Jeez, how on earth did he heat it?

My head turned left and I bit my lip when I saw under the bed platform an area that was definitely Hawk’s space. Floor to platform shelves stuffed full with books and CDs. A very nice stereo. A battered old chair and ottoman that wasn’t like the other furniture or equipment, not new, not stylish. There was a table next it, equally battered. A floor lamp behind the chair, its base going up and the shaded bulb drooping over the chair to provide light to read. A tatty, frayed old rug on the floor, so big, it filled the area. At the end, another cube, this paneled in a warm, worn wood, the door to it closed. That space was like it was from a different world, it didn’t fit, it seemed snug and cozy, inviting.



I hit the bottom of the stairs and could delay no longer.

My eyes turned to him.

He was in the kitchen, bare-chested, coffee mug held aloft, eyes on me.

And in that instant, it hit me.

The pros outweighed the cons. I wasn’t uncertain anymore. I was certain… very certain.

He could be bossy and a lot of what he did freaked me out or pissed me off but when he was sweet, generous, sexy and open it was better than my best daydream.

By far.

And I was good at daydreams, I’d spent a lot of time doing it, I made up the best daydreams ever.

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So for reality to surpass that, certainty slotted in and when it did, it held firm.

I rounded the horseshoe and saw he was wearing track pants, black with dark gray stripes down the sides, bare feet.


I went to him, right to him and didn’t stop until my body hit his, my arms slid around his waist and I pressed my face in the skin of his chest.

There I mumbled, “Mornin’, baby.”

One of his arms glided around me, pulled me closer and he said into the top of my hair, “Mornin’, Sweet Pea. You sleep okay?”

I turned my head to press my cheek to his chest as I nodded.

“Good,” he murmured, giving me a squeeze.

I squeezed him back.

“Coffee?” he asked and I nodded against his chest again. “How do you take it?”

I slid my cheek against his warm skin as I tilted my head back to look at him, my brows going up when my eyes hit his black ones. “You don’t know?”

His mouth twitched. “No.”

“Cream, half a sugar.”

His brows went up this time. “Half a sugar?”

“I save my sugar for when I eat it in cookie dough.”

He chuckled, his arm tightening for a second as he did then he kept looking down at me and I watched his eyes get lazy. I’d never seen that, his eyes getting lazy. It was sensational.

Then he bent his head, touched his lips to mine and let me go.

He moved to the coffeepot at the counter by the wall and I moved to the horseshoe bar and leaned against it.

“I used a toothbrush,” I informed him.

“Good,” he replied, grabbing a mug from some shelves that were fixed to the brick where there was a bunch of shiny, midnight blue stoneware, stainless steel utensils hanging from hooks off the bottom shelves, gleaming pots and pans on the top.

Guess he didn’t need me to buy him a new toothbrush and it also appeared from the near new look of his eating and cooking supplies, he didn’t cook or eat much at his lair.

“Do you move the furniture back and have football matches on Saturdays with your commandos?” I asked the brown skin over defined muscle of his back as he poured my coffee.

“No,” he answered but I could hear the smile in his voice.

“Rugby?” I went on.

He twisted to the fridge and opened it repeating, “No.”


He took out the milk, closed the fridge and looked over his shoulder at me, grinning. “No.”

“Hmm,” I mumbled.

He finished my coffee and brought it to me then rested a hip against the counter, his body facing mine, our bodies touching.

I took a sip from my coffee as he did the same with his.

He made good coffee.

“You make good coffee,” I shared.

He had no response.

I tilted my head back to look at him. “And you’re tidy.”

His brows drew together. “I’m tidy?”

“Your bathroom is clean, there isn’t a tangle of cargos and skintight shirts all over the floor of your bed platform and your stockpiles of guns and ammo have obviously been cleared away.”

The dimples popped out.

Then he replied, “Disordered house, disordered mind, disordered life, babe.”

This was true. I knew it because Dad had taught me that and it was also a principle I lived by which was why my living room drove me batty.

“I can’t picture you cleaning,” I shared.

“I don’t. Janine does it.”


“Takes care of this place, takes care of base. Janine’s in charge of order so I can focus on other shit.”

“Hmm,” I mumbled.

He employed a lot of people. He drove a top of the line Camaro. He installed elaborate security systems. He could afford expensive, designer shoes. He could heat a cavernous warehouse to the point he could walk around barefoot and bare-chested and I was comfortable in only his shirt and a thong.

“You live in an old warehouse,” I pointed out the obvious.

“Yeah,” he agreed to the obvious.

“This is a lot of space, Hawk.”

“Yeah,” he agreed.

“A lot of space,” I went on.

He grinned then took a sip of coffee. I did the same.

When his mug came away from his lips, he stated, “Don’t like close. Need room.”


“Well, you’ve got it.”

He grinned again, put down his coffee mug, took mine from my hand, put that down too and then moved into me at the front, his hands sliding around at my waist to my back, wrapping around and pulling me to him.

I rested my hands on his chest and looked up.

“You’re cute in the morning,” he told me.

“I am?” I asked.

“Cute and sweet.”

“Mm,” I mumbled, glad he thought that but I’d always been a morning person. I was a night person too. I was an anytime person when I wasn’t stressy and in a bad mood.

One of his hands left my back and I watched his eyes get heated and intense as they studied my face.

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