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copyright 2017 by the Author.

This work was made possible by a special license through the Kindle Worlds
publishing program and has not necessarily been reviewed by Rochelle Paige
Popovic and Elle Christensen. All characters, scenes, events, plots and related
elements appearing in the original Passion, Vows & Babies remain the
exclusive copyrighted and/or trademarked property of Rochelle Paige Popovic
and Elle Christensen, or their affiliates or licensors.

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Dear Readers,
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Passion, Vows & Babies
Also by Rochelle Paige
About the Author

Welcome to the Passion, Vows & Babies Kindle World! In this combination of
my Passion & Vows and Yeah, Baby series, well bring you new books by
some truly amazing authors. From sexy stories of married couples fighting
against outside forces to keep their happily ever after, to unexpected
pregnancies that lead to forever afters the Passion, Vows & Babies world is
full of over the top alphas, sassy heroines, insta-love, wedding bells, and
growing families. Although the wide cast of characters in both series have
managed to find love, theres plenty more out there who could use Passion,
Vows & Babies in their liveslike the couple in this story!

If youre familiar with the Yeah, Baby and Sex & Vows series, youll see a
familiar face (or more) in this story. I am so excited this author agreed to
bring their storytelling talent to the Passion, Vows & Babies Kindle World!
However, please keep in mind that this book is entirely the work of the author,
and I didnt have any part in the process of writing this book.

For more about the world, stop by the Passion, Vows & Babies website:

Happy reading!
Fiona Davenport (Elle Christensen & Rochelle Paige)

A rabella

I MOANED in relief as I kicked off my stiletto heels the minute my hotel suite
door shut behind me. When Id signed on to be a judge for the reality
television cooking show that had jump-started my career when Id won it less
than two years ago, Id been excited about the opportunity to work with the
other judges. Owen Walker, especially. The celebrity chef had amazing skills in
the kitchen, and he wasnt too bad to look at either. But todays taping had been
insane. Jude, the producer, had been fired yesterday, and everything took
longer as his replacement took over.
All in all, I couldnt complain too much about the firing since Jude was a
slimy flirt who gave me the creeps. And that was before Id known that he was
sleeping with one of the contestants. Shed been kicked off the show for breach
of contract, at Owens insistence since apparently sleeping with the producer
hadnt been enough for her. Shed also been trying to land Owen in her bed,
and shed been horrible to his new fiance.
The whole thing was a mess, and it had taken a lot of the excitement out of
the project for me. Luckily, we were more than halfway done with taping, and I
had a month-long break in my schedule once I was finished. I wasnt quite sure
what I was going to do with all that free time, but it didnt make me look
forward to it any less. Odds were good that Id pop over to London to see my
little sister for part of it. Almost as though she heard my thoughts from across
the world, Celinas face popped up on my cell phones screen alerting me to
her incoming call.
Are you spying on me again? I teased as I answered.
Maybe, she laughed. Why? Did I call right when you were going to call
me again?
No, but I was thinking about you.
Good thoughts, I hope.
Absolutely! I was thinking about I trailed off at the sound of three hard
knocks on the door. Hold on a second.
I padded across the room and pulled the door open, surprised to find a guy
who looked familiar standing there. He was holding a big, brown paper bag
with a white slip of paper stapled to it. The scent of Chinese food wafted up,
and my stomach growled in response. My voice dripped with disappointment
as I said, Sorry, I think youve got the wrong room. I didnt order dinner.
He looked down at the receipt and back up at me. Room 2039? Arabella
I took a small step backwards, a little freaked out. Yes? I answered
Then this is yours. He thrust the bag at me, and I latched on to prevent it
from crashing to the floor.
But I didnt
Its already paid for, he tossed over his shoulder as he turned and moved
quickly down the hallway.
Arabella! My sister screeched through the phone that was now pressed
against the brown bag.
Grumbling to myself, I toed the door closed as I lifted the phone back to
my ear. Im here.
What happened?
Food delivery. Dropping down on the couch in the sitting room, I tore
open the bag and found egg rolls, crab rangoon, pork fried rice, and chicken
with snow pea pods inside. It was exactly what I would have ordered for
myself, which made it even stranger. Any chance you ordered it for me?
No, she drawled. Why?
Because Im staring at all my favorite Chinese dishes, and I havent
ordered dinner yet.
There was a moment of startled silence over the line. Thats super weird,
Tell me something I dont already know, Miss Obvious, I joked. I was
trying to make light of the situation, but Celina was like a dog with a bone once
her mind was set on something. She just wouldnt let go.
Is it a restaurant youve ordered from before?
I yanked the receipt off the bag, recognizing the name of the at the top of it.
My second night here.
Was it the same delivery guy?
I thought about it and realized that was why hed looked familiar. Now that
you mention it...I think it was.
Same order, too?
Yeah, I confirmed.
My little sister had one heck of an imagination, along with a tendency to
worry. Well, thats good, I guess. At least you know the food wasnt delivered
by some stalker who tampered with it first.
I agree that its weird, but theres no need to jump to the conclusion that
Ive got a stalker or anything like that. It was probably just a computer glitch,
and the restaurant accidentally duplicated my order from last time. The
handwritten order slip that had been underneath the receipt, and was still
stapled to the bag, caught my attention. Or maybe not.
What do you mean?
It looks like someone had to have called the order in. Glancing at the
receipt again, I noticed something Id missed earlier. Or walked in to place the
order since it was paid for in cash.
So what youre telling me is that someone you dont know, walked into
the restaurant you ate at your second night in town, and ordered you the same
stuff? Shed started off whispering but was yelling by the time she was done.
Yup, I agreed before I opened the package with the crab rangoons and
took a big bite out of one of them.
Forget super weird. Thats flat-out creepy.
Mmhmm, I mumbled.
Tell me you arent eating it!
I reached down for an egg roll. What? You even said it; the delivery guy
was the same one as before so the food couldnt have been tampered with. Its
not like Im going to let a delicious dinner go to waste while Im starving.
Stop thinking with your stomach and use your brain, she scolded.
Im a pastry chef, Celina. My stomach and brain are connected.
Fine, she huffed. But after you die from poisoning because you
wouldnt listen to me, dont expect me to come all the way to California to
claim your body.
Exaggerate much?
As long as you can tell me nothing else weird has happened since youve
been there, Ill let it drop.
Of course nothingcrap.
Thats what I thought. Hindsight is twenty-twenty. I rolled my eyes as she
repeated one of our mother s favorite sayings. Now that youre actually
paying attention; what else happened?
Ive gotten a couple of gifts delivered to set. They didnt have notes
attached, so I assumed they were from the network. But now that I think about
it, there was other stuff from them. A welcome basket that first day. Nothing
tailored specifically for me, though. And the other gifts definitely were
selected with me in mind. Both were my favoritesa box of chocolates and a
bouquet of flowers.
Champagne truffles from Pierre Marcolini and hydrangeas?
Yes. I dropped the egg roll back into the package, my stomach twisting.
You need to talk to the network. Ask them for additional security. Or just
leave the show. After what you told me happened yesterday with the producer,
theres got to be a way out of your contract.
I leaned back against the cushions and squeezed my eyes shut. Thats not
an option, Celina. If I bail on the show at the last minute, Ill burn all my
bridges in the television industry.
And that would mean giving up your dream of getting a show of your
own, she sighed.
Then youll just have to get some security.
Its not that simple. The network isnt going to want to spend the extra
money without a solid reason to do so, I explained.
If they wont do anything about it, then Ill call Carissa. Vaughns got to
know someone who can help.
Celina and Carissa had gone to boarding school together for years, so I
knew her well. But Id only met her husband Vaughn once when they were in
London for their wedding about two years ago. Id flown out and made their
cake, but Id had to deliver it the morning before the ceremony because Id
needed to be in LA the next day to appear as a contestant on the show Id gone
on to win. Dont bother him with this. He barely knows me.
Too late. I just texted Carissa, and I already have little bubbles showing me
shes typing her response.
Celina, I groaned.
She said that shed get Vaughn on it right away, and shell make sure he
has someone at your hotel by tomorrow morning. What time do you need to
head to the studio?
I banged the back of my head against the cushions before I answered.
Resistance was futile when Celina was like this. Seven.
Dont leave until he gets there.
I wouldnt. Not because I didnt want to. I did. But I knew Id never hear the
end of it from my sister if the muscle Vaughn sent to help me had to track me
down. I sometimes wondered if she forgot that I was the older sister, not her.

