"I love you," she says with a small smile. "I don't think I say that enough. And I don't think I ever thanked you for saving my life."
"Angel, that is one thing you will never have to thank me for. I would do it a million times over."
Her eyes start to grow heavy, and I can tell that the pain medicine is starting to take hold again. It makes her so tired, but I know that's good. Sleep is the best thing for her right now.
I, on the other hand, have barely slept at all. I'm too busy watching over her and worrying.
I get up to go downstairs and get a couple of small things done, but she grabs my arm.
"Can you stay with me? Please?"
"Of course." I get comfortable next to her and grab my book off the bedside table. With her resting so much, I've made it through two books in just as many days.
I get lost in the pages, and soon enough, Avery starts lightly snoring next to me. She's probably sleeping hard enough that she wouldn't notice if I got up to get some stuff done. But there's no way I'm not going to be right next to her when she wakes up.
After everything that has happened, I don't know that I'll ever stop worrying about her. Seeing that son-of-a-bitch on top of her about to do unspeakable things brought out my most basic instinct.
The instinct to protect the one that I love.
Although I hadn't been that scared in my entire life, my military training kicked in, and I got the job done. I just hate that Avery had to see that side of me. I never imagined I'd shoot someone in front of the woman of my dreams.
But she's safe.
That's what matters.
And now, I will spend the rest of our lives making sure that she is okay and loved beyond her wildest dreams.
It's been two weeks since Duke and I have had sex.
The bruising around my face has faded, and I'm feeling great. Problem is that Duke thinks that I'm going to break. He's treating me like a porcelain doll. I appreciate the sentiment, but right now, I'd rather be fucked like a rag doll.
Tomorrow, we head to Boston to start packing up my apartment to have it all shipped down here, but I'd really like to let out some of this sexual frustration before then.
Deciding to try to entice him, I ordered some sexy lingerie online. It got delivered today, so it's showtime.
I anxiously wait for him to get home from therapy. When I hear his truck tires hit the driveway, I stand in the foyer. My see-through lingerie leaves very little to the imagination, and I hope he wastes no time in ripping it from my body.
But the last thing in the world that I am expecting is Duke to walk through the front door with company. When his brother, Devon, walks in behind him, immediately, my hands attempt to cover up everything that's showing. But I don't have nearly enough hands for that.
"Avery?" Duke asks, trying to figure out what is going on.
"Well, hellooooooo, Avery," Devon says with a huge smile on his face.
Duke's eyes bounce back and forth between his brother and me. Realization sets in, and he says, "Devon, time to go. We will hang that mirror later."
"But—" Before he can say another word, Duke shoves him out the door and locks it behind him.
Duke looks at me. "Well, my brother got a good show."