They didn’t make it to the couch.

He slid out of her long enough to sprawl them both on the plush rug and then he was back inside her, pumping and thrusting, desperate to reconnect in the most intimate fashion.

His mouth devoured every inch of flesh he could reach. He sucked avidly at her br**sts, forming rigid peaks. Then he slid his lips upward, leaving a damp trail to her neck, and he sucked at the tender skin beneath her ear before licking the shell and nipping her lobe with his teeth.

She shuddered violently, already nearing her release. He could tell by the way she clenched and tightened around his cock. The sudden burst of wetness, bathing him in her sweet heat. Like liquid satin. Hot. So very tight.

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He lost himself in her, thrusting mindlessly until her cry shattered the stillness. Then his own orgasm took over, rendering him incapable of thought or speech. There was so much he wanted to say and yet he was utterly blank.

He remained inside her, his chest heaving with exertion as he came down to rest on top of her, their sweat-slickened bodies hot and damp against one another.

“Was it okay to do that?” he asked anxiously. “I don’t want to hurt the baby.”

Chessy laughed, the sound beautiful in his ears. “It’s a bit late for that concern. But no, you didn’t hurt the baby. She’s just fine. And so is her mama.”

He closed his eyes, absorbing the beauty of the moment. When all was at peace and the world was finally set to rights.

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Knowing he was too heavy for her, he slowly withdrew, his dick still rigid and wanting more. Then he bent down and curled his arms underneath her body, lifting and cradling her against his chest. He walked into the bedroom and deposited her on the bed before returning with a washcloth to clean them both.

Then he crawled onto the bed with her and pulled her into his arms. He didn’t want to ruin the moment but he had to know. He couldn’t bear it if this was a false alarm or he thought this was something it wasn’t.

“Chessy, does this mean you’re coming home?”

She lifted her head, her eyes glossy with emotion. She cupped his jaw lovingly and stroked her fingers over the afternoon shadow.

“If you’ll have me back, yes.”

“If I’ll have you back?” he asked hoarsely. “Baby, I’m on my knees at your feet begging you to come home. But what changed your mind? I don’t understand.”

“I did a lot of soul searching,” she admitted. “I’m miserable. You’re miserable. It seems our only chance at happiness is to try to work out our differences together. I’m willing to forget and forgive if you are.”

He looked at her in astonishment. “Baby, there is nothing for me to forgive and everything for you to forgive.”

“I vote we forgive each other for the pain we’ve caused and let’s start over.”

He gathered her in his arms, pulling her down on top of him. “I love you so much, Chessy. I’m so damn grateful that you’re willing to give me another chance when I’ve f**ked up so many times already.”

He slid his hand between them, cupping her flat belly where their child nestled in her mother’s womb. “You’re having my baby,” he said in awe. “Do you have any idea what that does to me?”

Her eyes became troubled. “Are you truly happy about the baby, Tate? I know you weren’t ready yet.”

He kissed away her worried frown. “I think we’ve already covered in great detail what a dumbass I’ve been. I can’t think of anything more perfect than you pregnant with my baby. I picture you all round with our child and it melts my heart every damn time. I’ll be a good father and husband, Chessy. I’ll get it right this time.”

She gave him a smile so bright that it rivaled the sun. Her eyes filled with love, brimming with warmth and acceptance. “I know you will. I believe you, Tate. Every marriage has a bumpy road. But we got through ours. In ten years we’ll look back at this, and hopefully we’ll have more than one child. I’d like a large family. I want what I never had growing up. But we’ll look back and laugh at how stupid we both were and how happy we are in the present. It will all seem so silly down the road.”

He immediately grew somber. “I’ll never make you feel unwanted again, Chess. I know how hard your childhood was for you. And I want you to know our children will never experience that. My life will always revolve around you and our children, however many we end up having.”

She squeezed him tight, laying her head against his chest. “I love you, Tate.”

“And I love my girl.”

TWENTY-NINE

THE next day, Tate took off of work, much to Chessy’s surprise. Yes, she had faith in the fact that he’d keep his promises this time to put her first, but she hadn’t expected him to take a precious day off from work. But he’d told her that’s what he had partners for now and that the three of them had familiarized themselves with all the MHL clients so they could respond to any needs that arose if one of them was out of pocket.

Tate drove Chessy to Kylie’s so she could once again pack all her belongings, this time to move back home. Chessy had called both Joss and Kylie earlier that morning to fill them in on the developments and the fact that she and Tate were getting back together.

Both her friends were thrilled but also cautious, wanting Chessy to make certain she was absolutely sure about her decision. Once Chessy assured them she was, they were only too happy to offer her their support.

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