G aige

I DUG my cell phone out of my pocket as I deboarded the plane. Id planned to

check for messages and emails as I walked through the airport, but the phone
started ringing before it was even in my hand. Glancing at the screen, I
chuckled to myself. It was almost as though my best friend had a tracker on me
and knew it was the perfect time to call.
I need your help. It wasnt unusual for Vaughn to skip over the hellos and
get straight to the point. Hed been like that ever since we met during boot
camp in the Army. You never had to doubt where you stood with him, and it
was one of the reasons our friendship was so solid. That and all of the years Id
spent at his side on missions. The bond between a sniper and his flanker tended
to be tight, and we were no exception. Considering the number of kills Id
helped Vaughn make, it was no wonder.
What do you need? It went without saying that Id help, regardless of his
I need you to fly out to LA. Tonight if possible. First thing tomorrow
morning at the latest. I can charter a plane for you if it comes down to it.
I like a nice charter as much as the next guy
More, he corrected.
Thats fair, I chuckled, thinking about the first time Id flown anything
other than commercial. Vaughn and I had only been a year post-separation
from the Army. Wed been on our way home from our fifth operation for a
private contractor. Wed been successful in a difficult mission, and our
employer was thrilled with the payday wed netted them and hired the jet to
give us a taste of what we could have by working with them more in the future.
Wed enjoyed the fuck out of the flight; eating good food and polishing off a
bottle of expensive whiskey. But it hadnt changed our minds. We didnt take
any more assignments with the company and set up shop on our own. It paid
off in a big way, and now we could both afford our own private planes if we
wanted them. But a plane wont be needed since Im within easy driving
You arent in Atlanta? Since Id just had dinner with him and his family
two nights ago, his surprised tone was understandable.
Nah, I landed in Vegas about thirty minutes ago.
Something for Brecken? he guessed incorrectly, mentioning the man
whose team had saved my ass on a mission to Somalia that had gone FUBAR.
Hed gotten out of the military, too, and wed both worked with him in the
private sector. Itd become less frequent for Vaughn since hed met Carissa,
This trip is for pleasure, not business.
Shit, man. Sorry, he groaned. I hate to ruin your vacation when its been
too fucking long since youve taken a trip just for fun. Hell, the last one barely
even counted since you could only spare forty-eight hours in London for my
Little did he know that if Id gone with my instincts, I wouldnt have been
there at all. A few minutes after Id landed, Id bumped into a blonde who was
hurrying towards her gate. Id seen plenty of attractive women in my life, but
Id never had such a strong reaction to one before. The feel of her hands on my
chest as she steadied herself had my cock pressing against my zipper. My heart
raced when startled green eyes met mine. She apologized and said something
about rushing so she didnt miss her plane. I wanted to convince her to stay, but
my words froze in my throat. And then she was gone. The opportunity missed.
Thinking about it made my voice rough as I joked with Vaughn. What did you
want me to do? Stay for the honeymoon? I saw you both at breakfast the
morning after the ceremony. It didnt look like you needed any help
with your
Shut the fuck up, he growled.
I laughed as I walked past the car rental counter. Using the same company
when I traveled had its perks, including the fact that I didnt have to check in
with anyone. I glanced at the electronic screen directly behind the counter,
located my name and the parking spot number where my rental car was waiting
for me, and headed out the door. Sorry, man. Its too much damn fun to rile
you up. All those years, nothing ever made you lose your cool, but one little
mention of anything related to Carissa and youre guaranteed to go off.
Just you wait until your day comes. Then well see who laughs.
If hed said something like that to me a few years ago, it would have pissed
me off. Back then, I had no intention of ever settling down. But after seeing the
life that Vaughn was building with Carissa, Id started to wonder if there was a
chance for me to find that same kind of happiness. If there was someone out
there who could look past the killer the Army had turned me into, the way
Carissa had with Vaughn. My mind drifted back to my mystery blonde again,
and I kicked myself for not getting my hands on the airport security tapes to
find her back then. If that day ever comes, laugh all you want. Ill be too happy
to give a damn.
Fuck yeah, you will.
Enough of this sentimental crap, I rumbled as I opened the driver s side
door to the rental car after locating it in the lot. The contract and keys were in
it, and I tossed my bag into the passenger s seat. Whats going on in LA?
While Vaughn gave me the limited intel he had on the situation, I drove to
the exit booth and flashed them my driver s license. The gate opened, and I was
offjust not in the direction Id originally planned on going. Instead of
heading towards the strip, I hopped on the highway that would take me south
into California.
Arabella Green? The woman who made the cake for your wedding? I
hadnt gotten the chance to tell her how fucking delicious it was since shed
had to leave London before Id arrived.
Yup, Vaughn chuckled. Maybe youll get lucky, and shell have time to
bake while youre helping her. With that sweet tooth of yours and her skills in
the kitchen, this might be the best assignment youve ever taken.
Remembering that chocolate cake with raspberry filling, my mouth
watered. Payment in trade works for me if everything she bakes is even half
as good as that cake was. It went without saying that since this was a favor for
Vaughn, I wasnt going to accept money for helping Arabella. But dessert? I
wouldnt turn that down if it was offered to me.
I spent the four and a half hours that it took me to make the drive from
Vegas to Los Angeles thinking about the gifts Arabella had received and what
they might mean. Running through possible scenarios on such limited intel
probably wouldnt yield any results, but I didnt have much else to do since Id
packed for the casinos and not a road trip. At least I didnt have any specific
plans except to park my ass at the blackjack table, eat my way through a few
high-end buffets, and guzzle down a few bottles worth of whiskey. Changing
my plans was an inconvenience, but at least nobody was waiting for me in
The same couldnt be said for LA, even though it was midnight when I
pulled up in front of the hotel. After I handed the keys over to the valet, I did a
quick circuit around the property since Id never stayed there before and
wanted to be familiar with the building and the surrounding area. After I was
done, I made my way to the registration desk. The guy on duty looked like hed
gotten high before coming into work. Not that unusual for a twenty-something
kid stuck working the overnight shift, but it pissed me off because it made him
a weak link in Arabellas security.
I need a key to Arabella Greens room.
Is your name on the reservation, sir? If not, I cant His eyes widened as
he looked up from his phone and caught the look on my face.
Gaige Taylor. There should be a note in the system.
He jumped out of his seat, grabbing an envelope next to the computer and
shoving it at me. Yes, sorry. Miss Green called down a couple of hours ago
and asked me to hold this for you. I raised an eyebrow. Its a key.
Room 2039.
I leaned forward, glaring at the kid. I could be anyone. You shouldve
asked me for identification.
I He gulped nervously. But
Never mind, I growled as I snagged the key and stalked towards the
elevators. The security in this hotel sucked, which meant I was going to have to
convince Arabella to switch locations until I could get her out of town. I was
still pissed about it when I tapped gently on the door to her room. If she was
awake, I didnt want to scare her by barging in. I waited a minute before
waving my key near the proximity lock and pushing the door open. I gently
shut it behind me after I stepped inside. There were soft footsteps behind me,
and then the dark room was filled with light. I swiveled around, my hand on my
gun at the base of my back as I was filled with shocked recognition.
Its you, I breathed.

