This Man Confessed (Page 112)

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‘Morning,’ I chirp when he’s a few yards away, sweating and actually a little out of breath. This is unusual. He’s a robot when running, never displaying any signs of fatigue or over exertion.

He grabs a towel that’s draped over a railing and starts rubbing himself on a smile. ‘Good morning, indeed.’ His eyes travel down my nakedness, which is only slightly concealed by the posts that I’m standing behind. ‘How do you feel?’

I have a quick think and do a bodily assessment, concluding that I feel perfect. I don’t feel sick at all. ‘Fine.’

‘Good,’ he approaches the pavilion and looks up at me. ‘Give me a kiss.’

I lean over and peck his lips, his signature smell enhanced by the clean sweat riddling is body. ‘You’re soaked.’

‘That’s because it’s f**king hot.’ He pulls away. ‘Breakfast?’ He asks it as a question, but he doesn’t mean it as a question. If I say no, then without question, I’d be growled at and possibly hauled in and force fed.

‘I’ll make you breakfast.’ I start walking across the veranda, towards our bedroom.

‘Where are you going?’ he calls after me.

‘To put something on.’

‘Hey!’ he shouts, and I turn to see a face awash with disgust. ‘Get your naked arse in that kitchen, lady.’

‘Excuse me?’ I laugh.

‘You heard.’ He’s looking at me expectantly, daring me to defy him.

I look down at my bareness and sigh. He won’t be making such demands when I’m fit to burst. I’ll put him off his food, but for now, I’m comfortable in my skin and he’s clearly comfortable looking at it, so I retrace my steps and enter the villa, via the doors to the kitchen, receiving a swift slap of my backside as I pass Jesse.

* * *

If our normal is me preparing and eating breakfast with both of us butt naked, then I love our normal. If our normal is taking three hours to get ready because neither one of us can keep our hands off each other, then I really love our normal. If our normal is me putting on a summer dress and being looked at like I’ve totally lost my mind, then I’m not so keen on our normal.

‘Think again, lady.’ He rummages through my clothes, cursing and scoffing to himself as he assesses and tosses each of my beach dresses aside. ‘You’ve done this on purpose.’

‘It’s hot.’ I laugh, standing in the centre of the room in my lace, watching as Jesse actually loses his own mind.

‘But Christ, Ava!’ He holds up a strapless playsuit with very short shorts.

‘You said I have great legs.’ I argue.

‘Yes, you have great f**king everything, but that doesn’t mean I want everyone to know it.’ He chucks the playsuit aside and grabs a long, floaty black dress with spaghetti straps. ‘My eyes.’ he affirms. ‘Just for my eyes.’

‘What the hell is wrong with you?’ I snatch the dress from his hands. ‘You were fine with the gown at the anniversary party and my denim shorts.’

‘I wasn’t fine at all. I made an exception, but I saw the way men were looking at you.’

Is he winding me up? ‘I see how women look at you!’

‘Yes, and could you imagine how they’d look at me if I was prancing around half naked?’ He nods at the dress. ‘You can wear that.’

‘You’re often shirtless.’ I point out. ‘You don’t see me rugby tackling you to the floor to conceal your body. Lighten up!’

‘No!’ he yells.

Our scowls are in competition, but his has definitely got the edge. ‘You’re unreasonable.’ I spit. ‘I’m wearing what I like.’ I chuck the black dress at him and retrieve my dusky pink, halter neck summer dress, stepping in and pulling it up my body.

He watches me violently yanking the dress on. ‘Why do you do this to me?’ he asks, impatiently.

‘Because it’s unreasonable for you to think that you can dictate my wardrobe, that’s why.’ I knot the dress behind my neck and smooth it down, ignoring the low, rumbling growl emanating from my unreasonable Lord. I’ll never back down on this element of our normal relationship. ‘It’s not so bad.’

‘You’re too f**king beautiful.’ he mutters sullenly.

I smile and slip my feet into my flip-flops. ‘But I’m your beautiful girl, Jesse.’

‘You are.’ he replies quietly. ‘Mine.’

I take a calming breath and step into his chest. ‘No one will ever take me away from you.’ I don’t know how many times I have to tell him. I know this a fear, but I also know his problem is the army of naked women who have paraded around him naked for the most part of his life. He doesn’t want men to look at me like they look at those women—the way Jesse looked at those women before me.

‘I know,’ he sighs. ‘But is it necessary to pick the tiniest dress on the f**king planet?’

I kiss his cheek. ‘You’re over exaggerating.’

‘I don’t think I am.’ he grumbles, pushing his freshly shaved cheek into my lips. ‘Can we compromise?’

‘Compromise how?’ I ask. He squats and picks up a cardigan, and I start shaking my head. ‘No way, Ward. I’ll pass out.’

Making a ridiculously over-the-top point of demonstrating his exasperation, he drops it and rises from his squatting position. ‘Fine, but I won’t be held accountable if some prick looks at you funny.’

I stare at him a little perplexed as he stands in front of me, looking all fresh and yummy in his heavy board shorts and white Ralph Lauren polo t-shirt, collar turned up, Jesse style. ‘I have to deal with the funny looks that you get daily.’

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