We keep warm beneath the blankets, soaking one another in until the moment passes. I know it’s gone when a gust blows across the exposed skin of my face, and I mutter, “It’s going to be shitty climbing out of here to get dressed.”
“That’s what I’m here for.” He leans in and kisses my forehead. Then he dives beneath the blankets.
I giggle, watching the shape of his body move around and feeling his playful touches. A kiss on my knee, a stroke on the bottom of my foot, his teeth against my hip, his tongue tasting the side of my ribs. I’m torn between getting my clothes on and shoving his head back down to play for a while.
“Are you a magician?” I ask as he emerges fully dressed. Well, sort of. I snort as he crawls to the end of the tailgate and notice his boxer briefs hanging out of his back pocket. He winks at me and tugs on his boots without lacing them.
After starting the truck, he climbs back up, scoops me and the sleeping bag into his arms, and runs with me to the passenger door.
“Get dressed in the warmth.” Depositing me in my seat, he kisses me tenderly, and slams the door.
Crinkling comes from behind me as he covers the truck bed with the tarp. I’m dressed when he finally joins me in the warm truck.
“We’re going back to your house, and you’re going to make room in your closet for my stuff.”
I lift an eyebrow. “You think so, huh? Moving out of your fancy place?”
“Found a better one,” he grunts to disguise a laugh.
His comment reminds me of something I want to ask him earlier. “Can I ask you something?”
“Yeah?” Even though the radio is nearly silent, he reaches over and turns the dial completely off.
“When did you buy the land for the house?” The nagging feeling won’t leave until I know. How, in a few short months, did he not only find the perfect location, but had an architect draw plans to my ultimate dream house, all while we were mostly at each other’s throats? And why?
“The day after the coffee shop,” he returns without hesitation.
I cover my mouth with a shaky hand. “What?”
“Told myself at the time it was for me, but I think deep down I always knew it was for you. Saw you and knew I wouldn’t leave without giving us the shot we deserved. Made a few calls, drove out to the land, and paid cash the next day.”
“And the plans? Did you have those drawn up then too?”
“No, baby.” He squeezes my thigh. “In my mind, so long as that land was just a piece of land, I could convince myself it had nothing to do with you. I had the plans drawn up the day after I found the letter at my dad’s.”
“Wow. Well, you couldn’t have picked a better spot. It’s incredible.”
“What can I say?” The dimples on his cheeks surround the most mesmerizing grin. “I’ve always had a thing for waterfalls.”
As have I.
I gaze out the passenger side mirror, watching our new patch of land fade into the distance, and a sense of contentment washes over me. Peacefulness. Having Law in my life permanently means I almost can’t wait to build our dream home and start our life.
If I’ve learned anything over the years, raising my daughter alone and building us a life, it’s that I can wait. Sometimes, taking the slow path to something beautiful is worth it.
So, that’s what we’ll do. Take it slow. Law will move in. Construction of our new home will take months and be ready for us during the warm summer. And while we wait for that chapter of our lives, we’ll close this one. Build memories to replace the years we weren’t together. This is a time to cherish.
Let’s get started…
Preorder Kiersten and Nathan’s story now:
When Morning Comes
A hilarious, laugh-out-loud, surprise pregnancy romance.
Available September 16, 2020