A rabella

HOLY HECK! It was him. The guy at the airport, from back when Id been
running to make it to my flight after dropping off Carissas wedding cake. The
brick wall Id bumped into whod had me wishing I could forget about going
home because London would be a lot more interesting if I spent my time there
with him. He hadnt said a word back then, but it didnt lessen the impact hed
had on me. At six feet and two inches, with a muscular build, dark hair begging
to be touched, piercing brown eyes, a strong jawline, and firm lips that looked
like they rarely tilted up in a smile; hed been impossible to forget.
My heart raced as I took in the way he was looking at me. His brown eyes
darkened to a nearly black color as they swept down my body and back up
again. The heat building in them made my knees shake, and I tightened the sash
on the robe Id thrown on when I heard him knock on the door. A muscle in his
jaw flexed, and a satisfied smile spread across his face. Maybe the fascination
hadnt been one-sided, and fate had given us a second chance.
Youre Vaughns friend?
He nodded and strode towards me. Gaige Taylor. His raspy voice sent
shivers up my spine. And youre Arabella Green.
I am. My reply was as shaky as my knees felt.
He didnt stop until he was standing less than a foot away from me. He
reached for my hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. You dont need to be scared
anymore, sweetheart. Im sorry I didnt find you sooner but Im here now, and
Im not going to let anything bad happen to you.
Sooner? I echoed. It was hard to think straight with his thumb stroking
my palm, but I was pretty sure I wouldnt understand what he meant even if he
wasnt touching me because it didnt make any sense. None at all. Celina only
reached out to Carissa five or so hours ago. Id say you got here pretty
darn fast.
I didnt resist as he tugged me further into the sitting room and settled me
on the couch. When he sat down next to me, he still had his hand wrapped
around mine. Airports seem to be our thing. I was walking through McCarran
when Vaughn called me.
Oh, yeah. He remembered me. Vegas? I hope I didnt interrupt anything
He shook his head. Just a spur of the moment vacation.
With your girlfriend? As soon as the words left my mouth, my cheeks
heated. I couldnt have been any more obvious if Id tried, something which
Gaige was well aware of judging by the pleased smirk he flashed me.
Nope. I was on my own for this trip.
Oh. Drat, that wasnt enough information to know for sure if he had a
girlfriend or not. He could have been by himself because she couldnt make it
or something.
His thumb stroked across my palm again as he gave me a knowing look. I
dont have a girlfriend, Arabella.
I dont, either, I blurted out. His chuckle made me realize what Id said.
Apparently, I didnt have a filter when it came to him. A boyfriend, I mean.
Good. He smiled at me. Not that itd change a thing if you did. Ive
waited too long to let another guy stand in my way.
He couldnt have meant what hed said how I was taking it, but I found
myself asking for clarification and hoping Id get the answer I wanted. You
waited too longI coughed to clear my throatfor what exactly?
For the woman who knocked me on my ass.
I tilted my head and narrowed my eyes at him. But
Proverbially speaking, of course.
There was no doubt about it; he was talking about me. Hed stopped me
from literally falling on my butt in the airport, and wed both been affected by
it. Hed been waiting for me, the same way I had him. Even though the odds
were against me ever seeing him again, I judged every other man by the
memory of that moment with him. Since nobody else measured up, I put all my
energy into building my career and left dating until I found the right man. And
it looked like my wait was over. I didnt need to find another man like Gaige.
Not when Gaige had found me.
His hand released mine, and he trailed his fingertips over my wrist. When I
shivered, he leaned closer as his fingers glided up my arm and across my
collarbone to cup my chin and tilt my head back. Fuck, youre even more
gorgeous than I remember.
Blushing harder, I nervously pushed my hair away from my face. I knew I
didnt look my best. Even though I was exhausted, I hadnt been able to fall
asleep. Id tossed and turned, which had left my hair a mess. The make-up that
had been professionally applied at the studio had been washed off hours ago.
And my robe wasnt one of those sexy, silk numbers designed to tease a man. It
was a rose red, terry cloth robe that my sister had bought me because Id
complained about how cold I was in the mornings when Id moved to New
York to study under one of my idols for a year. Id worn it every day over the
last three years. Although it had held up fairly well under all those washes, it
was the furthest thing from flattering. That cant possibly be true.
It is, sweetheart, he breathed against my lips. My eyes drifted shut just
before his mouth brushed against mine. His lips were warm and soft, making
me sigh. Then a groan bubbled up his throat, and he slanted his head. He nipped
at my bottom lip, and I let out a startled gasp. He didnt waste the opportunity,
and his tongue swept into my mouth to tangle with mine. As the kiss deepened,
I ignited in his arms. My hands reached for his shoulders, trying to tug him
closer. His grip tightened on my chin, and he tilted his head more to get better
access to my mouth.
He switched between quick nibbles on my lips, gentle sucking tugs of my
tongue, and leisurely strokes into my mouth. I was out of breath when he lifted
his head, but I wanted more. So I slid my hands into his dark hair to try to hold
him in place.
Dont worry, sweetheart. Im not done yet, he murmured against my ear
before kissing his way down my neck. Ill let us have a little more before I do
the right thing and let go.
I whimpered at the thought of this ending. Only for now. Not forever, he
promised. Then he scraped his teeth against the skin at my pulse-point. Deft
fingers untied the sash at my waist, and he pushed the material aside to kiss his
way along the scoop-neck collar of the cotton night shirt Id worn to bed. I
moaned at the feel of the heat of his mouth against my skin, the sound loud and
ragged in the quiet room. It had been too long since Id been touched by
anyone. Years. And the teenage groping back then had nothing on Gaiges
expert caresses.
Damn, Arabella, he groaned. I couldnt forget you after getting a look at
you and feeling your hands on my chest. It didnt matter that I didnt even know
your name. But if Id had even the tiniest taste of you back then, I never would
have been able to let you walk away.
I grinned at him, feeling about ten feet tall with his admission. Really?
Fuck, yeah. Youre potent, sweetheart.
Its you, not me, I confessed shyly. Ive never beenI paused because
the word hed used seem so foreign when it came to mepotent before.
His mouth crashed back down on mine, harder than before. After hed
kissed me senseless, my lips felt puffy and tingly. He rested his forehead on
mine, and his dark eyes burned with jealousy as he growled, The last thing I
want to hear about is you with other guys.
Thats not something you need to worry about, I reassured him. His
caveman reaction had me admitting something all the dating books would have
told me to keep quiet about. I havent so much as kissed another guy in more
than two years. No first dates. No random hook-ups. Nothing.
My bravery was rewarded when he rasped, Neither have I.

