This Man Confessed (Page 171)

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The first week was a washout. Streams of constant visitors plagued the penthouse, including Jesse’s parents. It’s still odd and a little strained, but I can see a light in my husband’s eyes that I never have before. It’s different to the sparkle of lust or the deepening in anger. This is peace.

The police paid numerous visits during that first week. It was probably too soon, but Jesse insisted on getting the chore out of the way so we could resume our normal. Patrick stopped by with my work colleagues, expressing his sincere apologies for putting me in such an awful situation, but he wasn’t to know, and neither was poor Sal. She’s well and truly back to dreary, plaid skirt wearing Sal, but she seemed happy enough. Mikael withdrew from the deal to buy Rococo Union and Patrick offered me my job back, but I politely declined and Jesse didn’t try to convince me otherwise. I can’t return to work, and I really don’t want to.

For the following three weeks after that first hectic one, there was constant contact, just how he likes it. We bathed every morning and indulged in hours of tub-talk. I re-dressed his wound, he rubbed Bio Oil into my tummy. I cooked breakfast, he fed it to us, both naked. He read his pregnancy manual out loud, I listened intently. He chose to skim past the parts that would put his ridiculous worries to rest, and I chose to snatch the book from his hand and read those parts aloud to him. He would scowl, I would grin. He wanted lots of sex, but I didn’t want to hurt him, which is ironic after the constant battle we’ve had in this aspect of our relationship since I’ve been pregnant. It’s been hard. My raging hormones are not improving.

Now, four weeks later, I’m spread eagled on the bed in the main bedroom of Paradise, I’m naked and I’m basking at the highest level of Central Jesse Cloud Nine.

‘Comfy?’

My head lifts so my eyes can locate the whereabouts of my Lord, finding him standing in the doorway of the bathroom, naked, just how I like him. ‘No, because you are not in here with me.’ I pat the mattress, and he blasts me with his smile—my smile. He doesn’t lie next to me, though. He spreads my legs and crawls up between my thighs, resting his freshly shaved chin on my growing tummy and looking up at me with those glorious greens.

‘Good morning, my beautiful girl.’

‘Good morning.’ My fingers seek out his wet hair, and I sink further into the bed on a contented sigh. ‘What are we doing today?’

‘I have it all planned out.’ he declares, nibbling on my midriff. ‘You will do what you’re told.’

‘Does it involve cards?’ I enquire casually, but far too hopefully. I’ll ensure that I lose this time, so there will be no need for the transfer of power.

‘No,’

I’m disappointed. ‘Does it involve twilight sleepy sex?’

I feel him grin around the flesh that he’s nibbling on. ‘Maybe later.’

‘Then I’ll do whatever you want.’ I advise him, my thighs clenching at the thought of another dreamy session in the sand, and my mind wishing the day away so later gets here faster.

‘Your day starts right now, Mrs Ward.’ He plants a set a loud kisses around my bellybutton before sitting up and straddling me. He reaches over to the bedside cabinet and retrieves an envelope. ‘Here.’

‘What’s this?’ I ask on a frown, gingerly taking it from him. I don’t like surprises from this man.

‘Just open it.’ he pushes impatiently, then commences nibbling that lip. My nerves increase when I see cogs starting to fly, too.

I’m not sure that I want to open it, but curiosity is drowning my apprehension, so I slowly pull it open, flicking eyes back and forth between Jesse and the envelope. Slowly pulling out the piece of paper, I unfold and read the first line.

Haskett and Sandler property management.

That means nothing to me. I read on, but I can’t make head nor tail of the legal lingo. I can make sense of the obscene amount of numbers that follow the pound sign halfway down the page, though.

‘You’ve bought another house?’ I blurt, looking over the paper at him. I say house but judging by the figure, which I now notice has the words ‘For the sum of’ written next to it, it could be a palace… or maybe even a castle.

‘No, I’ve sold The Manor.’ The lip biting has just sprung into the realms of cannibalism. He’s chomping furiously as he gages my reaction to that statement.

‘You’ve what?’ I’m trying to sit up, thinking maybe being upright might lessen the shock, but I won’t find out because I’m being pushed back down to the bed.

‘I’ve sold The Manor.’ He lays down over me and clasps the sides of my face in his bag palms.

‘I heard you. Why?’ I don’t understand. I planted the seed, I know, but I never expected him to take a bit of notice.

He smiles down at me and lowers his lips to mine, teasingly. I’m desperate to know what has instigated this, but I’m also desperate, as always, for his magic mouth. I drop the document and fall straight into the rhythm he’s set, finding his big shoulders and feeling my way up to his jaw. I’m distracted for now, but he won’t get away without an explanation on this. The Manor is all he knows, even if he’s not utilising the facilities anymore.

‘Hmmm, you taste heavenly, lady.’ He bites my bottom lip, pulling back so it drags through his teeth lightly.

‘Why?’ I press, keeping him close to me and wrapping my thighs around his narrow hips. I’m not letting go until he spills.

He gazes at me thoughtfully for a few moments before drawing breath. ‘You know when you’re a kid? At primary school, I mean.’

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