Book: Tough and Tender (Bad Boy Romance Box Set)

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CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

JESSE

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“Are you okay, sweetheart?” I lean forward to kiss my way down Trish’s spine.

“I may never be able to walk again,” she says with a laugh. “Other than that, I’m great.”

With a long, regretful sigh, I slide off the bar and adjust my pants. “We need to find your clothes.” 

“No, you need to find my clothes,” Trish says. “I’m not running around the bar naked. You lost them, you find them. Last time I saw them, they were flying through the air in that direction.” She smiles and points behind me.

I spot her clothes under a table and after retrieving them, hold up the ripped pink panties by one finger.

“Since these aren’t any good to you anymore, I’m keeping them as a souvenir.” I stuff them in my pocket. “Hopefully the skirt is still salvageable.” I toss it to her and she slides it over her boots and up her legs.

“Only you would take home panties instead of sea shells as a souvenir from Panama City,” she says. “I’m still missing a piece of clothing. Where’s my bikini top?”

I lean far over the bar to look and find it caught on a bottle of whiskey. After handing it to her, I walk around to tie the strings around her neck and back. Unable to resist one last touch, I trail my hands down her sides and grip her waist.

“Let me help you down,” I offer, sliding an arm under her legs and scooping her up. Instead of placing her on the floor, I sit down on a bar stool and cradle her tightly in my lap.

Trish gives me a mischievous look. “Let me guess. You have one more erotic fantasy you want to tell me about.”

I laugh and shake my head. “No. I’m done for at least another twenty minutes. Are you complaining?”

“Never.” 

She reaches up a hand to cup my cheek. “I love you, Jesse. Thank you for not giving up on us.”

I grab her hand and turn it over to kiss her palm.

How did I ever get so lucky?

Trish is a vision with her long hair spread out all over my chest, her skin still flushed, those big beautiful eyes gazing at me. I could get lost in her eyes and never find my way out again. Not that I would ever want to.

The gorgeous woman curled against my chest loves me.

It’s hard for me to believe. I sure as hell don’t deserve her love.

Yet deep down inside, I want more.

Need more.

I wasn’t being truthful when I told her I would be happy with anything she could give me. At that moment, I would have said whatever it takes to keep her in my arms and prevent her from bolting out the door. So I didn’t push or ask for too much too soon.

I know she’s scared.

So am I.

I also know I won’t be satisfied until she’s completely mine in every way. The time we’ve spent apart has given me plenty of opportunity to think.

I want it all.

Wife, kids, the whole fucking package.

From now on, I’m running my life the way I ride.

Full throttle.

No hitting the brakes.

Leaning down, I grab her lips in a slow, tender kiss. How I wish she could absorb everything I’m feeling, to instinctively know the emotions I can’t express in words. From the way she grasps the back of my neck and kisses me back, I realize she understands.

“Marry me,” I say.

Her mouth drops open. She blinks at me in surprise. “You want a wife? Now?”

“Yes, I want a wife. And a family. Most of all, I want a life, Trish, with you. I love you and I don’t want to wait. Say yes.”

“What about the Steel Infidels?”

“The MC will always be a major part of my life. But they can’t be my life. You’re my life now.”

“Nothing would make me happier,” she says, her eyes shining with tears. “The answer is a great big yes.”

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