G aige

IT HAD TAKEN everything I had in me to keep my hands off Arabella and get her
settled in bed last night. Id wanted nothing more than to rip off all our clothes
and climb in beside her, but Id managed to hang onto my control for two
reasons. The purple smudges underneath her beautiful green eyes were visible
proof of how badly she needed sleep. Plus, I didnt want to run the risk of her
thinking that I only wanted sex from her. After spending two years thinking
about her, I knew this was going to be more. My gut told me that she was my
chance to have what Vaughn had found. That Arabella was the woman with
whom Id build a life. And another thing my experiences in the Army had
taught me was to trust my instincts, even when they were telling me something
that most people would think was completely insane.
Thats the last of my stuff, Arabella called out from the bedroom.
I wandered into the bedroom and shook my head at the two suitcases at the
foot of the bed. The rose gold colored, hard-side pieces were an exact match to
the four other pieces waiting at the door. How many days were you planning
on staying in LA?
Ten, she admitted sheepishly. I guess its too late for me to hide that Im
a little high maintenance?
I looked her up and down, taking in all the beauty standing in front of me.
You dont need to hide anything from me, sweetheart. I can handle high
Good. She beamed at me. And luckily, I can handle bossiness since
youve got that covered in spades.
I chuckled, knowing she was right. Id always been someone who liked
being in charge. But with Arabella, it was a necessity that went to a whole new
level. It could have been because she was in danger, but I was fairly certain I
would have been the same way with her without the circumstances that led to
me finding her again. But that didnt mean I wouldnt use her mystery admirer
as an excuse to get her to follow my orders, just like Id done when she woke
up this morning and Id told her we needed to check out and switch to a room
under my name at a new hotel. She sighed in agreement without arguing, and it
had made me want her even more.
Can I get that in writing? I teased, moving towards her and pulling her
into my arms.
Why? Do you plan on being this bossy after you figure out whos behind
all of the gifts?
Damn straight.
She beamed up at me, looking impossibly beautiful with her blonde hair
falling in curly waves down her shoulders and her green eyes shining up at
me. Good.
Good? I cocked my head to the side, confused by why she was so damn
happy about that when it should have irritated the shit out of her.
Yeah, because it means that you think youre still going to be around.
Oh, I dont think it. I know it, I corrected her.
Her smile grew wider, and I was driven by the need to feel it against my
lips. I cupped her cheeks in my palms and bent my head low to give her what
Id intended to be a quick kiss. It didnt turn out that way, though, and I didnt
lift my head again until the bellhop knocked on the door to help us with the
luggage. I had them load it all into my rental and called to have Arabellas
returned. If the person sending her the gifts knew where she was staying and
what shed ordered for dinner, then it only stood to reason that they also knew
what car she was driving.
My first goal was to limit this guys access to her as much as possible, and
the second was to do some digging and figure out who the hell he was. We left
the hotel with the taste of her in my mouth and her laughter ringing in my ears.
It set the tone for the rest of our day, even with that task hanging over my head.
When we got to the studio, I did a quick check of Arabellas dressing room
while she waited in the doorway, and a much more thorough one while she got
ready. Then I spent the day making calls and searching for information on the
internet, all while keeping Arabella in my line of sight.
I hadnt gotten very far, and it worried me. Whoever was behind it all had
covered their tracks fairly well. The chocolates and flowers had been handed
off to different production assistants when theyd been dropped off. They
hadnt come with cards, and Arabella hadnt kept them. Neither of the assistants
remembered much about the deliveries since they worked their asses off for
hours on end each day. The flowers were a dead end for sure, but I was hoping
to be able to track something down on the chocolates since their only location
in the United States was in Hawaii. Odds were good that theyd been shipped to
LA, and if so there must be a record of it somewhere. I just needed to hunt
it down.
By the time they were almost done with taping for the day, I was beyond
frustrated with my lack of progress. My mood wasnt improved in the least by
how closely she worked with her fellow judges, both of them men. The Italian
one was a terrible flirt, but he was old enough to be my father. So I didnt
worry about him too much. But the blond one everyone seemed to defer to in
the kitchen? I kept my eye on him.
They were a perfectly matched pair, standing side-by-side as they talked to
the remaining contestants. They would have made a striking couple, with their
made-for-television looks and complementary skills in the kitchen. The same
couldnt be said for Arabella and me. We were total opposites. She was super
girly, and I was all man. Her world was filled with decadent desserts, while
mine had been all about danger for too many years. If I was a better man, Id
leave her to someone like Owen Walker. But there was no way in hell that was
going to happen. I wasnt willing to walk away from the undeniable chemistry
between us.
Arabella finished demonstrating a technique for the chocolate souffl that
helped her win the show when shed been a contestant, and Owen beamed at her
in approval. I wanted to storm over there, get between the two of them, and beat
the bastards pretty-boy face into a bloody pulp.
Dont worry. Hes not flirting with her.
I shifted in my seat at the amused feminine tone. I found a dainty brunette
standing a couple of feet next to me, staring at the same scene Id been avidly
I wasnt
Oh, please, she laughed. Im way too familiar with the expression on
your face to not know exactly what it is. The guy youre glaring at? She
pointed at the tall, blond chef standing too damn close to Arabella. Thats how
he looks whenever another man gets too close to me.
I glanced back and caught the dirty look he was sending my way. Any guy
who was that territorial about their woman wasnt going to be interested in
mine. I chuckled and relaxed back into my chair. Okay, maybe I was.
Theres no maybe about it. You definitely were. She laughed softly as she
dropped into the seat next to me. How come Arabellas never mentioned you?
I dont know her that well since we only met this week and things have been
insane since weve been here for filming. But girls tend to chat about the men
in their lives, and its a little odd that she hasnt said a word about you. I got the
impression that she was single.
Its a relatively new development, I answered, mostly in the hope of
stemming the flow of words from her.
Ah, Im familiar with those. She wiggled her left hand, showing off a
huge diamond engagement ring. Owen had me moved into his house and
sleeping in his bed the night we met, and three weeks later he was sliding this
on my finger.
Hmm, I murmured, my gaze sliding to Arabella again, easily picturing
my ring on her fingermarking her as mine to any man who got too close.
Why do I feel like I just sparked a competitive streak in you?
I shrugged non-committedly.
I did, didnt I? she laughed, drawing both Owen and Arabellas attention
our way. I enjoyed the flare in those green eyes Id become fascinated with as
my girl noticed who was in the chair next to mine. Maybe we had more in
common than I thought.
You might have, I admitted as I got to my feet. I was a man of action. If a
celebrity chef could bag his woman that quickly, then I damn well could too.

