done to each other the night before. She still couldn’t believe that she had allowed that first time to happen before a shower. At the time they had both been so carried away that cleaning up after their football match been the last thing on either of their minds. Still . . . ew. If it hadn’t been such a transcendent experience, she would have been just a bit more squicked out by it.

They had had a shower . . . of sorts, after waking from the initial best-sex-of-their-lives coma. They had managed to clean themselves up, but Bobbi had emerged from that shower feeling like the dirtiest woman in the world. Right now, Gabe was sweeping a soothing hand up and down her naked back, from between her shoulder blades, down to just above the swell of her butt, and then up again. Bobbi arched her back and he applied some more pressure until it was a full on, if one-handed, massage.

“I take it you have to go home and get changed before going to work?” he asked, and she yawned.

“Not going to work,” she remembered. “Meeting the ladies instead.”

“What are you all going to be doing today?” he asked, curious.

“Stuff,” she said cryptically, hiding a wince as she remembered their mission for the day.

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“Hmm, intriguing,” he responded, bending over to kiss her back lingeringly. “I don’t suppose you’re in an immediate rush to leave then, are you?”

She stretched and turned over onto her back, deliberately allowing the covers to drop away from her breasts. Gabe’s eyes were riveted on the pretty sight before him and she smiled, feeling powerful.

“No rush,” she confirmed, reaching her arms up toward him. He smiled happily and responded to the sweet invitation with a hungry kiss.

“Good, because something’s come up that I need to discuss with you.”

She groaned good-naturedly.

“God, we need to work on your terrible innuendos,” she teased, and he laughed, kissing her again until all thought of laughter fled.

An hour, a shower, and a change of clothes later, Bobbi made her way downstairs to see if there was any breakfast left. The house seemed empty and Bobbi remembered that Gabe tended to give his household staff the weekends off. She wandered onto the patio and found Chase sitting on a garden chair with his long legs stretched out in front of him and a newspaper folded in his hands. He seemed to be reading the sports page. He glanced up when she moved uncertainly in the doorway, and she blushed a fiery red when he took in the miles-too-big T-shirt she was wearing with a pair of Gabe’s old board shorts, which fortunately had a drawstring that she could cinch at the waist to prevent them from falling down around her ankles.

“Morning,” she mumbled, and sat down opposite him.

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“Hey,” he greeted, fumbling with the newspaper. She noticed that he was also flushed with embarrassment, and she lowered her eyes to the table and helped herself to some fruit juice and cereal.

“So . . . did you have a good night?” she asked.

“Yeah, it was okay. Did you?” The question was automatic and her hand halted in the act of reaching for the jug of milk. Her eyes flew up and she saw that his face had gone an even brighter shade of red, and when their eyes met, they both froze for a horrified instant before a hysterical sound burbled up from Bobbi’s throat and spilled out in the form of a giggle. Chase’s face relaxed into a grin and a soft chuckle burst from his lips. Before they knew it they were both convulsed in laughter, and when Gabe walked out onto the patio he frowned at the sight of them bent over in amusement.

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