A rabella

W HAT WERE you and Sienna talking about? I voiced the question Id told
myself I wouldnt ask. I didnt even last until the dressing room door closed
behind us. So much for my willpower.
You and me. Her and Owen. Quick moving relationships.
Oh. And now I felt like an idiot since their topic of conversation was us.
It wasnt as if I didnt know that Sienna was madly in love with Owen, but that
hadnt stopped me from feeling off my stride as Id watched them chat from
across the room. Luckily, after my demonstration was over, we had moved to a
part of taping where the camera was focused on the contestants more than the
judges, so I didnt need to fake a smile for too long at a time. Then as the
remaining contestants finished their final challenge, I got wrapped up in the
moment, and my smile became genuine once again.
I tried to duck my head as heat filled my cheeks, but he didnt let me look
away. With my chin captured in one hand and my body tugged close to his with
the other arm, he kicked the door shut behind us and backed me against a wall.
You dont have any reason to be jealous, sweetheart. I could be in a room full
of people, and youre the only one Id see. And you can be damn sure that there
isnt another woman whos going to capture my attentionwhether youre
around or not. Ive had two years for that fact to be driven home to me. Now
that Ive got you in my arms, Im not going to do anything to risk losing this.
If Id had any doubts about sleeping with a man Id only known for less
than twenty-four hours, his heartfelt confession would have wiped them away.
But oddly enough, Id already been confident in my decision. Those two years
had apparently driven the same lesson home to me too. So I rose up on my
tiptoes as his head lowered, and our mouths crashed together. We kissed like
we couldnt get enough of each other, but also as though wed been doing it
forever. There wasnt any of the awkwardness a newer couple might have felt
and yeah, I was already thinking of us in those termsbut all of the passion
that came at the start of a relationship.
I whimpered when he tore his lips from mine. More.
You sure, sweetheart? If I keep going, itll be hell to stop later.
His dark eyes burned into mine as he waited for my answer, and it gave me
the courage to do something completely out of character. I reached down and
cupped his hard length as it pressed against his zipper. Who said anything
about stopping?
It must have been all the encouragement he needed because he lowered his
head again to kiss me senseless. His hands drifted to my chest to cup my
breasts, his thumbs brushing against my pebbled nipples. When he rolled them
between his fingers and tugged, I felt it all the way to my core and moaned into
his mouth.
You wet for me? he breathed against my lips, pushing my skirt up and
pressing his palm against my damp panties. Sliding his fingers up and down
the soaked material, he ripped his mouth from mine. Fuck, yeah. You are.
I lifted up higher and shifted my hips to rub against his hand. Please.
Ive got you, sweetheart. And he did, giving me exactly what I needed as
he pushed my panties to one side and slid his index finger through my wetness.
His finger grazed my clit before sliding lower, and I shuddered. You feel
better than I dreamed.
Did you really dream about me? I panted.
I cant tell you how many times Ive jacked off to thoughts of you. In my
fantasies, Ive licked, sucked, and fucked every inch of you. Ive dreamed about
your tight little pussy more times than I can count. To the point that I was
sorely tempted to hack into airport security to try to figure out who you were,
even if it landed me on a terrorist watch list or brought Interpol to my door.
If I didnt have the wall against my back and Gaige at my front, I would
have slid to the floor. Youd have gone that far?
Of course. There was no doubting the sincerity of his answer. If I hadnt
been there for Vaughn and Carissas wedding, I would have turned around and
gotten right back onto a plane to followed you wherever you were going.
Talk about ironic. If I hadnt needed to leave for LA before the wedding, we
would have met back then. You would have followed me right where we were
now; just two years later.
And were going to make up for all that lost time, he promised. Then he
placed wet, open-mouthed kisses along the column of my throat.
Yes, I hissed, throwing my head back to give him better access.
His teeth scraped against my skin, and his hips rocked against me. Damn,
sweetheart. You feel good with your hot little pussy cradling my cock. It feels
like a perfect fit. I cant wait to feel you wrapped around me, sucking me
into you.
His dirty words reverberated through me, making me hotterand wetter.
All over his hand.
My sweetheart wants that as much as I do, doesnt she? he asked as he
yanked my panties down my thighs.
II do, I stuttered, kicking my panties off when they hit the floor. While
he undid the buttons on my blouse, I attacked the zipper of his pants.
White lace, he groaned. You wear shit like this all the time?
Pretty much. My sassy smile was wiped off my face when I encountered
nothing as I slid my hand inside his pants. Wrapping my fist around his hard
on, I stroked up and down. Do you usually go without underwear?
If I didnt, I sure as shit would from now on because it makes it easier for
me to do this. He shoved his pants down his legs before he unhooked my bra
and pulled it down my shoulders. I gasped when he lightly tweaked my nipples
before latching onto one distended bud. I trembled at each wet pull of his
mouth, arching into his body as his fingers toyed with the other breast.
When he lifted his head and his hands moved to my ass, plastering me
against his hard on as he rocked against me, I wrapped my arms around his
shoulders. It didnt take much for him to work me into a frenzy. Then he
dragged his cock through my wetness, and my head banged back against
the wall.
Careful, sweetheart. I dont want you to hurt yourself, he cautioned,
keeping one hand on my ass while he brought the other up to wrap it against
the back of my skull.
But its okay for you to get hurt?
My hand can take a little banging against the wall, he assured me.
So can I. I lifted one leg and wrapped it around his hip to make it clear
exactly what I meant. In that position, his cock nudged against my entrance. He
pressed the tip inside and oh-so-slowly brought me down his length.
More, I whimpered even though there was a twinge of pain because I was
tight and he was so damn big. That stinging sensation was a small price to pay
to feel him inside of me.
He pulled my head closer and dropped his forehead against mine, staring
deeply into my eyes as he sank all the way in. Holy fuck, I could stay like this
Yes, I panted. But after you make me come. Please.
Hold on, he commanded, making my walls clench around his thick cock.
It had been too long since Id come, months ago when Id last masturbatedto
thoughts of my mystery airport man. It paled in comparison to the feel of his
body around, and inside, of me.
I clutched his shoulders tightly as he rocked in and out, picking up speed
until my head was banging against the hand that was protecting me from the
wall. The only sound in the room was our grunts and the slap of our skin as
our bodies crashed together. As my orgasm built, I bit down on my lip to try to
hold my scream inside. The walls between dressing rooms werent thick
enough for privacy.
Give it to me, Arabella, he growled. I want you to come all over my
cock before I lose control.
That was all it took to send me over the edge. Shoving my face in his chest
to stifle my cry. Then I held on tight as he powered in and out of me until his
body tightened and he groaned out his release.
Wow, I gasped when I caught my breath again. Can we do that again?
As many times as you want, he chuckled. But I want to take you on a bed
the next time, so wed better go check into the new hotel.

G aige

W E GOT lucky the next day, and Arabellas taping wrapped up in the early
afternoon even though she expected it to take another day. Considering how
little sleep Arabella had gotten the night before, it was a good thing. The loss
of a contestant whod been kicked off the show for sleeping with the original
producer had speeded up the process of picking a winner. Her responsibilities
were fulfilled, which meant I could get her out of town and to a safer place.
If Id known there was a chance youd be done today, I might have just
switched rooms instead of checking into a new hotel last night, I grumbled as
I loaded her suitcases into my rental car for the second time in as many days.
We could just stay here another night, she suggested.
Its too late for that, I chuckled. Your bags are already in the car, and
Ive made reservations for the ferry and rented us a cottage.
A ferry and a cottage? she echoed. Where are we going?
I helped her into the car as I answered, Santa Catalina Island.
Really? She looked at me hopefully, clapping her hands together as I slid
into the driver s seat. Ive never been there before.
Yes, really. I flashed her a smile. Its close enough to LA that I can easily
come back if I get a solid lead and need to interview someone in person.
Wouldnt it be hard for us to escape an island if we needed to get out of
there quickly? I thought the ferry across takes like an hour.
Her voice trembled, and knowing that someone out there had scared her so
much that she didnt feel safe pissed me the fuck off. When I found them, they
were going to payand depending on what they had in mind for Arabella, the
way they did so might be permanent. Id killed before for my country; I had no
doubt that Id be able to do so for my woman if it came down to it. I didnt want
to do anything to change the way Arabella looked at me, but her safety would
come first for me. Always.
Im good at what I do, sweetheart. Even if you werent mine, I wouldnt
take any unnecessary risks, I reassured her, reaching for her hand and
squeezing it. If it had been anyone but her, I never would have thought about
going to the island. Holing up in any old place would have been fine. But I
wanted to do betterbe betterfor her. I figured since you had a month off,
you could look at this as a vacation instead of just hiding out. I was able to snag
us an ocean-view cottage, so well have some privacy. And if the need to leave
quickly arises, well go by helicopter instead of the ferry.
Thank you for that. Her green eyes were damp as she looked at me like
Id hung the moon. Yes, please, take me to Santa Catalina Island.
I softened my voice because I didnt want to ruin the moment, but it needed
to be said. Just so long as you understand that I wasnt asking for your
permission. When it comes to your safety, the decisions are mine to make.
Considering the situation, I can live with that.
Itll be the same after this is over. That part of me isnt going to change.
She flipped her hand over and twined her fingers with mine. I already told
you that I could handle your bossy as long as you can deal with my girly girl
I heaved out the breath I hadnt realized I was holding. You know I was just
giving you hell when I complained about the suitcases, right? Because Ill
gladly take all your girly shit since you come with it.
Are you sure about that?
She had a mischievous gleam in her eyes, and it made me smile. I liked this
playful side of hers. Bring it on, sweetheart.
Oh, yes. This is going to be good, she laughed, rubbing her hands
together in excitement. Do we have enough time to stop for lunch?
I was hungry, so it sounded like a good idea to me. Yeah.
Perfect! I want to pick where we go.
As long as it isnt somewhere youve been before, thats fine by me, I
Its a newer place that I was hoping to be able to visit before I left LA, but I
havent made it there yet.
She gave me the address, without mentioning the name of the restaurant.
When I pulled up in front, I realized that I should have asked more questions.
A tea shop? Remind me to check to see where the closest In-N-Out Burger is
so we can hit the drive-through on our way to the ferry.
You did say you could handle my girliness, she reminded me. And
theres nothing more girly than high tea at a shop that looks like youve
stepped into a fancy set for Alice in Wonderland.
I probably shouldnt have made it so obvious this early in our relationship
that Id do just about anything to make you happy, I grumbled after I found a
parking spot and helped her out of the car.
She reached up and kissed me on the cheek, whispering in my ear, Except
it means the world to me that you did.
Fuck if that didnt make it all worthwhile. Arabella was a reward worth any
I might have to turn in my man card after this, I sighed as we walked into
the shop. I pulled her chair out for her and cringed when I sat in mine, waiting
for it to break under my weight. It held, and I was pleasantly surprised when the
waitress brought the teas we ordered. My woman had just as much of a sweet
tooth as I did, which wasnt much of a surprise considering she was a pastry
chef. She got the whoopee pie tie, and I picked the kettle corn. Wed asked for
two of their tea for two specials since Arabella wanted to try everything and I
was starving.
It didnt take long before the waitress dropped off two towers, each with
sandwiches on the bottom and sweets on the top. I was surprised to discover
how much I enjoyed the food, devouring deviled egg salad, avocado,
prosciutto, caramelized onion and mushroom, and smoked salmon sandwiches.
And the sweets...the only time Id tasted better was the cake Arabella had made
for Vaughn and Carissas wedding. There was a great selection on both of the
traysmacaroons, fruit tarts, brownie bites, mini berry cheesecakes, scones
with clotted cream, lemon curd, and homemade jam.
Ill take some of those brownies to go with it, I told our waitress when
she cleared the table and asked if we each wanted an iced tea to take with us
since wed ordered two of the specials.
What happened to the In-N-Out plan? Arabella teased me as we
walked out.
I dont think I could choke down a burger after everything we ate at the tea
shop, I admitted wryly.
See! she cried. You liked it more than you thought you would.
No, I just flat-out liked it. I earned myself another one of her glowing
smiles with that.
I knew you would, she gloated. How about you leave most of the food
decisions to me since Im the expert?
Sounds like a plan to me. I handed her the paper bag with the extra
brownies after she slid into the passenger seat of the rental. Then I patted my
stomach in satisfaction as I walked around the car and climbed inside. I guess
nows as good time as any to tell you that I had the kitchen at the cottage
stocked by the local grocery store.
Is that your way of asking if Ill cook for us while were there?
Im not going to say no if youre offering, thats for sure. She laughed
lightly and shifted in her seat to face me. But I also got some stuff to throw on
the grill, so you wont have to do all our meals.
That was thoughtful of you, but Im more than happy to take charge of our
meals. Its been awhile since Ive cooked for someone other than myself,
except for in a professional capacity. The kitchens my domain, and Im
looking forward to showing off for you. I have a feeling its going to be very
satisfying to cook for my man.
It felt fucking great to have her call me that and see how excited she was. It
was also easy to picture her in a different kitchenthe one in my home in and pregnant.

A rabella

W HEN G AIGE HAD SAID hed booked a cottage for us, I was picturing something
small and quaint. Not a full-fledged house with an ocean view. Three
bedrooms? Does that mean youre planning on us not sharing?
I meant to say it as a joke, but there was also an underlying vulnerability
that came out as I spoke. After spending the last couple of nights with Gaige
with him sleeping while fully dressed over the covers that first night because I
wasnt about to let him sleep on the couch, and then wrapped in his arms with
both of us completely naked for the limited amount of sleep wed gotten
between bouts of sex the second nightI wasnt sure how Id feel if he actually
said yes.
No, he growled, tugging me into his arms. It means I wanted us to have
the privacy that the hotels and bed and breakfasts couldnt provide. The room
with a king sized bed is ours, although you could easily talk me into breaking
in the queen and both twin beds, too, if youd like.
I gave him a considering look. What about the table, couch, floor? I
rattled off every flat surface I could think of.
The shower, beach, patio, he added.
Yes to the shower. No to the beach and patio. I wagged my finger at him.
Id be too worried about getting caught.
Youre underestimating me if you think that youll be paying attention to
anything but me and what Im doing to you.
Only if you talk me into it in the first place. I caught the predatory gleam
in his eye and ran in the opposite direction. I didnt make it far before he
caught me from behind, wrapping his arms around my stomach.
You throwing down the gauntlet, sweetheart? Because Im more than
happy to pick it up, he breathed into my ear.
No! I squeaked. Then I jerked my chin towards the windows that went
from the floor to the dramatic cathedral ceilings, with a spectacular view of the
harbor. But I think the living room is a decent compromise with those
windows that anyone could look through.
Compromise accepted. He lifted me off my feet and settled me on the
ground and went about making me forget about my worries that someone
might see us. As I was writhing beneath him, my whole focus was centered on
him. An entire parade could have marched past us, and I wouldnt have noticed.
He was just that good at making me lose my mind. A skill he demonstrated to
me over and over again for the next week, while giving me the best vacation of
my life.
What are we going to do today? I asked, nudging Gaige in the side when
he didnt look up from his laptop. We were settled side-by-side in the chairs on
the porch, enjoying our coffee after breakfast the same way we had each day
since our first morning there. It felt like wed been doing it forever, and Id
quickly grown accustomed to the habit, to the point that I couldnt imagine a
morning without it.
Sorry, he murmured distractedly. I think I might finally have a lead on
the chocolates.
Wed been having so much fun that Id almost forgotten about the reason
Gaige had come to LA in the first place. He hadnt brought it up in all the time
wed been on the island, and it had lulled me into a false sense of security. Or
not quite false since I didnt have any doubts that Gaige would keep me safe.
What kind of lead?
They were brought to the set by a courier service. The guy I have helping
me out was finally able to pinpoint the time they were delivered. It took so long
because they sat for a day before the production assistant gave them to you, he
explained. My guy got a still shot of the courier off the studios security tapes,
hunted him down, and questioned him about it. Luckily, he remembered the
chocolates. He said its rare for them to accept a package from UPS and then
turn around to deliver it since there isnt a reason it couldnt have just been sent
directly to you in the first place.
That is odd, I agreed. Is the UPS delivery trackable?
Yeah, it came from Hawaii.
Hawaii? I echoed. Pierre Marcolini has a store there. Its the only one in
the United States.
Yeah, I figured that out right away, but finding the customer would be next
to impossible without more information. Getting them to release customer
information without a court order is hard enough, but its nearly impossible
without being able to say that we knew for a fact that the purchase was made
from their store. An exact date would make it even easier.
I nodded as I listened to his explanation. I can see how it would be like
finding a needle in a haystack.
The upside is that weve been able to whittle it down to a small pile of
hay, he sighed as he set the laptop on the ground and rubbed his face with his
palms. Id hoped to know more by now, but at least its progress.
I put my mug on the table between us, rose from my chair, and climbed
onto his lap. His arms wrapped around me, and I rested my head on his
shoulder. The other good news is that I havent gotten any more surprises
since you came to town. Maybe you scared whoever it is off.
Its possible, he agreed. But I still need to find the person behind it all
and make sure they understand that an approach to youany kind, no matter
the reasons behind itis unacceptable. And that if they decide to try it again,
Ill be the one giving them your response.
I shivered at the dark promise in his voice. One thing was for sure; I
wouldnt want to be in that persons shoes. Gaige pissed off was a scary sight,
even when his anger wasnt on my behalf and not directed towards me. But he
didnt scare me. In fact, it was the opposite. His determination to eliminate what
he perceived to be a threat to me, no matter what it took and where it came
from, made me feel like the safest person in the world. It also didnt hurt that
he pretty much catered to my every whim.
If the trail leads to Hawaii, do we need to go there? I asked, blinking at
him with feigned innocence.
You trying to talk me into a trip to a bigger, better island? He dropped a
kiss on top of my head, squeezing me tight.
Nah, I laughed. This ones perfect for the two of us.
Damn straight it is.
Is there anything else you need to track down this morning?
I felt him shake his head. Nope. Ive already reached out to an old Army
buddy who lives in Honolulu. Hes going to stop by the store when they open
today and see if he can talk them into sharing their receipts from the day the
chocolates were shipped. If were lucky, one of the employees will remember
something since they arent supposed to do mail orders from the retail shops.
I leaned back to look at him. Not only did this person know what my
favorite chocolates were, but they went well out of their way to get me a box.
Thats weird, right?
It might have been easier than we think. Just like Im doing to figure out
who this guy is, he could have asked a friend who was in Hawaii to buy the
truffles for you.
I scrunched my brow in confusion. But wouldnt that friend have shipped
them, too, instead of the store? Then their name wouldve been on the
shipment, and this whole thing would be so much easier.
Not necessarily. Think about how simple it would be for us to ask one of
the shops here to ship a purchase home for us because we dont have enough
space in our luggage. Or because were tight on time and cant go to the post
office ourselves.
Youre right. That art gallery offered to pack and ship the painting I was
looking at when we wandered in there the other day. He flashed me a knowing
smile, and I was filled with a sudden certainty. You bought it, didnt you?
Yup, and I had them ship it to my house. This time he was the one who
tried to look innocent. It didnt work for him any better than it had for me.
I let it slide, just as I had all the other things hed done that hinted at his
intention for me to go to Atlanta with him when this was all over. If youre
free, can we rent the beach bicycles like we talked about yesterday?
You still want to do that today?
I jumped off his lap and grabbed his hand to pull him up after me. Yup.
Lets get going so we arent out there when its ridiculously hot this
Sure, sweetheart. I know how much you prefer to save all the really sweaty
activities for when were home alone. Naked.
Of course I did. That kind came with all the orgasms I could handle.

G aige

I D TAKEN Arabella on a bicycle ride on the beach, just like she wanted. Id even
agreed to a two-person bike and did most of the pedaling. But now that we
were back at the cottage, it was time for my reward. Arabella had collapsed on
the couch in the living room and was gulping down another bottle of water. My
girly girl wasnt a big fan of exercise, which was fine by me. I loved her
curves. Her plan to not get too sweaty while we were on the beach had failed.
Even though wed both already showered, I was about to get us dirty all over
I dropped down on the cushion next to her and pulled her legs onto my lap.
I rested one of my hands on top of them and grazed my fingertips along her
skin. Goosebumps popped up behind the path I took, as my hand trailed up her
thigh and under the hem of the shorts she was wearing. Her breathing hitched
and her head jerked up as she capped the water bottle and set it on the end table.
The inseam on her shorts wasnt very long, and the material was loose
enough that I was able to reach her panties. My fingers brushed over the fabric
directly over her tight pussy, and my cock pressed against my zipper when I
found it drenched. The light teasing of my touch sparked the chemistry between
us. Im addicted to you, sweetheart. I cant seem to get enough. Dont think I
ever will.
Good, she murmured throatily. Because its the same for me.
I fisted my other hand in the ponytail shed pulled her blonde hair into
before shed jumped in the shower and brought her lips to mine. Her mouth
parted as her eyes drifted closed. I nipped at her lips before plunging my
tongue inside, and she inched closer until our bodies were flush against each
other. Her pebbled nipples pressed against my chest and she mewled in need,
but she still wasnt close enough for me. I dropped both hands to her hips and
lifted her up as I stood.
Sliding my grip down to her ass, I held her tight as I strode towards the
room wed been sleeping in. Her legs wrapped around my waist, and I felt her
damp heat press against me. With her fingers digging into my shoulders, I
moved as fast as I could while still licking and sucking at her neck.
Gaige, she gasped when I dropped her onto the mattress, quickly
following her down and settling myself between her thighs.
My mouth returned to hers while my fingers deftly undid the buttons on her
shorts. When they were loose, I shoved them down her legs, taking her panties
with them. After I crawled back up her body, she yanked my shirt over my head
and tossed it on the floor. The athletic shorts Id pulled on were easy to drag
down my legs. While I was getting rid of them, Arabella whipped her T-shirt
over her head. She hadnt bothered with a bra since it was just us, and I groaned
at the sight of her perfect tits.
So fucking gorgeous, and all mine, I breathed, bending low to suck a
pebbled nipple into my mouth. I bit down gently, making her wiggle
underneath me. Before moving lower, I gave the other side equal attention
while rocking my cock against her pussy. I groaned at how slippery she was as
her wetness coated my hard on. As much as I enjoyed playing with her tits, I
wanted her pussy more. So I kissed my way down her stomach, swirling my
tongue in her belly button before moving lower. I settled between her thighs,
wedging them wider with my shoulders as I slung her legs over them. I gave
her a long lick, and her hands clenched at my shoulders. Grinning against her
damp flesh, I devoured her until her cries rang in my ears.
Please, Gaige. Dont tease me. Give me what I need.
Her body shook with need as I thrust my tongue in and out of her tight hole.
Her walls clenched, and I knew she was close. She needed more to send her
over the edge, so I replaced my tongue with a couple of fingers and licked my
way up to her clit to flick it before sucking it into my mouth. Her back arched
off the mattress as she flew over the edge, screaming my name. Her knees
tightened around my head, and I kept at her until she was a boneless heap and
couldnt keep them there anymore.
I levered myself up and drove inside, bottoming out on that first thrust.
You fit me so perfectly. I dont know how its possible, but it still feels better
each and every time I feel your pussy wrapped around my cock.
The aftershocks from her orgasm had her pussy squeezing my dick. It was
like she was trying to milk my climax out of me, and I struggled for my
control. I didnt want to come too quickly, didnt want it to be over so soon.
Holding still, I took a few deep breaths before I began to move. I started off
slow, reveling in the grip of her pussy walls as I slid in and out.
When she started to tremble in my arms, I picked up the pace and
hammered my cock into her. Her nails dug into my skin, her legs squeezed my
hips, and her cries filled the room. All of that combined together had my balls
drawing up as my orgasm built.
Cmon, sweetheart. Give me one more. Let go and squeeze the fuck out of
my cock. Itll send me over the edge, too.
Yes, she hissed as she flew apart, taking me with her just like Id said she
would. I planted myself deep inside her one last time and groaned as I
exploded, emptying myself inside her. Id taken her bare each and every time.
As I got closer to finding the person behind the mysterious gifts, I found
myself praying that I planted a baby in her belly because it would tie her to me
forever. Not that I was going to let her get away if she didnt turn up pregnant.
Id just make sure it happened later.
When I was done, I collapsed on top of her feeling drained in more ways
than one. I didnt want to crush her, so I rolled to my side. As I was tucking her
body against me, I heard my cell phone ring.
Damn it, I grumbled, turning to stretch an arm out. I snagged my shorts
from the floor and dug my phone out of a pocket.
Leave it, Arabella murmured. You can check your messages later.
I planned to agree, but then I glanced at the screen. I bolted up in bed, my
energy returning as I swiped on the screen to answer the call. This cant wait.
Its my guy in Hawaii. He might have gotten me the name we need.

A rabella

I JERKED UP , the drowsiness from my two orgasms disappearing. Crowding

against his back I tried to listen in on the conversation, but I could only hear
Gaiges side of it.
Youre shitting me.
The bunched muscles in his shoulders relaxed under my fingertips.
How much did it cost you to get her to give you the name? There was a
slight pause as his friend answered. Okay, Ill send you the money to cover it.
Thanks, man. I appreciate the help.
He heaved a deep sigh as he set the phone down on the bedside table. His
chin dropped to his chest, and my nerves frayed. When his shoulders started to
shake, I began to freak outuntil I realized he was laughing. I didnt
understand what his friend could have found that was funny.
Gaige, I grumbled. Whatd he tell you?
He flopped on his back, tugging on my arm until I cuddled into his side.
The girl at the shop remembered shipping a box of champagne filled truffles
to LA. It wasnt something she was supposed to do, but she felt like she
couldnt say no because of the person who asked for the favor.
Who was it?
Owen Walker.
What? No! It couldnt be, I gasped. Owen and Sienna were here in LA
with me when I got the chocolates. They couldnt have gone to the store in
Hawaii. Its impossible.
Thats why she wasnt supposed to do it. Sienna called and sweet-talked
her into breaking so many rules. She took Owens credit card information over
the phone. Agreed to ship the chocolates overnight from the store to LA. And
she accepted a bribe to do it all. Back then, and again today to give us
the name.
I shook my head, still not quite grasping what was going on. But that
doesnt make any sense. Why would they send me gifts like that?
From what Sienna told the girl, Owen was hoping to lure an unnamed
pastry chef into moving to Atlanta and working for him.
Owen Walker wants to hire me? I gasped.
Sounds like it, Gaige confirmed.
I scrambled off the bed, yanked one of Gaiges shirts from the dresser, and
pulled it over my head. Then I ran into the kitchen and grabbed my cell phone
off the counter where Id left it when wed gotten back from our bike ride. I
hadnt been paying super close attention to my voicemail messages since Id
gotten to LA, and itd only gotten worse when Gaige and I came to the island. I
wasnt ignoring them, but I was saving them to listen to later after I checked to
see whod called. The only ones Id been returning were from my sister so
shed know that I was still alive, as she kept putting it each time she called.
As I walked back into the bedroom, I pulled up a message from Owen that
Id received the day we left LA. When it got to the part where he asked me to
call him back to discuss a job opportunity, Gaige chuckled. Mystery solved.
This was all a big misunderstanding?
It certainly seems that way. The shop girl mentioned that there was a note
in the box when the chocolates were shipped via UPS. It must have gotten lost
in transit. The same could have happened with the flowers and dinner. Why
dont you give Owen a call back so we can be certain that everything is
explained away?
Okay, I whispered, trying to adjust to a reality where there was an
innocent explanation for the gifts. I pressed the button to return his call and
waited for Owen to answer. It only took three rings.
Owen Walker.
Hey, Owen. Its Arabella. Im sorry it took so long to return your call, but
Ive had a lot going on, I apologized.
No worries. I would have called again if it was urgent, but things have
been pretty hectic for Sienna and me too.
I took a deep breath and asked a question I never thought Id voice. You
mentioned a job opportunity?
Yes, I planned to talk to you about it while we were in LA. But between
what happened with Jude and Liz, adjusting to a new producer in the middle of
taping, and Sienna being pregnant, there never seemed to be the right
I was pacing back and forth nervously until Gaige pulled me onto his lap. I
offered him a reassuring smile.
Siennas pregnant?
Gaiges hand drifted down to my belly, and it made me wonder if Sienna
was the only one considering how many times Gaige and Id had unprotected
sex. I should probably be more worried about the possibility of being
pregnant, but Id never be able to regret it if Gaiges baby was growing
inside me.
She is.
Thanks. You know what a great baby shower gift would be? Taking a job
at Saphyre as our head pastry chef.
In Atlanta?
Gaige perked up at that, nodding his head as Owen went over the details of
his offer. Between the chance to work with a chef I respected so much and
having a job in the same city as Gaige lived, I was ready to leap at the chance.
But before I could accept it, Owen sweetened the deal. Sienna said that you
mentioned how much you were hoping to leverage your role as a judge into a
show of your own. I can talk to the producers from mine to see if theyd be
interested in talking to you. I left them with a whole in their schedule when I
decided I was done, one that they might be willing to fill with you.
Yes! I shrieked.
Consider it done, he chuckled. And if they say yes, well figure it out.
You can set up our new pastry menu and then split your time between Atlanta
and LA like I used to do.
Thank you. Gaige looked at me questioningly, and I remembered the
point of the whole call. Was Sienna the one who thought up the idea of
sending me all my favorites? Chocolates, flowers, and dinner?
Yeah, it turns out that my fiance is a genius when it comes to figuring out
peoples motivations.
That she is, I agreed, thinking about how much closer I was to achieving
my dream. We wrapped up the call, and I twisted in Gaiges lap to plant a kiss
on his lips. It was them. It was all completely innocent.
Thank fuck, he murmured.
You realize what this means, dont you? My sister overreacted, and youve
been protecting me from an offer for my dream job.
His arms tightened around me. Ill owe your sister for the rest of my life
because if she hadnt asked Carissa for help, who knows how much longer it
would have been before we finally found each other again.
Me, too, I agreed, my heart melting at how thankful he was and how
certain he seemed to be that we still would have met. I liked to think that he was
right. That we were meant to be.

G aige

W E D SPENT a couple more days on Santa Catalina Island before wed headed
to Atlanta. On our way to LAX, wed stopped at that tea shop again. Itd been
my suggestion, much to Arabellas amusement. But she sure as shit hadnt
argued when Id asked for extra brownies to bring with us on the plane. And
shed eaten more than her fair share of them by the time we made it to my
The next week flew by as she hammered out the details of her employment
at Saphyre and signed a deal for her own television show. Shed been worried
about splitting her time between Atlanta and LA, but only because she didnt
want to be away from me. When I told her Vaughn and I had already closed up
shop after hed cut his hours back because of Carissa and that Id follow in his
footsteps by taking fewer cases with Brecken, Arabella had cried. Her
emotions were all over the place, so Id suggested she take a pregnancy test.
The results confirmed what Id suspectedshe was carrying my baby.
I got her in to see a doctor the same afternoon and when she cleared her for
travel, we hopped on a plane for London the next morning. Arabella wanted to
see her sister before it became too difficult to travel, between the pregnancy
and her new professional obligations. I was looking forward to seeing Celina
again so I could thank her for getting me exactly where I needed to beat her
sister s side. But I also had another motive.
As we exited the plane and walked through the airport, I stopped when we
were as close to the spot where shed first bumped into me as I could
remember. Arabella looked around in confusion until I dropped down to one
knee, and her eyes filled with tears. Pulling the jewelry box from my pocket, I
flicked it open to show her the ring.
Arabella Green, I love you so damn much. Will you do me the honor of
making me the happiest man in the world by becoming my wife? This week,
here in London?
Yes! she sobbed. I love you, too. Of course my answer is yes.
I didnt think Id ever get tired of hearing those three little words from her.
I lifted the ring out of the box and slid it on her finger. Did I do okay?
You could have proposed with a donut, and the answer would still have
been yes.
I rose to my feet, laughing as I kissed her. Let me guess; you want a
donut now.
Yes, she whispered against my lips.
I didnt even know if they had donuts in London. But if they did, Id find
them. And if they didnt, Id get her the ingredients so she could make some.
My pregnant fiance was going to get whatever she wanted, especially this
week as our relationship came full circle.

CURIOUS ABOUT VAUGHN & Carissa? Theyre from Sell Your Soul, part of my
Body & Soul series.
PA S S I O N , V O W S & B A B I E S

Dont miss out on all the other stories available in the Passion, Vows & Babies
Kindle World! Theyre all crossover stories with characters from the Sex &
Vows and/or Yeah, Baby series by Fiona Davenport.


Push the Envelope
Hit the Wall
Summer Nights (novella duo)
Outside the Box
Winter Wedding (novella)
Sucked Into Love
Mixed Into Love
Checked Into Love
Identity Crisis
Protection Crisis
Crying Wolf
Shoot for the Moon
Thrown to the Wolves
Bear the Consequences
Bear It All
Bear the Burden
Ask for the Moon
Bare Your Soul
Save Your Soul
Sell Your Soul
Star Pupil

I absolutely adore readingalways have and always will. When I was growing up, my friends used to
tease me when I would trail after them, trying to read and walk at the same time. If I have downtime, odds
are you will find me reading or writing.

I am the mother of two wonderful sons who have inspired me to chase my dream of being an author. I
want them to learn from me that you can live your dream as long as you are willing to work for it.

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